Unholy Death Knight PvP Guide in Battle for Azeroth (BfA 8.3)

Last updated on Jan 16, 2020 at 18:52 by Mysticall 12 comments
General Information

This guide will walk you through everything you need to know to play in a PvP environment. The guide will cover everything from talent choices, PvP talents, gameplay and rotation, and useful racial bonuses. It is most applicable to Arena content, but most talents and racial bonuses will work in Rated Battlegrounds and skirmishes.


Unholy Death Knights in the Current Meta

Unholy Death Knights are the most unique melee specialization in the game. Most of their damage comes from their pet. Not only that, but they have to keep track of two resources: Runic Power and Runes. Unlike other melee classes that have strong single- target damage, Unholy Death Knights have the ability to AoE down entire teams. To add to this, you also have to maintain buffs, diseases, your pet and Runic Power. Unholy Death Knights are one of the hardest melee classes to master, but are certainly worth learning.


Strengths of Unholy Death Knights

  • Strong burst damage
  • Great consistent damage
  • Multiple defensive cooldowns

Weaknesses of Unholy Death Knights

  • Limited crowd control
  • Predictable burst damage
  • Little to no mobility

Content of the Guide

This guide ended up being very long, so we decided to split it in different pages.



  • 16 Jan. 2020: This page was checked for patch 8.3 and no updates were necessary.
  • 17 Nov. 2019: Reorganized the guide in 7 different pages.
  • 24 Aug. 2019: Updated Horde races.
  • 16 Aug. 2019: Updated Alliance races.
  • 06 Jul. 2019: Updated Major and Minor Essence sections.
    • Updated Burst and Sustained damage rotations.
  • 04 Jul. 2019: Updated Guide for Patch 8.2.
    • Added Azerite Essence section.
    • Added Major and Minor Essences sections.
    • Updated Gear section.
    • Updated Talent Table
    • Updated Tier 5 regular talent.
    • Updated PvP talents.
    • Updated Burst and sustained damage rotations.
    • Updated Defensives.
  • 28 Apr. 2019: Updated Azerite Traits section.
  • 14 Mar. 2019: No major changes needed for Patch 8.1.5.
  • 09 Mar. 2019: Made several changes to the guide.
    • Updated Stat Priority.
    • Updated Azerite Traits section.
    • Updated Gear Recommendations section.
    • Updated Tier 5 talent section.
    • Updated PvP Talents.
    • Updated Burst Rotation.
  • 03 Jan. 2019: Updated Racial Bonuses section.
  • 04 Oct. 2018: Added Azerite Traits section.
    • Added Recommended Gear section.
    • Added Talent Table.
  • 02 Oct. 2018: Removed PvP Gear and War Mode sections.
  • 02 Sep. 2018: Updated guide for Patch 8.0.1.
    • Updated Introduction and spec overview.
    • Added Stat priority.
    • Updated all regular talents sections.
    • Added PvP (War Mode) talents and gear sections for the new BfA system.
    • Updated Racial Bonuses section.
    • Added section for your pet.
    • Updated Burst Damage and Sustained Damage sections.
    • Updated Defensive section.
    • Updated Macros section.
    • Removed Gear section.
    • Removed Artifact Traits and Relics sections.
  • 16 May 2018: Added an Arena Compositions section.
  • 30 Mar. 2018: Made several updates to the guide and its structure.
    • Added sections for Macros, Strengths, and Weaknesses.
    • Moved Gear, Artifact Traits, and Relics sections to the end, since they are not that important.
  • 02 Feb. 2018: No major changes needed for Patch 7.3.5.
  • 24 Dec. 2017: No major changes needed for Patch 7.3.2.
  • 20 Sep. 2017: Performed several changes for Patch 7.3
    • Removed Artifact Trait descriptions.
    • Changed recommended tier 3 regular talents.
    • Changed recommended tier 5 honor talents.
    • Updated burst and sustained damage rotations.
  • 19 Jul. 2017: Changed recommended tier 1 and 3 regular and tier 4 honor talents. Also updated burst and sustained damage rotation.
  • 22 May 2017: Guide added.
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