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< Warlock builds

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This is a page of builds that were used at level 80 in WoW 3.x. They are now non-functional as of WoW 4.0, but are preserved for posterity.

Affliction Builds

The DoTs Curse of Agony and Corruption are some of the most mana-effective and time effective spells available for the Warlock. The Affliction talent tree can improve on these even more.

There is always the issue of the mob dying or getting killed before the full completion of a DoT. This is especially bad for Curse of Agony, that causes more of its damage in the last third of its duration (and is often omitted or Curse of Elements used instead for this reason).

There are also some issues with using DoTs in parties and raids. In particular, many Crowd Control abilities break if the affected creature takes any damage. A mob affected by a DoT spell essentially becomes immune to a significant number of CC measures.

It is important to note that almost all viable Warlock PvP builds will have at least 17 points in Demonology for Soul Link and Master Summoner.


Haunt/SL (54/17/0)

PurposeArena/BG's
Talent Link(s) Wowhead
Tested patch3.2.0

One of the most popular and successful builds for Arena/BG's. The nerfs to Affliction have significantly weakened it, but I still think it's viable. Shadow Embrace is now more valuable as Haunt really needs to be up to put any real damage pressure out. 3/3 Eradication would be nice with the ICD removed, but that's up to you. Perks are still the same from what I see, good mobility, fast casts, damage works out of LoS.


Haunt/Ruin (56/0/15)

PurposeRaiding
Talent Link(s) Wowhead
Tested patch3.3.3

This build places more emphasis on your own DPS. Updated for the recents changes to Improved Felhunter and Glyph of Life Tap. The talented Felhunter will only need 8% of BASE mana (at level 80 that's only about 80 mana) to cast Shadow Bite, so you can tap him dry and by the time you need to use Dark Pact again he'll have plenty of mana for you. If hit capped move the points from Suppression to Fel Concentration. Don't clip your dots.


The basic opening rotation:

With no Unholy Death Knight, Boomkin, or warlock that's willing to cast Curse of the Elements:

Dark Pact, Curse of the Elements, Shadow Bolt, Haunt, Corruption, Unstable Affliction, Shadow Bolt filler. Renew DoTs as needed. Dark Pact to maintain the Life tap Glyph buff every 40 sec.

With an Unholy Death Knight, Boomkin, or another warlock willing to cast Curse of the Elements:

Dark Pact, Shadow Bolt, Haunt, Corruption, Unstable Affliction, Curse of Agony, Shadow Bolt filler. Renew DoTs as needed. Dark Pact to maintain the Life tap Glyph buff every 40 seconds.


Under 25% HP of the mob, Shadow Bolt is replaced by Drain Soul.


The doomguards and infernals will benifit this build more than any other.


Deep Affliction (63/0/8)

PurposePvP/Solo PvE
Talent Link(s) Wowhead
Tested patch3.1.1

Improves PvP capability through [Grim Reach], [Improved Fear], [Improved Howl of Terror], [Glyph of Fear] and [Curse of Exhaustion]. Use these to keep your opponents at a comfortable distance and kite them until your DoTs suck them dry.

[Siphon Life], [Glyph of Siphon Life] and [Molten Skin] improve survivability considerably in both PvP and PvE.

Remember to pick your minions carefully for PvP - Imp when you want raw DPS (or if you leave him passive and phase shifted, you can use him for a mana battery through Dark Pact), Felhunter for casters and the Succubus for melee opponents.

For PvP spell rotations, read the Warlock PvP guide page. Remember that your Corruption and Unstable Afflictions are the only DoTs which crit, so make sure you have them up on your opponent all the time. Also remember to place Unstable Affliction last, making dispelling that stack of DoTs an unpleasant business for anyone who cares to try.

If the pull has two or more mobs in it, rotate Corruption on all of them to begin with (so that the Nightfall procs begin), then rotate CoA (which is really fast because of Amplify Curse), then focus on one mob and drop Haunt and Unstable Affliction onto it. Use Drain Life, Rain of Fire, Shadowbolt and Searing Pain as fillers; I always favor Drain Life because it adds to the probability of a Nightfall proc (4% chance per tick while channelling), keeps your health topped up and does respectable damage. You're committing to long casts with long channelling spells like Drain Soul which gives you considerably less flexibility in keeping Corruption live and making full use of Nightfall as soon as it procs (if you don't use it immediately and it procs again, it will not stack; instead it resets the Nightfall timer, effectively wasting an instant Shadowbolt), so keep this in mind before casting them. When dealing with groups of mobs, a respectable portion of your DPS will be from instant Shadowbolts so make sure you keep Corruption live on all the mobs. If a particular mob is not currently targeted by your party members, drop a Seed of Corruption onto it (it's very mana inefficient if the target is taking a lot of damage).

This build depends on [Siphon Life] and [Dark Pact] for the high uptime, for which sufficient talent points are available only at Level 40. Pandemic and Malediction take even longer. Until you get to 40 (or even 60), you may want to consider going hybrid Affliction/Demonology until you have enough points to obtain both Siphon Life and Dark Pact, and re-spec at the trainer at that point. In the demonology tree, you should invest points in Demonic Embrace, Demonic Brutality and Soul Link. During this phase your primary pet in PvE will be the Voidwalker. That said, remember never to use the Voidwalker in PvP unless you're looking for stealthed Rogues, Druids in cat form or Shadowmelded Night Elves by using Consume Shadows. Any opponent worth his or her salt will simply ignore the Voidwalker and focus on you.


Affliction PVP build (52/11/8)

PurposePVP
Talent Link(s) Wowhead
Tested patch3.2.0

A good PVP affliction spec that has a lot of criticals. It has improved DOTS and increases your health + it increases your shadow bolt.


Seed of Corruption Build (38/33/0)

PurposePvE AoE
Talent Link(s) Wowhead
Tested patch3.3.0

This is an excellent build for a dual-spec'd warlock to use during trash pulls that involve 3 or more mobs, when you simply tab-spam Seed of Corruption. A warlock with this spec has perhaps the strongest AoE in the game. Use your Succubus to further buff your AoE damage. But beware, single-target dps is very low.

Demonology Builds

The Demonology talent tree and the use of summoned demons are what mainly distinguishes a Warlock from a Mage.

With patch 3.0.2, Demonology became a far more viable building for PvE and PvP. Though, it will still not top the damage meters in a group of even geared players, you most likely will not be the bottom anymore. With the new talents added we are also able buff fellow casting allies the same way a Hunter buffs Melee based allies. In 2v2 Demonology is far more viable as well. With the addition of Metamorphasis and the spells that come with it, you are a force to be reckoned with.

Demonic pact/Devastation 3.1 build (0/50/21)

PurposeRaiding
Talent Link(s) Wowhead
Tested patch3.1.1

Glyphs to use/ LIFE TAP, FELGUARD, IMMOLATE

The purpose of this build is to offer the most to the raid that you can using demonic pact if there is no shaman available. The rotation is EXTREMELY easy. COE or COA depending on make of group, life tap, immolate, corruption. Making sure to use demonic empowerment as much as possible and spamming shadow bolts like crazy. This is a medium to high dps build that offers a LOT to the raid especially if you have other casters with you. Good burst damage not very gear oriented.

By passing up metamorphosis for Devastation we increase our dps out put CONSIDERABLY seeing how Metamorphosis is not very useful for raiding purposes.Make sure to use spell stones for increased haste.


Fel Guard/Emberstorm Raid (0/41/30)

PurposeRaiding
Talent Link(s) Wowhead
Tested patch3.1.0

This build takes both Emberstorm and Decimate, with Emberstorm increasing Soul Fire damage by 15% for spectacular synergy. Spare points in Demonic Tactics further improves nuke damage. The beauty of this build is the cycle is VERY easy. Curse of Agony or Curse of Elements, immolate, corruption then spam Incinerate like crazy making sure to pop Demonic empowerment when ever you can. When Decimate becomes available, interleave Incinerates with Soul Fires. The downside is the lack of Demonic Pact given by deeper Demo builds.


Imp/Conflagrate Demonology-Destruction (0/40/31)

PurposeRaiding
Talent Link(s) Wowhead
Tested patch3.2.0

A slight variation to the 41/30 FG/Emberstorm build, this one sacrifices the Felguard to obtain Conflagrate in the Destruction tree and modifies the Demonology talents accorndingly. Now Imp is the minion of choice and the Demonology synergies with the Imp will compliment the Destruction rotation well (and the Imp is much easier to work with than the Felguard in many boss encounters). The benefits of this build are easily obtained high spell power, high crit chance, and increased fire damage for both you and the Imp for sustained burst damage. Basic opening rotation will be Life Tap, Curse of Agony, Immolate, Conflagrate, and Incinerate spam, making sure to keep Immolate and Curse of Agony up on the target at all times (don't clip DoTs!) and to cast Conflagrate when it is off cooldown. Soul Fire will be interweaved with Incinerate when Decimation procs once target is below 35%. Curse of Agony will serve to proc Molten Core increasing fire damage even further.

Major Glyphs [Glyph of Life Tap] [Glyph of Conflagrate] [Glyph of Immolate]
Minor Glyphs


Fel Guard/Siphon Life (30/41/0)

PurposeInstances/Grinding
Talent Link(s) Wowhead
Tested patch3.1.0

This build was originally conceived after switching over to a Demo/Destro and missing the low down time of a full Affliction build. It does not have the highest DPS nor is it intended to. Rather it allows a warlock with mediocre gear to be on par with the rest of the party when it comes to trash mobs unlike a full Affliction build, but does not have the downtime of Destruction. The DOT rotation while grinding is a simple Curse of Agony, Corruption and Shadowflame kept up on 4-5 mobs with Demonic Empowerment triggered whenever possible.

For elites and boss fights just add Immolate to your rotation and use Shadow Bolt as your filler spell until HP drops to below 25%. When this happens, switch over to Drain Soul to take advantage of the 4x multiplier at maximum rank.

If you want to use this as a leveling build it is possible but will not work as intended until level 71 and will just be very annoying until level 57 when you get Improved Life Tap. The glyphs that complement this play style are [Glyph of Curse of Agony], [Glyph of Felguard], and [Glyph of Life Tap]. An alternate verified version of this can be found here

Deep Demonology Raid Buffing Meta/Ruin (0/56/15)

PurposeRaiding
Talent Link(s) Wowhead
Tested patch3.3.3

Updated from 3.1.1 build for 3.3 series. Points moved from [Suppression] and [Demonic Resilience] into [Decimation] and [Molten Core]. This build now provides both burst and sustained damage. Updated due to Glyph of Quick Decay providing more of a dps boost than Glyph of Metamorphosis

This build provides high burst damage, high crit chance, and high rate of attack to further boost minion crit chance, which boosts coverage of [Demonic Pact]. Single target rotation is [Metamorphosis] + [Demonic Empowerment], [Life Tap] (before combat starts), [Curse of Elements], [Immolate], [Corruption], [Shadow Bolt] unless [Molten Core] is active (then [Incinerate]), until DoTs/debuffs need need refreshing or cooldowns are up, or the target is under 35% health. When target is sub-35% health, replace Shadow Bolt with [Soul Fire].

Multi-target Metamorphosis + Demonic Empowerment, Life Tap, [Immolation Aura] (all while walking to the mobs), [Seed of Corruption], tab, Seed of Corruption, tab, etc. And hope your tank has good AoE taunts going.

[Nemesis] means that the Felguard will be buffed with Demonic Empowerment for 15 seconds, once every 42 seconds (roughly 35% of the time), and that you'll be in Demon Form 30 out 126 seconds.

Major Glyphs [Glyph of Quick Decay] [Glyph of Felguard] [Glyph of Life Tap]
Minor Glyphs


Raid-Boss Optimized Deep Demonology Raid Buffing (2/54/15)

PurposeRaiding
Talent Link(s) Wowhead
Tested patch3.3.3

As per above

Points removed from [Improved Demonic Tactics] because [Demonic Pact] duration is increased and demon crits are less important. Fill [Molten Core] to 3 points, and points over to [Suppression] for lower hit requirements. If hit rating is not needed, the two points can go to the Destruction tree.

[Glyph of Quick Decay] provides slightly better DPS than [Glyph of Metamorphosis].


Deep Demonology Raid Buffing Meta/Ruin Imp Alternative (0/56/15)

PurposeRaiding
Talent Link(s) Wowhead
Tested patch3.3.3

This build sacrifices the Felguard for the Imp, it offers a little less dps with a little more raid utility. The talent point in [Mana Feed] can be moved to [Fel Domination] depending on your preference.

This build provides high burst damage, high crit chance, and high rate of attack to further boost minion crit chance, which boosts coverage of [Demonic Pact]. Single target rotation is [Metamorphosis] + [Demonic Empowerment], [Life Tap] (before combat starts), [Curse of Elements], [Immolate], [Corruption], [Shadow Bolt] unless [Molten Core] is active (then [Incinerate]), until DoTs/debuffs need need refreshing or cooldowns are up, or the target is under 35% health. When target is sub-35% health, replace Shadow Bolt with [Soul Fire].

Multi-target Metamorphosis + Demonic Empowerment, Life Tap, [Immolation Aura] (all while walking to the mobs), [Seed of Corruption], tab, Seed of Corruption, tab, etc. And hope your tank has good AoE taunts going.

[Nemesis] means that the Imp will be buffed with Demonic Empowerment for 15 seconds, once every 42 seconds (roughly 35% of the time), and that you'll be in Demon Form 30 out of every 126 seconds.

Major Glyphs [Glyph of Quick Decay] [Glyph of Imp] [Glyph of Life Tap]
Minor Glyphs


Destruction Builds

An interesting thing has happened since 3.0.2 came out. We 'locks are no longer tied to a specific school of magic. While this can be perceived as a boon to our kind due to the endless possibilities, it can also be considered a bit of a hindrance. We've become so much more complex, especially when it comes to the Destruction tree. No longer do I simply sac my Succubus, throw out a CoA and spam SB's until everything around me falls into a pile of steaming flesh. There's more to the Destructo-lock than before. Now that Spell-power is the way of the world, our gear no longer relegates us to being either a "shadow 'lock" or a "fire 'lock".


PVE Destruction (0/13/53+5)

PurposePvE
Talent Link(s) Wowhead
Tested patch3.3.2

This is main build for every Destruction warlock in 3.3.2.After it,you can spend 5 more points where you feel it is best.

Reccomended talents: Shadowfury - rather filler talent than usefull,has some uses on add fights (Deathbringer Saurfang)

Destructive Reach - if you feel that you have threat problems,add point here (one additional)

Improved Soul Leech - if your group doesnt have replenishment provider,this is a must,including Soul Leech

Soul Link,Fel Domination & Unholy Power - this should be used all together if you dont have any other needs

Glyphs are included in this build.Replace Glyph of Life Tap with Glyph of Imp if you loose to much spirit with gear.

If you have balance druid or unholy death knight in raid,use curse of doom when boss is >1 minute to death.Otherwise,use Curse of Elements.

Rotation priority: Curse>Immolate>Conflagrate>Chaos Bolt>Incinerate

Replace Chaos bolt with conflagrate in opener.


PvP Destro (0/20/51)

PurposePvP
Talent Link(s) Wowhead
Tested patch3.1.0

The current most popular build for destruction warlocks (as per data mining done at TalentChic). Common variants are 0/17/54 by moving 3 points from Improved Succubus to Soul Leech, trading off the advantage of fast Seduction for a bit of returned health, and 0/17/54 with 2 additional points moved from Fire and Brimstone to Improved Soul Leech for limited raid buffing and some mana regen.


Fire Raiding Destro (3/13/54 +1)

PurposeRaiding
Talent Link(s) Wowhead
Tested patch3.1.0

This build is pure DPS. No raid support or survival talents. Minion of choice is the Imp due to Empowered Imp and is supported by Demonic Power and Improved Imp. You will have the imp on Defensive and will disable auto cast of Phase Shift so he will be buffed as well.


Opening rotation with the expectation of Improved Shadowbolt/Improved Scorch being provided by someone else, as well as Curse of the Elements/Earth and Moon/Ebon Plague:

Life Tap Rank 1(only with [Glyph of Life Tap]) > Curse of Doom > Immolate > Chaos Bolt > Conflagrate > Corruption (if you have 2pceT7 set bonus) > Incinerate filler.


Refresh according to the following priority:

  1. Life Tap
  2. Immolate
  3. Conflagrate
  4. Chaos Bolt
  5. Curse of Doom (Curse of Agony when under 60 sec remaining).


Sustained Fire Destro (0/13/58)

PurposeRaiding
Talent Link(s) Wowhead
Tested patch3.2.0

This build is similar to 3/13/55 but loses Suppression and some threat reduction in exchange for Improved Soul Leech to remove the need to spend time life tapping. As a result of not tapping, the Glyph of Life Tap is replaced by Glyph of Immolate (which boosts both Immolate and Conflagrate damage). No talents are given to Shadow spell damage, leaving the Warlock with very few spells to use in combination. The need for more hit rating and a large enough mana pool to allow Improved Soul Leech to keep your mana up without tapping makes this build more suited to higher gear levels.

Curse of Doom > Immolate > Chaos Bolt > Conflagrate > Corruption (if you have 2pceT7 set bonus) > Incinerate filler.

Refresh according to the following priority:

  1. Immolate
  2. Conflagrate
  3. Chaos Bolt
  4. Curse of Doom (Curse of Agony when under 60 sec remaining).


Progression Fire Destro (0/17/54)

PurposeRaiding/Progression (High End Raids)
Talent Link(s) Wowhead
Tested patch3.3.2

This build is rather simple and isn't based on full pew pew. It's more designed on lasting long in a fight. This build is also very easy on its rotation. It has a typical fire destro rotation of Immolation, Chaos Bolt, Conflagrate, Incinerate x6 then repeat. You can fill in with life taps or if you're standing in melee range you can use Shadowflame to push up your dps a bit but if you use another spell, you will have to remove an incinerate out of the rotation to perfect the cooldown and DoT timings of your Conflag, Chaos Bolt and Immolation.

Make sure to have Curse of Elements on the target or if there is an Unholy Death Knight in the group go for Curse of Doom.

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