Coming back to Legion, curious about Demo

Warlock
Some background context: I played early Legion, left a little bit after Kara was released. I'm primarily a melee DPS player. In Wrath I was a Feral, in Cata/Mists I raided with a rogue, in Warlords I messed around with Fury warrior and Shadow priest, and in Legion I have an Unholy DK, Balance druid, and Windwalker monk (which is by far my favorite of the three). I wasn't crazy about Shadow priest at the time and I suppose a lot of it had to do with me not used to being a caster, though I did enjoy my Balance druid.

I'm interested in Demonology. I've never been crazy about warlocks, and Demonology always seemed like a lackluster concept to me. Now it seems like they've really captured that demon master feeling and I kinda want to check it out. So, just some simple questions:

  • How does it feel to actually play Demo warlocks? I've dabbled in a couple of classes that had rotations that felt clunky (early Legion Unholy DK and Feral druid to name a few) so now I'm wary of every class.
  • How's the fantasy? One of the things I loved about Legion is how much it goes into class fantasy. Like I said I've never really been into the whole warlock motif so I'm wondering if I'm in for just standard chaotic evil shenanigans
  • This is more out of curiosity, but how do they rank in terms of DPS? I doubt I will be doing any sort of serious raiding but I like to have an idea of what I'm doing
  • It's been a long long time since I've had anywhere near as much passion for any one class as I have for the warlock at this particular expansion.
    The actual feel of demonology is a bit odd, and it's one of those classes I think is nearly impossible to play without a good WeakAuras set - I recommend Not's.
    The rotation's flow is simple - call dreadstalkers at two shards, use hand of gul'dan at four shards, use demonic empowerment to empower two groups of 'em at once whenever you can, summon your grimoire demon and greater demon on cooldown, and use the artifact ability at the apex of your small army's strength for maximum effect.
    Much of the rotation is just using bolts to generate shards, and using empower demon. If there's a criticism I've heard, it's that people who aren't into it get sick of spending so much time empowering their demons, but it's important to keep close to 100% uptime on that because the huge-!@# imp firing squad (feat. doggies) is where the majority of your damage comes from, not your bolts.

    If I had a beef with this particular spec, it would be with its AoE rotation - spam HoG and demonwrath and hope thal'kiel's discord procs a lot - and the complete lack of non-hardcast spells outside of the aforementioned AoE spell. You do get some nice residual damage from your imp firing squads if you have to stop pew pewing to move, though, so that's a nice consolation.

    The fantasy is probably the strongest it's been in a long, long time. The removal of metamorphosis really smarts on the mobility and spec dexterity fronts, but removing that muddling element from the class to focus on churning out around 14 to 15 demons at a time and battering down even the strongest foe with your felguards, imps, dreadstalkers, observers, doomguards, and infernals from relative safety has finally justclicked.

    The damage is a bit of an unstable subject thanks to the spec difficulty and weakness to high mobility. A lot of FotM fellas are switching to Affliction as a matter of course because it's so much easier. For the first couple major patches and raids, Demonology commanded the highest potential non-surrender-to-madness damage of any ranged class, but with the new artifact traits and the tweaks to the trinkets, we're seeing demonology sit very comfortably in the very middle of the damage classes, which kind of rankles.
    As far as I can see it, there are three distinct things worth remembering: First, being forced to move kicks your DPS square in the junk. There are a ton of little tricks to minimize the impact of being forced to move on your output such as getting your life taps out of the way, switching to using the AoE spell Demonwrath, and making liberal use of demonic circle and gateway, that help balance that dip out.
    Second, haste impacts the demonology warlock perhaps more than any other character in the game besides the shadow priest. More haste means faster shard generation and faster demon attacks. Faster shard generation means MORE demons. More demons means harder-hitting artifact attacks. Bloodlust, time warp, heroism, ancient hysteria - whatever you call it, that phase of the fight should be when you burn everything, and in so doing, pass any damage check fast enough to put anyone who's not a demon hunter to shame.
    Third, Demonology is the most pronounced ramp-up class I can think of. Their initial damage is pitiful, and you may be tempted to think, though dungeoncrawling, that they're just bad. If any enemy lives long enough, though, the firing squad forms and demonology really starts putting the hurt on.
    That's a good response and pretty much tells me everything I need to know. Thanks!
    Hey man I accidentally put this into a thread before I learned he was asking about pvp where I thought a guy like you was coming back so maybe this will help:

    I used my 100 token on a demo lock after 5+ years away and it was definitely an eye-opener but once you get the rotation down you can set up a pretty fun lvling build.

    Shadowbolt is definitely weaksauce filler but ok for a small pop of burst on the back end considering your crit is going to be in the 20% range during the 100-110 grind.

    Shadowflame for the instant cast pulls and getting up to 5 shards swiftly so you can fire off a full Hand of Guldan w/doom. Speaking of Doom? Just remove it from your bar for lvling. You'll never need it. Instead Implosion is your friend big time. Even with poopy 10-12% haste from lvling gear your rotation will be fairly smooth except for quest elites who take a little more lovin to bring down.

    This isn't about plodding through single targets tho. This is all about herding and AoE thermonuclear bombs for BIG exp/loot and very little downtime. Demonskin is also a must for the grind and I'm using Grimoire of Synergy/Darkglare for consistent big pulls. Shadowfury if you need to give you pet an emergency heal, and there's always an Abyssal for those @#%*ALL moments you want to level a small village.

    Rotation:

    Shadowflame /petattack macro x2 for 5 shards.

    Hand of Doom

    use your last shard on Darkglare

    Empower / Felstorm macro

    Artifact ability

    2-4x Shadowbolts as filler (depending on haste, also Demonwrath is too slow until your haste is higher or you run the risk of clipping your imps)

    As your last shadowbolt is in the air your imps should have about 1 second left on them. That's when you pop your implosion /axe toss macro, the bolt connects, hopefully crits, and BOOM everything dies.

    In the event you're facing a fatty elite, he'll be down about 40-60% from that rotation and you'll have a few shards to play with. YOU MUST RESIST THE TEMPTATION OF CASTING ANOTHER HAND OF GULDAN until your Doom/s have popped which (because you're using the slower version pf Doom) will time perfectly with a fresh Dark Glare. Instead throw some filler Shadowflames, maybe some dread puppies... whatever. Won't matter much because they'll be dead soon anyways.

    The best part about this lvling build is that after a juicy pull pretty much everything is reset and ready for another go so there's very little downtime.

    protip: Don't forget your Drogbar-style Salmon. It's easy to fish up and provides a great buff that procs all the time. Enjoy!
    I had been switching between a lot of "mains" in legion: shadow/disc priest, havoc dh, frost mage, ww monk, balance/feral druid. When I got my Demo to 110 I knew I'm not rerolling to any other class anymore, this expansion. I really love this spec and it's nearly perfect for me in its current state, it's incredibly strong in ALL aspects of the game, and I mean ALL. Just my POV, and it's very biased.
    I'm with the others. After raiding disc shadow resto ele and hpal this is the spec for me. Honestly demo offers everyone I could want in a spec. All of the goodness I could say about the spec I must say one of my favorite aspects is demon skin talent. Nothing says cast like a boss Better than fearing no 1 shot mechanics.

    Moving for stuff does suck but I was playing with 12% haste at 878 and still able to do 420+k single target. The one thing that is a draw back is more l2p issue and that is accidently canceling a cast .1 second before it ends. But that's most classes that hard cast.

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