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Unholy Death Knight DPS Gear, Legendaries, and Best in Slot (Legion 7.3.5)

Last updated on Nov 28, 2017 at 09:00 by Vlad 475 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 JaceDK, long-time Death Knight theorycrafter and moderator on the Death Knight Discord. You can also catch him on his stream or on his YouTube channel. He also raids in WHATEVER WERE AWESOME, a top guild.

1. Tier 21 Set Bonuses for Unholy Death Knights

The 2 and 4-piece Tier 21 Set Bonuses are both very strong and we advise you going for them. The best pieces to use are the helm, hands, legs, and cloak, which allows you to use Tak'theritrix's Shoulderpads Icon Tak'theritrix's Shoulderpads and Cold Heart Icon Cold Heart in your shoulder and chest slots.

2. Legendary Items for Unholy Death Knights

Legendary items have a high item level of 1000, 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.

The best 3 legendary items against a single target are Tak'theritrix's Shoulderpads Icon Tak'theritrix's Shoulderpads, Cold Heart Icon Cold Heart, and Soul of the Deathlord Icon Soul of the Deathlord. Note also that Soul of the Deathlord is extremely good in Mythic+ dungeons.

The Instructor's Fourth Lesson Icon The Instructor's Fourth Lesson a decent legendary item. 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.

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. We consider it a strong choice in raid encounters for both single target and AoE situations, and we consider it amazing for Mythic+ dungeons.

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).

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).

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 a very weak legendary item that we do not recommend using.

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 Sisters of the Moon), but otherwise it is not appealing.

3. Loot Competition for Unholy Death Knights

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
Trinkets Frost Death knights, Retribution Paladins, and Arms/Fury Warriors

4. ChangeLog

  • 28 Nov. 2017: Updated set bonus recommendation for Tier 21.
  • 28 Aug. 2017: Updated set bonus recommendation and legendary rankings.
  • 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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