The Mage Equivalent: The Destruction Warlock
(Updated at 19/1 2010 for patch 3.3)
Ed. note: This thread is still a WIP.
Destruction warlock is a more "direct damage"-based build as opposed to the Affliction one which supports more heaving hitting nukes rather than "damage over time"-effects. It has many similarities with Elemental Shamans and Mages and has a wide array of both instants and AoE-spells. In patch 3.0 Destruction received a serious overhaul considering how powerful it was before in TBC but couldn't keep up with Affliction after the launch of WOTLK. In 3.1 however this is is a different story; Destruction is now highly competable against other specs as the theoretical highest DPS available and is now also able to provide raids buff via Replenishment. In short: Destruction has many tricks up it's sleeve such as more instants and more AOE options and might therefor be the choice for the warlock who wanted to play a Mage, but with a twist.
[top]Talents and builds
Most excess points are spend in Demonology to reach Demonic Aegis so that is your main objective in this tree.
The only talent worth taking here is Suppression and only if you need the hit. However it's not hard to reach the hit cap and there are better talents to boost your DPS.
Since previous content, itemization has changed pretty drastically for Destruction. Spirit is no longer equal to crit, but somewhere below because of how Imp. Soul Leech works. As gear gets better, the amount of spirit on your gear will go down, Glyph of Life Tap will be replaced (ISL gives better mana regen, together with Cataclysm, and reduces the amount of needed LTs) and crit will become overall better.
0/13/58 (using this preliminary T10 BiS)
It's important that you take these values with a grain of salt! Haste is by far the 2nd best stat for Warlocks, regardless of spec. But as you accumulate higher numbers of haste, it's value will diminish making crit more and more appealing.
TTT Entry for Spell Hit
Overall effectiveness: Above very high if below the cap and worthless if over the cap
Other notes: If you can't hit, you can't do damage. That's why hit rating is the most powerful stat out there as long as you're below the cap. With Suppression you need 11% as Horde and 10% as Alliance (because of the Draenei racial aura) and 14% and 13% respectively without it. Missing a huge damage spell such as Conflag will greatly reduce your DPS. Simply put: cap your hit when raiding.
Overall effectiveness: Average
Other notes: This is a stat that can shift it's value in the blink of an eye. If you have the Glyph of Life Tap it becomes better and when you get higher amounts of it, it gets better. But once the gear starts shifting more towards haste and crit, it becomes less effective, making dropping the glyph inevitable and reducing it's value even further. In short: it's not bad, but it's not great either. Crit and haste will always be better than this as a 2nd stat.
Overall effectiveness: Very high
Other notes: Primary stat as for any DPS caster. All your spells benefits from this stat making it more valuable than any other than hit (if you're below the cap).
Overall effectiveness: Average
Other notes: Crit rating has no other real benefits than improving your damage. While it can help to proc Pyroclasm through Conflagrate, Conflag recieves a 25% crit if your Immo is up on the target reducing the need for crit rating even further.
Crit rating value increases linear with spell power and leads to uptime increase 1:1 with no diminishing returns, i.e. +1% crit -> +1% Pyroclasm uptime -> +0.1% damage increase on top of direct crit gains.
Overall effectiveness: Above average to high
Other notes: The value of haste is relative. It's somewhat easy to reach the GCD cap through high haste rating with Backdraft and Bloodlust/Heroism making excess amounts of haste worthless and making the rotations harder to keep up. Haste is however a better stat than crit because you don't need as much rating per percent compared to crit and crit % can be very high in a raid situation with various raid buffs and talents.
Firestone or Spellstone on weapon?
Even though haste is a better DPS stat than crit, the 1% extra damage to DD-spells outweighs the benefits of Spellstone by far.
Look at this way: In a typical standard fight as Destruction, your DoTs will account for around 15% of your total damage while the rest is DD. The Firestone looks a lot better, doesn't it?
[top]Tier set boni
These are the values of the T10 set boni.
What does it mean?
The 4p bonus is incredibly good and should be gotten as fast as you can. The 2p, not so good. But it's still better than the 4p of T9 so switching from 4pT9 to 2pT9 and 2pT10 is a very valid choice.
Ed. note: Add other tiers later.
The only meta-gem that should be used is [Chaotic Skyflare Diamond]. When filling it's requirements the only gem you should use is the [Purified Dreadstone]. Always try to throw these in where your blue sockets are and put them in where you get the biggest bonuses. Always try to gem for spell power first and foremost and haste in yellow sockets if the bonus is worth it. Remember however that hit > everything else if not hit capped yet.
What makes a bonus worth it? In basic, if the socket is...
Regardless of what Destruction-build you're using, you should at least have Glyph of Conflagrate and Incinerate. In 3.2 Glyph of Life Tap received a substantial buff making it very strong. It might be better though to use Immolate with low level gear/until you reach a higher amount of spirit.
For more info on the subject, turn to http://elitistjerks.com/f80/t37422-glyph_choice/.
"Rotation" is a very common term for damage dealers, but more and more classes now thinks of “priorities” instead since it's easier to keep track of what spells to use and at what time, since haste screws rotations up. This is something that has been used by Shadow Priests for a long time and has been further used by other classes.
Regardless of your build, the priorities stay the same:
Curse of Doom has the highest DPCT and should therefor have a uptime close to 100%. However, if you can manage to proc Pyroclasm before casting it you should wait until the next Conflagrate as it increases your overall DPS. If the target has an estimated time of going down in less than a minute, then you should cast Curse of Agony instead and keep it up until the target dies for max DPS. Corruption isn't used in the rotation when standing still and nuking a la Patchwerk but is more used "on the run" when needing to reposition or avoid damage.
Small note: If you're on Curse of the Elements-duty, it takes priority over CoD.
One common question is if your Immo has less than 1.5 sec left on it's duration and Conflag has come off CD, should you recast Immo first and Conflag second, or the reverse? Well, following the priority list, Immo technically still is on your target, therefor you should Conflag first, renew Immo second. You want to keep Conflag on CD as much as humanly possible since it's the most damaging spell you do (besides CoD).
Also, always make sure you're casting something. Destruction suffers a whole lot more from standing still doing nothing and moving around than the other Warlock-specs considering you don't have much DoTs to throw around.
-Mar 9th 2010
Updated the T10BiS and some notes on the Immolate glyph.
-Feb 5th 2010
Corrected how Conflagrate works with the changes to patch 3.3.2.
-Feb 4th 2010
Added the 'Updates'-section.
The question I keep asking myself when I see people post their Destruction builds is why not Demonic Sacrifice? Yeah you have to get talents that increase your pet's effectiveness and all but wouldn't the benefits from sacing the pet be more then using the pet to dps on boss fights? I'm terrible at this math thing but it would be great to see which yields more DPS, a DS'd Succ/Imp or using the pet with all the pet talents in the listed builds. It would also be nice to see what a MD/S and F build looks like and whether or not a fire build with your Imp out is more DPS then DS'ing the Imp.
Also at this early stage of the expansion I don't think an extra 9% damage from spirit warrants a build that has that as the ultimate objective. Its a great talent, if your going further down the tree.
I think its pretty obvious that all raiding locks will end up destruction again like we did in TBC, the question is which build is the best. Without math I think there are better then the 3 you listed. But I would like to be proven wrong.
Having demonic sac for certain fights, though, is another story.
I thought the consensus was that keeping Corruption up to increase Molten Core uptime was a Good Thing? I haven't seen any math against casting Corruption, so why do you claim "since Corruption isn't involved in the rotation" Improved Corruption is bad?
You also forgot to mention 0/13/58. It is a more often used than 2/13/56 imo.
Hello,at the moment i'm using 00/21/40 which i find really nice and easy to use :P.
I don't have very good gear,some valor and malygos items and im doing on bosses 3k->4kdps.
My rotation is simple Immo>Coa>Spam Inci until last tick of Imo>Conflag(So i get backdraft)>Immo(for 2x Incin Bonus)>CoA(if u dont got glyph)>Spam inci again !
I'm looking foward to see some WWS from FG/Ember spec and test it myself.
Btw,long time reader,first time poster :p,sorry for typo' and for my english :).
Thanks for the inputs. I don't claim to be the god of Destruction but I decided to start the thread when I saw there wasn't any around and I've always ended up with the spec, since every other warlock in my guild wants to play other things :)
I'll try to keep this updated daily but it will most likely be every 2-3 days. Keep the posts coming. And I love to be proven wrong.
Considering for example, that a lot of Heroic dungeon mobs are taken down fairly quickly, would it be safe to say that destro can output the most quick damage for one of these fights?
I've been a destro lock for a while now, and I really like that I'm able to burn things down quicker. If I was affliction for example, would I be able to output the same amount of damage as a destro lock?
Talent Calculator - World of Warcraft
About bane, I wouldn't use Soulfire during backdrafts, 3 incinerates, then reapply immolate?
I prefer 19 in Demo, but yea, some fights are just NOT Imp friendly. I do use corruption though, to trigger Molten Core, and since I have the Corruption Glyph ^^
From my recount data, I do get quite much mana from Imp Soul Leech, equal to Replennishment in 1 fight.
About Cataclysm, I'dd still cap myself thought, since I have Corruption and CoA in my cycle.
My point of view ^^
PS: Giev Fel Synergy in T2 Demo ;/
In any case, there are a couple more specs I would categorize as destro:
0/30/40 + 1: Master Demo and SNF, bypasses conflag talents.
0/40/30 + 1: Uses an imp, takes 10% crit and demonic knowledge for higher spellpower, but loses SNF.
Is there any point in picking up imp CoA and imp Corr and have 7/3/51+ 10 as a chaos bolt destro? Glyphs would most likely be imp, CoA and Immo.
I am a bit confused, most of the destro specs I see linked on this page include Conflagrate and Backdraft, but my understanding was that the haste gain from Backdraft was more than offset by the clipped Immolate and mana cost of Conflagrate. Most specs also seem to throw a few filler points in Soul Leech, but it seems absolutely clear to me that the 2 points in Improved Soul Leech are the valuable ones, with the 3 base points being simply expensive filler. I could understand taking either of these sets of talents as filler, but not both.
In other words rather than put points into Conflag and Backdraft that you will not use, and filling with a few in Soul Leech, why not drop Conflag entirely, take all 5 in Soul Leech since the last 2 are where the utility is found, or even ditch all or most of these points and go for Imp Life Tap. Something like
Am I misunderstanding the deal with Conflag? Is it in fact worthwhile?
In any case, if you're not going for the Soul Fire route you should ALWAYS apply Immolate before doing Incinerates, even during Backdraft.
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