Blizzard nerfs Holy Paladins and buffs underperforming specializations in latest WoW PvP hotfix

These nerfs were long overdue with Holy Paladins dominating the ladder.

Image via Blizzard Entertainment

Blizzard is spreading the love to some underperforming specializations in World of Warcraft: Shadowlands while also nerfing Holy Paladins in the latest PvP hotfix.

These changes are long overdue since Holy Paladins have infested both the arena and rated battleground environment since the beginning of Shadowlands. Other healers felt much weaker once players realized the benefits of a Holy Paladin in most compositions and most healers rerolled to be competitive. While other healers still need adjustments to be more viable, this is a great step toward making the playfield more fair to everyone.

While Blizzard did target a lot of underperforming specializations and buffed them up to help them in PvP, some overperforming specializations remain untouched. Retribution Paladins and Arms Warriors, in particular, have been dominating the ladder almost as much as the Holy Paladins. They have a lot of utility and are also able to dish out a lot of damage. Other classes that might lack utility are doing much less damage compared to them, and by nerfing these two, they could be brought in line with classes such as Shaman, Hunter, Warlock, or others.

Here are the patch notes for the latest WoW hotfix.

  • Death Knight
    • Unholy
      • Necrotic Strike now absorbs up to six percent of the target’s health (was four percent).
      • Virulent Plague and Virulent Eruption are no longer reduced by 10 percent when engaged in combat with enemy players.
  • Monk
    • Mistweaver
      • Chrysalis PVP talent reduces Life Cocoon’s cooldown by 40 seconds (was 25 seconds).
      • Mana regeneration increased by 20 percent when engaged in combat with enemy players.
  • Hunter
    • Beast Mastery
      • Bestial Wrath’s effectiveness is no longer reduced by 20 percent when engaged in combat with enemy players.
    • Marksmanship
      • Careful Aim now deals 35 percent bonus damage when engaged in combat with enemy players (was 20 percent).
  • Mage
    • Dampened Magic reduces magical damage over time effects by 10 percent (was 20 percent).
    • Frost
      • Glacial Spike is no longer reduced by 20 percent when engaged in combat with enemy players.
      • Ray of Frost is no longer reduced by 15 percent when engaged in combat with enemy players.
    • Fire
      • Pyrokinesis reduces Combustion’s cooldown by three seconds (was five seconds).
  • Paladin
    • Holy
      • Damage transferred through Ultimate Sacrifice is no longer affected by Blessing of Sacrifice’s Rank 2 upgrade.
      • Mana regeneration is decreased by 30 percent when engaged in combat with enemy players.

Overall, these changes have been praised by the WoW community, who have been waiting for a Holy Paladin hotfix for a couple of weeks. During the latest Arena World Championship cups, Holy Paladins were the most represented healers, dwarfing other classes due to their superior mana regeneration, defensive cooldowns, and utility. Following this hotfix, the meta might change and players could look at creating other compositions with different healers while still being competitive.