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The Art of War(craft): How Patch 3.0.8 will change PvP, part IV


CLASS BALANCE
Druids
Balance Druids now get the ability to cast Abolish Poison and Remove Curse in Moonkin form, increasing their PvP viability and saving considerable time and mana by no longer requiring shapeshifts. Unfortunately, as mentioned earlier, Celestial Focus no longer includes Starfall, so Moonkins win and lose. Survival of the Fittest was buffed, mostly to benefit bear tanks, but should see higher survivability for Druids, who shift to bear form when in dire straits. Considering the number of amazing feral Druids in PvP these days, this should be a good boost.

Also done as a PvE nerf to encourage Druids from expanding their healing repertoire, Wild Growth was given a 6 second cooldown. This should have a minimal but palpable impact in PvP for Restoration Druids. The biggest thing to come with Patch 3.0.8 for is also a PvE itemization change, but means that Druids will have more flexibility with their weapons and can also pick up polearms, as well. This means that the Deadly Gladiator's Staff has actually become redundant. Overall, however, there are no major changes to Druid PvP.

Hunters
Of all the classes that got hit by the nerf bat this patch, Hunters took the brunt of the blow. Dealing inordinately high DPS in raids, the powerful 50/ 21/ 0 with Aimed Shot was also dominant in PvP. Despite the format of the game, BM Hunters thrived in Arenas, specially when paired with a good healer. Bestial Wrath has always been strong in PvP but the move of Readiness to 21 points in Marksmanship in 3.0 made it ridiculous, allowing 36 seconds of virtual immunity. That's no longer going to happen when servers go live later at 1pm as Readiness will no longer affect Bestial Wrath.

Tranquilizing Shot has had its cost lowered and cooldown changed to 8 seconds, although at a certain point in the PTR, this was down to 6. At any rate, this is a buff considering the spell used to be on a 15 second cooldown. Viper Sting is affected by the change to all mana drain mechanics and now drains a percentage of maximum mana instead of a specific amount. This makes Viper Sting less effective against classes with low mana pools, whereas it used to devastate them.

On a good note, the new Deterrence looks phenomenal for PvP, and we'll likely see builds into Marksmanship and Survival replace BM builds in Arena play as BM no longer offers as much synergy with Readiness. The new Deterrence gives 100% parry chance and 100% chance to "deflect" spells coming from the front for 5 seconds. That's the tricky part -- players have to face their opponents for Deterrence to work. This raises the skill required to play the class effectively somewhat. It's a great PvP ability, but it just won't be as useful in the hands of a keyboard turner. The Glyph of Deterrence was changed to a 10 second reduction to balance the buff. Hunters should continue to do well in PvP, despite the nerfs.

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