Lock Meta tank: complete info consolidation

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This is a must read, it sums up many a warlock tanks hopes and dreams.

I’m consolidating information I’ve found for easy access, none of these posted are my observation I’m just bringing it together so that you can see it all in one place. I will be keeping this up to date so feel free to check back, and report in this thread if there is a change or I’m just flat wrong on something I have. I’m not in the Beta, so I can’t clarify or test anything.

This is an up to date talent calc for MoP

The thing that may let Warlocks become a tank one day (fingers crossed) is this Glyph.

Glyph of Demon Hunting:
Demonic Fury now reduces damage taken instead of increasing damage dealt. In addition, while using Metamorphosis, Soul Shatter taunts your target, Twilight Ward will absorb all schools of damage and Demonic Slash is shorter range and generates fury.

In addition to what it says, the glyph does a few other things behind the scenes

*500% increase to threat generation while in Meta
*Meta no longer drains Demonic Fury
*Only the Hand of Gul’dan spell will require mana so there will be no need to ever life tap.

Now, according to the glyph, Fury now reduces damage taken instead of boosting out put. So lets look at Demo’s Mastery.

Demonology Mastery: Master Demonologist

*Increases the Demonic Fury bonus by X%.
*Increases the damage done by your demon servants by X%.
*The damage you deal while transformed into a demon is increased by X%.
-This last one now becomes: “The damage you receive while transformed into a demon is decreased by X%.”

This would significantly reduce damage received and make mastery a survival stat.
“But locks can’t block or parry” This is true but they can dodge and with 600% armor and all stats pointed toward mastery or dodge they are a match for any of the current tanks.

The community has proposed that an ability that converts spirit > dodge be created. This would both give meta tanks a way to gear dodge and make it so priests aren't the only ones using spirit.

But a tanks not just a tank because he can soak up damage like a sponge, no there is an entire kit attached and the Meta Lock tank is no different. It has an entire retinue to pull from.

Untalented Attacks:

*Demonic Slash: Tears at the enemy, instantly dealing X Shadow damage. This generates 30 Fury and has a 10 yard range. (reduce with the tanking glyph)
*Carrion Swarm (Passive): While using Metamorphosis, your Shadow Flame spell now costs Demonic Fury, interrupts spell casting and knocks enemies away from you.
*Immolation Aura (Passive): While using Metamorphosis, your Hellfire spell now no longer deals damage to you and does not need to be channeled.
*Fel Flame: Becomes Ray of Twilight, a line attack that does shadow damage and retains Fel Flames dot prolonging effect.
*Hand of Gul’dan: Summons 3 falling meteors on the target location reducing movement of all enemies in the targeted area by 15% with each meteor.
*Bane of Doom: Banes the target with impending doom, causing X damage over time for 1 min. When it deals damage it has a 20% chance to summon a wild imp
*Corruption: Deals X shadow damage over 18 seconds, generates 12 fury per tic

Untalented Defenses:

*Metamorphosis: Nether Plating (Passive): While using Metamorphosis, your armor contribution from items increases by 400%, the chance you'll be critically hit by melee attacks is reduced by 6% and the duration of stun and snare effects is reduced by 50%.
*Aura of Enfeeblement (Metamorphosis): Binds all enemies within 20 yards in demonic energy, reducing physical damage by 30% and increasing the casting time of all spells by 30%.
*Twilight Ward: Becomes Fury Ward, Absorbs X damage for 30 seconds at the expense of fury
*Unending Resolve: The Warlock hardens his skin, reducing all damage taken by 50% and preventing his spells from being interrupted for 12 sec.
*Dark Soul: Knowledge: Your soul is infused with demonic knowledge, increasing your Mastery by 30 for 20 sec. (30 Mastery would be a TON of mitigation)
*Health Stones: You know em you love em and now they come with multi-use charges

Untalented Utility:

*Demonic Leap: Leap to the target location (no attack included)
*Provocation: your basic tank taunt
*Fear: becomes Sleep, (same effect, but the target stays in place)
*Demonic Portal: drop a beacon and port back to that beacon at will. (unconfirmed if this is usable while in meta)
By: Seiru

1. The warlock now has enough damage mitigation to tank (Demonic Fury bonus stated in the glyph, which scales with the warlock's Mastery mentioned earlier).

2. The warlock now has a standard taunt (which is a real taunt, it puts you at the top of the aggro table and replaces your threat with whoever was top).

3. The warlock has an additional magic cooldown in the form of twilight ward.

4. The warlock can permanently stay in Meta and still be able to use abilities, by using Demonic Slash (which is a spammable filler spell) to generate Demonic Fury.

5. The warlock has a threat bonus, and thus can hold aggro.

Seiru's take on talents.

Dark Regeneration - Restores 50% max health and increases healing taken by 25%
Harvest Life - Drains the life from all enemies within 15 yards of the target, causing X Shadow damage and restoring 4% of the caster's total health every 1 sec. Lasts 6 sec.

Sacrificial Pact- Your demon sacrifices half its current health to shield its master for 300% of the sacrificed health. Lasts 10 sec. If you have no demon, your health is sacrificed instead. (Amazing CD. Currently it has no CD, but that could obviously change. It could either be paired with a high-health Voidwalker/Voidlord, or as the tooltip states, you could use it on your OWN health, giving you 1.5x your max health as a bubble, in exchange for half your health as damage. In that second case, it could be paired with the below Grimoire of Sacrifice for even greater benefit.)
Dark Bargain- Prevents all damage for 10 seconds, then deals 50% of said damage over 20 seconds (much like the stay of execution trinket)

Grimoire of Supremacy - Allows the lock to summon improved versions of their demons. Somebody mentioned that the improved Voidwalker which would definitely have more health, which would help with the above Sacrificial pact ability.
Grimoire of Sacrifice - Allows you to sacrifice your demon permanently, giving you increased damage, and more importantly increased health.
Seiru – cont.

Archimonde's Vengance - All enemies receive 5% of the damage they do to you. You can activate this ability to increase the amount to 30% for 10 sec, and then the passive amount goes away until the ability is off cooldown. This could do a LOT of damage if you're tanking.[/quote]But there's more! Here's one more glyph that could help a bit:
Glyph of Demon Training - Improves your demon's special abilities:
Reduces your Imp's Firebolt cast time by 50%.
Increases your Voidwalker's total health by 20%. This is the important one. It scales the above Sacrificial Pact ability.
Your Succubus's Seduction ability also removes all damage over time effects from the target.
When your Felhunter uses Devour Magic, you will also be healed for that amount.
Increases the number of targets hit by your Felguard's Legion Strike by 1
So there it is. This doesn't even go over all the awesome AoE and single target abilities a Demo lock already has, so a Demo tank should also do considerable amounts of damage.

I feel as if I overlooked Dark Bargain a bit; it has the potential to be one of the best tanking cooldowns in the game. A 10 second bubble, followed by only 50% of the damage taken during that period of time, over double the time it took to take that damage? Dare I say, "OP"? I fully expect this ability to be nerfed at some point. But as long as you maintain aggro during the bubble (as opposed to losing it, like with a pally bubble), it would still remain an incredible cool down. That being said, it would still be situational to the fight at hand (a trend that the new talent system is proving to have).

It should be noted that Aura of Enfeeblement provides an extra 20% physical damage reduction over the standard tank Weakened Blows debuff, and it never actually needs to be applied, like with Thunder Clap. However, the tooltip states that it has a reduced effect on bosses, most likely bringing it down to the standard 10% debuff (otherwise every raid would require a lock tank). Still, it gives us a little extra boost on trash and AoE.

Carrion Swarm (the transformed Shadowflame in Meta form) provides the standard tank interrupt. It's on the tooltip in the original post, but some people missed it and were claiming that a lock tank wouldn't have an interrupt.

Using a Voidlord with Sacrificial Pact seems like it would be more powerful than I originally thought. If used after Shadow Bulwark (+30% health for your Voidlord), the shield received has the potential to be even larger than the version used in conjunction with the Warlock's health, with the additional benefit of not hitting the Warlock for 50% of his health. This would essentially turn the Voidlord into a Health Battery, constantly refilling and providing the Warlock with powerful bubbles. In order to assist with this being used as often as possible, one could also use Glyph of Health Funnel (makes Health Funnel instantly provide health to your pet, but gives it a 10s CD) and use Health Funnel on cooldown (assuming the ratio of Warlock health to pet health on Health Funnel is still generous).

Twilight Ward actually turns into Fury Ward using the tanking glyph. Whether or not this is intended is unknown (as it doesn't quite line up with the glyph's description). Assuming it is intended however, we are given yet another powerful CD to use as a lock tank. Fury Ward prevents 30% of all damage taken (instead of just magic damage, as the glyph states), and costs 10 fury for every 1% health prevented. This cost increases by 50% every 2 seconds. The numbers for the cooldown and duration are a little wonky; it doesn't make sense for the spell to last 30 seconds and only have a 10 second cooldown (especially when considering the increased costs as the spell lasts. Why not just reset the spell every 10 seconds?). The most important thing about this spell however, is that it gives us an interesting way to spend our Demonic Fury on mitigation, rewarding players who focus on their rotations and manage to build up a lot of Fury. This is the kind of gameplay that Blizzard has specifically stated is an intended goal for all tanks.

Soulshatter isn't learned until level 66, which proves a problem for potential low-level lock tanks (no taunt until level 66). This is easily changeable however, and doesn't cause me much worry.
By Fallensaint

a. The Into

Do you have the image of MoP Demonology ready in your mind? Good, now get rid of it, because Tanking Demo is different. It's very different. Not just different from DPS demo, or other warlock specs, but it's completely different from established types of tanking.

First things first, the current version of Tanking Demo on the beta is bugged. Tanks are doing more damage than DPS (roughly equal to the mastery buff you're supposed to trade for damage reduction), and with the glyph this shouldn't be the case. The damage reduction from Demonic Fury is also bugged, and instead of reducing damage it's increasing it.

Second, Tanking Demo is a real thing. This is not just Blizzard giving us a smudge of damage reduction and a taunt and calling it a day. With some tweaks and bug fixes, Demo could be just as competent as other tanks.

b. The Glyph

The first thing that sets Demo tanks apart from the previous ones is that it's achieved through the use of a glyph, the Glyph of Demon Hunting. Here's what the glyph says it does:

Glyph of Demon Hunting

Demonic Fury now reduces damage taken instead of increasing damage dealt.

In addition, while using Metamorphosis, Soulshatter taunts your target, Twilight Ward will absorb all schools of damage and Demonic Slash is shorter range and generates fury.

What the glyph actually does is a bit more thorough.

i. Unlike DPS Demo, you can enter Meta form at any time, and your Demonic Fury does not automatically decrease while you are in Meta Form. Also, if you hit zero fury, you do not exit demon form (and presumably become boss chow). So, Meta Form lasts until canceled.
ii. Demonic Slash now generates 30 fury and has a 10-yard range.
iii. Soulshatter becomes Provocation, a taunt that costs 10 fury and has an 8 second cooldown (NOT the 2-minute cooldown of Soulshatter)
iv. The glyph gives us an unlisted 500% increase in threat (i.e. the same threat bonus other tanks get when specced)
v. The glyph changes our mastery bonuses from Demonic Fury and Metamorphosis into damage reduction. This is important, and I'll be getting back to this.
vi. Twilight Ward becomes Fury Ward, a channeled 30% damage reduction for 30 seconds. For every 1% of your health in damage prevented, this spell eats ten Demonic Fury. For every two seconds this ability is channeled, the fury eaten per 1% health is increased by 50%. It has a 10-second cooldown.

Also, remember that Metamorphosis: Nether Plating gives us +600% armor and 6% reduced chance to be crit (aka standard tank boss crit immunity)
Fallensaint - cont

c. The Basics

Tanking can be broken down into two fundamental parts: Threat generation and avoidance. Yes, there's bits about things like interruption, positioning, and what have you, but these are the core fundamental parts of a tank. With the +500% threat buff, our arsenal of abilities, and a taunt, Tank Demo probably has threat covered. The only thing we're missing there is some form of Vengeance. So, that just leaves the question of avoidance up in the air.

Traditionally, tanks have achieved avoidance primarily through what's known as Combat or Attack Table Coverage. CTC is achieved through high amounts of dodge, parry, and block, and it essentially means that the target can't get in a normal attack because everything will either miss, parry, be dodged, or be blocked. Tanking through high armor and health is possible, but uncommon.

Blizzard changed things up in Cataclysm with the introduction of Mastery. For Warriors and Paladins, mastery replaced their block stat. For DKs and Druids, mastery granted/improved temporary shields, which drastically changed how those classes mitigated damage. Even so, DKs and Druids still get some parry/dodge from stats.

Demonolgy tank mitigation is mastery mitigation taken up the the next level. Demo tanks do not use any traditional mitigation, because it's completely covered by mastery.

Let's look at the facts. From mastery, we get a bunch of damage from being in Meta form, and we get even more damage by having more Demonic Fury. The glyph turns those damage buffs into damage reduction buffs. Currently on the beta, with my gear reforged into mastery and my gems unchanged, I get 69% damage reduction from Meta and 22.53 mastery. I should also get about 23% more reduction from Demonic Fury, but like I said in the first post it's currently bugged to increase damage taken. On top of that, I've got almost 70k armor, which provides a further 72% physical damage mitigation.

Fully buffed (and bug fixed), that's possibly as good as a fully CTC capped warrior or paladin since most of their table is covered by block, which doesn't completely avoid damage. Mind you, except for my staff I'm fully geared in 397-or-better.

The other part of mitigation is active mitigation or tanking cooldowns. These are used to mitigate large spikes of damage, and are essential to high-level tanking. Luckily, along with the other changes we've received in MoP, we've got a boatload of defensive capability, even outside of Demo. We've got Fury Ward, Unending Resolve, Healthstone (20% heal, or 40% over time, 3 charges), and Dark Soul (30 mastery is HUGE, more than double my unbuffed mastery). And that's not even counting talents.

d. Basic Rotation Theorycraft

Since Demonic Fury is supposed to provide mitigation, you ideally want to sit around the full 1k for maximum benefit. However, doing so means that you're basically just using Slash and melee, which means you're generating pathetic ago. So, you need to spend that fury on more powerful damage abilities to generate ago, which reduces your mitigation. Ladies and gentlemen, we have achieved active tanking! It's weird, but it works (in theory at least).

So, your basic rotation isn't very straightforward. You use Slash, Wild Imps, and pet basic attacks to generate fury. You use Immolation Aura, Corruption, Bane of Doom, Ray of Twilight, and Soulfire to generate ago and spend fury. You use Aura of Elements/Enfeeblement, Provocation, Demonic Leap, Sleep, Banish, and Summon Demon for utility and spending fury. Some abilities like Drain Live, Harvest Lift, Hand of Gul'dan, Unendig Resolve, Dark Soul, and our guardian summons still use mana, and I don't know if this is intentional. Also, Corruption, Drain/Harvest Life, and Hand of Gul'dan still generate fury, and I don't know if this is intentional either.

There is more but with a 5000 char cap and no more reserved posts left i couldn't fit it, check out his posting for his take on talents and glyphs.
A few things about meta's auto attack:

  • refreshes corruption
  • is shadow damage
  • procs some on cast effects such as trinkets, dragonwrath, etc but others like power torrent and lightweave don't seem to proc
  • has 1.0 attack speed, reduced by haste

Additionally, i believe the damage itself is somehow a factor of spell power, but i haven't figured out how yet.

Also, if you jump straight up, then demonic leap, you go straight up in the air, and when you land the cooldown is reset and your demonic fury is returned. I am not sure if this has a practical application or is just cool.

Gearing and stat priorities:
Primary Stats:

Secondary Stats:
Mastery>Dodge>Hit>Spell Power>Haste

Here is why
Weapons such as Wildfury Greatstaff will undoubtedly become more common. We are still going to want boat loads of Int because it effects how hard both our auto attack and spell hit for, any tank will tell you that you can’t generate threat if you hit like a wet noodle.

*Mastery is first because it effects how much of your fury directly reduces incoming damage.

*Dodge is also going to be the main avoidance stat, At level 85, Dodge Rating gives us a decent amount of Dodge Chance, it takes roughly 90 Dodge Rating to give 0.5% Dodge Chance.

*Hit is more important to us then most tanks. Not all but most. For us it is very important because Demonic slash and a few other abilities generate Fury and Fury acts like a damage resistance the more we have the less damage we take and if you can’t land a hit you can’t generate Fury.

*Spell Power for threat

*Haste needs to be mapped out eventually to see if there is a soft cap or if it would benefit a lock tank much at all. But its theorized that it would allow you to attack faster with fury generating abilities and for abilities like corruption to generate fury faster through hasted dot tics


On an interesting note, warlock tanks were almost introduced back in wrath.

Lock tanks in action
Warlock tanking Temple of the Jade Serpant

Lock tank in a 5 man tanking for the group and maintianing aggro

Lock showing geared setup by soloing 10man raid boss
Fanatic post I couldn't have said it better myself.
03/24/2012 05:58 PMPosted by Tedodor
3. The warlock has an additional magic cooldown in the form of twilight ward.

Actually this ability transforms into http://www.wowdb.com/spells/119839-fury-ward while in meta(not sure if tanking glyph is needed)
03/24/2012 06:01 PMPosted by Tedodor
The only thing we're missing there is some form of Vengeance.

Actually warlocks might just have their own form of vengeance and it is even in the talent name.

Archimonde's Vengeance - All enemies receive 5% of the damage they do to you.

If this passive damage also generates threat then this could very well be the warlocks very own form of tanking vengeance.
A minor part to play in everything, but people seem to forget that we can dodge. If our tanking model ends up being balanced around the fact that we won't need to, then reforging for it may not turn out to be a necessary thing (and it won't add very much in the way of avoidance) but I can certainly see reforging crit on gear to dodge rating if it turns out crit doesn't help a hell of a lot (this obviously only for gear with mastery already on it, we'll clearly go for mastery otherwise)
locks are as close to tanking as they were. you're mistaking a defensive CD/glyph for what you want

when they add a fix for all the time you spend out of metamorphosis, then some threat, then some defensive cds on par with other classes, then they might be heading in that direction

right now they simply just are not

You're an idiot.

I can't argue with this statement.
03/24/2012 07:56 PMPosted by Siniroth
A minor part to play in everything, but people seem to forget that we can dodge. If our tanking model ends up being balanced around the fact that we won't need to, then reforging for it may not turn out to be a necessary thing (and it won't add very much in the way of avoidance) but I can certainly see reforging crit on gear to dodge rating if it turns out crit doesn't help a hell of a lot (this obviously only for gear with mastery already on it, we'll clearly go for mastery otherwise)

Your absolutely right, i totally forgot about that. This would make my idea of having int boost dodge (as if it was agi) in meta alot easier to implement for the devs if they needed to go that route
But can you que as a tank? Will Ferals be mad they got split into guardians and demo is becoming dps/tank? hmm...
I'm just going to say this, as long as we wear CLOTH, we have no business tanking.

Just my $0.02.
I'm just going to say this, as long as we wear CLOTH, we have no business tanking.

Just my $0.02.

What we are wearing doesnt matter, because we are going to be in a shapeshift form. This in turns transforms everything about us.

See: Druids.
Meta form buffs our armor by 600%, this more than evens out the fact that cloth has little armor on it

In fact, for actual numbers, between my DK and Lock in Meta form right now on live server

Death Knight has 37933 Armor
Warlock has 64603 Armor

Something tells me wearing cloth won't make a difference

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