In the face of demonic power, most heroes see death. Warlocks see only opportunity. Dominance is their aim, and they have found a path to it in the dark arts. These voracious spellcasters summon demonic minions to fight beside them. At first, they command only the service of imps, but as a warlock’s knowledge grows, seductive succubi, loyal voidwalkers, and horrific felhunters join the dark sorcerer’s ranks to wreak havoc on anyone who stands in their master’s way. (source)
Warlock Class Guide
Other Warlock Guides
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Warlocks are World of Warcraft’s rendition of the classic soul-devouring life-stealing demon summoning class that everyone loves, or at the very least I do. Quite honestly there’s nothing better than ruling the battlefield with massive amounts of life, ample damage resistance, and the ability to bring down multiple targets at once via a slow and painful, yet inevitable death.
Warlocks rank amongst the caster classes yes, but they stand head and shoulders above both Priest and Mage when it comes to sheer survivability. Plus, due to an increasing emphasis on high health levels combined with reasonable damage, you’ll find that you generally fair better in the raid instances and become less of a target in PvP as well.
I find warlocks to be one of the more fun caster classes simply due to the large change of playstyle gained whenever alternating talent specializations, demonology, affliction, destruction – neither is similar to the other, and that’s refreshing.
Then again running as an affliction build can be quite a bit more interesting, at least so far as Battlegrounds and AoE grinding is concerned. Hiding behind an obscure bush, rock, or tree and throwing off DoT after DoT at unsuspecting players as they run by is a fun way to ruin the other player’s day.
Finally, destruction warlocks, my personal favorite as usual, for I possess an immense obsession with the art of total annihilation, and nothing suits that better than a warlock knocking down targets in six seconds flat with some well timed, and hopefully critical, shadowbolts.
All in all warlocks have it great, all three talent builds are excellent for leveling, PvP, and likely even raiding to a certain point, making it an easy class to enjoy as you have no fear of picking the ‘wrong’ path for a given pursuit in game.
The Warlock Talents
Which talents you pick depend on what you want to do. You can change specialization (spec) any time you are out of combat. Start as Demonology, for example, do the next one as Destruction, do a Battle Ground as Affliction, etc.
You can change the actual talent picks any time you are in a “rested XP area.” That’s basically either the big city or an inn.
As for our recommended builds, drop down to any one of these pages for details:
- Warlock Leveling – here’s what you need to know.
- Affliction Warlock PvP
- Affliction Warlock for PvE
- Demonology Warlock PvE guide
- Demonology PvP
- Destruction Warlock DPS guide
- Destruction Warlock PvP
Warlocks are all-around engines of destruction, each and every tree open to us is specifically designed to improve our killing ability, just in a variety of different manners. Additionally, each tree presents an increase to either our survivability, mass killing abilities, or PvP capabilities in its own manner, making them all viable choices for any stage of the game.
Warlords killed off a bunch of abilities and tweaked many others. What came out was a more efficient Warlock.
Every other expansion will at least tweak a bunch of abilities, if not delete or completely change a few.
Abilities Shared by all Warlocks
|14||Fear – Your basic Crowd Control ability|
|18||Soulstone – Resurrect your ally who was foolish enough to die on you.|
|22||Eye of Kilrogg – spy on the place, over there. See what the enemy is doing.|
|24||Unending Breath lasts 10 min.|
|27||Soul Harvest (P) for ongoing non-combat health regeneration.|
|31||Enslave Demon grabs the other’s guy’s demon. Or even wandering demons.|
|32||Banish is more of a 30 sec. hold, rather than a “banish.”|
|42||Ritual of Summoning – get those party members over to you.|
|56||Command Demon makes your demon fire off its main ability.|
|64||Unending Resolve is 8 seconds of 40% damage reduction.|
|66||Soulshatter – Tank not tanking? This removes your threat from the enemies’ minds.|
|68||Create Soulwell so that others can have healthstones, too.|
|76||Demonic Circle: Summon|
|76||Demonic Circle: Teleport|
|80||Blood Pact (P)|
|82||Dark Intent is your Party Favor: +10% Spellpower and +5% Multistrike.|
Abilities by Specialization (Spec)
Affliction Warlocks are the 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 conflagrate or massive shadowbolt criticals. Destruction is also a very viable leveling build, raining death on all manner of opposition.
These are the abilities that define each Warlock spec in Warlords. (P) = Passive ability.
|Drain Life does damage and restores health over 6 seconds.||7||Drain Life does damage and restores health over 6 seconds.||7||Burning Embers (P) generates Embers to be used by other spells.||10|
|Nightfall (P) gives a chance to regain a soul shard.||10||Decimation (P) helps to end low health opponents.||10||Chaos Bolt launches a burst of deadly chaos.||10|
|Unstable Affliction does damage over 14 sec, explodes if dispelled.||10||Demonic Fury (P) is now generated from various attacks.||10||Chaotic Energy (P) replaces Life Tap and regenerates Mana.||10|
|Health Funnel takes some of your life to restore your Demon’s health.||10||Metaphorphosis lets you change into a big purple thing.||10||Conflagrate explodes the enemy target.||10|
|Life Tap restores your mana.||16||Doom (P) is an improved Corruption.||10||Incinerate burns the enemy.||10|
|Soulburn consumes a Soul Shard to power some abilities.||19||Molten Core (P) helps to execute low health enemies.||10||Immolate burns the enemy for 15 seconds.||12|
|Seed of Corruption does an 18 second DOT on your target that can be detonated to damage nearby targets.||21||Health Funnel takes some of your life to restore your Demon’s health.||11||Ember Tap is a small heal.||15|
|Drain Soul damages you target for 4 sec and might restore a soul shard. Also buffs other damaging spells on the target.||24||Demonic Leap lets you jump a short distance and transform.||12||Rain of Fire burns an area for 6 seconds.||21|
|Agony does damage over 24 sec, starting low and ending high.||36||Soul Fire burns the enemy’s soul.||13||Havoc lets you attack two targets at once.||36|
|Haunt does damage and increases your other damage to the target for 8 seconds.||60||Life Tap restores your mana.||16||Shadowburn burns low health targets.||47|
|Soul Swap lets you copy DOTs from target A to target B.||79||Hand of Gul’dan smacks the target and all enemies in the area.||19||
Aftermath (P) removes the channeling form your Rain of Fire.
|Mastery: Potent Afflictions (P) increases damage of important spells.||80||Hellfire burns you and nearby enemies.||22||Fire and Brimstone changes some attacks into area effect attacks.||54|
|Dark Soul: Misery give +30% Haste for 20 seconds on a 2 min cooldown.||84||Wild Imps (P) summon s the occasional Wild Imp, which will cast fireballs at the enemy.||32||Backdraft (P) – causes Conflagrate to reduce the cast times of Chaos Bolt or Incinerate.||69|
|Eradication (P) gives 5% more Haste from all sources.||90||Summon Felguard brings up a big ax wielding thing.||42||Flames of Xoroth revive your slain demon.||79|
|Mastery: Master Demonologist (P) improves overall damage of you and your demons, and the additional damage to several abilities.||80||Mastery: Emberstorm (P) increases the damage of important spells.||80|
|Dark Soul: Knowledge provides +30% Mastery for 20 sec.||84||Dark Soul: Instability for +30% crit chance for 20 seconds.||84|
|Demonic Tactics (P) provides +5% Mastery from all sources.||90||Devastation (P) for +15% crit from all sources.||90|
At level 1 all Warlocks will get an Imp as their pet. At level 42 the Demonology spec will get the Felguard.
|Throws fireballs and complains alot|
|Your big, blue tank|
|Are you sure you’re the one in charge here? Your opponents love her.|
|Nice puppy. Eats magical effects.|
|Drop a meteor and a big thing crawls out of the crater to do your bidding.|
|Another big thing, but this one lobs bolts at the enemy.|
|Goto top of page|
Numbers, Gear, Etc.
See the individual spec pages for exact stats, this section is just a general overview.
Warlords of Draenor killed off Hit and Expertise across the board, Resilience and PvP Power are gone from high level gear, but appear on gear under level 90.
Your new stats are Multistrike and Versatility. There are also some tertiary stats that will randomly (and rarely) appear on PvE gear. These are Speed, Avoidance, Leech, Indestructible, and gem sockets.
Attuned Stats are bonus stats that all classes and specs get. Typically it’s +5% of the stat from all sources and is usually from a level 90 ability.
- For Affliction it’s +5% Haste, via the level 90 Eradication ability.
- For Demonology it’s Demonic Tactics, which adds 5% Mastery.
- For Destruction it’s +15 % Crit from all sources, via Devastation
Intelligence is your #1 stat and will be on all of your gear. It boosts any damage or healing that you do, more than either Mastery or Versatility. In Warlords you can’t stack it as easily as before, other than by getting better gear. You do have access to potions, flasks, and a couple of other items that will add +Int.
Mastery appear at level 80 and is generally the best stat (other than Int) for any flavor of Warlock as it increases the damage of important spells.
Crit lets a strike hit for 100% more damage (50% more in PvP.) Destruction likes Crit a lot, for one thing it helps to generate more Burning Embers.
Multistrike give your two chances (one in PvP) to do an additional attack at 30% effect. Demonology likes Multistrike since the extra attacks will generate more Demonic Fury.
Haste speeds up your casting times, lowers cooldowns, etc. Decent stat, but the others are usually of more use.
Versatility is a straight up % add to any damage or healing you do. It also, at half value, adds to your damage reduction. You can see how it might be more valuable for PvP than other areas of the game.
Gems for Warlocks
Warlords PvP Gear comes with no gem sockets, at least through patch 6.2.
Warlords PvE Gear, level 100, occasionally comes with one gem socket. It’s a “prismatic” socket meaning than any of the Warlords gems will fit. None of those gems comes with Int, all of them code for secondary stats. Mastery is generally the gem you’ll want to use.
For Lower Level Gear
Int is definitely your best stat, however gems with other stats have twice the value of Int gems, for example: 20 Haste Vs 10 Int. For this reason it’s probably worthwhile to consider matching any socket bonuses on your gear, especially it they’re Int.
For PvE – A decent quick and dirty strategy is to just equip red gems in all sockets, unless the socket has a pretty serious Int bonus. If you want to match sockets:
- Yellow sockets: Use a Potent or Reckless orange gem.
- Blue sockets: Use a Veiled purple gem.
- Older gems (Mists of Pandaria and lower) that used to code for Hit now do Crit, gems that had Expertise are now Haste.
Warlords Notes: There are no head enchants, all shoulder enchants come from the Inscription profession and are only for items under item level 600. There are new enchants for Neck, Cloak, Weapons, and your Rings.
There are no enchants for any other pieces. (Not yet, anyway.)
Short on gold? If you want to buy the best enchants, fund all of your alts, donate to the guild, etc., but don’t have the cash, then see what the Zygor Gold Guide can do about about fixing your poverty.
Yes, Warlocks can be very effective in Battleground, Arena, or world PvP, as long as they stay aware of their strengths and certain limitations, eg: cloth armor.
See our individual spec pages for Warlock PvP builds, rotations, etc.
- Always protect your healers
- Backup your teammates, especially the ones you might want to have helping you
- If your teammate is carrying a flag so what you can to peel the defenders away from him, eg: fear, CofE, etc.
- If it’s your flag being carried do what you can to strip buffs and slow the carrier, allowing melee and casters to catch up.
- Never stop moving or that Rogue (or feral druid) who’s stalking you will try to end you.
Arathi Basin – Kill the enemy and they have to run a lot farther to get to your nearest base than that on the other side of the map. So if you’re Horde, Holding the Farm is better than the Stables for that reason. You have a short run to get there, they have a long one. Hold three bases and you will win. Always fight at the flag, never in the middle/road.
- Warsong Gulch – Protecting your flag carrier and killing the guy carrying your flag are far more important things to do than fighting random peeps in the mid-grounds.
- Eye of the Storm – Forget the flag. Hold three bases and you win. Hold three and it doesn’t matter how many flags the other side gets. Fight at the flags, not in the mid-grounds.
- Altarac Valley – You need enough defense to break their assault and enough offense to break their defense. Burn their towers and try to hold or recap yours. Towers are more important than graveyards, but GYs close to the other base are important. They’re crowding the entry to your area? Drop an infernal into the middle of their group.
- Strand there is no point to fighting behind their group. If you’re on Offense then fear their attackers away from your tanks. If on D then abondon your position when they pass you. Stay in front of them.
- Use terrain to your advantage. If you can position yourself to cast spells whenre they can’t easily see (or find) you then you’re golden.
- Get your PvP trinket from the Honor Gear vendor as soon as you can. Get the cheap one. The “break free” will save your hide more than once.
- While hot gear is nice skill counts for more. Skill will also get you into good gear faster. So practice your skills.
- Set up hot-keys for your most used abilities and macros for those abilities that might require several commands, such as the DoT caster above.
- Keep alert at all times. Be aware of your teammates and what they’re doing. Help them whenever you can.
- If you’re really serious about PvP then practice seriously and consider working with people who are better than you. You’ll get far more in-depth detail on how to kill any class, win any BG, and learn to get some pretty good arena ranking. Do it now and get a big edge over the other guy.
Obviously the Undead and the Humans are the only real Warlock races, but if you just have to play something else then go for it. Your skills will far outshine any special racials than any race might have.
Best Horde? Orc (Blood Fury, pet damage)
Best Alliance? Humans for overall PvP “best” (escape allows two other trinkets & Versatility.)
Alliance Warlock Racials
- Your Might of the Mountain ability increases the damage and healing from your critical strikes by 2%
- and you can become one with the stone via your Stoneform. This removes all poison, disease, curse, magic, and bleed effects and reduces all physical damage taken by 10% for 8 sec. Cooldown is 2 minutes.
- You are also an Explorer and so are better at Archeology than others.
Dark Iron Dwarf – Starts at level 20.
- Your Fireblood removes all poison, disease, curse, magic, and bleed effects, just like your Dwarven “brethren,” but your ability increases your primary stat by 600(!) (scales with level) +200 for for each additional effect removed. Lasts 8 sec. with a 2 min cooldown.
- You’re a tunnel dweller and Dungeon Delver and you’ve learned how to move 4% faster while indoors, plus your people have the Mole Machine: While outdoors you can summon a Mole Machine that tunnels through the earth and can pop you up in a variety of places.
- Your Escape Artist ability allows you to break the effects of any immobilization or movement speed reduction effect.
- Plus, with your Nimble Fingers you have +1% Haste, which is nice for ‘locks.
- Expansive Mind: Maximum Mana increased by 5%.
- And your Engineering Specialization gives you +15% to that skill.
Mechagnome – Starts at level 20.
- Hyper Organic Light Originator summons a couple of images of you to distract your foes. Added DPS or use it to give yourself a moment to set something up. See it in action here.
- And you get some Racial Passives:
- Combat Analysis: You gather and analyze combat data every 5 sec, increasing your Int by 25, stacking up to 10 times. The data decays while out of combat.
- Mastercraft: You function as a personal Blacksmithing Anvil, Cooking Fire, and Mining Forge. In addition, your limbs include every profession tool.
- Emergency Failsafe: When you fall below 20% health, heal for 15% of your maximum health. This effect cannot occur more than once every 2.5 min.
- Skeleton Pinkie: Allows opening of locked chests and doors on a level similar to yours.
- Your Every Man for Himself ability removes all stun effects (no other effects are removed,) so is something like a PvP trinket. This effect shares a 90 sec cooldown with other similar effects.
- The Human Spirit: You gain 2% more of all secondary stats (Haste, Critical Strike, Mastery, Versatility) from all sources.
- And since you are skilled at Diplomacy you have a faster rep gain with everyone than does any other race.
Void Elf – Starts at level 20.
- Your abilities have a chance to empower you with the essence of the Void, Entropic Embrace, which increases your damage by 5% for 12 sec. It has a 33% proc chance with 60 seconds internal cooldown. Nothing like a bit of Void energy added to your attacks, right?
- Spatial Rift: Tear a rift in space. Reactivate this ability to teleport through the rift. 30 yd range. 3 min cooldown. You can activate this, then change direction, hit it again, and be back to the original spot.
Example: Mobs chasing you? Fire it to one side of a rock/pillar/hill and run to the other side. When you hit it, you will portal through the rock and the mobs will have to run the long way round. The rift can’t go through solid objects but you certainly can. Even on flat ground, if you run at right angles to the line of fire, you can portal a fair distance. Put it up at the edge of a cliff and jump off, then port back. Experiment with it.
- Your Altered Form allows you to switch between your human and Worgen forms and your Two Forms lets you turn into your currently inactive form.
- Then your Darkflight activates your true form, increasing current movement speed by an additional 40% for 10 sec. Always nice to have an extra Sprint.
- You also have your Running Wild ability, where you drop to all fours to run as fast as a wild animal.
The Horde Warlock Racials:
- Enrage (Blood Fury) to increase damage every 2 min, which is a pretty useful ability.
- Your Hardiness makes you resistant to stuns (20% shorter duration, about 1 second off a 5 second stun) – Useful in PvP, but also nice at times while leveling/raiding.
- Berserking increases your Haste by 15% – Generally useful, since it reduces cooldowns and gives you faster mana regeneration.
- You get a 20% XP increase when Beast Slaying. This only applies to beasts, not humanoids or other non-beasts. You’ll be melting lots of beasts while leveling, so this is a nice bonus.
- Da Voodoo Shuffle gives you a nice 20% reduced duration of movement impairing effects, such as snares, slows, etc. Not stuns or anything else.
- Your Arcane Torrent removes one beneficial effect from any nearby enemies (8 yards) and restores some mana. 2 minute cooldown.
- And your Arcane Acuity gives you a bit more crit (1%.)
- Naturally your Arcane Affinity gives you +10% to the Enchanting skill.
- Your Will of the Forsaken removes fear, sleep, and charms. Definitely useful in PvP and of occasional use elsewhere.
- Your Touch of the Grave is a passive ability that will add a small amount to your overall damage and self-healing.
- Cannibalize is a nice “in your face” ability for PvP and eliminates the need to use a bag slot for regular food (you’ll want to keep any foods that provide buffs.) Just go full zombie mode and eat what you kill. Humanoids only.
- Can Rocket Jump forward, or away, so is a bit like the hunter ability disengage.
- Speaking of rockets… Rocket Barrage!!! The perfect Goblin ability. Can launch rockets at enemies. Damage is trivial, but maybe you can find a use for it.
- A bit more Haste.
- Check your bank stash from anywhere. A truly deadly ability.
Nightbourne – Starts at level 20.
- You can do an Arcane Pulse, which slightly damages all nearby enemies and reduces their speed for 12 seconds. Note that this will break any “crowd control” effects you or someone else might have on those enemies. 3 minute cooldown.
- Can read your mail from anywhere, with your Cantrips ability.
Vulpera – Starts at level 20.
- Bag of Tricks: Cunning thing that you are you can use a trick on an enemy to damage them or on an ally to heal them.
- Make Camp: Set your camp location outdoors and then you can use Return to Camp, which teleports back to your camp location. Basically another hearthstone.
- Nose For Trouble: Take a little less damage from the first strike inflicted by an enemy.
- Since you are good at stashing stuff, your backpack gains an extra 8 total backpack slots.
Leveling Tips for Your Warlock
Considering all the multitude of grinds possible in this game, leveling a warlock is comparatively relaxing. Likely you’ll never find yourself feeling too slow, quests too hard, or really any distress whatsoever considering how easy the process should be. About the only concern will be “where to go next?”
DoT’s (Damage Over Time spells) take mobs down with a dual purpose of efficiency and effectiveness, and of course we always have pets to make up for any given weakness within a fight.
Like most classes the Warlock has more than a few styles of leveling, and there’s always a way to maximize your XP per hour.
- Learn to fight multiple mobs at the same time and do as many quests as you can at the same time.
- Look into the Dungeon Finder tool and sign up for the random dungeons. You should be pretty fast and efficient with your spells, and work well with groups, if you’re going to do that. All the dungeons come with quests that will help maximize your XP and gear.
- At level 10 you become eligible to enter the battlegrounds. Battleground PvP can provide some very fast XP, especially on the BG weekends if your team wins.
- Questing still has plenty of value and is as fast as dungeon leveling. The stories are tighter since 4.0 and you’ll gain rep with the various factions. You can do it on your own time and don’t have to deal with the occasional whiny or irritating group.
- Note that grinding (just burning down endless mobs without a quest) is much slower than questing. It’s only value is as practice or because the mobs drop something useful, like that cloth your tailoring skill wants.
- Make sure you have the largest bags you can afford and that you keep stuff that you aren’t using in the bank or mail it to an Alt.
- Always log out in an Inn for the rest XP bonus.
Some of the professions, eg: Engineering, have really useful items for leveling and world events. They’re not usable in raids, however (sigh.. no firing rockets at the boss…)
Get Tailoring if you want to make your own gear, herbalism and Mining if you are leveling (for the XP.)
|Blacksmithing||Mail and Plate armor and weapons. Keys for opening locks.|
|Engineering||will let you create a number of useful items, such as rockets, shields, a stealth device, etc. These cannot be used in rated PvP, but that can be used elsewhere, such as World PvP or in Highmaul Coliseum.|
|Jewelcrafting||Useful (ilevel 640) rings and neck items, pretty gems, gemmed mounts.|
|Inscription||Glyphs, some trinkets, caster weapons, fortune & Darkmoon cards, and more.|
|Alchemy||Chemistry is fun, unfortunately you can’t make acids or bombs. You can make flasks and potions to boost stats and cause other interesting effects. You can also make a very nice DPS trinket: Draenic Philosopher’s Stone, requires Alchemy 500. This item can be greatly upgraded.|
|Enchanting||Enchant all those items and you can cast illusionary enchants. These are basically transmogs for your current enchant. Want your current enchant to look like an older one? Then this is for you.|
|Tailoring||Cloth armor, bandages for 1st aid, flying carpet, murlock chew toy and allows you to make nets (Embersilk Net) and battle standards (such as: Fearsome Battle Standard)|
|Leatherworking||Leather armor. You can also make Drums of Fury for a Heroism type buff (25% Haste for 40 sec.) Through the Leatherworking hut in your Garrison you can make single use tents that will increase your agility by 10% for an hour.|
|Archeology||will let you pick up the occasional interesting items, which are bind on account. Also lets you add to the lore of the game.|
|Skinning||For gold gathering and for leatherworking|
|Herbalism||Earns XP. For Inscription, Alchemy, and gold gathering.|
|Mining||Earns XP. Making gold and powering Blacksmithing and some engineering.|
Faster Warlock Leveling,
all the way to the Level Cap.
Leveling with a ‘lock can be easy, fun, and fast, but there’s still a bazillion quests to do and mobs to kill. If your friends are already high level, or if your guild needs a Warlock, or you just want to get into that juicy endgame raiding and/or PvP, then a Warlock leveling guide is just what you need to get yourself to the level cap as quickly as possible.
Zygor’s Guide is our guide of choice. Just pick your starting point and the guide shows you where to go as well as what to do. Zygor’s automatically updates and advances as you complete quests, sets a waypoint arrow automatically, and includes all the important quest info. You will probably never need to look at your quest log again, much less browse some website for quest info. You’ll also level faster than you ever have before.
While Zygor’s Guide is a questing guide, oriented towards the solo player, it’s smart enough to realize that you might be doing some of your leveling in the dungeons or the Battlegrounds.
Come back to your quests and ZYgor’s will detect your new level, advance forward to the appropriate quests, and help get rid of obsolete quests. You don’t even have to start at level 1.
Whether you’re brand new to the game or an old hand decked head to toe in heirlooms, Zygor has your back. Not only that, but what if you want to play around with different specs? Zygor’s comes with a nifty talent advisor which coveres all specs of all classes.
Zygor’s is always quickly updated for all expansions and patches. Get your copy now and get to the level cap ASAP.
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