One thing which some Warlocks find difficult is assigning curses in a raid. This is generally due to a misunderstanding of how curses work together (after all, we only can cast one when soloing, and generally there is only one Warlock in a 5 man instance), and of which ones are important in a raid situation. Clearly, some curses are worth more than others, and some are better cast by some Warlocks than other Warlocks. This is a rough and ready guide to curses and how to use them in raiding. Simply work your way from the top to the bottom of the list, according to how many Warlocks you have present in the raid.

1. Curse of the Elements.

This is our most crucial curse, because it buffs the damage of most every caster in the raid. This should preferably be cast by a Malediction Warlock if you have one, but otherwise is a good choice for a Destruction Warlock because it has such a long duration, which means it uses less of their valuable DPS time.

2. Curse of Agony

This is great for Affliction and Demonology locks, as it does a nice amount of damage. For Destruction Warlocks, it is much better to simply spam Shadow Bolts than to worry about keeping CoA up in terms of both damage and mana efficiency. One of the two warlock curses which stack. An important thing to note about CoA is that you should not renew it until it has completed. The damage from Curse of Agony builds over the duration, so renewing before the last tick costs a lot of DPS.

3. Curse of Doom

Curse of Doom is a great spell for all Warlocks to use on boss fights. It is very mana efficient (being cast once every minute), and does a fairly hefty amount of damage (with my CoD’s in raid conditions hitting for about 10k). I do believe that CoA is better damage for Affliction and Demonology Warlocks, although most of the research I have seen on this is fairly old. When I have some gold to respec I shall have to test this out, unless someone else has done this for me!

There are a couple of important things to remember about CoD – it stacks, so more than one Warlock can cast it. If you have Amplify Curse, you should cast it before casting CoD – I believe it is a better use of Amplify to use it before a CoD than a CoA. Also, that massive amount of damage done is going to generate just a wee bit of threat, so keep your eye on your threat meter (although you all do that already, don’t you?)

4. Curse of Recklessness

CoR is a touchy subject. The main tank in my guild likes us to cast it for the extra rage it helps him generate, but not all tanks and healers like this curse. Essentially, ask your tank and healer leaders if they want this kept up. This curse is best assigned by an Affliction or Demonology Warlock, simply because its short duration will eat into a Destruction Warlock’s DPS. Also, if you are using fear as a CC, obviously do not use this curse or you will have a cranky fearer.

5. Curse of Tongues.

This curse is very situational. Bosses are immune to it (unfortunately), and it is a pain in the bum to keep up on targets because it has such a short duration. There are a few encounters where it is useful/necessary (the channelers in Magtheridon, the Priestess in the Fathom Lord encounter, etc). Assign your lowest DPS Warlock to this job generally speaking, because they are going to lose alot of damage just keeping that up. We tend to break that rule on Fathom Lord because I generally get stuck doing it, simply because everyone else refuses!

6. Curse of Weakness

CoW is a total waste of time. The benefit is definitely not worth the DPS cost of keeping it up. Anyone disagrees, you tell them to come see me, OK?

7. Curse of Exhaustion

This is purely a PvP curse, with a couple of limited PvE applications (such as the striders in the Vashj encounter). I would imagine bosses themselves are immune to it, and it would be pretty useless in any case.

So, in general:

Curse of the Elements -> Curse of Agony/Curse of Tongues -> Curse of Recklessness

On trash, damage dealing curses can potentially be a waste of time, because the trash just dies too darn fast! On bosses, feel free to go for it. Try to avoid giving your Destro locks curses with short durations, because it makes us cry from the DPS loss. Check if anyone has Amplify Curse or Malediction as well, although Amp locks can use it at their own discretion (as in – whenever the cooldown is up!)

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10 Responses to “Curse Assignments for Dummies”
  1. Actually weakness isn’t uselss, in fights like Magtheridon (especially while you are still learning it / didn’t overgear it, and pre-nerf) it was highly useful if you were using a Druid or Paladin main tank for the occasion. While a Warrior debuff might cost less in terms of dps, the sheer burst dps potential reduction it offers until you can get a warrior there (most guilds having warrior tanks not dps, and for us we had our warriors on 4th and 5th channelers – though its possible to 2 tank them so) is invaluable, reducing his hits by upto 3k each (taking his burst from about 16k down to 12 or less), yup it made a huge difference on that fight.

    2ndNins last blog post..On Personal responsibility

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  2. Curse of Weakness also doesn’t stack with Demo Shout, which is usually kept up on bosses by one of our friendly warriors. Which has made me wonder about the raid utility of this Curse at all, if both Demo Roar and Demo Shout conflict with it.

    Kadomis last blog post..Warrior Leveling guide: Part III

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  3. Curse of Recklessness was probably much more useful in the Azerothian raid days with 5 rogues, 5 hunters, and a couple of warriors taking advantage of the reduced armour at the cost of the single main tank getting hit a bit harder.

    Ah, good times.

    Elfs last blog post..Basement of Flying Daggers

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  4. So essentially, as 2ndNin mentions, Weakness is useful in some VERY particular situations (although I have to say I rarely see guilds who don’t have a Warrior MT). I forgot to mention that it didn’t stack with Demo Shout/Roar (thanks Kadomi!), so it really isn’t worth using except for maybe with a Pally Tank.

    Your Warlocks will lose a bit of damage keeping it up as well, so you have to ensure it balances out (each cast would be, oh, over half a Shadow Bolt, as well as them not being able to keep up CoD or CoA, which works out to be about 20k damage lost on the 2 CoD’s alone at my current gear level. With my gear at the moment, I would estimate that I lose 14k damage per minute if I have to keep CoW up).

    CoR certainly would have been nice in the old days Elf!! I would be interested to see how it stacks with other various armor reducing abilities – I daresay it doesn’t at all, I think we just keep it up for the extra rage. Again, I emphasise, use with caution!

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  5. Nah, normally even with a Pally tank you have your warrior keep it up, but a warrior needs to be in melee range to apply their debuff (though it is longer duration), a warlocks is shorter duration however its a much longer range which means it can be applied as a secondary / off target debuff on fights like Maulgar where again it has benefits as a curse, a warlock dpsing any target in that fight can waste 1GCD to put up the debuff on a single target, so 4-12kdpm in return for significantly reduced damage on a Tank.

    Its very useful when there isn’t an option to have a Warrior tank, or indeed a warrior to apply the debuff. Its a situational debuff, and it doesn’t stack, but thats one of those things that shouldn’t be dismissed as useless but rather something a good warlock can appreciate, and a good raid leader realise when its more useful to save the damage than gain the dps. After all in a fight like HKM or Magtheridon are not dps races but control, you can essentially go through the for ever (well till 25 min enrage on maggie :P). Losing say 10kdpm on Maulgar isn’t a major issue since your dps is split anyway, and you are sacrificing 2 hunters normally to the shaman (or a druid if you have it, but pref a boomkin not many of us have a spare one), the loss is not a major part in comparison. Your MT however takes a large burst damage for 3-5 minutes while the other targets are taken down so making it worth it.

    I won’t argue its horribly situational, I play a lock, but any good lock knows there are times its better to sacrifice dps (such as when a destrolock can’t get within 30 yards safely, for example Capernian) for survival, and thats what this curse does, its just your dps for someone else’s survivability which is harder to see :P

    2ndNins last blog post..On Personal responsibility

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  6. CoRecklessness should be cast if you have a Blood Frenzy warrior in your raid, since that spec includes 5/5 imp demo shout, effectively granting a free 800 armor penetration to all physical classes (melee and hunters)

    Anglachels last blog post..woot! finally they dropped!

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  7. I am afraid that I still can not be converted to the CoW cause. I will agree that it may be useful in an occasional situation where all of the following occur:
    – No Warrior or Druid Tank on the Target
    – Target hits incredibly hard, and your healers for one reason or another can not cover it
    – There are enough Warlocks to cover the more crucial curses, such as CotE, sometimes CoT (which seems to be in the fights where people say CoW is useful!)

    These have yet to happen to me, as the healers in my guild are fantastic at their jobs, and we do 25man raids with a Warrior MT.

    After much trolling on the Elitist Jerks forums, as well as The Warlock’s Den, Nihilum and the WoW forums, I can fairly safely say that most Warlocks agree with the other curses mentioned (CotE, CoA) being much more useful in terms of raid benefit than CoW. So, I will add in the following amendment to the post:

    1. CoW is useless 99% of the time in terms of raid utility, especially when compared to the other curses. However, if your healers are having a LOT of difficulty keeping your MT up (especially if they are a Pally tank), do feel free to throw one up. Keep in mind it does not stack with Demo Shout/Roar, and an Imp. Demo Shout will overwrite it.

    All in all, I have found two or three fights where it is potentially worthwhile, although they have their disadvantages:
    1. HKM: If your MT is a Pally, feel free to throw it on HKM, provided you are adept enough at juggling CotE on your current target, CoT on the priest, and enslaving hounds. When we get to the mage I really personally push for max DPS, as it is a fairly high pressure situation for the mage tank, and I like to get them out of that situation ASAP. You should also have at least a couple of healers freed up by this point from the other targets to assist on MT heals.
    2. Gruul: At the very end stages of the Gruul fight it can be useful, although at this point most RL’s are pushing for Max DPS
    3. Magtheridon: Useful while you are dealing with the channelers if your MT is a Pally, provided once again you can juggle CoTing the Channelers, and fearing/banishing the infernals, as well as maximising DPS on Channelers (remember, they need to die as fast as possible!)

    It does have some small use in PvP – as I am too lazy to respec to affliction half the time, I use it on melee classes. Better than nothing!

    As a small note, we have successfully tanked the shaman on HKM with a Feral Druid – it isn’t especially easy in terms of the knockback, but certainly doable.

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  8. [...] Assigning Raid Curses [...]

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  9. Situationally dependent of course, I’d have CoR in at number 2, and possibly number 1 depending on raid make up and how my ego is feeling at the time (ie its never happened, but still…) – there’s not that many raid bosses in the game that have abilities magnified based on AP, and those are the only ones you really need to avoid having CoR on. Off the top of my head the ones to avoid are Gruul (after a certain point), Morogrim, Azgalor, Teron, Mother Shahraz, umm yeh, there are others – I think the best option is to know the bosses you’re hitting, do your research and find out if they’re heavy hitters or not; I’m sure someone has the complete list of who its “safe” to use CoR on, but I’m too lazy to look it up at the moment. My point is just that for sheer raid dps boost, in most 25 man raids especially, one application of CoR is going to outshine both CoA and CoD without question, as long as you’ve done your homework and know who its safe to use it on.

    TeePees last blog post..Summertime Blues

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  10. This Other CoW bosses….Morogrim Tidewalker in SSC and Supremus in BT. Both of those fights can definately benefit from CoW as the status of your heals can be a serious question if you have bad luck. Even if you only have 1 lock with you, the curse needs to be CoW…not CoE or CoD.

    Before including talents, the base AP debuffs are 350, 300 and 240 for the Warlock, Warrior and Druid respectively.

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