Affliction Warlock DPS Guide — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.1

Last updated on Feb 11, 2019 at 18:04 by Motoko 94 comments

Welcome to our Affliction Warlock guide for World of Warcraft — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.1. Here, you will learn how to play as an Affliction Warlock in both raids and Mythic+ dungeons: from the very beginning to maximizing your DPS.

1. Affliction Warlock Overview

Affliction Warlocks excel at sustaining high single-target and multiple-target damage. Most of your damage comes from the application of harmful damage over time effects (DoTs). This allows them to effectively cleave on targets that are spread around an area, something many specializations struggle with or are flat out unable to do. Just like the other Warlock specializations, Affliction Warlocks bring the Demonic Gateway Icon Demonic Gateway ability to the raid, which can be an invaluable mobility cooldown.

2. Patch 8.1 Changes for Affliction Warlock

3. Patch 8.0.1 Changes for Affliction Warlock

  • Many talents were removed, or saw major changes in 8.0 — see the talents page for additional information.
  • Summon Doomguard was removed.
  • The Mana costs of a variety of spells were altered due to the removal of Life Tap and Mana based gameplay. Most core gameplay abilities now cost significantly less base Mana, so you will never run dry performing the normal rotation. Utility abilities and crowd control now cost more Mana than before, however, so you will need to be careful in PvP.
  • The former Level 75 Talents (Demon Skin Icon Demon Skin, Burning Rush Icon Burning Rush, and Dark Pact Icon Dark Pact) have been moved to the Level 45 Tier. Dark Pact and Demon Skin have both been slightly nerfed.
  • Soul Conduit Icon Soul Conduit has been reduced to a 15% chance per Soul Shard spent.
  • Summon Darkglare Icon Summon Darkglare is now our main DPS cooldown.
  • Unstable Affliction Icon Unstable Affliction now also increases the damage targets take by 10% for its duration, as Contagion used to.
  • Dark Soul: Misery Icon Dark Soul: Misery is back!
  • Shadow Bolt Icon Shadow Bolt replaces Drain Soul Icon Drain Soul as the main filler (Drain Soul is now a Level 15 Talent).

4. Affliction Warlock's Strengths and Weaknesses

4.1. Affliction Warlock Strengths

  • High single target damage
  • Very strong burst during damage cooldowns
  • High cleave damage
  • Spread cleave
  • High mobility
  • Flexible toolkit

4.2. Affliction Warlock Weaknesses

  • Ramp up time for some of its damage
  • Burst damage requires a setup period, where you can be punished by movement
  • Weak AoE damage

5. Affliction Warlock's Viability in the Current Patch

Affliction is a well rounded specialization, with more upsides than downsides. It offers good single target damage, extremely strong burst, unrivalled multitarget distant cleave, with a mobility matched only by Beast Mastery Hunters.

Unfortunately, Affliction has very poor AoE this expansion by default. If you pick AoE talents however it can offer high sustained AoE damage. Due to the amount of ramp time and global cooldowns necessary, Affliction is one of the worst specializations in the entire game for burst AoE.

Affliction Warlock is the best specialization to level with, as it is mobile and provides good damage to spread out targets. It is very mobile while leveling, as DoTs can be cast while moving.

Overall, Affliction is expected to be one of the strongest damage dealers for bosses in Uldir and Mythic+. Despite some minor deficiencies, Affliction is a powerhouse.

6. Changelog

  • 11 Feb. 2019 (Battle of Dazar'alor page): Updated with better talent choices, and more tips.
  • 22 Jan. 2019 (mythic+ page): Updated for Battle of Dazar'alor release.
  • 22 Jan. 2019 (gear page): Updated for Battle of Dazar'alor release.
  • 21 Jan. 2019 (Battle of Dazar'alor page): Page added.
  • 21 Jan. 2019 (azerite traits and gear page): Updated for Battle of Dazar'alor release.
  • 03 Jan. 2019 (easy mode page): Added Dark Soul: Misery usage.
  • 21 Dec. 2018 (rotation page): Updated rotation section to include racial and trinket usage.
  • 19 Dec. 2018 (addons page): Updated page with additional macros.
  • 19 Dec. 2018 (FAQ page): Updated page with additional questions.
  • 19 Dec. 2018 (simulations page): Updated page with new sims.
  • 11 Dec. 2018 (mythic+ page): Pet advice update.
  • 11 Dec. 2018 (rotation page): Updated pet advice.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Updated for patch 8.1.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (easy mode page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (how to improve page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (simulations page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (this page): Added Patch 8.1 changes.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (spells page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (addons page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (talents page): Updated for patch 8.1. Updated paragraphs for Siphon Life and Vile Taint.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (enchants page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (stats page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (Uldir page): Updated for 8.1 patch. Reviewed all talent suggestions.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (mythic+ page): Updated for patch 8.1.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (FAQ page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (rotation page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (gear page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 30 Oct. 2018 (mythic+ page): Updated talents recommendation.
  • 30 Oct. 2018 (addons page): Expanded the list of Addons.
  • 30 Oct. 2018 (rotation page): Updated rotation priority.
  • 30 Oct. 2018 (this page): Updated Strengths/Weaknesses.
  • 30 Oct. 2018 (how to improve page): Updated the list.
  • 30 Oct. 2018 (FAQ page): Updated page.
  • 30 Oct. 2018 (stats page): Added a general rule for stat priority.
  • 30 Oct. 2018 (talents page): Updated talent choices.
  • 30 Oct. 2018 (Uldir page): Updated Uldir boss suggestions.
  • 30 Oct. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Updated trait recommendations.
  • 30 Oct. 2018 (easy mode page): Updated talents information and advice.
  • 30 Oct. 2018 (gear page): Updated Weapon and trinket options.
  • 16 Oct. 2018 (easy mode page): Updated talent advice.
  • 16 Oct. 2018 (gear page): Split the Best in Slot list into "Raid" and "Dungeon" options.
  • 09 Oct. 2018 (mythic+ page): Updated talent advice.
  • 01 Oct. 2018 (talents page): Added additional context for talent usage in Uldir, updated talents/cheatsheets.
  • 24 Sep. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Fully updated page and added new sections and simulations.
  • 07 Sep. 2018 (Uldir page): Updated for Uldir.
  • 04 Sep. 2018 (mythic+ page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth.
  • 26 Aug. 2018 (FAQ page): Added an FAQ regarding Darkglare failing to extend the Warlock's DoT effects.
  • 26 Aug. 2018 (gear page): Made small tweaks to the page.
  • 26 Aug. 2018 (enchants page): Added Masterful Navigation as a weapon enchant.
  • 26 Aug. 2018 (rotation page): Added toggles for various talent setups in the rotation section and updated priority/opener.
  • 26 Aug. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Updated Azerite rankings and simulations.
  • 26 Aug. 2018 (this page): Greatly expanded viability and added additional strengths and weaknesses.
  • 26 Aug. 2018 (easy mode page): Added Azerite Outer Ring simulations (single target and cleave) for quick reference.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (gear page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (simulations page): Page created for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (how to improve page): Page added for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (this page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (FAQ page): Page created for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (rotation page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (talents page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (stats page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (enchants page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (spells page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (addons page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (easy mode page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 07 Aug. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Page added.
  • 26 Jul. 2018 (gear page): Updated the legendary ranking.
  • 23 Jul. 2018 (talents page): Updated Tier 3 talents.
  • 23 Jul. 2018 (rotation page): Added a Deathbolt usage section to help alleviate confusion. Updated single target priority (re-added Haunt).
  • 21 Jul. 2018 (talents page): Made Haunt the default talent again, swapped Vile Taint and Phantom Singularity priority, and added PvP (War Mode) Talents and explanations.
  • 16 Jul. 2018 (this page): Updated for the Battle for Azeroth pre-patch.
  • 03 Jan. 2018 (FAQ page): Added Singe Magic usage mention.
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