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. Also, this is a wiki page so that expert locks out there can add whatever they know about the topic, and maybe change some talent build stuff..

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 would be a close second, but you’d be sitting and drinking after every fight.

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 – 1/1

Fel Synergy – 2/2

Summon Felguard – 1/1

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

Adding rest of Demonology build in a couple hours, for now look at this.

4. Abilities and Rotations

Always take the weapon with the best dps

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:

– 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 Succubus.
Life Tap and Drain Life when needed.

Rotation: Immolate, Send in Succubus, Corruption, Siphon Life, Curse of Agony, Drain Soul.

30 – 39

– Get your free mount!
– Continue using Succubus
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 Felhunter or Imp, your own preference.
– Everything else, same as above.
– Use Shadow Bolt if Nightfall procs.
– For Imps, 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 Felhunter through these last 30 (27 actually) levels.

My rotation these last few levels(definitely not the best): Immolate, Unstable Affliction, Siphon Life, 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, the Affliction DPS rotation for 80 instances is: Haunt, Curse of Agony, Corruption, Unstable Affliction, Siphon Life, Shadow Bolt.

5. Tips

– 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.

– 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 since WOTLK arrived.

6. Stats

In the following order: Spell Hit(Until capped) > Spell Power > Spell Haste > Spell Crit > Stamina > Intellect.

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)

Sorry I left a couple sections unfinished, some family things going on. I’ll finish them when I have the time. Oh and yes, I realize I only have 1 color. It is 1 AM where I am, I’m half asleep, I just thought I’d publish it so everyone could see it in the morning.

Thanks to Trollvink and Irwezsh for the guide format, and thanks to Jame for WoW-Pro, of course!

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    Jeremy Stalanz
    Apr 28, 2021 @ 23:57 pm


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    Jan 27, 2009 @ 22:13 pm

    Transferred it to a guideAlright, transferring it to a guide and unpublishing this wiki page.

    There’s no need to make changes to this wiki any more. If you want changes made to this guide, post a comment under the newly created guide [url=]here[/url].

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    Jan 27, 2009 @ 9:03 am

    I think the formatting ofI think the formatting of this guide is allright now and it should be transofrmed back to a normal guide, as I don’t believe it was intended that the actual content by Shinke gets changed..

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    Jan 27, 2009 @ 5:52 am

    I think I had that first,I think I had that first, haha. I guess someone felt they needed to change it! I’ll fix.

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    Jan 27, 2009 @ 5:51 am

    I don’t even know anymore…I don’t even know anymore… So many people are making changes and I just can’t keep up with what everyone’s doing. I didn’t even respec to Demonology, I went Affliction all the way, as you can see in my rotation’s part.

    You’d have to ask one of the locks that actually respecced to Demonology, sorry I can’t help you.

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    Jan 27, 2009 @ 5:07 am

    Great guide, however, IGreat guide, however, I found something odd – shouldn’t you get spell hit capped first before you focus on spell power? Getting capped increases your dps bunches.

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    Jan 27, 2009 @ 0:43 am

    Felguard at 56Good Guide so far. One thing i would mention is its actually better to stick with an Affliction leveling build until 56, because although you can get the felguard at 50, he doesn’t recieve all his abilities that make him so bamf until 56.

    Although as im writing this i realize they might have changed that when they got rid of the demon trainers a few patches ago so now im not so sure. Anyway just something to look into

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    Jan 27, 2009 @ 0:34 am

    Thanks for the glyphs,Thanks for the glyphs, adding them! 🙂

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    Jan 27, 2009 @ 0:10 am

    Sorry about the Soul StoneSorry about the Soul Stone to the tank, I might have imagined it or not. Another input on the glyphs, I would probably separate it in two sections and put the ones I said before for affliction and these new ones for destruction. Glyph of Conflagrate, Glyph of Shadowburn and Glyph of Searing pain.

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    Jan 26, 2009 @ 23:41 pm

    Thanks for your input

    ButThanks for your input 🙂

    But where does it say give a Soul Stone to the tank? I spent 5 minutes reading through and I can’t find it.. If I did, I apologize, but I do see where I put give it to the healer.

    Anyhow I’ll add the glyphs and DoTimer 🙂

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    Jan 26, 2009 @ 23:37 pm

    Yes I realize what I do toYes I realize what I do to level is different than what is recommended, but I believe it’s simpler than the guides on the forums.. Anyhow use whichever you prefer, I really don’t care if my guide isn’t used
    :sick: :jawdrop: 8) 😕 :O 😛 }:) 😀 🙁 😉 🙂

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    Jan 26, 2009 @ 21:44 pm

    Nice guideNice guide, as a fellow warlock I can see that you are passionate about our class. A few tips though.

    1. For the addons, I would put DoTimer. It is an indispensible tool for knowing accurately the time left on your curses and managing your rotation.

    2. For the glyph, I have Glyph of Siphon Life (improve Siphon life by 20%), Glyph of Immolate (increases the damage over time of immolate by 20% but reduces the initial damage by 10%) and lastly Glyph of Corruption (your corruption ticks have a 4% chance to make you enter a shadowtrance state which makes your next shadow bolt instant cast). For minor glyphs, I have found none of interest.

    3. In the tips you said to give a Soul Stone to the tank. Why would you do that? If the tank dies he looses all agro and if he decides to use the Soul Stone he can’t retake the agro or resurrect other party members. You are much better off giving it to the healer.

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    Jan 26, 2009 @ 16:05 pm

    Great guide but…
    Your guide must have been a lot of work and it looks great.

    However, its quite different then the affliction guides on the wow warlock forums.

    DKs rule…others drool

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    Jan 26, 2009 @ 13:04 pm

    Ah my bad, forgot to boldAh my bad, forgot to bold the leveling rotation I used. The rotation you’re looking at is for level 80 dungeons.

    Immolate should always be used while leveling. If you look up a bit you’ll see I forgot to bold the rotation I used the last few levels.

    With that said, Immolate won’t be needed at 80, but 2-79 it is a big help. I’ll fix the unbolded rotation for ya.

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    Jan 26, 2009 @ 9:45 am

    Just one question…Thanks for the guide, it helped me heaps…

    Just one question…

    You don’t include immolate in the final spell rotation, does that mean immolate isn’t good enough for leveling once you get to 70-80?

    I level as destruction, but wanted to try out affliction and was wondering if I should use immolate or just more drain life/shadowbolts.

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    Jan 26, 2009 @ 1:14 am

    Nice! I’ll let this page asNice!

    I’ll let this page as a wiki for now, and once the formatting is done and the rest of the info is added, I’ll make it a guide.

    Simply because wiki pages cannot be rated, and we want this type of guides to be rated 🙂

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    Jan 25, 2009 @ 22:20 pm

    Great guide!

    Needs someGreat guide!

    Needs some minor formatting and completing the sections but otherwise very good!


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