Affliction Warlock Guide for The War Within

Last updated on Jun 10, 2024 at 21:10 by Motoko 41 comments

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on the Affliction Warlock changes in World of Warcraft's latest expansion, "The War Within." This page is designed to help you navigate the new changes, optimize your gameplay, and get the most out of your Affliction Warlock in PvE environments.

In this guide, you'll find detailed breakdowns of the new Hero Talent Trees for Affliction Warlock. We'll explore the most significant updates, and offer insights into how these changes will impact your overall playstyle. Whether you're a veteran Affliction Warlock or new to the class, our goal is to equip you with the knowledge and tools needed to excel in "The War Within."


Affliction Warlock: The War Within Expansion Preview

Welcome to the War Within expansion preview for Affliction Warlock, a resource page where to find changes, Hero talent trees and some initial assessment on the state of the spec.

The purpose of this page is to offer an up-to-date overview of how Affliction Warlock is changing in the forthcoming The War Within expansion, as such it is not to be treated as a guide or a replacement, since the current state of tuning is not representative of what the final product will be.


The War Within Changes for Affliction Warlock


Core Changes

Affliction Warlock received a whole talent restructure alongside some changes that altered the Class Tree.

Below are the most notable changes:

  • Demonic Circle Icon Demonic Circle is no longer baseline;
  • Demonic Tactics Icon Demonic Tactics is a new output node;
  • Soul Link Icon Soul Link has been consolidated as a 2 points node, removing Profane Bargain Icon Profane Bargain;
  • Inquisitor's Gaze Icon Inquisitor's Gaze and Summon Soulkeeper Icon Summon Soulkeeper node has been replaced by Soul Conduit Icon Soul Conduit at 1 point of effectiveness;
  • likewise Grim Feast Icon Grim Feast has been replaced by a much more appealing node in Pact of Gluttony Icon Pact of Gluttony.

The introduction of Pact of Gluttony Icon Pact of Gluttony specifically has created a new issue in only 1 or 2 floating point to spare after acquiring all 3 capstones and output/stamina/health nodes, with a triage situation occurring with the following nodes: Shadowfury Icon Shadowfury, Demonic Circle Icon Demonic Circle, Fiendish Stride Icon Fiendish Stride, Amplify Curse Icon Amplify Curse and Banish Icon Banish.

As a result the updated class tree pathing has created a restrictive feel, of not being able to talent into several utilities due how taxing the "core" of the tree is, which coupled with the lack of party-wide non-exclusive auras or utility is going to be detrimental in Mythic+ dungeons.

Moving on the Affliction side, the whole tree has been overhauled, with the intention of creating a pathing well-rounded and able to tackle most situations, progressing from a first gate almost devoid of choices towards the third gate which holds most of the options comparatively.

See below a list of the most transformative changes:

  • Seed of Corruption Icon Seed of Corruption identity has been moved as a mass Corruption Icon Corruption application, with Malefic Rapture Icon Malefic Rapture being the primary non-cooldown spender in both single target and AoE;
  • Sow the Seeds Icon Sow the Seeds has been removed as a result;
  • in the first gate Volatile Agony Icon Volatile Agony offers a similar idea to the now deprecated Pandemic Invocation Icon Pandemic Invocation but limited to Agony Icon Agony while dealing AoE damage as well;
  • Improved Shadow Bolt Icon Improved Shadow Bolt is a welcomed new choice node with Drain Soul Icon Drain Soul offering distinct use cases depending on the situation;
  • similarly a new talent Summoner's Embrace Icon Summoner's Embrace is now sharing the choice node with Grimoire of Sacrifice Icon Grimoire of Sacrifice;
  • Cunning Cruelty Icon Cunning Cruelty is a new talent that offer Shadowbolt Volley procs;
  • Soul Flame Icon Soul Flame, Soul Swap Icon Soul Swap and Inevitable Demise Icon Inevitable Demise have been removed;
  • the old capstones Dread Touch Icon Dread Touch, Doom Blossom Icon Doom Blossom, Grand Warlock's Design Icon Grand Warlock's Design and Grim Reach Icon Grim Reachhave been removed;
  • Oblivion Icon Oblivion is the new single target/hard swap capstone spender, dealing tremendous damage over a brief duration, every 45s.

Overall the Affliction tree design feels more consolidated and focused, more cohesive in its intention of augmenting fewer but more meaningful rotational abilities, and in a way simplify the interactions with the new Hero Trees.

In practice there is a notable distinction in how more dynamic and less scripted the spec plays, thanks to several proc talents, while retaining the distinctive damage over time management. The difference between how busy it is in single target and multitarget has also been attenuated, with multitarget being more interactive and less dull.


Hero Talent Trees for Affliction Warlock in The War Within

Hero Talents are perhaps the most notable addition to The War Within, with each spec having access to 2 out of the 3 available for the class. Affliction Warlock in this case can opt between Hellcaller and Soul Harvester Hero Talent Trees.


Hellcaller Hero Talents for Affliction Warlock

The Hellcaller Hero tree is themed around Shadowflame and a new Damage over Time effect replacing Corruption Icon Corruption in the case of Affliction. As the centerpiece of the tree Wither Icon Wither role is to provide a new way to interact with Tormented Crescendo Icon Tormented Crescendo procs and it is the base upon which setup burst window every minute through Malevolence Icon Malevolence. Its unique mechanic is its ability to become acute, providing additional damage.

In terms of playstyle, the tree has a passive foundation in dot management, which can be trivialized with its interaction with Absolute Corruption Icon Absolute Corruption, and is about reacting to the very frequent procs of Tormented Crescendo Icon Tormented Crescendo stemming from Seeds of Their Demise Icon Seeds of Their Demise.

Regarding defensive options and utility, Warlock hero trees are somewhat light in that department, with the option to either consolidate the benefit of both Curse of Weakness Icon Curse of Weakness and Curse of Tongues Icon Curse of Tongues in the new Curse of the Satyr Icon Curse of the Satyr or the ability to automatically curse every enemy in 30 yards during Unending Resolve Icon Unending Resolve with a very sporadic uptime. The other node is vastly undertuned with both Zevrim's Resilience Icon Zevrim's Resilience and Illhoof's Design Icon Illhoof's Design providing basically intangible benefit, if not being even detrimental in the case of the latter.


Soul Harvester Hero Talents for Affliction Warlock

Soul Harvester Hero tree takes a different approach, with a theme-centered around shard cost reduction for spenders, direct damage increase, and additional damage over time in the form of Soul Anathema Icon Soul Anathema.

The strong synergy with Nightfall Icon Nightfall through Necrolyte Teachings Icon Necrolyte Teachings, Mantle of the Harvester Icon Mantle of the Harvester and Sataiel's Ambition Icon Sataiel's Ambition creates a playstyle that is fast, guarantees consistent procs that offer high burst damage single target and still offers a major burst window every minute, tied in this case to Soul Rot Icon Soul Rot, followed by Malefic Rapture Icon Malefic Raptures dump.

While in AoE it does not offer the same level of passive prowess Hellcaller provides, its synergy with Cunning Cruelty Icon Cunning Cruelty  and generally stronger spenders help mitigate the disparity.

In terms of defensive and utility options, again few improvements in terms of Gorebound Fortitude Icon Gorebound Fortitude offering Soulburn Icon Soulburn Healthstone Icon Healthstones at no additional shard cost, and Friends In Dark Places Icon Friends In Dark Places giving an additional 25% to the baseline absorb value of Dark Pact Icon Dark Pact. Eternal Servitude Icon Eternal Servitude on the other hand enable a more frequent pet swapping/resummoning as a quality-of-life change, with the alternative of an improved combat ress in Gorefiend's Resolve Icon Gorefiend's Resolve similar to other classes.


Affliction Warlock Tier Set in The War Within

Season 1 Tier Set Bonuses for Affliction Warlock in The War Within are the following:.

  • Warlock Affliction 11.0 Class Set 2pc Icon Warlock Affliction 11.0 Class Set 2pcMalefic Rapture Icon Malefic Rapture damage increased by 5% and its critical strike chance is increased by 10%.
  • Warlock Affliction 11.0 Class Set 4pc Icon Warlock Affliction 11.0 Class Set 4pcMalefic Rapture Icon Malefic Rapture has a chance to increase damage dealt by your Agony Icon Agony, Corruption Icon Corruption, and Unstable Affliction Icon Unstable Affliction by 15% for 8 sec.

Both set bonuses offer a talent-agnostic passive damage increase, as intended in their design, with neither suffering from target count or encounter timing, and instead offering consistency first and foremost.

No details as the time of writing if the 4 pieces effect is RPPM or simply a flat chance, so being able to play around it may not be feasible, but at the very least should not be treated as a maintenance buff like the now deprecated Dread Touch Icon Dread Touch.

How Good is the Affliction Warlock Tier Bonus in The War Within?

If tuned following the general goal of providing between 10 to 15% increase with the 2 and 4 pieces together, Affliction tier set has a wide practicality, and should perform well in any scenarios, be it instanced PVE or outdoor, with PVP maybe suffering from a underwhelming 4P in that specific context.


Affliction Warlock Strengths and Weaknesses

Strengths icon Strengths
  • +Very fluid gameplay
  • +Identity consolidated with more intuitive choices
  • +Terrific spread cleave potential in Hellcaller
  • +Ability to burst down targets with Oblivion
Weaknesses icon Weaknesses
  • -Ramp-up time for some of its damage, specifically AoE burst that would only start after the 3rd GCD
  • -Warlock utility in dungeons is still lacking, outside of niche such as Gateway skip, and amplify curse
  • -Warlock class tree rework is somewhat more restrictive post rework


  • 19 Jun. 2024: Page Created.
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