Affliction Warlock DPS Spec, Builds, and Talents in Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.0.1

Last updated on Oct 01, 2018 at 08:20 by Furty 88 comments

Table of Contents

General Information

On this page, we present the viable talent choices for Affliction Warlocks in World of Warcraft Battle for Azeroth 8.0.1. We detail what each of the talents do and in which situations they should be taken.

The other pages of our Affliction Warlock guide can be accessed from the table of contents on the right.

About Our Author

This guide has been written by Furty, who has an illustrious history in the World of Warcraft raiding scene and race for World First. He has been a member of guilds such as Serenity, Midwinter, and many more, and is currently raiding in Tabula Rasa. He plays most classes at the highest level. You can follow him on Twitter and watch him play on Twitch.

1. Talent Choices for Affliction Warlock

Level Choices
15 Nightfall Nightfall Drain Soul Drain Soul Deathbolt Deathbolt
30 Writhe in Agony Writhe in Agony Absolute Corruption Absolute Corruption Siphon Life Siphon Life
45 Demon Skin ? Demon Skin Burning Rush Burning Rush Dark Pact Dark Pact
60 Sow the Seeds ? Sow the Seeds Phantom Singularity Phantom Singularity Vile Taint Vile Taint
75 Darkfury Darkfury Mortal Coil ? Mortal Coil Demonic Circle Demonic Circle
90 Shadow Embrace ? Shadow Embrace Haunt Haunt Grimoire of Sacrifice ? Grimoire of Sacrifice
100 Soul Conduit Soul Conduit Creeping Death Creeping Death Dark Soul: Misery Dark Soul: Misery

Talents can be freely changed when out of combat and in a rested XP area (such as an inn or a capital city). Moreover, Tome of the Tranquil Mind Icon Tome of the Tranquil Mind and Codex of the Tranquil Mind Icon Codex of the Tranquil Mind can be used to temporarily allow players to change talents anywhere, as long as they are out of combat.

2. Tier 1 (Level 15) Talents for Affliction Warlock

Nightfall Nightfall Drain Soul Drain Soul Deathbolt Deathbolt
  • Nightfall Icon Nightfall grants Corruption Icon Corruption ticks a 25% chance to cause your next Shadow Bolt Icon Shadow Bolt to be instant and deal 25% increased damage.
  • Drain Soul Icon Drain Soul replaces Shadow Bolt Icon Shadow Bolt, dealing channeled damage over 5 seconds, increased by 100% if the target is below 20% life. If the target dies during the channel a Soul Shard is generated.
  • Deathbolt Icon Deathbolt is a spell that deals 30% of the total remaining damage of your DoT effects, with a 30 second cooldown.

Deathbolt Icon Deathbolt is the best option for single target.

Drain Soul Icon Drain Soul could be a choice for encounters where you can constantly restock your Soul Shards, as you can get extra Soul Shards to fuel your damage. That said, it is not used at all, currently.

Nightfall Icon Nightfall could have potential on encounters where multiple targets are alive for extended periods combined with high movement, however, it does not seem to be up to par.

3. Tier 2 (Level 30) Talents for Affliction Warlock

Writhe in Agony Writhe in Agony Absolute Corruption Absolute Corruption Siphon Life Siphon Life

Siphon Life Icon Siphon Life and Writhe in Agony Icon Writhe in Agony are close contenders for single target damage. I recommend Siphon Life, personally, as it deals strong damage and allows for additional global to fill movement with. Writhe is an alternative choice for players who do not want to use an additional DoT.

Absolute Corruption Icon Absolute Corruption should be used on fights with 2+ targets for an extended period.

4. Tier 3 (Level 45) Talents for Affliction Warlock

Demon Skin ? Demon Skin Burning Rush Burning Rush Dark Pact Dark Pact
  • Demon Skin Icon Demon Skin grants Soul Leech Icon Soul Leech a passive recharge rate of 0.5% of maximum health per second, and may now absorb 15% of maximum health.
  • Burning Rush Icon Burning Rush grants 50% movement speed in exchange for 4% maximum health per second, and prevents you from being reduced below base movement speed.
  • Dark Pact Icon Dark Pact grants a large shield on demand; 20% of your current health is sacrificed to shield you for 250% of the amount lost.

Burning Rush Icon Burning Rush remains the most versatile option, as Warlocks have little base mobility. Burning Rush functions both as a means to stay in range and position aggressively, but also as a means of dodging mechanics. It is my opinion that movement speed offers the greatest defensive benefit in most situations, and you should default to this talent.

Dark Pact Icon Dark Pact is a good option for encounters where you need to soak a mechanic or survive a telegraphed amount of high damage. It is important to note that the damage absorb is based on current health, rendering this ability useless as a reactive cooldown. For Dark Pact to be effective, it needs to be used while you are close to full health to mitigate a future amount of damage.

Demon Skin Icon Demon Skin is a good choice for encounters with low movement and consistent damage intake. Currently, however, there are no encounters within Uldir where this talent excels.

5. Tier 4 (Level 60) Talents for Affliction Warlock

Sow the Seeds ? Sow the Seeds Phantom Singularity Phantom Singularity Vile Taint Vile Taint
  • Sow the Seeds Icon Sow the Seeds also embeds an additional Seed in a nearby target when Seed of Corruption Icon Seed of Corruption is cast.
  • Phantom Singularity Icon Phantom Singularity deals AoE damage centered around the target's location for 16 seconds, healing you for 25% of the amount.
  • Vile Taint Icon Vile Taint creates a pool at the target's location, dealing Shadow damage over 10 seconds to all enemies within the 10-yard radius and reducing their movement speed by 30%.

Phantom Singularity Icon Phantom Singularity is our default talent in virtually all situations.

Vile Taint Icon Vile Taint falls behind Phantom Singularity Icon Phantom Singularity slightly due to the Soul Shard cost.

Sow the Seeds Icon Sow the Seeds could be a good option for extended AoE scenarios, or Mythic+.

6. Tier 5 (Level 75) Talents for Affliction Warlock

Darkfury Darkfury Mortal Coil ? Mortal Coil Demonic Circle Demonic Circle
  • Darkfury Icon Darkfury reduces the cooldown of Shadowfury Icon Shadowfury by 15 seconds.
  • Mortal Coil Icon Mortal Coil allows you to horrify an enemy and heal for 20% of your maximum health once every 45 seconds.
  • Demonic Circle Icon Demonic Circle allows you to place a portal and teleport to it once every 30 seconds.

Demonic Circle Icon Demonic Circle remains the default option for raids, as it greatly enhances our mobility, particularly for mechanics that need to be kited away from the raid group. This button offers a lot of flexibility and creative use, so be sure to give it good thought before each pull.

Mortal Coil Icon Mortal Coil is a good choice for encounters that do not require the extra mobility of Demonic Circle, and may require an additional on-demand heal. Mortal Coil can be used as a discount Healthstone of sorts on such encounters.

Darkfury Icon Darkfury is the standard option for dungeons and Mythic+, allowing you to Crowd Control groups of enemies far more often.

7. Tier 6 (Level 90) Talents for Affliction Warlock

Shadow Embrace ? Shadow Embrace Haunt Haunt Grimoire of Sacrifice ? Grimoire of Sacrifice
  • Shadow Embrace Icon Shadow Embrace is applied by Shadow Bolt Icon Shadow Bolt, increasing your damage dealt to the target by 3% for 10 seconds. This effect stacks up to 3 times.
  • Haunt Icon Haunt deals moderate damage and increased Shadow damage dealt to the target by 10% for 15 seconds. If the target dies during this time, the cooldown of Haunt is reset.
  • Grimoire of Sacrifice Icon Grimoire of Sacrifice allows you to sacrifice a pet and sometimes deal additional Shadow damage.

Haunt Icon Haunt is currently the best talent on the tier in most raid and Mythic+ situations.

Shadow Embrace Icon Shadow Embrace is slightly behind Haunt, but a very viable option if you prefer something entirely passive.

Grimoire of Sacrifice Icon Grimoire of Sacrifice can be an option for Mythic+, however, it usually results in a damage loss versus Haunt Icon Haunt. The major upside, however, is that interrupting mobs is significantly less difficult, as the Felhunter suffers from range issues and often dies. This talent may be used in instances where interrupts are very valuable, such as Shrine of the Storms.

8. Tier 7 (Level 100) Talents for Affliction Warlock

Soul Conduit Soul Conduit Creeping Death Creeping Death Dark Soul: Misery Dark Soul: Misery

Creeping Death Icon Creeping Death has great potential for long encounters, or encounters with a lot of multidotting. Typically this talent is best utlized when there are 3+ targets present for an extended period, and you are looking to increase the potency of your spread cleave. This is often the best option for Mythic+ dungeons.

Dark Soul: Misery Icon Dark Soul: Misery is the standard choice for most raid encounters, as it delivers the strongest 1-2 target damage. Due to the number of encounters with increased damage phases within Uldir, such as MOTHER or G'huun, this talent can leverage even greater damage when properly used. Dark Soul is also an option for high level Tyrannical Icon Tyrannical keys.

Soul Conduit Icon Soul Conduit is currently not used for any situation.

9. PvP Talents (War Mode)

Under our Talents section, there is the option to enter "War Mode". Enabling War Mode provides the following benefits:

  • PvP talents enabled in the outdoor world;
  • 10% increase in World Quest rewards at maximum level;
  • 10% more experience gained while leveling;
  • Earn Conquest Points which can reward gear every week.

With the benefits of enabling War Mode for leveling and PvE content, it is recommended you enable the feature. In most situations, this will allow for the maximum returns despite the risks. You will make yourself available for open world PvP, and the possibility to be "ganked" while leveling or doing World Quests exists.

9.1. Affliction Warlock War Mode Talents

In this section we will rank the PvP talents best for leveling and doing solo / small group PvE content. Below is a ranking of both General PvP Talents and Affliction Warlock-specific PvE talents.

9.1.1. General PvP Talents

  • Relentless Icon Relentless is a passive ability but it does not automatically remove crowd control abilities, but instead reduces the duration.
  • Gladiator's Medallion Icon Gladiator's Medallion is an on-use ability that removes all movement impairing effects and all loss of control effects.
  • Adaptation Icon Adaptation automatically removes any loss of control effects that last 5+ seconds, a maximum of once per minute.

Adaptation Icon Adaptation is recommended for most players, as it is automatic and on a relatively short cooldown. This makes it the overall best choice with PvE in mind.

9.1.2. Affliction Warlock PvP Talents

  1. Endless Affliction Icon Endless Affliction causes your Unstable Affliction Icon Unstable Affliction to deal the same damage as before, but its duration is increased by 6 seconds. This is useful for keeping the 10% increased damage debuff much more often despite not Unstable Affliction not actually dealing increased damage directly.
  2. Rot and Decay Icon Rot and Decay can be very useful in situations with high sustained damage intake. Combining this with Essence Drain Icon Essence Drain greatly increases your survivability and sustainability and opens a lot of doors for soloing difficult content.
  3. Essence Drain Icon Essence Drain stacks a damage reduction effect on enemies that are damaged by your Drain Life Icon Drain Life. You can reduce their damage by up to 25%, which is a large increase to your ability to survive and sustain.
  4. Curse of Shadows Icon Curse of Shadows causes damage over time effects to strike an additional time for 20% of their original damage while active. This offers a little bit of extra burst damage on a short cooldown.

The curses can have exceptional use in very specific situations, but do not make for exceptional default picks. Curse of Fragility Icon Curse of Fragility is the most used and generally most powerful of the three, and has a wide variety of niche applications.

10. Changelog

  • 01 Oct. 2018: Added additional context for talent usage in Uldir, updated talents/cheatsheets.
  • 13 Aug. 2018: Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 23 Jul. 2018: Updated Tier 3 talents.
  • 21 Jul. 2018: Made Haunt the default talent again, swapped Vile Taint and Phantom Singularity priority, and added PvP (War Mode) Talents and explanations.
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