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Unholy Death Knight DPS Guide (Legion 7.1)

Last updated on Oct 16, 2016 at 16:41 by Vlad 304 comments

Table of Contents

General Information

Welcome to our Unholy Death Knight DPS guide for World of Warcraft Legion 7.1. Here, you will learn everything you need to know about playing an Unholy Death Knight in a raid environment and in Mythic+ dungeons.

About Our Reviewer

This guide has been reviewed and approved by Tegu, one of the best DPS Death Knights in the world, who raids in Serenity. You can follow him on Twitter, and you can watch his stream on Twitch.

1. Class Overview

The Unholy specialisation currently provides higher single target and sustained/burst AoE damage than Frost, and it is an otherwise very strong specialisation.

2. Significant Legion Changes

The Unholy specialisation has changed significantly from Warlords of Draenor.

  • The Rune System has been drastically simplified (there is now only one type of Rune, and Runes recharge individually).
  • Runic Corruption Icon Runic Corruption is now a passive ability, and is the only means of increasing Rune regeneration rate.
  • Presences have been removed.
  • Diseases are now replaced by a single DoT, Virulent Plague Icon Virulent Plague. It can only be applied/refreshed by Outbreak Icon Outbreak.
  • Festering Strike Icon Festering Strike no longer extends the duration of diseases, instead applying a new debuff called Festering Wound Icon Festering Wound.
  • Dark Transformation Icon Dark Transformation is now a simple 20-second buff to your pet, and has no more baseline interaction with Death Coil Icon Death Coil (though the tier 6 Shadow Infusion Icon Shadow Infusion talent causes Death Coil to reduce the cooldown of Dark Transformation).
  • Soul Reaper Icon Soul Reaper is now a talent.
  • Blood Boil and Empower Rune Weapon have been removed.

3. Strengths

  • Excellent burst cooldown (Dark Arbiter Icon Dark Arbiter)
  • Strong single target, AoE, and cleave DPS
  • Great AoE DPS against targets that are spread out
  • Excellent defensive cooldowns that make soaking damage easy

4. Weaknesses

  • One of the slowest-moving specs
  • A considerable random element

5. Contents

To make it easy to navigate the guide, we have split it into 7 pages:

6. ChangeLog

  • 16 Oct. 2016 (this page): Reworded a "strength" to no longer mention that Unholy does some of the best DPS, but simply that its DPS is strong.
  • 16 Oct. 2016 (artifact page): Added a note about how The Instructor's Fourth Lesson legendary bracers affect relic choice.
  • 16 Oct. 2016 (stats page): Slightly updated the Castigator stat priority.
  • 16 Oct. 2016 (gear page): Updated legendary ranking.
  • 16 Oct. 2016 (talents page): Updated certain aspects of the guide, particularly the All Will Serve and Unholy Frenzy talent discussions.
  • 16 Oct. 2016 (enchants page): Updated the enchants page, and removed the Clawing Shadows recommendations since Castigator is now clearly the favoured talent.
  • 16 Oct. 2016 (rotation page): Added a mention about how the The Instructor's Fourth Lesson legendary bracers affect the single target rotation.
  • 29 Aug. 2016 (enchants page): Updated for Legion's launch.
  • 29 Aug. 2016 (artifact page): Added.
  • 29 Aug. 2016 (this page): Updated for Legion's launch.
  • 29 Aug. 2016 (rotation page): Updated for Legion's launch.
  • 29 Aug. 2016 (talents page): Updated for Legion's launch.
  • 29 Aug. 2016 (gear page): Updated for Legion's launch.
  • 29 Aug. 2016 (stats page): Updated for Legion's launch.
  • 09 Aug. 2016 (stats page): Made a small tweak to the stat priority.
  • 03 Aug. 2016 (talents page): Updated tier 3 talent discussion to account for the nerf to Clawing Shadows.
  • 22 Jul. 2016 (this page): Added Strengths and Weaknesses.
  • 22 Jul. 2016 (rotation page): Made a clarification not to target the boss while building Runic Power before the pull for Dark Arbiter.
  • 22 Jul. 2016 (gear page): Revamped the trinket and set bonus recommendations.
  • 21 Jul. 2016 (rotation page): Removed mentions of a single target rotation using Defile (since this talent should never be taken), and added Death Coil to all the rotations.
  • 21 Jul. 2016 (talents page): Updated tier 1, 2, 6, and 7 discussions to account for encounters that last less than 1 minute, which can happen during the pre-patch.
  • 19 Jul. 2016 (stats page): Removed the different stat priorities for Dark Arbiter and Breath of Sindragosa.
  • 19 Jul. 2016 (enchants page): Removed the two separate recommendations for different talents, and instead left only one.
  • 18 Jul. 2016 (rotation page): Updated for the Legion pre-patch.
  • 18 Jul. 2016 (talents page): Updated for the Legion pre-patch.
  • 18 Jul. 2016 (stats page): Updated for the Legion pre-patch.
  • 18 Jul. 2016 (this page): Updated for the Legion pre-patch.
  • 18 Jul. 2016 (enchants page): Updated for the Legion pre-patch.
  • 18 Jul. 2016 (addons page): Updated for the Legion pre-patch.
  • 18 Jul. 2016 (gear page): Updated for the Legion pre-patch.
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