Debuffs and who should apply them

  • Initiate

    Everybody knows that debuffs in classic are precious, so I thought I'd put together a list and open it up for discussion whether I've missed something or which debuff is more valuable or if a particular class/spec is better at applying the debuff.
    Debuffs use a priority system, where lower priority debuffs will be dropped if the debuff cap is reached. For Classic the debuff cap is 16 debuffs. CC/Taunt effects have the highest priority. Curses/Sunder/Thunderclap type abilities have the second priority. Vulnerability type debuffs(like winter's chill, shadowweaving) have third and DoTs have the lowest priority.

    Armor reduction debuffs:
    Curse of Recklessness: Warlock #3, depending on how the final armor values shake out, we may only need this curse on Warrior type bosses
    Sunder Armor: Protection Warrior #1, Pro-tip: every Warrior hits Sunder Armor once at the start of the fight to stack up to 5 instantly.
    Expose Armor: Rogue, however does not stack with Sunder Armor. If talented, a 5 point Expose will reduce armor by 300 more than a full stack of Sunder Armor.
    Annihilator: Warrior(s) Pro-tip: multiple dps/off-tanks with Annihilator to stack up, then swap to their regular weapons except for 1 to keep up the debuff. Lasts 45 seconds.
    Faerie Fire: Druid, easiest applied by a feral druid off-tank using Feral Faerie Fire.

    Magic damage increasing debuffs:
    Curse of Shadow: Warlock #1
    Curse of Elements: Warlock #2
    Winter's Chill: Frost Mage
    Shadow Weaving: Shadow Priest, however a Powerweaving(heavy Disc but enough for shadowweaving) or Holyweaving(heavy Holy, but enough for shadowweaving) Priest can fill the role as well. Typically Shadowweaving will take up additional debuffs slots from Shadow Word: Pain and Mind Flay, although once it is stacked up to 5 it can be easily kept up with Mind Blast on cooldown, say from Power/Holy weaving spec.
    Nightfall: Phase 3, Off-tank Warrior is considered the best wielder of Nightfall because that gives them something to do when not tanking. Enhance Shaman/Ret Paladin/Wing Clip Hunter may have better uptime but these specs tend to be low priority for gearing.
    Improved Shadow Bolt: Warlock, preferably several to keep the debuff rolling.
    Improved Scorch: Mage, though we shouldn't see this until later phases as most of the bosses in MC are very resistant to fire damage.
    Flame Buffet: Arcanite Dragonling, though we shouldn't see this until later phases as most of the bosses in MC are very resistant to fire damage.
    Judgement of the Crusader: Paladin increases holy damage. However, unless you have a large number of Smite Priests it is not worth the debuff slot.

    Ranged Attack Power
    Hunter's Mark: Hunter, can be talented to increase the attack power. Since this debuff really only affects Hunters, unless you have quite a few in the raid it should probably be skipped.
    Expose Weakness: Hunter from the 8 piece bonus of T2. It doesn't last very long and only affects Hunters.

    Physical Damage
    Hemorrhage: Subtlety Rogue, however does not stack with Gift of Arthas and has limited charges. Replace that rogue with a gift from our lord and savior, Arthas. I may have mained a Death Knight...
    Gift of Arthas: Main Tank, this is effectively adding a Dense Sharpening Stone to everyone in the raid. Assuming that a hunter with a 3.0 weapon uses a pet with a 1.5 attack speed, this is better than Hunter's Mark even for the hunter. Hunter pets, Rogues and Feral Druids get the most benefit out of this debuff due to attack speed.

    Thunderclap: Warrior, since this is only usable in Battle Stance, either an off-tank or an Arms warrior should keep this active. The main tank can do it in a pinch, but it requires stance-dancing.
    Thunderfury: Warrior, this does not stack with Thunderclap, but is better anyway.
    Demoralizing Shout/Demoralizing Roar: Warrior, because Demoralizing Shout is a larger reduction in attack power, though both can be talented to increase the amount.
    Curse of Weakness: Warlock... #4?, reduces the damage of the boss by 31, though can be talented for an additional 20% and further amplified by 50% from Amplify Curse. Reducing a boss' damage by 55 damage may not sound like much, but that is roughly the equivalent to 780 attack power. However, very likely to be skipped.
    Insect Swarm: Druid, while it does reduce the chance of the boss hitting by 2% it is likely not worth the debuff slot.

    Notable Miscellaneous
    Ignite: Mage, though we shouldn't see this until later phases as most of the bosses in MC are very resistant to fire damage. Ignite may buck the trend and actually be on the Vulnerabilities priority.
    Judgement of Light: Paladin, melee attacks against the target heal for a small amount.
    Judgement of Wisdom: Paladin, attacks and spells against the target have a chance to return 59 mana.
    Vindication/Scorpid Sting: Ret Paladin/Hunter, it is unclear how raid bosses are affected by Strength/Agility losses.
    Vampiric Embrace: Shadow Priest, however to get the most of the healing you would need to allocate 4 debuffs to that shadow priest alone.

    So what am I missing other than explicitly listing out the best 16 debuffs?

  • Priest Horde

    Great, will link to this page when time comes. Thanks.

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