5.2 PVE Complete Destruction Guide

90 Orc Warlock
8265
Now that Destro has become more popular I've been seeing a huge influx of questions on the forums about the best way to play the spec. I'm not the best player by any means, but I have been playing Destro for a while now and I figured I would put some effort into making a decent guide to answer as many questions as I can. It'll at least give me something to link whenever questions come up so I don't have to type the same answers to the same questions over and over!

Starting information:
  • simulationcraft.org is a good place to start for looking up your own stat weights and theoretical DPS.
  • askmrrobot.com is a great site for looking up BiS items, enchants, reforges, gemmings etc. Make sure to use your own stat weights from SimC or other custom weights as much as possible instead of relying on mrrobot being perfect.
  • wowreforge and reforgelite addon are nice tools for reforging. I particularly like wowreforge more than mrrobot, however if you have any upgraded gear you have to make sure to change those gear stats before you do the optimization
  • http://www.totemspot.com/vb/entry.php?b=44 for DoT thresholds. Not as big a deal for Destro since we only have immo, but good to know regardless


Keep in mind that none of these sites should be taken as scripture, and you have to use some brainpower to make sure things make sense. SimC can't give you exact fight statistics, and it is pretty off for Destro anyway due to it's lack of CB pooling. Knowing the fight and how you will perform mechanically will change how you reforge a lot.

Addons:
Other than the normal mods (DBM, Bartender, elvui, xperl etc) I specifically recommend having weak auras or power auras. You really want something to track your procs. I have a row of proc portraits in the middle of my screen with timers on how long until they come back, as well as Bloodlust and battle pots. Knowing how long you have left on your procs will help you determine how many CBs you can get in, or when you want to refresh immolate. It will also help you know how powerful your CBs will be. Additionally, a DoT timer such as Quartz (which I use for my cast bar) or ForteXorcist (which I also use for the cooldown bar) is important. Affdots works really well with Destro now, and Affdots plus Tidyplates is nice to see DoTs on multiple targets.

Talents:
Tier 1:
Soul Leech: Works extremely well with Destro in raid situations. Your healers will love you and your full HP shield making you take no damage. The amount of utility you can bring effectively having more HP than tanks is incredible. I take this talent more often than not.
Dark Regen: Any time I don't take SL I take DR. The cases for this would be situations such as Megaera where almost all of the damage comes when you're stacked up. You are going to get the AoE heals whether you have a shield or not, so the shield isn't as crucial. It's nice to have the DR along with a healthstone (esp with the higher HP command demon from saccing your VW).
Harvest Life:Might take as Affliction on occastion but as Destro you really don't need it. Your health regen is good enough with all your other tools and you can do MUCH more AoE DPS with FnB and RoF.

Tier 2:
Howl of Terror: Not all that useful in PvE. It has uses such as Lei Shi to get adds off of everyone, but it's generally not a good pick up.
Mortal Coil: My default choice. Not so useful for the horror, but having a 15% HP regen on a 45s CD (esp with Dark Regen, Bulwark etc to boost your heals) is useful in tight situations.
Shadowfury: Any time you can stun anything, especially AoE stuns such as bats on Tortos or sand things on Council, you want to take Shadowfury.

Tier 3:
Soul Link: I know some people like this in conjunction with Soul Leech, but I don't like Soul Link especially considering your other options.
Sacrificial Pact: My default choice. Huge shield on a pretty short cooldown, it's really hard to beat that utility.
Dark Bargain: Useful if you need a full damage immunity. Situations like Heroic Elegon or surviving enrage on Heroic Garalon DB was nice. The 3 min cooldown and the fact that you eventually take some damage makes DB a bit worse than SP on this tier in my opinion.

Tier 4:
Blood Horror: Not usually useful for the same reasons as Howl of Terror. If you need an instant fear though go for it.
Burning Rush: Default pick. Don't always want to use it since it does bring your HP down a bit, but it's nice for those situations where you need a speed boost. Especially nice since your KJC will slow you during movement.
Unbound Will: If there's a fight with a decent stun such as the sand pools on Council, take UW. Save your healers from needing to dispell you and don't waste time stunned when you could be DPSing.

Tier 5:
Grimoire of Supremacy: Single target Grimoire. In single target fights, you will usually get more DPS out of GoSup than any other choice. Unforunately there are instances where pets like dying or despawning or just don't get benefits. From what I understand, your pet doesn't get the buff from pools on Jin'Rokh, and I've had issues with despawns on Durumu and Ji'Kun. Ideally, those would be Sup fights but if your pet can't survive then don't use one.
Grimoire of Service: Pretty sure this is never going to be used as Destro.
Grimoire of Sacrifice: Even after the nerfs, this Grimoire is amazing on cleave fights. When you are using Havocs mostly on CD, or find yourself with almost unlimited embers (Horridon, Tortos, Primordius etc) then you want GoSac.

Tier 6:
Archimonde's Vengeance: Probably never useful. Theoretically it should be better on extreme patchwerk low movement fights where you won't need KJC, but it's not a big enough boost to make it worth taking.
Kil'jaeden's Cunning: Almost always take this. Moving while casting, even with a movement penalty is beyond amazing, especially when you rely a lot on long casts.
Mannoroth's Fury: If you need more AoE and don't need to move much then take it. Probably won't happen much.

Glyphs: Glyphs aren't that huge of a deal anymore. I like the healstone glyph and the Soulstone glyph is good if you don't have other rezzers in your group. Siphon life is nice for a little more healing, but just take what you think will work best for you. It's hard to go too wrong with glyphs.

Gemming/Enchants:
Go to askmrrobot.com for enchants, they're usually pretty spot on. Gemming is usually correct as well. With gems as they are now, giving 2x the secondary stats as intellect, you have to look at your SimC stat weights to decide what's best. If a secondary stat (other than hit) is more than half the weight of intellect (e.g., int = 1, crit = 0.65) then you'd want to gem for +320 crit instead of an 80 int 160 crit gem, or 80/160 instead of a 160 int red.
That being said, I have been gemming int reds and non-pure secondary gems even though SimC tells me that my secondary stats are above 0.5 normalized weights. Reason being that stat weights change depending on your Grimoire and even depending on fight, and I don't intend to change gems out every couple fights. You aren't missing out on much by going with int gems as Destro, and that is what I would generally suggest.

Reforging:
SimC will give you weights, but you want to think about the fight. As a general rule, I follow:
GoSac = Haste (2021) > Mastery >= Crit > Haste (past 2021)
GoSup = Haste (~20%) > Crit > Mastery > Haste (past 20%)

On fights where you are using GoSac but you aren't planning on being ember capped a lot then you want more Crit than Mastery. On fights where you plan on being ember capped a lot as GoSac (Horridon, Tortos, Primordius etc) then You will likely get more use with Mastery > Crit. It's not going to suddenly boost your DPS by 5k DPS with going Crit > Mastery versus Mastery > Crit, but it will help.

On GoSup fights, Haste is more important due to how your pet benefits from Haste. Crit is helpful for more ember generation to help keep up with your faster incins and more un-backdrafted incins.

Rotation:
Destro rotation is fairly simple, but somewhat difficult to perfect. Essentially, it relies on proper CB usage which I will try to explain as well as I can.

Do not use CBs when:
  • You have 3+ stacks of backdraft unless you absolutely have to. Wasting the backdrafts on CB means you lose more mana on incins and will need more CBs for mana regen later on. It might feel nice to shoot out a quick CB, but it doesn' work out in the long run
  • You have no procs. Sometimes you may need to if you are oom, but if played correctly you shouldn't find yourself oom ever


Do use CBs when:
  • You are capped on embers. If you find yourself around 3.5 embers you want to let a CB go to avoid capping. Ideally this only happens when you have procs and DS up, but sometimes the timing doesn't work out.
  • You are oom. As said before, this shouldn't happen if you're keeping your rotation under control, but it does happen sometimes.
  • You have DS and/or your procs up. Ideally you'll have 3.5-4 embers when this happens so you can launch 4-5 strong embers and burst your target.
  • Kind of the same as before, but when you have a good number of procs up even without DS. This is when an addon like powerauras is extremely helpful. Having a good number of int/crit/sp procs up means your CBs are going to hit hard. You want to use CBs during these heavy proc times to avoid going oom while also having strong CBs while waiting for DS to come back up. You want to think of it as a slow pool. Your goal is to pool to 3-4 embers for your DS, but you want to hit that 4th ember around the same time your DS comes off CD. To do that, it means you have to burn some while DS is down to help with mana and keep your damage up. If you find yourself oom and you're forced to burn CBs without procs you're hurting yourself. Pre-emptively use CBs if they're strong so you don't ever find yourself in a bad mana situation.


Keeping immolate up as close to 100% as you can is important. Affdots will help you see when you should refresh immolate, so use it. Don't let conflag hit 2 stacks. Basically you want to use it whenever it's available unless you plan on launching a CB soon and you don't want to have 3+ backdraft stacks for your CB. You just don't want to ever be capped at 2 conflags. Keep incinerate going as your filler. CotE should be up on your target. Under 20% you want to use Shadowburn instead of CB. Try to follow the same rules for SB as you did with CB. On add fights, make sure you are getting SBs off for kills to gain embers.

Rain of Fire is something that's a really tricky subject. Obviously on AoE fights you want to keep it up, but on single target fights it has it's uses as well. Even though it is very high DPET, and that generally means use it as priority, the amount of mana it takes is very limiting. As gear gets higher, RoF might be more useful as a single target spell, but for now you want to make sure to use RoF sparingly for single targets. The ideal situations are if you need a quick influx of embers (DS is coming up soon and you don't have many embers yet) or you are planning on being mana capped. The latter usually happens during DS burns, since you aren't burning any mana while unloading CBs. I like dropping RoF and keeping it up during my CB burn which usually allows for more embers and more CBs during the DS time. It's up to you and up to the fight whether you think RoF and the mana it takes is worth it. If you find yourself oom then using RoF as much as you did was the wrong choice.

AoE fights make sure to use FnB immo, FnB conflag, FnB incin, FnB CotE, shadowfury, and RoF. Shadowburn and tab shadowburning is a big DPS boost, especially in conjunction with Havoc on a boss while you SB 3 low targets.

Havoc is a big deal. Make sure you use it in every opportunity that you can. Any cleave fights you want Havoc used on CD with CBs or SBs when you can manage it.
Edited by Loktronotron on 3/25/2013 1:29 PM PDT
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90 Orc Warlock
8265
Pets:
All the pets do almost the exact same DPS in a patchwerk situation. You are generally going to bring the pet that best suits the fight.

In a single target low movement fight, Observer will do the most overall DPS.
In a multi target situation where your pet moves a lot between targets, Fel Imp will likely yield higher DPS than the Observer.

That being said, if you need the dispell, bring the Imp. If you need the interrupt, bring the Observer. If you need the CC, bring Shiv. If you don't need any of those, bring the Observer or the Imp depending on the fight style.

For Sacrifice, bring the utility you need. If you need the dispell sac the imp, if you want the health cooldown sac the voidwalker. I usually go with the VW when I sac, but it is fight dependent.

Useful Macros
Spammable AoE Incinerate:
#showtooltip Incinerate
/castsequence reset=3 Fire and Brimstone, Incinerate

Spammable Aoe Conflagrate:
#showtooltip Conflagrate
/castsequence reset=3 Fire and Brimstone, Conflagrate

Mouseover Havoc:
#showtooltip Havoc
/cast [target=mouseover,exists] Havoc

Havoc on focus:
#showtooltip Havoc
/cast [target=focus] Havoc

Mouseover Shadowburn:
#showtooltip Shadowburn
/cast [target=mouseover,harm,nodead] Shadowburn; Shadowburn


Opener
Pre-pot and precast Immolate
Rain of Fire
CotE
Doomguard – If used at start
Conflag
Conflag
Dark Soul/On-Use CDs/trinkets (I prefer waiting a little until my procs start to go up)
Incinerate
Incinerate
Incinerate
Incinerate (backdraft now at 2 stacks and around 2 Embers)
Chaos Bolt
Immolate (benefits from all temp procs and crit increases)
Incinerate to 2 Embers (If required)
Chaos Bolt
Keep RoF up if your mana is high and you're not going to miss a procced CB with the extra global

Note: Doomguard DOES do execute damage, so often it is best to use him at the end of the encounter, especially if the end of the encounter is the most difficult. You are guaranteed full procs for him at the start of the fight, so I often use DG here. There are also times when you want to use him in the middle of fights to push a phase. Think about what is best for the fight.

Source: http://www.mmo-champion.com/threads/1271984-5-2-Destruction-Guide-How-To-Now-with-100-more-pets

The End:Thanks for reading if you took the time to. If anyone has any suggestions or comments on things I'm missing or things they disagree with feel free to bring them up. Go Go Destro!

Credit to Hankuley for reminding me about openers and for the macros.
Credit to Kips for reminding me about pets.
Edited by Loktronotron on 3/25/2013 1:31 PM PDT
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90 Goblin Rogue
0
Not sure I overlooked it, but is the Fel Puppy your pet of choice with Supremacy, or the Imp?
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90 Orc Warlock
11315
n2b
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90 Orc Warlock
8265
Not sure I overlooked it, but is the Fel Puppy your pet of choice with Supremacy, or the Imp?
Thanks, updated it.
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90 Gnome Warlock
12620
You forgot one of the most important thing: your opener.

In my case I'm using this one:

Pot/Precast Immolate
Rain of Fire
(Doomguard – If used at start)
Conflag
Conflag
Dark Soul/On-Use Int
Incinerate
Incinerate
Incinerate
Incinerate (backdraft now at 2 stacks and around 2 Embers)
Chaos Bolt
Immolate (benefits from all temp procs and crit increases)
Incinerate to 2 Embers (If required)
Chaos Bolt


Source: http://www.mmo-champion.com/threads/1271984-5-2-Destruction-Guide-How-To-Now-with-100-more-pets

Thanks for this guide btw. (sticky requested)
Edited by Hankuley on 3/24/2013 8:14 PM PDT
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90 Gnome Warlock
12620
Here's for your guide Loktronotron.

Some useful macros :

Spammable AoE Incinerate:
#showtooltip Incinerate
/castsequence reset=3 Fire and Brimstone, Incinerate


Spammable Aoe Conflagrate:
#showtooltip Conflagrate
/castsequence reset=3 Fire and Brimstone, Conflagrate


Mouseover Havoc:
#showtooltip Havoc
/cast [target=mouseover,exists] Havoc


Havoc on focus:
#showtooltip Havoc
/cast [target=focus] Havoc


Mouseover Shadowburn:
#showtooltip Shadowburn
/cast [target=mouseover,harm,nodead] Shadowburn; Shadowburn


Edit: Removed my engineer gloves from the macros.
Edited by Hankuley on 3/24/2013 8:25 PM PDT
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90 Orc Warlock
8265
Thanks, added your macros and opener (slightly adjusted) to the guide. Thanks for the sticky request too!
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90 Undead Warlock
13160
I have a hard time believing that Haste thresholds actually matter for Destro with our entire DoT arsenal being Immolate.
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90 Worgen Warlock
10665
This is nice, but you should link to the MMO Champion Destruction guide, too. Plenty of interesting discussions there along with the usual stat weights, openers, pets, and whatnot.
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90 Human Warlock
15050
reported

for sticky
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90 Orc Warlock
8265
This is nice, but you should link to the MMO Champion Destruction guide, too. Plenty of interesting discussions there along with the usual stat weights, openers, pets, and whatnot.
Is there a different one than the one I had linked?

I have a hard time believing that Haste thresholds actually matter for Destro with our entire DoT arsenal being Immolate.
You have to worry about them less than you would Affliction just because there aren't many. The obtainable one is at 2021 haste which is EASILY obtainable. The next threshold is ~10k haste so it's pretty unrealistic to try to get that. An extra tick is still an extra tick.
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90 Human Warlock
13495
This is great and appreciate the guide!

Question. Essentially achievable Non-Goblin haste for a extra immo tick in Dest is 4247. I know for Affliction its 4717. In Affliction however running much over that is basically numbers that could be better off into another stat. Is the same true of Destro? It seems Destro would be ok with going over (or at least better than going over a haste threshold in Affliction would be) but I am uncertain.

If you reforge much over the threshold of 4247 in Dest are you really wasting points that would probably go better into something like crit or mastery? Or no?

thanks!
Edited by Bermy on 3/25/2013 6:37 AM PDT
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90 Orc Warlock
8265
Essentially achievable Non-Goblin haste for a extra immo tick in Dest is 4247. I know for Affliction its 4717
That's without raid buffs. No spell haste buff and you'd need 4247 as opposed to 2021 with raid buffs.

Going over the haste threshold depends on your talent choice. As I stated in my stat priorities, I value haste much more for GoSup (going up to about 20%) before I worry too much about Crit, although Crit will still be high since anything that can't be reforged into haste will be crit. The reason for that has nothing to do with DoT ticks, but more to do with added pet damage (scales off haste), as well as faster casts etc. For GoSac, your goal is to nuke the crap out of things. Think big hitting spells. That means lots of Crit and lots of Mastery. Haste is still okay for GoSup, but it's not going to overtake Crit or Mastery. The 2021 threshold is really low and easy to get which is why I spend a little haste to get there before dumping reforges into my "better" stats.
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90 Blood Elf Warlock
7525
you guys are amazing!
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