Guest Post: Hunter/Warlock Synergy by Mr. Pike

I gotta admit, I don’t normally do guest posts, or even really like the idea of them very much. The reason is because I dunno about you guys, but a big reason that I read blogs is because I enjoy the blogger. And as such I’d like to think you guys come here to read Pike and not a bunch of guest posts. (Though I could be wrong!)

That said, because I am busy this week and still want the site to maintain relatively active, I’ve succeeded in getting a certain someone to guest post for me. He comments here as “LS” although you may know him better as my mysterious significant other. Let’s see what he has to say about hunter/warlock synergy, gathered from all the billions of times we’ve two-manned stuff:

Hey there hunter buddies! I am LS, or as I have been more often referred to here, Mr. Pike. I came to hang out with you guys today at the request of my most esteemed lady friend, who has come down with a rather dreadful case of ‘moving-to-a-new-apartment-itis.’ I told her it might be lupus, but she told me that I needed to stop watching old episodes of House and start lifting boxes, or she was going to force me to entertain her readers while she was busy. So here I am!

With every intent of taking this request seriously, I sequestered myself away to consider what I should write. Also to hide from the task of heavy lifting. While I was thusly pondering I thought to myself; what can I write that my dear Pike’s lovely audience, would enjoy reading? I thought, perhaps, that I might regale you with humorous tales of what living with Pike is like, or perhaps amuse you with anecdotes of her past (mis)adventures. I then considered, however, that perhaps something a bit more meaningful might be appreciated. A different perspective on the game for people to consider and perhaps learn from. But what could I, a warlock, offer to an audience whose relationship with magic ended when they removed Arcane Shot from their rotation?

What I decided, is that the best use of this opportunity would be to write a brief entry of the form ‘what warlocks want their hunter buddies to know.’ While this is perhaps limited in focus, I think it will serve well as a subject on which I am capable of speaking, and on which you might perhaps be interested in listening to. With my subject thusly decided, and my girlfriend already knocking on the door insisting that she had been kidding about writing being an option, I got to work.

In all my considerable time being a warlock who works with a hunter, I think that perhaps the most fundamental misconception is that we’re both pet classes. While this may seem obviously true to some, it is actually a misnomer of sorts. A warlock’s minions have about as much in common with a warrior’s stances as they do with a hunter’s pets. While it is true that they are a separate entity from us, with their own HP and mana, and we have the ability to tell them to attack, or defend, etcetera, that’s really where the similarities end. Even as demonology our pets are not a significant portion of our DPS. I think the highest DPS I’ve ever personally seen a pet contribute is about 300 damage per second; and that was with a really wacky pet-heavy spec I was experimenting with. While it may be possible to eke out a little more than that, our pets will never approach the damage a hunter pet can put up. What’s more, our pets do not tank—not really.

Pike and I have solo’d a LOT of elites together in our time, and though I love my voidwalker Heldok a great deal—even Tux tanks better than he does. Particularly due to the superior healing abilities of mend pet over health funnel. Again, with a pet-heavy spec I was able to solo the first boss in normal mana tombs with level 80 Heldok, but it was a taxing ordeal. All in all, the voidwalker’s ability to take damage seems superior to hunter pets, but the warlock’s relative inability to heal it and its rather slow threat generation, makes my poor Heldok a rather inefficient personal tank. (Which is not to say that he doesn’t have a bevy of uses, they’re just nowhere near as powerful as a hunter pet’s are.)

Furthermore, while a hunter, or at least Pike, has a tendency to think of a pet more as a companion, for a warlock it is simply one more trick in a bag of tricks. We use our imp if we need health or slightly more DPS, we use our voidwalker if we absolutely can’t do something without a tank, we use our felhunter for the buff it gives us, the spell lock, and perhaps to steal its mana, and we use our succubus for CC.

Speaking of succubus CC, allow me to shed a bit of light on how it works for those who do not know. If for no better reason than to demonstrate why I think ‘seduce mobs’ should almost always be killed prior to ‘freezing trap mobs.’

After Pike became so exceedingly well known in our group as a top-notch CC-er with her freezing trap, I decided to see what I might accomplish with my own under-rated form of CC. I actually achieved some level of success at this, and have been complimented on my powers of seduction often. After all, how do you think I managed to get Pike to hang around me so long? But I digress. What I’m driving at, is that Succubus CC is by far one of the most complicated and unwieldy things I’ve ever tried to do in this game. And I once ran an RP / Raiding guild of over 200 people. (By far, the two most drama prone groups of people I’ve ever encountered.)

Seduce is unique among the spells I’ve encountered in WoW because it is a channeled effect which has a casting time. That there is really the trick. Because it’s a channeled effect with a casting time. What that means is that after the first seduce, there is a period of time when the mob is not CC’d, and new CC cannot be applied until the casting time is done. During these few moments, said mob will charge towards the succubus and—in any instance worth CCing in—one shot her. Since the effect is channeled, there’s no way to move the succubus to greater range whilst the effect is active. Thusfar, the only way I’ve found to stop the succubus from being killed, thus rendering the CC useless, is to break the seduce on the mob by attacking it myself, getting it to aggro on to me rather than the succubus. I then hope desperately that the succubus can re-seduce (dark gods help me if the mob resists) before I get killed—which, as a clothie, is probably between 2 and 4 attacks. What’s more, I can’t easily maneuver my succubus to be any distance from me when she seduces, meaning that next time seduction breaks, the mob is going to be within arm’s reach of her. Oh, and did I mention that seduce is on the same diminishing effects as fear? Cuz seduce is on the same diminishing effects as fear.

Aside from those two major issues, I honestly can’t say there’s a great deal of things that I feel I should say as the warlock’s delegate to the hunters. At least, nothing that is terribly pressing or interesting. I guess I should probably mention that damage meters are an atrocious way of displaying a warlock’s damage output. So if you’re ever a raid or group leader, don’t decide that your warlock is a scrub until you’ve looked at the damage output for just the boss fight.You may be surprised, or even shocked by how much the numbers change. I certainly know I have been in the past.

Oh, and Eye of Kilrogg kicks Eagle Eye’s butt. So next time scouting needs to be done, know your place: protecting the warlocks body. (Nya nya =P)

In closing, I’d like to say that despite their apparent lack of synergy, warlocks and hunters are two very interesting classes to play together. Individually, they are among the best classes for soloing content, so when attempting to two-man something, Pike and I often find that each one of us is uniquely equipped to help our combined group deal with some particular challenge. For example, the way she stacks agility and the way I stack stamina makes for some really fun times in the bedro—nevermind. >.>

That’s all I’ve got for now. I hope that some of the information here was helpful to you hunters, and if it wasn’t…well, I doubt Pike will let me guest post again anyway. =P

Thanks hon <3 and if you readers liked what you saw here, Mr. Pike has decided to branch warlock stuff away from his own personal blog, and stick them all over here at Curse of Senility. Be sure to check it out!

19 thoughts on “Guest Post: Hunter/Warlock Synergy by Mr. Pike”

  1. Haha! Oh gods. The only guilds more dramarific than a raiding or an RP guild is a raiding/RP guild. I’ve been in all three.

    This is an interesting look at warlock CC! I actually have some experience with it–not as a warlock, but as a healer trying to cope with the insanity. Back in the day I used to do all guild runs of Shattered Halls…when our DPS was 2 warlocks and a rogue. Before we had the gear to just face tank everything.

    The fact that we did it all attests to the skill of our shadowy companions. Gogo warlock CC!

  2. Have you tried tanking with the felhunter instead? that’s what every lock I work with does, not the VW. They seem pretty good at it, plus can intercept etc. They seem pretty good for offtanking in instances.

    Of course that’s when I’m on my priest and I can heal it.

    For seduce, i wonder if warriors can use their one blow they have to build aggro that doesn’t do damage, that they can also use on ice trapped mobs. I forget the name. Yeah I never see locks seducing in instances for that reason.

  3. Arcane shot is Back baby! <3 Arcane.

    There are a surprising number of hunt/lock couples out there. Myself and T (Mr. T going with the theme) were one for a long time. For a TON of examples- go here. It’s actually a pretty neat thread. (on the BRK hunter forums.)

    Thank you for writing Mr. Pike- Pike’s right, I read blogs because I like the writer, but you weren’t the type of substitute teacher I’d play pranks on. You the one I’d hope comes back so I didn’t have to have the one that uses the whistle and says “When I was yer age….” all the time.

  4. ….
    Let me get this straight.

    Warlocks rely on hunters because we do everything as well or better than you can?



  5. @yunk I think you mean Fel Guard. Dun worry, I get them mixed up all the time too.

    There are a lot of benefits to the Fel Guard as a tank, the biggest downside being that he’s a 41 point talent in a tree that even Blizz admits needs some work right now. Something they say they’re hoping to have ready by 3.1.

    That said, Blizz has also said that they don’t like the idea that demonology warlocks only use one of their pets (the Fel Guard) and would like to make all of the pets viable in different situations for demonology warlocks. And I know that as part of that, a lot of HP and threat generation buffs have gone through / are planned for the voidwalker.

    But you’re right. Right now, the felguard is probably a better tank.

  6. Yeah, Seduce is a crappy form of CC. It’s actually SAFER to use the Fear yo-yo*. But alas, the Fear yo-yo no longer works (or won’t after 3.0.8, don’t remember if that change is live yet). Note that the Improved Succubus talent will make your Seduction insta-cast and Demonic Empowerment can be used to basically reset your Succy. Of course, BOTH of these are Demonology talents, and (as stated) 99.9% of Demonology Warlocks use the Felguard all the time (I always did).

    *Fear yo-yo was using Fear on a mob, use Curse of Recklessness to make them immune to fear, then using another Curse to Fear them again. So they would run away, run back, run away, run back. Curse of Recklessness was recently changed, though, to not make the target immune to Fear.

  7. @Dorgol

    Most fun CC in the game. Particularly when you used Curse of Exhaustion to dispell CoR. Alas, blizz nerfed fun ;_;

  8. That was a well written and fun read. I haven’t played my Warlock in ages. She doesn’t even pick flowers anymore.

    Maybe all she needs is a respec. Got any suggestions for a lvl 40-ish?

  9. what a very informative guest post! i have played both classes, but while my lock sits at level 45 or so… my hunter is 80. the knowledge i have of the lock is still pretty limited …
    the one lock i used to run stuff with a lot always destroyed his minion for the buff, so it was more like running with just another caster since there was no pet. i definately agree with the point of view on which mob should be taken down first… i think that makes a lot of sense. unfortunately there seem to be a lot of “huntards” out there that ruin the rep of those of us that can lay down a trap and chain trap til the end of a fight. too bad really… i spent a lot of time practicing that move.

  10. @Stupid Mage–

    I’m glad you think it was fun to read, that’s something I’m trying to work on more. As for your question; a lot of people swear by demonology at that level, but for me, nothing quite beats affliction. By level 40 you’ve got your hands on Siphon Life, so you can toss Corruption and Siphon life on mobs, as well as maybe immolate or curse of agony, and just wait for them to die while you start pulling other mobs.

    Really, in terms of straight-up grindings, warlocks are *so* OP. =P


    Back in burning crusade, warlocks who were spec’d 0/21/40 were all the rage. The 21 points allowed locks to sacrifice their pet and get a 15% damage buff, which in turn resulted in some absolutely staggering numbers. Sunwell warlocks speced that way were reporting numbers that I still haven’t seen, even in Naxx. That spec has since been nerfed significantly (15% bonus is down to 10%) so it’s not really worth it anymore.

    As to Huntards–I agree. Their huntardation hurts all of us who love freezing trap. ;_;

  11. For example, the way she stacks agility and the way I stack stamina makes for some really fun times in the bedro—nevermind. >.>

    *mind begins wandering… directly into a freezing trap*

  12. *covers eyes*

    Nono, I don’t want to know!! >_<


    Really interesting post, it’s great to read about “the other side” – how you non-hunters view us. Seduce seems rather more complicated than trapping! It also made me lol 😀

  13. My b/f plays a warlock too! seems this is a common choice, we even ventures into the arena matches together, it was much fun.
    “write a brief entry ” dude it was soo not brief, but it was an amazing read!!
    “have been complimented on my powers of seduction often” Lol, love the wording you chose 🙂
    I’ll be sure to read your own blog Mr Pike!

  14. When I first saw the wall of text, my first thought was “oh no!” Glad I read it though. I had to laugh. Nice to see the other side of pet care.

  15. My boy plays a lock and I play a hunter and we have enjoyed many a fun time questing and instancing together. Although we never really worked out as an arena team :/

    Where we found great synergy is as CC-masters back in the days of TBC where careful CC in a dungeon was often required. He’d seduce a mob that had broken free from my ice block.. I’d throw a trap on a mob about to break seduce.The group would survive the pull and we’d high five each other. Good times, good times. Now I just lolvolley and he lolrainoffires.

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