Skill Mastery: Mark of Blood

Daniel Whitcomb
D. Whitcomb|10.19.08

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Skill Mastery: Mark of Blood

While Blood is not quite as as powerful as it once was, it remains, at the least, a solid DPS tree and one quite a few Death Knights will probably choose to level with. The wide array of self healing abilities means that a Blood Death Knight has a very hard time dying, and nothing interrupts a good grinding session quite like a death.

In Skill Mastery today, we'll look at one of the Blood Death Knight's signature talent abilities, the 21-point talent Mark of Blood. Mark of Blood is placed on an enemy, and every time that enemy deals damage, their target is healed for 4% of their max health. It costs 1 Blood Rune. It lasts for 30 seconds, and has a cool down of 3 minutes.

It's a straightforward skill to use. Throw it on your target and keep fighting. Using it effectively, however, may take a little bit of thought. Here's some tips to figuring out the best way and time to make your mark:
  • The heal comes on a per hit basis. That means you're best off using it on enemies who attack quickly. In PvP, that means Cat Druids and Rogues will absolutely hate this ability. This also means that slow hitting enemies won't be affected as much, especially if they hit hard enough to do more than 4% of your or your teammates max health per a swing.
  • You're not the only one who gets healed. Anyone who gets attacked by the mob gets healed. This means it may be worth throwing on a loose mob for an emergency heal of sorts on the healer its beating up. It also means that if you have an enemy who hits multiple targets a lot or is known to drop aggro and go for the tank, the mark will help take the edge off of that.
  • Remember that it is a magic debuff. That means it can be cleansed or dispelled. If there's a Paladin or Priest nearby, or a mob with a dispel ability, you may find that using the mark is an exercise in futility.
  • For the mark to work, the enemy has to be doing damage. That means that in PvP, your target can just withdraw for a while and wait for the mark to wear off (which is still pretty cool, that means they aren't damaging you, after all). Also, if you're fighting an enemy that stops doing damage at points (Think, for example, the second boss of Botanica and his Tranquility spell), you may want to save the Mark.
  • It has a 3 minute cool down. When you really need some extra healing, 3 minutes is an eternity. Be sure to try to think 3 minutes into the future, and figure out if you're going to be fighting an enemy who needs to be marked, or if you'd get enough benefit from marking your current enemy to make up for those 2 minutes and 30 seconds between the fading and the cool down refreshing.
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