First off, let’s get this out of the way. The new career’s visual design is on-point, all the new content is an absolute blast, and she’s so interesting. Downside, she doesn’t do much as a support, and instead competes with most of our dps dealers. I want to dive into most of her kit to ask why, suggest some alternatives, and open up some discussion about her career skill, passives, and the weapons she uses well. It’s a long one, buckle in.
Right out the gate she has something I noticed – her talents. She’s a support, but about 75% of her talents are damage-focused. I’ll be diving into row-specifics later, but this seems wrong. As for her passives, her thp-focused ones are powerful and create an interesting dynamic of fostering your teammate’s thp to become tanky in turn, which is great. As for “A Murder of Spites” and its execution damage bonus, it’s the second highest damage boost in the game clocking in at 50% against wounded targets behind only Unchained’s Unstable Strength which provides 60% melee power. Coincidentally, this damage boost that A Murder of Spites falls behind is also one of the riskiest damage boosts in the game leaving the player extremely vulnerable to dots, multiple attacks, or even friendly fire, whereas A Murder of Spites has no downside whatsoever. This passive alone is one of the most powerful in the game overshadowing most dps powerhouse’s cornerstone talents or passives, but isn’t even being talked about right now because of her other interactions. Honestly though, it encourages moving about and assisting teammates fighting large targets to max out your dps against lower health elites and specials, which is fun and unique.
As for her career skill, the default wall has a small area of effect, short duration, and is often more of a hinderance to a team than help, especially in random lobbies. The use case is niche with high griefing potential. After having played alongside Sisters of The Thorn for a day or two now, I cannot recall a single use of her wall that wasn’t frustrating to me as a teammate more than it was helpful. Making her kit easier to use as well as providing buffs to the team while active might help with this.
Regarding weapons, the Deepwood staff is in a very good place. Javelins are in a pretty good place aside from their broken interaction with Scrounger, and are immensely satisfying to use.
Speaking of, Scrounger is broken with the new Javelins, and desperately needs a revisit. I’d suggest to either have no impact on weapons with too little ammo or have a short cooldown of 1-5 seconds. It says it restores 5% ammo, meanwhile the Javelin regains one Javelin which is 33% ammo at baseline. More than 6x as effective as it says on the tin, and allows our currently broken synergy where Doomsight’s three guaranteed crits allows you to instantly gain 100% ammo for free every time ANYONE uses a career skill in addition to quickly pumping out ~450 damage at range. Careers like Waystalker or Huntsman who are entirely based around ranged damage and ammo efficiency don’t even get that much ammo back or do that much damage. For reference, this allows her to pump out Bounty Hunter amounts of damage with every ult used, without relying on concentration potions or headshots. All the damage output with none of the skill or setup. The thing here is that Doomsight is only overpowered in this vacuum with Scrounger Javelins, and the interaction Scrounger has with Javelins seems unintended considering it’s more than 6x as effective as it says it is, so I think this should come down to the previously mentioned tweaks to Scrounger itself.
So, talents. There are extremely few support talents available in the skill tree, and the few that are there are almost all entirely nonviable due to their alternatives being leaps and bounds stronger. Hot take here, but I believe she suffers greatly from the same issues as Unchained; many rows only have one viable option, and few appeal to the core class identity while having little synergy with her baseline passives.
Sister of The Thorn’s row 10 talents have no support options. This should be changed. Additionally, Isha’s Bounty completely overshadows Surge of Malice in most circumstances just because it’s the only talent that actually synergizes with this career’s passives while also helping reach breakpoints. It can also reach 100% uptime with any form of hp regen either in Chaos Wastes or with Natural Bond, but honestly if you’re giving up the other generally powerful Trinket Traits to give a talent 100% uptime, I think that’s fair. Honestly, I think Surge of Malice should just be reworked into something supportive like preventing the lowest hp party member’s thp from decaying or increasing their thp gains.
Sister of The Thorn’s row 20 talents are overshadowed by Radiant Inheritance, which could be changed completely to be a support talent, because right now it’s damage focused and provides stronger buffs than what you find in a Slayer or Grail Knight’s entire skill tree. The numbers are just too high. Making this talent weaker but also sharing the buffs with your team would be great. The other two talents in this row should also be buffed. Incandescence should be able to charge both stacks at the same time, letting players use their career ability ~50% more often in addition to opening up interesting play with more reliably triple stacking career skills. As it is now, it’s useless, rewarding players with more uses of their career skill in exchange for not using their career skill, which is completely backwards. A complete rework into a defensive alternative to Radiant Inheritance could also be good seeing how Incandescence already has some heavy overlap with Cruel Bargain in the same row, and allow us to keep Radiant Inheritance as it is seeing how it’s bound to be everyone’s favorite talent. As for Hekarti’s Cruel Bargain, it could work off of any enemy being killed near her instead of just elites, or ideally any enemy killed within the effective range of her Thornwake, and it still wouldn’t be too crazy while also rewarding good use of her career skill. These changes would give you some serious consideration; gain offensive boosts, gain defensive boosts for your team, or be able to use your career skill more often?
Sister of The Thorn’s row 25 talents are overshadowed by Morai-Heg’s Doomsight which is only strong because of how it interacts with Javelins. If Javelins/Scrounger are fixed, leave this talent alone. Otherwise, consider making it double A Murder of Spite’s execute damage bonus for the next three attacks to make it less gimmicky for building into crit. Also maybe make it not use stacks when you don’t hit anything? This talent is currently being carried hard by Javelin/Scrounger, and risks being too weak without them. There’s also one interaction nobody is talking about which is pretty powerful, which is Doomsight alongside the Deepwood with Heat Sink, giving you three free lifts. Seeing how most allies start spamming their career skills when things go south, this usually means you can just spam cc on whatever is scaring your team for free. It’s nuts, but perfect, and an incredible example of how this career is capable of doing support right in a few places here and there. As for the other talents in this row, the Pale Queen’s Choosing is interesting with its ranged buffs and healing, and may be powerful if Javelins/Scrounger weren’t currently so crazy. Repel is terrible and needs to be reworked. Giving pushed enemies a further damage taken debuff and potentially restoring stamina when any ally slays enemies that you staggered could make it a powerful, melee-focused support tool. Alternatively, it could lift the first elite/special you push similar to how the Deepwood does with a cooldown of ~5 seconds. Either of these would be a good melee support tool in contrast to The Pale Queen’s range focus and Doomsight’s limited but all-applicable boost, again letting you focus this career into some combination of support, offense, melee, and ranged.
Sister of The Thorn’s row 30 talents are terrible except for Bloodrazor Thicket, which is powerful but still just decent, basically being an extremely short range bomb. Ironbark Thicket should MASSIVELY increase the size of Thornwake as well as providing a defensive buff to nearby allies such as 30% damage resist, stamina boosts, increasing thp gains, or converting permenant hp damage taken into temporary hp, just to spitball some ideas. Blackvenom Thicket would be far more interesting if it turned Thornwake into a large (Think bomb explosion sized) dome that debuffed all enemies inside, basically creating a temporary slaughter dome, great as either a panic button or for isolating important targets to drop fast. That, or having it be an AoE that lifted and debuffs all targets caught within. With these, Ironbark would become a strong defensive support tool, Bloodrazor would be the self-centered damage tool, and Blackvenom would be the support damage buff tool.
So, those are my thoughts. These are created with the intention of opening up more of a supportive playstyle while also giving players the creative freedom to build up their career how they want, choosing which elements to focus in on and ideally without stepping on the feet of anyone that enjoys what we have right now. I’m hoping to get some discussion going here to see what people think of the career and of my take on this, so I’d be happy to hear what you’re thinking. Thanks for reading!