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Warlock Beginner Guide WoW – Overview & Builds for ALL Specs

Warlock Beginner Guide WoW – Overview & Builds for ALL Specs

Guide Written By: Dottz Gaming

Table of Contents

  1. Video
  2. Introduction
  3. Specializations
    1. Affliction
    2. Destruction
    3. Demonology
  4. Contact Info
  5. Update Log

Video

Introduction

Welcome to DottzGaming.com’s beginner guide for the Warlock class in World of Warcraft! This guide will give you a brief overview to what the class has to offer, its specializations and new player focused talent setups to get you going on your adventures through Azeroth! If you are brand new to WoW and are reading this guide, I also recommend checking out my WoW Complete Beginner Guide, which will teach you all non-class specific things you need to know to get yourself started in WoW.

The warlock is a damage-dealing spellcaster class, known in World of Warcraft for their damage over time (also known as DoT) spells, summoning demonic minions to aid them in battle and their ability to fire off destructive fire spells. In addition to strong DoT and Burst damage, Warlocks also provide strong group utility and crowd control skills. Warlocks, besides using mana & soul shards to cast their skills, also can utilize health to heal their minions, restore their mana pool or gain other powerful effects depending on the specialization, allowing them to gain additional power!

The warlock is a pure damage dealer, meaning it has no healing/tank specialization. The first specialization, Affliction, makes your warlock a master of damage over time, draining their targets’ health with powerful debuffs. Demonology warlocks summon and empower powerful demons to do their bidding. Destruction warlocks focus on unleashing fire upon their enemies, specializing in burst damage and fire spells. Warlocks are one of the tankier spell casters, with many defensive augmentations, but with this tankiness comes with a price – mobility.  Warlocks are on the slow side, so that is just something to keep in mind when you play this class! Like mentioned earlier, Warlocks use mana primarily to cast their spells, while some are casted using a resource called soul shards which get generated by certain skills and then spent on others. In addition, warlocks wear cloth armor, utilize Intellect as their primary stat to deal magic damage, and can wield staves, wands, daggers, swords and off-hand items.

Races that can play the Warlock class are as follows:

  • Blood Elf (Horde)
  • Dark Iron Dwarf (Alliance)
  • Dwarf (Alliance)
  • Gnome (Alliance)
  • Goblin (Horde)
  • Human (Alliance)
  • Mechagnome (Alliance)
  • Nightborne (Horde)
  • Orc (Horde)
  • Troll (Horde)
  • Undead (Horde)
  • Void Elf (Alliance)
  • Vulpera (Horde)
  • Worgen (Alliance)

Now that we have a brief summary of the class out of the way, let’s get into the specs and what they have to offer. The following builds are going to be tailored to new players, looking to make your rotation as easy and straightforward while adding as few additional skills to your action bars as possible. If you’re looking for something more advanced and focused on dealing as much damage as possible, I recommend checking out Icy-Veins or WoWhead for builds more tailored towards end game raids, mythic+ and rated PvP.

Specializations

Affliction

Click here to view the talent calculator.

Talents

  1. Nightfall – Adds an easy proc to your rotation that allows one of your primary DoTs to give you a stronger, instant cast shadow bolt!
  2. Absolute Corruption – This talent makes corruption permanent, making it easy to maintain on enemies. In addition, when you use Seed of Corruption to spread it to multiple enemies, you wont have to worry about maintenance of the skill across a wide number of opponents since it’s permanent!
  3. Demon Skin – Makes you tankier and helps you live longer with a strong shield with no additional intervention on your part.
  4. Phantom Singularity – Adds a powerful AoE DoT into your class kit that heals you, perfect for dealing damage while helping you stay alive!
  5. Mortal Coil – Strong single target CC that also gives you a strong burst heal when you need it in a pinch.
  6. Dark Caller – This makes Summon Darkglare and your final talent, Dark soul: Misery, have the same cooldown. This means that you can always use these two skills together when you want to deal big damage to your enemies!
  7. Dark Soul: Misery – Gives you an incredibly strong burst cooldown by giving your haste a massive spike, which increases the speed at which you can cast skills, lowers the cast time of your skills and makes your DoTs tick more frequently!
  8. Demon Armor – A PvP talent that helps increase your tankiness with an easy to use buff!
  9. Rampant Afflictions – Allows one of your strongest DoTs, Unstable Affliction, to be cast on multiple targets!
  10. Gateway Master – Gives you and your allies additional mobility, allowing your gateway to be used more frequently and at a greater distance!

Recommended Pet: Voidwalker (questing) or Felhunter (group content)

Rotation

Dealing Damage

  1. Apply Unstable Affliction, Corruption, Agony and Phantom Singularity (when it isnt on cooldown) to your targets! If you are fighting many enemies at the same time, apply Unstable Affliction and Phantom Singularity to the primary target, apply the Agony to all targets, and use Seed of Corruption to spread corruption!
  2. If you have Soul Shards available, cast Malefic Rapture, if not, use Shadow Bolt.

Offense

  • Pop your Summon Darkglare and Dark Soul: Misery when you want to pump out a ton of damage!

Defense

  • Be sure to always have a Healthstone on your character so that if you need a heal in a pinch you can use it!
  • Use Drain Life when you need to recover your HP, and Health Funnel if your demon needs to be healed!
  • If you’re taking a LOT of damage, pop Unending Resolve to reduce it by 40%.
  • If you find yourself outnumbered, use Mortal Coil, Shadowfury or Fear to control an enemy to reduce how many you’re fighting.
  • Use your curses as appropriate against enemies in the world to prevent enemies from dealing their maximum damage.

Secondary Stat Priority

  1. Haste = Mastery
  2. Critical Strike
  3. Versatility

Shadowlands Specific Information

Recommended Covenant: Kyrian

Recommended Legendary: Memory of Azj’Aqir’s Agony

Destruction

Click here to view the talent calculator.

Talents

  1. Flashover – Strong passive that increases your conflagrate damage, and helps you get more fast-casted Chaos Bolts/Incinerates via backdraft.
  2. Reverse Entropy – Gives you a strong haste buff while you go through your rotation, which increases the speed at which you can cast skills, lowers the cast time of your skills and makes your DoTs tick more frequently!
  3. Demon Skin – Makes you tankier and helps you live longer with a strong shield with no additional intervention on your part.
  4. Fire and Brimstone – Makes your Incinerate an AoE skill and generate additional soul fragments, allowing you to fire off more chaos bolts!
  5. Mortal Coil – Strong single target CC that also gives you a strong burst heal when you need it in a pinch.
  6. Rain of Chaos – Allows you to summon more infernals while you are consuming soul shards, which will cause you to not only deal more damage but generate MORE soul shards, allowing you to consume more to generate even more infernals!
  7. Dark Soul: Instability – Gives you an incredibly strong burst cooldown by giving your critical strike a massive spike, giving you a higher chance to deal massive burst damage to your opponent!
  8. Demon Armor – A PvP talent that helps increase your tankiness with an easy to use buff!
  9. Cremation – Gives conflagrate additional damage against targest affected by Immolate, one of your primary DoTs!
  10. Gateway Mastery- Gives you and your allies additional mobility, allowing your gateway to be used more frequently and at a greater distance!

Recommended Pet: Voidwalker (questing) or Imp (group content)

Rotation

Dealing Damage

  1. Apply Immolate to your target first and foremost! If you are fighting many enemies at the same time, apply this DoT to your primary target, use Havoc on a secondary target, and fire all of your spells at the primary target! Havoc will cause that secondary target to take a portion of that damage! If you are heavily outnumbered, do the same thing but also be sure to use Rain of Fire when you have the soul shards available to cleave down your enemies!
  2. Use Conflagrate on cooldown for the backdraft passive. Then, if you have Soul Shards available, cast Chaos Bolt, if not, use Incinerate.

Offense

  • Pop your Summon Infernal and Dark Soul: Instability when you want to pump out a ton of damage!

Defense

  • Be sure to always have a Healthstone on your character so that if you need a heal in a pinch you can use it!
  • Use Drain Life when you need to recover your HP, and Health Funnel if your demon needs to be healed!
  • If you’re taking a LOT of damage, pop Unending Resolve to reduce it by 40%.
  • If you find yourself outnumbered, use Mortal Coil, Shadowfury or Fear to control an enemy to reduce how many you’re fighting.
  • Use your curses as appropriate against enemies in the world to prevent enemies from dealing their maximum damage.

Secondary Stat Priority

  1. Mastery
  2. Haste
  3. Critical Strike
  4. Versatility

Shadowlands Specific Information

Recommended Covenant: Kyrian

Recommended Legendary: Memory of Wilfred’s Sigil of Superior Summoning

Demonology

Click here to view the talent calculator.

Talents

  1. Dreadlash – Gives your Dreadstalker’s attack 25% additional damage and making it hit in an 8 yard AoE!
  2. Demonic Calling – Gives Shadow Bolt/Demon Bolt a chance to make your next Call Dreadstalkers cost less and have no cast time, making it easier to use more frequently in the heat of battle!
  3. Demon Skin – Makes you tankier and helps you live longer with a strong shield with no additional intervention on your part.
  4. From the Shadows – Your Dreadstalker’s attack causes your opponent to take 20% additional Shadowflame damage from you, allowing you to pump out more damage against the targets your Dreadstalker’s are attacking!
  5. Mortal Coil – Strong single target CC that also gives you a strong burst heal when you need it in a pinch.
  6. Soul Conduit – Gives every soul shard you spend a 15% chance to be refunded, giving you the chance to fire off more spells in quick succession!
  7. Demonic Consumption – Your demon commander drains 15% of the HP from other demon servants to make himself even more powerful!
  8. Master Summoner – Your Dreadstalkers become instant cast in PvP. Since this setup is very Dreadstalker focus, this helps prevent enemies from stopping you from summoning your Dreadstalkers!
  9. Gateway Mastery – Gives you and your allies additional mobility, allowing your gateway to be used more frequently and at a greater distance!
  10. Call Fel Lord – Allows you to drop a Fel Lord on a target location, stunning enemies in an AoE whenever it attacks and dealing 5% of their max HP as damage! This is a great tool for zoning enemies out of an area you don’t want them in!

Recommended Pet: Felguard

Rotation

Dealing Damage

  1. Cast Call Dreadstalkers on Cooldown
  2. Use Hand of Gul’Dan whenever you hit 3 soul shards to summon imps!
  3. Cast Demon Bolt whenever you get a proc of Demonic Core (2+).
  4. Cast Shadowbolt as your filler skill to generate Soul Shards.
  5. When outnumbered, use Corruption on your main target, and when you summon your imps via Hand of Gul’Dan, use Implosion to deal a big burst of damage!

Offense

  • Make sure you have some imps and dreadstalkers summoned, and then pop your Summon Demonic Tyrant, which is your demonic commander, when you want to pump out a ton of damage! With multiple demons summoned, it’ll further empower your Tyrant from Demonic Consumption!

Defense

  • Be sure to always have a Healthstone on your character so that if you need a heal in a pinch you can use it!
  • Use Drain Life when you need to recover your HP, and Health Funnel if your demon needs to be healed!
  • If you’re taking a LOT of damage, pop Unending Resolve to reduce it by 40%.
  • If you find yourself outnumbered, use Mortal Coil, Shadowfury or Fear to control an enemy to reduce how many you’re fighting.
  • Use your curses as appropriate against enemies in the world to prevent enemies from dealing their maximum damage.

Secondary Stat Priority

  1. Haste
  2. Mastery
  3. Critical Strike
  4. Versatility

Shadowlands Specific Information

Recommended Covenant: Venthyr

Recommended Legendary: Memory of the Grim Inquisitor

Contact

If you have any questions about the build, join our discord server and ask @Dottz about the build in the #wow-general channel!

Update Log

11/17/2020 – Guide created