Unholy Death Knight Overview
Welcome to the Unholy Death Knight Guide, updated for World of Warcraft Legion Patch 7.3! This guide is currently updated and maintained by
, who has been a raider in various DPS capacities for 9 years, and is currently 7/10M in Nighthold (His guild is 9/10, I missed two kills). You can also find him on
This guide was originally written by
Midwinter on Sargeras-US
. You can learn more about him on his
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Rotation & Abilities
Macros & Addons
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%.
Special Class Hall Rewards
Death Knights are on the
Vanquisher Tier Token
, sharing tier tokens with
Tier 19 set:
Causing a Festering Wound to burst has a 10% chance to activate Runic Corruption.
Death Coil has a 50% chance to infect the target with a Festering Wound.
Tier 20 set:
Each ghoul summoned by Army of the Dead increases your damage dealt by 15% for 3 sec. Duration extends and does not stack.
Each rune you spend reduces the cooldown of Army of the Dead by 6.0 seconds.
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.
What makes Unholy Special
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.
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.
Target-Switching - Due to long set-up and ramp-up times for our single target damage, we have trouble changing targets on the fly.
Strong AOE is a Trade-off - When maximizing our ability to cleave, we sacrifice a chunk of our single target output.
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.
Death Knights have the special mounts
They have the unique transmog set from their starter zone with an invisible belt.
They can equip the old-world legendary items
: 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.
Changes in Patch 7.2.5
New Legendary Items:
The damage of all Unholy abilities has been increased by 5%.
now has a duration of 20 seconds (was 15 seconds).
damage has been reduced by 24%.
damage increased by 40%.
now costs 45 runic power (was 35).
now gives 2 runes (was 3).
damage increased by 38%.
now activates 1-2
s (was 1-3).
's cooldown by 7 seconds (was 5 seconds).
now procs 20% slower.
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.
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Heirloom Collections Guide
Warlords of Draenor Legendary Ring Guide
Hidden Artifact Weapon Appearances and Effects
Draenor Pathfinder: How To Unlock Flying in Draenor
Unholy Death Knight Rotation and Priorities
Unholy Death Knight Artifact: Netherlight Crucible, Traits, Relics
Unholy Death Knight Gear Recommendations
Unholy Death Knight Artifact Challenge Guide
Unholy Death Knight Gems, Enchants and Consumables
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