Vanilla Warlock Leveling Guide (1-60)

Warlock Guide

Patch: 1.12

Author: Botmaster5

Vanilla Warlock Leveling Guide (1-60)

Classic Warlock Guide


Leveling your warlock

In Vanilla, you can Generally take on 2 mobs at once pretty easily allowing for fast leveling! One is DoT’d and VW tanked, while the other is DoT’d and running around feared. 3 mobs can be a bit trickier, One DoT’d and tanked by VW, the other body aggro’d on VW, the third DoT’d and running around feared. The only difference between taking on 2 or 3+ mobs is that you CANNOT use any life gain spells (Drain Life or Siphon Life) as you will pull ‘healing aggro’ from the unfocused mob.

Talent Snapshots: 20, 30, 40, 50, and 60

Talent points

Lvls 10-16: Affliction
10 – 11: Imp Corruption (2/5)
12 – 14: Suppression (3/5)
15 – 16: Imp Drain Soul (2/2)

Lvls 17 – 24: Demonology
17 – 18: Imp Healthstone (2/2)
19 – 21: Demonic Embrace (3/5)
22 – 24: Imp Voidwalker (3/3)

Lvls 25 – 47: Affliction
25 – 27: Imp Corruption (5/5)
28 – 30: Imp CoA (3/3)
31 – 32: Imp Lifetap (2/2)
33 – 34: Nightfall (2/2)
35 – 36: Grim Reach (2/2)
37: Suppression (4/5)
38: Siphon Life (1/1)
39: Suppression (5/5)
40: Amplify Curse (1/1)
41 – 42: Fel Concentration (2/5) <- See below *
43 – 47: Shadow Mastery (5/5)

Lvls 48 – 60: Demonology
48 – 49: Demonic Embrace (5/5)
50: Fel Domination (1/1)
51 – 54: Fel Intellect (4/5)
55 – 59: Unholy Power (5/5)
60: Demonic Sacrifice (1/1) <- See below **

The complete build

* These two points you can put anywhere. Some people like Curse of Exhaustion, some like Imp Curse of Weakness. It really doesn’t matter, they are points needed to be spent to unlock the next tier.

** At this point you should consider respeccing into a dungeon/raid spec and start working on your pre-raid BiS

Always have your VW out while questing and/or grinding, nothing else.


If its a quick kill (< 20 seconds): DoT with Siphon Life and Corruption
If it’s a longer kill (> 20 seconds): DoT with Siphon Life, CoA, and Corruption. Only reapply Corruption if needed, as reapplying CoA/Siphon Life is not mana efficient (unless the fight is 50+ seconds long).


Unless you want the XP, you can skip most of the warlock class quests, with the following exceptions
Level 10The Binding – VW quest
Level 31In Search of Menara Voidrender – quest for Enchanted Gold Bloodrobe that can last you well into your 50s
Level 35Knowledge of the Orb of Orahil – Make sure you go the The Completed Orb of Dar’Orahil route and take the orb!. This will last you quite a long while, and the active use isn’t that bad.
Level 40Summon Felsteed – click, click, free mount
Level 50An Imp’s Request – quest for a unique, warlock only weapon, the Soul Harvester!!! Side note – take the trinket. The staff will eventually be replaced, the trinket has no substitute and is useful forever (including TBC)

The following is your Drain Soul Macro. This is what you will use in place of Drain Soul once you get a soul shard bag. It will delete the item (soul shard) in the bottom right corner of your leftmost bag, which normally would be our soul shard bag. If the bag is not full, it won’t delete anything. You should be using this macro/spell to kill every mob you are fighting. This will give you a nice 10-second buff that will give you a nice little chunk of mana.

CODE:/cast Drain Soul(Rank 1)
/run local a=GetBagName(4); if a=="Core Felcloth Bag" or a=="Felcloth Bag" or a=="Soul Pouch" or a=="Box of Souls" or a=="Small Soul Pouch" then PickupContainerItem(4,GetContainerNumSlots(4)) DeleteCursorItem() else end

Between levels 37 and 44, buy or have made every piece of shadoweave. It is a good base set that will improve your damage. You can start replacing pieces if you find something with both Int and Spirit. Even though we are not really a Spirit-based class, the more we have, the more mana we can recuperate with Imp Drain Soul.

Not all levels are created equal
Save your money!! Since we don’t have to purchase a mount at level 40, we are in an advantageous position that we can spend that money on gear. Only spend money to level Corruption, CoA, Siphon Life, Lifetap, shadowbolt, demon armor, soul stone, health stone, and your VW books. And start saving your money for some of your pre-raid BiS gear that is BoE. IE Felcloth Gloves.

PvE Gearing for Raids

You’ve just hit 60, congrats!! Now what? If you want to continue to quest grind for gold, rewards, and rep, by all means, keep your same spec and go to town. However, if you find yourself with the inclining to start running dungeons for loot and eventually getting into a raiding guild, here is what you should shoot for.

PvE Dungeon Spec:
You really only have 2 choices here;
SM/Ruin – DoT EVERYTHING with corruption, spam shadowbolts.
Pros: Higher survivability outside of raids and dungeons because of Siphon Life.
Cons: Lower overall DPS than DS/Ruin

5/5 Imp Corr DS/Ruin / 5/5 Suppression DS/Ruin – Sacrifice succubus, pretend you are a shadow spec mage bot that spams shadowbolts.
Pros: Higher overall DPS than SM/Ruin, Can use Curse of Shadows instead of Curse of Agony
Cons: Glass cannon.

The following is the current 1.8 BiS Pre-Raid gear for warlocks. With the addition of ZG, I classify any non-40 man dungeons as pre-raid. If you engage in the glorious act of PvP in your spare time, then you should strive to get the following Rank 10 PvP gear pieces, Champion’s Dreadweave Cowl, and Champion’s Dreadweave Spaulders. From this point forward, MH/OH will be definitively better than 2H (until Staff of the Shadow Flame off Nefarian 0.0!!!).

Head: +40 “of Shadow Wrath”, The Hexxer’s Cover, Bloodvine Goggles
Neck: Dark Advisor’s Pendant, Orb of the Darkmoon, Jeklik’s Opaline Talisman,
Shoulder: Felcloth Shoulders, +30 “of Shadow Wrath”, Abyssal Cloth Amice of Socery
Back: +21 “of Shadow Wrath”, Cloak of the Hakkari Worshipers, Cloak of Consumption
Chest: Robe of Winter Night, Robe of the Void, Bloodvine Vest
Wrist: Sublime Wristguards, +21 “of Shadow Wrath”, Dryad’s Wrist Bindings
Hands: Gloves of Spell Mastery,Felcloth Gloves, Bloodtinged Gloves
Waist: Frostwolf Cloth Belt, Defiler’s Cloth Girdle, Belt of Untapped Power
Legs: Abyssal Cloth Pants of Sorcery, Flarecore Leggings, Bloodvine Leggings
Feet: +30 “of Shadow Wrath”, Betrayer’s Boots, Bloodvine Boots
Ring: Eye of Orgrimmar, Maiden’s Circle, Zanzil’s Concentration
Trinket: Eye of the Beast, Briarwood Reed, Zandalarian Hero Charm
2H: Rod of the Ogre Magi, Jin’do’s Judgement, Ironbark Staff
Main Hand: Fang of Venoxis, Bloodcaller, Mindfang
Off Hand: Therazane’s Touch/Tome of Shadow Force, Jin’do’s Bag of Whammies
Ranged: Skul’s Ghastly Touch, Touch of Chaos, +21 “of Shadow Wrath”

Older Patches:
Patch 1.3 – Dire Maul
Patch 1.5 – “of Shadow Wrath” Greens
Patch 1.6 – BWL
Patch 1.7 – ZG

PvE Tips: Cheap Oils and Elixirs
Starting off, face it, your DPS will be abysmal. Accept this and move on. Two cheap options that are an effective DPS bump while working on your gear: Lesser Wizard Oil and Arcane Elixirs. Both are relatively cheap on the AH and have a combined +36 spell damage. The oil will also last through death.


Choosing which professions you want to pursue with your warlock really boils down to what you want to be doing when you reach the endgame. Here, I will go over each profession and summarize my personal choices at the end.

Gathering Professions: Typically chosen to either support a Production profession or as a source of income.
Herbalism: Along with mining, a fairly easy profession to skill up while playing. ‘See node. Gather node’. At higher levels and at endgame, a fairly good source of income if you are diligent. Flask mats are always in high demand.
Mining: Along with herbalism, a fairly easy profession to skill up while playing. ‘See node. Gather node’. Endgame mining for warlocks is a fairly poor choice.
Skinning: In the same vein as mining (kek, puns). Unless you are supporting another toon with your Skinning/Leatherworking, leave those professions to the leather wearers.

Production Professions: The meat and potatoes of your endgame profession selection. Choosing, or not choosing, some of these have drastic effects on endgame results.
Alchemy: A good source of income if you can land a few rarer recipes (see flasks). Also takes a business-like mind and mentality to watch the AH and know when to buy and sell (mats and pots). Also gains access to transmutes.
Blacksmithing: Only pick this if you are supporting another toon. Useless for warlocks
Enchanting: Good for some side cash (selling DE’s) and leveling up with tailoring (DE what you craft). Can be expensive to level up, and the endgame payoff is limited. Unless you land a very rare recipe (see +30 spell power / +55 healing), you are only going to be making money off tips.
Engineering: An absolute MUST if you are going to be a serious PvP’er. The trinkets and gizmos you gain access to are numerous and entertaining.
Leatherworking: See skinning.
Tailoring: This is where the magic happens. BoP recipes are some of the most powerful gear you have access to outside of 40-mans. Robe of the Void is BiS pre-raid chest, and the soon to be release ZG Bloodvine recipes (chest, legs, boots) are BiS until Naxx. Definitely pick this up and level it if you are serious about PvE

What have we learned? If you PvP, take Engineering. If you PvE, take Tailoring. Those are the only rules. Your 2nd profession is really up to you and what you enjoy doing? Me personally? I have Tailoring and am about to drop Enchanting for Alchemy.

BiS of the BiS

No world bosses!! (keeping it a little realistic)

The below is the Bis of the Bis, universally accepted, diligently theory-crafted, Xashe approved.

With the release of BWL and some +spell hit gear, we finally have a sturdy base to build on. I’ve started a list of the primo BiS from now till the end of vanilla, broken up into the upcoming patches.

Patch 1.6 (BWL)
HelmMish’undare, Circlet of the Mind Flayer – Nef
Neck Choker of the Firelord – Rag
ShoulderMantle of the Blackwing Cabal – Razorgore
BackCloak of the Brood Lord – Nef
ChestRobe of Volatile Power – Luci/Shazz/Geh/Sulf
BracerBracers of Arcane Accuracy – Broodlord Lasher
HandsEbony Flame Gloves – Ebonroc
BeltMana Igniting Cord – Magmadar/Geddon/Garr/Golemagg
LegsFlarecore Leggings – Crafted
Boots – +30 Boots of Shadow Wrath – BoE
Ring1Band of Forced Concentration – Ebonroc
Ring2Band of Dark Dominion – BWL trash
Trinket1* – Briarwood Reed – Jed or Eye of the Beast – Quest
Trinket2Neltharion’s Tear – Nef
2HStaff of the Shadow Flame – Nef
Wand – +23 Lunar Wand of Shadow Wrath -BoE
*ToEP goes here, but priority Mages > Warlocks, also depending on buffs and raid DPS Reed vs Eye

Patch 1.7 (ZG) changes:
BackCloak of the Brood Lord -> Cloak of Consumption – HakKar
ChestRobe of Volatile Power -> Bloodvine Vest – Crafted
LegsFlarecore Leggings -> Bloodvine Leggings – Crafted
Boots – +30 Boots of Shadow Wrath -> Bloodvine Boots – Crafted

Patch 1.8 (Dragons of Nightmare/Abyssal Council) changes:

Patch 1.9 (AQ 20/40) changes:
Head – XXX -> Doomcaller’s Circlet – Quest
Neck – XXX -> Amulet of Vek’nilash – Twin Emps
Shoulder – XXX -> Doomcaller’s Mantle – Quest
Back – XXX -> Cloak of the Devoured – C’Thun
Bracer – XXX -> Rockfury Bracers – Quest
Hands – XXX -> Dark Storm Gauntlets – C’Thun
Belt – XXX -> Eyestalk Waist Cord – C’Thun
Ring1 – XXX -> Ring of Unspoken Names – Quest
Ring2** – Band of Forced Concentration -> Ring of the Fallen God – C’Thun
2h / 1h+OH – XXX -> Sharpened Silithid Femur + Royal Scepter of Vek’lor – Twin Emps

**Only update your Band of Forced Concentration to Ring of the Fallen God

Patch 1.10 (non-content) changes:

Patch 1.11 (Naxx – non-Frost Wing loot) changes:
Helm – XXX -> Plagueheart Circlet – Quest
Shoulder – XXX ->Rime Covered Mantle – Gluth
Chest – XXX -> Plagueheart Robe – Quest
Legs – XXX -> Leggings of Polarity – Thaddius
Boots – XXX -> Plagueheart Sandals – Quest
Ring1/2** – Ring of Unspoken Names -> Seal of the Damned – 4 Horsemen
2h / 1h+OH – XXX -> Wraith Blade – Maexxna
Wand – XXX -> Wand of Fates – Patchwerk

**Depending on your +sp at this point, some argue that Ring of Unspoken Names+Seal of the Damned > Ring of the Fallen God+Seal of the Damned because of the extra crit. Your mileage may vary, test both.

The 2/8 set bonus (Your Shadow Bolts now have a chance to heal you for 270 to 331) is always reached since Tier 3 head, chest and boots are best in slot items. The 4/8 bonus (Increases damage caused by your Corruption by 12%) is very easily reachable with Plagueheart Shoulderpads, meaning that the set bonus worth discussing is the 6/8 bonus (Your spell critical hits generate 25% less threat. In addition, Corruption, Immolate, Curse of Agony, and Siphon Life generate 25% less threat), extremely handy in threat-sensitive fights.

The 6/8 T3 set bonus is most effectively reached by adopting the Plagueheart Belt and Plagueheart Gloves over your Eyestalk Waist Cord and Dark Storm Gauntlets.

Enchants and Consumables

Ensuring you have the proper enchants on your gear not only will ensure you are maximizing your DPS output, but will also make sure you are taken seriously. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve seen AGI enchants on gloves or Spirit on bracers.

Head: Hoodoo Hex (18sp/10stam) > Arcanum of Focus (9sp)
Shoulder: Zandalar Signet of Mojo (18sp)
Back: Enchant Cloak – Greater Resistance (+5 resist all)
Chest: Greater Stats(+4 Stats) > Major Mana (+100 mana)
Wrist: Greater Intellect(+7 int) > Superior Stamina(+9 sta)
Hands: Riding Skill
Legs: Hoodoo Hex (18sp/10stam) > Arcanum of Focus (9sp)
Feet: Minor Run Speed
2H: Spell Power(+30sp)
Main Hand: Spell Power(+30sp)
Off Hand: -NA-
Ranged: -NA-

Flask of Supreme Power – for progression or try hard meter smashing
Elixir of Shadow Power
Greater Arcane Elixir
Elixir of Greater Firepower
Brilliant Wizard Oil
Rumsey Rum Black Label

I hope this helps all you new leveling warlocks, or help redirect some of you who are having problems leveling.