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WoW: Is the popularity of the Vengeful Demon Hunter based on a bug?

We had already addressed it in January: The Vengeful Demon Hunter is one of the winners of WoW: Shadowlands so far

and is one of the most popular specializations ever, especially in the Mythic-Plus area. According to Warcraftlogs, across all keystones, only Fire Mages and Lawless Rogues are currently more successful in the dungeons. The higher the keystone level, the less likely you are to encounter other tank specializations.

Vengeful Demon Hunters are very mobile (and can easily kite enemies when things get dicey), deal high group damage, bring useful tools, and have tremendous survivability. Apparently, this last survivability is not just a result of class design, but also a bug. That very bug is currently the subject of an article on Wowhead that went online over the weekend. Here are the key findings:

  • Vengeful Demon Hunters currently have a noticeable reduction in damage taken thanks to Devil Flame Enhancement, Demonic Protection, Viscous Ink, and Letting Go of the Past (as well as their versatility).
  • However, the logs show that the reduction in magic damage taken is much higher than it should be (for example, the math shows a 36.2 percent reduction in magic damage instead of a 23.5 percent reduction in magic damage).As for the physical damage reduction, however, everything seems to be correct.
  • This bug can be traced back to logs from the Shadowlands beta.
  • It is unclear what specifically is causing this bug. From Battle for Azeroth to Shadowlands, there were adjustments to Demonic Protection. This may be where the bug crept in.
  • It's likely thanks to the bug and the resulting increased survivability of Vengeful Demon Hunter that Blizzard implemented noticeable mitigations for play elsewhere during the beta - such as Soul Fragment and Soul Splitter.
  • Fixing the bug would make viscous ink and devil flame boosts more useful, but at the same time the adjustment would feel like a whopping nerf to specialization. On high keystones, certain pulls would become significantly harder and cause players to fail situations they currently get mastered.
  • The author of the Wowhead article stresses that he still wants to see a hotfix. Vengeful Demon Hunter has some building blocks, but they don't seem to be an issue at Blizzard due to the current strength of the specialization.

How about it: Have you guys also wondered about the high survivability of the Demon Hunter tanks? Should Blizzard retract the nerfs from the beta if they fix the bug? Let us know what you think in the comments!

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