Primer: Misc. Talents, Spells, and Glyphs

Or, Primer of the Black Harvest: Fel Potpourri

Hello initiates of the dark arts, and welcome to the seventh and final thread to explore and expose the lesser known abilities, synergies, and effects our class will have in the Mists of Pandaria expansion. For a complete listing of the various Primer guides, check out the Compilation thread:

This final primer will cover everything I haven’t yet touch in the previous six. This includes out level 15, 30, and 60 talents, our new and altered spells, and several significant glyphs. There’s a lot of data to cover here, so I’ll get to it.
Level 15 Talents

These three talents are the bulk of our self healing ability.

Dark Regeneration
This talent hals you and your minion for 30% of your respective maximum healths, and it temporarily increases healing taken by 25%, over 12 seconds with a 2 minute cooldown. This is definitely a powerful healing cooldown, and it’s very effective as an emergency heal. Dark Regeneration does not benefit from it’s own healing increase buff.

Soul Leech
Soul Leech is a passive effect that heals you and your minion for a portion of the damage done by a select number of spells. What spells heal you and by how much depends on your spec.

Affliction gains 20% healing from your Haunt, Malefic Grasp, and Drain Soul damage. Note that MG and DS’s healing comes from their base damage only, not their bonus ticks.

Demonology gains 10% healing from Shadow Bolt, Soul Fire, and Touch of Chaos. If you have the Glyph of Demon Hunting, Demonic Slash also heals you for 10% of it’s damage.

Destruction gains 10% healing from Incinerate and Chaos Bolt. This includes damage done by these spells with Havoc and/or Fire and Brimstone.

Harvest Life
Harvest Life essentially changes Drain Life into an AoE. The base healing is increased from 2% max health per tick to 3%, and you gain an additional 0.25% healing per additional target, up to an extra 1.5% or 7 total targets. As for damage, it’s pretty much our weakest AoE for all three specs. It can benefit from Aff’s Soulburn, increasing it’s healing by 33%, and it generates Demonic Fury for Demo, 10 per second on the main target and 3 per second on secondary targets.

Dark Regeneration is a nice healing cooldown, especially if you have other sources of healing to take advantage of that extra 25%, which makes it a pretty good burst damage counter. On the other hand it’s not that good at sustained healing, and it’s not very good at countering Affliction and Demonology’s health deficit caused by Life Tap.

Soul Leech will generate much more health over a long duration than Dark Regeneration will. The downside is that it’s healing is entirely dependant on your damage. If you aren’t able to cast, you won’t be healed. If the target takes less damage, your healing is reduced. It’s also not that good for emergency healing.

Harvest Life has a much higher rate of healing than either of the other two talents (especially when dealing with multiple targets), but it comes at a DPS cost since you need to actively channel it. As for it’s damage as an AoE, it’s effectiveness depends on your spec. For Aff, it’s not really that great, but considering Aff’s limited AoE toolkit it can be a useful addition. For Demonology, HL is actually a pretty decent spell, not because of it’s damage but because of it’s pretty good rate of fury generation in caster form (slightly better than Hellfire). For Destruction, you’re better off generating embers for your F&B engine.
Level 30 Talents

This tier of talents provides three different instant CCs.

Howl of Terror
Howl of Terror fears up to five targets in a 10 yard radius around the caster. It has a 40 second cooldown, which is reduced by 1 second each time you are hit by a damaging attack. On the plus side, it’s instant. On the down side, it has a relatively short range, and since it’s a fear CC it shares diminishing returns with our Fear.

Mortal Coil
This is an instant, single target, 3 second horrify CC which also heals you for 15% health on cast. Of these three talents it has the longest cooldown at 45 seconds, and it’s range is a bit short at 30 yards, but the guaranteed heal provides some useful PvE utility.

This is a 3 second stun with a 30 yard range and an 8 yard radius. It’s instant and has a 30 second cooldown.

For PvE, Howl of Terror isn’t too useful. Typically, when you need to CC a target you don’t want them running around, which can cause problems. Additionally, many targets in endgame play tend to be immune to fear. Mortal Coil is useful if only for it’s instant healing. Shadowfury can be situationally useful if you need a quick stun to stop a target.

For PvP, Howl of Terror doesn’t see a lot of support because of it’s short range and shared DR with Fear. So, it’s a toss-up between Mortal Coil and Shadowfury. Figuring out the ‘best’ option between those two will depend on your comp, where you’re PvPing, and what you’re up against.
Level 60 Talents

This tier is a little hard to pin down, but I’ll call it ‘utility with a health cost.’

Blood Fear
Blood Fear is essentially an instant cast Fear. The drawbacks of this talent are that it has a 10% health cost, a 10 second cooldown, and it replaces your normal Fear.

Burning Rush
Burning Rush is a toggleable ability that increases your speed by 50% while active, but it also consumes 4% health per second. The speed increase lasts until canceled, or until you run out of health. Burning Rush doesn’t stack with passive speed increases, but it can stack with some temporary speed increases.

Unbound WIll
Unbound Will removes all CCs and snares and dispels all magic debuffs from the Warlock, but it comes at a hefty 20% health cost and a 1 minute cooldown.

For PvE, Blood Fear is mostly worthless. There just aren’t many situations where it’ll be useful. Burning Rush is a decent talent for it’s ability to somewhat reduce DPS downtime from movement by moving quicker. Unbound Will has some niche uses for it’s ability to remove CC and magic debuffs.

For PvP, it mostly comes down to personal preference. There’s plenty of arguments for and against Blood Fear, but the general consensus is that it’s ability to instantly CC a target without being potentially interrupted is good, but it’s cost, cooldown, and the fact that it replaces normal (spammable) fear is bad. Burning Rush has some niche uses for more mobility. Unbound Will is certainly powerful as an extra PvP trinket, but it’s 20% health cost makes it risky to use.
New and Changed Spells

Healthstones have seen a pretty significant buff. They now instantly heal the user for 20% of their health (instead of a % of the ‘lock’s base health), and they have three charges. Additionally, Soulwells got a small upgrade in that they no longer require two other people to make them, and if used while you already have a healthstone they’ll refresh it’s charges back to three.

Life Tap
Life Tap now sacrifices 15% of your health for an equivalent amount of mana.

Curse of Enfeeblement
Though technically new, this is actually a combination of our old Curse of Weakness and Curse of Tongues. It reduced physical damage done and increases cast time on the target (and makes them speak demonic) for 30 seconds.

Soulstone is no longer a created object, and is instead just it’s own spell. Just like the old one, it can be used as an in-combat res, or it can be preemptively placed on a target and, if they die within 15 minutes, they’ll be ressed. It has a 3 second cast, 10 minute cooldown, and it’s cooldown should reset on boss resets. When ressed, the target gains 60% health and 20% mana.

Soul Harvest
Soul Harvest is no longer an activated out-of-combat heal. Instead, it is a passive health regen effect that activates when out of combat. According to the tooltip, both you and your demon regenerate 2% of your health per second when out of combat. However, Soul Harvest is not a healing effect, what it actually does is supercharge your natural out-of-combat health regen. So, you're really generating 4% of your health every 2 seconds. This health isn't absorbed by absorption effects, and it can't be increased or decreased by effects that influence healing. This health regeneration also can't be split by Soul Link. Additionally, this passive is disabled in arenas.

Twilight Ward
An upgraded version of our old Shadow Ward, Twilight Ward absorbs a decent amount of shadow and/or holy damage. It has a 30 second cooldown with a 30 second duration. Notably, it can absorb feedback damage from Soul Link or the DoT left behind from Dark Bargain.

Fel Armor
This passive is sort of a combination of our old Fel Armor and Demon Armor spells. It grants a static amount of armor scaled by level (2603 at 90, roughly 6% physical damage reduction depending on your total armor), 10% health, and 10% healing received. This affects all healing, including our available self-heals.

Unending Resolve
This is a new ability. Unending Resolve reduces all damage taken by 40% and provides immunity to interrupts and silences for 8 seconds on a 3 minute cooldown.

Dark Intent
Dark Intent is now just a simple 10% spell power raid buff.

Fel Flame
Fel Flame has gotten a notable DPS increase, but also a significant mana increase along with it. It’s secondary effect varies depending on spec. For Affliction, it extends both Corruption and Unstable Affliction by 6 seconds. For Demonology, it extends Corruption by 6 seconds, generates 15 Demonic Fury, and transforms into Twilight Ray while in Metamorphosis. For Destruction, it extends Immolate by 6 seconds and it generates 1/10 of a Burning Ember, plus an extra 1/10 ember on a crit. I would suggest you read each spec’s respective Primer for more information, but in general Fel Flame is only useful as mobile or uninterruptible damage.

Dark Soul
Dark Soul is a very powerful DPS cooldown with spec-dependant effects. It has a 20 second duration with a 2 minute cooldown. Affliction gains 30% haste. Destruction gains 30% crit. Demonology gains a chunk of mastery based on level (18,000 at 90), which is roughly equal to 30% damage in caster form and to your minions, and 90% damage in Metamorphosis. In general, you’ll either be hitting this spell on cooldown for sustained DPS, or saving it for burst. It can currently be dispelled and spellstolen.

Demonic Gateway
Another new ability. Demonic Gateway creates two portals, one at your feet and one at a targeted location 20 to 70 yards away. After the portals are placed, they generate one charge per 15 seconds, with a limit of 5 charges. Each charge allows you or one group or raid member to quickly travel between the two portals. Traveling between portals places a debuff on you that prevents you from using the portals again for 15 seconds.

A portal will despawn if you travel more than about 100 yards away from it’s location. The portals will only generate charges if both portals are active, but you can use an open portal even if only one is active. Portals persist for 10 minutes. Portals require line-of-sight and clear pathing (i.e. you need to be able to see and walk between both points on foot) in order to be placed. They have a 5 second cast time and do not benefit from Kil’jaeden’s Cunning. When using portals, you temporarily drop threat, are silenced, and are immune to damage until you land. Do not use portals if you are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant. If possessed, please contact your Warlock immediately. /cough

That’s a lot of limitations and situational circumstances, but that’s because Demonic Gateway has some strong game-breaking potential. In the right situation, the ability to move up to 5 people (per warlock) up to 70 yards away very quickly can be very strong.

Our final new ability, Pandemic allows you to extend your DoTs by up to 50% of their full duration when recasting them. Though it sounds fairly innocuous, Pandemic is actually a fairly strong ability thanks to stat snapshotting, not to mention a fantastic quality-of-life change.

The way that snapshotting works is when you finish a spell cast, that spell uses your current stats at the time of spell completion for it’s damage, including stats gained from temporary buffs. This effect includes DoTs for their full duration. So if you, for example, cast Corruption right before Dark Soul drops off, your Corruption will deal damage as if your Dark Soul was still active for the remainder of it’s duration until it gets refreshed by another Corruption cast or other effect. Obviously, if you can extend your DoTs beyond their normal duration while also taking advantage of the snapshotting effect, you can see a substantial increase in damage (especially if a large chunk of your damage is primarily DoT-based).

As a quality-of-life effect, Pandemic is incredibly useful for maintaining optimal uptime on DoTs. Ordinarily you have about a 2 second window where it’s ‘safe’ to refresh DoTs without severely clipping and reducing your DPS, but with Pandemic that window increases to between about 7 seconds with Unstable Affliction up to 30 seconds with Doom. That’s a hell of a lot of room to work with, and as long as you keep that 50% duration window in mind it’s much harder to clip damage.

Symbiosis: Rejuvenation
Though not specifically a Warlock ability, Druids gain a new spell in MoP called Symbiosis. This spell grants the target a specific Druid spell, and in return the Druid gains a version of one of the target’s spells. Note: Symbiosis does not steal abilities, you don’t lose anything from your spellbook, both you and the Druid gain a special copy of the following abilities.

All Warlock specs gain a limited version of Rejuvenation. Our version costs less mana and has a 10 second cooldown, but otherwise keeps the same base healing and spell power scaling.

The ability the druid gains in return depends on their spec. Balance gains Unending Resolve. Guardians receive a version of Life Tap that takes 20% health and generates 30 Rage. Ferals ge a special version of Soul Swap which takes the Rip and Rake DoTs off of their previous target and places them on their current target on a 30 second cooldown. Restoration druids gain Demonic Circle: Teleport, which teleports them to your circle.
Notable Glyphs

The following glyphs, mostly major with a couple minor, have an impact on gameplay. Most of the minor glyphs not listed are either cosmetic or don't have a significant gameplay effect.

General Glyphs

Glyph of Dark Soul
This glyph grants you 10% of your Dark Soul’s buff when your Dark Soul is off cooldown, but it reduces your Dark Soul’s buff by 10%. Bear in mind, that’s 10% of the buff not 10% haste/crit/mastery. So, with this glyph active, you gain 3% hit/crit/mastery when Dark Soul is off cooldown, 27% for 20 second when you use it, and 0% while it’s on cooldown.

In general, this glyph is a DPS loss for sustained damage when Dark Soul is used whenever it’s cooldown is up, and a burst DPS loss when you’re saving the cooldown for something important. So, where is this glyph useful? There are two specific situations.

One, if you need to both do high sustained DPS and you need to save your Dark Soul for burst, and you need to hold on to Dark Soul for a period of time between 20 seconds and 2 minutes. Two, you don’t want to use your Dark Soul because it’ll get dispelled (or stolen), but you want to at least gain some benefit from it.

Glyph of Demon Training
I go more in depth on this glyph in my Primer: Minions, Guardians, and Level 75 Talents, but essentially this glyph makes your demons a bit better. It has no impact on demon DPS, but for a couple of them it does improve survivability a bit.

Glyph of Demonic Circle
Reduces the cooldown of your Demonic Circle: Teleport by 4 seconds. Not a huge amount, but definitely useful in situations where every second counts.

Everlasting Affliction
Increases the duration of Corruption and Doom by 50%, but reduces their damage by 20%. For the most part, this glyph is a DPS loss. You do save some GCDs with the extended durations, but that isn’t worth the damage loss. Mostly, this glyph is for newer players who aren’t as capable of handling their DoTs perfectly. On an interesting note, with this glyph and Pandemic you can get Doom up to a 2.25 minute duration.

Your Fear no longer causes the target to run around, but Fear now has a 5 second cooldown. Mostly, this glyph is used for PvE crowd control, where a target runng around is liable to pull extra groups. Interestingly, this glyph does not add 5 seconds to Blood Fear’s 10 second cooldown.

Your healthstone now heals 40% of your health, but it’s over 10 seconds. This glyph only affects your healthstone. The increase in total healing is nice, though whether or not it’s worth the cost of having immediate healing depends on the situation.

Glyph of Life Tap
Instead of consuming health, your Life Tap places a healing absorb debuff equal to 15% on your health. The debuff lasts 30 seconds, and repeated Life Taps both refreshes it’s duration and increases the absorb amount. The debuff’s absorb does not have any practical limit, you’ll need to either get healed for the amount or let it drop off.

This glyph does not directly increase or decrease Life Tap’s cost, it just changes it into a different form. In either case, you’ll need to be healed for 15% of your health per tap to get back to normal. The glyph does have a small advantage in that if you do not need to be healed for it’s duration you essentially get a free Life Tap, but situations like that are going to be uncommon outside of soloing. It’s also a good idea to keep your healers informed if you decide to take this glyph so that you don't get put into a situation where you’ve accumulated a sizable debuff and suddenly take a damage spike.

Glyph of Siphon Life
This glyph heals you for 20% of your Corruption or Immolate’s damage. This is a fairly decent amount of healing, but it’s slow and constant, and it obviously depends on whether or not your DoTs are ticking. If you don’t go for the talent Soul Leech, this glyph is a decent substitute to pay for your Life Tap health debt.

Glyph of Soul Consumption
This glyph changes based on your spec. If you kill a target that yields XP or honor with:
  • With Drain Soul as Affliction.
  • While in a Demon Form as Demonology (either Meta or DA).
  • With Chaos Bolt or Shadowburn as Destruction
  • You gain 20% of your total health. Note that you have to land the killing blow with the above conditions, if your minion or a party member kills your target you do not gain health.

    Glyph of Soulstone
    This glyph increases your target’s health when ressed to 100% instead of 60%.

    Glyph of Eye of Kilrogg
    This minor glyph has several different effects. First, your Eye of Kilrogg can now fly in areas that allow it, but it loses it’s stealth. Second, it’s move speed is increased by 50%. And third, when you cast Demonic Circle: Summon when your Eye of Kilrogg is active, your circle is placed at your eye’s location instead of yours.

    Glyph of Health Funnel
    This minor glyph changes your Health Funnel from a channeled spell into an instant 15% minion heal with a 10 second cooldown. Though the total healing is lower, the ability to instantly heal your minion with only a minor loss in sustained DPS is pretty valuable. This glyph does not function if you talent Soul Link, and it prevents the use of Soulburn: Health Funnel for Affliction.

    Affliction Glyphs

    Glyph of Curse of Exhaustion
    This glyph increases Curse of Exhaustion’s snare effect from 30% to 70%, but it halves the duration and adds a 10 second cooldown, which prevents it from being spammable. This glyph does not prevent the use of Soulburn: Curse of Exhaustion (even if CoEx is on cooldown), which applies the 30% version of the curse in an AoE.

    Glyph of Soul Shards
    This glyph increases the number of Soul Shards you can have from 3 to 4. Since Affliction can easily start a fight with a full load of shards, this glyph essentially grants you one extra shard at the start of a fight. Additionally, it gives you more room to pool shards without wasting Nightfall procs. If any glyph is a must-have for Affliction, this one would definitely be it.

    Glyph of Soul Swap
    This glyph changes your Soul Swap so that it does not consume the DoTs on you current target, but it still copies your DoTs onto a second target. This effect adds on a 30 second cooldown. Soulburn: Soul Swap will not function while Soulburn is on cooldown, but otherwise should work fine. This glyph makes it easier to DoT up two targets, but it limits your ability to effectively target swap.

    Glyph of Unstable Affliction
    This glyph trades UA’s silence on dispel for a guaranteed crit that hits both the target and the dispeller.

    Demonology Glyphs

    Glyph of Demon Hunting
    I go over this glyph more in-depth in Primer: Demonology Specialization, but suffice to say that it adds a second demon form, Dark Apotheosis, which provides some defensive utility and some minor tank abilities.

    Glyph of Imp Swarm
    This glyph gives you the ability Imp Swarm, which instantly creates 5 Wild Imps on a 2 minute cooldown (reduced by haste), but it increases the cooldown on the Wild Imp passive to 24 seconds (reduced by haste) and prevents Wild Imps from proccing while Imp Swarm is on cooldown. Essentially, you’re trading a passive, stable proc for a strong cooldown. Imp Swarm’s DPS contribution varies depending on the fight’s length. For example, if a fight lasts 2 minutes, you’re only going to get 5 Wild Imps out of Imp Swarm, whereas you’d normally gain 6 without the glyph (ignoring haste in both cases). If the fight lasted 2:20, you’d gain 10 Wild Imps from Imp Swarm, where normally you’d gain 7 Wild Imps. Over an infinite amount of time, the glyph would come out to be a DPS loss, but all fights are finite.

    Glyph of Shadowflame
    This glyph increases the snare on your Hand of Gul’dan’s Shadowflame debuff from 30% to 70%, but removes HoG’s stack mechanic and gives the ability a 15 second cooldown. Normally, you could stack the debuff for twice the damage and a 60% snare, but it takes 30 seconds to generate the two charges necessary to do that. The glyph allows for a stronger snare in half the time, though it is no longer capable of higher than normal damage.

    Glyph of Carrion Swarm
    This minor glyph removes Carrion Swarm’s knockback. Useful for PvE, where you typically want to keep your targets clumped up.

    Glyph of Falling Meteor
    With this minor glyph, when you use Demonic Leap while falling, you’re fall speed will increase and you won’t die to fall damage. You’ll still take fall damage, but you’ll end up with at least 1 health.

    Glyph of Hand of Gul’dan
    This minor glyph allows your Hand of Gul’dan to be manually targeted instead of automatically targeting your current target. This can allow you to fudge the area and potentially hit more targets than you would otherwise, but your HoG will no longer track moving targets.

    Destruction Glyphs

    Glyph of Burning Embers
    This glyph increases your Burning Ember pool from 3 to 4. Unlike the Glyph of Soul Shards, this isn’t quite a must-have glyph. It’s very useful if you’re planning on pooling embers for burst, but if you prefer spending embers ASAP you aren’t going to get much use out of this glyph.

    Glyph of Conflagrate
    This glyph causes your Conflagrate’s snare to work on a target even if they don’t have Immolate up on them. It’s a pretty nice utility, though it’s obviously not going to be useful if you can’t snare your target, or if you don’t really care if they’re snared.
    And that, ladies and gents, concludes my Primer series of guides. Hopefully that covers just about all of the new changes in MoP (and then some), and with nearly 24 hours left until launch I’m just in time. If I’ve missed anything feel free to ask in any of these threads, and feel free to make use of the Compilation thread as well:

    As for me, I’m going to take a (well deserved) break from guide writing for a week or two so I can level up to 90. I’ll likely make some maintenance updates to my Primers to make sure they’re accurate to some of the few, recent changes made in the month since I’ve started, but I won’t be doing any heavy writing for a while.

    After I hit 90 and get my guild duties squared away, I plan on writing a stand-alone comprehensive stats and gear guide. Beyond that, I have some ideas for further, more specialized Warlock guides, but I’ll likely take my time doing those since I don’t have to rush for a release schedule.
    Thanks for this! It's always interesting to read guides and judge my own ideas and thoughts versus other's, especially when they're well researched. Plus, I even learned a few things I didn't know! I'm excited to have this as a resource going into MoP. =D

    Edit: Removed the corrected errors. =)
    Derp, that's what I get for skimping on the proofread. Thanks.
    These guides are the best I've seen, Fallen.

    Here's a minor quibbling note about spelling, ignore if it's not something you care about:

    its = a possessive
    it's = a contraction of "it is"

    your = a possessive
    you're = a contraction of "you are"

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