Destruction Warlock Guide (5.4.7)
This guide is written mainly for players new to playing destruction in arenas / PvP.
Destruction is different from both affliction & demo because it uses an alternative resource named « Burning Embers ». These embers are used for bursting with Chaos Bolt and Shadowburn as well as healing with ember tap.
- Insane burst damage during dark soul with Chaos bolt and Shadowburn.
- Chaos bolt is the best bolt in the game.
- Shadowburn is the best finisher in the game.
- You can heal yourself with ember tap.
- You can duplicate Mortal Coil or Spell Lock onto two targets with Havoc. This will help you getting Chaos Bolts off.
- You can duplicate chaos bolt onto two targets with Havoc.
- This spec relies too much on dark soul & chaos bolt to score kills and It’s hard to get chaos bolts off in world of interruptcraft. It’ll require a lot of effort to setup kills.
- You have less passive damage mitigation than other warlock's specs.
Level 15 : Dark Regeneration
You want to pick dark regeneration. This talent will be your « panic button » when you’re unable to teleport/gate to avoid incoming burst damage.
Level 30 : Mortal Coil
You want to pick Mortal Coil. This spell is great to create freecast windows for your chaos bolt. With Havoc you can double coil your kill target and the other dps that is sitting on you to prevent them from interrupting your chaos bolt.
Shadowfury is also not bad for destro and it is on a shorter CD, it can be a viable choice if your team doesn’t have any reliable stuns but I feel like Mortal Coil fits the destro playstyle better.
Level 45 : Soul link or Dark Bargain
For 3s arenas you want to pick Dark Bargain, use it to counter major bursts cooldowns from your opponents when you’re unable to teleport/gate.
For 2s as double dps or duels soul link is a great choice, the self regen will help you survive longer also the increased hp pool is great because ember tap scales with your hp%.
Sacrificial Pact is useless due to the fact that it doesn’t ignore Battle Fatigue.
Level 60 : Unbound Will
For non-humans : You want to pick Unbound Will all the time to be able to play with double damage trinkets. Be careful when using Unbound Will, It’ll trigger spells that have a dispell protection such as Unstable Affliction.
For humans : You can switch between Blood Horror against melee cleaves and Unbound Will against Caster cleaves. Notice that Blood Horror can be grounded or spell reflected so you’ll need a cancelaura macro for blood horror. (see macro section)
Level 75 : Grimoire of Sacrifice
You want to pick Grimoire of Sacrifice to get a 25% damage bonus to your single target spells. You’ll sacrifice the felhunter to get the spell lock with Command Demon. Against hunters cleaves you can also sacrifice the Imp to be able to dispell traps on your healer with singe magic.
Level 90 : Archimonde's Darkness
You’ll be able to burst more often with this talent. Always try to sync dark soul with your surge of dominance proc otherwise your burst will be significantly weaker. I recommend you to use an addon like Weakauras or ExtraCD to track your Insignia of dominance Internal Cooldown.
- Eternal Resolve (Mandatory) : 10% damage reduction will make you more tanky and due to the fact that as destro you play with Dark Bargain you NEED passive damage mitigation.
- Conflagrate (Mandatory) : Conflagrate no longer requires Immolate to snare the target. This glyph will greatly improve your quality of life.
- Havoc (Highly Recommended) : With this glyph you’ll be able to follow your double coil with a double chaos bolt. Demonic circle is also a viable choice if you feel you are getting trained a lot.
Stats priorities :
Your stats priorities goes as follow :
6% hit > Intellect > Mastery > Crit > Haste
Mastery is your best stat after intellect. 200 mastery = 1% dmg to Chaos Bolt & Shadowburn. Incinerate, immolate and fel flame also benefits from mastery.
Then it’s crit, not only it increases the damage of your chaos bolt & other damage abilities but it also increases your ember generation.
Haste is your least valuable stat as destro.
You’ll pick all the Prideful Gladiator’s five set and the following offpieces with mastery & crit :
Neck – Prideful Gladiator’s Pendant of Cruelty
Back – Prideful Gladiator's Drape of Prowess
Wrists – Prideful Gladiator’s Cuffs of Prowess
Waist – Prideful Gladiator’s Cord of Cruelty
Feet – Prideful Gladiator’s Treads of Cruelty
Head - None
Shoulders – 200 Int / 100 Crit
Back – Ligthweave Embroidery or 180 int
Chest – 80 to all Stats
Wrist – 180 Int
Hands – 170 Mastery
Waist– Living Steel Belt Buckle
Legs – 285 Int / 165 Crit
Feet – 140 Mastery / Run Speed
Main Hand Weapon – Jade Spirit or Spirit of Conquest
Offhand Weapon – 165 Int
Red : 80 int + 160 mastery
Blue : 160 mastery + 160 hit
Yellow : 320 mastery
Meta : 216 int and 3% Increased critical effect
Reforge for 6% hit then mastery. If you struggle with reforging, you can install the addon reforgelite and use it with the stats priorities I’ve gave you above.
You can also copy thugonomics armory :
Best Professions :
Tailoring for ligthweave embroidery (2k int proc) + any prof that gives a passive intellect bonus, alchemy is the cheapest one to level since it only requires you to level it to 300 to get the 320 int flask.
Engineering is not interesting due to the fact that as destro you always play with double damage trinkets to maximize your burst output and you cannot stack synapse springs with the pvp on-use damage trinket.
Best races :
Alliance : Human is the best due to the fact that when they equip double damage trinkets they are still able to escape CCs with their racial "Every man for Himself". Also they got an expertise bonus for playing with 1h swords that allow them to reforge a bit more hit into mastery.
Horde : Orc is the best for the blood fury racial that you can add in your burst macro (see macro section) for more burst. Also the 15% stun duration reduction from hardiness is nice.
How to generate Burning Embers efficiently as destro :
#1 Rain of fire, this instant cast spell is great to generate embers especially when your opponents are clustered together. However be careful when using it, this spell can break CCs.
#2 Immolate is also a great ability to generate embers especially if you apply it on multiple targets. Never fakecast it, this spell is on the fire tree so if someone interrupts you then you are free to cast Chaos Bolt or Fear that are on your shadow tree.
#3 Conflagrate, this instant cast spell is good for building embers but always save 1 charge for your next burst attempt.
#4 Incinerate, this is your main filler. Never fakecast it, this spell is on the fire tree so if someone interrupts you then you are free to cast Chaos Bolt or Fear that are on your shadow tree.
How to burst as destro in arenas :
To burst you need to have 1 charge of conflagrate ready and at least two embers. Your goal is to bring your target to execute range with Chaos Bolt and finish it with Shadowburn :
#1 Wait for your surge of dominance proc.
#2 Use Conflagrate to proc Backdraft (30% faster Chaos Bolt cast).
#3 Pop your dark soul burst macro then cast a chaos bolt (cf : macro section).
#4 Execute your target with Shadowburn. If your target is not in execute range use Conflagrate or spam Fel flame or incinerate to bring your target in execute range.
If you want to burst but are afraid about being interrupted on your chaos bolt you can still use dark soul to spam incinerates, it’ll still do good damage then if you are interrupted on incinerate you are free to cast chaos bolt.
How to quickly generate embers in BG/RBG with Fire & Brimstone :
If 5+ opponents are clustered together (pets included) get off a F&B + Immolate and then use Rain of Fire, it’ll quickly generate a lot of embers. Remember that fire & brimstone + immolate can break CCs so be careful when using it.
How to burst as destro in BG/RBG with Fire & Brimstone against 5+ opponents clustered together :
It’s a very good idea to use F&B + Immolate with dark soul in RBG because you'll get more immolate crits and your ember generation will be insanely good, this will allow you to literally "spam" chaos bolts on your kill target. Your burst rotation against 5+ opponents clustered together in BG/RBG should look like this :
Basic Arenas tips :
As destro you have to rely on triple CC to get Chaos bolts off so wait for your surge of dominance proc then fear the enemy healer and use double coil or howl or stuns from your teamates on the kill target + the other dps to prevent them from interrupting your chaos bolt. Then when everyone is CCed pop your burst macro and cast a double Chaos Bolt on your kill target and the other dps with havoc. This kind of opener will force a lot of defensive cooldowns then wait for your insignia of dominance ICD to come back and try to score a kill with your second charge of dark soul.
Setting up kills as destro requires time and effort and it can be frustrating sometimes, anyways don’t get discouraged.
Between two dark souls, you should generate embers and spam fear on the DPS to avoid counterpressure. Try to save your Fear DR on the enemy healer for your next burst attempt. If you are sitting at 4 embers try to get a CB off.
Viable setups :
LSD : destro/ele/rdruid
LSM : destro/ele/mistweaver monk
MLS : frost or arcane mage /destro/rsham
MLD : frost or arcane mage /destro/rdruid
MLHpala : frost or arcane mage/destro/rdruid
Comps Strategies :
Hope some very high rated junkies will help fill this section.
Hope you enjoyed reading this guide, constructive feedback is appreciated.