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Destruction Warlock DPS The Emerald Nightmare Boss by boss (Legion 7.1.5)

Last updated on Jan 12, 2017 at 07:53 by Furty 178 comments

Table of Contents

General Information

On this page, you will find boss by boss strategies for your Destruction Warlock for current content.

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

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.


In this section you will find information pertaining to each boss individually. It is recommended you follow the standard talent build found in the Builds, Talents, and Glyphs section of the guide unless otherwise advised on a per boss basis. Much of the information is geared towards Mythic encounters, though it can be applied equally to the lesser difficulties.

1. Nythendra

Nythendra is fairly straightforward fight. The timers for Rot Icon Rot are very consistent and predictable, which you should use to your advantage. Play in anticipation of receiving the debuff; do not start a Channel Demonfire Icon Channel Demonfire cast right as Rot Icon Rot is going out, for example. Infested Breath Icon Infested Breath is also very predictable. Try and be fairly close to the boss when this ability draws near, as it is a conic effect. The further you are from the boss, the further you will have to laterally move to escape the range of the breath.

Good positioning is key for Heart of the Swarm Icon Heart of the Swarm to ensure minimal movement, damage intake, and Infested Icon Infested stacks. Generally you are safe to leave Burning Rush Icon Burning Rush on during the entire Heart of the Swarm Icon Heart of the Swarm phase, as there is no damage intake unless you are hit by mechanics, and the speed increase will allow you to dodge the pools and bugs more easily.

2. Ursoc

Optimizing on Ursoc mainly comes down to ensuring your movement and positioning is immaculate. Take advantage of Burning Rush Icon Burning Rush as much as possible during the fight, as the raid damage is spiky and predictable. Make sure you are ahead of the group's movement for every Roaring Cacophony Icon Roaring Cacophony; you want to be in range to soak the ability, but far enough you only have to take little or no steps to escape the Miasma Icon Miasma. Plan your burst windows in such a fashion that they are not interrupted by a Focused Gaze Icon Focused Gaze or the Barreling Impact Icon Barreling Impact that comes after. Pre-position for the next Roaring Cacophony Icon Roaring Cacophony if you are debuffed with Momentum Icon Momentum. This helps ensure your damage is not interrupted by having to dodge the charge and saves overall movement.

On Mythic difficulty, ensure you are ready to Havoc Icon Havoc immediately and save some Soul Shards to immediately apply pressure to the nightmare images.

3. Elerethe Renferal

Your Demonic Gateway Icon Demonic Gateway can be used to amazing effect on this fight to span the gap between the first and second platforms. Using this hidden trick, you can actually get from the first to second platform faster than if you use a Shimmering Feather Icon Shimmering Feather. Place the Demonic Gateway Icon Demonic Gateway as shown below.

Channel Demonfire Icon Channel Demonfire is a great choice on this boss, as the movement is minimal and predictable. Burning Rush Icon Burning Rush makes a good do-all mobility choice, but Demonic Circle Icon Demonic Circle can be fantastic here too if properly used (requires a cancelaura macro to replace on subsequent platforms). Place the Demonic Circle Icon Demonic Circle roughly in the center of the first platform and it can be used to quickly escape Feeding Time Icon Feeding Time in either direction. On Mythic difficulty Burning Rush Icon Burning Rush is generally preferred as Demonic Circle Icon Demonic Circle becomes useless if you have a Web of Pain Icon Web of Pain.

Good use of Havoc Icon Havoc can clean you up some extra damage on the spiderlings, though your focus should be the boss itself. Try to ensure you have some instant cast charges banked (ideally of  Icon Dimensional Rift, so your Roaring Blaze Icon Roaring Blaze rotation is not affected) for Feeding Time Icon Feeding Time to help cover the movement.

4. Dragons of Nightmare

Dragons of Nightmare is a perfect encounter for Destruction on the lower difficulties. On Heroic difficulty and lower, you can stand between the dragons (at maximum range from both) and avoid being afflicted with either of their debuffs. This allows you to easily maintain 100% uptime on your Havoc Icon Havoc throughout the duration of the fight, which results in a huge damage gain overall. Be sure to soak any Nightmare Bloom Icon Nightmare Bloom you may spawn. You can dispel any Defiled Vines Icon Defiled Vines if you are playing with an Imp out, though Grimoire of Sacrifice Icon Grimoire of Sacrifice is preferred here.

Maintaining Havoc Icon Havoc is also possible on Mythic difficulty, though it requires greater poise, as the range of the boss debuffs are increased from 40 yards to 60 yards. To maintain a high uptime on Wreak Havoc Icon Wreak Havoc you will have to pay careful attention to the debuff timers and stay on one side of the room. When your Havoc Icon Havoc and the debuffs are not going out you can dash over and quickly reapply your Havoc Icon Havoc before returning to your side of the room. Demonic Circle Icon Demonic Circle is a little better for doing this but Burning Rush Icon Burning Rush gives you more flexibility for other parts of the fight, so take your pick here. In order to correctly pull this off in Mythic difficulty, you also have to have a good presence of mind for what "60 yards" from the boss is. Cast range from the boss is about 50 yards on this boss, as "max range" for casters is 40 yards to the edge of the melee hitbox, whereas the debuff range is 60 yards from the boss' centre. This means you do not have to move a full 20 yards back and forth every time you need to reapply, but you do need to build an instinctual reference for your safety net. Demonic Gateway Icon Demonic Gateway should be placed to assist the groups traveling through the portals as needed.

5. Il'gynoth, Heart of Corruption

This is a very flexible fight overall, and talents can be rearranged as necessary to compensate for whatever you feel is lacking in your raid composition. Nightmare Ichor is rarely an issue on this fight, so you will want to focus more on cleaving down the priority targets. When there are no extra tentacles to cleave, you should keep your Havoc Icon Havoc rolling on the Nightmare Horror. Otherwise, focus primarily on quickly melting Corruptor Tentacles and Deathglare Tentacles. Demonic Gateway Icon Demonic Gateway can be placed on either side of the room to allow players to quickly reach the Corruptor Tentacles that spawn there later in the encounter.

6. Cenarius

This is a very high movement encounter, particularly on Mythic difficulty, so cerebral positioning is key. Pay careful attention to Nightmare Brambles Icon Nightmare Brambles at all times, as getting rooted can easily be a fatal mistake. Depending on your strategy you may favour Wreak Havoc Icon Wreak Havoc or Soul Conduit Icon Soul Conduit as your end tier talent, and both are fine choices here. Always try and position in a central location between the boss and the forces of Nightmare to allow continued maintenance of Havoc Icon Havoc or Immolate Icon Immolate on the boss. Burning Rush Icon Burning Rush is preferred here, particularly on Mythic difficulty, as it will allow you to more easily avoid the deadly Beasts of Nightmare present in the final phase of the encounter. Demonic Gateway Icon Demonic Gateway can be placed between the melee group and the point where forces of Nightmare are generally tanked to ease in their travel to and from the boss.

7. Xavius

Xavius is a very straightforward fight on all difficulties. Your focus should be primarily centered around dumpstering adds in the first two phases, making Wreak Havoc Icon Wreak Havoc a good choice here. Mobility is not much of an issue on this boss, so feel free to swap out Burning Rush Icon Burning Rush for Dark Pact Icon Dark Pact if you desire. In the final phase you can roll Havoc Icon Havoc on one of the tentacles for free damage and Soul Shards. Always have Soul Shards banked in anticipation of Corruption: Descent into Madness Icon Corruption: Descent into Madness to get a final burst of damage out before you are mind controlled. You are safe to hit 100% Corruption while in the dream as when Corruption: Descent into Madness Icon Corruption: Descent into Madness ends you will lose the dream buff rather than being fully mind controlled.

8. ChangeLog

  • 12 Jan. 2017: Updated Emerald Nightmare talent advice.
  • 10 Dec. 2016: Updated talent choices for some bosses.
  • 10 Oct. 2016: Added boss by boss guide for Destruction Warlocks.
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