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Idiots Guide to a Returning Warlock

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Greetings all!  


I'm returning after a 7 month break and just looking for some starter advice.  A lot more changed than I expected (afflic trash single target now?  artifacts?).  I have limited time to play so trying to be as efficient as possible.  I keep hearing that destro/demon crushes afflic but the numbers I'm seeing doesn't show that:


Looks like afflic is doing very well and reading about the aoe changes sounds like afflic will work in dungeons.


Basic Starter Questions:

1.  Starter spec, i.e. path to first artifact so I can raid immediately, friend's guild has cleared heroic and starting mythic this week.  

2.  Which specs do competitive raiders carry? 2 out of 3

3.  Any tid bit you wish you knew when xpac started

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Aff is as bad as people say it is. The warcraftlogs stats page is very misleading due to the fact that the few fights people use Aff on and do very well are fights where they are able to cheese mechanics. Example, Dragons. The #1 parse last I saw was around 700k DPS, the only reason it is so high is because their raid ignores a mechanic so that a MASSIVE amount of adds spawn and their Aff lock can sit there doing huge numbers. This is literally only done so that he can parse, there is no strat or reason to allow those adds to spawn outside of high prases.

Due to cheese things like that, Aff is massively inflated on the stats page. Unless you are a god tier aff lock, have 28+ traits, and have the perfect gear for aff, you have zero reason to be aff in progression over the other two specs.

For mythic+ Aff again requires 25+ traits, the right gear, not getting screwed that week by having the wrong affixes, and a tank that knows exactly how to pull so that an Aff lock can do well. Yes, it can be done. Yes, it can do really well. No, it is not worth putting time/effort into it as your first/only spec. Save it for when you have the luxury of goofing around with stuff.

If you want to raid Mythic and min/max, you need to raid as Destro/Demo. Demo is only used on pure ST fights but on those two fights it massively out plays Destro. If you plan on raiding heroic or lower only, then it doesn't matter much either way if you go Demo or Destro first.

IMO - level/gear/learn Destro first, it is the spec you will use in Mythic+ and *most* raid fights. Get two gold traits in it and then work on Demo.

This guide gives you all the info you need to get started. https://www.icy-veins.com/wow/destruction-warlock-pve-dps-guide

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Great thank you for taking the time to fill me in.  


I"ll roll destro/demon as you said and shoot for those first few artifact slots so I'm useful.  I"ll keep this post updated on my progress.  Thanks again!

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