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Warlock Mechanics in Cataclysm

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#1 moop


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Posted 16 February 2011 - 02:48 AM

The intention of this thread is to isolate posting of Warlock Mechanics in Cataclysm to a specific location for easier contribution, reading, and discussion. Posts hereafter should relate to helping enhance our performance in a raiding environment. Appropriate topics for discussion include; creative use of spells, talents, glyphs, pets, professions, races, and items, in order to maximise efficiency, damage, and survivability. Inappropriate topics for discussion include; general tips which apply to all classes (e.g. pre-potting), 5-man instances, PvP, and soloing.

Recently added entries are highlighted in blue.

==Bane of Havoc==
==Dark Intent==
  • [Dark Intent] no longer stacks when placed on a single target by multiple Warlocks.
  • The range which someone can benefit from the periodic damage/healing buff from [Dark Intent] is 50,000 yards, i.e. anywhere within an instance. [source]
  • If the person you cast [Dark Intent] on dies, you will keep your buff, however, if you die, they will lose their buff.
  • The 3% Haste granted by [Dark Intent] scales multiplicatively with your total Haste. For example, if you have 20% Haste unbuffed and cast [Dark Intent], your new total will be 23.6%, not 23%.
==Demon Soul==
===Seed of Corruption===
==Soul Swap==
  • [Soul Swap] separately transfers each copied DoT to a new target in a single global cooldown, as if they were each cast manually; consequently, the copied DoT spells' miss chances are tested on an individual basis, i.e. if one DoT spell misses, the others can still hit. Incidentally, the damage dealt by [Soul Swap Exhale] can miss and does not have an effect on the copied DoT spells' chance to miss.
  • The initial spell which triggers the 30% damage reduction from Destruction's [Nether Protection] talent is not reduced by 30%. [source]
  • You only need to be out of combat to begin channelling [Soul Harvest]; entering combat afterwards will not interrupt the cast.
  • You will still be able to cast both [Fel Flame] and [Hand of Gul'dan] if you are interrupted in either your Shadow or Fire school.
  • You will not be able to cast any spells in either your Shadow or Fire schools if you are interrupted while casting [Hand of Gul'dan].
  • [Chaos Bolt] cannot miss, i.e. it always has a 100% chance to hit. This does not apply to immunities. [source]
  • [Hand of Gul'dan] can now miss; it had a 100% chance to hit prior to Patch 4.3. [source]

==Tier Sets==
===Tier 11: 4-set (Fel Spark)===
  • When [Fel Spark] procs, it's possible to cast an enhanced [Fel Flame] 3 times, instead of 2, depending on your Haste and distance from the target. The buff is consumed when the spell lands, not when it's cast. Particularly useful on Al'Akir, see below. [source]
  • [Fel Spark] is not consumed when the damage from [Fel Flame] misses in any way, i.e. Absorb, Immune, Miss, Deflect, etc. [source]
  • A [Fel Spark] stack is consumed and your [Fel Flame] does no additional damage if you gain the buff directly after you cast [Fel Flame], but before the spell hits the target. [source]

===Tier 12: 4-set (Apocalypse)===

===Tier 13: 2-set===
  • Before entering combat, it's possible to equip 2 pieces of T13, summon a Doomguard/Infernal, switch to another set of gear, and still receive the full benefit from the T13 2P Bonus. [source]
===Tier 13: 4-set (Temporal Ruin)===


=Pets & Guardians=
  • The Imp's global cooldown is capped at a minimum of 1.5 seconds (potentially a bug). [source]
  • The Imp's [Flee] ability has a 40 yard range; if the Imp is more than 40 yards away from the player and [Flee] is used, the cooldown will be consumed, but the pet will not jump to the player.
  • The Imp's [Flee] ability causes it jump infinitely vertically during the Nefarian encounter and despawn due to range. The same can be reproduced in Halls of Origination on the elevator. [true as of 4.0.3a; needs confirmation in 4.0.6]
  • The Felguard can auto-attack and cast its abilities during Felstorm, despite what the tooltip suggests. [fixed in patch 4.1]
  • Infernals, Doomguards, and Ebon Imps spawned from [Bane of Doom] can be (re)assigned to a specific target using your standard pet commands, i.e. call them back using Follow/Passive, then set them to Attack.


  • -

==Tier 11==
===Blackwing Descent===
====Omnotron Defense System====
  • Pets benefit from Arcanotron's [Power Generator] ability - while standing in it, you can call your Imp to you using its [Flee] ability so it can also receive the debuff.
  • Spells applied/refreshed while standing in Arcanotron's [Power Generator] or [Overcharged Power Generator] (Heroic) receive the damage boost for the full duration of the DoT, so it's a good idea to use/re-cast abilities with high DPET's, such as [Bane of Doom] and [Immolate], just before the pool expires/explodes. [source]
  • Guardians cannot trigger the shields on Arcanotron, Electron, or Toxitron. Magmatron's shield simply absorbs damage, though none of our Guardians alone will do enough damage to break it, so you shouldn't be too concerned. [source #1] [source #2]


  • (Heroic) [Sonar Pulse] can target pets, however, they do not take damage from it.
  • [Shadowflame] can hit the boss from an abnormally large distance due to his hitbox.



===Bastion of Twilight===
====Ascendant Council====


===Throne of the Four Winds===
  • In Phase 1, it's possible to place your [Demonic Circle] such that you can teleport immediately after [Wind Burst] to avoid having to run into Melee range of the boss.
  • In Phase 2, Stormlings can spawn on pets, so you should place your pet according to your tactic.
  • In Phase 3, pets to fall to their death, i.e. despawn due to falling out of range.
  • In Phase 3, spells take an abnormally long time to reach the boss, so it's possible to cast 4-6 empowered [Fel Flame] under the effect of the [Fel Spark] buff. [source]

====Conclave of Wind====

==Tier 12==
  • DoT's cast while Rageface is afflicted by [Face Rage] will maintain a 100% Critical strike chance, even after the debuff has faded.

====Lord Rhyolith====
  • As Affliction, you can cast [Soul Swap] on the boss before he transitions into his molten form (at 25% health) and then [Soul Swap Exhale] to get your DoT's up as fast as possible.

  • If you begin channelling [Drain Soul] on a Cinderweb Drone before it retreats to the upper web, it will continue to deal damage even after the Drone has moved out of line of sight.
  • A Felhunter's [Spell Lock] can be used to interrupt Cinderweb Spinners' [Fiery Web Spin] while they are in the air.
  • The boss can be pulled using [Curse of the Elements], in order to maximise DPS for the players assigned to go up.
  • A well-placed [Demonic Circle] can be teleported to from directly underneath it, instead of having to wait for a Cinderweb Spinner's web to climb up.

  • As Affliction, with enough stacks of [Blazing Power], it's likely a DPS increase to switch from [Shadow Bolt] to [Drain Soul], since the cast time of [Shadow Bolt] drops below the GCD.
  • [Shadowflame] can hit the boss from an abnormally large distance due to his hitbox.
  • If you begin channelling [Drain Soul] before you've hidden behind a meteor, it will continue to deal damage even after you have moved out of line of sight to avoid [Firestorm].

  • [Shadowflame] can hit the boss from an abnormally large distance due to his hitbox.
  • If you aren't using your Soul Shards for anything else, [Soulburn] can be combined with [Demonic Circle: Teleport] for the 50% speed increase to help you reach the person you are linked with (i.e. [Countdown]) if they are far away.

====Majordomo Staghelm====

  • Receiving a [Hand of Protection] from a Paladin before [Molten Seeds] land will prevent you from being targeted, allowing you to freely cast on the adds, according to your raid's tactic.
  • [Shadowflame] can hit the boss from an abnormally large distance due to his hitbox.
  • The following are valid ways to stun/knockback Molten Elementals; [Shadowfury], Succubus' [Whiplash], Felguard's [Axe Toss], and the Infernal's [Infernal Awakening]. Additionally, if you have Demonology's [Aura of Foreboding] talent and it's timed correctly, [Hand of Gul'dan] can be used as a stun.
  • [Demonic Circle] can be used to detonate [Magma Trap]. It's important to use it immediately after the trap explodes, instead of using it as you fall down, because the client may not register that you are in range before you hit the ground (and die!).

==Tier 13==
===Dragon Soul===
  • -

====Warlord Zonozz====
  • -

====Yorsahj the Unsleeping====

====Hagara the Stormbinder====

  • -

====Warmaster Blackhorn====
  • [Bane of Havoc] can be placed on Goriona as she flies past at the start of the encounter and will continue to damage her throughout the fight. You must initially be stood on this railing in order to be in casting range when the encounter begins.

====Spine of Deathwing====
  • Prior to performing a roll, [Demonic Circle] can be placed outside of the [Grasping Tendrils] and then - once inside - used the moment you see the Hideous Amalgamation(s) flying off, causing you to take minimal damage.

====Madness of Deathwing====
  • As with Conclave of Wind in Throne of the Four Winds, it's possible to start the encounter on another platform, cast [Bane of Havoc], then jump to the platform you're supposed to be on. Damage dealt to the baned target will help you later on, because the tentacles' healths are not reset at any point during the encounter.

Note: When posting, if applicable, please provide solid evidence in the form of logs, screenshots, or links, otherwise I will not include your contribution in the list.
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#2 Callandor


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Posted 16 February 2011 - 03:47 PM

Casting Shadowflame on 4 or more adds while BoH is already up is a single-target DPS increase over Incinerate. This applies in raiding to Lava Parasites on Magmaw Heroic, Animated Bone Warriors on Nefarian (while Onyxia is alive), and the adds on Anshals platform on Conclave of Wind.

Maths (my own SimCraft numbers, but you can use SimCraft BiS or your own and it will still hold true as the figures won't vary that much):

Incinerate DPCT - 11040
Shadowflame DPCT - 19747
Corruption DPCT - 26249

BoH transfers 15% damage. Thus you must do 1/0.15 = 6.67 times the amount of raw damage for AoE to be worth it.

(6.67 x 11040) / 19747 = 3.72 = 4 adds, rounded up. There are way more adds than that on heroic, so casting it on the adds if they are in range is better than Incinerate. Obviously the better the spell you compare it to the more adds required for SHadowflame to supercede it. For example, using Shadwoflame over Corruption would require 9 adds.

#3 Derishi


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Posted 16 February 2011 - 03:55 PM

Obvious and widely known ones, but Bane of Havoc can still damage units that have become untargettable (ie. Magmaw, Ascendant Council, Omnotron Defense System)

#4 moop


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Posted 16 February 2011 - 04:13 PM

Obvious and widely known ones, but Bane of Havoc can still damage units that have become untargettable (ie. Magmaw, Ascendant Council, Omnotron Defense System)

Could you provide some form of proof for this? I've seen it mentioned here and there, but haven't seen anything indisputable.

[edit] I may have found something myself. What seems to be happening, at least on Magmaw, is that the damage done by Bane of Havoc - after being cast on Exposed Head of Magmaw - is being dealt to Magmaw (without the bonus damage the Head takes) and is increased by the 8% provided by Curse of the Elements. Check this log at around [20:05:01.998]:

[20:05:01.998] Xantros Conflagrate Magmaw *29653*
[20:05:02.747] Xantros Bane of Havoc Magmaw 4804

The damage being dealt is to be expected from a target with only BoH + CoE applied to it, i.e. 29653 * 0.15 * 1.08 = 4803.786.
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#5 Fuqup


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Posted 16 February 2011 - 04:28 PM

Bane of Havoc
- Magmaw: Warlocks can put Bane of Havoc on Magmaw right before Magmaw's Head becomes exposed, allowing for more bonus damage during the burn phase.
- BoH can also be used effectively on: Valiona/Theralion (on the inactive dragon), Halfus Wyrmbreaker (on Halfus while killing drakes), Ascendant Council, and P1/P2 of Nefarian. I do not have numbers to support whether it is worth using on Cho'gall for Corrupted Adherents.

I can confirm that this ability returns soul shards on the following adds:
- Halfus: any of the large drakes (have not tested on individual whelps)
- Cho'gall: Corrupted Adherents (have not tested on any other add yet)
- Magmaw: Lava Parasites
- Nefarian: Onyxia
- Al'Akir: Stormlings
This is an incomplete list. If you do not spec into Shadowburn, or you are a Demonology or Affliction warlock, I assume Drain Soul works similarly.

Demonic Circle
- Conclave: can be used to avoid fall damage on the wind platform. You can also teleport back to the stage if you are knocked off by a tornado or Wind Blast.
- Al'akir: in addition to Wind Blast, it can be used to teleport through tornado walls. Pets are unaffected by the wall. If you find yourself using this ability often, it may be worth using Glyph of Demonic Circle for the 4-second CD reduction.
- Does not work on any surface on the Nefarian encounter.
- Ascendant Council: can be used if you are knocked back by Ignacious' Inferno Leap. Can also be used to avoid fall damage from Gravity Crush in P3.

- Chimaeron: destruction warlocks are nearly self-sustainable on this fight thanks to Soul Leech and Fel Armor. Additionally, switching to Demon Armor for 20% extra healing is beneficial during Feud phases. If you have Dark Intent on a healer during P1, switch it to another raid member in P2, as HoTs are completely ineffective in this phase.
- Cho'gall: The following abilities will break Worship: Shadowfury, Death Coil, Fear, Howl of Terror. Whiplash (Succubus knockback ability) does NOT work in my experience. I have not tested the felhunter's Spell Lock or the felguard's Axe Toss.

#6 netsach


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Posted 16 February 2011 - 04:33 PM

Casting Shadowflame on ... Animated Bone Warriors on Nefarian (while Onyxia is alive)

... is imho a waste : they can't be killed (they only run out of energy and lay down) so any damage done to them would be better on Onyxia/Nefarian

#7 dakalro


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Posted 16 February 2011 - 04:49 PM

... is imho a waste : they can't be killed (they only run out of energy and lay down) so any damage done to them would be better on Onyxia/Nefarian

That's the whole point, as long as you don't lose dps by moving any shadowflame done to 4+ targets at the same time is better than single target damage you could do if you have havoc up (which you should). For example on Magmaw heroic you have Havoc up all the time after first slump. You can shadowflame parasites while they're passing by/you're running by them for better damage to Magmaw, in this case highest possible DPCT probably.

#8 Madlax


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Posted 16 February 2011 - 08:53 PM

* The boss is susceptible to Curse of Tongues.

That's true, but during last weeks attempts we could not see a cast time increase for his spells, neither on Release Aberrations(2sec) nor on Arcane Storm(6sec).(Granted, we did not want to try whether Arcane Storm ticks would be delayed and just interrupted them all properly :P).
Would be good to verify the benefits on this.

Omnotron heroic:
Guardian demons spawned by CoD do not follow CoD as their main target - and they can trigger Electrons shield.
Refreshing Demoralizing shout or Demo Roar as a tank also proccs Electrons shield - as warlock you might want to offer CoWeakness for serious tries.

#9 FlyingCow


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Posted 16 February 2011 - 10:00 PM

  • Nefarian
  • Demonic Circle cannot be placed on any surface of this encounter.

You can place it on the balcony you jump off starting the encounter. Enables you to port upstairs at the beginning of airphase (mayby also with bomb in heroic mode?) and jump back safely on your pillar (if you are asigned the one under the balcony) to avoid being damaged from lava.

#10 netsach


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Posted 17 February 2011 - 08:52 AM

Edit :
- this post was about not dps'ing adds who can't/won't be killed.
- i was doing wrong calculations, i prefered to edit and delete it than leave misleading informations
- Jenerena/Zakalwe/dakalro corrected me in the 3 posts below this one
- My original post is still to be found in dakalro's post (to avoid dup)

#11 Jenster22


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Posted 17 February 2011 - 09:09 AM

Unless of course you are glyphed for shadowflame; in that case using it on the adds is beneficial. Could I just point out that on the Nefarion encounter, the imp can easily die from Onyxia's shadowflame breath (depending on which way your tank points Onyxia). If you have any petattack macro on spells you cast as you move into the middle, remove them and keep your pet on passive so he stands in the middle.

#12 Zakalwe


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Posted 17 February 2011 - 09:18 AM

from one of the posts above, you need 3.72 adds for shadowflame to equal incinerate

This is obviously wrong, as we all know shadowflame is significantly better than incinerate even on a single target. You misunderstand the post you're referring to - he was already taking into account the math in your post. According to his math, 3.72 is the number of adds you need for shadowflame's contribution to the main target via BoH to equal incinerate.

The only difference in your math is the 7.66 multiplier instead of 6.67, which is correct when your incinerate would have hit a second useful target (in this case Onyxia) and thus done 115% useful damage rather than just 100%. So you do need 5 of the bone warriors to be in front of you before this is worth it, not 4.

Though it's worth pointing out that Callandor's post used DPCT values for incinerate which probably included incinerates cast under the effect of backdraft. So if you happen to have a space in your rotation with no backdraft charges left when these adds pass it's probably worth it with just 4 of them as well - possibly even with 3. (EDIT: Sorry, no, not quite with 3.)

#13 dakalro


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Posted 17 February 2011 - 10:35 AM

Please note that i do understand and agree that dps'ing adds on magmaw with havoc up is better than single target dps. But one can't extend this to nefarian adds, and any other encounters where adds can't be killed.

Let me illustrate : Let's say you're doing X dps on onyxia and 0.15*X from havoc on nefarian (let's forget CoE double dip et al). That's a total of 1.15X usefull dps. Then let's say that you're doing Y=n*X dps on the animated bone warriors, with havoc on nefarian, then you'd be doing 0.15Y=0.15*n*X dps on nefarian, and a total of 1.15Y=1.15*n*X. So of course yes, you're doing n-times more damage wether it be total or havoc-only and that's fantastic.

But the basic n*X dps on the adds is a total and complete waste, as they can't be killed. So in fact, by doing this, you're only doing damage useful for the encounter based on the 0.15*n*X dps (from havoc on nef), which is to be compared to the original 1.15X from dps'ing onyxia with havoc on nefarian. A balance can be found, and it is when 1.15=0.15*n => n=7.66. At this point you yield the same damage from dps'ing adds with havoc on a drake, than from dps'ing a drake with havoc on the other.

If on nefarian's adds (P1) you can do 7.66 times your single-target dps, then you actually contribute to the raid encounter equally to a single-target dps. If you're doing less than 7.66, then you're actually gimping your raid on this encounter. And this can be more precise : from one of the posts above, you need 3.72 adds for shadowflame to equal incinerate. Extendign this to our case, you'd need 3.72*7.66 = ~29 adds for shadowflame to actually reach "single-havoc" balance. And, afaik, there are not 29 adds on nefarian P1.

Conclusion is : so please don't dps nefarian adds, whatever your reason, it is useless to the raid. Of course, the same goes for affliction, affdrain and demonology, and any other fight where adds aren't actually killed ! My whole point is to show that one should differentiate "cosmetic damage meter enhancement" from "actual contribution to the raid encounter"

You do not seem to understand what the damage is used for. You don't kill the adds on Magmaw either, they're kited for the entire duration of the fight - the parasites that is, the skeletons kinda have to die at this point. You can do 5-10xShadowflame on the adds, translated to 16.2% on your Havoc target. That is actually better than doing an Incinerate on your main target, along with beautifying your damage meter numbers you are actually increasing your useful dps at the same time, therefore helping the raid. The whole beauty of it.

The only thing you shouldn't do for this is move to Shadowflame. Also having the main target hit is even better (our kiter passes under Exposed Head of Magmaw quite a bit, that's a lot of damage done to Magmaw in one cast).

And let's not forget on average Shadowflame is 64% better single target than Incinerate (based on 372 simc). I do 1.15*X on Ony + Nef, I do 1.64*X on one Shadowflame. So I do .15*1.64*X effective dps/add hit. With simple math, if I hit 5 adds I already do extra boss damage.

#14 netsach


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Posted 17 February 2011 - 11:00 AM

I'm sorry that i didn't catch the fact that the previous computation was already computing the real havoc bonus damage. This should have been obvious to me, but i forgot that shadowflame dpet is aleady above incinerate's... I do apologize for the misleading post, and time lost answering it ! i edited my previous post to avoid thread clutter and prevent displaying false information.

#15 krilz


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Posted 17 February 2011 - 11:55 AM

Delete this. I withdrawn my statement until I have solid proof in form of combatlogs.

#16 byrel


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Posted 17 February 2011 - 12:23 PM

- Chimaeron: destruction warlocks are nearly self-sustainable on this fight thanks to Soul Leech and Fel Armor. Additionally, switching to Demon Armor for 20% extra healing is beneficial during Feud phases. If you have Dark Intent on a healer during P1, switch it to another raid member in P2, as HoTs are completely ineffective in this phase.

Drain life affliction locks are completely self-sustaining when the bile-o-tron is up

also, life tapping prior to massacre if you have >10k health lets you refill your mana without causing any extra healing to need to be done

#17 VoidStar


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Posted 17 February 2011 - 01:08 PM

Given the fact that the Soul Link damage redirection occurs after the amount of Massacre damage is calculated, getting above 10k shouldn't really be a problem for any of us, indeed if you're above 40k then Massacre won't even get you into the danger zone with a 25% Soul Link.

All three specs have a damage-based self-healing method and Soul Link, and if you get Caustic Slimed just before a Massacre you can always Drain Life yourself back over the 10k mark in less than Massacre's cast time anyway.

Incidentally, I wouldn't suggest Life Tapping just prior to Massacre if you're only just in the ">10k" health bracket: it'd be an embaressing way to die! As long as you're at 15% of your hp + 10k you should be fine though ;-)

#18 Elmi


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Posted 17 February 2011 - 03:33 PM

it seems dark intent's dot/hot buff is not unlimited range, last week I used dark intent on a shadow priest in Conclave of Wind encounter, he was on the west wind platform and i was on the east platform, the dark intent buff didn't proc. I'll test it again this week

Pretty sure that's not true. Buffed DI on a fire mage at the Orgrimmar dummies and still got my stacks well outside Orgrimmar. That's a distance of a few 100yd.

#19 Densar


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Posted 17 February 2011 - 04:44 PM

Nefarian: You cannot place portal anywhere during the encounter but you can place teleport up on the terrace and jump down (dmg is like 20%). Have to beware not teleporting too early because if you get focused by nef while u are not in los of a healer you can die up there. Otherwise when i organise groups for that fight all locks are on the pillar under the terrace so they dont have to take dmg from the lava.

#20 Estha


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Posted 17 February 2011 - 04:46 PM

Omnitron Defense System:

It is not recommended using Bane of Havoc on any robot that has not deactivated his shield yet except Toxitron.
Not sure: scrolling combat text displays normal Bane of Havoc damage on deactivated robots, but did not proof via Logs -> eventually needs more discussion.

Bane of Havoc has decent decreased effect on the Exposed head of Magmaw if not in spike phase.
Fel Synergy won't make up for ignition damage, using 'Flee' is recommended.

Using the "Flee" ability of your imp during phase 2 causes your pet to disappear in most cases.
Your Imp is only able to attack nefarian while not staying on a platform in phase 2 so make sure having at least one point spent in Fel Synergy if you want to maximize boss damage.

Al akir:
Infernal has no use in phase 3 and cannot even be summoned through the lack of targeting ground.

-Axe Toss does interrupt Worship correctly. Tested it pre patch 4.0.6.


Can still attack and 'Legion Strike" targets while in Felstorm. Tested in 4.0.6 on a training dummy.



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