Just like the Destruction guide, this guide will focus only on deep Demonology raiding (more specifically the Metamorphosis/Ruin raiding spec). I will not be covering any form of Felguard/Emberstorm, etc., hybrid specs at this time. A majority of my information comes from personal raiding experience, Warlock’s Den & Elitist Jerks threads as well as other raiding Warlock players who have experience with the Meta/Ruin spec.
As always, I like to make things as complete and accurate as possible. If you’d like to contribute information, please leave it in the comments and I’ll do my best to include it in this post (with credit of course). Questions and discussion is always welcome as long as it’s not an obvious troll comment.
Raiding as a Demonology Warlock is both a lot of fun and very rewarding but like most raiding specs, it doesn’t come without its flaws. Demonology requires a lot of pet management with the loss of your pet resulting in a significant decrease in your DPS output, but the end results are quite good if everything goes in your favor.
Outside of your Felguard, a lot of your damage output will come in one of two ways – Metamorphosis & the “Decimation Execute Phase”.
Metamorphosis (also known as “Meta”) is the 51-point Demonology talent put in place with patch 3.0. This talent will transform the Warlock in to a demon, increasing damage output by 20% and giving them access to new spells and abilities for the duration. Think of it as a 51-point “trinket with benefits”. The idea is to be in demon form as often as possible with the help of the new Nemesis talent which will reduce the cooldown to 2.1 minutes.
Decimation is a new Demonology talent added in patch 3.1. Any time your Shadowbolt or Incinerate spell damages a target at or below 35% health, the casting time of your next Soul Fire spell is reduced by 60% and the Soul Shard cost is removed. When your current raid boss is at or below 35%, this is what we refer to as the “Decimation Execute Phase”.
With the reduced cooldown of Metamorphosis, you should be able to use it once in the beginning of a fight, once in the middle and again in the end during the execute phase. If you notice you’re close to the execute phase, save your Meta cooldown until then.
-Great damage output with Metamorphosis.
-Simple & forgiving spell rotation.
-Increase DPS under 35% boss health from Decimation.
-Felguard provides stellar damage for a pet.
-Pet crits increase your raids spellpower by 10% of your spellpower.
-Pet death results in much lower DPS.
-Mistimed use of Metamorphosis tanks DPS.
-DPS outside of Metamorphosis uses or Decimation phases isn’t as competitive as other specs.
-Demonic Pact will not overwrite Totem of Wrath until you have 2800 spellpower (doable, but good luck!).
As long as you only spend 15 points in Destruction to pick up Ruin, you’ll have plenty of points to throw around in the Demonology tree to pick up Metamorphosis and a f ew gravy talents.
0-56-15 is the “hit capped” version of Meta/Ruin, opting not to take 3/3 Suppression in the Affliction tree for 3% hit. This version takes 5/5 Demonic Pact, maxes Molten Core for only 1/3 Improved Demonic Tactics. Demonic Pact is of no use to any Warlock that raids with an Elemental Shaman on their team (unless you have a stable 2800+ spellpower) but if you’d rather take some other talents, feel free to move them around. If you don’t have an Elemental Shaman on your team, it’s worth the 5 points IMO. This variation is the “max DPS” build, dropping Mana Feed (which isn’t really necessary for the most part), going 2/3 Molten Core which still gives plenty of proc chance and maxing out Improved Demonic Tactics.
3-53-15 is an alternate version, still giving you the 2 namesake talents but spending 3 points in the Affliction tree for Suppression to get a 3% hit increase. This variation takes the Demonic Pact talent which is good if you don’t raid with an Elemental Shaman, but if you do, here is an alternate version dropping Demonic Pact to max out Improved Demonic Tactics.
Regardless of spec, when it comes to raiding, minor glyphs are pretty terrible for us. Glyph of Drain Soul is really the only minor glyph that I’d say is mandatory. Personally, I use Glyph of Souls and Glyph of Unending Breath but really get little to no use out of either. Glyph of Souls is normally cast before boss pulls and it’s just as easy to Life Tap back up and get tossed a heal.
The 3 major slots will be filled depending on your gear leveling. The max DPS glyphs will be Immolate, Felguard and Life Tap if you have 4T7 for the set bonus. If not, I’d personally drop Life Tap for Glyph of Metamorphosis for extended time in demon form unless you can at least pick up 100 spellpower (500+ spirit) from the Life Tap proc.
Why Glyph of Immolate?
Immolate is a staple spell in your rotation and will also receive a boost in damage from steady Molten Core procs. Consistant damage is a great thing to have. (see comments for link to source information)
Why Glyph of Felguard?
As a Demonology Warlock, your Felguard is your pet of choice (for most encounters anyway) and provides you with a pretty significant chunk of damage. Increasing it’s AP by 20% is nothing to scoff at.
When should I switch to Glyph of Life Tap?
Without the 4-pc T7 bonus, you won’t be getting a lot of spellpower from this glyph. The average spirit count for a raiding Warlock is around 400-ish in Naxx gear, granting you about 80-ish spellpower. I’d wait until you can pick up at least 500 spirit or 4-pc T7.
Spell rotations for Meta/Ruin can come in a few different flavors depending on a few different things. It is also important to use Demonic Empowerment every cooldown but I will not be listing it in the rotation.
Normal spell rotation
Curse, Corruption, Immolate, Shadowbolt
Metamorphosis spell rotation
CoE*, Meta, (CoD/CoA), Immolation Aura**, Corruption, Immolate, Shadowbolt.
*If no one else in your raid is providing the +13% spell damage debuff, CoE is your primary curse. If you will be using CoE, use it before casting Meta as it will get no additional benefit from being in demon form and will waste a GCD worth of additional DPS. If someone else is keeping the debuff up, Curse of Doom should be next in line and should be used while in demon form for the boosted DPS. Finally, if you’re fishing for Molten Core procs or the target will die in less than 60 seconds, CoA should be the last choice and should also be used while in demon form for the additional damage boost.
**Immolation Aura is a significant source of damage and should be used if the encounter allows close quarter combat. Get used to casting at melee range if you don’t have to run in and out for Whirlwind phases, etc., and use this spell every single time you use Meta. If the encounter isn’t Immo-friendly (i.e. Heigan, Kel’Thuzad), leave it out but if the opportunity arises and you can fight in melee range, do it.
Decimation Execute Phase (35% health or less)
Curse, Corruption*, Shadowbolt x2**, Soul Fire, Shadowbolt x2, Soul Fire.
*I personally leave Immolate out of my rotation to get as many Soul Fire nukes in as possible. I leave Corruption in to fish for Molten Core procs unless I’m using CoA as my primary curse. In that case, I leave Corruption out altogether. This may change after more extensive testing to see if it’s worth keeping Immolate up or if it’s OK to drop it in favor of nuke spams.
**With Decimation not proccing until a spell hits the target, it is impossible to keep a steady 1 SB -> 1 SF rotation without standing in melee range and waiting half a second or so between casts. To play it safe and to avoid clipping your DPS, I recommend a 2 SB -> 1 SF rotation (aka a 2:1 rotation) but once you get more comfortable with your procs, you can start using a 1:1 in melee range.
Hit Rating is your #1 priority, hands down. You need to aim for 17% (446 hit rating) but that includes talents or buffs given by other players.
Suppression – +3%
Misery (Shadow Priest) – 3%
Improved Faerie Fire (Moonkin) – 3%
Heroic Presence (Draenei Racial Aura) – 1%
Misery & Improved Faerie Fire do not stack with each other. The Heroic Presence is not raid-wide so you will only get the benefit if you are in the same party.
If your raid constantly brings these classes, feel free to gear for as much hit as you need to reach 17% and then concentrate on other stats.
In order of importance – Hit Rating, Spellpower, Haste, Crit, Spirit, Intellect
Are you a Jewelcrafter?
Jewelcrafters can use up to 3 “prismatic gems” in their equipped gear. These gems act as every color and allow your meta to work without having to use blue gems. Having 3 Runed Dragons Eye is pretty sweet.
Need to gem for hit still?
Veiled Monarch Topaz if you just need a little, Rigid Dawnstone if you need a lot.
Runed Scarlet Ruby. Thats it. Pack ‘em in!
Head – Arcanum of Burning Mysteries (Revered Kirin Tor)
Shoulder – Master’s Inscription of the Storm (Inscribers only), Greater Inscription of the Storm (exalted Sons of Hodir), Lesser Inscription of the Storm (honored Sons of Hodir)
Chest – +10 stats, +8 stats, +15 spirit
Wrist – +30 spellpower, +23 spellpower
Hands – +28 spellpower
Belt – Eternal Belt Buckle
Legs – Brilliant Spellthread (or Tailoring-only equivalent), Shining Spellthread
Feet – Icewalker (hit/crit)
Rings – +19 spellpower (Enchanter-only)
Cape – Lightweave Embroider (Tailor-only), +23 haste
Weapon – +63 spellpower, +50 spellpower, +81 spellpower (to staff weapons only)
This guide will be under construction for a few days while I add links and edit/add information. Thanks in advance for being patient!