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Icon-patch-22x22 Patch 6.0.2
“The Iron Tide”
Release date October 14, 2014
Latest version date October 15, 2014
Initial version 19027
Latest version 19034
Interface .toc 60000 (changes)
Official links

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Patch 6.0.2 was the systems patch of World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor. The patch was deployed on the Public Test Realm on September 9, 2014 and released on October 14, 2014.

Last patch notes update: 2014-10-13


The Dark Portal in the Blasted Lands has turned blood red. Hundreds of strange-looking orcs are violently pouring into Azeroth, killing everything that stands in their path. Nethergarde and Okril’lon have already fallen, and while the Horde and the Alliance moved as quickly as they could to get reinforcements to their people, they are too late. The Iron Horde invasion has begun.

In this desperate hour, King Wrynn and Warchief Vol’jin have called upon their greatest champions to join the front lines in the Blasted Lands and do whatever they can to stop the Iron Horde...before the rest of Azeroth falls before them.

Prepare yourself. Draenor is waiting.

New features[]

New character models[]

  • Character models for races from the original game (dwarf, gnome, human, night elf, orc, tauren, troll, and undead), and draenei have been overhauled with an increase to fidelity and texture resolution; while retaining the core look and feel of the originals.
  • Character animations have been updated to have more personality and now support expressive facial expressions. Emotes are now more emotive!
  • Some of the new and improved character models can be viewed on our website.
  • Barber Shop now provides additional character facial-customization options.

World Event: Iron Horde Incursion[]

  • The Dark Portal in the Blasted Lands has turned blood red. Hundreds of strange-looking orcs are violently pouring into Azeroth, killing everything that stands in their path. Nethergarde and Okril'lon have already fallen, and while the Horde and the Alliance moved as quickly as they could to get reinforcements to their people, they are too late. The Iron Horde invasion has begun.
  • Adventurers looking to dislodge the Iron Horde's attempts to establish a foothold on Azeroth should visit the Blasted Lands.
  • A specially revamped five-player version of Upper Blackrock Spire is available to level-90 characters for a limited time, and sets the stage for the coming counterstrike against the Iron Horde.

Revamped Group Finder/Premade groups[]

  • Premade Groups is a directory of parties and raids that are looking for more people. You can browse the list of groups or list your own group for others to see. The Premade Groups tab is found in both the Dungeons & Raids and Player vs. Player sections of the now consolidated Group Finder pane.
  • For an in-depth explanation of Premade Groups, check out Premade Groups: Looking for Adventure.

Quest log[]

  • The quest log has been integrated into the world map to make it easier to know where to go and what to do.
  • Some quest items no longer take up space in the inventory and can be accessed through the Quest Tracker.
  • Quest tracker automatically sorts quests based on proximity when crossing into a new zone.

Inventory improvements[]

  • Items in the inventory now have a colored border around them to indicate their quality from Poor (grey) to Legendary (orange).
  • Tradeskill materials now stack up to 200 (up from 20).

Toy Box[]

  • Fun items accumulated through the course of travels now have a new home in the Toy Box. Eligible items can be learned by right-clicking on the item in the inventory. Once learned, the item is available account-wide and accessible to all characters on the account.
  • Want to complete the collection? Like the Mount and Pet Journal, items that haven't been unlocked yet will show information on how the item can be obtained.
  • Toys awarded from quests will be automatically added to the Toy Box.

Bag sorting and cleanup[]

  • Bags can now be assigned to a specific item type (Equipment, Consumables, and Trade Goods). The bag will display a mini-icon showing what type of item it's assigned to.
  • Added a "Clean up Bags" button to automatically sort items in the character's inventory, moving all empty slots to one area, and automatically sorting items to the correct bag. There's also the option to ignore a bag from cleanup.

Reagent bank[]

  • A Reagent Bank tab has been added to the Bank providing storage for raw materials.
  • Characters can now craft using the materials stored in both their Reagent Bank and Bank from anywhere.
  • Characters can visit the bank to unlock the new Reagent Bank tab providing additional storage space for profession materials.

New Void Storage tab[]

  • Characters can now purchase an additional tab for Void Storage. That's an extra 80 spaces!

New raid structure[]

  • Each difficulty has its own lockout.
  • Dungeon Finder no longer has a tab for queuing into Flexible (now Normal) Raid difficulty.
  • Difficulty levels and Raid sizes have been restructured for Siege of Orgrimmar and new Raids going forward as shown below.
5.4.8 (Old) 6.0.2 (New)
Raid Finder (25) Raid Finder (10-30)
Flexible (10-25) Normal (10-30)

Normal (10)
Normal (25)

Heroic (10-30)

Heroic (10)
Heroic (25)

Mythic (20)

Boosted characters[]

  • Newly Boosted Characters now start on the front lines in the Blasted Lands, doing whatever they can to stop the Iron Horde pouring out of The Dark Portal and start with a basic set of spells and abilities for their class. Characters unlock the rest of their spells and abilities by advancing through the Iron Horde Incursion world event in the Blasted Lands.

Character and class changes[]

Welcome to a look at character and class changes. We're trying a new patch note format, which we hope will help better convey the reasoning for many of the changes being made and what they mean for you, while providing more background into issues we're trying to solve.

Looking for a TL;DR summary of the character and class changes? Here you go!

Stat squish[]

Character progression is one of the defining characteristics of a role-playing game. Naturally, that means that we're continuously adding more power to the game for players to acquire. After 4 expansions and over 9 years of this growth, we've gotten to a point where the numbers involved are no longer easy to grasp. And worse, much of the granularity that's available is tied up in tiers of older content from Molten Core to Dragon Soul, none of which are really relevant anymore. It's no longer necessary for Borean Tundra quest gear to be nearly twice as powerful as Netherstorm quest gear, even though the two zones are only a couple of levels apart.

In order to bring things down to an understandable level, we've reduced the scale of stats throughout the game, back to as if they continued scaling linearly through questing content from levels 1 to 90. This applies to creatures, spells, abilities, consumables, gear, other items... everything. Your stats and damage have been reduced by a huge amount, but so have creatures' health. For example, your Spell fire flamebolt [Fireball] that previously hit a creature for 450,000 out of its 3,000,000 health (15% of its health), may now hit that same creature for 30,000 out of its 200,000 health (still 15% of its health). In effect, you will still be just as powerful, but the numbers that appear will be more easily parsed.

It's important to understand that this isn't a nerf, and we have special handling in place to preserve players' existing ability to solo old content. Players will deal bonus damage against lower-level creatures from past expansions, and will take reduced damage from them.

We've also removed all base damage on player spells and abilities, and adjusted Attack Power or Spell Power scaling as needed, so that all specializations will scale at the same rate.

  • The amount of stats on items has been reduced to be much lower than before.
  • Creature stats have been reduced to compensate.

We've also streamlined the multitude of various types of Haste % and Critical Strike % bonuses.

  • Spell Haste %, Melee Haste %, and Ranged Haste % have been merged into a universal Haste %.
  • Spell Crit %, Melee Crit %, and Ranged Crit % have been merged into a universal Crit %.

Primary character stats and attack power[]

The "primary" stats, Agility, Strength, and Intellect, are foundations of a character's power. But they have not been created equally, making it difficult to properly balance them against secondary stats. The leading reason for this is that Agility and Intellect also provide Critical Strike chance, in addition to Attack Power or Spell Power, whereas Strength does not. In order to achieve better balance, we've removed the Critical Strike chance increase from Agility and Intellect. Still, it felt like Agility-based characters should critically strike more often, so we've raised those classes' baseline Critical Strike chance to compensate.

  • Agility no longer provides an increased chance to critically strike with melee and ranged attacks or abilities.
  • Intellect no longer provides an increased chance to critically strike with spells.
  • The base chance to critically strike is now 5% for all classes. There are no longer different chances to critically strike with melee, ranged, and spells.
  • There is a new passive, named Critical Strikes, which increases chance to critically strike by 10%.

We've consolidated the way that Attack Power and Spell Power function and scale, to make those values clearer and correct some scaling issues regarding caster weapons relative to physical weapons.

  • Each point of Agility or Strength now grants 1 Attack Power (down from 2). All other sources of Attack Power now grant half as much as before.
  • Weapon Damage values on all weapons have been reduced by 50%.
  • Attack Power now increases Weapon Damage at a rate of 1 DPS per 3.5 Attack Power (up from 1 DPS per 14 Attack Power).
  • Attack Power, Spell Power, or Weapon Damage now affect the entire healing or damage throughput of player spells.

Active mitigation has worked very well as a tanking model. So, moving forward we want to keep the amount of Dodge and Parry on tanks on the low side. This helps prevent encounters from causing very spiky damage on tanks, which generally isn't much fun. Dodge and Parry gains from Strength and Agility are being reduced to help accomplish this. Additionally, items in Warlords of Draenor will not have Dodge or Parry on them as a stat. Some Dodge and Parry can still be gained through class-specific effects.

  • The amount of Dodge gained per point of Agility has been reduced by 25%.
  • The amount of Parry gained per point of Strength has been reduced by 25%.

Itemization changes[]

We're making a number of changes to itemization based on a single philosophy: We want to increase the chance that any given item drop is useful to someone in your group. To support this philosophy we're making a few changes to stats. Most items found in Draenor will work for all specializations within a given class, so that you never have to grumble when you see, for example, Intellect plate drop in a group that lacks a Holy paladin.

We're also reducing the number of role-specific stats: Hit and Expertise are gone, as are Dodge and Parry as stats on items, replaced with a single tank stat of Bonus Armor. Armor and Spirit will be specific to tanks and healers respectively, but all other secondary stats will have universal appeal.

Because of the magnitude of this change, we're retroactively applying this philosophy to items in Mists of Pandaria. After the pre-expansion patch you may find that some of your items contribute different stats, but they should still be good for your class.

New secondary stats added

  • Bonus Armor: Increases Armor and Attack Power for tanking specializations.
  • Multistrike: Grants a chance for spells and abilities to fire up to 2 additional times, at 30% effectiveness (both damage and healing).
  • Versatility: Increases damage, healing, and absorption done. Reduces damage taken.

Mists of Pandaria and future items

  • Dodge and Parry have been replaced with Bonus Armor. If an item had both Dodge and Parry on it, it has been replaced with an additional useful secondary stat.
  • Head, Chest, Hand, Wrist, Waist, Leg, Feet, Weapon, Shield, and Off-hand items that had tanking stats (Dodge, Parry) or healer stats (Spirit) have been replaced with a different universally useful secondary stat.

Warlords of Draenor and future items

  • Plate Armor pieces will always have Strength and Intellect on it.
  • Mail and Leather Armor pieces will always have Agility and Intellect on it.

In an effort to reduce the physical mitigation of some classes, we've modified the amount of Armor provided by some armor types.

  • Plate, Mail, and Shields now have less Armor relative to Cloth and Leather armor.

Hit and expertise removal[]

Hit and Expertise were not fun stats. They acted to remove a penalty, instead of making you stronger. Most players treated Hit/Expertise caps as mandatory (rightfully so), with failure to reach those caps as a trap of sorts. After adjusting, gemming, and reforging gear to meet that cap, players could then go after the actual damage-increasing stats. We decided to remove Hit and Expertise, and make it so you don't need them. We still want melee specializations to attack creatures from behind when possible, so attacks from the front will have a 3% chance to be parried that cannot be eliminated for non-tanking specializations.

Secondary stat attunements[]

A new concept that we're introducing is each specialization having an attunement to a particular secondary stat. These take the form of a passive ability that grants a 5% increase to the amount of a specific secondary stat gained. This provides a good starting point for where to focus your secondary stats. Usually, it will be your highest throughput stat (not counting Spirit for Healers, and Bonus Armor for Tanks, which is an optimal secondary stat in most cases). There are exceptions, and raw throughput may not even be the biggest concern in some situations. Treat this as a guideline, not a rule, about which secondary stat to favor.

  • All specializations now receive a 5% bonus to specific secondary stat bonuses received from all sources. This bonus is granted through new passive abilities or additional effects added to existing passive abilities.
  • Death Knight
    • Blood: Multistrike
    • Frost: Haste
    • Unholy: Multistrike
  • Druid
    • Balance: Mastery
    • Feral: Critical Strike
    • Guardian: Mastery
    • Restoration: Haste
  • Hunter
    • Beast Mastery: Mastery
    • Marksmanship: Critical Strike
    • Survival: Multistrike
  • Mage
    • Arcane: Mastery
    • Fire: Critical Strike
    • Frost: Multistrike
  • Monk
    • Brewmaster: Critical Strike
    • Mistweaver: Multistrike
    • Windwalker: Multistrike
  • Paladin
    • Holy: Critical Strike
    • Protection: Haste
    • Retribution: Mastery
  • Priest
    • Discipline: Critical Strike
    • Holy: Multistrike
    • Shadow: Haste
  • Rogue
    • Assassination: Mastery
    • Combat: Haste
    • Subtlety: Multistrike
  • Shaman
    • Elemental: Multistrike
    • Enhancement: Haste
    • Restoration: Mastery
  • Warlock
    • Affliction: Haste
    • Demonology: Mastery
    • Destruction: Critical Strike
  • Warrior
    • Arms: Mastery
    • Fury: Critical Strike
    • Protection: Mastery

Player health and resilience[]

We're planning several interconnected changes designed to provide better-tuned gameplay for healers and improve the healing dynamic in PvP.

The high amount of base Resilience and Ability creature cursed 05 [Battle Fatigue] in Mists of Pandaria caused characters to feel much weaker in PvP than they did in PvE. To address this disparity, we're approaching Warlords of Draenor with the goal of shrinking that gap as much as possible. To reduce dependence on Resilience, we needed to increase player survivability against other players, and we chose to do this by essentially doubling (post-squish) player health.

On its own, that increase in health would make players more survivable in the world at large, so we're also increasing creature damage and the effectiveness of healing spells to balance things out. The net result of these changes is that individual attacks will knock a smaller chunk off of a player's health pool in PvP, but your survivability in PvE remains unaffected.

Doubling player health gave us room to reduce Resilience and Battle Fatigue, but our goal was to be able to remove them entirely. In order to achieve that, we're also reducing PvP spike damage across the board by lowering Critical Damage and Critical Heals against players in PvP to 150% of their normal effect (down from 200%). The changes have allowed us to reduce Base Resilience to 0%, and [remove Battle Fatigue].[1]

Changes to PvP

Changes to Health Pools

  • Amount of health gained per Stamina point has been doubled. The curve on this calculation has been smoothed out as well, so exact amount varies slightly by level.
  • Maximum mana has been doubled at all levels to keep pace with expected increases to maximum health from new Stamina values.
  • All consumables now restore twice as much health and mana.
  • All creatures had their melee damage doubled. Most creature spells and abilities have had their damage doubled as well.
  • All player-cast healing and absorption effects have been increased by approximately 50% in effectiveness. If they heal or absorb a percentage of maximum health, they are instead reduced by 25%. All other noted changes are in terms relative to that.
    • For example, if another noted change is that "Mega Heal now heals for 40% more," that means that Mega Heal now heals for a total of 210% of what it used to, which is relatively 40% higher compared to other heals.

Retuning healing spells[]

One of our goals for healing is to tone down the raw throughput of healers relative to the size of player health pools. Currently, as healers and their allies acquire better and better gear, the percentage of a player's health that any given heal restores increases significantly. As a result, healers are able to refill health bars so fast that we have to make damage more and more "bursty" in order to challenge them. Ideally, we want players to spend some time below full health without having healers feel like their groupmates are in danger of dying at any moment. We also think that healer gameplay would be more varied, interesting, and skillful if your allies spent more time between 0% and 100%, rather than just getting damaged quickly to low health, forcing the healer to then scramble to get them back to 100% as quickly as possible.

To that end, we're buffing heals less than we're increasing player health. Heals will be deliberately less potent compared to health pools than before the item squish. Additionally, as gear improves, the scaling rates of health and healing will now be very similar, so the relative power of any given healing spell shouldn't climb so much over the course of this expansion. For those concerned about what this means for raiding, don't worry—we're taking all of these changes into account when designing Raid content for Warlords of Draenor.

It's also important to note that spells that heal based on a percentage of maximum health are being effectively buffed by the massive increase to player health pools, so we're lowering those percentages to offset the effect. That may make them appear to have been nerfed—however, the net result is that those percentage-based heals stay about the same as before relative to other heals.

All of these changes apply to damage-absorption shields as well. Additionally, we're toning down the power of damage absorption in general. When they get too strong, absorption effects are often used in place of direct healing, instead of as a way to supplement it. We will, of course, take these changes into account when tuning specializations that rely heavily on absorbs, such as Discipline Priests.

We also took a look at healing spells that were passive or auto-targeted (so-called "smart" heals). We want healers to care about who they're targeting and which heals they're using, so that their decisions matter more. To that end, we're reducing the healing of many passive and auto-targeted heals, and making smart heals a little less smart. Smart heals will now randomly pick any injured target within range instead of always picking the most injured target. Priority will still be given to players over pets, of course.

Another of our goals for healing in this expansion is to strike a better balance between single-target and multi-target healing spells. We've taken a close look at the mana efficiency of our multi-target heals, and in many cases, we're reducing their efficiency, usually by reducing the amount they heal. Sometimes, but more rarely, raising their mana cost was a better decision. We want players to use multi-target heals, but they should only be better than their single-target equivalents when they heal more than two players without any overhealing. This way, players will face a meaningful choice between whether to use a single-target heal or a multi-target heal based on the situation.

Finally, we're removing the low-throughput, low-mana-cost heals like Ability druid nourish [Nourish], Spell holy holybolt [Holy Light], Spell holy heal [Heal], and Spell nature healingwavelesser [Healing Wave], because we think that while they do add complexity, they don't truly add depth to healing gameplay. (We're also renaming some spells to re-use those names. For example, Spell nature healingwavelesser [Greater Healing Wave] is being redubbed Healing Wave.) However, we still want healers to think about their mana when deciding which heal to cast, and so the mana costs and throughputs of many spells are being altered to give players a choice between spells with lower throughput and lower cost versus spells with higher throughput and higher costs. Here are some examples from each healer class.

Class Higher efficiency Higher throughput
Druid Spell nature healingtouch [Healing Touch], Spell nature rejuvenation [Rejuvenation], Inv misc herb talandrasrose [Efflorescence] Spell nature resistnature [Regrowth], Ability druid flourish [Wild Growth]
Monk Ability monk soothingmists [Soothing Mist], Ability monk renewingmists [Renewing Mist] Ability monk surgingmist [Surging Mist], Ability monk cranekick new [Spinning Crane Kick]
Paladin Spell holy holybolt [Holy Light], Spell holy searinglight [Holy Shock], Inv helmet 96 [Word of Glory], Spell paladin lightofdawn [Light of Dawn] Spell holy flashheal [Flash of Light], Spell paladin divinecircle [Holy Radiance]
Priest Greater Heal, Spell holy circleofrenewal [Circle of Healing], Spell holy prayerofmendingtga [Prayer of Mending], Spell holy holynova [Holy Nova] (new Discipline-only version), Spell holy penance [Penance] Spell holy flashheal [Flash Heal], Spell holy prayerofhealing02 [Prayer of Healing]
Shaman Spell nature healingwavelesser [Healing Wave], Spell nature riptide [Riptide], Spell nature giftofthewaterspirit [Healing Rain] Spell nature healingway [Healing Surge], Spell nature healingwavegreater [Chain Heal]

All of this discussion of efficiency may cause most healers to start worrying about mana regeneration and their mana pool. To allay those concerns, we've increased base mana regeneration a great deal at early gear levels, while having it scale up less at later gear levels. This will make all of these changes play well even in early content such as Heroic Dungeons and the first tier of Raid content, and also play well in the final Raid tier without mana and efficiency becoming irrelevant due to extremely high regeneration values.

That's a lot of big changes for healers: reduced throughput, a more deliberate pace, less powerful "smart" heals, weaker absorbs, fewer spells, and a new focus on efficiency decisions. We're confident that we can apply lessons learned from previous expansions to make this the best healer experience yet: more dynamic, less punishing, and frankly a lot more fun.

General Changes to Healing

  • Smart heals will now randomly pick any injured target within range, instead of always picking the most injured target. Priority will still be given to players over pets.
  • Long-cast-time single-target heals, such as Greater Heal and Spell nature healingtouch [Healing Touch], now cost roughly half as much as fast-cast-time single-target heals, such as Spell holy flashheal [Flash of Light] or Spell nature healingway [Healing Surge], and heal for roughly the same amount.
  • Every class has multiple area healing spells available, some low throughput and efficient, others high throughput and inefficient.
  • Area healing spells are tuned to be less efficient than single-target healing spells when they heal 2 or fewer targets, and more efficient when they heal 3 or more targets.
  • Spells with cooldowns or limitations may have higher efficiency than the no-cooldown equivalents.

Racial traits[]

We want races to have fun and interesting perks, but if those traits are too powerful, players may feel compelled to play a specific race even if it doesn't suit their aesthetic preference. For example, trolls' Racial troll berserk [Berserking] ability was extremely powerful, and their Inv misc pelt bear ruin 02 [Beast Slaying] passive was often irrelevant, but occasionally tremendously powerful compared to other racial passives. On the other end of the spectrum, many races had few or no performance affecting perks. We also needed to replace or update a number of racials that previously granted Hit or Expertise, since those stats have been removed.

We decided to bring down the couple high outliers, then establish a fair baseline and bring everyone else up to that. We achieved that by improving old passives, replacing obsolete ones, and occasionally adding new ones where needed. Our goal with these changes is to reach parity amongst races.

Ability pruning and consolidation[]

Over the years, we've added significantly more new spells and abilities to the game than we've removed. This has led to the complexity of the game increasing steadily over time, to the point we're at now, where players feel like they need dozens of keybinds. There are many niche abilities which could theoretically be useful in some rare case, but usually are not. There are many abilities that we'd be better off not having. We decided that we needed to make a strong push for paring down the number of abilities each class/spec has. That means making some abilities restricted to certain specs that really need them instead of being class-wide, and outright removing some other abilities. It also includes removing some Spellbook clutter, such as passives that could be merged with others, or with base abilities.

However, this doesn't mean that we want to reduce the depth of gameplay, or "dumb it down." We still want there to be interesting decisions during combat, and for skill to matter. But, that doesn't require complexity; we can remove some needless complexity and still retain the depth and skill variance.

One type of ability that we focused on is temporary power buffs ("cooldowns"). Removing those also helps achieve one of our other goals, which is to reduce the amount of cooldown stacking in the game. In cases where a class/spec had multiple cooldowns that typically ended up getting used together, often in a single macro, we merged them, or removed some of them.

What abilities and spells got cut is a very, very difficult question to answer. Every ability is vital to someone, so we don't take this process lightly. We hope that even if we cut your favorite ability, you can see it in the context of our larger goals. It's important to remember that the point of these changes is to increase players' ability to understand the game, not to reduce depth of gameplay. We attempt to prune abilities with the intent to reduce the amount of keybind/macro bloat and merging abilities that served a similar purpose but are otherwise redundant together.

  • Additional changes
    • Revised the levels at which class abilities are learned to provide a smoother leveling experience.

Please see the classes section for changes specific to each class.

Crowd control and diminishing returns[]

Another big takeaway from Mists of Pandaria is that there was simply too much crowd control (CC) in the game. To solve that, we knew that we needed an across-the-board disarmament. Here's a summary of the player-cast CC changes:

  • Removed Silence effects from all Interrupts. Silences still exist, but are never attached to an Interrupt.
  • Removed all Disarms.
  • Reduced the number of Diminishing Returns (DR) categories.
    • All Roots now share the same DR category.
      • Exception: Roots on 'Charge' types of abilities have no DR category, but have a very short duration instead.
    • All Stuns now share the same DR category.
    • All Incapacitate ("Mesmerize") effects now share the same DR category, and have been merged with the Horror DR category.
    • A list of which Diminishing Returns category each crowd-control ability belongs to can be found in the forum thread titled: Diminishing Returns in Warlords of Draenor (archived version)
  • Removed the ability to make crowd-control spells with cast times into instant-cast with a cooldown.
  • Removed many crowd-control spells entirely, and increased the cooldowns and restrictions on others.
    • Pet-cast CC is more limited and often removed.
    • Spell nature earthbind [Cyclone] can now be dispelled by Immunity effects and Mass Dispel.
    • PvP trinkets now grant immunity to reapplication of an effect from the same spell cast when they break abilities with persistent effects like Ability vehicle sonicshockwave [Solar Beam].
    • Long fears are now shorter in PvP, to account for the target also needing to run back afterward.

Additionally, we've significantly reduced the number of throughput-increasing cooldowns and procs, in order to further reduce burst damage. Please keep in mind when reading the specifics of the patch notes that some classes may have lost abilities, or had the power of select abilities reduced. These changes were made in the context of the above goals. Other classes have a reduced crowd-control ability overall. We believe that this entire package of changes will make PvP a more enjoyable experience for everyone.

Movement speed[]

Moving quickly has always been a powerful bonus in World of Warcraft; however, the logic of how various movement speed bonuses stack (or don't) has generally been inconsistent and poorly explained. Under the old set-up, each movement speed bonus would become more powerful when combined with another, so we would limit what can stack with what, and prevent certain abilities from being used when another one is already in effect. We decided to change the movement speed system to make it more transparent, with rules about stacking that are easier to understand, and with fewer restrictions.

Previously, multiple movement speed modifiers on you were multiplicative, meaning that if you had two different +25% movement speed bonuses, they resulted in a total movement speed of 56% (1.25*1.25 = 1.56).

Movement speed bonuses have been changed to be additive. The previous example with two different +25% movement speed bonuses would result in a total movement speed of +50%. The logic governing which bonuses stack with others has been simplified as well.

  • Movement speed buffs that are self-only or is a passive effect are considered non-exclusive, and will now all stack together additively.
  • Movement speed buffs that are temporary or could be applied to other players are considered exclusive, their effects do not stack, and only the highest bonus gets applied (in addition to non-exclusive movement speed buffs).

Additionally, restrictions that prevented a player with a temporary speed bonus from receiving or activating a second temporary speed bonus have been removed. Both bonuses will now apply to the character, but only the one with the highest magnitude will have any effect.

Examples of self-only passive bonuses: Ability druid catform [Cat Form], Movement Speed enchants, Ability racial shadowmeld [Quickness] racial for Night Elves, Spell deathknight unholypresence [Unholy Presence]

  • These will all stack additively with each other.

Examples of shared or temporary bonuses: Ability priest angelicfeather [Angelic Feather], Ability rogue sprint [Sprint], Spell druid stampedingroar cat [Stampeding Roar]

  • All of these effects can now be applied simultaneously, but only the strongest one will have an effect.

Buffs and debuffs[]

All specializations provide some common buffs and debuffs. These are important to the game because they encourage cooperation, make you stronger when you work together with others, and promote raid composition diversity. However, we saw room to revise these buffs and debuffs. In addition to the above changes, we revised which buffs and debuffs are provided by Hunter pets. Please see the Hunter Pet Abilities section for a full list of changes.

Two new stats have been added that benefitted all players. Also added were three new debuffs (Weakened Armor, Physical Vulnerability, and Magic Vulnerability) that each benefitted only half of the group. While that could be interesting, the two physical debuffs were redundant, and felt that the two new stats would be better suited as raid buffs. So, we made that replacement.

  • Weakened Armor, Physical Vulnerability, and Magic Vulnerability
  • Versatility
    • Death Knight (Frost, Unholy): Inv helmet 08 [Unholy Aura] now also provides 3% Versatility.
    • Druid: Spell nature regeneration [Mark of the Wild] now also provides 3% Versatility.
    • Paladin (Retribution): Spell holy mindvision [Sanctity Aura] is a new passive ability for Retribution paladins which grants 3% Versatility to the paladin and all allies within 100 yards.
    • Warrior (Arms, Fury): Warrior talent icon skirmisher [Inspiring Presence] is a new passive ability for Arms and Fury warriors which grants 3% Versatility to the warrior and all allies within 100 yards.
  • Multistrike
    • Monk (Windwalker): Inv elemental mote air01 [Windflurry] is a new passive ability for windwalker Monks which grants 5% Multistrike to the monk and all allies within 100 yards.
    • Priest (Shadow): Spell shadow spectralsight [Mind Quickening] now also grants 5% Multistrike.
    • Rogue: Ability rogue disembowel [Swiftblade's Cunning] now also grants 5% Multistrike.
    • Warlock: Spell warlock focusshadow [Dark Intent] now grants 5% Multistrike instead of 10% Stamina.
      • Spell shadow bloodboil [Blood Pact] is a new passive ability for warlocks which grants 10% Stamina to the warlock and all allies within 100 yards.

Weakened Blows was a debuff that mattered almost exclusively to tanks, and that every tank automatically applied. We removed the debuff and reduced creature damage to compensate.

The Cast Speed Slow was a debuff type that mattered almost exclusively to PvP, and made combat much less fun for casters in addition to encouraging the use of instant-cast spells. We decided that it was best to remove casting speed debuffs.

As part of a push to combine the different types of Haste in the game as much as possible, we merged Spell Haste and Attack Speed into just Haste, which benefits everyone.

  • Spell Haste and Attack Speed
    • The following abilities now provide a 5% increase to melee, ranged, and spell Haste to all Party and Raid members (previously they only increased spell Haste).
    • The following abilities now provide a 5% increase to melee, ranged, and spell Haste to all Party and Raid members (instead of a 10% increase to only melee and ranged attack speed).

Some classes received new abilities to provide some of harder-to-find buffs/debuffs, increasing their utility to the Party or Raid.

  • Other
    • Ability monk prideofthetiger [Legacy of the White Tiger] is now also learned by Brewmaster monks, granting a 5% increase to Critical Strike chance for all Party and Raid members.
    • Spell nature forceofnature [Moonkin Form] now grants increased Mastery instead of 5% to Spell Haste.
    • Spell holy harmundeadaura [Power of the Grave] is a new passive ability learned by Blood death knights.
      • Power of the Grave grants a bonus to Mastery for all allies within 100 yards.

Raid utility balance[]

Various classes bring various abilities that provide utility to parties and raids. We talked about one type of utility in the Buffs and Debuffs section, above. However, there are other types of raid utility, and it's been in need of more attention. In general, raid utility, especially raid-wide defensive cooldowns, had grown too strong. So many classes and specializations had defensive cooldowns that we had to make raid damage extremely high, as raids would be stacking or chaining together multiple cooldowns. We'd like to return to a system where it's the healers who heal through the scary moments, not the damage dealers, for example.

To do so, we've established a new baseline level of raid utility that a specialization should bring, and brought everyone to that new standard by reducing the effects of some abilities, or removing some abilities altogether.

  • Death knight
  • Druid
  • Hunter
    • Ability hunter aspectofthefox [Aspect of the Fox] is a new ability for all hunters.
      • Aspect of the Fox: Party and raid members within 40 yards take on the aspects of a fox, allowing them to move while casting all spells for 6 seconds. Only one Aspect can be active at a time. 3 minute cooldown.
  • Mage
    • Peticon-magical Spell nature abolishmagic [Amplify Magic] is a new spell available to mages.
      • Amplify Magic amplifies the effects of helpful magic, increasing all healing received by 10% for all party and raid members within 100 yards, and lasts 6 seconds with a 2-minute cooldown.
  • Monk
  • Paladin
  • Priest
  • Rogue
    • Ability rogue smoke [Smoke Bomb] now reduces damage taken by 10% (down from 20%).
  • Shaman
  • Warlock
    • Each player can use a Spell warlock demonicportal green [Demonic Gateway] only once every 90 seconds.
    • Healthstones now share a cooldown with Health Potions, separate from other potions.
  • Warrior
    • Ability toughness [Rallying Cry] now increases health by 15% (down from 20%), and is no longer available to Protection warriors.
    • Warrior skullbanner [Skull Banner] has been removed.

Instant-cast heals[]

Over time, healers have gained a bigger and bigger arsenal of heals that they can cast while on the move, which removes the inherent cost that movement is intended to have for them, while also limiting players' ability to counter healing in PvP. This left silences and crowd control (which we're trying to curb) as the only ways to actually limit an enemy player's healing output. We're still preserving the option to instantly heal, but are reducing the number of instant-cast healing abilities overall. Raid and dungeon encounter damage during high-movement phases will be adjusted accordingly.

  • Druid
    • Ability druid flourish [Wild Growth] (Restoration) now has a 1.5-second cast time (up from instant cast).
  • Monk
    • Ability monk uplift [Uplift] (Mistweaver) now has a 1.5-second cast time (up from instant cast).
  • Paladin
    • Inv torch thrown [Eternal Flame] now has a 1.5-second cast time (up from instant cast) for Holy Paladins.
    • Ability paladin touchedbylight [Guarded by the Light] (Protection) now also makes Word of Glory and Eternal Flame instant cast.
    • Spell paladin lightofdawn [Light of Dawn] now has a 1.5-second cast time (up from instant cast).
    • Inv sword 2h artifactashbringer d 01 [Sword of Light] (Retribution) now also makes Word of Glory and Eternal Flame instant cast.
    • Inv helmet 96 [Word of Glory] now has a 1.5-second cast time (up from instant cast).
  • Priest
    • Ability priest cascade shadow [Cascade] now has a 1.5-second cast time (up from instant cast) for Discipline and Holy.
    • Ability priest halo [Halo] now has a 1.5-second cast time (up from instant cast) for Discipline and Holy.
    • Spell holy prayerofmendingtga [Prayer of Mending] now has a 1.5-second cast time (up from instant cast).

Periodic effects[]

There are many effects in the game which deal periodic damage over time (DoT) or healing over time (HoT). Historically, these have typically done something called "snapshotting"; they were based on your stats at the time that they were cast, and that was used for calculating their effect for their full lifetime. In Mists, if a warlock casts Corruption on an enemy while Heroism is active, that DoT will continue to tick rapidly based on the temporary haste effect, even after Heroism fades. This has led to some gameplay that has both good and bad sides.

Snapshotting encourages refreshing those periodic effects when your stats are high, such as when a temporary buff procs. On the upside, there's a high amount of skill involved in maximizing that. On the downside, it's not intuitive, and the skill ceiling is so high that few can reach it without the use of specialized add-ons. To make matters worse, the benefits of maximizing periodic snapshotting is so high that it creates a balance problem. Players maximizing periodic snapshotting (primarily through the use of add-ons) do drastically more damage than intended. If we balance around taking full advantage of snapshotting, then the players who aren't doing so would fall unacceptably far behind in damage output.

Ultimately, we've decided that snapshotting isn't a productive mechanic for the game. The vast majority of periodic effects in the game that snapshotted no longer do so. The only exceptions are ones that do damage based on a percentage of a previous ability's damage (such as the Ignite from a Fire mage's Spell fire flamebolt [Fireball], or the periodic damage on a Windwalker monk's Ability monk roundhousekick [Blackout Kick]), as they inherently act as a delayed damage multiplier to those abilities. Temporary effects which buff the damage or healing of other spells specifically will continue to do so for their lifetime; for example, Spell shaman unleashweapon flame [Unleash Flame] (which increases the damage of the shaman's next fire spell by 40%), when used on a Spell fire flameshock [Flame Shock], will continue to increase the damage of the periodic effect for its entire lifetime, despite being consumed when the Flame Shock is cast. We still of course want skills and their use to embody interesting choices, and intelligent and skillful use of abilities.

  • Periodic damage and healing effects now dynamically recalculate their damage, healing, Critical chance, multipliers, and period on every tick.

Skilled players will still be able to take advantage of temporary power buffs like trinket procs, and you'll still want to cast your hardest hitting spells within those proc durations. The benefits just won't extend outside the trinket procs' duration. As such, this high-skill gameplay is there, it's just rewarded more consistently. For example, a Priest's trinket procs and an already active Shadow Word: Pain will begin dealing more damage the instant the proc effect occurs, but will return to normal when the proc duration ends. Skilled players will be able to play within these proc durations to maximize effect, but it won't be as detrimental to output to anyone who isn't actively and skillfully using them to their full extent.

We also made another change to periodic effects. Haste has long affected the tick rate of periodic effects, and their duration has been rounded to whole numbers of ticks, in order to mostly preserve the original duration of the spell. This lead to Haste breakpoints where having specific amounts of Haste would cause certain periodic effects to gain an extra tick. Part of gearing your character involved trying to reach those Haste breakpoints, but not go over by too much. This was a fairly tedious number to manage, which was again mostly handled by add-ons and guides. With some new tech we're now able to calculate the effect of Haste on tick time dynamically. Any fraction of a full period left at the end of an effect will do a tick of damage or healing in proportion to the remaining time. In other words, there are no more Haste breakpoints; Haste now smoothly and accurately affects periodic effects for the entire duration.

This also opened up the opportunity to revise how we handle refreshing periodic effects. For the vast majority of spells and abilities, we had a standard rule that any refresh would add the new cast's duration after the next tick of the existing effect. In simpler terms, you can refresh anywhere between the last and second-to-last tick of a DoT or HoT with no loss. Warlocks had a special passive that changed this logic to allow refreshing with no loss anywhere in the last 50% of a DoT. We liked the flexibility that this provided; though felt it was a bit too powerful. No longer tied to whole tick times, we chose to extend the mechanic that Warlocks had to all classes, but reduce it to 30%. Everyone can now refresh their periodic effects anywhere in the last 30% of the duration for full benefit, and no lost tick time.

  • Recasting periodic damage over time and healing over time effects that are already on the target now extends those effects to up to 130% of the normal duration of the effect.

Tank vengeance, resolve, and PvP[]

The changes to tanking made in Mists of Pandaria turned out quite well, overall. But there were a few rough parts that we're going to smooth over. The biggest one is the offensive capabilities of Vengeance. We like that tanks can provide meaningful DPS to their group, however, it swung wildly based on the fight, even surpassing the dedicated damage dealers occasionally. To solve this, we're going to remove the offensive value of Vengeance, but preserve the defensive value, by making it increase the effect of your active mitigation buttons, instead of Attack Power.

  • General
    • Vengeance has been removed and replaced with a new passive ability, Resolve.
      • Spell shadow charm [Resolve]: Increases self-healing and absorption based on damage taken (before avoidance and mitigation) in the last 10 seconds. Without Resolve, Tanks now deal significantly less self-healing and absorption. Resolve has been made much stronger to counteract this, and it increases the amount of self-healing and absorption as appropriate for the fight.

Then, to keep tank DPS meaningful, we'll be raising their damage, since it would be meager with no Vengeance Attack Power (Vengeance accounted for 70-90% of a tank's damage on high-tank-damage fights in Mists). To do that, we're increasing the damage of several prominent tank abilities. For plate-wearing Tank specializations, Riposte has been redesigned to convert Critical Strike into Parry, a defensive stat. That also helps keep secondary stats balanced in offensive value for them.

  • General
    • All tanking stances and similar effects now increases threat generated by 900% (up from 600%).
    • Riposte is a passive ability for Blood death knights, Protection paladins, and Protection warriors.
      • Riposte now gives the character Parry equal to their Critical Strike bonus from gear.
  • Death knight
    • Spell deathknight deathstrike [Mastery: Blood Shield] now also passively increases Attack Power by 8% (percentage increased by Mastery), in addition to its current effects.
  • Druid
    • Spell druid primaltenacity [Mastery: Primal Tenacity] now also passively increases Attack Power by 8% (percentage increased by Mastery), in addition to its current effects.
  • Monk
    • Ability monk guard [Mastery: Elusive Brawler] now also passively increases Attack Power by 8% (percentage increased by Mastery), in addition to its current effects.
    • Brewmasters no longer deal 15% less damage.
  • Paladin
    • Spell holy holyprotection [Mastery: Divine Bulwark] now also passively increases Attack Power by 8% (percentage increased by Mastery), in addition to its current effects.
  • Warrior
    • Ability warrior criticalblock [Mastery: Critical Block] now also passively increases Attack Power by 8% (percentage increased by Mastery), in addition to its current effects.

Tanks in PvP[]

Finally, we have the topic of tanks in PvP. Apart from a few niche cases like flag carrying; tanks have been intentionally non-viable in serious PvP for several expansions now. The reason for this was simple: fighting against tanks was very frustrating, not fun. They were near-invincible, had numerous CC abilities (primary stuns), but did little enough damage to not be able to kill you (in most cases, anyway). By excluding them from PvP, we preserved the enjoyment of the rest of the playerbase. However, that has the obvious downside that people who prefer to play tanks are excluded from doing so in PvP.

We decided that we could do better, and satisfy everyone involved. Our other changes to tanks in Warlords of Draenor got us most of the way there. Tanks' damage will already be tuned to be somewhat weaker than damage dealers, but not trivial. We've already removed the additional CC that they had during the CC Disarmament and Ability Pruning. All that remains that makes them frustrating to fight against is their invincibility. So, we're causing tanks to take increased damage in PvP, so that the net result is that they both deal and take somewhat less damage than damage dealers.

  • Tanks now take 25% additional damage while engaged in PvP combat.

Quality of life improvements[]

Facing requirements[]

Strict facing requirements can be frustrating to deal with, especially in hectic Raid combat or PvP environments. In order to ease this frustration, we decided to remove or significantly loosen the facing requirements of all attacks that required the player to be behind their target.

  • Druid: Ability druid ravage [Ravage] no longer requires the druid to be behind the target.
  • Druid: Spell shadow vampiricaura [Shred] no longer requires the druid to be behind the target.
  • Rogue: Ability rogue ambush [Ambush] no longer requires the rogue to be behind the target.
  • Rogue (Subtlety): Ability backstab [Backstab] can now be used on either side of the target, in addition to behind the target.

Tooltip clarity[]

Being able to quickly understand what an ability does by glancing at the tooltip is of paramount importance to learn how to play with a given class or specialization. We've taken an extensive look at the tooltips for all class abilities, and revised them to be as clear and concise as possible.

In some rare cases, we've removed mention of niche information that we don't think is needed. If that's the case, please note that a change to the ability's tooltip does not mean that functionality has changed. If the change in question is not mentioned in the Patch Notes, there has been no change to the ability.

  • Tooltips for nearly all class abilities have been revised for increased clarity.


Another area of gameplay that we polished is how characters are able to sustain their own health, primarily when frequently killing enemies, such as in solo questing.

  • Death knight
    • Inv glyph majordeathknight [Glyph of Dark Succor] is no longer a Major Glyph and is now a passive ability learned by all death knights at level 60.
  • Druid
  • Hunter
    • Ability hunter assassinate2 [Kill Shot] now heals the hunter for 15% of maximum health if it kills the target.
    • Achievement zone lochmodan [Survivalist] is a new passive ability learned by Survival Hunters at level 10.
      • Survivalist increases the Hunter's chance to Multistrike by 10%. Additionally, the Hunter gains 15% health over 10 seconds after killing a target.
  • Mage
    • Conjured Refreshments now restores 100% health and Mana over 20 seconds, regardless of level.
  • Monk
    • Spell priest finalprayer [Afterlife] now always summons a Healing Sphere when an enemy is killed.
    • Inv glyph majormonk [Glyph of Afterlife] has been removed and its effects are now baseline for Afterlife.
  • Paladin
  • Priest
  • Rogue
    • Ability rogue recuperate [Recuperate] now heals for 5% of maximum health per tick (up from 3%). [This is believed to be in error, as the change never actually went live.]
  • Shaman
  • Warlock
    • Spell shadow lifedrain02 [Drain Life] now heals for 1.5% of maximum health per tick (up from 1.0%).
    • Spell warlock harvestoflife [Harvest Life] now increases the healing from Drain Life to 3% of maximum health per tick (up from 2.5%).


The original intent behind Reforging was to offer a way for players to customize their gear, but in practice it offered little in the way of true choice. Players attempting to optimize every piece of gear were well advised to look up how they were supposed to reforge an item in an online guide or tool that had already determined the optimal choice. It added yet another step to the list of things that must be done to a new item before it was ready to be equipped, reducing the joy of getting an upgrade into a chore.

If an upgrade drops, we want you to be able to equip it with a minimum of fuss. It is for those reasons that we're removing Reforging from the game.

  • The Reforging system and associated NPCs have been removed from the game.
  • All existing items that were reforged have been returned to their original un-reforged state.

Combat resurrections[]

Combat resurrections are an extremely powerful tool that players have while in combat. Naturally, we apply some limitations. In Mists of Pandaria, that limit was 1 resurrection during a given raid boss encounter for 10-player modes and 3 for 25-player modes. With Flexible difficulty introduced in Patch 5.4, we erred on the forgiving side, and gave Flexible Raids 3 resurrections regardless of raid size.

In Warlords of Draenor, the Flex tech has expanded to more difficulty levels, and we needed a new system to handle combat resurrections more fairly. We knew that continuing with a constant 3 would encourage using the smallest possible raid sizes, while scaling with hard breakpoints would discourage specific group sizes just under those points. Additionally, the limit is not shown anywhere in-game, so it can be easy to lose track of how many resurrections the raid has available (or even know that the limit exists).

So we've built a new system to be more transparent, and improve usability.

  • During a boss encounter, all combat resurrection spells now share a single raid-wide pool of charges that's visible on the action bar button.
  • Upon engaging a boss, all combat resurrection spells will have their cooldowns reset and begin with 1 charge. Charges will accumulate at a rate of 1 per (90/RaidSize) minutes.
    • Example 1: A 10-player raid will accumulate 1 charge every 9 minutes (90/10 = 9).
    • Example 2: A 20-player raid will accumulate 1 charge every 4.5 minutes (90/20 = 4.5).
  • A charge will only be deducted when a combat resurrection is successful (when the target accepts the resurrection).
  • Raid frames now show a debuff indicating that a dead player has a pending combat resurrection available.
  • Outside of raid boss encounters, combat resurrection spells retain their normal cooldown behavior.


We made several improvements to the glyph system. While leveling, characters unlock glyph slots at several specific levels. However, in order to get glyphs, characters need to visit an Auction House (and potentially pay way more gold than an average character of that level has yet), or know a scribe from which to request them. To solve this, we've made characters learn some glyphs automatically as they level. Additionally, we now have the ability to make some glyphs exclusive with each other, or require specific specializations.


Some of our goals with professions in Warlords of Draenor are to make them more of a personal choice, and less of a mandatory "min/max" selection. To that end, we're removing the direct combat benefits of professions. Additionally, we've made it easier to level Mining and Herbalism. Healing potions have gone mostly unused lately, compared to combat stat potions. We chose to solve that problem, along with a problem with warlock utility, by having healing potions and Healthstones share cooldowns.

  • Herbalists can now harvest herbs throughout the game world without hard skill requirements. The yield an herbalist will be able to harvest from each node is now determined by skill level.
  • Miners can now harvest mineral nodes in outdoor areas of the game world without hard skill requirements. The yield a miner will be able to harvest from each node is now determined by skill level.
  • Healing potions no longer share a cooldown with other potions, but instead share a 60-second cooldown with Healthstones. The cooldown will not reset until the player leaves combat.
  • Movement Speed enchants now increase Movement Speed by 10% (up from 8%).

Transformation effects[]

The Transformation system has been improved. Characters can now be affected by multiple transformation effects at once. While multiple transformation or shapeshift effects are active, only the highest priority one will be visible. This allows transformation effects to persist while shapeshifts are active. Additionally, many restrictions on being transformed have been removed.

Class changes[]

Death knight[]

A number of changes were made for death knights. Several cooldowns were made spec-specific. Frost and Unholy's rotations remain unchanged for the most part. Blood received revisions to their Active Mitigation design to bring them up to par with changes to other Tanking specializations. Runic Power generation of Spell shadow antimagicshell [Anti-Magic Shell] was standardized, to make it more understandable and balanced.

Ability pruning[]

See the ability pruning section above for a discussion of why we're pruning class abilities. For death knights, this focused on removing abilities that were redundant, cooldown reduction, or abilities that were not used often.

Ability consolidation and refinement[]

The biggest change here is the merger of Blood Boil into Pestilence. This change effectively turned Roiling Blood into a passive ability; which we replaced with a new talent, Plaguebearer. For Blood specialization, we removed Rune Strike and are adjusting the cost of Death Coil so that it can be used in Rune Strike's place.

Another change was to polish up the effect of diseases on the damage of other abilities. Diseases now do enough damage on their own to warrant using them. Having diseases act as multipliers on the damage of other abilities became extraneous and cluttered up the tooltips of those abilities. Those multipliers have been removed, and consolidated their benefits into the corresponding base spell. These changes also results in a slight reduction to ramp-up time.

  • Inv misc horn 02 [Horn of Winter] no longer generates Runic Power, has no cooldown, and lasts 1 hour.
  • Spell deathknight bloodboil [Blood Boil] has been removed and its effects have been merged into Pestilence.
    • Spell shadow plaguecloud [Pestilence] now deals damage to all enemies within 10 yards, and spreads any diseases on targets hit to the other targets hit.
  • Spell deathknight armyofthedead [Army of the Dead] now deals 75% less damage.
  • Spell shadow animatedead [Master of Ghouls] has been removed and its effects have been merged into the baseline Raise Dead ability for Unholy death knights.
  • Ability dualwieldspecialization [Threat of Thassarian] has been removed and its effects have been merged into Might of the Frozen Wastes.
  • Spell deathknight darkconviction [Rune Strike] has been removed. Blood death knights should now use Death Coil in its place.
  • Inv sword 07 [Dancing Rune Weapon] now lasts 8 seconds (down from 12 seconds).
  • Spell shadow deathcoil [Death Coil] now costs 30 Runic Power (down from 40 Runic Power), and has a 40 yard range for both hostiles and allies.
  • Spell deathknight iceboundfortitude [Icebound Fortitude] now lasts 8 seconds (down from 12 seconds).
  • Ability deathknight roilingblood [Roiling Blood] has been removed and replaced with Plaguebearer, a new Level-56 talent for death knights.
    • Achievement zone westernplaguelands 01 [Plaguebearer] causes Death Coil and Frost Strike to extend the duration of Frost Fever and Blood Plague, or add a stack of Necrotic Plague.
  • Spell shadow plaguecloud [Pestilence] now deals 50% more damage, but no longer deals additional damage for diseases being present on the target.
  • Ability deathknight pillaroffrost [Pillar of Frost] now increases Strength by 15% (down from 20%).
  • Spell deathknight classicon [Obliterate] now deals 25% more damage on both main and off-hand weapons, but no longer deals additional damage for each disease present on the target.
  • Spell holy retributionaura [Rune of the Fallen Crusader] now increases Strength by 20% (up from 15%).
  • Spell deathknight scourgestrike [Scourge Strike] no longer deals additional damage for each disease present on the target. The ability now deals 100% Physical weapon damage, and 50% Shadow weapon damage. These two effects can independently critically hit.
  • Spell shadow lifedrain [Vampiric Blood] now increases the amount of healing received by 15% (down from 25%).

Frost changes[]

In Mists of Pandaria, Frost death knights suffered from rotations that were designed to allow flexibility in ability usage, so that you could pool some resources in order to make decisions about which ones you spent and in which order. Dual Wield vs Two-Handed had different rotational priorities, with different strengths and weaknesses. However, tuning ended up such that you reached a point where you just had to spend all of your resources as fast as possible to avoid wasting any, and all of that depth went out the window. For Warlords, we've adjusted the tuning of several abilities and passives, to ensure that that doesn't happen again, and the rotational decisions and skill are maintained.

The goal is that Two-Handed Frost death knights favor their physical damage, slicing through their enemies with heavy Obliterates, whereas Dual-Wielders favor blasting their foes with frost damage, but both overlap considerably to maintain a cohesive specialization.

  • Spell deathknight empowerruneblade2 [Frost Strike]'s damage has been increased by 100%, but its Runic Power cost has been increased by 5 (up to 25 Runic Power in Frost Presence, and 40 Runic Power in other Presences).
  • Spell deathknight icytalons [Icy Talons] now increases attack speed by 20% (down from 45%), and haste by 5% (up from 0%).
  • Inv sword 120 [Might of the Frozen Wastes] now increases the damage of Obliterate by 50% (up from 40%) and melee damage by 35% (up from 30%) while wielding a two-handed weapon, and increases the damage of Frost Strike by 50% (up from 35%) while dual-wielding.
  • Spell frost frostarmor [Rune of Razorice] now deals 4% additional weapon damage (up from 2%), and increases Frost damage by 2% per stack (down from 3%).
  • Spell deathknight classicon [Obliterate]'s damage has been increased by 30%.

Unholy changes[]

In order to better balance the scaling rates and value of secondary stats for Unholy death knights, we reduced the power of their passive Spell shadow unholystrength [Unholy Might] ability, and added a new passive ability to make Multistrike more effective.

  • Inv weapon shortblade 60 [Necrosis] is a new passive ability for Unholy Death Knights.
    • Necrosis causes Multistrikes from Festering Strike, Pestilence, Plague Strike, Scourge Strike, and Soul Reaper to also deal a burst of Shadow damage. The amount of burst damage is based on Attack Power, not the damage from the triggering Multistrike.
  • Spell shadow unholystrength [Unholy Might] now increases Strength by 10% (down from 35%).

Blood changes[]

Active Mitigation was a very successful design that was inspired by death knights' tanking style. However, it went beyond that, and death knights themselves were somewhat left behind in that regard. We made several changes to bring up the interactivity of Blood combat. This includes making Spell deathknight butcher2 [Death Strike] cause healing based on attack power, but be affected by the new Spell shadow charm [Resolve] passive (see tank vengeance and resolve above), which gives it the traditional increase from recent damage. Plus, Spell deathknight runetap [Rune Tap] is being significantly improved, to become a strong Active Mitigation button. Additionally, we removed Dodge and Parry from gear, and expect Blood death knights to value Haste and Crit as important secondary stats. In order to achieve that, we made Inv sword 30 [Riposte] give defensive value to Critical Strikes, and Scent of Blood give defensive value to Multistrike. To solve GCD-capping issues and increase the value of Haste, we also removed the passive rune regeneration increase from Improved Blood Presence. Finally, we tweaked the targeting AI of Inv sword 07 [Dancing Rune Weapon], and fixed it up to properly copy most talents that you know.

  • Spell deathknight bloodtap [Blood Rites] now also causes auto attack multistrikes to generate 15 Runic Power. The Death Strike damage increase it provided has been moved to Veteran of the Third War.
  • Spell deathknight bloodpresence [Blood Presence] now increases Stamina by 20% (down from 25%), and armor by 30% (down from 55%).
  • Inv chest leather 13 [Bone Shield] charges can now be consumed at a rate of once per second (up from once every 2 seconds).
  • Ability warrior bloodnova [Crimson Scourge] now increases the damage of Pestilence by 50% (up from 10%) and now also increases the damage of diseases by 30%.
  • Inv sword 07 [Dancing Rune Weapon]'s summoned Rune Weapon now remains fixated on the death knight's target at the time of summoning, and copies the effects of talents that are tied to the death knight, such as Spell deathknight bloodboil [Blood Boil], Spell deathknight frostfever [Frost Fever], or Ability deathknight asphixiate [Asphyxiate]. Should the original target be dead or otherwise unavailable, the Rune Weapon will switch to assist with the death knight's current target.
  • Spell deathknight butcher2 [Death Strike] now causes healing that scales in effectiveness with attack power, instead of based on damage taken in the last 5 seconds. This healing is affected by Spell shadow charm [Resolve].
  • Inv weapon shortblade 40 [Heart Strike] has been removed. Blood death knights should use Spell shadow plaguecloud [Pestilence] in its place.
  • Spell deathknight bloodpresence [Improved Blood Presence] now increases all damage dealt by 15%, instead of increasing rune regeneration rate.
  • Spell deathknight runetap [Rune Tap] has been redesigned. It now reduces all damage taken by 40% for 3 seconds. It also now has 2 charges, with a 40-second recharge time.
    • Achievement boss kelthuzad 01 [Will of the Necropolis] has been redesigned. It now automatically triggers an immediate, free Rune Tap when you take damage that reduces you below 30% health. This effect cannot occur more often than once every 30 seconds.
    • Inv glyph majordeathknight [Glyph of Rune Tap] has been redesigned. It now reduces Rune Tap's recharge time by 10 seconds, but reduces the damage reduction it provides by 20%.
  • Ability rogue vendetta [Scarlet Fever] has been removed. Its effects have been merged into Scent of Blood.
    • Ability rogue bloodyeye [Scent of Blood] has been changed. It now causes Pestilence to refresh diseases, and increase the healing of your next Spell deathknight butcher2 [Death Strike] by 20%, stacking up to 5 times.
  • Spell misc warsongfocus [Veteran of the Third War] now increases multistrike chance, and haste by 10% (instead of 9% to Stamina), reduces the chance for attacks to be parried by 3%, increases the damage of Death Strike by 100%, and grants 1 Runic Power per second while in combat.

Death Pact[]

Since the Ghoul pet is now Unholy only, that presents a problem for Spell shadow deathpact [Death Pact]. We revised Death Pact to not require an undead minion, but work a little differently. We left it at 50% heal, which is effectively a 33% buff to it from before (see retuning healing spells and player health and resilience above), and added a healing absorption shield for 50% of the amount healed instead. It should now be a more effective heal for staying alive immediately, but with the downside of needing to heal through the healing absorption shield before being healed any further.

  • Spell shadow deathpact [Death Pact] no longer requires an undead minion, and instead places a healing absorption shield on the death knight for 50% of the amount healed.


There were also a few other miscellaneous changes. The Runic Power generation of Anti-Magic Shell was standardized, to make it more understandable and balanced. Level-60 and Level-75 talent rows have swapped places, so the important rune regeneration talents could be acquired earlier. Conversion was changed to cost different amounts by specialization, instead of reducing Runic Power generation differently by specialization. This way, Runic Power beyond what you spend on Conversion is not penalized.

  • Spell shadow antimagicshell [Anti-Magic Shell] now restores 2 Runic Power per 1% of max health absorbed.
  • Ability deathknight desecratedground [Desecrated Ground] now also makes the death knight immune to Roots and Snares.
  • Ability deathknight deathsiphon2 [Conversion] no longer has an initial tick, and now costs 30 Runic Power/second for Blood, 10 Runic Power/second for Frost, and 20 Runic Power/second for Unholy.
  • Level-60 and Level-75 talent rows have swapped places.
  • Level-60 rune regeneration talents can now be triggered by all Runic Power spenders


Ability pruning[]

See the ability pruning section above for discussion of why we're pruning class abilities. For Druids, we focused thinning out the niche and abilities that were not used often. We made sure to retain abilities for Druids to function in off-spec roles, since that flexibility is a defining characteristic of the class.

Ability consolidation and refinement[]

For consolidation of abilities, we merged several passive abilities. One notable change is the merging of the Ravage into Shred, and Pounce into Rake; saving a couple keybinds that were only used in conjunction with Prowl.

  • Cat Form now increases movement speed by 30% (up from 25%).
  • Ability druid infectedwound [Infected Wounds] has been removed and its effects have been incorporated into Mangle and Shred for Feral and Guardian druids.
  • Inv misc herb felblossom [Lifebloom] can no longer stack, and its healing has been increased to compensate.
  • Spell nature crystalball [Omen of Clarity] (Feral) now affects druid spells and abilities that cost Energy.
  • Ability druid disembowel [Rake] now also stuns the target for 4 seconds if used while stealthed, and is only available to Feral druids.
    • Ability druid supriseattack [Pounce] has been removed and its effects have been incorporated into Rake.
  • Spell nature resistnature [Regrowth] now has a duration of 12 seconds (up from 6 seconds), but no longer refreshes its duration on targets at or below 50% health.
  • Ability druid lunarguidance [Revive]'s mana cost has been reduced by 87%.
  • Ability ghoulfrenzy [Rip] now has a duration of 24 seconds (up from 16 seconds), but its duration is no longer extended by Shred.
  • Spell shadow vampiricaura [Shred] no longer requires the Druid to be behind the target (See also: facing requirements.) and is now available to all specializations. Shred now deals 35% more damage in addition to having double the normal chance to critically strike while stealthed.
    • Ability druid ravage [Ravage] has been removed and its effects have been incorporated into Shred.
  • Inv bone skull 04 [Skull Bash] no longer increases the mana cost of the victim's spells.
  • Ability druid starfall [Starfall] no longer cancels when mounting. However, it can no longer hit stealthed or invisible targets.
  • Ability druid tigersroar [Survival Instincts] no longer requires or forces the druid into Cat or Bear Form, and now lasts 6 seconds (down from 12 seconds) with a 2-minute cooldown (down from 3 minutes), and can have up to 2 charges (up from 1 charge).
  • Inv misc pelt bear 03 [Thick Hide] has been removed and its effects have been incorporated into Bear Form.
    • Bear Form now increases armor by 250% for all druid specializations (down from 330% for Guardian druids, but up from 120% for non-Guardian druids), no longer increases Haste and Critical Strike from items by 50%, but instead causes Haste to reduce the global cooldown, increases Stamina by 20% (down from 40%), and reduces magic damage taken by 10% (down from 25%).
    • For Guardian druids, Bear Form now also reduces magical damage taken by 25%, reduces chance to be critically hit by 6%, and reduces chance for attacks to be parried by 3%.
  • Ability mount jungletiger [Tiger's Fury] now lasts 8 seconds (up from 6 seconds) and is usable during Berserk.
  • Ability tracking [Track Humanoids] has been removed and its effects have been incorporated into Cat Form.
  • Ability druid travelform [Travel Form] now automatically transitions between Aquatic, Land, and Flight forms depending on the Druid's location.
    • Inv glyph minordruid [Glyph of the Stag] now teaches the Druid a separate shapeshift ability, Stag Form. Stag Form allows the Druid to act as a mount for party members and will not switch between different Travel Forms.
  • Wild Mushrooms no longer become invisible.

Guardian changes[]

Guardian druids had increased Armor as their Mastery for a while now. However, one of the new secondary stats available to all tanks is Bonus Armor. We didn't feel that the difference of being additive vs. being a multiplier was significant enough to warrant keeping their Mastery around. Additionally, active mitigation hasn't played out as well for Guardians as it has for some other tanks. We decided to redesign the Mastery for Guardian druids to something that compliments the Avoidance-heavy nature of Ability racial cannibalize [Savage Defense], and also to improve the usability of Inv misc monsterfang 01 [Tooth and Claw] for more consistent damage reduction. Note that Spell druid primaltenacity [Mastery: Primal Tenacity]'s calculation uses the damage before any other absorbs you have, and before Tooth and Claw's effects, so that it isn't negatively affected by any of the changes.

The maximum number of charges that can be accumulated for Ability racial cannibalize [Savage Defense] has been reduced to make its uptime more consistent between short and long periods of tanking. Rage for Guardian druids has been problematic throughout Mists of Pandaria. Most of their rage generation was extremely passive, and most of their button presses either didn't affect their survivability, or only trivially did so. We made changes to Haste and Critical Strike, to try to solve these rage generation problems, and improve their rotation. We also added Ursa Major, in order to give a defensive value to the new Multistrike stat.

  • Guardian druids' Mastery (Achievement reputation guardiansofcenarius [Nature's Guardian]) has been replaced with a new Mastery: Primal Tenacity.
    • Spell druid primaltenacity [Mastery: Primal Tenacity] causes the druid to gain a Physical absorb shield equal to 12% of the attack's damage when they are hit by a Physical attack. Attacks which this effect fully or partially absorbs cannot trigger Primal Tenacity.
  • Ability druid kingofthejungle [Ursa Major] is a new passive ability for Guardian druids.
    • Ursa Major causes Multistrikes from auto attacks, Lacerate periodic damage, and Mangle to grant the druid the Ursa Major effect. Ursa Major increases maximum health by 2% for 25 seconds. When the effect is refreshed, the remaining portion is added to the new effect.
  • Auto-attacks now generate 5 Rage (down from 10.9 Rage).
  • Ability racial bearform [Bear Form] no longer increases Haste and Critical Strike from items by 50%, but instead causes Haste to reduce the global cooldown.
  • Spell nature faeriefire [Faerie Fire] no longer has a chance to reset Mangle's cooldown.
  • Ability druid maul [Maul] now costs 20 Rage (down from 30 Rage).
  • Ability druid mangle2 [Mangle] now generates 10 Rage (down from 15 Rage).
  • Ability druid lacerate [Lacerate] now generates 2 Rage, has no cooldown (down from a 3-second cooldown), and the periodic bleed effect triggers every 1 second (down from 3 seconds).
  • Ability racial cannibalize [Primal Fury] now generates 8 Rage (down from 15 Rage) from non-periodic critical strikes (up from only Auto Attacks and Mangle).
  • Ability racial cannibalize [Savage Defense] can now accumulate 2 charges (down from 3 charges), and regenerates a charge every 12 seconds (up from 9 seconds).
  • Ability druid manatree [Soul of the Forest] (Guardian) now increases Mangle's Rage generation by 5 (down from 10).
  • Spell druid thrash [Thrash] now generates 1 Rage every time it deals direct or periodic damage, has no cooldown (down from a 6-second cooldown), but no longer has a chance to reset Mangle's cooldown.
  • Inv misc monsterfang 01 [Tooth and Claw] can now accumulate 2 charges, its effects stack on the target, and are affected by Resolve.

Feral changes[]

Feral druids received one major change, and few tweaks beyond what's been mentioned above in ability pruning and facing requirements. Combo Points are now stored "on the player", meaning that when you switch targets, any accumulated Combo Points remain with you. Ability racial cannibalize [Primal Fury] was changed to let it affect area attacks as well. Critical strike chance of Ability druid ferociousbite [Ferocious Bite] was changed in order to increase the value of Critical Strike. Glyph of Savage Roar was reworked to better achieve its intended effect.

  • Combo Points for Feral druids are now shared across all targets, and are no longer lost when switching targets.
  • Ability druid ferociousbite [Ferocious Bite] now has double the normal chance to critically strike against bleeding targets (instead of having an additional 25% chance to critically strike).
  • Ability racial cannibalize [Primal Fury] now also grants a combo point for area attacks that critically strike the druid's primary target.
  • Inv glyph majordruid [Glyph of Savagery] has been renamed Glyph of Savage Roar, and now grants a free 5 combo point Ability druid skinteeth [Savage Roar] when leaving Ability druid prowl [Prowl], instead of allowing Savage Roar to be used with 0 combo points.

Balance rebalanced[]

We have some extensive changes for Balance druids. One of our guiding principles with game design is that things should be "easy to learn, hard to master". We're not particularly happy with the Moonkin rotation because it was actually hard to learn, and easy to master (especially with regards to periodic damage effects no longer snapshotting). Energy and Ability druid eclipseorange [Eclipse] mechanics were not intuitive for many newer players. Once you became accustomed to the rotation, there wasn't much additional depth to mastering it; maintain two DoTs, hit these other two buttons whenever they light up, and spam one of two buttons in between. In order to try to make it easier to learn, but also add some gameplay depth and challenge we're making a significant revision to the rotation. The list of changes is quite dense, so here's a summary of the changes.

Summary of changes to Balance:

  • Balance Energy is a bar that automatically cycles back and forth between Lunar and Solar sides, like night and day. The closer to one end that the bar is, the more damage that side's spells do.
  • Balance druids now have four rotational spells.
    • Spell arcane starfire [Starfire]: Lunar direct damage spell
      • Cast when the Lunar side is stronger
    • Spell nature wrathv2 [Wrath]: Solar direct damage spell
      • Cast when the Solar side is stronger
    • Spell nature starfall [Moonfire]: Lunar periodic damage spell. While closer to Solar, this button is replaced with Ability mage firestarter [Sunfire], a Solar periodic damage spell.
      • Maintain both effects where possible
    • Spell arcane arcane03 [Starsurge]: Direct damage spell that benefits from whichever side is stronger. Has up to 3 charges, and buffs the damage of the next few Wraths or Starfires.
      • Cast when able to follow up with a few strong Wraths or Starfires.

That's the basics of the new Moonkin rotation. There's room for improvement beyond that, learning to optimally maintain both periodic damage effects while maximizing their damage, timing Starsurges to optimize the benefit of its buff, make use of Ability druid starfall [Starfall] and Spell nature cyclone [Hurricane] for area damage, and taking advantage of the strengths of each side (such as Moonfire and Sunfire having significant differences now). Here are the full details of the changes.

Details of changes to Balance:

  • Balance Energy system has been redesigned. Balance Energy is a bar that cycles back and forth between Lunar and Solar sides, like night and day, with a 40 second cycle time (from Lunar to Solar and back to Lunar).
    • Balance Energy is no longer generated through spells, talents, or other effects anymore.
  • Ability druid eclipseorange [Eclipse] has been redesigned.
    • Eclipse inspires the druid with the power of the moon and the sun, causing the damage of Lunar and Solar spells to be increased by up to 30% based on how close Balance Energy levels are to the appropriate side.
      • Example: With 0 Balance Energy, the damage bonus is evenly split between Lunar and Solar, and the Druid receives a 15% increase to damage for both spell types. With 80 Solar Energy, the Druid receives a 27% damage increase to Solar spells and a 3% damage increase to Lunar spells.
    • Ability druid eclipse [Mastery: Total Eclipse] now increases the maximum damage bonus of Eclipse by 12% (increasing with Mastery).
    • The damage of damage-over-time effects changes dynamically as Eclipse changes.
  • Talentspec druid balance [Astral Communion] now increases the rate that Balance Energy cycles by 300% while channeled.
  • Spell druid astralstorm [Astral Storm] has been removed.
  • Spell nature natureguardian [Celestial Alignment] has been redesigned.
    • Celestial Alignment causes the Druid to enter Celestial Alignment, a state where Balance Energy cycle is paused, all damage done is increased by 20%, and all Lunar and Solar spells benefit from the maximum Eclipse bonus. While in Celestial Alignment, Moonfire and Sunfire will also apply the other spell's periodic damage effect. Lasts 15 seconds with a 3 minute cooldown.
  • Spell nature cyclone [Hurricane] now has a range of 35 yards (up from 30 yards), but is only available to Balance and Restoration druids.
  • Spell druid incarnation [Incarnation]: Chosen of Elune now increases spell damage by 15% while active (was a 25% increase to Arcane and Nature damage, but only while Eclipse is active).
  • Achievement worldevent lunar [Lunar Shower] has been redesigned and renamed into Astral Showers.
    • Achievement worldevent lunar [Astral Showers] calls upon greater Lunar and Solar energy to permanently empower the Druid's Moonfire and Sunfire spells.
      • Moonfire's periodic damage effect duration is increased by 100%.
      • Sunfire's periodic damage effect is now applied to all enemies within 5 yards of the target.
  • Spell nature starfall [Moonfire] now has a base duration of 20 seconds (up from 14 seconds), but is no longer extended by Starfire and Spell arcane arcane03 [Starsurge] critical strikes. Upon reaching 100 Lunar Energy, the next Moonfire deals 100% additional initial damage.
  • Spell priest divinestar shadow2 [Shooting Stars] now adds 1 full charge of Starsurge and Starfall when it triggers, and now has a 5% chance to trigger when the most recent Moonfire or Sunfire deals periodic damage. This chance is doubled on critical strikes.
  • Ability druid manatree [Soul of the Forest] (Balance) has been redesigned.
    • Soul of the Forest (Balance) now increases the damage bonus from Lunar and Solar Empowerment by an additional 15%.
  • Ability druid starfall [Starfall] now shares charges with Starsurge, and has no cooldown of its own. It also now hits all nearby enemies (up from 2 nearby enemies).
  • Spell arcane starfire [Starfire] now has a 3 second cast time (up from 2.7 seconds).
  • Spell arcane arcane03 [Starsurge] now has 3 charges and a 30 second recharge time (instead of a 15 second cooldown). Starsurge now also grants Lunar or Solar Empowerment.
    • Lunar Empowerment causes the next 2 casts of Starfire to deal 30% more damage.
    • Solar Empowerment causes the next 3 casts of Wrath to deal 30% more damage.
  • Ability mage firestarter [Sunfire] is no longer its own spell and replaces Moonfire on the action bar whenever Balance Energy is on the Solar side. Sunfire now has a base duration of 24 seconds (up from 14 seconds), but is no longer extended by Wrath and Starsurge critical strikes. Enemies may still suffer from both Moonfire and Sunfire’s periodic damage components simultaneously. Upon reaching 100 Solar Energy, the next Sunfire deals 100% additional initial damage.
  • Druid ability wildmushroom a [Wild Mushroom] (Balance) now begins snaring enemies immediately when summoned, lasts 20 seconds, and can no longer be detonated to deal damage.

Tranquility simplification[]

Spell nature tranquility [Tranquility] has an amazingly strong effect (pour a ton of healing into the whole raid/party), but had excessive complexity for a relatively simple task (5 different targets per tick, a short HoT, stacking, varied strength by raid size). So, we simplified it significantly. It still will be used just as it always has been.

  • Spell nature tranquility [Tranquility] now heals every Party and Raid member within range every 2 seconds for 8 seconds. It no longer places a periodic effect on each target. The total amount of healing it generates in Raids should be approximately the same as before this change.

Restoration changes[]

Restoration druids got a few changes as well. In Patch 5.4, a Glyph was introduced where you could choose to attach your Efflorescence to Druid ability wildmushroom a [Wild Mushroom], instead of to Inv relics idolofrejuvenation [Swiftmend]. That was a rousing success and the glyph was taken by nearly all Restoration druids. It felt like a much better situation to us, so we decided to remove the glyph, and bake that gameplay in permanently. Spell nature preservation [Genesis] and Druid ability wildmushroom b [Wild Mushroom: Bloom] fill a similar need for burst healing, so Wild Mushroom: Bloom has been removed; leaving Wild Mushroom to focus on the Efflorescence effect.

Secondly, while we are fine with the playstyle where a Restoration druid blankets their Raid in Rejuvenations, the Ability druid empoweredrejuvination [Swift Rejuvenation] passive made that too strong, and limited their scaling with Haste. We removed that passive to encourage using other spells more, but still allow Rejuvenation blanketing as a viable playstyle. Omen of Clarity got changed to not trigger more often with Tree of Life as it was too strong in our new healing model. Soul of the Forest was also redesigned to fit better with Restoration and Genesis based on the new design for periodic effects.

  • Genesis has been redesigned.
    • Genesis now consumes all of the Druid's Rejuvenation effects on party or raid members within 60 yards and applies the Genesis effect to them instead. Genesis heals the target for an amount equal to the remaining healing from the consumed Rejuvenation effects over 3 seconds.
  • Ability druid giftoftheearthmother [Living Seed] now heals for 50% of the critical heal (up from 30%).
  • Ability druid forceofnature [Force of Nature] Treant's healing now benefits from Mastery.
  • Incarnation: Tree of Life no longer enhances Lifebloom. Instead, it also enhances Rejuvenation, increasing its healing by 50%, and reducing its cost by 30%.
  • Heart of the Wild (Restoration) now increases healing done by 35% (up from 25%).
  • Omen of Clarity (Restoration) can now only be triggered by the most recently applied Lifebloom, and now causes the next Regrowth to be free.
  • Soul of the Forest for Restoration Druids has been redesigned.
    • Soul of the Forest (Restoration) when casting Swiftmend, the Druid gains Soul of the Forest. Soul of the Forest reduces the cast time of the next Healing Touch by 50%, or increases the healing of the next Regrowth or Rejuvenation by 100%, or increases the healing of the next Wild Growth by 50%.
  • Ability druid empoweredrejuvination [Swift Rejuvenation] has been removed.
  • Druid ability wildmushroom a [Wild Mushroom] (Restoration) now has a 30-second cooldown, lasts for 30 seconds, provides periodic healing to nearby allies, and no longer collects Rejuvenation overhealing.


The level 90-Talent row for druids was designed to encourage hybrid gameplay. We decided that, while you shouldn't have to give up a significant amount of your primary role throughput in order to gain the off-role benefit, you also don't need to gain an actual benefit to your primary role throughput benefit either. We've reduced the power of their primary role benefit, making them roughly neutral in their effect on your primary role. Note that the increase to off-role healing from Achievement zone feralas [Nature's Vigil] is not actually a buff (see retuning healing spells and player health and resilience above).

  • Ability druid dreamstate [Dream of Cenarius]
    • Balance: The talent has been redesigned for Balance Druids and now causes Moonfire and Sunfire casts with Lunar or Solar Peak to also heal a random injured ally.
    • Feral: Increases the healing of Healing Touch and Rejuvenation by 20%, and causes them to also heal the Druid when cast on allies.
  • Spell holy blessingofagility [Heart of the Wild] no longer provides an increase to Hit, Expertise, Stamina, Agility, and Intellect while active.
  • Achievement zone feralas [Nature's Vigil], while active, increases single-target damage and healing caused by healing spells by 30% (up from 25%), and all single-target damage spells also heal a nearby friendly target for 40% of the damage done (up from 25%). Its healing now targets allies within 40 yards of the druid (instead of within 40 yards of the target).


Ability pruning[]

See the ability pruning section above for discussion of why we're pruning or consolidating class abilities.

Hunters have lacked a strong distinction between the different specializations. What we mean by that is that the hunter specializations all had rotations that felt similar, with Marksmanship and Survival having the most blurred identities (Beast Mastery felt well rooted in the pet). Hunters were also some of the most afflicted by button bloat. To address these problems, we opted to make changes to each specialization's rotation, primarily through removing abilities, and making some of them unique to each spec. This means things like Inv spear 07 [Aimed Shot] being the primary Focus dump for Marksmanship, instead of Ability impalingbolt [Arcane Shot] or Spell hunter exoticmunitions poisoned [Serpent Sting] being available only to Survival. Hunters also had a large number of cooldown abilities, which we've also cut down (some of which we moved to the talent tree, competing with other active buttons).

  • Ability impalingbolt [Arcane Shot] is no longer available to Marksmanship hunters. The talent Thrill of the Hunt received a change to preserve its value to Marksmanship Hunters.
    • Ability hunter thrillofthehunt [Thrill of the Hunt] now also reduces the cost of Aimed Shot when active, to preserve its value to Marksmanship hunters.
  • Spell nature ravenform [Aspect of the Hawk] has been removed.
  • Ability druid cower [Cower] has been removed as a pet ability.
  • Ability hunter markedfordeath [Hunter's Mark] has been removed.
  • Ability hunter assassinate2 [Kill Shot] is no longer available to Survival hunters.
  • Ability hunter mastermarksman [Master Marksman] has been removed.
  • Ability hunter piercingshots [Piercing Shots] has been removed.
  • Ability hunter rapidregeneration [Rapid Recuperation] has been removed.
  • Ability hunter bestialdiscipline [Stampede] is now a level-75 talent, replacing Lynx Rush.
    • Ability hunter catlikereflexes [Lynx Rush] has been removed and replaced by Stampede.
  • Hunter pvp snipershot [Steady Focus] has been removed.
  • Ability druid berserk [Rabid] has been removed as a pet ability.
  • Ability hunter runningshot [Rapid Fire] is now available only to Marksmanship hunters.
  • Ability hunter quickshot [Improved Serpent Sting] has been removed and its effects have been incorporated into a redesigned Serpent Sting.
  • Ability druid replenish [Viper Venom] has been removed and its effects have been incorporated into a redesigned Serpent Sting.
  • Spell hunter exoticmunitions poisoned [Serpent Sting] has been redesigned based on Serpent Spread and is now available only to Survival hunters.
    • Serpent Spread has been renamed into Serpent Sting.
    • Serpent Sting now causes Multi-Shot and Arcane Shot to also apply a Serpent Sting poison dealing instant and periodic damage.
    • Ability hunter cobrashot [Cobra Shot] no longer extends the duration of Serpent Sting.

Ability consolidation and refinement[]

  • Ability hunter cobrastrikes [Cobra Strikes] now has a 20% chance to trigger (up from a 15% chance), but now only grants 1 charge each time it triggers (down from 2 charges).
  • Inv misc monsterclaw 03 [Frenzy] has been removed and its effects have been incorporated into Focus Fire.
    • Ability hunter focusfire [Focus Fire] now naturally grants the Hunter's pet the ability to gain Frenzy.
  • Ability hunter goforthethroat [Go for the Throat] has been removed and its effects have been incorporated into Invigoration.
    • Ability hunter invigeration [Invigoration] now also grants 15 Focus to the Hunter's pet from auto-shot Critical Strikes.
  • Ability hunter beastwithin [The Beast Within] has been removed and its effects have been incorporated into Bestial Wrath.
  • Ability hunter lockandload [Lock and Load]'s effects have been incorporated into Black Arrow.
  • Spell shadow painspike [Black Arrow]'s cooldown is reset if it is dispelled.
  • Ability hunter mendpet [Mend Pet] and Ability hunter beastsoothe [Revive Pet] now share the same button and changes based on the condition of the Hunter's pet.
  • Ability hunter thrillofthehunt [Thrill of the Hunt] now has a 6% chance to trigger for every 10 Focus spent (instead of a flat 30% chance).

Rotation depth and talents[]

We've changed the combat rotations of each hunter specialization (primarily through ability pruning) with the goal of them being a platform to build upon with talents. To facilitate this, we've modified several talents to add additional rotational depth. Hunters had many talent options which added abilities to their rotation, but most of them had quite simple usage, with little interaction with your rotation or other abilities. Now, there should be more of a variety; still some simple talents, but also some talents that create a more engaging combat rotation.

  • Ability hunter rapidregeneration [Barrage] now has a 20 second cooldown (down from 30 seconds), costs 60 Focus (up from 30 Focus), and its damage has been increased by 100%.
  • Ability hunter murderofcrows [A Murder of Crows] has been changed. Its duration, cost, and cooldown have been reduced by 50%. It no longer has a shorter cooldown when used on low health targets. Instead, its cooldown is reset if the target dies.
  • Ability hunter aspectoftheviper [Fervor] has been replaced with a new passive ability, Steady Focus.
    • Hunter pvp snipershot [Steady Focus] increases Focus Regeneration by 50% for 10 seconds after using Cobra Shot or Steady Shot twice in a row, or after using Focusing Shot.
  • Ability hunter longevity [Dire Beast] now restores 2 Focus per hit (down from 5 Focus per hit).


One of the most difficult abilities to decide to cut was Spell nature ravenform [Aspect of the Hawk]. It began to feel fairly meaningless, since it was used virtually all of the time in combat, so might as well have just been passive. We decided to cut Aspect of the Hawk, and bake in its benefit to the other abilities. The remaining aspect abilities are all utility only, and are being moved off the stance bar and made toggles.

Overall, hunters should see a drastic reduction in the number of active buttons, and have a clearer distinction between the different specializations. With some of these changes, you may find yourself favoring a different specialization. Keep in mind that Draenor Perks, earned from levels 91 to 99, will serve to further distinguish the different specializations.

Marksmanship changes[]

One of our new secondary stats, Multistrike, is strikingly similar to the Wild Quiver Mastery for Marksmanship hunters. To address this similarity, we replaced Wild Quiver with a new Mastery: Sniper Training. Marksmanship hunters that favored Mastery before will want to favor Multistrike for a similar feel. For their new Mastery, we wanted to add some depth to their moment-to-moment gameplay, and compliment Critical Strike. In order to do that, we brought back the concept of Sniper Training.

We also changed the design of Chimera Shot (and fixed its name), in order to better capture the intended flavor. Finally, we added an interaction between Careful Aim and Rapid Fire (and indirectly Aimed Shot through a Draenor Perk), so as to add a bit more depth to their gameplay.

  • Ability hunter focusfire [Bombardment] now reduces the cost of Multi-Shot by 25 Focus (up from a 20 Focus reduction to cost).
  • Mastery: Ability hunter wildquiver [Wild Quiver] has been removed.
  • Sniper Training is a new Mastery for Marksmanship Hunters, replacing Wild Quiver.
    • Sniper Training activates when the Hunter stands still for 3 seconds, giving them the Sniper Training effect for 6 seconds, increasing damage, shot range, and critical strike damage by 4% (increased by Mastery).
  • Ability hunter chimerashot2 [Chimera Shot] has been renamed Ability hunter chimerashot2 [Chimaera Shot]. It is now a two-headed shot that hits two targets, costs 35 Focus (down from 45 Focus), and deals Frost or Nature damage, but no longer heals the hunter.
  • Ability hunter zenarchery [Careful Aim] now also provides its effect against all targets when Rapid Fire is active, and increases critical strike chance by 60% (down from 75%).

Survival changes[]

Apart from rotational changes through Ability Pruning, changes for Survival hunters mostly center on Lock and Load. We changed how Lock and Load is triggered to increase the value of Multistrike, provide gameplay depth and the ability to pool damage more. Also note the new passive ability, Survivalist, which increases multistrike chance by 10%, in order to give Survival Hunters some baseline Multistrike chance.

  • Ability hunter explosiveshot [Explosive Shot] now costs 15 Focus (down from 25 Focus).
  • Achievement zone lochmodan [Survivalist] is a new passive ability learned by Survival hunters at level 10.
    • Survivalist increases Multistrike damage by 20%, and causes the hunter to gain 15% health over 10 seconds after killing a target.

Hunter pet abilities[]

We did a comprehensive pass on hunter pet abilities. As mentioned above in crowd control and diminishing returns, all full crowd-control abilities have been removed from Hunter pets and replaced those with new abilities, including spreading some that were previously restricted to exotic pets. Additionally, hunters can now tame beasts from new pet families.

  • Several raid buffs provided by hunter pets have been changed into auras that are automatically applied to the Hunter's party or raid.
  • Abilities unique to each hunter pet family have been revised to provide a standard buff, debuff, or ability.
    • Combat Resurrection ability: Crane, Moth, Quilen
    • Mortal Wounds debuff: Carrion Bird, Devilsaur, Riverbeast, Scorpid
    • Increased Spell Power buff: Serpent, Silithid, Water Strider
    • Increased Strength/Agility/Intellect buff: Dog, Gorilla, Shale Spider, Worm
    • Increased Critical Strike Chance buff: Devilsaur, Quilen, Raptor, Shale Spider, Water Strider, Wolf
    • Temporary Haste buff: Core Hound, Nether Ray
    • Increased Haste buff: Rylak, Hyena, Sporebat, Wasp
    • Increased Mastery buff: Cat, Hydra, Spirit Beast, Tallstrider
    • Increased Stamina buff: Bear, Goat, Rylak, Silithid
    • Increased Multistrike buff: Basilisk, Chimaera, Core Hound, Dragonhawk, Fox, Rhino, Wind Serpent
    • Increased Versatility buff: Bird of Prey, Boar, Porcupine, Ravager, Rhino, Worm
    • An ability that increases dodge chance of the pet by 30% for 10 seconds: Bat, Monkey
    • An ability that reduces damage taken by the pet by 50% for 12 seconds: Beetle, Crab, Quilen, Rhino, Shale Spider, Turtle
    • An ability that Reduces the movement speed of the target by 50%: Chimaera, Crocolisk, Silithid, Spider, Warp Stalker
    • The following pet families provide an ability that puts the pet in stealth mode, slowing its movement speed by 50%. The first attack from stealth receives a 20% bonus to damage: Cat, Spirit Beast
    • The following pet families provide an additional ability.
      • Chimaera - Spell frost ice shards [Froststorm Breath]: Causes Froststorm damage to all targets in front of the Chimaera over 8 seconds.
      • Core Hound - Spell shaman improvedfirenova [Molten Hide]: Causes Fire damage to attackers.
      • Devilsaur - Ability racial cannibalize [Feast]: The devilsaur feasts on a nearby Humanoid or Beast corpse within 5 yards, healing it for 20% of its maximum health and restoring 20 focus over 5 seconds.
      • Direhorn - Ability warrior shieldreflection [Reflective Armor Plating]: Deflects all spells cast in front of the Direhorn for 6 seconds.
      • Rylak - Spell magic featherfall [Updraft]: Slows the fall speed of both itself and the hunter for 30 seconds.
      • Spirit Beast - Spell shaman spiritlink [Spirit Mend]: Heals the target ally instantly, and additional healing over 10 seconds.
      • Water Strider - Spell frost windwalkon [Surface Trot]: Allows the Hunter and the Water Strider to walk across water.
      • Worm - Inv qiraj skinsandworm [Burrow Attack]: Deals Nature damage to nearby enemies over 8 seconds.


There were also a few other changes, primarily for quality of life and rotational consistency.

  • Inv spear 07 [Aimed Shot] no longer interrupts Auto Attacks, and can be cast while moving.
  • Spell nature spiritwolf [Dismiss Pet] now ignores line of sight.
  • Spell fire selfdestruct [Explosive Trap] now places a periodic-damage effect on each target within the radius of the explosion, rather than a persistent effect on the ground.
  • Ability physical taunt [Growl] now has a 30-yard range.
  • Hunter pets now have a 1-second global cooldown.


Ability pruning[]

See the ability pruning section for discussion of why we're pruning class abilities. For mages, we removed several of the unused and niche abilities from each specialization that didn't use them primarily.

Ability consolidation and refinement[]

Most of the mage abilities required little consolidation. The most notable change here is turning Armor spells into passive abilities for each specialization.

  • Spell magearmor [Mage Armor] is now a passive effect and is available only to Arcane mages.
  • Spell frost frostarmor02 [Frost Armor] is now a passive effect and is available only to Frost mages.
  • Ability mage moltenarmor [Molten Armor] is now a passive effect and is available only to Fire mages.
  • Spell fire sealoffire [Combustion] no longer deals direct damage or stuns.
  • Spell frost frostbolt02 [Frostbolt] can no longer be used to heal the mage's Water Elemental.
  • Spell mage iceflows [Ice Floes] no longer has a restriction on base cast or channel times for spells (formerly only worked on spells with a base cast or channel time of less than 4 seconds).
  • Ignite now deals the same total damage with a 1 second period (down from 2 seconds). Base duration changed to 5 seconds so that duration when refreshed remains 6 seconds.
  • Spell magic lesserinvisibilty [Mirror Image] is now a level-90 Talent, replacing Spell arcane arcane03 [Invocation].
  • Spell nature polymorph [Polymorph] variants except for Polymorph: Sheep are now all learned as spells and grouped in a flyout on the Spellbook instead of being a Minor Glyph that alters the visuals of Polymorph: Sheep.

Talent revisions[]

The mage class has good specialization distinction when it comes to their single-target rotations, but utility and area-of-effect spells were heavily shared between specializations. Commonly, these spells were redundant as well. We made many of their spells specialization-specific (as described in ability pruning above). And probably most significant, we made changes to several existing talents.

Spell nature enchantarmor [Presence of Mind] was extremely strong for instant crowd control (CC), which we wanted to curtail. Rather than completely remove Presence of Mind, we made it a base Arcane spell and a new talent in its place, Ability mage netherwindpresence [Evanesce]. At first, it may seem out of place for Evanesce to be on a movement-focused talent row. In practice, it offers Mages the option to remain stationary instead of moving away from avoidable damage.

  • Spell nature enchantarmor [Presence of Mind] is no longer a talent, and is now learned by only Arcane mages.
  • Ability mage netherwindpresence [Evanesce] is a new talent available at level 15, replacing Presence of Mind.
    • Evanesce causes the mage to fade into the nether, avoiding all attacks for 3 seconds. This spell has a 45-second cooldown, replaces Ice Block, is not on global cooldown, and may be cast while a cast-time spell is in progress.

Going along with our goals to reduce cooldown stacking across all of the classes, we decided to remove Spell mage altertime [Alter Time]'s DPS contribution. Alter Time has a number of clever movement and utility uses, but in practice it was mostly being used for additional uptime of offensive cooldowns. mages also had many redundant forms of survival utility, so we moved a utility-only version of Alter Time into the talent tree, replacing Spell mage temporalshield [Temporal Shield].

  • Spell mage temporalshield [Temporal Shield] has been removed and replaced by Alter Time.
  • Spell mage altertime [Alter Time] is now a level-30 Talent, replacing Temporal Shield.
    • Alter Time now lasts for 10 seconds (up from 6 seconds), has a 90-second cooldown (down from 3 minutes), and no longer affects the mage's mana, buffs, or debuffs.

A few of the abilities reset by Cold Snap were made spec-specific, or could be overridden with talents, so we expanded what it can affect to compensate.

Ice Ward was changed to make it more competitive with the rest of its talent row.

  • Spell frost frostward [Ice Ward] now causes the next 3 attackers (up from 1) to trigger a Frost Nova.

The Ability mage missilebarrage [Mage Bomb] level-75 Talent row, the bomb row, was also problematic. We chose to add the bombs to all mages' rotations in order to spice them up a bit, to provide rotational variety. That succeeded, and we're overall happy with how they interact with your rotation in a single-target situation, but they also came with the prospect of multi-dotting (applying your damage-over-time spell to many enemies, individually), which we don't feel is an appropriate fit for mages. Additionally, in order to make all 3 bombs useful to all specializations, we had to lose some of their spec-specific perks. And, even more importantly, many mages did not like DoT gameplay at all.

In order to solve all of these problems, we decided to merge the 3 current bomb talents into one that changes based on spec. That allows us to reintroduce spec-specific perks to each bomb, and makes room for some non-DoT alternatives.

  • Spell mage nethertempest [Nether Tempest], Ability mage livingbomb [Living Bomb], and Spell mage frostbomb [Frost Bomb] now all share the left-talent slot and is available based on the mage's specialization.
    • Frost Bomb has been redesigned.
      • Frost Bomb now lasts 12 seconds, has no cooldown, and explodes every time the target is hit by the mage's Spell frost frostblast [Ice Lance] while frozen. The damage per explosion has been reduced by 75% to compensate.
    • Living Bomb can once again be applied to multiple targets, can be spread by Spell mage infernoblast [Inferno Blast], and has a 1.5-second cooldown. More of its damage has been moved into its explosion.
    • Nether Tempest can now only be on 1 target at a time (down from unlimited), but its secondary damage now hits all targets in range (up from only 1), deals 100% of the primary damage (up from 50%), and its damage can now be increased by Arcane Charges.
  • Spell mage unstablemagic [Unstable Magic] is a new talent that's available at level 75, and occupies the middle-talent slot.
    • Unstable Magic causes Spell arcane blast [Arcane Blast], Spell fire flamebolt [Fireball], and Spell frost frostbolt02 [Frostbolt] have a chance to explode on impact, dealing an additional 50% damage to the target, and all other enemies within 8 yards.
  • The right-talent slot for level 75 has a new Talent that varies by specialization.
    • Spell holy excorcism 02 [Blast Wave]: Cause an explosion of fiery force around the target enemy or ally, dealing Fire damage to all enemies within 8 yards, and dazing them, reducing their movement speed by 70% for 4 seconds. If the primary target is an enemy, they take 100% increased damage. Replaces Spell frost frostnova [Frost Nova]. Instant cast ability with a 25-second cooldown and 2 charges.
    • Spell mage icenova [Ice Nova]: Cause a whirl of icy wind around the target enemy or ally, dealing Frost damage to all enemies within 8 yards, and freezing them for 4 seconds. If the primary target is an enemy, they take 100% increased damage. Replaces Spell frost frostnova [Frost Nova]. Instant cast ability with a 20-second cooldown and 2 charges.
    • Spell mage supernova [Supernova]: Cause a pulse of Arcane energy around the target enemy or ally, dealing Arcane damage to all enemies within 8 yards, and knocking them into the air. If the primary target is an enemy, they take 100% increased damage. Replaces Spell frost frostnova [Frost Nova]. Instant cast ability with a 25-second cooldown and 2 charges.

One of the most problematic Talent rows in the game has been the mage level-90 row. The primary theme of the row was mana, which only Arcane mages actually cared about. Bonus damage was added in, making it functional for all mages, but muddled in its goals. Additionally, some of them just weren't fun to play with. We've revised the row to be purely about damage, and made them have less maintenance cost. Arcane mages will have enough mana regeneration without these talents to perform well.

  • Spell shadow detectlesserinvisibility [Incanter's Ward] has been removed and replaced by Incanter's Flow, a new level-90 Talent.
    • Ability mage incantersabsorbtion [Incanter's Flow]: Magical energy flows through you, increasing all spell damage done by 5% per stack. While in combat, the magical energy builds up to 5 stacks over 5 seconds and then diminishes down to 1 stack over 5 seconds. This cycle repeats every 10 seconds.
  • Spell arcane arcane03 [Invocation] has been removed and replaced by Mirror Image.
  • Spell magic lesserinvisibilty [Mirror Image] is now a level-90 Talent, replacing Invocation. Mirror Images now inherit 100% of the mage's Spell Power (up from 5%), last 40 seconds (up from 30 seconds), and have a 2-minute cooldown (down from 3 minutes).
  • Spell mage runeofpower [Rune of Power] no longer replaces Evocation, no longer increases mana regeneration, and now lasts 3 minutes (up from 1 minute).

Frost changes[]

Frost mages enjoyed newfound PvE viability in Mists of Pandaria, and we intend to continue that into the future. However, we do want to clean up some rough spots, especially around their valuing of secondary stats, and the amount of instant-cast spells in their rotation. The Spell frost frostarmor02 [Frost Armor] and Spell frost frostshock [Shatter] changes increase the amount of Haste/Critical chance that they can acquire on gear before they start hitting soft caps. The Shatter change also lowers the value of Critical Strike for a bit. The changes to the level-75 Talent row meant that having a Bomb spell is no longer guaranteed, so we changed the way that Ability mage brainfreeze [Brain Freeze] is triggered. Ice Lance's non-frozen damage was doubled to make up for no longer having access to Fire Blast and reducing redundancy in the process.

Fire changes[]

Fire mage's rotation is looking solid with the new Draenor Perks. However, their cooldown strength could use a buff.

  • Spell fire sealoffire [Combustion]'s damage has been increased by 100% and replaces Deep Freeze for Fire mages.

Arcane changes[]

In order to make room for more Haste effects to apply to Spell arcane blast [Arcane Blast], we raised its cast time and damage slightly. We also made Arcane Charges last longer, to aid in questing and encounters.

  • Spell arcane blast [Arcane Blast]'s cast time has been increased to 2.25 seconds (up from 2 seconds), damage has been increased by 12.5% to compensate.
  • Arcane Charges now last 15 seconds (up from 10 seconds), and increases mana cost by 100% (down from 150%).
  • Spell nature starfall [Arcane Missiles] can now accumulate 3 charges (up from 2 charges).


The brand-new class for Mists of Pandaria, monks, turned out to be a ton of fun. Brewmasters stayed fairly solid all expansion long. Windwalkers needed a few tweaks here and there, especially to their Mastery, and still have a few shortcomings that we hope to improve, but overall worked quite well. Mistweavers had a bit of a rollercoaster ride, veering between weak and strong over the course of the expansion. Most of our changes to monks will focus on Mistweavers, to try to get them just right.

Ability pruning[]

See the ability pruning section above for discussion of why we're pruning class abilities. For monks, the pruning focused on niche abilities. One removal of note is that of Healing Sphere. The active ability to place a Healing Sphere was particularly awkward to use, but overpowered if used perfectly. So we removed it, and replaced it with Healing Surge for Windwalkers and Brewmasters.

Ability consolidation and refinement[]

Monk ability consolidation is fairly straightforward. It includes merging of some passive abilities, and removing unneeded abilities that didn't create the gameplay depth they had been intended to.

  • Passive monk teachingsofmonastery [Teachings of the Monastery] has been removed. Its effects modifying Spinning Crane Kick has been incorporated into Stance of the Wise Serpent.
  • Spell monk brewmastertraining [Brewmaster Training] has been removed. Its effects have been incorporated into Stance of the Sturdy Ox.
  • Spell nature shamanrage [Desperate Measures] has been removed. Its effects have been incorporated into Stance of the Sturdy Ox.
  • Pandarenracial bouncy [Combo Breaker] has been removed. Its effects have been incorporated into Stance of the Fierce Tiger.
  • Spell misc hellifrepvpcombatmorale [Combat Conditioning] has been removed. Its effects have been incorporated into Stance of the Fierce Tiger.
  • Ability monk fortifyingale new [Fortifying Brew] now lasts 15 seconds (down from 20 seconds).
  • Ability monk powerstrikes [Power Strikes] now triggers every 15 seconds (up from every 20 seconds), and also triggers from Surging Mist (for Mistweavers only), but no longer triggers from Crackling Jade Lightning.
  • Ability druid lunarguidance [Resuscitate]'s mana cost has been reduced by 80%.
  • Ability monk cranekick new [Spinning Crane Kick] now always generates 1 Chi, and no longer reduces movement speed.
  • Ability monk paralysis [Paralysis] now always lasts 60 seconds against creatures, regardless of facing.
  • Ability shockwave [Disable] is now available only to Windwalker monks.
  • Ability monk uplift [Uplift] now follows standard area-of-effect capping rules, diminishing in effectiveness beyond 6 targets.
  • Ability monk zenmeditation [Zen Meditation] is no longer available to Mistweaver monks, and no longer redirects harmful spells cast against party and raid members.
  • Ability monk forcesphere [Zen Sphere] no longer has a target limit.

Mistweaver changes[]

About midway through the expansion, it became clear that mana was not valuable for Mistweavers. We tried some adjustments to solve that, but it proved too large of a change to make at the time. We chose to just live with that problem for the time being, and tune them around not really caring much about Spirit or mana (once they reached epic gear).

Now that we have the time to tweak things for Mistweavers to acquire new gear, we're making changes to get them in the right spot. Initially, we experimented with giving Mistwavers a 1-second global cooldown (GCD) akin to that of the rogue to give them a faster combat feel. However, it's proven difficult to balance. Haste is attractive to healers because it lowers not just cast time but GCD as well. Therefore, monks valued Haste much less than other healers. We explored a few options, but ultimately landed on changing the core GCD for Mistweavers from 1 second to the standard 1.5 seconds, which you will be able to reduce with Haste. This will feel jarring at first, but we're confident that it's for the best, long-term.

  • All abilities available to Mistweavers now have a 1.5-second global cooldown (up from 1 second).
  • Ability rogue quickrecovery [Focus and Harmony] is a new passive ability for Mistweaver monks, causing Haste to reduce the global cooldown, and causes Attack Power to be equal to 100% of Spell Power.
    • Stance of the Wise Serpent no longer provides this Spell Power to Attack Power conversion.
  • Ability monk cracklingjadelightning [Crackling Jade Lightning]'s throughput has been increased by 100%, but it no longer generates Chi for Mistweaver monks. Additionally, it is free in Stance of the Wise Serpent.
  • Ability monk chibrew [Chi Brew] now grants 1 charge of Mana Tea (down from 2 charges).
  • Ability monk ascension [Ascension] now increases maximum Mana by 20% (up from 15%).
  • Ability monk healthsphere [Detonate Chi] is a new spell available to Mistweaver monks, instantly detonating all Healing Spheres, and causing each of them to heal a nearby ally within 12 yards of the sphere with a 15-second cooldown.
  • Healing Spheres now heal an ally within 12 yards (up from 6 yards) for 100% (up from 50%) of their normal healing, when they expire.
  • Gift of the Serpent chance to trigger has increased significantly for various Mistweaver spells, conferring a larger percentage of the maximum value.
  • Ability monk renewingmists [Renewing Mist] now jumps to the most injured target in range.
  • Ability monk soothingmists [Soothing Mist]'s healing has been increased by 100%, its GCD has been reduced to 0.5 seconds, but no longer heals immediately, and no longer generates Chi.
  • Monk stance wiseserpent [Stance of the Wise Serpent] no longer increases Haste from items by 50%.
  • Ability monk summonserpentstatue [Summon Jade Serpent Statue] now has a 10-second cooldown (down from 30 seconds).
  • Ability monk thunderfocustea [Thunder Focus Tea] no longer costs Chi, causes the next Ability monk renewingmists [Renewing Mist] to jump up to 4 times (instead of causing the next Ability monk uplift [Uplift] to refresh the duration of Renewing Mists on all targets). Its effect on Surging Mist remains unchanged.
  • Inv pet jadeserpentpet [Jade Mists] is a new passive ability for Mistweaver monks, causing them to gain 5% more of the Multistrike stat from all sources, and also causes Renewing Mist and Rising Sun Kick to have a chance equal to Multistrike chance to not go on cooldown when used. This effect cannot trigger on the next Renewing Mist or Rising Sun Kick.

Another issue with Mistweavers is that of Inv jewelcrafting jadeserpent [Eminence], which has never really played out how we had hoped. The intent with Eminence was to create an alternate play style to fulfill the fantasy of healing through dealing damage, since we knew a lot of players had that fantasy, and a new class was the perfect opportunity to satisfy that.

Having two play styles in one spec (Eminence, and traditional Mistweaving, healing primarily through casting heals) proved challenging to balance, because we don't want players to take the best parts of both and stack them into an unintended superior spec. The most notorious of these cases was "Ability monk jab [Jab]-Jab-Ability monk uplift [Uplift]". In order to solve this problem, we're giving Mistweavers two stances. Stance of the Wise Serpent will continue to be the stance from which to do traditional Mistweaving. The new Monk stance redcrane [Stance of the Spirited Crane] will be the stance to use for Eminence. You can swap stances at will, with only the cost of a GCD and any current Chi that you've accrued. The intention is that Crane Stance allows Mistweavers to trade healing for damage; it should fall somewhere in the middle between being a full healer, and being a full damage dealer.

Healing spheres[]

Healing Spheres have been improved. You'll no longer waste them when running over multiples at once when you only need a little healing. We significantly improved the Mistweavers' Healing Spheres effect when they expire. We also made Spell priest finalprayer [Afterlife]'s Healing Spheres consistent with the rest of the class.

  • When a player runs through multiple Healing Spheres at once, only as many as needed to heal the player to full health will be consumed (instead of all of them if the player is injured at all).
  • Healing Spheres summoned by Mastery: Gift of the Serpent (Mistweaver) now heal an injured ally within 12 yards (up from 6 yards) for 100% (up from 50%) of their normal effect when they expire, and scales with Spell Power instead of Attack Power.
  • Healing Spheres summoned by Afterlife (Windwalkers) now heals for the same amount as other Healing Spheres (instead of healing for 15% of maximum health).
  • Healing Spheres generated from Gift of the Ox now heals the Monk if they are within 6 yards of the sphere when it expires.

Shared ability changes[]

There were several changes that affected multiple monk specializations. We'd like to see monks using Monk ability transcendence [Transcendence] more often, so its usability has been improved (some baseline, and some in a Draenor Perk). For Ability monk touchofdeath [Touch of Death], we like that it's a unique execute being usable only once, but found it impractical to use on bosses and have improved its usability. For Ability ghoulfrenzy [Tiger Strikes], we buffed it to grant Multistrike ability which it was similar to already, and extended it to work with all monk specializations. To better balance the damage of Brewmaster versus Windwalker where both share many of the same abilities, we removed the damage increase provided by Tiger Stance, and increased the damage of melee abilities to compensate.

  • Ability monk chibrew [Chi Brew] now has a 60 second recharge time (up from 45 seconds).
  • Monk stance whitetiger [Stance of the Fierce Tiger] now also includes the benefits of Combo Breaker and Combat Conditioning, and is replaced by another stance for Brewmaster and Mistweaver Monks.
    • Brewmaster: Stance of the Sturdy Ox replaces Stance of the Fierce Tiger.
    • Mistweaver: Stance of the Spirited Crane replaces Stance of the Fierce Tiger.
  • Ability ghoulfrenzy [Tiger Strikes] is now available to all monk specializations, and has a chance to trigger on successful auto attacks and their Multistrikes. It has a 10% chance to trigger while using a two-handed weapon, and a 5% chance to trigger while dual wielding.
    • When triggered, Tiger Strikes now grants a 25% increase to Multistrike for 8 seconds instead of a 50% increase to attack speed and double attacks for 4 attacks.
  • Ability monk touchofdeath [Touch of Death] is no longer available to Mistweaver monks, and is usable on targets that have 10% or less health remaining, or have less current health than your maximum health. The rules against players remain unchanged.
  • Spell shaman spectraltransformation [Transcendence: Transfer] no longer has an energy or mana cost.

Windwalker changes[]

For Energy-based gameplay to function well, the primary limitation on ability usage should be Energy, not time. That breaks down when a rotation becomes limited by available GCDs, rather than by Energy. Windwalkers were hitting this "GCD-cap" too easily, causing scaling problems as they geared up, and removing rotational choices. To solve this problem, we’ve made a few tweaks that will slow down their rotation slightly; but still allow Windwalkers who enjoy the GCD-capped playstyle to have options available to focus on Haste and Energy regeneration. Individually, these may sound like significant nerfs, but Windwalker damage has been adjusted to compensate for these changes. The goal is to address the issue with GCD-capping while not reducing DPS.

  • Pandarenracial bouncy [Combo Breaker] now has an 8% chance to trigger, per effect, per Jab (down from 12%).
  • Ability monk jab [Jab] now costs 45 Energy while in Stance of the Fierce Tiger.

There are a couple of additional changes for Windwalkers. Spell nature giftofthewild [Storm, Earth, and Fire], got buffed to make it smoother to use. We also buffed Monk ability fistoffury [Fists of Fury] because we felt that the ability wasn't giving a strong enough damage boost given its restrictions and impact on the Monk's rotation.

  • Monk ability fistoffury [Fists of Fury] now deals 100% increased damage, and always deals full damage to the primary target; additional targets are still affected by the damage split.
  • Spell nature giftofthewild [Storm, Earth, and Fire] no longer has an energy cost, and is off global cooldown.

Brewmaster changes[]

For Brewmasters, Ability druid giftoftheearthmother [Gift of the Ox] has been modified to allow it to scale defensively with the new Multistrike stat. The Black Ox Statue has been modified to aid Monks in establishing threat on new enemies instead of shielding allies. We also removed the Misfire effect, as it did not live up to its original idea, and was unnecessary.

  • Monk ability summonoxstatue [Summon Black Ox Statue] no longer casts Guard on allies and now has a 10-second cooldown (down from 30 seconds). Black Ox Statue now passively attracts the attention of all enemies within 30 yards, causing a minor amount of threat each second.
  • Ability monk drunkenhaze [Dizzying Haze] now has no Energy cost, but no longer causes the target's melee attacks to sometimes misfire.
  • Ability monk elusiveale [Elusive Brew] now increases dodge chance by 45% (up from 30%).
  • Ability druid giftoftheearthmother [Gift of the Ox] now has a chance to trigger only from auto attack Multistrikes, instead of from all auto attacks. It has a 100% chance to trigger while using a two-handed weapon, and a 62.5% chance to trigger while dual wielding.
  • Monk stance drunkenox [Stance of the Sturdy Ox] now increases Stamina by 25% (up from 20%), reduces magic damage taken by 10% (down from all damage taken by 25%), and grants a 50% increase to Armor, but no longer increases Energy regeneration.
  • Ability monk shuffle [Shuffle] now increases Stagger and Parry by 10% (down from 20%).


Ability pruning[]

See the ability pruning section above for discussion of why we're pruning class abilities. For paladins, the pruning focused on removing niche abilities, and trimming cooldowns.

Ability consolidation and refinement[]

There were a few mergers of passive abilities, and some tweaks to a couple of abilities.

  • Divine Light has been renamed Holy Light.
  • Spell holy divineprotection [Divine Protection] now lasts 8 seconds (down from 10 seconds).
  • Spell holy heroism [Guardian of Ancient Kings] now lasts 8 seconds (down from 12 seconds).
  • Inv qirajidol sun [Daybreak] now heals all allies within 10 yards for 15% of Holy Shock's healing (instead of 75%, split between each ally).
  • Inv helmet 74 [Grand Crusader] now triggers from any avoidance, not just dodge and parry.
  • Spell holy sealofsacrifice [Hand of Sacrifice] is now off global-cooldown.
  • Spell holy righteousfury [Judgment] is now naturally free for Holy paladins, and naturally generates 1 Holy Power for Protection and Retribution paladins.
  • Spell holy resurrection [Redemption]'s mana cost has been reduced by 95%.
  • Ability paladin gaurdedbythelight [Selfless Healer] no longer causes Bastion of Glory to apply to Flash of Light. For Holy paladins, it now increases the healing of Flash of Light on others by 35% per stack (up from 20%). For Retribution and Protection paladins, the effect on Flash of Light remains unchanged.
  • Inv sword 2h artifactashbringer d 01 [Sword of Light] now increases damage by 25% (down from 30%).
  • Ability paladin artofwar [The Art of War]'s effects have been merged into baseline Exorcism.

Holy changes[]

We made several changes for Holy, to go along with other larger system changes to compensate for the removal of Spell holy heroism [Guardian of Ancient Kings] from Holy, and merged its benefits into Spell holy divineillumination [Divine Favor]. In order to follow through on our change to merge all types of Haste %, we removed the Spell Haste % from Spell holy healingaura [Seal of Insight] to a Holy-only passive, so that it didn't also increase Protection's baseline Haste by 10%. Our changes to healer mana and mobility also indirectly increased the value of Ability paladin gaurdedbythelight [Selfless Healer] by a large amount, so we brought it back down to be even in power with the other talents on its row. We also raised the range of Spell holy purifyingpower [Denounce] to be consistent with other spells. Lastly, we adjusted the critical strike chance of Spell holy searinglight [Holy Shock], to increase the value of Critical Strike for Holy paladins.

Protection changes[]

For Protection, we tweaked Inv torch thrown [Eternal Flame] in order to reduce its massive self-healing amount, and provide better balance between talents on that row. We also added a new passive, Achievment raid houroftwilight [Shining Protector], in order to give defensive value to the new Multistrike stat. Holy Wrath's damage and cooldown were also increased, and Sanctified Wrath changed to buff it further, in order to give Protection Paladins more burst threat and damage, while retaining its core damage-splitting identity.

  • Spell holy holyprotection [Mastery: Divine Bulwark] now increases damage reduction from Shield of the Righteous by 6% (scaling with Mastery, down from starting at 8%), and causes Bastion of Glory to increase healing received from Word of Glory by 6% (scaling with Mastery, down from starting at 8%).
  • Bastion of Glory no longer affects the periodic healing of Inv torch thrown [Eternal Flame]. It still affects the direct healing portion of the ability.
  • Spell nature lightningshield [Sanctuary] now reduces damage taken by 10% (down from 15), and no longer increases Armor.
  • Ability paladin touchedbylight [Guarded by the Light] now increases Stamina by 15% (down from 25%), and increases block chance by 5% (down from 10%).
  • Ability paladin shieldofvengeance [Shield of the Righteous] now reduces physical damage taken by 20% (down from 25%).
  • Bastion of Glory now increases Word of Glory's healing by 6% per stack (down from 10% per stack).
  • Achievment raid houroftwilight [Shining Protector] is a new passive ability for Protection Paladins.
    • Shining Protector: All heals you receive have a chance equal to your Multistrike chance to trigger Shining Protector, healing you for an additional 30% of the triggering heal.
  • Spell holy excorcism [Holy Wrath]'s damage has been increased by 100%, and its cooldown increased to 15 seconds (up from 9 seconds).
  • Ability paladin sanctifiedwrath [Sanctified Wrath] for Protection Paladins has been redesigned.
    • Sanctified Wrath (Protection) now increases the damage of Holy Wrath by 100% and causes it to generate 1 Holy Power.

Miscellaneous changes[]

We made a few additional changes to paladins. We revised the functionality of Ability paladin hammeroftherighteous [Hammer of the Righteous] a bit, such that its performance is about the same, but its tooltip is much clearer. We also made Spell paladin executionsentence [Execution Sentence] much more attractive to use as an emergency button. We also revised how Inv torch thrown [Eternal Flame] interacts with Holy Power, and allowed it to once again trigger Illuminated Healing. One big change for Retribution that isn't mentioned here is the removal of Spell paladin inquisition [Inquisition] (see ability pruning), which will have a notable effect on their rotation.

  • Inv torch thrown [Eternal Flame]'s periodic healing effect has been changed. Its duration now scales with Holy Power, instead of its healing. Its effect at 3 Holy Power remains unchanged.
  • Ability paladin hammeroftherighteous [Hammer of the Righteous] now deals 50% Physical weapon damage (up from 15%) to the primary target, but the primary target is no longer hit with the Holy damage.
  • Illuminated Healing can once again be triggered by Eternal Flame.
  • Seals no longer cost any mana.
  • Stay of Execution (the Holy version of Spell paladin executionsentence [Execution Sentence]) now deals its healing in a large burst at first, and then decreasing over time (reversed from before).


Priests received several significant changes, mainly focused on reining in Discipline's damage absorption shields, improving quality of life for Discipline and Holy specializations, and solving single-target damage issues for Shadow.

Ability pruning[]

See the ability pruning section above for discussion of why we're pruning class abilities. For priests, pruning focused on removing redundant off-role abilities, trimming cooldowns, and removing niche abilities.

Ability consolidation and refinement[]

Priests had quite a few bits of complication strewn throughout their spells which we polished out.

  • Greater Heal has been renamed to Heal.
  • Spell holy borrowedtime [Borrowed Time]'s effects have been merged into baseline Power Word: Shield for Discipline priests.
    • Borrowed Time has been redesigned. It now increases the priest's stat gains to Haste from all sources by 40% for 6 seconds.
  • Spell shadow devouringplague [Devouring Plague] now always costs 3 Shadow Orbs, and now heals the priest for 100% of all damage it deals, instead of healing per tick.
  • Spell holy searinglight [Holy Fire] now lasts 9 seconds (up from 7 seconds).
  • Spell shadow shadowform [Shadowform] no longer allows any healing spells to be cast but also no longer has a restriction on casting other Holy spells.
  • Spell shadow unsummonbuilding [Vampiric Embrace] now heals all party and raid members for 10% of damage done, and this healing is no longer split between targets (up from 75% of damage done, split between targets).
  • Spell holy summonlightwell [Lightwell]'s healing effect is no longer canceled if the target takes enough damage.
  • Spell holy painsupression [Pain Suppression] no longer reduces the target's threat by 5%.
  • Ability priest flashoflight [Power Word: Solace] now restores 2% mana (up from 1%).
  • Spell shadow dispersion [Dispersion] and Spell holy stoicism [Vampiric Touch] no longer restore mana.
    • Base mana regeneration rate for Shadow priests has been increased by 200%, Shadow Word: Pain and Vampiric Touch mana costs have been reduced by 50% to compensate.
  • Spell holy divineillumination [Evangelism] no longer affects the damage or mana cost of spells. Damage of affected spells have been adjusted to compensate.
  • Spell shadow shadowwordpain [Shadow Word: Pain]'s initial damage is now considered direct damage, not periodic damage.
    • Shadowy Apparitions and Shadowy Insight are no longer able to trigger from this initial direct damage.
  • Spell holy divinehymn [Divine Hymn] now heals all party or raid members instead of a variable number depending on raid size. Its healing has been adjusted to compensate.
  • Ability priest focusedwill [Focused Will] now triggers from any damage taken instead of being limited to being the victim of any damage above 5% of total health or being critically hit by non-periodic attacks.

Level-90 talents and Atonement[]

Ability priest atonement [Atonement] was the original damage-to-healing conversion ability, but grew out of control during Mists of Pandaria. We decided to reduce its effectiveness, to bring it more in line with our goal of it being an option to trade significant healing for significant damage (ending up somewhere between a full healer and a full damage dealer). Another place where Discipline's absorbs were too strong was in their interaction with the level-90 talents, especially in large raids. Near the end of Mists of Pandaria, we uncapped the AoE healing of that talent row; that has proven to be a mistake in Discipline's case, not just because it caused the level-90 talents themselves to heal for too much, but rather because the gigantic overhealing that that produced translated into gigantic Spell holy devineaegis [Divine Aegis] absorbs.

  • Ability priest atonement [Atonement] now heals for 25% less than before.
  • Ability priest cascade shadow [Cascade]'s Mana cost has been reduced by 67%.
    • Discipline and Holy: Cascade now has a 1.5-second cast time (up from instant cast, see also: instant cast heals), heals for 50% less, and no longer damages enemies.
    • Shadow: Cascade no longer heals allies.
  • Spell priest divinestar [Divine Star]'s Mana cost has been reduced by 67%, and now follows standard AoE capping rules.
    • Discipline and Holy: Divine Star now heals for 50% less, and no longer damages enemies.
    • Shadow: Divine Star no longer heals allies.
  • Ability priest halo [Halo]'s Mana cost has been reduced by 67%, and now follows standard AoE capping rules.
    • Discipline and Holy: Halo now has a 1.5-second cast time (up from instant cast, see also: instant cast heals), heals for 50% less, and no longer damages enemies.
    • Shadow: Halo no longer heals allies.

Holy changes[]

For Holy priests, our biggest concern is with the Chakras. We think that Chakras are the defining abilities of Holy priests, but that they haven't lived up to their potential. We decided to move more of their effectiveness from their raw throughput buff (which felt like a penalty for being in the wrong chakra, rather than a bonus for being in the right Chakra) into their bonus effects, and the Holy Word spells that they grant. Please note that all Priest healing spells have been retuned to account for the loss of throughput increases from Chakras. We also returned Spell holy renew [Renew] to a normal 1.5-second global cooldown (GCD), so that Renew blanketing is still possible, but less ideal without Haste. Finally, the ability for Power Word: Shield to critically strike or Multistrike is now baseline for all Priest specializations instead of just Discipline so that it continues to be a viable choice for Holy at higher gear levels.

Shadow changes[]

Shadow priests had one large problem toward the end of Mists of Pandaria: single-target damage. Their AoE and multi-DoT damage was some of the best around, so they still ended up competitive on most fights. But, in any fight that was mostly single-target, they felt lacking. Additionally, one of the new stats we're adding in Warlords of Draenor, Multistrike, is almost exactly what their current Mastery, Inv chaos orb [Shadowy Recall], does for DoTs. So, we took these two problems and came up with a change that we think will solve both of them. The result is a new Mastery, which primarily increases single-target damage. Shadow priests who want to focus on single-target damage can aim for Mastery in their gearing; or, when multi-dotting is more valuable, prefer other secondary stats over Mastery.

The cooldown of Spell shadow unholyfrenzy [Mind Blast] has also been adjusted to make Haste more valuable for Shadow, and removes Haste breakpoints.

  • Spell shadow unholyfrenzy [Mind Blast]'s cooldown is now reduced by haste, but its base cooldown is now 9 seconds (up from 8 seconds).

Talent revisions[]

Several talents were split into different versions by specialization. We revised the effectiveness of some of these talents to better balance talent choices on their row. We also swapped the Level-15 and Level-60 talent rows so players are presented with core Priest themed abilities earlier in the leveling process.

To get back to a balanced place, we've reapplied the AoE caps to the level-90 Talents, making them consistent with all other AoE heals, and reduced their effectiveness across the board. We've compensated for this in the tuning of Priest baseline heals.

  • Level-15 and Level-60 talent rows have swapped places.
  • Spell priest burningwill [Divine Insight]'s effects have been split based on specialization.
    • Discipline: The effect is now based on Spirit Shell.
    • Shadow: This effect is now named Shadowy Insight.
  • Spell holy surgeoflight [From Darkness, Comes Light] has been split into two abilities depending on the Priest's Specialization.
    • Ability priest surgeofdarkness [Surge of Darkness] (Shadow) now has a maximum of 3 charges (up from 2) and can now also trigger its effect from Devouring Plague, but its chance to trigger has been reduced to 10% (down from 20%) to compensate.
    • Spell holy surgeoflight [Surge of Light] (Discipline, Holy) activation chance has been reduced to 8% (down from 15%).
  • Spell holy powerinfusion [Power Infusion] now grants 25% Haste (up from 20%), but no longer increases damage (down from 5%).
  • Ability priest flashoflight [Solace and Insanity] has been split into Ability priest flashoflight [Power Word: Solace] for Discipline and Holy, and Spell shadow soulleech 2 [Insanity] for Shadow.
    • Insanity has been changed to cause consuming Shadow Orbs to transform Mind Flay into Insanity for 2 seconds per Shadow Orb consumed.
  • Spell shadow mindtwisting [Twist of Fate] now only triggers from healing for Discipline and Holy Priests, and only triggers from damage for Shadow Priests.

Miscellaneous changes[]

First, there are a couple of quality-of-life changes for Spell holy prayerofmendingtga [Prayer of Mending] and Ability priest angelicfeather [Angelic Feather]. Next is a fix for a problem with Spell priest voidtendrils [Void Tendrils], where it lasts its full duration against creatures that had no way to attack it, such as in certain raid encounters (note that the health reduction is to keep it where it was in health, compared to player health doubling). We also removed the Mana generation from Spell shadow shadowfiend [Shadowfiend], in order to simplify it to being a burst-damage-cooldown. And last but certainly not least, we're making Holy Nova an efficient AoE healing spell for Discipline priests.

  • Ability priest angelicfeather [Angelic Feather] now increases movement speed by 60% (down from 80%). If cast on players, will always prefer the casting priest over others, then pick the player closest to the targeted location. If there are no players where it is targeted, it will still create a feather that can be picked up, as before. Additionally, when collecting multiple feathers, the duration will be extended instead of replaced; up to a maximum of 130% of base duration.
  • Spell arcane mindmastery [Enlightenment] is a new passive ability for Discipline priests.
    • Enlightenment increases the critical healing chance of Prayer of Mending by 10%, and increases stat gains to Critical Strike from all sources by 5%.
  • Spell holy holynova [Holy Nova] is no longer available through a Major Glyph, and is instead a Discipline specialization spell. Its mana cost has been lowered and its healing increased. It is intended as the efficient area-of-effect (AoE) healing spell for Discipline priests.
  • Spell holy prayerofmendingtga [Prayer of Mending] from multiple priests can now be on the same target, and can be on multiple targets from the same priest, but the ability has a 1.5-second cast time (up from instant cast). (See also: instant cast heals)
  • Spell shadow shadowfiend [Shadowfiend] no longer restores mana.
    • Spell shadow soulleech 3 [Mindbender] now restores 0.75% mana per hit (down from 1.75% mana).
  • Spell priest voidtendrils [Void Tendrils] now have 10% of the priest's health (down from 20%), and damage dealt to the rooted target is now also dealt to the Void Tendril itself.


Ability pruning[]

See the ability pruning section above for discussion of why we're pruning class abilities. For rogues, a couple of abilities were changed to be specialization specific where they were redundant, did some thinning on cooldowns.

Ability consolidation and refinement[]

Rogues received several mergers of passive abilities. There's also additional cooldown thinning with the change to Tricks of the Trade.

Combo Points[]

The biggest change for rogues is a fundamental change to how Combo Points work. They're now shared across all enemies; you can swap targets and you won't lose your Combo Points.

  • Combo Points for rogues are now shared across all targets and they are no longer lost when switching targets.
  • Ability rogue redirect [Redirect] has been removed.

Combat changes[]

Ability rogue preyontheweak [Bandit's Guile] is an interesting mechanic that is important to Combat gameplay, but wasn't working out quite as well as we think that it could. In particular, there's basically no way to adjust when you're going to be in Deep Insight, other than stopping your rotation (and thus wasting energy, combo points, temporary effects, cooldown time, etc.). So, we're making an adjustment to Inv sword 97 [Revealing Strike] and Bandit's Guile. The intention here is that you can use Revealing Strike in place of Spell shadow ritualofsacrifice [Sinister Strike] when you want to delay Deep Insight (such as to line it up with a specific upcoming fight mechanic), and have little lost damage besides the overall Deep Insight uptime. We don't expect this nuanced rotation adjustment to be used by all Combat rogues, but having a little more control over the pace of your rotation will be useful to some.

Also worth noting here is the removal of Ability dualwield [Ambidexterity]. This was done to reduce the amount of damage coming from auto attacks for Combat Rogues. We've increased the damage of their active abilities to compensate and make them more rewarding.

Finally, we changed Main Gauche to accentuate the importance of the off-hand weapon for Combat.

  • Inv sword 97 [Revealing Strike] now grants Sinister Strike a 25% chance to generate an extra Combo Point (up from 20%), but no longer advances Bandit's Guile.
  • Ability dualwield [Ambidexterity] has been removed.
  • Main Gauche now deals off-hand weapon damage. Its damage has been increased to compensate.

Area-of-Effect attacks (Assassination, Combat)[]

Among some other changes to improve rogue AoE damage, we made a couple of baseline changes, and added a few Draenor Perks that impacts their AoE.

  • Ability warrior punishingblow [Blade Flurry] can now trigger poisons, and now deals 30% damage (down from 40%).
  • Ability rogue stayofexecution [Seal Fate] now also grants a combo point for area attacks that critically strike the rogue's primary target.

Subtlety changes[]

Ability rogue honoramongstthieves [Honor Among Thieves] is an extremely powerful ability, but has the downside that it adds significant disparity between character power while soloing and while in a group. We made this change to bring up the soloing Subtlety rogue, without having a significant impact on their performance while in a group. The passive ability Sinister Calling also received significant change to better balance scaling rates, the value of secondary stats, improve Multistrike for them, and add rotational depth.

  • Ability backstab [Backstab] can now be used on either side of the target, in addition to behind the target. (See also: facing requirements)
  • Spell shadow lifedrain [Hemorrhage]'s periodic damage is now based on attack power (instead of the initial strike's damage), and ticks every 2 seconds. Damage has been adjusted to compensate.
  • Ability rogue honoramongstthieves [Honor Among Thieves] can now also be triggered by critical hits from the rogue's melee Auto Attacks.
  • Ability rogue sinistercalling [Sinister Calling] now increases Agility by 15% (down from 30%), and the amount of Multistrike bonus received from all sources by 5% (in order to act as Subtlety's Secondary Stat Attunement). And finally, when the rogue Multistrikes with Backstab or Ambush, they also twist the blade, causing all Bleed effects to advance by 2 seconds, triggering an instant tick.


Rogue subterfuge [Subterfuge] has proved too powerful, and frustrating to play against in PvP, so we decided to reduce its defensive capabilities, while preserving its offensive power. We changed the Subterfuge period to allow the use of Ability stealth [Stealth] abilities without actually stealthing you, similar to Ability rogue shadowdance [Shadow Dance].

  • Rogue subterfuge [Subterfuge] now allows you to use abilities that require Ability stealth [Stealth] for 3 seconds after leaving Stealth, instead of actually staying stealthed for 3 seconds.


Ability pruning[]

See the ability pruning section above for discussion of why we're pruning class abilities. For shaman, we removed some niche abilities, and also split out a few abilities by specialization.

Ability consolidation and refinement[]

Shaman had a number of extra abilities that were consolidated to provide a smoother rotation flow. Mana regeneration and mana costs for Elemental and Enhancement were made compensate for abilities removed via Ability Pruning. The removal of Weapon Imbues was significant. There was always one right answer for each specialization, and so we made the appropriate Weapon Imbue passive to each spec, or tuned abilities around its removal.

Finally, there's the removal of Rolling Thunder. In concept, this is a simple merger of Rolling Thunder into Fulmination, but also with some consolidation of its effects; the mana recovery component was removed along with other mana changes, and the random chance was removed while maximum stack size was increased to compensate. The randomness in Rolling Thunder became redundant, because there already was a source of randomness in Elemental Overload now that Multistrikes trigger it.

  • Spell nature regenerate [Ancestral Spirit]'s mana cost has been reduced by 95%.
  • Spell fire volcano [Elemental Fury] has been removed. Elemental shaman now naturally have critical strike damage increased to 250% of normal damage.
  • Ability shaman echooftheelements [Echo of the Elements] has been redesigned. The shaman's spells and abilities have a chance to trigger Echo of the Elements, causing their next short-cooldown spell or ability to not trigger a cooldown.
    • Elemental: It may be used on Frost Shock, Earthquake, or Lava Burst. [It is believed the note is in error, as Frost Shock has been mentioned on this same page as no longer being available to Elemental. The author most likely meant Earth Shock.]
    • Enhancement: It may be used on Fire Nova, Lava Lash, or Stormstrike.
    • Restoration: It may be used on Unleash Life, Purify Spirit, or Riptide.
  • Spell nature wispheal [Elemental Mastery] now has a 2-minute cooldown (up from 1.5 minute).
  • Spell shaman elementaloath [Elemental Oath] and Unleashed Rage have been removed.
    • Spell nature invisibilitytotem [Grace of Air] now also provides 5% Haste to all party and raid members.
  • Spell fire flametounge [Flametongue Weapon] and Windfury Weapon have been removed.
    • Spell shaman unleashweapon wind [Enhanced Weapons] is a new passive ability available to Enhancement shaman, causing main-hand weapon attacks to have a chance to trigger 3 extra attacks, and off-hand weapon attacks to deal additional fire damage.
    • Ability shaman lavalash [Lava Lash]'s damage done is no longer increased by Flametongue Weapon, and its damage has been increased to compensate.
  • Ability ghoulfrenzy [Flurry]'s duration has been increased to 30 seconds.
  • Spell frost frostshock [Frost Shock] no longer generates additional threat.
  • Spell nature healingwavelesser [Greater Healing Wave] has been renamed to Healing Wave.
  • Ability shaman healingtide [Healing Tide Totem] now heals all party or raid members, but amount healed per target has been reduced to compensate.
  • Ability shaman lavalash [Lava Lash] now spreads Flame Shock to up to 6 nearby enemies (up from 4 enemies).
  • Spell nature callstorm [Rolling Thunder] has been removed.
    • Elemental shaman Mana regeneration has been increased by 50% to compensate.
    • Spell nature unrelentingstorm [Fulmination] now causes Elemental Blast, Lightning Bolt, and Chain Lightning damage and multistrike damage to always generate an additional Lightning Shield charge, up to a maximum of 15. Earth Shock will consume any charges beyond 1, dealing their total damage to the enemy target.
  • Spell nature shamanrage [Shamanistic Rage] no longer reduces Mana costs while active.
  • Spell shaman thunderstorm [Thunderstorm] no longer regenerates Mana.
  • Totems will no longer cause hostile creatures to enter combat with the shaman based on proximity.
  • Spell shaman improvedstormstrike [Unleash Elements] has been split into different versions based on specialization.
    • Unleash Elements is now available only to Enhancement shaman, and now increases attack speed by 60% (up from 50%), and increases the damage of the shaman's next Fire spell by 40% (up from 30%), but no longer deals direct damage or requires an enemy target.
    • Spell shaman unleashweapon flame [Unleash Flame] has been made into a separate ability available only to Elemental shaman, and now increases the damage of the shaman's next Fire spell by 40% (up from 30%), but no longer deals direct damage or requires an enemy target.
    • Spell shaman unleashweapon life [Unleash Life] has been made into a separate ability available only to Restoration shaman, and now heals an ally and increases the effect of the shaman's next direct heal by 30%.
    • Shaman talent unleashedfury [Unleashed Fury] now provides similar benefits, but applied as buffs to the shaman instead of debuffing an enemy. For Enhancement shaman, it now grants 5% increase Multistrike chance instead of causing auto-attacks to trigger Static Shock.
  • Ability shaman watershield [Water Shield] now only triggers from melee attacks.
    • Mana costs for Restoration shaman have been adjusted to compensate.
  • Ability shaman watershield [Resurgence] no longer requires Water Shield to be active.

Elemental and Enhancement changes[]

For Elemental and Enhancement, we had a few problems to solve. Enhancement suffers from having their damage split among so many damage sources that none of it feels impressive. We changed the damage of several abilities to try to reorganize their damage into fewer, more impactful abilities, while keeping the net total the same. For a long time Elemental shaman was one of the specializations most impacted by movement, at a time where other casters were increasingly able to cast while moving.

In Warlords of Draenor, we're pulling back on the ability for many casters to deal damage while moving, and that includes Elemental. They will still have some ability to deal damage while moving, through Shocks, Spell shaman improvedstormstrike [Unleash Elements], and instant Lava Bursts. For Spell nature chainlightning [Chain Lightning], we wanted to reduce the impact of Haste soft capping, and so changed Spell unused2 [Shamanism] to increase damage instead of reduce cast time. Additionally, we simplified Spell nature cyclone [Wind Shear] by removing its impact on threat, which no longer matters.