Changes incoming for Balance Druids and Assassination Rogues
Druids and Rogues are both going to see some changes with this week’s WoW reset due to the adoption of some unorthodox playstyles. Both Balance Druids and Assassination Rogues have been avoiding single-target spells like Solar Wrath, Lunar Strike, and Mutilate in favor of spamming one ability. Assassination Rogues have been favoring a simple spam of Fan of Knives, while Balance Druids have returned to the days of endless Moonfire spam.
Needless to say, while admittedly effective, neither of these playstyle choices is particularly entertaining to play. There’s a certain amount of joy found in repeatedly and gleefully smashing the same button — but if that’s the only effective way to play, it quickly loses its allure. In response to player feedback, Blizzard is introducing some changes to hopefully address the issue. For Balance Druids, this involves nerfing the bonus granted by Wax and Wane down from 25% to 6%. To balance out the nerf, both Lunar Strike and Solar Wrath have had their damage increased by 8%.
Rogues have a similar set of changes in store. At the moment, Poison Knives causes Deadly Poison to instantly deal a percentage of its remaining damage when Fan of Knives strikes poisoned targets. It’s going to have that damage reduced to 3% per point, down from 4%. As a trade-off, Mutilate’s damage will be increased by 20%. Balanced Blades, the Artifact trait that increases the Critical Strike chance of Mutilate, will also be increased by 4% per point, up from 2%. In addition, Deadly Poison’s triggered instant damage is being increased by 15% as well.
In theory, these changes should give players a good reason to drop the one-button spamming lifestyle in favor of something a little more entertaining. Sure, Moonfire and Fan of Knives are less rewarding, but the changes to the core rotations intended for each of these specs should make up the difference.
In recent weeks, we’ve seen the rise of a pair of unusual builds for Assassination Rogues and Balance Druids, both of which end up abandoning core abilities like Solar Wrath, Lunar Strike, and Mutilate in favor of Moonfire and Fan of Knives spam. While player ingenuity often devises interesting and unexpected ways of optimizing performance, in this case the resulting gameplay became one-dimensional, and we’ve heard feedback to that effect.
As a result, with the upcoming weekly resets in each region, starting on Tuesday, January 9, we’ll be making some targeted changes to reinforce the core rotational abilities of these two specializations, with only a minimal effect on overall balance:
- Wax and Wane (Artifact trait) damage bonus per stack reduced to 6% (was 25%).
- Lunar Strike damage increased by 8%.
- Solar Wrath damage increased by 8%.
- Mutilate damage increased by 20%.
- Balanced Blades (Artifact trait) bonus increased to 4% per point (was 2% per point).
- Poison Knives (Artifact trait) reduced to 3% per point (was 4% per point).
- Deadly Poison triggered instant damage increased by 15%.
Thank you very much for all of your feedback. I can’t overstate how much we appreciate the valuable class discussion taking place here and elsewhere.
Please consider supporting our Patreon!
Join the Discussion
Blizzard Watch is a safe space for all readers. By leaving comments on this site you agree to follow our commenting and community guidelines.