Koalabear’s “So you want to level a warlock?” Guide

**********DISCLAMER**********

 

This is how I level warlocks.  This is not the end all be all leveling guide.  This is how I play and is just another suggestion to throw into the pot.  I love playing a warlock.  I have, at last count, seven warlocks spread across several servers.  Many of them are under level 10 but three are at decent levels (at this time Maddielyn is 30, Lyssianna is 51 and Millea is 80).  This means that I have indeed leveled through and can give a fair recount of what you could do.  Again, please take this with a grain of salt.  The interwebs are full of awesome leveling guides; this is just one person’s preferred method.

Welcome!  Several of my guildies/friends have decided to roll a warlock and have asked me what they should do.  I love warlocks.  I love playing them, leveling them and telling people how much I love them. ^_^  With that being said, away we go!

First off pick your race.  Alliance gets to choose between Humans and Gnomes.  In Cataclysm they will obtain W0rgen.  Since this “guide” was written during Wrath, you don’t get them.  Too bad, so sad.  Horde gets to choose between Orc, Undead and Blood Elf.  In Cataclysm they will also be able to be Goblins.  I personally will be leveling a Worgen warlock and a Goblin one.  I have found that I can play any of the races without a problem, except for Orcs.  I just have an issue with there not being a single pretty female Orc hairstyle.  My characters have one rule, they have to be pretty.  Yes, there is 1 pretty Undead female face, so I am able to stand them.  The Orc females just aren’t pretty.  They all look like they are pissed off.  While that is AWESOME for a warlock, not so much for my personal play style.  There are perks to each race, but I am not going to go into that here.  That is all up to you and whether you are a min/maxer or not.

The first 10 levels before you get your void walker are pretty much the same as leveling another class.  You are a caster in a cloth robe.  You will have to drink constantly.  At least you did until Blizzard changed everything.  Now up to level 10 your mana and health regen are insane.  Enjoy this while it lasts.  As soon as it goes away, you might end up wishing you were a mage and could create water for yourself.

You used to have to complete a quest in order to get your imp.  Now you can train your imp for 95c at level 1.  Which, having leveled a human and belf warlock, is utter bullshit.  Those two quests were a pain in the ass.  Now all the mobs are yellow and you get your imp at level 1.  Crap, but true.  Get your imp as soon as you can because the added dps is quite a bit of help.  My favorite thing to do is to send out the imp, then dot up the mob, using shadow bolt only when necessary.  Ultimately, these 10 levels will go by so quickly, it really wont matter.

Once you complete the quest chain where you receive your void walker (level 10) you will continue along as you pretty much had already been doing, only now you have your own personal tank, who can’t hold aggro for shit.  He does get better, but in the beginning, he sucks.  The first two points you should spend your talent points on are Fel Synergy Rank 1 and Fel Synergy Rank 2.  This talent will help to keep your minion alive, assuming you are still dealing damage.  Even though it isn’t in the raiding spec for warlocks, I still keep 2 points in Millea’s tree for this talent.  Your minions do a large part of your overall damage, so it is just silly to let them die right away.

I am going to assume you are now around level 20.  You get a “free” mount from your trainer.  It is free in that you don’t have to pay for the riding training, but it will still cost you around 33s.  You will also begin a quest chain to get your succubus.  I have been told that hordeside there are 2 quest chains for this.  The “easy” one you get from the trainer in Org or the “hard” one from the trainer in UC.  I was a belf, I went to UC.  I didn’t know about the “easy” quest.  The quest chain I did was a pain in the ass, and had I known there was an easier one, I would have soooo been there.  So if you are horde, do yourself a favor and go to Org for this chain.  Alliance has only one quest (that I am aware of) and it isn’t too bad.  Mostly it is a lot of running.  At least with Alliance, you aren’t running through higher level zones like you are on the UC one.  Thottbot is great on this quest chain if you get stuck.

Now I am assuming you are going to keep with my method of leveling.  Since this is the case, you can put away your Succubus once you get her because you won’t be using her any time soon.

Your talent tree at level 20 should look something like this.  I picked drain soul because you should be finishing off all of the mobs with it.  With the talent, you get mana back; which at this level is most helpful.

The next minion quest you get is for your felhunter.  This happens around level 30.  The felhunter is the affliction warlock dungeon minion of choice.  His int and spirit buff is very helpful to lower level casters.  While the imp has the stam buff and does more damage, the felhunter is who you will most likely go with.  If you find yourself in a group where you and the healer are the only casters (and there isn’t a warrior) then you could use the imp, but I typically use the felpuppy, even in those cases. 

While leveling, you should only bring out the fel puppy when there is a tank.  This means that ol’ big blue will still be your minion of choice.  At level 30 the tree should look something like this.

At level 32 you can finally spec into Siphon Life.  This is where it starts to get fun.  Siphon life heals you from your corruption spells.  At the lower levels this is just Corruption, but later on this ability also works off of Seed of Corruption.  Since you don’t get SoC until level 70, you just have that one spell.  Once you get this talent you will become an unstoppable machine.

This is how you do it:

Step 1 – Send out your void walker, make sure he hits the mob.  Treat him like a warrior tank.

Step 2 – Hit the mob with Corruption then Curse of Agony.

Step 3 – Life tap.

Step 4 – Either tab target a new target, or click one, and send the void walker out and let him get aggro on the new mob.

Step 5 – Hit the mob with Cor & CoA.

Step 6 – Life Tap.

Rinse and Repeat.  Once all the mobs are dead, spend 10 mins looting. ^_^

Depending on the level of the mobs you are killing, you can take on anywhere from 5-7 yellow mobs up to 10-12 green mobs at once.  Make sure you are keeping track of your void walker’s health.  Use Health Funnel as much as you need to.  You will be getting so much health from Siphon Life, that the health you lose from using HF is quickly replaced.

This also helps in dungeons where the healer, out of misunderstanding of warlocks (and horrible ones), refuses to heal you after life tapping.  Assuming you haven’t life tapped yourself close to death (if you have, then I want nothing to do with you) hitting a few mobs with Corruption should replenish you enough so that you can life tap to get back the mana you used spamming rain of fire.  If you do get a healer who pops you with a HoT, send them a whisper and thank them.  The more healers who understand warlocks, the better we all are.

Since you are a warlock you will find that you can solo elite mobs without dying.  This is a wonderful perk.  I have even manged to pull off killing an elite that was 3 levels higher than me.  The quests in Dragonblight, that require 2-3 people; I soloed them on my affliction warlock.  You do not need to be demonology to be able to solo stuff.  Affliction has wonderful talents that make up for being stuck with the blueberry for 70 levels.  I personally love my big blue friend and use him whenever I am not doing heroics or raids.  If you have your void walker out in dungeons I will smack you.  The only time you should have him out there is when there isn’t a tank, they need a 2nd tank and no one else can do it, or you have a crazy group that wants to die.  Use your felpuppy, your imp or even your succubus.  Do not use the void walker.

You will get a nifty temporary minion at 50; after you complete a quest chain.  The Infernal is great to use once your minion dies.  I usually only use it in raids or dungeons since it has such a high cool down.  This minion requires a reagent.  The lame part is you can only carry 5 of these reagents at one time.  So if you use them a lot, make sure you have a way to get more reagents easily.

Here are my suggested talents for level 40, level 50, level 60 and level 62.  62 is the earliest you can get Haunt.  You want to get that spell as soon as you can.  Feel free to put the other talent points you get after that spell anywhere you need them.  If you are going to PvP, get PvP talents like an instant Howl of Terror, or the improved Fear.  If you want to keep your minion alive, spec down into Demonology.  If you want to raid, then you will need to spec into Destruction and use a variation of this spec.  Millea right now is using a variation of the raiding spec.

I know that this did not cover all of the warlock leveling experience, but it should give you a good idea.  There are so many ways you can change the talents around and make leveling more fun for you.  Some people enjoy drain tanking, and thus will have their Succubus out or their imp and spec into Dark Pact.  That however isn’t fun for me, so that is why I didn’t tell you how to do it. 

If you have any other questions that I did not address please feel free to put them in the comments.  This was my first attempt at writing a how to guide, so I am open for feedback.  Thanks and happy warlock leveling!

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30 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Orangeslice
    Feb 01, 2010 @ 09:15:47

    Warlocks. Evil!!! Nice concise read. Still not gonna lvl one though!!! (well maybe)

    Reply

  2. sirfwalgman
    Feb 01, 2010 @ 10:02:34

    Wow. Awesome Post! Love it! Now I see why my Borelock (lvl40) is doing it wrong. Thanks!

    Reply

  3. Jasra
    Feb 01, 2010 @ 10:24:16

    Nifty. I’m gonna roll a worgen warlock too. I’ll have to come back to this!

    Reply

  4. Trackback: Riv’s Mage Leveling Guide, and Gold Making Tips. « A High Latency Life
  5. theerivs
    Feb 01, 2010 @ 10:41:56

    I want a warlock, but then I would hate myself too much. Quite the dilemma.

    Reply

  6. For the Pie
    Feb 01, 2010 @ 15:53:19

    1) Websense has been installed at work. Blogs 0 Websense 1Million
    B) Websense is now the devil

    III) Websense is a product of 1) Alliance 2) Cake. It’s pure evil.

    Reply

  7. Keredria
    Feb 02, 2010 @ 07:37:10

    Awesome! Little Kimchee will definitely be using this guide when she isn’t busy trying to dodge everyone who wants to eat her tasty little gnome ass.

    Reply

  8. Russish
    Feb 11, 2010 @ 16:32:32

    Weird… you can’t carry more than 5 Infernal Stones? I always stock up with 20 on my 80 ‘lock… if I’m playing Affliction, I always bring out the Inferno when there’s about a minute left on the boss.

    Admittedly, they do only stack up to 5 in one stack, but I can carry multiple stacks…

    Anyhow, fun guide. I wasn’t patient enough to send my blueberry out first, so I just used the felpuppy and drain tanked my way through the levels. Tanking as a clothie is too much fun!

    Reply

  9. forthepie
    May 23, 2010 @ 13:15:27

    Made it to 20, mana is no problem with heirloom gear. Seriously, I can have 5-6 mobs with dots ticking and my mana barely drops below 75%. In fact, it drops then comes back up as they die, due to twin Spellpower Trinkets.

    This mana tap you speak of…nah.

    Reply

  10. Trackback: Newbie guide to Affliction in 4.1 « DoTs & HoTs

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