Unholy Death Knight DPS Azerite Traits/Powers and Armor in Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.0.1

Last updated on Sep 25, 2018 at 17:11 by Abyssalwave 34 comments

Table of Contents

General Information

Find out everything you need to know about the idea Azerite traits and items for your Unholy Death Knight in World of Warcraft's Battle for Azeroth expansion (Patch 8.0.1). You should also check out our Heart of Azeroth Icon Heart of Azeroth guide, since this is integral to understanding the Azerite system.

About Our Author

This guide has been written by Abyssalwave, a top level Death Knight player. He is a former US #2 hardcore raider who currently raids with Club Camel. You can also check out his YouTube channel.

1. Choosing Azerite Gear as an Unholy Death Knight

Your choice of Azerite Gear pieces will almost always come down to the item level first, and the traits that it has second. Note that the traits you will look at when choosing gear are the Outer Ring traits, as these are the ones with the biggest impact on your gameplay. Middle Ring traits still have an impact on your DPS however the difference between Middle Ring traits is very small.

The general rule is that if an item is a 15+ item level upgrade over another item, you should use it. If the difference between the two items is less than 15 item levels, then you should choose the one with the better Outer Ring trait. As we said, though, this is a general rule and there are exceptions; for example, if you are comparing an extremely bad trait (Blood Rite Icon Blood Rite) to an extremely good one (Festermight Icon Festermight). It is nearly impossible to take every single variable into account without using a tool like Raidbots to simulate the difference for yourself.

It is worth noting that if the difference between the traits is very small, then the higher item level pick will be more desirable. Azerite pieces have a high amount of Stamina and Strength, so item level is almost always king. A tiny difference in Stamina can can be the difference between dying and surviving.

2. Choosing Azerite Traits as an Unholy Death Knight

2.1. How to Use this List

A Tier traits are the strongest traits available. They will provide the most benefit to you in almost all circumstances, and you should aim to get these traits on your gear whenever possible.

B Tier traits are typically weaker bonuses that are either too inconsistent or simply do not provide enough damage for general use.

C Tier traits are traits that are simply not competitive and should not be considered.

2.2. Outer Ring Traits for Unholy Death Knight

2.3. A Tier

  • Festermight Icon Festermight causes your Festering Wound Icon Festering Wound bursts to grant you a stack of Strength for 20 seconds, stacking this effect does not extend its duration.
  • Dagger in the Back Icon Dagger in the Back gives your abilities a chance to shoot a dagger at your target, applying a damage over time effect for 12 seconds, stacking up to 4 times. If you shoot this dagger when behind the target, it will apply 2 stacks.
  • Rezan's Fury Icon Rezan's Fury causes your damaging abilities to have a chance to summon a Child of Rezan, which deals Physical damage to your target and causes them to bleed for additional damage over 12 seconds.
  • Battlefield Focus Icon Battlefield Focus / Battlefield Precision Icon Battlefield Precision gives your abilities a chance to apply stacks of a debuff to the target. This debuff causes them to take more damage from all raid members. Note that this is a PvP trait.
  • Tidal Surge Icon Tidal Surge gives your damaging abilities a chance to deal some Frost damage to the target and slow it by 20%.
  • Blightborne Infusion Icon Blightborne Infusion causes your spells to have a chance to increase your Critical Strike for 14 seconds.
  • Champion of Azeroth Icon Champion of Azeroth gives your abilities a chance to increase all your secondary stats for a minute, stacking up to 4 times. Getting a new proc will refresh the duration, so you will keep this at 4 stacks throughout an entire fight.
  • Filthy Transfusion Icon Filthy Transfusion gives your damaging ability a chance to do damage over 6 seconds to the target, healing you for the damage done.
  • Laser Matrix Icon Laser Matrix causes your spells to have a chance to unleash a barrage of lasers which deal damage and heal injured allies for a small amount which is further split among them. It also gives the Reorigination Array Icon Reorigination Array buff, which you should always aim to have active while raiding in Uldir.
  • Swirling Sands Icon Swirling Sands causes your spells to have a chance to increase your Critical Strike for 12 seconds. This duration can be extended by landing Critical Strikes up to a maximum of 18 seconds.
  • Unstable Catalyst Icon Unstable Catalyst causes your spells and abilities to have a chance to create a zone standing in which increases your primary stat.
  • Thunderous Blast Icon Thunderous Blast gives your damaging abilities a chance blast the target for extra Nature damage, and cause the target to take 20% more damage from your next blast. When the bonus damage reaches 100%, the next blast will Critically Strike, and reset the bonus damage back to 0%.
  • Archive of the Titans Icon Archive of the Titans is an Uldir-specific trait. It gives you a small primary stat buff every 5 seconds which stacks up to 20 times. Stacks only decay when out of combat. It also gives the Reorigination Array Icon Reorigination Array buff, which you should always aim to have active while raiding in Uldir.
  • Harrowing Decay Icon Harrowing Decay causes your Death Coil Icon Death Coil to infect the target with Harrowing Decay which deals Shadow damage over 4 seconds.

2.3.1. B Tier

  • Sylvanas' Resolve Icon Sylvanas' Resolve gives your abilities a chance to give you a decent amount of primary stat, for 10 seconds. You also get this buff if an ally dies near you.
  • Anduin's Dedication Icon Anduin's Dedication / Sylvanas' Resolve Icon Sylvanas' Resolve causes your spells to have a chance to increase your primary stat for 10 seconds. If an ally dies nearby you also instantly gain this effect. Note that this is a PvP trait.
  • Retaliatory Fury Icon Retaliatory Fury gives your abilities a chance to give you a Mastery buff and a shield for 10 seconds.
  • Tradewinds Icon Tradewinds causes your spells to have a chance to grant you Mastery for 15 seconds. When this buff expires, it jumps once to a nearby ally at half duration and amount.
  • Ruinous Bolt Icon Ruinous Bolt gives your abilities a chance to summon a Soul (pet) by your side for 14 seconds. The Soul deals Shadow damage to a random nearby target.
  • Incite the Pack Icon Incite the Pack causes you to occasionally increase your Mastery and that of up to two nearby allies for 20 seconds.
  • Blood Rite Icon Blood Rite causes your spells to have a chance to increase your Haste for 15 seconds. Killing enemies refreshes this effect.
  • Glory in Battle Icon Glory in Battle / Liberator's Might Icon Liberator's Might causes your spells to have a chance to grant Critical Strike and Haste for 10 seconds. Note that this is a PvP trait, and attacking a member of the opposing faction significantly increases this chance, making these traits are much stronger in PvP content.
  • Liberator's Might Icon Liberator's Might gives your abilities a chance to give you Haste, and even more Critical Strike for 10 seconds.
  • Synaptic Spark Capacitor Icon Synaptic Spark Capacitor gives your abilities a chance to put a debuff on your target. This debuff will deal damage to enemies within 8 yards of the target with the debuff, and causes them to do 5% less damage to you. This trait is only obtainable through crafting Engineering goggles (AZ3-R1-T3 Gearspun Goggles Icon AZ3-R1-T3 Gearspun Goggles) that cannot be upgraded past item level 340.
  • Relational Normalization Gizmo Icon Relational Normalization Gizmo causes your spells to have a chance to grant you a primary stat and maximum health buff or Haste and 50% movement speed for 10 seconds. This trait is only obtainable through crafting Engineering goggles (AZ3-R1-T3 Gearspun Goggles Icon AZ3-R1-T3 Gearspun Goggles) that cannot be upgraded past item level 340.

2.3.2. C Tier

  • Horrid Experimentation Icon Horrid Experimentation causes your Dark Transformation Icon Dark Transformation to deal Shadow damage to all nearby enemies when it expires.
  • Cankerous Wounds Icon Cankerous Wounds causes your Festering Strike Icon Festering Strike to deal additional damage and have a 20% increased chance of applying 3 Festering Wound Icon Festering Wounds.
  • Last Surprise Icon Last Surprise causes your Army of the Dead Icon Army of the Dead and Apocalypse Icon Apocalypse minions to deal Shadow damage to all nearby enemies when they expire.
  • Last Gift Icon Last Gift / Retaliatory Fury Icon Retaliatory Fury causes your spells and abilities to have a chance to grant Mastery and an absorb shield . Note that this is a PvP trait; also, taking damage from a member of the opposite faction has a chance to activate this effect, making these traits much strong in PvP content.
  • Retaliatory Fury Icon Retaliatory Fury gives your abilities a chance to give you a Mastery buff and a shield for 10 seconds.
  • Festering Doom Icon Festering Doom makes your Death Coil Icon Death Coil to cause your next Festering Strike Icon Festering Strike to deal additional damage.
  • Collective Will Icon Collective Will / Stand As One Icon Stand As One causes your spells to have a chance to increase your primary stat and maximum health. This effect is also applied to up to 4 nearby allies. Note that this is a PvP trait.
  • Stand As One Icon Stand As One gives your abilities a chance to drop a Banner for 6 seconds, which buffs you and 4 nearby allies with their primary stat, and increases maximum Health.
  • Combined Might Icon Combined Might / Stronger Together Icon Stronger Together gives you and 4 allies a bonus to one of your secondary stats or to your Spellpower / Attackpower (depending on your role), chosen at random, for 10 seconds. Note that this is a PvP trait.
  • Stronger Together Icon Stronger Together causes your abilities to have a chance to plant a factional banner for 6 seconds, empowering yourself and up to 4 allies with the spirit of the Alliance.
  • Barrage Of Many Bombs Icon Barrage Of Many Bombs gives you a chance to fire a clusterbomb at your current target. When the bomb gets close, it explodes into smaller bombs which do AoE damage when they hit the ground.
  • Ricocheting Inflatable Pyrosaw Icon Ricocheting Inflatable Pyrosaw causes your spells to have a chance to heal up to 4 allies for a large amount. This trait is only obtainable through crafting Engineering goggles (AZ3-R1-T3 Gearspun Goggles Icon AZ3-R1-T3 Gearspun Goggles) that cannot be upgraded past item level 340.

2.4. Middle Ring Traits for Unholy Death Knight

2.4.1. A Tier

  • Overwhelming Power Icon Overwhelming Power causes your damaging spells to have a chance to increase your Haste. The amount of Haste granted decreases every second or whenever you take damage.
  • Heed My Call Icon Heed My Call gives your damaging abilities a chance to deal additional Nature damage to the target, and a smaller amount of damage to nearby targets.

2.4.2. B Tier

  • Gutripper Icon Gutripper gives your damaging abilities a chance to deal additional Physical damage. This bonus damage occurs more often when the target is below 30% Health.
  • Earthlink Icon Earthlink increases your primary stat, with the exact amount cycling between a minimum value and maximum value every 6 seconds.
  • Unstable Flames Icon Unstable Flames causes your damaging spells to have a chance to grant a Critical Strike buff for 5 seconds, stacking up to 5 times.
  • Elemental Whirl Icon Elemental Whirl causes your damaging spells to have a chance to increase one of your secondary stats for 10 seconds.
  • Azerite Globules Icon Azerite Globules gives your damaging abilities a chance to apply a debuff to your target. This debuff stacks up to 3 times, and when it reaches 3, the target explodes, doing AoE damage.

2.4.3. C Tier

  • Lifespeed Icon Lifespeed passively increases your Haste and Avoidance.
  • Blood Siphon Icon Blood Siphon passively increases your Mastery and Leech.

3. Azerite Gear for Unholy Death Knight

Due to dungeon Azerite gear being item level 340 unless it drops from your weekly chest and the Uldir Azerite gear giving a stack of Reorigination Array each week, raid Azerite pieces will usually be your best pieces of gear. If you do get an Azerite piece from your weekly cache with a good trait on it, it is recommended that you sim that piece of gear to see if it is an upgrade.

3.1. Pre-Uldir Gear

Below, you will find a list of the best Azerite pieces for Unholy Death Knights before Uldir.

Slot Item Source
Helm Helm of Abyssal Malevolence Icon Helm of Abyssal Malevolence Vol'zith the Whisperer (Shrine of the Storm)
Shoulders Pauldrons of the Great Unifier Icon Pauldrons of the Great Unifier King Dazar (King's Rest)
Chest Harpooner's Plate Cuirass Icon Harpooner's Plate Cuirass Viq'Goth (Siege of Boralus)

3.2. Uldir Gear

Below, you will find a list of the best Azerite pieces for Unholy Death Knights in Uldir.

Slot Item Source
Helm Helm of the Defiled Laboratorium Icon Helm of the Defiled Laboratorium G'huun
Shoulders Chitinspine Pauldrons Icon Chitinspine Pauldrons Mythrax the Unraveler
Chest Chestplate of Apocalyptic Machinations Icon Chestplate of Apocalyptic Machinations Zul, Reborn

Each week you kill 3 bosses in Uldir with a raid Azerite piece on you will gain a stack of Reorigination Array Icon Reorigination Array, which gives 75 of your highest secondary stat. This makes the raid Azerite pieces very valuable.

4. Azerite Trait Rotation Changes and Details for Unholy Death Knight

The Azerite traits you have can have an effect on your rotation, although this is not too big; certainly, the fundamentals of the rotation remain the same, with the Azerite traits only allowing you to do a bit more damage.

5. Azerite Trait Simulations for Unholy Death Knights

In this section, we will look at the relative strength of the traits that are most important to Unholy Death Knights, based on simulations.

Note that it is possible to have multiple instances of the same trait, and as such the results take into account how many instances of a trait you have.

Note also that the results use Best-in-Slot gear with a reasonable stat profile for Unholy Death Knights. We recommend that you sim your own character for the most precise results.

5.1. Single-Target

Loading...
For the complete simulation results, check out Bloodmallet.com

5.2. 3 Targets (Mythic+, etc)

Loading...
For the complete simulation results, check out Bloodmallet.com

Thank you to Bloodmallet for providing the data for these Azerite traits.

6. Find Azerite Armor By Trait/Power

In the table below, you can see all of the Azerite gear available to your Unholy Death Knight. By using the + button located next to each item, you can expand the list of Azerite powers that this item possesses (to collapse the list, simply click the - button).

If you want to filter items according to the powers that they offer, you can use the filters below.

Filter #1:
Filter #2:
Filter #3:
Reset Filters
Head Items Shoulders Items Chest Items

7. Changelog

  • 25 Sep. 2018: Redesigned the Azerite page to provide a tier list for each trait ring.
  • 14 Sep. 2018: Updated for Azerite changes and Uldir.
  • 29 Aug. 2018: Added the new Bloodmallet Azerite trait chart and recommended traits.
  • 23 Aug. 2018: Updated for recent Bloodmallet sim changes.
  • 20 Aug. 2018: Updated the recommended Azerite gear.
  • 12 Aug. 2018: Page added for Battle for Azeroth launch.
+ show all entries - show only 10 entries
Force desktop version
Force mobile version