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    [Legion] Brusalk's Destro Guide

    WoW Patch 7.1.5
    Guide Version 1.1.0

    Hello All! I'm back with the Destro guide for Legion. Furty is no longer able to maintain this guide on MMO-Champ, so I offered to take back over.

    For those who aren't familiar with me, I am a previous Destro theorycrafter/guide maintainer here, and I maintained this guide from the Mists of Pandaria rework through to 6.0. I've been playing Destro full-time through the good times and the bad since MoP release, and consistently performed at about the 97th percentile averaged across all bosses/raids since MoP.

    Mastery: Chaotic Energies

    Chaotic Energies increases the damage of our spells by a random amount, up to a maximum. This does not affect pet damage! This maximum is what is listed on the tooltip. However, you can expect your spells to deal increased damage by an average of this maximum/2. With 0 mastery you will have 24% randomly increased damage.

    For example, if you cast a spell while you have 100% Mastery, you can expect that spell to deal, on average, 50% increased damage. You have a non-zero chance to have it deal 0% additional damage, and an equally non-zero chance for it to deal 100% increased damage. (This is otherwise known as a Binomial Distribution)


    Immolate is your primary way to generate Soul Shards. Immolate is also your highest damage per cast time by far.

    Every time Immolate ticks it has a 15% chance to generate a Soul Shard. If Immolate crits, this is increased to a 30% chance to generate a Soul Shard. The initial up-front damage of Immolate can not generate a Soul Shard. A partial-tick can generate a Soul Shard.

    Immolate will tick every 3 seconds with 0 haste. With X Haste, Immolate will tick every (3/(1+X)) seconds. IE, with 50% Haste, X=0.5. You can expect Immolate to tick every (3/1.5) secs, or in other words every 2 seconds.

    Regardless of Haste, Immolate will always last exactly 18 seconds. Very rarely will Immolate's tick period line up such that the last tick lands at exactly 18 seconds. In such a situation Immolate will deal a "partial-tick". This partial tick does damage proportional to the time since the last tick. For example, say you have enough haste that you'll have a normal tick at t=17 and at t=20. Your partial tick at t=18 will deal 33% normal damage.

    Knowing all of the above, we can work out how many Soul Shards you can expect to get per Immolate cast with X Haste, and Y Crit:
    # Of Immolate Ticks per Cast
    = Next Whole Number(Base Duration / Tick Time)
    = Ceil(18/(3/(1+x)))
    = Ceil(6(1+X))
    Average Shard Generation Chance per Tick
    = Chance per Tick*Tick Chance + Chance per Crit*Crit Chance
    = 0.15*(1-Y) + 0.3*Y
    = 0.15*(1+Y)
    Average # of Soul Shards per Immolate
    = # of Immolate Ticks per Cast * Average Shard Generation Chance per Tick
    = Ceil(6(1+X)) * 0.15*(1+Y)
    As an example, with 30% Haste and 20% Crit: X=0.3, Y=0.2
    Average # of Soul Shards per Immolate
    = Ceil(6(1+0.3)) * (0.15*(1+0.2))
    = Ceil(6(1.3)) * (0.15*1.02))
    = Ceil(7.8) * (0.18)
    = 8 * 0.18
    = 1.44 Soul Shards per Cast


    Conflagrate is your other way to generate Soul Shards. Conflag will always generate 1 Soul Shard. It has 2 charges, and its' recharge time is 12 seconds with 0 Haste. Its' recharge time is reduced by haste. It does a modest amount of damage, as it's primary purpose is Shard generation on-demand.

    Conflag's recharge rate is reduced in the same way as Immolate. With X Haste, you can expect Conflag to have a recharge time of (12/(1+X)) Seconds. IE, with 50% Haste, X=0.5, and you can expect Conflag to have a recharge time of 8 seconds.

    Chaos Bolt

    Chaos Bolt is your single-target/cleave Soul Shard spender. Chaos Bolt costs 2 Soul Shards to cast, and will always critically strike. You should cast this in order to avoid capping on Soul Shards, when you have trinket procs, or when a fight's mechanics require a mob to die very quickly. (In such a situation you should save Chaos Bolts ahead of time, so you can cast as many as possible into the high-priority add so it dies in time)

    Since Chaos Bolt always critically strikes (crits), it has the special property that your crit chance will increase the damage that it deals. 1% crit will increase the damage of your Chaos Bolt by 1%. This in effect compensates for the reduction in value Crit would have as a stat due to auto-crit. Your Chaos Bolt will deal an additional Y% damage, where Y is your crit %.

    Rain of Fire

    Rain of Fire is your AoE Soul Shard spender. It is also your only base-line way to deal AoE damage. It costs 3 Soul Shards, but deals significant damage to each target in the affected area over 8 seconds. It "ticks" 8 times per target affected.

    Multiple Rain of Fires in the same location stack. Each RoF will deal damage to the affected targets separately. They do not share the same tick-time when they overlap. Essentially, each RoF is a separate DoT on each individual target within the affected area. (Note however, that they do not benefit from Pandemic like they used to.)

    Rain of Fire is a better use of your Soul Shards than an un-Havoc'd Chaos Bolt when you'll get 16.6 ticks out of it, or 2.075 targets hit for the full duration. If the Chaos Bolt is Havoc'd, then you'll need twice the previous numbers.

    Warning, theorycrafting below:

    For the purposes of this theorycrafting, we can ignore all stats because they have a symmetrical affect on the damage of both spells. Mastery increases both, Haste has no impact on Damage done for both, Crit increases the damage of both by the same amount (due to CB's crit scaling). Versatility is also symmetrical. Thus, we can drop them from our calculations, and all we need to care about is % Spellpower:

    Rain of Fire deals 577.2% Spellpower over 8 ticks. Therefore, each tick does 72.15% Spellpower as damage.
    Chaos Bolt deals 399.237% Spellpower. Due to auto-crit it will always deal 798.534% Spellpower.

    However, we have one more complication, in that RoF consumes 3 Soul Shards to Chaos Bolt's 2. Therefore, for the cost of 1 Rain of Fire we could cast 1.5 Chaos Bolts. Thus, we need to apply this modifier to Chaos Bolt so we're on even-terms per Soul Shard consumed. Now:

    RoF deals 72.15% SP per Tick for 3 Soul Shards
    CB "deals" 1197.801% SP for 3 Soul Shards

    Thus, 1197.801/72.15 is the number of ticks required for RoF to come out ahead. This comes out to be 16.6 ticks. Since we know RoF ticks 8 times, and we need 16.6 ticks, we need 16.6/8 targets for all 7 ticks for RoF to come out ahead.

    Thus, we need 2.075 targets present for all 8 ticks of a Rain of Fire for RoF to be better than an un-Havoc'd Chaos Bolt. This in effect means that RoF is better if you have 2 targets present for the entire RoF, and a third target for one or two ticks.


    Incinerate is only a filler spell for when you have nothing better to do. It does not generate Soul Shards. It has no impact on the rest of the rotation. Do not collect $200 and go directly to Jail.

    Summon Imp

    The Imp is your favorite demon friend in all circumstances, provided you don't need the utility provided by other pets. Each Firebolt deals 100% of Player Spellpower per cast. It deals 50% additional damage if the target is Immolated. It is this increased damage that makes him the preferred pet for Destro.

    Our Imp-friend will never drop under 100 Fel Energy while auto-casting, so that you can use his utility on-demand without worry for energy cost.


    Havoc is the spell that makes Destro. Havoc will duplicate every single target spell cast on one target to the target afflicted with Havoc. This includes Immolate, Incinerate, Chaos Bolt, Conflag, Channel Demonfire, Mortal Coil, and Shadowburn. This does not include Drain Life, Rain of Fire, or Dimensional Rift.

    The optimal way to use Havoc is to cast the best possible spells during those 8 seconds. Typically this is all the Chaos Bolts you can fit in, as it in-effect doubles the damage that those two Soul Shards dealt, since you basically cast two Chaos Bolts for the price of one. This is what makes Havoc incredibly potent, as it allows you to get additional benefit out of your limited resources.

    Havoc is essentially the primary way for you to optimize your damage. Playing Destro to its' best potential relies heavily on optimizing your usage of Havoc.

    Summon Doomguard

    Summon Doomguard is your single-target 3-minute cooldown. It lasts for 25 seconds, and for those 25 seconds it casts Doom Bolt. It shares a CD with Summon Infernal.

    Doom Bolt costs the pet 35 energy, and does 275% Player Spellpower per cast, and benefits from all Player stats. Doombolt has the special property that it deals 20% increased damage to targets under 20% health. Doom Bolt is slightly net-energy negative, however it is highly unlikely that Fel Energy is ever the limiting factor on the number of Doom bolts cast per summon.

    Since Haste affects the cast time of Doom Bolt like it does other spells, there are special Haste breakpoints where Doomguard will get in an extra cast within the 25 seconds. Doomguard gets an additional Doom Bolt cast every 12% haste, starting after 9 casts at 8%.

    The cast time of Doom bolt is 3 seconds. Thus with 0 haste we expect 25/3 casts, or 8 casts. We can get 9 casts when Floor(25/X)=9, where X is the cast time of Doom Bolt. We know that the formula for the cast time of Doom Bolt (X) is 3/(1+Haste%). Therefore, we want to know Haste%:
    25/(3/(1+H)) = 9
    H for 9 ticks = 8%
    H for 10 ticks = 20%

    Summon Infernal

    Summon Infernal is your AoE 3-minute cooldown, sharing CD with Summon Doomguard. It lasts for 25 seconds, and for those 25 seconds it melees one target, and pulses Immolation, dealing 65% Player Spellpower per unit hit to all enemies within range every 2 seconds. Time between pulses is affected by Haste. It also deals 50% damage when the Infernal initially lands. It also melees _one_ target for 38.88% Player Spellpower on the same interval as Immolation.

    An incredibly important portion of Summon Infernal comes in the form of the artifact talent Lord of Flames. Once every 10 minutes, when you cast Summon Infernal Lord in Flames will activate, summoning 3 extra smaller infernals. With Lord of Flames available, Summon Infernal will do more damage than Summon Doomguard. More information about this can be found in the Artifact Talent section, where I go over Lord of Flames in more detail.

    Summon Infernal is a better use of the CD if there are at least 3 targets for the full duration.

    If you'd like to experiment yourself, you can make a copy of this spreadsheet which outlines how I came to the above conclusion:
    Doomguard vs Infernal - Brusalk - Destro Warlock Spreadsheets

    In this section I'll go over pros/cons of each talent, and which one is useful for different situations.
    In general I'll mark talents as either Single-target, Cleave, and AoE.

    Tier 1

    Backdraft is a solid passive choice, but Roaring Blaze is better for single target and cleave fights. Shadowburn may be good for fights with many adds, but most of its' benefit lies in shard generation, which is something Destro has in abundance in such situations.


    Backdraft causes your Conflag to reduce the casting time of the next two Chaos Bolts or Incinerates you cast by 30%. It does this by giving you two charges of a 10 second buff which reduces the cast time of your next Incinerate or Chaos Bolt by 30%. You can store up to 4 charges of this buff.

    The best way to consume charges of Backdraft is with Chaos Bolt, since you will get more absolute time off than if you'd consumed it with Incinerate. Since each Conflag will give you two charges of Backdraft, best case each Conflag gives you a 60% refund of the cast time of a Chaos Bolt. Without Reverse Entropy, this works out to be about one extra Incinerate per Conflag cast.

    This talent is worse than Roaring Blaze theoretically, however RB enforces a lot of rigidity to the rotation. This talent remains strong for fights where RB does not line up well, or if you are not the best at properly executing the Roaring Blaze rotation. It is also an option if you are simply looking for a passive talent on this tier.

    You can use this RB vs Backdraft Single Target Spreadsheet to look at damage benefit from each talent as Haste changes.

    Roaring Blaze

    Roaring Blaze causes your Conflagrate casts on a target with Immolate to increase the remaining damage of that Immolate by 25%. This damage bonus is lost if you refresh Immolate early (even within Pandemic range!), or when Immo expires.

    The damage bonus stacks multiplicatively. This means that two back-to-back Conflags on an Immolate will increase the damage of the Immolate by 56.25%. This adds up extremely quickly once you get to 3 or 4 Conflags per Immolate, where even 3 Conflags is an increase of 95.3%!

    This Talent has good synergy with Wreak Havoc, as it lets you double the benefit of this talent by keeping two RB-buffed Immolates up, which is what helps rank this talent as a Cleave talent.

    This talent is both a single target and a cleave talent. The damage provided by this talent scales exceptionally well with extra Haste, making this talent especially potent during Bloodlust/Hero where you can get 3, 4, or 5 Conflags off inside the duration of one Immolate.

    You can use this RB vs Backdraft Single Target Spreadsheet to look at damage benefit from each talent as Haste changes.


    Shadowburn is a replacement Soul Shard generator that replaces Conflagrate. Shadowburn functions identically to Conflagrate and benefits/utilizes all bonuses which use Conflagrate. However, it deals extra damage (315% SP instead of 267% SP). In addition, it will also generate an additional shard if the target hit dies within 5 seconds.

    Shadowburn is duplicated by Havoc, and the debuff it applies is applied to both the primary target, as well as the Havoc'd target. This means a Havoc'd Shadowburn on two adds that die within 5 seconds will generate three shards, since it generated one shard instantly, and then two more shards when the adds die.

    This talent may be better than other options for a fight that has more than a few adds. One key feature of Shadowburn is that it does not require the target to yield Experience or Honor, so even level 1 critters will let you generate two shards.

    Tier 2

    Empowered Life Tap is the best all-around pick. Reverse Entropy is a great quality-of-life choice (for less damage potential). Eradication can be good on sustained Cleave fights.

    Reverse Entropy

    Reverse Entropy is a simple passive talent that reduces the cast time of CB by 0.5 seconds, and causes Chaos Bolt and Rain of Fire to generate 35% max mana when cast.

    This talents' damage benefit comes from the saved globals on Life Tap due to the mana regen, as well as the extra globals freed by the cast-time reduction.

    In practice, these globals work out to be sub-par compared to Empowered Life Tap, and makes this the worst talent on the tier. This talent is a big quality of life change though, as shorter Chaos Bolts and little-to-no Life Tapping makes the rotation a lot simpler.


    Eradication causes your Chaos Bolt to apply a 6 second debuff to the target when it hits. While the debuff is present, any spell that is cast during its' duration will deal 12% increased damage. This debuff can not pandemic.

    It's important to realize that the damage buff is applied to any spell that finishes casting while the debuff is on the target. A spell which finishes casting during the debuff, and due to travel time hits after the debuff expires does benefit from the debuff.

    This talent is good on cleave fights since the debuff is also applied by Havoc'd Chaos Bolts. Optimal use of this talent revolves around spacing out Chaos Bolts and keeping the debuff up on the target as much as possible. Since the debuff does not pandemic you should aim to cast a Chaos Bolt such that it ends at the last possible moment of the Eradication debuff. This way you keep maximum uptime on the debuff while benefiting from the increased damage on your Chaos Bolts.

    Empowered Life Tap

    Empowered Life Tap causes your Life Taps to give you a buff that increases your damage dealt by 10% for 20 seconds.

    ELT is the jack-of-all-trades talent choice on the tier, as it's a flat 10% damage buff. It is the best single target choice on this tier, and remains strong for cleave fights. For AoE fights it also is the best option as it affects AoE damage.

    Tier 3

    Situational -- Demonic Circle has largest DPS potential, as less movement means more spells cast. Shadowfury is great dungeon utility.

    Demonic Circle

    Demonic Circle allows you to place a portal on the ground. Once placed, activating the ability again will instantly teleport you on top of the Demonic Circle on a 30 second cooldown.

    This works well for fights where you know you need to be at a specific location (or get out of an ability) very quickly. You can use this to save on required movement pretty heavily, which can be a big DPS gain.

    I highly recommend using the following macro with this talent, which will allow you to replace your active portal at any time (use the normal ability only to port to the active circle):
            #showtooltip Demonic Circle
            /cancelaura Demonic Circle
            /cast Demonic Circle

    Mortal Coil

    Mortal Coil incapacitates the target for 3 seconds, and heals you for 11% of your maximum health. Unfortunately, this does not work on boss mobs, and you won't heal if used on a boss. This spell can be Havoc'd!

    Unless you really need a 3 second incapacitate, this is by far the worst talent of the tier as Demon Skin massively out-heals, and Shadowfury is a shorter cooldown AoE stun for a longer duration.


    Shadowfury is the utility of the tier, providing a 4 second AoE stun on a 30 second cooldown. If you need extra utility, Shadowfury is a great option, but it comes at the cost of losing out on Demon Skin.

    Tier 4

    Catacylsm is best choice in burst AoE situations. Fire and Brimstone is great for AoE potential in dungeons. Soul Harvest is the best choice for predominately single target fights.


    Cataclysm is the AoE option on this talent tier, and has the special property that it applies Immolate to all targets hit in addition to the significant damage done initially. This yields the fastest AoE ramp-up Destro can muster in combination with Rain of Fire, sustained by the Immolates.

    Cataclysm is the best talent choice of the tier by far for most circumstances. It is arguably better than Fire and Brimstone (even for sustained AoE, depending on other synergistic talent choices) and gets better the more targets are present.

    Fire and Brimstone

    Fire and Brimstone makes all Incinerate casts AoE and hit every enemy within range. This provides no-frills, no-ramp-up AoE damage.

    Of note is that Havoc still works with FnB'd Incinerate, but the Havoc'd Incinerate will not AoE. In the Havoc target is in-range of the main target, it will not duplicate. In other words, a Havoc'd target will always get hit by an Incinerate, regardless of whether FnB is talented.

    This talent is best for snap-AoE where no ramp-up-time is a desired trait. However, this talent is contrary to the normal AoE rotation where you should be spending all your time keeping Immolates up so you can maintain RoFs. Thus, this talent doesn't enhance normal AoE rotations, but instead replaces it.

    Soul Harvest

    Soul Harvest is an additional CD, increasing all the damage you and your pet do by 20% for 15 seconds. Additionally, every target afflicted by your Immolates when you cast Soul Harvest, will increase the duration of the cooldown by 2 seconds, up to a maximum of 35 seconds.

    This is the single-target choice on the tier. However, the extended duration allows you to game extra damage by using Soul Harvest with multiple Immolates active.

    Tier 5

    Demon Skin/Dark Pact are both great survivability talents through mitigation. Lots of small hits -> Demon Skin. Big bursts of damage less than every minute -> Dark Pact. Burning Rush great if you need to dodge mechanics with the movement speed.

    Demon Skin

    Destro has a passive called Soul Leech, which causes your single-target damage done (you and minions) to grant you an absorb shield for 10% of the damage dealt, stacking up to 15% of max health. Demon Skin increases the maximum health limit to 20%, and also causes you to passively generate 1% of your max health as an absorb per second. This is a massive amount of mitigation when there's lots of passive incoming damage to take over a spread out duration. (For example, the stacking damage taken debuff on Cenarius is trivialized by Demon Skin.)

    Burning Rush

    Burning Rush is a toggle. When enabled, you lose 4% of your max health every second, but gain 50% movement speed. In addition, you are unable to be reduced to below 100% of normal movement speed. If you have to get somewhere else fast or dodge a mechanic, Burning Rush can help, but you'll take some damage in the process.

    Dark Pact

    Dark Pact is another defensive CD. It sacrifices 20% of your demon's max health and gives you a shield for 400% of that health for 20 seconds on a 1 minute cooldown.

    If you have no pet summoned, it will sacrifice 20% of your current health instead, and gives you a shield for 80% of your current health.

    This is a great choice of mitigation for fights where a big burst of damage is going to occur. This talent can make mechanics such as soaking Corrupted Breath on Helya significantly easier, as the shield can absorb most of the original damage on a very, very short CD.

    Tier 6

    GoServ-Imp for single target. GoSup-Infernal for sustained AoE. GoSup-Doomguard for a passive single target option. GoSac for dungeons.

    Grimoire of Supremacy (Doomguard/Infernal)

    GoSup causes your Summon Doomguard and Summon Infernal spells to be permanent pets. This replaces Summon Imp.

    This talent is only the best option if you specifically want a passive talent. It is worse than the other two options for damage output in all circumstances. (But only barely behind GoServ for single target -- 1-2k DPS in pre-raid t19 gear)

    Grimoire of Service

    GoServ gives you the ability to summon a second Imp for 25 seconds every 1.5 minutes. This Imp will deal 100% more damage than your normal pet Imp during those 25 seconds. Immolate also buffs the damage done by this Imp's Firebolt.

    This talent is the best option for single target fights.

    Grimoire of Sacrifice

    GoSac lets you sacrifice any demon to gain the GoSac buff. This buff causes your spells to have a 20 RPPM chance to proc Demonic Power, which deals 75% Spell Damage as AoE around the target that took damage.

    GoSac is only agood choice if you're looking for a petless option, as you'll take a significant nerf to your damage in doing so. Since it AoE's, a fight with a periodically high number of adds may be a good choice for GoSac, however if it's too consistent GoSup with Infernal will be better very quickly.

    Tier 7

    Wreak Havoc on any fight with at least 2 targets. Channel Demonfire for single target and any fight with important burst AoE damage windows. Soul Conduit only for sustained AoE fights.

    Wreak Havoc

    Wreak Havoc makes Havoc last 20 seconds, and have no cooldown.

    This talent is the best option for 2-target cleave fights by far. Any fight with a significantly-high uptime on a second target for the fight will be a Wreak Havoc fight.

    Channel Demonfire

    Channel Demonfire will launch 15 bolts of Fel Fire. Each bolt will randomly target any target afflicted by your own Immolate. Regardless of the number of targets afflicted by Immolate, only 15 bolts will be shot out total. Each Bolt also splashes to all nearby targets for half the damage of the bolt itself.

    The cooldown is reduced by haste, and is unusable if no target is afflicted by Immolate. Additionally, if your last Immolate falls off mid-cast, Channel Demonfire will stop shooting out bolts (but continue channeling).

    This talent is the best option for single target fights, providing significantly more damage than Soul Conduit single target, as well as being the burst AoE option on the tier.

    Soul Conduit

    Soul Conduit causes every Soul Shard that is spent by a spell to have a 20% chance to be refunded.

    This chance is independant between Soul Shards spent. Thus, you have a 4% chance to have a full-refund of a Chaos Bolt. You also have a 32% chance to get one Soul Shard Refund and a 64% chance to get no refund.

    This talent may only be a good choice for sustained AoE fights, as Channel Demonfire remains a strong choice for both single target and burst AoE windows.

    I plan on doing more theorycrafting in the area of desired stats on a per-talent basis, but general consensus right now is Haste >= Crit == Vers >= Mastery.

    Haste provides the best bang-for-your-buck in terms of Soul Shard generation, as well as damage output, due to more Immolate ticks (more shards), and a lower Conflag CD (more shards).

    Crit comes in second due to its' impact on Soul Shard generation via Immolate.

    Vers and Mastery are close in third, but Vers is generally better due. As a secondary effect, verse will yield more consistency between pulls. While the Mastery will average out over the course of a significant number of attempts, you will have bad attempts where mastery provides little benefit, and just as many attempts where mastery is of massive benefit. Since Vers provides a similar benefit in damage done and damage taken reduction (while also being more consistent pull-to-pull), it's a better choice where available.

    Here are some general recommendations for how to play in generic situations like single-target, cleave, and AoE. These recommendations are general, and certain artifact talents/player talents/legendaries change how you should play. I mention in their respective sections any changes to the general rotation recommendations below that they necessitate.

    Single Target
    • Keep Immolate Up
    • Never cap on Soul Shards. Cast Chaos Bolt at 4 Soul Shards to avoid wasting Soul Shard generation
    • Save 3 Soul Shards for on-demand burst during trinket/damage procs
    • Save 1 charge of Conflag for on-demand burst
    • Save 2 charges of Dimensional Rift for on-demand burst. Cast only to avoid capping on charges
    • Cast Incinerate when you have absolutely nothing else you can cast

    • Keep Immolate Up on any target that will survive for two ticks
    • Never cap on Soul Shards. Cast Chaos Bolt at 3 Soul Shards to avoid wasting Soul Shard generation. (3 because two Immolates is a lot of extra resource generation)
    • Save 3-4 Soul Shards and 1 charge of Conflag for use with Havoc when it comes off CD
    • Cast Incinerate when you have absolutely nothing else you can cast

    • Cast Rain of Fire if possible to avoid Capping
    • Fill all other GCDs while keeping Immolate up on all targets possible while casting all RoFs you can
    • If all Immolates are active, refresh oldest Immolates

    Here are some recommendations for how to adapt your playstyle given specific talent choices. These are built on top of, and override, the above recommendations.

    Roaring Blaze
    1. Save up 2 charges of Conflag
    2. Get full 24 second Immolate via double-cast
    3. Cast Conflag => Conflag
    4. Fill with normal rotation
    5. Cast a third Conflag off cooldown
    6. Refresh Immolate at the last possible second of the buff to maintain the RB buffed Immolate as long as possible
    7. When you're about to cap on your 2nd Conflag charge, Immolate (goes to 24 second duration), and go to step 2.

    • You should aim to finish casting a Chaos Bolt at the last possible second of the previous Eradication buff.
    • You should try to maintain this buff as long as possible. Once you run out of shards to maintain the debuff, save up to 4 shards before you try to repeat the process again. This maximizes uptime and the number of Chaos Bolts that benefit from the buff.

    Soul Harvest
    • You should aim to get as many Immolates up as possible before casting Soul Harvest to maximize the duration of the buff (Do this before it comes off CD!)

    Wreak Havoc
    • You should maintain 100% uptime on Havoc on at least one mob whenever there is an extra target available
    • Maintain your single-target rotation on the Primary target and revel in the glorious cleave damage

    Channel Demonfire
    • Ensure you have at least one Immolate up for the full duration of the Channel before CDF comes off cooldown

    • Capping on Soul Shards is a massive damage loss. Never let yourself reach the cap of 5 Soul Shards unless required due to fight-mechanics
    • Misusing or under-utilizing Havoc is a huge source of lost damage
    • Due to highly-limited mobility, micro-optimizing movement required during fights is very important for your damage output. Try to time out required movement with your availablity to cast instants like Havoc and Conflag. If not required elsewhere, utilize your short-CD on Dark Pact/Unending Resolve to soak damage that would lesser classes to move. If you are able to avoid movement by proper utilization of CDs, you're turning those defensive CDs into damage.
    • Roaring Blaze is very punishing if you mess it up, and forces a lot of rigidity into the rotation. While learning fights you may be better off taking Backdraft, as it requires less thought and you can focus on learning the fight.

    1. Pre-cast Chaos Bolt (travel time causes it to land as Immolate lands)
    2. Pre-cast Immolate (Pulls boss)
    3. 2nd Immolate (if Roaring Blaze)
    4. Dimensional Rift (3rd Charge)
    5. Conflag
    6. Conflag (If not Backdraft)
    7. Summon GoServ: Imp (If GoServ)
    8. Summon Doomguard
    9. Life Tap (If Empowered Life Tap is taken)
    10. Soul Harvest
    11. On-Use Trinkets/Cooldowns if applicable
    12. Normal Rotation

    Sets - Court of Stars
    • Journey Through Time: Proc grants Haste and Movement speed. Set increases this bonus significantly to 45% movement speed. Great pre-raid set.
    • March of the Legion: Spell casts have a chance to deal flat extra damage.
    • Nightwell Arcanum: Spells have a chance to grant a Haste buff. Another pre-raid set.

    Sets - T19 - Clutch of Azj'Aqir

    While the 2pc provides only a small bonus on its own, the 4pc provides a significant boost! A third charge and reduced CD drastically increases overall Shard generation, as well as makes Roaring Blaze even better than it already is. With lust we can obtain upwards of 7 Conflag Casts per Immolate!

    • Prydaz, Xavaric's Magnum Opus - Basically a second Soul Leech. Gives you an extra abosrb shield for 25% of your max health every 30 seconds.
    • Magistrike Restraints - 20% chance for Chaos Bolt to cleave. Massive cleave damage increase
    • Pillars of the Dark Portal - Huge mobility buff for Destro with instant gateway cast and the ability to use it twice before CD.
    • Sephuz's Secret - Can trigger from Mortal Coil, Shadowfury, Banish, and Shadow Lock. Big movement speed buff and haste buff.
    • Odr, Shawl of the Ymirjar - Increases the damage of your single-target spells by 8%. This does not affect Pet damage, Guardian Damage, or AoE damage like GoSac procs/RoF. With this legendary, if you have taken Wreak Havoc, your Havoc becomes a single-target maintanence buff on the same level as Empowered Life Tap. This legendary makes Wreak Havoc only slightly worse than Soul Conduit single target. Channel Demonfire remains the best single target talent however.
    • Feretory of Souls - Charred Remains 2.0. Massively increases Soul Shard generation in all situations.
    • Norgannon's Foresight - Significantly helps getting Chaos Bolt/RoF off in movement-intensive fights.
    • Alythess's Pyrogenics - Basically a 7% AoE buff. RoF gets better. Affects Fire spells, such as Immolate, Rain of Fire, Conflag, Incinerate.
    • Lessons of Space-Time - While Dimensional Rift is active, you deal 10% more damage.
    • Kil'jaeden's Burning Wish - On a 1.2 min CD, activates to deal massive AoE damage around the target

    • Use your one Intellect gem
    • Use Haste Gems otherwise

    We go to pick up Impish Incineration ASAP as it is a significant buff to GoSac for Cleave/AoE. We also finish picking up Lord of Flames due to its significant usefulness in dungeons.

    Next we head to Conflagration of Chaos, primarily because of Residual Flames, and it being the next closest Gold Trait.

    Finally, we head towards Dimension Ripper by way of Master of Disaster and Soulsnatcher. Incinerate damage is used more generally than Rain of Fire, so overall should provide more benefit over Fire from the Sky. Additionally, the Chaos Bolt shard-refund is worth significantly more than the reduced Incinerate cast time over the course of a fight.

    Special Mentions:

    Lord of Flames

    Lord of Flames can only be used once per fight. It is triggered by casting Summon Infernal. If GoSup is talented, then Meteor Strike (the Command Demon ability for Infernal) will trigger the downpour.

    It will do more damage than a Doomguard will single-target, so if the fight has no opportunity for using Lord of Flames on multiple targets, you should use Summon Infernal on the pull.

    Dimension Ripper

    Dimension Ripper makes your Incinerate have a 5% chance to generate a full charge of Dimensional Rift. This means that you should only ever bank 1 charge of Dimensional Rift. If you have two charges, then you have a chance to lose the proc from Dimension Ripper.


    Soulsnatcher gives Chaos Bolt a chance to refund a Soul Shard. This refund occurs when Chaos Bolt hits the target, and not at the cast time.

    Technically, there is a non-zero chance that Chaos Bolt will _generate_ a Soul Shard if Soul Conduit is taken alongside Soulsnatcher. (4% & 15%) This means that you'll want to cast Chaos Bolt at 3 Soul Shards instead of 4 to avoid capping, since 1 Soul Shard brings you to 4, and an Immo tick would take you to 5.

    Addons have the potential to drastically increase your ability to play the game. Below are a few addons that I've found extremely usefull myself:


    Extremely powerful addon that provides the ability to track buffs/debuffs/cooldowns/literally anything if you put your mind to it. It is quite possibly the most useful and flexible addon ever created (besides maybe AVR in ICC). You can create entire UI replacements out of just WeakAuras.

    Not's Weakauas - A powerful set of WeakAuras that you can import for your use. Provides tracking for basically everything important.


    Extremely powerful addon which extends the default unit nameplate functionality. Enhances DoT tracking on a per-unit basis, and has tons of customization.


    Provides a convienient static-location for all nameplates that would be visible on your screen. This makes it easy to see DoT timers on every enemy in range.


    A separate enhanced Soul Shard tracker for all Warlock specs. Shows you when you can expect future shards, and highlights shards that will be spent.

    • Shadowburn changed to replace Conflag, still generates extra shards on kill
    • Eradication and Cataclysm changed talent tiers
    • Demonic Circle and Demon Skin swapped talent tiers
    • Channel Demonfire now AoEs
    • GoSac nerfed, GoSup/GoServ significantly buffed
    • Conflagrate changed mechanically back to buff with multiple stacks. Only affects next two Chaos Bolts or Incinerates, rather than a duration.

    Hey Again Everyone!

    This is my first guide in a long time, and it's highly likely that there are inaccuracies. If you can provide proof that something I've stated in this guide is incorrect, I will be happy to correct the guide. Also, if you have ideas for other sections that I can/should include, please let me know so I can add them!

    The recommendations and suggestions in this guide are based on a combination of math/statistics, simulation using Simc, and experience from playing Alpha/Beta.

    I'm happy to answer any questions that I can either here or via PM. However, I work full-time so I won't be able to answer immediately, but I will answer you when I get the opportunity! There's also many wonderful helpful people here on the forum that I'm sure will be happy to answer your questions!

    I'm trying something new with this version of the guide, and I've made a github for it:

    I'm going to be keeping track of questions and things to add to the guide/investigate since I'm getting questions from a variety of sources nowadays, and not just here in these forums.

    Anyone is welcome to help contribute to the guide by forking and creating a pull request to change wording/add a section/fix issues!

    I'll be trying to keep up on the discussion here, but when I encounter a question I need to think about but don't have the time for, I'll create a ticket so I can track it.

    1.0.0 (8/29/2016) - 7.0.3
    • Initial release

    1.0.1 (8/29/2016) - 7.0.3
    • Updated general recommendations to clarify that rotation suggestions chance depending on talents/artifacts/etc.

    1.0.2 (8/20/2016) - 7.0.3
    • Updated wording of Roaring Blaze suggestions so as to not imply that you can maintain RB past a refresh.

    1.0.3 (8/20/2016) - 7.0.3
    • Added Channel Demonfire to the list of things affected by Backdraft
    • Clarified wording on Roaring Blaze. Didn't mean to imply you could maintain RB stacks through a refresh.
    • Fixed description of Odr, Shawl of the Ymirjar
    • Fixed Dimension Ripper proc chance.

    1.0.4 (9/05/2016) - 7.0.3
    • Changed Backdraft vs Roaring Blaze single-target talent discussion. After further analysis, Backdraft is better than RB for realistic levels of Haste. However, Roaring Blaze gains significant value when you can Havoc RB-buffed Immolates, so it's now classified as a cleave-talent.
    • Created RB vs Backdraft Single Target Spreadsheet, to showcase how each talent scales as Haste changes.
    • Fixed erroneous claim that Backdraft doesn't scale with Haste

    1.1.0 (1/03/2017) - 7.1.5
    • Updated guide for Patch 7.1.5
    • Large overhaul to talent section
    • Corrected many inaccuracies resulting from changes in patches 7.1 and 7.1.5
    • Added a few helpful macros
    • Added DoomShards as a recommended addon
    • Added a second spreadsheet which calculates whether Infernal or Doomguard is better for given Haste and Number of Targets:
    • Consolidated the spreadsheets into one Spreadsheet with multiple tabs -- Look at the bottom to change to the different sheets I've put together!

    1.1.1 (1/22/2017) - 7.1.5
    • Channel Demonfire is no longer duplicated by Havoc.
    • Rain of Fire, Chaos Bolt, and Catacylsm damage were all buffed in a hotfix. Adjusted in-guide theorycrafting to match new values.

    Last edited by Brusalk; 2017-01-24 at 03:00 AM.

  2. #2
    You da real MVP!

  3. #3
    answered all the questions i had, nice guide
    Quote Originally Posted by -Ethos- View Post
    I literally die every time i see people using literally wrong.

  4. #4

  5. #5
    Great guide, thanks Brusalk

    You're the guy who made me try destru instead of affli in MoP, and you might do the same for Legion

  6. #6
    worth the wait, thanks for going above and beyond with all the issues!

  7. #7
    Blademaster Sydneyfox's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Awesome guide Brusalk. Thanks!

  8. #8

    one little advanced question:
    there are a lot of fights that are sometimes aoe/cleave, and sometimes single target.

    Is it worth going with GoSac, and summoning the imp for periods of only ST damage? If yes, what is the threshold, how much time is it worth it for the switch?

    Thanks, great guide!

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Brusalk View Post
    Backdraft causes your Conflag to reduce the casting time of all Incinerates and Chaos Bolts cast within the next 5 seconds by 30%.
    Channel Doomfire is also affected by Backdraft

  10. #10
    Great read, great information as always Brusalk!

    keep it up!

  11. #11
    Hey Brusalk thanks for the Guide. I've 2 questions which im kinda uncertain of.

    1) In your Guide you want Dimensional Rift to be sustained on 2 Stacks for Procs/Burstphases but arent u "overcapping/losing some seconds with a Dimensional Ripper proc? Especially for Singletarget without Prioadds I thought it'd be better to stay on 1 Stack all the time.

    2) Kinda the same direction as the first one but you advice to save up to 3/4 Soulshards for CB dump. With Roaring Blaze as the go-to Talent in most situations I thought you'd want to plan ahead and stay on 2 Shards for every Immolate cycle cause otherwise you'd overcap (2x conflag and maybe Immolate proc). Furthermore wouldnt you also overcap when Soulsnatcher/Soul Conduit and Feretory (kinda unsure if this procs with CB) all proc at the same time with 3-4 Shards in the bank?

    I highly appreciate the work you've put in here. Excuse my english :X I hope its kinda clear what my questions are about.

  12. #12
    Thanks! Destro is the best spec for locks atm.

  13. #13
    Do we know if the Demo legendary "Sin'dorei Spite" also works for Destruction, since it is not included in your list?

  14. #14
    Keyboard Turner
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Great guide, Brusalk! Definitely going to take some pointers from this.

  15. #15
    Bloodsail Admiral Avikur's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    How much DPS (roughly) would someone lose by taking reverse entropy over mana tap? I despise mana tap but at the same time don't want to gimp my dps, most guides for the pre patch say to take RE over MT, so does MT scale better which is why at 110 it becomes better? Great guide BTW, really nice layout and very informative
    Battletag: Chris#23952 (EU)

  16. #16
    Is backdraft really the worst tier 1 talent, I'm seeing roaring blaze as taking that spot now. I mean this is on live so things may act very differently in legion but Backdraft was pulling ahead of Roaring blaze by roughly 10%, this is also in 716 item level with haste definitely as the major stat and a bit more of an overflow in mastery then crit for the next stat.
    CPU: Intel I5-3570k 4.7ghz MB: Gigabyte Z77-D3H
    GPU: Gigabyte GTX 970 G1 Gaming Ram: G-Skill 8GB 1333
    SSD: OCZ Vertex 3 120GB PSU: Corsair CX850M Case: Corsair 750D

  17. #17
    Great guide many thanks. Regarding Roaring Blaze: Roaring Blaze
    Save up 2 charges of Conflag
    Get full 24 second Immolate via double-cast
    Cast Conflag => Conflag
    Fill with normal rotation
    Cast a third Conflag off cooldown
    Refresh Immolate at the last possible second of the buff to maintain RB buff
    When you're about to cap on your 2nd Conflag charge, Immolate (goes to 24 second duration), and go to 2.

    On the " refresh immotale at last possible second to maintain RB buff", am sure when you cast a fresh immolate on RB buffed immolate, it resets the stacks of the RB buff to 0, having an unbuffed Immolate again, which needs buffing by Conflag again. Could be mistaken but sure when i tested it it worked like this.

  18. #18
    99% of guides i did see people says mana tap is underwhelming compared to Reverse entropy. And immolate RB stacks reset if you refresh them.

  19. #19
    Ok, I'm very confused about Roaring stacks? I mean from testing on live I'm seeing it doesn't, meaning I cast Immolate check damage, then conflag, check damage it's increased, cast another conflag, no increase. Am I missing something?
    CPU: Intel I5-3570k 4.7ghz MB: Gigabyte Z77-D3H
    GPU: Gigabyte GTX 970 G1 Gaming Ram: G-Skill 8GB 1333
    SSD: OCZ Vertex 3 120GB PSU: Corsair CX850M Case: Corsair 750D

  20. #20
    Confirmed and the rb stacks goes to 0 when you refresh immolate. People should check their infos before making a guide.

    Now i have my doubts about mana tap being really better than reverse entropy since OP gaves us missinformation about immolate RB stacks.

    We're going to cast alot of CB's at 110 when we get our artifact leveled, we'll get alot of soul shards refunded = more CB casted and reverse entropy gives us 0.5 reduced cast time on CB, more cb casted = more benefict from reverse entropy.
    Last edited by blackops2008; 2016-08-29 at 12:57 PM.

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