Blizzard detailed some big changes coming to Death Knights with the next Dragonflight build, with modifications to the core tree, Blood and Unholy.

DK (Source)

In the next alpha build the Death Knight core tree is being updated to better increase talent choice. In order to do this, we’ve made several abilities baseline and cut talents that were proving to be problematic for the overall health of the resource economy for the specs. The left side of the class tree had 4 talents all dedicated to resources, which felt a little excessive. This has been reduced 2 (specifics noted below). In addition to the resource talents being shifted around, we’ve also made Death’s Advance and Lichborne baseline.*

Death’s Advance

This has moved baseline and is now learned at level 9.


This has moved baseline and is now learned at level 9.

Unholy Endurance

Now positioned where Lichborne was previously located in the talent tree.

New Talent – March of Darkness: Death’s Advance grants additional movement speed.

Now positioned where Death’s Advance was previously located in the talent tree.

Horn of Winter

Cut from the class tree.

This will return as a Frost talent in a future build.

New Talent – Insidious Chill: Your auto-attacks reduce the target’s auto-attack speed by 5% for 30 seconds, stacking up to 4 times.

Positioned where Horn of Winter was located

Runic Corruption and Runic Empowerment

This choice node has been cut.

These two talents will be returning to their respective specs baseline (Unholy – Runic Corruption and Frost – Runic Empowerment)

Runic Attenuation

Now positioned where the Runic Corruption/Runic Empowerment node was located.

New Talent – Gloom Ward: Absorbs are 15% more effective on you.


In the next alpha build, Blood tree has undergone significant changes including updates to pathing, new connections, 6 new talents, updated existing talents, and 3 max rank talents have been reduced to 2 max ranks. Due to the sheer amount of changes to the talent tree we will just highlight some of the bigger changes to the tree below.

Blood Boil

Now has 2 charges, up from 1.

Improved Blood Boil


Rune Tap

Now has 2 charges, up from 1.

Improved Heart Strike

Reduced to 2 max ranks, down from 3.

Damage per rank increased to 15%, up from 10%.

Blood Fortification

Cut from the talent tree

Now learned at level 11.

Everlasting Bond

Death Strike and Heart Strike no longer increase the duration of Dancing Rune Weapon while its active.

Now increases the duration of Dancing Rune Weapon by 8 seconds.

While the act of extending your Dancing Rune Weapon with Heart Strike and Death Strike can be fun, it quickly can overshadow the rest of Blood’s gameplay decisions. In order to address this, we will change Everlasting Bond to be a flat duration increase in addition to its existing mechanic of summoning one extra copy of Dancing Rune Weapon. Our goal here is to open up more options throughout the tree as well as avoid making one style of gameplay feel mandatory permanently moving forward.

Improved Boneshield

Reduced to 1 max rank, down from 2.

Now increases Haste by 10% while Bone Shield is active.

Vampiric Blood

Now available above the first gate, directly below Marrowrend.

Dancing Rune Weapon

This has moved higher into the tree and is available immediately after unlocking the 1st gate.


Max ranks reduced to 1, down from 2.

Hasty Bargain

Renamed to Perseverance of the Ebon Blade

Now grants 3/6% Versatility instead of Haste when Crimson Scourge is consumed.


No longer a choice node with Blood Worms


No longer a choice node with Voracious

Gorefiend’s Grasp

Now centrally located within the tree with multiple pathing options to reach it.

Tightening Grasp

Can now only be obtained directly after Gorefiend’s Grasp

Max ranks reduced to 1, down from 2.


Max ranks reduced to 1, down from 2.

New Talent – Blood Feast: Anti-Magic Shell heals you for 100% of the damage it absorbs.

New Talent – Iron Heart: Blood Shield’s duration is increased by 2 seconds and it absorbs 20% more damage.

New Talent – Bloodshot: While Blood Shield is active, you deal 25% increased Physical damage.

New Talent – Sanguine Ground: You deal 5% more damage and receive 5% more healing while standing in your Death and Decay.

New Talent – Coagulopathy: Enemies affected by Blood Plague take 5% increased damage from you and Death Strike increases the damage of your Blood Plague by 25% for 8 seconds, stacking up to 5 times.

New Talent – Umbilicus Eternus: After Vampiric Blood expires, you absorb damage equal to 5 times the damage your Blood Plague dealt during Vampiric Blood.

Unquenchable Thirst

This has been cut.

Dev Commentary: This talent has been cut and replaced with Umbilicus Eternus. Unquenchable Thirst had a bit of design overlap with both Bonestorm and Shattering Bone on the opposite side of the tree. The choice to replace it was done to add what we hope is a more interesting decision point as you navigate toward the capstones especially factoring in the synergy of the new Blood Plague talents and existing Vampiric Blood talents.

Updated Blood Tree


In addition to Unholy’s latest changes we have a few updates we’d like to make to their talents that affect resource generation. The changes to the class tree should be a step in the right direction for better balancing Unholy’s resource economy, but we also want to target a few Unholy specific talents as well. Unholy has been a class with a higher downtime and while we think some downtime can be okay, it’s important to find a balance between too high and too low. The current alpha version swung that pendulum too far in one direction and we are looking to find a better middle ground that both feels fun and rewarding to play. Resource tuning will continue to be on going as we head into Dragonflight. As mentioned last week we are making efforts to prepare for tuning in Dragonflight as such Unholy will be receiving a few tuning tweaks to their talents.


Disease damage now ticks 100% more quickly, down from 150%.

Feasting Strikes

Removed Scourge Strike’s chance to refund 1 rune

Chance to proc increased to 20%

Having both Festering Strike and Scourge Strike trigger a Rune refund left us very little room to tune around and also made this something that just always happened. In an effort to give us more ways to tune this and also add a little more gameplay thought we are changing this to only work on Festering Strike.

Replenishing Wound

Reduce Runic Power gained from popping a Festering Wound to 2, down from 3.

Improved Death Coil

Damage increase reduced to 15/30%, down from 20/40%.


Cooldown increased to 90s, up from 45s

Status changed to implemented

Unholy Assault

Buff duration increased to 20 seconds, up from 12 seconds.

Ghoulish Frenzy

Attack speed and damage increased to 6/12% up from 4/8%.


Damage per disease reduced to 2% down from 3% at rank 2.

Death Rot

Reduced to 1% per stack up to 10%, down from 2/20%.

Increased the duration to 10 seconds, up from 8 seconds.

Fixed a bug preventing this from being applied by multiple Death Knights.

Commander of the Dead

Damage to Gargoyle and Army Ghouls reduced to 30%, down from 40%.