Friday, February 11, 2011

4.0.6 Guide Updates

All right. I did a whole bunch of reading last night and want to update the guides while it's fresh on my mind. Like I did last time with the Affliction guides, since there's three of them, I'll just summarize/copy the changes into here so y'all can skim them. If you want the full story, they will be at the same links on the left. I'm also going to plop the guides onto pages of their own. That should be transparent to you guys, it just makes them easier for me to keep track of (Instead of going fishing in my archives).

Today will just be the Aflliction guides. I'll get to Demonology pretty soon. Same with my DK spec. I'll use separate days/posts for each of those updates. I also really need to get that Enchantment list up to date as well. A lot depends on when I get the time to at least do a modicum of research so that I don't look like an idiot (I don't mind being imperfect and having you guys call me on it though. A lot of times this generates good discussion). I poured through EJ last night for several hours, trying to understand why they're doing what they're doing and I think I've come up with my own logical slant on things. So here we go (remember, I'm just posting the changes straight from the guides, so they may seem a bit disjointed and they certainly do not cover everything):


The spec I'm using at 85 is 32/3/6.

I dropped my last points into the Demonology tree. I diverge a bit from the EJ suggestions here, and put all three points into Dark Arts. This talent will improve both my Imp and Felhunter. EJ will suggest that we use the Succubus, since she provides the most DPS. I will discuss my decision more in the pet portion of these guides, but my plan is to go with either my Imp or my Felhunter depending on the situations. I have my reasons, and they mostly have to do with utility, so we'll discuss this more later. The take home for now is that I'm speccing to back up my planned choice. If you go with the Succy, you'll probably want to put two points in the Stam buff and then one in Fel Synergy. That represents the EJ spec.

So the last three points in your spec should reflect your pet choice, but otherwise the rest are pretty standard. Pared down trees make it pretty easy to spec, removing a lot of the old pros and cons we used to discuss. That could be a bad thing or good thing, depending one your point of view, but either way, this spec should serve you well in a raiding environment.

Pet Choice
  1. Infernal - Flat out best, even in Single Target Situations.
  2. Doomguard - Poor guy won't really be used though because of the Infernal.
  3. Succubus - Especially if you glyph her. (DS: S-bolt buff)
  4. Imp - If you talent him with Dark Art, he can be pretty decent. Also, Singe Magic is a highly useful dispel. (DS: Increased crit)
  5. Felhunter - However, remember what he may lack in pure DPS... he does provide a buff and a silence effect. (DS: Dot buff)
I mentioned in my spec post that I'm diverging from EJ as far as pet choice goes. You would think from the list above that the choice is simple: go Succy. It can be that simple, especially if you want to glyph for her, but I suppose I want to make it needlessly complex. You see, "go Succy" doesn't take any sort of utility into account. Also, you can see I noted the basic Demon Soul buff that each of the pets grant. This should also be taken into account. The Felpup's bonus can be really good under 25% in the "execute" phase, the Succy's buff is good whenever you are able to cast a lot of bolts, and the Imp's bonus is nothing to scoff at, though it's not the best for Affliction 'locks. A lot just depends on the fight and your playstyle.

If I want to go with my Imp for dispels or my Felpup for silence, now I've totally wasted a Prime glyph. So what I did was choose glyphs that had nothing to do with my pets. The problem I have is that I can only find comparisons for a glyphed Succy. How close are the pets unglyphed? What if I take Dark Arts? How much does that help? I can't find the answers to these questions yet (and would encourage links from anyone that has), so my solution is simply going to be to hit up the dummy and see what it looks like for me. I'll post the results in a comment on here when I get around to it. Until then, I'm going to stay specced into Dark Arts because it buffs two of my pets as opposed to glyphing for one. Not to mention that the two pets it improves are two of the most useful in a PvE environment. Dispels and Silences can be a huge help.

Both of those pets also provide a nice buff. The Imp is a buff to health that does not stack with a Warrior's Commanding Shout, a Priest's Power Word: Fortitude, or a Hunter's Qiraji Fortitude (from an exotic and probably rarely seen pet). The Felpup provides and Intellect and Spirit buff that I believe is overwritten by the combination of Priest and Mage. Let me know in comments if there are any overwrites I'm missing.

Now, I'm pretty sure all my buffs will be overwritten in a raid environment with the folks we have, but in five mans that's not usually the case. Thus, I feel like speccing and glyphing like I do allows me more choices amongst my pets. I would still probably pull out the Succy when I might need her CC, but otherwise I'll probably run with my pup or my imp. I sort of like the idea of being able to dispel, and my tanks like when I can silence the odd caster mob. This, however, is a personal choice. If you want to make it simple, follow EJ's advice.

So for me it's going to look something like:

  • Infernal - Once a fight
  • Imp or Felpup - Depending on what effect I want and what DS I plan to use
  • Succy - If I'm feeling lazy


Pulled from EJ:

So update your Pawns accordingly.


I didn't change anything here. The significant deviation from the norm is the lack of Lash of Pain. It simply does not synergize with my planned pet choice.


You're also going to want to cast Dark Intent on someone if you're in a group. Since DI requires us to basically "link" with one other player, and it's usefulness hinges on dot crits, it's important that we choose wisely. There are two routes you can go here.

First, if you believe your healers might need the most help, you can DI them. Go this road if the fight is particularly healing intensive, or you're just feeling squishier than usual. In this case, you're looking for a resto druid, holy priest, or resto shaman... in that order. If your group isn't sporting one of those three, I'd go with route two.

For our second choice, we can pop DI on another member of the DPS community. This direction is obviously for when you might need a little extra help killing things, or you just don't feel like blessing your healers. Here, we want to go with a Shadowpriest, a fire Mage, a feral or balance Druid, or a survival Hunter. After that it drops off a bit, and you'll just want to probably ask around at who's using DoTs the most.

I think that about does it. Let me know if I missed something.


  1. any reason to go with shadowflame glyph over glyph of shadow bolt?

  2. Might be worth noting that the imp's Demon Soul ability isn't just "increased crit" - it's 30% crit but only for Destruction spells with a cast time. In essence, this is 30% crit for shadow bolts for Affliction.

  3. Your lips say 31/1/8 but your eyes say 32/3/6. (hehe).


  4. maybe it's time to fire up that second spec and run affliction again..


  5. Sweet Jesus, YES!

    I have been running 32/3/6 (EJs build with 3/3 Demonic Embrace) the ENTIRE time of Cataclysm. I just KNEW that they'd eventually knock the succy down or take away a Destro spell or something to mess up the weird symbiotic Aff-Destro build.

    I play exclusively with my felpup unless I don't have a priest to give Fort, then I run with the imp. I still post really great numbers, and have been posting a bit better since 4.0.6 came out.

    My only deviation from your build Ful, is that I glyph for no pet stats. Although, I'm trying to decide between UA and BoA. For a pure DPS standpoint UA is the way to go since it will allow for extra time to cast SB or refresh Haunt. I'll have to play around with it, but I'm leaning toward UA.

  6. Interesting, I currently have a 31/5/5 spec. But I'll post more on that later.

    Fel Intelligence (felpup buff) is Mage/Pally combo, not Mage/Priest. Priests can't cast Spirit anymore. Felpup covers a buff to mana (same as half of the Mage Int buff) and a buff to mana regen (same as half of the Pally's Blessing of Might).

    The problem I have with using the stat weights from EJ is they generate those stats using BiS gear. I don't have BiS gear (& yeah, the weights actually vary a bit if you don't), so I don't see why I should use those weights. (I generate my own with SimC.)

  7. Okay... sorry all. I rushed to get this up and then had to promptly go away for the weekend. Long story short, I found a hotspot in a local Starbucks and am making my hotfixes from there...

    @DI3 - I have grown quite fond of having a slowing effect. I find it infinitely more useful in all aspects of the game than a simple mana cost reduction. The only time the SB-mana glyph should come into play is on boss fights. I don't really need to tap for trash.

    @Stop - I actually did note that in the linked, updated guide on the left, but apparently forgot to copy paste back into this after I'd done it. I do all the work in the guides and then just try to paste the changes in a post. Obviously I wanted didn't think to add it right away, but then added it later. Durr. Even so, it's good to know that I read the tooltip correctly :-).

    @Nibs - And my dumb fingers say: "I updated the link but not the text. Oy vey." Thanks for the catch :-).

    @D - Yeah I was pretty sure the ISF phase was too good to be true. Small thought about you glyph choices: how much do you find yourself using FF to refresh UA? That would cut into the usefulness of the glyph, no? I'm personally a bit FF user (I find I'm always on the move!), but that is probably something you'll have to judge for yourself.

    @Pon - I'm going to go read your post like, nowish. I'm sure I'll comment over there. Thanks for the DL on FI. As far as using stat weights: it's always going to better if you generate your own, there's no doubting that. Personally, I don't care to set up and run a sim at all. Thus, the EJ weights get me in the ball park. The important part is really the comparison of the two, with a little consideration given to how they scale. For instance, if they all scale about the same, then using BiS or other gear doesn't matter because it'll be the same relative values. If they change, say from T11 to T12, that gives us a glimpse into how the stats are scaling and we can adjust accordingly. Until we get to the next tier, I don't really have anything to compare, but yes, CYO is better.

  8. There's a mention in here about how haste can be variable, but I wanted to pass long this Tool from Cynwise if you want to math out the sweet spots.

  9. Ful, are you still using the same rotation listed?
    I've been using an old MaxDPS of:
    Haunt, Soulburn ---> Soul Fire, Demon Soul, BoA, Cor, UA, Weakness/Elements, and finally SB.

    I spam Fel Flame, mostly because its cheap, but also because its instant while Im waiting for Haunt to come off.
    I throw SBs in when dots permit, and the target has more than 25%.

    And then, whats your opinion of Drain Life?
    Some healers tell me to stop wasting my dps, and other locks tell me to use it. It does about the same amount of damage as SB, in the same amount of time, for a bit more mana (about 500) AND then I get some can that be bad (assuming mana isnt an issue)?

    Thank you for your time and great posts!

  10. The link was broken up there on the left, it pointed to an old post... fixed it now. What I'm basically using as a starting rotation is this:

    Corruption > Bane of Agony > Unstable Affliction > Haunt > Shadowbolt x2 > Curse of the Elements.

    My theory is to get my "big three" up first so I'm ready to use SS when needed. It's a personal preference. SB>SF isn't as important to do right away now that it no longer provides a haste buff. I still use it, but usually when I enter "filler phase". Also, when to use my DS depends on my pet. If I'm running pup, save it for the last 25%. If I'm going succy or imp, then I try to anticipate a big "filler phase".

    I use UA casts to refresh when I can, but if I have any movement (and nothing to fill that movement time), I weave FF's in there.

    They've done sims using DL as filler that have shown it to be competitive. I'm not sure how that all works, as it's really not how I play. I will most definitely use DL if I sense my healers struggling or in an emergency, but generally I don't use it. Affliction has enough self healing as it is.

  11. Before I found my rotation on MaxDPS, I was using your exact rotation. I truly do believe Corruption belongs first, its does an insane amount of damage. I I thought I was just being old school and difficult by not trying something different, :)

    Another lock in my guild and I were discussing Drain Life, and he brought up the point of, Trust your Healer, and only use DL when necessary. For PUGs it might get more use....

    Thanks again for your time!!

  12. Yep, no problem.

    The thing that maxDPS doesn't take into account is if you're moving or not (I think). Also there's the whole Soul Swap thing. That's why I diverge from something like that and do my "Big Three" thing.

    Also, any difference in DPS from your "lead in" is minimal. The best place to try to increase your DPS is to try to increase your DoT uptime across the entire fight. That's where we live or die. Leading off is only a very small slice of the pie, so as long as you have the right spells in there, it won't make too much of a difference anymore.

  13. Hello Fulgurais,
    First off, I would like to commend you your site. It is great to have a place for Affliction Locks ... I have been umable to come near my DPS pre-Caty.. and it is sad. Despite people urging me to "just go Destro".. I tried..but it feels yucky. It does not feel like a lock!. Ive done my research..Im a physicist(in the body of a dumb blonde... fun combo)... Tried rotation variations/ tree as well... Pre patch I did great, but now encounter the issue often " she is a chick and doesn't know her class additude". But I understand. My DPS is always at the bottom now.It is frustrating. I appreciate all the posts. I am going to try the above oldschool like rotation again and see. Perhaps I can send you a message not on here?

  14. Thanks, and the blog email is listed up on the top if you click on About Us, feel free to shoot me an email!