How to Play Shadowlands Affliction Warlock in 9 Minutes or Less. (9.0)

Let’s hear it for the Affliction Warlock– here’s a short guide discussing talents, covenants, soulbinds, stats, legendary and rotations you need to know. 

Affliction is damage over time or DoT based damage dealing spec that uses soul shards as a resource. Soul shards are generated with affliction from agony, unstable affliction, drain soul and you spend them on malefic rapture or seed of corruption. Malefic rapture hits all targets within line of sight and deals damage per DoT on the target. The goal of the spec is to maintain your DoTs and get as many empowered malefic raptures as possible. In general, you want to pull shards for when you have as many DoTs out on as many targets as possible but be careful not to waste any. 

Best Covenant for Affliction Warlock in Shadowlands - Shadowlands 9.0.2  Shadowlands 9.0.2 - Guides - Wowhead


Night Fae is the matching covenant for Affliction. The covenant is the best all around, followed by Kyrian, Venthyr and Necrolord. If you are looking for the absolute best, Night Fae seems to be the best in most situations. 


If you are Night Fae, go Niya. Kyrian, go Pelagos. Venthyr, go Theotar. And if Necrolord, go Emeni. 


For potency conduits, focused malignancy is the best all around. It has a flat increase to malefic rapture damage on targets affected by unstable affliction. Cold embrace is the second best single target. Rolling agony is excellent for mythic plus, it allows you to get your DoTs out and maintain them easier. 


For single target talents– Drain Soul, Siphon Life, Burning Rush (for extra mobility), Phantom Singularity, Mortal Coil (for extra heal and CC), Haunt and Dark Soul.

Affliction Warlock Rotation Guide - Shadowlands 9.0.2 - Guides - Wowhead


Best single target legendary is Relic of Demonic Synergy. When you deal damage, you have a chance to increase your pet’s damage. When your pet deals damage it has a chance to increase your damage. Best single target pet is the Summon Fellhunter especially in mythic plus. For the interrupts or the imp to dispel yourself if interrupts are not needed. 

Single Target Opener  (2:20)

Precast haunt. Precast and stable affliction, agony, corruption, siphon life, phantom singularity, your covenant ability. Pop all your cooldowns- dark glare, dark soul, trinket and racial. Drain soul to get 3 stacks of shadow embrace and you spam rapture. Refresh haunt, spam rapture some more and drain. 

Summon Felhunter - Spells - WoWDB

In general priorities for single target are to keep up DoTs on the target, cast haunt on cooldown, rapture at 5 shards to avoid wasting them and fill time with drain soul until your next phantom singularity or covenant DoT window.    


Your multi target talents or general mythic plus talents are- Drain Soul, Absolute Corruption, Burning Rush, Vile Taint, Mortal Coil, Dark Caller, and Dark Soul. 

The multi target legendaries are Perpetual Agony of Azj’Aqir or Relic of Demonic Synergy. Your multi target pet is either Fellhunter for the same reason or the imp. 

For the opener (3:26)

You want to precast unstable affliction, agony and corruption on all targets that will live long enough so the small adds the mythic plus to die instantly. Next vile taint, your covenant ability, your cooldowns and spam rapture. 

Demonology Warlock Best Legendaries in Shadowlands - Shadowlands 9.0.2 -  World of Warcraft - Icy Veins

Priorities are to keep up DoTs on any targets that will live. Rapture to avoid capping shards and drain soul low hp targets to get shards back. In general the stat priority affliction is intellect > mastery > haste > crit > versatility. 

Tips and Tricks 

Make sure you use your cooldowns on trash especially in mythic plus, there’s no reason to save them. Also remember to time your cooldowns to make sure you’ll have it for the boss. 

Macro all of your cooldowns together. Binding them will allow you to use them all at the same time and make your life easier, doing more damage rather than pressing individual buttons. 

Watch yourself play by recording or stream to see what you are doing and what you’re messing up. 

Video chapters:

0:01 Intro

0:30 Affliction

1:02 Covenant 

1:16 Soulbinds

1:27 Conduits

1:45 Talents 

1:58 Legendary 

2:20 Single Target Opener

2:56 Mythic + Talents 

4:12 Tips and Tricks 

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