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With players streaming into the Mists of Pandaria beta a lot of information about the class changes is being learned. Right from the start most players focused on the big changes to the game, but really in the end the changes that will effect you the most are the changes made to the class you play. After all we have all seen drastic changes to the game many times in the past, sure it is different but it is different for everyone equally. Changes to classes affect you much more directly as it is your class specifically.
One class that is seeing quite a few changes is the Warlock class. The changes that I want to look at in this article are the changes made to the Warlock pets since they are quite different from the pets that they had in Cataclysm. Also Warlocks now essentially have double the number of pets available due to a very interesting and powerful talent that we will talk about a bit later.
So go ahead and read on to learn all about the changes coming to Warlock pets in WoW.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Keep in mind that we are still very early in the Mists of Pandaria Beta and almost everything could completely change before it is released.
Warlock Pets in Mists of
The first of the big changes to warlock pets is a standardization of the damage that they cause. Previously each pet caused different amounts of base damage, where as now they all cause roughly the same amount. These numbers will obviously fluctuate based on the type of fight and target, however against a single target like a target dummy they are all very close to the same damage. This means that you no longer need to choose a pet based on the damage it causes, but instead pick which one to use by the buffs or special abilities it provides.
The second big change to Warlock pets is the addition of the talent Grimoir of Supremacy which upgrades all of your demon pets to bigger and better versions that have additional abilities and inflict 10% more damage than their normal versions.
Knowing that each pet now essentially comes in two different versions, let's look at the various pets.style="padding: 5px; float: right; width: 250px; text-align: center;"> src="http://www.tentonhammer.com/image/view/230587"
The Imp and Fel Imp look very close to each other, with the Fel Imp (above) just slightly bigger than the normal Imp.
Imp / Fel Imp
The basic Warlock pet stays fairly close to what it was before with the addition of a few nice abilities.
The Imp is the basic form and deals its damage by throwing firebolts at it's target from a distance. This is the first pet you will learn to summon and is a good pet when in a group and dealing damage from a distance.
- Blood Pact - A 10% stamina buff for all party and raid members.
- Cauterize Master - Deals a small amount of damage to you to cauterize your wounds and then heals you for 12% over 12 seconds.
- Firebolt - The Imps normal firebolt attack.
- Flee - Breaks roots and bonds free from the Imp and allows it to return to your side.
- Singe Magic - This is a new single target dispel that can be set to autocast which will automatically cast on you when you are struck by a magical stun, silence, polymorph, or fear.
The Grimiore of Supremacy upgraded version is the Fel Imp which retains the same abilities, but two get upgraded as follows.
- Felbolt - This is an upgraded version of the normal firebolt that deals more damage
- Sear Magic - This is an upgraded version of Single Magic that dispels a harmful effect from up to 5 nearby friendly targets.
The Imp is meant to be a ranged DPS pet in either normal or upgraded form and the standard Warlock pet.
Void Walker / Void Lord
The Void Walker is the Warlock classes own private tank. This is the pet to use most times when you are soloing content and not able to burn through the targets quickly enough that you are not in danger. The basic Void Walker has the following abilities.style="padding: 5px; float: right; width: 210px; text-align: center;"> src="http://www.tentonhammer.com/image/view/230594"
The Void Lord is the upgrade of the standard and common Void Walker. The only real differnce in look is the shoulder plates.
- Disarm - The Voidwalker can disarms the target for up to 10 seconds.
- Shadow Bulwark - This is a cooldown that can grant the Voidwalker 30% of its max health for 20 seconds at a time.
- Suffering - A taunt to help tanking.
- Threatening Presence - This is an aura type ability that increased threat generation.
- Torment - The Void Walkers standard melee attack.
- Void Reflexes - A self buff that increases dodge and parry by 10%.
The Grimiore of Supremacy upgraded version is the Void Lord which retains all of the same abilities, but two of them are upgraded as follows.
- Torment - The standard attack is upgraded to cause additional damage.
- Shadow Shield - This is an ability on a 10 second cooldown that creates a shield around the Void Lord which reduces damage taken by 60%. Each time the shield is struck it deals damage to the enemy striking it and reduces the shields strength by 20%, this means it lasts 3 hits, a 60% reduction, a 40% reduction, and a 20% reduction.
As you can see the Void Walker / Void Lord gains significant lasting ability with the Shadow Bulwark and Shadow Shield abilities. While it doesn't have any additional damage abilities, it will be able to keep threat on itself rather than you and live through it.
Felhunter/ Observerstyle="padding: 5px; float: right; width: 210px; text-align: center;"> src="http://www.tentonhammer.com/image/view/230588"
The Felhunter is the standard anti-caster pet.
The Felhunter is a pet that has evolved a lot over time, to the point it was in Cataclysm where it was the go to Affliction pet and a great PVP pet due to its anti-magic ability. This role continues pretty much unchanged in Mists of Pandaria due to the abilities listed below.
- Devour Magic - This ability dispels a magical buff on an opponent and provides a heal to the Felhunter if successful.
- Spell Lock - This is a cooldown ability (24 second cooldown) that induces a 3 second silence and a 6 second lockout of the spell school silenced.
- Shadow Bite - This is the Felhunters standard melee attack.
The Observer is an awesome upgrade, especially look wise.
The Grimiore of Supremacy upgraded version is the Felhunter is one of the biggest upgrades since it completely changes the look of the felhunter. Instead of a little demon dog pet you get your very own Beholder type creature called an Observer. The observer gets two very good ability upgrades that help out in it's anti-magic role.
- Clone Magic - Steals one magic effect from an enemy target and if successful the Observer is healed for a small amount.
- Optical Blast - This is an upgrade of Spell Lock that deals damage at the same time as providing the spell lock base abilities.
- Tongue Lash - This is an upgraded version of Shadow Bite.
As you can see this pet is useful when having to deal with enemies that are caster based. This should make it a favorite in PVP combat for shutting down enemy healers or casters.
Succubus / Shivarrastyle="padding: 5px; float: right; width: 210px; text-align: center;"> src="http://www.tentonhammer.com/image/view/230590"
The standard Succubus
The Succubus is definitely the best looking demon in your arsenal, after all who can turn down a sexy demoness in a g-string. Ok, not very child friendly, but for all the teen and adult males out there the view isn't a negative. The Succubus is a DPS demon that also has some stealth and CC abilities. So if your group is a little short on crowd control the Succubus could be your best choice. The basic Succubus has the abilities that follow.
- Lash of Pain - This is the Succubus main main melee attack.
- Lesser Invisibility - Provides stealth so the Succubus can get into position.
- Seduction - Provides a 30 second crowd control against humanoid targets.
- Whiplash - This attack is on cooldown and deals damage and a knock back to the target and anyone nearby.
The upgraded Shivarra looks amazing for a pet
The Grimiore of Supremacy upgraded version is the Succubus is to the Shivarra a mighty four armed version of the demon. While the demon itself is cool, and the ability upgrades are good, I have a serious issue with one of the abilities as described below.
- Bladedance - Similar to lash of pain but with a 20 yard range and deals more damage.
- Fel Lash - Similar to Whiplash but does more damage.
- Mesmerize - This is similar to seduction and it provides a 30 second crowd control but is usable against humanoids, beasts, dragonkin, giants, and undead. Sounds great right? The big issue is that is appears on screen as a rainbow. No, I'm not joking. Hopefully Blizzard is though and the graphic will be changed before release.
This demon is good for both DPS and CC making it a great option for both PVE and PVP content. The ability to crowd control an opponent is great in either situation and the damage that the demons special abilities can generate are not something to ignore.
Felguard / Wrathguardstyle="padding: 5px; float: right; width: 210px; text-align: center;"> src="http://www.tentonhammer.com/image/view/230597"
The Felguard available to Demonology Warlocks only
The Felguard is a demon only available to Demonology Warlocks that specializes in AOE damage while still being able to tank for short periods of time. The only downside is that its use is limited since only one of the three specs has access to it. The Felguards abilities are as follows.
- Axe Toss - This is a 4 second stun on a 30 second cooldown.
- Felstorm - This is the Felguards main melee attack.
- Legion Strike - This is strike that hits up to 6 nearby targets for damage and applies a 10% healing debuff that lasts for 5 seconds on the main target.
- Pursuit - This is a charge attack that increases movement by 30% for 6 seconds, allowing the Felguard to close range quickly and stay in combat.
- Threaten Presence - This is an aura that increases threat generation.
- Void Reflexes - A self buff that increases dodge and parry by 10%
The Wrathguard is an amazing looking upgrade.
The Grimiore of Supremacy upgraded version is the Felguard is an even bigger badder version called the Wrathguard. While most of the abilities stay the same, a few do see upgrades.
- Mortal Cleave - Pretty much the same as Legion Strike, but does slightly more damage and inflicts a 25% healing debuff on the main target that lasts for 5 seconds.
- Wrathstorm - This is a whirl wind type attack on a 45 second cooldown. It deals damage to all enemies within 8 years each second for 6 seconds. This is an awesome AOE damage ability.
The Felguard offers a great hybrid melee DPS / Tank pet. Even better it can put out some huge DPS numbers when there is a group of enemies all close together. The only downside is that you have to be a Demonology Warlock to gain access to it.
Warlock Pet Changes Conclusions
While many of the pets have stayed fairly similar to their previous versions, they have become slightly more powerful and more balanced between them, all while becoming more useful. Having the damage between pets standardized from basic attacks makes choosing a pet more about the situational needs of the pets abilities rather than a question of pure damage.
In addition some of the abilities have now gotten much smarter in their auto cast usage, meaning that they will target enemies that make sense rather than their current target. A great example of this is the Shivarra's mesmerize that will be used against targets that can stun, fear, or silence over any other target. This makes many of the pets special abilities much more user friendly that previously where you had to micro manage them. The only down side is that it doesn't allow a skilled player to clearly outclass an average player since they can no longer gain as big an advantage through pet micro management.
The most interesting thing however is the upgrades that the Grimoire of Supremacy provides to all the pets. As well as the flat DPS increase it provides your pets, it also grants several very good ability upgrades. The only issue I have with the Grimoire of Supremacy is that is seems like the obvious choice over the other two talents at the same level since it provides the most benefit. Hopefully the other two talents will see slight buffs to even them out as I really don't want this one to change.
Overall I really like the changes to the Warlock pets as they stand now in the Mists of Pandaria beta. It is still early so obviously there is a lot of time for things to change, but so far things look good.
How do you feel about the
changes coming to Warlock pets in Mists of Pandaria? Do you feel they are positive or negative? Do you want more or less user interaction with your pets? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.
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