With another patch to the World of Warcraft comes another round of patch notes to read and evaluate. This time around, Patch 9.0.5 in the Shadowlands is on the lighter side of things and mostly includes some short-term tuning and bugfixes for many specializations to hold them over until the real event begins in Patch 9.1, Chains of Domination. But let us not get ahead of ourselves just yet, for there are changes in the here-and-now to discuss.
- Fleshcraft, the Signature Ability of the Necrolords, has been redesigned. It now channels for 3 seconds (down from 4) to create a shield equal to 40% of your max health (was 20%). In addition, while channeling you now take 20% less damage. Channeling near corpses no longer increases the size of the shield, but instead walking near the corpse of an enemy you helped slay reduces the cooldown of the ability by 1 second per corpse.
- Bugfix: Faeline Stomp can now more reliably be used to engage enemies in combat.
- The Venthyr Monk Class Ability Fallen Order‘s Ox and Tiger spirits have been buffed by 20%.
- Nothing. That is right, not a single tool of the Brewmaster’s regular kit was adjusted in Patch 9.0.5. Could this mean balance is achieved?
- Shaohao’s Might now has a 40% chance to activate when casting Tiger Palm (was 10%), deals 300% Tiger Palm damage (was 250%), and reduces the cooldown of Brew abilities — Purifying Brew, Celestial Brew, Fortifying Brew, Black Ox Brew, Bonedust Brew — by an extra 2 seconds per activation (was 1).
- Mighty Pour now increases Armor by 50% (was 25%) for 8 seconds (was 7) when using Celestial Brew, and provides Purifying Brew a 35% (was 25%) chance to not consume a charge when used.
- Many trinkets and item effects were slightly buffed as a result of changes to the formula calculating their strength. This does not include trinkets with party-wide effects such as Stone Legion Heraldry, Cabalist’s Hymnal, or Mistcaller Ocarina, but does include trinkets from World Quests like Hymnal of the Path
- The Valor System has returned, allowing players to upgrade their dungeon loot received after Patch 9.0.5 has arrived to a maximum of item level 220 provided they have achieved Shadowlands Keystone Master: Season One.
Patch 9.0.5 is the rare update where Brewmaster monks have not been touched by any direct tuning — better to see none and stay in a decent position than to be like our friends the Windwalkers…. However, a few of the changes to the underlying systems of the Shadowlands do still ripple outward, such as the rework of the Necrolord Signature Ability: Fleshcraft.
Though the tooltip does not mention it, you can in fact dodge and parry during the channel of Fleshcraft; since it is an absorb, it is also increased by your Critical Strike through Celestial Fortune‘s interaction with absorbs. This means that the ability is now effectively an additional defensive cooldown. It is not out of the question to say that Necrolord could be the better Covenant for Brewmasters seeking to maximize their defense while still being capable of formidable dps. Do not feel pressured to change Covenants because of this, however. The Kyrian and Night Fae Covenants are still more than capable, and with a buff to the Tiger and Ox spirits of Fallen Order, Venthyr monks — all five of you — are now more competitive than before.
As for the changes to the Shaohao’s Might and Mighty Pour Legendaries, they are still not worth using. Shaohao’s Might neither provides enough cooldown reduction to your Brew abilities, nor does it offer enough damage to meet or surpass our go-to options of Stormstout’s Last Keg and Charred Passions. At best, it can be considered a generic in-between option, albeit one that is limited to purely single-target scenarios. Mighty Pour suffers in the same way. Brewmaster Monks already benefit from a large amount of Purifying Brew charges over the course of combat, and it is often difficult to deplete a Celestial Brew‘s absorb if it has been amplified with enough stacks of Purified Chi. If the armor were provided after Celestial Brew expired, it would be a worthy choice but instead it is unnecessary in all but the most niche pieces of content.
Patch 9.0.5 has brought with it the return of an old currency: Valor. This currency, like Conquest in PvP, has a weekly cap that will increase with every week of a given Season. As Patch 9.0.5 is arriving in the middle of the season, the initial cap will be 5,000 Valor and will be increasing by 750 per week. Valor can be obtained from Covenant Callings and from Mythic Plus dungeons of any level; a +2 and +15 provide the same amount of 135 Valor per run.
Now that you have some Valor, what is there to do with it? With Valor in hand, you can pay a visit to Aggressor Zo’dash in Oribos (the same person who upgrades Honor and Conquest gear) to upgrade any dungeon item, provided it is item level 220 or lower. Every piece of gear will cost a varying amount of Valor per upgrade, but the price will be the same for every rank of an item. Note that only items obtained after the launch of Patch 9.0.5 will count for this system. In addition, certain item level breakpoints require a specific account-wide achievement to be unlocked:
Shadowlands Keystone Master: Season One is required to upgrade past item levels 213 and higher
Shadowlands Keystone Conqueror: Season One is required to upgrade past item levels 207 and higher
Shadowlands Keystone Explorer: Season One is required to upgrade past item levels 200 and higher.
A New Friend
As a show of goodwill, Blizzard has decided to create a new mount that will be available to all players who own Shadowlands. This mount was voted on by the community in a poll some months ago, and the winner was The Wandering Ancient. You have probably seen this hulking
monstrosity friend wandering around by now, but be patient if it has not yet shown up in your mount list; this mount will gradually be given to all eligible players over the next few days. As an extra bonus to this mount, its appearance will also be changing with the seasons!
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