Unholy has come a long way over the course of the BFA beta, having been nigh unplayable prior to the hefty talent shake up, which no one saw coming. Unholy plays much the same as Legion at its core but is no longer funneled into ST or AoE exclusively and is a much more versatile spec because of it.
Overall, if you enjoyed Unholy throughout Legion, you will certainly have a good chance at liking it in Battle for Azeroth. Unholy is also viable in more than just one aspect of the game, which was hardly seen throughout Legion now that it has a larger toolkit that can handle different AoE scenarios, such as using Epidemia
or Devastação Profana
, while still keeping respectable single target damage.
Another noteworthy change is that the cooldown reduction of Transformação Negra
from Espiral da Morte
still exists and is now baseline, similar to the talent Shadow Infusion
in Legion, effectively making the cooldown of Transformação Negra
slightly smaller (which will decrease even further as the expansion goes on, since the GCD/min will increase with our increasing haste values, leading us to cast more Espiral da Morte
s per minute).
Gameplay -- The “Wound” system
While mostly unchanged, there are very important to note is the changes with Ataque Supurante
/ Ferida Purulenta
(the “wound” system). With the change from an 8 wound cap to a 6 wound cap, Ataque Supurante
now applying 2-3 wounds down from 2-4 and Apocalipse
costing 4 wounds; Opener rng is effectively eliminated, Apocalipse
will always follow 2 Ataque Supurante
All in all, these minor changes reduce the amount of variance when it comes to the wound system, leading to the system feeling more fair and predictable
Talents/Spells -- CliffnotesTodos Serão Servos
- This is one of the largest issues with current unholy, yet it still exists as a talent. Ideas such as making it transform while Transformação Negra
is active, making it scale with our mastery or even just giving us a replica of our current pet. All of us agree that Alfred the Archer needs some changes or to be unfortunately removed, else it looks like it will see no use just like throughout LegionBanter - Technical Issues of AWS
While the talent has various AI issues, and could see some rare use in PvP (in its BfA iteration), the talent will likely never see play with its current iteration (same mechanics as Legion, but without the perk of no CD on Reviver Morto
). The biggest issue, AI aside, is where it gains damage; the only secondary stat that actually increases its damage is Versatility, which is not a sought after stat for Unholy. The fact that he also cannot use
anymore highlights just how useless Skulkerdad is.
If there is a rework in a later patch, with the AI issues get ironed out, and the pet can acquire scaling with mastery (similar to our friend Gary the Gargoyle), we could see this talent being popular in a later patch cycle. However, I don’t think anyone would be sad to see our Skelebro go.Pestilência and the L90 Talent Row
- Having no clear single target application feels problematic with this row, Pestilência
feels like a worse version of Infected Claws and Blizzard outlined they do not wish for us to use Morte e Decomposição
or Defile single target. Replacing Pestilência
with something passive would answer these concerns.
Banter: An important issue that the Pestilência
debate has raised is Unholy’s lack of strong sustained AoE, an area where Frost shines. Some of the various suggestions people have to improve or change Pestilência
involve removing this one weakness that Unholy has, in comparison to Frost.
So while this talent could be made more appealing, this is also an area where Frost becomes more appealing in comparison (constant and reliable AoE through Frostscythe spam, or Breath of Sindragosa), which is important when balancing two DPS specs for a class.
Unfortunately, not changing this talent will leave the row completely useless for single target. Pestilência
doesn’t have to change, but something on this row doesEvocar Gárgula
- Dark Arbiter
has a successor in Evocar Gárgula
, functioning much the same as Arbiter did in Legion but with a nerfed ramp up (2 Runic Power - 1% increased damage). Lasting 30 seconds on a 3 minute cooldown, it covers more of Sede de Sangue
and aligns with the racial: Berserk
. Consequently, baseline Evocar Gárgula
has been removed.
The variance of Dark Arbiter
is something that many people didn't like about the talent. Amazing pulls could give you an adrenaline kick with an 80 million damage Arbiter, but a lackluster pull could also make you feel really bad with a 30 million DA. I’m sure most raiders know the pain of their Death Knight’s comparing how big their Dark Arbiter
pulls were, almost as if they were overcompensating for something (their mechanical prowess, obviously).
Essentially, the reduced proc rate of Ruína Súbita
(through the loss of Double Doom, and the loss of being able to take this alongside Frenesi Profano
) will reduce the variance of the new Evocar Gárgula
; since a higher percentage of your Espiral da Morte
s used to empower Gary will now come from building Runic Power instead of from procs.
Something that has been pointed out though, is the distribution of critical strikes. Crit’s will still contribute to the randomness involved, and thanks to the increased duration/number of casts, could be more of a determining factor in how big your Garg is.Epidemia
- Overall this talent is very satisfying, with the change from costing 1 rune with 3 charges (Legion), to 30 runic power with no charge (BfA). This removes the need to use Espiral da Morte
in AoE scenarios and gives us a source of active AoE detached from Morte e Decomposição
windows. Exército dos Malditos
- At first glance, this talent seems very boring for its row but it fills the same niche as our T20 set bonus and can be very strong when paired with Epidemia
in M+ so that you can use Army of the Dead for multiple bosses for a decent chunk of damage.
However, Tzo did point out that this talent can be used in conjunction with Monstruosidade Macabra
, which will certainly lead to some ‘interesting’ PvP situations.Utility
- So far the utility is solid within the Unholy talent tree, getting 2 dedicated utility rows. We have the ability to slow packs through DnD with Garra dos Mortos
- replacing our spammable 50% - 10 second snare in Debilitating Infestation in Legion. Alcance da Morte
- a budget grip cooldown that probably won’t see use outside of leveling or some battlegrounds, and we still get to keep Asfixiar
, albeit with a slight nerf. We also have Pacto da Morte
back which is amazing for self utility. We get to keep Spell Eater as a talent, and Andar do Espectro
still exists, now in the form of a talent (sadly, for some), but is pretty cool since it works as an additional movement CD; it does not replace Avanço da Morte
The addition of Avanço da Morte
gives us an overall superior option for movement speed increase. The longer duration, the ability to use spells when it's active and the knockback immunity are all aspects that render this new spell far better than Andar do Espectro
. Being able to use both for an encounter will certainly make future encounters interesting.Defensives
- It is worth noting that Fortitude Congélida
got buffed to 30%, which can help out with dps DKs being viable for longer when pushing M+. Unholy still has Carapaça Antimagia
, and now Pacto da Morte
, but we unfortunately no longer have Unholy Endurance, which will be greatly missed.
Baseline Unholy feels a lot more like a complete spec in Battle for Azeroth than Legion Unholy did without the Artifact/Legendaries. The Azerite traits offered in dungeon gear seem to be somewhat bland at first glance. One of the more interesting ones, Poder Purulento
, adds some interesting gameplay into the mix with being able to burst wounds quickly to build up strength. This trait seems to be hilariously overtuned for AoE scenarios, and will likely see a “cap” (or a nerf) being added in the future. Feridas Gangrenantes
is probably the best trait in terms of Quality of Life, with a second effect of boosting the %chance of getting the maximum 3 wounds off Ataque Supurante
by a considerable amount.
Outside of the two aforementioned traits though, no other Azerite traits seem to offer any big gameplay changes, contradictory to the original pitch for Azerite traits ,where they were conceived as “filling holes that losing the Artifact would create”. But instead, the design consensus ended up being to make certain Legion spells baseline (Apocalipse
), as well as polishing the talent tree/adding some there (As we’ve seen with countless specs, Blood and Frost included).
This is not a critique at the design team/overall design direction for classes in BfA. We are simply just very interested to see if Azerite traits will eventually contain more depth, as none of them really seem to fit any of these holes, but instead mostly just give you some incredibly minor passives; something, again, leaving the traits looking quite bland.
This could easily change in the future though, with the eventual tuning pass, and the ability to acquire more of these traits. I’m going to laugh if they actually do this lol xd.
- Overall the level 90 talents need to be rearranged or replaced, most notably Pestilência. This could be done in multiple ways, either with a small talent reshuffle or a new talent entirely to give the row some depth. (Tzo)
- Epidemia affected by Ruína Súbita. (Urioh)
- Change up Alcance da Morte in some way.
This could be either through adding in pet grip, which is useful in both PvP and PvE, giving us grip that has 2 charges on a longer recharge or something that doesn’t require a killing blow to reset. The extra range is nice but not enough to warrant picking it in any difficult scenario, even for encounter’s where it would make sense, such as Aggramar. Another solution would be to remove the secondary component (Reset with experience/honour), and add Comando Profano’s perk as its second component (again, two charges of grip). (Tzo)