Specifically, the warlock minion. I’ve known lots of warlocks who absolutely hate their imp. It’s rather unlikely you’ve not seen a warlock using one, as they are the premier raiding pet for the popular destruction spec, providing the Blood pact health buff and a machinegun spray of fireballs. If you haven’t seen it before, I sketched one out on the right.* I had mixed relationships with my own imps, across the two warlocks I leveled. My first warlock was an Orc called Toxigar, and as soon as I could lose that imp, I did. That was back in the days of buying grimoires to give your demons new abilities, an utter pain in the backside. Halfway through leveling, and when my Voidy wasn’t doing the damage I needed, I swapped back to my imp. The damage was great, but I hated the little shrivelled pest. At the appropriate place, I dropped the point I needed into Summon Felguard, and never used him again.
On my Gnome warlock, also very far back in the days where I took to leveling alts off server to get some space from guild drama, I felt differently. Maybe it was something to do with being nearly the same size as the imp. Maybe that I saw it up close for the first time, and identified with it as more than just a glowy dot that threw spells, but more a tiny, hairy, ear-ringed punk. I got on with my imp (Nogtip, for my Gnome) a lot better that time around, and never swapped him out whilst I played that character.
Since I left my Warlocks behind a rough year and a half ago, I’ve watched the class shift around. I danced with glee as they changed all the Drain spells (and SPriest mindflay) to have unique animations, rather than just the coloured beams they had previously been using. I saw the new teleport spell they got at 80, that could be used to masterful effect in PVP, duels and on certain raiding encounters. I watched with interest as their huge arsenal of curses and magic effects were buffed and nerfed. More recently, I watched our own Guild’s excellent warlock, Corenstoffel, put out staggering DPS in ICC10, even before he touched on any drops from the place. For a few months, I’ve had my sorry Holy backside handed to me by Fear control teams in arena, being caught out by Unstable Affliction’s backlash silence and damage, and roaring with rage as that Felhunter sucked the last of my buffs away and silenced my vital heal. Warlocks are powerful, and damn cool to boot.
If you’re wondering why this sudden flash of devilish Warlockness, blame Aphroditi over at Felfire, with all his talk of Alpha changes and so on, it’s gotten me quite fired up for the class. He also puts over some compelling arguments for not rolling a mage! I was highly considering a Mage before I started browsing his stuff. But enough plugging anyway, back to the imp.
He provides the group, as mentioned before, with the buff of Blood Pact, which in Cataclysm will provide a Stamina increase. This is a useful buff, and will scale nicely. They will also provide a DoT that stacks, called Burning Ember. The imp will automatically buffs people who are taking physical damage with a buff similar to Thorns, called Fire Shield. It performs the same way as Thorns, and scales with the Imp’s spell power (although it does not stack with Thorns, sadly.) Their last ability is called Phase shift, and it basically means nothing can happen to them. They can’t be buffed, healed, create threat, take damage, attack or die whilst this buff is up. On an automatic setting, the imp will cast this in between fights, so it’s un-attackable when you’re out of combat. Once combat starts and you’ve ordered the imp to attack once, it cannot be reintroduced until combat is over.
Well, there’s a little review/reminisce about the smallest demon of the warlock family. Bet you weren’t expecting that from a Paladin blogger!
*The reason I drew an imp is because, as cool as the model is, it’s highly out of date and more than a little bit clunky. The hands and feet in particular are little more than spades with triangles cut out of them for finger gaps. Thusly, I implemented my art skills to provide you all with what an Imp should look like. Imp concept is copyright Blizzard entertainment, my art is copyright me!