Destruction is one of the warlocks' specializations. Power over the elements is power over creation itself and destruction warlocks use the element of fire to destroy. By twisting Arcanist Joraa's passion for order and creation the warlock Teron'gor gained the power of chaos and destruction.
This spec's emphasis is to improve the Warlock's ability to do direct damage as opposed to damage over time and greatly enhances their ability to do burst damage. It mainly affects Fire spells, but is not restricted to them.
This specialization provides the Warlock with a number of spells that are exclusive to it:
Destruction Warlocks also gain access to a new resource system called Burning Embers. Burning Embers are generating through the use of a number of spells, and used to cast powerful damage or utility spells. The warlock has 3 Embers (or 4 with the ). Each Ember is divided into 10 graduations ("Sparks"), generated by the following effects:
- generates 1 Spark per cast, plus an additional Spark if it crits. If used with or , it will generate 1 Spark per target hit, with an additional Spark for each crit.
- generates 1 Spark each time it crits. This includes both the DoT ticks and the initial damage. Immolate spread through or each have independent chances to generate Sparks.
- has a 25% chance to generate a Spark each tick for each target struck. The chance rises to 50% on target with an Immolate DoT active.
- functions identically to Incinerate, generating 1 Spark on cast and an additional Spark if it crits.
- will refund a full Ember if the target dies within 5 seconds of Shadowburn landing. If Shadowburn is the killing blow, it will instead refund two full Embers.
Embers will automatically stabilize at 1 filled Ember out of combat. After the Warlock is out of combat for 20 seconds, one Spark will be gained (if less than 1 Ember is filled) or lost (if more than 1 Ember is filled) every 3 seconds until the Warlock has exactly 1 Ember filled. On zone change, the Warlock's filled Embers will be reset to 1, or to 2 (which will immediately begin to decay toward 1) if the Warlock has the .
Embers are used on the following effects:
- is an extremely powerful but slow nuke. It always critically hits, and its damage scales directly with the Warlock's spell critical hit chance.
- is a powerful instant execute-like nuke. It is only usable on targets below 20% HP. Shadowburn will refund 2 Embers if it kills the target, 1 if the target dies otherwise within 5 seconds, and 15% of the Warlock's mana if the target is still alive after 5 seconds.
- causes the next , , , , or to hit all target within 15 yards of the target, but deal only 35% of normal damage (modified by Mastery).
- heals the Warlock for 15% of their maximum HP (modified by Mastery).
- instantly resummons the last active demon.
The Warlock who chooses the path of Destruction becomes an instrument of heavy artillery and extreme burst. Capable of dealing massive amounts of damage over a very short period of time, their role in a battle is to usually to stand back and help finish off enemies one at a time before they can be healed. With several procs and cooldowns active, a chain of 4 Chaos Bolts can deal a truly staggering amount of damage in a very short window of time (at the expense of about a 2 minute recharge time for cooldowns and Ember generation).
Destruction is often the spec of choice for Warlocks that would rather do heavy direct damage themselves. It is sometimes perceived as the best spec for PvP as it gives you the tools to quickly finish off a foe. However, its usefulness in arena play, especially in 2v2, is debated. Destruction has powerful survival and burst tools, but its reliance on long cast-time nukes, easily interrupted or otherwise countered, drastically reduces its effectiveness without the element of surprise (which is usually impossible in arenas). It also has quite limited mobility compared to Affliction and Demonology due to its reliance on long cast-time spells.