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The other twenty points

Let’s say (for the sake of arguement) that I’m utterly dedicated to specing full Affliction for the long run. So the bulk of my points ~51-55 will be in the Affliction tree.

That leaves me with right around 20 points to spend elsewhere. What is there in the other trees that I would want? and how badly do I want them?


Tier 1:
Improved Healthstone 0/2, no increase to my DPS. Increases my (and my party/raid’s) longevity.
Improved Imp 0/3, utterly useless to me. I will be running with the felhound so improving the imp is a waste of talent points.
Demonic Embrace 0/5, no increase to my DPS. It does add to my longevity.

Tier 2:
Improved Health Funnel 0/2, No direct increase to my DPS. It helps me to heal my pet faster.. and costs me less health. This allows my pet to do more DPS. It’s ok.. ideally I’d rather not have to keep healing my pet.. and really the default Health Funnel is tons better than the old one.. but if I have to spend points, this isn’t a horrible place to spend them.
Demonic Brutality 0/3, Useless to me.
Fel Vitality 0/3, No direct increase in my DPS. Adds to my pet’s longevity.

Tier 3:
Improved Succubus 0/3, utterly useless.
Soul Link 0/1, No direct increase in my DPS. This moves 20% of the damage to me from me to my pet.
Fel Domination 0/1, No direct increase in my DPS.
Demonic Aegis 0/3, Slight increase in my dps. Assuming this increase the amount of spell damage I get from spirit.

Tier 5: (with only ~21 points to spend, this is the deepest I could go)
Unholy Power 0/5, Increase in my DPS when combined with my pet. Not sure on the magnitude.
Master Summoner 0/2, No increase in my DPS.


Tier 1:
Improved Shadow Bolt 0/5, Potential to increase DPS. Depends on my casting shadow bolts (which I’m doing infrequently) and that shadow bolt critting (I have a pitiful crit rate currently).
Bane 0/5, Increase DPS. Decreasing the cast time for the Shadow Bolt frees me up for casting other things.

Tier 2:
Aftermath 0/2, no increase to DPS. The only destruction spells I’m casting are Shadow Bolt and Immolate. Adding a daze to those doesn’t add to my overall damage.
Molten Core 0/3, Slight increase to DPS. The only fire spell I’m casting is Immolate. I -do- cast a lot of shadow spells.. so this would probably be up alot.. but it’s just not benefiting me much.
Cataclysm 0/3, Slight increase to DPS. The increased hit would allow my destruction spells to hit more often.. but I’m only casting 2 destruction spells.. and once I got to the spell hit cap this would drop to 0 increase in DPS.

Tier 3:
Demonic Power 0/2, utterly useless. Effects two pets I don’t use.
Shadowburn 0/1, Adds to my DPS. Costs shards.. and works best as a finisher.
Ruin 0/5, Adds to my DPS. But, only effects two of the spells I cast.

Tier 4:
Intensity 0/2, Slight increase to dps. If I’m not pushed back, the spell will go off faster.. but with the changes to spell pushback, this is only a very slight dps increase.
Destructive Reach 0/2, No increase to DPS.
Improved Searing Pain 0/3, Potential increase to DPS. Except that I almost -never- cast Searing Pain.

So.. Demonology makes me less squishy.. and Destruction offers me very slight increases of DPS especially on spells I rarely cast.

Right now I’m favoring this build: 55/11/5

Deep affliction with a reduced cast time on Shadow bolt/Immolate and a nice dusting of non-squishiness from Demonology.

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8 comments to The other twenty points

  • Nibuca

    Improved Curse of Agony

    I use CoA when soloing. If I’m dotting and running it’s very nice to have that 10% boost to CoA’s damage.

    If I -don’t- spend the points in Improved CoA then I still need to spend those two points to get further down in the tree. Really, I don’t see anything else at the top of the tree that I’d rather spend the points on.

    Depending on my raid makeup I switch between CoA/CoD and CotE(CoA if there are < 3 casters who will benefit from CotE, CoD if I think it’s going to be hard to keep CoA refreshed). Even if I’m -not- casting CotE, Malediction gives me an additional 3% spell damage just for speccing into it. Granted, if I was heading into Naxx-10 now I’d possibly shift the points over into Suppression for the additional 2% to hit.. but right now I’m focused on 5-mans and Heroics.. so I have plenty of hit. As far as I’m concerned, my pet’s DPS -is- my DPS. It’s the DPS I am contributing to the raid. So increasing my pet’s DPS also increases my DPS.

  • Xanderith

    I’m courious as to why you would pick up Imp. CoA and Malediction as you can only ever have one curse on a mob? And Domonic Aegis does increase the base SP increase as well as the spirit base SP increase by 30%, putting the base SP up to 234 from 180 and the spirit part to 39% spi fom 30% but your forgeting the HP tick part of Fel Armor would get the same 30% increase (.6%). Unholy Power would not afect “your” DPS only your pets.

  • Interesting build.

    Being deep affliction myself I’ve noticed that I rarely get to use curse of agony because the load of my other dots tend to eliminate the target before the duration of coa is up. Which means you’re missing out on the largest portion of coa damage since it’s mostly back loaded damage coming from coa. For anything stronger than the average bear I tend to slap on curse of elements anyway which is a 3% damage increase accros the board (comes out to be more than 10% extra coa if most of your dots are ticking)

    As a result I ditched imp coa entirely.

    Oddly enough I did this in favor of amplify curse and curse of exhaustion.
    In those rare cases where you need to kite elites (I am thinking 3-5 man group quests mostly) coex is invaluable since most mobs are not immune to it.
    It also helps quite a bit in the occasional PVP situation where the snare of coex, crappy it may be, can be an utter life saver.

    Beyond that I still have the 2/2 in improved life tap. I life tap a lot, even with dark pact available and any more efficiency I can squeeze out of that is pure profit.

    Being a solo player I also ditched improved drain soul for grim reach meaning I get to stack on that extra UA/haunt before the target gets to me. I suppose the the threat increase may be a problem in groups but the tanks are pretty threat heavy these days.

    Overall there’s very little in affliction that can be considered a complete waste other than maybe frailty and I am still on the fence about eradication.

    Captain The Firsts last blog post..WotLK resistance

  • *vlad*

    I am also mainly Affliction. I have gone Destro with the remaining talents:

    5/5 Shadowbolt – You may not cast it all that often, but when you have a time in your dot cycle, you need to fill it with something useful. Extra damage ftw.

    5/5 Bane – 5 talent points is a lot to spend here, but you have to bite the bullet in order to progress, and it takes way too long to cast otherwise, so.

    1/1 Shadowburn – saved me so many times. People say it has no use in raids; I don’t agree. Inner Demons, anyone?

    5/5 Ruin. Shadowbolt and Seeds of Corruption – well worth taking ‘just ‘ for these 2 spells alone.

    2/2 Destructive Reach. No dps increase? You didn’t mention the 10% reduction to aggro. Ever been at a boss fight where you had to stop dps because your threat was too high (and Shatter on CD)? And, I like both my Affliction and Destro spells to have the same range, I’m lazy!

    Re some of the points made above:

    Curse of Agony – I never use it.

    My current rotation for dots when soloing is Haunt, Corruption, UA, Syphon Life, Lifetap (where I put the 2 points), Drain Life, and voila, back to full health and mana.
    I’m using Voidwalker to tank for me, and I also have 2 piece T5 bonus which heals my pet depending on damage that I deal, so again my VW is usually close to full health after each encounter.
    I have very occasionally used Health Funnel to keep my Void up, but I can’t see any reason to spend talent points on improving it. Even at lv 74 my Health Funnel heals for over 1000 a tick. If my Void needs more healing than that, chances are I am going to lose the encounter anyway – running away and leaving the Void to cover my departure is a better option, followed by a Sacrifice at the last moment. Evil!

  • I don’t like feeling that after I’ve filled up my Affliction tree, nothing in the lower portions of the other trees really helps me. There just seems to be a lack of synergy there. It’s all very marginal, though I like your idea of decreasing squishiness. That is always a valid route to take.

    At 80, I plan to be 63/0/8. That’s a lot in that first tree, but thats where I feel the points are well spent for me. Those 8 points in Destro are going to shorten my cast times and increase my spell hit. The tied reduction in mana to both the “+hit” talents for affliction and destruction are nice. Not something to go crazy about, but I figure I’ll keep the points there so I can sacrifice gear +hit points and increase my DPS that way. It’s kind of a diffferent way of thinking for me, so we’ll see how it works out. I just figured, none of the talents excite me that much, but I could really simplify some trade offs if I lessen the neccessity of taking +hit on gear.

    It may be that all the higher raid gear comes with more than enough hit and there aren’t any good alternate choices, but I was hoping that if you’re getting a lot of hit from gems like in TBC, I could put spellpower gems in there instead.

    Fulguraliss last blog post..(Shadow)flame On!

  • Leokun

    I try to stay away from Suppresion and Cataclysm since neither improves the chance to hit of “SoulShatter” a Demonology Spell and probably the most important spell you have, so I will only invest points in them if you are left with no other “better” choices that move you up to the next tier. In most cases you will have to invest points in them, but don’t feel all iffy by not maxing them out.

    But back to your original question on the 20 extra points…

    I would recommend either going for Demonic Aegis or Ruin.

    If you go for Demonic Aegis:

    Demonic Embrace 5/5
    Does improve DPS when it translates to a living Lilac in comparison to the DPS a corpse has to offer. Also, it offers a larger pool to Life Tap from.

    Imp Health Stone 2/2
    No longer can locks spec 0/2, 1/2 and 2/2 to provide 3 Health Stones to the raid. What I have yet to try is having two locks spec 2/2 and have the lock with the highest crit chance use Ritual of Souls Rank 1 and the other Rank 2. Since these Health Stones are named differently the whole raid should benefit from two Health Stones this way.

    Imp Health Funnel 2/2 (Alternative to Imp HS since Imp HS becomes a waste if others have spec into it)
    The health cost reduction and health return gain is not as important to me as the 30% damage reduction your pet gains while you cast this spell. For any boss with the potential of destroying your pet to pieces; these 2 points may very well be your only way to keep him alive and maintain the DPS it has to offer.

    Fel Vitality 3/3
    This is only adds to what I have already said about Demonic Embrace/Imp Health Funnel.

    Demonic Aegis 3/3
    54 +Spell Power from Base Buff
    9% +Spell Power from Spirit side of Buff
    +Spell Power, enough said.

    If you plan on keeping your 55 affliction talent point investment this leaves us with 3 points to spend. I personally would invest them in Imp Succubus which helps a lot on heroic runs which is what you seem to be doing at the moment. Otherwise, go for Fel Concentration and Soul Link (Only if you are using 2 piece T5 bonus)

    Road to Ruin is a no brainer:
    5/5 Improved Shadow Bolt
    5/5 Bane
    1/1 Shadowburn
    5/5 Ruin

    Shadow Bolt will probably still be your #1 source of damage so these points are well invested if you choose to go this path.

  • Ammordius

    I think talent tree really depends on what you do, for a purely dps build, to make sure I maximize my dps , I run with 56/0/15
    making sure I pick up

    5/5 Improved Shadow Bolt
    5/5 Bane
    5/5 Ruin

    even if your crit rate is abysmal, it helps to get double damage out of your crits, also nice to have the points in improved shadowbolt so your nukes hit 10% harder when you do get that crit(haunt/shadowbolt basically)

    For the affliction tree, I don’t know if it is worth it to put points in IMP CoA because it only 10% extra base damage, and doesn’t scale with spell damage, so I slide those points over into 2/2 Improved Life tap, simply because it scales with spirit now(and we are going to have plenty of spirit on our gear, now because of changes in demon armor).

    Dark Pact is great, but our rotation is so big that it wont be long before it makes more sense to LT because you wont be getting full mana returns from your pet.

    Also since shadowbolt is your main nuke, and your already hitcapped for the content your currently running, I would probably move that one point into eradication(because that is all you need in there), 20% haste for 12 seconds is solid, thats 2 second shadowbolts and reduced gcd for your dot rotationI(which means more time to cast shadowbolts)

    That brings you up to 55/0/15 and you can put that other point anywhere you want, but I stick it in improved amplify curse, so i get the 1 sec gcd on my curses.

    I have a combination of quest/instance blues and some tbc badge and crafted gear and I’m hitting anywhere from around 1550-~1750 dps on standstill boss fights(affliction is still abysmal on trash) using this very large rotation
    shadowbolt->haunt->corr->UA->Immo->CoA(or CoD, if CoE i cast it at the front)->siphon life

    shadow bolting in between to keep stacks of shadow mastery up and haunt whenever cooldown is up to keep corruption and the debuff going.

    I don’t know if you pvp, but I don’t and I haven’t found survivability to be an issue yet

  • Anda

    I use CoA in my solo rotation as well, so i understand your spending the points there. I am lazy and hate respecc’ing so i use my one spec all the time. it is much better IMO to spend the points in suppression and eradication. the boost to your hit gives you more room to use SP gems which will boost dps. Eradication increases haste and again boosts dps. Spells landing + more spells being cast = death.

    I also agree with you o dark pact. I use my felpuppy and dark pact, and feel better that I an not using a healers mana on me when they could have been healing someone else. While destro locks are still out dpsing me, I love the self sufficency that Aff gets.

    my rotation in raid is Haunt > CoEl >corr > siphon >UA >immo
    then i shadowbolt to fill in and refresh spells as needed. I am seeing 2.3-2.5k dps