An Affliction Warlock uses the souls of those defeated by him as a fuel for their powerful dark magic. Just like any other specs, Affliction is capable of various demons.
Basic information on the spec:
An Affliction Warlock utilizes 2 key resources – Soul Shards and Mana. There are always 3 Soul Shards when out of combat. You can have the max of 5 of them. They are spent on strong spells and on summoning pet demons. Mana is used as a resource on any spell.
Let’s take a closer look at the weakest and the strongest aspects of this specialization:
The strongest aspects:
- Nice damage on a single target due to secondary targets’ deaths.
- Nice constant damage in multi-target combats due to multidotting.
- Nice mobility
- Demonic Gateway can be of great use to the raid if additional mobility is needed.
The weakest aspects:
- Rather weak burst.
- Poor switching to a priority target, especially if one appeared a moment ago as you need some time to kick up your damage on it.
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AoE (Area of Effect) is basically the area where this of that effect is actuated regardless of whether its damage or healing. This command is usually used to act in a team/raid on several targets. It is also used to describe any ability of a Boss with the aforementioned effect.
Buff stands for any positive effect. Always reflected to the left of the mini-map, by its upper edge.
Burst is an ability to do – in multiple ways – massive damage within a short period of time.=
GCD (Global Cooldown) is the overall ability recovery time.
Debuff stands for negative effect. By default, it’ reflected to the left of the mini-map by its lower edge.
DoT stands for Damage over Time.
DPS (Damage per Second) is a measure that reflects the damage done within one second.
Cleave is an ability to damage secondary targets through damaging the main one with no (or minor) loss in the damage done to the main target.
Cooldown (often CD) primarily refers to the ability recovery time. Can be often applied to bursts and various protective abilities.
Melee and Range. Melee is the close-range combat zone, also used in the titles of all the classes and specs that do effective damage in this zone. Range usually refers to a zone that is not a close-range one and is used, respectfully, in the titles of all classes and specs that do effective damage remotely.
Trait is a name for the ‘talents’ your azerite armor has.
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Agony is one of Affliction’s two key DoTs. Deals dark magic damage. Base duration 18 secs (with Pandemic – 23.4 secs). Each teak empowers the DoT giving it a new stack (max 10 stacks). Each teak has a chance of creating a Soul Shard which makes Agony your main resource maker.
Corruption is your second DoT; simply deals shadow damage.
Unstable Affliction is a short powerful DoT, demands 1 Soul Shard. No more than 5 DoTs of the kind are possible on 1 target. If the target dies during Unstable Affliction, you get 1 Soul Shard back (if there are more than 1 Unstable Afflictions on the target, you still get 1 Soul Shard because what’s important here is the presence of the effect, not the amount of it). Besides this dot increases damage on the target by 10%
Seed of Corruption is your second spender. You apply this effect on your enemy for 12 secs. It deals no damage on its own until the effect wears off or until you deal some minor damage to the target causing the effect to blow up. The explosion deals nice damage to all the enemies around the target. It also infects all of them with Corruption.
Shadow bolt – 2 second cast that deals shadow magic damage.
Drain Life – a channeling spell that deals damage and drains health out of an enemy.
Summon Demon allows you, for 1 Soul Shard, summon one of the demons you can control:
– Felhunter can interrupt castings of spells and block the magic school for 6 secs once every 24 secs. It can also alleviate positive magic effects off your enemies once every 15 secs.
– Succubus allows you to paralyze your enemy, moves in stealth and reduces movement speed of an enemy by 60%
– Imp can lift the negative magic effects off your allies one every 15 secs. It can instantly turn up near their master bypassing any barriers. It can provide a slight heal, too.
– Voidwalker can provoke your targets to attack it, maintain the received aggro.
The choice basically does not affect your dps so choose what practically is more useful for you
Summon Darkglare – Summons a Darkglare that extends the duration of your damage over time effects by 8 sec. The darkglare will serve for 20 sec , blasting its target for SHadow damage, dealing increased damage for every damage over time effect you have active on the target. Has 20 sec cooldown. This is the only strong cooldown of the spec that is taken not in talents.
Unending Resolve decreases the incoming damage by 40% and makes you resistant to numbness and interruptions. Action time 8 secs, CD 3 min.
Soul Leech transforms 8% of the incoming damage into a damage-absorbing shield for 15 secs. Max value of the shield can be 10% of your max HP.
Unending Breath allows a friendly target of yours to breath underwater for 10 secs and swim 20% faster.
Demonic Gateway. You create 2 portals linking 2 spots within 40 m of each other. The first Gate is created where your character is located, the second ones – wherever you choose. Once you or tour allies utilize one of these gates, they get moved straight to the door2. You can only use them once every 1.5 min. This CD time can be traced by the debuff applied after using the Gateway. Remember that when you fly over different dangerous areas, you’re exposed to their effects.
Banish helps you deactivate for 30 secs a Demon, an Aberration or an Elemental. A Banished target cannot take any actions, but it also gets immune to all kinds of damage and various control effects. If cast upon the Banished target again, the spell cancels the effect. You can only Banish one enemy at a time.
Soulstone is a slightly modified combat resurrection with a mechanics similar to that of all the spells of the kind available to other classes. Outside a raid combat, CD 10 min. In a raid, the restoring speed depends on the number of players in the raid (90/x=CD per res; x – number of people in the raid). The modification is that you can apply this effect on one of your allies in advance. The effect remains for 15 min. If this ally dies when the resurrection is on CD for the raid, the effect wouldn’t work.
Eye of Kilrogg allows you to summon the Eye under your control for 45 secs. It’s third-person control, and you can explore the environment. The Eye is very fragile, but it does help you detect invisible targets.
Enslave Demon. You can gain control of an enemy Demon up to Lvl 121 for 5 min thus replacing your constant pet Demon. You can only control 1 enemy at once.
Ritual of Summoning is Warlock’s unique ability to create a Summoning Stone wherever you want. To install it, however, you would need 2 more souls… two players =) After you’ve installed it, you can summon your allies the same way you’d do it with a regular Summoning Stone near dungeons and raids.
Create Healthstone. You can create a Healthstone. Its use would recover 25% of your max Health. One stone has 3 charges
Create Soulwell enables you to install a stone well that can be used by your allies to retrieve a Soulstone.
Fear is a regular control spell making your target run away in panic for 20 secs. Damage dealt to the target can cancel this effect. Only one enemy can be subject to the spell at a time.
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General information. On achieving several new levels you’ll get access to new talent ‘Tiers’. Talents may have different effect on abilities: add new features, replace old ones, modify passively different effects and spells. Talents can be changed in Sanctuaries or any recreational zones. However, if you don’t have any of those places nearby you can use the Codex of the Tranquil Mind which allows you to switch channels within a minute. You can’t change talents in combat. You can’t change a talent if the talent you’ve picked in the last Tier is on Cooldown. You’ll have to wait until it’s restored first.
Tier 1. Lvl 15
- Nightfall. Corruption damage has a chance to cause your next Shadow bolt to be instant and deal 25% increased damage.
- Drain soul. 5 second channelling cast that deals shadow damage. Damage is increased by 100% against enemies below 20% health. Generates 1 Soul shard if the target dies during this effect.
- Deathbolt. You launch Shadow bolt dealing 30% of the total remaining damage of your damage over time effects on the target. Absolute corruption counts up to 14 seconds of Corruption’s damage.
* Deathbolt – is the best choice granting single target damage increase. Other talents are good too but practically they will not grant that much dps.
Tier 2. Lvl 30.
- Writhe in Agony. Agony’s damage may now ramp up t0 15 stacks.
- Absolute Corruption. Corruption is now permanent and deals 15% increased damage. Duration reduced to 24 seconds against players with Corruption.
- Siphon Life. Siphons the target’s life essence, dealing shadow damage over 15 sec and healing you for 30% of the damage done.
* Siphon Life– is a standard choice for 1-2 targets. Other 2 talents are better for AOE / multidotting. Absolute Corruption is used when the targets are separate and Writhe in Agony – when you can use Seed of corruption to keep up Corruption on the targets near each other.
Tier 3. Lvl 45.
- Demon Skin. Soul Leech now restores by 0.5% of your Health every second, and the max value of the shield is now 15% of your max HP.
- Burning Rush. Allows you to increase your running speed by 50% but in return, it takes 4% of your max Health every sec. Movement impairing effects can’t push your Haste below 100%. Active until cancelled or until your current HP stock is less than 4%.
- Dark Pact. You can sacrifice 20% of your Demon’s current Health to get an absorbing shield for 250% HP you sacrifice, for the next 20 secs. If you don’t have a Demon while using it, you’ll sacrifice your own Health. The ability can be used while you are stunned.
* The pick is yours. You need mobility? Pick Burning Rush. You’re not running but rather getting regular damage? Then, Demon Skin. You’re facing surviving burst damage no oftener than once a min? Dark Pact is your choice.
Tier 4. Lvl 60.
- Sow the Seeds. Now Seed of Corruption embeds a demon seed into 1 additional enemy.
- Phantom Singularity. You apply Singularity on a target dealing damage to all the enemies within a 15-m range of the marked target. 25% of the damage dealt this way comes ack to you as Health. CD 45 secs.
- Vile Taint. Deal damage to all enemies within 10 yards for 10 sec and reducing their movement speed by 30%. Requires 10 Soul Fragments. Has 20 sec cd.
*Phantom Singularity – the best choice in the most cases.
Vile Taint can be used on long duration AOE (3+targets) but remember that dps will be way lower on a single target.
Tier 5. Lvl 75.
- Darkfury. Reduces the remaining cooldown of Shadowfury for 15 sec.
- Mortal Coil. You can make your enemy run away for 3 secs thus restoring 20% of your max Health. Action radius – 20m. CD 45 secs.
- Demonic Circle. For 15 min, you create a portal under you. The second cast relocates you to the portal and cancels any movement-impairing effects. Action radius – 40m. CD for teleportation – 30 secs
* All the talents in this Tier interact differently with the control mechanics. Demonic Circle is your default choice as it provides extra mobility and can cancel any movement impairing. Mortal Coil can be considered for rather steady combats with little fuss. This way you could use it as an additional healer. Darkfury if u need stun.
Tier 6. Lvl 90.
- Shadow Embrace. “Shadow bolt” applies shadow embrace, increasing your damage dealt to the target by 3% for 10 sec. Stacks up to 3 times.
- Haunt. A ghostly soul haunts the target, dealing Shadow damage and increasing your damage dealt to the target by 10% for 15 sec. If the target dies. Haunt’s cooldown is reset.
- Grimoire of Sacrifice. Sacrifice a Demon so that your Command Demon uses the special ability of the Demon you’ve eaten. As a DPS bonus, your spells will sometimes deal additional damage to the target and all the enemies within the 8-m range. Active for 1 hour or until you summon a Demon.
* Haunt – is currently the best talent for mythic + and raids.
Shadow Embrace is a bit worse but still an optional talent if you need a passive spell.
Tier 7. Lvl 100.
- Soul Conduit. Gives you a 15% chance refund of each spent soul fragment.
- Creeping Death. “Agony”, “Life siphon”, “Corruption” и “Unstable Affliction” deal their full damage 15% faster.
- Dark Soul: Misery. Infuses your soul with the misery of fallen foes, increasing haste by 30% for 20 sec.
Dark Soul: Misery – default choice for 1-2 targets. Creeping Death has a potential for fights with multidoting. Mainly this talent becomes profitable on aoe when there 3-7 enemies in combat. Disadvantage of the talent is the amount of additional casts you need to use to manage it.
The standard raiding build:
- Siphon Life / Absolute Corruption
- Burning Rush (situational)
- Phantom Singularity
- Demonic Circle (situational)
- Dark Soul: Misery
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In BFA typical sets were removed and Azerite armor took their place. Now every chest/helmet/shoulders have a few rings for traits. You will need to collect the best traits for your character.
The next traits will be the priority for you to collect:
Inevitable Demise. One of the strongest traits. Buffs damage on single target, AOE/ multidoting granting burst potential for Drain Life.
Sudden Onset. A good trait for a fight with a few targets (3+) because it reduces time you need to increase Agony and increases your damage. Can be used withWrithe in Agony.
Wracking Brilliance. A good trait for many situations.
A very good common trait Treacherous Covenant is good to have 1-3. This trait increases intellect but has its downside. It stops granting intellect if your health is below 50% and you take 15% increased damage if your health while below 20%.
Also in 8.1 patch there was added Pandemic Invocation trait – it also can be used, especially in long fight
You can use chart on herodamage.com, or sim the difference on raidbots.com.
For those who use AzeritePowerWeights addon, there is a command with approximate stats of traits:
( AzeritePowerWeights:2:"herodamage.com - Stacks_1T_T24":9:265: 575=10, 230=8.41, 193=8.34, 522=8.31, 526=8.22, 82=7.97, 196=7.32, 562=6.95, 123=6.75, 183=6.72, 479=6.44, 494=6.43, 488=6.43, 157=6.17, 192=6.06, 501=6.01, 478=5.89, 485=5.52, 505=5.50, 194=5.50, 30=5.47, 482=5.34, 492=5.34, 486=5.34, 480=5.26, 521=5.22, 481=5.08, 504=5.07, 523=5.03, 425=4.97, 483=4.89, 442=4.88, 195=4.66, 489=4.41, 495=4.41, 498=4.10, 576=3.93, 561=3.86, 156=3.56, 426=3.25, 500=3.14, 31=3.14, 487=2.96, 493=2.96, 560=2.92, 459=2.83, 21=2.80, 22=2.71, 499=2.36, 18=2.13, 496=1.80, 490=1.80, 462=1.78, 497=1.71, 491=1.71, 541=1.70, 461=1.64: )
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These ratings are based on simulations, statistics of WarcraftLogs and players experience.
- Condensed Life-force (Source: Eternal Palace drop) – best option for single target at level 3, + perfect line up with your burst
- The Crucible of Flame (Source: Heart of Azeroth level) becomes a great tool for aditional dps increse, especially at level 3. It is BiS, until you have CLF lvl 3
- Essence of the Focusing Iris (Source: Mythic+ dungeons) – strong option for aoe encounters, useful at mythic+ at Fortified affix.
- Essence of the Focusing Iris (Source: Mythic+ dungeons) – cool option, if you can keep stacks of haste from main target. Using this essence, you can focus on mastery and crit stats at your gear.
- The Crucible of Flame (Source: Heart of Azeroth level) – nice extra damage during the fight, especially at lvl 3
A standard start of the fight:
- Use Battle Potion of Intellect before the pull.
- Use Haunting Spirit before pull if you have the talent otherwise use Shadow Bolt.
- Siphon Life, if you have this talent
- Dark Soul: Misery
- Use damage trinket or racial burst
- Unstable Affliction until 5 stacks on the target or until you run out of soul fragments
- Summon Darkglare.
- Use trinket with haste or intellect if you have it
- Deathbolt if you have this talent
- Follow the rotation
Priority of abilities in combat:
- Racials and trinkets every cd
- Haunting Spirit every cd, if you have this talent
- Keep up Shadow Embrace, if you have this talent
- Keep up Agony
- Keep up Siphon Life, if you have this talent
- Keep up Corruption
- Phantom Singularity every cd, if you have this talent
- Vile Taint every cd, if you have this talent
- Dark Soul: Misery every cd, if you have this talent
- Unstable Affliction, if you have 5 soul fragments
- Unstable Affliction, if it is not on the target or it goes off before you finish a new cast. Or skip it if you save up resources for Summon Darkglare.
- Unstable Affliction 1 before Deathbolt. Or skip it if you save up resources for Summon Darkglare.
- Deathbolt every cd, if you have this talent
- Shadow bolt or Drain Soul.
The rotation slightly changes when there is a little time left until Summon Darkglare refreshers. You should try to have 5 Soul fragments before it refreshes to maximise the profit from it. Usually it means you should stop spending Soul fragments a lot 45 seconds before Summon Darkglare refreshes. But if you are close to cap of fragments then spend it on Unstable Affliction not to overgain them.
Before Summon Darkglare you should use Dark Soul: Misery, and after that stack up 5 Unstable Affliction on the target until you run out of fragments. If you have Vile Taint, 1 should be left for it. If you gained some fragments during this time and the target has less than 5 stacks of Unstable Affliction use this ability again to spend fragments and then Summon Darkglare.
A few targets:
Basic priority on AOE is almost the same as on single target.
- Keep up Agony on up to 8 targets
- Keep up Corruption on all the targets. On 3 or more targets stacked up together use Seed of Corruption to save up time.
- It is profitable to keep up Siphon Life on up to 4 targets. But maybe for multidoting you will find other talents like Absolute Corruption or Writhe in Agony better.
- You can keep up Unstable Affliction on different targets to gain 10% increased damage on them.
- Currently Unstable Affliction is way more effective than Seed of Corruption. Seed will be good only in a fight with a lot of targets (5-6). With the talent Sow the Seeds this requirement drops to 3+ targets.
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The basic priority rating for the characteristics is as follows:
Mastery = Haste > Crit> Versatility > Intellect
Haste is more important on a single target and Mastery for AOE and cleave.
You can check the stats on raidbots.com in Stat Weights tab. Also you can use Pawn addon to import the information about into the game.
Following the information above we can make a list of food, gems and pots for raids.
Deadly Lava Lazuli 60 crit
Masterful Sea Currant 60 mastery
Quick Sand Spinel 60 haste
- Flasks and potions:
Greater Flask of Endless Fathoms 360 intellect
Potion of Unbridled Fury single target choice
Superior Battle Potion of Intellect
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Often in Mythic+ you need to call your pet off in order not to pool more than you need (when you’re on mount, your pet pools nothing).
Soulstone at cursor’s position:
/cast [target=mouseover] Soulstone
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- Leveling. If your character has been inactive since the previous expansions, the best option to level up it is by Timewalking dungeons. You will gain a lot of experience, but there is one big disadvantage of leveling this way. Timewalks are available only for one week during a month, but Overgear is always here.
- Equipment. At high level, the most important thing for you will become your gear. WoW is a multiplayer game, that’s why we recommend for you to play it with your friends, or to find a new friends for mythic+ runs. If you have any trouble with it – Overgear may help you to find not just friends for a run, but a complete well geared and experienced group that also will be glad to trade all the loot you need.
- Raids. Raids are the top-tier PvE content in the game. That’s why the equipment’s base ilvl is higher than anywhere else. These dungeons require knowing all the tactics and have a good gear to kill the bosses. The possibilities of Overgear might let you skip those criteria.
Azerite. It is also not the best idea to forget about the Heart of Azeroth and not to feed it with more Azerite. Ignoring this won’t make your character stronger. The easiest way to do it – just complete all the world quests with Azerite rewards everyday. You can get extra azerite from Island Expeditions. Companions can be found at Overgear.