A Detailed Look at Unchained Gladiator's Shackles in 9.1
Today, we're taking a detailed look at the Unchained Gladiator's Shackles PvP Trinket coming in Patch 9.1 and analyzing how it might be used!
About the Author
My name is
. I have been playing this game for over a decade starting in The Burning Crusade. Since then I have been on a journey to essentially beat the game in every way; collecting, achievements, mounts, PvP, PvE, etc. I am and have been a Balance Druid main since day one. I Mythic Raid in the US guild <Might> on Zul'Jin. My PvP experience includes being a 5 time Gladiator and I have RBG'd at 2900 multiple times. I continuously play to try to find the most efficient way of grinding honor, rating, and other aspects of the game.
Unchained Gladiator's Shackles Breakdown
At first glance, this trinket looks to be on par with previous seasonal trinkets we have seen such as
. Both of these saw heavy use on and off throughout their addition in Battle for Azeroth and I predict this trinket will be no different. Let us breakdown what we know about this trinket:
The cast is 4 second channel with the healing absorb persisting for 4 seconds after last tick.
Each second channeled applies 1/4th of the damage/healing absorb to the target.
The healing absorb is a magic debuff meaning it can be dispelled similar to Maledict.
The channel debuff is categorized as a curse effect meaning Druid, Shaman, and Mage are able to decurse the friendly target to stop the channel.
Slows the user of the trinket by 50% during the Shackle channel meaning you can move during the channel.
The channel cannot be interrupted by standard interrupts.
There is a 1 second cast time before the channel begins.
It has a 20 yard range.
It does not currently appear to be on the GCD (despite the 1 second cast time).
It has a 3 minute cooldown.
After breaking down what this trinket actually does, let's analyze its strengths and weaknesses.
Applies both damage and a healing absorb.
Unable to be interrupted by a standard kick.
Being off the GCD making it easier to set up.
Healing absorb and channel are two different dispel schools.
It has a 3 minute cooldown, which means in most cases you will see 1-2 uses per match at a maximum.
A 20 yard range makes it very easy to predict usage.
Druid and Shaman healers are able to remove the entirety of this trinket with one dispel.
The trinket forces you to channel for the duration and be slowed by 50%, leaving you vulnerable and unable to cast spells.
Very simple micro-stuns make it very easy to interrupt the channel, for example
In a PvP meta that is very fast-paced and burst-heavy, this trinket might have a place in some situations and compositions. It is no secret how important the
trinket is for the majority of classes to be able to survive the heavy burst this meta brings, and this trinket would have to replace that in order to make its usage worthwhile. For that reason I believe this trinket will only be looked at in situations where the Battlemaster's trinket isn't needed to survive, or when the enemy team doesn't have an easy way to nullify this trinket entirely.
Even after the recent Battlemaster's nerf
I don't predict it going away anytime soon with how burst-heavy the game is.
is very similar to
in applying Shadow damage and a healing absorb, but has a few differences. Maledict had a 40 yard range compared to Shackles that has a 20 yard range. Paired with having to complete a 4 second channel, the Shackle trinket seems to be a weaker version of what Maledict was. The only advantage the Shackle trinket has on paper is the removal requiring both a Curse and Magic dispel to cover both sides, since Magic cleanse removes the healing absorb and Curse cleanse stops the channel altogether. Any team with a Druid, Shaman, or Mage counters this trinket greatly since a curse dispel stops the channel entirely.
saw a lot of use in Battle for Azeroth. Waiting for a healer to dispel and then having three Maledicts used one after another proved to be a viable strategy when facing some compositions, and it's possible we could see something similar with the Shackle trinket. However, because of the shorter range and easier counter-play than Maledict, I don't predict the Shackle trinket will be as popular.
is the first composition that comes to mind that this trinket could see play in. RMP is already a very fast-paced composition that capitalizes on long CC chains and damage windows. Crowd controlling the target that could dispel this or using one to bait the dispel and following up with two more uses is a strategy RMP used heavily with Maledicts.
If you are against a Druid, Shaman, or Mage, rethink using this trinket. With the channel being a Curse effect, the ability for these three classes to hard-counter this trinket is massive. Being able to see the composition you face before a match will let you make the adjustment on a match-by-match basis. The Shackle trinket being a 3 minute cooldown emphasizes the importance to utilize its full effect.
On paper this trinket may seem exactly like
, but once you break it down I believe it is a lesser version of that. I can't stress enough how important survivability is at this time and if the meta remains this way, having to trade out the
trinket will most likely make the Shackle trinket not worth using. However, as we saw with
, players will most likely come up with unique and clever ways to make this trinket shine. If the meta slows down and damage is not as spikey, more offensive options such as this could see more play.
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