Should Demonology Warlock be a Tank Spec in Battle for Azeroth?

Michael Hogman did a fantastic review of Demonology warlock and some of the upcoming changes in the next WoW expansion, Battle for Azeroth. That video is linked above and I encourage all warlock aficionados to check it out before continuing on this post. While the changes he reviews aren’t final, it definitely shows a lot of what Blizzard is thinking about the spec and where they want to take it. As a warlock veteran since Burning Crusade, and as someone who played Demonology as my main spec going into Legion, these changes are much needed. The removal/combination of Demonic Empowerment makes me thrilled. However for playability in raids, halfway through the Legion expansion, I went back to the comfy confines of Destruction. Destro locks are still underplayed compared to affliction currently, but still, there’s nothing more satisfying to me than popping up Havoc and ripping off multiple Chaos Bolts in a row.

With that said, the new look of Demonology has had my attention since the large revamp at the start of Legion. With the introduction of the Demon Hunter class and the cruel deprival of our precious (somewhat tanklike) metamorphosis ability, it’s gotten me thinking. What could Blizzard do to reinvent Demonology, and make it a strong relevant spec without taking something away from Affliction or Destruction? I came to the realization that it would be something they aren’t planning on currently doing, and would add an entirely new element to the game. Would it be easy? No, but it is a huge opportunity to do something that has never been done before. Should Demonology Warlock be a Tank Spec in Battle for Azeroth? Absolutely.

The barriers

Warlocks are a DPS class traditionally, but my main feeling on this comes from the fact that the spec has almost always lagged behind both Affliction and Destruction as far as amount played by the community. Take a look at the PvE rankings currently on World of Wargraphs. You start to see the current picture of the vast irrelevancy of the current Demonology spec. Historically, Demonology has had similar playability issues even dating back to Burning Crusade/Wrath of the Lich King days. Blizzard has said one thing they feel like they lost in the Legion expansion was the utility and uniqueness each class brought to the table. Changing a DPS spec to a tank spec has never been done in the history of the game. Well… except that one time we got close to it in Mists of Pandaria beta. In the current post-metamorphosis game, however, how would it be done?

The idea

What was awesome about the old metamorphosis ability? Beyond becoming a purple demon bad-ass, you gained entirely new skills and ability to do melee attacks temporarily. It was unique, different, and beloved by the warlock community. What if instead of summoning legions of demons to DPS, you summoned one large demon you channeled your energy to control. The player gains control of this demon’s skills, while the warlock would follow the player controlled demon focusing on maintaining it under control. The demon would then act as the tank, having tank abilities and appropriately scaled health you could calculate off of the warlocks traditional stats like intellect, stamina, and mastery.

The theme

Affliction is shadow, Destruction is fire/fel energy. Make Demonology a void based spec. With Battle for Azeroth on the horizon and a heavy void theme that one can only speculate is only going to increase as we continue to hang around in Silithus and with Queen Azshara, a warlock void based spec with themed abilities would be beyond fitting. We already summon a “voidwalker” or a “voidlord” if you spec into it, so why not expand on this theme for Demonology? Don’t tell me tapping into the void to summon a massive shadow monster tank wouldn’t be something players wouldn’t flock to. I know I would, and that’s why I’m permanently on the make Demonology a tank spec bandwagon. The new spec changes they’re working on is good so far, but wouldn’t this be so much more enticing?

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