Legion: Affliction Overview

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Suffer. Wither. Die.

Third and final spec overview! Told you I’d get around to it.

Usual disclaimer applies: This is all based on Alpha/Beta stuff, and naturally subject to change at a moment’s notice. If/when things change, I will update this post to reflect it!

General

  • Probably the most unchanged spec once again, if you’ve played Affliction in the past, you’ll know what to do here.
  • Has better AoE options than before!
  • YOU GET A SCYTHE
  • You still have Soul Shards, but now you have 5. You only start a fight with 1, however. Have fun with that.

Artifact

uthalesh

ULTHALESH, THE DEADWIND HARVESTER. Such a badass name. Such a badass scythe. Now you’ve become a reaper of souls!

Here’s the layout of your weapon’s traits:

ulthalest

As before, you start at the node with the solid gold frame and work your way around, picking the traits you want/need. Blizzard speculate it’ll take 1-3 months to fill it all out, rather than over the course of the entire expansion. Possible future patch upgrades then?

Start Point

  • Reap Soul: Deals x Shadow damage every 5 sec for 42 sec. Each time Reap Soul deals damage, it increases in damage frequency by 6.66%.

A new ability! It’s on a 45 second cooldown, and gives you a new DoT to manage/track. It ticks after 5 seconds, then each successive time ticks a little bit faster. I imagine the base damage will be relatively low (closer to Corruption than Agony or Unstable Affliction) due to the fact the speed of ticks ramps the hell up.

Nice touch with the 6.66% too. Well done.

Major Traits

From left to right, these are the three traits with the fancy draconic borders.

  • Soul Flame: When you kill a target, its soul bursts into flames, dealing Shadowflame damage to everything around it.
  • Wrath of Consumption: Killing an enemy causes your damage over time effects to deal x% more damage. This ability stacks up to 5 times.
  • Harvester of Souls: Your Drain spells have a chance to trigger on all targets afflicted by your Corruption for 3 sec.

So these traits seem to have multiple target fights in mind. Short-lived adds? Soul Flame comes in handy. Kill one, damage the rest. Wrath of Consumption helps too as when you kill something, your DoTs tick harder. Harvester of Souls potentially targets everything with Corruption on it, and yay it brings back the old Harvest Life effect! You’ll look like a fel maypole again.

Minor Traits

From left to right, these traits have no fancy border. Sob.

  • Shadowy Incantations: Increases your Shadow damage dealt by x%.
  • Hideous Corruption: Increases the damage of your Corruption by x%
  • Long Dark Night of the Soul: Increases the healing of your Drain spells by x%.
  • Compound Interest: Each Agony and Corruption you cast increases the damage of your next Unstable Affliction by 10%.
  • Sweet Souls: Your Healthstone fully heals you. Any party member using a Healthstone also heals you for the amount they were healed.
  • Perdition: Increases the critical damage of your Agony, Corruption, Drain, and Unstable Affliction by x%.
  • Inherently Unstable: Increases the critical strike chance of your Unstable Affliction by 0%.
  • Seeds of Doom: Increases the detonation damage of your Seed of Corruption by 0%.
  • Drained to a Husk: Increases the damage of your Drains by x%.
  • Fatal Echoes: When your Unstable Affliction expires, it has a 25% chance to reapply itself.
  • Inimitable Agony: Increases the damage of your Agony by x%.
  • Mere Flesh: Reduces damage you take by x%.

Mostly +damage% buffs to your regular abilities. Standout abilities here to me are Compound Interest, which buffs Unstable Affliction for each Agony and Corruption you cast, Sweet Souls, which makes Healthstones useful again, and Fatal Echoes, which can potentially save you Soul Shards over the course of a fight!

The weapon also has an equip effect:

ulthalesh2

So the more of those passive damage boost traits you have unlocked, the more that add killing benefits you over the course of a fight. From my understanding, the Tormented Souls that appear that you need to kill actually proc this 10% shadow damage/passive effect double boost too, so you don’t suffer on single target fights/fights with no adds to kill! Proper job.

Talents

As before your basic rotation is simplified, and you can leave it like that and pick passive talents, or make things more complex by adding active abilities. I would ASSUME that taking active abilities over passive ones would provide higher DPS over the course of a fight (more complexity = more reward, surely?) but this all remains to be seen of course.

flic1

Haunt is no longer a spell that buffs your DoTs, but a sledgehammer of a spell on a 15 second cooldown. Probably your add-killing spell, due to the fact it a) does a crapload of damage, and b) has the cooldown reset if the target it hits dies. Could also act as a cooldown-based filler. Have DoTs up, cast Haunt, then Drain Life until you need to refresh your DoTs/recause Haunt.

Writhe in Agony either doubles the damage per stack of Agony, or doubles the maximum stacks of Agony. I’m not 100% sure either way. The former would be slightly preferable, as it’d reach maximum damage output a bit quicker.

Drain Soul replaces Drain Life. It hits a LOT harder (600% of spell power vs the 150% of Drain Life (though it can increase to 300% for reasons you’ll see below)), and replenishes a shard if the target you’re draining dies during the channel. It appears to lose the “+50% damage for each of your DoT effects” bonus (hence why Drain Life can hit 300% of spell power), but it still hits twice as hard as that through base spell power regardless.

flic2

Contagion sounds simple. Adds a secondary effect to Unstable Affliction that increases all damage you deal to the target, including through Unstable Affliction itself I’d assume. Nice passive damage boost.

Absolute Corruption sounds AMAZING. By making it a one-time-cast ability, it makes you spend less time/global cooldowns refreshing DoTs, and considering Affliction has potentially 5 (Agony Corruption, Unstable Affliction, Reap Soul from the artifact, and Siphon Life from the talents below), it simplifies things a tad.

I still don’t like Mana Tap because, although the damage boost is nice, it can put you in danger. It would still make you Life Tap more, and that’s still potentially dangerous.

flic3

Soul Leech is something you take when you want to smooth out damage over the course of a fight a bit. General boss AoE pulses will probably eat it all up in one go, but you’ll generally take less damage than anyone else because of it. Always handy.

Mortal Coil, as I have said before, would probably only be useful if the heal works regardless of whether or not the target succumbs to the Horror.

Howl of Terror just screams “PVP TALENT” to me, which confuses me as there’s a separate PvP talent tier now. Unless adds or bosses (ha) are susceptible now? I doubt it.

flic4

Siphon Life gives you a new DoT to make a weakaura for, and thus adds complexity to the spec. We all like complexity, right? Remains to be seen how useful the heal will be, whether it’s a flat percentage based on your maximum health, or based on damage it deals, so much up in the air with this one.

Sow the Seeds makes Seed of Corruption less goddamn useless, making it consume 1 Soul Shard to apply to 5 enemies, provided they’re close together. Anything that makes that spell worth casting is a plus in my book.

Soul Harvest is something you can press when RNG hates you and Agony isn’t giving you shards.

destro5

Situational talents for situational uses. Need to move quickly out of voidzones that aren’t in predetermined locations? Burning Rush! Need to move from place to place in a predictable manner? Demonic Circle! (you can probably combine it with Demonic Gateway usage too, to easily move back and forth) Need to flatten out/negate large damage spikes? Dark Pact!

destro6

Supremacy and Service, in terms of a single-target fight, come down to personal preference (at least at this point in time, when there’s a LONG way before number tuning). Sacrifice is most likely most viable in an AoE fight, due to it hitting an 8 yard area.

That being said, I don’t like how it’s reworked in theory. In practice, it might be amazing, but I lament the loss of the passive heal and flat, non RNG-based damage boost.

Of note, the Grimoire of Supremacy demons we have now will be in the forms of glyphs to the Summon Whateverdemon abilities.

Huzzah!

flic7

Soul Effigy allows you to tailor a single target fight to your strengths, i.e. make it a multidot encounter! It will double the potential generation of Soul Shards (due to having two Agony spells running constantly), which is a nice bonus. The magnitude of damage transferral is unknown at this point, but it’s still good just for the Shard boost. Potentially drops in usefulness with 3+ permanent targets (e.g. various Council fights) as you’ll spend all your time just refreshing DoTs and doing bugger all else.

Phantom Singularity is an AoE that is centered on a target (unlike Rain of Fire, which you target yourself), that hits 8 times (for damage totalling 200% of spell power) and heals you for a nice wedge of that damage. I think the AoE applications of this ability are of more use than the heal, considering the only other AoE ability you get is Seed of Corruption.

Demonic Servitude is your passive option for the tier, and I’d imagine would be tuned SLIGHTLY lower than Soul Effigy for this reason. Still nice to have a Doomguard running around though!

Abilities

Here are your core abilities! They’re a skeleton, which you flesh out with talents and artifact traits.

  • Agony is one of your three main DoTs, and functions much as it does now. Each time it deals damage, it adds a stack. The more stacks, the more damage it does, and refreshing the DoT maintains the stack level. It also has a chance to regenerate a Soul Shard each time it deals damage (the old Nightfall passive that used to affect Corruption), and this is NOT capped at “your most recent Agony application” anymore.
  • Corruption is same old same old, with less Nightfall.
  • Unstable Affliction is your sole Shard spender (unless you take the Haunt and/or Sow the Seeds talents), and deals a LOT of damage over 8 seconds. If a target dies when this DoT is running, the cost is refunded, and if it’s dispelled, the dispeller takes a heavy hit of damage and is silenced. Nice!
  • Drain Life is your new filler! It’s a channeled spell over 6 seconds, and each tick deals Shadow damage and restores 3% health. The damage it does depends on how many of your baseline DoTs you have on the target; each one confers a 50% damage boost.
  • Seed of Corruption functions mostly the same as now. Plants an evil seed in a target that explodes after 18 seconds, or when they take a certain amount of damage, or when they’re hit with another seeded target’s explosion. The talent Sow the Seeds makes this spell put seeds in 4 extra nearby targets, meaning easy explosions! The explosions deal a lot of damage to enemies near them, and applies Corruption to everyone hit.
  • Life Tap eats 10% of your health and restores 30% of your mana. Nom.
  • Mastery: Potent Afflictions increases the damage of Corruption, Agony and Unstable Affliction by a flat percentage based on your Mastery stat. Simple damage boost.

Glyphs

They still haven’t been dug out (or even implemented?) yet. The tweet I put in the Grimoire of Whatever talent section is the only glyph info we have so far.

(#WoW #Warlock #Legion)

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One thought on “Legion: Affliction Overview

    Dobablo said:
    December 7, 2015 at 12:55 pm

    That is a very interesting solution to the single target/multi-target damage dealing problem. Instead of being underpowered on single target and overpowered on duel target boss fights Blizzard are making every fight a multi-target!
    I am not sure how well I will cope. The two requirements, keeping track of multiple sets of dots, and quickly killing trash mobs are things I’ve always struggled with, along with the ability to decide if I should be building up my buffs or concentrating on the main target. I might have to switch to demo :s

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