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Affliction Warlock DPS Spec, Builds, and Talents (Legion 7.0.3)

Last updated on Aug 29, 2016 at 14:40 by Furty 46 comments

Table of Contents

General Information

On this page, we present the viable talent choices for Affliction Warlocks in World of Warcraft Legion 7.0.3. We detail what each of the talents do and in which situations they should be taken.

The other pages of our Affliction Warlock guide can be accessed from the table of contents on the right.

About Our Author

This guide has been written by Furty who raids in Serenity, one of the top World of Warcraft guilds. He plays most classes at the highest level. You can follow him on Twitter and watch him play on Twitch.

1. Talent Choices

Level Choices
15 Haunt Haunt Writhe in Agony Writhe in Agony Drain Soul Drain Soul
30 Contagion Contagion Absolute Corruption Absolute Corruption Mana Tap Mana Tap
45 Demon Skin Demon Skin Mortal Coil Mortal Coil Howl of Terror Howl of Terror
60 Siphon Life Siphon Life Sow the Seeds Sow the Seeds Soul Harvest Soul Harvest
75 Demonic Circle Demonic Circle Burning Rush Burning Rush Dark Pact Dark Pact
90 Grimoire of Supremacy Grimoire of Supremacy Grimoire of Service Grimoire of Service Grimoire of Sacrifice Grimoire of Sacrifice
100 Soul Effigy Soul Effigy Phantom Singularity Phantom Singularity Soul Conduit Soul Conduit

Talents can be freely changed when out of combat and in a rested XP area (such as an inn or a capital city). Moreover, Tome of the Tranquil Mind Icon Tome of the Tranquil Mind and Codex of the Tranquil Mind Icon Codex of the Tranquil Mind can be used to temporarily allow players to change talents anywhere, as long as they are out of combat.

2. Talent Cheat Sheets

Optimizing talents on a contextual basis is the highly recommended method of setting up your build, as many talents offer unique strengths in the right situation. I have decided to list a "cheat sheet" of sorts below, however, to help with a quick set up that should be just fine for most encounters. If you want to fully optimize your ability to play this specialization, I recommend reading the entire talents section here to gain additional insight on when swapping your talents would be beneficial.

2.1. Raid Encounters

This build is an excellent starting point as a standard raid setup.

2.1.1. Heavy Cleave/AOE

2.2. General Use

These talents provide good quality of life and do not require much set up or ramp up, making them solid choices for leveling, dailies, and assorted world content.

3. Tier 1 (Level 15) Talents

Haunt Haunt Writhe in Agony Writhe in Agony Drain Soul Drain Soul

Tier 1 talents offer a variety of potent abilities and augments.

  • Haunt Icon Haunt is a powerful nuke on a 15 second cooldown. The cooldown resets if the target dies in that time.
  • Writhe in Agony Icon Writhe in Agony increases the maximum stacks of Agony Icon Agony from 10 to 20.
  • Drain Soul Icon Drain Soul is an empowered version of Drain Life Icon Drain Life which deals strong damage and generates a Soul Shard if the target dies while channelling.

Writhe in Agony Icon Writhe in Agony is good for sustained damage when you can keep your Agony Icon Agony casts fully maintained without interruption. Good default choice regardless of fight type as Agony Icon Agony is a large source of your damage.

On add heavy fights where Writhe in Agony Icon Writhe in Agony will not be fully effective, Drain Soul Icon Drain Soul is a great alternative, as it has no ramp up and will constantly grant you Soul Shards to spend on Unstable Affliction Icon Unstable Affliction.

Haunt Icon Haunt is not used.

4. Tier 2 (Level 30) Talents

Contagion Contagion Absolute Corruption Absolute Corruption Mana Tap Mana Tap

Tier 2 talents offer a selection of flat damage increases.

  • Contagion Icon Contagion causes Unstable Affliction Icon Unstable Affliction to also increase all damage you do to the afflicted target by 15%.
  • Absolute Corruption Icon Absolute Corruption causes your Corruption Icon Corruption to be permanent (60 seconds against players) and deal 25% increased damage.
  • Mana Tap Icon Mana Tap is an ability that consumes 25% of your current Mana in exchange for 10% increased damage for 20 seconds.

Contagion Icon Contagion is the best option on single target, though it changes your playstyle slightly. When playing with Contagion Icon Contagion it is best to maintain 100% uptime on Unstable Affliction Icon Unstable Affliction, if possible, to maximize your sustained damage throughout the fight by abusing the 15% damage increase. If you are using Power Cord of Lethtendris Icon Power Cord of Lethtendris, you will want to let your Unstable Affliction Icon Unstable Affliction drop for a moment before reapplying for maximum effect.

Absolute Corruption Icon Absolute Corruption is the best option on fights with 2 or more targets that will live for an extended duration, as it saves you plenty of global cooldowns and results in higher overall damage.

Mana Tap Icon Mana Tap is not used.

5. Tier 3 (Level 45) Talents

Demon Skin Demon Skin Mortal Coil Mortal Coil Howl of Terror Howl of Terror

Tier 3 talents focus on additional crowd control and some defensive utility.

  • Demon Skin Icon Demon Skin augments Soul Leech Icon Soul Leech so that it passively recharges at a rate of 1% of maximum health per second, and can now absorb of to 20% of your maximum health.
  • Mortal Coil Icon Mortal Coil horrifies a target for 3 seconds and heals you for a percentage of max health.
  • Howl of Terror Icon Howl of Terror fears up to 5 enemies within 10 yard for 20 seconds.

Demon Skin Icon Demon Skin is the default choice for raiding as most raid fights do not have a use for crowd control. It has good defensive benefit, particularly for fights where damage is spiky, and has no downsides in any situation.

Howl of Terror Icon Howl of Terror is not particularly useful in PvE.

Mortal Coil Icon Mortal Coil is fairly useless as it has a shorter duration than Shadowfury Icon Shadowfury and only affects a single target. It is worth noting that the heal from Mortal Coil Icon Mortal Coil only happens if the target is successfully horrified, so it cannot be used on a raid boss for a little bit of extra healing.

6. Tier 4 (Level 60) Talents

Siphon Life Siphon Life Sow the Seeds Sow the Seeds Soul Harvest Soul Harvest

Tier 4 talents amplify your ability to excel at different types of damage.

  • Siphon Life Icon Siphon Life is a DoT ability that deals damage and heals you.
  • Sow the Seeds Icon Sow the Seeds causes your Seed of Corruption Icon Seed of Corruption ability to consume a Soul Shard, if available. In exchange, Seed of Corruption Icon Seed of Corruption will now also be applied to 4 additional nearby enemies.
  • Soul Harvest Icon Soul Harvest is a DPS cooldown that increases all your damage by 20% for 10 seconds. The duration is increased by 2 seconds for each target afflicted with Agony Icon Agony, to a maximum of 30 seconds.

Siphon Life Icon Siphon Life is the strongest choice for both single and multi target situations. It has good synergy with your Soul Effigy Icon Soul Effigy, provides solid healing return, and deals good damage.

On encounters where there are consistently a high number of stacked targets (4+), Sow the Seeds Icon Sow the Seeds will pull ahead. It also increases your single target in these situations, as the sheer number of exploding Seed of Corruption Icon Seed of Corruptions all hitting each target do overlap with their damage.

Soul Harvest Icon Soul Harvest is great for pushing damage checks. Especially potent when combined with Sin'dorei Spite Icon Sin'dorei Spite and  Icon Reap Souls.

7. Tier 5 (Level 75) Talents

Demonic Circle Demonic Circle Burning Rush Burning Rush Dark Pact Dark Pact

Tier 5 talents improve personal survivability and mobility.

  • Demonic Circle Icon Demonic Circle summons a circle that you can teleport to, which clears all movement slowing effects.
  • Burning Rush Icon Burning Rush increases your movement speed by 50% until cancelled, at the cost of 5% of your maximum health per second. You also cannot be slowed below 100% of your normal movement speed while it is active.
  • Dark Pact Icon Dark Pact sacrifices 20% of your demon's current health (or your health, if no demon is present) to shield you for 400% of that value for 20 seconds.

While all 3 of these talents have great practical use, Dark Pact Icon Dark Pact is your default choice as it can be used to great effect in any and every situation. Remember that Dark Pact Icon Dark Pact takes 20% of your demon's current health, so you will have a much larger absorb when your demon is at full health. Demonic Circle Icon Demonic Circle is very useful for fights that teleports and blinks can be abused on, like dealing with Shadowforce on Mannoroth. Burning Rush Icon Burning Rush is an option for fights where a movement speed increase feels required.

8. Tier 6 (Level 90) Talents

Grimoire of Supremacy Grimoire of Supremacy Grimoire of Service Grimoire of Service Grimoire of Sacrifice Grimoire of Sacrifice

Tier 6 talents improve your pets, or remove them entirely.

  • Grimoire of Supremacy Icon Grimoire of Supremacy allows you to permanently use Doomguards and Infernals as pets.
  • Grimoire of Service Icon Grimoire of Service allows you to summon a second demon of your choice for 25 seconds which deals 100% increased damage.
  • Grimoire of Sacrifice Icon Grimoire of Sacrifice allows you to sacrifice your demon to gain Demonic Power Icon Demonic Power, which causes your spells to sometimes deal additional shadow damage to nearby targets.

Grimoire of Service Icon Grimoire of Service is the clear choice for most raid encounters, as it offers the best overall single target damage and improves your burst.

On fights that feature a lot of stacked AoE or cleave, such as Skorpyron Mythic, Grimoire of Sacrifice Icon Grimoire of Sacrifice starts to pull ahead due to the splash damage.

Grimoire of Supremacy Icon Grimoire of Supremacy is fine for questing but not recommended for raiding.

9. Tier 7 (Level 100) Talents

Soul Effigy Soul Effigy Phantom Singularity Phantom Singularity Soul Conduit Soul Conduit

Tier 7 talents offer powerful new abilities and Soul Shard return.

  • Soul Effigy Icon Soul Effigy creates a new target, only attackable by you, with 130% of the target's current health. The Effigy last for 10 minutes, and 35% of the damage you deal is replicated to the original target.
  • Phantom Singularity Icon Phantom Singularity places a singularity above your target, dealing AoE damage to targets within 25 yards over 16 seconds, and healing you for 30% of the damage dealt.
  • Soul Conduit Icon Soul Conduit causes every Soul Shard you spend to have a 20% chance to be instantly refunded.

Soul Effigy Icon Soul Effigy is the best choice for 1-2 targets. It has extremely good synergy with your other talent choices, specifically, Writhe in Agony Icon Writhe in Agony and Siphon Life Icon Siphon Life. The effigy cannot move, however, making it worthless on fights where the boss has a large movement path (e.g. Ursoc).

Once you reach 3 targets, Soul Conduit Icon Soul Conduit outpaces Effigy, making it the best alternative for council fights and cleave. It is also a good choice on hectic add cleave style fights where you are focused more on add priority damage than sustaining on a single target.

Phantom Singularity Icon Phantom Singularity does strong AoE damage and is good for Mythic+ dungeons or fights where you need more multitarget punch.

10. ChangeLog

  • 29 Aug. 2016: Updated for Legion's launch.
  • 19 Jul. 2016: Fixed mention of Shadowfury instead of Howl of Terror in Level 45 talent explanations.
  • 18 Jul. 2016: Updated for the Legion pre-patch.
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