Destro Lock 4.0.1 – The Day Before The Patch

Ok, I haven’t posted anything about the last two builds (despite their concerns with Warlocks) because honestly, who gives a crap until it’s released on live.  The updates would have been “a bit more damage from x, a bit less damage from y”.

I’m sure the (egads) THOUSANDS of people visiting this blog prior to 4.0.1 have certain questions that they just can’t find answers for.  I had those same questions.  Reforging?  What about my gems?  My stats? My spec?  Well, worry not, I am here to give you something that can prepare you for the beginning of the end tomorrow.  I’ll try to break this post down by sections to make it somewhat easier of a read.



My thanks go out for this quick blog entry at Restokin that gave me the rundown on what I believed I saw about reforging on the PTR.

-You can reforge 1 secondary stat (crit, hit, haste, mastery, dodge, etc…) per item
-40% of that secondary stat will be converted into a stat which does not appear on the original item
reforging costs gold. I don’t know how much. 10g?
-you can restore an item at the reforging guy at any point and be back at your original item.  They’re never “forged” forever.


Wand of Awesome
5 intellect
20 crit
15 haste

You can take one of the secondary stats – crit or haste – and have 40% of it become something else you may use: hit, mastery. (you don’t care about dodge, I hope, or parry rating).  So let’s say you convert your crit into hit, your new item would then be:

Wand of Awesome
5 intellect
12 crit
15 haste
8 hit

What reforging looks like

Cool stuff, because we’ll bloody need it. 😡



I’m going with Gherkin’s numbers as a general guideline,

Scale factors:
Int: 3.54
SP: 2.51
Crit: 2.33
Haste: 2.46
Mastery: 3.68

What this means is that I want all the Intellect I can get my grubby hands.  I want my haste to be above 1270 and the rest of all my stats I will convert to Mastery.


There is no more +hit talent or raid buff that will be available to Warlocks.  To some, that means +3% hit has to be found, to me, that means 6% hit has to be found.

Replace the two +12 sp power/+10 spirit blue gems you currently have with two +20 hit gems THAT ARE BLUE ONCE 4.0.1 HITS! YES! THEY’RE BLUE!

Reforge all spirit and crit into +hit until you’re at 17%.  Reforge any remaining +crit into mastery.

That’s what I’m doing.

Final result is I’m at 1274 haste, 18.62% crit and 10.74% mastery.  And 17% hit of course.



All your +23 spell power gems will become +20 intellect gems.  Good.

Your +12 sp power / 10 haste will become +10 intellect / 10 haste.  Good.

Your +12 sp power / 10 spirit will become +10 intellect / 10 spirit.  Good unless you need the +20hit, then put those two in.

If you’re using other gems, you’re probably doing it wrong.  I say probably because heaven knows what the patch will really cause on live servers when the ElitistJerk folks get their math heads around the spec.



I am sticking by the talent spec I offered originally in this post, and the link to the talents is here at wowhead.

Depending how the threat situation works out once we try it in raids, it is possible that I will switch 2 points from Doom and Gloom in affliction to Improved Searing Pain in destruction.  If threat is an issue, I will stay with the one I have here.

I take Nether Ward over Backlash because healers will love me for avoiding some magic damage on the tougher fights (h sindy, h lk).  I do not plan on getting hit by melee attacks during boss fights, so backlash would be useless.



We are working much less with a strict rotation come 4.0.1 and are being asked to be reactionary, instead of predictable bots.

The following is the GENERAL rotation I will be using.  Please read on after the picture to get the provisions and exceptions.


Throw a Bane of Doom in and maintain it, as well. The above remains my USUAL rotation.  When, however, I see an opening (all my +haste/+sp power procs are active at once, we bloodlusted, it’s a burn phase, there’s an add that needs to be burned… whatever, 3 times a fight), I will do the following:


I can only do this 3 times a fight, remember!  Also, I personally don’t let Immolate drop off my target even if I’ve got the soulburn 6 second buff to searing pain.  So I spam spam spam but I watch my immolate.

Now, this is not all.  If the target is above 80% health, I will also fire off a Soul Fire, granting me 15% haste for 15 seconds as soon as the soul fire hits the target.  In fact, if you saw my opening, it goes something like this:

1 – order imp attack
2 –  bane of doom
3 – immolate
4 – soul fire
5 – conflagrate
6 – chaos bolt
incinerate / rotation / filler as needed

As of the day before the patch hits, I am claiming that past this initial cast of Soul Fire I will not do so unless my imp procs a free Soul Fire.  I may change my mind after raiding with it. I doubt it, most bosses go below 80% in a hurry so it might not be necessary to worry.  Past 80%, the buff no longer applies.



4.0.1 is going to be very, very exciting for Destruction Warlocks.  We’re being given the chance to excel at the dps charts again.  In fact, I haven’t been this excited about our potential since the days of shadow bolt spamming in TBC! 😛

You may think my “rotation” isn’t a rotation at all but a loose conglomerate of generalities, situational casts and procs.  You would be right if you did.  I don’t believe we will have a set rotation at all anymore, not with the whole “above 80% soul fire haste buff”, the “below 50% searing pain extra crit” (that I don’t use for now), and Soulburn 3 times a fight.  As of writing, you cannot regenerate soul shards in combat, so you –are- limited to 3 soulburns per fight.  The best dps increase I’ve found is soulburn + searing pain.  That’s all.

People are reporting that searing pain spam gives them the highest dps on the PTR.  I claim they are bad players.  A properly executed destro fight where you watch your Immolate, your conflag, your chaos bolts, your backdraft procs from conflag, your imp procs of soul fire and the procs you get from your gear/enchants will be higher than searing pain spam and will not make you the de facto tank of the fight, either.

Searing Pain will be the Huntard version of the Warlock.  Bad players will do nothing but searing pain, still do high dps and end up pulling aggro all the time.  It will get nerfed or THEY will get kicked from raids.  Good players will juggle everything and make use of Soulburn + Searing Pain at the perfect time, and they will blow the Huntard Locks out of the water in terms of dps efficiency.  Think of your buffs/debuffs/procs as part of your rotation.  Watch for them.  If you don’t have your buffs visible and are not using any kind of Timer addon to notify you when and for how long your procs are active, you will never pull the numbers of the best warlocks.

Good luck, and burninate all the peoples after tomorrow!

p.s. once more, for posterity:  I am not ElitistJerks and I don’t want to be.  I can’t tell you the % of damage that my spell coefficient lasting for 15 seconds of non-bloodlusted raid buffed combat will be.  I simply know what works for me and I have very rarely seen a destro lock pull the numbers that I do without some sort of outside help (power infusion regularly, for instance).  Some of this advice might turn out to be wrong or outdated with future patches and builds.  I’m aware of this.  I don’t claim this is the BEST POSSIBLE WAY TO PLAY.  But it’s a good start for those who are totally lost with 4.0.1.  As more information comes out and more testing is done, new tactics will be provided.

As always, questions, arguments, threats, etc… can be addressed to me in comments.


32 Responses to “Destro Lock 4.0.1 – The Day Before The Patch”

  1. 1 Minidot October 11, 2010 at 5:46 pm

    What are you thoughts on Conflag being reduced to 60% of Immolate? Most are saying that it kills Destro as I viable class. Have you or your piers tested against affliction to determine most potential (while understanding you pation for destro)?


    • 2 latusthegoat October 11, 2010 at 7:41 pm

      Immolate base damage was increased 55%. Conflagrate was lowered by 40%. It really isn’t a gamebreaker, I barely noticed a difference in pve between the builds. I’m still firing above 12,000 dps single target without bane of havoc (in almost bis gear, missing a piece), which is almost 50% more than I do on current live servers.

      I have not personally tested the other specs but have seen the numbers, and outside of some buggy mechanics (drain life being a better filler than shadow bolt in affliction, for example), destro seems to come out on top. You can check out the link in this post under the uhhh…. under the “STATS” heading that takes you to an mmo-champion thread by Gherkin where he did compare the numbers himself. The general agreement seems to be that the cataclysm talents at LEVEL 80 are best for destruction.

  2. 3 Minidot October 11, 2010 at 8:27 pm

    lol,the stats.

    Thanks for the reply. I enjoy the tone of your blog, and the way information is presented

    Thank you for the time you put into it!

  3. 4 Zelda October 11, 2010 at 10:57 pm

    Gah, I posted this on the wrong page. Ignore that one.

    This is a wonderful guide! I was so nervous about the patch, but I feel much better now.

    I do have one question, though: is seed of corruption still going to be there? I have come to love it on big group pulls.

    • 5 latusthegoat October 11, 2010 at 11:59 pm

      Lol 😛

      Yes, yes it’s still there. I have no idea if it’ll be better than Rain of Fire for us destruction warlocks though, we’ll see after I get back into ICC on live servers this week!

  4. 6 Saga October 12, 2010 at 8:08 am

    Nice compilation of information. From what I’ve found/read it does look like Destro is coming out on top indeed. Which is fine by me cause I love it 🙂

    I’m curious though, on the first flow chart of “rotation” you show Chaos Bolt before Conflag.. normally I use it after Conflag (the first time at least) and after that just every CD. Or was that meant to be more of a priority list? (Since I do see that later on in explanations you do say Chaos Bolt after Conflag).

    I hope they fix Incinerate to benefit from Shadow & Flame again, because it seems silly that Searing Pain would do more damage (if that’s true, but read somewhere that it does). I still wouldn’t use it in raids though (other than with soul burn as you suggest) since the threat would make me pull the boss off the tanks rather quickly.

    I’d be curious to know how the soul burn+searing pain works out in raids threat wise. Since I only just switched back to my lock I don’t know how much raiding she’ll actually get to do *lol* So looking forward to reading your impressions once you’ve been in a raid.

    • 7 latusthegoat October 12, 2010 at 8:48 am

      An opening of “immolate – chaos bolt – conflag – incinerate spam” is one of those opening moves that try to make up for weird server lag. We’re talking fractions of milliseconds and a potential dps gain that is almost unnoticeable in the general scheme of things. Buuuut, there is a very very slight delay between Immolate landing on a target and Conflag becoming available as a move, time better spent casting a short cast spell like chaos bolt and following that up with conflag, getting the backdraft proc (3 super fast casts thing) and incinerate spamming and then going to rotation/priority list.

      At least that’s how it worked out so far. With 4.0.1, maybe that slight delay will be gone, or maybe a searing pain filler will be better instead of a chaos bolt. But yeah, the whole point of it at the start of the fight is to minimize that tiny tiny moment of downtime between casting Immolate and being able to cast Conflagrate.

      Raid should be tonight or tomorrow, depending on server stability. yay!

  5. 8 Glaaki October 12, 2010 at 1:19 pm

    Got a question for ya… I seem to recall hearing that we can now keep up a curse and a bane at the same time. If this is so… should we be doing Curse of the Elements and Bane of Doom?

    • 9 latusthegoat October 12, 2010 at 1:43 pm

      I believe that all Curses were renamed Bane, so the answer would be no, not possible to have elements and doom on the same target.

      Well, not your own elements and doom. Blah, you know what i mean.

      • 10 Dext October 12, 2010 at 2:09 pm

        I believe only havoc, Doom, and Agony are renamed Bane. Curse of Elements remains as does weakness, so yes, you could have both up on a single target.

        Jinx in the second tier of affliction almost makes it best if a warlock uses elements as it applies to everything within 20 yards.

        Speaking of which, Jinx also reduces energy generation of targets affected by your Curse of Weakness. Would be interesting to find out if it affected Saurfang.

  6. 13 lsulock October 12, 2010 at 6:48 pm

    thanks for the help i need all i can get going to be fun

  7. 14 Natyrie October 13, 2010 at 12:40 pm

    Any thaughts on glyphs?

  8. 15 Boltie October 13, 2010 at 2:25 pm


    What glyphs have you chosen?

  9. 17 asidugh October 24, 2010 at 3:57 am

    you dont need spirit for anything in warlock gear. spirit dont give u sp from talents nor from felarmor anymore. go with 10int/10hit and reforge the extra hit to masteryrating if u go over 17%.

  10. 18 Landan November 1, 2010 at 10:11 pm

    I have a question, there is no room for corruption or SB is there? I am new to Destruction and was just curious.

    • 19 latusthegoat November 1, 2010 at 10:22 pm

      Shadowbolt no.

      Corruption yes. You can work corruption into your rotation and just keep it going like all the other dots.

      • 20 Landan November 1, 2010 at 10:30 pm

        Awesome, thanks 😀 don’t even SB if there is no boomkin/UD DK?

      • 23 Warovik December 9, 2010 at 3:24 pm

        Shadow bolt is just a filler anyway so you’d replace that with incin or searing pain depending which buffs occur etc…. however to keep dps up in fights where you have to move alot such as sindy and the LK (all obsolete fights as of cata anyway). then yes pop corruption to cover yourself whilst moving to reset stacks or whatever, and also throw a death coil out, popping soulburn and then an instant soul fire is another good movement combo until you settle back into the previous rotation. just to give you some options to play with whilst your moving. as we see the graphs show you can jump around and not do much as afflic whislt your dots are on target and maintain a steady dps but destros downfall is when your not casting. hope this is helpful.

  11. 24 MizSquishy November 21, 2010 at 1:35 pm

    I won’t begin to tell you how much trolling of articles, forums, and darn near breaking my search engine for what to do post patch with destro. I’m in Lock-dom heaven! I can’t wrap my feeble mind around co-effecients so those sites don’t help me nor make my gaming experience a “game!” With slight hestitation will replace glyph of immo with imp.
    Question: With 2 locks on LK 10, if I BoH and CoE LK, is CoD not going to erase other lock’s or my BoH on LK? I usu use CoD on Shambling Horrors.

    ^dweeb lock wanting to feel the higher dps burn now available!

  12. 26 Duane Roelands November 29, 2010 at 9:35 am

    Now that the patch has been out for a bit, how do you feel about your rotation? Any adjustments that you would recommend?

    Thanks for the post!

    • 27 latusthegoat November 29, 2010 at 2:10 pm

      Yes, I would definitely incorporate Corruption into the rotation and work off a priority system more akin to feral druids of Wrath than a “rotation”. With so many spells being kept up, it’s hard to call it a rotation, that’s all. And with Improved Soul Fire working properly, that’s definitely something I keep up during the first 20% of longer fights, and/or abuse it on adds later in the fight to get the 15% haste.

  13. 28 Peart October 16, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    check this link, uk coach for less to take huge discount

  1. 1 4.0.1 – Destruction Warlock Rotation & More « The Undercity Trackback on October 11, 2010 at 9:20 pm
  2. 2 Warlock 4.0.1 – Destruction « The Undercity Trackback on October 12, 2010 at 1:22 am
  3. 3 One Stop Shop For Your Class/Spec In WoW Patch 4.0.1 | MMO Melting Pot Trackback on October 12, 2010 at 7:43 am
  4. 4 Top Posts — Trackback on October 13, 2010 at 8:20 pm

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