Unholy Death Knight DPS Mythic+ Tips — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.1.5
In this guide, you will find tips and advice to tackle Mythic+ dungeons with your Unholy Death Knight in World of Warcraft — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.1.5.
1. Unholy Death Knight in Mythic+
Unholy Death Knight is a very powerful melee in Mythic+ offering high AoE damage, it can be competitive with the top Mythic+ melee dps. Unholy Death Knights do not have strong damage mitigation making it difficult to survive certain encounters in high Mythic+ keystones.
1.1. Unholy Death Knight Mythic+ Rotation
The single target and multi-target rotations do not change in Mythic+ content. For more information about the Unholy Death Knight rotation, refer to the Rotation, Cooldowns, and Abilities page.
1.2. Unholy Death Knight Utility
- Death Grip is an iconic Death Knight spell that pulls an enemy that you are targeting to you. Use this to stack enemies that are far apart together to maximize cleave damage. This can also be used as an extra interrupt or to interrupt casts that cannot be interrupted by Mind Freeze. Another great application of this ability is to pull mobs out of Sanguine pools.
- Mind Freeze is Death Knight's interrupt ability. This should be used to interrupt near the end of the target's cast time as they do not attack while casting a spell so it will minimize damage on the tanks. It is recommended you communicate your interrupts with the rest of your group so you do not end up overlapping interrupts.
- Anti-Magic Shell is your magic soaking ability. This ability can be used to generate Runic Power by soaking magic damage. If you cast Anti-Magic Shell before a magical debuff would be applied to you such as Bursting, the Anti-Magic Shell will prevent the application of the debuff.
- Wraith Walk is a movement talent ability that increases your movement speed by 70% for 4 seconds and removes all root effects. This talent should be taken if you are expecting to be slowed or rooted multiple times in a short period of time. This talent has lost some of the value it had due to Death's Advance being baseline and having close to the same effect.
- Dark Succor is a proc that occurs whenever you kill an enemy, and grants you a free cast of Death Strike. This can be very useful if your group is taking high amounts of AoE damage.
- Death Pact is an utility talent that provides you a heal for 50% of your maximum health. This is incredibly useful in Grievous or Bursting where sometimes the damage your group is taking can overwhelm your healer.
1.3. Mythic+ Talents for Unholy Death Knights
Below are the suggested talents for Mythic+. These talents are recommended for all affixes and keystone levels. For more information on particular talents and when to use them, refer to the Builds and Talents page.
|56||✓ Infected Claws||? All Will Serve||✗ Clawing Shadows|
|57||✓ Bursting Sores||✓ Ebon Fever||✗ Unholy Blight|
|58||? Grip of the Dead||✗ Death's Reach||✓ Asphyxiate|
|60||✓ Pestilent Pustules||✗ Harbinger of Doom||✓ Soul Reaper|
|75||? Spell Eater||? Wraith Walk||✓ Death Pact|
|90||✗ Pestilence||? Defile||✓ Epidemic|
|100||? Army of the Damned||✓ Unholy Frenzy||✗ Summon Gargoyle|
In Battle for Azeroth, there are three tiers of affixes, and one seasonal affix. Every keystone will have at least one affix, with new affixes being added at keystone levels 4 and 7, and the season affix being added at level 10.
1.4. Tier One Affixes
- Fortified increases the Health pool of all non-boss enemies by 20% and damage dealt by 30%.
- Tyrannical increases the Health pool of boss enemies by 40% and their damage dealt by 15%.
Fortified and Tyrannical are the two affixes that every player will see. These affixes shift the focus of Mythic+ from boss to trash depending on the week. Unholy Death Knights have a much easier time with Fortified due to their high AoE damage however they struggle with high level Mythic+ Tyrannical bosses due to their lack of mitigation.
1.5. Tier Two Affixes
- Bolstering causes dying enemies to increase the maximum health and damage of other nearby enemies by 20%. To counter this affix, DPS all mobs down evenly and focus on the highest health pool enemies first. You should stick to Outbreak, Epidemic, and the combinations of Scourge Strike and Death and Decay. If you stagger the health of each mob in a trash pack too much that can lead to the last few mobs having a lot of health and will deal too much damage to your tank.
- Raging increases the damage dealt by enemies below 30% health by 100% until they die. This affix is the opposite to Bolstering; when a non-boss target falls below 30% health remaining you want to switch your attention towards that mob and minimize damage on any other mobs that are close to Raging threshold. If there are multiple enemies that are raging you should maximize your AoE damage onto them to minimize damage onto your tank.
- Teeming adds additional trash mobs to certain packs throughout each dungeon.
- Sanguine places a pool of blood on the ground when a mob is slain. This pool will heal remaining enemies who stay inside the zone and also damage players. Positioning yourself around these pools while maintaining uptime onto your target is very important. Death Knights also have an utility cooldown in Death Grip which you can use to pull mobs out of Sanguine. Make sure to tell your group when you are Death Gripping a mob so you do not overlay it with another cooldown such as Shining Force or Typhoon.
- Bursting causes enemies to detonate when slain, afflicting the group with a stacking debuff that causes players to suffer 10% of their maximum health in damage every four seconds. This affix will require you to control your AoE. You want to try to stay below 5 stacks of Bursting as any more will most likely kill you. Anti-Magic Shell does absorb the damage from Bursting making the talent Spell Eater a viable choice for Bursting Mythic+ dungeons. If you cast Anti-Magic Shell before the Bursting is applied it will prevent the application of the magic debuff.
1.6. Tier Three Affixes
- Volcanic spawns volcanic plumes underneath and around players when in combat with any enemy. When damaged by Volcanic, players suffer 50% of their maximum health in damage. The more enemies you are in combat with, the more volcanic plumes will spawn.
- Grievous afflicts players with a stacking damage over time effect when they fall below 90%. You can use Anti-Magic Shell or Death Pact to prevent the damage from this debuff. It is recommended that you save Death Pact for higher stacks of Grievous due to how much it heals.
- Quaking will periodically attempt to interrupt casters by creating a damaging zone around each player. About 3 seconds after the zone forms, it will deal 20% maximum health in damage to each player caught in the zone and interrupt any casts being finished during the shockwave.
- Explosive will occasionally spawn Explosive Orbs that need to be targeted and burned down within a short period of time or they will deal significant damage to the party. Explosive Orbs are not cleavable and the amount of orbs that spawn scales with the amount of enemies pulled. If your group does not have a good composition to handle explosive orbs then you can use abilities such as Clawing Shadows/ Scourge Strike or Death Coil in order to kill the orbs.
- Necrotic debuffs the target of enemy melee swings with stacking healing reduction and a minor damage over time effect. You can use Grip of the Dead in order to slow mob packs for your tank or Death Grip/ Asphyxiate to prevent single mobs from refreshing Necrotic stacks on your tank.
- Skittish reduces the amount of threat generated by tanks throughout the dungeon.
1.7. Seasonal Affix
Reaping is the seasonal affix for Season 2 of Battle for Azeroth. Reaping causes Souls to rise from the dead and attack the party at intervals of 20% completion on the Enemy Forces count. There are three different enemy types to be aware of.
- Risen Soul — They will apply Reap Soul to their current target, dealing 2% maximum health in damage every 3 seconds, per stack. This can be dispelled.
- Tormented Soul — They will cast Grave Bolt, which deals 25% maximum health in damage to the cast target. This cast can be interrupted.
- Lost Soul — They will cast Shadow Smash at their current target, a frontal cone ability that can be sidestepped. If you are hit by this, your maximum health will be reduced by 20% for 1 minute. Additionally, when Lost Souls die they will cast Expel Soul, spawning swirls on the ground that must be dodged. If you are hit by this, your damage and healing done will be reduced by 10% for 30 seconds.
2. Mythic+ Azerite Traits
The best Mythic+ Azerite trait for Unholy Death Knights is also their best single target trait making it very convenient for you. There are also two other traits that are very strong in heavy AoE situations but weak in single target situations.
- Festermight causes your Festering Wound bursts to grant you a stack of Strength for 20 seconds. This is has synergy with Infected Claws which you should be using for Fortified and some Tyrannical dungeons. Due to the downtime between pulls giving you time for your Runes to regenerate, you will always have the resource available to stack this buff very high.
- Last Surprise causes your ghouls to explode for Shadow damage when they expire. If you have one or more of this trait, you should consider using the talent Army of the Damned. This talent is very difficult to control however it becomes easier in higher keystones where the mobs last longer.
- Helchains causes your Dark Transformation to create a link between you and your ghoul that deals damage to any targets it hits. This trait is a very powerful trait, but choosing this over Festermight is not recommended. If you can get this trait on a piece with Festermight on the other ring, that can be ideal in certain situations.
- 06 May 2019: Updated the Mythic+ Azerite trait recommendations.
- 16 Apr. 2019: This page has been reviewed and no changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
- 22 Jan. 2019: Updated for the release of BfA Season 2.
- 10 Dec. 2018: This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
- 12 Aug. 2018: Page added for Battle for Azeroth launch.
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