The good thing about warlocks at the moment is they are viable with almost any class due to their strong spammable CC and decent support and damage. Can endure a lot of damage with soullink, healthstones, Demon Armor and Various Self-healing abilities, warlocks are also very good peelers, with shadowflame glyph, howl, spammable fear, spell-lock, Deathcoil and even Curse of Exhaustion in some cases. Also the various cruses you can do can be game breaking, with weakness on melee and tongues on casters you can slow down their damage a lot.
The bad thing about warlocks is of course they are clothies, they will be raped by a lot of melee classes, a lot of warlocks will die to melee if they don’t know how to handle them correctly. Another con is having to sacrifice your health for mana, if you’re healer isn’t ready for it or you really need to tap when your being focused it can be devastating for you. Having to rely on soul link & pets, basically without a pet you’re screwed, so keep it alive or have a soul burn ready, ideally you want to take the demonic rebirth talent.
Which pets do you want to use? 99% of the time I’d say fel hunter, can dispel a hostile target’s buffs, can spell-lock every 24 seconds, shadow bite doing 20k+ crits, provides mana regen for your team, has high resistance to spells and works well with soul-link. All other pets are situational, stick to fel hunter for PvP.
Currently Affliction is the recommended spec to go, deals a lot of damage to several targets at the same time, gives a lot of self-healing, can use Unstable Affliction to protect you and other’s debuffs on the target such as hex, HoJ and your own fears.
provides demonic rebirth so you shouldn’t have pet problems, and improved life tap so you won’t have to life tap too often, I don’t ever take Improved Fear as 30% slow is not a lot, and it only lasts 5seconds. Shadowflame Glyph is awesome for peeling and slowing melee, I always use this on melee before a teleport to get a head start on the kiting. Soul Swap Glyph is awesome being able to copy pasta your dots. The Prime Glyphs are pretty much the only affliction based prime glyphs you can get.
This spec doesn’t provide the improved life tap or Demonic Rebirth, but if you’re able to life tap safely and don’t let yourself go oom and tell your healer your tapping it shouldn’t be a problem, also no Demonic Rebirth means you can only get pets back from hard summoning or soul burning, obviously you have you be a lot more careful keeping your pet alive and telling your healer that it needs healing, you also need to Health Funnel it when needed (hence minor Glyph). Shadow and Flame is an awesome talent if you’re able to keep corruption on everything in the arena, which end up providing instant shadow bolts, shadow bolts are really good brust damage and apply the 5% crit debuff.
I don’t really like playing destruction at the moment, it’s weak and forces you to use an imp to do decent damage, although Shadow Fury is good peel and can used to link up howl of terrors. As well as nether protection making you a tank vs casters.
As Affliction you should reforge everything into haste, enchant for int/haste, and lavawalker on boots. Gem for int/haste in yellow, just int in red, and stam/int or stam/hit in blue if you need hit rating (4%). I take the Spell Penetration cape to get my spell pen cap, although I put a 50 spell pen gem in my legs just so I never get resists against enemy felhunters which can sometimes pay off.
Just remember you need atleast 4% hit rating and 200 spell pen.
This is my UI layout and bindings I use for affliction, pretty standard. Good key bindings are as follow:
1-6, shift+1-6, ctrl+1-6 (although I use these for pet), Q, E, R, T, F, G, Z, X, C, V, H, +shift/ctrl
I try to put my long CDs such as Deathcoil, teleport, Howl, Soulburn macros onto shift modifers as I use them a lot less, more frequent spells such as fear, UA, Corruption etc should be on keys you can use easily, this is so your fingers don’t get a cramp from holding down shift all the time
One of the most important macros I have is the armor switch macro, it allows me to switch between both of my armors in one button:
/castsequence Fel Armor, Demon Armor
#showtooltip Blood Fury(Racial)
/cast Blood Fury(Racial)
/cast Lifeblood(Rank 8)
/cast Demon Soul
/use Vicious Gladiator's Badge of Dominance
spam this while mounted to try and find rogues before they sap you, doesn’t always work but when it does it’s awesome:
#showtooltip Curse of Exhaustion
/console targetNearestDistance 1.000000
/console targetNearestDistance 10.000000
/cast [harm,nodead] Curse of Exhaustion
This Macro uses my felhunter’s devour magic every time I use corruption, you can feel free to bind this to every spell if you want, the macro only allows the felhunter to devour IT’S CURRENT target and not YOUR CURRENT target, thus it won’t leave the target it’s on if you’re trying to keep a healer in combat.
/cast [target=pettarget] Devour Magic
#showtooltip Spell Lock(Special Ability)
/cast [target=focus] Spell Lock(Special Ability)
can bind battlemaster’s into it aswell if you use it:
Macro which instantly summons a felhunter, useful if your felhunter dies when Demonic Rebirth is on CD, or you want to double spell-lock:
#showtooltip summon felhunter
/cast Summon Felhunter
#showtooltip Spell Lock(Special Ability)
/cast Spell Lock(Special Ability)
#showtooltip Soul Fire
/cast Soul Fire
this macro puts a raid mark on your pet when you use soul link, useful so you know where your pet is at all times:
#showtooltip Soul Link
/cast Soul Link
only good for doing damage while you’re silenced:
/castsequence !Shoot, !Shoot
just incase I get a new trinket and I forgot to update my UI/macros:
I don’t use a lot of addons, mainly because I don’t like the idea of relying on them, especially if they go out of date:
Gladius – Arena Target Frames, better than the blizzard ones imo as they let you bind macros into them
Spellalterter – tracks incoming spells
Interrupt Bar – Shows Enemy Interrupt CDs, really useful to see if you’ve successfully fake casted
OmniCC – shows numbers on your spells which are on Cooldown
Lose Control – Shows the icon of the debuff CCing you in the middle of your screen aswell as on the debuff bar, useful if you have a lot of debuffs and don’t know what is CCing you and can decide if you need to trinket etc.
Plate Buffs – Shows the dots I do above the enemy nameplates which are better visually for me, not that needed though.
Quartz – Casting Bars addon, also useful for tracking focus casting.
I understand it’s sometimes very hard to find partners especially when you’re a fresh reroll or new to the game, if you’re new your best bet is to play with friends till you think you’ve out grown them, ideally if your friends get as good as you, then you should stick with them. Although if you have no friends on your server, I find advertising in trade not to be the best way, but better than nothing, although don’t just say “LF 2v2 Im a lock lol” try and say what you would prefer, what previous experiences you have, what spec you play, what your goals are, it works a lot better than you would expect, here is an example:
“Afflication Warlock with 1.8k experience LF a Frost Mage and Resto Shaman for 3s, aiming for 2.2k! /w me for more info”
When I started my warlock, I had only honour gear, and no achievements. I advertised my-self by making a post on arena-junkies.com, and got a decent team, which I am still playing with today. Hydramist.tv forums are also decent for recruitment and asking for advice.
Another very important thing is don’t trash talk, you never know who you are going to play with, be polite and don’t get mad if you lose duels. If you end up playing arena with new partners, don’t blame them, and always admit your mistakes, if you start raging it’s going to make you look bad and it’s going to bring your teams moral down, which means less wins and more rage, it’s a vicious cycle so don’t do it.
As a warlock a lot of comps are viable, although obviously there are some stronger than others such as Rogue/lock/Shaman or Mage/Lock/Shaman. Although don’t limit yourself to only these comps, if you can play weird comps or with an underpowered class (such as resto druids in 4.2), if you practice it enough and get decent at it, it might be viable in a later patch, and you’d have a huge advantage having learnt the comp already. Ideally you want to be looking for classes which have the most synergy with your warlock, Shadow priests and Resto druids look well as they benefit the most from your dark intent, elemental shamans are also good, aswell as rogues, but like I said it’s not bad to mix it up and try new things.
Here is just a brief summary of what you should be doing before the game starts:
Make sure everyone has raid markings, even your pet, as it’s useful to see where everyone else and sort your positioning out. Summon felhunter and soul link it, buff Fel Armor, use dark intent on the class which will most benefit from it (it works both ways!), and create a soul well, or create single health stones and trade them if you’re playing 2s. I also put a portal down in the starting area, just in case I don’t have time to place it when the gates open against a rushing team, better safe than sorry.
First thing is checking what you’re up against, if it’s a melee cleave quickly switch to demon armor and mount up and try and stay back, if you’re playing with a rogue stay back anyway allowing him to get the sap. Put your demonic portal is the best tactical position, usually behind a pillar or any place high up which you can abuse (Dalaran Arena & Blade’s edge). If you are fighting a melee cleave keep your portal quite far back so you can retreat, if it’s a caster team I try to keep it in the middle, and try and land ninja portal fears on the healer.
There is a lot of things you can do as a warlock to outplay the enemy team, the first thing is fake casting; don’t know what fake casting is? I suggest you go Google it, it’s the most basic thing in PvP ever. Taking fake casting to the next level, well ideally you want to be kiting melee, but warlocks have 2 trees, shadow and fire, if you’re having trouble fake casting against rogues/DKs slowing your casts, try using searing pain, if they use their interrupt on it, you’re laughing, and if they don’t well you’re still doing damage, just make sure your instant casts are up first.
That’s all I have for now, I hope this guide helps somebody out there, best of luck to anyone reading this.