Destruction Warlock Frequently Asked Questions — Shadowlands Pre-Patch 9.0.1
On this page, we go over several of the most frequently asked questions regarding Destruction Warlock in World of Warcraft — Battle for Azeroth Shadowlands Pre-Patch 9.0.1. This will be updated as more common repeated questions surface over the course of the expansion.
Should I Aim for 100% Eradication Uptime?
In most cases it will be impossible to maintain the Eradication debuff, however, there are best practices to observe. Rather than aim for high uptimes with plenty of gaps, it is better to ensure that once you apply Eradication, you have enough Soul Shards to keep the debuff applied for a short period without interruption. This allows you to ensure each follow up Chaos Bolt is also buffed by the debuff. It is still optimal to stretch the debuff as long as possible, but without letting it drop.
What Pets/Demons Should I Use?
In Dungeons and Mythic+, we recommend using/sacrificing the Felhunter, as interrupt is invaluable for such environments. This of particular importance in higher levels of Mythic+, as certain spells can cause wipes for the group.
In Raid environments, we recommend using the Imp, if the encounter requires Singe Magic to be used or there are frequent target swaps.
The Voidwalker is recommended for leveling, or for environments where you plan to use Grimoire of Sacrifice, but do not need the interrupt from Felhunter. Sacrificing a Voidwalker grants the Shadow Bulwark skill to the player, a defensive cooldown that provides increased survivability to the player.
The Succubus does not really have any practical use, but deals roughly similar damage to the Imp and Felhunter, and can be used if you prefer the visuals or if you need a permanent 60% slow on a single target.
How Does Havoc Work?
Havoc always copies spells to the target marked with the debuff, and therefore you always have to switch back to a new target after applying the debuff. For this reason, some players prefer the use of a mouseover macro to apply Havoc.
Havoc only copies single target spells, and fortunately it also duplicates the Soul Shard generation of its beneficiaries. This means you can hold onto Conflagrate charges for some really quick Soul Shards while Havoc is active.
When Should I Use Dark Soul?
Dark Soul: Instability is one of the best talents for single target and light cleave, particularly when used together with Rain of Chaos. Dark Soul is best utilized in situations where you are familiar with the fight timings and can really milk the cooldown for maximum effect. For steady cleave or players who might not make proper use of the active effect, other talents offer more.
How Does Channel Demonfire Work?
Channel Demonfire always fires 15 missiles to random targets afflicted by Immolate. The implication of this is that you can control exactly what target(s) to hit by keeping only one active Immolate. If your goal is to use Channel Demonfire to deal maximum AoE splash damage, it is usually best to operate off a single Immolate applied to a central target. For 2-target or council style encounters, applying individual Immolates is typically preferred due to their ember generation and damage.
What Piece is Better, X or Y?
The answer to this question in any context will always be to simulate it. This is because what is an upgrade for you may not be an upgrade for someone else. In other words, there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all answer, even when talking about 2 completely identical comparisons from you to another person. Everything in your gear has an effect on everything else.
This applies to gear, trinkets, Azerite Traits, and even talents in certain situations.
The only exception to this rule is when a specific fight dictates a certain set of optimal talents, for example. If you are curious about what kind of setup to go for a specific fight, Warcraft Logs offers empirical rankings and statistics and is one of the best resources to determine what the top players are doing.
How Much of a Specific Stat, like Haste, is Required?
We are not being timid when we say that "the stat priority varies with each character". There is no hidden answer or secret stat priority only the "in-club" uses. The truth is that scale factors vary very greatly depending on your character.
Most basic "stat priorities" for guides are determined by simming a character with equal amounts of the secondary stats. This tells you a simple truth; when I have equal amounts of secondary stats, what is the best stat for my character?
The obvious answer is provided in our stats page, and should prove to be a largely universal metric to act by. That said, almost every character will desire differing priorities based on item level, Azerite Traits, and your current distribution of stats.
Long story short; if you want the most accurate answer, use a simulation tool to cater the results to your current gear level.
Which Race is Best for Destruction Warlock?
Racial traits in general have little impact on your overall DPS, but if you absolutely want to min-max your output, you can find the sims on our Simulations page.
How Good is Destruction Warlock in BfA Patch 8.3?
Destruction is a perfectly viable candidate for all content types. A very solid baseline toolkit makes the spec able to perform in any situation with a combination of very powerful cooldowns, one of, if not the strongest, 2-target cleave and the ability to burst on-demand, even outside cooldowns.
While the performance on paper or in a exclusive single target scenario may not be over the top, the ability to gain additional resources through Havoc and Immolate to funnel damage on priority target makes the spec a strong candidate for any progress in raid.
Destruction before Essences was a mediocre choice in dungeons, mostly hindered by its reliance on the Infernal cooldown to deal high damage. However, having access to Essence of the Focusing Iris and Vision of Perfection allows Destruction Warlocks to efficiently rotate cooldowns between pulls, offering a higher average output.
In Ny'alotha, Destruction is arguably a top choice for progress, offering good single target, very strong cooldowns, supreme 2-target cleave potential and the ability to funnel priority damage from additional targets. While it does not have the execute potential of Destruction, there are multiple situations where traits like Rolling Havoc and especially Flashpoint can be used for substantial gains.
- 12 Oct. 2020: Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
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