The 10 Most Impactful New PvP Talents on the Shadowlands Patch 9.1 PTR
A little under 3 months ago, the PvP community was pleased to hear that we would finally be getting some meaningful changes in the form of a PvP talent refresh - and given that we’ve been playing with what’s essentially the same set of PvP talents since the Legion expansion, it’s certainly a welcome change.
In this article, I’ll be outlining what I believe to be the 10 (or technically 11) most impactful new PvP talents so far. I hope to provide some insight into what makes these talents so good and how I expect them to impact the upcoming PvP meta in Shadowlands Patch 9.1.
About the Author
has been playing World of Warcraft Arena since Season 9 and has achieved several Gladiator and Rank 1 titles on multiple classes and specializations. He is currently focusing on Retribution Paladin but is also above 3000CR on Rogue, Death Knight, and Warrior.
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The first new PvP talent I’ll be looking at is
. It’s no secret that Shadowlands has not been kind to Mistweavers Monks, with them seeing by far the lowest representation of every healer spec in all types of PvP. So it’s also no surprise that Mistweavers are receiving a plethora of changes to their PvP toolkit, including
, which will help them deal with what was probably their biggest weakness - dying in stuns.
In addition to this new PvP talent and alongside a handful of other new PvP talents,
is seeing a redesign to allow
to be castable while stunned. With these two changes alone, it’s likely that Mistweavers will go from being the easiest healer to kill in stuns, to being pretty much immortal. I certainly expect to see a huge rise in the popularity of Mistweavers next season and won’t be surprised if they end up being one of the most represented healers.
Next, we’ve got what’s likely the most controversial talent in Patch 9.1 -
. While this isn’t a new PvP talent, it is a complete overhaul of one that was exclusive to Protection Paladins. Instead,
will be accessible to all Paladin specs, and has been redesigned to dispel 1 Poison, Disease, and most importantly, Magic effect from the enemy that
is cast on.
This means that not only will Holy Paladins have a second dispel which will be incredibly useful into classes like Mages - but even Retribution Paladins will be able to dispel their teammates out of crowd control. While that alone may seem really overpowered, it doesn’t end there as
interacts with both the Kyrian Covenant ability
conduit, resulting in some ridiculous gameplay. This combination should allow Paladins to constantly keep their team out of crowd control in clutch moments.
I definitely expect
to be nerfed as in its current form it’s simply far too powerful to stay in the game - but if it does remain as it is, any classes and compositions that rely heavily on crowd control or debuffs for damage will likely have a very hard time creating win conditions against Paladins.
Moving on, we’ve got a class that’s receiving yet another set of incredibly strong PvP talents - Death Knights. First up, the Unholy talent
has been removed after many years of service and replaced with a what’s looking to be a much more powerful version of the spell -
. This new iteration is looking to make Unholy once again a formidable spec in Arena as you’ll no longer have to choose between using
. Instead, you will get the damage benefits of using
while also double dipping into the healing reduction effect from
, as well as the healing the Death Knight receives from this new PvP talent. All together, it certainly looks like the much needed addition to Unholy’s tookit to make them a competitive specialization again.
In addition, Frost Death Knights are getting what seems to be one of the most overpowered PvP talents we’ve ever witnessed in World of Warcraft history.
not only provides a quality of life improvement to maintaining
on the Death Knight's target, but it also comes with such a ridiculous debuff that most players are questioning how this was even considered as a PvP talent in the first place. Being able to reduce a target’s Haste by 12% means that enemy casters will feel at a strong disadvantage when up against a Frost DK. It even brings enemy players’ Haste below 0% if they have under 12% Haste. There's no doubt in most players minds that this will definitely see some tweaks before 9.1 lands, but if it doesn’t - you can be sure that Frost Death Knights will be one of the best melee in in PvP.
Last up, every Death Knight spec is gaining access to a PvP talent that was previously exclusive to Blood -
. This change is definitely an exciting one for Death Knights, especially when you consider that they're able to play with both
. It's slightly more meaningful for Unholy however, given that the spec already excels at being more of a control-based melee.
The next new PvP talent I’ll be discussing is actually a set of PvP talents that are granting access to a Mortal Strike effect to both Feral Druids and Fury Warriors. First, we have
which allows Ferals to stack a 12% healing reduction twice, resulting in a 24% Mortal Strike effect. This will be very easy for Feral Druids to maintain on multiple targets, given that both
With this change, it’s likely that Feral Druids will become a much more sought after spec for a wide variety of compositions - things like Feral/Mage, Feral/Warlock , and hybrid cleaves like Feral/Retribution, Elemental , or Enhancement may all begin to perform incredibly well on the ladder.
In addition, Fury Warriors are seeing the
PvP talent redesigned to make
apply a 15% healing reduction, stacking up to 4 times. While this may sound incredibly overpowered on the surface given that it can stack to a 60% healing reduction, those of you who are familiar with how Fury Warriors play will know that it’s not going to be possible for Fury Warriors to constantly maintain a 60% Mortal Strike effect on their target due to the frequency at which they're able to use
change will definitely make Fury Warriors slightly better, I don’t see this being enough to warrant any compositions taking a Fury Warrior over an Arms Warrior. The introduction of
however is definitely a meta defining one, as Feral Druids are already one of the best melee in the game without a Mortal Strike effect, and giving them a reliable and consistent healing debuff will simply allow them to play a much wider variety of comps. This PvP talent will even result in a slight buff to Jungle in matchups where the Feral and Hunter benefit from generating spread pressure as the Jungle will now be able to maintain a healing debuff on multiple targets while cleaving them down.
is the next new PvP talent I’ll be taking a look at and it’s one that most Discipline Priest players will probably be very happy to see. This talent provides you with one of two benefits that you can cycle through - the first of which is
, a mana cost reduction to your healing spells - and while that may seem great, it’s actually
that seems most promising for the 10% increase to spell damage and
When you pair this new PvP talent up with the redesign of
(which has been renamed to
) and the fact that
’s damage to healing transfer has been taken out of
and made baseline, we’re now left with a version of Disc Priest that will be capable of outputting incredible amounts of damage while benefiting heavily from
healing to keep their team alive.
While this is certainly great news for those of you who enjoy playing a more offensive style of Discipline Priest that doesn’t just rely on ridiculous
charges to keep your team alive, it’s definitely not the best news for everyone else as facing up against Disc Priests that just outheal your damage by dealing damage back to you is never fun.
With these changes, comps like RMP (Rogue/Mage/Priest) and Jungle (Hunter, Feral Druid, Healer) are probably going to remain as some of the best 3s comps in the game. It’s possible that we’ll see a resurgence of Disc Priest popularity in 2s given the recent rise of Holy Priests as the dominant healer Priest spec in 9.0.5.
The last set of PvP talents I’ll be looking at give Mages and Warlocks a ton of outplay potential by interacting with positioning and line of sight of the enemy team.
First, we’ve got
which is accessible to all Warlock specs. This allows Warlocks to ’port’ players to their
, essentially allowing them to make really clutch plays such as porting a healer or DPS out of line of sight of their team in order to set up a kill, or to simply keep themselves alive by using it as a pseudo-mobility cooldown. While this new PvP talent certainly won’t be enough to single-handedly make Warlocks a top tier spec, it’s definitely a really cool one that I’m certain Warlocks will have a ton of fun using.
is the new PvP talent just for Frost Mages. This one allows the Mage to raise a wall of ice that works in the same way as a pillar, allowing them to make game-winning plays by preventing players from being healed during important moments. It’s very comparable to a Rogue’s
and I definitely expect it to be used in a similar way to set up kills, although it has even more potential than
as a defensive tool to stop casts from going off and to prevent incoming damage or crowd control from landing on your team due to how it inhibits line of sight.
All together, these two talents provide a ton of outplay potential and are certainly welcome additions to the PvP meta as I can see those who push these talents to the limit winning games because of them.
While there are plenty of other new PvP talents being introduced that I didn’t touch on, the ones I covered in this article are my picks as the most meta-defining ones. As always with discussions before a patch hits, it’s difficult to accurately predict what will and what will not be strong, however it’s fair to say that some of the upcoming new PvP talents are extremely strong and might not make it to the live game in their current form. Either way, I think most of us could agree that we’re stoked to finally see PvP changes like these happening and hopefully Shadowlands Patch 9.1 will end up being really fun to play thanks to these new talents.
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