Yet Another Warlock Nerf

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Gearing Based on Talent Specialization

This is what T8 should look like.

This is what T8 should look like.

With 3.1 en route, raiders everywhere are looking to maximize their dps and get geared for the arduous challenge Ulduar is going to present. For a lot of warlocks, that may mean running Naxx, Eye of Eternity, and Obsidian Sanctum, and checking Altas Loot (in the days between save resets) for the sweetest looking gear. But what if you wish to reeeeallly max out your dps? Well, not all loot is for everyone, and some stats are needed more by some warlocks than by others. This all depends on your talent build, or rather, on your future talent build in 3.1. Am I suggesting that you ditch your [Valorous Plagueheart Garb] for a quest reward or a lesser item? No. But being cognizant of the best stats for your spec may help you decide on some neck gear, bracers, rings, and maybe even trinkets. Lets fire up simulationcraft.

To determine the most relevant stats for warlocks, I ran the following simulationcraft raid simulation, updated with the latest patch notes and T8 gear:


I took these top 6 warlock specs:

  1. 0/40/31
  2. 53/0/18
  3. 0/41/30
  4. 3/52/16
  5. 3/13/55
  6. 0/56/15

And I ran them through simulationcraft myself to determine the scale factors for all of them. The scale factors are only talent build relevant, not gear relevant, so this can still apply to you even if you’re not fully geared up in ilevel 213s yet. The scale factors show the dps increase you recieve per point of that stat.

I made the following chart to demonstrate the results:

Warlock Factors

This is only intended to establish gear priority. So, a 58/0/18 Affliction warlock gains no dps from having additional stamina (but stamina is important for survivability, and you’re going to be doing no damage at all if you’re dead) where as a 3/13/55 warlock gains 2.52 dps for every additional point of hit they accrue at 80. Again, this should be used as another guide for consideration, not as law. The simulation was run with 1,000,000 iterations for each spec. Data was collected using simulationcraft r1955.

Gearing Up

Now lets take a look at some possible gear items for each warlock. Using and, we can search for items, including the new Ulduar ilevel 226s, by inputting our scale factors. Here are the links to the Lootrank and WoWhead, all set up per spec scale factors.

  1. 0/40/31 Lootrank WoWhead
  2. 53/0/18 Lootrank WoWhead
  3. 0/41/30 Lootrank WoWhead
  4. 3/52/16 Lootrank WoWhead
  5. 3/13/55 Lootrank WoWhead
  6. 0/56/15 Lootrank WoWhead

Obviously, WoWhead and Lootrank will tell you which gear is best for your spec as well as how to acquire your gear, making them one step ahead of websites like gear wishlist.What’s interesting about the gear rankings on Lootrank is that they will sometimes show other epic Ulduar drops ahead of the T8 pieces, which makes sense for certain specs. The key thing in the endgame will then be to decide is which pieces to pick up to at least get that critical 2 piece bonus (Increases the damage done by your Unstable Affliction by 20% and your Immolate by 10%).

You can download the raw data in csv form here. If you see any mistakes in my work, please let me know immediately by leaving a comment or contacting me.

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About the author

This post was written by Alghieri, who contributed 3 posts on Yet Another Warlock Nerf.
You can read a short bio and find all posts by Alghieri by clicking his name.


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25 responses to “Gearing Based on Talent Specialization”

  1. Grimgrum says:

    Very nice bit of work. I now have my shopping list all worked out.

  2. Alghieri says:

    Great! I’m glad you enjoyed it.

    I don’t think Blizzard is completely settled on the final patch notes and tweaks for our class, so I’ll continuously be updating this with the latest simulations until 3.1 comes out.

  3. Rosalyne says:

    Thank you, Alghieri, for posting such an informative post on Warlocks, talent specs and gear!

    I do very much appreciate that you have gathered this information up and have explained it in such a way that we all can understand and wish to add a heartfelt thanks as to sharing it with us!

    I think I have some studying to do on what gear pieces I need for my duel specs and what I need to save money up for! :)

    Though, I wish to ask a question of following visitors and yourself: I am currently at a 0/41/30 spec as for my raid spec. I have played all specs and love each for their own unique abilities. Which spec is the best after 0/41/30 for raids once a nice level of spell power is acquired? I would love to duel spec, and seeing as 0/41/30 is nice even for PvP and farming, I would like to have a PURE raid spec. What are your opinions? (And is there such a thing as a PURE raid spec?)

  4. Romil says:

    Good analysis, but your numbers aren’t jiving with what is being posted on EJ. They’ve done a similar analysis, which shows Affliction still the king over 0/40/31. This really isn’t that big a deal, but when adding that to the fact that you show a fire mage spec as the top mage spec, and so low on the charts makes me question the results a bit.

    I’m not saying its wrong, I’m just wondering if something isnt configured correct in your simcraft runs.

  5. Alghieri says:

    Thanks for your awesome feedback. For raiding, I tend to prefer specs that cause a high dps on a single target, so 0/40/31 or 0/41/30 aren’t your thing, you should try 53/0/18 (deep affliction) or 3/13/55 (deep destruction), depending on which style you like better. I tend to prefer affliction, so I’ll be speccing 0/40/31 and 53/0/18 when dual speccing hits. I hope this answers your question as to your choices.

    I only used the actual simulationcraft to determine the top warlock DPS specs. If you’re talking about this thread, where the 53,0,18_DG comes out on top, I belive that simulation was run on either r1882 or 1937, which did not include the T8 bonuses(and used the T7 bonuses instead) or replenishment. Due to these changes, the scaling factors have changed. Actually, as I was writing this post, I initially used r1937 to do all the calculations. Right before publishing, I decided to check Simulationcraft to verify I was using the latest version and r1955 had come out so I decided to do that. I used all the default settings(except for iterations, which I changed to 1 Million), and did not mess with any spell rotations to make sure the dps was an accurate representation of the in game product.

  6. Rosalyne says:

    I must state that the 3/15/55 spec caught my eye, seeing the numbers that it produced on your charts, and as I note I like all talent trees of the Warlock specs, I prefer to be deep in one spec and left over in another instead of a pure hybrid like a PvP spec I seen once (25/17/29 I think).

    I guess I should state that I want a constant strong DPS on both mobs and trash and with stating that, I guess I can throw out Affliction.

    But one must wonder if you should duel spec for 3/15/55 for trash mobs with Imp and then roll 53/0/18 for bosses? Provided that you use an Infernal or Doomguard for a boost in DPS or roll the puppy to make the Priest happy.

  7. Aluraud says:

    Great post, Alghieri. I agree that our set should look like that picture, rather than the big bird costume we are getting right now.

    Rosalyne - no one cares about trash, really. And besides, no matter how you spec as a lock you will not beet the meters on trash (unless there are enough trash mobs for SoC spamming).

  8. Maladi says:

    There has been some interesting simulationcraft with a deep Destruction build + Replenishment. The newest numbers put it just behind the 0/40/31 build in terms of DPS. What do you think of this? I’ve traditionally been an advocate for Affliction specs, but the new Destruction build intrigues me.

  9. Drekthul says:

    To be honest, I think the deep destruction spec you list would increase DPS significantly if you weighted it with more crit. I bet that with appropriate crit gear you would find deep destro on top of the dps scale.

  10. Rosalyne says:

    @ Aluraud - Rain of Fire…. Rain of Fire…. Rain of Fire… and you will as a lock and have several times.

  11. makingownage says:

    I am currently set for 0/41/30…. I absolutely love the spec, as affliction, it has some nice single target deeps but i pull only 4500 on it atm with my gear, single target but i can pull 4200+ off on single (done on patchy) with 0/41/30 not to meantion everyone in my raid loves my trash damage (seen over 15k dps on alot of naxx trash pulls (mainly in plague and spider)). yes, i know my gear isn’t the best for affliction builds but is fairly nice for this spec (approx half my gear is within top 3 for best in slot pieces)…. I just need alittle reworking…. I do appriciate all of your help and also with the new links with the gear for my spec, I have been having a hard time finding out wat gear is best for me as this spec or as any other lock spec…. its kinda like a hidden secret on my server….

    I would like to add one thing, for this spec on wowhead and lootrank is says the best inslot gloves for me are lvl 70 gloves is that right?

    Again, thanks for your time spent in doing this post and hope you keep it up as more info rolls out about the patch.

    very respectively,
    makingownage - balnazzar

  12. Paul says:

    What is the spell rotation for 0/41/30

  13. Amy says:

    0/41/30 spec depends on keeping your felguard up and basically hitting corruption and coa to proc molten core, casting immolate and spamming incinerate until you have to refresh dots. Pretty boring imo.

  14. Bartimaus says:

    I run the Felguard/Emberstorm spec at the moment, going to have a look at what I can mess around with what the Dual Speccing finaly comes out. But while I’ve been running Naxx 25 man I’ve had no probs with my spec and i’m ploughing through to finish my Valourous gear set at a steady pace.

  15. Gaurdian says:

    So would u say 0/41/30 is best spec for 3.1 then or ???

  16. Careymarey says:

    the Hit cap is still 14% at 3.1 so after that it would be wise to start stacking sp right?

  17. Careymarey says:

    what is the rotation for 0/40/31? well before and after 35% of bosses health

  18. Dude says:

    what was the dmg done for the boss fight though b/c some specs give u kinda low dps but the dmg is constant giving you more dmg but less dps. i dont know personally i believe u can have 6k dmg yet have about 8-10% dmg done on boss if your consistent please post dmg if possible :D

  19. Bartimaus says:

    I’ve played the 0/41/30 for a long time so I would certainly recommend it to any budding raider who want to re-spec for the higher content PVE raids and with 3.1 round the corner and dual speccing on the way I would think it will become common practice for locks who want to hit the raiding scene and make a real impact on the DPS front to be using the Felguard/Emberstorm talent route.

  20. Phobia says:

    It’s sad to see how technical all this shit is getting. It’s not science, it’s world of warcraft.

  21. Juicy says:

    To Alghieri, great job on gathering this information to give us locks a heads up on how to spec for 3.1.0. But as a fan of affliction, I’m quite sad to see these results, that 0/40/31 and its variant 0/41/30 has outperformed the 53/00/18 spec. It seems that a lot of locks are glad to re-spec to 0/40/31 and I admit it does seem like a nice spec, and has shown some very nice damage in Naxx. Though as tempting as it is, I will be sticking to my afflic build for 3.1, and hope that I continue to do crazy dps.

  22. Alghieri says:

    @Phobia If science is defined as a method of explaining how certain things work, then this certainly qualifies as science. If all you want out of the game is to sit in Stormwind and level fishing thats fine, but MMOs are essentially a spreadsheet at high levels.

    @Juicy Thats actually not that crazy. While 0/40/31 is definitely the dominant spec in the simulations, we really can’t predict how human performance will match up. I personally think “The Great Destro Migration” is just another shift in the game, and its neither bad nor good. But whether this migration will last depends on all the other items you have equipped that aren’t T8, on all the gems you have socketed. There might be some super secret JC recipe in Ulduar that buffs SP to a point where 53/0/18 outperforms 0/40/31. Then again, they’re not all that far away from each other to begin with.

  23. thalwlock says:

    I have tried most WL spec’s and am currently running 0/40/31 on Shadow Council. I can not get anywhere near the dps you have indicated but I have seen lesser geared Lock outperform me on a regular basis. I have tried food, potion and elixirs but they help only slightly. Why would my dps output be so bad?

  24. sisti - new raider says:

    When raiding with a deep destr lock, his dps was in the top 3 versus my 41/30 …(let’s not talk about where my dps came in). Granted he’s got better amour and skill, but I think my big mistake is letting the raid leader talk me into using the imp versus the felguard. *sigh*

  25. nerflocked says:

    Sad to see this game has turned into a dps competition. What happened to class utilization ..*sigh*