Hardcore Warlock Class Overview

Last updated on May 26, 2023 at 12:00 by Crix 2 comments

Warlocks are centered around casting damage over time spells and self healing, with very helpful tools and a pet to help them survive the Hardcore Challenge.

This guide is specifically directed towards using Warlock on Hardcore servers.


Hardcore Classic Warlock Overview

If you are curious about more general Hardcore tips that apply to not just Warlock checkout our Hardcore Classic Overview that includes tips and tricks that will greatly increase your chances of surviving.


Hardcore Warlock Strengths and Weaknesses

Strengths icon Strengths
  • +Your summoned demons can act as both an extra dps and a tank, removing a considerable amount of risk if managed well.
  • +Fear Icon Fear can save your life if used correctly.
  • +Very high damage.
Weaknesses icon Weaknesses
  • -Extremely immobile and vulnerable to slows in combat.
  • -Very Mana dependent and their primary source of Mana Regeneration, Life Tap Icon Life Tap, converts Health to Mana.
  • -Constant pet control is required.

Races for Warlock

In Classic World of Warcraft, only a couple of races on each faction can be a Warlock. Each has its own unique strengths when it comes to surviving the Hardcore Challenge.



  • Gnome — Gnomes are an amazing choice that comes with increased Intelligence, which is always good for a caster. Intellect increases your Mana and also increases Critical Hit chance with your spells. Not only that, but the other Gnome racial, Escape Artist Icon Escape Artist, removes root/slow effects and can get you out of many dangerous roots and slow that you will encounter while leveling. Gnomes also have increased Engineering skill, which is nice because Engineering is one of the best and safest professions for Warlocks in Hardcore. All of this combined makes for Gnome being the best option for race as a Warlock.
  • Human — Human lacks all of the helfpul racials that the Gnome has, but does have increased Spirit, which increases the regeneration rate of your Health and Mana.
  • Dwarf and Night Elves cannot be Warlocks.


  • Orc — Orc has a pretty powerful racial in Hardiness Icon Hardiness, which cannot be underestimated as it increases your chance to resist any kind of stunning ability by 25%. This can be lifesaving in many ways. Not only that, but Orcs pets also do 5% more damage, which as a pet class is pretty nice.
  • Undead — Undead have an extremely helpful on use racial ability that will break any Fear or Charm ability with Will of the Forsaken Icon Will of the Forsaken. This can come in handy many times while leveling. Undead also have Cannablize, which is exactly what it sounds like. You can eat Humanoid and Undead mobs to heal you for 7% of your maximum Health every 2 seconds for 10 seconds. This can come in handy as it is a nice heal that you'll be able to use frequently. Undead also can breath underwater, which can be helpful for the few quests that have you underwater for a long time to help you not worry about drowning. Undead also has some added Shadow Resistance.
  • Troll and Taurens cannot be Warlocks.

Stat Priority

Stamina > Intelligence > Spirit

As with everything in relation to Hardcore, you're looking to do all that you can to survive the Hardcore Challenge. In the case of stats, there's only one stat that aids you in survival, that being Stamina. Stamina gives you more Health, and that's all you want. Not only does it give you Health, but talents like Demonic Embrace and Soul Link fuel off your Stamina. Demonic Embraces increases your total Stamina by a total of 15%, and the more Stamina you have, the more this talent buffs it.

Intellect doesn't do too much for Warlocks. It gives you some more Mana as well as some more Crit, however an overwhelmingly large portion of your damage will come from DoTs (Damage-over-Time abilities) and DoT's cannot crit. Not only that, but Warlocks have Life Tap Icon Life Tap, which gives us Mana. Combine that with talents down the road like Siphon Life Icon Siphon Life, Improved Life Tap Icon Improved Life Tap and Dark Pact Icon Dark Pact, you really won't have any troubles with your Mana.

Spirit is also not important for Warlocks. You should always take the talent Demonic Embrace Icon Demonic Embrace, as it increases your total Stamina by a total of 15%, however it also reduces your total Spirit by a total of 5%. Do not ever give up Stamina for Spirit.


Talent Build/Rotation

Both Affliction and Demonology are very strong for leveling in the Hardcore Challenge, and both are generally really safe picks. Both specs are extremely strong and there's valid sides to which one is better. The safest build would put points into both trees, while going deeper into Demonology, as it has some talents that can be vital to your survival in Hardcore. Destruction, sadly, is by far the worst spec for Hardcore. You will be hard casting all your spells, which you will get constant knockback on your spell casting, as well as costing more Mana, making you have to sit and drink constantly. You also lack the defensives and self healing that you can obtain from Affliction and Demonology. It's highly suggested that you never play Destruction while leveling.



This is the talent build that is suggested if you are going to level as Demonology. Demonology is the safest build for Hardcore. Soul Link Icon Soul Link transfers 30% of all damage taken to your Voidwalker making it the best defensive ability in the game. You're Voidwalker is the demon of choice here and he is tanky thanks to Improved Voidwalker Icon Improved Voidwalker, which increases the effectiveness of all his skills by 30%, as well as increases the amount his Sacrifice IconSacrifice will absorb. Fel Stamina Icon Fel Stamina increases his maximum health by 15%, plus you have Improved Health Funnel Icon Improved Health Funnel for those times you have to heal him up. One of the biggest perks of Demonology is the talents Fel Domination Icon Fel Domination and Master Summoner Icon Master Summoner, which allows you to summon Demons much fast and can come in handy for when you need to emergency Sacrifice IconSacrifice. While your Voidwalker doesn't do as much damage as the Succubus, you do get Unholy Power Icon Unholy Power to buff his damage by 20%. The Voidwalker also has two taunts, a single taunt called Torment IconTorment and an AoE taunt called Suffering IconSuffering. Both are buffed via Improved Voidwalker Icon Improved Voidwalker and help out a ton. Lastly, thanks to your Voidwalker, Master Demonologist Icon Master Demonologist gives both you and your Voidwalker 10% reduction to physical damage taken. All of this combined makes this the safest build you could be.

Demonology Warlocks are the master of demons. Sitting comfortably and safely behind your Voidwalker as you DoT up our enemies and fill in the rest with either wanding or Drain Life Icon Drain Lifeing depending on if you need health or not. The first 5 points go into Improved Corruption Icon Improved Corruption for that instant cast Corruption Icon Corruption allowing you to cast it on the move. Then the rest of the points go in to Demonology until LV 51, where you then put 5 points into Improved Drain Life Icon Improved Drain Life so you can gain more Health when you Drain Life Icon Drain Life. The last few points can go into either Improved Curse of Agony Icon Improved Curse of Agony for more damage on your Curse of Agony Icon Curse of Agony or Fel Concentration Icon Fel Concentration to minimize pushback on your spells while casting and taking damage.



This is the build that is suggested if you're going to level as Affliction. Most point are in Affliction, however the 5 points into Demonic Embrace Icon Demonic Embrace is really good as it gives you 15% Stamina. The rest of the points go deep into Affliction until LV 50. After that it's wise to put the remainder of your points back into Demonology as the rest of the Affliction talents are pretty lackluster. Whereas you can put some points into Improved Healthstone Icon Improved Healthstone for larger heals on your Healthstones, Fel Intellect Icon Fel Intellect which gives your Succubus more mana, meaning that you get more value from Dark Pact Icon Dark Pact and then Fel Domination Icon Fel Domination which allows you to get a fast cast on your next summon demon spell. This can be really helpful if you need to quickly pull out a Voidwalker to Sacrifice IconSacrifice it.

Affliction Warlocks are the master of DoT's and insane healing. Talents like Improved Drain Soul Icon Improved Drain Soul, and Siphon Life Icon Siphon Life allow you to constantly be able to keep your health as high as you want it. Fel Concentration Icon Fel Concentration makes it so you don't get much pushback on your spells while you're Drain Lifing. Dark Pact Icon Dark Pact is great to give you mana, rather than having to Life Tap Icon Life Tap and take your own health. Affliction also has the major perk that their DoT's do 10% more damage than Demonology thanks to talents like Improved Curse of Agony Icon Improved Curse of Agony and Shadow Mastery Icon Shadow Mastery. Affliction also has the benefit of getting some extra hit rating with Suppression Icon Suppression and a instant casted Corruption Icon Corruption thanks to Improved Corruption Icon Improved Corruption. As for Suppression Icon Suppression, I personally don't take this talent early as I do not mind missing the occasional spell. If you die because you missed a Fear or a Drain Life, then you should not have been in the situation you were in in the first time. Feel free to put point into it earlier if you want the hit.

A common name and popular way to level is called Drain Tanking. This consists simply of you keeping your DoT's on the target and then either wanding, or Drain Life Icon Drain Lifeing depending on if you need Health or not. Thanks for Siphon Life Icon Siphon Life, Improved Drain Life Icon Improved Drain Life and Fel Concentration Icon Fel Concentration you can consistantly sit and Drain Life Icon Drain Life without any knockbacks and easily keep your health up while you tank the enemy.

As for the Affliction Demon, some choose to use Voidwalker because you'll have access to a large Sacrifice IconSacrifice, giving you a huge absorbtion shield. Others choose to use the Succubus due to the higher damage potential compared to all of your other demons. The Succubus also works best with the Drain Tanking build, as this grants a larger Mana pool you'll have access to, and since the Succubus deals melee damage, you gain much more value out of Dark Pact Icon Dark Pact.

For a detailed route on how to spend each of your talent points while leveling check out our Warlock talent build guide specifically for leveling. This page also includes an Warlock specifically priority list of how to deal maximum damage while leveling.



Professions are extremely important for not just Warlocks, but for anyone in Hardcore. They do a range of things from providing extra damage, boosting your damage via buffs or providing you with items that can get you out of any sticky situation. When it comes to which professions are the best for Warlock, both Engineering and Alchemy are great. You have the option of pairing them with their gathering profession, for example Engineering would require materials that you'd need to be Mining to get, and Alchemy requires you to pick herbs via Herbalism. However you are allowed to use the auction house on the Official Hardcore server, making it exponentially easy to get the materials, if you don't want to farm them yourself. To make it even easier, you can simply choose to go Engineering, and just buy all the potions and elixirs that Alchemy would provide from the auction house or from trading another player with the Alchemy profession. This allows you to get all the amazing perks of Enchanting, while still getting the perks of Alchemy.

If you're SSF - Solo Self Found - meaning you are not using the auction house or trading, then below will be a brief breakdown on the profession pairings.


First Aid, Cooking and Fishing

These are all secondary professions, so you can get them without gettign in the way of your two major professions that we're about to talk about. You should always be First Aid and keep your bandages up to date. It's easy for Warlocks to get bandages off since you have a pet tanking for you. Fishing and Cooking are great for some extra stat buffs, however in my opinion doesn't feel worth the time sink since you have so many defensives and self heals as a Warlock. But feel free use them if you want.


Mining and Engineering

Mining and Engineering is the best option for Warlocks. It provides the most safety out of the out of the professions as well as a decent amount of extra damage with all the grenades and bombs. Target Dummy Icon Target Dummy is a usable item that will instantly redirect threat to it, causing mobs to stop attacking you for either 15 seconds or until it dies. This is a get out of jail free card. Between your pet tanking and this, you should have no issue surviving or escaping any situation.


Herbalism and Alchemy

Herbalism and Alchemy is a great pairing of professions, as it will allow you to make consumable potions that not only give you a burst of health in an emergency situation, but also offer considerable stat increases and the occasionally solution to a niche situation. You get potions that give you Shadow Damage, Defense, Stamina Hp5 and many more. The only downside to this profession being the time you must invest to harvest your own materials via Herbalism.


Tailoring and Enchanting

Many Warlocks choose to go Tailoring and Enchanting in order to obtain their wands early, as wands are quite strong in the early game. Lesser Magic Wand Icon Lesser Magic Wand and Greater Magic Wand Icon Greater Magic Wand. The only way to obtain them is to farm the materials and make it yourself. A typical profession route is to pick up Tailoring and Enchanting until you can craft both wands, then drop these two professions for a set of the previous one mentioned. In terms of Tailoring while you level, it is nice to make your own bags and even to make gear while you level. This is especially nice because you will eventually be able to craft gear with +Shadow Damage on it.

If you are curious about the most efficient way to level your professions, or would like a list of many of the useful items you can craft, make sure to check out our Classic Profession guides listed below.


Warlock Specific Tips for Hardcore

Warlocks are a pet class, meaning pet management is key to your survival as a Warlock in the Hardcore Challenge. No matter which pet you use, it's wise to have your pet's abilities on a comfortable keybind that you can remember. You should also always have your pet set to Passive, otherwise he'll pull stuff you did not mean to agro Your pet Attack, Follow and Stay should be on the easiest keybinds imaginable. You should easily be able to send your pet and call him back to you at a moments notice. You never know when more mobs will spawn after sending your pet in and you may need to call it back before they're able to agro onto it. Also, each pet has its own main abilites that you will find yourself using frequently. A Voidwalker, for example, has a Sacrifice IconSacrifice that should be on an easy to reach keybind as it will save your life often.

Probably the biggest tip specifically for Warlock is Curse of Recklessness Icon Curse of Recklessness. This spell will make it so any target that is running away from you will get stopped in its tracks the instant you apply this curse. This is a very big deal, as some mobs will run away when they are at low health. When they do, they run into more mobs and pull them, resulting in your death. More importantly a focus of Warlock gameplay is Fear Icon Fear which can cause mobs to pull extra mobs. I've seen countless Warlocks die this way. You can Fear juggle mobs by fearing, then when they get too far away or about to pull more mobs, you put up a Curse of Recklessness and the mob will run back to you. Then when it gets back to you, you can put up any other curse to make him continue running away in fear. It takes some practice, but once you get it down, it can be a lifesaver.

Even tho you're a pet class, don't expect your pet to tank the mobs off you forever. The Voidwalker is the only demon that can hold some threat, as this pet comes with two taunts. However, you it is still pretty easy to pull threat off Voidwalker. It's important to know which of your abilites does the most threat. If you Shadow Bolt Icon Shadow Bolt right when you pull a mob, don't expect your Voidwalker to keep the threat. Immolate Icon Immolate is an amazing ability that does some up front damage, followed by a lingering DoT. This generates a decent threat amount of threat upfront, on top of the fact it can also crit. Don't underestimate the DoT, it too does a fair bit of damage on its own. This makes Immolate your second highest threat spell. After that you have Corruption Icon Corruption and Curse of Agony Icon Curse of Agony which are both full DoT spells that tick after 3 seconds. The only difference being that Agony is a ramping DoT, meaning it does next to no damage on the first few ticks, but does a ton of damage on the last few ticks. This is my favorite spell to open with, as the threat it generates is miniscule at first.

A common way to level with Voidwalker is to pull two mobs at the same time, putting your DoT's up both and then letting your pet tank one, while you tank the other.


Duo Leveling

Many people are enjoying Classic Hardcore by duo leveling. Warlock is a class that shines when paired with almost any another class. But the classes that can heal allow Warlocks to be able to pull mobs non stop with the endless cycle that is Life Tap Icon Life Tap Included below is a list of the most popular/effective class duos and their strengths/weaknesses!



  • 26 May 2023: Guide added.
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