Warlock Destruction Guide by Sparkuggz – Method

  • introduction

Welcome to the Warlock guide for the Destruction spec in Warlords of Draenor

*NOTE* There will still be updates during WoD 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.


T17 Mythic gear list suggestion 

Head Shadow Council´s Hood Kromog
Neck Gruul´s Lip Ring Gruul
Shoulders Shadow Council’s Mantle Operator Thogar
Chest Shadow Council’s Robes Flamebender Ka’graz
Waist Deckhand’s Rope Belt Iron Maidens
Legs Turret Mechanic’s Legwraps Iron Maidens
Boots Cavedweller’s Climbers Gruul
Wrists Bracers of Spattered Steel Blast Furnace
Gloves Shadow Council’s Gloves Iron Maidens
Finger Epicenter Loop Beastlord Darmac
Finger Spellbound Runic Band of the All-Seeing Eye Quest item
Trinket 1 Goren Soul Repository Oregorger
Trinket 2 Blackiron Micro Crucible Blackhand
Back Runefrenzy Greatcloak Kromog
Weapon Blackhand Doomstaff Blackhand


Trinket List

Done with standard T17 Mythic profile w/ Grimoire of Supremacy, Archimonde´s Darkness & Demonic Servitude





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.

Searing Flames – Ember Tap causes 50% more healing, and refunds 50% of its Burning Ember cost.

When-to-use guidelines:

  1. Dark Regeneration – By far the best talent you can pick, strong healing cooldown and increased healing done to you.
  2. Soul Lech – Way worse talent in WoD than we know it from MoP.
  3. Searing Flames – Mainly a PvP talent, not so much use in PvE


Howl of Terror – Aoe fear with no use in PvE

Mortal Coil – Deathcoil with a 11% heal we can use in PvE

Shadowfury – AoE stun without much use in PvE

When-to-use guidelines:

  1. Mortal Coil – 11% health for a GCD
  2. Shadowfury – Small stun, often times other classes bring more reliable and longer lasting stun
  3. Howl of Terror – Not much use besides PvP


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 20% 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 20% 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.

When-to-use guidelines:

  1. Soul Link – Passive 20% damage reduction is really good, espeically if we also use the Unending Glyph for 10% more
  2. Dark Bargain – Very good “oh shit” talent, that can save us in a lot of dire situations and works well with soaking
  3. 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

When-to-use guidelines:

  1. Burning Rush – Useful speed boost in many situations, you can nearly always find a use for it
  2. Unbound Will – Very cool self dispell, but only has its place on a few fights
  3. 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 (Incinerate, Chaos Bolt, Shadowburn, doesn´t affect Fire and Brimstone)

When-to-use guidelines:


  1. Grimoire of Service – Slightly above the other talents, you use Service together with Demonic Servitude and summon a Doomguard every 2 minute for 20 seconds.
  2. Grimoire of Supremacy – Supremacy together with Demonic Servitude is a very strong combination with your permanently Terrorguard.
  3. Grimoire of Sacrifice – Not quite as strong as the others, also looses out fast on movement fights as pets are 25%~ of your damage with the other specs, thus movement hurts Sacrifice a lot.



Archimonde’s Darkness – Your Dark Soul has two charges

Kil’jaeden’s Cunning – You can cast while moving

Mannoroth’s Fury – Increases AoE by 500% and the damage from Hellfire by 100%. 60 sec CD, 10 sec duration.

When-to-use guidelines:


  1. Archimonde’s Darkness – Basically the talent you pick when there is no heavy movement involved, it gives us a better management of when we want to use Dark Soul.
  2. Kil’jaeden’s Cunning – We don’t have much use for KJC on most fights, i would only recommend to play with this for heavy movement fights such as Imperator Margok and similiar. If you feel uncomfortable with position placement and movement fights, this will always beat the other talents though.
  3. Mannoroth’s Fury – Very bad for talent after the Rain of Fire nerf, more or less useless.




Charred Remains – Your Incinerate and Conflagrate deals 60% less damage but generate 200% more Burning Ember and Fire and Brimstone can now affect Chaos Bolt.

Cataclysm – An AoE ground attack that applies Immolate to all targets it hits

Demonic Servitude – Makes you able to permanently control a Doomguard or Infernal

When-to-use guidelines:

  1. Demonic Servitude – Makes our Doomguard permanently, strongest talent right now for single target Destruction
  2. Charred Remains – A talent that makes all our damage based around Chaos Bolt and Shadowburn, has potential but not good compared to Servitude.
  3. Cataclysm – Very good talent for burst AoE and good for single target short fights because you are able to use your 10 min Doomguard CD, unlike Servitude where it´s permanently. (Sub 3-4 minute fights)


There is no DPS increasing glyphs as Destruction, therefore we can pretty much choose whatever utillity glyphs we want.


Major Glyphs

 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

 Glyph of Healthstone or Soulstone – 3rd option you pick and choose depending on the fight


Stats are a very touchy subject, so to determine what stats we want we need to know what they actually do and bring.

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. Critical strike stat also gains additional % bonus when we are Destruction through Devastation.

Mastery increases the damage done by: Immolate, Incinerate 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 and also increases pet energy regeneration. Haste is an okay stat together with Grimoire of Supremacy / Demonic Servitude (any pet talents) but looses it’s value for Destruction as soon as we go for Grimoire of Sacrifice.

Multistrike is our new stat in WoD and it gives a % chance to deliver 30% extra attacks of a spell. Doesn´t scale as well with pets specs and talents.

Versatility is also a new WoD stat and it increases the damage done by a %. The value of the stat is rather low, so we don´t really want to go towards Versatility.


Single target (based off BiS gear list):

Int >> Critical Strike > Mastery ~= Multistrike  ~= Haste ~= Versatility

– I would aim for items with Critical Strike / Mastery on them as priority


My own character yielded following priority at 685~ item level

Int >> Critical Strike > Haste ~= Multistrike  ~= Mastery ~= Versatility

Simply just to point out, that after your first stat, there really isn´t much difference and with no reforging and limited gear options you really only care about your strongest stat (for gemming as well). Remember this is purely single target, so stats like Mastery scales up well on AoE against the others.



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 Highmaul and Blackrock Foundry fights) 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. So obviously always pick the stat you prioritize on your gear

Stat Gem
Critical Strike Greater Critical Strike Taladite
Mastery Greater Mastery Taladite
Haste Greater Haste Taladite
Multistrike Greater Multistrike Taladite
Versatility Greater Versatility Taladite



Professions doesn´t give you any DPS increase anymore in Warlords of Draenor, therefore you can pick whatever professions you want



Here is a list of the key damage spells for Destruction, next section contains more detailed use of them.

Destruction Resource

 Burning Ember



DPS rotation spells



Ember consuming spells

 [Chaos Bolt]

 [Shadowburn] under 20%


 [Dark Soul]

AoE/Multi target abilities

 Fire and Brimstone

 Rain of Fire


Rotation priority


 [Dark Soul]

 [Chaos Bolt] (*)

  •  [Shadowburn] under 20% w/ crit buffs / Dark Soul

 [Conflagrate] (**)


 Rain of Fire (only while moving)


(*) When to Chaos Bolt 

We want to save 3-3½  Burning Embers for whenever we have  Dark Soul ready, thus preferably not using Embers on non-buffed  Chaos Bolt´s unless it’s really nessecary.

Procs to look out for

–          Intellect procs from trinkets

–           Dark Soul (30% Critical Strike chance -> Increases CB damage)

–          Ring proc (10% intellect)

–          Weapon Enchant

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, example during Blood Lust, 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]


 Dark Soul

 [Conflagrate] x2 (6x Backdrafts)

4x  [Incinerate] *Use  Chaos Bolt even with Backdraft stacks if your ring proc will fade before you can cast 2x Chaos Bolt´s

 [Chaos Bolt]

 [Chaos Bolt](*)  /  [Incinerate] and fit in reapplying  [Immolate] with  Dark Soul effect

(*) “Make sure to get 2x   Chaos Bolts off before the 10 second ring proc fade, you can use Backdraft procs to consume CB as long as you don’t fail to get CB off with everything”


AoE rotation priority (+5 enemies)

  • Activate  [Fire and Brimstone]



 [Havoc] and cast  [Chaos Bolt] /  [Shadowburn]  (stick to  Fire and Brimstone at +6-8 targets)


 [Rain of Fire] *

* Rain of Fire on AoE

Rain of Fire no longer generates embers and are therefore hardly worth it, but at the start of 5 targets you should start to use it.


Multi target (2-5 targets)

Apply  [Immolate] to all targets

 [Havoc] and cast  [Chaos Bolt] /  [Shadowburn]

At +5 targets  [Fire and Brimstone] +   [Incinerate] should start to substain itself without dropping Fire and Brimstone.

Else, do your normal single target rotation


Best races for Destruction Warlock

Horde: Orc Blood Fury
Alliance: Dwarf Might of the Mountain 


Differences are minimal and doesn´t really matter unless you min max to the fullest

Link to original page: http://sparkuggz.com/wod-destruction-guide/


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