If you are up on your ptr knowledge, you already know about the new pet talents. For tenacity, the ptr contains three new talents as discussed previously on this site. What I want to do now is take a closer look at the silverback talent to determine its worth.
Warning, this is a long, stream of consciousness style dump of my musings over this talent. You have been warned 😉
First of all, for leveling, I see this as a great talent. The extra life ticking away means fewer delays due to pet, and then potentially hunter, death. Also, with incoming damage during leveling being much lower than raiding, the HPS of this talent covers more ground. While certainly not vital, this talent is very useful.
Secondly, lets look at pvp. As I have stated a few times already, Im no pvp whiz. It seems that while beneficial, this talent wouldnt pack quite as much punch as in pve. Yeah, thats all Im going to say, since I dont want to put my foot in my mouth.
Ok, so now lets look at it from a tanking perspective, my favorite perspective. It obviously has some worth. Given a hypothetical 30K health pet, with SB and BotR, this talent yields 180 HPS. Mend Pet is 525 HPS by comparison. In general, with survivability being more an issue than threat, this talent seems like a no brainer.
The issue comes up when you look at the new talent tree for tenacity. The idea behind giving us more talents was so that the extra talent points from Beast Mastery would give more dps boost. They were mostly thinking about ferocity pets and pve raiding, but it is still a good idea. The result is that now we have more useful tanking talents in the tenacity tree than we have points for. Significantly less. So how does this play out? Well, lets build a spec for tanking. Since the new talents are focused on survivability, and since a pure threat build is easy, let’s build a survival focus build.
Ok, lets go step by step.
-We need BotR, so we plug 3 into Great Stamina and then 2 into BotR.
-Next up is Charge, which i feel is needed utility. You may like Intervene better, if so stash a point in Natural Armor for now and pick up Intervene later.
-Now we can pick up Thunderstomp, we aren’t going to miss this one for anything.
-Next comes Guard Dog, its good threat, and Taunt is vital for pet death recovery, and for grabbing strays.
-This opens up Grace of the Mantis, which is critical, no pun intended.
This brings us to a place where our options start to open up. Potential talents include Natural Armor, Pet Barding, Last Stand, Silverback, Taunt, and Wild Hunt. (Roar of Sacrifice gets nerfed and has situational use only). If you know you are tackling magic damage, Great Resistance is a good pick, but I would recommend speccing in and out of it per the content you face.
The problem is we cannot take all of these talents. We have 9 points and 17 potential places to put those points. Taunt is a must, and for now we will assume that Wild Hunt is a must, although it is possible that Wild Hunt may not pan out, but that isnt likely. That uses up 4 of our 9 remaining points, and we have to use one point to unlock these higher talents. With the remaining 5 talents, we could choose to unlock Last Stand using 4, or we could abandon last stand and take a mix of Silverback, Natural Armor, Pet Barding, and Great Resistances.
Right now, I’m thinking that no one configuration can be termed ‘best’. We will be most benefitted by speccing for each dungeon or even encounter, as possible. In magic heavy dungeons, Great Resistance’s 15% damage reduction cannot be overlooked, and Avoidance’s 75% aoe reduction could make the difference on a boss with heavy aoe. However, in a melee heavy instance, Natural Armor and Pet Barding would be beneficial. Silverback would be useful against both types of damage, and Last Stand may be necessary against a boss with spikey damage or an unavoidable enrage.
So constant respeccing will be very valuable. Its good that they are free, but we are limited to respeccing at the trainer. We will have access to our stables once every half hour, so you could switch out your pet for a particular boss fight, or once for each wing of naxx. With the right classes you could also port out and get summoned back for a quick switch.
But this is a Silverback talent review 🙂 and I am getting off track, slightly. The thing is, we know that Natural Armor and Pet Barding are entirely melee mitigation, and Avoidance and Great Resistance are entirely magical resistance. But Silverback is healing, and can be thought of as ‘general’ mitigation. The question then becomes… how does it compare to the other two groups?
Lets say you wanted to focus entirely on Melee mitigation. First you put a point into Natural Armor, spend your four points on Taunt and Wild Hunt, and now you have 3 points to spend on Silverback and Pet Barding.
This means we have to skip one rank in one of these talents. It’s a comparison of one point of Silverback vs one point of Pet Barding. 1.5% Healing every 5 seconds vs 5% armor and 1% dodge. The way I see it, Sb (Silverback) scales with gear, and PB (Pet Barding) scales with content, ie incoming damage. (There is some scaling with armor, but only 35%) Silverback applies to all damage, the armor and dodge only to pyhsical. Both are passive for all intents and purposes. Sb is constant steady healing, armor is constant mitigation, but dodge is a random chance. (You dont dodge 1% of each attack, you dodge 1 attack in 100)
You can try to calculate whether the dodge and armor will mitigate more or less than 90 DPS, to compare it to the 90 HPS of Sb. My first thought was that in order for 1% dodge to mitigate 90 DPS, you would need to be taking 9K incoming DPS. I don’t even want to try and tackle armor, as I always get into trouble there 😛
If you are looking to mitigate magic damage, avoidance and great resistance are clear winners over silverback, but they are expensive at 3 points each. This also means you can’t get all three in both with only 5 points left in our hypothetical build.
As far as a general build goes, I am still pondering this. I think it would really depend on what you had access to, content-wise. I think I’ll browse the boss fights of heroics and raids and see what kind of abilities you see most commonly.
All these ideas are very raw, they are based on ptr talents after all. I’d love to hear more of what you guys are thinking of these new talents and what kind of builds you are considering.