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Regarding Speecs, please help.

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Hello good people on this forum, i'm gonna try and be quick about this.

To my understanding the optimal way to go for a Warlock is SM/Ruin (A good/decent overall speec), it's supposed to be able to fill most criterias for everything, Second best DPS in raids, good in 5-man groups, and good in PvP, so overall a good speec for almost all occasions.


The other route is apperently DS/Ruin, which will edge out in ST target fights, but you need to sacrifice your pet for that, which means you'll lose alot of utility and buffs, so while you can edge out SM/ruin in raids, you'll lose some 5-man group and PvP values to hit that raw power.


My first question is: If you go for the Improved Firebolt in the Destro tree, and let the Imp attack aswell, can't SM/ruin then edge out DS/Ruin even in ST (not counting fire resistant bosses, but in ZG, AQ20/40 and Naxx for instance)? While DS/ruin gets 5% raw spell damage through talents (even if you sacrifice alot of goodies in the affli tree, and spend alot of uneccesary talents in Demo, uppgrading demons you'll sacrifice anyway). One oughta think SM/Ruin pulls ahead of DS/ruin, since you get some good talents in Affli, and don't need to waste to much on essentially "worthless" talents, only to reach a specifik, besides, the Imp oughta be able to make up for those 5% raw spell power right?

I'm merely asking, as i never really did get to raid in vanilla, and i was a Rogue, so can't for the life of me know how much damage pets really did, and/or if they're even allowed to attack in the first place. (my friend was a raiding warlock, but i vaguely remember him having Dark pact, and the imp as a mana battery (this was before Warlock got figuered out fully i suppose)).


My second Question is: Why don't MD/Ruin (Master Demonologist (I'm guessing you all know that, but it's used less frequent than the others, so just to be on the safe side)) hold up to either SM/Ruin or DS/Ruin? This will lets you uppgrade your pets quite nicely, while still getting the benefit of 10% increased damage for simply having the succubus out. this is not limited to Shadow damage either, which both SM and DM is. Besides that, you can put 5/5 in Unholy power, which makes you succubus do 20% flat increassed damage, also 3/3 in Improved succubus, which renders her abilities 30% better (30% stronger lash), and you can also get 2/2 Improved Lash of pain in the Destro on your way down to Ruin, which lowers the CD by 6 seconds. 


This has probably been tested a million times, so i must be missing something. But DS/Ruin is basiclly wasting a ton of talents, so you can do 15% more shadow damage. You're not only sacrificing your own pet, but you're also putting mandatory talents in to reach DS, and you must spend between 8-10 talents to improve your pets (unavoidable), which you're gonna end up sacrificing in raids anyway. 

In SM/Ruin no talents go to waste atleast, and you end up getting that 10% increased shadow damage spell power, and you get to keep your pets, which is awesome. I don't know if the imps is allowed to attack, and i don't know how much damage he could potentially do, but it should be able to edge out DS/Ruin right? even if you're not allowed to do Corruption for the Nightfall procc?


But most importantly, Why isen't MD/Ruin on par with the others? If you have the succubus out, both she and you will do 10% more damage, through Unholy power she'll do 20% more damage flat (so that's 30% more flat damage from her), Improved succubus will make all her abilities 30% stronger (Lash of pain in general for PvE DPS), but she'll become more than a nuisance in PvP aswell, and with 2/2 Improved Lash of pain, one oughta think she can start to do some decent DPS. Also the damage increase you gain is for all sources, not just shadow either, simply for having her out (this might effect PvP more though obviously, or Group content).


So as mentioned, i must apperently be missing something, but from a potential (not just looking at the % increasse), SM/ruin should be stronger than DS/Ruin, because you can potentially have a pet help you, and (if you're allowed), you can have some decent DPS through Corruption (Nightfall) and should in the end edge out a DS. And why isen't MD/ruin even stronger than both, since you should have about the same benefits (especially if you're not allowed to have corruption on a target for Nightfall procs, due to debuff limitations) regarding the Damage % increase (DS is 15%, SM is 10%, and MD is 10%), but you should have a really strong pet to help you out, or am i completely missing something here?


Thanks for the answers guys!


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Hi, I'm having the same thoughts as you.

The big different why sacrificing your pet is so much better than an improved succubus or imp is that +5% scales with your gear. The pet will not scale at all. This changed in TBC but in vanilla pets are not scaling. Ofc when you have bad gear the pet build might seem better.

The difference between SM ruin and DM ruin is the different flexibility it offers. Either imp corruption, life tap and siphon life or master demonologist and sacrifice. The utility of the different pets and much better area damage. A big breaking point is the debuff limit. Affliction can't really use their tools.

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SM/Ruin because u get key talents such as instant cast corruption,better life tap,nightfall,siphon life,SM as well as curse of exhaustion.Then the ruin talents.

With DS/Ruin u dont have no pet utility.With demo tree its basically go full out to soul link or completely miss it with the exception of the 1st line in demo.

MD/Ruin isnt bad but their is no burst.U dont have no nightfall , no siphon life , no CoE.

But do remember this , everybody goes ruin however that is based on your crit chance.If u dont crit or u dont have lets say minimum 20% crit chance then its not worth going for ruin.

Personally i would go all out destro burst for pvp or soul link for defensive when u got alot of magical dmg gear.Soul link shines really good when u have lots of mag.dmg gear.U get insane high hp with decent dmg.

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