Monday, August 04, 2008

Ask Coriel: Defeating a Warlock

Paul writes in:
During PvP, what do I do when encountering a Warlock face to face? Fight or flee. My past experiences have taught me that they whoop my ass. How can we best them?

I'm not really that good at PvP, so take what I say with a grain of salt. Warlocks are kind of paladin kryptonite. It's pretty hard to beat a good warlock, especially if they have a felhunter out. Try to kill or fear the pet first. Remember you can use Turn Evil and Exorcism on warlock pets.

Other than that, you just have to wear them down. Heal early and often, with Flash of Light to save mana. Save your divine shield for when you are loaded down with DoTs, as it will remove all of them. If the warlock doesn't have Shadow Embrace or Unstable Affliction, Cleanse off the DoTs, otherwise just heal through the damage. Get the PvP trinket so you can break a Fear. Remember that you can Cleanse Drain Life and Drain Mana.

All in all, it's a pretty hard fight, especially if the warlock is good.

Any other tips for Paul, especially from people who PvP regularly?


  1. While I'm not the best at ret PvP, what I try to do is stun them, or repentance them as fast as I can. It gives you a small space of time to think about your next plan of attack. Usually I judge command while they are stunned or repentance'd and try keep them from casting by using repentance or hammer of justice, whichever one is off of cooldown. Crusader Strike whenever it's off of CD and pray for a command proc lol. Bubble early if they DoT you up a lot, and watch out for Unstable Affliction. If you dispel UA, it's GG.

  2. I play retribution and must say that warlocks are one of our easy preys if yo have bubble. Without bubble you are dead unless you get good crits.

    Use your stuns as interrupts for their fears and bubble asap because ther is no meaning in taking damage from DoT's and then use the bubble and heal.

    Bring them down fast !

  3. I have both an affliction warlock and what is currently a shockadin that dabble in pvp once in a while.

    It really depends on the warlock and the situation you are in but if you can deal with the pet seperately from the warlock that's a big plus right there.

    Generally the bunkers in AV or obstakles in general help. If the warlock sends his pet after you and you're at great enough range take the pet around a corner, cleanse off the dots and keep the warlock out of LOS while you terminate his pet (exorcism helps).

    If you're dealing with demo lock you're better off just turning evil whenever you can and then running in the opposite direction the pet is running to get some distance between the warlock and his pet.

    The further the warlock is away from his pet the less problems you will have.

    Beyond that try to keep the warlock in melee range. They're rather squishy unless they're decked out in full pvp gear and they don't like stuns.

    Don't forget your shadow resistance aura and the fact that there are definitely a few engineering trinkets and whatnot that can help.

    An engineering bomb can buy you an extra second or two in stuns, a quick sapper charge can do just that much extra damage.

    Cleansing helps, but watch your mana and UA (incidentally if you see a ua you can probably whack the warlocks pet quite easily). Save your bubble for when the warlock is below 50%HP and starts his fear-drain life routine.

    If all else fails run towards the nearest friendly rogue who will be happy to spend 3 seconds shredding the warlock to bits :P

  4. oh I always forget to mention these but depending on your situation you might be able to quaff a major shadow protection potion to save yourself a nice chunk of damage.

  5. I have only 3 pieces of advice when dealing with a Warlock (but I'm by no means a PvP expert:

    1) If Holy then Shadow Resist Aura is a must. When Ret you have to make a judgement call of that vs Sanctity. My choice would be Shadow Resist, but it's largely a judgement call.

    2) Turn Evil, especially if you are up against a Felpuppy.

    3) Don't trinket out of Deathcoil. Usually most warlocks will Deathcoil->Fear, and trinketing that 5+ Second Fear is much more useful that the 3sec Deathcoil.

    Consider saving your Shield to use as an uber-cleanse, and if you can use it offensively then do so. Generally speaking if you have DS available then it's an even 1-on-1 fight. Without it and you can be struggling to play catch-up.

  6. I would add to not forget Arcane Torrent as another form of interrupt if you are a blood elf.

  7. If they're SL/SL go ahead and kill the fellpuppy twice. Once their pet is gone just stick on them long enough that they can't summon another and it's easy as pie.

    Also worth mentioning that the more mana you can force the warlock to blow the better off you are. Save your bubble for when they have a full set of DoT's up. A life-tapping lock is a dead one (each time they tap it's a free k of damage).

  8. Warlocks are easy. Cheapshot. Kidney Shot. Kick the Fear. Cloak of Shadow-Vanish. Cheapshot again. Eat the Deathcoil, Trinket the Fear. Shadowstep. Dead.

    Oh wait, you're not a rogue...

  9. As Ret, play very aggressively. Use HoJ early and you may get a second one if you have Imp HoJ + the PvP set bonus. He won't be able to trinket out of your second one. ;)

    Spam Cleanse. If he catches you in a Fear with a lot of DoT's on you, Divine Shield.

    If he uses Fear early with almost no DoT's applied, trinket it.

    Play super aggressive. Don't heal much, especially when not bubbled.

  10. I have a 70 lock and a 70 pally. If a warlock tries to pick a fight with you, lets hope you are specced retribution. If you are holy it will be neigh impossible to kill a warlock, but they will spend a good few minutes trying to kill you.

    As ret you want to try bursting as much you as can as quickly as possible. SoC, stun, judgement, SoC, crusader strike...repeate. Save your repentence for after you are feared. Using your bubble early on will allow you to get some good burst damage in if you are stuck in fear. It will also panic the warlock a bit, and you should still have a trinket. This method could back fire, and you lost your bubble if it does.

    If you are holy, there is almost no hope for you. You won't be able to do any damage to the warlock since drain life will just give him all the damage you could possibly due. Don't bother clensing, you will be doing it forever. Just try and wear the warlocks mana down by casting FoL. Clense right away if he tries to drain your mana. real tuff fight.

    Never specced prot, so no clue on that one....

  11. I find Locks one of my favorite targets as Ret. Here's some tips:

    -If he's SL/SL (most likely) Kill felpuppy first with crusader strike, melee swing + SoCo & exorcism. Dead pet = Lock taking 20% more damage. If he has a VW out, which is rare, stay on the lock. Blueberry has too much avoidance to be worth it.

    -Never never never Trinket DC. wait for the actual Fear to blow it. Which will put the next fear on DR.

    -BoF his CoE (if he uses it) and stay on top of him. Spam Cleanse while waiting for CS and Judgment CDs. (Unless you see Unstable Affliction ofc)

    -Save bubble for when you're stacked with dots, or as I like to do, cast it offensively to stay on top of him if he fears you while he's low.

    -Speaking of Fear most of the time I can Arcane Torrent the second fear (BE FTW!). I usually save my Hammer and Repentance for a burst down.

    -Use HoJ first but be aware it'll probably be trink'd. I like to wait for CS and Judgment to be off of CD. You can get some decent burst before he gets out.

    -After he burns trinket: Repentance, Holy Light if you need to, Judge, CS. Or use it if he's kiting you to catch up.

    Ret is a pretty hard counter for SL/SL in my experience (a whole 3 weeks worth). You have an answer for everything they can do to you. Spam that cleanse!

    UA we have a bit of trouble cleansing, so it's more of a damage race. bubble defensively and you might even want to put out a couple of Holy Lights to put you ahead.

    Destro, I haven't faced that often, but seems like the worst of the 3. Unmitigated burst is scary for us =P

    Hope this helps!

  12. I have a 70 lock and a 70 pally, though the lock is my main. First off, against a decently geared lock don't bother with the resistence aura, most locks run around with 70-80 spell penetration so the aura will do nothing.

    If you're holy or prot really the only thing you can do is survive long enough for help to arrive, there's no way in hell you'll be able to kill him.

    If you're ret, HoJ and bubble early (not at the same time) to keep pressure on him. If you can't kill him or get him really low you're probably screwed.

  13. Final bit of advice, bubbling essentially resets the fear diminishing returns - because it'll almost certainly be 15 seconds before you're hit with fear again. So using it to get out of that last, 2 second fear is a serious waste.

    But yeah. Stay in their face as long as possible.

    Side note, if you're fighting a warlock AND something else, you can use purify to remove poisons without triggering a UA.

  14. Yeah i'd have to agree with what has been said. I don't generally have any trouble with a lock on my pally. But my toon's ret 4 life.

    The only thing you must avoid at all cost is fear kiting. If bubble and/or trinket are up then its GG.

    But if you happen to lack fear removers, switch to SR aura right away. All you need is to get 1 or 2 heart beat resist on his fear and you can still win. You may or may not have any life left at the end but at least you have a shot.

    The pet thing can be a tough call imo. Considering it usually takes me 2-3 hits to kill a puppy, and 4-8 hits to kill a lock (Stupid Health stones!) it can be a really tough call.

    Beware of SL/SL its very resilient and if they go after your mana you can have problems. If you can tell they are SL/SL kill the puppy.

    On the dot issue If there are more then 4 magic debuffs up including a UI I will certainly purge once, getting corruption off you can make all the difference between living and dieing. Ya you may end up dieing right there leaving you feeling and looking dumb but UI and CoA probably wont kill you by themselves. While SL, Corruption, UI, and CoA will almost certainly do you in.

  15. /bubble

    Unless you seriously outgear the warlock you will lose. Ret pallys can possibly win if they burst past the healthstone, but getting to the point where you can burst a warlock dead takes some effort and luck.


    There most likely is a anti-warlock pally build, but nobody is going to be playing it because it would need so many craptastic skills out of each tree for it to be viable for anything else. If anything the best way to annoy a warlock is to HoJ him, and with ur PoJ runspeed bonus kite him until you have backup, or else do that until you bubblehearth just to waste his time.

  16. Once you attack my dog you will be feared again always ignore pet all dps on the lock or you die...