Feedback: Death Knight Hero Talents in The War Within

Please check out the preview and let us know what you think in this thread.

The tree looks fine, with good ideas all around, EXCEPT for the addition of making Vampiric Blood an offensive cooldown. This concept of turning a tank defensive ability into an offensive ability is awful, and has been attempted to be implemented more than once over the course of this games life. Every time, it has been received negatively. It is not fun to be incentivized to use your best, most valuable defensive ability in an offensive manner. It is simply counterintuitive to the tank role.

Please, remove Vampiric Blood as being the activation ability. Please stop using tank defensive abilities, or defensive abilities in general from any specialization, as a way to do more damage. It is not fun.

Thank you.


its a whole expansion we are sending feedbacks as DKS and there is almost 0changes in our talent tree and core class tree .
Now you Want to sell Next Expansion and you Remember we are Alive?!
Just a simple Feedback is that As Bdk 60%of our talents are literally Useless and no one picked them for a whole Expansion and nothing changed.
This Game is not only About Raid and Stupid Logs this game also have M+ plz design class considering that next time .


Hello there,

Overall the tree looks nice, especially with some added party utility, yay… Feels more like a win for Blood than Unholy though. I am not entirely happy with “Blood-Soaked Groud” talent, which implies that we will continue using Death and Decay in all situations possible (using DND in single target is yikes).

I do wish for a complete class rework though, without seeing Death and Decay and half the other meaningless buttons on my bars anymore (ok, maybe DND is still unholy spec fantasy). New talents to choose from are always good, but without a core gameplay revisit, I won’t probably main DK anymore. I am just tired of getting Carpal tunnel syndrome as the only reward for doing raids/M+ as unholy.

You did fine with rets, havocs, rogues, and mages, now it’s time for DK to receive the love. I do seriously hope for something more than “Sh**, we need to quickly design a new talent tree for DK, we need to sell it as an Expansion feature lol, let’s change 1 ability during burst window, it will be fiiine”.



I see you put a lot of work into all the trees and appreciate it, they seem to mostly fit the goals you set out for them and with some tweaks and reworks here and there (where people mentioned issues in other posts across websites and forums both eu and us) they will be an alright addition to the existing talent trees.

My feedback will focus on something else entirely which I recognize will likely be way too late to implement into the game already.

I feel that as of how these talents are made they are not particularly exiciting, I get that some visual changes to your abilities + additional buffs/effects can be cool and do all sort of things for player immersion but they are just not that exciting.

Instead I would love you to focus all that work into creating hybrid specializations for the classes. I envision them as new specs as I think that is where they can shine most. I imagine a San’layn death knight being a spec that takes blood manipulation and unholy diseases and merges them together to assume either tanking or dpsing role based on the talents it takes.

This would likely be extremely resource consuming to do for every class and spec and could end up confusing but oh boy would that be exciting for players.

In my mind its good enough if you reuse existing stuff for this which would reduce the cost required to make these, reuse existing abilities from both spec, add twists and custom talents like you already did with the hero talent tree and suddenly you have a new spec. Would it be fun enough? Would it be worth the cost? I don’t know, all I know is that I would be infitely more excited for something like this. Unfortunately, current idea for hero talents is just ok.

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The tree looks mostly fine as a first draft. But I find the concept of Essence of the Blood Queen extremely ironic given your stated goal of “trying not to add things like complex maintenance buffs that increase the cognitive load for everyone playing a class”.

I’m usually fine with maintenance buffs, but when it’s haste the gameplay will feel extremely bad when it’s not up. If I remember my probabilities correctly, at 15% chance of triggering a Vampiric Strike, after 10 Death Strikes/Coils we’ll have a 50% chance of activating EotBQ. This would mean that we won’t have a guaranteed refresh within 20 seconds.

I would really love to see a full move away from Death and Decay, it wasnt fun standing in a rune as mage, and its not fun doing that in any of the dk specs either, other than that it looks promising, but stop making talents and stuff that make dk’s favor always standing in a circle, cause it will cause issues with pathing on bosses and in m+


WoW blue post adressing DK … :slight_smile:
Sanlaying looks promising, but again i see some dead talents. Admit that nobody will take ‘‘newly turned’’, also vampiric aura sound not bad but realy it does nothing, many players have leech between 0-3 % so 100% its not so impactful…
Good thing San’layin is not only defensive tree what i was afraid off

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I think it looks fine, but as several others have mentioned I don’t want us to get even more dependant on Death and Decay in every situation; If anything I would rather see Death and Decay replaced with something else all together that doesn’t require us to mark an area for in which we can deal acceptable damage. Same goes for Frost.


I’m going to give feedback from the PoV of a DPS dk main, who mostly raids and plays at a fairly competitive level.

First of all, I do quite like the idea of the tree. Vampiric strike as a concept, doing damage based on disease damage and these effects being amplified during our 45 second cooldown are all good ideas.

However, I think there are missteps being made in how these ideas are implemented.

Vampiric Strike
Like I said, it’s an interesting concept. However, a 10% proc rate on DC is just not really it. I’d much rather see this be increase threefold, or it will just be far to rare an occurance. As it stands this will proc around one in thirty of our casts (assuming DC is about 33% of casts), which just feels very underwhelming, especially considering how long stacking the haste buff would take w/o taking Gif into consideration.

Blood-Soaked Ground
I think I speak for probably every single DK in the world here, please stop putting so much power behind Defile. I would say DND but if this talent goes live as it is, nobody would ever use DND anymore because you’d be pigeonholed into played defile on every fight. On top of that, the effect is pretty underwhelming, this would proc once every 20 DC cast on average, while inside of DND/defile (so, probably more like every 40 DC casts on average).

Infliction of Sorrow
Probably one of the most requested DK changes/builds is in regards to disease gameplay. This sort of does that, however it has a few big issues in it. First of all, as it stands, pressing outbreak is just not it. It’s already barely worth it and we only maintain it because of brittle. Now sure, this would make pressing outbreak more worth it again, however as outbreak is not a very fun button to press even with this change, it will just lead to frustration.
Second issue with this is that it could potentially lead to use wanting to refresh our disease right before pressing Vampiric Strike, and then pressing outbreak again right after, leading to even worse gameplay.
In my opinion, the effect during gift (20% of the remaining damage, not really the extension part), should be what this talent does baseline. Less annoying gameplay (still the possibility of outbreak before VS) and you could keep the extension for during DT.

The Blood of Life
This feels like a very strange and mismatched talent, essentially a proc on a proc. I personally don’t think procs on top of procs ever feel good. These beasts will also be uncontrollable and would be prone to proccing at the worst possible times.

Incite Terror
I genuinely do not understand the point of this talent. It makes it seem like you expect the Essence of the Blood Queen to drop off (which it might, considering my earlier comment on proc rate), which just seems like terrible gameplay in general. To then have this talent only for that not to happen, seems like a bit of missed potential to me personally.

Sanguine Scent
This is a cool talent in my opinion, I love some more execute. Assuming VS works with all SS modifiers, it will also hit super hard. However, does this talent then also consume your diseases? I think that would feel awful. You’d end up potentially having to re-apply diseases a crazy amount during execute which, for aforementioned reasons, will lead to unfun gameplay.

Pact of the San’layn
As I don’t think the blood beast itself is very interesting, I also don’t think this talent is very interesting.

Overall, as I said at the start of my post, I do really like the idea and vibe of this tree. VS has potential and imo it does play into unholy quite well with the strong 45s window (especially if 2x magus ends up being a talent, which is should, btw). I also really dig the execute aspect of the tree. I hope you take my feedback to heart and we get to play a cool vampire DK on the beta without having to re-apply diseases an excessive amount of time.

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I generally like the Tree’s Idea, but similar to above, I think there are a few issues that might need to be addressed and some things I’m not quite sure on how they will be implemented.

Vampiric Strike
How exactly does this interact with Clawing Shadows? It reads as if the original spell is replaced by Vampiric Strike, so I hope the range and damage conversion to full shadow still work when playing Clawing Shadows while being a San’layn. I assume this is addressed and will work without issue though.

Also, the proc rate for this seems incredibly low. As Unholy, i would expect to get , on average, one proc every 45s. Assuming we’re in DT for ~20s, that leaves 25s where we’re able to proc Vampiric Strike. In those 25s, we get maybe 30 GCDs, roughly 10 of which would be spent on Death Coil. With a 10% chance, this results in a single proc between DT windows, seems a little low for the core mechanic that’s just a small heal and , with this proc rate, a 1.5% haste buff once in a while.

Blood-Soaked Ground
Just seems somewhat pointless as Unholy, especially in single Target. If you want to use DND at all, it’s during CDs where you’re already using Vampiric Strike by default, since you’re in DT and thus in Gift of the San’layn. Either this has no effect at all for Unholy, or it forces you into Defile, both don’t seem like great options.

Vampiric Speed
This seems horrible. The Personal increase for Death’ss Advance might be sizeable, but Wraith Walk is already a much bigger modifier, slapping the same 10% on seems somewhat redundant.
The same goes for the ally buff. 20% for 5s seems like nothing, either it should be a short burst of speed, or a longer, small buff. I think a duration like 15-20s would fit a lot better and make the ally portion worthwhile.

Infliction of Sorrow
I welcome the intention of disease gameplay and strongly support some form of it, but this implementation has issues, most of which is covered in the reply right above.

At it’s core, it seems fun though, providing a hard hitting button that deals a big chunk of damage right on button press seems like something many Unholy players would want once in a while.

To me there’s also the open question if this works correctly with Plaguebringer, since that is technically a buff on the player and not part of the ,remaining disease" on the target. Some clarification would be welcome here.
The same goes for Frost Fever if Superstrain is talented. Would all diseases be consumed, or would only VP or VP/Blood Plague be consumed?

For Blood, there is the issue of Coagulopathy, which is currently included in every single build. Consuming Blood Plague fully comes with the tradeoff of not getting the Damage AMP it provides.

Fully consuming a disease just doesn’t seem to function great with current Blood and Unholy Designs, some adjustments to accound for that, either on the Hero Talents or on the Class Trees might be needed. Would feel pretty bad if this talent could lead to damage losses in some scenarios, even without player errors, which it looks like it has the potential to with the current iteration.

On a short side note: It seems weird to me that a Tree that introduces Disease Gameplay also buffs haste as it’s core mechanic, which DK diseases STILL do not scale with. This seems like a good time to mention it in hopes we finally get our diseases to scale with haste. Virulent Plague lost the Bonus effect it had, which I believe to be the reason DK diseases didn’t scale with Haste for a long time, so I see no reason not to change it by now.

Visceral Regeneration
This just seems redundant. Unholy already has too many ressource Talents that we never take and that should frankly be removed from the spec tree, since we do not have a use for these potential additional ressources. This just leads to overcapping in the current state.

Blood is in a similar spot, so it would just lead to overcapping for both Specs the Hero Tree is tied to, in their current state.

Incite Terror
The existence of this node worries me. It implies that additional Vampiric Strikes do not refresh the Duration of Esssence, but only extend it. Even if it gets refreshed by additional Vampiric Strikes, you’d still drop the buff if you’re unlucky enough.
So you’d need a whooping 7 Vampiric Strikes to build the Buff back up again, with little agency outside of DT, this doesn’t seem great for the ,core" mechanic of this Tree.
This could be somewhat addressed in Gift of the San’layn:

Gift of the San’layn
This Talent should give you max Stacks of ,Essence of the Blood Queen". This would circumvent the same issues Unholys Abberus Set had in it’s initial Iterations, where we would want to delay our opener to first build a few stacks of the buff or have a far weaker opener since we have to play without our buff.
Alternatively, this will once again complicate the Unholy opener in some way, especially since a haste buff is subject to pet inheritance delays, so once again, opener shenanigans are likely to happen for us.

Also, tying it to Vampiric Blood for Blood really isn’t the play.
Blood already has a defensive CD that’s used offensively in Dancing Rune Weapon, forcing another decision between Offensive and Defensive usage on yet another CD doesn’t seem much fun. Especially if , from an offensive perspective, you’d want to stack them for the most gain.

Vampiric Aura
Again, seems weird that Unholy gets Leech utility, when Pets still heal themselves, not the player via Leech. Pet classes scale horribly with leech, I hope this can be addressed in some way, since Leech just has little Value for Unholy.

The Blood is Life
A random proc ontop of a random proc isn’t great. Also the same issue stuff like Ruptured Viscera currently, or the Shambler Legendary in Shadowlands had. A delayed explosion is VERY likely to go off after you’d want it to happen. Backloaded procs or CDs you have no or little control over just aren’t fun.

Pact of the San’layn
On top of the stuff mentioned above, this worries me for Unholy especially.
With the tendency of Unholy to play around burst, both in AoE and ST, the Value of this node is likely to fluctuate far too much depending on timing of the RNG.
This is no fun.
Unholy is not flexible enough to take advantage of a proc by reacting to it, at it’s core, this does not work with the planning and thinking ahead that’s usually core to Unholys decisionmaking.
RNG procs that very massively in value depending on when they proc, without any ability to influence the timing or react to them with gameplay is no fun at all.

Please, either rework it entirely, or make the spawns in some way predictable to allow for planning.
I’d favor a rework, since anything backloaded just hasn’t been fun with our recent experiences with other implementations.

Sanguine Scent
First, I would like to ask for a short clarification here, if possible. Is the guaranteed Crit tied to Vampiric Strike, or to DC/DS? It’s not quite clear from the tooltip to me.

This also raises the question if the Disease portion of Vampiric Strike triggered by Infliction of Sorrow is also guaranteed to crit. Would be interesting for sure, tying our disease into our execute in a small way.

In general, the Idea of the Tree seems fun, but there’s a lot that needs to be changed to make it work for both Blood and Unholy, either in Class Tree or in Hero Tree changes.

Currently, this design likely results in Unholy popping DT with 0 or maybe 1 Stack of Essence of the Blood Queen, having to ramp up Stacks as soon as possible to be able to even take advantage of the increased Haste per Stack during DT, while still wanting to use Death Coils to take advantage of the Essence of the Blood Queen Damage amp, and hoping to extend the buff long enough with Incite terror to hopefully cover most of the time to your next DT, since you won’t be interacting with it until you get your guaranteed Vampiric Strikes again. I’m not sure if you’d even want to fit Festering Strike in there somewhere. (Which would be fine, I’d like to see Wounds removed as a whole)

This also has horrible synergy with our other Pet CDs. We’ll likely still want to pop Apoc with DT, but we won’t want to build wounds during DT. So if we pop Apoc before DT, we need at least 8 GCDs, 2 for Apoc and DT, 6 for the Vampiric Strikes, ignoring potential Death Coils or Soul Reaper , so maybe around 7 Seconds to fully Stack our Haste buff. Add another ~2s for the average delay for pets to receive our updated haste, and half our CDs have run out before the Buff is fully ramped.

To me, this just seems to result in far more convoluted CD windows for Unholy, something I believe was stated was decidedly not the intention with these Trees.

Everything connected to the death and decay is really boring.
Why so much complication about hero talents have some chance there,have some chance here,have chance there wtf
Make some simple talents so people can remember what did they pick.
When u check details after arena round dk have thousand buff uptime things compared to the other clasess why you complicating things and making them luck percentage based.
Simple things are always best things.

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I honestly don’t mind defile on unholy, but it should just follow you around, like remorseless winter.

On frost dk it’s inexcusable though, it should just not exist and oblit should not cleave.

We already have the dedicated rune aoe spender, just make it baseline and increase it’s damage and rune cost.

Or make frost scythe proc on killing machine.

Please remove the whole thing about consuming your disease.

Re applying dots over and over is not fun.

At least we have blight on unholy i guess?

I don’t like any mechanic that consumes my dots though. Just get rid of that part.


Don’t make us stand in death and decay. The gameplay of that is not fun.


I really like the first draft of this hero tree, but I want to offer a few concerns on it. Mostly from a Blood perspective as that is how i play my DK.

Vampiric Aura and Vampiric Speed should be a choice node because as it stands now, both nodes are no brainer you allways take the group utility, Bloody Fortitude is the only alternative that can be justified if there is no grp damage part of the fight but there is a more threatening tank buster to live through. Newly Turned is weak all around, it is a fun, flavour talent but cannot compete with any of the other three.

Blood Soaked Ground: many dislike the reliance on DnD, I personally like the playstyle but it is very contentious. More so for UH as they don’t have near permanent DnD like blood.

Suggestions for this row: Make Vamp Aura and Vamp Speed a choice node with each other, Newly Raised either reworked to give more tangible benefits and on a choice node with Bloody Fortitude, or keep as it is and be a stand-alone. Blood Soaked Ground on a choice node with something, either an enhanced Bloody Fortitude with a small offensive part, or another now stand-alone talent maybe Visceral regeneration.

Other thing that stood out for me is Infliction of Sorrow, for Blood it is fine as it is, but for UH it is quite bothersome to reapply the disease after it consumes it, worth another look to work equally.

I would suggest following:

  • if you want to upgrade vampiric blood, do it as def/utility combo, not def/dps, like stack minor dmg reduction or mastery that overlaps/decays as vampiric ends. So that it promotes correct resource management.
  • DnD buff is cool by me as it is my most important button in M+ and I like it, because I set up pulls and coordinate group with it

My initial impression is an optimistic one for raids this certainly adds to the rotation, how for M+ I feel vampiric strike may feel clunky to press at times specifically for blood dk, one way to improve this would be to increase the reward for pressing it on AOE packs, such as vampiric strike rewarding the essence buff for every enemy hit, so that when you do an AOE vampiric strike with death and decay you get a higher value proposition.

Somehow making dancing rune weapon a stronger cooldown by making it synergize instead of other blood cooldowns.

i would of course like for the entire class to get an update in it’s core gameplay, as i’ve begrudgingly talked about before, we’ve had outdated legion mechanics for 6+ years, while other classes has gotten near total reworks of specs for less

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Idk seems like a decent change to me, especially in pvp.

Perhaps at face value, but the problem is that it has already been tried more than once, and it has already received very negative feedback. A defensive cooldown becoming offensive is never a good idea, especially in more difficult content.
These talents should not be geared towards one type of content, whether it be PvP or PvE, and making Vampiric Blood an offensive cooldown is not good for PvE.