PvE Demonology Warlock Guide

PVE Demonology Warlock DPS Guide WotLK 3.3.5a

Welcome to the home page of our Demonology Warlock Guide for WoW: Wrath of the Lich King! This guide aims to take an in-depth look at everything to do with Demonology Warlocks; each facet of what it takes to play the class to its fullest will have its own guide and be described in detail.

This overview page will cover the role and viability of Demonology Warlocks in Wrath of the Lich King.

Demonology Warlock in Wrath of the Lich King

Where in previous expansions all the viable specs were essentially a variation on Destruction we see a major shift in Wrath of the Lich King. Each different specialization gets its own gameplay style and niches to watch out for. Demonology warlocks become a support spec thanks to Demonic Pact, a buff that gets triggered by our demon critting, and gives everyone in the raid 10% of the spell power we had at that moment. You used to have to “Pet Twist” in order to optimize the amount of spell power the buff provided, this came at the cost of personal DPS as your felguard would just be left standing around. Luckily Blizzard agreed that this wasn’t in line with the class fantasy and decided to change the mechanic.

Where Demonology also subverts from The Burning Crusade is the fact that you are no longer a Destruction Warlock who just happens to have a Felguard. The Demonology rotation switches things up between Soulfire, Shadowbolt, and incinerate, all thanks to new talents and procs. Making for more engaging and fun gameplay all the whilst your felguard is swooping at the legs of some giant boss.

Another big change is the fact that we ourselves can turn into a demon, and so become Illidan’s little brother if you will (all before Demon Hunters take this away from us). This is done through Metamorphosis a new cooldown that greatly increases our survivability but also boosts our damage by a significant amount. On top of that we get a couple of new abilities such as Immolation Aura, Cleave, and Demon Charge (more about these in the rotation section). These make it so that positioning is more important than ever. Ideally, you want to be in melee range when you use them in order to deal the maximum amount of damage you can deal.

All this makes Demonology Warlock one of the best support caster classes, which also has some great burst potential and fun gameplay.

Demonology Warlock Strengths & Weaknesses


  • Superb Caster Support
    There is nothing quite else out there as Demonic Pact. It provides 10% of the Demonology Warlocks spell power to the raid, in combination with Demonic Aegis and Demonic Knowledge, this makes for one of the biggest spell power buffs in the game — most raids will bring 1 Demo Warlock just for this buff.
  • High survivability
    The class fantasy has always played of warlock tanks. None so much in Wrath of the Lich King, a lot of the reworks like crushing blows being no more, warlocks being able to achieve crit immunity, and shared damage with your pet. It makes for a really sturdy damage dealer, which comes in handy when you got to be in close range to get the most out of immolation aura.
  • Good Burst
    Warlocks finally get an on-use cooldown which increases our damage in the form of Metamorphosis. Along with Decimation (which we can fish for on adds that are low on health using rank 1 shadow bolt) combined with Molten Core can make for a significant amount of burst.
  • Best Warlock AoE
    Demonology Warlocks have the best AoE potential from all the different Warlock Specs, this is due to a few factors. Metamorphosis boosts our damage by 20% but also provides immolation aura along with shadow Cleave. On top of that, this already forces us into melee range which easily allows us to make use of Shadowflame, and our pet deals a bit of AoE damage as well with cleave. On top of all this we can keep on spamming Seed of Corruption.


  • Buff Bot
    The first and foremost reason you likely are brought to raids is in order to buff the other caster’s DPS. This also means it might be expected for you to gear and play in a way that optimizes this function. However, this comes at the cost of personal DPS, by prioritizing items that increase your spell power compared to increasing your personal DPS (things like crit and haste rating).
  • Pet Dependant
    A big chunk of your damage comes obviously from your Demon. And whilst your pet is a lot more sturdy compared to The Burning Crusade due to the changes to Avoidance, there are still fights where we can not use our pet every phase.

Demonology Warlock Utility

Besides their damage, Demonology Warlocks bring the following raid buffs & debuffs to a raid:

  • High Spell Power BuffDemonic Pact
    Demonology Warlocks are unique in that they can provide a Spell Power buff based on their own amount of Spell Power. We can get high amounts of spell power for Demonology Warlocks through Demonic Aegis and Demonic Knowledge, making it the strongest Spell Power buff out there for casters.
  • Fel Healthstone
    Who doesn’t like some green healthy fel candies? Healthstones have been a staple provided by Warlock since the dawn of time, saving people’s lives and helping your raid deal with high burst mechanics. At least 1 Warlock will be mandatory to have in every raid, just for these alone.
  • Combat ResurrectionDemonic Soulstone
    Warlocks are 1 of the 2 classes that possess the ability to resurrect someone in combat, which is always going to be a massive boon for your raid. With every expansion there are more and more methods of wipe prevention, so Soulstones lose a small bit of value, but are still incredibly handy to have.
  • 13% increased spell damage taken (does not stack)Curse of the Elements
    This debuff was unique to Warlocks in previous expansions, with Affliction Warlocks offering an enhanced version. This is no longer the case, as Death Knights (Ebon Plague), Druids (Earth and Moon), or other Warlocks specializations can all provide the same bonus. Demonology Warlocks lose out on less DPS compared to an Affliction Warlock but more compared to Destruction (over Curse of Agony or Curse of Doom).

    In certain encounters, Curse of the Elements does have the benefit of having a 5-minute duration. Death Knights (Ebon Plague) and Druids (Earth and Moon) duration of their debuff is shorter, meaning if they have to move out of range it will eventually fall off.
  • 5% spell crit (does not stack)Improved Shadow Bolt
    The Improved Shadow Bolt talent has been redesigned in Wrath. and there are no two ways about it, this was a pretty significant nerf for Warlock utility. It now increases the chance for the target to be crit by spells by 5%, which is a debuff that we share with Fire (Improved Scorch) and Frost (Winter’s Chill) Mages. You still take the talent, but largely not for the utility aspect — though you may get use out of it in 10-man raids if there’s no Fire Mages around.
  • 5% reduced armor (does not stack) & reduced attack power (does not stack)Curse of Weakness
    This curse gets a minor buff in Wrath, providing the same 5% armor reduction debuff that a Druid’s Faerie Fire does, along with its previous attack power reduction effect, which still doesn’t stack with other similar effects. Whilst very useful, this curse suffers from the same issues as Curse of the Elements: you lose DPS if you use it as a Demonology Warlock. Luckily, Druids are better at providing the armor reduction debuff, while other classes are better at providing the attack power debuff, so you generally will never need to use this one.
  • 30% cast speed slow (does not stack)Curse of Tongues
    This handy little debuff has seen a pretty significant nerf, with its cast speed slow reduced to 30% down from 70%, but besides that, is still pretty good. Rogues can also apply it with their Mind-numbing Poison, but Warlocks are generally better at it thanks to our 30-yard range. Similar to other curses, you generally don’t want to use this as it’s a major DPS decrease, but there occasional boss fights (f.e. Sindragosa and her Blistering Cold) where it can come in handy.
  • Ritual of Summoning
    Being able to quickly get everyone where they have to be is a major boon like it has always been. There’s a massive convenience change to summoning in Wrath: instead of manually having to summon each player individually, you summon a summoning stone, that everyone can use to summon others. This will save you many Soul Shards and a lot of time.


I hope this guide provides you with all the information you need to make the best out of a Demonology Warlock. Please navigate to the other pages to get information on gear, rotation, talents, and more.

Thank you for taking the time to read our Demonology Warlock guide for Wrath of the Lich King. I hope it was helpful, and if you have any questions or suggestions please feel free to leave a comment below, or find me as Zephan on the Warlock Classic Discord.


About the Author


I am a Classic Warlock enthusiast and in general like theorycrafting. I am the owner and admin of the best community in the whole wide world, being the Classic Warlock Discord. This is the home of some of the best Warlocks in this game and the basis for theorycrafting and figuring out the optimal plays for us warlocks. My aim is to make sure this up-to-date information is out there everywhere to be found and to give back to the community.
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1 year ago

hey awesome job on the newest wotlk warlock content ive found much appreciated i didnt kno alot of that was in effect currently. im kinda looking for what im going to do with my warlock im a warlock enthusiast and id rather play my lock than anyone of the other toons i have. i really love there playstyle and the way they do damage in pvp and pve but i cant get a good rotation or flow with either spec i havent tried affliction at all cause im kinda worried its not going be like it used to be … plz any kind of advice for a dps increase or a good combo for some arenas or pvp would be great helpful macros and tips for me. im a very well knowledgable player been playing for a very long time and love my lock and am very geared and know what im doing i can follow the lingo if you have anything you could fill me in on. maybe a detailed video of the game play and how u set up ur positioning for maximum dps or for even surviving without really having sl sl build.. im so not used to being so squishy ill say that i really hate locks changes but the buffs we get in our specs and the fact that we get to use shadow fury in our specs.. finaly thanks

Reply to  timezup
1 year ago

Buddy if you are a Warlock lover like myself also…Wrath really makes us shine & Affliction in particular. I played Aff Lock in 09′ & for several years on private servers as well, I’d duel spec Demon or Demo/Destruct but can honestly say with Affliction it was some of the best times as a Warlock I’ve ever had. You have to try Affliction, it’s crazy good, strong as hell & lotta fun to play. We can really torment melee classes in pvp with our slows (CoX 30%, Shad flame 70%, Imp Fear 30%, two Fears- Howl being instant & AoE, Coil= Insta horrify w/heal and Seduction! For PVE & PVP (it’s one of the top classes) straight out. As for squishy- we ain’t! Played right we have a Lot of health returns & strong dmg into health spells. Using your pets right is essential also so I’d say keep researching & Definatly have a good crack at Affliction – me-thinks U’d Love it.

1 year ago

this guide is so trash XD

1. demo wl just deals 0,5% – 1% lesser damagr than affliction. so its not a support specc. its the S tier specc of wl.
2. noone ever uses “pet twisting” since the felguard is the pet youre using all of the time. even if you skill full on imp damage the felguard still deals slightly more damage.

stop making guides dude, they just confuse new players und give them wrong informations!

Reply to  Shokk
1 year ago

He answered your hate with kindness and intellect – another reason why I trust what this guy is writing. Demonology is not S tier spec in no shape and form all of WOTLk

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