PvP Tuning Analysis: Are These Classes Still Viable? | Boomkin, Mage, Ret & Holy Paladin Nerfs

The PVP balancing hot fixes that we all have been waiting for is finally here. Find out what the changes mean and how they are going to impact your game. 


Players now deal 20% less damage to Death Knight, Hunter and Warlock pets. This won’t have too much of an impact for Death Knights (given they already have short cooldown on summoning their pet) and Warlocks (for they sacrifice their pets). This change is especially good for Hunters as they previously struggled with keeping their pet alive. Cleaves would just sit on a Hunter and tunnel them down while also putting damage into their pet and once a Hunter’s pet is dead, they will become much easier to deal with. 

Marksmanship Hunter in Shadowlands - DPS Strengths, Best Covenants,  Soulbinds and Legendaries - Wowhead News


An excellent change in 2v2 arenas as they will now once again start at 20% dampening. Having to start without dampening was really bad for classes without a mortal strike effect as healers would have an easy time to heal through their damage. Games were lasting up to 10 minutes which no one enjoys, especially in match ups where teams benefit from playing to live instead of trying to win the game. This will hopefully make 2v2 once again be more about trading cooldowns and making offensive plays as opposed to just dealing damage and winning because you have a mortal strike effect and your opponent does not. 


An anticipated nerf to Night Fae Druid, especially their signature covenant ability-  convoke.  Convoke the Spirits will no longer cast full moon and feral frenzy when engaged in combat with enemy players. This is a good change as this removes the randomness of getting one shot by convoke which has been happening in all levels. This will not make convoke useless for Balance Druids as you can still proc back-to-back star surges but this change at least removes the chance of landing huge full moon hits that would erase a player’s health bar in a fraction of a second. 

Night Fae Covenant in Shadowlands Overview: Abilities, Soulbinds and  Rewards - Guides - Wowhead
Night Fae


Reasonable nerfs have been applied to the mages’ Triune Ward legendary and combustion. Starting off with the nerf to the mages legendary, this will now be at 50% effectiveness in PVP situations as opposed to the previous 65%. This is essentially a 23% nerf to the shields which makes it noticeable. We expect this to make it easier for teams without a reliable offensive dispel to pressure mages. Previously, mages were almost unkillable for these types of comps. Thus it will be easier to force offensives like ice block and cauterize from a mage if you don’t have an offensive dispel which makes this nerf great for any comps without. We don’t expect mages to drop this legendary as it will still be very strong. This nerf simply brings it more in line with where it should have originally been. 

Triune Ward - Spell - World of Warcraft
Triune Ward

On top of the nerf to the mage legendary, we have also seen a nerf to fire mages as their conduit Infernal Cascade’s effectiveness is now reduced by a third in pvp situations. This equates to a 9.8% nerf with a 226 item level conduit, this nerf will not kill the spec and combustion will still be a very deadly cooldown. It’s going to give players slightly more time to react and trade defensives to survive. 


Last change on the list is a healing nerf to all 3 Paladin specs. Holy Paladin’s Divine Favor talent cooldown has been increased to 30 seconds up from 25. And the casting speed benefit has been changed from 60% down to 30%. The additional 5 seconds on Divine Favor is not the biggest deal, however it may occasionally force cooldowns out of the Paladin where he previously would have been able to cast without the risk of an interrupt. However, the casting speed reduction here is what counts. It will relatively be an impactful nerf especially against teams that have an offensive dispel this is especially true for Resto Shamans and mages as they will have a much easier time using purge or spell steel to remove Divine Favor and interrupt the Holy Paladin. 

Holy Paladin in Shadowlands - Healer Strengths, Best Covenants, Soulbinds  and Legendaries - Wowhead News
Holy Paladin

The much sought after Word of Glory nerfs for Retribution and Protection Paladins. Word of Glory’s healing has been reduced by 20% in pvp situations. Previously, Ret Paladin can essentially keep their team alive on their own while their healer is CC’d for extended periods of time. Although this change most likely won’t impact pre-dampening if you are able to secure long cc chains on healers, it will become harder for the Ret Paladin to just outheal everything with ease. However, this is definitely going to hurt the spec in those deep damp games especially against classes with a mortal strike effect. It must be stated though that we would have much preferred to see a nerf to the Healing Hands talent as opposed to the flat 20% Word of Glory nerf. Given that Healing Hands is the reason Ret Paladins are able to top themselves and their teammates when they are low.   

Video chapters:

0:00 – Intro

0:21 – Survivability Buff To pets

1:06 – 2v2 Dampening Change

1:42 – Convoke The Spirits Nerf

2:21 – Mage Nerfs

3:30 – Paladin Nerfs

4:55 – Recap

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