Perhaps a reply to my original post below: Spoke to a lock on beta who told me to refresh dots manually above 20% and to use sbss only for the pull and below 20% This leaves me plenty of shards for haunt and sb harvest life/ sb seed of corruption, I believe.
Relatively new to warlock here. I'm wondering about shard management: from what I've read my priorities should be maintaining dots, particularly agony, then haunt, then maelefic grasp. I just hit 90 on the beta and I'm having a difficult time keeping enough shards to have one for dots and one for haunt.
Should I always keep one shard on reserve for refreshing dots via soulswap and using any beyond that for haunt? I've read that soulburn soulswap is the best way to refresh dots, but I'm wonderring what I shoulld do when I'm above 20 percent and need a shard for haunt? Should I refresh individual dots and use the shard for haunt?*
*edit: Is it a super no no to use drain sould above 20%?
Soulshard management is a big part of what will set bad locks apart from good ones.
Generally you want to save soul shards for when you have Dark Soul (or an other big cd) up, without ever wasting a nightfall proc.
You will use SB:SS to get your DoT's rolling at the beginning of the fight and to refresh your DoT's anytime a "Big" proc/cd is used and just before it ends. Also, during execute SB:SS is used to refresh your DoT's always as we have a surplus of shards.
Haunt is used when we have 4 shards (so as to not waste nightfall procs). when we have more powerful DoT's active (as a result of being refreshed during a proc). and to keep the haunt debuff ~100% uptime during execute.
As for drain soul, it is a pretty big DPS loss since they nerfed its pre-execute damage, and it does not cause our DoT's to tick above execute. The only reason I could see Drain Soul being used pre execute is to maybe
make shards available for chain casting Haunt when burst is absolutely needed.
As for maintaining your DoT's, single casting them to keep them up is your priority. Clipping DoT's is now a thing of the past, and panademic makes refreshing DoT's even more forgiving. Generally speaking you want to refresh your DoT's between the last and 2nd last tick.
As a suggestion, the default UI makes locking quite difficult, I suggest looking into Power Aura's and other mods. For instance my UI in firelands was as below. The Dot's in the middle of the screen make it easier.Torando's/Aly kill - YouTube