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World of Warcraft Classes Warlock «Affliction»

Affliction Warlock PvE Guide (WoW Legion 7.3.5)

 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, the damaging model may not suffer much from numerous relocations if you’ve got some specific talents.
  • Nice AoE damage, especially if your targets die out constantly due to the golden trait Soul Flame.
  • Many strong legendaries.
  • Nice scaling on the equipment.
  • Great self-healing.
  • 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.
  • Rather average damage in a single-target combat with no additional targets.

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Main abilities

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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

  • Haunt. Deals average dark magic damage to a target. After that, any damage dealt to the target by Warlock goes 15% for 10 secs. If the target dies during this effect, Haunt restores immediately. CD 25 secs.
  • Writhe in Agony. Agony now stack up to 15 times.
  • Malefic Grasp. Increases all your DoT damage by 25% when Drain Soul is maintained.

* In a single-target combat with min relocations, Malefic Grasp is 4-6% better than Writhe in Agony. Once you have two and more frequenting targets, Writhe in Agony becomes a lot more powerful. Haunt is a rather occasional talent. It’s not bad for Open World and gearing up, in a raid, it can only be of use if you’re not interested in the total dps but need damage on a particular target.

Tier 2. Lvl 30.

* Contagion is good for combats with 1-3 enemies, or with more if the secondary targets die out quite quickly and are not suitable for multidotting. For 4+ long-living targets in a combat use Absolute Corruption. It also is good for encounters like Consuls (with a boss represented by several big fat targets). Empowered Life Tap can look good only if you need to deal damage very quickly off pack mobs with Seeds of Corruption.

Tier 3. Lvl 45. 

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Howl of Terror. Instantly scares 5 enemies within a 10, range from you for 20 secs. Damage dealt to those targets may cancel the effect.

* 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. Howl of Terror is very unlikely to be of any use to you ever, but it can activate the proc of Sephuz’s Secret.

Tier 4. Lvl 60.

  • Phantom Singularity. You apply Singularity on a target dealing damage to all the enemies within a 15-m range of the marked target. 20% of the damage dealt this way comes ack to you as Health. CD 40 secs.
  • Sow the Seeds. Now Seed of Corruption is also applied on two enemies closest to the initial target.
  • Soul Harvest. Increases the damage dealt by you and your pets by 20% for 12 secs. The effect duration increases by 4 secs per each target hit with Agony. The duration is calculated the moment the Soul Harvest is used. Max duration – 36 secs. CD 2 min

* Phantom Singularity and Soul Harvest are more or less equal on single target. If you have ore targets, Singularity would provide more damage to the additional, the Harvest, in its turn – to the main target. The Soul Harvest is significantly better if you manage to use it on top of 5 stacks of Wrath of Consumption and increase its duration with Agony. Sow the Seeds is nice for stable AoE cases and Mythic+.

Tier 5. Lvl 75.

  • Demon Skin. Soul Leech now restores by 1% of your Health every second, and the max value of the shield is now 20% 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 4 times the 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 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 6. Lvl 90.

  • Grimoire of Supremacy. Now you can summon Doomguard and Infernal as constant pets and gain complete control over them.
  • Grimoire of Service. Allows you to summon a second Demon to deal 100% more damage over the next 25 secs. After utilizing this ability, the Demon instantly uses their special ability.
  • Grimoire of Sacrifice. Sacrifice a Demon so tha 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.

* Grimoire of Supremacy is you default choice for any type of combat. Grimoire of Service can be utilized only to get higher burst to a certain point at a certain time. In terms of overall dps, it loses to the Supremacy by about 4-5%. Grimoire of Sacrifice is nice for quick AoE combats like those in Mythic+, with 4+ targets.

Tier 7. Lvl 100.

  • Death’s Embrace. This one is a peculiar progressing execution. Starts working when your target has 35% HP. The lower the Health the higher the damage bonus. So when the HP is close to 0, the bonus will be at its max of 50%.
  • Siphon Life. Additional DoT by dark magic for 15 secs. Demands no Mana which is extremely important for multidot encounters. 60% of the damage deals by it comes back as Health.
  • Soul Conduit. Gives you a 20% chance of not spending a Soul Shard on casting a spell that demands this resource.

* Soul Conduit is by default your best option on a single target and for AoE combats to be able to use Unstable Affliction and Seeds of Corruption more often. Siphon Life becomes default choise after equiping 4t21 + Hood of Eternal Disdain. Death’s Embrace is appealing when the dps you get by the end of the combat is crucial. The longer this phase lasts the higher this talent’s efficiency. Due to Soul of the Netherlord this talent can be used for free combined with Soul Conduit which is a very powerful combo. This talent also looks fine in combats on multiple talents with equally low HP over a long period of time like the Desolate Host.

So, we can boil it all down to the following builds:

1. Standard build on a single target: 3113213

2. 2 targets: 2213211

– if there is a particular, prioritized target, use this: 21132113(1)

3. 3 targets: 2213211

4. For Mythic+: 311223(1)3 (In case you have Tyrannical Affix you can keep the Grimoire of Supremacy).

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Unlike talents, in the weapons branch there is no choice of what you can and what you can’t take. With the current Artifact Knowledge, the order of artifact acquisition is insignificant as to open all the traits, you only need to earn 2.23 billion artifact power which is extremely easy to do just over the first few minutes after you’ve reached level 110.


this spec uses 1 Blood and 2 Shadow relics.

Affliction’s traits are quite costly so sometimes you’ll need to wear a relic with lower ilvl for a stronger trait. In the list below, the relics will be accompanied by the equivalent of  weapon’s ilvl:

  1. Perdition 6.5
  2. Shadowy Incantations 4.5
  3. Winnowing 3.9
  4. Inherently Unstable 2.9
  5. Inimitable Agony 2.2
  6. Hideous Corruption 1.8
  7. Drained to a Husk 1.3
  8. Seeds of Doom 0

If you face situations where you’re not sure, we recommend you use the raidbots.com web-site which has a convenient interface for figuring out this sort of problems.

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Netherlight Crucible

Tier 1 of any relic allows you to increase your weapon’s ilvl by 5 points.

Tier 2. Here you face your first crucial choice between Light and Dark. Basically, the values of Tiers 2 and 3 are equal if you get something in between high single target performance and encounters with additional targets. That’s why you need to choose your own way gaining the max sum of weapon ilvl equivalents or % to DPS.

  1. Torment the Weak 4.2
  2. Shadowbind 3.9
  3. Infusion of Light 3.7
  4. Secure in the Light 3.6
  5. Chaotic Darkness 3.5
  6. Master of Shadows 3.4
  7. Shocklight 3.3
  8. Light Speed 3.2
  9. Murderous Intent 3.1
  10. Dark Sorrows 1.8

Tier 3. Similar to relics raiting

  1. Perdition 6.5
  2. Shadowy Incantations 4.5
  3. Winnowing 3.9
  4. Inherently Unstable 2.9
  5. Inimitable Agony 2.2
  6. Hideous Corruption 1.8
  7. Drained to a Husk 1.3
  8. Seeds of Doom 0

If you are using CrucibleWeight you can import this string into the game:

cruweight^128942^ilvl^1^238072^3.85 6:3.88 7:3.86^199120^1.42 6:1.38 7:1.47^252799^3.33^252922^1.87^252875^3.71^199158^6.58 6:8.6 7:6.5^199111^2.13 6:2.3 7:2.15^199112^1.89 6:1.92 7:1.74^199152^2.84 6:2.98 7:3.0^199153^0.01 6:0.19 7:-0.07^199163^4.4 6:4.46 7:4.58^253070^3.56^252888^3.42^252091^3.41^252191^3.05^252906^4.15^252088^3.36^253093^3.75^end

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An Affliction Warlock has access to 14 Legendaries + Demonology’s Legendary bracers.

Let’s single out the best and the good Legendaries:

Hood of Eternal Disdain makes Agony deal the damage 10% faster. A great Legendary for any combat type.

Power Cord of Lethtendris is an amazing Legendary on a single target or a small multidot with equal targets, and you’re going to use Unstable Affliction on each of them.

The Master Harvester is, in general, a very powerful Legendary but quite unpredictable, too. Gives you a 9% chance that on using Soul Shard you get Soul Harvest for 8 secs. Awesome for Mythic+ with Seeds of Corruption spam.

Soul of the Netherlord gets you a free execution without losing the Soul Conduit on the Tier. In vacuum, the ring loses a bit to the aforementioned items, but its value grows together with the execute phase – the longer the phase the more targets to execute over that time.

Sacrolash’s Dark Strike is a wonderful Legendary for specific encounters where multidotting is of great importance and a slowdown could come in handy.

Streten’s Sleepless Shackles is basically worse than the aforementioned Legendaries, but if utilized wisely, it can perform really well on multitarget.

Sephuz’s Secret is your best option if you have the opportunity to trigger its proc per CD. It’s also an amazing choice for Mythic+ in addition to The Master Harvester.

Prydaz, Xavaric’s Magnum Opus loses to the top-3 Legendaries by only 1-2% of dps, but it does provide a nice survival option which is often needed while exploring.

Reap and Sow is still a nice Legendary on a single target, but it is significantly worse than all the previous ones.

Insignia – increases the effects of tier 2 traits granted by Netherlight crucible by 50%. If you have strong traits this legendary becomes very strong but not the best one.

Sin’dorei Spite is a set of bracers you can only get when set at Demonology, but they do work in any spec, though.\ In theory, these bracers can play their role in the encounters where you need your burst here and now.

If you’ve got different Legendaries out of the first list, and want to figure out which one of them would be better for you, we recommend you use Simcraft.

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Damaging patterns strongly depend on the talent you pick on the first Tier.









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The basic priority rating for the characteristics is as follows:

Haste = Mastery > Crit > Intellect = Versatility

This specialization’s Mastery increases the damage of your periodic damage effects inclusing Unstable Affliction, Agony, Corruption and Siphon Life, if you have it in stock.

Affliction Warlock’s characteristics shift extremely depending on:

  • your ilvl;
  • your gear’s stats (the amount of this or that stat in general);
  • Set Bonuses;
  • Trinkets;
  • Legendaries.

That’s why it is recommended, once you receive new equipment, you use Simcraft or Raidbots.com. There is no way to get a more precise answer to which stat to focus on first, but through a simulation.

Based on the aforementioned characteristics and results of your character’s own simulation results, you can draw conclusions on Gems, Chants and Raid Chemicals.

1. Gems:

Quick Lightsphene or Masterful Argulite

2. Chants:

– Neck: Enchant Neck – Mark of the Trained Soldier.
– Rings: Enchant Ring – Binding of Haste or Enchant Ring – Binding of Mastery.
– Cloak: Enchant Cloak – Binding of Intellect.

3. Food:

Lavish Suramar Feast, 500 Intellect; or Azshari Salad for Haste; or Nightborne Delicacy Platter for Mastery.

4. Flasks and Potions

Flask of the Whispered Pact, 1300 Intellect for 1 hour.
Potion of Prolonged Power, 2500 Intellect for 1 min.

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Set bonuses


  • 2 pieces: Your Unstable Affliction ‘s periodic damage increases by 10%.
  • 4 pieces: The probability of creating a Soul Shard while using Agony grows 1.10 times.


  • 2 pieces: Corruption has a certain probability of creating a Soul Shard every time it deals damage.
  • 4 pieces: Spending a Soul Shard gives you a 25% probability of increasing your Haste by 15% for 8 secs.



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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).


For the Demonic Circle, you need to have 2 macros:

One that cancels the current spell and employs the ability (if you’re within the range of that effect)

/cast Demonic Circle

And one macro to cancel the installed circle:

/cancelaura Demonic Circle

Soulstone at cursor’s position:

/cast [target=mouseover] Soulstone