Upcoming Warrior changes patch 4.0.6


Charge now shares diminishing returns with stun effects.
Cleave damage has been reduced by 20%.
Hamstring now has a PvP duration of 8 seconds.
Heroic Strike damage has been reduced by 20%.
Inner Rage has been redesigned. It now reduces the cooldown on Heroic Strike and Cleave by 50% (to 1.5 second) for the next 15 seconds. 1-minute cooldown. It still cannot be used during Deadly Calm. This ability was originally designed to help warriors with rage capping, but the Heroic Strike and rage normalization changes seem to have solved that problem on their own. This new design will still allow warriors to burn off excess rage faster, at their discretion.
Recklessness now increases special critical strike chance by 50%, down from 100%, but lasts the full 12 seconds instead of allowing only 3 charges.
Slam weapon damage percent (at level 80+) has been increased from 125% to 145%.

Talent Specializations


Drums of War no longer lowers the rage cost of Piercing Howl.
Juggernaut no longer increases the cooldown on Charge, but instead increases the duration of the Charge stun by 2 seconds. In addition, Charge is usable in all stances, however, the talent now causes Charge and Intercept to share a cooldown.
Lambs to the Slaughter: Instead of granting 10/20/30% damage to the next Mortal Strike, Overpower, or Execute, it now grants a 10% buff to any Mortal Strike, Overpower, Slam, or Execute that stacks 1/2/3 times.
Mortal Strike cost has been reduced by 5 rage.
War Academy no longer buffs Heroic Strike or Cleave. It now buffs Mortal Strike, Raging Blow, Devastate, Victory Rush and Slam.


In addition to its current effects, Bloodsurge now also causes the next Slam to deal 20% more damage.
Bloodthirst damage has been increased by approximately 30%.
Raging Blow weapon damage percent (at level 80+) has been increased from 110% to 120%.
Single-Minded Fury bonus has been increased to 20%, up from 15%.
Unshackled Fury (Mastery) now grants 5.6% benefit per mastery point, up from 4.7%.


Charge’s stun continues to not trigger diminishing returns for Protection warriors who have the Warbringer talent.


Glyph of Rapid Charge has been changed from a 7% reduction to Charge’s cooldown, to 1 second off of the cooldown. This change is primarily to clarify the exact cooldown reduction this glyph provides.

Warrior Bug Fixes

Warrior abilities which were incorrectly assigned the sound effect for Mangle have been updated.
Battle Shout’s buff tooltip should not show incorrect values when the recipient is higher level than the warrior.
Heroic Leap and Thunder Clap no longer incorrectly scale damage with both Strength and Agility.
Forceful Deflection passive aura is now properly applying to warriors beginning at level 1.
The Victorious buff can no longer proc before the warrior learns Victory Rush.
The wording in the tooltip for Vigilance was inconsistent with other abilities and has been updated.

Dungeons and Raids changes patch 4.0.6

Dungeons & Raids

Level-85 players can now choose any normal dungeon via the Dungeon Finder. Choosing Random Dungeon will still not add Blackrock Caverns or Throne of the Tides into the rotation.
Level-85 dungeon bosses in Lost City of the Tol’vir, Grim Batol, and Halls of Origination now drop 30 Justice Points each when killed.
The daily Random Dungeon reward on normal difficulty has been increased to 140 Justice Points, up from 70.
Players no longer need to discover Cataclysm dungeon entrances in order to access them via the Dungeon Finder.

Blackrock Caverns

Beauty now spawns with only two pups in Heroic difficulty. Not to worry though, the missing pup has been adopted by a wonderful, if not insane family.

Blackwing Descent

The Dwarven Golem Council will now go berserk after 10 minutes in Heroic difficulty.
Atramedes will now go berserk after 10 minutes in Heroic difficulty.


Foe Reaper 5000
Foe Reaper 5000’s health has been reduced slightly. In addition, he now enrages at 40%, up from 30%.
When enraged, Molten Slag spawn 33% faster.
The ship teleporter now activates when Ripsnarl is first engaged, rather than when he is defeated.
Vanessa VanCleef
While in Helix’s Nightmare during the Vanessa VanCleef encounter, Helix is now larger and a little easier to see.
The final rope swing while fighting Vanessa VanCleef has been removed. Players no longer need to swing off of the boat at the end of phase 3.
Some boat fires will now go out when Vanessa VanCleef is defeated, making it easier to get back onto the ship from the cavern entrance.
Vengeance of VanCleef has been redesigned. It is now a stacking buff that increases damage dealt, size, and attack speed, and stacks up to 40 times. Vanessa will begin casting this as soon as she jumps back onto the boat after detonating charges.

Grim Batol

Faceless Corruptors now move 10% more slowly.
Players may still use spell and abilities while afflicted by Forgemaster Throngus’s Impaling Slam.
Valiona’s Devouring Flame damage has been reduced by 20%.

Halls of Origination

The duration of the Flame Wardens’ Raging Inferno has been reduced by 80%.
Anraphet’s Nemesis Strike now does 75% of weapon damage, up from 50%. In addition, the damage-over-time effect applied by this ability does 15,000 damage every 2 seconds, up from 9,000.
Earthrager Ptah’s Flame Bolt now deals more damage per second on Heroic difficulty.
Setesh seeks a portal every 25 seconds, up from 20.

Lost City of the Tol’vir

Lockmaw no longer tolerates fighting in his treasure room.

Shadowfang Keep

Baron Ashbury
Sadly, in his hubris he has forgotten how to Mend Rotten Flesh.
Lord Godfrey
He should now face a random target when casting Pistol Barrage.
Lord Walden
Conjure Poisonous Mixture now deals more initial damage.
Frost Mixture is now area-of-effect damage.
Toxic Catalyst now deals less damage over time.

The Stonecore

Stonecore Earthshapers’ Dust Storm does slightly less damage.
The warning time for Thrashing Charge has been increased by 1 second. In addition, Thrashing Charge now happens 4 times, down from 5.
The visual for Rock Borers spawning during the submersion phase is now different from the Thrashing Charge visual.
High Priestess Azil
She grew! She’s now 175% the size of a human, up from 125%.
Gravity Wells should kill Devout Followers more quickly.
The cast time of Force Grip is now 1.5 seconds, up from 1.
The size of the warning visual for Seismic Shard has been increased to more accurately reflect the area it affects.
The ground phase lasts longer and has fewer stalactites.
He now does more melee damage.
There is now a precast visual on the ground to make it clear how far away a player must get to be clear of Shatter.
The cast time of Shatter has been increased to 3 seconds, up from 2.5.
Shatter damage is now reduced by armor, but has been increased by 33.3% (repeating, of course) as a result.
Throne of the Tides

Commander Ulthok now does more melee damage.
The damage done by Lady Naz’jatar’s Shock Blast and Naz’jar Tempest Witch Chain Lightning has been reduced.
Gilgoblin Poisoned Spear impact damage has been reduced slightly.
Tainted Sentries Swell damage has been reduced.
The damage of Blight of Ozumat has been reduced by 25% per stack.

The Vortex Pinnacle

Desperate Speed cast by Temple Adepts has had its duration reduced significantly.
The visual effects in this encounter have been adjusted to make the wind direction easier to read.
Cyclones now knock players straight up, and players hit by a cyclone cannot be hit again for a few seconds.
Skyfall Stars are now summoned to help him defeat players.
Static Cling has had its cast time increased to 1.25 seconds, up from 1.
Grand Vizier Ertan
His health has been reduced slightly.
He now knocks away players standing too close to him when he retracts his Cyclone Shield, which now inflicts Nature damage if it touches players.

Arcane Brilliance: Mage AoE in Cataclysm, part 1

If there’s one thing mages have been known for during the course of this fine game we all play, it’s mass murder. We have at our disposal a wide array of spells that wreak havoc over a large area, perhaps more so than any other class. When it comes to killing things in large numbers, mages are remarkably adept. It’s a role we embrace wholeheartedly.

AoE has evolved quite since the inception of the game. In vanilla WoW, AoE was a great way to get yourself killed in an instance, a method of attack that was mostly limited to solo farming and certain trash pulls. These days, with the ability tanks have to hold multiple mobs with relative ease, AoE has morphed into the go-to way to deal with multiple-mob pulls of all shapes and sizes. Crowd control has gone the way of Wand Specialization; it simply isn’t required in most situations in Wrath.

Cataclysm is bringing with it some fairly sweeping changes to the way we utilize our AoE repertoire. The developers have stated their intention to return us to a time when we actually had to worry about things like crowd control and pull-sizes, and though we’re not reverting completely, pulls on the beta certainly feel more like vanilla or Burning Crusade pulls than anything we saw in Wrath. Join me after the break and we’ll go over how our AoE spells will work in this coming era.

We’ll begin with some general changes, then move on to the arcane and frost trees. The fire tree demands its own column, really, and here at Arcane Brilliance, we always do what the fire tree demands. We’ll hit fire AoE next week.

Damage reduction

The first change was also the most sweeping. Blizzard cut the base damage of all AoE spells in the beta by 50-60% for every class, pretty much across the board. The effect is pretty jarring. Seriously, if you’re a newer player who has cut his teeth on the “go, go, go,” rapid-fire, pull–everything, gib-fests that are standard in Wrath’s random dungeon-finder, the first 5-mans in Cataclysm are going to dramatically alter your world-view pretty much from pull-one.

The mobs have more health, they hit harder, the encounters last longer, and the mass-group pulls of Wrath will absolutely get you all killed. Crowd control isn’t an absolute necessity, but it does help. You won’t see a repeat performance of BC, when the trade channel was filled with groups looking not for DPS but for CC, but you won’t see groups turning down your ability to sheep things, either. Simply burning everything down at once, every time, just isn’t the go-to option anymore.

Damage increase

That initial AoE nerf may have been a bit too drastic for the developer’s tastes, and so the most recent beta build has rectified things somewhat. The base damage for AoE spells has been increased substantially, in most cases by 33 percent. The numbers aren’t back to where they were, but our AoE spells don’t feel gimped anymore. With the increased health of mobs, simply burning everything down still isn’t really a good option, but using your AoE spells no longer feels like a penalty, which is nice.


Another massive change affecting AoE is the implementation of Mastery bonuses. The problem lies in the 20% bonus you get for your chosen school’s spells, and the 20% bonus you don’t get for everything else. Arcane mage who wants to cast Blizzard? Good luck with that. The damage your spells do is balanced around that 20% increase, meaning that casting anything from an alternate school feels horribly throttled.

This wouldn’t be a huge problem, except that …

Arcane AoE

… arcane AoE is just awful now. Arcane’s best AoE spell has long been Blizzard, but casting it without the Mastery bonus feels like punishment. Arcane has no ranged or targetable AoE, which is a problem.

Arcane Explosion is arcane’s sole AoE spell, and while it’s a useful little spell, it is severely limited in its raid viability. It isn’t ranged, and it’s centered on the mage, meaning it can’t be cast on a target or a specific area. Arcane desperately needs a way to damage multiple targets at range, and currently that simply isn’t a real option.

Frost AoE

Blizzard is still what the frost tree ’s all about. It’s still our best and most reliable AoE spell, it still does excellent damage, it can still crit, and it still looks pretty. It’s the AoE spell every other mage will now wish he could use properly, and the spell every warlock will cry about in his room while he listens to AFI and cuts himself.

Ice Shards has adopted the functionality of Improved Blizzard, adding a 40% snare to Blizzard and making the spell an excellent mass crowd-control option. More importantly, the talent also includes a range-increasing component for Ice Lance, tying the snare utility to an almost mandatory raid talent. This means almost every frost mage will have a slowing effect for their best AoE spell, which is just splendid.

Cone of Cold is still an excellent instant short-range option, doing respectable damage to mobs in front of the mage and slowing them by 50%. It’ll still get most of its use in PvP, but it’s also a great kiting tool in any situation. The utility of this ability goes through the roof with Improved Cone of Cold, a new talent that adds a 2/4 second freeze to the spell. This adds control and additional Shatter opportunities. The talent will mostly feature in PvP builds, I suspect, but there will undoubtedly be some raiders who find room in their builds for the added utility this would provide.

Piercing Chill should probably also be mentioned. It’s a second tier frost talent that spreads Frostbolt’s chill effect to up to two nearby targets. It can be awesome for multiple-target pulls, but can sometimes become dangerous, in that it’s difficult to control which targets are affected.

Curtain of Frost is frost’s new hotness coldness. We haven’t really talked about this yet, so let me tell you how the spell works:

You train it at level 83, and it’s available to any spec. It’s targeted, and casting it will bring up a standard circular reticule, which you can then place anywhere on the ground within 20 yards of yourself. Once you place it, it conjures a white line of frost on the ground in that spot that stretches for ten yards perpendicular to the direction you’re facing. That white frost line persists for 15 seconds and does two things to any and every mob that crosses it:
It does a rather substantial amount of damage (at level 83, I’m getting pretty frequent 6-7k crits with it)
It applies a powerful (70% movement speed reduction) but short (4 seconds) snare
It operates on a two minute cooldown and costs a relatively meager 7% of your base mana. It’s absolutely fantastic for kiting, especially when multiple mobs are involved. Sadly, it only works on each mob once; you can’t run a mob back and forth over it multiple times. Apparently, that would just be too awesome.

At two minutes, the cooldown is probably too long for the spell to be a real game-changer in PvP, but I could see some pretty effective uses of this spell with Cold Snap. That snare is just so freaking powerful. In PvE, this gives frost mages one more kiting tool in a box already brimming with them, and provides a very effective way for them to keep mobs in other ground AoE for longer. Pull a group with Piercing Chill, strategically place a Curtain of Frost in their path, then fall back and Blizzard away. If the mobs get too close, Improved Cone of Cold is the reset button. Given enough room to work with, a skilled frost mage could keep a fairly large group occupied all by his lonesome, pretty much indefinitely.

So that’s about it for frost and arcane. Arcane needs some work, and frost is pretty solid. The real star of mage AoE, though, is the fire tree. Targeted Blast Wave with no more annoying knockback? Flame Orb? Flamestrike that’s actually useful? Come back next week for as much hyperbole as I can fit into 1,000 words.

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