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Destruction Warlock DPS Spec, Builds, and Talents (Legion 7.2.5)

Last updated on Jun 15, 2017 at 15:16 by Furty 239 comments

Table of Contents

General Information

On this page, we present the viable talent choices for Destruction Warlocks in World of Warcraft Legion 7.2.5. We detail what each of the talents do and in which situations they should be taken.

The other pages of our Destruction Warlock guide can be accessed from the table of contents on the right.

About Our Author and Reviewer

This guide has been written by Furty, who has an illustrious history in the World of Warcraft raiding scene and race for World First. He has been a member of guilds such as Serenity, Midwinter, and many more, and is currently raiding in Future. He plays most classes at the highest level. You can follow him on Twitter and watch him play on Twitch.

This guide has been reviewed and approved by Bangerz, a top raider who plays in Method; you can his stream on Twitch and follow him on Twitter.

1. Talent Choices

Level Choices
15 Backdraft Backdraft Roaring Blaze ? Roaring Blaze Shadowburn Shadowburn
30 Reverse Entropy ? Reverse Entropy Eradication Eradication Empowered Life Tap Empowered Life Tap
45 Demonic Circle Demonic Circle Mortal Coil Mortal Coil Shadowfury ? Shadowfury
60 Cataclysm Cataclysm Fire and Brimstone Fire and Brimstone Soul Harvest Soul Harvest
75 Demon Skin ? Demon Skin Burning Rush Burning Rush Dark Pact ? Dark Pact
90 Grimoire of Supremacy Grimoire of Supremacy Grimoire of Service Grimoire of Service Grimoire of Sacrifice Grimoire of Sacrifice
100 Wreak Havoc Wreak Havoc Channel Demonfire Channel Demonfire Soul Conduit ? Soul Conduit

Talents can be freely changed when out of combat and in a rested XP area (such as an inn or a capital city). Moreover, Tome of the Tranquil Mind Icon Tome of the Tranquil Mind and Codex of the Tranquil Mind Icon Codex of the Tranquil Mind can be used to temporarily allow players to change talents anywhere, as long as they are out of combat.

2. Talent Cheat Sheets

Optimizing talents on a contextual basis is the highly recommended method of setting up your build, as many talents offer unique strengths in the right situation. I have decided to list a "cheat sheet" of sorts below, however, to help with a quick set up that should be just fine for most encounters. If you want to fully optimize your ability to play this specialization, I recommend reading the entire talents section here to gain additional insight on when swapping your talents would be beneficial.

2.1. Raid Encounters

2.1.1. Single Target

2.1.2. 2-3 Targets

2.1.3. Heavy Cleave/AOE

2.2. For General Use

These talents provide good quality of life and do not require much set up or ramp up, making them solid choices for leveling, dailies, and assorted world content.

3. Tier 1 (Level 15) Talents

Backdraft Backdraft Roaring Blaze ? Roaring Blaze Shadowburn Shadowburn

Tier 1 talents offer a variety of potent damage increases.

Backdraft Icon Backdraft is currently the best choice for most situations, particularly when your Artifact is fully fleshed out.

Roaring Blaze Icon Roaring Blaze is a competitive option for single target, particularly at lower Artifact points. It requires a slight adjustment in playstyle in order to reach high levels of effectiveness; you should aim to buff every other Immolate Icon Immolate with at least 3 Conflagrate Icon Conflagrates overall when using this talent.

Shadowburn Icon Shadowburn should be avoided in its current state.

4. Tier 2 (Level 30) Talents

Reverse Entropy ? Reverse Entropy Eradication Eradication Empowered Life Tap Empowered Life Tap

Tier 2 talents offer passive damage increases and some powerful AoE burst.

Empowered Life Tap Icon Empowered Life Tap is a strong option in any situation, as it offers consistent and predictable damage that is unaffected by Soul Shard generation or gear level.

Eradication Icon Eradication is likely to be the best option for well geared players as they will not struggle to maintain a reasonable uptime.

Reverse Entropy Icon Reverse Entropy is a usable alternative that requires no extra thought to use. Suggested for new players to the class and specialization.

5. Tier 3 (Level 45) Talents

Demonic Circle Demonic Circle Mortal Coil Mortal Coil Shadowfury ? Shadowfury

Tier 3 talents focus on additional crowd control and some defensive utility.

  • Demonic Circle Icon Demonic Circle summons a circle that you can teleport to, which clears all movement slowing effects.
  • Mortal Coil Icon Mortal Coil horrifies a target for 3 seconds and heals you for a percentage of max health.
  • Shadowfury Icon Shadowfury stuns all enemies within 8 yards for 4 seconds.

Demonic Circle Icon Demonic Circle is the default choice on this tier as crowd control is typically not beneficial in raids. The additional mobility from this talent can be invaluable, making it the best choice when approaching raid encounters. Mortal Coil Icon Mortal Coil can be used as a spot heal, and it can also be affected by Havoc Icon Havoc for additional benefit. It's worth nothing that it does have slight travel time, however, it can be a good instant cast to fill movement with.

Shadowfury Icon Shadowfury can be quite useful in Mythic+ dungeons, but does not see much use in raids.

6. Tier 4 (Level 60) Talents

Cataclysm Cataclysm Fire and Brimstone Fire and Brimstone Soul Harvest Soul Harvest

Tier 4 talents offer some interesting augments to existing abilities and a DPS cooldown.

  • Cataclysm Icon Cataclysm is an ability that deals a powerful burst of shadowflame damage to all targets within 8 yards.
  • Fire and Brimstone Icon Fire and Brimstone causes your Incinerate Icon Incinerate to also hit all enemies near your target, generating 1 Soul Shard Fragment per target damaged.
  • Soul Harvest Icon Soul Harvest is a DPS cooldown that increases all your damage by 20% for 15 seconds. The duration is increased by 2 seconds for each target afflicted with Immolate Icon Immolate, to a maximum of 35 seconds.

Soul Harvest Icon Soul Harvest is the best option for 1-3 targets, and is great for pushing damage checks. Cataclysm Icon Cataclysm and Fire and Brimstone Icon Fire and Brimstone compete for the AoE talent of choice; generally, Cataclysm Icon Cataclysm is superior if a large pack will last less than 25 seconds. Fire and Brimstone Icon Fire and Brimstone, however, is a good choice if 4+ targets will be sustained for an extended period.

7. Tier 5 (Level 75) Talents

Demon Skin ? Demon Skin Burning Rush Burning Rush Dark Pact ? Dark Pact

Tier 5 talents improve personal survivability and mobility.

  • Demon Skin Icon Demon Skin augments Soul Leech Icon Soul Leech so that it passively recharges at a rate of 1% of maximum health per second, and can now absorb of to 20% of your maximum health.
  • Burning Rush Icon Burning Rush increases your movement speed by 50% until cancelled, at the cost of 4% of your maximum health per second. You also cannot be slowed below 100% of your normal movement speed while it is active.
  • Dark Pact Icon Dark Pact sacrifices 20% of your demon's current health (or your health, if no demon is present) to shield you for 400% of that value for 20 seconds.

Burning Rush Icon Burning Rush is typically the default choice here, as Warlocks have no baseline movement speed abilities. Even though Demon Skin Icon Demon Skin and Dark Pact Icon Dark Pact can provide powerful defensive utility, the mobility provided by Burning Rush Icon Burning Rush often results in more lifesaving potential in raids, allowing you to quickly avoid lethal mechanics. Moving faster also saves you DPS, as you spend less time moving.

Demon Skin Icon Demon Skin is the best choice on low or no mobility fights, as it provides the most damage reduction. Dark Pact Icon Dark Pact can be useful if you are required to soak a specific mechanic, but otherwise is inferior to the other available options.

8. Tier 6 (Level 90) Talents

Grimoire of Supremacy Grimoire of Supremacy Grimoire of Service Grimoire of Service Grimoire of Sacrifice Grimoire of Sacrifice

Tier 6 talents improve your pets, or remove them entirely.

  • Grimoire of Supremacy Icon Grimoire of Supremacy allows you to permanently use Doomguards and Infernals as pets.
  • Grimoire of Service Icon Grimoire of Service allows you to summon a second demon of your choice for 25 seconds which deals 100% increased damage.
  • Grimoire of Sacrifice Icon Grimoire of Sacrifice allows you to sacrifice your demon to gain Demonic Power Icon Demonic Power, which causes your spells to sometimes deal additional shadow damage to nearby targets.

Grimoire of Service Icon Grimoire of Service is the clear choice for most raid encounters, as it offers the best overall single target damage and improves your burst.

Grimoire of Sacrifice Icon Grimoire of Sacrifice is generally not worth the loss of single target damage.

Currently, Grimoire of Supremacy Icon Grimoire of Supremacy is not recommended, as the loss off the Summon Doomguard Icon Summon Doomguard cooldown combined with the Grimoire of Service Icon Grimoire of Service cooldown is not worth it. Grimoire of Supremacy Icon Grimoire of Supremacy is a good choice for questing and world content, however, as the sustained damage mob to mob is more valuable than the increased burst every few minutes. The infernal also makes a pretty good tank, which is useful for leveling warlocks.

9. Tier 7 (Level 100) Talents

Wreak Havoc Wreak Havoc Channel Demonfire Channel Demonfire Soul Conduit ? Soul Conduit

Tier 7 talents alter the playstyle and offer large damage increases.

Channel Demonfire Icon Channel Demonfire is currently the best option for dealing single target damage. It is also by far the best option for stacked heavy cleave and AOE.

Wreak Havoc Icon Wreak Havoc is used to maximize your 2 target cleave. It should be taken any time you feel you could be getting a lot more damage out of Havoc Icon Havoc if it was not limited by the cooldown. It is a good choice on fights with 2 targets for a portion of the fight.

Soul Conduit Icon Soul Conduit can be a strong option for sustained AoE; for example, continously laying down Rain of Fire Icon Rain of Fire on the scorpids during the Skorpyron encounter. Can be paired with Reverse Entropy Icon Reverse Entropy for this purpose for maximum damage. It is also not far behind on single target when using the Tier 19 2-piece set bonus, though not quite as strong as Channel Demonfire Icon Channel Demonfire.

10. ChangeLog

+ show all entries - show only 10 entries
  • 15 Jun. 2017: Added a few extra notes to some talents detailing synergies. Split cheat sheet into several sections for additional clarity.
  • 12 Jun. 2017: Updated for Patch 7.2.5; Shard values and tooltips changed along with talent descriptions in several tiers.
  • 27 Mar. 2017: No changes needed for Patch 7.2.
  • 13 Feb. 2017: Updated talent viability in accordance with Bangerz suggestions.
  • 14 Jan. 2017: Updated final talents based off of empirical testing.
  • 11 Jan. 2017: Fixed the talents graphic bar.
  • 09 Jan. 2017: Updated for Patch 7.1.5.
  • 10 Dec. 2016: Updated talent builds (T1/T4/T7)
  • 25 Oct. 2016: Updated talents following the swap of Demon Skin and Demonic Circle in Patch 7.1.
  • 17 Oct. 2016: Updated talents a bit.
  • 14 Sep. 2016: Minor updates for clarification. Added some hard numbers to some descriptions.
  • 29 Aug. 2016: Updated for Legion's launch.
  • 18 Jul. 2016: Updated for the Legion pre-patch.
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