Affliction Warlock Shadowlands Leveling Guide From 1 to 60
When leveling up, you should always choose the piece of loot with the highest item level. If the item levels are equal, you should choose the piece with stats that are most favorable to your specialization. If your current item is an Heirloom, it should not be replaced.
Level by Level Rotation and Talents
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Talents to Level Up as an Affliction Warlock
Your first talent row unlocks at Level 15.
Your talent set up should be as follows.
- Level 15: Nightfall
- Level 25: Absolute Corruption
- Level 30: Burning Rush
- Level 35: Phantom Singularity
- Level 40: Mortal Coil
- Level 45: Haunt
- Level 50: Soul Conduit
Rotation to Level Up as an Affliction Warlock
Starting at Level 1, you only have one main attack ability: Shadow Bolt.
- Level 45 — Cast Haunt on cooldown, making use of its reset ability.
- Level 10 — maintain Agony on the target. Prioritise it over Corruption when tagging mobs.
- Level 13 — keep Unstable Affliction rolling on the target. Consider recasting it on dying enemies to gain 1 Shard in the process.
- Level 35 — Use Phantom Singularity as often as possible, prioritising multi-target situations.
- Level 2 — the first DoT becomes available Corruption, which should be used to tag and soften up multiple enemies whenever spamming few shadowbolts will not kill them quicker.
- Level 42 — Cast Summon Darkglare after having applied as many Damage over Time effect as possible.
- Level 11 — Malefic Rapture is the main Soul Shard spender both in single target and multitarget. To maximise its impact, cast it when you have the highest amount of periodic damage on targets.
- Level 27 — Seed of Corruption is unlocked, and is mostly used to spread Corruption on stacked targets to enable Malefic Rapture burst windows quicker.
In addition to these baseline abilities, there are a number of passive effects that you unlock throughout the leveling process that are worth knowing about:
- Level 10 — Mastery: Potent Afflictions increases the damage of Affliction specific abilities.
- Level 14 — Corruption becomes instant cast, increasing player mobility during leveling, and enabling smoother kiting if so desired.
- Level 28 — Agony can now ramp up to 10 stacks, increasing its damage substantially.
- Level 43 — Unstable Affliction now generates a Soul Shard if the target dies during its duration, allowing for a greater Soul Shard income.
- Level 48 — Soulstone enable to instantly resurrect a player.
- Level 56 — Unstable Affliction extend its duration from 16 to 21 seconds.
Affliction Warlock PvP Talents for Leveling
- Rot and Decay can be very useful in situations with high sustained damage intake. Combining this with Essence Drain greatly increases your survivability and sustainability and opens a lot of doors for soloing difficult content.
- Essence Drain stacks a damage reduction effect on enemies that are damaged by your Drain Life. You can reduce their damage by up to 25%, which is a large increase to your ability to survive and sustain.
- Bane of Shadows causes damage over time effects to strike an additional time for 20% of their original damage while active. This offers a little bit of extra burst damage on a short cooldown.
- Bane of Fragility unfortunately only works on players, so it offers little benefit in terms of leveling.
- Demon Armor substantially increases your survivability, allowing you to tank much more physical damage, should you choose to do so
- Soulshatter can also be situationally useful, particularly if you are leveling in a group, but requires you to properly play around the cooldown.
Pet Choice for Affliction Warlock Leveling
Summon Imp is your first available demon, but is best suited to Raid Environments. This pet is not particularly useful for leveling, but you have no choice for the early levels.
If you are leveling alone, Summon Voidwalker can be a helpful choice while leveling up, as it takes a lot of the pressure off you. Avoiding casting pushback can also increase leveling speed.
Summon Felhunter can be a good choice if you are leveling in a group, or venturing into dungeons. The extra interrupt is helpful for dealing with troublesome caster mobs.
- 30 Jun. 2021: Updated talents in the rotation.
- 28 Jun. 2021: Reviewed and approved for Patch 9.1.
- 09 Mar. 2021: Reviewed for Patch 9.0.5.
- 12 Oct. 2020: Guide added.
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