Unholy Death Knight PvP Stat Priority, Gear, and Trinkets (Dragonflight / 10.0.5)

Last updated on Jan 30, 2023 at 13:14 by Keator 17 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. 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.


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 will come from honor, conquest, professions, and the weekly cache. You will wear the crafted PvP Boots and crafted PvP Helmet for plate.


Crimson Gladiator's Emblem Icon Crimson 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.

Crimson Gladiator's Insignia of Alacrity Icon Crimson 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.

Crimson Gladiator's Badge of Ferocity Icon Crimson Gladiator's Badge of Ferocity is best used with your damage cooldowns. Badge has higher value later into the season.


Gems and Enchants

Fill every gem socket you have with Zen Neltharite Icon Zen Neltharite.

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. With the addition of the Spellwarden Icon 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.



  • 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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