Unholy Death Knight PvP Guide | 8.2 BfA Race, Talents, Essences, Traits, Gear and Macros

by Mystic // August 22, 2019

This guide was produced with:

  • 10+ Rank 1
  • Finalist of the 2018 AWC Summer finals
  • Competed at the 2018 Blizzcon world championships


Best race:

  • Human is the best option for ladder play as you get to use Relentless against heavy crowd control compositions while still having Every Man for Himself to break out of stuns

Alternative race:

  • Gnome is a strong alternative, especially against mages and survival hunters for the root break – the added 1% haste and the extra resource cap also help to slightly increase your overall damage


Best race:


Spell Eater is a viable option against double caster comps with high burst damage



  • Anti-Magic Zone is an extremely powerful defensive cooldown that should be used to counter strong offensive cooldowns from classes that primarily deal spell damage, for example destruction warlocks Dark Soul, fire mages Combustion, assassination rogues Vendetta and ret paladins Avenging Wrath
  • Lichborne is a great pick when you expect to be trained by targets that will frequently stun you
  • Transfusion should be considered if you expect to take high consistent damage to make it easier to keep yourself alive
  • Dark Simulacrum can be an extremely high impact ability when facing warlocks, mages and druids to steal and use important crowd control on the opposing team
  • Necromancer’s Bargain can assist you in winning on mana by keeping healers in combat with Crypt Fever which will prevent them from drinking

Conflict and Strife

Excellent choice for your major essence as it gives you Necrotic Strike, allowing you to pick up an all important fourth PvP talent while also increasing your versatility, making it easier for you to survive

Minors: The Crucible of Flame + Memory of Lucid Dreams

The Crucible of Flame

The best major essence for increasing your damage in kill windows – perfect for high pressure comps that aim to end games quickly

Minors: Conflict and Strife + Memory of Lucid Dreams

Condensed Life-Force

Provides more overall damage than Crucible, making it the best choice when you just want a significant raw dps increase

Minors: Conflict and Strife + The Crucible of Flame


  1. Vision of Demise
  2. Notorious Gladiator’s Maledict
  3. Notorious Gladiator’s Insignia
  4. Notorious Gladiator’s Badge


  1. Bloodthirsty Urchin
  2. Pocket-Sized Computation Device with Subroutine: Defragmentation
  3. Notorious Gladiator’s Emblem
  4. Notorious Gladiator’s Safeguard

Haste (26%) > Versatility > Mastery > Crit

#showtooltip Mind Freeze
/cast [@focus] Mind Freeze

#showtooltip Leap
/cast [@focus] Leap

#showtooltip Death Grip
/cast [@focus] Death Grip

#showtooltip Asphyxiate
/cast [@focus] Asphyxiate

#showtooltip Chains of Ice
/cast [@focus] Chains of Ice

#showtooltip Lichborne
/cancelaura Lichborne

  • 1
    3 months ago
    Looks like the top UHDKs are using All Will Serve instead of Infected Claws. Any reason you choose Infected Claws over that?
    • 1
      28 days ago
      All Will Serve was bugged for a while and wasn't working but they've fixed it now so it should be used.
  • 1
    1 month ago
    Why and how do you properly use epidemic? Playing 2's with a resto druid and getting absolutely squashed...constantly.
    • 1
      28 days ago
      Epidemic is just used to keep healers with your dot in combat to prevent them from drinking when they run away.
  • 0
    6 months ago
    Any update?
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