I just took a peek at the most recent PTR build, wherein Gaping Maw is replaced by Hour of Reaping. The question I’ve got is two-fold:
- What is this substitution intending to achieve, insofar as mechanical function?
- What is gained by removing the only Azerite Trait which directly increases the throughput of a core ability, and replacing it with an Azerite Trait which de-emphasizes a rotational usage of said core ability (and, indeed, incentivizes not using it at all excepting as a filler/resource dump)?
Just as a point of reference, these are the Azerite Traits in question:
Soul Cleave grants you a shield that absorbs 2319 damage, increased by up to 100% based on your missing health.
Hour of Reaping
Lesser Soul Fragments restore 467 additional health, and every 40 Soul Fragments you consume causes your next Soul Cleave to grant you a Soul Barrier.
At one point during Legion, the official commentary about Brewmaster Monks and Blackout Combo suggested that the internal position was that a well-designed class should feel rotationally functional and thematically complete without any talents selected – with the talents building off that core functionality and completeness, allowing for situational advantages under specific circumstances.
Is it not peculiar, then, that Vengeance DH’s are (and have been, for some time) completely reliant on Spirit Bomb in virtually every scenario and this is considered acceptable? Wouldn’t it be more philosophically consistent to take any and all avenues which lead to empowering the core of the class, instead of doing everything imaginable to further encourage the use of an already-mandatory talent option?
Gaping Maw was one of those avenues, Hour of Reaping is the opposite of that. Discuss, please.