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Why is voidwalker valued so highly?

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Everyone puts 3/3 into Improved voidwalker because I assume that while questing/grinding it's the de-facto best demon to level with.

But as far as I can tell it's subpar to the imp in pretty much every conceivable way. For starters if it tanks anything more than 1 mob I'm stuck funneling health into it. Say I tank one mob and it tanks another (which is what I do with imp). It's damage is subpar and if the mob is feared / runs away it risks aggroing more (and doing less damage since it has to move > aa > move etc). Also since the void walkers damage is almost negligible I feel like my down time is greatly increased since I have to expend more mana per mob and thus life tap and eat/drink more often.

Meanwhile with imp I can set it to attack one mob, while I attack another, I set up dots on my mob fear it and then set up dots on the imps mob, fear it and have me and the imp focus the other mob down and then return focus fire to the other. 

As far as I can tell the void walker is pretty much only useful for an "oh shit I pulled too much better let him tank as much as possible before sacrificing him while running for my life" situation. Which granted it does a lot better than the imp in that regard but the slower clear times for pretty much everything makes me wonder if an occasional corpse run is preferable to the void walker.

I mean the icing on top is that I can solo elites that are my level with imp through good use of fear and I cannot do that nearly as effectively with the void walker.

Edit: The only thing I can think of is that 30> mobs may start 1-2 shotting a warlock? Or the pvp application of sacrificing the void walker makes it desirable.

Edited by kingvalkyrik

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It's ... complicated.

Improved Voidwalker will increase the effects of Torment, Consume Shadows, Sacrifice and Suffering spells.  That's it.  The increase to Torment (single target) and Suffering (AoE) will increase the threat generated by those spells by +10% per talent point, which is not negligible when it comes to improving the aggro magnet potential of your Voidwalker.  If you want your Voidwalker to be able to withstand more punishment before folding, you need to be spending talent points in Fel Stamina to give all your Pets a greater max Health.  If you want to be able to heal your Voidwalker more effectively/efficiently so they can survive longer, you need to be investing in Improved Health Funnel (which really makes a difference).  Improved Voidwalker will augment the speed at which your Voidwalker can heal their own damage after combat is over, such that they'll basically be able to heal themselves back to full Health within the 10 second channel time with ticks to spare (usually) as long as they're not under a DoT.  Sacrifice just puts a bubble on your Warlock, but Improved Voidwalker investment will increase that bubble's capacity to absorb incoming damage.

If you want your Voidwalker to dish out more melee damage, you need to be investing in Unholy Power ... and if you want them to be able to absorb punishment even better than any of your other Pets, you want to be investing in Master Demonologist ... at which point you might as well go 31 talents deep into the Demonology tree and get Soul Link, since you're very nearly there already anyway.

The counterpart to all of this is ... how are you USING your Voidwalker, tactically.  Do you let them land a melee hit or two before you start piling on the DoTs?  Do you use a non-damaging Curse (like Curse of Weakness) to pull a mob towards yourself, then have your Voidwalker "intercept" before the mob can get to you, let your Voidwalker land a melee hit and then manually command it to use Torment (once, not on autocast) and then and only then bring your Warlock into the fight with DoTs now that the Voidwalker has built up a nice "starter" stack of aggro?  Are you using your Voidwalker as an aggro magnet with the purposeful intent of gaining weapon skill points, meaning you want to be swining your weapon as many times as possible?  Are you leaving Torment and Suffering off autocast while keeping Consume Shadows on autocast, to as to "horde" mana as much as possible on your Voidwalker (which is impossible to do with an Imp who isn't in Passive mode and being used as a Mana battery for Dark Pact)?

Basically, are you working WITH your Voidwalker to help ensure they retain aggro by not generating too much Threat on your Warlock too quickly?  Or are you just pouring everything you can do into your targets and expecting your Voidwalker to keep up (when they can't)?  Sometimes all it takes is just a slight shift in engagement strategy, the sequence of what you do when, to make a really big difference in how effective your Voidwalker can be for you as an aggro magnet.

Of the 4 basic Pets a Warlock has, the Voidwalker has the most Armor, meaning it's the best at withstanding Physical damage.  Since most melee attacks deal Physical damage, the Voidwalker is essentially a toe-to-glow melee combatant who has virtually no ranged capability whatsoever (and even it's AoE Threat spell doesn't have tremendous reach/area).  If you don't have your Voidwalker autocasting Torment/Suffering then its mana consumption is quite manageable, even if using Consume Shadows on autocast after dropping combat status (and indeed, the amount of healing that Consume Shadows generates will also generate a lot of Threat, so there's also that to consider).

My point being that investing in Improved Voidwalker isn't the end of the story of how to use a Voidwalker "properly" as an aggro magnet.  It helps, don't get me wrong, but it's not a case of Spend And Forget.  There are a lot of other things you can do (and invest in) that will make your Voidwalker substantially more effective, and getting "all" of those things means essentially going deep into Demonology rather than spending only 8 talent points in the tree and thinking that's enough.

"There are more things in the Twisting Nether who have come to Azeroth than are dreamt of in your tactical philosophy."
- Hamitup, Act I, Scene 5

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