Legion: Destruction Overview

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EMBRACE CHAOS!

The second spec overview of three, Destruction doesn’t see too many drastic changes thankfully. If you played it in Warlords or Mists, you’ll know what you’re doing in Legion.

Mostly.

General

  • Burning Embers are replaced with Soul Shards, of which you can have a maximum of 5. Soul Shards mainly fuel your usage of Chaos Bolt. You start a fight with 1 shard, and need to build them up, much like Burning Embers.
  • Mainly unchanged, thanks to some changes to Havoc it looks to be amazing at 2 target cleave fights, and with the right talent setup, looks to excel at AoE too. You can’t do both at the same time though. It’s either brilliant cleave or brilliant AoE.
  • Single target looks to be the same as now; competitive.
  • New Mastery is a bit random. By design!

Artifact

scepter of saggy

The Scepter of Sargeras! Supposedly the weapon that destroyed the real Draenor, when Nerzhul opened a shitload of portals. If Demonology has the most unique artifact, Destruction has hands-down the plain best-looking one!

saggystick

Here’s your “talent tree” for the weapon. You start at a fixed point (the node with the solid gold circle), and work your way around. The traits with fancy borders are major traits, the rest minor.

Start Point

  • Dimensional Rift: Rips a hole in time and space, opening a portal that damages your target. (3 charges, 1.5 second cast, 45 second recharge)

There are 3 potential portals this ability can open, each with an equal chance of appearing, and each benefitting from your Crit rating. Chaos Tear fires a single Chaos Bolt at your opponent. Similar to your Chaos Bolt, it will always crit. Its damage scales with your critical strike chance, as yours does, but NOT from your Mastery or Chaos Bolt-modifying artifact traits.

The second portal is the Chaos Portal. This casts the spell Chaos Barrage, throwing out a projectile every 0.25 seconds for 5.5 seconds, totalling 22 bolts! Its cast rate will increase with haste, as will the next portal, Shadow Tear. This third portal will fire Shadow Bolts every 2 seconds for 14 seconds, for a total of 7 projectiles.

Major Traits

From left to right!

  • Dimension Ripper: Incinerate has a 6% chance to grant a charge of Dimensional Rift.
  • Conflagration of Chaos: Conflagrate has a chance to guarantee your next Conflagrate critically strikes, and to increase its damage by your critical strike chance.
  • Lord of Flames: Once every 10 minutes, Rain of Fire summons 6 Infernals to serve you for 8 seconds.

So more uses of your artifact ability? Excellent! A chance to turn Conflagrate into a mini Chaos Bolt? Awesome! Raining Infernals from the skies! AMAZING.

Once every 10 minutes? Ehhh.

Minor Traits

From left to right again!

  • Chaotic Instability: Increases the critical strike damage of Chaos Bolt by 5%/10%/15%
  • Fire and the Flames: Reduces cast time of Incinerate by 5%/6%/10%.
  • Planeswalker: Transporting through your Demonic Gateway heals you for 50% of your maximum health.
  • Soulsnatcher: Chaos Bolt has a 5%/10%/15% chance to refund 1 Soul Shard.
  • Demonic Durability: Reduces cooldown of Unending Resolve by 30 seconds.
  • Master of Disaster: Increases damage dealt by Incinerate by 5%/10%/15%.
  • Devourer of Life: Drain Life has a 15%/30%/45% chance to increase its damage and healing by 15%/30%/45% for 15 seconds.
  • Fire From the Sky: Increases damage dealt by Rain of Fire by 5%/10%/15%.
  • Flames of the Pit: Increases Fire damage you deal by 4%.
  • Residual Flames: Increases damage dealt by Immolate by 10%/20%/30%.
  • Impish Incineration: Increases damage dealt by your Imp’s Firebolt by 15%. (Grimoire of Supremacy: Increases damage dealt by your Doomguard’s Doom Bolt by 18%) (Grimoire of Sacrifice: Increases damage by 3%)
  • Eternal Struggle: After casting Life Tap, you take 10%/20%/30% less damage for 6 seconds.
  • Burning Hunger: Increases the critical strike chance of Immolate by 10%/20%/30%.

 

Mostly we’re seeing passive increases to your rotational abilities. Impish Incineration changes what it does based on which Grimoire talent you choose, which is nice. Eternal Struggle seems to turn Life Tap into potentially a risky damage reduction cooldown? High risk, high reward, we all love that.

Talents

Talent choices in Legion seem to be more meaningful this time around, most of them having some sort of impact upon your rotation. Your basic rotation itself is simplified, and you add complexity through your talent choices!

destrotalents

Row 1

  • Backdraft: Casting Conflagrate reduces the cast time of Incinerate and Chaos Bolt by 30% for 5 seconds.
  • Roaring Blaze: Conflagrate increases your remaining Immolate damage on the target by 50% until Immolate expires or is refreshed.
  • Shadowburn: Blasts a target for (340% of Spell Power) damage. Generates 2 Soul Shards if the target dies within 5 seconds. (1 Soul Shard cost)

Destro gets the instant cast spell it’s always wanted but could never have! Costs a shard though. Shadowburn is now usable at any health level, not just in execute range, but it’s still best to kill off a target with it for the shard regeneration. The Backdraft effect is now a talent, but doesn’t operate on a charge system, it just makes your filler and nuke both cast faster for a flat 5 seconds. Roaring Blaze, if you take it, will make you want to bank a charge of Conflagrate for whenever you need to cast Immolate on a target, and I’d assume is best used on a single target fight, otherwise you won’t have enough charges to go around!

Row 2

  • Reverse Entropy: Reduces the cast time of Chaos Bolt and Rain of Fire by 0.5 seconds and they restore 35% of your maximum mana.
  • Fire and Brimstone: Incinerate now hits all enemies near your target.
  • Mana Tap: Consumes 40% of your current mana to increase your damage by 10% for 20 seconds.

Fire and Brimstone also receives the “changed and shunted to a talent” treatment, now it makes Incinerate always AoE. Great for fights when you need that sort of thing, which if this expansion is anything to go by, will be every fight.

Faster Chaos Bolts and less need to cast Life Tap? Reverse Entropy looks to be a powerful choice! Mana Tap does almost the opposite; it’ll cause you to cast Life Tap MORE often, but you get a nice 10% damage buff to compensate. Probably best not to take this on fights where you’re expected to take a lot of damage, or on healer-intensive fights, as the less you’re Life Tapping lost mana, the more they can focus on everyone else.

Row 3

  • Demon Skin: Your Soul Leech absorption now passively recharges at a rate of 1% of maximum health every 1 second, and may now absorb up to 20% of maximum health.
  • Mortal Coil: Horrifies an enemy target into fleeing, incapacitating for 3 seconds and healing you for 11% of maximum health. (45 second cooldown)
  • Shadowfury: Stuns all enemies within 8 yards for 3 seconds. (1.5 second cast, 30 second cooldown)

If the healing of Mortal Coil still only procs when it actually horrifies the target, it’ll be useless on bosses and therefore can be skipped. Might be useful for regular questing though. Demon Skin improves the (now baseline) Soul Leech, and makes it a passive constantly regenerating shield, instead of a temporary shield from damage dealt, and may well prove to be the default talent for this tier, especially if the absorb reduces Life Tap damage. Shadowfury controversially has a cast time now, and is not useful in fights with no adds, for obvious reasons.

Row 4

  • Eradication: Chaos Bolt increases the damage you deal to the target by 12% for 6 seconds.
  • Cataclysm: Conjures a cataclysm at the target location, dealing (700% of Spell Power) Shadowflame damage to all enemies within 8 yards and afflicting them with Immolate.
  • Soul Harvest: Immediately generate 5 Soul Shards. (2 second cast, 2 minute cooldown)

Cataclysm hits like a TRUCK. Almost twice the Spell Power modifier of Chaos Bolt! Great for fights where AoE/cleave is needed, as you can do a serious chunk of damage with this. Eradication best saved for fights where you’re focusing on one target, so you can take full advantage of the 6 seconds of extra damage. Soul Harvest seems pretty underwhelming compared to these two, though if you have cause to spam as many Chaos Bolts as you possibly can (Feast of Souls phase on Gorefiend, perhaps?), then this may see some use. Even better if you take Shadowburn in tandem with Soul Harvest, you can throw out a serious number of high-damaging spells consecutively, though whether you end up doing more damage with this than with Chaos Bolt depends on whether you get lucky with your critical hits.

Row 5

  • Demonic Circle: Summons a Demonic Circle for 6 minutes, allowing you to cast it again to teleport to its location and remove all movement slowing effects. Limit 1. (0.5 second cast)
  • Burning Rush: Increases your movement speed by 50%, but also damages you for 4% of your maximum health every 1 second. Movement-impairing effects may not reduce you below 100% of normal movement speed. Lasts until cancelled.
  • Dark Pact: Sacrifices 20% of your demon’s current health to shield you for 400% of the sacrificed health for 20 seconds. If you have no demon, your health is sacrificed instead. Usable while suffering from control-impairing effects. (1 minute cooldown)

Need massive damage reduction to survive a particular fight mechanic? Need speed boosts? Need to move to a particular, predictable spot every so often? This tier has it all!

But you can only choose one.

Row 6

  • Grimoire of Supremacy: You are able to maintain control over even greater demons indefintely, allowing you to summon a Doomguard or Infernal as a permanent pet.
  • Grimoire of Service: Summons a second demon to fight for you for 25 seconds and deals 100% increased damage. The demon will immediately use one of its special abilities when summoned (Imp cleanses 1 harmful Magic effect from you, Voidwalker taunts. Succubus seduces, Felhunter interrupts). (2 minute cooldown)
  • Grimoire of Sacrifice: Sacrifice your demon to gain Demonic Power, causing your spells to sometimes also deal (100% of Spell Power) Shadow damage to the target and other enemies within 8 yards. Lasts 1 hour or until you summon a demon. (30 second cooldown)

Grimoire of Sacrifice goes from a “definite flat damage increase” talent to a “sometimes AoE damage” talent, though an artifact trait will ALSO flatly increase all your damage by 3% if you take this. Will apparently proc around 20 times per minute, increasing with Haste.

This tier comes down to “do you want big demons, normal demons, or no demons?” Supremacy will be good if you need to move a lot, as the Doomguard will do a respectable portion of your damage while you reposition. Similarly with Service, when you need to move, spit out your extra pet. On Patchwerk fights, or fights with a lot of AoE, you might wanna take Sacrifice.

Row 7

  • Wreak Havoc: Havoc now lasts 20 seconds, and has no cooldown.
  • Channel Demonfire: Launches 15 bolts of felfire over 3 seconds at random targets afflictied by your Immolate within 40 yards. Each bolt deals (50% of Spell Power) Fire damage. (3 second channel, 15 second cooldown)
  • Soul Conduit: Every Soul Shard you spend has a 20% chance to be refunded.

Wreak Havoc sounds AMAZING for permacleave fights (think Twin Ogron, or Hellfire High Council) , as it makes Havoc essentially last forever, almost doubling damage output! Channel Demonfire will be great on AoE fights, especially if you take Cataclysm as well. Cataclysm mass-inflicts Immolate, Channel Demonfire then has a chance to hit ALL the enemies! Soul Conduit will therefore be the single target talent of choice, as the other two talents won’t really have much (if any) benefit.

 

Abilities

Your core spec abilities are a skeleton, to which you can take talents to flesh out. Here’s Destruction’s baseline abilities!

  • Immolate is your DoT, and you want maximum uptime on it. Each tick has a 15% chance to regenerate a Soul Shard, 30% on crits..
  • Conflagrate has 2 charges on a 12 second cooldown, is instant cast, and generates 1 Soul Shard when used.
  • Incinerate is your main filler, and there’s nothing particularly of note to say about it.
  • Chaos Bolt costs 2 Soul Shards, and is your primary nuke spell. It always critically strikes, and your Critical Strike rating increases the damage it deals. If your Crit rating is 25%, then Chaos Bolt will deal 1.25x its normal damage.
  • Life Tap makes a return for Destruction! Restores a flat 30% of your mana, at a cost of 10% of your health.
  • Havoc, as mentioned above, works slightly differently in Legion, in that it debuffs an enemy for 8 seconds, and copies all spells cast on another target to it for the entire duration of the buff, as opposed to working on a charge-based system. You can only have 1 Havoc spell active at a time.
  • Rain of Fire makes a comeback, though it never really went away, just… went useless for a while. Not instant anymore, it now has a 2 second cast time, and hits an 8 yard radius of your choosing with fiery rain for 8 seconds at a cost of 3 Soul Shards! Deals VERY respectable damage now, and obviously rains Infernals down with the appropriate artifact ability, so seems worth the cost in an AoE-fest.
  • Mastery: Chaotic Energies is a strange one. It increases the damage your spells do by x% (where x is your mastery rating) RANDOMLY. If your Mastery is 50%, then your spells can hit 50% harder, but they’re just as likely to hit 1% harder, or 25% harder, or 15.34% harder. It apparently smooths out over the course of a fight, but I kinda dislike that I can perform flawlessly on a fight, but RNG dictates that my damage is rubbish anyway. It also reduces damage you take by a random amount, up to x%.

Glyphs

Glyphs are working differently in Legion. Major glyphs are apparently gone, and now you apply the glyph directly to the spell, meaning you can have one per (eligible) ability, I guess?

  • Glyph of Crimson Banish: Your Banish spell is now red.
  • Glyph of Soulwell: Your Soulwell glows with an eerie light.
  • Glyph of the Abyssal: Transforms your Infernal into an Abyssal.
  • Glyph of the Demon Eye: Transforms your eye of Kilrogg into a demonic floating eye.
  • Glyph of the Fel Imp: Transforms your Imp into a Flame Imp.
  • Glyph of the Inquisitor’s Eye: Transforms your Eye of Kilrogg into an Inquisitor’s Eye.
  • Glyph of the Observer: Transforms your Felhunter into an Observer.
  • Glyph of the Shivarra: Transforms your Succubus into a Shivarra.
  • Glyph of the Terrorguard: Transforms your Doomguard into a Terrorguard.
  • Glyph of the Voidlord: Transforms your Voidwalker into a Voidlord.
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3 thoughts on “Legion: Destruction Overview

    Dobablo said:
    November 25, 2015 at 11:22 am

    Want to … (and thus reduce your healers’ hatred of you)?
    Is that a trick question? The answer is obviously no. Besides, isn’t Hatrid a passive AoE heal that restores 10% health to all warlocks every second?

    I love mana tap. Thematically I’d rather we sacrifice our health for a huge damage boost but that does cause survivability issues, especially when you want to max DPS to get through a damage spike. Mana tap lets you sacrifice the resources when you need the boost while letting you defer the health cost until a later, low damage phase.

    elkagorasa said:
    November 30, 2015 at 7:54 pm

    Problems with commenting on beta is that it changes weekly. Sad about losing embers as they made the class feel different, but I understand that it’s easier to explain to new warlock players. Does this mean that I am going to have shards floating above my head like an aff-lock?? Can I glyph them into fireballs? Oh, how about imps in balls spinning wildly above my head?

    Thalesin said:
    December 19, 2015 at 9:34 am

    Mastery: Chaotic Energies sounds, in my opinion, horrible. It increases the damage your spells do by x% (where x is your mastery rating) RANDOMLY. If your Mastery is 50%, then your spells can hit 50% harder, but they’re just as likely to hit 1% harder, or 25% harder, or 15.34% harder. It APPARENTLY smooths out over the course of a fight, but I still dislike that I can perform flawlessly on a fight, but RNG dictates that my damage is rubbish anyway.

    If you half your mastery e.g., you have a mastery that says “up to 50%” you can just read it as “25% increased DPS in any fight longer than about 15 seconds”
    In pvp it’s gonna be pretty great because that damage, while not as important to you (you’re going to be doing enough damage regardless of mastery) it is really going to mess with enemy healers when your chaos bolt suddenly hits for an extra 25% than what they’re managing to heal, especially in your kill rotation.

    Tl;dr: most people disliking this mastery don’t understand rng

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