Affliction PvP: Stats, Execution, Discussion

90 Goblin Warlock
4205
I think we need some positive comments on the things people like about PvP'ing as Affliction, what stats, talents, and spells they prioritize and why, and how they go about executing killing blows in both BG's and Arena.

Here's what I have been doing:

STATS:
Haste - Besides the minor damage bonus it will give your dots, it increases how quickly you can reapply DoTs when dispelled and now that we can move and cast simultaneously it becomes even more beneficial for casting UA and Haunt. Indirectly, it also helps you receive more free soulshards as corruption will tick faster.
Stamina - Having 450k health in BGs is very forgiving, and with much of our self healing based on Max Health, Stamina is awesome.
Crit - Something i am looking into is switching haste for crit. I think it may significantly increase our burst capabilities. but as for now I'm sticking haste.

TALENTS
Shadowfury - I don't see to many locks that take this talent. I use it because it's on a short, consistent cooldown, it affects multiple players, and it doesnt share diminishing returns with my other CC.
Soul Link + Sacrifice - The synergy between these talents and all of our most importent spells seems too much to dismiss.
Kil'Jaeden's Cunning - In light of the 5.1 buff to this spell I will be using it instead of Archimonde's Vengeance. Before, i had macro'd AV with my Battlemasters Trink, Dark Regen, Dark Soul, and Healthstone and i would make one huge counter attack when i saw the enemy blowing his offensive cooldowns on me.

GLYPHS
Healthstone- An absolute must for me. Shouldn't need explaining.
Exhaustion- This can be crippling to melee, and a lifesaver for you.
Dark Soul*- This is exchangeable. But I use it because its a consistent DPS buff.

SPELLS/EXECUTION
Melee/Hunters - I open with exhaustion and teleport if i have my circle down. I follow that with Curse of Enfeeblement and my dots (I soulburn them if i have two or more shards, otherwise i just cast them). By this time they should be all up in your business so i generally drop a fear, which is immeadiatly removed, then i shadowfury and try to get as many ppls as possible. While moving away, I haunt and fel flame to refresh my dots and increase their damage. At this point you, the game becomes all about maximizing your CC's, maintaining your Dots and casting Grasp/Drain Soul/Drain Life as able/needed. You can use shadowfury and silence to help keep healers under control while u kill the melee, or vice versa.

Offensive Casters - I feel like a master caster killer when going mono y mono with another magic user. I open with fear and lay out my dots and curses. If they trinket the fear i shadowfury and do the same. I haunt and grasp them and wait for them to use their CC on me. I generally try to wait out the first CC, trinket the 2nd, and silence a cast somewhere in there. This is followed by fel flame and haunt to refresh my dots and increase damage. Fear/Silence, haunt, grasp/drain until dead.

Healers - Healers are tough. Our burst is pretty weak and it requires careful play to kill a healer. It is important you keep all 3 (or 4) soulshards until u think you are ready to make the kill. You must use all of your CC on the healer and rely on movement spells, CoE, and shadowfury to stay at a distance from offensive enemy players. Free cast all your DoT's on the healer and make sure they are always up. The more they dispel your Dots the less time they are healing, and the more they are silenced. If they opt not to dispel your DoT's then just consider them on offensive caster and prioritize CC over damage. Once they are at about 50%, use Dark Soul, Soulburn your DoT's, throw up Curse of the Elements, then alternate between haunt, grasp, and felflame (fear, silence, shadowfury as needed). when you land a good silence or fear and their health is dropping be sure to switch to drain soul. it does good damage when it ticks below 20% but it takes practice to know when to start casting it so it ticks right when they drop below 20%.

So yah, i hope this helps anyone looking for information on the basics of PvPing as affliction, and i hope to get some feedback on what others are doing to slay noobs when the spec inst at its best.

Happy Hunting!
Edited by Phearz on 11/30/2012 5:18 PM PST
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100 Orc Warlock
15495
STATS:
Haste - Besides the minor damage bonus it will give your dots, it increases how quickly you can reapply DoTs when dispelled and now that we can move and cast simultaneously it becomes even more beneficial for casting UA and Haunt. Indirectly, it also helps you receive more free soulshards as corruption will tick faster.
Stamina - Having 450k health in BGs is very forgiving, and with much of our self healing based on Max Health, Stamina is awesome.
Crit - Something i am looking into is switching haste for crit. I think it may significantly increase our burst capabilities. but as for now I'm sticking haste.


Not considering mastery?
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90 Goblin Warlock
4205
I tried both mastery and haste on the practice dummies and got pretty much equal DPS. Haste provides faster casts, reduces GCD and, and faster corruptions which in turn means more soulshards. All of these things are very helpful in pvp where as mastery provides no additional benefits other than damage.
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90 Human Warlock
13860
The guide is too basic really, and you leave a lot of stuff out and just have some inaccurate information.

Stats: You can't count out mastery just because you did a test on dummies. Mastery is higher burst than haste. You make no mention of haste breakpoints. You think crit is a valuable burst stat…

Glyphs: No Glyph of Soul Swap? You should also consider Siphon Life, since it procs when MG procs a Corruption tick as well as the normal Corruption tick. Dark Soul should only be used to help reach a breakpoint, otherwise lowering the effectiveness of your DPS cooldown isn't a good idea.
Talents: Why are you taking Soul Leech over Dark Regen for Aff?
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90 Goblin Warlock
4205
It was meant to be basic...and it's simply based on my experience so far. It wasn't my intention to give people a cookie cutter set of stats/gear/talents/glyphs.

Hit/Haste caps - every player should know these. not something i wanted to include.

I mentioned above why i think haste > than mastery for PvP...maybe once I am fully geared the results will differ. But as for now, GCD, cast time, and fast ticking dots are what i have found to be most effective. I only recently reached my Haste Cap, so now mastery will be prioritized, but before that cap...HASTE!!! I didn't say crit was a valuable burst stat...i said i was thinking of trying it out and seeing how it performs.

GLYPHS
- Soul Swap: I don't use this because i'm not doing any arenas right now, where switching/focusing targets is so important. I find it more useful to be able to soulburn my DoTs onto someone without the possibility of running into a 30sec cooldown.
- Dark Soul: Valid point. this is gonna get nixed for Siphon Life.

TALENTS
- Soul Leech: Dark regeneration is overkill, and imo no more than a 2min crutch. with the addition of Siphon Life, i'm hoping my MG will provide substantial off healing. It may be a challenge right now, but learning to survive using my many other defensive CD's will benefit me in the long run.

I appreciate your input Simplexity, and my apologies for not being as thorough as you would like. But this was not a guide. it was a description of how i approach Affliction PvP and a request for others to share their tactics.

So maybe let me know what you like to do and how you go about scoring a killing blow...
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90 Human Warlock
4550
its very hard (next to impossible) to drop a healer as affliction and affliction damage is almost completely shut down if trained by a competent hunter/melee

its a novelty spec of a play style that is not compatible with the cooldown management of burst and/or survival that pvp now revolves around.

affliction needs to be more tanky to work, i don't think blizzard knows what to do with affliction but i don't care, the other two spec's work just fine and i'm happy with that. I'm just glad we are out of cata jesus christ that was bad.

But to contribute to thread, what i did to score a kill and imo i found this the only method was to wait for an opportune time to pop the dark soul haste cd and blow 4shards of Haunt back to back in rapid succession. This is only viable if i took grim of sac AND started my nuke session when target was around 75%. Trust me it works but if you don't kill the target and only get him to threat level midnight your !@#$ out of luck cause his teammate will heal him back to full and your shardless.

Every time i come across that rare affliction warlock in arena, it has always been a free win they are absolutely a joke in arena. Regardless if its 2's or 3's
Edited by Nevruc on 11/30/2012 2:47 PM PST
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90 Goblin Warlock
4205
Thanks for the input Nev! I will try the quadra-haunt next time i have a chance. I guess i just feel like id waste a lot of 25% dot dmg up time by blowing all 3 or 4 at once.

I realize the serious challenge facing affliction when going up against Warriors/Healers (and hunters to an extent), especially when they are both present in the same fight. It is very hard to get to the healer while the Warrior/Hunter is in your face. My goal is to find an effective way to mitigate this damage and stay mobile while applying pressure on the healer. I think blizzard had this in mind with the recent Kil'jaedens Cunning changes. The tactic i mentioned in the original post is serving me quite well, but tends to fail when i don't have support to keep warriors/hunters at bay.

Kinda off topic, and correct me if im wrong but Fel-Flame(for affliction) being affected by soul leech is new as of 5.1...?

This is a minor change but still a positive one and I'm finding fel flame much more useful as it can't be interrupted, can be used while moving, and is instant damage/heals. I no longer reapply DoT's and instead just use Fel Flame for refreshing. I like it.
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90 Human Warlock
4550
your going to like 4 rapid haunts buffed with grim of sac under the haste cd

i've ran with it a bit in bg's, arena's and duels with my friends and guaranteed 4 haunts in that manner take 75% health off of player. Its just about manipulating the fight to secure the kill. Now if someone can give me tips on how to get them soulshards back faster for a 2nd go around i'd actually roll with affliction. Cause right now recouping them shards back for round 2 takes too long.
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87 Goblin Warlock
6235
Just a guess, but I really feel like you'd get more out of resil than stam (even with the massive health mod from Soul Link).
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90 Undead Warlock
3085
ill give you my opinion but if you want my setup i use grim SAC and always open with my pet and before i burst ill use his CC ability then sac for the damage then haunt and grasp for about 2 sec then haunt again...sadly spamming haunt does work but its a bad tactic and u will not get any rank tryna spam kill anyone...the way the burst is set up for (arenas specifically) you have to pretty much stay on the defensive with ur healer or partner or whoever u roll with...ill give u my scenario afflic lock + resto druid....ill open dotting them both and spam CC the healer till i get his trinket or if he tries to dispell and gets silenced i will haunt on the dps and scare the heals to trink...in the end i pull the trinkets out fear + cyclone + mortal coil + cylcone + pet silence + cylcone rotating back and forth spam chaining him for about 15 seconds and 9/10 u will get the kill...this is not the only tactic but affliction is in a horrible spot and probably will not get fixed this season so u will have to work with ur partner to find out what works for u
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90 Human Warlock
8860
Hi everyone. I am really enjoying this season as an Affliction Warlock. I feel that I can put out plenty of damage and am almost always top of damage charts (unless I am playing a main CC roll) Even over frost dks/destro warlocks. This is what I have been doing (discussing RBG's not arenas)
Spec Talents: Dark Regen-Shadowfury/Howl-Dark Bargain-Blood fear- GoSac and MF.
Glyphs:Soulshard-Healthstone-Siphon Life.
Stat priority:PvP power>Intel>Hit>Mastery>Haste>Crit
The most important aspect I feel that people are missing right now is the Awesome benefit of Soulburn-SoC. It is an easy way to get corruption on everything in sight with MF. I manage to have corruption up on pretty much everything within range thanks to SoC. Also, make sure to have UA on select targets to protect my corruption DoTs. The soul shards you get back with all the corruption ticks up is awesome for soulburn soulswapping a large amount of targets to make sure you have plenty of spread plus you are always having shards for haunting your kill target. If you are having problems with a healer dispelling your seed I recommend putting it on a pet and blowing it up that way. Healers often overlook peoples pets, so it is easy to get a SoC off that way. On top of this you need to make sure you stay alive. you should never be in the **** if at all possible and many times I see warlock's not putting ports down so when they are getting sit on they have no way to get out and continue to dps. Soulburn port is an amazing escape route so I make sure to keep 1 soul shard at all times for this. You should hardly ever die and an Affliction warlock, your passive heals from corruption and soul siphon are great to help keep you alive as well. I am averaging anywhere between 12-18 mil damage in Battlegrounds right now and that normally puts me on the top of the damage charts. For this play style you HAVE to stack mastery and PVP power so your DoTs are hitting hard. If you have any questions on my strategy just let me know. As far as arenas... I don't arena to much so don't know what to tell ya.
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