Destruction Warlock Raiding in 4.0.1

Time to spend some time with your favorite dummies!

Patch 4.0.1 introduced major changes to every class. The talent system was redesigned, every spec altered, combat stats altered… it’s the patch before Cataclysm where our classes change in anticipation of the new expansion, without having any new content available, so we can learn to play again in a familiar environment, and not have to worry about new quests and new lands and new bosses while we’re also struggling with new rotations and new mechanics and new spells.  A lot of the focus of the next two months really should be on relearning our classes, of experimenting with new things, of challenging old assumptions.

It’s a smart move by Blizzard, really.

My patch install was not smooth, so I ended up reinstalling and have been rebuilding my UI from the ground up.  With all of this external change around me, I decided to go ahead and switch specs as well, going from Affliction PvP/Demonology PvE to Destruction PvP/PvE.  Destruction is a familiar spec to me, having played this dual-Destro setup for most of 3.2 (ToC) when it was the dominant spec. I enjoyed Destro a lot during this time, and it looked like there wasn’t too much that had changed.

Well, I was pretty much wrong about that.

I’ve been having trouble getting into endgame Battlegrounds since the patch – haven’t managed to get past the preparation phase without disconnecting – so my look at Destro PvP is going to have to wait.  However, I’ve already raided some with Destruction in ICC, and it is awesome.  The changes have made it more complex without being overwhelming, there are several subtle things you can do to enhance your DPS, while missing them is not the end of the world.  It feels like Destro has grown up and joined the other specs in having a lot of things going on, without becoming totally overwhelming.

So I hopped over to Elitist Jerks, looked through their 4.0 Pre-Cataclysm Raiding guide for Warlocks, and gave it a try.

Let’s take a look.

DESTRO BASICS

If you played Destro in Wrath, before 4.0.1, you’re familiar with the 4 spells that made up your main rotation – Immolate, Conflagrate, Incinerate, and Chaos Bolt.  Immolate was your primary dot, with perhaps Curse of Doom or Curse of the Elements used as the situation called for it.

You can still play Destro like this in 4.0.1, which is good for a transition, but the spec has a few more things going on now.  You’ll have a bit more to juggle to get the most out of your DPS.

The core spell of Destruction remains Immolate.  Immolate is both your most potent DoT spell, as well as a spell that allows other spells to hit harder.  You should keep Immolate up at all times.

Immolate’s presence allows you to use Conflagrate, a huge instant nuke which takes your Immolate or Shadowfury DoT and blows it up.  (The DoT remains intact now, which is a nice change from Wrath.) Conflagrate is your biggest nuke and should be used whenever it’s off CD.  Conflagrate also procs Backdraft, which hastens your next 3 Incinerates, Chaos Bolts, and Shadow Bolts.  This proc is a nice bonus but is no longer the focus of your rotation.

You have two other DoTs to manage as Destruction, now: Bane of Doom and Corruption.  Yes, Corruption.  Depending on your raid composition, you may also need to cast Curse of the Elements, but these are your main DPS dots. Bane of Doom is like the old Curse of Doom, except that instead of delivering its damage every 60 seconds, it does so every 15, making it preferable even in short fights to Bane of Agony.  Corruption is an interesting addition to the Destro toolkit, but with a few talent points in Affliction it becomes a potent DPS increase, and a nice change from solely nuking something down.

There is a final DoT that your Imp’s Firebolts or your Soul Fires will place on the target: Burning Embers.  Your Imp should be able to keep this one refreshed automatically.  It’s an important DPS increase, but not something you have to worry about once the firebolts start flying.

You have three nukes in your rotation: Chaos Bolt, Soul Fire, and Incinerate.  Chaos Bolt is a hard-hitting direct damage spell on a long CD.  Soul Fire is a new addition to your routine – a long cast time nuke with great damage.  The removal of the Soul Shard mechanic means that we’ll want to cast Soul Fires either at the beginning of the fight, when Empowered Imp procs and makes them instant cast, or deliberately made instant by Soulburn.  Incinerate is an old friend, but relies upon the presence of Immolate to deal increased damage.  Never cast Incinerate if Immolate is not present on the target.

A really interesting addition to the rotation is our frontal AoE attack, Shadowflame.  Shadowflame has been buffed and is now a viable spell for use in your rotation.  Using it requires situational awareness, though, since you don’t want to stand next to every boss all the time if you can help it.  Demonic Circle can help a lot here.

On top of all this, you have one proc you need to track: Improved Soul Fire.  This was formerly a reverse execute, applying only to the first phase of the fight (> 80% boss health) but has now been changed to apply throughout the fight.  The haste it grants is a huge boost to your DPS, and should be kept up at all times.  Because it has been modified recently, I don’t know if it’s going to stay as an all-the-time buff you have to maintain, or will go back to being > 80%, or be turned into an execute (< 25% boss health) – but it’s a proc you’ll have to track for at least part of the fight.

So, to sum up, Destro has:

  • 3 DoTs you need to worry about
  • (1 DoT you don’t)
  • 2 CD-limited nukes
  • 2 standard nukes
  • 1 frontal AoE spell
  • and 1 buff that needs to be maintained.

It can actually be a lot of fun keeping all this going.  Let’s look at how you can do that.

Chojub STILL LOVES Chaos Bolts!

PRIORITY, NOT ROTATION

Like most specs at this point, Destro is on a priority system, not a rotation per se.  You cast the most important spell on your list, then move down until you find the next one that needs to be cast.  If you get to the bottom, you cast your filler, Incinerate.

Your priority:

  1. Improved Soul Fire.
  2. Immolate.
  3. Conflagrate.
  4. Bane of Doom.
  5. Shadowflame.
  6. Corruption.
  7. Chaos Bolt.
  8. Hasted Soul Fire (from either Empowered Imp procs or Soulburn)
  9. Incinerate.

Generally speaking, the Improved Soul Fire buff will take a bit of work to keep up, so learning when to cast slow Soul Fires vs. waiting for Soulburn to come off CD (and gambling on a Empowered Imp proc) takes some practice. Don’t worry at first if it falls off; just get it back up when you can.

Shadowflame may only be practical in certain fights, and you should skip it if it’s too risky.  You can’t DPS if you’re dead because you got to close to a boss.

If all of this seems overwhelming to try to manage, let me let you in on a little secret: Need To Know.

ON A NEED-TO-KNOW BASIS

Need To Know: Keep the bars up!

Above is how I make sense of the priority rotation in my UI.  Instead of trying to track CD timers in one addon, procs in my buff area, and DoTs in another, I use the Need To Know (NTK) addon.

NTK allows you to group buffs, debuffs, and cooldowns in a customizable interface.  By ordering the items I’m tracking by priority, I’m able to look and quickly determine what I need to do next.  In the above example, I am casting Incinerate, Conflagrate is about to come off CD, and Improved Soul Fire is about to drop off.  I can hope for a lucky Empowered Imp crit and start spamming Conflag, or start casting Soul Fire to keep the buff alive.

I color code the bars so I can see at a glance what is going to drop off, and which bar needs to be filled up.

If you’ve never used NTK before, the setup is relatively straightforward.

  • First, open your Interface menu and go to the NTK options.
  • Enable group 1 of the bars, and increase it to 6 bars.
  • Enable group 2 of the bars, and decrease it to 1 bar.
  • Arrange them around your cast bar as desired.  I placed the ISF buff above my cast bar because it’s a proc that (formerly) wasn’t up all the time; you may want to group it with the others.
  • Right click the single bar, and set the effect to monitor to Improved Soul Fire.
  • Next, set the type of effect to Buff.  (This is the default)
  • Set the Unit to Monitor to Player, since you are monitoring this buff on yourself.
  • Select “Display Icon” under effects, and choose a color that resembles the buff.  You’re done with ISF.
  • Right click the first bar in the set of six, set the effect to Immolate, and the type to Debuff.  Set the Unit to Monitor to Target, set the icon to display, and set the color.
  • For the second bar, right click, set the effect to Conflagrate, and set the type to Spell Cooldown.  Repeat the same process as above to fill out the bar.
  • Go down the list, choosing Debuff/Target for Bane of Doom & Corruption, and Spell CD for Shadowflame and Chaos Bolt.

A few notes about this setup.

  1. You can set a single bar to monitor different types of effects, with the first effect in the list taking priority of all are listed.  Just enter the names of the effects separated by commas.  Some helpful examples would be “Bane of Doom, Bane of Agony”, “Fear, Corruption” (for when you need to start CCing in Cataclysm), and “Curse of the Elements, Curse of Weakness” for your curses.  You can get quite fancy with this (checking all debuffs instead of just your own to see if CoE needs to be cast, for example), but that’s really for when you’re comfortable with NTK.
  2. You want to track the Shadowflame CD instead of the debuff because you’re using the timer to regulate your actions, not to actually monitor the debuffs on the target. (That is what unit frames are for.)  The Shadowflame CD is substantially longer than the effect itself, so if you looked only at the debuff you’ll try to cast it before it’s ready.  Tracking the CD, however, means that you might miss and not know it.  That’s fine, but be aware that just because you see the purple bar doesn’t mean you’re actually hitting the target.
  3. Backdraft doesn’t require monitoring anymore.  Backdraft used to be a vital part of the rotation but is now relegated to a nice-to-have – if you can cast your Chaos Bolt or Incinerate under its effects, do so, but not at the expense of a higher priority item.
  4. Soulburn might require monitoring.  I’m using OmniCC and watching my bars to see when this comes up, but in general I’m saving the Soulburn -> Soulfire combos to keep the ISL buff up.  I would rather leave Soulburn off CD for when I need to keep that buff up but am not getting lucky with the Empowered Imp procs.
  5. Your big companion demon CDs – Doomguard and Infernals – might also be a good inclusion here.  They are a significant DPS increase, don’t cause your existing demons to despawn, and can be cast every 10 minutes.  I tend to want to save these for Heroism/Bloodlust, though.  I’m on the fence about monitoring them as part of my standard procedure, since I don’t need to know when the CD is up – I need to pick the right time to use them, instead.

I’m a big fan of NTK over other buff/dot trackers, because it allows me to parse out the data I don’t need, and focus instead on only what I need to know instead.

TALENTS AND GLYPHS

For my talents, I’m using the 2/3/31 build from Elitist Jerks right now.  There has been some good discussion about how far you should go into Dark Arts given your current Haste levels, but in general that build will serve you well.  Yes, there are some “wasted” talents – Searing Pain is no longer part of the rotation, for instance, after a recent round of nerfs – but those talents are needed to get to the next level, and you do what you gotta do.

The recommended glyphs of Immolate, Conflagrate, Imp and Life Tap are all relatively straightforward – improve damage directly (Immo, Imp) or indirectly through lower cooldowns (Conflag, LT.)  Other Prime glyphs that do similar things can be used in a pinch (Chaos Bolt, Incinerate) but in general you’ll want to buff your best spells first.  The two remaining major glyphs are at your discretion – I went with Shadowflame (to give me a slow for the Valks in the LK encounter) and Soul Link, to help out the healers.  Fear is likely going to be another good option for your Major glyph selection.

MACROS

With the new installation, not only did I throw out my UI, but I’ve started throwing out all my old macros and starting over. There are a few things I’m still macroing – my Imp’s Firebolt, for one – but I’m trying to use fewer macros than I did during Wrath in PvE.

(PvP is still macro city, though!)

The biggest challenge to reducing macro use is the need to manually trigger your Imp’s Firebolt because of the spell queuing delays.  Pretty much every spell you cast should have this in there, like so:

#showtooltip
/cast Soul Fire
/cast [@pettarget] Firebolt

This simple macro can have a substantial impact on your DPS, so, do it.  Bind it to Immolate, Soul Fire, Chaos Bolt, Incinerate at a minimum.

Next is making sure that your Soulburn-empowered Soul Fires are as fast as possible.  In PvE you will never need to use Soulburn to hasten another spell, so just make a castsequence macro you can tap to fire off a big ball of flame like an instant-cast spell.

#showtooltip
/castsequence reset=2 Soulburn, Soul Fire
/cast [@pettarget] Firebolt

Finally, I do use a setup macro to get everything rolling.  This doubles as my Immolate button during the normal rotation (due to the reset timer) but can be used to place everything on the target during a pull.

/castsequence reset=target/combat,2 Immolate, Conflagrate, Bane of Doom, Shadowflame, Corruption, Chaos Bolt,  Incinerate, Incinerate
/use 10
/use 13
/use 14
/startattack
/cast [@pettarget] Firebolt

I’ll keep experimenting with macros to see if there are other combos I’m always hitting, but for now I’m trying to keep it simple.

AOE

Area of Effect spells aren’t as effective now as they were in Wrath, as the stated design goals are to move away from AoE fests and focus instead on single-target burndowns and CC.  That’s great, but we’ve still got big trash packs in ICC that sometimes need to get burned down.

Ideally, each Warlock tree would have its own AoE spell – Seed of Corruption for Affliction, Hellfire for Demo, and Rain of Fire for Destro.  This model makes sense, and I can’t wait for us to get there.

Unfortunately, it still looks like Seed outperforms Rain on Destro by a bit.  Test it out on some dummies yourself, since this could vary by Mastery and Haste, but… yeah.  I’m still going to be spamming Seeds into trash packs for the near future.

Update: Rain of Fire got buffed this morning.  Back to the training dummies!

GEAR

There’s been some major changes to how gear is itemized in this patch, and you can also reforge unused stats (like Spirit) into other stats.

The current itemization priority is:

Hit (to 17%) > Intellect > Mastery = Haste = Spellpower >>> Crit

Basically, get rid of Sprit first, then Crit.  Get hit capped, then look at Int, Mastery, and Haste.

WATCHING IT IN PRACTICE

I’ve put together a video of how this works so you can see it for yourself.  Sometimes, seeing someone else do it (no matter how expertly or not) makes all the pieces click.  Hopefully this will help put it all together if you still have questions.

HAVE FUN

I am really enjoying the challenge of relearning the warlock class.  There are a lot of interesting changes that make me think about how things work.  None of this is set in stone right now.  Changes happen every rolling restart.  There will be a lot of discovery over the next few weeks, both in the endgame and in leveling, in PvE and PvP.

I’m enjoying Destruction now, but I can’t wait to see how some of the other specs do, too!

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59 Comments

Filed under Cynwise's Battlefield Manual, Warlockery

59 responses to “Destruction Warlock Raiding in 4.0.1

  1. Not a warlock, but the location of Quartz and NTK (with the space between things in NTK) on your UI is freaking brilliant!

    • That’s the first time anyone has called any element of my UI brilliant. Thanks! :-)

      In all seriousness, this has evolved over time, and I find that putting the most important buffs over the cast bar, right where my eyes will be looking, really helped me as a Demo lock. This is a *much* cleaner version of what I was doing as Demo – I’m glad I gave myself a fresh install.

    • Good guide, but two things. One, I’m pretty sure that you can’t Conflagrate off of the Shadowfury dot anymore. I have been PvP’ing Destro and whenever I Shadowfury, I cannot Conflagrate. I tried looking it up in the Conflag and SF tooltip, but it doesn’t specify. So unless this is a bug, I’m pretty sure they removed that.

      Another thing, Rain of Fire should do more damage than Seed of Corruption, but it also depends on the amount of mastery you have. Since mastery on the Destro tree buffs your Fire Damage, with enough mastery you should be doing more damage with RoF. You should also throw Bane of Havoc on the highest health target, as well as immolate and CoE, during an AoE pull. This way, you can Conflag that target whenever it’s up, while doing your RoF on the other mobs (which is also causing 15% of the RoF damage to your high health target, due to Bane of Havoc). Hope this helps you guys!

      • The Shadowfury/Conflag change caught me by surprise. I used it a lot in PvP, but I can see why they took it out.

        I’m having interesting times with AoE right now. I’m used to Demo AoE, and the huge numbers associated with Immo Aura Seeds Sapper Charges. I’m still playing around with the Bane of Havoc, but your strategy sounds like a great one. Thanks!

  2. Dakotarick

    Thank you so much for posting the video and the link to NTK. One thing I have always struggled with is my UI and hopefully that will help the mess I have now.

    • Hope it helps! NTK is hugely valuable to warlocks. I used to use DoTimer, but since it showed all of my Dots and CDs, finding the right information was really tough. NTK shows just what I want and need.

  3. Wolfofthenyght

    This is so fantastic! Thank you so much :) I just specced my warlock destro again the other day, and was a little lost on what priorities, glyphs and stats I should be looking for.

    All the information here makes a -fantastic- guide, and I can’t wait to try it out when I get home from work! I can’t thank you enough! This looks like it will be a ton of fun again.

    • Thanks! Let me know how it works out, and if there are gaps in my coverage. I make certain assumptions, which might miss obvious things. (Like which curse to use, for example.)

      And it is fun again!

  4. Askevi

    Great post Cyn. Can you go into more detail about the macros? Currently, I use Soulburn, Soul Fire, Immolate, Conflag, Chaos Bolt and Incinerate when questing and add back Bane of Doom and Curse of Elements in dungeons.

    Is your first macro meant to be a combo opener of Soulburn and Soulfire? Is your setup macro one that queues up all of your spells and you just hit it over and over again?

    • Well, I can’t speak to questing in this spec yet, since I usually quest in a PvP spec. But in general I try to front-load burst damage to take out mobs quickly. So, Chaos Bolt -> Immolate -> Conflagrate at a distance all hit at once, followed by three quick Incinerates usually kills anything for me.

      The first (soulburn) macro is for when you need to cast Soul Fire to get the buff back up in a hurry, or because you are really trying to maximize your DPS. Because the ISF buff is in flux right now (different versions in live and Beta), I don’t go into it much, but technically if Soul Burn is off CD and you don’t have to worry about ISF, then you should use Soul Burn -> Soul Fire instead of an Incinerate. Since we /do/ have to worry about keeping ISF up, though, I think holding your Soul Burns into reserve so you can refresh the buff when it would be bad to take 2.5 seconds to do it yourself is a good idea.

      The last macro is not a spam macro, it’s just for the initial setup. Cast Soul Fire normally as the tank gets aggro, then repeatedly hit that button to set all your bars ticking. Once you have it going, use it like a normal Immolate button, and manually refresh dots/CDs with other keys.

      If you look at my keybinds in the picture, you’ll see that that macro is bound to 1. I’ll occasionally use it to cast a very quick Immo-Conflag, but in general it’s just used as Immolate.

      Using castsequence macros in a priority setup is usually not a good idea – things expire on different timers, and there’s no easy way to get all the spells you’d need to bring it around again (especially with Bane of Doom). It used to be possible with the old Destro rotation, but even that was a DPS loss over the manual way of doing things.

      Does that make sense?

      • Dakotarick

        May I ask what items 10, 13 and 14 are in the last macro?

      • Those are equiment slots. They correspond to the gloves and two trinket slots. I have different /use slots scattered around to make sure the effects off the GCD (Engineering gloves and belt) get triggered all the time. I’m more judicious with my pump trinkets, which are on the GCD.

  5. Aurgon

    Awesome post. I only have a lowbie Warlock, but every time your blog is updated I feel the urge to level him. You really do your class justice.

  6. Edrac

    Thanks for the detailed post Cyn. I’m also a longtime fan of NTK, although i still also rely on POWA to help out on procs. I have to admit I find the new priority system a lot more fun on a dummy than during a hectic movement heavy fight.

    Question – should you not also be using Shadowbolt every 30 seconds for the Improved Shadowbolt effect?

    • Ah, but when you’re moving around is when it gets really interesting! Refresh Conflag, BoD and Corruption, Life Tap when you’re on the run, see if you can get a Shadowflame in… it may not be pretty, but it’ll get the job done. :-)

      There isn’t really a good reason for a Destro lock to be casting Shadow Bolt for the ISB buff. Other classes and specs will provide it as part of their normal rotation (Affliction and Demo, for example) and they will generally be in any 25-man raid setting. For 10-mans, the buff isn’t really worth the drop in your own DPS, especially since you’re likely to only have 1-2 other ranged DPS.

      The only time I could think this would be a good idea is if you’re locked out of the Fire school (say due to a Disrupting Shout) and your shadow DoTs are already ticking. Then, SB is okay.

  7. Can you elaborate a bit more on the imp fireball macro and the associate DPS increase? I simply use the pet attack command currently. I’ve seen the fireball macro before, but I haven’t included it in my setup. For one, I don’t always want my imp to target what I do (Lady DW is a good example of this). Secondly, I’ve never been able to find a credible estimate of what kind of DPS is lost by using pet attack vs fireball macro and an explanation of why. Any info would be fab. Thanks!

    • I cover it a bit more in the linked article: http://cynwise.wordpress.com/2010/01/19/faster-imp-kill-kill/, and Krizzly goes into even more detail at http://frostisthenewblack.wordpress.com/2010/01/15/spell-queuing-waterbolt-macros-and-you/ (only with the Water Elemental’s Frostbolt, but it’s the same bug.

      If you leave Fire Bolt on autocast, it fires every 2.14 seconds or so, and if you spam it through macros it fires as it should, ever 2.0 seconds. That’s a 7% DPS increase from your awesome pet. You can test this out yourself by letting your Imp shoot a dummy for 2 minutes and counting the number of fireballs he gets off on autocast versus spamming the Firebolt command.

      I don’t think /petattack will have the same effect, because it’s not actively queueing up the spell. It’s telling the client to have the pet attack the target you’re attacking, which isn’t the same thing. I’d have to test it to find out.

  8. Biscuit22

    Great info!
    Much appreciated!

    Just ran Warlocks first ICC 10man.
    Macros were fantastic!
    Considering, i went in with a PvP gear score of 4932 lol, i did rather well!

    I dueled a warrior and a rogue and creamed them both….had to throw in a fear, death coil…was great!

    gonna try your UI out tomorrow!

    THX again!!

  9. Kindara

    Just wondering what is the otha addon your using that allows all spells to be in your ui

  10. Divinyl

    I found your Blog reference on Fel Fire.

    I followed your instructions on setting up TMW and everything works except for the Bane of Doom, That bar will just not show up in play mode, It’s there in Configure mode but it just will not show up, can you help?

    Thanks

    • Check to make sure that you have it as a debuff and unit to monitor is Target, not Player or Target of Target. If the other bars are working it’s the individual bar config that’s wrong.

      • Divinyl

        Yes, I do Debuff/Target it’s there when in config mode…I can see when I cast it in play mode but the bar will not show up…I can figure it out, I have redone it four times. *scratches head*

        Thanks though

      • Divinyl

        Nevermind I figured it out *smacks head*
        I had Curse of Doom typed in the space instead of Bane. *is embarrassed*

      • The old habits, they die hard! :-)

  11. SoulOMatic

    Can’t wait to use all this awesome info to get you in WG :)

    Thanks again…

    • Dude, what is up with the Horde on Durotan these days? Y’all are taking Wintergrasp with a VENGEANCE. Last night it was totally equal numbers – no Tenacity either side – and the Horde did a great job defending the Keep!

      (I love rooting for the underdog, what can I say?)

      • SoulOMatic

        Didn’t they implement the new queuing for Tol Barad in WG with this last patch. That is my only explanation.

  12. Tbagerll

    Wow, really nice article , i really enjoyed it , good work. a general question if i may for the rotation/priorty, i use the following:
    1. SoulBurn
    2. Soul Fire (after soulburn)
    3. Immolate
    4. Chaos Bolt
    5. Conflagrate
    6. Curse of Elements
    7. Bane of Doom
    8. Last spam Incinerate

    When trash mobs i use: (1,2,3,4,5,8)
    Boss (all 1-8)
    I dont use Corruption
    Shadow Flame i do not like to use because its interrupt my rotation .. (need to move)

    What do you say ? i go wrong ?
    Love to hear what u think all

    Thank
    Tbagwell

    • It’s fine to open with a Soulburned SF on trash, but in a boss fight you’re going to want that Soul Shard later on, while keeping the ISF buff active.

      Curse of Elements shouldn’t be part of the priority per se; either you provide the buff at the start of the fight and refresh it every five minutes, or you don’t.

      Corruption can’t be ignored anymore. I know it’s shadow damage, but it does more damage per cast time than Chaos Bolt. Much like Bane of Doom, you can refresh Corruption on the run. I know it’s weird, but it really can help your DPS.

      Shadowflame is not easy to use, and there are some fights you just don’t want to attempt it. But if you can, drop a circle, cast instant dots and life tap on the run, and then port out as fast as you can. I’m not going to be as emphatic about Shadowflame as I am about Corruption, but if you can do it, it boosts your DPS.

      • Tbagwell

        Thank you for your answer.

        Could you please specify a bit how is your opening priority on trash mobs vs boss ?

        Thank you
        Tbagwell

      • On trash, target the tank’s target, hit Soulburn, Soul Fire, CoE, Bane of Havoc (if specced), Immolate, Conflag, then RoF the group in between Conflags. Move the BoH around to the highest health mob as needed. You can burn shards on trash and get them back in between pulls.

        On bosses, open with a normal Soul Fire, CoE (if needed with raid comp), then Immo > Conflag > BoD > Shadowflame > Corruption > Chaos Bolt > 2 Incinerates > Conflag again then party down the priority list. Save your soul shards for keeping that ISF buff up.

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  14. Ray

    really well put together , thanks for the advice.

    Ray

  15. kenny

    Excellent advice; I look forward to putting it into practice. I’ve never been one for timer mods, but seeing it in practice, it looks very useful.

    Just started my lock last weekend – level 55 already – fair to say i’m loving it! Destro all the way!

  16. Djhuesos

    Very, very nice post =)

    I’m going to give NTK a try =) I’m actually using ForteXorcist, but I feel it incomplete for a warlock (destro is now a mix betwen DoTs and direct spells).

    The only difference is that I use to open with CoE becouse of tank’s agro.

    And talking about the gear, I’m going hit>haste>mastery (I’m not yet softcapped -1400-)

    Ty!!! =)

  17. Askevi

    Is your haste supposed to be above 14%? I see the number 1400 mentioned, but I’m seeing haste represented by a percentage on my character sheet.

    • The rating and percentages are separate – you need more rating at higher levels to give the same percentage of Haste. 1406 Haste rating, with raid buffs, will give you 50% Haste, which reduces your GCD down to 1.0 seconds. This is called the Haste soft cap – haste still continues to help your cast times at that point, but you can’t lower your GCD any further (so instant casts don’t benefit.)

      In general, you should have as much Haste as you can get. 10%, 14%, 25%, 50% – Haste is a Warlock’s friend.

  18. Korkusuz

    Great guide! Was kind of insecure of prio n my attacks after patch! You’r guide made it sound funny and easy! :) Logging now and re-speccing!

    Best Regards!

  19. Eduardo

    Awesome guide dude :] Just started my alt warlock again and I was finding it difficult to nail down a rotation until I read your website :) However..I’m struggling slightly with how you’ve set up your NTK addon..I was wondering how you set the icon of the Spell beside the bars?

  20. Tynie

    Thanks so much for your video and the macros. I just got back from a 2 month hiatus and have to relearn my lock. After reading EJ and coming here, I deleted all my addons and started over so I can’t wait to try NTK. I’ve been using Forte for a long time but it takes way too much time to set up to my liking. Did you say in the video that power auras (from your empowered imp proc) are now built into the default WoW UI? If so, that’s fantastic.

  21. Regikrayz

    Hi when you tappin the setup macro to get everythink working. How do you set it up that the icon changes to the spell you are casting??

    Thanks

  22. Roxstar

    Cyn! Excellent work! I can’t wait to try all your information out. I used to raid with my lock but switched to my mage. I really think I would enjoy the lock once again but was unsure on where to go and what to do with her now! Thanks for your help and pointing me in the right (hopefully :D) direction!

    • SoulOMatic

      Destro locks are kicking major butt in ICC right now. I’m pulling 12-13k in mostly 251 gear. Loving it…

  23. Just wanted to thank you for taking the time to share your knowledge.
    I was an affliction lock for years – took a break from playing around 9 months ago. Returned and found that I was constantly at the bottom of the DPS table. Read your article, followed your advice carefully, and now I’m usually first or second. Nice to be able to keep my dignity intact, and looking foward to Cataclsym more than ever. I’ll be keeping a watchful eye on Cynwise in future.

    Darkest Regards

    Ensslin

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  25. slyne

    hey man thanks a lot for showing this addon you are using.. Ive tested Forte’s and Dotimer, didnt like none of them.

  26. Toqsin

    Hi, good and detailed posting. Very interesting.
    Although I have used macro’s extensively before, I do not get your macro to work correctly – or else I do not understand the mechanics.

    #showtooltip
    /cast Soul Fire
    /cast [@pettarget] Firebolt

    Using this macro as an opener, whilst imp is on passive, will not cause the imp to attack. He sits around and watches me. Is this because he does not yet have a target?
    Supposing then, the imp gets started with a /petattack, when his target dies, he has no target, thus “/cast [@pettarget] Firebolt” will once again not make the imp target the next mob.

    #showtooltip SPELLNAME
    /cast [@pettarget, exists] Firebolt
    /cast SPELLNAME
    This version also does not seem to work correctly for me.

    Can you confirm it works?

    I hope

    • You’re right. If /petattack is omitted, the Imp will wait until the Soul Fire is cast to start attacking (on Defensive) and will not attack (on Passive). You have to explicitly specify the @pettarget when they are on Passive. Using the following version:

      /petattack
      /use Soul Fire
      /use [@pettarget] Firebolt

      Causes the Imp to target whatever your current target is and begin casting Firebolt, no matter what.

      The

      /cast [@pettarget] Firebolt

      is not intended for use to start attacking. It's there to help improve your pet's DPS on its current target, to work around the spell queuing problem affecting pets, and is as unobtrusive as possible. If you are running with your pet on Passive, then you should be controlling it's target either with /petattack or Ctrl-1.

      I usually have my pets on Defensive, so they start attacking once I have actually attacked a target.

  27. Ellspyth

    Thank you SO MUCH! I’m rather a noob and have been trying to wade through the EJ Destro thread for the past couple months but can’t seem to entirely understand it or get my DPS over 6k when I should certainly be doing more than that. Your explanations are so much more clear and blunt, I love how it’s in conversation form, kind of. Excellent help, I can’t wait to apply my new knowledge!

    • I’m glad I could help, though keep in mind this is for level 80 rating under the previous two patches. I’m sure that 4.0.6 has complicated things (again) and that level 85 raiding has several abilities not accounted for in here. Good luck!

  28. Alerath

    With the change to ISF in 4.06, my NTK bar for it no longer shows up. any idea how to tweak this?

    Only buff I see now is the replenishment timer on the buff bar.

  29. Pingback: Best selling points to use a Lock in Raid - Page 3 - The Warlocks Den - WoW Warlock Discussions

  30. Pingback: Affliction assistance - The Warlocks Den - WoW Warlock Discussions

  31. Pingback: Appendix A: Warlock Spell Changes in Cataclysm « Cynwise's Warcraft Manual