Kil’jaeden’s Cunning – A Bane and a Boon for Warlocks

Posted: October 8, 2012 in Of WoW and Warlocks

Hail Everyone,

It’s been almost two weeks now since the new Expansion hit, and I’m sure many of you are either at cap or getting ready to ding 90! So over the next few posts, I’d like to take a look at each of the three level 90 talents ‘locks get to consider when choosing their arsenal of differentiating play styles. This week, I’m going to talk about one of my favorite of the three. Kil’jaeden’s Cunning (KJC) has both an “on use” benefit like a trinket and a set passive ability.

So without further ado, let’s read over what the tooltip says:

Kil’jaeden’s Cunning (KJC) – As an active use this Instant cast spell is on a 1 min gcd. You can cast and channel while moving for 6 sec. As a passive ability, you can cast and channel while moving, but doing so increases the cast time or channel period of the spell by 50%. Each cast reduces your movement speed by 10%, stacking up to 2 times. This effect is disabled while on cooldown.

I love this talent! You will too!

Don’t forget the “on use” ability

First, using KJC as an “on use” ability gives us a quick way to cast and move without any type of dps loss or any type of movement debuff. This will become especially useful the more you become familiar with each dungeon boss and it’s mechanics. Getting into the habit of using the active use of KJC will serve you well for both dungeons and in PvP. I understand that the active KJC may seem as too short of a duration that it might even appear pointless. Don’t be fooled into thinking it’s not worth utilizing. The trick I’ve come to find is to make sure that you use it, often. Let me repeat that last line for a greater effect, the trick I’ve come to find is to make sure that you use it, often!

The more you get in the habit of popping this spell’s “on use” benefit the more nimble we become. It sounds simple enough, but trust me when I say that it can be easily to forget. The reason it’s “on use” ability is easy to forget is because it’s passive ability can make you, me and every warlock lazy. It’s too easy to just let the “on use” ability sit untouched while relying on the passive. I know I’ve found myself saying, “Oh, I just have to move a little bit this time to stay out of an AoE so I’ll just save it for when I really need it” and then the fight ends and you realize that the moment you could have used the KJC “on use” ability has passed you by.

If you find yourself in that same dilemma, then rip the Kil’jaeden’s Cunning spell button off of your spell bar and place it somewhere when you can see it, click it or key bind it faster. From there, make it a new personal goal to use KJC “on use” ability at every opportunity you can. Trust me, you’ll be glad you did.

Using the KJC passive for better positioning when needed – I’ll take snakes over spiders anyday even if it’s an elite!

Kil’jaeden’s Cunning passive ability

I have to admit that I love the Kil’jaeden’s Cunning passive. Being able to move and cast is a great boon, but keep in mind that it’s also a double edged sword. The passive gives us the ability to kite mobs, and to move away from danger and damage at a cost. It’s a nice passive to have as long as you use it sparingly, otherwise your dps will suffer. I personally enjoy using the KJC passive while questing and while in dungeons. When the “on use” ability is on gcd then it’s beneficial to be able to spare my healer some mana by moving out of damage quickly. It’s adds an advantage for better positioning myself if a tank line of sights a mob or if I need a better view of what’s going when analyzing the situation when fights get crazy and chaotic.

To reach our optimal dps always keep in mind that as warlocks are casting turrets. You’ve probably heard the term a “casting turret”, or “dps turret” before. This old definition reinforces a problem all casters have had in the past with regards to movement. You can’t do damage unless you’re standing still. Makes sense right? Well, both versions of the Kil’jaeden’s talent has changed that old paradox. Yes, we can now cast and move at a cost, but standing still while dishing out the pain is still the best way to fight. So please keep the idea of a casting turret in mind when you are considering running around a dungeon non-stop at a movement and dps drops. Sadly, I’ve seen this happen in a dungeon already. In one run I watched as a Destro luck was jumping around like a rogue with his pants on fire. He wasn’t a bad player and while I’m sure he thought he was cool jumping around like a maniac during all the commotion, I can’t help but to think it wasn’t the wisest choice. Was he having fun acting crazy? Probably. It’s hard to pass judgment on this ‘lock because it’s their $15.00 monthly fee to play that way. Was it wrong or right of him to do so? I’ll let you be the judge on that one.

For me however, watching this hyperactive Desto lock’s antics gave me pause as to how I view my own role when I’m on my warlock. As a powerhouse dps class our role is to take down mobs fast and to bring our utility when needed. The lower your dps, the longer it takes to accomplish this task and the more likelihood that things can go wrong are given a greater chance to occur. Relying too heavily on the freedom of movement at a dps loss is tough not to abuse due to it’s seductive, enticing and passive nature. I know that I for one, will strive to only use the KJC passive when it’s truly needed. When I’m questing and kiting mobs for fun it’s one thing, when I’m in a dungeon helping to complete a task and keeping people alive while taking down a boss it’s another. I hope you can see the difference too. 

Ready to start a day of dailies

Don’t lose sight of other warlock movement tricks

Don’t forget we have other ways to get around that pesky movement problem. First, there is our Demonic Circle. By far I see our Demonic Circle as the most under-utilized spell by our class. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen a tank pull a boss only to watch as the progression of the fight was underway, and a warlock took massive damage or died simply due to the fact they didn’t put up their portal and use it. Trust me, while playing my healer I’ve seen it happen a lot! Demonic Circle is your friend, it’s a cool mechanic and it’s a warlock life saver! Use it, abuse it and make us proud!

Another aid for warlocks in regards to movement is to never forget about using your Fel Flame. Fel flame is quick, it’s great for DoT renewal and it won’t handcuff you with any debuffs towards your movement speed or in your spell cast time. For short movement spurts such as strafing out of AoE, Fel Flame is another good choice to use as well.

Things to ponder about movement

Everything that deals with movement in fights should be something for you to consider. Think carefully about all of our tools such as Demonic Circle, Fel Flame, the Kil’jaeden’s Cunning “on use”, or our KJC passive, and even perhaps to do nothing at all other than the act of moving itself. Is there a right way or a wrong way? No, there isn’t. Once again the designers at Blizzard have made anything we encounter in game very situational. As we strive to better ourselves and our class, always remember that the more you experiment and familiarize your talents, spells and skills…the better your timing, your situational awareness, your dps and your benefit to the group will become!

Oh, how they grow so fast! My best advice about raising a baby dragon is to take lots of screenshots and to wash your hands after cleaning up after them :)

  1. Navimie says:

    Good to see a post from you Amijade :)
    And I will have to take your advice about more screenies of my new dragon…

    • Navimie!

      Heya girl! I hope you and Frostwolves are well :) I’m sure you are just as busy as everyone else leveling, pet battling and grinding rep. So, how are you liking the new expansion? So much to do and so little time! Bah! That is why I REFUSE to try pet battles. I know a ton of people who haven’t even hit cap yet because they are so busy collecting pets and fighting them. Between dailies and starting to level my other toons, I can’t afford to put any time in anything else! *Sighs* Someday maybe, I’ll be getting back into BG’s. Take care and stay in touch :)

  2. Saga says:

    Great stuff! I still feel very new to our top tier talents, and haven’t gotten used to using them yet. I really need to work on that!

    So far I’m enjoying Warlocks this expansion, but I’m a bit sad to see Destro being the lowest dps spec. Since it tends to be my favourite I hope it will improve later on.

    • Elkagorasa says:

      No! I am loving destro too much to go back to. It’s too fun ‘standing in fire’ intentionally “It’s my burning embers! Really I am supposed to stand in the fire!” Things are still dying quickly and with ample use of Havoc and Fire and Brimstone to AOE Immolate on all targets, I still feel relevant in dungeons.. Probably should load up Recount to get actual numbers though…

      Those numbers are a wee bit discouraging though..

      • Hey Elk!

        Yep, I’m running Destro as my off-spec, but I’m really having fun on Affliction! Yep, I read the EJ info and I think the numbers aren’t too far off from one another. When you take into consideration movement, dot refreshing and everything else. We shall see though, especially after we get some Tier pieces.

    • Hey Saga!

      OMG yes! I’m enjoying my warlock so much that I’ve neglected both my Hunter and Shaman since the launch and both are still sitting at 85! That’s a first! I wouldn’t worry about Destro. I still have some doubts when you add in movement, mechanics and everything else. Destro is my off-spec and I’ll wait to pass judgement until we get some tier bonus gear. Who knows it might wind up on top! A great example is my shaman. After every expansion my mana regen bites and I’m mid to low on the healing meters, but once I start getting tier sets then I slowly start hitting the top and find I have plenty of mana. That gives me hope…

      • Saga says:

        I’ve been doing about half our tries on Stone Guardian in Mogu’shan Vaults as Destro and half as Affliction. So far I seem to be getting about the same dps out of both specs (though I’m gemmed and reforged for Affliction). This could be simply because I’m more used to Destro though and still getting a hang of Affliction.

        I know when I did LFR a Destro lock beat me on the first two bosses, but I then kicked everyone in the raid’s ass on the third as Affli.

        It’s my hope that Destro won’t be too horrible, because they made it too awesome with the whole “being on fire thing” to let go! I keep wanting to sing “I’m so hot hot hot!” in raids… maybe that’s why I should be affliction though… Hmm…

      • Hey Saga,

        Sadly I have done MV yet. Although I think in about a week or two my raid team will be up there and making attempts. I don’t think Destro is in a bad state at all. Everyone I know that runs one loves it and just like you they really like the burning mechanic and look…

        Have you seen the news about the epic warlock questline? Green fire? Sounds like fun!

  3. Leodar says:

    This is a talent I’m really looking forward too when I get back around to leveling my warlock.

    • Hey Leodar,

      When you get your ‘lock up eventually, let me know what you think. I’m really enjoying it! How’s life in the DK lane? On heroics I’m seeing DK’s topping the charts again and often running away from the other front runners on dps, especially with AoE!

      • Leodar says:

        Its ridiculous as a tank. Haven’t spent as much time with DPS.

        The tanking is extremely powerful, but I haven’t been able to personally test community concerns about survivability on fights with high dmg output for a significant duration, ie getting pounded.

      • Amijade the Warlock says:

        Hey Leodar,

        Let me know how the high damage fights go when you start getting into them. I’ve got a friend who’s got a DK to almost his mid 80’s and he plans to tank. He has a warrior tank already, but they wanted to try out DK too due to the self-healing we’ve all heard about.

      • Leodar says:

        I will for sure, although I’m concerned that my writing time is going to get even worse as my seasonal work starts up. I’m only in pre-season and I barely have time for logging on.

      • Understandable! Motivate the team and have a great season!

  4. Elkagorasa says:

    can’t… stop…. casting… I grabbed this skill when I hit level 90, now I don’t know how to interrupt a long cast! The Headless Horseman’s head pops off and I am mid cast of Chaos Bolt.

    • Yeah, I noticed that too Elk. Bizarre becaue some of my Affliction DoTs will stop casting if I am facing the opposite direction and away from the mob while some won’t. I know I’ve added some /stopcasting macros to a few of my spells. However, I haven’t tried just a single one to see if it will give us a one button push for situations like that :) It did that in Beta and I wasn’t sure if it was just buggy or if it was the real mechanic. I’ll find out tonght!

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