Skip to Content

WoW Insider has the latest on the Mists of Pandaria!

Posts with tag metamorphosis

Blood Pact: Demonology and the art of closing the gap


Every week, WoW Insider brings you Blood Pact for affliction, demonology and destruction warlocks. For those who disdain the watered-down arts that other cling to like a safety blanket, for those willing to test their wills against the nether and claim the power that is their right, Blood Pact welcomes you and invites you to take a seat.

Demonology is a curious spec. When Metamorphosis first came out, I panned the talent for having abilities that clearly push the warlock to engage in melee. It didn't make any sense to have a squishy caster have abilities like Shadow Cleave, Demon Charge, or even -- gasp -- Challenging Howl. The latter spell has thankfully been expunged from the data repositories of Wowhead, but some of you may remember it as a spell that taunts nearby enemies for 6 seconds. An AoE taunt. For a clothie. Never mind that Metamorphosis pumped up warlock armor to tank-like levels or that it reduced damage ... I always questioned the wisdom of having an AoE taunt followed by high-damage (and consequently high-threat) abilities while in a form that would shortly, inevitably expire.

Two years later, the developers finally scrapped all the seriously dumb (but strangely cool) abilities and replaced them with Demon Leap. It serves pretty much the same purpose as Demon Charge, but it looks a lot more awesome and it can save your butt from falling to your death. The stun component has a shorter duration but is now an AoE effect, which is great because it works even better in PvE situations. Metamorphosis retained Immolation Aura, which was probably the best spell among the bunch, so the form wasn't totally stripped of special abilities. The idea is the same -- demonology is a warlock spec that deals its best damage up close. That makes it play completely differently from the other two specs, and there's a whole lot of required mobility.

Read more →

Filed under: Warlock, Analysis / Opinion, (Warlock) Blood Pact

Blood Pact: Stones, armor and artistry


Blood Pact is your weekly warlock digest, brought to you by Dominic Hobbs. "You have come a long way to speak with me. But fear not, I know why Gakin has sent you, and he was wise to, for I can help you in your search." -- Takar the Seer

Each week, the voidwalker hauls in the Blood Pact fan mail and dumps it at my desk. Those that don't end up lining the felhound's cage typically get used to fuel the furnaces in the succubus' torture den. Every so often, the imp picks one out and dances round the room reading it aloud, while dodging any spells and other projectiles I hurl in his direction. This week, he snatched up this one from Vincent Quillen.
Hi Mr. Hobbs,
I'm playing my first warlock currently, and it's my first character to make it past lvl 20 after trying six other classes. I'm currently at lvl 65, demonology. I've read all of your articles and they played a big part in feeding my love of the mighty lock.
The reason I write is with an idea for an article. After unlocking fel armor, i began to wonder about the various uses of the two armors and if there were any finer points that I'm missing. Also, the spellstone and firestone. As a demo lock, I expect the 1% perk to be indifferent, and my pet feeds on both stats. Is one beter hands down or are there different times for each?
Also, I've been scouring the internet for how to tell when it's a good time to pop Meta in a raid, but all i can find is people saying that it's "an artform."
Thank you for taking the time to read this, and thank you in advance if you decide to write about these questions.
Fan and loyal reader, Vincent Quillen
After suitably punishing the little snot-ball (he's currently cleaning out Matt Rossi's jock-strap drawer), I decided to indulge the little guy for once. Hell, it saved me coming up with anything else to talk about.

Read more →

Filed under: Warlock, Analysis / Opinion, (Warlock) Blood Pact

Blood Pact: Leveling a warlock, 60 to 80

Blood Pact is your weekly warlock digest brought to you by Dominic Hobbs. "Did you think we had forgotten? Did you think we had forgiven? Behold, now, the terrible vengeance of the Forsaken! Death to the Scourge! And death to the living!" ~ Grand Apothecary Putress

Whether you're racing towards the endgame or pootling along enjoying the ride, everyone likes to make that leveling experience a little smoother. Blood Pact caps off this series of guides with a look at the final (for now) twenty levels. We'll look at the talents you can play with, the spells you can learn and some of the quests you don't want to miss. We'll be covering the Outland and Northrend experience from the warlock's point of view.

Maybe you have been leveling for a while and are looking for some insight into this final push or have had a lock 'parked' at 60 or 70 for some time; hopefully this guide will help you push that demon-loving toon to the final malefic leveling milestone.

Read more →

Filed under: Warlock, (Warlock) Blood Pact

Blood Pact: The hidden power of demonology


Each week Dominic Hobbs brings you Blood Pact, the sacred text of summoners, the mantra on the malicious, the effusion of evil and sometimes the diatribe of the diabolical. Sit back in your skull-carved chairs, pop your feet up on the imp, and settle in for this week's installment.
"Drawing deep on the power delivered by my demon slave, I hold it in until it fills me completely. I can feel the power wanting to sear my flesh to ash, fire like a thousand suns. More power than I could possibly wield alone, yet too sweet to let go. Before it consumes me I let it flow to those I fight with, torn as if it were my flesh. I know well it will push them further towards achieving my goals."
As a pure DPS class we warlocks have one main measure of performance; the damage meter. If we can't perform well there then our place in a group comes into question. Sure, there are times when our big health pools and bigger incoming heals earn us the job of spell-catcher but those jobs are few and far between. Generally with each patch we're looking for the build that maximises our DPS. In Karazhan it was affliction. Somewhere in tier five it became destruction. Wrath made it all a lot more even but flipped it back to affliction and tier eight flopped it to destruction once more. Poor old demonology doesn't seem to get much of a look-in for PvE... or does it?

Read more →

Filed under: Warlock, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Talents, Buffs, (Warlock) Blood Pact

Blood Pact: Spelling test


With a flash of flame and a gout of smoke, Blood Pact appears again! It demands that columnist Nick Whelan make a sacrifice! Either he must write on a relatively simple subject this week, or be doomed to perform poorly during his finals! Left with no other recourse, Whelan submits to the will of the column.

Spells are the essence of playing a Warlock. Just about every part of playing the game, save role playing, has spell casting as a central feature for us. Fighting for control of Arathi Basin, dueling on matters of honor with some upstart Mage, questing and leveling, or any instance from assailing Defias scum in The Deadmines, to unlocking the secrets of Azeroth in Ulduar. Without spells the only things a Warlock could do would be run, jump, and weakly bonk our foes with our staffs. And there just aren't enough platforming sections in WoW to make that kind of thing fun.

Depending on our spec and in-game vocation, different Warlocks focus on different spells. And the decision of which spells to focus on is based on numbers. Such as the time required to cast the spell, potential damage output the spell has, or the amount of time that the spell will allow us to reign destruction on our foes while they run around screaming in abject terror. Understanding the mechanical uses of spells is essential if we're to be effective Warlocks. But as I've said in the past: Rain of Fire isn't just an area of effect spell channeled over 10 seconds which causes 2-3k non-crit damage every 2 seconds to enemies within a 15 yard radius--it's fireballs falling out of the sky!

Read more →

Filed under: Warlock, RP, (Warlock) Blood Pact

Blood Pact: Look at me! I'm Illidan!



The wily Warlock, Will, wantonly waves his wand; working a witchery upon the writings of a whimsical wretch named Whelan. Watching warily, Will awaits the wicked words which he willed. Thus this week's Blood Pact was born.

Last week I covered a deep Destruction build, the week prior to that I covered a Demonology / Destruction hybrid build, and two weeks before I took over this column Zach said most of the things I would say about deep Affliction builds. So, unless there are any Affliction heavy hybrids I haven't heard of yet (which I'd love to hear about it if there is,) all that really leaves for Project: Respec is deep Demonology! So this week, that's what's on the table.

Read more →

Filed under: Warlock, (Warlock) Blood Pact

Warlock tanks Patchwerk


Forget Grimkrast. He's fired. My ambitions of having my voidwalker tank Sartharion have been dashed to the ground, and frankly, I don't mind so much. Grimkrast was a slacker who refused to hit the gym, anyway. Voidwalker tanking is so last season. Readers Brad, Domien, and Lifedeathsoul sent us something new to aspire for -- Warlock tanking! I've always been a bit upset at the design of Metamorphosis, particularly with the Challenging Howl ability which never quite made sense to me. As a Warlock, it was counterintuitive to try and get hit by the boss when normally that means death.

Sure, Metamorphosis pumps up our armor, and we get that awesome AoE Immolation Aura and that off-the-GCD Shadow Cleave (bet a lot of you didn't know that!), but in general Metamorphosis wasn't meant to make Warlocks tanks. Well, leave it to some Gnomes to prove me wrong. Here's a video of some intrepid pint-sized folk tanking everything from Cyanigosa to... Patchwerk. Don't believe it? Check out the video and see those diminutive aberrations abuse get creative with Metamorphosis. I, too, want to join the Warlock tank club. I just have one question... do I have to be a Gnome?

Filed under: Warlock, Instances, Raiding

Blood Pact: Affliction and Demonology in Patch 3.0.2


It's easy to be disappointed with Warlocks, really. The best tree we have right now is Affliction, and is just really fun to play while dealing incredible damage. This is sad news for a lot of players who enjoyed playing Demonology or liked pressing their Shadow Bolt button with a dead Succubus. For one thing, going deep Demonology nets us a half-baked 51-point talent (more on that later) and killing off your Succubus for 10% more Shadow damage doesn't seem as compelling anymore.

To top it all off, we're simply squishier than ever in PvP. We've lost Stamina, lowered survivability, and need to make major sacrifices in PvP if we're to pursue deep Affliction or Destruction. Thankfully, Blizzard recognized this and -- according to Ghostcrawler -- will be making an important change to Soul Link by increasing the damage absorbed to 20%. It will still be inacessible if we take 51-point talents at Level 70, but it should be alright by Level 80. Unfortunately, when we finally get there, we'll be sharing gear with lowlife Mages and Priests. I mean that literally -- those guys simply used to have lower life totals.

Read more →

Filed under: Warlock, Analysis / Opinion, Talents, (Warlock) Blood Pact, Wrath of the Lich King

Patch 3.0.2 primer for Warlocks part II

Demonology
Let's now take a look at the Demonology tree. Out of all the trees, Demonology has always been about utility. Obviously the most pet-centric spec, Patch 3.0.2 brings interesting synergies with the pet and Warlock that also brings significant gains in DPS. It's also still a great PvP spec, although Warlocks who choose to pursue SL/SL take a hit from the survivability nerfs in Demonology and miss out on some cool 51-point toys.

On the first tier, we already discussed the nerf to Demonic Embrace, which now only grants 10% total Stamina instead of 15%. The Spirit penalty was removed, however, and it actually matters because we actually get spell power gains from Spirit through Fel Armor. Five points here is mandatory. There's also Improved Imp, which we'll skip because we won't be using the Imp much as a Demonologist, anyway.

And then there's Improved Healthstone, which I highly recommend whether you raid or PvP. It's notable that when I tested it in Beta, players are no longer allowed to possess more than one Healthstone, regardless of rank. Because of this change, you might as well have the best one. Your raid or team will thank you for it.

On the second tier we'll find Improved Health Funnel, which was buffed to grant a mitigation mechanic while our pet is under the effect of Health Funnel. I'd normally say take it, but we'll have our hands full with other talents later on. If you use your pet to tank a lot, this talent helps. Otherwise, you can skip it.

On the other hand, you have to put three points in Fel Vitality, which rolls Fel Intellect and Stamina together. This one is a no-brainer. Demonic Brutality is a tougher choice. This is the buffed Improved Voidwalker which also increases the DPS of our Felguard. This is about as close as we'll get to an Improved Felguard for now, so it just might be worth investing in.

Improved Succubus in tier three has been reworked to a more usable form by making Seduction instant cast, which is awesome. It's not like we ever used her for Lash of Pain or Soothing Kiss, anyway. If you really want pure utility, pick this up as it will also situationally be handy in PvP. Despite the improvement, though, I'd much rather spend three points in Demonic Aegis on the same tier for the spell power bonus to Fel Armor.

Two key talents are also on the third tier -- the weaker but more accessible Soul Link and life-saving Fel Domination. Take them. Speaking of key talents, max out all the talents in tier four. Unholy Power opens up three different talents and Master Summoner is necessary to make Fel Domination absolutely worth it.

The good news is that Demonic Sacrifice is now completely optional. If you're a fan of demon-less raiding, which I admittedly am not, then pick this up to go along with a hybrid Destruction spec. Otherwise you can skip this talent and Master Conjuror, both on the fifth tier. It's important to note, however, that Firestones and Spellstones have been reworked to be weapon buffs like Mana Oils. They no longer need to be equipped but instead are a 5-charge consumable item that grants significant bonuses to direct damage spells or DoTs.

Mana Feed on the sixth tier is a good investment, particularly because Felguards eat through their mana extremely fast. Master Demonologist is another vital talent not only for the passive benefits but because it's required for Demonic Empowerment. That's about eight talents spent on this tier, so it's good that we can skip the underwhelming Improved Enslave Demon completely.

Tier seven is a mixed bag. If you're heavy into PvP, you should probably max out Demonic Reslience, specially with the weaker Soul Link. Otherwise, you can skip it and invest in the more DPS-oriented Demonic Knowledge, which should do wonders for you in PvE. Also on this tier is the utility spell Demonic Empowerment, which I've enthused about. I like it. I have it hotkeyed. I hope you like it, too.

Past the seventh tier we will be foregoing hybridization and should be committing to full Demonology. It's also where all these master and demon synergies start falling into place. Demonic Tactics on tier nine is a flat out DPS boost that should be maxed out. We'll also need it for another cool talent on the next tier. If we plan on sending our pet into the fray -- which we should, really -- Fel Synergy will help keep it alive. The more damage we deal, the more our demons stay up. How cool is that?

Improved Demonic Tactics is on the ninth tier and gives our demons that necessary punch for Demonic Empathy. The DPS boost is moderate at 3%, but is virtually guaranteed to be up for either the Warlock or her pet at all times. It's pretty weak for something so deep in the tree, however, so I recommend skipping it. What we're not skipping, however, is Summon Felguard. No, really.

Improved Demonic Tactics will come in handy for Demonic Pact, which grants a raidwide buff whenever our pet crits. If you're a raider, you'll want this. It won't stack with Shaman totems, though, so it's only good if you have considerable spell power. If you mostly PvP, you can skip it.

Finally, we have Metamorphosis. I wanted to do a Skill Mastery on this talent because it really needs to be discussed. First of all, I honestly don't think it's a finished spell. At its best, it's a 30 second DPS boost every three minutes and a perfect panic button for PvP. It boosts a Demonology Warlock's survivability to the stratosphere because of the 600% armor bonus and snare and stun duration reductions. It's very nearly a Warlock's version of The Beast Within.

Be warned, however, that the associated abilities in demon form are situational and even downright silly. Shadow Cleave gives you a low-damage melee strike... that also hits allies. I mean, if you have 30 seconds in this godly, er, demonic form, why would you waste your GCD on a silly melee strike? Then there's Challenging Howl, an AoE taunt for those Warlocks who've always dreamed of being Tankadins. Of course, the only thing vaguely tank-ish about a Warlock in demon form is the armor, and it's not even that high. Oh, and once 30 seconds are up, you're quite certain to die.

Immolation Aura is great, though. It scales very well with spell damage and is there to teach those big, bad Warriors a lesson for picking on us. It lasts 15 seconds, so if you can't get out of melee range within that span of time, at least you're dealing some hurt. It's pretty much the best demon form ability, although you'll rarely use it while raiding. There's also Demon Charge, which is like a Warrior's Intercept. The trouble is, it works from a minimum of 8 yards, meaning you'll actually have to get close to someone you're already far away from to begin with. [CLARIFICATION: That statement was supposed to mean "you're already 8 yards away, why the hell would I charge to my opponent?"]

I don't know about you, but I was fairly certain that our strategy was to kite things, not to tank things. Pretty much everything about Metamorphosis is counter-intuitive. That said, the ability does have its uses, and can be considered a boost to DPS when raiding. Hopefully it'll still get fixed at some point and, for the love of demons, it should get a female form. Even if you go deep into Demonology, you're completely excused if you skip Metamorphosis.

Zach helps guide you through the changes in 3.0.2, so you can be enthralled in all the demonic love Blizzard's thrown together. Check out other 3.0.2 Talent Guides, too, as well as everything about the so-called Echoes of Doom.

Filed under: Warlock, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Guides, Talents, Wrath of the Lich King

Warlock changes in Beta build 8982


Mostly good things for Warlocks today. Well, since yesterday, I mean. In the latest Beta build, Haunt has been thankfully buffed to heal you for 200% of the damage it did, up from a measly 20%. This is massive. Did I say massive? I mean gargantuan. Godzilla-like. This is the pure awesome that you can only ask for in Beta. Except... it actually doesn't heal for 200%. In fact, I think it still heals for 20%. Koraa has popped over to the Warlock Beta forums to say a couple of things about this: one, that "it should be more than 20%" and two, that they'll fix it. That should be comforting. Although it's Koraa talking, so... light your Doomsday Candles now and start chanting.

Metamorphosis cooldown has been reduced to 3 minutes instead of 5, which feels a little more useful. Although to balance this out, it lasts 30 seconds (down from 45) and increases damage by 20% instead of 40%. It's a nerf to total DPS, but still not a bad change, as a shorter cooldown allows more flexibility in the use of the ability. The real problem with Metamorphosis right now is that the demon abilities are just... all wrong. Demon form actually merits it's own post, so I'll write about that some other time, but I'll leave you with this one to chew on: Challenging Howl. Yeah, just in case you're one of those cuckoohead Warlocks who've always dreamed of tanking, you've got your wish. You weirdo.

Read more →

Filed under: Warlock, Analysis / Opinion, Talents, Wrath of the Lich King

Blood Pact: Demonology in Wrath Beta


A Demonology Warlock is very easy to spot. Prior to Wrath or Patch 3.0, she'll more often than not have the Soul Link buff. But since Soul Link was moved to Tier 3 of the Demonology tree, it will no longer be as exclusive to Demonologists. But the Felguard is another tell-tale sign of a die-hard Demonologist and is a favored pet for damage and the Warrior-like Intercept. In Wrath of the Lich King, that trend of being easily identifiable continues with the 51-point talent Metamorphosis, which transforms the Warlock into a demon herself. Demonologists are not exactly known for their subtlety.

The most notable thing about Demonologists is their high survivability. Many of the talents in the tree is centered around a synergistic relationship between the Warlock and the demon that keeps both alive and makes them more powerful. In fact, the most hardy of all Warlock specs -- the SL/SL -- relies on Soul Link and Demonic Resilience, deep in Demonology, along with Affliction's Siphon Life. In Wrath, survivability continues with the added bonus of getting pets to scale up the Warlock's DPS. And we all love DPS.

Read more →

Filed under: Warlock, Analysis / Opinion, (Warlock) Blood Pact, Wrath of the Lich King

Warlock changes in Beta build 8926


The nerf bat swung low and hard. Did it hit Warlocks? Well... yes and no. This is the stage in Beta where things are tuned downwards -- notoriously labeled the nerf patch -- and Warlocks are big, fat nerf targets. On the other hand, some spells got buffs and others were reworked. This is just Beta, so don't panic. Classes are buffed and nerfed throughout the testing process until everything is finely tuned.

Without further ado: they nerfed Death's Embrace to grant 9% crit to all Shadow Spells when an opponent is at 20% or below health, down from 15% crit. Eradication can no longer be a permanent buff now as it now notes that, "This effect cannot occur more often than once every 30 sec". On the other hand, Death's Embrace and Eradication got cool new icons. Dark Pact, which I raved about when I talked about the Felhunter, has been nerfed back to its current form of granting 100% of the mana drained from pet (down from 200% in previous builds).

Curse of Exhaustion was nerfed to a 30% movement speed reduction, down from 50%. It's now back to the live realm's value but without the benefit of Amplify Curse, which was reworked in Beta. Fel Armor's mana regeneration was removed and replaced with a health regeneration rate of 2% per 5 seconds. I'm not too sure how to feel about that, but since Warlocks treat health as mana, anyway, it's not such a substantial nerf but merely a mechanical change. More nerfs and a few pleasant surprises after the jump.

Read more →

Filed under: Warlock, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Wrath of the Lich King

Instant Corruption and other infernal joys


Hot on the heels of Blizzard asking Warlocks for feedback on Metamorphosis, the Wrath development team shows how amazingly fast they work and how they actually listen to players. Koraa and Ghostcrawler materialized into the Warlock Beta forums to announce -- simultaneously on separate threads -- that Metamorphosis was going to change significantly in an upcoming Beta build, with the changes happily incorporating most of the feedback that players threw in.

First of all, Metamorphosis will no longer replace a summoned demon -- a no-brainer feature that should have been there from the start considering that most talents in the tree buff up the Warlock's demon! It will also now increase armor by 600%, up from 360%, a coefficient that scales better with a Warlock's base armor of... cloth. Significantly, the demon form will now also increases all damage by 40%, after players realized that turning into a demon with many melee abilities and being cut off from normal spells actually reduced their DPS. Speaking of normal spells, Warlocks in demon form can now cast those, too. These changes come in addition to a few others that Blizzard is working on such as a few demon form-exclusive abilities -- and it seems like Demonology will finally be truly, diabolically fun. [EDIT: In my excitement I forgot to mention that the spell was reverted to a 5-minute cooldown and the form lasts 45 seconds. Still awesome!]

I griped about this on the last Blood Pact along with a throng of other Warlocks, and it seems like Blizzard has heard us -- Corruption will now be baseline instant cast! It's a change that has been a long time coming, and it's finally turning real. Improved Corruption will instead increase the damage of Corruption by up to 20%, effectively negating Empowered Corruption and hopefully freeing up space for a new, exciting talent or at least more points to use in an already bloated tree.

Read more →

Filed under: Warlock, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Forums

Metamorphosis feedback wanted

For all of you Warlock beta testers out there, Ghostcrawler is looking for your help! Since the Wrath Beta began, Metamorphosis has been one of those abilities that sound cool in theory, but the application was totally wrong, more or less. Ghostcrawler has put out a call for focused, constructive feedback on the ability. When you head over there, keep in mind that Ghostcrawler wants feedback specifically about Metamorphosis in this thread, and 'get rid of it' isn't constructive feedback. Those of you not beta testing may be interested in the thread as well, since it might be a pretty strong indicator of where Demonology will end up.

The most common feedback I've seen is that the ability renders most of your other talent points null and void for the duration of the transformation, rather than synergizing with them. I find myself agreeing with that wholeheartedly. It's an interesting concept, but no top end talent should nullify everything before it unless it's good enough to make up for all of those talent points you lost. Metamorphosis definitely does not have 51 talent points baked into it, and I'd say it would be impossible to even do that.

Filed under: Warlock, Expansions, Wrath of the Lich King

Warlock talent changes added to official talent calculators

For every major class mechanic overhaul in the Wrath Beta, there's also a few minor tweaks for other classes as Blizzard works on perfecting the new talents and class balance for release. Today, it's the Warlocks' turn. MMO-Champion has discovered a few changes to the official talent calculator for the Warlock. Check it out after the jump.

Read more →

Filed under: Warlock, Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Talents, Wrath of the Lich King

WoW Insider Show 

Subscribe via  iTunes for our latest show.

Hot Topics


 

Upcoming Events


Around Azeroth

Around Azeroth

Featured Galleries

It came from the Blog: Pandamonium
The gaming artwork of Jessica Dinh
Mists of Pandaria Raid DPS Analysis
Mists of Pandaria Collector's Edition
Death Knight plague epidemic
Mega Bloks: Goblin Zeppelin Ambush
Mists of Pandaria Beta: Ruins beneath Scarlet Halls
Mists of Pandaria: New warlock pets
Female Pandaren Customization

 

Categories