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Shadowlands Pre-Patch Class Changes - Guide Writers Comment on Tuning to their Specs
10/11/2020 à 16:55
We've invited our Class Guide Writers to give insight on the changes Blizzard
for multiple specs. By the nature of the changes, they all seem to be towards Shadowlands launch balance and not Pre-Patch-related, as they touch many points that are important for the level 60 gameplay and not so much level 50.
Click here for the full list of upcoming changes
Beast Mastery Hunter
The Beast Mastery Hunter nerf is extremely questionable, and not at all indicative of how BM has been performing in the Shadowlands Beta. In the Shadowlands Beta, BM is not close to being overpowered anywhere, which leads me to believe that the reason they decided to nerf the spec is because of how well it is performing in the pre-patch. This is obviously a huge oversight though since the only reason BM is performing well in the pre-patch is their Azerite Traits, which we lose in two weeks. Hopefully, they will get some better data when the new expansion is live, but this is not a good thing. Beast Mastery was already going to be overshadowed a bit by Marksmanship, and a blanket 5% nerf just makes it worse.
Beast Mastery Hunter Class GuideBeast Mastery Hunter Pre-Patch
Don't scream about the sky falling for Frost: this nerf adds up to perhaps 5% on a single target and 10% in cleave, without changing talent viability. The buffs to
Tempête de comètes
are very minor, and
Bris de glace
will still be the go-to option on the row.
The effect of the
Explosion des Arcanes
nerf is minuscule. It's a very small nerf for Fire and Frost, and doesn't even affect Arcane very much as a lot of the spec's AoE power in Shadowlands comes from
Barrage des Arcanes
Frost Mage Class GuideFrost Mage Pre-Patch
The holy paladin changes are nice. They feel like they are aimed at ensuring both paladin playstyles remain somewhat competitive which is awesome. The reduced mana cost to
Frappe du croisé
is something the community has asked for quite a while, and it helps lessen the problem, but the underlying constraint still exists. The
buff is a nice one but is largely offset by the
Lueur de lumière
nerf. It feels like these changes are geared towards deliberately closing the gap between the two prominent shadowlands play styles. The first being a
Imprégnation de lumière
focused “caster” build. The second being a
Frappe du croisé
/Holy Power spender focused build.
These changes are certainly a step in the right direction; however, It seems like it won’t have as large an impact as may be necessary to solve some of the larger balance issues. It does seem to help address some problems. The glimmer of light nerf helps to ensure that
Guide de foi
doesn’t lag too far behind in relative power, and the
Mot de gloire
buff seems aimed to maintain both Word of Glory and
Lumière de l’aube
remain competitive with each other after a recent buff to Light of Dawn healing on beta.
Holy Paladin Class GuideHoly Paladin Pre-Patch
The Paladin changes made in the hotfixes are exceptionally minor. First, they nerfed
Bouclier du vertueux
damage component by 15% which translates to a reduction in DPS by 3-6%. With the threat buff, it could be offset from a threat perspective. It just means that Protection will be lower on the meters. Second, they nerfed the hidden passive armor modifier from 20% to 10%. In practice, this is a very small amount of armor since it only affected armor from gear. Using Mythic raid K values, it translates to a ~2% damage reduction nerf from armor. And finally, they rearranged
Mot de gloire
. They buffed the base heal but nerfed the missing health bonus. It's about a ~3% reduction in WoG’s effectiveness when used optimally. In totality, it won’t change where Protection sits in the tank meta.
Protection Paladin Class GuideProtection Paladin Pre-Patch
The nerfs seem to be targeting a 1-minute burst build for Ret that has appeared in pre-patch and on beta. For Kyrian and Necrolord this was looking to be one of the best single target builds, but for the others, it wasn't especially strong which will probably cement the gap between Venthyr and the rest even further. Execution Sentence now being unable to crit makes sense in order for the ability to not double dip on critical strike (ie. crits from abilities during the debuff could have their damage bonus that gets added to Execution Sentence also crit), but the additional nerfs to
Condamnation à mort
seem a little heavy-handed relative to how strong that talent combination actually was in PvE.
In return, a 4% flat damage buff to all abilities is a tradeoff that leaves Ret in a much more favorable spot now than before these hotfixes.
's buff is also a nice bonus, and in Shadowlands the talent will most likely be competitive with
for single target and dominant in AoE situations.
Retribution Paladin Class GuideRetribution Paladin Pre-Patch
The direct damage buffs are welcome, as both Warrior specs have been performing very poorly since the Pre-patch went live. Arms, which was previously one of the stronger specs in the game, received no major nerfs and continues to benefit from one of the strongest Azerite Traits in the game (
Epreuve de puissance
), but fell from the top spots to the bottom overnight.
no longer replacing
is another welcome change, as it removed a core part of the toolkit's capabilities while giving back something barely stronger in return, creating a significant opportunity cost without much return. Another way to fix this would have been direct tuning, but that also would have upset the balance on the talent tier in turn.
cleave effect is unwanted, but likely warranted, as Fury's design makes it difficult to buff single target without increasing multitarget in turn. That said, pushing more damage into
Tempête de lames
is decent compensation, as that talent has historically suffered next to
Rugissement de dragon
. Unfortunately, it still falls short since
Rugissement de dragon
remains without a target cap, but it's a good start. While they aren't all buffs, the spec still comes out ahead thanks to the 10% damage increase added to
Arms Warrior Class GuideArms Warrior Pre-Patch
Fury Warrior Hunter Class GuideFury Warrior Pre-Patch
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