WotLK Classic Affliction Warlock Rotation, Cooldowns, and Abilities

Last updated Yesterday at 12:00 by Crix 7 comments

On this page, you will learn how to optimize the rotation of your Affliction Warlock in both single-target and multiple-target PvE situations in WotLK Classic. We also have advanced sections about cooldowns, procs, etc. in order to minmax your DPS.

If you have not already, please read the Spell Summary page. Knowing how each spell and ability works in detail will greatly increase your understanding of the topics discussed on this page.

1.

Spell Rotation for Affliction Warlocks in Wrath of the Lich King

The Affliction Warlock rotation is one of the most fun and engaging rotations in the game, having to keep up all your damage-over-time abilities on top of Haunt IconHaunt to buff them all up while filling with Shadow Bolt IconShadow Bolt in the meantime. This page will go over the single-0target rotation, as well as the AoE and execute rotations

1.1.

The Importance of Corruption as an Affliction Warlock

The biggest part of dealing damage as an Affliction Warlock is how you deal with your Corruption IconCorruption and if you let it roll over. Simply put, thanks to the talent Everlasting Affliction IconEverlasting Affliction, this spell causes your Corruption IconCorruption and Unstable Affliction IconUnstable Affliction to do more damage, but most importantly, allows your Drain Life IconDrain Life, Drain Soul IconDrain Soul, Shadow Bolt IconShadow Bolt, and Haunt IconHaunt to refresh your Corruption IconCorruption. This means that once you manually apply that first Corruption, as long as you are casting Drain Life IconDrain Life, Drain Soul IconDrain Soul, Shadow Bolt IconShadow Bolt, or Haunt IconHaunt, that Corruption will remain on the target without you needing to manually apply it.

Another amazing thing about Corruption IconCorruption is that it snapshots your current crit percentage along with any damage modifiers you have, and it will also remain on that Corruption IconCorruption until you manually refresh it or it naturally falls off. This means that you can and should be putting as many crit and damage modifiers as you can on that first Corruption IconCorruption so that it is buffed for the entirety of the encounter, or until you naturally refresh it. These modifiers include things like Potion of Wild Magic Icon Potion of Wild Magic, Earth and Moon IconEarth and Moon, Ebon Plaguebringer IconEbon Plaguebringer, Curse of the Elements IconCurse of the Elements, and Improved Shadow Bolt IconImproved Shadow Bolt to name a few.

The only time you will manually refresh your Corruption IconCorruption is once the boss reaches 35%, thanks to the Death's Embrace IconDeath's Embrace talent. For this reason, it is very important that you make sure the proper buffs are on you before applying that first Corruption IconCorruption.

1.2.

Affliction Warlock Single-Target Damage Rotation in Wrath of the Lich King

Your opener as Affliction matters a lot in terms of both damage. It is very important

  1. Life Tap for your Glyph — This needs to be up the entire fight. Remember, if you have the 4-piece Tier 7 set bonus, do not worry about life tapping to keep that 4pc buff. Just Life Tap IconLife Tap throughout the fight as you normally would.
  2. Pre-Pot a potion — Potion of Wild Magic Icon Potion of Wild Magic. The crit rating on this will snapshot into your Corruption IconCorruption
  3. Precast your Shadow Bolt IconShadow Bolt so that it hits the boss right as the pull timer hits 0.

After your opener, your rotation/priority is listed below.

  1. After the opening Shadow Bolt IconShadow Bolt, cast Haunt IconHaunt and keep this on the target at all times, while trying not to clip it. Clipping means to reapply before the previous DoT ran out.
  2. Cast Unstable Affliction IconUnstable Affliction and keep this on the target at all times.
  3. Cast Corruption IconCorruption. This is cast after Haunt IconHaunt and Unstable Affliction IconUnstable Affliction to ensure that you have Improved Shadow Bolt IconImproved Shadow Bolt and Tricks of the Trade IconTricks of the Trade.
  4. Cast Curse of Agony IconCurse of Agony and keep this on the target at all times.
  5. Fill with Shadow Bolt IconShadow Bolt while keeping Haunt IconHaunt, Unstable Affliction IconUnstable Affliction and Curse of Agony IconCurse of Agony on the target for the entire duration of the encounter without clipping them.
1.3.

Affliction Warlock AoE Damage Rotation in Wrath of the Lich King

For AoE, you simply spam Seed of Corruption IconSeed of Corruption while watching your threat. Use Soulshatter IconSoulshatter as needed.

If you are an Engineer, make sure to utilize your Global Thermal Sapper Charge Icon Global Thermal Sapper Charge and Saronite Bomb Icon Saronite Bombs as much as you possibly can.

1.4.

Warlock Execute Rotation in Wrath of the Lich King

Once the target hits 35%, you have entered Death's Embrace IconDeath's Embrace range, which means you manually apply Corruption IconCorruption.

Before hitting 35%, I like to make sure I have the Mana to Drain Soul IconDrain Soul, so I will Life Tap IconLife Tap a time or two to ensure I have Mana. At this point you will be using Drain Soul IconDrain Soul to take advantage of the 4 times damage it receives on top of talents like Soul Siphon IconSoul Siphon that buffs the drain damage.

  1. Keep Unstable Affliction IconUnstable Affliction, Haunt IconHaunt, and Curse of Agony IconCurse of Agony on the boss if they will last.
  2. Use Drain Soul IconDrain Soul as often as you can while those DoTs are on the boss.

It is important to keep your DoTs up full time while draining as much as you can. If you need to refresh any of the DoTs, then do it in pairs. Meaning, if Unstable Affliction IconUnstable Affliction fell off the target, do not stop casting Drain Soul IconDrain Soul until the Haunt IconHaunt or the Curse of Agony IconCurse of Agony fell off and then reapply BOTH of them. This allows for maximum drain uptime.

A very important thing about Execute is that Drain Soul IconDrain Soul does not snapshot like normal DoTs do since it is a channel. This means that whenever you get a Spell Power Proc, Haste Proc, or Damage Proc you should resnap your Drain Soul IconDrain Soul in order for it to take into effect the buffs.

2.

Changelog

  • 18 Jan. 2023: Reviewed for Phase 2 release ahead of Ulduar raid release.
  • 24 Oct. 2022: Page added.
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