Friday, August 05, 2005

Tactics #1 - Rogue vs. Warlock


This tactics post deals with fighting PRE-PATCH Warlocks, not the modern, killeverythinginsightandbarelygetascratch warlocks. Bah. I'm leaving this post here, though, to remind us salty dogs of the good old days where we could actually win a fight. Bah.

I thought I'd start out easy with the tactics blogs. Basically, if you're a rogue, and can't solo a warlock, seriously consider picking another class.

This isn't to say that warlocks are always easy. In protective groups, they can be quite the damage dealers. As a matter of fact, I have a lvl 60 warlock! The comment I get from duelers is, "I didn't expect that much DPS from you!" Why? Destruction warlock.

Just to bring it down to basics, in case you weren't aware of the warlock specs, there are three basic types of locks: affliction, destruction, and pet-obsessed. We'll tackle each of these, and then get some general info out there as to things that all warlocks are prone to do. I usually beat warlocks of much higher levels, regardless of the situation, because I know all their tricks.

vs. Destruction Warlock:

Most D-locks are specced to fire off one instant curse, a very short casting time destruction spell, and then immolate. A good warlock will take mere seconds to do this, and then be casting fear on you before you know it. D-locks also tend to have rain of fire (sp?), which will unstealth you if you're in the aoe. The best thing against a D-lock is speed. Get to the lock, and make sure he can't cast any more. Once the two or three dots are on you, you're screwed anyway, so might as well take the caster out. I'll reiterate. Running from a warlock is a BAD idea, since you can't outrun dots. Although D-locks can deal a great deal of damage, they can't do it while being interrupted all the time. Hit hard, fast, and kick when you see the lock casting, and a D-lock shouldn't be too much trouble solo. (But, you say, what if he's got a pet? We'll deal with that later).

vs. Affliction Warlock:

It sucks to die AFTER you've killed your opponent. That's how affliction tends to work. Similarly to the D-lock, just get in there fast.

vs. Pet Warlock:

The only real defense besides fear that a warlock has is the demonic pet. For the most part, there are four that you are likely to encounter. I'm not going to bother discussing the infernal or doomguard. That'd be silly.

-Imp. with a D- or A- lock, you can fairly ignore imps. Their power is minimal, and the imp will disappear once you off the lock. With a pet-lock, however, the imp can be more troublesome. First of all, in general, realize that unless the imp attacks you, you won't even be able to target it. Fun in duels with mages who don't know that and think they'll get away with sheeping the warlock and offing the imp. Second, improved imps pack a lot more punch, and over the course of a few seconds, can do quite a bit of fiery damage (which, unless you've been doing MC runs, will seriously burn). This isn't, of course, to say that you should target the imp early or first, but depending on the situation, it might not be a bad idea. Imps generally have low health, and can be taken out in about two or three solid blows. Unfortunately, that's just the opportunity the warlock needs to cast a few more dots on you, and perhaps a shadow bolt or two. The advantage of taking out an imp is twofold, though. First, you eliminate a damage-dealer. Second, you reduce the health of the warlock by severing the blood pact that increases the caster's stamina. Sometimes, this can just about kill the warlock. Still, in my experience, it's more efficient just to attack the warlock directly, since the imp's damage is instant, and not dot, you can recover more quickly.

-Voidwalker. Don't laugh. As a warlock, I've saved my butt multiple times with a little-known feature of the voidwalker (vw). At any time, the warlock can choose to sacrifice the vw, giving the warlock a very nice, albeit temporary, shield, similar to that of a mana shield or paladin's shield. Ask how many other warlocks have survived jumping into Un'Goro. Gotta use sacrifice. Most warlocks, realizing they're being attacked, and may become stun locked very quickly, opt to sacrifice early, and try to get a running start. It's not hard to rip through the shield, since it's both temporary, and has a limited capacity for damage, so just chase. Again, ignore the voidwalker, but be careful of the warlocks who are smart enough to save sacrifice for later in the fight. The warlock might have friends coming, and would use sacrifice to prolong life just long enough for them to arrive. Also, the shield gives the lock the opportunity to freely cast (I don't know of much that can penetrate the shield in the minimal amount of time the lock needs to cast, for instance, a fear). So be wary of that.

-Succubus. If you suddenly find yourself immobile, but falling in love with that warlock you were about to decimate, it's because a succubus whispered in your ear how cute you are. This diversionary tactic is short-lived, however, because any damage done to you will instantly release you from the succubus' grip. Then you are free to attack the caster. The succubus has a timered whip lashing that does a good amount of damage, and can be near fatal if you happen to be immobilized in other sorts of ways, but, again, take out the warlock, and you take out the pet. Undoubtedly, after being frozen by the succubus, the warlock will waste little time casting some nasty little curse on you, which will free you. Some warlocks use this opportunity to cast fear, instead, or to run, or both. (have you noticed how often they run? it's true! if they don't, they die!) I generally ignore the succubus unless I just want to piss the warlock off, because these pets cost shards. Annoying things, shards.

-Fel hunter. This pet is mostly worthless, except against casters, when it comes to doing damage. A rogue definitely should hesitate to sneak up to a warlock with a fel hunter, because it provides the warlock with paranoia, which can see through your stealth. Generally, I just wait till the warlock sends it to fight something, and is preoccupied. In general, though, ignore the ugly dog and focus on the warlock.

vs. Warlock, in general.

-Fear: Most people hate warlock's fear. It's effective, but to a point. Damage has a chance to release fear, and it has diminishing returns (meaning that the more you cast it on the same person, the less effective it is; trust me, this sucks in duels with paladins or other resilient foes). Being Undead, I have a nice tool that helps me release fear immediately. However, unlike most other fear casting devices, the warlock can cast fear as many times as the warlock has mana. So, if you blow your anti-fear charm/trick/racial trait, don't be surprised if you get hit with fear again. What I do is analyze the situation. How much would it hurt for me just to let fear run out? I mean, the warlock is bound to attack me with something that will release the fear, and if I get in a bind later, I'll still have my anti-fear whatever to get me out. Since warlocks are generally weak, this tactic seems to work fine.

-Soulstone: A very good warlock can be very nasty with a well-timed soulstone. Situation: you're fighting a tough mob, and a warlock comes upon you and tries to gank you, the fool. You ignore the mob to off the warlock, and the warlock, of course, dies, but not till you've suffered quite a bit of damage from the dots as well as the mob you ignored. But, no problem, since the warlock is DED. So, you turn back to the mob, and continue. FLASH, the warlock us UP again, with a decent amount of health/mana, and casts two more dots on you, then fears you, then shadow bolts you before you know what's going on, and you didn't even have time to slam a potion! (or perhaps you already did earlier!). Owch. That could be the end of you. There are many other situations that I've seen warlocks use and misuse the soulstone, but in general, it's mostly just an instance party wipe saver, used on a priest or other rezzer. Just be wary of it if you want an extra kill under your belt, or if you're low in health around a warlock you just killed. When a warlock dies with a soulstone, the warlock has, I believe, 6 minutes to use it, or the spirit will be released. Soulstones have a 1-hour cooldown.

-Warlocks in medium/large pvp groups: This is where warlocks really show their stuff. For one thing, with the right talents, warlocks can significantly extend the range of their spells. This means that in those fun situations where two large groups of opponents are standing off, with brave players running forth, firing a shot and running back, or just a general undulation from both sides, the warlocks can target and dot the unwary, and a well-placed rain of fire will quickly end the stealthiness of any rogue ignorant enough to be huddled with the masses. What I like to do, of course, is to ignore my own group, ignore the opponent group, and sneak around to find the loner mage or recovering player in the back of the crowd, gank, and begone before anyone else notices. Hey, that's what rogues are for!

Well, you probably already knew that it wouldn't require much skill to kill a warlock, but I hope this helps a modicum, since it's always nice to learn some of the tactics of the enemy.

More soon!



Last night, I kinda experimented with a warlock one level above me. I beat him 3 times out of 4. (he wasn't in my faction, either). I was scoping out prey at Southshore (more on that later) and decided a soft target that would give me some good HK was too good to pass up, so I used the tactics above, and BAM, he was dead quickly, and I was behind a tree, counting down the single DOT timer he had on me, and then stealthed. [note: if you want to fight in SS, be wary that your dead opponents can rez very quickly and take advantage of damage they, themselves, had caused earlier]. Well, I'm normally content to leave it at that, and let him go. However, he decided to play hero and come look for me. Naturally, I couldn't have that. However, this time, he pulled out a pet--a fel hunter! Oboy! I avoided his radar range as he ran in circles, looking for me, and then he for some reason decided to mount up to, uh, make his search more efficient? To a rogue, a mounted opponent is a blessing. As mentioned above, the fel hunter is insufficient at melee, and I easily took out the warlock trying to figure out how to dismount.

The third time we fought, he pulled out a voidwalker. As I instruct myself above, I ignored the big blueberry, and went straight after the warlock, with success. However, when he summoned another VW, I decided to try something different. Note, friends, that doing something different is fine in dueling, but when you're fighting a real opponent... it may be your undoing--as it was mine. This time, I sapped the warlock, and then started to beat upon the voidwalker. I was basically just trying to annoy the warlock by making him lose a precious shard (required to make a voidwalker). However, I quickly discovered that voidwalkers make great tanks (I knew this from playing a warlock, but was never actually fighting a voidwalker), and have tremendous resistance to melee attacks, and a boatload of health. Needless to say, I had the vw down to 50% health when the warlock recovered from sap. I vanished (planning to CS the warlock), but lo and behold! Guess who saw me? Yes, the Voidwalker! And from then on, the story goes downhill. The vw had already taken some of my health, add a few dots, and quickly I was going down in flames. The lesson: do what I say up there, and beware! voidwalkers will likely see you before their warlock owners (as, I'm guessing other pets) and, if set on aggressive, they will give you away! Lesson learned!


Anonymous Glix said...

Nice Tips, I hope to be able to use this during my own adventures of PvP. = )

Friday, August 12, 2005 8:08:00 PM  
Blogger Psyae said...

I hope so, too. If there's anything in particular you're interested in seeing, please let me know, and I'll post something about it.

Saturday, August 13, 2005 7:42:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very nice little guide. Soon a friend of mine (lock) and I (rogue) are going to settle our differences once and for all in a duel. He's a pet, and I already had a rogh idea of how to take him. Thanks for the guide, very nice.

Sunday, October 29, 2006 8:41:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good guide but Soul Stones last for 30 min and they only have a 30 min cooldown

Monday, December 04, 2006 6:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You really need to update this lol...I'm just reading for entertainment at work all of this stuff is old tips vs the 5th warlock pet? and affliction locks are nasty with the life stealing stuff...


Monday, May 14, 2007 4:36:00 PM  
Blogger Ronald said...

Might want to add that locks have 3 kinds of fear, of which 2 are instant cast (with the right talent), and Death Coil gives the lock some HP even.

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