WoW Classic Warlock Guide - a complete guide for the best leveling class
wow classic warlock guide
Many World of Warcraft fans stated that true WoW ended on patch 1.12. Their nostalgy and sentiment was so huge that they either quit game or seek private server, where everything was ‘the old way’. Now that Blizzard has closed WoW Classic beta and stress tests are being held, these players may get what they want. And many of them will be searching for guides.
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Have you ever looked at Gul’Dan thinking: ‘Damn, it would be so cool to be a magic wielding fighter like him!’. And here you are. It’s probably the best place for you to be, if you want to follow his steps. The WoW Classic Warlock guide.
One of the most popular and fun to play classes in Vanilla, as they’re leveling is not that painful. Good Warlock will fit into most compositions and parties. Bad Warlock… well, you won’t be a bad Warlock after reading our WoW Classic Warlock guide.
Among classes in World of Warcraft, there are many who struggle in certain departments - either burning mana too quickly, they don’t have enough utility, they lack damage, they lack survivability or they are just underpowered in general. Among all of them stands Warlock - the class that has it all. Don’t get me wrong. By any means Warlocks are not perfect - they also have their own flaws but they aren’t as violent as other cases.
Warlocks are strong levelers which similarly to Hunters use their pets to tank incoming damage. On top of that they have great damage, solo and group utility, crowd control, summons, soulstones, healthstones and more. Their only disadvantage which makes them worse at leveling than Hunters is mobility. Unlike Druid for example, Warlock class suffer from not having any speed boosting abilities. It is crucial to position yourself through the combat perfectly and take advantage of your toolkit in order to be efficient.
This class also has some really devoted player base. Although it is not people favorite and Warlock are not the most picked class in the game those who choose to pick one are very dedicated to it. Many players who played this class someday in the past did stick to it for a very long time, even up until today. This may seem like something ordinary but we believe that this class really is special with a great fantasy, amazing skill design and toolkit like no one else. If you choose to pick Warlock you will most likely not regret it.
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Warlock race overview
Now that you started playing Vanilla, you will have a race to choose for your character. Similarly to Mages Warlocks have four races to choose from - Orcs, Undead, Gnomes, and Humans.
-Hardiness increases your chance to resist stuns by 25%
-Command improves the damage of your pets by 5%
-Blood Fury increases melee power by 25% and reduces healing received by 50% for 25 seconds (2min cooldown)
-Axe specialization Improves specialization with Axes and Two-Handed Axes by 5.
Probably the best race for Horde faction to pick Warlock, mostly due to the Command, which buff your pets. And as Warlock you want to use those, since pets are the main strength for the class. Works good for both PvE and PvP.
You have Hardiness on top of that, which is always useful in PvP. Most Rogue players when searching for a target will pass on attacking Orc just because of that. It’s not really class specific ability, more like an overall bonus, which additionally brings Orc warlock over Undead.
And don’t forget that Gul’Dan was an Orc!
-Escape Artist racial lets them leave immobilizing effects.
-Expansive Mind increases their intellect by 5%
-Arcane Resistance increased by 10
-Engineering Specialist gives them +15 bonus to Engineering
This is the Alliance’s reply to Orc. Gnomes may not seem destined to wield powerful magic and summon even more powerful demons, but all of a sudden they have pretty good racial bonuses to do that.
More than everything their Expansive Mind makes them excellent users of magic, as it gives percentage Intellect, which will scale with gear later on.
If you add Escape Artist into the equation, you have strong PvP character able to dish out some decent DPS and resistant to CC. Also who would even want to attack the little fellow?
-Will of the Forsaken provides them immunity to Charm, Fear and Sleep for 5 seconds with a 2 min cooldown. It also breaks ongoing effects.
-Cannibalize lets them regenerate some health from corpses
-Underwater Breathing gives them more time to stay underwater
-Shadow Resistance increased by 10.
Aside of Cannibalize, which definitely help during leveling stages, Undead race has little to none racial benefits helping it thrive as a Warlock compared to other races. This is why picking Horde and planning to go PvE Warlock somewhat pushes you into Orc. Don’t get us wrong, Undead can be Warlocks as well, but they will just have less power.
Will of the Forsaken and Shadow Resistance give them slight edge in PvP, where surviving while dealing damage is important.
-Diplomacy increases reputation gains by 10%
-The Human Spirit increases Spirit by 5%
-Mace and Sword specializations increase specializations in those weapons by 5
-Perception Improves stealth detection for 20 seconds (3min cooldown).
We think that for Alliance Gnome race is a better choice for Warlock in Vanilla, and in more than one guide Warlock in Alliance is always a Gnome.
Again, enhanced stealth detection is something that might be useful in PvP as a counterplay to all the time invisible Rogues. But we guess this is the only advantage that Human Warlock would have over Gnome.
Pros and cons of playing Warlock
Just as mentioned before Warlock isn’t a class which suffers from many problems. They are all around good class to play in every stage of the game. Their toolkit lets them level up quickly, farm efficiently, be useful in dungeon and much sought after in raid. There are no many downsides to playing this class and it is almost always a good choice but before picking it to take a loot at all of the strengths and weaknesses which Warlocks bring to the table.
-Great leveling speed
-High damage and great sustain
-Independent - can solo almost anything
-Good at both single target and multi-target damage
-Not gear dependant
-Free mount at 40
-Strong in PvP in both duels and open world
-Has some great utility which makes him very needed in raid and Parties
-Able to solo dungeon for money.
-Very low mobility early on (compared to Druid)
-Has to invest in pet training
-Less inventory space (has to keep Soul Shard in one slot).
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- Dodge - a slight chance to dodge the enemy attack.
- Shoot - attack with an equipped wand.
Shadow Bolt - core Warlock's damage ability. Sends a bolt that hit the opponent, dealing shadow damage (lvl 1).
Immolate - causes enemies to burn for fixed amount of damage instantly and another portion of DoT (lvl 1).
Demon Skin - gives the caster additional armor and restores HP per second (lvl 1).
Corruption - corrupts the enemy, dealing Shadow DoT (lvl 4).
Curse of Weakness - reducing target's damage in time (lvl 4).
Life Tap - instantly converts HP into mana (lvl 6).
Fear - fears the target, causing it to flee. Dealing damage to feared target may break the spell (lvl 8).
Curse of Agony - curses the opponent with an agony dealing shadow damage over time at a progressive rate (lvl 8).
Drain Soul - drains the target's soul dealing shadow DoT. If the target dies during drain, the caster receives a Soul Shard used for other abilities (lvl 10).
Health Funnel - restores certain amount of health per second during channeling the ability (lvl 12).
Drain Life - steals HP from the target and gives it to the caster (lvl 14).
Curse of Recklessness - curses the enemy, making his melee attack power stronger, but recuding his armor. Cursed opponent will not flee and will be immune to Fear and Horror effects (lvl 14).
Searing Pain - enemy is inflicted by searing pain, taking damage. Causes high amount of threat (lvl 18).
Rain of Fire - brings down the rain of fire upon the enemies, dealing fire damage in area of effect over time (lvl 20).
Demon Armor - gives caster additional armor and Shadow resistance, and restores HP (lvl 20).
Drain Mana - transfer mana from the target to caster (lvl 24).
Curse of Tongues - makes the enemy speak in Demonic, reducing his castig time (lvl 26).
Banish - banishes the enemy, preventing it from performing any actions, while making it invulnerable. Works only against Demons and Elementals (lvl 28).
Enslave Demon - captures the demon and forces it to do whatever you want. During this time its attack speed is increased and casting time is slowed. Subsequent attempts to enslave the same demon will become much harder (lvl 30).
Hellfire - set the area surrounding the caster in fire, dealing fire damage to enemies around and himself (lvl 30).
Shadow Ward - absorbs certain amount of Shadow damage (lvl 32).
Curse of the Elements - curses the target, lowering its Fire and Frost resistances and increasing Fire and Frost damage taken by them (lvl 32).
Howl of Terror - causes enemies to run away in fear. Dealing damage to them may break the effect (40).
Death Coil - makes the enemy run in fear for a short duration, dealing shadow damage. Player receives 100% of damage dealt as HP (lvl 42).
Curse of Shadow - curses the enemy reducing his Shadow and Arcane resists and increasing Shadow and Arcane damage taken (lvl 44).
Soul Fire - burns the enemies soul, dealing huge amounts of fire damage (lvl 48).
Shadowburn - you hit the target dealing shadow damage. If the target dies, there is a chance it drops a Soul Shard (lvl 56).
Warlock Professions overview
When it comes down to professions Warlock do not benefit from any of them in a special way. It is always nice to have two gathering ones early in the game to maximize profits. By taking Skinning you will be able to get some additional loot in the form of skins and bones. You can sell those to vendors right away for instant gold so it is a nice profession to start with. If you aim to earn more and stay with your profession choices after 60 Herbalism and Mining are better options. They provide better gold ratio than Skinning later on, especially Herbalism when you link it with Alchemy. There is also Tailoring which might be useful for your gear crafting. If you want to make BoP pieces of equipment and scale better this is a good choice. You can also pair Tailoring with Enchanting to disenchant pieces of gear you don’t need. Blacksmithing and Leatherworking are rather useless.
Make sure to check out our Profession Guide to research this topic further.
However in most profession guides for PvE it is recommended to have Tailoring and if you plan to go for PvP - Engineering. The rest doesn’t really matter.
The trademark of each Warlock are his pets. Tanking bot and damage dealer always there to do your bidding. Warlock has four of them, and their availability is dependant on players level.
Imp - the very first pet. Provides ranged damage, useful passive skills and procs on higher level,
Voidwalker - probably the most useful creature in leveling stages, as it’s a premium class tank. Available from level 10, provides great tanking services
Succubus - a demon which gives the highest damage output and some crowd control, useful especially in PvP
Felhunter - gives the warlock increased stealth detection, also able to remove harmful magical effects from the caster or remove buffs from the opponent. Good for PvP against casters
Infernal - temporary summoned demon dealing high AoE DPS
Doomguard - single target DPS counterpart of Infernal.
Warlock can enslave demons on top of that.
Warlock leveling guide
Warlock class DPS and leveling builds are different. Here we’d want to show you the best possible way of getting to level 60 ASAP.
As opposed to Retail version, in Vanilla quests are not displayed on the map. You will need to do some running and exploring in order to find something. If you get lost, you may have to reread the quest note or use an external website/map. Nothing comes easy way in Vanilla.
You might struggle to kill mobs sometimes, so pick your targets carefully. You are not a god at the very beginning, be careful. However Warlock is overall god tier at leveling, comparable only to Hunter, and it’s nothing close to Paladin or Priest grinding.
Questing zones do not guarantee a full level ups so grinding may be necessary sometimes. You might want to put some mobs on the menu as you go. Best zones according to class guides and specific Warlock leveling guides are:
1. Alliance only: Darkshore, Loch Modan, Westfall, Redridge Mountains, Duskwood, Wetlands.
2. Horde only: The Barrens, Silverpine Forest, Stonetalon Mountains.
3. Contested zones: Hillsbrad Foothills, Ashenvale, Thousand Needles, Stranglethorn Vale, Desolace, Arathi Highlands, Badlands, Tanaris, Feralas, Searing Gorge, Burning Steppes, Felwood, Un'Goro Crater, Western Plaguelands, Eastern Plaguelands, Winterspring.
Leveling talent tree
In every leveling guide for Warlock you’ll read, that in the beginning you want to invest your talents in the Affliction spec tree. You will have Corruption, Siphon Life and few other DoTs. This will allow you to DPS several enemies at the same time.
Most players advise respeccing at level 22 however, because as the game progresses (more stats from lvl and gear) you will run into pet-threat issues. This being said you want to put some more points into Demonology by then. There is more than one leveling guide confirming it, and nothing is more important in efficient leveling than letting your pet pull the aggro and tank.
You come back to Affliction spec after filling key spots in Demonology.
Level 60 - completed build
Leveling guides do not have one-for-all common version of maxing out spells in different spec.However we think this order is the most efficient.
1. First 10 levels - you have a possibility to skill a Summon Imp, Immolate, Corruption, Curse of Agony and Fear. Level 10 being the most important as you will have an access to Imp Drain Soul and Voidwalker.
2. Level 14 - go for rank 2 Corruption, rank 3 Shadow Bolt and Drain Life if you feel like it.
3. Level 18 - skill up Curse of Agony and preferably Create Soulstone (Minor) and Unending Breath.
4. Level 24 - skill Corruption and Drain Soul further up. Take into account skilling Demon Armor, Immolate, Shadow Bolt, Drain Life and Create Healthstone (Lesser).
5. Level 28 - add points into Shadow Bolt and Curse of Agony.
6. Level 34 - add another point into Corruption, and preferably Create Healthstone, Immolate, Drain Life and Demon Armor.
7. Level 40 - get a free mount (Summon Felsteed). You can focus on further upgrading already learnt abilities.
8. Level 42 - you might want a Death Coil if you PvP.
9. Level 44 - continue leveling up Affliction spec spells and Shadow Bolt.
10. Level 48 - upgrade Curse of Agony and Siphon Life.
Further on you will only want to upgrade already known spell and skip others, as you don't need them now.
- try to engage onto mobs of equal or 1/2 level lower than you,
- avoid overkilling. Optimal way of finishing mobs is by using a wand so that you keep resources before next fight,
- keep your food up to date,
- Immolate has the worst mana/damage ratio,
- if you run into mana issues, it’s a sign you are not on point with your rotations.
Leveling stat priority
During gameplay, you will find many pieces of equipment with different stats like Critical chance, Strength, Dodge or others. Depending on what class you pick clearly some will be much more important to you than the others. This is called stat priority. Your character will improve much more drastically by equipping pieces of gear related to his class. Although Warlocks are not too gear dependent and do not have high requirements towards what they wear, it is always good to get better items. They will improve your health, defense, damage and mana and therefore they will also improve your XP rates. There are many stats in the game and we won’t be covering all of them but here is a general list of basic stats and which are most important to Warlock.
Stamina > Intellect > Spirit > Agility > Strength
-Improves your health pool by 10 for every point
-Improves pet’s health pool
-Improves your mana pool by 15 for every point
-Improves Spell Critical Strike chance by 1% for every 60.6 points of intellect
-Improves your mana regeneration rates
Mana begins to regenerate via Spirit only when you have not cast any spells that cost Mana for 5 seconds. This is to referred to as the "Five Second Rule" so when fighting always burn down your rotation quickly and start recovering mana before finishing a fight.
-Improves your chance to dodge by 1% for every 20 points
-Improves your armor rating by 2 for every point
-Improves your melee attack strength by 1 for every point.
When leveling always make sure to look for items with high Spell Damage as it is very important statistic which can greatly improve your leveling experience. Stamina your main basic stat which you want in the highest quantity you can get. It improves your basic survivability and makes your pet even tankier than before. After that put your eyes towards getting more Intelligence which will give you more Mana and Spell Critical Strike Chance. After that additional Spirit is nice to have for better regens (although you should have your Spirit set for that). Agility gives you some bonus defense and Strength is the last stat you should be looking for.
Best Warlock DPS builds
Since Warlock has no targeted heal abilities, neither tank stats, it is quite obvious you want to kill things with this class.
Community throughout the Internet is in a discord about best warlock DPS build. There are vast discussions on pages like Reddit.
Demonic Sacrifice/Ruin is most common spec build for raid purpose. It revolves around summoning Succubus and using Demonic Sacrifice on him. Demonic Sacrifice (DS) is a talent, which gives the Warlock additional stats for every pet sacrificed:
- Imp - Fire damage buff,
- Voidwalker - health regen,
- Succubus - Shadow damage buff,
- Felhunter - mana regen.
Sacrificing Succubus combined with talent Ruin (100% crit chance) from Destruction spec allows Warlocks to unleash insane damage through their primary damage spell - Shadowbolt. It also enhances mana generation from LifeTap. However it is not the best option from the Succubus point of view.
The tree in Talent Calculator should look like this:
In this spec build you sacrifice a little bit of damage for utility. You can have your pet during raiding. Usually it is the Imp due to its Blood Pact ability. A preferred one for PvE, as it’s easier to kill mobs.
Nightfall ability is also worth noting, as it deals great amounts of damage when procced. However it's still less on average than DS Ruin build. This one is better for PvP.
The talent tree should look like this:
Class specific addons
By installing add-ons each player has a chance to improve his gameplay by adding useful features. The first and most important addon that Warlocks can get is an Energy Timer which basically lets you keep a track of Mana ticks as you regenerate. With this, you are able to clearly see what spells you can afford to cast next. During your leveling stages you also want to keep an eye on XP/Hr Tracker to see how much experience are you making. Check some of the locations and choose the best one to be most efficient during leveling and to not waste your own time. Outfitter can be an extremely helpful tool as it lets you switch between sets with just a click. If you are playing caster it is almost necessary since you want to use high Spirit set out of combat to regenerate mana faster. Skada Damage Meter is what every player should use. It shows you and your party members DPS, hps and other useful stats. There are also other useful tools to check out addon sites and download what you might find useful. You may also want to use Drain Soul macro.
Gold Making as Warlock
As for every class, Warlock can benefit from whatever professions he chose. Gathering professions like Herbalism will always give you some money, no matter the class.
However as most Warlocks are picking either Tailoring or Engineering as their main profession, this may be the way to go.
As Warlock has an ability to summon a pet, it allows him to go to battle with mobs and solo clear some of the dungeons for loot. They don’t need someone tanking for them, healers are also redundant. You have a list of doable dungeons right below:
1. Dire maul:
- Mana Remnants and Arcane Aberrations,
- Eldreth Spectre.
- Magister Kalendris,
2. Black rock Depths:
- Lord Incendius,
- Lord Vyletongue,
- Celebras the Cursed,
- Princess Theradrass.
- Tinkerer Gizlock,
4. Sunken Temple:
- Ammal'an the Prophet,
- Baron Char,
- Hederine Slayers,
- Twilight Cultists.
There is a slight chance, like in every MMO, that you will land a deal of your life. You may be able to snipe some dirt cheap stuff to sell them with with profit. Although this method relies more on blind luck than actual skill, it’s always worth a shot.
Generally after some time spent in Azeroth you will be able to determine the average price of certain item. Also different locations offer different items and prices. Buying tradeables in one place and selling them in another may give some profit. However this method revolves around travelling a lot, so we do not recommend it pre level 40, when you have mount. Although it’s a good thing to do as you go.
General Tips for Warlock players
Since Warlock is mana user just like Mage or Priest he share the 5-second rule. By using all the abilities just after pulling mobs you are able to start regenerating your mana much faster. In Vanilla after not casting anything for 5 seconds, you were able to activate mana regeneration from Spirit even when in combat. By doing this you can maximize your mana regen. Just simply burst down every ability you have on your enemy and finish the fight by using a wand and a pet. It is also worth noting that Life Tap doesn’t apply to this rule. You can use this ability while regenerating mana and it won’t affect this process. The reason behind it is that this ability uses health as a resource and not mana.
Another important thing is to use your rotation efficiently. As you buy new ranks of spells your priorities might change. Always check which ones are worth using and which not. Be as mana and exp efficient as you can. Maintain your resources below 100%. Make use of excess mana that you have and push yourself for more experience per hour. If you are running into mana issues you can make more use of Wand auto attacks and prioritize them over Immolate which is the least mana efficient spell until Siphon Life.
-Obey to the 5-second rule
-Use Life Tap even when regenerating
-Soak damage with pets
-Be efficient and spend your resources - cooldowns and mana - keep them regenerating.
This is the end of this guide. We hope that we have brought you some insight into a Warlock class in Vanilla. Remember that everything depends on a point of view. How you decide to play out the class, is entirely up to you.
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