Unholy Death Knight DPS Mythic+ Tips — Dragonflight 10.2.7

Last updated on May 07, 2024 at 11:20 by Bicepspump 69 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 10.2.7.


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+

The build below is already a really good, versatile build. The class portion of the tree picks up a ton of defensives that make us pretty much the tankiest class in the game. However, you can go even further. By sacrificing one point in Unholy Bond Icon Unholy Bond for a 1-2% DPS downgrade, you can also pick up Will of the Necropolis Icon Will of the Necropolis. This is a situationally very powerful defensive ability that will effectively increase your HP by 16%. Great if you feel like you're dying a bit too much in keys!


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. It is important to understand that this build is a significant loss in single target and is only worthwhile with really large, short pulls. Even then, it is not strictly better.


Unholy Death Knight Mythic+ Rotation

The single-target and multi-target rotations change quite a lot in Mythic+ content. For more information about the Unholy Death Knight rotation, refer to the link below.


Opener and Rotation on Mythic+ Packs (Disease Build)

Unholy's Disease AoE rotation is all about high Plaguebringer Icon Plaguebringer uptime and lots and lots of Epidemic Icon Epidemic spamming. The idea is to ensure your DoTs are doing as much damage as possible and generating as much Runic Power as possible to spend on Epidemic Icon Epidemic.

As we approach a given pack, we execute essentially the same opener every single time, just skipping parts of it if we do not have the cooldowns ready. This is what it looks like:

  1. Defile Icon Defile as we run towards the pack.
  2. Scourge Strike Icon Scourge Strike as we reach the pack and stand in our Defile Icon Defile (Apply DoTs if your GCD frees up before you reach the pack).
  3. Unholy Blight Icon Unholy Blight to apply Virulent Plague Icon Virulent Plague. Outbreak Icon Outbreak if Blight is not ready.
  4. Dark Transformation Icon Dark Transformation + Empower Rune Weapon Icon Empower Rune Weapon.
  5. Unholy Assault Icon Unholy Assault or Festering Strike Icon Festering Strike to build some wounds on a target.
  6. Abomination Limb Icon Abomination Limb.
  7. Apocalypse Icon Apocalypse.
  8. Epidemic Icon Epidemic until Plaguebringer Icon Plaguebringer needs to be refreshed. Scourge Strike Icon Scourge Strike to refresh.
  9. Defile Icon Defile when your previous Defile Icon Defile buff falls off.
  10. Scourge Strike Icon Scourge Strike.
  11. Epidemic Icon Epidemic until low RP.
  12. Refresh your Virulent Plague Icon Virulent Plague when it is about to expire.
  13. Scourge Strike Icon Scourge Strike.
  14. Epidemic Icon Epidemic until low RP.

The idea is to get your disease up and Plaguebringer Icon Plaguebringer quickly. We also make sure to use Defile Icon Defile early to get the mastery buff. We then use all our cooldowns and dump our Runic Power. Apocalypse Icon Apocalypse is used early here to make sure we get good value from our Death Knight Unholy 10.2 Class Set 2pc Icon Death Knight Unholy 10.2 Class Set 2pc and Death Knight Unholy 10.2 Class Set 4pc Icon Death Knight Unholy 10.2 Class Set 4pc. As Plaguebringer Icon Plaguebringer is about to run out, we use Scourge Strike Icon Scourge Strike to refresh it, ideally within a Defile Icon Defile window to get the benefit of the cleave. At this point, your pet has applied a ton of Festering Wound Icon Festering Wounds on the pack, meaning we get lots of Runic Power every time we cleave with Scourge Strike Icon Scourge Strike. We use this to funnel our damage into Epidemic Icon Epidemic!

You might notice the lack of Festering Strike Icon Festering Strike in this rotation! As a general rule, we almost never press it in our Mythic+ rotation. It is only ever if we need to set up a Festering Wound Icon Festering Wound for Apocalypse Icon Apocalypse or if Defile Icon Defile is not currently active. Since Defile Icon Defile uptime is so high, we just end up spamming Scourge Strike Icon Scourge Strike the majority of the time (ignoring the fact that there sometimes are no Festering Wound Icon Festering Wounds active in the pack). Still, in a long pack, after our Defile Icon Defile sequence is finished (after 40 seconds or so), we will revert back to building and bursting Festering Wound Icon Festering Wounds, spending the Runic Power on Epidemic Icon Epidemic! Without Deadliest Coil Icon Deadliest Coil, we do Epidemic Icon Epidemic at 2 targets. With it, we use Epidemic Icon Epidemic at 4+ targets.


Opener and Rotation on Mythic+ Packs (Wound/ CS Build)


Multiple Target Rotation for Unholy Death Knights (Wound/ CS Build)

The Wound/ CS build deals the majority of its damage through Clawing Shadows Icon Clawing Shadows cleaving in Defile Icon Defile. You will essentially aim to apply your Festering Wound Icon Festering Wounds passively via Dark Transformation Icon Dark Transformation with Infected Claws Icon Infected Claws and Defile Icon Defile with Pestilence Icon Pestilence. You then burst these wounds by spamming Clawing Shadows Icon Clawing Shadows as you stand in your Defile Icon Defile. You will overcap on Runic Power with this build, but that is fine, it is all about getting as many cleaving Clawing Shadows Icon Clawing Shadows out as possible! Do try and dump your Runic Power in the short 2-3 seconds window between Defile Icon Defiles. The optimal way is to pop down your Defile Icon Defile just before the Mastery buff from the previous one is about to drop. Since the buff lasts for around 4 seconds, you get this window of Runic Power dumping.

Outside our Defile Icon Defile windows, 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. We do this at 3+ targets if we haven't picked up Deadliest Coil Icon Deadliest Coil, otherwise we do it at 4+.

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

  • Vile Contagion Icon Vile Contagion Talented
  1. Defile Icon Defile.
  2. Use Outbreak Icon Outbreak or Unholy Blight Icon Unholy Blight to apply Virulent Plague Icon Virulent Plague on all targets.
  3. Use Dark Transformation Icon Dark Transformation + Empower Rune Weapon Icon Empower Rune Weapon.
  4. Use Apocalypse Icon Apocalypse.
  5. Spam Scourge Strike Icon Scourge Strike/ Clawing Shadows Icon Clawing Shadows until your first Defile Icon Defile runs out.
  6. Spam Epidemic Icon Epidemic until your Defile Icon Defile mastery buff is about to drop.
  7. Use Defile Icon Defile.
  8. Spam Clawing Shadows Icon Clawing Shadows
  9. Use Epidemic Icon Epidemic if you have no Runes for Clawing Shadows Icon Clawing Shadows
  10. Refresh your Virulent Plague Icon Virulent Plague when it is about to expire.
  11. After you run out of Death and Decay Icon Death and Decays/ Defile Icon Defiles to use, tab through the targets with Festering Strike Icon Festering Strike to set up for your next window!

If any cooldown listed above is not available, simply skip that part of the opener and proceed to the next step. With Vile Contagion Icon Vile Contagion, you ideally use Festering Strike Icon Festering Strike before your Apocalypse Icon Apocalypse and then Unholy Assault Icon Unholy Assault + Festering Strike Icon Festering Strike afterward to build max wounds on your main target.


Unholy Death Knight Utility

  • Blinding Sleet Icon Blinding Sleet is a 1-minute cooldown AoE stop interrupt that also slows the enemies when they are broken from its blind. Very useful to interrupt casts and help your tank to kite.
  • 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. It also turns into a solid defensive ability via the Unholy Endurance Icon Unholy Endurance talent.
  • 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. 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 a large part 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-second window, the ability provides you with stun immunity, which can be useful for several dungeon boss fights.
  • Dark Command Icon Dark Command is a single-target taunt ability that instantly generates threat on the targeted enemy unit. Useful in very niche situations where you need to soak a tank mechanic from a particularly difficult boss! Make sure to use a defensive beforehand so 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.


  • 07 May 2024: Reviewed for 10.2.7.
  • 22 Apr. 2024: Reviewed for Season 4.
  • 20 Mar. 2024: Reviewed for Patch 10.2.6.
  • 30 Jan. 2024: Updated the Wound M+ build.
  • 15 Jan. 2024: Updated for Patch 10.2.5.
  • 06 Nov. 2023: Updated for Patch 10.2.
  • 04 Sep. 2023: Reviewed for Patch 10.1.7
  • 10 Jul. 2023: Reviewed for Patch 10.1.5.
  • 01 May 2023: Reviewed for Patch 10.1.
  • 30 Apr. 2023: Reviewed and Updated for patch 10.1.
  • 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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