Blizzard’s recent 9.1.5 patch nerfed Hunter’s Binding Shot by reducing the damage required to break roots from 40% to 30%. The change was made which has resulted in a decrease of overall gameplay balance, with some players reporting that their DPS had been reduced up to 10%.
Blizzard confirmed in yesterday’s PTR update that the Hunter utility skill Binding Shot would be nerfed in Patch 9.1.5, with the root effect now being removed when the monster takes too much damage.
Binding Shot’s Specialty
Binding Shot is a skill for Beast Mastery Hunters and an inherent ability for Marksmanship Hunters. This was one of the few root effects that didn’t break on damage, and it was also the only AoE root ability that didn’t. Binding Shot had a fantastic niche because of its effect: it could freeze enemies in place while the party or raid was still able to deliver a lot of damage to them.
This has lately been utilized to great effect:
With this update, guilds will most likely need to devise a new approach for dealing with the Dark Sentinel on Mythic Sylvanas.
Binding Shot Damage Threshold
Binding Shot now breaks after the victim has suffered at least 17k damage, according to our testing in Mists of Tirna Scithe.
After 17,086 damage, the Binding Shot breaks.
Binding Shot will most likely last a few seconds alone and just a few seconds when completing Mythic+ due to this damage threshold.
This is comparable to a Druid’s Entangling Roots, which dealt 7.5k damage.
After 7,496 damage, the entangled roots snap.
Opinions & Thoughts
This modification was stated in the PTR development notes as follows:
- The root effect of Binding Shot (Talent) may now be broken if enough damage is dealt. The damage threshold for breaking this root is greater than that of other roots. Note from the developers: We know that Binding Shot has become an important element of a Hunter’s toolkit, and we want it to remain a strong root with a reduced probability of breaking on damage than other effects.
Despite being identified as part of Hunter utility, a development comment was published, but no rationale was given as to why Binding Shot is being nerfed.
Speculating on why Blizzard is making this adjustment, the rationale is likely similar to why all AoE stuns had their duration nerfed at the start of BFA. The only AoE root effect that didn’t break on damage was Binding Shot, and the only surviving ability that appears equivalent is a Monk’s Ring of Peace, since the monsters would bounce against the ring and stay in the same approximate region. Ring of Peace, on the other hand, only lasts 5 seconds compared to Binding Shot’s 8 seconds.
Should Blizzard have nerfed Binding Shot’s duration instead of putting a damage limit if they intended to nerf it? Binding Shot currently lacks the root duration (8 sec vs 30 sec), has a longer cooldown (30 sec vs 45 sec), and has a slightly higher damage threshold before breaking than the other AoE root, Druid’s Mass Entanglement. The only reason you’d want to utilize a root now that the damage threshold is so low is to hold monsters for a long length of time, and Binding Shot’s 8 seconds won’t cut it. It’s a worse version of Mass Entanglement now that it’s been changed to Mass Entanglement.
For situations where you want to keep mobs permanently stuck in an area, the new Binding Shot loses the length of Mass Entanglement, but it also misses the benefit of being able to hit foes while they’re rooted, like Binding Shot does.
If this update goes live, make sure you have a strategy in place for Mythic Sylvanas’ Dark Sentinel, and Tanks should be aware that Binding Shot will only stop mobs for a very brief time when you need to kite, akin to Mass Entanglement.