Hand Me Downs: Warlocks

19 Nov

I realize that my Hand Me Downs: A Poor Man’s Heirlooms post was a huge wall of text, so I’ve decided to do a breakdown of it so that it’s more useful to those who want try it out.

To do this, I’m going to do a breakdown of each class and show you which Hand Me Downs (HMD’s) I suggest using for the given class and spec. I was going to combine the Mages and Warlocks into a single post, but I considered that even though they’re both pure DPS classes and both wear the same gear (cloth), they don’t necessarily want the same enchants in every slot. So I’ve split them back up and we’ll move forward from here with the Warlock post.

Most of this information is copied and pasted from the original post, but I’ve put in specifics related to the Warlock class and specs and hopefully given a bit more detail and direction for why I chose what I did.

General Concept
The basic idea of what I call “hand-me-downs” (or HMD’s) is that you’re taking items that can be passed from one toon to the next (so Common, White-quality items) and enhancing them them to make them better. Enhancements that we’re going to talk about here come mostly from the Enchanting profession, though a few may also be found in Blacksmithing (counterweights, sheild spikes, etc), Leatherworking (armor kits), and Engineering (scopes).

The whole point here is to get low level gear that you can pass around to any alts that you ever roll to make them more powerful starting out. As Cynwise and I have proved through experiment in both PvE and PvP at low levels, it isn’t heirlooms that make your character so overpowered, it’s actually the enchants.

So if you’re trying to decide on which class to role, or what to go take one for a test drive for 10 levels or so before deciding whether or not to keep them, this is a great way to get a feel for how the class is going to play for you without putting in investment that’s going to be wasted. Since these items can be passed around due to their lack of binding, it’s not a big deal to roll a character, gain a few levels, scrap them and reroll another, and so on until you find a nice fit.

Obtaining Your HMD Caster Weapons
Arcane Forged Shortsword: 3-6 Damage (1.7 DPS), 2.6 Speed
Mana Gathering Staff: 5-9 Damage (2.1 DPS), 3.20 Speed
Apprentice’s Staff: 3-5 Damage (1.3 DPS), 2.90 Speed
Arcane Forged Dirk: 1-4 Damage (1.7 DPS), 1.60 Speed

The first thing you need to decide when picking your caster weapon(s) is whether you want it to be one-handed or two-handed. The benefit of using a one-hand is that you can also equip off-hand items as you level, such as the books offered from the Inscription profession. The only real “benefit” of using a two-handed item as a HMD instead is that it can often look “cooler”. I like my casters to have a staff even though I know I can usually get better stats overall from a one-hand plus off-hand combo.

The benefit of a staff really is that the staff weapons almost always look cooler than the swords or daggers that you would use for a Mage/Warlock HMD. You lose out on being able to use an off-hand item, and you get nothing in return save for the weapon’s looks. You also need to consider the fact that these enchants usually have a glow effect on them which will make a Dagger look like a lightbulb in your hand (not really, but pretty close). A sword can have a really cool effect with the right enchant, and a staff will have the primary end glow when enchanted. All in all I just tend to lean towards a staff, though a sword tends to look the best when enchanted.

The first option up there, Arcane Forged Shortsword, is the one that I recommend using for your Warlock because it looks cool and because it’s one-handed. Since you’re a caster, it doesn’t make a bit of difference which one you choose as far as damage and speed are concerned, because it’s really just a source of stats for you via the enchant you place on it. I have four different staff weapons in my HMD collection, but I still prefer using the sword or dagger for the ability to make use of my off-hand. Despite my preference for a staff’s look, I’m a min/maxer at heart so I’m suggesting the sword.

Weapon Enchants
Enchant Weapon – Spell Power: +30 Spell Power
Enchant Weapon – Mighty Intellect: +22 Intellect
Enchant Weapon – Healing Power: +29 Spell Power
Enchant 2H Weapon – Major Intellect: +9 Intellect

I’m going to make a slight variation from the Mage here. Warlocks don’t have quite the same mana issues that a Mage or other caster might have, so I lean more towards +30 SP for a Warlock HMD. There’s nothing wrong with +22 Intellect here, I just happen to have a personal preference for the higher SP because I’m a DoT-chuckin’ fool and like to know my loot piñatas are nice and busted when I’m done with them.

If you can’t afford (or find) those top three, then +9 Intellect should be both easy to find and cheap. It’s not nearly as good as the others, but it’s definitely better than nothing and 9 Spell Power and 135 Mana is still of great use to a low level toon.

Obtaining Your HMD Armor
Chest: Haliscan Jacket: 90 Armor
Festival Dress: 13 Armor
Simple Black Dress: 0 Armor
Bracer: Light Cloth Bracers: 9 Armor
Gloves: Light Cloth Gloves: 13 Armor
Feet: Dress Shoes: 9 Armor
Back: Linen Cloak: 12 Armor
*Waist: Light Cloth Belt: 12 Armor
*Legs: Haliscan Pantaloons: 77 Armor
Black Tuxedo Pants: 54 Armor

This is an example of a full gear set that I would suggest for your HMD’s. This particular set can be purchased form the Cloth Armor vendor in the Blood Elf starting zone, but there is a similar armor set that you can purchase in every starting zone that have the same stats.

There are a few armor pieces here that aren’t vendor purchases though, and those are the Chest and Legs. There I have the pieces that are actually above and beyond the norm, and they are all crafted by Tailors. The Haliscan Jacket and Simple Black Dress are both able to be equipped at level 1, but they both have item levels over 35 which means they can be enchanted with recipes from the Burning Crusade expansion where other items cannot. If you can afford one of them, then I suggest you do it. The Haliscan is a shirt rather than a robe, so if you like to look more like a caster then you may prefer to the Dress instead, despite the 90 Armor difference.

The Festival Dress is just a cool looking robe for you to wear at low levels, and since part of using HMD’s is looking cool I’m going to leave it up there. The Simple Black Dress might have a higher item level and be able to get better enchants on it, but it doesn’t look nearly as cool as the Festival Dress.

I marked the Legs and Waist items because neither of those slots can actually be enchanted with anything worthwhile for a low level toon (16 armor from an armor kit is blah). You can get some more armor out of them, but that’s it. I don’t consider it worth my time or my bank space to hold onto those items since they offer so little benefit. If you want a complete “set” of the armor, then go ahead and buy them, but otherwise ignore those two slots.

Chest Enchants
Enchant Chest – Exceptional Stats: +6 All Stats [ilvl 35+]
Enchant Chest – Exceptional Health: +150 Health [ilvl 35+]
Enchant Chest – Greater Stats: +4 All Stats
Enchant Chest – Major Health: +100 Health
Enchant Chest – Major Mana: +100 Mana
Enchant Chest – Stats: +3 All Stats

Another slight deviation from the Mage thread here. I still feel that the +6 Stats is overall the best option for any class because it just offers so much across the board that it’s hard to match, much less beat. However, I’m including the Health enchants for the Warlock because of how the class works.

You have Life Tap to restore your mana by sacrificing your health. If you’re going to play Affliction, then I suggest you go for either +6 Stats or +150 Health, because I find the health much more important than mana. If you’re going to use either Demo or Destro specs, then I suggest you go for Stats first, and then your preference of Health or Mana.

When playing Affliction I turn on my auto-run and circle a portion of the map casting Corruption on everything that lives until they’re all dead. Some of those mobs will catch me while I’m running and try to gnaw on my face, so that extra health is more valuable than mana, especially because Corruption has a super-low mana cost. When doing this, it takes about 12 minutes to level from 1-7 on a Warlock without ever doing a single quest. It takes another 12 minutes to loot everything you killed and sell all the trash, but there’s nothing we can do about that.

Bracer Enchants
Enchant Bracer – Healing Power: +15 Spell Power
Enchant Bracer – Greater Intellect: +7 Intellect
Enchant Bracer – Superior Stamina: +9 Stamina

I personally choose +15 SP for my bracer enchants, but the +7 Intellect enchant is a lot better than it used to be now that Int=SP. You can either have 15 Sp or you can have 7 SP and 105 Mana to go with it. It’s up to you really, I just like to have that extra level of power from the 15 SP for my personal taste. I don’t often run into mana issues on my Mages, but it’s also the class I’m most familiar with leveling and playing, so I know how to work with what I’ve got.

I have included a Stamina enchant here for the same reason I brought the Health enchants to the chest. Warlocks don’t generally have the same mana issues as other casters, so while Int does give SP, more health might be more important to you. It’s last on the list because I don’t feel it’s necessarily the best enchant, and it’s definitely a Warlock-specific HMD since the other cloth wearers are going to favor Int/SP over Stamina.

Glove Enchants
Enchant Gloves – Healing Power: +16 Spell Power
Enchant Gloves – Shadow Power: +20 Shadow Spell Power
Enchant Gloves – Fire Power: +20 Fire Spell Power
Enchant Gloves – Minor Haste: +10 Haste

Casters have a lot of really good options here. The generic enchant of choice is Healing Power for +16 SP to all of your spells, but if you know your’e going to spec for a specific damage type then you can go ahead and grab it instead. If you’re going for a Destruction spec, then get Fire Power, and if you’re going Affliction or Demonology spec then get Shadow Power. At least, I think Shadow > Fire for Demonology, but don’t quote me on that one since I’m primarily Affliction.

If you’re not sure of your spec, then go with Healing Power. Also remember that the purpose of HMD’s is to pass them around on other toons, so they need to be reusable. For that reason, I personally go with +16 Spell Power rather than +20 to a specific type. Both Warlocks and Shadow/Discipline Priests make use of Shadow damage, and Mages and Warlocks both use Fire damage, so you can’t go wrong with either one, but you do lose a little bit of reusability if you don’t go for the generic +16 SP.

The drawback of those top three enchants is that they’re all harder to come by than mots of the other enchants you’ll use for HMD’s because they’re found in old raids. The mats can be a bit pricey on some servers, but they aren’t as bad as some of the others.

The Minor Haste enchant is a very good choice and one I frequently use. For low level casting that 10 Haste equates to about 0.10 seconds off of your cast times. Warlocks actually make good use of Haste at early levels where some of the other classes do not, because the Haste makes your DoT’s tick more frequently. I’m not sure how big of an impact that 10 Haste will give you, but it’s definitely better than nothing.

Boot Enchants
Enchant Boots – Minor Speed: +7% Run Speed
Enchant Boots – Lesser Accuracy: +5 Hit

Casters get the shaft on boot enchants, with nothing really standing out. I lean towards the speed increase for my personal use, but you might prefer the +5 Hit. Run Speed will help you quest and level faster, while Accuracy will help you kill faster, so the choice is yours.

Since I’m often Affliction, I definitely prefer the run speed for a Warlock because it keeps those teeth that much further away from my face and hind quarters which is important. Having your DoT’s miss when you’re spreading them around a large group really sucks though, so the Hit enchant isn’t a bad choice here either.

Caster Cloak Enchants
Enchant Cloak – Subtlety: -2% Threat
Enchant Cloak – Superior Defense: +70 Armor

While the cloak enchants still aren’t outstanding, the threat reduction becomes much better for a Warlock because of your Pet. If you want an extra buffer to help keep agro on your pet, then this enchant is a good way to do it.

The armor enchant is easier to find that the threat enchant though, so you might have to settle for the armor one or do some looking for the threat.

Or, you might choose to ignore a cloak HMD all together like I often do for my casters.


Tags: , ,

3 responses to “Hand Me Downs: Warlocks

  1. Cynwise

    November 19, 2010 at 11:16 AM

    I found the Haste glove enchant to be very, very good for leveling warlocks, especially Destruction. You get all the benefits of Haste’s scaling in later levels (especially with the heirloom trinkets) to Conflag.

    The Shadow vs. Fire debate at low levels is a good one. It’s one of the only real problems I see with Destro under level 20 or so – you don’t have a good nuke to replace Shadow Bolt, so you are left with spells your talents/specialization aren’t buffing as filler. I am trying out Searing Pain as my filler (you know my feelings about Searing Pain) and it’s great, but not so great for running LFD.

    Nicely done!

    • Psynister

      November 19, 2010 at 11:43 AM

      I’ve wondered how well such a small amount of Haste actually performs though. Does 10 Haste really trump 20 SP at that level? I think I’m still behind a bit on my haste knowledge.

      I saw what you mean with the lack of Fire spells for Destro. I tried out the spec for a while and I did do some serious damage with Immolate and…instant-burning-fire-take-my-immo-damage-now spell for which I’ve forgotten the name of. But it just didn’t feel right and talents definitely felt like they were just wrong. It was like being a feral druid with all my points in the resto tree or something.

      Switching back to Affliction was brutal though. I loves me some afflictiony goodness.


Leave Me a Note

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: