Introduction to the Affliction Warlock

Affliction Warlocks excel at sustaining high single-target and multiple-target damage. Most of your damage comes from the application of harmful damage over time effects. This allows them to effectively cleave on targets that are spread around an area, something many specialisations struggle with or are flat out unable to do. 

Affliction is a well rounded specialisation, with more upsides than downsides. It offers good single target damage, extremely strong burst, unrivalled multi-target distant cleave, with a mobility matched only by Beast Mastery Hunters. The only downside Affliction suffers from in this expansion comes from its lack of burst AoE. While its sustained AoE can be actually strong, it requires specific talent choices at the cost of single-target performance.

Below you will find a beginners guide to the Affliction Warlock, you can click on highlighted abilities, for a more in depth description of them.

Strengths and Weaknesses of the Affliction Warlock


  • High single target damage
  • Very strong burst during damage cooldowns
  • High cleave damage


  • Ramp up time for some of its damage
  • Burst damage requires a setup period, where you can be punished by movement


15Nightfall NightfallDrain Soul Drain SoulDeathbolt Deathbolt
30Writhe in Agony Writhe in AgonyAbsolute Corruption Absolute CorruptionSiphon Life Siphon Life
45Demon Skin Demon SkinBurning Rush Burning RushDark Pact Dark Pact
60Sow the Seeds Sow the SeedsPhantom Singularity Phantom SingularityVile Taint Vile Taint
75Darkfury DarkfuryMortal Coil Mortal CoilDemonic Circle Demonic Circle
90Shadow Embrace Shadow EmbraceHaunt Haunt Grimoire of Sacrifice Grimoire of Sacrifice
100Soul Conduit Soul ConduitCreeping Death Creeping DeathDark Soul: Misery Dark Soul: Misery

Rotation of the Affliction Warlock

The basic rotation of the Affliction Warlock is as follows:

  • Use Haunt Icon Haunt whenever available


  • Summon Darkglare IconSummon Darkglare is our main damage cooldown. When summoned, it extends the duration of our DoT effects on all targets by 8.0 seconds. The Darkglare itself lasts 20 seconds and attacks your main target, and deals 10% increased damage per DoT effect active on the target. Darkglare has a 3 minute cooldown
  • Demonic Gateway IconDemonic Gateway creates two points which players can travel between by interacting with. Players may only use the gateway once every 90 seconds
  • Unending Resolve IconUnending Resolve reduces damage taken by 40% for 8 seconds. Additionally, you are also immune to interrupt and silence effects for the duration. Unending Resolve has a baseline cooldown of 3 minutes

Stat Priority

The stat priority for the Affliction Warlock is:

  1. Haste = Mastery
  2. Critical Strike
  3. Versatility
  4. Intellect