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The tips and techniques explained here may be outdated.

Warlockery: Affliction very short term damage

trashThe following is -only- important when you’re single targeting trash that’s going to die very quickly. In a boss fight the loss of one tick is frankly insignificant. If you are part of the “trash is not important” camp.. feel free to skip this entry.

Anyway. Right now as an Affliction Warlock, if I have a single targeted mob I’ll use three spells (in no particular order) Haunt, Corruption and Shadow Bolt.

The spells:

Corruption is an instant cast spell which tics every 3 second ticks (it does damage every 3 seconds). Assuming you’re in range, as soon as you cast Corruption it shows up as a dot on the mob. Three seconds after it lands on the mob, it will do it’s first damage to the mob.

Haunt has a 1.5 second cast time. Additionally, Haunt has a “flight time”, that is, the time between the end of the cast time, when the spell leaves your hands, and travels across the room. If you are further away from the mob then the flight time is longer. If you’re spec’d into Everlasting Affliction, then when your Haunt hits the mob it will refresh the duration of your Corruption.

The crux of the gotcha:

When Haunt refreshes corruption it essentially clips the dot. That is, if your corruption has 1.5 seconds until the next dot goes off.. and Haunt hits the mob.. then Haunt refreshes corruptions duration.. and the dot is then reset to not go off for 3 seconds.

So, if start off a fight with the mob by casting Corruption, then Haunt, then Shadow bolt.. your Corruption will hit the mob and will be there for the 1.5 second casttime of Haunt.. and then the flight time (probably ~.5 secs) and then Haunt will hit the mob and will refresh the Corruption duration BEFORE THE FIRST DOT ticks. So in essence, it will take 5 seconds for your first dot of corruption to hit the mob.

If you start off a fight by casting Haunt, then Corruption, then Shadow Bolt… Your instant cast corruption hits the mob -while- your haunt is in “flytime”. So Corruption hits the mob.. and is almost immediately refreshed. I say almost immediately.. I still think you’re looking at having corruption on the mob for .5-1 seconds.. so with the rest it would actually be ~3.5-4 second before the first tick of corruption will hit the mob. Not as “bad” as the previous example.. but still.. you get an odd reset of the corruption that just feels wasteful.

If you start off a fight by casting Haunt, Shadow Bolt, Corruption… then your haunt will be fully “on” the mob by the time your corruption lands. So there’s no “resetting” of the corruption dot. This seems like the best option to me.

I think grand total you’re looking at a difference of ~1k-2k -damage- on the mob in the first few seconds. So this is ONLY useful on mobs that you’re single target killing.

Similar Posts:

7 comments to Warlockery: Affliction very short term damage

  • Martie

    Nice theory.

    One small oversight, though.

    Here\’s how it really goes.

    You cast corruption. Corruption timer starts ticking down, when it hits 3 seconds, it will do damage.
    You do nothing while the global cooldown is in effect.(1.5 seconds)
    You cast haunt. (1.5 seconds.)

    At just about the same time your haunt finishes casting, your corruption ticks.
    Then it\’s refreshed by the haunt hitting it shortly after that.

  • Hmm but that would depend on not having any haste rating. It could be troublesome if you have enough haste rating to obtain a reduction in your global cooldown + haunt cast time such that it exceeds your haunt travel time, meaning the haunt will land before the 3 sec corruption tick (which isn’t affected by haste?)

    Nibuca’s suggestion of haunt, sb, corruption sounds safer compared to the downside of losing 3 secs of a corruption.

  • Martie

    As far as I know, Corruption ticks faster when you have haste, but even if it didn’t, you have to allow for flight time, lag and reaction speed as slowing factors – by the time you have that much haste, this whole point is moot.

    The thing about doing corruption last is that you [i]guarantee[/i] that you won’t get that first corruption tick. Ever. Since you don’t cast it.

  • I had a similar question on my Shadow Priest. Pain and Suffering refreshes the duration of Shadow Word: Pain each time you Mind Flay, similar to how Haunt refreshes Corruption.

    It does not “reset” the duration, it merely “refreshes” it. Corruption will continue to tick every 3 seconds as intended (like Shadow Word: Pain does), but the duration of the spell will never end as long as you continue to include Haunt in your rotation. The way the tooltip is worded (along with Pain and Suffering for Priests) is a bit misleading.

    Fear.Wins last blog post..Demonology Spotlight #4

  • Martie

    Thanks for that, Fear.Win.

    While I assumed it would work like that (any other way is a tad silly in my opinion), I was a bit worried about being wrong, and am currently unable to test it.

  • XcentricK

    Corruption is not reset by haunt and shadowbolt, its duration is extended. It’s ticks are unaffected and continue at their normal rate. It’s ticks ARE affected by “Glyph of quick decay” which allows your haste to make your Corruption tick faster.

    While not in a party Curse of the Elements gives you more damage than Curse of Agony.
    Try it on a Undercity/Ironforge target dummy… CotE, SB, Haunt, UA, Corr, SB, SB, Haunt, SB SB (Depending on your haste) Haunt buffs Corruption, so allow the Haunt time to fly to the target before hitting corruption. (this is why I do UA since it’s cast time allows for haunt to apply, but is still fast. My haste is 605.
    Using CoA alone is less personal DPS.

    The above post is correct that +13% magic damage from another party member leaves CotE redundant/useless. At that point CoA becomes useful again.

    Another point of interest about corruption for the Affliction Warlock…
    It keeps the buff from whatever was effecting it on it’s first cast. If you have a trinket that has +500 spell damage and use it to cast corruption at the beginning of a fight, it will stay buffed as long as corruption does not completely fall off.

    My trinkets are proc based, so when they proc at the same time as lightweave… I refresh corruption manually, as long as haunt is on the target, so that corruption does more damage over time. In this case, it’s ticks are affected.

  • XcentricK

    I realize that I went on a rant about corruption and did not talk about the trash mob subject. Personally, I don’t see casters doing as much short burst damage as I see melee doing. By the time we cast a powerful spell the mob is sometimes dead. Where I see us winning is AOE. With 2 or mobs I use a macro that is 2 lines. 1st is switch to next hostile target, and 2nd is Seed of corruption. I spam that and do MASSIVE damage. 9k plus. If the tank cannot keep people on him with Seed of corruption spam, I use Rain of fire. Or I weave them.. especially when the trash is <25%. Could also mix in Curse of the elements if there is one big mob in the pack.