With demonic curses, Fel magic, and hellish companions, Warlocks have a lot of fans in both the PVP and PVE communities, as well as with solo players who like to collect cosmetics and chase achievements.
Some Warlock specs are better than others when it comes to these various areas of the game.
The most important thing to consider with any spec (or class) in WoW is whether you enjoy playing it or not. It’s all well and good picking Affliction Warlock as your main but if you don’t like doing that particular rotation, you won’t enjoy the game.
I’ve gone into each Warlock spec and picked out a recommendation for multiple styles of gameplay, to help you find one you enjoy.
These suggestions come from my research and my own experiences as someone who specializes in ranged DPS.
This guide breaks down the best Warlock spec in Dragonflight for a variety of playstyles.
Best Warlock Specialization for Solo Leveling
To start, the best Warlock spec to pick for solo leveling in Dragonflight is Affliction.
While it’s certainly possible to level quickly and easily with Demonology or Destruction as your spec of choice, Affliction offers an immense amount of utility for leveling.
If you haven’t played an Affliction Warlock before, most of their damage and utility revolves around DoT (damage over time) abilities.
They have some other heavy hitting moves like Malefic Rupture that pair incredibly well with DoTs which make tackling elite mobs or groups of mobs for quests much easier. The fact that Warlocks are a pet class make leveling much easier as well. As an Afflock, you can sit back and throw spells around while your pets tackle the mobs head-on.
Affliction Warlocks also have some great moves that can heal you up during battles, which is always a nice thing to have while leveling alone. Phantom Singularity and Seized Vitality are two moves that I’d suggest getting for your Affliction Warlock talent tree.
With some heavy-hitting damage abilities, plenty of DoTs, and some dual purpose abilities for both healing and attacking, what’s not to love about Affliction Warlocks for leveling? It’s not an overly complex spec to pick up (that doesn’t mean it’s easy by any means, though) and it’s worth trying out for Dragonflight.
Best Warlock Specialization for PVP Arenas
Destruction Warlocks have always been a favorite of the PVP community and, at the time of writing, they’re one of the most popular ranged specs for Arenas. You can see them in community-favorite comps like MLX, RLX, and Shadowplay.
One of the best things about Destruction Warlocks in Arenas is that they have a varied damage output style. While they don’t have amazing cleave damage, they offer exceptional single target damage, powerful two target damage, and some great AOE options as well.
This means that they can adapt and change attack style as needed, depending on what comp the team ends up facing off against.
While Demonology is the spec that most folk assume has the best pets, Destro Locks have some truly amazing summonables. The Infernals are powerful, tanky creatures that offer 30 seconds of stuns and fire damage, and the Blasphemy creature (from the Avatar of Destruction ability) offers 8 seconds of fire damage, stuns, and Soul Shard Fragment generation.
In general, Warlocks are incredibly versatile to take into Arenas. They’re great alongside other classes like Rogues and Hunters, and the standard talent tree offers a lot of utility as well. Healthstones can make all the difference in an Arena match-up, as can Demonic Gateways.
Best Warlock Spec for PVP Battlegrounds
While I would argue that you could perform well in Battlegrounds with any Warlock spec, Destruction Warlocks stand out to me as a great choice.
They’ve got some brilliant abilities to help support the BG group (from the standard Warlock talent tree, mainly, like Soulwells and Gateways) but damage is where they really shine.
I would describe Destro Lock talents as being simple to pick up but hard to master. They have great single target damage, powerful AOE damage, and punchy two-target damage. As mentioned in the Arena section, they’re versatile and it’s easy to switch up attack style where needed.
Being able to summon an Infernal is great for Battlegrounds too, as they can stun opponents and deal a considerable amount of damage, too. If you’re someone who likes to have pets, I’d recommend taking the Infernal Brand talent to get a boost to the Infernal’s damage.
Destruction Warlocks also have other talents that work well in Battlegrounds. The Backlash talent, for example, is brilliant. It boosts your critical strike chance, as well as giving you a chance to instant cast Incinerate every 6 seconds after a physical attack.
Strongest Warlock Solo Shuffle Spec
Warlocks are one of the most popular ranged PVP classes by a mile, and one of the most effective specs to pick up for Solo Shuffle queues is Destruction. This spec has had a lot of attention in this article so far, but there’s a good reason for that.
In fact, there’s two. The two main elements that make Destruction Warlocks so perfect for Solo Shuffle battles are:
- Their flexibility in comps and versatile attack style
- Their potential damage output
There are some classes and specs in World of Warcraft that struggle to match up with some comps, making Solo Shuffle quite difficult. Destro Locks do not fall into this category. Generally speaking, no matter which sort of team you end up with, playing as a Destruction Warlock means you’ll be able to match your team’s attack style and perform well.
The added utility from the standard Warlock talent tree helps a lot in Solo Shuffle, too. Make sure to place a Demonic Gateway strategically and give your team Healthstones, too. Choose your Soulstone targets wisely.
Best PVE Warlock Specialization
All the Warlock types are viable for PVE to some extent, and they all perform well in different kinds of match-ups and battles. Currently, each spec is ranked quite high in both the Raiding community and the Mythic+ community, so there’s not a clear winner for the best spec in this case.
Affliction Warlocks are unmatched when it comes to DoTs and multi-target battles, and Demonology Warlocks are tanky with wicked single-target damage and strong pets. Destruction Warlocks are great for multi-target and single-target battles.
While this isn’t the most useful recommendation in the world, I would suggest swapping in and out of the Warlock specs in Dragonflight based on the content that you know you’ll be going up against. If you’re in a raid that has lots of single targets, go for Demo. If there’ll be lots of mobs, go for Affliction.
I’d love to be able to confidently declare that one Warlock spec is better than all the others for PVE, but in all honesty, my research and personal experience both point to the specs all being powerful in a variety of situations.
Destruction is the most versatile and adaptable out of the lot, though. It’s the one that I personally opt for in my dungeon runs, and it’s the safest one to fall back on if you’re trying to take on a Raid or Mythic+ Dungeon that you’ve never tried before.
Best Warlock Spec for Soloing Old Content
I used to main a Demonology Warlock back in Mists of Pandaria, and I’ve always had a soft spot for the spec. While I’d push PVP and PVE players to consider Affliction or Destruction in most cases, I would always suggest checking out Demo Locks for soloing old raids and farming rare drops like mounts.
Put simply, Demo Locks can take a lot of damage. They’re arguably the tankiest Warlock build, with some truly brutal pets that can help out in old Raids or Dungeons nicely.
Felguards and Demonic Tyrants are incredibly useful pets to have while playing solo. Demo Locks have some brilliant abilities like The Expendables and Infernal Command that make their pets even stronger, making old raids easier than ever before.
Having the standard Warlock talents like Gateways alongside the Demonology Warlock tree makes soloing past expansion raids and dungeons a lot easier, too.
While old content is certainly accessible to all the Warlock specs, I would suggest going with Demonology Warlock as your main spec for pure tankiness, survivability, and great pet options.
What to Do When You’ve Picked A Spec
Once you’ve decided which type of Warlock you want to play as, there’s a few things you can do next to improve your gameplay and get to know your new specialization.
If you’re making a brand new character, look up some efficient leveling routes or even guides on how to speed level in Dragonflight.
If you’re a PVP fan, make sure to look at what comps and teams are currently popular in the game. This changes every patch so it can be hard to keep up with, but it’s worth the effort as this can help you win more fights and understand your enemy.
If you enjoy PVE, check out the easiest M+ Dungeons and Raids to start off. It’s best to start off with a simpler PVE run if you’re playing a new spec, so that you can spend more time getting used to the rotation and play style.
Warlocks are a lot of fun to play and they’re one of my personal favorite classes to play as. I’d also recommend reading up about the different demons you can summon, so that you know when the best time is to use them.