By Nick Langley - October 29, 2008
Welcome to Part 2 of the 3-part “Meet the Death Knight” series of articles. In Part 2, I’m going to tell you guys a little bit about the Blood Talent Tree for the Death Knight.
This is the coolest proc ability that a Death Knight can get. They have a 9% chance whenever their melee attacks hit that 2-4 blood worms will show up and attack your target while healing you. This lasts for 20 seconds or until they die. What’s really handy about this ability is that it will proc and if you pull another target your blood worms will stay on the target you were previously attacking, holding the old target’s attention off of you. Very, very cool.
Bloody Vengeance and Abomnation’s Might
These two buffs procs are the two big damage boosters that Blood gets. Abomination’s Might procs off of Heart Strike among other things. Heart Strike is a beefed up version of Blood Strike that you get deep into the Blood talent tree. You’ll be using this ability alot and Abomination’s Might raises your attack power by 10%. Bloody Vengeance procs off any of your critical hits. It raises you damage by 3% and stacks up to 3 times, giving you a maximum of a 9% damage boost!
Sudden Doom and Death Coil
Death Coil is an ability that all Death Knight’s learn. It costs Runic Power and deals ranged shadow damage. What Sudden Doom does is make Death Coil and instant critical hit that costs no Runic Power! Sudden Doom has a 20% proc chance off of Heart Strike, which, as I mentioned before, is the meat and potatoes of a “Blood Knight”.
This is the big ability that Death Knights will off-spec into. This ability, with enough talent points pumped into it, recovers 20% of your Health every 30 seconds and all it costs is one Blood Rune.
Thought RuneTap was nice? Now imagine it recovering 30% of your life instead of 20%! Vampric Blood boosts all healing that you grant by 50% for 20 seconds. This is great not only for Rune Tap, but your Blood Presence and Blood Aura as well. This would increase you getting healed for 4% of all damage you heal to 6%. That might not sound like much, but with how often the Death Knight is dealing damage, an extra 2% makes a huge difference.
Mark of Blood
This tiny little graphic represents a hefty ability for aiding a tank. Whoever is stuck by the blood-marked target is healed for 4% of their maximum health. What’s great about this ability is that even if you aren’t the tank, it will benefit whoever is, especially if you have Vampiric Blood going for an extra 2% of their maximum health.
A crazy, risky ability that has a HUGE pay-off. This thing boosts all damage the target deals by 20%! The draw back is that the target also takes damage equal to 1% of their health every second for the duration of the buff, which lasts 30 seconds. This is the most powerful damage-boosting buff I’ve ever heard of to be implemented into WoW. This will be a raid essential.
Dancing Rune Weapon
The super-cool ability that you get at the end of the Blood tree. It summons up a floating duplicate of your weapon that mimics your auto-attack and all of your melee special abilities. It can last for a maximum of 30 seconds. Considering this nearly doubles your damage every 3 minutes, this is a phenominal ability, especially if used in conjunction with Hysteria.
Blood was a lot of fun to play. I take back what I said about the Frost Knight having the most variety in their rotation. These guys get plenty too. My beef with Blood is that, with the exception of Rune Tap and Heart Strike, all of their new abilities granted by talents are on a 3-minute timer. This makes Blood Knights the biggest perpatrator of cooldown burning, where they will use up all of their best abilities for a short amount of time and have to wait for quite awhile before they get the chance to pull off some nifty tricks. The DPS for the Blood Knight was also 50-80 less than the Frost Knight. This is good considering the fact that the Blood Knight gets to stay at the top of their health at almost all times. I’m curious to whether the core tanking abilities of the Frost Knight will be overshadowed by the sheer amount of healing granted by the Blood Knight. The thing is with the Blood Knight is that most of its healing carries over to the party as well. The Frost Knight doesn’t get party friendly buffs. I’m pretty sure the combo of Frost Knight as a tank and a Blood Knight as support would outdo either by themselves.