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Demonology Warlock PvP Guide (Legion 7.2)

Last updated on Apr 26, 2017 at 07:10 by Mysticall 1 comment

Table of Contents

Introduction

This guide will walk you through everything you need to know to play a Demonology Warlock in a PvP environment. The guide will cover everything from talent choices, artifacts, gameplay and rotation, and useful racial bonuses. It is most applicable to Arena content, but most talents and racial bonuses will work in Rated Battlegrounds and skirmishes.

About The Author

This guide has been written by Mysticall, a seasoned PvP player who has repeatedly achieved Arena Master and 2300 rating. You can watch his stream on Twitch, and you can also check out his YouTube channel.

1. Spec Overview / Place in the Current Meta

Demonology Warlocks are the strongest Warlock spec right now. They have the same crowd control as all the other specs, but they are much harder to kill. They have utility in the form of Fear Icon Fear and a passive defensive, Soul Link Icon Soul Link, that makes them a bad target to focus. If the Demonology Warlock is left unchecked, they can easily burst an enemy down in seconds.

2. Gear

With regards to gear, the biggest change in Legion is that there is no more PvP gear. Your strength in PvP will be determined based on the average item level of your gear (as displayed on your character sheet). For example, the base item level at level 110 is 800, so your stats in PvP will be adjusted accordingly. For every 10 item levels you gain, your stats are increased by 1%.

The implication is that it does not matter where your gear comes from, and all that matters is its item level. Gear from quests or PvE content is just as good as gear you get as a reward from PvP (which, in fact, will be very similar to PvE gear; there are no more PvP stats on gear).

Practically, you will simply look to collect gear with the highest item levels possible, and the stat distribution on the gear will not matter.

3. Artifact Traits

Below, we will explain what the recommended order for artifact traits is, if you wish to maximise your PvP potential. It is quite possible that your artifact path (at the time of reading this guide) differs from our suggestions. If this is the case, do not worry, and use the information below to help you understand your traits and guide your future choices.

If you have suddenly decided that you want to turn to PvP, the best thing to do in your artifact progression is continue to your closest Golden trait, and then follow the recommendations below. Picking up the most useful traits ( Icon Soul Skin,  Icon The Doom of Azeroth,  Icon Doom, Doubled, or  Icon Firm Resolve) along the way is a great way to boost your potential.

3.1. First Golden Trait

The first Golden trait you want to reach is  Icon Stolen Power.

  1. Take  Icon Breath of Thal'kiel.
  2. Take  Icon Summoner's Prowess. Demonic Empowerment Icon Demonic Empowerment is crucial for Demonology Warlock damage. This will increase overall sustained damage.
  3. Take  Icon Imp-erator. This will increase the damage dealt by your Wild Imps, increasing your sustained damage.
  4. Take  Icon Open Link. Soul Link Icon Soul Link is your primary defensive, and taking this trait will increase your survivability.
  5. Take  Icon Stolen Power. This golden trait will increase your single target damage.

3.2. Second Golden Trait

The second Golden trait to go for is  Icon Odyn's Champion.

  1. Take  Icon Maw of Shadows. Increasing the damage of Shadow Bolt Icon Shadow Bolt, although it might not be used often, is an overall increase to single target damage.
  2. Take  Icon Infernal Furnace. This trait will make your Imps do even more damage, increasing your sustained damage.
  3. Take  Icon Doom, Doubled. This is one of the most important traits you can get. Doom Icon Doom is one of your best damaging abilities, and having the chance for it to deal double damage makes it even more powerful.
  4. Take  Icon The Expendables. Your Imps will die often, so by empowering the ones that are alive, it will increase your sustained damage if you have many alive.

3.3. Remaining Traits

After this, you should head for your last Golden trait,  Icon Thal'kiel's Discord, picking up any remaining traits after that. Although there is no particular order to go, taking  Icon Soul Skin and  Icon The Doom of Azeroth is highly recommended.

4. Relics

Relics are disabled in PvP, so they are not a concern to you.

5. Talent Choices

Regular talents work in both PvP and PvE content (although they may sometimes work differently in the two environments, which is indicated by their tooltips). In other words, they are always active.

On the other hand, Honor talents are inactive outside of a PvP environment.

5.1. Regular Talents

5.1.1. Tier 1 (Level 15) Talents

Shadowflame Icon Shadowflame is the best choice in this tier. Use this ability when you have been interrupted or to generate Soul Shards.

5.1.2. Tier 2 (Level 30) Talents

Impending Doom Icon Impending Doom is the best choice in this tier. This talent makes Doom Icon Doom tick faster. Taking this talent is an overall damage increase.

5.1.3. Tier 3 (Level 45) Talents

Mortal Coil Icon Mortal Coil is the best choice in this tier. This is useful when you are trying to get away from a melee class or for additional crowd control.

5.1.4. Tier 4 (Level 60) Talents

Hand of Doom Icon Hand of Doom is the best choice in this tier. This makes it easier to apply Doom Icon Dooms to teams that are stacked. This also gives you more time to cast other abilities.

5.1.5. Tier 5 (Level 75) Talents

Demon Skin Icon Demon Skin is the best choice in this tier. This increases your survivability greatly. It synergizes well with the passive Demonology Warlocks have, Soul Link Icon Soul Link.

5.1.6. Tier 6 (Level 90) Talents

Grimoire of Service Icon Grimoire of Service is the best choice in this tier. This talent grants your demons special abilities. The pets you will primarily be using it for are the Felhunter (to interrupt a cast) or the Felguard (to stun an enemy).

5.1.7. Tier 7 (Level 100) Talents

Summon Darkglare Icon Summon Darkglare is the best choice in this tier. This is a very strong cooldown. Try to have Doom Icon Doom on as many targets as possible before using it.

5.2. Honor Talents

5.2.1. Tier 1 Talents

If you are an Orc or plan to sit a lot of crowd control, Relentless Icon Relentless is the best choice in this tier. This will help with getting out of stuns and all crowd control much quicker.

If you are any other race or want to have control over when you leave crowd control, Gladiator's Medallion Icon Gladiator's Medallion is the best choice in this tier. This is the standard PvP trinket. Adaptation Icon Adaptation is the best non-Orc choice against teams with very little crowd control.

5.2.2. Tier 2 Talents

Mind Quickness Icon Mind Quickness is the best choice in this tier. Most Demonology abilities have a cast time, so increasing your Haste will make casts shorter, increasing your overall damage.

5.2.3. Tier 3 Talents

If you are playing against a team with melee, Curse of Fragility Icon Curse of Fragility is the best choice in this tier. Using this before you use your burst cooldowns can catch a team by surprise and almost guarantee a kill.

If you are playing against a team with a caster on it, Curse of Tongues Icon Curse of Tongues is the best choice in this tier. Use this ability to prevent incoming crowd control or if the enemy is casting a strong damaging ability.

5.2.4. Tier 4 Talents

If you are playing against a team that could cast crowd control with a cast time on you, Nether Ward Icon Nether Ward is the best choice in this tier. A few examples of castable crowd control are Fear Icon Fear, Polymorph Icon Polymorph, and Cyclone Icon Cyclone.

If you are not playing against a team with melee on it, Casting Circle Icon Casting Circle is the best choice in this tier. This will allow you to cast, even if the enemy team is focusing you.

5.2.5. Tier 5 Talents

Call Felhunter Icon Call Felhunter is the best choice in this tier. Having an interrupt in Arena is important. Call Felhunter is primarily to be used on enemy healers to prevent them from healing.

5.2.6. Tier 6 Talents

If you are playing against a team with at least one melee, Call Fel Lord Icon Call Fel Lord is the best choice in this tier. This ability is crucial against melee who try to ignore it. This also increases your survivability if you stand by your Call Fel Lord Icon Call Fel Lord.

If you are playing against a team with two casters, Call Observer Icon Call Observer is the best choice in this tier. If the enemy casters try to avoid this while they are using cooldowns, they will be punished with a lot of damage from your Call Observer Icon Call Observer.

6. Racial Bonuses

Racial bonuses can provide interesting PvP benefits. Here are the best races to choose for each faction.

6.1. Horde

Orc is the best race for Demonology Warlocks, thanks to the passive Orcs have (Hardiness Icon Hardiness) reducing all stuns greatly improves survivability.

6.2. Alliance

The Human bonus (Every Man for Himself Icon Every Man for Himself) is a great way to escape stuns.

7. Playstyle

The Demonology Warlock has one role when in an Arena: survive. Demonology Warlocks have powerful crowd control in the forms of Fear Icon Fear, Mortal Coil Icon Mortal Coil, and Axe Toss Icon Axe Toss. On top of this, they have passive defensives, such as Soul Link Icon Soul Link, that make them very hard to kill. Although they focus on surviving and peeling for their team, they also have strong sustained and burst damage. If a Demonology is able to free-cast abilities, they can easily use their pets and artifact weapon to quickly kill an enemy.

7.1. Before Gates Open

Have a plan for who you will be mainly using your crowd control on. Demonology Warlocks have Fear Icon Fear, which is very powerful.

7.2. Offensive Rotation

7.2.1. The Opener

The opener refers to your team's opening crowd control chain and damage done as soon as you get out of the gates. The main goal in the opener is to force your enemies to use their cooldowns.

If the enemy healer uses their trinket in the opener, they are in trouble. In the opener, Demonology Warlocks should focus on putting down a Demonic Gateway Icon Demonic Gateway and start putting Doom Icon Dooms on the enemies.

This is the rotation you should use on your target at the beginning of the game.

  1. Cast Demonic Gateway Icon Demonic Gateway from one side of the map to the other.
  2. Maintain Doom Icon Doom on all enemies, even pets.
  3. Use Fear Icon Fear to get away from enemies or on the enemy healer.
  4. Generate Soul Shards by using Shadow Bolt Icon Shadow Bolt and Demonwrath Icon Demonwrath.
  5. Get crowd control on the enemy healer (you can use Fear Icon Fear, Mortal Coil Icon Mortal Coil, Axe Toss Icon Axe Toss or have a teammate do this).
  6. Use your burst rotation.

7.2.2. Burst Damage

When you have the enemy healer in crowd control and you are trying to kill an enemy, you use your burst damage.

Ideally, you will want to be at 5 Soul Shards before using burst cooldowns. However, you can generate Soul Shards while using cooldowns, so you do not always have to be at 5 before starting.

  1. Cast Call Dreadstalkers Icon Call Dreadstalkers.
  2. Use Shadowflame Icon Shadowflame to generate Soul Shards.
  3. Use Summon Darkglare Icon Summon Darkglare.
  4. Use Shadowflame Icon Shadowflame to generate Soul Shards.
  5. Cast Hand of Gul'dan Icon Hand of Gul'dan at 4 Soul Shards.
  6. Cast Demonic Empowerment Icon Demonic Empowerment.
  7. Cast Thal'kiel's Consumption Icon Thal'kiel's Consumption.
  8. Use Curse of Fragility Icon Curse of Fragility, if talented into it.

7.2.3. Sustained damage

Sustained damage is damage you do when your burst cooldowns are not available.

  1. Maintain Doom Icon Doom on all targets, even pets.
  2. Cast Call Dreadstalkers Icon Call Dreadstalkers off cooldown.
  3. Cast Summon Darkglare Icon Summon Darkglare off cooldown.
  4. Cast Demonic Empowerment Icon Demonic Empowerment.
  5. Use Shadowflame Icon Shadowflame on your primary target to generate Soul Shards.
  6. Cast Shadow Bolt Icon Shadow Bolt if you need to generate Soul Shards and you want single-target damage.
  7. Use Demonwrath Icon Demonwrath if you need to generate Soul Shards and the enemy team is stacked.

7.3. Defensive Techniques

Soul Link Icon Soul Link is your main defensive ability. This ability splits the damage between you and your pet. For this reason, it is very important to keep your pet alive. If you find that the enemy team is focusing your pet, try to get away and re-summon it or have your healer keep it alive.

Call Fel Lord Icon Call Fel Lord is another strong defensive ability. If you are being focused by two melee, use this and stand in the ring. The Call Fel Lord Icon Call Fel Lord will consistently stun and deal damage. If the enemy team tries to ignore it, they will likely have to run away or use important defensive cooldowns.

Fear Icon Fear also has defensive uses. It might be hard to cast this if the enemy team is focusing you, but try to use it when they do not have interrupts available. Use this to help you or your teammates get away from an enemy.

Use Demonic Gateway Icon Demonic Gateway when you are overextended or to create distance between you and the enemy team. Using this effectively can completely negate an enemy team's cooldowns.

8. ChangeLog

  • 26 Apr. 2017: Guide added.
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