Windwalkers have see a rather precipitous drop in the rankings this week following several bug fixes in 9.0.5. I discussed these bug fixes and their results in a recent article, but the TLDR of it is that with Fists of Fury
and Mark of the Crane
working correctly, Windwalkers lost 1-2% damage in single target and 5-8% in AOE. This moved them down quite a bit in fights like Darkvein, Huntsman Altimor, Stone Legion Generals, and Sire Denathrius where they had previously been dominant. However, with the full bug fix of Fists of Fury
back up to 6 total targets and Dance of Chi-Ji
now correctly dealing 200% damage, we may see a small bounce back up the ranks a little bit after next week's data, as those changes that increase AOE damage came after many guilds had cleared or done a bulk of their raiding on Tuesday and Wednesday. There is also the chance of compensatory buffs for Windwalker after more data comes out, but for that we'll have to wait and see.
Marksmanship has fallen in the rankings quite a bit all due to a recent bug fix with Serpentstalker's Trickery
and Wild Spirits
in patch 9.0.5. For most Marksmanship Hunters, this equated to a ~3% single target nerf and approximately a 4-7% AoE nerf depending on mob count and longevity. This nerf only affected Marksmanship Hunters that opted to go Night Fae, which of course, the majority of Marksmanship Hunters have chosen (which is why we're seeing our ranks fall). Those that decided to go another route actually received some nice buffs. Necrolord and Venthyr Hunters received some buffs to Death Chakram
and Flayed Shot
respectively, bringing them closer in line to Kyrians and Night Fae Hunters. Kyrians had their AoE buffed since the Surging Shots
legendary was buffed. They had already been using it for Mythic+ and AoE situations due to it's synergy with Resonating Arrow
So where does this leave us in terms of Covenant balance? Despite the nerf, Night Fae still reigns supreme in both single target and in AoE, and still uses Serpentstalker's Trickery
in every situation despite the bug fix. Kyrian comes in second, about ~1-2% behind Night Fae in pure single target, but it's now comparable to Night Fae in AoE depending on the situation. Both Covenants offer similar overall damage in Mythic+, but have different damage profiles as Wild Spirits
is a burstier 2-min cooldown with a bit more single target contribution versus Resonating Arrow
's more flexible 1-minute cooldown. In Castle Nathria in particular, Night Fae is typically better due to fight timings. Kyrian Hunters still want to be using Serpent Stalkers for single target fights, but they'll be swapping to Surging Shots
for AoE content. Venthyr's single target has risen in the ranks and actually competes with Kyrian in pure single target, again about 1-2% behind Night Fae. Unfortunately, Flayed Shot
still has no relevance in AoE so there won't really be any Hunters swapping over. And lastly, despite the buff, Necrolord is still a fair bit behind every other covenant in both single target and (even more so) in AoE.
To summarize everything, stay Night Fae
! Outside of a few niche uses in Mythic+ (more reliable Prideful
damage dependent on group) or if you want to PvP, it isn't worth swapping to Kyrian still. While the covenant balance is actually quite nice for Marksmanship Hunters now, the bug fix hurt our overall damage a fair bit. Marksmanship is still the top Hunter spec, but Beast Mastery and Survival are fairly close in their respective niches (Beast Mastery for single target and Survival for AoE). That said, all 3 Hunter specs are now in the lower half of the logs statistics, so let's hope for some compensation in the near future!
In what should come as no surprise to anyone, Elemental Shaman are a big winner in 9.0.5. The single target changes - A 30% buff to Earth Shock
& a 10% nerf to Lava Burst
- work out to more or less no change at all. The AoE changes however - A 35% buff to Chain Lightning
& a 70% buff to Earthquake
- are quite large. Our overall damage in Nathria was helped significantly in the patch, as previously we were relatively weak when it comes to AoE.
If you looked fight-by-fight, most fights where Elemental was weak previously were fights with relatively heavy AoE, which is shored up significantly by these buffs. With that weakness shored up significantly (as the noted buffs are a ~20-30% buff to AoE, depending on the legendary used) it was expected that Elemental would rise sharply in these rankings.