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Frost Death Knightfrost iconvsunholy iconUnholy Death Knight

What’s the best spec for Death Knights, Unholy or Frost? Below breaks down their current DPS potential and compares the two.

This page analyzes multiple simulations for both Unholy Death Knights and Frost Death Knights using profiles and settings intended to achieve their maximum DPS. Multiple sim environments are used to test how they perform in various conditions. Is one the AoE king? Does one scale better with gear upgrades? Is one more bursty, and more reliant on big cooldowns? Below analyzes the data to find the strengths of each.

Simulation results were created with SimulationCraft
Using game data from Patch 9.2.5 WoW ShadowlandsSeason 4

  • Frost Death Knightfrost icon
  • Best AoE DPS (in perfect settings)Frost Death Knight achieved 35.12% more AoE DPS than Unholy Death Knight when there was no movement or lag.
  • Best AoE DPS (in realistic settings)Frost Death Knight achieved 5.29% more maximum AoE DPS than Unholy Death Knight when dealing with occasional movement, lag and crowd-control.
  • Simplest GameplayFrost Death Knight has fewer damaging abilities which could indicate a simpler rotation.
  • unholy iconUnholy Death Knight
  • Best boss DPS (in perfect settings)Unholy Death Knight achieved 1.2% more maximum boss DPS than Frost Death Knight when there was no movement or lag.
  • Best boss DPS (in realistic settings)Unholy Death Knight achieved 2.13% more maximum boss DPS than Frost Death Knight when dealing with occasional movement, lag and crowd-control.
  • Least affected by movement (single-target)Unholy Death Knight’s single-target DPS was -10.45% less affected by increased movement compared to Frost Death Knights.
  • Least affected by movement (AoE)Unholy Death Knight’s AoE DPS was -78.26% less affected by increased movement compared to Frost Death Knights.
  • Best gear scalingUnholy Death Knight scaled better with increased item-levels, single-target DPS benefited 3.01% more from 282 ilvl to 308 compared to Frost Death Knights.
  • DPS less dependant on big cooldownsUnholy Death Knight’s DPS is less bursty, meaning it had more consistent damage. With 28.42% less difference in lowest and peak DPS during a fight when compared to Frost Death Knights.

While the above highlights the DPS advantages between Frost and Unholy Death Knights, the DPS potential should not be the only factor in your decision. Ultimately, you should also consider the playstyle that you enjoy most while crushing it in Mythics+ and Raids!


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