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  • href="#solo">Solo Play
  • href="#aff">Affliction
  • href="#dem">Demonology
  • href="#des">Destruction
  • href="#pet">Pets
  • href="#soul">Soul Shards
  • href="#agg">Aggro
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- href="">Combat
- href="">Talents
- href="">Leveling
- href="">Demons
- href="">Main

If you want to know how to use
your Warlock in combat, its likely you have already completed the
arduous task of picking a race and spec for your Warlock. Now its time
to move on to even more important matters; learning to play your
Warlock. Be aware that most of your skill will come from in game
experience and much trial and
error, but with this guide you can
hopefully get a nudge in the right direction.

Warlock Solo Play

Soloing as a Warlock could be a
tricky process. Thanks to their inability to wear anything but cloth,
Warlocks could easily be taken down by mobs, even with their amazing
damage. However, Warlocks have more than damage up their sleeves.
Making use of their demon companions, Warlocks are more than able to
take on a mob or even a group of mobs with ease. Because soloing
become so
simple, there is no reason to worry about any real spell rotation here.
Throw up your DoTs, use any other spells you want to throw out there,
and send your pet companion out to assist you in the battle, then sit
back and watch as the bodies pile up at your feet.

Warlock DPS

The Affliction Warlock, as
mentioned in the Basics section of this page, focus mainly on the use
of DoTs to do the grand majority of their damage. By taking a quick
look over the talent tree you will find that many of the talents either
amplify or otherwise boost the affects of the Warlock’s DoTs
in some form. Affliction Warlocks are currently the top DPS amongst the
three specs. Below you will find a brief explanation of the rotation
you should use to maximize your damage:

The Affliction Warlock should
begin by placing Haunt on a target, then Demon Soul and continue to use
both spells when their cool downs are up. After these two spells the
Warlock should keep Unstable Affliction, Corruption, and Bane of Doom
active as much as possible on the target. If you find yourself with any
down time fill it in with some Shadow Bolt spam. The Affliction Warlock
will want to rely on the Felhunter as their demon of choice.

If its AoE damage you are
after, Affliction Warlocks will find themselves Soulburn: Seed of
Corruption, and Soul Swap. For fights with more than two targets, the
Warlock should use Soulburn: Seed of Corruption and then spam Seed of
Corruption. On the other hand with fights with only 2 main targets the
Warlock may find they do more damage by using the glyphed version of
Soul Swap to transfer DoTs from one target to the other.

While the basic and most
commonly accepted rotations for both single target and AoE DPS are
presented above, don’t be afraid to shake things up with
experimentation. Remember, the best way to play is to discover what
works best for you!

Demonology Warlock

Demonology Warlocks as
mentioned in the Basics section of this page, rely heavily on their
demon companions and because of this the majority of talents found in
their talent tree reflect this. Demonology Warlocks are currently in
the number 1 spot for Warlock AoE DPS. Below you will find a brief
explanation of the most basic and commonly accepted rotation a
Demonology Warlock should use in a raid or group environment:

Demonology Warlocks are all
about cool downs. Watching these and using the correct spells (such as
Demon Soul and Metamorphosis) are what will make or break your DPS.
Immolate, Bane of Doom, and Corruption should be kept up at all times,
and the Hand of Gul’dan should be used on cool down. Several
spells vital to Demonology Warlocks should only be used when other
spells proc such as; Incinerate (when Molten Core procs), and Soul Fire
(if Decimation is up). If these procs are not active, the Warlock
should instead revert to using Shadow Bolt. The Felhunter should be
your Demon of choice for the Demonology Warlock in a single target DPS

Looking to do some serious AoE
DPS? The Demonology Warlock has two options: channel Hellfire, Felguard
Felstorm, Infernal, and use Shadowflame and Immolation Aura while in
Metamorphosis to dish out some hefty DPS in a setting where aggro is
not a factor. If more controlled DPS is what you are looking for simply
tab target mobs and place Corruption and Immolate on each. From there
you may use the single target rotation as given above to complete this
AoE style. The Demonology Warlock should bust out their mighty Felguard
to allow them to do the most DPS in an AoE siutation.

While the basic and most
commonly accepted rotations for both single target and AoE DPS are
presented above, don’t be afraid to shake things up with
experimentation. Remember, the best way to play is to discover what
works best for you!

Warlock DPS

Destruction Warlocks as
mentioned in the Basics portion of this guide, focus heavily on
improving your single target DPS spells. Taking a quick glance over the
talent tree you will be able to see this for yourself. That is not to
say that the Destruction Warlock will not use DoTs or that they cannot
produce AoE. Destruction Warlocks are easily capable of both single
target and AoE DPS. Find out the basics to be effective in both below:

When entering a combat
situation, the Destruction Warlock should always open with Soul Fire
(this buff should be kept active at all times). Demon Soul,
Conflagrate, and Chaos Bolt should be used on every cool down. From
there the Destruction Warlock is charged with simply casting and
up Immolate, Corruption and Bane of Doom. Destruction Warlocks should
use the Doomguard for single target DPS.

Need to dish out some AoE?
Don’t worry! The Destruction Warlock can choose from one of
two options here. For controlled AoE, placing Immolate and Corruption
on all mobs (that are not being crowd controlled) then proceeded with
the rotation for single target DPS mentioned above will be effective.
If threat is not a problem, Rain of Fire, Infernal, and Shadowflame can
all be used to provide the AoE damage you need.

While the basic and most
commonly accepted rotations for both single target and AoE DPS are
presented above, don’t be afraid to shake things up with
experimentation. Remember, the best way to play is to discover what
works best for you!

Warlock Demons

Warlock pets, like Hunter pets,
usually can be directly controlled by the player and can and should be
used as an extension of the Warlock. Pets of any kind can either be a
benefit or hindrance to the player and the rest of their group. Knowing
how to use your pet and which pet to use based on your spec is
important. You may find the right type of demon to use with each spec
listed in the descriptions above and below you can find some handy tips
on how to make the best use of your demon companion:

  • Be sure to know the
    strengths and weaknesses of your current pet.
  • Be aware of every
    demons’ abilities so you can pull at the correct pet for
    every situation.
  • The Warlock must be aware of
    not only their threat, but the aggro their pet it gaining as well.
  • Be sure that your pet is
    always doing something whether it be DPS, removing buffs, or crowd
    controlling enemies.

more information on Warlock pets, please see the href="">Demon
section of this guide!

Warlock Soul Shards

Soul Shards were once
cumbersome tools Warlocks were forced to carry around in outrageous
numbers in order to make use of many of their powerful spells.
Thankfully in 4.0 Blizzard finally heard the pleas of Warlocks
everywhere and changed the mechanics of how Soul Shards

Soul Shards will no longer be
an item kept in the inventory, instead
they will be a resource that will appear below the Warlock’s
health and mana bar. Soul Shards will also no longer be the deciding
force in the majority of a Warlock’s spells. Instead Soul
Shards will only be required for one newly added spell; Soul Burn.
Soul Burn does nothing on it’s own, however it does empower
some of the Warlock’s other spells to react differently. For
example with Soul Burn active Drain Life will channel twice as fast, or
when Soul Burn is combined with Summon Demon the summon becomes

It should be noted that when
Soul Burn is activated players
will only have a 15 second window to use one of the corresponding
spells. Soul Shards can be recovered by using Soul Harvest, a channeled
spell that allows the Warlock to restore Soul Shards over a short
period of time. All Soul Shards can also be recovered if a mob dies
while the Warlock is using Drain Soul. With this new Soul Shard
mechanic Warlock bags everywhere will be just a little bit lighter.

Warlock Aggro

One of the most important
that every DPS class should know is how to manage their aggro.
Remember, if you are dead, you aren’t doing any damage. To
begin let’s go over a simple definition of aggro and how it

Aggro is the rated aggression
or threat a mob has towards a certain player. Each mob has a table that
tracks the threat points for all targets that it is currently aware of.
Ignoring abilities that generate extra threat, each point of damage
generates one point of threat. The mob will attack (aggro) the target
that it has the most threat points against.

Threat gain can become very
complicated and confusing, especially when dealing with large groups of
mobs. Almost any action a player takes (heals, shields, damage) will
gain aggro on one or more mobs. Learning what to cast, when to cast,
and when to stop casting will come after much trial and error. However,
for an easy way to gauge your threat, consider downloading one of the
many great threat meters out there (such as Omen). Or if you
don’t like to introduce add ons into your game; simply make
use of the one provided by Blizzard in game.

- href="">Combat
- href="">Talents
- href="">Leveling
- href="">Demons
- href="">Main

To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our World of Warcraft Game Page.

Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016

About The Author

Byron 1
Byron has been playing and writing about World of Warcraft for the past ten years. He also plays pretty much ever other Blizzard game, currently focusing on Heroes of the Storm and Hearthstone, while still finding time to jump into Diablo III with his son.


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