5.4 Destruction Guide
- Stats and Reforging
- Professions and Consumables
*NOTE* There will still be updates during 5.4 and i will add video guides together with more detailed playstyle tips and tricks as we go along.
This guide will try cover many different areas to help you improve your play, do note that many things can change and rotations, stat weights, priority lists and all these sort of things can differ a lot. Always read guides with a grain of salt, but use it for what it’s worth.
A short starter guide if you aren’t too comfortable with detailed things yet or want specific suggestions for a low geared Warlock
|Head||Hood of the Horned Nightmare||Thok the Bloodthirsty|
|Neck||Untainted Guardian’s Chain||Norushen|
|Shoulders||Rime-Rift Shoulders||Crane Wing||200 int / 100 crit||Norushen|
|Chest||Robes of the Horned Nightmare||Glorious Stats||+80 all stats||Sha of Pride|
|Waist||Belt of Ominous Trembles||Juggernaut|
|Legs||Leggings of the Horned Nightmare||Cerulean||+285 int / 165 crit||Paragons of the Klaxxi|
|Boots||Bone-Inlaid Sandals||Pandaren’s Step||+140 Mastery||Galakras|
|Wrists||Avool’s Ancestral Bracers||Super Intellect||+170 Intellect||Spoils of Pandaria|
|Gloves||Gloves of the Horned Nightmare||Superior Mastery||+170 Mastery||General Nazgrim|
|Finger||Iyyokuk’s Hereditary Seal||Paragons of the Klaxxi|
|Finger||Signet of the Dinomancers||Thok the Bloodthirsty|
|Trinket 1**||Purified Bindings of Immerseus||Immerseus|
|Trinket 2**||Kardris’ Toxic Totem||Kor’kron Dark Shaman|
|Back||Xing-Ho, Breath of Yu’lon||Superior Intellect||+180 Intellect||Legendary Questline|
|Main Hand||Immaculately Preserved Wand||Jade Spirit||Spoils of Pandaria|
|Offhand||Revelations of Y’Shaarj||Major Intellect||+165 Intellect||Garrosh Hellscream|
You can pretty much use whatever offpiece you want, there isn’t much difference in what piece you choose to use as Warforged. Shoulders give you the most overall mastery pretty much, but the difference is so minimal.
(*) Gear list can be changed during progress with better setups that gives better value of stat output, this is just a rough guideline for mastery gear setup
(**) Trinkets are debateable and in BiS conditions trinkets might change slightly. Purified is a must have for Destruction warlocks, while you can choose between Black Blood of Y’Shaarj and Kardris’ Toxic Totem
This list is based on 571~ item level from Siege of Orgrimmar and tries to value each trinket individually. Take it as a rough estimate of the trinket values, note that it’s not 100% accurate and using some trinkets together might bring a worse or better combination, but use it as a thumb rule of how well they do
Dark Regeneration – Instant 30% of maximum health for you and your pet plus 25% increased healing taken over 12 seconds. A very good talent for a survival phase with damage taken over a short period of time, but not superior on fights with steady damage taken.
Soul Leech – The passive healing talent for our main attacks and will most likely be the used talent for Destruction on the fights to help out healers.
*NEW 5.4* Harvest Life – Increases the damage of your Drain Life spell by 50% and the healing of your Drain Life spell by 150%. (Passive)
- Soul Lech – Simply brings a good passive shield to absorb damage
- Dark Regeneration – Really useful on a few fights where you want the extra healing and cooldown
- Harvest Life – Mainly a PvP talent, not so much use in PvE
*NEW 5.4* Demonic Breath – Replacement of Howl of Terror, new Cone of Cold like CC. Mainly usedi n PvP
Mortal Coil – Deathcoil with a 15% heal we can use in PvE
Shadowfury – AoE stun without much use in PvE
- Mortal Coil – 15% health for a GCD
- Shadowfury – Small stun, often times other classes bring more reliable and longer lasting stun
- Demonic Breath – Not much use besides PvP, can be useful for slowing the adds on a boss like Immersus
*NEW 5.4* Soul Link – No longer shares health pool with your pet, instead 20% of all damage you take is split to your pet. Additionally, 3% of all damage you deal is converted into healing on you and your pet.
Sacrificial Pact – A very solid absorb shield, which sacrifices 25% of your pets health to give a 400% shield of the sacrificed health. This talent can even be used in certain situations without a pet as you will lose 25% of your health for 400% of the lost health turning into a shield.
Dark Bargain – Absorbs all damage for 8 seconds and when the shield fades you take 50% of the damage over 8 seconds. Risky if you take a lot of damage and suddenly will get bursted down when the absorb fades.
- Soul Link – Passive 20% damage reduction is really good, espeically if we also use the Unending Glyph for 10% more
- Dark Bargain – Very good “oh shit” talent, that can save us in a lot of dire situations and works well with soaking
- Sacrificial Pact – This talent can be very good to take with high pulsing AoE’s at certain times in a fight, the shields are very big
*Soul Link still increases your health pool if you don’t have a pet and use Grimoire of Sacrifice, but most of the time you would want to run with another talent then depending on the fight.
Blood Horror – When activiated any time a enemy melee attacks you and deals damage, the enemy will run in horror for up to 4 seconds
Burning Rush – 4% of maximum health per second for 50% movement speed.
Unbound Will – Removes all magic and impairing effects
- Burning Rush – Useful speed boost in many situations, you can nearly always find a use for it
- Unbound Will – Very cool self dispell, but only has its place on a few fights
- Blood Horror – Purely PvP talent, not much use in Pve
Grimoire of Supremacy – 20% more damage from our pets and they turn into different versions of themselves
Grimoire of Service – Summons another pet of your choice for 20 seconds
Grimoire of Sacrifice – Sacrifices our pet to increase our single target damaging spells and Wild Imp’s
- Grimoire of Sacrifice – Increses single target damage dealt by Incinerate, Conflagrate, Shadowburn and Fel Flame. Chaos bolt deals 15% additional damage over 3 seconds as a dot. GoSac pulls ahead in BIS gear on single target, while if you AoE a lot GoSup will win because Sacrifice doesn’t increase damage dealt by Fire and Brimstone spells.
- Grimoire of Supremacy – Felhunter becomes an Observer and delivers stable damage. As soon as you AoE a lot Grimoire of Supremacy becomes better, because Fire and Brimstone doesn’t scale with GoSac.
- Grimoire of Service – Summons an extra pet, but not worth it over the two other talents for Destruction.
*NEW 5.4* Archimonde’s Darkness – Your Dark Soul has two charges
*NEW 5.4* Kil’jaeden’s Cunning – You can cast Malefic Grasp, incinernate and Shadow bolt while moving
*NEW 5.4* Mannoroth’s Fury – Increases AoE by 500% and the damage from Immolation Aura and Hellfire by 100%. 60 sec CD, 10 sec duration.
- Archimonde’s Darkness – Basically the talent you pick when there is no AoE or heavy movement involved, it gives us a better management of when we want to use Dark Soul instead of using it on cooldown
- Mannoroth’s Fury – Very good talent for burst AoE fights, worth taking on a lot of fights in Siege of Orgrimmar
- Kil’jaeden’s Cunning – We don’t have much use for KJC on most fights because we can cast Fel Flame and put Rain of Fire while moving, i would only recommend to play with this for heavy movement fights such as Siegecrafter Blackfuse and similiar. If you feel uncomfortable with position placement and movement fights, this will always beat the other talents though.
There is no DPS increasing glyphs as Destruction, therefore we can pretty much choose whatever utillity glyphs we want.
*NEW 5.4* Glyph of Everlasting Affliction has been replaced by Glyph of Eternal Resolve.
- Glyph of Eternal Resolve: Unending Resolve into a passive ability that provides a constant 10% reduction to damage taken.
*NEW 5.4* Glyph of Dark Soul has been replaced by Glyph of Curse of the Elements.
*NEW 5.4* Glyph of Shadowflame has been replaced with Glyph of Unending Resolve.
*NEW 5.4* Glyph of Soul Swap has been replaced with Glyph of Havoc.
Glyph of Eternal Resolve - If no major cooldown is needed, 10% passive reduction is really nice together with 20% from Soul Link.
Glyph of Siphon Life - Passive healing with not many alternatives to pick
Stats are a very touchy subject, so to determine what stats we want we need to know what they actually do and bring.
Mastery increases the damage done by: Immolate, Incinerate, Fel Flame and Conflagrate and increase effectiveness of Burning Ember consuming spells like Shadowburn and Chaos Bolt. It’s a pure raw damage increasing stat for Destruction which scales really well on multi target and AoE fights.
Haste is the stat that gives us faster casts, shorter rain of fire duration and also increases pet energy regeneration. Haste is a good stat together with GoSupremacy but looses it’s value for Destruction as soon as we go for Grimoire of Sacrifice because of the Backlash mechanics, Incinerates will reach under the Global Cooldown Cap and thus not as needed stat for us.
Critical strike is our ember regeneration stat, every crititcal strike regenerates extra embers and it also scales up Chaos Bolt damage slightly. A strong single target stat for Destruction because we rely heavily on ember consuming spells.
Single target (theoritically best):
Int > 15% Hit > Mastery > Crit =~ Haste
“Mastery is king and Critical strike is equal to Haste. There really is no big difference or need to focus on either stat above the other.
M=Mastery, H=Haste, C=Crit, Shoulder/Head/Chest/Legs=Offpiece item
As you can see, there is no difference in changing your stats. 500 DPS out of 439.000 is under 0,12% difference in DPS. You cannot from such small differences clearly state either stat to be better, so don’t overthink it.
Int > 15% Hit > Mastery > Haste >~ Crit
Int > 15% Hit > Mastery > Haste > Crit
Siege of Orgrimmar setup with option to respec
Int > 15% Hit > Mastery > Haste ~= Crit
“Simply just balance your stats, reforge to as much mastery as you can and the two last stats doesn’t matter much. I personally prefer haste or a balance of the stats, because haste makes you mobile and you won’t have to cancel a 10 second Chaos Bolt to move.”
We don’t aim for the Immolate haste caps, but make sure you have the 2021 haste at least.
Immolate haste caps
|Number of ticks||6||7||8||9||10|
|- Raid Haste||2021||10124||18200||26318||34427|
|- Raid Haste + (BL/Hero)||N/A||N/A||4192||10437||16675|
Single target stat weights
If you want to find your stat weights and specific values for purely single target fights (not reflected so much in Siege of Orgrimmar) you can use Simulationcraft to determine how to gem and gear. Remember that it doesn’t apply on AoE, multi or single target fights with burst mechanics.
Gems are helping us boost stats we choose, that also means that there is no determined gemming. If we want more of a stat for certain fights, gems are where we can find those stats. These are just general guidelines for when we go with the heavy mutli target / AoE and all around strongest build for Destruction.
|Meta (Legendary)||Sinister Primal Diamond (*)|
|Meta||Burning Primal Diamond|
||Fractured Sun’s Radiance (320 Mastery)|
|Red (high hit)||Artful Vermilion Onyx (80 Int / 160 Mastery)|
|Red (low hit)||Keen Vermilion Onyx (160 Exp / 160 Mastery)|
|Yellow||Fractured Sun’s Radiance (320 Mastery)|
|Blue||Sensei’s Wild Jade (160 Hit / 160 Mastery)|
(*) There is a huge argument about Burning Primal Diamond vs Sinister Primal Diamond
To clarify a bit, there is no reason to go Burning and it’s not “better” than Sinister.
On top of this, if you use the legendary meta gem properly and play heavy crit plus Grimoire of Sacrifice or on an AoE fight, the legendary meta gem is really good. The difference is not really relevant and in any case you play 2 specs, you do not wish to reput your meta gem all the time for no gain.
Engineering, Tailoring, Herbalism and Blacksmithing is at the moment the best profession for us as a warlock.
Engineering provides a great burst lining up with cooldowns and “on use” / high intellect procs will always be superior to passive stats. Blacksmithing is still good because it gives us 640 secondary stats, and secondary stats gain a high value on AoE + multi target fights.
If you choose either of the 4 you are save to go, but there is a rather big difference from rest of the professions to these 4, so it does matter what you choose.
|[Rain of Fire]||21|
|[Fire and Brimstone]||54|
|[Flames of Xoroth]||79|
|[Dark Soul: Instability]||84|
[Chaos Bolt] (*)
- [Shadowburn] under 20%
(*) When to Chaos Bolt
We want to save 3-3½ ember for whenever we get “procs”, thus preferably not using Embers on non-buffed CB’s unless it’s really nessecary.
Procs to look out for
- Intellect procs from trinkets
- Dark Soul (30% Critical Strike chance -> Increases CB damage)
- Skull Banner (20% Critical Strike Damage -> Inceases CB damage)
- 4P (15% Critical Strike -> Increases CB damage)
- Jade spirit, tailoring cloak encahnt etc. (minor)
You always want to try to line up CB’s with as many of the posted buffs, but else you prioritize them in the order listed above. Don’t ever cap on embers, rather cast a chaosbolt with minor procs and smoothen them out than ending up sitting on 4 embers.
(**) How to deal with Backdraft from Conflagrate
If you have a lot of haste, it doesn’t matter much what you use backdraft on and generally if you have intellect procs from trinket, dark soul and everything aligning, don’t be scared to use 3 backdraft procs on a Chaos Bolt. Chaos Bolt always has priority over anything when everything aligns.
Generally just try to make sure you keep conflagrate on cooldown and use the Backlash procs on Incinerates
Pre pot + Pre cast [Incinerate]
[Conflagrate] x2 (6x Backdrafts)
[Chaos Bolt](*) / [Incinerate] and fit in reapplying [Immolate] with Dark Soul effect and 4P T16
(*) “Make sure to get as many Chaos Bolts off before the 10 second trinkets fade, you can use Backdraft procs to consume CB as long as you don’t fail to get CB off with everything”
(**) “Remember that if you play with Grimoire of Sacirfice your Chaos Bolt leaves a dot, the dot can be clipped too early if you are close and cast back to back Chaos Bolt’s. Make sure you fill with a spell between each Chaos Bolt as you want the maximum amount of ticks from it. In case everything procs and is about to fade so you can’t delay your CB, don’t bother about this rule.”
If you have Wusholay or Blackblood this is how i would go about my opener
Same method as above, but make sure you land the [Chaos Bolt]‘s at the high stacks of the trinket at all times.
AoE rotation priority
- Activate [Fire and Brimstone]
[Rain of Fire] *
* Rain of Fire on AoE
It’s debateable wether to use Rain of Fire or not. It’s a great tool for the start of an AoE scenario to gain embers and not loose Fire and Brimstone effect, but during longer lasting AoE where you regenerate enough embers from each execution, it doens’t matter much if you use it or not. With Mannoroth’s Fury you should obviously use it, and i tend to like to use it in a few scenarios
- If i have no Backdraft up for [Incinerate] and no procs are active.
- Legendary Meta Gem is up and Backdraft is up, GCD capped and Legendary Meta Gem scales the Rain of Fire duration.
- While moving and / or pre starting AoE rotation to not loose [Fire and Brimstone]
Multi target (2-4 targets)
Apply [Immolate] to all targets
[Rain of Fire] on +2 targets standing still
[Havoc] and cast [Chaos Bolt] / [Shadowburn]
+4 targets [Fire and Brimstone] + [Incinerate] should >~ [Chaos Bolt] on one target
And do your normal single target rotation
Best races for Destruction Warlock
Troll > Worgen ~= Orc ~= Goblin
“The reason orc isn’t ahead is because we play Grimoire of Sacrifice in this setup, if we would have played Grimoire of Supremacy, Orc should be slightly above Worgen and Goblin possibly.”
Video Guides Video guides related to Destruction will appear here
*NOTE* There will still be updates during 5.4 and i will add video guides together with more detailed playstyle tips and tricks as we go along.
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