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Warlock Leveling to 80 - AE dotting as SL/FG (Video Inc)
Warlock Leveling to 80 - AE dotting as SL/FG (Video Inc)
Published by Jynxx
November 02, 2008
Last Updated
November 02, 2008
Warlock Leveling to 80 - AE dotting as SL/FG (Video Inc)

Introduction

I put together a video to illustrate what is definitely my favorite way to level in Wrath: Warlock Leveling: Aff/Demo in WotLK By Jynxx

While The Burning Crusade leveling was strong with a healer, just casting instant-cast dots and using siphon life, along with instant Howl of Terror, Wrath of the Lich King gives us some very very nice tools as locks to level.

Narrated by me, this includes information on where to put talent points and how to get the most out of a SL/FG leveling spec, as well as having film segments of various places as I leveled.

It showcases some of the new affliction and demo talents and how they can work together to create a strong leveling build.

Talent Points

When you hit 71, this is the spec you want: Talent Calculator - World of Warcraft
You're building towards this level 79 spec: Talent Calculator - World of Warcraft

One of the nice things about this spec is that each talent point after 71 actually increases your dps -- not something warlocks are used to in their trees, which are so focused around a handful of "heavy lifting" talents and tons of filler or situational talents.


Mechanics/Spell Changes

A couple key things happened that make this work appallingly well:
  • Level 71 - Obviously. You couldn't pick up both felguard and siphon life before.
  • Fel Synergy - Heals your pet for 15% of the damage you deal. Basically, it keeps your pet at full health while he's mitigating 5% of the damage done to you and tanking a mob or two along the way.
  • T6 2-piece bonus - Not required, but a nice-to-have (heal on corruption ticks.)
  • Fel Armor change Well, it used to be 30% in-combat mana regen from spirit. Nice for raiding, but actually terrible for leveling. The good news is that while its current version (+2% of your health every 5 seconds) is bad for raiding, it's great for leveling and provides another trickle-heal.
  • Spell pushback changes - Before you couldn't get a howl of terror off with 5 mobs beating on you. Now you can, because spell pushback is capped at two interrupts, with a max of one second pushback. Hello Howl of Terror! Now you actually can use your AE Fear without having to talent it. This means an AE-dotting spec that isn't deep affliction is actually doable.
Spell casting and spell channeling pushback has been changed to the following:
    • When casting a spell:
      • The first and second hit will add .5 secs each to the cast time.
      • All hits after the second will have no effect.
    • When channeling a spell:
      • The first and second hit reduces current duration by 25% of total duration each.
      • All hits after the second will have no effect

Gear
Two piece T6 definitely helps: the healing from corruption ticks lets you postpone bandaging for a bit longer. The BT exalted warlock ashtongue trinket is actually useful as well: Ashtongue Talisman of Shadows (thanks to Nihilithak on Ner'zhul for that reminder!)

Outside of that, while more +damage and haste is good, you don't have to be geared to the teeth -- just pull what you can handle and when (not if!) you die, laugh as you run back from the GY, knowing that an awful lot of mobs killed you.

Crit gear isn't useful. Spirit would be (scaling lifetap, and +damage from the spirit), so don't be afraid to swap out some of your current pieces for damage/spirit gear as you level up, particularly if it means you're shedding "useless" crit.


Elites
You can solo almost every group quest in Wrath. Just use your voidwalker and healthfunnel. Throw dots up as you have gcd's available (make sure you use siphon life to offset the health loss from health funnel), use shadow bolt if it's an easy quest.


Tips
I found some useful tips as I was leveling:

Don't pull one when you can pull four

Killing a single mob is slow for you. Only need one other mob for a quest but there's five around him? Just kill them all, you'll appreciate it later.

Don't eat/drink; don't stand and bandage
Stop before you're at 10% health and mana. I took breaks around 50% or so, sent my pet off to hit something I had dotted, lifetapped down, and then bandaged back to full health/mana and kept moving.

Watch your distance
Pet poofing/mob leashing is very much a risk here. Don't send your pet at a mob on the edge of your pull: send him somewhere in the middle and pull the edge mobs to the middle.

Lifetap early
One mistake I made at the start was waiting until I got low to lifetap. Why? I have no idea, I never do that in raids or groups...

Dot, dot, dot, (lifetap), dot, dot, dot (lifetap) is a great way to start out. That maximizes the trickle healing you're getting from siphon life and Fel Armor.


Why not full Affliction?
You just don't gain enough, in my opinion, to go deep affliction versus 41 demo.

You can't use the new dots you get, they all have cast times (UA/Haunt). You don't need instant howl of terror anymore. Eradication is of minimal usefulness here, and can only proc once every 30 seconds. Death's embrace doesn't apply, nor does everlasting affliction.

Pandemic is good, yes, but as you level to 80 your crit rate will be cut in half -- so it becomes less valuable as you level (although it will be good once you get into raid gear again and get raid buffs, of course.)

About the only thing you're missing is being able to pick up Shadow Mastery -- +10% dot damage. It's nice, but you can start building points into that starting at 72/73.

Compare that to getting 10% more health (I don't die tons when I do this, but the health is nice since Fel Armor works on a percentage basis), having a pet tank (nice for medding up, nice for keeping one mob off you, nice for group quests), and shedding 5% of the damage done to you via soul link.

Plus, the demo tree gives you more raw +damage -- affliction just doesn't boost your existing dots (past the points we already have in there) that much other than SM. Demo brings demonic aegis and demonic knowledge, both of which go some ways to making up for not getting SM as early.


Where this won't work
If your server is too crowded at Wrath of the Lich King launch, you might end up very frustrated. You definitely need a fair number of mobs to pull this off, as it's weak on single-target dps (killing four is only a bit slower than killing one, not just because four is fast: it's also because one is slow.)

If you just can't ever get enough mobs to make it worthwhile, respec to demo/destro and just level that way.
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Old November 02, 2008, 04:41 AM   #1 (permalink)

Character Info
Koldfeat
85 Undead Warlock
Draenor US PvE
Guild: Trouble
Talent Tree: Demonology
Re: Warlock Leveling to 80 - AE dotting as SL/FG (Video Inc)

I'm convinced, . But I think I'll steal a point from Demonic Resil and get Demonic Empowerment, I love popping this when my felguard gets stunned/snared/rooted by mobs. Actually, I love just popping this in general and with a 1 minute cd it gets used alot. It's a great "come here right now" button. I also think I'll steal the points from Grim Reach at 71 and get Nightfall since it stacks with the Corruption glyph.

Last edited by Koldfeat; November 02, 2008 at 04:52 AM..
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Old November 04, 2008, 10:15 AM   #2 (permalink)

Character Info
I CAN HAZ UR HP?
70 Orc Warlock
Maiev US PvP
Guild: Relapse
Profile: Blizzard Armory
Re: Warlock Leveling to 80 - AE dotting as SL/FG (Video Inc)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Koldfeat View Post
I'm convinced, . But I think I'll steal a point from Demonic Resil and get Demonic Empowerment, I love popping this when my felguard gets stunned/snared/rooted by mobs. Actually, I love just popping this in general and with a 1 minute cd it gets used alot. It's a great "come here right now" button. I also think I'll steal the points from Grim Reach at 71 and get Nightfall since it stacks with the Corruption glyph.
I agree on the Nightfall... but just turn off your Taunt on your Felguard and he won't get snared/rooted/stunned all that much because they'll hate you more, as you're running away from them laughing your *** off.

Another point that should be made... Just because there's a new area to kill things, does NOT mean Outlands is disappearing. Due to the fact that we kill 4-8 times as many mobs as other classes can at once, it might not be such a bad idea to level in Netherstorm/Shadowmoon Valley until 71, then move to Northrend to avoid the rush that will inevitably happen on release day. Same goes if you 're planning to roll a DK... just go to Old World level 55 zones like Felwood and Winterspring instead of Eastern Plaguelands after you get your class quests done, avoiding the rush of DKs that will steal every mob they can find.

Last edited by phoenixzorn; November 04, 2008 at 10:18 AM..
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Old November 04, 2008, 04:08 PM   #3 (permalink)

Character Info
Konga
80 Orc Warlock
Lightnings Blade US PvP
Guild: Entropy
Profile: Blizzard Armory
Re: Warlock Leveling to 80 - AE dotting as SL/FG (Video Inc)

Why the points in suppression? I would assume a lot of Warlocks are already hit capped. Or are you regemming to replace hit gems (if you have any) with damage gems because it is better to use talent points for hit instead of gemming?
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Old November 05, 2008, 12:12 AM   #4 (permalink)

Character Info
Koldfeat
85 Undead Warlock
Draenor US PvE
Guild: Trouble
Talent Tree: Demonology
Re: Warlock Leveling to 80 - AE dotting as SL/FG (Video Inc)

Phoenix, not sure what you mean about turning taunt off, I WANT the mobs to hate him more. If the felguard is not getting hit and snared and rooted then that means I am. I can heal him a lot easier than he can heal me. Its also why there are two points in mana feed. So the felguard will hopefully go non-stop without ever running out of mana.

My point was that I think stealing 1 point from Dem Resil for Dem Emp is completely worth it. I have a felguard spec now and I use the talent ALOT. Besides the pet trinket effect it increases his damage. Given its short cooldown I don't see how you can go wrong.

Konga, I think the reason there are points in suppression is simply because there is really nothing better to put them in. The points have to go somewhere so you can start to fill up shadowmastery. I suppose imp fear or curse of exashion could be taken. Being those are more pvp talents I don't see either one of those being really useful for the level up to 80. I believe that every level you go up the +hit on your existing gear will be worth less due to changing coefficients, so having some points in suppression is not necessarily wasted, even for a lock that's hit capped right now.

Bottom line, spending the points elsewhere than the OP's build is preference, I'm sure either way you will get level 80 no problem.
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Old November 05, 2008, 08:22 AM   #5 (permalink)

Character Info
Vaell
80 Blood Elf Warlock
Scarshield Legion Euro RP PvP
Guild: The Final Contingency
Profile: Blizzard Armory
Re: Warlock Leveling to 80 - AE dotting as SL/FG (Video Inc)

Thanks Jynxx and welcome to the cabal!

I remember seeing the old Gobo video of grinding the Dead Mire with a healer a long time ago, and it inspired me to take my first 70 warlock there to grind unidentified plant parts to hand down to my new blood elf warlock I was leveling.

Now that blood elf is 70 and I'm wondering what spec to go with to level for the expansion. I'm destruction at the moment for PvP but I usually level and quest with my girlfriend who is most comfortable with affliction.

Bearing in mind my single target burst often kills one mob before her dots can do anything, I'll probably look to taking the SL/FG build so we can pull even more!

Thanks for sharing. You get extra points for the fretless bass in the music.
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Old November 05, 2008, 11:17 AM   #6 (permalink)

Character Info
Etrigan
70 Blood Elf Warlock
Dreadmaul Oceania PvP
Guild: D E A T H S H E A D
Profile: Blizzard Armory
Re: Warlock Leveling to 80 - AE dotting as SL/FG (Video Inc)

I've been using virtually this same build for grinding since 3.0 hit - with the only thing I changed being grim reach to nightfall because voidy can't move as fast as the felguard and when you've 4-5 guys all dotted up you're getting an insane amount of nightfall/glyph SB procs off. And to be honest, i've never needed to bandage at all specced this way - if I ever get low (only really ever happens against things immune to siphon life) its easier to just drain life your health back.
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Old November 06, 2008, 03:11 AM   #7 (permalink)

Character Info
Tianshaan
80 Human Warlock
Terokkar US PvE
Guild: Vae Victus
Profile: Blizzard Armory
Re: Warlock Leveling to 80 - AE dotting as SL/FG (Video Inc)

Quote:
Fel Synergy - Heals your pet for 15% of the damage you deal. Basically, it keeps your pet at full health while he's mitigating 5% of the damage done to you and tanking a mob or two along the way.
The tooltip for this has finally been changed in 3.0.3 - you heal your pet from the damage done TO you.
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Old November 06, 2008, 07:25 AM   #8 (permalink)

Character Info
Ridden
70 Blood Elf Warlock
Gurubashi US PvP
Guild: Notorious
Re: Warlock Leveling to 80 - AE dotting as SL/FG (Video Inc)

I had something similar in mind, just with a slightly different talent distribution. Here's the build: Talent Calculator - World of Warcraft

Mana reduction of 6% off all affliction spells is pretty good, but 15% max mana recovery is even better. Lesse, 9k mana pool, Curse of Agony+Corr+SL costs roughly 1k to cast total, so that's 60 mana saved rotation, or 900 mana per 5 mobs assuming 3 rotations per kill. It's even less if your spell damage is higher. On the other hand, I can gain a net 1000 mana back by draining one mob alone, and the return increases with higher mana pools.

Set necrosis on a max of 28 shards and you don't have to worry about cluttered bagspace. Plus it keeps you topped off on reagents.

Also 1 point in demonic empowerment with 1/3 mana feed. My leveling experience generally says that you can keep the FG topped off indefinately with just 1 point. Plus the 20% attack speed increase helps build threat when soloing those group quest mobs. Or better yet the 20% hp and threat increase on your VW. Plus the snare break does help keep aggro when dot grinding.

Just my 2 cents.

Edit: And Fel Synergy as of 3.0.3 is damage done -by- you. Or so the tooltip says in-game. But I think that's what Tiamaster meant.

Also I recommend against leveling in outlands till 71, there's a huge jump in exp req b/t 69-70 and 70-71, and you've pretty much got to level in northrend to make ends meet.

Last edited by Tenshiken; November 06, 2008 at 07:42 AM..
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Old November 07, 2008, 07:13 AM   #9 (permalink)

Character Info
Theleb
70 Human Warlock
Shadowsong Euro PvE
Guild: Original
Re: Warlock Leveling to 80 - AE dotting as SL/FG (Video Inc)

Zababa - if your build is the complete opposite then it needs a new thread rather than hijacking this one - imagine how confusing it is to read the title then see a divergent build halfway down the responses?
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