Affliction Warlock DPS Mythic+ Tips — Shadowlands 9.0.2
In this guide, you will find tips and advice to tackle Mythic+ dungeons with your Affliction Warlock in World of Warcraft — Shadowlands 9.0.2.
Mythic+ Introduction for Affliction Warlock
Mythic+ has become a large part of the World of Warcraft endgame, but the sheer amount of different variables has left many players feeling overwhelmed. The group composition, weekly affixes, the item level of the group, the keystone level, and the experience and comfort level of the group are just several of the factors that will influence how you approach each dungeon. The purpose of this page is to prepare you for the key differences that set Mythic+ apart from the typical World of Warcraft endgame experience, including talents and rotational anomalies that may not be obvious at first glance.
Affliction Warlocks are currently a solid ranged DPS spec, offering sustained damage with frequent burn cycles. While the spec lacks immunity, the good mitigation and self-heal, coupled with the main spender that works both in single-target and multi target make it a versatile choice, with a unique toolkit comprised of Healthstones, Soulstones, skip-enabling Demonic Gateway, AoE crowd control abilities such as Shadowfury and Howl of Terror, and uncapped AoE spells.
If you are unfamiliar with Mythic+ and its associated general mechanics, you can read more about it on our Shadowlands Mythic+ Season 1 page below.
Affliction Warlock Mythic+ Rotation
While both single- and multi-target rotations do not differ substantially from the standard priority outlined in Rotation, Cooldowns, and Abilities page there are few points worth noting:
- Due to the nature of pulls, with constantly dying targets, Affliction can make great use of Soul Shard sniping using both Unstable Affliction and Drain Soul when talented in order to collect additional Soul Shards and squeeze extra damage over the course of the full run.
- Maximise cooldown efficiency, aiming for the highest number of casts while not wasting activation on pulls that are about to die, in that situation is better to get to 5 shards and start the next pull with max resources.
Affliction Warlock Utility
While damage is the bigger reason to bring an Affliction Warlock, the class itself offer a noticeable amount of crowd control and various supporting abilities:
- Recently reintroduced, the Curses can offer some advantage against specific dangerous enemies: Curse of Tongues can reduce the amount of interrupt required by the group, while Curse of Weakness alleviates the incoming damage on tank from auto attacks. Last but not least, Curse of Exhaustion can be used to slow targets in situations where kiting is required. While these effects can be noticeable, it is better to use curses on a few key targets, as the time spent to apply these effects is time not spent doing damage.
- Healthstones have a 1-minute cooldown and heal for 25% of max health, allowing for an emergency heal for each player.
- Soulstones offer a combat resurrection that can be used both reactively and preemptively in the case of a death run.
- Demonic Gateway offers the unique ability to skip certain parts of the map, depending on the dungeon in question, avoiding specific pulls.
- Shadowfury helps alleviating pressure on the tank during big pulls as it is a 3-second AoE stun.
- Fear and Banish are both spammable crowd control abilities that can be used to interrupt a cast in a pinch or to remove temporarily a target from combat.
Mythic+ Talents for Affliction Warlock
|15||✗ Nightfall||? Inevitable Demise||✓ Drain Soul|
|25||✓ Writhe in Agony||? Absolute Corruption||✓ Siphon Life|
|30||? Demon Skin||✓ Burning Rush||? Dark Pact|
|35||✓ Sow the Seeds||? Phantom Singularity||✗ Vile Taint|
|40||✗ Darkfury||✓ Mortal Coil||? Howl of Terror|
|45||✓ Dark Caller||✓ Haunt||? Grimoire of Sacrifice|
|50||✓ Soul Conduit||✗ Creeping Death||✓ Dark Soul: Misery|
Most of our explanations are geared towards keystones that challenge the current item level of your group. If you are doing keystones that are well below the current power level of the group, you should default to our build recommended above, as you will likely be able to do pulls much larger than intended, which skews the talent choices towards AoE and burst focused choices rather than builds that support sustained damage.
Tier 1/Level 15
Drain Soul is the default choice, offering good damage on itself but above all the ability to snipe Soul Shards on dying targets which happens very often during dungeons, allowing for more resources and in return more Malefic Raptures.
Inevitable Demise can be an interesting choice on harder content, because it allows to gain additional sustain and DPS when doing smaller pulls without being too intrusive in a otherwise much busier rotation when the target count rises.
Tier 2/Level 25
Absolute Corruption is the neutral/passive choice for Mythic+ as it increases your AoE without compromising your single-target situations, its main benefit is freeing some globals dedicated to Corruption uptime.
Writhe in Agony should be taken on high Mythic+ keys as it greatly increases our multitarget damage. Its downside is that you need to cast more Seed of Corruption to maintain Corruption uptime without Absolute Corruption.
Tier 3/Level 30
Dark Pact is a great choice for challenging keystones, as the cooldown is often necessary to survive lethal boss abilities or the more difficult trash pulls.
Tier 4/Level 35
Phantom Singularity provides strong AoE damage and is slightly ahead in single-target. It is the default choice for whenever more damage is required on 1 to 3 targets on weeks like Tyrannical.
Vile Taint is a middle ground option offering both decent single and multi target capabilities but introducing additional setup time in order to get the most out of Malefic Rapture windows. Unlike Phantom Singularity, it makes Malefic Rapture damage scale on multiple targets. Another benefit is being able to set up burst windows every 20s compared to 45.
Tier 5/Level 40
Darkfury can be used to provide more frequent access to AoE stuns.
Mortal Coil is the default choice, offering both burst heal on demand and another form of Crowd Control.
Howl of Terror offers an AoE fear, which can be useful to handle difficult pulls and is best paired with some form of slow.
Tier 6/Level 45
Haunt is typically our best choice for damage, regardless of the affixes.
Grimoire of Sacrifice is a small damage increase especially multitarget and can provide some utility and quality of life, as it grants the player the ability to interrupt casts from ranged or sacrifice Summon Voidwalker for an additional defensive cooldown.
Tier 7/Level 50
Creeping Death is the passive choice, not requiring any cooldown planning but being numerically worse than the alternatives.
Dark Soul: Misery is the preferred choice as it offers both stronger sustained and incredible burst potential over the course of 30 seconds. If you expect hard packs and bosses this is the best choice.
Stat Priority for Affliction Warlock
- Critical Strike >= Versatility.
Pet Choice for Affliction Warlock
The Felhunter is the best choice offering comparable single-target damage and an interrupt or purge, but consider swapping to Imp if you need a dispel.
If you are using Grimoire of Sacrifice we recommend sacrificing the Felhunter to provide your group with an extra interrupt. If you need an extra cooldown to survive, you can also sacrifice a Voidwalker before a difficult boss to gain access to the Shadow Bulwark cooldown.
Trinket Considerations for Affliction Warlock in Mythic+
When choosing your trinkets, we recommend simulating yourself on Raidbots using the Patchwerk option for raids and single-target, and Patchwerk with 4-5 targets or Hectic Add Cleave for an educated guess on multi-target performance in Dungeons. Usually, trinkets that proc stats are more versatile and better performer than than single-target spell damage procs, unless overtuned.
You can also get a quick overview of good Mythic+ Trinkets on our Gearing page, specifically the Simulation chart for multi-target scenarios.
Legendary Powers for Mythic+
Depending on your role within the group, party composition, affixes, and key level one Legendary Power might be more appealing than another. That said the best option overall remains Perpetual Agony of Azj'Aqir as it increases shard generation from Agony, allowing for more Malefic Rapture or Seed of Corruption casts. While not offering the same amount of damage increase Sacrolash's Dark Strike can also be considered for its utility, especially during Necrotic week.
For more details about Legendary Powers, please visit our dedicated Legendary Powers guide.
Covenants and Soulbinds for Mythic+
All four covenants and their varied Soulbinds all have different advantages for Mythic+ and it is very hard to recommend a "best" one, as it depends yet again on party composition, affixes, and level of the key.
A quick breakdown on each covenant ability strength:
- Kyrian Scouring Tithe can offer additional shards every 40 seconds by sniping a dying target. However, since Unstable Affliction and Drain Soul cover the same role, the gain is often not that impactful.
- Necrolord Decimating Bolt offer increased single-target potential, often helpful when handling high health targets, especially when coupled with Emeni soulbind. Fleshcraft is a decent shield option.
- Night Fae Soul Rot give better cleave damage and burst on-demand with the added bonus of additional sustain through AoE Drain Life, if the situation demands it.
- Venthyr Impending Catastrophe allows for AoE smart curse application in 1 GCD and some mediocre damage over time. Nadja soulbind offers mass confusion on Door of Shadows arrival, for additional crowd control potential.
For more in-depth recommendations on Covenants and Soulbinds, please visit our dedicated guide.
- 31 Dec. 2020: Updated Tier 4 talents description.
- 07 Dec. 2020: Page updated for Shadowlands season 1.
- 12 Oct. 2020: Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
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