Blood Death Knight Tank Abilities For M+ (shadowlands)

The ability section list some extra details on how abilities work (not all of which are intuitive), but, other than that, the rest of the information is mostly review. So, feel free to skip to the other sections whenever you desire.

Offensive Abilities

[Heart Strike]This is our filler ability. It is our most rune-efficient generator of RP.

Extra Details: 

  • Secondary targets hit are selected within a 10 yard 180 degree cone in front of your character.
  • Hitting 4 targets with [Heart Strike] requires that you, personally, are standing in [Death and Decay].

[Marrowrend]This ability is primarily used to generate [Bone Shield] charges, but it’s a less rune-efficient generator of RP than [Heart Strike].

[Bone Shield]This is a stackable mitigation buff provided by [Marrowrend].

Extra Details:

  • You cannot lose charges more than once every 2.5 seconds.
  • The haste granted by this ability is a multiplier.
  • Outside of talent interactions and [Ossuary], the number of bone shield charges do not change the benefit of this buff.

[Blood Boil]This ability is primarily used for strong uncapped AoE damage/threat generation and to build [Hemostasis] stacks. It also applies [Blood Plague].

Extra Details:

  • The cooldown of this ability is lowered with haste.

[Blood Plague]A low-powered DoT effect with 100% leech. It is passively applied through [Blood Boil] and is a very minor source of damage and healing. Its most noticeable contribution is making it nearly impossible to crowd control enemies after you apply this to them.

Extra Details: 

  • Unlike most DoTs in the game, this is not affected by haste.

[Death and Decay]A ground-based DoT effect that provides moderate damage and allows [Heart Strike] to hit up to 4 additional targets instead of its usual 1 additional target. With [Grip of the Dead], this ability is also a strong short-duration AoE snare.

Extra Details:

  • Being able to hit 4 additional targets with [Heart Strike] requires that you, personally, are standing in the [Death and Decay] radius.
  • Unlike most DoT’s in the game, this is not affected by haste.

[Death Strike]This is our primary RP spender, providing relatively high single target damage and a significant amount of healing based on recently taken damage. This also triggers [Blood Shield].

Extra Details:

  • Environmental damage, such as damage taken from [Quaking] and [Grievous], does not count as damage taken for the healing of this ability.
  • Damage that is considered friendly fire also does not contribute to the healing of this ability.

[Raise Dead]A single target dps cooldown that can enable the use of [Sacrificial Pact]

Extra Details:

  • The ghoul attacks whatever you are attacking and it won’t stop attacking a target unless a new target is damaged by you or its existing target dies.
  • Even though it is not directly controllable, the ghoul auto-casts [Claw] and [Gnaw] (a low duration single target stun that can drive up stun diminishing returns on enemies).
  • Raise dead cannot be used while a unit is being controlled by [Control Undead].

[Sacrificial Pact]A cooldown-based RP spender that deals relatively high AoE damage and provides flat healing by sacrificing an active [Raise Dead] ghoul. It can provide minor benefits when used perfectly and can be harmful when used incorrectly.

Extra Details:

  • The healing does not scale with critical strike or versatility.

[Death’s Caress]This is our ranged filler, it is a less rune-efficient generator of RP and is only really used to pull mobs or if melee attacks are not usable for a period of time.

[Death Coil]A ranged RP spender that deals low damage or low situational healing for its cost. In extremely rare situations it could potentially save your life, but this ability is harmful to use outside of that situation.

Extra Details:

  • You can heal yourself with this ability for the duration of [Lichborne], though there’s no reason to if you can use [Death Strike] instead.

Defensive Abilities

[Vampiric Blood]This is our primary (indirect) damage reduction cooldown.

Extra Details:

  • When this buff activates, your current health increases by 30% of your maximum health.
  • When this buff deactivates, your current health decreases by the original 30% maximum health that was gained to a minimum of 1 health.

[Anti-Magic Shell]This is a low-cooldown magic absorb shield.

Extra Details:

  • For the duration of this buff, you will be immune to the application of many debuffs, but it will not remove debuffs if you had them before activating the buff.
  • Up to 25 RP is generated as the shield absorbs magic damage. The RP generation potential is increased by anything that increases the size of your [Anti-Magic Shell] other than health, the potential RP generation increase is proportional to the percent increase in the [Anti-Magic Shell] size.

[Dancing Rune Weapon]This is a parry-based defensive cooldown.

Extra Details:

[Icebound Fortitude]This is our secondary (direct) damage reduction cooldown. It has a long cooldown, but has the added benefit of breaking stuns and providing stun immunity.

Extra Details:

  • This can be used while stunned, as long as you are not *also* silenced.

[Lichborne]An ability that breaks charm, fear, and sleep effects and provides immunity to them along with some leech for the duration.

Extra Details:

  • This can be used while charmed, feared, or slept, as long as you are not *also* silenced.

[Rune Tap] A short cooldown, low duration, and low-powered damage reduction ability that costs a rune.

[Anti-Magic Zone]A ground-AoE magic damage reduction cooldown that affects our allies.

Extra Details:

  • This ability is on the global cooldown.

Utility Abilities

[Dark Command]Standard taunt ability.

Extra Details:

  • You gain threat equal to the highest value on the target’s threat table (which can be yourself) and any threat you generate for the duration of the taunt debuff is increased by 400%.
  • While a target is affected by a taunt debuff, it *cannot* melee attack anything other than the character who taunted it, even in situations where the character is out of range and it would normally attack the target with the next highest threat that is in range.
  • If a target gets taunted five times without 20 seconds passing between any two taunt effects, that target will become immune to taunts for 20 seconds.

[Death Grip]A secondary taunt ability that also pulls the target direction in front of you.

Extra Details: 

  • This ability shares the same taunt and threat rules as [Dark Command].
  • The target will not be moved if they are immune to knockbacks.
  • This ability can be used to interrupt most casted abilities with the knockback effect.
  • If the target is already standing in the exact destination location of a [Death Grip] cast, they will not be moved and any actions that would normally be interrupted by the movement effect will not be interrupted.
  • This ability is on a 0.5 second global cooldown.

[Gorefiend’s Grasp]An AoE [Death Grip] without the taunt effect. All affected units are moved directly on top of the target.

Extra Details:

  • Any unit, including yourself, can be the target of this ability.
  • This ability is on the normal global cooldown.

[Mind Freeze]Our default interrupt ability, but with more range than most melee interrupts.

[Chains of Ice]A strong ranged single target snare that costs a rune.

[Asphyxiate]A ranged single target stun.

Extra Details:

  • This ability can hit spell immune targets, but not physical immune targets.

[Raise Ally]An instant cast combat resurrection ability.

Extra Details: 

  • Unless you have leftover RP from combat, a critter around, or are a blood elf, you will be unable to build the RP needed to use this ability outside of combat.

[Control Undead]This can turn some undead targets into our pet for a short period of time, which provides bonus damage, situationally useful abilities, and crowd control.

Extra Details:

  • M+ enemies lose their bonus health and damage from the key level when controlled. Still, it can be worth using for the damage if you can minimize the time lost from managing your pet.
  • When an enemy dies *while* being controlled, they only give dungeon count if the enemy was damaged by the group before [Control Undead] was used and if your target has not left combat since the target was damaged by the group (though DoT effects can maintain the tag if they persist until combat is re-entered). Generally, you just want to release the unit if they are about to die just to make sure it won’t mess with the route.
  • Sometimes it can be valuable to use this to temporarily control an undead unit to make a hard pull easier and to release/kill it with an easier pack.

Passive Abilities

[Crimson Scourge]This passive periodically makes your next [Death and Decay] free to cast.

Extra Details:

[Mastery: Blood Shield]Your [Death Strike] generates [Blood Shield], which absorbs physical damage, based on your mastery and the damage you have taken recently.

Extra Details:

  • If you [Death Strike] while [Blood Shield] is already active, the duration is reset and the absorb values are combined.
  • The maximum size of a [Blood Shield] is equal to the player’s health.

[Ossuary]Your [Death Strike] costs 5 less RP when you have at least 5 stacks of [Bone Shield] and your maximum RP is increased by 10.

[Veteran of the Third War]A baseline stat bonus for being in tank spec (a weaker version is applied for Unholy and Frost specializations).


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