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Patch 3.3.3: Revenge of the Revenge


Yesterday, after the servers came back up and people got to start playing with patch 3.3.3, I felt a great disturbance in the Force.  No, really.  It felt as if millions of Prot warriors simultaneously hit their Revenge button…and suddenly went all Rotface and screamed “WHEEEEEEEEE!”

There was some serious giddiness around the Prot warrior side of the WoW blogosphere yesterday, and no doubt it’ll continue to today.  This is mostly because of the massive double buff that our Revenge ability received in 3.3.3.  Revenge had its damage improved by 50% anyway…and then the Improved Revenge talent was modified to remove the random stun chance, but now buffs Revenge’s damage by a further 30/60% and allows the ability to hit an adjacent target for 50/100% damage.  As I said yesterday, this makes patch 3.3.3 “Revenge of the Revenge.”

I think I can best sum up my opinion of what they did by recycling a tweet I did yesterday afternoon:

“Revenge used to hit like a truck. Now it hits like a truck towing a truck. Full of explosives. Driven by angry bears.”

Seriously.  In terms of raw, single-event damage, talented Revenge has leapt to the top of the charts.  Between these changes and the 3.3.2 damage reductions on Shield Slam, from the numbers I’m seeing in various spots around the Intertubes, Revenge is now top dog, dawg.  For some gear combinations, the change is so drastic that there’s actually talk of moving Revenge ahead of Shield Slam (including Sword and Board procs) in the Prot warrior priority system.  Veneretio espouses this in his post on the buffed Revenge.  He states test numbers of ~3800 damage on Revenge versus ~2000 damage on Shield Slam.  That’s huge.

I decided to try some informal testing of my own.  So I took Linedan out and played around with the big level 82 elite undead giants (Pustulent Horrors) that patrol the top of the Ironwall Dam in Icecrown.  They’re not hard to solo at his T9/T10 gear level, drop decent money, and have 68,000 health so the fights last long enough to get an idea of how things work.

I was surprised to find that my Shield Slams were averaging about 2800-2900 per normal hit.  My Revenges were averaging slightly over that, at around 3000.  That surprised me enough, but when I went back and thought about it, I came up with three things that put Revenge in an even better light:

  • Linedan has 4315 unbuffed attack power–that’s a bit low for his gear level.  He’s short on bonus armor (which translates to AP through Armored to the Teeth).  Revenge scales off AP; Shield Slam scales off shield block value.
  • He’s wearing two-piece T10, which provides a set bonus that boosts Shield Slam damage by 20%.
  • He only had one point in Improved Revenge, not two.  That means he was only getting a +30% damage boost to Revenge, not the full +60%.  (I have since rectified that problem by moving a point from Shield Specialization into Improved Revenge.)

And despite all that, it still scraped out higher than Shield Slam.  So it’s a no-brainer, right?  Revenge moves up in the rotation, Shield Slam goes and sits in the corner for a while.  Right?

Well, allow me to put on my best Jeremy Clarkson voice and say…not so fast.

Here’s the reasons why Shield Slam may still be better than Revenge for threat, even if it isn’t for damage:

  • Remember that Shield Slam, after patch 3.3.2, had its damage reduced but had bonus threat added.  Per folks on Tankspot, Shield Slam gets an extra 770 threat added to the damage, and then that sum is multiplied by 1.3.  Revenge doesn’t get the same bonus threat, it just gets the normal boost from being in Defensive Stance, as does Shield Slam, so that cancels out.
  • Shield Slam’s cooldown is 6 seconds compared to Revenge’s 5, but remember that Shield Slam can also come off cooldown at any time thanks to Sword and Board procs.  I have no numbers to back this up, but it wouldn’t surprise me if, factoring in SnB procs, Shield Slam’s “effective” cooldown is less than 5 seconds, meaning that’s how often you get to use it in a fight.
  • Shield Slam gets +15% crit chance thanks to Critical Block.  In fact, Revenge is one of the few big warrior heavy hitters that don’t get a +15% critical boost from either Incite, Critical Block, or Sword and Board–Heroic Strike, Shield Slam, Devastate, Thunder Clap, and Cleave all do.  Revenge doesn’t.  When you’re a tank like Lin with a base crit chance under 8%, and maybe 16.5% raid-buffed, that extra 15% is massive.

Some of the boffins over at Tankspot have been taking a few pokes at grinding out numbers, and so far, the preliminary results seem to indicate…it’s close.  Very close.  Close enough that there is no one hard-and-fast answer for whether you should prioritize Shield Slam over Revenge.  It’ll largely depend on gear (higher AP favors Revenge, higher shield block value favors Shield Slam), and whether you’re pushing for raw damage or threat.  Personally, I’m probably going to stick with Shield Slam before Revenge on Linedan due to his two-piece T10 set bonus (he’s routinely critting SS for over 10k in raids now), and the fact that I’m old and set in my ways.

One other point of interest.  These changes have revised interest in one of the weirder warrior specs that popped up initially about a year ago…the 37/2/32 (or thereabouts) Unrelenting Assault Arms/Prot hybrid.  Veneretio had an article on it last year.  The spec is designed around the Arms Unrelenting Assault talent–which reduces the cooldown of Overpower and Revenge by four seconds–so you can see why 3.3.3 has brought it out of stasis.  The ability to hit this immensely powerful buffed Revenge every single time you dodge, block, or parry, with no cooldown to speak of, is pretty tempting, and makes the spec capable of simultaneously boss-tanking and putting out high DPS.  There’s a significant cost to pay, though.  It’s horrible on trash, doesn’t work if you aren’t tanking, gives up a lot of the best Prot warrior toys (Devastate, Sword and Board, Critical Block, Shockwave), and requires a lot of avoidance to keep Revenge constantly lit up.  It doesn’t sound like a viable everyday tank spec, but for certain fights, it may be worth playing with.

There’s a bit of irony to this whole thing, at least for me as an old-school warrior who played a bit of Prot during the days of vanilla WoW.  Revenge used to be nothing but a threat ability.  The damage it did was beyond negligible.  It lit up, you hit it, you basically tickled the mob but it pissed it off that much more.  Well, five years on, we’ve gone from tickling with a feather to hitting with a cruise missile.  And I, for one, welcome our new vengeful overlords.

8 responses

  1. I’m looking forward to checking out the patch tonight although I do think I’ll miss the stun for Prot PvP.

    March 24, 2010 at 15:30

  2. Rem

    Linedan, you’re absolutely right, the first time I hit my new Revenge yesterday (EU) it happened to be a crit and, yes, I immediately went “WHEEEEE!” to the amusement (and probably bemusement) of everyone who happened to be on Vent.

    But that’s not the best about it, anyway. The best is the image of a truck driven by angry bears 😀

    March 25, 2010 at 06:15

  3. The Unrelenting Assault spec is going to get nerfed. To the ground. There’s -no- way Blizzard is going to make an Arms spec able to main tank (even if badly). Sub-speccing is encouraged and all, but that one is just taking a talent tree and flipping it on its head. I suspect Improved Revenge will get moved down the tree.

    As for Revenge vs Shield Slam… I want to see what the theorycrafters are going to say, but I’m wondering if it’s really necessary. I mean, I’m fairly sure a Warrior can still get similar levels of threat by simple doing what was already done before: hit Shield Slam, with Shield Slam on cooldown, hit Revenge, hope Sword and Board procs, then Shield Slam again. Revenge has enough of a window of opportunity after avoiding (and refreshed when you avoid an attack again) that I’m not missing anything out by hitting Shield Slam first as usual for the extra threat.

    March 25, 2010 at 09:50

    • I’m not sure about UA getting nerfed…I’m hearing some insane DPS numbers coming out of it. The drawbacks to it are so heavy that it’s a very specialist build, only useful in some situations. It’s not something you are going to roll with day to day. Personally, I think it’ll stand a better chance of getting a nerf if, for some reason, it becomes a FotM spec in PvP. Can’t have warriors actually, y’know, killing anybody in BGs, amirite?

      I like seeing outside-the-box thinking (and hell, that spec isn’t just outside the box, it’s outside the whole warehouse), and they have mentioned in the past wanting Arms and Fury to be able to do some tanking, at least while leveling. FWIW, I’m not that interested in trying it…Lin’s offspec right now is Fury and is needed in our 25-man when my turn as DPS comes up on the tank rotation. After all, the ability to spam Revenge is useless when we never get hit.

      March 25, 2010 at 12:25

  4. Llamaeggs

    I’m not so sure they’ll nerf the UA spec. I think the Chill of the Throne debuff is a pretty significant UA nerf, espcially against a slower swinging boss. It was extremely situational to start with, and that debuff makes me even less tempted to re-spec into it. Although I do remember how fun it was to see recount after certain fights.

    I think it also is still a nice fit that low in the talent tree for lowbie prot warriors. Thunder-clapping and tab-targetting in the early levels sucks – giving lowbie tanks a way to get additional multi-target threat is a good thing.

    March 25, 2010 at 11:09

  5. So I finally got to run an ICC 25, buffed out, and use Revenge a little bit. I was the third tank tonight, so I only got to use it on Marrowgar trash, Marrowgar himself, and a bit on Deathwhisper–I went Fury the rest of the run, until getting stuck with the lousy job of being the third tank on Putricide (translation: flailing around doing 1800 dps for the first two phases and hoping we get to phase 3, which we didn’t).

    According to my Recount, out of 156 Revenges, the average hit was 5062 and the average crit was just shy of 11,000, with a max crit of 12,301. That’s with me typically running about 6500 to 6800 AP. By comparison, Shield Slam did more overall damage for the night (941k vs. 841k), with 227 attacks, but the average hit was around 3100 and the average crit was a tick over 7000, with a max crit of under 11,000. My crit rate on Revenge was 12.8%, which is fairly close to my paperdoll crit percentage of 14-17% based on what buffs are up; my Shield Slam crit rate was 28.8%, which matches up nicely with the +15% bonus from 3/3 Critical Block.

    My gut feeling is still that Shield Slam goes before Revenge in the priority system, but there’s no doubt that this new Revenge is a huge improvement. It’s definitely a gigantic boon for leveling Prot warriors, and I noticed a definite DPS gain with it tonight, pulling 4700 on Marrowgar trash in full tank gear. Fun stuff.

    March 26, 2010 at 00:21

  6. r06ch

    “It’s horrible on trash…”

    Actually, the UA tanking build is quite good for trash. Revenge cleaving to extra targets (ie doing twice as much damage when there is more than ONE target) makes it very good on trash pulls where many mobs are hitting you, causing frequent dodges/parries/blocks.

    March 26, 2010 at 08:52

  7. Pingback: The Best Of The Rest: No Drama Edition - We Fly Spitfires - MMORPG Blog

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