So, as we get the statistics for the first week of Sanctum of Domination on Normal and Heroic, Assassination Rogues are shown at the top. This is kinda cool to see as this is probably the best start into a new tier that Rogues have had in several years. All Rogue specs are looking solid, actually, but Assassination seems to have the smallest range. While their maximum DPS is not necessarily the highest, their minimum is really good.
I think this effect can be attributed to the strengths that Assassination carries over from the late Castle Nathria tier. They continue to bring excellent single target damage and their Doomblade
legendary remains a top one. Then, there's also the fact that Assassination is a great progression spec for new content as its usually slow pacing allows for more brain capacity to focus on mechanics and understanding the new bosses.
That said, and while I expect Assassination to stay a great spec, the WCL charts this week are really just a snapshot that is bound
to change multiple times. As I said, Assassination Rogues already have a top legendary to use. However, covenant legendaries will be unlocked in the Mythic week and other specs like Subtlety will receive new boosts once they can get their hands on it. New soulbind powers will continue to unlock over the next weeks as well and then there is loot luck like getting the Edge of Night
dagger from Sylvanas. I do expect a rise for Subtlety Rogues in the ranks leading to a smaller difference in the number of parses (that still favor Assassination heavily). I don't really know what to expect from specs of other classes but I can imagine new unlocks shifting results up or down in the stats across the board.
I would not think too hard about the order of specs on a first-week statistics page for HC. Things are bound to change and fluctuate but one thing can be deduced nevertheless. Rogues as a whole are having a solid start into the Sanctum. As a class that does not really have good raid-wide utility and cooldowns and relies on solid damage to be picked, this is good news. I am excited to see how the stats develop over the course of the next week.
As expected, Shadow Priest looks to be one of the top performers after the first week of heroic raiding in Sanctum of Domination.
As expected, Shadow's major strength in the new raid appears to be its Single Target. With the vast majority of bosses being either pure Single Target, or Single Target with the periodic add spawns which play into Twist of Fate
. Even on encounters where Shadow appears to perform poorly for damage overall, the damage to bosses is still very high. The most obvious examples of this are Fatescribe Roh-Kalo
and Soulrender Dormazain
, where despite a combined ranking in the bottom 5 for overall damage, boss damage is top 5, even in spite of both fight's demands on our relatively low mobility.
The standout encounter for Shadow Priest, at least early on, appears to be Painsmith Raznal
. A Single Target fight with numerous opportunities to proc Twist of Fate
thanks to wall of rolling balls that spawns numerous times in every phase of the encounter. Shadow is also aided on this fight by the duration of each phase lining up with our rather unique cooldown timings, as well as a final phase Bloodlust
buffing up our execute.
With a relatively small number of guilds having killed Kel'Thuzad
, and so few having killed Sylvanas Windrunner
that logs for her aren't counted towards to the average rankings, the fights Shadow looked questionable on are still too hard to predict. Sylvanas being a mostly Single Target fight looks good for Shadow, but the lack of an execute phase, and massive AoE damage requirement at the end of Phase 1 are marks against it. Kel'Thuzad could be another Stone Legion generals, with too many chaotic short lived add spawns for dots to have much of an impact, or it could be the perfect place to use Korayn
's First Strike
and dish out some real damage.
Given the nerfs which have already been announced for Shadow at the beginning of Mythic week, and also some of the hype that surrounded the spec going into the tier, I expected Shadow's boss by boss performance to be higher. Unlike a lot of specs set to perform well in Sanctum, Shadow already has its best in slot legendary and isn't poised to gain that much power as the tier moves on. Shadow's biggest asset going into Mythic Week is Twist of Fate
, paired with its Single Target damage and unique cooldown timings. Mythic has longer, more coordinated fights with longer living adds for Shadow to get higher uptime.
Beyond just damage, Shadow's survivability is a major asset. Short cooldown defensives and passive self healing have been incredibly valuable in heroic week, especially on Painsmith Raznal
with the constantly high damage taken. I expect the spec to continue to perform well as the tier progresses, but we do need to wait and see what the new covenant legendaries bring.
Overall Demonology is not playing any different than the previous tier/patch. Our relative strength still comes from the fact that we have a very sizeable advantage in most Single Target encounters and the fact that we are one of the premier specs that can very easily take advantage of Power Infusion
. Summon Demonic Tyrant
scales extremely well with the Haste provided by Power Infusion and with it being available roughly every minute and the ability to have a full strength summon essentially every time brings a lot of power to Demonology.
You can really see this come to light on fights like The Tarragrue
, The Nine
, Remnant of Ner'zhul
, Painsmith Raznal
and Guardian of the First Ones
where priority damage is important. Wilfred's Sigil of Superior Summoning
really enables Demonology to very consistently have their power spike available to them. This playstyle will still be relevant on some bosses throughout Mythic but a fair number of encounters will have you looking away from the priority damage and more into spread cleave or multi target fights where Demonology really starts to fall off considerably. One thing to take into consideration is that you, generally, are able to push buffs into one person more easily in Heroic which vastly helps Demonology.