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Build Shop: Warlock ??/41+/??

Eliah Hecht

This will be a somewhat unusual (and self-serving) Build Shop. You see, I have a Warlock alt, rolled one day when I was bored at level 60 with my priest, trying to get my Devout gloves. The warlock has always been either Affliction or Demonic Sacrifice-based, but I'd like to try out the Felguard for leveling purposes (currently, I'm at level 55). The question is, what Felguard spec should I use?

From my research in the official forums and a few other places, and from playing around with the talent calculator, here's the best I've been able to come up with: 15/46/0 or 5/46/10. Fairly similar, as you can see. However, I'm somewhat uncomfortable with both builds; essentially, few of the points that aren't in Demonology really satisfy me.

Let's start with Demo, since it's the area I'm most sure of. Demonic Embrace is a no-brainer; more of a primary stat for less of an almost irrelevant stat is hard to beat. I hear I'll be using Health Funnel a fair amount when FG grinding, so I'll Improve that to make my health go a bit farther. Now, however, I'm left with three points to spend on some less-than-appetizing talents. Imp VW and Imp Imp are both useless to me, since I expect to have my FG out all the time; and Imp HS is just silly. Therefore, I go for Fel Intellect, paltry though its boost may be. It will also synergize with Demonic Knowledge later, although I don't think FG has too much mana to speak of anyway.

Fel Domination is nice to have, though hardly necessary. Fel Stamina ought to be nice for my tank. I'll pop the other point for this tier into Demonic Aegis, since, again, Imp Succy is worthless to me. And next, I finally get a decent, meaty talent: Unholy Power. Five points down. I might as well take Master Summoner, since I already have the prereq and again it'll be occasionally helpful. And Demonic Sacrifice, while I don't intend to use it frequently, adds so much versatility to a demonologist that I can't bring myself to pass it up. This leaves a few more points until I can get to Master Demonologist, so I sink them in Dem. Aegis.

Next, Master Demonologist. Yummy. 1% increased damage per talent point is great, and some extra resistances are icing on the cake. I'll also take 3/3 Mana Feed to keep that FG going like the Energizer bunny. Soul Link? Sure! Shared damage sounds nice, and -- what's that? 5% more damage caused by master and demon? 5%?! Imba. Taken. Demonic Resilience will protect my tank, and Demonic Knowledge will let me use my pumped up demon's stats to help my own damage potential, addressing what used to be a weakness in Demonology.

Demonic Tactics is yet another 1% boost per talent point. And then we get to Felguard, the whole reason I'm in this tree. Now I know that leaves me with somewhat over the required number of points to get FG -- five extra, to be precise. The problem is that the extra points are all towards the bottom of the tree, where the juicy talents are. If I wanted to cut any, I'd have to take out something like Dem. Knowledge or Dem. Tactics, both excellent talents. And the benefits wouldn't be that great; the best I could get out of Affliction or Destruction if I was only 41 in Demo would be Nightfall or Devastation/Shadowburn, respectively.

So let's assume I'm going 46 in Demo. That leaves 15 points to allocate between Affliction and Destruction. Improved Corruption seems like the only truly essential talent out of what's within my reach there, so I take that for sure. Having a cast time on Corr just feels wrong to me after all this time. But then, as I mentioned above, I have a choice between sticking the other ten points in Afflic or Destro. In Destro, I get Imp. Shadow Bolt and Bane. ISB seems relatively unhelpful when soloing, which is what this build is for, since I'm not going to get a chance to build up much. Bane is nice, but I don't expect SB will be what's doing most of my damage; still, it should be pleasant to have.

What if I go to Aff with those ten points? Well, the most appealing combo for me is Improved Life Tap (<3), Improved Drain Soul, Suppression, and Amplify Curse. ILT is obvious; more mana for less life is always good. IDS is a little shakier; the mana return will probably be smallish, but less threat is good, since I have a tank and I don't want to pull off it. I'm not too certain about Suppression, but I hear it's helpful when leveling, and it's certainly never fun to get resisted. I skip Soul Siphon since I don't expect to be using Drain Life a ton of the time, and I won't be piling on DoTs like I used to do with my UnA build. And finally, the point in Amp Curse is sort of throw-away, although a double-damage CoA every few minutes is fun.

So as you can see, neither option (15/46/0 or 5/46/10) looks overwhelmingly better. And I readily admit that I have never played a FG build, nor have I ever got a warlock past the 55 I'm at now. So I'm asking you, Warlock experts, you who ride single file: what do you think of my build? And should I put the ten floating points in Aff or Dest?

Keep sending in your builds -- just because I've gone with one of my own this week doesn't mean I haven't been reading all your submissions. This Warlock question has just been bugging me.

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