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    The Patient Terryn's Avatar
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    Dec 2014
    Huntsville AL

    [Legion] Terryn's guide to Affliction Warlock

    This guide will always be a work in progress as things change quite often! Discussion is always encouraged.

    Hi all.

    Just an FYI most of these threads are not being updated in favor of using Lock One Stop Shop which gives us much better avenues to provide accurate information in good formatting and what not. Please go there:!/Home

    Table of Contents
    Base Information
    Legion Information
    Stats and Stat Weights
    Nighthold Discussion
    Important Links
    Frequently Asked Questions
    Change Log

    Welcome to the Legion Affliction Guide! I am Terryn and I will be your tour guide here today. I main warlock for the US guild VoS on Illidan, and have played warlock off and on since TBC. In my free time you can find me on the warlock discord, playing some Dotes, working on my masters in software engineering, and fixing Gahddo's mistakes in simcraft. You can follow my conversations about Dota on twitter: @TerrynFred and follow my youtube where I will be releasing some more guides for Affliction. I’d also like to give a special thanks to Woundini for the kick ass banners! Be sure to follow him @sspelorzi. Other props to Not, Peter, Bear, Rez, and Pyre for dealing with my horrendous spelling while giving this a few checks.

    First off! I have added a full visual guide that goes along with this on my youtube! Check it out, it should help explain things that aren't quite as clear in this text. You can also check out my guide on wowhead. The information there and here is the same, but their formatting may appeal to other people.

    The Affliction warlock has gone through some pretty drastic changes from WOD to Legion, moving from a drain / tunnel spec to a full on dot monster with many ways to amplify your dots and make them as efficient as possible. Legion has brought about a lot of pruning, but affliction ends up in a not terrible state once the artifact gets rolling. The affliction warlock's primary strengths come into a multi target fight where you can transition into a variety of tunnel targets, allowing you to activate various artifact abilities, and pump a large amount of damage into a boss while still maintaining a nice spread damage on multiple targets. It does tend to fall off due to a long ramp-up time on single target due to the stack mechanic on agony, and has quite a bit of dot micromanagement to keep up with your melee and fire mages.

    Post 7.2.5 PTR Updates
    • All damage buffed by 15%
    • MG bonus damage down to 25%
    • WiA stacks down to 15 stacks instead of 20
    • Effigy Removed, replaced with Deaths Embrace: Damage against targets below 35% increased by up to 50%. This is a ramping +Damage increase starting at 35% health on a target to 0%.
    • PS and Siphon Life swapped spots.
    • PS Cooldown 40 seconds instead of 60.
    • T20 2P: Corruption has a chance to generate a soulshard
    • T20 4P: Spending a Soul Shard has a 25% chance to grant you 15% Haste for 8 sec.

    Post 7.2.0 Hotfixes
    • The first 3 souls of a boss encounter will instantly generate.
    • Fixed a bug causing Fatal Echoes with reap to be upwards of a 30% chance to proc
    • Fixed a bug with Sweet Sweet souls causing reap healthstone to be a full heal, now only half HP.

    Post 7.1.5 Hotfixes
    Running list of hotfixes As of January 14:
    • Agony now has its full chance to generate a Soul Shard on Soul Effigy (up from a 55% of normal chance).
    • Malefic Grasp now increases the damage of damage over time effects by 70% (down from 80%).
    • Affliction Warlocks will no longer enter combat when using Banish on creatures who are not in combat.
    SMALL NOTE ON THE SOUL SHARD CHANGE: This is a bug fix, not a nurf or a buff. See this post pertaining to the change for more details.

    7.1.5 CHANGES
    Heres the Running list of 7.1.5 Changes as of December 27th.
    Baseline Spells:
    • Drain Life Replaced by Drain Soul. The shard Regen effect is now back to being baked in.
    • Secrets of the Necrolite removed. Damage buff is now baked into Drain Soul.
    • Seed of Corruption baseline costs 1 shard.
    • Haunt Now increases your damage done by dots by 30% for the duration of the debuff. Haunt also now has a 30 second Cooldown.
    • Drain Soul replaced with Malefic Grasp: Increases the damage dealt by your dots by 80 70%
    • Mana Tap replaced by Empowered Life Tap: Life Tap increases your damage dealt by 10% for 15 seconds.
    • Soul Harvest increases damage dealt for 15 seconds base instead of 10 seconds.
    • Seed of Corruption damage buffed from 138% to 210%
    • Sow the Seeds now hits 3 total targets, down from 5. NOTE: TOTAL SEED DAMAGE IS REDUCED FROM 690% TO 645% GOING FROM 7.1.0 TO 7.1.5
    • UA Dispelled damage doubled.
    • Contagion buffed from 12% to 18%
    • All non-supremacy demons have had their damage dealt increased by 20%. Service demons also have this 20% damage increase. Note: Undocumented on Wowhead's list
    • Infernal aoe damage is up by 44%. This also applies to supremacy infernal. Note: Undocumented on Wowhead's list

    7.1 CHANGES
    Oh and theres a lot! Here's a compiled list right at the top of this guide:
    • Soul Effigy is no longer effected by AOE. RIP memes.
    • Demon Skin and Demonic Circle have swapped places.
    • Haunt damage improved.
    • Phantom Singularity damage improved.
    • Drain Soul damage improved.
    • Unstable Affliction no longer ignites. It now has separate dots for each instance. See updated UA mechanics for more details!
    • UA no longer snapshots
    • Agony damage improved.
    • Corruption damage improved.
    • Drain damage improved.
    • Unstable Affliction damage improved.

    No longer generates shards, it's now entirely a damage dot.
    New shard generator. Still has the ramp up damage. Shard generation has changed as well. Shard generation is no longer based on a flat % chance to proc on tick, nor is it the ramping % chance to proc on tick that was present in alpha. Instead every agony tick adds 0-32 invisible “soulbits”, and when you hit 100 soulbits you gain a shard. You can still get bad shard RNG, but overall it is far more consistent than live. The amount gained per tick is reduced by the total number of agonies you have out, but it is still a large dps gain to have a lot of agony’s out. The end result of this, is that your shard generation is not a linear result of how many agonies you have out, but has a logarithmic return on shard gen vs how many agonies you have out.
    Seed of Corruption:
    Our aoe spell. Can be used baseline to spread corruption to multiple targets, and talented to deal 3x more damage.
    Unstable Affliction:
    Shard consumer, now works like ignite. When Unstable Affliction is re-applied to a target, the remaining damage of the previous dot is added into the new dot, making it so that you will never lose damage on this (Unless the target dies before hand). A few notes on UA (Unstable Affliction):
    • UA Does not gain bonus ticks from haste.
    • UA only has 4 ticks total.
    • Dot lasts 8 seconds, reduced by haste.
    • Each cast of UA creates a separate dot on the boss.
    • If a target dies before UA expires it refunds a shard. Note: Only 1 shard is refunded per target, if with multiple UA on the target
    Drain Soul:
    Base “Filler” spell. Heals for a lot, and deals ok-ish damage, and generates a soul shard if the target dies under its effect. 7.1.5 change: Drain Life has been replaced by Drain Soul. The damage and healing of drain life has not changed, but now grants the shard mechanic of drain soul as baseline.
    You'll see this term a lot when researching Warlock. Basically, it's a mechanic that allows you to refresh DoTs and 'add' the full duration as long as the DoT has <30% time remaining. This means you won't waste any DoT time as long as you refresh your DoTs under 30%

    Tier 15:
    • Haunt: This talent has gone under some more changes since 7.0.3 and 7.1.0. It’s in considerately better shape since the updates, but seems very lack-luster compared to Malefic Grasp. One thing to note is it increases all damage dealt, not just dots, meaning it may have some potential when combined with specific on-use trinkets.
    • Writhe in Agony: Defacto talent for any fight where you will be consitantly having 3+ targets with agony. It is net 0 difference between MG on 2 target, but there is typically one target that needs to die faster, so pick MG instead of this for 2 target.
    • Malefic Grasp: While you channel Drain Soul on the target, your dots deal 8070% bonus damage. This is the go-to single target talent and 2 targets.
    Verdict: Much like with 7.1.0, it’s going to be a choice between the Agony and Malefic Grasp talent. Haunt has some possible niche uses in a hectic add fight similar to Ilgynoth, but it’s not likely to see much use. Agony is going to be nice in high end M+ when you are not needing specific target damage, or when the affixes discourage bursting a specific target, as well as for cheesing fights like Botanist. Almost all other situations, Malefic Grasp will be the go to talent, allowing for us to really keep up and pull ahead in single target situations, even with the hotfix nurf.

    Tier 30:
    • Contagion: Increases damage delt to targets effected by contagion by 18%. Small buff in 7.1.5 keeps it actually useful compared to AC and Mana Tap.
    • Absolute Corruption: Makes Corruption permanent (or 40 seconds in PVP) and makes it do 25% more damage. Lots of situations where this lets you drop a DOT from your rotation, really smoothing out rotations involving Malefic Grasp / effigy.
    • Empowered Life Tap: This is a maintennce buff tied to life tap, increasing all damage delt by 10%. This is a strong talent for AOE and for when you aren’t necessarily going to be choosing malefic grasp.
    Verdict: This is coming down to 2 things. 1) If you're newer to Affliction, AC will be better to allow you to get used to the rotation stuff. 2) If you've figured out how to play the spec, contagion will do more damage in 99% of situations.

    Tier 45:
    • Demonic Circle: Spell is almost the same, except now you need to create a cancel aura macro to make it work properly. See Macros section for more info on this.
    • Mortal Coil: Works exactly as it does on live, including not healing or doing damage to bosses.
    • Howl of Terror: AOE fear instead of getting shadowfury. Very sad. But hey, at least it’s an instant cast... Unlike shadowfury...
    Verdict: Portal is now baseline as it’s ever been since June 2016. Mortal Coil has some uses in Mythic+ as it does not share the same DR as stuns. Howl of Terror is almost only useable to proc Sephuz if you have the legendary (it is off of the GCD).

    Tier 60:
    • Siphon Life: Provides an extra DOT that deals as much as an unbuffed Corruption, similar duration, and heals you for all the damage it deals in addition it counts for extra damage on Shadow Bite. This will have some places to shine when you need the bonus healing, and is the go-to for 1 and 2 target dps. Often used in conjunction with Absolute Corruption. NOTE: This spell IS affected by mastery.
    • Sow the Seeds: Causes your Seed of Corruption to fire off up to an additional 2 targets. This takes seeds from doing some damage and primarily used to spread corruption quickly, to doing a LOT of aoe damage, and is really awesome to watch (Although not quite as awesome looking now that there is only 3 ).
    • Soul Harvest: Provides a 20% damage boost for 15 seconds +2 seconds per agony you have active. This has a lot of uses for when you need the damage boost for ~20 seconds. You should typically have this at 19 seconds at a minimum.
    Verdict: There’s quite a few options here. Sow the Seeds is best in mythic + (Though some tyranical situations where SH is going to pull ahead), and SH is really strong in most situations. SL is only really useable with Writhe builds or with Conduit builds. Its not very good with Effigy MG due to adding another dot that isn't UA into your maintenance phase.

    Tier 75:
    • Demon Skin: Causes your Soul Leech to passively regen over time, and provides an absorb shield up for up to 20% of your max HP. 7.1Not really a 7.1 note, but REMEMBER soul leech is a 15% shield that generates from your damage. This move is NOT as bad as presumed.
    • Burning Rush: Copy Pasta ability from live, handy on fights that give a slow debuff (cenarius).
    • Dark Pact: Works like Sacrificial Pact on live. Awesome damage reduction Cooldown.
    Verdict: This is a fight by fight, depending on the damage reduction, or Burning Rush. Any fight that has a reliable burst of damage every minute (IE: Ursoc charge) take SacDark Pact. If the fight has any major mechanics that wreck your mobility (Cenarius dryads) or for mythic+ dungeons to make sure you go very fast, take Burning Rush. Demon Skin is an excellent spell for moderate sustain damage (Cenarius is again an excellent example)

    Tier 90:
    • Grimoire of Supremacy: Gives you the ability to summon your Doomguard / Infernal as permanent pets instead of 3 min cooldowns. Doomguard has an interrupt and massive slow, and Infernal has an offensive dispel and an AoE stun. Infernal has been buffed significantly from the WoD version and is now a decent option for aoe damage. The biggest benefit with this talent is your ability to swap from single target to aoe inbetween pulls as needed in an instance, which is very powerful in mythic + dungeons where you cannot swap talents.
    • Grimoire of Service: Gives you a cooldown every minute and a half, giving you (Generally) a bonus Felhunter that deals twice damage that the standard one deals. This does cost a shard so it’s kind of annoying to use on single target. NOTE: GoServ Felhunter will interrupt when it spawns, giving you a bonus interrupt in Mythic+
    • Grimoire of Sacrifice: This has been dramatically changed from the WoD version. Legion Sacrifice causes ALL spells to periodically pulse for aoe damage, and it does quite a bit of damage. This is a great option to gain passive cleave damage for sacrificing a single target cooldown. The only downside is that you will be losing your pet Command Demon ability, specifically losing your only interrupt.
    Verdict: This was supposed to be at least 2 choices, but because of how GCD locked Affliciton is, you cannot spare the GCDs / shards to try to make Service worth it, so supremacy is the way to go.

    Tier 100:
    • Soul Effigy: Definitely the best to use if you need single target damage, or it’s a single/ 2 target fight. Targeting this thing is still a pain, so it’s recommended to sacrifice your focus target and use that.
    • Phantom Singularity: Probably most useful for mythics and / or aoe fights where you're lacking in Brostorm and Kappabeams. Deals a butt ton of damage on aoe, so it is pretty nice when you’re trying to get that going.
    • Soul Conduit: Provides 20% chance of soulshard spent to be refunded. Pretty interesting talent, and definitely pulls ahead on 2 target. This talent is a viable option to those who hate to deal with effigy, but it will not pull ahead of effigy in any situation.
    Verdict: Due to shard generation changes, this (again) will depend on your fight. Phantom Singularity does a monstrous amount of damage now, and has a 25 yard radius so it hits just about everything in range of the boss. if you don’t need the aoe, look between Soul Conduit and Effigy. Conduit is kind of turning into the de-facto Mythic + talent, especially with the t19 4p and more legendaries opening up to players. Any time where sustained single target is more important, even on multi target fights, you will still want to run Effigy because of the damage boost and more consistent shards than Conduit. For Nighthold, there's only 2 or 3 fights where you don't want to run effigy.

    Talent Sims
    1 Target Sims
    2 Target Sims
    3 Target Sims

    Recommended Talent Builds
    With the 7.1.5 changes, there are many new ranges of talent builds out for the affliction warlock. General Mythic+ / dungeon builds, and raids.

    Heroics, Mythic+9 and lower: 3302012
    This is a build that focuses on Burst AOE, and allowing you some measure of burst on single target. Spam AOE and try to snipe targets for drain as you can during trash, and you still have MG available for boss damage. With Soul Conduit, your boss damage shouldn’t be terrible as long as you can get one or two lucky procs.

    Mythic +10 and higher: 2201013
    This build is for when things start to not be bursted in 10 seconds, Ideally on affixes that involve things dying close to the same time, and taking 30+ seconds to kill. Priority with this will typically be Refresh Agony (5 seconds or less on dot) > Dump shards (if 4 or 5, drop to 2 shards if possible) > Refresh Siphon Life. SL does ok damage, but has a much lower DPC than UA does, so don’t cap shards.

    General Purpose Raid Build 3101011
    This is your pure single target setup. This is your general purpose raid build for maximum boss damage, which is what we are going to specialize in.

    Hypster Multi Target Padding 2201011 []
    This is the old single target build from 7.1.0, and its still going to have some uses for padding on various fights, and dealing solid sustained multi target damage. This is going to only be useful when you can maintain 3+ targets with agony at 20 stacks for at least 3/4ths of the fight, so Cenarius, Xavius, Dragons, and looking into EN Botanist comes to mind (padding only).

    Glyphs are entirely cosmetic and provide 0 dps upgrade. Be warned, as of the writing of this guide there are some weird interactions with Command Demon and the glyphed versions of various demons.

    Our pet selection is pretty much Summon Felhunter. He gets bonus damage based on our dots, and gives us an interrupt. If you're running Grimoire of Supremacy, you're going to run Doomguard in single target, giving you an interrupt and solid single target damage, or Infernal in 3+ targets, giving you solid bonus AOE, and an AOE stun on a 1 minute cooldown with Command Demon.

    Legion will introduce a variety of new things, the most notable will be our Artifact: Ulthalesh, the Deadwind Harvester, relics for the artifact, Reap Souls, and, less important, our new Set Bonuses. Overall, the 110 affliction warlock, as controversial as it has been, is definitely an improvement to the single target drain spec that we had in Warlords of Draenor. Our new mechanics allow us to take advantage of add fights in multiple ways, adding to the new "Class Fantasy" that is a spec that consumes souls and drains the life from its enemies.

    Now for the big announcement of legion, the Artifact. The Affliction artifact is Ulthalesh, the Deadwind Harvester and it looks pretty sick. The artifact revolves around Souls periodically spawning from your damaging spells, and your ability to consume them to amplify the artifact’s passive and provide a damage boost, increasing in duration based on your souls consumed. There’s no cooldown to this, it’s only limited by your number of souls. The artifact also comes with cool things, GemsRelics and a full blown Time SinkTalent System built in! The relics increase the artifact’s item level, and provide a level in a specific Trait for the artifact.
    The Deadwind Harvester's primary ability is called Reap Souls, and is the core around how this spec is played. Periodically, souls will escape from the harvester, allowing you to consume them to increase your power and amplify the power of the Deadwind Harvester during the duration of Reap Souls.

    Here’s a preview of the really important traits for Ulthalesh, the Deadwind Harvester. I will also include info as to what the amplification effect is.
    • Compounding Horror: Hands down the most important trait in the arsenal of the affliction weapon. Deals instant damage for the UA cast, which is nice for bursting a target. Amplification: doubles the chaince to gain stacks of Compound Horror to 20%.
    • Perdition: increases Crit scaling and provides bonus damage, this is a strong bonus even at lower crit levels especially since it applies to the vast majority of our damage outside aoe. Amplification: doubles this to 20%
    • Wrath of Consumption: while this trait is hit and miss, if you have lots of adds dying, this can really stack up quick. This will trigger when any add you have threat on dies. Any fight where you’re going to have adds dying is a fight that the Affliction Lock is going to shine very nicely, especially with single target boss fight. Amplification: Doubles the damage provided by the effect
    • Soul Flame: This is another gold tier trait, and this trait is the hidden sleeper of this tier. This deals damage when an add dies that you have any amount of threat on, and it’s quite a bit of damage. Super strong in dungeons and raids with adds (Scorpion is a huge ringer) Amplification: Doubles the damage dealt
    • Harvester of Souls: This gives you damage equal to about 2 extra ticks of corruption over the duration, or 2 extra ticks every 7 ticks with absolute corruption. Cool trait, but not super exciting, definitely the weakest of the gold traits. Amplification: Doubles the proc rate, raising it to 4 extra ticks per 7 ticks
    • Fatal Echoes: Kind of cool, but it’s very low RNG so it’s not even remotely reliable until you're in a place you’re able to spam UA on things. It can only proc once when an entire UA effect expires, not per UA cast. Amplification: Proc Rate is doubled to 12%

    How the hell do you level this thing???
    So you have this talent system that you have to spend a lot of time putting points into it, so now the question is how do you put points into this thing? Well, here’s a few recommended ways to build the artifact up so you can get the most bang for your buck.

    3250 Artifact Power:
    Wrath of consumption: This should be the first thing you go towards. This is by far the strongest ability we have in our arsenal and should be what you blast points into, providing a passive 10% (20% with reap) damage bonus for every add that dies that you have tagged (Some restrictions apply). Along the way we are picking up UA Crit, Free Healthpot healthstones, and Perdition, which is one of the strongest traits we have as our gear starts to get stronger.

    33450 Artifact Power:
    Next, grab Soul Flame. This is super super strong for dungeons, and will probably be what you want to get for the whole "Gearing up" process. Its really not as good in raids, as the adds have to be on a boss to really get any damage, but this will be super strong for anything going through mythics. There are quite a few raids going into both the Nightmare and The Nighthold that you can take advantage of large add deaths to gain bonus boss damage with Soul Flame, as well as sweet sweet Padding. This path also finishes out your + Damage route, giving you your bonus Shadow damage%, as well as our bonus Corruption damage.

    785480 Artifact Power:
    From here you want to go to Harvester of Souls. This is the final gold trait, and is about a 3-4% damage bonus under a standard fight, as well as providing some basic healing during multi dot scenarios. You also improve your agony on the way here, as well as the % return you get on your Soul Leach absorb. With this, we will also grab [b]Fatal Echoes/b] since it's a quick 4 points extra, and a large potential damage increase.

    ALOTOF Artifact Power:
    After this point its filling out the tree and getting immediately to our last gold trait: Rend Soul. This is a solid 50-60k dps increase in single target

    Note: This is just my recommended path. There are other options available, and lots of filler traits that do quite a lot because of the reap mechanic. Noteables secondary traits are:
    • Hideous Corruption Increases damage dealt by corruption by 16%, 32% under reap.
    • Inherently Unstable Increases the Critical Strike chance of Unstable Affliction by 8%, 16% under reap.
    • Inimitable Agony Increases the damage dealt by Agony by 16%, 32% under reap.
    • Perdition Increases your critical strike damage of Agony, Corruption, Drain Soul, and Unstable Affliction by 13%, 26% under reap.
    • Shadowy Incantations Increases your shadow damage by 4%, 8% under reap.
    • Drained to a Husk Increases the damage dealt by Drain Soul by 8%, 16% under reap.
    • Winnowing Increases dot crit chance by 4%, 8% under reap.
    Note As of 7.2.0: all minor traits go to 4/4 instead of 3/3. Relics allow these to go all the way to 7/7

    So we also have these relics to equip into our artifact. Relics provide a minor trait + item level to the artifact. Your artifact starts with 2 relics, with a 3rd opening up when you finish the campaign for your class hall. Remember that relics will also gain the effects of reap, doubling their effects as well (Example, Shadowy Incantations Relics will provide 6% total bonus out of reap, and 12% total bonus in reap.
    Your ideal artifact traits are as follows:
    • Shadowy Incantations: Flat 1% damage increase, applies to everything including talents. This is a "Help everything at all times" trait.
    • Perdition: UA Crits a lot, and this increases its already high crit damage.
    • Inherently Unstable: Best increase on our filler, which can be 50%+ of our damage.
    Relic Sims
    Single Target, Soul Effigy/Soul Harvest
    Single Target, Soul Effigy/Siphon Life
    Single Target, Soul Conduit/Soul Harvest
    Single Target, Soul Conduit/Siphon Life
    In general: Dot Crit > Dot shadow Damage ~= UA Crit ~= Dot Crit. All other relics are pretty meh.

    Concordance of the Legionfall
    Concordance of the Legionfall is the new "paragon" trait added in 7.2.0. This is an RPPM "Trinket' attached to your weapon, that will amplify your intel based on your rank. This trait is only accessible after you hit 51 points in your weapon, putting 7/7 into all minor traits and having completed all golds.

    So with all of these abilities finally clarified, let’s get to the meat and potatoes of what you're doing with the Affliction spec. There's quite a few play styles for Affliction, revolving around the level 100 talents and fight types, and I will try to cover most of them.

    First let’s look at single target openers:

    Note* You typically want to run MG | Cont | SH | Effigy for an MG Effigy build. This keeps your dot rotation down to 3 dots, and allows for extremely consistent shard income, and consistent burst.
    • Pre pull with pot - Effigy, immediately agony the effigy
    • agony -> Corruption boss target
    • Single UA (you can do 2 if your haste is high enough, but 1 is super smooth)
    • After that first UA falls off, redot EffigyAgony -> Agony -> Corruption. You should now be 4 or 5 shards
    • UA -> UA -> Reap + SH + Racial (if applicable) -> UA -> UA -> UA -> Drain until all UA are gone.
    • Begin standard Maintenance -> Drain cycles

    Conduit MG Openers
    For conduit MG openers, you are typically running Soul Harvest if you need good damage amp (or will have consistant multi dotting of agony, leaving little time for SL to be applied) or a more standard Siphon Life build which is a little more strait forward and less gimicky
    • Prepot per your guild's standard prepull window (I prepot at 3 because my guild is full of retards) and agony boss on pull
    • Siphon -> Corruption -> UA -> Drain till UA is gone.
    • Re-do Dots
    • Pop reap, and begin 2-3 UA cycles until pot is gone.

    Writhe Openers
    Writhe openers are typically extremely slow to ramp up, and are more about a consistant flow of damage without it being interupted. There are benifits to both variaties, which involve Siphon Life and Soul Harvest. Both builds parse similar, and are similar level of complex in terms of maximizing the damage, both of which will be using contagion.
    • Prepot -> Effigy -> Agony the effigy
    • Agony boss -> Corruption boss -> Corruption Effigy -> UA -> Siphon both targets (if applicable)
    • Hold reap and other cooldowns until ~15 stacks on Agony

    MG: Maintenance Cycles
    Maintenance Cycles are the ideal place to time movement, and other utility things that may need to happen for a boss. Its a simple process of:
    • Lifetap if its an ideal time (Sub 35% mana typically)
    • Agony Effigy (if applicable)
    • Re-dot the boss in this order: Agony -> Siphon Life -> Corruption

    MG: Drain Cycles
    Drain Cycles are where the meat and potatoes of our damage comes in, and fall under 2 categories

    No damage buffs Including: SH, Wrath (if it is inconsistent), Pot, Whispers, etc.
    • UA 2 or 3 times (3 recommended for effigy if you have helm + 4p)
    • Drain until the UA falls off, or until agony is at 1.5 seconds remaining, then exit to Maintenance Cycle.

    Damage Biffs
    • UA twice.
    • Pop reap (Its not on the GCD)
    • UA until 5.
    • Drain until depleted.

    Other things to note about MG Builds:
    • Siphon on effigy is useless, and a damage loss, it should only be cast while moving and at full HP / other dots are refreshed.
    • GCDs are very important, and you need to make sure to time dot refreshes down to the last second, or time them during your movement.
    • Corruption should only be on the effigy if you are running AC. If you are not running AC, Corruption is a damage loss to apply to effigy.

    Some other situational notes to keep in mind:

    When small adds are involved that need to be killed:
    • Keep Agony and Corruption and Siphon on the target the boss and Effigy (if not MG).
    • Save your UA for the kill target.
    • Drop 3-4UA, and then just Drain the target, highly effective when MG. Agony can be used if the target is going to die 12+ seconds after you start casting.

    Passive Add Cleave (Mythic Dragons for example)
    • Follow standard MG / Writhe priority.
    • If the add will definitely die in 10 or less seconds, only corruption. The extra shard potential from Agony will not be as valuable as the raw damage from Corruption.
    • If the target will die in 15+ seconds put full dots on it, and UA when the target has about 5 seconds left for shard free damage.
    • Always try to snipe drain souls for bonus UA if you’re not actually focusing on the target and you aren’t in the middle of a drain cycle. Keep an eye on your shards and don’t over-do this, because your shard generation rate is going to go up and up over the Nighthold Raid progression.

    Raw AOE
    This assumes you are some sort of AOE build involving Sow the Seeds.
    • Precast Seed of Corruption.
    • UA the target you cast seed on. This will cause it to explode very quickly and the UA cast will finish just as the Seed of Corruption Lands.
    • Agony 2 targets, then Seed of corruption Again.
    • Agony the rest of your targets.
    • From here alternate Seed, and then cast agony around while waiting on Seeds to explode.

    Multi Target Situations:

    Without MG
    • If shard capped, cast UA. UA has a higher Damage Per Cast (DPC) than Siphon Life.
    • If targets are stacked, and there’s more than 3 together, it’s quicker on GCDs to cast seed of corruption (Even if untalented) to spread corruption. 2.5 second cast time, globals are 1.5 second base.
    • Keep Corruption and Agony up on your targets
    • Cast Unstable Affliction when you're at a 4 stack of Compound Horror or at 5 shards. The target really depends on which target needs to be receiving damage right now.
    • If you have the free GCDs put Siphon Life up and Drain Soul.
    • If adds are stacked, and you have GoSac, make sure there are as many dots rolling as possible.
    • If you have Sow the Seeds, spend free GCDs and shards on that.
    • If you do not have Sow the Seeds, keep UA rolling on at least one target, and drain during down time for extra GoSac procs.

    With MG
    This is done in situations when you have a Boss kill target and you’re trying to eek out a bit extra damage with adds involved.
    • Maintain all dots on your primary burn target
    • If your shards are ever capped try to get into a drain cycle asap, get below 3 shards.
    • If the add will NOT proc WOC and does NOT need your help to get killed, ignore the add.
    • If the add must die in under 10 seconds, UA 2 times on the target and drain until death. Be sure to pre-dot your previous kill target before this happens. You should get at least 1 shard back from drain. If the target will not die with a UA on it and will die in greater than 4 seconds, re-cast 1 UA and then drain until death for the UA Shard return.
    • If the add must die, but will take longer than 10 seconds, apply full dots, and then begin drain cycles on it instead of your previous kill target.
    • If the add will proc WOC and will live for 10+seconds agony them for bonus shards.
    • If the add will proc WOC and will not live for 10 seconds, corruption them.

    Reap Usage:
    The entire affliction gameplay revolves around the usage of Reap, and correct usage of Reap can be the difference between green and purple parses.
    General notes
    • On Pull you will get 3 souls off of casts / damage effects. Within 3 gcds you will always have 3 souls on a boss pull.
    • Be sure to have 3-4 if running Soul Harvest.
    • Have at least 1 soul ready for when add's die so you can get larger Soul Flame stacks
    • Burst phases: Any time there’s a requirement of a burst phase, hit the button. It’s a minimum of 10% bonus damage, before all of the artifact amplifications.
    • You hit 12 souls. Any more is wasting resources. Hit reap so you now have a 1 minute buff of your artifact.
    • Large Wrath of Consumption stacks are a great time to reap. If you're at the 5 stack, this raises it from a 10 to a 20% damage increase. Wrath only stacks to 5, so make sure you're efficient with its up time and get as much out of it as possible.
    • If you have a designated time to Potion during the pull, make sure to save 8+ souls for the potion if using Prolonged Power (10+ preferred).
    • If you will be lusting at some point after the pull, make sure to have at least 8 souls for the lust duration.
    MG Priority
    • On pull, wait for re-dotting to be finished at 8 agony stacks, and pop to begin drain cycle.
    • Use reap any time you are about to enter a Drain cycle, with only one soul pop with your last UA cast.
    • 2 reap are required for 1 full drain cycle.
    • if during re-dotting, 3+ souls appear in rapid succession, save for a 6 and pop for 2 full drain cycles.
    Writhe Priority
    • On a Bloodlust pull when you hit ~15 stacks of agony, no matter how many souls you have. If using the UA on pre-pull opener, this should happen right as you’re maxing shards.
    • Lots of adds with Corruption and / or agony: This is a time where you can get a lot of Compounding Horror stacks. Using reap will double this chance, giving you a flood of bonus damage to the point where you can almost spam UA at 25% bonus damage.

    • Intellect: Increases spell power and overall damage output.
    • Haste: Decreases the period between DOT ticks, decreases our channel time and cast time, and decreases our GCD
    • Mastery: Increases the damage done by Corruption, Unstable Affliction, Agony and Siphon Life.
    • Critical Strike: Gives our abilities the chance to deal double damage. This is amplified by Perdition.
    • Versatility: Increases our damage and healing by a flat %, and decreases our damage taken by a flat %.

    Affliction ST Stat Weights NOT UPDATED FOR 7.2.0 YET:
    Mastery: 1.22
    Crit: 1.19
    Haste: 1.16
    Int: 1.0
    SP: 0.93
    Vers: 0.86
    These sims are ran with a basic Mythic


    Pawn: v1: "“base”": Intellect=12.12, SpellPower=11.29, CritRating=14.40, HasteRating=14.00, MasteryRating=14.77, Versatility=10.39

    Affliction multi-target Stat Weights: Out whenever we figure out how to model things dying properly. Likely Mastery >> Int >= Crit >= Haste >>> Vers due to lack of time to Drain Soul

    Gearing in General:
    This is a topic that has come up a lot, and I wanted to touch on it. You will notice that our stat weights are SUPER close outside of versatility. This means that gearing up (outside of trinkets) is incredibly easy! You can always run simcraft to figure out if an item will be better, but this basic checklist will probably serve just as well 90% of the time:
    • Does it have Mastery?
    • Does it NOT have Versatility?
    • Is it an item Level Upgrade
    • Does it allow you to maintain 4p?
    • Will it drop your haste below 10%?
    Congratulations, if you got a positive result for all 4, this item is an upgrade!

    2 piece and 4 piece. Full set is located here
    Overall, the tier is not a super game changer like it has been in the past, but that's because the artifact is pretty important. 2 Piece is a 15% damage increase on UA, and 4piece gives you about 50% more shards. In terms of the set themselves, you will notice we are now on a 6 piece set. We still have the standard Chest, Helm, Shoulders, Hands, and Pants, but Legion brings us the addition of the Cloak for our set piece. Stat wise, we are wanting to focus as much as possible on haste and mastery. I will release a full analysis once Simcraft is done, but right now the strongest set pieces appear to be Helm, Shoulders, Legs and Gloves. THIS WILL BE UPDATED AS SOON AS BIS SETS ARE COMPILED.

    Hood of Eternal Disain
    Power cord of Lethtendris
    Stretens Sleepless Shackles
    Sindorei Spite
    Pillars of the Dark Portal
    Sacrolashs Dark Strike
    Reap and Sow

    4pc with Effigy
    4pc with SC
    The other Legendaries don't have any value in terms of damage.

    All sims are being hosted at the Warlock One Stop Shop. This will be gradually updated with more and more gear setups.

    Nighthold Discussion

    Nighthold Talents
    I have included a small discussion on Nighthold talents to help those who aren't sure what to do. These are just some basic recommendations and are in no way 100% optimal for all raid comps / strategies, but are a good guideline to look at for killing bosses.

    [center]Heroic / Normal
    You can pretty much run whatever, although for pure boss damage: MG | Contagion | SH | Effigy is going to be the way to go. If you really despise effigy, run conduit, but effigy is more sustained damage period.

    I Highly recommend running MG | Contagion | SH | Effigy on everything minus Tich and Chromatic, where you replace Effigy with Conduit only because you cannot maintain effigy very well on those two fights specifically.

    I will keep this section up as more good macros appear. If you would like to submit a macro for this section, please PM me here on MMOC or on Discord.

    How to make Demonic Circle work like PRE legion:

    #showtooltip Demonic Circle
    /cancelaura Demonic Circle
    /cast Demonic Circle

    Cancel Burning Rush when stationary (IE: Draining) This will also work nicely with Unstable Affliction.

    #showtooltip Drain Soul
    /cancelaura Burning Rush
    /cast Drain Soul

    Alt modifier for spell (in this case corruption). This allows you to cast on your focus target without actually targeting them. REALLY handy for keeping up dots on your Soul Effigy during a fight.

    #showtooltip Corruption
    /use [mod:alt,@focus][]Corruption

    Warlock Discord: Click here for Memes
    Weak Auras: If you have some weak auras that would be handy, please PM me here or on Discord and I'll post them up.
    Addons: If I have missed any important addons, please send me a PM here or on discord.
    • Elv UI This is a great UI skin package, super clean, and very customizable. It also has a very nice module for customizing the boss unit frames for tracking dots easier.
    • Weak Auras 2 This is super duper helpful with tracking any sort of event / aura / thing.
    • Doom Shards Handy UI for tracking shards and when you can expect a flood of shards. Has some "Rough predictions" of when you will likely get a shard from aff.

    Q: Should I ever cast UA on my effigy to try to maintain contagion on the effigy for added dot damage?
    A: No. Never put your most damaging dot on a target that takes 35% damage:

    Q: Is Affliction Viable?!"
    A: Yes! We are sub par on Ursoc, Nythendra, and Guarm, and (from the looks of things) Mythic Helya, however we are absoutely fine on everything else, and tend to Excel on every fight that ISN'T those two. As of 7.1.0 if you have the legendary helm or belt you should be, while not the BEST
    completely viable

    Q: I apologize if this was asked and answered, but I browsed through the pages and didn't see it. At 110 what round about is the dps loss from taking Soul Conduit over Soul Effigy? Is it a huge difference or a moderate one?
    A: Theres two parts to this, Council and Add Cleave fights.
    On council fights, Agony has a drop-off on shard generation that can me modeled like this (Props to Rez for making this kick ass spreadsheet):

    Basically going from 2 -> 3 targets only provides a 20% increase in shards, and from 3 -> 4 targets is only about a 15% increase. What this translates to, is for sustained 2 target fights, you get "A similar" number of shards going ether effigy OR conduit, and any more targets conduit will win out on shard generation. As far as damage, its not 100% confirmed. On single target, effigy is going to be ~10-15% of your damage pending on talents / encounter. I would GUESS that 3 target is where you will see enough shard increase from conduit to make up for the damage lost on effigy + the GCD loss from maintaining a minimum of agony on 4 targets instead of 3.

    On add cleave fights, which theres 2 of in nightmare, you will gain more out of conduit if your raid needs you REALLY focused on adds, and less if you are just throwing stray UA's out on adds that are closing in on death (Remember you get the shards back if they die with UA still on them) and focused more on boss damage. Also: Any time you have to replant effigy more than once or twice in a fight, you will want to run Conduit. Ilganoth mythic you will PROBABLY want to run conduit because theres no real places to put an effigy up (this is all pending on PS not lining up to be useful on this fight).

    A: This is almost entirely because of perdition.
    Perdition: This gives us 15% more crit damage on our everything minus Drain, 30% under reap. This massively inflates crits value above everything until almost 30% crit. THIS DOES NOT MEAN YOU SHOULD STACK CRIT, BUT MAINTAIN A HEALTHY BALANCE OF CRIT / HASTE WITH CRIT BEING SLIGHTLY HIGHER WHILE MAINTAINING 100+% MASTERY.

    Q: Why is mastery simming so LOW?! You said stack mastery! wtf!
    A: This can be explained ether the tldr or the long way.
    TLDR: Because of math, mastery falls off at about 100% HOWEVER THERE IS NO SOFT CAP OR HARD CAP. MASTERY ABOVE THIS IS FINE

    As you get more mastery, the actual effectiveness of mastery goes down. Take for example a 5% mastery gain at 10% mastery on a spell that deals 100 damage:
    Old mastery: 10%   Total Damage: 110
    New Mastery: 15%  Total Damage: 115
    Damage Gain: about 4.5%
    We then look at the same damage change going from 120% mastery to 125% mastery:
    Old Mastery: 110%  Total Damage: 210
    New Mastery: 115% Total Damage: 215
    Damage Gain: 2.3%
    All of this is because mastery applies to the base value of the dot, and 1% isn't always 1%. If you were to look at an (approximately) equal crit gain of ~1.5%, that starts to pull ahead of 2.3%.
    Other issues involve item stat budgets and how items gain stats going up in itemlevel. The same item going from 850 to 880 will only gain about 100 secondary stats, but will gain about 400+ intellect. This means there is also a (relative) soft cap as to how many secondary stats we can accumulate in legion

    A: Judging by the logs I've got for PTR to live Drain, Drain Soul is almost a carbon copy of drain life in damage and healing.

    DISCLAIMER: THESE LOGS WERE NOT DONE BY THE SAME PERSON, BUT WAS DONE WITH APPROXIMATELY SIMILAR GEAR. HOWEVER: The numbers are close enough that we can basically assume nothing is changing
    Live Healing
    PTR Healing

    Live Damage
    PTR Damage

    A: I would like to direct you to a website called There you can download the software to find your own weights. I will not be listing them up to date BECAUSE with literally billions of gear combinations, its impossible for me to give an accurate stat weight for you. The best action would be after the end of a raid where you got a new piece of gear, grab the latest build of simcraft, import your charactor, and run it yourself. That is the only way to get a remotely accurate stat weight.

    July 31, 2016: Guide is posted.
    August 2, 2016: Hotfixes / added a few addons / WA
    August 21, 2016: Removed Prepatch, added a few captions, added QA with a few questions
    September 3rd, 2016: Added Pre-Raid BIS lists (Sorry about delay). Added some extra information about talent builds.
    October 20th, 2016: AYYY I finally updated things. Most info should be accurate to 7.1, and added a bunch of updated simcraft data / BIS.
    November 27th 2016: Updated a bunch of random shit, cleaned / removed some other shit, including 7.1.5 updates, updated Artifact Pathing, Statweights, and a few Q&A. Migrated talent builds to WoW's built in talent because wowdb is having issues and wowhead has Add Problems
    December 29, 2016: updated the 7.1.5 updates. OH AND ALSO WE NOW HAVE A TOC! :O
    January 9, 2017: Updated for 7.1.5
    January 14: Updated with post-patch hotfixes
    January 15: Updated a few QA things.
    January 29: Updated with Talent sims, Nighthold Discussion, legos sims
    April 30: Updated with 7.2.0 artifact updates, 7.2.5PTR notes, Changes to the Rotation section.
    Last edited by Terryn; 2018-05-03 at 07:06 PM.

  2. #2
    Has nice graphics until Changelog then RIP.

    Thanks for doing this, Terryn.

  3. #3
    The Patient Terryn's Avatar
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    Dec 2014
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    Changelog graphic is on the way, along with an FAQ

  4. #4
    Thanks for the well written guide <3

  5. #5
    Great job Terryn

  6. #6
    This guide warms my cold dead heart.

  7. #7
    Haste: Decreases the rate our DOTs tick, decreases our channel time and cast time, and decreases our GCD

    Should that not be Increases the rate our DOTs tick.

    Excellent Guide.
    Quote Originally Posted by DeadmanWalking View Post
    Your forgot to include the part where we blame casuals for everything because blizzard is catering to casuals when casuals got jack squat for new content the entire expansion, like new dungeons and scenarios.
    Quote Originally Posted by Reinaerd View Post
    T'is good to see there are still people valiantly putting the "Ass" in assumption.

  8. #8
    The Patient Terryn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ComputerNerd View Post
    Haste: Decreases the rate our DOTs tick, decreases our channel time and cast time, and decreases our GCD

    Should that not be Increases the rate our DOTs tick.

    Excellent Guide.
    Updated it to "Decrease the period of DOT Ticks." Its a bit more descriptive imo.

  9. #9
    @Terryn, I like your guide, only the pictures confused me for a destro guide, with all the felfire .

    Did anyone have any luck creating a Soul Effigy Macro that casts SE + puts it on focus? I tried a castsequence Macro, but I don't think you can put /focus as a "spell" in there

  10. #10
    "Haste > Mastery >>> crit ~ vers"

    "Crit is more than likely to scale slightly higher on than vers due to Perdition, but this will be confirmed with sims"

    mastery indeed will surely provide more for dots then crit, but will give afaik (sow)seeds. a talent that for me atleast..gonna be massive in dungeons and maybe raids as well
    Last edited by wooters; 2016-08-01 at 08:13 AM.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Tinuvial View Post
    Did anyone have any luck creating a Soul Effigy Macro that casts SE + puts it on focus? I tried a castsequence Macro, but I don't think you can put /focus as a "spell" in there
    The main issue is that Soul Effigy has a cast time. So I don't believe there's any way to have a one-click macro that both casts it and focuses it. That said, while I'm not the best macro scripter, I did come up with this in a previous thread.

    #showtooltip Soul Effigy
    /cast [nomod] Soul Effigy
    /focus [mod:alt]
    /targetlasttarget [mod:alt]

    Click once to start casting Soul Effigy. Once the cast completes you'll automatically target the Effigy (that's innate to the spell), so you mod-click the macro to focus the Effigy and return to your original target. Two clicks in total; the second click doesn't consume a GCD, but you have to wait until the Effigy cast completes. Then you can use the macro given in the guide to DoT the Effigy while keeping the boss targeted.

  12. #12
    Nice work on that guide, thank you very much.

    That being said I've a question: when you use soul effigy, do you want to cast your UAs on the target or on the effigy itself? Or both?

  13. #13
    The Patient Terryn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soaap View Post
    Nice work on that guide, thank you very much.

    That being said I've a question: when you use soul effigy, do you want to cast your UAs on the target or on the effigy itself? Or both?
    Target only. NEVER the effigy because the UA now deals 35% of the damage that it could have

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Tinuvial View Post
    @Terryn, I like your guide, only the pictures confused me for a destro guide, with all the felfire .

    Did anyone have any luck creating a Soul Effigy Macro that casts SE + puts it on focus? I tried a castsequence Macro, but I don't think you can put /focus as a "spell" in there
    I actually use something like this on beta. Didn't have access to that this afternoon because the game is installed on my desktop. I'll add that. The only thing about the macro is you have to hit it after the effigy is cast. It's something like
    /cast Soul Effigy

  14. #14
    Very nice guide. Thank you. Good thing that you already include Legion things, since this prexpac period sucks (please, authors, do the same with other specs as well). Reap souls might add some nice gameplay decisions.
    Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Terryn View Post
    Target only. NEVER the effigy because the UA now deals 35% of the damage that it could have

    - - - Updated - - -

    I actually use something like this on beta. Didn't have access to that this afternoon because the game is installed on my desktop. I'll add that. The only thing about the macro is you have to hit it after the effigy is cast. It's something like
    /cast Soul Effigy
    I'm going to try that tonight. I had them reversed and it focused the target dummy and not the effigy, but I never pressed it again.

  16. #16
    Phantom Singularity got buffed perhaps maybe, as per this post:

    Of course I assume the Author knows, but I'm putting it here as a reminder of sorts. PS usable in some circumstances now?

  17. #17
    The Patient Terryn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rurts View Post
    Phantom Singularity got buffed perhaps maybe, as per this post:

    Of course I assume the Author knows, but I'm putting it here as a reminder of sorts. PS usable in some circumstances now?
    Yep just been busy with end of summer semester projects :|

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Terryn View Post
    Sow the Seeds is pretty self explanatory, if you are short on Brostorm or KappaBeams, you can help your raid by padding AOE as well.
    Great guide, thanks for posting.

    Forgive my ignorance, but what are Brostorms or KappaBeams?

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Alexdeadman View Post
    Great guide, thanks for posting.

    Forgive my ignorance, but what are Brostorms or KappaBeams?
    Bladestorm and Eyebeam .

  20. #20
    Stood in the Fire Smog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alexdeadman View Post
    Great guide, thanks for posting.

    Forgive my ignorance, but what are Brostorms or KappaBeams?
    This is an awesome first post.

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