Thursday, July 10, 2008

To SL or not to SL

I kill things. It is what I enjoy. I have killed animals, elementals, machinery, and demons the same way for over a year. I am an AFFLICTION lock. It is the way I enjoy playing.

Early on in my 70s I played with a demonology and destruction build. I didn’t like either very much. I speced out of both so quickly I didn’t even blog about the experience. I just didn’t like it.

So there is this PvP thing. You know where you kill other players. I am sure you have heard of it.

The most common build for warlocks in PvP is SL/SL build. You go into the affliction build to get Siphon Life and into the demonology to get Soul Link. The focus is outlasting the opponent (but isn’t all PvP?). Increasing your stamina, improving your life draining abilities, and reduce your damage taken.

I am trying this out for a few days. I lost some things that I am getting use to not having. Dark Pact providing a mana battery out of my minion. Unstable Affliction silencing dispell happy mages, pallies, and priests. The talent I miss the most is my instant Howl of Terror. *cry*

New spells I get to play with are Fel Domination, Demonic Sacrifice, and Soul Link. I don’t even know WHEN these are helpful. But I am trying to understand the strategy behind the play. I have this feeling that I am over thinking it and what I am trying to actually do is manage my pet more.

I am going onto battlegrounds learning this new spec with the intention of doing arenas this weekend. I am still focusing on what I don’t have anymore. My first thoughts after one day…

  • I have no idea when to use Soul Link.
  • Demonic Sacrifice seems to be a talent point to let you get Soul Link. It doesn’t look helpful in PvP.
  • Fel Domination is only useful if minion is killed. Talking to another lock this happens a lot. I never found this to be true but that maybe because I was not demonology spec.
  • I need to use drain life more.
  • Before it was Corruption then Siphon Life. Now the first dot up needs to be Siphon Life.
  • Not having instant HoT with a stun locking rogue makes it impossible for me to survive.
  • I am trying NOT to hate it. Just haven't started to LIKE it.

After some reading on there is spellstone!! I haven’t used that since I picked up the spell… and ran around Desolace with it pre BC. Should I be starting with a spellstone in my wand slot then once it is used change to my wand? Not sure.

I would love to find a lock video that is narrated like this mage one. I will keep searching maybe I will find something fun.

Since my Arathi Basin marks started going to the mail. I found the list on showing the cost of arena rewards by season very useful. I rewarded myself with my first Season 4 gear the Guardian's Dreadweave Belt.

Like I have said … Hydra doesn’t PvP. I just kill things.


  1. Hmmm... aren't Soul Link and Demonic Sacrafice contradictory to each other? Soul Link beefs up yourself when you have a Demon up, but Demonic Sacrafice kills it off! So I don't see them ever being in play at the same time.

    I suppose sacraficing a Voidwalker would be good for PvP purposes (beefs you up). A Fel Hunter gives you improved mana regen, which is good, but doesn't help if you're face down in the dirt.

    Of course, there might be something blindingly obvious I am missing. But I'd be straight Afflic for PvP, too. It's so sweet.

    Well. Any new build takes time to get used to. Looking forward to reading what you find out.

  2. What do you mean when to use Soul Link? You should have it on you all the time.

    I recommend this build: Sl/SL is all about survival and outlasting, not about damage, therefore talents like 5/5 Fel Concentration are important.

    Demonic Sacrifice is for PvE when you spec 0/21/40 and use it with your summoned succubus, in PvP there's no point since you loose DK and SL and MD.

    Spellstone has it's uses, but usually it's better to go with a wand. It can't hurt to have it ready though.

  3. @Horns -

    The spellstone's benefits should be weighed against the bonuses on the wand itself, of course. By the time my lock hit 70, there was no comparison at all. The wand won. Not for the pew pew, but for the bonuses.

  4. Horns was correct; when playing SL/SL always...ALWAYS...have soul link on. It's a one-time cast similar to that of fel armor only that it cannot be dispelled. 20% dmg mitigation to yourself via soul link is indespinsable in arena combat. You won't do as much damage in the short run as you would a straight UA build, but in the long run (and the SL/SL build is all about the long run) you will live longer, do more damage, and CC more opponents.

    Since you played the UA build, you are familiar with how to use curse of exhaustion...continue to love and cherish this spell. It will be your saving grace against warriors and the forever-hated rogues. Kite them for distance, deathcoil and/or fear, then drain, drain, drain life. Drain life will be your primary weapon other than the occasional spamming of searing pain.

    Fel domination is all about resummoning your demon when the opposition takes it down. When in arena and facing savvy opponents, they will always burn your pet down first and having a 0.5 second resummon vs. a 5.5 second resummon in arena is absolutely crucial.

    On the note of Demonic Sacrifice, you only put points in that to get Soul Link if I remember my Demo Tree correctly.

    Like you, I converted over to SL/SL to try it out, only I was destruction. I liked the destro build for its insane burst damage but the squishiness left much to be desired (my main is a paladin so I suppose I was spoiled just a bit in that area). So seeking out a higher durability build I tried out SL/SL...and haven't looked back since. I'm a pvper through and through and as far as overall utility I believe SL/SL is the only way to go when doing 2v2 or 3v3.

  5. @Grimmtooth
    That was my thought process too. I didn’t want to dismiss Demonic Sacrifice if there was a clever use for it in PvP. Looks to be purely a point to get Soul Link.

    Soul Link is active all the time. Got it. Tonight I will try the build you suggest.

    Welcome! /wave
    Curse of Exhaustion is my friend. But thinking about it, I need to move it to a better spot. Thanks for reminding me!

  6. A few notes:

    1) When doing arena's if you want to max your abliities, summon your Imp, cast fire shield, Cast your Blue Meanie, Start to summon your fel puppie with ~7-9 seconds left, and start clicking the heck out of the sacrifice button on the Blue Meanie. Also put Water Breathing and See Invis to have useless buffs sheared.

    2) Your SL/SL build is decent, but a few changes. Take the 2 out of Improved Curse of Agony, and the 1 pt in suppression and put those into fel concentration. You only need about 40 spell hit in PVP. You will be using the other curses such as Weakness and Exhaustion more. Also, curses tend to get removed quickly.

    3) There is a nice clean video of a SL/SL lock with a druid on Arenajunkies. He wrote comments in the video to suggest things.

    4) As this build, my rotation tends to be Siphon Life, Corruption, then a Curse depending on what type of player it is.

    Caster gets Curse of Tongues
    Melee gets Curse of Weakness
    And if I need to run they get Exhaustion.

    5) Have you been to the Warlocks Den?