NB: This guide begins where my video guides end, the full list of which can be found here. The video guides cover levels 1-10, and the abilities therein. This guide will be structured such that it is based around talents. For the new abilities you can learn from trainers between 11 and 80, check out my guide here.
Demonology is, in my opinion, the best spec to level with as a Warlock. It provides buffs to your pets, which are very important tools when soloing / leveling – they can tank for you, keeping you safe, or help you burn down enemies faster. Additionally, speccing into Demonology will up your survivability, so you’re more likely to live through a sticky situation, and it offers a low amount of downtime.
For the time being, the best plan is to use the Voidwalker (VW) to tank mobs for you. This is a link to the complete talent tree which you’ll have at the end of this guide.
Levels 10 to 12
Right from the start, we’re going to focus on living through fights. 3 points in Demonic Embrace will increase our health, allowing us to take more damage in the event we get hit. Ideally, your VW will be taking the hits for you, but you can’t be too careful.
Levels 13 to 14
You can’t spend all your time healing your pet, but that’s what will invariably happen if you get one or more adds on you. Two points in Fel Synergy will help by passively taking some of the damage you do, and healing your pet for that amount.
Levels 15 to 16
Two points spent maxing out Improved Health Funnel are two points well spent. Chance are if you’re healing your demon, it’s dying, and so with this talent you can reduce the damage it takes as you heal it, reducing the chance of it poofing into nothingness while angry mobs converge upon you. Also, you’ll heal for more and lose less health. Win win.
Levels 17 to 19
For these three levels, we’re putting points into Fel Vitality, for more, well, vitality. This talent increase the Intellect and Stamina of both you and your demons, again increasing your survivability.
At level 20 we learn our first new spell from our talents – Fel Domination. This is a really handy little spell which, when used, will reduce the cast time of our next demon summon by 5.5 seconds, as well as halving the mana cost, meaning when you first get this it will effectively cut the summoning time in half. Convenient, especially when you need a new demon quickly!
We’re actually now going to learn our second ‘talent spell’ right after the first, with Soul Link. A trademark Demonology spell, and very popular in PvP as well as PvE, having this buff active allows you to transfer 20% of the damage you take to your demon. This might not be a good idea with the Imp due to its low health pool, but otherwise (especially if you’re using the VW as you ought to be) it’s fantastic for obvious reasons.
Levels 22 to 24
Demonic Aegis will increase the effects of your Demon Armor (and, later, Fel Armor) spells by 30% after you’ve maxed it out, making it a solid choice for a talent both for leveling and at the end game.
Levels 25 to 26
Working with Fel Domination is Master Summoner, which further reduces the casting time of your summons, although this is a constant change. That means that when you activate Fel Dom., your casting time will be almost instant and it will cost you almost no mana, which is great for both ease and for tight situations.
Levels 27 to 31
Five points into Unholy Power straight up increases how powerful your demons are, and since this spec revolves around your demons, it’s a no-brainer.
Mana Feed is a one-point talent which gives your demons the same amount of mana as you get from Life Tap or Drain Life, allowing them to attack with abilities for longer – they can be prone to run out of mana otherwise.
Levels 33 to 34
For these two levels, which we need in order to progress to the next tier of the talent tree, we’re actually going to jump right back to the very first talents and take Improved Healthstone. You should always level with a Healthstone, and it will now heal you for more when used.
Levels 35 to 39
Master Demonologist will give you a different buff for as long as you have a demon summoned, which is dependent on the demon that’s out. The buff applies to both you and your demon – for example, after spending five points into this talent, if you summon your VW both you and he (it?) will take 10% less damage. Nifty, eh?
We’re long overdue for a new gained-through-talents spell, and here we can learn Demonic Empowerment, which is usable every minute and buffs our demon with an effect specific to the demon. Using the VW as the example again, when you use this it will increase its health and the amount of threat it generates by 20% for 20 seconds, which really goes to show that it’s designed to be a tank.
Levels 41 to 43
During these next three levels we’re going to put points into Demonic Resilience – the first part of this talent is very much for PvP, but the 15% reduction to damage taken by your demon is invaluable, especially when you consider that you’re dealing damage to the demon via Soul Link.
Levels 44 to 46
Three points into Demonic Knowledge, which gives us a nice Spell Power boost when we have a demon summoned, altered by the demon’s Stamina and Intellect.
Levels 47 to 49
For the time being, we’re going to put just three points – not five – into Demonic Tactics, a talent which increases the crit chance for both us and our demons. This is so we can go to…
Now the real fun begins! Time to learn to summon a Felguard, the staple Demonology minion. This hard-hitting, axe-wielding demon is both usable as a tank when solo’ing because of its high health and as a dps pet anywhere else due to its massive damage. He also sounds so menacing. You can never have enough Felguard, and we will be leveling with this fellow from now on.
Levels 51 to 52
Taking a step backwards, we can now fill in Demonic Tactics.
Levels 53 to 55
Next, Improved Demonic Tactics further improves our demon’s chance to critically hit, this time by a proportion of our crit chance. Three points.
Levels 56 to 60
Maxing out Demonic Pact provides us with a tasty buff which, when it procs if our pet critically hits, will increase the Spell Power of our party members by a lovely amount – 10% of our Spell Damage to be exact. This is going to be up a lot, because we’re talking Felguards here, and they crit a lot.
Metamorphosis. The one spell which, even more than the Felguard, identifies a real Demonology Warlock. This ability allows us to actually become a demon, giving us new abilities while boosting all our damage done and reducing the damage we take. We can tank briefly with Challenging Howl, we can do some major AoE with the almost passive Immolation Aura, we can melee (if we’re really struggling) with the off-the-GCD Shadow Cleave and we can pretend to be a Warrior with Demon Charge. And the best part is that we can use it every few minutes. Good times!
Levels 62 to 64
Nemesis reduces the cooldown of some of our best abilities, including Metamorphosis and Fel Domination.
Levels 65 to 69
Levels 70 to 71
Having reduced the cast time of Soul Fire, we can now take Decimation, which is great for bosses in instances – much more chance of you actually running them now that we’re into Northrend – but also just in general for getting a ‘headstart’ on the next mob you attack or even for just finishing one off quickly. It is possible to chain-cast this and Shadow Bolt when grinding for some serious killing.
Levels 72 to 74
Again linking somewhat to the above theme of improving Soul Fire, Molten Core will occasionally increase the damage of all our fire spells whenever our shadow spells deal damage (which is pretty much constantly, if you consider your DoTs), so you’ll do more damage with points in this.
Levels 75 to 77
Jumping back down the tree, Demonic Brutality improves both the damage done by the Felguard and the tanking ability of the Voidwalker – you might occasionally want to use the VW for some tough solo’ing still, but the FG buff is the best part.
Levels 78 to 80
Honestly, at this point it doesn’t make a great deal of difference where your points are placed, since you’re going to hopefully respec at 80 to a proper PvE or PvP spec (or both, with dual-specs). However, you might be running some of the higher level instances at this level, so Suppression from the Affliction tree is a good choice for the hit rating.
Well, congratulations on level 80, and I hope the guide helped! For my current PvE spec as Meta/Ruin (as deep into Demonology as you can really go), go here.