Demonology Warlock DPS Guide — Shadowlands 9.0.2
Welcome to our Demonology Warlock guide for World of Warcraft — Shadowlands 9.0.2. Here, you will learn how to play as a Demonology Warlock in both raids and Mythic+ dungeons: from the very beginning to maximizing your DPS.
If you were looking for WoW Classic content, please refer to our Classic DPS Warlock guide.
Demonology Warlock Overview
Demonology has once again taken on a new look for a new expansion. While Legion took a stab at the Demonlord fantasy, their vision did not really ring true for a lot of the playerbase. Battle for Azeroth has done a lot of course correcting towards a fluid feeling, demon horde commanding iteration of Demonology.
Demonology has a fun and medium paced rotation, focused around summoning forces of evil to do your bidding while you generate resources in between. While the specialization does have some ramp up time, it does feel smooth and fast once it is running at full steam. Demonology Warlocks are especially strong on encounters that have stable mobility, rather than helter skelter movement.
Strengths and Weaknesses
- High single target damage
- Efficient cleave damage
- High mobility
- Really high burst during cooldowns
- Some ramp up required
- Limited multi-target options
- Being dependent to pets and guardians their AI can sometimes be problematic
Shadowlands Changes for Warlocks
We are maintaining a list of changes for Warlocks for Shadowlands, the upcoming World of Warcraft expansion, which you can access using the link below. We also have pages for the new Covenant abilities and Anima Powers.
Demonology Warlocks have transitioned from Battle for Azeroth with very few changes, with the exception of some talent buffs aimed at bringing back to life unused options like Power Siphon and From the Shadows.
In addition, several bugs or unintended behaviours have been fixed, among which the ability to stack Wild Imps on different terrain elevation. Demonic Consumption has also been altered to absorb 15% of every Demon HP and return 10% of that value as bonus damage, instead of flat out consuming every single Wild Imp.
Another change, a result of the "unpruning", is the reintroduction of Curses as a baseline for all the 3 specs: Curse of Tongues, Curse of Weakness, Curse of Exhaustion. They provide additional utility tools without impacting the gameplay much.
Leveling a Demonology Warlock
We have a dedicated leveling guide to help you get your Demonology Warlock to max level, complete with many tips and suggestions.
While playing with the default UI for the leveling is entirely possible, transitioning to a max level rotation with a substantially different UI layout can feel overwhelming and ultimately disorient or frustrate the player. We recommend instead to implement Layout changes gradually in order to allow yourself to acclimate to a more effective and personal UI. The Addon page below offers some recommended options.
Basics of Demonology Warlock Gameplay
Demonology Warlock is a spec designed around continuously summoning temporary demons to do your bidding, with relatively short cooldowns, some of them requiring a precise setup; and a good amount of pet management. At its core the gameplay is about generating and spending the Warlock iconic resource: Soul Shards.
Demonology is the spec that embodies the rule of Always-Be-Casting the most, but is also straight forward and intuitive. Keep generating Soul Shards through Shadow Bolt and Demonbolt and spend those resources on Call Dreadstalkers and Hand of Gul'dan.
If you are a newcomer to the spec, but would like to learn the basics start browsing the Spell Summary and head over the page linked below.
For those more familiar with Warlocks we invite you to check out the Talents and Rotation pages to have access to more detailed and in depth information.
How to Gear Up as Demonology Warlock
Due the increased number of variables and additional systems, picking gear has become a much less intuitive and immediate process. Nevertheless you can find guidelines in how to best equip your Demonology Warlock in our dedicated gearing page, including the current Best in Slot equipment for the current tier.
Equipping gear is not enough, as you also need to choose the right consumables and gear augments to maximise your character potential. Below is listed a page that can guide you through those choices as well as a page to better understand the implications each stats has on your Warlock.
Demonology Warlock in Shadowlands
With Shadowlands release, players gain access to multiple new systems.
First and foremost is the Covenant system, the most influential in terms of power progression, granting access to Soulbinds and Conduit customisation, which have a very tangible impact in the overall output. Making the right decision is paramount, so head to the page below to learn more.
Another means to acquire additional power is given by the Legendary system, tied to a new crafting experience with limited resources, making it very important to identify the most effective choice in terms of upgrade. Follow the link for a detailed explanation of Legendaries and what to craft for what type of content.
End-Game as a Demonology Warlock
Being geared and well-equipped is only half of the journey, as the end game activities require each a different approach to the spec. In order to find out more information regarding how to better tackle these challenges check out the pages below.
Improving as a Demonology Warlock
Understanding your errors and refining your performance is a constant exercise, which can be frustrating or confounding at times. Below are listed some pages that offer tools and can point and help correcting those mistakes.
Demonology Warlock Viability in the Current Patch
While Demonology is a prime choice in Dungeons due to a combination of high AoE/single-target damage and good survivability, its Raid performance is subject to design encounter. The lack of strong spread cleave can take its toll, especially when compared to other specializations that excel in that role, such as Affliction or Destruction. That said, if the encounter requires bursts every 1 to 1.5 minutes, Demonology's damage profile becomes extremely attractive.
At the time of writing, Demonology numbers are relatively low, compared to other specs, and until a ~10% aura buff is applied, it is hard to recommend it over Affliction or Destruction.
- 24 Nov. 2020 (easy mode page): Updated secondary stat priority in relationship with Intellect.
- 24 Nov. 2020 (Torghast): Page added.
- 24 Nov. 2020 (gear page): Added disclaimer about Bloodmallet sims.
- 23 Nov. 2020 (enchants page): Page updated for Shadowlands release: new gems, enchants and consumables added.
- 23 Nov. 2020 (this page): Page updated for Shadowlands release, added new systems section and moved spec viability from FAQ.
- 23 Nov. 2020 (FAQ page): Updated for Shadowlands.
- 23 Nov. 2020 (easy mode page): Updated for Shadowlands.
- 23 Nov. 2020 (how to improve page): Updated for Shadowlands.
- 23 Nov. 2020 (spells page): Updated for Shadowlands.
- 23 Nov. 2020 (talents page): Updated for Shadowlands.
- 23 Nov. 2020 (gear page): Page updated for Shadowlands release, added Legendary and Conduits sections, and Castle Nathria BiS list
- 23 Nov. 2020 (rotation page): Updated page for Shadowlands release, removed Essences, Azerite and updated consumables.
- 23 Nov. 2020 (addons page): Updated for Shadowlands.
- 23 Nov. 2020 (stats page): Page updated for Shadowlands release, removed Corruptions and updated stat priority.
- 22 Nov. 2020 (Covenants and Soulbinds): Page added.
- 21 Nov. 2020 (Legendaries): Page added.
- 12 Oct. 2020 (stats page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
- 12 Oct. 2020 (Ny'alotha page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
- 12 Oct. 2020 (mythic+ page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
- 12 Oct. 2020 (rotation page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
- 12 Oct. 2020 (addons page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
- 12 Oct. 2020 (talents page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
- 12 Oct. 2020 (gear page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
- 12 Oct. 2020 (spells page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
- 12 Oct. 2020 (simulations page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
- 12 Oct. 2020 (easy mode page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
- 12 Oct. 2020 (how to improve page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
- 12 Oct. 2020 (FAQ page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
- 12 Oct. 2020 (this page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
- 12 Oct. 2020 (enchants page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
- 14 Jul. 2019 (The Eternal Palace page): Updated Boss Tips and Talent/Essences selection.
- 09 Jul. 2019 (The Eternal Palace page): Guide added.
- 25 Jun. 2019 (Uldir page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
- 25 Jun. 2019 (Crucible of Storms page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
- 25 Jun. 2019 (Battle of Dazar'alor page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
- 14 Apr. 2019 (Crucible of Storms page): Guide added.
- 14 Apr. 2019 (Battle of Dazar'alor page): Updated after recent raid nerfs.
- 11 Feb. 2019 (Battle of Dazar'alor page): Updated with better talent choices, and more tips.
- 21 Jan. 2019 (Battle of Dazar'alor page): Page added.
- 03 Jan. 2019 (Uldir page): Updated Nether Portal value after simc hotfix.
- 10 Dec. 2018 (Uldir page): Updated for Patch 8.1. Reviewed talent advice for all bosses.
- 06 Nov. 2018 (Uldir page): Updated tips for Uldir bosses.
- 07 Sep. 2018 (Uldir page): Updated for Uldir.
- 12 Aug. 2018 (Uldir page): Page added.
- Shadowlands PvP Vendors Have Returned
- Leveling Alts Through the Threads of Fate Leveling System in Shadowlands
- Shadowlands To-Do List: Day 2 - New Content Available
- Queues Have Returned for Shadowlands
- Shadowlands Post-Launch Meme Compilation
- Final List of the Most Popular DPS for Mythic+ in the Shadowlands Pre-Patch Week 6
- When WoW Saves Your Apartment
- Simple Tome of Bone-Binding Found on Live Servers!