The Warlock is known in World of Warcraft as a powerful damage-dealing class focusing on spell casting. Known for its balance of defensive and offensive capabilities spread across different builds, such as Affliction, Demonology, and Destruction; the Warlock focuses on damage over time, debuffs, and its use of demonic minions, such as the Imp, Voidwalker, or Succubus.
In this WoW WotLK Classic Warlock Build Guide, we will take a brief look into the three main PVE builds for Warlock in WotLK:
Warlock is also a class that the developers ensure is properly balanced. A community manager for WoW - Kaivax highlighted an example of adjustments made to the class for WotLK Classic.
Each specialization for Warlock is advantageous. Whether players want to play Affliction for steady long-term damage, pump out burst damage with Destruction, or take damage for their allies with Demonology, Warlock players have a versatile class to build with an almost endless pool of mana.
Players seek to team with Warlocks due to their crowd control and debuff abilities. The utility spells that Warlocks possess bring nothing but usefulness to any group. On top of that, Warlocks can convert their minion’s life force and other dark spells to bring life back to their allies. The ability to use Soulstones is also helpful in resurrecting the life force of either themselves or their teammates.
For players who want to spend some time alone, Warlocks ranks as one of the best classes for solo players. Whether it is taking down Elite Quests or doing WotLK Classic content, Warlocks can realistically take on content that can take up to 10 players to defeat.
Now that you have an overview of the Warlock class. Let us briefly overview the different PvE builds for WotLK Warlock.
Wrath of the Lich King saw plenty of changes that improved each Warlock build to have its own unique gameplay styles. The Affliction specialization made Warlock great at single-target damage that drains their enemies over time.
In WotLK, Warlock became one of the best single-target damage classes to play. With the Affliction Build, pairing Death’s Embrace with Drain Soul provides a massive burst of damage as the boss inches closer to death. While single-target damage is significant for bosses, Warlocks can also handle spammy AoE attacks to deal with groups of enemies and other cleave situations.
Warlock is simple to play for new WoW players. Cycling through DoTs while managing Shadow Bolt is all you need to do in the early game. Later in the game, there is much room for advanced players to optimize the Warlock Affliction build.
The optimal talents needed for the Warlock Affliction Build in WotLK Classic are:
Improved Shadow Bolt
Improved Curse of Agony
For utility talents, it is suggested to have Grim Reach. Grim Reach increases the range of Affliction spells by 20%, which pairs well with Destructive Reach to put more space between you and the boss.
While damage over time is fun for some, if you are looking for more intensive gameplay, consider the Demonology Warlock Build.
Demonology Warlock Build is fun to play but does require a bit of Wrath of the Lich King Classic gold to optimize. With Demonic Pact, Demonology Warlocks focus more on support. The Demonic pact, combined with Demonic Knowledge and Demonic Aegis, creates a potent caster support mix that improves overall damage in raids.
Not only can Demonology Warlocks pump out good burst damage and provide caster support, but Wrath of the Lich King changes have given Warlock plenty of abilities to enhance their survivability.
If you’re looking to start a Demonology Warlock, then the most important talents to have are:
Improved Shadow Bolt
With the Demonology Warlock build, there are more utility choices to choose from than the Affliction Build, primarily due to the pet. For example, the Master Summoner talent reduces the casting time of the pets, such as the Voidwalker, Felhunter, or Succubus, by 4 seconds. This talent also reduces the cost of the mana spent summoning the demons by 40%. However, if you are adept at pet management, you could go with more offensive talent, such as Destructive Reach.
Demonology Warlocks who struggle to keep their pets alive can choose to spec Fel Synergy. With Fel Synergy, Warlocks can heal their pets for a percentage of the damage dealt by the player. It does not hurt to have this talent available, but if you are already good at pet management, then you are better off running with Intensity. Intensity reduces pushback when dealing damage from Destruction spells. With most of the spells being Destruction-based, such as Bolt, Incinerate, or Soul Fire, running with Intensity is a must-have.
If Destruction is more appealing, players should look at the Destruction Warlock Build in WoW WotLK Classic instead.
When it comes to burst damage, the specialization you want to choose with the Warlock class is the Destruction build. Much like the Affliction build, the Destruction build focuses on DoTs, so it’s essential to have enough gold to optimize your specialization.
Destruction Warlocks want to focus on Hit Rating, Spell Power, and Critical Strike Chance. You will not need as much Haste as you would if you were playing an Affliction Warlock for the DoTs, so keeping it around nine hundred is optimal as far as maintaining DPS is concerned.
The most optimal build focuses on keeping your Imp in the game by concentrating on talents such as Improved Imp, Empowered Imp, and Aftermath. You will also put points into Destructive Reach, focusing on the range of your spells. With two points in Destructive Reach, Destruction Warlocks increase the range of their spells by 20%. Players sacrifice a point from Demonic Aegis, a talent that increases armor, but it is worth less armor to strike at a more extended range.
With the Warlock Destruction Build in WotLK, you will not need to worry about putting any points into suppression, which increases hit chance by 3% and reduces the mana cost of Affliction spells by 6%. However, if you find yourself suffering with your Hit Rating, you will have to decide whether you want to go without Demonic Aegis or take a point away from Destructive Reach.
The optimal build for Destruction Warlock also has players putting points into Soul Leech and Improved Soul Leech. Soul Leech is great for healing the player based on a percentage of the amount of damage they deal. Improving Soul Leech restores not only a tiny percentage of mana but also aids other raid members.
Regardless of the build you choose with Destruction Warlock, and you will have access to Fire and Brimstone, Pyroclasm, Backdraft, and Shadow and Flame. That is because talents, such as Fire and Brimstone, enhance Incinerate and Chaos Bolt. The other skills also improve your critical strike chance, spell power, and instant cast procs.
You will cross over into the Demonology tree a bit with points in:
Maxing out improved Imp will improve the effect of your Firebolt, Blood Pact, and Fire Shield by up to 30%. You will also want to max out Demonic Embrace and Fel Vitality to improve the Stamina of the Destruction Warlock and their pet.
While this WotLK Classic Warlock guide covers talents for each Warlock build, it is helpful to level professions to complement each one.