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Skip to the 5.2 part of the discussion in the thread: http://www.mmo-champion.com/threads/...1#post20435566
7. Your Demon
8. Spells and Abilities - Single Target
9. Spells and Abilities - Multi Target and AoE
10. Extra Tips
11. How to DPS on specific encounters - Tier 14
12. Using Simcraft
Affliction is primarily about dealing damage with DoTs (Damage over time spells). In Mists of Pandaria, all Warlock specs had a major overhaul, but Affliction is largely the most recognisable of the three specs after the changes. In Mists of Pandaria, Affliction can instantly apply all of their DoTs to an enemy, and use channeled spells to make their DoTs tick more frequently.
This spec uses Soul Shards as a resource, which can be generated by Corruption ticks, and by Drain Soul. Soul Shards are consumed by the Haunt ability, which buffs your damaging spells on an enemy for a short time, and by Soulburn, which enhances some of your other abilities.
Soul Leech is the talent I tend to use for most Throne of Thunder raids. You can build up huge shields equal to your health and massively mitigate boss damage. Particularly good for abilities like Thunderstruck. That said, Dark Regeneration adds an extra survival cooldown that might save you in dangerous situations.
Howl of Terror isn't going to be useful in a whole lot of situations, although there may be specific encounters in the future where it's reliable. Mortal Coil has the benefit of providing you with 15% of your maximum health which gives it far more practical use in a raid situation, so it will be the talent of choice in most situations. With that in mind, on certain encounters involving stunnable adds, Shadowfury will be a great talent, so don't ignore it completely. I'll be explaining specific encounters where it'll be useful in future guides on my website.
The talents in this tree are all heavy defensive abilities. Soul Link in its current state shares damage between you and your pet so that you both remain at the same percentage of health. Since pets take practically no aoe damage, this effectively grants you 25% increased effective health via damage splitting. However, if you're using Grimoire of Sacrifice, then you get a flat 20% health increase by using this talent.
Sacrificial Pact offers you a ~300k shield, but Dark Bargain could save you from a lot more depending on how it's used. All of these defensive talents are viable and will see use in a variety of situations. I tend to use Soul Link for most encounters.
Burning Rush is the go to talent of choice here - an on demand sprint with no cooldown is absolutely amazing. There may be the odd fight here or there where you want Unbound Will, such as Jin'rokh. There likely won't be any occasions where Blood Fear will have use in PvE.
This is a DPS increasing tier. In most situations you'll want to use Grimoire of Supremacy, using the Observer pet. However, in pure single target fights (such as Jin'rokh), Sacrifice is marginally better.
Honestly, the talents in this tier are all far too encounter specific to judge outright. For stationary "ultraxion type" fights without any AoE the only choice is Archimonde's Vengeance, on fights with considerable AoE you'll want to take Mannoroth's Fury, and on highly mobile fights Kil'jaeden's Cunning will be the talent of choice. Kil Jaeden's cunning is the default choice for practically every fight in ToT.
Like most things in MoP, the glyph system has been simplified. Most of the Warlock glyphs do not offer any DPS gains and are simply cosmetic or fun tweaks to the class. The below glyphs provide some utility or survival. You can use any selection of them.
Glyph of Healthstone: This is amazing when paired with Dark Regeneration. Provides a huge influx of health, but does remove the burst healing element, so it's not good for fights like Empress where you need instant healing.
Glyph of Curse of Exhaustion: This is great for any fights with adds that need to be slowed. This is the best slow in the game. Great for fights like Tortos and Protectors.
Glyph of Soulstone: Stronger combat res is always useful.
Glyph of Siphon Life: Passive healing, always useful.
Glyph of Soul Consumption: More chance of extra healing.
I tend to use Healthstone + Siphon Life, and the third is available for whatever utility I need.
This is your primary stat. Each point of Intellect increases your Spell Power by 1. However, when looking at your gear, each point of Intellect is actually worth 1.05 Intellect due to the passive ability Nethermancy. Therefore, if an item has 20 Intellect, you will gain 21 Intellect when you equip it. Intellect also increases your crit chance by a very small amount; 2548 Intellect gives you 1% chance to crit.
Increases your chance to hit with spells. You need a total of 15% hit to reach cap, and 340 hit rating is equal to 1% hit. Once you reach the hit cap (5100 hit rating), your spells are all guaranteed to hit, so any additional hit is pointless.
Makes your spells cast faster and reduces your global cooldown. 1% Haste makes your spells cast 1% faster, and you need 425 haste rating to gain 1%.
Increases your chance to critically hit with spells. You need 600 crit rating to gain 1% chance to crit.
Each percent of Mastery increases the damage you do with Agony, Corruption and Unstable Affliction by 1%. Each percent of Mastery is equal to 302 Mastery rating
Expertise grants Spell Hit at exactly the same rate as Hit Rating does. You can combine a mixture of Hit and Expertise to each hit cap.
As a general rule of thumb, you should consider stats in the following order of importance:
Intellect --> Spell Power --> Hit --> Haste -> Mastery --> Crit.
Intellect --> Spell Power --> Hit --> Haste (Breakpoints) --> Mastery --> Haste --> Crit
Intellect is your best stat, and will almost always be the deciding factor in your upgrades.
You should be hit capped, or close to the hit cap. Avoid being over the hit cap.
Haste is your best stat for single target, and gets even better when you get the Legendary Meta gem and ToT PPM trinkets. Mastery is very close behind and may overtake haste if it falls too far behind, although this probably won't be a problem single target.
For multi target dotting, Mastery can outscale haste by a small amount, but it's worth getting your haste high enough to reach certain DoT breakpoints. The main ones you should consider are 6637, 9778 or 13737, which will give you extra ticks of Agony, Unstable Affliction and Corruption, and then go for Mastery once you've attained these.
To optimise your reforging, use the scale factors generated by SimCraft and plug them into the addon ReforgeLite. If you don't know how to use SimCraft, I'll explain it in a future tutorial.
SOCKET COLOUR GEM EFFECT Meta [Burning Primal Diamond] 216 Intellect and Increased Critical Effect Red [Reckless Vermilion Onyx] 80 Intellect and 160 Haste Yellow [Quick Sun's Radiance] 320 Haste Blue [Lightning Wild Jade] 160 Hit and 160 Haste
You can use the Mastery counterparts of these gems if you're already at your respective Haste threshold.
SLOT ENCHANT EFFECT Shoulder Greater Crane Wing Inscription 200 Intellect and 100 Crit Stike Rating Back Superior Intellect 180 Intellect Chest Glorious Stats 80 All Stats Wrist Super Intellect 170 Intellect Gloves Superior Mastery 170 Mastery Belt Living Steel Belt Buckle Extra socket Legs Greater Cerulean Spellthread 285 Intellect and 165 Crit Strike Rating Boots Pandaren's Step 140 Mastery Rating and run speed. Weapon Jade Spirit 1650 Intellect on a proc chance. Off-Hand Major Intellect 165 Intellect
All of the ToT trinkets are so close to each other in DPS that it's honestly barely noticeable which combination you use.
Technically, the best combination is Lei Shen's + Wushoolay's, but you can either get extremely lucky or extremely unlucky depending on whether Lei Shen's procs at the same time as your Wushoolay's is on high stacks. It also means your opener burst will be slightly reduced.
A safer combination would be Lei Shen's + Breath of the Hydra, but you can also use Wushoolay's + Breath of the Hydra if you prefer.
All ToT trinkets are significantly better than any other trinkets in the game.
7. Your Demon
Affliction uses the Observer pet in most situations. This provides the highest dps gain. However, in situations where there is heavy target swapping, the Fel Imp can swap targets more efficiently, and only does slightly less dps.
Don't forget your Doomguard. This is a powerful demon that you can summon only once every 10 minutes, and he stays with you for 60 seconds, attacking the target that you cast him on. He deals 20% bonus damage to enemies under 20% health, and also benefits from bloodlust. The best time to use him depends heavily on the fight that you're on and when your raid uses bloodlust, but it will almost always be just before bloodlust is cast.
The Infernal is the Doomguard's equivalent for AoE situations. He shares the cooldown with the Doomguard, so you must decide which one is most appropriate to use. You'll usually use the Infernal when there are 7 or more targets.
8. Spells and Abilities - Single Target
Caster Form Spells:
CORRUPTION: This deals Shadow damage every 2 seconds for 18 seconds, and each tick of damage has a chance to generate a Soul Shard.
AGONY: This deals damage every 2 seconds for 24 seconds. It starts at 1 stack, and every time it deals damage, it gains an extra stack, increasing the damage done with each tick. Once it reaches 10 stacks, it won't gain any more. In addition, if you recast Agony once it is at 10 stacks, the duration will be extended and it will stay at 10 stacks.
UNSTABLE AFFLICTION: This deals Shadow damage every 2 seconds for 14 seconds. If dispelled, it deals damage to the dispeller and silences them.
Haunt: This deals high damage to an enemy, and applies a debuff that causes all of your spells to do 30% more damage to that enemy for 8 seconds. This consumes one Soul Shard.
SOULBURN: This grants extra effects to some of your spells. This costs one Soul Shard.
SOUL SWAP: This removes all of your DoT effects from one enemy, and allows you to move them to another target. With the glyph, it does not remove the DoTs from the first enemy, effectively allowing you to move your DoTs for free, although this has a 30 second cooldown. When used with Soulburn, it instantly applies Agony, Corruption and Unstable Affliction to an enemy, without the need for a target to steal the DoTs from. This has no cooldown.
MALEFIC GRASP: This is a channelled spell that deals Shadow damage every second for 4 seconds. Every time it deals damage, it causes all of your periodic effects on the target to instantly deal 50% of their tick damage.
DRAIN SOUL: This is a channelled spell that deals Shadow damage every 2 seconds for 12 seconds, and generates a Soul Shard every second tick of damage. If the enemy is below 20% health, it deals 100% additional damage, and every time it deals damage, it causes all of your Affliction periodic effects on the target to instantly deal 100% of their tick damage.
1 - Haunt - Keep this up when you have Soul Shards.
2 - Agony - Keep this up at 10 stacks.
3 - Corruption - Keep this up.
4 - Unstable Affliction - Keep this up.
5 - Drain Soul - Use this as your filler below 20%.
6 - Malefic Grasp - Use this as your filler above 20%.
7 - Fel Flame - Use this when moving.
At the start of the fight, use Dark Soul, and then Soulburn with Soul Swap, to instantly apply your DoT effects to the enemy. Apply Haunt, and try to keep it up for the entire duration of Dark Soul. Once your Intellect procs are active, update your DoTs with Fel Flame and reapply them again before before Dark Soul expires. For the rest of the fight, keep your DoTs up and use Malefic Grasp as your filler spell, and keep Haunt uptime as high as possible. Once the enemy falls below 20% health, use Drain Soul instead of Malefic grasp.
Remember that if nobody else in your raid is providing the magic damage taken debuff, you should apply Curse of the Elements on every enemy you attack. Remember to use Flask of the Warm Sun at all times, and use Potion of the Jade Serpent immediately before you enter combat, and again at critical stages of the fight.
Advanced Soul Shard Management
Knowing when to use your Soul Shards is what will separate a poor Warlock from a great one.
At the start of the fight you will use a Soul Shard to get Soulburn into a Soul Swap and get your DoTs up. You will use this any time a big cooldown such as Dark Soul is about to expire.
The first rule is never let yourself waste a Nightfall proc. For this reason, you should never sit on 4 Soul Shards. If you get four Shards, throw out a Haunt.
During Dark Soul, try to keep Haunt up with 100% uptime.
The next rule is never to use Haunt when you don't have any Intellect procs active. The video at the top of this thread explains this in more detail.
During the execute, you have unlimited shards. Keep Haunt up with 100% uptime and only use Soulburn: Soul Swap to refresh your DoTs.
9. Spells and Abilities - Multi Target and AoE
SEED OF CORRUPTION: This deals Shadow damage to an enemy over time. Once the target takes enough damage from the Caster, it explodes and deals Shadow damage to all enemies within 15 yards. When used with Soulburn, the explosion applies Corruption to afflicted targets.
Spell Priority: Multi Target
1 - Use Soulburn: Soul Swap to keep DoTs up on as many targets as possible. Manually cast the dots to keep them refreshed if you don't have sufficient shards. Then focus single target once everything is dotted.
2 If more than 6 targets, use Soulburn: Seed of Corruption to keep Corruption up on every enemy, as needed. Use Soul Shard procs for Soulburn: Soul Swaps, and spam Seed of Corruption on targets with all dots to trigger them instantly.
10. Extra Tips
This section should clarify some of the major mechanic changes between Cataclysm and Mists of Pandaria.
At level 90, DoTs are refreshed in a different way. If you cast Corruption on an enemy that already has Corruption on it, the remaining duration of the previous effect will be added to the new effect, up to a maximum of 50% of its base duration. So, if you recast Corruption when it has 6 seconds remaining, it will now have 24 seconds remaining. The maximum duration it will increase to is 27 seconds, since its base duration is 18. This means that you can refresh it any time when it has less than 9 seconds remaining and you won't waste any time. (9+ 18= 27).
Before you reach level 90, this extension doesn't happen, which means you should refresh your DoT just after it expires.
DoTs do not update automatically with procs such as Intellect procs or buffs such as Dark Soul. You have to recast them in order for them to take effect, which means you can directly improve your DPS by refreshing your DoTs at opportune moments.
Your Doomguard now benefits from Bloodlust and deals bonus damage when under 20%. He also updates dynamically with your stats - there is no need to wait for Int or Haste procs before you summon him - although summoning him when their internal cooldown is soon to expire will be beneficial, to ensure they proc whilst he is out.
11. How to DPS on Specific Encounters
Elegon (Normal or Heroic):
Will of the Emperor (Normal or Heroic):
Imperial Vizier Zor'lok (Normal or Heroic):
Garalon (Normal or Heroic):
Wind Lord Mel'jarak (Normal or Heroic):
Amber Shaper Un'Sok(Normal or Heroic):
12. Using Simcraft