Demonology Warlock PvP Rotation and Playstyle (Dragonflight 10.2)
PvP requires you to perform various actions in the course of a duel, match, or battleground: interrupting/silencing enemies, damaging them, bursting them down, defending yourself, keeping yourself alive, etc.. It is a game mode that fully utilizes your kit, especially spells that are rarely used in PvE. On this page, we go through all the spells you need to use in PvP as a Demonology Warlock, how you should use them, and we explain what your playstyle should be.
This page is part of our Demonology Warlock PvP Guide.
Playstyle for Demonology Warlocks
The Demonology Warlock has one role when in an Arena: survive. Demonology Warlocks have powerful crowd control in the forms of Fear, Mortal Coil, and Axe Toss. On top of this, they have passive defensives, such as 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.
Before Gates Open
Have a plan for who you will be mainly using your crowd control on. Demonology Warlocks have Fear, which is very powerful.
Generating and Spending Soul Shards
Understanding how to generate and spend Soul Shards is crucial to maximizing your damage output as a Demonology Warlock. Here are the spells that will generate Soul Shards:
- Shadow Bolt generates 1 Soul Shard and is your primary generator. Use this whenever you get the chance to cast if if you are low on Soul Shards.
- Demonbolt generates 2 Soul Shards. This has a very long cast time but is instant when you get the Demonic Core buff. This should be used when you need the Soul Shards and when it is instant.
- Summon Demonic Tyrant generates 5 Soul Shards. This should be used when you have 0 Soul Shards available and want to deal large amounts of damage.
Now that you know how to generate Soul Shards, it is important to know how to spend them. Here are the abilities you will be spending Soul Shards on:
- Call Dreadstalkers costs 2 Soul Shards and can be instant with the talent Demonic Calling. This should be used on cooldown and is your main source of burst damage outside of Summon Demonic Tyrant.
- Hand of Gul'dan costs 1 to 3 Soul Shards. This will summon imps based on how many Soul Shards you spend (summons 2 imps if you spend 2 Soul Shards).
- Summon Vilefiend costs 1 Soul Shard and will be used off cooldown if you are using this Regular Talent.
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 and place your Demonic Circle in a safe spot behind a pillar.
This is the rotation you should use on your target at the beginning of the game.
- Cast Demonic Gateway from one side of the map to the other.
- Use Demonic Circle to make it easier to get away from enemies.
- Use Fear to get away from enemies or on the enemy healer.
- Start generating Soul Shards.
- Use Doom and maintain it on all enemies.
- Use Call Dreadstalkers off cooldown.
- Use your Felguard's special ability, Felstorm off cooldown.
- If you are playing the Pleasure through Pain PvP talent, you should be using Summon Succubus pet.
- Use Demonbolt when you get a Demonic Core proc and you have 3 or less Soul Shards. This is so you do not generate more Soul Shards than you can have.
- Cast Hand of Gul'dan when you have 3 or more Soul Shards.
- Hand of Gul'dan will summon Wild Imps for each Soul Shard used to cast it. This means that if you have 3 Soul Shards, it will consume them all.
- Use Demonic Strength if the enemy team is stacked.
- Get crowd control on the enemy healer (you can use Fear, Mortal Coil, Axe Toss or have a teammate do this).
- Use your burst rotation.
When you have the enemy healer in crowd control, and you are trying to kill an enemy, you use your burst damage.
- You will want at least 4 Soul Shards before you start your burst rotation.
- Cast Call Dreadstalkers
- Cast Summon Vilefiend
- Cast Fel Obelisk
- Cast Grimoire: Felguard
- Cast Summon Demonic Tyrant
- Cast Demonic Strength
- Cast Hand of Gul'dan
- Cast Demonbolt if low on Soul Shards and you have Demonic Core charges
The great part about Demonology Warlocks is that you do not have to wait long to use this burst rotation again. This rotation, except for Summon Demonic Tyrant can be used extremely often.
Sustained damage is damage you do when your burst cooldowns are not available.
- Use Doom and maintain it on all enemies.
- Generate Soul Shards by using Shadow Bolt and Demonbolt.
- Use Call Dreadstalkers off cooldown
- Use Demonic Strength, as long as the AoE damage will not break crowd control.
- Use Shadow Bolt to generate Soul Shards.
- Use Demonbolt when you get a Demonic Core proc and you have 3 or less Soul Shards.
- Cast Hand of Gul'dan when you have 3 or more Soul Shards to summon more Imps.
- Cast Summon Vilefiend if you are using this talent.
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.
Dark Pact is a 1 minute cooldown that sacrifices 20% of your health to give you a massive shield. This can be used while in CC and should be the first defensive you trade if you are being targeted.
Soulburn allows you to empower many of your spells. Some to note is that it will increase the healing of Healthstone and your max health. Also, after you use Demonic Circle: Teleport, your movement speed will be increased, and you will be immune to roots/snares for 8 sec.
Unending Resolve is your longest cooldown defensive that makes you immune to interrupts and reduces the damage you take. This is usable in stuns but should only be used if Dark Pact is not available.
Fear also has defensive uses. It might be hard to cast this if the enemy team is focusing on 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 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.
Healthstone should be used when you are at very low health and your healer does not have defensive cooldowns to keep you alive.
Demonic Circle should be placed away from the enemy team but close to your healer. Make sure you coordinate when you will be using this, so your team can position themselves accordingly. You will want to use this when the enemy team is using their offensive cooldowns, and you need to create distance between you and them. Use the same concept when you need to take Demonic Gateway.
Curses allow you to weaken a target based on which curse you use on them. Effectively using a curse on an enemy could prevent a lot of damage that the target will deal. Below are the curses that you have and the best time to use them.
- Curse of Weakness increases the time between the enemy's attacks. This should be used on a melee DPS to prevent incoming Physical damage.
- Curse of Tongues increases the cast time of all spells the enemy casts. This should be used on a caster DPS to prevent or slow down incoming spell damage.
- Curse of Exhaustion reduces the target's movement speed. This is a very flexible Curse and can be used to slow down melee DPS or slow down enemy healers to make them easier to crowd control.
You should also be using the talent Amplify Curse that empowers the next cure you use.
It is advised to use Macros to use abilities on enemies or allies without having to target them. For this reason, we have a page dedicated to them.
- 06 Nov. 2023: Updated for Dragonflight Patch 10.2.
- 04 Sep. 2023: Updated for Dragonflight Patch 10.1.7.
- 10 Jul. 2023: Reviewed for Patch 10.1.5.
- 07 May 2023: Reviewed for Patch 10.1.
- 21 Mar. 2023: Reviewed for Patch 10.0.7.
- 15 Dec. 2022: Updated Damage rotations.
- 11 Dec. 2022: Reviewed for Dragonflight Season 1.
- 22 Nov. 2022: Updated for Dragonflight pre-patch.
- 01 Aug. 2022: Reviewed for Shadowlands Season 4.
- 10 Jun. 2022: Updated Damage rotations.
- 31 May 2022: Reviewed for Patch 9.2.5.
- 28 Feb. 2022: Reviewed for Patch 9.2.
- 26 Nov. 2021: Reviewed for Patch 9.1.5.
- 09 Aug. 2021: Updated sustained and burst damage rotations.
- 08 Mar. 2021: Reviewed for Patch 9.0.5.
- 18 Dec. 2020: Updated Rotations to have Covenant Abilities buff the correct spell.
- 05 Dec. 2020: Updated Rotations to include Covenant Ability.
- 29 Nov. 2020: Removed outdated Traits and Essences.
- 27 Oct. 2020: Added Generating and Spending Soul Shards section.
- Updated all damage rotations.
- Updated Defensives section.
- Added Curses section.
- 20 Jan. 2020: This page was checked for Patch 8.3 and no update was deemed necessary.
- 13 Jan. 2020: Page added.
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