Patch 4.3 Destruction Warlock Quick Start Guide – Stats, Rotation, Spec, Reforging, Enchants And Glyphs

Deathwing’s planning to rain down fire on the world? Oh noes. If there’s one thing Destruction Warlocks are enthusiastic about, it’s rains of fire. But patch 4.3’s sweeping changes have you confused as to how exactly to burn things to a crisp?? Well, we’ll get you sorted out with the correct talent spec, gems and reforging, enchants, stat priorities and rotation for 4.3 so that you can get back to doing what you do best: setting things on fire and cackling while you do it.

Updated June 19th for Patch 4.3

Destruction Warlock changes in Patch 4.3

This patch sees some pretty major changes and buffs to Destruction. Fire and Brimstone sees a straight damage buff for Chaos Bolt and Incinerate of 11%. Soul Fire now scales better with spellpower, Improved Soul Fire lasts longer (which actually means less Soul Fire casts!), and the talent Burning Embers does more damage of the Imp’s Firebolt and – yes – Soul Fire.

The good news is that whilst the effects of those changes are internally very complex, they don’t change our play or gearing style. The only thing that will change our play style is getting 4 pieces of Tier 13, at which point Soulburn comes in just under maintaining Improved Soul Fire on the priority tree.

Destruction warlock Priorities / Rotation

Destro locks don’t use a fixed rotation – most fixed rotations went out with Wrath, and good riddance. Instead, they use a FCFS (First Come First Served) priority system:

Soul Fire IF Improved Soul Fire isn’t up > Demon Soul > Immolate > Conflagrate > Bane of Doom > Corruption > Shadowflame > Soul Fire (if hasted from Soul Burn or your imp) > Chaos Bolt > Shadowburn (if the boss is below 20%) > Incinerate

  • This is a priority list. If any of the spells or buffs from an earlier step fall off or refresh their cooldown, use that instead of a later step.
  • If you reach the end of the list cast Incinerate, which is a spell you cast when there’s nothing else to do. It’s slightly better for your DPS than making a cup of tea.
  • If no-one else is using a debuff similar to Curse of the Elements (Balance Druids, Unholy DKs, other Destro locks and some hunter pets will all conflict), put up Curse of the Elements at the start of the fight.
  • Remember to use Dark Intent! If you’re on progression, put it on a healer, prioritising the ones that use HoTs – Resto Druid, Holy Priest, Resto Shaman. Otherwise, stick it on a fellow DOT-using DPS – Shadow Priests are probably best, and Balance Druids and Fire Mages are also good.
  • Bane of Havok is complicated – see the Elitist Jerks guide linked below, see the discussion in comments, or simply avoid using it, as it can often cause problems.

AOE: Use Rain of Fire and Shadowflame liberally, and use your Infernal if it’s available.


Destruction talent spec

Stats, reforging and gems as a Destruction warlock

Stats order: Intellect > Hit (until hit capped at 174217%) > Haste > Critical Strike Rating > Mastery

  • Reforge Mastery, Crit and any Spirit to Hit until Hit Cap, then reforge excess Hit, Mastery, and Crit to Haste.
  • Gem Intellect, unless the socket bonus is more than 20 Int or 30 of another stat, when you should use an Int/Haste or Int/Hit gem.
  • IF you have an average iLevel above 402 then only reforge Haste to 2681 rating – after that, reforge to Mastery.

Destruction Warlock enchants

Remember to check if your profession enchants are better! (Check the stat weights above – it’s likely to be pretty obvious if so).

Head Arcanum of Hyjal
Shoulders   Greater Inscription of Charged Lodestone
Back Enchant Cloak – Greater Intellect
Chest Enchant Chest – Peerless Stats
Wrist Enchant Bracer – Mighty Intellect
Hands Enchant Gloves – Haste
Belt Ebonsteel Belt Buckle
Legs Powerful Enchanted Spellthread
Feet Enchant Boots – Lavawalker
Weapon Enchant Weapon – Power Torrent
Off-Hand Weapon Enchant Weapon – Superior Intellect


Primes: Glyph of ImmolateGlyph of ConflagrateGlyph of Imp

Major: Glyph of Life Tap and personal choice. If you’re likely to need to combat res, Glyph of Soulstone. If you are likely to need to CC, Glyph of Fear.

Minor: your choice.

  • [Elitist Jerks destro lock guide – REALLY good and updated to 4.3.

]( * Cynwise’s warlockery section has some great guides to aspects of Warlock play. * MMO Champion’s Dark Intent Guide – definitely read this if you want to get more advanced. * WoW insider’s Warlock column – useful for extra warlock information

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