Destruction Warlock playstyle and rotation guide

Patch 9.2.5 Last Updated: 3rd Aug, 2022
Wexi Destruction Warlock Author

Playstyle & Rotation

General Rotation:

The general Rotation for Destruction Warlock is pretty simple.

Immolate on the target at all times, make sure you can track this so you have 100% uptime

Incinerate is your filler spell which generates most of your Soul Shards, try not to use your backdraft stacks on Incinerate.

Chaos Bolt is your main Soul Shard spender, you want to make sure you never cap on Soul Shards. Also, make sure you use your Backdraft stacks on Chaos Bolts to reduce the cast time.

Havoc is your main 2 target cleave spell. You want to pretty much use this on cooldown whenever there are 2 targets up. Keep 1 stack of Conflagrate and have 3-4 Soul Shards ready for when you use Havoc.

Conflagrate has 2 charges (3 with the legendary in Shadowlands) ALWAYS make sure you have 1 stack on cooldown so it is recharging and use your backdraft stacks on Chaos Bolt.

Rain of Fire is your main AoE spell which does a lot of damage. Only use this if you know the mobs will not move, and you have 4+ targets. If you have Inferno talented, you want to use it with 2 or more targets, assuming they will not move, even during Havoc. But if there is a priority target, then you obviously would want to use Chaos Bolt during Havoc up to 3 targets.


If you have the tier set, you want to cast Rain of Fire 4 times before the pull and cast Chaos Bolt right after your Incinerate pre-cast.

  1. Pre-cast Incinerate when there are 3 seconds left on the pull timer.
  2. Cast Cataclysm (if specced into this) which will then apply Immolate on the target.
  3. Cast Conflagrate (so that it can start recharging).
  4. Summon Infernal.
  5. Use Dark Soul: Instability or any on-use trinket.
  6. During your opener if you’re ever about to cap shards then cast a Chaos Bolt.
  7. During your Summon Infernal uptime try and fit in as many Chaos Bolts in as possible whilst generating shards through Incinerate and spend your Conflagrate backdraft stacks on Chaos Bolt.


  1. Rain of Fire on 4 or more targets as long as the mobs don't move out of it. 3 or more if have Inferno talented.
  2. Keep Immolate maintained up to 6 targets, Cataclysm is great for doing this as it applies Immolate to all targets on impact.
  3. Havoc is worth using on fewer than 4 targets, as soon as there are 5 or 6+ targets you just want to be using Rain of Fire, however, you can still use Havoc to regenerate Soul Shards quicker to put out more Rain of Fires.