[ITLFAC] 4.0.1 Affliction by Fulguralis

It’s Too Long For A Comment. In this case?  WAY too long.  Ridiculously long.  Therefore, I shall provide anchor links & a “Read more” link for your readerly benefit.

  1. Talent Spec Linkage Thanks to Wowhead & WoWTal.com
  2. Curses & Banes CC = Choice (of) Curse, right?
  3. Fear is Back, Baby Fear in dungeons makes for more evil-feeling warlocks.
  4. Dear Dark Pact Life Tap feels so lonely now.
  5. Destro & Demo Talents (for 80 & beyond)
  6. Glyphs I’d make some joke here about them being a Major disappointment, but the Majors are actually the cool ones.
  7. Soulburn! Pffft, forget Soulburn, I’m surprised you haven’t gotten Eyeburned by now!
  8. It’s Draining Souls! /sings “It’s Raining Men”
  9. NOOOO NOT ANOTHER PARAGRAPH…kidding!

Summary of the original post: talents & glyphs & rotations.  It’s also, as he put it, preliminary.  That is, feedback is totally welcome.  But it’s Fulguralis, he’s no moron.  Quality stuff, guys. I’m going to be talking rotations throughout, probably, but it should be obvious when I’m doing a talent or a glyph talk.

WowTal.com Linky Linky Linky

Okay, here’s my live old talent spec.  At least, I’m pretty sure that’s what was on my warlock before maintenance dropped.  I haven’t changed it since about 3.3 (That’s what…February?  March?), so I might have messed maybe a glyph up.

For level 80 raiding in 4.0.1, this one is Ful’s & this one is mine (before I saw Ful’s post).  There’s only a few differences between the two.  These differences might be playstyles, but I think Ful raids 10mans, while I raid 25mans (for the most part), so that makes up for a bunch.

Just like Ful did, I’m not going to go over why you should take things like Doom and Gloom or Everlasting Affliction.   Those are obvious for any warlock who’s got her felpup out.  I’m going to go over the things Ful or I did (or didn’t) take.

Cursing Art

… I didn’t pick up Curse of Exhaustion [because it's rarely used in raids].

I feel like a horrible DPS whenever the Valks come out and all I can do is hope that my Frostweave Net is off cooldown.  Or when the Blood Beasts are up.  I always wondered if I should trash my off-spec PvP Affliction for another Affliction raiding spec, this time with Curse of Exhaustion, purely for those fights.

Now I don’t have to, since I can barely go down the Affliction tree without having to put a point in either CoEx or 2/2 Jinx. I chose CoEx since I want to use it and I’m not using CoE much anyway.  I’m not using CoE as my curse (I’m CoA now) since my 25man raid has an Unholy DK (Ebon Plaguebringer) and on non-intensive healing fights, a moonkin or two (Earth and Moon).  Ful, I figure, isn’t so lucky, so he opted for 2/2 Jinx, which guarantees CoE on every mob in the room.

1/2 Jinx doesn’t guarantee every mob in the room since it only gives a 20 yd radius.  But 20 yds covers over halfway the distance between myself and the mob, since my own casting distance is 30 yds. As long as I pick a mob that’s in the middle of everything (i.e. my Seed target), I should be covered. Get it?  Covered? /kneeslap

But, even then, I probably won’t be using CoE.  Instead of one curse, warlocks now get a split Bane/Curse system.  Banes are what were the “damage” curses; that is, curses that didn’t really have an extra uility, but just did more damage.  These are, of course, Agony and Doom.  Curses, on the other hand, now imply some sort of debuff utility.  Elements decreases resistances (increases magic damage done to the target).  Tongues increases cast time.  Weakness decreases physical damage done by the target.  Exhaustion slows.

I will likely be static on my Bane, a no-brainer in my rotation? OH THE AGONY! :D but rather dynamic on my Curse, depending on the situation at hand. Blazing Skeletons or Raging Spirits?  Tongues, if it’ll work.  Shambling Horrors & VDW Zombies & Aboms?  Weakness.  Valks & Blood Beasts?  Exhaustion.  Marrowgar & his Bone Spikes?  Elements, since Jinx will allow me to put it on everything nearby instead of waiting for the moonkin or DK to start up her or his rotation on it.

Makes me wonder if I could put Tongues on Sindy to let people get a bit more running time on Blistering Cold.  Probably not, but it’s worth a shot, right?

The Fear Glyph

Lemme go back and pick up the beginning part of that first quote.

I skipped the two fear modifiers, since fear is rarely used in raids…

Fear, today, is, in fact, rarely used, if at all, in raids.  How many commas can you put in one sentence without resorting to lists? It’s main drawback is that the warlock cannot control the direction of or extent of running away that a feared mob does.  This rapidly results in unintended add pulls and general chaos.

Enter Glyph of Fear.

Your Fear causes the target to tremble in place instead of fleeing in fear, but now causes Fear to have a 5 sec cooldown.

No more add facepulling more adds. The target stays in place!  Damage caused will still interrupt the effect, but a full effect gives you up to 20s of CC.

Am I the only one who’s ecstatic about this? Finally, something that’s not restricted to mob race (Banish) or a 60s cooldown (Frostweave Net)!  Finally, I can use the full powers of Affliction, even in a roleplaying sense!

As for the 5s cooldown tradeoff, I don’t see that being a big deal in PvE.  Even if the 5s doesn’t start until the Fear debuff drops off, you should be able to move away from the add or get a tank for it by then.  If the 5s does become a problem, then dropping a point or two into Improved Fear should allay your, um, fears about dying.

Dark Pact, I’ll Miss You

Does anyone know what happened to Dark Pact?  Obviously it’s not in the tree.

It’s gone.  I will miss it horribly because I use it all the time. In the meantime, I’ll need to be aware of helping out my healers.

On the PTR, Life Tap took out approximately 10% of my health.  I wasn’t paying attention to how much mana I got back, mainly because Wrath affliction loves Spirit enough that it will boost my mana regen in Cata until I lose about half my gear.  So my mana regen testing was rather skewed.

I don’t think we warlocks will be in a deep hole, health bar or bee pit.  Here’s the numbers I had standing in my ICC gear with that talent spec and minor glyphs plus a lonely Haunt glyph.  That and Life Tap were the only non-minor glyphs I could apparently apply on my copied warlock, and nobody was selling warlock glyphs on the PTR server I was on.

My health pool was approximately 30k; my mana pool was 32k.  Wearing nothing, I have 7874 health and 6066 mana.  Oooh, that’s a creepy mana number for a warlock.  Anyway, these are “base” mana and health, for mana cost calculations if we need them.  My Life Tap dumped about 10% of my health (that’s 3k).  My Haunt was hitting for 2-3k, 6k on crits.

I mean, shit y’all, I haven’t even gotten to Siphon Life or Fel Armor or Draining Life or Healthstones yet and I can already full heal or overheal my Life Tap dips.

TL;DR: if you Life Tap your Affliction self to death, it’s still your own damn stupidity. If you’re not Affliction, well, there’s your problem.  I’m kidding about that not being an afflic lock.  But, you’re still missing out. Thus, healers should not have to heal a warlock unless she is taking genuine damage.

Destro Talents (& some of Demo)

After I filled up my Affliction Tree, then the option to spend points in other trees becomes available.  I went right back over to look for my old friend, Bane.  You’ll see a somewhat newish talent next to it called Shadow and Flame (which is mostly a re-skinned ISB, but including fire).   I actually opted to fill up S&F first as it makes a target weak to spell damage.  I’m assuming this would benefit all casters in the group (same as the old ISB), so it’s a great raiding talent to pick up.  I plan to fill Bane out by 85.

I went the reverse way of Ful’s plan. I filled out Bane first and then plan to fill up Shadow and Flame.  Again, I think this is a difference in raid sizes.  I normally raid with another lock, and it’s usually a destro lock, though now it’s becoming a demo lock more often.  Destro locks pick up Shadow and Flame, and I’ve often had my own ISB debuff fall off the target because the destro lock has more power / better gear than I do.

But yes, I plan to fill out S&F as I level.

After Bane & S&F, there’s nothing left in the Destro tree that’s Shadow-applicable.  On to Demonology!

Yeah, I realize I’m going outside “level 80 raiding,” but considering how few points are left to spend between now and 85, the discussion would be good.

Any of the first three can make some oomph, and assuming you’ve filled out Bane and S&F, you can only go 3 pts into Demo anyway.  Let’s discuss.

Demonic Embrace is the same as it was: 4/7/10 % more stamina.  Due to the ambiguous boundaries between an affliction warlock’s health and mana pools, stamina always means more buffer before you die.  Whether you take this as more Life Taps or less angry healers, it’s a good thing all around. Especially since the triage heal-style is being emphasized by Blizzard, and predictions by healers themselves are that it might take a bit for healers to switch over from Wrath’s style of “Overheals Don’t Matter,” it’d be a good idea to drop a few points in here later.  I’m going to drop 2.

Dark Arts is a new talent that will increase pet damage (Imp = Destro, Felguard = Demo, Felhunter = Aff).  Unless the pet damage becomes a significant portion of our total damage, I don’t foresee putting any points in here for Afflic locks.

Fel Synergy is also the same as it was.  You have a 50/100 % chance to heal your pet for 15% of the damage you do. I haven’t needed to use this yet (though I’ve pondered it a few times), but again with Demonic Embrace, the healing style changes might make this a good idea.  Your healers may not have the mana to heal your pet, if they happen to be one of the nice healers who do include pet frames with the raid frames.  I also do not know if the smart AoE heals work the same way as they did, not to mention it’s going to be a pain in the butt and/or distracting to tell my pet to go stand in the Good Green.  Even with the Move To command, I still have to tell him to go attack again.

Glyphs

Let’s do a comparison chart instead of textwalling. LAWL TOO LATE!

Primes:

Ful | Haunt, Corruption, Bane of Agony (runner-up UA)
Pone | Haunt, Corruption, Bane of Agony (runner-up UA)

/Yawn.  Moving on.

Majors:

Ful | Soul Swap, Felhunter, Shadowflame (runner-up Life Tap)
Pone | Soul Swap, Fear, Shadow Bolt (runner-ups Shadowflame, Life Tap)

This is the one with the major teehee! differences.  We both agree on Soul Swap. I can’t flipping wait to try that out.

Here’s why Ful picked Felhunter:

I also plan keep using my Felpup for as long as his DPS is a solid choice for Aff’locks.  Thus, the Felhunter glyph seemed to be a solid choice.

Maybe you’re thinking of Shadow Bite, Ful? Devour Magic removes debuffs from friends or enemies.  Unless you’ve got a key bound for that and are really talented at pet control (or just have some awesome pet-attack-to-player-spell macros), I don’t ever see using that outside of PvP.

Shadow Bite, on the other hand, the felpup does all the time.

As my solid choice other than Soul Swap, I picked Fear. Go back to read why.

Ful makes some interesting thinking for the Shadowflame glyph. It hadn’t even entered my mind since I rarely use it outside of mowing down Critters and CoS zombies.  But yeah, a glyphed Shadowflame on Valks would be nice, wouldn’t it?  Since Ful makes a good case for it, I let it be my runner-up along with Life Tap.

In the meantime, I’ve picked Shadow Bolt. I figure since Blizz is trying to ((make mana management matter)) –> say that ten times fast they’ll up the mana cost of our main nuke.  Which happens to be Shadow Bolt.  Plus, less mana cost means more Bolts!

Minors:

Ful | Eye of Kilrogg, Unending Breath, Drain Soul
Pone | Eye of Kilrogg, Unending Breath, Ritual of Souls

A flying Eye of Kilrogg! ZOMG SO COOL!

I love Unending Breath purely for the fact that it’s got practically no purpose.  Except not taking as long to swim across rivers.

I don’t know why Ful took Drain Soul, since it only rewards mana after you kill the target.  Which would be at the end of the fight, in raiding, plus not counting all the times someone else actually deals the killing blow (versus your killing tick).  The glyph doesn’t do anything for shards, of course, because we only have three and, besides, that’s what Soul Harvest is now for.  So I chose Ritual of Souls because, I don’t know, it sucked less than the other three four I can’t count that are left.

Which isn’t really a good way to choose your glyphs.  The third glyph is the same story on the Prime glyph choices.  The Agony one is maybe slightly better than the UA one.  Other than the Majors, which should cause some discussion, I think Affliction warlocks got cheated on glyph selection.

Soulburning and You

It is important to note that Soul Shard mechanics have been changed, and I haven’t even looked at how to use those properly yet.  For the sake of this preliminary look, I’m going to assume them to be a bit situational, or something you throw in every few rotations, or a modification of what we’ll use anyways, and not a staple.

Soul Shards.  We get three.  You have to use an ability (that you have to train) called Soul Harvest to get them back if you don’t execute with Drain Soul. It’s out of combat (I believe), and it’s channeled, and you get some health back while you channel it.  It’s got a bit of a cooldown as well, so don’t plan on chaining together a Harvest with a Sole Burn giggle! with another Harvest right away.

From what I can see, Seed of Corruption is the only affliction rotationy spell that can even be affected by Soulburn, and even then you need the talent to do so.  (Not counting the brand-new spells we get in Cataclysm.)  Soulburning Seed of Corruption means that when your Seed explodes, it does its usual damage and also applies Corruption to everything it hit.

Who else is excited for ICC Trash? /raises hand and jumps excitedly!

Soulburning a demon summon makes it an instant cast. I see that as more of a perk than something that’s really cool.  It’ll make jumping off platforms in Nexus a lot less of a pain in the butt from having to resummon my demon.

Healthstones make for interesting Soulburns.  Soulburning a healthstone gives a Last Stand-like effect: it increases our maximum health by 20% for 8s in addition to the health pot we get from using it.

The minorly interesting thing to note about Healthstones is now that there are no ranks of spells, Healthstones aren’t based off level anymore.  They’re based off the base health of the caster and Demonology no longer has a talent that augments how much health you can get from one (aside from the using warlock herself).  So now ANY warlock in your raid can make the best healthstones.

Drain Soul Is Still Execution

There also seemed to be some minor mechanics changes to Drain Soul and Death’s Embrace that may make it worthwhile to use DS all the time (or none of the time, or just woven in with bolt filler).  The operative here is that I don’t believe DS gets a special bonus for under 25%.

Nope, Ful, they just moved it to DS’s actual tooltip. It’s still got the oomph when our target is under 25% health.  I said before that you have to use Soul Harvest to get shards back if you don’t execute with Drain Soul.  If the target dies while you’re draining its soul, you get all three shards back instantly. Yielding experienced or honor, of course, is a requirement for the mob.

Oh yeah.  Soulburning Seed three times, then Draining the Soul of the mob with the least amount of health until it dies, then going back to Seeding?  Drain Soul’s still awesome.

Okay I’m Finished Now

Seriously.  I swear.  Unless somebody prompts another thought-train of a post.

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10 responses

  1. Ha awesome. I”ll try to keep my feedback short(er). :-p

    - I am indeed the only lock, hence several of my choices as you’ve pointed out (elements, and S&F)

    - I went with shadowflame as noted instead of CoEx really… I have my doubts about how much CoEx would be useful outside of valks… but an AoE slow? yes, please. :-) It’s also influenced by my need for the Elements.

    - I plan to revisit the fear glyph when I see how useful it is in Cata. A side note, apart from the running random thing, is that most of what we’ve been facing has been undead and, thus, immune. I, too, hope that changes.

    - That’s for the Dark Pact clarification: that totally sucks.

    - I may go with the demo buff to felpup on the way to 85 after filling Bane. We’ll see how pet DPS works out eventually (I assume).

    - I was thinking of Shadow Bite, BUT isn’t Devour Magic auto-cast too? It should find some use right? If not, I’ll dump that one. Having never, ever had mana problems… I tend to stay away from mana reduction glyphs like S-bolt.

    - I picked Drain Soul because I can’t bring myself to pick something that reduces an out of combat spell cost. That should never matter! Still, you hit it on the head when saying we still get a big gypped. On trash DS can help… rarely.

    - I need to get a feel for the whole soulburning thing before I can write about it. Thanks for the info.

    - I missed the sneaky move to tooltip. That answers at least part of my questioning.

    Anyways. Good response/post. Bbl after I get my head around shit :-).

    12 Oct 2010 at 17:17

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  3. Scathbais (US-Madoran Horde)

    Nice blog and thanks to Ful for leading me here.

    You missed some tool tips/etc that might make your spell selection/rotation more enjoyable.

    First Soul Burn + Seed of Corruption does NOT consume a soul shard IF the seed pops.
    Just target higher health mobs to make sure your shard isn’t wasted.

    Regarding Demonic Embrace: Don’t forget that all locks can learn soul link now, so you are all ready getting a 20% health buff. This is also why it is a good idea to put at least 1 point into Fel Synergy.

    I believe Glyph of Drain Soul restoring mana mechanic works in the same way that Drain Soul restores your shards. In other words. The mob only has to die, but you don’t have to deliver the killing blow. (I haven’t had a chance to test this yet).

    At lvl 81, you mayl be using Soul Burn + Fel Flame for a guaranteed crit hit, so we may have another ace up our sleeve.

    I agree with most of what you and Ful said (and I appreciate you both taking the time to write it down). I also put a point into the SoC talent, but will drop it on my PVE spec once I stop raiding ICC. With CC being the focus of Cata, I don’t see it getting much use.

    I glyphed the same way as you did, but I did take Drain Soul Glyph based on my assumption above. For minor blyphs, i lol’d at both your selections, because I didn’t take Eye of Kilrogg. My thought is that healers will get pissy if they need to top us off right before a pull after we summon a soul well and then LT back to full mana.

    13 Oct 2010 at 08:37

    • SB/Soc + Demonic Embrace: oooo good points. I might then switch it up to 1 DE & 2 FS, since felpups aren’t as solid as, say, a felguard or a VW.

      Reading people on the forums they were saying it has to be the killing blow. But, I really don’t care, since even if I got a killing blow on a boss or a raid trash target, I don’t think the mana return would be worth the glyph slot.

      Yeah, for soulburning I didn’t really look too much at spells above what we have now, since Cata is still two months off.

      Lol, I always summon the soul well while everybody’s still buffing, so the healers are going to have to heal everyone ANYWAY. Or I pop the soulwell before I eat my feesh. And yeah, Kilrogg will be pointless in raid unless they allow flying indoors, but otherwise it’s FUN! XD

      13 Oct 2010 at 12:27

  4. (Funny thing: your site isn’t blocked at my work, so I can comment here but not on my own. Win?)

    I didn’t get to try out a whole lot last night, but from what little I did (a lot of work with level 80 dummies and watching recount)… I felt like I had SO MUCH MANA. I hardly needed to life tap. Soul Swap is freaking awesome. I’m rather fond of the new shard mechanics actually (and I had my doubts). Saw we had soul link: one of my faves from my demo spec, now available to all! Good times.

    I’m going to try and write a proper “first impressions” post on Thursday (today is Fuu’s turn to go all Pally on me), but yeah, overall I’m happy. Now I just need to see if it’s an overall buff or nerf in a raid environment. Sadly, I think I’m going to be a little nerfed, but I like all the new mechanics better. Tradeoff?

    13 Oct 2010 at 09:39

    • First impressions of warlockery was awesome.

      Then I targeted my felhunter for a text check.

      Then I rapidly cycled through summoning my demons.

      Then I summoned my felhunter again.

      Then I ravenously watched the forums.

      Then I logged out because I couldn’t stop crying from the loss of my two-year-old felhunter.

      Yeah. That’s my first impression. It’s like Blizz made warlocks awesome just to crush our souls by killing our demons.

      13 Oct 2010 at 12:21

  5. @ Peneria

    They are fixing it so that you get your Minion’s names back. Do no more sorrow… wait… aren’t you Warlocks suppose to cackle over your dead minions?

    Dont know but it sounds like warlocks gained a heart somewhere in 4.0.1?

    What is this I dont even ;-)

    14 Oct 2010 at 15:57

  6. abi_FAILS

    I chose Glyph of Shadowbolt since I want to Life Tap as less as possible. The Life Tap glyph doesn’t give spellpower anymore, so there is no reason to Life Tap when you don’t need to. Losing a GCD versus casting something else, casting something else always wins in my book ^__^.

    No matter what spec you use, if you’re on a single target, Shadowburn + Soul Fire is awesome.

    Nice post!

    22 Oct 2010 at 15:54

    • abi_FAILS

      *Soul burn + Soul fire. >.>

      22 Oct 2010 at 15:56

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