Blood Pact: Warlock Demonic pets 101
The above screenshot was captured by Gnome De Guerre.
Welcome to Blood Pact, Blizzard Watch’s regular column for Affliction, Demonology, and Destruction Warlocks. This week, your hostess Megan O’Neill (@_poneria) returns to pets 101.
I’m excited that Blizzard Watch overlord Alex Ziebart is leveling a Warlock on the Blizzard Watch leveling stream every Thursday. What better way to introduce leveling guides for Warlocks? Unfortunately, so far it’s just made me facepalm as I realize how outdated leveling is from the rest of endgame. Sure, it probably doesn’t overwhelm the newest player to have a guardian imp running around, but for players already used to MMO mechanics? Give me the pet bar now.
Guardians versus controlled pets
The first issue Alex encountered was how his imp seemed to go off and shoot whatever it liked. The truth is, well, sort of like that. In the very beginning single-digits of leveling, your imp is a guardian pet, which means you can’t explicitly control it like you can for the rest of your Warlock’s life. Guardians take your lead and then do their own thing until one of four things happens:
- The pet reaches its temporary time limit and despawns.
- The pet kills whatever it was hitting.
- The pet is killed.
- The pet despawns due to range with you. Sometimes when you out-range a pet, it will stop shooting at things and do a rubberband-like sprint back to you, but if you’ve already outpaced it, it’ll likely despawn entirely.
The first ten levels of having an imp and first two of a voidwalker aren’t the only instances where a Warlock runs into a guardian-type pet. Other guardian-type pets a Warlock uses are:
- Wild Imps, spawned by Demonology spells.
- Grimoire of Service summoned pets.
- Regular Doomguards and Infernals that last for only a minute.
Leveling and demonic pets
Sidetracking for a moment, Create Healthstone and Health Funnel seem like dumb ideas for some of your first leveling spells, especially since you don’t use them too much in endgame group content (your raidmates will use Healing Tonics anyway, and your pet shouldn’t be dying in group content because you shouldn’t use a threatening pet). But I can reason out why those two spells are there.
Create Healthstone is thematic to Warlocks, as the rest of the spells before it are. You’ve got your demonic pet right out of the gate. You get Shadow Bolt, so you have a shadowy nuke spell that transforms into other spells if you don’t go Demonology (and, later on, even if you do go Demonology!). You get Corruption, baby’s first DoT that will transform into other DoTs if you don’t go Affliction. You get Drain Life, which we don’t use much anymore because it was nerfed into the center of the earth, but drain spells used to be a Warlock thing, so we keep it around for nostalgia. The only thing left is that whole creating whatever-stones, like Healthstones and Soulstones.
C’mon — you’re not getting your resurrection spell at level 9. Deal with it.
Health Funnel is there to prepare you for using the tanky type voidwalker, which you get at level 8. Except Alex won’t be using a voidwalker because he’s got our in-house tankaholic Matthew Rossi taking the hard hits for him. Warlock pets have also been made a little sturdier in the past few expansions, so the voidwalker is more like a stamina-stacking pet who can take a large hit than any real tank that mitigates much.
Now that Destruction doesn’t use Health Funnel because it got baked into a Draenor Perk, Health Funnel is just kind of weird and useless a lot of the time, especially once you pick up the level 15 talent Soul Leech.
As for when you get what, that’s pretty easy to figure out — it’s all in the spellbook. But here’s a rundown of pet-related leveling anyway:
- Level 1 – Imp (Guardian-like)
- Level 8 – Voidwalker (Guardian-like)
- Level 10 – Full pet control with the pet action bar
- Level 11 – Health Funnel, the pet heal, but only for Affliction and Demonology
- Level 20 – Succubus
- Level 29 – Felhunter
- Level 42 – Felguard (Demonology-only)
- Level 49 – Infernal
- Level 58 – Doomguard
- Level 75 – Talent tier that affects pets directly. Can be called the pet talent tier or the Grimoire tier, since all the talents are “Grimoire of [Something].”
- All three specs can choose Grimoire of Supremacy, which gives you a bigger, better pet.
- All three specs can choose Grimoire of Service, which lets you temporarily have a second pet of your choice out. With Demonic Servitude selected at level 100, you can even choose a second Doomguard or Infernal.
- Affliction and Destruction can choose Grimoire of Sacrifice, which sacrifices your pet for increased damage to specific spells.
- Demonology can choose Grimoire of Synergy, which lets the pet proc a damage buff for the Warlock and vice versa.
- Level 100 — One of the level 100 talents is Demonic Servitude, which lets you turn the previously temporary and cooldown-like guardian pets Doomguard and Infernal (and their Supremacy versions) into permanent and controlled pets, complete with their own sets of abilities.
What’s a controlled pet?
Controlled pets — sometimes called perma-pets or permanent pets — are just that, permanent pets. These pets get the classic pet action bar for you to control them. A leveling Warlock gets this pet action bar at level 10, because the game figures if you’re advanced enough to decide which spec you want to play, you can control a pet. What it doesn’t do well is give you a brief overview of the pet bar, unless you happen to look in your pet’s spellbook.
Stances — The stance is the general attitude your pet has toward what’s attackable and what’s not.
- 8 – Assist is the default stance, and it does just what guardians do: it attacks your target as much as possible. If you switch targets, the pet will also try to switch targets with you.
- 9 – Defensive means the pet will only attack things that hit you first.
- 10 – Passive means the pet won’t attack at all unless you specifically command it to.
Commands — You can give commands to your pet to tell it to do certain movements or attacks.
- 1 – Attack is the only pet action button I have keybound. It’s useful when you have a pet on passive and want it to attack only one target. Raiding Warlocks particularly use this passive+attack combo to avoid having a pet run back and forth all over when it could do more damage just sitting on and whacking a long-lived boss target.
- 2 – Follow is the default pet command that’s always on. Your pet follows you around when it’s not busy in combat. As I was explaining to Blizzard Watch in our work chat during the first stream, there’s a reason pet classes always run slightly to the right, because your pet will always try to follow you on your left.
- 3 – Move To gives you a small target circle which you can use to move your pet to a specific location. I find this is most handy for taking screenshots or selfies, but it can also aid in some movement-specific boss soloing. Instead of returning to your side when combat ends, your pet will return to this specific spot.
- 4 – Stay is the command I take off all my pet bars, because it’s rather useless. Why command a pet to stay where I am when I can use Move To to place the pet anywhere I like?
Pet Abilities — Your demon pet will have at least three but probably more abilities to fill in the other action bar spots. Unfortunately, you can’t bind macros to the pet action bar, but you can use your pet abilities in macros on your own action bar.
Command Demon is Blizzard’s gift to Warlocks of an automatic all-in-one pet macro. If you have a controlled pet out, whether regular or with Grimoire of Supremacy or with Demonic Servitude, Command Demon transforms into one of several abilities depending on the pet you have out:
- Imp/Fel Imp — Cauterize Master (self HoT)
- Voidwalker/Voidlord — Suffering (taunt)
- Succubus/Shivarra — Whiplash/Fellash (knockback)
- Felhunter/Observer — Spell Lock/Optical Blast (interrupt)
- Felguard/Wrathguard — Felstorm/Wrathstorm (AoE damage)
- Doomguard/Terrorguard — Shadow Lock (interrupt)
- Infernal/Abyssal — Meteor Strike (small AoE stun)
If you use Grimoire of Sacrifice as an Affliction or Destruction Warlock, you get another set of abilities, some different and some the same:
- Imp — Singe Magic (single-target defensive dispel)
- Voidwalker — Shadow Bulwark (temporary health increase)
- Succubus — Whiplash (knockback)
- Felhunter — Spell Lock (interrupt)
- Doomguard — Shadow Lock (interrupt)
- Abyssal — Meteor Strike (small AoE stun)
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