How to Play a Demonology Warlock in "Cataclysm"

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The warlock is a pure damage-per-second class in "World of Warcraft." Warlocks cannot heal other than limited healing to self and pets. Although warlocks can serve as ranged tanks in a few instances, their survivability is too low for them to serve as tanks normally. Most warlocks choose two specs, with affliction being favored for player-versus-player or PvP content and demonology for player-versus-environment or PvE content. The strength of the Felguard pet makes demonology a good spec for leveling and soloing daily quests. Because demonology relies on managing multiple simultaneous procs, which are conditions triggered randomly a fixed percentage of the time, and cooldowns for both warlock and pet to maximize damage commands, it demands a very high skill level for effective raiding.

Statistics and Gear

  • Warlocks, like priests and mages, are "clothies" limited to wearing cloth gear. As you level your demonology warlock, your priority statistics in selecting gear, gems and enchantments should be intellect and hit until you reach a 15 percent hit cap, the point at which all your spells will actually hit your target rather than having a certain percentage miss. Next, reforge any extra hit and critical strike points on your gear to haste to reach the soft cap of 12.5 percent. As your gear continues to improve, focus on intellect and mastery until you can reach the next haste cap of 25 percent. When you have full heroic-tier gear, reforge to 37 percent haste with mastery as your second priority.

Glyphs

  • The most important glyph for a demonology warlock is the Glyph of Metamorphosis, which increases the duration of your transformation into a demon when you use the spell Metamorphosis. Next, choose prime and major glyphs that improve your damage or survivability or shorten crucial cooldowns.

Pets

  • The main pet for the demonology warlock is the Felguard. The Felguard has three important special abilities, an Intercept that combines a charge and a stun, an Axe Toss that stuns a single opponent and an area-of-effect Felstorm. You can summon an Infernal in addition to a Felguard every 20 minutes. Time your Infernal to maximize the area-of-effect damage from the summons. Demonology warlocks also use the Felhunter for its devour magic ability and other pets depending on the situation. Playing a demonology warlock well requires you to micromanage your pet's actions and cooldowns as your pet can account for a significant portion of your damage.

Questing

  • While questing, most demonology warlocks use the Felguard pet. For large groups of weak opponents, use Metamorphosis, Immolation Aura and Felstorm. For single or tougher opponents, use a "dot" (or damage-over-time) spell to pull the opponent towards you and away from other nearby monsters who might become hostile. Have your Felguard intercept the target and keep applying dots. Watch aggro levels -- the percentage chance that a mob will be hostile towards a certain character -- carefully before using direct damage spells to avoid pulling opponents off the Felguard. You want opponents hitting your pet, not your warlock. A standard "WoW" proverb is that "a clothie plus aggro adds up to a dead clothie."

Instances

  • Your role in instance groups, whether dungeons or raids, is mainly damage and occasionally crowd control. At the beginning of an instance, use a soulstone and cast the spell Dark Intent on a healer. Start fights by applying dots, a strategy that will make your direct damage spells more effective and also give your tank time to build aggro. Depending on the specific fight, either use your special abilities when they come off cooldown or wait for crucial parts of the fight when high burst damage is needed. Place a teleport portal before charging to melee range of a boss in Metamorphosis so that you can teleport out the instant Metamorphosis ends. Clothies and melee damage add up to the same thing as clothies and aggro: namely dead clothies.

Spell Rotation

  • The demonology warlock uses a combination of shadow and fire spells. Your spell rotation begins with Demon Soul, which should be used whenever it is off cooldown. Next, maintain dots on your target. Use Metamorphosis and Immolation aura on cooldown unless you are saving them for specific situations or procs. Use Hand of Guldan when it is off cooldown, and Shadowbolt or Incinerate as filler spells. When you get a Molten Core proc, use Incinerate. When your target gets below 25 percent health, Decimation is activated, and you should keep casting Soulfire until your target dies.

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