Affliction Warlock Patch 9.1 Changes Analysis

Last updated on Jan 15, 2024 at 15:00 by Motoko 40 comments
General Information

On this page, we tell you how the Patch 9.1 changes for Affliction Warlock affect the spec and what the current state of theorycrafting is.


Affliction Warlock in Patch 9.1.5: Chains of Domination

Affliction was untouched by Patch 9.1.5 changes, at least directly. The AoE target cap being lifted for other specialisation just reduces the edge Affliction, among other specs, had in those scenarios. It is worth remembering that regardless of diminishing return applied at 5 or 8 targets for specific spells, the softcap for the vast majority of abilities remains at 20 targets at which point increasing the number of targets will not increase the total damage, but rather redistribute the value even across all targets.

For the list of changes to the entire Warlock class, and an overview of the content coming in Patch 9.1.5 please refer to our dedicated pages below.


Base Spec Changes for Patch 9.1

The Malefic Rapture Icon Malefic Rapture nerf combined with the Agony Icon Agony and Corruption Icon Corruption buffs and the introduction of a new Withering Bolt Icon Withering Bolt Potency Conduit seem to promote a different usage of Malefic Rapture Icon Malefic Rapture by reducing its burst potential in favor of a higher sustained output.

When paired with Malefic Wrath Icon Malefic Wrath, Affliction's damage profile changes to a Shadow Bolt Icon Shadow Bolt/Drain Soul Icon Drain Soul-centric rotation by using Malefic Rapture Icon Malefic Rapture as a buffer to amplify the damage of your filler spells to extreme values.

As a result, this playstyle sacrifices mobility and requires a higher degree of uptime on the target to get the most out of it whereas previously Affliction Warlock enjoyed fairly high mobility outside burst windows while not suffering drastic damage losses from unpredictable movements.

Haunt Icon Haunt and Shadow Embrace Icon Shadow Embrace damage amplification now affect main pet and Summon Darkglare Icon Summon Darkglare too.


Best Talents in Patch 9.1.5 for Affliction Warlock

Shadow Embrace Icon Shadow Embrace being positioned in the Haunt Icon Haunt row offers some meaningful choices in terms of what to pick, with both options being extremely close in terms of output.

Haunt Icon Haunt favors situations where single-target or quick-swapping is needed, but on the other hand, Shadow Embrace Icon Shadow Embrace allows for multiple applications of the debuff resulting in a higher potential damage in situations where additional targets will last a non-trivial amount of time. Shadow Embrace Icon Shadow Embrace also does not require extra GCDs for the upkeep meaning it could be the default choice with Malefic Wrath Icon Malefic Wrath and eventually the Necrolord Covenant.

Seed of Corruption Icon Seed of Corruption's buff also means Sow the Seeds Icon Sow the Seeds is much more valuable and will probably result in Vile Taint Icon Vile Taint being eclipsed from the choices in that row unless extremely specific situations arise.


Best Legendary in Patch 9.1.5 for Affliction Warlock

The cumulative changes seem to consolidate Malefic Wrath Icon Malefic Wrath as the top choice for single-target.

Night Fae Decaying Soul Satchel Icon Decaying Soul Satchel is a very strong multitarget choice for the spec, dethroning both Relic of Demonic Synergy Icon Relic of Demonic Synergy and Perpetual Agony of Azj'Aqir Icon Perpetual Agony of Azj'Aqir when 3 or more targets can be cleaved with the Covenant ability Soul Rot Icon Soul Rot

The Sacrolash's Dark Strike Icon Sacrolash's Dark Strike nerf practically removes its relevance as the mass AoE slow with unlimited duration niche it had in the past (when coupled with Absolute Corruption Icon Absolute Corruption).


Best Covenant in Patch 9.1.5 for Affliction Warlock

Night Fae cement their position as the best covenant choice for Affliction by a decent margin, offering unmatched performance and a flexibility in terms of Soulbinds and multi-specialisation capability. Number-wise Kyrian come second but at the expense of having only 1 appealing Soulbind option in Pelagos.



  • 01 Nov. 2021: Updated for Patch 9.1.5.
  • 13 Jul. 2021: Removed PTR disclaimer.
  • 27 Jun. 2021: baseline changes, legendary and covenant recommendations updated.
  • 05 May 2021: Page created.
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