Affliction Warlock Essences — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.3
On this page, we go over the Essence system in Patch 8.3 of World of Warcraft — Battle for Azeroth, and we tell you which are the best essences to use as Affliction Warlock, both for minor and major powers. Please refer to our Patch 8.3 Essence Guide for more information about the new essences introduced in Patch 8.3 and to our Essence guide for more general information about the Essence system and where Essences can be obtained from.
Azerite Essences for Affliction Warlocks
Introduced in Patch 8.2, Essences are unique items that drop from various forms of content. They are activated through your Heart of Azeroth, and they buff your character in various ways, depending on the Essences that are currently active.
For more information about essences, please check out the following:
- our Essence Guide, with all the essences and how to get them;
- our article on the new essences from Patch 8.3;
- our list of Patch 8.3 essence changes.
What follows on this page will relate directly to how Essences affect this spec, since generic information is beyond the scope of this guide.
Choosing Essences as an Affliction Warlock
Each Essence has 4 different ranks. While the last rank is purely cosmetic, previous ones can have a noticeable increase in power, thus determining if a certain Essence at a higher rank is your best available option at a given time.
Essences powers scale with Heart of Azeroth item level.
Simulations through Raidbots or done locally can help you decide your best trait, but some degree of critical thinking is required beyond just picking the highest ranking Essence.
- Condensed Life-Force ( Condensed Life-Force) for single-target
- The Crucible of Flame ( Concentrated Flame) if you do not have already Condensed Life-Force
- Essence of the Focusing Iris ( Focused Energy) for stacked multi targets
- Breath of the Dying ( Lethal Strikes) when you unlock Rank 3
- The Crucible of Flame ( Ancient Flame)
- Conflict and Strife ( Strife)
- The Unbound Force ( Reckless Force) as a replacement if you do not have one of the above
For AoE situations consider swapping the first 2 essences with the following.
General Essences Recommendation
Worldvein Resonance ( Worldvein Resonance + Lifeblood) is a well-rounded option for both single- and multi-target situations. With multiple users, you can achieve 100% uptime on 4 stacks and cover any possible movement requirement. It may not be a good option for open world activities since you tend to travel a lot. With 8.3, when you use the major you gain 4 times the primary stat you would otherwise, and at neck level 80 that translates into 4,800 Intellect for 18 seconds every minute, which could be competitive when paired with Strive for Perfection and 1 Dreadful Calling if you can manage a 2 minutes Summon Darkglare; otherwise, in a default situation, it is generally worse than Condensed Life-Force.
If a bigger burst every 2 minutes is required, Memory of Lucid Dreams ( Memory of Lucid Dreams + Lucid Dreams) allows you to pump out more Unstable Afflictions under Dark Soul: Misery. Another option is Vision of Perfection ( Vision of Perfection + Strive for Perfection), coupled with at least 1 Dreadful Calling bringing Summon Darkglare's cooldown closer to 2.4 minutes.
For AoE scenarios or in Mythic+, Essence of the Focusing Iris ( Focused Azerite Beam + Focused Energy) offers higher damage per activation, however maintaining stacks in a multi-target situations can be difficult due to a relative short-duration buff. Consider running Purification Protocol ( Purifying Blast + Purification Protocol), if you do not feel comfortable with the Essence of the Focusing Iris's minor power or you think you can leverage the 10% damage increase for each dead targets during Purification Protocol's major power activation.
The new Essence introduced in Patch 8.3, Breath of the Dying ( Reaping Flames + Lethal Strikes), may look appealing at first glance, especially as a replacement for The Crucible of Flame in a situation with multiple low-health adds, however in practice even in the best possible scenario the issue is the GCD competition: in a relatively busy spec like Affliction, where you want to cast multiple spells for each new target, adding yet another one may not result in a gain net (similarly to how Siphon Life is not used in multitarget or AoE). Its minor is, however, extremely good in single target situations.
Essence Rankings for Affliction Warlock
Once you unlock Rank 3, it suddenly becomes the best option by a long margin. Condensed Life-Force's major power, Guardian of Azeroth, lines up naturally with your Summon Darkglare enabling eye-watering 20 seconds burst windows every 3 minutes, further amplified by its minor's, Condensed Life-Force, damage increase.
Essence of the Focusing Iris
At Rank 2, this is your best option in single target, but whenever there are multiple targets, Essence of the Focusing Iris's major power, Focused Azerite Beam, is what you are looking for: a very hard hitting channel every 1.5 minutes.
Its minor power, Focused Energy, is a powerful complementary power that gives you valuable haste, often chosen as minor.
The Crucible of Flame
Tied for your best pick at Rank 2, The Crucible of Flame's major power, Concentrated Flame, becomes your best general option if you do not have access to Condensed Life-Force Rank 3. The addition of a second charge gives more flexibility and bigger burst when needed.
Breath of the Dying's Minor: Lethal Strikes Rank 3
Breath of the Dying is a new Patch 8.3 Essence that is mostly appealing for its minor power, Lethal Strikes, which on top of giving extra corruption resistance, thus enabling you to wear more corrupted gear, also provides a very strong single target damage proc with increased chance to proc if the target is in execute range.
Worldvein Resonance's Minor: Lifeblood Rank 3
The minor, however, lets you retain all the benefits without sacrificing a major slot. Consider running this minor as first choice whenever you are doing group content with at least 3 more wearers and there is relatively low movement involved so you can have high uptime.
Rank 3 increases the radius from 8 yards to 12 yards, making the minor much more usable in actual encounters.
Essence notes for Affliction Warlock
- Blood of the Enemy's major power ( Blood of the Enemy) requires you to be in melee range in order to benefit from the increased critical strike chance on targets. Its minor power ( Blood-Soaked) is one of the strongest available. It has no internal cooldown and procs off every instance of damage that crits, which means AoE spells that crits on multiple targets will give you multiple stacks. Being a DoT spec, Affliction has a high number of damage instances per minute, even in single-target situations, allowing you to reliably reach 40 stacks in 1 minute or less.
- Condensed Life-force's major power ( Guardian of Azeroth) lines up naturally with Summon Darkglare further increasing the 3-minute burst. Each shard from both the major power and the minor power ( Condensed Life-Force) applies a 6 second debuff increasing all damage you do to that target, stacking with Unstable Affliction passive 10% damage increase.
- Conflict and Strife (major power: Conflict, minor power: Strife) enables the passive Endless Affliction, which has been reworked in 8.2
- Essence of the Focusing Iris's major power ( Focused Azerite Beam) has an initial cast followed by a channel that does all the damage. Its minor power ( Focused Energy) grants you a buff on spell impact, Affliction being one of the best specs to maintain that buff with DoT applications.
- Memory of Lucid Dreams's major power ( Memory of Lucid Dreams) allows for a bigger Unstable Afflictions burst during Dark Soul: Misery. Its minor power ( Lucid Dreams) often results in a handful of extra shard each minute.
- Purification Protocol's major power ( Purifying Blast) becomes strong once you can leverage the 10% damage buff for each target dying during its effect. Its minor power ( Purification Protocol) is rather mediocre unless it hits Aberrations.
- Ripple in Space's major power ( Ripple in Space) works like a 2-second delayed Blink with a bit of damage, rather unappealing as Warlock in general, considering we have both Demonic Gateway and Demonic Circle. Its minor power ( Reality Shift) can be procced by using Demonic Circle and Demonic Gateway, as well as by moving for more than 25 yards in 4 seconds since you last cast a spell.
- The Crucible of Flame's major power ( Concentrated Flame) is a straightforward single-target damaging spell, on a 30-second cooldown. Its minor power ( Ancient Flame) is one of the strongest (if not the strongest) option for single-target situations.
- The Unbound Force's major power ( The Unbound Force) is rather underwhelming unless you can sync it with its minor power. Its minor power ( Reckless Force) seems to have around 40-50% proc chance off your non crits. Depending on the situation, you can probably sync it with Phantom Singularity.
- Vision of Perfection's major power ( Vision of Perfection) does not really have a big impact on Affliction, due to the reduced 2-second DoT extension you get from additional Darkglares. Its minor power ( Strive for Perfection), coupled with Dreadful Calling can bring Summon Darkglare's cooldown close to 2 minutes in a multi-target situation.
- Worldvein Resonance's major power ( Worldvein Resonance) allows you to maintain high stacks after moving. Its minor power ( Lifeblood) allows you to benefit from the main stat increase at the expense of relying on other people when movements is required, if you take the major power of another essence.
Essence Comparison Simulations for Affliction Warlocks
As with all simulations provided in our guides, they only provide a general guideline.Please use Raidbots.com to sim your own character.
Single-Target Esssence Simulations for Affliction Warlock
Major Essences for Affliction Warlock
Minor Essences for Affliction Warlock
AoE Esssence Simulations for Affliction Warlock
Major Essences for Affliction Warlock
Minor Essences for Affliction Warlock
- 14 Jan. 2020: Updated for Patch 8.3.
- 15 Jul. 2019: Updated Essence recommendations.
- 25 Jun. 2019: Page created.
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