Math of the Storm: Patch 27.0 (Garrosh PTR)

Hi there, ChaosOS again. Today's article is looking at the changes present in the Garrosh PTR patch. I didn't go over every change in the patch, as many of them are self-explanatory or usability changes. Garrosh will be covered in an article next Tuesday, when he is released.

Usual disclaimer: All damage and health numbers below are presented as base (level 0) values, unless otherwise noted.

Today's spreadsheet can be found here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1X9WEQmrCQMRitNIOW0uN5Pvas8k6Dc70ShNtqjeK7t0/edit?usp=sharing


New Map Rotation

The new ranked map rotation will be the following:
  • Braxis Holdout
  • Battlefield of Eternity
  • Sky Temple
  • Cursed Hollow
  • Blackheart's Bay
  • Towers of Doom
  • Warhead Junction
  • Dragon Shire
  • Garden of Terror

STAY: (In the current map rotation)

  • Cursed Hollow
  • Dragon Shire
  • Towers of Doom
  • Warhead Junction
  • Garden of Terror

IN: (Not in the current map rotation)

  • Braxis Holdout
  • Battlefield of Eternity
  • Sky Temple
  • Blackheart's Bay

OUT: (In the current map rotation but leaving)

  • Hanamura
  • Tomb of the Spider Queen
  • Infernal Shrines
  • Haunted Mines

Ragnaros

TL;DR Small nerf to Q build, small buff to W and E build.

Change 1:

Abilities

  • Living Meteor (W)
    • Damage reduced from 72 to 68

Talents

  • Level 1
    • Shifting Meteor (W)
      • Additional Functionality:
        • Each time an enemy is hit by Living Meteor, they take an additional 3% damage from subsequent hits by the same Meteor
  • Level 7
    • Molten Power (W)
      • Damage bonus increased from 15% to 20% per enemy Hero hit

Analysis:

The base damage nerf is a 5.6% reduction that hurts a Q build Ragnaros’ capability to farm Sulfuras Hungers stacks.

Shifting Meteor: From the spreadsheet (linked above) the break-even, relative to the old meteor on total damage, is at 5 ticks. Essentially, the new Shifting Meteor increases the reward associated with rolling a full meteor on an enemy hero and reduces the power of a meteor that barely hits an enemy hero. However, this change mostly just compensates the W build for the base damage nerf.

Molten Power: Also from the spreadsheet, the damage break-even of old meteor compared to new is at 2 stacks of Molten Power. 1 stack Molten Power does 1.2 less points of damage per tick because of the base damage nerf.

Shifting Meteor + Molten Power: The damage bonuses provided by the combination of these talents is non-multiplicative, which is to say the 3% bonus damage per instance of damage from Shifting Meteor doesn’t multiply with the 20% bonus damage per stack of Molten Power. Instead, both multipliers "stack additively" and are added together then multiply by the base damage. So instead of two stacks of molten power (providing 40% more damage) and the three stacks of shifting meteor (providing 9% more damage) resulting in 1.09*1.4=52.6% more damage, Living Meteor does (1+.09+.40)=49% more damage. The above analysis on break even points doesn’t strictly apply here, as both were individually accounting for this 4 base damage nerf to each tick of Living Meteor

Change 2:

Abilities

  • Blast Wave (E)
    • Cooldown reduced from 10 seconds to 9 seconds

Talents

  • Level 1
    • Engulfing Flame (E)
      • Adjusted Functionality:
        • No longer grants cooldown reduction on Blast Wave
        • Now also increases the damage of Blast Wave by 75%
  • Level 7
    • Superheated (E)
      • Removed

Analysis:

The base cooldown change upgrades the MS boost uptime from (1.5 seconds duration/10 seconds cooldown)=15% to (1.5/9)=16.67%. Overall a minor buff that will occasionally make a difference when coming up 1 second earlier is the difference between life and death.

Although Engulfing Flame lost the 2 seconds of cooldown reduction, the base Blast Wave cooldown reduction partially makes up for this loss. The 75% more damage (+78 base damage) synergizes with the level 13 and 16 E talents which give shields and an additional cast. The now removed Superheated only provided 26 more damage than the new Engulfing Flame if Ragnaros self-casts Blast Wave, and the removal of Superheated means Ragnaros has the option to pick an alternative level 7 talent and can more freely use Blast Wave on his allies.

Change 3:

  • Level 7
    • New Talent: Blistering Attacks (Passive)
      • Every 10 seconds, your next Basic Attack deals 60% bonus damage. Enemies hit by your Basic Abilities reduces this cooldown by 1 second

Analysis:

Blistering Attacks provides (171 base AA damage*.6)=102.6 bonus damage per proc. The cooldown reduction only requires “Enemies” rather than “Heroes” (Meaning Structures, Mercenaries, Monsters, and Minions too). If Ragnaros fights in the middle of a wave of minions in lane, then the cooldown on Blistering Attacks' bonus damage will almost instantly reset. Living Meteor is the best skill at resetting the cooldown on Blistering Attacks because not only is it an AOE effect, but Living Meteor ticks 4 times per second. A single cast of Meteor could provide 2 or 3 resets depending on timing of basic attacks and how many targets Ragnaros catches. Also, Blistering Attacks encourages using Empower Sulfuras as an AA reset, because the bonus damage will not apply on an Empower Sulfuras attack and the Blistering Attacks cooldown will be reduced by Empower Sulfuras.

Change:

  • Level 20
    • Lava Surge (R)
      • Cooldown reduction increased from 10 seconds to 30 seconds

Analysis:

Upgraded Lava Wave moves from a 110 second cooldown to a 90 second cooldown. This means Ragnaros can cast lava wave once every 3 minion spawns rather than every 4, a significant upgrade to the ultimate’s functionality and wave clear capability. Given that new minion waves usually spawn as the previous one clashes, upgraded Lava Wave can keep a chosen lane almost permanently cleared.


Butcher

TL;DR Butcher is no longer a "Farm until 10" hero, now wants to be a roamer/ganker



Change 1:

Stats

  • Basic Attack damage lowered from 140 to 130

Analysis:

The basic attack damage nerf works up to ~22 damage at level 20, which is a 7% base damage nerf or, accounting for a completed meat quest, a 3.5% to 4% damage nerf. By itself, this is a significant nerf to Butcher, but the nerf may just be to balance out the next set of changes.

Change 2:

Abilities

  • Fresh Meat (Trait)
    • Meat required to complete his quest increased from 125 to 200
    • Damage bonus per Meat stack decreased from 1 to .5
    • Meat dropped by enemy Heroes increased from 5 to 25
    • Bonus damage on quest completion increased from 100 to 125
    • Once the quest is completed, enemy Heroes continue to drop Meat, giving The Butcher 5 permanent Basic Attack damage per Meat collected

Talents

  • Level 1
    • Abattoir (Trait)
      • Removed

Analysis:

These changes have a lot going on. The damage from meat stacks was significantly nerfed, but the increase to damage on quest completion means that the completed meat quest still provides the same amount of bonus damage (225 damage). A full wave of 7 minions was nerfed from (7/125)=5.6% of quest completion to (7/200)=3.5% of quest completion. Hero kills were buffed from (5/125)=4% to (25/200)=12.5% of quest completion. That is a 37.5% decrease to minion farming's effectiveness but a 212.5% increase in the effectiveness of killing heroes. If we're looking at "time to complete", minion farming went from completing the meat quest in (125/7)=~18 waves of minions, which is 9 minutes, to (200/7)=28.6 waves, which takes 14.5 minutes. Given that between rotations, objectives, ganks, and Butcher's mediocre laning it was unlikely you'd get perfect farm, Butcher can no longer rely on minions as the primary source of meat stacks.

If we assume Butcher took Abattoir every game pre-patch (According to hotslogs ~70% of butcher players picked Abbatoir), then Butcher went from losing (5/125)=4% of quest completion on death to losing (10/200)=5% of quest completion on death, and gained the option to select a level 1 talent. If Butcher did not take Abattoir, Butcher went from losing (10/125)=8% of quest completion on death to losing 5% of quest completion on death and gained the ability to earn 5 attack damage per kill after completing the meat quest.

The net effect of these changes is that Butcher is heavily incentivized to hunt down hero kills now instead of passively farming. Previously one hero kill was worth less than a wave of minions, but now a hero kill is worth 3.5 waves of minions, or over 90 seconds of farming. Even if Butcher dies after getting meat from a kill, The Butcher is still up 15 meat, which is more than two waves of minions. The Butcher should now be using the ganking and roaming power of Ruthless Onslaught (his charge) to secure kills rather than finding the safest lane possible and passively farming. This playstyle change makes Butcher higher risk, but much higher reward. With my limited PTR testing I completed my meat quest in 5 to 6 minutes rather than my typical 10 to 12 minute completions on live, but that may be because the new Butcher heavily rewards you if you outskill your opposition and the PTR lacks skill-based matchmaking.


Closing Thoughts

While I was mildly disappointed we didn't see any full scale reworks this patch, the Ragnaros changes should shift his talenting choices while The Butcher changes constitute a major revamp of his playstyle. Whether these changes are buffs or nerfs overall is difficult to determine, but they should keep things interesting. 

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