Sudden Death Nerf is live. Response: /facepalm

  Sudden Death: The amount of rage spent on an Execute while Sudden Death is active is now capped at 30 rage. Improved Execute and the Glyph of Execution will still increase the damage done by increasing the amount of rage able to be converted into damage.

Patch 3.0.8 went live yesterday and with it came the “nerf” to Sudden Death. 

Prior to the patch, an Arms Warrior with 3/3 Sudden Death had a 9% chance on each melee hit for the Execute Button to light up regardless of the Target’s health. When we mashed the Execute button, it would dump all of our available rage, less the cost of Execute, into damage, resulting in REALLY BIG (10-23k!) hits… and an empty-ish Rage Bar. 10 or so rage left over if Execute doesn’t Crit means I refresh Rend and wait for the next swing to get rage back.

To summarize, the old Sudden Death meant that I was often a little rage starved if it didn’t crit, but was my fourth or fifth highest source of damage. It made Thaddius and fights like him a lot of fun and I rolled the DPS charts for my guild on single-target fights without a ton of movement. (I was commonly 2nd or 3rd on thaddius and patchwerk.)

As of today, it goes more like:
*Bam*. Execute lights up, mash button, 30-ish rage disappears, 2k-4k dmg from Execute. Within the span of a Global Cooldown (GCD), a rend or DoT ticks on you or the boss and the Rage bar is still full.  Another melee swing happens and the generated rage from that swing is wasted because I’m still full on rage. I immediately Overpower or Mortal Strike for MORE damage than the Sudden Death Execute.

I got to the point that I rarely even executed above 20% on anything because a Heroic Strike, Mortal Strike, Overpower and Slam were all hitting harder. Mortal Strike was the only thing denting my Rage bar enough that Rage wasn’t being wasted. Worse, when Sudden Death lit up when the mob was BELOW 20%, Execute was only hitting for 30 rage!

I was more like 5th or 6th on single Target Fights (Thaddius and Patchwerk) but overall I dropped from an aaverage of 5th to 12th.*

I’m going to have to do some more reading on Elitist Jerks and some more field testing, but I’m seriously considering speccing out of Sudden death to see how different my damage and dps numbers look. If i’m not using it above 20% very often, and Sudden Death doesn’t nerf my sub 20% damage, will my numbers go up? Down?  I’ll report on it as I work it all out.


* Also statistically significant in relative change in DPS positioning:

  • Lots of casters got upgrades last week. Two that were much further down jumped due to respecs.
  • Lag was a lot less of a factor, increasing dps by several others. 
  • Our warrior tank was slacking and I was burning rage on Commanding Shout and an occasional Sunder to make up for him.
  • I forgot to use a flask, like a newb.


Filed under Warrior

4 responses to “Sudden Death Nerf is live. Response: /facepalm

  1. Shaeldre

    I didn’t find that my DPS changed too much after the patch (it might have gone up, but I hesitate to say that because I don’t remember my exact DPS from last week) 🙂 In some ways, I liked the change, because I was not the most careful person about when I used my Sudden Death executes and sometimes I would end up rage starved for a GCD and unable to do anything until my next melee swing since I didn’t need to refresh Rend or hit Overpower. (My reading on EJ had suggested that using SD right before a swing was the best thing)

    I don’t think my gear is quite as high up as yours (I’m Shaeldre on US-Bronzebeard) and that may have something to do with it, or any number of other factors 🙂 But I went from dreading the change to not minding it one bit. I’ve been in fierce competition with the Death Knight who runs with me and I was neck and neck with him on Patchwerk (with about 3400 or 3500 dps) and beat him by a decent margin on Loatheb (which, granted, seems to favor Arms because of all the sexy crit) and Thaddius (which could be related to who got more stacks of the buff)

    Do you know how your actual DPS numbers changed, as opposed to your relative position on the meters?

    (Some reading on EJ [I think] had pointed to not spamming Execute sub-20% unless you had a significant amount of haste. I’ve stopped execute-spamming sub-20 because I sometimes get rage starved, and only use it when sudden death procs or heroism is up)

  2. I was skeptical about the change, myself, but I’ve actually noticed a slight improvement to my DPS. Additionally, if a boss is under 20% health and Sudden Death procs, well, that just means I can execute back to back.

    I’m not sure how our gear compares (I’m at work and can’t compare armories), but my crit executes on a Sudden Death are closer to 7k. Non-crit executes around 2.8-3k.

  3. My gear at the point I wrote this was pretty similar to yours. mine edges yours here and there, but it’s pretty even.

    Except I REALLY need to get over my compulsion to match gems to their socket color.

  4. I had that socket color compulsion during Season 3. I broke out of it pretty fast. 🙂