Retribution Paladinretribution iconvsunholy iconUnholy Death Knight

Debating whether to play a Unholy Death Knight or Retribution Paladin? Knowing which currently performs better DPS in PvE might help make a decision.

This page analyzes multiple simulations for both Unholy Death Knights and Retribution Paladins 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 10.1.7 WoW Dragonflight

  • Retribution Paladinretribution icon
  • Best boss DPS (in realistic settings)Retribution Paladin achieved 0.24% more maximum boss DPS than Unholy Death Knight when dealing with occasional movement, lag and crowd-control.
  • Best AoE DPS (in perfect settings)Retribution Paladin achieved 3.23% more AoE DPS than Unholy Death Knight when there was no movement or lag.
  • Least affected by movement (single-target)Retribution Paladin’s single-target DPS was -52.06% less affected by increased movement compared to Unholy Death Knights.
  • Simplest GameplayRetribution Paladin has fewer damaging abilities which could indicate a simpler rotation.
  • unholy iconUnholy Death Knight
  • Best boss DPS (in perfect settings)Unholy Death Knight achieved 3.19% more maximum boss DPS than Retribution Paladin when there was no movement or lag.
  • Best gear scalingUnholy Death Knight scaled better with increased item-levels, single-target DPS benefited 6.04% more from 422 ilvl to 446 compared to Retribution Paladins.
  • DPS less dependant on big cooldownsUnholy Death Knight’s DPS is less bursty, meaning it had more consistent damage. With 34.82% less difference in lowest and peak DPS during a fight when compared to Retribution Paladins.

While the above highlights the DPS advantages between Retribution Paladin 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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