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Starym

Deadset's Thoughts on the New Sets, Season Power and Legendaries

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With the PTR 2 days away, it's time to hear what the pros think of the new sets, legendaries and seasonal power that have been announced, and who could be more pro than our own Deadset, also known as Mr. Diablo here at Icy Veins, he takes a look at Barbarians, Witch Doctors, Wizards and Crusaders in Season 20:


Last Friday saw our first sneak peek into the Patch Notes for Patch 2.6.8 / Season 20's PTR! Aside from the no holds barred Seasonal Theme, which unlocks the three Kanai slots for ANY item type (allowing you to slot 3 x weapon powers, etc.), the new Patch adds THREE new sets to the game - one for Barbarians, Witch Doctors and Wizards! Here are some quick thoughts after reading the patch notes, and stay tuned for more in-depth feedback - as well as guides, of course - once the actual PTR hits the servers at the end of the week.
 

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BARBARIAN - HORDE OF THE NINETY SAVAGES

The 2-piece bonus of the new Barbarian set, Horde of the Ninety Savages, is one of the most potent 2-piece bonuses in the game; doubling the effects of all shouts and multiplying damage against Feared foes turns the Support Barb (which will 100% include this set from now on) from mandatory to... well... super-extra-mandatory, for good or ill.

As far as constructing a FrenzyFrenzy Barbarian build with its 6-piece bonuses, the current 'initial PTR patch' notes version of the Savages set will likely perform similarly to an equivalent with Legacy of Dreams - minus the customizability of the latter, which is unfortunate. The newly added damage spread mechanic of Bastion's ReveredBastion's Revered is a welcome update to a venerable item, but raises concern about the procs of Area Damage - or lack thereof, since a well known Diablo 3 principle is that 'procs don't proc'. Nevertheless, item effects can change and number tuning will occur, so the potential for a non-Thorns-based FrenzyFrenzy build is tantalizing. With proper tuning it can result in a very primal, visceral and to-the-point Barbarian playstyle that slashes maniacally through the fray.
 

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WITCH DOCTOR - MUNDUNUGU'S REGALIA

The inclusion of a dedicated Spirit BarrageSpirit Barrage set for Witch Doctors is not the most thrilling choice, considering Spirit BarrageSpirit Barrage has enjoyed considerable popularity and reasonable viability over many seasons through the LoN/LoD versions of this build. Even less thrilling is the fact that the set brings no mechanical changes to the skill itself, meaning that the overall playstyle, item rolls and breakpoints of the build remain the same as its older LoD equivalent.

Numbers-wise however, the added Regalia set and changes to complimentary items so far look like they will result in a tremendously powerful build for both groups and solo play.

The minor twist with damage multiplication via the Mana Regeneration stat is nice, and will make the tail of item perfection chase just a bit longer - a nice side effect if you find yourself out of items to farm a little too early in a season.
 

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WIZARD - THE TYPHON'S VEIL

The new Wizard set, The Typhon's Veil, is perhaps the most interesting of the three newcomers - even though it is quite weak in its current iteration, and will need serious number tuning before it is pushed to live servers. It tries to sneak in a viable summoner Wizard build in the form of HydraHydras, and prioritizes head count (literally, of the hydras!) to amplify damage and protection for the Wizard. The playstyle also benefits from revisions to flavorful and synergistic items like the Serpent's SparkerSerpent's Sparker (now with extra damage on top) and The MagistrateThe Magistrate (now applying to all hydra runes and also adding a damage multiplier). Hopefully the long standing Magistrate bug of casting unruned Frost NovaFrost Novas despite your skill selection will be addressed with such a targeted update.

A potential combo to amp up the damage is a complete investment in Arcane damage, taking Wave of ForceWave of ForceArcane AttunementArcane Attunement, Black HoleBlack HoleSpellstealSpellsteal, and the passive Arcane DynamoArcane Dynamo for one massive prep rotation prior to casting HydraHydraArcane HydraArcane Hydra.

A potential problem - although it is so glaring that I doubt it will not be addressed - is the ability of Mirror ImageMirror Images to duplicate your spells, pushing the Damage Reduction of the 4-piece bonus (dependent on the number of active HydraHydra heads) past the 100% point and rendering you invincible. It will be interesting to see how this is dealt with, since Mirror Images have struggled for any semblance of viability since day 1 of this game.
 

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A NOTE ON 'SADER

The indirect nerfing of the Crusader - however little it ends up mattering - via the removal of Fires of HeavenFires of Heaven animation canceling is a positive change for overall gameplay, as it removes a counter-intuitive mechanic from the game. However, it sets a dangerous precedent - since other instances of animation canceling exist across various classes - that only 'overperforming' unintended mechanics will receive any changes, and the ones that fly below the leaderboard radar will not receive the necessary treatment.

 

For my preliminary evaluation of the three new sets and their use (note that they will more than likely change over the coming weeks), check out our set pages:

Header image source.

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36 minutes ago, Starym said:

...since Mirror Images have struggled for any semblance of viability since day 1 of this game.

daaaaamn straight, a bit of nerf here and buff there and the mirror image head might actually become a viable mainstay of the build.
And ofc back to atk speed breakpoints on hydra heads and tasker and theo + enforcer.
It does ring a bell when I (or quite possibly someone else) originaly suggested this sort of scaling with mirror images in place of hydras to make them viable.
Edit: Does etched sigil spawn hydras as a spender? Do I smell taeguk?

Edited by Koxsos

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1 hour ago, Koxsos said:

daaaaamn straight, a bit of nerf here and buff there and the mirror image head might actually become a viable mainstay of the build.
And ofc back to atk speed breakpoints on hydra heads and tasker and theo + enforcer.
It does ring a bell when I (or quite possibly someone else) originaly suggested this sort of scaling with mirror images in place of hydras to make them viable.
Edit: Does etched sigil spawn hydras as a spender? Do I smell taeguk?

The problem with this is it if it counts Hydras spawned by mirror images, the DR effect becomes balanced around it and whether or not Blizzard wants to provide a 7 second immunity on a 15 second cooldown, that can be runed to provide either 10 second duration or 4 images instead of 2, and CD reset on spike damage intake through Illusionist.

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9 hours ago, SidonisAntares said:

The problem with this is it if it counts Hydras spawned by mirror images, the DR effect becomes balanced around it and whether or not Blizzard wants to provide a 7 second immunity on a 15 second cooldown, that can be runed to provide either 10 second duration or 4 images instead of 2, and CD reset on spike damage intake through Illusionist.

An easy fix would be to simply scale down the bonus mirror image hydras provide (although that might a problem coding-whise). I'd bet image hydras will simply not work and only the directly cast hydra will be counted.

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I really welcome the idea of a full blown Frenzy chop build (with oathkeeper, depth diggers, simplicity and secheron bracers it sounds like fun). The main question for me is if i chop a horde of enemies and a crit happens, does it considered a crit on all targets (because the damage spread mechanic) ? If so, will it trigger Pain enhacer on all targets (procs cannot proc procs) ? 

The 2 piece set is interesting, but i think there shouldn't be such a mandatory thing on a 2 set. It's clunky, almost certainly only triggering from the Barbarian or for the Barbarian. Also it makes mandatory to have fear on hit secondaries. I remember WW barb with APDs... It was horrible to rely on a proc. 

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11 hours ago, Starym said:

An easy fix would be to simply scale down the bonus mirror image hydras provide (although that might a problem coding-whise). I'd bet image hydras will simply not work and only the directly cast hydra will be counted.

Not sure how much of an issue it would be regarding the code, since Mirror Images already deal damage at 10/20% of the player's damage, might be able to work off of that. I agree though that they will probably just go with direct casts, though whether that's how it goes live or becomes hotfixed a week into the season.....

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8 hours ago, Yolo said:

The 2 piece set is interesting, but i think there shouldn't be such a mandatory thing on a 2 set. It's clunky, almost certainly only triggering from the Barbarian or for the Barbarian. Also it makes mandatory to have fear on hit secondaries. I remember WW barb with APDs... It was horrible to rely on a proc. 

Threatening Shout - Terrify + Furious Charge - Merciless Assault + Bane of the Trapped, and maybe even throw in Rechel's Ring of Larceny for good measure.

Looks like we'll be going RoRG and cubing either Depth Diggers or Aquilas Cuirass, CoE for +phys, Oathkeeper OH and probably Pig Sticker MH since we're not relying on Thorns for this like we did with the LoN build. Probably not going to use Pain Enhancer though at least not at higher GRs, and go with Bane of the Stricken.

Edited by SidonisAntares

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