4.3 Affliction PvP Guide + Tips

85 Human Warlock
6760
Hello and welcome to my Warlock PvP guide for affliction. As you read this, keep in mind that I nor anyone can address every contingency or situation that an individual can encounter in a PvP scenario, however I will do my best to help warlocks out.

1) Gearing your warlock:

If you are a fresh 85, you don’t have any pvp gear and so I recommend you purchase some pieces of BoE pvp gear (vicious gear). This will increase your resilience considerably and allow you to live for much longer when attacked. When you have obtained some pvp gear it is time to enter random battlegrounds and grind honor points. You want to purchase the entire 390 ruthless honor set whilst accumulating cataclysmic pieces as you go. I would purchase the helmet, chest and shoulders of the cata set first as they will not drop from BH. The rest of the cata pieces have a chance to drop from BH so its in your best interest to buy them after purchasing the 3 above pieces. For your cloak piece you want to get the cloak of diffusion, that is the cloak that has spell penetration on it (more on this later). You also want to get the belt of accuracy and the boots of alacrity. Bracers can be preferential however I prefer prowess. As for trinkets, everyone except humans should pick up a Gladiator’s Medallion of Tenacity and an onuse trinket, Badge of Dominance. Also, with the prevalence of PvE gear in PvP, you can use Dragon Soul trinkets and weapons over the regular PvP items but more on that later.

2) Gemming, Enchanting and reforging:

Now that you have obtained some pvp gear you should optimize it. By this I mean add stats to it that your warlock prioritizes.

Enchanting:

Helm: Arcanum of Viscous Intellect
Shoulders : Greater Inscription of Viscous Intellect
Cloak: Greater Intellect > Intellect
Chest: Mighty Resilience > Peerless Stats
Bracers: Mighty Intellect > Speed > Precision
Gloves: Haste > Mastery
Belt: Ebonsteel Belt Buckle
Legs: Powerful Enchanted Spellthread > Any lesser spellthread
Boots: Lavawalker > Earthen Vitality
Weapon: Power Torrent > Hurricane
Offhand: Enchant Offhand Greater Intellect

Keep in mind that some of the enchants are quite expensive and if you are low on gold you can chose to not enchant your gear or chose a lesser enchant if the selected one is too expensive. Personally I recommend choosing a lesser enchant for the ruthless gear as it will be replaced soon enough, this means you don’t have to choose top of the line enchants. The above enchants are just the BiS enchants for those who want them.

Reforging: You want to reforge to full haste. Contrary to popular and INCORRECT belief, mastery is not best for affliction warlocks, haste is. Reforge everything to haste, prioritize reforging out of hit into haste over other secondary stats.

Gemming: As a general rule of thumb you want to put brilliant inferno rubys/ brilliant queen’s garnets in red sockets. You want to put willful ember topaz/ willful lava coral in yellow sockets. As for blue sockets you want to just put red gems in them unless you are under 4% hit chance, in which case you want to put Veiled Shadow Spinel / Veiled Demonseye in them until you reach 4%.

The stat priority for warlocks for those interested is: Hit to 4% > Intellect > Resilience > Haste > Mastery > Crit. (If you pick up the diffusion cloak, you don’t need to worry about spell pen).

3) Specs and Glyphs:

This is the most common and best Spec/ Glyph combination for Affliction PvP:

http://www.wowhead.com/talent#IbGroGsGcdcrM:MRsaqV

If you have questions as to why a talent or glyph takes precedent over others ask in the comment box and I or someone will answer your question.

4) Key Binding and Macros:

Warlocks have many skills and abilities, and to play the class to its highest potential its imperative to keybind all of your abilities even if you don’t plan on using them in the immediate future. It will only help to keybind your abilities. For this section I am going to link [Simplexity@Korgath]’s Keybinding guide as I believe that it covers many important issues and is very well done, and typing up a guide for it would just be redundant. All credit for this section goes to him! (He also has many other PvP guides check them out!).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HWO02mV4be0
Edited by Chin on 7/4/2012 3:19 PM PDT
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85 Human Warlock
6760
Macros:

Macros are customizable commands that you can create in order to create your life easier and free up some keybinds, in this section I will post many of my macros to give you a little idea of what the possibilities are.

Burst (This all in one macro activates demon soul, your onuse trinket and if you are specced for demo, also activates meta):

#showtooltip
/cast Demon Soul
/use Cataclysmic Gladiator's Badge of Dominance
/cast Metamorphosis

Pet Attack (Tells your pet to attack your current target):

#showtooltip
/petattack

Deathcoil (this macro will cast deathcoil on your current target and if you press the modifier, in this case, SHIFT, will cast deathcoil on your focus target if one exists):

#showtooltip
/cast [modifier:shift, target=focus] Death Coil; Death Coil

Fear (this macro will cast fear on your current target and if you press the modifier, in this case, SHIFT, will cast fear on your focus target if one exists):

#showtooltip
/cast [modifier:shift, target=focus] Fear; Fear

Demon Armor (Will activate demon armor and upon a second press will activate soul link):

#showtooltip
/castsequence [target=player] Demon Armor, Soul Link

Fel Armor (Will activate fel armor and upon a second press will activate soul link):

#showtooltip
/castsequence [target=player] Fel Armor, Soul Link

Drain Life (For those who mash drain life, you will miss ticks no more! This macro can be spammed so that drain life will only be recast if you are not currently channeling it):

#Showtooltip
/cast [nochanneling: Drain Life] Drain Life

Haunt (Haunt and Devour Magic macro all in one, if you want to devour something you can just mash this key on your target and pray to god you get something good):

#showtooltip
/cast Haunt
/cast Devour Magic

SoulHarvest (This 2 in one macro stops your pet from attacking its target, leaving combat, allowing you to mount up, eat, or soul harvest, whatever it may be):

#showtooltip
/cast Soul Harvest
/petfollow

Spell Lock/ Pet Macro (Basically a spell lock macro with some commands thrown in for succy and imp, SHIFT will cast spell lock on your focus target if one exists):

#showtooltip
/cast [mod:shift,target=focus,pet:felhunter]Spell Lock;[pet:felhunter]Spell Lock; [mod:shift,target=focus,pet:succubus] Seduction;[pet:succubus]Seduction; [pet:imp]Singe Magic

Singe Magic Self (Removes a magic effect from yourself when using the imp, not really used in affliction pvp, but its useful):

#showtooltip
/cast [target=player] Singe Magic

One button port (no mod to port, mod to summon it):

#showtooltip Demonic Circle: Teleport
/cast [mod:ctrl] Demon Leap; [mod:alt] Demonic Circle: Summon; [nomod] Demonic Circle: Teleport;

Mouseover fel flame (great for totem stomping):

#showtooltip Fel Flame
/cast [target=mouseover, exists] Fel Flame; Fel Flame;

Mouseover fear; works normally with no mouseover.

#showtooltip Fear
/cast [target=mouseover, exists] [] Fear

One button debuff curses:

#showtooltip Curse of Tongues
/cast [mod:ctrl] Curse of Tongues; [mod:alt] Curse of Weakness; [mod:shift]Curse of the Elements; [nomod] Curse of Exhaustion;

General Macros:

Target Arena 1:

#showtooltip
/target Arena1

Target Arena 2:

#showtooltip
/target Arena2

Target Arena 3:

#showtooltip
/target Arena3
Edited by Chin on 6/21/2012 3:18 PM PDT
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85 Human Warlock
6760
Kiting 101 (Courtesy of Simplexity)
Absolutely one of the hardest skills to master for Affliction PvP is kiting melee. If you're inexperienced, the fact that practically every melee having at least one way to get to you, at least one way to interrupt your cast, at least one way to stun you, get out of Fear, etc. can make it seem like it's an impossible battle. We actually have a ton of ways to get melee off us, but a lot of these tools are not so cut-and-dry escape tools as other classes have, so that's where practice and experience are going to play.

First of all, here are the tools we have
CCs: Fear, Howl of Terror, Death Coil, Spell Lock (useful against DKs, rets, and enhance shams)
Snares: Curse of Exhaustion, Shadowflame (glyphed)
Escapes: Teleport, Soulburn: Teleport

I think the easiest way to learn to kite is to think of your above abilities as a priority system, a lot like a PvE priority system actually. If the top one on the list isn't available, go to the next resource. Here's in general, what works best to kite when a melee is on you and you need to create distance:

1) Check if I'm snared (debuffs). If not, Shadowflame and run.

2) Teleport or Soulburn: Teleport. Generally Soulburn: Teleport is better if you know they still have their gap closer to reach you after port. For example, if a warrior reached you without using Charge, Soulburn Port is going to be better than just Porting since you will usually force Charge and a Heroic Leap. Shadowflaming before porting also helps, as does Exhaustion after porting.

3) Howl of Terror, even if they can trinket or use a Fear break like Berserker Rage, Tremor Totem or Lichborne. It will buy you a second or two and you will be able to Fear them after.

4) Death Coil - almost always follow this with a Fear

5) Fakecast/bait their interrupt and then cast Fear. Usually this isn't worth it and you should just do damage and wait for one of your other escape toools unless you're at critical health or they have no way to break the Fear.
____________________________________________________________________________

Now that's a good list and general guidelines. Of course there are exceptions though, but it's all situational. For example in 1v1 duels vs a feral, I like to trinket pounce and howl and then Soulburn: Porting when/if he trinkets because my aim is to keep him off me for as long as possible to delay him putting bleeds up on me. Usually I would want to Soulburn: Port first against most melee, and maybe I would if I didn't have a trinket for the pounce. For DKs, I don't port first, usually I Spell Lock them into a Fear or Port then Spell Lock to prevent the grip, etc. Mostly this is going to tell you that it's usually a bad idea to use your Death Coil first or never port because the melee will just get back to you with their gap closer.

Good luck and my last tip is really I'd say at least 50% of being good at PvP is just straight knowledge of the game and knowing your opponents - not keybinding, gearing, comp, etc. I pretty much know what every ability and talent does (including the cooldown, buff/debuff icon, animation) of every PvP spec and what I should do against it. It's kind of like the same thing your elementary school teachers told you if you didn't know what a word meant - go to a dictionary. Well same thing, it's not cheating to go to Wowhead if you don't realize what happened to you. This is where things like dueling and 2s will really hone your skills - because the little details matter.

5) Unrated PvP: Coming Soon!
6) Arenas: Coming Soon!
7) Rated Battlegounds: Coming Soon!

Keep in mind that this is in progress and is incomplete. I will continue to write this as I get time but if anyone wants to contribute to this guide just let me know and ill add your contribution to the guide! (Also less work for me! ^^).

Contributions:

Simplexity@Korgath
Hellary@Deathwing
Edited by Chin on 6/21/2012 3:19 PM PDT
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85 Human Warlock
6760
Reserved.
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85 Undead Warlock
0
Thanks Chin, your advice is already helping me sort some stuff out
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97 Blood Elf Warlock
9920
The nice thing about Aff PvP atm is there is a lot of viable builds and choices to make depending on your playstyle.

There are Locks playing at reasonably high levels (2.4k+) with points in Life Tap, Shadow Flame, no points in Demonic Rebirth ect. ect. Not so many but they are out there and making their specs work for them.
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85 Human Warlock
6760
There are Locks playing at reasonably high levels (2.4k+) with points in Life Tap, Shadow Flame, no points in Demonic Rebirth ect. ect. Not so many but they are out there and making their specs work for them.


Yes there are many viable builds, but the thing with these warlocks is that they know the class in and out and they can spec according to their specific needs. What I have put up is the most general build that will cater to most pvp needs. A warlock that does only rbgs may have a different spec or someone that only does unrated pvp would have another, its all playstyle.
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85 Undead Warlock
0
Good on you Chin.

If we can't have our stickies back, we'll build them up again. <3
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90 Orc Warlock
0
Thanks for the guide. Trying to get up to 85 and get geared from scratch so I appreciate the tips there.

I am confused though about what my strategy should be. I assume I will be rolled even in BGs at first so quickly I won't even be able to blink.

How do I purchase the "Vicious" set? Wowhead says not purchaseable by players?
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85 Undead Hunter
1180
Thanks for the guide. Trying to get up to 85 and get geared from scratch so I appreciate the tips there.

I am confused though about what my strategy should be. I assume I will be rolled even in BGs at first so quickly I won't even be able to blink.

How do I purchase the "Vicious" set? Wowhead says not purchaseable by players?


Warlocks take a lot more damage with their face than other classes, so you'll feel pretty weak until you get your resil up to around 4k.

Vicious is outdated. You'll want to buy Ruthless gear with honor and Cataclysmic gear with conquest points. When you first hit 85, I strongly recommend getting any of the crafted tailoring pieces that you can to make it a little easier on yourself while you're farming honor/conquest.

As far as your strategy, learn how to stay on the edge of fights in BG's and not die.

The number one truth of warlock PvP is this: the longer the fight goes on, the better your chances of winning become.
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90 Orc Warlock
0
Ok. The way the OP said the Vicious gear was BOE, I thought perhaps you could buy it for gold now or something. Otherwise my plan is to but some honor pieces and get crapped on in the arena and hopefully get a few CQ points as well to pick up Cataclysmic and Ruthless pieces as I go.
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85 Human Warlock
6760
06/21/2012 12:38 PMPosted by Skeld
The way the OP said the Vicious gear was BOE, I thought perhaps you could buy it for gold now or something.


You can, its available via tailoring, look in your auction house or ask a tailor to make it for you. Vicious is now BoE.
Edited by Chin on 6/21/2012 1:14 PM PDT
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85 Undead Warlock
0
I'm totally derping out.

I forgot they started calling the crafted tailoring stuff the legacy season's name.
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