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Destruction Warlockdestruction iconvsshadow iconShadow Priest

Debating whether to play a Shadow Priest or Destruction Warlock? Knowing which currently performs better DPS in PvE might help make a decision.

This page analyzes multiple simulations for both Shadow Priests and Destruction Warlocks using profiles and settings intended to achieve their maximum DPS. Multiple sim environments are used to test how they perform in various conditions. Is one the AoE king? Does one scale better with gear upgrades? Is one more bursty, and more reliant on big cooldowns? Below analyzes the data to find the strengths of each.

Simulation results were created with SimulationCraft
Using game data from Patch 10.0 WoW Dragonflight Pre-patch

  • Destruction Warlockdestruction icon
  • Best boss DPS (in perfect settings)Destruction Warlock achieved 35.83% more maximum boss DPS than Shadow Priest when there was no movement or lag.
  • Best boss DPS (in realistic settings)Destruction Warlock achieved 29.93% more maximum boss DPS than Shadow Priest when dealing with occasional movement, lag and crowd-control.
  • Best gear scalingDestruction Warlock scaled better with increased item-levels, single-target DPS benefited 63.47% more from 282 ilvl to 308 compared to Shadow Priests.
  • Simplest GameplayDestruction Warlock has fewer damaging abilities which could indicate a simpler rotation.
  • DPS less dependant on big cooldownsDestruction Warlock’s DPS is less bursty, meaning it had more consistent damage. With 32.59% less difference in lowest and peak DPS during a fight when compared to Shadow Priests.
  • shadow iconShadow Priest
  • Best AoE DPS (in perfect settings)Shadow Priest achieved 29.16% more AoE DPS than Destruction Warlock when there was no movement or lag.
  • Least affected by movement (single-target)Shadow Priest’s single-target DPS was -149.53% less affected by increased movement compared to Destruction Warlocks.

While the above highlights the DPS advantages between Destruction Warlock and Shadow Priests, the DPS potential should not be the only factor in your decision. Ultimately, you should also consider the playstyle that you enjoy most while crushing it in Mythics+ and Raids!


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