Content of the article: "Fire Warlock (let’s have a real discussion)"
Ok, this started out as a "meme" spec; but, I kept hearing whispers of how fire can scale with scorth and flame buffet (from Arcanite Dragonling). So, after a solid 30 seconds of deliberation, I decided to give it a go.
Last night I ran this spec in AQ40 and… WOW, I was surprised. Ranked #1 Warlocks DPS (both overall boss encounters and trash encounters).
AQ40 is unique in that it's the first raid that you have to change targets or move a lot (as a caster). On Skeram, changing targets to the spawns every 25%. On Sartura, dodging the adds and boss as they whirlwind around. On Fankriss, targeting adds as they spawn. And especially C'Thun, with a multitude of adds every 10-15 seconds.
What I noticed was my ability to get more casts in (on adds and trash) without wasting a spell (like an add dying before a 2.5s shadowbolt cast). Fewer interrupted casts due to moving (conflagration allows for an instant high damage spell while repositioning). And, to my surprise, very little issues with threat. I have Fetish of the Sandreaver, but only saw a benefit from it on Huhu. Every other fight, I was either switching targets or moving often enough that the tank had a substantial threat ceiling and I could spam searing pain all I wanted. Plus, I tended to get more spells on each target than I did as shadow.
Downsides: Mana intensive (if you can't spam searing pain) and more complicated rotation. Instead of SB, SB, SB, SB, SB (repeat)… it's more like Immolate, SB, SB, SP, SP, Conflag, repeat. If your threat isn't an issue, then just spam SP (no SB). Threat can also spike faster, so you need to keep an eye on where you stand (especially on trash).
Final note, I use to raid as Ds/Ruin, so having an Imp out for Bloodpact has actually been a nice bonus.
I'm curious to hear comments, criticisms, opinions. No, it's not a "min/max" build, but AQ isn't an ideal min/max setting. Rarely are you spamming shadowbolts, uninterrupted, at one target. I found this spec helpful in AQ, but that could very well change (in terms of effectiveness) in Naxx.
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