Playing a Warlock, or any class, in PVP never held even enough appeal for me to bother buying the Insignia of the Alliance / Horde. To be frank, I'm not very good at it. I've never been particularly skilled at playing games against other players, though I usually enjoy a few matches, even if I lose them. But by the time I started playing WoW, resilience and twinks essentially meant that the only way to participate in PVP at all was to spend a bunch of time getting the gear to make your character capable of doing so. I'm not willing to spend a bunch of time on something that only holds a small amount of appeal for me. I try my best to avoid owning any gear with resilience on it.
That said, every now and again, I do queue up for a battleground.
Battlegrounds are my favorite kind of PVP. Arenas are a pain in the ass to get into. You need to find a team and pay for a charter, then you get to wait 30 minutes for a 30 second match to start. And not only can you not participate in them on a whim, but you've entered into an implied contract with your teammates that you'll be around to help them get their ten games a week or whatever it is. World PVP would be my favorite if it actually worked. But on non-PVP servers nobody has the balls to flag, and on PVP servers I can count the number of times I've been attacked by somebody who wasn't 10 levels higher than me on one hand. Those few times are good memories though. Some of the most memorable moments I've had playing the game, actually. That leaves Battlegrounds, most of which I really can't stand. In fact, to be honest, the only PVP I really do is Arathi Basin. It's my favorite basin in the game.
For most of the time that I've played WoW, I've been content to pop in there for a few games now and again, utterly fail at it then get bored and not PVP for a few months. However, for reasons I might discuss in a later post, I'm something of an achievement fiend. And a few months back, when I was working on getting the Merrymaker meta-achievement, one of the tasks required was to get something in the ballpark of 50 honorable kills while wearing the gnome costume. A costume which disappears when you die.
I seriously considered skipping this achievement, but I decided instead to power through and get those HKs. It was rough going at first. I was lucky if I survived long enough to get 2 HKs before slowly waiting for the AB to end so I could go re-costume. Frequently I died before getting my first kill. Since continuing on like that would have meant DAYS of work to get the requisite HKs, I eventually had to develop a system.
First, I set up an alternate action bar I could switch to when I PVP. Nothing fancy, just a different arrangement for the first row. I designed it around speed, rather than optimal DPS.
It starts out with Siphon Life, since that's an instant cast and it helps keep me alive, at least a little bit. Then comes Corruption, for the massive DPS output, and Curse of Agony, because the more DoTs I can get on a target while running away the better. Unstable Affliction and Immolate are the next ones up, though as of the next patch I'll have to choose between one or the other. Once a target is covered in DoTs, if I'm still alive for some reason, I start spamming Searing Pain as fast as I can. If I was actually going to put together a set of gear for PVP, it would be all about haste.
I find that I don't use Fear or Howl of Terror as much as I probably should. It seems like every time I try to cast it, I either get stun-locked while casting, or my target has some trinket / racial to get out of it. I could of course simply cast it a second time, or a third time, or as many times as it takes for them to run out of ways to cancel it. But fear doesn't last very long, and I find players often turn their ire on opponents who CC them. The last thing I need when I'm trying desperately to survive a battleground is some bastard with 500 resilience deciding to make me their special project.
I use the imp as my pet most of the time, to take advantage of the superior health. Nether knows I need it, since my PvE gear is based on stacking useful stats, rather than stamina.
And that's pretty much the strategy. It's clunky, inelegant, and serves only to barely keep me alive more than my previous strategy of flailing my arms wildly did. But at least it's a strategy.