Affliction Warlock PvP Rotation and Playstyle (Dragonflight 10.2.7)

Last updated on May 07, 2024 at 11:20 by Chanimal 8 comments

PvP requires you to perform various actions in the course of a duel, match, or battleground: interrupting/silencing enemies, damaging them, bursting them down, defending yourself, keeping yourself alive, etc. It is a game mode that fully utilizes your kit, especially spells that are rarely used in PvE. On this page, we go through all the spells you need to use in PvP as an Affliction Warlock, how you should use them, and we explain what your playstyle should be.

This page is part of our Affliction Warlock PvP Guide.

1.

Playstyle for Affliction Warlocks

The Affliction Warlock has two roles when in an Arena: keep applying spread pressure and survive. Affliction Warlocks are powerful because they have strong AoE damage and the ability to avoid damage through clever use of mobility. Most of your damage will come from your DoTs (Agony Icon Agony, Corruption Icon Corruption, Unstable Affliction Icon Unstable Affliction). You will score kills with Malefic Rapture Icon Malefic Rapture and Drain Life Icon Drain Life with Soul Rot Icon Soul Rot. What makes this specialization tricky is finding time to deal damage or cast while trying to stay alive. You will survive by using your mobility in the form of Demonic Circle Icon Demonic Circle, Demonic Gateway Icon Demonic Gateway to avoid your enemies. Additionally, Howl of Terror Icon Howl of Terror and Mortal Coil Icon Mortal Coil are ways to peel for yourself.

2.

Offensive Rotations

2.1.

Generating and Spending Soul Shards

Understanding how to generate and spend Soul Shards is crucial to maximizing your damage as an Affliction Warlock. Before going over the rotations, this section will talk about the basics.

Agony Icon Agony damage will sometimes generate 1 Soul Shard. This is the only way for Affliction Warlocks to get Soul Shards, and this is why it is extremely important to maintain Agony on as many enemies as possible.

So now that you know how to generate Soul Shards, here is how you will spend them:

  • Malefic Rapture Icon Malefic Rapture costs 1 Soul Shard and deals damage to all enemies that have your DoTs on them. This should be used when you have multiple DoTs on multiple enemies to maximize your spread damage. Ideally, press this when you have Corruption Icon Corruption, Agony Icon Agony, and Unstable Affliction Icon Unstable Affliction up on all targets in the Arena. Remember that Phantom Singularity Icon Phantom Singularity and Soul Rot Icon Soul Rot also contribute to Malefic Rapture Icon Malefic Rapture's damage. Keep in mind that this ability has a 100-yard range and will not affect enemies out of the line of sight.
2.2.

Before Gates Open

You should cast Create Soulwell Icon Create Soulwell to create Healthstone Icon Healthstones for you and your teammates. Additionally, cast Soulburn Icon Soulburn as the Soul Shard is refreshed, but you will keep the Soulburn Icon Soulburn buff.

2.3.

The Opener

The opener refers to your team's opening sequence of abilities as soon as you get out of the gates and enter combat. The main goal in the opener as an Affliction Warlock is to maintain max distance while applying your DoT effects.

This is the rotation you should use on your target at the beginning of the game.

  1. Cast Demonic Gateway Icon Demonic Gateway from your pillar to another part of the map.
  2. Use Demonic Circle Icon Demonic Circle and place it behind a pillar close to your Demonic Gateway Icon Demonic Gateway.
  3. Apply Curse of Tongues Icon Curse of Tongues to casters and healers if you have Soul Shards.
  4. Apply Curse of Exhaustion Icon Curse of Exhaustion to melee if you have Soul Shards.
  5. Apply and maintain Corruption Icon Corruption and Agony Icon Agony on all enemies.
    • Agony Icon Agony is an important source of damage and spread pressure.
    • It is very important to keep it active on all enemies, including pets, at all times because it generates Soul Shards and gives you stacks of Inevitable Demise Icon Inevitable Demise.
  6. Cast Unstable Affliction Icon Unstable Affliction on your primary target and any enemies around you.
2.4.

Burst Damage

The best way to generate pressure and create win conditions is to maximize your spread damage output. It is important to note that you should be focusing on spread pressure rather than a single target. With that said, the following is how you will play out your burst window.

  1. Apply Curse of Tongues Icon Curse of Tongues to casters and healers if you have Soul Shards.
  2. Apply Curse of Exhaustion Icon Curse of Exhaustion to melee if you have Soul Shards.
  3. Apply Corruption Icon Corruption to all targets.
  4. Apply Agony Icon Agony to all targets.
  5. Cast Unstable Affliction Icon Unstable Affliction to all targets.
  6. If your enemy stays in your line of sight:
    1. Use Soul Swap Icon Soul Swap on difficult-to-reach targets, such as enemy healers far away.
    2. Use Phantom Singularity Icon Phantom Singularity.
    3. Cast Soul Rot Icon Soul Rot.
  7. Use Summon Darkglare Icon Summon Darkglare.
  8. Use Malefic Rapture Icon Malefic Rapture until all Soul Shards have been spent.
  9. Cast Drain Life Icon Drain Life to deal spread damage and make Drain Life Icon Drain Life cast on all targets affected by Soul Rot.
  10. Cast Drain Soul Icon Drain Soul if you have a Nightfall Icon Nightfall proc.
2.5.

Sustained Damage

Sustained damage is damage you do when your burst cooldowns are not available.

  1. Apply Curse of Tongues Icon Curse of Tongues to casters and healers if you have Soul Shards.
  2. Apply Curse of Exhaustion Icon Curse of Exhaustion to melee if you have Soul Shards.
  3. Maintain Agony Icon Agony on all enemies.
    • Never let this fall off any enemies at any point of the Arena match.
    • This is your primary ability for generating Soul Shards and gives you stacks of Inevitable Demise Icon Inevitable Demise. Additionally, Agony Icon Agony stacks up to 18 and deals less damage at 1 stack if it is reapplied. Maintaining it will keep it at 18 stacks!
  4. Maintain Corruption Icon Corruption on all enemies.
  5. Cast Unstable Affliction Icon Unstable Affliction on all enemies.
  6. Use Phantom Singularity Icon Phantom Singularity on your primary kill target. This increases your spread damage and will heal you for some of the damage that is dealt. Be mindful, as this can break CC every time it ticks around the target.
  7. Use Soul Rot Icon Soul Rot to deal spread damage and make Drain Life Icon Drain Life cast on all targets affected by Soul Rot.
  8. Cast Malefic Rapture Icon Malefic Rapture when you have Soul Shards and have as many DoTs on as many enemies as you can. This is where the pressure from Affliction Warlocks will come from.
  9. Channel Drain Life Icon Drain Life if you have 50 stacks of Inevitable Demise Icon Inevitable Demise.
  10. Cast Drain Soul Icon Drain Soul if you have a Nightfall Icon Nightfall proc.
3.

Cooldowns/Defensives

Unending Resolve Icon Unending Resolve is your primary defensive ability and should be used if your healer has no defensive cooldowns and you are at high health. You will not be interrupted while this is active, so you can use this time to cast Fear Icon Fear to stay alive or Unstable Affliction Icon Unstable Affliction for damage.

Healthstone Icon Healthstone should be used when you are at very low health and your healer does not have defensive cooldowns to keep you alive. This can be empowered by using it together with Soulburn Icon Soulburn

Demonic Circle Icon Demonic Circle should be placed away from the enemy team but close to your healer. Make sure you coordinate when you will be using this so your team can position themselves accordingly. You will want to use this when the enemy team is using their offensive cooldowns, and you need to create distance between you and them. Use the same concept when you need to take Demonic Gateway Icon Demonic Gateway.

Soul Rip Icon Soul Rip is a new talent and should be used when melee connect on you and have activated their offensive cooldowns. This will reduce their damage while also reducing their healing received, allowing you to counterattack.

4.

Curses

Curses allow you to weaken a target based on which curse you use on them. Effectively using a curse on an enemy could prevent a lot of damage that the target will deal. If you take Amplify Curse Icon Amplify Curse, remember that their effects are significantly improved. Here are the curses that you have and the best time to use them:

  • Curse of Weakness Icon Curse of Weakness increases the time between the enemy's attacks. This should be used on a melee DPS to prevent incoming Physical damage. However, this is a low-priority spell and should only be used when moving when DoT maintenance is not required. This is the best spell to use against a Warrior's Spell Reflection Icon Spell Reflection as it has no adverse effect on you.
  • Curse of Tongues Icon Curse of Tongues increases the cast time of all spells the enemy casts. This should be used on a caster DPS to prevent or slow down incoming spell damage.
  • Curse of Exhaustion Icon Curse of Exhaustion reduces the target's movement speed. This is a very flexible Curse and can be used to slow down melee DPS or slow down enemy healers to make them easier to crowd control.
5.

Changelog

  • 07 May 2024: Reviewed for 10.2.7.
  • 22 Apr. 2024: Updated for Dragonflight Season 4.
  • 19 Mar. 2024: Updated for Dragonflight Patch 10.2.6.
  • 15 Jan. 2024: Updated for Dragonflight Patch 10.2.5.
  • 06 Nov. 2023: Updated for Dragonflight Patch 10.2.
  • 04 Sep. 2023: Updated for Dragonflight Patch 10.1.7.
  • 10 Jul. 2023: Updated for Dragonflight Patch 10.1.5.
  • 09 May 2023: Updated for Dragonflight Patch 10.1.
  • 21 Mar. 2023: Reviewed for Patch 10.0.7.
  • 16 Mar. 2023: Updated for Dragonflight Patch 10.0.7.
  • 30 Jan. 2023: Reviewed for Patch 10.0.5.
  • 11 Dec. 2022: Updated for Dragonflight Season 1.
  • 22 Nov. 2022: Updated for Dragonflight pre-patch.
  • 30 Jul. 2022: Updated for Shadowlands Season 4.
  • 31 May 2022: Reviewed for Patch 9.2.5.
  • 02 Mar. 2022: Updated for Shadowlands 9.2.
  • 17 Nov. 2021: Updated for Shadowlands 9.1.5.
  • 06 Jul. 2021: Updated for Shadowlands Season 1.
  • 30 Mar. 2021: Updated for Shadowlands 9.0.5.
  • 01 Jan. 2021: Updated for Shadowlands Season 1.
  • 05 Dec. 2020: Updated Rotations to include Covenant Ability.
  • 29 Nov. 2020: Removed outdated Traits and Essences.
  • 14 Oct. 2020: Updated for Shadowlands pre-patch.
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