Category Archives: macro

Managing Your Minions – the Felhunter

This is the 4th article in this Warlock series about the care and feeding of one’s summoned minions. For previous articles, see the Imp, the Voidwalker, and the Succubus.

Welcome to your 30th season, young instrument of doom! This is when your ability to summon the adorable Felhunter blooms. The minion of choice for Affliction Warlocks, the Felpuppy is really handy to have around in most situations. Upon visiting your trainer, you’ll receive the quest to speak to Strahad Farsan in Ratchet. Luckily for you, you can also train for your mount at this level so that will save you a bit of time in completing Strahad’s tasks.

Your shiny new minion arrives with the Devour Magic ability. Remember how I said that every Warlock needed to have macros for 3 of her minions’ abilities? Devour Magic is macro #2.

Unlike a Shaman’s Purge, Devour can remove good stuff from bad people AND bad stuff from good people. Where does this come in handy? Well, your ‘puppy enjoys a rich diet of enemy HoTs, Polymorphs, Entangling Roots, and other Magic effects. He turns up his nose at curses and poisons, so it’s important to get a good grasp of what type of mechanic each effect is. The easiest way to do this is just to mouse over the buff / debuff icon and check it out.

What you’re looking for is the word, “Magic,” in the upper right-hand corner. Now that looks yummy to him! Go ahead and target the player wearing the effect, then click the button to activate his ability. Poof – polymorph dissipates. This, my darling, is why Mages hate you. There are other reasons, too, but we’ll get to those later.

That seemed easy enough – so why do we have to macro it? What if you’re dpsing away on a mob, and your party member gets poly’d? Without a macro, you’d have to A) target the party member, B) Click the Devour Magic ability, and then C) regain your primary dps target again. Not only is that cumbersome, but it causes considerable delay in your response which lowers the dps and utility of both you and your afflicted party member.

Your macro will look different based on whether you’re a keyer or a clicker. For instance, a simple “clicker’s” macro could look like this:


/cast [button:2,target=player] Devour Magic; Devour Magic

Left-clicking the macro (Left-click is Button 1 on a mouse) will cause the Fel to Devour from your existing target, while right-clicking (that’s Button 2) will ask him to Devour from you, the player. Easy enough, right? If you prefer to keybind your abilities, you can get a lot more functionality from a Mouseover macro. Look at this:


/cast [target=mouseover] Devour Magic

Mousing over your intended Devour target (whether that’s yourself, your party member, an enemy player, mob, or just some guy next to you in Wintergrasp) and then hitting the key to which that macro is bound will allow your minion to target and cast independent of your own targeting! You’ve just eliminated all that cumbersome action from our original scenario. You don’t have to mouseover the actual avatar; you can just mouseover the party-panel portrait. Note that those who must click their spells cannot, by definition, use Mouseover macros. It is possible to create a clickable macro using modifier buttons like Shift or Ctrl to give a few more options, but it’s still more complicated and cumbersome with less functionality.

While the spell is designed to heal your Fel with each effect devouring, you can appropriate those heals for yourself by using the Glyph of Felhunter. If your focus is on PvP, you may choose that glyph and set the ability to auto-cast. Your Fel will probably find plenty of Magic to eat on his own, keeping you topped up, but the 8-second cool down will also probably keep you from having it at your disposal when you really want it. For all other uses, leave Devour Magic off of auto-cast so that you have it when you need it.

Fel Intelligence: Gained at level 32, this buff effectively replaces the Priest’s duties in parties while providing some synergy with your own Life Tap and the Fel Armor you’ll get at level 62. This ability should be set as “always on.”

Level 36 brings access to Spell Lock, which is ‘required Warlock-minion macro #3.’ If the ability to Devour a Mage’s poly didn’t provide you with a sufficient supply of delicious tears, then adding a silence effect certainly will. Facing a Mage in the Battleground? Start casting an Immolate: if you’re lucky, she will decide that you’re Destro-specced and Counterspell it in hopes that she’ll lock you out of your preferred school. Now she’s confident that she has the upper hand and will hopefully go for her own major school. When you Spell Lock that – and you can, because it’s your Fel’s ability, not your own – you’re now back on an even playing field and able to Death Coil, wind up a Fear, and start DoTting. She will not just hate you, but HATE you.

Here – have a straw.

Your basic Spell Lock macro for keyers and clickers looks like this:

#showtooltip Spell Lock

/cast Spell Lock

/y Silence! I kill you!

I’m compelled to yell the final line along with my ‘Lock in my best ‘Achmed the Dead Terrorist‘ voice. You can, however, take that part of the command out if you’d rather. If you’re a keybinder AND situationally-aware enough that you notice some Mage in the back of the pack casting, you always use the Mouseover macro above, edited for the correct spell.

Finally, Shadow Bite becomes available at level 42. This is your ‘Puppy’s additonal dps ability. Mind you, it’s still not great and won’t come close to out-dpsing a Succubus, talented Imp, or FelGuard. I’m of the opinion that a Warlock is her own best dps-provider and minions are just there for the extra utility and the company. That having been said, extra dps IS extra dps so go ahead and leave that ability set to “auto-cast.”

One interesting thing about Shadow Bite is that it contributes bonus dps based on how many DoTs you currently have ticking on your target. This is why the Improved Felhunter talent is in the Afffliction tree, and why he’s the best minion for that spec.

This part of the series took some twists and turns, touching on some limited PvP strats, glyphing, keybinding and macros. The higher you level, the more you will find yourself needing this additional information and the more opportunities you will have to try out some of the cooler abilities. Be sure to check back often; the next part of this series discusses the Felguard, Infernal, and Doomguard!!

**Many thanks to Caitlynn of [Goddess of the Horde] for allowing me to test mouseover macros on her. She wouldn’t accept payment for her time, so I gave her a Duel-icious achievement instead.

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Managing Your Minions – the Succubus

Previous articles were on the Imp and the Voidwalker if you need to catch up.

At level 20, your class trainer will offer you one of two quests, depending upon which one you visit. If you drop by the Undercity, Carendin gives you “Devourer of Souls.” If you’re closer to Orgrimmar – or even if you’re not – you may prefer the chain that comes out of that capital city’s trainers. It involves a little more work, but doesn’t take you through a level 30 zone to kill a PvP target like the UC chain will.

Regardless, either chain is completed with a quest titled, “The Binding.” Congratulations! It’s a girl! Chances are that her “come-hither” moaning and tail-slapping will get on your nerves within the first hour or so. If that’s the case, you can turn off pet-emotes. The “esc” key on your keyboard brings up the game’s option list. Choose “Interface,” and then “Sound and Voice.” On the Voice tab is an option for “enable pet sounds” – un-check that and you’re golden. Yay! Now you don’t have to kill her yourself!

You will likely notice some big differences between your Succy and your Void. For one, the Succubus can’t take the hits like Big Blue can. She makes up for though, with superior dps. For this reason, she normally gets the most exercise in dungeons and PvP. Let’s take a look at what our Mistress of Lashes brings to the Warlock table.

Lash of Pain is the only real ability Miss Thang will have at her disposal. While her dps is mainly melee, this spell counts as additional Shadow damage. You can leave it set to auto-cast for all situations where additional dps is the Succubus’s purpose.

Soothing Kiss – At your training session, level 22, this ability becomes available. Your Succy’s kiss lowers her threat by a small degree. Keep in mind that if you’re using her while soloing, you’ll need to either keep your mob controlled with Fear or be prepared to spend a lot of time funneling health to your minion. Also note that Kiss will not have any effect in PvP, since players aren’t bound by the AI’s aggro mechanics. This ability isn’t enough to keep her from taking some heat, but in party situations it will help her stay below the tank’s threat.

Seduction becomes available at level 26. Although it’s probably the most difficult form of crowd-control to master, Seducing a target can help you out quite a bit in both PvE and PvP. Take a moment to fully review the tooltip for this spell. While it has a 1.5 second cast time, it’s also channeled. However, because the spell is cast by the minion, and not the Warlock, you can turn your attention to dpsing other targets while you have a mob Seduced. When the Seduce breaks you can count on its target heading straight for your minion – in most dungeons, this will mean almost instant death. For that reason, it’s helpful to toss a Searing Pain just before the Seduce lands. That will raise you above your minion on the threat table.

Once you’ve gotten the handle of using Seduction to take a mob out of play, you can get fancy with some advanced techniques. Every ‘Lock needs to have at least 3 of her pet abilities macroed and hot keyed. While the other two belong to a later pet, the first is of course, Seduction. Your macro will look like this:

/clearfocus [modifier:shift]
/focus [target=focus,noexists]; [target=focus,dead]
/clearfocus [target=focus,help]
/cast [pet:succubus,target=focus,exists,harm] Seduction; Seduction

What this does: First, it checks to see whether or not you have a target, if that target is a mob, and if it’s still alive. If all of those conditions are true, it sets the mob as your focus target and then sends your Succubus into range to start channeling her Seduction spell. Here’s the cool part – if you already have a focus target, and if that target is still alive, the macro sends the Succy to focus target for Seduction. Why is that important? Because it allows you to

– Send in the Succy to seduce her target, Mob #1
– Switch targets and start dpsing whatever is being tanked at the moment, Mob #2
– Re-Seduce Mob #1 without moving off of Mob #2!!

Holding the Shift key while hitting his macro will clear any pre-existing focus target and set the currently targetted mob as your focus. Too cool, right?

Lesser Invisibility is yours at level 32. I have found no use for this outside of PvP, although it can be fun for that purpose. Turn on your Succubus’s Invisibility and park her on the flag in a battleground. Imagine that enemy player’s surprise when she pops out and immediately seduces him!
So is she worth it?

Without picking up talents specific to increasing your Imp’s damage, the Succubus is currently providing the highest dps of the standard Warlock minions. She is also the only minion with crowd control. It is definitely worth your while to learn to master her for when you need her, but don’t be too bummed if pass her over for most situations. She’s used to being ever the bridesmaid.

Next in this series: Get the most from your Felhunter!

Hawt Macros

I love macros. I LOVE macros. Yeah, they can get you in trouble if you get lazy or don’t understand the mechanics of what they’re designed to do, but for those split-second-reaction-needed moments, nothing compares.

Prin has several at her disposal, ranging from the occasional, to the necessary, to the quirky. There are macros to trigger abilities, emotes, party / raid / tell announcements, etc. Before you start building or using macros designed by others, you need an understanding of the commands and functions involved.

Target and Focus are two primary components of an ability macro. Using %t for Target and %f for Focus within your macro allows you to keep it mob-generic. What’s the difference between Target and Focus? Well, think of Focus as a “remembered” Target.

Ex: Target Mob 1 and use /focus. Now target Mob 2. Using /cast [target=focus]Shackle Undead will allow you to cast Shackle on Mob 1 without losing your current target of Mob 2. A good Shackling macro should have a Focus Set and Cast built into it, with the ability to re-focus on a different mob in mid-fight. If your raid leader barks at you to switch to a different Shackle target, you need to be able to continue using this same macro. We can accomplish that by adding a modifier key to our macro. Let’s head over to WPL and practice, shall we?

Hit ESC to bring up the menu, and then click Macro. Create a new macro named Shackle, and click the ? icon. That will allow the game to plug in the appropriate skill-related icon once we have our macro designed. Now, copy and paste the following into your Macro area:

/clearfocus [modifier:alt][target=focus,dead][target=focus,help][target=focus,noexists]
/focus [target=focus,noexists]
/cast [target=focus]Shackle Undead
/e is shackling %f – Back off!

What does each line do? The first line, #showtooltip, is used at the beginning of all ability macros. This allows the game to give you the tooltip for the relevant ability when you mouseover your macro button, just like any other spell on your hotbar.

The second line – wait

Okay, I’m back. Some lvl 29 Orc warrior just trained 3 bears onto me and died, just inside the zone. Seems he was trying to get to Silvermoon. I rezzed him, dusted him off, and escorted him back to UC to show him the Orb. You hear that, Karma? Okay then.

Anyway, second line does a couple of different things. If you hold the modifier key (alt, in this case), the macro will clear your focus, and re-focus to your current target. Otherwise, these commands and the third line set your target as your focus. Line 4 casts your ability, and line 5 announces your cast in an emote.

Let’s try it out. Find two mobs, they can either pull separately or just both be within reach of you. Target the first mob and use your macro. Now target the second mob and pull him. Dps him down, keeping one eye on the shackled mob. If it breaks, click the macro again without changing your target. Did it work? YES!

Now we’re gonna get fancy. Say you’ve used your Shackle macro on Mob 1, and you begin to dps Mob 2. The warlock breaks your shackle with a DoT – oh teh noes! – instead of targeting her own mob. Your raid leader asks you to abandon your original shackle target and shackle the lock’s mob instead. Can we do it? Pshaw. Target the lock’s mob, hold ALT, and click your shackle macro. The only caveat is that you will have to pick up your dps target again, but you can now re-shackle the lock’s mob without changing targets after that. Try that out on our WPL test mobs.

Using a timer addon goes hand and hand with crowd-control ability macros. The one I use is ClassTimers, available at Curse Gaming. Set the addon to monitor only your crowd-control abilities and boom – you’ve got a nifty little timer at the top of your screen, letting you know how much longer your mob will stay shackled.

I always use some type of announcement at the end of ability macros to let my party / raid know what I’m up to. And yes, of course they’re wondering what I’m up to.

Edited 5/28/08 – thank you to ASH who caught my typo!