The Warlock Leveling Guide

 

Updated for Warlords of Draenor, patch 6.3
Legion updates in progress. 

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.

Race:

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.

Stats:

  • 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

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.

Enchants

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

Professions

Tips:

  • 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:

Affliction Warlock Leveling talents for Legion

Denomology:

Demonology Warlock Leveling talents for Legion

Destruction:

Destruction Warlock Leveling talents for Legion

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

In Legion you can freely swap between any of your three specialization (specs.) All you have to do is be out of combat. You don’t need any demons, reagents, Warlock trainers, or special rituals. Just pick the other spec on your talents page, learn it, and go.

Your Talents can also be freely switched, just like your spec, but you have to be in a “rested XP” area, such as your garrison, the big city, or an inn.

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

Warlock Talent Descriptions

Keep in mind that most of your leveling will be against quest mods which don’t last long. If you’re PvPing, or seriously dungeoning, you might want to change things up.

Tier 1, level 15:

Affliction

  • Best talent Haunt is basically a nice nuke. If your targets dies within 15 seconds, which it most likely will if you’re questing, the cooldown gets reset.
  • Writhe in Agony: Agony stacks up to 20 instead of 10. Nice for longer lived targets and you’ll want to pay attention to making sure it doesn’t fall of.
  • Drain Soul: replaces Drain Life, causing more damage and roughly the same heaing as Drain Life.

Demonology

Destruction

  • Backdraft: After casting Conflagrate our cast time of Incinerate and Chaos Bolt is reduced for 5 seconds by 30%.
  • Best talent Roaring Blaze: Conflagrate empowers our remaining Immolate on the target for 60% until Immolate is expired or gets refreshed. Cast the one and then the other immediately.
  • Shadowburn is a nuke that hits the target for 340% of our Spell Power and costs 1 shard. If the target dies within 5 seconds we get 2 shards.

 

Tier 2, level 30:

Affliction

  • Contagion: Unstable Affliction increases all damage you deal to the target by 15%.
  • Best talent Absolute Corruption: Corruption is now permanent and deals 25% more damage. It’s the easiest to use, does more damage to any targets, and is really nice Vs. long lived targets.
  • Mana Tap:Consumes 30% of your current mana to grant 10% increased damage for 20 seconds.

Demonology

Destruction

  • Reverse Entropy: This talent reduces the cast time of Chaos Bolt and Rain of Fire by 0.5% and these spells restore 35% of our maximum mana. Having mana issues? Take this one.
  • Best talent Cataclysm: This talent hits all enemies within a 8 yards radius for 700% of your Spell Power and affects them with Immolate. It’s cooldown is 1 minute. Nice area attack. Beware of all them coming after you if they live.
  • Mana Tap: Consumes 30% of your current mana to grant 10% increased damage for 20 seconds.

 

Tier 3, level 45

All specs.

  • Best talent Demon Skin: recharges your Soul Leech shield by 1% every second. We like shields.
  • Mortal Coil: Horrifies the enemy and heals you for 11% of your maximum health.
  • Howl of Terror: Fears 5 targets within 10 yards for 20 seconds. Damage on these targets cancels the effect.
    Nice for PvP, very limited use otherwise.

 

Tier 4, level 60

Affliction

  • Best talent Siphon Life: is an additional dot that does damage and heals you for 100% of the damage dealt. It’s not channeled, unlike Drain Life.
  • Sow the Seeds: If you have a shard available, your Seed of Corruption uses it to embed 4 additional seeds to nearby enemies.
  • Soul Harvest is a cooldown that increases you and your pets’ damage by 20%. The baseline duration is 10 seconds and each target effected by Agony will gain you 2 seconds more.

Demonology

  • Hand of DoomHand of Gul’dan applies Doom to all targets it hits.
  • Power Trip has a 50% chance to grant a Soul Shard.
  • Best talent Soul Harvest is a cooldown that increases you and your pets’ damage by 20%. The baseline duration is 10 seconds and each target effected by Doom will gain you 2 seconds more. Cast a Doom or three and then Soul Harvest.

Destruction

  • Best talent Eradication: Chaos Bolt increases the damage you do to the target by 12% for 6 seconds. Assuming your Chaos bolt doesn’t one-shot the target your followup will finish him.
  • Fire and Brimstone: Your Incinerate hits all enemies near your target.
  • Soul Harvest is a cooldown that increases you and your pets’ damage by 20%. The baseline duration is 10 seconds and each target effected by Immolate will gain you 2 seconds more.

 

Tier 5, level 75

Affliction, Demology, and Destruction. This depends on what you’re doing. Do you need more movement? Need to pop back to a safe place? Or a nice survival cooldown?

  • Demonic Circle: lets you place a circle that allows you to teleport to the same location again.
  • Burning Rush sacrifices 4% of your health every minute and in exchange you gain 50% movement speed. While Burning Rush is active you can’t be slower than 100% of your normal movement speed. Fairly cheap run speed buff.
  • Best talent Dark Pact sacrifices 20% of your demon’s (or your health if you have no demon) and grants you a 400% shield of the sacrificed health for 20 seconds. Its cooldown is 1 minute.

 

Tier 6, level 90

All specs.

  • Grimoire of Supremacy: Allows you to use a permanent Doomguard or Infernal. You lose your 3 minute cooldown in exchange.
  • Best talent Grimoire of Service: Summons a second demon which fight for you for 25 seconds and does 100% increased damage. The cooldown is 1.5 minute.
  • Grimoire of Sacrifice: Sacrifices your demons and in exchange it sometimes deal around 22,000 damage to the target and all enemies in a 8 yards radius. Take this one of you need the Area Effect damage.

 

Tier 7, Level 100

Affliction

  • Best talent Soul Effigy: You create a Soul Effigy which is only attackable by you. 35% of the damage dealt is duplicated on the target it is linked to. Lasts 10 minutes. The Soul Effigy spawns where you cast it.
  • Phantom Singularity: Places a Singularity over the target and deals damage to all the targets within 25 yards for 13.8 seconds. You receive 30% of the damage done as healing. 1 minute cooldown.
  • Soul Conduit: Every Soul Shard you spend has a 20% chance to be refunded.

Demonology

  • Summon Darkglare summons a demon that damages all targets affected by your Doom for 12 seconds. 24 second cooldown.
  • Best talent Demonbolt replaces Shadow Bolt and does 20% more damage for each active demon. You do have active demons up, right?
  • Soul Conduit: Every Soul Shard you spend has a 20% chance to be refunded.

Destruction

  • Wreak Havoc: Havoc becomes 20 seconds long and has no cooldown. You’ll be able to keep it up at or close to 100% of the time. Nice when your 2nd target lives long enough to be worth it.
  • Channel Demonfire: You channel 3 seconds long 15 Firebolt‘s on random targets already afflicted by your Immolate, for 42% of your Spell Power, within 40 yards. If you take this then make sure you also take Cataclysm from row 2.
  • Best talent Soul Conduit: Every Soul Shard you spend has a 20% chance to be refunded. Best for solo questing and generally for any single target fights.

 

 

Warlock Glyphs

Legion made a few changes to glyphs. In short, it pretty much killed all of them off. Youi do have a few minor ones, but they are cosmetic only, there is no combat value to them.

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.

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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.

Legion pretty much did the same as Warlords, killed off some abilities, renamed and combined a few, added others. The intent was to make the specs looks and feel different from each other. Did they succeed? You tell me.

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.

One nice Legion change is that you can switch specializations (specs) at any time you’re out of combat, no trainer, reagents, sacrificial soul, or anything is needed. Just go to your talent pane and switch specs.

Ditto the actual talents, except that you need to be in a rested XP area (Garrison, inn, Big City.) The you switch as many as you like. Again no souls, or reagents, need be sacrificed to do this.

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.)

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

(P) = Passive ability – Abilities removed in Legion have been removed from this table.

Affliction

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

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

Things just get better as you level. Demonology is in many cases the easiest leveling build, depending on your style of play.

Destruction

Destruction is great for leveling aand 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.

Spells Common to all Warlocks

Summoning, draining, all of you can do this stuff.

  1. Summon Imp (1) – tosses fireballs and complains.
  2. Summon Demon – Pick your demon from the menu
  3. Drain Life (1) – drains health from the enemy and regenerates yours
  4. Create Healthstone (5) – create a stone that restores your health
  5. Summon Void walker (8) – big blue, and it tanks for you.
  6. Fear (16) – one target runs away for 20 seconds, brings friends back if it can. .
  7. Soul Stone (18) – can rez the ally or give the stone to someone for his own rez.
  8. Health Funnel (19) – sacrifice your own health the heal your demon (for twice as much.)
  9. Eye of Kilrogg (22) – spy out places “over there.”
  10. Unending Breath (24) – 10 min of underwater breathing and faster swim speed. Nice for those underwater quests that are scattered about. Or lying in wait to gank someone.
  11. Summon Succubus (28) – seduces the enemy, don’t let her do it to you.
  12. Command Demon (31) – order your demon to cast its best ability.
  13. Banish (32) – keep the targeted demon out of the fight for 30 seconds or until damaged. Recast Banish to dispell the effect, such as when someone banishes your demon.
  14. Life Tap (34) – Burn health to restore 3x as much mana. This will probably be rarely used.
  15. Summon Felhunter (35) – nice doggie. Eats spells.
  16. Summon Infernal (50) – smashes everything in the target area for 25 seconds.
  17. Summon Doomguard (58) – attacks the target for 25 seconds.
  18. Unending Resolve (62) – reduces damage and blocks “shut up!” effects for 8 seconds.
  19. Create Soulwell (65) – creates a well that your team can use to grab soulstones.
  20. Ritual of Summoning (72) – For summoning party/raid members. Requires the sacrifice, er… assistance of two team members.
  21. Demonic Gateway (87) – set up a gateway to ‘port your from point A to point B.

Spells/Abilities unique to your specialization.

DOT = Damage over Time spell.

Corruption (3) – does damage to the target over 14 seconds.

Agony (6) – 18 seconds of damage that starts low and finished high. Refreshing it keeps it at it’s peak.

Unstable Affliction (10) – DOT: Damage over 8 seconds, lowered by Haste. Damages anyone who dispells it. Refunds the soul shard if the target dies quickly.

Secrets of the Necrolyte (12) – Your Drain Life does a lot more damage, though no more healing.

Seed of Corruption (38) – parks a seed in the enemy target which will detonate later, sooner if it’s hit by enough damage from you or by other seed detonations. Damages all enemies within 10 yards and applies Corruption to all of them.

Mastery: Potent Afflictions (78) – increases the damage of your main DOTS


Shadow Bolt (1) –  Your basic bolt.

Hand of Gul’dan (10) – A meteor full of (1-4) wild Imps blasts the target, they then attack it and and its nearby enemies for 12 seconds.

Demonic Empowerment (12) – Empowers your demons with Haste and Heath for 12 seconds.

Call Dreadstalkers (14) – Summon two of the things to attack the enemy for 12 seconds.

Doom (26) – Casts a delayed attack, large damage, but it doesn’t happen for another 20 (reduced by Haste) seconds. Not so hot for questing, mobs die too fast, but nice for targets that will last that long (players, bosses.)

Demonwrath (36) – Your demon(s) glow with energy that damages any enemies within 10 yards of them.

Summon Felguard (40) – A tough demon warrior comes to your aid.

Soul Link (42) – some of the damage you take is taken by your demon instead.

Mastery: Master Demonologist (78) – more damage by you and your minions.

 

Incinerate (10) – 40 yards, does fire damage to the enemy.

Immolate (10) – burns the enemy over 15 seconds, Has a chance to generate a Soul Shard

Conflagrate (14) – target explodes and generates a soul shard.

Chaos Bolt (26) – Blast the enemy, always crits, replaces Soul Fire.

Rain of Fire (36) -area effect burnage for several seconds.

Havoc (40) – Causes your next single target spell to also strike this target. Lasts 8 seconds.

Mastery: Chaotic Energies (78) – Your spells do a random amount of additional damage, and all damage that you take is reduced, though by a much smaller amount.

 

Warlock Perks – Perks, like glyphs, have been removed in Legion.

 

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. Fel Armor (38) – Increases your health and the health gained from various effects.
  2. Nethermancy (50) – 5% Int increase
  3. Unending Resolve (64) – Hardens your skin reducing all damage taken and making casting easier for a few seconds. Nice for those situations.

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.

 

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
Level
Grimoire Version
Notes
Summon Imp
1
Summon Fel Imp Throws fireballs, complains.
Summon Voidwalker
8
Summon Voidlord Tank, but not really a dungeon tank.
Summon Succubus
20
Summon Shivarra DPS, and crowd control
Summon Felhunter
29
Summon Observer Group mana buff, eats spells, casts silence
Summon Felguard
(Demonology only)
42
Summon Wrathguard Melee tank
Summon Infernal
49
ummon Abyssal Lasts 45 sec., attacks target of your Bane of Agony/Doom spells
Summon Doomguard
58
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. Legion removed Multistrike. 

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.)  Dead in Legion.
  • 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

Orc

  • 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

Human

  • 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.

Gnome

  • 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.

Dwarf 

  • 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.

Worgen

  • 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 (Elixir of the Rapid Mind?)  Save up all your quests, use the potion, hand them in for +300% XP.

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 any level 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 110 faster than anything else.

 

The 1-110 “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, Legion, 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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