Affliction Warlock DPS Spec, Builds, and Talents — Dragonflight 10.1

Last updated on May 01, 2023 at 21:40 by Motoko 40 comments
General Information

On this page, you will find out the best talents for each tier for your Affliction Warlock in World of Warcraft — Dragonflight 10.1. We also have default talent lists for various types of content, such as raiding or Mythic+. If you play with Warmode on, we have your PvP talents covered as well.

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


Talent Cheat Sheets for Affliction Warlock

With the introduction of the new talent system and the ability to freely change points and share/import builds free of consumables costs. At the same time, out of combat, it is highly advised to adapt the build based on the type of situation at hand.


Single Target

To import the build directly ingame, click on the export button in the top-right of the calculator



Do note that the builds suggested above do not account for specific fights in the current raid tier; that said, we have a dedicated page that covers boss-by-boss talent recommendations, which you can find linked below.



For specific Mythic+ advice, which typically involves having a set-up that can perform both in single target *and* AoE, this set-up can also be influenced by affixes and other things like party composition and pull layout. Check out our dedicated M+ page below.


How To Use Affliction Warlock Talents

Since several talent choices affect your gameplay, we recommend reading our rotation page linked below to find out how to adapt your playstyle and priority based on your selected talents.


Picking Warlock Class Talents

Other than a handful of DPS increase nodes, the path progression is generally flexible and allows one to opt in or out of specific utilities that may not be relevant in a specific situation. The following sections will highlight the key talents while suggesting what to pick to progress down the tree.

For detailed information about each talent, follow the link to the Spell Summary page:


Tier 1 (Rows 1-4) Class Talents For Affliction Warlock


Talents for all situations

Talent Reason for taking
Demon Skin Icon Demon Skin Passive damage mitigation
Fel Armor Icon Fel Armor Passive damage mitigation
Burning Rush Icon Burning Rush Greatly increases Warlock mobility
Fel Domination Icon Fel Domination Offers instant pet swapping or resummon in case of an untimely death.
Mortal Coil Icon Mortal Coil A percentage-based heal on a very short cooldown which makes potions trivial in comparison.
Curses of Enfeeblement Icon Curses of Enfeeblement Gives access to Strong utility curses while opening the path for Demonic Embrace Icon Demonic Embrace.
Demonic Inspiration Icon Demonic Inspiration DPS increase
Wrathful Minion Icon Wrathful Minion DPS increase

Optional / flexible talents

Talent Reason for taking
Fiendish Stride Icon Fiendish Stride Substantially reduces Burning Rush Icon Burning Rush health cost while also increasing the max speed.
Amplify Curse Icon Amplify Curse Enable to empower Curses (which works with Vile Taint Icon Vile Taint).
Banish Icon Banish Useful to control Demons or Aberrations if the situation arises.
Demonic Embrace Icon Demonic Embrace Max HP increase, which works well with percentage-based mitigations such as Soul Leech Icon Soul Leech and Dark Pact Icon Dark Pact.

Tier 2 (Rows 5-7) Class Talents For Affliction Warlock


Talents for all situations

Talent Reason for taking
Sweet Souls Icon Sweet Souls Further increase the healing from Healthstones.
Demonic Gateway Icon Demonic Gateway The unique party/raid-wide movement tool exclusive to Warlocks can be used to quickly relocate, move between locations at different height and skip otherwise mandatory pathways.
Dark Pact Icon Dark Pact Powerful defensive cooldown that increases the Warlock's effective health pool.
Strength of Will Icon Strength of Will Increases the value of Unending Resolve Icon Unending Resolve to a more relevant 35%.
Socrethar's Guile Icon Socrethar's Guile DPS increase.
Sargerei Technique Icon Sargerei Technique DPS increase.

Optional / flexible talents

Talent Reason for taking
Frequent Donor Icon Frequent Donor Further reduces the cooldown of Dark Pact Icon Dark Pact to match Mortal Coil Icon Mortal Coil.
Shadowfury Icon Shadowfury AoE stun for when the situation requires it
Dark Fury Icon Dark Fury Increases the frequency of use of Shadowfury Icon Shadowfury.
Dark Accord Icon Dark Accord instead of Strength of Will Icon Strength of Will In cases where the silence/interrupt immunity is valuable.
Lifeblood Icon Lifeblood When additional sustain is needed.

Tier 3 (Rows 8-10) Class Talents For Affliction Warlock

In this section, there are DPS increase talents worth prioritizing


Talents for all situations

Talent Reason for taking
Soul Conduit Icon Soul Conduit DPS increase
Grimoire of Synergy Icon Grimoire of Synergy DPS increase
Summon Soulkeeper Icon Summon Soulkeeper or Inquisitor's Gaze Icon Inquisitor's Gaze Both a DPS increase, the former is better suited for AoE situations and can add a bit more burst. At the same time, the latter is the safe single target choice.
Soul Link Icon Soul Link Extremely strong passive damage mitigation tool.
Soulburn Icon Soulburn A powerful utility that can massively boost either the survivability or the mobility of the Warlock, depending on what spell is used.

Optional / flexible talents

Talent Reason for taking
Grim Feast Icon Grim Feast Mostly used in tandem with Inevitable Demise Icon Inevitable Demise to offer a marginal dps increase.
Profane Bargain Icon Profane Bargain Increases the potency of Soul Link Icon Soul Link at critical health.
Fel Synergy Icon Fel Synergy Helps mitigate the health loss from Soul Link Icon Soul Link especially on pet.
Resolute Barrier Icon Resolute Barrier Cooldown reduction for Unending Resolve Icon Unending Resolve.

Affliction Warlock Talents

The following section will go through Affliction Warlock Talents with a focus on PvE scenarios.


Tier 1 (Rows 1-4) Affliction Warlock Talents

The first section is where you choose the general direction of the build, whether AoE is needed, and to what extent.


Talents for all situations

Talent Reason for taking
Malefic Rapture Icon Malefic Rapture Main Shard spender
Unstable Affliction Icon Unstable Affliction Strongest single target DoT, which also retains value in multitarget situations thanks to the shard generation on target death, and further synergies down the tree.
Writhe in Agony Icon Writhe in Agony A passive damage increase on the second strongest DoT, which is relevant in any conceivable scenario.
Kindled Malice Icon Kindled Malice Damage increase on spenders, regardless of the situation.

Optional / flexible talents

Talent Reason for taking
Nightfall Icon Nightfall Single target damage increase.
Shadow Embrace Icon Shadow Embrace Single target (and technically up to 3 targets with proper management) damage increase.
Seed of Corruption Icon Seed of Corruption AoE specific shard spender, and a quick way to spread Corruption Icon Corruption on multiple targets in a single cast.
Sow the Seeds Icon Sow the Seeds Increase the strength of Seed of Corruption Icon Seed of Corruption making it the better choice for AoE over Malefic Rapture Icon Malefic Rapture.
Dark Virtuosity Icon Dark Virtuosity Single target DPS increase.
Shadow Embrace Icon Shadow Embrace Damage increase in single target mostly but is relevant up to 3 targets as long as either Shadow Bolt Icon Shadow Bolt or Drain Soul Icon Drain Soul are frequently used in the rotation.

Tier 2 (Rows 5-7) Affliction Warlock Talents

A continuation of the previous section where to decide between AoE or single target options.


Talents for all situations

Talent Reason for taking
Drain Soul Icon Drain Soul Direct upgrade over Shadow Bolt Icon Shadow Bolt, relevant both in single target due to the damage increase, in cleave through better application of Shadow Embrace Icon Shadow Embrace and with multiple targets thanks to the shard generation.
Vile Taint Icon Vile Taint or Phantom Singularity Icon Phantom Singularity High damage cooldown-based abilities with a little point cost. Pick the former for multitarget and easier Agony Icon Agony application or the latter for single target damage.
Absolute Corruption Icon Absolute Corruption or Siphon Life Icon Siphon Life Infinite duration on Corruption goes a long way to continue damaging targets that are out of range or focus on something else. Siphon Life Icon Siphon Life instead is another single target (maybe up to 3 targets) damage increase.

Optional / flexible talents

Talent Reason for taking
Pandemic Invocation Icon Pandemic Invocation Damage increase as long as there are DoTs to refresh manually.
Inevitable Demise Icon Inevitable Demise Turn Drain Life Icon Drain Life in a noticeable damage increase.
Soul Swap Icon Soul Swap Should be considered for the strategic position in the tree coupled with the low point investment or for opening pulls when saving 1 global cooldown is better than spending an extra shard.
Soul Flame Icon Soul Flame Great passive cleave with the only requirement of tagging an enemy that is about to die.
Grimoire of Sacrifice Icon Grimoire of Sacrifice Single target damage increase, does not scale with additional targets but rather the single target proc will affect different targets.
Focused Malignancy Icon Focused Malignancy Single target damage increase.
Withering Bolt Icon Withering Bolt Offers a damage increase on anything that is not heavy AoE spam.
Sacrolash's Dark Strike Icon Sacrolash's Dark Strike Mediocre damage increase coupled with the utility of extending the Curses.

Tier 3 (Rows 8-10) Affliction Warlock Talents


Talents for all situations

Talent Reason for taking
Creeping Death Icon Creeping Death Damage increase for DoTs, mostly taken to progress down the path.
Malefic Affliction Icon Malefic Affliction A very powerful damage modifier for the already strongest DoT.
Dread Touch Icon Dread Touch Another very strong single target rotation-defining DPS increase.
Haunt Icon Haunt Debuff on target that increases all damage from the Warlock. Useful in any situation until AoE spam.
Summon Darkglare Icon Summon Darkglare A fairly decent cooldown for a minimal investment cost.

Optional / flexible talents

Talent Reason for taking
Tormented Crescendo Icon Tormented Crescendo Helps alleviate the heavy shard cost of Dread Touch Icon Dread Touch
Seized Vitality Icon Seized Vitality Mainly used to reach the following node.
Haunted Soul Icon Haunted Soul Powerful damage multiplier on periodic effect spells.
Wrath of Consumption Icon Wrath of Consumption Noticeable damage increase which triggers on targets dying.
Soul Rot Icon Soul Rot Useful in combination with Inevitable Demise Icon Inevitable Demise.
Doom Blossom Icon Doom Blossom over Dread Touch Icon Dread Touch For a more cleave oriented option.

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, you should enable the feature. In most situations, this will allow 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.


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 PvP talents.


Warlock generic PvP Talents

  1. 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 greatly increases your ability to survive and sustain.
  2. Bonds of Fel Icon Bonds of Fel allows to burst targets by dragging them away from the marked location.
  3. Bane of Fragility Icon Bane of Fragility reduces the target's maximum health by up to 10% by 15 seconds, which is desirable when setting up bursts.
  4. Casting Circle Icon Casting Circle is a 1-minute cooldown ability that creates an area where you are immune to silence and interrupts for 8 seconds. Removes silence/interrupt immunity from Unending Resolve Icon Unending Resolve.
  5. Gateway Mastery Icon Gateway Mastery increase your gateway's range by 20 yards and reduces the duration of the debuff placed on players using it by 15 seconds, making it a good choice when increased mobility is needed.
  6. Nether Ward Icon Nether Ward summons a shield lasting 3 seconds and reflecting all harmful spells targeted at you.
  7. Call Observer Icon Call Observer is only relevant when dealing with a lot of casting mobs.
  8. Precognition Icon Precognition and Shadow Rift Icon Shadow Rift are mostly irrelevant in the context of leveling.

Affliction Warlock PvP Talents

  1. Rampant Afflictions Icon Rampant Afflictions increase the target limit for Unstable Affliction Icon Unstable Affliction to 3.
  2. Rapid Contagion Icon Rapid Contagion is a decent cooldown, primarily useful for Unstable Affliction Icon Unstable Affliction.
  3. Rot and Decay Icon Rot and Decay can be handy in situations with high sustained damage intake. Combining this with Essence Drain Icon Essence Drain dramatically increases your survivability and sustainability and opens many doors for soloing difficult content.
  4. Bane of Shadows Icon Bane of Shadows causes damage over time effects to strike an additional time for 20% of their actual damage while active. This offers a little bit of extra burst damage on a short cooldown.
  5. Deathbolt Icon Deathbolt is a 40-second cooldown nuke that deals 40% of the total remaining damage over time effects on the target. It is generally used to catch people off guard and burst them.


  • 01 May 2023: Reviewed talents for Patch 10.1.
  • 20 Mar. 2023: Updated talents for Patch 10.0.7.
  • 24 Jan. 2023: Updated talents for Patch 10.0.5.
  • 11 Dec. 2022: Updated for Dragonflight Season 1.
  • 28 Nov. 2022: Updated for Dragonflight launch.
  • 25 Oct. 2022: Updated for Dragonflight pre-patch.
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