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The Gotwarcraft Affliction Warlock Guide
for Cataclysm

Affliction Warlock Guide

Other Warlock Guides

 

The Affliction Warlock

The Affliction tree gives a Warlock more powerful curses and drains, better DoT ability and, in the end, more powerful Shadow spells in general as well as a new way of recovering mana. With Wrath of the Lich King there are also two additional DoTs and a new curse.

Nerfage and the Buffs:

Game balance is something that Blizzard is alwayts working on, but after a big patch lands that balance may go all to heck. The same is true of an expansion. On day one your class is in God Mode and a couple of days later it's in the dog house. On this page I'll stick to the basics so that you can get going in the right direction. The Flavor of the Minute conversation will be left to the forums.

 

This guide is simply intended to provide a general overview of the Warlock class.

For a more in-depth and highly detailed resource on everything Warlock related, from leveling to PvP to Raiding to earning gold, check out the Killer Guides' Warlock guide.

 

4.1 Affliction Warlock Patch Notes

Looks like all of you corrupt, demon summoners got some love.

  • Dark Intent: The friendly target of this ability now receives 1% (stacking 3 times to 3%) periodic spell damage and healing bonus instead of 3% (stacking 3 times to 9%). The casting Warlock still receives 3% (stacking 3 times to 9%).
  • Rain of Fire damage has been increased by 25%.
  • Seed of Corruption damage has been increased by 20%.

Talent Specializations: Affliction

  • Haunt damage has been increased by 30%.
  • Shadow Mastery (passive) has been increased to 30%, up from 25%.
  • Unstable Affliction damage done when it is dispelled has been doubled, but this damage can no longer be critical.

Pets

  • Doomguard's damage has been increased by 50%. The Doomguard is intended to be the best guardian for single-target damage, and the Infernal the best when there are multiple targets.
  • Lash of Pain (Succubus) damage now scales with level, reducing the damage done at lower levels such that it will deal 50% damage at level 20, and 100% damage at level 80 and above.
  • Shadow Bite (Felhunter) damage and effect has doubled.

Glyphs

  • Glyph of Soul Swap now increases the cooldown of Soul Swap by 15 seconds, up from 10 seconds.

 

Ok, there aren't any race choices that are specifically good for Affliction, as opposed to any other Warlock spec, so go Undead. They seem to be the race that likes to afflict others with various... issues.

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

Best Alliance? Gnome, for the Mana.

Horde Races

  • Orc - Now that Thrall isn't around...

    Blood Fury increases melee and spell damage, the latter of which suits Warlocks just fine. The increased pet damage (on command) makes the Orc one of the better Warlock races. the decreased stun duration is nice for PvP and we can ignore the increased damage with axes.

  • Undead - What's better for demon summoning and Affliction then being already dead?

    Underwater Breathing is nice for some quests, especially once you hit Outlands and Northrend (you won't need it in Vash'jir if you follow the questline,) but nothing a cheap potion can't handle. 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.

  • Blood Elf - Can a magically addicted elf make a good Warlock? Wouldn't they sell their souls for a taste? Perfect.

    Arcane Torrent
    is a nice spell interrupt with some PvP utility, but since it's melee range and you don't want to be in melee range... Well ok, they look good. A truly devastatng Warlock Ability. Really.

  • Troll (Cataclysm) -

    Hmmm... Increased casting speed, when Berserk, is very nice. Regeneration is increased, but it's trivial. More damage vs beasts is very nice for leveling and some Dungeons, not much PvP utility, though, unless you consider Draenei to be beasts (of burden?) Reduced duration of movement impairing effects is always nice.

  • Goblin (Cataclysm) - Goblins like to blow things up and Warlocks consort with demons. A match made in heaven? Well, maybe not... Hmmm... they sell everything else, why not their souls? They'd probably make a great deal on it.

    Goblins can Rocket Launch forward, which might be a nice escape ability. Their Rocket Launcher will be of little use to you, as will Vendor Discounts and your Personal Bank, though both are nice for other reasons. Increased Haste will be nice in end-game raiding since Haste is a very nice thing for Warlocks.

 

Alliance Races

  • Human -

    The Human Diplomacy skill will allow for more rapid faction gain and the escape ability is nice for PvP, but it's too bad that the Stealth Detection is gone. Maces, Swords, and a Spirit increase? Who cares? Go Human if you want to waste less time gaining faction.

  • Gnome - Tech and Demons, together again? Why would a Gnome be a Warlock?

    Escape artist
    is very nice for PvP, as is their small size, and they get an increased mana pool. Wow.

  • Dwarf (Cataclysm) - Various Dwarves factions are putting away their differences and joining forces after the Cataclysm and that's where the Warlocks are infiltrating...er... coming from. This probably explains the things crawling around in the shadows of Ironforge.

    Stone Form is a nice PvP talent, and occasionally useful elsewhere, but they have no special Warlock abilities otherwise.

  • Worgen (Cataclysm) - Fur, fleas, snuffling...

    They can periodically move quickly, which has its uses, and they have a reduced duration of curses and diseases (affecting them.) An increased crit chance is always nce.

 

 

 

Affliction Warlock Talents

You have 41 total talent points at level 85, you will spend at least 31 of them in your primarily specialization.

The specials you get as Affliction are as follows:

  1. Unstable Affliction - A DoT that silences the dispeller when dispelled, as well as doing damage to the dispeller.
  2. Shadow Mastery - Increases Shadow spell damage
  3. Mastery: Potent Afflictions - Increases the periodic damage of all of your DoTs.

 

Level 85 Affliction Warlock DPS Build (31/0/10)

(view this build)

Affliction (31 Points)

  1. Doom and Gloom - Rank 2/2 - Increases the critical strike chance of your Bane of Agony and Bane of Doom by 8%.
  2. Improved Life Tap - Rank 2/2 - Increases the amount of Mana awarded by your Life Tap spell by 20%.
  3. Improved Corruption - Rank 3/3 - Increases the damage done by your Corruption by 12%.

  4. Jinx - Rank 2/2 - Your Curse of the Elements also effects up to 15 nearby enemy targets within 40 yards of the cursed target. Also, your Curse of Weakness reduces the targets energy, rage, focus or runic power generation by 10% while active.
  5. Soul Siphon - Rank 2/2 - Increases the amount drained by your Drain Life and Drain Soul spells by an additional 6% for each of your Affliction effects on the target, up to a maximum of 18% additional effect.
  6. Siphon Life - Rank 2/2 - When you deal damage with your Corruption spell, you have a 50% chance to be healed for 2% of your total health.

  7. Eradication - Rank 3/3 - When you deal damage with Corruption, you have 6% chance to increase your spell casting speed by 20% for 10 sec.

  8. Soul Swap - Rank 1/1 - You instantly deal 0 damage, and remove your shadow damage-over-time effects from the target. For 20 sec afterwards, the next target you cast Soul Swap: Exhale on will be afflicted by the shadow damage-over-time effects and suffer 0 damage. You cannot Soul Swap to the same target.
  9. Shadow Embrace - Rank 3/3 - Your Shadow Bolt and Haunt spells apply the Shadow Embrace effect, increasing all shadow periodic damage dealt to the target by you by 5%. Stacks up to 3 times.

  10. Death's Embrace - Rank 3/3 - While at or below 25% health, your Drain Life heals an additional 3% of your total health. Increases the damage done by your Shadow Spells by 12% when your target is at or below 25% health.
  11. Nightfall - Rank 2/2 - Gives your Corruption and Drain Life spells a 4% chance to cause you to enter a Shadow Trance state after damaging the opponent. The Shadow Trance state reduces the casting time of your next Shadow Bolt spell by 100%.
  12. Soulburn: Seed of Corruption - Rank 1/1 - Grants the Soulburn empowerment to your Seed of Corruption spell. Your Seed of Corruption detonation effect will afflict Corruption on all enemy targets. The Soul Shard will be refunded if the detonation is successful.

  13. Everlasting Affliction - Rank 3/3 - Increases the critical effect chance of your Corruption, Seed of Corruption and Unstable Affliction by 15%. And your Drain Life, Drain Soul, and Haunt spells have a 100% chance to reset the duration of your Corruption spell on the target.
  14. Pandemic - Rank 1/2 - Reduces the global cooldown of your Bane and Curse spells by .25 sec. Also, your Drain Soul has a 50% chance to refresh the duration of your Unstable Affliction spell when dealing damage on targets below 25% health.

  15. Haunt - Rank 1/1 - You send a ghostly soul into the target, dealing ((($SP * 0.429) * 1.25) + 709) Shadow damage and increasing all damage done by your Shadow damage-over-time effects on the target by 20% for 12 sec. When the Haunt spell ends or is dispelled, the soul returns to you, healing you for 100% of the damage it did to the target

Demonology (0 Points)

None

Destruction (10 Points)

  1. Bane - Rank 3/3 - Reduces the casting time of your Shadow Bolt, Chaos Bolt and Immolate spells by 1 sec.
  2. Shadow and Flame - Rank 3/3 - Increases the damage done by your Shadow Bolt and Incinerate spells by 12%, and your Shadow Bolt has a 100% chance to cause the Improved Shadow Bolt effect to the target. The Improved Shadow Bolt effect causes the target to be vulnerable to spell damage, increasing spell critical strike chance against that target by 5% for lasts 30 sec.

  3. Improved Soul Fire - Rank 2/2 - You increase your spell haste by 15% for 15 sec after you deal damage with Soul Fire. This effect has a 15 sec cooldown.
  4. Emberstorm - Rank 2/2 - Reduces the cast time of your Soul Fire by 1 sec and your Incinerate by 0.25 sec.

Glyphs

  1. Glyph of Corruption (Prime Glyph) - Your Corruption spell has a 4% chance to cause you to enter a Shadow Trance state after damaging the opponent. The Shadow Trance state reduces the casting time of your next Shadow Bolt spell by 100%.
  2. Glyph of Lash of Pain (Prime Glyph) - Increases the damage done by your Succubus' Lash of Pain by 25%.
  3. Glyph of Haunt (Prime Glyph) - The bonus damage granted by your Haunt spell is increased by an additional 3%.

  4. Glyph of Life Tap (Major Glyph) - Reduces the global cooldown of your Life Tap by .5 sec.
  5. Glyph of Shadow Bolt (Major Glyph) - Reduces the mana cost of your Shadow Bolt by 15%.
  6. Glyph of Soul Swap (Major Glyph) - Your Soul Swap leaves your damage-over-time spells behind on the target you Soul Swapped from, but gives Soul Swap a 10 sec cooldown.

  7. Glyph of Drain Soul (Minor Glyph) - Your Drain Soul restores 10% of your total mana after you kill a target that yields experience or honor.
  8. Glyph of Health Funnel (Minor Glyph) - Reduces the pushback suffered from damaging attacks while channeling your Health Funnel spell by 100%.
  9. Glyph of Unending Breath (Minor Glyph)
    Increases the swim speed of targets affected by your Unending Breath spell by 20%.

Gaurdian Pet

Demon Pet

  • Succubus, with the Lash of Pain glyph, provides a DPS increase over the Felhunter.

 

 

Affliction Warlock PvP

To start out you can buy the Fireweave or Emberfire sets from the AH or a crafter. Obviously if you have high level tailoring you can make them for yourself. Both sets have the same primary stats and resilience, but differ with the other secondary stat.

Using honor points you can move into Bloodthirsty gear. Conquest points, from ranked arena matches and rated battlegrounds, will get you into your Vicious Gladiator gear.

If you would like personalized help in kicking the behinds of those other player, go here.

Level 85 Affliction Warlock PvP Build (31/7/3)

(view)

This is a decent starting build. You may need to move a couple of things around depending on your game, BGs, arenas, your team, and so on.

Affliction (31 Points)

  1. Doom and Gloom - Rank 2/2 - Increases the critical strike chance of your Bane of Agony and Bane of Doom by 8%.
  2. Improved Life Tap - Rank 2/2 - Increases the amount of Mana awarded by your Life Tap spell by 20%.
  3. Improved Corruption - Rank 3/3 - Increases the damage done by your Corruption by 12%.

  4. Jinx - Rank 2/2 - Your Curse of the Elements also effects up to 15 nearby enemy targets within 40 yards of the cursed target. Also, your Curse of Weakness reduces the targets energy, rage, focus or runic power generation by 10% while active.
  5. Soul Siphon - Rank 2/2 - Increases the amount drained by your Drain Life and Drain Soul spells by an additional 6% for each of your Affliction effects on the target, up to a maximum of 18% additional effect.
  6. Siphon Life - Rank 2/2 - When you deal damage with your Corruption spell, you have a 50% chance to be healed for 2% of your total health.

  7. Curse of Exhaustion - Rank 1/1 - Reduces the target's movement speed by 50% for 30 sec. Only one Curse per Warlock can be active on any one target.
  8. Eradication - Rank 3/3 - When you deal damage with Corruption, you have 6% chance to increase your spell casting speed by 20% for 10 sec.

  9. Improved Howl of Terror - Rank 2/2 - Reduces the casting time of your Howl of Terror spell by 2 sec.
  10. Soul Swap - Rank 1/1 - You instantly deal 0 damage, and remove your shadow damage-over-time effects from the target.
    • For 20 sec afterwards, the next target you cast Soul Swap: Exhale on will be afflicted by the shadow damage-over-time effects and suffer 0 damage.
    • You cannot Soul Swap to the same target.
  11. Shadow Embrace - Rank 3/3 - Your Shadow Bolt and Haunt spells apply the Shadow Embrace effect, increasing all shadow periodic damage dealt to the target by you by 5%. Stacks up to 3 times.

  12. Nightfall - Rank 2/2 - Gives your Corruption and Drain Life spells a 4% chance to cause you to enter a Shadow Trance state after damaging the opponent. The Shadow Trance state reduces the casting time of your next Shadow Bolt spell by 100%.

  13. Everlasting Affliction - Rank 3/3 - Increases the critical effect chance of your Corruption, Seed of Corruption and Unstable Affliction by 15%. And your Drain Life, Drain Soul, and Haunt spells have a 100% chance to reset the duration of your Corruption spell on the target.
  14. Pandemic - Rank 2/2 - Reduces the global cooldown of your Bane and Curse spells by .5 sec. Your Drain Soul has a 100% chance to refresh the duration of your Unstable Affliction spell when dealing damage on targets below 25% health.

  15. Haunt - Rank 1/1 - You send a ghostly soul into the target, dealing ((($SP * 0.429) * 1.25) + 709 ) Shadow damage and increasing all damage done by your Shadow damage-over-time effects on the target by 20% for 12 sec. When the Haunt spell ends or is dispelled, the soul returns to you, healing you for 100% of the damage it did to the target
Demonology (7 Points)
  1. Demonic Embrace - Rank 3/3 - Increases your total Stamina by 10%.
  2. Fel Synergy - Rank 2/2 - You have a 100% chance to heal your pet for 15% of the amount of spell damage done by you.
  3. Demonic Rebirth - Rank 2/2 - If your summoned demon dies, you gain the Demonic Rebirth effect reducing the cast time of your next summon demon spell by 100%. Lasts for 10 sec. This effect has a 2 min cooldown.
Destruction (3 Points)
  1. Shadow and Flame - Rank 3/3 - Increases the damage done by your Shadow Bolt and Incinerate spells by 12%, and your Shadow Bolt has a 100% chance to cause the Improved Shadow Bolt effect to the target.
    • The Improved Shadow Bolt effect causes the target to be vulnerable to spell damage, increasing spell critical strike chance against that target by 5% for lasts 30 sec.
Glyphs
  1. Glyph of Corruption (Prime Glyph) - Your Corruption spell has a 4% chance to cause you to enter a Shadow Trance state after damaging the opponent. The Shadow Trance state reduces the casting time of your next Shadow Bolt spell by 100%.
  2. Glyph of Unstable Affliction (Prime Glyph) - Decreases the casting time of your Unstable Affliction by 0.2 sec.
  3. Glyph of Haunt (Prime Glyph) - The bonus damage granted by your Haunt spell is increased by an additional 3%.

  4. Glyph of Soul Swap (Major Glyph) - Your Soul Swap leaves your damage-over-time spells behind on the target you Soul Swapped from, but gives Soul Swap a 10 sec cooldown.
  5. Glyph of Soul Link (Major Glyph) - Increases the percentage of damage shared via your Soul Link by an additional 5%.
  6. Glyph of Howl of Terror (Major Glyph) - Reduces the cooldown on your Howl of Terror spell by 8 sec.

  7. Glyph of Curse of Exhaustion (Minor Glyph) - Increases the range of your Curse of Exhaustion spell by 5 yards.
  8. Glyph of Health Funnel (Minor Glyph) - Reduces the pushback suffered from damaging attacks while channeling your Health Funnel spell by 100%.
  9. Glyph of Unending Breath (Minor Glyph) - Increases the swim speed of targets affected by your Unending Breath spell by 20%.

 

 

Leveling Affliction

Affliction is an excellent Warlock leveling build. Your abilities will keep youir at or near full health and mana while your spells and pets destroy everything. See our Warlock leveling guide for builds, tips, etc. and if you want to get leveled fast then check out our review of Zygor's Guide.

 

 

Stats, Mechanics, Etc.

When gearing up you can go the usual dungeon > hereoic > raid route for your gear or you can buy some pretty nice stuff off the Auction House, if you have a ton of gold. Not to mention the costs of potions, gems, and enchants,and then buying more of the latter when you upgrade your gear. Go here to see about acquiring a ton of gold.

 

Stat Priorities - Keep in mind that these will vary a bit depending on exact gear levels, buffs, debuffs, etc. In all cases though, Int >> Hit (to 17% cap > all others.

  1. Int is by far your #1 stat and the gap widens as you approach level 85. Int provides Spellpower, mana pool, and a small amount of crit.
  2. Hit to the 17% cap.
    1. Less is needed for PvP, go for 4%
  3. Haste increases casting speed and how quickly your DoTs tick. It's possible, with large amounts of Haste to get extra DoT ticks.
  4. Crit
  5. Mastery - when looking at the description (increases all DoT damage) one wouild think that this would be an awesome stat. It's not. Currently the damage increase is too low to push it above the others.
  6. PvP - Resilience - Everyone on the PvP field hates you. Get more resilience. No, more than that.
  7. PvP - Stamina - See #6. For PvE, how much of your own Stam do you burn? gear appropriately.
  8. PvP - Spell Penetration is useful in PvP, shoot for 195 rating points from gems or cloak enchant.
  9. Strength & Agility- useless
  10. Spirit - useless

Reforging

  1. If not Hit capped - reforge Crit and Mastery to Hit
  2. Hit Capped - Extra Hit (and lesser stats) to Haste

 

Gems

With the money available in Cataclysm from quests and endless daily quests you shold heve enough for your gems and basic enchants. If you need more gold then either stop buying everyting in site, funding your guild, beg from guildies, or check our gold guide for tips.

 

Enchants for the Affliction 'lock

These are pretty much the same enchants that any caster would want, though Warlocks, naturally, have more interest in Stam (outside of PvP) than most.

Professions

All of the professions provide some benefit for Warlocks, though clearly some are better than others. Even the gathering professions have some value, though you might be better served by building a larger gold stash throughother means.

  • Tailoring - Lightweave Embroidery sometimes increases Int by 580 for 15 seconds. The problem is that you can't count on that proc at any given instant, much less activate it on call. Still, the average Int increase over time makes this the best of the DPS professions. You will also be able to make your own Emberfire/Fireweave gear for PvP.
  • Leatherworking provides the best increase with its 130 Int enchant compared to the next best, which is 65 Haste
  • Jewelcrafting is a thin hair better than the others, being able to create three +67 Int, self-only, gems for a mighty 81 point total Int gain.
  • Enchanting will allow you to enchant both rings, for a total +80 Int gain.
  • Inscription has a +130 Int shoulder enchant which is an 80 Int gain over the next best item.
  • Alchemy has a variety of useful potions and the Mixology bonus is worth 80 Int.
  • Engineering has lots of interesting toys, some of which have situational use, and Synapse Springs, which increases Int by 96 for a short time. If you take this use a macro to activate it along with other short term buffs.
  • Blacksmithing gives two extra gems slots for +40 Int gems, 80 Int total.

  • Skinning provides 80 crit rating, which is far below 80 Int in value. If you have to take skinning for the cash flow then you should take a look at this.
  • Herbalism provides a small self heal and 240 Haste rating for 20 seconds
  • Mining provides 80 Stam and so has little benefit for 'locks since Int is so much superior.

 

Macros

Note: Fear is genereally a very bad idea in PvE content, with rare exceptions. In PvP content though... There's a reason that everyone hates Warlocks. :)

Casts Fear on your current target or, with the Shift key, on your focus

#showtooltip Fear
/cast [target=focus,modifier:shift] Fear; Fear

 

This one's great for zapping totems. Mouseover and zap, without losing your target.

#showtooltip Fel Flame
/cast [target=mouseover, exists] Fel Flame; Fel Flame;

 

Banish Focus target
#showtooltip Banish
/cast [target=focus] Banish

 

 

Gear for the Affliction Warlock

PvP gear

  • Your tailoring (525) skill can create the iLevel 339 PvP gear (and you can also buy these items off the Auction House if you have enough gold:
  • Here is the iLevel 352 PvP gear, Bloodthirsty Gladiator, purchased with Honor points.
  • Here is the iLevel 365 PvP gear, Vicious Gladiator, purchased with Conquest points (from arena or rated BG).
  • Vicious Glad set with gems and enchants. Yellow sockets have the Resilience gems, blues have the Green res/stam gems. Reforged some Hit to Haste to bring Hit down to 4%. Mastery reforged to Haste, where possible. 3500+ Res total.
  • Now check this out.

 

PvE Gear:

 

 

 

 

 

 

1-85 Affliction Warlock Leveling Guide

Are you working on your Warlock to reach the end-game goodies? Already there and leveling another class? With thousands of quests and a few bazillion mobs to grind the trip to 85 can take a while. A long while. An in-game leveling guide, like Zygor's Guide, almost automates the whole 1-85 path for your 'lock. You still have to play the game, but the "where to go and what to do" part is neatly taken care of. .

Pick your starting point and Zygor's will show you exactly where to go and what to do and the best order to do it in. It automatically updates and advances as you complete tasks and quests, sets a waypoint arrow automatically (always showing you where to go next,) and includes all the important quest info. You will probably never need to look at your quest log again, much less stop mid-play to browse sites like Thottbot or WoWhead. Grab your copy here and get leveled fast, or read the Zygor review first.

Note: Zygor's is fully Cataclysm ready now, including its Talent Advisor function and the Gobllin & Worgen areas. Grab your copy and cruise to 85. Learn more here.

 



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