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The Art of War(craft): Must-have PvP talents for warlocks in Cataclysm

Zach Yonzon

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Art of War(craft), covering battlegrounds and world PvP, and Blood Sport, with the inside line for arena enthusiasts. Want to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women? Battlemaster Zach Yonzon, old-world PvP grinder and casual battleground habitué, rambles on about anything and everything PvP.

Whoop! Two weeks into the expansion, and I just have to ask ... are you guys having fun? Because I am. PvP is amazing, even being undergeared. Stamina is up at this point, so even lacking the right gear, combat will last more than a few global cooldowns. Today we'll conclude our talent review series with a look at warlocks and some really cool talents they can pick up to help in PvP. We still have lots to talk about in The Art of War(craft), from Tol Barad to The Battle for Gilneas to Twin Peaks to rated battlegrounds ... oh, Cataclysm is loaded with PvP goodness. Hit the jump to get started.

Affliction warlock PvP
Since I'm not sure felhunters are now competitive in DPS compared to succubi for affliction warlocks, I'm sure you'll enjoy the opportunity to break out the felpuppy for PvP. With Glyph of Devour Magic (major), you'll have an offensive dispel that also works as a self-heal.

  • Improved Life Tap An important talent so you squeeze the most out of your health. Because your health is basically your extra mana, you don't want to dip too low, especially in PvP.
  • Soul Siphon, Siphon Life, and Soul Swap Soul Siphon is basically a DPS increase, listed mostly because you'll need it to pick up Siphon Life. The new Siphon Life no longer scales on damage but is a proc-based effect that heals you for 2 percent of your health per tick. It's pretty much a nerf, but in the long(er) grinds of Cataclysm PvP, you'll take every delicious tick and be happy. Besides, Soul Link is baseline now, so you can't really be too grumpy about it. Activate the Glyph of Soul Link (major) to get the most juice out of it if you want. Finally, Soul Swap is a utility talent in PvP, whereas it expedites DPS ramp-up in PvE. It's optional, but with expert play can be used to keep crowd control effects from breaking. It can serve the same purpose as the Glyph of Seduction (major), an excellent PvP glyph, but can be used on your teammates' polymorph or sleep targets, too.
  • Curse of Exhaustion Snares are awesome in PvP because snares don't have any diminishing returns. Technically, you can keep an opponent permanently snared. Like most snares, it has no cooldown and so can be reapplied immediately.
  • Improved Fear Fear is one of your most important tools in PvP. Boost it by appending a snare when it breaks. And snares are awesome.
  • Improved Howl of Terror You also have access to an AoE fear, but it has an awful-for-PvP 1.5-second casting time. Make it instant with this talent, one of the oldies but goodies. Even better, there's Glyph of Howl of Terror (major) that shaves a full fifth off the 40-second cooldown.
  • Death's Embrace When you're getting dangerously low on life, pop a fear and start Draining Life like hell. This talent makes sure you get the most out of every tick. Apply Soulburn to get even more life in a short span of time.
  • Nightfall As before, you'll only actually need one point here because the percentage to proc is fairly small, anyway. For PvP, the important thing is getting an instant-cast Shadow Bolt.
  • Soulburn: Seed of Corruption Probably not a must-have talent in the strictest sense, but considering battlegrounds combat is often clustered, this is an easy way to dispense Corruption on multiple targets.
  • Pandemic You want this to trim down the GCD of your bane and corruption spells by .5 seconds. Faster is always better.
Demonology warlock PvP Big demon and demon form. This is practically the warlock's version of Beast Mastery. There aren't a lot of truly PvP-centric talents in the tree, but there's quite a bit of utility.
  • Demonic Embrace A PvP staple. 10 percent bonus stamina is very sweet.
  • Fel Synergy Warlock pets are very good targets in PvP because they're legitimate threats. Fel Synergy is passive healing for your pet, which should keep them alive a lot longer on the battlefield.
  • Demonic Rebirth Of course, you can't always keep them alive, which means that this talent is crazy good. It's a passive version of the old Master Summoner + Fel Domination with a lower cooldown (2 minutes) and an even faster cast time (instant). It kicks the pants out of that combo 10 ways 'til Sunday.
  • Demonic Aegis More and faster health when using warlock armor. You'll want this. You should also remember to always have Demon Armor up. If you're in the habit of devouring healthstones (you should be), you might want to activate the Glyph of Healthstone (major), too.
  • Master Summoner This talent is no longer as mandatory as it used to be, considering it used to be a stepping stone towards Fel Domination, but it's still decent. It's actually almost skippable thanks to Demonic Rebirth, but if your demon keeps dying more often than once every 2 minutes, maybe you'd want to save yourself some mana and time.
  • Impending Doom Ideally, you'd want to be in demon form all the time. Since that's not going to happen, here's a talent that can proc a cooldown reduction.
  • Demonic Empowerment Although you'll probably be using the felguard, this talent gives you a lot of flexibility with your demons. Think of it also as a trinket for your pet with a one minute cooldown. It's one measly talent point, so pick it up.
  • Hand of Gul'dan, Aura of Foreboding, and Inferno A pair of good PvP talents that stem from Hand of Gul'dan, Aura of Foreboding adds a root component to Hand of Gul'dan that can even turn into a stun. Inferno also allows you to cast Hellfire on the run. And you'll be on the run a lot, so having the option to blaze away in Hellfire is a welcome one. You should also pick up Cremation while you're at it.

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