Unholy Death Knight PvP Stat Priority, Gear, and Trinkets (Shadowlands / 9.1)

Last updated on Jul 04, 2021 at 14:24 by Flarkness 13 comments

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:

  1. Versatility
  2. Mastery = Haste
  3. Critical Strike

Versatility is the best stat by far because of the 40% increase from the PvP trinket 2-set bonus. This will be described below in the gear section. This makes Versatility have the highest contribution to output, while also heavily increasing survivability through healing and damage mitigation. No other stat can compete with Versatility in value.

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 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.


Gear Recommendations


General Guidelines

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 can come from many different sources. PvP gear, PvE gear, profession gear, and weekly cache gear all have possible stat combinations that are usable. Therefore, the gear decisions you will have to pay the most attention to are Trinkets and Legendaries.


All PvP trinkets come with a 2-set bonus that increases the damage and healing contribution from your Versatility stat by a whopping 40%. This both makes Versatility your best stat in PvP, and also makes PvP trinkets the best option by far for PvP.

Unchained Gladiator's Medallion Icon Unchained Gladiator's Medallion is the crowd control removal trinket you will generally be using. It is very good at disrupting an enemy setup or getting out of a long CC to peel for your teammates, like a Rogue's Blind Icon Blind or a Mage's Polymorph Icon Polymorph.

Unchained Gladiator's Relentless Brooch Icon Unchained Gladiator's Relentless Brooch is a fantastic option if you are playing Human or against a spammable CC-heavy comp where you are not worried about being the target. Warlock and Mage comps (without Rogues!) are definitely good examples.

Unchained Gladiator's Badge of Ferocity Icon Unchained Gladiator's Badge of Ferocity is a fantastic output trinket as you can use it whenever you are lining up your burst. It is particularly good for Unholy Death Knight, because your longer Anti-Magic Shell Icon Anti-Magic Shell will make you very difficult to peel during this window.

Unchained Gladiator's Emblem Icon Unchained 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.


Gems and Enchants

Fill every gem socket you have with Versatile Jewel Cluster Icon Versatile Jewel Cluster.

These are the best Unholy Death Knight enchants by slot:

Death Knights get a special weapon enchant called Runeforges. Runeforging is done by using your Death Gate Icon Death Gate to get back to Acherus, the Ebon Hold. Rune of the Fallen Crusader Icon Rune of the Fallen Crusader, Rune of Sanguination Icon Rune of Sanguination, and Rune of Spellwarding Icon 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. You can have multiple weapon sets in your bag, and switch them based on the enemy team composition.



  • 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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