Blood Pact: Warlock heirlooms and starting specs
There were simulation bugs with the latest Demonology 4-piece for the Patch 6.2 PTR, so I’m not yet up for reporting and analyzing the potential Patch 6.2 performance of Warlocks. The set bonuses have been updated in a recently build, so hopefully the Destruction 2-piece won’t be so fel-friggin overpowered and we can retest everything again.
In the meantime…well, the main complaint is that there’s not much to do in game outside of raiding. While I’m saving up Apexis crystals on my main for that fel-tainted raven mount in Patch 6.2, I’ve been diving into alts I’ve neglected. Like my pandaren monk, whom I rolled in Mists of Pandaria, only to never level her, eventually delete her and reroll her as a better race (dwarf, not sorry). But this is the Warlock column. So if we’re going to talk about leveling alt, by Golly’dan, I should talk about shadow and felfire, not mists and brew.
Character boost to level 90, then level
- Boost to 90. Costs you $60 in the US or €50 in the EU.
- Level to 100 in Draenor, like the rest of us did when Warlords of Draenor launched.
- OK, YOU’RE DONE.
But that’s such a short column, so I can’t possibly advocate that route. Besides, you’re probably like me — you have way more gold on your collective WoW characters than you have cash in real life. So let’s talk about buying up Warlock heirlooms and rolling a brand new level 1.
I’m a fan of au naturel leveling, complete with gearsets with a 20-level range. I love the leveling experience and getting to figure out what buttons to press to defeat semi-challenging content. But I know that when it’s your seventy-bazillionth alt, or perhaps even your seventy-bazillionth Warlock alt (because you just can’t get enough of our wonderful class), it’s not about the journey anymore. Let’s just fast forward to the end already.
You might already have heirlooms for cloth-wearers — or, maybe you got some in that random heirloom-picking dash to 35 heirlooms for the heirloom mount. But if you want to double-check, here’s the list of experience-increasing Warlock heirlooms you can wear.
- Head – Tattered Dreadmist Mask
- Shoulders – Tattered Dreadmist Mantle (crit)
- Shoulders – Exquisite Sunderseer Mantle (haste)
- Back – Ancient Bloodmoon Cloak
- Chest – Tattered Dreadmist Robe
- Legs – Tattered Dreadmist Leggings
- Finger – Dread Pirate Ring
Other heirlooms won’t increase the experience you earn from killing monsters and completing quests, but they’re nice as yet another slot that doesn’t lag behind you as you level.
Although there are two offhands for you to pick up — Musty Tome of the Lost for 1-100 and Hellscream’s Tome of Destruction for 90-100 — there’s a slight problem with heirloom main-hand weapons for casters. There are only maces, which is fine for those caster specs that have a healer spec in the class, but leaves an awkward staff-or-go-home situation for Warlocks and Mages.
- Dignified Headmaster’s Charge (crit)
- Grand Staff of Jordan (haste)
- Hellscream’s War Staff, 90-100 only (crit/mastery + 3 red sockets)
Hellscream’s War Staff and Tome of Destruction offhand make decent additions to a transmog wardrobe for Warlocks. But the real reason to use either of the two Siege of Orgrimmar end heirlooms is because both end up at item level 620 when you reach level 100. That’s a small item level boost right out of the starting gate to help get into LFR. Unfortunately, both items are relics of playing in Mists of Pandaria when Siege of Orgrimmar was current content, and thus both are no longer obtainable by newer players.
The newer neck slot for heirlooms is helpful for other classes, but basically null for Warlocks. The on-use for the necklace is like a healing potion, including how it shares a cooldown with our healthstones. Eventually, your healthstone will outheal the heal from the necklace. But if you just don’t want yet another slot to worry about on the way to 100, pick up an Eternal Horizon Choker.
Finally, there’s the trinkets. You can pick up PVE or PVP trinkets for whatever your leveling content arena is.
- Discerning Eye of the Beast — Intellect + mana return
- Swift Hand of Justice — Haste + health return
- Inherited Insignia of the Alliance/of the Horde — Stamina + PVP trinket effect
- Inherited Mark of Tyranny — Stamina + PVP Battlemaster effect
Heirlooms can be bought from many vendors and with multiple currencies. But I’ll let you save your Darkmoon Faire Tickets and Argent Tournament Champion’s Seals for their respective mounts and battle pets. Most of the heirlooms on this list can be obtained by buying from vendors with gold. The exceptions to buying with gold are:
- Dread Pirate Ring — Be one of the first two winners of the Stranglethorn Fishing Tournament.
- Hellscream’s Tome of Destruction — No longer obtainable! Was a drop from Garrosh in Siege of Orgrimmar.
- Hellscream’s War Staff — No longer obtainable! Was a drop from Garrosh in Siege of Orgrimmar.
Guild Vendors offer a few heirloom items, namely cloaks, helms, and legs. There’s one in every racial capital city as well as in Dalaran and Shattrath, but you’ll want to visit Kim Horn in the Undercity if you’re Horde and Steeg Haskell in Ironforge if you’re Alliance, because the Heirloom Curators that sell the heirloom scaling upgrades are in those same two cities.
You need to have a certain reputation with your current guild in addition to the gold cost to buy these heirlooms. The guild needs certain achievements in order to offer the heirlooms, but most large guilds will have met these achievements already.
- Helm – Friendly + 500 gold
- Cloak – Friendly + 500 gold
- Pants – Honored + 500 gold
Heirloom Curators hold the rest of the heirlooms for your Warlock alt. If you’re Horde, find Estelle Gendry in the Undercity’s Rogues’ Quarter; if you’re Alliance, find Krom Stoutarm in Ironforge’s Hall of Explorers. If you’re not buying on a Warlock, Priest, or Mage, you might have to move the dropdown box in the vendor window to “All” in order to see the Warlock wearables.
- Necklace – 700 gold
- Mantle – 500 gold each
- Robe – 500 gold
- Trinket – 700 gold each
- 2H Staff — 750 gold each
When you first buy an heirloom for gold, the heirloom scales from only level 1 to 60. To scale the heirloom to level 100, you need to first apply an Ancient heirloom upgrade, increasing the heirloom’s max level to 90, then you need to apply a Timeworn heirlooom upgrade. Scabbards apply to weapons and Armor Casings apply to every other slot.
- Upgrading a weapon heirloom from level 60 to level 100: 6,200 gold total
- Upgrading a non-weapon heirloom from level 60 to level 100: 3,000 gold total
35,550 gold is the grand total you’ll need to buy a full heirloom set that scales from level 1 to 100 for a Warlock alt (not counting extra swappable pieces). Of course, you can lower the cost by buying with other currencies, or buying less scaling upgrades, or you can up the cost by buying extra pieces.
Which spec is best?
I know you’re tired of hearing “any spec” as an answer, but face it, you rolled a pure DPS class. ANY of the three specializations will kill things repeatedly. It’s the only thing we Warlocks ever do. While a whole leveling guide is best left for another day’s column, we can do a brief overview of what to expect from leveling as each warlock spec.
- Affliction is the spec you think of when you think DoTs. It’s probably the worst spec if you want great meter numbers while leveling, because almost nothing outside of dungeon bosses survives long enough for DoTs to matter. If, however, you like floaty purple shards or tapping all of your quest mobs in a row with an instant-cast DoT and kiting them to die in a big AOE looting circle, Affliction is the spec for you.
- Demonology gets a good rap because of big purple demon form and extra demonic pets. But as Editor-in-Chief Alex Ziebart has experienced more than a few times on the Blizzard Watch leveling stream, the leveling process for demo is a bit backwards. Add in the relatively short time to die of most questing monsters, and you spend a lot of time casting Shadow Bolt. Just the level 1 Warlock spell, Shadow Bolt, cast that ad nauseam, because your horde of pets will kill it first anyway.
- Destruction is the spec I roll with if I need to quest, whether leveling to the newest maximum level or to level an alt for testing and research purposes, or just running around gathering Apexis crystals. It’s the spec with the big green dragon spell (double dragon occurs at level 36 when you get Havoc). You cast Incinerate a lot, but you do that at max level anyway, so unlike Affliction and Demonology, you don’t have a massive learning switch that happens at max level. Just keep setting the world on fire and you’ll be fine.
Update: Thanks to WrecklessMEDIC pointing out that the Dread Pirate Ring is only available to the first two winners of the fishing contest, not originally written first three.
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