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Destruction Warlock DPS Guide (Legion 7.1)

Last updated on Oct 31, 2016 at 15:57 by Furty 149 comments

Table of Contents

General Information

Welcome to our Destruction Warlock DPS guide for World of Warcraft Legion 7.1. 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 raids in Serenity, one of the top World of Warcraft guilds. 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.

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  • Burning Embers have been replaced by Soul Shards.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. 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

4. Weaknesses

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

5. 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.

6. Contents

To make it easy to navigate the guide, we have split it into 9 pages:

7. ChangeLog

  • 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 (gear page): Added trinket from Withered J'im.
  • 14 Oct. 2016 (rotation page): Minor update to opener to optimize potion uptime.
  • 10 Oct. 2016 (bosses page): Added boss by boss guide for Destruction Warlocks.
  • 14 Sep. 2016 (this page): Added some additional viability details & clarifications.
  • 14 Sep. 2016 (gear page): Legendary updates.
  • 14 Sep. 2016 (enchants page): Replaced Mark of the Claw with Mark of the Hidden Satyr for the Neck enchant.
  • 14 Sep. 2016 (talents page): Minor updates for clarification. Added some hard numbers to some descriptions.
  • 14 Sep. 2016 (rotation page): Updated for clarity and parity with suggested talents.
  • 14 Sep. 2016 (stats page): Updated stat weights.
  • 04 Sep. 2016 (enchants page): Changed the gem recommendations to Quick Dawnlight in every socket.
  • 29 Aug. 2016 (this page): Updated for Legion's launch.
  • 29 Aug. 2016 (stats page): Updated for Legion's launch.
  • 29 Aug. 2016 (rotation page): Updated for Legion's launch.
  • 29 Aug. 2016 (enchants page): Updated for Legion's launch.
  • 29 Aug. 2016 (spells page): Updated for Legion's launch.
  • 29 Aug. 2016 (talents page): Updated for Legion's launch.
  • 29 Aug. 2016 (artifact page): Added.
  • 29 Aug. 2016 (gear page): Updated for Legion's launch.
  • 20 Jul. 2016 (gear page): Removed trinket sims and added proper recommendations.
  • 18 Jul. 2016 (rotation page): Updated for the Legion pre-patch.
  • 18 Jul. 2016 (talents page): Updated for the Legion pre-patch.
  • 18 Jul. 2016 (stats page): Updated for the Legion pre-patch.
  • 18 Jul. 2016 (spells page): Updated for the Legion pre-patch.
  • 18 Jul. 2016 (enchants page): Updated for the Legion pre-patch.
  • 18 Jul. 2016 (this page): Updated for the Legion pre-patch.
  • 18 Jul. 2016 (addons page): Updated for the Legion pre-patch.
  • 18 Jul. 2016 (gear page): Updated for the Legion pre-patch.
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