Cataclysm Classic Destruction Warlock PvE Guide

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Welcome to our Cataclysm Classic Destruction Warlock PvE guide. This comprehensive article covers everything you need to know about talents, glyphs, gearing, and other essential aspects of WoW. 

Cataclysm Classic Destruction Warlock PvE Guide

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Cataclysm Classic Destruction Warlock PvE Guide: Abbreviations

Abbreviation Meaning 
AfflicAffliction
AoEArea of Effect
BiSBest in Slot
BoABane of Agony
BoDBane of Doom
BoHBane of Havoc
CDCooldown
CoECurse of the Elements
CorrCorruption
CritCritical Strike Rating
DemoDemonology
DestroDestruction
DPETDamage per execute time
FGFelguard
GCDGlobal Cooldown
ICDInternal Cooldown
ImmoImmolate
Imp SFImproved Soul Fire
IncinIncinerate
IntIntellect
LTLifetap
MetaMetamorphosis
RNGRandom Number Generator
SBShadow Bolt
SPSpellpower

Cataclysm Classic Destruction Warlock PvE Guide: Talents

Destruction

Tier Talent Notes Recommendation 
1BaneReduces cast time on Chaos Bolt and ImmolateRequired
1Shadow and FlameIncreases Incinerate damage and applies 5% crit debuffRequired
1Improved ImmolateIncreases Immolate damageRequired
2EmberstormReduces cast time of Soul Fire and IncinerateRequired
2Improved Searing PainIncreases Searing Pain crit chance on targets under 25%Optional
2AftermathDazes targets hit by your ConflagrateOptional
3Improved Soul FireProvides 8% damage for 20 seconds whenever you cast Soul FireRequired
3BackdraftReduces the cast time on your next 3 Incinerates or Chaos Bolts by 30% (Lasts 15 seconds)Required
3ShadowburnExecute spell, good for regenerating Soul Shard while in combatOptional
4Burning EmbersPlaces a DoT on the target of your Soul Fire and your Imp’s FireboltRequired
4Soul LeechMana and health regen from Chaos Bolt, also provides Replenishment to the raidRequired
4BacklashChance to decrease Incinerate cast time when you are hit with a physical attackOptional
4Nether WardTurns Shadow Ward into Nether Ward, protecting you from all magic typesOptional
5Fire and BrimstoneIncreases Chaos Bolt and Incinerate damage, as well as Conflagrate crit chanceRequired
5ShadowfuryAoE StunOptional
5Nether ProtectionDamage reduction from 1 magic school, based on magic absorbed through Nether WardOptional
6Empowered ImpChance for your Imp’s Firebolt to grant you an Instant Soul FireRequired
6Bane of Havoc15% of damage done to a target is also dealt to the baned targetRequired
7Chaos BoltHeavy hitting nukeRequired

Demonology

Tier Talent Notes Recommendation 
1Demonic EmbraceIncreases your staminaOptional
1Dark ArtsLowers the cast time on your Imp’s Firebolt spellRequired
1Fel SynergyHeals your pet when you deal damageOptional
2Mana FeedProvides you with mana when your Imp crits with FireboltRequired

Affliction

Tier Talent Notes Recommendation 
1Improved CorruptionIncrease Corruption damageRequired

Cataclysm Classic Destruction Warlock PvE Guide: Glyphs

Prime Glyphs

Major Glyphs

Recommendations

Minor Glyphs

Cataclysm Classic Destruction Warlock PvE Guide: Stats and Gearing

Stats

Intellect:

Intellect now converts to Spell Damage, which makes all spells stronger. Several factors determine how much benefit they receive, such as the spell coefficients and talents. However, all spells benefit in some way.

1 Intellect provides 1 spellpower (before bonuses) and 0.00154% crit, as well as 17.53 mana.

Hit Rating:

A 102.45 hit rating increases your chance of being hit with spells by 1% until Hit Cap (17% or 1742 Rating). Once the cap has been reached, Hit becomes useless.

Haste Rating:

128.05 haste rating gives 1% spell haste. Haste rating scales multiplicatively with other sources of haste. Haste cannot reduce the duration of the global cooldown below 1.0 seconds.

To calculate the ‘new’ cast time of a spell, use the following formula:

New.Cast.Time = Normal.Cast.Time / ((1 + (Haste.Rating / 12805)) * 5%.Aura * Dark.Intent)

Where 5%.Aura = 1.05 and Dark.Intent = 1.03.

For example, if we take a 2.5 second Normal.Cast.Time and a 950 Haste.Rating, we will get the following:

New.Cast.Time = 2.5 / ((1 + (950 / 12805)) * 1.05 * 1.03) = 2.152 sec

Due to the changes to DoTs and the way specific DoTs interact with particular talents and abilities (like Conflagrate), haste has become a much more advanced stat. See the Mechanics: Haste section for more information.

Critical Strike Rating:

179.28 crit rating gives 1% to crit. With a Burning Shadowspirit Diamond, crits will do 2.06 times the damage of normal hits. Due to changes made to DoTs, all DoTs can now crit innately.

Mastery Rating:

179.28 mastery provides a 1.35% increase to all fire damage. As 90%+ % of Destruction’s damage comes from fire spells, mastery is not a bad stat. However, the rise per point is low enough that mastery will not be prioritized over crit or haste until much higher gear levels.

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Stat Priorities

You should download the Simulationcraft tool and base your decisions around your character. However, the below order should be correct in most situations.

Item Level 359 – 378:

Int>SP>>Hit (to cap)>Haste>Crit>Mastery

Item Level 391 – 397:

Int > SP > Hit (to cap) > Haste > Mastery = Crit

Item Level 403 – 416:

Int=Hit (to cap)>SP>Haste (2681 Rating)>Mastery>Crit>Haste

2681 Haste rating (2527 rating for Goblins) with full raid buffs provides Immolate with an additional 4 ticks (9 total) under the effect of Heroism/Bloodlust.

Reforging

Reforging allows you to exchange 40% of a combat rating already on an item and convert it into a combat rating not already on an item. Example: If an item has Crit, you cannot add more Crit. If it has no Crit, you could reforge 40% of another rating (Haste, Hit, or Mastery) into Crit. An item with 100 Hit and no Crit could be reforged to 60 Hit and 40 Crit.

Reforging is essentially following the stat priority rules above to reach specific caps and maximize the benefit we receive from secondary stats. For example, for the stat priorities in iLvl 401 – 416 gear, we do the following (in order):

1. Reforge Crit, then mastery to hit until cap, getting as close to 1742 as possible.

2. Reforge Crit, then mastery to haste until 2681 rating, getting as close as possible.

3. Reforge leftover stats to mastery, including any hit or haste over the mentioned caps.

It is important to note that optimizing your reforging may involve reforging away from haste or hit on gear to get as close as possible to the cap (without going under). It is recommended you use a tool such as WoWReforge to assist you.

Gemming

Meta: Burning Shadowspirit Diamond

Red: Brilliant Inferno Ruby, Brilliant Queen’s Garnet

Yellow: Reckless Ember Topaz, Reckless Lava Coral

Blue: Veiled Demonseye, Veiled Shadow Spinel

When to Ignore the Socket Bonus

Generally, if the socket bonus is less than 20 Int or 30 of any rating stat, it would be better to ignore the bonus and gem Brilliant Inferno Ruby/Brilliant Queen’s Garnet. However, to be more accurate, you would need to find the relevant scale factors for your gear setup (Using Simulationcraft) and multiply those scale factors by the stats you would gain with either gem.

Set Bonuses

Bonus Description 
2pcThe duration of your Doomguard and Infernal summons is increased by 30 sec and the cooldown of those spells is reduced by 4 min.
4pcSoulburn grants a 10% increase to your spell power for 10 sec, and Soul Fire cast with Soulburn active now grants a Soul Shard.

Best in Slot

Normal BiS without Legendary

Slot Item Gemming Reforging 
HeadHood of the Faceless Shroud1x Burning, 1x 40 IntCrit > Hit
NeckFlowform Choker1x 40 IntMastery > Hit
ShouldersMantle of the Faceless Shroud2x 40 IntMastery > Hit
BackNanoprecise Cape1x 40 IntN/A
ChestRobes of the Faceless Shroud2x 40 Int, 1x 20 Int 20 HasteHaste > Mastery
WristsBracers of Unconquered Power2x 40 IntMastery > Hit
HandsGloves of Liquid Smoke2x 40 IntCrit > Hit
WaistCord of the Slain Champion2x 40 Int, 1x 20 Int 20 HitCrit > Hit
LegsLeggings of the Faceless Shroud2x 40 Int, 1x 20 Int 20 HasteMastery > Hit
FeetsJanglespur Jackboots2x 40 IntCrit > Hit
Ring 1Ring of the Riven1x 40 IntMastery > Hit
Ring 2Seal of the Grand Architect1x 40 IntN/A
Trinket 1Will of UnbindingN/AN/A
Trinket 2Insignia of the Corrupted MindN/AN/A
WandHungermouth WandN/AMastery > Haste
WeaponLightning Rod1x 40 IntN/A

Normal BiS with Legendary

Slot Item Gemming Reforging 
HeadHood of the Faceless Shroud1x Burning, 1x 40 IntCrit > Hit
NeckFlowform Choker1x 40 IntMastery > Hit
ShouldersMantle of the Faceless Shroud2x 40 IntMastery > Hit
BackNanoprecise Cape1x 40 IntMastery > Haste
ChestRobes of the Faceless Shroud2x 40 Int, 1x 20 Int 20 HasteHaste > Mastery
WristsBracers of Unconquered Power2x 40 IntMastery > Hit
HandsGloves of Liquid Smoke2x 40 IntCrit > Hit
WaistCord of the Slain Champion3x 40 IntCrit > Hit
LegsLeggings of the Faceless Shroud2x 40 Int, 1x 20 Int 20 HasteMastery > Hit
FeetsJanglespur Jackboots2x 40 IntCrit > Hit
Ring 1Ring of the Riven1x 40 IntMastery > Hit
Ring 2Seal of the Grand Architect1x 40 IntN/A
Trinket 1Will of UnbindingN/AN/A
Trinket 2Insignia of the Corrupted MindN/AN/A
WandHungermouth WandN/AMastery > Haste
WeaponDragonwrath, Tarecgosa’s Rest3x 40 IntN/A

Heroic BiS without Legendary

Slot Item Gemming Reforging 
HeadHood of the Faceless Shroud1x Burning, 1x 40 IntCrit > Hit
NeckFlowform Choker1x 40 IntMastery > Hit
ShouldersMantle of the Faceless Shroud2x 40 IntCrit > Hit
BackNanoprecise Cape1x 40 IntN/A
ChestRobes of the Faceless Shroud2x 40 Int, 1x 20 Int 20 HasteHaste > Mastery
WristsBracers of the Banished1x 40 IntMastery > Hit
HandsGloves of Liquid Smoke2x 40 IntN/A
WaistCord of the Slain Champion3x 40 IntCrit > Hit
LegsLeggings of the Faceless Shroud2x 40 Int, 1x 20 Int 20 HasteMastery > Hit
FeetsJanglespur Jackboots2x 40 IntCrit > Hit
Ring 1Ring of the Riven1x 40 IntMastery > Hit
Ring 2Infinite Loop1x 40 IntCrit > Haste
Trinket 1Will of UnbindingN/AN/A
Trinket 2Insignia of the Corrupted MindN/AN/A
WandFinger of Zon’ozzN/AHaste > Hit
WeaponLightning Rod1x 40 IntHaste > Mastery

Heroic BiS with Legendary

Slot Item Gemming Reforging 
HeadHood of the Faceless Shroud1x Burning, 1x 40 IntCrit > Hit
NeckFlowform Choker1x 40 IntMastery > Hit
ShouldersMantle of the Faceless Shroud2x 40 IntCrit > Hit
BackNanoprecise Cape1x 40 IntN/A
ChestRobes of the Faceless Shroud2x 40 Int, 1x 20 Int 20 HasteN/A
WristsBracers of the Banished1x 40 IntMastery > Hit
HandsGloves of Liquid Smoke2x 40 IntCrit > Hit
WaistCord of the Slain Champion3x 40 IntCrit > Hit
LegsLeggings of the Faceless Shroud2x 40 Int, 1x 20 Int 20 HasteMastery > Hit
FeetsJanglespur Jackboots2x 40 IntCrit > Hit
Ring 1Ring of the Riven1x 40 IntN/A
Ring 2Infinite Loop1x 40 IntCrit > Haste
Trinket 1Will of UnbindingN/AN/A
Trinket 2Insignia of the Corrupted MindN/AN/A
WandFinger of Zon’ozzN/AHaste > Hit
WeaponDragonwrath, Tarecgosa’s Rest3x 40 IntN/A

Enchants

Slot Enchant Comments 
Head60 Int/35 critArcanum of Hyjal – Guardians of Hyjal revered
Shoulders50 Int/25 hasteGreater Inscription of Charged Lodestone – Therazane exalted
Back50 IntEnchant Cloak – Greater Intellect
Chest20 statsEnchant Chest – Peerless Stats
Wrists50 IntEnchant Bracer – Mighty Intellect
Gloves50 haste/65 masteryEnchant Gloves – Haste** / Enchant Gloves – Greater Mastery
Legs95 Int/80 StamPowerful Enchanted Spellthread
BootsRun speed/35 mastery or 50 hit or 50 hasteEnchant Boots – Lavawalker / Enchant Boots – Precision / Enchant Boots – Haste
BeltExtra socketEbonsteel Belt Buckle
Weapon500 Int ProcEnchant Weapon – Power Torrent
Offhand40 IntEnchant Off-Hand – Superior Intellect

**Which you use will depend on how close you are to a haste threshold for an additional tick of Immolate.

Cataclysm Classic Destruction Warlock PvE Guide: Professions

Name Benefit 
EngineeringTinkers now stack with normal enchants. Synapse Springs tinker to gloves provides 480 Int for 10 seconds with a 60 second CD. This averages to an 80 Int bonus. Engineering also provides further perks such as Flexweave UnderlayNitro Boosts and Grounded Plasma Shield have a chance to fail and cause serious adverse effects, and are not reliable in a raid situation.
Leatherworking130 Int to bracers in place of 50 Int, giving an 80 Int bonus.
JewelcraftingBrilliant Chimera’s Eye in place of 3 Brilliant Inferno Ruby or Brilliant Queen’s Garnet gives 81 Int (51 Int over Epic Gems).
BlacksmithingExtra sockets into wrists and gloves provides 2 additional Brilliant Inferno Ruby’s or 2 Brilliant Queen’s Garnet’s, providing an 80/100 Int bonus.
AlchemyMixology, combined with Flask of the Draconic Mind provides an 80 Int bonus.
Enchanting40 Int to each ring provides an 80 Int bonus.
Inscription130 Int/25 haste shoulder enchant is an 80 Int bonus over the regular enchant.
TailoringLightweave Embroidery gives 580 Int for 15 seconds on a 64 second ICD. This averages to 135.9 Int, which replaces the normal 50 Int enchant, providing only a 85.9 Int bonus. Tailoring currently gives the greatest DPS increase of all the professions.
HerbalismLifeblood is now a DPS cooldown providing 480 haste for 20 seconds on a 2 minute CD. This averages to an 80 haste bonus.
Skinning80 crit.
MiningStam, useless from a DPS perspective.

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Cataclysm Classic Destruction Warlock PvE Guide: Consumables

Flask: Flask of the Draconic Mind or a Cauldron of Battle

Food: Severed Sagefish Head / Seafood Magnifique Feast

Potion: Volcanic Potion (Pre-pot and use during Bloodlust/Heroism)

Cataclysm Classic Destruction Warlock PvE Guide: Races

Alliance

Worgen

Gnome

Human

Dwarf

Horde

Orc

Goblin

Troll

Blood Elf

Forsaken

Cataclysm Classic Destruction Warlock PvE Guide: Spell Rotations

Spell Priority

Basic

Spell Condition 
Soul FireImproved Soul Fire
SoulburnT13 4pc Set Bonus
Demon Soul
Immolate
Conflagrate
Bane of DoomIf target will be alive atleast 15sec
Corruption
ShadowburnTarget HP <20%
ShadowflameMelee Range
Soul FireEmpowered Imp
Chaos BoltUnless under haste effects
Incinerate

Explained

Your primary concern will be to get Improved Soul Fire up. You should keep this buff up as much as possible, including through hardcasting. If you have the T13 set bonus, Soulburn should be cast on cooldown, along with Soul Fire, to replenish the shard. Demon Soul should be used on cooldown, together with “On-Use” trinkets.

Immolate and Corruption should have as close to 100% uptime as possible. This is also true for Bane of Doom; however, this should only be cast if the target is going to live for more than 15 seconds.

Conflagrate should be used on cooldown. Chaos Bolt has a DPET equal to that of Incinerate, but is still worth casting on cooldown to proc Soul Leech. It is recommended that Chaos Bolt is not used under haste effects such as Heroism/Bloodlust or trinkets that will bring it below a 1 second cast time.

In practice, Empowered Imp procs should generally be used as soon as possible in order to prevent a secondary proc from overwriting it, however, this situation will be rare, and delaying the use of these procs to maximize Improved Soul Fire uptime would result in more DPS. Ultimately, the difference will be minimal, and both cases are acceptable and will net different results on a per-fight basis.

If safe, Shadowflame should be used on cooldown while in melee range. However, it is not worth running a long distance into melee range. When the boss reaches 20% HP, begin to use Shadowburn on cooldown.

If all of the above is done, revert to Incinerate until a higher priority option becomes available.

Cooldowns

Demon Soul

Demon Soul: Imp increases the critical strike chance of your cast time Destruction spells by 30% for 20 sec. This spell should generally be used on cooldown and lined up with “On-Use” trinkets, trinket procs, Bloodlust/Heroism, and potions as often as possible.

Demon Soul: Imp only affects Destruction spells with a cast time. Therefore, Conflagrate is not affected. Soul Fires cast through Empowered Imp and Soulburn still count as having a cast time and are affected.

Doomguard

Summon Doomguard summons a Doomguard (guardian pet) to fight alongside you for 45 seconds on a 10-minute cooldown (75 seconds on a 6-minute cooldown with 2pc T13).

The Doomguard scales with some of your stats: spellpower, hit, and crit. Therefore, timing your Doomguard summon with trinket procs, enchant procs, and potions is essential for maximizing DPS. In most cases, the best way to achieve this is to simply summon your Doomguard ~10-12 seconds into the fight, as all procs are off cooldown and available before the pull.

The Doomguard does not scale with percentage-based damage increases, haste, or Destruction’s mastery.

Improved Soul Fire

The change to Improved Soul Fire has yet to make a difference to its place in the spell priority list, and keeping as close to 100% uptime on this buff is still very important. However, the most notable change is the removal of its internal cooldown.

This change doesn’t significantly affect the handling of ISF. The best way to handle this talent is still to line up your Soul Fire to land on the target just as the old ISF ends. This change just allows more room for error if it’s cast early. The most significant difference, however, is that Empowered Imp procs can be used immediately to refresh ISF.

In addition to the above, ISF should be kept up during Bloodlust/Heroism.

Dark Intent

First and foremost, you should gauge the needs of your group. They should always come first when learning raid fights or playing with undergeared healers. You should consider applying it to DPS classes when you hit enrage timers or wipe because the boss has a burn phase you didn’t complete. I’ll leave this up to you.

Healer Rankings

Rank Class Condition 
1Restoration Druid
2Holy PriestRaid Healing
3Restoration Shaman
4Holy PriestTank Healing
5Discipline Priest
6Holy PaladinGlyph of the Long Word

DPS Rankings

Rank Class 
1Shadow Priest
2Fire Mage
3Balance Druid
4Elemental Shaman
5Frost Mage
6Arcane Mage
7Feral Druid
8Feral Druid (Hit Cap)
9Survival Hunter
10Retribution Paladin
11Combat Rogue
12Unholy DK (2H)
13Assassination Rogue
14Frost DK (2H)
15Marksman Hunter
16Beast Mastery Hunter
17Enhancement Shaman
18Frost DK (1H)
19Unholy DK (1H)

Personal Rankings

Rank Class Uptime 
1Balance Druid99%
2Shadow Priest98%
3Survival Hunter98%
4Feral Druid95%
5Feral Druid (Hit Cap)93%
6Fire Mage88%
7Frost Mage82%
8Assassination Rogue76%
9Elemental Shaman74%
10Unholy DK (1H)72%
11Beast Mastery Hunter69%
12Combat Rogue66%
13Arcane Mage62%
14Unholy DK (2H)60%
15Marksman Hunter57%
16Enhancement Shaman55%
17Retribution Paladin46%
18Frost DK (2H)41%
19Frost DK (1H)40%

Bane of Havoc

This section will detail how Bane of Havoc can be used in current and past content to provide a useful (not simply padding meters) increase to personal DPS.

Tier 12

Shannox

  • Normal: Place BoH on a dog or Shannox, whichever you are not assigned to.
  • Heroic: N/A

Beth’tilac

  • BoH can be placed on Beth’tilac on the pull and will damage the boss as you DPS the various adds while on the floor.

Lord Rhyolith

  • BoH can be placed on 1 leg while you DPS the other leg or the various adds. It should not affect steering.

Alysrazor

  • BoH can be placed on the boss while you DPS the various adds on the floor.

Baleroc

  • N/A

Majordomo Staghelm

  • N/A

Ragnaros

  • BoH can be placed on Ragnaros or a Lava Scion, whichever you are not assigned to.

Tier 11

  1. Blackwing Decent:

Omnotron Defense System

  • Place BoH on the old Tron when the new one activates. BoH will not activate the shield mechanics; however, DO NOT apply it to Magmatron when his shield goes up. This will cause it to explode and will likely wipe your raid.

Magmaw

  • Place BoH on the body of Magmaw right before he is chained down, and his head is exposed, then place BoH on the head when he is about to go back up.

Chimaeron

  • N/A

Maloriak

  • You should really be Demo for this fight. However, if you choose to go destro, place BoH on Maloriak before the green phase for when you are about to AoE the aberrations.

Atramedes

  • N/A

Nefarian

  • Phase 1: Place BoH on whichever dragon you are not DPSing (Nef/Ony). 
  • Phase 2: Place BoH on either Nef or the Chromatic Prototype, whichever you have not been assigned directly to DPS. 
  • Phase 3: N/A

2. Bastion of Twilight:

Halfus Wyrmbreaker

  • Place BoH on Halfus while you DPS down his drakes.

Valiona and Theralion

  • Place BoH on whichever dragon is not currently grounded.

Ascendant Council

  • Place BoH on whichever Elemental Lord you have not been assigned to DPS directly.

Cho’gall

  • Place BoH on Cho’gall when he summons his Corrupting Adherents, provided you are assigned to switch to these.

Sinestra

  • Place BoH on Sinestra while you DPS the Pulsing Twilight Eggs and the Twilight Spitecallers.

3. Throne of Four Winds:

Conclave of Wind

  • Place BoH on Nezir before you return to your assigned platform.

Al’Akir

  • Place BoH on Al’Akir if you are assigned to DPS Stormlings (to be confirmed as an actual DPS increase)

Fel Flame

There is a common misconception within the warlock community that Fel Flame should be used to refresh Immolate. As a basic rule of thumb, there are only 2 reasons ever to cast Fel Flame, these are:

Outside of these 2 reasons, there isn’t any other situation in which Fel Flame should be used. Using Fel Flame to refresh the duration of Immolate will result in a DPS loss due to the number of GCDs required to increase the DoTs duration to its original duration. If we compare this to the time needed to simply re-apply the DoT over a 5-minute (300-second) fight:

AoE and Multiple Targets

In significant AoE situations with 5 or more targets, Shadowflame (on CD), Rain of Fire, and Summon Infernal should all provide an acceptable amount of damage.

For more controlled multiple-target damage, generally, with less than 5 targets, tab targeting non-cc’d mobs with Immolate and Corruption and then proceeding with a single target rotation on each mob until it is dead will be the most optimal way of dealing damage. It is also recommended Bane of Havoc be placed on the mob that is expected to live the longest.

For fights with only 2 targets, Bane of Havoc should be placed on 1 target while you proceed with a single target rotation on the non-baned target. In addition, it is recommended that Immolate and Corruption be used for both targets. It is important to note that your Imp must be placed on the non-baned target.

Cataclysm Classic Destruction Warlock PvE Guide: Mechanics

Haste and DoTs

In addition to all DoTs benefiting from haste innately, haste now reduces the time between ticks. Haste only reduces the DoTs duration until an extra tick is received.

This is important for us as we now have haste “thresholds” that we should try to achieve to gain extra ticks on our DoTs. This becomes even more important to Destruction Warlocks because of how Conflagrate interacts with the overall damage Immolate does.

This applies to all of our DoTs except BoD. However, the haste required to achieve this extra tick will differ between DoTs. To calculate the required haste to accomplish an additional tick, we need to calculate the time between ticks, specific to 3 decimal places.

Tick.Speed.Required (Base.Frequency * Base.Tick.Speed) / (No.of.Ticks – 0.5)

Where No.Of.Ticks is the number of ticks you would like to achieve. For example, if we wanted to apply this to Immolate (5 sec Base Frequency, 3 sec Base Tick Speed), wishing to gain 2 additional ticks (7), we would do the following:

Tick.Speed.Required (5 * 3) / (7 – 0.5) = 2.307 seconds

From here, we can calculate the percentage of haste required to achieve this tick speed using the following formula:

Haste.Percent (Base.Tick.Speed / (Tick.Speed.Required + 0.00049999)) – 1

Therefore:

Haste.Percent (3 / (2.307 + 0.00049999)) – 1 = 0.30010835

So what haste rating does that translate into? Immolate gains extra ticks at 9.99908%, 30.00108%, 49.9625%, etc. So, to determine the haste required in a raid situation with all raid buffs, including Dark Intent, we will use this formula:

Haste.Rating((Haste.Percent / 5%.Aura / Dark.Intent) – 1) * 12805.716

For example, the haste required to gain 2 additional ticks (30% haste) is as follows:

Haste.Rating((1.300108 / 1.05 / 1.03) – 1) * 12805.716 = 2589

Therefore, the haste thresholds for Immolate are (raid buffed):

Extra Ticks % Rating Goblin 
19.9%21890
230%25892437
349.9%49514776
470%73267127

Our other DoTs also benefit from gaining extra ticks. The haste thresholds for our other DoTs are below:

Corruption:

Extra Ticks % Rating Goblin 
18.3%210
225%19931846
341.7%39703804
458.4%59455745

Shadowflame:

Extra Ticks % Rating Goblin 
116.7%1007870
250%49544778
383.4%89118696
4116.6%1283812584

Other DoT Mechanics

DoTs, Buff and Debuffs

The basic rules for DoT behavior have changed. When a DoT is applied, the following rules are applied:

The only known case where the above is not true is with the 5% Crit Debuff (Shadow and Flame/Critical Mass). This debuff follows rules similar to those of player buffs.

As a general rule of thumb, it is not recommended you recast a DoT early (i.e., clipping, except the information provided in the ‘DoT Refreshing’ section of this thread), even when you have additional procs that weren’t present on the original cast. This will effectively lower that DoTs overall DPET for that encounter despite the extra damage done due to the proc.

DoT Refreshing

Another change to DoTs is how DoTs behave when reapplied or refreshed. If a DoT is refreshed between the 2nd last and last tick, the DoTs duration will be extended to include the last tick. For example:

Immolate (unaffected by haste) has a 15-second duration, dealing damage every 3 seconds (5 ticks). If you refresh Immolate at 13 seconds (2 seconds till the last tick), the new Immolate applied to the target will have a duration of 20 seconds and tick 6 times.

This means you can ‘clip’ a DoT without losing the last tick of that DoT (and the damage that last tick provides), making it much easier to have a 100% uptime on all DoTs. One thing to note is that if a DoT is refreshed using this method, then the last tick inherits the stats of the new DoT (See ‘DoTs, Buffs and Debuffs’).

Frequently Asked Questions

Is There a Haste Cap?

Technically, there are multiple. See the Mechanics: Haste section of this guide for more information.

Should I Use the Infernal or Doomguard?

Doomguard for Single Target, Infernal for AoE.

I Changed My Spec, and My New Spec Gives Me More Dps on a Training Dummy!

What you do on a training dummy is irrelevant; not only is your sample data far too small to rule out RNG, but you’re also missing lots of buffs/target debuffs that will change how specific talents perform.

Conclusion

We hope our Cataclysm Classic Destruction Warlock PvE guide has given you the necessary insights to play this class effectively in Cataclysm Classic. If you have found this article helpful during your journey in Azeroth, please do let us know by dropping a comment below. 

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