Unholy Death Knight DPS Easy Mode — Dragonflight 10.2
On this page, we explain how to easily play Unholy Death Knight in World of Warcraft — Dragonflight 10.2, using the simplest rotation, talent tree, stat priority, gear setup, etc., without sacrificing performance.
This page is intended for players who are new to the game or class, have no intentions of raiding Mythic difficulty, or simply want a more straightforward way to play their specialization without being overwhelmed by the numerous subtleties and active abilities that need to be taken into consideration for optimal play.
The Basics of Unholy Death Knights
For those who are new to Unholy Death Knight and are not sure what each ability does or how they interact with the Unholy toolkit, we recommend checking out our Spell Summary guide is linked below.
Unholy Death Knight is a melee DPS specialization that provides strong single-target and AoE DPS. Its play style is somewhat complex. However, it is incredibly rewarding to master.
Your main goal throughout a fight is applying the Festering Wound debuff with Festering Strike (ensuring not to over-cap it) and then consuming these stacks with Scourge Strike while also making sure to use Death Coil or Epidemic to not over-cap on Runic Power. Furthermore, you should aim to maintain uptime on your disease Virulent Plague by using Outbreak or Unholy Blight
Talent Builds for Unholy Death Knight in Dragonflight
Talent Choice for Unholy Death Knights as a Beginner
The following talent choices are effectively best in most situations.
These are the easiest talents to use when factoring in gear and rotation, but if you want to use the absolute best talents for Unholy Death Knight , depending on the situation, then we have a more in-depth page linked below.
Stat Choice for Unholy Death Knights
Currently, you will want to prioritize stats as follows.
- Critical Strike,
This can be different depending on your character's gear, so make sure you sim yourself, to find what your stat priority is.
Single-Target Opener for Unholy Death Knights
- Use Army of the Dead + Potion.
- Use Outbreak or Unholy Blight.
- Use Festering Strike.
- Use Death and Decay.
- Use Summon Gargoyle + Potion.
- Use Dark Transformation.
- Use Death Coil 3 times.
- Use Empower Rune Weapon + Unholy Assault + Trinket.
- Use Apocalypse.
- Use Blood Fury (if Orc), Berserking (if Troll).
Basic Rotation for Unholy Death Knights
- Cast Soul Reaper if the target is below 35% (if you have taken this talent).
- Cast Outbreak or Unholy Blight to apply Virulent Plague on the target. Try to maintain 100% uptime on the disease.
- Use Death Coil when you have 80+ Runic Power or a Sudden Doom proc.
- Use Festering Strike to apply Festering Wounds on the target. Do this if the target has 3 or fewer Festering Wounds.
- Use Scourge Strike when there are at least 4 Festering Wounds on the target.
- Use Death Coil.
Multi-Target Rotation for Unholy Death Knight
Please find below a rotation on a dungeon trash pack.
- Use Defile to stack the mastery buff and enable cleave.
- Use Scourge Strike to initiate Plaguebringer.
- Use Outbreak or Unholy Blight to apply Virulent Plague on all targets.
- Use Dark Transformation.
- Use Unholy Assault or Festering Strike.
- Use Apocalypse.
- Spam Epidemic until you are out of Runic Power.
- Use Defile when your Mastery buff from the previous one runs out.
- Spam Scourge Strike and use Epidemic if you are about to cap on Runic Power.
- Keep using Defile to maintain the 8% buff and enable Scourge Strike cleave.
- After you run out of Defile to use, go to single target rotation with Epidemic at 4+ (with Improved Death Coil, 2+ without) targets.
Make sure to stand in your Death and Decay once you have used it. The cleave from your Scourge Strike/ Clawing Shadows depends on you standing in the circle, not if the enemies do so.
For a more in-depth rotation, please consider checking out our rotation page linked below.
Cooldowns for Unholy Death Knights
Unholy Death Knights have potentially 10 cooldowns; they should be used as follows:
- Empower Rune Weapon should be used with your other cooldowns.
- Abomination Limb should generally be used on cooldown. Hold it for add waves that need grouping up.
- Unholy Blight should be used on cooldown. It is primarily a way of applying your Virulent Plague efficiently, especially in AoE.
- Unholy Assault should be used on cooldown. Especially strong in Mythic+ when paired with Vile Contagion. Used in Single Target with your other CDs.
- Vile Contagion should be used in AoE on a target that ideally has 6 Festering Wounds. This should then be followed by Death and Decay and Scourge Strike to pop all wounds.
- Army of the Dead should be used on cooldown. This is the first ability you press as you run toward the boss. With Army of the Damned, the cooldown is 3 minutes. Make sure to time it with your Summon Gargoyle and Dark Transformation (if you have Commander of the Dead).
- Apocalypse should be used when you have 4 stacks of Festering Wounds. In AoE, use with 1 or more Festering Wounds.
- Dark Transformation should be used off cooldown and as an opener on packs of multiple mobs.
- Sacrificial Pact should only be used to save yourself from death.
- Summon Gargoyle should be used on cooldown. Once used, prioritize spending Runic Power via Death Coil above everything else.
- Defile should be used back-to-back with your Apocalypse. In AoE, use it as much as possible, chaining the Mastery buff you get from the ability.
- 06 Nov. 2023: Updated for Patch 10.2.
- 04 Sep. 2023: Reviewed for Patch 10.1.7
- 10 Jul. 2023: Updated for Patch 10.1.5.
- 25 Jun. 2023: Minor opener update.
- 01 May 2023: Reviewed for Patch 10.1.
- 29 Apr. 2023: Reviewed and Updated 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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