Posting this on an alt since my thread seems to have died and I can’t bump on my main. Sorry if that breaks any forum rules.
Would like to point out things I have observed about Shadow Bolt, as well.
Apart from the point about Nightfall being a dead talent and also something that could just be baked into the spec, I would like to point how out weak Shadow Bolt actually feels as an ability.
I realize that Inevitable Demise is being changed/nerfed tomorrow, but this trait can effectively render Shadow Bolt useless without even being close to fully stacked.
I did a test. I let ID stack up to 8 times (which shouldn’t even result in meaningful damage), and my Drain Life did 13.4k damage. I then casted 4 Shadow Bolts, for a total of 12.2k damage.
With one trait on an ilvl 370 azerite piece, Drain Life did 338 dps with 8 stacks and 4 Shadow Bolts did 307 dps.
In other words, twice the effort for less damage to bother using Shadow Bolt. And just because I have one ID trait and decided to Drain Life at 8 stacks instead of letting it build up. Also, tomorrow, 8 stacks will actually be more damage than it is today due to the changes ID is getting.
There are also no traits that do anything for Shadow Bolt, and the only talent we have that makes it feel slightly satisfying to use is Nightfall, but no one uses it because Shadow Bolt on its own is a very poor ability and numerically, Nightfall doesn’t come close to competing with Deathbolt.