WoW: Getting Ready to Raid as a Warlock
Congrats, you made it to 80! For many, this seems like the end. For
others it’s only the beginning. Welcome to end game. From
here you can begin to fine turn your character and focus on many more
objectives. Some will further explore the lore and experience new tales
and battles, other will focus on perfecting the art of PvP, while
others yet will explore raiding. This guide is going to give some basic
about how to prepare your warlock for raiding.
BUFF FOOD style="font-weight: bold; text-decoration: underline;">
I go into every raid with 4 stacks of buff food. I like to
least one stack of group buff food, usually a stack of Great Feast or
Fish Feast to share with the group every now and then or before a boss.
I also have two stacks of personal buff food. The first is a spell
power modifying food such as Firecraker Salmon which provides a nice
+46 spell power. The second is a +hit food, this is useful for times
when I have to swap out trinkets, or equip resist gear etc. Snapper
Extreme will provide +40 Hit and Stamina for 1 hour. If you are not hit
capped this is a nice way to get the hit you may need.
The last stack of food is pet buff food. Yes I said it, pet food. I was
surprised at how many warlocks do not use pet buff food. Typically used
by hunters. There is food available that will increase your pets
strength and stamina by 30. The biggest benefit will be to the
demonology specced warlock but will even if in a small way will benefit
any spec. Demonology talents buff your spell power based on your pets
stats. So increasing your pet, you are buffing yourself. Non demonology
warlocks may use the buff to provide a little more health to their pet
if they risk taking damage. I recently tested the buff on a summoned
doomguard and yes, it does buff it. That pet along is useable by any
spec and will increase its damage when buffed. style="font-weight: bold;">
Just because we have health stones, it doesn’t
shouldn’t have heath pots. It’s a good idea to
enter every raid with ten of each mana and health potions. Health
stones are on a different cooldown then the pots meaning we can use
them consecutively. The healers love that.
Flask of the Frost Wyrm without a doubt is the best flask
to have with
you. I always have a stack and don’t raid without one. The
DPS granted is huge and because it persists through death makes this a
no brainer. If you are going to raid, get used to carrying these.
REAGENTS style="font-weight: bold; text-decoration: underline;">
Luckily as warlocks we do not need many. We do however
figurines and infernal stones. The mechanics of acquiring these pets
have been drastically changed and these pets are quite useful in raids
now. No longer a risk of lost control, these pets can contribute
substantial dps for certain fights. While timing when to use the
infernal can be tricky, knowing that you no longer need to enslave it
makes it very desirable. The tricky part is, once summoned it is
automatically under your control but will only last for one minute. For
the non-demonology warlock, summoning a new one will actually cause a
DPS decrease so it is most useful for the last minute of a boss fight.
The Doomguard no longer kills someone when summoned, also now scales
with your level and is automatically under your control. After 15
minutes it just disappears and no longer attacks the raid. It will also
out DPS any other pet. The only limitation now is how often you can use
it. More on that another time. Just be sure to have a stack or two with
you at all times.
Your Reputations will play a big factor in preparing you
for raiding. A
good example is your Kirin’Tor reputation. If you can reach
revered with the Kirin ‘Tor, you will have access to one of
the best one-hand weapons and the best head enchant that can be
reapplied whenever needed and will provide a nice boost to your desired
stats. Take a look at the reputation guide and know that most of your
preparation for raiding can be done with reputation and smart purchases.
One of the most important statistics that you must focus
on before you
begin raiding is Spell Hit rating. While spell power, health and mana
are important stats, they never become more important than spell hit.
Some may argue that spell hit is less important for some
specializations than others. While each specialization may value their
spell hit differently, there is no reason to not obtain the hit cap for
any of the specilazations. As of patch 3.0.2 spell hit became capped at
100%, meaning that it is possible to reach a point where you will never
Raid Bosses in Wrath of the Lich King have a mob level of 83, and the
highest level a player can reach is level 80. So without any modifying
talents or any hit gear to hit a raid boss you will need a hit rating
of 446 to never miss a boss. Warlocks can reduce the spell hit needed
by up to 3% with talents. The talents that modify the spell hit modify
it for spell schools. Each warlock has three spell schools: Affliction,
demonology, and destruction. The offensive schools that you will be
casting against your enemy are only the affliction and destruction
schools. The demonology school is used for conjured items and other
abilities that are not offensive or cast against mobs and do not need
to be modified with spell hit. The talents to look for are Suppression
for affliction spells, and Cataclysm for destruction spells. By adding
points to each of these talents you can reduce the overall spell hit
you need by 3% to make our spell hit rating needed 368 to be hit capped
for raid bosses. Basically every 27 points of spell hit rating
increases your chance to hit a level 83 mob by 1%.
After obtaining your maximum spell hit, or as close as you can get
before raiding, you should then focus on Spell power.
Getting geared for raiding is challenging, fun and sometimes a daunting
task. Have you ever heard the phrase “It takes money to make
money”? It is kinda of like that, it takes some gear to get
some gear. We cannot blindly go into our first raid and provide much
assistance to the group if we haven’t taken some time to
prepare an effective gear set. While this may be costly and tedious,
your preparation will be well rewarded with your performance. But
don’t let me scare you; there are some shortcuts that will
get you up and raiding quickly. The first Challenge is to gain as much
spell hit rating as possible. We can do that with a lot of crafted gear.
Let’s assume you used the 6 talent points to lower your hit
rating needed, so we only have to focus obtaining 368 spell hit.
One of the best starting items you can get before raiding
craftable Hat of Wintry Doom. This Piece is craftable and BoE . BoE
means Bind on Equip and essentially means that it can be traded,
purchased, mailed etc until it is equipped onto a character. Once it
has been equipped it becomes soulbound and may no longer be traded.
While there are items that provide decent spell power, this item is
easily purchasable, and/or craftable and will provide a huge percentage
of the spell hit you will need to raid, making this an excellent
starting item until better becomes available or you have access to more
items with spell hit on them.
While there are many out there, if you need some direction
or an idea
for a good starting piece, there is a quest reward from a quest in
Icecrown that will reward you with Emeline’s Locket. This is
a decent neck piece that also has a socket for a gem and +25 hit
rating. If your gold is burning a hole in your pocket, look for the
Titanium Spellshock Necklace on the auction house, made by
jewelcrafters, this is a nice piece to start with as well although I
was too cheap to pay for it, so I went with the quest reward to start.
So look for the quest “The Admiral Revealed” and
grab that neck piece. You won’t be disappointed.
Another easily obtainable item, but for your shoulder slot, is the
Runecaster’s Mantle. You can get this by either running
Utgarde Keep repeatedly as it is a zone drop (can drop off any mob) and
is BoE also. Meaning, if you are as impatient as I am, this item can be
purchased from the auction house usually for a reasonable amount of
gold. A good alternative is the Dark Runic Mantle which is also a BoE
zone drop from Halls of Stone. In addition to being easy to acquire,
these items rank as some of the best in game until raid drops are
available. If your funds are low, you can try to grind for Mantle of
Deceit from Mal’Ganis in Heroic Stratholme but this is not as
powerful as the above mentioned items and you are subject to chance.
Two easy options here. First option is to grind Knights of Ebon Blade
rep until you are honored and grab the Dark Soldier Cape from the
quartermaster. Great stats and easily obtainable this item was a must
have for me. Your second option is to Farm Halls of Lightning boss
Volkhan for the Cape of Seething Steam. Personally, I am not a fan of
farming instance drops as they are too random and a lot of competition
between caster DPS. It is not so bad if your guild is helping or some
friends roll with you, but PUGing instances constantly for a drop is
not my idea of fun. I had more to benefit from the reputation anyway as
I am a caster and they offer a nice pattern for a 32 slot soul shard
bag at Revered. This faction had tons of daily quests available and I
was able to get revered quickly and never even worn their tabard in an
Ebonweave Robe is, without a doubt, one of the best items to prepare
you for raiding. With a +68 hit rating and a generous 105 spell power,
there few other options. As another BoE crafted item, it may require
some gold or farming some material so you can craft it, and is on par
with the Water-Drenched Robe from Ichoron in Heroic Violet Hold. Once
again, the randomness of Violet hold can make this a difficult grind
and with my luck I went for the sure thing. Either way you have a solid
piece of gear that is only improved with 10 and 25 man raiding gear
and/or a few crafter upgrades should you reach the hit cap.
Tons of options here for your wrists. The easiest option is to grab the
Fleshwerk Shackles from the “Killing Two Scourge With One
Skeleton” quest in Icecrown. This will give you another 26
spell hit and some modest spell damage. While out doing some instance,
feel free to grab any of the other options or even the Ancestral Sinew
Wristguards from the Wyrmrest Accord reputation, or there are countless
drops. But at the very minimum the easy quest reward will do you just
fine. I know! They are green, you’ll probably get teased, but
performance isn’t always about being geared in
“Purples” I have successfully outperformed many
much better geared players by keeping focused and ignoring the color to
recognize my requirements.
I know I am starting to sound like a broken record. But how easy is
this? Is it possible that we are going to prepare for raiding without
the endless heroic grind? This goes against everything we ever heard!
Isn’t the grind and complete randomness and drop
disappointment part of the raiding rite of passage? Granted, the gloves
that drop in heroic nexus are pretty sweet. The gloves of Glistening
Runes have beautiful stats, a socket, and decent spell power. I
wouldn’t pass on them if they dropped, but the crafted
Ebonweave Gloves with the +51 Hit rating and +77 spellpower are the
answer to the new raiding warlock’s prayers. Until
you’re hit capped these are only matched by a few 10 and 25
man raid drops - worth every penny if you have to buy them and even
better if you can craft them. Throw the precision enchant for another
+20 hit or the exceptional spellpower if you don’t need the
The wand of Blinding Light, a quest reward for completing The Cleansing
of Jintha’Kalar in Dragonblight ,is easy to get and has a
small amount of hit. It is nowhere near the best available but it is
easy to obtain. With wands, there are so many available and even this
low level 146 item isn’t bad. The only other one I would
maybe try to get is the Wand of the San’layn. Because it
drops in Heroic Utguarde Keep, it isn’t a bad one that too
many farm for, but not completely necessary.
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of Wintry Doom
of Blinding Light
As you can see, with mostly crafted, purchased and quest
reward gear we
have reached the spell hit need to be able to go into Naxx and never
miss. We also have plenty of room in slots such as trinkets, offhand,
legs etc to use more gear to boost our spell power. Any time you can
replace one of the items and maintain your spell hit, your contribution
to damage is only going to increase.
As a warlock we will be expected to drop healthstones,
etc. Be sure to bring plenty of shards with you. As we expect a mage to
provide water or healers to rez, we have our duties as well.
Don’t get upset if you are repeatedly asked to summon people
and go in expecting that you will be. I go into a raid with no less
than 30 shards and sometimes more. Make sure to have that on your
If you are able to play with user mods, there a
few that can
help you as a player and a few that you may not use, but will help some
of the supporting members of your raid. A threat meter for example. You
should get in the habit of using one. They are very effective at
providing you some feedback on where you stand on the MOBs hate chart.
Even if you do not use it, having it installed will allow it to
communicate with your tank’s threat meter. Raiding
isn’t the time to be selfish. Be open to the idea to using
one if for nothing more than your tanks sake. There are plenty of Aggro
mods that can be configure to use a minimal amount of screen real
estate and still provide feedback needed for the raid.
Other mods to consider are boss mods. These can provide vital feedback
on how/when to react to certain situations. While they
shouldn’t be depended on, some raids will require them and
quite frankly early on they are a great way to get you to learn how to
recognize when reactions should occur.
I know it sounds obvious. But there are plenty of ways to
raid you are going to do before you step foot in it. Most encounters go
in slow motion once you are familiar with them and have done them a few
times. There is no substitute for experience. But whether you are
raiding in a 10 man group or a 25 man group, have the respect to spend
a little time to familiarize yourself with the encounters before you
go. It’s not difficult to watch a video or two and read over
some strategy options. Of course there will be some discussion
depending on your group, but don’t rely on others to guide
you, nor should you discount anything a more experienced player offers
you. The common decency of at least attempting to learn as much as you
can will go a long way for the rest of the people there. You will be
much more informed and might even be able to offer some strategy
I know what you’re thinking. Ha! You are 80.
not some noob. Practice is important and very easy to do. Major cities
now have target dummies. No reason not to visit the highest level
target dummy and practice a 3 minute spell rotation every now and then.
Try changing it up on the dummy and see the results. World of Warcraft
changes often. Our character abilities and talents are no different. A
few minutes of practice and/or research every now and then
wouldn’t hurt. I’ll bet you’d be
surprised how useful it is.