Val’anyr’s Vilification?


As I’m sure you’ve seen yesterday, MMO-Champion put up the stats for Val’anyr, Hammer of Ancient Kings. As of the time of this writing the link is gone. Here’s the link go ahead and click it.

Val’anyr Armory

Poof! Searching for the item on armory as well has yielded no results. This comes at a time where every healer has been foaming at the mouth for stats and a chance to claim the legendary mace that had been promised to us. I’m certain when people saw that the stats were released, like me, their hearts beat a little faster with anticipation and hope.

Here’s a link over to MMO-Champion’s Val’anyr photo but I’ll go ahead and post the stats here for you guys to take a look at.

+52 Stamina

+54 Intellect

Equip: Improves critical strike rating by 47

Eguip: Improves haste rating by 46

Equip: Improves spell power by 587

Equip: Your healing spells have a chance to cause Blessing of Ancient Kings for 15 seconds allowing your heals to shield the target absorbing damage equal to 15% of the amount healed

To be honest when I saw that slathering of stats my heart sank a little bit. I was expecting something with a bit more oomf. It’s an item level 239 which is a step up from items like Guiding Star who clocks in at an item level of 232. The stat increase is about 6-8 points higher (average) then iLevel 232 gear, spell power is a bit higher, by 30 to 40 points, and the item budget seems in line for the haste and crit as well. It follows the same jump from say Torch of Holy Fire (iLevel 226) to Guiding Star.

Don’t get me wrong the shield proc alone makes this thing worth it’s weight in gold, but I was expecting something a little more awe inspiring. Something that said “yes that is an amazing weapon and worth every second of the time I put into assembling it!” Lets take a look at the games past legendary weapons.

Vanilla WoW Legendaries

Back in the days when Molten Core was endgame, two legendary items were introduced. Sulfuras, Hand of Ragnaros and Thunderfury, Blessed Blade of the Windseeker. These items were are amazing. Hand of Ragnaros on an enhancement shaman was the most fearsome thing in a battle ground, if he hit you, you were going to die. Thunderfury on a tank was like a cozy fire on a snowy night, you knew you were safe and warm no matter what happened. They were awe inspiring, you knew those who had it knew what they were doing, went to great lengths to get them and they stacked up heads and shoulders above the other items in the game at the time. To be honest well into burning crusade Thunderfurry was still being used as a premier tanking weapon, it was just that good.

Later on in vanilla WoW, Naxxramas came to town. It brought with it two more legendary items to the game.The Corrupted Ashbringer / Ashbringer and Atiesh, Greatstaff of the Guardian. I include the Corrupted Ashbringer and The Ashbringer because it was amazingly well done, and little things like walking into Scarlet Monestary and having all the NPC’s bow down to you was truly epic. The corrupted Ashbringer also talked to you in whispers(click HERE to listen on youtube). The item alone spawned so much speculation it became a legend in it’s own right. People guessing when they would allow the quest to cleanse it or if they would bother at all. The item has fan sites !

Atiesh  had four different flavors for healers and casters here they are for you to look over. Atiesh 1 , Atiesh 2 , Atiesh 3 , Atiesh 4 .  It’s stats were amazing in any iteration and the time to build it as well as the lore behind it was truly powerful and awe inspiring. Compared to other staves at the time like Spire of Twilight from old Naxxramas, Thadius. It also felt truly epic if you walked around with one of those.

Burning Crusade Legendaries

Burning crusade continued our story into outlands and eventually brought with it two legendary items. The Twin Blades of Azzinoth and Thori’dal the Stars’ Fury. The twin blades have been iconic since we were first introduced to illidan back in warcraft. They had a great set of stats, and the set bonus for them were really good. Star’s fury from Kil’jaden is a jaw dropping item. It may not have a ton of quest or lore behind it, but it’s rarity and the unique ability of the bow to not have to use arrows is amazing. It is still the best bow in the game,  and hunters still crave it. Most servers you will still find groups trying to go do sunwell and among those groups you’ll likely see many hunters chomping at the bit to get in for a chance at the bow.

Compare those legendary items to Val’anyr. Each of the legendary items prior to the mace has been leaps and bounds ahead of the weapons of its time in the sun. Each item truly felt epic and getting one was something to be proud of, perhaps even an apex for that particular content. With the leaked stats on Val’anyr it seems more meh. It’s proc is very very nice and depending on if it has a cool down on the proc or any other restrictions will determine whether it’s good, or really epic good.

I asked for reactions from my friends on Twitter . I asked if they thought it felt like a legendary item. general consensus was “IT NEEDS MORE SHINY!” to quote one of my Moo Cow Healy friends Kiki. It’s good, but it seems like it would be more on par with its item level and as a result could potentially be replaced when Ice Crown drops as a raid.

I think they took the link down on purpose, perhaps to tweak things before people start getting enough shards to build it.

What are your thoughts on Val’anyr? Do you feel it is legendary quality?

Till next time


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20 thoughts on “Val’anyr’s Vilification?”

  1. “Sulfuras, Hand of Ragnaros … [was] amazing.”

    Allow me a few moments to recover from my fit of laughter before continuing.

    Now then, quite honestly, I think this is a case of healers being ‘legendary starved’ for so long that they have somewhat inflated expectations. The reason Hunters still go back for Thori’dal is because it means they can farm trivial content without spending money on ammo to do so. It was overpowered at the time because the no-ammo mechanic worked around Steady Shot mechanics for a vast degree of overpoweredness, but now that those mechanics have been changed substantially, it’s nothing special in that sense. It’s stats meanwhile were, barely a step better than the Golden Bow of Quel’thalas, a mere epic which dropped off of the Eredar Twins.

    Meanwhile, the Warglaives. The Warglaives, sans set, were perfectly itemized weapons of their item level. There was not a wasted stat on them, and the speeds were ideal. What the stat’s /weren’t/ though was inflated. They weren’t was inflated in iLvl. They were ilvl 156. For reference, Illidans other weapon drops were 151. The same sort of half-tier difference healers are seeing between other epic weapons and Val’anyr. For reference, The Hand of the Deciever in sunwell was /higher/ DPS – – if you didn’t have the offhand Glaive, (and post proc nerf, if you weren’t fighting a demon, possibly even if you did), the KJ fist was an /upgrade/.

    The biggest thing that Val’anyr is lacking that’s keeping the drool factor low, in my eyes, is lore. Since there’s no ‘story’ behind Val’anyr, people just want it because it’s orange and has a proc – now while that may be a great reason to want it, (it was good enough for Thori’dal!) – it doesn’t satisfy that base urge to crave it as a game changer the way that Thunderfury was for a prot Warrior.

    TL;DR: Expectations were too high. This is what happens.

  2. Feist is quite correct. Sulfuras was good because it had more stats that the average twohander, just a slight difference in itemization, but it’s damage wasn’t all that comapred to ashkandi for instance. Thunderfury was good because of the proc and the speed (the proc was nerfed a whole bunch of times, but the speed ensured it remained one of the best tanking weapons). Warglaives were good because of the proc, and so on and so forth.

    The proc on Val’anyr ensures you won’t replace it until the next expansion, that makes it more than good enough.

  3. I imagine it will have the standard 45 second cooldown on the proc. Which means 1/3 of the time you’ll be giving out the 15% shields. That’s not exactly bad

  4. There’s a couple of things I want to add in here. After talking shop with a few colleagues, I just realized I didn’t truly appreciate how insane this proc is.

    First of all, I have it in good faith that there is no cool down.

    Second, the healer gains the Kings buff. Which means for 15 seconds, every heal that lands shields the player. Every bounce from Chain Heal will shield the player it hits. Every Prayer of Healing will heal and shield that group. Every Renew tick adds shields per tick. It literally is 15% of EVERY heal that lands. Prayer of Mending, when it connects, is 15% every time. A Glyphed Holy Light will add shields to everyone it touches.

    Did I mention there’s no cooldown on that proc?

  5. My reservation about this is it’s very much a Healing Meter weapon.

    From a raid effectiveness point of view it should go to the guy who tops the healing meters as he will get the most benefit from the proc.

    As someone who was always a tank healer rather than a raid healer I don’t really like that design.

    I can see Priests reading this comment and switching from Disc to Holy to increase their eligibility for this legendary.

    I can see healers of all stripes easing back on tank healing to play whack-a-mole more for those extra points on the meter.

    I can see sniping going through the roof in raids.

    We’ll see, I suspect that drama awaits. Hell hath no fury like a healer scorned.

  6. “Feist is quite correct. Sulfuras was good because it had more stats that the average twohander, just a slight difference in itemization, but it’s damage wasn’t all that comapred to ashkandi for instance.”

    Apples and oranges, my friend

    Sulfuras was out way before BWL was introduced. It was out even before Thunderfury. It was out when Arcanite Reaper was considered the best pvp weapon in the game that was reasonably gettable.

    Arcanite Reaper: 153-256 damage
    Sulfuras 223-372 damage

  7. Will the shields stack? For example the proc goes off and in those 15sec the full duration of a renew will go off. Will the shield only mitigate damage from 1 renew tick? Or will it stack up for the full duration of a renew? That’s something I’m wondering…

    SuicidalPriests last blog post..Holy sucks in PvE!?

  8. IMO it’s kinda interesting what they did with this legendary….instead of making it an insane upgrade for its bearer, they decided to make it a raid utility. for the bearer himself it’s not a crazy weapon, no special stats or bonuses to boost his personal effectivity. instead it might become a very helpful raidbuff for the entire team that’s gonna make a difference on overall dmg taken from bosses, especially for the tanks that take constant damage usually.
    in that sense it doesn’t even matter who gets the mace as long as it’s present in the raid. this is kinda cool. also means i can happily pass on it (and go for a weapon that suits my playstyle and most wanted stats more) and let my fellow disc priest do the job instead.

    biggest question right now for me is still:
    does it proc from both direct and indirect heals and also does the shield count the ‘total healing done’ by all healers or by the bearer only? (also does that include total total or only effective/net healing?)

    Greetings from Syl, Healing Coord of Adrenaline, Stormrage EU

  9. @SuicidalPriest, it would have to stack. Otherwise you couldn’t possibly use renew without constantly replacing the current shield created created by a large heal with smaller ones.

  10. Legendaries have always been about the proc thus judging them based on their stats is foolish. The proc is strong. The proc rate will determine if it’s ridiculous. More than anything else keep in mind that a Legendary is more a symbol than something that’s suppose to be game changing. You wouldn’t want to trivial content because of an attempt, so why should a Legendary?

    It doesn’t make sense to compare this item to Thunderfury. Thunderfury was far too strong in a tank’s hands, allowing raids to literally go all out without worry of aggro in a time when threat was a very, very real issue. Thunderfury is a broken example of what a Legendary should be and is why you’ve never seen a Legendary as powerful as it ever.

    Be happy at the very least this item isn’t as lack luster as the Legendary bow 😉 Heck, the proc is so scaling that you may see people still using this at 90 until Blizz inevitably nerfs it.

    Veneretios last blog post..The Art of Warbringer

  11. Have to agree with everything said above. All legendaries are about procs.

    I am super happy this is a group benefit orange. Ateish and Thunderfury always seemed like far more legendary items to me because they instilled a group with great power, not just an individual. Individual feats are just not legendary, what sets a legend apart is leadership and influence. So, Val looks great to me.

  12. I have to agree that I wish this legendary had bit more shiny. While I’m not well versed in the vanilla legendaries, I think it is pretty obvious that, back in the days where blues were BiS for months for many, many classes, a well done legendary was just that – legendary.

    But, in any case, I’ll move onto the BC legendaries, which I know a bit more about. To me, it was the small things about the BC legendaries that made them stand out. While a person not versed in the class they were intended for might dismiss them as “meh,” if you knew your class well you realized how absolutely damn amazing these weapons were.

    Since I played a rogue in BC, I’ll talk about the glaves: Besides the proc, the stats, the set bonus…etc. one thing that made these things absolute amazing were the speeds. The MH had a 2.8 speed, and the offhand a 1.4. Rogues crave the slowest mh they can find for high SS damage. All other reasonable weapons at level 70 had 2.7 speeds, or, often, lower. The offhand was even more amazing as far as its speed was concerned. Sword-combat rogues need a fast offhand to both proc sword specialization (offhand procs would still cause mh extra hits!) and for energy. The OH glave is tied to be the fastest sword in the game to date. That’s pretty damn impressive!

    Personally, I think they could make Val’anyr more “shiny” by having different versions for different classes. And, do the little things to make it so that people who know their class get shivers looking at it.

    Just my two cents.

  13. I think the reason why, even with no cooldown, there isn’t a universal cry of joy is that it doesn’t adress anything about the class…
    As Aelenai points out, when a rogue looks at weapons, the speed is really important and specific. As Veneretio notes, in a time when threat was something DPS was always concerned with, Thunderfury was a threat producer.

    Without knowing all the details, it’s hard to know anything. Matt provided one of the big ones — no cooldown on this, every tick, every heal.
    But what about the rest? Others have already asked it it stacks with itself…
    Is there a limit to how high it stacks?
    Is this effect stacked with a disc priest’s shields or is this a third shield for them (PW:S, DA, and this)?
    Does the shield last 8 seconds or 10 or 15, etc once it’s in place?
    What is the airspeed velocity of a sparrow?
    Do we help raid dps, by fighting pushback?
    Is the shield first to take damage or the will it be last?

    Imagine the following two effects — each assuming you land 100,000 in healing during the 15 seconds. Both are extreme
    (1) A 4000 point shield (because it maxes at 50*level for how much it can shield). The next damage taken goes to PW:S and the rest goes to this.. if it’s still there. It lasts for 3 seconds after the end of the cast and you still suffer pushback while it is up. Warrior tanks complain about not getting rage from this ONE type of shield.
    (2) A 15,000 point shield. All damage taken in 30 seconds goes to this shield first and the shielded person suffers no pushback. No rage issues. When visiting a major city, teenage npcs spawn instantly to swoon as you walk by.

    Lets face it; if it’s 2, everyone wants one. It’s it’s 1, we should be spending our time with the swallow’s question.

  14. I was personally shocked to see it had zero regen on it. That, combined with the fact that the proc is crit based, really make it a pally epic, not a true “healer” epic. The stats are good, but not LEGENDARY. The proc may be truly epic, but it really only shines for one class. As a resto druid, I don’t stack crit, and I’d have to change a lot of gear to get the most out of that thing. So would the priests and shaman in my guild. What was great about the other legendaries is that they had a target. Warglaives for rogues, bow for hunters, thunderfury for prot warriors, hand of rag for enhancement shaman or ret pallys. Atiesh had FOUR versions so that any caster could use it WELL. This is really a disappointment for 3/4 of those intended to use it.

  15. In my guild we agreed that between the 4 priests and 2 holy pallys we would all roll on the first shard and who ever got it would get ALL shards til they make thier mace. UNFORTUNATELY a friggin DISC priest won the shard. He is always assigned to tank heal…the Holy priests always top the meters, even above the pallys..

    It was a sad day when i learned about the proc and its main effectiveness coming from a raid healer…What a waste on a Disc Priest..


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