Demonology Warlock Guide
Current as of patch 5.4
- Gems and Enchants
- Racial Bonuses
- Talents and Rotations
- Grimoires & Pets
- Imp Swarm
- Level 90 Talents
- Demonic Fury Generation
- Single Target & Cleave
- AoE Rotation
- Fight Specific Analysis
This guide will try to collect everything related to PvE Demonology play, and present it in a quick but accurate layout. Everything in here is correct as far as I am aware, if you notice anything in here that is incorrect please bring it up so I can keep it updated .
Demonology is a spec that can give unparalleled control over damage and mobility, properlly used this spec can produce some of the top damage in a variety of scenarios. Your Primary pets, Wild Imps, Doomguard, Molten Core, Demonic Fury, and Dark Soul give you insane amounts of control on when and how you are doing damage.
If you are a person that generally enjoys have many powerful cooldowns and can plan out your fight ahead of time then I highly suggest that you give Demonology a try. Be aware though, that Demonic Fury is a relatively slow building resource, if you are the kind of player that plays mainly in the moment then I would suggest Affliction or Destro.
So one of the things that players generally want right away in a guide is a quick and simple run down of what stats to gear for. For Demonology this is basically impossible because our secondary stats are so close together that depending on what trinkets you are using, what talents, if you have four piece, of just the level of you gear that Crit, Mastery, and Haste can all rotate being your top stat.
Evrelia did a really good simcraft tutorial that you can view here: Link
Quick and simple stat guide:
Intellect > Hit > Mastery > Haste to 8097 > Crit > Haste
There are a variety of other Haste points you can get to, and depending on your race, proffessions, and ilvl there might be better choices.
UVLS Gearing (as of a 5.4 hotfix UVLS is not longer BiS, check the trinket list to know if you should still be using it):
Intellect > Hit > Mastery > Haste > Crit
This is our primary stat, everything we do scales with it.
Hit / Expertise
While some warlock specs (Affliction) can get away with not being hit capped, Demonology cannot. You need 15% or 5100 rating. With the release of MoP 1 point of Expertise is equal to 1 point of Hit.
Increases your crit chance by 1% every 600 rating. Soulfire now crits 100% of the time, and gains a damage increase based on your crit percentage, which makes this slightly less RNG then it used to be. Also, whenever Doom critically hits you spawn 1 Wild Imp that does good damage and will generate 50 fury over its duration.
Increases basically all of our pets damage and increases the damage of metamorphosis by a solid amount. Also increases the damage while we are in caster form by a small amount. Unlike cataclysm, in Mists of Pandaria none of our abilities snapshot mastery.
1% Pet damage: ~600 Rating
1% Caster form damage: ~600 Rating
1% Metamorphosis damage: ~200 Rating
Haste rating increases the speed we cast, the rate our DoTs tick, how fast our Primary pets gain energy, and also decrease the cooldown of Imp Swarm and Demonic Calling. Touch of chaos is at a 1s GCD and is not effected by haste. You will need 425 rating for 1% haste.
Some important haste points:
- 3036 - Extra tick of Doom
- 8097 - Extra tick of doom during Bloodlust / Meta gem proc
- 13153 - Extra tick of Doom
- 8064 - Extra tick of Shadowflame
- 14873 - Extra tick of Shadowflame
Haste will generally drop in value after hitting a breakpoint that includes both Doom and Shadowflame. Which breakpoint is best is going to depend on your ilvl and how much haste is naturally on your gear.
B. Gems and Enchants
*As Demonology warlocks, we have a lot of mobility and can probably get away without having a run speed enchant on our boots, but I wouldn't recommend doing so.
Meta Sinister Primal Diamond, Burning Primal Diamond Red Artful Vermilion Onyx Yellow Fractured Suns Radiance Blue Sensei's Wild Jade
At very low gear levels it might not be a good idea to gem Secondary over Int, however with the gear that is available at this time you shouldn't be in that gear range for very long.
C. Racial Bonuses
Generally for demonology you want trinkets that have a high value proc, over trinkets with a high passive stat. This is because you have so much control over your cooldowns and can place most of your damage in very small windows throughout the fight.
Left list is single target, right list is 3 targets. It is created using my gear in Simc build 540-3.
3. Talents and Rotation
A. Grimoires and Pets
For Demonology you basically only choose between the Grimoire of Supremacy and Grimoire of Service. In general Grimoire of Service is always slightly ahead of Supremacy, however the difference between the two is pretty small so if you don't want another cooldown to press you can get away with using Supremacy without much issue. Grimoire of Service does have a few perks to it however. On any fight with AoE having an extra Felstorm every two minutes is going to outweigh the 20% increased Felstorm from the Wrathguard. GoServ will also generate 60 fury over its duration, which is a huge help on the opener when you are going to be fury starved.
You should use Felguard in almost every case, however if you find that your pet is spending too much time traveling you can use a Succubus for a minimal DPS loss.
Doomguard and Infernal
Doomguard does not gain any casts from haste so when you use Bloodlust won't have an effect on when you want to use Doomguard. There are two ways you can use it, and either might be better. The first option is to use it right on the pull, you are guaranteed to have all of you trinkets and cooldowns effecting it on the pull so you will have the most consistent Doomguard with this option. The other option you have is using it sub 20%, I would only recommend this if the sub 20% phase is going to last at least a full minute and you'll use Dark Soul at some point during that period. It is a lot harder to time this well and will give you more inconsistent results, however if you time it right it may give more damage then just using it on the pull.
The majority of the damage that you will get from Infernal is from Infernal Awakening. In general you won't actually get much damage from the Infernal itself, maybe 200-300k. The damage of Infernal Awakening is buffed by Metamorphosis so you want to make sure you are in Meta when you cast it. If you have DS up you need to hit ~7-8 targets to equal the damage of Doomguard, if DS isn't up you will want ~15 targets.
B. Imp Swarm
For the most part the new Major Glyphs are not going to effect your damage at all, with the exception of Imp Swarm.
Without the Glyph of Imp Swarm you will passively gain the Demonic Calling buff every 20s, which will spawn one Imp. This will grant you 6 Imps \ 2 minutes.
With the glyph you will passively gain the Demonic Calling buff every 24s. This means you get 5 Imps \ 2 minutes. You also have the option to use Imp Swarm which instantly spawn 4 Imps, but then make it so you cannot gain the Demonic Calling buff for 2 minutes. This means by using the glyph you are instantly losing 1 imp \ 2 minutes by glyphing it. Actually using the Imp Swarm ability lowers this by another 1. However due to the fact that the cooldown of Imp Swarm is snapshoted the instant you cast it, you can 'game' the ability to some degree using it during haste procs. In 5.4 it is a DPS LOSS to be using Imp Swarm, however it is still a BURST DPS GAIN. Situationally you might want to use this if you need burst.
C. Level 90 Talents
In 5.4 this talent has been reworked significantly. It no longer is a damage reflect and instead modifies our main cooldown, Dark Soul. The talent now makes our Dark Soul cooldown have two charges. The main strength of the this talent comes from the fact you can now sit on a charge of Dark Soul and not get penalized for not using it until it hits its second charge. You 'can' just use it back to back, however I find that isn't optimal in most situations. This talent is strongest on single target fights, anything more then that and Mannoroth's Fury is most likely a better option.
In 5.4 this KjC no longer provides complete passive cast while moving with a snare. Instead it lets us cast our base fillers (Shadow Bolt for Demonology) while moving with no snare. Fel Flame is nearly the exact same damage, just at a higher mana cost. There is literally no scenario I can think of where we would take this talent anymore.
Mannoroth's Fury is going to feel like Demonology's bread and butter talent this tier. It no longer provides a passive AoE radius increase, and instead gives us a 1 minute cooldown that increases the damage of Hellfire and Immolation Aura by 100% and also increases their radius by 500%
Anything more then 2 targets sustained and this becomes a very solid damage increase to be using on cooldown. The biggest thing to remember when using this talent is that Immolation Aura is a far stronger ability and you will want to make sure you have the proper amounts of fury saved up for its use.
D. Fury Generation
Single target fury generation:
Soulfire 15 Fury/s Shadowbolt 10 Fury/s Fel Flame 10 Fury/s Hand of Gul'dan 8 Fury/s (Entire DoT) Legion Strike 2.5 Fury/s Corruption 2 Fury/s (36 Fury per cast) Wild Imps 2 Fury/s (50 Fury per Imp)
AoE fury generation:
Hellfire 10 Fury/s + 3 Fury/s per extra target
If you want a more detailed look at fury costs and gains you can use the following spreadsheet:
E. Single Target & Cleave
In general your single target rotation will follow this priority:
1. Dark Soul: Knowledge
2. Grimoire: Felguard if talented
3. Glyph of Imp Swarm if Glyphed
4. Summon Doomguard
5. Metamorphosis* during Cooldowns or Procs (Immolation Aura can be used at 3+ targets)
Corruption Ticking on all targets
7. Hand of Gul'dan** when you have 2 stacks
8. Felguard: Felstorm on CD unless there will be AoE opportunities
9. Soul Fire when MC is up***
10. Life Tap if below 50% mana (you want to keep high mana so you don't have to life tap as much under 25%)
11. Shadow Bolt
For a brief amount of time Fel Flame was a higher DPS filler then Shadow Bolt, however its mana cost has gotten nerfed to the point that is no longer the case. That said it is still a very solid mobility spell and we lose very minimal DPS from using it on the move.
Single target DPS as Demonology is very dependent on good cooldown management, try to stack as many cooldowns together as possible without delaying the use to the point where you might lose uptime on a fight.
*Metamorphosis - You want to plan to use your Demonic Fury when you have other damage increases like Dark Soul or trinket procs. With the t14 4pc you will basically spend the majority of your fury during Dark soul, with some extra fury for other trinket procs. This means that if you entered in meta during a proc that you should be canceling meta right as it ends to save fury for future procs.
**Hand of Guldan- The 'correct' way to use Hand of Gul'dan is to wait until there is less then 6s until you get 2 charges of HoG. You then want to use one charge, cast a few spells, and then clip shadowflame right before it runs out so you have ~5s of a one stack shadowflame, then 6s of a 2 stack
shadowflame. Doing this correctly will make Hand of Gul'dan out-preform Chaos Wave virtually always, and makes Chaos Wave pretty useless in PvE.
***Soul Fire - Using MC stacks correctly is a big part of making sure you are optimizing your damage as much as possible. You should be treating your Molten Core stacks like an additional resource that you use with other procs such as Trinkets, Engineer Gloves, Potions, ect. If you copy your stats into the following spreadsheet you'll get a better idea if you should be casting Soul Fire in Metamorphosis or Caster Form. A general rule of thumb would be if you are under 6k haste use your MC stacks in caster form, if you are over 6k haste use them in meta form.
E. AoE Rotation
Demonology AoE is very encounter specific and has a lot of different situational options. When encountering an AoE situation you need to figure out how long the targets will be up for, how often the adds might spawn and if you will run out of fury during the AoE.
Your AoE rotation will follow this priority:
1. Dark Soul: Knowledge
2. Grimoire: Felguard if talented
3. Glyph of Imp Swarm if Glyphed
4. Felguard: Felstorm on CD
1. Metamorphosis: Immolation Aura
2. Carrion Swarm if you are in Meta, and corruptions are at max duration (Recommend using the glyph)
3. Keep Metamorphosis: Doom Ticking on all targets. Under 8 Targets it needs to tick once, over 8 it should tick at least twice.
4. Chaos Wave If the targets will be alive under 10 seconds and you will not run out of fury for AoE
5. Use Metamorphosis: Void Ray is your filler AoE spell. Use it at 4+ targets. As of 5.4 it no longer refreshes corruption so you won't have free AoE corruption refreshes anymore.
If you have 4 piece tier 16 it is actually more dps over time to use ToC over void ray and hope for Chaos Wave procs. However, it is RNG and may or may not come out to be an increase on quick periods of AoE because of how unreliable it is.
1. Hand of Gul'dan - Double Stack like on single target if the targets will live long enough
I am keeping this chart for reference, as there may be times (4-5 targets) where you will want to just tab ToC instead of Void Ray to keep corruptions rolling.
# of Targets Time Needed 3 14s 4 18s 5 22s 10 42s 15 64s 20 84s
Damage from DoTs DO NOT automatically benefit from procs, you have to refresh them manually or update them with Touch of Chaos. This does mean that if your DoTs are already gaining damage from a previous proc, and you refresh via any method that your DoTs will lose the damage from that proc. I suggest using using the addon 'Affdots' for tracking DoT strength.
Corruption does not get any benefit from metamorphosis, however it does get a benefit from the caster form mastery. There is a slight delay upon leaving Metamorphosis where you don't have the caster mastery increase, so you do not want to cast corruption or hand of guldan directly after leaving meta.
Depending on the strength of you procs when you are casting Doom, you may want to consider double casting it to have a higher uptime of Doom + procs.
The damage of shadowflame is calculated upon being applied to the target, and not when HoG is cast. This means that you can enter meta after your second HoG, and shadowflame will be buffed with Meta.
At level 90 you gain the Pandemic passive. This allows you to refresh a DoT under 50% of its normal duration without losing DPS. For example: Corruption has a base duration of 18 seconds, this means you can refresh at under 9s and it will go to a maximum of 27s. I strongly recommend using the addon 'Affdots' for tracking DoT strength.
4. Fight Specific Guides
The Demonology discussion of 5.0 and the pre-patch is located here: http://www.mmo-champion.com/threads/...Week-Gear-List