How to Grind World of Warcraft Gold with Your Warlock
Warlocks are great grinders and unlike most classes, almost all warlocks speccs work well for gold grinding. However, the grind style will be heavily affected by your talent build and some will be more effective than others.
Before we go into some good Warlock grinding techniques, let me give you some tips on your talent build, grinding gear and some of the best warlock grinding areas.
Warlock World of Warcraft Gold Making Guide – Talent Build
Our Warlock Talent Builds section has some great grinding specs, but I'll cover some of the most useful grinding talents and explain how to use them in the following section.
Note that these are mostly personal preferences, so yours can differ from mine. My playing style might differ from yours, which can make these talents more or less effective.
Affliction Warlock Gold Grinding Talents
Improved Corruption (5/5) - DoTing will play a major role in your WoW gold grinding technique as a warlock, and corruption will be a base spell to use. It's important to get the instant corruption, so you can DoT several targets while on the move. Take note that Seed of Corruption replaces Corruption on a mob, if you intend to use the first.
Soul Siphon (2/2) - Improved Life Drain and Mana Drain are crucial for a grinding spec, as they greatly reduce downtimes when used properly. A few points in Fel Concentration won't hurt either, for cases when a mob will slip and start pounding on you.
Improved Curse of Agony (2/2) - Same as with Corruption, CoE will be a base DoT that you'll be handing out indiscriminately to the mobs you're hunting. The 5% damage is worth the 2 points in the long run. However, you should only use it if you're also getting Amplify Curse as well.
Empowered Corruption (3/3) - The boost your Corruption DoT gets from this talent makes it very potent when gold grinding.
Nightfall (2/2) - Not essential, but seriously, how can you go that high in Affliction and not take it as a gold grinding talent? You'll be casting Corruptions left and right and the free shadow bolt you might get from Nightfall will speed up the grind process and save you some mana regen downtime.
Shadow Mastery (5/5) - When having Curse of Agony, Corruption and Unstable Affliction on 6 mobs while gold grinding, the extra 10% damage from Shadow Mastery is imba.
Dark Pact (1/1) - One of the best grinding talents for a warlock, it can turn your pet into a walking mana battery that you can use to recharge for very low downtimes. Best used with a pet that is not so mana intensive, such as an imp.
Improved Howl of Terror (2/2) - With no points or 1/2 points spent in this, Howl of Terror is useless. Making it instant however, gives you the best gold grinding CC you'll get your hands on. Just DoT 5-6 mobs with everything you've got and when they get close AOE fear them, then start picking them off one by one when they're running in fear. Rinse, repeat.
Unstable Affliction (1/1) - Unfortunately grind mobs don't dispel themselves, but this is still a good extra DoT that works well with Curse of Agony and Corruption. You're up here for Instant Howl of Terror, but 1 more point for an extra DoT is awesome.
Demonology Warlock Gold Grinding Talents
Demonic Embrace (5/5) - Stamina is crucial when gold grinding and even more so for Warlocks, so the Demonic Embrace talent should be maxxed out, even if your main spec isn't Demo. The reduced spirit won't be that much of a problem, although it might make downtimes slightly longer.
Fel Stamina (3/3) - If you gold grind using Seed of Corruption, your Voidwalker will need to be able to take some hits before he goes home in Shadowland. Same story if you're grinding with the Felguard.
Demonic Embrace (1/1) - I wouldn't use this with affliction for the 15% Shadow damage, simply because you're more reliant on your pet as affliction, than destruction. A burst damage and crit based destruction spec will benefit greatly from the Imp sacrifice and the 15% +fire damage it gives you. Or, if you grind using Improved Shadowbolt and Bane, sacrifice your Succubus for the shadow damage boost.
Master Demonologist (5/5) - Great to use with Seed of Corruption grinding to make your Voidwalker last as long as needed. If you're not using this technique, you can pretty much live without this.
Soul Link (1/1) - Good talent for AoE grinding to save your behind when you're getting overwhelmed. The increased damage will help you take the threat off your back fast. Good to use with Felguard.
Summon Felguard (1/1) - Useful with some gold grinding techniques, but situational. If you're going to grind with a fully buffed (talent wise) Felguard, this talent is worth taking, otherwise there are more useful things to go for since you'll be using another pet, or sacrificing it.
Destruction Warlock Gold Grinding Talents
Aftermath (5/5) - Good for AoE gold grinding with Rain of Fire or Shadowfury. Combined with Pyroclasm it's even more effective.
Intensity (2/2) - Useful for AoE gold grinding, if a mob escapes and keeps chewing you off, bugging you from raining fire on the other mobs.
Pyroclasm (2/2) - Good to use in combination with Aftermath for AoE grinding.
Ruin (1/1) - The double spell crit damage is awesome if you have good crit chance gear and talents and if you're grinding single targets.
Emberstone (5/5) - The destruction spec's equivalent to Affliction's Shadow Mastery. Worth taking if you're AoE grinding or single-target grinding using Immolate, Incinerate and Searing Pain.
Shadowfury (1/1) - One of the best warlock gold grinding talents, Shadowfury is used best in Seed of Corruption grinding techniques and AoE grinding.
Warlock World of Warcraft Gold Making Guide – Gear
The gear you equip on your lock prior to starting your gold grinding session should be consistent with your spec and the type of grind you're about to do. For AoE Rain of Fire/Shadowfury grinding, get as much +Fire and +crit chance gear on.
Multi-DoT grinding techniques based on Affliction talent builds should be combined with gear full of +Shadow damage or simply +spell damage. Seed of Corruption grinding should be combined with the highest possible +spell damage gear you have.
As a general note, Stamina becomes extremely important for a gold grinding warlock and you should not gimp it in front of spell damage too much. If possible, try to get some PVP gear, since they combine high stamina with good spell damage (don't take the items with resilience though, they're useless in gold grinding). Don't lose all your Intellect gear either, especially if you're AoE grinding, since it's very heavy on your mana and you need a bigger pool if you want to handle several mobs.
Warlock World of Warcraft Gold Making Guide – Grind Tactics
One obvious tip for warlock gold grinding is not to grind on mobs that are resistant to your main damage spells. If your destruction specced, you really shouldn't grind the Elemental Plateau in Nagrand for Motes of Fire. And if you're Affliction specced, or use Shadowbolts as your main damage source, you'll have a hard time around Netherstorm, where most mobs are resistant to shadow spells (except the blood elves). Here are some warlock gold grinding tactics that I used successfully:
Seed of Corruption Gold Grinding Technique
Before explaining how this works, let me tell you how Seed of Corruption works in the first place: what it does is it "infects" a target with a demon seed that works like a DoT, causing 1044 damage over 18 seconds. When the 1044 damage threshold is reached or the target holding it dies, the seed blows up and inflicts 1200ish damage to all enemies around the seeded target, in a 15 yard range.
The technique works like this: you send in your voidwalker (or if you're grinding with a warrior or druid, let them gather up several mobs in the same spot) and let him tank a bit. Use seed of corruption ASAP on all of the mobs your Voidwalker has gathered. Note: seed the target that is being tanked last, since the tank might damage the target and reach the 1044 threshold faster than you can cast the seed on all the mobs. Once you get the seeds on all mobs and one of them blows, it's like a chain reaction that will quickly wipe the entire mob group.
If you get a frost mage to help you out, you can turn the Seed of Corruption technique into one of the most impressive gold grinding tactics in the game. Tell the mage to gather up as many mobs as possible, blinking out of danger, or rounding them up while mounted. When they're gathered up, the mage should use Frost Nova to keep them at bay, while you cast Seed of Corruption on all of them. If the Frost Nova breaks, the mage should Ice Block and wait for the mobs to gather around again, then Nova + Blink out of their reach. When all the seeds are placed, you can AoE down on them and the mage can cast Blizzard to help out. When the first seed breaks out, they'll be like firecrackers on the 4th of July!
Single Target Burst Damage Gold Grinding Technique
This is one of the grinding tactics used by burst damage and crit based Destruction warlocks. It works with harder targets, such as elites (some of them) or higher level mobs if you're not 70 yet. Just send in your Voidwalker, allow him to get some aggro, then do Soul Fire, Immolate, DoTs, Searing Pain, Conflagrate and Shadowburn. Your Voidwalker will lose aggro but by the time the mob gets to you, he should already be close to death.
Rain of Fire/Shadowfury AoE Gold Grinding Technique
+Fire gear and the "daze" talents in the Destruction tree help with this AoE grinding technique. Send in your Voidwalker first and let him gather up all the mobs you want to AoE. Get maximum range and cast Rain of Fire. If all the mobs get stunned, go for another Rain of Fire, otherwise use Shadowfury to keep them in place. Get max range again, Rain of Fire again and so forth. This technique requires some getting used to, so I suggest you try it out on lower level mobs at first.
Pairing with a warrior to keep the mobs on him is a good choice, although a frost mage that can Frost Nova and help AoE with Blizzard is also a good gold grinding pair.
Multi-DoT Gold Grinding Technique
This tactic goes best with an affliction warlock armed with the full arsenal of DoT's, including Unstable Affliction. Since you're that high in Aflliction, you'll have to take Improved Howl of Terror and this grind tactic becomes something like the main grinding technique of priests:
DoT all 4-5 mobs you've gathered with everything you have and when they get close to you, use Howl of Terror to send them fleeing. Then chose a target and start nuking it down...when it's dead, pass on to the next target and so forth. If needed, renew DoTs. You can also use your Death Coil and Fear if you're overwhelmed, but if you play this right they shouldn't be crucial.