If you have the Mists of Pandaria Beta and play a DPS Warrior, then you likely know about the latest changes to Taste for Blood. (For those who don’t, it went from affecting Slam with a stacking 30% damage increase in a 5 second window to affecting Heroic Strike and Cleave with a stacking 50% damage increase in a 9 second window.) After scouring the forums and seeing all the responses about it, I have to ask myself: why all the frustration?
Yes, Heroic Strike doesn’t do as much damage as Slam, but that’s really the only bad thing about this change. Despite that, there are multiple pros that make Taste for Blood better than it was before the patch. For starters, Taste for Blood now affects an ability that’s off the GCD instead of an ability that’s on the GCD. Not only does this allow you to go about your normal rotation with ease while being able to make use of your proc, but you can also use this more to your advantage to try and get extra stacks before using the proc without losing DPS. As an example, you could get one proc from an Overpower, use Slam+Slam (or CS+Slam depending on if CS is up and you don’t have the CS debuff applied to the target), MS, Overpower, and then get two more stacks. Because of this change, you were able to add two extra stacks to Taste for Blood without losing any DPS whatsoever. This also allows you to make better use of your procs during the Execute phase compared to before, which was harder to manage than it is now.
Deadly Calm is now even more useful because of this change. You can now either use Deadly Calm to use your proc in case you are low on rage, or use it strategically to help with a burst of damage, which brings me to my final point. This change now allows for more small bursts of damage to your target compared to when Taste for Blood affected Slam. As an example, you can pair Heroic Strike with an incredibly hard hitting ability like Dragon Roar to get a good, small burst of damage. Before this change, you were unable to do something like that.
Overall, I’m very happy with the recent changes and when you truly think about how this change now affects other things, you will likely be more content with how it now works and see that the current frustration is very unnecessary. I hope now when Blizzard makes a change with an ability, people won’t jump the gun and instead think about how a future change could work out better than how something previously did.