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    Dreadlord FurtyIRL's Avatar
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    Apr 2013
    The Lonely Mountain

    Exclamation [6.2] Furty's Destruction Warlock Guide

    • Dark Soul should now have its cooldown reset at the end of a raid encounter for all Warlock specializations.
    • Destruction T18 2-Piece Bonus: Reduces the cast time of your Chaos Bolt by 0.5 sec and increases its damage by 2%.
    • Destruction T18 4-Piece Bonus: Your Chaos Bolt has a 12% chance not to consume an ember.
    • Fragment of the Dark Star (Archimonde Class Trinket): Incinerate increases the critical strike chance of your spells against that target by 3% for 10 sec, stacking up to 5 times.
    • Chaos Bolt, Shadowburn, Conflagrate, Immolate, and Incinerate damage increased by 5%.

    • About the Author
    • Quick and Dirty - Viability of Destruction in the Current Tier
    • Basic Overview of Abilities and Notable Passives
    • Talent Recommendations
    • Glyph Recommendations
    • Pet Choice
    • Rotational Priorities
    • Stats
    • Trinket Discussion
    • Notable Gear
    • Hellfire Citadel Bosses
    • Challenge Modes
    • AddOns

    This guide is lovingly hand-crafted by Furty, a connoisseur of coffee, relapsing academic, sagacious wordsmith, gastropornographer, lover of music, geek, gamer, Michael Fassbender doppelgänger, Lord of Purple Men, and hardcore raider in Serenity. Furty has been playing all three warlock specs at the highest level since the launch of Mists of Pandaria, though he’s been around since the inception of the game. He may be a true purple man at heart, but his love of the game extends to all classes and roles (except healers, yuck!). You’ll often find him AFK in Stormshield, pondering the recondite existence of humanity. Any questions? JUST ASK!

    Destruction is an extremely flexible, "jack-of-all-trades" specialization that does well enough in most tiers. Hellfire Citadel is tier choc full of diverse encounter design, many of which play to Destruction's strengths. Destruction currently ranks very competitively versus it's peers and you'll find this spec has incredible potential in Tier 18.

    Destruction provides a few unique advantages over the other two specializations. The main upside to Destruction is the ability to provide frequent and potent 'fingertip' burst. This spec is ideal for nuking down priority targets without sacrificing boss damage. We can easily allocate add damage without having to bank resources too heavily and we're not limited to cooldowns to excel in this role. In fact, you'll often find that you gain a lot of boss damage by properly managing your cleave. You'll find this spec extremely potent on encounters that require frequent burst, heavy AoE, and provide lots of ember return. Great examples of this in the current tier are Gorefiend, Kilrogg, Iskarr, and Archimonde.

    Destruction is currently very reliant on trinket flexibility to be competitive in all scenarios. Without the right items made available to you, you may struggle on certain fight types. Fortunately, with the correct gear and talent choice this is one of the strongest specializations currently available across all classes, and should not be underestimated. Destruction does poorly on single target and high movement fights in particular, so you might struggle on encounters such as Fel Lord Zakuun and Tyrant Velhari. However, if you have fortuitous luck with mechanics or find yourself working with a strategy that allows you to plant and turret damage, Destruction can turn right around and demolish these encounters.

    This is the ideal progression candidate for Warlocks on at least two-thirds of the encounters in Hellfire Citadel.

    If you prefer an audio guide, a podcast covering most of the Destruction fundamentals along with some advanced play can be found here.

    Burning Embers

    Burning Embers are Destruction’s primary resource. You have two main types of damaging spells; spells that generate embers, and spells that consume embers. Each ember is comprised of 10 'emberbits', and you can have a maximum of 4 Burning Embers. You will begin each encounter with 1 Burning Ember. If you no have no Burning Embers, you will regenerate 1 emberbit every 2s (out of combat only) until you are back at 1 Burning Ember.

    Ember Generators

    Immolate is a high DPET 1.5s casted DoT effect that does initial damage, then burns the target for additional fire damage over 15s. Immolate criticals generate 1 emberbit.

    • With the empowered immolate perk gained at levels 92+, Immolate only needs to tick once for it to be a DPS gain.
    • It is a single target increase to keep immolate rolling on up to 3 targets at once.
    • Immolate increases the damage of rain of fire on afflicted targets by 50%
    • Immolate is applied instantly. There is no travel time.

    Conflagrate is an instant cast spell that has 2 charges. Conflagrate has a 12s recharge and deals noticeably more damage than an Incinerate cast. Conflagrate generates 1 emberbit on hits, and 2 emberbits on criticals. Conflagrate also grants 3 charges of Backdraft on each cast. Never let Conflagrate sit on 2 charges.
    Backdraft is a buff provided via Conflagrate. It can stack up to 6 (2 casts of Conflagrate) and reduces the mana cost and cast time of Incinerate and Chaos Bolt by 30%. Incinerate only consumes 1 stack of Backdraft, whereas Chaos Bolt consumes 3. Chaos Bolt does not cost mana, and you will need the lengthy cast time in order to regenerate mana spent on generators. This means you will always want to spend your Backdraft stacks on Incinerate. This will greatly increase your ember generation along with your mana sustainability. There are some situations where you will have to 'waste' them on Chaos Bolt — more on this under Rotational Priorities.

    Incinerate is a 2s casted filler spell. This is your primary method of ember generation. Incinerate generates 1 emberbit on casts, and 2 emberbits on criticals. The spell does not need to land or deal damage to generate emberbits. Incinerate casts consume 1 stack of Backdraft each.

    Ember Consumers

    Chaos Bolt is your primary ember consumer. Chaos Bolt always deals critical strikes and costs 1 Burning Ember per cast. The damage of Chaos Bolt is increased by your critical strike chance. Chaos Bolt consumes 3 stacks of Backdraft if you have 3 or more, however, if you have less than 3 they are not consumed.

    • Always cast Chaos Bolt under the effect of a proc, such as trinkets, legendary ring, or weapon enchant. The only exception is if you are above ~3.5 embers and need to bleed an ember to avoid capping.
    • Try to cast Chaos Bolt only when you have <=2 Backdraft stacks. There are situations where you cannot avoid consuming your Backdraft stacks — more on this under Rotational Priorities.
    • Chaos Bolt has a very slow travel time. If an add is dying extremely quickly it may not be worth it — if the target dies while Chaos Bolt is in flight you lose the ember and get no damage out of it.

    Shadowburn is an instant cast, ember consuming ability only available to you when the target is lower that 20% health ('execute range'). Shadowburn applies a debuff to the target lasting 5s. If the target dies before the debuff expires, you will be refunded 2 Burning Embers (the ember spent + an additional ember). Unlike Chaos Bolt, Shadowburn is not guaranteed to critically strike the target.

    • In most cases, Shadowburn is higher DPET than Chaos Bolt below 20%, however, situations where you Chaos Bolt in place of Shadowburn are quite common this tier due to the 4-piece bonus.
    • Shadowburn functions identically to Chaos Bolt in terms of usage, without the crazy long cast time. Save it for procs! If you're pairing it with a stacking trinket, save your embers for the last few stacks to get the maximum benefit. Destruction has a 1s baseline GCD, so if you go into a 10s proc that stacks 10 times with 3 embers, you should aim to Shadowburn on stacks 8, 9, and 10.
    • Always take the opportunity to 'snipe' embers off dying adds with Shadowburn. This will give you a huge boost to single target, as almost every fight these days has some sort of add component. Even on mass AoE it is generally worth it to shadowburn spam once they get into execute range.


    Havoc is an instant cast, 0.5 GCD spell that allows you to mirror spells to two targets at once. When cast, it applies a 3 stack Havoc buff to you while applying a debuff to your current target. When you cast a spell on a target other than the one with the Havoc debuff, it will copy the spell to the target with the debuff. Casting on the debuffed target has no effect. Havoc lasts 14s, and has a 15s cooldown once you acquire the Enhanced Havoc perk at level 92+.

    • Spells affected by Havoc are: Immolate, Incinerate, Conflagrate, Chaos Bolt, Shadowburn, Mortal Coil, and Spell Lock.
    • Chaos Bolt consumes all 3 stacks of Havoc. All other spells consume a single stack.
    • Havoc is best spent on Chaos Bolt if both targets are above 20% health.
    • Shadowburn is the best use of Havoc stacks if you can cast at least one Shadowburn + at least one other spell before the target dies, with the obvious ideal situation being 3 Shadowburns cleaved via Havoc.
    • Havoc can be used for single target purposes. On fights with irrelevant adds, you can put Havoc up then copy Incinerate/Conflagrate/Immolate. This will effectively double your ember generation for 3 casts, greatly increasing the rate at which you can cast ember consumers. A good example of this was the desecrated axes on Garrosh, or the second head on Megaera.
    • If an add has a predetermined spawn time, you can 'pre-Havoc' — apply Havoc ~7-10s before the spawn of the add, spend your Havoc charges, then immediately Havoc again as it will come off cooldown almost instantly. This was a great technique to take advantage of on the Arcane Aberrations in the Imperator Mar'gok encounter.
    • Havoc is typically unaffected by range or line of sight requirements. For instance, you can apply a Havoc to an add on the Blackhand balcony, jump down and chaos bolt the boss, and it will copy to the balcony add.
    • In any situation where you can Havoc on cooldown it is usually best to do so. It's more important to copy as many spells as possible, rather than observing the normal rules with consumers and waiting for procs.
    • Sometimes you don't have the embers to sustain Havoc because you're casting consumers so frequently. In this case it's best to just spend the charges on Incinerate/Conflagrate rather than waiting to generate an ember. Brackenspore Fungal Giants were a great example of where I was using Havoc so often that I hardly had any embers to use between procs and Havoc.
    • This is very much a 'feel' ability! Play with it, get to know it, learn to use it to benefit your current situation. Havoc has many applicable uses, and often the rules change or bend depending on the situation and the fight. Practice makes perfect!

    Fire and Brimstone is a toggled spell that causes your ember generators to hit all targets within 10 yards of your current target. Fire and Brimstone is on its own GCD. While in Fire and Brimstone, all your generators cost 1 ember to cast, however, they generate embers per normal. For this reason it generally requires ~8 targets to sustain Fire and Brimstone in current crit levels. Baseline, Fire and Brimstone causes your abilities to hit for 35% of their normal damage, though this is modified substantially by mastery.

    • Fire and Brimstone DPET is identical to single target. The importance of Immolate is inflated by the 2-piece bonus on sustained AoE — ensure this is always applied. Without the 2-piece, Immolate if it will tick once, then Conflagrate, then Incinerate.
    • Since Immolate costs 1 ember to apply but doesn't refund embers immediately, it's generally prudent to generate a few extra embers via Fire and Brimstone Incinerate and Conflagrate before applying Immolate if you're starting AoE with low embers. I recommend you don't cast Immolate if you have fewer than 2.5 embers.

    Rain of Fire is a reticle targeted instant cast that bombards all targets within an 8 yard radius for periodic fire damage over 8 seconds. Rain of Fire does 50% additional damage to targets afflicted by your Immolate. Rain of Fire does not generate Burning Embers.

    • Rain of Fire is extremely weak in it's current iteration. You won't be using this for single-target or cleave; generally speaking the threshold for Rain of Fire is about the same Fire and Brimstone (roughly 8 targets plus).
    • Rain of Fire has a high mana cost, so dropping multiples simultaneously may cause you to oom.
    • Rain of Fires do not overlap with themselves. If a single target is in multiple Rain of Fires, it will only be hit by the most recently activated Rain of Fire. For this reason you should never put multiple Rain of Fires down on the same area at once.


    Dark Soul: Instability is our primary DPS cooldown, granting us 30% critical strike chance while active. This lasts 20s by default, and has a 2-minute recharge time.

    • Dark Soul is best paired with your ember consuming spells, Chaos Bolt and Shadowburn. You should try to save up ~3.5 embers leading in to your Dark Soul. Due to the increased critical strike chance you will quickly regenerate embers while under the effects of Dark Soul, so you should be able to get off around 5-6 Chaos Bolts/Shadowburns per Dark Soul.
    • Dark Soul can be augmented in a variety of ways via glyphs and talents. In almost all situations you will be using Archimonde's Darkness on the level 90-tier, granting you an additional charge of Dark Soul (2 charges total). This is extremely beneficial as you can save the second charge for an important phase of the fight. Once both charges of Dark Soul are on cooldown you can also safely sit on your Dark Soul, as you are not 'wasting the cooldown' as the second charge regenerates.
    • Shadowburn and Havoc pair very well with Dark Soul. Try and find times to use Dark Soul that give you the maximum benefit. For example on an add fight you can Chaos Bolt 3 times, shadowburn a dying add, then cast more Chaos Bolts. Most fights have caveats that allow you to take advantage for significantly more damage benefit.

    Summon Doomguard is a powerful guardian on a lengthy cooldown. Doomguard lasts 60s and will attack the target you cast it on. Doomguards are affected by your stats along with temporary haste buffs. Doomguard deals 20% additional damage to targets below 20% health.

    • Doomguard does not generate embers.
    • The best use of Doomguard is usually at the beginning of the fight, so it can benefit from Bloodlust and trinkets. If Bloodlust isn't being used on the pull, or the execute phase is extremely important (Blackhand, for example), Doomguard can and should be saved for the end of the fight. Since Doomguard does not generate embers it's not as important for Destruction that it is used on the pull, so you can pick and choose where you want this depending on where the important phases of the fight lie.
    • Doomguard AI isn't the most intelligent. If the target it's casting on dies, it will usually switch to your new target, however, sometimes it will instead choose to just stand there and do nothing until it despawns. If the target goes immune it will continue casting to no effect. It's best to use Doomguard on a target you can guarantee will be alive for the full duration, just to be safe.

    Summon Infernal is a reticle targeted guardian summon that shares a cooldown with Doomguard. Upon use, the Infernal will cast Infernal Awakening, which causes it to crash down from the heavens and deal fire damage to all targets within 8 yards, and stuns for 2 seconds. After Infernal Awakening it will attack the closest target for extremely weak melee damage that pulses a hellfire effect to nearby targets. The bulk of the Infernal's damage is via Infernal Awakening, in most cases.

    • Generally you should avoid use of the Infernal unless there are 8+ targets of equal/high priority (Tectus)

    Notable Passives

    Chaotic Energy is baseline to all Destruction Warlocks. We passively regenerate mana 625% faster, affected by haste, in place of Life Tap. Chaotic Energy also grants all your abilities a 1s GCD.

    Devastation is your attunement passive, granting you 15% extra benefit from the critical strike stat. This means that it only requires 93.5 critical strike rating to achieve 1% crit for Destruction.

    Quick Reference Talents for HFC

    Talent Overview

    Soul Leech is the strongest option for the majority of encounters. Dark Regeneration is a viable alternative on encounters where Soul Leech has little effect (the magical soaking on Ko'ragh, for example). Do not take Searing Flames under any circumstances.

    Choose your flavor. Mortal Coil doesn't provide the healing return to mobs that are immune to the horrify effect, and Howl of Terror breaks on damage limiting its usefulness on raid encounters. Most adds are stunnable making Shadowfury the go-to talent in general.

    Soul Link is the best option for most raid encounters. If you are playing with Grimoire of Sacrifice, you are instead granted 20% maximum health which results in the same effective health increase. Sacrificial Pact is a strong alternative if damage is very spaced out, or you're assigned to soak a specific mechanic. Dark Bargain should only be used in scenarios where an immunity allows you to game a specific mechanic. It's worth noting that Dark Bargain is considered an absorb, so it can be used even for mechanics that 'pierce immunities' (the orbs and magical shield on Ko'ragh, for example).

    Burning Rush should be your go-to talent in most situations, due to our lack of a baseline movement speed cooldown. Unbound Will has its uses on encounters with important mechanics that need to be dispelled immediately, though I find this talent is often overrated when you consider the merits of Burning Rush in comparison. Blood Horror doesn't really have applicable use in PvE.

    Your choice of Grimoire is tied directly to your choice of level 100 talent. I'll go over these in more detail later. Grimoire of Service and Grimoire of Supremacy are essentially identical on single target. Service results in an extra cooldown, which can be used to burst down important targets, while Supremacy results in very marginally higher sustained DPS. Grimoire of Sacrifice is best used in situations where you spend an increased amount of time casting Ember Consumers.

    You should look at this tier and see only one talent, because Archimonde's Darkness is all you're going to be using! In all seriousness, Kil'jaeden's Cunning is usable if you're really struggling to handle movement. In most situations it's best used on CD to maximize the uptime — for this reason it's best paired with Charred Remains since you're virtually always casting Chaos Bolts, and Sacrifice gets hit hardest by movement.

    Charred Remains is best paired with Grimoire of Sacrifice. This is the default talent choice for all encounters in Hellfire Citadel. This talent combination is best paired with active trinket procs such as the Intellect Proc from Desecrated Shadowmoon Insignia or the Critical Strike proc from Goren Soul Repository. Charred Remains boasts impressive instant burst, strong single target, and unbeatable sustained area-of-effect damage. It's important to note, however, the Charred Remains is noticeably punished by even light movement as the majority of your damage is shifted to Chaos Bolt.

    Cataclysm is good for sustained 3-target cleave (council style fights), and it is the strongest option for Challenge Modes. The classic "3-target" fight doesn't exist in Hellfire Citadel, so steer clear of this talent for raiding purposes.

    Demonic Servitude allows you to replace your Guardian Doomguard and Infernal with a permanent pet. Servitude is not affected by gear or movement as significantly as Charred Remains, and it's much more consistent. You'll always pair this talent with either Grimoire of Supremacy or Grimoire of Service. With the 6.1 buffs Service is generally the stronger option, providing you can use it on cooldown and pair it with your Dark Soul every time. If you're only going to get one more Service off in the fight you should save it for when the boss is under 20% hp, as Doomguards hit 20% harder in execute range. On extremely short fights this talent can be a DPS loss due to the loss of the Summon Doomguard cooldown. Theoretically this is the strongest option on pure single target for players with extremely low mastery levels (Highmaul level gear), however, you'll find on multi-target fights (practically every fight in HFC) that Charred Remains will be more forgiving and feel smoother, resulting in higher overall damage.

    Glyph of Eternal Resolve replaces Unending Resolve with passive 10% damage reduction. Weighing 8s of 40% damage reduction every 3 minutes (~4.5% uptime) against 10% damage reduction all the time it's easy to see why this glyph is well used by all warlock specializations.

    Glyph of Dark Soul halves the duration and cooldown of Dark Soul. Generally speaking this glyph is rarely used unless you're speccing Charred Remains. If you're playing Charred Remains this glyph is usable on low movement fights, as it increases the number of buffed Chaos Bolts you can get off per minute. Regardless of what spec you play this glyph gets weak the shorter the fight gets as it hurts your uptime, so you'll want to avoid it on fights like Butcher and Tectus. This glyph is a strong choice for Challenge Mode times as it allows Dark Soul to be available for every large pull alongside every Cataclysm.

    Glyph of Demonic Circle reduces the cooldown of your Demonic Circle from 30s to 26s. Just like Demonic Circle itself, this glyph is highly underrated and underutilized by the majority of warlocks. There are a lot of 30s mechanics in the game and using this glyph allows you to port every one of them without running into the cooldown (e.g. Demolition on Blackhand).

    Glyph of Conflagrate causes your Conflagrate to apply its slow as a baseline perk, without having the need to have an Immolate already rolling. This glyph is mostly useful in Challenge Modes.

    Glyph of Siphon Life causes Immolate ticks to heal you for 0.35% of your maximum health when it ticks. This glyph is highly overrated but if you need to fill a glyph slot it doesn't hurt.

    Glyph of Soulstone causes players resurrected by your Soulstone to revive at 100% of their maximum health. This glyph is very strong if you're pre-soulstoning tanks because it basically eliminates the possibility of them being immediately gibbed.

    Glyph of Strengthened Resolve increases your Unending Resolves reduction to 60% and increases the cooldown by 60s (4 minutes total). This glyph is useful for allowing you to soak large hits without having to spec Sacrificial Pact. A good example is the Explosive Siegemaker on Mythic Blackhand.

    Glyph of Unending Resolve reduces your Unending Resolve reduction to 20% and reduces the cooldown by 60s (2 minutes total). This glyph is useful on fights where you need the silence immunity provided (Thok is the only good example).

    Glyph of Healthstone increases the healing done by your healthstone by 100%, but instead of being instant, the heal is applied over 10s. This glyph is best paired with Dark Regeneration. In general I find this glyph to be somewhat of a trap since the primary benefit of a healing tonic/healthstone is to give a quick instant heal to save you from the next hit. Unless you've premeditated where you'll be using your healthstone I would avoid the use of this glyph.

    "Trap" Glyphs

    These are a few glyphs that newer players tend to be confused by. On the surface they might look strong or appealing, but in reality they're a waste of a glyph slot.

    Glyph of Demon Training does not magically make your Imp do more DPS. The Imp's casts cost energy, so essentially he has a finite number of casts per fight. Increasing the rate at which he casts only results in increasing the rate at which he runs out of energy, so ultimately its DPS output is identical. This glyph is only useful for Demonology.

    Glyph of Ember Tap isn't really a bad glyph in concept. The problem is that Ember Tap sucks and you should never be casting it ever, period.

    Glyph of Havoc is essentially useless in Patch 6.2. Use pre-havoc technique to achieve better result. You may find this glyph helpful on fights such as Archimonde if you are a new or less experienced player, though seasoned warlocks will find little use for it.

    Currently we play Grimoire of Sacrifice on all encounters. For information's sake; pet damage is now normalized and the difference between pet damage is statistically insignificant. Fel Imp is generally the best choice for PvE while Voidlord is a good option for dailies, rare hunting, and leveling.

    Try and keep a 95%+ uptime on Immolate. There are situations where Immolate will fall near the end of a Chaos Bolt dump; in that scenario you should finish your ember dump to take maximum advantage of your procs before re-applying. If movement is predictable you can and should save a charge of Conflagrate to use while running. You can also drop Rain of Fire while moving though this is a minor optimization.

    You won't be able to avoid consuming Backdraft stacks with Chaos Bolt in some situations. This will happen on the opener and times where you are close to ember capping and a short duration trinket procs, forcing you to dump immediately to ensure you get 3 chaos bolts off within its duration. With foresight and proper planning you can minimize this effect greatly but it requires you to think carefully about when you use each charge of Conflagrate and the immediate implications if you were forced to dump on the next global. Consuming stacks with Chaos Bolt is a far less egregious error for Charred Remains.

    Do not ever cast Ember Tap. This ability is worthless in it's current state and you're not doing anyone a favor by martyring your DPS.

    Opener Priorities

    This is your basic opener. One thing to note is that the opener is dynamic and depending on your 4-piece procs and crit rng you can have significantly more embers to play with. If this happens you should prioritize dumping them inside of your procs over anything. If you understand the priorities of the spec you should be able to adapt your opener for any situation without problem. If an add spawns within the first 10s of the fight you should apply Havoc immediately following your 2x conflagrate.

    • Pre-pot
    • Pre-cast Incinerate at 5s on the countdown (from max range)
    • Pre-cast Incinerate
    • Pre-cast Immolate
    • Doomguard (if Bloodlust/Heroism is used on the pull)
    • Dark Soul + Racial CDs
    • Conflagrate x2
    • Incinerate x number of times (stack as high as possible without ember capping if using Fragment of the Dark Star)
    • Chaos Bolt (as many as you can fit inside trinkets)
    • Re-apply Immolate
    • Incinerate spam, use Conflagrate charge
    • Finish ember dump with Chaos Bolt before Dark Soul ends

    One thing that is extremely important to understand, no matter what class you play, is the relative values of stats to your character. In most cases, stats you have very little of will inflate in value, while stats you have a surplus of will diminish in value. What this means for you is that the stat priority isn’t ironclad; if you have very little haste and you receive a Mastery/Haste piece, the haste component might have been more valuable in that situation than, say, Multistrike for example.

    Intellect is our primary and most important stat. All our damage scales with intellect.


    Emberstorm is Destruction’s mastery. Emberstorm increases the damage done by all of our damaging spells, albeit at varying degrees of effectiveness. The damage of ember consuming spells is affected most, making the impact of this stat highest on fights with high ember saturation, or when you are playing Charred Remains.

    1% Immolate/Incinerate/Conflagrate damage = 110 Mastery Rating
    1% Chaos Bolt/Shadowburn damage = ~36.7 Mastery Rating


    Increases your chance to critically hit with your spells, and by extension, your ability to generate embers and sustain AoE on a fewer amount of targets. Chaos Bolt always critically strikes, and to compensate for this, its damage scales linearly with critical strike chance. 1% crit is exactly 1% bonus damage on your Chaos Bolt.

    1% = 110 Critical Strike Rating
    1% = 93.5 Critical Strike when accounting for Devastation


    Increases your chance to strike at the target multiple times in the same spell. Each spell has a chance to multistrike twice. Multistrikes cannot multistrike. The damage of a multistrike is always 30% the value of the initial hit. This means the maximum potential bonus damage of a single attack is 160%. To compensate for this being inherently less than a critical strike, multistrike is a ‘cheaper’ stat. Multistrikes cannot generate embers, however, making this stat inferior to critical strike in all situations.

    1% = 66 Multistrike Rating


    Increases cast speed and the rate at which immolate ticks. Does not affect your GCD since Chaotic Energies grants a baseline 1s GCD. While haste does affect the speed at which you regenerate mana, you also cast faster at an equal and linearly scaling rate, effectively making a haste a mana neutral stat. While haste is not a very effective stat on single target, it does gain value on sustained AoE. It also scales well with our 2-piece set bonus.

    1% = 90 Haste Rating


    Increases your damage, healing, absords, along with reducing the damage you take. Versatility is intentionally tuned to be an expensive stat since it does so many things. While it is not the strongest DPS stat, it is very important you do not underate the defensive benefits of this stat. Ever been overkilled by ~1% (roughly 4k at 690+ ilvl)? Versatility could have saved you …

    All jokes aside, on bosses that take hundreds of pulls versatility can and will save your live at the expense of a bit of damage. I’m not advocating that you gear and enchant for this stat, but you shouldn’t spit on it either.

    1% Damage/Healing/Absorbs = 130 Versatility Rating
    1% Damage Reduction = 260 Versatility Rating

    The stat priority is roughly the same across all talents and grimoires, though the significance of each stat varies depending on your choices. Combinations that spend a high amount of time casting ember consuming spells, or place a high focus on consumer damage (Charred Remains, Grimoire of Sacrifice) value mastery very highly.

    For people that have difficulty surmising the stats at a moment’s glance, crit increases the damage by 1% per 110 rating, whereas mastery increases the damage of Chaos Bolt by 3% per 110 rating, making mastery a significantly more effective stat when you are casting a high number of Chaos Bolts. However, mastery has no effect on your pet or your ember generation, so crit gains a lot of strength when you are playing Demonic Servitude and the pet grimoires.

    Stat Priority (Pets): Mastery = Crit > Multistrike > Versatility >= Haste

    Stat Priority (Pets — Pure Single Target, 6 mins+): Crit > Mastery > Multistrike > Versatility >= Haste

    Stat Priority (Sacrifice): Mastery >> Crit > Multistrike > Versatility >= Haste

    There are a variety of unique trinkets available this tier. Each of them provide different strengths and weaknesses and being able to appraise your trinket setup properly is key to your success as a Warlock. There are five trinkets commonly used by Destruction this tier:

    Goren Soul Repository
    Fragment of the Dark Star
    Desecrated Shadowmoon Insignia
    Unblinking Gaze of Sethe
    Prophecy of Fear

    Fragment of the Dark Star is primarily used on encounters where you can easily maintain the stacking debuff it provides on your primary target. This trinket is also extremely strong on encounters with phases where the target takes increased damage for a sustained periods. Example fights where this trinket is strongest are Fel Lord Zakuun, Gorefiend, Tyrant Velhari, and Kilrogg Deadeye. Your Fire and Brimstone Chaos Bolts do benefit from the critical strike stacks, so this trinket has serious potential on fights like Shadow Lord Iskarr if the adds survive for longer than ~15s.

    Desecrated Shadowmoon Insignia is a mandatory trinket. It has perfect synergy with Dark Soul and has extremely high uptime. This trinket should be used on every encounter.

    Goren Soul Repository is a trinket found in Blackrock Foundry. It provides a critical strike buff lasting 10s that can be procced prior to entering boss combat, forcing it to proc a second time and sync fully with your opener Dark Soul. This is a good trinket to use on encounters where Fragment is hard to maintain; for example, Mannoroth and Archimonde. This trinket gives you the most control over your damage of the Fragment alternatives and the most damage on priority targets. If you plan on using this trinket it is recommended you obtain a Mythic version, minimum.

    Unblinking Gaze of Sethe is another alternative to Fragment. The Mythic version is roughly equal to Mythic GSR, while the normal and heroic versions are inferior. This trinket performs well on all encounters. The Darklight Ray provides roughly 5% damage on single target and the passive intellect is a nice boost. This trinket does all the work for you so there isn't any need to play around it. This is a positive for players who find themselves a little overwhelmed by procs/ember banking but overall gives you less control over your damage and less potential burst, particularly in multi-target scenarios.

    Prophecy of Fear is a weak alternative to Unblinking Gaze. The Doom Nova proc is essentially worthless, providing roughly 1% of overall damage even with AoE in the mix. This trinket provides the most passive intellect out of any trinket in the game currently, so the Mythic version is acceptable for sustained damage. However, even the Mythic version of this trinket is inferior to GSR and UGoS on all encounters.

    Single Trinket Single-Target in BiS gear (including Ring):

    Single-Target in BiS gear (with Fragment equipped):

    Sim Credit to Gahddo

    I included these as a visual reference and to placate anyone asking for Sim data. It should be noted, however, that this list does not reflect the practical ranking of trinkets in Hellfire Citadel. See the Trinket Choice section for more details.

    Best in Slot List

    Helm | Demon Prince's Ascendant Crown | Archimonde
    Neck | Vial of Immiscible Liquid | Xhul'horac
    Shoulders | Deathrattle Shoulderpads | Xhul'horac
    Cloak | Shawl of Sanguinary Ritual | Kilrogg Deadeye
    Chest | Deathrattle Robe | Mannoroth
    Wrists | Contemptuous Wristguards | Tyrant Velhari
    Gloves | Deathrattle Gloves | Socrethar the Eternal
    Belt | Demonbuckle Sash of Argus | Archimonde
    Legs | Deathrattle Leggings | Gorefiend
    Boots | Bloody Dagger-Heeled Pumps | Fel Lord Zakuun
    Ring | Nithramus, the All-Seer | Legendary Questline
    Ring | Loathful Encrusted Band | Tyrant Velhari
    Weapon | Edict of Argus | Archimonde
    Trinket 1 | Desecrated Shadowmoon Insignia | Hellfire High Council
    Trinket 2 | See Trinket Discussion


    Stat Priority

    Mastery > Crit > Multistrike > Versatility > Haste

    Focus on finding pieces with Mastery and Crit. You will never get enough of the other 3 stats for them to matter, so consider them equally 'bad'. Generally speaking, a Mastery/Crit piece is better than a double Mastery piece. These stats scale synergetically so it's important you have an appreciable amount of both.


    With the amount of readily accessible randomly rolled gear there isn't a true BiS list for all slots. While a few double Mastery baleful pieces are excellent, you do still want to retain at least a measurable amount of crit for ember generation. Trinkets are the most important pieces by far:

    Trinket 1: Copeland's Clarity
    Trinket 2: Stone of Fire
    Alternative Trinket 2: Desecrated Shadowmoon Insignia
    Alternative Trinket 2 (Alchemist's Only): Draenic Philosopher's Stone

    Stone of Fire has 77 more int on proc inside of Challenge Modes versus the Philosopher's Stone, however, the Philosopher's Stone is basically free to craft and has a Mastery Passive instead of Versatility. Ultimately the Stone of Fire is slightly better though the difference between them is small. Both trinkets have a 55s ICD and will proc on basically anything you do (buffing, mounting up, etc.).

    Other decent/usable trinkets are:

    Goren Soul Repository
    Munificent Orb of Ice
    Quiescent Runestone
    Primal Gladiator's Insignia of Dominance

    Here are a few pieces to keep an eye out for:

    Helm | Hood of Arcane Mystery | Various Heroic Dungeon Bosses
    Neck | Magister's Chain | Various Heroic Dungeon Bosses
    Shoulders | Felflame Spaulders | Various Heroic Dungeon Bosses
    Cloak | Drape of Frozen Dreams | Various Heroic Dungeon Bosses
    Chest | Shadow Council's Robes | Flamebender Kagraz
    Wrists | Frost-Touched Wristwraps | Various Heroic Dungeon Bosses
    Gloves | Primal Gladiator's Gloves of Prowess | Conquest Vendor
    Belt | Frost-Touched Cord | Various Heroic Dungeon Bosses
    Legs | Solarflame Legwraps | Rukhmar
    Boots | Sandals of Arcane Mystery | Various Heroic Dungeon Bosses
    Ring | Kargath's Last Link | Kargath Bladefist
    Ring | Seal of Arcane Wrath | Imperator Mar'gok (LFR)
    Weapon | Spire of the Furious Construct | Araknath (Skyreach)

    These pieces are just guidelines. There are other Mastery/Crit pieces available with inferior weightings, and you can and should replace some of these pieces with better weighted crafted pieces (Hexweave, of the Peerless).


    Soul Leech//Shadowfury//Sacrificial Pact//Burning Rush//Grimoire of Sacrifice//Archimonde's Darkness//Cataclysm

    This is just a general cookie cutter. I'll go over instance specifics at a later date (such as where to use Unbound Will, etc.). Defensively you can choose whatever you like, though I tend to prefer Sacrificial Pact since almost all damage is avoidable in CMs, making Soul Link less useful than it is in raids. You can use Sac Pact to absorb damage that might be otherwise avoidable to save time (like not hiding behind the shield on the first boss in Auchindoun).

    Make sure you are sacrificing the felhunter for an interrupt. A little known fact is that you can Havoc the Spell Lock gained and kick two targets simultaneously.

    Weak Auras is, simply put, the best AddOn ever made. At worst, you can use this AddOn to create simple visual cues to track your procs, buffs, and debuffs. At it's best this AddOn can do anything — replace your Boss Mods with custom timers, create cues that trigger other raid members Weak Auras when they need to do something important, and oh so much more. If you only ever get one AddOn, make it Weak Auras! We already have a fantastic thread going that you can scoop some awesome Weak Auras from, or share a bunch that you've created. You can find said thread here.

    ElvUI is an AddOn that replaces the default UI with a simple, clean, and customizable alternative. While it's a little limited compared to some of it's more specialized brethren, it does the job well enough if you don't want to set up/maintain multiple AddOns.
    Last edited by FurtyIRL; 2016-05-24 at 09:36 PM.

  2. #2
    Thank you for maintaining a destruction guide.

  3. #3
    Bloodsail Admiral
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Adelaide, Australia
    Nice to see this spec's thread brought up to date, good work.

  4. #4
    Mind if I roll need? xskarma's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Netherlands, EU
    Excellent work, as expected. Now this thread just needs to get some discussion going and some questions pouring in about the guide.

  5. #5
    Pandaren Monk Liquidsteel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Manchester, UK
    Fantastic guide. Concise and well written; covers all the bases.

    I've had some success this week with Destruction after having all but written it off. Movement still sucks, though!
    Quote Originally Posted by Baconeggcheese View Post
    Was that really a signature worthy quote?

  6. #6
    Dope, thanks for the update.

  7. #7
    Good work sir, excellent format and all information is clear and concise.

  8. #8
    Much needed update! I'm sure there will be tweaks as there always are! May there be not many struggles!

    But OMG FURTY! What about RAIN OF FIRE!???!?!!!

    Kidding, you covered it. As an aside you might want to slip in a FAQ section in the quick-and-dirty area since people often won't go through an entire guide.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Liquidsteel View Post
    Fantastic guide. Concise and well written; covers all the bases.

    I've had some success this week with Destruction after having all but written it off. Movement still sucks, though!
    I topped our Hanz and Franz kill this week as CR-Destro w/ KjC. Don't completely write off the 35s CD on KjC and it's utility for fights such as H&F.

    - - - Updated - - -

    With respect to me stepping down: I'm currently trying to finish up my schooling, and to do so I've had to take more than a full-time load which . On top of this I've been progression raiding with my current guild, which has eaten up all of my free time. As a result I haven't had time to keep the guide's first post as up to date as I and many others would have liked.

    My passion for Destruction hasn't waned at all since the re-design in MoP and when I first took over the guide, and I'll still remain active here on the forums answering questions or participating in discussions.

    Major thanks and props to Furty for taking over this guide for me. The guide looks great!

  10. #10
    Great work Furty. Looking forward to the Challenge Mode section.

  11. #11
    Nice, your work is greatly appreciated. I hope someone updates the Affliction guide as well for 6.1 as in depth and as comprehensive as this guide.

  12. #12
    I switched to Destro for kromog mythic, the other warlock was Demo-cata, i was only barely behind on hand dmg but had 50% more pillar dmg on every try. so I do think it's better spec for this fight.

    + shadowburning the ends at the end is a real godsend if your guild is struggling with getting those few out at the edge, I mean, it hits like a truck and is instant, perfect hand spell if you ask me.
    made by Shyama

  13. #13
    Pandaren Monk Liquidsteel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Manchester, UK
    Quote Originally Posted by Brusalk View Post
    I topped our Hanz and Franz kill this week as CR-Destro w/ KjC. Don't completely write off the 35s CD on KjC and it's utility for fights such as H&F.
    Indeed, I played Destro for Gruul and Oregorger and was pleasantly surprised. A few small movements here and there aren't as punishing if you plan them well or get lucky with RNG.

    Regarding KJC, I used it for Imperator Mythic so the buff just makes it better. Did you play with GoSac or with a pet on H&F? I tried a few pulls on Operator as Destro but it wasn't really working out, however perhaps using a pet might have been more sensible? I really haven't experimented much with Destro this tier.
    Quote Originally Posted by Baconeggcheese View Post
    Was that really a signature worthy quote?

  14. #14
    Nice to see destro getting some more love, I hope we see some more activity and logs turning up as a result - it's a bit demoralising trying to pick a spec other than demo for progression when logs are so heavily tilted - hard to justify dropping demo and affliction (which doubles as a pvp spec) when destro seems like such an unknown.

  15. #15
    While I am new around here for posting in lock thread, been reading for many weeks after getting to finally switch to my lock. Thank you for taking the time to update this thread and now I definitely feel better about possibly switching to destro if/when we get to mythic for the few fights it can shine on.

  16. #16
    I've been playing destruction on some of the easier fights on when I'm just messing around outside of raids, and it's already really fun. The 4pc proc is incredible. I feel like if the spec were given just a little extra love regarding movement it would really start to shine.

    Anyway, Furty, can you give some insight into how you played vs. Blackhand? I'm definitely intrigued. My guild is working on H Blackhand for reference. I'm 680 with the 4pc like I already mentioned.

    How did you deal with the movement in phase 1 outside of when Fox was used? I also noticed you stayed almost completely still in the middle of the room for phase 2. How did you deal with p3? Intelligent teleport use?

  17. #17
    Dreadlord FurtyIRL's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    The Lonely Mountain
    Quote Originally Posted by Koragon View Post
    I've been playing destruction on some of the easier fights on when I'm just messing around outside of raids, and it's already really fun. The 4pc proc is incredible. I feel like if the spec were given just a little extra love regarding movement it would really start to shine.

    Anyway, Furty, can you give some insight into how you played vs. Blackhand? I'm definitely intrigued. My guild is working on H Blackhand for reference. I'm 680 with the 4pc like I already mentioned.

    How did you deal with the movement in phase 1 outside of when Fox was used? I also noticed you stayed almost completely still in the middle of the room for phase 2. How did you deal with p3? Intelligent teleport use?
    A lot of guilds deal with P1 differently, but however you do it be sure to take advantage of your circle whenever possible. If you use circle glyph you can portal every demolition after the 4th demolition spawns. I generally left my circle by the area where we baited the first and second demolitions, so if I got Marked for Death at the same time I could use those piles without having to move.

    Our strategy for P3 on Mythic has only the minimum number of people soaking the shattering smash (4) so that the ranged/healers can essentially stay localized in the center of the room. On Heroic you can use your circle to portal either the MFD or the smash, depending on where you use Fox. Try and save a conflag charge for any time you have to move or you're flying through the air from smash.

    In general Demonic Circle really shines in all phases. If you want to see my full PoV for reference it's in my signature

  18. #18
    I made a list of uses for Demonic circle based on my personal experience in Mythic BRF, only 5/10 so it's a bit limited:
    Placed in the back near the wall for shatter.
    or placed off to the side to avoid overhead smash
    In a row different from the row the raid starts in, my guild assigns groups to clear ore crates so for transition I will teleport to avoid first roll and be able to instantly clear crates
    Hans'gar and Franzok:
    Placed between two belts. Usually where my group (ranged) is assigned to be for the 'dumb' stampers phase.
    Beastlord Darmac:
    Anywhere in the room is fine. Generally try to get it in the middle for Elephant. Also useful for avoiding pins.
    As far away from the boss while being in teleport range as possible, usually where I'm standing for pull. Will teleport back after being targeted by Torrent or after being fixated and running dogs into melee.
    I put it on the Grasping Earth rune I am assigned to.

    Anyone have any better uses for TP?
    If you want to see my full PoV for reference it's in my signature
    Grats on your elemental rune bro

  19. #19
    Thanks for the guide! I've been working on picking up destro as a secondary spec (mostly for CM's) since Aff seems to be lacking a niche atm. I know you are working on the individual boss guides, but are there any in particular where Destro really shines over demo?

  20. #20
    Great job on the guide! I actually really enjoy playing the spec even though so many people say it's easy or mindless. I actually find it to require quite a bit of min/max whenever there are multiple targets.

    Anyway, I had a few things to talk about. First, is there some macro that allows you to cancel FnB after only one cast? Meta had the same problem. If possible I'd rather not use a cancel aura macro just to save a key bind. Right now I just cast twice them cancel but there are definitely situations where you only want one cast.

    Does anyone know how the 4pc works exactly? Can it proc while you have the buff? I've never noticed the buff refreshing. Is there an icd? Can't decide if I should hold for procs or use quickly. Same question for 2pc.

    Personally, I find it unnecessary to use both conflag charges on pull. I generally just use one to avoid wasting backdraft charges. Especially if you are using ds glyph and charred remains. It would also depend on if you are troll and/or have lust on pull.

    Why do you think bmc is valued so low on the trinket chart? It seems like having the over budgeted int along with a stacking buff where you could time cbs/sbs with really high multistrike, it would be great for destro. Or is it that darmac's haste buff just allows you to gen enders that much quicker giving you more spenders overall?

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