Ed. note: This thread is still a WIP.
Destruction warlock is a more "direct damage"-based build as opposed to the Affliction one which supports more heaving hitting nukes rather than "damage over time"-effects. It has many similarities with Elemental Shamans and Mages and has a wide array of both instants and AoE-spells. In patch 3.0 Destruction received a serious overhaul considering how powerful it was before in TBC but couldn't keep up with Affliction after the launch of WOTLK. In 3.1 however this is is a different story; Destruction is now highly competable against other specs as the theoretical highest DPS available and is now also able to provide raids buff via Replenishment. In short: Destruction has many tricks up it's sleeve such as more instants and more AOE options and might therefor be the choice for the warlock who wanted to play a Mage, but with a twist.
Immolate|Immo|20% DoT tick // 20% DD|The spell that destruction is pretty much built around. It's a DoT with a DD-effect on hit.
Conflagrate|Conflag|None|Has been around for ages but received several buffs in WOTLK and is now part of the standard rotation. It's total damage is the same as your Immolate with 60% of the damage being DD and 40% being a small DoT.
Chaos Bolt|CB|71.39%|The new 51-talent in WOTLK. While many may look at this as a PvP-talent, it has higher damage, shorter cast time and lesser mana cost than Incinerate.
Incinerate|Incin|71.39%|Your basic â€œfillerâ€, used to fill in spaces between the more damaging spells. Receives many buffs from various talents and gets a higher base damage if it hits a target with Immolate on it.
Curse of Doom|CoD|200%|The warlock spell with the highest DPCT and therefor involved in the rotation as well.
Curse of Agony|CoA|120%|Not as powerful as CoD but still used somewhat (se below at rotations for more on this).
Corruption|Corr|120%|This one isn't really used in your standard rotation but can (and should) be used when your moving and have no need to Life Tap or Death Coil is on CD.
=Talents and builds=
0/13/53|Standard build, involves all necessary talents to do your job as Destruction with 5 free points. There are various choices you can with these based on your gear and the encounters you do. If you're low on hit, Suppression is a choice. If there's heavy raid damage on encounters, take Soul Link. If an encounter face many adds then Shadowfury is a good choice, or if neither of these are present Imp. Soul Leech is a good take for extra mana (more mana = less LT = more DPS time). Regardless of your choice, if you ever need more talent points, Backlash is the one to pick from since it gives the least DPS for it's point.
0/13/58|Highest theoretical DPS with BiS T10-gear.
1|Improved Shadow Bolt|Ignored|Shadow Bolt isn't featured at all in the rotation. This is mostly for Affliction- and deep Demonology-warlocks.
1|Bane|Required|Reduces casting time of your 2nd most strongest nuke and DoT. Essential.
2|Aftermath|Required|Not only increases the damage of Immolate but also Conflagrate indirectly.
2|Molten Skin|Optional|Can reduce stress on healers if there's much raid damage but mostly a PvP-talent.
2|Cataclysm|Recommended|Together with Imp. Soul Leech this can really hold your mana up and reduce the amount of Life Taps, resulting in higher DPS.
3|Demonic Power|Required|Your Imp does good DPS on it's own and this one helps it.
3|Shadowburn|Ignored|PvP-talent and thus not taken.
3|Ruin|Required|Multiplies with CSD to give 109% damage bonus critical strikes.
4|Intensity|Recommended|Reduces pushback on all your spells, very useful for raiding.
4|Destructive Reach|Recommended|Longer range and lesser threat on pretty much all your spells. Note however that this does not apply to any of your Affliction-spells.
4|Improved Searing Pain|Ignored|Not really useful unless you're tanking many encounters and/or PvP:ing a lot.
5|Backlash|Recommended|Gives higher crit % on all your spells and can give instant Incins when struck. The second effect is mostly for PvP but the higher crit % is useful.
5|Improved Immolate|Required|Higher damage on Immo and therefor on Conflag as well. Very important. Also a pre-requisite for Conflag.
5|Devastation|Required|Extremely valuable because of the low point investment.
6|Nether Protection|Not recommended|Just like Molten Skin, can reduce stress on healers but there are better talents available. Mostly for PvP.
6|Emberstorm|Required|Increases the damage on all of your fire spells and reduces the cast time on Incin equivalent to 10% haste.
7|Conflagrate|Required|Your hardest hitting nuke and what the rotation is (pretty much) built around. It's damage is based upon Immo and procs Backdraft and (if it crits) Pyroclasm on use, further boosting DPS.
7|Soul Leech|Optional|Not so useful on it's own, what you really want if going here is Imp. Soul Leech (see that one for more info).
7|Pyroclasm|Required|Thanks to the buff to Fire and Brimstone this one has an uptime of 50-60% (depending on your crit %), boosting all your damage by 6%.
8|Shadow and Flame|Required|Increases the co-efficient of CB and Incin from 71.39% to 85.67%.
8|Improved Soul Leech|Optional|Gives Replenishment to the raid and can restore 2% of you and your Imps max mana back on spell hit. Thanks to this lesser Life Taps are needed and more time on DPS can be focused on.
9|Backdraft|Required|Has an optimal uptime of 60% giving a serious boost to damage. Backlash and Nightfall procs does not trigger a charge as of 3.2.2.
9|Shadowfury|Optional|Very useful tool in raiding since many encounters has adds that needs to be taken care of. Not essential though.
9|Empowered Imp|Required|Gives a good boost to the Imps DPS and the Empowered Imp buff has an uptime of ~15%. Overall, it gives you a higher crit %.
10|Fire and Brimstone|Required|Good boost to CB and Incin and gives a higher uptime on Pyroclasm. Note that the first bonus only applies if the target has your Immo on.
11|Chaos Bolt|Required|AKA â€œImp. Incinerateâ€. For one point you get a better nuke. See above for more info on CB.
Most excess points are spend in Demonology to reach Demonic Aegis so that is your main objective in this tree.
1|Improved Healthstone|Optional|Better healthstones which are useful in raids, but if another warlock has it, you don't need it.
1|Improved Imp|Required|Further boosts your Imps damage.
1|Demonic Embrace|Optional|Gives better survivability, not only for PvP.
1|Fel Synergy|Recommended|Your Imp does a good solid damage and gives you various buffs so it's important to keep him alive. This one helps towards that goal.
2|Improved Health Funnel|Ignored|Not very useful, Health Funnel works good the way it is.
2|Demonic Brutality|Ignored|More for the Felguard-using warlocks.
2|Fel Vitality|Recommended|Gives a higher mana pool to both you and your Imp increasing the effect of Imp. Soul Leech.
3|Improved Succubus|Ignored|Succubus is not featured in this build, so therefor not needed.
3|Soul Link|Optional|Does give better survivability to you, but not your pet. Also there are better talents around. Very useful though for encounters that require ranged tanking or are heavy on raid damage.
3|Fel Domination|Not recommended|Your Imp should preferably not die, but if does: This one can seriously reduce that DPS loss of resummoning him.
3|Demonic Aegis|Recommended|Gives a flat 54 extra spell power and 9% extra more from your spirit. On higher gear levels gives a good boost to all of your spells.
The only talent worth taking here is Suppression and only if you need the hit. However it's not hard to reach the hit cap and there are better talents to boost your DPS.
1|Curse of Agony|Ignore|Even with this, CoD is still better.
1|Suppression|Optional|Equates to less needed hit on gear.
1|Improved Corruption|Not recommended|Corruption has a lesser DPCT than Incinerate and is therefor not used in your rotation. Can though be used if you're on the move a lot, but for this talent it gives a very low boost per point.
Since previous content, itemization has changed pretty drastically for Destruction. Spirit is no longer equal to crit, but somewhere below because of how Imp. Soul Leech works. As gear gets better, the amount of spirit on your gear will go down, Glyph of Life Tap will be replaced (ISL gives better mana regen, together with Cataclysm, and reduces the amount of needed LTs) and crit will become overall better.
0/13/58 (using this preliminary T10 BiS)
It's important that you take these values with a grain of salt! Haste is by far the 2nd best stat for Warlocks, regardless of spec. But as you accumulate higher numbers of haste, it's value will diminish making crit more and more appealing.
TTT Entry for Spell Hit
[table="head"]Faction|Hit cap with talents/debuff|Hit cap with talents and debuff
Overall effectiveness: Above very high if below the cap and worthless if over the cap
Other notes: If you can't hit, you can't do damage. That's why hit rating is the most powerful stat out there as long as you're below the cap. With Suppression you need 11% as Horde and 10% as Alliance (because of the Draenei racial aura) and 14% and 13% respectively without it. Missing a huge damage spell such as Conflag will greatly reduce your DPS. Simply put: cap your hit when raiding.
Overall effectiveness: Average
Other notes: This is a stat that can shift it's value in the blink of an eye. If you have the Glyph of Life Tap it becomes better and when you get higher amounts of it, it gets better. But once the gear starts shifting more towards haste and crit, it becomes less effective, making dropping the glyph inevitable and reducing it's value even further. In short: it's not bad, but it's not great either. Crit and haste will always be better than this as a 2nd stat.
Overall effectiveness: Very high
Other notes: Primary stat as for any DPS caster. All your spells benefits from this stat making it more valuable than any other than hit (if you're below the cap).
Overall effectiveness: Average
Other notes: Crit rating has no other real benefits than improving your damage. While it can help to proc Pyroclasm through Conflagrate, Conflag recieves a 25% crit if your Immo is up on the target reducing the need for crit rating even further.
Crit rating value increases linear with spell power and leads to uptime increase 1:1 with no diminishing returns, i.e. +1% crit -> +1% Pyroclasm uptime -> +0.1% damage increase on top of direct crit gains.
Overall effectiveness: Above average to high
Other notes: The value of haste is relative. It's somewhat easy to reach the GCD cap through high haste rating with Backdraft and Bloodlust/Heroism making excess amounts of haste worthless and making the rotations harder to keep up. Haste is however a better stat than crit because you don't need as much rating per percent compared to crit and crit % can be very high in a raid situation with various raid buffs and talents.
166 Int = 1% crit. Intellect is not a real stat to gear for because it gives less DPS compared to the others. Intellect is however better for builds with Imp. Soul Leech since it returns mana based on how much mana you have. It's nothing you should gear for though.
Bad for warlocks with any builds. While technically MP5 can be used somewhat, it's nowhere near as good compared to the other DPS stats. We use Life Tap to gain mana back, not MP5. It's just how the class is designed.
Firestone or Spellstone on weapon?
Even though haste is a better DPS stat than crit, the 1% extra damage to DD-spells outweighs the benefits of Spellstone by far.
Look at this way: In a typical standard fight as Destruction, your DoTs will account for around 15% of your total damage while the rest is DD. The Firestone looks a lot better, doesn't it?
These are the values of the T10 set boni.
[table="head"]Spec|DPS|&|Deviation from max
00_13_58_no2_no4|11079|94,9%|597 => 2pc = 163
Thanks to Madlax @ http://elitistjerks....3_3_compendium/ for the numbers.
What does it mean?
The 4p bonus is incredibly good and should be gotten as fast as you can. The 2p, not so good. But it's still better than the 4p of T9 so switching from 4pT9 to 2pT9 and 2pT10 is a very valid choice.
Ed. note: Add other tiers later.
The only meta-gem that should be used is . When filling it's requirements the only gem you should use is the . Always try to throw these in where your blue sockets are and put them in where you get the biggest bonuses. Always try to gem for spell power first and foremost and haste in yellow sockets if the bonus is worth it. Remember however that hit > everything else if not hit capped yet.
What makes a bonus worth it? In basic, if the socket is...
- ... red, gem . Always.
- ... yellow with a bonus of either at least 4 spell power, 6 haste, 7 crit or 9 spirit, gem . If you're below the hit cap, gem or depending on how much below. Otherwise, go with a .
- ... blue with a bonus of either at least 6 spell power, 9 haste, 10 crit or 13 spirit, gem . If the socket bonus is lower than that, it's still OK, as long as you need a gem for your meta. Otherwise, go with a .
Regardless of what Destruction-build you're using, you should at least have Glyph of Conflagrate and Incinerate. In 3.2 Glyph of Life Tap received a substantial buff making it very strong. It might be better though to use Immolate with low level gear/until you reach a higher amount of spirit.
For more info on the subject, turn to http://elitistjerks.com/f80/t37422-glyph_choice/.
|Required|Saves a GCD from recasting Immolate. Immo needs to be up at all times since all your spells benefit from it and since Conflag is your hardest hitting nuke which you'll want to cast as many times as possible, this is one is a sure given.
|Required|Incinerate counts for over 50% of your damage making this very valuable.
|Optional|Increases the damage of your machine-gu... err, I mean Imp by 20%. Very good at high gear level and best for your 3rd slot with BiS T10.
|Optional|Does not only increase the damage of Immo by 10% but also Conflag by 7%, double win! On par with Imp after 3.3.3.
|Optional|Everytime you Life Tap, you gain 20% of your spirit in spell power for 40 sec. With a raidbuffed warlock with for example 500 spirit total this equates to 100 spell power to all your spells.
|Ignored|Provides you with one extra CB every minute instead of an Incinerate. Chaos Bolt is roughly 20% more damaging than Incin i.e. this glyph makes one Incin every minute 20% stronger. Not very useful in other words, seeing what other glyphs are available. Consider this a PvP-glyph.
|Optional|There are not many useful minor glyphs as a warlock but this one makes shard farming a lot easier.
The rest of the minor are personal preferences.
"Rotation" is a very common term for damage dealers, but more and more classes now thinks of â€œprioritiesâ€ instead since it's easier to keep track of what spells to use and at what time, since haste screws rotations up. This is something that has been used by Shadow Priests for a long time and has been further used by other classes.
Regardless of your build, the priorities stay the same:
- Curse of Doom â€“ Highest DPCT of all your spells, read below however for extra information.
- Immolate â€“ Gives an increase to your Incinerate and CB damage through Fire and Brimstone and enables Conflagrate.
- Conflagrate â€“ To proc both Backdraft and Pyroclasm.
- CB â€“ Stronger nuke than Incinerate.
- Incinerate â€“ when DoTs are up and CB and Conflag is on CD, this is your "filler".
Curse of Doom has the highest DPCT and should therefor have a uptime close to 100%. However, if you can manage to proc Pyroclasm before casting it you should wait until the next Conflagrate as it increases your overall DPS. If the target has an estimated time of going down in less than a minute, then you should cast Curse of Agony instead and keep it up until the target dies for max DPS. Corruption isn't used in the rotation when standing still and nuking a la Patchwerk but is more used "on the run" when needing to reposition or avoid damage.
Small note: If you're on Curse of the Elements-duty, it takes priority over CoD.
One common question is if your Immo has less than 1.5 sec left on it's duration and Conflag has come off CD, should you recast Immo first and Conflag second, or the reverse? Well, following the priority list, Immo technically still is on your target, therefor you should Conflag first, renew Immo second. You want to keep Conflag on CD as much as humanly possible since it's the most damaging spell you do (besides CoD).
Also, always make sure you're casting something. Destruction suffers a whole lot more from standing still doing nothing and moving around than the other Warlock-specs considering you don't have much DoTs to throw around.
-Mar 9th 2010
Updated the T10BiS and some notes on the Immolate glyph.
-Feb 5th 2010
Corrected how Conflagrate works with the changes to patch 3.3.2.
-Feb 4th 2010
Added the 'Updates'-section.