Classic Warlock DPS Rotation, Cooldowns, and Abilities

Last updated on Nov 16, 2021 at 21:37 by Impakt 20 comments

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

If you were looking for TBC Classic content, please refer to our TBC Classic Warlock rotations:


Single Target Rotation

With the launch of the Season of Mastery, Warlocks can finally freely make use of their DoT spells to augment their normal rotation. Warlocks have a few high DPS DoT spells that would normally be worth casting, but previously they were restrained by the debuff limit. If you do not have to worry about the debuff limit, then you can potentially use Curse of Agony Icon Curse of Agony, Corruption Icon Corruption, Siphon Life Icon Siphon Life, and even Immolate Icon Immolate in your rotation. In raids, however, the only DoT spells worth maintaining are Corruption and Curse of Agony, but only if you do not need to apply another curse.

  1. If you are playing DS/Ruin, make sure you use Demonic Sacrifice Icon Demonic Sacrifice to sacrifice your Succubus for the buff before the fight.
  2. Apply and maintain your assigned curse.
  3. Apply and maintain Corruption Icon Corruption.
  4. Cast Shadow Bolt Icon Shadow Bolt.

The mandatory curses that should be maintained on every boss are Curse of the Elements Icon Curse of the Elements, Curse of Shadow Icon Curse of Shadow, and Curse of Recklessness Icon Curse of Recklessness. Occasionally, it is worth having a Warlock use Curse of Weakness Icon Curse of Weakness on the boss if paired with Improved Curse of Weakness Icon Improved Curse of Weakness and Amplify Curse Icon Amplify Curse, but it is very situational. You will want to consult with your raid leader and other Warlocks to determine who will be maintaining each curse.

As a small optimization, if an enemy is going to die before you can get another Shadow Bolt Icon Shadow Bolt off, you can instead use Searing Pain Icon Searing Pain into a Shadowburn Icon Shadowburn, or just use Shadowburn Icon Shadowburn if they are going to die within the next second.


AoE Rotation

For multiple targets that are not bosses, you can usually just use your DoT abilities like Corruption Icon Corruption on each of them and do your single target rotation otherwise. However, for mass AoE such as 5+ targets in an area, you will want to either use Hellfire Icon Hellfire or Rain of Fire Icon Rain of Fire. If it is safe for you to be in melee next to the mobs, and you are not in danger of dying, then Hellfire is the higher damage choice. But, Rain of Fire is a good alternative if being in melee is dangerous and you might die from taking the Hellfire damage. As a small optimization, you will want to use your instant cast DoT abilities such as Corruption Icon Corruption (with 5/5 in the talent) and Curse of Agony Icon Curse of Agony on the targets while you are moving, specifically while you are running into melee to get in position for Hellfire Icon Hellfire.



  • 16 Nov. 2021: Updated for Season of Mastery to reflect no debuff limit.
  • 23 Aug. 2019: Page added.
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