[Guide] Warlock Tanking

Hello fellow warlock I would love to help You on your path to becoming a tank! This is my guide :)
I hope this will be a good read.

  • 1. Skills
  • 2. Glyphs
  • 3. Builds and Rotation
  • 4. Doable Fights / Strategy
  • 5. Movies
  • 6. Links
  • 7 Little Things


Just to make our intent clear, the Glyph of Demon Hunting isn't intended to turn Demonology warlocks into a tanking spec.

- Ghostcrawler

He will learn... no king rules forever; only death is eternal!


Warlock have full modern mechanics of tanking with variety of builds and options, but without raid working taunt, vengeance and crit immunity so the spec is for hardcore players only :)

1.0 Skills

First and most important thing is that this spec is only for Daemonology warlocks as Glyph of Demon Hunting is demo only. And that is the key to tanking. http://www.wowhead.com/spell=63303/glyph-of-demon-hunting

Using this glyph in demonology grants you additional stance called: Dark Apotheosis In this stance master is not increasing your damage but reduces damage taken. Also you get tank threat modifiers.

In this form you use 2 resources Mana and Energy!

Also in this stance some skills changes how they work:

Touch of Chaos ---> Demonic Leash this is a 3 charge ability to use on a 10 yrd range, basic single target threat building ability. Also it is not consuming your energy but granting you energy. This is a skill you will use to build energy

Corruption and Hand of Guldan - Stays like in normal caster form, they will both use Mana and generate Energy like in caster form.

Soulshatter --> Becomes Provocation this is a taunt but doesn't work on raid bosses so it is not so cool as it should

Twilight Ward --> Becomes Fury Ward this is 10 sec cooldown absorb for all damage, basically this is our ACTIVE MITIGATION skill. You need to keep it on cd :)

Hellfire - Stays same as in caster, good aoe skill.

We are not crit immune so boss have 5% for a juicy crit...that is the "risk" part in tanking as lock.

2.0 Glyphs
We need to have Glyph of Demon Hunting as explained in section 0. Rest are your personal choice / based on encounter.

Worth mentioning are:
Glyph of Eternal Resolve - This will remove your shield wall cooldown and give you passive 10% damage reduction

Glyph of Siphon Life - some extra healing will never be a bad idea.

3.0 Builds and Rotation
This is very tricky as we kinda have 2 different build depending on what you want to achieve during the encounter.

Soul link -> Sacrifice this build gives you +20% HP permanently, Buff from Pet but you lose -20% dmg reduction from Soul Link
- Voidwalker +30% hp cooldown for 6 sec
- Imp self dispell

Soul Link -> Supremancy this is damage reduction build, grants you extra 20% damage reduction

There is also a option to not take Soul Link but this will be tricky to pull off and -20% dmg reduction is good,

Tier 1:
Dark regeneration is our only choice as Soulleech doesn't work with our spells in DA form!!!, and when channeling harvest life we can't dodge or parry so its not cool anyway.
Tier 2: What you prefer, personally i go between Mortal Coil and Shadow Fury
Tier 3: Soul Link is super string but when you are at super high hp pool levels Dark Bargain can be a better choice
Tier 4: Nothing useful, for movement we have Leap
Tier 5: This was discussed already
Tier 6: Archimondes Darknes other choices are not needed because eaiher we already have 2 Aoe tanking skills (hellfire and hand of guldan) and all of our skills are instants. So extra CD will not hurt.

extra charge of Dark Soul gives you Mastery so it is effective defensive cooldowns.

3.1 Rotation
This is simple daemonic lash builds your energy same corruption and hand of guldan so keep HoG on CD as it will never line up perfectly, corruption on all targets. Your energy dumper is hellfire, yes trigger it every time you can even on single target.

4.0 Doable fights
On FLEX with Flex/Normal gear you can tank 3 Wing of SoO first boss and Thok, but you need to solo tank it because there is no Taunt and you will need a strong DPS group as at some point you run out of things to click and can die :) But it is doable. I'm working on some footage but because of WoD release date my guild almost stopped raiding and i was not smart enough to record first kill as lock tank.

Simply you need to have strong damage reduction and Stance (24-30%) + Soul Link (20%) plus glyph Eternal Resolve (10% passive) can give you a lot, problem is that on Malkorok at some point he will stack on you so much stacks that chaining cooldowns will not save you so you will have to use Soulstone and possibly Disco priest bubbles.

Thok is easier because as long as you can keep 4 stacks and survive you will kill the boss no probs.

5.0 Movies

  • My own lame video on lock tanking: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQDJqyTYyL4

  • Method warocks tanking LFR pre nerf of gateway: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SwlPDQzeRoU

6.0 Links


7.0 Little Things

- Do we retain supper bada** metamorph from while in tanking stance ?
No we have a half evolved form, there is not glyph to get full metamorph form maybe one day...

- Do we have Vengeance ?
No Vengance, you need to spam buttons and ask for misdirects / tricks of the trade
1.0 - Release version of guide will supply more info soon.
1.1 - added mini FAQ at the end of Guide
haters gonna hate!
I got a response from blizzard community team

Thanks for your email, and for putting so much time into creating your guide.

Because tanking is not officially something Warlocks should be able to do, we’re not sure how popular the thread will be. However, we’ll keep an eye on this thread and if people do find it helpful, we’ll sticky it :)

So there is light in the tunnel, :D it might be a bit stretch but.... we need to believe !!!
Also i have some updates:

This is US forums post on Warlock tank:

here 2 videos on Tanking in 5.4:


I made a detailed guide on Warlock Tanking in the Italian forum few months ago, and no member of the community blizzard is worthy to respond .. among other unique Italian guide on the forum ..

however, good guide .. in waiting for the fourth spec ..
Thank you sir and props for your guide (can't speak italian so can't really learn anything from it).

On the side note today on flex i was emergency tanking adds on nazgrim on voidwalker with pug and it was ok. Void died once on 5 adds but that was cause i was typing in chat that i will tank adds. But i insta ressed him and tanked all way till the end of nazgrim.

I also have some screenshots from different LFR/Flex runs that shows people complaining on chat that there is not enough tanks :) Yes blizzard! Warlocks are closest we have to new tank and that would fill the gap :)

Lock tanks!!!! FTW. And caster tank, that is IT.
warlocks will never be tanks, deal with it. and I'm almost sure that glyph gets removed in Wod.

if you want to tank there's 5 classes to pick from, no need to work out any obscure builds and tactics to be able to tank some bosses once you outgear them while being spam healed and praying to the gaming gods you're not crit twice in a row.

simple reasons why warlocks will not become tanks:

- we rolled pure dps for a reason, people would ask us to tank all the time and that obv. wouldn't end well
- once we get a tanking specc, hunters, rogues and mages will want to tank or heal too, so you better have some good plans ready. especially since we got our green fire epic quest not long ago while the other dps classes got nothing, it would cause a giant uproar.
- itemization ? cloth with tanking stats only locks could use ? not gonna happen
- PROTECTION warrior, PROTECTION paladin, GUARDIAN druid...see ? all these spec names include 'to protect someone' so why exactly would a warlock try to protect someone ?
Hello fellow warlock!

So to address your concerns:

In vanilla wow druids were unable to tank anything even having bear form so ? Warlocks were natural tanks for some bosses in TBC and we all know that some bosses in Wotlk also required ranged tank example will be HC Council of "Naxxanar was only a setback" in ICC. So it is not based on "nothing".

5 classes to pick for a Tank but i like warlock and i think it fills in the gap we have with tanks.

- Pure dps class, really ? how much utility we bring and offtanking already we do, example being countless. But nobody will TELL you to become a TANK. Do you think that ret paladin likes when someone asks him to become a Tank and do you think he will do it if he don't like it ? More options being bad ? people really dislike any changes every expansion ?

- "Once you get tanking spec hunters,mages,rogues..." well good for them maybe they should, maybe we should not have any "pure dps" class anymore because variety of options would be awesome. I don't see anything bad in converting Arcane Mage spec to something similar to Disco priest absorbtion way of healing. That makes perfect fit in the game. With Rogue it is a bit more tricky because i never thought about it...so can't say much :) But sure... other classes can get extra perks along the way...we are heroes of Azeroth and currently we killed a lot of big guys :)

- Itemization is getting major overhaul, as we know it now Dodge/Parry is going away and primery stat for tanks will be mastery so what is your problem ? You can get armour modifier from cloth in tanking spec/stance and stamina buff like tanks get. There is no more "dodge trinkets" we will all get stamina etc. So this is not even a valid argument.

-Well you call Protection... but you also have Brewmaster.... for me brewmaster has nothing to do with protection. Also before we got guardian Feral tanks were called Feral. So this is weak argument. We don't need a "protection name" it could be named "Dark Apotheosis" ad the glyph right now, anything bad about it ? nope.
Warlock doesn't have to protect it can hunt...or haunt...or simply try to achieve his dark secret.
Hi Voidy, i read your guide and watched you video on it too.

I like your view on warlock tanking, i really miss leveling up as my lock tanking LFD (my friend signing up as a tank but me tanking it) though that was when harvest life was an AOE

i just dont see why peeps hate warlock tanking, for me its the BEST most FUN tank there is and variety is good just look at Rift the game is based off of being any role any class (or soon to be)

Anyways i just wanted to say "i support the Warlocks for tank movement" xP
Awesome guide!

I really wish warlocks had a tanking spec, it would be so cool! People have been making threads complaining about there not being enough tanks in LFR, Heroics, etc. So why not make it so another class can tank?
Thank you fellow warlocks :)

Actually AOE harvest life was super OP :) but... before you get immolation aura you can cast in daemon form hellfire...yes it cost life but... aoe tanking is easy with this.

But AoE drain life was pretty OP :)

And Yes people complain a lot on not having tanks, locks could fill in this gap or at least reduce it :) Faster queues for everyone and a lot of fun. That is what the game is suppose to be yes ?

With new gear-matches/changes-to-your-spec design old GC argument about "no cloth tanky gear" is not a good one. And for sure "escape tanking class" is also not, because nobody is forcing anyone into doing anything... it is just an awesome option to make your life much better.

People including me love this!

Blizzard your move!
01/04/2014 15:17Posted by Jessicka

1th April...................... T.T
I was pretty surprised that Jessicka posted something positive and checked the date. Still Pandas were considered joke in cata times... and BAM it happened. So there is always a chance :D Don't stop believing.

Meanwhile i can't get anyone for any raid in any form... i play on 3 relms and everything except pvp is dead.

So if pandas happened why lock tanking would not happen ? :D So...many...options.

Just gone quote my favourite hero from warcraft:
"His brood learned their lesson before too long. You will soon learn yours!"
And a small update:

Wowpedia entry on warlock tanks:

Wowwiki entry on warlock tanks:


Warlock tank setup 5.4: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PwoderMbMRs
Warlock Raid Tank: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f3k6wzCSbfI
Old 5.1 Warlock tank guide: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cG8DhDR_LSQ

PVP related Warlock flag carrier / tank: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eo5TjA0uxzQ
PvP videos are important to watch because we can learn a lot about trick regarding survivability they use.

Vanilla nostalgy section:
Twin emperors tanking as lock: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5y4rpkA0QfA
Not sure how to take this idea that I'm not capable of photoshopping something myself as a bit of an April troll :S

I wanted that to be real :(

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