Our Guide Writers have given their thoughts on the updated Soulbinds on the Patch 9.1 PTR for Build 38312. Check out their opinions below!
New Kyrian Soulbinds - Guide Writer ThoughtsNew Necrolord Soulbinds - Guide Writer Thoughts
New Night Fae Soulbinds - Guide Writer ThoughtsNew Venthyr Soulbinds - Guide Writer Thoughts
The new Kyrian soulbind traits in 9.1.0 are quite interesting and have some powerful effects for tanks. Pelagos
Pelagos gains Better Together
, granting effectively 52 permanent mastery to yourself and whichever ally you have walked near. This is a nice consistent bonus that is quite decent for most Kyrian tanks except for Vengeance Demon Hunters, who would prefer to have any other stat. Managing the buff by standing on top of other people to give it to the right person may be a little annoying at times, but it only needs to be done once per minute. Ideally, you'd be putting it on your party or raid member that benefits most from it, but it's probably easier to ask them to come to you for the buff than to move to them. Alternatively, you can just treat it as a passive random buff and walk near someone every minute. The best part of this trait is that it leads into an endurance conduit, allowing for a 3 potency/3 endurance build. For most specs, this is going to be the default, though there are a few that would prefer a finesse conduit.
The second trait Pelagos gets, leading to a finesse conduit, is Path of the Devoted
. It reduces damage taken after loss of control. This generally won't be particularly useful in PvE situations, as loss of control effects on tanks are fairly uncommon.
Finally, the capstone trait is now Newfound Resolve
, which grants 12% mainstat and stamina for 15 seconds whenever you play the minigame of facing the doubt manifestation that spawns. It's not too hard to do unless the manifestation appears behind you, and then you have to reposition to make sure you don't get hit in the back, so it's generally pretty much a free buff. While the exact proc rate is unknown, it appears from my testing to be about 1 RPPM, so it's quite nice.Kleia
Kleia gains Spear of the Archon
behind the new endurance slot. While 3% crit for 10 seconds after damaging a target above 90% health is more of a DPS trait than anything else, it's still a solid buff that refreshes every time you damage any target above the threshold. In any encounter where multiple adds spawn or anything similar, it's effectively a permanent 3% crit, which is quite nice.
Alternatively, behind the finesse conduit for Kleia is Hope Springs Eternal
. This is the defensive option when needed, granting 10% damage reduction and applying all the effects of Phial of Serenity
to a friendly target with the lowest health. There will definitely be some interesting uses for this in groups, where you can stack the damage reduction and clear debuffs for teammates.
Kleia's capstone trait is Light the Path
. Since Valiant Strikes
can stack up to 20 times, this means that you'll generally have anywhere between 0-5% crit, and when it procs, both you and whoever you healed will gain 5% crit. In many cases, as we are the ones likely to be taking damage as tanks, this means 5% of the crit is wasted as the buff doesn't stack, but when it does heal someone else, it's quite a nice gain.Mikanikos
Mikanikos finally gains some interesting traits for tanks in 9.1.0, with his first one behind the endurance conduit being Soulglow Spectrometer
granting up to 5% damage or healing. Similar to Spear of the Archon
, this is almost entirely a DPS trait for tanks, though with some creativity, Brewmaster Monks, Guardian Druids, and Protection Paladins can proc the healing portion on themselves to gain increased healing to themselves. Realistically, this isn't going to be used much though.
The second trait for Mikanikos behind the finesse conduit is Reactive Retrofitting
, which is the nice defensive option for tanks. It grants an 8% maximum health shield every 30 seconds after taking either magical or physical damage, but each damage type can activate it separately. This means in situations with mixed damage, such as tankbusters in many dungeons, it's possible to gain a 16% maximum health shield every 30 seconds! This is going to be the trait of choice defensively.
Mikanikos gets Effusive Anima Accelerator
as his capstone trait, which not only deals a large portion of damage whenever using your class ability, but also reduces the cooldown based on the number of targets hit. This will be strong for every tank since it can be reduced up to 33%. For Brewmaster Monks, which have a 2 minute cooldown on Weapons of Order
, it reduces up to 40 seconds, while on every other tank, it reduces the covenant ability by up to 20 seconds of the 1 minute cooldown. Of special note is that Vengeance Demon Hunters can have their cooldown on Elysian Decree
be only 28 seconds baseline if running Quickened Sigils
, and reduced even further by the legendary effect Razelikh's Defilement
. The rumored sigil build from the beta may make a return in 9.1.0 for damage-oriented tanks!Thoughts
Overall, I would say the new traits provide quite a decent gain for any Kyrian tanks. Pelagos is the most common, and he is gaining effectively permanent passive buffs, just making him even a better choice than he is currently. Kleia gains more utility to go with her immunity, and quite a lot of crit on top of that for more damage-oriented tanks. Finally, Mikanikos is no longer always the worst choice, but actually offers some potential in AoE damage situations.
I don't expect most tanks to switch off Pelagos for the vast majority of content, with Kleia being popular picks when a full immunity is needed or preferred, such as in Necrotic weeks, or in specific group comps where the allied Phial of Serenity
would have good uses. However, Mikanikos may be a dark horse in AoE or dungeon situations, as a 40 second cooldown on abilities such as Divine Toll
or Spear of Bastion
can be gamechanging, and potentially even 14 second cooldown on Elysian Decree
could see play. In addition to that, the free consistent shielding makes him a powerful defensive option.
With Patch 9.1, each soulbind tree is gaining 3 new soulbind traits. Each soulbind has a new capstone trait and then you have the choice of 2 on the tier previous. I will be focusing on just the Kyrian traits today, but each also opens up access to either a Finess or Endurance conduit also. Please keep in mind this is being done based on our first impressions and early PTR tuning, so things will more than likely change as the PTR progresses.
Starting with Pelagos
, the below 3 traits are opened up:
- Better Together - Fairly straight forward. This is a 52 Mastery rating buff for 1 minute, that you can slightly control who it goes on. Not very valuable for us, as Mastery is currently not a highly desired raiding stat. This could find use in Mythic+ where it can be controlled a bit more.
- Path of the Devoted - Potentially life saving in a PvE environment. If a particular boss does have any sort of stun like abilities that come with follow on damage, this would be useful in those situations.
- Newfound Resolve - This is a random change to spawn a particular add that you need to face and turn to. If you do, you gain a 12% Intellect and Stamina buff. This could be extremely powerful, but it will depend on two things. Firstly, the proc rate. If it is too low, then this just will not be useable. Secondly, how easy it is to see and trigger the Doubt. In the chaos of a boss fight or Mythic+ dungeon, if you do happen to miss this, you will lose out on a huge buff.
Next up is Kleia
, the 3 new traits that unlock are:
- Spear of the Archon - Gain 3% critical strike change when damaging an enemy above 90% health. On any add based fight this could be very powerful. On a fight such as Council of Blood, you will have almost constant adds spawning in to provide you with targets to attack. This will generally be much stronger on those type of fights.
- Hope Springs Eternal - When you use your Phial of Serenity, you take 10% reduced damage and also this effect is granted to the lowest health ally near you. This could be solid for those fights where you would use Healthstone / Health Potions as a pseudo raid cooldown. The fact that is also applies to your allies is just a nice bonus.
- Light the Path - With this, your Valiant Strikes now grants .25% critical strike for each stack. This will end up being just an amazing addition to an already solid ability. Also, with Valiant Strikes triggering roughly once a minute, you will end up with the additional 5% crit buff fairly often.
Starting with Mikanikos
, the below 3 traits are opened up:
- Soulglow Spectrometer - This will slowly increase the healing or damage you do to a target over 15 seconds. With the random nature of Mistweaver spells, this one may be nice, but also with limited control over who this is triggering on, some or all of this healing may be wasted.
- Reactive Retrofitting - After taking damage, either magic or physical, you gain a shield for that damage type that will absorb up to 8% of your maximum health. This is just a solid defensive trait, as long as there is constant damage of either type. If there is just a single large physical hit every 30 seconds, this will not prove useful.
- Effusive Anima Accelerator - This is just an AOE damage ability. This would allow you to input some more DPS into a fight, but nothing more.
So that is your brief overview of the new abilities. They all will not change the way we play our class or utilize our covenant abilities. Essentially these make our already strong Kleia tree, even stronger. The Mikanikos tree was already fairly tank focused and these new traits do nothing to shift that. Pelagos may become a solid choice, but it depends on the power of Newfound Resolve
and how frequently the proc rate is, and how easy it is to trigger it once it does proc. The new traits for Kleia make an already strong trait stronger in Valiant Strikes
, while also giving us a choice of more healing / damage or a more defensive option.
All in all, these new traits seem very good for what they are trying to do. For Mistweaver Monks however, they do not shift the balance of power away from Kleia, at least at this point.