Monday, May 9, 2011

4.1 Aff'lock Guide Updates

All right. I've done the research and updated my Affliction guides for 4.1. The following represents a brief summary of the changes. You should fine the updated pages over on the left side. If you find something I screwed up, please let me know either here or over on the proper page.

My spec is staying the same, though I did clean up the writing a bit. I don't see any reason to change it right now as I believe I'm going with the "agreed" optimal Affliction Spec (for non-drainers).

So first, let's revisit the rotation and glyphs. One of the key things that changed in 4.1 for us is that Bane of Doom has become a superior single target spell. The downside is that it doesn't work as well with Soul Swap. Plus, I'd been running with a glyph for Bane of Agony (and talent improvements). Still, BoD should be better in pure single target fights. Thus, I've updated the guide to say the following:

If you find yourself going with BoD more often, you may want to swap this [Glyph of Bane of Agony] out for perhaps the Glyph of Unstable Affliction.

Above 25% Health, Single Target
Shadowbolt > Corruption > (Bane) > Unstable Affliction > Haunt > Shadowbolt > Curse of the Elements. Spam SB until a refresh of each disease is needed (monitor them individually with a DoT timer. Fortex or Xperl is great for this). Life tap sparingly. You don't have to worry about clipping for anything but BoA, so ideal refresh time is to start casing somewhere in the last two seconds to make sure you don't get any drop off.

Bane Choice: Currently the maths favor Bane of Doom on a strictly single target scenario. BoD can only be up on one target, however, so if you're doing any soul swapping to adds or whatever, it is better to use Bane of Agony, which does swap over. Thus, your choice of Bane as an aff'lock becomes highly situational. Very simply, if you're only running on one target and never using soul swap, then run with BoD.

After the diatribe about how other modifiers update on dot individual ticks...

There is one exception to the above diatribe, and that is why I switched to lead off with a Shadowbolt. If you are specced into Shadow and Flame (which I am), you want to get this up BEFORE applying DoTs. Apparently, S&F does not update like everyone other ability. I'm not sure why, that's just what the research has turned up. I believe we're talking 5% extra crit on your DoTs here, which, with DI might add up to be substantial. It's hard to tell, so I can't say whether this is a big deal or just a medium deal. It's going to be hard for me to lead off with a casting spell, but I'm going to try.

Lastly here, we'll revisit Pet Choice/Stat Priorities. Pets shuffled around a bit, so I've updated my priorities lists to match. Also, I've switched to letting Ask Mr. Robot do all of my heavy stat lifting for me, so I've reworked that entire section to indicate such. I don't see a reason to not use the site, as it really is stellar and has proven itself as far as my toon goes. Updates to the guide are the following:

Pet DPS List
  1. Infernal - Best AoE
  2. Doomguard - Best Single Target
  3. Felhunter - Got some nice buffs in 4.1, provides a buff and a silence effect (DS: DoT buff)
  4. Succubus - Has some nice PvP talents like knockback and seduction CC. (DS: S-bolt buff)
  5. Imp - If you talent him with Dark Art, he can be pretty decent. Also, Singe Magic is a highly useful dispel. (DS: Increased crit to Destro spells... SB and SF for us I think.)
So my priority looks like:
  • Doomguard- Once a fight
  • Felpup - 90% of the time
  • Imp - When I need a dispel or ranged
  • Succy - If I'm feeling lazy

LinkGenerally, I simply hit the "optimize" button to help me make gear decisions, but I've also put the following weights (from Mr. Robot) into my Pawn addon so that I have something in-game as well:

Int -1, SP - 0.85, Hit - 0.53 (until capped), Haste - 0.45, Mast - 0.37, Crit - 0.37

Otherwise, there were extensive changes but they all can be boiled down to "I use Mr. Robot." Simple enough. If you have any issues with the site, hit up their forums. They are really great about answering concerns.

And that's it. This should summarize the changes that affect how we play. We got some other simple buffs in the patch, but none of those should really change what you were already doing. Again, let me know if you notice anything I've botched or would like a clarification.


  1. One comment with the standard SB Affliction spec: I really miss Fel Synergy. Previously you could get it with the Succy, now you can't with 3 points in Dark Arts for the Felpup.

    Without Fel Synergy, I found that I couldn't use Soul Link, as my pet kept dying. This has a big impact on my survivability.

    I'm now experimenting with taking two DPS talents and putting them into Fel Synergy. It nerfs my DPS, but might be worth it for the extra survivability and reduced healer mana used.

    Does anyone have a ranking of the value of the talent points, so I know how to reduce my DPS loss? Also, is 1 point in Fel Synergy enough to run with Soul Link?

  2. Hmm, that's a good question that unfortunately I don't know that answer to. I've not had a problem with my pet dying. Maybe my healers are just paying more attention or something, but it's just not been a problem. (Healers should definitely heal pets! Pets do more for our DPS than eating food or drinking a flask, yet those are "requirements" in most raids.)

    Perhaps the best way to find out is simply spend a day with the dummies. I've looked for the "mathing out" of certain talents, but never been able to find that kind of data. :-/

  3. According to 4.1 simcraft data, results show that Affliction Drain built has better dps than Affliction Sbolt built; which makes me happy cuz it definitely helps my survival.

  4. Yep, at BiS gear levels, the Drain build is slightly better. I've never been able to play a drain build very well (SBolts generally work out as better DPS for me, probably just because that's what I'm used to).

    At the same time, I will definitely switch to Drain Life if I feel the healers are struggling. I have it there on my bar, ready to go, and would suggest other 'locks keep it close by.