Season 3 is on the horizon, and with it's approach comes the third raid of Dragonflight: Amirdrassil, the Dream's Hope
. Here I'll break down the different aspects of the bonus, how it impacts our build choices, and how well it fits into our playstyle. This time, the Enhancement set bonus sets its sights on
Together these present a set that interacts with multiple talent choices, and may require shifting some build archetypes into new territories while shoring up weaknesses in others. It's also very likely the reason that the direct damage portion of
was buffed by 500% in the patch as well, to give the GCD itself some additional punch.To get it out of the way, I think this bonus is incredibly well designed and probably my favourite we've ever had. There are some things people have concerns with that I'll try and address further down in the article, and explain both how it works and how we expect it to play out ingame.
To begin, the 2-piece
: when you cast
it immediately spawns a single
wolf that attacks your target. This does not
generate the ticking
buff when it spawns, and is always of the
lightning variant (usually exclusive to the
talent). Aside from the mentioned buff not activating, this behaves in the same as any other wolf and will trigger
For the 4-piece
: this works as it reads, every individual
wolf will reduce the cooldown of
by 7 seconds. This includes the wolf generated from the 2-piece, and your
counts for two. That effectively means the bonuses combined are reducing your
cooldown to 24 seconds (roughly) assuming you keep these two abilities in a cycle together.
Pairing these together will mean that it's mandatory
to take at least one point
(which all builds can easily do, and I'll explain below in the build impact section). Making use of the bonus is both intuitive and versatile, bringing a modest single target increase over the Aberrus
bonus, and a significant AoE boost when using supporting talents.
In terms of gameplay, this raises the priority of casting
right to the top, and leveraging
's on use cooldown reduction from this takes priority over the
cooldown reduction gained from the
cast (when using
). While there are some concerns about waste here, in reality for gameplay they're more like redundancy tools for each other - allowing you to more consistently hit that 24-second cycling sweet spot between each cast of the two spells compared to the desync that can happen on live.
It's hard to really come up with a strong critique of the underlying idea. The only one I can really come up with is that
doesn't really have a good single target alternative choice node - but
does so much on its own for the builds that path down to the bottom that even that feels like nitpicking.
Because Enhancement has two distinct builds that play very differently, this bonus has much more impact on how you build your character than previous effects. Due to Elementalist
already leaning toward the
track to begin with fitting it in is more natural. That said, Storm
can easily find a way to incorporate it and get the most out of the throughput. This is very much a bonus that benefits all in (roughly) equal measure.
You can use the tabs in each build section below for single target and AoE breakdowns.
Given that Elementalist
builds have consistently made use of
throughout Dragonflight, the way it slots into the tree feels natural. Due to that, it generally gains the largest benefit of the two archetypes:
Of all the builds, Elementalist sees the biggest impact bringing it closer to Storm's performance, giving a lower RNG but still competitive option. Using the old core, it has one decision to make when building:
- Does it need a cooldown? ➜ Path to .
- Does it need consistent bursts? ➜ Path to .
Both paths bring what Elementalist needs - more through either or . This creates a 24-second cycle (, , 2x , repeat) that feels sublime to play.
Whether it beats Storm remains to be seen, but its flexibility and increased consistency makes it a real contender this time around.
Of our current builds, this one will feel the most at home compared to previous season's gameplay loop. Using the standard AoE Elementalist loadout, it has the most significant impact on its output due to how well it can leverage .
Considering we're already quite strong in AoE, I expect us to get even better in M+ and AoE speficially using this build because we have:
- Excellent Burst AoE profile.
- Potent Funnel as soon as there's 2-6 targets.
- returns as a stop now we don't use the Aberrus set.
With the absurd uptime on granting up to 60% Haste, taking a very engaging playstyle and injecting more speed, and I'm excited to see how it plays out on live.
hasn't ever really incorporated
into its builds (aside from some AoE loadouts in previous seasons), fitting it in is more of a puzzle. It does however have incentives to use it throughout the tree:
Storm's biggest questions with this tier bonus in single target (at least based on forums) are:
- How do I fit into my build, there's no spare points?
- How does it fit into the Storm playstyle of well, spamming ?
Conveniently, the answers are super simple. We just drop one point in (Storm already has an overflow of ), shifting it into - there's no reason to continue the path to . Just cast on cooldown, doesn't matter if consumes it.
Don't worry, your scheduled isn't going away. It also likely remains a top single target build for us, it just has competition.
This is likely to be the build that has the hardest time transitioning, as the strongest build (Storm Cleave) struggles to find points. and are needed to set up , and one point from is dropped if it wants to maintain .
This means Storm has to decide between either powerful AoE or a more balanced setup using either:
- Full AoE: Path to , plus .
- Cleave: , 2x , path.
That means some of the filler talents we used in 10.1 to fill out the tree are likely drops, such as , , , and possibly even and .
I understand not everyone is 's
biggest fan, but give me a soapbox for a few seconds to sell it to you. The ability is incredibly simple to get payoff with (especially in AoE given the setup is largely passive thanks to
) and that payoff is huge
. The 500% buff to the base
damage in 10.2 also softens the empty GCD it feels like it requires, and the 2-piece
buff multipliers to play with for extra damage windows. Lastly, let's be honest, getting a super-
in AoE with
feels awesome so having more of that (up to 50% uptime!) is welcome. Our extremely valuable profile of burst AoE paired with Funnel is the best selling point
of Enhancement in challenging content, and this bonus not just doubles but triples down on improving that.
For virtually every build we've been playing in 10.1, this bonus is a direct upgrade - with the exception being Storm Cleave
(but alternative builds do exist in its place thanks to the new bonus). The gameplay is elevated in a meaningful way and adds something that can be played around using very minimal
talent swaps. While it may not be immediately intuitive to talent
everywhere, fitting the button into your rotation is as easy as
was last tier - and that eventually turned out to be a good bonus after some reworking. So, there's no need to panic, Storm is not dead
, it's just not as ahead as it was before in single target.
When it comes to performance, single target is looking at an increase of between 2.5-5% when compared to Tier 30, and significantly more in AoE (depending on build - the biggest winner being Elementalist
variants). It also adds a good 20-30 second ebb and flow cycle between burst and sustained damage windows, giving the rotation some needed texture. Finally, there's more parity than ever between archetypes depending on your preference (and we already had it really
good before), and an easier time flexing our strong niches.TL;DR
- in my personal opinion
after all this time playing Enhancement, this is one of the most flexible, well designed and exciting set bonuses we've ever seen (especially for a PTR first pass) - helped in large part by our excellent spec tree. Big props to the dev that came up with this, and honestly, I already hope it turns into a talent one day.