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glyphs Demonology Warlock: Mists of Pandaria Rotation Changes, Talents, and Glyphs (Patch 5.0.4)

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This article is no longer being updated. Please check our Demonology Warlock guide, which is fully compatible with Mists of Pandaria, and is being constantly updated. Thank you.

In preparation for the updates to our guides for Mists of Pandaria Patch 5.0.4, we are releasing articles such as this one, explaining what has changed for a particular class and spec, and what the new rotation is likely to be.

Keep in mind that this is still a work in progress (both from Blizzard's side and from our own) and that this article assumes you are at least somewhat familiar with the Cataclysm version of the Demonology Warlock rotation and playstyle (such as from reading our guide).

We will first list the most important changes to the Demonology Warlock Cataclysm abilities, and then we will proceed to explaining the (likely to be) optimal rotation. Keep in mind that we do not document every single change or new ability, only those that impact the rotation.

Finally, we will give you some information about the most useful talents and glyphs you should choose.

Removed Abilities and Mechanics

Many abilities from the Affliction and Destruction specialisations have been removed. Most of those that remain are not available to Demonology Warlocks in Mists of Pandaria: spell_shadow_curseofsargeras.jpgBane of Agony, spell_shadow_auraofdarkness.jpgBane of Doom, spell_shadow_curseoftounges.jpgCurse of Tongues, spell_shadow_curseofmannoroth.jpgCurse of Weakness, ability_warlock_mortalcoil.jpgDeath Coil, spell_shadow_haunting.jpgDrain Soul, spell_fire_immolation.jpgImmolate, spell_fire_burnout.jpgIncinerate, spell_shadow_rainoffire.jpgRain of Fire, spell_fire_soulburn.jpgSearing Pain, spell_shadow_seedofdestruction.jpgSeed of Corruption, and ability_warlock_soulswap.jpgSoul Swap.

In addition, many Demonology-specific talents, abilities, and mechanics have been removed: spell_shadow_ragingscream.jpgDemon Armor, ability_warlock_demonicempowerment.jpgDemonic Empowerment, spell_frost_stun.jpgInfernal Awakening,spell_shadow_sealofkings.jpgAura of Foreboding, ability_warlock_cremation.jpgCremation, spell_shadow_felmending.jpgFel Synergy, spell_shadow_manafeed.jpgMana Feed, and spell_shadow_shadowandflame.jpgShadow and Flame.

Changed Abilities and Mechanics

There have been a number of minor changes, such as:
  • spell_fire_twilightfireward.jpgTwilight Ward replacing spell_fire_twilightfireward.jpgShadow Ward, and absorbing Shadow and Holy damage (instead of only Shadow damage);
  • spell_shadow_shadesofdarkness.jpgRitual of Souls being renamed to spell_shadow_shadesofdarkness.jpgCreate Soulwell, or inv_misc_orb_04.jpgCreate Soulstone being renamed to spell_shadow_soulgem.jpgSoulstone;
  • spell_shadow_felarmour.jpgFel Armor being a passive skill, increasing Stamina and Armor, and increasing healing generated through your own spells and effects;
  • ability_warlock_howlofterror.jpgHowl of Terror now being a Tier 2 talent and having been slightly redesigned (as we will see in the talent section);
  • spell_shadow_enslavedemon.jpgEnslave Demon increasing the time between the target's attacks by 50% and reducing the target's casting speed by 50%;
  • warlock_curse_shadow.jpgCurse of the Elements now only increasing magic damage taken by 5% and no longer inflicting a magic resistance reduction;
  • ability_mage_potentspirit.jpgSoul Harvest now being a passive ability that makes you regenerate health out of combat (previously, it had to be cast, while out of combat, to regenerate health and Soul Shards, which are now an Affliction-specific resource);
  • spell_shadow_demonictactics.jpgDemonic Rebirth now having a 20-second duration, up from 10;
  • spell_warlock_focusshadow.jpgDark Intent now being a raid-wide buff providing +10% spell power.
In addition to these minor changes, some of your important spells have been redesigned.
  • spell_fire_fireball02.jpgSoul Fire still has a 4-second cast, but each cast now has a 100% chance to be a critical strike and the damage of the spell is increased by your critical strike chance.
  • ability_warstomp.jpgDemonic Leap used to only be available during spell_shadow_demonform.jpgMetamorphosis and used to stun and damage enemies around the landing area. In Mists of Pandaria, this ability activates spell_shadow_demonform.jpgMetamorphosis and it can only be used to move a short distance. It no longer damages or stuns the enemies.
  • spell_fire_incinerate.jpgHellfire can now be channelled while moving. Previously this was granted by your ability_warlock_inferno.jpgInferno talent.
  • ability_warlock_handofguldan.jpgHand of Gul'dan no longer increases the chance that Warlock demons will critically hit against the target. Instead, it applies spell_fire_twilightflamebreath.jpgShadowflame, which deals damage over 6 seconds, reduces the enemy's speed by 30%. Hand of Gul'dan no longer has a cooldown. Instead, it uses a system of charges. Using Hand of Gul'dan consumes a charge and you need at least 1 charge to use this spell. Every 15 seconds, you regenerate a charge, up to 2 charges.
  • ability_warlock_moltencore.jpgMolten Core no longer affects the damage and the cast time of spell_fire_burnout.jpgIncinerate, which is now a Destruction-only spell. Instead, it reduces the cast time and the mana cost of your next spell_fire_fireball02.jpgSoul Fire by 50%.

  • Molten Core has an 8% chance to proc when spell_fire_twilightflamebreath.jpgShadowflame or a ability_warlock_impoweredimp.jpgWild Imp (a new ability, see next section) deals damage.
  • inv_wand_1h_firelandsraid_d_02.jpgDecimation, in a similar manner as the old talent of the same name, is a passive ability that causes your spell_fire_fireball02.jpgSoul Fire and spell_shadow_shadowbolt.jpgShadow Bolt to have a 100% chance to grant you Molten Core when cast on a target below 25% health.

New Abilities

  • spell_warlock_demonsoul.jpgDark Soul: Knowledge is a new DPS cooldown that is specific to Demonology Warlocks and that grants +12516 Mastery Rating for 20 seconds on a 2-minute cooldown. Other Warlock specialisations have their own variant of the spell.
  • spell_shadow_demonictactics.jpgUnending Resolve provides 50% damage reduction for 12 seconds, on a 3-minute cooldown.
  • spell_warlock_demonicportal_green.jpgDemonic Gateway is your level 87 spell. It is an extremely interesting ability, the usefulness of which will soon be very obvious to you. It creates a gateway between your current location and the location that you click (the maximum distance seems to be about 100 yards). The gateway initially has 0 charges and will generate a new charge every 15 seconds, up to a maximum of 5 charges. A charge is consumed every time someone steps in the gateway (on either end). Stepping through the gateway, on either end, will transport you to the other end. It will also apply a buff to you, which prevents you from using the gateway for the next 15 seconds and reduces your threat for 15 seconds.
  • warlock_curse_weakness.jpgCurse of Enfeeblement reduces the physical damage done by your target by 20% and increases the casting time of all its spells by 50%.
  • ability_warlock_impoweredimp.jpgWild Imps is a passive ability that causes your spell_shadow_shadowbolt.jpgShadow Bolt, spell_fire_fireball02.jpgSoul Fire, and inv_jewelcrafting_shadowspirit_02.jpgTouch of Chaos abilities to summon a Wild Imp that will cast 10 spell_fire_firebolt.jpgFirebolt before disappearing. This effect has a 20 seconds cooldown.
  • spell_shadow_painfulafflictions.jpgPandemic is your level 90 ability. It causes the remaining duration of your DoTs to be added to the new duration when you refresh them, up to 50% of the base duration.
In addition, all your talent tiers giving you new abilities, as we describe in the talent section.

Finally, you get many new abilities that are only available after using Metamorphosis, as we will see in the next section.

Demonic Fury and Metamorphosis

ability_warlock_eradication.jpgDemonic Fury is your new resource in Mists of Pandaria. It will greatly influence your play style as you will build Demonic Fury with your damaging abilities before using spell_shadow_demonform.jpgMetamorphosis to gain access to abilities that will consume your Demonic Fury.

Your bar of Demonic Fury has a maximum capacity of 1000. Out of combat, you will rapidly regenerate up to 200 Demonic Fury. Additional Demonic Fury must be generated during combat by using your abilities (all your offensive abilities generate Demonic Fury). In demon form, Demonic Fury decays at a fixed rate of approximately 6 Demonic Fury per second. In addition, many of your abilities are transformed into Demonic Fury-consuming abilities.

When your amount of Demonic Fury reaches below 40, your demon form will automatically be removed. Independently of your amount of Demonic Fury, you can cancel your demon form at any time by using Metamorphosis again.

In Cataclysm, Metamorphosis was only granting you ability_warstomp.jpgDemonic Leap and spell_fire_incinerate.jpgImmolation Aura.

In Mists of Pandaria, Metamorphosis transforms some of your abilities. Hover over the tooltips to see how much Demonic Fury each ability generates/consumes.

  • ability_warlock_handofguldan.jpgHand of Gul'dan becomes ability_warlock_coil2.jpgChaos Wave, which damages all enemies within 6 yards of your target (reducing their movement speed by 30% for 6 seconds) and has a 100% chance to trigger ability_warlock_moltencore.jpgMolten Core.
  • warlock_curse_shadow.jpgCurse of the Elements becomes warlock_curse_shadow_aura.jpgAura of the Elements, which applies Curse of the Elements to all targets within 20 yards of your target (or of yourself, if you have no target).
  • warlock_curse_weakness.jpgCurse of Enfeeblement becomes warlock_curse_weakness_aura.jpgAura of Enfeeblement, which applies Curse of Enfeeblement to all targets within 20 yards of your target (or of yourself if you have no target).
  • spell_shadow_abominationexplosion.jpgCorruption becomes spell_shadow_auraofdarkness.jpgDoom, which deals a large amount of damage over time and summon a Wild Imp every time a tick critically hits.
  • spell_fire_incinerate.jpgHellfire becomes ability_warlock_inferno.jpgImmolation Aura, which, once activated, will grant you the same AoE damage as Hellfire, just that it does not need to be channeled (i.e., you can do other things while it is pulsing) and it no longer deals damage to you.
  • spell_shadow_shadowbolt.jpgShadow Bolt becomes inv_jewelcrafting_shadowspirit_02.jpgTouch of Chaos, which deals slightly less damage than Shadow Bolt, but is instant-cast and adds 6 seconds to the duration of your spell_shadow_abominationexplosion.jpgCorruption DoT, to a maximum of 27 seconds (18 seconds + 50%).
  • spell_fire_felfirenova.jpgFel Flame becomes spell_fire_twilightnova.jpgVoid Ray, which deals damage to enemies in a 20-yard line in front of you and extends the duration of spell_shadow_abominationexplosion.jpgCorruption DoT, in the same manner as Touch of Chaos.
In addition, Metamorphosis grants you ability_warlock_demonicpower.jpgCarrion Swarm, which deals AoE damage, knocks back enemies, and interrupts spell casting.

Casting another ability than those mentioned above while in demon form will cancel demon form.


By default, you can summon one of five demons to help you fight your foes.
  • The Felguard will be your demon of choice for raiding. It will automatically cast the following abilities: inv_axe_09.jpgLegion Strike and ability_rogue_sprint.jpgPursuit. It can also cast ability_warrior_bladestorm.jpgFelstorm and ability_warrior_titansgrip.jpgAxe Toss.
  • The Imp may have its uses for raiding, though it does not do as much damage as the Felguard. It will automatically cast the following abilities: spell_fire_firebolt.jpgFirebolt, spell_fire_elementaldevastation.jpgSinge Magic, and spell_shadow_bloodboil.jpgBlood Pact. It can also cast ability_heroicleap.jpgFlee if you instruct it to.
  • The Succubus may have its uses for raiding, though it does not do as much damage as the Felguard. It will automatically cast the following abilities: spell_shadow_curse.jpgLash of Pain, spell_shadow_mindsteal.jpgSeduction, and spell_magic_lesserinvisibilty.jpgLesser Invisibility. It can also cast ability_warlock_whiplash.jpgWhiplash if you instruct it to.
  • The Voidwalker will be your demon of choice while leveling up. It will automatically cast the following abilities: spell_shadow_antishadow.jpgShadow Bulwark, spell_shadow_blackplague.jpgSuffering, and spell_shadow_gathershadows.jpgTorment. It can also cast ability_warrior_disarm.jpgDisarm if you instruct it to.
  • The Felhunter will be your demon of choice for PvP, though its spell can have some use in PvE. It will automatically cast the following abilities: spell_nature_purge.jpgDevour Magic and spell_shadow_soulleech_3.jpgShadow Bite. It can also cast spell_shadow_mindrot.jpgSpell Lock if you instruct it to.
As in Cataclysm, you have two demons that you can use as DPS cooldowns: a Doomguard (warlock_summon_doomguard.jpgSummon Doomguard) for single-target damage or an Infernal (spell_shadow_summoninfernal.jpgSummon Infernal) for AoE damage.

Also, you have the ability_warlock_demonicempowerment.jpgCommand Demon ability, which, if put on your action bar, will change with the demon you are using. For the Voidwalker, the Felhunter, and the Succubus, this ability will cast their manual ability. For the Felguard, it will cast ability_warrior_bladestorm.jpgFelstorm. For the Imp, it will cast inv_misc_volatilefire.jpgCauterize Master, which does not seem to be otherwise available.

warlock_grimoireofcommand.jpgGrimoire of Supremacy is a Tier 5 talent that improves your demons with better abilities.

The Wrathguard remains your demon of choice.

Your demon DPS cooldowns are replaced by more powerful versions: a Terrorguard (spell_warlock_summonterrorguard.jpgSummon Terrorguard) for single-target damage or an Abyssal (achievement_boss_lordanthricyst.jpgSummon Abyssal) for AoE damage.

Your ability_warlock_demonicempowerment.jpgCommand Demon ability will cast the manual ability of your demon, except for the Fel Imp, for which it casts inv_misc_volatilefire.jpgCauterize Master (as it does for the Imp).


Your rotation has undergone drastic chances since Cataclysm. You will have two rotations, one for building up Demonic Fury, another one for spending Demonic Fury.

To build Demonic Fury, use the following rotation.

For mana regeneration purposes, you will probably have to often make use of spell_shadow_burningspirit.jpgLife Tap.

When you reach 1000 Demonic Fury, you should cast spell_shadow_demonform.jpgMetamorphosis to enter your demon form. Then, use the following rotation until you run out of Demonic Fury.

Even though Touch of Chaos is low on the list, you should give it a higher priority if spell_shadow_abominationexplosion.jpgCorruption needs to be refreshed.

If you are in melee range of your target, you can also activate ability_warlock_inferno.jpgImmolation Aura.


In Mists of Pandaria, you will gain a number of cooldowns (offensive and defensive), the majority of which are obtained through your choices of talents (as we explain in our talent section).

Your offensive cooldowns should be used as often as possible and combining them will usually grant you an increased effect:

You have a variety of defensive cooldowns, which you should use to help your healers or bypass encounter mechanics:

AoE Rotation

Your AoE rotation will change according to the number of enemies, just like it did in Cataclysm. You can follow these rough guidelines.

Against 2 or 3 enemies, stick to your normal rotation and keep spell_shadow_abominationexplosion.jpgCorruption up on all targets. Additionally, use ability_warlock_demonicempowerment.jpgCommand Demon to make your Felguard cast ability_warrior_bladestorm.jpgFelstorm.

Against 4 or more enemies, keep channeling spell_fire_incinerate.jpgHellfire, all the while applying and refreshing spell_shadow_abominationexplosion.jpgCorruption on 3 or 4 enemies.

In Demon Form, apply spell_shadow_auraofdarkness.jpgDoom on as many enemies as possible, cast ability_warlock_coil2.jpgChaos Wave as often as possible, and activate ability_warlock_inferno.jpgImmolation Aura. In addition, cast spell_fire_twilightnova.jpgVoid Ray to refresh spell_shadow_abominationexplosion.jpgCorruption, which you will have previously applied on as many targets as possible. Finally, you can use ability_warlock_demonicpower.jpgCarrion Swarm if knocking back the enemies is not going to be a problem.


Tier 1 talents give you the choice between self-healing talents.
  • spell_warlock_darkregeneration.jpgDark Regeneration is a 3-minute cooldown that restores some of your life and increases healing received for 12 seconds.
  • warlock_siphonlife.jpgSoul Leech is a passive ability that grants self-healing capabilities to your three most important offensive abilities.
  • spell_warlock_harvestoflife.jpgHarvest Life is an improvement over spell_shadow_lifedrain02.jpgDrain Life, which it replaces. It deals AoE damage and regenerates more health, between 3% and 4.5% maximum health per second, depending on the number of enemies.
Whichever you will choose will depend on the encounter. Dark Regeneration is ideal for occasionally healing yourself, especially since you will often be using spell_shadow_burningspirit.jpgLife Tap. Soul Leech is best if you need a constant source of self-healing. Harvest Life can only be used if there are enough enemies to attack.

Tier 2 talents offer crowd control abilities.

For this tier of talents, you will base your choice on personal preference or on the type of crowd control your raid will require.

Tier 3 talents offer damage reduction mechanics.

  • ability_warlock_soullink.jpgSoul Link causes the damage you and your demon take to be shared. However, your demon's health is reduced by 50%.
  • warlock_sacrificial_pact.jpgSacrificial Pact is on a 1-minute cooldown and causes your demon to sacrifice half of its current health to give you a shield for 200% of the sacrificed health. If you do not have a demon out, your health is sacrificed instead.
  • ability_deathwing_bloodcorruption_death.Dark Bargain is on a 3-minute cooldown and prevents all damage for 10 seconds. After the 10 seconds are up, the damage prevented is dealt over 20 seconds.
Dark Bargain looks the most attractive to us because it will enable you to bypass encounter mechanics that would otherwise kill most other classes. It can also be used to soften the damage you take at critical times, so that your healers can focus on other raid members. Soul Link and Sacrificial Pact will have more occasional uses.

Tier 4 talents offer crowd control and utility abilities.

  • ability_deathwing_assualtaspects.jpgBlood Fear is an improvement over Fear, which it replaces. It is instant cast and no longer has a mana cost. Instead, it costs 10% of your maximum health.
  • ability_deathwing_sealarmorbreachtga.jpgBurning Rush sacrifices health and increases your movement speed.
  • warlock_spelldrain.jpgUnbound Will removes all magic and movement-impairing effects, as well as effects that cause loss of control of your character. It costs 20% of your health.
These abilities have mostly been tailored for PvP. They might have occasional use in PvE, depending on encounter mechanics.

Tier 5 talents provide various modifications to your demons.

  • warlock_grimoireofcommand.jpgGrimoire of Supremacy replaces your minions by more powerful demons that deal 20% more damage.
  • warlock_grimoireofservice.jpgGrimoire of Service is a 2-minute cooldown that enables you to summon a second demon for 20 seconds.
  • warlock_grimoireofsacrifice.jpgGrimoire of Sacrifice sacrifices your demon to increase spell damage by 30% to 50% (depending on the specialisation) and to regenerate 2% of maximum health every 5 seconds. Resummoning a demon cancels the effect. Finally, you gain one of your demon's abilities:

  • Imp: spell_fire_elementaldevastation.jpgSinge Magic;
  • Voidwalker: spell_shadow_antishadow.jpgShadow Bulwark;
  • Felhunter: spell_shadow_mindrot.jpgSpell Lock;
  • Succubus: spell_shadow_mindsteal.jpgSeduction;
  • Felguard: ability_rogue_sprint.jpgPursuit.
Grimoire of Supremacy and Grimoire of Sacrifice will probably be the preferred choice as they are entirely passive. Grimoire of Service will be useful when you need an additional DPS cooldown.

Tier 6 talents provide various means of increasing your DPS.

  • achievement_boss_archimonde.jpgArchimonde's Vengeance is a 1-minute cooldown that causes the enemy to suffer 50% of all damage you take for 12 seconds. When Archimonde's Vengeance is not on cooldown, enemies who attack you suffer 10% of all damage they deal to you.
  • achievement_boss_kiljaedan.jpgKil'jaeden's Cunning is a 1-minute cooldown that enables you to cast and channel while moving for 6 seconds. When Kil'Jaeden's Cunning is not on cooldown, you can cast and channel while moving, but at the expense of a 50% casting speed reduction and a 20% movement speed reduction.
  • achievement_boss_magtheridon.jpgMannoroth's Fury increases the area of your AoE spells by 500%.
All of these talents have situational use. Archimonde's Vengeance is useful when you take a large amount of damage. We have yet to see how it will interact with ability_deathwing_bloodcorruption_death.Dark Bargain. Kil'Jaeden's Cunning will be preferred in heavy-movement encounters. Mannoroth's Fury will be nigh-mandatory for AoE-heavy fights, where enemies are not clumped together.


The following major glyphs will be useful to Demonology Warlocks:Your minor glyphs are mostly cosmetic, but we believe that inv_glyph_minorwarlock.jpgGlyph of Nightmares and inv_glyph_minorwarlock.jpgGlyph of Unending Breath will be very useful while leveling up through Pandaria.

Tanking as a Demonology Warlock

inv_glyph_majorwarlock.jpgGlyph of Demon Hunting is a major glyph that turns your Demonology Warlock into a decent backup tank.

This glyph teaches you spell_shadow_metamorphosis.jpgDark Apotheosis, which is a battle stance that grants you damage reduction and increased threat generation. The damage reduction is further enhanced by your Mastery. In addition, you gain access to your demon spells just as if you had cast Metamorphosis.

Finally, some of your spells are replaced.

To play as a tank, simply perform your demon form single-target or AoE rotation, and use spell_shadow_curseoftounges.jpgProvocation and ability_toughness.jpgFury Ward when needed.

This concludes our Demonology Warlock preview for Mists of Pandaria. We hope you have enjoyed reading it and that it proved useful to you. As always, we are looking forward to reading your opinions on the matter!

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Let me tell you one thing...I cannot wait for this to happen. Warlocks are finally receiving the love they have long been overdue. I can get rid of 16 of my keybinds and play with 10?! My wrists, fingers, and brain thank the developers who decided that having to use 20+ abilities in a fight was a bit ridiculous. Bring on Mists!!!

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With the last beta build (15961), warlock_grimoireofsacrifice.jpgGrimoire of Sacrifice increases the damage of your single-target spells by 30% to 50%, depending on the spell and your Warlock specialisation and grants you one of your demon's abilities. Also, it no longer increases maximum health and it no longer has a doubled effect for the first 15 seconds.

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I have one question about what I've seen here, as opposed to what Demo locks currently do. You only mention the Felguard/Wrathguard as our minion of choice. Does this mean for both AOE and single target encounters?

Apologies if that seems like a stupid question, I haven't been lucky enough to test any of the raids, and only a few of the 5mans.

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I have one question about what I've seen here, as opposed to what Demo locks currently do. You only mention the Felguard/Wrathguard as our minion of choice. Does this mean for both AOE and single target encounters?

Apologies if that seems like a stupid question, I haven't been lucky enough to test any of the raids, and only a few of the 5mans.

This isn't a stupid question :)

The Felguard is the demon of choice in both single-target and multiple-target/AoE situations, by a fair margin.

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Awesome, thanks! =)

I will admit though, I liked the upgrade to the felguard under Grimoire of Supremacy, but wasn't too fond of what they chose for the felhunter. lol

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