How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?

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I don’t know either, but let’s talk about Demonology instead. It’s been noted that the spec has issues, some of them stemming from Demonic Empowerment and the slow ramp-up of the spec in general. “This is a large problem that requires iteration, not just a numbers fix” says Ion Hazzithingymajig back in December last year, so how can we improve the spec?

Here’s my idea. Note that this is more of a revamp, not a “WoD Survival Hunter to Legion Survival Hunter” complete overhaul. I love the idea of being a summoner, and I’d like to… refine it? Help improve it? Well, we’ll see.

Soul Shards

Gone. No more. The core of my idea is moving to a more cooldown-centric style of play, as opposed to “filler to make shards, spend, filler again” like we do now. A few spells would change as a result, so let’s look at the core rotational abilities, namely Shadow Bolt, Doom, Summon Dreadstalkers, Hand of Gul’dan, and Demonic Empowerment.

Doom

It’s rarely worth casting this on any add as it only ticks the once, and by the time you’ve Doomed a number of things, they’ve started to die, unless you drop a Hand of Gul’dan on them with the Hand of Doom talent. Your Darkglare would have nothing to shoot its lasers at! My fix? Ehh, make it tick twice over the duration? Once halfway through, once at the end.

Hand of Gul’dan

With my proposed binning of Soul Shards, Hand of Gul’dan would become a combination of the version of the spell we have now, and the version from Mists. Basically, make it instant cast and have 2 charges, with a 10 second recharge time. The meteor drops, enemy is hit, 4 imps are summoned. These imps last 30 seconds. Why so long? Because of a new ability I would add that I will detail later on.

Summon Dreadstalkers

Eh, frankly this ability is alright as it is. Don’t take my feldoggies away! Maybe make them last longer but with a longer cooldown (15 seconds duration/20 second cooldown?).

Shadow Bolt

The filler, the ability you cast when there’s nothing to do. Give it a 10% chance to generate a charge of Hand of Gul’dan.

Demonic Empowerment

Currently, this buffs all your active demons’ haste and health by 50% and 20% respectively, and through your mastery also slaps on a damage boost to them. In my version of Demonology, the damage boost via mastery is a passive, at-all-times damage boost, and Demonic Empowerment becomes a 2 minute cooldown that buffs your the haste and health of your demons, and DOUBLES the effect of your mastery for x amount of time. This is a spell you’ll have active on your demons at all times anyway, so the damage boost might as well become a passive and the spell itself be used as a major DPS cooldown.

Life Tap

I know you’d like me to say “GET RID OF IT!” but in my Demonology vision, it becomes even more integral due to a BRAND NEW SPELL I would add:

Demonic Sacrifice

Remember I said I’d extend the duration a group of imps stays summoned for from 12 seconds to 30? Well, here’s why. This spell, on a 90 second cooldown, costs all your remaining mana and all of your imps, and from their/your energy, a powerful new demon is summoned.

  • 4 imps, or one Hand of Gul’dan-worth, nets you one of those fancy Demonic Jailers. You know, with the cage on their back?
  • 8 imps? An Inquisitor is yours!
  • 12 imps? Gosh, here’s a Fel Lord!
  • 16 imps? I dunno, a dreadlord?
  • Did you get lucky with your Shadow Bolt procs and have 20 or more imps? Well here’s the PIT LORD you always wanted!

The fact this summoning drains all your mana to use as well as eats up all your imps necessitates the usage of Life Tap. Combine this with Demonic Empowerment for a hugely powerful demon! It’d naturally have to be worth the cost of the spell, so have each of the demons do a similar amount of damage as the equivalent number of imps used to summon it, +4. While I’m at it, making new spells, how about we bring an old one back?

Imp Swarm

Back in Mists/Warlords, you could use Glyph of Imp Swarm to give you the ability to summon 4 imps instantly, on a 2 minute cooldown. Seeing as my Demonology vision bins the Soul Shards, make Imp Swarm a level 100 talent that replaces Soul Conduit. It contributes to burst, especially when opening, and would help you get a Fel Lord out through Demonic Sacrifice relatively quickly (2 Hands, Imp Swarm, Demonic Sacrifice, Life Tap, resume normal rotation).

Conclusion

This is just an idea. We may not even get a revamp for Battle for Azeroth, but it’d certainly be nice for some of the issues that have been addressed by Blizzard themselves to be sorted out. Maybe my idea would create MORE issues, I don’t know, I’m no designer. Just an enthusiastic Warlock who’s stuck with Demonology through thick and thin this expansion.

I love the spec, but it can be improved. Here’s to hoping.

Don’t go thal’kiel, I’ll miss you! 😦
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One thought on “How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?

    elkagorasa said:
    November 9, 2017 at 10:59 pm

    Your demonic empowerment, sounds faintly like Beastial Wrath (https://www.wowhead.com/spell=19574) for hunters which has a 90s cd. While i like the idea, I doubt we’ll see it..

    Now if you do manage summon a pit lord, will you have to/ or can you enslave him (and replace your felguard? (thinking back to -> wrath when Doom used to proc, it would randomly summon an enemy demon.)

    I agree with removing soul shards., I’ve been playing affliction lately and don’t see their use here either. I always seem to have a stack of 3-5 of them. Maybe I am just doing Affliction wrong.. but everything has been blowing up when agony drops.

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