- Main article: Warlock talents#Destruction
Destruction is the third of the Warlock's talent trees. This tree'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 tree provides the warlock with four spells that are exclusive to it: Chaos Bolt, Conflagrate, Shadowburn and Shadowfury. The last 3 are instant cast direct damage spells; Chaos Bolt on the other hand has a cast time, but is the single hardest hitting spell in any Warlock's arsenal. With the inclusion of Death Coil and Shadowflame, Destruction warlocks end up with five instant cast spells. This makes them quite versatile when dealing with foes.
The warlock who chooses the path of Destruction becomes an instrument of heavy artillery. Capable of dealing massive amounts of damage over a very short period of time, but sacrificing some of their survivability in the process; their role in a battle is to either stand back and help finish off enemies one at a time before they can be healed, or charge into a melee and completely disrupt a battle, usually at the expense of their own life.
Destruction is often the spec of choice for Warlocks that would rather do heavy direct damage themselves. It is often 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. Unlike the Affliction and Demonology trees, Destruction offers very little in terms of survivability or damage mitigation — two valuable assets in arena. The tree is clearly focused on damage. The introduction of resilience took quite a bit of punch out of Destruction's PvP appeal. Moreover, many of its spells have longer cast times than the DoTs of Affliction which gives opponents the opportunity to interrupt your spellcasting.
EDIT: The following is not so true with the above: Destruction spells are mana intensive so it is vital to manage mana efficiently.