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Unholy Death Knight DPS Gear, Legendaries, and Best in Slot (Legion 7.2.5)

Last updated on Jun 13, 2017 at 21:46 by Vlad 434 comments

Table of Contents

General Information

This page is a gear reference for Unholy Death Knights. It lists your best items and Legendaries, gives you gearing advice, and shows you how you will be competing for loot with other classes.

The other pages of our Unholy Death Knight guide can be accessed from the table of contents on the right.

About Our Reviewer

This guide has been reviewed and approved by Tain, a long-time Unholy Death Knight player who raids in Dead Weight, a top 50 guild in the US.

1. Tier 20 Set Bonuses

The 2 and 4-piece Tier 20 Set Bonuses are both very strong and we strongly advise you going for them. The best pieces to use are the shoulders, chest, legs, and cloak.

Moreover, if you have high item level (titanforged) Tier 19 pieces, combining the 4-piece Tier 20 with a 2-piece Tier 19 Set Bonus could also provide great benefits. The best Tier 19 pieces to use are the helm and gloves.

2. Legendary Items

Legendary items have a high item level of 970, which makes them extremely strong. They are so strong, in fact, that a legendary item is always going to be worth equipping over any other item you might have in that slot.

However, there is a limitation on the number of legendary items you can have equipped at any one time (by default 1, but by now most players should be able to equip 2). Since some legendary items are better than others, if you have more items than the limit, you will have to choose which ones to equip.

Below, we will do our best to guide you through this process, as well as provide any other relevant information.

First of all, we must mention that Tak'theritrix's Shoulderpads Icon Tak'theritrix's Shoulderpads + Cold Heart Icon Cold Heart looks to be the best single target set-up possible if you have the 4-piece Tier 20 Set Bonus. This would prevent you from also using the 2-piece Tier 19 Set Bonus, but it remains best. Against multiple targets, The Instructor's Fourth Lesson Icon The Instructor's Fourth Lesson + Soul of the Deathlord Icon Soul of the Deathlord appears to be best.

The Instructor's Fourth Lesson Icon The Instructor's Fourth Lesson is a top legendary. Being able to burst that many Festering Wound Icon Festering Wounds in a single Scourge Strike Icon Scourge Strike/Clawing Shadows Icon Clawing Shadows is very strong.

Cold Heart Icon Cold Heart excels in single target situations, but in AoE it can be out-classed by both The Instructor's Fourth Lesson Icon The Instructor's Fourth Lesson and Soul of the Deathlord Icon Soul of the Deathlord.

Soul of the Deathlord Icon Soul of the Deathlord appears to be very strong, and we currently rank it second.

Kil'jaeden's Burning Wish Icon Kil'jaeden's Burning Wish is a very powerful trinket compared to other options for Death Knights, which provides a DPS cooldown that should be used as often as possible. Delaying it to align with an add phase is also fine. When deciding whether or not to use this trinket, you should compare the item level of your available alternative trinkets as well as belts and rings, and choose the highest item level combination from among them, Kil'jaeden's Burning Wish, Uvanimor, the Unbeautiful Icon Uvanimor, the Unbeautiful, and Draugr, Girdle of the Everlasting King Icon Draugr, Girdle of the Everlasting King.

Death March Icon Death March increases the damage of Death Coil Icon Death Coil and Death Strike Icon Death Strike, and dramatically increases the number of Defile Icon Defiles that can be used during an encounter (although Defile is not a recommended talent, so only the first two advantages are relevant). We consider it a strong choice in raid encounters for both single target and AoE situations, and it can also be a great legendary for Mythic+ dungeons. Note that this only applies if you cannot use both the 2-piece Tier 19 Set Bonus and the 4-piece Tier 20 Set Bonus. If you do have access to that combination, using it instead of equipping Death March is most likely a better choice.

Tak'theritrix's Shoulderpads Icon Tak'theritrix's Shoulderpads can be a strong option, but only if you are using the 4-piece Tier 20 Set Bonus; otherwise, we do not advise using it.

Uvanimor, the Unbeautiful Icon Uvanimor, the Unbeautiful is a good legendary, and it is similar in power to Draugr, Girdle of the Everlasting King Icon Draugr, Girdle of the Everlasting King (which is less random).

Sephuz's Secret Icon Sephuz's Secret is a powerful choice on fights where you can reliably proc the effect (fights where you can reliably interrupt, stun, including with your pet, or apply other loss of control effects).

Aggramar's Stride Icon Aggramar's Stride can increase your quality of life or prove life-saving given the right encounter. All in all, it is not a top legendary, though.

Acherus Drapes Icon Acherus Drapes is an excellent legendary that doubles the duration of Anti-Magic Shell Icon Anti-Magic Shell, allowing you to trivialise many mechanics in various encounters. If you do not need to combine it with Anti-Magic Shell, however, it is not worth taking.

Prydaz, Xavaric's Magnum Opus Icon Prydaz, Xavaric's Magnum Opus does not provide any DPS increase and as such it is not really as desirable as the other legendaries listed above. It could be good on some fights where survival is of paramount importance (such as Ursoc), but otherwise it is not appealing.

3. Loot Competition

Apart from other Unholy Death Knights, you will also be competing for items with the classes listed below:

Item Type Competing Classes
Tier Tokens Blood/Frost Death Knights, Druids, Mages, and Rogues
Plate Armor Blood/Frost Death Knights, Paladins, and Warriors
  • Amulets
  • Cloaks
  • Rings
Everyone
Trinkets Frost Death knights, Retribution Paladins, and Arms/Fury Warriors

4. ChangeLog

+ show all entries - show only 10 entries
  • 13 Jun. 2017: Updated the legendary rankings to account for the fact that Cold Heart is in fact the second Unholy legendary added in Patch 7.2.5.
  • 12 Jun. 2017: Added Tier 20 Set Bonus recommendations and updated the legendary item ranking.
  • 01 Apr. 2017: Clarified that Defile is not a recommended talent (in the description of Death March).
  • 27 Mar. 2017: Updated legendary ranking slightly to account for Patch 7.2 changes.
  • 10 Jan. 2017: Updated the legendary item section slightly and added the new legendaries.
  • 16 Oct. 2016: Updated legendary ranking.
  • 29 Aug. 2016: Updated for Legion's launch.
  • 22 Jul. 2016: Revamped the trinket and set bonus recommendations.
  • 18 Jul. 2016: Updated for the Legion pre-patch.
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