Destruction Warlock Guide (4.3)


Updated for patch 4.3.

The guide is not the end all, be all of Warlock information – but hopefully can work as a small guide to let you know what to look for when you want to raid with your Warlock.

So, what are we specing then?

As with most talent trees these days the choices are pretty straight forward, with a few points that you can move about as you want.

3/7/31

Some people like to take one point out of Fel Synergy and putting it in Demonic Embrace, but it’s up to you what you feel work better. The idea behind Fel Synergy is that you want to keep your pet alive throughout the entire fight because he improves your dps, so if you move a point out and notice that your imp is suddenly dying a lot, I’d suggest moving the point right back in there.

And which pet do you use? Well, there is only one answer, and it’s the Imp (even if he’s always annoying you with snarky little comments I suggest not putting him in the fire to kill him) because he does increase your dps substantially thanks to the Empowered Imp talent.

There may be times when you’re asked to use another pet for a specific ability that the raid needs, like an extra CC from the Succubus or an extra Spell Lock from the Felhunter. However, do note that this is a personal dps loss and if there are people who can do it without having to lose dps it’s better that they do it. (Quite honestly, with the amount of classes who can now silence and cc I really don’t see that we should have to bring that ability to raids.)

The Stats

Hit Rating & Percentages

First and foremost we need 17% Hit. There is no easy way to get this now after they removed the possibility to talent for 3% Hit, and no class provide it any longer either. This means that you have to get it from gear alone.

Here’s the thing about Hit. It’s a very important stat, but with the little Hit we gain from talents (ie. none) or buffs (ie. none) and gear not providing all that much reaching it is a lot harder than it was before.

It’s an important stat, and you should reforge your gear for it, however  – we no longer gem or enchant to reach Hit cap. It’s just not worth it. Yes, you will miss a few spells here and there, but gimping ourselves by not using Intellect gems and Haste gems will gimp us even more.

This doesn’t mean that you don’t go for Hit. You do. But do so by picking gear that has it and reforging stats into it. Not gems or enchants.

The only time you should gem for Hit is if you have a Blue socket with a socket bonus of +20 Int or higher.

1742 rating is 17% hit. (Also note that for Heroics – if you’re not raiding – you only need 615 rating.)

Intellect

Another important stat for us is of course Intellect which provides that yummy Spell Power we want and need to melt faces.

There really is no need to gear specifically for Intellect, it’s just one of those stats that kind of come with everything. However, Intellect is your best friend and you want to Enchant and Gem for Intellect. (You can’t reforge for Intellect since it’s a primary stat.)

Haste & Crit

Then there’s the issue of Haste and Crit. Now, this is a bit advanced and I’m definitely not a theorycrafter, but from what I’m reading around the web haste is now the better stat at all gear levels. Earlier it fluctuated a bit depending on your gear, but as it currently stands, Haste>Crit.

The basic idea behind it is that Haste makes you cast things quicker, and your dots tick faster. This is good and we always want more haste. There are times when you will notice a definite increase though, and that’s when you hit the plateaus where your DoTs gain another tick.

To gain an extra tick of Immolate you need to hit the following thresholds; 10%, 30%, 50%, 70%, 90%.

For those who want to read more about the exact percentages, and also see the percentages for other DoTs, you can check out this thread.

Quick Recap for Stats

Once you’re Hit capped (and always get Hit capped first if you can);

Intellect > Haste > Crit > Mastery

This, is however most likely going to change at higher gear levels. Always do a SimCraft to check which stats are best for you specifically. But it does look like eventually if you hit a haste cap of 2681 rating, Mastery will be the next stat after that, followed by Crit. However, this won’t be achievable until gear levels of 400+.

Spirit is now absolutely useless. If you have it on your gear (and you only should if you have no better piece without it) reforge it to hit, haste or crit accordingly.

The Glyphs

When it comes to glyphs, the only ones that really matter for your dps are the Prime ones. Anything else is just for show and you can choose what you find suits your own needs and play style.

Prime Glyphs: Conflagrate, Imp, Immolate
Major Glyphs: Life Tap, Glyph of Soul LinkGlyph of Soulstone
Minor Glyphs: Anything you want.

Note on Major Glyphs: If you do a lot of 5 man Heroics Glyph of Fear can be very useful for the CC. On some fights with a lot of adds Glyph of Shadowflame can be used.

The Rotation

As before, Warlocks work on a priority system rather than a rotation. You will use which ever ability is currently not on cooldown/ticking according to a list of priority. When a DoT is about to expire you should renew it around the last tick for the most effective up time. That means that you should renew your dots before they fall off. Preferably between the second to last and last tick.

Priority list:

Soul Fire
Demon Soul
Immolate
Conflagrate
Bane of Doom
Corruption
Shadowburn (below 20% health)
Shadowflame
Chaos Bolt
Incinerate as filler

The most important thing to keep in mind is that you should try to always keep the Improved Soul Fire buff up. Either by hard casting Soul Fire or using the instant cast proc from your Imp. The buff provides you with a yummy 8% extra damage for 20 seconds. You really want to keep this buff up at all times.

I admittedly often use Soulburn: Soul Fire to not have to hard cast it so much, but you can also use Soulburn to get your Imp back up if it dies. Note that once you get T13 2pc bonus you will be able to get your shards back in the fight, so you can Soulburn more.

Demon Soul should be used every cooldown, however note that it does not stack with Heroism/Bloodlust.

Shadowflame is a proven dps gain, but you have to be in melee range to use it. Don’t waste time running around to get to use it, because then you lose the dps by moving and not casting, so only use it if it’s a fight where you’re in melee range anyway.

Shadowburn has shown to be a bigger dps than Incinerate, but of course has a cooldown and can only be used below 20% health.

Fel Flame is for the most part useless since the dps is pitiful. You’re better off refreshing Immolate yourself. However, if you’re running from something and your DoTs are all already ticking you can always fire off a few instant Fel Flames if you have nothing better to do.

Please note that Curse of the Elements is still a curse whereas Agony and Doom are banes. This means that you can have CoE up and still use Agony or Doom. So if no one else in your raid is putting it up, you should.

Other Notes & Tips

For AoE Rain of Fire has finally been buffed and is worthwhile casting. For large packs, use Rain of Fire and Shadowflame. You can also pop Infernal if you won’t need the cooldown for something else.  If it’s only a few mobs, just use Immolate and Corruption on every target and then continue with a single target rotation.

Doomguard is our best single target pet to use on cooldown, and Infernal is the AoE pet.

Dark Intent should be put on someone who can benefit from it and uses HoTs or DoTs. My own preferred targets are Shadow Priest, Boomkin, Resto Druid. Note that you  should not put it on another Warlock after 4.1 because the 1% buff gained by being buffed by it from a Warlock would overwrite the 3% buff you do to yourself.

Bane of Havoc actually can be rather useful on some fights if you have more than one target to dps. For example putting it on Magmaw as you’re dpsing down the adds. Or putting it up on the flying dragon in the Valiona & Theralion fight. It’s a nice little boost to your dps without you having waste more than a global cooldown to put it up. You can read some Bane of Havoc tips here!


Comments

Destruction Warlock Guide (4.3) — 75 Comments

  1. This is the guide I have been using since I hit 85 with my lock. I don’t do any raiding with her, so don’t need a 4 page guide about maximizing dps in raids. Thank you :)

    It really made a difference, stopped me spamming that fel flame, for starters. Fel Flame Baaaad, makes meters maaaaad. At least when I am free to cast something else :)

    And I love putting Infernal up, although it was a LOT more fun to put him up in goldshire and watch him kill iccocent low levels. I think it’s allowed to be evil when you are a warlock !

      • I’ve read somewhere that Demon Soul, despite its tooltip, is applied to insta-SF too. So you would start with DS, then ISF… I’ll link if I find it.

        • Yes, it does apply to the Soul Burn: Soul Fire, because the game still counts Soul Fire as a casted spell. I know some people macro Demon Soul to their Soul Fire button 😉

          But I think you were more talking about starting the fight that way. I may sometimes, but a lot of times I feel a bit icky about threat if the tank is still positioning the boss, and might wait for the next Soul Fire. But it’s definitely a good tip! (And if you know your tank has solid threat from the start you can of course start the fight with a Demon Soul+ Instant Soul Fire :)

  2. Awesome! trying destro for for time ..at 85! Is there some thing about Locks and Nerdy girls.. Im an airhear physicist..heheh… Lock 4 Life! Great article…. for the chronic affliction … a great primer!

  3. This has been a fantastic guide im only a lvl 75 lock, but ive been using this guide as a basis for the future, and when other locks ask about how I know so much of our spec I send them your way, ty for the ace job.

  4. Really nice guide. Thanks for the info!
    There is one thing that puzzels me: I used to stack up on hit first howver, I was always 3th or 4th on dmg meters* ( *yes they are important on the realm I am on :( ). Currently I layed the focus more on Haste for speedy spell casting. This resulted me in being 2nd or 1st on the meters making a happy lock/group ^^. Not sure where to lay the focus on seeing most locks say “focus on hit!!”

    Love playing the lock. for some reason I feel more comfertable playing my lock then my paladin…that or I am just plain evil ^~ .

    • Hit is important, but not as important as it was in previous expansions.

      Basically, you’ll get hit on gear if you can by reforging mastery and crit to it (leave haste alone – because as you say, haste is a pretty good stat for us). If you have any items with Spirit (which hopefully you’ve been lucky enough not to) reforge Spirit to Hit.

      All enchants and gems etc. you go Intellect and Haste. Don’t waste them on Hit.

      17% isn’t something easily come by these days – so don’t fret too much if you don’t hit it. Most of the time you’ll be fine anyway (of course don’t stick with 10% haste, but a reasonable amount). I myself had 15% haste for a long time, but now finally got another piece or two that finally got me to 17%. But just remember never to enchant or gem for it, it’s just not worth it.

      • Everyone always says to get to 17% hit. But after doing my own studies of this in boss fights, i’ve noticed that if you reforge/gem your stats to a minimum of 16% hit and go for more haste or int, you could see a substantial dps increase.

        • Since 4.2 I’ve been having severe DPS issues. Overnight my damage seemed to drop for no reason at all, infact my gear has improved greatly and yet I was doing about 5k less damage.
          I’ve been trying everything I could to figure out how to fix this, and everyone always asked “Are you hit capped?”, however I might give your suggestion a try and drop my hit rating to 16% and stack more into Haste to see how this improves.
          At this point I’m willing to try anything, or else I’ll have to reroll in order to get into raids anymore.

          • There was a slight nerf to Destruction in the patch that wasn’t overly clear. We used to get a bit of double dipping on the Imp’s Fireballs – which we no longer get. This change on an ideal SimCraft fight I believe was calculated to a 2k dps loss. It seems a bit steep to me, and I haven’t checked for myself, but I do notice a slight dps loss for myself.

            I did a few minutes on a Target Dummy before the patch, and again after – and I dropped about 1k in dps. It seems silly that a small change in the Imp should make such a difference, but it seems it’s actually true.

            I’m not quite sure what would make you drop 5k though. Are we talking raiding in Firelands? Which bosses are you fighting, and are you dealing with adds? As Destro we’re never all that good with adds, since AoE isn’t something we’re good at.

            I’m looking at changing my spec from my beloved Destro on some fights, because especially for the earlier fights Destro just isn’t all that good.

            Also, are there any changes in your raid setup? Mine, for example, is very melee heavy and I can definitely tell because there are no nice buffs for me – but all for them. I see a big difference in my Warlock’s dps and one in the horde guild where I sometimes help out to heal, where they have a caster heavy raid.

            I have no simple answer for you I’m afraid, since I don’t know your gear or situation. But there was a silent nerf to Destro for sure, it shouldn’t amount to 5k though. But again, it depends on the fight. Or are we talking on a target dummy? Just remember we don’t do well on switching targets. If you’re dealing with lots of small adds, Demonology might be preferable, and sadly Affliction is beating us in most other situations at the moment. But of course it depends on how well you play the spec. If you don’t know Affli, switching to it may not be a dps increase (and it’s definitely not good dps in dungeons – too short execute phase).

  5. Thnak you for breakin it down im a somewhat noob and get frustrated with the jaron that people expect u to understand but i dont. So cheeers im gonna try it out got to be better than i was doin anyway lol Thanks heaps

  6. Hey, fantastic guide!!! Thank you so much :)

    Just one question: I’m not 85 yet. Actually, I’m 45. So until I get Soul Fire and Demon Soul, should I just ignore those two and proceed with the rest of the “rotation” as needed, or is there a new arrangement I should be following in 5-man dungeon PUGs for either trash mobs or boss?

    • You can more or less use that rotation, however I’d look at how quickly mobs die. If they die before you can get a lot of ticks out of the DoTs you may want to just put up immolate, conflag and incinerate/chaos bolt. For boss fights you can probably use the DoTs as well – since they’ll take a bit longer to die. But I’d probably use Curse of Agony rather than Doom since it ticks more often while Doom might only get off one tick before everything is dead at that level :)

  7. loving this post but i only have one question… spirit.. i know its bad for locks but this is basicly all thats dropping, is this ok to use as a lock or should i stick with the deathsilk robe set tell gear with out it drops i’m lvl 84 too ^^
    loving destur btw lol i’m a bit of a noob when it comes to locks but i love this class next to my shaman

    • Warlocks are definitely a lot of fun – glad you’re enjoying yours.

      The way I look at gear with Spirit (and it may differ from others) is that I weigh it against the other piece I have. If I gain a lot of stats by wearing the Spirit piece I will wear it – unless I’m losing a lot of a very important stat. But if the item is good enough the gained intellect/haste/crit is usually worth it – and I will reforge the Spirit to Hit.

      Obviously replace the Spirit piece as soon as you can though, since the Spirit does mean there’s another useful stat for you not on there (usually Hit). It really depends on the other piece of gear that you have and what your trade off is. If you only gain say 10 Intellect and lose 50 Hit – I’d say not to switch for example. It’s a judgement call really, every time.

    • Even if you have an item with ilvl346 and you can get your hands on an ilvl359 with spirit on it, you will 99% of the time lose dps on that change. So basic rule. NO SPIRIT! Makes your warlock get infected and any serious raider will see you for the n00b you are… Sad, but hard truth.

      • That’s not entirely true, but a lot of times it is. If you’ve run your character through SimCraft and have your stat weights you can calculate which item (with or without spirit) has the higher value – and go for that one.

        Spirit does however usually end up lower. While a high level PvP item (without spirit) might end up higher. It’s all about the stat weights :)

  8. Ola,

    Tehlock here agian. Just a question: do you have problems with dps in certain situations?

    Yesterday I was doing HC deadmines with : Balance druid, Hunter, Deathknight ( tank ) and a Resto druid. For some reason my dps was so low..it felt like I was wearing TBC gear….Normally i should be around 10 ~11k on dps. however the Hunter ( epic raid gear ) was above me with 15k and the druid was on 13k.. and me? …7k ?!?!

    Any idea’s why my dps could have dropped so much?

    • Sadly hunters will almost always outdps us.. actually they tend to outdps almost anyone.

      I find that my dps in Heroics in general is always lower than raids (which is normal), often because things die a lot quicker and you can’t get a full rotation going. A lot of other classes have abilities that hit more than one target automatically, while we don’t – which automatically boosts their dps. Sure we can use BoH, but it’s not quite the same. For me I generally try not to care about the dps in HCs and focus on raids, but yeah it’s a bit sour when you suddenly do a lot less. Some dungeons do seem worse than others and I can’t quite pinpoint why. My only idea is that it must be because we don’t get to do our full rotation. Keeping Improved Soul Fire up is more of a hassle in HCs than a boss in a raid for example, and that’s 15% damage right there. For the most part I will save my cds for bosses in HCs and just spam immolate, conflag, chaos bolt and incinerate on the trash. Most trash will die before you can get enough ticks off on dots (however if you’re not CCing you can always cast immolate and corruption on all targets before doing single target dps to the main target, I also like to use Shadowfury and Shadowflame if there’s a group with no CC)

      I’m sorry I can’t help more. Dpsing in heroics is always a bit tricky because by now things just die so fast and we’re fairly dependant on getting our dots and everything up.

      • You have been great help with information/advice already thanks for that :).
        It’s more that we just starting raids really and we are being judged on gear/ilvl and our dps output in HC’s.

        Just bit of a pain if the groups goes all “WTF?!?!?!” on you if your dps is not 10k or higher in HC’s.

        • Heroics is a really bad setting to judge people’s dps from imho. It’d be better if they did a 10 man run in Baradin Hold. It’s a fairly straight forward fight and lets people get their full rotation going compared to just Heroics.

          People sometimes put too high stock in dps. Yes, high dps is good – but it’s also important to move out of fire and dps the right target. Heroics are really bad because they favour people with high burst and cleave abilities. I find that my place on the dps chart varies a lot between the kind of fight it is, both in Heroics and raids. The difference between Heroic and raid can be quite big as well – so I really wouldn’t put too much stock into what people do for dps in a Heroic. Try to convince your guild that Baradin Hold or just going in and giving people a chance in raids is better. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t feel that you can compare Heroic and raid dps.

        • What Saga says is so true. I usually never get higher dps than about 20k in HC’s. And in raids i get way past that in fights where I don’t have to move as much. Also to consider, is that in raids, you get alot more buffs. So if you have about 10k in HC’s, you should get about ~13-15k depending on the fight.

          • I almost find that it is getting even worse in Heroics now, because everyone is starting to get fairly well geared and mobs die even quicker. And as a Warlock we then don’t get to do a full rotation of DoTs etc. which means our dps is lower. It’s frustrating, but nothing to do since it’s how our class works. As long as we do good dps on bosses though, I don’t really care 😉

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  10. Thanks for all the information. Very detailed and also easy to understand. But I’m still noticing that I am having trouble with dps. I followed everything on here step by step, even went over it multiple times to make sure I was doing it right but I seem to only pull 5-7k on bosses. Is there any particular reason for this? Am I doing something wrong? Thanks :)

    • Hmm there’s a few things.. What is your gear like? Gear matters a lot more now than it used to. Are you missing a lot of spells – do you need more hit? Are you keeping the Imroved Soul Fire buff up?

      • Yes my hit is maxed. My ilvl at the moment is 334. Just hit 85 not very long ago. I’m not sure what ilvl I would need to pull higher dps. Let me know, thanks :) and yes I am keeping up the soulfire buff.

        • I think your dps is pretty much where it can be with that gear I suspect :) I remember when I first dinged 85 when Cataclysm came out and I was so disappointed, because it felt like I was doing the same dps I was at level 80 *lol*

          There’s no magic number really where your dps will increase, but you should see your dps steadily get higher as you get better gear :)

          • Ah alright that makes sense. Thanks a lot! :) But you are right I swear I pulled more in wrath rofl.

  11. This guide it great, it has helped me so much. It’s hard moving over from a class you know and have mostly always used (DK in my case) to something entirely new. I love being a warlock. Thanks for the amazing guide!

  12. Execellent guide …..my dps went up from 6 to 13k, I highly recommend this to anyone willing to try destro 😉 keep up the good work

  13. Good guide :-) However I would suggest that after an immolate, throw in a fast cast like Chaos Bolt. My computer isn’t slow, though I’m not able to cast conflagrate immediately after casting Immolate, which gives me some downtime, doing nothing.

    • The list isn’t a rotation as much as a list of priorities in which order to cast things when they’re off cooldown. I’d definitely agree that there’s no point in waiting for Conflag to light up the first time to cast Immolate (after that first time, you should be fine) – but it’s better to cast something else while waiting. I usually put up a DoT that first time, while waiting for it to light up :)

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  15. hey, bumped into your website while looking for some more info on destro locks. Do you think it would be possible to get me some tips about (i) pets to use and (ii) rotation to use while LEVELLING? am in a mood to move away from my current pally tank back to my good old love for my lock (did not use it since the BC, hence not a lot of ideas how to manage it….). thanks for any replies!

    • Hey thanks for stopping by and commenting!

      To be absolutely honest, you can level pretty much any way you want at this point and still do fine. For solo play when leveling I’ve generally preferred to be Demonology since the Felguard puts out so much damage and while they removed his Taunt ability he can still more or less hold aggro on whatever mob you’re killing. You can probably quite easily pull several mobs, dot them up, send the Felguard (or Voidwalker if you decide to go Affliction) in and then just drain life (or soul if you don’t need life) until they’re dead.

      If you want to level as Destruction you’d either take the Imp, but it means mobs would be attacking you – or the Voidwalker if you want a pet to take the hits for you. I suspect that Immolate – Conflag – Chaos Bolt/Incinerate would pretty much finish off any mob at lower levels so there’s not much of a rotation to have.

      I think with either spec you choose you have to see what works out best. If mobs die too fast maybe switch to Immolate and Incinerate/Shadow Bolt (depending on your spec). If you’re doing several mobs at once though, it’s nicer to just DoT them all up and Drain until they’re all dead. (Felguard with Felstorm is definitely really nice for this as well!)

      It’s difficult to give tips when I’m not quite sure what you’re looking for. Demonology is definitely fun with the Felguard. Affliction is more dotting everything and letting them slowly die, and Destro is more burst damage to one target at a time.

      When leveling I personally prefer to use Felguard or Voidwalker – but that’s because I like not having things beating on me 😉 Others might feel differently, but I feel that the downtime is less if I don’t get beaten on. That said, dotting everything and surviving with Drain Life works out rather nicely as well if you like watching loads of mobs running after you as they slowly die 😛

  16. I absolutely love your guide Saga. I just about gave up on my lock since I spent thousands testing and weighing stats and came up with weak dps. After reading your guide, Im pushing 14-15k easy out of a group. Eat that mages . ,^-_-^,

    • Hey,

      There’s no simple solution I’m afraid, and Heroics can be tricky. I find my dps is generally lower there because I can never get a full rotation going before things are dead.

      Make sure you keep the Improved Soul Fire buff up as much as possible, that’s the best way to make sure your dps gets higher. If your rotation is sound, then there’s not much else I can say. Without logs I can’t tell what’s going wrong – but on bosses, just make sure ISF is up and try to have as little down time on DoTs as possible.

      Does your Imp stay alive? (If he dies you lose quite a bit of dps.)

      Looking at your armory there’s a few things I can suggest. They won’t massively up your dps, but might help a little:

      – Switch glyph of Incinerate for Glyph of Immolate (it’s a proven dps increase)
      – Don’t gem for Hit – gem for Intellect. Ignore socket bonuses unless they give 20 Intellect or 30 Haste/Crit.
      – I also wouldn’t gem pure Haste – if you need yellow for a Meta, get the orange Int+Haste one. Intellect is our best stat, and you want as much of it as possible.
      – I generally prefer Burning Shadowspirit Diamond to the Ember one (we life tap, so 2% more mana isn’t really useful to us, but of course it also depends on which meta gems are available on your realm)

      You don’t mention what kind of dps you have – but do remember that it does make a difference having 346 gear and 353/359+. Also, a lot of your gear is unenchanted. Once you get some more pieces, enchant everything – you should notice a difference.

      If you Life Tap (and I imagine you do), get the Glyph of Life Tap.

    • You need to enchant your gear properly. Enchanting, gemming, and your glyphs are just as important as your gear. If you look at your wowarmory profile it will say if you do or do not pass the audit. and right now it shows you need all of the above. Fix that and you sould be right in the mix. good luck.

  17. Hi,

    my IMP is always alive :) thats why i dont bet on fel synergy 😛
    i bet on HIT because i read in another forum that we have to cap to 17%
    ISF is always on, and sometime ill start with curse and doom and then the normal rotation…
    ill try switching the glyph, and get int gems… but on this realm… they are very hard to find.
    i try for long time geting an addon to measure my dps on real time… but ppl said that i do around 8 to 9k… gear is not the issue… i already did hc’s with other locks with gear lower than mine… and they do around 10k :(:(:(:(:(:(:(
    ill try enchant the gear 2… try to do this tonight and post tomorrow 😀

    • Hit is a tricky beast this expansion. Yes – we should go for 17% hit, BUT because hit is so hard to come by, don’t drain yourself dry on other stats trying to reach the cap. So reforge everything you can to Hit, get the trinket from Baradin Wardens with Hit.. but don’t use gems or enchants for it, because those are better used for Intellect/Haste. (Also in Heroics, the Hit needed is a lot less.)

      Make sure you always refresh ISF before putting up curses/doom so that they are effected by it as well.

      I hope you can get your dps up!

    • Intellect = mana and spell damage, so yes you want Intellect. But you don’t reforge Haste or Hit.

      Most items will have 3 stats on them that are reforgable, and you can only choose one. So you always choose the “worst” stat to reforge. So you’d reforge first Spirit, if no Spirit on the item you reforge Mastery. If there’s no Mastery you reforge Crit.

      Items with Hit and Haste on them you leave as they are, because those are the two best secondary stats.

      If the item has Hit on it, you reforge to Haste. If it doesn’t have Hit on it, reforge to Hit.

  18. Awesome guide! I’ve been looking for tips on spell priority and this is great. I can’t wait to give it a try. Like most of you, my dps just suffers in heroics, I’m lucky if I hit 6k on trash! I’ve also noticed my dps suffers when I have to constantly run around to avoid stuff. Anyone else have that issue?

    Thanks again for a very easy to follow & understand guide!

    • Running around to avoid stuff will always make your dps suffer since it makes it more difficult to keep up ISF and Immolate, and you definitely won’t be getting off any Incinerates or Chaos Bolts. Sometimes if I’m moving around for a bit I will spam Fel Flame – it’s not a lot of damage – but it’s better than no damage (if all DoTs I can cast are already up).

  19. windlepoons is ny destruction lock on the khagdar realm. Im lvl. 72 lock, i do like 1-1.5k but alway seem to be bottom dps . I know mages and hunters are op! If I’m in n a group everyone is doing like 3-4k but”/
    So ne help be appreciated, utmost my dps !

  20. OUTSTANDING INFO and EASY to understand this guide, bravo ! Im thrilled to fall into your site. Ty for taking the time to be so detailed with rotation, skills, specs, pets for what event, all is SO HELPFUL… Im off now to change everything and be awesome lol ty again, keep us going strong ! I have always been hung up on DPS meters, Ugh!

  21. i just briefly perused the above information about dps and rotation, and having tested it out and being a fairly well geared warlock i have to say that i think any warlock doing any kind of reasonable dps is shaking there head at the above display of pure incompetance. I have tried a number of specs and a number of rotations. but i see here that your rotation is built for what i termed to be “Lazy Locking”. The fact is you have done nothing to really utilize the talents you have spec’d into their bonuses and nor have you taken into account the bonuses from the gear that (if your a raider) should be wearing. If nothing this is just some noob lock trying to express there want to be know how at locking. Go to the Warlocks den, and then check out askmrrobot.com they will set you straight. as for rotation…..try this on for size…..CoE, BoD, Corr, Life Blood (if herbalism) ISF, DS, IMMO, CB, CONFL, INCIN, Shadow flame, (ready to pop once cb is finished casting) then continue same rotation (sans the dots unless they are about to drop) and gtg. My last dps check in a Raid was 16k + and I see from this that my goal for hitting 20k+ dps is going to have to be obtained through sources not related to this one.

    Good luck with your Lock from the looks of things yall are gonna need it.

    • Oh goodie, my first troll comment…

      First of all, as you say – you only perused it and you obviously missed the fact that I start off by saying that I am not the be all, end all of Warlock guides, but that I hope the guide will be a quick, easy guide for those getting started.

      Secondly, you’re talking rotation – I’m talking priority order when it comes to spells. The rotation is slightly different when you run in and first start the fight – the priority (which I have listed) is the priority in how to keep them going/use them when you’re already in the fight.

      The starting sequence/rotation you mention.. I must ask why you’re dotting before putting up ISF because it means the dots you just put up (BoD and Corruption) don’t benefit from ISF, which seems a bit of a waste. When I run in I start with a CoE if no one else is providing the debuff then I do Soul Fire to get the buff going, only after that do I put up BoD, Corr, Immolate and so on. I can’t help but think you’ve mistaken the priority list with a spell rotation – which is rather different.

      Also, I’m not quite sure what you think Askmrrobot will tell people – it’s a very nice site to look specifically at your own character to give you a quick overview, but from what I can tell it doesn’t say anything different than I am. It seems to show the same stat priorities as I do, the same spec, same gems… So I’m not quite sure how askmrrobot can be so right and me so wrong?

      In any case – the spell priority list on this site is working for me – and for many others. If you start putting up ISF before dotting (and making sure it’s always up before you reapply), maybe you’ll be a little bit closer to your 20k goal – because except for that – we’re pretty much talking about the same “rotation” – only mine is listed by priority.

  22. just an FYI Dark Intent on a survival hunter = damn near permanent haste buff………. black arrow, explosive shot, and serpent sting all count as DoTs and hunters who are geared and optimized correctly have immense amounts of crit

    • Yes, SV Hunter is definitely a good target :) I think every Warlock needs to look at their options in a raid and see which class will benefit the most / and benefit themselves. Nice tip!

  23. Hi there, I messaged alittle while back, I think may /june time. Well i hit 85 yesterday yay !!!!!! Since firelands has arrive I feel it do much easier to gear up. I’m already heroic ready I dined yesterday!!! I’ve not tried.yet, before I do I want My dps up slightly. Coz I.do 6-10k I feel I should.do.more . I know you do priorities then rotation maybe Can help coz.u seem.to know more. I feel.like.knob lol. My rotation maybe is : sf. Coe. Immolate cb conflag. Inc x3 boa sf fel. Flame cb . I think may ur site is great “) I noticed you said not be t hit cap for heroic s what should aim for I’m 14% .

    • Hey and congratulations on reaching level 85!! :)

      Regarding the hit cap for heroics, it’s 615 rating (not quite sure which percentage that turns into, but you can see your rating if you mouse over it in game).

      As you say there’s no real rotation for Destro Warlocks anymore, but more of a priority order. However, when starting a fight (assuming it’s a boss and not trash cause trash dies too soon) I usually start with CoE then pop a soul burn:Soul Fire for the buff. BoD, Immolate, Corruption, Conflagrate, Chaos Bolt.. Then I use Incinerate until I need to refresh a DoT or Chaos Bolt/Conflagrate comes off cooldown.

      You can mess about with the opening sequence a bit – the important part is to make sure you have the Improved Soul Fire buff before putting up your DoTs (and Bane of Doom is more damage than Bane of Agony). Also if in melee range of the boss I tend to use Shadowflame on cooldown as well. Fel Flame is pointless unless you have the T11 4 piece bonus, the damage is pretty poor without it and I only use it if I’m moving (since it’s instant).

      Use Demon Soul every cooldown – it’s a nice dps boost :) You can also pop the Doom Guard during some bosses (10 minute cooldown) which is also a nice dps increase.

      I hope this helps!

      • Thanks for the reply!! I will give it this info a whirl tell you how i get on.. But i’m surprised how easy it to gear up now. My lock out do my warrior on dps, which was my main. Now my lock is 85 she’ll be my main, because i struggle with my warrior. even tho she like ilvl 360 it frustrates me..lol enough about her.

        I do love you site/blog it so simple to understand.. and your reply’s so informative – i love your effort it is grade A excellence 😀

        I know i shouldn’t really worry about dps just – but i struggled so much with my warrior- i want be able to get it right with one char- I have 3 85’s 1 is a tank ( don’t play that often, coz i was leveling lock up) – otherwise i have wasted time in actually not even achieving anything.

        I will post back in a few days to let you know how my dps is getting along.. i prob be doing Firelands by then HAHA – My rate it be true 😛

        • It’s definitely a lot easier to gear up alts now – I’m guessing it is to let people who switch mains or have alts to catch up a bit quicker. I’m glad you like my site :)

          I look forward to hearing how you’re doing in a few days. Who knows, maybe you’ll have more progress than me in Firelands 😉

  24. Hi There, I use Button Timers,the Quartz cast bar and bartender, i can see all cooldowns including ISF,and conflag cooldown,im also a clicker,but i have my curser ready and waiting on the next spell always, the ability to move and cast efficientely is one of a locks greatest challenges,i practice on fights i know we get easily,i have enjoyed keeping up with the subtle changes made to locks in the last few years, but the lack of competitve AOE (DK’s and Hunters = 35k) has dissappointed me.
    Could’nt play without Button Timers,

    • I haven’t tried Button Timers myself – I use Quartz Castbar, OmniCC (shows a timer on your spells), ClassTimer and PowerAuras. It may be a slight overkill, but I want to make sure I don’t miss a cooldown somewhere 😉

      Definitely agree on the lack of competitive AoE. Demonology Warlocks do pretty good AoE and are useful in AoE type fights, but those aren’t around that much. I think it’s a shame that Destro Warlocks have one of the worst AoEs around these days. I remember shining on AoE in TBC to the point the Mages were getting jealous 😉

    • I must say, that a clicker always are struggeling more do handle fights where you have to move alot. So start practising your keybinds. Don’t be afraid to rebind keys to suit your fingers reach. As long at you get comfortable with it.
      The way i’ve done my AoE as destro, is to use Soulburn, soulfire a mob and use Rain of Fire on the whole pack. In the new Firelands raid, where it takes at least a few seconds before everything is AoE’d down, you can use Bane of Havoc on one of the mobs. Preferably the one with the highest amount of health.
      So if i would AoE a pack of scorpions…
      If you got pull timer, hard cast Soulfire (otherwise Soulburn, Soulfire), Immolate and then Corruption and BoH on biggest Scorpion. then Cast Rain of fire of the whole pack.
      Sometimes i leave out Corruption and Immolate if i’m lazy or the AoE in your raid is so good that the mobs are going down very fast… 😉

  25. question about haste. soft caps to shoot for are 10% and 30% for Immo and Corr respectively. My question is, What’s a good amount of haste to have pre-raid buff to hit the 30% soft cap in a raid? Also, if I can’t hit the 30% then in a raid, how much haste should I keep and then convert the rest to crit/mastery.

    • As a Destro lock, I’d never convert Haste into Crit/Mastery, but keep it. It’s still a better stat than the other two by far – it’s just that at the haste plateaus you should notice a difference. But even without hitting them, you’d go with Haste over Crit/Mastery. (I don’t know if this will change in 4.3, but for now, this still stands).

      Also, to hit 30% in a raid it really depends on your raid setup and which buffs are available to you. The one haste buff that you can get in raids is 5% (and of course your own 3% one from Dark Intent). The classes that would give you 5% is the Wrath of Air totem from a Shaman, or a Moonkin Druid or Shadow Priest.

      This means that if you have 25% haste self buffed, you’d hit 30% in a raid. But as I said, I’d never reforge out of haste for anything – because it’s still our best stat (after intellect and hit rating).

  26. I was wondering why you don’t use fel flame to refresh immolate? Is there a reason it is better to long cast it? The instant refresh seems better to me, melee or otherwise. Also I haven’t worried about hit rating at all, maybe I’m reading the stat wrong but it shows zero percent chance of miss for me on all but the highest level. Can I have better than a zero percent chance of missing? I’ve only been playing a few months now, this guide has given me some good tips. Thanks.

    • Fel Flame should only be used if you have to move (melee range is in regards to Shadowflame), since it’s instant cast, and even then only if everything else is already running/on cd since it has a very bad damage per cast time compared to our other spells. You shouldn’t use it to refresh Immolate because it’s always better to do a casted Immolate (if it’s a fight where you’re standing still and can do so). The reason for that has to do with the fact that Fel Flame only gives you 6 more seconds instead of the 15 you’d get from a fresh Immolate. You’d also miss out on the initial damage that Immolate does. If you think about it for a longer fight, using a global cooldown to give you 6 seconds is a lot worse than using a global cooldown to get 15 seconds (even with the added cast time of Immolate).

      For Hit rating, you do need 17% hit to not miss on raid bosses. Are you sure that you’re looking in the correct window? You need to be looking in the Spell window and not the Ranged or Melee (those numbers are often completely off for casters and should be ignored). And yes, 0% chance of missing is what you’re after, but you also don’t want to reach more than 17% hit since it would mean that you’re essentially “wasting” stats that you could reforge into something else, since anything above 17% makes no difference to your dps.

      I hope this answers your questions :)

  27. Hey man, just for curiosity: what is your average DPS playing as Destro Lock in a boss fight where you can stand still (like 10m Ultraxion for an example) ?

    • My dps isn’t awesome, I’m far from the best Warlocks out there. On Ultraxion it’s probably around 30k. I hear Demonology rocks for that fight, but I’ve never played it much so for me to switch would bring my dps lower I suspect :)

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