Unholy Death Knight Overview
Welcome to the Unholy Death Knight Guide, updated for World of Warcraft Legion Patch 7.2! This guide is currently updated and maintained by
. I've been a raider in various DPS capacities for 9 years, and am currently 7/10M in Nighthold. You can also find me on
This guide was originally written by
Midwinter on Sargeras-US
. You can learn more about him on his
For more Death Knight discussion, visit the Death Knight
, or ask our guide writers questions on
For additional class and community Discord links
visit our Discord Servers page
Share your own spec guide using our new
class guide system
Rotation & Abilities
Macros & Addons
Changes from Warlords of Draenor to Legion
With Legion, there were a bunch of changes made to existing classes and Unholy got a lot of changes. Take a look at what was removed or reworked.
Abilities removed or reworked in the transition of Warlords of Draenor to Legion:
(Now a PvP Talent),
(Now a Frost Talent),
(Now a Blood talent),
(Frost Only), Frost Presence,
, Necrotic Plague,
(now an Artifact Trait for VP),
(Blood PvP Talent), and
As you can see a lot has changed and most of it is for the better.
All Death Knights now have a 1.5 second global cooldown that is reduced by haste. Compared to the non-scaling 1.0 second global cooldown that we had in Warlords of Draenor, this can make the spec feel somewhat slow.
Instead of having the standard 2 Unholy 2 Blood 2 Frost runes with the ability to convert them to death runes, we now have 6 Death Runes. Abilities now cost death runes and there is no restriction on the abilities you can cast.
is a new and very important mechanic being introduced. When you
, you now apply 2-4
with a maximum of 8 on the target. You pop these by using
, and when you get it, your artifact ability
Out with the old, and in with the new: We have a new disease. Applied by
is a 33 second dot that ticks every 1.5 seconds. It also has a chance to deal AOE damage to all nearby targets every time it ticks.
With the removal of
for Frost and Unholy, you have a new way to AoE. When are standing in your own
, you gain a buff that allows your
to hit everything in an 8 yard radius around your target.
Legion brings in a lot of new changes, one of them being the talent trees. With this rework, you no longer have the option to select your rune regeneration talent and get
Instead of having to cast 5
s to be able to use
, it is now a 60 second cooldown with a talent that can reduce the cooldown.
Our new movement speed ability is
has been removed.
Another fairly minor but important change is that
now costs 35 runic power instead of 30.
What makes Unholy Special
Legion Melee DPS Overview
Commanders of undead armies. Bringers of Plague, Famine, and Death. Unholy Death Knights use their minions and diseases to leave destruction in their wake.
Unholy Death Knights use Runes, Runic Power, and Festering Wounds as resources.
which costs a rune will generate runic power, which you can then spend on abilities like
generates Festering Wounds, which are spent by abilities like
Unfortunately, Death Knights are the least mobile of all the melee. However, we do have
Unholy Death Knights can do quite a bit of AoE damage. With the powerful ticking damage of their dot, their transformed pet's ability to strike all nearby enemies,, as well as the spreading effect of Death and Decay and Scourge Strike, they can unleash heavy sustained area damage,
are your main form of defensives.
is your artifact weapon as a Unholy Death Knight.
Death Knights gain 3 unique mounts to their class.
Opening Single Target burst damage is a Unholy Death Knight specialty. Within a few seconds of a boss encounter, when using the right rotation, they can do a massive amount of Single Target damage. They also do exceptionally well in extended AoE situations.
AoE ability - We have very strong AOE burst windows.
Initial Burst - We can put out a very respectable amount of burst damage of a single target in the first 30-40 seconds on an encounter
Cleave - We have very strong cleave damage on secondary targets, via a variety of talent options and standard ability combinations.
Decent Survivability - Although a lot of defensive cooldowns were taken away from the
, we still have some of the best survivability in the game with
, and the option to talent into either
RNG - With the introduction of mandatory
artifact trait, and the
artifact trait, Unholy now has a very high reliance on rng to do single target and burst damage.
Low Mobility - Along with Paladins, Death Knights are now one of the slowest classes in the game. We now have
on a 45 second cooldown that lasts for 3 seconds.
Every race except for Pandaren can play a Death Knight.
Death Knights can use polearms, axes, maces, and swords.
Death Knights start off at level 55.
Iconic Unholy Death Knight abilities:
: Increases all Shadow damage done by 18%.
Not sure what race to play? Below is a breakdown of each race for this spec among players with updated
. Data is updated once per week.
Death Knights have the special mounts
They have the unique transmog set from their starter zone with an invisible belt.
They can equip the legendaries
: teaches Corpse Explosion. Sold by
in Acherus for .
They have a special zone
, which they can return to with
can also return you to the closest respawn point in the zone you last used it from, including inside raids and instances.
How to Use This Guide
Navigate between topics using the guide menu in the upper right hand of each specific guide page.
Follow the database links for more detailed information on spells and items. Our spell pages include many technical details as well as a log of changes for each data build and recent hotfixes.
If you import your character into Wowhead's
and Pin the character, you will get personalized gear recommendations when you browse the items database.
Corrected Changed/Removed Abilities for Legion
Updated Unholy Death Knight Strengths and Weaknesses
Grammar and spelling correction pass
Quick Tips for Melee DPS in Hellfire Citadel
All Transmog Sets for Death Knights
Legion Death Knight Changes
Blood Death Knight Overview
Frost Death Knight Overview
Guide to Melee DPS
Beast Mastery Hunter Artifact Challenge Guide
Holy Paladin Artifact Challenge
Retribution Artifact Challenge: The God-Queen's Fury
Warlords of Draenor Druid Changes
Elementals in Draenor: An In-Depth Guide to Elemental Shaman
Wrath Timewalking Guide
Mage Tower Building
Command Center Building
Nether Disruptor Building
Unholy Death Knight Artifact Challenge Guide
Warlords of Draenor Follower Guide
Heirloom Collections Guide
Warlords of Draenor Legendary Ring Guide
Hidden Artifact Weapon Appearances and Effects
Draenor Pathfinder: How To Unlock Flying in Draenor
Cathedral of Eternal Night Dungeon Strategy Guide
Legion Assaults - Defender of the Broken Isles Guide
Pet Battle Dungeon and 7.2 Pets
WoW's 10th Anniversary (November 21 - January 13)
Mists of Pandaria: Cooking Overview
[Enjoying our collection of Guides? Try
to support the site, get an ad-free experience, and get premium features!]
Final Fantasy XI
© 2017 ZAM Network LLC