4.3 Guide

1. Spec
2. Glyphs
3. Stats
4. Rotation
5. Addons
6. Boss Strategies
7. Extras
8. Expirements

1. Blood Death Knight Spec

I use a 32/6/3 Spec which can be modified for diseases and deathgrip. First thing first is this is predominately the best spec for raiding in 10 man and 25 man environment. This spec is optimized for Dragon Soul because there are minimal to no interrupts needed… Only fight I have not done is Heroic Madness and Heroic Spine which from what it seems like does not require interrupts. So speccing out of Endless Winter is very smart for this tier. For this tier of raiding it is necessary to spec into lichbourne for self healing because there are many times where it is needed for you to heal yourself instead of the healers… (Debuff on HM Yor’sahj).

What really frustrates me is players who spec into Abominations Might which is solely a PVP ability because it is negated when Might is cast. (Same goes for Trueshot Aura)…


Lichbourne Macro:

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

2. Blood Death Glyphs

In my book the best glyphs are as follows :
Glyph of Rune Strike
Glyph of Death Strike
Glyph of Heart Strike
Glyph of Anti-Magic Shell
Glyph of Rune Tap
Glyph of Bone Shield (I Switch this one out depending on the fight because of the vamp blood 4 piece set bonus!) See good fights for vamp blood glyph for more info!
Glyph of Blood Tap
Glyph of Resilient Grip
Glyph of Horn of Winter

Good fights for Vampiric Blood glyph:
(For normal modes it really doesn’t make a difference.)
HM Yor’shaj
HM Ultraxion
HM Warlord Zon’ozz

This list will grow as progression continues!
3. Blood Death Knight Stat


I am a 10 man tank so I can only vouch for 10 man but my stat priority is:

Mastery>Dodge=Parry>Stamina>Expertise Soft Cap (26) > Hit Cap (8%)

As of right now mastery has no cap so your Blood Shield continues to stack as players gain 410 items. As of right now the highest I have achieved was 32 Mastery, (200% blood shield absorb).

From viewing research this is viable in both 10 and 25 man raid environment but as stats and how much bosses hit for in DS there seems to be an increase of stam stackers in 25 man raids.

Stam stacking is not worth it in 10 man especially because of fights like this where healers would have to work more than neccisary compared to Mastery Build.

Used this pic while I was LFG so yeah thats why it says that!


Reforging rules!!

This is the most important stat to reforge into! Reforge any secondary stats other than parry and dodge.
Reforge parry into dodge so that dodge and parry are almost equal. This is done for diminishing returns so that you have optimized dimensioning returns.
Don’t really reforge out of dodge unless it is higher than parry and equal them out!

4. Rotation

Well i’ll start of by saying there is no real rotation for death knight tanking after the opening ablities there is a priority system

Death Strike
Rune Strike
Heart Strike (Don’t use your Death Runes for this ability.).

Cooldown Usage

Vampiric Blood – When Intensive healing or raid damage if 4pc, for self survival use pre-empt.
Bone Shield – Should use on CD should be up almost all the time.
Anti-Magic Shell – Use when intensive spell damage.
Ice Bound Fortitude – Use when expecting high amount of damage, will probably keep you alive.
Dancing Runic Weapon – Use for more DPS, Threat, and increase parry.
Runic Empowerment – Use to refresh all runes and use Death Strike to heal self.
Blood Tap – Best to use when Death Strike is on CD and need a heal.
Rune Tap – Good for self healing your self, free procs when below 35% health.
Death Pact – To sacrifice a ghoul and self heal for a large chunk of health! You can sacrifice Army Of Dead Ghouls aswell.
Army Of Dead – Best to use on pull, or when trying to tank adds, pop before because it is a channeled cast.
Lichbourne – Good for self healing make sure to use macro because it won’t work if you target your toon and hit death coil.

5. Raiding Addons!


ElvUI is a unit frame package that is based of of TuKUI. A basic summary is that it is better than blizzard’s UI because of some of the features it offers. It uses Grid for Unit Frames, HealBot or Vuhdoo, which can all be built in. It has its own Buff Tracker located in the top right corner, as well as its own bartender built in.

Recount is every raiders add-on, almost all raiders you find will have this or an alternative such as skada. Raiding is taking serious by many people including myself, Recount is a simple tool to use to understand the performance of your team mate or the PuG’s that you found. It features Damage Per Second (DPS), Healing Per Second (HPS), Damage Taken, Activity, Deaths, etc… MUST GET ADDON!

Is used by almost all raiders including people who run dungeons or people that kill HM Madness. That being said why do they use this add-on? They use this add-on because it simply allows you to not worry about the mechanics that much including timers and alerts when something is happening, so you can act early instead of too late.

I highly recommend this add-on for DK’s who are just starting out or DK’s who want to easily track their CD’s, Rotation, Runes etc… This is a great add-on for beginners because it teaches you the proper priority system, please don’t use this for blood…

This is a fairly new add-on added into my arsenal but it seems to be pretty good, what it does is it tracks your current Blood Shield and estimates the amount of heal you will get from the next Death Strike. Now I have been wondering and have to do some experiments and get back to you but when it says Death Knight estimated heal does it calculate your mastery and show how much your absorb shield will be for? I will find out!

Omen is a simple add-on that just lets you know how much threat you have on a target allowing a DPS to know when to stop DPSing, and allows tanks to know how much threat they have.

This is an add-on where you can easily put an icon on your target if you are a tank or a raid leader I recommend this to you!

This is combat text that replaces Blizzards built in add-on and shows you how much damage you are hitting for when your CD’s come off cool down and when you are infected by a disease. It also shows healing received. You can configure this add-on to have different scrolling affects; I personally chose a cone around my toon.

I just downloaded this add-on, but what this is for is if you have a large monitor where you lose your cursor on fights where it is very clustered, this is for you! You can change the animation and the trail that it makes.

This is an add-on where it makes obnoxious noises when you stand in bad stuff.

6. Boss Strategies

Mochok- Morchok is by far the easiest boss in DS, some things to be worried about is too many debuffs, so taunt with the other tank at 3 stacks,
or if solo tanking make up a rotation so that it will be easily tanked. On a side note a cool tip is you can ams through the crystal phase run out at with between 7-5 seconds depending if your glyphed for AMS you can run in and DPS the boss. Tank the boss in the middle and don’t move have the bosses back turned towards the raid, run out for black stuff, AMS run back in. Pop CD’s if taking large amounts of damage due to armor debuff.

Warlord Zon’ozz- Start this fight by tanking him towards the raid, wait for the orb to spawn and turn him around, so that he does not cleave the raid, he has a stacking buff that he gets so pop a CD to take less damage from him. During the black phase pop runic empowerment and dancing rune weapon to burn and do extra DPS. Turn the boss towards the raid again and rinse and repeat.

Yor’sahj The Unsleeping – This fight was initially a two tank fight but is now widely solo tanked, Pop AMS when you get about 5 stacks to reduce the amount of damage you take from the debuff. Stand in the middle and DPS the boss to build up absorb so when the next phase starts little health is needed. Tank him in the middle back towards the raid, and sacrifice a ghoul if your health gets low. Pop vamp blood for healers during a healing intensive phase, you can pop it almost every time.

Hagara The Stormbringer- This fight is a fun fight to tank especially on HM but this is normal so yeah. It seems viable to eat the focused assault and pop one of many CD’s you should live with just a bone shield on, but pop a ghoul and sacrafice or vamp blood if heals get intensive. Run away from the ice and if you get stuck pop Ice bound fortitude and you should be able to make it through the ice wave without dying.

Ultraxion- On normal mode the DK tank can eat every Hour of Twilight by popping a simple AMS, your vamp blood should be up for about 50% of the fight if used correctly, little secret.. You can pop all your tanking CD’s off the bat during first 10 seconds of the fight until the drakes come to help, and they will reset all your CD’s.

Warmaster Blackhorn- Tank the adds together with the other tank, use AMS for swirlies and Onslaughts. Use Vamp blood for onslaughts if necessary. During the last phase get about two or three stacks and have the other tank taunt use a cd if you have two stacks and continue to tank.

Spine of Deathwing- Tank the add near on the middle of the spine, wait until about 20% and collect all the blood on the ground, wait until the add gets 9 stacks and drag him towards the back plate of deathwing, when he hits 0% he will explode and you will take massive damage, so stand away from him and pop AMS. If you stand on top of him with AMS you will die. Gather the new amalgimations roll and rinse and repeat. Try and keep the bloods of the healers by using DnD and using outbreak and spreading your diseases.

Madness of Deathwing- Assuming you start off tanking on Green (where thrall is) and solo tanking. A good CD rotation is to start on the first platform and use the dream which should be able to keep you alive for two impales. On the second platform use Ice Bound Fortitude so its up for the fourth platform. On the third platform I recommend using bone shield and runic empowerment to get a large amount of absorbs up. On the fourth platform use Icebound Fortitude on the impale, Vamp blood on the elementium bolt, and pop AMS for your self because most likely you would still be fighting against the tentacle, where you will take a large amount of damage from the bolt. Call to your raid for Hand of Sacrifice, Guardian Spirit or Pain Suppression.

Hard Modes:

Mochok- For hardmode Morchok usage of your CD’s becomes very important because the healers need you to be taking least amount of damage in the raid. The most important CD is your usage of Vamp Blood, which is need by healers, use this when there are back to back crystals spawned so the healers can heal up the raid quickly before it explodes. It is important to save your Ice Bound Fortitude for the last 20% when the boss hits for hard damage. You should sacrifice the ghoul to help the healers!

Warlord Zon’ozz- Start this fight by turning Zon’ozz to the raid, wait for the orb to spawn and flip him away from the raid. Also depending on your raid composition and how many times the raid is taking the orbs, my group takes 7 the first time you need a cd for the seventh stack because he hits like a truck. If there is no CD popped high chance of you dying. After he takes in the last orb you will run over to the large tentacle that spawns, you will tank Zon’ozz from there on out. You should pop Vamp Blood every dark phase to help heals, and might need to pop a self CD such as AMS. Spread your diseases with the tentacle and cleave with heart strike.

Yor’sahj The Unsleeping- This fight is tricky because the tank has to take a lot of damage because of the stacking debuff and the healing debuff where you can’t be healed more than 5 times or you take a large amount of damage. DK’s are by far the best tank for this fight because you can self heal and also, reduce damage taken by the stacking debuff by using AMS. I started to use AMS during the middle of the phases but found it more viable to use AMS during transitions because your absorbing more damage and they healer can work less and gain mana. Stay on the boss the whole fight I don’t move once unless something happens and need to DPS add. The most important thing is to use Vamp Blood every single phase and to make sure you have one of the many cd’s ready to use in case healing gets intensive.

Hagara The Stormbringer- This fight is very flexible when you pop your CD’s and can be avoided altogether. I recommend having a healer or a DPS taunt the boss and then taunt back which will eliminate the damage from focused assault. The most important thing is management of raid CD’s, use Vamp Blood during shattered Ice if your raid struggles with that or use it during Ice phase, and always use it for lightning phase. The strategy stays almost the same but it is important to manage CD’s and reduce raid damage, and how to make sure you avoid falling ice and when you get the debuff go in the dome and pop AMS.

Ultraxion- This fight is pretty simple for the tanks make sure that you know which turn is yours and stay out all you need is AMS. Tanking during this fight you usually won’t get hit had but if you seem to take spikes of damage use Ice Bound Fortitude and Sacrafice a Ghoul. The most important thing to know is how to manage your Vamp Blood for the raid! It should be up about 66% of the time. The tank should be using dancing rune weapon for increased DPS, as well as bring up ghouls and popping potions. Runic empowerment should be used during the last 20% and off the bat. Make sure to have Vamp Blood for the last 20% for the healers!

Warmaster Blackhorn- This fight is pretty simple for tanks, keep the adds together and stacked as well as soaking swirlies by yourself with AMS. Use vamp blood for the onslaughts and after fourth onslaught when heals get intensive. Make a macro to death grip the sapper (linked below!)! It will make life easier! When the phase transition comes the boss will come down pull him down and get aggro quickly by using DnD and taunting! Make sure to have tanking CD’s up and use Vamp Blood for his AoE damage, when the dragon first comes down taunt her and switch with the other tank make sure to use Ice bound fortitude incase the other tank misses the taunt. Spread diseases to help the DPS and make sure to have CD’s ready for final 20%, coordinate with your healers so that you have external CD’s.

Spine of Deathwing- For spine its a rather easy or difficult job depending on your job, but if you were to pick up adds you should put death and decay under the raid use your nameplates and single taunt each add. DK’s have two taunts in all honesty save your death grip for a situation in which you need to death grip a dying add to the proper location. If you are tanking the amalgamations your job is mostly a tank and spank until you need to mop up the adds on the second and third rolls.

Madness of Deathwing- I have set up a cd rotation for tanking but in most cases it really doesn’t matter because if you pop Ice bound fortitude before each impale about 3 seconds on dbm timer which the timer goes down by 3 you will have about a 5 second leeway. You do this so it is off of cd at the next platform, in cases where you mismanage your cooldowns you can pop dancing rune weapon and army of the dead and it will provide all your mitigation and you will get hit for very little. Make sure you have bone shield up for each impale and vampiric blood. You also should have it up for when the second set of small single target tentacles come out. If you take the first impale you will pick up the adds (hemorages) bring them in melee of the dps on the tenticle until corrupted parasites spawn. Your raid will have a designated place for one of your raid members with the debuff for corrupted parasites and the tank will bring the adds on top of the corrupted parasites because the dps can aoe the adds and the spellweave ability will kill the corrupted parasites.

Madness CD breakdown: https://docs.google.com/a/scienceleadership.org/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AlNfz4KDA9WkdFp4RHRhanBUUmFwcDRzd05hR3JQYVE

Sapper Macro:

/target Twilight Sapper /cast Death Grip /cast Chains of Ice /script SetRaidTarget(“focus”,8);

7. Extras

I will go over the benefits of professions and class abilities here.

Indisputably the best combo for professions for tanks would be jewelcrafting and blacksmithing. Where u potentially gain 170 of any stat because of the 2 extra gem slots and 3 crafters gems!

Alchemy- For a DK specifically all this provides is long flasks and extra stats on flasks.
Blacksmithing- Two extra gem slots one to hands and one to wrists.
Herbilism- Ability to increase haste and heal yourself.
Leatherworking- The ability to make better leg enchantments.
Mining- Increased stamina by 60.
Skinning- Nothing
Jewelcrafting- Allows you to make 3 gems with increased stats.
Engineering- This was my old profession but changed to JC because the tinkers dont help blood DK’s especially! For example absorb shield worthless, deflection plates malfunction crazy, and nitrous boots im a worgen so it is worthless…

Draenai- Increased hit by 1% and Gift of Naaru healing you for 10% of max health.
Night Elf- Swiftness reduces the chances of getting hit and also increases resists.
Dwarf- Stoneform is one of the best abilities because despells a poison affect an increases armor by 10%.
Human- Increased rep so you get gear quicker.
Worgen- Sprint for usage on kiting fights and extra crit plus increased resists.
Gnome- Worse raid class! They have like one hand specialization and increased mana pool which blows for any tank.

8. Experiments

How to rank is what I have really been focusing on during farm bosses, but what i have found after much research is that most tanks that are rank are one of four things. A DK tank with dps gems, a tank not following the mechanic, tank that out gears the content or top geared, and people that are just super good.. I would say about 60% are people with dps gems, 10% out gear content 15% aren’t doing the mechanics and 5 % are the super good players… Now how it so happens a lot of the good players are out gearing the content so its easy for them to rank while doing things properly…

Controversy is that the less damage you take the less damage you do. So more damage you take the more dps you do. So if you are doing things right you should not be ranking too often and if you do, you probably are putting extra stress on the healers.

Mastery Stacker:


Strength Stacker Truiesale:



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