WoW Warlock Tank Class Guide - Season of Discovery

Warlock Tank in the Season of Discovery Guide

Ever since the inception of Metamorphosis in Wrath of the Lich King, a subtle desire lingered in every Warlock's mind: the dream of perpetual transformation. In the Season of Discovery, that dream becomes reality. Warlocks can now discover runes that grant them a permanent Metamorphosis, turning them into formidable tanks. Let's delve into the new runes that redefine the Warlock class as an imposing tank in the World of Warcraft.

The introduction of Metamorphosis, a newly discoverable rune in Classic, propels Warlocks into the spotlight as cloth-wearing tanks. This transformative ability enhances survivability by boosting armor by 500% and reducing the chance of critical hits by 6%. While lacking in avoidance during casting, Warlock tanks compensate with substantial Effective Health Points, thanks to armor and the 15% stamina boost from the Demonic Embrace talent in the Demonology tree.

Season of Discovery (SoD) Warlock Tank Build Guide & Best Runes - Warcraft  Tavern

Warlock Tank Runes

Chest Rune

Chest Rune

Legs Rune

Legs Rune

Gloves Rune

Gloves Rune

Best Talent Builds for Warlock Tank - Phase 1

Best Talent Builds for Warlock Tank - Phase 1


Improved Corruption: Essential for instant-cast Corruption, enabling casting on the move.

Improved Life Tap: Enhances mana-for-health trade-off, synergizing well with Metamorphosis.


Demonic Embrace: Raises total stamina by 15%, improving survivability.

Improved Voidwalker: Enhances the shield gained from Sacrifice by up to 30%.


Not recommended for Warlock tanks at the current level bracket.

Tank Threat Generation

1. Searing Pain: The pre-existing threat generator benefits from a double threat modifier, further increased by 50% during Metamorphosis. Instant-cast during Metamorphosis, it eliminates pushback and preserves limited avoidance.

2. Taunt Abilities: Metamorphosis introduces taunt capabilities through Fear turning into Menace for single-target taunts and Demonic Howl providing an AoE taunt.

Mana Management

Life Tap: Metamorphosis reduces the need for frequent Life Taps by doubling mana gain. This synergizes well with Improved Life Tap, offering mana sustain in extended encounters.

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Strengths and Weaknesses

Warlock tanks excel in single-target threat generation, leveraging Searing Pain and Metamorphosis. Their unique ability to build threat at range sets them apart. With high effective health, Warlock tanks are resilient, further enhanced by talents like Demonic Embrace. However, challenges exist in AoE threat generation, especially with Rain of Fire's limitations.


1. High effective health with Metamorphosis and Demonic Embrace.

2. Strong single-target threat with Searing Pain and Metamorphosis.

3. Unique long-range threat-building capabilities.


1. Risky AoE threat with Rain of Fire.

2. Limited avoidance.

3. Occasional casting vulnerability to pushback and interruptions.

How to Play Warlock Tank

As a Warlock tank, Searing Pain becomes the primary threat generator. Once a threat lead is established, apply Damage over Time (DoT) abilities strategically. Menace serves as the single-target taunt, while Demonic Howl fulfills the AoE taunt role. Incinerate and Rain of Fire contribute to threat and damage buffs. Life Tap should be used cautiously, and Demonic Grace can be a defensive alternative.

Spell Priority

1. Incinerate: For the fire damage buff.

2. Rain of Fire: For the Lake of Fire debuff.

3. Searing Pain: Primary threat generator.

4. Shadow Cleave: For melee range AoE.

5. Drain Life, Immolate, Corruption, Curse of Agony: DoT abilities for sustained threat.

6. Demonic Grace: Defensive alternative to Incinerate.

8. Life Tap: Minimize taps and cast cautiously.

Stats and Gear for Warlock Tank

Stat Priority

1. Threat Generation

2. Hit Chance

3. Spell Damage

4. Crit Chance


1. Stamina

2. Armor

3. Agility

4. Dodge Chance

Gearing for tanking in World of Warcraft involves finding a balance between survivability and threat generation. The goal is to generate as much threat as possible without compromising survivability too mutch or putting undue pressure on healers. The flexibility to swap gear items between encounters allows for optimization based on specific encounter requirements. Some situations may demand more threat generation, while others prioritize increased sturdiness for survival. This adaptability enables tanks to tailor their gear to the needs of each encounter.

In terms of spell casting and threat generation, ensuring spells hit the target is crucial. Against bosses or mobs three levels higher and above, a 16% hit chance is required to reliably land a spell (3% versus same-level targets). While Affliction spells benefit from  Suppression for hit chance, others must be sourced from gear. Although low-level gear typically lacks hit chance, the introduction of new items may offer solutions at lower levels. Spell Damage items, although scarce at lower levels, directly enhance the base damage of our spells, playing a pivotal role in threat generation. In Season of Discovery every class is dealing additional damage and as such threat generation is extra crucial. Crit chance plays a similar role to Spell Damage in that it increases overall threat generation (this will eventually become an ever more important stat when we get access to  Ruin).

Although cloth armor has a lower base armor rating, its value is amplified by 500% through  Metamorphosis, making it a great stat. This is why items like  Stitches' Femur gain prominence. Armor rating is pivotal in reducing incoming physical damage, which makes up the majority of damage in a fight.

Stamina contributes to total health, and with the utilization of  Demonic Embrace, each point of stamina on gear translates to 15 health (or 16.5 with  Blessing of Kings). An option for further enhancing mitigation and avoidance is Agility. It boosts our armor and dodge chance, providing one of the few options for avoidance. Warlocks need ~11 agility to get 1% dodge chance at level 25 It’s important to note that armor from Agility is not multiplied by the Metamorphosis armor increase. However, generally avoidance (like dodge) is less desirable than more mitigation with stamina and armor, or more threat generation.

Gear Recommendations for Warlock Tank - Phase 1

 Hands of Darkness / -  Phoenix Gloves Both of these gloves are Bind on Equipped tailoring gloves that provide either 9 shadow damage or 9 fire damage. The patterns required to make these are world drops, seeing as how they are BoE you should be able to get someone else to craft them for you if need be.

 Dread Mage Hat - This Sorting Hat look alike is rewarded from  You Have Served Us Well an Alliance Warlock only quest.

 Totem of Infliction /  Stitches' Femur - These are the two best armor off hands obtainable by Warlock Tanks at this level bracket.  Totem of Infliction is rewarded by an Alliance-only quest, it has the added benefit of having a 1% chance of dealing Shadow Damage when being struck in combat. The Horde will need to hunt down Stitches for his Femur.

 Tork Wrench - Can serve as an easier to get Horde alternative to  Stitches' Femur. It has less armor but does come with some Intellect instead.

Item of Stamina / Monkey - Plenty of uncommon items with the Stamina or Monkey (Stamina and Agility) suffix will end up being the best option for diverse slots. Or at the least really strong contenders.

Item of Shadow / Fire Wrath - Plenty of uncommon items with the Fire or Shadow Wrath suffix will end up being the best option for threat generation. Or at the least solid contenders, seeing as spell power all around is fairly rare to get around this level bracket.

Best Races for Warlock Tank

Best Alliance Races


Gnomes are the most advantageous choice for tanking in the level 25 bracket due to their racial abilities. They boast the highest base Agility among all races, providing a slight increase in dodge.  Escape Artist is invaluable for breaking free from immobilization or movement speed reduction effects, allowing for quick reentry into the fray. Additionally,  Expansive Mind enhances the overall mana pool and slightly boosts crit chance, contributing to improved threat generation.

Racial Bonuses

1. Arcane Resistance: Arcane Resistance increased.

2. Expansive Mind: Intelligence increased by 5%.

3. Engineering Specialization: Engineering skill increased by 15.

4. Escape Artist: Escape the effects of any immobilization or movement speed reduction effect.


None of the human racials are particularly beneficial for Warlock Tanking.  Diplomacy, which increases reputation gained, may be useful for obtaining the  Furbolg Medicine Pouch.  Sword Specialization might offer benefits for  Shadow Cleave, but its interaction with melee skills remains uncertain. Additionally, Blizzard has hinted at the potential availability of Weapon Skill-related racials through rewards in Level-Up Raids, which would diminish the desirability of certain weapon specialization racial bonuses. Spirit doesn't significantly impact Warlocks, making  The Human Spirit less advantageous for this role.

Racial Bonuses

1. Diplomacy: Reputation gains increased by 10%.

2. Mace Specialization: Skill with Maces and Two-Handed Maces increased by 5.

3. Sword Specialization: Skill with Swords and Two-Handed Swords increased by 5.

4. The Human Spirit: Spirit increased by 5%.

Best Horde Races


Undeads stand out as the premier option for Horde Warlock Tanking.  Cannibalize provides a convenient means of self-healing after an encounter, particularly useful when healers are taking a brief mana break. Although  Shadow Resistance provides a minor amount of resistance, it proves valuable in encounters where shadow damage is the source of incoming damage, contributing to overall survivability.  Underwater Breathing becomes beneficial in the new 10-man raid version of Blackfathom Deeps, though it's worth noting that we already have  Unending Breath, so the advantage is only realized if we forget to self-buff. However, the standout feature for Warlock Tanking is  Will of the Forsaken, offering the ability to break or prevent Charm,  Fear, and Sleep on  Command. This adds a layer of control to encounters, ensuring a smoother time.

Racial Bonuses

1. Cannibalize: When activated, regenerates 7% of total health every 2 sec for 10 sec. Only works on Humanoid or Undead corpses within 5 yds. Any movement, action, or damage taken while Cannibalizing will cancel the effect.

2. Shadow Resistance: Shadow Resistance increased by 10.

3. Underwater Breathing: Underwater breath lasts 300% longer than normal.

4. Will of the Forsaken: Provides immunity to Charm,  Fear, and Sleep while active. May also be used while already afflicted by Charm,  Fear, or Sleep. Lasts 5 sec.


While  Blood Fury might theoretically enhance the damage output of our  Shadow Cleave, the 50% reduced healing for 25 seconds is undesirable for a tank.  Command does boost the damage of our pets, but this doesn't directly translate to increased threat generation for us.  Hardiness proves useful in encounters featuring stun mechanics; however, the drawback is its reliance on chance rather than being a reliable on-use effect. This overall makes Undead slightly stronger for Warlock tanking.

Racial Bonuses

1. Axe Specialization: Skill with Axes and Two-Handed Axes increased by 5.

2. Blood Fury: Increases base melee attack power by 25% for 15 sec and reduces healing effects on you by 50% for 25 sec.

3. Command: Damage dealt by Hunter and Warlock pets increased by 5%.

4. Hardiness: Chance to resist Stun effects increased by an additional 25%.

Best Professions for Warlock Tank


Classic WoW Engineering 1-300 Profession Guide by Ragorism - Wowhead News

Engineering enhances performance in three distinct ways: it boosts damage output, provides access to unique gear, and offers various useful gadgets.

In terms of damage output,  Heavy Dynamite is the key item. These explosives have no maximum number of targets, allowing players to significantly climb threat meters during well-timed AoE encounters.

In the early stages of the game, during Phase 1 content, Warlocks with engineering can benefit from  Green Tinted Goggles, providing a solid 8 Stamina. In later phases those with higher engineering can opt for  Spellpower Goggles Xtreme, boasting +21 Spell Damage but lacking stamina or alternatively the  Deepdive Helmet, offering an impressive 15 stamina.

Additional useful gadgets include  Goblin Jumper Cables (gnomes) for reviving fallen guildies and the  Minor Recombobulator, aiding in self-healing.


In the Season of Discovery, Warlocks redefine their role, stepping into the tanking realm with Metamorphosis. As cloth-wearing tanks, they bring a unique blend of resilience and threat generation. Challenges exist, but the potential for Warlock tanks to leave a mark on Azeroth is undeniable.

As we conclude this exploration of Warlock tanks in the Season of Discovery, let the eternal Metamorphosis guide your path. Embrace the challenges, master the intricacies of threat generation, and revel in the power of demonic resilience. Until our paths cross again, fellow adventurers, may your transformations be legendary, and may Azeroth bear witness to the rise of Warlock tanks! Safe journeys!