Affliction Locks, 5.0.4

Tranquility's picture

While Demo and Destro got brand new secondaray resources, Affliction still uses Soul Shards as their spec mechanic. They function pretty much the same way - Soulburn to unlock a bonus mechanic on some spells, with Haunt costing one just to cast, but now being a nuke with no cooldown. The main change is the way we get them, and the list of spells you can burn one on, not to mention they float above your head now and look awesome.

Demon Summons - Instant cast, same as always

Drain / Harvest Life - +50 / 33% healing rather than double speed

Health Funnel - Instant transfer, but doesn't work when upgraded to Soul Link

Curses - Sort of like Jinx, but it directly applies it to every target hit, no more primary curse target.

Seed of Corruption - AOE Corruption, same as always

Unending Breath - Waterwalking

Soul Swap - The big one - it drops all three DoTs on a target instantly.


Some spells have been changed entirely. Dark Intent, Curse of Agony, Haunt, Shadow Bolt, and Drain Soul are what affect us primarily. DI was switched to a +10% spell power boost for the entire raid, no more dot critting mechanic. Curse of Agony is now just Agony, and while it does ramp up its damage over time still, the way it does so is completely different - rather than a linear progression, every time it deals damage the target gets a stack of Agony, up to 10, and it does damage based on those. Haunt isn't a DoT anymore, and it burns a soul shard just to cast, but it has no cooldown and still boosts DoT damage while being a decently hard hitting nuke.  Shadow Bolt morphs into Malefic Grasp for Affliction, which is a channelled spell that forces all of your other dots to tick for half normal damage whenever it does. Drain Soul ticks much faster now, for a fair bit less damage, and gives you a Soul Shard every two ticks. While the target is under 20%, it still executes for double damage now, but also forces your other dots to tick for full damage every time it does.

The basic rotation now, with that in mind, is to keep your dots up, Haunt when you have two or more shards and the effect is about to end, and otherwise Channel Malefic Grasp to 20%, and Drain Soul after that. In an AOE situation, Soul Burn for Seed of Corruption and Curse of the Elements, while dropping SoC afterwards just like normal.

Optimal talents are Harvest Life, Mortal Coil, Soul Link, Burning Rush, and Grimoire of Sacrifice. With these, Drain Life morphs into a stronger targetted AOE, that drains off everything near your channel target. Mortal Coil is basically a remake of Death Coil, instant cast fear with a 15% max health return now. Soul Link has changed to be a full 50% shared healing and damage link with your demon, but it cuts the pet's max health by half. Burning Rush is a toggle that drains 4% max HP a second for 50% bonus move speed. Grimoire of Sacrifice is where the real change enters into effect - it kills your demon, boosting Malefic Grasp, Haunt, and Drain Soul's damage by a lovely 50%, giving you passive health regen, and morphing your Command Demon skill into a self-supplied spell depending on what demon you killed. On top of that, it alters the function of Soul Link - if you have the talent, Sacrifice gives you a flat 20% health bonus on top of everything else.

Imp - Singe Magic

Void Walker - Shadow Bulwark

Succubus - Seduction

Fel Hunter - Spell Lock

Fel Guard - Pursuit


This makes it a choice on your part as to what utility you want to have. Being Affliction we can't actually get the Fel Guard ability, but the others are free. Singe is a friendly magic Dispel, while Bulwark is a Last Stand copy. Seduction is the same as always, but seems as though it's no longer channelled, letting you CC something without losing your casting ability. Spell Lock is an interrupt. Personally I've been going with the fel hunter sacrifice because having an interrupt is very nice, but in a fight you could always Soul Burn summon and sacrifice another demon to switch.


Glyphs are fairly simple for Affliction. Soul Shards and Dark Soul are the main ones, with an open slot for whatever else you want. I'd active encourage the Soul Well minor one though, because it puts a very large and visible light pattern on the ground around the well, making it very easy to see.

Afflic overview

Xyro's picture

I've yet to get in and play with Xyro since 5.0.4...I'm scared. But I'm just trying to wrap my mind around all they did to everyone. I found this website for Affliction locks.

It gives a nice overview of talents, what's new, rotations, etc. I'm not sure how up to date/out of date it is. But with minimal searching it's what I've come up with. I found the link through an EJ post, so it can't be half bad.

My thoughts on Afflic AoE/Single

Xyro's picture

Tranq, when everyone got revamped in Cataclysm, the spell formerly known as Curse of Agony, was changed to Bane of Agony, same shit different smell. But this allowed you to have Agony up and a Curse of your choice. Now it's just Agony, because well Blizzard.

One thing you did forget to mention in your post is, now that Afflic Locks DON'T have the Jinx ability anymore (Which turned our Curse of Elements into an AoE), your going to have to individually cast your Curses on each target. I personally have always used Curse of the Elements (4,000 mana), because who doesn't like 5% extra magic damage for 5 min on their target? If there's multiple locks in the raid/group, then each can take one thats more situational...

Cure of Enfeeblement (4,000 mana) - (Previously Curse of Weakness), that reduces physical damage dealt by 20% and cast time by 50% for 30 sec. (The tooltip says less effective in dungeons/ how much? That's anyones guess.)

Curse of Exhaustion (2,000 mana) - Reduces targets movement speed by 30% for 30 sec. (Can be glyph'd to 70%, but only lasts 15 sec w/a 10 sec CD)

Yes Soulburn will allow it to effect targets in a 15 yard radius, but that shard should be used on Haunt, not a small AoE dam buff. Of course that's single target. In an heavy AoE situation MAYBE Soulburning for CoE may be helpful, but in a heavy AoE situation I think utilizing Soulburn in a different way to spread DoTs would be more effective.

I just tested out new rotations on the 4 lvl 85 dummies on the gate entering The Valley of Honor, here's what I did.

Sacraficed my Fel Hunter, popped both Dark Soul (Spell Haste increased by 27% for for 20 sec w/a 2 min CD. With the glyph I gain 3% SpHa while it's on CD) and Blood Fury (Orc Racial grants 672 SP for 15 sec) and recast them when they're off CD.

Target 1 - CoE (Curse of Elements), Soulburn, Soul Swap, Haunt

Target 2 - Macro Spam (Which consists of CoE, Agony, Corruption, UA (Unstable Affliction)

Target 3 - Macro Spam

Target 4 - Macro Spam

From there it's time for what an Affliction lock does best, micro manage and DoT upkeep. From last week (with no gear upgrades) my DPS has increased from peaking around 28.5k dps to peaking at 34.5k dps, with an average hovering around the mid 33k range. I went for a little longer than 5 min, because I refreshed my CoE once on each target.

What I noticed in a heavy multi-target situation (mind you this is on dummies, who don't die or drop to 20% health). Is that there's is NO time for our filler Malefic Grasp, your constantly keeping DoTs up and using Haunt when your Corruption procs to give you a free SS. This proc happened quite often with 4 targets, to where I was casting Haunt every few seconds. The two most important DoTs to keep up in situations like this are Corruption (For SS/Haunt procs) and Agony, it's even more imporant to not let Agony fall off, since when it hit's it 10 stacks, it's at max damage. Refreshing Agony doesn't reset it's stacks...but if it drops does.

I also did just do a true AoE test on the same four dummies. I used Soulburn w/Seed of Corruption, while trying to maintain Agony and UA as effectively as possible. While it's nice quick on burst (Quick to get to around 30k, but that's where it stops), you really have no time for Haunt, but the SSs keep on coming, that's for sure. Something I noticed though...and I'm not sure when they changed it, is you can now have Corruption and SoC on the same target. I never used SoC often, but I know in the past, one would cancel the other out.

Single target though, I feel Afflic is lacking atm...that or I need to manage my DoT/Cast times better, currently my Castbar mod isn't working. Since doing away with Haunt as a fourth DoT to juggle, the rotation for Afflic is mind numbling boring. Not to mention the only thing to use SSs for is Haunt.

Unlike multi-target DoTing, where SSs are coming in every so many seconds, SS intake with single target, is extremely slow, since all that generates new SSs (While the target is above 20% health) is your Corruption, which gives a 5% chance to renew a SS. This makes Haunt seem very under utilized. From last week, when I was hitting a single target dummy have noticed roughly a 4k drop in DPS. Where I was hitting close to 30k (28-29k respectively), I'm having trouble breaking 25k now. I may have to reprioritise some stats, but so far the first impression on Afflic single target don't have me impressed, time will tell.

The Major Glyphs I'm using are Soul Shards, Soul Swap and Dark Soul. Minors are pretty much cosmetic now, the only one's that have any benefit are minimal:

Health Funnel - Now an instant 15% health to pet w/a CD.

Unending Breathing - Same as before, grants 20% swim speed on top of water breathing.

Enslave Demon - Cast time reduced by 50%.

Eye of Kilrogg - The Eye is no longer stealth'd, but it can cast your Demon Circle for you. Movement speed increased by 50% and can fly where permitted. (I can see this being nice for PvP).

Honestly Demonology seems like their Minors can be of some use for combat, know...Demonology...

Personally, I'm using the Soul Well glyph, which makes the well look spiffy. Verdant Spheres, which turns the Afflic hovering Soul Shards into green balls of fire. Last but not least, probably my favorite...Nightmares, which allows the Warlocks Felsteed/Dreadsteed to walk on water and spits out a trail of orange flames while doing so.

I'm going to play with some stats for single target Afflic and run him through LFR to try and get a better idea of where my single target dps stands. For once, I may seriously consider Destruc/Demo for a single target dps spec. But who also knows what nerfs and buffs lie in store for everyone. Not to mention the slew of nerfs/buffs when every hits lvl 90, gets appropriate gear and Blizz has some real numbers to crunch.


Tranquility's picture

Jinx was sort of removed. If you Soulburn a Curse, it turns AOE and puts it on everything. So you don't have to worry about the cursed target dying and the Jinx affect ending, it puts the full curse on everything. Sure it costs a shard, but there's not much else to spend it on. Soulburn CoE, Soulburn SoC, Harvest Life spam.

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