Affliction Warlock DPS Guide — Dragonflight 10.2.6

Last updated on Mar 19, 2024 at 15:00 by Motoko 40 comments
General Information

Welcome to our Affliction Warlock guide for World of Warcraft — Dragonflight 10.2.6. 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.

If you were looking for WotLK Classic content, please refer to our WotLK Classic Affliction Warlock guide.


Affliction Warlock Overview

Affliction Warlocks excel at sustaining single-target and multiple-target damage. Most of your damage comes from applying harmful damage over time effects (DoTs). This allows them to effectively cleave on targets spread around an area, something many specializations struggle with or cannot do. 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.


Strengths and Weaknesses

V Strengths
  • +Good single-target damage
  • +Multiple ways of dealing strong AoE
  • +Spread cleave
  • +High mobility
  • +Very good priority damage
X Weaknesses
  • -Ramp-up time for some of its damage
  • -Low Burst damage requires a setup period
  • -Damage profile centered around sustained output with relatively weak cooldowns

Affliction Warlock and Guide Changes for Patch 10.2.5

Patch 10.2.5 had no changes for the Warlock class.


Affliction Warlock and Guide Changes for Patch 10.2

In this patch Affliction Warlock talents associated with cooldown reduction such as Grand Warlock's Design Icon Grand Warlock's Design and Soul-Eater's Gluttony Icon Soul-Eater's Gluttony were changed from requiring an active participation to instead provide the full benefit passively.

For a full breakdown of all Class Changes in Patch 10.2, check out our dedicated page below.

Being a major patch with a new tier set focused around specific talents has also been introduced, requiring a whole revisit on both Talents Page and Rotation Page.

A new Season means new gear from new and returning Mythic+ Dungeons alongside a new raid Amirdrassil. As such, Gear Page has been updated with new BiS lists, weapon and trinkets recommendations, and different embellishments to craft.


Leveling a Affliction Warlock

We have a dedicated leveling guide to help you get your Affliction Warlock to the max level, complete with many tips and suggestions.

While playing with the default UI for the leveling is entirely possible, transitioning to a max level rotation with a substantially different UI layout can feel overwhelming and ultimately disorient or frustrate the player. We recommend implementing Layout changes gradually to allow you to acclimate to a more effective and personal UI. The Addon page below offers some recommended options.


Basics of Affliction Warlock Gameplay

Affliction Warlock is a spec centered around Damage over Time effects, cooldown periods that require a setup to get the most out of them, and a relative amount of pet management. At its core, the gameplay is about generating and spending the Warlock's iconic resource: Soul Shards.

The fundamentals are simple: maintain Corruption Icon Corruption and Agony Icon Agony on the target(s), spend your Soul Shards on Malefic Rapture Icon Malefic Raptures or Seed of Corruption Icon Seed of Corruption and cast Shadow Bolt Icon Shadow Bolt in the downtime.

If you are a newcomer to the spec but would like to learn the basics, start browsing the Spell Summary and head over to the page linked below

For those more familiar with Warlocks, we invite you to check out the Talents and Rotation pages for more detailed and in-depth information.


How to Gear Up as Affliction Warlock

Due to the increased number of variables and different systems, picking gear has become a much less intuitive and immediate process. Nevertheless, you can find guidelines on the best way to equip your Affliction Warlock on our dedicated gearing page, including the current Best in Slot equipment for the current tier.

Equipping gear is not enough. You must also choose suitable consumables and gear augments to maximize your character potential. Below is listed a page that can guide you through those choices as well as a page to better understand the implications each stat has on your Warlock.


End-Game as a Affliction Warlock

Being geared and well equipped is only half of the journey, as the end game activities require a different approach to the spec. To find more information on tackling these challenges, check the pages below.


Improving as a Affliction Warlock

Understanding your errors and refining your performance is a constant exercise, which can sometimes be frustrating or confounding. Below are some pages that offer tools and can point to and help correct those mistakes.


Affliction Warlock Viability in the Current Patch

DISCLAIMER: As with every new tier, the first two weeks will see noticeable tuning changes, as such the information provided below is a snapshot of the balance at the time of writing and will get updated as more changes happen.

At the time of writing (Patch 10.2), the current situation is the following:

Thanks to numerically strong set bonuses, Affliction Warlock is positioned inbetween warlock specializations in terms of single target damage while retaining good mobility and especially spread cleave. The new tier shift the damage profile to more a more cyclical Malefic Rapture Icon Malefic Rapture usage around Soul Rot Icon Soul Rot every 30 seconds, especially in multitarget as a mean to extend any active DoTs. In dungeons is where this playstyle change can be felt the most; however, the spec itself is not a dominant presence there by any means.



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