PvE Destruction Warlock Rotation & Cooldowns 

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Destruction Warlocks have mostly maintained the same rotation as their previous WotLK iteration, having only minimal changes in terms of their core mechanics. The most impactful change is the addition of Soul Fire into the rotation and the huge importance of maintaining the Improved Soul Fire effect.

In this section of the guide, we will go over the rotation and abilities of a Destruction Warlock, in both Single-Target and AoE/Cleave encounters.

Single-Target Rotation

  1. Cast Dark Intent on another caster before the fight begins
  2. Prioritize Demon Soul and Summon Doomguard for Burst Phases
  3. Apply Shadow and Flame to the target by pre-casting Incinerate
  4. Cast Curse of the Elements at the beginning of the fight
  5. Cast Soulburn + Soul Fire at the beginning of the Fight
  6. Cast Immolate and refresh it after it expires
  7. Cast Corruption and refresh it after it expires
  8. Cast Bane of Doom for long fights and refresh it after it expires
  9. Cast Bane of Agony for shorter fights and refresh it after it expires
  10. Cast Conflagrate on cooldown
  11. Cast Chaos Bolt on cooldown
  12. Cast Incinerate (Main Filler)

The Single-Target Rotation remains mostly the same for Destruction Warlocks in Cataclysm, with one big change, Soul Fire! The spell should be cast as often as possible to upkeep the Improved Soul Fire effect which massively empowers all of your other spells. The rest of your rotation remains absolutely the same, with Immolate, Corruption, and preferably Bane of Doom having an uptime as close as possible to 100% during an encounter.

Both Chaos Bolt and Conflagrate should be cast on cooldown, especially since Conflagrate not only no longer consumes Immolate but also still provides the Backdraft effect which should be consumed on Incinerate.

Incinerate remains our trusty Single-Target Main Filler, providing a large chunk of our damage.

AoE/Cleave Rotation

  • Cast Rain of Fire for AoE encounters with more than 4 Mobs
  • Cast Summon Infernal for long AoE encounters with more than 5-6 mobs
  • Cast Bane of Havoc for Cleave encounters with 2-3 Targets
  • Cast ShadowFury in both AoE/Cleave encounters on cooldown
  • Repeat Single-Target Rotation and Multi-Dot in Cleave encounters with 2-3 Targets

The AoE rotation for Destruction Warlocks is quite simple. Rain of Fire serves as the main AoE tool while Summon Infernal serves as the main AoE offensive cooldown in case there are long Cleave/AoE encounters. Bane of Havoc is the main Cleaving tool in your kit, working as a way of extending your Single-Target spells to an additional target. You will mainly want to Multi-Dot and simply perform your Single-Target rotation in any cases that involve 2-3 targets while having Bane of Havoc active on one of the targets.

Lastly, ShadowFury should be used on cooldown as both a crowd-control tool and a damaging spell.


About the Author


Hey there folks, I am Nevermore and have been deeply passionate about WoW for more than a decade. Whether we talk about the hidden mysteries of Azeroth or the otherworldly Outland, my journey brought me here to share the things that I have experienced with you all.
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Yajna - Pagle
Yajna - Pagle
1 month ago

Hey just so you know the “Rotation & Cooldowns” button is sending people to the old Lich King version of the page.

Reply to  Yajna - Pagle
1 month ago

Appreciate it, got that fixed.

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