Shadowlands Alpha - Stampede Nerf

DragonsAfterDark has written an article on Xu-Fu’s showing the Alpha versions of Stampede type abilities.

I will focus on Ikky for the purpose of this look.

The Shattered Defenses buff is here reduced from x2 to x1.5, but the Flock damage ramps up between rounds, so that

  • the second round does 1.67 times as much as the first (222 vs 133 in the example)
  • the third round does 2.33 times as much as the first (310 vs 133 in the example)

(Ikky has more Power than in the example given, 153 vs 133, but the ratios should hold.)

This increase more than makes up for the reduction in Shattered Defenses. (And it’s not yet clear whether this nerf also affects other abilities like Howl, or whether they will create a separate buff for Stampede-type abilities with the different multiplying factor.)

The base damage of Flock is unchanged. There is no news (yet!) about the damage or mechanism of Black Claw being changed.

In BfA, the damage of Ikky can be expressed like this:

Black Claw + 3 Rounds Ikky BfA
Basic Hit Damage 51
Added Hit Damage 136
First Round Damage 561
Second Round Damage 1122
Third Round Damage 1122
Total Stampede Damage 2805
Damage per round av. 701.25
Potential 2-round Follow-Up 1504
Expected Follow-Up 752
Total Damage 3557
Total Rounds 5
Damage per round av. 711.4

As far as I see, the Ikky damage in Shadowlands will be like this:

Black Claw + 3 Rounds Ikky Shadowlands
Basic Hit Damage 51.00
Added Hit Damage 136.00
First Round Damage 561.00
Second Round Damage* 995.08
Third Round Damage 1146.92
Total Stampede Damage 2703.00
Damage per round av. 675.75
Potential 2-round Follow-Up 1128.00
Expected Follow-Up 564.00
Total Damage 3267.00
Total Rounds 5.00
Damage per round av. 653.40
  • Second Round Damage: = ( 3 * 51 * 1.5 * 1.67) + (3 * 136 * 1.5) = 383 + 612 = 995

If there are no other nerfs, for example making Black Claw tick once per round rather than per hit, this shouldn’t be such a huge change as they might have done.

Of course, any Haunt/CoD damage used alongside will be affected as well. A H/H Valk currently does:
4 * Haunt = 4 * 148 = 592
1 * CoD = 592
for a total of 1184.

In the typical Bleed and Stampede scenario, the first two Haunts weren’t doubled, though there may have been a BC or other tick added to the second. Ignoring that tick, if present, The Valk sould have added
2 * 148
2 * 2 * 148
2 * 592
= 2072 damage.

With the new 1.5 factor, that will be
2 * 148
2 * 1.5 * 148
1.5 * 592
= 1628 damage.

Any comments - or pointing out errors in my numbers! :stuck_out_tongue: - welcome!

I will not deny I expected to go the completely opposite route – same damage but a decreasing debuff – but I concur this would be more difficult to carry out technically, requiring a sequence of auras not unlike the Chitara’s one.

But also I am not overly worried about this solution, yet. I’d just like to wait for feedback in practice, aswell as whether something happens to the pumped up NPC-s.
For one’s information, at 50% debuff all it does is making this damage standard, though I can’t recall where the family dependencies go. These numbers are not too bad, if only you’ve got that bleed or curse or something interesting to use the following (2) round(s).

I also wonder how this affects some less analysed tactics. For example, if I have an enemy with a very few HP remaining, I can sacrifice a little damage to make the swarm safer against the following target, and the increasing damage makes it even more effective that way.

While we’re at it, I’d also request to compare Hunting Party and Falcosaur Swarm!:

Ability details

Regular Stampede: 9+15+21 bare damage, no cooldown, 3 rounds duration, up to 5 rounds of the aura,
Call the Pack: 21 damage, 3 rounds cooldown, 1 round duration, up to 2 rounds of the aura,
Hunting Party: 15x2 bare damage, 4 rounds cooldown (effectively 5), 2 rounds duration, up to 3 rounds of the aura,
Falcosaur Swarm!: 15x2 bare damage, no cooldown, 2 rounds duration, up to 4 rounds of the aura

I can imagine Hunting Party’s got a cooldown for two reasons, one being initially tied to MoP raptors exclusively, and the other assuming that shorter snare makes it more versatile. The latter argument however could be applied to Falcosaur Swarm! too though, and nothing of the sort has happened there (the questing might’ve done something about it).
As of 9.0 they both look inferior to Stampede looking at the damage dealt (37,5 vs 63 total). This alone should make up for the shorter duration, and IMO it remains awkward that Falcosaur Swarm! has a double advantage (no cooldown and longer aura) against the Hunting Party, even outside the patch. Call the Pack will look like the 2/3 of the last round of stampedes with no snare, the cooldown kind of matches that but perhaps not.

I’ve heard also of the approach I mentioned above “an ability written for specific pets and specific movesets”. But I think it would be too limiting for any future creations, eventually getting lost to oblivion, and hatching you a Bone Serpent.

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