The Warlock Leveling Guide


Updated for Warlords of Draenor, patch 6.3

Warlock LevelingWarlocks are one of the greatest powerhouse classes of the game, they have high damage, high survivability, a pet that offers support (and complaints) through damage, tanking, crowd control, etc.

Above all, the Warlock offers efficiency. A well played Warlock will never run out of mana and will be a leveling machine. In the end game, well, they can be pretty awesome.

This page assumes that you are leveling your Warlock and are not using the “Instant level to max” boost that comes with Warlords of Draenor and Legion. Even if you are boosted it will help with the last ten levels.

Please feel free to add your comments or to use that “like” button (and the rest) to the right on at the bottom of this page. And if you want to see all of the Warlords of Draenor changes to Warlocks, go here.

Warlock Leveling Contents

This Page:

Our Other Warlock Guides

Gnome Warlock in Firelands gearThe Warlock is a fun class to play as well. Among other things (death, destruction) you have the ability to solo quests that normally require groups.

You have fear, DOTs, great green blobs of Doom (depending on your spec,) soul stones for a self resurrection, and much more. All of these contribute to making the class a great choice for anyone.

Basically, Warlock leveling is easy. Read on and find out how to keep your warlock on the path to maximum efficiency as one of the games fastest levelers.

Buffs and nerfs: With the release of new patches the balance between Warlocks and other classes changes. For example, at the start of 4.0 (Mists of Pandaria) some claimed that Warlocks were way overpowered. Then the nerfs hit.

Mists of Pandaria and Warlords of Draenor are similar. Patch 6.2 nerfed some Demonology abilities, but your Mastery made up for that. Legion will be more of the same. Just realize that even if nerfed for an end-game experience, the leveling will still be fast an easy. Even when you hit the level cap you likely won’t stay nerfed for very long. So enjoy the class, learn it well, and even if a bit nerfed your skills will make up for everything else. And in the even that you’re buffed… (evil grin.)


The Short Warlock Leveling Guide

Undead Warlock Leveling in gear transmogged to "Corruptor Raiment"This is just the brief version of how to set up your leveling Warlock. Scroll down for more details.


Play what you like, the racial differences aren’t that great. If you really have to be efficient, though, Humans might be the best overall Warlock race (in PvP) and Orcs the best Horde race.

In Warlords all racials having to do with Hit or Expertise have been removed.

  • Alliance: Gnome for the mana pool and escape; or Human for the rep gains and the escape.
  • Horde: Orc for the pet and personal damage increases, troll for “Berserking.”
  • Pandarens cannot be Warlocks.

The Build:

All the Warlock specs are fine for leveling, but we’ll work with these two:

  • Demonology – Teaming with your Demons
  • Affliction – Suck out their souls
  • Destruction – Burn ’em to ash.

The Pet:

For most situations, while leveling, just use the Voidwalker or Felguard. Their “tanking” abilities will help keep you safe while you destroy the opposition. If you’re decked out in enchanted heirlooms then it just won’t matter which pet you use.


  • Stack Stamina at lower levels until survival isn’t an issue
  • Then stack Int. for the rest of your leveling and end-game experience.
  • Secondary stats: Haste & Crit are nice for all ‘locks.
  • Mastery is great at 80+ and is the best secondary stat for most Warlocks.
  • Just say no to Str, Agility, Spirit.
  • More about gear, stats, demons, etc.

Gearing Up

  • If you have heirloom items you’re golden. Get them enchanted, ideally with Int., though Haste and Crit are nice.
  • Int and Stam all the way for any other gear. You don’t have to worry much about the other stats while leveling, unless you’re doing serious PvP or instances.
  • You get XP, often a lot, from mining ores and picking herbs. Consider grabbing both Herbalism and Mining. Or skinning and drop one of the others.
  • If you’re Ok with PvP do some so that at 70 you can buy the epic PvP gear from the Legacy Arena Vendors. 2k or so honor will get you a full set. These pieces are even better than your heirlooms till the late 70s and will otherwise take you to 80.
  • 81+ put your appropriate heirlooms back on till their level cap. If you’re not in heirlooms just replace your PvP items as you come across better gear.
  • At 85 buy/make the crafted PvP set (even if you don’t pvp) as it’s much better than the lev 85 green gear and a bit better than the entry level M of P gear. If you’d rather not then start looking for M of P gear on the AH, some of that is very nice. See our gold guide if you need the gold to do that. Note that there are vendors in Pandaria who will sell you decent green gear for very good prices.
  • at 90: Head off to the Timeless Isle to gear up or just go on into Draenor.
  • at 91: if you’re rich, you can wear three pieces of Draenor Crafted raid quality gear. This stuff can be boosted by 70 item levels (in patch 6.2) for the low low cost of an arm, a leg, and two first round draft choices.
  • More about gear, stats, demons, etc.


Gems slots are very uncommon while leveling unless you’re in higher level dungeons. There are a few pieces that will pop up, though. If you want to bother gemming (it’s far from essential while leveling) then go for the “Brilliant” gems, for the Int.

Gem slots in Draenor gear are rare.


Some useful enchants can often be found on the Auction House for very little gold. Grab them if you like. Every little bit makes your leveling a bit faster. With patch 5.4 and beyond you can put any high level enchant on even the lowest level gear. Yes, the Draenor enchants will go on a level 1 item. Use these on your heirlooms. Pick enchants in this order

  • Stamina (if you need more,) then Int > Spellpower > Haste



  • Some heirloom items add to your XP gain, to a max of 25% total. Even if you only have one piece that’s a 10% gain.
  • With full heirlooms and some skill you can solo same level dungeons, though maybe not the bosses.
  • Always log out in an Inn to get the rest XP when you come back.
  • Guilds are nice for possibly being able to get groups going or to get help if you need it. Especially if you’re being ganked on your PvP server.
  • Carry the biggest bags you can afford
  • Stock up on healing & mana potions
  • Keep some buffing potions or scrolls.
  • Always push yourself to see how much you can handle.
  • Dungeons are good XP, so Queue for these while questing.
  • A high level buddy can run you through dungeons for fast XP.
  • at 91+ you can buy +20% experience potions from a vendor in your Garrison.
  • Get a speed leveling guide to go even faster.

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Warlock Leveling Build

Affliction Leveling Talents
Demonology leveling talentsDestruction Leveling Talents

Which spec to play? Any. They all do lots of damage and they all get better as you level up. Experiment.
If you want a recommendation then start with Demonology. It’s the easiest and has the strongest demons, which takes the pressure off of you.

Give the others a try, also. (For example, a lot of people like Destruction once you get past level 50 or so, others like to stick with Demonology. Others call both of them noobs and insist on Affliction.)

The build below is aimed at Demonology and assumes that you’re questing, but there are notes for the other specs as well as for dungeons and PvP.

Our picks are checked: Best talent

Keep in mind that talents can be changed quickly and easily, and you might want to do just that, depending on the situation. All you need is some stuff that you can get from a reagents vendor, and Inscription supplies vendor, of (for a premium price) from the Auction House:

(More gold, faster and easier than ever, Click here to get yours.)

Warlock Talent Descriptions

Note that a few of these talents are not available to other Warlock specs.

Tier 1, level 15:

Different ways to get some health back. Which is “best” depends more on your style of play and anything else.

  1. Dark Regeneration – A quick heal and then more benefit from additional heals. Very nice when you have a healer on your team. 2 minute cooldown is fine for leveling.
  2. Soul Leech – Various abilities proc a shield on you and your pet. the shield is based on the damage you do and is capped at 15% of you and your pet’s health (30% for Affliction.) Shields are nice and this happens automatically. Destruction should take Soul Leech because you’ll be casting those spells (Incinerate and Chaos Bolt) often.
  3. Best talent Harvest Life – Also a good choice. This greatly improves a spell that you will be using a lot.
    1. Destruction might be interested in Searing Flames for the more effective Ember Tap

Tier 2, level 30:

Fear sends the enemy fleeing and he then bring back his buddies. If you’re PvP leveling, then it’s great. Fears keep them off of you. Questing or dungeons, not so much. This is why Shadowfury is the pick for all three specs.Now, if you and your pet can handle the incoming mobs then by all means use the fears.

  1. Howl of Terror – Area effect fear, no range. Enemies running away will bring friends back with them. If that’s not a concern, such as  PvP, then this is a pretty nice talent.
  2. Mortal Coil – Ranged fear and heal. Causes the enemy target to run in horror for a brief time. The caster restores some of their maximum health. More healing, but be careful of fleeing mobs coming back with friends.
  3. Best talent Shadowfury – Ranged. Stuns all mobs in the immediate area for a brief time. Very nice. All the upside and none of the downside of the fears. Can be used to interrupt casts or hold the mobs in place while you move away.

Tier 3, level 45

  1. Best talent Soul Link – Good for all three specs. You and your demon share all damage and healing taken. Not a bad deal. Great for questing.
  2. Sacrificial Pact – Your demon sacrifices part of its current health to shield you for 4x the sacrificed health. After all, why shouldn’t the thing provide for your health? Lasts 10 sec. If you have no demon, your health is sacrificed instead. This obviously works best if your demon is at full health. Best used if you’re looking at large damage coming in bursts, which you will only rarely see when questing.
  3. Dark Bargain – You put up an impenetrable damage bubble, but you take some of that damage after the bubble fades. Hopefully you’ve dealt some damage by then and you have a heal lined up. More for PvP or when fighting tough opponents than might quickly squish you.

Tier 4, level 60

Kinda depends on what you’re doing.

  1. Blood Horror – Melee attacks against you are terrifying (to the enemy.) Fine for PvP, but iffy if the fleeing mob brings friends.
  2. Best talent Burning Rush – Sacrifice your own health to move more quickly, stops when you stop it or you die. Nice travel ability, just make sure you’re Ok with the health issue. A better leveling talent since health isn’t usually an issue. Occasionally useful for flag carrying (or catching) in PvP. Not so hot when being pressured (unless it can get you out of there, since your health is an issue in those situations.
  3. Unbound Will – Purge all Magic effects, movement impairing effects, and all effects which cause loss of control of your character. Costs 20% of your Health. Ouch. Still, it’s often nice for PvP. Rarely useful elsewhere, especially if you’re Human (you already have an escape) or have a PvP escape trinket.

Tier 5, level 75

Affliction and Demonology should go for Supremacy, for the better demons. Destruction should go with Sacrfice and let the foul little souls of your demons power your destructive energies.

  1. Best talent Grimoire of Supremacy – You command stronger demons, replacing your normal minions. These demons deal additional damage and have more powerful abilities. They also have new appearances:
    1. Fel Imp – replaces your Imp.
    2. Wrathguard – replaces Felguard (Demonology only)
    3. Voidlord – replaces your Void Walker
    4. Shivarra – replaces your Succubus
    5. Observer – replaces your Felhound
    6. Abyssal – replaces your Infernal
    7. Terrorguard – replaces the Doomguard when talented
  2. Grimoire of Service – Summon a second demon that immediately performs a useful service. Which service depends on which demon is summoned. Has its uses, specifically when you need those particular abilities.
  3. Column 3:
    1. Grimoire of Synergy – You and your demon each have a chance to grant the other 15% increased damage for 15 seconds.
    2. Grimoire of Sacrifice is for Destruction. Burn your demon’s soul to empower some of your often used abilities. The (small) health regeneration is kinda nice, too.

Tier 6, level 90

  1. Best talent Archimonde’s Darkness – Two charges of your Dark Soul ability for +30% of a stat for 20 sec., pretty much kills anything else in this tier, no matter what spec you are.
  2. Kil’jaeden’s Cunning – You can cast and channel while moving. Hardly useless, just not as good as the first pick.
  3. Mannoroth’s Fury – Increases the area of your area of effect spells by 500%. Figure a little more than doubled radius. Actually, this one can be nice when cleaning out lower level dungeons. Round up large groups and burn them down. Not so much use elsewhere.

Level 100 Talents:

Affliction should take Souldburn:Haunt, Demonology takes Demonbolt, and Destro takes Cataclysm.

  1. Column 1:
    1. Best talent Affliction: Soulburn Haunt is a pretty nice damage increase. A more powerful Haunt and it buffs other spells already on your target(s.)
    2. Best talent Demonology: DemonBolt: Launch of ball of demonic energy at the target, dealing Chaos damage. Each Demonbolt amplifies further Demonbolts, each increasing damage by 20% and cost by 100% for 1 min (reduced by Haste,) stacking up to 10 times. This one can toss some major damage.
    3. Destruction: More embers from Incinerate and Conflagrate, but a lot less damage. Doesn’t seem worth it, but some like it.
  2. Best talent Cataclysm: Create a Cataclysm at the target location, doing shadowflame damage to all targets within 8 yards. Seems like the Go To talent here for everyone who likes to blow things up. Applies different DOTs depending on your spec. 1 min cooldown.
  3. Demonic Servitude: Allows you control over your greater demons. You can now summon Doomguards or Infernals as permanent pets. Having one of these following you around will be rather cool. Nice if you’d rather have these demons than the blasts above.


Warlock Glyphs

Warlords Change: In addition to a few new and removed glyphs, you will now be automatically learning a number of your glyphs, just like you learn your abilities. The glyphs will not be installed for you, so youi don’t have to use them if you don’t want to, you just won’t have to (or be able to) buy them.

These auto-learned glyphs are:

  • At level 25, the following Glyphs are automatically learned by all Warlocks: Siphon Life, Drain Life, Demon Training, Ember Tap.
  • At level 50, the following Glyphs are automatically learned: Fear
  • At level 75, the following Glyphs are automatically learned: Healthstone

Glyphs, Major– these handle all of the significant modifications and enhancements to your powers. There are other glyphs that will be useful in particular situations, but this set will be generally useful for all leveling Warlock specs.

  1. Demon Training – Improves the various abilities of your demons with no downside. What’s not to like about that?
  2. Glyph of Imp Swarm – Wild Imps attack the enemy.
  3. Glyph of Strengthened Resolve – Improves the damage reduction of Unending Resolve by 20% and adds 1 min to the cooldown.
  4. Soul Consumption – Drain Soul, Demon Form, and Chaos Bolt return 15% health when the enemy dies.

Glyphs, Minor – Mostly just cosmetic or small functional changes. These are interesting, but there are others to play around with.

  1. Health Funnel – Instantly restores some of your Demon’s health, but adds a cooldown to the spell.
  2. Nightmares – Your steeds can cross water while running and leave a trail of flame.
  3. (Aff, Destro) Glyph of Verdant Spheres – Your soul Shards are now Verdant Spheres
  4. Shadow Bolt – Splits your bolt into three smaller bolts, each of which can crit.
  5. Felguard – Your Felguard equips a random two handed weapon from your pack.

wow warcraft alliance horde cataclysm leveling guide
Click here to get to level 100, fast

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Abilities for the Leveling Warlock

The world changed with WoW 4.0 (Cataclysm) and again in Mists of Pandaria, especially for Warlocks, and all previous builds were wiped out in a instant. Warlock mechanics didn’t change much, unlike Hunters and Paladins, but all the spells and talents got quite the overhaul. In Mists of Pandaria the wipe happened with a totally revised talent system, but at least the world and mechanics didn’t change.

In Warlords some abilities are being pruned and others consolidated, but there are no wholesale revisions to the class or mechanics, unlike Mists of Pandaria, which totally revised the talent system.

One of the cool things about Warlocks, like Rogues, is that all specs to damage and they do it well. All level nicely. Which spec to use depends entirely on what you like to do. Demonology is probably easiest, as your demon pet will take a lot of the pressure off. Destruction is for those who want to see the world burn and Affliction just likes to suck souls (and does it very well.)

Gnome Warlock as leveled to 85 and is in her new in Mists of Pandaria gear

At level 10 you pick your Specialization (spec.) As you level you will gain a set of abilities unique to your spec, as well as the other Warlock abilities and talents.

Mastery is a trainable ability you learn at level 80. It adds a bonus to whichever tree you are specializing in at the time.

You will pick your spec normally and each spec will give you ten or so specific abilities, in addition to all the class abilities.

To sum up:

  • You will have your Warlock class abilities
  • You will have a number of abilities specific to whichever specialization you pick
  • You will, eventually, pick 7 talents out of 21 possibilities (8 of 24 in Legion.)
  • You do not every have to visit a trainer to learn any abilities, you will just get them as you level. When it’s time for a new talent you talent pane will open up and you pick the new one.
  • Note that you can change talents at any time. All you need is some dust and you’re good.

Warlock abilities

These are the abilities the define you as one or another Warlock spec. (The basic abilities are here.) They all work fine for leveling, but maybe Destruction is the “hardest” due to less reliance on the pet and more on you. That doesn’t mean it’s hard though, and some prefer it that way (more you, less pet.)

You can find a guide that will get you leveled much faster, below.

In Warlords of Draenor various abilities were removed or restricted to one or another specialization (spec.) The intent was to streamline things a bit. Also, there are no new abilities to be gained post 90. Instead you will get Perks. See below for more info on those.

(P) = Passive ability


Masters of drains and DOTs (Damage Over Time spells.) The Affliction Warlock can use Drain Tanking to great effect. Set the pet to round up targets, DOT ’em up, use the drains to stay healthy, rinse and repeat.

You can use the same abilities to great effect in both PvE and PvP.



Demonology gives you massive increases to all survivability and solo capabilities.

The Metamorphosis ability, at level 10, turns you into a demon and improves your abilities. Things just get better as you level. Demonology is in many cases the easier leveling build, depending on your style of play.

By speccing into Demonology you will be doing lots of damage and have lots of survivability and a pet to take any additional pressure.


Destruction is great for endgame raiders due to consistently high DPS, it’s also a lot of fun when blasting away people in BG’s with massive shadowbolt criticals or conflagrate.

Destruction is a very viable leveling build, raining death on all manner of opposition.

7 Drain Life lasts for 6 sec., damaging them and healing you. 7 Drain Life lasts for 6 sec., damaging them and healing you. 10 Burning Embers (P) – Incinerate generates burning embers, Chaos Bolt & Ember tap use the embers.
10 Nightfall (P) – gain more Soul Shards over time. 10 Decimation (P) – Certain abilities can empower your next Soul Fire. 10 Chaos Bolt () – Blast the enemy, always crits, replaces Soul Fire.
10 Unstable Affliction – DOT: Damage over 14 seconds. 10 Demonic Fury (P) Generate Demonic Fury while in Demon form. 10 Chaotic Energy (P) Replaces Life Tap. Faster mana regen.
11 Health Funnel – sacrifice your own health to heal your demon. 10 Doom (P) – While in Demon form your Corruption spell becomes Doom. 10 Conflagrate – target explodes and generates burning embers.
16 Life Tap – Restore mana 10 Metamorphosis – become mighty by turning into a demon. 10 Incinerate – Fire damage to the enemy.
19 Soulburn – Burn a Soul Shard to enhance various abilities. All previous Soulburns are rolled into this ability. 10 Molten Core – Certain abilities can empower your next Soul Fire. 12 Immolate – burn the enemy and additional burning for 12 sec.
11 Health Funnel – sacrifice your own health to heal your demon. 15 Ember Tap () – Heal 5%
21 Seed of Corruption (replaces Rain of Fire for Aff.) – DOT: Damage over 18 seconds, blows up to damage nearby enemies. 12 Demonic Leap – leap and activate Metamorphosis. 21 Rain of Fire -area effect burnage for 6 sec., doing more to immolated targets.
24 Drain Soul – Drain them for 4 sec, can energize a Soul Shard, empowers any other of your DOTs on the target. 13 Soul Fire – burn the enemy for Fire damage, always crits. 36 Havoc – Causes your next Chaos Bolt, or three other single target spells, to also strike this target.
36 Agony – DOT over 24 sec, damage starts small and increases towards end. 16 Life Tap – Restore mana 47

Shadowburn – Basically a “Finish Him!” attack, it blasts a low health target and will generate Burning Embers if the target dies soon.

60 Haunt – direct damage and enhances DOT damage for 8 sec. 19 Hand of Gul’dan – blast the target and its nearby enemies. 54 Aftermath – Your Rain of Fire does not need to be channeled and might generate Burning Embers.
79 Soul Swap – Copy DOTs from target 1 to target 2. 22 HellfireYou burn yourself for damage and nearby enemies for no damage, generating Demonic Fury in the process. 54 Fire and Brimstone – while active various spells hit all targets withing a 10 yard radius for partial damage.
80 Mastery: Potent Afflictions – increase damage of main DOTS 32 Wild Imps (was lev 80) Various abilities will summon a wild Imp which will attack the target, generate Demonic Fury, and have a chance to improve youir next Soul Fire cast. 69 Backdraft (P) – Casting Conflagrate reduces cast time and mana cost of your next Chaos Bolt or Incinerate by 30%.
84 Dark Soul: Misery – +30% Haste every two min for 20 sec. 42 Summon Felguard 79 Flames of Xoroth – instantly revive your last demon
90 Eradication (great name, P) +5% Haste from all sources. 80 Mastery: Master Demonologist (P) – more damage by you and your minions. 80 Mastery: Emberstorm Increase damage of some spells by 8% and the effectiveness of Ember generating spells by 24%
84 Dark Soul: Knowledge – +30% Mastery every 2 min for 20 sec. 84 Dark Soul: Instability – +30% crit for 20 sec every two min.
90 Demonic Tactics +5% more mastery from all sources. 90 Devastation – 5% more crit from all sources.

Warlock Perks

Perks are enhancements to certain existing abilities, not new abilities. You start learning them at 92 and will learn then randomly from the list of available perks. By the time you’re 98 you’ll have them all.

All Perks are passive.

  1. Empowered Corruption – slightly better chance for a Soul Shard
  2. Empowered Drain Life – improves health gain from Drain Life
  3. Enhanced Haunt – lasts +2 seconds
  4. Improved Drain Soul – 100% more damage to very low health targets.
  1. Empowered Demons – Your demons get +10% Haste and +10% Crit.
  2. Empowered Doom – +20% crit chance.
  3. Empowered Drain Life – improves health gain from Drain Life
  4. Enhanced Corruption– slightly better chance for a Soul Shard
  1. Empowered Immolate – 100% more initial damage
  2. Enhanced Chaos Bolt – small reduction to cast time.
  3. Enhanced Ember Tap – Also heals your demon for a small amount.
  4. Enhanced Havoc – 5 second faster cooldown.


Controlling the Other Guy(s)

You have various abilities that cause the enemy to lose control and be useless for a few seconds, not all of them are fears. Warlords did a number on CC, killing off several and restricting others, but you still have some:

  1. Fear (level 14) – The enemy (only one) runs away for a time. It might gather friends on the way back.
  2. Howl of Terror (lev 30) – Several enemies run in fear. As above, they might bring back friends.

Personal Buffage and Defenses

  1. Metamorphosis (Level 10, Demonology only) – Become a demon, gaining more damage.
  2. Fel Armor (38) – Increases your health and the health gained from various effects. In WoD this is merged with Blood Pact.
  3. Nethermancy (50) – 5% Int increase
  4. Unending Resolve (64) – Hardens your skin reducing all damage taken and making casting easier for a few seconds. Nice for those situations.
  5. Dark Intent (82) – You and all party members get a Spellpower and a Multistrike boost for an hour.

Healing Up

  • Drain Life (Aff & Demo only) – Suck life out of the target and use it for yourself.
  • Create Healthstone (level 9) – Your own, homemade, healing potion. It restores 20% of your health.
  • Soul Harvest (lev 27) – regenerate health while out of combat.


Warlock Demons

Are you really the boss? Are you sure?

At level 1 all Warlocks will get an Imp as their pet. At level 42 the Demonology spec will get the Felguard. At level 10 you also get the ability to actually control your pets. Your Grimoire. of Supremacy (if you took that talent) improves all of your demons.

Your Demon
Grimoire Version
Summon Imp
Summon Fel Imp Throws fireballs, complains.
Summon Voidwalker
Summon Voidlord Tank, but not really a dungeon tank.
Summon Succubus
Summon Shivarra DPS, and crowd control
Summon Felhunter
Summon Observer Group mana buff, eats spells, casts silence
Summon Felguard
(Demonology only)
Summon Wrathguard Melee tank
Summon Infernal
ummon Abyssal Lasts 45 sec., attacks target of your Bane of Agony/Doom spells
Summon Doomguard
Summon Terrorguard Same as Infernal


Warlock Leveling Stats

Gear wise you should find things quite simple, the stat that Warlocks need is: stamina, in massive amounts, at least at lower levels. Secondly, having achieved massive amounts of stamina, +Int becomes important. Once you hit the level cap (go here) you will be more concerned with the “secondary” stats. For now, Int and Stam are fine and any of the others are just a nice bonus.

See a bit below for the other stats.

Undead Corruptor Warlock

In Warlords the Hit, Expertise, and Resilience stats are all dead. Reforging is also dead.

Basically any Crit or Haste that you get on your gear is all good.

If you PvP then you probably know that Resilience and PvP Power are sort of dead. They do not appear on any Draenor gear, but they do appear on lower level PvP gear.

  • Intellect – 1st in importance. Int is your spell power and a bit of Crit.
  • Stamina – stack this at low level (enchants, some gear.) At higher level the Stam on you gear will be fine.
  • Haste is an important stat for any Warlock. What it does is make your cast times shorter, your DOTs click faster, and burns your mana faster, but you won’t care about that since ‘locks don’t use mana very fast.
  • Crit rating is nice, as it doubles any damage you do when you “crit” (only 1.5 times in PvP.)
  • Mastery doesn’t apply until level 80. Don’t worry about it until the end-game, at which time it may or may not be useful, depending on your spec.
  • Spirit, Agility, Strength are all of absolutely no use to a Warlock.
  • PvP Power is a direct add to your damage, a bit like Versatility, and only appears on non-draenor gear.
  • Resilience is a reduction in the damage done to you by players.  As with PvP Power it only appears on non-draenor gear. 

New Stats

These will pretty much only appear on Draenor gear, so ignore them until 90+. Unless you by the appropriate enchants to put on your lower level gear.

  • Multistrike is new to Warlords and gives you two chances to do an additional attack at 30% effect (one chance in PvP.)
  • Versatility adds its % value to your damage and your healing. It also adds 1/2 that value to your damage reduction. A good stat in places where you might be taking significant damage and are using any heals you have, otherwise the other stats are better.

For more exact stats, see our other ‘lock pages: Affliction, Demonology, Destruction.



Gearing your Warlock

Have a high level character? Buy Heirlooms from your guild and/or the Honor and Justice Point vendors. you won’t have to think about getting better gear at least until 60 90, or even 100s. Plus, they can take high level enchants (as can any gear of any level.)

You can get them from vendors in Ironforge and the Undercity. The base heirloom is good to level 60 and you can buy boosts to take it to level 90 or even 100. Like mounts and pets, once you have the heirloom it’s available to all appropriate characters. You do not have to buy separate sets for each character. Figure 500 gold for each heirloom +1000 for the level 90 boost (+1,200 for weapons.) Another 5k for the level 100 boost.

With a full set of ‘looms you’ll be able to rampage through all the quests with no sweat, plus get that +25% XP.

No heirlooms? No problem. All of your gear will have Int on it and you can enchant any piece that you’re going to keep awhile. If you’re going to buy pieces off the Auction House, PvP vendor, or whatever, try to get the big pieces first as they will have the best stats. In order of preference: Weapons > big armor pieces (head, chest, legs) > other armor pieces > jewelry (rings, trinkets, neck.)

If you PvP then make sure you have an escape trinket. You can get one from a PvP Honor vendor or use the heirloom Inherited Insignia of the Horde. (There’s also an alliance version.) This trinket will be mostly useless if you don’t PvP.

  1. If your heirlooms are level 60 then either upgrade them to 90, buy the level 90 boost (100 in Legion,) or start looking for better gear.
    • No ‘looms? Get the green gear with a level as close to yours as you can. Blue items are better, but you’ll need to PvP or dungeon, or be able to buy them off the Auction House.
  2. Up to level 70 your heirlooms, if they’re level 90 or better, will be better than any other gear you’re likely to see. Some blue (and the rare purple) items will be better for a level or two, but with the heirlooms you don’t have to worry about keeping track of your gear. You can buy guild heirlooms as soon as your rep is high enough and that can easily happen long before 70. All you need is gold.
  3. At level 70: do some PvP before 70 and get close to 2,000 honor. Then get a full set of the Level 70 Epic PvP gear from the lagacy PvP vendors in the Dalaran sewers or in Gadgetzon. This will keep you will geared until level 77…
  4. At around level 77 your heirlooms will be catching up with your PvP gear. If you don’t have then heirlooms then just replace it, when appropriate, with the gear you do get.
  5. At 81, if you don’t have the ‘looms and if you have some gold keep an eye on the Auction House. You can find the occasional blue titled M of P item, item level 417 or so, which is better than any of the previous gear you’ve found.
  6. At 85 buy or make the crafted PvP gear set or check out whatever M of P gear is available on the Auction House and use that. Vendors scattered throughout the M of P zones will sell complete sets of gear for very low prices. While it isn’t great gear, it’s level appropriate and will be fine.  Also, level 450 gear will be popping up on the Auction house, if you can afford it.
  7. Level 90: Congratulations! Buy the Crafted Malevolent Gladiator PvP gear off the Auction House, even if you don’t PvP. You can then hop over to the Timeless Isle and loot boxes and such until you’ve got your gear set.
  8. 90+: Keep an eye on the AH for blues dropping in from the Draenor zones.
  9. 91+: If you have some gold you can buy the ilevel 640 crafted gear that’s on the AH. You can equip three items, so buy a Crystalfire Spellstaff, and any two of the head, chest, or legs.
    1. Stats on all of these items can be rerolled. For the staff you’ll need one Volatile Crystal for each reroll. Keep rerolling until you get the stats you want.
    2. Armor items require Hexweave Embroidery and otherwise work as the volatile crystals.
    3. All these items can be boosted by 75 item levels (to 715 for armor, 705 for the weapon.) Armor requires 3x Hexweave Essence, 1 Mighty Hexweave Essence, 1 Savage Hexweave Essence
    4. The staff requires 3x Weapon Crystal, 1 Mighty Weapon Crystal, 1 Savage Weapon Crystal
  10. 100: New PvP and other end-game gear.

Warlock Enchants for Leveling

While you’re leveling skip the enchants unless you have plenty of gold and/or have gear that you will keep for awhile. If you are going to enchant your gear then I’m sure you have already figured out your priorities: Stamina > Int > Haste > Crit

Stamina at low levels will help a lot with survival.

Don’t forget to enchant your Heirloom items, if you can afford it. Get the best enchants that you can afford. Any high level enchant from the Enchanting profession can be added by a level 1 character to a level 1 item. Enchants from other professions, such as the Tailoring enchant Greater Cerulean Spellthread will require a level 85+ to apply it to your item, but can then send it to your level 1.

All of these enchants will scale to whatever your current level is.

Warlock Gems for Leveling

Every once in awhile, while leveling, you will find gear with gem sockets, especially at higher levels. If you decide to use these then the priority is the same as for enchants. Consider that you will likely be leveling fast enough that the expense of the gems isn’t worth it.

  • Note that there are far fewer gem sockets in Warlords than before.
  • Red: Brilliant gems (+Int.) Put these into any sockets on your gear. In Draenor gear? Use Mastery instead.
  • Have plenty of gold? Use better gems.
  • Meta: If you find a head piece with a meta socket, then stick a Burning Shadowspirit Diamond into that socket. You’ll probably be 90 before you can use the Burning Primal Diamond.


Warlock Races

Unless you’re going for every last drop of efficiency then the choice of race doesn’t matter much. Go for the weird (Gnomes) or pretty (Orcs) or whatever. Warlock leveling as Orc or Draenei won’t be noticeably faster than any other race.

Best race? If you’re PvP leveling then Humans have an edge by being able to equip two offensive trinkets, since they already have an escape trinket in “Every Man for Himself.”  Their Versatility also helps. Orcs have their Blood Fury for added burst.

Draenei, Tauren, Night Elves, and Pandarens cannot be warlocks.

Warlords Note: All racials having to do with Hit or Expertise are dead.

Horde Races


  • Blood Fury spell damage, which suits you just fine.
  • The slightly increased pet damage (command) helps makes the Orc one of the better Warlock races.
  • Hardiness allows a decreased stun duration, which is nice for PvP.

Undead – The perfect Warlock race.

  • Underwater Breathing was removed (in Mists of Pandaria) and was replaced with a rather nice Drain Life ability, which will actually add a bit to your DPS numbers. This ability returned with Warlords) and it’s now of indefinite duration. Useful when leveling, given the several areas that are underwater.
  • Will of the Forsaken is a nice PvP skill (anything that breaks Fear, etc is a nice PvP skill.)
  • Cannibalize is useful when you just have to rub it in to that other player you killed. Maybe that’s good enough reason to go Undead. You also won’t have to carry food in your bags.
  • Minor Resistance (here)  to Shadow damage.

Blood Elf

  • Arcane Torrent is a nice spell interrupt with some PvP utility (silence only in PvP), but since it’s melee range and you don’t want to be in melee range…
  • Acuity adds +1% to your Crit rating, which is a good stat for ‘locks.
  • Belves are good with Enchanting, via their affinity.
  • Belves take slightly less Arcane damage, via their Resistance.
  • Blood Elves look good. A truly devastating Warlock Ability. Really.

Troll  – Taste me Voodoo, Mon!

  • Increased Haste when Berserk is very nice. Drop it into a macro with your other buffs.
  • Your regeneration is increased, but it’s too small to notice.
  • More XP from beast slaying is very nice for leveling.
  • Shuffle reduces snare (slow) duration.

Goblin  – Goblins like to blow things up and Warlocks consort with demons. A match made in heaven? Well, maybe not…

Alliance Races


  • The Human Diplomacy skill will allow for more rapid faction gain (very nice if you’re working towards any of the zillion faction in WoW)
  • the escape ability is nice for PvP, especially since it allows the use of two offensive trinkets. It’s even occasionally (ok, rarely) useful when leveling outside of PvP.
  • Bonus Versatility adds +1% to your Versatility, which is a plus to your damage, healing, and damage reduction.


  • Escape artist is very nice for PvP, as is their small size
  • More – +5% more mana, which isn’t really a concern for you.
  • Nimble – +1% more Haste, which is a decent stat.
  • Resistance – Gnomes take a bit less arcane damage
  • Engineer – Gnomes are good with Engineering.


  • Stone Form is a nice PvP talent, and occasionally useful elsewhere. It washes away bleeds, various magical effects, and adds a 10% damage reduction for a few seconds. Not a lot of use questing, sometimes useful in the dungeons, and pretty nice for PvP.
  • Might adds 2% to your critical damage (not crit rating.)
  • Resistance allows a small reduction to incoming Frost damage.
  • Explorer – Dwarves are good with Archeology.


  • Darkflight allows periodic quick movement, which is always useful,
  • reduced duration of curses and diseases (affecting them.)
  • Increased crit chance (viciousness) is a good stat for you.
  • Flayer boosts your skinning skill.
  • Run Wild lets you dash about on all fours.
  • Aberration provides resistance to Shadow and Natures damage.

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Warlock Professions

Skip all crafting professions while you’re leveling since they’re very expensive. If you do have a ton of gold then tailoring is a good skill to get. You can buy the enchants you need for a lot less gold than you’ll spend leveling that skill, so skip enchanting. That said, tailoring and enchanting can work well together. You disenchant your extra greens that you make with Tailoring and use the parts for Enchanting.

Herbalism, mining, and skinning are all great cash earning skills and Herbalism has a big Haste cooldown.

In Warlords all of the profession bonuses, such the old Tailoring Cloak Enchants, have been removed. You can make some pretty nice gear pieces though. Once you’re 91+ you can level your professions very quickly and also make some pretty useful, if rather expensive, items. See the gear section for examples.

One you’re actually in Draenor (90+) you should quickly find scrolls, while questing, appropriate to all of your professions. These will lead you on mini-quests that will give you the Draenor version of that skill. The Draenor version allows for _much_ faster and easier leveling of the skill, plus it gives you access to the recipes for that nice 640 gear.

Also, once you earn your Garrison, at 90+, you will be able to create a professions hut. These will help you with your crafting and materials generation through work orders. You can assign a follower to that hut and the follower allows greater output and access to certain profession perks.

  • Herbalism is a nice gold maker and will provide mats for your Alchemy or Inscription skills.
  • Mining and Skinning are nice money makers, as well.
  • Cooking will allow you to make some useful buffing foods, so is highly recommended. Fishing is a nice supplement to cooking, but takes a lot of time.
  • First Aid is essential, even with your health taps. Keep it maxed at all times. Draenor 1st aid will let you make some very nice healing potions.
  • Alchemy will allow you to make tons of useful potions, flasks, elixers, a sweet trinket, etc.
  • Tailoring will allow you to make your own gear, including PvP gear for 90 and below, and raid level gear (extremely expensive) for draenor. Plus there’s a flying carpet.
  • Jewelcrafting will let you make all those gems and some useful jewelry (rings and necklaces.)
  • Enchanting allows you to “enchant” your gear. In Draenor you’ll be able to make Illusionary enchants (requires garrison building and a follower with the enchanting trait) which will change the look of your enchants.
  • Engineering will allow you to make a lot of very useful gadgets, including gliders, shields, rockets, etc. The Goblins perfected rockets in Draenor and they’re frequently one-shot kills on quest mobs. Not bad Vs. players, either. You Garrison minion will sell you, cheaply, various useful items, such as “Walter,” a portable bank.
  • Inscription – Glyphs, shoulder enchants (90 and lower,) and a couple of nice weapons and items. Very nice Draenor caster staff. Just as expensive to upgrade as the armor. Your follower will let you create merchant orders. Combine any two of the same type and then sell the result to any vendor for 75-250 gold.
  • Leatherworking – No value to you, but at the Draenor level (90+)  your follower in your Garrison building will allow you to make tents which will boost your stats by 10% for an hour. Through the Leatherworking hut in your Garrison you can make single use tents that will increase all of your stats by 10% for an hour, though not in raids or rated PvP. These tents are account bound, so you can mail them to all of your alts
  • Blacksmithing – Can make a couple of decent caster weapons, the Draenor ones are upgradable. For a price.
    • Song of the Anvil – “Your armor and weapons do not lose durability from use for 4 hrs.” Just the thing for an extended tanking/dungeoning session, right?
    • Solace of the Forge might be helpful when leveling through Draenor, as a molten elemental will sometimes come to your aid.

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Warlock Leveling Tips & Notes

  • Of course, you can always boost your character to 90 (100 in Legion) and skip all those levels. If you do it from 60+, and have professions, then those professions will be boosted to 600. Only costs $60, per boost, through the in-game blizzard store.
  • Better gear makes for faster and easier leveling. Heirlooms can be enchanted.
  • If you skip the looting of mobs, don’t gather herbs or anything, and don’t level a crafting profession then you’ll move faster. Just pick a target, kill it, and move to the next… boom, boom, boom. But… we all like to loot. 😉
  • While leveling the only stats you really want to worry about are: Int, Stam, and Spellpower.
  • It certainly isn’t essential to keep your gear 100% up to date, though it will help. If you have a ton of gold then go for all the upgrades that you want. Otherwise only upgrade when the new piece is a definite improvement over the old one. Check our gold guide if you need gold tips. Prioritize your weapon(s) over any other gear pieces, Weapons give you the best bang for the buck.
    • You can, at your option, go Hardcore. Only white titled gear is allowed, though I’d say that any green gear earned strictly through questing is Ok. If you want to be really hardcore, like the Diablo games, delete your character if it’s killed. Not recommended on PvP servers!
  • Whether you’re questing, dungeoning, or PvPing you need to stay stocked:
    • Have the biggest bags you can afford. Netherweave bags are a great start for most, in terms of cost per amount of bag space. Plenty of bag space means you can keep all the junk you find and then dump it when you normally get back to town.
      • Or you could skip looting and/or throw stuff away as you find it.
    • Keep stocked on healing & possibly mana potions (if you ever have mana problems.)
    • Buffing potions or scrolls are nice, though they don’t stack with each other.
    • Some foods buff stats. Keep a nice stack handy.
    • Bandages and first aid can come in handy.
  • Grab all the quests in an area and use the map to group them. Knock out all the quests over there, then hit the next batch. Your regular in-game questing system will pretty much show you where to do and what to do. It’ll be up top you when to move on. Hit the Command Board at your Capital City for “that next quest.” Or get a guide and make it easy.
  • Do as many quests at one time as you can. Save the travel quests for a time when you are going “over there” anyway.
  • Always log out at an Inn to get the rest XP when you come back.
  • You can also Recruit a friend (RaF) for 3x XP.
  • Got the Extra XP leveling potion thing? Save up all your quests, use the potion, hand them in.

Targeting Macro

This macro looks for your target and puts a skull (icon ‘8’) on it. You will have to enter the name of the new target everytime you are looking for something different. The /cleartarget line clears anything currently targeted, [no dead] won’t let it target a dead body.

Nice way to quickly locate targets which might not be right there. You can also use it in dungeons. Select a target and use the macro, the target will then have a skull marker. Insert a different number for a different marker. For example, ‘1’ is a yellow star.

This macro will target enemy players (you’ll have to enter their name,) but it will not put a market on them.

  • /cleartarget
  • /target [nodead] Name of Mob
  • /script SetRaidTarget(“target”,8);

The fastest possible leveling?

Since you’re DPS (Damage) you’ll queue as that with the Random Dungeon Finder tool. (Recruit a friend for 3x XP. Use Dugi’s while questing.) (Also see our top 10 fast leveling tips post.)

Alternate the questing with your dungeoning and you’ll level at a pretty good pace. Do enough PvP so that you have enough honor to buy the level 70 arena set or any other PvP gear you want.

Questing is much more efficient than just grinding for gaining XP.

If you can, always log out in an Inn to earn the “rest XP bonus.” It used to be that grinding (just endlessly burning down any mobs you find) was faster, and might still be in very particular situations, but questing really blows the doors off of grinding these days.

Dungeoning is great XP if you like to group and you like the dungeons. See our dungeon guide for more. You can get better gear that you will be likely to get otherwise. With most of the dungeon quest-givers now being inside the dungeon and with the Dungeon Finder tool making travel unnecessary, it can be an easy experience. It’s not a lot faster than questing, you being a DPS type, but it has its virtues.

  • As a “damage” class there might be a fairly long wait time to actually get into any particular dungeon. Do quests while you wait or go fishing or hang our with your friends in an inn (and role-play) or something.
  • The only downside is if the groups don’t work for you or you don’t work for them.
  • Let the tank pull.
  • Dungeon groups also tend to move pretty fast, so if you’re fast and efficient and don’t mind the groups then it’s a good way to go.
  • You can find some nice gear in the dungeons. Some of that you might want to keep for transmogging purposes.
  • Make sure you grab all the available quests when you enter the dungeon and hand them in at the end. You can use the dungeon icon in your mini-map to “leave dungeon” and then quickly “re-enter.” This will pop you back to the entrance. Note that in some dungeons (M of P dungeons, for example, also a few others) the quest givers come to you at the end.

PvP leveling can be awesome, if your side wins, but it’s not too bad even if you lose. If your side wins then it’s even faster than dungeon leveling.

  • Don’t fight in the middle of the battlefield.
  • Do fight at the flag or at the flag carrier or at the tower or at the tank. For example, in Eye of the Storm or Arathi Basiin, if you look at your buff list you will see a buff that gives you more honor for fighting at the flag.
  • Don’t fight in the middle of the battlefield.
  • Don’t cry about how much (fill in the blank) sucks.
  • Do ask for help guarding/protecting/carrying whatever. Sometimes you’ll actually get it.
  • Don’t jump into or fight in the middle of groups by yourself.
  • Don’t fight in the middle of the battlefield.
  • Do stay with your allies and help them out. Solo fighters don’t last long.
  • If you don’t know what to do then follow someone who seems to know and stick with that person.
  • Don’t fight in the middle of the battlefield, even if it’s fun. It’s less honor and less experience.
  • Buddy up with a healer and kill the other teams’ healer(s.)

What to do while leveling:

  1. Tank and Spank: Let your pet hold the mob’s aggro while you burn it down with spells. Only useful with Voidwalker and Felguard.
  2. Drain Tanking: You DoT up the mob, set your pet on it (any pet) and use Drain Life while it beats on you. You’ll stay healthy and the mob drops. It’s even better if you pet can hold the aggro. The difference here, of course, is that you are the tank.
  3. Keep an eye on your DoT timers so that you can always have your DoTs up on the things you’re killing.
  4. Targets that are feared tend to run and collect other mobs, which means that fear is more useful, generally, in PvP than while leveling. Glyph of Fear helps with this.
  5. Learn to use keybinds and macros.

Keeping Things Interesting

Keep in mind that leveling is not the same thing as end-game raiding or arena. At the end-game you have a lot more abilities, far better gear, and more need to pay attention to stats and squeezing out every last bit of power.

  1. All Warlock specs are fine for leveling. Really. Maybe Demonolgy is easier, but Aff and Destro toss out a lot of damage. Heck, once you hit 30 ask your trainer to unlock your “dual specializations,” pick another spec, and play with that for a few levels. Then switch back. Then wipe one and try the third spec. By the time you hit 90 you’ll have a pretty solid idea of what each one does.
  2. Level your way. So if you’re tired of quests and want to run dungeons or battlegrounds, then do it. You can run quests while waiting for the queue or just go fishing.
  3. Think of your leveling as training for the end-game, if you’re going to participate in that. Learn all about what you can do. Try new things, mis it up a bit, and have fun.
  4. Don’t just set your pet on some mob and suck all it’s life away. Try your other abilities, as you get them. Try other pets. Mix up your spells. Learn how your fears and other “crowd control” abilities work in various situations. Hint: Do NOT use fear in the dungeon. 😉
  5. You’re not really a tank, meaning that you can’t just round up all the enemies in the area and burn them down, but that doesn’t mean you can’t try that a little bit. Try two mobs at once. When that starts to work add a third. You may surprise yourself with what you can do, even if you aren’t a tank.
  6. It’s always a good time to level a Warlock. Even if in patch abc.27b they aren’t the hottest thing since lava pools, they might well be there the next patch. WoW always fusses with game balance, tweaks abilities, rewrites whole classes (Paladins in Cataclysm,) rewrites the whole talent system (Mists of Pandara) and so on. The point is, that if you like playing your Warlock then do it. If you really stretch your abilities then at level 100 you will be well ahead of many of those who are playing this week’s “better class.” Oh, and by the way, Warlocks are generally near the top anyway. In all categories. And if they aren’t this week they probably will be soon.
  7. If you just want to burn, DOT, drain, and demon your way through the levels fast then just scroll down a bit and check out that in-game leveling addon. It’ll get you to 100 faster than anything else.


1-100 “Get There Fast!” Warlock Leveling Guide

Blast through the levels to 90Ok, you have your ‘lock all ready to go and now you’re looking at thousands of quests and a ginormous number of mobs to kill. To make it all easy you should grab an in-game Warlock leveling guide to get yourself leveled as quickly as possible. Among other things, this will let you get into all that juicy endgame stuff, raids and the rated BGs and arenas, just that much sooner.

Dugi’s is an addon that will place a small guide window on your main screen and which keeps track of your current quests and tasks and also counts your kills and tasks and so on.

Start from any level and use Dugi’s to blast to the finish. Heck, you can even grab a few levels in the dungeons and battleground PvP. Dugi’s guide will figure out your new level and the best spot to continue your questing and youi’ll be on your way.

Pick your starting point and the guide will show you where to go and what to do. 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. It will also tell you when it’s time to move on from the current zone.

Dugi’s is always quickly updated for the latest patches and expansions (Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor, and onward) and it makes leveling amazingly fast and easy. Get yours here.


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  7 Responses to “The Warlock Leveling Guide”

  1. Just so you know, Felhunter is learned at 29, not 30.

  2. Love this guide 🙂 Very helpful for someone who’s played all classes in the game since BC except warlock 😛 lol Thanks for taking the time to write all this!

  3. Suggest useful rotations as you level. Which metamorphosis is best for what situations (solo vs pve instancing?)

  4. Looks like is the way to go

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