A lot of people are sort of on the fence when it comes to Destruction Warlock PvP. As I have seen in for forums, half of the post and complaining about the changes and yearn of the old days, and the other half and calling to nerf destruction because it is shredding them in Battle grounds. So the real question is: Is it viable. My answer is yes, it is very viable. Destruction has gone through some notable changes and if one does not notice these changes and plays destruction how they did in the previous expansion then they are going to have a bad time. As destruction I have easily topped both Damage and killing blows in the BG’s I’ve been in and for this video I will be sharing my strategy.
Remember that this is how I play and if it does not appeal to you that’s fine but I have found this not only works but dominates in PvP. Before I go any further I think I should mention that is a pre-patch guide, so I will be covering everything about destruction except the PvP talents because we do not have that live yet so it pretty much pointless at the moment, I will delve into them when I get some more hands on experience on the live servers so with that said let’s begin. For starters if you play a warlock, forget everything you have learned about your class up until now. Rotations, mechanics all of that. Although the warlock looks the same as it has always been, the changes implemented have drastically changed how to play destruction in PvP. If you’re new to Destruction then this will be easy for you. So as a warlock what classes are on your hit list and what class’s hit list’s are you on. This is from experience so it may vary from person to person, Also just because I say this class counters you does not mean that you will lose when you versus it, It just means it will be more of a challenge than the classes that I have listed as low risk.
You might have to be more strategic or use more cooldowns. Anyway let’s get started. For the low risk category I have listed Warriors, Shamans, Paladins, mages and Balance Druids. Most melee classes you can easily kite so they do not pose a risk to you, you can also beat most other casters since you can do either the same damage as them or more on top of self-heals and damage mitigation. Next up we have the Medium risk category. You may have a challenge with classes such classes as Priests, hunters, druids and demon hunters. Shadow priests are on par if not better at dealing damage and sustaining themselves so planning out how to deal with them might be necessary. You may encounter a similar problem with Hunters but most are easily managed with cooldowns. And lastly we have the high risk list which consists of Rouges, Death knights, monks and other warlocks.
Most of these classes have very strong caster counters, in most fights you will probably have to resort to using all of your cooldowns. When versing other warlocks it depends on skill level over anything and management of cooldowns. So now let’s delve into the talents then I’ll explain the rotation. For Tier 1 I recommend 100% Shadowburn. This move is going to be one of your main damage sources.
It has changed a lot from what it used it be. It is no longer an execute, you may use it freely given you have 1 soul shard to spend. So why this move? Casting Chaos bolt’s in PvP is easy in theory but near impossible in reality. This move will be replacing your Chaos bolt in most PvP situations because it is instant cast and only costs 1 soul shard instead of 2. Its damage is not as high as Chaos bolt, but the mobility it offers and thus survivability is a good trade off. For Tier 2 I highly recommend mana tap. This move helps increase your overall damage for a pretty minuscule cost. There is no need to keep the buff up at all times just when you are going to spam shadowburn or chaos bolts. It’s not great by any means but cataclysm is far too easy to walk out of or interrupt with a long cooldown and you won’t be using Chaos bolt or rain of fire enough to be making the most of reverse Entropy.
Tier 3 Mortal coil is normally the best option. This move helps you get some distance from Melee classes and heals you in the process with a fairly short cooldown. Demon skin is not bad but won’t save your life in a critical situation and Shadowfury suffers from the same problem as cataclysm. A second cast is not worth the stun and is easily interrupted. Tier 4 I highly recommend Soul Harvest. This one is pretty simple. If you see a target you really want dead like a healer then you pop mana tap and Soul Harvest and shred away. Although your burst will not be through the roof, if you handle your crowd control well you should come out on top.
In all other situations this is just a cooldown combo you use when you really want the bastard dead. Tier 5 choice depends on whether you want a demon companion or not. I high recommend a Demon and if you choose that path then Dark Pact is the best choice. This is a shield on a 1 minute cooldown that shields you for roughly 40% of your health, this move is a real life saver. If you are not keen on having a demon pet the demonic circle might be more appealing for its increased mobility and shorter cooldown however Dark Pact is still viable.
Tier 6 I highly recommend Grimoire of Service for that little extra burst however I also high recommend the Grimoire of Supremacy, depending on your situation. Service of course offers more damage however Supremacy offers more utility giving you either a silence or Area of Effect stun. Personally I prefer Supremacy. And of course if you just straight up don’t like demons you are left with Grimoire of Sacrifice, I wouldn’t recommend it but it can work. Lastly for tier 7 I recommend 100% Soul Conduit. It’s not the most fun ability but it does offer you more soul Shards to work with which is essential to your overall damage. Next up is rotation.
Immolate is beyond crucial. Although the damage is not too high, you need to have the damage over time ticking constantly to ensure good Soul Shard generation which is the main source of your damage. For the most part this is the only spell that you will be casting that is not instant cast apart from Chaos bolt. The more targets you have immolated the better, this in turn means more Soul Shards. If you are lacking more targets then resorting to immolating permanent pets is a good option. If you do not have much of a window to cast a spell, use Havoc then immolate to spread the DoT.
Next up is your Shadowburns. Try to never have 5 Soul Shards up at a time, any additional ones you generate are a complete waste. Use Shadownburn as one of your main sources of damage and Soul Shard consumer. Because it is instant cast the only way to stop you is stuns Also because it is instant cast you can do fairly high damage on the move, never stay still unless you are casting. Always kite the enemy, even other casters.
Next up is your Chaos bolt, you should only use this ability if you are not being focused and the enemy is not running out of your line of sight. If the stars align and this happens then use Chaos Bolt over Shadowburn as it does more overall damage. Take full advantage of the situation and cast havoc on another target followed by Chaos Bolt for maximum damage output. Conflagrate is your next priority. It deals slightly more damage than incinerate, is instant cast, generates a soul shard and has 2 charges. If you are low on Soul Shards then use this move as a guaranteed way on getting them.
Do not use conflagrate if you are full on soul shards or have multiple immolates going and have 4 shards. Lastly we have incinerate. This move is very much so useless. You should only ever even think about using incinerate if all other moves are on cooldown and you do not have any Soul Shards. It’s your lowest damaging ability, easily interrupted and leaves you vulnerable. Avoid it if you can, if you have at least 2 immolates up on 2 targets then you should never have the need to resort to this move.
Now we shall go through some of the utility Destruction warlocks have to offer. First up we have a unique passive that is easily overlooked being Soul Leech. As a destruction warlock you will have this barrier up most of the time, preventing your health from being chunked away. I think it goes mostly underappreciated as it has saved my life many times. Remember that whenever you are casting a high damaging move like Shadowburn or Choas bolt it is effectively giving you a barrier. This is handy to know. Your Healthstone is another essential cooldown. Always have one available and ready to use by key binding it.
You’re demonic gateway is one of you main sources of escape in fact it is pretty much your only point A to Point B ability since Warlocks have no movement speed increasing abilities what so ever. Fear is a great CC tool but easily broken. Do not spam it as it has dimensioning returns. Banish is a bit under rated but a pro warlock will use it. When facing another warlock, the one that even remembers that they have this ability will probably win the duel. Unending Resolve is one of you main damage mitigation spells. Use this very wisely as it has a long cooldown.
It’s best to use this when you anticipate taking large amounts of damage or when you’re going to be silenced, then take a huge amount of damage. Rain of Fire’s Damage has been boosted significantly however it now costs 3 soul Shards making it your most expensive Soul Shard costing move. Rain of fire’s damage is slightly above Shadownburn’s as long as the enemy stays in the fire for the full duration. Due to this it can be worth casting if you have excess soul shards and multiple targets in a small area. Drain life does minuscule damage but heals pretty significantly. I would only recommend using this move if the enemy is CC’d either by stun or Fear, keep in mind that the damage from Drain life can break fear effects but not horrify. And that’s about it for this guide, I may have missed a few point but I hope this gives everyone a better understanding of Destruction warlocks and how they can dominate in PvP.
If you have any questions leave a comment and I’ll get back to you if I can, Like this video if you found it helpful and Subscribe if you like listening me talk about blizzard games. Have a good one..
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