Playstyle & Rotation
- Precast Demonbolt
- Soul Rot (if Night Fae)
- Grimoire: Felguard (if talented)
- Summon Vilefiend
- Build to 5 shards with Shadow Bolt
- Call Dreadstalkers
- Summon imps with Hand of Gul'dan on 3 shards and demonbolt/shadow bolt to build shards
- When Grimoire Felguard has less than 5 seconds left cast Hand of Gul’dan until 0 shards
- Summon Demonic Tyrant
- Use any stat trinkets like Sinful Gladiator's Badge of Ferocity
- Demonic Strength (if selected)
General Rotation/Priority List
- Bilescourge Bombers (if talented)
- Demonic Strength (if WIlfreds is NOT equipped)
- Summon Vilefiend (if WIlfreds is NOT equipped)
- Call Dreadstalkers
- Use Hand of Gul'dan when at 3 shards
- Use Demon Bolt when you have demonic core proc / about to cap demonic core procs
- Use Shadow Bolt
Demonic Tyrant setup mid fight
- Make sure you save at least 2 demonic core procs
- When tyrant is on 20 second cooldown assuming wilfreds legendary, or 15 seconds if NOT using wilfreds build to 5 shards
- Cast Soul Rot if Night Fae and follow step 1-10 in the “Opener” Section
Multi-target will follow the same Tyrant setups as Single Target but with the addition of implosion cycles after. See video for reference.
- Build to 4-5 shards
- Hand of Gul’dan
- Demonbolt / Shadow Bolt
- Hand of Gul’dan
- 1-2 spells that are NOT Hand of Gul’dan
With 2+ demonic core procs starting from 5 shards it is possible to do a Hand of Gul’dan->Demonbolt->Hand of Gul’dan->Demonbolt->Hand of Gul’dan before casting 1 spell and then implosion. This is known as a “triple cycle”.
It's important to keep using dreadstalkers on cooldown inside this rotation not only for the damage but for the steady influx of demonic core procs.
Advanced trinket usage
Sinful Gladiator’s Emblem gives you a flat amount of health that you ideally want to have active as you cast your tyrant. The entire reason to use this trinket is to enable “double on use”. Press the trinket 18-20 seconds before you are casting tyrant. In the opener this will mean that you press the trinket before precasting demonbolt. For midfight tyrant setups, assuming wilfreds legendary is used, press the trinket as you are building to 5 shards before casting Soul Rot.
Soulletting Ruby has a huge potential if used correctly. Use this on the target that will be the lowest % health when the “soul” reaches you. Travel time scales linearly from 0-8 seconds over 0-40 yards. Travel time is determined the moment you cast the trinket regardless of your movement after the fact. If used in combination with Sinful Gladiator’s Emblem you want to be as close to the boss as possible and press the trinket right after Demonic Tyrant. If used as the only on use trinket aim to receive the buff right before summoning your tyrant.
Sinful Gladiator’s Badge of Ferocity is a very simple flat intellect on use trinket. Use this as well as any other similar stat trinkets that applies the buff instantly directly after tyrant.
Demonology is a spec that is unlike any other. It is essentially a dot spec but your dots are demons on the ground that follow you around and do your bidding rather than debuffs on a specific target. As such you can keep your resources and damage rolling in both demonic core procs for fast shard regen and demons going from pack to pack in M+ or entering a new phase in a raid encounter.
Summon Demonic Tyrant is our biggest cooldown and getting the most out of this, especially when Demonic Consumption talent is selected is what makes the biggest difference in single target damage. Do NOT be afraid to use this on cooldown both in raid and mythic+ even if it's going to be a slightly suboptimal setup beforehand. More Tyrants = more damage. Not only because of the damage it does but it extends all your demons allowing each cast to have more value than they would have had without the tyrant active.
It's important to line up your cooldowns properly. This is an area that comes with practice and experience but assuming wilfreds legendary you are playing with roughly 1 minute 5 seconds cooldown on tyrant which means that you will be holding Vilefiend for each tyrant if selected and using Grimoire Felguard with every other tyrant if selected.
Demonology Warlocks get their own unique pet, Felguard. This is your choice of pet 99% of the time because it can stun and interrupt your target and choosing another pet is a BIG damage loss.
You can in some instances choose to play with Summon Imp in instances where a magic dispel is valuable. For example Kul’tharok in Theatre of Pain and Devos in Spires of Ascension. I would only do this if you are playing Dreadlash as the loss of demonic strength if selected as a talent is too big.
You should try to plan your movement as much as possible with well placed Demonic Circle and Demonic Gateway. Its usually a good idea to hold 1 demonic core proc outside of tyrant setups for movement.
Demonology is a very tanky spec thanks to our passive ‘Soul Link’. Which directs 20% of all damage taken, to your pet instead.
Soul leeches also heals you for 25% of the shielding you get. This in combination with 10% more Stamina from Demonic Embrace and Mortal Coil as a default talent choice we are probably the tankiest caster in the game to any mechanic that is not a flat out one shot that requires immunity.
Tl;dr: If you are dead then you either stood in the fire for a very long time or the rest of your raid is already on the floor.
The Key to Demonology
If I could sum up how to perform on Demonology in 2 sentences it would be; Clean tyrant setups on cooldown, and clean implosion cycles on aoe. Practice makes perfect and I would 100% recommend spending time on dummies to get the muscle memory of tyrant setups and implosion cycles down.