Kil'jaeden's Cunning Talent Changes Patch 5.4

Learn about the controversial changes coming to Kil'jaeden's Cunning in Patch 5.4 and what Blizzard has to say about them.


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 time.

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.

Kil'Jaeden's Cunning Talent

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 spell.

Human Warlock Crying

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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