Early Battle for Azeroth: Azerite

Azerite Armor Powers Heart of Azeroth

The latest alpha build gave us a very preliminary look at Azerite abilities for Hunters. Much like the Netherlight Crucible, we start off with a boring and generic increase the item by 5 ilvls, called Azerite Empowered.  It gets a little more interesting after that, but not quite on the level of affecting gameplay as much as set bonuses often have. Blah blah blah early alpha; blah blah will probably change...

Tier 1 - Utility

Tier 2 - Procs You Probably Won't Notice

  • Underwhelming Power - Damaging abilities have a chance to proc bunch of haste, and lose some of it each time you take damage, or every 3 seconds.  I actually kind of like this mechanic.  The part about losing a stack every time you take damage, at least.  I doubt that it will be any where near significant enough that it will change our playstyle, but I'm at least encouraged by the existence of a mechanic that rewards you for not taking damage.  
  • Spin the Wheel of Stats - Damaging abilities have a chance to proc to proc a random secondary stat buff for 10 seconds.  
  • Heed my Call - Damaging abilities have a chance to deal extra damage and a little bit of AoE damage.

Tier 3.1 - Making Crit Matter and Spec Specifics

Beast Mastery:

  • Rotting Jaws - Occasional extra damage for Kill Command
  • Ride the Lightning - Increases the Crit chance of AotW by 5%, and gives you a weird nature based chain lightning, that only hits 3 targets max, but for every damaging ability.  


  • Arrowstorm - Aimed Shot buff, plus a 4% chance to reset the Rapid Fire CD. 
  • Piercing Shots - Each shot of Rapid Fire has a 4% chance to miraculously split in two, doing the same damage to a second target. 


  • Whirling Rebound - Hatchet Toss does extra damage and now boomerangs back to you, doing significant damage to any enemies it hits when coming back.  
  • Vigorous Wings - Increase the duration of AotE by 8 seconds, and causes Mongoose Bite crits to deal significant additional damage.  

I didn't really have much in the way of expectations for the early xpac versions of these.  For the last several expansions, we haven't had set bonuses during the first raid.  I feel like these are just really generic buffs that can act as a slow nerfing mechanic for guilds that progress at a casual pace, and they're not really meant to be too big of a deal.  Maybe that will all change before BfAz goes live though, who knows.  

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