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Dots and you: The Affliction Warlock Thread

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=General information=

(latest update: June 2010)

An affliction warlock's damage is based on several spells with very high damage per cast time which do damage over time instead of having a cooldown.

Shadow Bolt is used as a filler spell in between those DoTs. He's completely lacking burst abilities, but damage goes up significantly when the target goes below 35% and again below 25%.

==Key Stats==

Our interest is damage, and lots of it. While surviving is important in raids, it is usually based on what you do rather than what your equip is like as long as you are not the tank. The stats that influence your damage output are:

Hit Rating

Spell Power

Haste Rating

Spirit (via fel armor & Glyph of Life Tap)

Crit Rating

Intellect (via crit rating)

I ignore MP5 as it has nearly no effect for warlocks.

For a Naxxramas starter gear / Ulduar Starter Gear / Colliseum Starter Gear / Icecrown Starter Gear, the stat-to-dps ratios of these are:

[table]Stat | early T7 | early T8 / high end T7 | early T9 / high end T8 | early T10 / high end T9

hit rating | 1.72 | 1.74 | 1.97 | 2.50

spell power | 1.52 | 1.66 | 1.72 | 1.85

haste rating | 0.98 | 1.37 | 1.62 | 2.04

crit rating | 0.61 | 0.86 | 0.97 | 1.23

spirit | 0.78 | 0.85 | 0.88 | 0.94

int | 0.23 | 0.32 | 0.35 | 0.44


The most important stat is hit rating as long as you do not reach the hit cap. Afterwards, spell power is by far the strongest stat. Haste rating come next. For high amounts of spell power, haste rating becomes the best stat (somewhere in the T10 region).

Crit rating ist still a lot worse than these and comes in third. Due to Fel Armor, Glyph of Lifetap and finally the way Lifetap itself scales, Spirit has become a very strong stat as well. Intellect is still inferior to all other dps stats as it's only benefit is a slight increase of your crit rating and your replenished mana. All of these ratings come from the damage model discussed later.

A short note on hit rating: A miss will not only cost you considerable damage, it will also screw up your "rotation". Reaching the hit cap is highly recommended (as it has been recommended at level 60 and 70 as well). As you see above, it is the best dps stat anyway, so there is no reason not to be near the or slightly over the cap. As the value of hit becomes zero when reaching the cap, don't waste any item points after you reached it.

===What do you mean by "starter gear"?===

The starter gear sets are a viable compilation of gear attainable at the given tier level. For example, the T7 starter gear is a mix of ilvl200 rares and 5-man-epics, the T9 starter gear is a 4pT8.5 gear with some hard mode items from Ulduar25 and so on. You can see the summed up stats in the math part under "base stats". None of these sets is perfect, but they are all "good", meaning there was not much room left for improvement in the given tier level. The idea of this is to have a realistic base for the dps computation for an average player. While we all strive for "BiS" gear, only very few actually reach it, and when they do, the content is outgeared and cleared anyway.

===What do those colors mean again?===

Numbers written in green color refer to Naxxramas starter gear (around gearlevel 200 epics), blue numbers refer to Ulduar starter gear (ilvl 213 epics), blue numbers refer to Colliseum starter gear (ilvl 226 epics), purple numbers refer to ICC starter gear (ilvl 245 epics).

==Common specs==

55/0/15 +1:

The base spec covering everything really important looks like this.

The two points in Suppression could have been in Improved Drain Soul or Improved Life Tap as well, depending on gear and personal preference.

===Dark Pact or Life Tap?===

As of 3.3, the Glyph of Life Tap is affected by using Dark Pact as well. With the arrival of 3.33, both now scale with spell power, Dark Pact giving (1200 + 0.96 x SP) mana while a talented Life Tap gives (2400 + 0.6 x SP). This means that Dark Pact becomes better at roughly 3300 SP which is easily reachable in T10 gear.

==Key talents==

The most important talents of affliction specs are covered here.



1|Improved Curse of Agony|Decent boost to your standard curse.

1|Suppression|If you need more hit rating, this is where you get it. One point saves you roughly one hit item. The mana part is not important but a nice addition.

1/4|Improved Corruption / Empowered Corruption|Both give a huge boost to your 100%-Uptime-Dot.

2|Improved Drain Soul|10% aggro reduce from affliction results in roughly 5-6% aggro reduce total. While this is not exciting and aggro is not an issue in many fights anymore, it might save you from death (or even damage stops!) in some fights.

2|Improved Life Tap|The Glyph of Life Tap forces you to use Life Tap every 40s. In my experience, this won't suffice to keep your mana pool constant, so this talent will actually save you time by life tapping less often. However, as affliction is leaning towards Dark Pact now, it might be obsolete or at least personal taste.

2|Soul Siphon|Drain Soul is your finisher, and this is the only talent directly improving it, and it improves it a lot.

3|Amplify Curse|The Curse no longer benefits from haste, so this talent has diminishing returns: It will save you less time the better your equip becomes. At the current state, it is still worth its point, even with high-end equip.

4|Grim Reach|Range does not give DPS. However, having higher range simplifies a lot of movement and grouping in more complex fights. The only drawback is that Shadow Bolt is unaffected by this.

4|Nightfall|It does surely improve your DPS, but not as much as one would think (see math part).

5|Shadow Embrace|As ~50% of your damage comes from dots, this one is definitely worth it.

6|Improved Fel hunter|This talent has been changed significantly in 3.3 and is now a very strong damage boost to our all-time pet.

6|Shadow Mastery|As all of your damage is shadow damage, this is a 15% damage boost.

7|Eradication|Gives an average 1.3% haste per talent point, see math part.

7|Contagion|Increases damage from Corruption and CoA and is needed for UA anyway.

7|Dark Pact|Gives more mana than LT.

8|Malediction|+3% damage as well as a boost to your crit dots? Sure.

9|Death's Embrace|+12% damage for roughly one third of the fight, so about 4% overall damage for three talent points. While this seems mediocre, one shouldn't underestimate that the sub 35% phase is most often the crucial phase of a fight and your dps in this phase will probably be higher anyway because of Drain Soul, giving this Talent an edge.

9|Unstable Affliction|Another dot, sure!

9|Pandemic|Makes Corr/UA scale with crit and increases Haunt's crit damage.

10|Everlasting Affliction|Full points -> never cast Corruption again as long as you cast haunt/SB/DS often enough. The Spell damage coefficient part is misleading.This talent adds a total 25% spell power coefficient to UA and 30% to Corruption (equals 5% per tick). This is a very huge amount and makes this talent the center of your dot damage.




1|Bane|Makes your filler spell significantly faster.

1|Improved Shadow Bolt|An important raid boss debuff as well as a boost to our main nuke.

3|Ruin|Makes Shadow Bolt hit significantly harder.

4|Destructive Reach|Only affects Shadow Bolt, so use it only in conjunction with Grim Reach.



DPS: Fel Hunter > Infernal > Doomguard > Succubus > Imp > Voidwalker.

The usual DPS pet is the Fel Hunter who is boosted by the affliction talent Improved Felhunter. Aside from dealing considerable damage it has high survivability and supports the raid with Fel Intelligence.

Neither Succubus' nor Imp's damage can compete with that, and both are quite squishy.

The Doomguard and Infernal are actually usable now but are not able to beat a fully buffed Fel Hunter of a decently equipped Warlock. Furthermore, you would not be able to use Dark Pact if you used one of them.

===Pet food===

Pet buff food increases the pet's dps only very slightly and does not affect your own dps. However, when you want to squeeze out every point of dps possible, use it.

===Pet Macroing===

While it was useful to macro the Fel Hunter's ability Shadow Bite into our spells, it no longer is needed as the Fel Hunter uses it on cooldown now. The only pet left to macroing is the Imp because it uses a spell with cast time.


In a normal tank and spank scenario these spells will be used:


==How does item comparison work?==

Take [item]Agonal Sash[/item] as an example. Ignoring armor and stamina (no dps increase), it has the following stats:

  • +52 Intellect
  • +48 Spirit
  • +38 haste rating
  • +76 spell power

According to the above stats-to-dps-ratios 52 intellect means 52*0.158 dps, 48 spirit means 48*0.661 dps, 38 haste means 38*0.626 dps and 76 spell power means 76*1.295 dps. Summed up, the item is worth about 136 dps over an empty slot.

These results base on some given stats (Naxx starter gear) and the given damage model.

There are two problems about this model:

  • The ratings for the equipment are affected by the equipment. However, these effects are small, e.g. the value of spell power increases by less than eight percent for a whole tier of gear and all of the ratings know only one way: up! Every upgrade of the equipment increases the stat values. As all of them increase roughly by the same percentage, this effect can be ignored. However, there is one exception, spell hit, which changes to a zero value when you reach the cap.
  • It's just a model. However, even an easy to understand model will be more accurate than using no model at all.


I did only include epic quality gems and metas. First of all, if you socket low quality gems into epic raid gear, you should die in a fire. Second, if the epic spell power gem is better than the epic crit gem, the same is true for the lower quality ones.

I did not include gems that make no sense for warlocks, like hit+mp5 when hit+spirit of the same color is available, or green gems except for spirit/hit and so on.


===Chaotic Skyflare Diamond===

The [item]Chaotic Skyflare Diamond[/item]'s special effect increases the damage coefficients for critical hits from 150%/200% to 154.5%/209%. This also affects DoT crits, increasing our DPS by 50.37 / 79.98 / 125.19 / 185.69. So, the effect itself completely outdamages every other Meta Gem, making CSD a clear choice.

The runspeed Meta Gem is no alternative: It does not stack with the boot enchant and even the special effect of the CSD gives a lot more dps than the whole boot enchant does, so if you want runspeed, put it on your shoes.


[item]Runed Cardinal Ruby[/item] 33.42 / 38.51 / 41.25 dps


[item]Rigid King's Amber[/item] 33.36 / 38.39 / 48.90 dps

[item]Quick King's Amber[/item] 31.20 / 39.42 dps


[item]Purified Dreadstone[/item] 24.85 / 28.63 / 30.67 dps


[item]Shining Eye of Zul[/item] 24.04 / 27.73 / 33.60 dps


[item]Veiled Ametrine[/item] 34.07 / 39.29 / 45.97 dps

[item]Reckless Ametrine[/item] 26.45 / 35.69 / 41.23 dps


As a meta gem, use the Chaotic Skyflare Diamond.

If you want to match the socket colors...

Red slot: [item]Runed Cardinal Ruby[/item].

Blue slot: [item]Purified Dreadstone[/item] or [item]Shining Eye of Zul[/item].

Yellow slot: [item]Veiled Ametrine[/item] or [item]Reckless Ametrine[/item].

===When to break the socket color?===

Things have changed here. When reaching about 3300 spell power unbuffed, [item]Runed Cardinal Ruby[/item] and[item]Reckless Ametrine[/item] have nearly the same dps value, so filling those into red or yellow slots is always the right choice. Furthermore, you will need two [item]Purified Dreadstone[/item]s to activate your meta gem. Breaking the socket color is now only useful if it is a blue socket, you already have activated your meta and the socket bonus is worth less than ~11 dps (per blue slot), which is equivalent to 6 spell power, 6 haste rating or 9 crit rating (spirit and intellect bonuses will never be high enough). Only in those cases you should break the socket color.

When your gear is way below 3300 spell power, this line shifts (spell power becomes more valuable compared to other stats) and you should break as many socket colors as reasonable to get more spell power.


The heroic Mag'hari Chieftain's Staff has three blue sockets and a +9 spell power socket bonus. As this is only +3 spell power per socket, one should break the socket color. [item]Sanctified Dark Coven Leggings[/item] has one blue socket and a +7 spellpower socket bonus. While it would have been reasonable to break both the blue and the yellow socket and use two [item]Runed Cardinal Ruby[/item] into them before 3.3, this is no longer the case - From the current point of view, the best choice would be [item]Reckless Ametrine[/item]+[item]Purified Dreadstone[/item]+7 spellpower.


I will give some Lootrank links here.

Link for Naxxramas Starter Gear: Loot Rank

Same ignoring hit: Loot Rank

Link for Ulduar Starter Gear: Loot Rank

Same ignoring hit:Loot Rank

Link for Colliseum Starter Gear: Loot Rank

Same ignoring hit:Loot Rank

Link for Icecrown Starter Gear: Loot Rank

Same ignoring hit:Loot Rank

Empty sockets are expected to be filled with the best gem available, even socketing the wrong color if the result gives more dps. As long as your meta is still activated, that's fine.

Set bonuses are not included. There is a dps estimation about the set bonuses in the math part.

Meta Gems are not included. Just ignore head pieces without meta slot, they are not good.

A very handy tool for finding a good gear compilation is OptiGear.


The computation is based on the model used in the second post. Some comments on the glyphs are found there, too. More on the individual glyph is found there or in the Glyph Discussion Thread.

The clear choices here are Quick Decay, Life Tap and Haunt.

  1. Glyph of Quick Decay
  2. Glyph of Life Tap
  3. Glyph of Haunt
  4. Glyph of Curse of Agony
  5. Glyph of Corruption
  6. Glyph of Shadow Bolt
  7. Glyph of Unstable Affliction

===Glyph of Life Tap===

The Glyph of Life Tap is considered to be the second best affliction warlock glyph available. The interesting question is: Should I life tap even if I don't need the mana? The answer is yes. When comparing the dps value of one and a half GCDs (needed to maintain the buff for one minute) to the dps value of 100 spell power for one minute, the buff wins easily. So tapping just for the buff is a dps win. Do your healers and yourself a favor and have Rank-1 available for that case. In two cases you shouldn't keep the buff up: If it would kill you or if the remaining combat time is less than 20s.


[TABLE]Head: [iTEM]50368[/iTEM]

Shoulders: Master's Inscription of the Storm , [iTEM]50338[/iTEM]

Cloak: Lightweave Embroidery, Enchant Cloak - Greater Speed

Chest:Enchant Chest - Major Spirit, Enchant Chest - Powerful Stats

Wrist: Enchant Bracers - Superior Spellpower

Gloves: Enchant Gloves - Exceptional Spellpower

Waist: [item]Eternal Belt Buckle[/item]

Legs: [iTEM]41602[/iTEM], Sanctified Spellthread

Boots: Enchant Boots - Icewalker, Enchant Boots - Tuskarr's Vitality

Weapon: Enchant Staff - Greater Spellpower, Enchant Weapon - Mighty Spellpower, Enchant Weapon - Black Magic*


*It is rather unclear whether Black Magic is better than Mighty Spellpower. According to some tests, the uptime of the buff is in the 25% range, giving an average 62.5 haste rating. This would in fact be slightly better than the spellpower for T10 gear. Still, I would call this a personal preference issue.



Mixology will increase the spell power gained from your Flask of the Frost Wyrm by 47. Additionally, you are able to use Crazy Alchemist's Potion which can have any potion effect (from +500 haste to +1200 armor ...) and your flasks/elixiers will be active twice as long.


Blacksmiths can socket Bracers and Gloves with an extra gem slot, giving 2x23 spell power (as this is the gem of choice).


Enchanters can improve both of their rings with Greater Spellpower, giving 2x23 spell power.


Engineers can improve their Gloves with Hyperspeed Accelerators.

Unfortunately, this will overwrite an existing enchant, so the average 320/5 = 64 haste rating have to be compared to the 28 spell power enchant, which is a significant dps increase.

They also get Springy Arachnoweave, a spell power enchant for their cloaks, which is slightly better than the normal haste enchant.

Finally, you get a boost device for your boots instead of the runspeed enchant. In summary, the profession is at least equal if not slightly superior to the other raiding professions now.


Herbalism offers Lifeblood, which will not help you when raiding in 99.999% (period, of course) of the situations.


Inscribers/Inscriptors/Inscription-Users get an own Shoulder Enchant that is definitely better (46 more spell power) than the epic one from the Sons of Hodir.


Jewelcrafter can socket [item]Runed Dragon's Eye[/item] three times, which is 3x16=48 spell power more than the rare quality gems would give.


Leatherworkers have no drums anymore at level 80, but gain Fur Lining instead. This is 47 more spell power than the best possible enchant.


Miners are pretty tough, but this does not really help when raiding as a warlock.


Skinners become Masters of Anatomy. 40 crit rating is of course weaker than the "usual" 47/48 spell power from other professions.


Tailors can enchant their cloaks with Lightweave Embroidery.


Alchemy, Blacksmithing, Enchanting, Inscription, Tailoring, Jewelcrafting and Engineering are fine. As haste became very powerful with 3.3, Engineering has a slight edge over the other professions. Skinning is okay, but definitely worse than the above, Mining and Herbalism are simply useless.

==Gear Optimization==

This part shows different approaches to get an optimal or nearly optimal gear set for your character. Nevertheless it is my personal opinion to take any decent upgrade anytime you can instead of waiting for "BiS". No boss in the game will be impressed by your DKP account, ever.

===What is the optimal T7 equip for me?===

It's not enough to take all the "best in slot" items and be done because of the hit cap and the set bonuses from T7.

So first decide whether or not those set bonuses are worth it to you. From my calculation, the 2p bonus is worth ~35 dps and the 4p bonus ~100 dps. Probably, the 4p is weaker in reality as you lifetap less than I computed and do not always benefit from its buff. So I just estimate the 4p as ~65 dps, meaning every T7 piece is actually 25 dps higher except for the fifth - If this does NOT lead to 4 T7 pieces, change the bonus to 18 dps per piece for the first two of them. If that does not lead to two pieces equipped, ignore the set bonuses and just take "best in slot" everywhere.

The above made me equip all the best in slot pieces plus T7 head, shoulders, chest and hands.

Now you're over the hit cap.

To solve this, search for a piece giving less hit while losing as few dps as possible. Replace it. Repeat this until you reach your preferred hit rating.

See this post for some similar results with a different approach.


My first replacement was [item]Cincture of Polarity[/item]->[item]Leash of Heedless Magic[/item]. 43 hit rating less, 21 dps less.

Second was [item]Signet of the Malevolent[/item] -> [item]Band of Channeled Magic[/item]. 49 less hit, 31 less dps.

Third was [item]Boots of Impetuous Ideals[/item] -> [item]Arcanic Tramplers[/item]. 37 hit less, 28 less dps.

All of these replacements are quite logical as they replace a hit item with a non-hit item of a higher item level.

This brought me down to 334 hit rating (12.78%). As I am Alliance and was aiming for 13%, this should be my dream gear.

Of course, if you think different about the T7 bonuses, are horde, for some reason want to spec the hit talents or just can't get an elemental shaman or balance druid for your raid, your perfect equip will look different, but the way to find it is the same.

===What is the optimal T8 equip for me?===

When trying to find the best T7 equip, I suggested taking all the best in slot items, taking the T7 set bonuses into account and smoothing out the hit rating afterwards. With the new loot tables, there are too many hit items and most of them give very high amounts of hit rating (ranging from 50 to 100), so it seems reasonable to do it the other way around: Choose the best nonhit items, then replace some of them by hit items. Next to that, the T8 set bonuses are considered as 160 dps for 2p and 80 dps for 4p. As the T8 items are among the best items even without the set bonuses, this makes 4pT8 a clear choice.

[item]Conqueror's Deathbringer Leggings[/item] best in slot, clear choice.

[item]Conqueror's Deathbringer Hood[/item] 44 dps below the best in slot helm [item]Crown of Luminescence[/item].

[item]Conqueror's Deathbringer Shoulderpads[/item] 44 dps below [item]Amice of Inconceivable Horror[/item].

[item]Conqueror's Deathbringer Robe[/item] 43 dps below [item]Raiments of the Iron Council[/item], but giving 73 additional hit.

[item]Conqueror's Deathbringer Gloves[/item] 123 dps below [item]Pharos Gloves[/item], but giving 65 hit.

So when ignoring hit and aiming for 4pT8, we'll leave out the gloves first. If they prove to be a very good hit item (they won't), they'll have their comeback.

Choosing best in slot nonhit plus 4pT8 leads to

Head: [item]Conqueror's Deathbringer Hood[/item]

Neck: [item]Sapphire Amulet of Renewal[/item]

Shoulder: [item]Conqueror's Deathbringer Shoulderpads[/item] (+4 hit socket bonus)

Back: [item]Sunglimmer Cloak[/item]

Chest: [item]Conqueror's Deathbringer Robe[/item] (+73 hit)

Wrist: [item]Grasps of Reason[/item]

Hands: [item]Pharos Gloves[/item]

Waist: [item]Cord of the White Dawn[/item]

Legs: [item]Conqueror's Deathbringer Leggings[/item]

Feet: [item]Boots of Fiery Resolution[/item]

Finger: [item]Conductive Seal[/item]t & [item]Nebula Band[/item]

Trinket: [item]Flare of the Heavens[/item] & [item]Illustration of the Dragon Soul[/item]

Weapon: [item]Starshard Edge[/item] (+39 hit) + [item]Ironmender[/item]

Wand: [item]Petrified Ivy Sprig[/item] (+29 hit)

Next, I choose the hit rating I want to reach with my equip. As I plan to take the hit talents, this would be 288.55 (giving 11% hit).

From the above items I already get 141 hit and a 4-hit socket bonus, leaving 143.55 points.

To find out which items give a lot of hit without losing too many other stats, I increase the value of hit dynamically until the best hit items pop up among the best nonhit items.

1 hit = 0.1 dps changes nothing, neither does 1 hit = 0.2 dps or 1 hit = 0.3 dps. When I reach 1 hit = 0.4 dps the [item]Leggings of the Enslaved Idol[/item] become the best in slot legs but I don't want to ruin the 4pT8 bonus and the gloves are still too weak. I increase the value of hit to 1 hit = 0.5 dps, nothing changes. At 1 hit = 0.6 dps, the [item]Sash of Ancient Power[/item] becomes the best waist item. +43 hit, 100.55 to go.

1 hit = 0.7 dps makes [item]Pendant of Fiery Havoc[/item] appear among the best in slot items. I substitute the old amulet and get another 46 hit. Still 54.55 hit missing, but [item]Cosmos[/item] becomes the best offhand. There are still 3.55 hit rating missing, but that does not call for another item change (you could exchange a gem if you really want to reach 100%), so I'm done now.

This results in the following gear:

Head: [item]Conqueror's Deathbringer Hood[/item]

Neck: [item]Pendant of Fiery Havoc[/item]

Shoulder: [item]Conqueror's Deathbringer Shoulderpads[/item] (+4)

Back: [item]Sunglimmer Cloak[/item]

Chest: [item]Conqueror's Deathbringer Robe[/item] (+73)

Wrist: [item]Grasps of Reason[/item]

Hands: [item]Pharos Gloves[/item]

Waist: [item]Sash of Ancient Power[/item] (+43)

Legs: [item]Conqueror's Deathbringer Leggings[/item]

Feet: [item]Boots of Fiery Resolution[/item]

Finger: [item]Conductive Seal[/item]t & [item]Nebula Band[/item]

Trinket: [item]Flare of the Heavens[/item] & [item]Illustration of the Dragon Soul[/item]

Weapon: [item]Starshard Edge[/item] + [item]Cosmos[/item] (+90)

Wand: [item]Petrified Ivy Sprig[/item] (+29 hit)

If you cannot obtain any of the items above and/or aim for more hit rating or don't like the 4pT8 or whatever, just adapt this method to your gear style. E.g. leaving out Algalon loot would change:

Weapon: [item]Staff of Endless Winter[/item] (-90 hit)

Back: [item]Drape of Mortal Downfall[/item] (+43 hit)

Hands: [item]Handwraps of the Vigilant[/item] (no change)

and one of the rings becomes [item]Shimmering Seal[/item] (+42 hit).

===What's the best T9 gear compilation?===

With exactly the same method as for T8, I found this gear set. Of course, almost every piece of it is hardmode gear as the amount of hardmode items is a lot bigger than in T8. This time, I chose 289 hit rating (11%) as a goal.

Most players won't be able to get even half of the stuff, so I suggest sticking to the Lootrank-Lists and just get anything that increases your dps. Almost all items in ToC are itemized good enough to be worn.

===What's the best T10 gear compilation?===

First of all I ignore nonheroic items, so this is kind of a confront-LK-HM equip. I also ignore LK-HM drops for roughly the same reason.

[TABLE]Slot: | Item: | 2nd Best | Hit/nonhit alternative:

Head | [item]Sanctified Dark Coven Hood[/item] | [item]Corp'rethar Ceremonial Crown[/item] | none

Neck | [item]Amulet of the Silent Eulogy[/item] | none | [item]Blood Queen's Crimson Choker[/item]

Shoulders | [item]Sanctified Dark Coven Shoulderpads[/item] | [item]Shoulders of Mercy Killing[/item] | [item]Shoulders of Ruinous Senility[/item]

Back | [item]Frostbinder's Shredded Cape[/item] | [item]Jaina's Radiance[/item] | none

Chest | [item]Sanctified Dark Coven Robe[/item] | [item]Sanguine Silk Robes[/item] | [item]Robe of the Waking Nightmare[/item]

Wrists | [item]Death Surgeon's Sleeves[/item] | [item]Armbands of the Ashen Saint[/item] | [item]The Lady's Brittle Bracers[/item]

Hands | [item]San'layn Ritualist Gloves[/item] | [item]Gloves of False Gestures[/item] | [item]Gunship Captain's Mittens[/item]

Waist | [item]Crushing Coldwraith Belt[/item] | [item]Lingering Illness[/item] | none

Legs | [item]Sanctified Dark Coven Leggings[/item] | [item]Plaguebringer's Stained Pants[/item] | [item]Kilt of Untreated Wounds[/item]

Feet | [item]Plague Scientist's Boots[/item] | [item]Boots of the Mourning Widow[/item] | none

Ring1 | [item]Ashen Band of Endless Destruction[/item] | none | none

Ring2 | [item]Ring of Rapid Ascent[/item] | [item]Memory of Malygos[/item] | [item]Valanar's Other Signet Ring[/item]

Trinket | [item]Dislodged Foreign Object[/item] | [item]Muradin's Spyglass[/item] | none

Trinket2 |[item]Muradin's Spyglass[/item] | [item]Phylactery of the Nameless Lich[/item] | none

Weapon | [item]Rigormortis[/item] | [item]Tel'thas, Dagger of the Blood King[/item] (nh) | [item]Frozen Bonespike[/item]

Offhand | [item]Shadow Silk Spindle[/item] | [item]Sundial of Eternal Dusk[/item] | [item]Scourgelord's Baton[/item]

Ranged | [item]Corpse-Impaling Spike[/item] | [item]Nightmare Ender[/item] | [item]Wand of Ruby Claret[/item][/TABLE]

I only show alternatives if they are reasonable, as well as hit alternatives. For example, there is no good hit trinket in Icecrown (or even ToC) that is worth mentioning. In those cases, you'll just see "none".

This aims at using DP and 2 points in Suppression. The easiest way to adjust the hit rating is to use the [item]Gunship Captain's Mittens[/item] instead of [item]San'layn Ritualist Gloves[/item] in case you don't want to spend the hit talents. With 3.33, Life Tap will probably be back again and change the spec slightly.

As far as my calculation goes, leaving out the hands of T10 has a slight edge over leaving out the pants, but the difference is very small. In both cases there are very good hit and non-hit alternatives.

=General playing tips=

==How much hit rating is best?==

See here for the main discussion. The short version is: Basically, you need +17% hit. As 26.232 points of hit rating give 1% at level 80, that is 445.94 Hit Rating. In a 25-man raid, there is most likely a debuff placed upon the boss that gives another 3% hit rate. That leaves 14% (367.25 rating) up to you. If you happen to be an alliance player and a draenei is in your group, you also get their racial, leaving you with 13% (341.02 rating).

It is your choice whether to use Suppression to reduce the amount by another 1-3%.

You can improve your hit rating by food. As long as you need the hit rating, this is the best choice for the food buff.

So, assuming raid debuff on the mob:

[table] points in suppression | Alliance | Horde

0 | 342 | 368

1 | 316 | 342

2 | 289 | 316

3 | 263 | 289[/table]

Hit rating is the most effective rating available until reaching the cap and completely worthless afterwards.

==Casting Sequence==

As many classes, we do not have a rotation anymore but rather a priority system. There is no fixed sequence (or rather: the fixed sequence would be very long) because of different timers, some of them having random elements (like haste procs, Nightfall etc.). The general rule of thumb is: Highest DPCT first. Almost no matter what your equip looks like, your DPCT list will always look like this:

  1. Haunt
  2. Corruption
  3. Unstable Affliction
  4. Curse of Agony
  5. Drain Soul @ <25% HP
  6. Shadow Bolt

From this list, you can derive the best way to dps: Cast Haunt when it's off CD, otherwise cast Corruption when it is not applied, then UA when it is not applied, then CoA, then the filler spells (Drain Soul/Shadow Bolt). Repeat this everytime you can cast a spell.

Haunt has the lowest DPCT, but casting haunt reapplies Corruption. So consider Haunt as "I'm reapplying Corruption and do some direct damage and apply / refresh two very important debuffs", making it the best DPCT spell.

For the beginning of the fight or a new target, see below.

This list is the beginning of solid DPS, not the end. There are many tricks and traps to it.

===I reach 100% uptime just by clipping my dots, right?===

"Clipping" a dot means reapplying it before its last tick. Although this increases your uptime (no more dot gaps), this is VERY bad for your dps. Why? Imagine a dot ticking every 3s. If you reapply it in the moment of its last tick, it is like resetting its tick counter, meaning there will be a gap of ~6s between two ticks instead of 3s. That is as bad as not reapplying it for 3s. Actually, it's even worse: You shortened its duration by one tick, meaning you have to reapply it more often, losing even more dps. So don't clip dots.

There are exceptions: If you know your target will be unreachable within a few seconds (e.g. Noth in Naxxramas porting to the other group), reapplying all dots is actually a good idea. If you are running around unable to cast anything but instants, clipping dots will save you time when you stand still again, and so on.

===I could cast a Shadow Bolt, but CoA has only 1s left, what to do?===

Situations like that will happen all the time during fights. The general rule is: You should always be casting. Always. If you are able to fill gaps like that with a clever Life Tap, fine. But there is nothing wrong about dots ticking for the last time while you are casting a shadow bolt. Remember that while the dots have very high DPCT, they don't have high dps. Applying them a second later won't hurt. Not casting anything for one second will reduce your damage by the dps of Shadow Bolt.

===What about temporary buffs/debuffs and dots?===

When you apply a DoT, your current values of spellpower, critchance etc. are written into the spell, meaning any changes to your stats won't affect it anymore. Debuffs on the boss on the other hand will affect the spell immeadiately, e.g. hitting the boss with a dot followed by a Haunt will have the same effect as the other way around (in both cases, the dot WILL be affected by Haunt and Shadow Embrace). Contrary to this, casting a dot and chugging a Wild Magic Potion afterwards will NOT affect the dot, while using the pot beforehand will work, of course. The same applies to debuffs on you: When a debuff is applied after the spell has been cast, it will NOT affect the spell. This can easily be seen at the Thaddius Encounter in Naxxramas. Corruption is a very special case due to its refresh mechanic, see below.

===What is the optimal start?===

The optimal starting sequence is Shadow Bolt -> Haunt -> Unstable Affliction -> Corruption -> Curse of Agony and sticking to the priority list afterwards. The only reason for this sequence is Corruption's strange refresh behaviour, see below.

==Can I have too much haste?==

The reason for this question being asked many times by affliction warlocks is the following: Most of your spells (all of them except shadow bolt and drain soul) have a 1.5s casting time or are instant casts, meaning they have a 1.5s global cooldown following the cast. Haste reduces both in the same way. But there is a hard cap, neither the casting time of a spell nor the GCD can be reduced below 1s (In fact, the casting time can be reduced below 1s, but this triggers a short GCD, extending it to 1s). This means that the majority of your spells won't benefit from haste anymore if you reach this cap.

The first question should be: Can I actually reach that cap with "normal" gear?

The formula for is:

Real Casting Time = Original Casting time /(1+Haste in percent).

As an example, 100% haste would change a two second cast to a one second cast ("100% faster").

To reduce a 1.5s cast to 1s, you would need 50% haste.

There are different sources of haste, one of them being your haste rating. Different sources of haste are multiplicative, not additive.

In a raid situation, there are probably an elemental totem (+5% haste) and a moonkin aura or a retribution aura (+3% haste) present. Those multiply up to 1.05*1.03=1.0815 -> 8.15%. To get 50% haste, you would need 1.50/1.0815 = 1.387 -> 38.7% haste from haste rating, which would be 1268.97 rating points. Simply unreachable, even when you did not forget to apply your spellstone.

However, there are effects like Bloodlust/Heroism and Eradication increasing your haste by a large amount.

When Eradication procs, you would only need 1.50/(1.0815*1.20) -> 15.6% haste or 511.5 haste rating. I would consider this to be the "very soft" cap.

When Bloodlust hits, it's only 1.50/(1.0815*1.30) -> 6.7% haste or 219.3 haste rating. Obviously, when both hit at the same time, you'll need nothing: 1.50/(1.0815*1.30*1.20) -> -11.1%, so you're already way over the cap.

Does this mean we're haste capped? Not really. Most of the damage haste brings comes from casting faster shadow bolts, not from casting faster dots. In my simulation, the dps per haste rating went down to 6.04 from 7.61 when I reached the point where 1.5s casts become 1.0s casts. That's a 20% decrease in the value of haste and does not devalue haste in general as you won't have eradication/bl/heroism up all the time and even if you had, haste would still be a lot better than crit rating.

==The proper use of Drain Soul==

First of all, Drain Soul does not "recheck" the percentage of the target. This means that if you start casting it when the mob is at 26%, you won't get the 4x damage bonus for the whole casting time. If the mob heals itself after you applied drain soul, it WILL do 4x the damage for the whole casting time (have fun in the arena!). So start casting when the mob is definitely below 25%.

The main problem about Drain Soul is its channeling time: Within 15s (or whatever it is after your haste is applied), your dots will probably need a recast. Every dot has a higher dpct and does contribute to the damage of Drain Soul by the Talent "Soul Siphon".

The Shadow Embrace effect from Haunt and SB also improves Drain Soul's damage. This means that you have to reapply dots and haunt almost immediately when they fade off / don't have a CD left.

This forces you to clip your Drain Soul cast most of the time.


  • The wrong way is to not reapply the dots and haunt.
  • A bad way is to reapply all of them when they have all faded.
  • A good way is to just reapply dots and haunt as soon as there is one of them fading off.
  • A very professional way is to reapply dots and haunt immediately after the next Drain Soul tick after they faded off.

This is only possible with the help of addons showing you when the ticks will occur or if you have a very good feeling for the ticks. But even if you choose the moment of the clip randomly your results will be far better than without clipping.

==Rolling Corruption Crits and Modifiers==

When Corruption is refreshed, the crit rating is not updated to the actual crit rating of your character or the actual crit debuffs on the mob. Instead, the crit rating you had when you applied the first Corruption keeps "rolling" as long as you keep refreshing it. The same is true for percentual damage increases, namely Tricks of the Trade and Death's Embrace. This has lead to a rather unintuitive way of maximizing corruption damage: Pre-Pot ([item]Wild Magic Potion[/item]), cast SB and Haunt, cast UA or CoA while Haunt is in the air, activate [item]Nevermelting Ice Crystal[/item], then apply Corruption. If you have 4pT10, try to prolong this sequence by filler spells to get that proc as well. When the boss hits 35%, reapply Corruption while using NMIC and a pot again. Ideally, get Tricks of the Trade on both occasions and bribe your RL to announce heroism at 35%. The damage difference is significant: The Corruption damage will rise by roughly 30%, increasing the total damage by more than 10%.

This trick has been mentioned in a blue post, saying it is actually NOT an abuse, but clever use of game mechanics.

Even if you don't want to use it, it is good to know that applying Corruption before your first shadow bolt hits is actually a bad idea. This is the reason for the starting sequence: Make sure (someone's) Shadow Bolt already hit the target when you apply Corruption.

==Delaying Haunt==

Haunt itself has an 8s cd while the debuff(s) it applies last(s) for 12s. This leads to the idea of delaying Haunt (which has very poor DPCT itself) until the last possible moment. However, in this thread's simulation the difference between using haunt on cooldown (7.5 times per minute), which is actually more often than possible in a real situation because you are probably casting another spell or suffering a GCD while Haunt comes of cd, and using haunt in the latest possible moment (5 times per minute), which is impossible as well because it has a flight time of nearly 2s and you would completely ruin every benefit when even a single dot tick goes of without the haunt debuff, is an overwhelming 58 DPS in BiS-Icecrown gear. This is an absolutely ridiculous amount and does not justify any risky actions. So reapplying a single dot when Haunt is off cd is fine because it improves your dot uptimes, but don't try to fit two more shadowbolts in.

==Multiple targets==

When facing a situation with more than one boss target where it is actually useful to dps more than one of them (e.g. the two Jormungars of Northrend Beasts in Colliseum or Mimiron P4), the best way to go is keeping the usual dps sequence on one boss target while putting Corruption, UA and CoA on the other(s) during filler time. Even without the Shadow Embrace and Haunt debuff, the dots' DPCT are high enough to outdamage Shadow Bolt and Drain Soul. Try to hit as many bosses as possible with Shadow bolts during filler time to apply crit debuffs and shadow embrace debuffs and refresh corruption. Of course, you won't be able to keep Haunt up on multiple targets. Theoretically, switching the Haunt target every CD would be the best choice as the debuff is longer than the CD. In practice, there might be debuffs missing which negates the effect.

This assumes that all the targets live longer than the dots tick, of course. A "/target lasttarget" macro or hotkey is very useful for situations like that.

==Short fights and adds==

There are two very insightful posts in the simcraft thread, this one and this one. The essence of these posts is: When a target is supposed to live less than 10 seconds, just shadow bolt spam it. If it will live longer than 10 seconds, the normal rotation (meaning dotting it up completely, using haunt and shadow bolt as a filler, using drain soul in the end) is actually the best dps you can get out of the situation, regardless of dots not ticking for their full duration. By the way, this simulation shows very clearly that affliction loses a lot more dps than other specs for targets that live less than 15s, a fact that most of us knew from practice but that has not been shown that clearly before.

==Is movement speed worth it?==

Post 3.1 there is no longer any raidwide movement speed buff available. This leads to the question whether or not enchanting movement speed on your boots or socketing the movement speed meta (these do NOT stack, don't do both) is helping you.

First of all, the crit meta gem effect gives just too much dps to ignore, so unless you simply cannot use it for some strange reason, we're talking about the boot enchant here, the meta is untouchable.

Obviously, if you stand still from start to finish, movement speed is useless. But most encounters force you to move, at least from time to time. To get a dps estimation of movement speed, I just calculated how much dps I would loose when casting half a second less shadow bolts within a whole minute (dots still ticking). The result is 59.95 dps. While this is not game breaking, it is actually pretty much for a boot enchant, and saving half a second per minute seems to be a reasonable, small value - on some encounters, the enchant will probably bring a lot more dps as you move "all the time" - and don't underestimate the added survival, either.

==Useful addons==

Necrosis LdC

Although it is a little outdated, it has some nice features, like sound announcement of Shadowtrance, Mini-Popups for spells you don't want to hotkey (like Summoning spells) and a Dottimer.

It has some minor issues (e.g. you can't turn off some parts of it), but all in all it's a helpful addon and I just like the sound of "Shadowtrance!".


Configurable Timers.


Timers, Raid Announcements, Warning sounds. Many ways to configure each and every aspect.

Most of the provided information is not important enough to be on your screen in my opinion (like a ritual of summoning mod for example), but there are some nice ones.


Freely configurable buttons for fading debuffs, cooldowns, item cooldowns. Easily configurable.

I found this to be exactly what I was looking for for situations where you just don't want to stare at timers. The common alternative is PowerAuras, giving a lot more flexibility but taking a lot more customizing.


Offers a sound and raidwarning when the target reaches the 25% mark and a sound warning every time Drain Soul ticks, making the clipping a little easier. Every aspect can be turned off for itself. Definitely a helpful and light-weighted addon.

=Damage model=

In this part, the stat weights used above are calculated by an easy to understand yet hopefully accurate damage model.

==Base stats==


[TABLE]Stat | starting T7 | starting T8 | starting T9 | starting T10

spell power | 1400 | 2267 | 2617 | 3344

Hit Chance | 10% | 12.5% | 13.45% | 13.5%

Haste Percent | 10% | 17.8% | 13.03% | 18.2%

Crit Percent | 10% | 13.8% | 21.5% | 23.75%

spirit | 250 | 468 | 668 | 909[/TABLE]

This should be more or less what your stats could look like when you step into Naxxramas/Ulduar/the Colliseum/Icecrown Citadel for the first time.

An optimal raid setup (and almost all setups are nearly optimal now) gives you:


==Self buffs==


==buffed stats==

This changes the stats fully raid-buffed to:

[TABLE]Stat | starting T7 | starting T8 | starting T9 | starting T10

spell power | 2157 | 3139 | 3609 | 4463

Hit Chance | 16% | 15.5% | 16.5% | 16.5%

Haste Percent | 25.4% | 34.1% | 28.9% | 34.6%

Crit Percent | 23.0% | 26.8% | 35.7% | 38.1%

spirit | 345 | 585 | 836 | 1101[/TABLE]


For all tests the spec including Dark Pact is used. For the starter gear, there are more points in suppression to compensate for the lack of hit.

==Boss scenario==

Does patchwerk dps matter? It does. When you can't deal damage in a Tank&Spank scenario, you won't deal damage anywhere else. The opposite might not be true, but that depends on you, not your class or talents. How much dps will you loose when moving? I honestly don't know. I don't care. You will loose dps when moving, so minimize your moving while surviving to maximize your dps, and that is all you need to know.

==Glyphs & Meta Gem==

I currently assume Glyph of Quick Decay, Glyph of Haunt and Glyph of Life Tap as they are all clear choices. Not using Glyph of Life Tap affects the value of spirit drastically.

As a meta I assume Chaotic Skyflare Diamond which now affects Corruption and UA crits and thus has become the best available Meta Gem.

==Set bonuses==

For the Ulduar starter gear I assume 2pT7, for the Colliseum starter gear I assume 4pT8, for the Icecrown starter gear I assume 4pT9.

==DPS and DPCT spell by spell==

===General rule of thumb===

Damage done = Absolute Coefficients * (base damage + ( (sum of spell power coefficents) * Spelldamage))*Hit chance * (1+Crit chance)

Note that the coefficients from talents (like Contagion and Shadow Mastery) are additive, the only exception is Malediction.

I handled the way hit affects the damage of dots with a different approach suggested by Kalle: When you don't hit with a DoT, you will have to recast it. This increases the casting time of the dot and decreases the uptime of the dot.


Absolute coefficients:

+0.15 (Shadow Mastery)

+0.10 (Improved Corruption)

+0.05 (Contagion)

+0.05 (Siphon Life)

+0.01 (Spell Stone)

1+0.23*hit chance (Haunt)

1.15 (Shadow Embracex3)

1.13 (CoE/Earth&Moon/Ebon Plague)

1.03 (Malediction)

1.03 (Sanctified Retribution)

(1+0.12*0.35) (Death's Embrace)

Spell power coefficients:

1.2 Base Coefficient

+0.36 (Empowered Corruption)

+0.30 (Everlasting Affliction)


+0.09 (Malediction)

+Meta Gem effect (1.09 with Pandemic)


[item]Glyph of Quick Decay[/item] assumed.

Damage done:

(1+0.15(Shadow Mastery)+0.10(Improved Corruption)+0.05(Contagion)+0.05(Siphon Life)+0.01 (Spell Stone))*(1+0.23*hit chance)(Haunt)*1.15(Shadow Embrace)*1.13(CoE)*1.03(Malediction)*1.03(Sanctified Retribution)*(1+0.12*0.35) (Death's Embrace)*(1740(base damage) + ((1.2(Base Coeff)+0.36(Emp Corr)+0.30(Everl. Affl.))*(spell power)))* (1+1.09*crit chance) = 37502

cast time: (1/hit chance)*1.5s*(1/(1+haste)) = 1.12

damage / second = 2083

damage / cast time = 33489

damage / (3s-)tick = 6250

===Curse of Agony===

Absolute coefficients:

+0.15 (Shadow Mastery)

+0.10 (Improved CoA)

+0.05 (Contagion)

1.15 (Shadow Embracex3)

1+0.2*hit chance (Haunt)

1.13 (CoE/Earth&Moon/Ebon Plague)

1.03 (Malediction)

1.03 (Sanctified Retribution)

(1+0.12*0.35) (Death's Embrace)

Spell power coefficients:

1.20 Base Coefficient


CoA can't crit.


Amplify Curse sets casting time to 1.0.


no Glyph assumed.

Damage done:

(1.0+0.15(Shadow Mastery)+0.10(Improved CoA)+0.05(Contagion))*(1+0.23*hit chance)(Haunt)*1.13(CoE)*1.15(Shadow Embrace*1.03(Malediction)*1.03(Sanctified Retribution)*(1+0.12*0.35)(Death's Embrace)*( 1740(Base) + 389*2 (Glyph) + (((1.20(Base))+0.2(Glyph))*2000) = 16285

cast time: (1/hit chance)*1.0s = 1.01

damage / second = 678

damage / cast time = 16203

(average) damage / tick = 2035

===Unstable Affliction===

Absolute coefficients:

+0.15 (Shadow Mastery)

+0.05 (Siphon Life)

+0.01 (Spell Stone)

1.15 (Shadow Embracex3)

1+0.23*hit chance (Haunt)

1.13 (CoE/Earth&Moon/Ebon Plague)

1.03 (Malediction)

1.03 (Sanctified Retribution)

(1+0.12*0.35) (Death's Embrace)

Spell power coefficients:

1.00 Base Coefficient

+0.25 (Everlasting Affliction)


+0.09 (Malediction)

+Meta Gem effect (1.09 with Pandemic)

Damage done:

(1+0.15(Shadow Mastery)+0.05(Siphon Life)+0.01 (Spell Stone))*1.15(Shadow Embrace)*(1+0.23*hit chance)(Haunt)*1.13(CoE)*1.03(Malediction)*1.03(Sanctified Retribution)*(1+0.12*0.35)(Death's Embrace)*( 1150(base) + ((1.00+0.25(Everlasting Affliction))*spell power)* crit chance = 23932

cast time: (1/hit chance)*1.5s*(1/(1+haste)) = 1.14s / 1.14s / 1.17s / 1.12

damage / second = 656 / 890 / 1052 / 1242

damage / cast time = 9779 / 14118 / 16189 / 19978

damage / tick =2362 / 3207 / 3790 / 4474


absolute coefficients:

+0.15 (Shadow Mastery)

1.13 (CoE/Earth&Moon/Ebon Plague)

1.03 (Malediction)

1.03 (Sanctified Retribution)

(1+0.12*0.35) (Death's Embrace)

Spell power coefficients:

1.5/3.5 base coefficient


+Crits do 100% more damage (Pandemic)

+Meta Gem effect (1.09 with Pandemic)

Damage done:

(1+0.15(Shadow Mastery))*1.13(CoE)*1.03(Malediction)*1.03(Sanctified Retribution)*(1+0.12*0.35)(Death's Embrace)*( (645+753)/2(base) + ((1.5/3.5*spell power))*hit chance*((1.09(Meta))*(1 + 1.09*crit chance)) = 5284

cast time: 1.5s*(1/(1+Haste)) = 1.5*(1/1+0.15+0.0421+0.0183) = 1.11

damage / cast time = 4742

===Shadow Bolt===

Absolute coefficients:

1.15 (Shadow Mastery)

+0.05 (Improved Shadow Bolt)

1.13 (CoE/Earth&Moon/Ebon Plague)

1.03 (Malediction)

1.03 (Sanctified Retribution)

(1+0.12*0.10) (Death's Embrace)

Spell power coefficients:

3.00/3.5 base coefficient


+Meta Gem effect (1.09 with Ruin)

+Crits do double damage (Ruin)

Damage done:

(1.15(Shadow Mastery)+0.05(ISB))*1.13(CoE)*1.03(Malediction)*1.03(Sanctified Retribution)*(1+0.12*0.10)(Death's Embrace)*((690+770)/2(base) + ((3.00/3.5) * spell power))*hit chance*(1+1.09*crit chance)= 9730

cast time: (3.0s-0.5s(Bane))*(1/(1+haste)) = 1.86

damage / cast time = damage / second = 5239

===Drain Soul===

absolute coefficients:

+0.15 (Shadow Mastery)

+0.18 (Soul Siphon)

1.13 (CoE/Earth&Moon/Ebon Plague)

1.15 (Shadow Embracex3)

1.03 (Malediction)

1.03 (Sanctified Retribution)

4.00 (Target below 25%)

(1+0.12) (Death's Embrace) (additive to Target below 25%-effect)

Spell power coefficients:

2.14 base coefficient

Damage done:

(1+0.15(Shadow Mastery)+0.18(Soul Siphon))*1.13(CoE)*(1.15)(Shadow Embrace)*1.03(Malediction)*1.03(Sanctified Retribution)*(4(Target below 25%+0.12)(Death's Embrace))*( 710(base) + (2.14*spell power)) * hit chance = 75342

cast time: 15s*(1/(1+haste)) = 11.14

damage / cast time = damage / second = 5239

damage / tick = 15068

Note that this is based on 3 of your affliction debuffs on the target and a target below 25%.

===Life Tap===

+Improved Life Tap: +20% Mana generated

cast time = 1.11

mana generated: 1.2(ILP)*(0.5*spell power + 2000) = 4231

===Dark Pact===

cast time = 1.11

mana generated: 1200+0.96*spellpower = 5484


  1. Corruption
  2. Unstable Affliction
  3. Curse of Agony
  4. Drain Soul @ <25% HP
  5. Shadow Bolt
  6. Haunt


  1. Drain Soul @ <25% HP
  2. Shadow Bolt
  3. Haunt
  4. Corruption
  5. Unstable Affliction
  6. Curse of Agony

Conclusion: Every single DoT is worth being kept up as long as possible, even during the <25% phase. The only reason to cast shadow bolt is having nothing else to do or to apply the crit buff.

==Computing the DPS==

Let's look at a whole minute mid-fight:

Corruption will be up from start to finish. A recast will only be needed when a haunt misses.

CoA and Unstable Affliction will be refreshed as often as possible. I consider an uptime of 95% minus the cast time of the dot (Meaning 0.95*60s - (# of Casts * DoT cast time) is the uptime of the DoT during one minute). The cast time of the dot includes the possibility of a miss - assuming you immediately recast that dot as fast as possible when it misses. This is (roughly) how the lacking of hit rating affects dots: more cast time, lower uptime.

I ignore the additional mana usage when a dot misses as the effect is very small. Haunt will be refreshed as often as needed. I assume casting Haunt about every 10s, and an DoT Uptime of 95% (except for Corruption, of course).

Let's first fill in all the dots and NF procs. Their accumulated cast times after one minute are (according to the above model):


3.3xUA: 3.70s

7.5xHaunt: 7.8s

1.1xNF procs: 1.2s

0.02xCorr: 0.02s

Replenishment: Assuming ~25k-28k Mana and an uptime of 75%, you regain ~3100 Mana per Minute.

Including the mp5 and replenishment for the whole minute, so far 3307 Mana have been used, resulting in 0.60 Dark Pacts (0.067s).

The rest of the time (44.39s) is used for shadow bolts / drain souls.

To compensate the mana use of the shadow bolts, I calculate "0 mana shadow bolts" by adding a small percentage of the GCD to their casting time. The 0 mana shadow bolt has a casting time of 2.01s (SB casting time + Dark Pact casting time * (SB mana cost / Dark Pact mana regeneration).

So, the rest of the minute is filled with 22.14 0-mana-shadow bolts.

This only applies to about 75% of the fight's length. In the last 25%, Shadow Bolt will be exchanged by Drain Soul as it has significantly higher DPCT. I kept using the NF-procs in the simulation below 25% as their DPCT is still in the "ok-zone". I ignore the fact that you might even be forced to keep up the crit buff.

In the remaining time, you can cast 3.94 0-Mana-DS.

This sums up to 566868 dpm or 9447 dps including complete mana regeneration and without pet dps, Heroism and Pot usage.

==Known errors of this model==

  • I do not include pet dps as they are of no importance for equip comparison or talent specs.
  • The model assumes perfect execution and zero lag
  • The mana regeneration is more complicated, I use a constant value for replenishment and a constant mana pool.

Furthermore, it is a spreadsheet like approach, not a combat simulation (like SimCraft). Both approaches have their strength and weaknesses.

==How much haste is Eradication==

Eradication has a 6% proc chance per Corruption tick to increase your haste by 20% for 10s. It has no ICD anymore.

Assume Corruption is up all the time on one target. If we are somewhere in between two corruption ticks (and we always are) then there is a chance of 6% that the last tick gave the buff. If it didn't (94%), there is a chance of 94%*6% that the one before gave it, and if it didn't, there's a 94%*94%*6% chance that the one before did. If we are less than one second from the last corruption tick (this is the case 1/3 of the time) we have to take even one more tick into account (94%*94%*94%*6%). This sums up to

\frac{2}{3} \cdot 0.06 + 0.06\cdot0.94 + 0.06\cdot0.94\cdot0.94 + \frac{1}{3} \cdot 0.06 + 0.06\cdot0.94 + 0.06\cdot0.94\cdot0.94+ 0.06\cdot0.94\cdot0.94\cdot0.94 = 0.1860

So the uptime is about 18.6% giving an average haste multiplier of 18.6%*20% = 3.72%.

==How often does Nightfall proc?==

Let's assume corruption is up 100% of the time (on one target). The chance of a NF proc is 4% every 3 seconds. Let's further assume that you will use every NF proc immediately, so you never "lose" any procs. Then you will just have an average 0.80 NF procs per minute. Of course, you can have two in a row, but normally, you won't. The proc reduces the casting time of one sb to your gcd, so it saves about a second, meaning this will save you an average 0.80 seconds per minute. By the way, this DOES stack with Glyph of Corruption, giving 2x 4% proc chance.

==CoA or CoD?==

Switching from CoA to CoD in the above scenario loses ~22k damage, but saves you 1.51s. To compensate this loss you would need a filler spell that has more than ~14k DPSC. As nothing like that exists, do not use CoD except if you will be unable to reach the target again for a whole minute (As far as I know, there is no fight where you could use this behaviour).

==Should I use Drain Soul when the mob is below 25%?==

Yes. Drain Soul deals almost 40% more damage than Shadow Bolt does when the mob's HP are below 25%. This is a very decent dps increase. The only drawback is: With a good ten second channel duration after haste, the spell will make it rather difficult to reapply dots in time without clipping it. So clip it! The perfect moment to clip it is right after a tick, there is a huge discussion atm how to support this difficult timing with addon timers. In general, as long as you don't clip it right before a tick, your dps will be fine.

==How much damage is Death's Embrace?==

If the hit points of the boss go down linearly (meaning it takes the same amount of time to go from 60% to 50% that it takes to go from 20% to 10%) the talent will apply to exactly 35% of the fight. Although in reality the linearity is not given (for example because of talents like Death's Embrace!), I'll stick to it because it's the best model I have. So, for all shadow spells, it will do 0.35*12% more damage. Well, actually not for all the shadow spells, because you will use Drain Soul only below 25% and you will stop using Shadow Bolt then (except for NF-Procs). So Shadow Bolt gets only 0.10*12% (Between 35% and 25% percent) bonus while Drain Soul gets the full 12%.

==Which potion should I use?==

There are three dps choices here: Wild Magic, Speed and Mana. Alternatively, there is the Alchemist's variant and a Heal Potion. As usual, I take a look at a whole minute midfight.

The Potion of Speed makes a clear first place with a ~179 / 220 dps increase (880 dps while active).

The Wild Magic Potion increases the dps by ~130 / 150 for the minute (meaning it gives about 600 extra dps while active).

The mana savings from Runic Mana Potion give ~64 / 73 dps (assuming that you actually need mana).

So when it comes to pure dps burst, the Potion of Speed is clearly the best choice. For survival, there is no real alternative to the Runic Healing Potion except for very situational uses.

Alchemist are in an unclear situation: Their Crazy Alchemist Potion can be the best potion if they get the right effect, but also turn out as as a useless armor increase. As you cannot rely on anything but the heal/mana part, it probably has to be considered as a cheap rejuvenation pot with a mostly small side effect.

==Glyph comparison==

Glyph of Quick Decay 471.24 / 648.38 dps

Adding haste rating to Corruption - the best glyph by far at the moment.

Glyph of Life Tap 248.97 / 324.74 dps

As you would lifetap 1.5 times a minute anyway, this glyph gives a huge spellpower increase at no costs. Even when you don't need the mana the GCD is worth it (think of general vezax here. Downgrading the spell to rank 1 is a smart action for situations like that). As a side effect, the impact of this glyph makes spirit an even better damage stat.

Glyph of Haunt 88.36 / 89.87 dps

Increasing the Haunt effect by 3% is an 2.5% increase to all your dots and results in about 1.2%-1.5% overall damage increase, which is quite good for a single glyph.

All other glyphs are inferior to these:

Glyph of Curse of Agony 30.51 -> 37.04 -> 62.86 dps

There are two more heavy ticks when you use this glyph. The damage amount coming from spell power does NOT change per tick (but of course the DPCT changes). The damage plus from the additional ticks is constant and can be computed like this: base dps unglyphed = 1740/24s = 72.5 dps. base dps glyphed = (1740 + 2x389)/(24+4)s = 89.93 dps. So the glyph gives a constant 17.43 dps increase here. Furthermore, you gain (60/24 - 60/28)s = 0.358s per minute because you have to recast CoA less often. In this time, you can cast your filler spell, giving you another 784.6 / 1176.3 dpm or 13.08 / 19.61 dps.

Glyph of Corruption 12.49 dps -> 19.47 -> 36.01 dps

This glyph increases the proc chance of Nightfall by 4% (or by 3.96% if it really is multiplicative and you have talent points in Nightfall - it does not make a measurable difference and none will ever know). The effect is not very good dps-wise. As a side note, this means that the talent Nightfall is not very good dps-wise, either.

Glyph of Shadow Bolt 10.94 dps -> 14.14 -> 20.24 dps

This one is quite weak - mana costs are just not really important to a warlock.

Glyph of Unstable Affliction 0 dps -> 0 dps

Decrease Base Casting time of UA by 0.2s (before haste. This works like the talent bane for sb/immo.) Unfortunately, it does not lower the GCD for Unstable Affliction. Your cast will be followed by a 0.2s GCD and so, the Glyph will not give any DPS increase.

==Set bonuses and procs==

===2pT7 and 4pT7===

2pT7 procs Demonic Soul. The proc chance seems to be 15%, it has no internal cooldown. The question here is: How much "real" crit rate is this for our shadow bolts? Within a minute, there are 20 Corruption ticks and rougly 18 Immolation ticks (90% uptime). So, this should proc 5.7 times per minute. According to the simulation, you will cast rougly 16-18 shadow bolts in a minute, depending on haste and so on. So assuming the buff is always used (never fades, never procs again before a shadow bolt is fired), roughly one third of your shadow bolts will benefit. So, the bonus is in fact like "increases the crit chance of your shadow bolt spell by 3.3%". This is worth roughly 23.85 / 35.93dps, which is nice, but not overwhelming.

4pT7 procs Spirit of the Damned after each Life Tap (not stacking, of course). According to the dps model, 300 Spirit increase your dps by ~130. The more difficult question is how much uptime the buff will have. There are, of course, fights where you don't Life Tap, where you Life Tap only in non-dps situations and so on - but ignoring these, in our model you use 5.7 Life Taps per minute to restore your mana. If you place the Life Taps ideally distributed, that means the buff is up 57 out of 60 seconds, which is basically all the time. Thus, the damage increase would be ~120 dps.

With high end T7 equip, you would only need about 4 Life Taps per minute, meaning the buff is up for about 2/3 of the time, equaling roughly 100 dps.

This amount is reduced by anything that improves your mana-regeneration, for example Replenishing buffs from Shadow Priests.

So when it comes to equip comparison, keep in mind that Tier7-pieces have a built-in ~25 dps each if you use your Life Taps correctly. But also keep in mind that better equip means fewer Life Taps, meaning the value of 4pT7 is high when you start in naxx, but will be significantly lower when you leave naxx.

Side note: Someone pointed out that using Life Tap twice may still be an option as the second one benefits from the buff. I won't compute anything about it, my guess it that it doesn't work out to throw away about 8s of buff time just to get some extra mana. Prove me wrong!

Someone else pointed out that a good warlock tries to be oom when the boss hits 0%, meaning you won't Life Tap in the last minute of the fight. This, of course, makes the buff weaker, especially for short fights. (Three minute fight -> buff loses 1/3 of its value).

So as a general rule: The T7 pieces are not bad on themselves, and the set bonuses increase their value. But neither the 2p- nor the 4p- bonus seems to be mandatory. If you can replace your T7 pieces with best-in-slot pieces, e.g. the few iLevel 226 items, it is definitely worth considering. Nevertheless, do not underestimate how easy you can get the T7 pieces as they come from tokens and basically drop "all the time".

===2pT8 and 4pT8===

2pT8 increases the damage done by Unstable Affliction by a huge 20%. This gives a dps boost of 159.85 / 189.5 dps, making the 2pT8 the best set bonus so far. 4pT8 increases Shadow Bolt's crit chance by 5%, giving a solid 77.48 / 84.59dps increase.

===2pT9 and 4pT9===

2pT9 increases pet critical strike chance by 10%. Unfortunately, this does not affect an affliction warlocks own dps. Simcraft shows around 600 pet dps (succubus), so this bonus should be worth roughly 60 dps (bad estimation). Not a very good set bonus for affliction warlocks.

On the other hand, 4pT9 increases both Corruption and UA damage by 10%. This is even better than 4pT8 and gives a sparkling 224.51 / 361 dps bonus. So 4pT9 is an unavoidable gear choice as it seems.

===2pT10 and 4pT10===

2pT10 increases the critical strike chance of Corruption and Shadow Bolt by 5%, resulting in ~196 dps in ToC gear, so losing upgrading from 4pT9 actually hurts your dps.

4pT10 gives a 15% chance of a 10% damage increase for 10s everytime UA ticks. The uptime of this buff is therefore ~41.7%, resulting in a 4.17% damage increase and making 4pT10 a must-have as expected (366 dps).

===How do on-cast trinkets work?===

The value of trinkets with an on-cast proc depends on two invisible numbers, their internal cooldown (ICD) and their proc rate. The proc rate is the chance that the trinkets actually procs on a cast, the ICD is the amount of time the trinket just cannot proc again after a proc. More or less all trinkets have a proc chance of 10% or 15% and an ICD of 45s.

The average proc time is ICD + average proc time when no ICD is up.

The "average proc time when no ICD is up" is

(time of first proc chance) * (proc rate) +

(time of second proc chance) * (proc rate) * (1-proc rate) +

(time of third proc chance) * (proc rate) * (1-proc rate) * (1-proc rate) +

(time of fourth proc chance) * (proc rate) * (1-proc rate) * (1-proc rate) * (1 - proc rate) and so on and so on.

The "time of n-th proc rate" is just (n-0.5)*average casting time. You can be lucky and hit a spell the moment the ICD is gone and get a proc, or on the next spell, or the one after that, and so on. The "0.5" helps to get an "average" moment.

For example, a 15% proc chance gives an average time of 10.88s between procs (if there is no internal cooldown present). A 10% proc change gives an average time of 14.32s. With an ICD of 45s, trinkets generally proc once per minute, roughly.

===On-use trinkets===

On-use trinkets usually have a two-minute cooldown. Even when used immediately when the CD is up, the on-use abilities usually give less dps on the same item level in the average, mainly because the use-bonus is only slightly higher than the proc bonus, but the proc occurs twice as often.

On the other hand, you get the option to use them in the best moment possible, e.g. when other buffs like heroism or your wild magic potion hit.

=Review of WotLK=

==What did 3.0 bring?==

In 3.0, Affliction became THE warlock dps spec. It was rather complicated to play, but as content was not too difficult, many players were able to juggle 5 different dots (Corruption, UA, Immolation, Siphon Life, CoA) and beat the meters on almost any given encounter.

==What did 3.1 change?==

3.1 reduced the difficulty of playing affliction by a large amount, mainly by reducing the spell priority list by two spells, Immolation and Siphon Life. The patch also reduced the damage output of Affliction, mainly by changing the way and the amount of Drain Soul's scaling (It became less and it became independent of other warlock's curses).

==What did 3.2 change?==

The playing style remained unchanged, although slight changes buffed the damage output a bit (e.g. Haunt became a 100%-Crit).

==What did 3.3 change?==

The general playing style remained unchanged, yet the buff to pet scaling via talents as well as the new [item]Glyph of Quick Decay[/item] increased the damage output significantly. As a consequence, Corruption can now be refreshed by Shadow Bolt and Drain Soul, making the rotation more forgiving especially in the sub-25% phase. Currently, Affliction seems on-par with Destruction when it comes to single target dps.

==What will 4.0 bring?==

According to the vague blue posts there will be several changes to the warlock class and affliction, to name a few of them:

  • All DoT effects will scale with haste and crit naturally. Haste scaling will not decrease the duration but simply increase the tick frequency.
  • Casting a DoT on a target that is already afflicted with this DoT will simply refresh the duration. While clipping DoTs will probably still be bad, it will be less bad this way.
  • Curse of Agony becomes Bane of Agony, thus giving more freedom in using general purpose curses like CoE.
  • Shards are now limited cooldowns, the only one interesting for PvE seems to be an instant Soulfire.
  • Drain Soul refreshes Bane of Agony and Unstable Affliction in execute range, easing the rotation a lot (basically, it will be Drain Soul -> Haunt -> repeat).
  • New spell: Fel Flame is an instant refreshing Unstable Affliction. This might replace casting Unstable Affliction completely, giving more mobility (as it is an instant cast).
  • New spells: Dark Intent is just a single target buff that buffs ourselves as well (like Focus Magic), Demon Soul seems to be a spec-specific burst cooldown on a short CD (2 min).

Of course, this list will not be the be-all-end-all of warlock changes, this is just a short and flawed overview in case you lived under a stone during the last weeks.

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12/02/08: Version 1.0 Start

12/03/08: First version of the dps/dpct calculation and an overall dps estimation.

12/10/08: First version of Item Charts (Gems & Head pieces).

12/16/08: Lots of changes to formula and values. Added more text to many parts. Included playing tips from Fallenmen (thx for these). Included mana into the calculation. The results should be more or less accurate now for the given stats.

01/13/09: Finished the Item comparison. Changed some parts of the dps computation (thx to Kalle).

01/26/09: Changed how hit affects dots. Added computation for High End T7 Gear.

02/10/09: Added Addon-Part and started Talent Choice part (still under construction)

02/19/09: Corrected a severe error (CoA damage was missing in the dps calculation). Added glyphs to "green" computation.

04/16/09: started the 3.1 update

05/08/09: finished 3.1 item update & computation update & most of the math part update

11/23/09: 3.2 finished, some new categories, fixed mana/int issues in the sim.

01/15/10: 3.3 finished.

03/01/10: 3.32 finished.

06/03/10: 3.33 finished plus update.

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OK.. being new to 80 but having raided into BT in Burning crusade I have a question as it relates to Afflcition Spec'd Warlocks.

Being previously raid-spec'd and desto/demo build the new Affliciton build for level 80 are a little more confusing....

Looking at other sites and plugging the numbers in everything I see shows hit rating even with 3 points in Suppression seems to need to be in the neighborhood of +360-460 to hit. I understand the mechanics of the % on to hit...

.... But haste seems to be more common and valuable for gear rather than + to hit

Which is more important for and Affliction 56 / 0 / 15 ruin build Warlock?

1) Haste and Damage

2) Haste and crit

3) + to hit and Damage

Almost every piece of gear I look at seems to be all about haste.... What gives?

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(DP is first choice as long as your pet has sufficient mana left. This might change with 4 pieces of T7)

I would like to add that in fights that are not healing intensive, life tap is preferable to dark pact depending upon gear. At raid-buffed 680 spirit, I lifetap for 4269 mana and dark pact for just over 3000. Clearly lifetap is preferable because both use the same GCD. I was fine to lifetap last night during Malygos 25-man even, so keep a keen eye for raid health and healer reaction time. I would say DP is preferable outside of combat time.

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Debuffs on the boss:

+13% damage (CoE/Earth & Moon)

+ Ebon Plaguebringer

It is also worth noting the optimal way to get your spells on a target, then after they are up its just dot juggling.

(Curse) SB -> Haunt -> UA -> Immo -> (CoA) -> Corr -> SL

Important to always cast UA/Immo together (just makes your life more easy).

Also update the post to say that DP is worthless and is barely worth the points anymore. Life Tap scales too well to justify using DP during a fight unless you cant even do damage.

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Also update the post to say that DP is worthless and is barely worth the points anymore. Life Tap scales too well to justify using DP during a fight unless you cant even do damage.

Naturally I agree, but I think it is still worth the point...sadly it's situational use is quite nice. However, without it, we are free to let our felhounds run in and wreck some face.

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+ Ebon Plaguebringer

It is also worth noting the optimal way to get your spells on a target, then after they are up its just dot juggling.

(Curse) SB -> Haunt -> UA -> Immo -> (CoA) -> Corr -> SL

I'm not convinced it's a good idea to cast 7 seconds' worth of spells before dropping your highest-damage DOT. I'd rather slightly postpone getting a 2-stack of Shadow Embrace and do:

(Curse) Haunt -> UA -> Corruption -> (CoA) -> SL -> SB -> Immolate

That gets your best mainline DPS spells ticking as soon as possible. Immolate's fairly weak and doesn't interact at all with any Affliction talents, so I prefer to leave it until last. Of course that could be because until recently I just wasn't using it at all, and it fits most easily on the end of my established rotation.

Also update the post to say that DP is worthless and is barely worth the points anymore. Life Tap scales too well to justify using DP during a fight unless you cant even do damage.

I agree with this. As far as I can tell there is no Spirit scaling in place for Dark Pact. With raid buffs I can Tap for around 4000 mana, while Pact gives around 2000. As my spirit improves this difference will no doubt grow. My current spec has Dark Pact, but I'll probably swap that out when I respec for either 1/2 Improved CoA or a point in Grim Reach (I can drop Shadowburn for a point in Destructive Reach too, so everything has the same range).

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I've been reading forums for a while and I've not found any reference to pawn values for affliction gear... anybody has any issues?

thx :)

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Things I've found through my experiences (currently hitting 4k dps consistently on Patchwerk with pretty piss-poor gear):

- Clipping DoT's, ANY DOT, is bad. A lot of warlocks stupidly think that the only DoT that shouldn't be clipped is Curse of Agony, because it's dmg scales with time. I've found that my DPS is usually higher just by letting every DoT take it's full course. Usually I'll be re-applying UA and Immolate once UA's timer hits about a second. It's purely due to the opportunity cost. You could take that 1.5 seconds to cast Siphon Life early, or you could get 60% through a shadow-bolt cast. Shadowbolt is usually better considering that the other DoT is going to deal dmg by doing nothing.

Optimal opening rotation

Shadow Bolt --> Trinket Haunt --> Shadow Bolt --> UA --> Immolate --> Corruption --> CoA --> Siphon Life --> Haunt

I've tested this out several several times. The key is to make sure that your projectiles have actually hit the boss before your DoT's get applied, and that the server has time to get both the Shadow Embrace stack AND the Haunt effect. This rotation will start applying DoT's when shadow embrace is up twice and haunt is up, and it won't let Haunt fall off either. Trinket should hit every spell.

25% optimal rotation:

- Cast Haunt --> Siphon Life --> UA --> Curse of Agony

- Cast Drain Soul for 1 tick

- Cast Haunt (if you're having trouble clipping DoT's, I just hit Haunt about a second after the CD is done)

- Cast Drain Soul for 3 ticks

- Cast Haunt --> Lifetap --> Unstable Affliction [note, you can wait a bit here to not clip the last tick. If you have a lot of Haste, it's probably worth clipping the last tick]

- Cast Haunt

- Cast Drain Soul for 3 ticks


Time - CoA - UA - SL - Haunt CD/Time Left
0 / / / 0/0 -- Start
1.5 / / / 6.5/10.5 -- Cast Haunt
3 / / 30 5/9 -- Cast SL
4.5 / 18 28.5 3.5/7.5 -- Cast UA
6 28 16.5 27 2/6 -- Cast CoA
9* 25 13.5 24 0/3 -- Cast Drain Soul (1 tick)
10.5 23.5 12 22.5 8/12 -- Cast Haunt
19.5* 14.5 3 13.5 0/3 -- Cast Drain Soul (3 ticks)
21 13 1.5 12 8/12 -- Cast Haunt
24 10 18 9 5/9 -- Cast Lifetap --> UA
33 1 9 0 0/0 -- Cast Drain Soul (3 ticks)
Repeat - (Nightfall if it's up)

[b]I know that haste changes this rotation.[/b] But really, the only thing it changes are Drain Soul ticks. With adequate haste, you can fit in another tick at the two * points. I personally have about 17% haste, and I hit the two asterix points for the drain souls.

And yes, I have it memorized.

"openner --> short drain --> haunt --> long drain --> haunt --> quick up --> long drain"

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As far as key talents are concerned, i think Soul Siphon and Death's embrace are definitely important aspects to an affliction spec, these allow DS at 25% to tick upwards of 8k (i'm closing on 9 with roughly 2k SP). Personally, I also still find imp drain soul to be necessary, with decent tanks I'm riding about 70-80% threat, with the talent, and the way I see it, the lower you're threat, the better. Also, 5/5 ruin is not really that important, SB does come out as the highest damage dealing ability, but the points can be better spent, seeing as the bulk of aff lock's dmg is still from dots.

here is my current spec:

Talent Calculator - World of Warcraft

I find it works very well for entrance level raiding (I was easily topping naxx 10 against similarly geared dps), although certain points may need to be tweaked as gear improves, for example hit talents, or perhaps moving into 5/5 ruin as crit increases. Or DP...the fact that it doesn't take health is nice, but easily remedied by simply lifetapping just before refreshing haunt in order to catch the returning heal.

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I've tested this out several several times. The key is to make sure that your projectiles have actually hit the boss before your DoT's get applied, and that the server has time to get both the Shadow Embrace stack AND the Haunt effect. This rotation will start applying DoT's when shadow embrace is up twice and haunt is up, and it won't let Haunt fall off either. Trinket should hit every spell.

This isn't accurate. There is no need to add a 2nd SB after the first SB and haunt. Unlike self buffs such as a trinket, DoTs will receive the benefit of any debuff added to a mob even if the debuff is added after the DoT was initially cast.

For example, go to a target dummy, and cast corruption. Let it tick twice, then cast a shadowbolt. As soon as the shadowbolt hits and the shadow embrace debuff is applied, all remaining corruption ticks will increase in damage from the shadow embrace debuff, so long as the debuff remains up. So, effectively, DoTs increase and decrease their damage "on the fly" dynamically with debuffs as they go on and off the target. :)

So, while you may cast SB, Haunt, and then say Corruption or CoA, the debuff of haunt and 2x SE will be up by the time the first tick of Corruption occurs, even if you had corruption up before Haunt actually landed on the target.

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This may have been answered in another thread and I apologize in advance if it has for my laziness. This may also be a stupid question, but I just want to make sure what I'm thinking is correct.

When your target is below 25% health and you begin to cast Drain Soul over Shadowbolt, is it essential to not let Haunt run it's full duration? Haunt has a 12 second effect as does Shadow Embrace. With the cast time of Haunt, you'll lose any accumulated Shadow Embrace stacks, assuming you let Haunt run it's full duration, correct? So would it be correct to basically cast Haunt every time the CD is up during the last 25%?

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This may have been answered in another thread and I apologize in advance if it has for my laziness. This may also be a stupid question, but I just want to make sure what I'm thinking is correct.

When your target is below 25% health and you begin to cast Drain Soul over Shadowbolt, is it essential to not let Haunt run it's full duration? Haunt has a 12 second effect as does Shadow Embrace. With the cast time of Haunt, you'll lose any accumulated Shadow Embrace stacks, assuming you let Haunt run it's full duration, correct? So would it be correct to basically cast Haunt every time the CD is up during the last 25%?

Not only is it important to try to keep haunt up <25%, but also refresh your other dots as well because of Soul Siphon. For as much damage as DS does, it's worth adding a shadow bolt to maintain Embrace. Basically, continue keeping your rotation going (possibly with the exception of Immolate since it doesn't count towards Soul Siphon), but after the first bolt, switch to drain soul and repeat.

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My starting rotation is UA > Haunt > Corr > CoA > SL > bolt

UA then Haunt makes sure no second of Haunt is wasted, UA will benefit from it, corr applied soon as possible.No bolt for SE before dots. I'd rather have Corr up asap, -5% less for that tick, but it ticks earlier!

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I suspect the DS thing is a common question so it should probably be added to the guide.

You do not need to let DS run its full 15-second duration. Do not treat it as a 15-second channel. Treat it as 5 3-second channels. I know we've drilled into your head previously never to interrupt a spellcast before, but that's because we were dealing with casted spells, not channeled spells. Shadowpriests already know, and we're finding out, that the reason you don't interrupt a casted spell is that you lose the *entire* cast, and there is no spell whose DPCT is worth it when you add a 0.5s deadtime to the beginning of it, which is basically what you're doing when you cancel (or wait for a duration/cooldown, which is the same thing). This logic does not apply to channeled spells, because if you cancel it early you still get some of the spell. Your mana efficiency goes down, but don't actually lose DPS or DPCT. With Drain Soul it's imperative to cut it as close as you can to the ticks, since three seconds between ticks is a long time (longer than shadowbolt). But remember, DS is only better than shadowbolt, not any other affliction spells in your rotation, so if you can interrupt it with no* damage loss you should.

*Ok fine, lifetap time. If you're a smart warlock you'll have tapped to full and be ready for 25%.

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Fel Armor: 150 Spelldamage

I am pretty sure this is actually 180 base +damage at level 80.

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I am pretty sure this is actually 180 base +damage at level 80.

It is. Fel Armor Rank 4 provides spell power equal to 180 base +30% of your spirit.

Fel Armor - Spell - World of Warcraft

If you're going to take the time to put up an 'informative' post, PLEASE at least make sure your information is correct!

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My fault, changed it (and some other small things).

My next plan is to do the calculation of dps/dpct of all the spells used with the stats used above (and naxx10-stats and naxx-25-stats as well) and give a good estimation of "normal" dps. I can then easily derive the values of hit, spelldamage, crit and haste and start to rate equip and gems based on that (a little bit like the "Gearing your warlock" system from canadiangimp).

I'll also add some of the specs from the spec-discussion-thread.

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Share on other sites - Affliction Warlock DPS Gear Rankings

Can be used as a rough guide on the pieces of interest to Affliction and Locks in general.

MaxDPS is generally a horribly inaccurate reflection of what gear/stats are good and bad. People would be much better off using the sim (and the spreadsheet when it's updated) to figure out their stat EPs. You can then use LootRank (I think?) to plug in the EPs and get recommended gear.

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Hence the "rough" part. I can imagine many people lack the interest/time/devotion to maintain a spreadsheet, so just to get a basic picture of what loot they should be aiming on acquiring, the MaxDPS list is sufficient. I'm just trying to prevent any future "whats best gear setup" spam followed by "use the spreadsheet".

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