Unholy Death Knight gearing guide

Patch 10.1 Last Updated: 29th May, 2023
Kwepp Unholy Death Knight Author


In Season 2 of Dragonflight, we will be able to acquire a new tier set! This can be obtained from raid bosses in Aberrus, the Shadowed Crucible. We will also be able to craft tier pieces with the Creation Catalyst a few weeks after the season starts. You will want to get this tier set as it is an excellent bonus to your throughput!

Notable Items:

Neltharion’s Call to Suffering: This trinket is mainly good due to the large amount of primary stat (strength) you get once it procs, so if it procs during your cooldowns then it provides a significant boost to your throughput. However, since the nerfs to the RPPM proc rate scaling with haste, this trinket can be very hit or miss and inconsistent. It is a good trinket, however I would recommend using Ominous Chromatic Essense instead in progression scenarios for more consistency.

Ominous Chromatic Essense: As mentioned before, this trinket is a solid alternative to Neltharion’s Call to Suffering as it is not proc reliant and is more consistent overall. It may not perform as well as Neltharion’s Call to Suffering if you are the only one in the raid with this trinket. However, as long as you have 2-3 of the buffs from other players using this trinket, it is a better option and more reliable. As for the stats, you will ideally want to attune Haste or Mastery for this depending on your current stat setup (make sure to sim this, most of the time it will probably be Mastery though).

Ashkandur, Fall of the Brotherhood: Luckily this is not a very rare item, and it’s pretty good! It is the highest item level 2H strength weapon in Season 2, which has good secondary stats as well a small extra damage proc (while it may not be much, you are not losing anything for the proc so free extra damage is always a big plus). So this is another item you will want from Echo of Neltharion in the new raid.

Vial of Animated Blood: With the return of The Underrot in Season 2, we will be able to loot the Vial of Animated Blood. While this trinket does not play super well into Summon Gargoyle, it will be strong cleave/aoe builds. It syncs up with Unholy Assault, Dark Transformation and Apocalypse so you will be getting a lot of value from it when you are doing consistent pulls in Mythic Plus.

Irideus Fragment: In a similar fashion to Vial of Animated Blood, this is another on use trinket that is decent in Season 2. This trinket comes from the Halls of Infusion dungeon and will be a strong option if you are doing very big aoe pulls and you want a lot of big upfront burst. Think of this trinket as a bigger Vial of Animated Blood on a longer cooldown (which is better for scenarios where you need a lot of front loaded damage 3 minutes apart from each other). Both have their uses and in an ideal world you will want to have both trinkets at your disposal.

Voice of the Silent Star: This is a very interesting cloak in the raid, also another very rare item from the raid which is going to be one of the best pieces of gear you can get. You will want to have a small amount of versatility so then it will be the versatility that is drained with other members of your raid using this cloak. You do lose a lot of stamina from using this cloak, but overall it’s a significant throughput upgrade.

Crafted Embellishment Gear:

Crafted gear in Dragonflight allows you to get two 447 Embellished pieces. Embellishments can provide a significant damage increase so they are definitely worth picking up.

Unstable Frostfire Belt: This belt is a solid item that comes from crafting and will be one of your best Embellishments in Season 2. It shines best in single target, as it does not scale as well as Elemental Lariat & Allied Wristguard of Companionship in AoE/Cleave scenarios, but is still a strong piece with solid passive and secondary stats.

Primal Molten Sabatons (with Shadowflame-Tempered Armor Patch): While the Primal Molten Sabatons are nothing special on their own, applying a Shadowflame-Tempered Armor Patch to them (a new Embellishment coming with 10.1) makes them one of the best pieces of gear you can craft in Season 2. It is one the best performing Embellishments in single target just like the Unstable Frostfire Belt (does not scale well in AoE so you will want Elemental Lariat & Allied Wristguard of Companionship instead) and will be an important item for raiding in Season 2. 

Allied Wristguard of Companionship: You will mainly want to have these ready for AoE scenarios like Mythic Plus. Mainly because the other options (except Elemental Lariat) do not scale well in AoE, and these wrists just give you raw stats which always scales well in AoE, even if its versatility (a stat which is not that great for Unholy). 

Elemental Lariat: Gives you a stat proc based on the gems you have socketed in the neck piece; with it also being able to go up to 447 item level and being fully customizable stat-wise. Early on in the season, it will most likely not be the play in single target as you will not have enough sockets to make full use out of the proc effect, so it’s better to look at other alternatives. However for AoE, this is one of the best Embellishments due to the amount of secondary stats it provides (the other embellishments are single target and do not scale as well as raw secondary stats in AoE scenarios).

Season 2 Tier Set: Lingering Phantom’s Encasement

2 Set Bonus:

The main bulk of the power comes with the 2 piece bonus, making your Dark Transformation timing even more important when it comes to cooldown alignment. It gives a 25 second mastery buff, the value of this buff is based on how many Death Coil/Epidemic casts you have used in between Dark Transformation casts (however, using Army of the Dead will give you 20 stacks immediately with the 4 Piece Bonus, so you will get the max value of the 2 set on the pull). This set is pretty solid for Mythic Plus (having 20% additional mastery at the start of most mob packs during a key is very nice and gives Unholy some extra upfront damage) and decent for raiding scenarios as it lasts for the duration of Summon Gargoyle. However while this set bonus appears to be super strong on paper, it’s barely better than the previous Vault of Incarnates Tierset and the mastery gained from this tierset is additive, not multiplicative (so it doesn’t scale as well as you might have thought).

4 Set Bonus:

This set bonus is mainly important for the immediate 20 stacks that you gain after casting Army of the Dead which is mostly important for your opener, after that it just gives you 10% Mastery and an additional stack of your 2 piece bonus when you consume Sudden Doom procs which is okay I guess, but nothing special. It’s quite rng based on Sudden Doom procs during cooldowns, but other than that it’s quite a simple 4 Piece Bonus that compliments the 2 piece bonus.

Which bosses drop tier pieces?