Our Guide Writers have given their thoughts on the Patch 9.1 PTR Class Changes and new Legendaries for Build 38511. Check out all of our released opinion articles for the build below.
Class Tuning Opinions Build 38511
Blood Death Knight Changes - Guide Writer ThoughtsSurvival Hunter Changes - Guide Writer ThoughtsShadow Priest Changes - Guide Writer ThoughtsAffliction Warlock Changes - Guide Writer ThoughtsArms Warrior Changes - Guide Writer Thoughts
Covenant Legendary Opinions Build 38511
Paladin Covenant Legendaries - Guide Writer Thoughts
On the last PTR builds, Blood Death Knights were met with a surprise 6% buff to all class damaging abilities, through an aura buff to the first and second effects of Blood Death Knight
First off, to dispel a myth: it is only damage
. The spell is labelled as modifying healing done, but all our self-healing is calculated relative to percentage health, and is therefore unaffected by this.
The change itself is welcome, but falls very far off
when it comes to fixing the underlying issues Blood has, at least when it comes to damage (and, by extension, threat). We're considerably off the rest of the group when looking at average damage dealt on single-target
and controlled AoE
scenarios, and this is by more than the 6% that was added - some would estimate around 15-20% instead. On top of this, unlike the other bottom contenders, we don't actually bring anything beyond Anti-Magic Zone
, which is also brought by Unholy and Frost Death Knights, and is likely to get nuked from orbit in time for 9.1.
This isn't all about damage, either. The damage profile also matters, particularly for Mythic+. With some tanks able to spike up to 20k DPS on pull
on press of two buttons, Blood Death Knights struggle on the opener due to most of our kit being:
- Pure single-target and used for buff maintenance (Marrowrend), which good death knights will carry from previous pulls.
- Requiring a second spell to cleave beyond 2 targets, and does pitiful damage to start with (Heart Strike requires Death and Decay to cleave up to 5 targets; without it, it only hits two).
- Used for defensive throughput (Death Strike), and is purely single-target.
- On a very strict charge system and does very little AoE damage to start with (Blood Boil). To compare and contrast, Keg Smash does roughly 50% more per target, grants active mitigation and is usable from up to 15 yards away if needed.
This 6% buff does not fundamentally change the on-pull problem either. It isn't 6% more on Blood Boil
that will magically make Blood Death Knights not struggle on pull.
So, yeah. 6% is always welcome, but it feels like the usual aura changes: amounts to nothing in practice, and doesn't solve the problem leading to the aura buff in the first place.
The Arms changes are, quite frankly, not changes the spec needed. While Arms has been suffering from low single target damage, these changes disproportionately weight Night Fae, Kyrian, and Necrolord, when Venthyr is already starting to trail other covenants. While this may seem like good news, Venthyr is only setup to do one thing well - Single Target - while other covenants have major multitarget and group advantages, so unless Venthyr is actually ahead on single target, the covenant is heavily sidelined.
Warrior covenants are actually designed quite well in that each specializes differently - Venthyr revolves around single target, Kyrian & Night Fae excel in different forms of AoE and control, while Necrolord brings major group benefits, but with the Execute
change listed in Blizzard's patch notes
(though not yet implemented on the PTR), Venthyr would drop down to the bottom of the pack, which is quite simply imbalanced.