Destruction Warlock DPS Spec, Builds, Talents, and Glyphs (WoD 6.0.3)

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General Information

On this page, we present the viable talent and glyph choices for Destruction Warlocks in World of Warcraft WoD 6.0.3. We detail what each of the talents and glyphs 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 Reviewers

This guide has been reviewed and approved by two prominent Warlock theorycrafters: Gahddo, who maintains the Warlock profiles and rotations in Simulation Craft, and Zagam, our in-house Warlock theorycrafter.

6.0.2 Transition Guide

If you want to read all about the Patch 6.0.2 changes and learn how they affect your character, make sure to read our Warlock Transition Guide!

1. Talent Choices↑top

Level Choices
15 Dark Regeneration Soul Leech Searing Flames
30 Howl of Terror Mortal Coil Shadowfury
45 Soul Link Sacrificial Pact Dark Bargain
60 Blood Horror Burning Rush Unbound Will
75 Grimoire of Supremacy Grimoire of Service Grimoire of Sacrifice
90 Archimonde's Darkness Kil'jaeden's Cunning Mannoroth's Fury
100 Charred Remains Cataclysm Demonic Servitude
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  • Performance-enhancing
  • Survival
  • Crowd Control
  • Movement
  • Utility
  • Situational

Talents can easily be changed, thanks to Tome of the Clear Mind Icon Tomes of the Clear Mind. You will frequently find yourself changing talents and glyphs between encounters, in order to adapt your play style to different mechanics. Therefore, it is important to understand what each of your talents does and how they affect your play style.

2. Tier 1 Talents↑top

Tier 1 talents give you the choice between self-healing talents.

  • Dark Regeneration Icon Dark Regeneration restores 20% of maximum life to you and your demon over 12 seconds. During these 12 seconds, it also increases the healing you and your pet received by 25%. Dark Regeneration has a 2-minute cooldown.
  • Soul Leech Icon Soul Leech is a passive ability that causes your Incinerate Icon Incinerate, Shadowburn Icon Shadowburn, and Chaos Bolt Icon Chaos Bolt to grant you and your demon a shield that absorbs 15% of the damage they dealt and that lasts for 15 seconds. Dealing damage with these abilities while a Soul Leech shield is already active on you will simply refresh the shield and add 15% of the damage dealt to what remained of the previous shield. The shield's absorb value caps at 15% of your maximum health.
  • Searing Flames Icon Searing Flames causes Ember Tap Icon Ember Tap to do 50% more healing and refund 50% of its Burning Ember cost.

You can consider Soul Leech Icon Soul Leech to be the default talent of this tier, because it is entirely passive. If an encounter requires you to heal yourself at specific times, then you will want to choose Dark Regeneration Icon Dark Regeneration or Searing Flames Icon Searing Flames, depending on how often you need to heal yourself. Searing Flames Icon Searing Flames makes Ember Tap Icon Ember Tap more powerful and less costly, but it still costs half a Burning Ember, which means that it comes at a non-negligible DPS cost.

3. Tier 2 Talents↑top

Tier 2 talents give you the choice between several crowd control abilities.

  • Howl of Terror Icon Howl of Terror causes 5 enemies within 10 yards to be disoriented for 20 seconds. The effect can be canceled by damage.
  • Mortal Coil Icon Mortal Coil is both a crowd control and a survival ability. It causes the target to run in fear for 3 seconds and restores 11% of your maximum health. It has a 45-second cooldown.
  • Shadowfury Icon Shadowfury stuns all enemies within 8 yards for 3 seconds.

Mortal Coil Icon Mortal Coil will be the default choice as it also grants a bit of healing. If you need AoE crowd control, then you will go for Howl of Terror Icon Howl of Terror or Shadowfury Icon Shadowfury depending on what your raid will require.

4. Tier 3 Talents↑top

Tier 3 talents offer damage reduction mechanics. You have the choice between the following talents.

  • Soul Link Icon Soul Link causes 20% of the damage you take to be transferred to your demon and causes 3% of the damage you do to be healed back to you and your demon. This ability is only active when you have a demon active. Fall damage is not transferred to your demon. If you choose Grimoire of Sacrifice Icon Grimoire of Sacrifice as your Tier 5 talent, then Soul Link passively increases your maximum health by 20% when you sacrifice your demon.
  • Sacrificial Pact Icon Sacrificial Pact causes your demon to sacrifice 20% of its current health to give you a 20-second shield that absorbs up to 400% of the sacrificed health. If you do not have a demon out, 20% of your health is sacrificed instead. Sacrificial Pact is on a 1-minute cooldown.
  • Dark Bargain Icon Dark Bargain prevents all damage (except fall damage) for 8 seconds. After the 8 seconds are up, 50% of the damage prevented is dealt over 8 seconds. It has a 3-minute cooldown.

Soul Link Icon Soul Link and Sacrificial Pact Icon Sacrificial Pact the best talents here. Choosing between the two depends entirely on the fight. If you take low damage throughout the fight, then choose Soul Link Icon Soul Link. If damage is large and periodic, take Sacrificial Pact Icon Sacrificial Pact.

When using Grimoire of Sacrifice Icon Grimoire of Sacrifice as your Tier 5 talent, the massive shield with short cooldown provided by Sacrificial Pact Icon Sacrificial Pact is much more beneficial than the 20% health increase from Soul Link Icon Soul Link.

Dark Bargain Icon Dark Bargain is also a strong talent, but much more situational. On a 3-minute cooldown, it enables you to bypass encounter mechanics or to significantly reduce the damage you take during periods of high raid damage. That said, it is mostly interesting on encounters with high damage-spikes or when you want to soften the damage that you take at critical times, so that your healers can focus on other raid members.

5. Tier 4 Talents↑top

Tier 4 talents offer crowd control and utility abilities that cost health to use.

  • Blood Horror Icon Blood Horror causes enemies to run in horror for up to 4 seconds, if they melee you while Blood Horror is active. Activating Blood Horror costs 5% of your maximum health. Once activated, Blood Horror lasts 1 minute.
  • Burning Rush Icon Burning Rush is an ability that you can toggle on and off without restriction. While it is active, your movement speed is increased by 50% but you lose 4% of your maximum health every second. During Burning Rush, movement-impairing effects cannot reduce your movement speed below 100% (your regular running speed).
  • Unbound Will Icon Unbound Will removes all magic and movement-impairing effects from your character and your demon, as well as effects that cause loss of control of your character and your demon. It has a 2-minute cooldown and costs 20% of your maximum health.

Burning Rush Icon Burning Rush is extremely useful on fights where you need to move quickly (especially if there is no damage while you have to move).

Unbound Will Icon Unbound Will can be useful to remove harmful debuffs, movement-impairing effects, and all effects that cause you to lose control of your character. Note that if you are a Human Warlock, then you already have Every Man for Himself Icon Every Man for Himself, which does almost the same thing, just that it does not remove harmful debuffs.

Blood Horror Icon Blood Horror is not normally advised for raiding, although it may be useful on fights where adds may attack you. It is very strong for solo content.

6. Tier 5 Talents↑top

Tier 5 talents provide various modifications to your demons.

  • Grimoire of Supremacy Icon Grimoire of Supremacy replaces your minions with more powerful demons that deal 20% more damage. See the Demons section of our rotation page for more information.
  • Grimoire of Service Icon Grimoire of Service allows you to summon a second demon who fights for you for 20 seconds. When summoned, each demon performs a specific action, before moving on to casting its usual abilities.
    • The Imp cleanses a harmful magic effect from you.
    • The Voidwalker taunts its target.
    • The Succubus seduces its target, if it is a Humanoid.
    • The Felhunter interrupts its target.
  • Grimoire of Sacrifice Icon Grimoire of Sacrifice sacrifices your demon to increase the damage of your Incinerate Icon Incinerate, Chaos Bolt Icon Chaos Bolt, and Shadowburn Icon Shadowburn by 20%. The damage increase is disabled while Fire and Brimstone Icon Fire and Brimstone is active. You also regenerate 2% of your maximum health every 8 seconds. Finally, you get one of the abilities of the sacrificed demon, which takes the place of your Command Demon Icon Command Demon placeholder spell:
    • Imp: Singe Magic Icon Singe Magic (useful for removing 1 stack of most debuffs);
    • Voidwalker: Shadow Bulwark Icon Shadow Bulwark (+30% maximum health for 20 seconds, stacks with Soul Link Icon Soul Link);
    • Felhunter: Spell Lock Icon Spell Lock (useful on fights where interrupts are required);
    • Succubus: Whiplash Icon Whiplash (can be helpful on fights with adds).

Currently, Grimoire of Supremacy Icon Grimoire of Supremacy is recommended for all single-target situations and some multiple-target situations. Grimoire of Sacrifice Icon Grimoire of Sacrifice pulls ahead as secondary targets are added to the fight.

A typical example where Grimoire of Sacrifice Icon Grimoire of Sacrifice is better is a fight with many adds that do not need to be killed, but that you can use to provide yourself with a near-unlimited supply of Burning Embers. However, you need to remember that Grimoire of Sacrifice only boosts single-target spells but not spells you cast with Fire and Brimstone Icon Fire and Brimstone. So, on AoE fights where you rely a lot on Fire and Brimstone, Grimoire of Sacrifice does not outrank the other two talents.

7. Tier 6 Talents↑top

Tier 6 talents provide situational DPS increases.

Archimonde's Darkness Icon Archimonde's Darkness is the talent of choice for nearly all situations. If the fight has a lot of movement, you should take Kil'jaeden's Cunning Icon Kil'jaeden's Cunning. If the fight has a lot of adds, you should take Mannoroth's Fury Icon Mannoroth's Fury.

8. Tier 7 Talents↑top

Tier 7 talents give you performance-enhancing abilities.

Currently, Demonic Servitude Icon Demonic Servitude + Doomguard is the best option for single-target; in this case, do not use Grimoire of Sacrifice Icon Grimoire of Sacrifice, as it has no interaction with Demonic Servitude, so it just ends up removing the damage increase you get from being able to have a powerful pet accompanying you.

For multiple-target situations, Cataclysm Icon Cataclysm is the talent of choice, especially if you need burst AoE/cleave damage on high priority adds.

Charred Remains Icon Charred Remains is a rather weak talent and should not be taken.

9. Major Glyphs↑top

The potentially useful major glyphs are listed below.

10. Minor Glyphs↑top

Minor Glyphs are cosmetic and none of them will improve your performance while raiding. Two of them will be useful while leveling or questing and might have very occasional uses in dungeons or raids.

11. Changelog↑top

  • 27 Nov. 2014: Adjusted Tier 6 talent advice, following the Rain of Fire nerf, which made Mannoroth's Fury a lot less appealing.
  • 16 Nov. 2014: Added Level 100 talents and updated Tier 5 talent advice. Added Level 100 glyphs.