Primer: Destruction Specialization

Warlock
This is great Fallen. Very informational and in depth; I hope many Warlock's coming through, and already been through, read this and find out something new. Earned a cookie and a sticky. :)
So I decided to play around in Simcraft to see just how big of a difference some of our options have on our DPS. Namely stats, FF use, and ember pooling. Here's what I'm seeing (note, I used the T14 heroic profile):

Stats are really,really tight. Like, insanely tight. Full crit is about a 0.25% gain over full haste, and haste is about a 0.25% gain over mastery. Since I mostly fiddled with reforges and gems, I could probably push those numbers a bit farther apart with some enchant changes, but I doubt I'd get to anywhere near even a 1% gap between crit and mastery. Keep in mind that at 90 in T14H gear, a difference in 0.5% is only about 500 DPS.

What does that mean? On the one hand, it is really hard to screw up your stats. As long as you're hit capped and avoid spirit (except for that damn BIS ring), you're good to go. On the other hand, this means Destro has a great deal of flexibility when it comes down to gearing and personal preference. If you want to go mastery/crit for harder Chaos Bolts, you're making a relatively small trade-off over not going for the optimal crit/haste (~0.5% sustained damage for ~5% ember damage).

Using Fel Flame rotationally comes out as a 10% loss over not using it at all in a standing rotation. Mostly this comes down to resource use. Prioritizing Fel Flame over non-Backdrafted Incins means that once you're out of mana, you're sucking on fumes between embers. That gives you a massive amount of downtime, which is why your DPS drops.

As for ember use, stacking comes to about a 0.5% increase over spending. Again, at such a small difference it's really hard to screw up ember use (as long as you avoid Backdrafted Chaos Bolts), and you have some flexibility available to you in your rotation.
ive been looking everywhere for a stat priority.. but knowing destro doesnt really have one.. haha.. alright.. guess im going crit/mastery like i wanted to for maximum chaos boltage!

delicious big numbers
Thank you so much for this, Fallensaint, and particularly for the insights into what's up with the secondary stats. I've always been an affliction/demonology fan, but right now, destruction is rocking my world.
Fallen (or anyone else who knows),

You keep mentioning not to backdraft your chaos bolts... I'll preface this by saying I'm only 84 at the moment, but aft reading this guide I have been keeping an eye on backdraft charges and purposely casting chaos bolt. It is definitely NOT eating charges. Is this some kind of display error, or could this by a ninja change?
Fallen (or anyone else who knows),

You keep mentioning not to backdraft your chaos bolts... I'll preface this by saying I'm only 84 at the moment, but aft reading this guide I have been keeping an eye on backdraft charges and purposely casting chaos bolt. It is definitely NOT eating charges. Is this some kind of display error, or could this by a ninja change?


At level 86 you learn Pyroclasm, which is a passive ability that allows Chaos Bolt to benefit from Backdraft's cast speed reduction, but at the cost of three Backdraft stacks.
Thanks for the in-depth explanation on resource management! I'd kind of had the gist of it figured out, but seeing all the nuances down in writing helps a lot with understanding how Destro works now.

Regarding stat priorites: Back in Cata, I stacked Haste all the way ( to well over the 3200 in full t13 ). I loved having super-fast cast times that totally wrecked anything and anyone who got in my way ( crit and mastery were, admittedly, pretty darn high at that point as well - there's only so much rating you can reallocate via reforging/gemming/enchanting ). It was, for me, warlock heaven ( yes, it exists ).

Recently, though, other stat guides ( namely AskMrRobot, Icy Veins, and Noxxic - WowReforge has yet to be updated for MoP, and EJ seems to have died completely ) have been saying that Mastery > Crit > Haste. But with your simdata, specifically the tightness of the three stats in t14 Heroic gear, I think I'll go back to prioritizing Haste > Crit > Mastery. I can't go all Haste, naturally, but it's good to know that I'm not actually wasting Mastery by reforging it to something else.
Looks awesome

one thing question about haste though, Chaotic Energy says that our Spell Haste also increases our Mana regen, do you know how much it dose?
I just returned from taking two years off and want to try Destro again. Thanks for this guide. I have a noob question: What glyphs should I use as destruction?
Minor glyphs don't matter...pick what you like. Major glyphs I would recommend Glyph of Burning Embers for a fourth ember but other than that none are a direct boost to your DPS so take what you like. Popular options include healthstone, siphon life, conflagrate (probably more pvp oriented), etc.
just what i was looking for thanks.
Granted, this tread is a few months old, but I have a question:

Everyone says never to use Backdraft for Chaos Bolts: Why?

This is what I'm currently doing: I start off with the obligatory Curse, pop CD macro, Immolate, Conflagrate, Chaos Bolt, Conflagrate again, then Incinerate spam until 1 charge on Conflagrate, pop it, then Chaos Bolt.

That's my current rotation, give or take a spell for movement, encounter mechanics, ect.

I like consuming Backdraft with Chaos Bolts because it "levels out" the downtown for casting spells. Incinerate already has a cast time of less than 2 seconds; the return of 30% seems trivial compared to the 30% reduction in downtime for casting Chaos Bolts.

Also, with 3 different intellect procs at the moment, saving Embers and Backdraft for procs can mean the difference between hitting with a 250k or 325k Chaos Bolt. (Rough numbers)

Granted, when a boss nears about 30-25%, I start stacking Embers for Shadowburn, so this is when I start consuming Backdraft with Incinerate.
Dunno if you're still reading Niftal, but I think it's mainly for mana use.

Because Chaos bolt doesn't use mana, you actually gain mana during the cast....and you gain more if it's slower.

I'm finding I rarely have mana problems so I like to use a backdrafted CB. When I'm low on mana I deliberately don't use Backdraft and it sets me back to normal.
This is awesome. I don't play destruction, but still can appreciate the time you took to write this guide.

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