Some time ago, I said minions were things we warlocks can't live without. I apologize. I was too enamored with the Supremacy demons to see that yes, you can live with demons just fine as a warlock in Mists of Pandaria.
This week, we'll visit all the demons. I do mean all the demons; I'm going to review even the most basic of pet mechanics all the way to Command Demon and the Grimoire talents. If you missed the minor glyphs for pets or the new voice emotes for the Supremacy pets, you should check those out.
Pet 101: Control Demon
At level 1, alongside Shadow Bolt, a warlock gets the ability Summon Imp. It's hiding in a fly-out menu where other demons that can be summoned will be found later on.
From the first time you create a warlock to when you can pick a specialization at level 10, your demon acts independently of you. It won't pull you into combat (except by proximity), but it will help you out in combat regardless of whether you want it to. It acts like a guardian, which is a pet that you can't control.
At level 10, you gain the passive Control Demon, which lets you do exactly that. You get a pet bar that is a maximum of 10 action buttons long, as well as a special tab at the bottom of your spellbook for your pet's abilities.
Every pet has three stances: assist, defensive, and passive. Assist will attack the target you attack, with a small delay if you switch targets. Defensive will attack only if you are hit, and passive means the pet will do nothing unless you command it. A pet can only be in one stance at a time.
Commands override stances. That is, you can have a pet on passive but command it to attack a certain target. When that target dies or is otherwise unattackable, your pet will return to its previous position by default.
Every demon has certain passives: avoidance, fel energy, and Soul Harvest. Avoidance lets pets survive the harsh AoE environments of the world. Fel energy is the resource all demons use, and Soul Harvest lets pets regenerate health outside of combat just like you, their master. The bulkier demons of voidwalker and felguard types have Void Reflexes, which increases their dodge and parry chances, in addition to the other passives.
After that, each demon has certain specific abilities that only work on the pet bar or in macros. Some abilities can be auto-cast by the demon, which the player can toggle by right-clicking on the ability either in the pet tab of the spellbook or on the action bar. Be careful to toggle off threat abilities while in groups!
What pets can warlocks have?
Every warlock will eventually have access to four controllable pets: Imp, Voidwalker, Succubus, and Felhunter. Demonologists get an additional controllable pet, the Felguard. Also, two guardians are summonable (but not controllable) as linked DPS cooldowns: the Doomguard and the Infernal. All of these get new, more powerful forms if a warlock choose the Grimoire of Supremacy talent at level 75 and beyond.
Even more minion types include Wild Imps, which are small imp guardians that demonologists can summon either naturally or purposefully, and the Eye of Kilrogg, which shaman must be jealous that we warlocks still have.
Finally, warlocks can enslave other demons in the world, who may or may not have their own abilities. An example is the Eye of Kilrogg-like mob that sits in packs of three on the ramp leading to Queen Azshara in the Well of Eternity dungeon. You can chain Fel Lightning for a bit if you snag one of those under your command.
For the new expansion, the developers wanted to get away from spec-restricted pets. Particularly, demonology got confusing for players when the pet with the best DPS wasn't the pet that provided the best Demon Soul buff to the warlock. In Mists of Pandaria, pets are meant to be purpose-restricted. Tanky pets are tanky again, while control over the demonic abilities got better.
Each warlock spec can instantly resummon a dead controllable demon. Affliction warlocks can burn a Soul Shard on a summon. Demonologists have Demonic Rebirth as a passive. Destruction warlocks can resummon the old pet by casting Flames of Xoroth. Affliction and demonology 'locks can summon new pets with their methods; destruction warlocks are stuck with the pet that just died.
The Imp is the first demon a warlock ever meets, right at level 1, and it changes to a Fel Imp under Supremacy. The basic attack is Firebolt (Felbolt for the fel imp), making the imp a ranged DPS pet. The Imp can provide a stamina buff equivalent to a priest's Fortitude. It has the ability to flee from sticky situations, can burn a harmful buff off a friend, and the new ability is that it can cast a small HoT on the warlock.
The Voidwalker is learned at level 8 and changes to a Voidlord under Supremacy. The basic attack is Torment, but the only other attack the voidwalker will do is disarm if commanded. The healthy Voidwalker has survival abilities like a bulwark and shield (a better shield for the 'lord), making it a great tanking pet. It has a taunt and in MoP can increase its threat generation. Make sure you toggle these off while in groups.
The Succubus is learned at level 20 and changes to a four-armed Shivarra under Supremacy. The Succubus can use its basic attack at range, but the shivarra is a melee pet thus far. Both pets can knock back targets in a small area and both have lesser invisibility out of combat. The Succubus is well-known in PvP for its crowd control ability against humanoids; the Shivarra can CC not only humanoids, but also beasts, dragonkin, giants, mechanical, and undead.
The Felhunter is learned at level 30 and changes to the Observer pet under Supremacy. Both pets are melee pets, whether they like biting or licking. Both have spell interrupts. The Felhunter can remove a beneficial magic buff from an enemy, but the Observer will steal the buff. Early beta reports showed the Observer stealing even paladin bubbles, though I am unsure if it's still possible.
The Felguard is learnable by the demonologists at level 42 and changes into a Wrathguard under Supremacy. Both demons strike with their melee weapons, which the wrathguard dual wields, and both demons can spin bladed pirouettes on command. Both demons can increase threat, so can act tanky, and both can stun and charge to targets.
The Doomguard and the Infernal share a summoning cooldown of 10 minutes. The Doomguard (Terrorguard under Supremacy) is the single-target choice, for it will shoot shadowy bolts of doom at its target. The Infernal (Abyssal under Supremacy) is the preferable AoE choice, for it deals AoE damage, stuns all enemies in its area, and is drawn to the area it was summoned on rather than chasing a specific target.
Grimoire of Supremacy is only one of the level 75 talent choices. Currently, Supremacy is only favored by destruction in the latest simulations as of writing. The Shivarra is the current choice, but it's been noted that her melee swings are modeled incorrectly.
Grimoire of Service allows the warlock to summon a second demon for 20 seconds. This demon can be any of the four or five basic pets, and it acts like a guardian rather than as a controllable pet. Naturally, the demonologists are preferring a double dose of Felguards in the latest simulations.
Grimoire of Sacrifice got a big update in the recent beta builds. The tooltip for the increased damage output depends on spec, but affliction alone favors the talent so far.
The neat thing about Grimoire of Sacrifice that I hadn't seen before was that the master gains an ability of the recently deceased pet. The combinations are:
felstorming are dashed, Spell Lock made me happy. I'll enjoy being able to interrupt from ranged instead of waiting for my puppy to trundle over to the mob. Pursuit seems an odd choice given that demonologists will already have Demonic Leap, but it gives a non-Metamorphosis closer that they can use. Seduction, unfortunately, is still a channeled cast, which means you can't do anything else except crowd control that mob. Boring!
While all these demonic abilities are great, I don't want to spend multiple macros on possible pet combinations. That's OK, because in 5.0, Blizzard gave us the ultimate pet macro right in our spellbook, Command Demon.
Command Demon changes on which pet you have out or, in the case of Grimoire of Sacrifice, which pet you had out. If you have the Sacrifice talent, then your Command Demon spell will change to whatever ability you just gained from killing your demon. If you have Service, Supremacy, or no level 75 talent, then the spell will change to one of the following:
- Imp / Fel Imp Cauterize Master
- Voidwalker / Voidlord Disarm
- Succubus / Shivarra Whiplash / Fellash
- Felhunter / Observer Spell Lock / Optical Blast
- Felguard / Wrathguard Felstorm / Wrathstorm
Blood Pact is a weekly column detailing DOTs, demons and all the dastardly deeds done by warlocks. We'll coach you in the fine art of staying alive, help pick the best target for Dark Intent, and steer you through tier 13 set bonuses.