Have you ever wondered “When should I use IQD?” or “Do I use Xuen on CD with Xuen’s Bond or wait for WoO?” Hopefully this guide will answer those questions and give you the tools to figure out how to use any other desynced CD’s in the future.

There has been an upsurge in questions lately about cooldowns now that the majority of us are progressing the new raid and adapting to a style of encounters different from what we’re generally use to seeing. With the help of Slappa we wanted to throw this together for all of you.


CD usage in WoW is based upon two fundamental principles;

  • Cast as much as you can
  • Cast as efficiently as you can.

Casting as much as you can is simple. Let’s say it’s a single target fight and you can choose to cast Xuen once or twice… well, twice is obviously better. Cast efficiency is also simple, would you rather hit 3 targets with Xuen, or 1?  In both cases the answer is obvious but much less so when you combine the two. Do I cast Xuen on 3 targets if I will only get 3 casts instead of 4? Do I use Storm, Earth, and Fire  on CD or do I wait for Xuen? Do I hold my cooldowns for the Chaos Bane proc that lines up with Sylvanas add wave 3 because I was casting Crackling Jade Lightning on the boss during bridge runs which will desync my 6th Suen of the fight from lust and could also delay my IQD to proc mana?

These kinds of questions are very hard to answer on the fly, especially if you haven’t been playing a long time. So, let’s try and get in the mindset of how to approach these problems.

I’m going to run us through some examples of how to plan CD’s. This is nowhere near a CD bible or exhaustive list, you will need to evaluate your own scenarios using the tools provided or ask others how they approach a given situation (log reviews help a lot here!)

First, we need to figure out the encounter type. Is the fight primarily single target or AoE? 2 minutes? 3 minutes? 4 minutes? Is there a hard part where my CD’s could help? Knowing what you are going to do before the encounter will make you successful.

Let’s start with a single target example, 100% uptime boss pull, the same situation as in your sims. Our relevant cooldowns are the following:


The approach most good players take is like this one:

  1. Figure out how many casts you can get
  2. How can you line up CD’s for maximum overlap and effectiveness?
  3. Figure out if there are any special considerations (Painsmith intermission, Sludgefist pillars, hard phases like eye adds)

With that in mind, below is a table of how many times you can cast each spell on a fight of X duration.

2 minutes 1 3 1 2 1
3 minutes 2 3 2 3 1
4 minutes 2 4 2 4 2
5 minutes 3 5 3 5 2
6 minutes 3 5 3 6 2
7 minutes 4 6 4 7 3


For the 2-minute fight, if you are Kyrian you probably want to use the first 2 Storm, Earth, and Fire charges on pull with potion, Weapons of Order, Xuen then use the 2nd Storm, Earth, and Fire at some point before the fight ends. If you are Necrolord, you would again use the first 2 Storm, Earth, and Fire on the opener, and then hold the 2nd Bonedust Brew for the 3rd Storm, Earth, and Fire at 1.5 minutes. You get the same number of casts as if you used Bonedust Brew on CD, but not you have “stacked” your cooldowns and increased the effectiveness of Bonedust Brew by over 40%!

Now what if the fight is 3 minutes? Now you will be getting a 2nd Weapons of Order / Xuen and a 3rd Bonedust Brew , but still only 3 Storm, Earth, and Fire charges!

Your cooldown usage might now look something like this.



What if we have that pesky step 3, “Figure out if there are any special considerations”? This is where playtime and asking specific questions comes in.

Say for example you have a 3-minute fight, but the boss takes double damage for 15 seconds at 1.5 minutes in. You should probably use your 3rd Storm, Earth, and Fire right at 1.5 minutes and then Weapons of Order / Xuen  without Storm, Earth, and Fire later.

Let’s look at AoE. AoE plays differently to ST in that cooldown effectiveness tends to matter more than number of casts. By that I mean you want to think about the number of targets you are hitting with CD’s, not how many CD’s you can use. Take Soulrender Dormazain for example. In this log we see that the fight is 7 minutes. On single target this means we could get 4 Xuen right? Yet the log uses only 3, as saving Xuen for the add sets offers significantly more damage than 4 single target uses.

Mythic plus follows similar logic, you should probably save all of your CD’s if you are about to pull 20 mobs, not use them on the 1 target you just pulled, similarly probably don’t use CD’s on the 3 trash mobs if you are about to pull a hard boss. Each situation is different, and it will take awhile before you are comfortable approaching this on fly.


CD’s in WoW are hard to get your head around, feel free to ask questions about anything you have trouble with. Remember to be specific because the answer will vary wildly depending on what you are doing!