*With 3.1 on the horizons, I will be making an entirely new Demonology 3.1 post in the future, so stay tuned. I’d rather make a new post than go back and edit, etc.*
Demonology has always been the underdog spec for PVE Warlocks. It’s primary focus was survivability while relying on your pet to dish out damage along side you – think Beast Mastery for Hunters. You passed up the insane burst damage of Destruction and the mobility of Affliction for a better chance at surviving to kill another day.
Pre-BC, Demonology was solely a PVP spec for Soul Link + Felhunter for damage mitigation and magic resistance. In TBC it was the primary leveling spec for any 50+ Warlock until 70 when they would usually respec Affliction or Destruction. What held Demonology back from being a great raiding spec was the poor scaling of our pets, a lot of the raid encounters being not-so-pet friendly and a lot of people not being fans of micromanaging their pets in favor of using Demonic Sacrifice as a DPS booster.
In TBC, there were a few of us who made Demonology raiding work with 2 pieces of T5 and the Voidstar Talisman or by opting to skip the Felguard in favor of Ruin with a 0-40-21 spec but we still suffered from poor pet scaling and there were more than enough not-so-pet friendly encounters.
For the most part, Demonology was still considered a “solo” spec with most Warlocks opting to spam Shadowbolts in a 0-21-40 spec to “skillfully” top DPS meters. We’re all victims of that spec, I’m sure .
With WOTLK (or 3.0) brings Metamorphosis. At the moment it remains a 51-point trinket, providing a 20% boost in damage for 30 seconds on a 3 minute cooldown. Outside of the damage boost you’ll also have an armor and melee resilience boost as well as a duration reduction of snare/root mechanics.
While in Demon Form we gain access to specific spells but you’ll rarely use them. Cleave hits like wet newspaper & the AoE taunt is too situational as is Charge (outside of PVP for a cheap spell interrupt or a stun at least). Immolation Aura is good for AoE if you combine it with Hellfire/Rain of Fire/Seed of Corruption but is also very situational. Shadowbolt Volley was taken away in the beta but hopefully it comes back *crosses fingers*.
In a nutshell, what I’m trying to say is “Don’t base your spell rotation on Metamorphosis”. Use it like a trinket and go back to spamming spells while you and your Felguard smash things. Ignore the Demon-only spells (for the most part) and enjoy your 30 seconds of additional damage.
- Demonic Brutality (Formerly Improved Voidwalker) – Outside of it’s original features, now increases Felguard’s Demonic Frenzy stacking buff by 3% for each stack. This boosts it from +50% AP to +80% AP fully stacked.
- Improved Succubus – In addition to it’s previous effects, it now makes Seduction an instant cast which is pretty stellar for PVP.
- Improved Health Funnel – In addition to it’s previous effect, it now reduces the amount of damage your pet takes by 15% while Health Funnel is channeled. Go go Felguard tank!
- Demonic Empowerment – Increases Felguard’s attack speed by 20% and makes him immune to stun, snare and root for 15 seconds (also removes them). 1 minute cooldown. Different effect for all pets.
- Fel Synergy – 2 point talent granting your pet 10% of your armor, intellect and stamina. Your pet is also healed for 15% of all damage you deal, acting like a free T5 2-set bonus.
- Demonic Empathy – 3 point talent. Each time you or your pet crit, the other has the damage of their next 3 spells/abilities increased by 3%. Lasts 15 seconds.
- Demonic Pact – 5 point talent granting your party/raid 10% of your total spellpower for 12 seconds whenever your pet crits.
- Improved Demonic Tactics – 3 point talent increasing your pets critical strike chance by 30% of your critical strike chance.
- Metamorphosis – 3 minute cooldown with a 30 second duration. The Warlock assumes a Demon Form, increasing their armor by 600%, damage output by 20%, grants an additional 6% melee resilience and reduces the duration of all stun and snare effects by 50%. The Warlock also gains access to Demon Form-specific spells (charge, cleave, AoE taunt and AoE fire aura).
There are a few things to consider when picking your talent points. This post covers the PVE aspect of Demonology but if you play on a PVP server or PVP a lot, Improved Succubus should be taken in to consideration. Most of the PVE Locks (myself included) tend to use their Felguard 90% of the time and if you want to maximize his DPS, you might want to consider dumping the 3 points in to Demonic Brutality for the additional Demonic Frenzy boost.
Personally, I went for a Metamorphosis/Ruin build and plan on staying the same in 3.1, swapping out some points to pick up Decimation and Nemesis.
With the addition of Demonic Pact, other casters should welcome you to their raids with open arms. There are also talents that synergize well with each other such as Fel Vitality & Demonic Knowledge or Demonic Empathy, Demonic Pact, Demonic Tactics & Improved Demonic Tactics. More crit for you and your pet = more Demonic Pact and Demonic Empathy procs for both of you just like more Stamina and Intellect for your pet = more Spellpower for you (in turn giving your Felguard more AP). All of these talents work together.
What stats should I shoot for?
Spell Hit (6% for 5-man dungeons, 17% for raids), Spellpower, Crit, Haste, Intellect, Spirit. Stamina used to be a big stat to shoot for since it was a survivability spec but there is enough stamina on most gear that it’s not really an issue anymore in WOTLK. Take what you can get but don’t gear for it. Crit is better than haste since haste doesn’t scale with pets and crits proc talents.
What Glyphs Should I Use?
Major: Felguard, Immolate, Curse of Agony
A lot of Warlocks use Curse of Doom on longer boss fights and if you’re one of them, maybe swap out the CoA glyph for Corruption. Just keep in mind that if you spec in to Molten Core that CoA provides additional proc opportunities.
Minor: Souls, Drain Soul, anything else appealing (I use Unending Breath)
Some things I’d like to address in Part 2:
- When to pop Metamorphosis. Is it best to pop before you apply CoA, Corruption and Immolate, thus cutting in to your direct damage time to boost their damage -or- should you apply DoTs first for maximum burst potential?
- Just how weak is Meta’s melee and why should we avoid using it?
- Meta + trinket macros.
- Spell rotations.
- Important stats.