Builds for the Warlock Class in Warlords of Draenor

For those who are looking for a free but quality Warlock guide, this is your dream come true. Below is a sample of our WoW Warlock Guide discussing how you can build the Warlock like a pro. A more complete version with advanced leveling strategies and expert advice that could power up your Warlock can be found in our Unofficial World of Warcraft Warlock Guide.

Warlock in Draenor
This guide is designed to go over the many changes that are being brought in the World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor expansion for Warlocks. Blizzard has introduced some major changes to each class that has changed up their playstyle elements and builds a bit, so this should keep you up to date on everything that has been altered as a result.

If you were an avid Warlock player during Pandaria, you will have realized just how much of an overhaul Warlocks got from all the changes. They were the main focus of that expansion, and were granted the largest amount of new spells and abilities out of every class. They also got some of the most exciting and powerful glyphs in the game, and even got their very own special quest line to receive green flames. However, this is being toned back a little bit in Warlords of Draenor. Since Warlocks got so much attention in the last expansion, they aren’t being focused as heavily. However, they still do have some big changes that are affecting them specifically, as well as things that are affecting every casting class as a whole.

This Warlock guide will run you through every aspect of the changes so that you can be prepared for Draenor. You’ll notice major changes in gear, talents, gems, and even spell casting order. Without further ado, let’s get started!
Recommended Race

  • PvE Horde – Orc / Goblin / Troll
    Blood Fury is basically a free spell power trinket. Tack on the 5% pet increased damage and you have the best horde PvE DPS race. Goblin comes close with their 1% haste passive providing a boost to all of your damage. Troll has the weaker, but still very strong haste cooldown.
  • PvE Alliance – Worgen
    Worgen provides a 1% critical chance passive and a very useful run speed cooldown. Faster movement is often crucial for upping your dps in raids. No other race provides dps benefits close to the Worgen for the Warlock.
  • PvP Horde – Undead
    Not only do you have excellent ability in Will of the Forsaken, you also have the capability to regenerate health with cannibalize when given the chance. My second choice would be Blood Elf due to the silence effect of Arcane Torrent, which can be crucial in PvP.
  • PvP Alliance – Worgen / Gnome
    Gnomes are harder to target, and their activated racial is arguably better than the Human’s ‘Every Man For Himself’ because you can use it alongside a PvP trinket. Worgen have increased mobility through Darkflight, allowing you to get away or close in at will.Usable items

Basic info
Warlocks can use the following item types:

  • Cloth Armor
    One Handed Swords

When it comes to basic attributes, there is only one we really care about when comparing gear, and that is Intellect. Intellect provides us Spell Power, and that is good. Most of the other base attributes are not things we actively look for in gear, let alone gem or enchant for.

The only other base attribute we should give a shred of attention to is Stamina. Having more health helps you survive large damage bursts in both PvE and PvP.

  • Stamina:
    Stamina increases your health, which helps you survive raid encounters where a lot of damage is being flung around. It also helps you in the form of increasing your life tap buffer. In a fight with heavy AE’s, you need enough health to still be able to use life tap when you need it. For PvP, having extra health is always quite useful.
  • Intellect
    Intellect is our primary stat for increasing our damage in Cataclysm. One point of intellect provides 1 spell power, and 17.53 mana. It should be noted that Intellect will no longer be providing casters with critical strike chance.
  • Agility
    Agilities’ main positive effect on you, a bonus to your dodge chance, is small. It also gives you an increased chance to land a critical hit in melee, but if you melee enough to warrant focusing on agility, you might try making a melee class instead of a warlock. 😉
  • Strength
    This one comes in last, because the stat is purely for melee characters. You simply don’t need it.

In order to correctly build your character, it all depends on the spec you’re going for and what you plan on doing with it. Builds will differ depending on if you’re a PvP or PvE player.

This tree relies heavily on DoTs. In order to play an affliction build well, you have to try and get as close to 100% DoT uptime as possible. Between refreshing DoTs, you will use Shadow Bolt, Haunt, Drain Soul or Life Tap/Dark Pact as a ‘filler’ until its time to refresh DoTs again. Affliction’s primary weakness is its warm-up time. It takes a while to deal good damage, meaning that you will perform poorly against mobs that don’t live very long unless you’re AoE’ing.

  • Abilities/rotation:
    The ability rotation of affliction Warlocks is very similar to what we saw in Pandaria. You’ll want to cast your typical DoTs: Unstable Affliction, Corruption, Curse of Agony (for standard damage). You’ll normally put Unstable Affliction on first since it’s a timed cast spell and not an instant, then throw on an empowered haunt by popping soulburn’s new affect, and then throw on your instant cast DoT’s. For damage, spam shadow bolt while maintaining your DoT’s. In PvP, you can life drain for sustain while doing continuous damage. Soul Swap will be useful to switch spells onto another target.
  • Draenor Perks:
    Empowered Drain Life: Health gained from your Drain Life grows by 10% each time it heals you.
    Enhanced Haunt: Your Haunt lasts an additional 2 sec.
    Improved Drain Soul: Your Drain Soul deals 100% additional damage on targets below 20% health.
    Empowered Corruption: Corruption has a 2.5% increased chance to generate a Soul Shard.

Screenshot from 2014-11-27 17:34:00

PvP Talents

  • 15: Soul Leech for battlegrounds, Dark Regeneration for Arena.
    30: Mortal Coil
    45: Soul Link, Dark Bargain for arena
    60: Blood Horror against melee, Unbound Will otherwise.
    75: Grimoire of Service in arena, Grimoire of Sacrifice in battlegrounds
    90: Kil’Jaeden’s Cunning
    100: Demonbolt

PvE Talents

  • 15: Soul Leech
    30: ShadowFury
    45: Soul Link
    60: Unbound Will
    75: Grimoire of Sacrifice
    90: Mannoroth’s Fury
    100: Cataclysm


  • Since minor glyphs don’t really have much affect on the game and are mainly there for convenience, we’re going to be more focused on Major Glyphs.


  • •Major
    – Glyph of Siphon Life
    – Glyph of Soul Swap
    – Glyph of Twilight Ward
  • •Minor
    – Glyph of Nightmares
    – Glyph of Eye of Kilrogg
    – Glyph of Falling Meteor


  • – Glyph of Siphon Life
    – Glyph of Eye of Kilrogg
    – Glyph of Soul Swap
    – Glyph of Gateway Attunement
    – Glyph of Strengthen Resolve
    – Glyph of Health Funnel

Pet Tactics

  • Which pet you use in a group can be rather important. Things to consider are;Group composition (is crowd control highly required? Maybe switch to Succubus.)What kind of enemies you’ll be fighting (humanoid, demons, elementals?), and their level compared to yours.Are there casters spamming heals that no one is interrupting? This situation might call for a Felhunter.

    When grouping with people you don’t know, the last point in the list is something you will find out after starting, and may cause you to switch pets (or use your hearthstone) after you’ve been playing in that group for a while.

Imp – Solo

  • Warlocks can train the summon imp spell at their class trainer at level 1.
    Here’s some tactics you can use with the imp when soloing:

Trading aggro

  • Standing twice your casting range away from an enemy, send your imp to attack. Once he has landed a couple of firebolts, the enemy will have reached him. He can’t take a beating for long, so this is where you pitch in. Lay into the enemy to pull aggro away from the imp and have the enemy charging to you. While the enemy is moving to you, you should be able to get another nuke off and have some distance between you and enemy to spare afterwards. Follow up with fear and finish with a few more nukes, or let your dots run their course. Alternatively, you can forego fear and finish up with Drain Life. Afterwards, heal your pet up with health funnel if required.If you use nukes, you can kill enemies off relatively quickly using this tactic when they are equal to or below your level. If they are higher level, their hitpoints will be too high to finish them off quickly, and increase the chances of getting adds while they are running from fear. You can negate this effect by Glyphing Fear.It’s possible to keep the pingpong effect of the enemy running between you and your imp going, continuously trading aggro, but that will take some practice and generally isn’t necessary as your enemies will die fast enough already.

Imp – Group

  • Due to his Blood Pact aura and damage shield, the imp is liked in groups.Note that Blood Pact does not stack with the warrior ability Commanding Shout and the priests Power Word: Fortitude.If your group is having trouble with large pulls, consider using Succubus (when fighting humanoids), voidwalker or felguard to assist with crowd control. The Succubus can seduce a humanoid target, both the voidwalker and felguard can offtank one (as long as they don’t hit too hard).

Imp – PvP

  • The Imp is only really any good if you’re Destruction specced, and it just so happens that Destruction currently makes for a very poor PvP spec. So, I can keep this short: Don’t use the Imp unless you picked the poorest Warlock PvP spec.

Screenshot from 2014-11-27 17:34:44

Collecting Gold
Farming gold as a goal is not really necessary until you advance past 60 and need to save up for riding skills. We get our first level of riding skill for free when training the Felsteed. By simply progressing through quests or grinding you will steadily increase your gold surplus, unless you blow it all at the auction house. However, you can greatly increase the amount of gold you gather while leveling by picking up a profession from the start. Check the next paragraph for info on that. When deciding whether to buy that shiny new robe in the auction house, especially if you’re at a lower level, think twice. Chances are you will either receive a similar or better robe through a quest or drop, or outgrow the robe you buy in a few levels, making you wish you had never spent the gold on it. The one exception you really should consider spending some money on while leveling should be bigger bags. Extra bag space is always nice to have and retains its value through the levels. (Never buy bags from the NPC bag vendors except maybe some 6 slotters early on. Bigger bags are very overpriced compared to the bags you will find in the auction house).


  • An easy way to make extra gold is to pick up gathering professions, as they are easy to do on the side while leveling. Skinning, Herbalism and Mining work perfectly and provide a steady gold income. Enchanting is not a good moneymaker while you level it up, you won’t easily make a profit until you get to the higher level enchants.You could fill up both your profession choices with gathering skills for extra profit. Keep in mind that you will not be able to craft anything if you go with two gathering professions. You will only be able to sell what you collect, so this is not recommended if you want to be able to create anything. Crafting professions would seem appealing for making some gold as well, but most of them require you to put in gold for vendor bought ingredients. In general, you will make more money selling the ingredients than you will after combining them into finished products until you get to the high level stuff. Exceptions are Alchemy and Jewelcrafting. Taken alongside Herbalism and Mining respectively, you will be able to produce items that do quite well in the auction house.

And that’s all for our short sneak peek into the Warlock class. Want to read more? Get the WoW Warlock Guide here.

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