PVE Blood Death Knight DPS Guide WotLK 3.3.5a

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).

Blood Death Knight Dps Talent Tree Wow 3.3.3a


Major Glyphs

Minor Glyphs


Gems are situational and depend on the build and equipment. They are used to reach the required stat caps.


Gameplay & Rotations

Most of the time, you will be using Blood Presence. Diseases are refreshed with your Pestilence thanks to Glyph of Disease.

Opener and Rotation

Blood Death Knight Dps Opener Rotation

After the opener, make sure always to refresh the diseases and prioritize Heart Strike over Death Strike.

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.

Stat Priority

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.


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11 months ago

hi ! are the bloodworms really important ?

Last edited by Tipeur
Vlad Pop
Vlad Pop
3 months ago

Hi. What do You sugest as weapon(s)? I used to be a tank. But now I started fresh as Dps and enjoy it so far. Thanks!

Last edited by Vlad Pop
Reply to  Vlad Pop
2 months ago

Sm is bis but any 2h hc weapon with arp works

Last edited by Jevannnn
That One Guy
That One Guy
1 month ago

Hi just curious to what you would recommend as professions to maximize dps? I was thinking JC/engineering?

6 months ago

Hello, I’m curious. You have DK tanks as blood but when WOTLK came out tank spec was frost. Plus you added the 3 points in subversion which decreases threat by 25%. I would understand if the player is in frost presence but you also mention that most of the time you will be in blood which is where the reduced threat happens.

Last edited by Stephen
Reply to  Stephen
1 month ago

This is a dps spec

1 year ago

With Glyph of Disease Epidemic talent is rather pointless so you can free 2 points and put 1 into 3/3 Morbidity (which you say you would take if could) and 1 somewhere else.

Last edited by Snowflake
Reply to  Snowflake
1 year ago

Good idea! Thanks!

Last edited by Tiprockha
Reply to  Snowflake
1 year ago


For future reference to other players:
It is a valid option on short and easy fights when you’re just gearing up in dungeons, but when you start doing raids, it will result in a noticeable DPS loss in prolonged fights.

You don’t want to spend time refreshing diseases frequently. It will affect your combo and usage of Runes.

I haven’t done extensive tests personally, but just by looking at the combo, you can see that our priority here is maximizing Heart Strike. Epidemic equals more time on Heart Strike, less on refreshing diseases.

Last edited by Malphaz
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