Demonology Warlock DPS Guide — Shadowlands 9.1

Last updated on Jul 21, 2021 at 08:00 by Motoko 11 comments
General Information

Welcome to our Demonology Warlock guide for World of Warcraft — Shadowlands 9.1. 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.

If you were looking for WoW Classic content, please refer to our TBC Classic Demonology Warlock guide.

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.

Strengths and Weaknesses

V Strengths
  • +High single target damage
  • +Efficient cleave damage
  • +High mobility
  • +Really high burst during cooldowns
X Weaknesses
  • -Some ramp up required
  • -Limited multi-target options
  • -Being dependent to pets and guardians their AI can sometimes be problematic
3.

Patch 9.1 Changes for Warlocks

We are maintaining a list of changes for Warlocks, so you can see what changes with every patch of Shadowlands. Be sure to also check out Demonology's specific changes this patch.

4.

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.

5.

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 Icon Shadow Bolt and Demonbolt Icon Demonbolt and spend those resources on Call Dreadstalkers Icon Call Dreadstalkers and Hand of Gul'dan Icon 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.

6.

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.

7.

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.

Demonology Warlock Best Covenants, Soulbinds, and Conduits

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.

Demonology Warlock Best Legendaries
8.

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.

9.

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.

10.

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.

Demonology is at the forefront of Sanctum of Domination progression, mainly due to a combination of favourable encounter design and timings, lack of Shards availability, and the spec being the best single-target choice for Warlocks.

11.

Changelog

  • 21 Jul. 2021 (this page): Updated state of the spec for Sanctum of Domination.
  • 13 Jul. 2021 (Patch 9.1 Analysis): Removed PTR disclaimer.
  • 13 Jul. 2021 (Sanctum of Domination page): Removed PTR disclaimer.
  • 11 Jul. 2021 (mythic+ page): Added Anima Power recommendations for the Tormented seasonal affix.
  • 08 Jul. 2021 (Covenants and Soulbinds): Added detailed soulbinds for other covenants.
  • 07 Jul. 2021 (Sanctum of Domination page): Page created.
  • 30 Jun. 2021 (gear page): Added Sanctum of Domination bis list, updated trinket section and shard recommendations.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (enchants page): Reviewed and approved for Patch 9.1.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (addons page): Reviewed and approved for Patch 9.1.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (mythic+ page): Reviewed and approved for Patch 9.1.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (gear page): Updated for Patch 9.1.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (Torghast): Reviewed and approved for Patch 9.1.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (easy mode page): Reviewed and approved for Patch 9.1.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (how to improve page): Reviewed and approved for Patch 9.1.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (stats page): Reviewed and approved for Patch 9.1.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (simulations page): Reviewed and approved for Patch 9.1.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (rotation page): Reviewed and approved for Patch 9.1.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (Legendaries): Updated for Patch 9.1.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (this page): Updated for Patch 9.1.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (Covenants and Soulbinds): Updated for Patch 9.1.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (spells page): Reviewed and approved for Patch 9.1.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (FAQ page): Reviewed and approved for Patch 9.1.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (talents page): Updated for Patch 9.1.
  • 27 Jun. 2021 (Patch 9.1 Analysis): baseline changes, legendary and covenant recommendations updated.
  • 05 May 2021 (Patch 9.1 Analysis): Page created.
  • 30 Apr. 2021 (gear page): Cleaned up Legendary section.
  • 27 Apr. 2021 (how to improve page): Updated Pet Control section.
  • 18 Apr. 2021 (Castle Nathria page): Updated Legendary recommendation and boss talent setup.
  • 09 Mar. 2021 (Legendaries): Updated Legendary recommendation to account for Grim Inquisitor buff in Patch 9.0.5.
  • 09 Mar. 2021 (this page): Reviewed for Patch 9.0.5.
  • 09 Mar. 2021 (Torghast): Reviewed for Patch 9.0.5.
  • 09 Mar. 2021 (Covenants and Soulbinds): Updated potency Soulbind lists to reflect the buffs to Dreadstalkers in Patch 9.0.5.
  • 09 Mar. 2021 (easy mode page): Reviewed for Patch 9.0.5.
  • 09 Mar. 2021 (spells page): Reviewed for Patch 9.0.5.
  • 09 Mar. 2021 (talents page): Updated talent recommendation and reasoning in Tier 1 after Patch 9.0.5.
  • 09 Mar. 2021 (rotation page): Reviewed for Patch 9.0.5.
  • 09 Mar. 2021 (gear page): Updated BiS list to reflect a new Legendary recommendation, added Valor section.
  • 09 Mar. 2021 (mythic+ page): Reviewed for Patch 9.0.5.
  • 09 Mar. 2021 (enchants page): Reviewed for Patch 9.0.5.
  • 09 Mar. 2021 (stats page): Reviewed for Patch 9.0.5.
  • 23 Feb. 2021 (gear page): Updated trinket section.
  • 23 Feb. 2021 (Legendaries): Updated Legendary recommendation section.
  • 23 Feb. 2021 (rotation page): Updated openers to include additional selectors, added Implosion, From the Shadows and Wilfred sections.
  • 23 Feb. 2021 (Covenants and Soulbinds): Updated raiding Soulbind.
  • 28 Dec. 2020 (gear page): Added Sun King Salvation as another source of drop for the Abominable Anima Spherule weapon token.
  • 10 Dec. 2020 (enchants page): Fixed link pointing at the wrong weapon enchant.
  • 08 Dec. 2020 (enchants page): Added Armor Kits.
  • 07 Dec. 2020 (Castle Nathria page): Boss guides added.
  • 07 Dec. 2020 (mythic+ page): Page updated for Shadowlands season 1.
  • 04 Dec. 2020 (gear page): Updated Castle Nathria BiS list, added dungeons BiS list, and updated trinket recommendations.
  • 03 Dec. 2020 (Legendaries): Added crafting strategy section.
  • 03 Dec. 2020 (stats page): Stats ranking updated following simulation profile optimisations.
  • 03 Dec. 2020 (talents page): Updated talent choices, explanations and builds after further testing and simulations.
  • 03 Dec. 2020 (Covenants and Soulbinds): Minor clean-up and updated Impending Catastrophe viability.
  • 01 Dec. 2020 (Castle Nathria page): Added placeholder Castle Nathria page.
  • 25 Nov. 2020 (enchants page): Updated the food section to the correct secondary.
  • 24 Nov. 2020 (easy mode page): Updated secondary stat priority in relationship with Intellect.
  • 24 Nov. 2020 (gear page): Added disclaimer about Bloodmallet sims.
  • 24 Nov. 2020 (Torghast): Page added.
  • 23 Nov. 2020 (FAQ page): Updated for Shadowlands.
  • 23 Nov. 2020 (how to improve 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 (stats page): Page updated for Shadowlands release, removed Corruptions and updated stat priority.
  • 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 (this page): Page updated for Shadowlands release, added new systems section and moved spec viability from FAQ.
  • 23 Nov. 2020 (enchants page): Page updated for Shadowlands release: new gems, enchants and consumables added.
  • 23 Nov. 2020 (easy mode page): Updated for Shadowlands.
  • 23 Nov. 2020 (spells page): Updated for Shadowlands.
  • 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 (enchants page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (Ny'alotha page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (addons page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (rotation page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (gear page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (talents page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (simulations page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (spells 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 (easy mode 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 (mythic+ page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 23 Feb. 2020 (talents page): Added new build, updated talent recommendation and reasoning in Tier 2 and 4.
  • 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 (Crucible of Storms page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 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 (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 (Battle of Dazar'alor page): Updated after recent raid nerfs.
  • 14 Apr. 2019 (Crucible of Storms page): Guide added.
  • 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.
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