Warlock

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Warlock
Warlock
Warlock Crest.png
Available to
Specializations

Affliction Affliction (ranged DPS)
Demonology Demonology (ranged DPS)
Destruction Destruction (ranged DPS)

Resource(s)

Primary: Mana
Secondary: Soul Shards

Primary attribute
Weapon skills

Staff, Wand, Dagger, One-handed Sword and held in off-hand items excluding shields and weapons

Armor type
Signature abilities
Classes Deathknight Demon hunter Druid Hunter Mage Monk Paladin Priest Rogue Shaman Warlock Warrior
Starting a DK DH Dr Hu Ma Mo Pa Pr Ro Sh Wl Wr
Tactics DK DH Dr Hu Ma Mo Pa Pr Ro Sh Wl Wr
Class races DK DH Dr Hu Ma Mo Pa Pr Ro Sh Wl Wr
Quests DK DH Dr Hu Ma Mo Pa Pr Ro Sh Wl Wr
Abilities DK DH Dr Hu Ma Mo Pa Pr Ro Sh Wl Wr
Trainers DK DH Dr Hu Ma Mo Pa Pr Ro Sh Wl Wr
Armor sets DK DH Dr Hu Ma Mo Pa Pr Ro Sh Wl Wr
Useful macros DK DH Dr Hu Ma Mo Pa Pr Ro Sh Wl Wr
Class Halls DK DH Dr Hu Ma Mo Pa Pr Ro Sh Wl Wr
Behold those who have power, and who are not afraid to wield it. Behold... the warlocks!
Gul'dan[1]

The warlock is a damage-dealing spell-caster class, known for their wide range of debuffs and damage over time effects. Warlocks are also recognisable by their demonic minions, used to deal damage to foes, as well as to provide both offensive and defensive utility.

Warlocks are magical practitioners that seek to understand darker, fel-based magics, including destructive spells. While many warlocks willingly follow the Burning Legion, there are those who work against it, using their magic to fight against evil. Warlocks have proven themselves to be powerful allies - as well as powerful foes.[2]

Warlocks have a number of crowd control options, and a wide range of utility spells, which can be used to benefit the entire group. Warlocks also have an interesting relationship with health, capable of converting their health into mana, sacrificing their minions to save themselves, and even trading their own blood in exchange for powerful effects, and possess numerous dark methods for restoring their health, including draining the life from their enemies, and bringing themselves or their allies back from the dead through Soulstones. Warlocks are mana users, but can also harvest the souls of their enemies to summon their demonic companions and cast devastating spells.

Warlocks are renowned for their damage over time (DoT) spells and sinister Shadow magic, as well for summoning demonic minions and their ability to wreak havoc with destructive Fire spells. Warlocks can specialize in any of these areas: Affliction warlocks are the masters of damage over time, draining their targets' health with an array of powerful debuffs; Demonology warlocks summon and empower more powerful versions of various demons to do their bidding; while Destruction warlocks call down a rain of fire upon their enemies, specializing in potent burst damage and fire spells.

Being a warlock demands certain things: being able to engage multiple targets simultaneously while keeping tabs on your minion, to make split-second strategic decisions on cast rotations depending on the situation, and careful resource and cooldown management. Being a warlock also offers many rewards: they are PvP powerhouses due to their powerful burst and sustained damage abilities, and in PvE their damage output is solid in both single and multiple target situations.

Class overview

In the face of demonic power, most heroes see death. Warlocks see only opportunity. Dominance is their aim, and they have found a path to it in the dark arts. These voracious spellcasters summon demonic minions to fight beside them. At first, they command only the service of imps, but as a warlock’s knowledge grows, seductive succubi, loyal voidwalkers, and horrific felhunters join the dark sorcerer’s ranks to wreak havoc on anyone who stands in their master’s way. Warlocks can ignite distant enemies in searing flame, send them fleeing in terror and pain, or afflict them with corrupting diseases and curses that steal the victim’s vitality.

These practitioners of the profane are feared across Azeroth, and many who have felt their wrath now prefer to fight alongside a warlock than against one.

Warlocks burn and destroy weakened foes with a combination of crippling illnesses and dark magic. While their demon pets protect and enhance them, warlocks strike at their enemies from a distance. As physically weak spellcasters bereft of heavy armor, cunning warlocks allow their minions to take the brunt of enemy attacks in order to save their own skin.[3]

Warlocks are the most volatile and insatiable of spellcasters. Though they often pledge themselves to the service of noble causes and are not innately evil, their desire to understand darker magics and exercise unwavering command over demonic forces breeds mistrust among even their closest allies. Warlocks peer into the Void without hesitation, leveraging the chaos they glimpse within to devastating ends in battle—their greatest abilities are fueled by the souls they’ve harvested from their victims. They exploit powerful Shadow magic to manipulate and degrade the minds and bodies of their enemies. They employ Fire magic, dropping hellish rain from the sky, to immolate the opposition. They summon and command indomitable demons from the Twisting Nether to do their bidding, or even to be sacrificed as the Warlock sees fit, empowering and protecting the dark caster from harm.[4]

Background

Born of the Eredar race, warlocks are absolutely corrupt and unimaginably powerful. Their chaos magics have burnt out whole worlds and annihilated countless species over the aeons. Kil'jaeden taught the orcs the secrets of warlock magics, but the orcs could never master the powers of entropy and destruction as well the wicked Eredar. Under Archimonde's command, the warlocks serve as the Legion's tacticians and strategistsWarcraft III: Reign of Chaos Manual - Warlock

The first known warlocks were created by Kil'jaeden, who instructed the orc shamans of Draenor in the use of fel and demonic magics. While the elder shaman Ner'zhul ultimately resisted the eredar lord's promises of untold power, Kil'jaeden soon found another to take his place: Ner'zhul's ambitious apprentice Gul'dan. The young orc became an avid student of demonic magic and developed into the most powerful mortal warlock in history. He taught other young orcs the arcane arts and strove to eradicate the orcs' shamanistic traditions. Gul'dan showed this new brand of magic to his brethren, a terrible new power that reeked of doom. Kil'jaeden, seeking to tighten his hold over the orcs, helped Gul'dan found the Shadow Council, a secretive sect that manipulated the clans and spread the use of warlock magics throughout Draenor. As more and more orcs began to wield warlock magics, the gentle fields and streams of Draenor began to blacken and fade. Over time, the vast prairies the orcs had called home for generations withered away, leaving only red barren soil. The demon energies were slowly killing the world.[5]

First War

WCOnH logo 16x48.png This section concerns content exclusive to Warcraft: Orcs & Humans.
Main article: Warlock (Warcraft I)
The Orc Warlock chess piece in World of Warcraft.

During the First War, the warlocks were the most powerful of the orcish sects. These dark brethren went where no others dared in search of ultimate power. Their towers held the keys to unleashing the very essence of evil upon those they saw as a threat to their devious plans. Spells that channeled fire, brimstone, and shadow through their bodies, or could summon forth great creatures - even daemons - were theirs to use.[6]

There are references to a Warlock clan, though they may be euphemisms for more formally named clans, such as the Shadowmoon clan and Stormreaver clan, who included warlocks in their ranks. They may refer to the warlock class as a group, separate from their clan membership.

Second War

WC2BnE logo 16x42.png This section concerns content exclusive to Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness or its expansion Beyond the Dark Portal.

The warlocks of the Horde were slaughtered by Orgrim Doomhammer. Gul'dan later transferred some of their spirits into the first death knights,[7] while the magical energies of other long dead warlocks were infused into the bodies of the ogre magi.[8][9]

Third War

WC3RoC logo 16x32.png This section concerns content exclusive to Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos or its expansion The Frozen Throne.
Main article: Orc Warlock (Warcraft III)

During the Third War, orc warlocks still served the goals of the Old Horde, especially among the ranks of the Blackrock Warlocks.

Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor This section concerns content exclusive to Warlords of Draenor.

Gul'dan trained a whole generation of warlocks to marshal against the forces of Azeroth.[10]

Legion

Legion This section concerns content exclusive to Legion.

The warlocks of Azeroth united against the Burning Legion via the Council of the Black Harvest.

Quotes about warlocks

  • "Warlocks go after spells like an addict to a poppy plant. It's revolting."[11]
Aegwynn
  • "We may operate in the shadows of polite society, but out here on the battlefront our powers are properly respected at last."
Visiting Warlocks

Notable warlocks

See also: List of warlocks
Name Role Affiliation Location Status
Combat  Archimonde The Defiler, Eredar Overlord of the Legion forces Burning Legion Hellfire Citadel Deceased
Combat  Kil'jaeden The Deceiver, acting leader of the Burning Legion Burning Legion Sunwell Plateau Deceased
Neutral  Gul'dan First orcish warlock, Master of the Shadow Council, Chieftain of the Stormreaver clan Stormreaver clan, Independent Died in the Tomb of Sargeras Deceased
Combat   Cho'gall Leader of the Twilight's Hammer Twilight's Hammer, Old Gods' forces Various Locations Deceased
Neutral  Medivh[12] The Last Guardian of Tirisfal Independent Various Locations Alive
Horde  Nekros Skullcrusher Second-in-command to the Dragonmaw clan Old Horde, Dragonmaw Clan Unknown Deceased
Neutral  Meryl Felstorm Member of the Council of Tirisfal, founding member of the New Council Tirisgarde, Armies of Legionfall Various Locations Active
Combat  Ner'zhul[13] Warlord of the Shadowmoon Clan. Uses Void magic. Iron Horde Shadowmoon Valley Deceased
Alliance  Wilfred Fizzlebang Master Summoner of the Argent Tournament Alliance Trial of the Crusader; Crusaders' Coliseum, Icecrown Deceased
Neutral  Kanrethad Ebonlocke Former leader of the Council of the Black Harvest Council of the Black Harvest; Stormwind (ostensibly) Dreadscar Rift Defeatable - Alive

Organizations

Abilities

Summoning

Elithys Firestorm, a blood elven warlock, and her succubus.
Tarn Darkwalker, an orcish warlock, and his voidwalker, Neqzon.

Warlocks are adept at summoning their allies to their presence, whether said allies are other heroes or bloodthirsty demons. Warlocks bind demons to their will; these infernal denizens defend their masters with their lives or rain death upon their enemies.[3]

Warlocks have access to spells that summon these demonic entities:

  • [Summon Imp] - Imps are small, cackling demons.[14] This creature is best used for support of a larger group.
  • [Summon Voidwalker] - The voidwalkers' strength and endurance are significant, making them ideal for defense.
  • [Summon Succubus] - A creature of incredible mental powers, a succubus can lull those of weak minds into its servitude.[15]
  • [Eye of Kilrogg] - A demonic eye sentry that is used for scouting.
  • [Summon Felhunter] - Felhunters feed on magical energies ... and those who wield them.[16]
  • [Summon Felguard] - Soldiers of the Burning Legion, felguard can be controlled only by those most skilled in the demonic arts.[17] They serve as warriors for warlocks specialized in Demonology.

In addition to these normal minions the warlocks can summon two greater demons to defend them for a short time:

The warlock can also summon Nightmare steeds into their service as mounts:

Warlocks may also use [Enslave Demon] on some demons, forcing them to serve as their minions for a short time.

Ranged Damage

Warlocks deliver fire and shadow damage with their spells, and they’re able to hurt others both instantly and with ongoing afflictions.[3]

Demonic Resources

Warlocks make use of burning embers, demonic fury or soul shards to empower their spells, making them swifter or more deadly.[3]

Races

Kelena Ashford, an undead warlock.
Main article: Warlock races

The warlock class can be played by the following races:

Race Strength Agility Stamina Intellect Spirit Armor Health Mana
Alliance DwarfDwarf Dwarf Cataclysm 22 16 24 21 21 33 63 125
Alliance GnomeGnome Gnome 15 22 21 26 22 44 53 200
Alliance HumanHuman Human 20 20 21 22 22 40 53 140
Alliance Void elfVoid elf Void elf Battle for Azeroth N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Alliance WorgenWorgen Worgen Cataclysm 23 22 21 18 21 N/A N/A N/A
Horde Blood elfBlood elf Blood elf The Burning Crusade 17 22 21 25 20 44 53 185
Horde GoblinGoblin Goblin Cataclysm 17 22 21 25 20 N/A N/A N/A
Horde NightborneNightborne Nightborne Battle for Azeroth N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Horde OrcOrc Orc 23 17 22 19 24 34 63 109
Horde TrollTroll Troll Cataclysm 21 22 22 18 23 N/A N/A N/A
Horde UndeadUndead Undead 19 18 21 20 27 36 53 110

The only playable races unable (or unwilling) to be warlocks are night elves, tauren, draenei, and pandaren.

Racial traits

Each race comes with its own racial traits. Below is a brief list of the traits that interact directly with the warlock's abilities, playstyle and needs in specific situations; other racials are not listed. For a complete list, see Racial trait.

AllianceDwarf

  • [Stoneform] is a defence and debuff-dispelling cooldown which can be useful in PvP and PvE.
  • [Frost Resistance] can be useful in reducing damage taken, especially versus frost mages.

AllianceGnome

  • [Expansive Mind] is one of the most useful racial abilities for warlocks as it increases total mana by 5%. Note that it increases your mana pool but not Intellect, spell power or spell critical.
  • [Escape Artist] removes snares and speed reduction effects. Usable in PvP and certain PvE encounters. (Note: does not remove stun effects).
  • [Nimble Fingers] is a very beneficial racial trait, increasing haste by 1%, a stat favored by all three warlock specializations.

AllianceHuman

  • [Every Man for Himself] is another beneficial trait enabling players to remove all stun effects on the character.
  • [The Human Spirit] enables the human to gain extra stats gain from all sources, increasing all secondary stats considerably.

AllianceWorgen

HordeBlood elf

  • [Arcane Torrent] provides a mana increase similar to Life Tap without the loss of health. Due to its limited AoE range, it is only situationally useful in PvE encounters and is half as effective in PvP.
  • [Arcane Acuity] increases spell critical strike rate by 1%, making it handy in both PvP and PvE. It is worth noting that this passive assures higher damage of [Chaos Bolt] (Destruction specialization).

HordeGoblin

HordeOrc

  • [Blood Fury] gives an increase in spell power when activated.
  • [Hardiness] provides a 15% reduction to the duration of stun effects on the character.
  • [Command] increases the damage dealt by all minions by 5%, which is especially useful for Demonology warlocks.

HordeTroll

  • [Berserking] provides a buff which increases haste, effectively granting the warlock another damage-dealing cooldown besides trinkets. It has a 3 minute cooldown but unlike [Bloodlust] it does not cause a 10 minute debuff preventing its reapplication, thus making it an extremely beneficial racial ability.
  • [Regeneration] is useful as an additional health regeneration effect, especially beneficial on long encounters, useful with [Life Tap].
  • [Da Voodoo Shuffle] reduces the duration of all movement-impairing effects on the character, useful in both PvE and PvP.

HordeUndead

Specializations

For a full list of specialization abilities, see Warlock abilities

Affliction

Warlock preview Affliction.jpg
Spell shadow deathcoil.png
A master of shadow magic who specializes in drains and damage-over-time spells.

Affliction warlocks are the masters of damage over time spells, plaguing their enemies with an array of Curses and DoTs. Affliction warlocks can afflict their foes with DoTs such as [Agony] and [Corruption]. Affliction warlocks' periodic effects are further improved by their mastery [Mastery: Potent Afflictions], and through their powerful artifact weapon. Affliction warlocks gain Soul Shards as a secondary resource, which are necessary to cast certain spells.

Affliction warlocks are masters of shadow-touched powers, but unlike shadow priests—deadliest when pushed to the brink of insanity—these warlocks delight in using fel forces to cause intense pain and suffering in others. They revel in corrupting minds and agonizing souls, leaving enemies in a state of torment that would see them undone in due time. Even the most battle-hardened warriors can be deceived, landing blow after blow against the warlock, only to succumb to their suffering as their very vitality is siphoned away by the dark spellcaster.[4]

Demonology

Warlock preview Demonology.jpg
Spell shadow metamorphosis.png
A master of demons who compels demonic powers to aid him.

Demonology warlocks summon and enslave demons in order to crush their foes. As well as improving their damage and survivability, these warlocks' demonic mastery empowers their minions ( [Mastery: Master Demonologist], [Demonic Rebirth]) and grants them new demons to command ( [Wild Imps], [Doom], [Summon Felguard]). Demonology warlocks wield a mixture of Shadow, Fire and Chaos damage to immolate and corrupt their enemies.

By their very nature, demons are leeches on the living universe—but the demonologist has mastered harnessing the power of these malefic beings on the field of battle. Warlocks harvest the souls of their defeated enemies; those specialized in the ways of demonology use this life essence to tap into the Void, pulling all manner of abomination from the chaos of the Twisting Nether. While such a practice is often considered by outsiders to be wicked and reckless, the demonologist maintains absolute control over the summoned creatures. These malignant entities are fully beholden to—and empowered by—the will of the warlock, until banished to the realm from whence they came.[4]

Destruction

Warlock preview Destruction.jpg
Spell shadow rainoffire.png
A master of chaos who calls down fire to burn and demolish enemies.

Destruction warlocks focus on demolishing opponents with fast and powerful direct damage spells. They use the [Burning Embers] generated by their spells to fuel their most powerful attacks, deal splash damage and even restore health. With enviable abilities such as [Shadowburn], [Havoc] and [Chaos Bolt], Destruction warlocks can rapidly reduce unprepared opponents to a pile of cinders.

Warlocks who command the power of destruction favor incantations of pure chaos and aggression in battle. In this regard, they’d find a stronger kinship with fire mages than warlocks of other disciplines—if not for their propensity to make use of magic deemed detestable by all mage orders. The destruction warlock is well-versed in discharging a dizzying array of shadow, fel, fire, and chaos magics upon opponents that rattle souls and conflagrate bodies. They require little motivation for the havoc they wreak, happy to revel in the destruction they cause—thrilled at any opportunity to watch the world erupt in discord around them.[4]

End-game expectations

Warlock Tier Sets 1 to 13.

Warlocks are taken to raids for their incredible dps and their raid utility. Warlocks are usually one of the highest sources of ranged DPS and also possess an array of utilities such as using [Ritual of Summoning] for late comers, casting [Soulstone] for combat resurrections, and distributing  [Healthstone]. Warlocks are also well known for their CC abilities such as [Fear] and [Banish].

In PvP, Warlocks are incredibly useful as a support class for arenas and battlegrounds. DoT abilities such as [Corruption], [Bane of Agony], and [Unstable Affliction] spread between multiple player targets are excellent at generating pressure for opposing teams. [Unstable Affliction] also provides opponents with a hefty penalty for spam-dispelling debuffs. The felhunter also provides excellent anti-caster and anti-healer abilities with [Spell Lock] and [Devour Magic]. Finally, they are infamous for their PvP CC abilities such as [Fear], [Howl of Terror], and [Mortal Coil]. [Demonic Gateway] is also an iconic and powerful contribution to any group.

Warlocks are renowned for their damage over time (DoT) spells and sinister Shadow magic, as well for summoning demonic minions and their ability to wreak havoc with destructive Fire spells. Warlocks can specialize in any of these areas: Affliction warlocks are the masters of damage over time, draining their targets' health with an array of powerful debuffs; Demonology warlocks summon improved demons to do their bidding, drawing power from their minions; while Destruction warlocks call down a rain of fire upon their enemies, specializing in potent burst damage and Fire spells.

Being a warlock demands certain things: being able to engage multiple targets simultaneously while keeping tabs on your minion, to make split-second strategic decisions on cast rotations depending on the situation, and careful resource and cooldown management. Being a warlock also offers many rewards: they are PvP powerhouses due to their powerful crowd-control and sustained damage abilities, and in PvE their damage output is among the highest in both single and multiple target situations.

Macros and addons

Main article: Useful macros for warlocks

See also

Patch changes

  • Mists of Pandaria Patch 5.0.4 (2012-08-28):
    • Each warlock specialization now has a unique secondary resource which allows them temporary surges in power:
    • Warlocks no longer use armor spells, instead gaining additional armor and bonus health passively.
    • All demons deal similar damage and are no longer linked to a specific spec.
    • Doomguard, Infernal and Soulstone cooldowns reset upon wiping to a raid or dungeon boss.
  • Cataclysm Patch 4.0.1 (2010-10-12):
    • Soul Shards have been removed from the game as items. Instead, they now exist as a resource system necessary for using, or altering the mechanics of certain spells.
    • Warlocks now start with an Imp at level 1.
    • Firestones and Spellstones can no longer be created, and existing ones cannot be used.

References

External links