[Warlock] [Affliction/Demo] Warlock Leveling – Talents and Tips (1-80)


This guide follows the format of both Irwezsh’s Guide and Trollvink’s Guide, as requested by Jame himself.

For Patch 3.0+, focused on WARLOCK gameplay!

Table of content:

  1. Foreword
  2. What’s the best leveling spec?
  3. Talents
  4. Abilities and Rotations
  5. Tips
  6. Stats
  7. Gear
  8. Glyphs
  9. Addons

1. Foreword

This is a guide which will tell which talents are the best to choose while leveling, also what rotation you should do, what gear boosts you should be focusing on and some general tips.

2. What’s the best leveling spec?

The best leveling spec for the warlock is Affliction. This is because of it’s the most mana efficient tree there is, and focuses on your DoTs. Demonology becomes the best 50+, and I’ve shown that in this guide.

3. The spec:

10 – 14:
Improved Corruption – 5/5

15 – 16:
Improved Life Tap – 2/2

17 – 18:
Soul Siphon – 2/2

19 – 20:
Improved Drain Soul – 2/2

21 – 23:
Fel Concentration – 3/3

Improved Curse of Agony – 1/2

25 – 27:
Suppression – 3/3

28 – 29:
Nightfall – 2/2

Siphon Life – 1/1

Improved Curse of Agony – 2/2

32 – 34:
Empowered Corruption – 3/3

35 – 39:
Shadow Mastery – 5/5

Dark Pact – 1/1

41 – 45:
Contagion – 5/5

46 – 47:
Improved Howl of Terror – 2/2

48 – 49:
Malediction – 2/3

At level 50, Respec to Demonology, using the following build.

Demonic Embrace – 5/5

Improved Health Funnel – 2/2

Demonic Brutality – 3/3

Fel Vitality – 3/3

Soul Link – 1/1

Fel Domination – 1/1

Demonic Aegis – 3/3

Unholy Power – 5/5

Master Summoner – 2/2

Master Demonologist – 5/5

Demonic Empowerment – 1/1

Demonic Resilience – 3/3

Demonic Knowledge – 3/3

Demonic Tactics – 1/5

Fel Synergy – 2/2

Summon Felguard – 1/1

At this point, your Felguard becomes your new pet through level 80!

51 – 52:
Improved Healthstone – 2/2

53 – 54:
Master Conjuror – 2/2

55 – 58:
Demonic Tactics – 5/5 (Should already have 1 point in this)

Suppression – 1/3

60 – 64:
Improved Shadow Bolt – 5/5

65 – 69:
Bane – 5/5

70 – 72:
Cataclysm – 3/3

73 – 77:
Ruin – 5/5

78 – 79:
Destructive Reach – 2/2

Devastation – 1/1

4. Abilities and Rotations

Always take the weapon with the best stats

1 – 9:

– Keep Demon Skin up.
– Get your Imp no later than level 4.
– Until you get Immolate and Corruption, spam Shadow Bolt.

Rotation: Immolate, Send in Imp while casting Corruption, Shadow Bolt or Wand to death. At level 8, Start rotation with Curse of Agony.

10 – 19:

– Keep Demon Skin Up.
– Use your Voidwalker.
– Use Drain Soul when you need Soul Shards.
Wait 3 seconds after your Voidwalker begins attacking a mob to start the rotation.
Life Tap when needed.
Drain Life when needed.
Rotation: Send in Voidwalker. Curse of Agony, Corruption, Immolate, Life Tap(optional)Drain Life(if needed), Drain Soul.

20 – 29:

– Replace Demon Skin with Demon Armor.
– Use Any pet you feel good with.
Life Tap and Drain Life when needed.

Rotation: Immolate and Send in Pet, Corruption, Curse of Agony, Drain Soul.

30 – 39

– Get your free mount!
– Continue using Any pet you like.
Drain Life, Life Tap when needed.
– If you feel Imp has more DPS, go ahead and use him.

Rotation: Same as above.

40 – 49

– Use either Voidwalker or Felhunter, your own preference.
– Everything else, same as above.
– Use Shadow Bolt if Nightfall procs.
– For Voidwalkers, have them attack right away.
– For Felhunters, send them in after Immolate.

Rotation: Immolate, Corruption, Siphon Life, Curse of Agony, Shadow Bolt(if Nightfall procs), Drain Soul, Dark Pact.

50 – 80

– At 62, switch to Fel Armor.
– From 50+, I’m not sure about a DEFINITE rotation, but you basically want to put all your dots on the mobs you are facing.
– I use a Felguard through these last 30 levels.

My rotation these last few levels(definitely not the best): Immolate, Curse of Agony, Corruption, Drain Life, Drain Soul.

You should probably by now understand what DoTs are and that they are your main damage dealing abilities. So any rotation you feel good with is fine.

NOTE – This build is for leveling, not raids/dungeons, consider respeccing!

Anyhow, if you choose to go with it, the Affliction DPS rotation for 80 instances is: Haunt, Curse of Agony, Corruption, Unstable Affliction, Siphon Life, Shadow Bolt.

I have not seen a good Demonology rotation yet, but keep your ears open.

5. Tips

– Make sure you start with around 10 Soul Shards.
– Give a Soul Stone to one of the healers.
– I could rant on with a ton of stuff, but I’m just going to say, read this.

– Carry 5 – 7 Soul Shards with you at all times. Delete excess stones.
– Don’t waste a bag slot on a Soul Bag. You won’t ever have enough SS’s to worry about it.
– Just heal yourself with Drain Life when you need to heal.
– Bandages help as well.
– Like mentioned in the rotations, keep up Demon Skin/ Demon Armor/ Fel Armor
– Life Tap when low on mana.

– The best options are Skinning/Mining, they make lots of money, especially with the Death Knights wanting to go Blacksmithing.

6. Stats

In the following order: Spell Hit(Until capped) > Spell Power > Spell Haste > Spell Crit > Stamina > Intellect.
There are various opinions on the topic, but most Warlocks I know go generally by this.

7. Gear

Here I will eventually put some gear down you can get while leveling. But for now I don’t have the time. 😉

8. Glyphs

Major Glyphs(Thanks kirby for these.)

Glyph of Siphon Life
Glyph of Immolate
Glyph of Corruption

With Glyph of Corruption, when Shadow Trance procs, cast a Shadow Bolt

9. Addons

DoTimer – A handy mod for managing your DoTs and rotation.(thanks to kirby for this aswell)
Necrosisshard management(since with improved Drain Soul you’ll want to get 14% FREE MANA from EVERY MOB YOU FIGHT, who can really pass that up, and who wants to delete all those stupid shards?) it also offers warnings about unfearable mobs, and audible warnings about your soulstone expiring, and nightfall procs, it also makes it a lot easier to keep a healthstone on hand, and as a affliction lock, you’ll also likely want to keep a spellstone up now that Wrath made them halfway decent. Also, Necrosis has a DoTimer like feature for tracking how long your dots have left. In my eyes it totally mitigates any need for DoTimer as a lock. – Nicely put, deveyus!

Thanks to Everyone who added things while this was a wiki page, and thanks to Jame for WoW-Pro, of course!

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    Oct 21, 2010 @ 0:54 am

    Moved to Archive SectionWe are recently working on improving the quality of content here on, both by limiting low ranked guides and by moving out of date guides into archives. For more information, see [url=]the full news post detailing this process[/url].

    Your guide has been moved to the archive section for the following reasons:
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    Sep 7, 2010 @ 4:58 am

    For those looking forFor those looking for leveling gear…
    (If your not running boa’s and Satchel of helpful goods gear, cause leveling is super quick anymore, lol) is a great site for finding class/spec specific gear according to zone and instance. I do not think it has a search by level but could be wrong.

    Just a tip. Enjoy!!

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    Mar 28, 2010 @ 20:14 pm

    This guideThis guide is obviously good and yet a bit old, you refer to getting your free mount at level 30 while mounts have been nerfed to getable at lvl 20. I needed to go to wowwiki aswell to get some other advice and Wowwiki gives Macros for casting rotations. So a good update of the patch present would be nice. Other than that, it’s a pretty nice guide, I use the same rotations in Macros from Wowwiki as those said here, and I do use the Talent Points from here because they are the same and the first that I found. =)


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    Oct 12, 2009 @ 1:43 am

    Talent point discrepancyYou forget that this is actually an old guide. When this guide was written, it WAS 5/5 points for that talent.

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    Oct 11, 2009 @ 9:41 am

    Question re: post-59 Warlock talent choicesI don’t know if anyone noticed this, but there is a basic flaw with the talent spec proposed for this Warlock Affliction/Demonology leveling build.

    Okay, so the Lock starts and runs until 50 as Affliction. No problem.

    The ‘Lock then respecs to Demonology, so that he can get a Felguard. No problem.

    However, there IS a problem with the talents chosen after level 62 (okay, that should be 64, but with the post 3.1 changes, there is only 3 points in Improved Corruption and not 5). All post-62 points are dropped into Destruction talents. However, according to the guide, the basic rotation remains “Immolate, Curse of Agony, Corruption, Drain Life, Drain Soul.” Given that only one out of the 5 spells mentioned is Destruction (Immolate), wouldn’t it make more sense to feed those points back into Affliction? As such, I submit the following alternative build:

    Comments appreciated.

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    Oct 5, 2009 @ 17:03 pm

    A little errorI think i found a little error:
    Demonic Embrace – 5/5

    Demonic Embrace can have 3 points max.

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    Aug 28, 2009 @ 4:08 am

    Now where I am at.So after a few respecs I have finally settled on full affliction. After reading multiple guides on leveling a warlock, I have found the following method to be the best for quest-grinding/leveling. (Note: I do not recommend respec’ing demo for felguard)

    I am currently level 68 and pretty much totally spec’d in affliction. This is probably not necessary. Basically you could just spec affliction until you get Haunt, then dump the rest of your points into demo if you want.

    Other notes: My impression is that the following strategy is basically what most people refer to as Drain Tanking. I cannot attest to efficiency of this strategy without first having Haunt. So until you are high enough level to spec to the point of getting Haunt, I recommend just sending in that Voidwalker, DoT’ing up the MOB, wanding down to 25% and casting Drain Soul (make sure to spec Improved Drain Soul to get 14% mana back, primary source of mana regen) Against multiple MOB’s, just send in VW, DoT up all the MOB, wand and Drain Soul what you can.

    Warlock vs. Single Mob cast rotation:
    Macro(pet attack and cast Haunt)->Unstable Affliction->Corruption->Curse of Agony, then
    Life Tap->Drain Life until dead
    (Note: This should leave you with full life and mana; and this burn down a single mob very fast)

    Warlock vs. Multiple Mobs cast rotation:
    Step 1: Macro (pet attack and cast Haunt)->Unstable Affliction->Corruption->Curse of Agony then Life tap and tab to next mob

    On 2nd Mob: (note: Haunt is still on Cool Down) so start with Unstable Affliction->Corruption->Curse of Agony

    On 3rd Mob: Repeat 1st step, but skip life tap and drain life (basically Haunt + 3 DoT’s)

    Rinse and repeat until last Mob (Haunting when you can)

    Notes for multiple mobs:
    1. I usually life drain last mob.
    2. Cast Haunt when you can as this is your life source.
    3. If only two mobs then you can simple use Step 1 twice (kill one at a time, seems to be more efficient)
    4. Don’t forget you can Dark Pact if mana runs low as Life Tapping too much with multiple Mobs wacking on you will get you killed.
    5. I usually keep Felhunter out for the buffs and serves as a good mana battery. I’ll leave it up to you what abilities to turn off.

    Warlock vs. Elite Mobs:

    This is where I am still figuring things out, but my strategy right now is as follows:
    1. Macro (petattack and cast Haunt)->Unstable Affliction->Corruption->Curse of Agony
    2. Then Life Tap->the keep casting Drain Life.
    3. As soon as Haunt burns out, recast Haunt + the above 3 DOT’s.
    4. Repeat cast Drain Life until Haunt burns out.
    5. Repeat Steps 3/4 until dead, using Potions/Life Stones as needed.

    The reason I am posting this is to give people something to think about when they turn 50. I tried the felguaurd out and was pretty unhappy. I am burning mobs down faster than ever with the above strategy.

    However, if anyone sees any flaws or can recommend any improvement to the above strategies, please post.

    Thank you James and gang for the awesome guides and thank you to the poster below with all the cool macro ideas.

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    Aug 8, 2009 @ 9:53 am

    Keep up the good work!Iv been following these guides since i came back to wow, and they are great but there a few ways u can play ur lock, if u feel like reading heres mine. IN ADVANCE I DIDNT SPELL CHECK AND THS IS BEING WRITEN AT 3 AM.

    Full affliction
    Basically istead of swapping to demo i stay affliction and have no complaints at all. I follow the quests and grind on the way to the quest and in the areas i can easily drain tank around 2 to 3 mobs my level while side strafing and still finish my objectives.

    Some tips.. at the moment i only use 4 spells in my rotation but im at around 800 spellpower or soo at lvl 66 so u may need more but.

    first skill = macro
    #showtooltil Dark Pact
    /use [mod:alt]Life Tap;[nomod:alt]Dark Pact

    *easy macro all locks need something like this basicaly if u click it ul dark pact and take ur imp mana, but if u hold shift and click it ull life tap
    this one is really handy and give u versitility specially if ur using Glyph of Life Tap to get bonus SP from ur spirit

    same macro if ur lazy or maybe u dont wanna bother with ALT

    #showtooltip Dark Pact
    /castsequence Dark Pact, Dark Pact, Dark Pact, Life Tap, Life Tap

    *same thing but this time u Dark Pact 3 times then Life Tap twice, u have to keep presing it. This one is less complicated but u dont have a choice u have to follow hte sequence.

    Next The Bread And Butter

    #showtooltip Unstable Affliction
    /use 13
    /use 14
    /castsequence reset=target/combat/5 Unstable Affliction, Curse of Agony,

    *Ok so this casts Unstable Affliction then Curse of Agony, also uses ur trinkets get rid of that if u have a trinket to get outa stun or something i have it in mine cuase i have SP trinkets in there.
    !You can swap Curse of Agony for any other instance cast u feel like
    The reason i have it there is simple when u cast UA its 1.5 second cast so 1 second in your global coldown is done meaning that as soon as ur AU is cast u can cast CoA right away. There is a guide somewhere on this site about the half of second before u finsih u cast where u can cast a new spell and becuase of the time it takes the server to recieve the info u dont interupt AU, but u have to get good at it

    AWESOME u have 2 DOTS on ur target in 2 seconds

    Now i use
    #showtooltip Haunt
    /use 13
    /use 14
    /castsequence reset=target/combat/5 Haunt, Corruption

    *Same idea u use ur SP trinkets in u have them if u dont u take /use 13 and /use 14 out, then u cast Haunt then u cast Corruption.
    !Again Haunt is 1.5 second cast so again 1 second in you global cd is done and u can instanly cast Corruption.

    Now from here, for me atleast my mob is dead in a few seconds, but if u dont got the spell power this is were u trow in ur own rotation.

    #showtooltip Drain Life
    /use [mod:alt]Drain Soul;[nomod:alt]Drain Life

    *simple macro press it, u use Drain Life, press it while holding ALT, u use Drain Soul

    OK! From there you have the basics of some decent macros, just sub ur own spells.

    Just for fun here are some i use in pvp as well.

    #showtooltip Curse of Tongues
    /castsequence Curse of Tongues, Arcane Torrent, Drain Mana

    *Unfortunatly i rolled a BE, but im makin the best of it, This is an anticaster macro,
    !It stops wat ur casting, puts Curse of Tongues on the caster, slowing down his spells hopefully give u enough time to run up and use Arcane Torrent, then to be a real mean guy you Drain Mana and dance beside him before u fear and kill him.

    And of course for those of you who dontof just have your Succubus out to look at.

    /cast [pet:succubus] Seduction

    Glyphs I use and will use.

    Glyph of Life Tap!!!!
    Glyph of Curse of Agony
    Glyph of Haunt

    Minor Glyph of Enslave = hey just cuase im afflict doesnt mean i dont like seeing badass demons follow me once in a while

    Hope This Helps, cuase these guides helped me out alot.


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    Aug 4, 2009 @ 22:47 pm

    NewI’m starting a ‘lock for the first time and although this guide seems to be a goldmine of information to help me, Barsymes’ comment was helpful for me. It makes sense to keep affliction for improved soul drain, 14% mana can be really helpful! I’m going to keep affliction for this reason too. Also, your note on your rotation helped me because it made me realize macroing immolate with pet attacking would be more quick than what i’ve been doing currently.

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    Jul 29, 2009 @ 0:57 am

    Where I am at right nowFirstly, this guide has been really great. However, I respec’d to Demo at 50, got my felguard and was pretty disappointed no longer having Improved Drain Soul which I was using to keep from OOM. Without this, I found after sending felguard in and stacking dot’s I was OOM pretty fast. So I respec’d back to Affliction.

    Currently my standard rotation for single MOB is Pet attack/Immolate (macro), Curse of Agony, Corruption, then wanding MOB to 25%, then drain soul…oh yeah, and I’m using VW cuz it can take the hits with adds. This is really mana efficient, and I can kill mobs pretty nonstop.

    My plan is to do this until 57, which will then allow me to put the 40 points into Demo (for felguard) and leave me 7 points to get me Improved drain soul.

    Does this sound good? Or is there a better, more mana effiecient way to grind out single MOBs, any advice would be great as I am clearly a Noob.

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    Jul 22, 2009 @ 11:28 am

    I’m going your way Sparta.
    II’m going your way Sparta.
    I noticed the same benefits too and it suits my cautious gamestyle to have improved VW.
    Just my 5 cents.


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