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Warlock: Level 70 DPS | Enchants, Gems, Macros, etc.


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I. Talent Choices

I a. Affliction

I a 1. Play Style

I a 2. Strong and Weak Points

I a 3. Variants

I a 4. Basic Gear Choices

I b. Demonology

I b 1. Play Style

I b 2. Strong and Weak Points

I b 3. Variants

I b 4. Basic Gear Choices

I b 5. Stamina, Intellect, & Demonic Knowledge

I c. Destruction

I c 1. Play Style

I c 2. Strong and Weak Points

I c 3. Variants

I c 4. Basic Gear Choices

II. General Gearing Issues

II a. About Haste

II b. Base Stats

II c. Meta Gem Choices

II d. Basic Gem Choices

II e. Crafted Gear for Warlocks

II f. Trinkets

II g. Magister's Terrace

II h. Consumables

II i. Warlock Sets

III. Spell Power Contribution Per Spell

IIII. End Game Loot Choices

V. Area of Effect Spells

VI. Curse Selection

VII. Immolate vs. Shadowbolt 

VIII. Resistances and Spell Penetration

VIIII. Warlock Tanking

VIIII a. Warlock DPS on Leo

VIIII b. Warlock Tanking on Leo

VIIII c. At the Last 15%

X. Additional Tips and Tricks

 

 

I. Talent Choices

 

Warlocks have many great talents, and there is lots of room for customizing your spec. Consequently there are many viable hybrid builds, each requiring a different play style.

 

I a. Affliction

 

Affliction focuses on dots. Typical demon choice for this style is imp. Even though your crit chance is lower than that of destruction warlocks, you'll want to have improved shadow bolt.

 

I a 1. Play Style

Optimal strategy is to keep Unstable Affliction, Corruption, Siphon Life and a curse active on your target. When all your dots are up you will be using that time to throw Shadow Bolts or Dark Pact/Life tap. Good timing is important: never refresh a dot effect before it has run its full duration, but minimize the time between the last tic and reapplying. For example, you want to start casting Unstable Affliction before the last tic hits, so that the last tic happens during the cast and UA is reapplied almost immediately after. 

You probably want to use an addon like DoTimer or Forte Gaming / Forte Warlock Addon for this. There is no fixed rotation since your dots have different durations. 

Get your imp buffed, blessing of wisdom helps a lot for his mana regeneration, which you can siphon off with dark pact. Imps can only be buffed when they are not phase shifted.

Despite Drain Life getting a lot of benefits, Shadow Bolts will always outdamage it. Drain life is the most mana efficient spell since you're effectively gaining life/mana.

I a 2. Strong and Weak Points

More mana efficient and self sufficient than other trees. 

Ideal in situations when two or more mobs are being tanked, as you can dot them all.

This spec provides less burst damage, and scales worse with gear than other specs. 

Bloodpact can be nice to boost party hit points, especially on fights where a tank can get flattened fast, or where there is lots of aoe damage on the raid. 

Can come with Malediction, which scales with the amount of Shadow/Arcane users in the raid. It adds 2.7% over the untalented CoS. (113% talented, 110% untalented, 1.13/1.1 = 102.73%)

Can come with Shadow Embrace, which reduces the melee damage on the tank by 5%. This effect is multiplicative: if your tank would take a 1000 hit it'll be 950 with SE.

Due to the high amount of raid benefits (Blood Pact, Malediction, Shadow Embrace), having at least one affliction warlock in a raid is recommended.

This build uses a lot of debuff slots. As soon as the cap of 40 debuffs on a mob is reached, the oldest ones will start falling off. For this reason, too many affliction warlocks in a raid will hamper one another. If you're having trouble with debuffs being pushed off, you can use a lower rank of CoS (see Curses, below), have all warlocks use only the optimal dots, or get Warlocks to respec to another tree. (also, see the Debuff count addon linked at the bottom of this post)

Most affliction warlocks use Suppresion to reach the hit cap early on, and spec out of it when they obtain more +hit on their gear. 

I a 3. Variants

 

Affliction builds have access to several talents that can support the raid: Improved blood pact, Malediction, and Shadow Embrace. Most variants are therefore tradeoffs between these and talents that will increase the Warlock's personal dps.

 

Optimally just one warlock in the raid should have them. The UA support build is recommended at starting levels, with the Ruin support build likely to perform a bit better at end level raiding, due to high amounts of hit and crit rating on pieces at that level. 

 

30/21/10 keeps popping up as an alternative build. It's been harshly criticised every time it was proposed.

 

I a 4. Basic Gear Choices

 

Spell hit (until capped with suppression) > Spell damage > Spell haste & Crit

 

After obtaining 76 hit rating with 5/5 Suppression, warlock dots are hit capped. Further extra hit rating only affects Shadow Bolts/Immolate, and is worth less than spell damage on a point-for-point basis.

 

I b. Demonology

 

Demonology in raids is about making best use of your top tier Demonology talents. The strength of these can make up for the lackluster mid tier Demonology ones.

 

Demonologists get a boost to spell power, get a 5% damage bonus due to soul link, and get +5% to crit with spells. It is vital their pet stays alive, though. A Demonologist without a pet is very ineffective.

 

I b 1. Play Style

 

Keeping your Felguard or Succubus alive is key. Micro managing your pet is vital, since it dying means losing a lot of dps.

Spell rotations are similar to affliction, with a higher accent on (improved) Shadow Bolts.

Remember to have your pet attack from the back. Melee attacks from the front can be parried, which can cause a faster attack on the MT. Avoid this at all costs. Update: this has been patched, and demons will now position themselves behind their target.

Ask for buffs on your pet. His stamina and intellect will boost your attack power, and it'll allow him to stay alive longer. BoW should help too

One point in Mana Feed will allow the Felguard to cleave for 5 minutes

If you choose to use a Succubus, don't have her use Lash of Pain on the primary target, as it eats ISB debuff charges.

[Sporeling Snack] and [Kibler's Bits] work on Warlock Pets. The latter is a reward from the cooking quests from the goblin in Shattrath.

Greater blessings cast on warlocks will also affect their demons, except the Felguard. Felguard and hunter pets get the greater blessings cast on Warriors instead. Phase shifted imps do NOT receive buffs.

Demons about to die can be dismissed and nearly instantly resummoned with Fel Domination. This will conserve their buffs, and bring them back with full health and mana. The command to dismiss a demon is /run PetAbandon(), which can be macro'd and assigned to a button. 

 

I b 2. Strong and Weak Points

 

Demonology relies on having the Felguard/Succubus out, so the effectiveness varies a lot. Some fights are brutal towards pets. 

It is the most versatile spec due to the demons each having different effects on you. 

Best choice for Warlock offtanks in specific encounters (Leotheras being a prime example)

Demonology is probably the least gear dependent of all three specs. Exception is the tier 5 two piece set bonus : [Hood of the Corruptor]. This set bonus make a vast difference. [Void Star Talisman] is also really useful in keeping your pet alive. Before obtaining those items, demonology is likely to perform less well than the alternatives due to the extra healing required on the pet. Shadow Priests in your group will obviously help a lot for pet survivability.

Demonologists want a raidbuffed demon out at all times. Make sure to resummon it before raid buffs are applied, or you'll end up having to ask for buffs on your pet. These buffs have huge effects on your demon and on your spellpower. It can become quite a hassle to have to ask for buffs: most healers don't have pets included in their UI and having to ask for buffs on a pet can become quite tedious. Especially the Succubus is prone to dying quite fast.

I b 3. Variants

 

The Succubus build is an alternative to 0/21/40. It has Demonic Tactis (5% crit) and Soul Link and Demonic Knowledge (typically around +200 damage for a raid buffed succubus). It doesn't have the 0/21/40 Backlash (3% crit) and SnD (20% spellpower to Shadow Bolt/Incinerate). For reference, a Succubus has a lot less hit points and has no avoidance to aoe effects compared to a Felguard.

 

I b 4. Basic Gear Choices

 

Spell hit > Spell damage > Spell Haste > Spell Crit

 

As mentioned before, tier 5 two part bonus is very useful for this spec, as is [Void Star Talisman] which drops from Solarian in TK.

 

I b 5. Stamina, Intellect, & Demonic Knowledge

 

Demons get a Stamina boost equal to 30% of their owner, same for Intellect, which translates into 15% Spell power. 

 

With talents:

1 stamina on items =

1.15 stamina on Warlock (Demonic Embrace) =

0.3968 Stamina on Demon (Fel Stamina 15%, Demon Sta contribution 30%) =

0.0595 spellpower (15% Demonic Knowledge)

0.0720 spellpower with kings on both demon and owner

 

So 1 sta = 0.072 spellpower with BoK.

 

It also boosts your Succubus hit points with 2.9 without kings (update needed for Felguard, can anyone tell me the stamina to hit point conversion? It's demon dependent, Succubi get 7 health per sta)

 

1 intellect =

0.345 int to demon (Fel Intellect 15%, Demon Int Contribution 30%) =

0.052 spell power (15% Demonic Knowledge)

0.062 spell power with kings on both demon and owner.

So with Kings 1 int = 0.062 spellpower (and 0.3 crit rating, as listed further in this post)

 

Gearing for Stamina or Intellect in order to obtain higher spellpower through Demonic Knowledge will yield very insignificant returns, especially compared to how buffs like Fortitude and Arcane Intellect on the demon will affect it. Because of this, Stamina's only real function is to give you (and to a lesser extent, your demon) a larger health pool. 

 

I c. Destruction

 

Due to Shadowfury's limited use in raids, the typical Destruction build is 0/21/40, taking a few subpar talents in Demonology to obtain Demonic Sacrifice, which boosts shadow or fire damage by 15%. 

 

This build focuses primarily on Shadow and Flame, Ruin, and Demonic Sacrifice, resulting in Shadow Bolts with a high damage coefficient from spell power. (3/3.5 + 0.2 from talents, or rougly 105.7%). 

 

It's very important to keep the Improved Shadow Bolt Debuff (ISB) up as much as possible, since it provides 20% extra shadow damage to the entire raid while it is active. (including dots - this is a common misconception). Destruction warlocks consequently put a higher value on crit rating than other builds do, since it helps with ISB uptime.

 

Since 2.4 Emberstorm was buffed, making Fire destro a valid alternative that uses Incinerates instead. It is currently being debated which is better. 

 

This spec scales best with gear, and will clearly outperform affliction on high gear levels (Hyjal/BT). For starting raiders, affliction gets a head start due to the hit bonus of Suppression and the mechanics of dots putting spell damage to work while needing virtually no other stats. When +hit gear becomes more easily available, the gap closes.

 

There has been much debate about what the exact gear treshold is, for destruction to outperform affliction. Opinions are divided on the matter. Both specs require different play styles, resulting in boss fights typically favoring one spec over the other. ISB damage is hard to measure. Because of this it is virtually impossible to get solid evidence. The debate is unlikely to cease any time soon.

 

The old rule of thumb "you need Hyjal/BT gear for destruction to be viable" is most definitely untrue. Anecdotal evidence suggests Destruction warlocks with Kharazan or tailored gear outperform equally geared affliction warlocks. Your mileage may vary, as player skill and latency are likely to be far more determining factors.

 

 

I c 1. Play Style

 

Spam Shadow Bolts and curses. Life Tap at opportune times. Bring potions, healthstones and bandages. Fire destro will use Incinerates instead, and needs to make sure Immolate is up. 

Curse of Doom and Curse of Agony still provide higher dps over regular spells provided your target lives long enough.

At lower spell damage levels Corruption will be viable, provided you have enough debuff slots, you get the full 6 tics, you're not threat capped and you don't need to move to cast it (no extra range talent). 

For Shadow destro: if CoE and improved Scorch are up, talented Immolate will out damage Shadow Bolt on damage-per-casting-time at every realistic gear choice, even if accounting for the extra mana cost and ISB procs. If all of these factors are absent, Shadow Bolt might be the better choice depending on gear (better gear favors SB). 

At the start of a fight you may want to apply a curse, Corruption then Immolate regardless of gear, since starting early with Shadow Bolts can easily out aggro the tank if he gets an unlucky string of dodges/misses/parries on the pull, and you crit your first couple of spells.

Since you require Life Taps, having some way to monitor raid health is recommended. When the raid is topped up, a Life Tap or two will result in Flashes of Light or Renew/Rejuvenation on you, all of which are very mana efficient. Moderation is key, since a string of consecutive Life Taps will set off alarm bells, diverting healer attention.

Summoning an infernal will not remove your Demonic Sacrifice, and is a nice way of increasing dps. It does around 30-40k damage in the 5 minutes before it breaks the enslave. It's usable in Sunwell (notably on Brutallus) and in Mount Hyjal. It is not usable on Archimonde or Kalecgos, as being out of range of your infernal can set it off on the raid. 

 

I c 2. Strong and Weak Points

 

This spec has the most powerful burst damage. This is a boon when things need to die quick, but it makes it harder to manage threat while still maximizing dps. 

It is the least mana efficient spec, requiring the occasional heal to be able to keep dpsing. 

Destruction warlocks will need a healthy amount of healthstones, healing potions and bandages in case healing is scarce. Having to stop dpsing to bandage or drain life will make your dps drop dramatically.

Scales the best with gear, due to Shadow Bolts getting a 106% bonus per +damage (3/3.5 + 0.2 from talents), which result in more dps bonus than any other spell for any spec. 

ISB uptime is hard to measure or model, but provides a boost in shadow damage to the entire raid. 

This spec requires a lot less management since there are no real dots to keep track of, and no pet that can die. Some warlock dislike the lack of variety in spells used, others prefer it because it allows them to focus on other things, like keeping an overview of what is happening.

Conflagrate, like Shadowburn has very limited use in raids, as Shadow Bolts outdamage it. 

 

I c 3. Variants

 

The fire specs use Incinerate over Shadow Bolts. It is more mana efficient, but has no synergy with other Warlocks/Shadow Priests since you're not contributing to ISB. Since 2.4 fire is competitive, and both fire and shadow destro 0/21/40 are without a doubt the highest dps specs.

 

The Siphon Life spec drops Demonic Sacrifice for Improved Life Tap and Siphon Life, making you more self reliant. Key talents are the standard destro ones (SnF, Ruin, +8% crit) and Siphon Life. Not as high dps output as the default build, but does require less heals and Life Taps and provides Blood Pact. Listed mostly for completeness.

 

The Shadowfury spec drops Demonic Sacrifice for Shadowfury and some affliction talents. Not as high dps output as the default build, but gets improved Life Tap, Shadowfury and provides Blood Pact. Shadowfury has very limited use in raids, but is very powerful in encounters where it does work. (Hydross, Morogrim, Vashj, Solarian and in Hyjal / ZA)

 

Nether protection is good on only a few encounters (Illhoof, Theron Gorefiend, Archimonde). It does not proc off Leotheras's Demon phase Fire Bolts, so this will not affect your ability to tank him. This is not the case for later bosses (Capernian, Illidan) that can normally also be tanked by warlocks in certain phases: you will not be able to tank these reliably with Nether Protection. Use of a /cancelaura Nether Protection macro can alleviate but not solve the problem. NP has been reported to be really good in most Sunwell fights.

 

I c 4. Basic Gear Choices

 

Spell hit > Spell Haste /Spell damage / Crit.

 

uld stack with your haste: cast time becomes 2.08s/1.3 = 1.60s

 

Haste still suffers from diminishing returns due to your MP5 not contributing, but for most purposes pretty much provides linear increase to your dps. 

 

II b. Base Stats

 

Stamina

Having enough Stamina will prevent you from dying to random aoe abilities. After a certain treshold it will hardly affect you at all. See above for effect on Demonologists.

 

Intellect

Intellect will increase your base mana, which isn't very important in pve. In addition, 82 int grants 1% spellcrit, so it roughly 1 int = 0.27 crit rating. (0.3 with kings). 

 

Spirit

If you have a Priest with Improved Divine Spirit present, 10% of your Spirit goes to spell power. Therefore 1 Spirit = 0.1 spelldamage. (0.11 with kings)

 

II c. Meta Gem Choices

 

[Imbued Unstable Diamond] from the Bash'ir event. Requires 100 apexis crystals and surviving the Bash'ir onslaught. 

[Mystical Skyfire Diamond]

[Swift Starfire Diamond], obtained from Spirit Shards.

[Bracing Earthstorm Diamond]

[Chaotic Skyfire Diamond] 

 

Chaotic Skyfire Diamond makes crits do 209% damage of a normal hit. (150% x 3% = 154.5%, with Ruin the crit damage bonus is doubled, so 209%)

 

For Destruction and Demonology, [Chaotic Skyfire Diamond] will be the best choice, but for Affliction there are multiple choices. 

 

II d. Basic Gem Choices

 

Most obvious are:

[Veiled Noble Topaz] 

[Runed Living Ruby] 

 

Gemming to get the hit cap (202 hit) is the most common strategy, as it allows you to do straight tradeoffs of hit vs crit, spellpower or haste.

 

Alternatives are:

[Great Dawnstone] Used early on to reach the hit cap

[Glowing Nightseye] Used only to meet exceptional socket bonuses or Metagem requirements.

[Potent Noble Topaz] Used only to meet exceptional socket bonuses or Metagem requirements after reaching the hit cap.

 

These same cuts are available for the Black Temple and Mt. Hyjal epic gems.

 

II e. Crafted Gear for Warlocks

 

The Spellstrike set is a good option.

[Spellstrike Hood]

[Spellstrike Pants]

 

[Belt of Blasting] is craftable using two nether vortexes. The pattern drops in SSC off trash.

 

Regardless of spec, tailoring warlocks can get the Frozen Shadoweave Set, which remains useful even in BT. 

[Frozen Shadoweave Boots]

[Frozen Shadoweave Shoulders]

[Frozen Shadoweave Robe]

 

For engineers, the [Destruction Holo-gogs] are by far the best choice. They can be upgraded to [Annihilator Holo-Gogs]. The schematic is boe and drops in Sunwell Plateau (from trash, apparently, confirmation needed).

 

Leatherworking provides [Drums of Battle], duration 30 seconds and cooldown is two minute. Chain using these gives the rough equivalent of 20 haste per person, or 100 haste for one person. Note that using drums to boost your own dps produces no result, as they do cost you a GCD. They will, however, boost your party's dps.

 

Alchemy provides [Sorcerer's Alchemist Stone].

 

II f. Trinkets

 

Vendor purchasable trinkets:

[Darkmoon Card: Crusade] (Darkmoon card reward)

[Scryer's Bloodgem] (from vendor, requires scryer reputation)

[Icon of the Silver Crescent] (vendor, 41 Heroic Badges)

[Ashtongue Talisman of Shadows] (from vendor, requires exalted reputation with the Ashtongue Deathsworn in BT) 

 

about the talisman:

The highly situational use of this trinket renders it useless to almost all warlocks, given its place in gear progression: Warlocks exalted with the Ashtongue typically already have very good trinkets. On single targets the Icon is better, even for Warlocks that have Instant Corruption. It can outdo the Icon on multiple targets, the theoretical threshold is around 20 Corruption tics per minute, provided you have Corruption talented. 

 

As already mentioned [Sorcerer's Alchemist Stone] required SSO exalted reputation.

 

[Timbal's Focusing Crystal] drops off Priestess Delrissa (3rd boss in Magister's Terrace) on heroic mode. It is relatively easy to get, considering how good it is. Cooldown is supposed to be 15 seconds with a 10% proc chance. The effect is a mini shadow dot that does not eat ISB but is boosted by it. (confirmation needed).

 

II g. Magister's Terrace

 

The loot in the new 5 man instance, introduced in 2.4, is far superior to all other dungeon loot in quality. In addition, Kael'thas drops heroic items in normal mode, and all bosses drop epic items in heroic mode.

 

Notable drops on normal mode:

[Bindings of Raging Fire] off Selin

[Band of Arcane Alacrity] off Vexallus

[Cloak of the Betrayed] and [Duskhallow Mantle] off Priestess Delrissa

[Gloves of Arcane Acuity] and [Kharmaa's Ring of Fate] off Kael'thas 

 

Notable drops on heroic mode:

[Jaded Crystal Dagger] off Selin

[Fel-tinged Mantle] off Vexallus

[Timbal's Focusing Crystal] off Priest Delrissa

[Scarlet Sin'dorei Robes] off Kael'thas

 

II h. Consumables

 

Oil: [Brilliant Wizard Oil] or [Superior Wizard Oil]

Food: [Blackened Basilisk], [Crunchy Serpent], [Poached Bluefish]

Elixirs: [Flask of Pure Death]

 

Potions: 

Using [Super Mana Potion] on every cooldown will boost your dps by reducing Life Tap downtime, especially if you have a [Sorcerer's Alchemist Stone]. [Destruction Potion] are the second best option. In fights that have down time where you can replenish your mana or where mana is not an issue, they're the best option. 

 

[Drums of Battle] are the most effective way of boosting raid dps. (requires LW)

[Flame Cap] are useful for fire destro (shares cooldown with healthstones)

 

II i. Warlock Sets

 

Tier 4

[Voidheart Crown] - Prince Malchazaar

[Voidheart Mantle] - High King Maulgar

[Voidheart Robe] - Magtheridon

[Voidheart Leggings] - Gruul the Dragonkiller

[Voidheart Gloves] - Curator 

 

2p set bonus reported to have a 10% proc rate and does proc off dots (confirmation needed).

4p set bonus grants both Corruption and Immolate an extra tic, increasing total damage per cast of Corruption by 16% and Immolate by roughly 12%.

 

Tier 5

[Leggings of the Corruptor] - Fathom-Lord Karathress

[Hood of the Corruptor] - Lady Vashj

[Gloves of the Corruptor] - Leotheras the Blind

[Mantle of the Corruptor] - Void Reaver

[Robe of the Corruptor] - Kael'thas Sunstrider

 

2p set bonus is incredibly good for demonologists, and useless to everyone else.

4p set bonus is worded strangely, it only applies to the base damage of the spell. The exact mechanics are unknown but it can be approximated as follows: for Corruption this resulsts in roughly 15 extra damage per remaining tic, before multipliers like CoS/Misery/ISB. This results in roughly 45-50 extra damage per shadowbolt before multipliers.

 

T6

[Leggings of the Malefic] - Illidari Council (BT)

[Hood of the Malefic] - Archimonde (MH)

[Gloves of the Malefic] - Azgalor (MH)

[Mantle of the Malefic] - Mother Shahraz (BT)

[Robe of the Malefic] - Illidan (BT)

[Bracers of the Malefic] - Kalecgos (SWP)

[Belt of the Malefic] - Brutallus (SWP)

[Boots of the Malefic] - Felmyst (SWP)

 

2p set bonus is nearly useless in raids.

4p set bonus grants 6% to the total damage of Shadowbolt. It is the equivalent of roughly 120-140 spellpower towards shadow bolt at that stage, depending on spec and gear. 

 

III. Spell Power Contribution Per Spell

 

Every spell does a base amount of damage, and gets a bonus from your +damage items. I use the term "spell power" to refer to the total amount of +damage you have.

 

Typically, any spell with a cast time of 3.5 seconds gets 100% bonus from your spell power. Shorter spells are scaled down. This table lists all of the warlock spells and how much they gain from spell power. It's mostly here for reference, as I couldn't find a reliable source of it anywhere else.

 

Regular spells:

Shadow Bolt: 3s/3.5s = 85.7 + 4% per talent point in SNF (up to 105.7%)

Incinerate: 2.5/3.5s = 71.4 + 4% per talent point in SNF (up to 91.4%)

Shadowburn: 1.5s/3.5s = 42.8%

Searing Pain: 1.5s/3.5s = 42.8% (Searing pain is double theat, so it gets 84.8% threatwise)

UA: 18s/15s = 120%

 

Regular spells that have halved spellpower contribution due to life gain or aoe

Drain Life: 5s/3.5s /2 = 71.4% total (14.2% per tic)

Death Coil: 1.5s/3.5s /2 = 21.4%

Shadowfury: 1.5s/3.5 /2 = 21.4% on all targets

Siphon Life: 30s/15s /2 = 100%

Hellfire: 15s/3.5s / 2 = 214.2%. This is 14.2% per tic (note that damage to self is boosted 10s/7s/2 instead)

Rain of fire: 8s/3.5s /2 = 114.2%. This is 28.6% per tic

 

Exceptions:

Corruption: 94% + 12% per talent point in empowered Corruption, over 6 tics. 

CoA: 120% over 12 tics. unsure how it is distributed.

CoD: 200% (unaffected by Shadow Mastery) (no, it really can't crit)

Seed (dot): 150% total (30% per tic)

Seed detonation: 16.6% on each target (aoe cap applies)

Immolation: 20% (initial hit), 65% (dot). With imp Immolate it's 25% + 65%, with Emberstorm and Imp Immolate it's 27.5% + 71.5% (99% total)

Soul Fire: 115% 

 

Obviously, talents that increase total damage will also increase your spellpower contribution.

 

Any multipliers will apply to the total damage. All individual multipliers are multiplied (i.e. Shadow Weaving is 10%, Curse of Shadows is 10%, together they are 1.1 x 1.1 = 1.21 or 21%).

 

 

IIII. End Game Loot Choices

 

There is no definitive lists, it all depends on what gear you already have. Hit rating provides most bang for your buck on bosses until it is capped. Everything else is spec dependent.

 

Note that Destruction warlocks will want 4p T6 over any other available gear choice, as 6% bonus to shadow bolts worth more than 100 spell power. Demonologists will want 2p T5 over anything else.

 

V. Area of Effect Spells

 

Seed of Corruption provides the highest dps for any spec and any gear quality, by a large margin. This is of course assuming you're not getting interrupted and hitting more than one target.

 

Hellfire is a bit lower dps, but a lot more mana efficient (although not health efficient, you will require more healing than with SoC + lifetap). Despite the lower damage throughput it still has its uses, especially for destruction warlocks that benefit from the threat reduction on it. It can also be used to instantly blow up Seed of Corruption. 

 

Rain of Fire has received a boost, and is a low risk, mana efficient, ranged aoe spell now. Unfortunately its damage is nowhere near competitive with either Hellfire or SoC.

 

Aoe cap: if your seed of corruption detonates for more than 13580 on all targets combined, it will do less damage. When this happens, the detonation damage will be scaled down so that the total is 13580. This reduction is done after calculating +damage gear, talents and buffs so it is the same for every gear and spec. 

 

Example, if you hit 10 targets with SoC detonation, you will hit each for 1358. 

 

 

Some multipliers (crits, CoS, etc) are not affected and will allow you to hit individual targets for more.

 

Example: SoC hitting 10 targets will hit each for 1358, but crits will be 1358x1.5.

 

VI. Curse Selection

 

 

General notes on curses: The first three curses in a raid will typically be CoS, CoE and CoR. With decent gear and decent players, even one player benefiting from CoS/CoE will make it worth it, and unless you didn't bring a single melee class, there should be enough physical dps to warrant CoR. Affliction warlocks will typically spec for Malediction to bring a 13% CoS, mitigating the loss of dps that affliction suffers from.

 

Curse of the Elements - Boosts Fire/Frost/Shadow/Arcane damage. An obvious choice if you have several of these present. If you use the level 60 version it will not get knocked off by hitting the debuff cap.

 

Curse of Doom - Very high Damage-Per-Casting-Time. Does not get a bonus from Shadow Mastery, for reasons unknown. Demonic Sacrifice with a Succubus will boost the damage by 15%, and ISB will boost it by 20%. Amplify Curse will only boost the base damage of 4200, so it's 2100 extra base damage. Curse of Doom can not crit.

 

Curse of Agony - Ideal for spamming on tanked trash, regardless of spec. Can also be used as an alternative to Curse of Doom, if that one is not an option. CoA is advisable on bosses that reset aggro (unless you can time CoD well), or on anything that will live 24 seconds but not 60. It can outdamage Curse of Doom on a strict dps basis, but you'll need to refresh it more often, resulting in a lower Damage Per Casting Time. 

 

At around 1250 spellpower, affliction warlocks with imp CoA, and Shadow Mastery will obtain around equal dps with CoA over unamped CoD. More spellpower will favor CoA. 

 

Curse of Recklessness - Stacks with every other armor reducing debuff, and will typically increase melee and hunter damage by around 6% if FF and 5xSunder Armor are present, according to http://elitistjerks....690-post35.html. You typically want as many armor reducing debuffs on a boss as possible, since each one adds more (Increasing Returns, as opposed to Diminishing). It will make the enemy hit slightly harder, though. To be avoided when the boss has an ability that is based on his melee attack power, such as Mortal Strike or Cleave. Useful on enemies that don't hit hard enough for a tank to keep aggro, it will help with their threat generation on those by a small amount. 

 

CoD vs CoR: Which one is more profitable depends on the raid setup. More physical dps means CoR becomes better, obviously. Physical Raid Dps needs to exceed (CoD damage / 3.6) for CoR to be the better choice. (CoD dps = CoD damage/60, and CoR dps = Physical dps *0.06). Note however that you need to refresh CoD twice as often. 

 

Curse of Exhaustion - Very limited use. Typical use is for Striders during the Vashj fight, and on Mount Hyjal trash.

 

Curse of Weakness - Reduces attack power, but it doesn't stack with the other ap reducing abilities (Demoralizing Shout/Roar). It will get overwritten by a talented Warrior Demo Shout, which any raid community should have. The only possible use for it is if you are raiding without a Warrior and have a Paladin tanking.

 

VII. Immolate vs. Shadowbolt 

 

Immolate has a much higher base damage then Shadow Bolt, and both have around the same spellpower coefficient (85%). For this reason, at low amounts of spellpower, keeping Immolate up is clearly a better choice. Some well geared warlocks drop this spell in favor of Shadow Bolt due to any combination of these factors:

 

Higher hit/crit/haste rating benefits Shadowbolt.

ISB debuff

Debuffs favoring SB (absence of CoE, Imp Scorch, CoS, ISB)

More talents into SB (Shadow Mastery, Demonic Sacrifice, Shadow And Flame)

More items that benefit SB ([Ritssyn's Lost Pendant], [Orb of the Soul-Eater], [Nethervoid Cloak], [Boots of the Shifting Nightmare], FSW and Soulfrost)

Debuff slot shortage

Higher mana cost per point of damage, so more life tap down time

Even a lower damage-per-casting-time, is worth it occasionally if you don't think you'll have the time to get a SB off or can't risk threat bursts.

 

VIII. Resistances and Spell Penetration

 

The difference between level 60 and level 70 version of CoE/CoS: level 60 CoS has lower reduction (75 vs 88) but the same damage modifier. The level 60 version has higher priority, meaning it will not be pushed off by other debuffs. This is a relic from times before 40 debuff slots, and that the higher rank has lower priority is considered a bug. If you are having issues with debuffs being lost, use the lower rank. 

 

With a few notable exceptions (Felhunters in Hyjal, Supremus vs Fire, and Illidari Council) enemies have no resistances above 75. Therefore spell penetration is considered useless in PVE in the majority of fights. 

 

All mobs higher level than you an innate resistance, resulting in partial resists that can not be mitigated. Partial resists seem to happen around 15% of the time, resulting in roughly 3% damage mitigation. 

 

VIIII. Warlock Tanking

 

For Leotheras tanking

 

VIIII a. Warlock DPS on Leo

 

During human phase: whirlwind every 12 seconds, with 15 seconds cooldown on it (I think, I might be a few seconds off here, it's been a long while since I tanked Leo)

When he breaks or resets aggro you want to start applying dots (corr/CoA/immolate in that order). This is both so you don't draw aggro by nuking before the tank has aggro, and because it will allow them to run out before the 27+ second cycle finishes.

 

During demon phase: apply dots at the start, refresh them once. SB as filler.

 

VIIII b. Warlock Tanking on Leo

 

Focus on 365 FR (70 aura, 70 demonology, so 225 FR on gear is capped). Everything else in stamina. 14000+ health is recommended. Spellpower is useful but should not be priority. You can easily compensate for it with consumables.

 

Soulstones on the tanking warlock are a tremendous help. Due to the nature of the fight, if you die near the end of demon phase this allows the raid to recover, since you'll be ready by next phase. It was not uncommon for me to die once of twice on successful kills if Leo got lucky with no-resist streaks. Note that due to the stacking debuff, random people swallowing one or two bolts tend to live. Also, you are most likely to die near the end of the demon phase.

 

Spam Searing pain for threat. Use Curse of doom for initial aggro. It's incredibly good for it. Apply it when he unbanishes (first phase = 60 seconds), and during every demon phase with 13 seconds on the clock until human phase (13s + 45s human phase = 58 seconds, with a two second margin). 

 

I bet you will forget COD the first few times you do this, as refreshing the CoD while watching your health bounce up and down like a yoyo is usually the last thing on your mind. Still it is definitely worth it, as 9k damage the first 2 seconds extra tends to give you a wide margin, allowing dps to go nearly all out from the start. 

 

Have the raid time their dps so he goes below 15% at the START of the demon phase. It is definitely worth holding dps to do it, as it will ensure two things: 

 

No inner demons will be up.

It allows Leo to be hit during the emote, allowing for 5 seconds of threat free dps. He's not targeteable if he does the emote in human phase. Do make sure people hold dps right after emote and get away because he can WW right off the bat. His WW can still be on cooldown from human phase, but even then, have people run off and let the tank get solid aggro.

 

VIIII c. At the Last 15%

 

Things tend to get hectic as you're tanking the demon. Make sure you do NOT get Mending, Lifebloom final tics, or Earth Shield at this stage. Leotheras resets aggro after each WW, and you can very easily get aggro on him if those things proc on the wrong time. Tanking both Leotheras and his demon at the same time is not advisable, unless you're Chuck Norris.

 

Apply a CoD and dots on the demon. If you die and get ressed/use SS, you can easily get him back that way. You won't have buffs, but you won't have debuffs either, buying your raid extra time.

 

And obviously, use searing totem. It's godly in this fight.

 

X. Additional Tips and Tricks

Obviously, bring a healthy amount of shards to raids. This is especially important for demo/destro, since they often summon demons that require Soul Shards. 

There is little reason to use anything but Rank 1 of Drain Soul. 

Soulwells are very useful, and it might be convenient to have all three variants in a raid. Healthstones of different qualities (0/2, 1/2 and 2/2 improved) count as different items, meaning everyone can carry up to 3 healthstones this way. They still share the same cooldown of two minutes, though. Healthstones can crit (based on user spell crit chance) and will heal for 150% in that case.

All spells and talents that drain life do NOT generate healing threat, nor does Life Tap. Dark Pact causes a very low amount of threat, around 75 per Dark Pact. 

Edited by Sabre
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