Game: Wrath of the Lich King
Content Type: Gaming Guides
Welcome to the Blood Death Knight DPS guide for World of Warcraft Wrath of the Lich King 3.3.5a. In this guide, you will learn about playing a Blood Death Knight in a raid. The guide includes Talents, Glyphs, Gems, Enchantments, Add-ons, Gameplay & Skill rotation tips.
Below is the standard build for Blood Death Knight, which includes all of the needed DPS talents. The spec does rely on Armor Penetration to be efficient, meaning players might experience minor issues in the beginning. Check out the Stat Priority section for more information on Armor Penetration. Even though Morbidity is only 2/3, don’t to sacrifice points from Epidemic for it (even when using Glyph of Disease).
Gems are situational and depend on the build and equipment. They are used to reach the required stat caps.
- Meta: Relentless Earthsiege Diamond
- Red: Bold Cardinal Ruby, Fractured Cardinal Ruby or Etched Ametrine if Hit is not capped
- Yellow: Inscribed Ametrine or Rigid King’s Amber if Hit is not capped
- Blue: Nightmare Tear x1
- Head – Arcanum of Torment
- Shoulder – Greater Inscription of the Axe
- Cloak – Greater Speed or Major Agility
- Chest – Powerful Stats
- Bracers – Greater Assault
- Gloves – Crusher
- Waist – Eternal Belt Buckle
- Legs – Icescale Leg Armor
- Boots –Tuskarr’s Vitality or Greater Assault
- Weapon – Rune of the Fallen Crusader
Gameplay & Rotations
Opener and Rotation
Army of the Dead – Is used few seconds before the encounter, or when changing phase. Using it while doing your combo will result in a DPS loss and a combo break.
You can combine trinkets, potions, and Hysteria before using Dancing Rune Weapon and Raise Dead, as they will partially mimic your stats at the moment of casting. Dancing Rune Weapon should be used after the initial opener because you want to set up all of the diseases on the target.
Hit -> Expertise -> Armor Penetration -> Strength -> Critical Strike Rating
Death Knights use a combination of abilities and spells, so both melee hit and spell hit are essential stats. In raids, you want to have 8% of Hit (or 263 rating) for your melee abilities. Spells require 17% of Spell Hit, but with Virulence talent and Misery or Improved Faerie Fire on the target, the requirement is reduced to 11% (or 289 rating). A standard soft cap of 26 Expertise is advised, but it’s not as necessary as capping Hit rating.
(Reminder that melee and spell hit is counted differently: 1% Melee Hit = 32.79 hit rating, and 1% Spell Hit = 26.23 hit rating)
Strength is one of the most valuable stats for Blood DK because it improves the effectiveness of every ability & spell. Strength also transfers to pets, making them more powerful. Additionally, Blood DK utilizes talents such as Veteran of the Third War, Ravenous Dead, and Abomination’s Might to increase it even more.
Armor Penetration is the primary stat of this build, stack it as much as possible. Usually, the hard cap is 100% (or 1400 ArP rating), but with Blood Gorged, it’s 90% (or 1260 ArP rating). Armor Penetration works better when stacked in higher amounts. Players may find the build lacking damage in the beginning, but it will get better when you start to accumulate more ArP. Consider gemming for Strength if there’s not enough to have at least 50% Armor Penetration from gear and trinket procs.
Critical Strike rating is a secondary stat for this build. There’s a variety of talents that increase Crits for this build: Subversion, Dark Conviction, Vicious Strikes, Improved Death Strike, Might of Mograine. Additionally, there’s Bloody Vengeance, which also stacks up to an additional 9% of damage after dealing a critical strike.