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Scourge in WvW (Suggestions)


XECOR.2814

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History
Scourge in WVW has been through tons of changes over the years based on what role the developers wanted it to play but it always was a pain point for balance in group scenarios.
After all these years we have finally arrived at the situation where its role is being a support which provided a prominent boon like alac and a good amount of barrier and the ability to boon rip and Transfuse(a bit worse than before but still strong).

Whats happening now
- Based on balance preview for march, the alacrity is getting removed as a general philosophy change to all classes in wvw.
- Scourge is still over performing in highly organised squads in zerg or gvg situation because of cleanse that came from pulsing barrier from Sandstorm Shroud + Abrasive Grit and the ability to Transfuse downed bodies to save them.
- Hence, Scourge shroud skills and support utility skills are getting their cooldowns increased again.

Weaknesses
- The only place where scourge is useful is the organised support slot because of its transfusion+cleanse+boon rip/corrupt combination it provides for the squad.
If you look in any other scenario there is no build, gear, traits combination that you can make that makes scourge not a free bag and actually useful.
- Scourge has its grandmaster Sand Savant still completely neutered and unusable in all possible scenarios in competitive game modes.
- The damage components both power and condi on shroud skills are abysmal even for Desert Shroud.
- Cooldown on shroud skills is very high as a direct result of over performing in organized group support situation.

Suggestions
I would preface my suggestions with my idea about the changes:
The changes i suggest are meant to alleviate the problem of scourge being playable in only one scenario in WvW(where it over-performs) while not breaking any particular builds in pve or other game modes, basically not touching things that work well already in a grand scheme of things.

0. Remove Transfusion effect.
Skill Split it in WvW so it does strong ally healing but remove the downed pull effect.
Its an interesting and fun mechanic but it breaks the game no matter which cd number it resides in.

Now after the transfusion change, we would have better options to change skills and cds and not worry about the game breaking.

1. Desert Shroud (Shroud#5 Untraited) and Garish Pillar (Shroud#4) skills needs to have more power damage component and lower life force costs
Why? Because their power components were nerfed back when scourge was used in power dps role in squads and the power bomb was overbearing.
Now that the meta role for scourge goes through the Sandstorm Shroud + Abrasive grit route even if you try to build for damage because Sandtorm Shroud have boon corrupt at the end,
these extreme costs on Desert Shroud in terms of damage and life force could be lifted a bit. The barrier gained on Desert Shroud could also be buffed since its self only.
Both of these skills can have lower cooldowns in WvW now that f4 wont chain transfuse effect, only the healing if traited.

2. Sand Savant needs rework in terms of its effects.
Rn it is a minus power trait that increases the cd on manifest sand shade to wha feels like infinity and does nothing to facilitate any kind of gameplay.
What it can do is:
    - It keeps increased radius on the shade (just like before), but it changes Manifest Sand shade functionality.
    - Now Manifest Sand Shade on activation does an AOE around you and has significantly lower cd and increased base power and coefficient.
    - The big shade will affect a total of 3 enemy targets i.e. 2(from default)+1(increased effect) thats it. No ranged nor multiple AOEs, no hitting increased target count issues. 
    - The shade doesn't persist in the world and instead gives you a Sand Manifested(or something) buff for 10secs after the skill activation.
       Since the name is Manifest Sand shade, it would be apt theme wise too.
    - While you have the buff, you would have increased outgoing power damage and activating shroud skills grant barrier to self(only).
    - The Manifest buff will act as the "shade" that would dictate other traits for different effects like stat increase.
    - It can have much lower cd that other shroud#5 skills as it doesnt have any allied component, not to mention it is the selfish gm. 

What this change wish to achieve would be Sand Savant acting as a strong GM trait choice for people who want to go for to mid to solo scale gameplay where they don't need the allied effects but strong personal effects.
The manifest sand shade effect around you on F1 on lower cooldown + the Manifest buff that grants barrier to self on shroud skills might be give enough power to make it an appealing choice. 
Since the ability to cast manifest sand shade as a ranged AOE would be removed, it wont be abused in zerg scenarios as the total targets will get reduced too.

General Changes

- Buff Corrupt Boon Skill. It does 2 corrupts with 2 charges on 24sec cooldown.
At least acknowledge that the amount of boon spam there is in wvw atm, this boon corrupt on these cooldown does not even tickle enemy.
Probably 3 boon corrupts per charge with like 20sec count recharge might be the correct power level for the amout of boon spam there is at present.
- Buff scepter#3(untraited). It has 1 boon corrupt and 4sec torment duration if it corrupts.
I believe it should have 2 corrupts (single target) untraited and atleast 6sec duration baseline, same as other skills that do torment. This skill is so weak because it relies on the curses gm to make it better, which is not a good look tbh.
The Lingering Curse GM trait should be a tradeoff from 2 single target corrupt to 1 AOE corrupt + additional effects the trait has. Not just a must-have trait that makes a garbage skill better.

 

Edited by XECOR.2814
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