First round of major covenant changes are coming with the recently announced patch 9.0.5. The Blizzard dev team mentioned multiple times that they would not want to make large sweeping changes to covenant abilities and legendary effects too often and without any notice for us to prepare. The new patch gives the dev team an opportunity to make some of the larger ballots and tuning changes.
NECROLORD FLASHCRAFT BUFF
First big change is a sizable buff Flashcraft which will benefit everyone and anyone who rolls with the Necrolord. The base value of the shield has been doubled up to 40% of your max health from 20%. The trade off here is that the shield is no longer increased if you use it around dead bodies. Baseline is you will always get a bigger shield and you don’t have to worry about needing any of those extra body parts lying around so you’ll get the full value from your Flashcraft shield. The cooldown on Flashcraft will now be reduced by 1 second per body consumed. The channel speed was also reduced down to 3 seconds so you get your shield faster making it easier to use mid combat. And as an extra bonus, while you are channeling Flashcraft you will now take 30% reduced damage. Overall you’ll get insane defensive capabilities for absolutely every member of the Necrolord covenant.
DEATH KNIGHT BUFFS
Speaking of class specific changes for the Death Knight, 2 of their covenant abilities have been buffed. For the Night Fae DK Death’s Due will now reduce incoming damage by 2% per stack. The max still remains at 8% so the buff just makes sure you get the maximum benefit faster and more reliably. For Kyrian DK, Shackle the Unworthy was also buffed to decrease your damage taken by 8% from 5% and the overall damage of the ability was increased from 178.5% attack power up to 205.275% attack power.
DEMON HUNTER REWORK
Demon Hunters are getting attention too, Fodder to the Flame has been completely reworked once again. So even if a covenant ability does not even work properly now, massive changes are not off the table for this 9.0.5 patch. The new Fodder to the Flame reads your damaging abilities, and has a chance to call forth the demon from the Theater of Pain for 25 seconds. Throw Glaive deals lethal damage to the demon which explodes on death dealing 175% of attack power damage to nearby enemies and healing you for 25% of your max health. The explosion deals reduced damage beyond 5 targets. This sounds potentially quite powerful however the only drawback is the random nature of the spawn but being able to one shot the demon with Throw Glaive gives you control over when to cause the explosion. At least the extra healing is going to be very valuable for some additional self sustain. The only thing that is left to see is how it matches up against the other covenant abilities in simulations.
A lot of players are probably expecting a nerf to the Night Fae covenant ability Convoke the Spirits. For now, there are no nerfs so Balance Druids breathe easy for one more week. Adaptive Swarm for the Necrolord Druids has been buffed, it will now heal for 157.5% spell power up from 126% spell power. And will deal damage equal to 150% spell power up from 120% spell power. On top of those buffs, the increased effectiveness of damage over time effects will be buffed from 25% up from 20%.
There’s also a buff to the Hunter’s Necrolord ability, Death Chakram will deal damage equal to 31.6% of attack power up from 27.5%. It looks like Blizzard’s dev team really wants to get some more players to swap on over to the Necrolord. The Venthyr ability Flayed Shot has also been buffed which will now deal 112.5% attack power over 18 seconds up from 87.5% attack power over 14 seconds. And the free kill shots from the bonus effect here will now also deal 25% increased damage. The focus cost was also completely removed as a nice little buff on the side.
For the Mages, almost every covenant ability will see some changes here. Deathborne for the Necrolords will last 5 seconds longer so a total of 25 seconds up from 20 seconds. And your spell damage will be increased by 15% up from 10%. For the Venthyr, the proc for arcane has been changed to grand clearcasting instead of 4% mana, that’s more of a rework change than a direct nerf war buff. The Venthyr ability was also buffed for Fire Mage whenever a mirror is consumed, your fire blast cooldown is reduced by 6 seconds up from 4 seconds. Fire blast cooldown reduction is always important for Fire Mage so a helpful buff for sure. The Kyrian Mages will also see a buff to Radiant Spark, it will now deal 91.2% of spell power as damage instantly up from 67%. And the damage over time was increased to 49.5% up from 41.2%.
Paladin Necrolords will also see Vanquisher’s Hammer get a small buff. It will now also generate 1 holy power.
PRIEST NERFS + BUFF + LEGGO CHANGES
This is the only class change to be tackled because it is pretty huge. Spirit Shell for Discipline Priests has been nerfed down to 80% of your heals converted to a shield from 100%. With the current Discipline Priest dominance in raids, it is not surprising to see a big nerf coming for this talent. Discipline will still remain a strong healer overall but it won’t be quite as far ahead as it is right now.
As for covenant changes, Night Fae Priests will be seeing a buff. The ability itself might seem quite complicated because there’s a lot going on but the buffs are fairly straightforward. The damage reduction buff for the guardian fairy has been increased to 15% up from 10% to provide a bit more mitigation on specific targets. The benevolent faerie increases the cooldown recovery rate of your target’s major ability by 150% up from 100% to provide even better support than before.
There’s also a buff to the Night Fae covenant ability conduit fae for martyr. Your faeries will leave behind a copy that is 80% effective up from 60% effective when your faeries jump to a new target to increase the potential value from the Night Fae covenant as a whole.
Few legendary changes thrown into the mix for Priest. These legendary changes are actually the only ones right now so it looks like Priests are first in line for some buffs. The Cauterizing Shadow’s legendary effect will see a decent buff when shadow word pain expires on the target, 3 allies within 30 yards of the target healed for 75% spell power up from 55%. Maybe not quite enough to make a legendary a reliable option but buffs are always nice. The other legendary buff is for the Kiss of Death legendary, the cooldown reduction for shadow word death would increase to 12 seconds up from 8 seconds when used on targets below 20% health.
Shamans will also see quite a few buffs. Night Fae, Kyrian and Necrolord abilities are getting pumped up. For the Night Fae, Fae Transfusion will deal damage equal to 117.5% of spell power from 94%. However the healing burst afterwards has also been buffed up to 60% of all damage dealt and its range was increased to 20 yards making it much easier to splash across multiple allies.
For the Necrolords, Primordial Wave has been buffed but the way this spell reads is always confusing when using data mind information. From what we can gather, the effectiveness for Enhancement Shamans specifically has been increased from 100% up to 150%. Vesper Totem has been buffed as well, it will now deal damage equal to 80% of your spell power up from 64% and heal for 91% up from 73%. So both initial burst AOE damage and burst healing have been buffed up by about 20% each.
The Venthyr ability Impending Catastrophe has been buffed a little bit. The initial damage was increased to 25.3% spell power up from 23% spell power. And the damage over time portion was increased to 138% spell power up from 120%.
Only Necrolords will see some changes but their ability Conqueror’s Banner has been completely reworked. You Brandish your banner granting 500 mastery and 30% increased movement speed to you and your two nearest allies and preventing movement speed from being reduced below 100%. The banner also generates 4 rage per second, lasts for 15 seconds and has a 2 minute cooldown. No glory mechanic here makes this ability much easier to deal with and the buff has been changed to mastery.
00:00 – Intro
00:52 – Necrolord Fleshcraft BUFF
02:14 – Death Knight buffs
02:55 – DH rework
03:56 – Druid buffs
04:39 – Hunter buffs
05:23 – Mage buffs
06:30 – Pala buff
06:51 – Priest nerfs + buffs + leggo changes
08:44 – Shaman buffs
09:43 – Warlock buff
10:13 – Warrior rework