Yes, we’re all excited about the changes coming next patch… but you didn’t think it would come without a price, did you? The first round of tuning is in, and Blizzard maybe overestimated how much 2 Dire Beast charges is worth in terms of DPS. They also nerfed the T20 bonuses to the point where you’ll want to wear T19 instead.
- Pack Leader now gives 3% Kill Command damage per point instead of 5%. So if you currently have 4 points, it’s been nerfed from 20% to 12% Kill Command damage.
- Jaws of Thunder now has an 8% chance per point (down from 10%). So if you had 4 points, it’s been nerfed from 40% to 32%.
I think these nerfs are a bit strong, but there is some silver lining: It will make more relic drops viable. These traits will probably still be the best, but not to the point where you’d take a massive ilevel nerf to use them. I’ve trashed or passed on way too many relics because of this.
My advice? Start trying to acquire high ilevel relics that have current mid-tier traits like Unleash the Beast, Spitting Cobras, Wilderness Expert, and Furious Swipes. Especially if they’re higher level than your current Kill Command relics. Don’t throw anything away.
This really sucks for anyone who has recently passed on future upgrades due to this change, or even overwritten existing relics.
T20 set bonuses
- The 2-piece bonus now increases the damage bonus of Bestial Wrath by 1% every time you cast Kill Command, Cobra Shot, or Multi-Shot (nerfed from 1.5%).
- The 4-piece bonus now increases the damage of Kill Command, Cobra Shot, and Multi-Shot by 10% during Bestial Wrath (down from 20%).
Yikes. Any BM Hunter would want to keep using T19 even with T20 available to them, especially if they have Mythic pieces or high titanforges from other difficulties.
The 2-piece was already kind of mediocre, definitely not worth breaking your old 4-piece for. It’s probably going to average out to a 5-6% increase to damage during Bestial Wrath.
The 4-piece nerf is hilariously bad. It’s no better than the current T19 2-piece (for Dire Frenzy at least) which increases your main pet’s damage by 10% during Bestial Wrath.
Item level upgrades will ensure they’re an upgrade eventually, but in a world of Titanforging it’s not that simple. Blizzard has to make the new set bonuses at least equal to the old in terms of throughput. Right now they are not.
The new Mantle of Command effect
Since 2 charges is now baseline, The Mantle of Command now increases the Wild Call proc chance by an additional 20%. So it’s 40% when using the shoulders, and 70% when using the One with the Pack talent.
I am cautiously optimistic about this, mainly because it gives me some hope for a competitive crit build in 7.2.5. I haven’t tried any of this yet though.
If the T20 set bonuses don’t get improved, the shoulders will likely not be an option because it will be absolutely essential to have that third set bonus (either 4p T19 + 2p T20, or 2p T19 + 4p T20).
Oh yeah, that thing. It still exists. It got part buffed, part nerfed in this build. Its damage was slightly more than doubled, but its cooldown was increased from 9 to 15 seconds. Slightly better, but needs to be better than that to compete with Dire Frenzy and Stomp IMO. Try again, Blizzard. 😉
Paying the price
Our gameplay is going to improve, but at the cost of damage (at least if things stay as is). I totally agree there had to be some sort of compensatory nerf for getting 2 charges, but I’m not sure this hits the mark.
Once we can do some further testing (and when sim craft gets updated) we can investigate the true consequences here. There’s certainly nothing to panic over though. This is just Blizzard’s first dart in the board.
I will update with testing and sim results in the future.
Update: Keep in mind this is just a first impression, but I played with this on the PTR for a bit after raid tonight and have to say the DPS nerf isn’t as bad as it seems. It’s pretty darn close to what it was, but that’s just some quick feelycraft. We’ll see what the sims say. Dummy tests were fairly positive though!