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Glyphing to Become Viable?

February 25, 2009

Today marks the advent of the 3.1 major content patch going live on the Public Test Realms for the first time.  With this patch we see massive changes to most classes and specs to improve or nerf their viability as tanks, healers and dps.  While there are bigger changes to many other classes, the big changes for Warriors have thus far only been given to us by new glyphs.

Glyph of Heroic Strike Increases the critical strike chance of Heroic Strike by 5%.
The soul change to our glyph repetoire.  This glyph used to be a bread and butter for the 10 rage it gave when Heroic Strike critically hit.  We now have something that will not only help Fury and Arms warriors, but it represents a signficant increase in threat production.

Glyph of Barbaric Insults  — Your Mocking Blow ability generates 100% additional threat.
This used to change Mocking Blow into another taunt ability.  Why they are changing a less than stellar glyph from a semi useful glyph into one that makes it so much less useful I do not rightly know.

Glyph of ShockwaveReduces the cooldown on Shockwave by 3 sec.
The impact of this new treat is yet to really been number crunched.  Yet, I would not be going out on a short limb if I said this is really just not worth it.  Changing Shockwave from 20 seconds to 17 second cooldown should not signficantly impact a tps rotation that is dominated by two six second cooldowns.

Glyph of VigilanceYour Vigilance ability transfers an additional 5% of your target’s threat to you.
This is a complete waste of a glyph.  Well correction, with current threat parameters we really have little use for changing Vigiliance from a 10% to a 15% reduction in a single person’s threat.  This glyph may find a use if the threat ceiling falls signifcantly with Ulduar’s opening.

Glyph of Enraged RegenerationYour Enraged Regeneration ability heals for an additional 10% of your health over its duration.
A purely PvP orientated glyph if I ever saw one.  There is really no real use for this glyph in a tank’s glyph set.  There are much better choices of glyphs out there.

Glyph of Spell Reflection  — Reduces the cooldown on Spell Reflection by 1 sec.
This glyph is just plain too much of a drop in the ocean to be worth anything.  Reducing a lot of cooldowns by 1 second may be worth more.  However, reducing this with a glyph slot is far from worth the cost of any other glyph.

Glyph of Shield WallReduces the cooldown on Shield Wall by 3 min, but Shield Wall now only reduces damage taken by 40%.
The be all end all of the new glyphs.  Combined with Improved Disciplines we now have a signficantly less powerful damage reduction tool on a cooldown equal to that of a Death Knight’s Icebound Fortitude

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The Impact:

With the addition of Glyph of Shield Wall we now have the option to have an extremely short cooldown ability with strong mitigation benefits.  Why should we be concerned over this?

Simply put, we all got together and whined and complained about Warriors getting the rear end of the stick when it came to Effective Health and overall burst mitigation.  What we got was a forced clone of a Death Knight ability.  It may look really nice, and it may actually prove to be a boon to Protection Warriors, but we need to think about what this really means to us.  This glyph becomes as mandatory to protection warriors as Meditation is to priests of any spec.

This is a glyph that we will be balanced around.  Do we really want to be balanced around having a specific glyph?  Are other classes being balanced around them?  To some extent, but it is still an option for an Elemental Shaman to pick up Lightning Bolt or Flametongue Weapon.

This fundamentally changes our skill toolbox.  While the new version of Shield Wall will be of great use, we are sacrificing our “Oh #$#!” button for something that will be a basic part of our survivalbility.  Ask yourself, how much do you think the average Death Knight tank uses Icebound Fortitude?  That’s right, the answer is pretty much every cooldown.  Can they survive without it? Yes, but they also have multiple other cooldowns to work with.  If we become balanced around using this every cooldown, where will Warriors be?

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