Warlock class changes in WoW Shadowlands
Many classes are seeing changes across all specializations in World of Warcraft Shadowlands. Warlocks are the class that seem to be seeing the least change. To paraphrase Blizzard, if it’s perfect, don’t touch it.
As a general change, for all three specs, there will be an emphasis on Curses. Curses aren’t meant to be a part of the standard rotation, but as situational tools, to be used in special cases — the same way Demonic Circle can change the way the Warlock interacts in combat — but doesn’t directly add to damage output.
All Warlocks will now have access to these core curses:
- Curse of Tongues, which increases cast time.
- Curse of Recklessness increases your enemy’s attack power and makes them immune to fear, but decreases their armor.
- Curse of Weakness reduces attack power.
- Curse of Doom deals huge damage when it expires.
Tongue Tied is a new Talent available to all Warlocks that can affect targets inflicted with Curse of Tongues, preventing them from receiving healing.
Demonology and Destruction Warlocks
Though the specs aren’t changing much, there are always tweaks to some spells. A couple of examples were given early on, and we expect more to change before release.
In the Destruction spec, Fire and Brimstone will generate two Soul Shard Fragments for each additional enemy hit, instead of one Fragment.
These two specs will see some minor buffs but not a lot of changes. As noted, there’s no need to mess with perfection.
The Affliction spec is maintaining its focus on Damage Over Time, with spells that are cast on the target that continuously do damage, intermixed with a channeled spell to fill. Some existing spells change how they function while keeping their core concepts. Then new spells are added that will interact with them. This will be a spec to watch for in the Alpha and Beta testing phases. The spells noted were:
- Ability changes:
- New abilities:
- Soul Wrack – A new ability, channeled, empowers the active Damage Over Time abilities.
- Malefic Rapture – Another new ability, causes the Damage Over Time abilities to tick faster.
Warlock Covenant abilities in Shadowlands
These are the abilities you get when you pledge to one of the four Covenants present in Shadowlands. You’ll only be able to have one power active at once, and swapping which Covenant you’re pledged to sounds like it’s going to be a long and involved process.
- Kyrian: Scouring Tithe — Deal Arcane damage instantly and additional Arcane damage over time. If the enemy dies while affected by Scouring Tithe, you generate additional Soul Shards. If they survive, Scouring Tithe’s cooldown is refreshed.
- Venthyr: Impending Catastrophe — Call forth a cloud of chaotic anima that travels to the target enemy, dealing Shadow damage to enemies within their path. When the anima reaches the target it explodes, inflicting a random Curse and dealing Shadow damage to all nearby enemies.
- Necrolord: Decimating Bolt — Hurl a bolt of shadow magic at your target, dealing Shadow damage and increasing the damage of your next Incinerates, Drain Souls, or Shadow Bolts. Decimation Bolt’s damage, and the bonus to Incinerate, Drain Soul, or Shadow Bolt both increase as your target’s health decreases.
- Night Fae: Work in Progress — Or maybe they just don’t allow Warlocks, we’ll have to wait and see.
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