WoW: Season 4 brings heavy nerfs for M+ meta classes – and buffs for others

Blood Elf Frost Mage in WoW

Actually, these nerfs and buffs should have been there a long time ago. Because the third season of WoW: Shadowlands was characterized above all by the fact that there were some classes that were ridiculously strong in mythical plus dungeons. Playstyles like Survival Hunter or Destruction Warlock did so much damage that they earned the title of “meta class” like few before. However, the Blizzard developers decided not to change this status quo during the current season and to wait until the start of Season 4.

Now it is so far and the classes mentioned above collect their sometimes very hard nerfs. At the same time, the developers are trying to compensate for the reduction in area damage with buffs for single-target attacks. This should not drop the classes in the raids too much. In addition, some classes can also look forward to classic buffs – such as the warrior and paladin tanks. Balance Druids and Shadow Priests will also be able to deal significantly more area damage in Season Four.

Incidentally, we find it very pleasant that the developers do not just throw the adjustments into the room, but justify each one of them in a comment. This was not always the case in the past and often led to misunderstandings. So you still don’t have to agree with the developers, but you know what they think when a change is made.

Class adjustments for WoW Season 4 (from August 3, 2022)

  • Druid
    • balance
      • Starfall damage increased by 15%.
        • Developer Note: AoE balance has gradually decreased over the past few months, which we believe is due to Starfall not benefiting from increased Astral Power and Haste generation as much as other comparable spells as gear level increases. We’re looking at different solutions for the future, but for now we’re giving it a boost so it can keep up better with the current content.
  • Hunter
    • Survive
      • Increased the damage of Raptor Strike, Mongoose Bite, and Kill Command by 15%.
      • 4 Set Bonus: Wildfire Bomb bonus damage reduced to 20% (was 30%).
      • Wildfire Bomb and all Wildfire Infusion variants of Wildfire Bomb now deal reduced damage when hitting more than 8 targets. Tooltips will be updated in a future patch to reflect this.
        • Developer Note: The Mad Bomber Set Perk amplifies Wildfire Bomb in fun and powerful ways, but with the potential frequent activation of the Set Perk and the fact that Wildfire Bomb does not have a target cap that reduces their damage Survival Hunter exceeded expectations in content where there are many targets to hit. Set bonus interactions are fun to play with. So rather than adjusting the frequency or power of the Boosted Wildfire Bomb, we’re going to decrease its effectiveness when it’s attacking a large number of enemy targets. We’re increasing the damage of Kill Command, Raptor Strike, and Mongoose Bite to compensate for damage loss in single target scenarios.
  • magician
    • arcane
      • Clearcast duration increased to 20 seconds (from 15 seconds).
        • Developer Note: We are increasing the duration of Clearcasts to minimize scenarios where the buff wears off without players having a chance to benefit from it. This is primarily a PvP issue, but we didn’t feel there was a reason to make this exclusive to PvP.
  • monk
    • windwalker
      • Spinning Crane Kick damage reduced by 5%.
        • Developer Note: We are pleased with previous single target changes that have resulted in Windwalkers being a powerful option in a wide range of situations. However, the result is that their overall contribution is a little too strong in areas where their AOE strengths can come into play. This change doesn’t aim to eliminate those strengths, but to ensure that they don’t get too far ahead of the competition.
  • paladin
    • Protection
      • Armor increased by 5%.
      • Holy Shield (Talent): Block chance increased to 20% (from 15%).
        • Developer Note: We see Protection Paladins dying from melee damage or mixed melee and spell damage. This change is intended to improve her performance against both of these types of damage.
  • priest
    • The shade
      • Mind Blast damage increased by 30%.
      • Shadow Missile (Talent) damage increased by 25%.
      • Searing Nightmare (Talent) damage increased by 15%.
        • Developer Note: We are investigating the Shadow Priest AoE toolkit for Dragonflight and want to address the concerns raised by the community. In the meantime, however, we’re implementing these adjustments to improve Shadow’s performance in multi-target situations for Season 4. We’ll continue to monitor Shadows’ performance throughout the season and make further adjustments as needed.
  • Sorcerer
    • destruction
      • Chaos Bolt damage increased by 5% in PvE combat.
      • Incinerate damage increased by 20%.
      • Immolate damage increased by 20%.
      • Conflagration damage increased by 10% in PvE combat.
      • 4 Set Bonus: Blasphemy no longer grants Chaos Rain.
        • Developer Note: To address the issues with Destruction generating excessive Soul Shards, we are removing Blasphemy’s ability to grant Chaos Rain. This will prevent Soul Shard generation from getting out of hand and curb AOE output. However, this will affect the single target damage of Destruction and to counter this we are increasing the damage of several single target spells from the Destruction Toolkit. This is a big change, so we’ll be monitoring feedback closely and making adjustments as needed in the future.
  • warrior
    • Protection
      • Clench Your Teeth absorption has been increased by 30%, and the absorb cap is now 30% of maximum health (the max absorb value of Clench Your Teeth was previously double the value of one use).
        • Developer Note: We’ve found that Protection Warriors struggle with magic and unblockable forms of incoming damage. This change is intended to help improve survivability in these situations, while changing the absorb cap limits their power otherwise.
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