Cataclysm Classic Unholy Death Knight Leveling

Last updated on May 12, 2024 at 00:00 by Abide

On this page, you will find our level-by-level Unholy Death Knight leveling guide for WoW Cataclysm Classic.

1.

Unholy Death Knight Level by Level Rotation and Talents

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Level: 55
2.

Leveling Talents

Unlike other classes, Death KnightDeath Knight starts at level 55, so they have a considerable amount of talent points unlocked as soon as you create your character and progress through the Death Knight starting area. While you gain your initial 26 talent points much faster than other classes, it is important to have an idea of how you should spend them to avoid having to respec.

Many of the talents taken throughout the Unholy tree are focused on maximizing the damage and duration dealt by your diseases be that by directly increasing the damage in talents such as Virulence Icon Virulence or increasing the Magic Damage a target takes by applying the Ebon Plaguebringer Icon Ebon Plaguebringer buff to the target. We also focus on bolstering the strength of your ghoul companion by taking Shadow Infusion Icon Shadow Infusion and Dark Transformation Icon Dark Transformation, your ghoul will be a massive part of your damage dealt while leveling so make sure to utilize Dark Transformation as often as possible. We also take Unholy Frenzy Icon Unholy Frenzy which acts as an incredibly powerful personal DPS cooldown but always stay aware of the health you will be losing while it is active as it deals 2% of your maximum health to you in damage every three seconds while it is active.

Sudden Doom Icon Sudden Doom causes our main-hand attacks to have a chance to make our next Death Coil Icon Death Coil free, allowing us to use our primary Runic Power spending ability more often.

Sudden Doom Icon Sudden Doom causes our main-hand attacks to have a chance to make our next Death Coil Icon Death Coil free, allowing us to use our primary Runic Power spending ability more often. Summon Gargoyle Icon Summon Gargoyle is one of your most powerful DPS cooldowns as an Unholy Death Knight though it can be a bit difficult to use optimally while leveling. Try to always have it ready for fighting elites or longer encounters but do not hesitate in using it often as its much better to have on cooldown and have to wait for it than to never use it.

As we venture outside of the Unholy tree, our remaining talent points will be spent in the Blood tree. Bladed Armor Icon Bladed Armor increases our Attack Power based on our current Armor value. As a Plate wearing class, Death Knight will always have a high amount of armor and will gain even more as we level and improve our gear.

As we venture outside of the Unholy tree, our remaining talent points will be spent in the Blood tree. Bladed Armor Icon Bladed Armor increases our Attack Power based on our current Armor value. As a Plate wearing class, Death Knight will always have a high amount of armor and will gain even more as we level and improve our gear. Butchery Icon Butchery grants Runic Power for every enemy killed that grants honor and experience. While leveling the majority of enemies will yield honor, giving us a considerable amount of additional Runic Power allowing you to cast Death Coil Icon Death Coil more often and further increase your Dark Transformation Icon Dark Transformation and Unholy Blight Icon Unholy Blight uptime.

As we venture outside of the Unholy tree, our remaining talent points will be spent in the Blood tree. Bladed Armor Icon Bladed Armor increases our Attack Power based on our current Armor value. As a Plate wearing class, Death Knight will always have a high amount of armor and will gain even more as we level and improve our gear. Butchery Icon Butchery grants Runic Power for every enemy killed that grants honor and experience. While leveling the majority of enemies will yield honor, giving us a considerable amount of additional Runic Power allowing you to cast Death Coil Icon Death Coil more often and further increase your Dark Transformation Icon Dark Transformation and Unholy Blight Icon Unholy Blight uptime. Improved Blood Tap Icon Improved Blood Tap reduces the cooldown of our Blood Tap Icon Blood Tap ability that we should be using as close to on cooldown as possible to maximize Scourge Strike Icon Scourge Strike casts.

As we venture outside of the Unholy tree, our remaining talent points will be spent in the Blood tree. Bladed Armor Icon Bladed Armor increases our Attack Power based on our current Armor value. As a Plate wearing class, Death Knight will always have a high amount of armor and will gain even more as we level and improve our gear. Butchery Icon Butchery grants Runic Power for every enemy killed that grants honor and experience. While leveling the majority of enemies will yield honor, giving us a considerable amount of additional Runic Power allowing you to cast Death Coil Icon Death Coil more often and further increase your Dark Transformation Icon Dark Transformation and Unholy Blight Icon Unholy Blight uptime. Improved Blood Tap Icon Improved Blood Tap reduces the cooldown of our Blood Tap Icon Blood Tap ability that we should be using as close to on cooldown as possible to maximize Scourge Strike Icon Scourge Strike casts. For our final talent we will take Scent of Blood Icon Scent of Blood; while leveling you are likely to be taking a lot of hits, giving this a high uptime especially when fighting multiple enemies at once.

3.

Leveling Glyphs

In your Prime Glyphs we recommend Glyph of Scourge Strike Icon Glyph of Scourge Strike, increasing the damage dealt by your Scourge Strike Icon Scourge Strike ability which will be our primary spender of Unholy Runes. Glyph of Raise Dead Icon Glyph of Raise Dead which increases your ghouls Stamina and Strength by 40%. Ghoul deals a substantial amount of your damage and is likely to tank at least some of the time so the bonus Damage and Health will only make your leveling process easier. For our third and final Glyph slot we will take Glyph of Death Coil Icon Glyph of Death Coil which increases the damage dealt by our Death Coil Icon Death Coil ability which is our primary spender of Runic Power.

For your Major Glyph slots we recommend Glyph of Dark Succor Icon Glyph of Dark Succor, which causes your next Death Strike when in Unholy or Frost Presence to heal you for at least 20% of your maximum health when used within fifteen seconds of killing a target that yields Experience or Honor. While we are not using Death Strike Icon Death Strike in a rotation as Unholy, this is still a great way to regain health and minimize downtime. Glyph of Blood Boil Icon Glyph of Blood Boil increases the radius of your Blood Boil Icon Blood Boil ability which will be our primary spender of Blood Runes in AoE situations. Lastly for our third Glyph slot we will be using Glyph of Pestilence Icon Glyph of Pestilence that increases the radius that your Pestilence Icon Pestilence ability spreads your diseases, a significant amount of your damage dealt as Unholy will be diseases so this only augments that damage by allowing them to spread to more enemies.

For your Minor Glyphs we recommend Glyph of Death Gate Icon Glyph of Death Gate, Glyph of Horn of Winter Icon Glyph of Horn of Winter, and Glyph of Resilient Grip Icon Glyph of Resilient Grip. Glyph of Death Gate greatly reduces the cast time of your Death Gate Icon Death Gate ability which throughout the leveling process you will find yourself back in Ebon Hold several times. Horn of Winter glyph just maximizes the uptime of the buff you will already be maintaining and Resilient Grip just allows for more Death Grip casts in a situation where you may have otherwise wasted the cooldown on an immune target.

4.

Leveling Rotation

  1. Make sure you are in Frost Presence Icon Frost Presence.
  2. Make sure your ghoul is alive and active.
  3. Apply and maintain diseases using Icy Touch Icon Icy Touch and Plague Strike Icon Plague Strike.
  4. Cast Death Grip Icon Death Grip to close the gap between you and enemies as often as possible to maximize uptime.
  5. Use Pestilence Icon Pestilence to spread your diseases in any situation you are fighting more than one target.
  6. Use Scourge Strike Icon Scourge Strike as often as possible to spend your Unholy and Death Runes.
  7. Use Death Strike Icon Death Strike to maintain health as needed, this should not be an ability you use super often but should be used to maintain your health especially when Glyph of Dark Succor Icon Glyph of Dark Succor is active.
  8. Use Death Coil Icon Death Coil to spend your Runic Power when Runes are unavailable.
  9. Use Unholy Frenzy Icon Unholy Frenzy as often as possible to maximize your kill speed.
  10. Use Dark Transformation Icon Dark Transformation as often as possible to buff your ghoul to maximize your damage.
  11. Make sure you are auto-attacking at all times.
  12. Use Mind Freeze Icon Mind Freeze to interrupt enemy spell casting as often as possible to mitigate incoming damage.
  13. Use Blood Boil Icon Blood Boil to spend your Blood Runes when fighting 3 or more enemies.
  14. Use Strangulate Icon Strangulate as needed to interrupt enemy spell casting, as this is a blanket silencing effect it can be used preemptively to position enemy spell casters.
  15. cast Death and Decay Icon Death and Decay when fighting 3+ mobs and you are confident they will survive most of its duration.
  16. In situations where you are pulling multiple mobs or expect to be taking high damage consider using Icebound Fortitude Icon Icebound Fortitude to help lessen incoming damage. This can also be used to avoid or free yourself from Stuns.
  17. cast Blood Tap Icon Blood Tap to refresh your dormant Blood Runes to further maximize your Scourge Strike Icon Scourge Strike casts as they are converted to Death Runes.
  18. cast Horn of Winter Icon Horn of Winter on cooldown to maintain the Strength and Agility buffs which will increase your kill speed.
  19. cast Anti-Magic Shell Icon Anti-Magic Shell to avoid incoming Magic damage or prevent yourself from being effected by incoming Magic effects like slows.
  20. Use Summon Gargoyle Icon Summon Gargoyle when fighting enemies that are likely to survive its entire 30 second duration.
  21. Once you have reached level 70 switch to using Unholy Presence Icon Unholy Presence unless you are consistently fighting 3 or more enemies then consider using Frost Presence Icon Frost Presence.
  22. cast Empower Rune Weapon Icon Empower Rune Weapon any time the majority of your Runes are inactive. Empower Rune Weapon instantly refresh them and allows you to deal more damage. While leveling DPS increasing cooldowns should be used early and often.
5.

Continue Improving at Level 85

Congratulations on hitting Level 85 in Cataclysm! Now that your leveling process is over, you can learn more about Level 85 UnholyUnholy Death Knight gameplay by reading our fully detailed guide below.