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Death Knight Blood Spec PvE Guide

Death Knight – Blood Talent Build:

  • Raid Tanking – click here to view
  • Two handed weapons only, with the 4.3 threat changes two-handers do far greater threat than dual wielding.


Glyphs come in three varieties, Prime, Major and Minor.

  • Prime glyphs enhance core aspects of your class and generally provide the greatest benefit of the three types.
  • Major Glyphs, while not quite as powerful as Prime Glyphs, are still useful and continue to provide a myriad of benefits.
  • Minor Glyphs often times provide small quality of life improvements or visual changes, such as the Glyph of Horn of Winter, which increases the duration of your Horn of Winter ability.

Prime Glyphs:

  • Death Coil – Optimal
  • Heart Strike – Optimal
  • Rune Strike – Recommended
  • Death Strike – Can be utilized if you need higher DPS when a glyphed Rune Strike is unnecessary.

Major Glyphs:

  • Vampiric Blood – Recommended
  • Anti-Magic Shell
  • Rune Tap
  • Dancing Rune Weapon


Here are your highest priority abilities.

  1. Outbreak – Use to apply Frost Fever and Blood Plague
  2. Death Strike – Primary Survivability Mechanic
  3. Heart Strike – Primary Attack
  4. Rune Strike – Use with excess Runic Power or when runes are depleted
  5. Horn of Winter – Used to generate runic power
  6. Frost Fever – Applied via Icy Touch or Outbreak
  7. Blood Plague – Applied via Plague Strike or Outbreak

You should begin pulls by using outbreak to apply diseases, followed by using Heart Strike to cement control over the mob.  Death Strike is our survivability mechanic and should be used only after you’ve taken damage due to it scaling with damage taken in the last 5 seconds.

Maintain your diseases at all times, refreshing them using Outbreak unless it’s on Cooldown in which case you can use Plague Strike and Icy Touch.

As the fight progresses use Death Strike whenever possible as well as Heart Strike.  Rune Strike should be used whenever your runes are depleted or when you’re nearly runic power capped.

Heart Strike and Rune Strike offer threat and damage, but Death Strike is a must use if you’re taking a large amount of damage.  Finally, Horn of Winter can be used to immediately generate Runic Power.

AoE Rotation

  1. Death and Decay – AoE Threat
  2. Outbreak – To apply diseases
  3. Pestilence – To spread Diseases
  4. Heart Strike – Primary Attack
  5. Blood Boil – When fighting 6+ Mobs

In multi-target situations Death and Decay should be dropped to start the fight.  Diseases should be then applied by using Outbreak followed by Pestilence.  Use Heart Strike to maintain agro if you’re fighting 4 – 5 mobs, or Blood Boil if fighting a larger group.
Otherwise use Death Strike and Rune Strike as part of your regular rotation.


  • Horn of Winter
  • Raise Dead + Death Pact
  • Empower Rune Weapon
  • Vampiric Blood
  • Rune Tap
  • Icebound Fortitude
  • Lichborne
  • Dancing Rune Weapon
  • Anti-Magic Shell
  • Blood Tap

Stat Priorities:

Mastery > Stamina > Dodge = Parry > Expertise 26/26 => 8% Melee Hit

  • Mastery – Blood Shield: Blood Death Knight Mastery increases the amount of damage absorbed by Blood Shield.
  • Stamina increases maximum health and the effectiveness of Vengeance.
  • Dodge rating increases your chance to dodge attacks, a method of damage avoidance.  Due to diminishing returns, it’s best to try and equalize your Dodge and Parry as much as possible.
  • Parry rating increases your chance to parry attacks, another method of damage avoidance.  Due to diminishing returns, it’s best to try and equalize your Dodge and Parry as much as possible.
  • Expertise reduces the chance for your attacks to be dodged or parried by enemies.
  • 8% Melee Hit: Melee hit reduces the chance for your attacks to miss, 8% makes it so that your special attacks will never miss on an enemy.


When reforging gear, it’s important that you look to reforge from your least effective stat into the most effective for whatever gear goal you are currently aiming for.  See our stat priority list for more information.

Mastery > Dodge = Parry

Reforge the Crit and Haste from your gear into Mastery, if possible.  If a piece of gear already possesses Mastery, reforge those stats to Parry or Dodge depending on how much you already have of either value. Since Strength adds to Parry your Parry rating will probably be much higher than your Dodge.


  • Red
    • Fine Lava Coral/Fine Ember Topaz
    • Keen Lava Coral/Keen Ember Topaz
    • Guardian’s Shadow Spinel/Guardian’s Demonseye
  • Blue
    • Puissant Elven Peridot/Puissant Dream Emerald
    • Solid Deepholm Iolite/Solid Ocean Sapphire
  • Yellow
    • Puissant Eleven Peridot/Puissant Dream Emerald
    • Fractured Lightstone/Fractured Amberjewel
    • Keen Lava Coral/Keen Ember  Topaz
    • Fractured Chimera’s Eye (Jewelcrafting)
  • Meta
    • Austere Shadowspirit Diamond

Unless a socket bonus offers at least +20 Mastery, it’s more effective to gem for pure mastery and ignore the bonus.

If you have the gold to leveling it up and by epic gems then Blacksmithing will allow socketing of two more of the Epic gems, making it superior to other professions.


  • Weapon: Swordshattering (Runeforging)
  • Helm: Arcanum of the Earthen Ring
  • Shoulders: Greater Inscription of Unbreakable Quartz
  • Cloak: Enchant Cloak – Protection
  • Chest: Enchant Chest – Peerless Stats
  • Bracers: Enchant Bracer – Dodge
  • Gloves: Enchant Gloves – Mighty Strength/Enchant Gloves – Greater Mastery
  • Belt: Ebonsteel Belt Buckle
  • Leggings: Drakehide Leg Armor
  • Boots: Enchant Boots – Mastery/Enchant Boots Earthen Vitality

Death Knight Blood Spec tanking build

Death Knight Blood Spec tanking glyphs


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