5.4 Demonology Guide
- Stats and Reforging
- Professions and Consumables
*NOTE* There will still be updates during 5.4 and i will add video guides together with more detailed playstyle tips and tricks as we go along.
This guide will try cover many different areas to help you improve your play, do note that many things can change and rotations, stat weights, priority lists and all these sort of things can differ a lot. Always read guides with a grain of salt, but use it for what it’s worth.
|Head||Hood of the Horned Nightmare||Thok the Bloodthirsty|
|Neck||Untainted Guardian’s Chain||Norushen|
|Shoulders||Mantle of the Horned Nightmare||Crane Wing||200 int / 100 crit||Siegecrafter Blackfuse|
|Chest||Robes of the Horned Nightmare||Glorious Stats||+80 all stats||Sha of Pride|
|Waist||Belt of Ominous Trembles||Juggernaut|
|Legs||Leggings of Furious Flame||Cerulean||+285 int / 165 crit||Juggernaut|
|Boots||Bone-Inlaid Sandals||Pandaren’s Step||+140 Mastery||Galakras|
|Wrists||Avool’s Ancestral Bracers||Super Intellect||+170 Intellect||Spoils of Pandaria|
|Gloves||Gloves of the Horned Nightmare||Superior Mastery||+170 Mastery||General Nazgrim|
|Finger||Iyyokuk’s Hereditary Seal||Paragons of the Klaxxi|
|Finger||Signet of the Dinomancers||Thok the Bloodthirsty|
|Trinket 1||Purified Bindings of Immerseus||Immerseus|
|Trinket 2||Black Blood of Y’Shaarj||Garrosh Hellscream|
|Back||Xing-Ho, Breath of Yu’lon||Superior Intellect||+180 Intellect||Legendary Questline|
|Main Hand||Immaculately Preserved Wand||Jade Spirit||Spoils of Pandaria|
|Offhand||Revelations of Y’Shaarj||Major Intellect||+165 Intellect||Garrosh Hellscream|
This list is based on 571~ item level from Siege of Orgrimmar and tries to value each trinket individually. Take it as a rough estimate of the trinket values, note that it’s not 100% accurate and using some trinkets together might bring a worse or better combination, but use it as a thumb rule of how well they do
Dark Regeneration – Instant 30% of maximum health for you and your pet plus 25% increased healing taken over 12 seconds. A very good talent for a survival phase with damage taken over a short period of time, but not superior on fights with steady damage taken.
Soul Leech – The passive healing talent for our main attacks and will most likely be the used talent for Affliction on the fights to help out healers.
*NEW 5.4* Harvest Life – Increases the damage of your Drain Life spell by 50% and the healing of your Drain Life spell by 150%. (Passive)
- Soul Lech – Simply brings a good passive shield to absorb damage
- Dark Regeneration – Really useful on a few fights where you want the extra healing and cooldown
- Harvest Life – Mainly a PvP talent, not so much use in PvE
*NEW 5.4* Demonic Breath – Replacement of Howl of Terror, new Cone of Cold like CC. Mainly usedi n PvP
Mortal Coil – Deathcoil with a 15% heal we can use in PvE
Shadowfury – AoE stun without much use in PvE
- Mortal Coil – 15% health for a GCD
- Shadowfury – Small stun, often times other classes bring mroe reliable and longer lasting stun
- Demonic Breath – Not much use besides PvP, can be useful for slowing the adds on a boss like Immersus
*NEW 5.4* Soul Link – No longer shares health pool with your pet, instead 20% of all damage you take is split to your pet. Additionally, 3% of all damage you deal is converted into healing on you and your pet.
Sacrificial Pact – A very solid absorb shield, which sacrifices 25% of your pets health to give a 400% shield of the sacrificed health. This talent can even be used in certain situations without a pet as you will lose 25% of your health for 400% of the lost health turning into a shield.
Dark Bargain – Absorbs all damage for 8 seconds and when the shield fades you take 50% of the damage over 8 seconds. Risky if you take a lot of damage and suddenly will get bursted down when the absorb fades.
- Soul Link – Passive 20% damage reduction is really good, espeically if we also use the Unending Glyph for 10% more
- Dark Bargain – Very good “oh shit” talent, that can save us in a lot of dire situations and works well with soaking
- Sacrificial Pact – This talent can be very good to take with high pulsing AoE’s at certain times in a fight, the shields are very big
*Soul Link still increases your health pool if you don’t have a pet and use Grimoire of Sacrifice, but most of the time you would want to run with another talent then depending on the fight.
Blood Horror – When activiated any time a enemy melee attacks you and deals damage, the enemy will run in horror for up to 4 seconds
Burning Rush – 4% of maximum health per second for 50% movement speed.
Unbound Will – Removes all magic and impairing effects
- Burning Rush – Useful speed boost in many situations, you can nearly always find a use for it
- Unbound Will – Very cool self dispell, but only has its place on a few fights
- Blood Horror – Purely PvP talent, not much use in Pve
Grimoire of Supremacy – 20% more damage from our pets and they turn into different versions of themselves
Grimoire of Service – Summons another pet of your choice for 20 seconds
Grimoire of Sacrifice – Sacrifices our pet to increase our single target damaging spells and Wild Imp’s
- Grimoire of Service – Strong 2 minute cooldown lined up with Dark Soul and gives us a pet for good fury regeneration. The best and most commonly used Grimoire for Demonology.
- Grimoire of Sacrifice – Increses single target damage spells but also Wild Imp’s, this talent is useful on fights where we have a lot of Doom’s running with 100% crit for endless Imp army to boost it’s damage furtermore
- Grimoire of Supremacy – The “lazy” version of Service, it doesn’t do too bad, but just makes your Felguard a Wrathguard with 20% more damage, would only take on fights where Service becomes useless or unavaible to use at right times
*NEW 5.4* Archimonde’s Darkness – Your Dark Soul has two charges
*NEW 5.4* Kil’jaeden’s Cunning – You can cast Malefic Grasp, incinernate and Shadow bolt while moving
*NEW 5.4* Mannoroth’s Fury – Increases AoE by 500% and the damage from Immolation Aura and Hellfire by 100%. 60 sec CD, 10 sec duration.
- Archimonde’s Darkness – Basically the talent you pick when there is no AoE or heavy movement involved, it gives us a better management of when we want to use Dark Soul instead of using it on cooldown
- Mannoroth’s Fury – Very good talent for burst AoE fights, worth taking on a lot of fights in Siege of Orgrimmar
- Kil’jaeden’s Cunning – Not really needed as Demonology, but in case your movement hurts your DPS too much you can pick this to help you out
There is no DPS increasing glyphs as Demonology. Glyph of Imp Swarm had its Imps reduced from 5 to 4, which no longer makes it mandatory.
*With the 30% nerfs to Wild Imp’s its no longer worth it to ever use Glyph of Imp Swarm
*NEW 5.4* Glyph of Everlasting Affliction has been replaced by Glyph of Eternal Resolve.
- Glyph of Eternal Resolve: Unending Resolve into a passive ability that provides a constant 10% reduction to damage taken.
*NEW 5.4* Glyph of Dark Soul has been replaced by Glyph of Curse of the Elements.
*NEW 5.4* Glyph of Shadowflame has been replaced with Glyph of Unending Resolve.
*NEW 5.4* Glyph of Imp Swarm now summons 4 Wild Imps (down from 5 Wild Imps).
Glyph of Eternal Resolve - If no major cooldown is needed, 10% passive reduction is really nice together with 20% from Soul Link.
Glyph of Siphon Life - Passive healing with not many alternatives to pick
Stats are a very touchy subject, so to determine what stats we want we need to know what they actually do and bring.
Mastery increases the damage done by the warlock’s demons as well as the warlock’s damage while in caster form and while under the effects of Metamorphosis. It’s a pure raw damage increasing stat for Demonology which scales really well when we spend more time inside Metamorphosis. That also explains why it’s such a good stat on multi target and AoE fights, because those are where we both spend more time inside Metamorphosis and we want to burst higher damage for the AoE.
Haste is our stat that decreases our cast time thus increases damage and fury regeneration(more Metamorphosis uptime), pet energy gain and also helps us reach haste cap for extra tick of dots. It’s still a very strong single target stat, despite no longer scaling with RPPM, but stacking it endlessly is just not worth it inside instances. Theoretically on single target fights, it might come out ahead but it never does in practice. It’s the middle road stat that brings both damage and helps us cast faster, regen fury faster and in general reach dot caps.
Critical strike is generally our worst stat, it increases damage by giving you crits and as Demonology every Doom tick that crit’s spawn an Imp. Soul Fire now crits 100% and the damage is increased by Critical Strike like Chaosbolt. Now because we play with UVLS and roll 100% crit dooms that also devalues this stat significantly. It has no place on AoE or the damage board against mastery and therefore end up as the last in line stat to go for.
*Patch 5.4 update to stats post nerfs*
Generally we always want to aim for something like this priority list, because on most multi target/AoE fights Mastery will do well with reaching certain haste caps depending on your item level.
Int > 15% Hit > Haste(Cap) > Mastery > Haste > Crit
Single target: (Theoritically best)
Int > 15% Hit > Haste > Mastery > Crit
Haste and mastery is within 1-2% DPS of each other, so it’s not big deal which one you choose. Mastery buffs our damage in Metamorphosis which should work well for AoE fights. The haste is good because it help our pet damage and fury regeneration. We can spend more time inside Metamorphosis spamming Soul Fire and with 2P T16 we want the best possible uptime on the 20% damage buff.
My guidelines would look something like:
Int > 15% Hit > Haste (8097) > Mastery > Haste > Crit
You can consider optimizing the haste at higher item levels, but the DPS difference is minimal (1-2%) on Single Target. If i find some suiting haste levels in higher item levels, i’ll update the current guidelines.
The only caps we really aim for as Demonology would be haste caps around Doom or Shadowflame ticks, Corruption is nearly irrelevant as Demonology because the damage is so low.
Doom haste caps
|Number of ticks||5||6||7||8|
|- Raid Haste||3036||13153||23276||33389|
|- Raid Haste + (BL/Hero)||N/A||310||8097||15876|
Shadowflame haste caps
|Number of ticks||7||8||9||10|
|- Raid Haste||1330||8064||14873||21596|
|- Raid Haste + (BL/Hero)||N/A||N/A||1633||6805|
|- Raid Haste + (BL/Hero)||11981||17204|
|Number of ticks||10||11||12||13|
|- Raid Haste||231||4717||9211||13737|
|- Raid Haste + (BL/Hero)||N/A||N/A||N/A||759|
|- Raid Haste + (BL/Hero)||4198||7658||11113||14604|
As you may notice, there isn’t many caps in between our current gears Haste values. If we aim for 13k+ haste we often times sacrifice a lot of Mastery to get it. Generally with a heavy Mastery build we just aim to go for the Haste cap close to our passive Haste, so in case you are at 11.900 Haste, you could gain 81 more haste and get an extra tick of Shadowflame.
Single target stat weights
If you want to find your stat weights and specific values for purely single target fights (not reflected so much in Siege of Orgrimmar) you can use Simulationcraft to determine how to gem and gear. Remember that it doesn’t apply on AoE, multi or single target fights with burst mechanics.
Gems are helping us boost stats we choose, that also means that there is no determined gemming. If we want more of a stat for certain fights, gems are where we can find those stats. If you are around some haste cap, you obviously want to replace some of these gems with the haste version. These are just general guidelines for when we go with the heavy mutli target / AoE and all around strongest build for Demonology.
|Meta (Legendary)||Sinister Primal Diamond|
|Meta||Burning Primal Diamond|
||Fractured Sun’s Radiance (320 Mastery)|
|Red (high hit)||Artful Vermilion Onyx (80 Int / 160 Mastery)|
|Red (low hit)||Keen Vermilion Onyx (160 Exp / 160 Mastery)|
|Yellow||Fractured Sun’s Radiance (320 Mastery)|
|Blue||Sensei’s Wild Jade (160 Hit / 160 Mastery)|
Engineering, Tailoring, Herbalism and Blacksmithing is at the moment the best profession for us as a warlock.
Engineering provides a great burst lining up with cooldowns and “on use” / high intellect procs will always be superior to passive stats. Blacksmithing is still good because it gives us 640 secondary stats, and secondary stats gain a high value on AoE + multi target fights.
If you choose either of the 4 you are save to go, but there is a rather big difference from rest of the professions to these 4, so it does matter what you choose.
|[Hand of Gul'dan]||19|
|[Touch of Chaos]||25|
|Mastery: [Master Demonologist]||80|
|[Dark Soul: Knowledge]||84|
Dark Soul: Knowledge
Glyph of Imp Swarm (if glyphed and always lined with Dark Soul)
Felguard: Felstorm on CD unless there will be AoE
Doom (on all targets that lasts for atleast a tick)
*Soul Fire (if Fury allows and/or procs are up: Trinkets, Tempus Repit etc.)
Touch of Chaos
**Hand of Gul’dan when you are about to have 2 stacks (HoG trick)
***Soul Fire when MC is up (depends on the fight)
* Soul Fire and Metamorphosis is the main thing to figure out to min max Demonology spec. We need to always consider when to Soul Fire and when can’t we Soul Fire inside Metamorphosis. So we need to set up a few thumb rules and general guidelines we want to use it. There is no mechanical playstyle to Soul Fire use, it’s purely based on a lot of factors and us predicting how the fight is about to go and timers of our cooldowns.
Never Soul Fire without Molten Core Procs
What do we always look at first when we judge if we should be Soul Firing?
We always want to be sure we have the fury or don’t need the fury for AOE or incoming Dark Soul / major cooldowns and / or burst. If you just used Dark Soul and then your trinket procs, we can easily use Soul Fire’s because we don’t really care about dumping the fury. As long as we have enough time to build up fury for our major cooldown (Dark Soul), we are good.
Touch of Chaos vs Soul Fire (Haste)
Soul Fire does more damage, has a cast time and scales with everything. Touch of Chaos is instant, which means it hurts us to ToC with haste buffs up (Bloodlust, Legendary Meta Gem and such).Every time we have a haste buff up, we want to consider to either be outside Metamorphosis or using Soul Fire’s inside
Any time we have Dark Soul up and we get 30% damage increase, we always want to burst and try to save a few Molten Core procs for Soul Fire. It’s essential that we spend a lot of time doing maximum damage with the mastery increase from Dark Soul. With 2P t15 it allows us to spend more fury during Dark Soul and makes Soul Fire more lucrative too.
When trinkets are up, we want if fury allows to spend some Soul Fire’s inside Metamorphosis
Tempus Repit ( Meta Gem)
We always want to either go out of Metamorphosis or use Soul Fire’s with haste procs, ToC doesn’t scale well with it, so we would waste the meta gem if we just used ToC. Again it’s a judgement call of “what else is active? Trinkets? Do I need the fury or not?”
** Hand of Gul’dan trickYou want to track Hand of Gul’dan so that you can cast one charge of HoG and it will land, then shadowflame appears on the target for 6 seconds and 2-3~ seconds before it expire you cast the 2nd HoG so it will land and renew the shadowflame to x2 stacks and you go STRAIGHT into Metamorphosis which buffs the Shadowflame dot damage with Metamorphosis % damage.You can normally fill 2-3 Shadowbolts or Soul Fire’s between the HoG’s depending on your Haste.Wait until the 2nd HOG has 4-5 seconds left or 3/4rd of the CD complete to cast the first HoG, then it will come off cd just in time. That way we don’t waste having 2 HoG off cooldown and a total uptime of Shadowflame on the targets. If you wait until both HoGs fully recharged you will loose both shadowflame uptime, molten core procs, fury and damage over an entire fight. Never sit on 2 HoG charges unless we save them up for AoE scenarios during a fight.
*** Theoritically it might not be beneficial to use Molten Core procs outside Metamorphosis on single target fights, but in theory it’s a great way to be sure we have enough fury for when we want it during Dark Soul and AoE scenarios which is most of the fight these days. My thumb rule is always to save some Molten Core procs for Dark Soul and else try to balance my Fury to always have enough for when i need it.
AoE rotation priority
When we look at how we want to AoE we need to figure out if its short AoE burst or long lasting AoE. There is no point to spread dots on short lasting targets and there is no point to do Hand of Gul’dan’s on mobs that die in 5 seconds. General thumb rule for AoE is +3-4 targets.
Hand of Gul’dan (x2 stacking, you can keep 2 charges ready if you know AoE will come. Be sure to go inside Metamorphosis after casting it)
Metamorphosis: Immolation Aura
Chaoswave (only used if the targets are alive for a shorter period of time than HoG’s Shadowflame will tick)
Void Ray (Filler)
If targets last long enough, be sure to spread Doom and Corruption
Best races for Demonology Warlock
‘ Troll and orc is close, but they are still far superior from other races.
With Glyph of Imp Swarm
Without the Glyph of Imp Swarm
Video Guides Video guides related to Demonology will appear here
*NOTE* There will still be updates during 5.4 and i will add video guides together with more detailed playstyle tips and tricks as we go along.
Updated video of how to do the Affliciton opener, do note that it obviously depends on gear and if you get bloodlust and skull banners in the opener. The opener is rather simple, but here is how i go about
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