Hi there, fellow masters of decay and pestilence! Our Unholy Death Knight DPS guide has everything you need to know to overcome any obstacles that the game may throw your way. We'll cover all aspects of the Unholy DK, including abilities, talents, equipment, and consumables, to help you enhance your gameplay. Whether you're a seasoned veteran or a beginner, our guide is tailored to meet your needs. You can jump straight to the section you're interested in, but we recommend reading the guide in its entirety if you're new to the class. Let's not delay any further, and begin our journey towards mastering the Unholy Death Knight!
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Unholy Death Knight Pros and Cons
Every specialization in World of Warcraft comes with its own set of pros and cons, and the Unholy Death Knight is no exception. If you're considering switching to this specialization, it's crucial to familiarize yourself with its strengths and weaknesses.
By understanding the strengths of the Unholy Death Knight from the outset, you'll be better prepared to make the most of this specialization. They include:
- AoE Ability: The Unholy Death Knight boasts impressive AoE burst windows, making it a force to be reckoned with in large pulls.
- Execute Burn: This specialization has one of the most potent execute burns in the game, particularly when paired with Bloodlust.
- Initial Burst: The Unholy Death Knight can deal a significant amount of burst damage to a single target in the first 30-40 seconds of an encounter.
- Great Survivability: With an abundance of active and passive defensives at its disposal, the Unholy Death Knight is well-equipped to endure tough battles.
Despite its many strengths, playing as an Unholy DK does come with some potential downsides that players should be aware of. These include:
- Target-Switching: Unholy DKs may have difficulty quickly changing targets due to the long set-up and ramp-up times required to deal significant single-target damage.
- Limited Mobility: Compared to other melee classes, Unholy DKs (along with Paladins) may have slower mobility, which can be a disadvantage in certain situations.
- Limited Mythic+ Utility: In Mythic+ dungeons, Unholy DKs may not have access to the same range of tools and abilities as other classes, which can make them less in-demand for certain groups.
Despite these potential drawbacks, Unholy DKs remain a powerful choice for players who enjoy dealing high amounts of DPS and have a knack for strategy and survival.
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Unholy Death Knight Basics
The Unholy Death Knight is a plate-wearing DPS specialization that wields a two-handed weapon and specializes in using diseases, pets, and shadow damage to decimate their enemies. This formidable spec summons hordes of undead minions, inflicts multiple diseases on foes, and unleashes explosive waves of shadow damage to take down packs of enemies. With their powerful burst damage capabilities in both single target and AoE situations, the Unholy Death Knight is a force to be reckoned with on the battlefield. BLOG20
Unholy Death Knight Abilities
As with other DK specs, our primary resources are Runic Power and Runes. Runes are the basic building blocks, and we have six of them generating passively over time. It takes 10 seconds for them to recharge, but haste can decrease this time. These Runes are needed for several abilities, including Festering Strike, Scourge Strike, and Army of the Dead. By using these Runes, we can generate Runic Power, with each Rune spent generating 10. Runic Power is what we spend on abilities such as Death Coil and Epidemic.
Outlined below are the most renowned spells and abilities for the Unholy Death Knight:
- Festering Strike: Inflicts moderate damage while afflicting the target with 2-3 Festering Wounds, which can stack up to 6 times. When ruptured, the wounds inflict damage on the enemy. This ability can be talented to grant Runic Power upon rupture (Replenishing Wounds) and deal damage to nearby enemies (Bursting Sores).
- Scourge Strike: Deals a combination of Shadow and Physical damage to the enemy by rupturing a Festering Wound. When cleaving in Death and Decay, a Festering Wound will burst for each enemy hit.
- Outbreak: Expends 1 Rune and infects the target and all enemies within an 8-yard radius with Virulent Plague. This is the primary method of transmitting disease unless Unholy Blight has been talented.
- Death Coil: A Runic Power-costing spell that delivers instantaneous damage to an enemy or heals an undead ally.
- Dark Transformation: Enhances your primary ghoul, amplifying its damage by 300% and upgrading its abilities, as well as providing it with 100 energy.
- Death Grip: A signature utility spell of Death Knights that compels an enemy to relocate to your position. This ability is highly beneficial in Mythic+ dungeons for repositioning casters and archers and can be critical in specific raid encounters.
- Death’s Advance: The mobility spell of Unholy Death Knights that offers a moderate speed boost and protects against knockbacks. It is exceptionally beneficial in the current raid setting.
It's important to emphasize that your spellbook contains a vast array of abilities beyond what is listed here. Taking the time to study and master your rotational skills and cooldowns is crucial. While target dummies can be helpful for practice, real-world experience in challenging content is unbeatable.
One way to put your skills to the test and acquire valuable gear is by participating in Mythic+ dungeons. However, attempting to gear up or attain a high M+ score as a solo DPS in random groups can be overwhelming and unpleasant. Fortunately, we offer a solution to this problem with our Mythic Carry services. Our team of skilled players will complete all Dragonflight dungeons on your behalf, ensuring that you receive the necessary gear and score to excel in your future endeavors.
Unholy Death Knight Stat Priority
Now let's look at Unholy Death Knight stats. As an Unholy DK, your Strength is paramount and should be your main focus. Nonetheless, secondary stats have their unique benefits that can aid your gameplay. Critical Strike augments your damage output, while Haste accelerates your Global Cooldowns (GCD) and increases your rune recharge rate, improving the proc rate of talents and items. Mastery heightens both your shadow damage and minion damage. Versatility diminishes the damage you take while also enhancing the damage you deal.
Although secondary stats are generally evenly matched in value, except for Versatility, you should prioritize item level when choosing equipment. If the item levels of two items are close, here is a priority list that can help you determine which is best:
The generic stat priority is the following:
Our priority for stat allocation is Haste as our minions scale remarkably well with this stat. In particular, Summon Gargoyle receives significant benefits as we add more casts.
When we engage in fights with multiple targets, our Mastery gains more value as a lot of our area-of-effect (AoE) damage is Shadow damage, which is amplified by Mastery. Additionally, Haste loses its importance as many of the spells and abilities it enhances do not scale in AoE situations.
Although this priority list serves as a useful starting point, it's crucial to recognize that the significance of stats can vary as you acquire new gear. To determine if an item is an improvement, the most effective approach is to sim your character. Generally, prioritizing item level and occasionally checking your stat priority should be adequate for most cases.
Best PvE Unholy Death Knight Builds
Dragonflight has introduced an updated talent system, which allows players to create and personalize multiple character builds to their liking. This new system provides remarkable flexibility for a variety of encounters, as well as promoting experimentation, which was the developers' intent.
By adhering to the suggestions provided and saving your preferred builds in your talent templates, your character will be prepared to face any challenge that may arise in World of Warcraft. However, it is vital to understand that even if you have the perfect build, success is not guaranteed. Despite being a formidable Unholy Death Knight, long queues, unexpected key leavers, and irritating PUG experiences can all slow down your progress. If you are looking to expedite things, we suggest you Buy Dragonflight Boost services. We offer a wide range of boost services to help you reach your goals faster. With so many options available, you are certain to find a service that meets your requirements.
Unholy Death Knight Raid Build
This will generally be your go-to raiding build in Dragonflight. It emphasizes pet damage, going all the way down to Commander of the Dead to really gain that big burst. It deals an insane amount of opening burst, as well as peaking every 3 minutes when both your Summon Gargoyle and Army of the Dead comes up and align with your other cooldowns.
Unholy Death Knight Mythic+ Build
This build is a really versatile build that deals great damage at any target count. Your primary goal is to apply your Virulent Plague, keep 100% uptime on Plaguebringer and spam Epidemic as much as possible. There are dungeons where you actually opt out of Epidemic and just use Death Coil instead. You can also build into more single target by going into Summon Gargoyle but I'd only recommend that for tyrannical weeks in dungeons with really low target counts. The default build does really well in single target as well:
Best Unholy Death Knight PvP Build
Unholy Death Knights are a formidable force in combat, combining sustained pressure with exceptional utility. Their sustained pressure is derived from the multitude of damage sources available to them, including up to two diseases, a permanent ghoul, multiple summonable pets, wounds bursting, melee attacks, and powerful cooldowns. This makes their damage output difficult to evade, and thus healing through it becomes a challenge for opposing teams.
Moreover, Unholy Death Knights possess a unique toolkit that includes some of the most potent tools for stopping casters in the game, such as Death Grip, Mind Freeze, Leap, Asphyxiate, and Gnaw. Although managing this array of abilities can be challenging for inexperienced players, the payoff is massive.
This is the default build you should use:
We recommend taking these three PvP talents based on the situation you are facing:
- Raise Abomination: This talent offers high value from a single cooldown and can create a powerful burst window.
- Strangulate: It is an impactful crowd control effect that can be useful in various scenarios.
- Necrotic Wounds: It is a potent Mortal Wounds-type effect that can stack with similar effects.
- Necrotic Aura is a straightforward talent that increases the magical damage taken by enemies within an 8-yard radius of you.
- Doomburst is another synergistic talent that works well with current effects that occur when a wound is burst.
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Unholy Death Knight Best in Slot Gear
When evaluating the effectiveness of an item for your Unholy Death Knight, it's important to take into account the type of content you're participating in, whether it be PvP or PvE, as well as the other items you have equipped. To get an accurate assessment of a gear's value, we highly recommend utilizing simulations to determine its exact worth.
Prioritizing items with the highest item level is key since they offer the most primary stat, Strength. Once this is achieved, you can then focus on the stat priority we previously discussed to further optimize your character.
Raid and Mythic+ Best in Slot Gear for Frost Death Knight
It's worth noting that raiding in Dragonflight may not be the quickest way to gear up your character. If your goal is to obtain gear quickly, we recommend exploring other options such as crafting or Mythic+.
To help you out, we have compiled the theoretically best gear set from various sources:
While the above list can certainly improve your character's power, focusing too much on it may not always be the best approach. While it may be tempting to strive for the "mathematically best" options, many of the items listed have more accessible alternatives that offer similar benefits.
Moreover, game developers regularly make changes to the game and introduce new gearing options, rendering previous BiS lists obsolete with each patch. As a result, players must consistently update their strategies and equipment.
It's crucial to keep in mind that proper execution of rotations, extensive knowledge of encounters, and effective communication and coordination with teammates can often result in much higher DPS than any equipment piece on this list. While gear is an essential aspect, it's only one component of the bigger picture.
The Best Upgrade, Spark of Dreams, and Embellishment Options for Unholy Death Knight
Dreaming Crests have been introduced as a new currency to replace Valor, Flightstones, and other forms of currencies that were previously used to upgrade items. One of the most significant advantages of Dreaming Crests is that they allow players to upgrade specific raid gears as well.
For optimal upgrades, we recommend the following choices:
Since Dreaming Crests are a limited currency, Unholy Death Knights should prioritize upgrading trinkets first. After that, it's generally a good idea to upgrade the weapon, but it's best to simulate your character to determine the best DPS value per unit of Flightstone.
After acquiring the Spark of Dreams, it's recommended to craft the following items at the highest item level possible. Keep in mind that you can use the recrafting system to increase the item level later on if desired. Once you've crafted your best pieces, use sparks to improve slots that have lower item level pieces to increase your average item level. The recommended items to craft are:
- Allied Wristguard of Companionship;
- Vibrant Wildercloth Shawl with Shadowflame-Tempered Armor Patch;
- Primal Molten Vambraces with Blue Silken Lining.
When it comes to Unholy Death Knights, crafting items with Embellishments can provide them with unique properties and effects, in addition to regular stats. Keep in mind that only two pieces of gear with Embellishments can be worn at a time. With that said, the best Embellishments for Unholy Death Knights are:
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Best Unholy Death Knight Enchants and Consumables
To show your dedication and knowledge of your class, it's essential to have the right enchantments on your gear, which can help maximize your character's power. To assist you in making informed decisions when selecting enchantments for your gear in Dragonflight, we have curated a list of the top enchantments available. Following this list can help you stand out from other players and showcase your expertise in the game:
|Equipment Slot||Optimal Choice|
|Weapon||Rune of the Fallen Crusader|
|Bracers||Devotion of Speed|
|Legs||Fierce Armor Kit|
|Ring||Devotion of Haste|
Choosing between the phial options for Unholy Death Knights requires consideration of your character's current stats. The Phial of Elemental Chaos and the Phial of Tepid Versatility are both great choices, but it's important to simulate your character first to determine which one is the most suitable.
To achieve success in both raiding and Mythic+ scenarios, it's recommended that Unholy Death Knights consume the Elemental Potion of Ultimate Power. Additionally, it's a good idea to carry enough Refreshing Healing Potions, with the option of Potion of Withering Vitality in dire situations.
To boost your performance, you should enchant your weapon with a Howling Rune and indulge in a Grand Banquet of the Kalu'ak before each pull. For your gems, you want to equip an epic gem like the Fierce Illimited Diamond, and fill in the rest of the slots with Keen Ysemerald.
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WoW Unholy Death Knight Rotation Guide
Let's delve into the gameplay mechanics and discuss how to play Unholy Death Knight. Just like with any other skill, practice is crucial to attaining proficiency, so it's advisable to practice on target dummies before engaging in real battles.
Unholy Death Knight Single Target Opener
- Army of the Dead as you run towards the boss;
- Outbreak to apply Virulent Plague;
- Festering Strike;
- Summon Gargoyle + Potion;
- Dark Transformation;
- Death Coil (at least 3 times and maximum 4 times);
- Unholy Assault + Racial + Trinket;
- Empower Rune Weapon;
Unholy Death Knight Core Single Target Rotation and Priority
- Soul Reaper if your target is below 35% health;
- Unholy Blight/Outbreak to keep 100% uptime on Virulent Plague;
- Death Coil if you are about to cap Runic Power (80+);
- Festering Strike if you have 2 or fewer Festering Wounds;
- Scourge Strike if you have 3 or more Festering Wounds;
- Death Coil.
Unholy Death Knight AoE Rotation and Priority
Here is what your opener should look like on packs:
- Scourge Strike to start your Plaguebringer window;
- Unholy Blight or Outbreak to apply your Diseases;
- Use your cooldowns. Dark Transformation, Unholy Assault, Apocalypse;
- Dump Epidemic until Plaguebringer needs refreshing (1 second left);
- Death and Decay + Scourge Strike;
- Dump Epidemic;
- Scourge Strike to generate a ton more RP;
- Dump Epidemic.
After this point, you can use a second Death and Decay to keep cleaving. If you don't have it, simply use Festering Strike to build wounds, Scourge Strike to burst them and Epidemic to do the actual damage.
Unholy Death Knight Leveling Guide
The Unholy Death Knight specialization is an effective option for leveling up, as it allows for the simultaneous engagement of multiple enemies, eliminating them with cleave attacks, and rapidly restoring health using the abundant Dark Succor ability. In situations where progress is sluggish, Death Grip can be utilized to pull targets towards you, instead of requiring you to approach them.
To assist in getting started, the following talent arrangement is suggested for leveling purposes:
As you begin your journey towards reaching level 70, here are some helpful consumables to consider:
- Boost your stats and experience with Draught of Ten Lands.
- For a temporary boost in power, use the Spectral Flask of Power if you have some spare gold or Shadowlands stock left.
- Improve your weapon's performance with Shaded Sharpening Stones or Shaded Weightstones, providing a small yet effective damage boost at a low cost.
- Following a successful battle, consume Fried Bonefish to gain a slight increase in speed.
Regarding leveling rotations, there are no specific ones that vary from the general rotation. For spell recommendations, refer to the previous section.
Well done on leveling up your Unholy Death Knight! Your journey in World of Warcraft has just begun, and reaching the level cap presents you with a plethora of exciting opportunities to explore. However, with so many options available, it can be overwhelming to navigate. If you require any assistance with your newly-leveled character, we recommend taking a look at our World of Warcraft Boosting services. Our team of expert players will complete these services promptly, offering unbeatable prices on the market. Allow us to enhance your WoW adventure and help you achieve the most out of your gaming experience.
The Best Primordial Stones for Unholy Death Knight
Regrettably, the Primordial Stones do not possess formidable strength. In terms of equipping them for single target, there is a 0.5% or so downgrade compared to our most exceptional rings. For AoE, this downgrade increases to 2%. Nonetheless, suppose you possess a lower ilvl ring. In that case, it is worth simulating the best combination below to determine if it could serve as an upgrade for you.
Primordial Stones for Raiding
Primordial Stones for Mythic+
How to Become a Better Unholy Death Knight in Dragonflight
Congratulations on obtaining all the essential components necessary for achieving success as an Unholy Death Knight! You've equipped properly enchanted gear, satisfied your hunger, and mastered your opener. However, if you aspire to surpass the rest, we have some advanced tips and tricks for you:
- Take the time to thoroughly read your spellbook and talent tree, including talents that might not be included in the recommended builds. Having an in-depth understanding of your spec will distinguish you as an exceptional DK.
- Do not overlook target dummy training or running low-level keys. Proper execution of complex resource management and openers necessitates muscle memory.
- Do not limit yourself to BiS lists or a specific type of content when seeking gear upgrades. Dragonflight provides equipment from various sources, which is particularly beneficial for newer players.
- Research raid strategies and dungeon routes to fulfill your responsibilities as a DPS and be a knowledgeable team member.
- Collaborate with your party and raid members by coordinating crowd control and cooldowns. Succeeding in WoW requires teamwork and communication.
- Do not be afraid to experiment! Your talents and abilities can be customized to suit your playstyle. Try different approaches and find what works best for you.
Other Articles to Read
Here at SkyCoach, our objective is to provide extensive coverage of all facets of our favorite games, including World of Warcraft. Our blog contains detailed guides and articles on a wide range of WoW specs and in-game activities.
Suppose you are interested in Unholy DK specifically. In that case, we strongly suggest you check out our Unholy Death Knight Mage Tower Guide. This exhilarating challenge, complete with exclusive rewards, will test your proficiency with this tanking spec to the limit!
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With this article, our objective was to provide an all-encompassing source of information on every aspect of Unholy Death Knight in Dragonflight. If you had any questions about Unholy DK before, we hope you have found the answers here. Our guide's recommendations are aimed at improving your gameplay and enhancing your enjoyment of WoW. However, please remember that these are only suggestions and not strict commands. You are free to experiment with different talents, rotations, and gear. Ultimately, this is a game, and we should treat it as such. That's all for now. Take care, and we'll see you in the Dragon Isles!
Are Unholy Death Knights good in Dragonflight?
Unholy DKs are definitely above average in raids, and are even better in Mythic+, often performing better than their Frost counterparts in certain scenarios. They are also formidable in PvP, making them a versatile choice for players who love this spec and want to dominate in various types of content.
Is Unholy Death Knight hard to play in WoW?
Starting out as an Unholy DK is relatively straightforward, but mastering the intricacies of this spec can be challenging at higher levels of gameplay. It takes a skilled and determined player to truly unleash the potential of an Unholy Death Knight.
What is the best weapon for an Unholy Death Knight?
Your choice of weapon should always be a Strength two-hander with the highest item level that you can grab.
What is the best profession for an Unholy Death Knight?
While having a profession is not necessary, Blacksmithing is a practical option for crafting armor and weapons for yourself. Herbalism and Mining can also be lucrative choices for generating gold.
Is Unholy Death Knight good in PvE WoW?
Unholy DKs may not provide a unique raid buff, but they are still a viable choice for all forms of content. They are known for its ability to dish out high amounts of damage, particularly in scenarios that involve Burst, AoE, or Execute damage, or a combination of these factors.
What is the best rotation for an Unholy Death Knight?
To play an Unholy DK effectively, it's crucial to master your resources and understand how to sequence your spells. Our guide's Unholy Death Knight rotation section provides all the necessary information to get you started on the path to mastery.