Demonology Warlock DPS Guide
|This Demoology Warlock guide is primarily intended for use at level 90 in PvE environments and Raids. However, the some of the principals will still apply during the leveling process, so if you’re looking for advice on quickly leveling your Warlock, take a look at our Warlock Leveling Guide.
Other Warlock Guides:
If you want the same in-game step by step leveling guide that we use to get to level 90 as fast as possible, take a look at our favorite in-game leveling guide.
Demonology Warlock Talents
All three of these talents can be useful under varying circumstances.
- Dark Regeneration is an on demand heal that also increases the effectiveness of healing for a short while after, not a bad option.
- Soul Leech provides a constant healing effect as your spells deal damage, ideal for fights with consistent damage.
- Harvest Life is ideal for AoE situations, but not much else.
- The optimal choice for most encounters is Mortal Coil as it provides an additional heal effect.
- Howl of Terror and Shadowfury are both viable in situations that demand Crowd Control, but otherwise inferior.
- All three survivability mechanics are viable choices with perhaps Dark Bargain being the most interesting of the three in that it provides the most powerful survivability mechanic, but on the longest cooldown.
- Soul Link allows you to tank big hits on a more consistent basis, but also puts your pet at more risk of dying.
- Sacrificial Pact provides an absorption shield on a relatively short cooldown. A strong talent.
Pick whichever your find most useful in a specific encounter.
- Unbound Will is the most useful as it provides an invaluable debuff remover while the other two provide somewhat more situational benefits.
- Burning Rush could potentially be useful on movement heavy fights, not much else.
- Blood Fear seems rather useless for most encounters, or rather all of them.
- Grimoire of Supremacy has very competitive DPS and is a stable, easy choice.
- Grimoire of Service provides the highest damage at this time.
- Grimoire of Sacrifice provides decent damage, but is sub-optimal.
All three talents are viable in certain situations.
- Archimonde’s Vengeance is great for situations in which you expect to take large amounts of damage.
- Kil’Jaeden’s Cunning is ideal for movement heavy encounters.
- Mannoroth’s Fury is the optimal choice for AoE fights where you need extra range on your spells.
Major Demonology Glyphs
- Glyph of Demon Hunting
- Glyph of Dark Soul
- Glyph of Everlasting Affliction
- Glyph of Imp Swarm
- Glyph of Healthstone
- Glyph of Demonic Circle
- Glyph of Siphon Life
- Glyph of Soulstone
- Primary stat: Intelligence
- Secondary: Hit to 15% > Spellpower
- Weaker: Mastery = Crit > Haste
- Useless: Hit over 15%
Hit and expertise (including appropriate racial expertise from Human, Gnome, or Orc) combine to form your Spell Hit rating. Anything over 15% total is wasted.
Int is far and away your best stat, compared to Mastery/Crit/Haste, to the point where youi might want to skip gem socket bonuses and just gem for Int.
Reforging: Get your 15% Spell Hit. If a piece of gear already has Hit then reforge any other stat to Expertise. The two will add to form your total Spel Hit rating.
Stats are based on tier 14 gear, from SimCraft
In-Depth Rotation Guide:
Your rotation revolves around generating Demonic Fury and then expending it for maximum damage.
- Apply and maintain Corruption on your target at all times.
- Hand of Gul’Dan operates on a charge system and should be use whenever the spell is available and the target does not have the Shadowflame debuff.
- Cast Soul Fire whenever Molten Core procs.
- If none of the above are available use Shadow Bolt.
Once you’ve pooled Demonic Fury activate Metamorphosis. This should be done immediately after using Hand of Gul’Dan, refreshing Corruption and, if you have the Glyph, using Imp Swarm to generate the maximum amount of Demonic Fury possible prior to activating Metamorphosis.
- Throughout Metamorphosis you should seek to keep Doom active on your target. Touch of Chaos can be used to extend the duration of Corruption.
- Avoid using Soul Fire when Molten Core procs unless you have 2 stacks of the buff in which case you should use it once to avoid wasting a stack of Molten Core.
- Cast Chaos Wave on Cooldown.
- As a note, when you use Metamorphosis
- While in Metamorphosis use Immolation Aura and Doom on all targets, Chaos Wave, Void Ray and Carrion Swarm.
- If you have a Felguard/ Wrathguard active then use Felstorm.
- Dark Soul: Knowledge increases your mastery by 30% for 20 seconds. Use it on cooldown, ideally lining it up for when you can stay in Demon Form/ Metamorphosis for as long as possible.
- Summon Infernal and Summon Doomguard share a cooldown and therefore you will have to make a choice between the two depending on the encounter. The Infernal is superior for AoE encounters while the Doomguard is best used for single target DPS. Both last for 45 seconds with a cooldown of 10 minutes meaning it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to use them more than once or maybe twice at best during a single encounter. Note that Grimoire of Supremacy upgrades the Infernal into Summon Abyssal and the Doomguard into Summon Terrorguard.
- Life Tap is used to regain mana, however as it costs life both the passive effect of Grimoire of Sacrifice being active and a number of other survivability cooldowns can be used to counter the loss of health necessary to refill your mana pool.
- Unending Resolve reduces all damage taken by 40% and prevents your spells from being interrupted or silenced for 8 seconds on a 3 minute cooldown.
- Soul Shatter reduces all threat by 90% on a 2 minute cooldown.
Tier 1 Talented Abilities
- Soul Leech makes your Shadow Bolt, Soul Fire and Touch of Chaos spells heal you for 10% of the damage dealt.
- Harvest Life drains life from all enemies within 15 yards.
- Dark Regeneration instantly restores 30% of you and your pet’s maximum health and increases all healing received by 25% for 12 seconds. This ability has a 2 minute cooldown.
Tier 5 Talented Abilities
- While Grimoire of Sacrifice is active you regain 2% of your maximum health every 5 seconds, and the damage of Shadow Bolt, Soul Fire, Hand of Gul’Dan, Metamorphosis Melee, Wild Imps and Fel Flame is increased by 30%.
- Grimoire of Supremacy upgrades your demons into an improved form, increasing their damage by 20% and granting them improved versions of their abilities.
Demonology Warlock Gems
Gems with secondary stats have twice the value of gems with primary stats, so your Haste gems are 320 points and your Int gems are 160. This does give some reason to match socket bonuses, though we recommend only doing it if it’s for a nice Int bonus. You can use orange gems in yellow sockets and the purple one in the blue sockets if there is a socket bonus you really want. Once you have that 15% Spell Hit you won’t go wrong just gemming entirely for Int.
If you have the Engineering helm then the 600 points of Matery or Haste or Crit from a Tinker’s gear is better than the 160 Int from another gem.
Your Warlock bonus adds to any Int gem bonuses, making them worth 5% more Int. That bonus does not add to other stats.
|Gems for Demonologists|
|Meta||Burning Primal Diamond: +216 Int & 3% Increased Crit Effect|
|Red||Brilliant Serpent’s Eye: 320 Int, self-only Jewelcrafting gem
Brilliant Primordial Ruby: 160 Int
|Yellow||Quick Sun’s Radiance: +320 Haste
Fractured Sun’s Radiance: +320 Mastery
Smooth Sun’s Radiance: +320 Crit
|Orange||Potent Vermilion Onyx: +80 Int & +160 Crit
Reckless Vermilion Onyx: 80 Int, 160 Haste
Artful Vermilion Onyx: +80 Int & +160 Mastery
|Purple||Veiled Imperial Amethyst: 80 Int and 160 Hit|
|Prismatic||Brilliant Primordial Ruby: 160 Int|
|Cogwheel||Quick Tinker’s Gear: 600 Haste
Smooth Tinker’s Gear: 600 Crit
Fractured Tinker’s Gear: 600 Mastery
Demonology Warlock Enchants
If you want to buy the best enchants, fund all of your alts, donate to the guild, etc., but don’t have the cash, then see what the Tycoon Addon can do about about improving that situation.
Helm enchants are gone in Mists of Pandaria, shoulder enchants are all from the Inscription profession. Some enchants listed will require a high level of skill in the appropriate profession. Blacksmithing sockets are in addition to the regular enchants, the other profession enchants replace the regular enchants.
As with gems your Warlock bonus adds to any Int bonuses.
|Weapon||Enchant Weapon – Jade Spirit: Sometimes increases Int by 1650|
|Shoulders||Secret Crane Wing Inscription: 520 Int and 100 Crit rating, Requires Inscription 550.
Greater Crane Wing Inscription: +200 Int and 100 Crit
|Cloak||Enchant Cloak – Superior Intellect: +180 Int
Lightweave Embroidery – attacks can give 2k Int for 15 sec, requires tailoring
|Chest||Enchant Chest – Glorious Stats: +80 to all stats|
|Bracers||Enchant Bracer – Super Intellect: +170 Int
Fur Lining increases Int by 500, requires leatherworking.
Socket Bracer – Pop in a gem, requires Blacksmithing 400
|Gloves||Enchant Gloves – Greater Haste: +170-Haste
Socket Gloves – Pop in a gem, requires Blacksmithing 400
|Belt||Livingsteel Belt Buckle: Gem slot for a nice Int gem|
|Leggings||Greater Cerulean Spellthread: +285 Int and +165 Crit|
|Boots||Enchant Boots – Greater Precison: +175 Hit rating
Enchant Boots – Pandaren’s Step: +140 Mastery, slight run speed increase.
Enchant Boots – Greater Haste: +170 Haste
|Rings||Enchant Ring – Greater Intellect: +160 Int, Requires Enchanting 550|
Professions for Demonology Warlocks
All of the professions provide some benefit for Warlocks of any spec, though clearly some are better than others. Even the gathering professions have some value, though you might be better served by using those to build a larger gold stash.
Gems with secondary stats (Haste, etc.,) have double the value of those with primary stats (Int, etc.) Depending on how the exact stat values work out this may put Blacksmithing ahead of the others.
|Tailoring||Cloak enchant sometimes adds 2k Int., can also make some of your epic gear, assuming you can get the mats.|
|Leatherworking||Bracer enchant adds 500 int.|
|Jewelcrafting||Make nicer gems for your own use.|
|Enchanting||Enchant both rings, for a total +320 Int gain.|
|Inscription||Shoulder enchant adds 520 Int and 100 crit.|
|Alchemy||Lots of useful potions. More effect and duration from your own potions. Adds 320 Int and an extra hour to your main flask.|
|Engineering||has lots of interesting toys, some of which have situational use, and Synapse Springs, which increases Int by 1940 for a short time. If you take this use a macro to activate it along with other short term buffs.|
|Blacksmithing||gives two extra gems slots, this provides a bit more stat versatility.|
|Skinning||provides 480 crit rating|
|Herbalism||Small heal and 2880 Haste for 20 seconds, very nice.|
Demonology Warlock Races
Ok, there aren’t any race choices that are specifically good for Demonology, other than Orcs, so go Undead. If nothing else they look the part.
Best Horde? Undead, just for the feel of it. You want efficiency? Orc (blood fury, expertise, and pet damage) or Troll (berserk.)
Best Alliance? Gnome, for the Mana, expertise, and excape; Human for the expertise and escape.
Pandarens will not be able to become Warlocks.
- Orc- Big, green, massive… Maybe they should use a big axe instead of a wand?
- Blood Fury increases melee and spell damage, the latter of which suits Warlocks just fine. Drop this into a macro with your opener.
- The increased pet damage (on command) makes the Orc one of the better Warlock races.
- The decreased stun duration is nice for PvP and might have some rare PvE utility.
- Orc expertise applies to wands, so you will get +1 to Spell Hit if using a wand.
- Undead- What’s better for demon summoning and Affliction then being already dead?
- Underwater Breathing is dead in Mists of Pandaria
- Will of the Forsaken is a nice PvP skill (anything that breaks Fear, etc is a nice PvP skill) and it can break a few PvE mechanics.
- Touch of the Grave drains life and heals you for the same amount, which will have occasional small utility.
- Blood Elf- Can a magically addicted elf make a good Warlock? What do you think?
- Arcane Torrent is a nice spell interrupt with some PvP utility, but since it’s melee range and you don’t want to be in melee range… Well ok, they look good. A truly devastating Warlock Ability. Really.
- Hmmm… Increased casting speed, when Berserk, is very nice.
- More damage vs beasts is very nice for leveling and some PvE encounters.
- Ranged Expertise is a pretty useful ability since your spells can now be dodged.
- Reduced duration of movement impairing effects (Da Voodoo Shuffle) might have some occasional use.
- Goblins - Hmmm… they sell everything else, why not their souls? They’d probably make a great deal on it.
- Goblins can Rocket Launch forward, which might be a nice escape ability.
- Increased Haste is nice in end-game raiding since Haste is a good stat for you.
- Human – A decent Warlock race for PvP, nothing much for PvE.
- The Human Diplomacy skill will allow for more rapid faction gain and
- The escape ability is nice for PvP and a few PvE mechanics.
- Gnome – Tech and Demons, together again? Why would a Gnome be a Warlock?
- Gnomes get an increased mana pool and
- their escape ability might break some mechanics.
- Dwarf – Various Dwarf factions have put away their differences and joined forces after the Cataclysm and that’s where the Warlocks are infiltrating…er… coming from. This probably explains the things crawling around in the shadows of Ironforge.
- Stone Form is a nice PvP talent, and occasionally useful elsewhere, since it washed bleeds and effects and reduces some damage.
- Ranged Expertise is useful since your spells can now be dodged.
- Worgen- Fur, fleas, snuffling… But they certainly look the part.
- Can periodically move quickly, which is quite useful
- An increased crit chance is nice, but Crit isn’t a great stat for you.
Note that if you cold be a Pandaren you wouild get twice the food buff, but since you can’t be one you won’t get it. Sorry. Doesn’t mean you can’t eat that yummy Pandaran cooking for that 300 Int, though.
All food buffs last one hour. Alchemists get about 30% more effect and an extra hour from Flasks and Elixirs.
- Flask of the Warm Sun: 1,000 Int for an hour.
- Potion of the Jade Serpent: 4k Int for 25 seconds. If you pop one immediately before combat you will be able to pop another during combat.
- Master Healing Potion: Heals 60k HP
- Master Mana Potion: About 30k Mana
Faster Warlock Leveling
Are you working on your Demonology Warlock to reach the end-game raids? Already there and leveling another class/spec? Need yet another 90 in your group? With thousands of quests and a few bazillion mobs to grind the trip to top level can take a while. A long while, even if you’re done it before.
There’s an easy solution which will speed up your leveling, by a lot: an in-game leveling guide, Zygor’s Guide, almost automates the whole leveling path for your ‘lock, regardless of which level you start from. You still have to play the game, of course, but the “where to go and what to do” part is neatly taken care of. You’ll never wonder what to do next, which makes the trip to 90 a whole lot easier.
Pick your starting point and Zygor will show you exactly where to go, what to do, and the best order to do it in. It automatically updates and advances as you complete tasks and quests, sets a waypoint arrow automatically (always showing you where to go next,) and includes all the important quest info. You will probably never need to look at your quest log again, much less stop mid-play to browse some website.
Zygor’s is always quickly updated for all patches and expansions and includes some nifty extras, such as an in-game talent advisor and more. Grab your copy here and get leveled fast, or read our Zygor review first.
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