First off – sorry for being MIA for quite a while. Unfortunately, I have managed to get mono this month so I’ve been having trouble getting a post together. But enough about that. Let’s get lazering!
With 5.2 on the horizon (some people predicting that we are only 4-6 weeks away), it’s time to start looking at some of the major changes and how they affect us in PvP.
- Nature’s Vigil nerfed to the ground! – Well as unfair as it is for Moonkins to pop vigil and Incarnation (with our on use trinket) for a ridiculous amount of burst over the duration, it was bound to see a nerf. We were seeing upwards of 200k insta-surge crits during cooldowns, which is pretty broken when you get them back to back (totally possible). The new version is 10% damage/healing increase every 90 seconds. The bad: it doesn’t really line up nicely with anything. The good: if you combine it with your on-use trinket (1 min cd) you can potentially force defensive cds on the other team more often than the every 3 mins when you have incarnation available. Getting deterrence from a hunter or block from a mage (or resto druid =p) in between incarnation cds can help score a kill later.
- Displacer Beast =((( – I can just say flat out that this one is a killer for Moonkin. The new version doesn’t stealth you (instead it gives you a speed increase) which was by far the best part of the talent. Being able to displacer a cc or chaos bolt was HUGE. It will still allow us to displacer>travel form to get away, but it’s a pretty big survivability nerf.
- Typhoon and Mass Entanglement 30 sec cd – This is a fantastic change IMO. Typhoon was really the only choice here, and with the rampant amount of melee cleaves out there, being able to Mass entangle when the hunter sends his zoo, can be game changing. Typhoon will still be great on Z-axis maps, and a 10 second nerf isn’t unwarranted. The other talent on the tier will have some situational uses as well, now that you can spam faerie swarm on multiple targets (oh i cannot wait to abuse this in an RBG like I used to do with the slowing curse on my lock in Cata).
- Cenarion Ward healing buffed by 100% – This could really make this a viable alternative to NS. As much as it would suck to lose insta-clone, when you’re playing against comps like LSD2, Spicy Chicken, and old style Shadowplay, having that massive amount of extra healing to help your healer keep up with the dot pressure could be huge. Won’t be used very often over Nature’s Swiftness, but it’s nice that there is a viable alternative now.
Looking at some changes to other classes and how they affect us is important as well:
- DK – Strangulate down to 1 min cd (from 2 min) and Asphyxiate down to 30 sec (from 1 min). This is gonna be INSANELY ANNOYING. With the disgusting amount of pressure DK’s already do, plus buffs to unholy, expect to be shutdown when going after a DK. Not a lot of them in 3s at the moment (because of their awful survivability outside of AMS), but expect that to change with some of the buffs they received.
- Feral – Some VERY necessary nerfs to feral. They still have the insane mobility they’ve always had with passive movement increase and shifting to break roots. The big changer for them is a 20 second cd on cyclone. This will keep them from keeping an entire team cc’d indefinitely. Nice change (if you’re not a feral =p). They still also have some ridiculously broken Symbiosis options (bubble from a pally, dispersion from a priest?!?!) but at least Blizz is doing something to curb them.
- Resto Druids – They looked fantastic at the beginning of the expac, and the nerf to arena healing hurt HOT’s a ton more than other classes. The good news is that they are looking at a flat 10% healing buff across the board. The bad (or good if they are the opponent) is that the displacer nerf CRUSHES resto and makes them a very viable swap target. The strat most times has been to get the resto to displacer and then swap – now it’s no longer necessary to swap, since he doesn’t drop target/focus or vanish.
- Hunter – I’d say hunter’s have been tollerable (since the fix to the pet’s ignoring resil bug), aside from how annoying their pets are. A couple of buffs they are getting frighten me a tad. They will be able to activate Bestial Wrath without even being in LOS of their pet anymore. This promotes bad game play IMHO, by not punishing the hunter for allowing his pet to be drawn out of LOS by the enemy team. When you play like that, you should be punished, and not able to break the bet out of CC. Silencing shot did get nerfed to 24 sec cd (from 20) which is nice, but they got some other really nice buffs to talents and glyphs that make them more powerful and easier to use (lower cds, no focus cost, etc.). The blanket change of making our on use cc-breaker trinket get their pet out of cc as well is a nice buff to Hunter’s specifically.
- Mage – Mages seem to be in a really good place right now, and the changes in 5.2 seem to be in the right places. Using PoM with Ring of Frost will no longer insta freeze you – instead, the ring will instantly land, but you won’t get anyone frozen for 2 seconds. Any change to remove instant CC is a great change in my book. Despite reverting the nerf on blanket silences (they were removing mage/lock spells) at least Blizzard has told us that they want to go back to casting and interrupts, rather than instants and immunities. Unfortunately they gave straight damage buffs to frost mages (needed in PvE, but definitely not in PvP), as well as giving them a much better version of Blazing speed to pickup which could make them a much larger pain in the ass to ever catch.
- Monk – Here is where things get interesting. This class in incredibly underrepresented in PvP currently, and isn’t exactly screaming “I’m OP, play me!” To that end, Blizzard did some heavy buffing to Mistweavers and Windwalkers that should increase their presence quite a bit next season. Ring of Peace looks to be incredibly strong (basically an 8 yard silence and disarm every minute on any friendly target) on only a 45 second CD. Add this to a 2 min. built in trinket on fear/stun/root for windwalkers, and combined with their already formidable damage, they should be a scary class to see in arena. Mistweavers saw a pretty big buff just by Cocoon no longer being dispellable, and they bring some of the strongest heals out there, along with decent off DPS (expect to see them a lot in 2s).
- Paladin – FINALLY a nerf to the insane CC chains from holy paladins. Repentance is now a 1.7 sec cast time (in line with other cc) and Blinding Light is no longer instant for Holy. They haven’t yet quite figured out a way to make Ret more viable in threes outside of “WINGS YOU’RE DEAD”, though they are stepping in the right direction by making BoP remove all magical effects on the target (BoP your healer out of fear, etc).
- Priest – WELCOME BACK DISCOS!! With a bunch of mana changes, baseline return of Focused Will (damage reduction on priest) and ability to cast Pain Sup while stunned, disc priests should make a return with a vengeance. Don’t forget they can get Cyclone from you on symbiosis (and you pick up Mass Dispell), so this is a welcome return of a healer that has great Moonkin synergy. Shadow is seeing some appropriate nerfs to healing and survivability (they are no longer untargetable at times from the talent Phantasm) and should be in a good place (though the dps buffs that PvE needs could make shadow much stronger again from a damage standpoint).
- Rogue – How do I love to hate thee? First things first – go find one. Latch on to one. Dancing With the Stars is going to be INSANELY strong again in 5.2. Between getting preparation baseline, new mobility talents, and 30 bonus energy from their set bonus (was 10), Rogues are set to dominate S11 style minus the legendary daggers. Personally, I find the comp to be insanely fun, so I’m going to cry a river – although I might after I get ganked by them over and over again. People are ignoring how good Rogue damage currently is, solely because they die so quickly. With a lower cd on cloak and a damage reduction on people standing in smoke bomb, expect them to be our new overlords.
- Shamans – Necessary nerfs to Resto throughout this season have caused a ton of pain to those of us who enjoy Elemental or Enhance. Fortunately, they are making some changes to help that. Giving a buff to Stone Bulwark totem and making the health you gain from Nature’s Guardian not go away after it expires will help all three specs tremendously. Combine that with gaining Shamanistic Rage (damage reduction on a 1 min. CD) as Ele, and I’m feeling like we are finally moving away from “glass cannon” status. They also baked in Glyph of Flameshock, allowing us to keep it up on more targets (which equals more insta-Lava Bursts) will be awesome when we are getting trained, KFC style.
- Warlock – DING DONG, BLOOD FEAR IS DEAD!! This is the best news of the patch. Possibly the worst ability they have ever implemented has been neutered to a point of uselessness. I honestly was so excited for this that it has overshadowed any other notes about Warlocks. Unfortunately for a class that isn’t looking great at the moment, they didn’t really receive much in the way of needed buffs. I won’t lie though – when we faced an old school LSD 2.0 this week, affliction didn’t look that weak while they were obliterating our entire team at once!
- Warriors – Ok, I won’t sit on the Warrior hate train (even though I hate them this season), but is anyone else enjoying seeing the people who were carried by terrible abilities (Avatar immunity, 30% dmg reduction while still hitting hard, cd stacking, 20 sec cd shockwave) crying about the class no longer being viable? Warriors look to FINALLY be in a relatively balanced state, and they might have to actually use their brains while training one target endlessly ;)
Aside from all of this, gaining 25% of our PvP power into our healing is going to be huge – lately it hasn’t even felt worth it to cast a heal on my Moonkin, between Battle Fatigue (reduction on healing in PvP) MS abilities (25% healing received) and the insanely long cast of Healing Touch. Gaining Conquest points, even in a losing RBG will be nice too, for those of us who don’t RBG that often and still like to gain the extra points each week above our arena cap.
Well that was an insanely long post, but I hope it was useful. I’m working with someone next week about making the migration onto a format that will allow comments (I swear this is really happening!) so please keep an eye out – I’m stoked for the day when we can have real lazer conversations! For now, this is Lazer Chicken signing off.