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Unholy Death Knight DPS Spell Summary (Legion 7.3.5)

Last updated on Aug 28, 2017 at 12:48 by Vlad 475 comments

Table of Contents

General Information

On this page, we list the spells that you will often use as an Unholy Death Knight.

The other pages of our Unholy Death Knight guide can be accessed from the table of contents on the right.

About Our Reviewer

This guide has been reviewed and approved by JaceDK, long-time Death Knight theorycrafter and moderator on the Death Knight Discord. You can also catch him on his stream or on his YouTube channel. He also raids in WHATEVER WERE AWESOME, a top guild.

1. Introduction

If you are new to Unholy, this is a great place to start to get an understanding of how the spec works. On this page we will discuss what abilities you have, what they are used for within the specialisation, how they interact with each other and also with important cooldowns. If you already have experience with Unholy and are comfortable with it in Legion, it is recommended you skip this section and move on to the rest of the guide.

2. Main Resources of Unholy Death Knights

Runic Power and Runes are your two resources. Throughout the fight, you will look to spend as many Runes as possible and generate as much Runic Power as you can, which you will then use to help you deal more damage.

3. Unholy Death Knight Basic Abilities

These are your core skills that are available regardless of talents, and form the core gameplay of the specialisation.

Virulent Plague Icon Virulent Plague is a Shadow damage DoT that erupts when the target dies, dealing damage divided among all enemies, and which also has a 30% chance to erupt each time it deals damage. It is applied using Outbreak Icon Outbreak and you should always have this active on the target at all times.

Outbreak Icon Outbreak costs 1 Rune and applies a 6-second debuff to the target which, for that time, causes it and any nearby enemies to become affected by Virulent Plague Icon Virulent Plague.

Festering Strike Icon Festering Strike costs 2 Runes, dealing Physical damage to the target and infecting them with 2-4 stacks of Festering Wound Icon Festering Wound. Each Festering Wound stack deals damage to the target and grants you 3 Runic Power when the target dies, or when the stack is burst by using Scourge Strike Icon Scourge Strike.

Scourge Strike Icon Scourge Strike costs 1 Rune and deals Physical and Shadow damage to the target, also bursting 1 Festering Wound Icon Festering Wound stack.

Death Coil Icon Death Coil costs 45 Runic Power to cast, dealing Shadow damage to the target and restoring 10 Energy to your ghoul.

Death and Decay Icon Death and Decay costs 1 Rune and places a damaging area at the target location, which persists for 10 seconds. While you are inside your own Death and Decay, Scourge Strike Icon Scourge Strike will damage all enemies near to your target.

Dark Transformation Icon Dark Transformation has a 1-minute cooldown and transforms your ghoul into a more powerful version of itself for 20 seconds.

Wraith Walk Icon Wraith Walk is a useful movement ability that increases your movement speed by 70% for 3 seconds, breaking any root effects when used, and preventing you from being slowed or otherwise impaired for its duration. It has a 45-second cooldown and performing any action (other than moving or using Anti-Magic Shell Icon Anti-Magic Shell) will cancel its effect.

Anti-Magic Shell Icon Anti-Magic Shell absorbs up to 30% of your maximum health in magic damage over 5 seconds, and generates Runic Power based on the damage absorbed. This should be used to mitigate magic damage throughout the fight, while the added Runic Power will help increase your DPS.

4. Important Procs for Unholy Death Knights

Sudden Doom Icon Sudden Doom grants your auto-attacks a chance to make your next Death Coil Icon Death Coil cost no Runic Power.

5. Cooldowns for Unholy Death Knights

Unholy Death Knights have 2 DPS cooldowns as well as  Icon Apocalypse, the Artifact ability.

  • Summon Gargoyle Icon Summon Gargoyle is a very powerful cooldown that is free of cost. You generally want to use it whenever it is available, but you can save it for a period when you need to do extra damage. The gargoyle scales with spell haste, and using it together with Heroism Icon Heroism/Bloodlust Icon Bloodlust/Time Warp Icon Time Warp allows the gargoyle to get a few extra casts off, increasing its damage slightly.
  • Army of the Dead Icon Army of the Dead summons a number of ghouls to fight at your side for a short while. It has a high Rune cost, but it also deals a lot of damage.
  •  Icon Apocalypse is your Artifact ability. It summons a member of the Army of the Dead Icon Army of the Dead for each stack of Festering Wound Icon Festering Wounds, up to 6. Those ghouls deal decent damage, and they also interact with other Artifact traits like  Icon Portal to the Underworld and  Icon Armies of the Damned, which causes them to explode when they die.

6. ChangeLog

  • 28 Aug. 2017: Updated Wraith Walk description to mention that you can use Anti-Magic Shell without disabling it.
  • 12 Jun. 2017: Updated the cost of Death Coil to account for Patch 7.2.5 changes.
  • 11 Dec. 2016: Page added.
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