WoW Classic Warlock Leveling Guide 1-60
Welcome to our Classic leveling guide for Warlocks. Here, you will learn how to efficiently level your Warlock all the way to Level 60.
Warlocks are exceptionally quick solo levels that excel even more when placed in a group. They get early access to an Imp which gives them the best kill speed in the game from 1-10, before getting a Voidwalker at 10 that can tank enemies for you all the way to 60. With the combination of Life Tap and Drain Life Warlocks can trade health for Mana, letting them always make the most out of their resources. Warlocks are also one of the two classes that get a free mount at level 40, ensuring the earliest access to a vitally important tool while leveling. With their powerful DoTs, access to wands, and a pet to tank, Warlocks are top tier levelers that should have little trouble getting to 60.
2. Leveling in a Group as a Warlock
Contrary to popular belief, leveling with a partner or as part of a group is not a terrible thing. In fact, for most classes, leveling with a partner is actually better than leveling solo. While Warlocks are strong solo levelers, they are possibly the strongest duo class in the game. A strong duo such as Warlock/Paladin, Warlock/Druid, or Warlock/Shaman can compete with Warlocks for leveling speed, and will be faster than either player leveling solo. Warlocks can really pair with anyone, but do their best when paired with a strong support ally that can provide healing and buffs to help limit their downtime. When supported, Warlocks can play much more aggressively, using DoTs on multiple allies and casting Life Tap as needed to get Mana back instead of potentially stopping to recover. Warlocks also can be strong in dungeon groups as well due to their high sustained damage and ability to recover Mana without downtime.
3. Warlock Abilities
Warlocks have lots of different abilities to learn, some more useful than others. Gold will be scarce early on, and while having some is important for water and repairs, Warlocks luckily do not need to worry about saving up for a mount at level 40. This gives you lots more leeway with what skills to pick up, but do not go too overboard since it is still worth having some gold at level 60 for professions, gear, and consumables.
3.1. Recommended Skills to Upgrade as a Warlock
- Demon Skin
- Shadow Bolt
- Curse of Agony
- Life Tap
- Create Healthstone
- Drain Soul
- Health Funnel
- Unending Breath
- Demon Armor
- Ritual of Summoning
- Create Soulstone
- Drain Life
- Howl of Terror
- Death Coil
- Siphon Life if talented
The list above represents the most important skills that you should train while leveling as a Warlock. Following this you will skip many spells, and can choose to take them if you wish, assuming you have the gold. This list includes your important DoTs, control spells like Fear, important utility spells, and important single rank spells like Unending Breath and Inferno.
Immolate, Corruption, and Curse of Agony will make up the majority of your damage while leveling with wand attacks supplementing your DoT damage. This is the best rotation as it maximizes your damage efficiency, allowing you to passively regenerate Mana while attacking enemies with your wand. You can always throw in a Life Tap or Drain Life for extra Mana or health regeneration if you need it.
Create Healthstone, Create Soulstone, and Ritual of Summoning are you most important utility abilities that are unique to Warlocks. You will want to be able to make Healthstone and Soulstone for yourself while leveling, but Ritual of Summoning is just useful to have in case you ever decide to group for anything and need to get someone there quickly. Meeting stones at dungeons cannot be used for summoning in WoW Classic, so Warlocks are the only way to summon people to you. This can be nice as well since sometimes groups will pay you gold to join their group and help them summon a group member if they do not have a Warlock.
Fear, Howl of Terror, and Death Coil are you primary control spells. Fear is especially useful while leveling since it can be used to send enemies running while you DoT them up, letting you set up damage on second and even third targets while waiting for the first one to die. These are also especially useful if you engage in any PvP while leveling.
3.2. Pet Abilities
Your pets have spells with ranks just like you, but they cannot be trained at the normal Warlock trainers. Next to every Warlock trainer is a Demon trainer that sells Grimoires. This is how you will train your pets since each Grimoire will teach your pet a rank of one of its spells. While leveling you should buy all available Grimoires for your Imp and Voidwalker when you can train them.
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4. Talents for Leveling as a Warlock
Warlock has many viable leveling specs and builds, but the most common is a combination of Affliction and Demonology. This build revolves around using your DoTs and wand to kill enemies while your Voidwalker tanks enemies for you. You can be especially efficient if you make use of Fear to juggle multiple enemies at once by letting your DoTs kill enemies while you have your Voidwalker tank one and you keep others feared. The build path and talents are listed below.
- Levels 10 to 14 — 5 points in Improved Corruption
- Levels 15 & 16 — 2 points in Improved Life Tap
- Levels 17 & 18 — 2 points in Suppression
- Level 19 — 1 point in Improved Healthstone
Improved Corruption is perhaps the only talent that is considered to be critical for every single Warlock build. While 2 points is enough to make the Corruption cast below the GCD, the full 5 points makes it instant, allowing you to Corruption while moving. This is incredibly important both for ease of use and kiting/spacing while leveling. You will be using Life Tap as your primary method of Mana generation, making Improved Life Tap a requirement, and then 2 points in Suppression to ensure that enemies your own level will not resist your Affliction spells. These are all critical talents to get as soon as possible, but once you get these you will want to move to the Demonology tree to work towards Improved Voidwalker, so you should start with 1 point into Improved Healthstone.
- Level 20 — 1 point in Improved Healthstone
- Levels 21 to 23 — 3 points in Demonic Embrace
- Levels 24 to 26 — 3 points in Improved Voidwalker
- Levels 27 & 28 — 2 points in Improved Drain Soul
- Level 29 — 1 point in Amplify Curse
Improved Voidwalker is a critical talent if you are using the Voidwalker for leveling, and is worth taking after your initial important Affliction talents. Spend the points to take it, then immediately move back into the Affliction tree. Amplify Curse provides a nice damage cooldown when paired with Curse of Agony for harder enemies, and Improved Drain Soul gives a nice boost to your passive Mana regeneration when using Drain Soul that should cut back on your number of Life Tap uses.
- Levels 30 to 32 — 3 points in Suppression
- Levels 33 & 34 — 2 points in Grim Reach
- Levels 35 & 36 — 2 points in Nightfall
- Level 37 — 1 point in Improved Curse of Agony
- Level 38 — 1 point in Siphon Life
- Level 39 — 1 point in Curse of Exhaustion
Start by finishing Suppression for a lower resistance chance, which will help against higher level enemies. Grim Reach is nice for the increased range and Nightfall can be a nice damage increase for whenever it procs an instant Shadow Bolt cast. Then you will want to take 1 point in Curse of Agony, followed by Siphon Life and Curse of Exhaustion. Siphon Life is an amazing DoT to have against enemies that live for most of it, and is also excellent in world PvP. Curse of Exhaustion is also a great tool to have for whenever you need to kite, and is worth the 1 point investment. Some Warlocks choose to opt for earlier points into Improved Curse of Agony instead for the extra damage, but it is up to you whether you want to prioritize damage or better recovery, since these points would need to be taken out of Improved Drain Soul.
- Levels 40 & 41 — Improved Curse of Agony
- Level 42 — Improved Curse of Exhaustion
- Levels 43 to 47 — Shadow Mastery
- Levels 48 & 49 — Fel Intellect
At this point you will want to finish off Affliction by taking Improved Curse of Agony, 1 point in whatever you want, and then finally getting Shadow Mastery. Shadow Mastery is the final talent you are going for in Affliction, and after taking it you should immediately switch back to Demonology to work towards Fel Domination. If you want to spend the point, Dark Pact is useful for a burst of Mana in an emergency, but should not be necessary if you are playing efficiently.
- Level 50 — 1 point in Fel Domination
- Levels 51 to 54 — 4 points in Fel Stamina
- Levels 55 & 56 — 2 points in Master Summoner
- Levels 57 to 60 — 4 points in Unholy Power
Fel Domination is perhaps your most important cooldown since it allows you to quickly summon a new Voidwalker if yours dies or if you need to use Sacrifice. Sacrifice is a powerful defensive cooldown that sacrifices your Voidwalker to put a large shield on you. Normally it is a long cast time to summon another Voidwalker and is unreasonable to do in combat (unless you can Fear the enemy), but with Fel Domination it becomes easy to get another Voidwalker out. After that you are free to go with what you want, but opting for Fel Stamina and Unholy Power is a good choice for health and damage. You should pick up Master Summoner as soon as possible though for the same reason as Fel Domination.
5. Leveling Rotation for Warlocks
Your goal should be to get your Imp and Immolate immediately, which will give you the highest damage output in the game prior to level 10. At level 10 you pick up your Voidwalker from your class quest, and continue with the basic practice of using your DoTs on the target then finishing them off with your wand. Use Life Tap and Drain Soul as needed for Mana regeneration to try and limit downtime. You should immediately start using your wand as a filler in place of Shadow Bolt once you get one, which will most likely be anywhere from levels 10 to 14.
- Command your pet to attack the target;
- Immolate if you have enough Mana;
- Curse of Agony;
- Siphon Life;
- Shadow Bolt.
- Shoot with your wand;
- Drain Soul to kill the enemy if you need the Mana from Improved Drain Soul or if you need the Soul Shard.
6. Weapons for Warlocks
The absolute most important upgrades to look for while leveling are either pieces of gear with spell power (or +Shadow Damage), or wand upgrades. Improvements in wand DPS will correlate to noticeable increases in your kill speed more so than any other upgrade, making them a priority. There are some quests that give wands, but the easiest and best way to get wands early is to look for an enchanter or on the auction house for Lesser Magic Wand or Greater Magic Wand. They are high DPS wands created through enchanting that people will make from day 1. They should be relatively cheap, and are absolutely worth the price. You can also check out the wand merchants Katis and Ardwyn Cailen in Orgrimmar and Stormwind for the wands that they offer starting at level 15.
6.1. Weapon Trainers
In Classic WoW, you do not automatically know how to use all possible weapons. Specifically for Warlocks, you will start knowing how to use a Dagger and a Wand, but can learn how to use Staves and One-Handed Swords from trainers. To learn how to use a new type of weapon, you will need to visit a weapon master. Weapon masters can be found in the major cities, each offering training in different weapon types. The full list is below.
|Weapon Master location||Weapon Skills available|
|Darnassus (around 57,46)||Staves|
|Stormwind (around 57,57)||Swords, Staves|
|Orgrimmar (around 81,19)||Staves|
|Thunder Bluff (41,62)||Staves|
7. Leveling Strategy as a Warlock
Leveling as a Warlock comes down to efficiency, both with your damage and with your resources. Warlocks have the unique advantage that their resources are essentially interchangeable through spells; you can use Drain Life to convert Mana to health and Life Tap to convert health to Mana. Your main goal as a Warlock should be to minimize downtime by letting your Voidwalker tank while you use your most efficient damage rotation, which is to put up Corruption, Curse of Agony, Siphon Life, and Immolate if you have the Mana, followed by just wanding the target to death. Your wand will be a high DPS option that does not use Mana, meaning you can passively regenerate Mana while wanding after not casting for 5 seconds. This sets you up for the next kills be only spending Mana on DoTs and passively regenerating the mana back before your next target. This is an extremely safe play style that is also consistent, and is why Warlocks are considered top tier levelers.
7.1. Advanced Tactic: Juggling
One of the largest issues that this setup faces is that your Voidwalker does not generate as much threat as you. You will rip off of it without the proper care to let it get aggro, which can get slow. This is mitigated by sending your pet to attack first, following up with DoTs which do not deal their full damage at once, then wanding to kill the enemy. One way you can solve this is by a practice known as juggling. There are two main types of juggling: fear juggling and Voidwalker juggling. Normally, enemies do not have any diminishing returns, so you can cast Fear as much as you want, and it will last the full duration each time. This is useful since you can DoT and enemy while it is feared, and then simply Fear it again once the fear breaks from the damage and it runs back. You can effectively "juggle" two enemies at once by alternating which one is feared and keeping DoTs on them both to kill them efficiently. You can improve this even further with Voidwalker juggling by letting your Voidwalker tank an enemy by himself while only putting DoTs up on it. With just your DoTs up your Voidwalker is more than fine to hold aggro, so you can let it slowly and efficiently kill one enemy while you deal with others yourself through fear juggling.
7.2. Alternate Builds
While the build discussed above is ideal for solo play, it is not the best when grouping with other players. If you can have another class like a Druid, Paladin, or Warrior tank enemies for you, you can focus on doing more damage instead of needing to rely on your Voidwalker. If you are in a group, it is almost always better to use your Imp for damage instead since your Imp will do much more damage than your Voidwalker. In that case, you can opt to pick up Improved Imp early on and spend more points in Affliction since Improved Imp is in the first row.
There is another build used for solo play that follows a similar strategy, known as "drain tanking." This build focuses on you as the Warlock tanking enemies, and makes heavy use of Drain Life to keep your health up. This build relies on Fel Concentration to allow you to use Drain Life while tanking, and if played optimally results in a very efficient play style that requires almost no downtime. This build also chooses to use either the Imp or Succubus for damage since they are both higher damage than you Voidwalker.
7.3. Class Quests
Warlocks will get many class quests from their trainers throughout their journey to 60, but there are only a few that you should go out of your way to do. At level 1 you should do your quest to get your Imp as soon as possible, which is a quest from your Warlock trainer in your starting zone that will be available from the moment that you create your character. Your start as a Warlock, regardless of race, should always be to vendor your food and water for the copper, use the copper to train Immolate at level 1, pick up your Imp quest, and go complete it. At level 10 you will want to get your Voidwalker by picking up the quest from your Warlock trainer and completing it. Lastly, you will want to get your mount at level 40 by doing the quest from any Warlock trainer.
8. Professions While Leveling
If your goal is to hit Level 60 as fast as possible, it is not recommended to pick up professions while leveling. However, some professions are very useful for either leveling or at Level 60, and can be worth the time investment while leveling. First Aid is a must have profession at max level due to Warlock's lack of self healing, and learning it early on can be useful while leveling. Herbalism, Mining, and Skinning all are great choices for making gold towards your first mount, and can also be useful for helping to level other important professions later on, such as taking Mining to help level Engineering.
If you want an easy early money making profession, you can pick up Skinning or Enchanting. Skinning is great since you can just skin enemies as you level with little loss in time, and you will reach 60 with tons of valuable leather that you will collect along the way. Enchanting is also great since you can disenchant early green items to level up and get the materials to make Lesser Magic Wand and eventually Greater Magic Wand. They both are highly sought after early on, and can make you some easy money in the first few days when people really want them and they are not yet commonly made.
- 29 Aug. 2019: Improved presentation of talent picks by level.
- 23 Aug. 2019: Page added.
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