Onward to the fourth tier, and we find ourselves up against another defensive tier. As with the others, this tier has a few fan-favorite abilities already in it. First, there is Bloodstone, which we can readily assume is a replacement for Healthstone
(although it might not be). Bloodstone, however, does act like nothing more than an upgraded Healthstone, restoring 44% of your base
health and increasing healing received by 50% for 10 seconds. The fact that Bloodstone is still working off of base health when every other talent and ability now works off of max health just shows how weak this ability is. Trash it. (Interesting side note: Since Bloodstone is a replica of the current Soulburn: Healthstone, what does this mean for Soulburn
Another current ability is also here, Nether Ward. An upgrade of the Twilight Ward, which we can assume is a renaming of Shadow Ward
, Nether Ward works exactly there as it does now. Absorbs spell damage and increases resistance to the spell school absorbed. The last choice here is Spell Drain, an interesting new ability. Spell Drain causes the next spell cast at you to heal you for 50% of the damage it would have done instead of causing any damage at all. It's a neat little way of changing up a way to interrupt players, and it has a short enough cooldown that it can be pretty viable. It's a great talent for PVP, and we should see it fairly often I think.
The final tiers
Getting into the fifth tier, we reach the pet tier and the second most interesting list of talents that we've gotten our hands on thus far. The first talent is Grimoire of Supremacy, which upgrades all of your demons into new forms that deal 10% more damage and "have more powerful abilities." Right off the bat, the talent seems awesome because it gives us access to many of the demons that we've been looking to get our hands on for years. Fel Imps, Voidlords, Shiven, Abyssal Lords, Terrorguards ... and Beholders. Wait a second, that list is six demons long! Demonology warlocks only have five demons; the rest of us only have four. That's right -- we don't have any information on it at all right now, but it looks as though we might be getting our grubby little hands on a new slave. Huzzah!
Next, there is Grimoire of Service, which allows you to summon a second pet for 30 seconds every 2 minutes. How Blizzard intends to handle this talent, I'm not entirely sure. It has great potential to be absolutely amazing, but only if you can gain access to those pet's signature abilities, but that would require a secondary pet bar. Without those abilities, though, it's just a lame cooldown where a demon pops out and chews at things for a few seconds. Last and certainly not least, we get back Grimoire of Sacrifice. That's right, the old Demonic Sacrifice is back, letting you kill off your pet to increase health and damage. Totally awesome.
Now, at last, we arrive to the final tier. This is supposed to hold our most powerful talent choices, and our tier does not disappoint -- not to mention, the flavor is absolutely perfect. Kicking it all off is Archimonde's Vengeance. This talent allows you to place a curse on an enemy that reflects 25% of all damage that you take right back at them for 15 seconds, and on a fairly short minute cooldown. I would expect that this isn't going to work against bosses in some manner, but even for PVP, it's a pretty sweet ability to have.
Next we have perhaps the signature talent of this tier, Kil'jaeden's Cunning. How cunning is Kil'jaeden? Well, not cunning enough to survive that whole Sunwell raid thing, but he was able to allow for you to cast while moving. There is a drawback -- the spell takes twice as long to cast while you move -- but the fact that you can cast anything while moving is, as we like to say, a pretty big deal. There are probably a few kinks in this talent that need to be worked out, but it is simply amazing, hands down.
Last, we have what I would consider a rather strange talent in more ways than one. Your choice could be to take Illidian's Guile. Illidan is only half-demon and really mostly just a Night Elf; I wouldn't exactly put him on par with Kil'jaeden and Archimonde, but that's just me. Either way, the talent allows the warlock's primary nuke abilities -- Shadowbolt, Incinerate, and Malefic Grasp -- to deal splash damage to all targets within 10 yards of whomever they hit. There's no value given for this splash damage. I'd assume it will end up being some percentage of damage at this point, but it's still a rather neat ability. Turning your primary nuke into an AOE for 30 seconds every 2 minutes sounds pretty sweet, but most AOE doesn't last that long or comes more frequently, so it's a bit of an awkward talent that'd probably be better served as 15 seconds every minute.
Blood Pact is a weekly column detailing DOTs, demons and all the dastardly deeds done by warlocks. We'll coach you in the fine art of staying alive, help pick the best target for Dark Intent, and steer you through encounters such as Blackwing Descent and The Bastion of Twilight.