Warlock Leveling Guide 1-120 Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.1

Last updated Today at 03:21 by Motoko 11 comments

Table of Contents

1. General Battle for Azeroth Leveling Tips

Welcome! While this leveling guide is specifically made for the class and specialization(s) listed, we also have a general Battle for Azeroth leveling guide that focuses on the specific features of the Battle for Azeroth expansion including preparation of your mission table that will be used to unlock new areas, progressing on your faction's War Effort to save time at Level 120, and a reminder to keep ALL of the gear you find for the Scrap-o-Matic 1000 or Shred-Master Mk1, which will greatly increase your resource generating capabilities. Please visit our 110 to 120 leveling guide for this information and more (including Heirloom and War Mode advice that also applies to players who are not yet Level 110.

2. Best Specialization for Leveling

To start things off, all 3 specializations are good for leveling quickly, with Affliction and Demonology edging out by a tiny bit; that said, if you play to each spec's strength, the difference in speed is minimal and you should instead pick what you like the most or is more in line with your playstyle.

3. Leveling 1-120 as an Affliction Warlock

3.1. Gear Options

When leveling up, you should always choose the piece of loot with the highest item level. If the item levels are equal, you should choose the piece with stats that are most favorable to your specialization. If your current item is an Heirloom, it should not be replaced.

3.2. Level by Level Rotation and Talents

Move the slider below to make the guide update to your level!

Level: 110

3.2.1. Talents to Level Up as an Affliction Warlock

Your first talent row unlocks at Level 15.

Your talent set up should be as follows.

3.2.2. Rotation to Level Up as an Affliction Warlock

Starting at Level 1, you only have one main attack ability: Shadow Bolt Icon Shadow Bolt.

  1. Cast Unstable Affliction Icon Unstable Affliction whenever you have 4-5 Soul Shards. It does high damage and you should avoid wasting Soul Shards by letting them hit maximum.
  2. Phantom Singularity Icon Phantom Singularity should be cast whenever available. The healing and multi-target damage it provides is great for leveling.
  3. Apply Agony Icon Agony to targets to generate Soul Shards and deal damage. Agony is instant cast, so you can deal with multiple targets while on the move.
  4. Cast Seed of Corruption Icon Seed of Corruption when multiple targets are stacked together to apply Corruption Icon Corruption.
  5. Apply Corruption Icon Corruption to targets to deal damage. Corruption is instant cast, so you can deal with multiple targets while on the move.
  6. Cast Summon Darkglare Icon Summon Darkglare when you have DoTs applied to quickly burn down tougher opponents.
  7. Haunt Icon Haunt increases the damage we deal to a target. Haunt deals good burst damage and resets with each kill, and should be used as a nuke while leveling.
  8. Cast Drain Life Icon Drain Life when you need to heal.
  9. Deathbolt Icon Deathbolt is our Level 15 Talent, and should be cast once you have your DoTs applied for burst damage.
  10. Cast Health Funnel Icon Health Funnel when you need to heal your Demon.
  11. Cast Unstable Affliction Icon Unstable Affliction to spend Soul Shards.
  12. Cast Shadow Bolt Icon Shadow Bolt to deal damage.

3.2.3. Summary of Unlocked Abilities for Affliction Warlock

You unlock your first ability of interest at Level 3.

  • Corruption Icon Corruption unlocks at Level 3. Corruption can be applied to enemies and deals Shadow damage periodically for 14 seconds.
  • At Level 5 you acquire your first pet, Summon Imp Icon Summon Imp. This summons a demon that casts spells and persists until you dismiss it or it dies.
  • Soul Shards, your main resource, unlock at Level 10. Soul Shards are generated randomly by Agony Icon Agony damage.
  • Agony also unlocks at Level 10, and deals Shadow damage periodically for 18 seconds. The damage increases over time, until it reaches a maximum number of stacks. The stacks can be preserved by recasting Agony before the effect expires. It also has a chance to generate a Soul Shard when dealing damage.
  • Drain Life Icon Drain Life is available at Level 13, and is your first channeled spell. Drain Life does low damage, but restores a modest amount of health with each tick.
  • Unstable Affliction Icon Unstable Affliction unlocks at Level 14, allowing you to spend Soul Shards. Unstable Affliction increases the damage you deal to targets by 10% and deals strong damage over a short period of time.
  • Fear Icon Fear is unlocked at Level 16, and is a "Crowd Control" spell. Fear makes a target run in random directions for 20 seconds, but the effect can be broken by damage.
  • At Level 18, you can cast Create Healthstone Icon Create Healthstone. Healthstones can be used to quickly restore Health to your character, which can be lifesaving.
  • Summon Voidwalker Icon Summon Voidwalker is available at Level 20. The Voidwalker is a "Tank"-style pet that is good for using while leveling.
  • Health Funnel Icon Health Funnel, available at Level 22, is a channeled spell that siphons 25% of your maximum health over several seconds in return for your Demon to heal for twice as much during that time.
  • At Level 24, you can summon an Eye of Kilrogg Icon Eye of Kilrogg to temporarily control. Your character viewpoint shifts to the Eye, which moves quickly and can be used to scout.
  • Unending Breath Icon Unending Breath unlocks at Level 24, allowing you to breathe underwater indefinitely while you have the buff, as well as increasing swim speed by 20%.
  • At Level 26, you unlock Unstable Affliction Icon Unstable Affliction's second rank. Unstable Affliction will now refund a Soul Shard if the target dies while the effect is active.
  • At Level 28, you an unlock the ability to cast Summon Succubus Icon Summon Succubus. The Succubus pet is generally most effective for Player vs. Player combat, as it possesses good Crowd Control abilities against Humanoids.
  • Banish Icon Banish unlocks at Level 32, and is a powerful Crowd Control ability against certain monster types. Banish is only effective against Demons, Aberrations, and Elementals, and lasts 30 seconds.
  • At Level 34 your Soul Leech Icon Soul Leech passive is available. This grants a passive absorption shield to your character based on the single target damage you deal, and can accrue up to 10 of your maximum health in damage protection.
  • At Level 36, you unlock Summon Felhunter Icon Summon Felhunter. The Felhunter has the ability to interrupt enemy spellcasts, which makes it a useful pet for dungeons and Player vs. Player.
  • At Level 38, you unlock an additional pet ability which can be activated by the Command Demon Icon Command Demon ability. The ability you unlock depends on your pet.
  • Seed of Corruption Icon Seed of Corruption also unlocks at Level 38, is a debuff that can be applied to a target. Doing enough damage to the debuffed target triggers the Seed to explode, dealing damage to everything and spreading Corruption Icon Corruption to affected targets. This spell is designed to help you deal with multiple targets more efficiently.
  • Ritual of Summoning Icon Ritual of Summoning can be cast at Level 42, but it requires 2 additional players to complete. This will create a Summoning Portal, which lasts 5 minutes and can be used (with the help of an ally) to summon party and raid members to your location.
  • At Level 44 you can apply Soulstone Icon Soulstone to yourself or your allies. Soulstone lasts 10 minutes, and has a 10 minute cooldown, allowing the beneficiary to resurrect immediately upon death.
  • At Level 52, your Agony Icon Agony spell is upgraded, and may now ramp up to 10 stacks.
  • At Level 54, Unending Resolve Icon Unending Resolve unlocks. This is your primary defensive ability, reducing all damage you take by 40% for 8 seconds, as well as granting immunity to silence and interrupt effects for the duration.
  • Enslave Demon Icon Enslave Demon can be cast at Level 56, which allows you to force a Demon NPC to become your Pet for 5 minutes.
  • Summon Darkglare Icon Summon Darkglare unlocks at Level 58, and this is your main DPS cooldown. Darkglare lasts 20 seconds, extends currently active DoT effects, and does increased damage based on your active number of DoTs.
  • At Level 60, Shadowfury Icon Shadowfury becomes available. This allows you to stun a group of monsters within a radius.
  • At Level 66, you can cast Create Soulwell Icon Create Soulwell, allowing your entire party or raid to acquire Healthstones for themselves.
  • At Level 70, Soulstone Icon Soulstone is upgraded so it may be used to instantly resurrect a dead target.
  • Mastery: Potent Afflictions Icon Mastery: Potent Afflictions unlocks at Level 78, which quickly becomes your best stat. It directly increases the damage of your DoT abilities.
  • At Level 80, Demonic Gateway Icon Demonic Gateway finally unlocks. The Gateway connects two points, and interacting with either end causes players to be quickly transported to the other side. Players can only use a Demonic Gate once every 90 seconds, but it can be very useful for quick movement.

3.3. Affliction Warlock War Mode Talents for Leveling

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 PvE talents.

3.3.1. General PvP Talents

  • Relentless Icon Relentless is a passive ability but it does not automatically remove crowd control abilities, but instead reduces the duration.
  • Gladiator's Medallion Icon Gladiator's Medallion is an on-use ability that removes all movement impairing effects and all loss of control effects.
  • Adaptation Icon Adaptation automatically removes any loss of control effects that last 5+ seconds, a maximum of once per minute.

Adaptation Icon Adaptation is recommended for most players, as it is automatic and on a relatively short cooldown. This makes it the overall best choice with PvE in mind.

3.3.2. Affliction Warlock PvP Talents for Leveling

  1. Rot and Decay Icon Rot and Decay can be very useful in situations with high sustained damage intake. Combining this with Essence Drain Icon Essence Drain greatly increases your survivability and sustainability and opens a lot of doors for soloing difficult content.
  2. 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 is a large increase to your ability to survive and sustain.
  3. Curse of Shadows Icon Curse of Shadows causes damage over time effects to strike an additional time for 20% of their original damage while active. This offers a little bit of extra burst damage on a short cooldown.
  4. Curse of Fragility Icon Curse of Fragility can be a helpful curse for reducing the health of elite and dangerous mobs.

Curse of Tongues Icon Curse of Tongues, Curse of Weakness Icon Curse of Weakness, and Nether Ward Icon Nether Ward can be situationally useful, but are not recommended as general purpose choices.

Endless Affliction Icon Endless Affliction offers an increase uptime on 10% damage increase from Unstable Affliction Icon Unstable Affliction passive.

Demon Armor Icon Demon Armor substantially increases your survivability, allowing you to tank much more physical damage, should you choose to do so.

Soulshatter Icon Soulshatter can also be situationally useful, particularly if you are leveling in a group, but requires you to properly play around the cooldown.

3.4. Legendary Options

If you are just coming out of Level 110, you will probably have a number of different Legendary items to choose from. Your Legendaries' special effects will stop working at Level 116, but until then they can be a very powerful addition to help you level up quickly. These are our Legendary recommendations for leveling as an Affliction Warlock in Battle for Azeroth:

  • Sephuz's Secret Icon Sephuz's Secret is by far the best choice, giving you a ton of movement speed and damage that can be regularly procced. This will noticeably speed up your leveling and should be considered a must-have if you can get it.
  • Sacrolash's Dark Strike Icon Sacrolash's Dark Strike should be your second choice. The stats from the ring are nice, and the permanent slow is great utility for leveling. The Corruption Icon Corruption damage bonus has great synergy with our leveling Talent of choice, Absolute Corruption Icon Absolute Corruption.

3.5. Pet Choice for Affliction Warlock Leveling

Summon Imp Icon Summon Imp is your first available demon, but is best suited to Raid Environments. This pet is not particularly useful for leveling, but you have no choice for the early levels.

If you are leveling alone, Summon Voidwalker Icon Summon Voidwalker can be a helpful choice while leveling up, as it takes a lot of the pressure off you. Avoiding casting pushback can also increase leveling speed.

Summon Felhunter Icon Summon Felhunter can be a good choice if you are leveling in a group, or venturing into dungeons. The extra interrupt is helpful for dealing with troublesome caster mobs.

3.6. Quest Rewards

You should equip new quest rewards when their item level starts beating out your previous set of gear. If you are currently wearing Tier 21 gear, it is best to let the quest rewards significantly beat your existing item level before using them. With that said, you will unlock Azerite pieces early on, which are worth using over Tier gear in most circumstances.

If possible, we recommend holding on to all Quest Rewards you do not use. They can be scrapped at Level 120 for material resources for profession crafting.

3.7. Consumables

There are several consumable items that can be purchased that will help you with your leveling speed.

  • Skystep Potion Icon Skystep Potion increases your movement speed by 150% (more than a mount!) for 8 seconds. It has a 1-minute cooldown. This is extremely useful and should be used often and aggressively for any travel that is more than ~100 yards long.
  • Gunshoes Icon Gunshoes are an Engineering item that increase your movement speed by 200% for 25 seconds. These will make you almost as fast as a Flying mount. We recommend having a lot of these, and using them whenever you are traveling more than ~250 yards.
  • Goblin Glider Kit Icon Goblin Glider Kit is very useful for covering long distances from high places.

3.7.1. Gunshoes Macro

The Gunshoes will not let you stop moving for as long as they are active. Using this macro twice will click the buff off and allow you to stop.

  • #showtooltip
  • /use Gunshoes
  • /cancelaura Gunshoes

3.8. Congratulations!

Congratulations on reaching Level 120! Now that you have hit Level 120 we recommend looking at our Easy mode page and Talents section to learn how to play at maximum level. To get yourself prepared for the end-game content ahead, we strongly recommend this Battle for Azeroth Raiding Lexicon/Spreadsheet by Medivh. It is a gold trove of information that will help you when gearing up in Battle for Azeroth and more.

4. Leveling 1-120 as an Demonology Warlock

4.1. Gear Options

When leveling up, you should always choose the piece of loot with the highest item level. If the item levels are equal, you should choose the piece with stats that are most favorable to your specialization. If your current item is an Heirloom, it should not be replaced.

4.2. Level by Level Rotation and Talents

Move the slider below to make the guide update to your level!

Level: 110

4.2.1. Talents to Level Up as an Demonology Warlock

Your first talent row unlocks at Level 15.

Your talent set up should be as follows.

4.2.2. Rotation to Level Up as an Demonology Warlock

Starting at Level 1, you only have one main attack ability: Shadow Bolt Icon Shadow Bolt.

  1. Summon Demonic Tyrant Icon Summon Demonic Tyrant is the main cooldown of Demonology. It is not exceptionally strong by itself, unless you talent into Demonic Consumption Icon Demonic Consumption, however its strength lies in the 15% damage buff to any pets, on top of a 15-second extension to their active time. Make sure to use it when you have Call Dreadstalkers Icon Call Dreadstalkers out and at least 1 set of imps.
  2. Cast Call Dreadstalkers Icon Call Dreadstalkers whenever you have 2 shards. Dreadstalkers have high single target damage for their cost and, with the talent you unlock at Level 15, they provide AoE damage, on top of 2 Demonic Cores once you reach Level 30.
  3. When there are at least 2 targets grouped up and you have at least 6 imps out, cast Implosion Icon Implosion.
  4. Cast Hand of Gul'dan Icon Hand of Gul'dan whenever you have at least 3 Soul Shards. It does a fair amount of damage, especially when hitting multiple targets and spawns 1 imp for each Shard consumed.
  5. Soul Strike Icon Soul Strike should be cast whenever available. It is a harder hitting, instant-cast Shadow Bolt that makes your Felguard charge to your target.
  6. Use your Demonic Core Icon Demonic Core procs to cast Demonbolt Icon Demonbolt whenever you have 3 or less shards.
  7. Command Demon Icon Command Demon is a powerful tool while leveling, allowing you to stun a single target every 30 seconds, thus reducing the incoming damage you or your pet may suffer.
  8. Demonbolt Icon Demonbolt is worth roughly 2 times the damage of a Shadow Bolt for twice the cast time. I would not consider casting it during leveling unless you get a Demonic Core Icon Demonic Core proc later once you reach Level 30.
  9. Cast Shadow Bolt Icon Shadow Bolt to deal damage and to generate 1 Shard.

4.2.3. Summary of Unlocked Abilities for Demonology Warlock

You unlock your first ability of interest at Level 3.

  • At Level 5, you acquire your first pet, Summon Imp Icon Summon Imp. This summons a demon that casts spells and persists until you dismiss it or it dies.
  • Soul Shards, your main resource, unlock at Level 10. Soul Shards are generated with Shadow Bolt Icon Shadow Bolt casts.
  • Hand of Gul'dan Icon Hand of Gul'dan unlocks at Level 10. Hand of Gul'dan is your first and most-used shard spender; it does increasing damage to any enemies within 8 yards of the impact zone and summons an imp for each shard used, up to a maximum of 3.
  • At Level 12, you unlock Summon Felguard Icon Summon Felguard, the signature pet of Demonology Warlocks, which offers a noticeable upgrade in damage from the imp, while also being your first "tank" pet.
  • Drain Life Icon Drain Life is available at Level 13, and is your first channeled spell. Drain Life does low damage, but restores a modest amount of health with each tick.
  • Call Dreadstalkers Icon Call Dreadstalkers unlocks at Level 14, and represents your first summon with a cooldown. Dreadstalkers hit much harder than imps and offer another body to keep enemies busy while you cast your spells.
  • Fear Icon Fear is unlocked at Level 16, and is a "Crowd Control" spell. Fear makes a target run in random directions for 20 seconds, but the effect can be broken by damage.
  • At Level 18, you can cast Create Healthstone Icon Create Healthstone. Healthstones can be used to quickly restore Health to your character, which can be lifesaving.
  • Summon Voidwalker Icon Summon Voidwalker is available at Level 20. The Voidwalker is a "Tank"-style pet that is good for use while leveling. Trading damage for survivability, and an active taunt, can be considered over the Felguard if you like to pull a sizeable amount of mobs while leveling.
  • Health Funnel Icon Health Funnel, available at Level 22, is a channeled spell that siphons 25% of your maximum health over several seconds to heal your demon for twice as much during that time.
  • Demonbolt Icon Demonbolt becomes available at Level 22, but is realistically only used after Level 30 once you unlock Demonic Core Icon Demonic Core. This is due to its extremely slow cast time and not enough damage to justify it over Shadow Bolt Icon Shadow Bolt.
  • At Level 24, you can summon an Eye of Kilrogg Icon Eye of Kilrogg to temporarily control. Your character viewpoint shifts to the Eye, which moves quickly and can be used to scout.
  • Unending Breath Icon Unending Breath unlocks at Level 24, allowing you to breathe underwater indefinitely while you have the buff, as well as increasing swim speed by 20%.
  • At Level 28, you unlock the ability to cast Summon Succubus Icon Summon Succubus. The Succubus pet is generally most effective for Player vs. Player combat, as it possesses good Crowd Control abilities against Humanoids.
  • Demonic Core Icon Demonic Core is unlocked once you reach Level 30. When your imps expire, there is an individual 10% chance you will gain a Demonic Core stack, which lets you instantly cast Demonbolt Icon Demonbolt and generate 2 shards. The buff lasts for 20 seconds and is refreshed every time you get a new stack, up to 4, giving you plenty of freedom in how and when to use it.
  • Banish Icon Banish unlocks at Level 32, and is a powerful Crowd Control ability against certain monster types. Banish is only effective against Demons, Aberrations, and Elementals, and lasts 30 seconds.
  • At Level 34, your Soul Leech Icon Soul Leech passive is available. This grants a passive absorption shield to your character based on the single target damage you deal, and can accrue up to 10% of your maximum health in damage protection.
  • At Level 36, you unlock Summon Felhunter Icon Summon Felhunter. The Felhunter has the ability to interrupt enemy spellcasts, which makes it a useful pet for dungeons and Player vs. Player.
  • At Level 38, you unlock an additional pet ability , which can be activated by the Command Demon Icon Command Demon ability. The ability you unlock depends on your pet.
  • Ritual of Summoning Icon Ritual of Summoning can be cast at Level 42, but it requires 2 additional players to complete. This will create a Summoning Portal, which lasts 5 minutes and can be used (with the help of an ally) to summon party and raid members to your location.
  • At Level 44, you can apply Soulstone Icon Soulstone to yourself or your allies. Soulstone lasts 10 minutes, and has a 10 minute cooldown, allowing the beneficiary to resurrect immediately upon death.
  • Implosion Icon Implosion is unlocked at Level 46, and is the second AoE spell for Demonology outside of talents. It grabs all the active imps and hurls them towards your target for a noticeable burst of damage. Imps that die this way still retain a 10% chance each to grant you a Demonic Core Icon Demonic Core stack.
  • At Level 52, you unlock the passive Soul Link Icon Soul Link, which transfers 20% of the damage you take to your active pet. It also makes Soul Leech Icon Soul Leech heal you for 25% and your pet for 50% of the damage done.
  • At Level 54, Unending Resolve Icon Unending Resolve unlocks. This is your primary defensive ability, reducing all damage you take by 40% for 8 seconds, as well as granting immunity to silence and interrupt effects for the duration.
  • Enslave Demon Icon Enslave Demon can be cast at Level 56, which allows you to force a Demon NPC to become your Pet for 5 minutes.
  • At Level 60, Shadowfury Icon Shadowfury becomes available. This allows you to stun a group of monsters within a radius.
  • At Level 60, you unlock the passive Demonic Embrace Icon Demonic Embrace, which increases your Stamina by 10%.
  • At Level 66, you can cast Create Soulwell Icon Create Soulwell, allowing your entire party or raid to acquire Healthstones for themselves.
  • At Level 70, Soulstone Icon Soulstone is upgraded so it may be used to instantly resurrect a dead target.
  • Mastery: Master Demonologist Icon Mastery: Master Demonologist unlocks at Level 78, which quickly becomes your best stat. It directly increases the damage of your summoned demons.
  • At Level 80, Demonic Gateway Icon Demonic Gateway finally unlocks. The Gateway connects two points, and interacting with either end causes players to be quickly transported to the other side. Players can only use a Demonic Gate once every 90 seconds, but it can be very useful for quick movement.
  • Summon Demonic Tyrant Icon Summon Demonic Tyrant becomes available at Level 80. The Tyrant itself does a respectable amount of damage and buffs the damage of every other summoned pet by 15%, as well as extending their lifespan by 15 seconds.

4.3. Demonology Warlock War Mode Talents for Leveling

In this section, we will rank the best PvP talents for leveling and doing solo / small group PvE content. Below is a ranking of both General PvP Talents and Demonology Warlock-specific PvE talents.

4.3.1. General PvP Talents

  • Relentless Icon Relentless is a passive ability, but it does not automatically remove crowd control abilities. Instead, it reduces the duration.
  • Gladiator's Medallion Icon Gladiator's Medallion is an on-use ability that removes all movement impairing effects and all loss of control effects.
  • Adaptation Icon Adaptation automatically removes any loss of control effects that last 5+ seconds, with this occurring a maximum of once per minute.

Adaptation Icon Adaptation is recommended for most players, as it is automatic and on a relatively short cooldown. Overall, this makes it the best choice with PvE in mind.

4.3.2. Demonology Warlock PvP Talents for Leveling

  1. Call Fel Lord Icon Call Fel Lord can be useful mostly when engaging with other players in PvP, as it offers a moment of respite from melee that are focusing you.
  2. Call Felhunter Icon Call Felhunter offers an interrupt every 24 seconds, provided your active pet is not the Felhunter.
  3. Call Observer Icon Call Observer summons a demon that will zap any enemy casting harmful spells within 20 yards for 5% of their maximum health.
  4. Curse of Fragility Icon Curse of Fragility can be a helpful curse for reducing the Health of elite and dangerous mobs.

Curse of Tongues Icon Curse of Tongues, Curse of Weakness Icon Curse of Weakness, and Nether Ward Icon Nether Ward can be situationally useful, but are not recommended as general purpose choices.

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 is a large increase to your ability to survive and sustain.

Master Summoner Icon Master Summoner makes your Call Dreadstalkers Icon Call Dreadstalkers instant cast, regardless if you have a Demonic Calling Icon Demonic Calling proc or not. This is not really mandatory, especially if you run Demonic Calling Icon Demonic Calling.

Pleasure through Pain Icon Pleasure through Pain would actually be a solid choice, if it was not for the fact that you have to run with Succubus, thus losing cleave/AoE damage compared to a Felguard.

Singe Magic Icon Singe Magic offers a defensive dispel on a 15-second cooldown without any downside, assuming you are not using Imp already.

4.4. Legendary Options

If you are just coming out of Level 110, you will probably have a number of different Legendary items to choose from. Your Legendaries' special effects will stop working at Level 116, but until then, they can be a very powerful addition to help you level up quickly. These are our Legendary recommendations for leveling as a Demonology Warlock in Battle for Azeroth:

  • Sephuz's Secret Icon Sephuz's Secret is by far the best choice, giving you a ton of movement speed and damage that can be regularly procced. This will noticeably speed up your leveling and should be considered a must-have if you can get it.
  • Soul of the Netherlord Icon Soul of the Netherlord is arguably your second best option. It allows you to get Soul Conduit Icon Soul Conduit, increasing your shard generation and thus speeding up your summoning cycle. This allows you to do damage faster while leveling.
  • Pillars of the Dark Portal Icon Pillars of the Dark Portal offer you increased mobility, making your Demonic Gateway Icon Demonic Gateway essentially function like a blink.

As a general rule, you do not want to wear legendaries in the Azerite slots, and rings/wrists are the least impactful slots regarding Intellect loss from wearing lower item level legendaries.

4.5. Pet Choice for Demonology Warlock Leveling

Summon Imp Icon Summon Imp is your first available demon. This pet is not particularly useful for leveling, but you have no choice for the early levels.

Summon Felguard Icon Summon Felguard is your main demon for most of the situations, offering a noticeable upgrade in terms of cleave damage while also being the second most durable pet. If you find your pet dying frequently, consider switching to Demon Skin Icon Demon Skin and/or Voidwalker.

If you are leveling alone, Summon Voidwalker Icon Summon Voidwalker can be a helpful choice while leveling up, as it takes a lot of the pressure off of you. Avoiding casting pushback can also increase leveling speed.

Summon Felhunter Icon Summon Felhunter can be a good choice if you are leveling in a group, or venturing into dungeons. The extra interrupt is helpful for dealing with troublesome caster mobs.

4.6. Quest Rewards

You should equip new quest rewards when their item level starts beating out your previous set of gear. If you are currently wearing Tier 21 gear, it is best to let the quest rewards significantly beat your existing item level before using them. With that said, you will unlock Azerite pieces early on, which are worth using over Tier gear in most circumstances.

If possible, we recommend holding on to all Quest Rewards you do not use. They can be scrapped at Level 120 for material resources for profession crafting.

4.7. Consumables

There are several consumable items that can be purchased that will help you with your leveling speed.

  • Skystep Potion Icon Skystep Potion increases your movement speed by 150% (more than a mount!) for 8 seconds. It has a 1-minute cooldown. This is extremely useful and should be used often and aggressively for any travel that is more than ~100 yards long.
  • Gunshoes Icon Gunshoes are an Engineering item that increase your movement speed by 200% for 25 seconds. These will make you almost as fast as a Flying mount. We recommend having a lot of these, and using them whenever you are traveling more than ~250 yards.
  • Goblin Glider Kit Icon Goblin Glider Kit is very useful for covering long distances from high places.

4.7.1. Gunshoes Macro

The Gunshoes will not let you stop moving for as long as they are active. Using this macro twice will click the buff off and allow you to stop.

  • #showtooltip
  • /use Gunshoes
  • /cancelaura Gunshoes

4.8. Congratulations!

Congratulations on reaching Level 120! Now that you have hit Level 120 we recommend looking at our Easy mode page and Talents section to learn how to play at maximum level. To get yourself prepared for the end-game content ahead, we strongly recommend this Battle for Azeroth Raiding Lexicon/Spreadsheet by Medivh. It is a gold trove of information that will help you when gearing up in Battle for Azeroth and more.

5. Leveling 1-120 as an Destruction Warlock

5.1. Gear Options

When leveling up, you should always choose the piece of loot with the highest item level. If the item levels are equal, you should choose the piece with stats that are most favorable to your specialization. If your current item is an Heirloom, it should not be replaced.

5.2. Level by Level Rotation and Talents

Move the slider below to make the guide update to your level!

Level: 110

5.2.1. Talents to Level Up as an Destruction Warlock

Your first talent row unlocks at Level 15.

Your talent set up should be as follows.

This first build is a passive setup, centered around steady damage outcome.

This build is based around short cooldown rotations.

5.2.2. Rotation to Level Up as an Destruction Warlock

Starting at Level 1, you only have one main attack ability: Shadow Bolt Icon Shadow Bolt.

  1. Cast Summon Infernal Icon Summon Infernal on cooldown or whenever you need either a big burst of damage or AoE stun. This will generate 3 shards over its duration.
  2. Cast Chaos Bolt Icon Chaos Bolt whenever you have at least 2 shards.
  3. Cast Rain of Fire Icon Rain of Fire if there are at least 3 targets stacked for most of its duration.
  4. Cast Cataclysm Icon Cataclysm on cooldown to apply Immolate Icon Immolate on every target hit.
  5. Maintain Immolate Icon Immolate on targets to generate a steady income of shard fragments.
  6. Cast Channel Demonfire Icon Channel Demonfire whenever you have at least 1 Immolate Icon Immolate active.
  7. Cast Havoc Icon Havoc when a second target is present so you can duplicate all your single target spells for 60% their original value.
  8. Cast Soul Fire Icon Soul Fire on cooldown to generate resources and deal high damage to a target.
  9. Cast Conflagrate Icon Conflagrate on cooldown to speed up Chaos Bolt Icon Chaos Bolt.
  10. Cast Shadowburn Icon Shadowburn on cooldown, but try to save 1 stack for when targets are about to die so you can get a reset.
  11. Cast Incinerate Icon Incinerate to deal damage and generate shard fragments.

5.2.3. Summary of Unlocked Abilities for Destruction Warlock

You unlock your first ability of interest at Level 3.

  • At Level 5, you acquire your first pet, Summon Imp Icon Summon Imp. This summons a demon that casts spells and persists until you dismiss it or it dies.
  • At Level 10, you unlock Conflagrate Icon Conflagrate, an instant cast, single-target spell that hits for a fair amount and also generates half a shard, as well as giving you 1 stack of Backdraft Icon Backdraft.
  • Immolate Icon Immolate is also unlocked at Level 10, and its the signature dot of Destruction, giving you good damage and shard generation together.
  • Soul Shards, your main resource, unlock at Level 10. Soul Shard fragments are generated with Immolate Icon Immolate periodic ticks.
  • Drain Life Icon Drain Life is available at Level 13, and is your first channeled spell. Drain Life does low damage, but restores a modest amount of health with each tick.
  • Incinerate Icon Incinerate unlocks at Level 14, replacing Shadow Bolt. It is your main shard generator with almost double the damage.
  • At Level 14, you also unlock the passive Backdraft Icon Backdraft, reducing the cast time of your next Incinerate Icon Incinerate or Chaos Bolt Icon Chaos Bolt by 30% after casting Conflagrate Icon Conflagrate.
  • Fear Icon Fear is unlocked at Level 16, and is a "Crowd Control" spell. Fear makes a target run in random directions for 20 seconds, but the effect can be broken by damage.
  • At Level 18, you can cast Create Healthstone Icon Create Healthstone. Healthstones can be used to quickly restore Health to your character, which can be lifesaving.
  • Summon Voidwalker Icon Summon Voidwalker is available at Level 20. The Voidwalker is a "Tank"-style pet that is good for using while leveling. Trading damage for survivability, and an active taunt, can be considered over a Felguard if you like to pull a sizeable amount of mobs while leveling.
  • Health Funnel Icon Health Funnel, available at Level 22, is a channeled spell that siphons 25% of your maximum health over several seconds and, in return, heals your demon for twice as much during that time.
  • At Level 24, you can summon an Eye of Kilrogg Icon Eye of Kilrogg to temporarily control. Your character viewpoint shifts to the Eye, which moves quickly and can be used to scout.
  • Unending Breath Icon Unending Breath unlocks at Level 24, allowing you to breathe underwater indefinitely while you have the buff, as well as increasing swim speed by 20%.
  • Rain of Fire Icon Rain of Fire becomes available at Level 26. You should cast it whenever there are at least 3 targets that will be affected for its duration. It does stack.
  • At Level 28, you unlock the ability to cast Summon Succubus Icon Summon Succubus. The Succubus pet is generally most effective for Player vs. Player combat, as it possesses good Crowd Control abilities against Humanoids.
  • Banish Icon Banish unlocks at Level 32, and is a powerful Crowd Control ability against certain monster types. Banish is only effective against Demons, Aberrations, and Elementals, and lasts 30 seconds.
  • At Level 34, your Soul Leech Icon Soul Leech passive is available. This grants a passive absorption shield to your character based on the single target damage you deal, and can accrue up to 10% of your maximum health in damage protection.
  • At Level 36, you unlock Summon Felhunter Icon Summon Felhunter. The Felhunter has the ability to interrupt enemy spellcasts, which makes it a useful pet for dungeons and Player vs. Player.
  • At Level 38, you unlock an additional pet ability, which can be activated by the Command Demon Icon Command Demon ability. The ability you unlock depends on your pet.
  • The signature spell of Destruction, Havoc Icon Havoc, becomes available at Level 40, and allows you to duplicate your single target spells on a designated enemy for 60% their original damage.
  • Ritual of Summoning Icon Ritual of Summoning can be cast at Level 42, but it requires 2 additional players to complete. This will create a Summoning Portal, which lasts 5 minutes and can be used (with the help of an ally) to summon party and raid members to your location.
  • At Level 44, you can apply Soulstone Icon Soulstone to yourself or your allies. Soulstone lasts 10 minutes, and has a 10 minute cooldown, allowing the beneficiary to resurrect immediately upon death.
  • Implosion Icon Implosion is unlocked at Level 46, and is the second AoE spell for Destruction outside talents. It grabs all the active imps and hurls them towards your target for a noticeable burst of damage. Imps that die this way still retain a 10% chance each to grant you a Demonic Core Icon Demonic Core stack.
  • At Level 52, you unlock the passive Soul Link Icon Soul Link, which transfers 20% of the damage you take to your active pet. It also makes Soul Leech Icon Soul Leech heal you for 25% and your pet for 50% of the damage done.
  • At Level 52, you also passively unlock a second charge of Conflagrate Icon Conflagrate, allowing you more flexibility in its usage.
  • At Level 54, Unending Resolve Icon Unending Resolve unlocks. This is your primary defensive ability, reducing all damage you take by 40% for 8 seconds, as well as granting immunity to silence and interrupt effects for the duration.
  • Enslave Demon Icon Enslave Demon can be cast at Level 56, which allows you to force a Demon NPC to become your Pet for 5 minutes.
  • Summon Infernal Icon Summon Infernal is available at Level 58. Its a powerful cooldown that does an AoE stun, radiates damage for its duration and generates 3 whole shards over 30 seconds.
  • At Level 60, Shadowfury Icon Shadowfury becomes available. This allows you to stun a group of monsters within a radius.
  • At Level 60, you unlock the passive Demonic Embrace Icon Demonic Embrace which increases your Stamina by 10%.
  • At Level 66, you can cast Create Soulwell Icon Create Soulwell, allowing your entire party or raid to acquire Healthstones for themselves.
  • At Level 70, Soulstone Icon Soulstone is upgraded, so it may be used to instantly resurrect a dead target.
  • Mastery: Chaotic Energies Icon Mastery: Chaotic Energies unlocks at Level 78, which quickly becomes your best stat. It directly increases the damage of your spells by a variable amount and also offers additional damage mitigation.
  • At Level 80, Demonic Gateway Icon Demonic Gateway finally unlocks. The Gateway connects two points, and interacting with either end causes players to be quickly transported to the other side. Players can only use a Demonic Gate once every 90 seconds, but it can be very useful for quick movement.

5.3. Destruction Warlock War Mode Talents for Leveling

In this section, we will rank the best PvP talents for leveling and doing solo / small group PvE content. Below is a ranking of both General PvP Talents and Destruction Warlock-specific PvE talents.

5.3.1. General PvP Talents

  • Relentless Icon Relentless is a passive ability, but it does not automatically remove crowd control abilities. Instead, it reduces the duration.
  • Gladiator's Medallion Icon Gladiator's Medallion is an on-use ability that removes all movement impairing effects and all loss of control effects.
  • Adaptation Icon Adaptation automatically removes any loss of control effects that last 5+ seconds. This effect occurs a maximum of once per minute.

Adaptation Icon Adaptation is recommended for most players, as it is automatic and on a relatively short cooldown. This makes it the best choice overall with PvE in mind.

5.3.2. Destruction Warlock PvP Talents for Leveling

  1. Bane of Havoc Icon Bane of Havoc is an extremely powerful option during leveling, allowing you to cast AoE Chaos Bolt Icon Chaos Bolts or even AoE Mortal Coil Icon Mortal Coil for hilarious effects. Remember that this has negative synergy with Focused Chaos Icon Focused Chaos and it is better paired with Cataclysm Icon Cataclysm over Fire and Brimstone Icon Fire and Brimstone.
  2. Cremation Icon Cremation is a powerful option that makes your Conflagrate Icon Conflagrate hit much harder if the target is Immolated. Use it with Flashover Icon Flashover and Entrenched in Flame Icon Entrenched in Flame for the best synergy.
  3. Entrenched in Flame Icon Entrenched in Flame makes your Conflagrate Icon Conflagrate root the target for 3 seconds and does not break with damage. Works with Havoc Icon Havoc and Bane of Havoc Icon Bane of Havoc.
  4. Curse of Fragility Icon Curse of Fragility can be a helpful curse for reducing the health of elite and dangerous mobs.

Curse of Tongues Icon Curse of Tongues, Curse of Weakness Icon Curse of Weakness, and Nether Ward Icon Nether Ward can be situationally useful, but are not recommended as general purpose choices.

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 is a large increase to your ability to survive and sustain.

Demon Armor Icon Demon Armor substantially increases your survivability, allowing you to tank much more physical damage, should you choose to do so.

Fel Fissure Icon Fel Fissure makes your Chaos Bolt Icon Chaos Bolt create a 5-yard eruption, which slows the target by 50% and reduces their healing taken by 25%. It is not particularly useful during leveling, but has its uses whenever coupled with Bane of Havoc Icon Bane of Havoc to create a wide slow area making targets take additional damage before they can escape the Bane of Havoc zone.

Focused Chaos Icon Focused Chaos takes the opposite approach of most of the PvP talents, making your Chaos Bolt Icon Chaos Bolt no longer affected by Havoc Icon Havoc or Bane of Havoc Icon Bane of Havoc, but increasing its damage by 65%. If you prefer a more focused approach and to deal with 1-2 targets at a time, this is the best choice by far.

5.4. Legendary Options

If you are just coming out of Level 110, you will probably have a number of different Legendary items to choose from. Your Legendaries' special effects will stop working at Level 116, but until then they can be a very powerful addition to help you level up quickly. These are our Legendary recommendations for leveling as an Destruction Warlock in Battle for Azeroth:

As a general rule, you do not want to wear legendaries in the Azerite slots, and rings/wrists are the least impactful slots regarding Intellect loss from wearing lower item level legendaries.

5.5. Pet Choice for Destruction Warlock Leveling

Summon Imp Icon Summon Imp is your first available demon. This pet is not particularly useful for leveling, but you have no choice for the early levels.

If you are leveling alone, Summon Voidwalker Icon Summon Voidwalker can be a helpful choice while leveling up, as it takes a lot of the pressure off you. Avoiding casting pushback can also increase leveling speed.

Summon Felhunter Icon Summon Felhunter can be a good choice if you are leveling in a group, or venturing into dungeons. The extra interrupt is helpful for dealing with troublesome caster mobs.

If you do not need a pet to tank many targets, you can also opt for a Succubus, since it does slightly more damage than Imp and is on par with Felhunter.

5.6. Quest Rewards

You should equip new quest rewards when their item level starts beating out your previous set of gear. If you are currently wearing Tier 21 gear, it is best to let the quest rewards significantly beat your existing item level before using them. With that said, you will unlock Azerite pieces early on, which are worth using over Tier gear in most circumstances.

If possible, we recommend holding on to all Quest Rewards you do not use. They can be scrapped at Level 120 for material resources for profession crafting.

5.7. Consumables

There are several consumable items that can be purchased that will help you with your leveling speed.

  • Skystep Potion Icon Skystep Potion increases your movement speed by 150% (more than a mount!) for 8 seconds. It has a 1-minute cooldown. This is extremely useful and should be used often and aggressively for any travel that is more than ~100 yards long.
  • Gunshoes Icon Gunshoes are an Engineering item that increase your movement speed by 200% for 25 seconds. These will make you almost as fast as a Flying mount. We recommend having a lot of these, and using them whenever you are traveling more than ~250 yards.
  • Goblin Glider Kit Icon Goblin Glider Kit is very useful for covering long distances from high places.

5.7.1. Gunshoes Macro

The Gunshoes will not let you stop moving for as long as they are active. Using this macro twice will click the buff off and allow you to stop.

  • #showtooltip
  • /use Gunshoes
  • /cancelaura Gunshoes

5.8. Congratulations!

Congratulations on reaching Level 120! Now that you have hit Level 120 we recommend looking at our Easy mode page and Talents section to learn how to play at maximum level. To get yourself prepared for the end-game content ahead, we strongly recommend this Battle for Azeroth Raiding Lexicon/Spreadsheet by Medivh. It is a gold trove of information that will help you when gearing up in Battle for Azeroth and more.

6. Changelog

  • 25 Jun. 2019: Updated for Patch 8.2.
  • 12 Mar. 2019: Reviewed Affliction and added Demonology and Destruction specializations.
  • 10 Dec. 2018: This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 12 Aug. 2018: Revamped leveling page for BfA.
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