Unholy Death Knight PvP Guide (Shadowlands 9.0.5)
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 match very high sustained pressure with unique and powerful utility. The sustained pressure comes from the fact that Unholy has damage from so many different sources. Up to two diseases, a permanent ghoul, multiple summonable pets, wounds bursting, melee attacks, and powerful cooldowns. This makes the damage very difficult to avoid, and thus teams will struggle to heal through it. Furthermore, its unique toolkit provides it with arguably the most stops for casters in the game, between Death Grip, Mind Freeze, Leap, Asphyxiate and Gnaw. Managing all this utility tends to be tricky for newer players, but the reward is massive.
Strengths of Unholy Death Knights
- Strong burst damage
- Great consistent damage
- Defensive cooldowns with CC prevention
- Great lockdown toolkit
Weaknesses of Unholy Death Knights
- Limited crowd control
- Many setup globals
- Little to no mobility
Content of the Guide
This guide ended up being very long, so we decided to split it in different pages.
- On the Unholy Death Knight PvP Talents page, you will find an analysis of each PvE talent row to help you decide which talent to pick on each row, as well as an overview of the PvP talents, which advice on which ones to take and under which conditions.
- On the Unholy Death Knight PvP Rotation and Playstyle page, you will learn how to use your spells, depending on the situation (damaging, surviving, controlling enemy players, etc.), and what is generally expected of your class and spec in PvP.
- On the Unholy Death Knight PvP Covenants and Legendary Powers page, you will find advice on choosing the best Covenant, Soulbind, and Conduits as well as the best PvP Legendary Powers.
- On the Unholy Death Knight PvP Stat Priority and Gear page, you will find the stat priority to follow in PvP, as well as advice for choosing your gear, particularly trinkets.
- On the Unholy Death Knight PvP Best Races page, you will find lists of the Alliance and Horde races, ranked by how good they are for Unholy Death Knights in PvP, as well as explanations regarding why and how their racials benefit you.
- On the Unholy Death Knight PvP Useful Macros page, you will find a collection of useful macros for PvP for Unholy Death Knights.
- On the Unholy Death Knight Arena Composition page, you will find the list of the most powerful Arena compositions featuring Unholy Death Knights, in both 2v2 and 3v3 modes.
- 20 Mar. 2021: Reviewed for Patch 9.0.5.
- 09 Dec. 2020: Added Covenant page.
- 05 Dec. 2020: Removed Azerite mentions. Full Season 1 update to follow soon.
- 14 Oct. 2020: Updated for Shadowlands pre-patch.
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