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.
Summons various demonic minions, , , ,
Warlocks are magical practitioners that seek to understand darker magics, among other fel-based and 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.
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.
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.
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.
Creation screen description
Warlocks are the bane of all life. Empowered by demonic blood, they can inflict great torment upon their foes. To replenish the dreadful energy their spells expend, warlocks drain vitality from their victims. The warlock can also summon and control terrifying demonic entities. Still, warlocks are feared above all else for their singular wickedness and cruelty.
- Warlocks cast Fire or Shadow magic to damage, drain, or curse their enemy. They summon demons as servants.
Utilizing forbidden sorcery to wreak havoc on their enemies, Warlocks commune with dark powers that enable them to summon demons, curse foes, and channel destructive magics.
- 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 strategists – Warcraft 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.
- Main article: Warlock (Warcraft I)
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.
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.
The warlocks of the Horde were slaughtered by Orgrim Doomhammer. Gul'dan later transferred some of their spirits into the first death knights, while the magical energies of other long dead warlocks were infused into the bodies of the ogre magi.
- Main article: Orc Warlock (Warcraft III)
World of Warcraft
Sometime after the Third War, the Alliance and the Horde began pressing warlocks into their service. Although many societies consider such dark arts disreputable, their efficacy in combat is undeniable. Most warlocks practice their arts in secret within hidden enclaves so that they can escape the prejudice of the public.
In Stormwind City, when Lord Wishock was made aware of the warlock coven under the Slaughtered Lamb, he lobbied for a full investigation and closure of the tavern. Zardeth of the Black Claw, however, implied that the noble was actually trying to shut the establishment down in order to avoid paying his tab there. In the end, the warlocks had Lord Wishock assassinated.
In Orgrimmar, warlocks operated discreetly in the Cleft of Shadow. Neeru Fireblade was a warlock who claimed not to wish to destroy the Horde from within or gain control over it, but he was secretly an agent of the Shadow Council. Thrall knew about this and tolerated his presence in order to fool him and better watch over him.
Mists of Pandaria
After the war against Deathwing, six of the greatest warlocks gathered together to make a pact stipulating they share the knowledge they gathered and innovated from the defeat of their powerful enemies. Thus the Council of the Black Harvest was created to teach all warlocks advanced forms of magic stolen from the adventurers' defeated foes.
Warlords of Draenor
Warlocks were originally forbidden in the ranks of the Iron Horde, but Gul'dan trained a whole generation of warlocks to marshal against the forces of Azeroth, first as members of the Shadow Council and then as Iron servants of the Legion.
The warlocks of Azeroth united against the Burning Legion via the Council of the Black Harvest.
- See also: List of warlocks
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.
Warlocks have access to spells that summon these demonic entities:
- - Imps are small, cackling demons. This creature is best used for support of a larger group.
- - The voidwalker's strength and endurance are significant, making them ideal for defense.
- - A creature of incredible mental powers, a succubus can lull those of weak minds into its servitude.
- - A demonic eye sentry that is used for scouting.
- - Felhunters feed on magical energies ... and those who wield them.
- - Soldiers of the Burning Legion, felguards can be controlled only by those most skilled in the demonic arts. 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 or as permanent pets.
The warlock can also summon demonic horses into their service as mounts:
- Felsteed - A fiery steed.
- Dreadsteed - A fiery, horse-like demon from the planet Xoroth.
- Wrathsteed - A new type of Dreadsteed created by Lord Hel'nurath.
Warlocks deliver fire and shadow damage with their spells, and they’re able to hurt others both instantly and with ongoing afflictions.
Warlocks make use of burning embers, demonic fury or soul shards to empower their spells, making them swifter or more deadly.
- Main article: Warlock races
The warlock class can be played by the following races:
The only playable races unable (or unwilling) to be warlocks are night elves, tauren, draenei, and pandaren.
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.
- is a defence and debuff-dispelling cooldown which can be useful in PvP and PvE.
- can be useful in reducing damage taken, especially versus frost mages.
- 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.
- removes snares and speed reduction effects. Usable in PvP and certain PvE encounters. (Note: does not remove stun effects).
- is a very beneficial racial trait, increasing haste by 1%, a stat favored by all three warlock specializations.
- is another beneficial trait enabling players to remove all stun effects on the character.
- enables the human to gain extra stats gain from all sources, increasing all secondary stats considerably.
- is another of the most beneficial racial abilities for warlocks as it increases spell critical strike by 1%.
- enables the player to move faster. Usable in both PvP and PvE encounters.
- 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.
- 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 (Destruction specialization).
- does a small amount of damage at range.
- is similar to , and is useful in PvE and PvP. Can be used to stay out of the fire.
- provides a 1% increase to the haste stat, a very useful stat to all warlock specializations.
- gives an increase in spell power when activated.
- provides a 20% reduction to the duration of stun effects on the character.
- increases the damage dealt by all minions by 1%, which is especially useful for Demonology warlocks.
- provides a buff which increases haste, effectively granting the warlock another damage-dealing cooldown besides trinkets. It has a 3 minute cooldown but unlike it does not cause a 10 minute debuff preventing its reapplication, thus making it an extremely beneficial racial ability.
- is useful as an additional health regeneration effect, especially beneficial on long encounters, useful with .
- reduces the duration of all movement-impairing effects on the character, useful in both PvE and PvP.
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 and . Affliction warlocks' periodic effects are further improved by their mastery , 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.
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 (, ) and grants them new demons to command (, , ). 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.
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 Soul Shards generated by their spells to fuel their most powerful attacks, deal splash damage and even restore health. With enviable abilities such as , and , 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.
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 for late comers, casting for combat resurrections, and distributing . Warlocks are also well known for their CC abilities such as and .
In PvP, Warlocks are incredibly useful as a support class for arenas and battlegrounds. DoT abilities such as , , and spread between multiple player targets are excellent at generating pressure for opposing teams. also provides opponents with a hefty penalty for spam-dispelling debuffs. The felhunter also provides excellent anti-caster and anti-healer abilities with and . Finally, they are infamous for their PvP CC abilities such as , , and . 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
- Warcraft III
Acolyte Demia, a human warlock.
Felbender Lara, a human warlock.
Dimzer the Prestidigitator, a gnome warlock.
Field Commander Foggo, a gnome warlock.
Mazar, a gnome warlock.
Kamboozle, Bringer of Doom, a gnome warlock.
Izza Spindleflame, a gnome warlock.
Turane Soulpact, a blood elf warlock.
Malistra the Demonmistress, a blood elf warlock.
Gahrunt Foulfang, an orc warlock.
The Soul Conductor, an orc warlock.
Morlug Soulslaver, an orc warlock.
Garell Strout, a undead warlock.
Mor'zul Bloodbringer, a human warlock.
- Patch 5.0.4 (2012-08-28):
- Each warlock specialization now has a unique secondary resource which allows them temporary surges in power:
- Soul Shards are now an Affliction-only resource
- is a new Demonology resource
- are a new Destruction resource
- 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.
- Each warlock specialization now has a unique secondary resource which allows them temporary surges in power:
- Patch 4.0.1 (2010-10-12):
- ^ Rise of the Horde, pg. 220
- ^ Ultimate Visual Guide
- ^ a b c d Legion Class Preview Series: Warlock
- ^ a b c World of Warcraft Game Guide: Warlock
- ^ World of Warcraft: Classic class description
- ^ Taking Your First Steps in World of Warcraft Classic
- ^ Kil'jaeden and the Shadow Pact
- ^ Warcraft: Orcs & Humans manual, Orcish Horde of the First War, Warlock
- ^ Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness manual, Ground Units of the Orcish Horde, Death Knight
- ^ Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness manual, Ground Units of the Orcish Horde, Ogre-Mage
- ^ Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness manual, Orc Buildings, Altar of Storms
- ^ Tides of War pg. 568-569 Varian Wrynn ponders about the Alliance employing warlocks
- ^ Hidden Enemies quest chain
- ^ Visiting Warlock#Quotes
- ^ "Human Campaign: Medivh", Warcraft: Orcs and Humans. Blizzard Entertainment. "The evil warlock Medivh has begun draining the soul of the land itself to increase his dark powers."
- ^ WoW TCG Card: Morfiel
- ^ WoW TCG Card: Haaroon