Site Meter Curse of Senility: Curse of Reform

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Curse of Reform

So as the hardcore fans I pretend that I have probably noticed, the rotation being used in the screenshot I posted recently is different from the one I advocated in my post on casting rotations. And for the non-imaginary among you, you'll note that I'm using Curse of Agony instead of Curse of Elements. In forum threads entitled "LS has sold out!!!11eleven" the more astute of my imaginary idolaters no doubt pointed out repeatedly that there is clearly a boomkin in that party, rendering Curse of Elements pointless, and freeing me up to use Curse of Agony instead. And while this is very true, it's not actually the reason for the change in my preferred curse. The truth of the matter is, I have reformed.

As part of my reformation, I've decided to use only level 70 gear from now on.

Before the imaginary flame wars continue, let me explain myself. The catalyst for my decision was the recently announced changes to affliction. Most notably among them, the fact that Corruption and Siphon life are going to be combined into a single casting time. This change comes in response to the fact that Blizzard believes the current affliction rotation to be 'too complicated.' And in truth, affliction warlocks have possibly the most complicated rotation in the game right now.

I love that complexity though. I realize the removal of one global cooldown from the active rotation won't completely kill that complexity, but it will simplify it somewhat. It will make affliction more accessible to all the people who stopped playing their warlock because it became 'too hard.' And before that happens, I wanted to get in a few hours of play with the most difficult rotation I'll ever be likely to have. And I wanted to kick ass with it.

So does this mean that once the rotation is simplified, I'll go back to using Curse of Elements like a good warlock? Nope. While I will, of course, still use it if I feel the situation calls for it, I've noticed that, as of late, I seem to be the only one benefiting from it much. My group/guild is positively notorious for never once having a max level mage that wasn't 'too good' to run things with us, and most of the DPS we DO have is of the physical variety. Hunters, Death Knights, Rogues, and so on. Curse of Elements certainly helps them a little (arcane shot comes to mind) but given the rather significant increase in personal DPS that I've seen since talenting and glyphing properly for Curse of Agony, I think it's time for me to officially replace CoE with CoA*. Not to mention the fact that the boomkin I ran with in that screenshot seems to be playing much more actively again, so this might not be the last time I run with her!

Note the prominent percentage of damage CoA did

So, for those imaginary fans of mine who strive to emulate my play style to the best of their ability, here's my new casting rotation. It's been modified for my newfound lack of trinkets with use function, as well as my new curse preference:

1) Cast one Shadow Bolt, causing the Shadow Embrace effect.

2) Cast Haunt, causing both that debuff, and a second stack of the Shadow Embrace effect.

3) Cast Corruption (I now have this bound to Ctrl+3, since if haunt is re-applied properly, it only needs to be cast once in any given fight. Moving it here allows me to keep my subsequent rotations rooted in keys 1-7. 8 is a little hard for me to reach.)

4) Siphon Life

5) Curse of Agony

6) Unstable Affliction

7) Immolate

8) Re-apply dots as necessary, avoiding clipping (re-casting a dot before it has 100% completed.) Cast haunt whenever it's up--don't worry about clipping it. If not otherwise occupied, be casting Shadow Bolt. Life tap / Dark Pact when you've got a moment of free time too short to cast a shadow bolt in.

*I honestly never thought I would say that.


  1. What Addon is that around you character, displaying your health, mana, and something in yellow...

  2. ArcHUD2. I liked MetaHUD better, but they stopped updating once ArcHUD was revived.

    If you're interested, a post detailing my addons and the purpose they serve will be posted sometime in the next 3 days or so.

  3. Casting haunt every 8 seconds when ever up? How do you find that compares to clipping it as close as possible to the 12 second duration and using the extra seconds for bolts etc?

  4. Clipping Haunt doesn't doesn't lower your DPS at all. The re-application of corruption doesn't re-start the pace of the ticks.

    So why not just cast haunt, and use the seconds after you cast haunt to bolt? Less chance you'll misjudge and end up with 2 or 3 haunt-less seconds.

  5. I just recently found your blog and I have to say I really enjoy it. Its nice change from pouring over the warlock den forums.

    I have a question about your rotation. Do you not use incinerate after casting immolate? is that a waste of a spell while waiting to re-cast the DoTs?

    Finnugen - Norgannon (us)

  6. Hey! Glad you're enjoying the blog. It's in a bit of a slump right now while I adjust to a few changes in my life, but it's good to know it's still entertaining somebody!

    As to your question: Affliction has several talents which directly increase shadow damage. Because of that, my experience has always been that Shadow Bolt is better for affliction than incinerate is, despite the buff immolate gives to incinerate. Hell, given the recent changes to haunt (it will no longer affect immolate) immolate MAY even get removed from the rotation.

    However, I've been wrong before! Feel free to do your own tests and decide for yourself. Just make sure to apply plenty of scientific rigor!