How To Improve As Affliction Warlock — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.3

Last updated on Jan 14, 2020 at 12:19 by Motoko 97 comments
General Information

On this page, you will find out how you can improve at playing Affliction Warlock in World of Warcraft — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.3. We list the common mistakes that you should try to avoid and the small details that can greatly improve your performance.


Not Letting Agony Stacks Drop

While this is one of the most basic mistakes, it will cost you a lot of damage if it happens to you. It is highly recommended you obtain an AddOn such as WeakAuras or Gnosis that can display an easy timer or icon for your DoTs. In multi-target situations in particular, keeping track of your Agony Icon Agony stacks is of crucial importance to pulling ahead on damage.


Not Delaying Deathbolt Usage

Deathbolt Icon Deathbolt might seem like a talent that requires a lot of set-up, however, the reality is quite the opposite. It is nearly always optimal to cast Deathbolt immediately on cooldown, rather than delaying it to refresh DoTs. Players paying close attention to their cooldowns can gain a little bit of damage by applying an Unstable Affliction Icon Unstable Affliction or two in advance, timed so Deathbolt will be available immediately following their application.


Proper Unstable Affliction Coverage

As we no longer play around Malefic Grasp and Reap Souls to deal bursty windows of damage, it is instead preferable to maintain a higher uptime on Unstable Affliction Icon Unstable Affliction for its 10% damage increase. In multi-target scenarios, we want to spread our Unstable Afflictions around to targets affected by your other DoTs, to further amplify their output. You should look at this ability more as an effect that increases your overall damage, rather than being an ability you dump for burst.


Correct Soul Shard Management with Drain Soul

When you are playing with Drain Soul Icon Drain Soul, you must go out of your way to "snipe" Soul Shards by draining them as they die. Draining the target is only half of the method, however, as you need to put the Soul Shards to use. Always keep track of your current Soul Shard count in relation to the next available Soul Shards, either by DoT ticks or by Drain Soul Icon Drain Soul. If you are high on Soul Shards with a group of adds low on health, you will end up with too many Soul Shards to spend, or in other words, Shards wasted.


Seed of Corruption

Seed of Corruption Icon Seed of Corruption is not as strong as we are used to from Legion, and should now only be used as a Soul Shard dump when there are large numbers of targets. Seed should always be used to apply and maintain Corruption Icon Corruption, however, if there are 3+ targets stacked together.


Summon Darkglare

Summon Darkglare Icon Summon Darkglare is a great cooldown with a lot of potential, particularly in multi-target scenarios. The interaction with Unstable Affliction Icon Unstable Affliction allows you to get amazing efficiency out of both your Soul Shards and the damage increase. The ideal time for Darkglare is when there are several targets that will be alive for the entire duration of your DoTs, as it allows you to spread your Unstable Afflictions around and then fully extend them while Agony Icon Agony and Corruption Icon Corruption tick away at full power.

When using Summon Darkglare Icon Summon Darkglare on single target, you want to ensure that you keep Unstable Affliction Icon Unstable Affliction up at all times for the damage increase for the Darkglare and to the target.


Using Your Cooldowns More Often

One of the biggest mistakes players in general make in a dungeon is to hold their cooldowns for most of the run, fearing they will not be available on bosses. Summon Darkglare Icon Summon Darkglare and Dark Soul: Misery Icon Dark Soul: Misery are extremely strong on trash packs, especially in higher keys when you need cooldowns for difficult/big pulls.



  • 14 Jan. 2020: This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.3 and no changes are necessary.
  • 25 Jun. 2019: This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018: This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 30 Oct. 2018: Updated the list.
  • 13 Aug. 2018: Page added for Battle for Azeroth launch.
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