So I was very lucky to have been gifted a WoD beta key this week, thanks to a generous guildie, and as such I’ve spent a little time over the last few days fiddling around with the Blood Death Knight.

I’m not one for devouring actual content in a beta – I certainly didn’t do it during the MoP one – but I do like to try and see how classes are performing and what, if anything, has changed so as to impact how I feel about them.

Most important to me in WoD, of course, is the Blood Death Knight – the class I’ve played exclusively as a main since mid-Cataclysm (it was always my main-main since mid-Wrath, but I dabbled as a Tank/Healing Paladin for the first bit of Cataclsym).

So, now I’m in beta and able to see what changes are there, as well as what’s documented on sites like WoWHead, we can have a little overview of everything and how it impacts the class I’m aiming to continue to play.


Initial experience

No Rune Strike, no Blood Boil, no Raise Dead, no Heart Strike. Ability pruning has hit the DK hard. Instead you will:

  • Use Pestilence to spread diseases, and cleave groups of enemies
  • Use Death Coil to dump Runic Power
  • Death Strike seems to be under-resourced half the time so isn’t available anywhere near as much as it currently is in MoP

This all became surprisingly easy to adapt to.  Having two ranged attacks (Icy Touch and Death Coil) makes pulling a little nicer, although neither of them deal significant enough punch to out do a DPS critting on their opener.


Roundup of other Blood DK Changes

Mastery! Blood DKs now have a raid-wide buff other than Horn of Winter’s attack power buff, thanks to Power of the Grave. Not that with 20-man Mythic raids we should be missing any buffs, but it’s nice not to feel so noncontributory.

Army of the Dead is now Blood spec only (yay!) but doesn’t offer any damage reduction during casting (boo!).

Dark Command is now Blood spec only. I’m indifferent to this, but if we had a DPS DK who need to off-taunt anything (doubtful but ya never know) it’d require a Death Grip. But, not a big deal at all.

Improved Blood Presence means when you’re in Blood Presence, damage dealt is increased by 20%. Tasty!

Death Strike now only offers a 30% damage reduction shield, compared to 50% in MoP. It increases your attack power by 8% (which it currently doesn’t), but that’s still a hefty nerf.

Rune Tap now adds an absorb, rather than a chunk of HP. This would explain its appearance to be mediocre.

So that’s a very rough overview of incoming changes. I’m not 100% sure what I think of much of them, but for now the playstyle of Blood DK seems different but acceptable. I’m happy to continue on, which is more than can be said for some others (namely poor Disc Priests).