#0 - 2009/07/17 12:27:58 AMHello!
Over the last few weeks, I've been working on a small project of mine which I'd now like to present on the forums. It is based purely on personal experience so comments and suggestions are most welcome.
The main reason I've made this guide is that I havn't been able to find any guides on affliction warlocks at current state - mainly because destruction is so dominating at the moment - and this has lead to the creating of this guide. I hope you'll survive to the end without falling asleep ..
I hope that people will be just as serious in their answers as I have been with the making of the guide.
Most of all, I hope that people can take something from this guide - be it new knowledge or just ideas to new ways of improving your own playstyle.
Enjoy the read.
Affliction Warlock Guide
- Written by Ellinas, Azjol Nerub (EU)
Table of Content
– Affliction Warlock
– Talent build
– Spell Rotation
– Additional information
In august 2006 I decided that I'd start levelling a warlock. I knew little about their capabilities but I just thought it'd be cool to make one. I didn't get far before I realised that the warlock was an amazing class. I was in particular fascinated by the damage over time effects. The curses and diseases that the warlock had at his disposal. Ever since have I been playing my warlock and I still adore the afflictionistic ways of the warlock. On the other hand, I've never found instant direct burst damage very interesting.
Yet, I havn't seen any guides based around the affliction warlock in Wrath of the Lich King so I decided to try to make my own one which is obviously also affected by my own points of view. I havn't made any complicated calculations, but rather based it on my knowledge and personal experience over the years. This guide will only focus its attention on the PvE based part of the affliction warlock so I'm sorry if this is not what you're looking for.
This guide will sum up the most important things about the affliction warlock and hopefully you will get new ideas or learn something new from reading through it.
Enjoy the read.
The affliction warlock is different from all (/most) other playstyles in World of Warcraft.
It relies heavily on DoTs (=Damage over time effects) and instant burst damage is surpricingly of very little value. Yet, they are capable of causing tons of damage if played correctly. The destruction tree is dominant as of now which is a real shame, and the affliction tree has been forced into the shadow. My own point of view is different though, and I certainly believe that the affliction warlock has some advantages over other dps classes. There are few classes that can multidps several targets simultaneously as well as the affliction warlock can do and it pays out big time in for example the Yogg – Saron encounter. In Wrath of the Lich King, good quality gear didn’t seperate the good and skilled players from the bad ones, but the outcome of how well you play your affliction warlock greatly seperates you from the worse skilled ones. The playstyle of the affliction warlock is more complicated than most dps’ers in the game and planning ahead of your casts as well as timing your current casts correctly are the keys to success.
The affliction build that I’ve decided to work around is this:
The 53/00/18 build is of great value. It focuses heavily on your own performence and not your demons. Many affliction warlocks have never been used to actually include their pet in their damage done and nor will this build focus around it. Using the right playstyle and dps’ing multiple targets requires lots of attention so personally I’ll prefer keeping the pet in the background. Of course there are options, and should you wish to seriously include your pet, this build should allow you to do so:
The build focuses around your Felhunter as your pet and it works as a great mana battery together with Dark Pact. Its damage capability is limited, but its mana supply is heavy and so is its survivability.
Apart from that, there’s little to say. Most of the talents chosen are mandatory to the affliction warlock. Should you happen to have enough hit rating from gear, you can always sacrifice a point in Suppression and put it into something like Cataclysm, Improved Drain Soul (if you have aggro troubles) or get yourself the Shadowburn spell. But really; better take all points in Suppression and then sacrifice some hit rating from gear and go for haste or crit.
Stamina: Stamina is the stat that every class would and should have. Of course, almost all items provide at least some amount of stamina but for affliction warlocks in particular stamina doesn't play a very big role. You'll need enough stamina to survive the various bossfights, but apart from that you shouldn't aim too much for stamina. Affliction warlocks recieve plenty of healing through Siphon Life and Haunt not to mention Drain Life in needed circumstances, so even though you recieve some health drops cause of Life Tap and perhaps other bossfight mechanisms, it'll be covered very fast through the healing you recieve from your spells. And that's not even to mention the healers who'l be on their toes at all times ...
Intellect: Intellect is much like stamina. It's a stat that you cannot avoid to get through gear items and a stat that you shouldn't avoid either. It provides mana and crit rating which is very valuable to the warlock in general – also as an affliction warlock. You shouldn't gem for intellect, but the amount of intellect you get from items is definitely enough to cover your needs. Right now, intellect is also looked upon as the most valuable stat when it comes to restoring mana. The reason is, that the more mana you have the bigger effect Replenishment will have on you. This does of course play a part in your playstyle but it's not crucial at all. Your Life Tap and Dark Pact should cover for it most of the time.
Spirit: Spirit was once the stat that all warlocks hated. The stat that we always wanted to get rid of. Now, this has all turned upside down and the spirit stat is now one of our most valuable stats. The mana restoring that it provides is still ridiculous and means very little to our performence, but the effect that we recieve from Fel Armor and Glyph of Life Tap (which you should have as an affliction warlock) makes a crucial difference to your overall performence on the field.
Spell Power: Spellpower is of huge importance to the affliction warlock. One of the many advantages of the affliction warlock is the fact that they are immensely good at doing damage on multiple targets simultaneously. Because of that and because of the fact that DoTs scale very well with spellpower, stacking spellpower makes an enormous difference to the damage output. Most classes can stack crit and haste alone and through that be able to do tons of damage even if their spellpower is very low. But this doesn't count for the affliction warlock. In order to be able to do a significant amount of damage, high spellpower is a must. Keep this in mind particularly when choosing gems and consumables.
Spell crit rating: In the past, critical strike rating meant nothing to the affliction warlock. It had little usefullness and only affected Shadow Bolts which has always been the filler. Today, this isn't true. Pandemic has turned things upside down and critical strike certainly plays a part. But it's important to add that still only some of the spells at the affliction warlocks disposal are actually able to crit, so its usefullness is still limited – yet not superfluous. But the usefullness of critical strike rating has to be scaled with the amount of crit rating that you stack in your equipment. So; you'd not want to stack as much crit as a destruction warlock would do (as an example), but nor would you want to have no crit chance at all. A total critical strike chance of about 16 – 17% is very appropriated but in my opinion, crit rating is – for affliction warlocks – very much about personal matters and I have no documentation for what I've written above, but it is what I believe gives the most benefit. Remember; when choosing crit rating from gear equipment, you sacrifice haste rating so you have to balance it between needs/superfluousity.
Haste rating: It is a very known fact that the faster you can get your DoTs up on a target, the better. Also, Shadow Bolt which works as the filler for affliction warlocks has a very long cast time. The shorter this cast time is, the better it works as a filler. Particularly because the DoTs for a warlock must be kept up at the target at all times, and preferrably being recast right when it's about to tick off. So to break things down; haste rating allows you to be more exact with your DoT recasts and allows you to work around Shadow Bolt better as the filler spell without causing downtime on your DoTs. Therefore, haste rating is a very important stat to the affliction warlock and obviously something you'd want to stack a lot. More than roughly 550 is adviceable (without spellstone)
- To be continued.