Fire Mage for a Day
… Or for three bosses in Heroic Naxx, if you want to be technical about it. 😉
I may be Affliction at heart, but I’ll admit: my curiousity was piqued by the new Glyph of Conflagerate, which prevents Conflagerate from consuming Immolate and therefore changes the entire Destructrion rotation. My main problem with Fire Destro has always been timing Conflagerate so it only clips Immolate’s last tick; I can’t hit them all consistently, and frequently end up losing DPS by clipping Immolate or missing Conflagerate altogether. Since this is a non-issue with glyphed Conflagerate, I thought — why not try 2/13/56 on for size?
Um, yeah. The next time I decide to respec less than an hour before a 25-man raid, with only a few minutes to spend toasting Target Dummies before I have to start thinking about invites … kick me in the shins. Or at least remind me of my sub-tank DPS on Loatheb.
(It’s not really fair for the class that brought you Seed of Corruption to complain about Cat Swipe being totally OP … but out-DPS’d by a bear druid for most of the Plague wing? /cry)
The problem wasn’t with the spec itself, or even with my gear (I think; 20% crit before talents seems a little low). No, it was the fact that Destruction’s rotation is even clunkier than Affliction’s, and (due to my own poor planning) I had very little time to experiment with it before the raid. Granted, it’s only three DoTs instead of six. But it’s also two cooldowns (Chaos Bolt and Conflagerate) vs. one (Haunt) and three procs (Molten Core, Backdraft and Backlash) vs. one (Nightfall) — so instead of watching six things on one DoTimer, I’m watching eight things on three separate bars.
That’s … a lot of things. /boggle
And I didn’t have nearly enough practice at it to be effective, which is why I caught a port to Undercity while Loatheb loot was being handed out and specced back into Affliction. I’d like to give Fire Destro another try— I know I can do better! — but I’ll be smarter about it next time and test drive my new spec in a heroic or 10-man before plunging headfirst into Heroic Naxx.
Anyway, with a four-piece T7 bonus, my initial rotation looked like this:
Lifetap > Curse of Agony > Immolate > Corruption > Conflagerate > Incinerate/Drain Soul (at >25%/<25%, respectively)
I opened with Lifetap to proc my four-piece bonus, which is +300 spirit for 10 seconds. It’s a little awkward to tap at full health, but I’m making a concentrated effort to weave Lifetap into my rotation, in part to activate the bonus at beneficial times, and in part to avoid causing undue stress for the raid’s healers (especially now that we’re clearing Naxx with four).
Curse of Agony was next, to proc Molten Core as soon as possible, followed by an Immolate. Some Destrolocks recommend dropping Corruption from the rotation, but I cast it in the one second dead zone immediately following Immolate (I’m not sure if this is a bug or “working as intended,” but you can’t currently cast Conflagerate until Immolate ticks once, so an instant-cast Corruption is convenient here). I hit Conflagerate as soon as Immolate ticked, and then spammed Incinerate or Drain Soul as my fillers.
The variables are Chaos Bolt and Soulfire. As soon as Molten Core procced (off of Curse of Agony or Corruption ticks), I cast my first Chaos Bolt, and then hit it on every cooldown thereafter. I experimented a bit with casting Soulfire in place of Incinerate when Backdraft was active, but I was burning through shards so I’m not sure how feasible that would be in the long-run.
Once I’ve perfected the rotation, I’ll take a look at the numbers and maybe even do some *gulp* warlock maths to tweak it. In the meantime, this is all qualitative analysis and speculation; there is nothing remotely quantitative about it, so take everything I’ve written with a grain of Deeprock Salt.
Note: I borrowed the subject line for this post from Larísa, who once speculated about temporary class changes after a visitor stumbled upon her blog after Googling “fire mage for a day.” My educated guess? A disillusioned Afflock contemplating dustruction! ❤