Oh no, not another bloody Sister of Thorns thread

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.

Overview
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.

Weapons
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.

Talents
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!

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I was surprised when I saw how many of her talents are damage-oriented given the fact that the design idea behind Sister of Thorns was (apparently) a support-character. She definitely has more damage talents than support ones, which is a shame.

We did not really need another “lawnmower” (as a certain individual described her to be in her current state).

To be fair, this one is 60% melee power and not melee damage, power increases cleave and stagger too…and it´s always active as long as the power is there. Spites meanwhile is only active against targets with fairly low health remaining and it doesnt boost anything else.

I do agree, the wall is honestly almost useless outside extremely niche situations which is awful for a support class.

Javelin has insane synergy with any big crit boosts, needs a little toning down.

She does waaaaay more in melee on bosses : P

Sorry but no, that talent is insane with a team that has spammable abilties like slayers, double leap battlewizards, grail knights, unending hunt WHC etc.

It needs a cap.

The damage on this thing is huge , with a conc pot you can chunk patrols and bosses alike.

I do like the ideas here, a lot.

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While Isha’s Bounty is overshadowing Surge of Malice, Surge is a decent option when using slower weapons like Glaive, and SotT passives (bonus party healing and leech overheal) will give this talent a solid uptime.

I really like your Ironbark and Blackvenom ideas tho

Great feedback, thank you!

With the comparison to Unchained, that’s fair. It definitely has pros and cons compared to Unchained’s melee power, and Unchained’s boost is extremely strong. It’s certainly a weaker boost both in numbers and in application, but considering it’s a baseline passive that’s always active and applies to melee, ranged, and her career skill, I do still think it’s quite powerful and that it’s currently being slept on.

Honestly, I think the Javelin is currently being carried by how Scrounger interacts with it. If that interaction were to be changed, it would still pump out impressive damage with crits, but with only three shots (Or four with Pale Queen), I imagine that would be far more balanced. Basically, I’m hesitant to suggest any changes that risk ruining a weapon’s viability to begin with. Realistically, it seems like it performs similarly to the longbow, with a bit more damage and cleave in exchange for far less sustained fire. I’m also hesitant to suggest nerfs to the Javelin itself when it seems to perform fairly average on Kerillian’s other careers, making this really seem like it’s a Scrounger/SotT issue. As for her melee damage to bosses, I’ll have to mess around with that to see just how powerful it is, I haven’t really seen her doing any insane melee damage so far. She really shouldn’t be out damaging Shade though, if that’s how powerful she is right now.

With Doomsight, I’ve really leaned on the side of caution with my suggestions just because it’s insanely popular right now. I think that nerfing it with a cap but also giving it some quality of life improvements like not using stacks unless an attack hits could be good. I also must’ve underrated Bloodrazor Thicket, granted I haven’t used it much. That being said, if you can chunk bosses or patrols with a damage-augmented career skill and a conc pot, I think that’s completely fine; you’re building your talents and running specific potions to do that, which I think is alright. You’ve built yourself for that specific situation at that point.

Again, thanks for the feedback. I’ll be taking a look at the damage on her melee and Bloodrazor again in a bit here to see if I can figure out what you’re talking about!

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I’m surprised I haven’t considered this seeing how I’ve almost exclusively used the Glaive during my time playing her so far. Her passives do definitely help keep it active, making it a better talent on her than Pyro’s similar talent while also actually feeling like it fits given her passives. I’ll have to give it a shot here to see how I like it, I ended up avoiding it after a few runs just because the bonus power seemed stronger with A Murder of Spites’ damage bonus.

Still, I wish we could get a support talent in this row seeing how this entire row is focused on damage. Maybe merge Isha’s Bounty and Surge of Malice seeing how they already have similar criteria and effects, opening up a slot for a more supportive talent in the process?

Are you forgetting conservative shooter exists? It’s a pretty favorable arc to hs with.Considering how fast they reload as well (scaling with attack speed, no less), I think they’re strong well beyond the Scrounger+free crits gimmick. That said I’m not advocating to nerf the thing, it’s probably fine aside from maybe the light attack monster dps (though radiant inheritance is currently compounding this issue greatly).

Doomsight needs a stack limit but honestly I’ve been largely ignoring it for Pale Queen. The amount of moonbow spam you can do with it is kinda gross. Again not really advocating for nerfs here, just haven’t seen Pale Queen brought up much so wanted to mention it.

Honestly though it’s hard to discuss anything other than Radiant Inheritance because it effectively buffs just about everything else in her kit through the roof. This talent needs big nerfs ASAP then we can properly re-evaluate how the class performs.

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I absolutely did forget about Conservative Shooter. Still, the Javelin’s damage output seems similar to the Longbow, so I’m not too worried.

After a bit of messing around with single target damage, good lord, it’s crazy. There’s no reason to play Shade anymore.

Pale Queen is also insanely powerful, but everyone is definitely sleeping on it right now. It effectively gives infinite ammo especially when combined with ammo restoration on headshot/crit, plus the heal is twice as much healing/minute as natural bond. It could have both components broken into separate talents and they’d both still be strong.

Radiant Inheritance really is crazy right now though. I’m hoping that when/if it gets nerfed, it also becomes a team buff like Pace Strikes with Stand Together.

Yeah I also wish we could have a support talent, and to be fair I’d just rework the bleed on crit talent. Idk when I saw that I thought the career would be a support/DoT hybrid but it turns out it’s kinda far-stretched to build her for DoT (she has no actual synergy with bleeds, only use it to deal damage).

So yeah, I wish she could have a full rework to be either support (heal and control) or dot-based (bleed and synergy with it cause, y’know, thorns), but at that point that would be a matter for a complete rework so we’re probably not going to see that happen.

For now I’d just rework her bleed on crit to be more supportive (or maybe keep both idea, something like crit on bleed, allies that hit/kill bleeding enemies gain tHP, with of course reduced bleed damage compared to the current version of the talent)

Yeah agreed its damage is fine. You did remind me about one other thing though. My lord its cleave is uhhhh maybe a bit much. Don’t know the exact values but I’m not sure it needs to mow down clumps of infantry as well as it does. I do like that it’s a genuinely good option on all her careers, but yeah the cleave while kinda fitting might be too good at the moment.

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I reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeally don’t believe for a second that Javelin should be nerfed. There’s no reason for it, not just because Doomsight can be crazy strong.

Hell, it should be baseline of what a magic throwing weapon should be (plzfixthrowingaxesplzgoddamnitplz)

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I honestly don’t think this is the case, most of the time unless you’re actively standing back and waiting around for people to ult, you’ll burn through that three well before someone else pops an ult. The max you’ll ever reasonably have is like 9, which is high, but also requires three ults to be invested.

It’s a solid talent, but particularly outside premades I think it’s pretty inconsistent in terms of “peak” value.

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Double Throwing Axe cleave, around Volcanic Bolt levels.
For reference on cata Fanatics:
Crossbow, 3. Throwing Axes, 4. Javelin, 8. Volcanic bolt, (8 or 9 depending on Enhanced Power)

A dawi drop slayer is 10 fanatics.
Kerillian has ways to amp this up with Bloodshot, Isha’s bounty & Radiant Inheritance etc

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Here I was thinking the cleave for Javelin wasn’t a big deal. Thanks for doing the math!

I was enjoying hitting more than one plague monk, 2 maulers, or a hookrat in a horde, but running it on Waystalker with Bloodshot was crazy good!

Here are some random javelin interactions I’ve found from playing around with them on different classes. This thread seemed at least as good a place as any to post these lol.

WS: Proccing Drakiras Alacrity not only speeds up the throwing and reload animations, it also speeds up the melee attacks. Somewhat unfortunately it cannot be procced with the melee attacks, could have been a cool extra synergy but what’s there is still nice if you’re proficient at switching between stabs and ranged headshots.

The interaction between truelight arrows and conservative shooter sadly does not work with javelins. For any bow having your ranged weapon with conservative out when you trueflight nets you ammo for any of trueflight’s head shots, for those unaware of that interaction. I still think conservative is generally the best trait for javelins on all her classes though.

For HM only interesting thing I’ve found is that Quiver of Plenty very generously gives you two extra javelins, so an effective 66% ammo increase. Unsurprisingly Willow Stance speeds up all of javelins animations and is probably the easiest attack speed increase to upkeep on javelins across all her careers. Of course you can also always proc swift slaying with a high crit chance attack like GS push attack then swap to javelins to use the attack/reload/spam throw.

I really like that they have a solid use case across all her careers, though I’m a little sad they don’t interact with WS’s kit a little more. Having more of them is nice, blood shot is always good, and of course freeing up the Ult talent allows more diversity, but extra ammo also means more time reloading which is a problem her other ranged weapons don’t suffer from.

Sorry that got real off topic there but yeah javelins are pretty cool.

This was stealth “fixed” in one of the recent patches.
No longer works with other bows, which is a shame for Conservative Loaded bow builds.

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Oh darn I did wonder if maybe I missed a stealth nerf. That kind of sucks, it was a nice alternate ammo generation method to avoid Kurnous before moonbow and javelins came along, and would be a really nice thing to have for javelins to offset WS’s longer reload times :frowning:

I agree with others saying that Javelin, on its own, is not OP. If anything, it needs a buff - in its sound. Doesn’t it sound a little wimpy, seriously? Plz slightly chunkier thunks on hit FS

But more seriously, I do think it is in a good spot in a vacuum.

Bringing up her bonus damage to wounded enemies is a good point; it is a crazy strong buff, albeit one that is not up all the time. It could stand to be toned down, at least.

The talent that gives free green health on ranged attack - what if that gave that health to a random party member (including possibly her)?

I honestly don’t even think her damage-oriented ult talent is a problem. It can one-shot a Stormvermin, but it can’t kill a Chaos Warrior. A lot of other careers with damage-oriented ults can do that. I actually really like it in its current state, and the default wall is just too situational to be worth it.

The real elephant in the room, of course, is the level 20 talent that gives her steroids. I actually really like this idea for the career, and lore-wise it seems reasonable for a Sister of the Thorn to have some kind of magic rage she can fly into, but it’s just over-tuned. I think it could cut back to like 10% attack speed and 20% power and maybe 10% crit and it would still be hella good, just not broken.

Sure, Grail Knight / Bounty Hunter / Shade / etc can one-shot 1-3 Stormvermins per career skill. SotT can one-shot 5-10 SV per career skill depending on how well she gets them cluttered. And with Incandescence she can do this three times in short succession. There is an obvious disparity.

That seems a fringe case, and we’re ignoring that it doesn’t OHK Chaos warriors, who are a bigger threat. I feel like 99% of the time you get 1-2 Stormvermin.

If you can show some examples of literally 8+ Stormvermin getting killed by a single ult, though, I’d believe you - I just have a hard time believing that is a realistic issue. It can happen, sure, but it’s going to be once in a blue moon.

A bigger problem seems that - what is the point of this skill if she can’t kill a super common, noteworthy enemy with it? Take that away, the talent is basically dead and she essentially has no usable ult since the default one is mostly a useless annoyance. If all the damage talent is good for is killing chaff with a bleed, then it’s just Bladedancer that doesn’t move her and affects a small area of enemies - but massed horde enemies are the easiest kind of threat to deal with.

When I play SotT without Radiant Inheritance, she doesn’t seem drastically overpowered - she feels good, but not OP.

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