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Warlock has long been one of the most dominant classes in World of Warcraft arena, proving to be a staple of many world championship teams dating back to the arena’s introduction. But in Battle for Azeroth, the class has become a meme. The Asia-Pacific Regional Final broadcast team spent much of the night joking about the class’ zero-percent winrate in live events since the expansion was released.
Today, though, Korean star Jo “Uface” Seonhun showed that Warlock can be a different kind of joke in Team Beast’s lower bracket series against Australian side Mad Dog.
Team Beast fell behind 0-2 in the elimination series, leaving them desperate to find an answer to Mad Dog and the counter comp they found to beat Team Beast’s “KFC” comp—Resto Druid, Hunter, and Warrior. So Beast swapped Uface to his main class—Warlock.
Uface melts the face of legendary Hunter Jia Xing “Yoske” Kent Foong in just three short ticks of Drain Life, dropping the Hunter so fast the commentators thought he used Feign Death for a moment. Even his own team seemed a little surprised, laughing at the ridiculousness of it as Mad Dog surrendered.
The play showed the power of Inevitable Demise, one of the Affliction Warlock’s Azerite traits. Inevitable Demise stacks a damage buff to your next Drain Life cast as your Corruption deals damage. With three Inevitable Demise traits equipped, Drain Life stacks to deal an incredible amount of damage. If the other team doesn’t stop the cast with an interrupt or stun, it’s game over in moments.
The trait is called Inevitable Demise for a reason, after all.
Mad Dog knew the move was coming the second an Affliction Warlock entered the game. Inevitable Demise may look broken, but it’s one of the only things keeping a small smattering of Warlocks afloat in the top tiers of arena. So when an Affliction Warlock enters the game, it’s pretty obvious why. Countering it is relatively easy—any interrupt, stun, or crowd control will stop the Drain Life, forcing the Warlock to build up Inevitable Demise stacks once again, which usually takes 45 to 60 seconds.
Mad Dog simply made a mistake in the key moment. Mitchell Liam “Oxygen” Pritchard, Mad Dog’s healer, put it on himself in the post-game interview. He said he walked into a Freezing Trap just as Uface finished stacking up his death beam. His teammates had already burned their crowd control, counting on him to make the crucial stop, but he couldn’t do it.
In the next game of the series, Mad Dog wouldn’t make the same mistake. They tunneled Uface, and the squishy Warlock could barely get a spell off, much less stay alive. Mad Dog finished the series off 3-1 and continued their march to the finals.
But at least for one brief moment in Battle for Azeroth, Warlock reigned supreme.