Non-Obvious T14 Raiding Mechanics

Last Update: January 18th, 2013, Patch 5.1

Hello. Throughout our adventures in new raids we find clever uses of mechanics that make warlocks that much more of an asset to their raid progression. EJ's warlock forum used to have a thread of this nature, but sadly it has not continued into MoP. In my opinion, it is still worthwhile to compile tips and tricks into one easily accessible resource for everyone. Assuming that the player intends to raid at some point, threads like these can be useful even to novice warlocks. If this thread is popular and I'm still playing, I would have no issue with keeping the thread up to date for future tiers of raiding (But in the interest of saving space I may remove old tiers). Now that all raids are out, there should be a sufficient amount of information for each boss. All mechanics apply to both difficulties unless otherwise noted.

Everyone is welcome to post any clever uses of mechanics that they encounter in their raid (For example, Unbound Will allows you to ignore X mechanic). If necessary, you can provide logs or screenshots for proof. I hope that this can be useful to everyone, including heroic mode raiders. Discussion is welcome and encouraged.

Mogu'shan Vaults

Stone Guard

- Demonic Gateways can be placed next to two of the crystals to help players reach tiles in the back of the room (Heroic only).
- Soulburning Demonic Circle: Teleport for the sprint/immunity to roots will let you quickly pop multiple cobalt mines. Be mindful of how much time remains on Cobalt Petrification before you take full damage from cobalt abilities again.

Feng the Accursed

- Demonic Circle can be placed away from Feng to get away quickly at the end of Arcane Velocity. This removes the risk of you killing other players or taking extra damage yourself when Feng follows up with Arcane Resonance. However, I've noticed that I need the Demonic Circle glyph to make sure that my teleport is always up.
- If you're not going to get a Nullification Barrier for Epicenter, you can channel Drain Soul before your hit chance is reduced and continue to deal damage until it ends.

Gara'jal the Spiritbinder

- Shadowy Minions offer Soul Shards and Embers for killing them. This means you want to get as many kills as possible and blow your resources as quickly as possible during the time that you have down in the spirit realm. Done correctly, warlocks can wipe out the entire spirit realm with little to no help.
- Demonic Circle near the boss makes it easy to move back after leaving the spirit realm.
- Damage reductions are ineffective against damage copied over to you from another Voodoo Doll (They obviously still work if you originally took the damage). Absorption works regardless of where the damage came from - this means Sacrificial Pact and Dark Bargain are both effective options.
- Glyph of Soul Consumption will almost eliminate the risk of not being at 100% health when you need to leave the spirit realm.
- Healing cooldowns like Dark Regen and Healthstones make sure the damage buff is stacked as high as possible when you leave the spirit realm. Personally I use this when my offensive cooldowns are coming up.

The Spirit Kings

- Unbound Will frees you of Pinning Arrows so that your raid doesn't need to kill yours. Human warlocks may also EMFH out of it.
- The Spirit Kings and Undying Shadows do not give shards or embers upon defeat. Pinning Arrows do. For Affliction warlocks it is probably better to Soul Swap your dots off them shortly before they become inactive. If you still need an extra second or two for the next mob I personally use this time to life tap.
- You do not need to stop channeling Malefic Grasp on heroic Difficulty for Impervious Shield, Sleight of Hand, or Shield of Darkness. The reason is because Impervious Shield clears all effects including Malefic Grasp, and the other two are not triggered by effects that were on them beforehand, including Malefic Grasp (Heroic only).
- Mid flight spells, including Soul Swap, will trigger the three effects mentioned above even if they were cast shortly before the shield went up (Heroic only).


- Demonic Gateways allow players to move across the outer ring to get past active towers, but you might still take a tick of damage. They cannot be placed on the inner platform due to pathing.
- Demonic Circles work great for this too, but you won't need it to hit the towers on your side. Demonic Circles can also be placed on the outside so that you can maximize your time spent on the platform. Once it disappears and you begin to fall, you simply teleport back to the outer edge. You may use this time to put buffed dots on the towers before they go away, although heroic difficulty won't allow you to hit the towers from the inner platform.
- Channeled abilities will continue to channel and deal damage even if your target becomes obscured by moving off of the platform during your channel (Heroic only).
- Mannoroth's Fury lets you aoe Energy Charges very easily (While making it easier to hit all the sparks), but an assigned Energy Charge does take precedence. How you handle sparks is ultimately up to your raid, and will determine whether or not the talent would even be useful to you.
- Shadowfury can serve as an aoe stun on Cosmic Sparks to reduce tank damage.
- Dark Bargain allows you to survive Catastrophic Anomaly upon hitting berserk and continue to deal damage to push for a kill.
- Similarly Dark Bargain allows you to soak Annihilations on heroic difficulty if it is ever needed. Dark Regen/Healthstone makes it easy to heal through the resulting DoT.
- Killing an Empyreal Focus will not offer shards or embers.

Will of the Emperor

- When an Emperor's Courage appears, there is a brief period where it may be attacked from all sides before putting up its shield. You may use this time to apply dots and/or curses.
- Dark Bargain is effective at soaking Titan Sparks. Titan Sparks deal damage briefly after exploding. This means with good timing you can also set off a Titan Spark and immediately port away without taking any damage. However this requires good latency and very good timing (Heroic only).
- Glyphed Curse of Exhaustion is one of the few reliable 70% slows out there. Depending on your raid comp this may be helpful to you - don't forget that it can be Soulburned to curse multiple Emperor's Rages.
- All adds grant Shards/Embers if you kill them. Maximizing these gains is key to making the dps requirement for the encounter.
- Melee often get fixated and beaten on by Emperor's Rages. A simple Blood Fear, Shadowfury, or any cc will cause them to fixate on someone else.
Heart of Fear

Imperial Vizier Zor'lok

- Sacrifical Pact can be used while not having control of your character and will cut your health (If you're using Grimoire of Sacrifice) to 50% or less, breaking Convert instantly. Let yourself take a tiny bit of damage first though because there have been attempts where it didn't break but the huge bubble still had to be damaged through to get out of the MC.
- Demonic Gateways can be used to move across platforms and avoid the pheromones. Be careful if there are Sonic Rings or orbs while you are moving.
- Placing a Demonic Circle on the edge of one platform (Near the one you will be teleporting from) also allows you to avoid the pheromones entirely.
- Kil'Jaeden's Cunning will allow you to do full dps while avoiding Attenuation on heroic difficulty. Normally this would be very obvious, but if you are dancing with it instead of dodging at max range you will need Burning Rush in order to keep up (Assuming you have the run speed enchant this will balance your movement speed out to 105%).
- Dots will linger on targets even after Convert is broken. Spreading Corruption for example is useful for Nightfall procs if you're Affliction.

Blade Lord Tay'ak

- Sacrifical Pact's cooldown lines up exactly with Unseen Strike.
- Demonic Gateways allow you to move down the tornado alley more quickly during phase 2, and can be placed on the sides where the slipstreams are.
- Demonic Circles let you escape from Blade Tempest very easily, allowing you to do your normal rotation while running away if you have Kil'Jaeden's Cunning - which you should for this. Some experience with spin moving is helpful here (Heroic only).


- DoTs continue to do extra damage to the leg even after you've moved away. This is especially helpful for Affliction because of the way Malefic Grasp works.
- Legs don't give soul shards or embers for being killed, and dots/curses will not persist after a leg is killed.
- Soul Leech does a considerable amount of healing over the course of this encounter due to the lack of overhealing that results from the constant damage. It also benefits from doing double damage to the legs.

Wind Lord Mel'jarak

- Unbound Will allows you to escape Amber Prison with no residue debuffs.
- If you're using Grimoire of Sacrifice, you may want to keep a pet out due to the fact that the buff doesn't affect the AoE that you will spend the majority of the encounter casting. Once you need to resume a single target rotation you may sacrifice the pet again. Succubus may be a good idea to Whiplash a large clump of targets unless you have access to Felguard.
- Shadowfury, although generally a horrible idea to use anyway, cannot stun any adds on this encounter.

Amber Shaper Un'sok

- Living Amber will not give shards or embers upon being killed.
- Using Seed of Corruption on Un'sok while he takes 99% less damage will prevent the seed from ever exploding. Try players in constructs or the Amber Monstrosity instead.
- You cannot get out of Fling's stun with Unbound Will.
- Constant minor damage along with the ability to spread dots so easily makes Glyph of Siphon Life a useful glyph for this encounter (more so on heroic due to more adds being present).
- Like Garalon, increased damage on Amber Shaper and the Monstrosity caters well to Soul Leech.
- Mannoroth's Fury makes it very easy to spread Immolate, Corruption, and just AoE Living Ambers in general.

Grand Empress Shek'zeer

- Kil'jaeden's Cunning is extremely helpful in maximizing your uptime with the Poison Drenched Armor buff.
- Mannoroth's Fury can allow you to hit almost if not every add during her retreat phase.
- Unbound Will is an easy way to escape Visions of Demise.
Terrace of Endless Spring

Protectors of the Endless
- Corrupted Waters will give shards/embers upon being killed. Always be sure to reapply dots with the Purified debuff that comes from it.
- Aside from ranking on World of Logs, multi dotting on this fight is not a good idea because the other Protectors heal to full when one is killed (Can probably get away with spreading dots for the procs).


- All adds in the encounter offer shards/embers for being killed.

Lei Shi

- Blood Fear is probably a good idea to get a fear immediately before adds get within cleave range. Banish can safely be used regardless of where the adds are, and Mortal Coil offers an additional CC on the primary target that won't DR if you already have classes with good stuns in the raid.
- Rain of Fire is useful for helping break Lei Shi out of hiding, even as Affliction.
- Kil'Jaeden's Cunning will slow you to a point where you will continue to be pushed back very slowly during Get Away on heroic difficulty, but nontheless still very useful to fight the current (so you take half damage) while still doing full dps which will end the Get Away faster.
- If you are stacking Scary Fog, use Demonic Circle and Demonic Gateways to make it easy to move in and out of the raid with it quickly (Heroic only).

Sha of Fear

- Demonic Gateways can be used to move from the safe area out to the adds (Or from one side to another).
- Demonic Circle can be placed in the middle close to where the tank stands, so that you can stand just about anywhere while killing adds and be able to teleport back before Breath of Fear.
- Depending on gear and other factors, Sacrificial Pact may absorb more of Death Blossom's damage than Dark Bargain mitigates. When deciding between the two, assuming you are not using Soul Link, you'll want to figure it out using your own character's health pool, as well as the difficulty of Sha of Fear that you are attempting.
Reserved. Ok, that should be more than enough space.
I'm doing Elegon 25 as Destruction, Affliction doesn't seem to do as well on Energy Charge damage (Partly because of the shard problem). However I suspect that is just a result of doing something wrong.

Anyway, I save up embers going into that phase, cast RoF shortly before the energy charges appear, and then F&B Incinerate off of Elegon to hit them all. On faster waves I use CBs.
Just did Elegon 10 last night as Affliction. The shard issue was a concern for a while however before p2 I just refreshed my shards off of the protector and went in with full shards. After that point I just prayed I got procs before the next wave. Usually I was able to Soulburn Soulswap and Haunt on every set.
Bump, now that there are a lot more people raiding.
In the case that Dark Bargain is off cooldown and a warlock has to soak, does Unbound Will free you of the stun? Thanks for the tips though, hadn't thought to use it on Pinning Arrows.
Gara'jal the Spiritbinder

- None yet

With Soul Link GoSac you can full heal yourself in the Spirit Realm with the VW ability, regen, mortal coil, healthstone. Useful when you run into a situation where a healer can't go down.

12/16/2012 07:08 AMPosted by Escalier
In the case that Dark Bargain is off cooldown and a warlock has to soak, does Unbound Will free you of the stun? Thanks for the tips though, hadn't thought to use it on Pinning Arrows.
Are you talking about the HM Elegon soak? I usually pop Dark Bargain and dark regen before the stun. I don't think Unbound Will frees you but it does definitely work on arrows.

On will, portal is good for the shielded guys. You can only use it every other time when the add spawns on the side you placed your portal, but it's fast to move over to kill the add.

I have tips for the other raids too but I'll wait til you make your posts
I've only done LFR. But for Garajal, wouldn't it be fairly effective as Affliction to pop inside, Soulburn:Soulswap a bunch of ghosts, then pop back out and get heals/work on the boss?

Or is it impractical for the raid to allow spirits to slowly die to DoTs, or some time limit on going in and out of the realm?
I think DoTs drop off when you leave. Not positive though. Any lock can pretty much solo spirit realm with decent gear though. As Destro I usually just have the other guys leave and let me do adds on my own with Havoc CB etc.
Gara'jal the Spiritbinder

Adds in the spirit realm grant shards if killed during Drain Soul and Embers if killed with Shadowburn. As Affliction, you can DoT 4, Drain Soul 1 as it's killed, then DoT 4 more before leaving (might even be able to do this twice).

Will of the Emperor

All adds grant Shards and Embers. Also, since the bosses share a health pool, multi-DoTing is a very strong DPS increase (applies to the Stone Guard fight as well, though this is bordering on obvious).

As for the other raids:

Imperial Vizier
Demonic Gateway can be placed on the steps between the two platforms for instantaneous travel. Remember, tanks can't use this, since it suppresses their threat for 15 seconds after use. Demonic Portal works similarly, if placed precisely halfway across the room's center before the fight, it can be activated as you reach the stairs when running between the platforms.

Demonic Gateway can be placed in the center of the room to accelerate travel through the tornado alley. Beware tornadoes on the opposite gateway, though. I've seen success with placing it on the stairs to the side, just barely in the wind path on the sides, to avoid hitting tornadoes. Gateway can be used similarly (in fact, what I usually do is place my gateway 40 yards from the point he initially drops us at, then place my portal at the same spot so I can instantly teleport ~2/3rds the way down the alley).

If Burning Rush is talented, it can be popped while running in the wind currents to the side to reach the other end quickly right before the 10% side swap. To do this effectively, pup Burning Rush and jump in the side current at 11-12% HP on the boss, run toward the opposite end, and immediately run out of the current if the boss flies over your head before you get there.

Lastly, Dark Bargain can NOT be used to solo a Hidden Strike, as you'll end up taking about 50% HP in damage per second after it expires.


The damage buff on the legs persists on currently active DoTs even if you leave the leg, and since ~75% of Affliction's damage comes from those DoTs (including the coned ticks via MG), you can simply run in, DoT, then stand there and channel MG/DS even if the leg moves away and get the lion's share of the benefit still. Saves a lot of movement time.

Wind Lord
None that I know of

None that I know of

Since Retreat and Advance are on very specific timers, Soul Swap can be used to great effect here to maintain Agony stacks. Soul Swap ~1 second before the DBM timer for Retreat fires, us swap on the first kill target, and Soul-Swap off the last one just before it dies (use the second-to-last one to refill your Shards with Drain Soul). The Empress should emerge before the Soul Swap buff fades, giving you a 10-stack Agony right from the go instead of having to restack it.

Despite the meter-padding benefits, multiDoTing on this encounter is a bad idea, since the other Guardians heal whenever one dies (so damage on them is wasted). Keeping Corruption up on them for additional Shard income, however, is a very good idea.

DoTs should obviously be applied (with cooldowns) after the sphere spheres are killed.

Twilight Ward will absorb damage from Dread Shadows

Lei Shi
As with the Guardians, multi-DoTing the elements that spawn is not helpful. I'm not sure if this applies to normal mode as well, but those Elemental are Banishable, and Banish is perhaps the most effect method of CCing them because it can't be broken on damage taken.

Demonic Gateway can be placed inside the safe area out to where the adds spawn on either side to allow DPS to move out to them quicker (ideally with 2 locks, one per side). You can also place your Demo Portal inside the safe zone, use your Gateway, DoT the adds on that side from behind, then port back into the safe zone.
I think DoTs drop off when you leave.

They don't, they just don't show up in your combat log anymore (since the targets you DoTed are now phased to you). I've had guildies confirm that my DoTs remained after I left.
Well what good is it if it doesn't show up on my rankings?
Something to add to Elegon: DoT all three pillars before the floor disappears, so most of your damage on pillars will receive the benefit of the 50% damage buff.
Something to add to that, make sure you have your portal on the edge so when you inevitably fall into the pit because you spent too much time trying to nuke the pillars you can save yourself with a port.
They don't, they just don't show up in your combat log anymore (since the targets you DoTed are now phased to you). I've had guildies confirm that my DoTs remained after I left.

If any more confirmation was needed, you do get continue to get numerous Nightfall procs after you leave, if you had spread Corruption everywhere before doing so.

Honestly wasn't expecting this to get bumped ever, but I will go update the OP.
For Gara, with my current gear level Corruption and Agony will kill adds flatout by the end of their duration.

You can dot and kill tons of adds this way without having to stop and drain soul, plus you'll generally regen all your shards passively with enough corruptions up.

If we get overwhelmed (as I'm primary multidotter), I soulburn a seed and spam agony on everything in the area.

For Amber Shaper, affliction or destro work very well for killing the globules. Just be careful that you don't mistime Shadowburn on an ally, you can kill them :P
For Amber Shaper, affliction or destro work very well for killing the globules. Just be careful that you don't mistime Shadowburn on an ally, you can kill them :P

I had a bad experience with Shadowburn on the trash at the beginning of Heart of Fear. I reflected one on myself for 460k, killing me instantly.

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