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Blood Spec Death Knight PvP Guide

Night Elf Death Knight in Season 11 GearDeath Knight, Blood SpecBlood is for survival. You won’t hit as hard as Frost or Unholy, but you’re much tougher than either which gives you an edge. Warlords changed this around a bit and tanks in PvP now hit harder than before and aren’t quite as tough. You will still last much longer than the other two specs.

Learn to Blood and you can have a lot of fun.

If the max level arenas are your game then consider Frost or Unholy.

If you’re not yet max then you won’t be able to use everything on this page. If are interested in getting your characters, all of them,  to max level quickly, take a look at this leveling guide.

Blood Spec Death Knight PvP Contents


Other Death Knight Guides

Talents for Blood PvP

The “correct” talents will vary with your preferences, your team, what form of PvP you’re doing (2s, 3s, 5s, WPvP, BGs, duels,) phase of the moon and so on. The picks shown below are for general use, but you should feel free to experiment so that you know what all of them do and adjust accordingly.


 Talent Descriptions

Tier 1, Level 56:

Tier 2, Level 57:

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Tier 3, level 58:

Tier 4, Level 60:

Tier 5, level 75:


Tier 6, level 90:


Tier 7, level 100:


Glyphs for Blood PvP

Blood Spec Draenei in Koltira's Battlegear

Legion pretty much did away with almost all of your glyphs. The only ones remaining are cosmetic only, like the old “minor glyphs.”

You now have:

Nothing like a bloodier looking Anti-Magic shell and Wraith Walk to improve your tanking, right?


Stats for Blood Spec

Legion has killed off Multistrike and Bonus Armor. In addition:

“In Legion, as soon as you zone into a PvP instance, the stats on your gear will be nullified, and you’ll be given a pre-determined set of stats that’s uniquely configured for your specialization. Furthermore, any set bonuses, enchants, Legendary bonuses, or trinket effects will be deactivated (although your Artifact and its related Artifact Powers will remain active).”

All DKs value Strength far above all other stats.

The new stats for Warlords are Multistrike and Versatility. There are some tertiary stats, such as avoidance that sometimes appear on PvE gear, but do not appear on PvP gear. You won’t have to think about them.

  • Priorities: Strength  > Mastery > Haste  > Versatility > Crit

Stat Explanations

    • Mastery creates a shield every time you use Death Strike. Over time this shield will soak a lot of damage. It also increases your Attack Power.
    • Versatility is an add to your damage (and any healing) and also to your damage reduction. It’s a pretty useful PvP stat if you can get decent quantities of it.
    • Haste speeds up everything you do, including Rune regeneration. In full gear your Rune regen will be such that you can do decent damage even in Blood presence. In Unholy Presence it will be even faster.
    • Crit adds to your Parry chance via your Riposte ability.


Blood Spec Gems




Blood Spec Enchants

Legion allows you to enchant a couple of items.

And if you’re not yet that level…

Warlords Notes: There are no head enchants, all shoulder enchants come from the Inscription profession and are only for items under item level 600.

There are new enchants for Neck, Cloak, Weapons, and your Rings. Not for any other pieces. (Not yet, anyway.)

Note that the new enchants can be applied to lower level gear, such as your “new character” gear or heirlooms. They will scale down appropriately and scale up as you level.

The enchants are unchanged in patch 6.2.

Enchantments for Blood
  • Enchant Cloak – Gift of Mastery– +100 Mastery and +10% movement speed
  • Note: There is a “breath of” version of the above which has the same stats, but without the 10% movement bonus, and which is much cheaper.
  • Use this enchant on lower level gear.
Other enchants, for gear under item level 600. None can be applied to ilevel 600+ gear.
Shoulders Greater Tiger Fang Inscription: +15 Str and +5 Crit
Chest Enchant Chest – Glorious Stats: +9 to all Stats
Bracers Enchant Bracer – Exceptional Strength: +15 Str
Enchant Bracer – Mastery: +25 Mastery
Gloves Enchant Gloves – Super Strength: +25 Str
Belt Livingsteel Belt Buckle: Sockets your belt, pop in the best gem.
Leggings Angerhide Leg Armor: +19 Str & 11 Crit rating
Boots Enchant Boots – Pandaren’s Step: +10 Mastery and Slight run speed increase.


How to Blood PvP

You have several methods to reduce incoming damage, you should probably use them. The better you’re able to read what your opponents are doing the better you can pop the right ability.

Stop All Damage

  • Bone Shield for mitigating all damage, not just magical, by 20% for 5 min or 8 hits (6 before you hit level 92,) whichever comes first. Since it lasts awhile (potentially) and has a shortish cooldown you can cast it before the fight starts and then again when you need it. You can add it to your Death Strike in a macro and have it pop up as often as possible or save it for when you need it.
  • Icebound Fortitude reduces all damage by 50% (due to Sanguine Fortitude) for 8 seconds and also renders you immune to stun effects. Use this as soon as you see the enemy using his “you will die now” burst to get the full effect of the damage reduction. 3 min cooldown.
  • Rune Tap reduces all damage by 40% for three seconds at the cost of one blood rune. It has two charges, so can be used as needed or back to back if a lot of damage is incoming. If your health crashes below 30% then you will get a free Rune Tap charge via Will of the Necropolis, but this can only trigger once every 30 seconds.

Stop Magic Damage

  • Anti-Magic Shell is a personal ability that reduces incoming magical damage by 75% for 5 seconds (absorbing up to 50% of your health.) Also prevents magic debuffs from being applied to you. Most of them, anyway.
  • Anti-Magic Zone, the talent, if you took it, is a raid wide ability that reduces magic damage by 20%, for three seconds. With it lasting only 3 seconds your timing has to be pretty good.
  • Lichborne (talent) grants us temporary immunity to Charm, Fear, and Sleep effects

Step Physical Damage

  • Death Strike heals you for a decent amount and also, with your Mastery: Blood Shield, adds a damage shield. Multiple Death Strikes over a short period of time can build up a pretty decent shield. The shield only applies to physical damage.
  • Dancing Rune Weapon increases your Parry by 20% for 8 seconds (90 sec. cooldown.) Best used against melee and other physical attacks.
  • Riposte adds your Crit rating from your gear to your Parry rating.

Self Heals

  • Vampiric Blood is not a damage mitigation/avoidance ability, but rather a healing type of ability. It both increases your max health and any healing you receive for the next ten seconds. The Glyph of Vampiric Blood eliminates the initial health boost and increases the bonus health received from heals. Combine it with your self-heals and you can gain health very quickly.
  • Death Strike heal, which is boosted by your blood boil. If you kill someone then your next Death Strike heal will be 100% better. You can also use that heal to help remove the heal absorb from Death Pact (lev 75 talent.)


  • Death Grip also interrupts
  • Strangulate silences for 5 sec, asphyxiate (talent) stuns for 5 sec.
  • Mind Freeze interrupts and silences one school of magic (such as Frost.)
  • Chains of Ice slows

Damage Buffs

Doing Damage

Stay in melee range to heal (via Death Strike.)

Basically, your “rotation” is simple: Apply DOTs (Diseases,) spread DOTs with Blood Boil, smash ’em with Death Strike.

  • Your Blood Boil increases the healing of your next Death Strike, so you’ll be using this ability often. Try to spend only Blood runes on it, if you’re not in the middle of an enemy group.
  • If you have Plague Leech follow it up immediately with Outbreak. This will give you more Death Runes and will keep your diseases rolling.
  • Death Strike is your “bread and butter” ability. It does damage, puts up a shield, and heals.
  • Try to Death Grip after enemies use their Blink or Disengage or similar ability. If you’re farming enemies in a BG or something then try Glyph of Unholy Command to be able to grab a new enemy right after the first one dies.
  • Burst: Use your “on use” trinket proc and Dancing Rune Weapon when Fallen Crusader pops. Smash the enemy.

How to Blood PvP




Macros for the Blood DK

This macro is one I’ve been using on an Orc DK that I’m leveling. Orcs have the Blood Fury racial, which increases attack power for a few seconds. Note that you can do the same with any “on use” item or ability, such as a Draenei’s heal, Troll’s berserking, trinkets, etc.

  • #showtooltip Death Grip
  • /startattack
  • /cast Blood Fury(Racial)
  • /cast Death Grip

This one Death Coils your mouseover target. You can do the same with any ability, including Death Grip. Mouseover some target, launch the spell, continue to mash your original target.

  • #showtooltip Death Coil
  • /cast [nomodifier] Death Coil
  • /cast [modifier:alt, target=mouseover] Death Coil

Keeping that Bone Shield up. It’s 20% damage reduction (all damage) for 8 hits, why not have it up as often as possible? This macro tried to bring it up every time you Death Strike. ’13’ is your “on use” trinket in the top trinket slot. Make sure that you don’t have your escape trinket in that slot. 😉

‘startattack’ makes sure your auto attack is up and running on the target (you switched targets) even if your runes are down.

#showtooltip Death Strike
/use 13
/cast Death Strike
/cast Bone Shield

Lichborne macro – casts Lichborne and then Death Coil on yourself to heal.

#showtooltip Lichborne
/cast !Lichborne;
/cast [target=player] Death Coil


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