With RoR we got our paws on a new skill: Piercing Claws. It’s a unique skill in some ways and certainly something new for creep side as a whole let alone wargs, but it is also a skill that has engendered a spot of discussion over how useful it actually is Before I get into that let’s take a look at the skill itself first and see what it actually does.
As you can see from the tooltip Piercing Claws is an attack skill that does an amount of damage equal to 5% of your target’s maximum morale e.g. if your target has 10k morale Piercing Claws will hit for 500 shadow damage. Pretty simple stuff. However, note the text highlighted in blue: Bypasses Mitigations. This is a really important part of the skill: Piercing Claws completely ignores all mitigations, including Audacity. That means that it will always hit the target for at least 5% of their maximum morale and more if it crits.
Is It Any Good?
This is the big question of course. Our biggest hitting attack is Bestial Claws so unless Piercing Claws is hitting at least as hard as that skill it isn’t worth using. Right? Not quite.
It is true that Bestial Claws can hit the hardest of all our attacks, however, in some situations Piercing Claws will be able to hit harder. Because the damage is based upon the target’s morale Piercing Claws becomes more useful the more morale our opponent has. In other words it isn’t going to be very useful against classes that typically have 9-12k morale i.e. Minstrels, Hunters, etc. Rather it is more useful against classes such as Guardians and Wardens and perhaps even Champions.
Classes with a lot of morale will of course take more damage from Piercing Claws, but that isn’t the only reason to use it against such classes. Whilst Bestial Claws can hit hard some of its damage is mitigated and obviously more will be mitigated by classes with good mitigations. The fact that Guardians et al typically have high mitigations and lots of morale means that Piercing Claws is doubly useful against them.
When To Use It
Against most opponents there probably won’t be much point in using Piercing Claws truth be told. It is likely only ever going to see use against Wardens, Guardians and perhaps Champions. The 20sec cooldown means that it can’t be spammed, but it can form part of your rotation against these classes and I would imagine that it might take the place of something like Scratch and Snip in such situations. The shorter animation and the fact that it will likely hit for more damage means that it will be a better choice to throw into a rotation.