Basic Affliction Guide 5.0.5

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SB= Soul Burn
SS = Soul Swap

DSM = Dark Soul Misery

CoE = Curse of Elements
Ag = Agony
CR = Corruption
UA = Unstable Affliction
FF = Fel Fire

MG = Malefic Grasp
DS = Drain Soul

SoC = Seed of Corruption


This is my first guide and I'm only doing this to the amount of Affliction questions I see on the forums and the lack of Stickies on Warlocks in general.


Everyone seems to be using the phrase "shard management" when talking about Affliction Warlocks but no one seems to be explaining it. Affliction is a bit more complicated than people think it is. Yes we put DoTs up and spam channeled abilities like MG and DS, but in order to pull out some real numbers, you need to micro manage quite a bit.

Opening: Single Target

1. CoE
2. DSM
3. SB into SS
4. Haunt
5. MG
6. Reapply DoTs (Ag 10 Stacks, CR, UA) - FF if on the move

Under 20% - Execute Range

1. Doomguard
2. Keep Haunt up along with DoTs
3. DS

Multi-Target: More than 4 mobs

1. SB into CoE
2. SB into SoC
3. Tab target and SoC remaining mobs
4. Reapply SB>SoC when Corruption starts to fall off

Shard Management:

First is making sure that when you cast Haunt, you have plenty of up time on your DOTs. You want to be able to just spam MG during your Haunt phase. This will help maximize your overall DPS. Sometimes you will have to sit on shards depending on the fight if you have to move around, but that's fine. You just want to make sure that every time you have Haunt on the target you

A: Have plenty of up time on DoTs and
B: Only cast MG during that time
(This is between 100% and 20% health, you replace MG with DS during execute phase)

Proc Awareness:

Second is managing trinkets and weapon procs. Using Windsong and watching when you have an extra 1500 Mastery proc or Intellect procs from a trinket, is when you want to reapply your DOTs. Even if you just cast them on a target you still want to reapply. You'll get extra time from Pandemic and your DoTs will receive the extra stat buffs. So being aware of procs will really increase your DPS output.

And last, pop Doomguard during the Execute Phase as well to receive extra damage. Should be a no brainer but still felt like I should mention that anyways.


The only talent that matters for our DPS is Glimoire of Sacrifice. Soul Leech I prefer for extra health regen, but everything else is survivability and preference.

The Demon I use to Sacrifice is the Fel Hunter. It's a really handy silence that we get Command Demon. Some people forget about this spell or don't think it will work if you don't have a pet out. But this comes in handy every once in awhile and is probably a force of habit from when I PvP.


Major -

Glyph of Soul Shard (Required)
Glyph of Soul Stone (Recommended for raids)
Glyph of Siphon Life (Recommended for survivbility)

Minor -

This is a personal preference since Minor Glyphs don't contribute to DPS

Stat Priority:

Intellect > Hit 15% > Mastery > Haste > Crit

This has been a big discussion on the forums recently as to being Hit Capped, or stacking up on Mastery and Haste instead. Below is my opinion from my experience and personal play style.

Yes you need to be hit capped for Affliction. Missing on a Haunt or missing a rebuff on Ag 10 stack, will diminish your DPS. Mastery is the new Secondary Stat you will need for Affliction followed by Haste. Crit is useless to Affliction Warlocks.

Edit: I experimented with having my Hit Rating between 14%-15% in a raid the other night. From what I've seen and other fellow Affliction Warlocks, it seems like as of now, between 14% and 15% is a nice cushion. As I continue playing my Warlock, I will continue editing and tweaking this guide in order to help others with similar questions.

Haste Breakpoints

No 5% spell haste buff:

Unstable Affliction
7 ticks = 0 rating
8 ticks = 3040 rating
9 ticks = 9094 rating

12 ticks = 0 rating
13 ticks = 1783 rating
14 ticks = 5320 rating

9 ticks = 0 rating
10 ticks = 2367 rating
11 ticks = 7078 rating

WITH 5% Spell Haste raid buff:

Unstable Affliction
7 ticks = 0 rating
8 ticks = 872 rating
9 ticks = 6637 rating

12 ticks = 0 rating
13 ticks = 0 rating
14 ticks = 3043 rating
15 ticks = 6400 rating

9 ticks = 0 rating
10 ticks = 231 rating
11 ticks = 4717 rating

I believe a good Haste threshold would be 3043 Haste rating. This would provide the following:

No 5% Spell Haste buff:

1 Extra UA tick
1 Extra Agony tick
1 Extra Corruption tick

5% Spell Haste buff:

1 Extra UA tick
2 Extra Agony tick
1 Extra Corruption tick

The Haste Breakpoints were taken from:


Reforge Crit into Hit if not Hit Capped, otherwise Reforge Crit into Mastery/Haste (Depending on the stats already on the gear).


Meta = Burning Primal Diamond

Used for Red or BlueSockets : Purple = Veiled Imperial Amethyst
Used for Red or Yellow Sockets : Orange = Artful Vermilion Onyx
Used for Blue or Yellow Sockets : Green = Sensei's Wild Jade


Shoulders = Greater Crane Wing Inscription
Cloak = Superior Intellect
Chest = Glorious Stats
Bracers = Super Intellect
Gloves = Superior Mastery
Belt = Living Steel Belt Buckle
Legs = Greater Cerulean Spellthread
Boots = Pandaren's Step
Main Hand = Jade Spirit/Windsong
Off Hand = Major Intellect
Two Hand = Jade Spirit/Windsong

This doesn't discuss how many shards the player should have. Generally it is useful to save shards prior to using Dark Soul: Misery so that many haunts can be used with the DSM-buffed dots.

Shards should be used when the opportunity is at it's best like I mentioned. You can save them for DSM but I find that if I use them when the situation is optimal, all my DoTs are up with enough uptime, then that helps me ration my shards. Also, when you hit the Execution Phase you will be switching to DS and shard rationing is meaningless at that point.
Just curious, how much DPS can you manage consistently? =)
10/31/2012 01:48 PMPosted by Bãne
Just curious, how much DPS can you manage consistently? =)
10/31/2012 01:48 PMPosted by Bãne
Just curious, how much DPS can you manage consistently? =)

Haven't played in a week due to the Hurricane (no internet) but if I recall I was pulling around 50k-60k depending on the fight.
I was under the impression that being hit capped wasn't all that important for affliction. I noticed an increase in my dps when I reforged away from hit. Anyone else have any info on this?
Small quick note that is more a symantics thing. but since you're trying to do a sticky it might matter.

Is is called Agony not Curse of Agony.

It matters because You can only have one curse per warlock on any target at a time.

So one warlock can not put CoEle and CoEx on the same target. The curses would have to come two different warlocks.

calling CoA might confuse new players in thinking that they can not have CoEle and Agony on at the same time.

This all changed back when they put in Bane of Doom. Agony became Bane of Agony and you could not BoD and BoA on at the same time.

Also did they fix Windsong? because as far as I knew Windsong will not proc of spells. It is a huge major bug.

EDIT: Oh i have not played for a bout 3 weeks, It seems that Windsong was fixed... sexy...
Windsong was fixed

Yes you are correct. I've been playing since vanilla wow and I'm still used to calling it Curse of Agony. Thank you and I'll make that correction.
I danced a little bit when i saw that windsong was fixed!
It procs so much for me now :D I love it!
If only we could log on to play. *sigh
Jus so crossed between,destro and affliction...I can play both of them, but afflction seems a little more time worthy and i have to concentrate more. With destro, i can do other things at the same time like eat or smoke a cig.. My dps is better with afflic providing i do every thing right, but destro is so easy now,kinda like arcane mage used to be

You're right, destro is easier to play and that's why I stay away from it. I want something that is going to preform well in raids and also keep me paying attention. But honestly, play whatever you're comfortable with and what works for your play style.

Request sticky if you like please
Everyone should put a sticky request in for this. It has some good info and will only get better. All people wanting to do Affliction should be able to go to the top of the page and find a sticky for it, not have to search all over to find a random thread on it :p.
Great guide, Sylvannas. I have a few ideas that you might be able to use to further polish and expand your guide.

Intellect > Hit 15% > Mastery > Haste > Crit

Yes you need to be hit capped for Affliction. Missing on a Haunt or missing a rebuff on CoA 10 stack, will diminish your DPS

Missing a Haunt or having to start new Agony stacks is certainly a dps loss but it's only temporary. It's a fact that it is a dps gain to be under the hit cap and that's taking into account the missed haunts and such. I personally am still hit capped and would advice others to do so but I wouldn't say that you "need to be" hit capped because that's simply not true.

Also depending on the fight, glyph of healthstone can be very useful. Constant, heavy-damage situations like during Feng's arcane velocity, last phase on Elegon, Zor'lok's force and verve jump to my mind.

As for saccing pets, I use my voidwalker most of the time because it gives me an ok survival cd. The only time I don't use voidwalker is when I go grimoire of supremacy for stone guard and will of the emperor, in which case I go with observer. Saccing imp can be useful in the stone guard encounter to get rid of the root from the cobalt mine and saccing fel hunter can come handy if you need to be a back up interrupter.

I know it's a basic guide but I always find little things to be just as helpful.
One question of (I think) great importance: should I clip, or not clip, the end of Malefic Grasp? It -seems- to me that I'm doing slightly better by not clipping, but I don't know how the numbers all work well enough to say it definitively. Any advice would be appreciated.

Edit: Oh, another one. If I am at distance and cast Haunt, with it's slow travel time, should I refresh MG to take advantage of the 25% debuff from Haunt (assuming Haunt had not been up previously)? Or does it step up on it's own. Since the DOTS themselves don't stage up when you proc, I was thinking neither would MG, so if I'm 2 seconds into a MG I should recast it to get full Haunt advantage...right?

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