- Author: Nevermore
- Date: November 14, 2021
- Expansion: WotLK Classic
In this section we will be covering an ideal rotation for PvP in Wrath of the Lich King and discussing your abilities/spells in further detail.
- Curse of Agony/Curse of the Elements
- Unstable Affliction
- Shadow Bolt
- Drain Life
- Drain Soul
Player-versus-Player requires a bit of a different mindset compared to the PvE content, it requires fast thinking, fast reactions, and the ability to adapt to each situation. Because the encounters are not scripted like in PvE scenarios, you have to expect anything from your enemy but this does not mean they can not also be predictable, depending on their current situation and yours.
When it comes to player-versus-player combat in World of Warcraft, we will mention a priority list of spells, rather than a direct rotation. As an Affliction Warlock, your job is often called “Multi-Dotting”
When it comes to the PvP scenarios we are going to talk about there are several key play-style differences depending on where you face your opponent and how many of them there are, hence the term Multi-Dotting.
The Affliction Warlock excels at controlling targets while withering them down with powerful damage-over-time abilities. Unstable Affliction, Haunt and Corruption are your bread and butter abilities, and those are the first dots you will want to place on your target and keep them active.
Depending on the situation and what type of class you are fighting, curses have powerful effects that should be placed according to the situation. For example, when fighting casters you will want to use Curse of Tongues, reducing their cast speed by 30%, but if you are fighting a high-burst physical damage dealer you will want to consider Curse of Weakness to maintain your survivability and impair their damage capabilities.
Some situations might call for Curse of the Elements, a powerful debuff that will reduce all of your target’s resistances. You will want to prioritize this curse when fighting someone with high resistances. Usually, a giveaway for this situation is the Gift of the Wild or Paladins’ auras such as Shadow Resistance Aura.
As for the filler spells used between DoT upkeep, depending on your health and the distance between you and your target we will use Shadow Bolt, especially when Nightfall is up and Drain Life. Drain Life is usually the preferred filler because of the health-regenerating effect, and when paired up with the powerful Siphon Life talent and its respective glyph, it will make you extremely hard to kill.
Although the Affliction Warlock might seem like a slow build-up damage type of class, it will surprise you how fast you can melt your opponents when the above-mentioned spells are used correctly. The proper use of those spells will provide you the opportunity to utilize your powerful execute, Drain Soul, faster. Have you ever been jealous of a Warrior and wished you could do the same execution-style kill? Well, this is your tool.
As far as control goes, the warlock has several tools that will provide you the crowd control (C.C) required to wreak havoc upon a target while destabilizing their teammates. Thanks to Improved Howl of Terror, we now have an area of effect fear ability that works the same way as the Priest’s Psychic Scream. You can utilize this to chain your crowd-control effects or as an opener to force the use of a trinket.
Fear is your main crowd control spell and the trademark of the Warlock. All the specializations can use it and its effect can displace the target for a potential perfect setup on his/her partners. However, do remember that the spam of fear will trigger diminishing returns on the target, meaning that each time you use it on the same target, just like any crowd control that is spammable, it will cause it to have a slightly lesser effect, up until the point where the target will become immune to the effect, so be careful how you use it. A well-placed Fear in conjunction with Demonic Circle: Teleport could provide you a powerful escape and the opportunity to regenerate your health and mana or to line-of-sight the target. Another type of fear that is an instant cast that also provides a heal is Death Coil. You can use it as a panic button or a well-placed instant cast fear that is not affected by diminishing returns to create a chain of crowd control spells.
As for slowing effects, Shadowflame, combined with Glyph of Shadowflame, will help you either chase the target or potentially stop its approach to you, especially useful when used in conjunction with Curse of Exhaustion.
Warlocks also benefit from Banish, a very useful spell to use against other Warlocks or Shamans, rendering Demons and Elementals unusable.
Having picked the path of a Warlock and selling your soul for power, we will now talk about the crucial aspect of our class, our demons. After all, we are a pet class, meaning that a lot of our capabilities revolve around them. Our preferred choice against most classes will be the Felhunter. Our space dog can dispel potential beneficial effects from our targets or remove harmful effects from ourselves with Devour Magic. Paired with the powerful silence Spell Lock, that also spell-locks the target for 6 seconds (Spell Lock silences enemies for 3 seconds, and if it’s an enemy who is casting, then it will interrupt the cast, and only then will it be unable to cast a spell in that class of magic for 6 seconds) and its Shadow Bite. The Felhunter is exceptionally good in most of the PvP scenarios due to its huge utility.
Another demonic entity we can exploit is the Succubus. This gorgeous girl will seduce (Seduction) your opponents, leaving them incapacitated for you to perform your desecrating rituals upon their bodies and souls, while also providing a debuff, Soothing Kiss, that reduces their attack speed. It is a great tool to use when fighting classes such as Warrior or Death Knight, due to the high-burst damage capabilities they possess. You can use them in order to avoid their damage and place your dots.
While you might think that the Voidwalker has no PvP utility, there is one spell that can provide you a powerful absorption effect, Sacrifice, which will help you mitigate damage at the beginning of a fight.
What will make all of this possible are Master Summoner and Fel Domination. By using Fel Domination you can quickly summon another demon to your command. For example, just like we mentioned earlier, the Voidwalker has a shield ability which you can use to mitigate some damage and you can use this to your advantage by having the Voidwalker summoned initially, then using its ability, then immediately triggering Fel Domination to summon your Succubus or Felhunter. This will allow you to change your pets on demand depending on the situation and utilize various combos that the class offers if your reaction time is fast enough.
Earlier we talked about “Multi-Dotting” – this simply means inflicting all your powerful debuffs upon all the targets in your sight. Considering that Corruption heals you, the more targets you have under this effect the more resilient you will be. As long as you position yourself in a safe spot in the backline, you will provide massive damage for your group. Your job as an Affliction Warlock is to spread as many dots as possible on all the targets in your sight. You might even consider spamming Seed of Corruption on one target after you managed to dot everyone else in sight just to enable more area of effect damage overall, this turns you into an AoE destructive class by utilizing single target spells. Pretty neat right?
Whether it’s a single-target duel, an arena, or a packed battleground, you will want to do exactly what we said in the beginning since the class itself plays the same; it is all about reaction time and practicing good crowd-control combined with good upkeep of damage-over-time abilities.
The second build, as we mentioned, provides more utility, so you might want to start practicing with the second build first and then move over to the first build since the second build will provide you with enough tools to survive and mitigate potential threats.