This post was published long before the Mists of Pandara Expansion.
The tips and techniques explained here may be outdated.

30 second wonder

Dots run a long time. Trash dies in a short time. Using dots on trash means they die before the dot has time to go bang. To get more bang for your buck be smart about killing trash and do it different from bosses and grinding.

My question:
Which dots? The answer surprised me.

Here’s a graphic of a few casting sequences:

1: Shadow Bolt Spam
2: Corruption+Shadow Bolt
3: Unstable Affliction+Corruption+Shadow Bolt
4: Immolate+Shadow Bolt

30 Seconds of Casting

And a graph of the damage from these sequences:
Graph of Average DPS over 30 seconds

Conclusion:
At my current progression, my best casting sequence for Trash pulls (where the trash is going to die quickly) is Shadow Bolt spam. I’m concerned that starting off with a Shadow Bolt may pull aggro.. so I’m planning to actually start with Curse of Shadows (CoE after 2.4.3) and then do Shadow Bolts. I think that will give the tank enough time to build sufficient threat.

[Edited to add: I've actually be doing Instant Corruption and then sometimes CoE followed by Shadow Bolts. The Corruption gives the possibility of instant Shadow Bolts. ]

Unless the mob lives for longer than 27 seconds, even as affliction, Shadow Bolt spam is my best option.

That said.. on something like Curators sparks, Immolate+SB may be superior just because it gets lots of damage onto the spark quickly.

Assumptions:
UA, Affliction Spec’d Warlock with insta-cast corruption and ~1300 +shadow damage. Actual averages taken from a WWS of a run through Zul’Aman.

Average Shadow Bolt: 2042
Average Unstable Affliction Tick: 539
Average Corruption Tick: 560
Average Immolate Direct Damage: 510
Average Immolate Tick: 243

My working Spreadsheet

See also:
Warlock Spell: Corruption
Warlock Spell: Immolate
Warlock Spell: Shadow Bolt
Warlock Spell: Unstable Affliction

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2 comments to 30 second wonder

  • I don’t have UA. I’m a Aff/Dest hybrid.

    My trash rotation is usually immolate, corruption then SB spam. I’m not as nifty with your charts and graphs.. I’m terrible at theorycraft, actually.. but have you considered that rotation? Not sure how well it works comparatively!

    My rational… is you get the casting time for immolate and corruption (GCD) for the tank to build threat, then you start SB?

    Since I don’t theorycraft, and I can never get those websites where you plug in your gear and spec and get told what your optimal casting rotation should be to work (I’m retarded!)… I just have to go with what seems to work. I’ve only recently got recount, so maybe I can try to work it out one day. :)

    kikidass last blog post..Blizzard Authenticator

  • Nibuca

    I haven’t done up that rotation.. but I’ll see what I can do on it.

    You’ll need to know your average DD/dot from Immolate, Corruption and Shadow Bolt in order to do the comparisons.