Classic Warlock PvP Guide
This guide will walk you through everything you need to know to play a Warlock in a PvP environment in WoW Classic, with a focus on Battlegrounds but also including World PvP and Dueling. The guide will cover everything from talent choices, gameplay and rotation, and useful racial bonuses.
Warlocks are excellent in all forms of PvP, but dueling is where they are arguably the best in the game. With strong DoTs, a multitude of control spells, Drain Mana, Drain Life, and Sacrifice, Warlocks are able to dish out consistent heavy damage without being in danger. You can use Sacrifice to survive heavy burst, keep melee away with Fear, Howl of Terror, and Death Coil, and win a prolonged fight with range DPS by draining their mana.
Note that we do not cover gear on this page and it is instead covered in our dedicated gear and BiS page for Warlocks in PvP below.
Warlock Talent Builds for PvP
Unlike raid builds, there is lots of room for personal preference in what build you want to play in PvP. All three specs have great talents for PvP in their respective trees, making all thee specs viable in PvP. There are many viable builds that mix and match powerful talents from each tree, but we will focus on some of the most popular. Do not be afraid to change these however you want to mix and match talents based on the play style that you want.
Affliction - SM/Ruin
This build is quite popular for PvP early on because it is also one of the best PvE builds. This allows you to do both PvP and PvE at a high level without needing to change talents back and forth, which is important early on when you are trying to save gold. As you might expect from a PvE viable build, this spec is all about damage. This is a great battleground spec since your main priority is using Corruption, Siphon Life, and Curse of Agony, and then killing people with Nightfall procs. You can dish out large burst damage with Shadow Bolt if you can get the cast off, but DoTs are going to be your main source of damage as in most PvP builds. Use Amplify Curse with Curse of Agony for a powerful damage combo on a stronger target as well. This build is great in battlegrounds and in the open world where you can run around using your instant cast DoTs, meaning you can kite melee easily while ranged cannot kite you. Do not forget to make use of Curse of Exhaustion as well for when you need to keep someone slowed. Thanks to Fel Concentration you can also make use of Drain Life and Drain Mana, even if people are attacking you.
Demonology - SL/Nightfall
This build is meant to play similarly to SM/Ruin, but is designed to be much more durable due to Soul Link and Master Demonologist. This build is excellent for dueling, and is considered one of the strongest dueling builds in the game. Your goal is to make use of your Soul Link and Sacrifice from your Voidwalker to survive against anyone while your DoTs whittle away at the target, with Nightfall procs to help you burst them down. Fel Domination is another incredibly important defensive cooldown since it gives you access to a second Voidwalker when you need it by making the cast short enough to get off in combat without someone stopping it.
Destruction - Conflagrate
While the other Warlock specs are designed for DoT damage, Destruction is made for burst. This build revolves around fire damage, specifically what you get from Immolate, Searing Pain, Conflagrate, and Soul Fire. Shadowburn is also an important finisher you have to help kill low players. The main damage combo that you will want to be setting up is locking down a target into a Soul Fire + Conflagrate combo. If you are using a Succubus, you can Seduction the target into standing still. While they are charmed, cast a Soul Fire, Immolate, and immediately a Conflagrate. If done correctly, they can all 3 hit at the same time for an insane amount of burst damage, which can be enough to instantly kill an unsuspecting player with a lucky crit. Searing Pain into Shadowburn is a great finishing combo for anyone still alive.
PvP Gameplay Tips for Warlocks
Playing Against Melee
As stated above, Warlocks are excellent at control. Make heavy use of Fear, Howl of Terror, and Death Coil to get them off you while keeping them riddled with DoTs to tick them down. Voidwalkers are an excellent choice against melee like Rogues where burst damage is the main threat, since you can use Sacrifice to mitigate most of the burst. Curse of Exhaustion is an excellent choice if you have it, and especially as SM/Ruin or SL/Ruin you can just run around keeping DoTs up while you kite them, using Nightfall procs as they come up. The goal of any Warlock fight is to make it an endurance fight since you will always win.
Playing Against Ranged
Against ranged, you should be using either a Voidwalker for the Sacrifice or a Felhunter for the Devour Magic and Spell Lock. The key of the fight is going to be endurance, which comes down to mana. You will want to keep DoTs rolling, but be making heavy use of Drain Mana to get them out of mana as quickly as possible. Casters are not dangerous when they cannot cast spells, and with Life Tap and Drain Life you should be able to last longer than them in an endurance fight. Another key is wands. Wanding your opponent is an excellent mana free source of damage, and if you are low on resources can be a great way to dish out extra damage in a close fight. Do not forget about Curse of Tongues as well, which can be devastating to casters like Mages who need to cast lots of their spells.
Consumables for PvP as a Warlock
Consumables are an important part of PvP in Classic. While they are not required, and especially as a Warlock you can win fights without them, they definitely will give you the edge in fights. If you use as many consumables as possible all the time, you will quickly drive yourself bankrupt, but having some of the more important ones in your bags for when you really need to win an important fight is highly recommended. Some of the most important consumables for PvP are listed below:
- Major Healing Potion
- Major Mana Potion
- Heavy Runecloth Bandage
- Limited Invulnerability Potion
- Free Action Potion
- Living Action Potion
- Invisibility Potion
- Swiftness Potion
- Magic Dust
- Clutch of Foresight
- Wail of the Banshee
Noggenfogger Elixir is also a popular consumable used for PvP. When you drink it, it will do one of three things: make you smaller, turn you into a skeleton, or cast a slow fall spell on you. The shrink effect can be useful to make it harder for players to see and target you, and the slow fall can allow to jump off high places and not die, while attackers will not be able to follow.
Limited Invulnerability Potion, often called "LIP", and Free Action Potion, often called "FAP", are especially powerful. They can easily save a fight against a melee when used properly.
Engineering is a powerful profession for PvP. There are many consumables and trinkets that are very strong in PvP, which is why Engineering is such a common profession for PvP focused players. Some of the useful consumables and items from Engineering as listed below.
- Arcanite Dragonling
- Dense Dynamite
- Goblin Sapper Charge
- Goblin Land Mine
- Dark Iron Bomb
- Iron Grenade
- Thorium Grenade
- 10 Dec. 2019: Added link to PvP gear and BiS page.
- 23 Aug. 2019: Page added.
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