TBC Warlock Guide (1-70)

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Hi and welcome to my TBC Warlock Guide for all aspects of BC Raiding from Karazhan to Black Temple. Hope this is helpful to some people, and hope you enjoy reading!

TBC Warlock Guide Outline:

I.Important Warlock Stats
Hit (and easy gear to get when your just starting out)

Damage
Crit
Haste

II.Specs
Affliction
Destruction
III. Gear
– Gemming and Enchanting
– Sets and Bonuses
IV.Warlock’s Role and Utility in raiding
– Curses
– Tanking

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I.Important Warlock Stats
These are the stats in order of importance(In my opinion).
1.Spell Hit
2.Spell Damage
3.Spell Crit
4.Spell Haste

1. Spell hit

  • 1%= 12.6 spell hit
  • cap=202 spell hit

The need for spell hit is very high with PvE warlocks. Warlocks sadly do not have a spell hit talent for its most important tree(destruction). Early on with raiding(when your just starting karazhan), Suppression can benefit warlocks with affliction spells(DoTs) but geting the spell hit cap from gear/gems should ultimately be the first thing on the warlock’s agenda.
The spell hit cap is 202, anything over is a waste of gems/itemization. Many people(noobs) disagree with this and think crit or even pure damage is more important, but the problem is if you can’t HIT then you can’t CRIT or DAMAGE.The thing i found that helped me the most when i just hit 70 was choosing scryers and getting the spell hit trinket, and enchanting my gloves wisely with the +hit enchant. Be wise when you gear up, dont sacrifice 40 damage for 15 hit.. Just keep the goal of 202 in mind.If your in a raid with any Draenei (shaman would be best) you get 4 % Spell hit from the Draenei’s Inspiring Presence and a Totem of Wrath from the shaman.

Important/Easy to get items/enchants
Weapon/Wand/Trinket
Scryer’s Bloodgem (+hit Trinket)
Enchant Gloves-Spell Strike
Warpstaff Of Arcanum
Star-Heart Lamp
Greatsword of Horrid Dreams
Nether Core’s Control Rod
Helm
Demonfang Ritual Helm
Spellstrike Infusion (Spellstrike Set) -helm
Neck
Brooch of Hightened Potential
Shoulder
Mantle of Three Terrors
Spaulders of Oblivion
Back
Sethekk Oracle Cloak
Chest
Robe of the Crimson Order
Bracers
Crimson Bracers of Gloom
Gloves
Gloves of Oblivion
Belt
Sash of Serpentra
Pants
Trousers of Oblivion
Spellstrike Pants
Boots
Extravagant Boots Of Malice
Ring
Ashyien’s Gift
Seal of the Exorcist
Gems-Great Dawnstone, Veiled Noble Topaz
2. Spell damage

This is the next important stat for us,especially with affliction. In early karazhan it is good to have 600 shadow damage minimum but it is easy to achieve at least 1000(with fel armor) with the Spellstrike and Shadoweave sets. Seeing how getting money is cake nowadays with all the dailys available I recommend everyone tries to get the Spellstrike and Shadoweave sets because they can last you for quite a while. As Affliction, DoT’s get a larger bonus from +dmg than SB.
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Shadow’s Emrace (Shadoweave Set)
Spellstrike Infusion (Spellstrike Set)
Spell damage coefficient – WoWWiki – Your guide to the World of Warcraft

3. Spell crit

  • 1% spell crit is equivalent to 22.1 spell crit rating.

Spell crit is pretty much useless until deeper into raiding when you are Destruction. As Destruction you gain a total of 8 % crit to Destruction spells from talents(5 % isn’t shown on the character page however)
Most peple don’t socket pure +Crit because it never is that important.

4. Spell haste

  • 1% spell haste is equivalent to 15.7 spell haste rating

Spell haste is a weird stat to talk about. It is complex because it scales with how much your other stats are (crit, dmg). So if those 2 are low you won’t see much improvement from haste. Because of this, warlocks don’t really bother with much haste until Sunwell, where it really starts to shine [IMG]file:///C:/DOCUME%7E1/grig/LOCALS%7E1/Temp/msohtml1/01/clip_image001.gif[/IMG]If you really want to try gathering haste pieces, the most you find are located in Zul’Aman. However the haste on the pieces from ZA give a big expense to your damage and crit so they aren’t very good pieces.The only really good pieces(and thus exceptions to my last comment) are the Fetish of the Primal Gods and the ring from the 3rd chest event which is one of the best rings in game for +hit casters.

5. Spell penetration
This stat is pretty much useless for PvE so do not bother with it.

Stamina, Intellect

There really isn’t a reason in PvE to gear up for these stats specifically unless your creating a set for tanking for fights such as Leotheras, Kael’Thas and later on illidan. These stats will improve as needed on their own as you gear up through raiding.

II.Specs
Here are a bunch of warlock talent builds!

Affliction

You will be Affliction from Karazhan until TK/SSC. This is because the level of gear needed for destruction to be viable starts in those instances.

The common spec is
41/0/17
41/0/17

You get 3 points to spend on imp HS or whatever you may want.
Talk with the warlocks in your raid guild. It is common to set up talents to have 3 different ranks of Healthstones at one point in the raid (one warlock with 0/2, one with 1/2 and one with 2/2).

This spec is pretty good DPS in the earlier raids but it falls behind in T5/T6 content. The utility of this spec however doesn’t. It is nice to have an affliction warlock at all times (even in Hyjal/BT) due to the utility of the spec( Malediction and Shadow Embrace). If all the locks in your raid are destruction and you particularly enjoy Affliction, have a talk with your raid/guild leader and try to set up something. If you want to be of even more utility, you can spec those 3 leftover points into Improved Imp and ask to be put in the tank group to help with +stamina.

There is another affliction spec common with more endgame raids which is 40/0/21. This spec helps because later on you will find out that with the gear that you have, Ruin will outdps Unstable Affliction.

Curse/Dot Rotation As 41/0/17
DoT’s are all about uptime and keeping them up constantly. There are certain rotations that help keep up uptime and give you time to sneak in a few shadowbolts as well. Lifetap and Dark Pact in between rotations as needed.

This is the rotation: Cast the assigned curse>Immolate>SL>UA>Corruption.
It is a good rotation because it provides good uptime. When you are refreshing do it in this order as well. Remember when your refreshing Immolate to start 1.5 seconds before it expires. A good idea, when UA/Corruption are running out, is to start immolate one tick early so you have time to refresh the other two. This resets the rotation with almost no loss in dps. If you don’t do this, Immolate will always stay behind your UA/Corruption combo, which gives about 3 seconds downtime with each cast.

The only time you want to drop a DoT from your rotation is when you see that your debuffs are getting bumped off the debuff table(raid bosses have a 40 debuff limit). In this case I recommend you drop Siphon Life.
Destruction

There are two common specs for endgame destruction.
Shadow Only
Shadow Only
Shadow Fire
Shadow Fire
I recommend straight shadow because there is a lot of +shadow only dmg gear in t5-t6 content and it really doesn’t benefit a Shadow/Fire build.

When to switch to destruction: The spec performs best when you are hit capped(or very close to it) , have 1100 shadow dmg and 23-25% crit chance (with talents). If you don’t have these numbers, Affliction is usually a better choice for overall raid dps.
Here is an utility Spec
Malediction/Ruin
Malediction/Ruin
This is an Affliction/Destruction spec which is more of an utility spec. It helps the raid more than just straight DPS. Malediction and Shadow Embrace are worth a couple hundred points off your DPS.
III.Gear/Selection
WoW Warlock DPS Spreadsheet is a good website when your evaluating gear upgrades. The thing you always have to keep in mind is being hit capped but do not make ridiculous sacrifices to other stats to keep hit up.

Gems
When you’re gemming gear you want the important stats: damage, hit, crit, or haste. The thing you have to judge for yourself is set bonuses. For example if you have a piece of gear with a red and blue socket and it has a socket bonus of +6 stamina, you’re better off putting a straight damage, or dmg+hit/crit gem in the blue socket to help you more.
Balance is important with gear, and gems. The best way to maximize your overall attributes it to balance your stats wisely. Stacking one stat with the exclusion of others is not a good idea.
Meta’s
Chaotic Skyfire Diamond is very useful and popular among warlocks. It adds +12 spell crit and provides a 3% bonus to all critical damage. With ruin however, this ends up being a 9% bonus as a result of Blizzard’s weird system. It requires 2 blue gems, which is not a problem. I recommend Glowing Nightseye(+dmg and stamina)
Enchants
Here are the common enchants for PvE Warlocks.
Head: Glyph of Power
Shoulder: Inscription of the Orb/ Discipline
Chest: Exceptional Health or Exceptional Stats
Legs: Mystic Spellthread or the Epic Runic Spellthread
Bracer: Spellpower Ridiculously expensive L
Cloak: Subtlety
Gloves: Major Spellpower
Boots: Boar’s Speed
Rings: Spellpower –Only works if you yourself are an enchanter. No one else can do it for you
Weapon: Major Spellpower for early on raiding.
Soulfrost or Sunfire later on when you have a good weapon with no upgrades soon.

Set Bonuses

Tier 4-Voidheart
Voidheart is useful for the lower raid instances(labeled T4 instances). A good advantage is that some pieces come with spell hit. You do not need the whole set, the 2 set bonus is very nice for the time, but the 4 piece is rather horrible.
Tier 5-Corruptor These pieces are obtained in SSC and The Eye. The 2 spec bonus is nice for Demonology, and more specifically the soul link tanking spec(when your on leotheras for example). 4 piece bonus is nice for Affliction, but at that point in raiding you will probably be destruction and have no use for it.
Tier 6-Malefic The set drops from Mount Hyjal, Black Temple, and Sunwell Plateau. The 2 set bonus is pretty much useless, its only good towards Affliction locks(but these are rare in t6 instances). The 4 piece bonus is the best in the game for warlocks. It gives a 6% additional damage bonus to all Shadow Bolts and incinerates. You get over 100 dps increase after obtaining the 4 piece t6 bonus.

Best Trinkets(IMO)
Skull of Guldan –Amazing equips and a fantastic use.Especially for deep destro. Drops off Illidan.

Hex Shrunken Head – Really high bonus damage and good use. Drops in ZA

IV.Warlocks Role in Raiding

To start here are a couple of useful addons. Go to Curse.com to get these

1.DBM

Every raider should have this addon. They help with timing in boss fights and with certain events. You can get it here

2.Quartz
This mod helps you time your next cast. It determines latency and helps show you how haste is affecting you. It helps you cast “faster” because it starts casting the next spell immediately after the first finishes. It also has an enemy cast bar which is very useful.

3.DoTimer
This addon is great for warlocks. It helps keep track of dots on mobs and on your cooldowns. A must have for any warlock in a raiding environment.

4.Necrosis
This mod helps with keeping track of shards, soulstones, and summoned pets. Get this or Shard Ace.

5.Omen
An improvement on KLH threat meter. It helps with managing threat and everyone in the raid should be using the addon and be on the same version.

6.SW Stats/Recount
These keep track of your damage done, dps, and other stats in the raid.These are useful for showing your crit, miss/resist and many other useful rates. It shows where there is room for improvement and it is good for evaluating yourself and “stepping up” your game when you see yourself low on the meters.

Consumables
Flasks/Elixirs: Flasks provide a better increase in DPS but they obviously cost a tad more. The flask warlocks use is Flask of Pure death, which provides +80 shadow/fire damage. If your using elixirs, you have a choice between Adept’s Elixir and Major Shadow Power for Battle. Guardian elixirs pretty much blow. You have a choice of +16 mp5 , 250hp and 10 hp5 , +30 int/spirit. You are better off flasking. It is not only an improvement in stats/DPS but they also persist through death.If you have a wipe night learning strats on a new boss, flasks are usually better and might even cost less.

Weapon Oils. You have a choice between brilliant wizard oil(36 dmg and 14crit) or Superior wizard oil (42 dmg). I recommend that if you have the money, spend the little extra to get the brill oil.
Food Buffs: +23 spell damage foods are the way to go. There are many versions of this: Blackened Basilisk, Poached Bluefish, or Crunchy Serpent). You may also use a Spicy Crawdad when you have a tanking role, but this is very rare.

Curses

CoD or CoA?
CoD is almost always better as a curse, with overall DPS. It allows for more casting time, because you are not refreshing your CoA. CoA should only be used when you run the risk of pulling agro when the minute is up on CoD or if the boss is going to die before the minute is up.

Curse of Elements: A very useful curse, should be first on priority in raids. It not only helps warlocks but all mages and shadow priests in the raid benefit also.

Curse of Recklessness: This is a must-have also, it helps with melee dps substantially, increasing it by around 7%. Warriors Demo Shout almost completely negates the AP bonus the boss/trash gets so it is a win/win situation.

Tanking Roles

Leotheras For this fight you need 365 fire resist. You can get this fairly easily from the badge items and you get +70 from master summoner and pally aura. Get soul link and park a felhound outside of whirlwind range, but close enough to you to get the buff. Try to keep as much spell hit as possible as it helps with overall threat and curse of doom. Use spicy Crawdad/ flask of fortification for this fight. As soon as the pull starts and Leo breaks, land a Doom on him. Three seconds before Demon form starts, begin casting a soul fire. Spam searing pain after. Allow your raid to begin dps when you have at least 10k threat.13 seconds before demon form ends, begin casting doom again. Repeat as needed. When he splits, pick up demon and tank him till the raid kills the human form.

Kael’thas –Calpernian
Tanking for this is as easy as it gets. Spec whatever you want but do not pick up nether protection. Go to the back of the room and wait for the Hunter MD. Spam searing pain and that’s pretty much the whole fight. You don’t “need” Fire resistance but having a little bit won’t hurt.
In phase 3 make a macro:
/use Staff of Disintegration
/cast Shadowbolt
Use that with every cast pretty much. No point in searing pain because no one is dpsing her until later on in the fight when the other advisors are dead.

Illidan

For Illidan you need the Shadow Resistance cap maxed out. The crafted Mother gear should be enough to get you going. For the spec, use whatever you want again, but make sure you do not pick up Nether Protection. 10 seconds before demon form make sure you are in max range. Start searing pain spamming as soon as he changes. Do this until the first fire volley. At that point back up until you’re 60 yards away from him. This helps because if you get a demon, the raid can kill it before it gets to you. When you’re at that position(the 60 yards away) you don’t need to do anything for the rest of the phase. Toss shadow ward for that extra help. Rinse and Repeat. Soulstone yourself after phase 2.

That’s it for the guide. Hope you enjoyed reading and good luck raiding , fellow warlocks!