Warlocks in the World of Warcraft have always been notorious for their involvement with the dark arts, and with great reason.
The despicable title of “warlock” was once bestowed exclusively upon a malicious few, allowing them to enslave brutal, flesh-rending demons and summon the darkest of magical forces to desecrate, dominate, and annihilate. Through their dark talents, worlds have been torn asunder, but today, many warlocks are little more than bad jokes with free mounts.
As of patch 3.3, there has been a constant stream of new warlocks that make it to Northrend with little to no knowledge of how to play their class. The result is that many endgame raids end up having at least one warlock that dooms the raid to failure because their damage is too low. What these poor raid leaders are dealing with are a bunch of warlocks that have never properly learned how to warlock.
It doesn’t need to be like this. This series of guides has been created to educate and lead these poor, misguided acolytes through the slow, hard climb out of Hell, and back into the fold of The Damage.
The Disclaimer: What These Guides Are and What They Aren’t
Before continuing, I’d like to issue a warning: This series of articles is intended primarily for warlocks and raid leaders that want to prepare for endgame raiding in the current patch (3.3.3, as of the time of this writing). This is not a leveling guide for warlocks. If readers are looking for leveling talents, world maps, or guides to get them to 80, this isn’t the place for that. However, there are a ton of other options on that front. Many players prefer to use a power leveling guide to speed things along whenever they can.
The Horde leveling guide of choice is Joana’s Horde Leveling Guide, which is the best option hands-down. Alliance players can use either Brian Kopp’s Alliance leveling guide or the Zygor leveling guides, although I would recommend Brian Kopp’s over Zygor’s since Brian Kopp’s guide is more detailed and gives you more bang for your buck. But again, this is not a leveling guide.
What this is, is a compendium. Hundreds of hours and years of warlock raid experience have gone into the making of these articles, in hopes that the warlock community, as a whole, will be bettered by them. This article serves as the introduction, and the hub for all of the forthcoming warlock guides.
Now, having said all that, let’s get to the dark heart of the dark art, beginning with your most important stat: spell hit.
Raid Bosses: Hit It or Quit It.
Spell hit is, without question, the most important stat that you can possibly have on your gear, regardless of spec. It’s better than spell power. It’s better than crit. It’s better than everything. Ever. There’s a very simple rule when it comes to spell hit: If you don’t have it capped…get more of it. Gear for it. Gem it. Enchant it. Get it by any means necessary, be it steal, beg, or borrow, but get it.
Until your hit rating is completely maxed out, it doesn’t matter how much spell power you have. When you miss, nobody cares how much damage you might have done. The tricky part, however, is figuring out exactly how much hit you need, because once you pass the hit cap, your hit rating becomes worthless. So you want just enough hit rating to break the cap, but not so much that the extra hit becomes dead weight in your arsenal. And after a fun gaming session with your friends, you might to kick back and chill while playing some sports betting on Ogden Valley Sports. And if you play well, you’d win a decent amount of cash.
So this raises the big money question: exactly how much hit rating does a warlock need to maximize their damage on raid bosses? If we’re going by percentages alone, the short answer is 17%, although there are a variety of ways to cut that number down. Having the Suppression talent maxed can bring the cap to 14%, and a target debuffed with Misery or Improved Faerie Fire can drop it down further to 11%. If the warlock plays Alliance, and is grouped with a Draenei, the cap can be brought all the way down to 10%. Each 1% is equivalent to about 26.2 hit rating.
Being a warlock is something that requires a great degree of skill and preparation, and the ideas covered in this article are only the tip of the iceberg. The rest of the series will cover every aspect of playing a warlock, including specs, gear, gems, enchants, glyphs, PvE strategies, PvP tactics, pets, mounts, and just about any other warlock-related topic that you can think of. Stick around for the next installment, which will demonstrate the proper way to gear, spec, and play an affliction warlock. Get ready to own.