Ten Ton Hammer's Class Guides - Warlock

Posted on April 14, 2008 by Stephen

Originally posted here: http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/26283

Affliction Talent Guide

This affliction talent guide will let you know which of the Affliction talents you should go for, and which you should pass up unless you're going full into this tree, which is never really recommended since having points into Destruction or Demonology really help you out in the long run. We will go over each talent, analyze what it does, and why you would or wouldn't want it.

I have been in Arathi Basin Many times now as an Affliction Warlock. By the time I was lvl 49 I finally figured out how to be the top damage dealer in PvP. Unlike a warrior or other direct damage dealers warlocks continue to kill even while dead. I have been very successful in PvP by running by groups and dropping DoTs on all enemies and then running a way off. I have loaded 5-6 enemies with Corruption and Curse of Agony to then be killed. BUT the laugh is on them since I am continually doing damage. In top form and loading only Corruption and Curse of Agony on 5 enemies I can gather over 2500 hp in 30 seconds. Most battles last 6-10 minutes. If I can load only once per minute I can easily rack up >10,000 hp damage during a battle.
Tier 1

Tier 1 is available at level ten, when your first talents open up.

Max 5 Points, lowers enemy resistances to your Affliction spells by 2%, maxing out at 10% when you reach 5 points. This Talent is usually where Warlocks spend all their remaining points, since it's not really all that useful up front, but can work in the background if you add anywhere from 1 to 3 points into it. Very few warlocks max this talent since the percentage to hit with DoTs is fairly high in itself. Best used when in High-End raids often.

* Recommended if a raider

Improved Corruption

Max 5 points. Trademark warlock DoT, reduces casting time of it by .4 seconds per point. Upon maxing it, it becomes instant. You should always have this talent maxed or find a very good reason why not to have an extra DoT working for you regardless of specialization!

* Must Have

Improved Curse of Weakness

Max 2 points, amplifies the effect on your curse of weakness spell by 10% and 20% respectively. All in all, while it could be seen as useful in select raiding environments, it's not really worthwhile to spend any points into this Talent.
Tier 2
Improved Drain Soul

Max 2 points, returns 7% and 14% of your maximum mana if you kill the monster with this spell, and reduces the threat done by all Affliction spells by 5% and 10% respectively. Important note about this talent, you must give the finishing "tick" to the monster with Drain Soul in order for it to activate its mana regeneration ability, hence don't rely on it during a raid or if you've got others beating on the monster.

* Highly Recommended for Raiders - 10% less threat

Improved Lifetap

Max 2 points, increases the Mana awarded by your lifetap spell by 10% and 20% respectively. This is also a must-have for many warlocks as it increases your mana pool considerably and lets you lifetap less than others. Very useful in both PvP and PvE scenarios!

* Highly Recommended!

Soul Siphon

Max 2 points, increases the amount of life and mana drained by your affliction spells by 2% and 5% respectively for each affliction spell on the target, up to 24% or 60% maximum. This talent is perfect for an Affliction warlock, both while soloing and in group play, as well as PvP, you get more Life and Mana back if you have this, for a measly 2 points, you can benefit a lot from a well-timed Drain Life!

* Highly Recommended!

Tier 3
Improved Curse of Agony

2 point talent, increasing your damage with Curse of Agony by 5% and 10% - not a bad talent but hardly something to look for if you're looking for PvP talents, a 10% increase over the final damage is not very noticeable and you would be wanting to use other curses anyway. It is only noticeable if you're raiding and fighting long boss battles, and even then, it's situational.

* Nice, but not necessary.

Amplify Curse

1 point, increases the damage done by your curse of agony or doom by 50%, or your curse of exhaustion's effectiveness by 20%, 3 minute cooldown. While overall a nice Talent to have, you have to remember to keep using it often to really see results. If you can manage to remember to activate it everytime it's up, it's fairly useful.

* Good if you can manage it.

Fel Concentration

Max 5 points, Gives you from 14% to 70% chance to avoid interruption while channeling Drain Life, Drain Mana, or Drain Soul. This is a must have for many warlocks while leveling, and something you should probably think about ignoring or lowering the points into once you hit maximum level. This is the infamous "Draintank" skill, it allows you to channel Drain Life while regenerating more HP than the monster hits you for.

* Highly recommended for Leveling, 2-3 points recommended (at most) afterward.

Tier 4
Grim Reach

Max 2 points, increases the range of your affliction spells by 10% and 20% respectively. A must have for obvious reasons for both PvP and PvE, greater reach, sooner the DoTs and Curses begin ticking on your enemies the better. Also worth mentioning that it will help you when bosses or monsters have AoE abilities, 20% more range is a big help. Always try to get this talent!

* Must Have


Max 2 points, allows you to enter the Nightfall state (2% and 4% chance) when your corruption or drain life spell ticks on a target. This will allow you to cast Shadowbolt instantly. This ability is another of the trademark Affliction Warlock spells and will serve you well both in PvP and PvE, it procs more often than you might think and the extra damage from a Shadowbolt really helps your DPS out!

* Must Have

Empowered Corruption

Max 3 points, Giving you more of a reason to get instant cast corruption, this talent bumps up the overall damage of corruption by 12%, 24% and 36% respectively. A powerful talent overall and it should not be ignored if you're going Affliction.

* Must Have if going Affliction

Tier 5
Shadow Embrace

Max 5 points, Your corruption, Curse of Agony, siphon life and seed of corruption also cause the shadow embrace on the target, giving it 1% and up to 5% less physical damage dealt. This Talent is recommended only for those who like draintanking and farming by themselves. While 5% might look attractive, you're sacrificing a lot of Talent Points for it. The added debuff allows you to use it along with Soul Siphon, but that's about it.

* Situational.

Siphon Life

1 point skill, a new DoT skill that drains a small amount of health back from your enemy to you. Increases by level and +shadow damage. If you're this deep in the Affliction tree, get this. An extra DoT will always help you out.

* Must Have

Curse of Exhaustion

1 Point Skill, purely a PvP curse, this will let you slow down your enemy by 30% of their normal movement speed. This means, they will move at 70% of their usual speed, not an instant crippling 30% movement for them. Great when chasing people on PvP and especially best when combined with Amplify Curse, but has little to no PvE use.

* Good for PvP

Tier 6
Shadow Mastery

5 Point talent - Increases the damage dealt or drained by your shadow spells by 2% up to 10%. Not much to say about this Talent. Extra damage, get it as a stepping stone toward Tier 7!

* Must Have

Tier 7

5 point talent, increases the damage done by your Affliction Spells by 1% up to 5% and reduces the chance your affliction spells will be dispelled by 6% for a total of 30% at max points. Great for a PvP player since it makes you have a 30% more chance of upkeeping DoTs on your targets as the others try to dispel you, though the damage increase will help both PvP and PvE. Get this one if you're this far in.

* Highly Recommended

Dark Pact

1 point skill, lets you drain some of your pet's mana and add it to your own. This is one of the affliction tree's best spells as it lets you seemingly fight on forever within instances and soloing without needing to take a break to drink for a long period of time. Dark Pact should be gotten by all Warlocks who see it available in their talent tree!

* Must Have

Tier 8

3 point talent, increases the damage bonus of your Curse of Shadows and Curse of Elements by 1% up to 3% - While not a very useful talent on its own, if you're needing to add extra points into this tree this might be a good choice. Nothing stellar, and will likely just help if you're in a big guild who's serious about damage meters.

* Situational

Improved Howl of Terror

2 point talent, Reduces the cast time of your Howl of Terror by .8 and 1.6 seconds respectively. At 2/2, this spell is instant, giving you an instant AoE fear, making you incredibly deadly to be around of in PvP and some PvE encounters.

* Must Have

Tier 9
Unstable Affliction

1 point skill. Finally, the last Talent is another DoT, this one will tick down for extra shadow damage, and should it be dispelled or cleansed the cleanser will receive up to 1575 damage and be silenced for 5 seconds. This is -the- PvP spell to cast. If you can get Unstable Afflictions out there, many will think twice before dispelling your DoTs, and while they do, your DoTs will be weakening them enough to finish them off! As for PvE usefulness, an extra DoT also rounds off your damage nicely.

* Must Have / Highly Recommended
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