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Unholy Death Knight DPS Guide — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.3

Last updated on Jan 22, 2020 at 14:15 by Abyssalwave 41 comments
General Information

Welcome to our Unholy Death Knight guide for World of Warcraft — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.3. Here, you will learn how to play as an Unholy Death Knight in both raids and Mythic+ dungeons: from the very beginning to maximizing your DPS.

1.

Unholy Death Knight Overview

The Unholy specialisation currently provides moderate single target damage, as well as excellent cleave damage against 4+ targets. It is better in this regard when compared to many other specialisations.

2.

Patch 8.3 Changes for Unholy Death Knight

The only change to Unholy Death Knights in Patch 8.3 is All Will Serve Icon All Will Serve's damage and cast time increased by 25%. However, we do have:

3.

Unholy Death Knight Strengths

  • Strong single target, AoE, and cleave DPS depending on talent setup
  • Excellent damage-mitigation capabilities
  • High raid utility in the form of Death Grip Icon Death Grip and Asphyxiate Icon Asphyxiate
  • Has ability that provides immunities to knockback and movement-impairing effects
4.

Unholy Death Knight Weaknesses

  • Poor target switching due to Festering Wound application
  • Lack of damage immunity
  • Low movement speed
  • A variable amount of ramp-up time before it can deal effective DPS (due to the application of Festering Wound Icon Festering Wounds)
5.

Unholy Death Knight Viability in the Current Patch

Unholy Death Knights are currently very powerful in Mythic+, especially in a group where you are able to do consistently large pulls. Unholy also offers some of the highest level burst in the game in both single-target and AoE situations. Unholy has strong survivability but lacks strong mobility, making positioning very important on some encounters.

In Patch 8.2, Unholy Death Knights received some needed damage buffs to their core abilities. In The Eternal Palace, Unholy Death Knights are performing very well, especially with their exceptional single-target burst and great on-demand burst AoE. As an Unholy Death Knight, you are not impacted by moving away from the boss as much as Frost Death Knights are, making it a more comfortable choice for this raid tier.

6.

Changelog

  • 22 Jan. 2020 (Ny'alotha page): Added a section for recommended Essence
  • 21 Jan. 2020 (Ny'alotha page): Guide added.
  • 21 Jan. 2020 (gear page): Updated the BiS List for Ny'alotha.
  • 15 Jan. 2020 (gear page): Added a section for corrupted weapons and tips for dealing with corruption.
  • 14 Jan. 2020 (enchants page): Added new Patch 8.3 augment rune.
  • 14 Jan. 2020 (how to improve page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.3 and no changes are necessary.
  • 14 Jan. 2020 (Essences page): Updated for Patch 8.3 with new Essences.
  • 14 Jan. 2020 (gear page): This page will be updated with more specific information as simulation tools improve in Patch 8.3.
  • 14 Jan. 2020 (stats page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.3 and no changes are necessary.
  • 14 Jan. 2020 (mythic+ page): Updated for Patch 8.3 and added information on the Season 4 affix.
  • 14 Jan. 2020 (talents page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.3 and no changes are necessary.
  • 14 Jan. 2020 (azerite traits and gear page): Added 8.3 traits and checked the other sections.
  • 14 Jan. 2020 (FAQ page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.3 and no changes are necessary.
  • 14 Jan. 2020 (spells page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.3 and no changes are necessary.
  • 14 Jan. 2020 (easy mode page): Updated for Patch 8.3.
  • 14 Jan. 2020 (rotation page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.3 and no changes are necessary.
  • 14 Jan. 2020 (this page): This page has been checked and updated for Patch 8.3.
  • 14 Jan. 2020 (simulations page): Sims now include new Patch 8.3 essences.
  • 14 Jan. 2020 (addons page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.3 and no changes are necessary.
  • 20 Jul. 2019 (talents page): Added a section for conflict.
  • 20 Jul. 2019 (gear page): Added a section for Mechagon gear.
  • 18 Jul. 2019 (easy mode page): Added a section for Essences.
  • 18 Jul. 2019 (azerite traits and gear page): Added rankings for the new Azerite traits.
  • 18 Jul. 2019 (simulations page): Added new simulations for Essences and Azerite traits.
  • 17 Jul. 2019 (mythic+ page): Added information on the new seasonal affix.
  • 17 Jul. 2019 (simulations page): Updated Racial simulations.
  • 17 Jul. 2019 (The Eternal Palace page): Added more information on Queen Azshara.
  • 17 Jul. 2019 (this page): Added a note about Unholy Death Knight viability in Patch 8.2.
  • 16 Jul. 2019 (talents page): Removed mention of Heartstop Aura in PvP Talents.
  • 16 Jul. 2019 (Essences page): Added Bloodmallet sims and Essence rankings.
  • 14 Jul. 2019 (enchants page): Replaced Superior Battle Potion of Strength with Potion of Unbridled Fury.
  • 14 Jul. 2019 (Essences page): Added more information and a ranking system for the Essences.
  • 12 Jul. 2019 (gear page): Corrected an error in the sources for BiS gear.
  • 09 Jul. 2019 (gear page): Updated BiS for The Eternal Palace.
  • 09 Jul. 2019 (The Eternal Palace page): Guide added.
  • 24 Jun. 2019 (addons page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 24 Jun. 2019 (gear page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 24 Jun. 2019 (talents page): Updated for Patch 8.2.
  • 24 Jun. 2019 (spells page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 24 Jun. 2019 (Essences page): Page added.
  • 24 Jun. 2019 (simulations page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 24 Jun. 2019 (easy mode page): Updated page for Patch 8.2.
  • 24 Jun. 2019 (enchants page): Updated for Patch 8.2.
  • 24 Jun. 2019 (azerite traits and gear page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 24 Jun. 2019 (FAQ page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 24 Jun. 2019 (Uldir page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 24 Jun. 2019 (mythic+ page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 24 Jun. 2019 (this page): This page has been updated for the release of Patch 8.2.
  • 24 Jun. 2019 (Battle of Dazar'alor page): Minor changes to talent selections.
  • 24 Jun. 2019 (rotation page): Updated for Patch 8.2.
  • 24 Jun. 2019 (how to improve page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 24 Jun. 2019 (Crucible of Storms page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 24 Jun. 2019 (stats page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 19 May 2019 (Crucible of Storms page): Added Mythic tips.
  • 07 May 2019 (rotation page): Minor changes made to the multi-target section.
  • 06 May 2019 (mythic+ page): Updated the Mythic+ Azerite trait recommendations.
  • 16 Apr. 2019 (FAQ page): This page has been reviewed and no changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 16 Apr. 2019 (how to improve page): This page has been reviewed and no changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 16 Apr. 2019 (simulations page): This page has been reviewed and no changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 16 Apr. 2019 (gear page): This page has been reviewed and no changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 16 Apr. 2019 (addons page): This page has been reviewed and no changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 16 Apr. 2019 (enchants page): This page has been reviewed and no changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 16 Apr. 2019 (stats page): This page has been reviewed and no changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 16 Apr. 2019 (Uldir page): This page has been reviewed and no changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 16 Apr. 2019 (Battle of Dazar'alor page): This page has been reviewed and no changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 16 Apr. 2019 (Crucible of Storms page): Guide added.
  • 16 Apr. 2019 (mythic+ page): This page has been reviewed and no changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 16 Apr. 2019 (rotation page): This page has been reviewed and no changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 16 Apr. 2019 (talents page): This page has been reviewed and no changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 16 Apr. 2019 (spells page): This page has been reviewed and no changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 16 Apr. 2019 (easy mode page): This page has been reviewed and no changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 16 Apr. 2019 (this page): This page has been reviewed and no changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 16 Apr. 2019 (azerite traits and gear page): This page has been reviewed and no changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 04 Mar. 2019 (gear page): Fixed gear sources.
  • 24 Feb. 2019 (Battle of Dazar'alor page): Updated boss talent recommendations slightly.
  • 18 Feb. 2019 (Battle of Dazar'alor page): Fixed the boss order.
  • 08 Feb. 2019 (Battle of Dazar'alor page): Updated talent recommendations.
  • 24 Jan. 2019 (Battle of Dazar'alor page): Updated talent recommendations.
  • 22 Jan. 2019 (Battle of Dazar'alor page): Added first version of Unholy DK advice for Battle of Dazar'alor.
  • 22 Jan. 2019 (azerite traits and gear page): Added Treacherous Covenant and second Outer Ring information.
  • 22 Jan. 2019 (mythic+ page): Updated for the release of BfA Season 2.
  • 22 Jan. 2019 (gear page): Added a Recommended Gear List for Battle of Dazar'alor, and an introduction to the RaidBots Droptimizer feature.
  • 18 Dec. 2018 (FAQ page): Added 3 new questions to the FAQ.
  • 16 Dec. 2018 (enchants page): Fixed a typo in the recommended food section.
  • 14 Dec. 2018 (enchants page): Updated the recommended food for the new personal food.
  • 14 Dec. 2018 (talents page): Updated the PvP talent section.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (rotation page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (simulations page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (spells page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (Uldir page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (addons page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (enchants page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (stats page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (how to improve page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (FAQ page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (easy mode page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (this page): Added Patch 8.1 changes.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (mythic+ page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (gear page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 09 Dec. 2018 (talents page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 22 Nov. 2018 (this page): Added a section for viability in the current patch.
  • 25 Sep. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Redesigned the Azerite page to provide a tier list for each trait ring.
  • 14 Sep. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Updated for Azerite changes and Uldir.
  • 03 Sep. 2018 (Uldir page): Added information for all bosses in Uldir.
  • 29 Aug. 2018 (gear page): Added a hectic add cleave trinket chart.
  • 29 Aug. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Added the new Bloodmallet Azerite trait chart and recommended traits.
  • 26 Aug. 2018 (talents page): Updated for the All Will Serve fix.
  • 26 Aug. 2018 (enchants page): Updated the consumables section.
  • 23 Aug. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Updated for recent Bloodmallet sim changes.
  • 20 Aug. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Updated the recommended Azerite gear.
  • 18 Aug. 2018 (rotation page): Removed Chains of Ice from the single-target rotation.
  • 12 Aug. 2018 (mythic+ page): Page added for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 12 Aug. 2018 (enchants page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 12 Aug. 2018 (stats page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 12 Aug. 2018 (rotation page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 12 Aug. 2018 (talents page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 12 Aug. 2018 (gear page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 12 Aug. 2018 (FAQ page): Page added for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 12 Aug. 2018 (easy mode page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 12 Aug. 2018 (simulations page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 12 Aug. 2018 (Uldir page): Page added (empty for now).
  • 12 Aug. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Page added for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 06 Aug. 2018 (talents page): Fixed a typo in the War Mode section.
  • 06 Aug. 2018 (gear page): Updated the legendary list and tier 21 description to fix some mistakes.
  • 30 Jul. 2018 (gear page): Updated the legendary list to better reflect the current meta.
  • 30 Jul. 2018 (addons page): Removed Corpse Shield from the macro list.
  • 26 Jul. 2018 (talents page): Updated level 56 talent choices to be more accurate.
  • 23 Jul. 2018 (stats page): Updated the stat priority for the pre-patch with a more accurate priority.
  • 21 Jul. 2018 (this page): Updated the strengths and weaknesses section to better reflect Unholy's current strengths and weaknesses.
  • 21 Jul. 2018 (talents page): Updated the talent page with more detailed explanations on certain talents.
  • 21 Jul. 2018 (rotation page): Fixed the Cold Heart tooltip to show the Legendary instead of the Frost talent.
  • 21 Jul. 2018 (easy mode page): Updated the recommended talents and rotation priority.
  • 21 Jul. 2018 (rotation page): Fixed the single target rotation priority to show Defile and to better word Death Coil usage.
  • 16 Jul. 2018 (this page): Updated for the Battle for Azeroth pre-patch.
  • 15 Jan. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Fixed the placement of Helchains and Magus of the Dead on rankings.
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