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The Best of (Dark) Intentions

17 Nov

Dark Intent.  This is an ability you don’t care about for three reasons.

First, it’s a warlock ability.  As this is a priest blog, you usually come here for discussion of priest abilities (with a few notable exceptions).  Today is not a day I plan to consume theorycrafting anything other than my main character, so let’s get that out-of-the-way first.

Second, it does not exist in-game yet.  This is a beta ability, first available to warlocks at level 83.  As a beta ability it is subject to change.  We will be exploring the current (and so far stable) iteration of the spell.

Third, you might have already written this ability off as a Focus Magic clone, tradable between warlocks and irrelevant to your shadowy path of destruction.  Not so.

You care about this ability because despite being cast by warlocks, these dark intentions are for us. In terms that a warlock can understand, I’m going to give you the ammunition you’ll need to fight off all competitors and receive this buff.

How Does it Work?

Dark Intent is a 30 minute buff a warlock will cast on another player.  It does two things.  First, it gives both players a flat 3% haste.  This effect stacks multiple times with additional buffs.  Second, every time your linked friend crits with a periodic ability, you receive a flat 3% increase to periodic damage and healing.  This stacks up to 3 times.  Likewise, if you crit with any periodic ability, the warlock receives this stacking buff.  This effect does not stack with multiple Dark Intents, so it is unwise for warlocks to trade this buff.

Who is the Warlock going to Use this Ability on?

A smart warlock thinks about three things:

  • How can I increase my personal DPS?
  • How can I increase the overall power of the raid?
  • Can somebody make me a sandwich?

In terms of personal DPS, he’s wise to trade with a class that grants maximum uptime on the +% damage part of the buff.  This requires a high number of constant critical periodic effects.  Critical hit chance effects this, but it is not a complete picture.  Likewise I’ve seen analysis that looks at the number of periodic effects one class has active versus another class.  This is also an inaccurate method of assessment.

The metric for puzzling out uptime on the +% damage buff is periodic critical strikes per second. While harder to measure than flat crit rate, only a class with more than one periodic critical every 7 seconds is going to keep maximized uptime on Dark Intent.  Here shadow reigns king.

The second aspect of your warlock’s little “who should I give this too” puzzle is raid power.  The buff should be handed out to the class that makes the best use of it.  This means a class that appreciates haste and makes use (primarily) of Over-time effects such as Hots or Dots.  In the category or non-warlock damage classes, shadow priests are the only class with three DoTs and a periodic effect as a spam-able nuke.  This puts us high up enough on the list to not be completely ignored.

In Conclusion: Why Us?

With the highest number of periodic effects of any class–and an unrivaled rate of periodic critical strikes per second–shadow priests are a perfect choice for raid success and the personal DPS of your warlock friend.

If your warlock is a mouth-breathing lowlife who looks like the picture below in real life, consider forgoing all advice and just making him a sandwich.  In my professional experience, sandwiches buy you a lot of love.


Warlock DPS: Destruction

13 Jul

The third and final posting in the series Notlupus wrote on warlock DPS.  Yes, I am aware this is not a warlock focused blog.  No, I am not turning away from my shadow priest to do nothing my play my lovely little warlock.  Yes, Lupus is as attractive as his writing indicates.  I believe he is engaged.  Having answered all the question I got emails about in the last couple days, what follows is actually kind of useful.


This tree, while the lowest of the 3 in terms of dps, offers better burst damage and some measure of utility through stuns (Shadowfury) and replenishment (Improved Soul Leech).

Stat weighting in T10 gear is as follows.

  • SP=2.1192
  • Crit=1.4179
  • Haste=1.1847
  • Spi=0.9287
  • Int=0.6531

This one requires a bit more clarification. Haste scales more poorly with destro than it does with affliction and

Biblical destruction got nothin' on Lupus

demonology, but it remains a better stat to stack than crit UP TO A POINT. Eventually you’ll start reaching <1 sec cast times with your backdraft procs, which only results in lost dps. At that point you want to focus on crit through your gear, though never with gems. That number still remains fairly high, in the thousand range.


Most people tend to take a 0/13/58 spec with 2 points in backlash. I find that to be a fairly useless talent, and it’s better to take one point out of backlash and into Soul Link in the demo tree. The 20% damage reduction is very nice with all the raid damage in ICC, and I’m sure your healers will be grateful. Regardless, both will be listed.

0/13/58 NO SOUL LINK

0/14/57 Soul Link

The gain in 20% DR outweighs the 1% crit, especially with your talents already increasing your crit rate.

Improved Soul Leech is mainly for you. It lets you focus less on life tapping and more on pew pew, increasing your dps. Shadowfury is situational, though useful on fights like Saurfang where you need to slow the bloodbeasts and Lich King with the Valk’yr.


With the changes to immolate, and it’s ability to crit, Glyph of Immolate has actually become pretty attractive. You might consider that in place of Glyph of Lifetap, depending upon your amount of spirit. Generally, you’d want immo over life tap.

Glyph of Immolate
Increases the periodic damage of your Immolate by 10%.

Glyph of Incinerate
Increases the damage done by Incinerate by 5%.

Glyph of Conflagrate
Your Conflagrate spell no longer consumes your Immolate or Shadowflame spell from the target.

Very important, as you want immo up on your target at all times.


Again, more of a priority thing.

Curse of Doom (or Elements) > Immolate > Conflagrate > Chaos Bolt > Incinerate

When first starting, keep in mind that there is a small bit of lag between you and the server. For this reason, after your first immolate, you want to start casting chaos bolt and then conflag, instead of waiting for conflag to register. Otherwise follow the priority list.

Also, there is a macro you want to link with your incinerate cast.

/cast [pet:imp] Fire Bolt
/cast Incinerate

Because of issues with the spell queue system, the imp won’t fireball as often as he actually can. Using this macro will increase your dps by about 100.

And remember


Warlock DPS: Demonology

12 Jul

Once again, this post comes courtesy of Notlupus, the many-talented warlock from my guild.  He’s one of our newest members and everyone at AMRanged is more than proud to have him here.  The melee team, communicating in AMMelee, still think he’s smelly.


This tree focuses on minion damage, procs, a raid wide spell power buff, and a very neat cooldown.

Stat weighting is as follows.

  • SP=2.0455
  • Haste=1.5840
  • Crit=1.3815
  • Spi=1.3329
  • Int=0.6034
  • Sta=0.2864

Note that this is the only tree where stam comes into play, as it increases your demon’s stamina, which in turn increases your spellpower. This comes from the Demonic Knowledge talent. Never focus on stacking it however.

Also keep in mind that the primary reason for going demo is the Demonic Pact raid buff, 10% of your spellpower to the raid when your demon crits, which is why spirit scales almost as high as crit.


As long as you’re hit capped, the standard spec is 0/56/15.

His head is small, but he bashes stuff with it

Cookie-cutter demo spec

Because mana feed is not taken, be sure to turn off cleave on your Felguard to avoid mana issues. He doesn’t need it anyway.


Glyph of Quick Decay
Your haste now reduces the time between periodic damage ticks of your Corruption spell.

More ticks = more Molten Core procs.

Glyph of Lifetap
When you use Life Tap or Dark Pact, you gain 20% of your Spirit as spell power for 40 sec.

Again, the Demonic Pact buff. More spell power is always good for you and the raid.

Glyph of Felguard
Increases the Felguard’s total attack power by 20%.

The Felguard is a big chunk of your dps.


The same as affliction, this is more of a priority list.

Curse of Doom (or Elements depending) > Corruption > Immolate > Shadowbolt (unless molten core has procced above 35%)

Whenever Molten Core procs, be sure to fire off 3x Incinerate instead (and only use Incin with a MC proc, never otherwise), UNLESS you have reached the execute phase of 35% and below. At that point, drop Immolate from your list and besure to keep corruption up for the MC procs. Then just spam Soulfire all day.

Curse of Doom, while top on the priority list, is best used when you can line up your procs, i.e Meta, trinket, 4 piece T10 bonus, Demonic Pact, etc. If everything lines up, it’s not uncommon to see it hit for 40k+.

Only use Curse of Agony in place of Doom if you know the fight has less than a minute remaining. It’s a dps loss otherwise. It takes 3-4 casts of Agony to reach the same damage as Doom, and Doom only uses 1 GCD.

Remember to use Meta whenever it comes off CD, along with Immolation Aura. Same with Demonic Empowerment, especially since it is off the GCD.

Warlock DPS: Affliction

11 Jul

My first alt is a warlock.  According to WoW Census the number one shadow priet alt is a warlock.  In light of this I figured I should cross post this.  I’ll be posting my own, spriest version soon.

A remarkably talented guild-mate of mine recently wrote a series of articles for the raiding ‘locks and ‘lock alts in our guild.  Notlupus is experienced in all specs, does his own SimCrafting, and looks pretty foxy in his forum pictures!  Posted below are his suggestion for Affliction basics.  The only changes made are for formating reasons.


Current top dps tree for locks in T10 gear, this tree focuses on DoT effects and self-healing.

Stat weighing in tier 10 gear is as follows:

  • SP=2.3051
  • Haste=2.0663
  • Crit=1.4784
  • Spi=1.2660
  • Int=0.5434

Haste outweighs crit by a fair margin, and will always do so.  Spirit is pretty close to crit due to the use of Glyph of Lifetap and our Fel Armor effect, more on that later.


For talents, afflic generally takes 56/0/15. You have 3 points to move around in theIts like Homeward Bound, but the puppy is uglieraffliction tree depending on the amount of hit from your gear, offering it greater flexibility than demonology or destruction.

56/0/15 with suppression

56/0/15 without suppression

You have some flexibility with the improved lifetap or improved drain soul, though I generally find the threat reduction to be more helpful.


Glyph of Quick Decay
Your haste now reduces the time between periodic damage ticks of your Corruption spell.

The primary reason why haste scales so well for affliction now. More haste = more ticks.

Glyph of Life Tap
When you use Life Tap or Dark Pact, you gain 20% of your Spirit as spell power for 40 sec.

This brings our total spell power from spirit to 50%. A must have.

Glyph of Haunt
The bonus damage granted by your Haunt spell is increased by an additional 3%.

This bumps Haunts bonus damage for DoTs to 23%. Incredibly sexy.


The affliction rotation is more like a priority list, though your opening casts should follow an order. It goes as follows.

To open
Lifetap > Shadowbolt > Haunt > Unstable Affliction > Curse of Agony > Corruption

Corruption > Haunt > UA > CoA > Shadow Bolt

Generally speaking, you just spam shadow bolt and refresh your UA and COA as needed, as well as your lifetap. If there is no boomkin or UH DK in the raid, and no demo or destro lock to be the Curse of Elements bitch, then it falls on you to apply it before any other spell. Curse of Agony averages to about 8% of your damage, versus the 13% increase from Elements, not to mention the raid increase.