Destruction Warlock playstyle and rotation guide

Patch 10.0.5 Last Updated: 24th Jan, 2023
Stove Destruction Warlock Author
Stove

Playstyle & Rotation

General Rotation:

Keep up immolate at all times.

Incinerate is our filler and one of the ways we generate soul shards. Use it whenever you don’t have anything else.

Soul Fire does excellent damage and applies Incinerate to the target. Try to use this off cooldown. It is also recommended that you use a backdraft proc on this.

Channel Demonfire deals damage to targets with immolate on them and extends the debuff if you have raging demonfire talented. Try to use this spell off cooldown.

Chaos Bolt is the primary way we spend our soul shards in single target. Try to keep up the madness of azj’aqir buff up for as long as you can and the Eradication debuff for as long as you can. This means it’s best to use incinerates, channel demonfires, and soul fires in between casts of chaos bolt unless it means overcapping on soul shards.

Conflagrate is an instant spell that does moderate damage and gives you a stack of backdraft. Always keep at least 1 stack on recharge, so you don’t overcap on charges. Also, if you are playing with Roaring Blaze try and time your Conflagrates, so you have high uptime on it.

Havoc is the main reason our 2 target damage is so strong. Try to store up 3-4 soul shards and a stack of conflagrate before using it for maximum gain. You should use this off cooldown. I recommend putting a talent into Mayhem because it greatly increases Havoc uptime.

Opener:

  1. Precast soul fire
  2. Use conflagrate
  3. Use Channel Demonfire
  4. Use Summon infernal (If talented) and any on-use trinket and racial if you are troll, orc, or dark iron dwarf
  5. Use Chaos bolt

After the opener, try to keep up as close to 100% uptime on madness and eradication as possible while weaving in incinerates and conflagrates between chaos bolts. Also, try to keep high uptime on roaring blaze if talented.

Aoe opener:

  1. Precast incinerate
  2. Cast immolate on up to 4 targets
  3. Use summon infernal (if talented) any on-use trinket and racial if you are troll orc or dark iron dwarf
  4. Use rain of fire

After this, try to keep up your madness rolling while you weave in incinerates in between rain of fire. It is very important that you don’t overcap on soul shards, so when you are in a situation where you don't have immolates on the targets but have 5 soul shards choose to spend your soul shards first.

Multi Target:

Keep up immolate on as many targets as possible without overcapping on soul shards.

The primary aoe spender for multi-target situations is rain of fire. You want to use it if there are 4+ targets.

Madness of the Azj’Aqir now works on this spell so try to keep the buff going for as long as you can.

If you have Havoc talented, you can use it for easier immolate application and extra soul shards.

incinerate is a good filler even in aoe if you have fire and brimstone talented.

Playstyle

Survivability and Defensives:

We’ve gained a lot of survivability in Dragonflight. Having dark pact, unending resolve, and mortal coil combined with some of the new class tree talents like soul link, demonic embrace, demonic fortitude, and frequent donor makes us incredibly hard to kill. Usually, I would use dark pact before using unending resolve. You can be very aggressive with using dark pact because it’s a 1 min cd or 45s if you have frequent donor talented. unending resolve reduces the damage you take by 25% or 40% if you have strength of will talented and makes it so you cannot be interrupted. You can use this whenever you don't have dark pact or in combination with dark pact in a very damage heavy situation.

Mobility:

Our mobility has gotten worse since shadowlands. We lost soulshape and demonic momentum, but we can now have both dark pact and burning rush simultaneously, which is nice. The hit to mobility only means that we need to play with our circle even better and resort to burning rush only when necessary because of the hp burn.

Utility:

For utility, we have the choice between howl of terror and mortal coil, shadowfury, shadowflame, banish, and greater banish. Shadowfury is a must-take in any boss fight with stunnable mobs and mythic +. For the choice of howl of terror and mortal coil, I recommend picking mortal coil in most situations because fear effects in PvE are weak and easily break, and mortal coil can be used as a defensive as well. Demonic gateway is also a must-take in every situation.

We also have curses of enfeeblement, which can be very useful in certain situations like mythic +.

Cooldown Usage:

As destruction warlocks, our main cooldown is the talent summon infernal. We usually want to use it off cooldown. If you are running Crashing chaos, it makes your burst even higher when using infernal. Some situations where you want to hold your cooldown is for tight DPS checks, like breaking a shield or when a priority add is spawning and needs to be nuked down.