Demo PvP Guide (In more than 10 minutes!)

85 Troll Warlock
2280
Hello folks, as promised, I wrote up a larger, more detailed guide for Demo PvP. This is stemmed from the discussion and faq generated from my "10 Minute Guide" thread.


The Build and Why:
*NOTE* Build is and will be updated for PTR notes and 4.1.

Changes with 4.1 that will affect Demo PvP: Mana Feed will now become more worthwhile than Master Summoner. The effect is doubled for Felguard up to 8% max mana per crit, which makes it way more useful than MS.

http://www.wowhead.com/talent#IZIrrcoubRdoIbb:aMVaqdz0M
Explaination of Talents:

There should be no points spent in Affliction as of now. Corruption hits far too weak compared to Immolate for 8% more damage to become effective or a stronger choice than Emberstorm. It's also been theorycrafted that Immolation has greater damage yeild than corruption even if they both get dispelled. S&F, Bane, and Imp Immolate are all mandatory and should never be skipped.

Just to be concise and clear: Banes are not good. Sure, BoD crits for a lot, but any Druid/Shaman that doesn't have their head up their rear can decurse. If they don't, they are bad. Simply put. This doesn't mean you shouldn't re-apply banes for additional damage.

Glyphs:

This section caused quite a bit of controversy in the last thread, but based on my personal experience with these glyphs, certain things shine about certain glyphs.

-Prime-
Mandatory - Meta, Immolate
2 Glyphs that both fit your last slot - Corruption or Incinerate

Why: Corruption actually procs quite a bit. The spontaneous burst from instant shadowbolts has served me well. After crunching numbers, the incinerate glyph provides rarely any benefit for me, especially because our nuke spell is Shadowbolt over Incinerate.

-Major-
Demonic Circle, Soul Link, and Shadowflame

-Minor-
Anything works.

Stat Priorities:

Firstly, you need to meet the caps. As a pvp lock you need 4% hit, and 195 spell pen.

After that, the stat weight goes as follows:
Crit > Mastery > Haste.

Haste is devalued as Demo because your cast times are too slow and weak. Realistically you can only remove one of those problems with gear. If you make your casts faster, they will be weak out of form and in. If you make your casts strong by reforging away haste and itemizing for crit, you will have powerful nukes, but slow casts. Keep in mind, haste won't help you with interrupts.

I WILL be knocked for this, but from my personal experience and my knowledge of how Demonology works, as well as spell weights and coefficients, Crit will pretty much always outweigh the usefulness of our Mastery.

The reason:
To get 1 point of mastery RATING, you need roughly 300 mastery. You will never be able to stack enough mastery to reach more than +16% more damage while in Demon Form.
2% - 300 mastery
4% - 600 Mastery
6% - 900 Mastery
8% - 1200 Mastery
10% - 1500 Mastery
12% - 1800 Mastery
14% - F that, dude, I'm rolling a mage.

As you can see, You need a monumental amount of Mastery to elevate the bonus percentile to a high value. Crit, on the other hand, is innately found on many set pieces and offsets, and has a low soft cap. I use the term 'soft cap' loosely, seeing as more crit stacking after that is pretty pointless.

The soft cap for crit for a PvP demo lock is 15%. Once you reach this cap, Gem for Intellect, reforge haste to mastery. Int > mastery now because of the change to Mana Feed and the fact that it scales very well with Demonic Pact. It also gives tasty crit.

Another reason you will find crit to out-perform Mastery is that when you activate Demon Soul in Meta form, you can roll out chain crits of > 20k on targets with high resilience. This is more useful than not critting for 10k repeatedly. Also, since your DoTs can crit, Crit is great to increase the pressure they can generate. Something Mastery simply isn't effective at.

Trinkets:

You can roll two ways:

1) Gladiatior Resilience Trinket + Darkmoon Volcano (or another DPS PvE trinket)
2) Gladiator Crit Trinket + Use effect resilence trinket with Spell Power.

I don't recommend two resilience trinkets past 3k resilience. Focusing the Meta lock will only lead to a swap into Demon Armor and chuckling on vent as you kite with Shadowflames/HoG. Also, most Melee teams will fail at training a demo lock that has meta active as a cooldown.

Professions:

If I were you, I would grab Herbalism. Having the haste cooldown that is useable in any PvP instance is extremely good, in my eyes. As far as I know, Herbalism is the only profession that has a DPS cooldown that is completely useable in Arenas and RBG. The other main can be JC/Inscribe/whatever you want.
Edited by Trollfacejpg on 3/1/2011 2:10 PM PST
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85 Troll Warlock
2280
Macros:

Macros are essential to Demo arenas. If you WILL not use them, please discontinue reading this guide. (Note: Modifiers allow you to cast at a focus by holding down the modifier key [shift, alt, ctrl] and then pressing the bind)

Mandatory macros:

- Fear Macro -
#showtooltip Fear
/cast [modifier:alt, target=focus] Fear
/cast Fear

- Banish Mouseover - BANISH MAGES/LOCK'S PET!!!!! They can't use abilities and it is undispellable!

#showtooltip Banish
/cast [target=mouseover,exists] Banish

- Salad Toss - Tosses a focus target on modifier
/cast [modifier:alt, target=focus] Axe Toss
/cast Axe Toss

-Demon Soul Burst -
#showtooltip Demon Soul
/use (trinket)
/cast Demon Soul
/cast Racial Move (if applicable)

Optional Macros:

- Fel Flame, destroyer of totems, tagger of mobs -

/cast [target=mouseover,exists] Fel Flame
- Soulburn Guard -
/cast Soulburn
/cast Summon Felguard

Playstyle:
When you decide to play demonology, you are signing up for the long road. This spec is one of the most rewarding PvP playstyles, but it can also be the most frustrating. Demonology locks have three major obstacles at 85: Affliction Locks, Prejudice, and Gear.

Everyone knows Aff does better than us in arena. It's true. Affliction, especially post patch, will be way more effective than Demonology. This is no secret. However, Affliction is boring and not very rewarding in my eyes. Don't come here to flame this view, you're reading a Demo thread. What do you expect? The Demon way plays far differently than the fast paced volatile style of Destro, or the slow paced, steady damage of Aff. You are a colossus. A mighty pillar of darkness that smashes enemies in powerful blows. However, you are not speedy or quick with this, but brutal and final. We don't fall easily and hit like a bus.

Some quick tips for the budding Demon:

1) Always have Dark Intent up. If there's no one around, throw it on the pet. The best targets for DI are shadow priests, other locks, and any druid. Bleed crits will proc DI on us. No joke.

2) Protect your casts. Here's some quick and universal combos for Demo 1v1/2:
- HoG, hit them with a fear at the end of 3 seconds, then smack them with an axe toss directly after the fear ends. After axe toss, fear, then Hand of Guldan. Deathcoil them after and gap closer, then Shadowflame and portal. Use a fear into a HoG, then Axe toss them inside it and stun for 10 seconds using Aura of Forboding.
Combo, Combo, Combo. Chaining your CCs effectively protects your overly lengthy cast times.

3) Spell Priorities
Against a mage, try not to waste time with Corruption. Also, you may keep immo up, though it will be normal duration. Against a person who can remove curses, try not to use curses as much. Focus mainly on refreshing Immo and Corrupt for procs. Against melee, prioritize peeling spells and combos, they are most effective here.

4) Curses!
Curses are your best friend. Curse of Tongues makes things difficult for any casters you fight. A lot of the time, when playing with a melee partner, they will become afraid to cast because fake casting is impossible when you have huge cast-times. Curse of Elements will ensure nothing ever misses and increases your damage considerably during Meta's burst.

5) Armor
Fel Armor is your main armor. It's literally the only heals you get, however mostly it's all you need. If you die 1v1, you need better gear, not better heals. When running with a healer, swap to Demon Armor when they decide to swap.

6) Demonic Leap
Demonic Leap can close a gap, AoE stun, or become a distance-gainer. You can leap away from melee after a shadowflame for some space. Learn to use this versatile ability! NOTE: DL follows the same laws of physics as Heroic Leap on warriors. It can't be used uphill.

7) Trinket less in Demon Form!
Demon Form has the innate ability to reduce all stuns and immobilizes by 50%. Don't trinket these two things while in Meta. It's pretty much a waste.

8) Decimation
Soulfire is the fastest nuke we have when Decimation is activated. With Emberstorm, you can dish out some quick nukes for 10 seconds. It's important to note that Soulfire can proc this, so instant casting SF on an enemy below 25% is optimal because they could jump above that level of HP before Shadowbolt, HoG, or Incinerate can hit them.

9) Felhunter is not a bad pet.
Especially with the 4.1 changes, Felhunter is also viable. However, when it's Demon Soul time, Soulburn up a Felguard. FH's DS effect is virtually useless as Demo. Also, Demon Empowerment will remove fears on your puppy.
Edited by Trollfacejpg on 3/1/2011 2:02 PM PST
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85 Troll Warlock
2280
ARENA COMPS:
2v2: (Lol)
Priest/Demo
Unholy/Demo
Shadow/Demo

3v3:
Shaman/DK/Demo
Druid/Demo/Warrior
Mage/Healer/Demo

Arena Positioning for Meta:

Dalaran Sewers - This arena has a medium difficulty for Meta. We can abuse Demonic Circle to be present on both the outer rim and platform quickly, but it's still possible to LoS bursts. Use discretion and start bursts on the outer rim.

Nagrand Arena - One of our favorites. Catch them out in the open and they are toast. Make sure to CC focus the healers.

Blade's Edge - Nightmare. Good teams can shut down your burst. Only use meta if you're getting focused or the other person is stuck on the bridge. Ground combat is optimal.

Undercity Arena - Medium difficulty. Make sure the focus target never is allowed to LoS with the tombstone.


Disclaimer:
I do not have a high rated arena team....yet. This is my first expansion where I completely neglect PvE and focus on PvP. I've been playing this game since mid-vanilla, and have considerable experience with the game. I theorycraft avidly, and know the value of watching how the pros are behaving. Nothing I say here is without rhyme or reason. I have data and evidence to back up each of these points I make, be it personal or numerical. If you have data or evidence to add tips to this guide, I will be more than happy to add them and learn in the process. Please don't flame my rating or achievements without giving solid reasons backed with FACTS and EVIDENCE. Anything else is counter-productive to the guide, makes you look bad, and is most likely troll.

Thanks for reading, I will be updating this, and hopefully you learned something useful!

EDIT: Edited whole thing for spacing and formatting. Also, if you really liked, Vote for Sticky at the top of the page. Me love you long time. :]
Edited by Trollfacejpg on 3/1/2011 7:48 PM PST
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90 Orc Warlock
4505
Just some notes. Check your mastery scores. I have 1978 mastery and get +38% damage.

Rogue/Demo is a very good comp. In my twos with the rogue we are 30-15 and we screwed up about 5 games because of confusion. The other specs are good though. I hope the priest is shadow not healer. healer + demo doesnt work because of the hard casts.

Play style depends on spec. For yours they way you described is fine. For mine I run around and let the FG do the work. Only when I am in a good spot to meta I do.

Also always use the FG. There is never a reason not to. My FG crits for 8-10k at times. He is a beast who can single handedly (with a couple dots) mow down a priest or lock (targets with very high resil may not apply).

I also wouldnt bother with decimation for PVP. For me SB = SF damage. Test it our yourself. My SB and SF do 7.5k-8.5k damage.

Putting points into affliction isnt worthless.
#1 the dot is pretty much always on.
#2 +8% crit with BoD is great when it hits. For me the crit is 12% base, +5% SB, +8% talent = 25%.

Im sure with how you specced the play out you can pound people... the problem is LoS. You are vulnerable to someone running around a post or tree or box. I assume it works great in BGs but in arena thats a serious problem. FGs cant be avoided, they cant be dispelled, and they seriously impact on someone's health when you pump them up with mastery.

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85 Troll Warlock
2280
Just some notes. Check your mastery scores. I have 1978 mastery and get +38% damage.

Rogue/Demo is a very good comp. In my twos with the rogue we are 30-15 and we screwed up about 5 games because of confusion. The other specs are good though. I hope the priest is shadow not healer. healer + demo doesnt work because of the hard casts.

Play style depends on spec. For yours they way you described is fine. For mine I run around and let the FG do the work. Only when I am in a good spot to meta I do.

Also always use the FG. There is never a reason not to. My FG crits for 8-10k at times. He is a beast who can single handedly (with a couple dots) mow down a priest or lock (targets with very high resil may not apply).

I also wouldnt bother with decimation for PVP. For me SB = SF damage. Test it our yourself. My SB and SF do 7.5k-8.5k damage.

Putting points into affliction isnt worthless.
#1 the dot is pretty much always on.
#2 +8% crit with BoD is great when it hits. For me the crit is 12% base, +5% SB, +8% talent = 25%.

Im sure with how you specced the play out you can pound people... the problem is LoS. You are vulnerable to someone running around a post or tree or box. I assume it works great in BGs but in arena thats a serious problem. FGs cant be avoided, they cant be dispelled, and they seriously impact on someone's health when you pump them up with mastery.


1) Your mastery numbers are, in fact, off.

All demo locks gain 16% more meta damage just for reaching level 80. No Additional stats required. In Meta form, I do (20% + 16.22%) More damage. In your meta form with mastery, you will do close to 58% more damage. This means you do a net of about 20% more damage than me. The problem with your strategy is that Meta is not indefinite, and very obvious to spot. You are highly susceptible to CC during this period of 36 seconds.

20% more damage on DoTs does EXTREMELY little. This is majorly why Aff locks are complaining.

2) Your level of play is very low. I noticed that healers actually start dispelling past 1600. I'm not trying to sound condescending...it's a true fact. The pure notion that a healer that is not a pally/priest would let BoD (or any of your dots) persist on a team mate, especially in twos, is ludicrous. It's like slapping a big "DISPEL ME!!!!" sign on your opponents.

3) This guide is updated for 4.1, where the Felhunter's shadow bite does more damage than Legion Strike. It's damage has been doubled. Also, you noted that your felguard can reduce locks and priests down by itself. You might not want to fight anyone with more than 3k resilience, since they will laugh at its damage and CC it relentlessly. Also, before you say anything, No, Demonic Empowerment is not enough to stop people from messing with your Felguard 100%.

4) Tying into #2, the part where you say that your DoTs are always on is also untrue. The main weakness of Destro right now is dispels. The main weakness of Aff right now is dispels. The main weakness of Demo right now is lack of self heals + constant pressure. You simply aren't facing competent healer teams if the healer isn't spamming dispel while laughing off FG's unbuffed damage.

5)While it's true that Soulfire is our weakest nuke, it's also the one with the quickest cast-time during decimate. I stated this in the guide, and it will help you win if you need an extra amount of burst to finish an opponent. When time and HP are critical, and you aren't being trained, SF > All.


I will add a section in the guide about Meta positioning though. Good call on that one. Certain arenas are obviously better for us.
Edited by Trollfacejpg on 3/1/2011 7:35 PM PST
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85 Undead Warlock
0
Sadly demonology is very reliant on the skill of your partner(s) to provide more pressure and lockdown and you need a lot of communication and strategy unless you blow your Meta at a bad time and waste it.

Regarding Mastery and Felguard, I did do some tests before I reforged to Mastery. Though I probably will not gem for it and sacrifice my hit cap for it, I did notice that going from 9.xx Mastery to 14.xx did increase his damage noticably. His auto-attack used to do 1600-1900 to the dummy now it does 1900-2100 or so. Legion Strike crits went up from 9k to 10k+. Not a whole lot, but noticable.

(A little off-topic regarding my wonderful 1400-1500 arena bracket and people I play with)

I'll agree for my 1400-1500 bracket people don't dispel dots as often. I play with healers that don't dispel immolate and have little to no idea how other classes work. A hunter who cannot scatter trap. A warlock who runs away from anything melee and forgets to deal damage. Various alts from friends who want me to 'help them get points' for the week.

Most of these people have absolutely no idea what other classes do. Most of the time when we win or lose they stop and ask me what the hell happened. Why they couldn't fear a warrior, why were they silenced when they fought a shadow priest, why Immolate from a Destro lock needs to be dispelled, why a mage blinked out of a stun, etc.

I end up explaining a crapton of class mechanics to them and why things happened as they did. These people also barely have any focus macros, tab target, refuse to use some addons, they click, and they don't read up on anything PvP outside of how to properly spec (and not even that sometimes).

They're my RL friends so I know these details and even I don't do everything to up my game right now. My last serious arena partner quit during Wrath but he was also a guy with gear 2 tiers behind and was a rogue that could only sap 1 game out of 10. Still it was fun and we played hundreds of games.

All this text is just my experience of people whom I play with (and including myself) who have always hovered in the 1400-1500 bracket since we started arena. Hopefully it'll give an idea of the level of play that's in this bracket.
Edited by Elizander on 3/2/2011 3:32 AM PST
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85 Troll Warlock
2280
@Elizander,

Don't give up with your friends! I am doing the same thing with my 3's. We refuse to give up and have climbed steadily in rating from the creation of the team 2 weeks ago.

As for your friends, have them duel skilled players for a long period of time. I will regularly duel Gladiators and Arena Masters in order to learn how they will behave to some extent. I've actually turned around and beat a few when I had understood fully how they were operating to shut me down. It's the DBZ mentality; keep training until you're smart enough to learn counter-strategies.

Also, bear in mind; everything an affliction lock does to create pressure, We can too! We just can't become as good at it. However, we can also spam fear on the enemy team and slow melee with Shadowflame. We can be annoying with our curses, and apply spell locks with the Felhunter. While the Felguard might be a great DPS pet, sometimes you are forced to change to a defensive playstyle, just like a warrior when he switches to a sword and board. The felguard brings offensive dispels and silences to the table, and quite obviously out-performs the felguard with control.
Edited by Trollfacejpg on 3/2/2011 7:48 AM PST
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90 Orc Warlock
4505
Its all good. My main RL friend partner is not a good pairing for me in 2s. My 2nd partner is though but his gear still has greens (rogue). He might have replaced the last one last week.

As for BoD I only use it on teams of players that CANT dispel it.

And since I did try haste, mastery, I will reforge and regem for crit and try that out just to see the difference.

Now one more question.... you focus a lot on immolate. Why? its another dot to dispel that costs infinitely more time to cast than corruption. And while yes they can dispel it its a zero sum gain with cast and dispel while immolate you lose the cast time vs dispel. Dumping so much into one spell seems wasteful. Personally I hate that we HAVE to take molten core because of this reason.

Personally I love mastery because of the FG. The same statement about "try fighting players with 3k res" applies without mastery. Your felguard becomes an annoyance only not a tool. The felguard is pretty much doing damage most of the time depending on the match up. vs 2x DPS yes, vs mage/? no.

But I'll try crit and see what happens. I notice stamina doesnt do crap for FG anymore. Intellect still increases their attack power.

Another thing, people should be using Power Auras Classic. That thing lets me know when Im silenced, when someone bubbles, when my spells are off CD, when this, when that, when everything. You simply cant play arena without it. Before it I used to sit there for 2-3 seconds wondering why I couldnt cast realizing I was silenced for example, or 2-3 spells not noticing someone bubbled. Imperative people get it and program it. Not that hard to do for me.

And you said Crit DOES transfer over to the Felguard? How much of it?
Edited by Fuzungatu on 3/2/2011 9:31 AM PST
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90 Orc Warlock
4505
Like to have Mastawarlok respond to this thread, his focus is mastery.
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90 Undead Warlock
6900
Woo Tortheldrin
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85 Troll Warlock
2280
03/02/2011 10:53 AMPosted by Fuzungatu
Like to have Mastawarlok respond to this thread, his focus is mastery.


Mastery is the prime attribute for Mastawarlok because of his comp. He's running a Demonfury Cleave. Two metas + a warrior. If #!%# doesn't die within his meta, then they had no hope of winning in the first place.

I bet you he will tell you he loses to high control teams like RMP. Survive meta burst, and you win. So in this case, he is doing it right. However, I'm sure he knows as well as I, non-healer teams aren't in the top majority in 3's. It seems like a hilarious comp, however. This guide is more tailor made to hiding Demo's weaknesses, while in a comp like that, Masta grossly amplifies Demo's weakness AND strength. It's balance vs. volatility. :P



03/02/2011 10:59 AMPosted by Mandorgan
Woo Tortheldrin


Represent.
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90 Orc Warlock
4505
So does crit scale with Felguard? Does he get it?
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85 Undead Death Knight
2615
03/02/2011 1:03 PMPosted by Fuzungatu
So does crit scale with Felguard? Does he get it?


I believe he does. The only pet that "didn't get it" was the Succubus but I believe the recent patches have fixed it so that she also gets this bonus.

Ergh, this is Elizander. Was posting on my DK elsewhere.
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90 Orc Warlock
4505
OOoooOoo then that makes my nipples hard. I love it when FG crits.

Also you speak of Cor and Banes being dispelled. Doesnt Immo get just as dispelled as those and its a long cast time? So whats the difference?

I glyph Felguard mostly up, I glyph and talent immolate.. eh maybe up? and dispellable?
Edited by Fuzungatu on 3/2/2011 1:34 PM PST
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90 Orc Warlock
4505
Well I did a comparison and totally respecced crit

went from 11.77% to 18.27% crit = +1132 pts
went from 19.03 to 11.84 mastery = -1290 pts to lose (+38.06% to 23.68%)

mastery spec
+11.77% crit
+38.06% damage from pets and meta

crit spec
+18.27% crit
+23.68% damage from pets and meta

My damage on the dummy seemed the same, my FG's crit % was the same. Before he accounted for 38% of my damage now he accounts for 30%.
Edited by Fuzungatu on 3/2/2011 7:37 PM PST
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90 Orc Warlock
4505
Also remember HoG increases pet crit by 10%. Not sure if SB buff adds to Felstorm or Legion Strike but I do notice they certainly crit more often.
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90 Orc Warlock
4505
Ok FG does get your crit and I think from my calculations he gets 2/3 of your crit.

I definitely saw the difference. Out of meta I was still packing a punch, and most of the time it was unexpected "WTF I crit?" because suddenly my targets would drop in health from a series of small crits. In Meta I seemed a little stronger and no longer the power house I was.

Definitely interesting.

Im going to try a balance between the 2. I do still like having some extra punch in Meta. So I evened out the stats. 15% crit and 15 mastery.
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