Demonology Warlock DPS Spec, Builds, and Talents — Shadowlands 9.0.5

Last updated on Mar 09, 2021 at 16:15 by Motoko 11 comments
General Information

On this page, you will find out the best talents for each tier for your Demonology Warlock in World of Warcraft — Shadowlands 9.0.5. We also have default talent lists for various types of content, such as raiding or Mythic+. If you play with Warmode on, we have your PvP talents covered as well.

If you were looking for WoW Classic content, please refer to our Classic DPS Warlock talents.

1.

Talent Choices for Demonology Warlock

Level Choices
15 Dreadlash Dreadlash Bilescourge Bombers ? Bilescourge Bombers Demonic Strength Demonic Strength
25 Demonic Calling Demonic Calling Power Siphon ? Power Siphon Doom ? Doom
30 Demon Skin ? Demon Skin Burning Rush Burning Rush Dark Pact Dark Pact
35 From the Shadows ? From the Shadows Soul Strike ? Soul Strike Summon Vilefiend Summon Vilefiend
40 Darkfury Darkfury Mortal Coil Mortal Coil Howl of Terror ? Howl of Terror
45 Soul Conduit Soul Conduit Inner Demons ? Inner Demons Grimoire: Felguard Grimoire: Felguard
50 Sacrificed Souls Sacrificed Souls Demonic Consumption Demonic Consumption Nether Portal ? Nether Portal

Talents can be freely changed when out of combat and in a rested XP area (such as an inn or a capital city). Moreover, Tome of the Still Mind Icon Tome of the Still Mind and Codex of the Still Mind Icon Codex of the Still Mind can be used to temporarily allow players to change talents anywhere, as long as they are out of combat.

1.1.

Raiding

Do note that the builds suggested above do not account for specific fights in the current raid tier; that said, we do have a dedicated page that covers a boss-by-boss talent recommendations, which you can find linked below.

1.2.

Mythic+

For specific Mythic+ advice, which typically involves having a set-up that can perform both in single-target and AoE situations, and this set-up can also be influenced by affixes and other things like party composition and pull layout. Check out our dedicated M+ page below.

1.3.

How To Use Demonology Warlock Talents

Since several talent choices have an effect on your gameplay, we recommend reading our rotation page linked below to find out how to adapt your playstyle and priority based on your selected talents.

2.

Single Target Demonic Consumption

  1. Level 15: Demonic Strength Icon Demonic Strength
  2. Level 25: Demonic Calling Icon Demonic Calling
  3. Level 30: Player's Preference
  4. Level 35: Summon Vilefiend Icon Summon Vilefiend
  5. Level 40: Mortal Coil Icon Mortal Coil
  6. Level 45: Soul Conduit Icon Soul Conduit or Grimoire: Felguard Icon Grimoire: Felguard
  7. Level 50::Demonic Consumption Icon Demonic Consumption
3.

Single Target Nether Portal

  1. Level 15: Demonic Strength Icon Demonic Strength or Bilescourge Bombers Icon Bilescourge Bombers
  2. Level 25: Demonic Calling Icon Demonic Calling
  3. Level 30: Player's Preference
  4. Level 35: Summon Vilefiend Icon Summon Vilefiend
  5. Level 40: Mortal Coil Icon Mortal Coil
  6. Level 45: Inner Demons Icon Inner Demons or Grimoire: Felguard Icon Grimoire: Felguard
  7. Level 50::Nether Portal Icon Nether Portal
4.

Cleave Demonic Consumption

  1. Level 15: Demonic Strength Icon Demonic Strength or Bilescourge Bombers Icon Bilescourge Bombers
  2. Level 25: Demonic Calling Icon Demonic Calling
  3. Level 30: Player's Preference
  4. Level 35: Soul Strike Icon Soul Strike
  5. Level 40: Mortal Coil Icon Mortal Coil
  6. Level 45: Grimoire: Felguard Icon Grimoire: Felguard
  7. Level 50::Demonic Consumption Icon Demonic Consumption
5.

Cleave Nether Portal

  1. Level 15: Dreadlash Icon Dreadlash
  2. Level 25: Demonic Calling Icon Demonic Calling
  3. Level 30: Player's Preference
  4. Level 35: From the Shadows Icon From the Shadows
  5. Level 40: Mortal Coil Icon Mortal Coil
  6. Level 45: Soul Conduit Icon Soul Conduit
  7. Level 50::Nether Portal Icon Nether Portal
6.

AoE Dreadlash/From the Shadow

  1. Level 15: Dreadlash Icon Dreadlash
  2. Level 25: Demonic Calling Icon Demonic Calling
  3. Level 30: Player's Preference
  4. Level 35: From the Shadows Icon From the Shadows
  5. Level 40: Mortal Coil Icon Mortal Coil
  6. Level 45: Grimoire: Felguard Icon Grimoire: Felguard
  7. Level 50::Demonic Consumption Icon Demonic Consumption
7.

Tier 1 (Level 15) Talents for Demonology Warlock

Dreadlash Dreadlash Bilescourge Bombers ? Bilescourge Bombers Demonic Strength Demonic Strength
  • Dreadlash Icon Dreadlash causes your Call Dreadstalkers Icon Call Dreadstalkers Dreadbite Icon Dreadbite to hit all targets with 8 yards, and deal 25% more damage.
  • Bilescourge Bombers Icon Bilescourge Bombers opens a portal which will bombard a location over 6 seconds, dealing Shadow damage to targets within 8 yards. It has a 30-second cooldown.
  • Demonic Strength Icon Demonic Strength infuses your Felguard with demonic strength, commanding it to attack the current target and Felstorm for 400% increased damage, on a 60-second cooldown.

Due to the buffs in Patch 9.0.5, Dreadlash Icon Dreadlash has become an extremely competitive choice: by default, it is the best option at 5 targets and above. Its power is further amplified by the Conduit Carnivorous Stalkers Icon Carnivorous Stalkers. When paired with Grim Inquisitor's Dread Calling Icon Grim Inquisitor's Dread Calling, it becomes the best option in the row at any number of targets.

Bilescourge Bombers Icon Bilescourge Bombers is tied with Demonic Strength Icon Demonic Strength for best single and 2-target damage, edging out as more targets are involved.

Demonic Strength Icon Demonic Strength can be a good option for dealing bursts of AoE every minute or in conjunction with Demonic Consumption Icon Demonic Consumption.

The choice between Demonic Strength Icon Demonic Strength and Bilescourge Bombers Icon Bilescourge Bombers is mostly player preference, but can be influenced by how frequent a given AoE burst is required.

In terms of synergies, Demonic Strength Icon Demonic Strength pairs well with Soul Strike Icon Soul Strike and Fel Commando Icon Fel Commando, whereas Dreadlash Icon Dreadlash has the strongest synergy with Carnivorous Stalkers Icon Carnivorous Stalkers and Grim Inquisitor's Dread Calling Icon Grim Inquisitor's Dread Calling.

8.

Tier 2 (Level 25) Talents for Demonology Warlock

Demonic Calling Demonic Calling Power Siphon ? Power Siphon Doom ? Doom
  • Demonic Calling Icon Demonic Calling causes Shadow Bolt Icon Shadow Bolt and Demonbolt Icon Demonbolt to have a 20% chance to make your next Call Dreadstalkers Icon Call Dreadstalkers cost 1 less Soul Shard and have no cast time.
  • Power Siphon Icon Power Siphon instantly sacrifices (up to) 2 Wild Imps to generate 2 charges of Demonic Core and increase their damage by 30%.
  • Doom Icon Doom grants access to a DoT, dealing a large amount of damage after 30 seconds have elapsed. It generates a Soul Shard when damage is dealt.

Demonic Calling Icon Demonic Calling is a versatile option, less potent than Doom Icon Doom in single-target, but offering ease of use, and increased multi-target capabilities.

Power Siphon Icon Power Siphon allows for a lot of on-demand resource generation, Wild Imp creation, and burst. This talent is a great option for high movement fights, or when you need to serve up a little more burst damage.

Doom Icon Doom is the best choice for single-target output, but does not scale well with additional targets due a higher gcd upkeep, the delayed shard mechanic, quirks that impact how practical this choice can be in a more busy iteration of Demonology in Shadowlands.

9.

Tier 3 (Level 30) Talents for Demonology Warlock

Demon Skin ? Demon Skin Burning Rush Burning Rush Dark Pact Dark Pact
  • Demon Skin Icon Demon Skin grants Soul Leech Icon Soul Leech a passive recharge rate of 0.5% of maximum health per second, and may now absorb 15% of maximum health.
  • Burning Rush Icon Burning Rush grants 50% movement speed in exchange for 4% maximum health per second, and prevents you from being reduced below base movement speed.
  • Dark Pact Icon Dark Pact grants a large shield on demand; 20% of your current health is sacrificed to shield you for 250% of the amount lost.

Burning Rush Icon Burning Rush remains the most versatile option, as Warlocks have little base mobility. Burning Rush functions both as a means to stay in range and position aggressively, but also as a means of dodging mechanics. It is my opinion that movement speed offers the greatest defensive benefit in most situations, and you should default to this talent.

Dark Pact Icon Dark Pact is a good option for encounters where you need to soak a mechanic or survive a telegraphed amount of high damage. It is important to note that the damage absorb is based on current health, rendering this ability useless as a reactive cooldown. For Dark Pact to be effective, it needs to be used while you are close to full health to mitigate a future amount of damage.

Demon Skin Icon Demon Skin is a good choice for encounters with low movement and consistent damage intake.

10.

Tier 4 (Level 35) Talents for Demonology Warlock

From the Shadows ? From the Shadows Soul Strike ? Soul Strike Summon Vilefiend Summon Vilefiend
  • From the Shadows Icon From the Shadows makes Call Dreadstalkers Icon Call Dreadstalkers's Dreadbite to cause the target to take 20% additional Shadowflame damage from you for 12 seconds.
  • Soul Strike Icon Soul Strike commands your Felguard to deal Shadow damage and generate 1 Soul Shard.
  • Summon Vilefiend Icon Summon Vilefiend summons a demon to fight for you for 15 seconds, on a 45 second cooldown.

Summon Vilefiend Icon Summon Vilefiend is the default choice for single-target and 2-target situations, as it provides an additional demon that does significant damage and lines up naturally with Summon Demonic Tyrant Icon Summon Demonic Tyrant. Together with Grimoire: Felguard Icon Grimoire: Felguard, it offers a noticeable bump in power for each tyrant when Demonic Consumption Icon Demonic Consumption is talented.

Soul Strike Icon Soul Strike is a versatile choice when more targets are present, increasing Felguard mobility noticeably when swapping targets frequently. Being an instant cast on a relatively short cooldown increases warlock mobility, which is always a bonus.

From the Shadows Icon From the Shadows is a competitive choice in situations where Implosion Icon Implosion and Hand of Gul'dan Icon Hand of Gul'dan represent a large percentage of player damage breakdown, generally when paired with Dreadlash Icon Dreadlash for pure AoE scenarios, at the cost of reduced single-target damage.

11.

Tier 5 (Level 40) Talents for Demonology Warlock

Darkfury Darkfury Mortal Coil Mortal Coil Howl of Terror ? Howl of Terror
  • Darkfury Icon Darkfury reduces the cooldown of Shadowfury Icon Shadowfury by 15 seconds.
  • Mortal Coil Icon Mortal Coil allows you to horrify an enemy and heal for 20% of your maximum health once every 45 seconds.
  • Howl of Terror Icon Howl of Terror causes the 5 nearest enemies within 10 yards to flee for up to 20 seconds on a 40-second cooldown. Damage may break the effect earlier.

With Demonic Circle Icon Demonic Circle becoming baseline Mortal Coil Icon Mortal Coil is now the default choice for most situations. It offers a noticeable heal on top of an additional form of Crowd Control, which can prevent a wipe, especially in Mythic dungeons.

Darkfury Icon Darkfury is an option for dungeons and Mythic+, allowing you to Crowd Control groups of enemies far more often.

Howl of Terror Icon Howl of Terror is perhaps the more dungeon oriented option in the row, allowing yet another form of AoE disruption on a relatively short cooldown.

12.

Tier 6 (Level 45) Talents for Demonology Warlock

Soul Conduit Soul Conduit Inner Demons ? Inner Demons Grimoire: Felguard Grimoire: Felguard
  • Soul Conduit Icon Soul Conduit grants each Soul Shard spent a 15% chance to refund itself.
  • Inner Demons Icon Inner Demons passively summons a Wild Imp for you every 10 seconds, and additionally has a 10% chance to summon an additional Demon to fight for you for 15 seconds.
  • Grimoire: Felguard Icon Grimoire: Felguard summons a Felguard who attacks the target for 15 seconds and deals 50% increased damage, on a 2-minute cooldown.

Inner Demons Icon Inner Demons provides some extra Imps with the chance at extra demons, which is a consistent damage increase in any scenario.

Soul Conduit Icon Soul Conduit is a jack of all trades talent, which works well especially with Nether Portal Icon Nether Portal.

Grimoire: Felguard Icon Grimoire: Felguard deals a lot of burst damage, and is a particularly powerful cooldown for cleave. Together with Summon Vilefiend Icon Summon Vilefiend, it offers a noticeable bump in power for each tyrant when Demonic Consumption Icon Demonic Consumption is talented.

13.

Tier 7 (Level 50) Talents for Demonology Warlock

Sacrificed Souls Sacrificed Souls Demonic Consumption Demonic Consumption Nether Portal ? Nether Portal

Sacrificed Souls Icon Sacrificed Souls is a passive option that offers a steady damage increase, but has a negative synergy with Implosion Icon Implosion and those situations where it is frequently used.

Nether Portal Icon Nether Portal summons a variety of powerful demons that provide high amounts of damage for their Soul Shard efficiency. It is a numerically competitive option in single-target, unless the timings are unfavourable and offers the highest burst on Mythic Dungeon bosses.

Demonic Consumption Icon Demonic Consumption gives Demonology a stronger cooldown for burst phases and is tied for the highest output in any scenario, making it the default choice.

14.

PvP Talents (War Mode)

Under our Talents section, there is the option to enter "War Mode". Enabling War Mode provides the following benefits:

  • PvP talents enabled in the outdoor world;
  • 10% increase in World Quest rewards at maximum level;
  • 10% more experience gained while leveling;
  • Earn Conquest Points which can reward gear every week.

With the benefits of enabling War Mode for leveling and PvE content, it is recommended you enable the feature. In most situations, this will allow for the maximum returns despite the risks. You will make yourself available for open world PvP, and the possibility to be "ganked" while leveling or doing World Quests exists.

14.1.

Demonology Warlock War Mode Talents

In this section we will rank the PvP talents best for leveling and doing solo / small group PvE content. Below is a ranking of both General PvP Talents and Demonology Warlock-specific PvE talents.

14.1.1.

Warlock generic PvP Talents

  1. Essence Drain Icon Essence Drain stacks a damage reduction effect on enemies that are damaged by your Drain Life Icon Drain Life. You can reduce their damage by up to 25%, which is a large increase to your ability to survive and sustain.
  2. Amplify Curse Icon Amplify Curse empower your next curse effect.
  3. Bane of Fragility Icon Bane of Fragility reduces the target's maximum health by up to 10% by 15 seconds, which is very desirable when setting up bursts.
  4. Casting Circle Icon Casting Circle is a 1-minute cooldown ability that creates an area in which you are immune to silence and interrupts for 8 seconds. Removes silence/interrupt immunity from Unending Resolve Icon Unending Resolve.
  5. Gateway Mastery Icon Gateway Mastery increase your gateway's range by 20 yards, and reduces the duration of the debuff placed on players using it by 15 seconds making it a good choice when increased mobility is needed.
  6. Nether Ward Icon Nether Ward summons a shield lasting 3 seconds and reflecting back all harmful spells targeted at you. Has a 45-second cooldown and it is extremely valuable when facing caster teams.
14.1.2.

Demonology Warlock PvP Talents

  1. Call Felhunter Icon Call Felhunter allows you to interrupt once every 24 seconds. This talent has exceptional and flexible use and feels really good in all situations.
  2. Call Fel Lord Icon Call Fel Lord guards a location for 15 seconds; any enemies that come within range take up to 5% of maximum Health as damage. This can be used very strategically in certain situations and is capable of dealing some nice burst damage.
  3. Call Observer Icon Call Observer guards a location for 20 seconds; any enemies that cast spells in the radius will take up to 5% of maximum Health as damage. This has a lot more limited use, but can have absurd value in specific situations.
  4. Master Summoner Icon Master Summoner makes Call Dreadstalkers Icon Call Dreadstalkers an instant cast. Since we are often using Demonic Calling Icon Demonic Calling, the quality of life of this talent is diminished. It can be used if you prefer the consistency, but there are generally better choices.
  5. Pleasure through Pain Icon Pleasure through Pain increases your shadow damage by 15% when you have Succubus active a pet.
  6. Singe Magic Icon Singe Magic is an improved defensive dispel on a 15-second cooldown if Imp is the active demon.
15.

Changelog

  • 09 Mar. 2021: Updated talent recommendation and reasoning in Tier 1 after Patch 9.0.5.
  • 23 Feb. 2020: Added new build, updated talent recommendation and reasoning in Tier 2 and 4.
  • 03 Dec. 2020: Updated talent choices, explanations and builds after further testing and simulations.
  • 23 Nov. 2020: Updated for Shadowlands.
  • 12 Oct. 2020: Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
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