Best Affliction Warlock build for raiding in WoW Shadowlands

Top the damage meters with this Affliction build.

Image via Blizzard Entertainment

Affliction Warlock has a history of being among the top-performing specializations in World of Warcraft—and Shadowlands is no exception. 

The spec uses damage-over-time abilities like Agony, Corruption, and Unstable Affliction to slowly eat away at your enemies’ health bar, all while ‌dispensing powerful ‌single‌ ‌and‌ ‌multi-target‌ ‌damage with Malefic Rapture.

Best Affliction talents for raiding

  • Level 15: Drain Soul
  • Level 25: Siphon Life
  • Level 30: Burning Rush
  • Level 35: Phantom Singularity
  • Level 40: Mortal Coil
  • Level 45: Haunt
  • Level 50: Dark Soul: Misery

Tier one (Level 15) talents for Affliction

Drain Soul is the go-to talent in tier one, beating out Nightfall and Inevitable Demise by a considerable margin. It deals more single target damage and helps to easily maintain stacks of Shadow Embrace—increasing damage dealt to the target by three percent for 12 seconds and stacking up to three times.

Inevitable Demise is a viable option in some encounters and can be especially powerful in fights like Mythic Sludgefist, but Drain Soul will always be your safest option.

Tier two (Level 25) talents for Affliction

Siphon Life is outright the best single-target damage option in tier two. It’s another damage-over-time ability, similar to Agony and Corruption, catering to Malefic Rapture windows. It also heals for 30 percent of its damage dealt—another added bonus.

Tier three (Level 30) talents for Affliction

This row is entirely down to personal preference.

Burning Rush stands out as the best talent due to its increased movement speed. But Demon skin, which recharges your Soul Leech shield by one percent every second, and Dark Pact, which sacrifices 20 percent of your demon’s health and grants you a 400 percent shield for 20 seconds, are both entirely viable.

Tier four (Level 35) talents for Affliction

Phantom Singularity is another damage-over-time ability, this time with a 45-second cooldown. When combined with Agony, Corruption, Unstable Affliction, and Night Fae’s Soul Rot, it increases Malefic Rapture’s damage output. The ability also deals area-of-effect damage, making it a powerful option for encounters with adds.

Tier five (Level 40) talents for Affliction

Tier five, like tier three, is down to personal preference. Darkfury reduces Shadowfury’s cooldown by 15 seconds, Mortal Coil “horrifies” an enemy and heals you for 20 percent of your maximum health, and Howl of Terror lets loose a howl, causing five enemies with 10 yards to flee in fear.

Mortal Coil is ordinarily the strongest option because of its heal, but it shouldn’t make a great deal of difference either way.

Tier six (Level 45) talents for Affliction

Haunt is the clear winner in terms of single-target damage in this row. When applied to a target, it increases your damage dealt by 10 percent for 18 seconds and applies a stack of Shadow Embrace. It’s easy to maintain and has a 15-second cooldown, meaning it has no downtime.

Dark Caller, which lines up your Summon Darkglare with your Dark Soul: Misery looks tempting, but it simply can’t keep up with Haunt’s damage output.

Tier seven (Level 50) talents for Affliction

Dark Soul: Misery is the best talent in this row. It increases your haste by 30 percent for 20 seconds, allowing you to easily dish out Malefic Raptures on a two-minute cooldown.

Soul Conduit, which has a chance to refund Soul Shards, and Creeping Death, which makes Agony, Corruption, Siphon Life, and Unstable Affliction deal their full damage 15 percent faster, are far weaker alternatives.