Demonology Warlock Guide (5.4.7)
This guide is written mainly for players new to playing demonology in arenas / PvP. I want to thanks Polygonzz cause he helped me a lot understanding this spec.
Demonology is different from both affliction & destro because it uses an alternative resource named « demonic fury » very similar to warrior’s rage. Demonology is a burst spec, basically you have to generate demonic fury in human form to be able to burst in metamorphosis form.
- Strong burst with Dark soul.
- You mostly use instant cast spells, no risks of being interrupted.
- You have a stun (Axe Toss) and a knockback (Carrion Swarm)
- Your damage in metamorphosis is physical, that means you can burst through Anti magic-shield, cloak of shadows, diffuse magic…
- You can be a flag carrier in RBG ! (However feral druids & monks will perform better due to their high mobility)
- Very low sustained damage outside of dark soul. This spec relies too much on dark soul to score kills.
- Your damage is physical in metamorphosis, a smart paladin will use Hand of Protection to counter your burst, a smart rogue will use glyph of cloak of shadows…
Level 15 : Dark Regeneration
You want to pick dark regeneration and macro it with your glyphed healthstone. This macro will be your « panic button » when you’re unable to teleport/gate to avoid incoming burst damage.
Level 30 : Mortal Coil
You want to pick mortal coil cause shadowfury DR with your wrathguard/felguard’s Axe Toss and demonic breath is useless.
Level 45 : Soul Link
When playing with a felguard/wrathguard as main pet you want to pick Soul link because this pet got a large HP pool, this talent also scales pretty well with the glyph of eternal resolve, resilience and nether plating.
If you play with an imp as main pet you're obliged to pick dark bargain instead of soul link, imp is our pet with the smallest hp pool (only 200k hp), if you play soul link with an imp he'll always die. You'll use dark bargain to counter major burst cooldowns of your opponents when you're unable to teleport/gate.
To know when to play with a Felguard/Wrathguard or an Imp as main pet see the pet choice section.
Sacrificial pact is useless due to the fact that it doesn't ignore battle fatigue.
Level 60 : Blood Horror or Unbound Will
In arenas, you’ll use blood horror against meleecleaves and Unbound Will against castercleaves.
Notice that Blood Horror can be grounded or spell reflected so you’ll need a cancelaura macro for blood horror. (see macro section)
If you successfully horrify a melee with blood horror then you can fear him without any risks of being interrupted. This will allow your healer to breathe.
Be careful when using Unbound Will, It’ll trigger spells that have a dispell protection such as Unstable Affliction.
Burning rush is the best choice for flag carrying in RBG. If your role is to dps in RBG, it’ll be better to play with Unbound Will+double damage trinkets (even for non-humans).
Level 75 : Grimoire of Supremacy or Service
Pick grimoire of supremacy if you don't have mortal strike on your team in 3v3 (25% reduce healing debuff) you'll play with the wrathguard to bring this debuff to your team, otherwise pick grimoire of service to summon an additional Imp or Felguard during your dark soul burst.
Notice that you always want to use Grimoire of Service during your burst cause your additional pet will benefit from the mastery boost of Dark Soul : Knowledge.
You can use Service to summon an additional Imp that will add some very good extra damage (40-60k crits with the demon training glyph).
You can also use service to summon an extra Felguard that'll instantly stun your target with Axe Toss and then use Felstorm. The Felguard does less damage than the imp but the stun can come handy sometimes.
To know what
Level 90 : Archimonde's Darkness
You’ll be able to burst more often with this talent. Always try to sync dark soul with your surge of dominance proc otherwise your burst will be significantly weaker. I recommend you to use an addon like Weakauras or ExtraCD to track your Insignia of dominance Internal Cooldown.
Glyphs choice when playing with a Felguard/wrathguard as main pet and Grimoire of Supremacy :
Glyphs choice when playing with Grimoire of Service: Imp or an Imp as main pet :
- Glyph of Imp Swarm (Mandatory) : Their main purpose is to quickly generate a lot of fury. They will allow you to burst in the arena opener without having to worry about your demonic fury bar.
- Glyph of Demon training : Mandatory when playing with an Imp as main pet or when you play with grimoire of Service and want to summon an additional Imp for extra damage. Your Imp damage will be significantly weaker without this glyph.
- Glyph of Eternal Resolve (Highly recommended) : 10% damage reduction will make you more tanky and it scales very well with soul link, resilience and nether plating.
- Glyph of Healthstone (recommended) : Great synergy with dark Regeneration talent. Macro them together. However when you are playing with Grimoire of Service and want to summon an Imp for extra burst damage will be a better glyph.
About Glyph of Fear : This glyph becomes mandatory when you play with a hunter, it'll allow him to trap off fears.
About Glyph of demon hunting : Imho this glyph doesn’t fit the demo playstyle very well because when you come out of Dark Apotheosis form you lose all the demonic fury you generated. Also in RBG, If you carry the flag in dark apotheosis form, you’ll get the tank debuff.
Stats Priorities / Gearing / Enchants / Gemming / Reforge / professions / Best races
Stats priorities :
6% hit > Intellect > Mastery > Crit > Haste
Mastery is your most valuable stat after intellect, 600 mastery = +1% damage in metamorphosis.
Then it’s crit cause you want those 100k touch of chaos crits that can win you games.
Haste is pointless as demo.
You’ll pick all the Prideful Gladiator’s five set and the following offpieces with mastery :
Neck – Prideful Gladiator’s Pendant of Cruelty
Back – Prideful Gladiator's Drape of Prowess
Wrists – Prideful Gladiator’s Cuffs of Prowess
Waist – Prideful Gladiator’s Cord of Cruelty
Feet – Prideful Gladiator’s Treads of Cruelty
Head - None
Shoulders – 200 Int / 100 Crit
Back – Ligthweave Embroidery or 180 int
Chest – 80 to all Stats
Wrist – 180 Int
Hands – 170 Mastery
Waist– Living Steel Belt Buckle
Legs – 285 Int / 165 Crit
Feet – 140 Mastery / Run Speed
Main Hand Weapon – Jade Spirit or Spirit of Conquest
Offhand Weapon – 165 Int
Put 320 mastery gems everywhere, except in your gloves and belt where you’ll put green +160 mastery and 160 hit gems in the blue slot cause you want to get the socket bonuses with intellect. Pick the metagem with 216 int and 3% Increased critical effect.
Reforge for 6% hit then mastery. If you struggle with reforging, you can install the addon reforgelite and use it with the stats priorities I’ve gave you above.
Best Professions :
Human : tailoring for ligthweave embroidery (2k int proc) + any prof that gives a passive intellect bonus, alchemy is the cheapest one to level since it only requires you to level it to 300 to get the 320 int flask.
Non-human : engineering for synapse springs (2k int on-use) + tailoring
Best races :
Alliance : Human is the best, their burst is stronger with double damage trinkets. Also they got an expertise bonus for playing with 1h swords that allow them to reforge a bit more hit into mastery.
Horde : Orc is the best for the blood fury racial that you can add in your burst macro (see macro section) for more burst. Also the 15% stun duration reduction from hardiness is nice and with the Command racial you get a flat +2% dmg dealt by your pets.
How to generate demonic fury in human form ?
Hand of gul’dan is your highest priority (don’t let it sit at 2 charges) then keep corruption / doom up. As a filler you basically just fel flame or soul fire if you get a molten core proc. If 3+ targets are around you Hellfire becomes your main filler, this AOE will quickly generate a big amount of fury if it hits multiple targets.
About curses, use enfeeblement if you aren’t going for a kill and elements just before your dark soul burst.
Notice that you’ll never use shadow bolt cause its cast time is too long and you don’t want to be locked on your shadow school.
How to burst as demo with Dark soul ?
You need to use your abilities in that order for an optimal burst :
See the macro section for the burst macro.
During metamorphosis burst you’ll only use two damage abilities :
Touch of Chaos : Your metamorphosis version of shadowbolt, it’s your most cost efficient damage ability (only 40 fury), and it has a 1 sec GCD so you can spam it like a niggah with an AK-47.
Doom : Your metamorphosis version of corruption, a slow-ticking, big hitting DoT. Apply this once you’ve dealt your burst with Touch of Chaos to ensure you maintain pressure after your metamorphosis ends.
You should never use chaos wave, immolation aura and auras of elements/enfeeblement unless you have 700+ demonic fury and your opponents are clustered together. These abilities are not cost efficient at all !
PS : Void Ray is useless.
Pet Choice :
In BG/RBG : Use Imp as a main pet with grimoire of service: Imp.
For dueling : Use Felguard as a main pet with grimoire of service: Imp for extra damage. Double felguard can be nice against melee.
For 2s arenas :Use Felguard as a main pet with grimoire of service: Imp, however if your team lack burst but can still maintain CC (e.g demo/frostmage) use Imp as a main pet with grimoire of service: Imp.
For 3s arenas : If your team needs Mortal strike pick Wrathguard as a main pet with grimoire of supremacy . Otherwise use Felguard with Grimoire of service : Imp. You can even play with an Imp as a main pet with grimoire of service: Imp if your comp can still maintain CC but lacks burst.
Some basic arenas tips :
The first thing you should be doing in the opener is to get your surge of dominance proc then use your dark soul burst on the kill target with an initial CC chain on the enemy healer. Then, wait for your insignia of dominance ICD to come back and try to score a kill with your second charge of dark soul and another CC chain on the healer.
There is a common misconception that demo locks cannot burst in the opener cause they need to generate demonic fury. Actually, you can burst right at the start of the arena thanks to your imp swarm, these little bastards will give you enough demonic fury for a good dark soul burst with a lot of ToC spamming. So don't worry about your demonic fury bar in the opener.
However, If your Imp swarm is not available for your next dark soul burst then you need around 400 demonic fury to 100-0% someone. If your target is not at 100% hp when you start bursting you’ll obviously need less demonic fury to kill it.
Between two dark souls you should use your peels for your teamates mainly by spamming fears and applying aura of enfeeblement on the dps. Remember that demo sustained damage is low so you must use your peels to avoid counter-pressure from the enemy team.
When specced into GoServ don’t forget that you can stun your kill target with your service felgard’s Axe Toss and cross-cc another target with your regular felguard's Axe toss.
Also about CCs, In Z-axis Maps (blade’s edge, dalaran sewers) your Carrion swarm (knockback) is useful to bump people in a bad spot. For example, you can bump an healer out of the line of sight of his teamates.
You should communicate a lot with your dps teamate to synchronize your burst.
For example, if you are playing with a shadowpriest you should synchronize your dark soul burst with a 3 orbs devouring plague or a 2 orbs+mind blast into devouring plague.
Viable setups :
Frostmage / demo lock (petskill ran it to 2.3k)
Boomy / demo lock
Rsham / demo lock
Shadowplay : demo lock / shadow priest / restoration shaman (Dreamexicray ran it to 2.5k)
LSD : demo lock /elemental shaman / restoration druid
Hld : Hunter/demo/rdruid (Eviaax ran it to 2.4k)
Demo /enhance /Rdruid (Sosseri ran it to 2.3k)
Comps strategies :
If you are experienced with a demo lock comp, you are free to share your strategies :)
demo/enhance/rdruid by Sosseri :
Hunter/Demo/Rdruid (HLD) by Eviaax :
Being a flag carrier in RBG :
How to quickly bring a flag back to your base ? :
Use Burning rush and healthstone if necessary.
Use your demonic leap on cooldown every 10 secs.
How to defend the flag in Warsong gulch ? :
Put your demonic circle on the roof of the flag room and stay there, the walls provide great protection to break line of sight and you can use your carrion swarm (knockback) to bump your opponents to the ground of the flag room. If the roof is getting too hot just jump down, this will force your opponents to follow you, then port back up.
Tip : If you jump from the roof you can leap to the balcony during your fall.
How to defend the flag in Twin Peaks ? :
Put your demonic circle on the balcony of the flag room and stay there. You'll try to bump your opponents to the ground of the flag room, you can also howl/fear them pretty easily since the balcony is very small. If the balcony is getting too hot just jump down to the flag room, this will force your opponents to follow you, then port back up.
About Deepwind gorge :
Demo lock is the best cart carrier for Deepwind Gorge, when players carries a cart they are limited to 100% of their run speed so monks & feral druids are useless. However, demo locks can still use demonic leap every 10 secs so they'll bring back the cart to their base faster than any other class (except maybe warriors).
Hope you'll enjoy reading this guide, constructive feedback is appreciated.