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Blood Death Knight Talents
This section of the Blood Death Knight guide provides an overview of all talents, information on which talents work well in different situations, and popular builds in Wowhead's talent calculator. Updated for the latest patch. This guide is written by
creates videos on Youtube
and authors the
Protection Warrior Guide
. He has previously authored the Proving Grounds Tanking and Brewmaster Monk guides on Wowhead.
Rotation & Abilities
Macros & Addons
Recommended all-purpose build:
The level 56 talent is primarily based on encounter specifics (how much AoE will you face, and how dangerous is it?), but
is generally accepted as the go-to choice 90% of the time.
The level 75 talent depends on the encounter, as it provides no boosts to either survivability or DPS directly.
The level 100 talent can be changed if survivability isn't an issue, in order to provide more DPS.
: Gives your critical strike autoattacks a chance to spawn a Bloodworm that will burst after a given amount of time or when you drop below a certain health threshold. This provides a safety barrier to counteract spike damage, but is a little unreliable due to the relatively high threshold, their low duration, and the otherwise underwhelming nature of Crit as a stat. Their heal value has recently been tripled, which put them ahead of
in terms of total healing in single target scenarios (potentially cleave, too). They are much stronger now than before, but the
gain (i.e., damage output and controlled self-healing) is generally still inferior to
due to the already-stated flaws inherent in spawning Bloodworms.
: Increases the runic power generation on
by 2 for each target hit. This is a decent passive talent, as Runic Power is necessary for both DPS and survivability. It is reliable, albeit not as strong as
used correctly. This is arguably the best overall choice for beginners, but the healing from
is also appealing if you're not comfortable adding another keybind into your rotation.
: Grants a new ability that channels on the target, draining health from them and healing yourself. With a major buff in Patch 7.1.5, this outperforms other choices in the tier for damage output, and is superior to
in single target. If taken, this should be used lined up with trinkets and procs as possible, but otherwise used immediately on cooldown.
: Generates 1 Runic Power per second while standing inside
Tod und Verfall
, providing a very small boost to survivability and DPS, as well as slightly increasing the damage dealt by
Tod und Verfall
. Although it is now a weak talent, it is better than the alternatives in many situations.
: Theoretically allows active rune regeneration, giving a new ability that lets you consume nearby applications of
, increasing runic power generation. By removing the application of
, though, this talent makes the class significantly harder to play on AoE. This talent is detrimental in virtually all applications.
Do not use it
: Allows your
to consume an extra charge when taking high damage, providing a buffer for spike damage. It can be taken when the risk of dying is extremely prominent. Choosing
will reduce your
usage in favor of more
casts to maintain
. This is a DPS and self-healing loss in exchange for reducing more incoming damage and managing burst. This is a good talent for extremely dangerous bosses, and a fairly weak one otherwise. The degree to which you are punished for using
has been reduced considerably in Patch 7.1.5.
: Reduces the cost of
by 5 Runic Power when at 5 or more
charges, as well as increasing max runic power by 10. This talent effectively allows much more frequent Death Striking, synergizing very well with talents that increase RP generation, and talents that improve
effectiveness. This scales better with gear than the other options, and interacts incredibly well with the Tier 19 set bonuses.
: Allows you to actively regenerate runes by using the ability, the recharge time of which is determined by the consumption of
stacks. It puts more control over your resources in your own hands, effectively allowing you to generate runes when you need them most. It is worth less damage and healing than
, and as a result is not as good. This talent was buffed in Patch 7.1.5, but it was primarily to compensate for the redesign to Bone Shield, and not a true buff to the underperforming talent.
: Basically turns
into an extra
. This talent can be powerful in the right circumstances, but giving up the offensive and defensive benefits of
is typically a poor trade.
Mal des Blutes
: This talent provides a small amount of healing in most dungeon and raiding scenarios, and the runic power is almost always better spent on
, even with the buff in Patch 7.1.5.
: A very powerful talent that decreases the cooldown on
by 1 seconds for every 6 Runic Power spent.
is our most versatile cooldown, and having more uses of it is extremely valuable.
: Another talent that puts resource management in the player's control. It allows you to consume Bone Shield charges to generate Runic Power and put a shield on yourself. Unfortunately, the talent has strong anti-synergy with
, along with resulting in an overall loss of Runic Power compared to playing without it. Despite the considerable buff in Patch 7.1.5, it is still very bad. Avoid this talent.
: Decreases the cooldown on
by 30 seconds (to 90 seconds in Patch 7.1.5), as well as applying a slow effect to your
Tod und Verfall
. This talent is mandatory for any encounter that requires frequent use of
, but is fairly useless if that is not the case. Generally the best choice for Heroic and Mythic (and Mythic+) dungeons, as
is pretty helpful in dealing with caster and archer mobs, and the slow can be helpful in kiting if necessary.
: Gives your
Tod und Verfall
a chance to cause enemies to cower in fear for 3 seconds, occurring at most once every 10 seconds. Damage will break this effect. While this talent has potential for randomly interrupting casts in an AoE, it is lackluster outside of non-challenging content. It currently has no place in raid encounters.
Marsch der Verdammten
: Increases the duration of
by 100% and causes it break some Crowd Control effects. When gripping is not required in a fight, this talent is good. It helps slightly shore up
s' biggest weakness, their low mobility.
Wille der Nekropole
: Provides a damage reduction buff when reduced below 35% HP. While this is a decent talent on paper, the HP cutoff is quite low. The potential for passing from over 35% to dead is too high, and it requires sacrificing a lot of constant personal defense from
just to have an occasional safety net in emergencies - emergencies that may never arise with
. It is much stronger in Patch 7.1.5, but the chief failing of its too-narrow window still remains.
: Adds an additional cooldown, reducing damage taken by 40% for 3 seconds at the cost of 1 rune. With the readdition of
s are not quite as desperate for percentage damage reduction cooldowns as they have been thus far through Legion. If you require multiple damage reduction cooldowns for an encounter (such as Cenarius), this is your first line of defense. It's not tremendous outside of those situations due to the rune cost, which sacrifices damage and damage reduction from Heart Strike and Marrowrend, but it is a solid option when you need it.
: The simplest and strongest talent in this tier, it increases your HP by 12-20% under normal use. It synergizes well with
and provides a constant boost to defenses during an encounter, outweighing the occasional boosts from
Wille der Nekropole
. There are almost no situations in which this is not the best choice.
: Gives a new ability that consumes up to 100 Runic Power when cast, giving an AoE effect around the player for 1 second per 10 RP spent, up to 10 seconds. With the buff in Patch 7.1.5, it actually functions as a strong self-healing tool in AoE. Although it was almost entirely a DPS option, it has become a good AoE survival tool as well, and it is by far the best choice for AoE damage. It is potentially the least useful talent overall in raids, but its damage output can be helpful on add fights. It very strong in Mythic+, and practically a must-have during Fortified weeks.
: Gives a new ability that redirects 20% of
damage taken to the affected target for 10 seconds. It is the only active defensive cooldown in this tier, and has very high offensive potential under normal tanking circumstances as well. This talent is best used before choreographed high-damage phases. It is a modest defensive cooldown, but can be used offensively to considerable effect. In this case, it is an effective all-purpose tool that can be manipulated to increase damage output in non-threatening situations. Cast
on a boss, then intentionally stand in fire to increase your dps. It is usually a superior defensive option to
(outside of significant AoE), and should be taken in situations in which you are not at risk of dying to random burst damage.
: Will prevent you from dying once every four minutes, instead applying a healing absorb for the amount of damage taken. If you're healed out of the absorb within 3 seconds, you will live, otherwise you will still die. This has historically been one of the best tools in the
toolkit, and it is still a strong, unique utility, as it
prevent deaths. It has lost quite a bit of ground in Legion raids and Mythic Keystone dungeons due to the predictability of damage intake. If you are suffering deaths to random burst damage,
is still the best tool in the kit, but it is otherwise pretty much useless.
Back to Top
: Made considerable updates to talent recommendations, comparisons, and the calculator link.
: Further information Bloodworms, Blooddrinker, and Heartbreaker.
: Added information regarding buff to Blooddrinker. Also updated recommendations regarding the other two options in that row.
: Updated for Patch 7.1.5!
: This guide has been updated for 7.1, and the heading has been updated to reflect such (finally).
: Fixed a few poorly-worded sentences and one typographical error.
: Updated the level 100 talent tier and the suggested build. Blood Mirror has grown on me, and it is now generally superior to Purgatory.
: Updated Rune Tap to indicate its reduced value since the readdition of Icebound Fortitude.
: Provided more explanations regarding how to use several talents, most notably Rune Tap and Blood Mirror.
: Updated talent suggestions in the final tier.
: Fixed suggested talent tree and updated some talent language.
: Revised language on all talents.
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