The game is now live, and the best part about it is that you can start playing for free. This article will provide some insights on the class balance as well as a few tips for those who are new to the game.
The balance druid mythic+ plus essences is a topic that has been discussed in the community. BDGG gives their thoughts and insights for this discussion.
Overall, the class balance in Sanctum of Domination improved significantly, and there were many noteworthy mismatches. This tier’s overall class balance, according to BDGG, was one of the finest. It’s always encouraging to see people be able to play their preferred/main class and remain viable without having to switch to an alt.
But let’s look at it in terms of roles.
In comparison to Castle Nathria, Melee received a lot more emphasis in Sanctum of Domination. Death Knights being a bit poorer allowed for a more varied melee mix overall, and almost all melee damage simply became better. As a result, guilds tried to cram as much melee as possible into their rosters while still maintaining the necessary damage profiles for the more tough monsters.
While the class balance shifted dramatically across levels, it was mainly decided by shard sets and gear rather than the whole class’s goodness or badness. In a future post, I’ll go into shards in more detail.
Cooldowns for raids
Since the release of Shadowlands, the melee meta has generally changed in favor of bringing classes with very strong raid usefulness, rather than a range of damage profiles to cover. We witnessed this at Castle Nathria, with elite guilds bringing many Death Knights for the Anti-Magic Zone’s worth. Death Knights, Warriors, and Demon Hunters will continue to shift in this meta, depending on whatever class does the greatest damage in each tier.
To be included into the raid at a world first level, a melee class without utility must outperform by a huge margin in a specialized area, such as boss damage for Rogues. Ranged DPS lack Darkness and Rallying Cry, and bringing these extra CDs (and then boosting their damage with an Enhancement Shaman) is one of the primary reasons I believe guilds strive to cram as many melee specs as possible.
Fury Warrior, with their new legendary that enables them to keep their cooldown up forever throughout execution, was one spec that was anticipated to do very well. Unfortunately, the Sylvanas architecture only allows them to execute in Phase 1, resulting in a significant loss of value. Because of the battle design, Warriors have mainly shifted to Arms, a spec that doesn’t lose a substantial amount of damage without the ability to Execute.
Shamans of Enhancement
Because Arms Warrior is the class that gains the most from Windfury Totem, here is where Enhancement Shamans come into play. Enhancement included Windfury for 1 or 2 Warriors and 1 or 2 Demon Hunters, which added more damage to the raid than any single DPS class could perform alone (assuming DH and Monk debuffs are covered).
Ranged arrived in SoD in a unique situation. Prior to testing, hunters were the most popular, but they were heavily nerfed, then received some last-minute boosts that made them powerful (depending on gear/shards). Mages may choose from a variety of different spectra. Boomkins had a lot of turmoil around their covenant and their capacity to survive. In general, the meta was very varied.
Covenants and Boomkins
Why are boomkins dying so much? was one of the most often asked topics during and after the race. Druids were entrusted with a lot of tasks at this tier, and there were rumblings about altering covenants. So, which Druid was better: Venthyr Druid or Night Fae Druid?
In the end, Night Fae Druid was better because the time saved by having extra “potential” dps with the new spec that could not be practiced before the new patch came out outweighed the time saved by having extra “potential” dps with the new spec that could not be practiced before the new patch came out. In terms of class talk, bringing up to 3-4 movement speed boosts was helping Sylvanas’ DPS check, and bringing more also aided consistency on the battle, which made it extremely powerful, especially when combined with Boomkin’s damage profile being excellent for that fight in general.
BDGG Analyst and Co-GM Bubbadub
Venthyr Druid is perfectly acceptable, and it’s probably the greatest Druid build and one of the finest overall DPS builds available during the farm. When played properly, it has tremendous power and a high skill ceiling. The problem is that it’s a high-skill-cap build that’s totally different from how Druids used to play Night Fae, which they just began to play seriously on day one of legendary development with virtually no prior experience. This means they were using a build that highly rewarded talent and hard concentration throughout legendary advancement but lacked the muscle memory to support it. It will improve with time, but for the first few weeks, it produced a perfect storm, resulting in Boomkins eating more than they usually would due to their new construction.
Impakt – Raid Leader and BDGG Officer
I believe you saw a noticeable shift back to Night Fae druids when gear arrived and the top 10 guilds cleared the instance, which is to be anticipated. It makes you wonder what role covenants will play in the next race. Will players have to be more adaptable and prepared due to last-minute adjustments to covenant balances?
Dorovon arrived with some fascinating ideas regarding magicians in particular. Dorovon is a well-known mage theory maker and a significant contributor to SimulationCraft.
Fire had been severely nerfed going into Sanctum of Domination, and it seemed to be unplayable in progression for elite guilds owing to its low single target damage; however, the damage of its single target spells was substantially boosted shortly before the raid was launched. This puts Mage in a unique situation, since all three specs are viable in this raid, each with their own set of strengths and limitations. Fire provides less overall single target damage than Frost and Arcane, but it’s close enough that the best spec for a particular battle is determined by how well each spec’s damage profile aligns with when you need to do damage on each fight. Depending on how many Clearcasting procs you receive for Arcane Prodigy, Arcane may utilize Arcane Power every 90 to 100 seconds. Frost does consistent damage throughout the fight, but requires high uptime with Slick Ice for pure single target situations to be competitive with Arcane. Fire can use Combustion every 70 seconds thanks to Kindling (sometimes more often with Bloodlust and/or Power Infusion), and Frost does consistent damage throughout the fight, but requires high uptime with Slick Ice for pure single target situations to be competitive with Arcane. We couldn’t swap for advancement on each monster since each spec has a distinct optimal covenant to take full use of its capabilities. For Fire, you should be Night Fae, for Frost, Venthyr (but any covenant would do for AoE heavy battles like Kel’Thuzad), and for Arcane, Kyrian (Venthyr is also fine for single target fights). We primarily used Kyrian Arcane because it has both single target and AoE burst damage for situations like Sylvanas’ Phase 2 burns and Painsmith’s end-of-intermission adds, strong overall single target damage for fights like Guardian of the First Ones, and gains additional priority target damage when adds are stacked with the priority target thanks to Resonance and Arcane Harmony (Arcane Infinity).
For Hpal/Disc to be knocked off the top position, drastic adjustments are required, with shaman a close third. I believe the modifications for Holy Priest, Resto Druid, and Mistweaver Monk to be meta would be to include some kind of raidwide damage reduction or unmatched HPS in any case. But that isn’t the only reason; the two most popular specifications both have very high DPS. What is the solution?
There are three types of healer strengths. Cooldowns for HPS, DPS, and Raid. At least two of the categories must be strong, but all three are preferable. It’s possible that the healing profile exactly fits an encounter, although this is uncommon since most healers have tools for a variety of circumstances.
Again, Disc Priest and Holy Paladin…
The reality is that the healer meta will not alter until the underlying problem is resolved. These healers just do too much damage and provide too much utility, and they aren’t challenged in HPS either. They’ve struck the trifecta, and it’s difficult to see how things can change now. Blizzard did add nerfs to Ashen Hallow, but it still has a lot of power. Overall, it seems like the balancing team does not consider healer DPS to be a problem. When you stack Holy Paladins with Disc Priests, your raid comp gains an extra 1-2 DPS for free. It will be difficult to persuade the top guilds to reform until this situation changes.
Shamans of the Resto
Resto Shamans, on the other hand, are still subject to the same rules. However, since it provides less DPS than the other two specs, it has fallen out of favor in the meta. Despite the fact that this tier is so focused on movement speed, Wind Rush Totem is still a great option, particularly if you don’t have enough druids. It will only take a few minor adjustments to put them back to the top.
Mistweavers are gaining popularity.
Mistweaver seems to be the most likely candidate to make it into the healing meta. As previously stated, healing abilities are divided into three types. Cooldowns for HPS, DPS, and Raid. Mistweaver’s HPS and DPS are currently extremely excellent. They do offer the Mystic Touch debuff, which allows for a more varied raid composition, but it isn’t enough. However, we did see some Mistweavers on some early Sylvanas kills, so they’re near.
Personally, I believe that Tiger’s Lust’s AOE cooldown may be the icing on the cake for Mistweavers. And, let’s be honest, the image of Tiger’s Lust being a mouse-placed ability might be really amazing.
This time around, there was one clear front-runner. The return of the Prot Paladin to the top tier of tanks was due to its excellent match with the instance’s requirements. BDGG has put a lot of effort into tanking this tier and wanted to make the best decisions possible.
Paladins of the Prototype
Paladin was good for a few reasons: there were a lot of things to immune to, both on the raid with Blessing of Spellwarding and personally with Divine Shield (KT frost blast, solo tank guardian, sylv stacks, running through balls on painsmith), did the most damage, brought off healing, and had a playstyle that allowed you to access all of that without falling into the “oh no, my shield obliterated” trap.
Throughout the farm, our read on Protection Paladin was really very excellent. For various reasons, I believe most tanks were viable in this tier, and there was a lot of variety among the top-ranking guilds as well.
The second tank was divided nearly equally between Monk and DK among the top five guilds. DK handled the whole Sylvanas battle well, using cooldowns and a frequent pre-immune for stacks, as well as having access to a 2m raid cd in Anti-Magic Zone. Soulrender, KT, and Fatescribe all used grips at some point. Also, if that extra squeeze was required, the vamp blood legendary converts the disc into a tiny amount of damage for your demo locks (we ended up just playing destro, however). Dropping Blood for a BrM has to do with raid comp more than anything else. WW has a little weakness in ST, which was crucial in the Sylvanas battle. On its alone, BrM can handle a majority of the Sylvanas fights.
Much of this was also due to the nature of gear RNG at this tier. Our BrMs had no shard sets, while my BDK had a legendary week with a set. Our WW was well geared with a shard set, so dropping it to put in a class with slightly better st and a tank dealing 1k less damage didn’t make much sense.
We considered running a warrior as well, since Rally is the strongest cd in the game, warriors have a good defensive toolkit, Conqueror’s Banner has fair dps value, and dps warriors were looking a little unsure there without an execute phase on Sylvanas. However, since Warrior is one of the weakest tanks in the Sylvanas battle, and rally is a 3m while AMZ is a 2m, we opted to pivot to warrior instead of the other way around if necessary.
A well-balanced choice
This tier’s tanks were extremely varied and well-balanced. For the immunities and damage, most guilds chose a Prot Paladin, although you could have used anything. DK and Warrior were both great raid cooldown choices, Monk provides good damage and has a lot of utility, and Bear has a 1-minute roar that is very useful against Sylvanas. This tier allows ranks to play to their strengths.
Vengeance is a class that used to be meta but is no more. But, for the most part, havoc is back as a solid spec, and darkness was excellent. Veng is still a good defensive player, although a bit short in damage.
What are your thoughts? Did any of your favorite courses or specifications receive special attention or were they overlooked? In World of Warcraft, class balance is always shifting, and many believe that this is a positive thing. Is the rule of a few particular specifications, however, coming to an end? We’ll have to wait and see.
The Mythic Sanctum of Domination is a new raid in World of Warcraft. The new raid has brought with it a lot of changes to the class balance. BDGG, who is an expert on this topic, discusses these changes and shares his insights. Reference: moonkin shadowlands spec.
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