The benefits of no longer giving a shit about Valor; I can play whatever poor, neglected little toon I want.

Enter the Warlock.

Here’s the deal. I’ve been playing a long time; most of you have also.

One thing that always thrills me is when there is something truly new to experience.

I’m in the middle of enjoying just such an experience right now. Err, I’m not playing right now, I mean ‘the last week or so’ right now. You know what I mean.

I’m playing my Warlock alt, and I’m doing it as a Demonology spec with the Glyph of Demon Hunting equipped.

I talked about this same thing briefly awhile ago, but I’ve had some time to really get down and dirty with it now. Have you ever been experienced? Well, I have.

I gained about twenty levels over the course of the last three days, so you might say I have been enjoying the action. Just a teeny bit.

Let me wrap it all up in once sentence, then get into specifics later; I am thrilled with each and every level I play, and I can hardly wait to get the next level to see what neat new toys I’ll get to play with next.

That’s right. I am leveling an alt character through the exact same shit I have leveled through a million times before (warning: possibly a slight exaggeration there) and I’m loving every level, in every zone. Even Outlands.

I’m in Outlands right now, level 60, and let me tell you something; I killed 15 Crust Bursters last night, and I liked it.

When I first started this Warlock project with my son, we both went Demonology, and bumbled through with the same old assumption; Warlocks are cloth wearing ranged casters with pets. Like Frost Mages, but with a cooler sense of fashion, and more variety in our pets. But no ‘porting. And no sheep.

Time has passed, and that assumption has been dumped by the wayside.

If you haven’t played a Warlock as Demonology lately, it’s a brand new bag.

Demonology Warlocks, with the Glyph of Demon Hunting, are not ranged cloth wearing casters with pets. Throw that assumption right out the window.

The reality is, if you are Demonology, and at level 25 or 50 you equip the Glyph of Demon Hunting, you become a melee tank with ranged AoE attacks, and oh yeah, pets.

I’m not talking about end game level 90 queueing for instances or raids. I’m talking about how the class feels questing in the world.

As a regular Demonology Warlock, your special thing is the ability to transform through metamorphosis into a huge bat-winged demon form.

You get a normal caster form with a special energy bar that acts like Rage called Demonic Fury, and when you have enough you can transform into that demon form, with enhanced/changed abilities. The whole time you’re in that form, you’re burning through your Rage/Demonic Fury, and sooner or later you drop back out into normal caster form.

That turns demon form into an oh-shit cooldown, to me. If you use it whenever you can, it’s great fun, but if you’re like me, most oh-shit cooldowns or limited use abilities get left unused until it’s instance or raid time. So, yeah, if you ain’t using demon form, you’re still just a cloth wearing caster with a pet, and a cool cooldown.

Everything changes when you add in the Glyph of Demon Hunting.

The Glyph gives you a brand new, additional form, including a second form button just like having a second Druid form or Warrior stance.

This new form, when activated, is always on. You don’t drop out of it, it doesn’t cost Demonic Fury to be in it. Just, new form, always on, enjoy.

When in this new form, Dark Apotheosis, you get permanent purple wings. Yes, always on. I love seeing people look at me like they’ve never seen this before when I walk by in Stormwind.

In Dark Apotheosis, you are a tank.

You get tons more armor value from your gear, physical and magic damage reduction, a huge 500% threat buff, your slow cast Shadowbolt becomes an instant cast short-range attack with three charges (on a fast cooldown), you get a special green-colored damage absorption bubble (Fury Ward) that has a ten second duration and a ten second cooldown (basically, always on if you bother to click it), your Curse of Enfeeblement that weakens enemies changes from a single target curse to an AURA effect… you get the idea.

You become a lot tougher, you get a bubble, your opponents do less damage, and your best attack is a short-ranged instant cast that does tons of threat. TANK.

But, and here is the new experience… you still have lots of different magic AoE abilities, like the meteor and your Felguards Felstorm ability, and of course HELLFIRE.

Suddenly, Hellfire is a thing. At higher levels, it’s no longer channeled and doesn’t do damage to you anymore, so heck, why not just have it up ALL THE TIME?

And you still get a pet. All this, and you still get a pet.

It’s been a completely different solo questing experience.

Sure, I’ve played lots of tanks, but having one with ranged abilities, WTF. I have a pet I can send out to start shit, just to drop a meteor on their butts and make them all come to me, and then blow them back and blow them UP.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot. One of your special ‘demon form only’ abilities is a cone-effect knockback with a spell interrupt. So I send my pet out to a big group, let it Felstorm, drop a few meteors on their heads to pull aggro on the crowd, have them come running to me, and then RIGHT when they get there blow them all backwards and Hellfire.

It’s hilarious.

One thing I had to do early on was shut my Felguards’ taunt off. It’s just so much squishier than I am, and I don’t want the mobs to be stopped way out THERE, I want them to come on in toe to toe to get smashed by my insane power.

I’m not saying this is a new main. What I’m saying is, as a new alt leveling experience this thing is a trip.

I can’t explain how fun and different this is. I’m a cloth-wearing melee tank, but I keep double checking, yep, still a Warlock.

I also made sure to macro Felstorm to /cast Felstorm just so I could put the button where I wanted on my bar. My UI has my pet bar way off to the right hand side of the screen, I don’t want to reach over there to click Felstorm, I want to use it all the time.

Maybe it’s the novelty, maybe just the shiny new class/spec smell.

I see this as becoming my number three favorite character in the future.

My Hunter is my main these days when it comes to instances, raids and progressing through quest content.  Staying on the edge of gearing and the Legendary questline on my Hunter.

My Druid is my romping around fun character, my “I’ve got to get some kitty dashing, bear hopping action in.”

But I can see this Warlock becoming my new ‘solo old raids and content’ character. Or my ‘run someone else through old content’ character.

The combination of tank-level threat output, tank level damage reduction/damage absorption, ranged/melee AoE, and the talent that lets you do an AoE health drain/self-healing makes it a great choice for holding aggro off lowbies when running old stuff.

Oh, are you getting eaten by a grue? Run to the sheltering warmth of my Hellfire.

I’m just amazed how the playstyle feels. Having ranged high-threat AoE meteors is nuts, having high-threat AoE Hellfire, instant cast 10 yard direct attacks, all this and pets too.

No, you CANNOT queue for randoms as a tank.

But you do get a unique soloing tank experience when questing, and all while you’re still a cloth-wearing caster.

It’s so amazing to have this level of new sensation this late in the game. I’m loving it.

If you haven’t tried one… you cannot get the tanky aspects until you reach level 25 and your first Major Glyph slot. That can be a huge pain in the butt.

Also, I have FULL Heirlooms. The majority of my gear is always scaling, so I have solid blue-quality armor and stats as I go. Your mileage may vary. I’m indestructible and loving it, maybe if you were in all greens you’d feel a lot squishier. I don’t know.

But hey… this is what I’m doing when I ain’t pet battling or Huntering or whatever, and I’m having a blast. Just thought I’d share, in case you get bored and start looking around for something different.

15 Responses to “Wicked Warlockery”
  1. Ted says:

    1. You could always queue with a tank friend and then switch roles once you are inside. Warlock tank HO!

    2. We used this in our group to get one of the Heroic dungeon achievements (the name escapes me). It’s in new the Scholo and it’s the boss where you have to grab the armor buff off the ground. The achievement is to not let him melee 5 times during a certain amount of time. What we did was have the warlock pull him and kite him a bit, and then taunt ping pong between the Lock and my Tankadin.

  2. Tesh says:

    This sounds… awesome. Almost like it’s a glimpse of the vision I keep having where *every* class has a tank spec, a healer spec and a DPS spec.

    I must experiment with this. Someday.

  3. Theodoxus says:

    My warlock is sitting at 50 – I only get a few hours a week to play him, given I’m gearing up two raiding toons and capping valor on both is… time consuming (even with the 50% – I’m typically just a few hundred shy on the second guy thanks to the dailies and heroics and things I’m running every day) – but! I can see him being that go to guy for old content.

    I’ve been using Dark Apotheosis since you first mentioned it – around level 30. One thing to note- queuing for dungeons and forgetting it’s on pisses off the tank. It’s like Growl on crack. Of course, you have all the bells and whistles to survive pulling off the tank no problem… but tanks get cranky if they don’t have 100% of the aggro. silly tanks.

    If my guild didn’t already have a resident ‘lock that scares off any other locks – I’d probably level him faster for a raiding spot.

    Between the new warlock specs and monks – MOP has been really refreshing for an altaholic like me.

  4. Nibuca says:

    Warlock: More fun than a barrel full of evil laughs.

  5. DeGei says:

    My warlock is level 51, I may have to track that glyph down.
    I enjoy the way Demonology plays as a fun DoT and blast type dps at lower level.

    You and I are a lot alike Bear, not the same, but a lot alike.

  6. Reading that Warlocks have a way to be non-squishy is a huge temptation to dust of my Warlock. And to think I used to get frowned upon for being a melee warlock. :) Thanks BBB

  7. E says:

    I ran an instance with a Warlock tank – his friend queued up as the tank and the Warlock rolled right through the instance – pulling top DPS mind you – while the rest of us just stood in baffled amazement. Once I realized wtf was going on, I swapped my misdirect to him and giggled my way through the rest of the instance.

  8. [...] on twitter, I saw Big Bear Butt Blogger toss out a link to his new post called Wicked Warlockery. Having some spare time over lunch, I got to sit and truly enjoy his wonderful post talking about [...]

  9. Barryhn says:

    I am getting this glyph and dual speccing Demonolgy tonight.

    If it’s as much fun as it sounds, this is my questing spec from now on. I had a bit of fun as Demo at lower levels, but the novelty wore off before i got glyphs.

    Thank you BBB

  10. Mama Druid says:

    Man, I’ve been trying to play a warlock since vanilla! It seems like every effort I have made to play a warlock has been met with massive changes that require unlearning everything I knew in order to get anywhere with the class. I think I’ve finally settled on a race I like for the class: Worgen. I get that badass feel from a Worgen warlock; not a Forsaken, Human, Blood Elf, or Goblin—I’ve tried them all. So with a race settled, I’m prepared to weather pending changes.

    I’ve always been enamored with the concept of a Destruction lock, but I’m not feeling it on my baby Worgen lock. It’s very different than how it played BP (Before Pandas), and even more different than before that and before that. I must thank you profusely for describing the Demonology style of play. Now I have to decide if I want to recreate her on my main server so as to benefit from heirlooms. It’s been a nice change playing on a fresh server at a decent pace and NOT ridiculously outleveling zones. But… the power she could have with those looms… oh my. Whatever is a girl to do?

    • Theodoxus says:

      I totally understand finding the right race for certain classes. I always wanted to play an undead warlock since I first saw the original trailer – iconic class/race combos work on me for some reason. But it wasn’t until they changed all the specs in MOP that I’ve been excited to level one.

      • Mama Druid says:

        That could be part of the reason why I haven’t leveled one yet. Although, I was inspired to create an Undead warlock for the very same reason. In fact, it was one of my first three characters. The druid happened to stick like glue.

        I still feel the need to create an Undead lock, and am realizing as I’m typing this that in order for it to stick, it needs to be a boy. Ha! Can you see the light bulb above my head?

  11. Jason says:

    Oh man. Bear, you are a Sir. I’ve been playing a warlock alt of late(independent of you, I swear) but have been rolling around as affliction. This? This opened my eyes. Sheer brilliance, this is.

  12. Jem says:

    At some point you also get wild imps. A flock of the things following you around, shooting stuff for you. It rocks.

    Warlocks were never as squishy as other clothies, and my MoP afflock had more hitpoints than our tank going into to MSV the first night. They’re awesome fun, hellfire while moving is sooooooooooooooo much fun :)

  13. Pawzy says:

    My horde that I got to level cap? A Demo lock! SUCH a fun spec! The changes to the spec in MOP have been a breath of fresh air. I giggle madly when out questing on that character. I can also take her into LFR and do pretty well on the damage meters.

    Aff, however, I’m still woefully trying to learn how to do well. My attempts at Affliction are often derailed by the thought process of: Man, my damage sucks! Why am I doing this? I do more than twice this in my main spec! /swaps back to main spec

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