Destruction Warlock DPS Mythic+ Tips — Shadowlands 9.1

Last updated on Sep 08, 2021 at 17:49 by Motoko 36 comments
General Information

In this guide, you will find tips and advice to tackle Mythic+ dungeons with your Destruction Warlock in World of Warcraft — Shadowlands 9.1.

1.

Mythic+ Introduction for Destruction Warlock

Mythic+ has become a large part of the World of Warcraft endgame, but the sheer amount of different variables has left many players feeling overwhelmed. The group composition, weekly affixes, the item level of the group, the keystone level, and the experience and comfort level of the group are just several of the factors that will influence how you approach each dungeon. The purpose of this page is to prepare you for the key differences that set Mythic+ apart from the typical World of Warcraft endgame experience, including talents and rotational anomalies that may not be obvious at first glance.

Destruction Warlocks offer some of the highest, uncapped AoE damage across every spec in the game, but in order to do so, they need to specialise, sacrificing some of the single- and 2-target damage potential. Having access to one of the most powerful cooldown in the game, and a Legendary that reduces its cooldown make the spec extremely satisfying to play during these burst windows at the expense of a certain feel of drought outside of those. The spec still retains all the class baseline toolkit comprised of Healthstones, Soulstones, skip-enabling Demonic Gateway Icon Demonic Gateway, AoE crowd control abilities such as Shadowfury Icon Shadowfury and Howl of Terror Icon Howl of Terror, and uncapped AoE spells.

If you are unfamiliar with Mythic+ and its associated general mechanics, you can read more about it on our Shadowlands Mythic+ Season 2 page below.

1.1.

Season 2 Anima Powers for Destruction Warlock

The new seasonal affix Tormented Icon Tormented populates the dungeons with 4 servants of The Jailer that, once slain, will offer a choice among 3 fixed powers based on the player's role.

Each Servant will have their specific powers listed with our recommendation in bold as follows:

1.1.1.

Soggodon the Breaker

The Stone Ward Icon The Stone Ward is the generic and well-rounded pick, but Destruction can also make use of Dripping Fang Icon Dripping Fang as the spec offers really high damage mitigation by default but lacks sustain.

1.1.2.

Incinerator Arkolath

Signet of Bolstering Icon Signet of Bolstering is very situational, but can be powerful in dungeons with lot of trash pulls and Raging Battle-Axe Icon Raging Battle-Axe is currently rather underwhelming, leaving Champion's Brand Icon Champion's Brand as the only go-to choice.

1.1.3.

Oros Coldheart

Regenerative Fungus Icon Regenerative Fungus can offer some overall decent sustain and is the default choice since Handbook of Uncivil Etiquette Icon Handbook of Uncivil Etiquette does not buff player damage if the pet is the one interrupting a cast.

1.1.4.

Executioner Varruth

Dagger of Necrotic Wounding Icon Dagger of Necrotic Wounding offers a very noticeable DPS increase, and is numerically better than Champion's Brand Icon Champion's Brand unless doing massive pulls throughout the instance. Volcanic Plumage Icon Volcanic Plumage offers the utility of an AoE knock-up effect but is limited to 4 procs per minute, has a 2.5-second delay, and has fairly underwhelming damage all things considered.

1.2.

Destruction Warlock Mythic+ Rotation

While both single- and multi-target rotations do not differ substantially from the standard priority outlined in Rotation, Cooldowns, and Abilities page there are few points worth noting:

  • While Rain of Fire Icon Rain of Fire is generally strong in terms of numbers, the nature of the spell makes it unsuitable when kiting is involved if it is not also supported by additional crowd-control AoE abilities. This means Destruction Warlocks are usually better off cleaving with Chaos Bolt Icon Chaos Bolts in those situations.
  • Destruction's toolkit is exceptional at bursting targets and funneling priority damage due to the insane shard generation multiple Immolate Icon Immolates can provide, so keep that in mind during weeks where it is more important to focus on key targets over even AoE.
1.3.

Opening Sequence with 5 or less targets and Cataclysm/Channel Demonfire setup

  1. Pre-cast your Covenant Ability.
  2. Cast Conflagrate Icon Conflagrate.
  3. Cast Cataclysm Icon Cataclysm.
  4. Cast Channel Demonfire Icon Channel Demonfire
  5. Cast Havoc Icon Havoc and start dumping as many Chaos Bolt Icon Chaos Bolts as possible.
1.4.

Opening Sequence with more than 5 targets and Cataclysm/Channel Demonfire setup

  1. Pre-cast your Convenant Ability.
  2. Cast Conflagrate Icon Conflagrate.
  3. Cast Rain of Fire Icon Rain of Fire
  4. Cast Cataclysm Icon Cataclysm.
  5. Cast Channel Demonfire Icon Channel Demonfire.
  6. Cast Havoc Icon Havoc to speed up shard generation.
  7. Spend shards on Rain of Fire Icon Rain of Fire.

If Rain of Fire Icon Rain of Fire cannot reliably hit the targets in the area for most of its duration, consider using shards on Chaos Bolt Icon Chaos Bolts instead.

The Inferno Icon Inferno and Fire and Brimstone Icon Fire and Brimstone talents are not tied to cooldowns, so the opener is not set in stone and does not differ from the multitarget priority section in the Rotation page.

1.5.

Destruction Warlock Utility

While damage is the bigger reason to bring an Destruction Warlock, the class itself offer a noticeable amount of crowd control and various supporting abilities:

  • Recently reintroduced, the Curses can offer some advantage against specific dangerous enemies: Curse of Tongues Icon Curse of Tongues can reduce the amount of interrupt required by the group, while Curse of Weakness Icon Curse of Weakness alleviates the incoming damage on tank from auto attacks. Last but not least, Curse of Exhaustion Icon Curse of Exhaustion can be used to slow targets in situations where kiting is required. While these effects can be noticeable, it is better to use curses on a few key targets, as the time spent to apply these effects is time not spent doing damage.
  • Healthstone Icon Healthstones have a 1-minute cooldown and heal for 25% of max health, allowing for an emergency heal for each player.
  • Soulstone Icon Soulstones offer a combat resurrection that can be used both reactively and preemptively in the case of a death run.
  • Demonic Gateway Icon Demonic Gateway offers the unique ability to skip certain parts of the map, depending on the dungeon in question, avoiding specific pulls.
  • Shadowfury Icon Shadowfury helps alleviating pressure on the tank during big pulls as it is a 3-second AoE stun.
  • Fear Icon Fear and Banish Icon Banish are both spammable crowd control abilities that can be used to interrupt a cast in a pinch or to remove temporarily a target from combat.
2.

Mythic+ Talents for Destruction Warlock

Level Choices
15 Flashover Flashover Eradication Eradication Soul Fire ? Soul Fire
25 Reverse Entropy Reverse Entropy Internal Combustion Internal Combustion Shadowburn Shadowburn
30 Demon Skin Demon Skin Burning Rush Burning Rush Dark Pact Dark Pact
35 Inferno ? Inferno Fire and Brimstone ? Fire and Brimstone Cataclysm Cataclysm
40 Darkfury Darkfury Mortal Coil Mortal Coil Howl of Terror ? Howl of Terror
45 Roaring Blaze Roaring Blaze Rain of Chaos Rain of Chaos Grimoire of Sacrifice Grimoire of Sacrifice
50 Soul Conduit ? Soul Conduit Channel Demonfire Channel Demonfire Dark Soul: Instability ? Dark Soul: Instability
2.1.

Talent Explanations

Most of our explanations are geared towards keystones that challenge the current item level of your group. If you are doing keystones that are well below the current power level of the group, you should default to our build recommended above, as you will likely be able to do pulls much larger than intended, which skews the talent choices towards AoE and burst focused choices rather than builds that support sustained damage.

2.1.1.

Tier 1/Level 15

Flashover Icon Flashover is the best talent due to its flexibility, being a potent option for single target and cleave. Eradication Icon Eradication does offer slightly higher single-target damage, however it falls behind in all other categories.

2.1.2.

Tier 2/Level 25

Internal Combustion Icon Internal Combustion offers slightly better single-target damage, but for anything else Reverse Entropy Icon Reverse Entropy is numerically better.

Shadowburn Icon Shadowburn rounds up Destruction toolkit offering execute, sniping and shard refund mechanics alltogether, and enabling much stronger cleave in situations where otherwise casting Incinerate Icon Incinerates would be the only choice.

2.1.3.

Tier 3/Level 30

Dark Pact Icon Dark Pact is a great choice for challenging keystones, as the cooldown is often necessary to survive lethal boss abilities or the more difficult trash pulls.

Burning Rush Icon Burning Rush is the best choice for any situation where you feel Dark Pact Icon Dark Pact is unnecessary.

2.1.4.

Tier 4/Level 35

Cataclysm Icon Cataclysm is the default choice in terms of usability; it offers a reliable AoE nuke and AoE Immolate Icon Immolate application in a single global. That translates into easier Havoc Icon Havoc windows and better initial damage while opening on pulls, especially when coupled with Channel Demonfire Icon Channel Demonfire.

Fire and Brimstone Icon Fire and Brimstone should be considered if you really need damage on trash packs, but bear in mind your single-target damage will suffer by not taking Cataclysm Icon Cataclysm.

Inferno Icon Inferno coupled with Soul Conduit Icon Soul Conduit offers the highest AoE damage, but it depends entirely on Rain of Fire Icon Rain of Fire usage/effectiveness in a given scenario. Therefore, it is often not practical, especially if the group lacks the means to keep targets in place and/or kiting is involved.

2.1.5.

Tier 5/Level 40

Darkfury Icon Darkfury can be used to provide more frequent access to AoE stuns.

Mortal Coil Icon Mortal Coil is the default choice, offering both burst heal on demand and another form of Crowd Control.

Howl of Terror Icon Howl of Terror offers an AoE fear, which can be useful to handle difficult pulls, and is best paired with some form of slow.

2.1.6.

Tier 6/Level 45

Rain of Chaos Icon Rain of Chaos is the best choice in general, turning Summon Infernal Icon Summon Infernal into an insane cooldown both in single-target and AoE situations. It loses effectiveness whenever pulls end before Summon Infernal Icon Summon Infernal runs out.

Roaring Blaze Icon Roaring Blaze offers a steady output over a burst oriented choice and should be considered in low keys whenever Summon Infernal Icon Summon Infernal often ends up being overkill due to targets dying too quickly.

Grimoire of Sacrifice Icon Grimoire of Sacrifice is simply overshadowed in any possible situation by the other 2 options.

2.1.7.

Tier 7/Level 50

Channel Demonfire Icon Channel Demonfire offers good cleave and AoE, however it suffers greatly during high movement affix weeks. It pairs extremely well with Cataclysm Icon Cataclysm enabling a very AoE burst on a relatively low cooldown.

Dark Soul: Instability Icon Dark Soul: Instability provides great damage for bosses and has huge potential paired with Rain of Chaos Icon Rain of Chaos. If you know the dungeon layout, you can also use this to rip through difficult packs when necessary.

Soul Conduit Icon Soul Conduit allow for indiscriminate Rain of Fire Icon Rain of Fire spam when coupled with Inferno Icon Inferno.

3.

Stat Priority for Destruction Warlock

  1. Intellect;
  2. Haste;
  3. Mastery ≅ Critical Strike;
  4. Versatility.
4.

Pet Choice for Destruction Warlock

The Felhunter is typically the best choice, as it grants you an interrupt, which is a huge advantage in Mythic+; consider swapping to Imp if you need additional dispel.

5.

Trinket Considerations for Destruction Warlock in Mythic+

When choosing your trinkets, we recommend simulating yourself on Raidbots using the Patchwerk option for raids and single-target, and Patchwerk with 4-5 targets or Hectic Add Cleave for an educated guess on multi-target performance in Dungeons. Usually, trinkets that proc stats are more versatile and better performers than single-target spell damage procs, unless overtuned.

You can also get a quick overview of good Mythic+ Trinkets on our Gearing page, specifically the Simulation chart for multi-target scenarios.

6.

Legendary Powers for Mythic+

Depending on your role within the group, party composition, affixes, and key level one Legendary Power might be more appealing than another. The stand out option for Destruction is Wilfred's Sigil of Superior Summoning Icon Wilfred's Sigil of Superior Summoning which increases the frequency of Summon Infernal Icon Summon Infernal casts noticeably during a dungeon run and is especially strong in conjunction with Inferno Icon Inferno and Soul Conduit Icon Soul Conduit for the highest cooldown reduction potential.

Cinders of the Azj'Aqir Icon Cinders of the Azj'Aqir offers a more well-rounded damage boost that is not tied to Summon Infernal Icon Summon Infernal and is also better suited for raids.

For more details about Legendary Powers, please visit our dedicated Legendary Powers guide.

7.

Covenants and Soulbinds for Mythic+

All four covenants and their varied Soulbinds all have different advantages for Mythic+ and it is very hard to recommend a "best" one, as it depends yet again on party composition, affixes, and level of the key.

A quick breakdown on each covenant ability strength:

  • Kyrian Scouring Tithe Icon Scouring Tithe can offer additional shards every 40 seconds by sniping a dying target. When combined with Havoc Icon Havoc, both reset and shard generation effects can be achieved.
  • Necrolord Decimating Bolt Icon Decimating Bolt offers increased single-target potential, often helpful when handling high health targets, especially when coupled with the Emeni soulbind. Fleshcraft Icon Fleshcraft is a decent shield option.
  • Night Fae Soul Rot Icon Soul Rot give better cleave damage and burst on-demand with the added bonus of additional sustain through AoE Drain Life Icon Drain Life, if the situation demands it.
  • Venthyr Impending Catastrophe Icon Impending Catastrophe allows for AoE smart curse application in 1 GCD and some mediocre damage over time. Nadja soulbind offers mass confusion on Door of Shadows Icon Door of Shadows arrival, for additional crowd control potential.

For more in-depth recommendations on Covenants and Soulbinds, please visit our dedicated guide.

8.

Changelog

  • 08 Sep. 2021: Updated Anima Power recommendations.
  • 11 Jul. 2021: Added Anima Power recommendations for the Tormented seasonal affix.
  • 28 Jun. 2021: Reviewed and approved for Patch 9.1.
  • 21 Mar. 2021: Updated talent choices; added Legendary option and openers.
  • 09 Mar. 2021: Reviewed for Patch 9.0.5.
  • 07 Dec. 2020: Page updated for Shadowlands season 1.
  • 12 Oct. 2020: Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
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