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Analysis of Warlock changes in 3.1

Eliah Hecht

By now, Warlocks, you've probably had a chance to take a look at the announced changes for patch 3.1. If you're late to the party, come in, I'll take your coat; Blizzard have announced some of the changes they'll be making to the Warlock class in the upcoming 3.1 content patch. Keeping in mind that this list is incomplete (they'll be making more changes, count on it) and subject to change (on the PTR, etc.), let's talk about what they've revealed so far.

Improved Shadow Bolt – this talent now provides a 5% spell critical strike buff (similar to Improved Scorch)

This goes along with what they were saying about Imp Scorch being too much of a "unique snowflake." It also restores group utility to a talent that had it stripped away in 3.0. I like it, a lot. This is also early enough in the tree that almost any warlock can pick it up if their raid needs it.

Improved Soul Leech – this talent now provides Replenishment (similar to shadow priests)

Has Blizz been reading my posts? I'm really glad that they're spreading Replenishment around. And Destruction could use a little bit of mana-back utility itself. Warlocks have always been the utility caster, and this is just stacking that higher and higher. Keep it coming, I say.

Drain Soul now has a chance to produce Soul Shards even if the target doesn't die.

A clever buff to shards in raids. I hope it's a relatively high chance to get shards (50%?). Shards still need a complete reworking, but pending that, this is a nice band-aid.

Siphon Life no longer as an active ability but the talent grants the old Siphon Life effect to Corruption.

Awesome. Affliction could really use fewer spells to cast; this is a big win. Update: Eyonix has clarified that if you have the SL talent, casting Corruption will give you the full benefits of SL along with Corruption.

Curse of Recklessness and Curse of Weakness have been combined into one spell

Another step in the streamlining we've been seeing across the board recently.

Consume Shadows – this Voidwalker ability is no longer channeled but has a cooldown.


Several other warlock talents have had their ranks reduced, their effects changed or removed. This list includes but is not limited to Demonic Empathy, Shadow Embrace, Eradication, Suppression, and Pandemic.

I'll be honest, I had to look up some of these talents to see what they do. That's probably as good a sign as any that they need some streamlining/reworking. Obviously I can't comment on particulars until they give us the particulars.

Additional new talents have been added.

Oh Eyonix, you're such a tease.

No specifics on changes to Demonology yet (aside from that Voidwalker bit). Hopefully Metamorphosis at least gets some lovin'; I'm sure we'll see more details sooner or later.

Patch 3.1 brings us Ulduar, dual specs, significant changes to all the classes, and more! We've got you covered from top to bottom with our Guide to Patch 3.1.

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