As previously mentioned, I’m going on my first Cata raid tonight. Since I found this out on Tuesday or Wednesday, I have been working to get the warlock prepared. Doing more dungeons than I might normally, making sure my gear is best it can be, ensuring I have everything I’ll need, finishing up TB, I’ll hit exalted tonight before the raid and get my Stump of Time. I should also get enough VP to get my T11 pants–just in time. I’m cutting it close!
I also took some time to read up on Demonology a little further just to make sure everything I knew is still current. It is not!
I’ve been doing it wrong!!
Okay, so I always thought I should bring the Felguard, they give it to you, only demonology locks have it, it seems like a no brainer! But this is not true! The Felguard is amazing for AOE situations, but if you’re looking at single target it turns out the Felhunter is better. I try it out–wut is dis? The Felhunter crit for 38k?? Okay, so single target means Felhunter. This means lots more pet swapping. I did a dungeon and posted better numbers than usual. Okay, so now I got the pet thing figured out. Shaatom is going to be sad, but Thoofun has never been happier. Though Thoofun doesn’t roll of the tongue like Shaatom.
I looked at stat priority. Intellect is the primary stat. For the secondary, hit trumps all to 17%, then I always thought haste = crit = mastery. But I guess there’s a preference for haste > mastery > crit. This is because since demonology doesn’t have any “signature” spells, we spend lots of time on castable filler spells, like Incinerate or Shadowbolt. Haste is good for these spells. I reforged what seemed like a lot of crit into haste and brought my haste up about 3% and dropped my crit less than 2%. That seemed like a fair trade.
Finally I looked at spell rotation for demonology. It seems it was pretty much the same as I thought it was. Curse of Elements, Bane of Doom, Immolate, Hand of Gul’dan, Corruption, Shadowflame and then filler Incinerate or Shadowbolt. I had always been filling with Shadowbolts. But after looking at my recount a bit I noticed that they hit and crit for roughly the same amount of damage. But Incinerate has a cast time of 1.98 seconds and Shadowbolt has a cast time of 2.26 seconds. I head over to the target dummy and try it out. Basically keeping the DoTs the same, I do a minute of testing using only Incinerate and a minute doing only Shadowbolt for filler (except for molten core procs). It turns out that the Incinerate does 200 to 300 more DPS if I just use that. Interesting. I do some more testing and confirm that for me, Incinerate is doing more damage. Shadowbolt therefore gets dumped to a lower priority–basically, no priority. I’ll double-check the talents I have tonight, but I’m pretty sure there isn’t anything that is specifically for Shadowbolt. The 5% spell crit debuff is applied with either Incinerate or Shadowbolt, so that doesn’t matter. I did both rotations without Shadowflame. Shadowflame is the cone AOE DoT that warlocks have, you need to be in melee range for it to really be effective. It is very powerful if you’re in melee. However, since many fights you are not, it really doesn’t become part of the rotation. Though if possible, it is advantageous for a Demonology warlock to stand in melee–so you can use Shadowflame as well as Immolation Aura from Metamorphosis.
Anyways, I learned a lot and hopefully this will improve some of my numbers. The changes weren’t really all that big: change of pet for single target, and use Incinerate instead of Shadowbolt. Not really all that critical, but hopefully these little tweeks will help me pull more of my share tonight when we kill Nefarian.
Edit: I shouldn’t say Incinerate always takes priority over Shadowbolt. As Incinerate only does damage equal to Shadowbolt only if Immolate is on the target, Shadowbolt would be used for targets where they will die quickly enough to not put up Immolate as well – rare, but it might happen.