Character Class

Blood Death Knight Primer for 6.0.2

So you are a Blood Death Knight and patch 6.0.2 is hitting on 10/14/2014, are you prepared?  Well here are a few quick things you should be aware of and prepare yourself to tank in the new Warcraft world, with trimmed down spellbooks, modified mechanics, stat squish and stat changes!  So after reviewing the DK changes in the patch notes, and make note they said pestilence replaces blood boil, as of writing this, blood boil was still in on the PTR and in beta.

Whats Spells are going away, and what are the replacements?

  • Heart Strike.  A staple of our tanking rotation is going away.  You will be replacing Heart Strike with Blood Boil.
  • Rune Strike.  Another staple to use up Runic Power, you will be swapping this out for Death Coil

What spells and talents are changing mechanically, and what do I need to know?

  • Death Strike (Ability).  This used to hit based on damage you received in the past 5 seconds.  This damage changes to scale with Attack Power now.  Also the healing component is based on Resolve now (this ability replaces vengeance). Per the patch notes for 6.0.2 Resolve is defined as:

Resolve: Increases self-healing and absorption based on damage taken (before avoidance and mitigation) in the last 10 seconds. Without Resolve, Tanks now deal significantly less self-healing and absorption. Resolve has been made much stronger to counteract this, and it increases the amount of self-healing and absorption as appropriate for the fight.

  • Rune Tap (Ability).  This no longer grants health, but instead reduces damage taken by 40% for 3 seconds.  This gives tanks another bg-deathknight-bloodactive mitigation button to push when you know you are about to take some large damage.
  • Death Pact (Talent).  This one is a bit strange, so you heal for 50% of base health, but it also places a healing absorption shield equal to 25% of your base health on you, meaning the healers need to heal through it before you can take further healing, so its a good immediate heal when needed, but you should definitely let the healers know you are using it.  Death Pact also no longer requires a minion to use, since as Blood you not longer have the Raise Dead spell.
  • Plaguebearer (Talent). This replaces Roiling Blood on the level 1 tier.  Roiling Blood combined Pestilence and Blood Boil.  So this talent didn’t make sense in the new world.  Now Plaguebearer allows your death coil to extend your diseases by 4 seconds or adds another stack of necrotic plague, though you don’t need to worry about necrotic plague until level 100, since this ability is handled by hitting blood boil, its not needed.  I recommend Plague Leech.

There are several spells and abilities that are receiving minor tweaks; for example some spells that perhaps now have a duration of 8 seconds instead of 12, or it improves healing by 15% instead of 20%.  These changes won’t affect much of what you do as a tank mechanically.  If you want to dig in, I recommend reading over the patch notes to look at the numbers in more detail.

Another important thing to note is 1% critical strike gives you 1% parry.  Now keep in mind dodge and parry were removed from gear in 6.0.2.

At level 90, Blood tanking won’t feel much different, however you will notice the decrease in self healing.  Instead you will be utilizing more absorption shields due to how our abilities now work.  Your general rotation doesn’t change much, except for replacing Heart Strike and Rune Strike on your bars.

If you noticed any other changes Blood DKs should know for patch 6.0.2, feel free to leave a comment.