Wrath of the Lich King Warlock PvP Guide
This is by no means a complete PvP guide and I don’t by any means claim to be the best but I offer some very basic advice.
You can quickly acquire the Deadly PvP set via 266 Emblems of Conquest from raids and Heroics or Honor and the Furious Accessories with Honor. The Deadly set/Furious accessories are great for getting started, while you save up for the rating/arena points for the Relentless gear. Also make sure you run 10 man Vaults for a chance to win Hateful, Deadly, and Furious pieces and 25 man Vaults for a chance to win Deadly, Furious, and Relentless pieces. Also worth mentioning is the Lake Wintergrasp gear. You can get a helm, boots, chest, belt, and trinket via Lake Wintergrasp marks that are on par with the Hateful and Deadly gear. You can also get pants and a ring that are on par with Furious gear.
As far as what to get first, that depends a lot on what you need for upgrades. If you’re just starting out, I’d get my ring, legs, and trinket (111 sp/medallion) from Lwg, and use honor for the other pieces. If you can get your 2s or 3s up for the Relentless Honor off set pieces, then get those first with your Honor. Try to catch every LWG battle you can so you can acquire those marks fast. As for which weapon to go with, I went with the dagger for one reason. The dagger gives you a lot of flexibility. I actively play all 3 specs and since the off-hands are cheap (300 arena points) and you can switch between the haste, crit, or, spell penetration off-hands depending on which spec you’re using. Whether you go with the Haste or Crit is up to you. I’ll go into the benefits of each in detail later.
IDEAL STATS TO AIM FOR:
Hit = 4% hit to be capped and 6% hit to be capped against racials. I aim for 6%
Spell Penetration = 130 is ideal; however, I have 118. Every thing else is subjective…
Haste = Go with Haste off set pieces if you’re Affliction (Or Demonology depending on your play style).
Crit = Go with Crit off set pieces if you’re Destruction (Or Demonology depending on your play style).
Gems = Most agree when it comes to gemming, go with Spell Power for the Red Sockets and some form of Spell Penetration gems for the Blue Sockets. I use the 12sp/13 spell pen gems in my Blue Sockets. If you play Destruction exclusively, you might want to go with the Sp/Crit gems in your yellow sockets. Since I play Affliction and Demonology a lot too, I went with the Sp/Haste orange gems in my Shoulders, Chest, and Haste boots and my Crit boots have the Sp/Crit gem.
Meta Gem = I recommend going with the Chaotic Skyflare Diamond (21 Crit 3% increased crit damage) for all 3 specs because it gives you more flexibility to switch between the different specs. If you only play Affliction though, the Trenchant Earthsiege Diamond (25sp Stun Duration reduced by 10%) is a solid Meta Gem.
Helm = LWG 29 Sp/20 Resil
Shoulders = LWG 23 Sp/15 Resil
Cloak = 35 Spell Pen. (If you’re a Tailor and only play Affliction, it’s worth considering Lightweave but you need to maintain 110-130 Spell Pen)
Chest = 20 Resil
Bracers = 30 Sp
Gloves = 28 Sp or if you’re an Engineer go with the Pyro Rocket.
Legs = 50 Sp/30 Stam
Boots = Tuskarr’s Vitality (My mage is an engineer, so I have extra boots for the rocket boots when not in Arena).
LAKE WINTERGRASP GEAR:
Helm = 40 LWG Marks
Boots = 40 LWG Marks
Chest = 40 LWG Marks
Belt = 15 LWG Marks
Trinkets = 25 LWG Marks
Pants = 40 LWG Marks
Ring = 25 LWG Marks
Gloves = 31,600 Honor or 7,200 Honor and 200 Arena Points, or 46 Emblems of Conquest
Pants = 49,600 Honor or 12,000 Honor and 350 Arena Points or 58 Emblems of Conquest
Chest = 49,600 Honor or 12,000 Honor and 350 Arena Points or 58 Emblems of Conquest
Helm = 49,600 Honor or 12,000 Honor and 350 Arena Points or 58 Emblems of Conquest
Shoulders = 31,600 Honor or 9,600 Honor and 275 Arena Points or 46 Emblems of Conquest
Bracers = 31,600 Honor
Belt = 49,600 Honor
Boots = 49,600 Honor
Neck = 38,000 Honor
Ring = 38,000 Honor
Cloak = 38,000 Honor
Medallion of the Alliance/Horde = 49,600 Honor
Gloves = 7,200 Honor, 400 Arena Points, and 800 Arena Rating Requirement or 50 Emblems of Triumph
Pants = 12,000 Honor, 700 Arena Points, and 900 Arena Rating Requirement or 75 Emblems of Triumph
Chest = 12,000 Honor, 700 Arena Points, and 1,000 Arena Rating Requirement or 75 Emblems of Triumph
Helm = 12,000 Honor, 700 Arena Points, and 1,100 Arena Rating Requirement or 75 Emblems of Triumph
Shoulders = 9,600 Honor, 550 Arena Points, and 1,350 Arena Rating Requirement or 50 Emblems of Triumph
Gloves = 1,300 Arena Points and 1,400 Arena Rating Requirement
Pants = 2,150 Arena Points and 1,550 Arena Rating Requirement
Chest = 2,150 Arena Points and 1,600 Arena Rating Requirement
Helm = 2,150 Arena Points and 1,900 Arena Rating Requirement
Shoulders = 1,750 Arena Points and 2,000 Arena Rating Requirement
T1 Staff = 50,000 Honor, 1,400 Arena Points, and 1,800 Arena Rating Requirement
T1 Dagger = 35,000 Honor, 1,200 Arena Points, and 1,800 Arena Rating Requirement
Off-hand = 300 Arena Points and 1,800 Arena Rating Requirement
Wand = 1,150 Arena Points and 1,800 Arena Rating Requirement
T2 Staff = 4,250 Arena Points and 2,200 Arena Rating Requirement
T2 Dagger = 3,585 Arena Points and 2,200 Arena Rating Requirement
Bracers = 39,400 Honor and 1,200 Arena Rating Requirement
Belt = 62,000 Honor and 1,250 Arena Rating Requirement
Boots = 62,000 Honor and 1,300 Arena Rating Requirement
Neck = 47,400 Honor and 1,450 Arena Rating Requirement
Ring = 47,400 Honor and 1,500 Arena Rating Requirement
Battlemaster’s Trinket = 62,000 Honor and 1,650 Arena Rating Requirement
Cloak = 47,400 Honor and 1,750 Arena Rating Requirement
Gladius = It only works in Arena. When the match starts it shows what you’re facing. Serves as enemy frames that you can use to target your enemy, track their trinket use, notifies you if your opponent is drinking, etc. I highly recommend this addon if you are considering Arena.
Afflicted = When an opponent uses a cool down, it tracks the duration on the spell and also when it will be back up. If you have a hard time keeping up with different timers, this might not be for you.
Interrupt Bar = Tracks the cd on enemy interrupts. I personally prefer this over afflicted.
CCTracker = Lets you know when your partner is being cced, what he’s being cced by, and the duration on it. Also keeps track of the duration of cc you and your partners use.
Arena Historian = Records data after each match about the comp you faced, what your record is against them, and what TR/MMR the team was.
Lock Notes = Gives you a warning in the middle of your screen. For example a warrior uses spell reflect, you’ll get the message in the middle of your screen.
Quartz = Nice Casting Bar mod. You can adjust them as you see fit.
SCT = Scrolling Combat Text addon that shows incoming damage, killing blows, etc. You can configure it to meet your own needs. Good mod.
Necrosis = Warlock addon. I like it for the Fear Immunity warnings.
You can find most of the important macros here: Arena Junkie’s Macros. You can also browse the site for strategies, tips, etc.
These are some of my macros:
/cast [target=mouseover,exists] Fear; Fear
/cast [target=mouseover,exists] Banish; Banish
/cast [target=focus] Fear
/console targetNearestDistance 15.000000
/console targetNearestDistance 41.000000
/cast [harm,nodead] Corruption
All in one Pet Abilities: *Little different than the Junkie’s one
/cast [pet:succubus,target=focus,harm]Seduction;[pet:succubus]Seduction; [pet:felguard, target=focus,harm]Intercept; [pet:felguard]Intercept; [pet:voidwalker]Sacrifice; [target=Player’s Name] Devour Magic
All in one Pet Abilities: *Little different than the Junkies one
/cast [pet:voidwalker] consume shadows;[target=focus,exists,nodead, pet:felhunter] Spell Lock; Spell Lock
Felhunter Shadow Bite:
#showTooltip Shadow Bite
/cast [target=mouseover,exists] Shadow Bite; Shadow Bite
Curse of Tongues: Puts CoT on your focus if you have one. If you don’t have a focus, puts it on your target.
/cast [target=focus, exists, nodead] Curse of Tongues; Curse of Tongues
Fel Dom. Pet: Replace Felhunter with w/e pet you want to Fel Dom.
/cast Fel Domination
/cast summon felhunter
Trinket/Tele: I have a normal keybind for Trinket of course but I have this macro as an additional keybind too.
/use Every Man for Himself
/use Demonic Circle: Teleport
/cast [target=Player’s Name] Devour Magic
/use fel healthstone
/use battlemaster’s ruination (or /use 13 or /use 14 depending on what slot your trinket is in).
KEYBOARD TURNING AND BACK PEDALING:
In a serious PvP environment, you simply can’t use the A and D keys to turn. Don’t do it! You should always use your mouse to turn, no exceptions! I highly recommend doing 1 of 2 things. You can move your strafe binds to A and D and then bind spells to Q and E or you can bind spells to A and D. Either way is fine and the result will be in having 2 great key binds now available. Also, avoid using the S key to slowly move back aka back pedal. It serves no purpose in the PvP community and can free up an additional key bind for you as well. As a caster, it’ll be extremely frustrating trying to get a spell off with a melee on you, if you’re using A and D to turn. Ditch the habit now!
I follow the KISS approach, Keep It Simple Stupid. Investing in a good quality mouse with additional buttons on it is great! My spells are all set close to the W key or are set to my mouse. I also make use of my F1, F2, etc. mainly for pet commands. Making use of modifiers for your key binds can help a lot so you don’t end up with hard to reach/awkward key binds. Shift, Alt and Control all make good modifiers. Key binds should be quick, accessible, and comfortable to use. Experiment with key binds and figure out what is comfortable for you. Once you have a setup you think you’re happy with, start running a lot of battlegrounds so you can get comfortable with it.
I also recommend going to the key binding menu and scrolling down to targeting functions. By default, Tab is set to target the nearest enemy. I personally changed that to T, though you can set it to what ever you want. I recommend setting Tab to target nearest enemy player. What that does, is if a mage pops mirror images and you tab to target him, it will only target the real mage. It will also allow you to avoid having to tab through pets. This is pretty helpful in large scale PvP, like LWG and AV; however, making good use of Gladius to target enemies in arena will often be the way to go. I also use my V key so I can see the health bar over my enemies. I recommend using that so if you have a healer pillar humping in say Nagrand Arena, you can see the enemy a lot easier and keep track of which way they’re going around the pillar.
CASTERS AND FAKE CASTING:
Fake casting is the act of starting a cast only to end it early in the hopes of luring an enemy player into a wasting an interrupt. This is especially useful if you are trying to land a Fear or nuke on a target and you have a melee in your face. You can start the cast and then hit the W key or use your mouse to move, or any other means to end the cast early, to stop it at like 40%. This will cause the melee class to waste his kick, pummel, etc. and then you are free to cast it again with out having to worry about it being interrupted. It’s basically a mind game between the caster and melee and in some cases caster vs caster. It’s very important to make use of this technique in order to excel in PvP. The addon Interrupt Bar tracks the time on when an opponent’s interrupt is ready again.
Make sure before you enter a battleground or arena, you have plenty of reagents, bandages, water, tailoring nets, battleground potions, etc. I often make use of bandages in arena, especially if it comes down to a 1v1. Also, I highly recommend playing fully zoomed out so you can see your surroundings with ease. It’s important to always know where your healer/partner is and not to line of sight him/her. If your healer/partner gets in trouble, help him/her by “peeling” via Fear, Howl, Shadowfury, Death Coil, Felguard’s Intercept, Seduce, etc. Some thing to consider when you do arena/premades is using raid symbols so you can keep track of each other.
If you’re in a battleground and you can’t seem to kill a warrior because his health bar keeps going back to full, you didn’t take a good look at your surroundings. You should have been dealing with the healers first by either killing or Fearing them. Always be aware of what’s going on around you!
MAKING AN ARENA TEAM:
Arena Junkies – World of Warcraft PvP Strategy and Discussion, This rankings tab lets you look at the different brackets so you can figure out what comps people are running with the most success. I recommend starting with 2s because it’s not too complicating and it’s much easier to get games in when you only have to rely on 1 other person to be on but definitely get a 3s going too, asap. 5s requires having 4 other people on at the same time as you and requires much more coordination. Once you get more comfortable with 2s and 3s, then start looking into getting a 5s team going!
Some of the solid comps for us right now are:
2s: Lock/Rogue, Lock/Mage, Lock/Ret, and Lock/Healer.
3s: Rogue/Lock/Shaman (You can really run this with any healer and have success), Mage/Lock/Shaman (You can run this with any healer as well), Warrior/Lock/Druid, Warrior/Lock/Paladin, and DK/Lock/Druid. There are plenty of other comps as well.
5s: A classic 5s comp for locks is priest/paladin/warrior/ele/lock
You can pretty much make any thing work though if you set your mind to it. I ran Meta lock/DK to 2300 TR and 2400 MMR at the start of season 7.
GETTING THE MOST OUT OF ARENA:
Before you start doing arena, it’s important for you to decide how serious you want to take it. From there, you need to find a partner(s) that have the same goals as you. The most important thing is playing with people you get along with well. It doesn’t matter how good the player is, if you don’t get along with them, it’s not going to go well or be fun.
Don’t worry about how many games you win or lose. Play a lot of games and don’t be afraid to try different brackets, specs, strategies, etc. The main thing to do is get a lot of games in, you really need experience right now. Play with your partner in battle grounds, when you’re not doing arena. You can work out a lot of your crowd control chains during this time and build up better communication and coordination.
Communication is key in PvP. You need to be able to look ahead. Good teams can look ahead to plan on when to blow cool downs, or to give their partner time to drink, etc. Communicating on what is happening helps a lot too. For example, the other team’s healer trinkets a repent and now his trinket is down. This is not the time to go for a kill (unless the healer is exposed, then maybe it is!) This would be a good time to plan ahead for that repent when it’s back up. The paladin’s team should be preparing for a cc chain on the healer, when the repent comes back up and then the paladin and his healer can both dps the target. Since the trinket is down, a well executed cc chain on the healer can end this game.
Improving at PvP mainly comes down to experience. You have to be able to anticipate what your opponents are going to do. It comes down to anticipating what they’re going to do, countering it, better positioning, capitalizing on any mistakes they make, out playing them, and a little luck.
AFFLICTION: 54/17/0 is a standard Affliction spec with Shadow Embrace.
This 54/17/0 Affliction spec isn’t as standard, even though it’s a 54/17/0 spec. I personally think Shadow Embrace is overrated but specs are extremely subjective. My thinking is, we’re usually running with an MS class in 3s and 5s as it is, so I don’t think SE is that important to get.
Feel free to move points around as needed though but some form of 54/17/0 is the best way to go for Affliction.
As far as Haste or Crit, this is also very subjective. Most people prefer Haste for Affliction. I personally like Haste better than Crit for Affliction and use the Spellstone. Whether you just want to go with all of the Haste off set pieces or gem for it too is up to you. You also can grab the Haste Battlemaster’s Trinket and the lwg haste trinket for even more too.
I personally go with the sp/haste gems in the yellow sockets, sp/spell pen gems in the blue, and 23 sp gems in the red sockets. I also go with the sp battlemaster’s trinket. My haste basically just comes from Weapon, off-hand, and off set pieces, which puts me at 505 Haste. With all of that Haste, it simply speeds up the play style of Affliction. You can spread all of your dots around and land Fears much quicker. It also make juking interrupts extremely easier.
Haste also make juking interrupts extremely easier. Obviously since all of your damage is centered around your Shadow Tree, avoiding interrupts on your Shadow school is extremely important.
I usually start with Demon Armor on in the larger brackets and switch to Fel Armor depending on how things are going. For example, against Rmp, getting through the opener is the big part of the fight. After that, the damage isn’t as bad and I can switch to Fel Armor. Obviously, if you’re not getting focused (lol?) use Fel Armor.
Affliction Glyphs: Howl of Terror, Soul Link, Corruption, Shadowflame, and Unstable Affliction are all solid glyphs for Affliction.
DESTRUCTION: 3/17/51 is a standard Destruction spec with 3 points in Suppression for Hit and typically runs with the Felhunter out in Arena and either the Felhunter or Voidwalker out in Battlegrounds. Due to a change to Replenishment abilities: “Replenishment in Areans only affects the character and not the whole team”, it’s not worth grabbing Improved Soul Leech.
This 0/20/51 is the 2nd standard Destruction spec with 3 points moved over to Improved Succubus and typically runs with the Succubus out.
You can move 2 points from Improved Healthstone to Improved Health Funnel if needed.
Most people prefer going with a Crit set for Destruction but there are some that like Haste for Destruction too. I personally use my Crit set for it and use the Firestone. I’m sitting at almost a 25% chance to crit unbuffed. With Firestone and Devastation, it’s even higher. My gemming is pretty much the same as above for my crit set; however, I have a sp/crit gem in my boots for this set.
There’s really not too much information to go into about the play style of the spec. I pretty much run with Fel Armor up 99% of the time. Use Curse of the Elements to amp up your damage, with Immolate, Chaos Bolt, and then Conflag being your main burst setup and Incinerate your main nuke.
Throw up Corruption for some dispel protection on Immolate. If Immolate isn’t in danger of being dispelled, add in a Searing Pain between the Chaos Bolt and Conflag.
Use Shadowfury wisely to help setup kills or peel in emergencies. I always try to hit as many people as possible with it and follow it with a Howl of Terror at times, depending on positioning. Using Fear to bait people into interrupting your shadow school can be useful so you can freely cast your Fire spells. The important thing is to constantly switch targets.
Destruction Glyphs: Conflag, Immolate, Soul Link, and Shadowflame are all solid glyphs for Destruction.
DEMONOLOGY: 0/55/16 is the standard spec for Demonology.You can juggle some points around, like move the 2 points in Aftermath to Improved Shadow Bolt, or the 2 points in Demonic Resilience to Improved Health Funnel or Improve Health Stone, etc.
I’ve been experimenting with this 0/53/18 spec lately for a little more fire power, via Improved Shadow Bolt.
Either way, most people ROFL @ Demonology in PvP. It’s actually not as bad as people make it out to be. I kind of equate it to Boomkin PvP. Both specs are very close to being solid PvP specs, they just need another tool. Imo, the Felguard needs another ability, such as a snare, intervene, knockback, etc. but enough of that… back to the topic.
Due to the fact that most top locks have written Demonology off as being a garbage spec, I don’t think enough testing has been done to say what gear setup is ideal. I happen to have a Haste and Crit setup. With my Crit setup and Imp Firestone, I have a 36% Crit Chance. Add on the 5% from ISB and that’s a 41% chance to crit, before factoring in Resilience. The problem with that is, you’re sitting at a 2.5 second Shadow Bolt/Incinerate Cast. 2.5 second cast is a lot longer than it sounds once you try casting that in Arena or with melee on you, especially with out Intensity!
I personally like the Haste setup better because it drops my Shadow Bolt/Incinerates down to a 1.97 second cast and Fear down to a 1.03 second cast. (With the Haste Bm trinket, I’m at 873 Haste and 3122 Sp). If I use the Sp BM trinket, SB/Incin are at a 2.04 seconds and Fear is a 1.06 second cast (Puts me at 745 Haste and 3272 Sp). I personally don’t like giving up Sp, so I’ve been going with the Sp Bm trinket but that at least gives you an idea of what you can aim for. With the Haste setup, my Crit drops to a 22% chance + ISB, gives me a 27% chance to Crit not factoring in Resilience.
Imo, with close to 1.0 second cast Fears, it starts to give the spec some of the much needed control it lacks, those are some extremely fast Fears. It also gives you the ability to get some nukes off that crit for over 10k with my gear on a 0 Resilience target (That’s with Curse of the Elements). Make sure you take your Felguard’s Intercept off of auto (Get a intercept/focus macro for it) so you can make good use of it to interrupt a healer’s heal or to peel for your team.
I pretty much always use Fel Armor as Demonology. Most of your damage is going to come from Immolate, Corruption, the Felguard, Incinerate, and Shadow Bolt being your main nuke. You can use Incinerate to lure an interrupt on your Fire school so you can freely cast Fear/Shadow Bolts. I typically spread Immolate, Corruption, and Curse of Agony on off-targets (In that order) and CoE on my kill target.
My ideal rotation on my kill target is: Send Felguard in, CoE, Immolate, Corruption, Shadowflame, and then nuke with Shadow Bolt. If I want to bait an interrupt with out juking, I might use Incinerate. Always use Metamorphosis offensively to score a kill, not as a defensive ability. The spec is a lot of fun and I hope more people will experiment with it.
Demonology Glyphs: Felguard, Corruption, Soul Link, and Shadowflame are all great glyphs for Demonology.
PETS: In 2s, I typically always start with a Voidwalker out for all 3 specs. Once the gates open, I use sacrifice and then hard summon a new pet depending on what spec I’m using (Felhunter if I’m Affliction, Felguard if I’m Demonology, and Succubus or Felhunter if I’m Destruction).
If the opposing team has a rogue, send your pet in on a visible target and you’re immune to sap. You’ll need to get in there though or your pet will be extremely exposed for a quick kill.
If you’re finding it impossible for your team to keep your pet alive in 2s with a healer or 3s/5s, you can pull out an Imp and the opponents won’t be able to attack it; however, your healers won’t be able to heal your Imp either. You’ll have to Health Funnel your Imp every now and then to keep it up! If you’re considering ever pulling out an imp, make sure you pull out the Imp before Arena to ensure Phase Shift is on. Always start with your normal pet of choice but if you don’t feel comfortable with being able to keep that pet up after it goes down, just Fel Dom an Imp.
I don’t really believe there’s a right or wrong way to use our portal, just poor use of it, perhaps. How you use it is going to greatly depend on your play style. Some might only use it defensively and that’s it. Some might use it purely offensively. Others might use it with a balance of the 2. I fall in that 3rd category.
Against mages, locks, or druids, you can use it to get out of poor positioning if you’re exposed to cc to avoid that incoming sheep, fear, cyclone, etc. If there is a Warrior on the opposing team, I save it for the Bladestorm. The rest of the time I use it to take advantage of positioning on a healer, target, etc. This can often lead to a kill via a cc train on an unsuspecting healer.
I typically set my port up behind a pillar in Nagrand and RoV and behind the boxes in Dalaran, then quickly get away from it. If a team blows a gap closer such a Death Grip, setup a cc train on the healer and use it to get some separation to land a kill.
In RoL, I like placing it on my side of the Arena and some where fairly close to the tomb. I’ll then try to take the opposing healer’s position and force them toward my port area.
In Blade’s Edge Arena, I set it up on the bridge, usually near the middle of the bridge. If it’s a cleave or melee/caster type setup I might try luring them down below so I can abuse their positioning. I also like dragging them to my end of the bridge which forces their healer to come to them (Over my portal) which can expose them to a cc train.
The biggest thing I can say about our portal is try to not be too conservative with it (Unless you’re going against a Warrior ). Use it and use it often. Using it to avoid cc or get the advantage via position is huge. Be creative!
Like I said at the start, I don’t claim to be a god at the class but I hope some of you find this helpful. Some thing I hope you’ll keep in mind is, you’re going to lose and probably lose a lot. Try not to get too frustrated. Take a break if you need to but before you do. Reflect on the last game. Why did you lose? What did the other team do to put you in a bad position? Could either of you have changed the outcome by doing some thing different? What can you change so that doesn’t happen again? Start coming up with answers to these questions and you’ll be well on your way to becoming a better player!