Topic Details

Affliction Warlock: Mists of Pandaria Rotation Changes, Talents, and Glyphs (Patch 5.0.4)

18 replies to this topic Started by Damien, Jul 17 2012 09:52 PM news mop warlock affliction rotation talents glyphs
* * * * * 1 votes
  • This topic is locked This topic is locked

Posted 17 July 2012 - 09:52 PM

#1
Damien
  • Damien
  • Administrator
  • Posts: 3,141
  • Reputation: exalted (1026)
  • Joined: 09-May 12
  • LocationParis, France
This article is no longer being updated. Please check our Affliction Warlock guide, which is fully compatible with Mists of Pandaria, and is being constantly updated. Thank you.

In preparation for the updates to our guides for Mists of Pandaria Patch 5.0.4, we are releasing articles such as this one, explaining what has changed for a particular class and spec, and what the new rotation is likely to be.

Keep in mind that this is still a work in progress (both from Blizzard's side and from our own) and that this article assumes you are at least somewhat familiar with the Cataclysm version of the Affliction Warlock rotation and playstyle (such as from reading our guide).

We will first list the most important changes to the Affliction Warlock Cataclysm abilities, and then we will proceed to explaining the (likely to be) optimal rotation. Keep in mind that we do not document every single change or new ability, only those that impact the rotation.

Finally, we will give you some information about the most useful talents and glyphs you should choose.

Removed Abilities and Mechanics

Many abilities from the Demonology and Destruction specialisations have been removed or changed, and most of them are no longer available to you; non-exhaustive list of spells you cannot use in Mists of Pandaria: Demon Armor, Demon Leap, Hellfire, Immolate, Incinerate, Searing Pain, Shadow Bolt, Shadowflame, and Soul Fire.

In addition, many Affliction-specific talents, abilities, and mechanics have been removed: Bane of Doom, Curse of Tongues, Curse of Weakness, Death's Embrace, Eradication Everlasting Affliction, Nightfall, Pandemic, Siphon Life, and Soul Siphon.

Changed Abilities and Mechanics

There have been a number of minor changes, such as: In addition to these minor changes, some of your important spells have been redesigned:
  • Haunt now increases the damage of all your spells on the target for 8 seconds. It still deals damage when cast, but it now requires a Soul Shard (see the Soul Shard section) and will no longer return life at the end of the effect. Also, it no longer has a cooldown.
  • Drain Soul now makes your DoTs tick twice stronger when the target is under below 20%. Also, when the target is below 20% (25% in Cataclysm), Drain Soul deals twice as much damage. Every two ticks, Drain Soul will regenerate a Soul Shard (see the Soul Shard section).
  • Agony replaces the old Bane of Agony. Its duration is now 24-seconds, with ticks every 2 seconds. In Mists of Pandaria, the damage still increases over time. Every time it ticks, a new stack is of Agony is applied on the target, up to 10 stacks. As the stacks build up, the damage the target takes from Agony increases. When refreshing Agony before it expires, the stacks are kept.
  • Seed of Corruption now always explodes after it expires (previously, it exploded after a fixed amount of damage).

New Abilities

  • Malefic Grasp is the most important of your new abilities. Channeling this ability will deal damage to the target and will make your DoTs tick 50% stronger. It is a core part of your rotation.
  • Dark Soul: Misery is a new DPS cooldown that is specific to Affliction Warlocks and that grants +30% Haste for 20 seconds on a 2-minute cooldown. Other Warlock specialisations have their own variant of the spell.
  • Unending Resolve provides 50% damage reduction for 12 seconds, on a 3-minute cooldown.
  • Demonic Gateway is your level 87 spell. It is an extremely interesting ability, the usefulness of which will soon be very obvious to you. It creates a gateway between your current location and the location that you click (the maximum distance seems to be about 100 yards). The gateway initially has 0 charges and will generate a new charge every 15 seconds, up to a maximum of 5 charges. A charge is consumed every time someone steps in the gateway (on either end). Stepping through the gateway, on either end, will transport you to the other end. It will also apply a buff to you, which prevents you from using the gateway for the next 15 seconds and reduces your threat for 15 seconds.
  • Curse of Enfeeblement reduces the physical damage done by your target by 20% and increases the casting time of all its spells by 50%.
  • Pandemic is your level 90 ability. It causes the remaining duration of your DoTs to be added to the new duration when you refresh them, up to 50% of the base duration.
In addition, all your talent tiers giving you new abilities, as we describe in the talent section.

Soul Shard and Soulburn

Soul Shards are now an Affliction-only resource. Demonology Warlocks use Demonic Fury and Destruction Warlocks use Burning Embers.

Previously, Soul Shards had limited use because it was hard to regenerate them during combat. Now, Soul Shards are an integral part of the Affliction Warlock play style.

Soul Shards regenerate automatically when you are out of combat, thanks to your Soul Harvest. Previously, Soul Harvest had to be channeled. As before, you can have between 0 and 3 Soul Shards available.

During combat, Soul Shards are generated by channeling Drain Soul. You will regain 1 Soul Shard every 2 ticks. Additionally, each time you deal damage, you have a chance to proc Shadow Trance, which removes the Soul Shard cost on all your abilities for 3 seconds. Finally, Corruption has a 10% chance to regenerate 1 Soul Shard.

Your two Soul Shard consuming abilities are Haunt and Soulburn, which you will use extensively during fights.

Below, you will find the list of spells that are modified by Soulburn.
  • All your curse spells automatically apply the curse to all enemies within 10 yards of your target.
  • Demonic Circle: Teleport increases your movement speed by 50% and makes you immune to snares and roots for 8 seconds.
  • The healing component of Drain Life is improved by 50%.
  • The healing component of Harvest Life (Tier 1 talent that replaces Drain Life) is improved by 133%.
  • The detonation of Seed of Corruption causes all nearby enemies to become afflicted with Corruption.
  • Soul Swap instantly applies Corruption, Unstable Affliction, and Agony on your target.
  • Your demons are summoned instantly.
DPS-wise, using Soulburn on Soul Swap is the most attractive choice.

Demons

By default, you can summon one of four demons to help you fight your foes.
  • The Felhunter will be your demon of choice for raiding. It currently deals the most damage. It will automatically cast the following abilities: Devour Magic and Shadow Bite. It can also cast Spell Lock if you instruct it to.
  • The Imp may have its uses for raiding, though it does not do as much damage as the Felhunter. It will automatically cast the following abilities: Firebolt, Singe Magic, and Blood Pact. It can also cast Flee if you instruct it to.
  • The Succubus may have its uses for raiding, though it does not do as much damage as the Felguard. It will automatically cast the following abilities: Lash of Pain, Seduction, and Lesser Invisibility. It can also cast Whiplash if you instruct it to.
  • The Voidwalker will be your demon of choice while leveling up. It will automatically cast the following abilities: Shadow Bulwark, Suffering, and Torment. It can also cast Disarm if you instruct it to.
As in Cataclysm, you have two demons that you can use as DPS cooldowns: a Doomguard ( Summon Doomguard) for single-target damage or an Infernal ( Summon Infernal) for AoE damage.

Also, you have the Command Demon ability, which, if put on your action bar, will change with the demon you are using. For the Voidwalker, the Felhunter, and the Succubus, this ability will cast their manual ability. For the Felguard, it will cast Felstorm. For the Imp, it will cast Cauterize Master, which does not seem to be otherwise available.

Grimoire of Supremacy is a Tier 5 talent that improves your demons with better abilities. The Observer remains your demon of choice.

Your demon DPS cooldowns are replaced by more powerful versions: a Terrorguard ( Summon Terrorguard) for single-target damage or an Abyssal ( Summon Abyssal) for AoE damage.

Your Command Demon ability will cast the manual ability of your demon, except for the Fel Imp, for which it casts Cauterize Master (as it does for the Imp).

Rotation

The single-target rotation will be along these lines. When the enemy is below 20% health, Drain Soul replaces Malefic Grasp in the rotation. Doing so will grant you more Soul Shards than you can possibly spend. This means that you should always refresh your DoTs by using Soulburn and Soul Swap (this causes Soul Swap to apply all your DoTs on the target).

We still need to properly test whether it is viable to use Drain Soul to regenerate Soul Shards when the target is not below 20% health.

Cooldowns

In Mists of Pandaria, you will gain a number of cooldowns (offensive and defensive), the majority of which are obtained through your choices of talents (as we explain in our talent section).

Your offensive cooldowns should be used as often as possible and combining them will usually grant you an increased effect: You have a variety of defensive cooldowns, which you should use to help your healers or bypass encounter mechanics:

AoE Rotation

Your AoE rotation is going to be relatively unchanged from Cataclysm.

Against 2 or 3 enemies, use Soulburn and Soul Swap to add your DoTs to all the targets. Then, use a combination of Malefic Grasp and Haunt to deal damage, and Drain Soul to regenerate Soul Shards. Maintain your DoTs with Soulburn and Soul Swap.

Against 4 or more enemies, you will need to start using Soulburn with Seed of Corruption. While Seed of Corruption is ticking, you can choose to maintain your DoTs on as many targets as possible using Soulburn and Soul Swap (and Drain Soul to regenerate Soul Shards), or to spam Rain of Fire, depending on the number of enemies.

Talents

Tier 1 talents give you the choice between self-healing talents.
  • Dark Regeneration is a 3-minute cooldown that restores some of your life and increases healing received for 12 seconds.
  • Soul Leech is a passive ability that grants self-healing capabilities to your three most important offensive abilities.
  • Harvest Life is an improvement over Drain Life, which it replaces. It deals AoE damage and regenerates more health, between 3% and 4.5% maximum health per second, depending on the number of enemies.
Whichever you will choose will depend on the encounter. Dark Regeneration is ideal for occasionally healing yourself. Soul Leech is best if you need a constant source of self-healing. Harvest Life can only be used if there are enough enemies to attack.

Tier 2 talents offer crowd control abilities. For this tier of talents, you will base your choice on personal preference or on the type of crowd control your raid will require.

Tier 3 talents offer damage reduction mechanics.
  • Soul Link causes the damage you and your demon take to be shared. However, your demon's health is reduced by 50%.
  • Sacrificial Pact is on a 1-minute cooldown and causes your demon to sacrifice half of its current health to give you a shield for 200% of the sacrificed health. If you do not have a demon out, your health is sacrificed instead.
  • Dark Bargain is on a 3-minute cooldown and prevents all damage for 10 seconds. After the 10 seconds are up, the damage prevented is dealt over 20 seconds.
Dark Bargain looks the most attractive to us because it will enable you to bypass encounter mechanics that would otherwise kill most other classes. It can also be used to soften the damage you take at critical times, so that your healers can focus on other raid members. Soul Link and Sacrificial Pact will have more occasional uses.

Tier 4 talents offer crowd control and utility abilities.
  • Blood Fear is an improvement over Fear, which it replaces. It is instant cast and no longer has a mana cost. Instead, it costs 10% of your maximum health.
  • Burning Rush sacrifices health and increases your movement speed.
  • Unbound Will removes all magic and movement-impairing effects, as well as effects that cause loss of control of your character. It costs 20% of your health.
These abilities have mostly been tailored for PvP. They might have occasional use in PvE, depending on encounter mechanics.

Tier 5 talents provide various modifications to your demons.
  • Grimoire of Supremacy replaces your minions by more powerful demons that deal 20% more damage.
  • Grimoire of Service is a 2-minute cooldown that enables you to summon a second demon for 20 seconds.
  • Grimoire of Sacrifice sacrifices your demon to increase spell damage by 30% to 50% (depending on the specialisation) and to regenerate 2% of maximum health every 5 seconds. Resummoning a demon cancels the effect. Finally, you gain one of your demon's abilities:
  • Imp: Singe Magic;
  • Voidwalker: Shadow Bulwark;
  • Felhunter: Spell Lock;
  • Succubus: Seduction.
Grimoire of Supremacy and Grimoire of Sacrifice will probably be the preferred choice as they are entirely passive. Grimoire of Service will be useful when you need an additional DPS cooldown.

Tier 6 talents provide various means of increasing your DPS.
  • Archimonde's Vengeance is a 1-minute cooldown that causes the enemy to suffer 50% of all damage you take for 12 seconds. When Archimonde's Vengeance is not on cooldown, enemies who attack you suffer 10% of all damage they deal to you.
  • Kil'jaeden's Cunning is a 1-minute cooldown that enables you to cast and channel while moving for 6 seconds. When Kil'Jaeden's Cunning is not on cooldown, you can cast and channel while moving, but at the expense of a 50% casting speed reduction and a 20% movement speed reduction.
  • Mannoroth's Fury increases the area of your AoE spells by 500%.
All of these talents have situational use. Archimonde's Vengeance is useful when you take a large amount of damage. We have yet to see how it will interact with Dark Bargain. Kil'Jaeden's Cunning will be preferred in heavy-movement encounters. Mannoroth's Fury will be nigh-mandatory for AoE-heavy fights, where enemies are not clumped together.

Glyphs

The following major glyphs will be come in handy: Your minor glyphs are mostly cosmetic, but we believe that Glyph of Nightmares and Glyph of Unending Breath will be very useful while leveling up through Pandaria.

This concludes our Affliction Warlock preview for Mists of Pandaria. We hope you have enjoyed reading it and that it proved useful to you. As always, we are looking forward to reading your opinions on the matter!

Join us on IRC! | server: irc.quakenet.org | port: 6667 | channel: #icy-veins

Posted 18 July 2012 - 02:01 PM

#2
Zagam
  • Zagam
  • Sha of Fel Magic
  • Posts: 5,067
  • Reputation: exalted (1872)
  • Joined: 25-May 12
  • LocationMorgantown, WV
Affliction is semi-fun to play...I've never been a big fan, but right now the debate is on Drain Twisting where you alternate between Drain Soul and Malefic Grasp to generate your Soul Shards. Keeping only 3 DoTs up (Agony, Corruption, UA) while keeping a buff up (Haunt) and having a filler makes this spec much simpler to play. The Drain Twisting is for the experienced Warlocks looking to gain that 1-3% extra DPS. Hope writing this guide wasn't too painful since us Warlocks got the complete overhaul this xpac!

Raid Leader of Semi-Respectable, US-Mal'Ganis - 7/7H, 1/7M

Posted 18 July 2012 - 02:20 PM

#3
Damien
  • Damien
  • Administrator
  • Posts: 3,141
  • Reputation: exalted (1026)
  • Joined: 09-May 12
  • LocationParis, France
It kind of was, especially since Warlock guides used to be written by Vlad. He's going to be writing the Monk guides, so I'm taking over the Warlock guides and I had to learn a lot and do a sizable amount of research to write this. Thanks for the comment on Drain Twisting, I didn't know it was called like that. I'll do further testing on whether it is worth doing towards the end of the beta test ;)

Join us on IRC! | server: irc.quakenet.org | port: 6667 | channel: #icy-veins

Posted 19 July 2012 - 12:50 AM

#4
Boodizz
  • Boodizz
  • Peasant
  • Posts: 14
  • Reputation: neutral (10)
  • Joined: 18-July 12
  • LocationSydney. Australia
Awesome post, really appreciate it. I don't have the time to play Beta so it's good getting a useful, easy to read post on it.
Boodizz @ Barth Alliance

Posted 20 July 2012 - 01:07 AM

#5
Eagleyes098
  • Eagleyes098
  • Vagrant
  • Posts: 2
  • Reputation: neutral (0)
  • Joined: 20-July 12
Does anyone think Demonic Gateway look cool and OP lol for PVP? Double it up in front of the other factions flags (Warsong) and port their ass 100 yrds away from flag to a set up group to zerg lmao I can't wait to see this lol

Posted 20 July 2012 - 05:53 AM

#6
Damien
  • Damien
  • Administrator
  • Posts: 3,141
  • Reputation: exalted (1026)
  • Joined: 09-May 12
  • LocationParis, France

Does anyone think Demonic Gateway look cool and OP lol for PVP? Double it up in front of the other factions flags (Warsong) and port their ass 100 yrds away from flag to a set up group to zerg lmao I can't wait to see this lol


I'd have to test it, but it'd probably drop the flag :P

Join us on IRC! | server: irc.quakenet.org | port: 6667 | channel: #icy-veins

Posted 28 July 2012 - 08:44 AM

#7
Damien
  • Damien
  • Administrator
  • Posts: 3,141
  • Reputation: exalted (1026)
  • Joined: 09-May 12
  • LocationParis, France
In the last beta build, Malefic Grasp and Drain Soul have been changed so that they increase the power of your DoTs by respectively 50% and 100% instead of making them tick 100% faster. This does not change anything to the rotation.

Join us on IRC! | server: irc.quakenet.org | port: 6667 | channel: #icy-veins

Posted 28 July 2012 - 10:37 PM

#8
Zagam
  • Zagam
  • Sha of Fel Magic
  • Posts: 5,067
  • Reputation: exalted (1872)
  • Joined: 25-May 12
  • LocationMorgantown, WV
They continue to change Warlocks. I'm half anticipating logging in when I get everything installed and getting a message saying 'your Warlock has been removed from the game. Please select another class and continue enjoying World of Warcraft!' They have 8 weeks to keep changing things, so I feel like they're 5 year olds before Christmas deciding what they really want. They won't really know until that day and then they'll wish they did something else lol

Raid Leader of Semi-Respectable, US-Mal'Ganis - 7/7H, 1/7M

Posted 09 August 2012 - 04:21 PM

#9
Damien
  • Damien
  • Administrator
  • Posts: 3,141
  • Reputation: exalted (1026)
  • Joined: 09-May 12
  • LocationParis, France
The Felhunter now seems to deal a lot more damage than the other demons, so I've updated the article.

Join us on IRC! | server: irc.quakenet.org | port: 6667 | channel: #icy-veins

Posted 09 August 2012 - 06:36 PM

#10
Zagam
  • Zagam
  • Sha of Fel Magic
  • Posts: 5,067
  • Reputation: exalted (1872)
  • Joined: 25-May 12
  • LocationMorgantown, WV
I hope pet priority is this: Affliction: Felhunter (unless you take Grimore of Supremacy, so the big blob looking thing) Demonology: Wrathguard (he better be better than anyone else) Destruction: Imp We will never have to pet twist again since Demon Soul is based on your spec, not your pet. However, it would be nice for Demonology to get to use their specialization ability like every other spec in the game without biased situations such as AoE heavy situations. Let us listen to him tell us not to summon him again or how paltry of a task what we need him to do is. I love hearing him tell me he plays all of his records backwards, too. Plus, my Felguard's name is Haakakid. Yes, I pronounce it like HACK-A-KID.

Raid Leader of Semi-Respectable, US-Mal'Ganis - 7/7H, 1/7M

Posted 10 August 2012 - 05:06 PM

#11
Damien
  • Damien
  • Administrator
  • Posts: 3,141
  • Reputation: exalted (1026)
  • Joined: 09-May 12
  • LocationParis, France

I hope pet priority is this:

Affliction: Felhunter (unless you take Grimore of Supremacy, so the big blob looking thing)
Demonology: Wrathguard (he better be better than anyone else)
Destruction: Imp

We will never have to pet twist again since Demon Soul is based on your spec, not your pet. However, it would be nice for Demonology to get to use their specialization ability like every other spec in the game without biased situations such as AoE heavy situations. Let us listen to him tell us not to summon him again or how paltry of a task what we need him to do is. I love hearing him tell me he plays all of his records backwards, too. Plus, my Felguard's name is Haakakid. Yes, I pronounce it like HACK-A-KID.


As far as I could see last night, the Felhunter still was the best choice for Destruction Warlocks. There's a new beta build that was made available today, so I'll test again once I'm done downloading ;)

Join us on IRC! | server: irc.quakenet.org | port: 6667 | channel: #icy-veins

Posted 13 August 2012 - 07:55 AM

#12
Damien
  • Damien
  • Administrator
  • Posts: 3,141
  • Reputation: exalted (1026)
  • Joined: 09-May 12
  • LocationParis, France
With the last beta build (15961), Grimoire of Sacrifice increases the damage of your single-target spells by 30% to 50%, depending on the spell and your Warlock specialisation and grants you one of your demon's abilities. Also, it no longer increases maximum health and it no longer has a doubled effect for the first 15 seconds.

Join us on IRC! | server: irc.quakenet.org | port: 6667 | channel: #icy-veins

Posted 13 August 2012 - 01:59 PM

#13
Zagam
  • Zagam
  • Sha of Fel Magic
  • Posts: 5,067
  • Reputation: exalted (1872)
  • Joined: 25-May 12
  • LocationMorgantown, WV
I'm not liking Grimoire of Sacrifice for PvE content. The only viable sense I can get from it would be for PvP extreme burst. For PvE, your pet provides too much of a positive effect, especially with Supremacy or Service at your disposal. I believe I read on Elitist Jerks that the talent selection goes as follows: Affliction: Supremacy Demonology: Service Destruction: Supremacy Of course, I've refused to play with the beta at all just because of how volatile things are and how much I care for the Warlock class, so everything I mention is regurgitated stuff with my own thoughts. Fun note...I did see a Demo lock with Service...pretty sweet to see two Felguards performing Felstorm. This event should be featured on the miniclips "Will it Blend?"

Raid Leader of Semi-Respectable, US-Mal'Ganis - 7/7H, 1/7M

Posted 13 August 2012 - 03:47 PM

#14
Damien
  • Damien
  • Administrator
  • Posts: 3,141
  • Reputation: exalted (1026)
  • Joined: 09-May 12
  • LocationParis, France
I'd make you a video of the two Felguards, if I weren't too busy making one with my cool Serpent Clouds ;)

Join us on IRC! | server: irc.quakenet.org | port: 6667 | channel: #icy-veins

Posted 13 August 2012 - 04:33 PM

#15
Zagam
  • Zagam
  • Sha of Fel Magic
  • Posts: 5,067
  • Reputation: exalted (1872)
  • Joined: 25-May 12
  • LocationMorgantown, WV
Oh I don't need a video. I have a very delightfully talented imagination. Knowing that Hunters, Mages, and DKs claim they can destroy my AoE but lose bets to me every time thanks to one thing...trusty, old Haak, my Felguard. Mastery stacked Demo Warlocks should never even be close to losing to someone in AoE. If I had a 2nd Felguard right now, I'm more than sure I could remove mechanics from fights such as the Black Ooze adds on Yor'sahj or the bloods on Spine/Madness. Oh the possibilities!

Raid Leader of Semi-Respectable, US-Mal'Ganis - 7/7H, 1/7M

Posted 13 August 2012 - 06:10 PM

#16
Damien
  • Damien
  • Administrator
  • Posts: 3,141
  • Reputation: exalted (1026)
  • Joined: 09-May 12
  • LocationParis, France
Only 6 more weeks to wait! :)

Join us on IRC! | server: irc.quakenet.org | port: 6667 | channel: #icy-veins

Posted 13 August 2012 - 07:07 PM

#17
Zagam
  • Zagam
  • Sha of Fel Magic
  • Posts: 5,067
  • Reputation: exalted (1872)
  • Joined: 25-May 12
  • LocationMorgantown, WV
Less than that, my friend. I'm anticipating Patch 5.0 on August 28th. This would give us 2 weeks to get used to talents, class changes, etc. before Theramore goes down (my estimate of 9/11...eerie, right?) which would then give 2 weeks for 9/25, or the proposed release date. I'm anticipating a 2 week PvP season warning coming as soon as tonight/tomorrow indicating the beginning of a new era in WoW!

Raid Leader of Semi-Respectable, US-Mal'Ganis - 7/7H, 1/7M

Posted 15 August 2012 - 04:42 AM

#18
Axryn
  • Axryn
  • Farmer
  • Posts: 23
  • Reputation: neutral (5)
  • Joined: 16-June 12
A change to Glyph of Everlasting Affliction in the latest build (15972), it now increases the duration of Corruption, Agony, and Unstable Affliction by 50% but reduces their damage by 20%. Useful glyph for people newer to the spec and have trouble keeping up their dots.

Posted 15 August 2012 - 07:14 AM

#19
Damien
  • Damien
  • Administrator
  • Posts: 3,141
  • Reputation: exalted (1026)
  • Joined: 09-May 12
  • LocationParis, France

A change to Glyph of Everlasting Affliction in the latest build (15972), it now increases the duration of Corruption, Agony, and Unstable Affliction by 50% but reduces their damage by 20%. Useful glyph for people newer to the spec and have trouble keeping up their dots.


Thank you, we usually wait for the patch to go live before updating the guides. It seems to be available now, so we will make the changes shortly ;)

Join us on IRC! | server: irc.quakenet.org | port: 6667 | channel: #icy-veins

Active Users

1 user(s) are browsing this forum 0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users