- Author: Zephan
- Date: July 9, 2022
- Expansion: WotLK Classic
Demonology Warlocks have a lot of choices that they have to make when it comes to talents. There are builds that are focussed on bringing the most possible support to the raid, while there are others focused on dealing damage with your pet or even a hybrid spec that goes into the destruction tree to rain down the ultimate fire damage from above. There also are a lot of talents that seem great at first glance but end up not being quite as great if we take a second look. In this section of the guide, we will be going over all the essential talents, what they do and what the options are.
The Hybrid Demonology spec doesn’t provide any raid support but does have more single-target DPS. It should also be noted that it has less AoE throughput due to missing out on Metamorphosis which provides Immolation Aura and Shadow Cleave. The specialization also tends to fall behind the better gear becomes available.
That being said there are two slight variations when it comes to the Hybrid builds, the first and most common one talents into conflagrate, which means you won’t be able to get your Felguard. Instead, you buff out your Imp to help you rain down fire damage. The other variation you do get your Felguard, however, this does mean you do not get to use conflagrate.
It should be noted that the Yellow Offensive Options change a lot based on the choice of Conflagrate vs Felguard. If you go Conflagrate and use Imp then Mana Feed, Improved Imp, Demonic Power, and of course Conflagrate become mandatory. In the case of Felguard, the same happens to Demonic Brutality and Summon Felguard.
Mandatory and optimal
The following is a summary of all the most important talents, what they do and why you should have them, or what choices you have.
- Increases your total Stamina by 10%.
Not only does this increase our health pool and that of our pet, but it also indirectly increases our spell power amount through Demonic Knowledge. Depending on your gear level this can make up a difference of 20 to 30 spell power, aside from the added survivability.
- Increases the effectiveness of your Voidwalker‘s Torment, Consume Shadows, Sacrifice and Suffering spells by 30%, and increases the attack power bonus on your Felguard‘s Demonic Frenzy effect by 3%.
- When active, 20% of all damage taken by the caster is taken by your Imp, Voidwalker, Succubus, Felhunter, Felguard, or enslaved demon instead. That damage cannot be prevented. Lasts as long as the demon is active and controlled.
Whilst sharing the burden of incoming damage is nice on its own, we mostly take this talent to unlock other talents further down the tree.
- Grants both the Warlock and the summoned demon an effect as long as that demon is active.
Felguard – Increases all damage done by 5%, and reduces all damage taken by 5%.
As a “normal” Demonology Warlock we predominantly use our Felguard, this talent causes us to deal 5% extra damage when we have this big bad demon around. The Hybrid Demonology build that utilizes the Imp instead gains 5% extra fire damage and 5% crit chance with fire spells.
- Increases the duration of your Immolate by 9 sec, and you have a 12% chance to gain the Molten Core effect when your Corruption deals damage. The Molten Core effect empowers your next 3 Incinerate or Soul Fire spells cast within 15 sec.
Incinerate – Increases damage done by 18% and reduces cast time by 30%.
Soul Fire – Increases damage done by 18% and increases critical strike chance by 15%.
This is one of the first big impactful talents for Demonology Warlocks. This talent increases the value of your damage over time abilities. Increasing the duration of your Immolate along with causing your Corruption to have a chance to proc a powerful buff.
The Molten Core buff makes it so that you swap out your normal filler spell Shadow Bolt for Incinerate (or Soul Fire during Decimation). This makes the gameplay this tad bit more engaging and fun thanks to the switch-up in the rotation.
- Grants the Warlock’s summoned demon Empowerment.
Felguard – Increases the Felguard‘s attack speed by 20% and breaks all stun, snare and movement impairing effects and makes your Felguard immune to them for 15 sec.
Getting our Felguard out of snares and the like is cool, but having him go ham with his axe is even cooler. We want to be using this ability as quickly and as often as possible, there is no reason to save this cooldown for any movement impairment that there might potentially be. The Hybrid Demonology build that utilizes the Imp instead gains 20% crit chance for their Imp for the following 30 seconds.
- Increases your spell damage by an amount equal to 12% of the total of your active demon’s Stamina plus Intellect.
- Increases melee and spell critical strike chance for you and your summoned demon by 10%.
Big Fat numbers cause a grin on all of our faces. So why not more of them? All kidding aside this is quite a significant boost in our DPS along with that of our pet.
- When you Shadowbolt, Incinerate or Soul Fire a target that is at or below 35% health, the cast time of your Soul Fire spell is reduced by 40% for 10 sec. Soul Fires cast under the effect of Decimation cost no shard.
This talent provides Demonology Warlocks with a finisher to use during the execute phase. And without a doubt the most fun one there is, spamming Soul Fire at insane speeds, free of the cost of Soul Shards. It should be noted that during Decimation if you get Molten Core you keep spamming Soul Fire instead of Incinerate. Also, you can snipe this buff from low-health adds if there are any.
The more Metamorphosis we can fit into an encounter, the more burst, the more AOE damage thanks to immolation aura and shadow cleave, and the more throughput we will have in total. The same goes for Demonic Empowerment when it comes to our demon friend.
- Increases your spell damage by 10%, and your pet’s criticals apply the Demonic Pact effect to your party or raid members. Demonic Pact increases spell power by 10% of your Spell Damage for 45 sec. This effect has a 20 sec cooldown. Does not work on Enslaved demons.
Hands down, one of the most impactful talents when it comes to Demonology Warlocks and what makes them who they’re in Wrath of the Lich King. Demonic Pact provides the biggest spell power buff to the raid, and it scales with the amount of spell power the Demonology Warlock has. This affects how you gear, how you play (recall pet twisting), procs you want to keep track of, etc…
- You transform into a Demon for 30 sec. This form increases your armor by 600%, damage by 20%, reduces the chance you’ll be critically hit by melee attacks by 6% and reduces the duration of stun and snare effects by 50%. You gain some unique demon abilities in addition to your normal abilities. 3 minute cooldown.
Aside from Demonic Pact being one of the (if not THE) biggest, reason Demonology Warlock is brought to a raid, Metamorphosis is definitely the most fun ability. Changing yourself into a demon finally being able to talk with our demons in their native tongue. Not only do we look kinda like Illidan we also deal a ton of damage and get access to a bunch of fun new abilities. We get access to immolation aura along with shadow cleave which rewards us for being in close quarters with the enemy, and leap is a means to get there.
- Increases the damage done by your Shadow Bolt spell by 10%, and your Shadow Bolt has a 100% chance to cause your target to be vulnerable to spell damage, increasing spell critical strike chance against that target by 5%. The effect lasts 30 sec.
Shadow Bolt is still our predominant filler spell, swapped out by Incinerate when Molten Core is up or by Soul Fire in case of Decimation. A 10% boost to that isn’t nothing, along with providing the raid an additional 5% spell crit chance. Not bad at all.
- Reduces the casting time of your Shadow Bolt. Chaos Bolt and Immolate spells by 0.5 sec and your Soul Fire spell by 2 sec.
Bane perfectly fits into the whole Demonology spec, we use Shadow Bolt as our main filler, Immolate we want to keep up at all times, and is boosted through Molten Core, and Soul Fire is our main execution spell during decimation.
- Increases the critical strike damage bonus of your Destruction spells and your Imp‘s Firebolt spell by 100%.
While Demonology relies on our demons to deal a good bit of damage, more than half still comes from our destruction spells, being able to deal double the critical damage is a must in that case. The benefit to our Imp mostly comes in handy for the Hybrid Demonology variation.
- Increases the damage done by your Corruption by 10%, and increases the critical strike chance of your Seed of Corruption by 5%.
- When you gain mana from Drain Mana or Life Tap spells, your summoned demon gains 100% of the mana you gain.
During raid encounters this won’t be having any use for your Felguard, which will regain enough mana from buffs and regeneration debuffs/ buffs. However, for the Hybrid spec which uses Imp this could come in handy as this little fella burn through mana more quickly.
- Increases your summoned demon’s critical strike chance equal to 30% of your critical strike chance.
This talent in theory increases the damage from your demon, and at face value, it looks really good. However, we got to keep in mind that our pet only deals roughly between 15 to 20% of our damage, and this only transfers a part of our critical strike chance. On a point-per-point basis for this talent, you might find more value in the use of other talents.
- Increases your chance to hit with spells by 3%, and reduces the mana cost of your Affliction spells by 6%.
The more inherent hit chance we have, the less of it we need on our gear/buffs. This makes it so that we can go for items, enchants, gems, buffs, etc… that have a focus on spell power, spirit, socket slots, etc… which increase the strength of our Demonic Pact.
- Increases the amount of Health restored by your Healthstone by 20%.
In the line of bringing the support, stronger versions of Healthstones are always welcome, and different versions created from this talent can also be carried, so there is an added benefit between having multiple raiders with different ranks of this talent.
- You have a 100% chance to heal your pet for 15% of the amount of spell damage done by you.
This causes a significant amount of healing for your pet, most often this won’t be required to keep our Felguard alive, but it won’t hurt either.
- Your next Imp, Voidwalker, Succubus, Felhunter or Felguard Summon spell has its casting time reduced by 5.5 sec and its Mana cost reduced by 50%.
Whilst this technically doesn’t boost our DPS or anything, reducing the downtime when our pet dies is essential. This talent only costs us a single point and is a really great quality of life.
- Reduces the casting time of your Imp, Voidwalker, Succubus, Felhunter and Felguard Summoning spells by 4 sec and the Mana cost by 40%.
Reducing the cast time further makes it so that our summoning of demons is instant with Fel Domination. However, there are a lot of other good talents and we have to make hard choices about which ones we want to go for. This in my opinion is one of the first ones to drop, as the benefit is only felt when our pet dies, which hopefully is as infrequent as possible.
- Reduces the pushback suffered from damaging attacks while casting or channeling any Destruction spell by 70%.
The majority of all the spells that we cast are in fact Destruction Spells, Immolate, Shadow Bolt, Incinerate, Soul Fire, (conflag in case of the hybrid spec). This makes this talent a must-have in fights with a lot of pushback mechanics or unavoidable damage.
- Increases the range of your Destruction spells by 20% and reduces threat caused by Destruction spells by 20%.
As stated before the majority of our spells and damage ( so also threat) comes from our Destruction spells, being able to cast from a bit further and have less threat generated can be valuable, although in most cases we would still need to move in to cast corruption, and we want to be in close range when we use Metamorphosis, so the value of this will be highly situational.
With talents out of the way, it is time to go over our Glyphs. Glyphs are a new addition to the class build mechanic introduced in Wrath of the Lich King. Glyphs can be crafted by the new profession Inscription.
Thi glyph is great for any Warlock spec. It provides a significant amount of spell power for little effort. Most often we have to Life Tap anyway within 40 seconds or we have to move somewhere and have no other instant casts to use. This also further increases the impact that our Demonic Pact has.
- Increases the Felguard‘s total attack power by 20%.
Our Felguard is good for roughly a fifth of the damage that we deal, making this in turn one of our best possible glyphs to improve our throughput. Note that in encounters where we can not use out Felguard we should opt for Glyph of Metamorphosis instead.
- Your haste now reduces the time between periodic damage ticks of your Corruption spell.
This glyph causes your Corruption to scale with Haste Rating and other cast speed-increasing effects. Corruption is still a good chunk of our total damage, making this glyph the third best DPS increase that we can get.
- Increases the duration of your Metamorphosis by 6 sec.
In general Glyph of Felguard will be a bigger DPS boost, but this only holds true if we can use our dearest friend to deal damage in the encounter. If not we are best off increasing the damage we personally deal. The extra six seconds on Metamorphosis allows us to cast a second Immolation aura (30 seconds cooldown vs 36 seconds metamorphosis duration with the glyph), but it should be noted that we won’t enjoy the full duration of that as Immolation Aura will fall off as soon as we lose Metamorphosis.
This glyph is only of interest if you are going the Hybrid route which drops his Felguard in favor of Conflag, and in turn, has to use his Imp instead. This Glyph combined with Improved Imp, Demonic Power, and all other pet boosting talents makes this version of the hybrid spec fully embrace the idea of the machine gun imp.
- Your Drain Soul ability occasionally creates an additional soul shard.
Overall most Minor Glyphs are situational however, this one always comes in handy. We use Drain Soul liberally, whenever we have to finish off a mob. Extra Soul Shards always come in handy whether it is for Summoning, Healthstones, Soulstones, Soul Shatter, etc…
- Reduces the mana cost of your Ritual of Souls spell by 70%.
It doesn’t happen too often that you will need to summon closely before combat, so the benefit of this is rather a small bit of convenience.
- Increases the swim speed of targets affected by your Unending Breath spell by 20%.
Who doesn’t like to take an ice-cold bath out in the Howling Fjords?
- Reduces the cast time of your Enslave Demon spell by 50%.
Unlike in previous expansions, there aren’t a lot of worthwhile to enslave demons inside raids, If I am mistaken please correct me and I’ll be sure to add them here inside a list.