Demonology Warlock PvP Rotation and Playstyle (Shadowlands / Patch 9.0.2)

Last updated on Jan 18, 2021 at 15:51 by Mysticall 7 comments

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.

1.

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 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.

1.1.

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.

2.

Damage Rotation

2.1.

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 Icon 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.
  • Soul Strike Icon Soul Strike is a Regular Talent that should be used when you are playing against teams with many kicks. This ability is instant and generates 1 Soul Shard. Similar to Shadowbolt, this should be used often to generate Soul Shards.
  • Demonbolt Icon Demonbolt generates 2 Soul Shards. This has a very long cast time, but is instant when you get the Demonic Core Icon Demonic Core buff. This should be used when you need the Soul Shards and when it is instant.
  • Summon Demonic Tyrant Icon 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, is it important to know how to spend them. Here are the abilities you will be spending Soul Shards on:

  • Call Dreadstalkers Icon Call Dreadstalkers costs 2 Soul Shards and is instant with the PvP talent Master Summoner Icon Master Summoner. This should be used when you have 2+ imps active.
  • Hand of Gul'dan Icon 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). This is a great way to summon imps for important spells like Power Siphon Icon Power Siphon or Implosion Icon Implosion.
  • Summon Vilefiend Icon Summon Vilefiend costs 1 Soul Shard and will be used off cooldown if you are using this Regular Talent.
2.2.

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 place your Demonic Circle Icon 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.

  1. Cast Demonic Gateway Icon Demonic Gateway from one side of the map to the other.
  2. Use Demonic Circle Icon Demonic Circle to make it easier to get away from enemies.
  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 Soul Strike Icon Soul Strike.
  5. Use Call Dreadstalkers Icon Call Dreadstalkers off cooldown.
  6. Use your Felguard's special ability, Felstorm Icon Felstorm off cooldown.
  7. Use Demonbolt Icon Demonbolt when you get a Demonic Core Icon 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.
  8. Cast Hand of Gul'dan Icon 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.
  9. 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).
  10. Use your burst rotation.
2.3.

Burst Damage

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

  1. You will want 2+ Wild Imps active and a few Soul Shards before you start your burst rotation.
  2. Use Power Siphon Icon Power Siphon.
    • With 2 Wild Imps, you should get 2 stacks of Demonic Core Icon Demonic Core.
  3. Use Demonbolt Icon Demonbolt.
  4. Use Call Dreadstalkers Icon Call Dreadstalkers.
  5. Cast Hand of Gul'dan Icon Hand of Gul'dan if you have 2+ Soul Shards.
  6. Use Demonbolt Icon Demonbolt.
  7. Cast Decimating Bolt Icon Decimating Bolt if you are Necrolord to deal strong damage and increase the damage of your Demonbolt Icon Demonbolt.
  8. Use Shadow Bolt Icon Shadow Bolt to generate Soul Shards.
  9. Use Hand of Gul'dan Icon Hand of Gul'dan.
  10. Cast Summon Vilefiend Icon Summon Vilefiend if you are using this talent.
  11. Cast Summon Demonic Tyrant Icon Summon Demonic Tyrant.
  12. Use Hand of Gul'dan Icon Hand of Gul'dan
  13. Use Demonbolt Icon Demonbolt if you get the Demonic Core Icon Demonic Core buff.
  14. Cast Hand of Gul'dan Icon Hand of Gul'dan.
  15. Use Implosion Icon Implosion if your target is at low health.

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 Icon Summon Demonic Tyrant, can be used extremely often.

2.4.

Sustained damage

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

  1. Generate Soul Shards by using Shadow Bolt Icon Shadow Bolt and Demonbolt Icon Demonbolt.
  2. Use Soul Strike Icon Soul Strike off cooldown if you are using this talent.
  3. Use Call Dreadstalkers Icon Call Dreadstalkers off cooldown if you have multiple Wild Imps summoned already.
  4. Use your Felguard's special ability, Felstorm Icon Felstorm, off cooldown, if you are not using a Succubus.
  5. Cast Decimating Bolt Icon Decimating Bolt if you are Necrolord to deal strong damage and increase the damage of your Demonbolt Icon Demonbolt.
  6. Use Shadow Bolt Icon Shadow Bolt to generate Soul Shards.
  7. Use Demonbolt Icon Demonbolt when you get a Demonic Core Icon Demonic Core proc and you have 3 or less Soul Shards.
  8. Cast Hand of Gul'dan Icon Hand of Gul'dan when you have 3 or more Soul Shards to summon more Imps.
  9. Cast Summon Vilefiend Icon Summon Vilefiend if you are using this talent.
3.

Cooldowns/Defensives

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.

Healthstone Icon 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 Icon 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 Icon Demonic Gateway.

4.

Curses

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 Icon 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 Icon 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 Icon 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.
5.

Macros

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.

6.

Changelog

  • 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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