On the Mists Warlock Talent Preview

Blizzard released a new Mists talent calculator. Warlocks have some interesting things going on. Quick notes on just the talents:

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Level 15 Talents

Soul Leech leaves the Destro talent tree and becomes something that any warlock can use. Has good potential to be the default PvE talent for this tier, as the three nukes involved should still see heavy rotational use. PvP utility is really dependent upon the fate of Nightfall and Backlash, which are absent from the current model. These are the long nukes.

Harvest of Life could be really interesting in BG PvP, but less so for arena or duels. PvE would be situational based on an encounter with a lot of adds.

Dark Regeneration is probably the Arena PvP talent of choice. Situationally good for PvE if there is burst damage that needs to be mitigated.

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Level 30 Talents

The biggest change here is not that Affliction can get Shadowfury or Destro can get Improved Howl, but rather that every spec loses some depth of their CC toolbox here. Instead of Howl + Death Coil + Fearbomb or Shadowfury, you now have to choose one of three.

The loss of Death Coil, which I think is implied by the addition of Mortal Coil, is going to take some adjusting for all warlocks.

That said, Howl of Terror is now instant. The CD gets reduced when you take damage, a nice touch.

Mortal Coil replaces Death Coil, I think. Health boost is a little bigger, easier to understand as % of total.

Shadowfury. Of note is that it loses its damage component and becomes a pure stun.

I expect we’ll see Mortal Coil and Shadowfury be the favored PvE choices, depending on playstyle and raid comp. Mortal Coil will be used as a self-heal, while Shadowfury remains a great AoE stun.

I honestly don’t know which I’m going to take. I hereby dub this talent tier the “Choose Between Your Favorite Children” tier, because, man, I love all of these things as they are right now.

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Level 45 Talents

Some interesting choices here in the damage reduction tier.

Spell Drain is going to be an interesting PvP talent. If you time it right, it can negate big burst attacks and turn the tables on your opponents. If you time it poorly, you waste it. This will be a skill talent to watch in Arenas.

Soul Link doesn’t say 20% damage anymore, but if we assume that it stays the same then this becomes an interesting passive choice for PvE and PvP alike. The big difference is that healing will now be shared with your demon, too, reducing healing effectiveness on the warlock.¬†Woah.

Because of that little change, PvE warlocks may flock more to Sacrificial Pact, giving them an immunity bubble to just ignore huge boss attacks. This has a lot of PvP utility too, allowing warlocks to negate a focus fire situation where a lot of CDs are chain-popped.

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Level 60 Talents

Blood Fear makes Fear instant, but takes 10% of your health when you cast it. Depending on baseline self-healing abilities, this might be worth it for PvP. Not for PvE.

Burning Rush looks to address one of the biggest weaknesses of the warlock class – mobility. Depending on the CD of this ability (right now there’s none) warlocks finally have the ability to run away from melee REALLY FAST. Obvious PvP utility, obvious PvE utility, and damnit, I think Engineering just got nerfed.

Dark Bargain is a damage reduction CD with a twist – you’ll take the remainder of the absorb shield as damage. How typically warlockian, I like it. :)

Dark Bargain might be required in some PvE encounters, but there’s a lot of overlap with Sacrifical Pact. It will be best used against DoT classes in Arena PvP, since people will learn to see the graphic and immediately shift to a different target while CCing the warlock, negating the use of the CD as well as causing damage without doing anything. It might do okay in BGs.

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Level 75 Talents

Ah, the Demon tier.

Grimoire of Supremacy buffs your demons 10% and gives them better abilities. The abilities will need to be evaluated to say if this is a good move in PvP.

Grimoire of Service gives you a second demon. I don’t know if it’s a different demon, in which case do you get all their abilities, too? Or will it be a duplicate of the one you have, in which case this is again a straight up DPS increase with possible PvP use.

Grimoire of Sacrifice could be really good for PvP, giving each spec some burst that it might otherwise lack. The tradeoff of sacrifice in PvP is an interesting one – do you lose the demon’s utility for increased damage and health? There are going to be a lot of situations where this will work well. But what if the demon is banished, etc.?

In PvE this will come down to number crunching and situational DPS increases. If Sacrifice gets you more DPS than having a pet out with a 10% buff, then raiders will go with it. If not, Supremacy will probably be prefered. Service will probably be the skill talent for PvE, working well with abilities like Heroism/Bloodlust making its burst more effective than the 10% buff.

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Level 90 Talents

Archimonde’s Vengeance will probably see a lot of use in Arena, and should be appied to the focus target whenever the warlock comes under attack. Good for comps where the Warlock is the soaker. Situationally useful in PvE if there’s a lot of raid damage going around.

Kil’jaeden’s Cunning is another one that has a lot of PvP potential. Casting while moving, coupled with a 25% speed buff? Oh yes, even if it’s slow casting. The challenge will be casting while moving and not getting interrupted – almost every spell will go to a 2.5+ cast time while moving. Obvious benefits on movement-heavy PvE fights.

Mannoroth’s Fury adds spash damage to the spec nukes, and 100% burst splash damage on CD. With the right positioning, this can be great for big BG PvP and PvE alike. Less useful on small-scale BG PvP and Arena, but certainly not a bad choice. Again, depends on the fate of talents like Nightfall and Backlash, which appear to be gone.

There are changes to the spells as well – click on the talent tree and you’ll see the new spell abilities. That’s a different post, though.

1 Comment

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One response to “On the Mists Warlock Talent Preview

  1. Boobah

    On Soul Link: one possibility is that it uses the new code they developed for Spirit Link totem; on the downside, it means that if your demon is killed, you’ll be almost dead, too. On the upside, if something is hitting you, soul link could divert far more than 20% of the damage