Unholy Death Knight Leveling Guide from 8 to 70 — Dragonflight 10.2.7

Last updated on May 07, 2024 at 11:20 by Bicepspump 69 comments

On this page, you will find our Level by Level Unholy Death Knight leveling guide for Dragonflight. Make sure to use the slider to make the guide adapt to your level. For more general leveling information, please refer to our Death Knight leveling guide.


Runeforge Choice

When you get the option to Runeforge, make sure you apply Rune of Unending Thirst Icon Rune of Unending Thirst, as it speeds up the leveling process the most! Before you gain access to this runeforge at level 20, use Rune of the Fallen Crusader Icon Rune of the Fallen Crusader.


Gear Options

When leveling up, you should always choose the piece of loot with the highest item level. The only exception to this rule is if you have a Ring or Necklace with a slightly lower item level, but 2 secondary stats on it instead of 1.


Level by Level Rotation and Talents

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

Level: 60

Until level 10, if you are not an allied race, your Festering Strike Icon Festering Strike will be replaced by Rune Strike Icon Rune Strike.

Depending on which race you picked, you will start at a different level, and have a slightly different intro:

  • If you picked an Allied Race then you start at level 10.
  • On the other hand, if you started with a non-allied race you start at level 8.

Your first talent row still unlocks at Level 10 though.


Talents to Level Up as an Unholy Death Knight

Your first talent row unlocks at Level 10.

Your talent set up should be as follows.


Rotation to Level Up as an Unholy Death Knight

Starting, you will only have one main attack ability: Rune Strike Icon Rune Strike.

  1. Rune Strike Icon Rune Strike is your main damaging ability.
  2. Army of the Dead Icon Army of the Dead should be saved for elites and very strong mobs since it is an extremely long cooldown that does a large amount of single-target burst damage.
  3. Use Unholy Blight Icon Unholy Blight off cooldown to apply Virulent Plague Icon Virulent Plague.
  4. Outbreak Icon Outbreak should be used to apply Virulent Plague Icon Virulent Plague to all targets when Unholy Blight Icon Unholy Blight is on cooldown.
  5. Dark Transformation Icon Dark Transformation can be used off cooldown, however, you should also make sure you have it available for larger packs of mobs or more difficult packs.
  6. Use Epidemic Icon Epidemic when there are 3+ targets.
  7. Use Death and Decay Icon Death and Decay to Scourge Strike Icon Scourge Strike cleave packs of 2+ mobs.
  8. Use Death Coil Icon Death Coil when you have 80+ Runic Power or no available Runes.
  9. Use Scourge Strike Icon Scourge Strike when there is at least 1 Festering Wound Icon Festering Wound on your target.
  10. Use Scourge Strike Icon Scourge Strike when there is at least 1 Festering Wound Icon Festering Wound on your target or to keep up your Plaguebringer Icon Plaguebringer DoT.
  11. Use Festering Strike Icon Festering Strike when there are 0 Festering Wound Icon Festering Wounds on your target.

There are several passive abilities that you unlock through the leveling process that can change your play style and rotation.

  • Sudden Doom Icon Sudden Doom affects both Death Coil Icon Death Coil and Epidemic Icon Epidemic. These procs should be used fairly quickly to ensure that you do not override your current proc.
  • Dark Succor Icon Dark Succor is incredible for leveling, allowing you to easily heal and stay high health while chain-pulling packs and mobs.

Unholy Death Knight Defensive Abilities while Leveling

  • Anti-Magic Shell Icon Anti-Magic Shell is a very strong magic shield that also generates Runic Power. This should be used whenever magic damage is present to take advantage of the Runic Power generation.
  • Lichborne Icon Lichborne is an extremely powerful ability for leveling, as it provides you with a good chunk of Leech. Use this cooldown to take advantage of the healing and try to pair it with high AoE or burst combinations.
  • Control Undead Icon Control Undead costs 1 Rune but allows you to take control of an undead target for 5 minutes; use this whenever available to help you in future pulls.
  • Icebound Fortitude Icon Icebound Fortitude is an amazing defensive cooldown that should be used whenever necessary to order to keep you moving from pack to pack.
  • Raise Ally Icon Raise Ally cannot be used when solo leveling, however, it is fantastic in dungeon groups if you decide to level that way.
  • Death's Advance Icon Death's Advance is one of your only movement speed cooldowns making it incredibly useful when leveling. The secondary effects of this are not too useful in leveling scenarios, except for the passive that prevents you from being slowed past a certain point.
  • Anti-Magic Zone Icon Anti-Magic Zone is a group/raid cooldown however, it can easily be used when solo leveling to minimize magic damage taken in a large pull or against an elite that deals magic damage.

Unholy Death Knight War Mode Talents for Leveling

This section will go over the PvP talents for leveling content for Unholy Death Knights.


Unholy Death Knight PvP Talents for Leveling

  1. Necrotic Aura Icon Necrotic Aura is a solid DPS boost since a large portion of our AoE is magical damage
  2. Doomburst Icon Doomburst is the only third PvP talent that provides extra DPS throughput.
  3. Bloodforged Armor Icon Bloodforged Armor gives some nice defensive benefit.


Congratulations on reaching Level 70! Now that you have hit Level 60 we recommend looking at our Easy mode page and Talents section to learn how to play at max level.



  • 07 May 2024: Reviewed for 10.2.7.
  • 22 Apr. 2024: Reviewed for Season 4.
  • 20 Mar. 2024: Reviewed for Patch 10.2.6.
  • 15 Jan. 2024: Reviewed for Patch 10.2.5.
  • 06 Nov. 2023: Reviewed for Patch 10.2
  • 04 Sep. 2023: Reviewed for Patch 10.1.7
  • 10 Jul. 2023: Reviewed for Patch 10.1.5.
  • 01 May 2023: Reviewed for Patch 10.1.
  • 20 Mar. 2023: Updated for Patch 10.0.7.
  • 24 Jan. 2023: Reviewed for Patch 10.0.5.
  • 11 Dec. 2022: Reviewed for Dragonflight Season 1.
  • 28 Nov. 2022: Updated for Dragonflight launch.
  • 25 Oct. 2022: Updated for Dragonflight pre-patch.
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