Unholy Death Knight DPS Mythic+ Tips — Shadowlands 9.2.5
In this guide, you will find tips and advice to tackle Mythic+ dungeons with your Unholy Death Knight in World of Warcraft — Shadowlands 9.2.5.
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 situations, 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 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 on Mythic+ Packs
- Festering Strike
- Festering Strike
- Unholy Blight
- Dark Transformation
- Abomination Limb ( Swarming Mist if Venthyr)
- Epidemic until you are out of Runic Power
- Shackle the Unworthy if Kyrian
- Death and Decay (or Death's Due if Night Fae)
- Spam Scourge Strike/ Clawing Shadows
Rotation on Mythic+ Packs
- Unholy Blight + Dark Transformation (always sync these 2 together)
- Epidemic, if you are about to cap Runic Power or have a Sudden Doom proc.
- Death and Decay
- Scourge Strike, if you are standing in your Death and Decay ( Clawing Shadows if you have it talented).
- Scourge Strike, if you have 1 or more Festering Wounds.
- Festering Strike to build Festering Wounds.
We will next discuss this rotation further. Generally, any given pack in a Mythic+ dungeon can be approached by viewing our DPS as 4 "phases". We have setup and cooldown usage, Epidemic dump, Death and Decay window, and post-DnD AoE.
The setup consists of sending out two Festering Strike as well as popping your cooldowns. You generally want to start off with your Festering Strikes as your tank pulls the mobs, since your AoE would not be very efficient at that point anyway. Once the mobs are more grouped up, you apply your Virulent Plague with Unholy Blight or Outbreak, pop Dark Transformation, and use Apocalypse if the pack does not die very quickly. You also use your Covenant ability if you are Necrolord or Venthyr.
Once we have used all our cooldowns, we have lots of Runic Power to spend. We use this on Epidemic until we cannot do so anymore. This both does a ton of AoE damage, as well as allowing our Runes to recharge (both passively and through procs of Runic Corruption).
We pop down our Death and Decay and start spamming Scourge Strike/ Clawing Shadows. Remember that it is only you that needs to stand in your Death and Decay for your Scourge Strike/ Clawing Shadows to cleave, not the mobs themselves. We do use Epidemic at this stage as well to avoid capping Runic Power.
Once we are out of our Death and Decay window, the pack is hopefully dead. If it is not, we move into our normal single-target rotation with Epidemic replacing Death Coil. If the pack lives for a very long time, we spend this time setting up our next Death and Decay window by spreading some Festering Wounds.
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 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. Another great application of this ability is to pull mobs out of Sanguine.
- 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 on 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 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 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.
- Dark Succor is a proc that occurs whenever you kill an enemy, granting you a free cast of Death Strike and increases 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 is a utility talent that provides you with 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.
- Anti-Magic Zone is one of our most useful utility cooldowns. It is very powerful against heavy group magic damage such as from Bursting or the Tormented Lieutenant Incinerator Arkolath.
- Gnaw is an ability that your pet has. 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 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 have an ability to resurrect an ally while in combat, with Raise Ally. In addition, they are the only class that has an instant BR (battle-ress), which makes it extremely valuable for any Mythic+ group.
- 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 once you drop critically low. The immunity toward the crowd-control effects can be useful in some of the dungeon boss fights, such as: Halkias and its Sinlight Visions (once you are out of the Light of Atonement boss aura), as well as Ingra Maloch with its Repulsive Visage fear, so keep a close eye on the boss' abilities and use this ability accordingly. When Lichborne is active, you can heal by casting Death Coil on yourself. Importantly, this can be used to remove stacks of Grievous Wound from Grievous since the Death Coils count as direct heals. This is especially useful on the last boss in De Other Side.
- Death's Advance is another extremely useful utility of the Death Knights, which increases your movement speed by 35% and gives you an immunity towards 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. Keep in mind, any second that you do not spend in melee will decrease your overall damage output, which can sometimes result into depleting the keystone. Make use of all of your utilities to get an edge over any dungeon.
- Control Undead gives you an 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 a 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 absolutely necessary to prevent the party from a certain wipe.
- Icebound Fortitude is a powerful defensive ability which 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, as well as The Manastorms and the Shadowfury cast, so make sure you use your cooldowns accordingly.
- Dark Command is a single-target taunt ability which instantly generates threat on the targeted enemy unit. You can use this ability as utility, by helping your tank to reset their Necrotic stacks. Just make sure to use a personal-defensive or a self-sustain ability to ensure you do not die.
- 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 self-sustain ability. 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 is a powerful single-target slow which reduces the movement speed on the target by 70%. It has a 30 yard range and can also be applied to multiple enemies (you have to cast it for each of them individually).
Mythic+ Talents for Unholy Death Knights
Please note that the talents that we recommend below are specifically for Mythic+. If you want to see a talent overview for Unholy Death Knights, then you can check out our main talent page linked below.
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.
|15||✓ Infected Claws||✓ All Will Serve||✓ Clawing Shadows|
|25||✓ Bursting Sores||✗ Ebon Fever||✓ Unholy Blight|
|30||? Grip of the Dead||? Death's Reach||? Asphyxiate|
|35||✗ Pestilent Pustules||✗ Harbinger of Doom||✓ Soul Reaper|
|40||? Spell Eater||? Wraith Walk||? Death Pact|
|45||✗ Pestilence||✓ Unholy Pact||✓ Defile|
|50||✓ Army of the Damned||✗ Summon Gargoyle||✗ Unholy Assault|
Well-Balanced Mythic+ Build
- Level 15: Clawing Shadows
- Level 25: Unholy Blight
- Level 30: Player Choice
- Level 35: Soul Reaper
- Level 40: Player Choice
- Level 45: Unholy Pact
- Level 50: Army of the Damned
Full AoE Night Fae Infected Claws Bursting Sores Build
- Level 15: Infected Claws
- Level 25: Bursting Sores
- Level 30: Player Choice
- Level 35: Soul Reaper
- Level 40: Player Choice
- Level 45: Defile
- Level 50: Unholy Assault
For a more in-depth look at all the Unholy Death Knight talents, visit the link below.
Season 4 brings the Shrouded affix, which replaces certain mobs in the dungeon with Dreadlords! Engaging these mobs will transform them into a new enemy that you need to defeat with the pack. Once you have done so, you can pick up a stat buff that lasts through the entire dungeon. Picking the same stat multiple times will stack it up!
As an Unholy Death Knight, we want to pick up the Bounty: Critical Strike buff! Crit is a solid stat in both single-target and AoE. Furthermore, since the buff is a raw percentage increase, it is not affected by any strict diminishing returns. Bounty: Mastery is a viable alternative but it quickly starts to lose value due to the DR!
To read more about the Shrouded affix, please see the full affix guide for more information about this affix!
Unholy Death Knight Covenants in Mythic+
Night Fae and Necrolord are both very powerful covenants in Mythic+. Night Fae brings more consistent damage overall with a powerful strength buff. Necrolord is much more about the 2-minute burst window, higher single-target, and good utility with extra grips! I personally prefer Necrolord but it is definitely a personal preference!
Unholy Death Knight Legendaries in Mythic+
We essentially have two choices for Legendary as an Unholy Death Knight; either pick up Frenzied Monstrosity for a balance of single-target and AoE, which is a versatile build that works everywhere, or we pick up Reanimated Shambler for an insane amount of AoE damage with the Infected Claws + Bursting Sores build.
For more information on Unholy Death Knight Legendaries, then check out our page below.
Trinket Choice for Unholy Death Knight in Mythic+
Firstly, we strongly advise you to use Raidbots for more accurate data based on your character, as every toon has a unique ratio of secondary and primary stats. Suggestions that work for you may not work for someone else.
The following trinkets a great choice for Mythic+:
- So'leah's Secret Technique brings a solid consistent stat boost that will increase your damage throughout the dungeon!
- Scars of Fraternal Strife is very highly budgeted but does bring negative effects to your character. If you know how to deal with these, the trinket is a great choice!
- Enforcer's Stun Grenade lines up nicely with your Abomination Limb windows and is a solid active trinket to use in Mythic+!
- Old Warrior's Soul can be really good if you manage high upkeep on the Haste buff. It is especially good during Spiteful week!
- Stone Legion Heraldry is just a nice amount of secondary stats; a solid trinket!
- 31 Jul. 2022: Updated with information on the Shrouded affix for Shadowlands season 4.
- 31 May 2022: Page reviewed for Patch 9.2.5.
- 20 Feb. 2022: Reviewed and approved for Patch 9.2.
- 01 Nov. 2021: Reviewed and approved for Patch 9.1.5.
- 17 Jul. 2021: Added Anima Power recommendations.
- 29 Jun. 2021: Reviewed and approved for Patch 9.1.
- 29 Jun. 2021: Guide reviewed and updated for Patch 9.1.
- 24 Mar. 2021: Reworked page under new writer.
- 09 Mar. 2021: Reviewed for Patch 9.0.5.
- 19 Jan. 2021: Guide reviewed and completely updated.
- 08 Dec. 2020: Updated for the release of Season 1 with a Covenant and Legendary section.
- 26 Nov. 2020: Added a new well balanced Mythic+ build.
- 23 Nov. 2020: Page updated for Shadowlands release. Removed the Azerite Traits and Essence sections, updated talent recommendation, added sections for Covenant and Legendary Power choice.
- 10 Nov. 2020: Updated talent recommendations.
- 12 Oct. 2020: Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
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