TBC Classic Destruction Warlock Spec, Builds, and Talents

Last updated on Jun 01, 2021 at 10:39 by Crix 6 comments

On this page, you will find out the best PvE talent choices and builds for your Destruction Warlock in TBC Classic.



Warlocks are exceptionally strong in PvE, arguably the best damage in the game. A big change in TBC is the debuff slots have been raised to 40, leaving Warlocks able to use more of their toolkit to add to their already massive damage. Warlocks still have to keep 100% uptime on their Curses, however with Curse of Shadows being removed and baked into Curse of the Elements IconCurse of the Elements, another Warlock is now able to Curse of Doom IconCurse of Doom or Curse of Agony IconCurse of Agony depending on the situation. Warlocks throughout TBC will be dominant in the raiding scene and just get stronger as the expansion goes on, and not just because of the massive damage from these builds, but also the fact that we truly have multiple viable options for builds.


Destruction Warlock Talent Builds

Destruction is the go-to raiding spec for many reasons. There are two very good Destruction specs that are both very powerful. Both are considered rather boring, with more or less spamming one button for your rotation, however both are extremely strong. Your choices are either Shadow Destructon (Shadow Destro), or Fire Destruction (Fire Destro). Both have their own niche applications and which you choose depends solely on your raid composition and preference. Before we get into the builds, let us delve into the difference between Shadow and Fire Destro, as well the stipulations for deciding on which to play.

The main difference is their main spell. Shadow Destro uses Shadow Bolt IconShadow Bolt as their main spell, while Fire Destro uses the new spell Incinerate IconIncinerate. Another difference is that you would use Demonic Sacrifice IconDemonic Sacrifice to sacrifice your Summon Succubus IconSummon Succubus if you are Shadow Destro, while as Fire, you sacrifice your Summon Imp IconSummon Imp. The final difference is the set you choose to craft with Tailoring.

Fire Destro is higher personal DPS throughout all of The Burning Crusade. That being said, it is not always the highest raid DPS to have Fire Warlocks. Currently, it appears that Fire Destro will be the top DPS choice until Tier 6 releases. Despite this, playing it is not as simple as just sacrificing your Imp and spamming Incinerate IconIncinerates.

You will need a few things that not everyone will have. The first one is a Fire Mage; Fire Mages brings a special Talent called Improved Scorch IconImproved Scorch, which increases all Fire damage on the target by 15%. As you can imagine, this is huge. Mix that with the 15% Fire damage from your Summon Imp IconSummon Imp and Demonic Sacrifice IconDemonic Sacrifice, Destruction tree talents like Emberstorm IconEmberstorm and Shadow and Flame IconShadow and Flame, and of course the Tailoring Spellfire set, and your Incinerate IconIncinerates will be able to put out large amounts of damage.

On top of all this, you also have a new consumable called Flame Cap Icon Flame Caps, which give you a massive 80 more Fire damage for one minute, which is the same amount of Spell Power that a Flask gives you! All of this combined and it is easy to see why Fire is superior.

The issue lies with the Mages and their meta. If the meta leans towards them being Fire, then there’s no issue for us and Fire Destro is 100% the way to go. If the meta leans towards Arcane, which it is projected to, you will have to talk to one of your Mages to bite the bullet and go Fire.

Another option is for a Mage to spec for Arcane/Fire (Arcfire), rather than Arcane/Frost (Arcfrost). It is a minimal DPS loss for the Mage, while allowing for all of your Warlocks to be Fire Destro, which is a personal DPS gain for not only all of your Warlocks, but your overall raid DPS goes up as well.

Seed of Corruption IconSeed of Corruption, your main and only AoE that you’ll be using is, is Shadow damage. So as Fire Destro, you will have to use Demonic Sacrifice IconDemonic Sacrifice much more than if you were Shadow Destro in order to maximize your AoE potential. This is not an issue, just make sure you always have Soul Shards and you are quick at swapping from your Imp to Succubus and back to the Imp.

Another slight issue is your Tailoring situation. For Fire Destro, you will need to craft your Spellfire set, which is never a bad thing. The issue lies with swapping to Shadow Destro down the road. You will still need to craft Frozen Shadoweave Boots Icon Frozen Shadoweave Boots, as they last you quite a long time and you cannot have Spellfire AND Frozen Shadoweave. You have to switch specializations to Shadoweave in order to craft the boots, which can be very expensive.

Flame Caps are vital to your success as a Fire Destruction Warlock. Flame Cap Icon Flame Cap is aa herb that you can only find in Zangarmarsh and they are much more rare than all the other Herbs. Unless you have time, and a Herbalist, you will be buying these off the Auction House, where you can expect to spend a good amount of Gold for these rare Herbs.


Shadow and Fire Destruction

This is your bread and butter spec for both Shadow and Fire Destro. This gives you just enough to get Demonic Sacrifice IconDemonic Sacrifice, with the rest of your points dropping down into Destruction to Shadow and Flame IconShadow and Flame, which significantly buffs your Shadow Bolt IconShadow Bolt and Incinerate IconIncinerate. You can opt to put points into Nether Protection IconNether Protection and Soul Leech IconSoul Leech if you need the survivability, or until you get used to the fights. However, unless Blizzard significantly buffs the content, we doubt it will be needed. With this build, you sacrifice those survivability points for more damage in Improved Immolate IconImproved Immolate and Emberstorm IconEmberstorm.

The point in Conflagrate IconConflagrate is a flex point to put where you would like. We suggest Conflagrate IconConflagrate, as it gets a lot of value on fights where you have to move. It is also never suggested to put your first five points into Cataclysm IconCataclysm because you switch frequently between Fire and Shadow and will be casting Shadow Bolts, which means Improved Shadow Bolt IconImproved Shadow Bolt will help other Warlocks and Shadow Priests. On top of that, the Mana return you save from Cataclysm is minor.



  • 01 Jun. 2021: Guide added.
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