I’ve been planning on finishing this for ages, and finally decide to do so now that Destruction is a spec that is actually viable in raids again dps wise. It will be updated again when 5.4 arrives, but should be up to date for 5.3. As always with guides on this site, it’s not the be-all-end-all of guides, but is meant as a quick guide to get the basics for those who may be a bit new to the Warlock class, or Destruction.
This expansion there really is no right or wrong way to spend your talent points. Most likely you will switch them between fights or depending on what suits your playstyle best. You can check out my Talent guide for more information on the separate talents.
Make sure you always bring a lot of Tome of the Clear Mind to raids, so that you can change your talents around when needed!
The two talents that you will want to take an extra look at are the tier 5 and tier 6 ones.
Grimoire of Supremacy together with the Observer pet usually yields the highest damage output. Grimoire of Service I rarely see used (but can be used in fights where you want a big burst of damage), while Grimoire of Sacrifice can be useful on fights where your pet will bug out or die a lot. (Ji-Kun, if you’re flying for example.) It’s also possible to play a GoSac spec with lots of Mastery on fights with multiple targets where they can snipe adds and cleave with Havoc. However, we’re not going to look too closely at that today.
There are few (if any) fights where Archimonde’s Vengeance is good at the moment that I’ve noticed. Kil’jaeden’s Cunning is currently my go-to talent for almost every boss fight, since it allows me to move while casting. On the odd fight here and there, Mannoroth’s Fury can be beneficial. (For example, on Primordius and his many, many adds.)
As a Destruction Warlock you will want to be at 15% Hit (5100 rating) for raiding to avoid misses. There’s nothing more frustrating than seeing a Chaos Bolt miss!
Intellect is your primary stat as always, and you will cherish it with your life. (Or someone else’s life… It’s what drain life is sure, right?)
Between the secondary stats, Mastery, Haste and Crit the values are fairly equal for Destruction. The difference is so small that changing one piece of gear will most likely change your stat values if you run SimCraft. I’ve been trying to keep them fairly balanced myself, but I know that some people are using a Mastery heavy build together with Grimoire of Sacrifice on some fights.
In the end, you can’t go entirely wrong in your secondary stats, which is nice in a way, since it allows you to reforge for Demonology or Affliction, and still use the same for Destruction.
This expansion, you’re left with a lot of choice. Like with talents, you can more or less choose your glyphs depending on what fits your play style best. I won’t go through them all here, but I’ve written them down on separate pages; Major Glyphs and Minor Glyphs.
Your general “rotation” will be:
- Curse of Elements (if no one else supplies it).
- Dark Soul: Instability on cooldown.
- Keep Immolate up at all times.
- Use Conflagrate on cooldown.
- Chaos Bolt when enough embers.
- Shadowburn instead of CB when target is below 20%.
- Incinerate as your filler.
Some extra notes:
You’ll want to pop Dark Soul: Instability on cooldown, unless there’s a burn phase or phase with extra damage that you’re saving it for.
When you have Dark Soul: Instability up, you’ll want to try and squeeze out as many Chaos Bolts as possible since they will do extra damage with the crit bonus. (Higher crit chance = higher damage on CB.)
Try never to cap your embers. Use them! (Though feel free to save up 3 if you’re about to hit Dark Soul: Instability.)
At the start of a boss fight: Curse of Elements - Dark Soul: Instability - Conflagrate x2 – Incinerate x4 – Chaos Bolt x2 (3 if you have enough embers).. then reapply Immolate and go back to the regular rotation. The idea behind this is to build as many embers as possible quickly, so that you can shoot off a bunch of Chaos Bolts with high damage.
AoE and Havoc
On fights with two targets, you’ll want to put Havoc on one of them every cooldown, to split your damage. Havoc will duplicate either 3 single-target spells, or 1 Chaos Bolt. One trick you can use with Havoc, is that while Shadowburn can only be used on targets below 20% health, you can do it to a target at that health – and have another target take the same damage through Havoc.
You’ll want to use Rain of Fire any time there are 2+ targets, because the ember generation is so high. With 3+ targets, you’ll keep RoF going, and use your embers to activate Fire & Brimstone.
Then you follow the following rotation:
- F&B: Immolate
- F&B: Conflagrate
- F&B: Incinerate
Re-apply Immolate as needed, and use Conflagrate on cooldown. Incinerate as a filler. And of course don’t forget to keep Rain of Fire running!