Affliction Warlock PvP Talents and Builds (Shadowlands / 9.1)
Choosing the right PvP and PvE talents is a prerequisite to proper performance in PvP. This guide goes through the various talent choices available to you as an Affliction Warlock and gives you the best combinations you can take.
This page is part of our Affliction Warlock PvP Guide.
Talent Choices for Affliction Warlocks
|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||✘ Shadow Embrace||✘ Haunt||✔ Grimoire of Sacrifice|
|50||✘ Soul Conduit||✔ Creeping Death||✔ Dark Soul: Misery|
While the above table provides a generally accurate overview of the viability of talents, some finer points are discussed in the sections that follow, and we recommend you read those for a deeper understanding.
Tier 1 (Level 15) Talents
Inevitable Demise is the best choice in this tier. This gives you a reliable way to burst an enemy down without having to use cooldowns. Before using Drain Life, make sure the enemy does not have any interrupts to stop you from channeling Drain Life. This also synergises very well with the Night Fae covenant ability for Warlocks, Soul Rot allowing for Drain Life to be cast on multiple targets.
Tier 2 (Level 25) Talents
Absolute Corruption is the best choice in this tier. This makes your Corruption significantly stronger and is an increase to your spread pressure. Additionally, it reduces your DoT maintenance which saves your globals for dealing more damage with Malefic Rapture or casting Fear.
Tier 3 (Level 30) Talents
Demon Skin is the best choice in this tier. This defensive talent allows you to passively gain an absorb throughout an arena match. This is crucial for your survivability against every team. Dark Pact was buffed in 9.1 and is an alternative for duels or in 2v2 against double DPS compositions where the match may not last as long.
Tier 4 (Level 35) Talents
Phantom Singularity is the best choice in this tier. This talent is the best choice because it deals a good amount of damage, as well as being instant cast without costing a Soul Shard.
Tier 5 (Level 40) Talents
Versus most teams, Howl of Terror is the best choice in this tier. This is an instant, off the global cooldown AoE Fear that will help deal with melee that are targeting you or one of your teammates. Additionally, it is very useful against teams trying to run away from you on the pillar.
Tier 6 (Level 45) Talents
Grimoire of Sacrifice is the best choice in this tier. The talent gives you one of your pet abilities and deals a significant amount of passive damage. It also removes the potential enemy strategy of killing your pet, which has very low survivability.
A quick note on pets: Against a team that has multiple magic crowd control for your healer ( Freezing Trap, Hammer of Justice), you can sacrifice your Imp for Singe Magic. Against any other composition, you should sacrifice your Felhunter for Spell Lock.
Tier 7 (Level 50) Talents
Dark Soul: Misery is the best choice in this tier. Because Dark Soul significantly increases your Haste, this will be your primary offensive cooldown. However, Dark Soul is now dispellable! If you are playing against teams with multiple Purge effects (Mages, Priests, Shaman), Creeping Death is a valid alternative in this tier. However, Creeping Death reduces your DoT duration and can make it very difficult to maintain DoT uptime.
PvP Talents for Affliction Warlocks
You can choose 3 of the following PvP talents. The two mandatory choices are the most essential, with the third being switched out depending on the matchup.
Mandatory PvP Talents
Rapid Contagion gives you on-demand burst damage and has a very short cooldown. This should be used in every game when you have your DoTs on multiple targets.
Rampant Afflictions is another mandatory PvP talent. This makes it so Unstable Affliction can be used on up to 3 targets. Because your win condition will be to rot the enemy team with your AoE pressure, this is a must have talent to play.
Situational PvP Talents
Demon Armor increases your health and armor by a significant amount. This is a crucial PvP talent because you will likely be the main target for most teams. Use this versus teams with melee on it that will target you.
Nether Ward surrounds the caster with a shield that lasts 3 sec, reflecting all harmful spells cast on you. This is a strong talent against classes with magical spells. This should be used versus teams with casters on it.
Amplify Curse increases the effectiveness of your Curse of Tongues, Curse of Exhaustion and Curse of Weakness spells significantly. Coupled with Sacrolash's Dark Strike, this is an excellent situational talent against teams without a decurse.
Shadow Rift creates a portal that teleports anyone inside the targeted circle to your Demonic Circle: Teleport after 2 seconds. This talent is useful as it can be used very creatively to kite or create kill opportunities.
- 06 Jul. 2021: Updated for Shadowlands 9.1.
- 30 Mar. 2021: Updated for Shadowlands 9.0.5.
- 08 Jan. 2021: Updated for Shadowlands Season 1.
- 14 Oct. 2020: Updated for Shadowlands pre-patch.
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