PvP Unholy Death Knight Talents, Builds & Glyphs

wotlk pvp unholy death knight talents, builds & glyphs

In this section of the guide, we will show you some of the possible builds for Unholy Death Knight in PvP. Keep in mind that the builds can be subject to multiple variations depending on what you are looking for. We recommend that you try every single one of them, and also create your own variants to accomodate your playstyle as well!

Talent Builds

build standard arenaaa

The Standard (Arena) Build provides you with plenty of tools to use against your foes! It works as a main Unholy spec with Frost subspec, offering you effects such as Lichborne and Endless Winter. The build is pretty rounded overall, coming with increased rune regeneration, death rune generation, crowd control, and damage mitigation.


The Battleground Build is just a variant of the Standard (Arena) Build, but with one major addition — the Wandering Plague! This amazing talent will allow you to terrorize massive groups of enemies all at once, inflicting heavy magical damage! The rest of the build works similarly to the Arena build.

blood variant

The Blood Variant focuses on the Blood talent tree as our subspec, providing you with bonuses that turn you into a hybrid. The entire build is centered around runic power generation, with talents such as Butchery, Scent of Blood, and Runic Power Mastery. The whole idea behind this variation is to grant you increased survivability through Rune Tap and Blade Barrier, with the boosted runic power generation letting you consistently spam Death Coil!

Notable Talents

  • Runic Power Mastery increases your overall Runic Power by 30. This is a great talent, since it allows you to make use of Death Coil more often.
  • Icy Talons improve your overall attack speed by 20% when a target is afflicted with Frost Fever. This talent is extremely powerful, as you will always benefit from the effect of Frost Fever. Sadly, this effect can’t stack with itself if you afflict multiple targets with Frost Fever.
  • Outbreak increases the damage of your Plague Strike by 30%, and the damage of your Scourge Strike by 20%. This talent is mandatory for builds that focus on Scourge Strike!
  • Morbidity increases the damage of Death Coil while also reducing the cooldown of Death and Decay. This one can can be optional: players tend to spend points elsewhere, looking for more utility rather than damage increase.
  • Unholy Blight places a debuff on the target after you cast Death Coil, afflicting that target with a DoT effect that damages them for 10% of the value of Death Coil. This talent also ensures that your diseases cannot be dispelled as long as the target is afflicted with Unholy Blight. This talent is an absolute must for PvP, as it can prevent your targets from dispelling your diseases!
  • Bone Shield is a buff that reduces damage taken by 20%, with 3 charges. The damage reduction will persist as long as you have one charge active. A particularly great part of this talent is the 2% damage increase, which means that you will want to upkeep it as much as possible.
  • Wandering Plague is one of your strongest talents. It gives your diseases a chance, equal to your melee critical strike, to flare up and deal an additional 100% damage to the target and all other nearby enemies in an 8-yard radius. This talent is extremely potent in battlegrounds, allowing you to ravage massive groups of enemies at the same time! However, this talent is not as potent in duels or arenas.
  • Ebon Plaguebringer allows you to infect your target with Ebon Plague, increasing all magic damage done to that target by 13%. This talent is extremely powerful and should never be skipped, as it offers a very powerful utility tool for your entire group!
  • Rage of Rivendare increases all the damage done to a target by 10% if they are afflicted by Blood Plague, while also giving you 5 expertise. This talent simply cannot be skipped — it provides a very powerful damage-enhancing effect that will always be present, since you will always apply Blood Plague. The 5 expertise will also reduce how often your attacks will be dodged or parried, making fights against specializations like Protection Warrior or Protection Paladin much easier.
  • Desecration makes your Plague Strike and Scourge Strike lay waste to the ground beneath the target, resulting in an area that reduces all movement speed by 50%. This talent is an extremely powerful crowd control tool, allowing you to completely freeze a target in place when combined with Chains of Ice!

  • Scent of Blood grants you a 15% chance to generate 10 runic power with your next 3 attacks, after you receive direct damage or parry an attack. This talent is extremely useful for builds that focus on runic power generation and the constant use of Death Coil!
  • Rune Tap grants you the ability to expend one of your blood runes, effectively gaining 10% of your entire health pool. This talent will only see any use if you are considering playing the Blood Variant build, making you a hybrid between a tank and a damage dealer.
  • Bladed Armor is an outstanding talent that you can gain by playing the Blood Variant build, allowing you to turn part of your armor into raw attack power!
  • Butchery is a great choice for the Blood Variant build. It allows you to generate runic power passively while in combat.
  • Dirge allows you to generate 5 additional runic power each time you use Death Strike, Plague Strike, and Scourge Strike. This talent is useful for builds that want to emphasize runic power generation. However, we believe that the talent itself is completely optional — your own playstyle should be the deciding force for this one.
  • Desolation increases your damage by a percentage depending on how many talent points you spent on it after using Blood Strike. This talent has not seen much play in PvP, however, you are free to experiment with it and try it instead of Bone Shield!


Major Glyphs

Recommended Glyphs:

Glyph of Dark Death increases the total healing and damage done by Death Coil by 15%. This particular glyph is extremely powerful when combined with your other Death Coil-enhancing talents, offering you either a very potent damage-dealing tool, or an effective way to heal yourself in dire situations. This glyph will be mandatory.

Glyph of Disease allows you to refresh your diseases upon a target by utilizing Pestilence, while also refreshing the diseases on all targets affected by the spell, not just your primary target. This glyph can be pretty useful if you want to put constant pressure on the enemy team in an arena, leaving them with little to no room for an out-of-combat break due to how easily you will be able to both spread and refresh your diseases with it.

Glyph of Icy Touch increases the damage done by your Frost Fever by 20%. This glyph is pretty straightforward, and is best used in conjunction with builds that emphasize Wandering Plague, as it will not only increase the damage of Frost Fever on its own, but also the damage triggered by Wandering Plague.

Glyph of the Ghoul increases the potency of our fiendish pets by an additional 40% of our Stamina and Strength. This glyph is, overall, an amazing glyph for both survivability and damage output! We do not want our pets to instantly melt, except, of course, if we wish them to explode and sow chaos by our will.

Glyph of Anti-Magic Shell increases the duration of AMS by 2 seconds. This glyph is great against caster comps in arenas or battlegrounds, while also proving itself to be an outstanding choice in duels against those pesky magic casters. The increased duration of magical immunity granted by AMS will allow you to severely wound the caster without being subjected to any risk of returned damage.

Minor Glyphs

This glyph allows you to recuperate 20 runic power after you use Death Coil to heal a friendly target! This glyph works perfectly in conjunction with our Death Coil + Lichborne combo.

Glyph of Raise Dead allows you to call upon a ghoulish companion without the need of a reagent. This glyph will prove to be very helpful, since you will not have to spend any more resources on reagents, as well as get more space in your bags.

Glyph of Blood Tap allows you to cast Blood Tap without the health cost. This glyph is self-explanatory, helping you perform your rotation optimally, without sacrificing survivability.


About the Author


Hey there folks, I am Nevermore and have been deeply passionate about WoW for more than a decade. Whether we talk about the hidden mysteries of Azeroth or the otherworldly Outland, my journey brought me here to share the things that I have experienced with you all.
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1 year ago

Thanks for a nice guide

Reply to  Grïbo
1 year ago

IMO drop raise dead for Pestilence , Copse Expo is al trash now cause it puts an automatic 30 sec respawn on your Ghoul, id for sure take GFrenzy in talent tree over Corpse Expo, it works great with gnaw and allows your ghoul to take the game in his hands at some points! Lastly I would take 1 point out epidemic i mean 3 seconds aint that great again IMO i would finish up my Icy talons 5/5 🙂

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