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

Last updated on Sep 14, 2018 at 06:02 by Abyssalwave 30 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. Best Azerite Traits for Unholy Death Knight

This section will discuss the recommended Azerite traits for both dungeons and raids. While these are currently recommended, any balance changes to traits will likely change our recommendations.

  • Thunderous Blast Icon Thunderous Blast is currently your best single target Azerite trait. This trait offers no increased value for AoE situations, however.
  • Festermight Icon Festermight increases your Strength for 20 seconds each time you burst a Festering Wound Icon Festering Wound. Additional Festering Wound bursts stack the Strength bonus but do not extend the duration of this buff. Since our rotation revolves around popping Festering Wounds, you can usually get to pretty high stacks before the duration runs out.
  • Synaptic Spark Capacitor Icon Synaptic Spark Capacitor is the Engineering-specific Azerite trait and offers the best AoE out of any of the Azerite traits. These are specific to the Engineering goggles only and still offers a good amount of single target damage.
  • Overwhelming Power Icon Overwhelming Power is currently your best single-target and AoE tier 2 trait.

2. 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.

Due to there being no set best in slot items outside of your Azerite armor, we have made a list of the best Azerite pieces based on their traits.

2.1. 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 Desert Guardian's Breastplate Icon Desert Guardian's Breastplate Avatar of Sethraliss (Temple of Sethraliss)

2.2. 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.

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

Some of your Azerite Traits in Battle For Azeroth can have a small effect on your rotation. They generally do not change the fundamentals, but they allow you to use their effects to squeeze just a little bit more damage out than your competition.

  • Festering Doom Icon Festering Doom causes you to have to alternate between Death Coil Icon Death Coil and Festering Strike Icon Festering Strike in order to maximize the effect of this trait. This can complicate your rotation and be difficult to play with.

4. Relative Strength of Azerite Traits for Unholy Death Knight

Below we have listed the relative strength of the most relevant Azerite Traits, as far as they are implemented in our simulation tools at the moment.

Because you can have the same trait multiple times, and because some traits can change the rotation if you stack it multiple times, we have listed the relative strength of the traits depending on how many of them you have.

We are not including different item levels of Azerite pieces, because in most situations you are going to want the highest item level piece regardless. As with any rule, there are exceptions and you should always sim your own character's traits with Raidbots to be sure.

5. Relative Strength of Azerite Traits for Unholy Death Knight

Both of these simulations are based on Best-in-Slot gear with a good distribution of stats for the spec. As always, treat these simulations as a guideline, not a rule, and always sim your own character to be sure.

5.1. Single-Target

For the complete simulation results, check out Bloodmallet.com

5.2. 3 Targets (Mythic+, etc)

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:
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Filter #3:
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Head Items Shoulders Items Chest Items

7. ChangeLog

  • 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.
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