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Destruction Warlock DPS Guide (Legion 7.1.5)

Last updated on Jan 17, 2017 at 08:52 by Furty 179 comments

Table of Contents

General Information

Welcome to our Destruction Warlock DPS guide for World of Warcraft Legion 7.1.5. Here, you will learn everything you need to know about playing a Destruction Warlock in a raid environment and in Mythic+ dungeons.

About Our Author and Reviewer

This guide has been written by Furty, who has an illustrious history in the World of Warcraft raiding scene and race for World First. He has been a member of guilds such as Serenity, Midwinter, and many more, and is currently raiding in Myst. He plays most classes at the highest level. You can follow him on Twitter and watch him play on Twitch.

This guide has been reviewed and approved by Gahddo, a prominent warlock theorycrafter who maintains the Warlock profiles and rotations in Simulation Craft, and by Bangerz, a top raider who plays in Method; you can his stream on Twitch and follow him on Twitter.

1. Class Overview

Destruction Warlock is the most flexible of the Warlock specializations, able to bring to bear a wide variety of damage archetypes to fit the situation. This specialization provides exceptionally strong and efficient 2 target cleave and is not particularly gear reliant to pump out meaningful numbers. Like all Warlock specializations, Destruction brings Demonic Gateway Icon Demonic Gateway, a powerful raid cooldown that can transport your entire group 40 yards instantly.Destruction is typically the ideal progression candidate due to its flexibility and its ability to quickly burn down high priority targets with ease, though it can be outshone by Demonology on farm content, or encounters where mortality and mobility are not meaningful concerns.

2. What Has Changed?

  • Burning Embers have been replaced by Soul Shards.
  • Instead of each cast generating resources, Conflagrate Icon Conflagrate and Immolate Icon Immolate are responsible for Soul Shard generation exclusively.
  • Chaos Bolt Icon Chaos Bolt costs 2 Soul Shards (instead of 1 Ember), so pooling to cast several Chaos Bolt Icon Chaos Bolts consecutively is no longer possible.
  • The damage of the filler spells has been increased considerably to compensate for the reduction in Chaos Bolt Icon Chaos Bolt casts.
  • Rain of Fire Icon Rain of Fire now costs Soul Shards and has been buffed considerably.
  • Destruction Warlocks no longer have Chaotic Energies (or rather, it has been reworked into the new Mastery); we now have to regenerate Mana via Life Tap Icon Life Tap or talents.
  • Grimoires have been altered so Grimoire of Sacrifice Icon Grimoire of Sacrifice is no longer the dominant choice exclusively.
  • Havoc Icon Havoc has been altered so it copies all spells for a set duration rather than using a charge based system.
  • Some of the warlock defensive power has been stripped away.
  • Many glyphs are no longer present within the game.
  • Many changes to the talent tree, including a variety of new abilities and passives.

3. Patch 7.1.5 Changes

  • Several talents have been redesigned or removed, or changed positions on the talent tree.
  • Backdraft Icon Backdraft has been changed to now affect your next 2 Chaos Bolt Icon Chaos Bolt or Incinerate Icon Incinerate casts, rather than casts made in the next 5 seconds, and can stack up to 4 times.
  • Channel Demonfire Icon Channel Demonfire has been buffed and now splashes 50% of its damage to nearby targets, and is no longer affected by Havoc Icon Havoc.
  • Shadowburn Icon Shadowburn has been redesigned to now be a Soul Shard generator rather than consumer with a short cooldown.
  • Grimoire of Sacrifice Icon Grimoire of Sacrifice has been nerfed.
  • Demonic Circle Icon Demonic Circle now lasts 15 minutes, up from 6.
  • Soul Harvest Icon Soul Harvest has been buffed to last 15 seconds, up from 10, with a maximum of 35 seconds, up from 30.

4. Strengths

  • Exceptional 2-target cleave
  • Exceptional ability to quickly switch targets and apply instant pressure
  • Exceptional damage to targets with a short lifespan ("fingertip" burst - essentially good burst in a short time window, e.g. 2 Chaos Bolt Icon Chaos Bolt casts back to back)
  • Able to adapt and compete on a variety of encounter types

5. Weaknesses

  • Average single target burst (e.g. weak DPS cooldowns compared with other classes)
  • Immobile

6. Viability in the Current Patch

Destruction is a viable raid specialization that excels are bursting down important targets and dealing high 2-target cleave. It is a good choice for encounters where damage to the boss is not as important as the ability to quickly eliminate dangerous targets.

7. Contents

To make it easy to navigate the guide, we have split it into 10 pages:

8. ChangeLog

  • 17 Jan. 2017 (gear page): Updated legendaries, added new legendaries, added Nighthold BiS list.
  • 14 Jan. 2017 (talents page): Updated final talents based off of empirical testing.
  • 12 Jan. 2017 (bosses page): Updated Emerald Nightmare talent advice.
  • 12 Jan. 2017 (addons page): Added Rain of Fire macro.
  • 12 Jan. 2017 (artifact page): Quick update to relic priority (Immo>CB>Incin>SS refund)
  • 12 Jan. 2017 (gear page): Updated Legendaries (still need to add new Legendaries).
  • 11 Jan. 2017 (talents page): Fixed the talents graphic bar.
  • 09 Jan. 2017 (this page): Added a Patch 7.1.5 changes section, and updated strengths/weaknesses and viability sections.
  • 09 Jan. 2017 (enchants page): Updated potion section to be more concise.
  • 09 Jan. 2017 (artifact page): Checked and confirmed for Patch 7.1.5.
  • 09 Jan. 2017 (talents page): Updated for Patch 7.1.5.
  • 09 Jan. 2017 (stats page): Stat priority remains the same but we removed the stat weights for now. We will re-add them once things stabilise.
  • 09 Jan. 2017 (rotation page): Updated APL, opener, and various sections for Patch 7.1.5.
  • 09 Jan. 2017 (easy mode page): Updated the easy mode talent build for Patch 7.1.5.
  • 11 Dec. 2016 (easy mode page): Added easy mode for Destruction Warlocks.
  • 11 Dec. 2016 (gear page): Added trinket list, Mythic+ BiS list, and updated Raid BiS list.
  • 10 Dec. 2016 (talents page): Updated talent builds (T1/T4/T7)
  • 10 Dec. 2016 (rotation page): Updated Dimensional Rift section.
  • 10 Dec. 2016 (artifact page): Swapped Fire From the Sky and Master of Disaster.
  • 10 Dec. 2016 (bosses page): Updated talent choices for some bosses.
  • 31 Oct. 2016 (rotation page): Fixed some typos.
  • 30 Oct. 2016 (enchants page): Added a "Potion Choice" section to illuminate the pros and cons of pots, following the addition of Potion of Prolonged Power.
  • 25 Oct. 2016 (talents page): Updated talents following the swap of Demon Skin and Demonic Circle in Patch 7.1.
  • 17 Oct. 2016 (talents page): Updated talents a bit.
  • 14 Oct. 2016 (rotation page): Minor update to opener to optimize potion uptime.
  • 14 Oct. 2016 (gear page): Added trinket from Withered J'im.
  • 10 Oct. 2016 (bosses page): Added boss by boss guide for Destruction Warlocks.
  • 14 Sep. 2016 (rotation page): Updated for clarity and parity with suggested talents.
  • 14 Sep. 2016 (gear page): Legendary updates.
  • 14 Sep. 2016 (this page): Added some additional viability details & clarifications.
  • 14 Sep. 2016 (enchants page): Replaced Mark of the Claw with Mark of the Hidden Satyr for the Neck enchant.
  • 14 Sep. 2016 (stats page): Updated stat weights.
  • 14 Sep. 2016 (talents page): Minor updates for clarification. Added some hard numbers to some descriptions.
  • 04 Sep. 2016 (enchants page): Changed the gem recommendations to Quick Dawnlight in every socket.
  • 29 Aug. 2016 (gear page): Updated for Legion's launch.
  • 29 Aug. 2016 (talents page): Updated for Legion's launch.
  • 29 Aug. 2016 (this page): Updated for Legion's launch.
  • 29 Aug. 2016 (stats page): Updated for Legion's launch.
  • 29 Aug. 2016 (artifact page): Added.
  • 29 Aug. 2016 (rotation page): Updated for Legion's launch.
  • 29 Aug. 2016 (spells page): Updated for Legion's launch.
  • 29 Aug. 2016 (enchants page): Updated for Legion's launch.
  • 20 Jul. 2016 (gear page): Removed trinket sims and added proper recommendations.
  • 18 Jul. 2016 (addons page): Updated for the Legion pre-patch.
  • 18 Jul. 2016 (enchants page): Updated for the Legion pre-patch.
  • 18 Jul. 2016 (talents page): Updated for the Legion pre-patch.
  • 18 Jul. 2016 (spells page): Updated for the Legion pre-patch.
  • 18 Jul. 2016 (this page): Updated for the Legion pre-patch.
  • 18 Jul. 2016 (stats page): Updated for the Legion pre-patch.
  • 18 Jul. 2016 (rotation page): Updated for the Legion pre-patch.
  • 18 Jul. 2016 (gear page): Updated for the Legion pre-patch.
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