The new Firebird Nerf

So sad to see Blizzard dig there own grave. Offcourse its needed a nerf, but you litterly smash it to the ground.

Get this build back up and let i be what it is, so we can make a battle againts rat runs ffs. There is a reason why Path of exiles are ahead of you by miles!

This is finally my move to POE.

It seems fitting that, for a Phoenix-inspired design, it should be “nerfed” to the ground, set ablaze, and then allowed to resurrect itself. There’s no telling whether some during-season change might be made - its not likely probably - but I think it seems more playable than before from a pure dexterity perspective: less smash more class.

Want to throw my “oof” into the mix.

I followed the discussions around the revamped Firebirds set and hoped that the nerf wouldn’t be severe. Of course, this is D3, so all hopes get dashed.

Here’s hoping this and all your other sets get buffs in the near future.


I don’t think this nerf is worth quitting the game over. It is definitely a kick to the groin and a elbow to the jaw. However, it is a more mobile, more damaging, and more flexible version of Helltooth. See for yourself:

Many will still play it. I’ll play it a bit when I get all of the pieces with proper stats. Those chasing extreme efficiency pick other options.

Actually it was nerfed about 24 times, not just 10, because legacy Etched Sigil was fixed not to buff Firebird’s damage and all top clears on PTR used legacy Etched Sigil, which provided additional 150% damage increase.

So it means 20 tiers nerf, not 15. I have no words.


An update regarding the firebird nerfs. Honestly I’m surprised that we got anything, however whether that leads to some of the nerfs being reverted; we’ll have to wait and see. Personally, I’m keeping my expactations low.


Season 23 Mirror Image / Cat Herding may be back !!

Before D3 Vanilla launched:

Dev #1: “Mirror Images too strong, what can we do?”
Dev #2 : “Let’s make their AI completely random”
Dev #1: “Like herding cats?”
Dev #2: “Pretty much”

Thank you for linking the blue post. I replied there that reverting the 6pc is probably best at this point. It’s more of a nerf than I wanted, but not outside the realm of ‘reason’.

Deathwish still needs adjusting to balance a bit better there, but I suppose that can wait until future patches.

Glad the team is responding to feedback on FB! Much improved is my outlook! :chart_with_upwards_trend::slightly_smiling_face:

Hoping the teleport animation change is good. I feel partly responsible for it’s provenance.


Agreed. The whole situation with etched sigil had seriously soured my expectations when it comes to communication, so this blue response was a (pleasant) surprise. Even if the nerfs aren’t reverted (no lies, it would suck if that’s the case); just having some communication and insight is worlds better than having silence imo. Of course that’s assuming that the reasoning they may give us will actually be insightful. Either way, I intend to keep an eye out for further updates.


You remember LAST time this happened? Brandy said buffs were on their way for something (I forget which) and it turned out to be 5% more damage. What was that item? Blessed Shield?

2.6.5 for Akkahn’s leniency yes, I was expecting more of an increase there too, but was appreciative nonetheless. Came off as insensitive to the crusader mains, rightly so perhaps. They should have increased Jekangbord / BS since then but haven’t. That’s the bigger failure, not adjusting after you know it underperforms / overperforms.

Rend is the bigger example recently. Lamentation was rolled back a good chunk of it’s original PTR value in patch 2.6.7a. The multiplier was originally 3x, then was removed after PTR. After it’s revert, Lamentation now has a 2.5x multiplier. Keep in mind they were adjusting Ambos pride and the wastes set as well there.

I am not knowledgeable on Barb but I think the rend build is still overperforming slightly, and all of their other builds are underperforming as compared to where they should be.

This is why I’d prefer a measured approach to the revert. It needs have significant enough impact to bring us back into the fore, but not so much that FB overshadows every build in the future.

It was mentioned in that S23 preview blog thread that the highest Firebird clears on the PTR were further buffed the legacy Etched Sigil. If that is true and it affected the numbers on which the nerf was based on, then the nerf was way worse. And since the legacy ES is already going to be fixed to not buff things in the live patch, merely reverting Firebird’s 6p bonus to PTR values might not be enough.

I’d revert both 4p and 6p bonuses, keeping only the 2p nerf. That along with killing the legacy ES interaction should bring balance.


I am already trying to explain it to Cratic, MasterJay and Venaliter in S23 preview blog thread, in which they advocate to only revert 6pc, that this is not enough, but they seem not to get it.

Overall nerf to Firebird is about 20 tiers:

  • 2-piece: 2.5x nerf ~6 tiers
  • 4-piece: 2x nerf ~4 tiers
  • 6-piece: 1.95x nerf ~4 tiers
  • legacy Etched Sigil fix: 2.5x ~6 tiers

If they revert only 6pc, the set will be nerfed by about 16 tiers (from overall 20 tiers nerf), not 10 which Cratic thinks. This is still too much.

If they also revert 4pc to 100 stacks then set will be nerfed by about 12 tiers, which is still high, but maybe it will be enough to make Wizards viable in group play and at last replace rat xp runs with Firebird runs.


I am not knowledgeable on Barb but I think the rend build is still overperforming slightly, and all of their other builds are underperforming as compared to where they should be.

No, it’s not overperforming. I’m no expert either but so far it hasn’t reached crazy clears on it’s own. That the rest of their builds needs love is true though.

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There were non-Etched Sigil variants still clearing 150 in decent time.

And it’s worth noting that the Etched Sigil fix isn’t strictly a 6 tier nerf. It’s a 6 tier nerf to that specific build. But you won’t play that build anymore, you’ll switch to something different. If, after, the fix, you tried to play the Etched Sigil variant using exactly the same build just without Etched Sigil, then yes, it’ll be ~6 tiers weaker. But you probably won’t do that. Instead you’ll probably play Flame Blades or Mirror Images, since those builds are stronger once you remove legacy Etched Sigil from the picture (they are somewhere between the legacy Etched Sigil build we saw on PTR and the same legacy Etched Sigil build with the multiplier removed). So it’s not actually a 6 tier nerf, because you’ll switch to a build that, while weaker than the legacy Etched Sigil build on PTR, is stronger than the Etched Sigil build with the Etched Sigil multiplier removed. Maybe it’s only a 3 or 4 tier nerf in reality, because you’ll adapt to a different build.

Saying it’s a 6 tier nerf is a bit disengenuous. It’s only a 6 tier nerf to that identical build, but you won’t play that build anymore because there are other variants that are better once you remove Etched Sigil from the equation.

There’s also something else that’s important to consider here. If your argument is that the Etched Sigil fix also makes the FB XP meta weaker, I’d argue that’s a bit disingenuous as well.

The Etched Sigil fix also isn’t really a nerf in the context of Firebird’s replacing rat runs in the XP meta. None of the FB XP builds I saw proposed used legacy Etched Sigil.

And this is even more true in seasons. The nerf isn’t 20 tiers for seasonal FB XP runs, because you never would have had access to legacy Etched Sigil there anyway.

I don’t think the legacy Etched Sigil fix is really relevant at all in a discussion of the possibility of an FB XP meta. Because the only changes that really matter there are the 2p/4p/6p changes. Are those too severe? Yes. But don’t use the legacy Etched Sigil fix to argue numbers for the possibility of FB XP runs, because I think it’s pretty irrelevant in that context.


As Tinne mentions, there were many GR150 12-14m clears without legacy ES at ~7.5kp+. At 3.8k, non legacy build, I could have managed 149 if PTR had not been taken down, and my gems and augs were not even tip top.

I am hoping for a nerf between ~7-10GRs as compared to last PTR iteration after the dust settles.

I would have preferred some of that multi to come out of Deathwish, but that’s a change that is a bit more controversial, and should probably wait for next PTR at this point, if acted on.

@Stedia thank you for the clarification on Barb. I’ll have to brush up.

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This is the case, rend does overperform. Lamentation should probably get nerfed to 150% rather than 200%.

I think +8 tiers for Firebirds is too much, I think +4 is reasonable. The six piece is the obvious place to target the buff. A set going from 4000% damage to 2000% damage is some BS. I play a wizard, but I advocate for balance. I suspect +4 tiers will put Firebirds in the ~141 range, seasonally. Is there room for 145, seasonally? Probably, but that may be more then Blizzard is willing to give us. Some builds are at the~145 range, like the aforementioned Rend.

There were 3 Firebird’s build “phases” on PTR. First one was pure Flame Blades version without Deatwish nor legacy Etched Sigil. As I remember correctly this build barely cleared 150, there weren’t many 150 clears and only top paragon, don’t remember exact number, but I wouldn’t call it many.
Second “phase” was chanelling Explosive Blast build with Deatwish and legacy Etched Sigil, but without Mirror Images. Here were many GR 150 12-14 minute clears. So maybe you confused non legacy ES build PTR scores with this “phase”?
And the last “phase” build was the same as second one, but with Mirror Images. And this one was the strongest, had top clears sub 7 min.

So there was only one non Etched Sigil build and was the weakest among Firebird builds. Yes, this build won’t be affected by ES fix, but nerf of 10 tieres (assuming they revert just one nerf) is still too much for this build.

Actually Mirror Images were only so good because of Deathwish AND legacy Etched Sigil. After removing ES multiplier MI probably will be weaker than Flame Blades.

Yes, I can agree that all builds which used legacy ES were nerfed not by 6 but by 3 or 4 tiers, because you can replace ES with something else (for example Furnace, Orb of Infinite Depth).

But these builds, which didn’t use legacy ES (actually one build - Flame Blades) were not so much better than rats, that nerf of 10 tiers could still make them better. And builds with legacy Etched Sigil weren’t actually tested on PTR in 4 man xp meta. But we can assume that they would be better than Flame Blades, looking at solo performance. So 10 tiers nerf to them would still probably make them better than rats, but fix to legacy ES nerfs them below rats. And this is why legacy ES fix is relevant for me. Of course it doesn’t apply to season.

I’m taking the low expectations approach. I suspect the 6p will get a small bump and not much more. I don’t agree with Cratic’s call for DW to be nerfed. I disagree with the approach to getting buffs.

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