Classic Warlock DPS Rotation, Cooldowns, and Abilities

Last updated on Aug 23, 2019 at 12:29 by Impakt 19 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

Warlocks have a few high DPS DoT spells that would normally be worth casting, but sadly cannot be due to the debuff limit. If you do not have to worry about the debuff limit, then you can 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, you will need to limit your debuff usage, meaning you are limited to using Shadow Bolt Icon Shadow Bolt as your main damaging ability.

  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 if allowed.
  4. Cast Shadow Bolt Icon Shadow Bolt.

Whether or not you are allowed to cast Corruption Icon Corruption will be up to your raid group, since debuff slots are limited and usually planned out ahead of time. If there are more than 3-4 Warlocks in your raid, then chances are some of you might not be allowed to use it.

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.



  • 23 Aug. 2019: Page added.
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