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#1 2017-02-11 03:15:27

Forum member
Registered: 2016-07-19

Stuff about locks : )

Hey all,

Love being a warlock. Friggin' love it. But not all of us are blessed with the insane talents of @JB and I personally have done tons of research to try and stay competitive with my deeps. The learning never stops though and I thought I'd start collating a few titbits that I've picked up along the way in the hopes of starting off some conversation...and more learning!  : )

PLEASE COMMENT!!! I'm not saying this is all 'correct', just how I think about the class, so I'd be really interested to hear from others who play/have played lock and share some expertise!  : )

First off - The customary plug for Discord channels:
discordapp.com/channels/146682622016356353/146682786911223808 --> is basically my homepage nowadays. The lock community are a bit catty and there's plenty of "dude, you're not doing >1M on Krosus?!" but once you get past that there are some real gems. Always check the pinned items first (some great, stripped down rotation guides, etc) but the conversations really help you understand the class (eg: cast reap souls after your FIRST UA which sims better than after the 3rd...lots of detail behind that!)

Secondly - Boss guides for locks:
https://www.icy-veins.com/forums/topic/ … nd-tricks/ --> I've been using Icy Veins less and less recently (thanks to Discord) but Lien pointed this out the other day proving that the IV forums are still buzzing with useful stuff.

Spec comparison:
ST (Krosus): https://www.warcraftlogs.com/rankings/1 … ss=Warlock
Cleave (Botanist): https://www.warcraftlogs.com/rankings/1 … ss=Warlock
AoE(ish) (Skorpy): https://www.warcraftlogs.com/rankings/1 … ss=Warlock

So I've picked some representative bosses which I think are fair (feel free to recommend others if there are better ones). Key point from those:  Affli rocks in almost all situations (if you're a pro!) but interesting to think about why. To do that, I thought I'd introduce people to the 'mentality' behind warlock builds (again, just my perspective, let the trolling commence!)

This is the one that I've played the least, but here goes...
Apart from (I think) the coolest looking Artifact - this build embraces the pokemon master in all of us, getting lots of pets out and backing them up with the artifact power that drains their life to give you a damage boost. Demonbolt is your filler spell, but mostly to kill the cooldowns between summoning more demons! Haste is definitely king because more demons = more health pools to draw power from = more damage (at least, that's my glib interpretation of the sims!) I didn't play this spec much (just personally don't enjoy pet-oriented fights ever since I accidentally pulled Chronomatic Anomaly with my Infernal...sorry guys...) but the variety of demons you can summon means you can adapt to fights - favouring cleave with Darkglare / Hand of Guldan, or just smashing ST with empowered wild imps.
Found this guide particularly useful: http://www.mmo-champion.com/threads/202 … logy-Guide

This spec will always hold a soft spot in my heart from the glory days of TBC destro builds (Nightfall, anyone?!)
First off - you'll notice that destro doesn't appear a lot in the "top dps" links above...does that mean it's bad? No, of course not! Those tables are pros with amazing gear, you can still get good deeps out of destro. The general summary goes like this:
...have you cast chaos bolt yet? WHY NOT?!
...but seriously, CB is crazy strong and always crits. To cast it, you'll need soul shards - and for destro that means keeping Immolate up 100% - this has a 15% chance to proc a soul shard per tick, so Haste is vital for this build to make sure you always have a steady supply of shards (to cast CB....why haven't you cast CB yet?!). Conflagrate doesn't consume Immolate like it used to, and using it reduces the cast time of CB, so make sure you time those for when you have enough soul shards to cast CB....then cast CB!!
If you've on cleave/multi target then Havoc is a must - which just copies your spells to the havoc target. I'd always be looking to take the Wreak Havoc talent so that every spell I cast is doubled  : )  2xCBs? Yes please. Obviously distinctly less useful for ST!  ;p
Pets are still good here, but in 2 different modes:  Speccing to Grimoire of Sacrifice means you can sacrifice an Imp to get a damage bonus - which seems pretty good for shorter fights (trash, etc);  But for longer fights where you want to be able to burst for certain parts (like in Hero) then Grimoire of Service is great so that you can get 2 sets of Imps out.
Dimensional Rift is the Artifact ability - more free deeps! Just need to manage the cooldown on this and make sure it's available for when you need a bit more burst damage.
I really like this guide, particularly the rotation talk through that has some useful comments about saving charges of conflag/rift when moving, etc (afterall, most of your damage will be coming from CB which has a reasonably hefty cast time!): https://us.battle.net/forums/en/wow/top … 140#post-1

...oh yes...the best for last! Affli is dominating the damage meters at the moment, and for good reason. There are really 3 main builds to think about:
1. Malefic Grasp:  This got a huge boost in a recent patch that means casting Soul Drain on a target increases damage from all your other spells (ie: dots) by 70%....yurp, 70%! crazy right? Playing this build becomes a game of 'how long can I stay still for while channeling Drain Soul?' Couple this with Unstable Affliction (using the Contagion talent which increases damage from other dots by 18%) and you've turned an otherwise ramp-y build in to a burn machine! I tend to use this build on all ST fights...and any fights that I can't make my mind up on! It's just a really strong default build
2. AoE crazyness:  Yea so...I don't wanna be THAT guy....but seriously...nerf affli aoe. Sow the Seeds casts multiple Seed of Corruption - not just the detonate damage, but all the targets have Corruption. Rip. Need more? Ok, spec Phantom Singularity and cast that at the same time - that, on it's own, does enough damage to trigger your SoC targets, so no need to drain them to make them trigger. Rip. Still not enough? OK, have Soulflame in your artifact traits - so, when your target dies, it explodes doing more aoe damage...seriously. There's a bit of an issue with shard generation (more further down) but that's manageable with some crafty Agony casts
3. Weird...dot...build?: So this is one that I've been using on some cleave fights - classic multi-dot build that takes Absolute Corruption (so you can cast it once and forget about it) and Writhe in Agony (for stronger Agony ticks). This build feels a bit like spinning plates - you spend most of your time watching the dot timers and trying to catch them in the 30% range (for Pandemic)
All of these builds are really strong, but there are some key points that help understand how to play them well:
- Soul shard generation is critical to be able to use Unstable Affliction and SOC (arguably the most powerful spells). Shards are mostly generated from Agony ticks (similar to Immolate) and Soul Conduit as a talent can help keep your resources stocked. For a long time Soul Effigy was a must on ST fights as it gave not just additional damage on the boss, but also a rich source of shards as Agony ticks away. That made movement fights pretty hard, but was totally worth it...until Malefic Grasp happened! Now we're a lot more mobile  : )
- Reap of souls is the Artifact ability and it gives boosts to your damage AND your artifact traits...which is awesome! Obviously it's best to time this for Hero or similar, but the generation of souls is reasonably consistent, particularly when there are adds to kill which yield souls. In those sorts of fights you can almost keep it up throughout the fight, which is a great win! Timing it to overlap with as much UA on target as possible is a great rule-of-thumb.
- Movement is a real challenge for affli - on the one hand you're quite mobile thanks to lots of instant cast dots (especially since you're less dependent on Soul Effigy now) but the REAL damage comes from channeling Drain Soul with Malefic Grasp. Getting good at standing still and channeling can make the difference between good deeps and GREAT deeps. Learning fights and knowing where to stand (and where not to) becomes a big part of raiding with this spec.
- Above all, affli is very VERY rampy. You won't expect to see yourself in the top 10 for damage until quite late on in the fight (unless you're JB...) so it's definitely a build for long-term / planning types! You have to SQUEEEEEZE the damage out over a long fight, chipping away at Pandemic and keeping the drains up as much as possible
- Mastery is INSANELY important for this build - it builds on the affli passive talent that starts you off with 25% mastery for free! And makes sure that every tick packs a punch
Picking a guide for affli is a tough one - fortunately the affli discord channel seems to be one of the best supported and I mostly use that for guides.

OK, so that was all a bit of a brain dump! I hope that's useful for people but I'm really interested in hearing others' thoughts too, so please do comment and discuss!





#2 2017-02-11 03:33:16

Registered: 2015-07-02

Re: Stuff about locks : )

Just a tip about discord you click on your spec in the left part, then on the top right next to search you find pinned messages. Those are amazing, there you can find bis trinketlist / bisgear / rotationopener etc. This works for all discordchannels and its the best part along with the chat ofc big_smile

Last edited by Liences (2017-02-11 03:34:04)




#3 2017-02-11 13:45:29

Forum member
Registered: 2017-01-15

Re: Stuff about locks : )

here a link for destruction it has great info and explains rotation and talents.


for me i think the difficult is to keep your rotation with all the movement in the boss fights but when i understand the fight better the ups will increase.
i know destruction isn't the best but for me it's the most fun spec to play



#4 2017-02-11 14:51:36

Forum member
Registered: 2016-07-19

Re: Stuff about locks : )

@Gandie: Totally. You should absolutely play what you find the most fun - that's the point! It's still a completely legit build, it just becomes a bit of a challenge in Nighthold - but there are still lots of fights where movement shouldn't affect you to much.

The video looks interesting. I'll give it a proper look at some point and see what their focus is.

If you fancy talking about rotations in more detail or anything then give me a shout! Always willing to learn more about other specs.




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