These are pre-expansion builds designed for level 60. Most of them are non-functional due to talent changes and are only here for posterity.
DP / Shadowburn (35/5/11)
This build dabbles in all three talent trees. It's geared toward low end initial damage, with high yield after a few seconds (giving you the ability to open up with DOTs immediately with any decent tank in the group). 5 points are spent in the Demonology tree for group support purposes(Improved Healthstone, and Improved Imp), and 11 points in Destruction to obtain Shadowburn. This build works great for PvP, PvE, Grinding, and Farming. The sustained "rolling" damage, and shortened cast time of shadow bolt (and the frequent instant cast ability granted by the shadow trance, which is triggered often due to the extreme use of Improved Corruption, and Drain Life) make for a high damage output over the course of any group fight. Coupled with the ability to "Drain Tank" if you should pull aggro from a mob. The aim of this spec is to lay up to 4 DOTs on ALL targets, and move back to drain the life of the MT's target, releasing an instant cast Shadow Bolt every time your Nightfall procs (all targets are now being damaged by you, while also healing you) and finish them all with your Shadowburn. Due to the incredibly high, seemingly uncontrollable constant damage output of this spec, its very difficult to survive in an instance at maximum damage output without a Paladin's Blessing of Salvation and a VERY able bodied Tank. Also, the high level of mana consumed by this build may cause the need to actually use Dark Pact in combat, in conjunction with Life Tap and actually drink between fights (when fighting multiple opponents). Without a doubt, the most fun 51 point build for a Warlock. Everyone will tell you that you are crazy, until they see what you can do. (This is a seemingly, previously unreleased build which has remained my absolute favorite since the day i hit 60, and could create it)
Dark Pact (31/--/--)
This build is perhaps one of the best known builds to grind (killing monsters in rapid succession to get exp) with. It utilizes Improved Corruption, Siphon Life, and Drain Life (along with Fel Concentration) to "Drain Tank" (using Drain Life and Fel Concentration together to be able to take hits, deal damage, and heal at the same time) to kill. Many say that Siphon Life is not worth using unless the full duration is used up, but it can also be used to deal damage as fast as possible. With all the abilities to gain life, Improved Life Tap becomes a crucial component to this build because the warlock can Life Tap to convert HP to mana and then drain some more. This build will usually drain more HP than it will lose which is why Life Tap is used. Dark Pact is used in between fights. It is ideal to use an Imp because it has the largest mana pool of all the pets and also have the highest spirit and, therefore, the highest mana regeneration rate. For this reason it is colloquially referred to as the "mana battery." The Imp will remain Phase Shifted to minimize the chances of it getting killed and to conserve mana for Dark Pact.
SM / Ruin (30/0/21)
This talent spec focuses on Affliction/Destruction, utilizing two main talents: Shadow Mastery and Ruin. Shadow Mastery is the second-to-last talent on the Affliction tree, and increases all shadow damage done by 10% (when maxed out). Ruin is near the end of the Destruction tree, and increases the critical strike bonus of Destruction spells by 100% instead of 50%. This allows your damage over time spells and your Shadow Bolts to be as powerful as they can be, which are your main sources of damage in high level instances. This is an average spec for PvP combat, as you can damage your opponents with damage over time and Shadow Bolt. Notice again that this build is oriented on DPS. You have to decide whether you want high damage output of this build or more survivability from a Soul Link build.
SM / Ruin (PvP) (30/0/21)
This spec is similar to the above SM/Ruin spec but is more focused on getting the most out of your DOTs. This is better geared toward PvP play than raiding due to the 16 debuff cap that will normally be filled by the rest of your raid. In this spec, Improved Curse of Agony is favoured over Curse of Exhaustion, to deal the most damage possible (since the CoA may not stay on the target long enough to deal its final deadly damage). Amplify Curse is also sacrificed in favour of filling Suppression with 5 points.
SM / DS (30/21/0)
This talent uses only Affliction and Demonology. It's two key talents are Shadow Mastery and Demonic Sacrifice. Shadow Mastery is the second-to-last talent on the affliction tree and it increases shadow damage by 10% when five points are put into it. Demonic Sacrifice is 21 points into the Demonology tree and allows you to sacrifice your pet for a powerful buff. This talent build is not very strong in PvP. However, it is generally accepted to be second to none when it comes to farming efficiency. It also can be very powerful in raids if your fellow raiders do not mind you sacrificing your pet. The strategy for farming with this build is to sacrifice your Voidwalker for health regen and then apply DoTs to several targets. For PvP this build is not very effective as it lacks the necessary burst damage. Either sacrifice your voidwalker or succubus for either health regeneration or higher spell damage and then proceed to unload all your damaging DoTs onto the target and try to keep him feared. This same strategy is used for farming high level elites. This build's strength is farming and while it is decent in instances it is fairly bad in PvP.
Nightfall / Soul Link (20/31/0)
Soul Link builds perhaps have the best survivability of all the warlock builds. With the build's ability to split 20% of the damage taken to the pet (via Soul Link) and the ability to use Drain Life with a 70% chance of not getting interrupted (through Fel Concentration), the damage taken is very minimal. However, this build requires a rather large amount of +damage/+shadow damage before it becomes efficient (around +300). The pet of choice is usually the Felhunter; the ability to counter (Spell Lock), dispel magic (Devour), deal damage, and have the second most hp and armor next to the Voidwalker makes it an ideal pet to use. On top of those properties, Master Demonologist allows the warlock to receive +60 resistance to all schools of magic at level 60. Above this, Nightfall allows Shadow Bolts to be shot at instant speed.
This will provide with lots of instant Shadow Bolts through Nightfall along with lots of increased HP with Soul Linked pets, near-instant summon of a pet (Fel Domination), along with sacrificed demons for excellent buff opportunities. A strong PvP build that works with PvE end game raids as well.
Soul Link +2 (9/31/11)
Soul Link, but counters the disadvantage of speccing heavily in Affliction by providing more reliable Burst DPS (2.5 second Shadow Bolts, and instant-cast Shadowburn).
Soul Link Allround (7/31/13)
Not much of a difference to the one mentioned before in terms of numbers... but you wouldn't believe what 2 talent points spent in improved Lash of Pain or improved Firebolt can change. However due to a bug only 1 point in imp. Firebolt is advisable as the 2. one has no effect so put it in +1% Crit or whatever you like. When playing with a succubus or imp these 2 points can significantly increase your overall DPS.
MD / Ruin (0/30/21)
This is a very versatile build that can be used for many purposes. The 2.5 second Shadow Bolts in combination with Ruin will allow you to put out much damage. Pets can be summoned in 6seconds (normal summon 10 seconds). This build includes the talents Demonic Sacrifice and Master Demonologist, which will both allow the Warlock to adapt in many ways. This is a good build for tanking the twin emperors in AQ40. Weaknesses of this build are less powerful DoTs and lack of Improved Life Tap.
Felguard/Drain tank (9/42/0)
This build puts 42 points into Demonology to get Felguard plus 2/3 Mana Feed, coupled with 2/2 Improved Life Tap for quick mana recovery for you and your pocket warrior. Also 2/2 Soul Siphon increases your ability to drain tank.
if you plan on leveling with this build, i would suggest investing in improved corruption before starting on the demonology tree. less casting time means killing things a lot quicker, which means gaining levels a lot quicker.
Heavy Destruction (--/--/31+)
This build is very similar to being a mage with its ability to nuke (deal a lot of damage at a short amount of time). Often referred to as a "Firelock" do to the extensive use of fire spells Immolate, Conflagrate, (occasional Soul Fire for PvP) and Searing Pain as main sources of damage. With Ruin, critical hits are 33% more damaging (making every critical hit deal 2 times more damage than normal non-critical hits). With Improved Searing Pain, the critical rate is very high and because Searing Pain has a short casting time, it makes it an ideal spell to use whenever Conflagrate is cooling down. For PvE, The pet of choice is the Imp, with Improved Imp and Improved Firebolt, it can deal 125 every second and it also gives the warlock a stamina buff through Blood Pact. For PvP, the pet of choice is usually a Succubus. The Succubus is used for two main reasons: One, it can use it's Seduce ability to hold people long enough for a Soul Fire to be used, and Two, it is the only way for Warlocks to deal with Fury Warriors reliably. A common PvP strategy for Destruction Heavy Warlocks is to Seduce with a Succubus, then use Shadow Bolt or, if there is time, Soul Fire, then follow up with Immolate, and a Fear. The opponent is the kept feared as much as possible, and Conflagrate used once an Immolate has landed. DoT's are used fairly often, but only as secondary damage.
This build is mainly geared towards PvP because of the threat Searing Pain causes, and unless the tank is very good at holding aggro in a PvE environment, the warlock will be expecting to take some hits, causing the tank some frustration. This build also eats through mana very quickly because of the amount of high-cost spells that are used.
Firemancer / Balanced Destruction Build (7/5/39)
This build is mainly meant for PvP with its majority of destruction talents. It can, however, have a great damage output in PvE too, if played skillfully as it utilizes most of the Must-Have talents, including Improved Life Tap for better Mana/Health efficiency, Demonic Embrace for the additional Health, Bane for increased DPS with the Destruction spells, Shadowburn for an additional finishing move and Ruin for higher Critical Strike damage. 5/5 Devastation gives this build a high natural Critical Strike chance with all Destruction spells and Improved Searing Pain makes Searing Pain a viable PvP tool with a very high natural crit chance. Intensity and Pyroclasm gives the Warlock class better AoE abilities.
Nightfall / Conflagrate (19/0/32)
This build is mainly meant for PvP with its majority of destruction talents. It has the highest potential for burst direct damage of any build (Nightfall, Shadowburn, Conflagrate). Sacrifices 15% base STA (Demonic Embrace) for increased Affliction range, Fel Concentration, and Nightfall procs.
Although this build is more focused towards PvP, this build can also be used in raids and can compete in damage with other raid builds. On the downside, the burst damage potential is an aggro magnet and very mana intensive. Some variations include dropping Emberstorm for Aftermath and Pyroclasm.
Nightfall / Conflagrate (16/0/35)
This build is a variation of the NF/Conflag build above, with important differences.
This build is meant to be a powerful and versatile 2.0.1 level 60 re-spec. Its large burst-damage capabilities, as well as its Improved Curse of Agony, make this build an ideal one for Warlocks who wish to:
- do some serious DPS in both PvP and raid environments
- escape the mundane "Shadow Bolt spam" that DPS Warlocks are so familiar with
- keep improved Life-Tap
- increase the effectiveness of their AoE spells
- not bother with juggling demons / need to keep their Imp out during raids
The build puts emphasis on increasing fire damage, as well as maximizing spell crit chance. This build is powerful and involved, and is recommended for experienced Warlocks, or those who desire to mash a bunch buttons during combat! The raiding Warlock must take care not to draw aggro away from the tank with this build, however the 10% threat reduction provided by Destructive Reach noticeably suppresses threat and effectively increases your available DPS in raids.
How to play it: It's always wise to change your strategy based on how long you expect the target will take to die. Generally: Apply Corruption. Apply Immolate. Conflag (start cooldown). Immolate. Spam Shadow Bolt until Conflag cools down. Conflag. etc. use Shadowburn as a finishing move.
If you are feeling lazy, the tried and true Shadow Bolt spam still works very well with this build.
With increasing level, the idea of this build is to either a) maximize the Destruction tree, filling out Backlash first, then Emberstorm, or b) sacrifice a few talent points at the bottom of the Destruction tree in order to grab Empowered Corruption.