Unholy Death Knight PvP Stat Priority, Gear, and Trinkets (Dragonflight 10.2)
Choosing your gear carefully is important for your Unholy Death Knight in PvP. We give you a stat priority to help you choose items with the right stats, followed by advice on how to choose the rest of your gear and your trinkets.
This page is part of our Unholy Death Knight PvP Guide.
Stat Priority for Unholy Death Knights in PvP
The stat priority for Unholy Death Knights in PvP is as follows:
- Mastery = Haste
- Critical Strike
Versatility is the best stat by far. Versatility, in PvP, has the highest contribution to output while also heavily increasing survivability through healing and damage mitigation. No other stat can compete with Versatility in value in PvP.
Mastery and Haste are both very valuable stats and actually synergize with each other. Mastery increases your Shadow damage and your Minion damage, while Haste reduces the global cooldown, gives you resource generation, and increases the rate at which you and your minions attack. Either of these stats make the other one more valuable, meaning you should aim for a balance of both.
Critical Strike is purely an output stat and does not do as much for our class as the other stats. Unholy Death Knight has no procs or additional effects that occur because of Critical Strikes. Therefore, it is our worst stat.
As for gearing, there are no pieces you truly need to target for slots like legs or boots; you are just looking for the proper stats on them which will come from honor, conquest, professions, and the weekly cache. Due to the introduction of Spark of Shadowflame, you are able to craft versatility and mastery in every slot allowing for maximum burst potential. Embellishments can vary. For more sustain, given the damage profile changes, you can add a Shadowflame-Tempered Armor Patch to legs, as this will be the tier offpiece due to the poor itemization. For more defensive utility, you can run Undulating Sporecloak over a second Armor Patch, which can be added to any armor piece, such as wrists. Due to Unholy's general tankiness and need for some haste, you can craft at least two or three pieces with haste and mastery over versatility. It is recommended that wrists, rings, and legs be crafted with haste and mastery.
Verdant Gladiator's Emblem can be an option if you need to play particularly defensive against a comp you have not been able to survive against (probably Rogue/Hunter comps). Death Knights scale very well with increased health effects because their heals are based on a percentage of your maximum health.
Verdant Gladiator's Insignia of Alacrity is going to be used in most situations. The trinket provides a main stat proc along with static haste. Early on, there will be low haste values, so this trinket will prove to be useful.
Gems and Enchants
Fill every gem socket you have with Zen Neltharite.
These are the best Unholy Death Knight enchants by slot:
- Wrist: Enchant Bracer - Devotion of Leech or Enchant Bracer - Devotion of Leech
- Cloak: Enchant Cloak - Regenerative Leech or Enchant Cloak - Homebound Speed
- Chest: Enchant Chest - Sustained Strength
- Legs: Fierce Armor Kit
- Rings: Enchant Ring - Devotion of Versatility
- Neck: Tiered Medallion Setting
- Boots: Enchant Boots - Plainsrunner's Breeze
Death Knights get a special weapon enchant called Runeforges. Runeforging is done by using your Death Gate to get back to Acherus, the Ebon Hold. Rune of the Fallen Crusader, Rune of Sanguination, and Rune of Spellwarding all have value in a PvP setting. Fallen Crusader is the standard output-increasing Runeforge. However, Sanguination provides increased survivability against all comps, and Spellwarding provides heavily increased survivability against spell-cleaves. With the addition of the Spellwarden talent, you will likely not use Spellwarding as this talent provides the Runeforge at 25% increased effectiveness. You can have multiple weapon sets in your bag and switch them based on the enemy team composition.
- 06 Nov. 2023: Updated for Patch 10.2.0.
- 01 Sep. 2023: Reviewed for Patch 10.1.7.
- 10 Jul. 2023: Reviewed for Patch 10.1.5.
- 05 May 2023: Updated for Patch 10.1.
- 21 Mar. 2023: Reviewed for Patch 10.0.7.
- 30 Jan. 2023: Reviewed for Patch 10.0.5.
- 11 Dec. 2022: Updated for Dragonflight Season 1.
- 22 Nov. 2022: Updated for Dragonflight pre-patch.
- 31 Jul. 2022: Updated for Shadowlands Season 4.
- 31 May 2022: Reviewed for Patch 9.2.5.
- 02 Mar. 2022: Updated for Patch 9.2.0.
- 11 Dec. 2021: Reviewed for Patch 9.1.5.
- 04 Jul. 2021: Updated for Patch 9.1 of Shadowlands.
- 20 Mar. 2021: Reviewed for Patch 9.0.5.
- 05 Dec. 2020: Updated for Shadowlands Season 1.
- 14 Oct. 2020: Updated for Shadowlands pre-patch.
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