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6.1 Affliction Guide

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6.0.2 Affliction Guide by Lockybalboa


This will be an ever-changing guide as we transition from 5.4 to 6.0 at level 90 and then to our final destination of patch 6.0.x where we will be level 100.




1.  Specialization Overview / What Has Changed


In 6.0, Affliction received numerous changes that departs from the 5.4 model.  Those changes include:


  • Pandemic effect reduced from 50% to 30%.  This effect is now baseline for all classes with HoTs and DoTs.
  • Snapshotting has been removed.
  • DoTs no longer have traditional breakpoints; instead, they deal partial ticks
  • spell_shadow_haunting.jpgDrain Soul and ability_warlock_everlastingaffliction.jpMalefic Grasp have been combined in to one spell, ability_warlock_everlastingaffliction.jpDrain Soul. This has the channel time (4 seconds) and damage like Malefic Grasp, but like MoP Drain Soul deals extra damage when a target is below 20% health and will regen a Soul Shard if the target dies during the channel.   
  • Fel Flame has been removed.
  • spell_shadow_twilight.jpgNightfall reduced to 6% chance to proc.
  • ability_warlock_soulswap.jpgSoul Swap costs one Soul Shard
  • warlock_summon_doomguard.jpgSummon Doomguard and spell_shadow_summoninfernal.jpgSummon Infernal have had their damage coefficients increased.


What this all translates from is Blizzard's mass removal of many abilities as well incorporating a "stat-squish" which vastly reduces the size of numbers in World of Warcraft's combat experience. 




Pandemic used to be a Warlock exclusive ability that enabled them to freely cast their Damage-Over-Time effects (DoTs) within a larger window without losing DPS.  This effect has been reduced to Warlocks and gained by all other classes in regards to DoT-type mechanics in that you can apply DoT and HoT (healing-over-time) spells to refresh the duration and add up to 30% of the original duration of the spell to the DoT time remaining.  In 5.4, spell_shadow_curseofsargeras.jpgAgony had the ability to gain 12 additional seconds. In 6.0 spell_shadow_curseofsargeras.jpgAgony will only be able to gain a max of 7.2 for a total duration of 31.2 seconds, down from 36 seconds. spell_shadow_unstableaffliction_3.jpgUnstable Affliction will drop for a max duration in 5.4 of 21 seconds to a 6.0 max of 18.2 seconds. spell_shadow_abominationexplosion.jpgCorruption will be reduced in the same manner dropping from 27 seconds in 5.4 to 23.4 seconds in 6.0.  This means that spell_shadow_curseofsargeras.jpgAgony should only be reapplied when it is below 7.2 seconds remaining, spell_shadow_unstableaffliction_3.jpgUnstable Affliction  should only be reapplied when it is below 4.2 seconds and  spell_shadow_abominationexplosion.jpgCorruption's application should happen only when the remaining time of spell_shadow_abominationexplosion.jpgCorruption reads less than 6 seconds in 6.0.




The removal of snapshotting will impact Affliction on a massive scale in terms of gameplay.  Snapshotting spell_shadow_curseofsargeras.jpgAgonyspell_shadow_abominationexplosion.jpgCorruption, and spell_shadow_unstableaffliction_3.jpgUnstable Affliction  will no longer be a part of gameplay. Snapshotting in the 6.0 model will mostly be in how you snapshot ability_warlock_haunt.jpgHaunt (if you are NOT using spell_warlock_soulburn_haunt.jpgSoulburn: Haunt as your level 100 talent) for some extra damage, since single damage spells can still be cast with a buff from trinkets, cooldowns, and other sources. However, the core DoT snapshotting and spreading of DoTs will no longer be done and it will no longer be possible to hyper extend powerful dots by snapshotting them and then moving them around on targets.



Partial Ticks & Haste


DoTs and Haste ratings have always had a reliable relationship.  Certain Haste levels gained access to new ticks because of how Haste worked with DoT durations.  In 5.4, gaining a certain amount of Haste lowered the duration of a DoT until it was reduced by the amount equal to the tick interval which gave an additional tick.  In 6.0, the DoT duration will remain exactly the same as the tooltip says with a partial tick coming at the end of the duration.  This removes the complication of finding certain Haste thresholds which is nice with the removal of Reforging. 


Although spell_shadow_auraofdarkness.jpgDoom is NOT in the Affliction toolkit, the long duration and slow ticking of the DoT makes it a much better example to use when detailing Partial Ticks and Haste.

To clarify more on partial ticks, in 5.4, a small amount of Haste might reduce the duration of spell_shadow_auraofdarkness.jpgDoom down to 56 seconds from 60 seconds.  Instead of ticking 4 times every 15 seconds, spell_shadow_auraofdarkness.jpgDoom would tick 4 times every 14 seconds.  However, when you got enough Haste that spell_shadow_auraofdarkness.jpgDoom would last 48 seconds, spell_shadow_auraofdarkness.jpgDoom would reset to a 60 second duration and include an additional tick thus ticking 5 times in 60 seconds.  The benefit of hitting this breakpoint was two-fold: DoTs ticked for longer and ticked more often.  The penalty for not achieving a threshold, however, was that you had to apply your DoTs more frequently, such as every 56 seconds in our example.  In 6.0, with the same amount of Haste in 5.4, spell_shadow_auraofdarkness.jpgDoom would continue to tick for 60 seconds but would do it with the interval calculated in 5.4, every 14 seconds.  When spell_shadow_auraofdarkness.jpgDoom has it's 4th tick in 6.0, it will deal full damage and have 4 seconds left on its remaining time.  If spell_shadow_auraofdarkness.jpgDoom is not refreshed, spell_shadow_auraofdarkness.jpgDoom will tick for damage equivalent to the amount of time remaining.  In this example, the amount of time remaining would be divided by the tick interval of 14 seconds, or 4/14.  This would result in a partial tick equal to 28.57% of a normal tick.  Partial ticks give all the bonus of hitting Haste thresholds without the penalties of not achieving a Haste breakpoint. 


Dynamic updates to Haste effects will be of little worry since there's essentially nothing to control.  If you have Haste procs up, the tick interval of your DoT will speed up giving you more ticks within that Haste proc's duration.  If a DoT expires with a Haste proc up, the partial tick calculation would be the same as described above.



Damage Tunings


spell_shadow_curseofsargeras.jpgAgony, spell_shadow_abominationexplosion.jpgCorruption, spell_shadow_unstableaffliction_3.jpgUnstable Affliction, ability_warlock_everlastingaffliction.jpDrain Soul, and ability_warlock_haunt.jpgHaunt have all had their damage coefficients modified.  These abilities will be tuned appropriately to make Affliction a balanced specialization.


Mobility Change


Fel Flame has been removed which severely hurts Warlocks' mobility from 5.4 to 6.0.  However, Affliction still has spell_shadow_abominationexplosion.jpgCorruption, spell_shadow_curseofsargeras.jpgAgony, ability_warlock_soulswap.jpgSoul Swapspell_warlock_soulburn.jpgSoulburn, and spell_shadow_burningspirit.jpgLife Tap, all of which can be cast on the move. 




6.0 at level 90 will be an poor period of time as Affliction has been rebuilt to be balanced with new level 100 talents and with the 91-100 leveling passives.  With these talents and passives inaccessible to us until 6.0.2, Affliction Warlocks will have to deal without these abilities and maybe rather weak in Siege of Orgrimmar in the pre-release patch of Warlords of Draenor.  However, if you wish to be a true Affliction Warlock this pre-patch will give you time to get used to the new play style of the spec and how to work with the removal of Snapshotting





2.  Racial Perks Evaluated


Racials have been modified in 6.0 to become more balanced going forward.  Alliance Warlocks can be 1 of 4 races while Horde have access to 5 different Warlock races.  Offensive perks are analyzed as follows:








These racial perks have been Simulated using Simcraft and show as follows:



Level 90 Affliction Horde


1. Goblin – 12,134

2. Blood Elf – 12,106

3. Troll – 12,103

4. Orc – 12,036

5. Undead – 12,017


*assume error of 0.25%


In complete seriousness, your race doesn't matter.  They all give you something that is relatively the same and it comes down to preference.  To give you an idea of scale, the difference between #1 and #5 is .97%.  With offensive balance looking solid, take in consideration the bonus perks such as the Goblin Rocket Jump, Blood Elf's Arcane Torrent, or Orc's Hardiness.  If that fails, take what looks the best.


Level 90 Affliction Alliance


1. Gnome – 12,110

2. Human – 12,095

3. Worgen – 12,081

4. Dwarf – 12,053


*assume error of 0.25%


Just as with Horde, the DPS variance here is so minimal that choosing one based on DPS performance is impossible.  Consider the defensive traits such as Human's Every Man For Himself, Dwarf's Stoneform, Worgen's Darkflight, or the Gnome's Escape ability. 



In all honesty, the racial decision has been removed based on offensive power.  They all have their own flavor which essentially lets you pick based on how you want to play, not what you are forced to play.  Blizzard has done a great job balancing racials and balancing secondary stats to the point you can pick a gameplay style without affecting your DPS by more than a percentage point. 





3.  Talents & Glyphs Explained



Tier 1 - Defensive Tier


warlock_siphonlife.jpgSoul Leech is going to be very strong for encounters with residual, constant raid damage.  spell_warlock_harvestoflife.jpgHarvest Life requires dropping from your optimal DPS rotation to heal which may be useful in Mythic level raiding.  spell_warlock_darkregeneration.jpgDark Regeneration has a very potent heal, but its long cooldown makes it a choice for when burst damage comes less often.


As a default, use warlock_siphonlife.jpgSoul Leech.  Exceptions can be made for the other two talents, but those will be limited situations.


Tier 2 - The CC Tier


ability_warlock_howlofterror.jpgHowl of Terror is somewhat useful against a pack of mobs but usually has limited usefulness in raids due to the scattering of mobs.  ability_warlock_mortalcoil.jpgMortal Coil provides a very helpful heal on a 45 second cooldown which could prove to be very useful during periodic bursts of damage.  ability_warlock_shadowfurytga.jpgShadowfury is very useful when stunning adds.  For fights without adds or the need for stuns, Mortal Coil will be the default selection. 


For PvE, default to ability_warlock_mortalcoil.jpgMortal Coil unless stunning adds is beneficial to your raid group through ability_warlock_shadowfurytga.jpgShadowfury.


Tier 3 - The Mitigation Tier


Soul Link proves to be very valuable as Affliction due to your pet being a reliable 20% damage reducing shield that works well in synergy with warlock_siphonlife.jpgSoul Leech.  On top of the damage reducing mechanic, you are also healed for 3% of the total damage done which is a great passive healing tool.  warlock_sacrificial_pact.jpgSacrificial Pact is superior for massive damage bursts that Soul Link can't mitigate as well.  ability_deathwing_bloodcorruption_death.Dark Bargain usually has some unique places that it can be used, but the long cooldown makes Soul Link and warlock_sacrificial_pact.jpgSacrificial Pact more valuable as a defensive survival talent.


For low to gradual raid damage, take Soul Link.  For predictable spike damage, take warlock_sacrificial_pact.jpgSacrificial Pact


Tier 4 - The Utility Tier


ability_deathwing_bloodcorruption_earth.Blood Horror has very little PvE implications since it requires a target to melee you.  If adds are hitting you, something isn't going right with the encounter.  If a boss is hitting you, something REALLY isn't going right with the encounter.  Burning Rush is a very useful toggle ability that increases your speed by a whopping 50% at the cost of 4% of your HP per second.  Use this sparingly but always when quick movement is called for.  ability_deathwing_sealarmorbreachtga.jpgBurning Rush has been altered slightly from it's 5.4 version to where it will now go through absorption effects before consuming your HP which further values absorption effects.  warlock_spelldrain.jpgUnbound Will is useful in encounters where a Magic debuff will be applied to you and others putting a dispelling bind on healers.  More often than not, your healers will handle dispels. 


ability_deathwing_sealarmorbreachtga.jpgBurning Rush will be your default choice unless a unique situation calls for warlock_spelldrain.jpgUnbound Will.


Tier 5 - Pet Tier


warlock_grimoireofcommand.jpgGrimoire of Supremacy empowers your normal demon to become a harder hitting (20%) demon with some more powerful spells/abilities.


warlock_grimoireofservice.jpgGrimoire of Service allows you to summon a second normal demon for 20 seconds on a 2 min cooldown, this demon will instantly on summon perform its signature spell (Spell Lock for Felhunters, Seduce for Succubus, Taunt for Voidwalker, and cleanse on player for Imp) when they are summoned.


warlock_grimoireofcommand.jpgGrimoire of Supremacy and warlock_grimoireofservice.jpgGrimoire of Service are almost totally equal in damage gain for Affliction. The major difference is in what utility it gives you and the fact that warlock_grimoireofservice.jpgGrimoire of Service needs to be used on cooldown, Vs. warlock_grimoireofcommand.jpgGrimoire of Supremacy is a passive effect.


warlock_grimoireofsacrifice.jpgGrimoire of Sacrifice is by far the weakest talent of the tier for Affliction, destroying your pet and increasing the damage of your ability_warlock_everlastingaffliction.jpDrain Soul, ability_warlock_haunt.jpgHaunt, and spell_shadow_lifedrain02.jpgDrain Life by 20% is to little and this talent cannot keep up with the other two options.


Tier 6 - The Enhancement Tier


achievement_boss_archimonde-.jpgArchimonde's Darkness grants an additional charge of spell_warlock_demonsoul.jpgDark Soul: Misery.  For Affliction Warlocks, this means an extra use of a 30% haste bonus.  However, the charge system works like other charge systems where each charge does not recharge independently.  This means that you get 1 additional use of DS:M per fight meaning the longer the fight lasts, the lesser the value of achievement_boss_archimonde-.jpgArchimonde's Darkness

achievement_boss_kiljaedan.jpgKil'jaeden's Cunning grants full mobility while casting for 8 seconds on a 60 second cooldown.  This ability has been nerfed significantly from its 5.4 cousin, but still could provide some useful DPS while moving on an encounter that has strict moving requirements. 

achievement_boss_magtheridon.jpgMannoroth's Fury increases the radius and damage of Seed of Corruption by a significant amount.  The radius is increased by 500% and the damage is increased by 100%.  This effect lasts for 10 seconds on a 60 second cooldown.  This talent is almost totally useless for an Affliction Warlock under nearly all situations.


This talent selection will be on a fight by fight basis depending on the encounter's needs.


Tier 7 - The Destruction Tier


The level 100 talents provide an important DPS gain to Affliction warlocks.


spell_warlock_soulburn_haunt.jpgSoulburn: Haunt gives you a new buff that empowers the DoT damage you deal to all targets by 20% for 30 seconds at the cost of TWO Soul Shards. Using this talent your goal is maximum uptime with spell_warlock_soulburn_haunt.jpgSoulburn: Haunt, 95%+ uptime is doable with the T17 2pc. This talent is very RNG dependent, but RNG willing will produce the highest amount of damage – although this damage will not be consistent. It is very unlikely to get this super high end parses and much more likely to get the lower end parses, much like Affliction has always been.


spell_warlock_demonicservitude.jpgDemonic Servitude allows you summon your Infernal or Doomguard as a permanent pet, when used with GoSup this becomes your Abyssal and Terrorguard respectively. spell_warlock_demonicservitude.jpgDemonic Servitude provides more reliable damage from pull to pull at the cost of slightly lower maximum possible damage as it removes a large part of the RNG in the spec. Additionally, if a large portion of the fight is done under execute phase (Sub 20% target HP) the empowered Terrorguard will shine even more since it does more damage during execute. ability_warlock_haunt.jpgHaunt with this talent is used much like 5.4 Chaos Bolt was, only fired with procs to empower the spell itself or when you are capped on Soul Shards.


achievement_zone_cataclysm.jpgCataclysm is a 60 second cooldown targeted AoE that strikes hard and puts spell_shadow_curseofsargeras.jpgAgony on all targets hit. For Affliction this is rather weak. If there is enough AoE that this talent will pull ahead DS or spell_warlock_soulburn_haunt.jpgSoulburn: Haunt then Affliction overall is not the optimal spec for the fight, Destro or Demo will be far more powerful.


Currently in theory spell_warlock_soulburn_haunt.jpgSoulburn: Haunt and spell_warlock_demonicservitude.jpgDemonic Servitude are roughly on par with each other and should be picked based on fight, personal playstyle, and DPS goals. 


However due to Highmaul not dropping T17 items yet and high haste ranges not being possible with current level gear spell_warlock_demonicservitude.jpgDemonic Servitude will pull ahead in DPS in almost every possible scenario. 


Talent selection is by and large a fight-by-fight decision.  More information will be given on which talents to select on each fight in the encounter-specific guide made for Tier 17. 





Although there are no "required" glyphs for Affliction in WoD, there are some that are highly recommended.


spell_warlock_demonsoul.jpgGlyph of Dark Soul is new to WoD and reduces the cool down AND duration of spell_warlock_demonsoul.jpgDark Soul: Misery by 50% turning it in to a 1 min CD with a 10 second duration. Using this glyph for Affliction is mostly unimportant in a general understanding, however it can be used to your advantage under some circumstances.

  • Fight mechanics happen at 1 min (roughly) intervals. These mechanics might be a burn on adds, burn on the boss, or just a moment of peace where you know you will not need to move for a bit and can freely cast. 
  • Fights end in odd minute intervals. If a fight ends slightly over 2, 4, 6, 8etc. minutes then using the glyph would be a wash since you would gain the same spell_warlock_demonsoul.jpgDark Soul: Misery uptime either way. However, if a fight ends at 3, 5, 7etc. minutes then you would be able to eek out a slightly better uptime with the glyph.
  • Trinkets. Because of the T17 4pc reducing the cooldown of spell_warlock_demonsoul.jpgDark Soul: Misery, it is hard to perfectly line up the cooldown with your trinkets. Depending on your trinkets and the RNG you may come up with a better line up of cooldowns by being able to use spell_warlock_demonsoul.jpgDark Soul: Misery more often.


spell_shadow_shadowpact.jpgGlyph of Life Pact also new to WoD is a very handy glyph. Providing you with nearly endless mana and freeing you from having to use spell_shadow_burningspirit.jpgLife Tap this glyph is a cool addition to the Affliction toolkit. The damage dealt by the glyph is physical and can be mitigated in most ways. warlock_sacrificial_pact.jpgSacrificial Pactwarlock_siphonlife.jpgSoul Leech, and even ability_warlock_soullink.jpgSoul Link all work to stop the damage dealt by spell_shadow_shadowpact.jpgGlyph of Life Pact.


Any one of the warlock passive damage mitigation talents work to roughly neutralize the damage from spell_shadow_shadowpact.jpgGlyph of Life Pact. However, since you need one to cancel out the other is it recommended that you use at least one passive talent and the spell_shadow_requiem.jpgGlyph of Siphon Life to fully passively cover yourself.


Remember, the damage done by spell_shadow_shadowpact.jpgGlyph of Life Pact is 1% of your max health per-second. As you go up in gear and your health pool increases so will the damage dealt by the glyph. warlock_siphonlife.jpgSoul Leech and spell_shadow_requiem.jpgGlyph of Siphon Life are based on how much damage you deal, so if your health pool dramatically increases and your damage does not you may not passive out heal the damage taken.



spell_shadow_unstableaffliction_3.jpgGlyph of Unstable Affliction listed here ONLY because I know people will ask about it. NO it is not worth a glyph slot. spell_shadow_unstableaffliction_3.jpgUnstable Affliction has a base cast time of 1.5 seconds, if you had absolutely zero haste spell_shadow_unstableaffliction_3.jpgGlyph of Unstable Affliction would only take the cast time down to 1.13 seconds. 0.37 seconds per spell_shadow_unstableaffliction_3.jpgUnstable Affliction is Never worth a major glyph slot. Keep in mind that if you had just about Any haste value the use of this glyph would push spell_shadow_unstableaffliction_3.jpgUnstable Affliction below GCD making the glyph truly useless.




4.  Stat Analysis


In 6.0, Hit and Expertise were removed leaving only Mastery, Crit, and Haste from 5.4.  However, two new stats were added in 6.0 called Versatility and Multistrike.  There have also been extra stats called Tertiary Stats that can be found on gear with similar frequency as seeing Warforged gear in 5.4.  In 6.0, Affliction Warlocks also gain the passive ability ability_warlock_eradication.jpgEradication, which is an attunement statistic added which gives 5% more Haste from all sources.




Haste is the secondary that that makes everything go faster, namely spell casts, spell channels, and DoT tick speeds.  For Affliction, Haste decreases the cast time of ability_warlock_haunt.jpgHaunt, spell_shadow_unstableaffliction_3.jpgUnstable Afflictionspell_shadow_lifedrain02.jpgDrain Life, and ability_warlock_everlastingaffliction.jpDrain Soul while increasing the DoT tick speed of spell_shadow_abominationexplosion.jpgCorruption, spell_shadow_unstableaffliction_3.jpgUnstable Affliction, and spell_shadow_curseofsargeras.jpgAgony.


Haste also decreases the global cooldown (GCD) of spell_shadow_burningspirit.jpgLife Tap, spell_shadow_curseofsargeras.jpgAgony, and spell_shadow_abominationexplosion.jpgCorruption.  Haste also increases the attack speed (or casting speed) of your pets. 


Due to spell_shadow_twilight.jpgNightfall Haste also increases the regeneration of your Soul Shards. All of this contributes to Haste being one of the most powerful secondary stats for Affliction.


Critical Strike


Critical Strike (Crit) is the stat that gives you a percentage chance to deal 100% bonus damage to your target.  All damage done by Affliction Warlocks is capable of dealing a Critical Strike.  Critical Strike is a fairly low value stat for Affliction.




ability_warlock_jinx.jpgMastery: Potent Afflictions is the stat that gives you a bonus percentage to your spell_shadow_curseofsargeras.jpgAgony, spell_shadow_unstableaffliction_3.jpgUnstable Affliction, and spell_shadow_abominationexplosion.jpgCorruption. This is a flat damage gain to the three main sources of your damage. Starting with a base amount of 24.80% Mastery at level 100, Mastery is a very powerful stat for Affliction.




Multistrike is a new stat in 6.0 that gives you and your pet a percentage chance to deal 1 to 2 additional strikes that deal 30% of the original damage dealt.  For example, if your ability_warlock_haunt.jpgHaunt hits for 10,000 damage, a Multistrike ability_warlock_haunt.jpgHaunt will hit for 3,000 additional damage.  For each spell hit, your Multistrike chance is used to calculate whether or not a Multistrike hit is delivered.  This happens twice per cast.  Multistrike hits are capable of Critical Strikes even if the original ability did not Critically Strike.  Similarly, Critical Strikes of the original spell do not guarantee Critical Strikes of the Multistrike hits.  It has not been shown if spell_shadow_twilight.jpgNightfall can proc from Multistrike hits.




Versatility is a new stat in 6.0 that gives you bonus damage and bonus damage mitigation.  Point for point, it's a relatively weak stat compared to the rest, but it still has value as it's a flat DPS gain and a flat damage taken reduction. 


Overall, the secondary stats in 6.0 are much closer in value to each other than they have ever been before.  The balance between secondary stats has been a goal of Blizzard's and it's been done well.  Simulationcraft stat weights show have minor, but notable, variance between builds. Early simulated values show Haste and Mastery having high values followed closely by Multistrike, Versatility, and lastly Crit.  Due to the flat damage gain that Mastery gives it becomes very powerful, if Multi Dotting it is hands down the most powerful stat since it only buffs your three Dots and not ability_warlock_everlastingaffliction.jpDrain Soul or ability_warlock_haunt.jpgHaunt[/wdbbetaspell].


Hotfixes on 1/13/2014 have pushed Haste to be more powerful in both ST and Multi target situations. Haste is hands down the best secondary for Affliction. Mastery is second, Multistrick, crit, versy all being.


TL;DR Aff = Haste>Mastery>MS>Crit>Vert



Haste working with spell_shadow_twilight.jpg [wdbbetaspell=108558]Nightfall procs give you more damage in multiple ways, from more DoT ticks and shorter ability_warlock_everlastingaffliction.jpDrain Soul casts and from more direct ability_warlock_haunt.jpgHaunt damage and a better possible uptime on the ability_warlock_haunt.jpgHaunt debuff (and buff if using spell_warlock_soulburn_haunt.jpgSoulburn: Haunt). The remaining three stats fall off in priority compared to Haste and Mastery since they do not give mechanical as well as flat damage gains.





5.  Gear Acquisition and Tier 17 Bonuses


Gear acquisition will come at the speed of content you and your guild are able to clear.  There are many ways to collect gear and with secondary stats being moderately close in value, you'll traditionally want anything that is higher item level due to the higher amount of stats on the piece of gear.  Warlock's Tier 17 gear is called Shadow Council.


Helm - inv_cloth_raidwarlock_o_01helm.jpgShadow Council's Hood

Shoulders - inv_cloth_raidwarlock_o_01shoulder.jpgShadow Council's Mantle

Chest - inv_cloth_raidwarlock_o_01robe.jpgShadow Council's Robes

Legs - inv_cloth_raidwarlock_o_01pants.jpgShadow Council's Leggings

Gloves - inv_cloth_raidwarlock_o_01gloves.jpgShadow Council's Gloves


T17 2pc Bonus


The trade_engineering.jpgItem - Warlock T17 Affliction 2P Bonus states that “While channeling ability_warlock_everlastingaffliction.jpDrain Soul on a target afflicted by your spell_shadow_abominationexplosion.jpgCorruption, spell_shadow_unstableaffliction_3.jpgUnstable Affliction, and spell_shadow_curseofsargeras.jpgAgony, the chance for spell_shadow_twilight.jpgNightfall to activate is increased by 5%”


Although this requires all three DoTs to be on your target when channeling (this not being hard if playing Affliction correctly) This 2pc gives a very notable DPS gain due to better ability_warlock_haunt.jpgHaunt uptime and the direct damage of ability_warlock_haunt.jpgHaunt. This also plays well with the level 100 talent, spell_warlock_soulburn_haunt.jpgSoulburn: Haunt since it by nature requires more Soul Shards to be used efficiently.


This is a nearly totally passive damage gain that should not be passed up.


T17 4pc Bonus


The trade_engineering.jpgItem - Warlock T17 Affliction 4P Bonus states that “When spell_shadow_twilight.jpgNightfall activates, the cooldown of spell_warlock_demonsoul.jpgDark Soul: Misery is reduced by 10 seconds.” Again, a totally passive DPS gain – working very well with the 2pc this 4pc will result in on average at least one totally free extra use of spell_warlock_demonsoul.jpgDark Soul: Misery. Keep in mind that this could lead to an issue when using Trinkets that have ICDs that roughly line up with spell_warlock_demonsoul.jpgDark Soul: Misery, since spell_shadow_twilight.jpgNightfall procs will heavily throw off this timing.


All in all, it is recommended to acquire both the 2pc and 4pc bonuses as both are significant DPS gains. 



6.  Trinket Breakdown


There are 5 trinkets in Tier 17 that include 3 RPPM trinkets and 2 on-use trinket.  Just as before with 5.4, trinket procs and base values are calculated with the slightly confusing formula: P(ilvl) = P(665) * 1.15 ^ ((ilvl - 665)/15).  To solve for a proc or base value, simply plug in the item level you're curious about.  For example...


P(665) = 220 * 1.15 ^ ((665 - 665)/15) = 220.  The 220 here is given with the 665 item level.


To solve for P(680), plug the value in...

P(680) = 220 * 1.15 ^ ((680-665)/15) = 253. 


This value is listed as the 680 version of the RPPM trinkets which verifies that the baseline calculation for item levels is 665.  If you can't follow this, don't sweat it - I break it down for you.


inv_misc_trinket6oih_orb2.jpgDarmac's Unstable Talisman


DUT is baseline Intellect with a Haste proc for 10 seconds with an RPPM value of 0.92.  The Haste value and baseline Intellect scale with item level.  This trinket will have the feel of Tempus Repit with a sizeable Haste proc being worth 65% of Bloodlust at the 665 item level and being worth almost Bloodlust at 695. 


  • 665 = 220 Intellect, 19.13% Haste
  • 680 = 253 Intellect, 22.00% Haste
  • 695 = 291 Intellect, 25.30% Haste
  • 701 (Warforged) = 308 Intellect, 26.75% Haste

The Haste proc is called spell_shadow_siphonmana.jpgInstability with Spell ID = 177052.


inv_misc_trinket6oih_orb1.jpgBlackiron Micro Crucible


BMC is baseline Intellect with a Multistrike proc for 10 seconds that scales every 0.5 seconds and stacks 20 times.  This trinket has an RPPM value of 0.92.  With a rapidly building Multistrike value, this trinket will start off with little value but grow quickly into giving a burst spike of damage towards the end of the proc.


  • 665 = 220 Intellect, 131 - 2620 Multistrike
  • 680 = 253 Intellect, 150 - 3000 Multistrike
  • 695 = 291 Intellect, 173 - 3460 Multistrike
  • 701 (Warforged) = 308 Intellect, 183-3664 Multistrike

The Multistrike proc is called inv_jewelry_trinket_10.jpgMolten Metal with Spell ID = 177085.


inv_misc_trinket6oih_lanterna2.jpgGoren Soul Repository


GSR is the 3rd of the RPPM trinkets with a value of 0.92 that works exactly as DUT except instead of Haste, the proc is Crit which lasts for 10 seconds.


  • 665 = 220 Intellect, 1913 Crit Rating
  • 680 = 253 Intellect, 2200 Crit Rating
  • 695 = 291 Intellect, 2530 Crit Rating
  • 701 (Warforged) = 308 Intellect, 2675 Crit Rating

The Crit proc is called spell_shadow_siphonmana.jpgHowling Soul with Spell ID = 177047.


spell_arcane_mindmastery.jpgCopeland's Clarity


CC is a trinket with an on-use proc that lasts for 20 seconds and has a 120 second CD.  This trinket has obvious value in that you can control when it procs and has a proc length and CD equal to spell_warlock_demonsoul.jpgDark Soul: Misery.


  • 665 = 220 Intellect, 1467 Spell Power on use
  • 680 = 253 Intellect, 1687 Spell Power on use
  • 695 = 291 Intellect, 1940 Spell Power on use
  • 701 (Warforged) = 308 Intellect, 2052 Spell Power on use

The Spell Power proc is called spell_arcane_mindmastery.jpgSudden Clarity with Spell ID = 177594.


inv_misc_trinket6oog_isoceles1.jpgShards of Nothing


SoN is a baseline Intellect trinket with a Haste on use that lasts for 20 seconds and has a 120 second CD.


  • 665 = 201 Intellect, 13.37% Haste on use
  • 680 = 231 Intellect, 15.38% Haste on use
  • 695 = 266 Intellect, 17.68% Haste on use
  • 701 (Warforged) = 281 Intellect, 18.70% Haste on use 


The Haste proc is called inv_misc_organ_04.jpgVoid Shards with Spell ID = 176875.


Without simulating the trinkets, the top two from a theoretical point would be (if you also have the T17 4pc) the Haste RPPM trinket inv_misc_trinket6oih_orb2.jpgDarmac's Unstable Talisman and spell_arcane_mindmastery.jpgCopeland's Clarity.  spell_arcane_mindmastery.jpgCopeland's Clarity's value comes from being a dependable 2 minute cooldown with a 20 second duration, although this cannot be perfectly lined up with spell_warlock_demonsoul.jpgDark Soul: Misery due to the T17 4pc it is still a controlled proc that can be stacked when most useful. 


For Affliction, the Haste proc is highly valuable and ensures higher DPS on a consistent basis since the Haste proc will affect 100% of your spells while under its effect. Additionally Soul Shard generation is linked to spell_shadow_twilight.jpgNightfall procs, this chance to proc from spell_shadow_abominationexplosion.jpgCorruption makes it very haste friendly. More haste = more spell_shadow_abominationexplosion.jpgCorruption ticks = more spell_shadow_twilight.jpgNightfall procs = more Soul Shards = more ability_warlock_haunt.jpgHaunt and higher ability_warlock_haunt.jpgHaunt uptime.


The Crit and Multistrike trinkets have some RNG within them that could underperform or overperform depending purely on RNG in terms of how many spells are effected from the trinket proc.


Simulated values show the RPPM trinkets with an average uptime of 18% at the 665 item level.  spell_arcane_mindmastery.jpgCopeland's Clarity would be up for 20 seconds every 120 seconds, so its uptime is calculated between 16.7% and 23%.  For those of you who used BBoY and KTT in 5.4, you'll remember how good or how bad some of your trinket uptimes could be with RPPM proc rates.  Remember this as you may see variance in individual pulls with the RPPM trinkets. 



Simulated Trinket Values


665 Item Level



680 Item Level



695 Item Level



The first thing that should jump off the page of these numbers is how close they are.  The clear winner is spell_arcane_mindmastery.jpgCopeland's Clarity with inv_misc_trinket6oih_orb2.jpgDarmac's Unstable Talisman  and inv_misc_trinket6oih_lanterna2.jpgGoren Soul Repository in a close 2nd.  My advice is to always use the highest item level of these three trinkets that you have.  If you use Goren Soul Repository, you'll have lots of Multistrike damage.  If you use Darmac's Unstable Talisman, you'll have some Haste procs that will give you a chance at more Soul Shards.  As a rule of thumb, always use the two highest item level trinkets you have, regardless of what they are. 

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7. Gameplay Tips and Tricks


The above sections should fill in the intricate details of what goes on behind the Affliction specialization.  This is the section that explains the details of what each ability does, what impact it has, and how to best use it.


1. DoTs - spell_shadow_curseofsargeras.jpgAgony, spell_shadow_abominationexplosion.jpgCorruption, and spell_shadow_unstableaffliction_3.jpgUnstable Affliction.


With the removeal of snapshotting and Haste breakpoints, the only thing to worry about with these spells are keeping them at 100% uptime and on as many targets as possible. Always. Minor notes below.




  • Ticks over 24 seconds with a base tick interval of 2 seconds
  • Stacks on a target up to 10 times (This might change to 12)
  • Deals damage slowly at first, increasing as time and stacks build
  • Safe to reapply with no DPS loss at 7.2 seconds remaining in duration




  • Ticks over 18 seconds with a 2 second baseline interval
  • Has a chance to proc spell_shadow_twilight.jpgNightfall generating one Soul Shard - this proc rate is 8.5% base (6% baseline + 2.5% Passive leveling perk some time between 91-100) and can be further increased by the Aff t17 2pc for a total of 13.5% proc on tick.
  • Only the LAST applied spell_shadow_abominationexplosion.jpgCorruption has a chance to proc spell_shadow_twilight.jpgNightfall
  • Safe to reapply with no DPS loss at 5.4 seconds remaining in duration


spell_shadow_unstableaffliction_3.jpgUnstable Affliction


  • Ticks over 14 seconds with a 2 second base interval
  • If dispelled does heavy instant damage and silences for 4 seconds, this damage always crits (very rare to have it dispelled in PvE, normally PvP only)
  • Safe to reapply with no DPS loss at 4.2 seconds remaining in duration
  • The use of these DoTs are simple, keep them at maximum uptime on as many targets as possible at all times.


2. Soul Shard Spenders - spell_warlock_soulburn_haunt.jpgSoulburn: Haunt, ability_warlock_haunt.jpgHaunt, and spell_warlock_soulburn.jpgSoulburn.


Spending Soul Shards wisely is the key to Affliction DPS, the devil is in the details. 


If you are using the level 100 talent spell_warlock_soulburn_haunt.jpgSoulburn: Haunt then the only goal of the soul shards is to keep spell_warlock_soulburn_haunt.jpgSoulburn: Haunt at close to 100% uptime as possible. Hold your Soul Shards for when your spell_warlock_soulburn_haunt.jpgSoulburn: Haunt buff is about to expire on you, but to not allow them to cap out. Allowing your shards to cap might cause a loss of total shard generation due to missed spell_shadow_twilight.jpgNightfall procs. To prevent soul shard capping, use a non-empowered ability_warlock_haunt.jpgHaunt on the main DPS target when ever you reach 4 soul shards. 


Remember, spell_warlock_soulburn_haunt.jpgSoulburn: Haunt applies a buff on YOU the PLAYER - not the target. Due to a hot fix on 11/25/2014 the buff is now affected by Pandemic, it will increase up to 130% of its original duration.


If you are NOT using the level 100 talent spell_warlock_soulburn_haunt.jpgSoulburn: Haunt then you will be using ability_warlock_haunt.jpgHaunt to empower your DoTs when you are buffed through trinkets/potion/bloodlust/Dark Soul. The direct damage of ability_warlock_haunt.jpgHaunt is incredible, but not so powerful that it should be spammed one after another during trinket procs.  


Although you cannot Snapshot a DoTs to be powerful past the duration of the buff, any spell cast during the buff will be empowered by it. For DoTs this is done automaticly, updating with each tick as long as the spell is applied. For single use spells like ability_warlock_haunt.jpgHaunt it is important to use this empowerment to fire off devastating spells.


You still don't want to cap on Soul Shards and should always spend one as soon as you reach 4 shards, but for the remaining shards you will hold them as much as possible for trinket procs or other temporary buffs. With this make up, maximum uptime is not your goal - powerful haunts without wasting shards is the goal.


Awesome Math and Charts!


With spell_warlock_soulburn_haunt.jpgSoulburn: Haunt your goal is to keep near 100% uptime on the buff, but how doable is that? Very.


This chart shows the *on average* spell_shadow_twilight.jpgNightfall procs you will get during the fight. The Red column showing your haste %, the Green column showing the number of spell_shadow_abominationexplosion.jpgCorruption ticks you will get per full duration of spell_shadow_abominationexplosion.jpgCorruption, the Blue row at the top showing the length of the fight in seconds. 


These are sample images, to view the full Spreadsheet used click Here


Without T17 2pc:




With T17 2pc:




3. AoE - Affliction style!


AoE Affliction is...weak. Compared to the other two warlock specs Affliction really doesn't bring much to an AoE party. Through Multi-dotting Affliction can do very good damage to mid-high HP adds/bosses, although this should be considered more of a "cleave" then a "AoE". 


The only true AoE Affliction has is in Seed of Corruption, a fairly low hitting spell that when applied to a target will blow up for AoE damage when the target dies or when the target has taken roughly 3,000 damage from your other spells, which ever comes first. When combined with spell_warlock_soulburn.jpgSoulburn Seed of Corruption will also apply spell_shadow_abominationexplosion.jpgCorruption to all targets hit by the AoE. Over time this damage can add up, but again most of this should be thought of more as "cleave" then as "AoE". Affliction simply does not have the took kit for mass AoE damage. 



4. Bringing It All Together


The Opener


Your opener will be very much the same as it was in MoP, for max DPS we are assuming the use of GoSac, Archimonde's Darkness, and spell_warlock_soulburn_haunt.jpgSoulburn: Haunt.



If you are not using spell_warlock_soulburn_haunt.jpgSoulburn: Haunt then you can ignore that part of the opener and pre cast spell_shadow_unstableaffliction_3.jpgUnstable Affliction in its place. The priority remains the same other then you now handle ability_warlock_haunt.jpgHaunt like it was a Chaos Bolt. Go for maximum hits without capping on shards. Wait for a trinket proc or Dark Soul before casting ability_warlock_haunt.jpgHaunt if you are under 4 shards. If you are at 4 shards cast a ability_warlock_haunt.jpgHaunt no matter what so that you do not lose spell_shadow_twilight.jpgNightfall procs.


Don't forget your pet attack, binding the Pet Attack key to a easy to use keybind makes for faster pet target switching and higher DPS.



8. Change Log and Notes




1/15/2015 - 1/13 hotfixes added, stat weights changed.

12/21/2014 - edited sections to make them more clear to the reader, minor fixes.

12/15/2014 - Minor fixes and clearifications.

11/27/2014 - (ya, I know I was late) Changed guide to reflect Pandemic hotfix on 11/25 now extending SB:Haunt buff on player.


Special thanks to Zagam for providing the frame work of the Warlock guides and for many of the cross-spec information.

Thanks to Liquid for valuable proof reading and error checking.

Thanks to Juls for listening to my rants and ravings about writing and testing.

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Aff looks like it will be fun for Single target at level 100, but painful before we can get there.

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Thanks a lot for the guide Locky =D


When you say: "use haunts like it was a chaos bolt", do you mean wait for procs then dump all shards one after the other ignoring the 30% buff to dots even if it means not having that buff up for like half the duration of things like immerseus trinket procs and dark soul?

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No, use Haunt when you get a proc to buff your DoTs.  Do NOT spend all your Shards at one store - they are SUPER expensive and hard to come by.

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Great guide overall man. Good work!


A few possible edits though:


If you are NOT using the level 100 talent spell_warlock_soulburn_haunt.jpgSoulburn: Haunt then you will be using ability_warlock_haunt.jpgHaunt more as if it was a Chaos Bolt from 5.4. You still don't want to cap on Soul Shards and should always spend one as soon as you reach 4 shards, but for the remaining shards you will hold them as much as possible for trinket procs or other temporary buffs. Although snapshotting for DoTs is gone, snapshotting still works for since damage spells. If you cast ability_warlock_haunt.jpgHaunt with no procs Vs. casting it with procs, the second haunt will deal more damage since it was done so under procs. With this make up, maximum uptime is not your goal - powerful haunts without wasting shards is the goal.


I'm assuming that you mean to say something about its large direct damage component of Haunt to replace what is in bold here. Also, this whole paragraph is rather wordy and gets confusing towards the end.  It doesn't say why you are really using Haunt during procs. Yes the direct damage is big, but something in there should say, "you want to stack the damage debuff on the target with your own self buffs to empower your DoT's since they are now updated dynamically. Make sure to avoid needing to reapply any DoT's during this uptime." My thoughts on this anyway.




The Opener


Your opener will be very much the same as it was in MoP, for max DPS we are assuming the use of GoSup, Archimonde's Darkness, and spell_warlock_soulburn_haunt.jpgSoulburn: Haunt.



Agony second? Wouldn't it be more beneficial to cast it first to get 1 sec GCD more towards your stacks? I imagine that it is never one particular DoT procing your trinkets similar to MoP how Malific Grasp got the procs moving anyway so I just don't see the reason to cast Corruption first.

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In 6.0.2 level 90 which is the right opener? Go for SB:SS to apply in one moment all dots or preserve the shards and apply every dot singularly?

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I'm assuming that you mean to say something about its large direct damage component ....


Bad writing, there used to be a tooltip in there and was removed and then there was another paragraph that got cut and like 3 other changes. I'll fix it.




Agony second? Wouldn't it be more beneficial to cast it first to get 1 sec GCD more towards your stacks? I imagine that it is never one particular DoT procing your trinkets similar to MoP how Malific Grasp got the procs moving anyway so I just don't see the reason to cast Corruption first.



It literally will not matter. At all. In any way. Shape. Or form. I listed an "opener" because saying "Apply dots, DS:M, Haunt, SD spam." seemed to short and boring. I put Corruption first because shard generation, if you want to go Agony>Corruption>UA or UA>Corruption>Agony or Agony>Corruption>UA - go for it. It will make zero to the zeroth power difference.

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In 6.0.2 level 90 which is the right opener? Go for SB:SS to apply in one moment all dots or preserve the shards and apply every dot singularly?



level 90 doesn't have SoulBurn:Haunt so there is only one opener. Apply dots, DS:M, Haunt, DS spam. 


Don't waste a shard on SD:SS, shards are to valuable to waste on something like that in an opener.

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Agreed, not really that big of an issue just thought I'd ask.  My thought process was increased stacks is guaranteed damage increase while chance at a shard right before you need it is more RNG related. 1 sec makes no difference as you said though (or tried to say since anything to the 0 power is kinda equal to 1, math, get rekt).

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Also this...



...seemed to short and boring.


..is the story of this spec right now.

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 (or tried to say since anything to the 0 power is kinda equal to 1, math, get rekt).






My goal was the historical, philosophical, and metaphysical meaning of the argument, not the literal mathematical meaning. Since depending on who you ask/what meaning or level of understanding you are seeking it can be either 0 or 1. But in general terms the difference is so small that it is almost never cared about or given thought to, since the question only really comes up in the hypothetical and there is almost never any practical application of the definition.


Philosophy, get rekt

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Is it bad that affliction is so dead right now we are having a math/philosophy conversation? Or is it worse that I actually read every word of those links and understood it? Regardless 0^0 = 1 or 0 or nothing, .999999 repeating = 1, math bleh, I knew what you meant. Aflliction is the only thing that truly got rekt this week.

Edited by Gnar
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I'm thinking about going Aff this week to see if I can out DPS the god awful Demo warlock in my guild.

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Just one minor correction, The Human Spirit gives Versatility.  The link is correct, but the description afterward is not.  Sorry for my nit picking.

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Just one question: at the moment which trinket is the best between BBoY and KKT with the goodbye to Snapshotting?

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They're extremely close. I'd go with whichever has the highest ivl, but KTT seems to have the edge thanks to being our only source of multistrike outside of the buff.

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They're extremely close. I'd go with whichever has the highest ivl, but KTT seems to have the edge thanks to being our only source of multistrike outside of the buff.



What he said

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I'm lucky and have the MWF Version of PBOI and BBOY, have yet to even see a mythic KTT drop. If I somehow snag the MWF KTT I'll do some tests as affliction and as demo.

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