Destruction Warlock Essences — Shadowlands Pre-Patch 9.0.1
On this page, we go over the Essence system in Patch 8.3 of World of Warcraft — Battle for Azeroth, and we tell you which are the best essences to use as Destruction Warlock, both for minor and major powers. Please refer to our Patch 8.3 Essence Guide for more information about the new essences introduced in Patch 8.3 and to our Essence guide for more general information about the Essence system and where Essences can be obtained from.
Azerite Essences for Destruction Warlocks
Introduced in Patch 8.2, Essences are unique items that drop from various forms of content. They are activated through your Heart of Azeroth, and they buff your character in various ways, depending on the Essences that are currently active.
For more information about essences, please check out the following:
- our Essence Guide, with all the essences and how to get them;
- our article on the new essences from Patch 8.3;
- our list of Patch 8.3 essence changes.
What follows on this page will relate directly to how Essences affect this spec, since generic information is beyond the scope of this guide.
Choosing Essences as an Destruction Warlock
Each Essence has 4 different ranks. While the last rank is purely cosmetic, previous ones can have a noticeable increase in power, thus determining if a certain Essence at a higher rank is your best available option at a given time.
Essences powers scale with Heart of Azeroth item level.
Simulations through Raidbots or done locally can help you decide your best trait, but some degree of critical thinking is required beyond just picking the highest ranking Essence.
- Vision of Perfection ( Vision of Perfection) for any situation
- Memory of Lucid Dreams ( Memory of Lucid Dreams) for single-target only when you need extra burst
- Essence of the Focusing Iris ( Focused Energy) for stacked multi targets
- Breath of the Dying ( Lethal Strikes) when you unlock Rank 3
- The Crucible of Flame ( Ancient Flame)
- Conflict and Strife ( Strife)
- Essence of the Focusing Iris (( Focused Energy))
- Vision of Perfection ( Strive for Perfection) when using Memory of Lucid Dreams as your major essence
For AoE situations consider swapping the first 2 essences with any of the following.
General Essences Recommendation
Vision of Perfection ( Vision of Perfection + Strive for Perfection) is an strong essence. When coupled with at least 1 Crashing Chaos, it brings Summon Infernal's cooldown to 2 minutes, on top of randomly giving you Infernals for 35% of the base duration.
Worldvein Resonance ( Worldvein Resonance + Lifeblood) is a well-rounded option for both single- and multi-target situations. With multiple users you can achieve 100% uptime on 4 stacks and cover any possible movement requirement. It may not be a good option for open world activities since you tend to travel a lot. In Patch 8.3, when you use the major you gain 4 times the primary stat you would otherwise, and at neck level 80 that translates into 4800 Intellect for 18 seconds every minute.
For AoE scenarios or in Mythic+, Essence of the Focusing Iris ( Focused Azerite Beam + Focused Energy) offers higher damage per activation, however maintaining stacks in a multi-target situations can be difficult due to a relative short-duration buff. Consider running Purification Protocol ( Purifying Blast + Purification Protocol) if you do not feel comfortable with the Essence of the Focusing Iris's minor power or you think you can leverage the 10% damage increase for each dead targets during Purification Protocol's major power activation.
See the simulation rankings at the end of the page, for a complete breakdown by slot (major/minor). In the next section, we will go in more details as to why some essences are better than others.
Essence rankings for Destruction Warlock
Vision of Perfection
Vision of Perfection's major power, Vision of Perfection, does offer synergies with Crashing Chaos, but is a slightly worse option in practice, partially due the fact you have no control over its procs.
Its minor power, Strive for Perfection, on the other hand, allows Destruction to turn into a spec that lines up every cooldown every 2 minutes and 20 seconds allowing you to make good use of 2-minute trinkets like Azshara's Font of Power. A default pick, unless you run Condensed Life-Force.
With patch 8.3 Vision of Perfection received a 12% proc rate buff, consolidating it as the top choice for Destruction Warlock in the vast majority of situations (see our Patch 8.3 Essence Changes article for more information).
Memory of Lucid Dreams
Competing for the major slot, Memory of Lucid Dreams gives you much more flexibility in general, changing the flow of the spec towards more frequent windows of burst where you actually struggle to spend shards faster than you can cap.
Its minor power, Lucid Dreams, translates in free shards and its a welcomed minor to have, albeit overshadowed by other options.
Essence of the Focusing Iris
At Rank 2, Essence of the Focusing Iris is your best option in single-target, but whenever there are multiple targets, its major power, Focused Azerite Beam, is what you are looking for: a very hard hitting channel every 1.5 minutes.
Focused Energy is a powerful complementary power that gives you valuable haste, often chosen as minor.
Breath of the Dying's Minor: Lethal Strikes Rank 3
Breath of the Dying is a new Patch 8.3 Essence that is mostly appealing for its minor power, Lethal Strikes, which on top of giving extra corruption resistance, thus enabling to wear more corrupted gear, also provides a very strong single target damage proc with increased chance to proc if the target is in execute range.
The Crucible of Flame's Minor: Ancient Flame Rank 3
Worldvein Resonance's Minor: Lifeblood Rank 3
The minor power, however, lets you retain all the benefits without sacrificing a major slot. Consider running this minor as first choice whenever you are doing group content with at least 3 more wearers and there is relatively low movement involved so you can have high uptime.
Rank 3 increases the radius from 8 yards to 12 yards, making the minor much more usable in actual encounters.
Conflict and Strife's Minor: Strife Rank 3
Strife is a top pick tied with Memory of Lucid Dream's Lucid Dreams for the best spot in those situations where you cannot effectively make use of Worldvein Resonance's Lifeblood. The amount of Versatility provided is often overlooked but is actually meaningful. Recommended for open world content and whenever you cannot afford to stand still for prolonged periods of time.
Essence notes for Destruction Warlock
- Blood of the Enemy's major power ( Blood of the Enemy) requires you to be in melee range in order to benefit from the increased critical strike chance on targets. Its minor power ( Blood-Soaked) is one of the strongest available. It has no internal cooldown and procs off every instance of damage that crits, which means AoE spells that crits on multiple targets will give you multiple stacks. You can stack this faster, because Chaos Bolt is guaranteed to crit and Dark Soul: Instability allows for a higher amount of crits.
- Condensed Life-force's major power ( Guardian of Azeroth) lines up naturally with Summon Infernal, further increasing the 3-minute burst. Each shard from both the major power and the minor power ( Condensed Life-Force) applies a 6 second debuff increasing all damage you do to that target, stacking with Eradication's 10% damage increase.
- Conflict and Strife (major power: Conflict, minor power: Strife) enables the passive Demon Armor.
- Essence of the Focusing Iris's major power ( Focused Azerite Beam) has an initial cast followed by a channel that does all the damage. Its minor power ( Focused Energy) grants you a buff on spell impact, so 1 Conflagrate charge is required to refresh the buff after channeling the major power.
- Memory of Lucid Dreams's major power ( Memory of Lucid Dreams) allows Destruction Warlocks to dramatically increase the amount of shard spent during Dark Soul: Instability. Its minor power ( Lucid Dreams) often results in a handful of extra shard each minute.
- Purification Protocol's major power ( Purifying Blast) becomes strong once you can leverage the 10% damage buff for each target dying during its effect. Its minor power ( Purification Protocol) is rather mediocre unless it hits Aberrations.
- Ripple in Space's major power ( Ripple in Space) works like a 2-second delayed Blink with a bit of damage, rather unappealing as Warlock in general, considering we have both Demonic Gateway and Demonic Circle. Its minor power ( Reality Shift) can be procced by using Demonic Circle and Demonic Gateway, as well as by moving for more than 25 yards in 4 seconds since you last cast a spell.
- The Crucible of Flame's major power ( Concentrated Flame) is a straightforward single-target damaging spell, on a 30-second cooldown. Its minor power ( Ancient Flame) is one of the strongest (if not the strongest) option for single-target situations.
- The Unbound Force's major power ( The Unbound Force) is rather underwhelming unless you can sync it with its minor power or with Dark Soul: Instability. Its minor power ( Reckless Force) seems to have around 40-50% proc chance off your non crits
- Vision of Perfection's major power ( Vision of Perfection) often results in multiple Infernals being active at the same time. Crashing Chaos works on generated Infernals but only at 35% of its value. Grimoire of Supremacy does work with generated Infernals. Its minor power ( Strive for Perfection), coupled with Crashing Chaos brings your Infernal's cooldown down to 2 minutes and 24 seconds.
- Worldvein Resonance's major power ( Worldvein Resonance) allows you to maintain high stacks after moving. Its minor power ( Lifeblood) allows you to benefit from the main stat increase at the expense of relying on other people when movements is required, if you take the major power of another essence.
Essence Comparison Simulations for Destruction Warlocks
As with all simulations provided in our guides, they only provide a general guideline. Please use raidbots.com to sim your own character.
Single-Target Esssence Simulations for Destruction Warlock
Major Essences for Destruction Warlock
Minor Essences for Destruction Warlock
AoE Esssence Simulations for Destruction Warlock
Major Essences for Destruction Warlock
Minor Essences for Destruction Warlock
- 12 Oct. 2020: Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
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