[Death Knight][Blood] DPS Death Knight Leveling Guide – Talents and Tips


NOTE: The Blood Tree incurs a LOT of major changes with the 3.1 patch that should be released within the next few weeks. As such, this guide will be outdated (as will most other Death Knight build guides actually). I’ll update it as soon as I test a few new builds.


[Blood] DPS Death Knight Leveling Guide

Jame’s has a great guide for leveling up Death Knights (Alliance, Horde), but he uses the Unholy tree during it. I decided to use the Blood tree instead. To use this guide, whenever Jame’s guide tells you to use your talent points, spend them in the next items down the list.

Table of Contents



  1. Improved Icy Touch
  2. Improved Icy Touch
  3. Improved Icy Touch
  4. Glacier Rot
  5. Glacier Rot
  6. Black Ice
  7. Black Ice
  8. Black Ice
  9. Black Ice
  10. Black Ice
  11. Icy Talons
  12. Icy Talons
  13. Icy Talons
  14. Icy Talons
  15. Icy Talons
  16. Annihilation
  17. Annihilation
  18. Annihilation
  19. Vicious Strikes*
  20. Vicious Strikes*
  21. Butchery
  22. Butchery
  23. Subversion
  24. Subversion
  25. Subversion
  26. Bladed Armor
  27. Bladed Armor
  28. Bladed Armor
  29. Bladed Armor
  30. Bladed Armor
  31. Rune Tap
  32. Death Rune Mastery
  33. Death Rune Mastery
  34. Death Rune Mastery
  35. Dark Conviction
  36. Improved Rune Tap
  37. Improved Rune Tap
  38. Improved Rune Tap
  39. Dark Conviction
  40. Mark of Blood
  41. Veteran of the Third War
  42. Veteran of the Third War
  43. Veteran of the Third War
  44. Dark Conviction
  45. Dark Conviction
  46. Dark Conviction
  47. Bloody Strikes
  48. Bloody Strikes
  49. Bloody Strikes
  50. Bloody Vengeance
  51. Bloody Vengeance
  52. Bloody Vengeance
  53. Blood Worms
  54. Blood Worms
  55. Blood Worms
  56. Hysteria
  57. Blood Aura
  58. Blood Aura
  59. Vampiric Blood
  60. Abomination’s Might
  61. Heart Strike
  62. Might of Mograine
  63. Might of Mograine
  64. Might of Mograine
  65. Abomination’s Might
  66. Blood Gourged
  67. Blood Gourged
  68. Blood Gourged
  69. Blood Gourged
  70. Blood Gourged
  71. Dancing Rune Weapon

51/18/2 Blood Specification

* Alternatively, instead of Vicious Strikes, you could place those 2 points into Two Handed Weapon Specialization for a weapon damage boost.

53/18/0 Blood Specification

Some people may prefer to complete their Blood tree talents before spending any in Frost and Unholy. There is nothing wrong with that. The benefit you get from finishing your non-Blood talents is your lower level actions (Icy Touch, Plague Strike, Death Strike) will be stronger while leveling. The increased attack speed from Icy Talons is also great in combination with Blood Aura. Finishing your Blood tree first gives you Dancing Rune Weapon around level 60 (essentially right out of the starting area) instead of level 80. This is not a light consideration since Dancing Rune Weapon can be a massive damage boost, especially in boss fights.

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Talents Left Out

These are the talents in the Blood tree that were left out of this build and why they do not help with this build.

Blade Barrier

This is a good talent for tanks, but since this is a DPS build, it doesn’t really help with our primary objective (that is, maximizing damage output). The 5 points are much better spent elsewhere.

Scent of Blood

This is perhaps the only useless talent in the Blood tree. Blood Death Knights generate runic power so quickly, that having a 20% chance to generate some every 20 seconds is less than useless.

Two Handed Weapon Specialization

This is a nice talent and is located in a great place in the talent tree, however, it limits you as to what weapons you can use. To be more versatile, don’t spend the points here.

Spell Deflection

This is a great way to mitigate some direct spell damage, but it doesn’t fit well with this build. It is a good alternative talent if you don’t need some of the other basic talents (e.g. Two-handed Weapon Specilization).

Sudden Doom

This isn’t a great talent for where it is in the tree.

Will of the Necropolis

This is a great talent as it stands now; however, the 3.0.8 patch that is being released soon takes away the major advantage of this talent (the increased armor when you are low on health). In my opinion, this talent gets weakened a ton in the new patch and will no longer be worth the 3 points, especially at that level on the tree.

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Alternative Talents

These are talents that were left out, but could fit in this build by changing other talents out (mainly from the Frost tree).


This is a great talent, especially for leveling and in Battlegrounds. It allows you to decrease your downtime between targets (both PvE and PvP).


Increased Damage, Increased Healing, lower cooldown for Death & Decay. 2 major positives and 1 minor positive … can’t really complain there.

Unholy Command

Lower cooldown on Death Grip is useful for almost any Death Knight build.

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Attack Rotations

As with any character, you have to manage your resources when using abilities. Death Knights have 2 resources to manage: Runes and Runic Power. These rotations attempt to maximize damage while organizing usage or runes and runic power in an efficient manor.

Single Target

Healing Rotation

  1. Icy Touch –> Plague Strike –> Death Strike –> Heart Strike –> Heart Strike –> Death Coil –> Obliterate –> Death Coil
  2. Icy Touch –> Plague Strike –> Heart Strike –> Heart Strike –> Heart Strike –> Death Coil –> Obliterate –> Death Coil –> Repeat 2
Initial Healing Attack
/castsequence reset=10 Icy Touch, Plague Strike, Death Strike,
Heart Strike, Heart Strike, Death Coil, Obliterate, Death Coil
Repeatable Attack
/castsequence reset=10 Icy Touch, Plague Strike, Heart Strike,
Heart Strike, Heart Strike, Death Coil, Obliterate, Death Coil

NOTE: The reset=10 portion allows you to keep your next available spell active on the macro until its sure your runes have recharged. That way, if you are switching targets in battle, you can keep calling the macro and it will continue in the list. Once you’ve stopped attacking for 10 seconds, it resets for your next set of attacks.

Damage Rotation

  1. Icy Touch –> Plague Strike –> Obliterate –> Heart Strike –> Heart Strike –> Death Coil –> Obliterate –> Death Coil
  2. Icy Touch –> Plague Strike –> Heart Strike –> Heart Strike –> Heart Strike –> Death Coil –> Obliterate –> Death Coil –> Repeat 2
Initial Damage Attack
/castsequence reset=10 Icy Touch, Plague Strike, Obliterate,
Heart Strike, Heart Strike, Death Coil, Obliterate, Death Coil

Multiple Targets

  1. Icy Touch –> Plague Strike –> Pestilence –> Blood Boil –> Death Coil –> Death Strike –> Death Coil
  2. Icy Touch –> Plague Strike –> Blood Boil –> Blood Boil –> Death Coil –> Blood Boil –> Death Coil –> Repeat 2

When a mob dies, switch to the one with the highest amount of hit points and continue with the attack sequence.

Initial Multiple Attack

/castsequence reset=10 Icy Touch, Plague Strike, Pestilence,
Blood Boil, Death Coil, Death Strike, Death Coil

Repeatable Multiple Attack

/castsequence reset=combat/target Icy Touch, Plague Strike, Blood Boil,
Blood Boil, Death Coil, Blood Boil, Death Coil

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Major Glyphs

Glyph of Death Strike

Mandatory – Increase Death Strike damage. The 3.0.8 patch nerfed this glyph (a lot), however it is still better than any other glyph for this build (since you use Death Strike a lot).

Glyph of Obliterate

Mandatory – With the 3.0.8 patch, this changes to a pure damage increase, making it required for this build.

Glyph of Chains of Ice

Optional – Causing Frost damage while slowing the target … what’s not to like?

Glyph of Rune Tap

Optional – When in parties, your group members will be thankful for this Glyph. Doesn’t help with damage, but an instant 10% heal for the entire party is always helpful.

Glyph of Blood Boil

Optional – The damage output decreases with this glyph, but it slows targets down, which can be helpful when dealing with a lot of mobs.

Minor Glyphs

Glyph of Pestilence

Increases the affected area of Pestilence by 5 yards (that is, increased AoE).

Glyph of Blood Tap

No damage to you when using Blood Tap.

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The gear for this build is relatively simple. Always use Plate armor. Prefer modifications that increase the following attributes in the given order:

  1. Strength
  2. Critical Strike
  3. Stamina
  4. Armor Rating

Strength increases both your attack power and parry rating. Critical Strike increases your burst damage. Stamina increases your hit points. Armor rating (with Bladed Armor) increases your attack power.



The goal of this build is to provide high DPS and self-healing/life drain capabilities. This gives you the ability to solo most of the quests to get to Level 80 as well as provide a nice DPS character for raids. Additionally, its burst damage is great for PvP encounters.

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    Oct 20, 2010 @ 10:17 am

    Out of DateThis guide is out of date. If anyone is interested in adopting it and updating it, please leave a comment here. Until then, it will be moved to the archive section.

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    Jun 19, 2009 @ 17:16 pm

    some people might disagreesome people might disagree with my spec but i play a 51/13/7 build. You can see it right here My deathknight is only 78 with quest gear and i put out about 1k dps solo and 1.3k dps in groups with buffs. May i remind you this is more of a leveling blood spec but it puts out decent dps as well.

    My rotation is this

    1.Icy touch->plague strike->Heart strike->Heart strike-> Obliterate->Death coil

    2.Icy touch->Plague strike->Heart strike->Heart strike->Heart strike->Heart strike->Death coil

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    Apr 17, 2009 @ 17:28 pm

    Talent Specs for [Blood] Death KnightThe 51/18/2 Blood Specification link takes the user to a (47/18/2)build.
    The 53/18/0 Blood Specification link takes the user to a (49/18/0)build.

    Does the option for “Glacier Rot” (3rd and 4th in the current sequesnce) exist in the post 3.1 world?

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    Apr 4, 2009 @ 16:41 pm

    Sudden doom changedBlizz changed Sudden Doom for 3.1.

    Sudden doom is now 3 points, auto-casting Death Coil.

    Lets hope they put in 3.1 without more changes to void my posts!

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    Apr 4, 2009 @ 16:38 pm

    3.1 changes made this3.1 changes made this incorrect. Ignore my post please.

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    Mar 21, 2009 @ 22:45 pm

    A big question indeed, but iA big question indeed, but i found frost dps very useful! NOTE: this is for single target)

    Fight with a twohander and use the following rotation:

    [b]|Icy Touch -> Plague Strike -> Oblirate -> Blood Strike -> Blood Strike-> Oblirate -> Frost Strike -> Frost Strike |[/b] -Repeat-

    An use of this spec :
    You have 2 not spend points left. Choose want you find nice, self i like Morbidity that making me tank sometimes 🙂

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    Mar 8, 2009 @ 18:29 pm

    Upcoming patchWith the upcoming patch, you will be able to complete Blood Spec, have a permanent pet, and have 130 max runic power, this means death coil could become quite useful, and sudden doom means a crit heal on your pet, what’s not to love?

    I’ll post a Primary Blood Spec link when I get the chance.
    This link will not help anyone until 3.1

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    Feb 21, 2009 @ 11:51 am

    Macro UsageYou should add something to let people know when they use attack macro’s with a Death Knight (any, not just blood) that attacks miss. With most classes, this isn’t that big a deal, you continue your rotation and hope you hit next time. With a Death Knight, if you miss early in your rotation, you fail to apply a disease, which can severely limit your DPS as you go deeper into your rotation. So many of our attacks are based on the number of diseases applied to the target that failing to have one (or more) of them on when you start to use abilities like Heart Strike and/or Blood Strike will make what could have been an awesome hit much less formidable. With my death knight I dont use attack rotations, I use priorities. Yes, if everything hits and all my diseases are applied, then I go through the rotations, but with prioritization, if I miss an attack, the first goal is to make sure your diseases are in place. If Icy Touch or Plague Strike fails to hit, you have to do whichever misses again right away, to get the disease up before you go into the rest of your rotation. Only after all of your diseases are applied do you use your other attacks, then when your runes are on cooldown is when you use your RP dumps. Blood will often have a full RP bar, so use it, but if your diseases aren’t up and you have runes to apply them, do so. Nothing will make your DPS higher than keeping all of your diseases on the target at all times.

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    Jan 29, 2009 @ 5:24 am

    That is a very difficultThat is a very difficult question to answer accurately. The math largely depends on your gear, so giving a quantitative answer is difficult.

    What I can tell you is that while doing some 5-man dungeons tonight with an Unholy Death Knight and a Blood Death Knight, they both were the top 2 on the DPS list (my Hunter was a very distant 3rd). The Blood spec edged out the Unholy in all 4 instances we ran tonight, but it was close.

    Basically, Death Knights are very difficult to build wrong. They have so few useless talents, especially when it comes to increasing DPS.

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    Jan 29, 2009 @ 3:16 am

    QuestionHi, just wondering, what do you think is the DPS for that Damage Rotation when I have all the the talents into my talent tree? Because im trying to find an awesome DPS spec that does pretty decent DPS, i’ve tried multiple but..only gotten up to 1.4k DPS, but my armor is pretty bad too, so that might do it, but i atleast want to get up to 1.8k with a good spec. Thanks in advance!

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    Jan 28, 2009 @ 16:22 pm

    Ok thanks, just wanted to beOk thanks, just wanted to be sure.

    Great guide btw.

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    Jan 28, 2009 @ 16:14 pm

    If you choose to finish yourIf you choose to finish your blood tree talents first, then you’ll need to adjust your attack rotation accordingly. So, yes, you’d want to use Heart Strike before Obliterate in that case. Once you get Annihilation, you can switch them back.

    Obliterate is before Heart Strike in the macros to allow for death runes to be created sooner for the next cycle in the rotation.

    Finishing out the Blood tree first is not a bad thing. It really depends on your playing style. There are 3 things you are really looking to get from the Frost tree: more damage for frost spells, increased attack speed from victims of Frost Fever, and the ability to use Obliterate without consuming diseases. When leveling 60-70, most mobs are almost trivial to take down with any DK that it won’t matter if you finish the Blood tree first, or your Frost talents. That is, you won’t notice any big problems either way.

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    Jan 28, 2009 @ 14:29 pm

    Obliterate without frosttree partHi,

    I have a question about the use of obliterate before heart strike in the damage rotation.
    When you decide to go for bloodtalents first instead of frost, you don’t get Annihilation until lvl >70.
    So when you use obliterate first, your 2 heart strikes that follow in the rotation will miss 4 x 56 bonus damage, right?
    Wouldn’t it be better to use the heart strikes first and then obliterate? (only in case you specced bloodtree first)
    Or maybe I shouldn’t be stubborn and just follow your talentlist? 🙂



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    Jan 27, 2009 @ 23:26 pm

    ThanksThanks for the help =) just started my new dk so i really appreciate your guide

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    Jan 27, 2009 @ 22:47 pm

    Answer … sort ofI imagine pestilence is wearing off as you switch to a new target and continue spamming the repeatable macro?

    Typically, I restart the initial macro either every new mob or every other one (depending on how long it is taking me to take them down). For example, if it takes me 5-7 seconds to kill the first mob, when I switch to the next one (which should have the highest HP of the mobs in the group I’m attacking), I’ll restart with the initial attack.

    Once you get down to the last mob, you should also switch to the normal single-target attack sequence as it does much more damage.

    If you are attacking several mobs and it takes you several runs through the repeatable macro before they die, I’d switch to the single target macros (forget Pestilence) and just tank the others while you kill each 1 at a time. You won’t damage them all at once, but since Heart Strike and Obliterate do much more damage than Blood Boil, you will likely take down the group faster.

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    Jan 27, 2009 @ 21:56 pm

    questionIn the multiple targets repeat macro is there supposed to be a pestilence in the rotation? im having trouble getting through the whole thing before pest wears off

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    Jan 26, 2009 @ 17:23 pm

    Thank You!Thank You!

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    Jan 26, 2009 @ 17:11 pm

    It’s exactly the sameIt’s exactly the same rotation, except you use Blood Strike instead of Heart Strike.

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    Jan 26, 2009 @ 15:29 pm

    Blood RotationHi, before you get Heart Strike what is the best rotation for Blood? I have so far been levelling as Unholy but having the Ghoul there all the time I find a bit annoying, so just respecced blood.

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    Jan 25, 2009 @ 18:34 pm

    There is …First, there is a Frost guide:

    Second, your talent tree is not a Frost guide, but a Blood/Frost hybrid. You should write your own guide to discuss your suggestion.

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    Jan 25, 2009 @ 12:37 pm

    Err, are you gonna link thatErr, are you gonna link that spec under every DK guide, regardless of the aim of the guide? 😛

    This is a BLOOD Dps guide. The spec you linked is some sort of hybrid spec, it’s not even focused on DPS (and this guide is a DPS guide primarily).

    Please post your information under a relevant guide or create your own guide.

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    Jan 25, 2009 @ 11:03 am

    Guys why none supportsGuys why none supports frostblood spec? Its the best for PvE adn tanking. You have endless survivability and can tank or dps. The set is here :

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    Jan 22, 2009 @ 20:50 pm

    CorrectYou are correct. When I switched in Vicious Strikes, I forgot to change the order. Its fixed now. Thanks for pointing that out 🙂

    The Glyph of Death Strike was changed in the 3.0.8 patch, which was just released 2 days ago. Previously, it gave you 2% more damage for every 5 runic power you had (without consuming the runic power), hence the maximum of 40% more damage. While it isn’t as good as it was before, its still better than any alternatives for this build. I’ll add a note about it soon.

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    Jan 22, 2009 @ 19:08 pm

    Change in talent order & error in glyph?In following your leveling guide, I came across a little snag.

    When you reach the point where you choose “Rune Tap”, you’re short a point in that rank. “Rune Tap” is good for 1 point of Thrid Rank Blood, followed by three points in “Death Rune Mastery”. However, before you can put any points into “Improved Rune Tap”, you need a fifth point added at that level. (I suspect that the error came from you substituting “Vicious Strikes” for “Two-Handed Weapon Specialization”.)

    Given that you do plan to use “Dark Conviction”, I would suggest the following change:

    31. Rune Tap
    32. Death Rune Mastery 1/3
    33. Death Rune Mastery 2/3
    34. Death RUne Mastery 3/3
    35. Dark Conviction 1/5
    36. Improved Rune Tap 1/3
    37. Improved Rune Tap 2/3
    38. Improved Rune Tap 3/3
    39. Dark Conviction 2/5
    40. Dark Conviction 3/5
    41. Mark of Blood
    42. Veteran of the Third War 1/3
    43. Veteran of the Third War 2/3
    44. Veteran of the Third War 3/3
    45. Dark Conviction 4/5

    At this point, you can return to the order which the guide presents.

    The other matter that I wanted to bring to your attention is the Glyph of Death Strike. In your writeup, you claim that the Glyph will provide a bonus of up to 40% damage to Death Strike. However, the actual glyph itself, both in the game and in your list’s popup information, says that the glyph only provides a negligible 2% bonus. Please explain the discrepancy.

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    Jan 21, 2009 @ 0:19 am

    Blood Worms and Rune Tap areBlood Worms and Rune Tap are great when doing Elites and Boss fights solo. For example, in Hellfire, Blacktalon is EASILY soloable with those talents. Sudden Doom is pointless for that purpose.

    Level 80 changes a lot of things for every class, and Death Knights are no different. This guide was not meant to tell you how to build for Arena and Battlegrounds at that level, but rather how to quest to get to that level. After you get to 80, its expected you will respec anyway.

    Mark of Blood is a lifesaver on PvP servers when facing Unholy Death Knights, Warlocks, and Hunters during the leveling process (assuming they are within about a 5 level range). It essentially negates a large portion of their damage output. On a PvE or RP server, that isn’t as necessary, but it still useful when facing multiple mobs.

    Stupid to be different? If that was the case, we’d have nothing but cookie-cutter character builds all over the place. You play the game to enjoy it, and in my opinion, Blood is more fun to play. You disagree, and that’s fine.

    And a large portion of the reason why Blood beats Unholy 1-on-1 (while leveling) is the higher burst damage it has at earlier levels.

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    Jan 20, 2009 @ 19:56 pm

    Well, already the commentWell, already the comment about Blood Worms + Rune Tap, I don’t see a reason why those would be good either, just because you can have extra hp return -talents doesn’t mean you need to have them, I really haven’t had a need to get more hp than what death strike provides.

    And to tell you the truth I can’t say that much about the usefulness of death coil while leveling as blood, but at lvl 80 Death Coil crits do so insane damage that sudden doom is very nice, especially with the whole “all dk spells that crit do 2x dmg”-thing, can’t remember the name. And the 20% chance to get a free Death Coil crit with “just” Heart Strikes is nice just because the amount of Heart Strikes you use.

    And yes blood has enough RP but I still think Sudden Doom is more useful than either improved rune tap or Mark of Blood (4% from max HP when hit for 20sec, meh) and once again it’s useless most of the time because you just don’t need that much health return.

    And Unholy is far superior towards blood in leveling, it does almost as good single target dps but better AOE-dps with the same amount of cooldown between mobs(which is none). The Survivability of Blood is obviously better than in Unholy but atleast at the moment theres “too much” of survivability in Blood, you just don’t take that much damage to need the huge amounts of health returns blood gives you. And the amount of AOE-damage you lose for survivability is too much, especially when you don’t even need the extra survivability.

    More about the “not needing as much survivability”, while levelling I could just DPS down mobs with normal UH rotation, and when ever I left the fight without full HP, I would just use Death Strike once or twice on the next fight and would be back to full HP again. So there really isn’t any point of having more HP return than what you get from just Death Strike.

    The point about “wanting to be different” is just silly, it’s stupid to be different just for the sake of being different, in my opinion atleast.

    Blood beating Unholy in PVP is possible. Haven’t really had any problems beating Blood DK’s myself, but I guess in lower lvl’s with the same level of gear Blood might take the win, depending highly on just the amount of skill of both players.

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    Jan 18, 2009 @ 17:50 pm

    Not “Must Haves”Sudden Doom is useless (especially for a Blood Death Knight). You spend 5 talent points and get a 20% chance that Death Coil won’t cost you any runic power and will crit. Blood DKs generate runic power like crazy so they aren’t concerned with generating more nor saving it. That is even moreso in the new patch since Dancing Rune Weapon will only cost 40 runic power.

    Morbidity is a “nice to have” talent. You don’t need the healing as a Blood Death Knight because you don’t have the permanent pet. So you’re taking away damage from more skills to give it to Death Coil. That is fine, and is why I listed it as an alternative talent. Personally, I found my damage output was higher by putting points in talents that increased damage in spells and attacks I use more often as well as increasing attack speed.

    There are several reasons you might want to level as a Blood. Unholy Death Knights are all over the place right now. Do you want something different? If you are on PvP servers, a Blood Death Knight easily handles an equivalent level Unholy Death Knight (and that pet of yours quickly becomes my own personal bandage while we are fighting). Finally, I found Blood to be more fun to play (personal preference). All in all, I disagree that Unholy is “far superior”. Blood Death Knights have no downtime between mobs either.

    — EDIT —

    Not to mention … in the build you provided, you took points out of Blood Worms, Mark of Blood (which is a MUST HAVE), and Improved Rune Tap. You could get Mark of Blood and either Blood Worms or Improved Rune Tap back by removing Sudden Doom. In my opinion, you’ve traded 2 must haves and 1 really good to have for 1 unnecessary and 1 nice to have. Not exactly a good trade-off.

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    Jan 18, 2009 @ 17:19 pm

    I definitely agree with youI definitely agree with you on morbidity.

    I don’t agree on sudden doom.

    It’s 5 talent points! For what?

    1. It’s only 20% chance, and only on heart strikes. That’s kinda weak, but anyway, once you get that proc:
    2. It gives you a free death coil. But blood DKs don’t care about free runic power, they’ve got too much runic power than what they know what to do with it, and they don’t have enough GCDs.

    Alright, it makes it a guaranteed crit. That’s the only good thing you get for 5 talent points.

    I don’t know, I really can’t see how this is worth 5 talent points.

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    Jan 18, 2009 @ 7:47 am

    Sudden Doom and MorbiditySudden Doom and Morbidity are both a “must have” for any blood build, simply because death coil is the only RP dumb along with DRW, Sudden Doom procs insanely often and Morbidity is just awesome with the extra damage, both of them are way better than some of the talents you have picked.

    Even with a build like that, you would do way more damage, but still have more than enough of health “regen” from deathstrikes etc.

    But anyways, I really don’t see a point in leveling as Blood when Unholy is far more superior, the only thing I wasn’t able to solo as unholy in levels 55 – 70 was Durn the Hungerer, and I think Blood wouldn’t have that much more of a chance in soloing him than Unholy has.

    And before someone starts the usual “but there’s less downtime as blood!!!” -stuff, there is _no_ downtime as unholy, so I don’t see a way how Blood would have less than that.

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    Jan 16, 2009 @ 17:22 pm

    “Two thumbs WAY up!”

    This“Two thumbs WAY up!”

    This is a very well written class guide. I like your break down of the talent points, well written, well thought out.

    I’ve been using Blood to play my DK and your musings here, are helping to form a more coherent build.

    Thanks again!

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    Jan 16, 2009 @ 16:56 pm

    Thanks!Thanks 🙂

    1. Good point. I originally had Two-Handed Weapon Specialization in the build, but removed it to put the points in Vicious Strikes (trading 4% increased weapon damage for +6% critical strike and +30% critical strike damage for Plague Strike and Death Strike). I’ve added a note about it and even a link to the 53/18/0 build. It basically boils down to increased consistent damage vs increased burst damage.

    And you’re correct, this is more of a leveling build. I haven’t had a chance to test any Death Knight builds in the Battlegrounds, Arena, or even the big raid dungeons yet. I imagine that would be two additional guides (PvP and Raid) other than this one.

    2/3. I knew I’d fat-finger extra ones in there somewhere lol. Its been fixed. I also split up some of the macros. The repeatable macro is the same for both Healing and Damage, but the Initial attack varies. For most non-Boss monsters, I have not had to go through 2 entire repeatable rotations before they are dead.

    Also, the multiple macro has been fixed. I’m still working on optimizing the best times for Death Coil, though. Since this build generates runic power (as most blood builds do) insanely fast, it should be called often, but that has been difficult to determine so far (still researching).

    4. I added a note about DRW when making the choice between finishing the Blood tree vs finishing the non-Blood tree talents. Personally, I didn’t find much need for DRW prior to level 70 (since I didn’t do any of the higher level dungeons before then) outside of fighting Unholy Death Knights while leveling (As a side note, DRW in combination with Rune Tap and the current Will of Necropolis makes it insanely difficult for Unholy or Frost Death Knights to take on a Blood Death Knight 1-on-1. When they nerf Will of Necropolis, this will likely even the odds tremendously, though).

    5. Awesome! I missed that in the 3.0.8 notes somewhere, but that is great to see :-D. I added in the list. I left Glyph of Blood Boil as an optional glyph mainly because there isn’t really a great alternative 3rd major glyph for Death Knights right now.

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    Jan 16, 2009 @ 13:04 pm

    Alright, I read through itAlright, I read through it thoroughly now and there are a few things I don’t agree with.

    First of all I’ve changed the title of the guide, because this is a leveling guide – talents and tips for Blood DKs, more than a “DPS Blood DK” guide. The information in this guide is not really accurate for a raiding Blood DPS.

    Now here are a few suggestions:

    1. Two-handed weapon specialization. This one is a must have for leveling. Dual-wielding is out of question with the leveling build you provided.

    Your talent build is clearly fit for Two handed weapons and NOT fit for Dual wielding. A proper dual wielding build doesn’t go full blood, it’s more like this: [url=]0/32/39[/url] or [url=]15/37/19[/url]. Basically, anyone dual-wielding without having 3/3 in [url=]Nerves of Cold Steel[/url] and 5/5 in [url=]Killing Machine[/url] is going to suck. Actually, you also want [url=]Howling Blast[/url] as a Dual Wielder, because other primary attacks such as Heart Strike, are based on weapon damage, and that’s not good if you’re dual wielding, because your weaopn damage will be a lot lower than with a 2H. Now with that said, I see no reason not to go 2/2 in Two-Handed Weapons specialization in your build.

    So which 2 points should you remove? Remove 2 from Blood Aura or 2 from Improved Rune Tap or 2 from Vicious Strikes.

    This is after all a leveling build, and killing things fast should be the prime objective. Once people reach level 80 and want to do pvp, they’ll probably go for a different build anyway.

    2. About the attack rotations. Why put Death Strike in it? Obliterate does a lot more damage and since you specced 3/3 in annihilation, might as well use it as often as possible.

    Suggestion: Make 2 different sets of macros. One with Obliterate and one with Death Strike (use this one only when you need healing)

    3. There’s two problems with your Multiple attack sequence:

    – It makes you use pestilence followed by 2 blood boils. This is 3 blood runes in a row, so this is impossible unless you have Death Runes leftover from the previous fight, which won’t always be the case.

    Suggestion: Make 2 sequences. The first one with only 1 blood boil. The 2nd sequence can have 3 blood boils (since you should have 2 extra death runes from casting obliterate or death strike in the first sequence).

    – Should probably put Death Strike instead of Obliterate in that rotation. When you are taking on multiple enemies, your health tends to drop fast, so might as well use Death Strike to stay above 75% health as much as possible.

    4. Might want to add a note about Dancing Rune Weapon:

    As you may already know, DRW basically clones your weapon damage stats on creation. This means that you can pop Hysteria/Trinkets during Unholy Strength proc to get a DRW that does crazy damage. It swings for your white DPS and does all your abilities for half damage. (especially good to know on a boss fight, if you’re doing 5-man groups with this build)

    5. About glyphs.

    In patch 3.08, Glyph of Obliterate will be changed to:

    Use: Your Obliterate strikes for 20% additional weapon damage.

    It is now a straight up DPS increase for any level that wishes to use it. You should probably add it already, it’s gonna be a must have for all blood specs, especially if you got annihilation.

    I’d remove the blood boil glyph, as it gimps your AoE power.

    That’s about it for now. I’ll keep checking on this guide and help you make it perfect 🙂

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    Jan 16, 2009 @ 10:41 am

    This looks very, very VERYThis looks very, very VERY good. With the new patch (hopefully it will be on Wed, 21st) players will be able to create DKs everywhere with no server restrictions. I will create a DK on a different server to try out this build 🙂

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    Jan 16, 2009 @ 3:45 am

    Fixed the Back to top anchor.Fixed the Back to top anchor.

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    Jan 15, 2009 @ 22:28 pm

    Nicely done. The info seemsNicely done. Most of the info seems accurate too, so if you keep improving this guide it will be awesome 😉

    Small error: your “back to the top” anchor doesn’t work.

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