How to manage your Corruption in patch 8.3 and hug your inner tentacle beast before it hugs you
It’s easy to fall into the mindset that all Corrupted gear is a detriment to you by default, and you should therefore be avoiding it like the plague — but that’s not the best way to approach the system. Corruption as a system is one that you can approach more flexibly than a simple binary — it’s not just yay N’Zoth fill me with your evil or boo, icky bad, get it all off. There’s a line you can walk with Corruption and Corrupted gear based around a variety of factors.
So let’s talk about those factors. What makes a Corrupted piece worth getting or keeping? When is it a good time to cleanse that vile rot off our your new helmet? Think of Corruption as playing a game of Jenga, except you’re the tower, and if you screw it up you die.
Sometimes the effects are worth it
Let’s say you’re a DK tank, and you pick up the two handed axe Sk’shuul Vaz. The axe comes with a hefty 50 Corruption, but it also comes with the Obsidian Skin proc. You get an additional 5% armor, which is nice, but the real draw is the bit where you explode every 30 seconds and hit everything 20 yards around you for 700% of your armor. You would like to keep it, but you’re worried about that Corruption — it’ll push you up 50. You’re currently already at 30, so you’ll be up to 80 with the axe.
80 Corruption is Inevitable Doom. You don’t want Inevitable Doom. It also means that you’ll have Cascading Disaster. As the name suggests, Cascading Disaster means that things get way worse and that having the Thing from Beyond hit you is going to root you to the spot and summon the Eyeball of Death to nuke you while you can’t run away. You’ll get that one at 60 Corruption. Suddenly, you went from moderately corrupted to blowing up pretty constantly and being a gigantic pain to heal.
Each class and spec has different priorities here. Most guides I’ve seen for Blood DK’s recommend cleansing the corruption off of Sk’shuul Vaz. The proc is a solid damage proc, but it’s not that great for tanking compared to other, less expensive Corruption effects like Void Ritual or Gushing Wound. Some effects get much better as your gear gets better, which is also something to keep in mind. Echoing Void is still a very popular choice for some builds, for example.
Let’s talk about capes, baby
The factors to consider here are your item level, your cloak and which Corrupted pieces, if anything, you have on you that’s not worth keeping. When it comes to Corruption, some classes will like some effects better than others. For example, if you’re a Fury Warrior and you already have Sk’shuul Vaz as your main hand, and another one drops? You can cleanse that one, because the AoE isn’t going to stack.
But it’s also worth considering your legendary cloak here. In a very real way, the cloak is designed for you to be able to stack more of those beneficial Corruption effects without blowing yourself up with the negative ones. As you run Horrific Visions, you’ll increase your cloak’s Corruption Resistance by 5 for every successful completion of the quests Wrathion gives. So if you have leveled your cloak seven times, you’ll have 35 Corruption Resist, plus potentially another 10 for any of the patch 8.3 Essences for the Heart of Azeroth, bringing you to 45 Corruption Resist. For once, Corruption Resistance is an easy stat to understand — it subtracts from all the Corruption you have.
So if you have 80 Corruption from gear, but 45 Corruption Resistance, you’ll reduce it down to 35 Corruption — a far more manageable level. Since the upper limit for Corruption Resistance is very high — you can ultimately gain 125 Corruption Resistance, but it’ll require killing N’Zoth or doing a Horrific Vision with masks and you’ll only get 1 of the items you need to raise it per week past rank 15 — you could theoretically end up wearing well over 155 Corruption and not really even noticing it.
There’s also the Cloak’s on-use ability to consider. At rank 6 and above, Ashjra’kamas gains Steadfast Resolve. With this ability, you can essentially tell Corruption not now and immediately dispel all Corruption effects currently on you as well as rendering yourself immune to them for six seconds. So if you’re getting the Grasping Tendrils and a big eye has just appeared over you, but you need to focus on the mechanics of the fight? Time to hit that button, temporarily negate all of that Corruption, and jump into or out of whatever situation needs handling. With Steadfast Resolve, you can afford to risk dipping your toe into Corruption a bit more deeply because you’ll have a way around its worst effects when you need it.
Keeping Corruption Manageable
Nobody has 125 Corruption Resist right now. However, if you’re routinely clearing at least Normal Ny’alotha or even Heroic, and/or doing Mythic + 15, you might already be geared well enough to survive a couple of ticks from the Eyeball of Death and maybe even having one of your evil twins show up, shoot you with a void laser, and give you a spiky hug of death so fast you can’t even see it. 40 Corruption is pretty lethal on your 417 alt, but your 462 main with the Rank 10 cloak? She can probably weather it pretty easily, especially if she’s quick on her cloak’s On Use.
For tanks and healers, any Corruption level above 40, when you start getting hit by Grand Delusion, is probably way too high. For DPS, you never want over 59 Corruption. Cascading Disaster is going to kill you. Your healers will lose their minds trying to figure out what just happened. The more Corruption Resistance you can get, the more Corrupted Gear you can safely wear without breaching those numbers. But as a quick and dirty guide? Stay below Corruption 60. You don’t want Cascading Disaster, and you really do not want Inevitable Doom. It’s very bad. There’s a reason it’s not named N’Zoth’s Basket of Puppies — not that I would trust a basket of puppies from N’Zoth, they’d probably all have tentacles and gaping maws and eat my soul.
So there’s a guide on how to play nice with Corruption. Remember, the more time you put into your legendary cloak, the more of this stuff you can wear and the more benefit you’ll get without blowing yourself up.
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