Warlock's notes on what I do in PVP.

I just got out of a fairly intense Arathi Basin battlegrounds and was thinking about Dave's comment earlier. PVP when I first started playing was intimidating. I was actually so afraid of dying, that I wouldn't play. Go figure. At least Wintergrasp has vehicles, helps you feel protected when someone drives you around in a tank. After some time playing various battlegrounds, you think that if you could only last 2 seconds longer, or if you only cast that fear a little faster, how much better PVP life would be.. It's not about how quickly you die, but how quickly your attackers die.

PVP Pajamas
The trouble with it is, you can't PVP without PVP gear. It's pointless. Think about playing professional football, against a fully dressed team, and you're going in there wearing your pajamas. So, you need to upgrade those PJs as quickly and cheaply as possible. My suggestion, as it was for Children's week, play Wintergrasp. With Triumph badges (quit spending them on items to AH) and stonekeeper shards (which you have a ton, I know) get yourself some gear. Spend well and you can probably get around 5000 gear score (if you throw in some honor pieces).

Elk is currently sporting:
  1. Furious Gladiator's Felweave [head, chest and legs]
  2. Relentless Gladiator hands to round out the 4 piece set bonus
  3. Titan forged shoulderpads
  4. Wrathful Gladiator [ ring and cloak] of Dominance
  5. Wrathful Gladiator cuffs of Alacrity
  6. Relentless Gladiator [belt and feet] of Alacrity
  7. Battlemaster's ruination (trinket 1)
  8. Insignia of the horde (trinket 2)
  9. PVE weapon, off-hand and wand
  10. Ashen Verdict ring (currently Honored level)
  11. Warsong Gulch tabard (hiding cloak in view)
The only item I used Arena Points on was #2, the gloves. I had enough arena points from running PVP dailies, that I used them. My next gear upgrades will be one of the three items listed on #1. Like the head, nice graphic.All items are gemmed for stamina or resilience (or spell power). I am not worried about hit at all (all my targets are level 80!). 

Two related items:
  1. Invest in dual spec talent, especially if you plan on running PVE also.  I find it SO MUCH easier now that I can simply flip spec's. Bartender only shows certain button bars when I am in this PVP build. (see screenshot below)
  2. Look for a good PVP talent build. Elk is currently running this affliction 54/17/0 build with fairly good success. I specifically wanted the range, quick fears, and  master summoner.

Ok, what do I do? Spell rotation is a bit out of the question, but here's my current basic idea.
  • Hit with instant cast curse. I've specc'd into Curse of Exhaustion for the slowdown. I've also glyphed it to add range!!
  • Fire off fear.
  • Hit with instant cast dot, corruption typically (hope for shadow trance, er nightfall proc).
If it's a melee class and their in my face, I'll back up, when spamming Howl of Terror, then shadow flame.

If it's a warlock minion or druid in tree form, I'll banish

If it's a healer, I'll throw a Unstable Affliction their way! I love having them blow up when they heal themselves! Just to make them jump, I drain life, it's so VISUAL! I can see your miserable life draining away and into ME! Ah, tasty!

How do I do all that? 
soul shards are still an important
part of a warlocks pvp diet.
It's not perfect, definitely a long way from that, but I am definitely using a ton of mouse + keyboard combinations. How about a quick gui run down (see screen shot).
  • xPerl so my target is immediately under Elk's feet. Minion is right there next to me.
  • Bartender4 for the button placement.
    • The buttons about head height are at 200%.  Quick and easy to see. These buttons have 2 purposes, one time items like the Strand bombs or WG gun (clicky clicky), AND reminders of how to drain life.. 
    • Bartender also has a nasty habit when the action is intense to swap my keys around. Bar 1 becomes Bar 4. Not sure what I do to trigger it.
    • The main 3/4 rows below that are my pet bar and 3 rows of spells. These are at 75% normal.
  • PowerAuras is putting the -13% debuff (from Nibuca), the white claw marks (missing soul link with pet) around elk's head and the yellow squid (target doesn't have curse) on his back.
Bartender has a cool key-bind function. I use this for doing the key combinations.
  • Alt+wheel up is Curse of Exhausion, 
  • Alt+wheel down is Howl of Terror. 
  • Wheel up is Death Coil
  • Wheel down is FEAR! 
  • Shift+wheel up is Shadow flame.
  • Shift+wheel down is Drain Life.
 All those spells and all I had to do was target something (tab) and alt/shift and move the mouse wheel. The part that still requires training is not doing a SWU when I mean SWD.

My primary spells are on 1-5 (shadowbolt, haunt, curse of exhaustion, corruption and unstable affliction), no need to look for keys.

I've macro'd the pet re-summon to include fel-domination when I am in combat. Everything in alignment, I can have a new fel puppy in less than one second.

Pet is always on aggressive. (yes, I have accidentally pulled the boss in a random heroic because of pet aggro).

Final notes
Come prepared. I lost the above mentioned AB, and it happened soon after I ran out of soul shards. Bring enough soul shards to die a few times and not worry about how you'll replace them.

Locks make great flag protector's. Don't feel bad sitting on your haunches calling out "inc farm" in bg chat whenever some one in red is coming your way. With your pet on attack, you'll get a great head's up, when that puppy runs off to the cliff to attack a ranged caster.

Try to keep healers busy. Not yours, but theirs. If they are running in fear or just running away, it's unlikely they are healing their friends too well. Beauty is most healers don't DPS too well, so they can't fight back. Well, unless they have a rogue in their pocket.

Drain tank. Yes, you can tank by healing yourself faster than they can hurt you. Step 1, apply instant dots. Step 2, drain life.

Lastly, have fun! PVP is not hurting your gear. That fall will. Realize that dying is part of the battle. You get a wonderful res at the spirit healer for free! No running back to your body. As you upgrade your gear, and improve your spell rotation, you'll find it get's easier. You'll be wondering where you can spend all those honor points??


  1. The reason why your Bartender bars are flipping all over the place is because if you press Ctr. (or is it Alt) Arrow up or down, it will flip through your bars. Since you have your macros set up that you are pressing Alt, I'm guess that's whats doing it.

    Either Macro something else that you never use or just be more aware of what you're pressing so that when you are trying to press Fear & start to mount your Fel Steed, you'll know why ><

    <3 Your Friendly Neighborhood Fuubaar

  2. Oh that's great to know! I thought it was some sort of bug... Yeah, it seems to flip around when I am in the heat of battle. Moving and casting and flipping that mouse wheel all over the place. Probably something like ALT+1 or CTRL+1. I'll have to figure out what keys bartender uses to move bars around and not bind to that combination..


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