Leveling a Warlock: Abilities

NB: This guide begins where my video guides end, the full list of which can be found here. The video guides cover levels 1-10, and the abilities therein. This guide will be structured such that it is based around new abilities. Ability upgrades will not be mentioned.

Levels 11 to 20

At level 12, you will learn Health Funnel. Levels 10 and 11 might have been a little rough, since you couldn’t heal your pet, but now you can! Just don’t overdo it, or you leave yourself liable to die from unsuspected attacks.

To counteract the effects of Health Funnel (or indeed, Life Tap), we learn Drain Life at level 14. This is a very handy spell for getting health back during a fight, and helps prevent downtime; for a continuous killing experience without eating or drinking, try Drain Life + Life Tap, and repeat.

At 16, we can learn Unending Breath, a nice little ability that lets you breathe underwater. As you do.

Come level 18, we get the ability to create a Soulstone, which use up a soul shard to make. By then using this on someone, they gain a 30 minute buff which allows them to resurrect instantly on the spot if they die. Cast it on yourself, and watch the time you spend running to your corpse disappear!

Searing Pain, also learnt at 18, is one of those spells where the name just feels right for a Warlock. Regardless of name however, it’s a tasty little nuke which is great for the times when you need something faster (but less hard hitting) than a Shadow Bolt. Beware of using it in normal groups however, as it generates much more threat than a normal spell.

Level 20 brings with it a lot of spells.

Demon Armor is a different spell to Demon Skin, but is basically the same thing, except better. You’ll be using Armor from now on.

Welcome to the wonderful world of mounts with your Felsteed! Summon it up and away you ride.

Rain of Fire is your first AoE (area of effect) spell. Similar to Drain Life, for example, it’s channeled, but it will deal a fair amount of damage to all the enemies inside the targeted area. I would use this if you have 3+ mobs, but the mana : damage ratio isn’t worth it if there are fewer, so stick to your normal rotation.

The cause of many “so and so just came out of the closet” jokes, Ritual of Summoning lets you create a nice, demonic looking portal for the cost of just one soul shard, through which you can summon absent raid or party members. This might be useless when soloing, but it’s great for pulling someone into a half-done instance.

The final new ability at level 20 is the ability to summon a Succubus after you complete a quest chain. This demon is good for instances, with her crowd control and decent dps, but isn’t advisable for soloing. The VW is still a much better pet at this point.

Levels 21 to 30

At 22, you can learn Eye of Kilrogg. Personally, I love this spell. I can’t count the number of times I’ve used it for scouting out an area to see where the mobs are, to find the way when I’m lost in an instance (read: Blackrock Depths), or to check out what’s around the next corner in a battleground. It’s even better now that it doesn’t aggro mobs, too.

Drain Mana, found on Warlock trainers everywhere at level 24, is a spell which is basically Drain Life, except for mana. This isn’t really a viable alternative to Life Tap + Drain Life, unless the mob has an extraordinarily high mana pool (meaning thousands like some bosses), but it’s there.

Also at 24, we have Sense Demons. It’s not the most useful spell in the world, but unless you’ve got something better (e.g. if you’re a herbalist or miner) it could be handy for searching out quest mobs. It also has a place in PvP for identifying other Warlocks from the minimap.

Level 26 allows us to train two spells. The first is Curse of Tongues, another curse to add to our deadly array. This one, rather than dealing damage, increases the time it takes for the affected individual to cast a spell, making it good versus casters – especially healers – in all aspects of the game.

We also get Detect Invisibility, a buff which allows you to see invisible creatures. Not necessary to keep on you all the time when soloing, but it can be used in some instances, such as Naxxramas, to avoid invisible patrols.

Banish comes at level 28 and, along with Fear, it’s one of our sources of crowd control. It only works on Demons and Elementals, but it will take them out of the game pretty effectively, at least until it runs out and they come charging towards you. It can also be cancelled by casting it again on the same mob. As an interesting aside, this will work on demon-form Warlocks, tree-form Druids and relevant pets.

Additionally at this level, we have Create Firestone, which allows us to create a Firestone. Seriously. The Firestone can be applied to a weapon to increase your chances of critically hitting and your damage done. Worth keeping on you!

Every ten levels we seem to get a large haul of spells, and level 30 is no exception.

Enslave Demon is the spell by which we can control demons we come across in the world, as well as those we can summon. It doesn’t last long, and the enslaved demon is liable to try and eat you if it breaks free, but it can lead to some awesome situations when you enslave something impressive.

There are reasons people call Warlocks emo-Mages, and Hellfire is one of them. An AoE spell like Rain of Fire, this spell deals damage to everything in a small radius around us – including us. It is possible to kill yourself with this spell, so be careful.

Similar to the Succubus, the Felhunter is another minion you’ll be able to summon after completing a quest chain. Also similar to the Succubus is the fact that it’s not very good for soloing – indeed, this is often the PvP pet of choice for many Warlocks, due to its spell interrupt ability, but it isn’t going to beat the VW in a tanking contest.

Levels 31 to 40

We get another curse for the collection at 32, and this time it’s Curse of the Elements. This is a great one for when you’re grouping with other folks, as it will increase the damage done by all the other casters in the game as well as your own.

32 also nabs us Shadow Ward, an underrated spell which I love. My favourite use is for when something is reflecting spells back at you – it can usually buffer several Shadow Bolts or an entire Curse of Agony duration.

Our next new spell comes at 36, where we get Create Spellstone. As with the Firestone, a Spellstone can be applied to a weapon, but this one will increase your haste and periodic damage done. This is the one you should probably use for instances.

The levels 31 to 40 are a  bit sparse for new abilities, but we do get Summon Dreadsteed at 40, which is awesome. This is, of course, our class-only epic mount, which is an upgrade to the Felsteed. It no longer requires the quest chain either, so you can get it right from the trainer.

We also then get Howl of Terror too, our AoE fear spell. This ought to be used with the same care as Fear, in that you might pull extra mobs, but it’s very useful if you have too many attacking you and need a moment to breathe.

Levels 41 to 50

At 42, hot on the heels of Howl of Terror, we get another staple ‘Lock spell – Death Coil. Often called ‘lolcoil’, this instant cast spell will send the opponent running in horror – NB: not fear but horror, it’s different – and will restore your health by however much damage you do. This is also useful in PvE boss fights for a quick health restore when the healers are busy.

Then we have a big jump to 48, where we learn Soul Fire. This spell isn’t one you’d really use in your normal rotation, thanks to the long cast time and soul shard cost, but in conjunction with some talents it can be very good. It also hits really hard!

FIFTY! BAM! INFERNO! It’s a bit of a novelty pet, and it will cost you another kind of reagent, but the AoE stun is useful and this guy looks epic. However there is a small quest chain in Felwood to learn how to summon him.

Levels 51 to 60

These levels are sadly lacking, containing mainly upgrades to old abilities, but at 60 we do get Curse of Doom. This is brilliant to cast, provided the mob will still be alive after the one minute duration… Anecdote time: I once cast this at level 70 on Curator, in the Karazhan raid, and timed it so that it would go off when his ‘take twice as much damage’ debuff was active. It critted for 22000.

As the tooltip for CoD says, if the damage kills the target you will summon a Doomguard, a rather powerful demon. However this is unreliable and hard to manage, so we also have Ritual of Doom. A reward from a quest chain, this spell requires the whole group to summon the aforementioned minion. It used to kill a player, but alas, no more.

Levels 61 to 70

Now you’re firmly into Outland, it’s time for some nice Burning Crusade expansion-style spells.

First off we get Fel Armor at 72. Until now you’ve been using Demon Armor, but it’s time to finally replace it for something better (although save it for PvP). Fel Armor increases your Spell Power a lot, plus it restores health every so often, which makes it the PvE buff of choice.

Incinerate is a nuke spell to accompany Shadow Bolt which we learn at 64. The animation is good, the damage is good, and unless your shadow spells hit a lot harder than your fire spells for some reason, you can probably swap between the two quite freely.

Been struggling with aggro issues in groups up until now? Never fear, at level 66 Soulshatter is here! This spell takes a soul shard to reduce our threat by 50% for all the enemies who are likely to be attacking you.

Ritual of Souls (68) is a way for you to create Healthstones for everyone in the raid for the cost of only one soul shard. Basically by using this spell, you create a ‘well’ which members can click on to obtain a Healthstone, provided you have two people with you to complete the summoning ritual.

Finally for this section of your leveling, you’ll hit level 70 and learn Seed of Corruption, another AoE spell. This one isn’t channeled – what happens is you cast it on a mob, and when that mob takes enough damage, all the mobs in the surrounding area will take damage too. it is therefore possible to chain cast them so that when one detonates, they all do, which is great fun.

Levels 71 to 80

Last ten levels, last three spells!

At level 75, we are introduced to Shadowflame, a minor AoE spell which hits all the enemies in a cone in front of us for a small amount of damage, and applies a DoT for about the same amount. It also applies a movement speed debuff if you glyph it, which is good for PvP, and because it’s an instant cast you can use it on the move, such as when running through a big group of mobs.

We get a very cool spell at level 80 called Demonic Circle: Summon. As you may have guessed, this summons a Demonic Circle. But what is a Demonic Circle? Well, it’s a kind of summoning circle-esque marker which sits on the ground where you summon it, for six minutes, and doesn’t do a lot else, making it pointless.

Unless you happen to also learn Demonic Circle: Teleport! This nifty ability lets you teleport to your Circle every 40 seconds, provided you’re within range. The snare-removal effect makes it very good for PvP, especially if the Circle is placed somewhere hidden or hard to reach so you can escape, and one of my favourite uses is actually to avoid taking falling damage in raids. Wait until the boss knocks you into the air, and then teleport right back down again.

That concludes this guide to your Warlock abilities between levels 11 and 80.  Thanks for reading and good luck!

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