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Valks have been nerfed into obscurity

Discuss pet battles, strategy and theorycrafting.
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Skavenged
 
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Valks have been nerfed into obscurity

Postby Skavenged » October 16th, 2014, 9:01 am

After a few days of battling after the patch, and mainly running Valk teams "just to see", its my opinion that the Valk is fairly useless now. I agree that it was broken before, but I thought a four round CD was plenty to fix it. The biggest problem was the spammability of haunt. Unfortunately, since haunt was ALSO nerfed so that it is unusable on the death round or the resurrection round, it becomes a fairly useless move. Due to the slow speed of the pet, lengthy CD, and free attacks during pet swap, it is nearly impossible to use haunt more than once in a fight. I did have some success with Devour teams, and teams that heal the back row, but they were all low damage Stall teams. Pretty much every other combo I attempted was an utter failur . Of course you could go with unholy Ascension instead, but there are other pets, with better movesets, that can mimic the non-haunt valk and give you more bang for your buck.

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Re: Valks have been nerfed into obscurity

Postby Luciandk » October 16th, 2014, 9:12 am

Glad to see Haunt being smacked down for good, that ability was just too good and caused the whole pet meta to be utterly stymied. Now there should be a lot more variety again.

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Skavenged
 
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Re: Valks have been nerfed into obscurity

Postby Skavenged » October 16th, 2014, 9:43 am

I disagree. I think Haunt becomes a viable ability now that it has a 4 round CD. Especially since the CD doesn't even start until it pops up in the back row, effectively making it a 5 round CD. 4 rounds of haunt, combined with 5 rounds to cool off, means that it can only be used once every 9 rounds. 10 if it requires a pet swap. Seems very modest at that point

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Re: Valks have been nerfed into obscurity

Postby Poofah » October 16th, 2014, 10:31 am

Skavenged wrote:4 rounds of haunt, combined with 5 rounds to cool off, means that it can only be used once every 9 rounds. 10 if it requires a pet swap. Seems very modest at that point


If you compare it to old Haunt, then of course it's bad. But it's not fair to compare to old Haunt, because old Haunt was absurdly broken.

If you compare to current balanced abilities then it's pretty much in line. Haunt is still 50 base dmg and a swap, still the highest damage non-Armageddon move in the game. It's more than 2-turns-for-1, and 8 round cooldown has become typical for abilities on this power level (Decoy, Feign Death, RI). So even if Haunt is effectively 9 rounds now, it's not an overnerf.

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Re: Valks have been nerfed into obscurity

Postby Tekulve2012 » October 16th, 2014, 10:40 am

How hard a nerf it is will itself play out in pet pvp this next month. Some thought will have to be put into creative Valkyr usage. Lets not forget that the h/h breed is very tanky and shadowshock also has its uses. I used mine a bit after leveling it but then moved on to more interesting pets

The irony is the timing of the nerf.. a fair bit late considering that it's helpful impact on pvp will come just in time for the arrival of a whole new crew of new Xpac pets to be concerned with.

The 6.0.2 patch pets have heavy hits so we may see the need for more stun moves and other avoidance measures this next month.

Eventually, perhaps the Valk will be swallowed up in a broader variety of pet pvp foes ...here's hoping anyway!! :!:

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Re: Valks have been nerfed into obscurity

Postby Skavenged » October 16th, 2014, 10:57 am

I disagree again. Feign Death, Decoy, RI, can't be blocke . Haunt can. Even if your opponent has avoidance active, your decoy still goes up, or you get a free swap from feign, or you get a free swap/speed/damage from RI (and while the front pet may be immune, back line pets aren't... Hello armegeddon). If the valk haunts an avoidance pet, he simply misses and loses the ability for 4 rounds. One other flaw in your logic is that you are comparing the damage to a nuke. Haunt is NOT a nuke. sure it does 700ish damage, but the damage is spread out over four rounds, which makes it far more susceptible to mitigation effects such as sandstorm or any number of shielding abilities. On aquatics, the damage is practically nonexistent. Haunt can't really be compared to other abilities in the game. It is a unique ability, much like RI is unique. I for one would have liked to see them FIX the problem instead of once again taking a shortcut and ruining a pet that a lot of people spent alot of time farming. Much akin to what happened with the Fluxfire.

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Re: Valks have been nerfed into obscurity

Postby Genome » October 16th, 2014, 12:04 pm

Any nerf that Haunt received short of removal was well deserved, in my opinion. It was easily the best move in the game for a "free" pet, and not by a small increment either. While I didn't want to see the valk completely wrecked (and it isn't, even with the nerf), something had to be done. Here is something that I was trying to get the devs to look at many months ago, but I never got a reply from the official forums and I wasn't going to get a twitter account just to complain about OP pets in pet battles. From what was written, you can tell it was cobbled together some time ago (Anub has been nerfed in a manner of speaking twice since then for instance), but I believe that the changes to Haunt (and BP) are LONG overdue. The rant:

"I hate to sound like a complainer, but pet battles are really beginning to get frustrating with the proliferation of completely overpowered pets. It has gotten to the point where the only teams that I feel comfortable running are hard-counters to FotM groups (i.e. Unborn Valks/Death Adder Hatchlings/Murkalot/Anubisath Idol/Clonedancer setups, etc). There are some glaring problems with some of the pets that somehow continue to not be addressed. Let's take the Unbron Valk'yr for example.

The Valk is on so many teams that I almost never run without an Emperor Crab to "counter" it, which speaks badly of team variety options considering that we have hundreds of pets to choose from. The Valk is so ridiculous that many feel that they are handicapping themselves by not using it. The bad parts about this pet are two-fold; It has the perfect stat distribution to take advantage of it's abilities and racial, and it has one ability that in essence does seven-eight things in one button push. Let's break down Haunt a bit:

First it's tooltip "100% hit chance. The user transforms into an unholy spirit and enters the target, dealing 126 Undead damage every round. While haunting a target, the user is considered dead."

So what is so broken about this ability? First and foremost, it cannot be juked effectively as it has no cooldown. This is probably it's most egregious problem, but certainly not it's only one. Basically, the Valk user can just keep spamming Haunt until it lands with no thought for tactics or skillful application. Next, it does very stout damage for a DoT; among the best dmg per one-round ability in the game actually if it runs for it's full duration. Along with this, it acts as a "Dodge" of sorts for delayed damage moves such as traps and backline/same round DoT dmg, allowing both the Valk and the pet it swaps in to avoid such important damage. Yet another "hidden" ability built into Haunt is that it acts as the best self-pet swap in the game as it lets you choose your next pet to bring in, and has no cooldown. For a comparison, Feign Death does no damage, doesn't let you choose your next incoming pet, doesn't make you immune to all dmg, and has an eight round cooldown! This is why the Valk is often paired with another pretty broken pet in the S/S DAH, as a Haunt swap into the DAH completely moves the tempo into the Valk user's favor the vast majority of the time, which if you don't have the perfect counter setup to this duo(and even worse if they are fielding the SS Qiraji Guardling in the third slot),is pretty much the game right there in many scenrios. That's all of the possible problems with Haunt though, right? Wrong.

Haunt has some other built-in bonuses as well. The tooltip says that it "is considered dead for haunt's duration", and while this sounds bad, this is only very slightly a true "negative", and in many cases, is actually a large positive. While the Valk is moved to the back row and cannot be moved up again until Haunt has expired, it has effectively become immune to everything. This includes DoTs already applied to it before Haunt landed until it rezzes back up from Haunt, backline damage moves such as Dreadful Breath or Tidal Wave, delayed damage "unblockable" moves such as Sticky Grenade, and forced swap-in moves such as Nether gate (can't be brought back to the front). But wait, there's more! Haunt can also be abused by other pets as well because of how Consume Corpse works, and is a reason that Valks are often paired with Stitched Pups, Infected Fawns and/or Blighthawks. Since the Valk is considered a corpse, the Consume Corpse pet can use the big heal several times a fight (two-three times is about normal, but without Darkness running it will likely be game over by then anyway). I run into the occasional Valk/Blighthawk/Stitched Pup team. This team is obscenely strong, and beating it bascially requires an exact counter, with some luck thrown in as well, or the CC user is absolutely terrible. Chances are, if he or she is using this team, they know exactly how to use it making them well-nigh invincible in most scenrios.

So for the quick-and-dirty rundown of Haunt:

1. 100% hit chance (can't miss unless under an accuracy debuff or is Dodged)
2. No cooldown (cannot really be juked)
3. Makes traps, DoTs, delayed dmg, and backrow dmg against the Valk useless.
4. You can choose your next pet to bring in (no other swap-in ability works this way)
5. Complete tempo swing usually results in multiple wasted turns swapping Haunt soak pet with something else.
6. Effectively makes the Valk immune to everything while Haunt is running. Haunt is still doing it's damage so the Valk needs to perform no actions anyway.
7. Can be abused by Consume Corpse teams. I have the feeling that this is really more of an exploit than an intended mechanic.
8. High health pool and Undead racial allow Haunt to be used several times per fight.

I guess that is enough rambling for now. Of all of the overpowered pets, I believe that Valks are probably the worst. From some feeds that I have read, Anubisath Idols will continue to be OP for the foreseeable future, and Murkalot, well, is Murkalot. I am sorry if this is posted in the wrong place, and I would be happy to move this to the proper place where the devs can view it. Kovok and the Stunted Direhorn were nerfed because they were warping the "metagame", and the Valk is warping it even further because it is far easier to obtain, and thus is in far too many teams. In closing, I want to say that I appreciate the idea of giving harder-to-get pets "unique" abilities, but care should be taken to make sure that this uniqueness doesn't in actuality become "over-poweredness". Any discourse is of course welcome. Thanks for taking the time to read my wall o' text :-D."

Obviously, this was written in frustration, but I still believe that what I laid out was true. Even post-nerf, the valk is still useable in a tempo set-up, it just has to be used with care now instead of with impunity. In short, while the Haunt nerf "hurts" the user who leaned on it for wins, it helps the pet PvP community as a whole by opening up far greater flexibility overall.

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Skavenged
 
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Re: Valks have been nerfed into obscurity

Postby Skavenged » October 16th, 2014, 12:22 pm

I still think that the 4 round CD answers most of those problems, and coupled with its slow speed, haunt is pretty easily avoided. Again, I totally agree that a spammable Haunt made for a horribly broken pet, but there was room to fix it. I can even see making haunt miss on the Resurrection round, but still work on the death round... I'd even say it shouldn't get a rez round if it haunts... But making it so that a pet can't use its best ability during its final two rounds alive is ridiculous. If they are going to nerf is this hard, I'd much rather see them eliminate the ability completely and replace it with something that IS usable. IMHO the Valk is one of the best looking and more challenging (yet fun) pets to obtain. It should at least have a little value for players

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Re: Valks have been nerfed into obscurity

Postby Poofah » October 16th, 2014, 12:39 pm

Skavenged wrote:I for one would have liked to see them FIX the problem instead of once again taking a shortcut and ruining a pet that a lot of people spent alot of time farming. Much akin to what happened with the Fluxfire.


I wonder how you would have fixed it then. Adding a cooldown doesn't strike me as very severe. I don't see any reason to think that Valk is 'ruined'.

I don't like overnerfs: I really don't like how they handled FFF. I don't think this is comparable.

Skavenged wrote:Haunt can't really be compared to other abilities in the game.


Of course it can, otherwise how could you balance it in relation to those other abilities? The balancing scheme is straightforward: spammable attacks are supposed to give ~20 base dmg per cast, DoTs get more because they're less convenient, adding a cd gives you more dmg (3 rd = 30, 4 rd = 35, 5 rd = 40, generally), and a swap costs a turn. Curse of Doom is a 5 round cooldown that deals 40 base dmg after 5 turns. Haunt is a 4 round cooldown that deals 50 base dmg over 5 turns, and gives you a new pet to fight while it's doing its dmg.

And if you really believe that it can't be compared to other abilities, then we have no way to decide if it's good/bad until a lot of people play a lot of games with it.

Genome wrote:"I hate to sound like a complainer, but


I liked your analysis, but sadly they were never going to read it. We have to break issues down into a twitter-sized bite if we want them to be heard.

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Re: Valks have been nerfed into obscurity

Postby Poofah » October 16th, 2014, 12:45 pm

Skavenged wrote:But making it so that a pet can't use its best ability during its final two rounds alive is ridiculous.


This might be a bit much, their original statement on this implied that it wouldn't be usable on 'the undead round'. Which I assumed meant that if the Valk was in its UD round when you select abilities, then Haunt would be grayed out. But if you can select Haunt, then get killed, then Haunt misses automatically -- that seems bad. I still don't know if it's enough to stop people playing Valks, but it's not a good change.

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Re: Valks have been nerfed into obscurity

Postby Skavenged » October 16th, 2014, 12:55 pm

That is exactly my gripe, Poofah. In all the battles I've tested, my valk has missed every time that it haunts on the round it is killed. I don't mind that it misses on the rez round. I even think that haunting on the death round should forfeit the rez round.

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Re: Valks have been nerfed into obscurity

Postby Poofah » October 16th, 2014, 2:58 pm

http://www.wowhead.com/petability=652

The new Haunt tooltip doesn't say anything about missing on the UD round either. I know they mentioned this change on Twitter, but there was no official mention of it, and the execution isn't very good. When Haunt misses, there's nothing ingame to explain why. There's no other ability with this kind of 'miss on UD round' and there's no reason to think Haunt would either. Not a good nerf.

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Re: Valks have been nerfed into obscurity

Postby Kpb321 » October 16th, 2014, 3:18 pm

I think the miss on rez turn was not intended as a nurf necessarily but is more of a really poor bug fix. It used to give you a second rez turn if you Haunted on your rez turn and I don't think they could figure out how to fix it properly so making it miss was the fix.

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Skavenged
 
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Re: Valks have been nerfed into obscurity

Postby Skavenged » October 16th, 2014, 3:46 pm

I'm assuming that the UD round actually starts when the valk dies on the previous round. Any fix that they apply to the UD round would also apply to the death round if the opponent's pet is faster

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Re: Valks have been nerfed into obscurity

Postby Digem » October 16th, 2014, 4:44 pm

typical blizz way of fixing things.
take too long to address it then nerf it to the ground.
it is exactly like the flux fire cat all over again( then they make the ironstarlitte the same a flux and it will be nerfed).
yes it was OP but now it will be almost useless.
not being able to use it the last two rounds and the cd will make this pet soon obsolete.
just another nice looking and hard to get pet that will sit on the bench oh well.

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Re: Valks have been nerfed into obscurity

Postby Awq » October 16th, 2014, 5:15 pm

You can still CoD during the undead round. I tried 10 games with my fav Unborn team, and I won them all.
The Unborn has a longer cool down, which is a slight handicap. The Val'Kyrs damage is definitely lower though and it is less flexible. The overall damage (of other pets) is lower, which makes up for the lower damage of the Unborn. The Val'Kyr is weaker, but I still consider it a strong pet. It works for me at least!

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Re: Valks have been nerfed into obscurity

Postby Yukio » October 16th, 2014, 8:39 pm

Skavenged wrote: If the valk haunts an avoidance pet, he simply misses and loses the ability for 4 rounds.


If another player anticipates your haunt and blocks or avoids it doesn't that fall into the category of "outplaying" someone in a turn based game?

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Re: Valks have been nerfed into obscurity

Postby Skavenged » October 17th, 2014, 7:51 am

Yukio wrote:If another player anticipates your haunt and blocks or avoids it doesn't that fall into the category of "outplaying" someone in a turn based game?


Not in this case. Considering that the valk is very slow AND can't use its best move in the final two rounds it is alive, all you have to do is use avoidance once he is below half health, and you've effectively neutered the valk. After that, you have two "free" rounds to take him down. Its not a chess match. There is no gamble to it. Once the valk drops below half health, he has to use haunt or lose haunt. Talk about a telegraphed move...
Last edited by Skavenged on October 17th, 2014, 8:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Valks have been nerfed into obscurity

Postby Awq » October 17th, 2014, 8:00 am

Valks work better in defensive teams. This was always the case, but the difference became bigger. You however do not need heals for a defensive Valk team.

its my opinion that the Valk is fairly useless now.

I do agree with most of what you've said. I however disagree with this statement. The Val'Kyr is still a top tier pet.

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