Posts Tagged “Spells”

So, we’ve all had a couple of weeks now to play around with the new talents and abilities the patch has dropped in our laps. Let me just say this, Affliction is the freakin’ bee’s knees! Soul Swap is my new favorite spell. I didn’t think anything would overtake Seed of Corruption but I’ll be damned if I don’t love the instantly applying all my DoT’s on a new target. When I first looked at this spell, I figured it would only see situational use on trash mobs and in PvP. Thanks to the Soul Swap glyph, this spell is pure freakin win. For those of who don’t know what it does, the Soul Swap glyph allows you to transfer all your DoT’s onto a new target while still leaving the original ones on the target in exchange for a 10 second cool down on Soul Swap. I shed a tear when I first discovered the glyph.

Soul Swap isn’t the only new cool toy we got. We got a completely overhauled Soul Shard system. Gone are the days of carrying around 20 or more soul shards for all our spells. Now we have 3 soul shards for use primarily during combat. I’m not sure how it’d working out for the other specs, but I’m underwhelmed by this new mechanic for Affliction. There’s not really a whole lot for us to benefit from with this. Instant cast Soul Fire is nice when you’re on the move but chances are you’ll be using this time to reapply a DoT so it’s a situational ability. My favorite use for Soulburn is to enhance Seed of Corruption. It’s like Blizzard said to us affliction warlocks “yo we heard that you guys like DoT’s so we’re putting a DoT inside of your DoT’s to give you more DoT’s while you’re casting a DoT.” Gotta love instantly applying Corruption to every target in sight.

Our rotation remains pretty much the same, the main difference is that now Haunt is the main method for refreshing Corruption and not Shadow Bolt. Making sure we’re casting Haunt when it’s off cooldown is a bigger priority than it was before. Bane of Agony lasts longer so we’re having to reapply it less often. Aside from that, our rotation remains pretty much intact. All in all, I’ve been very happy with the changes Affliction has seen in the new patch.

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… or, more appropriately… how to not suck at Destruction.

So, you finally dusted off that Warlock and brought it up to 80.  Good for you!  Too bad you are now utterly terrified of venturing into an instance, worried about people snickering ‘lolnoob’ every time you do something.  Never fear, I am here with a few pointers.

1.  Spec it right!

As a fresh 80, I am guessing you are not hit capped.  It’s OK, honestly.  It just means that the standard cookie cutter spec just isn’t quite right for you yet.  So, we have to change things up a little.  You should be looking for something similar to this.  While you still have enough meat in the Destruction tree to do some serious carnage, you’ve sacrificed a little bit of damage to make sure that you hit the damn target. 

If you are hit capped, I run with this spec.  Now, it’s not exactly cookie cutter (I’ve modified it slightly to make it more suited to what I think our raids need: better healthstones; I dropped Replenishment because it is provided by so many people already, etc etc) but we are never afraid of modifying cookie cutter to suit ourselves, right?

As far as Glyphs go, minors all suck horribly.  For majors though, you should be looking at Glyph of Conflagrate (an absolute must) and Glyph of Incinerate.  The third glyph is problematic – some suggest Glyph of Life Tap, others suggest Glyph of Immolate.  I personally prefer Glyph of Immolate, because I am lazy and like my ‘set and forget’ things.  Not to mention that I rarely have to use Life Tap anymore!  However, if you get the 4pc set bonus in T7 (which I find highly unlikely to be honest  -are you really going to be running very much Naxx?) the Life Tap glyph is by far the superior choice.  (Oh, and my Glyphs?  Do as I say, and not as I do, as my mother used to often say to me!)

2.  Basic group stuff you should always do.

I know it sounds silly, but it is REALLY easy to forget the minor details when you start grouping.  Always soulstone a resser.  Pop up a soulwell.  If you don’t have someone to provide an equivalent/better buff (an appropriately specced Death Knight or a Boomkin) you should use Curse of the Elements.  Remember to keep the Soulshatter key close at hand. 

Oh… and make sure your Imp is on either Passive or Defensive!  (Turning off his Phase Shift is a pretty good idea too).  Dismiss him if you are planning on taking any sneaky shortcuts (i.e. – Nexus).

3.  Rotations (or lack there of)

While I strongly suspect I have posted rotations before, I can not for the life of me remember where the heck I did, and I am far too lazy to have a look.  So, I’ll repost here anyway.

Long gone are the days of Destruction having a set ‘rotation’ (and of one button spam, thank goodness!) Instead, we now have a spell priority system, where we work around cooldowns.  The following list is the order you should prioritise your spells in:

1.  Curse of the Elements (unless you don’t need to do it)

2.  Conflagrate

3.  Chaos Bolt

4.  Immolate

5.  Curse of Agony/Doom

6.  Incinerate

Always Conflagrate as soon as the cooldown allows.  Try not to clip your Immolates or CoA’s short, as tempting as it might be!  And, of course, try to cast your spells as fast as possible (which means you need to allow for latency).  Remember that your haste will be significantly higher for the three casts after Conflagrate.

4.  Warlocks are totally buff!

Make sure you keep on Fel Armor, and a Firestone (not a Spellstone!)  While Haste is infinitely more valuable than Crit, that 1% to direct damage spells is OMGeriffic. 

In terms of food buffs, if you haven’t got a Fish Feast, I like some Firecracker Salmon.  However, Hit food is also more than acceptable if you need it (and much better than a Fish Feast if you need the hit!)  When it comes to flasking, Flask of the Frost Wyrm is your only real choice.  Nom.

5.  Have fun!

Honestly… you have just hit 80 on the DPS class which is the most interesting to play.  Make sure you enjoy it!

(Be sure to keep an eye out for the upcoming companion to this post: What, Do I Just Have To Pull Gear Magically Out of My Behind At Eighty?)

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Like every class, Warlocks have a veritable arsenal of strange, mysterious and bizarre spells which they can unleash with a twist of the hand and a flick of the wrist (and occasionally spitting over your right shoulder for good luck!) Some of these spells we use every day, others we use… well… never! Let’s have a look at five of these lesser known spells and abilities, shall we?

1. Eye of Kilrogg. Yes, Warlocks can summon a green eye of visiony doom. Well, maybe not doom – he doesn’t really do much… at all. The Eye of Kilrogg is a spell which I have never seen put to practical use throughout my whole warlock career. Sure, I’ve used it to scout around occasionally, or just, well, to be stupid really. I have heard that it can be put to practical use to pull mobs, and to look for pats around corners, but I have never tested the pulling thing.

2. Spellstones and Firestones. Most warlocks don’t use a Spellstone or a Firestone past level 60, or as soon as you get a decent wand that actually has some spell damage on it. Both are aimed at increasing damage in some way (the max rank Spellstone provides 20 spell crit, while the Firestone provides 30 Fire Damage). The only reason I personally have ever found for using a Spellstone at a higher level is in a situation where you have no Magic effect dispeller in your group, and there is a chance of you getting a really bad Magic debuff, as it can also remove all harmful magic effects from you (3 min cooldown). Firestones have a completely useless buff where they ‘enchant’ your weapon to have a chance to cause fire damage when attacking. Totally, utterly useless! Please fix our stones!

3. Ritual of Doom. Many people forget about the doomguard (and occasionally the infernal) simply because they aren’t commonly used pets. The doomguard especially is a rarely used pet because it is so difficult to summon. Having to do a quest chain to get the doomguard is also another reason… many Warlocks don’t even know about the doomguard! To be honest… I have not got the spell myself, just out of sheer laziness. However, I have summoned a doomguard once, thanks to a super lucky Curse of Doom proc.

4. Sense Demons. Yes, Warlocks do have a tracking ability! Not really useful, although it came in handy once upon a time in Dire Maul, chasing that forsaken imp around!

5. Curse of Idiocy. Ok, so I am completely cheating here… however, it was ONCE a Warlock ability, which reduced the target’s Intellect and Spirit (increasing it’s effect over time to a maximum of 90). I do believe it was in the beta of World of Warcraft, and they scrapped it. I guess you could also throw Shadow Ward in here so I am not cheating… our oft forgotten but sometimes useful shadow bubble! Great to use on fights where you anticipate taking a bit of Shadow damage (Netherspite, anyone?)

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