Warlock Primer: Macros & Useful Information

These are the macros that we’ll suggest for the level 24 Gnome Clone Warlocks. There are five sections here, one for each of the three talent specs, a fourth to cover Warlocks in general, and Warlock pets get a section of their very own as well.

If you’re interested only in looking at the macros for your spec, you can click on one of the following links to jump to that section:

General Warlock Macros
Warlock Pet Macros
Affliction Warlock
Demonology Warlock
Destruction Warlock

General Warlock Macros & Useful Information

Here we’re going to talk about some of the basic features of the Warlock class and look at a couple of macros that can help you.

Fear: is your primary Crowd Control (CC) spell, sending your target running around in random directions for its duration. Fear is one of the strongest CC abilities in the bracket. At least, it is until some goober breaks the effect. Fear does have Diminishing Returns (DR) and it shares that with the Priest’s Psychic Scream ability. The first time they are feared it will last 8 seconds (or until broken), the second time is 4 seconds, the third is 2 seconds, and then they become immune to Fear for a time before the DR counter resets.

The DR is per target though, not per cast. So you can cast it on one target for an 8 second fear, then cast it on another for an 8 second fear, and so on. You can only have 1 target feared at a time, so casting it on a second target frees the first, but in the case of BG’s like Warsong Gulch, even a fraction of a second worth of CC on someone can be the deciding factor in the match.

In regards to damage breaking Fear, the threshold for that break is very low, so if you’re going to use Fear and then proceed to try to kill the target, you might want to consider applying your DoT’s right after the Fear cast and then using a nuke rather than following it up directly with the nuke which is more or less guaranteed to break your Fear. So Fear > (Unstable Affliction) > Corruption > Bane of Agony is usually the safest bet for applying a damage rotation to a target without breaking Fear early. If you really want to make people mad you can follow that rotation with Fear > Shadow Bolt > Fear > Drain Life > Soulburn/Soul Fire Macro (see below).

Soul Shards: are a secondary resource system for Warlocks. You have three of them by default, and you use them by casting Soulburn which causes various spells to act differently or more powerfully. The two most common uses in the 24 bracket are instant pet summons and instant Soul Fire casts. You can do this either by casting Soulburn and then casting the spell you want to modify, or you can combine them into macros like the following:

#showtooltip Soul Fire
/cast Soulburn
/cast Soul Fire
/run UIErrorsFrame:Clear()

#showtooltip Summon Imp
/cast Soulburn
/cast Summon Imp
/run UIErrorsFrame:Clear()

#showtooltip Summon Voidwalker
/cast Soulburn
/cast Summon Voidwalker
/run UIErrorsFrame:Clear()

#showtooltip Summon Succubus
/cast Soulburn
/cast Summon Succubus
/run UIErrorsFrame:Clear()

#showtooltip Summon Felguard
/cast Soulburn
/cast Summon Felguard
/run UIErrorsFrame:Clear()

These macros take advantage of the Global Cooldown (GCD). Most spells, when you cast them, trigger the GCD which by default is a 1.5 second timer that prevents you from casting other spells. The other spells ignore the GCD which means you can either cast them and then immediately follow up with another spell, or you can cast a normal spell that triggers the GCD and then before the GCD is actually finished you can cast a non-GCD spell. In other words, spells that do not trigger the GCD (like Soulburn) allow you to cast multiple spells at the exact same time with only a single button press or click.

Soulburn is one of those spells that does not trigger the GCD, so activating this macro uses Soulburn and then casts a spell that benefits from Soulburn to get the additional benefit. In the case of Soul Fire, using Soulburn causes this spell to be an instant cast which is a really big deal since this is one of the slowest spells in the game and it hits really hard. I use this macro on all of my Warlocks, regardless of their spec or their level. It might not be my primary option for using Soulburn, but they all use this macro to have the option of casting an instant nuke.

In the case of the Summon [DemonName] version of the macro, Soulburn causes the summon to be instant cast, making it fast and easy to replace a fallen demon or to get a demon at your location in case you somehow get separated.

Soul Shards are regenerated in one of two ways: Soul Harvest or Drain Soul. Soul Harvest is a channeled spell that requires you to be out of combat to use, and it restores 15% of your life and 1 soul shard every 3 seconds for 9 seconds (so all three shards and 45% total life return), and it has a 30 second cooldown. Drain Soul is a 15-second channeled attack spell that deals damage (double damage if the target is at or below 25% health) and if you’re channeling it while the target dies you restore 3 soul shards.

I make a special effort to get Drain Soul on almost all of my targets before they die. If you’re casting nukes and you know that your target only has 15 health left and you just sent a Shadow Bolt at them that’s going to kill them, hit Drain Soul anyway and as long as it “hits” before Shadow Bolt’s damage finishes them off you’ll get your soul shards back.

Life Tap: is the Warlock’s source of mana return. They sacrifice their hit points in order to restore their mana. Use this when you need it, just be aware that you’re damaging yourself and your healers may or may not be able to give you free healing to make up for that. Don’t be afraid to use it, just realize the sacrifice you’re making and that this is a primary trait of the Warlock class and they’re meant to be able to use it. You life and die by your mana pool. To Fel with your own life source, if you can’t kill things then life isn’t worth living in the first place!

That being said, if you use Life Tap in LFG don’t expect your healer to heal you back up to full after you Life Tap. That’s not to say that they won’t, but you have several method of restoring your life such as Soul Harvest (45% heal), Drain Life (6% heal per cast), Health Stones (45% base life heal), bandages (up to 2,000 healing), and normal food. If you’re between pulls then expecting your healer to make up for your life tap is sending them the message that your mana is more important than theirs, which is ludicrous when you’re more than capable of healing yourself.

Pet Macros and Useful Information:

Warlock Pets get their own special little section because they’re such special little minions. Actually, they just have cool abilities that sometimes are better cast via macro than just letting them auto-cast. Most of the abilities that your pets have come already set up to be auto-cast, and while that’s fine for most things like attacks and taunts, some of your pets also have great crowd control or utility spells to cast as well.

Imp: Blood Pact (stamina buff)
Voidwalker: Suffering (taunt)
Felguard: Pursuit (charge), Axe Toss (ranged stun)
Succubus: Seduction (ranged charm)

Imp has a stamina buff similar to Priests, except that you have to be within range of the Imp to receive the buff. You won’t have to worry about the range if it’s your Imp, but the rest of your party will miss out on the stamina buff if they don’t stay close to you. You pretty much want this active at all times.

Voidwalker doesn’t have any PvP abilities at level 24, and his taunt makes no difference in PvP. You do want to turn off the auto-cast (by right-clicking it on your pet bar, or in your spell book under the Pet tab).

Felguard is the first of our macro-worthy pets. Pursuit is good and I would suggest you go ahead and leave this one on auto-cast unless you just want extra level of control over your pet (like me). I’ll show you how to macro it regardless, but I’ll leave it up to you whether or not you want him to auto-cast this one. Axe Toss is the main macro we’re looking at though as a ranged stun is fantastic in places like Warsong Gulch. And I definitely suggest you remove the auto-cast from Axe Toss so that he’s not stunning random people in midfield while the enemy flag carrier runs right past you.

[UPDATE: It appears that Wowhead may be wrong about which level the Felguard learns Axe Toss. Once we have confirmed the level, I will update this post to reflect what we find.]

/cast Pursuit
/run UIErrorsFrame:Clear()

/cast Axe Toss
/run UIErrorsFrame:Clear()

Since your pet is a separate entity from you, his spells and your spells do not share the same global cooldown (GCD), so you can macro his spells to yours if you want to create combination macros. For example, if you want to be more offensive you can macro his Axe Toss to your Shadow Bolt macro so that he stuns them for 4 seconds while you cast a Shadow Bolt/Soul Fire or apply multiple DoT’s and so on. If you’re super concerned with crowd control you can also macro his stun to your Fear spell for stronger chance of controlling them (especially if they’re trigger happy with their trinkets and break the stun but then miss the Fear cast.

Succubus also has a ranged crowd control ability in Seduction, which is essentially a channeled stun. Because I like to make frequent use of my Succy’s seduction spell I put her on Passive so that by default she doesn’t get involved in combat which makes her less likely to die and more likely to be wherever I need her to be to apply her spell. When I need to go offensive to help bring down a target, I use the default keybind (Ctrl + 1) to activate her attack on the target.

In the macro below I make use of the exclamation mark (!) to allow me to spam this macro to be sure it activates without breaking her casts early by pressing it too much. You can find more information about that in the Macro Primer.

/cast !Seduction
/run UIErrorsFrame:Clear()

Suggested Affliciton Specs:
203/021 damage/healing focus
213/200 debuff focus
203/021 debuff/damage mix

As far as macros are concerned, I don’t have any particular Affliction-only macros beyond those that were already mentioned in the Macro Primer. Affliction’s signature spell is Unstable Affliction (UA) which is a powerful DoT spell with a fairly short cast time, and if dispelled the dispeller takes damage and is silenced for 4 seconds. I don’t think any class has a dispel that can remove UA at level 24 though, so that part probably won’t happen.

The first spec is the one that I use as Affliction. It focuses on strengthening your DoT spells in the first tier and your channeled spells in the second, and it gives you some self healing through use of Corruption.

The second spec is focused more on debuffs than damage dealing. You still buff your DoT’s significantly, but one of your major functions with this spec is to use Curse of Weakness (CoW) on every Rogue, Warrior, Feral, and Hunter you can find. With the Jinx talent your CoW reduces the rate that those classes generate their resources by 10% in addition to the 10% damage reduction that the curse already does on its own. When you’re facing a lot of physical damage dealers, this is one of the strongest spells and talents in the bracket for helping your team survive.

The final spec is a little bit of a combination of the two, trading Improved Life Tap for a single point in Soul Siphon which increases your channeled spell damage. If you’re going to go for the Jinx debuff, then you’ll need to decide whether you’d rather have this spec or the second one. Of the two, I’d probably go for this one because I tend to be more offensive, but you might get more use out of Improved Life Tap than increased channeled damage if you’re more a reactive/defensive player.

Suggested Demonology Specs:
032/2001 demon focus
330/0020 survival focus
230/2010 best of both

Demonology’s signature spell is Summon Felguard which is their unique pet who deals high damage, and has a charge ability as well a ranged stun. You can find macros for the Felguard in the Pets section up above.

Let me state right up front that I have almost no experience at all with Demonology, so I list these having no experience with them.

This first spec focuses on your pet, increasing their damage potential and giving you options for quick resummons as needed. With this spec you increase the damage of your pet by 15%, and 15% of your spell damage translates to healing for your pet. You also get a 2 minute cooldown that allows you to instantly resummon your pet if it’s killed. In the instance that your pet is desummoned for being out of range, you also have a slight cast time reduction and 50% mana cost reduction in summoning it again.

The second spec puts the focus back on you, starting with a 10% Stamina buff. You still have the increased pet damage, but instead of boosting your summon/resummon options you instead increase the effectiveness of the healing benefits of your Demon Armor buff.

The last option here is a mash up of the previous two specs, buffing both yourself and your demon. You get a 7% Stamina buff instead of 10%, and you get only a slight buff to your Demon Armor as you trade the extra points there for that 2 minute cooldown to instantly resummon your pet after it dies. You still buff your demon’s damage though you’re no longer healing him with your spell damage.

Suggested Destruction Specs:
032/201 damage and cc
330/002 burst damage
330/200 burst cc

Destruction’s signature spell is Conflagrate which requires your target to already have your Immolate DoT on them before you can cast it. When you do cast it, Conflagrate instantly deals 60% of the damage of Immolate to the target. Talent points can also allow Conflagrate to apply a slow effect (see below). I have no particular macros for Destro that haven’t already been discussed.

This first spec is the one that I use on Lilliloki, and it’s focused purely on dealing as much damage as possible. Shadow Bolt damage is increased by 12% and it applies Shadow and Flame to the target which increases spell crit against them by 5%, then your Immolate damage is buffed by 20% and the crit chance of your Searing Pain goes up by 20% against targets at or below 25% health. Then you have Aftermath which gives your Rain of Fire AoE spell a 12% chance to stun targets for 2 seconds, and your signature spell Conflagrate has a 100% chance to daze your target. With this spec you get better instant-cast damage by buffing Immolate’s damage which in turn buffs Conflagrate’s damage, so that you can more easily burst on the move than having to stand still and spam Shadow Bolt.

The second spec drops crowd control in favor of trying to get more critical strikes from your spells. You lower Shadow Bolt’s cast time by 0.5 seconds and cause it to apply the 5% spell crit debuff I mentioned in the first spec, and then you increase the crit chance of Searing Pain by 40% on targets at or below 25% health. The point of this spec is to focus on a single target and burst them with repeated casts. Shadow Bolt is your primary spell with this spec until the target is at 25% health and then switch to Searing Pain spam to finish them off hoping for repeated crits from Searing Pain.

The third spec sticks primarily to burst damage with those same improvements to Shadow Bolt that you see in the first two specs, but keeps the crowd control benefits of Aftermath instead of increasing Searing Pain’s crit chance. This version requires you to do a lot more turret casting to get your burst damage off since you’re not buffing Immolate’s, and thus Conflagrate’s, damage. Instead the focus is on Shadow Bolt for damage using Conflagrate primarily for the Daze effect of Aftermath so you can take advantage of even more Shadow Bolt casts while the target is slowed and unable to get out of range.


4 thoughts on “Warlock Primer: Macros & Useful Information

  1. Great guide, but I did catch an error. Your Soulburn macros all use the term “Soul Burn” but there is no space in “Soulburn.”

    Using your format, I also wrote a Healthstone macro. Never know when that 20% boost might come in handy.

    #showtooltip Healthstone
    /cast SoulBurn
    /use Healthstone
    /run UIErrorsFrame:Clear()

    • I make that stinking typo every single time. /sigh /fixed

      Every time I’ve tried to use the ‘Burned Healthstone it’s turned out to be unnecessary, so I just stopped using my shards on it and focused them on DPS.

  2. Thanks for putting this together. This in combination with the primer is a great help. I may be wrong but I don’t think Axe Toss is available until after 24. I don’t seem to have it and what little digging I did says it’s available at level 30. I agree with your preference of keeping pursuit off auto. Having pursuit available when you need it can be a lifesaver.

    • Hmm, Wowhead has it quoted as level 20, but there are comments that say it’s level 30.

      I’ll switch my lock over to Demo tonight to test it out and see if it’s just hidden or if it’s really not there and then I’ll update accordingly.

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