WoW Wrath Classic: Affliction Warlock Guide (WotLK)

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    World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King Classic





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Affliction Warlock Basics in WotLK

The Affliction Warlock is one of the best damage dealers in Wrath of the Lich King. This is a welcome change by Warlock players everywhere after not performing very well by the end of The Burning Crusade. In WotLK, you can be sure you are bringing your A-Game to the raid with top tier DPS.

This guide is primarily focused on level 80 end-game content and will be updated with more information for the duration of the Wrath of the Lich King expansion.

Affliction warlocks specialize in ranged damage by casting Damage Over Time (DOT) spells to continuously tick down damage on their foes. With the addition of Everlasting Affliction, you can utilize other spells to reset the duration of Corruption.


These DOTs happen to create one of the highest DPS averages of any class within the WotLK expansion. They are incredible for single target damage when the enemy will last long enough for the DOT to tick down (Boss Fights).

The affliction warlock also happens to be great at Area of Affect (AOE) damage by either posting up their DOTs on all targets in the area, or utilizing Seed of Corruption to chain-trigger – be careful of your threat!

If you are looking for the best race for Warlocks in WotLK, we discuss it in more detail in our Warlock Class Guide. Many Horde players choose Orc for the Command racial, which will help with their summoned pets’ damage. Blood Fury also now affects spell power, so it is also another benefit. If Horde players are looking for the best Warlock race for PvP, many focus on Undead. The Undead get the Will of the Forsaken, along with other beneficial racial abilities.

For the Alliance, Warlock players choose either Humans or Gnomes. Neither have any specific advantages as a Warlock, so go by your favorite race.

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Talents For Affliction Warlocks

These are the talents that most players choose for Affliction Warlocks in terms of maximum damage per second in raids. We’ve highlighted a commonly seen variation that depends on your raid composition.

(Talent Calculator Provided by


  • You may move around the extra point you have in the Destruction tree. We like Destructive Reach because it both allows you to get a cast off sooner if you are running up to a target, and it allows you to keep your threat down and avoid pulling aggro. Another option is to change this point to Intensity, but that will only be useful if you are being damaged while channeling, which you usually should not be while in raids.

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Best Affliction Warlock Glyphs

As seen in the Talent Tree build in the above section, we have outlined the best choices for Major Glyphs. The Minor Glyphs are very much just simple, small quality of life enhancements that you can swap out for any that you choose.

Major Glyphs

Minor Glyphs

Minor Glyphs don’t have any impact on the Affliction Warlocks performance. Here are your options, you can pick any combination of them:

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Stat Priority For Affliction Warlock

The most important thing for an Affliction Warlock is to be able to hit their spells when they are cast. They need to be able to get off as many DOTs as possible, as soon as possible into a fight. Here are all of the stat priorities for this class:

  1. Hit Rating (Until Hit Cap of 289, or 263 if you expect a Draenei in your party as they give Heroic Presence. This cap includes the Suppression talent from your talent choices. Gain an additional 289 on top of talents.)
  2. Spell Power
  3. Haste Rating
  4. Crit Rating
  5. Spirit
  6. Intellect

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Skill Rotation For Affliction Warlock

Your main skill rotation will be generally the same each fight, with the key to success being that you keep up your essential damage-over-time spells.

  1. Use Life Tap right before the boss is pulled to benefit from the extra spell power.
  2. Keep Curse of The Elements on the boss at all times
  3. Corruption – This will be refreshed automatically with every Shadow Bolt or Drain Soul. If it falls off, recast it.
  4. Haunt – This will empower your other spells
  5. Curse of Agony – Keep this up, if it falls off the boss, reapply
  6. Drain Soul or Shadow Bolt (Only Drain Soul when the enemy is below 25% health).

Consumables For Raids

  • Flask:
  • Food Buff:
  • Potions:
  • Pet Food:

Best Gems For Affliction Warlock

The gem choices for Affliction Warlocks are fairly straight forward. You will always want to use the Red Gems listed below, unless there is a socket bonus that provides you with a large amount of stats greater to what you give up from the red gem spellpower. Make sure you also have enough Blue Gems to satisfy your Meta Gem requirements.

Best Enchants For Affliction Warlock


Best In Slot Gear Pre-Raid For Affliction Warlock

In this PreBis list for Affliction Warlock, we will only show sources within the Wrath Classic content. Some items from The Burning Crusade raids are still powerful to use, but would be very difficult to obtain now without a full raid to go back and clear Sunwell, for example. For this reason, we only include items you can reasonably obtain in Wrath content.

2-Handed Weapon Slot

In the 2-Handed Weapon slot, you have three main options, all from heroic drops.

1-Handed Weapon Slot

In the 1-Handed Weapon slot, you have many options. While Titansteel Spellblade will be your top choice, there are many other options that will hurt a lot less on your pocket book.

Off-Hand Slot

If you end up getting a great 1-handed weapon, you will want a great off-hand to go with it. The best option here is to choose the Ward of the Violet Citadel as only 25 Emblem of Heroism. There are other options, but as this cost and time required, it is a no-brainer.

Head Slot

In the head slot, you have the Titan-Forged Hood of Dominance for 40 Wintergrasp Mark of Honor if you enjoy PvP. Otherwise, there are some great options as drops or even a tailoring BoE.

Neck Slot

For the Affliction Warlock’s neck slot, there are many PvP options for honor points if you want a break from spamming dungeons. Your best item though, will be from 25 Emblem of Heroism, if you can spare them.

Shoulders Slot

You have three main options for the shoulder slot that are available in Wrath content within Northrend. All three happen to be drops, with the top two being BoE, so you can buy them on the Auction House.


The Affliction Warlock has many Pre-Bis options for cloaks ranging from tailoring, BoEs, PvP gear, reputation gear, and Heroic drops.


Most of the options for Chest pieces are the various tailoring robes. If you really want the best of the best, be ready to fork over 80 Emblem of Heroism for your Tier 7 set piece – it’s worth it!


You have several great options for bracers at drop chances, but they are fairly low chances. Other options are PvP rewards or Revered Rep with Wyrmrest Accord.


The best options for gloves witll be the Spellweave and Ebonweave gloves, though they may be our of your price range. If you are on a budget, run The Nexus Heroic and hope to get the Gloves of Glistening Runes.


The best belt will set you back 40 Emblem of Heroism. If you are looking to save these for your other pieces, head into Utgarde Pinnacle Heroic for a good chance at Girdle of Bane.


All the best leggings for Affliction Warlocks come from drops within Heroic dungeons.


You’re best bet for boots will be hitting Exalted with Wyrmrest Accord. The next best option will be to use 15 Wintergrasp Marks of Honor for the Titan-Forged Slippers of Dominance.


The best option for rings will be the Jewelcrafting BoE Ring of Northern Stars. Other options include other BoEs, the Signet of Kirin Tor for, or drops from Heroic dungeons.


Finally, the Affliction Warlock will want to grab the Sundial of the Exiled for 40 Emblem of Heroism, and also head to the Violet Hold and hope to get the boss Cyanigosa for a decent chance at the Mark of the War Prisoner.

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