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Another Destruction question thread

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So in the wake of 6.1 we're seeing more and more warlocks looking at pulling back from demo, and as one of the ones who honestly enjoys the destruction playstyle I've decided to add my own list of questions to the pool with the goal of shedding some light on the more commonly asked questions as well as a few of my own. Any answers from more theorycraft-savvy posters is much appreciated.

1: Is demo still better? does it outperform destruction in both single target and aoe heavy fights (assuming an equal level of skill) 
I have heard everything from "demo is still king" to "all specs are equal" down to the typical "warlock is dead"

2: Charred remains or Demonic servitude as single target default?
Again I have seen arguments made for both. Certainly DS offers stable, constant dps and a point of strength in movement-heavy encounters while CR offers a solution to the ember problem and further simplifies the spec by making chaos bolt overwhelming bulk of damage. 

3: Crit or mastery focus?
Both are prime destruction stats. Crit is a direct chaos bolt buff and mastery is an overall improvement to most of our spells. However, yet again I've seen forum posters citing mastery for a CR build while MrRobot is still suggesting the default "all crit, all the time"

Perhaps its to early for there to be definitive answers and judging by the number of other posts this is a situation on a lot of warlocks minds. I'd like to play the spec I enjoy again but I'm no longer in a position where I can justify ignoring the optimal meta

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I'm not seeing that many pull back from Demo, certainly experimenting with other specs...

 

Really though Demo remains top dog, I'll list my reasons why below. This assumes you play GoServ + Servitude for ST and Cataclysm for Cleave / AoE:

 

1) Mobility - Probably the number one reason I will stick with Demonology. Between all your instants in caster form and the freedom to spend Fury on ToC should you need, Demonology remains one of the most mobile specs in the game. Not being tied to Demonbolt means you can freely ToC your heart out whilst running circles around the boss. It also shifts a huge portion of your damage to passive sources. Not only does this improve mobility even further, but it also accounts for lesser player skill. If your pet is performing at 100th percentile, it will certainly drag your average up smile.png Affliction can deal with movement fairly well; Destruction (running GoSac+Charred Remains) may as well not show up unless it's pure Patchwerk.

 

2) Damage - All specs come up fairly tied on sims, but logs from this week show Destruction struggling to keep up on Gruul, a fight that doesn't really have THAT much movement. Affliction and Demonology are head and shoulders above in practice.

 

eLtXNMF.png

 

Highest parses from Warcraft Logs this week:

 

Demonology - 42.2k.

Affliction - 41.1k

Destruction - 35.3k

 

As soon as you start adding more targets however, the stopping power of Demonology shoots through the roof.

 

2 Targets:

 

jVQHmjG.png

 

3 Targets:

 

wFFFYAp.png.

 

Destruction retains the highest "priority target" damage by around 5% over Demonology, however this is based on Sims so please take everything with a grain of salt.

 

Now, to actually answer your Destruction questions:

 

I believe with 4pc, you want to run GoSac + CR on even on Single Target apart from high movement where Servitude will win out. Not that you really want to play Destruction on high movement fights anyway, but alas...

 

For stats, Mastery is king. Stack it, love it, transition to and from any spec with it.

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I'll take another angle on "Is it good?" question - think not about how much damage you dish out but rather how can you capitalize on your strong points in the given fights.

CR Destro powers lies in essentially 3 things - Shadowburn execute/cleave being almost unlimited, decent burst in the form of glyphed Dark Soul being here whenever you could need it and some nice sustained AoE possibilities.

However, it's mobility is even weaker than DemServ Destro - you have close to no damage when you are forced to move.

Highmaul fights were decently adapted to all those 3 factors. Plenty of cleave and AoE.
Movement was not that big and dealt with via good positioning or KJC.

What have changed in BRF?

1)The only things to really cleave are Kromog hands, Ka'graz wolves, Blackhand's tanks and some adds on Blast Furnace.
I wouldn't talk Darmac there because spears are not really having any big priority and adds are dealt with via burst AoE(read:Cataclysm)

2)No sustained AoE required - Furnace is priority targets fight, Thogar / Darmac are burst.
Kromog hands live long enough to be out of instant burst range - but yet still die too fast to make a deal out of FnB.
Iron Maidens are only 3 targets - not really making it effective either.

3)Burst situation is really healthy, however - for Blast Furnace, Blackhand's tanks and Ka'graz wolves.

4)Ton of movement packed.
Oregorger.
Hans/Franz. Thogar.

Ka'graz has some. Maidens too.
Blackhand.


I'd say that it's not like "Destro lacks damage". It's more like "Destro lacks it's fights".

My very personal view on this spec that keeps me away from it is 2 things:

1)It's not really fit for fights, as I've stated earlier. Other specs just do same things better.

2)I'm using mechanics I'm not really controling - random procs of weapon enchant, legendary ring and BRF trinkets. It's not comfortable for my gameplay at all.
 

Being able to maximize my mechanics for Highmaul with 20 second DS, Sandman's proc and limited embers, I ditched some damage, but right now, tables have turned and I have no real grasp on what I should be doing as Destro. The reputation of easy and straightforward spec is not really making it out for me, and it never really did.

I know that the answer to "How to play Destro" is certainly not "Go play Aff/Demo instead", but that's what I do, apparently.biggrin.png I can play those two but not the third.

Correct me if I'm wrong.
Hope I got some answers covered.
 

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First off my thanks for the answers. The hard truth seems to be that mechanically speaking demo is simply better-suited to the majority of BRF fights so I will swallow my love of green fire (it was a hard move to demo, not willingly done but now I cannot ignore the numbers) 

That said, on a slightly different topic I've got to ask, with the felguard animation so broken is it going to make any difference at all if I continue to take GoSup over GoSyn? the proc's random nature is still 5% less then the improvement from fel to wrathguard and without the demonbolt dump there's less chance for insane burst if everything lines up

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The 15% increase also applies to you, however. Getting a Synergy proc on top of a Dark Soul buffed Cataclysm can burst incredibly high, and gives you another proc to work with.

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The 15% increase also applies to you, however. Getting a Synergy proc on top of a Dark Soul buffed Cataclysm can burst incredibly high, and gives you another proc to work with.

Well that's just downright upsetting. I am completely opposed to the felguard's ancient model and xylophone tiptoe run

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Destro is fine for Beastlord/Thogar/Kromog. I'd say it's better than Demo for those fights. Demo can't kill spears, man-at-arms, firemenders (can't interrupt firemenders either), or individual grasping earth as well as Destro can. Demo will end up with higher numbers because it can blow up a cluster of adds, though..

Edited by Mikedawg

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Mythic Thogar has a ton of movement, I can't see Destruction really holding its own there. I might try it tonight on our re-kill, but Demo mobility is really a huge factor in my opinion.

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Ok so after looking at the simcraft logs I'm seeing a frankly horrible trend. 4piece tier owners seem to be exclusively using GoSuv and demonic servitude for double doomguard. Honestly this sounds all kinds of bad- I'd love to be able to use the newer models without gimping myself- but on the other hand the best guild on my server has locks running GoSup and service and just having a turret terorguard.

I'm leaning more and more toward just playing what I like. But with destro's movement issues there is little choice but demo, and within demo itself there's only so far I'm willing to align with a playstyle that I find abhorrent 

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@Liquidsteel I meant for the normal/heroic raiders. There is very little movement in heroic BRF, so I'm not sure why non-Mythic raiders hate the lack of mobility in Destro.

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