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This guide is meant for players that are currently leveling a warlock or are thinking about leveling one.  If you are in a hurry and want a short answer, then that answer is destruction. Play destruction and you will be fine. If you are curious and wish to know why, then keep on watching.

I decided a while back that I would level a warlock to better understand the class. So before I leveled him I asked a couple of high rated locks what leveling spec is best to take. Surprisingly enough most of them said I should go demonology. And I said ok? But why? And their reply was because now, since cata, the demo lock can get the felguard pet from level 10, which is awesome, he will kill everything for you.

So I said ok, I went ahead and tried it.  And I was ok. It was going pretty dcent but not terrible exicinting. The play style as demo spec revolves around using your pet and abilities from both destro and affliction specs. The problem with demo is that you don’t have some sort of protection on you when you pull mobs of your pet, and you do end up pulling mobs of your pet if you do some decent damage and tend to find against more than just one target.

The thing is,  it’s not that demo is bad, it’s that the best pet for warlock 4 leveling is without doubt the voidwalker. Why the voidwalker you ask. No not because of his taunt, not because of his extra health, but because of that magnificent shield that he can cast on you. Keybind it and it’s as if you are rolling with an enslaved pet priest. As the shield lasts 30 seconds out of a minute, it means you are hardly taking damage, also your pet is taking less damage because mobs that go on you don’t damage him. Which in turns means you don’t have to heal yourself or your pet as much which in turn results in great efficiency and leveling speed.

The damage from the imp or the felguard falls below the efficiency of that shield. And so if it’s not worth playing with a felguard, demonology looses much of it’s appeal. I tried affliction next. The power of affliction comes from dotting multiple targets at the same time, and not really doing any direct damage to them with spells like shadow bolt, just having them killed by dots. It’s best to put enough dots on a target so that the dots are almost finished just as he dies.

The order of dotting is: Agony, Corruption, Unstable Afliction.

More targets dotted at the same, means more damage done and faster leveling speed. You see me here I’m with this lock at around level 40 trying to dot and kill 3-4 targets at the same time. The major problem with having 3-4 targets on me or my pet, constantly , is that I somehow have to absorb, heal or kite thorough all that damage.  The pet heal is pretty powerful but the self heal, drain life, is not as efficient as you might think. My target will die anyways from dots i might as well use a bandage.  Kiting is not that effective either.

In places where mobs are close to each other affliction does relatively ok. But in more open areas, where mobs are further from eachother, my pet has to run up and down, from mob to mob, I can’t dot 3 targets at the same time without getting some agro, and I have to run back and forth between corpses to pick up the loot.

Afliction becomes a lot more interesting and more efficient once i got soul swap and i glyphed it. I can now basically apply all the dots on one target in just on single cooldown. This helps affliction a lot but it doesn’t eliminate the inefficiency from having to heal some damage. A dotted mob is still an alive mob that is doing damage, at least for a while.

And this brings us to destruction. In order to best compare destruction and affliction through levels 1-50, I went ahead and leveled a completely new warlock. You will notice this guy is alliance. I found that destruction is without doubt the best leveling spec for warlocks. Not only do I find it the best for warlock I find that it is the best and fastest leveling spec in the game. I’ve tried fire mage specs, hunter spec, dk specs, I’ve tried all classes,  nothing, nothing does as well as destruction.

Destruction brings together all that is fast about leveling. It kills single targets  incredibly fast, it’s ranged, it slows by default, and it has enough survivability. The point when playing ranged is that you want your target to die before he reaches you, and destruction does just that, beautifully and surprisingly a lot better than fire mages.

In the early levels, i pulled my target with Immolate, I then followed that with a Conflagrate, which not only does massive damage but it also slows them because of the talents in  Aftermath. By this time the target should have less than half hp, 1 or 2 searing pains that crit, and that’s it, target is dead. Searing pain will crit because you have talens for that. Occasionally a mob from a group survives long enough to  reach me but that’s what the pet shield is for.

Later on, all that is added is a soul fire in front of the initial Immolate, kinda like a pyroblast.

I’m in outland now at 58, and here is how demo works on a character is only wearing half of his gear. I took down all my heirloom items: as in both trinkets , weapon, chest and shoulders. A dramatic decrese in spellpower. Yet still the warlock does ok, it still kills relatively fast. I need to sit down and get mana more often, but that is not a major issue.

Rotation becomes a bit more complicated as you level up and get Incinerate and Chaos bolt , which seem to be more effective than Searing Pain and Soul Fire.

If possible try to keep the bonus spell haste from Soul Fire up, use Immolate and  then conflagrate. Follow that up with chaos bolt and finish him of with Incinerates.

Cataclysm Dungeon Entrances

(because you got to discover them before you can get in them)

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