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Posts with tag Improved-Shadow-Bolt

Blood Pact: Patch 3.3.3 raid build roundup

Each week Dominic Hobbs brings you Blood Pact. "Ah, a most excellent recovery. The blood will suppress the Doomguard's magical defenses" ~ Daio the Decrepit

It's been a few months since we did a roundup of the raiding builds and how the current game mechanics impact their relative DPS. With the patch 3.3.3 changes becoming public there are a couple of interesting warlock changes that are worth having a closer look at. Back in November with the coming of patch 3.3 we saw destruction lose its crown as "the best by far." Before then it was simply hard to justify any other spec unless you were giving the Demonic Pact buff to the raid, and doing so came at a personal DPS cost, so wasn't very popular.

While we've been raiding Icecrown Citadel affliction and destruction have been pretty even in their competitiveness, with demonology still trailing along behind like a wheezy fat-kid -- you still want him with you cos he has all the sweeties, but he's not one of the cool-gang. Well, times are a-changin', that kid is growing up into a real power-house.

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

Blood Pact: The hidden power of demonology


Each week Dominic Hobbs brings you Blood Pact, the sacred text of summoners, the mantra on the malicious, the effusion of evil and sometimes the diatribe of the diabolical. Sit back in your skull-carved chairs, pop your feet up on the imp, and settle in for this week's installment.
"Drawing deep on the power delivered by my demon slave, I hold it in until it fills me completely. I can feel the power wanting to sear my flesh to ash, fire like a thousand suns. More power than I could possibly wield alone, yet too sweet to let go. Before it consumes me I let it flow to those I fight with, torn as if it were my flesh. I know well it will push them further towards achieving my goals."
As a pure DPS class we warlocks have one main measure of performance; the damage meter. If we can't perform well there then our place in a group comes into question. Sure, there are times when our big health pools and bigger incoming heals earn us the job of spell-catcher but those jobs are few and far between. Generally with each patch we're looking for the build that maximises our DPS. In Karazhan it was affliction. Somewhere in tier five it became destruction. Wrath made it all a lot more even but flipped it back to affliction and tier eight flopped it to destruction once more. Poor old demonology doesn't seem to get much of a look-in for PvE... or does it?

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

Patch 3.0.2 primer for Warlocks part III

Destruction
Long considered the most efficient raiding spec throughout the Burning Crusade, Destruction will get a run for its money with the new and improved Affliction. It also remains to be seen if Blizzard's efforts at steering the spec clear of mindless Shadow Bolt spamming will prove successful. Certainly, there's more emphasis on Fire spells this time around, which we'll see deeper into the tree. If you do spec deep Destruction, do tell me how it goes. Send me a postcard from Naxxramas.

Change is felt right off on the first tier as the popular Bane is moved up here. It's exactly the same, so getting it a tier earlier is a definite buff. Improved Shadow Bolt is unchanged, but I'd hold off on putting points here. Unless you're determined to pursue a Shadow Bolt spam spec, there're a good bunch of talents deeper in the tree to spend your points on.

Cataclysm swapped places with Bane but was buffed in a sense because it now just costs 3 points for a 3% cost reduction but now grants crucial +Hit. We'll need it as we level up and re-gear in Northrend. Three points here is mandatory. In more point-saving generosity, Aftermath was reduced to a 2-point talent for the same effect. Does it make the talent any better? No, it still sucks. But now it sucks for three points less.

On tier two we also see Molten Core, a new talent introduced to mix things up a little for Destruction. Molten Core encourages the use of DoTs, which are likely to proc it more than Shadow Bolts. This is great talent for Destruction Warlocks looking to specialize in Fire spells, as well as low enough in the tree for other specs such as Demonology, to pick up. If we want to diversify our play style, we should put three points here.

If you're only branching out to Destruction from another tree, you might be faced with the decision of choosing between tier three's Shadowburn and a 51-point talent. I'll say it right off that you should skip Shadowburn. On the other hand, if you're moving deeper into Destruction, pick it up because you'll be sure to find a use for it. Five points in the more accessible Ruin is mandatory, as well. We can skip Demonic Power, which is essentially Improved Lash of Pain and Improved Firebolt rolled together. [EDIT: Sephirah correctly reminds me that Demonic Power ups DPS directly because we're going to have our Imp attack, anyway. So, score some points for Demonic Power!]

The unchanged Destructive Reach on tier four is mandatory while the other talents are completely optional. If we're looking to PvP as Destruction -- why not? -- we should pick up Intensity not just for the pushback protection but because it's a prerequisite for a stun effect. We'll save points by skipping Improved Searing Pain. No, really. We're going to skip it.

Devastation was moved to tier five, swapping places with Ruin. Now it's one talent point for a 5% crit, which is one of the best single point investments we can make in any tree. We'll also want to get Improved Immolate because aside from the fact that it's been buffed from 25% to 30% for two talent points less, we'll need it to get something really cool deeper in the tree. Besides, Blizzard really wants us to use Immolate. Pyroclasm is entirely optional, even for PvP considering the only spell we'll really use that can proc it is Conflagrate.

We want Emberstorm. It's that simple. 10% more damage from Fire spells and a faster Incinerate is sweet. Also on tier six is the reworked Nether Protection, which now procs off any spell. It no longer grants immunity, but a damage reduction from any school. In some ways it's a buff since it can protect against Frost or Holy, for example, but it also no longer confers immunities to Silence or other Shadow spells (which probably wasn't intended to begin with). Unless we want more mitigation in PvP, we can skip that.

Tier seven is where it begins to get a bit tight. We want Conflagrate, since it's an excellent one point investment. If we're raiding, we can actually skip Soul Leech since we really should be healed, anyway. If we solo or PvP, it's a great talent to have. It also opens up opportunities for our pet on the next tier. Backlash is another PvP talent for those time when Rogues or Warriors are being mean to us, but because there's a 3% crit bonus, I'd say we pick it up.

Up next is Shadow and Flame in tier eight, which we'll max out because it scales Shadow Bolt insanely and tempt us to just spam the thing. Fortunately it also affects Chaos Bolt and Incinerate, so we may steer clear of the evil path of mindless Shadow Bolt spam. Since we skipped Soul Leech, we're obviously locked out from Improved Soul Leech. But feel free to pick it up for pet loving if you have points to spare.

On tier nine, I'm skipping Shadowfury only because we've been moving away from PvP-centric talents in this post. I know, I know, some of you insist that Shadowfury is awesome for PvE, so you can very well spend that talent point there. It's just one point, anyway. What I'm really interested in is Backdraft. Didn't I say Improved Immolate would lead to something cool? Well this is it. It's a mini-Bloodlust or Heroism for three spells. Because Destruction is all about cast times, 30% haste is gold.

Then we get Empowered Imp on the same tier. Check out that icon. That's one badass Imp. If little Rupjub crits, I crit. Well, almost. I get 20% more crit on my next spell, which is pretty darned good. The idea is to get the Imp into the action by spending talents to make it hit hard enough. He'll crit eventually. Here's where we can revisit Improved Soul Leech to keep the little guy topped up. See, I told you to hold off on getting Improved Shadow Bolt.

If you find spamming direct damage spells a little mind numbing, you can invest some points into Fire and Brimstone. Didn't I tell you that Blizzard wants us to use Immolate? Well, here you go. Immolate will hit hard with this talent. The cool -- or uncool, depending on how you look at it -- is having to watch Immolate's duration hit the 5 second mark before throwing out a Conflagrate. Yes, I know this screws our timing up, but someone's bound to make an AddOn to tell us when to cast Conflagrate. Right? Anyone? Bueller?

And then there's Chaos Bolt. It's a 51-point spell on a 12 second timer. Sure, it pierces through absorption effects and all that stuff... but 12 seconds? I mean, I can't kill a Pally with it anymore and I can only cast it every 12 seconds. Well, we're getting it anyway. We've gotten this deep, right? Besides, it deals whopper damage and it's great for teaching those Shadow Cloaked Rogues a lesson. It's a pretty decent one point investment and can do wonders once we figure out how to work it into our newly confusing and complex (but fun!) rotations.

Well, that's the last of our Warlock talents primer for 3.0.2. I hope that helped you decide which direction you want to take your Warlock when the realms go up. I'm leaning towards a hybrid myself, but Haunt is so deliciously sexy...

Zach helps guide you through the changes in 3.0.2, so you can be enthralled in all the demonic love Blizzard's thrown together. Check out other 3.0.2 Talent Guides, too, as well as everything about the so-called Echoes of Doom.

Filed under: Warlock, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Guides, Talents, Wrath of the Lich King

Warlock changes in Beta build 8982


Mostly good things for Warlocks today. Well, since yesterday, I mean. In the latest Beta build, Haunt has been thankfully buffed to heal you for 200% of the damage it did, up from a measly 20%. This is massive. Did I say massive? I mean gargantuan. Godzilla-like. This is the pure awesome that you can only ask for in Beta. Except... it actually doesn't heal for 200%. In fact, I think it still heals for 20%. Koraa has popped over to the Warlock Beta forums to say a couple of things about this: one, that "it should be more than 20%" and two, that they'll fix it. That should be comforting. Although it's Koraa talking, so... light your Doomsday Candles now and start chanting.

Metamorphosis cooldown has been reduced to 3 minutes instead of 5, which feels a little more useful. Although to balance this out, it lasts 30 seconds (down from 45) and increases damage by 20% instead of 40%. It's a nerf to total DPS, but still not a bad change, as a shorter cooldown allows more flexibility in the use of the ability. The real problem with Metamorphosis right now is that the demon abilities are just... all wrong. Demon form actually merits it's own post, so I'll write about that some other time, but I'll leave you with this one to chew on: Challenging Howl. Yeah, just in case you're one of those cuckoohead Warlocks who've always dreamed of tanking, you've got your wish. You weirdo.

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Filed under: Warlock, Analysis / Opinion, Talents, Wrath of the Lich King

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