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Wrath of the Lich King Classic: Ultimate Blood Death Knight Tank Guide

Welcome to MmoGah's Blood Death Knight Tank guide for the upcoming Wrath of the Lich King Classic. In the forthcoming Wrath Classic, we've been granted access to a new class as Death Knight make their appearance. 


This guide will help you, and your Blood Death Knight class face the toughest raids and dungeons and improve your knowledge, role, and class.


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Why Play as a Blood Death Knight?

Death knight class was massively overpowered initially and were practically monsters at DPS or Tanking. However, in Wrath Classic, Blizzard decided to tone them down a bit, and then Blood Death Knights became the major Tank spec, while the remaining 2 classes, Frost and Unholy, are DPS badasses. 


Blood Death Knights are powerful Tanks. Their kit and gears are filled with anti-magic abilities Making them the bane of tanking caster enemy types. They can also heal themselves as they deal damage.


Blood Death Knight Strengths and Weaknesses


When it comes to Blood Death Knights, the name of the game is healing. They are one of the best Tanks in the game. Most of their abilities heal you or your allies in raids. That, along with the fact that they have some amazing defensive cooldowns. 


Also, compared to other Death Knight specs, Blood DKs are easy to play. With straightforward abilities that any newbie can easily play even as a rotation. 



Blood Death Knights need strong gears as even their amazing healing abilities are reliant on them. This only means you'll need a decent amount of gold to level them. You can always get WotLK Classic gold from third-party sellers like MmoGah and not have to worry about grinding for gold. 


Another annoying weakness Blood Death Knights have the lack of movement speed boosting effects. You now have to depend on the Paladin's Hand of Freedom to move at normal speed when slowed down. 


Blood Death Knight Tank Talent Build

While leveling, you'll unlock your talents rapidly. But this is our recommendation for a Blood Death Knight Tank in a PVE situation. This is quite popular for the Blood spec in Wrath Classic. Will do well as you level up.


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Higher Threat Variation

With this, you'll be doing much more damage. It sacrifices a little bit of survivability.


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Blood Death Knight Tank Glyphs

Glyphs are a new feature in Wrath of the Lich King Classic, allowing you to augment your spell abilities with major and minor glyphs. These are slowly unlocked as you level and at Lvl. 80, you'll have access to all 6. The best glyphs for you will depend on what spec you have, regardless if you're still leveling or looking for a BiS guide. 


Best Glyph for Blood Death Knight

These are the best glyphs available for you to run based on our recommendations, and you can change them when doing different things such as focusing on a single target, moving quickly, fighting mobs, etc. 


The major glyphs are:

Glyph of Rune Strike - You need this to get a 10% increase in Critical Strike chance. 


Glyph of Death Strike - This is extremely powerful for self-healing. It increases your Death Strike damage by 1% for every 1 Runic Power you own up to 25%. However, it is not a Runic Power spender.


Glyph of Vampiric Blood - This will help to increase the duration of Vampiric Blood up to 5 seconds. It's an excellent defensive cooldown and increases your survivability. 


Glyph of Disease - This allows you to refresh the duration of your disease on your targets and everyone affected by your Pestilence.


Glyph of Dark Command - Increases the chance of your Dark Command succeeding by up to 8%.


For minor glyphs, we have:

Glyph of Pestilence - This increases the range of Pestilence by 5 yards. It's a great quality of life improvement, and you'll notice it immediately. 


Glyph of Raise Dead - Your Raise Dead will no longer require Corpse Dust as the reagent. You will also have more space in your bag. 


Glyph of Horn of Winter - Increases the duration of Horn of Winter by 1 minute. It's important because you'll be using Horn of Winter much more frequently than 2 minutes, which with this glyph, it'll be 3 minutes cooldown and 3 minutes duration. It also grants 10 Runic Power.


Blood Death Knight Stats Priorities

Defense - You want to get 540 of it. This is because once you are defense capped, you can longer be critically hit in PVE. This also increases the damage mitigation of the Icebound Fortitude, and your chance of being hit will be decreased by 5.6%.


Hit - You want a 9% spell hit and an 8% melee hit. This is because a 9% spell hit combined with the 8% hit from the Glyph of Dark Command will make sure you never miss a taunt. Gives you consistency with your threat generation and is able to snap taunts whenever you need them. The 8% melee hit cap will make sure you don't miss a Death Strike, and you always get your health back when you expect it to be. 


Expertise - You need 26 Expertise for Dodge Cap. This means that when you attack, it can no longer be dodged. If you get 20 Expertise from gear and 6 Expertise from the talent Veteran of the Third War in the Blood Talent Tree, you'll be dodge capped.


56 Expertise is Parry Cap, which is when your attacks can no longer be parried. You get 50 Expertise from gear and 6 from the Veteran of the Third War. Parry Cap is important because of Parry Haste, which is a reduced swing time for a creature's next swing after it successfully parries an attack. However, only a handful of bosses have that mechanic enabled, but two you need to use it for our Hallon and Sindragrosa. 


Stamina - A top priority stat because many Death Knight heals a % of their health (HP). So the more you have, the more you'll heal. 


Armor - This mitigates physical damage. You need to wear plate armors as they have the most armor, more than cloth armor. You get 5 Attack Power for every 180 Armor you have when you add Bladed Armor from the top of the Blood Tree.


Dodge and Parry - Also known as Avoidance. It's a helpful stat to use more Rune stat, which can only be used after you dodge or parry an attack. 


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Blood Death Knight Rotation

As Death Knight, you must deal with Runes and Runic Power, which requires a rather complex rotation. Rotation will maximize your Tank in AoE and Single target situations. Firstly, here is a little overview of the Blood Death Knight's abilities:



Icy Touch - This is another useful ability that deals Frost damage to your target, reducing its attack speed by 20%. It also places your Frost Fever disease on the enemy. This will be your most important ability as Blood Death Knight as it'll be really strong when used in Frost Presence.


Plague Strike - This ability deals physical damage and places your disease, Blood Plague, on the target. It's also a core ability, most important to use at the beginning of your fights.


Pestilence - With this powerful ability, you can spread your disease to all targets within 15 yards of your primary target. It's even more powerful with the Glyph of Disease, as you can reset the duration of the disease you already have on your target, therefore keeping your disease up.


Heart Strike - This allows you to deal physical damage to 2 targets at a time and this is further enhanced by the disease present on the targets. Best used in dungeons. 


Rune Strike - This ability can only be used on special occasions when you dodge or parry an attack. So, a counterattack move. It's also a Runic Power Spender and is especially useful as it's not affected by the GCD


Death Strike - This ability deals with physical damage and heals you for 5% of the disease on your targets. As Blood Death Knight, you'll use this ability a lot, even complimenting your self-healing ability. It also turns any Rune it uses into Death Rune. 


Blood Boil - Your AoE ability that deals shadow damage to enemies within 10-yard radius. It also deals additional damage to targets with your diseases (Frost Fever or Blood Plague) on them. Ideal to use when you are sure all enemies have your disease on them.


Blood Strike - Deals physical damage while also dealing increased damage for every disease present on your enemies by 12.5%.


Raise Dead - This allows you to assail your enemies by raising ghouls with Corpse Dust.


Army of the Dead - This allows you to summon your ghouls to fight your battles. A burst ability that will be useful when you cast at the start of the battle as it has an extensive channel time.



Icebound Fortitude - This reduces incoming damage by 30% and makes use immune to stun effects. You can use this ability when you're about to take heavy damage in raids or dungeons.


Death Pact - This ability sacrifices one of your ghouls to restore your health. You can use it with Army of the Dead, so it consumes one of the ghouls' presents.


Vampiric Blood - With this ability, you can increase your health by 15% and also increase the health you generate from spells and effects by 35% while empowering any other healing effect on you. Use with Death Strike and Rune Tap.


Rune Tap - With this, you transform your Blood Rune into 10% max health. Needs to be used whenever possible, especially if you use the Glyph of Rune Tap.



Horn of Winter - This buffs all allies around you. It gives 155 Agility and Strength and provides you with 10 Runic Power. It has a short cooldown useful in rotations to gain Runic Power, especially when your Runes are on cooldown.


Blood Tap - With this, you can change your Blood Runes to Death Runes within 20 seconds, although at the cost of your health.



Blood Presence - Increase damage by 10% and heals you of 4% of the damage done. As Blood DK, you probably won't use this.


Unholy Presence - Increases movement and attack speed by 15% and reduces your GCD by 0.5 seconds. AS Blood Death Knight, you might only need this moving around in raids.


Frost Presence - Help you gain 60% armor value contribution from your items, increase your stamina by 8%, and reduce damage by 8%. This will be your main Presence as you gain a massive armor value. 


Blood Death Knight Tank Rotation

Single Target Rotation 

Icy Touch > Plague Strike > Heart Strike > Heart Strike > Heart Strike >> Repeat



Start with Icy Touch and Plague Strike to use your Frost Fever and Blood Plague. Then Heart strike, Heart Strike Heart Strike. Heart strike is a great damage ability that does a % of weapon damage on up to 2 targets. Then repeat when Frost Fever and Blood Plague go down, the reapply Icy Touch, Plague Strike, and go back to Heart Strike. You can also mix in Death Strike as a self-heal. 


AoE Rotation

Death and Decay > Icy Touch > Plague Strike > Pestilence > Blood Boil > Death Strike > Blood Boil > Blood Boil >> Repeat



For multiple targets, start with Death and Decay to hold threats, then Icy Touch, Plague Strike, and Pestilence to spread your disease everywhere. Then use Blood Bol to deal a lot of AoE damage. Then use Death Strike as needed to keep yourself alive and then more Blood Boils. 


Class Mechanics for Blood Death Knight Tank

If you haven't played the Death Knight class yet, know that two resources are the core of the Death Knight class: Runes and Runic Power. You have six runes in total; 2 Blood Runes, 2 Frost Runes, and 2 Frost Runes. Runic power works like rage; you stack up and spend it on abilities. Every ability you use requires some combination of these runes.


Best Blood Death Knight Tank Professions

Professions are the core of the WoW world as they greatly boost your survivability, damage, and healing. Players craft goods and trade different services to generate different equipment to help along their journey or get lots of WotLK gold. So here are the best professions for the Blood Death Knight.



Like most other classes, this profession is amazing. It offers access to powerful gems you can sell to others for a steady income. The Dragon's Eye gems, especially Solid Dragon's Eye and Precise Dragon's Eye, will give you a +64 stamina and +42 Expertise Rating, unlike regular gems.



For PvE content, this is a great profession. Blood Death Knights don't use the Hyperspeed Accelerators but use the Reticulated Armor Webbing glove enchant to get +885 armor and some attack power. 


Also, the Nitro Boosts boot Enchant gives a +24 Crit rating which increases your speed, allowing you to move away from dangerous situations or catch up to enemies quickly. 


Other Useful Professions

Blacksmithing - Blacksmiths have the ability to add two more gem sockets to their gears on the hand and wrist. Adding two Sold Majestic Zircon - Cardinal Ruby will give you +40 Armor Pen. and +40 Strength.

Tailoring - Use the Swordguard Embroidery cloak enchantment to get +400 attack power for 15 seconds.

Alchemy - Increase the effectiveness of elixirs and flasks you craft yourself and consume with the Mixology passive effect, to gain +64 attack power. 

Enchanting - gain access to special ring enchantments like the Enchant Ring - Stamina enchant that gives +60 stamina


Blood Death Knight Consumables, Gems, and Enchants

Apart from talents and gear, there are three ways to improve your overall performance. With Gems, Consumables, and Enchants, you'll be able to do that and guarantee yourself raid spots.




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Your gaming situation will change based on your build and current equipment if you've reached certain caps. It might change depending on the stage you are, but generally speaking, some of the caps you want are 8% Hit, 26 Expertise, and 540 defense as a Tank.


Meta - Austere Earthsiege Diamond

Red gem - Generally speaking, you want the Regal Dreadstone, but you can also use a Nightmare Tear here. 

Yellow gem - Solid Majestic Zircon

Blue gem - Solid Majestic Zircon




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Head - Arcanum of Stalwart Protector

Shoulder - Greater Inscription of the Gladiator

Cloak - Scroll of Enchant Cloak - Mighty Armor or the Scroll of Enchant Cloak - Titanweave

Chest - Scroll of Enchant Chest - Super Health

Bracers - The Scroll of Enchant Bracer - Major Stamina

Gloves - Scroll of Enchant Gloves - Armsman

Waist - For your belt, get that extra gem socket from Eternal Belt Buckle

Leg - Frosthide Leg Armor

Boots - Scroll of Enchant Boots - Tuskarr's Vitality

Weapons - For weapons, you want to go with a Runeblade Enchant, the Rune of the Stones kin Gargoyle, which is best for tanking. 


So there you go. That's our ultimate guide on the Blood Death Knight. Although this concentrates on PvE Blood Death Knight Tank, you can be sure that we will continue to bring you other useful guides on your way to the Icecrown Citadel. Till then, you can check our other WotLK Classic content here.


Related Links:

Wrath of the Lich King Classic: Ultimate Frost Death Knight Guide

Wrath of the Lich King Classic: Ultimate Unholy Death Knight Guide


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