Blood Death Knight Gear, Tier Sets & BiS – Legion 7.3.5
This section of the Blood DK guide covers everything about gear: tier sets, trinkets, gear recommendations from dungeons and raids, and legendary item rankings. This guide is written by
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Rotation & Abilities
Macros & Addons
New Legendary Ring in Antorus
was added in Antorus. It's easy to obtain, simply open up the instance, then kill Argus on any difficulty.
But is it any good?
No. It is not good. You can wear it if you don't have any alternatives, otherwise please don't.
Here's an overview of the importance of the set bonuses on the Blood DK tier sets:
Tier 21 Bonuses
T21 2-piece bonus:
Item - Death Knight T21 Blood 2P Bonus - IBF Cooldown
provides significant cooldown reduction to
. It has the serious drawback of being useless while not actively tanking, but it is very good whenever you are actively tanking. This bonus is significantly stronger in Mythic+ dungeons than tanking most raid bosses. In the best-case scenario, it reduces
to a 90-second cooldown, and in taunt-swapping raid encounters, it takes roughly 45 seconds off the base 3-minute cooldown. Not amazing, but not bad.
T21 4-piece bonus:
Item - Death Knight T21 Blood 4P Bonus - Vampiric Blood Rune Haste
synergizes well with the 2-piece bonus, and provides a significant offensive and defensive bonus onto each cast of
. Overall, this is not a great bonus. Precisely how good is contingent on how well the 2-piece works in the given situation. When the 2-piece is operating at maximum efficiency, this is a 4.4% total increase to Rune regeneration. That is certainly better than nothing, but isn't worth sacrificing item level to get. Against a taunt-swapping raid boss, it's worth <=2% increased Rune regeneration. It is increased Rune regeneration when you need it most, which is something, but it's not great!
Tier 20 Bonuses
T20 2-piece bonus:
Item - Death Knight T20 Blood 2P Bonus
provides an always-active 2500 Versatility. This bonus is extremely simple, but outstanding.
T20 4-piece bonus:
Item - Death Knight T20 Blood 4P Bonus
reduces the cost of
Item - Death Knight T20 Blood 2P Bonus
is active (i.e., always). This will translate to a ton of DPS and healing over the course of a fight. It's great!
Tier 19 Bonuses
T19 2-piece bonus:
increases Runic Power generation, providing more Death Strike casts.
T19 4-piece bonus:
causes Death Strike to generate resources as well, providing a positive feedback loop between spending Runes and Runic Power!
Check out the
Best in Slot
section below for recommendations on gear pieces.
Antorus, the Burning Throne - Best in Slot
Aiming for best in slot gear in raids is a goal best left for once you've completed progression, as any upgrade is worth using when you're still working on bosses and a BiS piece may not drop for weeks or months. Nonetheless, knowing what Blood Death Knight pieces are your best options before heading into raid is a smart idea. Also, your mileage may vary based upon Warforging/Titanforging and your Legendaries!
Tomb of Sargeras - Best in Slot
This will be removed after Antorus has been open for a few weeks.
As a note:
(crafted via Inscription) is tremendously powerful, the best physical damage reduction trinket in the game.
, which drops from the world boss
, is extremely strong for its item level, and outperforms most raid trinkets.
, and Strength/Haste stat stick trinkets from World Quests are extremely powerful for their item level, and can be superior to many Normal, Heroic, and even some Mythic trinkets from Emerald Nightmare and The Nighthold.
rolled to Haste is probably the best trinket a Blood DK can hope to obtain, and Strength/Haste proc trinkets like
are also highly desirable.
In dungeons, many DPS-flagged trinkets like
can provide damage buffs useful for cleaving down add waves.
: Haste with an Armor proc, a great trinket. Drops from Assault on the Violet Hold. Unfortunately, Violet Hold does not exist as a Mythic Keystone Dungeon, so getting a high ilvl Titanforged
is practically a miracle.
: The Critical Strike is not good, but the damage reduction effect is strong. The debuff is very easy to maintain, and worth 8% or more damage reduction when fully stacked. It has a situational advantage over Armor trinkets due to affecting spell damage, but is not generally as potent against physical damage. It's good, but not great for Blood Death Knights. Drops from Darkheart Thicket.
: A strong Haste proc that grows stronger when you wear
(which drops from Court of Stars). Drops from The Arcway.
After almost an entire expansion of weak and uninteresting tank trinkets, Antorus, the Burning Throne has a lot for tanks to be excited about. Hell, it's about time!
is probably the hardest-to-acquire of all trinkets from Antorus. Maybe not, we don't know yet! It's also the best trinket by a ridiculous margin. If you get it, wear it. Period!
is unfortunately undertuned. In raids, you may have no choice but to wear this - at least until you acquire a
- but it's just kinda weak. Sorry!
is a great trinket for overall damage reduction. The "Suffering melee attacks reduces the cooldown of this ability by 1 sec" component can be "gamed" to tremendous effect, and this trinket will seriously reduce your damage taken overall. It has a a slightly negative interaction with Dancing Rune Weapon, but it's not a huge deal. It can have small drawbacks when tanking AoE. If one target deals significantly more autoattack damage than the rest, making sure the trinket's active effect is not wasted on weak hits can be a little tougher. Generally speaking, this trinket will clean up in AoE, and the Haste is just icing on top. This thing is
is another strong trinket, possibly the best overall tank trinket from Antorus. 12 seconds uptime every minute is very good, and can easily be fit in between defensive cooldowns. For fights in which you swap aggro back and forth, this trinket gets even stronger since you can have it active for a much larger percentage of overall time. It's great!
are an interesting pair of trinkets.
is good on its own and becomes much better when combined with a co-tank wearing
is not great unless you desperately need the Effective Health afforded by the Stamina. This probably won't apply to you as a Blood Death Knight unless you are undergeared, but it could apply to your co-tank depending on their class. Each of these trinkets can be swapped to the other on a 30 second cooldown, and they can be swapped in combat. This can result in some interaction with your co-tank to have the best-optimized setup between the two of you depending on what each of you are doing at a given moment. Overall, they will probably both fall behind other, better options.
is a neat concept, but not a good trinket. There are far better uses for your trinket slots. Critical Strike is a poor stat for Blood. A randomly-chosen procced HoT, Shield or vampiric AoE aura every 20 seconds can't possibly compete with more consistent and effective trinkets available in Antorus or even Haste/Strength stat sticks. Adding a little bit more healing to a Blood Death Knight is like pouring a cup of salt water into the ocean. Who's going to notice?
is not an amazing trinket overall, but it can be amazingly strong in the right situations. Being unable to use abilities or move while the trinket is active is a tremendous handicap, and Mastery is a bad stat, so this will only really be important for extreme cooldown uses. That said, it will be pretty amazing when you need it. A 960 version of this trinket absorbs 24 million damage for 3 seconds. That is an amazingly potent defensive cooldown!
is a Strength trinket with a large Armor proc. It can provide a good deal of physical damage reduction, but it is unreliable. The fire damage when it procs is a small bonus. It is an alright choice overall, but not as versatile or reliable as
or most Haste proc trinkets and stat sticks.
is, in many ways, similar to
. That's not a compliment, but
is at least better against single targets. It still pales in comparison to Strength/Haste trinkets.
provides a chance to be HoT'ed when you take damage. It's not a bad idea, but the tuning is a little underwhelming and Versatility isn't as valuable as Haste.
is a Stamina trinket with a damage reduction on-use. This may have a specific application for some players, but chances are good this will never be a better choice than a comparable Strength/Haste trinket.
offers the versatility to choose between reducing the cooldown of
or extending its duration. Between
and the meager .5 seconds per stack, extending the duration is not great. Reducing the cooldown can be pretty great in the right situation, otherwise (say it with me!) a Strength/Haste trinket will usually be a better choice.
: The passive Mastery is decent, and the positive effect of the on-use ability is technically stronger than any defensive cooldown DKs have available. While the negative effect is fairly punitive, this trinket is very good on tank-swap fights or for taking the edge off of major burst damage - and there are quite a bit of both in
. Use the trinket a few seconds before a swap for a free defensive cooldown with minimal negative repercussions. On normal fights, the negative effect can be covered by a timely
and skillful use of Active Mitigation, but it's not a great trinket outside of tank swap and burst situations.
: While the Stamina is not great, nor is the active as strong as Infernal Contract, this trinket is nonetheless solid for reducing damage. It works decently well against bosses on which you receive no breaks in taking serious damage. Defensive cooldowns are one of the biggest weak spots DKs have, and these trinkets help cover that somewhat.
: Being able to survive a random tank death is very powerful. That said, this trinket is made considerably less valuable by
. Now that the trinket has a six minute internal cooldown on its life-saving effect, its value has diminished considerably. For DKs, this trinket is definitely not the highest priority, but great to keep on hand for dangerous bosses. Cheating death multiple times in a single fight is a strong, if small, niche.
: The passive Haste is excellent, but the automatic damage reduction when your health drops has not scaled particularly well. As a result, this trinket is pretty forgettable.
: This works well against autoattack damage and bosses who have special abilities that hit multiple times in quick succession. This trinket has been fixed, and it longer has a chance to refresh its duration. It is still among the best defensive trinkets available from Emerald Nightmare in single target tanking situations. It causes the affected target's damage output to cycle down over twenty seconds, then snap back up. The trinket falloff can be lined up with
or bursts of active mitigation, making it good for a novice and great for an expert.
: A large amount of passive Haste with a Leech proc on a 1-minute cooldown is a decent damage and self-healing trinket for tanks. This works best in AoE. This is categorized as a dps spec trinket, but a well-run raid should recognize its potential for tanks. If you are pugging or trying to coin it, this will be a tougher acquisition.
: Provides a large amount of Strength and a huge Versatility proc. Versatility is a good stat, and although Strength isn't tremendous defensively, this trinket is worth a ton of damage, damage reduction, and self-healing. The inability to fully control the Ichor spawn times is a drawback, but you can control how quickly you pick them up. A great trinket overall, and by far the best trinket to come from The Emerald Nightmare or The Nighthold.
If you manage to get multiple Legendaries you should prioritize them as listed below. Otherwise, here's something to work toward!
are a solid, consistent increase to damage and self-healing from Death Strike, and the itemization is absolutely perfect. The definitive must-have legendary. (Also a reference to Skullflower, the legendary DK theorycrafter who now works for Blizzard!)
provide a significant increase to survivability and DPS. Due to Versatility's positive interaction with
, every single cast should heal for more than 10% of max HP and trigger the Runic Power return unless you are affected by a healing reduction effect or have zero Versatility. Although they are poorly itemized, the legendary effect is strong enough to make them a top-tier option.
as Blood, allowing the use of both
. The itemization is not great, but this is an extremely effective crutch when you are undergeared - meaning you would both want the additional defensive cooldowns and health pool value it provides. During reasonably easy content, this Legendary plummets in value.
doubles the damage and healing of
. The value of this affix is dependent upon how many targets you are fighting, and requires that targets be alive for a while to get real value. At around 50k AP, it will deal an extra ~7800 DPS per target (compared to no Legendary). Against a bunch of targets, that really adds up. Against one target, it isn't great. This emerged as one of the two best DPS legendaries in Tomb of Sargeras farm and has earned a role in speedy Mythic+ farm, but it is not a tremendously useful piece for Antorus progression.
is a good offensive and defensive tool. Its cooldown is reasonably short for a 30% absorb shield, and a percentage health-based shield is really useful for Blood. It is a pretty useful trinket, both as a modest defensive cooldown and for maximizing single target dps.
is powerful and useful on every fight.
will typically be one of our most used abilities. Giving it the added benefit of providing a ton more casts of our most versatile defensive cooldown is invaluable. In Patch 7.2, the belt has received a huge chunk of Leech, making it even better for survival. It was already good for survival - now it's great!
is actually a decent Legendary for Blood Death Knights - in spite of its negative reputation. Haste is Blood's best stat by far, and lack of mobility is the class' biggest obstacle. An important note: Death Grip triggers the Legendary effect (and Gorefiend's Grasp, naturally). If you are able to regularly trigger it, this is pretty good. For speedrunning lower-level Mythic+, it's dynamite! It drops in value a bit as you rise in Mythic+ level, but it's still a good-to-great Legendary for Mythic+.
is a decent alternative to
. Its itemization is terrific, and since we want to maintain
as much as possible already this is a valuable effect.
is an interesting legendary. Patch 7.2 added Crit to them, and they now scale from whichever is highest of Haste, Crit, Mastery, or Versatility (still typically Haste). Although not as powerful as
, it can easily provide 20-25% movement speed, which helps amend the biggest issue with Blood DKs, their lack of mobility.
is a crafted Legendary belt added in Patch 7.2. The itemization is decent, and the effects are helpful for world questing, dungeons, and even raids. With the addition of secondary stats to most other "utility" legendaries, this belt's three sockets make it comparable to other suboptimal legendaries, but not significantly better than the worst options.
is one of the weakest legendaries available to Blood. It is defensively superior to
, but in terms of situational usefulness (such as
), it has none. Use it if you have nothing better, since the modest shield can occasionally protect your health pool a little bit. Overall, it's poor.
have interesting potential, as they allow DK tanks to bank more Runic Power to cast
only when needed. In Patch 7.2, they also increase the damage reduction value of Bone Shield by 2%. Even with this change, they are still one of the weakest Legendary options, so if you have alternatives, you're probably going to want to wear them instead.
work best on fights that involve magic damage. In Patch 7.2, they received a big chunk of Mastery. This is a modest buff, but still doesn't really elevate the cloak over options with equal stat budgets or more interesting Legendary effects. Although the increased duration is not usually that useful, it does provide significant healing when used as intended. NOTE: During Necrotic weeks, this cloak is tremendously helpful, as it can provide ten full seconds of immunity to Necrotic Rot applications. Particularly good considering how much the class struggles against Necrotic.
is pretty easy to obtain. That's about where the positives end. It's just not a great Legendary for tanks. Sorry!
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