PVE Blood Death Knight DPS Guide WotLK 3.3.5a
  • Author: Nevermore
  • Date: September 30, 2022
  • Expansion: WotLK Classic

Welcome to our PvE Blood Death Knight DPS guide for World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King!

The WotLK expansion granted us a new class, the first Hero Class of the game — the Death Knight. They feature a hybrid playstyle, something between a melee class and a spellcaster. Their toolkit boasts of powerful diseases, crowd control and utility, strong AoE, and solid single-target damage. Blood Specialization can fully support two different roles, being capable of both tanking and dealing damage!

Malevolent and burdened by eternal hunger, Blood Death Knights engorge themselves in the blood of their enemies, crushing through both the armor and the body of any enemy they set their gaze upon. Vampiric in nature, they continuously heal any wound they sustain during battle, while their enemies suffer at their hands. Blood Death Knights that specialize as damage dealers can boast of having high survivability while still offering powerful burst damage.

This guide will teach you how a Blood Death Knight functions and what items, enchantments, gems, and consumables are going to give you best bonuses, as well as how your rotation and your mindset should work together to bring you to victory. (Use the menu on the top to navigate between the different sections.)

Strengths & Weaknesses

Strengths

  • High burst damage
    While Blood Death Knights are generally seen as tanks, the specialization itself can offer extreme amounts of damage in short burst windows. Your Dancing Rune Weapon along with your Unholy Frenzy, combined with trinket procs, can grant you a very powerful burst window!
  • Simple rotation
    When played as a DPS specialization, Blood Death Knights have one of the easier rotations among the Death Knight Specializations. Unlike the other specs, which are more dynamic, Blood Death Knights actually spam just one ability consistently — the Heart Strike.
  • High survivability
    Depending on how you build your specialization, Blood Death Knights have access to a large number of self-sustain tools that can keep them at high health throughout most encounters.

Weaknesses

  • Highly reliant on gear
    Since Blood Death Knights rely heavily on Armor Penetration, they will require special equipment to maximize their damage output. This means that they will generally be weaker in the first two phases of the expansion, until armor penetration becomes more accessible.
  • Made fun of by the community
    Blood Death Knights are usually associated with the Tank role, seen as mighty behemoths that maintain the front line and feast on the blood of their enemies to sustain themselves. However, even when treated like a meme or just a troll move, Blood is a completely viable specialization for the DPS role!

Blood Death Knight Utility

  • Abomination’s Might
    Blood Death Knights have a very powerful raid-wide ability that enhances everyone’s attack power by 10% while also buffing you with 2% increased strength. This effect is extremely potent for heavy-melee comps, however, it can’t stack with an Enhancement Shaman’s Unleashed Rage.
  • Unholy Frenzy (Unholy Frenzy)
    Blood Death Knights have access to an insanely strong buff that they can give to any of their allies. In fact, Unholy Frenzy is the most powerful buff for physical damage dealers in the entire game, granting them a 20% increase in physical damage for 30 seconds. The only downside of this very powerful buff is that it drains the health of the target, draining up to 1% maximum health per second for 30 seconds.
  • Mark of Blood
    Mark of Blood can greatly aid Blood Death Knight’s tank allies. This ability allows them to debuff their target, forcing it to heal whoever it attacks by 4% with each swing, for a maximum of 20 swings or until the debuff expires.
  • Chains of Ice
    All Death Knights have access to a very powerful Slow that can be used on any add in dungeons or raids. It can slow a target up to 95%, gradually allowing the target to regain its movement speed while the debuff expires. This ability is extremely good for general crowd control!
  • Death Grip
    Death Knights have a very potent displacement ability — Death Grip. It can be used to reposition certain mobs during an encounter, or to directly aid your tank in dealing with pesky ranged mobs, helping them gain aggro.

Conclusion

We hope this guide has been able to help you decide if Blood Death Knight DPS is the class / spec for you. Make sure to check out our other sections, such as Talents, Gear, Gems, etc., to get more information on how to improve your performance as a Blood Death Knight in WotLK!

 

About the Author

Nevermore

Hey there folks, I am Nevermore and have been deeply passionate about WoW for more than a decade. Whether we talk about the hidden mysteries of Azeroth or the otherworldly Outland, my journey brought me here to share the things that I have experienced with you all.
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Ivory
Ivory
23 days ago

Think that using 1h can be an option with this build?

Tipeur
Tipeur
2 years ago

hi ! are the bloodworms really important ?

Last edited by Tipeur
Halkaun
Halkaun
Reply to  Tipeur
1 month ago

If you’re trying to maximize DPS, yes they are. There’s nowhere else in the tree that gives additional damage and will get you to the required points to move on to the next row of the tree. Besides, Bloodworms give you even more survivability and do a bit of damage themselves.

Vlad Pop
Vlad Pop
1 year 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
Jevannnn
Jevannnn
Reply to  Vlad Pop
1 year ago

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

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

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

sinior
sinior
10 months ago

hi! blood is good for dps? why nobody play it? unh better or blood?

Vainglory
Vainglory
Reply to  sinior
6 months ago

Its actually pretty good but it requires a sh**load of armor penetration (you wanna have every piece of gear with armor penetration) and it also lacks the aoe potential of unh dk.
As a leveling spec its hella fun, allows you to clear a bunch of group quests by your own, I leveled my own dk as a blood dps spec before I switched to unh.

Nos
Nos
6 months ago

is it viable to change the 1 point of “Vampiric Blood” in to 1 Point in “Improved Blood Pressence”

Tekkno
Tekkno
Reply to  Nos
6 months ago

Honestly, the way that I run my Blood dps spec is to take that 1 point in vampiric blood and put it into scent of blood. I run my runic power high so I can always make sure I have my rune power abilities ready to use. Nothing is worse than when you are in rotation and you are getting ready to burst but you need to throw in an extra attack to activate DRW after you just popped hysteria, potion, etc.

peterpann
peterpann
4 months ago

what is better at lvl 80 unh or blood?

Tundrawookie
Tundrawookie
2 months ago

Try this spec https://www.warcrafttavern.com/wotlk/tools/talent-calculator/deathknight?t=A00111444446699999aaagggiiijlllmmooopsstttxyyyEEEEEIB11C001114455599999eee&g=kop-045 I find Ravenous Dead a waste of skill points, you can buff the 3% loss from a scroll. I threw the rest into going 3/3 with Morbidity, and 2/2 into Runic power mastery. When all my runes are on cd, I dump my runic power down to 25% so I can keep my DS glyph buff. I also didnt throw a point into vampiric blood, instead I chose mark of blood. I also glyphed dark death, DS, and disease over dancing rune weapon. Give me some feedback.

Furious
Furious(@furious)
Admin
Reply to  Tundrawookie
2 months ago

Note: I edited your comment to change the link from a private server site.

Justin
Justin
2 months ago

Why does this one not have the same extra stuff like Frost and Unholy? Blood DPS was quite good in original WotLK. You have people that never even played it writing stuff about how it is bad because it was bad on the private server where they could not even get DRW to work right.

Justin
Justin
1 month ago

SO is only one going to do a Pre Raid and phase one gear for Blood or just be sheep and not remember they are good DPS

Leth
Leth
12 days ago

Question: What counts as “Direct Damage” for Spell Deflection? Does taking AoE spell damage count as direct damage? Do you have to be targeted? What about if you accidentally stand in bad for a tick of damage?

Pride
Pride(@pride)
Admin
Reply to  Leth
11 days ago

“Direct damage” here means any source of damage that isn’t periodic (meaning DoTs, damage over time).

Blizzard isn’t completely consistent on what counts as periodic damage and what doesn’t, and what procs stuff like that. It might proc on some “bad”, they just need to have a flag that tells the game that they do damage with damage class = magic. Some will, some won’t.

Most AoE spell damage should count as direct damage.

Deathro
Deathro
2 days ago

Could you make a blood pvp guide as well

DanielD
DanielD(@danield)
Admin
Reply to  Deathro
1 day ago

Hi Deathro, A Blood DK PvP guide is on our to-do list, so check back in later in the month. With any luck, we’ll have it done by then!

Survival Superstar
Survival Superstar
4 months ago

Hey all Classic players. Blood DPS won’t be any good from the get go. It’s not 3.0 patch wrath where all DK specs do crazy shit anymore. 3.3 blood requires high amounts of ArP from the gear and even then you’re basically doing as much as a fury warrior on single target, but your cleave is non existant

Coldfire989
Coldfire989
Reply to  Survival Superstar
2 months ago

Not true at all they will do fine you private server people don’t know what you think you do. Nothing from a private server matters one but here. Blood was bugged to hell in them anyway.

Stephen
Stephen
1 year 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
Jake
Jake
Reply to  Stephen
1 year ago

This is a dps spec

Snowflake
Snowflake
2 years 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
Tiprockha
Tiprockha
Reply to  Snowflake
2 years ago

Good idea! Thanks!

Last edited by Tiprockha
Malphaz
Malphaz
Reply to  Snowflake
2 years ago

Hi!

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
BlackStorm
BlackStorm
Reply to  Malphaz
3 months ago

Heart strike deal +20% dmg with 2x disease on target

Last edited 3 months ago by BlackStorm
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