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Destruction in Cataclysm (4.3 Release)


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#1 Jmickey

Jmickey

    Von Kaiser

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Posted 21 December 2010 - 02:43 PM

=Introduction=
The purpose of this thread is to discuss the theory-crafting behind the Destruction warlock. This thread is targeted at serious raiders. If you've got interesting/complex questions regarding Destruction, please ask them here. If you have very basic questions or alike, please use the "Simple Questions/Answers" thread in the stickies instead.

Raid Performance


With the release of Patch 4.3 the warlock class sees a number of changes, in particular the Destruction spec, along with a few changes to the Demonology spec. Following these changes we see that all 3 specs are quite close, and all have something to bring to the table. For single target DPS, the following should be true at all gear levels:

[TABLE]Demonology |>| Destruction |>=| Affliction[/TABLE]


While Demonology does pull ahead in single target DPS by ~2k DPS, this is only in close to perfect conditions where there is minimal to no movement and the player is able to stand in melee range. This means that in most situations Destruction and Affliction will perform better than Demonology.

On multi-target fights with strictly 2 DPS targets Affliction and Destruction should be quite even. However once any additional targets are introduced Affliction will perform considerably better than Destruction. Heavy AoE fights are where Demonology really begins to shine, followed respectably by Affliction and then Destruction behind by a considerable margin.

FAQ

Q: Is there a haste cap?
A: Technically, there are multiple. See the Mechanics: Haste section of this guide for more information.

Q: Should I use the Infernal or Doomguard?
A: Doomguard for Single Target, Infernal for AoE.

Q: I changed my spec, and on a training dummy my new spec gives me more DPS!
A: What you do on a training dummy is irrelevant, not only is your sample data far too small to rule out RNG, you're also missing lots of buffs/target debuffs that will change the way certain talents perform.

Q: I asked a question / Made a suggestion, why didn't you answer or respond to it?
A: On ElitistJerks it is policy that people who respond to stupid or very basic questions receive infractions along with the person who received the initial infraction. If you had a question and I didn't respond to it, I was probably avoiding infraction points.

Abbreviations

[TABLE="head"]Abbreviation | Meaning
Afflic | Affliction
AoE | Area of Effect
BiS | Best in Slot
BoA | Bane of Agony
BoD | Bane of Doom
BoH | Bane of Havoc
CD | Cooldown
CoE | Curse of the Elements
Corr | Corruption
Crit | Critical Strike Rating
Demo | Demonology
Destro | Destruction
DPET | Damage per execute time
FG | Felguard
GCD | Global Cooldown
ICD | Internal Cooldown
Immo | Immolate
Imp SF | Improved Soul Fire
Incin | Incinerate
Int | Intellect
LT | Lifetap
Meta | Metamorphosis
RNG | Random Number Generator
SB | Shadow Bolt
SP | Spellpower[/TABLE]


=Talents=
The Spec


3/7/31.


Talents

Destruction

[TABLE="head"]Tier | Talent | Notes | Recommendation
1 | Bane | Reduces cast time on Chaos Bolt and Immolate | Required
1 | Shadow and Flame | Increases Incinerate damage and applies 5% crit debuff | Required
1 | Improved Immolate | Increases Immolate damage | Required
2 | Emberstorm | Reduces cast time of Soul Fire and Incinerate| Required
2 | Improved Searing Pain | Increases Searing Pain crit chance on targets under 25% | Optional
2 | Aftermath | Dazes targets hit by your Conflagrate | Optional
3 | Improved Soul Fire | Provides 8% damage for 20 seconds whenever you cast Soul Fire | Required
3 | Backdraft | Reduces the cast time on your next 3 Incinerates or Chaos Bolts by 30% (Lasts 15 seconds) | Required
3 | Shadowburn | Execute spell, good for regenerating Soul Shard while in combat | Optional
4 | Burning Embers | Places a DoT on the target of your Soul Fire and your Imp's Firebolt | Required
4 | Soul Leech | Mana and health regen from Chaos Bolt, also provides Replenishment to the raid | Required
4 | Backlash | Chance to decrease Incinerate cast time when you are hit with a physical attack | Optional
4 | Nether Ward | Turns Shadow Ward into Nether Ward, protecting you from all magic types | Optional
5 | Fire and Brimstone | Increases Chaos Bolt and Incinerate damage, as well as Conflagrate crit chance | Required
5 | Shadowfury | AoE Stun | Optional
5 | Nether Protection | Damage reduction from 1 magic school, based on magic absorbed through Nether Ward | Optional
6 | Empowered Imp | Chance for your Imp's Firebolt to grant you an Instant Soul Fire | Required
6 | Bane of Havoc | 15% of damage done to a target is also dealt to the baned target | Required
7 | Chaos Bolt | Heavy hitting nuke | Required[/TABLE]


Demonology

[TABLE="head"]Tier | Talent | Notes | Recommendation
1 | Demonic Embrace | Increases your stamina | Optional
1 | Dark Arts | Lowers the cast time on your Imp's Firebolt spell | Required
1 | Fel Synergy | Heals your pet when you deal damage | Optional
2 | Mana Feed | Provides you with mana when your Imp crits with Firebolt | Required[/TABLE]


Affliction

[TABLE="head"]Tier | Talent | Notes | Recommendation
1 | Improved Corruption | Increase Corruption damage | Required[/TABLE]


Glyphs

Prime Glyphs:


Major Glyphs:

  • Individual's Choice
  • Individual's Choice
  • Individual's Choice

Recommendations:

  • - 5% increased damage reduction through Soul Link.
  • - Since the change to Soulstone, making it a Battle Rez, this glyph will resurrect the targets of your soulstone with a total of 70% HP.
  • - Useful for fights where AoE is used heavily and Mana is an issue.


Minor Glyphs:

  • Individual's Choice
  • Individual's Choice
  • Individual's Choice

=Stats & Gearing=
Stats

Intellect:

Intellect now converts to Spell Damage, which makes all spells stronger. A number of factors determine how much benefit they receive, such as the spell co-efficients and talents. However, all spells benefit in some way.

1 Intellect provides 1 spellpower (before bonuses) and 0.00154% crit, as well as 17.53 mana.

Hit Rating:

102.45 hit rating increase your chance to hit with spells by 1% until Hit Cap (17% or 1742 Rating). Once the cap has been reached Hit becomes useless.

Haste Rating:

128.05 haste rating gives 1% spell haste. Haste rating scales multiplicatively with other sources of haste. Haste cannot reduce the duration of the global cooldown below 1.0 second.

To calculate the 'new' cast time of a spell, use the following formula:

[TABLE]New.Cast.Time |=| Normal.Cast.Time / ((1 + (Haste.Rating / 12805)) * 5%.Aura * Dark.Intent)[/TABLE]


Where 5%.Aura = 1.05 and Dark.Intent = 1.03.

Example, if we take a 2.5 second Normal.Cast.Time and a 950 Haste.Rating, we will get the following:

[TABLE]New.Cast.Time |=| 2.5 / ((1 + (950 / 12805)) * 1.05 * 1.03) = 2.152 sec[/TABLE]


Due to the changes to DoTs introduced in 4.0.1, and the way certain DoTs interact with certain talents and abilities (like Conflagrate), haste has become a much more advanced stat. See the Mechanics: Haste section for more information.

Critical Strike Rating:

179.28 crit rating gives 1% to crit. With a Burning Shadowspirit Diamond, crits will do 2.06 times the damage of normal hits. Due to changes made to DoTs in 4.0.1, all DoTs can now crit innately.

Mastery Rating:

179.28 mastery provides a 1.35% increase to all fire damage. As 90%+ of Destruction's damage comes from fire spells, mastery is not a bad stat. However the increase per point is low enough that mastery will not be prioritised over crit or haste until much higher gear levels.

Stat Priorities

It is recommended you download the Simulationcraft tool and base your decisions around your individual character. However, the below order should be correct in most situations.

Item Level 359 - 378:

[TABLE]Int |>| SP |>>| Hit (to cap) |>| Haste |>| Crit |>| Mastery[/TABLE]


Item Level 391 - 397:

[TABLE]Int |>| SP |>| Hit (to cap) |>| Haste |>| Mastery |=| Crit[/TABLE]


Item Level 403 - 416:

[TABLE]Int |=| Hit (to cap) |>| SP |>| Haste (2681 Rating) |>| Mastery |>| Crit |>| Haste[/TABLE]


2681 Haste rating (2527 rating for Goblins) with full raid buffs provides Immolate with an additional 4 ticks (9 total) while under the effect of Heroism/Bloodlust.

Reforging

Reforging allows you to exchange 40% of a combat rating already on an item and converts it into a combat rating not already on an item. Example: If an item has Crit, you cannot add more Crit. If it has no Crit then you could reforge 40% of another rating (Haste, Hit, or Mastery) into Crit. An item with 100 Hit and no Crit could be reforged to 60 Hit and 40 Crit.

Reforging is essentially following the stat priority rules above to reach certain caps and maximize the benefit we recieve from secondary stats. For example, for the stat priorities in iLvl 401 - 416 gear, we do the following (in order):

1. Reforge crit then mastery to hit until cap, getting as close to 1742 as possible.

2. Reforge crit then mastery to haste until 2681 rating, getting as close as possible.

3. Reforge left over stats to mastery, including any hit or haste over the mentioned caps.


It is important to note that optimizing your reforging may involve reforging away from haste or hit on gear to get as close as possible to the cap (without going under). It is recommended you use a tools such as WoWReforge to assist you.

Gemming


[TABLE]Meta: | |
Red: | |
Yellow: | |
Blue: | | [/TABLE]



When to ignore the socket bonus

As a general rule of thumb, if the socket bonus is less than 20 Int or 30 of any rating stat, then it would be better to ignore the bonus and gem /. However, to be more accurate you would need to find the relevant scale factors for your individual gear setup (Using Simulationcraft) and multiply those scale factors by the stats you would gain with either gem.

Set Bonuses

[TABLE="head"]Bonus | Description
2pc | The duration of your Doomguard and Infernal summons is increased by 30 sec and the cooldown of those spells is reduced by 4 min.
4pc | Soulburn grants a 10% increase to your spell power for 10 sec, and Soul Fire cast with Soulburn active now grants a Soul Shard.[/TABLE]



2pc - The 2 peice bonus is a ~2% DPS increase, dependant on fight time.
4pc - The 4 piece bonus is a ~2.5% DPS increase if used on CD.


Best in Slot


Normal BiS No Legendary

[TABLE="head"]Slot | Item | Gemming | Reforging
Head | | 1x Burning, 1x 40 Int | Crit > Hit
Neck | | 1x 40 Int | Mastery > Hit
Shoulders | | 2x 40 Int | Mastery > Hit
Back | | 1x 40 Int | N/A
Chest | | 2x 40 Int, 1x 20 Int 20 Haste | Haste > Mastery
Wrists | | 2x 40 Int | Mastery > Hit
Hands | | 2x 40 Int | Crit > Hit
Waist | | 2x 40 Int, 1x 20 Int 20 Hit | Crit > Hit
Legs | | 2x 40 Int, 1x 20 Int 20 Haste | Mastery > Hit
Feets | | 2x 40 Int | Crit > Hit
Ring 1 | | 1x 40 Int | Mastery > Hit
Ring 2 | | 1x 40 Int | N/A
Trinket 1 | | N/A | N/A
Trinket 2 | | N/A | N/A
Wand | | N/A | Mastery > Haste
Weapon | | 1x 40 Int | N/A
[/TABLE]


Normal BiS with Legendary

[TABLE="head"]Slot | Item | Gemming | Reforging
Head | | 1x Burning, 1x 40 Int | Crit > Hit
Neck | | 1x 40 Int | Mastery > Hit
Shoulders | | 2x 40 Int | Mastery > Hit
Back | | 1x 40 Int | Mastery > Haste
Chest | | 2x 40 Int, 1x 20 Int 20 Haste | Haste > Mastery
Wrists | | 2x 40 Int | Mastery > Hit
Hands | | 2x 40 Int | Crit > Hit
Waist | | 3x 40 Int | Crit > Hit
Legs | | 2x 40 Int, 1x 20 Int 20 Haste | Mastery > Hit
Feets | | 2x 40 Int | Crit > Hit
Ring 1 | | 1x 40 Int | Mastery > Hit
Ring 2 | | 1x 40 Int | N/A
Trinket 1 | | N/A | N/A
Trinket 2 | | N/A | N/A
Wand | | N/A | Mastery > Haste
Weapon | | 3x 40 Int | N/A
[/TABLE]


Heroic BiS No Legendary

[TABLE="head"]Slot | Item | Gemming | Reforging
Head | | 1x Burning, 1x 40 Int | Crit > Hit
Neck | | 1x 40 Int | Mastery > Hit
Shoulders | | 2x 40 Int | Crit > Hit
Back | | 1x 40 Int | N/A
Chest | | 2x 40 Int, 1x 20 Int 20 Haste | Haste > Mastery
Wrists | | 1x 40 Int | Mastery > Hit
Hands | | 2x 40 Int | N/A
Waist | | 3x 40 Int | Crit > Hit
Legs | | 2x 40 Int, 1x 20 Int 20 Haste | Mastery > Hit
Feets | | 2x 40 Int | Crit > Hit
Ring 1 | | 1x 40 Int | Mastery > Hit
Ring 2 | | 1x 40 Int | Crit > Haste
Trinket 1 | | N/A | N/A
Trinket 2 | | N/A | N/A
Wand | | N/A | Haste > Hit
Weapon | | 1x 40 Int | Haste > Mastery
[/TABLE]


Heroic BiS with Legendary

[TABLE="head"]Slot | Item | Gemming | Reforging
Head | | 1x Burning, 1x 40 Int | Crit > Hit
Neck | | 1x 40 Int | Mastery > Hit
Shoulders | | 2x 40 Int | Crit > Hit
Back | | 1x 40 Int | N/A
Chest | | 2x 40 Int, 1x 20 Int 20 Haste | N/A
Wrists | | 1x 40 Int | Mastery > Hit
Hands | | 2x 40 Int | Crit > Hit
Waist | | 3x 40 Int | Crit > Hit
Legs | | 2x 40 Int, 1x 20 Int 20 Haste | Mastery > Hit
Feets | | 2x 40 Int | Crit > Hit
Ring 1 | | 1x 40 Int | N/A
Ring 2 | | 1x 40 Int | Crit > Haste
Trinket 1 | | N/A | N/A
Trinket 2 | | N/A | N/A
Wand | | N/A | Haste > Hit
Weapon | | 3x 40 Int | N/A
[/TABLE]


Trinkets


Coming Soon.

Enchants


[TABLE="head"]Slot | Enchant | Comments
Head | 60 Int/35 crit | - Guardians of Hyjal revered
Shoulders | 50 Int/25 haste | - Therazane exalted
Back | 50 Int |
Chest | 20 stats |
Wrists | 50 Int |
Gloves | 50 haste/65 mastery | ** /
Legs | 95 Int/80 Stam |
Boots | Run speed/35 mastery or 50 hit or 50 haste | / /
Belt | Extra socket |
Weapon | 500 Int Proc |
Offhand | 40 Int | [/TABLE]



**Which you use will depend on how close you are to a haste threshold for an additional tick of Immolate. See Advanced: Haste for more information.


Professions


[TABLE="head"]Name | Benefit
Engineering | Since patch 4.0.1, tinkers now stack with normal enchants. Synapse Springs tinker to gloves provides 480 Int for 10 seconds with a 60 second CD. This averages to an 80 Int bonus. Engineering also provides further perks such as . and Grounded Plasma Shield have a chance to fail and cause serious adverse effects, and are not reliable in a raid situation.

Leatherworking | 130 Int to bracers in place of 50 Int, giving an 80 Int bonus.

Jewelcrafting | 3 in place of 3 or gives 81 Int (51 Int over Epic Gems).

Blacksmithing | Extra sockets into wrists and gloves provides 2 additional Brilliant Inferno Ruby's or 2 Brilliant Queen's Garnet's, providing an 80/100 Int bonus.

Alchemy | Mixology, combined with provides an 80 Int bonus.

Enchanting | 40 Int to each ring provides an 80 Int bonus.

Inscription | 130 Int/25 haste shoulder enchant is an 80 Int bonus over the regular enchant.

Tailoring | Lightweave Embroidery gives 580 Int for 15 seconds on a 64 second ICD. This averages to 135.9 Int, which replaces the normal 50 Int enchant, providing only a 85.9 Int bonus. Tailoring currently gives the greatest DPS increase of all the professions.

Herbalism | Lifeblood is now a DPS cooldown providing 480 haste for 20 seconds on a 2 minute CD. This averages to an 80 haste bonus.

Skinning | 80 crit.

Mining | Stam, useless from a DPS perspective. [/TABLE]


Consumables


[TABLE]Flask: or a
Food: /
Potion: (Pre-pot and use during bloodlust/heroism)[/TABLE]


Races


In order of DPS increase.

Alliance


[TABLE]Worgen
Viciousness - Passive 1% crit.
Darkflight - 40% speed sprint for 10 seconds. 2 minute cooldown.
Gnome
Expansive Mind - Increase mana pool by 5%.
Escape Artist - Escape the effects of any immobilization or movement speed reduction effect. 1.5 minute cooldown.
Human
Every Man for Himself - Removes all movement impairing effects and all effect which cause loss of control of your character. 2 minute cooldown.
Dwarf
Stoneform - Removes all poison, disease and bleed effects and reduces all damage taken by 10% for 8 seconds. 2 minute cooldown.[/TABLE]



Horde


[TABLE]Orc
Blood Fury - Increases spellpower by 584. Lasts 15 seconds. 2 minute cooldown.
Command - Damage done by pets increased by 5%.
Hardiness - Reduces duration of stun effects by 15%.
Goblin
Time is Money - Passive 1% spell haste.
Rocket Jump - Activates your rocket belt to jump forward. 2 minute cooldown. Shares cooldown with Rocket Barrage.
Rocket Barrage - Launches your belt rockets at an enemy. 2 minute cooldown. Shares cooldown with Rocket Jump.
Troll
Berserking - Increases your casting speed by 20% for 10 seconds. 3 minute cooldown.
Da Voodoo Shuffle - Reduces the duration of all movement impairing effects by 15%.
Blood Elf
Arcane Torrent - Silence all enemies within 8 yards for 2 seconds and restores 6% mana. 2 minute cooldown.
Forsaken
Will of the Forsaken - Removes any Charm, Fear and Sleep effect. 2 minute cooldown. [/TABLE]


=Spell Rotations=
Spell Priority

Basic


[TABLE="head"]Spell | Condition
Soul Fire | Improved Soul Fire
Soulburn | T13 4pc Set Bonus
Demon Soul | -
Immolate | -
Conflagrate | -
Bane of Doom | If target will be alive atleast 15sec
Corruption | -
Shadowburn | Target HP <20%
Shadowflame | Melee Range
Soul Fire | Empowered Imp
Chaos Bolt | Unless under haste effects
Incinerate | -[/TABLE]



Explained


Your primary concern will be to get Improved Soul Fire up. You should be keeping this buff up as much as possible, including through hardcasting. If you have the T13 set bonus Soulburn should be cast on cooldown, along with Soul Fire so the shard is replenished. Demon Soul should be used on cooldown, together with "On-Use" trinkets.

Immolate and Corruption should have as close to 100% uptime as possible. This is also true for Bane of Doom, however this should only be cast if the target is going to live for more than 15 seconds.

Conflagrate should be used on cooldown. Chaos Bolt has a DPET equal to that of Incinerate, but is still worth casting on cooldown to proc Soul Leech. It is recommended that chaos bolt is not used while under haste effects such as Heroism/Bloodlust or trinkets that will bring it below a 1 second cast time.

In practice, Empowered Imp procs should generally be used as soon as possible in order to prevent a secondary proc overwriting it, however, this situation will be rare and delaying the use of these procs to maximize Improved Soul Fire uptime would result in more DPS. Ultimately the difference will be minimal, and both cases are acceptable and will net different results on a per fight basis.

If safe, Shadowflame should be used on cooldown while in melee range. However it is not worth running a long distance into melee range to do so. When the boss reaches 20% HP, begin to use Shadowburn on cooldown.

If all of the above is done, revert to Incinerate until a higher priority option becomes available.

Cooldowns


Demon Soul


Demon Soul: Imp increases the critical strike chance of your cast time Destruction spells by 30% for 20 sec. This spell should generally be used on cooldown, and should be lined up with "On-Use" trinkets, trinket procs, bloodlust/heroism and potions as often as possible.

Demon Soul: Imp only effects Destruction spells with a cast time, therefore Conflagrate is not effected. Soul Fires cast through Empowered Imp and Soulburn still count as having a cast time and are effected.

Doomguard


Summon Doomguard summons a doomguard (guardian pet) to fight alongside you for 45 seconds on a 10 minute cooldown (75 seconds on a 6 minute cooldown with 2pc T13).

The doomguard scales with some of your stats, these being spellpower, hit and crit. Therefore timing your doomguard summon with trinket procs, enchant procs and potions is essential for maximizing its DPS. In most cases the best way to achieve this is to simply summon your doomguard ~10-12 seconds into the fight as all procs are off cooldown and available before the pull.

The doomguard does not scale with percentage based damage increases, haste or Destruction's mastery.

Improved Soul Fire


The change to Improved Soul Fire in 4.0.6 has not made a difference to it's place in the spell priority list and keeping as close to 100% uptime on this buff is still very important. However, the most notable change is the removal of its internal cooldown.

This change doesn't have a big effect on the handling of ISF compared to 4.0.3. The best way to handle this talent is still to line up your Soul Fire to land on the target just as the old ISF ends. This change just allows more room for error if it's cast early. The biggest difference however, is that Empowered Imp procs can be used immediately and will still refresh ISF.

In addition to the above, ISF should now be kept up during Bloodlust/Heroism

Dark Intent


First and foremost, you should gauge the needs of your group. When learning raid fights or playing with undergeared healers, they should always come first. When you hit enrage timers or wipe because the boss has a burn phase you didn't complete, you should consider applying it to DPS classes. I'll leave this up to you.

Healer Rankings


[TABLE="head"]Rank | Class | Condition
1 | Restoration Druid | -
2 | Holy Priest | Raid Healing
3 | Restoration Shaman | -
4 | Holy Priest | Tank Healing
5 | Discipline Priest | -
6 | Holy Paladin | Glyph of the Long Word[/TABLE]


DPS Rankings


[TABLE="head"]Rank | Class
1 | Shadow Priest
2 | Fire Mage
3 | Balance Druid
4 | Elemental Shaman
5 | Frost Mage
6 | Arcane Mage
7 | Feral Druid
8 | Feral Druid (Hit Cap)
9 | Survival Hunter
10 | Retribution Paladin
11 | Combat Rogue
12 | Unholy DK (2H)
13 | Assassination Rogue
14 | Frost DK (2H)
15 | Marksman Hunter
16 | Beast Mastery Hunter
17 | Enhancement Shaman
18 | Frost DK (1H)
19 | Unholy DK (1H)[/TABLE]


Personal Rankings


[TABLE="head"]Rank | Class | Uptime
1 | Balance Druid | 99%
2 | Shadow Priest | 98%
3 | Survival Hunter | 98%
4 | Feral Druid | 95%
5 | Feral Druid (Hit Cap) | 93%
6 | Fire Mage | 88%
7 | Frost Mage | 82%
8 | Assassination Rogue | 76%
9 | Elemental Shaman | 74%
10 | Unholy DK (1H) | 72%
11 | Beast Mastery Hunter | 69%
12 | Combat Rogue | 66%
13 | Arcane Mage | 62%
14 | Unholy DK (2H) | 60%
15 | Marksman Hunter | 57%
16 | Enhancement Shaman | 55%
17 | Retribution Paladin | 46%
18 | Frost DK (2H) | 41%
19 | Frost DK (1H) | 40%[/TABLE]


Bane of Havoc


This section of the thread will provide details on how Bane of Havoc can be used in current and past content to provide a useful (not simply padding meters) increase to personal DPS.

Tier 13


Coming Soon.

Tier 12


[TABLE]Shannox
Normal: Place BoH on a dog or Shannox, whichever you are not assigned to
Heroic: N/A

Beth'tilac
BoH can be placed on Beth'tilac on the pull and will damage the boss as you DPS the various adds while on the floor

Lord Rhyolith
BoH can be placed on 1 leg while you DPS the other leg or the various adds. It should not effect steering.

Alysrazor
BoH can be placed on the boss while you DPS the various adds on the floor.

Baleroc
N/A

Majordomo Staghelm
N/A

Ragnaros
BoH can be placed on Ragnaros or a Lava Scion, whichever you are not assigned to.[/TABLE]


Tier 11

=
Blackwing Decent
=

[TABLE]Omnotron Defense System
Place BoH on the old Tron when the new one activates. BoH will not activate the shield mechanics, however, DO NOT apply it to Magmatron when his shield goes up. This will cause it to explode and will likely wipe your raid.

Magmaw
Place BoH on the body of Magmaw right before he is chained down and his head is exposed, then place BoH on the head when he about to go back up.

Chimaeron
N/A

Maloriak
You should really be Demo for this fight, however, if you choose to go destro place BoH on Maloriak before the green phase for when you are about to AoE the abberations.

Atramedes
N/A

Nefarian
Phase 1: Place BoH on whichever dragon you are not DPSing (Nef/Ony).
Phase 2: Place BoH on either Nef or the Chromatic Prototype, whichever one you have not been assigned to DPS directly.
Phase 3: N/A[/TABLE]


=
Bastion of Twilight
=

[TABLE]Halfus Wyrmbreaker
Place BoH on Halfus while you DPS down his drakes.

Valiona and Theralion
Place BoH on whichever dragon is not currently grounded.

Ascendant Council
Place BoH on whichever Elemental Lord you have not been assigned to DPS directly.

Cho'gall
Place BoH on Cho'gall when he summons his Corrupting Adherents, provided you are assigned to switch to these.

Sinestra
Place BoH on Sinestra while you DPS the Pulsing Twilight Eggs and the Twilight Spitecallers.[/TABLE]


=
Throne of Four Winds
=

[TABLE]Concalve of Wind
Place BoH on Nezir before you are about to return to your assigned platform.

Al'Akir
Place BoH on Al'Akir if you are assigned to DPS Stormlings (to be confirmed as an actual DPS increase)[/TABLE]


Fel Flame


There seems to be a common misconception within the warlock community that Fel Flame should be used to refresh Immolate. As a basic rule of thumb there are only 2 reason to ever cast Fel Flame, these are:

  • During unavoidable movement, and only when Conflag is on CD, Corruption does not require refreshing, the boss is out of range of Shadowflame (or it's on CD), and you do not require mana from Life Tap.
  • When the T11 4pc bonus procs.

Outside of these 2 reasons, there really isn't any other situation Fel Flame should be used. Using Fel Flame to refresh the duration of Immolate will result in a DPS loss, due to the number of GCDs required to increase the DoTs duration to its original duration. If we compare this to the time required to simply re-apply the DoT over a 5 minute (300 second) fight:

Assuming a 1 second GCD, over a 300 second fight we will cast Immolate 20 times (20 GCDs). It will require 3 Fel Flames every 15 seconds to achieve the same result. This is a total of 60 GCDs used over the course of the fight, wasting 40 seconds of time during the fight to keep a 100% uptime on Immolate. This is almost 27 Incinerates worth of time spent refreshing Immolate using our lowest DPET spell.

AoE and Multiple Targets


In large AoE situations with 5 or more targets, then Shadowflame (on CD), Rain of Fire and Summon Infernal should all provide an acceptable amount of damage.

For more controlled multiple target damage generally with less than 5 targets, tab targeting non-cc'd mobs with Immolate and Corruption and then proceeding with a single target rotation on each mob until it is dead will be the most optimal way of dealing damage. It is also recommended Bane of Havoc be placed on the mob that is expected to live the longest.

For fights consisting of only 2 targets, Bane of Havoc should be placed on 1 target while you proceed with a single target rotation on the non-baned target. In addition it is recommended that Immolate and Corruption be used on both targets. It is important to note that your Imp must be placed on the non-baned target.

=Mechanics=
Haste and DoTs


With patch 4.0.1 the way DoTs work has changed. In addition to all DoTs now benefiting from haste innately, haste now reduces the time between ticks. Haste only reduces the DoTs duration until an extra tick is received.

This is important for us as it means we now start to have haste "thresholds" that we should be trying to achieve in order to gain extra ticks on our DoTs. This becomes even more important to Destruction Warlocks, due to the way Conflagrate interacts with the overall damage Immolate does.

This applies to all of our DoTs except BoD, however, the haste required to achieve this extra tick will differ between DoTs. To calculate the required haste to achieve an additional tick we would need to calculate the time between ticks, specific to 3 decimal places.

[TABLE]Tick.Speed.Required |=| (Base.Frequency * Base.Tick.Speed) / (No.of.Ticks - 0.5)[/TABLE]

Where No.Of.Ticks is the number of ticks you would like to achieve. For example, if we wanted to apply this to Immolate (5 sec Base Frequency, 3 sec Base Tick Speed), wanting to achieve 2 additional ticks (7), we would do the following:

[TABLE]Tick.Speed.Required |=| (5 * 3) / (7 - 0.5) = 2.307 seconds[/TABLE]


From here, we can calculate the percentage of haste required to achieve this tick speed, using the following formula:

[TABLE]Haste.Percent |=| (Base.Tick.Speed / (Tick.Speed.Required + 0.00049999)) - 1 [/TABLE]

Therefore:

[TABLE]Haste.Percent |=| (3 / (2.307 + 0.00049999)) - 1 = 0.30010835[/TABLE]


So what haste rating does that translate into?

Well, Immolate gains extra ticks at 9.99908%, 30.00108%, 49.9625% etc. So to determine the haste required in a raid situation, with all raid buffs including Dark Intent, we will use this formula:

[TABLE]Haste.Rating |=| ((Haste.Percent / 5%.Aura / Dark.Intent) - 1) * 12805.716[/TABLE]

For example, the haste required to gain 2 additional ticks (30% haste) is as follows:

[TABLE]Haste.Rating |=| ((1.300108 / 1.05 / 1.03) - 1) * 12805.716 = 2589[/TABLE]


Therefore, the haste thresholds for Immolate are (raid buffed):

[TABLE="head"]Extra Ticks | % | Rating | Goblin
1 | 9.9% | 218 | 90
2 | 30% | 2589 | 2437
3 | 49.9% | 4951 | 4776
4 | 70% | 7326 | 7127[/TABLE]


Our other DoTs also benefit from gaining extra ticks. The haste thresholds for our other DoTs are below:

Corruption

[TABLE="head"]Extra Ticks | % | Rating | Goblin
1 | 8.3% | 21 | 0
2 | 25% | 1993 | 1846
3 | 41.7% | 3970 | 3804
4 | 58.4% | 5945 | 5745[/TABLE]


Shadowflame

[TABLE="head"]Extra Ticks | % | Rating | Goblin
1 | 16.7% | 1007 | 870
2 | 50% | 4954 | 4778
3 | 83.4% | 8911 | 8696
4 | 116.6% | 12838 | 12584[/TABLE]


Other DoT Mechanics


DoTs, Buff and Debuffs


Since 4.0 the basic rules for DoT behavior has changed. When a DoT is applied, the following rules are applied:

  • All player stats are "snapshotted," including all bonuses received through buffs and procs, and any losses to stats from debuffs. This means that the DoT will not benefit from any procs unless it is recast.
  • The DoTs damage will update with boss debuffs on a per tick basis. For example, if a DoT was applied to a boss before the 8% Spell Damage debuff was applied, and the 8% Spell Damage debuff was applied between the 2nd and 3rd tick, the 3rd tick will begin to benefit from the debuff immediately.

The only known case where the above is not true is with the 5% Crit Debuff (Shadow and Flame/Critical Mass). This debuff follows similar rules to that of player buffs.

As a general rule of thumb it is not recommended you recast a DoT early (i.e. clipping, with the exception of the information provided in the 'DoT Refreshing' section of this thread), even when you have additional procs that weren't present on the original cast. What this will effectively do is lower that DoTs overall DPET for that encounter despite the additional damage done due to the proc.

DoT Refreshing


Another change made to DoTs in 4.0 is how DoTs behave when being reapplied or refreshed. Basically if a DoT is refreshed between the 2nd last and last tick, the DoTs duration will be extended to include the last tick. For example:

Immolate (uneffected by haste) has a 15 second duration, dealing damage every 3 seconds (5 ticks). If you refresh Immolate at 13 seconds (2 seconds till the last tick) the new Immolate applied to the target will have a duration of 20 seconds and will tick 6 times.

What this means is that you can 'clip' a DoT without losing the last tick of that DoT (and the damage that last tick provides), making it much easier to have a 100% uptime on all DoTs. One thing to note is that if a DoT is refreshed using this method then the last tick inherits the stats of the new DoT (See 'DoTs, Buffs and Debuffs').

=Other=
Macros


Suggestions Welcome.

Tools


Simulation Craft
An advanced raid simulator that can provide you with tons of valuable information, such as scale factors, damage per execution, uptime of procs, etc. You can change the spell priority system to see what works best, however by importing your character simulationcraft should have an optimized priority list ready for you (not always!).

World of Logs
World of Logs is a combat log analyzer which allows gamers to save, share and analyze their raiding experiences in World of Warcraft conveniently and thoroughly.

WoW Reforge
An easy to use reforge calculator designed to assist you in maximizing your stats through reforging. The calculator can work around hit caps, haste caps and can be editted with custom stat weights for your individual character.

DoT Haste Calculations Spreadsheet
A comprehensive spreadsheet detailing all DoT tick breakpoints. Provides numbers for every classes DoTs, includes breakpoints with Bloodlust/Heroism and as a Goblin.

DoTHaste Program by Acrimony
An easy to use program used to calculate DoT tick breakpoints. Provides numbers for every classes DoTs, includes breakpoints with Bloodlust/Heroism and as a Goblin.

Add-ons


Coming Soon.

To Be Completed


Gear: Best in Slot
Gear: Trinkets
BoH: Tier 13
Other: Add-ons
Other: Macros - Suggestions Welcome

PTR/Incoming Patch Changes


Please do not post in this thread regarding PTR/Incoming Patch changes. The purpose of this thread is to discuss live mechanics only. Be assured that no incoming changes will be missed, and they will be heavily researched before going live. Should there be any relevant changes made, this thread will be updated the night of the patch, and not before.

Below are changes relevant to Destruction for all cataclysm major patches.

Patch 4.3 Changes


General

  • Shadow Bolt has a new spell effect.
  • Soul Fire now scales with 72.6% of spell power, up from 62.5%.
  • The Voidwalker ability Suffering now works like the hunter pet talent Taunt.

Destruction

  • Fire and Brimstone now increases the damage of Incinerate and Chaos Bolt on Immolated targets by 5/10/15%, up from 2/4/6%.
  • Burning Embers now deals damage equal to 25/50% of Soul Fire and Imp’s Firebolt, up from 15/30%.
  • Burning Embers damage cap has been raised.
  • Shadowburn now deals Shadowflame damage, instead of Shadow damage.
  • Improved Soul Fire now lasts 20 sec, up from 15sec.

Patch 4.2 Changes


General

  • Soul Fire is now available at level 20, down from level 54.
  • Soul Harvest has a new spell effect.
  • It is no longer possible to leave combat while channeling Drain Soul.

Patch 4.1 Changes


General

  • Dark Intent: The friendly target of this ability now receives 1% (stacking 3 times to 3%) periodic spell damage and healing bonus instead of 3% (stacking 3 times to 9%). The casting Warlock still receives 3% (stacking 3 times to 9%).
  • Rain of Fire damage has been increased by 25%.
  • Seed of Corruption damage has been increased by 20%.
  • Soulstone can now be used in combat to resurrect a targeted dead player.

Pets

  • Doomguard's damage has been increased by 50%. The Doomguard is intended to be the best guardian for single-target damage, and the Infernal the best when there are multiple targets.

Bug Fixes

  • Imps summoned by Bane of Doom now benefit from the warlock's stats.

Credits and Special Thanks


[TABLE="head"]Name | Reason
Keldion | For his work on the DOT haste calculations spreadsheet.
The Simcraft Team | For their continuing hard work in creating such an excellent tool
Zakalwe | For his invaluable contribution to the warlock community
The EJ Warlock Community | For their contribution towards keeping the information in this thread as accurate as possible through intelligent discussion
Ushio | For being a sexy beast
Kitzie | For being awesome[/TABLE]


Change Log


- December 21, 2010:
Thread Posted

- January 03, 2011:
Revised Advanced: Haste section with newly discovered information.

- January 8, 2011:
Updated Dark Intent section.

- February 8, 2011:
Updated for 4.0.6.
Added Improved Soul Fire and Bane of Havoc sections.

- April 26, 2011:
Updated for 4.1.

- June 29, 2011:
Updated for 4.2.

- July 16, 2011:
Updated Raid Performance.
Updated Tailoring under 'Professions'.

- November 28, 2011:
Updated for Patch 4.3
Many sections updated.
Improved thread formatting.

Feedback


Feedback to this thread is appreciated. There is still much I would like to add (more than just what is in the "To be completed" section) and clarify and there might be a lot more that I have not thought of yet. Generally feedback should be posted within this thread (however please try keep posts in this thread discussion related), however if you feel that the feedback you have would be best suited for a private message, please do not hesitate to send me one.

If I have made a mistake, then a PM would be preferred over posting in this thread.


Copyright


This article is the original work of Jmickey (Caelestrasz-US) aided by contributors of the Elitist Jerks forums. Re-posting this article in full or in part is permitted under the following conditions:

* A direct link to the original article, and the name of the original author should be clearly stated.
* Content of this article should not be used for commercial purposes or profit.
* When (re-) posting this article or parts of this article, the same conditions should apply and should be noted.


For any further questions regarding displaying the contents of this article elsewhere, please send me a private message.

#2 LockApologist

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Posted 21 December 2010 - 03:24 PM

While I agree Chaotic may be the highest DPS metagem, I think the gemming requirements are very severe, and using purple gems will not solve the problem, as they add one blue and one red, keeping the ratio the same.

(Sorry. I don't recall how to get the item links to work directly).

Bracing Shadowspirit Diamond - Bracing Shadowspirit Diamond - Item - World of Warcraft - 54 int + 2% reduced threat, at least 1 Blue & 1 Yellow gem
Destructive Shadowspirit Diamond - Destructive Shadowspirit Diamond - Item - World of Warcraft - 54 Critical Strike Rating and 1% Spell Reflect
Requires at least 2 Red gems
Ember Shadowspirit Diamond - Ember Shadowspirit Diamond - Item - World of Warcraft - 54 Intellect and +2% Maximum Mana
Requires at least 2 Yellow gems

These have much easier to meet gemming requirements. It's possible that using one of these metas with more favorable gems might be better than Chaotic with less favorable gems. I'm just getting back for Cata, so I'm still getting up to speed on things. It's something I'll be looking into eventually.

#3 Jmickey

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Posted 21 December 2010 - 03:35 PM

While I agree Chaotic may be the highest DPS metagem, I think the gemming requirements are very severe, and using purple gems will not solve the problem, as they add one blue and one red, keeping the ratio the same.


The meta requirements mentioned in the OP are based around the assumption that Blizzard will be doing as they have stated and returning the meta to it's old requirements of 2 blue gems.

Until this is the case, yes, using a different meta would be more beneficial. I would recommend an . I'll update the OP with this information to prevent any further confusion, as this was also brought up in the Demonology thread to.

#4 Smithereens

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Posted 21 December 2010 - 03:44 PM

As for Dark Intent, please have a look at this: Dark Intent - The Guide
I would think that the person who wrote that guide, wouldnt have a problem with it being posted here in your excellent guide as well.

On topic, thank you for a great post and a lot of good explanations.

However, i have a single question, i can see that Fel Flame isn't mentioned anywhere, should this be kept out of the rotaion and instead of using that, use a hardcasted immolate to refresh? (Im sorry if this goes under the stupid question section, but havent been able to find this info anywhere else).

#5 Cangiz

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Posted 21 December 2010 - 04:04 PM

Lower Gear Levels (333-346 Pre-Raid):

Hit (to cap) > Int > Crit = Haste > Mastery

Higher Gear Levels (359-372 Raid Gear):

Hit (to cap) > Int > Crit > Haste > Mastery



What are you using to determine these stat priorities?

From using multiple gear sets of simcraft, I have not been able to find a situation in current gear that has hit raitng and intellect even remotely close. It should be:

Lower Gear Levels (333-346 Pre-Raid)

Int >> Hit (to cap 1742) >> Crit = Haste > Mastery

Higher Gear Levels (359-372 Raid Gear):

Int >> Hit (to cap 1742) >> Haste (to cap 2639) > Crit > Mastery > Haste


Also the Infernal seems to be the pet of choice for even single target according to simcraft. I'm going to assume that it requries you to land it on the boss so the initial falling damage hits and that the running time towards the boss is minimal.

Other than that I appreciate you making this thread!

#6 Desdemonique

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Posted 21 December 2010 - 04:23 PM

i can see that Fel Flame isn't mentioned anywhere, should this be kept out of the rotaion and instead of using that, use a hardcasted immolate to refresh?


Thanks to Jmickey, as well, for the great guide (finally!)

In answer to your question, Smithereens, it's fairly common knowledge now that Fel Flame is ONLY to be used during movement if your Immolate is about to fall off; otherwise, it's a DPS loss.

#7 Jmickey

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Posted 21 December 2010 - 05:01 PM

What are you using to determine these stat priorities?

From using multiple gear sets of simcraft, I have not been able to find a situation in current gear that has hit raitng and intellect even remotely close. It should be:

Also the Infernal seems to be the pet of choice for even single target according to simcraft. I'm going to assume that it requries you to land it on the boss so the initial falling damage hits and that the running time towards the boss is minimal


I used Simcraft to determine the stat priorities, however, I will admit that I had trouble with the idea of hit being less of a priority than int, as reaching the hit cap has always been our No.1 priority, and saying otherwise in the guide felt like a fairly bold claim to make. However, numbers don't lie, so I will update the guide to basically reflect the priorities you have mentioned.

I did mention in the text below the priorities regarding capping haste, however the cap of 2639 rating is only really obtainable in full heroic BiS items, including heroic Sinestra loot, So I left this out of the base rundown and added it in as a note.

Re: Doomgurad vs. Infernal - You are correct, I simply forgot to update it from the Demo guide, which will teach me to copy and paste.

#8 gaalcc

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Posted 21 December 2010 - 07:31 PM

Note: If no one else in your raid group is providing the 5% crit debuff, then a Shadow Bolt every 30 seconds to apply the "Shadow and Flame" debuff would be beneficial to your personal DPS.


Based on the fact we may have to cast a shadow bolt every 30 seconds, should be mentioned as a potential major? In those situations it would definitely be a dps gain.

Edit: spelling

#9 Saufsoldat

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Posted 22 December 2010 - 12:38 AM

Many thanks for making a destruction thread.

I would disagree about the 2 piece bonus of our t11 set being good. Chaos Bolt is one of our lowest priorities, has a 12 second cooldown and has a base cast time of only 2 seconds. Even if I'm optimistic, the bonus only gives me about 0.2sec every 15sec, that's 4 gcds in a 7 minutesl fight. That is still not taking into account haste rating, haste buffs or backdraft, which easily puts the bonus down to maybe 1 gcd per fight.

Since the stats on some of the t11 pieces are really nice, I'll probably get the bonus anyway, but I'd say it's pretty far from being good.

#10 Keldion

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Posted 22 December 2010 - 09:12 AM

The 7th immolate tick registers at 580581 haste, not at 579.

EDIT: Did some testing in Orgrimmar with the relevant raid buffs and found no change in tick increases at 580, but at 581.

#11 Zakalwe

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Posted 22 December 2010 - 09:17 AM

The 7th immolate tick registers at 580 haste, not at 579.

Have you verified this in-game? The way Blizzard does the rounding on this stuff is a bit unintuitive sometimes, so it's not inconceivable that the actual haste rating needed is 579. I'd like to know if someone has tested both 579 and 580 and seen a different number of ticks between the two.

#12 Keldion

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Posted 22 December 2010 - 09:57 AM

Have you verified this in-game? The way Blizzard does the rounding on this stuff is a bit unintuitive sometimes, so it's not inconceivable that the actual haste rating needed is 579. I'd like to know if someone has tested both 579 and 580 and seen a different number of ticks between the two.


I tested Immolate with 580 haste under the effects of all the haste buffs and only received 6 ticks.

#13 Jmickey

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Posted 22 December 2010 - 10:14 AM

I tested Immolate with 580 haste under the effects of all the haste buffs and only received 6 ticks.


You are correct. I just tested this myself multiple times with 579 and 580 haste and was not receiving an additional tick, however, I did at 581. This seems strange to me, but I will update the guide to reflect this.

#14 Stangg

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Posted 22 December 2010 - 03:25 PM

The imp macro



#showtooltip SPELLNAME
/cast [@pettarget, exists] Firebolt
/cast SPELLNAME


does not seem to work.
I was under the impression this could be used in order to leave your imp on passive it attack whatever you are firing spells at?

#15 Jmickey

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Posted 22 December 2010 - 03:47 PM

The imp macro does not seem to work.
I was under the impression this could be used in order to leave your imp on passive it attack whatever you are firing spells at?


No, this macro is intended to assist in accounting for latency and other delays and to keep the Imp casting 100% of the time. If you wish to use the macro to cause the Imp to begin casting you would use:

#showtooltip SPELLNAME
/petattack [target=target, exists]
/cast [@pettarget, exists] Firebolt
/cast SPELLNAME

This line:

/petattack [target=target, exists]

Is the line that will cause the imp to start attacking. The rule is to prevent the macro causing you to auto target mobs if you current target dies and have you imp begin attacking it.

#16 Scathbais

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Posted 22 December 2010 - 04:22 PM

Thanks to Jmickey, as well, for the great guide (finally!)

In answer to your question, Smithereens, it's fairly common knowledge now that Fel Flame is ONLY to be used during movement if your Immolate is about to fall off; otherwise, it's a DPS loss.


In addition to using Fel Flame on the move, there are times when it is better than recasting Immo. Simcraft cannot account for many scenarios one faces during an encounter.

For example: in the case where you have immo and ISF with close to 2 seconds left on both timers. If you hard cast either, you are likely to have the other fall off. In this situation, you instant cast fel flame using 1 gcd (extending the duration of immo) and still have time to get off a hasted SF. In addition, if you had conflag about to come off CD, you could immediately cast it after refreshing ISF and then cast Immo.

#17 nehcnhoj

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Posted 22 December 2010 - 06:25 PM

Thank you so much for the effort put into this thread =).

The int > hit stat priority might pose an interesting situation in the future. Not so much now when it is relatively easy to reforge to hit the hit cap while maintaining the 30% haste threshold.

I'm thinking there might be a situation, as we approach BiS gear, where our gem combination maximizes int (due to the stat priorites) but our reforges might turn out better to reforge to haste instead of hit to reach the 50% haste threshold. This leaves us, maxed out on int, under the hit cap, and at the 50% haste cap.

Previously if hit > int. It would be a matter of reforging to hit cap, and excess to haste. Before gemming haste to the threshold if i am not wrong. This leaves us at a lower amount of int, maxed out on hit and at the 50% haste cap.

I am working of the assumption that the last 300-400 stat points of haste to hit 2639 are a higher priority then int and hit. Am I mistaken somewhere?

Thanks again for your efforts :D

#18 angaroth

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Posted 22 December 2010 - 08:31 PM

Remember that the only point of haste in the 50% ball park that is really worth a lot is the one from 2638->2639. You are better off stacking int and possibly hit until you can reforge/regem/re-enchant to push yourself over the magical threshold. Of course once you hit 50% and your immolate jumps, hit will jump massively too, assuming you are under cap.

#19 Burberri

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Posted 22 December 2010 - 10:07 PM

mana feed is a personal dps talent in a patchwerk fight in that it buys you extra GCDs to incinerate. In an actual cata raid environment that opportunity cost drops to fel flame (assuming there is even something to hit during phase transitions or high movement)

The reason that is important is because D&G goes a long way to covering that fel flame gap, and Jinx depending on raid setup could in fact produce greater rDPS. Also every additional mob you have to put a CoE on is 1 GCD that you could have life tapped with. For example Halfus 1 CoE v. 4.

I am not saying that mana feed isn't the best fit for t11 content, but it clearly does not beat Jinx on magmaw if your raid has no other source for AoE CoE. So it shouldn't be listed as a required talent.

#20 LockApologist

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Posted 22 December 2010 - 10:21 PM

In addition to using Fel Flame on the move, there are times when it is better than recasting Immo. Simcraft cannot account for many scenarios one faces during an encounter.

For example: in the case where you have immo and ISF with close to 2 seconds left on both timers. If you hard cast either, you are likely to have the other fall off. In this situation, you instant cast fel flame using 1 gcd (extending the duration of immo) and still have time to get off a hasted SF. In addition, if you had conflag about to come off CD, you could immediately cast it after refreshing ISF and then cast Immo.


I don't understand how you justify this. Every Destro spec will have Bane, so Immolate is 1.5 sec before haste. Barring movement, casting Fel Flame or recasting immolate take the same amount of time. In your scenario above, you would be better served by casting Immo and catching the end of ISF with your hard casted Soul Fire. If your goal is to catch the end of immo with conflag, you didn't save any time w/ Fel Flame. If you caught Immo with Fel Flame, you would have caught it with Conflag.




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