Unholy Death Knight Leveling Guide From 55 to 80 for WotLK Classic

Last updated on Aug 27, 2022 at 10:30 by Sellin 3 comments

On this page, you will find our Level by Level Unholy Death Knight leveling guide for WoW Wrath of the Lich King Classic.

For more general leveling information, please refer to our Death Knight leveling guide. We also have an Blood Death Knight leveling guide and a Frost Death Knight leveling guide.


Level by Level Rotation, Talents, and Trainer Skills

Move the slider below to make the guide update to your level!

Level: 70

Leveling Talent Tree & Build

Unlike other classes Death Knights start 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 the points much faster than other classes it is important to have an idea of how you should spend them to avoid having to respec to take an important talent you may have missed because of how quickly you acquired the points.

  1. — 3 points in Virulence IconVirulence
  2. — 2 points in Vicious Strikes IconVicious Strikes
  3. — 3 points in Ravenous Dead IconRavenous Dead
  4. — 2 points in Epidemic IconEpidemic
  5. — 5 points in Necrosis IconNecrosis
  6. — 2 points in On a Pale Horse IconOn a Pale Horse
  7. — 3 points in Blood-Caked Blade IconBlood-Caked Blade
  8. — 3 points in Impurity IconImpurity
  9. — 2 points in Night of the Dead IconNight of the Dead
  10. — 1 point in Master of Ghouls IconMaster of Ghouls
  11. — 2 points in Impurity IconImpurity
  12. — 2 points in Desecration IconDesecration
  13. — 5 points in Desolation IconDesolation
  14. — 1 point in Bone Shield IconBone Shield
  15. — 3 points in Crypt Fever IconCrypt Fever
  16. — 1 point in Morbidity IconMorbidity
  17. — 3 points in Wandering Plague IconWandering Plague
  18. — 3 points in Ebon Plaguebringer IconEbon Plaguebringer
  19. — 4 points in Rage of Rivendare IconRage of Rivendare

The Unholy Talent tree is filled with great choices so it is hard to decide what you take and when, but the points you have spent so far are focused largely on optimizing your pet damage via Night of the Dead IconNight of the Dead and Master of Ghouls IconMaster of Ghouls, taking full advantage of all of your runes with Desolation IconDesolation offering you a considerable damage increase every time you cast Blood Strike IconBlood Strike. Desecration IconDesecration allows you to kite and will sometimes enable you to kill monsters you may otherwise not have been able to thanks to its AoE slow. Wandering Plague IconWandering Plague will deal massive damage to large groups of enemies that survive long enough to allow your diseases to deal damage. You have also taken a number of passive damage increases that, while not noticeable in the rotation, will make killing enemies considerably easier. Necrosis IconNecrosis ends up being a massive damage increase because of the amount of spell damage amplifiers you have throughout the tree such as Ebon Plaguebringer IconEbon Plaguebringer.

  1. Level 60 — 1 point in Summon Gargoyle IconSummon Gargoyle
  2. Level 61 — 1 point in Rage of Rivendare IconRage of Rivendare
  3. Level 62 — 1 point in Scourge Strike IconScourge Strike
  4. Level 63 to 64 — 2 points in Morbidity IconMorbidity
  5. Level 65 — 1 point in Ghoul Frenzy IconGhoul Frenzy
  6. Level 66 to 68 — 3 points in Reaping IconReaping
  7. Level 68 to 69 — 2 points in Butchery IconButchery

Scourge Strike IconScourge Strike will replace Plague Strike IconPlague Strike as your primary spender of Unholy runes. Summon Gargoyle IconSummon Gargoyle is a massive DPS cooldown that benefits greatly from any buffs you have at the time of summoning it so make sure to take advantage of this. Ghoul Frenzy IconGhoul Frenzy can be used to empower your ghoul; this is a buff that should only really be cast when you know the enemy you are fighting will last its duration otherwise the Rune is better spent on a Scourge Strike IconScourge Strike.

  1. Level 70 to 72 — 3 points in Blade Barrier IconBlade Barrier
  2. Level 73 to 74 — 2 points in Two-Handed Weapon Specialization IconTwo-Handed Weapon Specialization/
  3. Level 75 to 80 — 5 points in Bladed Armor IconBladed Armor/

Leveling Rotation

  1. Apply and maintain diseases using Icy Touch IconIcy Touch and Plague Strike IconPlague Strike
  2. Use Pestilence IconPestilence to spread your diseases in any situation you are fighting more than one target.
  3. Use Blood Strike IconBlood Strike as your primary spender of Blood Runes against up to two targets. When fighting more than two targets you should be using Blood Boil IconBlood Boil as your primary spender of Blood Runes. Ensure you keep the buff from Desolation IconDesolation active as much as possible even when fighting more than one mob.
  4. Use Scourge Strike IconScourge Strike as your primary spender of Unholy Runes when Blood Plague IconBlood Plague is already active on the target. Icy Touch IconIcy Touch should be the primary spender of Frost Runes.
  5. cast Death Coil IconDeath Coil as your primary spender of Runic Power.
  6. cast Death and Decay IconDeath and Decay when fighting 3+ mobs and you are confident they will survive most of its duration.
  7. Make sure you are auto-attacking at all times.

List of Trainer Skills to Buy

It is important to buy all abilities as you level as they are cheap and Death Knights have quite a few abilities that are extremely powerful in certain situations; you never know when you will need them.


Unholy Death Knight Macros and Addons

Setting up an user interface and macros early on you will greatly improve the quality of your leveling experience. Check out the Unholy Death Knight Macros and Addons guides in the link below for the full list.


How to Continue to Improve Your Unholy Death Knight at Level 80

Once you achieve Level 80 you suggest you check out Unholy Death Knight Guide, which goes more in detail of how to play your Level 80 Unholy Death Knight.

Some of the most relevant pages to dive deeper into are:



  • 27 Aug. 2022: Page added.
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