Post by Gnostik
My Lock is a recent 70, so my gear is sub-par. But, that said, I have played BGs extensively with every spec (first at 60, now at 70) so by way of comparing how each build "plays", I do have the experience. (I haven't done arena yet with this character though, so I can only theorycraft there. It seems clear to me Destruction is one of the worst arena specs. You've really got to love it to put up with the quirks of how this tree works.)My preferred Destro build
1. Cataclysm > Imp SB
Yes, your burst damage capabilities are impressive. But let's be real: people in full PvP gear don't go down so easily. This means that for most targets you end up needing 2-3 "rounds" of spell combos. You will probably use Shadowfury twice, Conflagrate 2 or 3 times.
Where I'm going with this is, even with the burst of Destro, fights last long enough that people can heal through that damage. This is where the real challenge comes in: you just pulled out all the stops, and got your target to 5% health. Then he got healed. Now what? Because you're so incredibly squishy, you want to keep your Life Tapping to a minimum. At this point, your mana efficiency will
come into play. And this will definitely be true for any arena team that isn't all DPS.
Conversely, speaking stricly of PvP, the effect from Imp SB will rarely come into play. Yes, you will get more crits, but you don't rely very heavily on shadow damage. And when Backlash procs, your ideal sitation is to have a target with both Immolate and CoE on. In that situation, Incinerate is the clear favorite for your instant cast. After all, you spent 5 points boosting your fire damage, right?
2. Instant Corruption is a must-have
Being able to weave an instant Corruption into your spell combos will add considerable damage. Even though Destro is all about the direct burst damage, you are still a Warlock. Your DD options still don't compare to that of a Mage. You need to supplement it with at least some DoT. Imp Corruption is a must for Destro IMO. Try playing without it and see how many times your target nearly escapes death, and you can say "man, if he had had Corruption on him he would be dead." Even if you play Destro with a Succubus, as I do, after the initial Seducing, I throw up Corruption and things drop a LOT faster.
3. Soul Leech > Imp HS
I'm not very good at math, but if I'm not mistaken 20% of damage 30% of the time averages out to 6%. No you won't see big heals from Soul Leech very often, but when you consider 6% of your direct damage coming back to you as healing (albeit bursty, unreliable healing) you can see that this is a considerable boost to our extremely low survivability. And when compared to the extra 400 health from Imp HS - every two minutes, and for a Soul Shard - Soul Leech seems clearly superior to me.
Obviously you can get both, but I wouldn't take Imp HS until you have Soul Leech. Personally I think Imp HS is over-rated, and there are no points I'd want to move from Destruction to get it. Swapping Imp SP is an obvious option, but SP is my bread-and-butter and Imp SP gives good returns for each point spent.
4. Aftermath isn't worth it
I think all of us who love Destruction have pondered this talent, toyed with the idea of it, and maybe even spec'd in it to try it out. The bottom line for me is, it is a very rare situation that this proc will turn the battle and give me a win. On paper it makes sense: we have few escape options, and get eaten alive by physical damage dealers, so anything that keeps them at bay should be good, right?
It's hard to explain why this isn't the case in practice, but it's just not how the class plays. A Lock with 41 in Destro plays nothing like any other Lock. Your goal is to continue to put out extremely high damage no matter what. It's often much more "in your face" than the other specs. You aren't running and kiting, you are just trying to drop your opponent before he drops you. Obviously you want to keep distance, but at the same time it's paradoxically less important for Destro. For one thing, getting hit gives you Backlash, which is actually something you want, and often need.
Basically, there is one situation where Aftermath would save you: when you're fighting a Rogue, you already have distance between you, you're running away, and he's already blown Cloak of Shadows, Shadowstep, and Sprint. Needless to say, this situation doesn't come up very often. In those Rogue fights where I'm lucky enough to be alive and have him at a distance, 9 times out of 10 he pops Sprint and it's GG.
5. You will both love and hate Shadowfury
Properly using this skill is what makes the spec. It keeps you alive. It keeps melee off you. It adds to your damage. Also, it can be extremely hard to aim properly. The .5s cast will be pushed back more than you probably think. The cooldown is just a little longer than you need it to be. If they made this spell instant and put it on a 15s cooldown, it would do wonders for the spec.
All in all, I find Destro one of the most frustrating and one of the most rewarding specs to play. It feels like starting every fight from behind. Then when you win, you know it's entirely because of your perfect timing and decision-making. But for every one of those, there are a lot more losses due to things like 1 second left on Shadowfury cooldown, a Death Coil resist, some odd quirk where Backlash gets used up but no nuke comes out, things like that. Other classes can cope with small slip-ups like these. But for a Destro Lock, a single mistake means death. It's an interesting way to play.
Post by Gnostik
That was pretty stupid. Imp Shadow Bolt is a must, and it's FAR better than Cataclysm. The mana reduction from Cataclysm is enough for 1 extra Shadow Bolt every 20 Shadow Bolts. That's 50-60 seconds (depending on spec) that you need to spam Shadow Bolt without interruption, while stationary, to get the mana return high enough to get off one more Shadow Bolt. It's pathetic and impossible in PvP, and only slightly better in PvE, even if we didn't have Life Tap
. Speccing it goes right along the lines of speccing into Master Conjurer
or Imp Enslave Demon.Don't spec Cataclysm.
I'm just going by my own experiences in PvP. First of all, I rarely use Shadowbolt period. The only time it gets used is when Backlash procs and Immolate isn't up on a target (and I can't get
Immolate up before Backlash wears off.) That's not very often to begin with. Then, it has to crit, further reducing the number of times ISB will proc. Finally, the effect works only for Shadow spells, when I mostly use Fire.
I didn't say the talent was great. Truth is neither one of the first tier talents is. But I'll take what is effectively 5% more mana over an ability that will almost never be of any use to me whatsoever. As I stated in my first post, running out of mana is a common problem for me against any healer. So the mana I save will probably benefit me more than the rare bit of extra damage from ISB. But whatever, both talents are filler as far as I'm concerned. (If you have any concern with PvE then ISB is probably the better choice.)
Finally, I already addressed the Life Tap issue. Tapping is not as common for Destro since we are extra squishy, and don't rely on SL/Drain Life to get the health back. There are two main drawbacks to the spec: high mana usage, and low survivability. Cataclysm helps with one of those. ISB doesn't.
Edit: Ok it occurred to me I'm looking at Cataclysm wrong. It's really not like having 5% more mana as it goes by the base spell cost, not my mana pool. So using 5% less mana is not the same as having 5% more mana to begin with.
Anyway, I still say it's a wash between the two - for PvP. But since pretty much everyone finds themselves in an instance once in a while, ISB is definitely the more PvE-friendly of the two. I do like the
idea of improving mana efficiency since, again, that's one of the problems with the tree. But I concede that the 5% reduction is pathetic.
You missed the entire point on that. In PvP, it's not about higher damage in a rotation. Imp Corruption is great because it means you can cast Corruption while moving, and without any pushback, or chance to be counterspelled. Your point that it's a must was true, but your argument was false.
I don't see how you can separate the two. Obviously Imp Corruption let's you cast on the go without opening yourself to interrupts. But so what? The only reason that's good is so you can apply more damage via a DoT. So it seems to me you created a disagreement here where there is none. Imp Corruption means you can use the spell more, which means more damage. Otherwise why cast it at all?
Edit: Are you saying: f you had the luxury of standing in one spot, and wanted to put out max damage, weaving in Corruption wouldn't be any better than casting more Destro spells? Or something to that effect? I don't know, I'm just trying to understand what you're saying, though I'm probably too "stupid". It seems to me the damage you get for one GCD from Corruption couldn't be matched by any better choice. So again, I don't see any disagreement. Even if it had a 1.5s cast time it would still be best to include it in a rotation, no?