Over the past week, more information has been released about the upcoming Chains of Domination patch. Blizzard has proposed many class changes for 9.1 in hopes to shift the current meta.
Many of the upcoming changes are aimed at pve content. However, as a result, many of these class changes will inadvertently buff both pve and pvp for some specs.
This amz nerf is huge for dk’s and is likely one of the more meta shaping class changes in 9.1. With this change, dps spec death knights will have a tougher time fighting for a raid spot with their utility being hit heavily. However, blood death knights should find an easier time meshing with raid teams since the barrier scales with health alongside their damage buffs.
Additionally, abilities that increase max health will also buff the absorb from anti magic zone. This means having a priest for stam buff, a warrior for rally, and even any kyrian running mentorship will benefit the death knight. The only downside is the amount of extra coordination required to pull this off well.
Because of Vengeance’s insane mobility, survivability, and versatility as well as already providing the magic debuff they have overshadowed their dps counterpart. Havoc demon hunters have maintained their middle of the pack dps status for most of 9.0. With these changes coming in 9.1, it will hopefully push them back towards finding a comfortable spot among raid teams.
The Balance of All Things legendary has also been adjusted for patch 9.1. It now only grants 24% increased critical strike change, down from 40%. However, it only decreases by 3% every second instead of 8% every second. Despite this resulting in a slight damage nerf, the uptime is increased to offset this.
Balance druids have reigned throughout Castle Nathria as dps kings. They have been leaps and bounds better than almost all of their competition. Because of this, it was only a matter of time before they were brought more in line with other specs. Hopefully these adjustments to lesser taken talents open up new single target playstyles. Additionally, the nerf to their current best legendary might also lead them towards other options.
Survival has struggled to find its niche in almost every raid team. They are a melee spec with lackluster damage on top of bringing no raid-wide utility. Unfortunately, there is currently no reason to bring them over a marksman or beast master hunter. Their damage has been bottom of the barrel for the entire tier. However, while these buffs are a small step in the right direction, they don’t address the elephant in the room; their lack of raid utility or buffs.
Fire Mages are the other dps kings in both raiding and dungeon content. Because of their insane damage output, they are practically mandatory for all high end mythic plus. Additionally, they also provide insane utility while raiding alongside their big damage. Most of these damage nerfs are aimed at their aoe output. Hopefully, this shifts the meta in a good direction while maintaining viability but not making them mandatory.
Mistweaver monks have struggled immensely throughout 9.0. They are the weakest throughput healer on top of lacking in both damage and utility. The mistweavers still playing the spec were hopeful the class changes in 9.1 would alleviate some of these issues. The damage buffs are nice and do benefit the ancient teachings play style however, this is only a start. Revival is our only recovery tool and raid cooldown. Because of this, having it proc our mastery is a huge step in the right direction. Additionally, you can get it to proc twice if you essence font prior. The problem stems from reducing the overall healing because of the power put towards our worst stat. The numbers count it as a large nerf to those not playing kyrian. Kyrian can safely rely on Weapons of Order for strong revivals while other covenants can't. Hopefully more adjustments are in the works.
Holy Paladins are the biggest problem with the current healer meta. Their throughput is amazing, their damage is high, they bring a lot of utility, and use hardly any mana to do so. They are so incredibly strong to bring to your raid or dungeon group. They are so good and because of this, the debate between kyrian and venthyr is almost negligible. Both options can hold up well in all types of content, however, venthyr offers more damage. These class changes coming in 9.1 look to be an attempt to push holy paladins away from the ‘never cast anything’ playstyle while taking a substantial hit to their damage output.
Discipline Priests have overshadowed Holy purely because of spirit shell and their ability to fully negate raid mechanics with it. Both specs bring a multitude of utility spells and hopefully these changes bring both more in line with each other.
Shadow is its own beast. It has been performing quite well in raid situations especially with the recent shift towards Night Fae. However, the damage being granted was too deeply rooted within borrowed power systems like legendaries. These adjustments should help to alleviate those problems.
Rogues have been in a bit of a weird spot as this current tier has progressed. Subtlety started out insanely strong but has been shifted all the way to the bottom. Additionally, the class wide adjustments should keep the other two specs viable and the sub buffs should bring them up a little.
Warlocks have remained in a pretty good spot for all of the current tier. All 3 of their specs are viable to play which can’t be said for many classes. However, affliction is grossly ahead in some areas. With this, these changes look to bring them even closer together.
Warriors probably drew the short stick as far as class changes in 9.1 go. There's not a lot of major game breaking changes to look at here however this means builds won’t be changing much. A lot of warriors have been making the shift towards the night fae covenant and because of this, those execute buffs look nice for raiding.
All of these class changes for 9.1 are tentative and subject to change at any time between now and the patch release. However, many of them seem to alleviate a lot of the glaring meta issue for raid teams. Death knights won’t be as mandatory for the dps role which opens up options for other classes like rogues. Similarly, the buffs to havoc demon hunters may shift the meta for tanks. Additionally, the nerfs to holy paladin might finally be enough to dethrone them and allow other healers to shine.