Demonology Warlock DPS Guide — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.1

Last updated on Feb 11, 2019 at 18:27 by Motoko 48 comments

Welcome to our Demonology Warlock guide for World of Warcraft — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.1. 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.

1. 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.

2. Patch 8.1 Changes for Demonology Warlock

3. Patch 8.0.1 Changes for Demonology Warlock

  • Many talents were removed, or saw major changes in 8.0 — see the talents page for additional information.
  • Summon Doomguard was removed.
  • The Mana costs of a variety of spells were altered due to the removal of Life Tap and Mana based gameplay. Most core gameplay abilities now cost significantly less base Mana, so you will not run dry performing the normal rotation. Utility abilities and crowd control now cost more Mana than before, however, so you will need to be careful in PvP.
  • The former Level 75 Talents (Demon Skin Icon Demon Skin, Burning Rush Icon Burning Rush, and Dark Pact Icon Dark Pact) have been moved to the Level 45 Tier. Dark Pact and Demon Skin have both been slightly nerfed.
  • Soul Conduit Icon Soul Conduit has been reduced to a 15% chance per Soul Shard spent.
  • Demonic Empowerment has been removed.
  • Demonwrath has been removed.
  • A new cooldown, Summon Demonic Tyrant Icon Summon Demonic Tyrant, is available. The tyrant increases the duration of existing demons while increasing the damage of all demons.
  • Implosion Icon Implosion is now a baseline ability.
  • Demonic Core Icon Demonic Core is a new passive that works like the old Molten Core system. Your Imps have a 10% chance to proc Demonic Core when they expire or implode. Demonic Core makes the next Demonbolt Icon Demonbolt cast instant, with a maximum of 4 stacks.
  • Demonbolt Icon Demonbolt works exactly like the old Soul Fire from previous expansions. It has a long cast time of 4.5 seconds, but is made instant by Demonic Core Icon Demonic Core procs. Generate 2 Soul Shards.
  • Call Dreadstalkers Icon Call Dreadstalkers cooldown was increased to 20 seconds.
  • Hand of Gul'dan Icon Hand of Gul'dan now costs 1-3 Soul Shards, and generates 1-3 Wild Imps based on the amount of Shards consumed.

4. Demonology Warlock Strengths

  • High single target damage
  • Efficient cleave damage
  • High mobility

5. Demonology Warlock Weaknesses

  • Weaker but shorter cooldowns compared to Affliction or Destruction
  • Some ramp up required

6. Viability of Demonology Warlock in the Current Patch

Demonology is a capable contender in both Dungeon and Raid content. The current Talent Tree provides a wide variety of abilities, many of which we make good use of in varying situations. While Demonology might not surpass Affliction in every scenario, it is a perfectly playable specialization that can really excel in the right environments. The major limiting factor for this specialization is lack of strong single target burst, and spread cleave.

7. Changelog

  • 11 Feb. 2019 (Battle of Dazar'alor page): Updated with better talent choices, and more tips.
  • 11 Feb. 2019 (FAQ page): Updated page to expand the opportunity cost of Implosion single target.
  • 08 Feb. 2019 (enchants page): Updated page to reflect influence of Explosive Potential trait.
  • 08 Feb. 2019 (stats page): Updated page to reflect influence of Explosive Potential trait.
  • 08 Feb. 2019 (rotation page): Added Demonic Consumption opener.
  • 08 Feb. 2019 (mythic+ page): Updated page to reflect influence of Explosive Potential trait.
  • 08 Feb. 2019 (talents page): Updated talent choices.
  • 05 Feb. 2019 (azerite traits and gear page): Updated for Battle of Dazar'alor heroic week fixes.
  • 05 Feb. 2019 (FAQ page): Updated page to include Explosive potential.
  • 05 Feb. 2019 (rotation page): Updated rotation according to Battle of Dazar'alor heroic week hotfixes.
  • 22 Jan. 2019 (mythic+ page): Updated for Battle of Dazar'alor release.
  • 22 Jan. 2019 (gear page): Updated for Battle of Dazar'alor release.
  • 21 Jan. 2019 (Battle of Dazar'alor page): Page added.
  • 21 Jan. 2019 (azerite traits and gear page): Updated for Battle of Dazar'alor release.
  • 03 Jan. 2019 (Uldir page): Updated Nether Portal value after simc hotfix.
  • 03 Jan. 2019 (talents page): Updated Nether Portal value after simc hotfix.
  • 29 Dec. 2018 (how to improve page): Updated the movement section.
  • 21 Dec. 2018 (rotation page): Added potions to Nether Portal section.
  • 19 Dec. 2018 (addons page): Added additional macros for talent management.
  • 19 Dec. 2018 (simulations page): Updated page with new sims.
  • 19 Dec. 2018 (FAQ page): Updated page with additional questions.
  • 14 Dec. 2018 (mythic+ page): Updated tier 7 talent checkmarks.
  • 14 Dec. 2018 (rotation page): Updated Nether Portal rotation.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (FAQ page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (how to improve page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (simulations page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (gear page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (addons page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (enchants page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (stats page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (Uldir page): Updated for patch 8.1. Reviewed talent advice for all bosses.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (mythic+ page): Updated for patch 8.1. Reviewed talent advice.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (rotation page): Updated for Patch 8.1.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Updated for Patch 8.1. Added Baleful Invocation.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (talents page): Updated for Patch 8.1.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (easy mode page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (this page): Added Patch 8.1 changes.
  • 06 Nov. 2018 (Uldir page): Updated tips for Uldir bosses.
  • 06 Nov. 2018 (rotation page): Updated rotation, spells usage, and description.
  • 06 Nov. 2018 (this page): Updated strengths/weaknesses of the spec.
  • 06 Nov. 2018 (mythic+ page): Updated talent builds and description.
  • 06 Nov. 2018 (stats page): Updated stats priority and explanation.
  • 06 Nov. 2018 (easy mode page): Updated Tyrant usage.
  • 06 Nov. 2018 (FAQ page): Updated Implosion/Doom info.
  • 06 Nov. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Updated traits selection.
  • 06 Nov. 2018 (talents page): Updated talent choices.
  • 06 Nov. 2018 (how to improve page): Expanded the list.
  • 06 Nov. 2018 (addons page): Expanded the list of Addons.
  • 19 Oct. 2018 (gear page): Split best in slot lists into Raid & Dungeon sections.
  • 30 Sep. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Updated sim rankings, re-organized page.
  • 07 Sep. 2018 (Uldir page): Updated for Uldir.
  • 04 Sep. 2018 (mythic+ page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth.
  • 26 Aug. 2018 (easy mode page): Added Azerite Outer Ring simulations (single target and cleave) for quick reference.
  • 26 Aug. 2018 (gear page): Made small tweaks to the page.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (mythic+ page): Page added.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (addons page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (rotation page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (gear page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (how to improve page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (talents page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (easy mode page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (stats page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (enchants page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 12 Aug. 2018 (Uldir page): Page added.
  • 12 Aug. 2018 (FAQ page): Page added.
  • 12 Aug. 2018 (simulations page): Page added.
  • 07 Aug. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Page added.
  • 26 Jul. 2018 (gear page): Updated the legendary ranking.
  • 23 Jul. 2018 (easy mode page): Updated stat priority and Implosion usage.
  • 23 Jul. 2018 (rotation page): Updated Implosion and multitarget section. Reduced number of targets for Implosion usage.
  • 23 Jul. 2018 (stats page): New sims completed; added a 4-target stat priority for M+ players.
  • 21 Jul. 2018 (talents page): Added PvP (War Mode) Talents and explanations.
  • 17 Jul. 2018 (this page): Fixed typo in the 8.0 changes.
  • 16 Jul. 2018 (this page): Updated for the Battle for Azeroth pre-patch.
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