ShadowBurn: A Warlock's Grimoire (OutDated)

Post Limit:
1 2 3 17 Next
Highly Rated
SHADOWBURN: A Warlock's Grimoire to PVE and PVP

NOTE: I do not currently plan to write a guide for MoP. As such I have emailed to have this guide de-stickied.


This is a guide for both PVE and PVP at both levels 80 and 85. In many ways this is a work in progress. In no way do I claim to be an expert and all of this guide was based on the works of others credited in the work cited page. If you see anything inaccurate or wrong please let me know and i will change it. It is my hope to keep this guide up to date for both cata and now. Please take all info in this guide with a grain of salt. Thank you for reading.

NOTE: We are now featuring Whyvette's Interesting Leveling Guide TOO!!!


Warlocks are masters of the dark arts, devoted to furthering their understanding and use of shadow and Fire based magics, along with the summoning of demons from within the Twisting Nether. They first appeared on Azeroth during the First War, when Gul'dan, the first of their kind among the invading orc clans of Draenor, led the Horde across the dimensional gulf through the Dark Portal while in servitude to the Burning Legion.

The eredar of the Burning Legion are credited as the original warlocks and wielders of dark magics, corrupted from the powerful and magically attuned eredar of Argus.

In most societies, the warlocks now live on the fringe of civilization, tolerated but not trusted. Human warlocks meet in secret in the basement of a bar in Stormwind. Thrall has expressed discomfort with the warlocks but understands the necessities in using them so he has allowed them the Cleft of Shadow. Conventional spell casters often see the warlock's magic as a vain attempt at increasing their own power.

Although many that consort with demons fall to darkness, the warlocks of the Horde and the Alliance advocate bending demonic forces to one's will without succumbing to complete corruption. These spell casters can summon demons to serve them, and they can also cast many painful spells that slowly eat at the life of their enemies. Warlocks are usually physically weak compared to other classes, but they compensate for this deficiency with their potent array of spells and their demonic minions. Compared to other spell casters, warlocks are among the strongest and often depend on the sacrifice of their own blood to fuel their magical powers.

Welcome to SHADOWBURN: a Warlock's grimoire to shadow, hellfire, and demonology. My name is Vaydra and I will be your Dominatr....errr guide. I would like to take this time to reiterate that this is not an original work. Very little of this guide is based on my own research. Furthermore, anything that is original in this guide is mainly me using other peoples work to fill in the gaps (ie using stat weights to find the best chants). I am not an expert by any means, and this is very much a work in progress and if you see ANYTHING wrong please let me know. My goal with this guide is simply to provide all the info that new/old locks might want in one simple location. All suggestions are welcome and hope you can find some use from this guide.

General and level 85 info can be found in the table of contents. Level 80 info for stats, chants, gems, affliction spec, demonology spec , and destruction spec can be found here:

Table of Contents

1. Demons [SBAWG01]
2. DoTs 101 [SBAWG02]
3. Soul shards/Stat minimums [SBAWG03]
4. Enchantments [SBAWG04]
5. Glyphs [SBAWG05]
6. Gems[SBAWG06]
7.specs [SBAWG07]
a) Affliction [SBAWGa7]
b) Destruction [SBAWGb7]
c) Demonology [SBAWGc7]
d) Art of Multidotting [SBAWGd7]
8. Haste Thresholds [SBAWG08]
9. Reforging [SBAWG09]
10.Consumables [SBAWG10]
11.Armor [SBAWG11]
12.Utility spells (all specs) [SBAWG12]-NOW WITH DARK INTENT!
13. addons [SBAWG13]
14. Some macros [SBAWG14]
15. Combat ratings [SBAWG15]
16. Spell info [[SBAWG16]
17.Simulationcraft/spreadsheets [SBAWG17]
18. My full poweraura export. [SBAWG18]
19. Macro Guide [SBAWG19]
20. Bad Habits/Custom UIs [SBAWG20]
21. A Note on Hit for new 85s [SBAWG21]
22. Work Cited [SBAWG22]

Dragon Soul Hardmode guide:


In-Depth Demo Guide:

Mirror site:

If you are interested in a leveling guide here is a link to Whyvette's Guides:


MoP leveling guide:

Please report her guide for a sticky if you like it =P

Early in your career as a warlock you shall be called upon to call forth a demon from the twisting nether and enslave it to do your bidding. In this chapter we shall appraise our vassals and determine how best to use.


This is the first demon all warlocks learn to summon. He is the main Demon used by destruction specced warlocks in PVE and has the following abilities:

Singe Magic-Removes 1 harmful effect from the warlock or friendly.

This spell should be macroed and not left as auto cast. The macro can take the following forms:


/cast [pet:imp, @target, help][pet:imp, @player] singe magic

The above macro will use singe magic on your target if its friendly and on yourself if your not targeting a frienly.

Firebolt: Sends a fire bolt toward the enemy. 2.5 second cast.

This ability is currently bugged and does not use the spell queue system. Or in otherwords he suffers lag. To reduce this make the following macro:

#showtooltip Incinerate
/cast [pet:imp] Fire Bolt
/cast Incinerate

It should also noted that your imp does not benefit from your haste correctly. Haste has two main effects on direct damage spells: reducing cast time and reducing the global cooldown (the global cooldown is a 1.5 second cooldown that is put upon all your abilities every time you cast a spell before haste is applied). While haste does reduce your imps firebolt cast time, it does NOT reduce the global cooldown. If firebolt is less than 1.5second remove a point from dark arts.

Flee-the imp returns to you removing any snares,roots or stuns from the imp. 20second Cooldown

Blood pact-Increases your stamina. Does not stack with priests fortitude or warriors commanding shout.

This minion is enslaved from a quest at level 8. He is your main soloing minion and provides a nice shield for PVP.

Suffering-Taunt. 10second cd

Consume Shadows: The Voidwalker consumes nearby shadows recovering 30% health and mana over 6 sec and greatly increasing stealth detection to all friendly targets within 30 yards. Cannot be used while in combat. Channeled.

Sacrifice: Sacrifices a portion of the Voidwalker's health, giving its master a shield that will absorb damage for 30 sec. While the shield holds, spellcasting will not be interrupted by damage. 1minute cooldown.

/cast [pet: Voidwalker] Sacrifice

Torment: Torments the targets soul, dealing Shadowstrike damage. Torment causes a high amount of threat. 5seconds.

This is the primary minion for affliction, and for destruction in PVP.

Devour Magic=Purges 1 beneficial magic effect from an enemy. If an effect is devoured, the Felhunter will be healed. 15 second cooldown. Has to be macroed to use.

/cast [pet:Felhunter] Devour Magic

Spell Lock-Silences the enemy for 3 sec. If used on a casting target, it will prevent any spell from that school of magic from being cast for 6 sec. 24 second cooldown. Dont leave this on auto cast. Macro it.

/cast [pet:Felhunter] Spell Lock

Fel intelligence-Increases party and raid members maximum mana and causes them to regenerate more mana every 5 sec.

Shadow Bite-Bite the enemy, causing shadow damage plus an additional 30% damage for each of your damage over time effects on the target. Leave this on autocast for PVE, but turn it off and macro it for PVP

/cast [pet:Felhunter] Shadow bite

-Currently she is the pet of choice for CC. She is the favored minion for many destruction warlocks in PVP.

Seduction-Seduces the target, preventing all actions for up to 30 sec. Any damage caused will remove the effect. Only works against Humanoids.2second cast. Once again dont leave it on autocast, macro it.

/cast [pet:Succubus] Seduction

Whiplash-Deals 396 shadow damage and instantly knocks back all enemies within 5 yards. 25second cooldown. Leave on autocast for PVE, macro it for PVP

/cast [mod:Succubus] Whiplash

Lesser Invisibility-Gives the Succubus Lesser Invisibility for up to 5 min. This spell can only be used out of combat. Leave on autocast.

Lash of Pain-An instant attack that lashes the target, causing Shadow damage.


This is the Demononlogy only pet. Use him mainly for AoE.

Axe toss-The Felguard hurls his axe, stunning the target for 4 sec. 30second cooldown. Dont leave on autocast, macro it

/cast [pet: Felguard] Axe Toss

Felstorm-The Felguard recklessly swings its Axe, striking all nearby targets within 8 yards for its weapon damage plus and continuing to perform the attack every 1 sec for 6 sec. The Felguard cannot perform any other abilities during Felstorm. 45seconds. Macro it. Use it practically on CD in PVE.

/cast [pet: Felguard] Felstorm

Pursuit-Charge an enemy, instantly causing weapon damage and increasing the Felguard's movement speed by 30% for 6 sec. 15second. Leave on auto cast for PVE, Macro for PVP

/cast [pet: Felguard] Pursuit

Legion Strike-A sweeping attack that does the Felguard's weapon damage plus divided among all targets within 0 yards, and also wounds the Felguard's current target reducing the effectiveness of any healing received by a percentage (currently 10%) for 6 sec. 6second cooldown.

/cast [pet: Felguard] Legion Strike


We warlocks have two guardian minions. These minions share a cooldown and when summoned will fight beside us and our permanent minion then the good tools they are.


This is our single target guardian pet. He was once really impressive, but now is a shell of his former self and is nothing more than a really really big imp. Single target dps cd.


Summoned by the spell inferno. He starts out as a meteor and stuns all enemies within his area of effect then procedes to create fire aoe damage.
[SBAWG02] DoTs 101-

Warlocks are a DoT class. Dots are Damage over time spells and all three specs use them. The basic thing you need to realize when using dots is that they are LESS DPS (damage per second) than direct damage spells like shadowbolt, searing pain, or incinerate. So if they are less DPS why cast them in the first place? Because while dots are less DPS they are more DAMAGE PER CAST TIME (DPCT). You want to cast your highest DPCT spells first then moving down the list to your next highest DPCT spell and then the one after that till it is feasible to cast your highest DPCT spell again.

More often than not your lowest DPCT spell will be a spammable nuke or drain. This is called your filler spell. When you reach this spell you will repeatedly cast it unitil your highest DPCT dot is 1 tick shy of expiring. Doing this makes the most use out of your casting and results in overall higher dps. There are debuffs that do take precedence over DPCT. Haunt for example is less DPCT than any of your dots. However, because it increases their Damage it take precedence in your priority queue.

The point to take home from this is that if you believe that a dot wont tick enough to be worth casting before a mob dies or its removed then its better to just spam your filler spell. Another thing to note is how dots are affected by haste.

Haste has 3 different effects on your spells. It decreases the cast time of your spells and it decrease the length of the GCD. It also decrease the intervals of dot ticks. The way it decreases intervals between dot ticks is unique though, as it it will change the total duration of your spell based on your the number of dot ticks. As you gain haste the total duration of your dot will decrease. However, When you gain enough haste to add half a tick to the original dot length the game will round up and add a full tick and making the overall spell last longer than it did originally.

Lets take corruption for example. This spell has a 18second duration and ticks every 3 seconds for 6 total ticks with 0 haste. With 100 haste you increse the intervals between dot ticks by 3% making corruption tick once every 2.9 seconds. At this rate it ticks for 6.1 times every 18seconds so it does not get an extra dot tick, and the spell only lasts 17.4 seconds. In order to get another tick it has to have 6.5ticks in 18 seconds. This occurs when corruption has a tick timer of 2.77seconds or when you have 8.33% haste (274haste rating). At this point you get your 7th dot tick and corruption now lasts 19.4seconds. This creates what are called HASTE THRESHOLDS for when certian dots get extra ticks. 8.33%haste is corruptions first haste threshold. My formula for determining %haste needed for a desired number of dot ticks is:(T*(DTN-0.5)-DL)/DL. T=0 haste tick time. DTN=Desired number of dot ticks. DL=Dot Length.

Clipping-Clipping is when you recast a dot before its duration is over. This used to be a big dps loss but that changed with patch 4.0. Now rather than resetting the time before the dot tick it now starts the new timer after the dots next tick. With the exception of bane of agony your goal is now to cast the dot right before the last tick for maximum dps. Never clip Agony due to its increasing tick value.


Spellpower and potency procs on dots are not constantly updated like haste. If you want to really min/max your dps try to refresh dots when you are under the effect of a trinket proc. For affliction you MIGHT want to hold off on using demon soul till you get a few procs then use a volcanic potion+pop any trinkets+DS all at the same time and refresh your dots.

Soul shards are the reagent we use to empower our spells.
We can have no more than 3 shards are one time. We only have so many ways to aquire more after using these 3 shards up, so we must be careful when using them. We empower our spells by using our soul shards throgh the ability SOULBURN. When soulburned the following abilities give the following effects:

Drain Life:Reduces Channel time by 60%
Soul Fire: Makes Soul fire an instant cast spell
Searing Pain:increases the crit chance by 100%, and subsequent searing pain by 50% for 6seconds
Healthstone=Increase health restored by 20% for 8seconds
Demonic Circle=Increases movement speed by 50% for 8seconds after teleporting
Summon Demon: Make the all spells summoning your imp, succubus, voidwalker, felhunter, and felguard instant cast

Getting more soul shards-

We have a few ways to get more soul shards including:

Harvest Souls- Cannot be cast when in combat. 30second cooldown
Drain soul-If the target dies while being drained, and yields experience or honor, the caster gains 3 Soul Shards
Shadowburn-If the target dies within 5 sec of Shadowburn, and yields experience or honor, the caster gains 3 Soul Shards. Only usable on enemies that have less than 20% health.
[SBAWG03] Stat minimums-

For RAIDS (boss mobs/mobs 3levels higher than you) you need 17% hit to be capped for T11. You only need 6% hit for heroic 5mans/mobs 2 levels higher than you. There are haste intervals which meeting will give your dot spells an additional tick. Haste thresholds are in the Haste Threshold section later on in this guide.

For PVP you need 4% hit to be capped and 6% hit to be capped for racials. At level 80 you need 130 spell pen for PVP and should aim for 1300+resili, 830+haste as affl,and 984+haste for destro and demo in PVP. At level 85 you will want to aim for 195-240 spell penetration rating*, and as much haste and resil as you can possibly get.

*1 point of spell pen negates 1 point of resistance. At 80 you want 130+spell pen to get past spells like resistance aura. At level 85 a paladins resistance aura gives 195 (wowheads has the wrong value) resistance so to get the same effect you will need a minimum 195 spell penetration. For racials add 1 resistance, and for mage armor add 44 for a total of 240 spell pen.

[SBAWG04] Enchantments-

Level 80 info can be found here:<


-Still a work in progress. Chants may change based on gear. Check your own stat weights to see how they compare. Be sure to use a belt buckle and if an engineer an Cardboard Assassin.

Head-Arcanum of Hyjal (requires guardian's of Hyjal-revered).

Shoulders-Felfire inscription if a scribe otherwise Greater Inscription of Charged Lodestone (requires exalted with Therazane)

Chest-Formula: Enchant Chest - Peerless Stats

Back-If a tailor Lightweave embroidery rank 2 otherwise Enchant Cloak - Greater Intellect

Wrists-if a Leatherworker use Draconic Embossment - Intellect, otherwise Formula: Enchant Bracer - Mighty Intellect. Barring those use Formula: Enchant Bracer - Greater Speed

Gloves-Enchant Gloves - Exceptional Spellpower or: Enchant Gloves - Haste for all Shadowbolt affl. and everyone else Formula: Enchant Gloves - Greater Mastery. Add Synapse Springs if an engineer

Legs-if a tailor Master's spellthread rank 2 otherwise Pattern: Powerful Enchanted Spellthread.

Boots-Formula: Enchant Boots - Lavawalker. Alternatives if you cant find it: Enchant Boots - Haste/ Enchant Boots - Mastery / Enchant Boots - Earthen Vitality

Rings- Intellect (40 intell)

Weapon-Either Formula: Enchant Weapon - Power Torrent or Enchant Weapon - Hurricane. Powersurge is better. Alternatives if you cant find them: Formula: Enchant Weapon - Mighty Spellpower / Formula: Enchant Staff - Greater Spellpower

Offhand-Enchant Off-Hand - Superior Intellect

Subject to change

Head-Arcanum of Hyjal (Guardian's of Hyjal-revered)

Shoulders-Felfire inscription if a scribe otherwise Greater Inscription of Charged Lodestone (r exalted with Therazane)

Chest-Formula: Enchant Chest - Peerless Stats / Enchant Chest - Mighty Resilience

Cloak-If a tailor Lightweave embroidery rank 2 otherwise Enchant Cloak - Greater Intellect

Bracers- Formula: Enchant Bracer - Mighty Intellect. Alternative Formula: Enchant Bracer - Greater Speed

Gloves-Enchant Gloves - Exceptional Spellpower or: Enchant Gloves - Haste for all affl/demo/destro at a haste threshold otherwise Formula: Enchant Gloves - Greater Mastery

Legs-if a tailor Master's spellthread rank 2 otherwise Pattern: Powerful Enchanted Spellthread.

Boots-Formula: Enchant Boots - Lavawalker/ Enchant Boots - Earthen Vitality

Rings-Intellect (40 intell)/Greater Stamina

weapon-Formula: Enchant Weapon - Power Torrent or Enchant Weapon - Hurricane. Powersurge is better.

Offhand-Enchant Off-Hand - Superior Intellect

Helpful sites for reforging if you know your stat weights:




affl-Glyph of Haunt, Glyph of Corruption, and either Glyph of Bane of Agony (adds) or Glyph of Unstable Affliction (single target) or both (dust of disappearance is cheap)
demo-Glyph of Immolate, Glyph of Corruption, Glyph of Metamorphosis...Glyph of Incinerate Can replace corruption, though i dont recommend it.
destro-Glyph of Immolate, Glyph of Conflagrate, Glyph of Imp


affl-Glyph of Life Tap, Glyph of Soul Swap, Glyph of Shadow Bolt, Glyph of Fear* (if you need fear drop either LT or Shadowbolt glyphs)
demo-Glyph of Life Tap, Glyph of Shadow Bolt, Glyph of Fear*
destro-Glyph of Life Tap, Glyph of Fear*

*Mandatory for Crowd Control purposes only

-whatever you want except get Glyph of Curse of Exhaustion if you spec into it. Drain soul is also highly recommended for min/maxing


Prime-pick 3

Affliction:Glyph of Corruption, Glyph of Haunt, Glyph of Bane of Agony, or Glyph of Unstable Affliction
Destro-Glyph of Conflagrate, Glyph of Chaos Bolt, Glyph of Immolate, Glyph of Incinerate
Demo-[Glyph of Corruption, Glyph of Immolate, Glyph of Felguard, Glyph of Incinerate, Glyph of Metamorphosis


Affl-Glyph of Soul Swap , Glyph of Howl of Terror, Glyph of Demonic Circle, Glyph of Shadowflame, Glyph of Soul Link, Glyph of Felhunter
Destro-Glyph of Demonic Circle, Glyph of Shadowflame, Glyph of Soul Link, Glyph of Seduction, Glyph of Felhunter
Demo-Glyph of Demonic Circle, Glyph of Shadowflame, Glyph of Soul Link, Glyph of Fear

-whatever you want except get Glyph of Curse of Exhaustion if you spec into it. Drain soul is also highly recommended for min/maxing

Level 80 info can be found here:

Currently there are no Cataclysm epic gems. For now use Inferno Ruby (Red), Demonseye(Purple), Amberjewel (Yellow), Ember Topaz (Orange), Dream Emerald (Green) and Ocean Sapphire (blue) gems. Replace them with appropriate epic gems.


Red Slots
If your a JC use as many Brilliant Chimera's Eye as possible. Engineers use the best cogwheels (208hit/haste/crit/or mastery) in cogwheel sockets based on your stats.

Brilliant Inferno Ruby-This is the main gem you will use in all three specs unless your trying to reach a haste threshold. If a socket bonus is NOT favorable use this gem.

Reckless Ember Topaz-Demo locks should use these if haste is simming higher than intel and you just passed a haste threshold. Destro locks if and ONLY if your trying to reach a haste threshold.

Yellow Slots
Reckless Ember Topaz- When meeting a favorable yellow socket bonus this will be the gem you want to use. Similarly demo locks should use these gems in yellow slots when your at a bad level of haste and the socket bonus is favorable. I recommend destro locks use these in ALL yellow slots and reforge haste past a haste threshold away if possible.

Quick Amberjewel-Only use these as destro if its the difference between making a haste threshold or not. Demo locks only use this gem if your at a good level of haste and your scale factors favor haste over intellect.

Potent Ember Topaz-Destro only. Use these if you're past the highest haste threshold you can meet and cant reforge any more haste away from your gear.

Blue Slots
Veiled Demonseye-Use these if the bonus is worthwhile/meta requirements. Generally though you want to get most of your hit by reforging crit (if affl) or mastery (if demo/destro).

Energized Green Gems-Destro locks use this gem to help you meet haste thresholds and the socket bonus is worthwhile. Demo locks only use this on favorable sockets if your at a good haste level and your scale factors favor haste over intellect.

Meta-Use Burning Shadowspirit Diamond if available. Alternative Chaotic Shadowspirit Diamond. If you cant get those then either Bracing Shadowspirit Diamond or Ember Shadowspirit Diamond.


Red Slots-Reckless Gems

Yellow Slots-Quick Gems

Blue-Shattered Ocean Sapphire

Meta-Burning shadowspirit diamond. Alternatives:Chaotic/ Fleet/Forlorn/powerful

Breaking Sockets-You do not have to meet sockets. If its needed to meet a haste threshold feel free to break the sockets if your demo or destro. Otherwise, you will need to use either a spreadsheet or simulationcraft to find out your scaling factors (how much each point of those stats contribute to your dps) and determine if a socket is worth acquiring. These programs can tell you if a socket bonus is worth it or not. If you want crank it out by hand ill lead you through how to do it below.

When epic gems come out feel free to replace the 20intellect/haste/hit/crit with 25 or however much they are worth then. The basic idea is to find out how much of a socket bonus plus the 2ndary stat (both converted into its dps worth in terms of intellect) is equivalent to the lost intellect from a pure intellect gem. Note: SF=Scale factor

For yellow sockets:
[20intellect-20haste(SF for haste*/SF for intel)] / (SF for specific stat/SF for intel)=Needed socket bonus.

*if destro replace haste with crit.

For Blue gems use:
[20intellect-20hit(SF for hit/SF for intellect)] / (SF for specific stat/SF for intellect)=Needed socket bonus.

Using these formulas and the scaling factors from simulationcraft for Best in slot gear (as of 12/2/10 see simulationcraft in work cited) for yellow sockets i need socket bonus equal to or better than the following to be worth gemming:

(M)astery/(H)aste/(C)rit/(Hit)/ (SP)ellpower/ (Int)ellect

Affldrain:20M, 17H, 25C, 19Hit, 12SP, 10 Int
AfflShadowbolt:20M, 13H, 21C, 16HIT, 10SP, 8Int
Demo: 19M, 9H, 15C, 10Hit, 8SP, 6Int
Destro (using potent gems): 41M, 37H, 34C, 18Hit, 17SP, 13 Int

For blue sockets using veiled gems it would be:

Affldrain: 23M, 20H, 29C, 22 Hit, 14SP, 11 Int
AfflShadowbolt: 27M, 17H, 29C, 22Hit, 14SP, 11 Int
Demo: 25M, 11H, 19C, 13Hit, 11SP, 8 Int
Destro:20 M, 18H, 17C, 9Hit, 9SP, and 7Int.

However, if you don't want to use these programs use Acrimony's method.

She treats the gems as points and doubles the point value of intellect.

EJ suggests not gemming for any bonus that is not 20 intellect or 30 of another stat for a single non red gem slot as a rule of thumb.
(all level 85specs/stats/priorities are subject to change and should be taken with a grain of salt)

Affl: Sustained pve dps/dot and kite pvp
Demo: The AoE/utility tree
Destro: The burst dps tree.

Note: As of right now using a felhunter is max dps for demo. This will PROBABLY BE FIXED soon. Check out the simulation craft link for further info.

Note: Without the 4piece t11 bonus, Felflame should only be used totem stomping and when you are moving and cant hard cast or if Hand of Gul'dan cant refresh immolate in time. NEVER use it rotationally.

Let this scar signify the first blow against the mortal world. From this seal shall arise the doom of men, who, in their arrogance, sought to wield our fire as their own.


Where others enjoy destroying their opponents quickly and efficiently, affliction warlocks prefer the phrase "slow and painful." Affliction warlocks destroy their opponents methodically thru the use of damage over time spells (knows as DoTs), curses, and shadow magic. Upon choosing this school of magic you learn the spell unstable affliction. Affliction mastery, potent afflictions, increases periodic shadow damage (shadow based dots and drains).

PVE: Felhunter
PVP: Felhunter

Affliction warlocks optional talents for PVE:

Siphon life
Curse of exhaustion (overwritten by Jinx)
improved fear
Improved Howl of Terror
Soul burn Seed of corruption
Demonic Embrace

PVE talent specs: Affliction has two talent specs. Shadowbolt focused and Drain life focused. Drain life must pay more attention to the shadow's embrace debuff to keep it from falling off. The two specs used to be competitive but drain life was nerfed hard and now (unless you are just a die hard drain life fan) you should stick with the Shadowbolt spec.

Level 85 Shadowbolt spec (with SB:SoC):

Level 85 Drain spec (with SB:SoC):

Nightfall and Pandemic are both very low dps talents. If you would like to have soulburn SoC in your spec it is a good idea to take the point away from one of them. Currently 2/2 nightfall is simming higher than 2/2pandemic. Similarly you can opt to not have SB:SoC. Conversely if your healers dont ever let your pets die feel free to drop fel syn for that other point in pandemic.

Stats-Your stats change with gear. This is only a rule of thumb. Intellect will always be your best stat and mastery your worst.


*Hit capping should still be your primary focus when gearing

Spell priorities:

AoEs:Jinx+Soulburn Seed of Corruption, Seed of Corruption

Lvl 85 Shadowbolt focus (start rotation with 1 shadowbolt and then haunt):

Soul burn Summon Pet (dead pet in combat)>Summon Pet (if dead and no SB)>dark intent>CoE>Demon Soul>Corruption>Unstable Affliction>Bane of doom(bosses)/agony (trash)>Haunt>4pT11 Felflame (UA has less than 8seconds left)>doomguard>drain soul (mob health less than 25%)>shadowflame (if in range)>Soulburn: Soulfire>Shadowbolt>drain life>Fel flame if moving

Lvl 85 Drain Life focus (start rotation with 1 shadowbolt and then haunt):
Soul burn Summon Pet (dead pet)>Summon pet (if dead pet)>dark intent>CoE>Shadowbolt (if improved Shadowbolt is about to drop>Demon Soul>Corruption>Unstable Affliction>Bane of doom (bosses)/agony(trash)>Haunt>4pT11 Felflame (UA has less than 8secodns left)>doomguard>drain soul (mob health less than 25%)>shadowflame (if in range)>Soulburn: Soulfire>NF proc>drain life>Fel flame if moving

When using drain soul (sub 25%) you might need to refresh a dot, wait for drain soul to tick then clip it to recast your dot. Ideally you want to delay haunt so that it lands right when it falls off. In reality haunt falling off is a huge dps loss so i recommend casting it the moment its Cooldown if over.

Lvl 80-85 PVP OPTIONAL Talents:

Improved Life Tap
Improved Fear
Shadow's Embrace
Death's embrace
Fel synergy
Demonic embrace

Lvl 80 PVP Spec:

Lvl 85 PVP Spec:

If you spec into bane shadow bolt will be your filler and if you dont use drain life.
The expendible have perished... So be it! Now I shall succeed where Sargeras could not! I will bleed this wretched world and secure my place as the true master of the Burning Legion. The end has come! Let the unraveling of this world commence!


As its name suggests this school of warlock magic is about destruction!!! Destruction warlocks like nothing more than setting someone on fire and then laughing as demonic hellfire turns their opponents into dust. Upon reaching level 10 destruction warlocks learn the spell conflagrate which takes the spell immolate fans the flames by doing portion of its damage instantly rather than over time.

PVE: imp
PVP: Succubus/imp/felhunter

Optional Talents

Improved searing pain
Nether protection
Bane of Havok
Demonic embrace

Talent spec: Its important to pick up mana feed/dark arts from demo and improved corruption from affliction. Once your imp's cast time for firebolt drops to about 1.25 cast time drop the third point from dark arts due to the imp GCD bug.

Level 85 spec:

Stats @ Lvl 85-As always your stat weights change with gear and you need simulationcraft of a spreadsheet to know for sure. This is mainly just a rule of thumb. In general (ie not at a haste threshold) intellect is nearly always best and mastery is bad. Haste is horrible past a threshold and amazing when it adds another tick of immolate.

Stats after reaching a haste threshold (lvl 85):
Intellect>hit to cap*>haste=crit>mastery

AoE: Rain of Fire/shadowfury

Lvl 85 spell priority queue:
Summon imp (if pet dead)>Dark intent>demon soul>soul burn: Soulfire>Bane of doom>immolate>4pT11 Felflame>conflag>corruption>Shadowflame (if in range)>empowered imp proc>Chaos bolt>doomguard>Shadowburn>incinerate>felflame if moving

Be aware that Conflag has a delay between when immolate is applied and when the spell is usable.

Destruction OPTIONAL PVP talents:
Improved soul fire
Soul leech
bane of Havoc
fel synergy

Level 80 Pvp spec-

Imp focused:

Succy/felhunter focused:

Level 85 PVP destro spec-HIGHLY SUBJECTIVE

Imp focused:

Succy/felhunter focused:
"Myself? No. I have no desire to march through the streets with an axe or a hammer, meeting my foes in the flesh. My path is the far greater one. I shall meet them in spirit and crush them from afar, devouring them by the hundreds and the thousands. Soon, all that was promised me shall be mine, and then Doomhammer will be as nothing against me. Even the might of the Horde will pale before me, and I shall stretch out my hand and wipe this world clean, to remake it in my own image!"


This is the school that teaches your warlocks how to better control and capture more powerful demons. Demology warlocks recieve the most powerful of all minions at level 10, the felguard. Upon mastering this school the warlock can transform even become demons themselves for short periods of time. Of all warlock specs demonology warlocks provide the most utility to the group.

I admit that demo is not my strong suit. Im usually affliction and occasionally destro. For an in depth guide by a FAR more accomplished warlock try the following link:

PVE: Felhunter, Felguard (AoE)
PVP: Felguard

4.3 Update there is now a 2nd demo spec. Im calling one shadowbolt demo and the other incinerate demo.

Optional PVE talents-
Demonic embrace-
demonic rebirth-
demonic aegis-
Master summoner-
Demonic empowerment-
Improved health funnel-
aura of forboding-

Talent Spec-After clearing demo spec destro for firestorm

Lvl 85 PVE Spec-Shadowbolt (recommended)

Lvl 85 PVE Spec-Incinerate

The incinerate spec is mainly for Patchwerk type fights with no opportunity to multidot or little to no movement.

Stats @85-Once again stat weights change with gear. You will need simulation craft/spreadsheet to find your true stat weight. This is more a rule of thumb. Intellect is almost always best and crit tend to be bad. Based on level 80 stat weights we know that haste can be better than intellect at certain gear levels, but currently it is the best of our secondary stats next to hit.

If between a hard haste threshold and approaching the next soft immolate thresholds stack haste over other secondary stat till immolate becomes hard to refresh with HoG. If it is simulating high enough stack it over intellect:

Lvl 85
Intellect>>hit to cap*>=haste**=mastery**>crit

**See your scale factors for deciding between haste and mastery. Mastery will tend to be better after adding a tick to immolate and then lag behind haste as you approach another tick.

*Still important to hit cap.

AoEs: Immolation aura, felstorm, hellfire

Level 85 spell priority queue:
Soul burn Summon Pet (dead pet in combat)>Summon Pet (if dead pet and no SB)>Dark intent>CoE>meta>demon soul>immolation aura>Bane of doom>immolate>corruption>4pT11 Felflame>shadowflame (if in range)>Hand of Guldan>incinerate during molten core>SoulBurnSoulfire>Soul Fire (when you have decimation)>doomguard>shadowbolt* >felflame if moving.

*replace with incinerate if you are using the incinerate build.

At 85 you will use felflame to add time to immolate so you can refresh it with Hand of Guldan if your at a point where Hand of Guldan cant refresh it before it falls off the target.

Rememeber Hand of Gul'dan has a ~1second travel time when refreshing immolate.

Optional PVP talents-
Fel Synergy
Master Summoner
Demonic Rebirth
Improved Health Funnel
Ancient Grimoire
Shadow and Flame

Lvl 80 PVP spec-

Lvl 85 PVP spec: Highly Subjective

Hand of gul'dan is a dangerous spell in pvp as it can lock you out of both shadow and fire if interrupted.

==Note: The following info is dated the talent Inferno now fixes refresh issues==

The reason for the haste levels and different stats is because it is possible to reach a lvl of haste where its impossible to refresh immolate with hand of gul'dan. Elitist Jerks recommends trying to stay away from this value of haste. Its usually between soft(5% spell haste) and hard haste thresholds. Past these points avoid haste.

Here is a chart from a spreadsheet i made showing how much time you will have to refresh immolate with Hand of Gul'dan.:

Lvl 80

Lvl 85

==End of dated info==

As i said before warlocks are a dot class. Every spec uses DoTs. So i just wanted to take time to adress one of the biggest benefits of being a warlock, multidotting.

Multidotting is the act of throwing up multiple DoTs on Boss adds or other long lived mobs that you are not actively Attacking in order to achieve higher DPS. Some people, and a lock here and there, feel that multidotting is nothing more than Padding the meters.

THIS IS FALSE! Warlocks are a PURE DPS class. This means that our sole purpose in a raid is to kill things and do as much damage as possible. We bring a lot of utility (especially demo) for a pure dps spec, but if your NOT BEING BROUGHT FOR YOUR DAMAGE YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG! Simply put, unless you are completely outgeared you should be fighting tooth and nail for the TOP DPS SPOT!!!

Multidotting is an advantage of our class just like a mage spell stealing a boss' buff to do insane dps is one of their advantage. Its not padding the meters, its us doing our JOB!!! If you ever catch slack for it, just tell them the truth. EVERYTHING must die. Adds need to die, boss need to die. Everything must die.

Now dont take this as a license to be stupid. A dead warlock does no dps. But unless it threatens the success of the raid (like pulling an add off the OT) feel free to cast your dots on every damn thing that moves!!! At the end of the day when your raid leader is going over the battle logs they are not going to see a lock multidotting, but rather an amazing player topping the charts!


Multidotting is at its core, all about adds. So the first thing you need to do is decide if its higher dps to aoe/single target, or multidot. Affliction warlocks can get around this by using Soulburn: SoC and both multidot and aoe at the same time, but of course this does have a short cooldown.

In general, if faced with about 5 or more mobs its almost always better to aoe. Its when your talking about 4 or less mobs it becomes tricky. The first thing you should ask yourself when faced with 4 or less mobs is how long are they going to last? If you recall from the DoTs 101 section DoTs have high DPCT, but low DPS. So if the mobs die so fast your dots dont do more damage than your filler then they are a waste of mana. This is especially true when your questing at low levels.

The Second question you need to ask yourself is if you need to refresh an important debuff or use a cooldown. For example haunt takes precedence over multidotting. Never let haunt fall off your main target. Similarly Conflag is a higher DPCT than corruption or bane of doom for destro. You should always make sure to use conflag on your main target before even thinking of going dot happy.

If you know that the mobs are going to be up for a long time and take alot of damage before dying (like mini-boss adds during a boss encounter) then you should definately multidot.

On pure trash pulls, i recommend dotting the adds up and then aoeing down all the mobs. Once again SoulBurn:Seed of Corruption excells at this. On boss fights or encounters featuring an add that needs to be burned down quickly i recommend the use of focus macros or mouseover macros. The former allows you to keep important debuffs on the main mob while not directly targetting them (think haunt and immolate) and the latter allows you to dot up mobs while never detargetting the boss.

Focus macro example:

/cast [mod:shift,@Focus] Haunt; Unstable Affliction

This will cast haunt at your focus if you hold down shift otherwise it casts UA on your current target. You can also macro in a focus target and clear focus options if your so inclined. I personally have keybinds for focusing targets and clearing out my focus.

Mouseover macro example

/cast [@mouseover, exists] []Soul Swap

This is macro allows you to Soul Swap your current target and then instantly put all your dots on an add simply by putting your mouse arrow on the new mob. You dont even have to detarget the boss.

Multidotting is not hard but practice never hurts either. I recommend going to the level 80 dummies in the nearest town and practice there. Notice how it affects your dps on the dummies and get a good feel for it. If done right (especially for affliction locks) you should notice a nice increase in dps! Dont feel discouraged if you cant get it down right away multidotting as the title suggests is an art.

These are the thresholds where these spells get an extra tick. These are not as important for affliction as they are for destro/demo but im going to include them for completeness sake. For Destro, depending on the haste threshold of immolate haste can range from a crappy stat that we value less than crit to one that is better than intellect.

*The game rounds the new tick time to the nearest ten thousandth of a second (4 decimal places).

Format, unless otherwise noted is Haste%/Lvl85 haste rating. DI=Dark intent. DI trading is NOT taken into account.


a) No Buffs: 1tick (8.33%/1068), 2ticks (25%/3201), 3ticks (41.67%/5336), 4ticks(58.34%/7471), 5ticks (75.00%/9605), 6ticks (91.67%/11739)

b) 5% haste buff: 1tick (3.18%/407), 2 ticks (19.04%/2439), 3ticks (34.92%/4473), 4ticks (50.80%/6505), 5ticks (66.67%/8537), 6 ticks (82.54%/10571)

c)DI+5% buff: Coming soon


a) No Buff:1ticks (10%/1280), 2ticks (30%/3844), 3ticks (50%/6399) 4ticks (70%/8967), 5 ticks (90%/11533)

b) DI:1tick (6.79%/870), 2ticks (26.23%/3359), 3ticks (45.60%/5839) 4ticks (65.07%/8333), 5tickss (84.52%/10824)

c)DI+5% buff: (1.71%/218), 2ticks (20.21%/2589), 3ticks (38.67%/4951), 4ticks (57.21%/7326), 5 ticks (75.73%/9698)

Immolate tables including the goblin racial can also be found on Keldion's Spreadsheet:


a) Unbuffed: 1tick (4.17%), 2ticks (12.50%), 3ticks (20.83%), 4ticks (29.17%), 5ticks (37.5%), 6ticks (45.83%), 7ticks (54.17%), 8ticks (62.5%), 9tick (70.83%), 10ticks (79.17%), 11ticks (87.5%)

b) 5%haste buff:1tick (inherent), 2ticks (7.14%), 3ticks (15.08%), 4ticks (23.01%), 5ticks (30.95%), 6ticks (38.89%), 7ticks (46.83%), 8ticks (54.76%), 9ticks (62.70%), 10ticks (70.63%), 11ticks (78.57%)

c)DI+5% buff: Coming soon


Try to keep your haste between the hard (self buffed) and the next soft (all buffs) thresholds. At 80 that would be unbuffed and the 5%haste buff numbers, at level 85 that is between (DI) and (DI+5%). When between these points haste is worth more than intellect. Past these points avoid haste like the plague.

Acrimony has developed an appl to help with haste thresholds if you want to check it out:

NOTE: Website doesn't work with IE6/7.

She is constantly updating it so make sure this is the newest version by checking out her guide at:

When reforging you will try to trade lesser stats for greater ones. Your first goal when reforging is to try and hit the hit cap after you have gemmed your gear. So lets say you need 108 more hit rating to be capped (446 @80).

You see a piece of gear with hit/crit. Since the gear has hit already you can not reforge it for more hit. So you move down to the next piece of gear. It has haste/crit. Haste is a good stat for almost all specs so we leave it alone and reforge the crit into haste. Ulitmately what you reforge depends on what you need. In generals it goes hit to cap>haste>mastery>crit. Know your stat weights before you reforge though as once again what stats gives you the most dps can vary wildly. Also be aware you cant reforge primary stats like intellect, spirit, agility, strength or stamina. You also can not reforge resiliance or either normal or bonus amror.

Also note that you want to gem first then reforge. The reason for that is it makes gems much much more flexible.

Helpful sites for reforging if you know your stat weights:


Flasks-Frost wyrm at 80, Flask of the Draconic Mind at level 85
Potions-Speed potion or wild magic potion at 80, Vocanic potion at 85
Feast-fish feast at 80, Seafood Magnifique Feast at 85
food- snapper extreme orfirecracker salmon at 80, Grilled dragon, severed sagefish head or balisk liver dog at 85
Pet food-Spiced Mammoth Treats


No matter what spec use felarmor in pve. In pvp switch between the two based on your immediate needs.

[SBAWG12] UTILITY SPELLS (all specs)-

Normally we warlocks are opposed to helping others but by helping the group we more often than not help ourselves so we begrudgingly cast these spells.

Dark Intent-This spell gives you and your target +3% haste and every time they or you crit with a periodic spell (DoTs/Heal over times HoTs) you both gain +3% periodic damage or healing stacking upto 3 times for 9% damage.

Sadly the increased periodic damage does not stack so its best to NOT DI another warlock. The very best target to DI is a restro druid. After that give priority to shadow priests (more raid dps) then boomkins (more personal DPS). Beyond those classes give it to whoever you want. If you are feeling really evil give it to your pet.

Ritual of Souls-As young warlocks we learned to create healthstones to keep ourselves alive. BUt as our power grows one small stones ceases to be able to contain the sheer volumes of demonic power we pump into them. In order to fix this we developed a method to summon a well full of healthstones for us and the "useful idiots" we tolerate around us as we attempt to steal the power of even greater enemies like the Lich king or Deathwing himself!!!!

Ritual of Summoning-So another idiot is running late. To us warlocks, time is too precious a commodity to waste. Therefore, from time to time we summon our useful idiots to us. Too bad we neglected to tell them we require their souls for payment later on. This spell is especially fun to use when cast unending breath on ourselves and summon fools to the bottom of the ocean to watch them drown >=)

Create Soulstone-Creates a Soulstone. The Soulstone can be used to store one target's soul. If the target dies while his soul is stored, he will be able to resurrect with 30% health and 30% mana. IT SHOULD BE NOTED that this spell is interchangable witht the druid spell rebirth and only one of the two of them can be used in a 10man raid. A combination of rebirths/soulstones can be used no more than 3 times in a 25man raid. Be sure to EDUCATE your local druid about this and tell them how you are gonna use your soulstone. 90% of the time you will soul stone a healer. One day this spell will be castable in combat.

Curse of Elements-Curses the target for 5 min, reducing Arcane, Fire, Frost, Nature, and Shadow resistances by 164 and increasing magic damage taken by 8%. Only one Curse per Warlock can be active on any one target.

Unending breath-Allows your target to breath under water. Needed to get your pawns to the bottom of the ocean to help you summon your victim.

These are my recommended addons:

Power auras classic
Drain soul timer
Lock notes
Dot timer
ForteXorcist (probably best dot addon for multidotting)
Deadly boss mods

Curse of exhaustion rogue finder

The curse of exhaustion macro will cast curse of exhaustion on any enemy target close to you. Its called a rogue finder macro because if a rogue is nearby and you spam it the INSTANT the rogue is close enough you can see them you snare them.

I suck at pvp but i have creamed many a bad rogue/kitty with this macro.

#showtooltip Curse of Exhaustion
/console targetNearestDistance 15.000000
/targetenemy [noharm][dead]
/console targetNearestDistance 41.000000
/cast [harm,nodead] Curse of Exhaustion
/dismount [target=target,exists]

Focused Seduction macro-

The seduction macro will focus your target and seduce it upon cast. From here pressing the macro will re-seduce your Focus (your former target) if its still alive allowing you to target other mobs while keeping your CC assignment seduced. NEW targets will NOT be seduced so long as your focus is alive. Pressing it during seduction will break seduction and re-seduce your focus. Pressing alt will clear your focus and make your current target the new focus and seduce it.

/clearfocus [modifier:alt]
/focus [target=focus,noexists]; [target=focus,dead]
/clearfocus [target=focus,help]
/cast [pet:succubus,target=focus,exists,harm] Seduction; Seduction

Focus banish macro

The focus banish macro isnt nearly as complex. It will banish your current target if pressed and will banish your focus if you press it while having the alt button down.

/cast [modifier:alt, target=focus, exists] Banish; Banish

Mouseover macros allow you to cast spells on mobs simply by hovering your mouse over them. No need to target at all.

Mouse over Banish

/cast [@mouseover, exists] []Banish; Banish

Mouse over fear

/cast [@mouseover, exists] [] Fear

Mouseover soul swap-
if you are getting a spell not learned error with this macro remove your soul swap glyph, respec, then go and use the macro on a dummy. After it works THEN relearn the soul swap glyph

/cast [@mouseover, exists] []Soul Swap

Mouseover Haunt


/cast [@mouseover, exists] []Soul Haunt

All in one pet button

All in one combines multiple pet macros into one. Succubus out? it seduces your target and holding down shift while pressing it will seduce your focus. Same thing with felhunter and spell lock. Imp will use singe magic. Pressed voidwalker will cast sacrifice. Using shift will make him use consume shadows (rogue finder).

/cast [modifier:shift, target=focus, exists] Seduction; Seduction
/cast [modifier:shift, target=focus, exists] Spell Lock; Spell lock
/cast Singe Magic
/cast [mod:shift] Consume Shadows; Sacrifice

The following Macros were provided by Eruushia. They allow you to spam these macros without having to toggle the targetting circle on and off:

/cast !Rain of Fire

/cast !Summon Infernal

From Irkask: Soulburn is not on the gcd so you can macro soulburn abilities such as soulfire:

/cast Soulburn
/cast Soul Fire

Works for all soulburning abilities such as healthstone, pets, port, and drainlife.


    Rating per 1%/Level 80/Level 85

    Spell Hit:26.232/102.446
    Crit rating:45.906/179.28
    Haste rating:32.79/128.05701

Warlocks have 1.7% base spell crit

    1%spell crit /lvl 80/lvl 85


Base Duration: 18seconds
Base number of ticks:6
Base damage per tick: 147
Spell power Coefficient: 20%
school: Shadow

Unstable Affliction:
Base Duration: 15seconds
Base number of ticks:5
Base damage per tick: 223
Spell power Coefficient: 20%
School: Shadow

Bane of Agony:
Base Duration: 24seconds
Base number of ticks:12
Base damage per tick:63.5*X; X starts at 1 and increases by 1 every 4 ticks
Spell power Coefficient:10%
School: Shadow

Bane of doom:
base duration:1minute
base number of ticks:4
base damage per tick:1947
spell power coefficient:TBD

Base duration: 15seconds
base number of ticks: 5
base damage:410
Base damage per tick:137
Spell power Coefficient: TBD
School: fire

Base damage:709
spell power Coefficient:42.9%
cooldown: 8seconds
School: Shadow

Drain soul:
Base duration: 15second
Base number of ticks: 5
base damage per tick:76
spell power coefficient:42.856%
school: Shadow

Base damage 564-628
School: Shadow
Spellpower coefficient: 85.71%
School: Shadow

Incinerate (no immolate):
base damage: 510-592
Spell power coefficient: TBD

Incinerate (immolate):
Base damage: 595-691
spell power coefficient: TBD
School: Fire

Searing pain:
base damage: 283-335
spell power coefficient:TBD
School: fire

base damage: 2172-2722
spell power Coefficient:TBD

Chaos Bolt:
base damage:1311-1665
spell power coefficient:TBD
cooldown: 12second

Hand of Gul'dan:
base damage:1406-1660
spell power coefficient:TBD
cooldown:12 seconds
school:Shadow AND fire

Immolation aura:
Base Number of ticks:15seconds
base damage per tick:251
Spell power coefficient:TBD
cooldown: 30second
school: fire

Seed of Corruption:
Duration:18seconds max
base damage:568-658
base number of ticks:6max
base tick:242
spell power coefficient:TBD
School: Shadow

Rain of fire:
base number of ticks:4
base tick:613
spell power coefficient:TBD
school: fire

base number of ticks:15
base tick damage:319
spellpower coefficient: TBD


Most of the info found in this guide is based on the EJ simulationcraft thread found in the references. They assume certain stat weights. However, your own personal stat weights may differ due to your gear, how close you are to a haste threshold, and many other factors. The best way to find out what your stat weights are is to use one of the following tools

4.0 EJ spreadsheet

Rawr-i dont use this program anymore and it looks to be dated


Here is a how to simulationcraft guide if you need help running it:
These are mainly for use with affliction/destruction spec as i am not a demo fan.
^old power aura
^New power auras
Export for new auras:
Set=Page 1@
Aura[1]=Version:4.20; icon:inv_alchemy_elixir_02; buffname:MANA; bufftype:9; texture:70; threshold:35@
Aura[2]=Version:4.20; b:0.1412; g:0.0549; icon:spell_warlock_demonsoul; buffname:Demon Soul; bufftype:15; texture:50; alpha:0.3; combat:true@
Aura[3]=Version:4.20; target:true; icon:Spell_Shadow_AbominationExplosion; buffname:Corruption; x:-92; bufftype:2; alpha:0.5; owntex:true; mine:true; stacksOperator:=; PowerType:0; combat:true; size:0.13; y:-137; texmode:2; timer.a:0.5; timer.h:1.56; timer.enabled:true; timer.Relative:BOTTOM; timer.y:-2; timer.x:-10@
Aura[4]=Version:4.20; target:true; icon:Ability_Warlock_Haunt; buffname:Haunt; x:10; bufftype:2; owntex:true; mine:true; stacksOperator:=; PowerType:0; size:0.2; y:-286; texmode:2; anim2:1; finish:0; timer.a:0.5; timer.h:1.22; timer.enabled:true; timer.Relative:BOTTOMRIGHT; timer.x:-45@
Aura[5]=Version:4.20; b:0.949; target:true; icon:Spell_Fire_Immolation; buffname:Unstable Affliction / Immolate; r:0.9451; x:-24; unitn:Only for raid/group.; bufftype:2; texture:13; alpha:0.5; owntex:true; mine:true; stacksOperator:=; PowerType:0; combat:true; size:0.2; y:-135; texmode:2; finish:4; timer.a:0.5; timer.h:1.54; timer.enabled:true; timer.Relative:BOTTOM; timer.x:-14@
Aura[6]=Version:4.20; target:true; icon:Spell_Shadow_AuraOfDarkness; buffname:Bane; x:34; bufftype:2; owntex:true; mine:true; PowerType:0; size:0.17; y:-137; texmode:2; timer.a:0.5; timer.h:1.47; timer.Texture:Original; timer.enabled:true; timer.Relative:BOTTOM@
Aura[7]=Version:4.20; target:true; icon:Spell_Shadow_ChillTouch; buffname:Curse; x:93; unitn:Only for raid/group.; bufftype:2; alpha:0.5; owntex:true; mine:true; stacksOperator:=; PowerType:0; combat:true; size:0.13; y:-136; texmode:2; timer.a:0.5; timer.h:1.55; timer.enabled:true; timer.Relative:BOTTOM@
Aura[8]=Version:4.20; icon:spell_warlock_soulburn; buffname:Soulburn; x:-68; bufftype:7; alpha:0.56; owntex:true; mine:true; PowerType:0; size:0.31; y:-248; texmode:2; inverse:true; timer.a:0.68; timer.enabled:true; timer.Relative:BOTTOM@
Aura[9]=Version:4.20; icon:Achievement_Boss_Kiljaedan; buffname:Summon Doomguard; x:81; bufftype:7; alpha:0.56; owntex:true; mine:true; PowerType:0; size:0.31; y:-248; texmode:2; inverse:true; timer.a:0.68; timer.enabled:true; timer.Relative:BOTTOM@
Aura[10]=Version:4.20; icon:Spell_Fire_Fireball02; buffname:Improved soul fire; x:10; alpha:0.37; owntex:true; size:0.19; y:-235; texmode:2; timer.b:0.9686; timer.g:0.9922; timer.h:1.13; timer.enabled:true; timer.r:0.9686; timer.y:-250; timer.x:2@
Aura[11]=Version:4.20; icon:ability_warlock_soulswap; buffname:Soul Swap; bufftype:7; alpha:0.49; owntex:true; duration:1.5; size:0.41; texmode:2@
Aura[12]=Version:4.20; b:0.0824; g:0.0157; icon:spell_warlock_focusshadow; buffname:Dark intent; r:0.9804; x:-68; texture:8; size:0.39; y:507; inverse:true@
Aura[13]=Version:4.20; icon:Spell_Shadow_Shadowfury; buffname:Shadowfury; bufftype:7; alpha:0.49; owntex:true; duration:1.5; size:0.41; texmode:2@
Aura[14]=Version:4.20; b:0.0118; g:0; icon:Spell_Shadow_AntiShadow; buffname:Shadow ward/nether ward; x:-2; bufftype:15; texture:11; size:2.84; y:-76; inverse:true@
Aura[15]=Version:4.20; b:0.7412; g:0; target:true; icon:inv_alchemy_elixir_05; x:3; bufftype:8; texture:9; sound:20; PowerType:0; threshold:25; wowtex:true; size:1.93; y:-42@
Aura[16]=Version:4.20; icon:Spell_Shadow_RagingScream; buffname:Fel Armor/ Demon Armor; texture:21; PowerType:0; inverse:true@
Aura[17]=Version:4.20; b:0.2118; icon:Ability_Warlock_ChaosBolt; buffname:Chaos Bolt; r:0.0549; bufftype:15; texture:9; alpha:0.34; sound:24; PowerType:0; combat:true@
Aura[18]=Version:4.20; b:0.0431; g:0.0667; icon:Spell_Fire_Fireball; buffname:Confl; bufftype:7; texture:6; alpha:1; sound:17; PowerType:0@

Yes this required an entire post of its own.
Coming Soon™

Under Construction

A macro is a mini program designed to preform an action for the user. Blizzard has put limitations in place to keep these macros from playing the game for you. You really cant macro your "rotation" without a huge damage loss. You cant make a macro to cast whatever spell is off of cooldown. But you can make it change the spell you cast with a modifier or cast a different spell depending on whether your target is friendly or aggressive to you. You can use macros to manage focuses and to cast spells or use items without having to change targets or look thru your bags.

To start with i recommend selecting the ? as your macro icon and starting all macros with:


This causes the macro to display the image of the spell being cast and show you its tooltip.

Now to use an abiltiy type /cast followed by the spell or abilities name. For items type /use. You can open your spellbook and shift click the ability to put it in there or you can type it out. BUT IF YOU TYPE IT OUT IT HAS TO BE EXACTLY LIKE IT IS IN THE SPELLBOOK. That means /cast shadowbolt will not work. It has to be /cast Shadow Bolt.

If you wish to use a trinket you can type /use or /cast then the trinkets name. I find this restrictive if you change trinkets so i use /use 13 or /use 14 instead. The reason for the number is that all your equipped items have slot ids associated to them just so that you can use macros this way. The slot IDs are as follows: 1 = head; 2 = neck; 3 = shoulder; 4 = shirt; 5 = chest; 6 = belt; 7 = legs; 8 = feet; 9 = wrist; 10 = gloves; 11 = finger 1; 12 = finger 2; 13 = trinket 1; 14 = trinket 2; 15 = back; 16 = main hand; 17 = off hand; 18 = ranged; 19 = tabard. Similarly you can equip items with the /equipslot command. For instance /equipslot 16 Abracadabra will equip my crappy staff into my main hand.

Now you can set your macro to cast one spell normal and another spell if you hold down a button like the shift key with the use of modifiers. Type [mod: key] then the spell you want it to cast followed by a semi-colon then the spell to cast normally. For instance:

/cast [mod:shift] Haunt; Unstable Affliction

This will cast Unstable Affliction normally, but will cast haunt if you have shift held down. Please note that if an ability is keybound to the 1-12,-,and = keys shift and ctrl both can cause issues with other default keybinds and you should use alt instead.

Mods include: alt, shift, ctrl, help, harm, combat, dead, exists

Harm means the target is hostile toward you, help means they can cast helpful spells on you, dead means if the target is dead, exists means you have something targeted, and combat means if your in combat.

You can also set a macro to cast a series of spells with the /castsequence command. You have to press the macro for each spell but it will change to the next spell each time. It is very helpful to add in a reset command in this macro in order to reset the macro from the beginning when used. For instance:

/castsequence reset=3 Corruption, Bane of Agony, Immolate

This will cast corruption on the first push, then BoA, followed by immolate. The reset=3 means that it will reset the macro back to corruption after 3 seconds following your last push of the macro (not since you started the macro). Similarly reset can also be set to combat, target, shift, alt and crtl. Target would reset it when you change targets, and combat resets the macro when you leave combat. Note that the reset has to follow any modifiers.

Macros can also be used to cast spells at certain targets or focus units.

/focus target

will make your target your Focus. Typing /target focus on the other hand will target your focus. You can also use @ to cast spells at certain targets without targeting it.

/cast [@focus] Shadow Bolt

This will send a shadowbolt at your focus without detargetting your current target. You can use @ command with other players [@Vaydra], focus, or even at whatever your mouse pointer is one with the [@mouseover] command. I recommend using an empty bracket following mouseover macros to avoid bugs. /cast [@mouseover] [] Corruption for example. The second bracket tells the macro to behave normally if you dont have your mouse on any unit.

You can also use macros to control your pet with the /petattack, /petstay, /petfollow commands.

Finally a very very helpful macro for PVP is the /stopcasting macro. This macro will stop your current spell from casting. This is useful for tricking an opponent into wasting their interrupt. You start casting, your opponent see you casting and reaches to hit their interrupt, but you stop casting before they hit their button, and their interrupt is wasted. This is called juking a cast.

For more info on macros please check out:

Also check out the other macros i included in this guide.

This section is purely opinion and based on my own personal experience.


A very harmful practice a lot of new players make is to turn using their a,d,s,w, or arrow keys. This is a very bad habit. Due to the way this game is programmed you can NOT turn as fast using these keys as you can using a mouse.

In PVE you can possibly get away with keyboard turning but your dps will suffer for it. A person who moves out of the fire faster takes less damage and gets into position sooner to do cast more.

Conversely, keyboard turning in PVP is crippling. An opponent can literally run behind you 100% of the time preventing you from casting and doing more damage. If you want to PVP seriously the first thing you need to do is break this habit.

If you move like this i recommend going into you menu and going to keybinds. Remove the movement function from these keys and force yourself to get used to moving using a mouse.


Another bad habit (one im guilty of). No matter what you do you will always move faster going forward than if you backpeddle. This means you get out of the bad stuff faster turning around and running forward than you ever will backpeddling.

The only reason i havent removed my backpeddle keybind yet is i try to keep my keybinds as similar as possible across my toons and use backpeddling for slow kiting on my paladin tank Celyn. This is a horrible excuse i know.


Clicking is where you take your mouse pointer to an ability and click it to cast a spell. While on a purely single target fight with no movement (called Patchwerk fights) Clicking wont affect your dps at all, the moment you have to move it will cause you to lose dps. Its bad in PVE and crippling in PVP and should be avoided.

When clicking you are unable to cast instant spells while moving. The only way to move and cast is to move with your keyboard. We have already discussed why this is bad in the keyboard turning section. What you want to do is KEYBIND your abilities in a way that all your combat spells can quickly and comfortably be reached with your non-dominate hand. In general (if you are right handed) you want the 1-5 keys bound to cast time spells and keep instants and emergency spells keybound below them.

For example i have conflag keybound to my g key and immolate to my 4 key. I also have death coil keybound to my e key. Use your other keys for non-combat spells. For example and i have my mount macro keybound to my ; key. I also have ritual of summoning to my = key.

Remember that everyone is different and find a keybinding scheme that you are comfortable with. You should see results quite quickly.


Just like macros, a good raiding user interface (UI) is a powerful tool when raiding. The blizzard standard UI is more than enough to be successful, however it is pretty horrible. Alot of things can happen during that half a second you took to look at your buffs/debuffs and way from whats happening around you.

Also having to look at the top of the screen to monitor your debuffs on the boss and then look at the bottom of the screen to monitor your cooldowns is very inefficient.

I recommend that you download some UI addons like pitbull/bartender/omen/grid/ect and set up your own custom UI if your computer can handle it. You can also find several premade UI on developed for both Raiding and PVP.

If you find a ui that is intuitive and comfortable to you, it will be just one more step to a better raiding experience and performance.

My UI:

My target is on the left and my focus (imp) is on the right. Skada/grid is to the right of my focus and though you cant see it omen is to the left of my target. Im also using AZcast bars and MSBT.

Here is a link to a premade custom ui you can download that alot of my friends use and like alot:

I like that ui but its a bit much for a minimalist like me.

The thing to remember is that it is important to find a UI that suits you and your playstyle.
If your dps is low then odds are its NOT because your hit below 17% hit. For heroic 5mans you should aim for no more than 6% hit. When you start raiding then try and reforge all your gear to 17% hit. If you can't make 17% hit it is not the end of the world and does not mean your doomed to bad dps.

Hit is an important stat but intellect and spell power are far more important. If have to choose between being below the hit cap by a few % points or having significantly more spellpower...choose the spell power. Rotation is the most important part of increasing your damage. Followed by talents and then gems/chants/glyphs.


All info found in this guide was derived from these resources.

Whyvette's Leveling Guide:

Acrimony's Gems/Enchant guide:

Esson (dead link)

EJ 4.0 thread

Dots and you 4.0



Power Auras

PVP Guide (dead link)

1261 or 1401haste? (dead link)

Demo guide (dead link)

Guide for the Raiding Demonologist by Freohr



Combat ratings

wowheroes data base

Wowpedia Macro Guide

Ask Mr Robot

WoW Reforge:

Recommended link(s):

Whynot's guide to CC:

Dragon Soul Hardmode Guide

Through a Glass, Darkly Guide

Current EJ Guides (4.3)

MMO-Champion Guide

In closing i would like to dedicate this guide to Fallenman, Vux, Clarity, Ekeln, Acrimony, and Abnot. The first three (Especially Fallenman) all wrote guides on the old forums that helped me when i was a nooblock. Abnot was without a doubt one of the most helpful and informative poster the warlock forums ever had. Ekeln and Acrimony both helped answer a variety of questions and set me straight on inaccuracies, they were both instrumental in the making of this guide. All of them helped me so much that there is no way for me to express the entirety of my Gratitude. If any of you read this THANK YOU!

Thank you for reading. I hope this guide proves to be a valuable resource for you in this new expansion.
Edit List:

11/9/10-Guide posted/Macros given descriptions.

11/12/10-Correction on Black magic+changes to demo stats to stack. Also added a chart showing time to refresh immolate with hand of Gul'dan.

11/14/10-Voidwalker update. Bracing shadowspirit added as well as engineering belt chant.

11/15/10-Glove-mastery change. Added more meta alternatives. Macro descriptions. Copy and pasted level 80 info to page two to prepare for the purge. God it will be nice to have room to make edits when that happens =D

11/19/10-Changed Demo quote from Wilfred to Gul'dan upon request. Added a clarification on level 85 demo spec due to wowheads bug.

11/20/10-New level 85 link. Its not wowheads which i like because i can show glyphs as well, but its the best i can do atm, thanks to Mahalito. Also redid gem section but i still dont feel im as clear as i would like to be. Just not enough room atm. Will completely redo once level 80 data is purged from page 1 to page 2.

11/21/10-Added Acrimony's app and added her guide to resources.

11/23/10-lvl 80 gems updated for new meta requirements. Haste threshold completely redone. Lvl 85 HoG chart added. <span class="underline"/>

11/24/10-outdated spell info removed and all posts moved up.

12/2/10-COMPLETELY redid gems..AGAIN. Also slight rearrangement and update on stats. Also added drain life with demon soul up for affliciton (shadowbolt).

12/8/10-More stat changes yet again and the Art of Multidotting Finally written. Will probably need major revisions later. Next up a short macro guide.

4/9/11-updated for 4.1
Please explain what the Macros do in detail. I find them Difficult to follow.

other than that, great guide.

Join the Conversation