A Look at the New Grievous Affix
In a consistent trickle of Mythic+ changes, Blizzard has announced that the Grievous affix will be receiving some updates as we enter this week’s
affix combination. This post will take an in-depth look at the new
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As seen in
Sunday's hotfix post
, the change is as follows:
In Mythic Keystone dungeons, the Grievous affix now stacks every other tick (was every tick), and now deals 2% of the player's total HP per stack (was 1.5%).
NEW:Latest Update: Grievous Bugged?
As you can see from comment sections and submitted logs, there appears to be a potential bug with the new form of Grievous. The way it seems to be functioning at the moment is that the first stack does not deal ANY damage, but then applies the 2nd stack of Grievous after said tick instead of after the 2nd tick of damage. This messes with the charts below and causes a fluctuation between slight advantage (0.5%) less damage taken and slight disadvantage (0.5%) more damage taken between stacks.
The effects of this change
This change will reward more rapid reaction towards healing
and help reduce the “runaway” effect that frequently occurs. This snowball effect is where stacks of the bleed increase the party’s damage intake to a point where the healer can struggle to sustain all allies while topping them off to the 90% threshold required to remove the DoT without ignoring another player. With this change, the healer will now have slightly more time to get the situation under control, but will be heavily punished for allowing the stacks to fester and grow. Instead of a 5 stack dealing 7.5% of the target’s HP per tick, this change will raise that damage to 10% of their HP at 5 stacks, making it extremely difficult to remove if the target is also taking damage from other sources.
As this change came about there was instantly talk about the high downsides if
stacks were left to linger, so I thought it best to include a few visual examples of when the new Grievous would be dealing more damage than we were previously used to and where we would be receiving a positive advantage (shown in Green) from the change. The first chart shows the time it takes for a new stack to be applied to the target. At 18 seconds, the 4th stack of
will be applied and all ticks after that moment will be for heavier damage than the previous iteration of the affix marked in red.
This second chart lays out the increase in stacks over time to give a better visualization of just how quickly
stacked before and how quickly things would get out of hand. Once again, in red is where the sweet spot fades away and all future ticks will be for increased damage than before.
In this final chart, the areas marked in red, both in the time it takes for the stacks to reach that point, and in the % of total HP that the affected player will take said damage represent the areas where the healer will be healing more damage than before. Marked in Green is the point where it is a benefit and the target is taking less damage than the old
effect. This chart most heavily shows the lengthy window whereby the healer will have time to clear stacks on players who are taking less damage from the affix than before. This sweet spot (green) is an excellent sweet spot for the healer to regain their footing and top the player(s) off from a big hit. This new
system provides great early advantages, yet also provides a near-guarantee of fatalities if you do not drop combat soon after the final stack of the bleed is applied.
You will also see that at the 15 second mark with the change, we originally would have felt the full 5 stack tick with Old
, taking 7.5% damage per tick, but with the new at that same time, we’re taking only 6%. This is significant as the healer will have an advantage from the 2nd tick to the 7th tick where the injured player will be taking less damage than where they normally would before the change.
Tyrannical and Fortified Affecting Grievous
Now that we’ve outlined the windows of advantages and disadvantages, it is also important to note the differences between
setting like we will be in this week, understandably the bosses are the biggest concern. Encounters with more single target or cleave damage like Heartsbane Triad or Council of Cap’ns with
, this affix update will offer a much needed breath to help top off those targets before damage gets out of hand. As an example, casts of
will drop players very low on Tyrannical keys and a slower stacking
effect will make it easier for the healer to top off the injured player before
casts her next
. In a mass-aoe situations, like the
in Underrot or
in Atal’dazar, DoTs will quickly apply
but the player will have much more time to deal with the affix before the stacks ramp out of control.
environment, like the one we will see in about 2 months from the time of this article, I think the
effect will be much more noticable. Players will feel the high negatives of the new
primarily in areas where it already was a problem, the “dps race or die” known as
in Temple of Sethraliss is a prime example, where many healing classes already struggled to deal with the old
stacks. Those situations and instances will be avoided as usual, though I believe that in a Fortified
week healers will notice the change far more. This is primarily is due to the healer’s speed with which they can top off health pools and the defensive power of tanks. As it stands currently, both are in a diminished state from where we ended in Legion and as a result,
will be harder to remove and more deadly in the more prolonged trash pulls of
In such pulls, tanks will have to manage not only the incoming damage from stronger and higher-hp mobs, but must also manage the 10% HP tick of the new
if they are not topped quickly enough.
will allow such pulls to end more rapidly, and it is often easier to top off a tank on a boss fight in between casts or mechanics, rather than a tank that is the focus of 6 or more enemies dealing constant damage. Tanks that lack tools, either in their own kit or in their group composition, to effectively and frequently kite will be more at risk of reaching that more lethal 5 stacks.
While I personally would have preferred a lower threshold with which to remove the
debuff (can’t tell you how many times my heal brought a player to 89%), this change in general will reward healers that react faster to
or who work to blunt their application in advance. After a number of quiet weeks on the topic of Mythic+ we are now seeing more changes made to difficult affixes and dungeons alike which should be applauded. I look forward to future changes to help balance the Mythic+ affix system that is often polarizing in difficulty from week to week.
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