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As we all know, World of Warcraft Patch
5.4 has hit the public test realms and brought with it a plethora of
changes and additions to the game. With every patch there is at least
one change or addition that causes a stir within the masses, and
Patch 5.4 is no exception to that rule. It seems that in this newest
patch, one of the Warlock's favorite play toys is experiencing some
major changes, and it is making players more than a little unhappy.

Kil'jaeden's Cunning

For those non-Warlocks out there,
Kil'jaeden's Cunning is a level 90 Warlock talent that allows the
player to cast and channel while moving, however, each cast reduces
movement speed by 15% for 6 seconds, stacking up to 2 times. A pretty
awesome ability, especially considering that one of the caster's main
downfalls is their inability to move while casting. A caster in the
middle of a spell is basically a sitting duck. Kil'jaeden's Cunning
currently helps to prevent that situation from occurring all the

Currently, Kil'jaeden's Cunning is a
passive ability that allows the Warlock to complete a full DPS
rotation while moving. However, in Patch 5.4 that is set to change
and it seems the Warlock community is none to happy about it and who
can blame them? This talent is pretty amazing as far as talents go
and nerfs to a talent like this would be unwelcome no matter what
class it belongs to.

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Changes Explained

In Patch 5.4 Kil'jaeden's Cunning is
getting a major overhaul. With the community in a tizzy, Lore from
the Blizzard crew has stepped in to try to calm the masses with the
reasoning behind the change. Apparently Blizzard has never intended
for this ability to perform in this way. Due to its awesomeness,
Kil'jaeden's Cunning has become a must have talent. Something that
Blizzard has worked hard to prevent.

Just a few patches ago, the entire
talent system was revemped with the idea that players would be able
to choose any talent they wished without feeling pressured to pick
one over another. Kil'jaeden's Cunning broke that rule. Lore goes on
to point out that the ability to always cast on the move wasn't meant
to be a core feature, hence the various changes this talent has seen.

With that being said, Lore goes on to
try to assuage the hard feelings by letting players know that the
latest version of the talent is off the global cooldown, and can be
cast during another cast. So if you are midway through a spell and
need to dodge fire you can pop KJC without ever interrupting your

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Check out Lore's post in its entirety
for full details on the reason behind this change:

The simple fact is that the constant,
passive ability to perform a complete DPS rotation while moving was
never intended to be a core feature of the Warlock class. Those who
remember the early days of Patch 5.0 will recall that, initially,
Kil'Jaeden's Cunning actually increased cast time whenever it was
triggered. In those days, that extra cast time made the talent so
unattractive that very few players actually took it. We decided to
try it as only a snare instead, but that has had the opposite effect:
in Patch 5.3, virtually all Affliction Warlocks are using
Kil'Jaeden's Cunning. Remember, we want talents to be meaningful
choices. If one talent is far and away superior to its neighbors,
there's a problem. There were also some very strange side effects
(such as the ability to cast something like Fear while ducking in and
out of line of sight).

Now, as I mentioned, the ability to
always cast on the move wasn't intended as a core Warlock feature
(otherwise, it wouldn't have been a talent). However, that doesn't
mean we want Warlock DPS to plummet every time there's a fire on the
ground. One thing that may have gone under the radar is the fact that
the new version of KJC is not on the global cooldown, and can be cast
while another cast is already in process. So, for example, you won't
have to interrupt a Chaos Bolt to activate KJC should you need to
react to something in a hurry.

Furthermore, it's a change that
we're certainly going to balance around. Remember, we're very early
in what is likely to be a lengthy PTR cycle. There's plenty of time
to tweak and tinker with it. In fact, a recent change made internally
allows Haunt to be cast while moving by default. The goal is most
certainly not that Warlocks lose out on a ton of DPS or lose
viability in raid encounters. We do encourage you to hop on the PTR,
experiment with it, and tell us what think once you've gotten some
hands-on time!


While I can easily see why Warlocks are
more than a little annoyed by this change, I think in the long run
the changes (once they are working correctly), will make this talent
still useful, without forcing Warlocks to choose it over other
talents. I also think that we all need to remember, this is the PTR
and until we see these changes happen on live servers, anything can
be changed at anytime.

How do you feel about the changes
currently planned for Kil'jaeden's Cunning? Do you think it will
affect your DPS as a Warlock? Share your thoughts with us in the
comment section below!

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Last Updated: Mar 29, 2016

About The Author

Amunet, also fondly known as Memtron, is an organic life form best known for its ongoing obsession with Blizzard Entertainment's numerous properties. To that end, Amu has authored hundreds (thousands?) of the most popular World of Warcraft guides, editorials, and Top 10 lists on the planet. When not gaming and writing, Amu is busy chasing after her three children in a perpetual loop of ongoing disaster.