Warlock Leveling: 30-49

10 Mar

Continuing on down our path of leveling Warlocks, here we go into the next couple of level brackets. This guide will cover both Affliction and Demonology builds, just as we did with the Warlock Leveling: 1-29 guide. However, unless I decide to dual spec after all, this might be the last time I address Demonology since my personal preference and play style is for Affliction.

Important Spells
Summon Felhunter: (Level 30) Your newest demon, and probably the most useful one you’ll ever have. He can silence casters, he can remove most harmful effects on party members, and he restores his mana as he attacks.

Hellfire: (Level 30) An interesting spell to say the least. Every second this spell blasts the area around you with fire damage, and it deals that damage to you as well. It certainly has its place in fighting groups of mobs and dealing some AoE damage, but I usually suggest it only when you’re protected by your Voidwalker’s Sacrifice spell unless you’ve got a healer with you.

Shadow Ward: (Level 32) It’s not a great spell that you’ll be casting all the time, but during these levels and many of those to follow you’ll run into mobs that deal Shadow damage to you. It’s great for reducing damage when facing those mobs, but otherwise worthless as is the case with all resistance spells.

Create Spellstone: (Level 36) We now get a soulbound temporary weapon buff that increases our DoT damage by 1% and increases our haste by 10, making their damage happen faster. For the price of a single soul shard you get an item with 5 charges that applies those buffs for 1 hour which persists through death.

Howl of Terror: (Level 40) An AoE Fear spell that can hit up to 5 targets within 10 yards. It’s great for saving your butt when you’re surrounded.

Death Coil: (Level 42) An excellent instant cast spell that deals Shadow damage, applies a 3 second Fear effect, and heals you for 300% of the damage it deals. This spell is absolutely full of win.

Leveling Areas: Quests and Instances
Questing Zones
My personal preferences for these levels are Arathi Highlands, Stranglethorn Vale and Alterac Mountains for your 30’s and low 40’s. From there I suggest you move on to Searing Gorge, Tanaris, or one of those zones over in northern Kalimdor that I can’t stand questing in for some reason but which still provide good experience.

For Horde side I know exactly where to level during each bracket, which quests I like to do and which to skip, and at what level to move on to a different zone. I’m not quite there yet for my Alliance toons and I have a hard time right now figuring out where to go for the 30’s in particular. I went with the ones I mentioned above this go around, though I don’t remember for sure what I did with the 80 Mage before her.

Basically the same rules apply here that we had last time; stick to a level appropriate area and look specifically for quests and quest areas that line up with with your play style.

As for instances, you want to hit Scarlet Monastery, of course, as it is still one of the best sources of gear for this level and the gear there usually lasts for 10-20 levels after you get it as well. Warlocks will favor Library and Cathedral for the most part. You will probably end up in a run or two of Uldaman which isn’t bad but not especially good either as most of the good items that drop in there have random attributes.

As you get into your 40’s you want to get into a few runs of Zul’Farrak and Sunken Temple as well. Both of those instances will have potential gear upgrades and the experience from all the mobs in them is really nice as well. As you move up in the 40’s then the big daddy of low-mid level gear drops opens up in Blackrock Depths, which is an amazing instance on so very many levels.

Demonic Domination
At this point with leveling being the goal in mind, there are only two demons that I consider viable. The Voidwalker which we’re already familiar with, and the Felhunter which is our only new demon during this level range.

I suggest you stick with the V-dub until you’re around level 36 or so as you will get more benefit from his tanking abilities in this range than you will from the Felhunter’s utility abilities and buff. You should really take the opportunity to play around with your demons though, to find out which ones really suit you.

Don’t ever feel like you have to stick with a specific demon either. If your VW works great for these melee guys right here, but the Felhunter/Succubus work better for the casters right inside the cave, it’s alright to use the Void outside and then summon the Fel/Suc when you move on into the cave, and then back to the Void on your way out. (You are draining souls from every mob that you kill, right?)

New Tactics: Affliction
Voidwalker Rotation: /petattack, Curse of Agony, Corruption, Life Tap, Drain Life, Drain Soul
Felhound Rotation: (Shadow Bolt/Immolate), Corruption, Curse of Agony, Life Tap, Drain Life/Soul
Screw it I’m a Warlock Rotation: Shadow Bolt, Immolate, Corruption, Life Tap, Drain Life/Soul

The tactics change for us just a little bit during this range, but they’re a change for the better. When you get into your mid-30’s you’ll get enough new spells, talents, or ranks of spells that you can safely drop the VW in most cases to switch over to the Felhunter’s superior DPS, buff, and Devour Magic abilities. Occasionally you’ll stick with the Voidwalker for his Sacrifice ability or even his tanking skills, but generally the pup is the way to go.

At this point you can begin a more aggressive form of Drain Tanking where instead of relying solely on Drain Life to restore your health, you now heal from applying your Corruption spell to targets via Siphon Life. So each time Corruption deals damage, you gain a percentage of that damage as healing, and the more targets that you have Corruption on, the more life you gain.

If you’re using your VW, then you want to generate threat a bit slower so you’ll start with CoA instead of Corruption so that you aren’t as likely to pull threat early on. If you do pull threat then either burn the mob down with Shadow Bolts and drains, or Fear-Drain the target until it’s dead while sicking your VW on another target. You can also use your VW’s Sacrifice ability to bubble yourself and absorb the damage you would take.

If you’re more into the Felpup, then you know he’s not going to hole agro anyway so screw the threat generation and just start killing things. Get Corruption on your targets first so that you have the life flow coming in, then apply CoA for extra damage. From there you can either use your Drains to keep your power supplies topped off, Shadow Bolts for direct damage as well as increased DoT damage from our Shadow Embrace talent.

It’s important to know how much damage you actually deal so that you know which spells you need to cast on them. The reason Shadow Bolt is in parenthesis up there is because you don’t always need it. If the Corr/CoA combination deals enough damage to kill the mobs then just apply the DoTs and move on to the next target. If Corr/CoA doesn’t kill them then you either need to apply another damaging spell (SB/Immo) before your rotation, a Drain (Life or Soul) at the end of your rotation, or you’ll need to use an AoE spell after you’ve pulled a few mobs to finish them all off.

For the “Drain Life/Soul” portion, use whichever one is most needed. If you need life, then go for DL, and if you need mana then go for DS instead. If you need both, then use DL to get the mob down below 10% health and then switch to DS to finish them off and grab the 15% mana restore from our Improved Drain Soul talent.

As for the Screw It I’m a Warlock Rotation, that’s your single target burn sequence. Start with a SB to apply Shadow Embrace, apply Corr/CoA for DoT damage, and then either follow up with a second Shadow Bolt or just burn them down with your drains.

New Tactics: Demonology
Voidwalker Questing: /petattack, Curse of Agony, Corruption, (Health Funnel), Drain Life
Felhound Question: /petattack, Curse of Agony, Corruption, (Fear), Drain Life
Voidwalker Dungeon Soloing: /petattack, Curse of Agony, Corruption, Demonic Empowerment, Health Funnel, Life Tap, Drain Life, Drain Soul

I took Demonology down a path of soloing dungeons, so basic play styles might vary here. If you look back at the Warlock: 1-29 post you can see what I did during most of my questing as Demo, and that all applies here as well.

There is very little difference in how you will play now compared to how you played at a lower level, except that the VW gets stronger and better at holding threat, and your Felhound similarly deals more damage and becomes the bane of all casters’ existence.

If you decide to quest with the Felhound then you’ll need to be a bit more aggressive in killing mobs because the only threat generation the pup has is its damage while you’ll likely be doing more of. A way to get around that to some extent is to go ahead and go through the rotation until you draw agro, then send the pup after a second target while you Fear the existing target and then Drain or Shadow Bolt them to finish them off.

Doing that allows your pup to build up threat on the second target while you finish off the first one, and then you can move back into your rotation on it while replacing Fear+Drain Life with Health Funnel if the cuddly little puppy needs some love.

When you’re soloing instances you move into a much more defensive role. While you still apply your DoTs and Drains to the target, your primary concern is keeping your Voidwalker in charge of holding agro. If you start building up your threat then you either need to back off for a bit, switch your VW’s target around, or go into an aggressive DPS phase and finish them off.

For the most part though, soloing on-level instances is heavily reliant on resource management. You can’t just throw all of your abilities out there and expect it to work. Keeping your VW alive involves using Health Funnel, which generates threat. Keeping your health up in order to use that funnel requires you to use Drain Life which also generates threat. Keeping your mana supply high enough that you can reapply your curses while also taking care of your demon requires you to use Life Tap which, surprise surprise, also generates threat. And having those fights not take twenty minutes or longer requires you to use Corr/CoA to help with the DPS which also generates threat.

During the trash pulls you’ll mostly stick to going through the same motions you would while questing, doing your best to keep the VW in control of the threat. When things get out of hand and you pull something off of him, then you need to switch him to that target to get it back or start burning through your resources to kill the mob(s). You’ll also want to keep your Soul Stone active on yourself at all times because the simple fact of the matter is you never know what might go wrong, and when it does go wrong it generally means you’re dead.

When it comes to bosses you pretty well stick to the same form of combat, keeping your pet up as much as possible while also keeping yourself up. If your threat gets too high and the boss comes after you the first thing you should do is Sacrifice the VW to give yourself a bubble against the damage, and then run towards your demon so that he’s able to get threat back faster instead of having to run after the boss doing nothing until he’s pounding on you.

After that you’ll either need to heal yourself or heal your pet, so Drain Life and Health Funnel are your friends. Just don’t get too carried away or get too anxious and generate more threat than your pet can take back from you. If you see that your threat is going up then stop applying the DoTs and just focus on Drain/Funnel to keep your team alive, and then step it back up again once your threat has dropped down to a safer level.

Talent Points and Glyphs: Affliction

At level 30 we pick up the key to Affliction Drain Tanking, and it just gets better the farther we go down the tree.

Siphon Life 1/1: When you deal damage with your Corruption spell, you are instantly healed for % of the damage done. In addition, the damage done by your Corruption, Seed of Corruption, and Unstable Affliction damage over time effects is increased by 5%.

Shadow Embrace 4/5: Your Shadow Bolt and Haunt spells apply the SHadow Embrace effect, increasing all shadow periodic damage dealt to the target by you by 4%, and reduces all periodic healing done to the target by 8%. Lasts for 12 sec. Stacks up to 3 times.

Shadow Mastery 5/5: Increases the damage dealt or life drained by your Shadow spells and your Felhunter’s Shadow Bite ability by 15%.

Dark Pact 1/1: [Instant Cast] Drains 1200 of your summoned demon’s Mana, returning 100% to you.

Contagion 5/5: Increases the damage of Curse of Agony, Corruption and Seed of Corruption by 5% and reduces the chance your helpful Affliction spells and damage over time effects will be dispelled by an additional 30%.

Improved Felhunter 2/2: Your Felhunter regains 8% of its maximum mana each time it hits with its Shadow Bite ability and the cooldown of that ability is reduced by 4 sec. In addition, increases the effect of your Felhunter’s Fel Intelligence by 10%.

Malediction 3/3: Increases your spell damage by 3%, and increases the periodic critical strike chance of your Corruption and Unstable Affliction spells by 9%.

As I mentioned above, Siphon Life is the key to serious drain tanking with a Warlock, and it’s how you go from being a defensive player to an offensive one. The more people you DoT with Corruption, the more health you get back. Shadow Embrace will get finished off later, but for right now we just want to increase our damage with the side benefit of reducing the target’s healing. Notice that it doesn’t kick into effect unless you’re casting Shadown Bolts (no Haunt yet), so it will mainly only come into effect during bosses or when Nightfall procs for instant Shadowbolts.

Shadow Mastery again is taken for an increase in our damage, as is Contagion. Dark Pact gives us a backup ability to Life Tap, allowing us to steal mana from our pets rather than constantly sacrificing our health. Improved Felhunter is there for just that, making him better. It also has the side benefit of restoring his mana when he attacks which keeps his supply high for when we’re using Dark Pact.

Malediction only provides us with an increase to spell power right now since we don’t have the talents yet to allow Corruption to crit, but we will have that ability in two more levels.

Malediction and Shadow Embrace are the two talents you can swap points to other locations for if you would like since their effects are more situation or do not come into play yet in this level range. If you want to replace Shadow Embrace I would suggest Suppression 3/3 for an extra 3% Hit along with 6% reduced mana cost for your Affliction spells and Amplify Curse 1/1 for a Haste buff to your curses which will make applying both Curse of Agony and Corruption on the same target much faster.

If you want to wait for Malediction then I suggest Improved Howl of Terror 2/2 instead which will make your 5-target Fear spell an instant cast which can be a true life saver when things are getting ugly and you need a few seconds to recover.


Glyph of Siphon Life: Increases the healing you receive from your Siphon Life talent by 25%.

Glyph of Corruption: Your Corruption spell has a 4% chance to cause you to enter a Shadow Trance state after damaging the opponent. The Shadow Trance state reduces the casting time of your next Shadow Bolt spell by 100%.

Glyph of Life Tap: When you use Life Tap or Dark Pact, you gain 20% of your Spirit as spell power for 40 seconds.

Glyph of Siphon Life is the new arrival for this level bracket, providing an additional 25% healing from Siphon Life. The more mobs you fight at once the more applications of Corruption you can have running, and the more life you are able to gain.

Glyph of Corruption starts to shine even more now if you did go ahead with the Shadow Embrace talent, giving you now two chances to proc instant Shadow Bolts. If you took Shadow Embrace then I suggest this as your second glyph, but if you did not then I would lean towards Life Tap instead.

Glyph of Life Tap is going to increase your DPS a bit when you use it by adding Spell Power based on your Spirit. It’s not going to be a huge bonus at this level, but it will later on. I still haven’t used it yet myself, but I probably will soon since I’m now in Outlands myself.

Glyph of Unending Breath: Increases the swim speed of targets affected by your Unending Breath spell by 20%.

Glyph of Drain Soul: Your Drain Soul ability occasionally creates and additional soul shard.

No change here with the minor glyphs, with my personal preference being for GoUB over GoDS.

Talent Points and Glyphs: Demonology

The “big” spell for Demonology at level 30 is Mana Feed which will give your pet mana when you receive mana as well. In the build that I had previously you won’t get it at level 30 which is the soonest possible, unless you put 5 points into Unholy Power before putting the 2 into Master Summoner that I mentioned in the last post. If you want to switch those around that’s up to you, personally I prefer having an instant pet first which is why I went the path that I did.

Unholy Power +3, 5/5: Increases the damage done by your Voidwalker, Succubus, Felhunter and Felguard’s melee attacks and your Imp’s Firebolt by 20%.

Mana Feed 1/1: When you gain mana from Drain Mana or Life Tap spells, your summoned demon gains 100% of the mana you gain.

Demonic Aegis 2/3: Increases the effectiveness of your Demon Armor and Fel Armor spells by 20%.

Master Demonologist 5/5: Grants both the Warlock and their demon an effect as long as the demon is active.
– Imp: Increases Fire damage by 5%, and increases the critical effect chance of your Fire spells by 5%.
– Voidwalker: Reduces Physical damage taken by 10%.
– Succubus: Increases your Shadow damage by 5%, and increases the critical effect chance of your Shadow spells by 5%.
– Felhunter: Reduces all spell damage taken by 10%
– Felguard: Increases all damage done by 5%, and reduces all damage taken by 5%.

Demonic Empowerment 1/1: [Instant cast] Grants the Warlock’s summoned demon Empowerment.
– Imp: Increases the Imp’s spell critical strike chance by 20% for 30 sec.
– Voidwalker: Increases the VW’s health by 20%, and its threat generated from spells and attacks by 20% for 20 sec.
– Succubus: Instantly vanishes, causing the Succubus to go into an improved Invisibility state. The vanish effect removes all stuns, snares and movement impairing effects from the Succubus.
– Felhunter: Dispels all magical effects from the Felhunter.
– Felguard: Increases the Felguard’s attack speed by 20% and breaks all stun, snare and movement impairing effects and makes your Felguard immun to them for 15 sec.

Demonic Knowledge 3/3: Increases your spell damage by an amount equal to 12% of the total of your active demon’s Stamina plus Intellect.

Demonic Resilience 1/3: Reduces the chance you’ll be critically hit by melee and spells by 1% and reduces all damage your summoned demon takes by 5%.

Demonic Tactics 5/5: Increases melee and spell critical strike chance for you and your summoned demon by 10%.


Glyph of Voidwalker: Increases your Voidwalker’s total Stamina by 20%.

Glyph of Health Funnel: Reduces the pushback suffered from damaging attacks while channeling your Health Funnel spell by 100%.

Not much has changed in relation to our glyphs, so for Demo I suggest you stick where you’re at for right now and be ready for the Felguard to hit next level instead.

Glyph of Unending Breath: Increases the swim speed of targets affected by your Unending Breath spell by 20%.

Glyph of Drain Soul: Your Drain Soul ability occasionally creates and additional soul shard.

Again we have no change in minor glyphs.

Gearing Up
As we continue to gain levels our preference on stats begins to shift now as I mentioned it would. We now shift into this position instead:

Spell Power > Stamina > Hit Rating > Intellect > Spirit > everything else

Affliction will feel the need for Hit a bit more than Demo, but both specs should be going for it when it’s available.

Putting It Into Action
And since there have been a few requests for more of my fabulous artwork to be included, here’s one depicting the use of Siphon Soul for those of who enjoy Affliction:

And for those who instead prefer to unleash the Fel beasts upon your enemies, I give you Demon Soloing:


Posted by on March 10, 2010 in Class, Guide, Leveling, Warlock


Tags: ,

2 responses to “Warlock Leveling: 30-49

  1. crankyhealer

    March 10, 2010 at 12:33 PM

    Love the MSPaint!


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