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Understanding the Cheat Death nerf

As regular forumgoers may have noted, there's been a lot of antipathy toward rogues in PVP lately. Most of this is based on the newfound popularity of the seventh-tier subtlety talent Cheat Death, which was buffed to mega-awesome proportions. Here's the old Cheat Death:
  • You have a 10/20/30 percent chance to survive any damaging attack that would otherwise kill you.
In patch 2.3, this was changed to:
  • You have a 33/66/100% chance to completely avoid any damaging attack that would otherwise kill you and reduce all damage taken by 90% for 3 sec. This effect cannot occur more than once per minute.
This was even more powerful than it looks -- until 2.4, a bug actually reduced all damage by 99% instead of 90%. However, today's 2.4.3 patch notes stated that the ability will be changed:
  • Killing blows are no longer 100% absorbed. If the Rogue is below 10% health, the killing blow is still completely absorbed; if the Rogue is over 10% health, enough damage will be absorbed to reduce the Rogue's health down to 10%. For the following 3 seconds, damage is not always reduced by 90%; it is now reduced by a maximum of 90%, depending on how much resilience the Rogue has. The damage reduction will be four times the damage reduction resilience causes against critical strikes.
So what does this mean, besides an extremely long tooltip?First off, rogues are no longer nigh-invulnerable against burst damage. In a situation where Cheat Death would have completely absorbed the damage, it now will only absorb enough to bring you down to 10%. And the post-proc absorption has been changed to be resilience-dependent -- for every percent of resilience, you'll get 8% less damage when Cheat Death procs. (Resilience reduces damage by 2% from crits, times four, equals 8%.) I'm not enough of a theorycrafter to make up a chart, but quick math suggests you'll need 443 resilience rating to get Cheat Death up to its previous 90% level.

The big benefactors from this are ... mostly anyone fighting a rogue. Burst damage classes like mages will benefit from being able to take the rogue down to 10% with their big spells, and sustained damage or DOT classes will be able to gnaw away at that remaining health if the rogue isn't resilience capped. This will also ease some of the complaining about Cheat Death-enabled rogues getting healed back to full during the proc, or Cloak of Shadowing away and vanishing before starting an inescapable stun lock.

The major losers here are leveling rogues and rogues who PvP in high-damage PvE gear. If you don't have much or any resilience on your gear, that 90% damage reduction is going to get pretty low, pretty fast. Rogues will have to start stacking resilience like everyone else, even though it will hurt their damage output. Time to put away that 4/8 Tier 6 and Warglaives ...

It's tough to gauge what the full reaction to these changes will be from the wider rogue community. Community Managers have stepped into the rogue forums to remove gloating posts by warriors and mages. So far, most rogues seem to have realized long ago that a change was on its way and have come to terms with it.

What do you think about this change?

Filed under: Rogue, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, News items

Reader Comments (Page 1 of 4)

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