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  1. #1

    Blood DK Warlords of Draenor Patch 6.0 Guide (Long but has TLDR Version)

    **Updated Oct 24th**

    If you have been reading these forums, you may have already seen my lvl 90 Patch 6.0 Guide; this guide on the other hand will focus on level 100 play in Warlords of Draenor proper and will go far more in depth rather then just being a bunch of recommendations without too much explaining why.

    This guide will be split into two parts: the basic 'what should you do' which will cover all the main points of Blood DK play for the average player, and a second part containing both the 'why should you do this' part, and that will go into further detail on different alternative talents, rotational choices, ect for the more advanced player who wishes to understand things more thoroughly. The first part is for people who want to keep it short and sweet; it will be very similar to the lvl 90 guide (infact I wrote the 90 guide based of this one). It won't go into detail on the reasoning behind any of the suggestions, that is covered in the longer guide.

    For those who are wondering “who the hell is this guy?”: I play Blood DK in Duality of Zul'jin, currently ranked World 11th (US 3rd). My recommendations in this guide come from a combination of a lot of work with Simcraft and my practical experience raid testing and dungeon/CM testing on beta as a Blood DK.

    *THIS ENTIRE GUIDE IS PRELIMINARY. There could still be further beta changes, and I could just change my opinion on things after playing it on live/messing around with it more. So there may very well be changes to the guide as time goes on to more properly reflect my impression of what is optimal Blood DK play.


    The Short/Basic/TLDR Guide to WoD Blood DK


    Every part of this basic guide will be explained and analyzed in greater depth in the advanced section. So if anything seems overly simplified I would recommend checking out that part of the guide.

    Also if you have read the 90 guide, this will use a similar format, and some of the information is the same, however there are additions specific to level 100 play in every section, so I still recommend looking over it.

    The long guide will generally cover everything from this short guide (ie it stands on it's own), so if you prefer more detail I recommend skipping to it else you will be getting a lot of the same information twice.


    Major Changes from MoP


    -Heart Strike is replaced by Blood Boil and Pestilence has been merged into Blood Boil as well.

    -Rune Strike is replaced by Death Coil.

    -Scent of Blood stacks are now gained via Blood Boil and Soul Reaper rather then auto-attacks, dodges and parries.

    -Death and Decay is no longer worth using (due to NOT giving a Scent of Blood stack, and not doing significantly more damage then Blood Boil). *Blizzard has been messing with this spell lately, so this might change.

    -Due to the removal of Scent of Blood RP gains, you have far more downtime in the rotation.

    -RP gains from Anti-Magic Shell soaking are massively nerfed, contributing to the above.

    -Horn of Winter no longer has a cooldown and does not generate RP, so you should no longer use it rotationally.

    -Multistrike and Haste are the way to combat the above issue; Multistrike provides a lot of RP and Haste provides rune regeneration rate.

    -All your tanking cooldowns are significantly nerfed.

    -Mastery: Blood Shield has been cut by about 3-3.5x but now grants % Attack Power as well.

    -Vengeance has been replaced with Resolve, which instead of granting AP, grants % increased self healing. Resolve is far more volatile then Vengeance and spikes right after you get hit, decaying fairly rapidly until the next hit, replacing the old Death Strike 5 second window in this manner.

    -Death Strike and Rune Tap have been completely reworked; Death Strike's base healing is determined by Attack Power, then Resolve acts as a further multiplier based on how hard the boss hits. Rune Tap is now an active mitigation tool, providing 40% damage reduction for 3 seconds after usage with a 40 second base recharge (30 seconds with a leveling perk, but you won't have that at 90).


    Stat Weights


    Strength = Bonus Armour* > Multistrike = Mastery* > Versatility > Haste > Crit

    *Bonus Armour is more mitigation, Strength more DPS but both are similar.

    *You should prioritize Multistrike for DPS/reducing downtime, and Mastery for survivability; it is really up to you what you decide you want more; if you are struggling with survival get more Mastery. I'll be honest, Multistrike is actually pretty damn weak/nearly useless for defensive reasons. The max HP is simply too nerfed/not useful in the WoD model, and doesn't actually provide much direct help outside of specific cases.


    Enchants/Gems/Consumables

    For the Cloak/Ring/Neck enchants, you should pick either Gift of Multistrike or Gift of Mastery enchants depending on what you prefer (as mentioned above). For your weapon, use Rune of the Fallen Crusader.

    For Gems, pick the stat you want to stack ; either Greater Mastery Taladite or Greater Multistrike Taladite, and gem only that. Keep in mind gem sockets are now prismatic, and randomly rolled on gear (like Warforged) so they are far less common now. You CANNOT gem Bonus Armour.

    For Consumables, use Greater Draenic Strength Flask, and either Multistrike or Mastery food (again, your choice). Use the Draenic Armour Potion to pre/in fight pot as they are 50% stronger then the Draenic Strength Potion.

    Talents

    Level 56: Plague Leech (if you can handle the rotational complexity, otherwise it doesn't matter what talent you pick here because they are all useless to Blood, however PL is a sizable gain if used well)
    Level 57: Purgatory (Anti-Magic Zone can be a good alternative if you want more utility, Lichborne can act as an awkward version of Death Pact via Death Coiling yourself, although it's not supposed to work that way anymore, so who knows if it will randomly get 'fixed')
    Level 58: Death's Advance (Other talents can be worth it situationally)
    Level 60: Blood Tap (or Runic Corruption if you have a lot of trouble using Blood Tap, but I highly recommend learning Blood Tap)
    Level 75: Death Pact
    Level 90: Completely situational for the fight/dungeon/preference
    Level 100: Defile (Breath of Sindragosa if the targets will be moved too often to stay in Defile)


    Glyphs

    Pick 3 of these:

    Glyph of Outbreak (Only if using Plague Leech, but you should be, so yeah. Also don't need it on AoE, because you can just PL then Blood Boil and re-spread the disease that way.)
    Glyph of Regenerative Magic (For additional usage of AMS, somewhat situational since AMS soaking is a joke now)
    Glyph of Blood Boil (Nice to have if picking up adds or AoEing spread targets or just general QoL)
    Glyph of Dark Simulacrum (Amazing if used on a fight where you can use Dark Simulacrum)
    Glyph of Runic Power (Amazing for fights where there are slows being applied to you, otherwise useless)
    Glyph of Absorb Magic (Highly situational but occasionally good on a few fights)
    Glyph of Icebound Fortitude (Like above, highly situational but occasionally good on a few fights)



    Rotation

    You want to prevent any of your resources from capping as much as you can; you have 3 rune pairs and runic power to worry about, and blood charges if you use Blood Tap.

    -Use Death Strike to spend Frost and Unholy Runes, but always try to leave one pair of them ready so that you can do an emergency Death Strike if you dip low.

    -Use Death Runes on Blood Boil for AoE damage or Death Strike for mitigation (this is a decision you have to make based on the situation).

    -Use Death Coil to spend Runic Power.

    -Use Blood Boil or Soul Reaper (if target is below 35%) to spend Blood Runes.

    -Use Crimson Scourge procs on Defile if you have it, or Blood Boil if Defile is not up/you did not spec it.

    -Use Plague Leech when you have at least two fully depleted runes, and Outbreak is off cooldown in order to quickly reapply the diseases again (if you have Glyphed Outbreak, can pretty much do it any time).


    Death Strike Usage

    -Avoid overhealing with Death Strike.

    -Try to use it right after a boss melee or special attack to utilize the short term burst of Resolve this will give you.

    -If you feel you are going to die in the next 1-2 globals (and you don't have another way out of the situation), use Death Strike to try to save yourself regardless of other considerations.

    -Use it regardless of other considerations if you would resource cap otherwise.


    Rune Tap Usage

    -Try to not let both charges sit off cooldown for too long.

    -Use right before any burst damage; this ability is basically a reverse Death Strike.

    -If there is no specific burst damage in the encounter, you can use it as just a weak cooldown, or as a 'bridge' between two Death Strikes.

    -If you plan to use it at specific points in the fight, remember to bank the required Blood Rune in advance.


    Conclusion

    That about sums up the short guide to Blood DK. If you want to see more information on alternative options, or just reasoning behind a lot of what I say, I recommend reading the Long/Advanced part of the guide.

    Beware if you do that, it is 9k+ words long




    The (Way way way way) too Long Guide to WoD Blood DK

    This part of the guide is much more detailed and wordy. Here I will explain all the alternatives, advanced options, details about how things work, and go more in depth about how you should be looking to play. Without further ado, let us begin!


    Stats

    Before we more get into stat weights (which are very confusing for Blood ATM), it would be beneficial to understand what all the stats actually do for Blood Dks and what has changed from MoP.


    Multistrike (MS)

    This is our 'attuned' stat, meaning we receive 5% more of it from all sources. It's baseline function for all classes and specs is to grant you TWO chances equal to the multistrike % to 'hit' again for 30% of the damage or healing of your abilities. This means if you have 50% multistrike, every attack you do will have two 50% chances to deal an additional 30% damage. So you would have a 25% chance to not deal any extra damage, 50% chance to deal 30% extra, and 25% to deal 30% extra twice (60% total).

    Multistrikes will not proc anything unless it explicitly states in the proc that it can be triggered by multistrikes.

    If something cannot crit, it also cannot multistrike. This means Death Strike/Death Pact healing cannot Multistrike (but the damage of Death Strike can).

    People often look at Multistrike and say 'it is just a weak version of Critical Strike'. Well this actually isn't true; it is numerically equal to critical strike if not accounting for special bonuses from it. It takes 66 Multistrike rating to get 1% multistrike at level 100, and 110 Crit rating to get 1% crit chance.

    So let us compare 3300 critical strike rating to 3300 multistrike rating. This would give us 30% crit chance, and 50% multistrike chance.

    Crit: 30% chance to do 200% damage, 70% chance to do 100% damage. 200%*0.3 + 100%*0.7 = 130% normal damage on average.

    Multistrike: Two 50% chances to strike for 30% extra. This means you have a 25% chance every hit to strike for the normal 100% damage, 50% chance to strike for 130% damage, and 25% chance to strike for 160% damage. 100%*0.25 + 130%*0.5 + 160%*0.25 = 130% damage on average.

    As you can see, Multistrike is actually exactly equal to Crit by default. Now, obviously it isn't that simple. If you already have some of either stat, then adding more is relatively SLIGHTLY devalued based on how much you already have. Also in the specific case of Blood, you get 5% more MS from gear by default, and 10% base MS from passives.

    So with all this math out of the way, what does Multistrike actually do for Blood other then increase our damage?

    The Blood Rites passive grants you 15 Runic Power per auto-attack multistrike; meaning you can either get 0, 15 or 30 RP from an autoattack, the odds being based on your MS chance.

    What this means is it is a huge source of Runic Power. Blood Death Knights have a lot of downtime in the rotation baseline, and getting more Multistrike helps fill the gaps. More RP means more Death Coils and more Breath of Sindragosa (if talented). Both of these grant Blood Charges for more runes, and Shadow of Death, which is a stacking max HP buff. Basically the way Shadow of Death functions is the more RP you are spending per 30 seconds, the higher the % HP buff goes.

    More specifically, Shadow of Death grants 3% max HP per Death Coil for 30 seconds. Now, this does not just stack to infinity; the way it works is similar to Ignite; the remaining amount from the previous buff is added to the new one. What this means is if you Death Coil once, you get a 3% max HP buff for 30 seconds. If you then wait 15 seconds, and Death Coil again, you will have a 4.5% max HP buff for 30 seconds. What happens is the original 3% is divided by the remaining duration (in this case half) and added to the 'fresh' buff. This is constantly done for every 'stack' every time you Death Coil. It also means that you can actually LOSE effect on the buff if you wait a while before using Death Coil. The way to look at the buff is it's size is based on the number of Death Coils you have cast over the last 30 seconds.

    What this means is if you spent every single GCD using Death Coil, you would have a 90% max HP bonus (3% times 30 Death Coils divided by 30 seconds). Technically it could be higher then this if you also used Breath of Sindragosa, but obviously this is a completely unrealistic scenario, even if you had the RP generation to pull it off, as you would be unable to do anything but cast Death Coil over and over to maintain the buff. In reality, the buff will likely be between 20-40%, depending on your MS value. It also fluctuates a good bit in combat since there are natural gaps between using Death Coil.

    Because multistrike is baseline as good as crit for increasing damage, and has a 5% attunement bonus, AND lets you use more Death Coils, Multistrike is an amazing DPS stat. However it's tanking benefits are practically non existant, as it gives only a small amount of runes for DS/RT via Blood Charges (this is very inefficient; it takes 75 RP to bring back only one rune via Blood Tap), and a moderate to small max HP bonus.


    Mastery

    While this is not our attuned stat, it is very important for how Blood functions and is one of the most critical stats to the spec. Every 110 Mastery rating gives a 1% Attack Power bonus, and 2% more Blood Shield from Death Strike.

    Keep in mind that Death Strike healing is now based on attack power, so Mastery improves both the healing and absorb aspect of the ability, meaning it 'double dips' as the absorb is based on the heal. You may also note that the mastery conversion is more then 3 times lower then in MoP; there the same (relative, obviously the stat squish messes with it) amount of mastery would give 6.25% shield instead of 2%. This is partly because of the whole AP double dipping thing, but also partly to nerf active mitigation across the board.

    Basically the differences for this stat from MoP are that it now gives DPS via the attack power bonus (but still not that much compared to other stats), and it is generally weaker, but improves overall healing, not just absorbs (this also means it is now directly rather then indirectly effective against magical damage, since you can heal that back better with more AP from Mastery). It is still generally the best mitigation stat however, and among the worst stats for DPS.


    Versatility

    Another new addition in WoD, this stat lives up to it's name by basically doing a little of everything. Every 130 Versatility rating provides 1% extra damage, 1% extra healing and 0.5% reduced damage taken from all sources. Now at a glance this stat looks very powerful since it basically improves everything, but it is very expensive per % compared to other stats.

    The % healing bonus does apply to Death Strike, but it does not apply to % heals like Death Pact (not that it really matters in that case). It does not double dip the bonus for Death Siphon; the damage is increased, and then the healing is based off the damage; Versatility does not also multiply the healing afterwards. Something else to note is the damage reduction is magical damage as well; not only physical damage reduction like armour or Blood Shield. It is also flat consistent mitigation, so it is completely reliable.

    Having said all this, this is not the best stat for anything; it provides a decent DPS bonus, and a decent mitigation bonus, pretty much falling right in the middle. This is not a bad stat to have on your gear, but generally it will not be your #1 priority either.


    Haste

    This stat has not changed much from before; what has changed is the Blood spec around it. The only change to this stat from MoP is that it is relatively much more 'expensive' to get 1% haste compared to other stats now. In MoP, 425 haste gave you 1% haste, while 600 crit gave you 1% crit respectively. In WoD, 100 haste gives you 1%, while 110 crit gives you 1% crit. As you can see, haste is significantly nerfed by default for all classes/specs compared to MoP.

    This might lead you to assume haste is not very good now. This isn't quite true. The Blood spec itself is different from MoP; you are no longer nearly GCD locked by default, and you no longer get so much RP from AMS soaking for 'free'. This raises the value of haste drastically; in patch 5.4 you basically didn't want more then a few % haste because you could not actually make use of it due to being GCD locked. In WoD, while it is not the best stat, it is definitely much more useful with the much higher base downtime.

    Something else to consider is that Haste has a multiplicative benefit with Multistrike; MS grants RP on autoattack multistrikes, and Haste speeds up your autoattack, meaning more chances to Multistrike. This doesn't mean you should stack Haste for RP gains (directly getting MS is better for that), but it is a small synergy to note. Also, while MS gives RP, Haste gives runes directly. Generally speaking, runes are better then RP, unless you want to increase your max HP. So Haste's mitigative benefit is generally significantly greater then Multistrike.

    DPS wise, Haste is a poor stat. Diseases do not scale with haste, neither do Soul Reaper or Defile. Haste is generally the worst or tied for worst with Mastery DPS stat.

    Haste is also somewhat devalued by Plague Leech and AMS soaking (although much less then in MoP), since those are 'flat' benefits not increasing with higher haste.


    Critical Strike

    Critical Strike is a stat that was traditionally a DPS only stat in MoP; it provided the highest possible damage, but had no mitigation benefit. This has changed in WoD. Riposte is now a passive that gives you Parry rating equal to your Crit rating; basically it is no longer a proc and has been reversed. Note that 1% parry is more expensive then 1% crit, and Parry also has diminishing returns, so you do not get 5% parry from 5% crit. Also something to note is that temporary crit procs (such as Skeer's Talisman) do not give parry for whatever reason (and this is supposedly intended by Blizzard, although I have no idea why).

    Honestly this stat is generally the worst stat for Blood in WoD. It provides less DPS then Multistrike, due to not having the 5% attunement and not also generating resources for you. It's defensive value only works on autoattacks from the boss, not working on most boss specials or any magical attacks that cannot be parried. It does not have any synergy with other stats.

    Having said that, this is the 2nd best DPS stat out of the 'main' secondary stats (not including Bonus Armour as that is limited to only some items). So for a pure DPS build, you would get MS and Crit. Also, it does reduce damage taken fairly well, assuming most of your damage intake is autoattacks on a given boss (which is true on some bosses). So this is not a stat that is 'useless' by any means.


    Bonus Armour

    Another new stat on the block in WoD, and frankly the best way to describe this stat is that it is basically Strength that gives Armour instead of Parry. Every point of Bonus Armour gives 1 attack power (multiplied further by Mastery of course), and obviously, one point of armour as well. Since attack power increases Death Strike healing, this makes this an amazing stat for survivability. Also, while 1 AP doesn't sound like much, keep in mind in WoD all AP values are halved and AP ratios doubled, so this is actually a lot more then it seems.

    Basically this is the best secondary stat for both DPS and Mitigation. The trick is that this stat is only available on Amulets, Rings, Cloaks, and Trinkets. Generally speaking, you want this stat on all those slots over anything else (trinkets are often an exception however, since they can also have Strength). This is basically Blizzard's way of making 'tank' gear in some slots, since every tank class wants this stat pretty badly.


    Strength

    While this is not a secondary stat, and is primarily based on your ilvl (you can only get 'extra' strength from trinkets), I mention it because of the changes to it. First of all, you only get 1 AP per 1 Str now (but AP ratios are doubled now). Second of all, with Vengeance being gone, most of your attack power now comes from this stat. And finally, like I have said about 3 or 5 or 15 times, Death Strike scales with attack power now. This means Strength has gone from being a throwaway stat in MoP to an amazing stat in WoD, rivaled only by Bonus Armour (which it is roughly equal to in most ways).

    Mostly what this means is you should not be ignoring Str procs and passive Str on trinkets in WoD, as they are about as valuable as Bonus Armour on average (and that is your best secondary stat).


    Stat Weights

    Now that we have gone over what every stat does, let us summarize this by giving some stat weights.

    Note that these stat weights were gathered from a combination of using Simcraft, and my practical experience Mythic raid testing on the beta; there is definitely some opinion put into these stat rankings as pretty much every stat does something different, and things like max HP from MS are hard to evaluate mathematically (and trying to just blindly use various metrics to evaluate tanks is a futile proposition).

    I would recommend against trying to use Simcraft's default Blood APL right now by the way, as it is considerably sub-par and will give you very incorrect results (This isn't a jab at the Simcraft devs, as they do a fine job with the tool, they just don't have a dedicated person for doing that APL so it is a bit behind). I will likely be tossing up my heavily modified/improved APL into the codebase soon however in order to improve the tool. #1 Problem with Simcraft isn't that it is a bad tool/wrong, it's people using it wrong, getting wrong results and then either recognizing this and blaming the tool for being 'bad' or not recognizing it and spreading misinformation.

    Here is the quick version of the stat weights (snipped from the short guide):

    Strength = Bonus Armour* > Multistrike = Mastery* > Versatility > Haste > Crit

    *Bonus Armour is more mitigation, Strength more DPS
    *Note that you should prioritize Multistrike if you want more DPS and less rotational downtime, and Mastery if you want to focus more on survivability. You kind of have to pick which one you want more here, or you can keep them roughly even if you want; there is no 100% right answer and it really depends on you. Also heavily depends on how much you value extra max HP from MS, although in my experience on Beta you don't get enough to make it worthwhile to stack it for that reason. In all honesty the defensive benefits of Multistrike are in my opinion in need of a buff/adjustment by Blizzard to make it more worthy of being the 'attuned' stat for the spec.

    Here are slightly more broken down stat weights.

    For DPS: Str >> Bonus Armour > Mult >> Crit > Vers = Mastery > Haste

    *The number of arrows is a relative measure of the difference; more arrows means a bigger gap.

    *These values are for Heroic ilvl 680 gear, although they do not change massively based on ilvl.

    For Mitigation: Bonus Armour > Str > Mastery > Versatility > Haste = Crit > Multistrike*

    *'Mitigation' is a broad term covering HPS, Damage taken, and to some extent 'spikyness' of damage taken. Basically a general concept of 'tankyness'. I got these values from a combination of simulation on various metrics, and practical experience on the beta. Honestly the exact values are going to be somewhat subjective based on what metrics you consider the most important for a tank's survival (mostly in the weaker stats like Vers vs Haste vs Crit as those all do different things and are very ROUGHLY similar in power).

    *Crit vs MS is very subjective; Crit provides damage reduction from autoattacks only, MS increases the stability of your HP bar and provides a small overall HPS boost, so honestly comparing them fairly is basically impossible.

    From these two lists is where I got the combined weights above.

    I am going to be honest, Haste/MS look worse on those then they may actually be in practice. Something to keep in mind is those stats massively cut down on the downtime in the rotation. This has both 'fun' aspects to it (as waiting a lot for resources can really suck), and helps smooth damage intake by providing more frequent Death Strike usage. Multistrike also, as mentioned before, provides a small amount of Max Health as well, which is a further help in smoothing damage intake (although that matters a lot less now).

    Opinion: In my Mythic testing experience, I didn't generally feel like my max HP was too low, but to be fair, we don't know if the boss damage turning was final (it likely was not). Blizzard has indicated they felt that some of the bosses hit too hard, which I honestly disagree with except for 1-2 bosses, so if they further nerf the damage from what it was, I don't see Multistrike being useful for anything but increasing your DPS at the cost of the survivability you could be getting from other stats.

    Having said all of that, at this point my findings in terms of stats are preliminary, so my opinion on different stats may change over time. There may also be changes further down the line to these stats. We will have to see what things look like after I play around with it more on Live where tuning is more final.


    Runeforge/Enchants/Gems/Consumables


    You should be using Fallen Crusader. Rune of the Stoneskin Gargoyle is completely worthless in comparison now due to the fact that Death Strike healing is now based off attack power (and Resolve), and there is no more Vengeance to massively inflate your attack power, so Strength is no longer devalued.

    For the Cloak/Ring/Neck enchants, you should pick either Gift of Multistrike or Gift of Mastery enchants depending on what you prefer (Damage and less downtime or Mitigation, the eternal struggle of the Blood DK).

    For Gems, pick the stat you want to stack ; either Greater Mastery Taladite or Greater Multistrike Taladite. You cannot gem Strength or Bonus Armour, so you have to pick one of the other stats. An alternative is Stamina gems, but honestly I feel that if you want max HP, Multistrike will provide that plus significant additional benefits, while Stamina literally does nothing else. However Stamina does give more HP then MS, so in some specific cases it may be a valid choice, but I don't recommend it for general play much like in MoP where you basically never gemmed stamina either.

    For Consumables, use Greater Draenic Strength Flask, and either Multistrike or Mastery food (again, your choice). Use the Draenic Armour Potion to pre/in fight pot as they are 50% stronger then the Draenic Strength Potion.


    Talents

    Snipped from the short guide, here are my talent recommendations:

    Level 56: Plague Leech (if you can handle the rotational complexity, otherwise it doesn't matter what talent you pick here because they are all useless to Blood, however PL is a sizable gain if used well)
    Level 57: Purgatory (Anti-Magic Zone can be a good alternative if you want more utility, Lichborne can act as an awkward version of Death Pact via Death Coiling yourself, although it's not supposed to work that way anymore, so who knows if it will randomly get 'fixed')
    Level 58: Death's Advance (Other talents can be worth it situationally)
    Level 60: Blood Tap (or Runic Corruption if you have a lot of trouble using Blood Tap, but I highly recommend learning Blood Tap)
    Level 75: Death Pact
    Level 90: Completely situational for the fight/dungeon/preference
    Level 100: Defile (Breath of Sindragosa if the targets will be moved too often to stay in Defile)

    More details about each talent tier and why I make these recommendations:


    Level 56 (Plaguebearer, Plague Leech, Unholy Blight)

    Basically, Plaguebearer and Unholy Blight do nothing for Blood unless you take Necrotic Plague. Unholy Blight can have minor use as a second Outbreak, but if you aren't using Necrotic Plague, you should not have problems spreading and maintaining diseases since Blood Boil does all of that for you as long as you disease at least one target manually.

    If you take Necrotic Plague as your level 100 talent, Plaguebearer and Unholy Blight can help you stack it up faster, but at current tuning levels, Necrotic Plague is a DPS loss, and more importantly, properly used Plague Leech with Necrotic Plague is STILL more DPS and survivability then either of these talents, making them completely pointless in every situation.

    Plague Leech on the other hand provides you 2 'free' runes every 25 seconds. Now the issue is you don't want to leave your diseases off the target (lose DPS and Crimson Scourge procs, which are basically +20% healing to your next DS if used on BB) for more then a few seconds, so you have to reapply them quickly. Doing this via Icy Touch + Plague Strike is a waste, because you effectively end up spending the runes you just gained for nearly no gain at all.

    What this means is you should only use Plague Leech if you have Outbreak avaliable, either because it is off cooldown, or because you glyphed it to have no cooldown (but cost 30 RP). The latter is generally slightly better but a bit harder to use. This is because in WoD, Glyphed Outbreak will still generate 2 Blood Charges just like Death Coil for the same cost. This means you only lose the Death Coil damage (and you get way more damage out of 2 runes then 1 Death Coil), and the small amount of Shadow of Death stack (which got nerfed and you'll only be losing about 1% max HP in practice due to how it works as described previously).

    Effectively, you can cast Plague Leech every 25 seconds if you Glyph Outbreak, and every 60 seconds if you don't (because you are waiting on the Outbreak CD). Realistically, Plague Leech won't be used exactly on cooldown; you need a 'gap' in your rotation to spend 2 globals to get the runes, and you obviously need to actually have depleted runes.

    Something else to keep in mind: Plague Leech will only refresh fully depleted runes, and if you only have one fully depleted rune when you cast it, it will only give you one. So make sure you have two fully depleted runes before you cast this ability. Also, when AoEing, keep in mind you can basically just Plague Leech and let your next Blood Boil re spread the diseases back, without having to use Outbreak.

    If you did end up speccing Necrotic Plague anyways: You want to Plague Leech in the last 1-5 seconds of Necrotic Plague's duration, because you would have been reapplying it soon anyways. Since Necrotic Plague can be reapplied 'manually' with only one rune, Glyphing Outbreak is less important, but still a good idea. Note that using Plague Leech + NP is superior to using Plaguebearer or UB + NP in both DPS and survivability, as long as you don't Plague Leech a fresh NP; wait till it was about to expire anyways. This can be very cumbersome to do, since sometimes you are busy with other things when NP is expiring, and this is a big reason NP can be annoying to use.


    Level 57 (Lichborne, Anti-Magic Zone, Purgatory)

    Lichborne: This talent is supposed to only give 10% Leech/make you Fear/Charm/Sleep immune, however currently it still maintains the functionality of making you undead and able to Death Coil yourself (this is not intended AFAIK). This means it has decent utility as a self-healing tool as you can activate it and Death Coil yourself at a slight DPS loss. Using DRW at the same time can increase the healing, but because of the nerfs to DRW's AP coefficient, and the fact that the Rune Weapon doesn't benefit from your Resolve, it isn't that effective at doing this.

    You can use this macro to automatically Lichborne and Death Coil yourself with the same button, without having to target yourself:

    #showtooltip Lichborne
    /cast !Lichborne;
    /cast [target=player] Death Coil

    Anti-Magic Zone: This talent is a small utility (20% magic damage reduction for 3 seconds and requiring everyone to stack can hardly be called 'great'), but can be good on some encounters. It is up to you to decide if you need Purgatory for the encounter, or if AMZ would actually be more beneficial.


    Purgatory: This is a great default talent, but is primarily useful only on hard hitting encounters where you can be killed quickly from high HP. It has not changed much from live, although Death Pact is less effective at getting you out of it due to the healing absorb leaving you more vulnerable.



    Level 58 (Death's Advance, Chilblains, Asphyxiate)

    Death's Advance is the default choice for this tier, being the only reason DK 'mobility' even exists. However on specific encounters/dungeons and Challenge Modes it can be beneficial to take Chilblains to kite, or Asphyxiate as a stun. Again, this is a choice made based on the situation. Something to note is that in MoP Death's Advance was multiplicative with all other speed buffs; in WoD it is additive, meaning it is slightly nerfed from MoP.


    Level 60 (Blood Tap, Runic Empowerment, Runic Corruption)

    I'm going to be honest, if you can handle using it, Blood Tap is far and away the best choice. For why you should use Blood Tap I HIGHLY recommend reading my article about it:
    http://sentrytotem.com/news/classes/...-use-blood-tap

    That article is for MoP; in WoD Rune Tap being an important AM tool is yet another reason why Blood Tap is superior since it can more reliably provide an on-demand Rune Tap. Defile also favors Blood Tap if you choose to cast it outside of Crimson Scourge procs; if you are using Runic Corruption, using an Unholy Rune on Defile will 'desync' your runes, which will be a huge problem for you. So if you use Runic Corruption with Defile, I recommend only casting Defile with Crimson Scourge procs.

    Necrotic Plague also favors Blood Tap if you choose to not Glyph Outbreak; since it only takes a single rune to refresh, you will have the same orphan rune issue as with Defile using it with RC. For Breath of Sindragosa there is no special preference either way, although BT can be more reliable for maintaining the breath for longer.

    The only reason I don't tell absolutely everyone to use Blood Tap is that a lot of people screw up managing the resources of Death Knights properly without capping; managing Blood Tap in addition to that can be way too much to handle for some people. So if you honestly struggle with using Blood Tap, you have two choices; keep practicing until it is second nature, or you can use Runic Corruption instead as the easier choice. Ultimately using Blood Tap badly is worse then using Runic Corruption properly, and it is much easier to play Runic Corruption properly.

    For reference on what I mean by 'playing them correctly', here is my mini-guide to using the rune regeneration talents: http://sentrytotem.com/news/classes/...vel-75-talents

    While it was written for MoP, pretty much everything should still apply to WoD.


    Level 75 (Death Pact, Death Siphon, Conversion)

    Death Pact: This is the 'staple' choice, however unlike in MoP it creates a healing absorb on you for half the amount healed. Basically it heals you for 50% of your max HP, then gives a 25% max HP healing absorb. Effectively it heals you only 25% of max HP now, however it provides more 'burst' healing. Honestly even with relatively higher HP pools, this talent feels worse then on live, however unless I find a way to make Death Siphon work, this will be the choice taken by 100% of Blood Death Knights.

    Note that using AMS before Death Pact will prevent the healing absorb, so can be a useful trick in some situations if you don't need AMS for anything else.

    The above no longer works due to a hotfix.


    Death Siphon: On paper, this talent looks strong, but it does not proc Blood Shield via Mastery, so it actually ends up healing less in total then Death Strike in most cases. It's healing scales with Multistrike and Crit unlike Death Strike, and it still slightly scales with the AP bonus from Mastery. It MIGHT be usable in some weird no Mastery high MS/Crit build, but the problem is that even then it probably won't be significantly better, and it absolutely kills your DPS to use this talent as it's damage is pathetic.

    Note that for soloing old content, Death Siphon is very powerful because you deal more damage to those mobs, leading to massive healing. However obviously this doesn't apply to max level content.


    Conversion: This talent costs a ridiculous 30 RP per 2% HP for Blood, basically meaning you shouldn't use it in most situations. While you do get rune regeneration talent procs from the RP spent, you do not get Shadow of Death procs, and the healing is very minor for the cost. Obviously you also lose significant DPS from not Death Coiling. In theory this talent might be useful in later tiers if we can stack enough Multistrike, but in the current tier it isn't really worth it. Consider that even with the absorb, Death Pact heals 25% of your max HP, or 12.5 Conversion ticks, or 375 Runic Power worth of Conversion healing. It is not generally going to be worth it to pay 375 Runic Power for a REALLY slow Death Pact heal.

    Having said that, the talent is still usable in it's current state; you will definitely lose DPS, and it's a pain to manage turning it on and off all the time (making it basically not usable for most people), but you do end up doing more HPS then without it. But you lose the burst heal of Death Pact.


    Level 90 (Gorefiend's Grasp, Remorseless Winter, Desecrated Ground)

    There isn't much to say about these talents; they are mostly unchanged from MoP (Desecrated Ground now removes roots as well). You pick the one that is best for your situation, or if none of them are essential for the situation, the one you like the most.


    Level 100 (Necrotic Plague, Defile, Breath of Sindragosa)

    Necrotic Plague: Honestly this talent is simply undertuned. It replaces Blood Plague and Frost Fever, but even with it's faster then normal 2 second tick rate, it still does less damage then they do until very high stacks. Considering you end up wasting runes reapplying this disease (it cannot be auto-refreshed, instead any affect that would refresh it applies an extra stack instantly), it's 2 RP per attack against you is practically nullified just by that.

    Now you can make up a lot of the 'wasted' runes by using Plague Leech when it is about to expire (covered in the Plague Leech section above), but honestly Necrotic Plague is a significant (5-8%) DPS loss in almost every situation, and also a mitigation loss for the same reasons.

    While Plaguebearer sounds like it would help this talent a lot, in reality Plague Leech + Glyphed or Non Glyphed Outbreak is the best way to support this talent (the playstyle is gone over in the Plague Leech section above).

    I will also note that when tanking 3-5+ targets, this talent starts to get good enough to be worth it due to the massive RP gains you will be seeing. The problem is that there isn't really a raid encounter where you tank more then 2-3 targets for extended periods of time. Even on Beastlord Darmac, the Pack Beasts simply die too fast to make this talent worthwhile. This talent can be good in 5 mans, but it is also a huge pain to maintain in some cases; you have to keep track of it's timer on all the targets and make sure it doesn't drop off. This can become difficult in hectic situations, leading to some enemies losing the disease, cutting into your RP gains and DPS. And even in those cases, you still lose DPS by taking this talent, you just gain slightly more Max HP/a very small rune regen bonus.

    Basically while this talent can be situationally good, it is both difficult and extremely annoying to actually use, and a loss outside of those specific situations that maximize it's effect. I do not recommend this talent for general play.


    Defile: The reason I recommend Defile in this tier is because it is the easiest to use and overall very strong. It provides a solid DPS and mitigation benefit and if you are used to the MoP rotation, you will already be used to using Death and Decay on Crimson Scourge procs, so using Defile will come naturally.

    On the topic of procs; you can either use this talent on CD regardless of if you have a Crimson Scourge proc, or you can wait for the proc before you use it. The difference is that if you only use it only via Crimson Scourge, you can cast more Death Strikes (since Defile consumes DS runes normally). However you will be casting this spell less often due to having to wait for a proc after it comes off cooldown, so you will lose a small amount of DPS. In addition, the 10% damage reduction having a higher uptime can help offset the loss of Death Strikes. The difference either way is small; you gain a little DPS using it on CD, you gain a little mitigation waiting for procs. If you are running Runic Corruption, I highly recommend waiting for Crimson Scourge procs before using Defile to avoid orphan runes.

    This talent also has utility as a minor tank cooldown; if you are planning to use it for this reason, make sure you bank the needed rune ahead of time. Using it like this is probably only going to be done on a few encounters, since saving 10% DR is only worth it if there is a huge burst of damage you absolutely need it for.

    Also note that if the boss/enemies will not stay in the Defile for it's full duration (for example if you need to move them often for some reason), it is a good idea to use a different talent instead.


    Breath of Sindragosa: This is the talent I recommend if Defile is not an option for a fight, however it's not quite as clear cut as that. Defile is a well rounded talent; Breath of Sindragosa is a DPS/Cleave focused talent. It's mitigation value is highly situational; it heals you for 10% of the magic damage done by the boss; what this means is that you want to use it right before the boss does an AoE; if the AoE hits 20 targets(mythic mode), you effectively heal for 200% of the damage the AoE did, putting you 100% ahead after you heal the damage you yourself took. Having said that, this situation is not going to come up too often in practice, and the 2 minute cooldown of the ability heavily limits it's usage as a mitigation tool.

    In terms of AoE; while all the level 100 talents do AoE damage, you have to look at it from the point of view of what that talent is actually replacing. Defile replaces Death and Decay (or Blood Boil if used via procs). Both DnD and BB already do aoe damage; while Defile does more, the point is that you do not get MORE out of Defile on AoE then single target; if it provides a 5% single target boost, then it would provide a 5% AoE boost as well (not strictly true since you will always do single target attacks even on AoE, skewing the percentages, but roughly the case). Necrotic Plague is the same; it replaces Diseases which are also by default an AoE Tool.

    On the other hand, Breath of Sindragosa replaces Death Coil; it does slightly more then double the damage of Death Coil per point of Runic Power on single target, but on AoE it is effectively multiplied by the number of targets as well. Death Coil is a single target attack, so you can easily see how BoS is massively powerful on AoE compared to Defile/NP in ideal situations.


    The talent has now been changed to split it's damage between extra targets; it appears to now do 100% to the 'primary target' (not sure how that is determined, but I think just by proximity), and then another 100% split between all other targets, so a total of at most 200% damage. This means this talent is now a 2 target cleave, and not a true AoE. Therefore, on heavy AoE fights, this talent loses to Defile, however on 1-2 targets it can do more DPS with a Multistrike focused build (MS proc trinkets especially). You lose out on mitigation/stability however, as using BoS leaves you VERY vulnerable as a Blood DK since you end up being forced to spend runes rapid-fire to maintain the channel. Also, stacking Multistrike makes you weak defensively as it has low defensive value. This talent is even more niche then before; it's main purpose now is to be used on fights where enemies will not stay in Defile for it's full duration.

    Some general tips on using BoS:

    -Obviously you should try to bank 80-90 RP before you start channeling it.
    -You obviously shouldn't cast Death Coil during the channel at all, nor Glyphed Outbreak.
    -This means you can't really PL during the channel if you have Glyphed Outbreak.
    -You should try to channel it so that it overlaps with any magic AoE the boss does.
    -You should try to channel it during any trinket procs or actives you have (and preferably Fallen Crusader as well).
    -You should try to channel it during the period of time with the most targets to hit. Just kidding they made this talent into a 2 target cleave instead of an AoE now.
    -You should try to AMS soak during the channel to extend it (or specifically, start channeling during a period of time you will be able to AMS soak in).
    -You should do your best to maintain it as long as possible; this usually means spending your runes as you get them, and using abilities like Empowered Rune Weapon as well; this can lead you to not have a banked Death Strike for emergencies, so if you are in a dangerous situation be wary of this temptation.
    -Stacking Multistrike helps maintain the breath longer, at the cost of mitigation. This also means any multistrike procs from trinkets, or even better actives (Vial of Convulsive Shadows anyone?) are MASSIVELY helpful if they happen/are used during the channel.

    As you can see, some of these may conflict with each other on many encounters. This is why I say this is a difficult talent to use; you have to think about all these things, just for this one ability.


    Glyphs

    Glyph of Outbreak if using Plague Leech is very good, otherwise is only useful if chain pulling in 5 mans. Having said that, you should have Plague Leech and be using this Glyph unless there are 3 other glyphs that are significantly useful on a given encounter. Having said THAT, don't need it on AoE, because you can just PL then Blood Boil and re-spread the disease that way.
    Glyph of Regenerative Magic is pretty good for general play, although AMS soaking is much less important these days, so this is far less mandatory then in MoP.
    Glyph of Runic Power is very powerful in cases where it activates, but obviously worthless otherwise
    Glyph of Blood Boil is good for a bigger radius/general quality of life if other Glyphs are not needed
    Glyph of Dark Simulacrum is very good if you are using Dark Simulacrum in a given situation.
    Glyph of Absorb Magic and Glyph of Icebound Fortitude can be situationally useful on specific fights for soaking massive bursts of damage

    Glyph of Vampiric Blood is generally a bad idea; the max HP helps it act 'as a cooldown' by giving you additional buffer room for you and your healers to breathe during high damage situations. Also, the max HP boost on the unglyphed ability helps increase the effect of the T17 4p bonus.


    Rotation

    Major differences from live (snipped from the short guide): Heart Strike is gone (Blood Boil takes it's place in all situations where you would have used it before), and Death and Decay is no longer worth casting rotationally (however Defile is) due to doing only slightly more damage then Blood Boil, but not proccing Scent of Blood like Blood Boil does. Rune Strike is also now replaced with Death Coil.

    Blood rotation is a priority system based around preventing yourself from resource capping in any of your rune pairs/runic power, looking roughly like this:

    1: If your second Frost/Unholy pair is off cooldown, or is about to come off cooldown, Death Strike to avoid resource capping.
    2: If RP is above 70, Death Coil.
    3: If your second Blood rune is up, use the appropriate Blood rune ability; Blood Boil normally, or Soul Reaper below 35% health on the target.
    4: Use your Crimson Scourge procs on Defile if it is up, or Blood Boil otherwise (Death and Decay is generally not worth casting anymore).
    5: Use the rest of your RP on Death Coil.
    6: Use the other Blood Rune.

    Honestly, the easier way to summarize it you have 3 resource bars (4 with Blood Tap), and you don't want to let any of them cap, but you also want to save a rune pair for DS at the same time. Hopefully at least one of these descriptions makes sense.

    In addition to this 'basic' rotation, if you specced talents such as Plague Leech, Defile, and Breath of Sindragosa, there may be alternative considerations for your rotation that are covered in the respective talent's section in the Talents portion of this guide above. Also, if you are confused on how Blood Tap or Runic Corruption fit into this, again, consult the guide linked in their respective talent section.

    Note on why DnD isn't worth casting anymore: DnD does about 10% more damage then Blood Boil but consumes the same resources (Crimson Scourge procs and Death Runes), and doesn't give the Scent of Blood stack for 20% more healing to DS. Combined with the fact that it needs enemies to stay in it's AoE for 10 seconds, this means it isn't worth casting in 99% of situations. The main use of DnD now is to use it as a ranged aoe pickup, but it sucks for that, since 1-2 ticks isn't going to hold threat off anything except a stiff breeze. Basically while you should probably still have it on your bar, you won't actually use it very often.



    Death Strike Usage

    In Warlords of Draenor, Death Strike timing is similar to live, but slightly changed. Basically, in MoP, the Blood Shield amount is greater then the raw healing amount from Death Strike. In WoD, this is reversed; the heal is the larger portion of the total effect. This means greater emphasis needs to be placed on avoiding overhealing with Death Strike. Therefore, you want to only Death Strike when it will NOT overheal (obviously, as the rotation above says, you should Death Strike anyways if you are resource capping, since not doing so would just be a waste at that point regardless of overhealing).

    The other big part is the way Resolve functions. Resolve is similar to Vengeance, but instead it is a % increase to your healing done to yourself. It is also far more volatile then Vengeance; it 'spikes' up when you get hit, then diminishes quickly, until the next hit. While the diminishing effect is not huge, min-maxing it can easily give you a noticeable bonus to your Death Strike heals. In addition, any large spike damage done by the boss will give you a significant but short lived spike of Resolve; this is an ideal time to Death Strike as usually the burst damage would have knocked your HP low, and your Resolve will be at it's peak.

    Summary:

    1: Don't overheal with Death Strike; try to use it at sufficiently low HP. Below 75%-65% is usually a good number, but it varies heavily with how much Resolve, AP and HP you have.

    2: Try to use it right after a boss swing or special attack to benefit from the spike of Resolve you will get at that point; this will increase your healing done noticeably over using it haphazardly.

    3: Use it anytime you are in danger of dying; either critically low HP or when you know burst damage is coming and your health/cooldowns are not enough. This is always going to be a judgement call, but this is basically what you save the Death Strikes for.

    4: Even if the above are not true, use Death Strike anyways if you would otherwise cap on Frost/Unholy runes by having both pairs be off cooldown.


    Rune Tap Usage

    Rune Tap is the new form of 'active mitigation' added in Warlords of Draenor for Blood Dks. It has been reworked from a 10% max HP heal to a 40% damage reduction for 3 seconds (up to 2 charges, 40 second cooldown, 30 seconds with the leveling perk). At a glance, this means you have to use it at the right time; preferably right before a large spike of damage, to maximize the damage reduced by it.

    A good way to look at Rune Tap is like a reverse Death Strike; you typically want to Death Strike right after a spike, but you want to Rune Tap right before a spike instead. This means you may need to learn a somewhat different playstyle if you are used to the reactive play of Death Knights.

    Another way to look at it is like another cooldown that is available much more often, but has a very short duration. It can also be used as a 'bridge' between Death Strikes; if you are worried about dipping low before your next Death Strike is up on a high sustained damage encounter, but the cooldown prevents this from being a sustainable long term.

    Using this ability correctly is going to be HEAVILY encounter and situation dependant; you have to figure out when the spike damage will be coming and proactively use this ability.

    The biggest issue with using this spell is the fact that you need to have a Blood Rune to use it. Always make sure that if you plan to use this at a specific time, that you remember to bank the required rune in advance.


    Cooldown Usage

    Quite simply, there are two reasons to use tanking cooldowns; to prevent burst damage (ie prevent a fast death), or to close the gap between healing taken and damage taken to prevent a slow death that is looming. Another way to put it is proactive cooldown usage to prevent burst deaths vs reactive cooldown usage when you notice you are starting to dip low to sustained damage, although it doesn't always perfectly line up like this (there are cases you proactively CD to prevent high sustained damage, like solo tanking or challenge mode pulls).

    Generally you don't have to worry about burst damage on difficulties below Mythic, unless you are already dipping low before it comes. So in most content, your cooldown usage will be primarily reactive, when you notice your health dropping over time to let healing catch up.

    You never want to overuse cooldowns; you want to use just enough to prevent burst damage from killing you/lower damage taken below healing taken. Overusing cooldowns means you don't have them later in the fight, the next time you need them. Also, when choosing between cooldowns, you want to use the shorter cooldown ones first, as they will be back up quicker incase you end up needing them again; you want to use abilities like Bone Shield/Vamp Blood often, while IBF should be saved for when it is most needed.

    Honestly for most players, you will typically hit cooldowns due to 'random' events that cause your health to dip as a way to recover; a healer having to move due to a mechanic, a misplay in your rotation ect. In this case you want to just use one at a time, unless you really think more are needed. For example if you are doing 5 mans, and you start dipping low, you might pop Vampiric Blood. Next time it happens, maybe Bone Shield. Maybe if you had magical damage coming in, you would use AMS instead. Learning this type of 'cooldown weaving' is very useful for non bursty content.

    External CD Usage (Advanced/Mythic) WIP

    On the topic of cooldown weaving, during really high sustained damage, you may want to have a cooldown up the entire time (There were many cases in MoP 25 Heroic where I would stay cooldowned for over a minute straight to avoid the risk of randomly dying). External cooldowns are MASSIVELY helpful here as your own cooldowns will not be enough. This is also where the whole idea of not overusing cooldowns comes in; you don't want to just use everything all at once because then you have nothing left for later.

    A good example is something like solo tanking 25H Thok in 5.4; You might use a cd rotation like this:

    0-2 Panic Nothing
    3 Panic: Ironbark
    4 Panic: Sac + Vamp
    5 Panic: Sac + Vigilance + Refresh Bone Shield
    6 Panic: Sac + Vigilance + DRW
    7 Panic: Sac + Pain Suppression
    8 Panic: IBF + Ironbark (back up by this point)

    Then use another Vig + Vamp Blood on the Jailer until stack drops.

    This is probably the most extreme example of cooldown weaving + stacking, but I think it illustrates well what I mean about planning ahead as much as possible and not wasting too much too early.

    I'll probably be expanding this section later to talk about addons and such to help with external CD usage (as frankly trying to manage them without addons is a waste of your attention which is needed in other places).


    Comments on Specific Cooldown Abilities

    Bone Shield expires much more rapidly now (1 second ICD on consuming charges instead of 2), so it is not always advisable to use it on cooldown anymore. You should still use it pre-pull, but during the fight I would consider using it more like Vampiric Blood; situationally, rather then just using it on CD as was best in MoP. Generally better used against sustained damage then spike damage if you have a choice, but only because it tends to last longer.

    Vampiric Blood hasn't really changed; it is a good EHP boost before a spike, and can assist you in healing yourself. With the T17 2p, the effective cooldown on this ability becomes fairly low, so if you have it, you should try to use it shortly after it comes off cooldown (although obviously don't just completely waste it trying to 'get rid of it'). Unglyphed, amazing vs spike damage, and in general very good versus sustained damage, especially with the T17 4p.

    Dancing Rune Weapon is used similarly to live; mostly as a DPS cooldown. It's duration is much shorter however, and it's damage has been reduced to about 33% of your damage for no real reason. Having said that, even if used as a DPS cooldown, use it as part of your cooldown 'weaving'; if you have DRW up, don't use other CDs with it unless needed. This ability is useless against spike damage, but good at reducing sustained damage intake.

    Icebound Fortitude is much shorter in duration now, but is still used the same; for very high periods of damage or in emergency situations where you need more breathing room. Great against both burst and sustained damage. Glyphed IBF is amazing against burst damage, but inefficient vs sustained damage.

    Anti-Magic Shell's runic power gain aspect has been massively nerfed in WoD. While it can still give a decent amount of runic power if used at the right time, it will no longer overflow your runic power bar constantly, and weak magical dots will no longer give significant amounts of runic power. Therefore, AMS soaking has become massively dumbed down; you should primarily use AMS to soak heavy magical spike damage (where you will still gain a decent amount of RP) instead of trying to use it on cooldown on every little puddle/dot to gain free RP.



    Gear (WIP)

    For now I am still working in finalizing a BiS list for T17 (I have some preliminary ideas, but honestly it is kind of early for a BiS list anyways, so I would rather wait), however I will say that it doesn't matter nearly as much as it used to what gear you use. You can pretty much just pick the gear with the stats you like the most, and just equip that in most situations. The biggest 'wrinkle' to this is the tier bonuses; at the current tuning the 2p is VERY good, and the 4p is 'probably worth getting but not amazing'. The thing is these set bonuses are still being iterated on by Blizzard. So I can't really give a definitive BiS list at this point.

    This section will be expanded on later.


    Trinkets (WIP)

    Much like the gear section, this section isn't really complete, however I will just quickly talk about what trinkets you will most likely want in T17:

    General Play: Blast Furnace Door + Horn of Screaming Spirits

    Heavy Defense/EHP: Pillar of the Earth + Blast Furnace Door

    *I am going to be doing more work with trinkets and gear soon, and honestly I think Pillar is kind of terrible in 99% of cases. So omitting this for now so people don't get confused as I don't recommend stamina trinkets for general play. So just crossing out this part for now.

    DPS (Esp with a BoS setup): Vial of Convulsive Shadows + Forgemaster's Insignia or a trinket with a 2 minute 'clicky' effect that can raise your damage (Mastery, Str, ect) if using BoS.


    Racials

    Frankly I was hesitant to even add this section, because people way overblow the importance of race selection. For literally 99%+ of players you should just pick the race you like the most. Especially since the WoD changes, the races are closer in power then they ever were before, so the differences are much smaller.

    Having said that, while for most races the numerical differences are tiny, there are certain 'utility' racials that make certain races very powerful in specific situations.

    First I will go over what all the relevant racials actually are. I will be omitting profession racials or stuff that is basically irrelevant for character power (Rep Discount for Goblins, Troll Regeneration)

    Horde

    Orc: Blood Fury, Hardiness, Command.

    Troll: Berserking, Da Voodoo Shuffle.

    Tauren: Brawn, Endurance, War Stomp.

    Undead: Touch of the Grave, Will of the Forsaken.

    Blood Elf: Arcane Acuity, Arcane Torrent.

    Goblin: Time is Money, Rocket Jump/Rocket Barrage (Share a cooldown).


    Alliance

    Human: The Human Spirit, Every Man for Himself.

    Dwarf: Might of the Mountain, Stoneform.

    Gnome: Nimble Fingers, Escape Artist, Expansive Mind.

    Night Elf: Quickness (this stacks with other run speed buffs), Touch of Elune, Shadowmeld (mostly useful for dropping combat).

    Draenei: Heroic Presence, Gift of the Naaru.

    Worgen: Viciousness, Darkflight.


    Pandaren cannot be Death Knights, so I will not include them.

    Note that numerous races have 1% damage reduction from specific elements; generally they don't matter much as different bosses have a variety of damage types present.

    In terms of numerical power, the races are pretty close to each other. DPS wise, the best race is Blood Elf, while for survivability, Night Elf is the clear winner.


    Notes on specific races

    Tauren: While commonly considered a good tank race, are still fairly lackluster; crit damage is nearly useless since Blood DKs have so little crit (and do not stack it), and stamina is not a particularly valued stat (although can rarely be good). War Stomp is almost useless because it diminishes with every other stun, making it hurt you more then it helps in group play (Using War Stomp then Leg Sweep actually gets you a shorter total stun then just Leg Sweeping for example).

    Blood Elf: Arcane Torrent is insanely powerful for Challenge Modes; if you plan to do Challenge Modes extensively and are Horde, you should be a Blood Elf hands down. This ability is also occasionally useful in raids as an extra interrupt, or if AoE interrupts are called for (Garrosh MCs or first intermission anyone?). The RP gains of Torrent are helpful if using BoS.

    Night Elf: They are the best race defensively, although Shadowmeld has very little application in combat, meaning they lack any sort of powerful active ability. 2% run speed can be more helpful then you might think since it's always on.

    Worgen: Darkflight is a massive help to Death Knights due to their lack of mobility, and can be clutch in many situations. This is also one of the better DPS races, although not quite as good as Blood Elf.

    Dwarf: Stone Form can be useful on some encounters for removing debuffs (I have not personally checked if there are any such enounters in T17 however). It also acts as a minor tank cds, making them fairly solid, although their other racials are lacking.

    Human: Every Man for Himself can be very powerful on encounters with CC, but honestly Death Knights already have multiple ways to break or prevent CC (AMS, IBF, Desecrated Ground, Lichborne), and most CC in raids is not removable anyways from my beta testing.

    Orc: Keep in mind that AP now increases DS healing, so Blood Fury is a fairly solid ability now.

    Honestly the numerical differences are very minor with the exception of Night Elves, who are clearly ahead of the pack defensively (about 1.5%). I tend to pick race by what powerful utility they provide (Torrent, Stone Form, Darkflight ect), since the numbers are literally 0.2-0.5% differences in most cases.

    My Picks for Horde: Blood Elf, runners up Orc and Goblin (Rocket Jump is very nice)

    Honestly the horde races suck for defensive bonuses as a whole.

    My Picks for Alliance: Worgen or Night Elf (do you want a powerful active or just stats?), runner up Draenei (very solid overall bonus from the passive STR, good stats all around compared to most races)

    Highest DPS: Blood Elf

    Highest Mitigation: Night Elf

    Best Utility: Worgen because mobility is almost always useful, others are all situational.

    Best Race for Challenge Modes: Blood Elf due to Arcane Torrent

    Conclusions: Expansion should be renamed Warlords of Elfcraft, elves are the master races. Also, I wouldn't take this whole thing too seriously. If you like playing Undead or whatever, you aren't really going to be at a noticeable disadvantage over the other races.



    Fight Guides for Tier 17 (WIP)

    This section will be added to later on.


    Conclusion

    Well, I am pretty sure nobody will actually read this far down, but if you did, I congratulate you! Hopefully you now have a far more detailed understanding of the changes in WoD for Blood Death Knights, and how to optimally play the spec going forward.

    Having said that, I will be updating this guide with any new findings/information as it comes up. This is a 'Beta' version of the guide; some sections are not yet fully fleshed out or complete, and I am sure I could work on possibly trimming down some of the wordiness in the guide to make it easier to read.

    If you have any feedback or questions, please feel free to ask me. This guide is WiP, so I do welcome input (as long as it is backed by some reasoning).
    Last edited by Troxism; 2014-10-25 at 06:23 AM.
    I play Blood DK for Duality of Zul'jin; in my spare time I also answer help tickets and write articles on www.sentrytotem.com

    Feel free to ask me for help regarding to Blood DK play

  2. #2
    Thanks again for your work on the forums here Troxism; a very good read for the upcoming expansion. For future reference, if you want to hyperlink things (such as Glyph of runic power then you need to just link the wowdb url (http://beta.wowdb.com/spells/159429-...of-runic-power here) thanks.

  3. #3
    You could add that AMS before Death Pact counters the self absorb. Nice for Bosses were you don't need AMS that much and it worked for the whole Beta so they don't seem to change that.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by craigp100 View Post
    Thanks again for your work on the forums here Troxism; a very good read for the upcoming expansion. For future reference, if you want to hyperlink things (such as Glyph of runic power then you need to just link the wowdb url (http://beta.wowdb.com/spells/159429-...of-runic-power here) thanks.
    Thanks, I'll do it later when I have a little bit of time (probably tomorrow as I am swamped right now with stuff). Gonna take like an hour to do them all T_T.

    EDIT: Well doesn't seem to work for me (just gives me a normal link) no matter how I try it so idk, I'm retarded I guess. Still probably going to add some links for slightly more clarity as this guide is hard enough to follow already.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Lucillia View Post
    You could add that AMS before Death Pact counters the self absorb. Nice for Bosses were you don't need AMS that much and it worked for the whole Beta so they don't seem to change that.
    Forgot to mention it, thanks for the reminder
    Last edited by Troxism; 2014-10-13 at 09:10 AM.
    I play Blood DK for Duality of Zul'jin; in my spare time I also answer help tickets and write articles on www.sentrytotem.com

    Feel free to ask me for help regarding to Blood DK play

  5. #5
    I think your making a mistake on Litchborne. Litchborne combined with magic rune weapon and Death coil provides a substantial heal, vamp blood makes it even stronger.

    - - - Updated - - -

    another thing you may want to consider is that if you could glyph for death coil while rp might not be very valuable to you you can use it for other people with death coil heal.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Valkaneer View Post
    I think your making a mistake on Litchborne. Litchborne combined with magic rune weapon and Death coil provides a substantial heal, vamp blood makes it even stronger.

    - - - Updated - - -

    another thing you may want to consider is that if you could glyph for death coil while rp might not be very valuable to you you can use it for other people with death coil heal.
    Glyph of Death Coil is very weak because Resolve only affects Self Healing, so the absorb from it isn't affected, meaning you get a VERY small absorb from this glyph (it was nerfed too) making it completely pointless and a total waste of RP.

    For example on a decently geared lvl 100 character it's about a 5.8k absorb, and the only thing that increases it is having more attack power (and it won't scale up that much). Even DPS have HP pools over 200k.

    LB still appears to make you undead (it's not supposed to) so I guess it's not that bad still. I guess it still has a use then until Blizzard 'fixes' it. That is what I get for expecting Blizzard to actually follow their own tooltips/changes.

    Also if anyone knows how to help me figure out how to do the hyperlinks (as what was mentioned in the first reply doesn't appear to work for me), I would appreciate it.
    Last edited by Troxism; 2014-10-13 at 03:24 PM.
    I play Blood DK for Duality of Zul'jin; in my spare time I also answer help tickets and write articles on www.sentrytotem.com

    Feel free to ask me for help regarding to Blood DK play

  7. #7
    I don't think they will remove the Undead part of Lichborne. It always worked and the 10% Leech is only from the time we didn't have Death Coil (the Leech is stupidly weak anyway). I used it for most of the Heroic tests and it's really the only way for that Talent to even exist in that row.

  8. #8
    Also I noticed you did not mention glyphing chains of ice. You can get free Np if you go Np and it helps with sindragosa's breath. I kept sb going for about 30s ig think.

    - - - Updated - - -

    It's like free rp,that is if I'm remembering it correctly. Sorry not at home atm to double check it.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I have a questions about RP and death coil. Why wait til 70 percent? DC and conversion are the only things you can use rp on right? So why not spam them to get the biggest Sod possible? Why save your rp?
    Last edited by Valkaneer; 2014-10-13 at 04:13 PM.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Valkaneer View Post
    I have a questions about RP and death coil. Why wait til 70 percent? DC and conversion are the only things you can use rp on right? So why not spam them to get the biggest Sod possible? Why save your rp?
    You don't "save" your RP*; remember that the point of the priority system is to use the most effective ability while avoiding capping resources. When you're not about to cap RP, using your second Blood rune and using Crimson Scourge procs is a higher priority than dumping the rest of your RP.

    *Unless you're saving it for BoS

  10. #10
    Awesome guide, but reading it makes me sad.

    It used to be my favorite talent spec off all classes, and now it isn't even interesting; bland and boring.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Valkaneer View Post
    I have a questions about RP and death coil. Why wait til 70 percent? DC and conversion are the only things you can use rp on right? So why not spam them to get the biggest Sod possible? Why save your rp?
    You don't wait till 70; it's a priority system. Basically the way it's laid out is you go down the list of resources in order and if any are close to capping or are capped you spend them. Then if none of that is true, you can spend the rest of your RP/other blood rune ect.

    Like you can see further down the priority list, it does say to spend the rest of your RP eventually; if other critical considerations are already dealt with.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Valkaneer View Post
    Also I noticed you did not mention glyphing chains of ice. You can get free Np if you go Np and it helps with sindragosa's breath. I kept sb going for about 30s ig think.
    You lose some damage from Icy Touch and a Glyph slot and gain 10 RP. Honestly it's kind of an even tradeoff and in many cases the Glyph slot is actually valuable, so honestly I didn't mention it because I don't think it's worthwhile to waste a Glyph slot on.

    Also, updated the guide with a mention of HoW in the changes section (didn't really mention that you shouldn't spam it anymore), and tweaked the Lichborne section some more to be more helpful (mention that DRW doesn't actually benefit from Resolve and added the macro).

    Still looking for help with the hyperlinks
    I play Blood DK for Duality of Zul'jin; in my spare time I also answer help tickets and write articles on www.sentrytotem.com

    Feel free to ask me for help regarding to Blood DK play

  12. #12
    [ url="http://website"]Website Description[/url ]

    Example:

    [ url="http://wod.wowhead.com/spell=49028"]Dancing Rune Weapon[/url ]

    Remove the spaces after the [ at the start and before the ] at the end.

    Properly formatted, the above becomes: Dancing Rune Weapon

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Cryopathy View Post
    [ url="http://website"]Website Description[/url ]

    Example:

    [ url="http://wod.wowhead.com/spell=49028"]Dancing Rune Weapon[/url ]

    Remove the spaces after the [ at the start and before the ] at the end.

    Properly formatted, the above becomes: Dancing Rune Weapon
    I should clarify (honestly I didn't use the right terminology and I am sorry for that); I am looking for the link where if you mouseover it pops up the tooltip. Already know how to do normal links

    Like in the first reply here, this link had the tooltip when you hover over it, and that is what I am looking to do, but for me it's not working this way even linking from the DB.

    Glyph of Runic Power
    Last edited by Troxism; 2014-10-13 at 09:38 PM.
    I play Blood DK for Duality of Zul'jin; in my spare time I also answer help tickets and write articles on www.sentrytotem.com

    Feel free to ask me for help regarding to Blood DK play

  14. #14
    The Glyph of Runic Power link in your last post shows the tooltip for me.

    [ url="http://beta.wowdb.com/spells/47541-death-coil"]Death Coil[/url ]

    Death Coil

    Glyph of Death Coil

    Edit: I had to refresh the page after posting in order to get the tooltips to work. Maybe they just don't always work or something?
    Last edited by Cryopathy; 2014-10-13 at 09:57 PM.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Cryopathy View Post
    The Glyph of Runic Power link in your last post shows the tooltip for me.

    [ url="http://beta.wowdb.com/spells/47541-death-coil"]Death Coil[/url ]

    Death Coil

    Glyph of Death Coil

    Edit: I had to refresh the page after posting in order to get the tooltips to work. Maybe they just don't always work or something?
    Ah okay that is probably it then. I'll fix up the guide later today then (there are a LOT of them to add and it's gonna take me about 45 mins to an hour). Sorry about all the random ninja edits/stuff I am having to change, but this guide is a WIP obviously, I'd rather get the issues ironed out before WoD releases.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Added hyperlinks to the OP, made some minor changes (added a few notes on Defile). Hopefully I didn't introduce any typos/issues; if you see any please point them out for I can fix them
    Last edited by Troxism; 2014-10-14 at 06:19 AM.
    I play Blood DK for Duality of Zul'jin; in my spare time I also answer help tickets and write articles on www.sentrytotem.com

    Feel free to ask me for help regarding to Blood DK play

  16. #16
    Really, really amazing guide. I am one of those that read the entire article, and I learned a great deal. Keep up the good work

  17. #17
    http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/14865856454

    This is interesting from the 6.0.2 Known issues:

    Paladin - The temporary crit rating buffs are not increasing Parry chance through Riposte.

    So maybe that's a bug and not intended?
    Cairne wanted to thank him again, to offer encouragement, praise for a task so successfully completed. For being able to bear such burdens. But Saurfang was an orc, not a blood elf, and lavish compliments and effusion would not be welcomed or wanted.

  18. #18
    Wow... I just want to say, this is an incredible guide! Just so happens I am on the same, "place" as you *cough* server *cough* lol. But seriously, couldn't even ask for a "better" (pardon that horrible grammar) guide. At least now I know who I am "following" from now on lol. XD.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Satori View Post
    http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/14865856454

    This is interesting from the 6.0.2 Known issues:

    Paladin - The temporary crit rating buffs are not increasing Parry chance through Riposte.

    So maybe that's a bug and not intended?
    It's listed for Paladin; it references the Sepharim (however you spell it) talent that grants temporary 1000 crit rating. They said they would fix that talent to work with Riposte, but said other temporary crit buffs would not receive the same treatment. Who knows they might change their mind.
    I play Blood DK for Duality of Zul'jin; in my spare time I also answer help tickets and write articles on www.sentrytotem.com

    Feel free to ask me for help regarding to Blood DK play

  20. #20
    Thanks Troxism for the amazing guide!

    I was wondering if i could translate your article and repost it on a very popular Chinese WoW forum called NGA. I believe the it'll benefit a lots of Chinese gamers. Of course I'll have the link to your original thread. Please let me know if you are ok with it

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