Another “Ask Zaltu” so soon? Is it déjà vu? A glitch in the matrix? The former is probable and the latter is most definite. Really, I just want to answer this question as soon as possible as I really find the concept to be fascinating. Also, I’ll be whatever I wanna do. Let’s do this, shall we?
Reader EntrepeNinja asked:
So, I know you’re more combat oriented, but I’d be interested in your thoughts on the new 3.1 glyphs, specifically the thought of a “Rupture-less” rotation in the mutilate tree- meaning Glyph of Envenom keeping Deadly stacks on allowing HfB and Envenom spams without needing Glyph Rupture, or Glyph Slice and Dice. Also with the addition of a Mutilate Glyph, and a Hunger for Blood glyph- what could this mean for the rotation and glyph choice of an assassin rogue?
So 3.1 is shaping up to be quite the interesting patch for rogues and we may even see our brethren and sisteren clawing our way back to the top of the heap where we belong (only time will tell on that one). Yes, I am more combat oriented (and since I am a betting man, I’m betting on Combat being the #1 rogue DPS spec come 3.1 but that’s another post) but that doesn’t mean I don’t keep up with all the latest Mutilate news.
Glyph of Envenom. This is a wonderful glyph and I expect that it will be used by every Assassination rogue. With the damage of deadly poison from attack power changing from 8% to 12% and the ability to essentially have a full stack of deadly poison on at all times this glyph is pure win.
So, that takes care of the fact that Mutilate rogues have been without a decent 3rd glyph. But what about the other two slots? Currently, most will be using Slice and Dice and Rupture but come 3.1 they are going to have two other viable choices: Mutilate and Hunger for Blood.
Mutilate brings the energy cost of the skill down by 5. Combine that with overkill and the 4-piece T7 bonus and you end up with Mutilates that cost 42 energy for 6 seconds (60 – (60 *.05) – 10 – 5). This, while nice, doesn’t seem to warrant the loss of either of the other two standard glyphs. Think about this, you are full energy of 100 (no vigor and for the sake of simplicity of the example you are opening from stealth with Mutilate, rather than Ambush or Garrote). At 42 energy a piece you can easily Mutilate twice in a row (after the 1 second global cooldown, obviously) but at a cost of 47 energy, you can still Mutilate twice in a row. The 5 energy saved in the long run just isn’t a lot when you consider that you regenerate 10 in the one second global cooldown (not including Focused Attacks procs).
Hunger for Blood (HfB) gives a flat 3% increase to the damage increase the ability already gives, bringing it up to 18%. Now, many people think HfB is broken and I for one agree. A flat 15% increase from one talent point? One, as a 51 point talent it’s boring, and two, it reeks of a design team desperate to improve PvE viability while keeping PvP burst down. I fear that this may lead to the mentality of, “Oh, Assassination rogues need a PvE buff? Well, let’s just add more % to HfB and go to lunch”. I’m going to set that argument aside for now because this is the way it is right now, hopefully not forever, and you live in the moment. Now, any PvE assassination rogue that doesn’t grab this glyph is a fool – plain and simple. Get it, love it, ask Blizzard kindly for a more interesting 51-point talent but in the mean time enjoy your extra 3%.
So which glyph do you replace for HfB, Slice and Dice or Rupture? I’m not sure there is a right decision here yet but I’m going to go out on a limb and pick one. Drum roll, please…Slice and Dice. I say this because I don’t believe the “Rupture-less” Mutilate cycle that is currently being dissected on the theorycrafting forums is going to pan out. I’ll elaborate on this as I explain how I think these changes are going to affect the state of Mutilate.
I feel that introduction of the Envenom Glyph is the death of IIV Mutilate (IIV stands for Instant Poison on the Main Hand, Instant Poison on the Off-hand and the use of Eviscerate) with IDN (Instant Main Hand, Deadly Offhand, use of the Envenom) being the Mutilate set up of choice. My reasoning for this is the same as why I don’t think a rupture-less cycle will pan out. The reason being, I don’t think that IIV or a Rupture-less cycle are intended.
Think about this: Assassination rogues rely on a target being poisoned to do their highest damage, and the new Hunger for Blood requires a target to be bleeding, so both of these set ups require the presence of another rogue to apply poisons – and another class to put up a bleed. Yes, the inclusion of another rogue is likely and many other classes have bleeds (Hunters are getting a new one in 3.1) but we’re falling down a slippery slope that I don’t believe Blizzard wants with their whole “bring the player not the class” mentality. Will these builds be viable if the stars align? Possibly, but if a perfect raid/group setup is what rogues need to reach their full DPS potential then I feel that Blizzard will feel that they have failed.
Maybe I’m being optimistic but I think that Blizzard is really going to hit a homerun with this patch, particularly when it comes to rogues. I think there are a few things that we haven’t been told about that are really going to snap things into place. Fingers crossed that I’m right.