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Blood Pact: Tip-top trinkets

Blood Pact is your weekly warlock digest, brought to you by Dominic Hobbs. "Shinies for the Great Rain Stone! Good! Good! We offer these right away. Lafoo thought of this, yes? He a very smart Rainspeaker." -- High-Oracle Soo-say

Unlike your normal gear items, trinkets offer a little more interaction. Whether they are proc-based and trigger themselves in response to things you do, or on-use and need to be activated, or even just charge themselves up to give a steady buff they normally need some degree of user attention. This makes them something of a personal choice item. There are certainly those that are bad, better or brilliant but choice and playstyle often impacts trinket selection.

Below I've listed out fifteen trinkets that can take a warlock from freshly dinging 80 to the best the game has to offer. They are in a rough DPS benefit order, though that will depend on your other gear, spec and preference to some degree. So lets see what shinies await us.

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Filed under: Warlock, Analysis / Opinion, (Warlock) Blood Pact

Blood Pact: Shattering souls

Blood Pact is your weekly warlock digest, brought to you by Dominic Hobbs. "I sense that you have the potential to become one of the most powerful warlocks of this era." -- Strahad Farsan

Before Wrath of the Lich King, one of the biggest DPS-boosting buffs around was Blessing of Salvation. This buff made you less interesting to mobs and essentially allowed you to do up to 30 percent more damage. It didn't help you do the damage, but it stopped you being so limited by the threat generated by the tank. Warlocks who didn't have a paladin to grant this buff were wise to be very cautious with their Shadow Bolts of massive critability.

These days, the tanks innately generate more threat. As such, the fear of having your damage capped by their threat generation abilities is much reduced. However, it is still possible to be threat-capped and if this happens, then anything that reduces your threat is suddenly your best ally. At level 66, you can learn Soulshatter, an unassuming little ability that sits quietly in your spell book until you really need it.

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Filed under: Warlock, (Warlock) Blood Pact

Ready Check: Zen and the art of precognition

Ready Check focuses on successful raiding for the serious raider. Hardcore or casual, Icecrown Citadel or Ulduar, everyone can get in on the action and down some bosses.

Your regular host, Mr. Michael Gray, is still trying to fight his way out of Tyler's fever dreams, so Ready Check this week has fallen to me. I had to check in the blackened heart and the mage-hate on the way in, so if you want that stuff, you'll have to read Blood Pact.

I toyed with the idea of doing some hardcore theorycrafting post or the like, but instead I want to talk about one of the raiding "soft skills." Hamlet said, "What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason! how infinite in faculty! in form, in moving, how express and admirable! in action how like an angel! in apprehension how like a god!" Today, we look at angelic actions through godlike apprehension.

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Filed under: Raiding, Ready Check (Raiding)

Blood Pact: Warlock professions

Blood Pact is your weekly warlock digest, brought to you by Dominic Hobbs. "The slightest loss of concentration is all it takes." -- Medivh.

Selecting professions for your characters often comes down to a choice of utility; if you have several toons, you may want to make some gather and others be the crafters. If you only have the one character at 80, there is a greater desire to be self-sufficient. Professions are also one of those things that many people feel are a part of their character and help define them almost as much as their class.

If you're uncertain which professions your warlock should take up then this is the place for you, as Blood Pact takes a look at all 14 and considers which are of the most use to the 'lock on the go.

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Filed under: Warlock, Raiding, (Warlock) Blood Pact

Blood Pact: Emblem upgrades


Blood Pact is your weekly warlock digest, brought to you by Dominic Hobbs. "We will never be without power! I have secured our future! Bask in my glory!" -- Gul'dan

I recently turned my attention back to one of my 'locks that I had pretty much stopped playing after Trial of the (Grand) Crusader. This means that his gear isn't bad by any means but that there are quite a few upgrades I can get for him without even having to get him raiding again. Pretty much all of these items come from spending Emblems of Frost.

Emblems of Frost can be collected a number of ways, the easiest being the random heroic. Completing a random Lich King heroic dungeon (using the dungeon finder tool -- /LFD) for the first time each day will earn you two Emblems of Frost, so that's 14 each week. Do note that the random element of this tool is the dungeon; feel free to form your own party before using it. You can also do the weekly raid quest for another 5 emblems. Toravon the Ice Watcher is holding a couple more for you, so if you can kill him on 10- and 25-man modes, then you can bag another four from him. To collect any more in a week you need to raid Icecrown Citadel, where if you clear it and do the ICC quest, you can get up to 60 more. After the break, we'll see what we can spend them on.

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Filed under: Warlock, (Warlock) Blood Pact

Blood Pact: Stones, armor and artistry


Blood Pact is your weekly warlock digest, brought to you by Dominic Hobbs. "You have come a long way to speak with me. But fear not, I know why Gakin has sent you, and he was wise to, for I can help you in your search." -- Takar the Seer

Each week, the voidwalker hauls in the Blood Pact fan mail and dumps it at my desk. Those that don't end up lining the felhound's cage typically get used to fuel the furnaces in the succubus' torture den. Every so often, the imp picks one out and dances round the room reading it aloud, while dodging any spells and other projectiles I hurl in his direction. This week, he snatched up this one from Vincent Quillen.
Hi Mr. Hobbs,
I'm playing my first warlock currently, and it's my first character to make it past lvl 20 after trying six other classes. I'm currently at lvl 65, demonology. I've read all of your articles and they played a big part in feeding my love of the mighty lock.
The reason I write is with an idea for an article. After unlocking fel armor, i began to wonder about the various uses of the two armors and if there were any finer points that I'm missing. Also, the spellstone and firestone. As a demo lock, I expect the 1% perk to be indifferent, and my pet feeds on both stats. Is one beter hands down or are there different times for each?
Also, I've been scouring the internet for how to tell when it's a good time to pop Meta in a raid, but all i can find is people saying that it's "an artform."
Thank you for taking the time to read this, and thank you in advance if you decide to write about these questions.
Fan and loyal reader, Vincent Quillen
After suitably punishing the little snot-ball (he's currently cleaning out Matt Rossi's jock-strap drawer), I decided to indulge the little guy for once. Hell, it saved me coming up with anything else to talk about.

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Filed under: Warlock, Analysis / Opinion, (Warlock) Blood Pact

Blood Pact: Running circles around the Lich King

Blood Pact is your weekly warlock digest, brought to you by Dominic Hobbs. "The breaking of this one has been taxing. The atrocities that I have committed upon his soul. He has resisted for so long, but he will bow down before his king soon." -- The Lich King

It's been a while since Blood Pact had a foray into Icecrown Citadel, but we can't leave without a look at the king. With the increasing faction buff, more and more people are starting to encounter the final fight of the instance, either for the first time or as a hard mode. I'm not about to try and explain the whole fight; your best bet is to watch our strategy video for that. What I aim to do here is to once again look at the encounter through the filter of our spell book, to see how we can get that little bit more from the fight.

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Filed under: Warlock, Raiding, (Warlock) Blood Pact

Blood Pact: Truth, science and flying monsters


Blood Pact is your weekly warlock digest, brought to you by Dominic Hobbs. "We do what we must because we can. For the good of all of us, except the ones who are dead." -- GLaDOS

Last week saw things in the world of WoW.com turn on their heads somewhat, with the Archmage Pants and myself trading columns for a week. A little back story might be in order. I was flicking through the forum for the Cataclysm mage changes ("Know your enemy" -- Sun Tzu) and found a lot of crying about spells being removed. For those who didn't read it, the feeling was that spells like Dampen Magic had "no clear role" in the game. Over 1,000 posts later, Ghostcrawler himself felt it necessary to step in and make a semi-retraction of the phrase to stem the flow of tears.

This experience played right into a hypothesis I have that mages are credulous crybabies. I stress here that this is a hypothesis, a tentative explanation for an observation, little better than a guess. However, these things beg to be tested and elevated to the status of theory. And so a test was performed to study both the credulity and propensity for lacrimation of mages. I put forward that this test was entirely successful in validating the hypothesis and that further such studies should be performed to corroborate -- maybe I should ask someone for a research grant. Either way, I feel that we are well on the way to scientifically proving that mages are indeed credulous crybabies.

This, my fellow warlocks, is how you come about facts. It has nothing to do with simply trusting the assertions of someone claiming a list of "facts" with no proper basis in reality. Especially when that someone is a mage.

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Filed under: Warlock, (Warlock) Blood Pact, Cataclysm

Arcane Brilliance: The end of an era

Arcane Brilliance brought to you today by Dominic Hobbs; soon to be your one-stop source of caster goodies at WoW.com

Welcome, mages, to this most unusual and unexpected issue of Arcane Brilliance. I'm sure many of you have noticed that your beloved Mr. Pants is not here today, and you're wondering what "that warlock guy" is doing writing AB. Well, it seems that Blizz has decided to put an end to the rivalry between mages and warlocks with an audacious change to the make-up of casters within WoW.

No doubt some have already read the blue posts that have made it into the recent Cataclysm class change threads so this post will come as no shock to you -- but for those that have not, my aim today is to not only repeat their words but also try to analyse their impact, as we see it here at WoW.com. So take the jump after the break and we'll learn more about the merging of the mage and warlock classes.

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Filed under: Mage, Humor, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

Cataclysm Class Changes: Warlock analysis

Well, the warlock change teaser post has landed, and we start to move more from pure speculation into analysis of what will be. Sure, everything is still subject to change -- but we're really starting to get details, some meat on the bones. Let's break down the post and see what we've got.

Zarhym - Cataclysm Class Preview - Warlock
New Warlock Spells

Fel Flame (level 81): Quick-hitting spell dealing Shadowfire damage. This is similar to the mage ability Frostfire Bolt, in that the lower of the two resistances (in this case shadow and fire) on your target will be used for calculating its damage. Additionally, Fel Flame refreshes the duration of Immolate and Unstable Affliction. Our goal for Fel Flame is to provide a spell that's good for mobility and for use by Destruction and Demonology specs. Also, did we mention it uses green fire? Yep. Instant cast.

Dark Intent (level 83): Increases the target's chance for a critical effect with periodic damage or healing spells by 3%. When the target lands a crit, you get a buff to your damage for 10 seconds. This effect stacks up to three times.

Demon Soul (level 85): Fuses the warlock's soul with his or her demon. This provides warlocks with a self-burst cooldown to use. The specific effects granted by Demon Soul depend on the demon chosen. Demon Soul lasts for a certain number of charges or until it expires (around 20 seconds), depending on the demon used. 2-minute cooldown.


Well, I must say that my first thoughts were of the reader poll from this magazine cover; I was wondering if I would be seeing Demonic Strudel further down the post. I then got somewhat distracted by the mention of green fire before I settled down to the actual details of what was said.

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Filed under: Warlock, Cataclysm

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