Unholy Death Knight DPS Mythic+ Tips — Dragonflight 10.0.7

Last updated on Mar 20, 2023 at 14:16 by Bicepspump 63 comments
General Information

In this guide, you will find tips and advice to tackle Mythic+ dungeons with your Unholy Death Knight in World of Warcraft — Dragonflight 10.0.7.


Unholy Death Knight in Mythic+

Unholy Death Knight brings solid damage to any Mythic+ dungeon! We have insane scaling for certain spells and a very satisfying rotation when we pull it off!

The guide will also touch on Unholy Death Knights and their damage mitigation tools, all the useful utilities provided by spec, and their ability to self-sustain in a critical situation, as well as some of the disadvantages of having an Unholy Death Knight in your M+ group.

If you are unfamiliar with Mythic+ and its associated general mechanics, you can read more about it on our dedicated Mythic+ page below.


Unholy Death Knight Talents in Mythic+

Mythic+ sees two primary builds being competitive, with the above one focusing mainly on our Diseases. It is versatile, with both great AoE and solid single target. You can simply pick this up and run it in every dungeon. There is an alternative with the Wound build. This picks up Bursting Sores Icon Bursting Sores to deal extremely high quadratic scaling AoE damage. This is only really worthwhile during Fortified weeks for Algeth'ar Academy runs. It can be used elsewhere, but it will likely not work as well for you as the Disease build. Please find the build below:


Thundering Affix

Season 1 brings the Thundering Icon Thundering affix, which periodically applies a debuff to all players in the party. At the time of debuff application, you also get a set of swirlies on the ground that you need to dodge. The debuff provides a damage and healing buff for 15 seconds. Players will receive one of two marks and must run to a player with the opposite mark to clear the debuff. If you fail to do so within 15 seconds you get stunned for 8 seconds!

The idea here is to keep the debuff for as long as possible and then clear towards the end to avoid the stun. This maximizes the damage and healing gain and removed the negative aspect. Unholy Death Knights can negate the stun by using Anti-Magic Shell Icon Anti-Magic Shell at the end of the debuff. However, this would leave a teammate stunned so try to avoid this!

To read more about the Thundering Icon Thundering affix, please see the full affix guide for more information about this affix!


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 link below.


Opener and Rotation on Mythic+ Packs

Unholy's AoE rotation revolves heavily around the application and bursting of large quantities of Festering Wound Icon Festering Wounds with the Bursting Sores Icon Bursting Sores talent. We can use cooldown (Unholy Assault Icon Unholy Assault, Vile Contagion Icon Vile Contagion and Dark Transformation Icon Dark Transformation with Infected Claws Icon Infected Claws) or manually tab through targets with Festering Strike Icon Festering Strike to apply the wounds. We then burst the wounds by popping down our Death and Decay Icon Death and Decay and spamming Scourge Strike Icon Scourge Strike/Clawing Shadows Icon Clawing Shadows.

Outside these build and spend cycles, we pretty much play our normal single target rotation, swapping out Death Coil Icon Death Coil for Epidemic Icon Epidemic as our Runic Power spender.

To make it hopefully easy to understand, this is a simplified version of what your multiple target opener should look like.

  1. Use Outbreak Icon Outbreak or Unholy Blight Icon Unholy Blight to apply Virulent Plague Icon Virulent Plague on all targets.
  2. Use Dark Transformation Icon Dark Transformation.
  3. Use Festering Strike Icon Festering Strike.
  4. Use Unholy Assault Icon Unholy Assault.
  5. Use Vile Contagion Icon Vile Contagion (on the target that now has 6 Festering Wound Icon Festering Wounds).
  6. Use Apocalypse Icon Apocalypse on the target with the most Festering Wound Icon Festering Wounds (ideally 4).
  7. Spam Epidemic Icon Epidemic until you are out of Runic Power.
  8. Use Death and Decay Icon Death and Decay.
  9. Spam Scourge Strike Icon Scourge Strike and use Epidemic Icon Epidemic if you are about to cap on Runic Power.
  10. After Death and Decay Icon Death and Decay finishes, go to single-target rotation with Epidemic Icon Epidemic instead of Death Coil Icon Death Coil.

If Unholy Assault Icon Unholy Assault and Vile Contagion Icon Vile Contagion are on cooldown, use 1-2 extra Festering Strike Icon Festering Strikes instead. After you have executed this opener, the pack is hopefully dead. If not, either pop down a second Death and Decay Icon Death and Decay or move to your normal single-target rotation with Epidemic Icon Epidemic.

If the pack lives for up to 40 seconds your priority will change slightly. When you have your Unholy Assault Icon Unholy Assault and Vile Contagion Icon Vile Contagion combination, you want to delay your Dark Transformation Icon Dark Transformation until 2-3 GCDs inside your first Death and Decay Icon Death and Decay window. This will prevent any overcapping on Festering Wound Icon Festering Wounds, as well as set up for your second Death and Decay Icon Death and Decay window (with Death's Echo Icon Death's Echo). After you have finished with your first window, dump your Runic Power with Epidemic Icon Epidemic and then move straight into your next window!

Now, if you are running the Disease Build, everything changes. In this scenario, you have three primary priorities:

  1. Maintain 100% uptime on your Diseases.
  2. Maintain 100% uptime on Plaguebringer Icon Plaguebringer.
  3. Use Death and Decay Icon Death and Decay on cooldown.
  4. Fill in with Death Coil Icon Death Coil or Epidemic Icon Epidemic (4+ targets).

We do not care about Festering Wound Icon Festering Wounds nearly as much here. Instead, it is all about optimizing our two primary sources of damage: Diseases and Death Coil Icon Death Coil/ Epidemic Icon Epidemic. It might feel weird to play at first but it is incredibly fun once you get the hang of it!


Unholy Death Knight Utility

  • Death Grip Icon 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 spread out to maximize cleave damage. This can also be used as an extra interrupt or to interrupt casts that cannot be interrupted by Mind Freeze Icon Mind Freeze. Another great application of this ability is to pull mobs out of Sanguine Icon Sanguine.
  • Mind Freeze Icon Mind Freeze is a 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 to the tanks. It is recommended you communicate your interrupts with the rest of your group, so you do not end up wasting interrupts.
  • Anti-Magic Shell Icon 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 Icon Anti-Magic Shell before a magical debuff would be applied to you, such as Bursting, the Anti-Magic Shell Icon Anti-Magic Shell will prevent the application of the debuff.
  • Wraith Walk Icon Wraith Walk is a movement talent 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 time.
  • Dark Succor Icon Dark Succor is a proc that occurs whenever you kill an enemy, granting you a free cast of Death Strike Icon Death Strike and increasing the healing by an additional 10% of your maximum health. This can be very useful if your group is taking high amounts of AoE damage.
  • Death Pact Icon Death Pact is a utility talent that provides you with a heal for 50% of your maximum health. This is incredibly useful in Grievous Icon Grievous or Bursting Icon Bursting, where sometimes the damage your group is taking can overwhelm your healer.
  • Anti-Magic Zone Icon Anti-Magic Zone is one of our most useful utility cooldowns. It is very powerful against heavy group magic damage.
  • Gnaw Icon Gnaw is an ability that your pet has. Gnaw Icon Gnaw is off the global cooldown and stuns the target for 2 seconds. It is recommended that you keybind this ability, so you have control over when your pet casts it.
  • Asphyxiate Icon Asphyxiate is an optional 4 single-target stun that lasts for 4 seconds and it has a 45-second cooldown. If your group composition lacks stuns, you might want to consider using that talent. In addition, it has a 20-yard range, which makes it great against targets that run out of melee.
  • Death Knight is one of the few classes that can resurrect an ally while in combat, with Raise Ally Icon Raise Ally. In addition, they are the only class that has an instant BR (battle-res), which makes it extremely valuable for any Mythic+ group.
  • Lichborne Icon Lichborne is an extremely useful ability that provides you with 10% Leech and immunity toward Charm, Fear, and Sleep effects for 10 seconds. The extra Leech allows you to have better self-sustain without relying on Death Strike Icon Death Strike once you drop critically low. The immunity toward the crowd-control effects can be useful in some of the dungeon boss fights. When Lichborne is active, you can heal by casting Death Coil Icon Death Coil on yourself. Importantly, this can be used to remove stacks of Grievous Wound Icon Grievous Wound from Grievous Icon Grievous since the Death Coils count as direct heals.
  • Death's Advance Icon Death's Advance is another extremely useful utility of the Death Knights, which increases your movement speed by 35% and gives you an immunity toward forced movement effects and knockbacks for 10 seconds. You can use it for effectively dodging mechanics or to neutralize an incoming knockback, such as the Globgrog`s Plaguestomp Icon Plaguestomp. Keep in mind, any second that you do not spend in melee will decrease your overall damage output, which can sometimes result in depleting the keystone. Make use of all of your utilities to get an edge over any dungeon.
  • Control Undead Icon Control Undead gives you the option to control an undead creature for 5 minutes. While it is a useful ability, it is unlikely that you will ever use it as an Unholy Death Knight because it disables your Ghoul, which is where the majority of your damage comes from. To conclude, do NOT ever use it, unless necessary to prevent the party from a certain wipe.
  • Icebound Fortitude Icon Icebound Fortitude is a powerful defensive ability that decreases any incoming damage by 30% for 8 seconds. Moreover, during that 8 seconds window, the ability provides you with stun immunity, which can be useful for several dungeon boss fights such as - Domina Venomblade and her Shadow Ambush Icon Shadow Ambush, as well as The Manastorms and the Shadowfury Icon Shadowfury cast, so make sure you use your cooldowns accordingly.
  • Dark Command Icon Dark Command is a single-target taunt ability that instantly generates threat on the targeted enemy unit. You can use this ability as utility, by helping your tank to reset their Necrotic Icon Necrotic stacks. Just make sure to use a personal-defensive or a self-sustain ability to ensure you do not die.
  • Sacrificial Pact Icon Sacrificial Pact can be used both offensively and defensively, although it is not recommended to use it as a source of damage, but rather as a last resort for self-sustainability. Sacrificial Pact sacrifices your Ghoul to heal you for 25% of your maximum health. You should only use it if it is a critical situation to prevent certain death. Be conservative about this ability, since most of your damage comes from your pet, so sacrificing it will result in a major damage loss.
  • Chains of Ice Icon Chains of Ice is a powerful single-target slow that reduces the movement speed on the target by 70%. It has a 30-yard range and can also be applied to multiple enemies.


  • 20 Mar. 2023: Updated talents 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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