Classic Warlock DPS Guide
Welcome to our Warlock DPS guide for WoW Classic, tailored for PvE content. Here, you will learn how all you need to know to play the Warlock class as DPS. Click the links below to navigate the guide or read this page for a short introduction.
Warlocks are the masters of demonic energy, able to summon demons and use dark magic on their foes. Whether it is placing curses on your enemies or shooting powerful bursts of shadow or fire magic, Warlocks are exceptionally strong damage dealers with a large toolkit. Warlocks have a wide variety of unique spells that give a strong sense of class identity while giving you strong utility options. Spells like Ritual of Summoning and Create Soulstone allow you to do things that no one else can do, making you vital to any group composition. You also have your demons, each with their own set of abilities, many of which are incredibly powerful in both PvE and PvP.
- Strong levelers, both solo and in a group
- Strong damage for both AoE and single target
- Unique utility, especially with the ability to summon
- Powerful debuffs that are required in raids
- Extremely durable in PvP due to Sacrifice
- High competition for gear
- Lots of "chores", specifically farming Soul Shard
- Shadow Bolt can be partially resisted
- Generates tons of threat compared to other DPS
Best Horde Races for Warlocks
Horde races are very even, and you are free to choose between both Orc and Undead based on whichever sounds more appealing. Neither offers any meaningful benefit in PvE, but both offer their own powerful PvP racial abilities.
Overview of Horde Races for Warlocks
- Will of the Forsaken is a 2-minute cooldown that makes your immune to all Fear, Sleep, and Charm effects for 5 seconds. This will also break you out of any current effects.
- Cannibalize is a 2-minute cooldown that lets you channel to consume a nearby corpse, regenerating 7% of your total health every 2 seconds for 10 seconds for a total of 35% health.
- Underwater Breathing allows you to breath underwater for 300% longer than normal.
- Shadow Resistance increases your shadow resistance by 10.
While Undead do not offer a straight damage increase, they are a popular choice for Warlocks for good reason. Will of the Forsaken is considered to be one of the strongest PvP racial abilities in the game, allowing you to effectively counter other Warlocks, Priests, or anyone who uses one of these effects as a control ability. Additionally, sometimes there are fear abilities from bosses (such as in Onyxia's Lair) that allow you to immune them, meaning you can avoid a mechanic and do extra damage instead.
- Axe Specialization increases your skill with Axes by 5, which increases your chance to hit and lowers your chance to be parried or deal a glancing blow with axes.
- Blood Fury is a 2-minute cooldown that increases your base melee Attack Power by 25% for 15 seconds and reduces healing effects on you by 50% for 25 seconds.
- Command increases your pet damage dealt by 5%.
- Hardiness increases your chance to resist stuns by 25%.
Orcs are about even with Undead for both PvP and PvE, meaning you can choose whichever one you like more. While Undead have Will of the Forsaken, Orcs have Hardiness, which is also considered to be one of the most powerful PvP racial abilities in the game. The ability to sometimes immune stuns is amazing against anyone with a stun, specifically against Rogues. For PvP the choice of race comes down to what you would prefer to be better against, Fears or Stuns. In PvE Command provides a small marginal benefit if you have a pet, but that will only be the case with the SM/Ruin build, which most Warlocks will not use.
Best Alliance Races for Warlocks
The best Warlock Alliance race for both PvE and PvP is Gnome.
Gnomes offer Expansive Mind for 5% more intellect, making Gnome the best race in the game for Warlocks in PvE. No other racial offers a meaningful damage increase making PvE an easy choice. For PvP, Gnomes also have Escape Artist, which allows you to get out of roots and snares. This is an incredibly useful ability for PvP against abilities like Entangling Roots and Frost Nova, and is going to offer you a significant advantage compared to Human's Perception. Additionally Gnome's Engineering Specialization lets you get a max rank of 315 in Engineering, making your Arcanite Dragonling more powerful when used, which is a bonus in PvP.
Overview of Alliance Races for Warlocks
- Expansive Mind increases your Intellect by 5%.
- Escape Artist is a 1-minute cooldown that lets you escape any root, snare, or slow when used.
- Engineering Specialization increases your Engineering skill by 15.
- Arcane Resistance increases your arcane resistance by 10.
Expansive Mind is a strong passive for both PvE and PvP, increasing your Mana pool and spell crit chance through your Intellect. Engineering Specialization is also worth mentioning since Engineering is the most popular and most powerful profession in the game. Lastly Escape Artist is a powerful tool in PvP, which can save your life while being kited or trying to kite someone who is slowing or rooting you.
- The Human Spirit increases your Spirit by 5%.
- Diplomacy increases your reputation earned by 10%.
- Sword Specialization increases your skill with Swords by 5.
- Mace Specialization increases your skill with Maces by 5.
- Perception is a 3-minute cooldown that greatly increases your Stealth detection for 20 seconds when used.
Humans do not offer any benefit for Warlocks in PvE, but do offer Perception for PvP. However, Perception can be hard to use since you need to predict when a target is Stealthed nearby and is not up all of the time.
Best Professions for Warlocks
The best profession to have as a Warlock is Engineering. It provides powerful items that you can use in both PvE and PvP content to either deal damage or help you get out of a tough spot. For more information on what Engineering can offer, you can check out our Engineering Guide.
Tailoring is another great choice for Warlocks. There are several great items that are crafted through Tailoring, making it a useful profession early on when you are trying to gear. You also will want Tailoring for later in Zul'Gurub when your can make the Bloodvine Vest set, which is an incredibly powerful caster set.
While Engineering and Tailoring are great professions, the likely more important thing to think about is how you plan to make gold. Gold is incredibly important in WoW Classic for a number of reasons and will be quite hard to come by, especially at the start. Check out the Warlock Goldmaking section for more information on other potential professions for making gold.
- 06 Aug. 2020 (gear page): Reworked for Phase 5 BiS with alternatives.
- 17 Jul. 2020 (gear page): Added link to AQ BiS.
- 18 May 2020 (enchants page): Updated with current World Buffs as of Phase 4.
- 14 Apr. 2020 (enchants page): Updated with Zul'Gurub enchants.
- 14 Apr. 2020 (gear page): Updated for Zul'Gurub.
- 13 Mar. 2020 (gear page): Updated with Arathi Basin gear.
- 12 Feb. 2020 (gear page): Guide revamped for Phase 3.
- 10 Dec. 2019 (gear page): Added link to PvP BiS page.
- 05 Nov. 2019 (gear page): Added Raid BiS list.
- 22 Oct. 2019 (gear page): Updated Pre-Raid BiS to include Dire Maul.
- 23 Aug. 2019 (gear page): Page added.
- 23 Aug. 2019 (enchants page): Page added.
- 23 Aug. 2019 (stats page): Page added.
- 23 Aug. 2019 (rotation page): Page added.
- 23 Aug. 2019 (talents page): Page added.
- 23 Aug. 2019 (spells page): Page added.
- 23 Aug. 2019 (this page): Guide added.
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