Recently we had a look at the glyphs available to us as Warlocks, and this week I wanted to take a closer look at our talent tree. What do our talents actually do, and when are they useful?
It’s going to be a fairly brief look, just to give us an idea of what they can be used for, with a focus on PvE content. For a more in-depth look at each talent, I suggest you head on over to Warlockery who is taking a much closer look and examining all aspects of the talents.
Tier 1 Talents (level 15)
I’m personally quite fond of this talent. It’s a nice heal for yourself with a 2 minute cooldown, which means that you can choose when to use it yourself. In addition to healing you for 30% of your health (over 12 seconds), it also increases healing done to you by 25%. This means that you heal yourself and it gets easier for the healers to bump you up at the same time!
I usually use this on fights where I want some control over my own health, for example for Blade Lord Ta’yak and running down the whirlwind alley.
When specced into Soul Leech some of your offensive abilities (depending on your specialisation) will heal you for 20% of the damage done. It’s nice for fights with continuous damage as it will continue to passively heal you as you dps throughout the entire fight.
Except for times when either of the other two talents might be useful, this is most likely your best choice.
This turns your Drain Life into an AoE drain that heals you a bit and does some damage to all enemies within 15 yards. There are few, if any, boss fights where this will truly shine since neither the healing or dps is all that much.
Personally I do find it a fairly fun talent though, but I’ll mainly use it for soloing or in dungeons with huge trash packs. I don’t think I’ve used it for any boss fight so far.
Tier 2 Talents (level 30)
Howl of Terror
Your standard AoE fear of up to five enemies. This would be a PvP talent more than a PvE talent since there are few, if any, situations in PvE where you’d need a fear.
The new version of our old Death Coil, which causes the target to run in horror for 3 seconds and heals you for 15% of your maximum health. While the horror effect won’t work on bosses, the heal will and means that this is one of the most useful talents that you can take in this tier. Self-healing is never a bad thing!
I use this talent on pretty much every boss fight where I don’t feel that Shadowfury is nice.
This ability stuns enemies within eight yards for three seconds. It’s nice for PvP, but there are also a few boss fights where this may be useful. Usually ones where there are adds that can be crowd controlled. Personally I use this talent on fights like Will of the Emperors to stun the Emperor’s Rage mobs as they come running, or stunning adds on Elegon etc.
Tier 3 Talents (level 45)
If you have a demon up, you and your demon will share all damage done to you, as well as all healing done. Your demon’s health will be reduced by 50% though. If you use the Sacrifice talent, and don’t have a demon up, you will instead receive a 20% health bonus. It’s actually really useful, since all of our self-healing abilities are based off of max health. With this talent our health (with sacrifice) is higher, which means our healing is higher! Also, remember that this talent replaces Health Funnel.
This talent I use on any fight where I don’t feel that I need Dark Bargain.
This causes your demon to sacrifice 50% of its health to provide a 10 second shield that absorbs 200% of the health sacrificed. If you don’t have a pet, it will take the health off of you instead. One possibility is to use this during an AoE phase, since your demon generally will take a lower amount of AoE damage, so the lost health won’t kill it – and instead you get a nice absorption.
Since I tend to run with the Sacrifice grimoire I admittedly haven’t ever used this talent. I haven’t found a time when I would choose it over either of the other talents, but for a spec with a demon out, there may be times when it’s useful.
Using this gives you a full absorption for eight seconds, where you take no damage. After the eight seconds, you will take 50% of the damage you absorbed as a DoT over eight seconds. This can be really useful in some fights to prevent you from large damage, as long as your healers are aware that you will need some healing after it wears off.
Tier 4 Talents (level 60)
This is an instant cast ability that lasts for 1 minute, with a 30 second cooldown. When someone hits you with a melee attack, they are basically feared (it counts as a horror effect though and won’t apply dmr for Fear) for 4 seconds. It only has one charge though, so you’ll want to time it well. It’s mainly a PvP ability.
Increases your running speed by 50%, but drains 4% of your health every second while active. This ability can be really neat at times when you need to move quickly, but don’t necessarily have to worry about taking damage.
I sometimes use it on Will of the Emperors to quicker get into range of adds, or moving up and down the whirlwind alley on Blade Lord Ta’yak.
Costs 20% of your max health and removes magic effects, movement impairment and loss of control. For example it can be used to break out of the fear on Grand Empress, or the Amber Prison on Wind Lord, or the Petrification by trash in Mogu’shan.
Another time when it can be useful is on the first boss in HoF. While it won’t break you out of his mind control, the 20% health removed will help your raid members to quicker get you below 50% to free you.
Tier 5 Talents (level 75)
Grimoire of Supremacy
With this talent your demons are replaced with stronger ones, that deal 20% increased damage and have slightly different abilities. It’s currently a good talent that will provide nice dps for a Destruction Warlock. You can use it as Demonology as well, but Service is generally preferred.
Grimoire of Service
This will summon a second demon that will fight for 20 seconds, on a 2 minute cooldown. Demonology Warlocks currently fare very well with this grimoire since it allows them to time it with their other cooldowns and abilities and get some good burst numbers.
Grimoire of Sacrifice
With this talent you will sacrifice your demon for a buff to your own damage. It means no micro-managing your pet, and with the current scaling it has proven to yield the best dps results for Affliction Warlocks.
Tier 6 Talents (level 90)
This talent has an active and a passive ability. The active ability makes you reflect 25% of the damage you take back at your target for 8 seconds, with a 2 minute cooldown. The passive ability reflects 5% of the damage you take back at the attacker. The passive ability generally doesn’t work for AoE effects (that are considered environmental).
Using this talent is quite neat on fights where you take large spikes in damage at times, that you can reflect back to the boss. Blade Lord Ta’yak for example.
Out of our top three talents, I will admit that this is my favourite. It allows you to move while still casting. As you do so though, your movement speed will be reduced, but it’s usually not a big deal. For most fights that require movement, this will be your go-to talent. Not having to cancel casting for moving out of fire, or repositioning, is just too yummy to pass on.
This makes the radius of your AoE spells about five times bigger. Not a big deal, necessarily, but useful on some fights. For example it can be used to place a well-timed Soulburn: Seed of Corruption on Elegon to make it hit all of the sparks during his phase shift (if you’re Affliction).