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Destruction Warlock DPS Spec, Builds, and Talents (Legion 7.0.3)

Last updated on Sep 14, 2016 at 08:37 by Furty 98 comments

Table of Contents

General Information

On this page, we present the viable talent choices for Destruction Warlocks in World of Warcraft Legion 7.0.3. We detail what each of the talents do and in which situations they should be taken.

The other pages of our Destruction Warlock guide can be accessed from the table of contents on the right.

About Our Author

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.

1. Talent Choices

Level Choices
15 Backdraft Backdraft Roaring Blaze Roaring Blaze Shadowburn Shadowburn
30 Reverse Entropy Reverse Entropy Cataclysm ? Cataclysm Mana Tap Mana Tap
45 Demon Skin Demon Skin Mortal Coil Mortal Coil Shadowfury Shadowfury
60 Eradication Eradication Fire and Brimstone ? Fire and Brimstone Soul Harvest ? Soul Harvest
75 Demonic Circle Demonic Circle Burning Rush Burning Rush Dark Pact Dark Pact
90 Grimoire of Supremacy Grimoire of Supremacy Grimoire of Service Grimoire of Service Grimoire of Sacrifice Grimoire of Sacrifice
100 Wreak Havoc Wreak Havoc Channel Demonfire Channel Demonfire Soul Conduit Soul Conduit

Talents can be freely changed when out of combat and in a rested XP area (such as an inn or a capital city). Moreover, Tome of the Tranquil Mind Icon Tome of the Tranquil Mind and Codex of the Tranquil Mind Icon Codex of the Tranquil Mind can be used to temporarily allow players to change talents anywhere, as long as they are out of combat.

2. Talent Cheat Sheets

Optimizing talents on a contextual basis is the highly recommended method of setting up your build, as many talents offer unique strengths in the right situation. I have decided to list a "cheat sheet" of sorts below, however, to help with a quick set up that should be just fine for most encounters. If you want to fully optimize your ability to play this specialization, I recommend reading the entire talents section here to gain additional insight on when swapping your talents would be beneficial.

2.1. Raid Encounters

This build is an excellent starting point as a standard raid setup.

2.1.1. Heavy Cleave/AOE

2.2. For General Use

These talents provide good quality of life and do not require much set up or ramp up, making them solid choices for leveling, dailies, and assorted world content.

3. Tier 1 (Level 15) Talents

Backdraft Backdraft Roaring Blaze Roaring Blaze Shadowburn Shadowburn

Tier 1 talents offer a variety of potent damage increases.

Backdraft Icon Backdraft is currently the best choice for most situations. It offers the best overall flexibility and excels in any scenario. With Feretory of Souls Icon Feretory of Souls equipped, this becomes the best choice on a single target as well.

Roaring Blaze Icon Roaring Blaze is the best talent on a pure single target encounter by a slim margin, though it requires a slight adjustment of play style. You should save your Conflagrate Icon Conflagrate charges for fresh applications of Immolate Icon Immolate in order to immediately apply the damage boost.

When you can consistently make use of the Soul Shard refunds from Shadowburn Icon Shadowburn on add fights, it takes over as the go to talent as it allows for efficient cleave and bottomless Soul Shards. A good example is Il'gynoth, Heart of Spookiness. It can also be a great choice for dungeon grinding and Mythic+.

4. Tier 2 (Level 30) Talents

Reverse Entropy Reverse Entropy Cataclysm ? Cataclysm Mana Tap Mana Tap

Tier 2 talents offer passive damage increases and some powerful AoE burst.

  • Reverse Entropy Icon Reverse Entropy reduces the cast time of Chaos Bolt Icon Chaos Bolt and Rain of Fire Icon Rain of Fire by 0.5 seconds and causes them to restore 35% of maximum Mana on cast.
  • Cataclysm Icon Cataclysm is an ability that deals a powerful burst of shadowflame damage to all targets within 8 yards.
  • Mana Tap Icon Mana Tap is an ability that consumes 25% of your current Mana in exchange for 10% increased damage for 20 seconds.

Reverse Entropy Icon Reverse Entropy is our best talent for most situations, as the reduced cast time is a huge plus and it eliminates wasted globals on Life Tap Icon Life Tap. It is also impossible to use incorrectly, making it a good choice for players of all levels.

Cataclysm Icon Cataclysm is a good alternative for fights where you can reliably land it on a group of stacked targets, such as large dungeon packs.

Mana Tap Icon Mana Tap is slightly better than Reverse Entropy Icon Reverse Entropy in theory (by a margin of about 1.5%), but generally falls behind in practice due to player error.

5. Tier 3 (Level 45) Talents

Demon Skin Demon Skin Mortal Coil Mortal Coil Shadowfury Shadowfury

Tier 3 talents focus on additional crowd control and some defensive utility.

  • Demon Skin Icon Demon Skin augments Soul Leech Icon Soul Leech so that it passively recharges at a rate of 1% of maximum health per second, and can now absorb of to 20% of your maximum health.
  • Mortal Coil Icon Mortal Coil horrifies a target for 3 seconds and heals you for a percentage of max health.
  • Shadowfury Icon Shadowfury stuns all enemies within 8 yards for 4 seconds.

Demon Skin Icon Demon Skin is the default choice for raiding as most raid fights do not have a use for crowd control. It has good defensive benefit, particularly for fights where damage is spiky, and has no downsides in any situation. Shadowfury Icon Shadowfury can be quite useful in Mythic dungeons, but does not see much use in raids. Mortal Coil Icon Mortal Coil is fairly useless as it has a shorter duration than Shadowfury Icon Shadowfury and only affects a single target. It is worth noting that the heal from Mortal Coil Icon Mortal Coil only happens if the target is successfully horrified, so it cannot be used on a raid boss for a little bit of extra healing.

6. Tier 4 (Level 60) Talents

Eradication Eradication Fire and Brimstone ? Fire and Brimstone Soul Harvest ? Soul Harvest

Tier 4 talents offer some interesting augments to existing abilities and a DPS cooldown.

  • Eradication Icon Eradication causes Chaos Bolt Icon Chaos Bolt to increase the damage you deal to that target by 12% for 6 seconds.
  • Fire and Brimstone Icon Fire and Brimstone causes your Incinerate Icon Incinerate to also hit all enemies near your target.
  • Soul Harvest Icon Soul Harvest is a DPS cooldown that increases all your damage by 20% for 10 seconds. The duration is increased by 2 seconds for each target afflicted with Immolate Icon Immolate, to a maximum of 30 seconds.

Eradication Icon Eradication is the best choice here, as you can keep a high uptime on the buff without too much effort. Fire and Brimstone Icon Fire and Brimstone is a viable alternative when you are dealing damage to at least 4 or more targets for an extended period, though is a very poor choice for short term AoE. Soul Harvest Icon Soul Harvest is a good choice for burst AoE, especially when combined with Cataclysm Icon Cataclysm. It is also good for pushing an important damage check.

7. Tier 5 (Level 75) Talents

Demonic Circle Demonic Circle Burning Rush Burning Rush Dark Pact Dark Pact

Tier 5 talents improve personal survivability and mobility.

  • Demonic Circle Icon Demonic Circle summons a circle that you can teleport to, which clears all movement slowing effects.
  • Burning Rush Icon Burning Rush increases your movement speed by 50% until cancelled, at the cost of 5% of your maximum health per second. You also cannot be slowed below 100% of your normal movement speed while it is active.
  • Dark Pact Icon Dark Pact sacrifices 20% of your demon's current health (or your health, if no demon is present) to shield you for 400% of that value for 20 seconds.

While all 3 of these talents have great practical use, Dark Pact Icon Dark Pact is your default choice as it can be used to great effect in any and every situation. Remember that Dark Pact Icon Dark Pact takes 20% of your demon's current health, so you will have a much larger absorb when your demon is at full health. Demonic Circle Icon Demonic Circle is very useful for fights that teleports and blinks can be abused on, like dealing with Shadowforce on Mannoroth. Burning Rush Icon Burning Rush is an option for fights where a movement speed increase feels required.

8. Tier 6 (Level 90) Talents

Grimoire of Supremacy Grimoire of Supremacy Grimoire of Service Grimoire of Service Grimoire of Sacrifice Grimoire of Sacrifice

Tier 6 talents improve your pets, or remove them entirely.

  • Grimoire of Supremacy Icon Grimoire of Supremacy allows you to permanently use Doomguards and Infernals as pets.
  • Grimoire of Service Icon Grimoire of Service allows you to summon a second demon of your choice for 25 seconds which deals 100% increased damage.
  • Grimoire of Sacrifice Icon Grimoire of Sacrifice allows you to sacrifice your demon to gain Demonic Power Icon Demonic Power, which causes your spells to sometimes deal additional shadow damage to nearby targets.

Grimoire of Service Icon Grimoire of Service is the clear choice for most raid encounters, as it offers the best overall single target damage and improves your burst. Grimoire of Sacrifice Icon Grimoire of Sacrifice starts to pull ahead in situations where you can regularly take advantage of the splash damage, such as dungeons, or encounters such as Cenarius.

Currently, Grimoire of Supremacy Icon Grimoire of Supremacy is not recommended, as the loss off the Summon Doomguard Icon Summon Doomguard cooldown combined with the Grimoire of Service Icon Grimoire of Service cooldown is not worth it. Grimoire of Supremacy Icon Grimoire of Supremacy is a good choice for questing and world content, however, as the sustained damage mob to mob is more valuable than the increased burst every few minutes. The infernal also makes a pretty good tank, which is useful for leveling warlocks.

9. Tier 7 (Level 100) Talents

Wreak Havoc Wreak Havoc Channel Demonfire Channel Demonfire Soul Conduit Soul Conduit

Tier 7 talents alter the playstyle and offer large damage increases.

Soul Conduit Icon Soul Conduit is good for single target and cleave, especially if there is a bit more movement involved. This is the best hybrid talent that you can use on any fight type and still experience success.

Channel Demonfire Icon Channel Demonfire is the best choice for pure single target on low movement fights, such as Nythendra. In such situations, however, you might be better off playing Demonology as it excels much better in that niche. Similar to Roaring Blaze Icon Roaring Blaze and Mana Tap Icon Mana Tap, however, it only pulls ahead by the slimmest of margins and is very unforgiving.

Wreak Havoc Icon Wreak Havoc is used to maximize your 2 target cleave. It should be taken any time you feel you could be getting a lot more damage out of Havoc Icon Havoc if it was not limited by the cooldown. It is a good choice on heavy cleave fights.

10. ChangeLog

  • 14 Sep. 2016: Minor updates for clarification. Added some hard numbers to some descriptions.
  • 29 Aug. 2016: Updated for Legion's launch.
  • 18 Jul. 2016: Updated for the Legion pre-patch.
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