- Author: Nevermore
- Date: July 19, 2022
- Expansion: WotLK Classic
Besides your gear and talents, there are 3 additional ways you as a player can increase your character’s power: gems, enchants, and consumables, which make your character significantly more powerful when combined correctly.
Many guilds and raid groups may not invite you at all if you don’t have the correct gems, enchants and consumables — but worry not, this guide will help you avoid that problem!
This is the best meta gem that you can acquire, increasing your stamina by 32 while also giving you a 2% increased armor from items. Thanks to our handy Bladed Armor talent, the 2% increased armor portion also slightly increases our damage and threat — a beautiful gem all in all!
Expertise is an incredibly powerful stat for tanks, as it reduces the chance that your attacks get dodged OR parried. It’s no wonder then that these pure expertise gems are extremely good for us.
You will need at least 1 Red gem in order to activate your Meta gem. After that is done, you should keep socketing these gems into Red sockets while you’re under the expertise soft-cap — see the Stat Priority section for more information. After that point, you could use pure strength gems (Bold Scarlet Ruby / Bold Cardinal Ruby), but you should only use these in Red sockets of items with incredibly powerful socket bonuses, like stamina, strength or armor penetration.
In general, gems that match Yellow sockets won’t be very powerful for you, so you will generally prefer to use pure stamina Blue gems (Solid Sky Sapphire / Solid Majestic Zircon) in Yellow sockets instead.
However, if you have an item with a Yellow socket which offers a really strong socket bonus, such as stamina or strength, and you’re under the hit cap, you could consider using the gems listed above. This will generally be really rare however – 90% of the time, you’ll be using Blue gems here.
As a tank, pure stamina gems like the ones listed above are your bread-and-butter. You will want to use them in nearly every single socket available in your equipment, with the exceptions listed above.
Alternatively, if you’re getting close to either the expertise soft or hard caps, you could consider using a couple of Stamina + Expertise gems (Guardian’s Dreadstone / Guardian’s Twilight Opal) even in Blue sockets, in order to round up your expertise. This however will be rare.
Greater Inscription of the Gladiator is your best option for a shoulder enchant, offering some much-needed stamina. It is purchased from your faction’s honor vendors (in Stormwind / Orgrimmar) for 10,000 Honor points.
Alternatively, you can also use Greater Inscription of the Pinnacle, which requires Exalted reputation with the Sons of Hodir. However, it’ll generally be inferior to Greater Inscription of the Gladiator.
The best option with the current available Phase 1 list is Enchant Chest – Greater Defense. It supplements an exact amount of Defense Rating to reach the 540 cap.
From a tankiness perspective, Enchant Chest – Super Health will be your best option for a chest enchant.
However, if you feel that you’re beefy enough, you could also go for the Enchant Chest – Powerful Stats instead. It trades ~150 HP for +10 strength and +10 agility, which increase your attack power, parry chance, crit chance and dodge chance by a small amount as well. This means it’s slightly weaker for tanking, but better for your damage and threat generation.
Alternatively, if you find that you’re just slightly under the expertise cap, you could use the Enchant Bracers – Expertise enchant instead — though this should only be temporary, you’ll generally want to avoid capping expertise with enchants, and the stamina loss is massive.
Players with the Engineering profession should use their exclusive Reticulated Armor Webbing enchant in this slot. Everyone else should be using the incredibly powerful Enchant Gloves – Armsman enchant instead.
Alternatively, if you find that you’re just slightly under the expertise cap, you could use the Enchant Gloves – Expertise enchant instead — though this should only be temporary, you’ll generally want to avoid capping expertise with enchants.
The only possible and viable choice for your waist.
This is by far the tanking-focused leg enchant in the game.
If you’re slightly short on gold, you could go for the cheaper and weaker Jormungar Leg Armor instead.
Enchanters have access to this exclusive ring enchant, that they can apply to both of their rings.
Your best option for the flask / elixir slot will be the Flask of Stoneblood. A very straightforward option that increases your health.
Alternatively, you can use the combination of Elixir of Mighty Strength and Elixir of Mighty Fortitude. This option is slightly less tanky than the flask, but on the upside it increases your damage and thus threat somewhat. Bear in mind however that Elixirs do not persist through death, so if your guild wipes often, this may end up being more expensive than a plain ol’ flask.
Your best option for buff food will generally be Rhinolicious Wormsteak, granting you some much needed expertise along with the standard +40 stamina.
If you’ve already reached the experise soft-cap (26 expertise), you could use Dragonfin Filet to buff your strength instead. Alternatively, if you’re not hit capped, you could use Snapper Extreme — but in general you should not rely on buff food for your hit cap.
The best potion that you can utilize as a Blood Death Knight is the Indestructible Potion. Its primary purpose of course is to make you tankier by increasing your armor, but as an added bonus it also increases your attack power by a small bit thanks to the Bladed Armor talent.
You will want to activate this potion 2-3 seconds before your raid pulls the boss, known as pre-potting. This allows you to use a 2nd Indestructible Potion during combat, after the first one fades 2 minutes later.
If you’re not tanking, you could use Potion of Speed instead, which will increase your DPS by a small amount. Like with the Indestructible Potion, you will want to pre-pot so you can use it twice per fight.
These scrolls do not stack with buffs from other classes; specifically, Priests and Druids in this case. If your raid doesn’t have a Priest or a Druid however, such as in a 10-man raid for example, you could bring these scrolls and get the corresponding buff. In 25-man raids however, they’ll generally be useless.