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Class: Warlock - builds

  • Thread starter IusedtoPKinUO
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It occurred to me that a new warlock might have no idea what our shorthand replies mean.
I mean every level 60 lock knows what SM/DS, SM/Ruin etc. means these days since we discuss talents and respecc all the time but a new player might not know

SM is Shadow Mastery in the affliction tree
MD is Master Demonologist in the demonology tree
Ruin is of course Ruin in the destruction tree
DS is demonic sacrifice in the demonology tree
SL - soullink, demonology end talent
DP - dark pact, affliction end talent
NF - nightfall, Very satisfying talent. Like winning the lottery when it procs hehe

common short forms for the curses:
CoS is curse of shadows
CoE is curse of the elements
CoA curse of agony
CoW (!) hehe curse of weakness
CoEx is curse of exhastion (talent curse)

thats all the shorthand forms I can think of right now.

Good leveling builds are build with much affliction according to most people. I really couldn't tell you though since I had mostly affliction myself when leveling to 60 and I have only ever leveld a lock to 60 once so I have nothing to compare with.

Cookie cutter builds at 60:
SM/Ruin - drakedog 1&2
This is the build that launched the warlock as a pvp class thanks to drakedogs old videos. Dacke was making soullink movies at the same time and did extremely well but everyone likes big numbers and this build has ruin and shadow mastery so the shadowbolt crits are out of this world.
With CoEx: (note: 5/5 SM cause I got complaints for 4/5 and 5/5 CoEx)
Preferred pet: Succubus in pvp, Succy or vw pve.

Destruction variants (7/7/37) - drakedog 3,4 and most other warlock movies.
These are the wtfpwn crit builds with "many" instant spells. Don't live very long though and have to DRINK for mana like a common mage.
Preferred pet: Succubus or maybe imp cause you can boost the imp to the max and he gets to be a mean little bugger.

NF/Conflagrate - True glass cannnon, all the instants a warlock can have.
This is a "full" destruction build with the rest of the points in affliction to get instant corruption and nightfall. Between nightfall, deathcoil, shadowburn and conflagrate this build has high potential for extreme burst damage but leaves the warlock somewhat fragile. It has both the reach talents just like SM/Ruin though so you can keep your distance better. I used 2 points in improved searing pain that some might rather put in the AoE talent but I figured this was a pvp build mostly so searing pain would be more useful.
Preferred pet: Succubus to get an opener i pvp, perhaps imp for damage and blood pact if in a zerg like AV. Succy or Voidwalker in pve.

Soullink variants (7/31/13, NF/SL) - dacke 1,2,3 and some others like one or two of the eos movies and radagast.
If you want to pvp 1vs1 or possibly 1vs2 go for soullink. Extreme survivability but also gimps your damage a bit so it's not all that good in group pve since you are not the tank anyway. Very very good for guarding flags in the AB battleground and other casters will be a joke to you thanks to MD felhunter together with SL.
Buffed imp instead of voidy cause of blood pact.
Note about the templates: NF/SL is a drain-tank build which relies on damage soak and dots and 7/31/13 has more burst damage with shadowburn so they should be played a bit (or a lot) differently.
Preferred pet: Felhunter against everything except when you know you will be fighting a lot of melee then use vw for the extra damage soak and emergency shield.

MD/Ruin - modern version of the SM/Ruin build. Appered after the demonology tree got revamped and is a good allround build cause of the demonology utility and the destruction damage. Felhunter resist bonus from MD is great in both pvp and pve. And the imp's threat reduction talent is good if you are nuking more than you should cause you want a bigger epeen(yeah ok more damage dealt without aggroing might help win a hard fight but whatever).
Preferred pet: Imp in pve raids for threat reduce, not sure about pvp, probably succy for damage and seduce-nuke.

Dark Pact - basically full affliction. Usually very similar to SM/Ruin but with a shift into affliction dumping the crazy crits for staying power with "free" mana. You will use the imp most of the time since he has the best mana regen of the pets so I boosted him in my template:
Preferred pet: Imp for fastest mana regen. Some prefer succubus because she can help deal damage without wasting mana if you turn off lash of pain and she still has ok regen.

SM/DS - another "modern" or new build that's very viable since the dots got buffed in 1.8
You use demonic sacrifice on the voidwalker for very good regen or the succubus for insane shadow damage bonus (+25%) and then dot the [censored] out of everything you see. Lacks good finishers but has INSANE multi-target dps since the dots can be spammed. More shadow than a shadow priest on crack. With good gear and trinkets you can draintank epic 2h sword warriors to death with dots and drain life channel...
Utility version:
Rambo version, MORE DAMAGE!!1ONE:
Preferred pet: Voidwalker or Succy, sacrificed ofc.

NF/DS/Bane - a new variant of SM/DS but drops SM and siphon life to get bane for better(faster) shadowbolts and usually shadowburn for a finisher too since it's just one more point after bane. SM/DS has insane dots but this build will get higher sustained dps in raids since bane is such an incredible dps boost on shadowbolt also shadowburn is great in pvp as we all know.
Preferred pet: Voidwalker or Succy, sacrificed ofc.

DS build with Ruin. Added on request. Might have higher raid-dps than NF/DS/Bane if you get a lot of damage AND crit gear. Nightfall has 20% chance to proc once on one cast of corruption though so you would have to have good gear to make it up in crits.
Like the two above this build is centered on the DS talent but is also focused on the big crits and better aoe ability from the destruction tree. I changed some points in the demonology tree so this is "my" version of it:


Note though.. Searing pain is an aggro gainer, so pretty much useless in a raid.

I love conflagrate in pvp. I dot up whatever, wait for my timer on immolate to reach 1 second, then *poof*

It kills most anything, and if the person had great gear, they are nearly dead now anyway, and another set of dots will do them in.


Another view of specs :


Soul Link (8/31/13) http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/info/classes/warlock/talents.html?15002000000000000235030013250105105050001100000000
SM/Ruin (30/0/21) http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/info/classes/warlock/talents.html?35002505022010050000000000000000005050005122000100
Dark Pact (31/9/11) http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/info/classes/warlock/talents.html?35002505022010051135000000000000005050000100000000
SM/DS (30/21/0) http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/info/classes/warlock/talents.html?35002505022010050235130310200100000000000000000000
DS/Ruin (7/21/23) http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/info/classes/warlock/talents.html?05002000000000000235130310200100005150105122000100
MD/Ruin (0/30/21) http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/info/classes/warlock/talents.html?00000000000000000235030310250105005050005122000100

And here's my Verdicts:

Soul Link: This was overall my favorite build. Very fun, was diffinately the strongest for PVP, could wtfpwn anyone anywhere. Good for raiding, but not the best. Took this spec initialy when we were doing Twin Emps in AQ, and its great for that role tho. If you can get away with it and dont need to edge your way up the Damage Meters, this is probably the spec I'd recommend the most. Still lets ya have both improved lifetap and Shadowburn, so very flexible.

Sm/Ruin: My current build. Its not as overall fun and versatile as Soul Link, but naxx needs me to maximize my DPS, so this is the way to go. Suprisingly, extensive testing on my part proved this to be a superior DPS spec to DS/Ruin, wich goes counter to my theorycraft. Very good dps build, just watch the agro.

Dark Pact: My first raiding build, stuck with it for a VERY long time. I loved Dark Pact, and did'tn think I could live without it. I quickly learned to live without it and when I speced back I hated how much time I was wasting spaming such a small mana gain, and quickly ditched it again. Cant wait to go back to my first love come BC, but for now, it is NOT worth specing this. The only good thing about it is it did encourage the use of an Imp, wich the tanks appreciated.

SM/DS: Took this spec initialy when helping a friend turbo-level a warlock and I ran her through a @!%@load of instances all day in and out. It does one thing well, grinding. If you want to PVP or Raid, look for another spec, but if all you want to do is solo grind, this is most diffinately the spec for you. I may actualy come back to this come BCs release to xp up.

DS/Ruin: All the theorycrafting in the world tells me this should be the highest dps spec if you dont need to keep an imp out for the MT... but all the theorycrafting seems to be wrong as near as I can tell, I always ended up with higher numbers with SM/Ruin. Give it a try if you want, but pretty much anything this spec can do, SM/Ruin can probably do better.

MD/Ruin: Just did this once to try to top the Patchwerk DPS meters.... did'nt quite pull it off, but did do rather well, and pretty sure I'd have been 2nd place (Rolling Ignite mage untouchable) if my guild had not flat out refused to provide any healing for warlocks on it. Anyhow, this was a 1 trick poney gimick spec that was based around Sac/Rezing a Succubus for insane DPS... it does'nt work now, so theres no point to take it anymore unless you realy need threat reduction badly. SM/Ruin will serve you better unless you have insane agro issues and realy need MD: imp. Get a better tank IMO.

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With the Release of The Burning Crusade, the level cap was raised to 70, and with that, comes more talent points and abilities! Here is a rundown of some popular builds.

<font color="blue">Felguard Grinding Build (20/41/0) </font>

This build balances the survivability of the Demonology tree plus Felguard with enhanced DoT power. Good for grinding and mana management.

<font color="blue">Demonology Nuking Build (0/40/21) </font>

Again, Demonology, but instead of DoT power, you get Destruction power, and no Felguard. More boom for your buck, but also draims mana faster. This is a raiding spec that relies on soulinked pets, usually the Succy, and if she dies, so does your spell power. Aside from that, this is a great DPS build.

<font color="blue">DS/SnF (0/21/40) </font>

The "pure raiding" build. Point in Improved Imp is a filler and could be moved elsewhere in the Demonology tree. Your power comes from sacrificing your pet. However, if the raid demands you pull your pet for utility purposes, you lose quite a bit of power because the effects from the previously sacrificed pet will be cancelled.

<font color="blue">Ultimate Tank (23/38) </font>

PvP spec made popular by Unstoppable. This combines the defence of Demonology, and the power of the DoTs. This build is meant to outlast your opponent using DoTs, Fear, and Drains. CoEX is very important...slowing doen the melee fighters will keep you alive longer.

<font color="blue">Felguard, General (7/44/11) </font>

Mainly Demonology, but with bumps to both Affliction and Destruction. Good for grinding and Arena where you can sic your Felguard on a target and concentrate on DoTs, Fear and Nuking.

<font color="blue">Modified Demonology Nuking (5/35/21) </font>

Soul Link plus burst damage. Points in Destruction help land Searing Pain and Immolate with more power.

<font color="blue">Unstable Affliction (41/7/11 +2) </font>

Yay DoT power! This build lacks in the Demonology department, so you have to have good gear to back up the DoTs. The negative effects of dispelling UA are great here, as dispellers have to be careful what they dispel! The extra 2 points left over are up to the Warlock to place.
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