Warlock Class Changes in Dragonflight

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A new WoW expansion is getting closer and closer to its release on November 28. Each build makes it easier to speak about various class changes and suggest firm predictions on Dragonflight meta. This text will cover crucial Warlock abilities changes.

Warlock Class Tree

The revamp of the talent system in the new expansion leads to the emergence of two separate trees for class and specialization. One tree contains basic class talents which are accessible in every spec. And another one — those that belong only to a particular specialization.

Players have 31 points to spend in the class tree and 30 points in a spec one. These restrictions will make players choose a limited number of skills and traits by holding more or less to the right, middle, or left branches. One more feature to remember is that talents placed in octagons must always be chosen out of two options.

A few following spells have become generic due to the Warlock class changes in Dragonflight. The Soul Link was a Demonology passive received on level 43, and now it’s at the bottom of the middle class branch. It may seem that the trait was nerfed, as now it gives only 10% of the damage you receive to the pet. But putting two points into the Profane Bargain right below will once again provide you with a 20% buff. Although getting it to work at full power will require you to have less than 35% HP. And — no buff to the Soul Leech.

Another former unique spec passive is the Grimoire of Synergy. As a common trait in the Warlock talent tree in Dragonflight, it will offer all specs a chance to make their pets damage up to 10% bigger after damaging your enemy. Besides, the Sweet Souls passive has returned, increasing the healing of the Healthstone you gain by using it personally and making you heal from your ally’s usage. It was an Azerite trait in BfA. Now it can be found as a talent in the middle of the left part of a tree.

And at the end of the right branch, there’s the Soulburn. It was removed in patch 7.1.5, but this former Affliction Warlock trait got updated in Dragonflight. Empowerment of the Unstable Affliction at the cost of consuming one Soul Shard changes to the empowerment of other, mainly defensive, spells at the same price.

Speaking of defensive skills, choosing the Burning Rush, Demon Skin, and Dark Pact simultaneously is an exciting new option. They’re no longer mutually exclusive third-tier talents because of the Warlock changes.

Affliction Changes

The players of this spec will be glad to hear of the Creeping Death passive empowerment. The trait no longer makes your crucial DoTs end faster because of the acceleration of their full damage ticks. Now it just makes them damage faster, which means a bigger number of ticks without a duration reduction. Besides, the Malefic Wrath Runecarving Power has been remade into the Malefic Affliction talent. But there’s a significant difference: now, the Malefic Rupture increases the damage of Unstable Affliction instead of the Shadow Bolt and Drain Soul spells.

Another important update that Affliction Warlock receives in Dragonflight is a return of the ancient Grim Reach talent. Although the effect of this Grim Reach is entirely different from the one removed in Cataclysm. That one only increased the range of your spells. And this one is about making your Darkglare minion damage AoE by dealing half of it to everyone who has any of your DoTs. However, this talent is in an octagon, and choosing between it and the Grand Warlock’s Design may sometimes be difficult. The last trait is available for both Demonology and Affliction players, and its effect is a reduction of the Summon Infernal by 1,5 sec with each Soul Shard spent.

Finally, since the very preview of Warlock talents, the icon of the Life Tap has been noticed. The Life Tap was removed in BfA. And, actually, that spell doesn’t fully return now. Instead, there’s a Soul Tap in the middle of the left branch, which will give you a soul shard in exchange for 8% of Soul Leech shields. And it’s hard not to mention the Soul Flame, a former Legion’s Artifact trait, the effect of which will once again burst the souls of your enemies.

Destruction Changes

Warlock talent changes led to the emergence of a few completely new traits in the Destruction specialization. For instance, the Scalding Flames at the middle of the right branch make your Immolate deal up to 25% more damage. But some old talents can play a more significant role within a new spec tree. The Destruction players will definitely be glad to hear that the Soul Fire and Eradication can be taken both. Besides, the former Shroud of the Demon Star tier 4-set bonus, Avatar of Destruction, is at the end of the right spec branch. As before, it makes you summon a Blasphemy after consumption of the Ritual of Ruin with your Rain of Fire or Chaos Bolt spells.

A few Destruction Warlock talents greatly improve the Havoc mechanic in Dragonflight. This spell is crucial for the spec as it provides it with a specific AoE. In the new spec tree, there’s an octagon talent in the upper part of the middle branch, where you can choose between the Havoc and Mayhem. However, whatever choice is made, you’re not deprived of the Havoc. Because the Mayhem passive simply gives your single-target spells a chance to cast the Havoc on the closest enemy.

The very next talent offers a choice between the Cry Havoc and Pandemonium. The first is a former Legion Artifact trait that allows you to make the whole mechanic even more AoE. And the second trait just empowers one of the previously chosen talents, either increasing the Havoc‘s duration or increasing the chance of the Mayhem to proc. Finally, below this octagon, there’s a Rolling Havoc passive. It can make duplications of your spells even deadlier, with them increasing your damage up to 10%.

Demonology Changes

The new Demonology Warlock talent tree further enhances your interactions with demons. At the end of the right branch, you can find the Guillotine. This is one more effective instrument to turn your Felguard into a living AoE. The Gul’dan’s Ambition and Ner’zhul’s Volition passives at the bottom of the left branch will greatly empower the Nether Portal spell. The first — by summoning a Pit Lord at the end of that spell’s duration. The Pit Lord’s power depends on the number of demons summoned during the Portal. The second — by giving a chance that an extra one can be spawned with a spawn of each demon from the Portal.

Of course, there are some talents with less powerful but still important effects that will make your minions more powerful. For example, the Reign of Tyranny trait at the end of the middle branch of Demonology Warlock tree will make the Summon Demonic Tyrant skill more powerful. The Demonic Tyrant will start to deal much more damage depending on the number of your demons. Or the Imp Gang Boss, a trait inspired by the Malicious Imp-Pact bonus from the Shroud of the Demon Star set. The reworked version is even more interesting, as it doesn’t depend only on the Hand of Gul’Dan spell and can spawn a big Imp instead of each Wild Imp you summon. And its implosion won’t be just painful for an enemy and funny for you, but it will also summon one more Wild Imp.

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