Destruction Warlock PvP Guide for WotLK Classic

Last updated on Jan 10, 2024 at 15:52 by Chanimal 1 comment

Welcome to our PvP Destruction Warlock guide for Wrath of the Lich King. Here you will learn all you need to know to properly play Destruction Warlock in PvP scenarios.



Destruction Warlock differs from Affliction Warlock greatly. Instead of focusing on spread pressure, Destruction Warlocks aim to crowd control the enemy team and burst down one target quickly in a short window. Destruction Warlocks hard cast a lot of their abilities, and pairs well with other classes that have a lot of Crowd Control abilities and burst damage.


Strengths and Weaknesses

V Strengths
  • +Extremely high burst damage, can easily surprise your enemies.
  • +Very quick damage setup, can quickly swap targets if you catch someone out of place.
  • +Multiple forms of crowd control for peeling.
X Weaknesses
  • -Relies on casting most spells for damage.
  • -Hard time dealing with line of site and high mobility targets.
  • -Damage is very telegraphed who and when you are bursting.

General PvP Talent Build

This talent build differs by having 4 points in Improved Shadow Bolt IconImproved Shadow Bolt. This causes your Shadow Bolt IconShadow Bolt ability to deal the same amount of damage as an Incinerate IconIncinerate while applying the Shadow Mastery IconShadow Mastery 5% crit debuff. This is the general build that should be ran for PvP scenarios.


2v2 PvP Talent Build

In 2v2, you should change some talents to take Improved Sayaad IconImproved Sayaad while using the Succubus pet. This allows you to double CC by yourself, using Seduction IconSeduction on 1 target and Shadowfury IconShadowfury into Fear IconFear on your kill target.


Glyphs For PvP Destruction Warlock in Wrath of the Lich King


Major Glyphs

  1. Glyph of Conflagrate Icon Glyph of Conflagrate — Allows you to freely cast Conflagrate IconConflagrate without removing Immolate IconImmolate.
  2. Glyph of Shadowflame Icon Glyph of Shadowflame — Snares targets hit by your Shadowflame IconShadowflame, allowing you to kite or peel for your teammates.
  3. Glyph of Succubus Icon Glyph of Succubus — Causes your Seduction IconSeduction to remove DoT effects.
  4. Glyph of Immolate Icon Glyph of Immolate — Causes your Immolate IconImmolate to deal 10% more damage, and therefore your Conflagrate IconConflagrate to as well.

Minor Glyphs

  1. Glyph of Curse of Exhaustion Icon Glyph of Curse of Exhaustion — Increases the range of your Curse of Exhaustion IconCurse of Exhaustion spell, allowing it to be used from 41 yards away.
  2. Glyph of Drain Soul Icon Glyph of Drain Soul — Allows you to gain extra Soul Shards when casting Drain Soul IconDrain Soul.
There is no third glyph slot that has any combat benefit in a PvP setting.

Stat Priority

As a Destruction Warlock it is important to prioritise the correct stats in order to perform in Wrath of the Lich King PvP. Below, we go over relevant stats that you should aim for.



Resilience is the single most important stat for a Destruction Warlock in PvP. This stat grants a flat damage reduction, reduced chance to be crit as well as reducing the damage taken from any crits that land. Destruction Warlocks want to aim for at least 1300 resilience.


Hit Rating

In order for your spells (and your pet's spells) to land without missing, you need to reach Hit Rating thresholds. Against level 80 players, this cap is 4%. However, there are certain specs such as Retribution Paladins and Subtlety Rogues who require an extra 4%. Additionally, certain races such as Draeneis, Blood Elves and Undead require an extra 2%. As such, the realistic Hit Rating % to aim for is 6%.


Spell Penetration

Similar to Hit Rating, Spell Pentration is another stat that is required so that your spells don't resist. Spell Penetration counteracts Magic Resistance such as Shadow Resistance. For a Destruction Warlock, you should aim for as close to 130 Spell Pentration as possible.


Spell Power

Spell Power increases the damage dealt by all of your abilities. This stat is the best stat to aim for if you want to increase your DPS output.



Haste is the best stat after Resilience, Hit Rating and Spell Pentration. While Haste is not the best stat for increasing raw DPS output, it allows you to dish out damage and maintain your curses. Additionally, it reduces your Global Cooldown time and reduces your cast time.


Critical Strike Rating

Critical Strike Rating is better for increasing your DPS than Haste but not Spell Power. However, due to the fast-paced nature of Wrath of the Lich King PvP, Haste is a better stat to prioritise.


Best Professions

If you are looking to optimise your Destruction Warlock in Wrath of the Lich King PvP, these are the recommended professions:

  1. Jewelcrafting — Gives you three Jewelcrafting specific gems, Mystic Dragon's Eye Icon Mystic Dragon's Eye, totalling an extra 42 Resilience.
  2. EngineeringHand-Mounted Pyro Rocket Icon Hand-Mounted Pyro Rocket gives you an off-global instant Rocket that deals a moderate amount of damage, allowing for extra burst or sniping a Tremor Totem IconTremor Totem.
  3. BlacksmithingSocket Bracer IconSocket Bracer and Socket Gloves IconSocket Gloves gives you 2 extra sockets in your gear, totalling an extra 40 Resilience.

Rotation and Playstyle

Destruction Warlocks playstyle should focus on creating as many windows to free cast damage as possible. For example, asting Shadowfury IconShadowfury into a Fear IconFear on an enemy healer, and then casting damage into your target is much more effective than dealing damage while the healer is not in Crowd Control.

It is worth applying Corruption IconCorruption to protect your Immolate IconImmolate and Fear IconFear from being dispelled or when you need to move.


Best in SLot

The list linked below includes the best possible gear setup for a Destruction Warlock in PvP.


Destruction Warlock Arena Teams and Compositions in Wrath of the Lich King

When it comes to evaluating Destruction Warlock's place within the Arena, we have created a number of guides devoted to listing a variety of popular team compositions which you can find below.



  • 10 Jan. 2024: Updated for Phase 5.
  • 27 Oct. 2023: Updated for Phase 4.
  • 28 Sep. 2023: Guide updated for Phase 4.
  • 14 Jun. 2023: Added for Phase 3.
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