Affliction Warlock DPS Guide for Warlords of Draenor


Affliction Contents

  1. Affliction Warlock Talents
  2. Affliction Glyphs
  3. Affliction Stats
  4. Rotations
  5. Gems
  6. Enchants
  7. Consumables
  8. Professions
  9. Races
  10. Leveling Quickly
This Affliction Warlock guide is primarily intended for generating better DPS at level 90 in PvE and Raids. However, the principals will still apply during the leveling process, so if you’re looking for advice on leveling your Warlock, check out our Warlock Leveling Guide.Other Warlock Guides: 

If you want the same in-game step by step leveling guide that we use to get to level 100 as fast as possible, take a look at our favorite in-game leveling guide.

The Fastest Way to Level 90, Click Here to Start


Affliction Warlock DPS Talents

Tier 1, Level 15

All three of these talents can be useful under varying circumstances.

  1. Dark Regeneration is an on demand heal that also increases the effectiveness of healing for a short while after, not a bad option.
  2. Soul Leech provides a constant healing effect as your spells deal damage, ideal for fights with consistent damage.
  3. Harvest Life is ideal for AoE situations, but not much else.

Tier 2, Level 30

  1. The optimal choice for most encounters is Mortal Coil as it provides an additional heal effect.
  2. Howl of Terror and Shadowfury are both viable in situations that demand Crowd Control, but otherwise inferior.

Tier 3, Level 45

  1. All three survivability mechanics are viable choices with perhaps Dark Bargain being the most interesting of the three in that it provides the most powerful survivability mechanic, but on the longest cooldown.
  2. Soul Link allows you to tank big hits on a more consistent basis, but also puts your pet at more risk of dying.
  3. Sacrificial Pact provides an absorption shield on a relatively short cooldown. A strong talent.

Pick whichever your find most useful in a specific encounter.

Tier 4, Level 60

  1. Unbound Will is the most useful as it provides an invaluable debuff remover while the other two provide somewhat more situational benefits.
  2. Burning Rush could potentially be useful on movement heavy fights, not much else.
  3. Blood Fear seems rather useless for most encounters, or rather all of them.

Tier 5, Level 75

  1. Grimoire of Supremacy has very competitive DPS and is a stable, easy choice.
  2. Grimoire of Service is the least appealing of the three, but has its uses on fights that require burst damage.
  3. Grimoire of Sacrifice provides optimal DPS.

Tier 6, Level 90

All three talents are viable in certain situations.

  1. Archimonde’s Vengeance is great for situations in which you expect to take large amounts of damage.
  2. Mannoroth’s Fury is the optimal choice for AoE fights where you need extra range on your spells.

Tier 7, Level 100


Affliction Warlock DPS Glyphs

  1. Glyph of Demonic Circle
  2. Glyph of Soulstone

Minor Glyphs are just cosmetic, so pick any three.


Affliction Warlock DPS Stat Priorities

  1. Primary stat: Intellect
  2. Weak: Critical
  3. Useless: Spirit


In-Depth Rotation for Affliction

As an Affliction Warlock your top priority is maintaining your DoTs on a target at all times to maximize DPS.

  1. Soul Shards stack up to 3 total, 4 with the Glyph, and are used to cast your ability Soulburn.
  2. Corruption has a 5% chance to restore Soul Shard due to Nightfall.
  3. Soulburn modifies Soul Swap to instantly apply Corruption, Agony, and Unstable Affliction on your target.
  4. Corruption and Unstable Affliction should be maintained on your target at all times.
  5. Drain Soul is your filler spell for when all DoTs and debuffs are applied on a target.

When facing small groups of targets simply apply your DoTs to all targets using Soulburn and Soul Swap while otherwise maintaining your single target rotation of using Drain Soul when necessary to generate Soul Shards or when a target is at or below 20% health.

Against larger groups you should instead use Soulburn with Seed of Corruption to quickly apply Corruption to all targets. Otherwise continue as above, applying your DoTs to as many targets as possible followed by using Drain Soul.

Affliction Cooldowns

  1. Dark Soul: Misery boosts your spell haste by 30% for 20 seconds and should be used on cooldown.
  2. Summon Infernal and Summon Doomguard share a cooldown and therefore you will have to make a choice between the two depending on the encounter. The Infernal is superior for AoE encounters while the Doomguard is best used for single target DPS. Both last for 45 seconds with a cooldown of 10 minutes meaning it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to use them more than once or maybe twice at best during a single encounter.
  3. Grimoire of Supremacy upgrades the Infernal into Summon Abyssal and the Doomguard into Summon Terrorguard, however the recommend talent, Grimoire of Sacrifice, prevents you from using these anyway.
  4. Life Tap is used to regain mana, however as it costs life both the passive effect of Grimoire of Sacrifice being active and a number of other survivability cooldowns can be used to counter the loss of health necessary to refill your mana pool.
  5. Unending Resolve reduces all damage taken by 40% and prevents your spells from being interrupted or silenced for 8 seconds on a 3 minute cooldown.
  6. Soul Shatter reduces all threat by 90% on a 2 minute cooldown.

Tier 1 Talented Abilities:

  1. Soul Leech makes your Drain Soul spell heal you for 20% of the damage dealt.
  2. Harvest Life drains life from all enemies within 15 yards.
  3. Dark Regeneration instantly restores 30% of you and your pet’s maximum health and increases all healing received by 25% for 12 seconds. This ability has a 2 minute cooldown.

Tier 5 Talented Abilities:

  1. Grimoire of Sacrifice is the recommended choice for this tier. While the effect is active you regain 2% of your maximum health every 5 seconds, and the damage of Conflagrate, Shadowburn, Chaos Bolt and Fel Flame is increased by 25%.


Gems and Enchants for Affliction

Your Nethermancy adds a bonus to any Int gem/enchant, making it worth 5% more Int. That bonus does not add to other stats.


Affliction Enchantments

Short on gold? If you want to buy the best enchants, fund all of your alts, donate to the guild, etc., but don’t have the cash, then see what the Tycoon Addon can do about about fixing your poverty.




Note that Pandarens get twice the food buff. All food buffs last one hour.


Professions for Affliction Warlocks

All of the professions provide some benefit for Warlocks of any spec, though clearly some are better than others. Even the gathering professions have some value, see Herbalism’s Haste buff, though you might be better served by using those to build a larger gold stash.

Note that Blacksmithing allows socketing of two more gems, for a total of 640 points in a secondary stat Vs 320 Int. This will give you a bit more flexibility in matching a Haste breakpoint or if you need to top off your Hit rating.

Affliction Professions


Affliction Warlock Races

Ok, there aren’t any race choices that are specifically good for Affliction, as opposed to any other Warlock spec, so go Undead. If nothing else they look the part.

Best Horde? Undead, just for the feel of it. You want efficiency? Orc (spell and pet damage) or Troll (berserk.)

Best Alliance? Gnome, for the Mana.

Pandarens will not be able to become Warlocks.

Horde Races

  • Orc- Big, green, massive… Maybe they should use a big axe instead of a wand?
    • Blood Fury increases melee and spell damage, the latter of which suits Warlocks just fine.
    • The increased pet damage (on command) makes the Orc one of the better Warlock races.
    • The decreased stun duration is nice for PvP and might have some occasional PvE utility.
  • Undead- What’s better for Affliction then being already dead?
    • Will of the Forsaken is a nice PvP skill (anything that breaks Fear, etc is a nice PvP skill) and it can break a few PvE mechanics.
    • Touch of the Grave drains life and heals you for the same amount. This is a passive effect which will actually add a bit to your DPS.
  • Blood Elf – Can a magically addicted elf make a good Warlock? Wouldn’t they sell their souls for a taste? Perfect.
    • Arcane Torrent is a nice silence, but since it’s melee range and you don’t want to be in melee range… Well ok, they look good. A truly devastating Warlock Ability. Really.
  • Troll
    • Increased casting speed, when Berserk, is very nice.
    • More damage vs beasts is very nice for leveling and some PvE encounters.
    • Reduced duration of movement impairing effects (Da Voodoo Shuffle) might have some occasional use.
  • Goblins sell everything else, why not their souls? They’d probably make you great deal on yours.
    • Goblins can Rocket Launch forward, which might be a nice escape ability.
    • Increased Haste is nice in end-game raiding, Haste being a pretty good stat for you.

Alliance Races

  • Human – A decent Warlock race.
    • The Human Diplomacy skill will allow for more rapid faction gain and
    • the escape ability is nice for PvP and a few PvE mechanics.
  • Gnome – Tech and Demons, together again? Why would a Gnome be a Warlock?
    • Gnomes get an increased mana pool and
    • their escape ability might break some mechanics.
  • Dwarf – Various Dwarf factions have put away their differences and joined forces after the Cataclysm and that’s where the Warlocks are infiltrating…er… coming from. This probably explains the things crawling around in the shadows of Ironforge.
    • Stone Form is a nice PvP talent, and occasionally useful elsewhere, since it washed bleeds and effects and reduces some damage.
  • Worgen- Fur, fleas, snuffling… But they certainly look the part.
    • They can periodically move quickly, which is quite useful
    • An increased Crit chance is nice, but Crit isn’t a great stat for you.


Faster Affliction Leveling

Get the the level cap, ASAPAre you working on your Warlock to reach the end-game raids? Already there and leveling another class? With thousands of quests and a few bazillion mobs to grind the trip to top level can take a while . . . a long while, even if you’re done it before.

There’s an easy solution which will speed up your leveling, by a lot: an in-game leveling guide, Zygor’s Guide, almost automates the whole leveling path for your ‘lock, regardless of which level you start from. You still have to play the game, of course, but the “where to go and what to do” part is neatly taken care of. You’ll never wonder what to do next.

Pick your starting point and Zygor’s will show you exactly where to go, what to do, and the best order to do it in. It automatically updates and advances as you complete tasks and quests, sets a waypoint arrow automatically (always showing you where to go next,) and includes all the important quest info. You will probably never need to look at your quest log again, much less stop mid-play to browse some website.

Zygor’s is always quickly updated for all patches and expansions and includes some nifty extras, such as an in-game talent advisor. Grab your copy here and get leveled fast, or read our Zygor review first.

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 Posted by at 4:43 pm

  6 Responses to “Affliction Warlock DPS Guide for Warlords of Draenor”

  1. ok, maybe a basic guide. But saying this is the optimal way to go is not ok. were talking about a pure dps class. so the more dps yopu do the more optimal it is. Well i have to tell you that im seing warlocks with all mastery gems, over int gems, with far less hit than needed to hit cap , pulling doble o triple the dps from anothe warlock with basically the same gear, hit capped, and gemed int. So tell me whats going on?

    • Thanks, I’ll look into that. Most of the numbers for “which stat is better” come from sites like SimulationCraft. According to that: Int is much better than anything and Mastery is a bit better than Hit, but probably close enough that your exact gear will make a difference in relative values.

      How you execute your rotations and your timing matters a lot more than the actual gems. Your buffs and a few other things factor also into the DPS total. If ‘lock A is way ahead of ‘lock B on the DPS chart (two to three times, as you say) then there’s a lot more than just gemming involved.

      Increased Int is a direct damage gain scross the board for all of your spells (as is Spellpower, but SP doesn’t add Crit) so it makes sense that Int is the best stat. IMO, the guy gemming all Int, but who has bad DPS, needs to look at his gear and his rotationsand timing first.

  2. I have been told that an Orc using a wand will get 1% spell hit because a wand counts as an “unarmed” weapon and expertise counts as hit for spells now.

    • I just tested this, you’re correct. Orcs DO get the expertise with Wands. They don’t with the other weapons. Nice catch, thanks.

  3. The Ebonsteel belt buckle cannot be used on items level 375 or higher.

    • Yeah, I know. Going through the pages one by one and updating everything, just haven’t hit that one yet. There will be a lot more gem & enchant updates than just that. update – this page is now done, buckles and all.

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