Blizzard Reveals Another 12 Hero Talent Trees for The War Within

Blizzard Reveals Another 12 Hero Talent Trees for The War Within

Blizzard has been ramping up their reveals of the Hero Talent Trees for the upcoming The War Within expansion, first showing us just a few at a time and then eight more a couple of weeks ago. Now they’ve revealed another dozen of them, leaving just 12 more to be shown.

To sum up, here are all of the trees, with the ones we’ve seen as of today crossed off:

  • Death Knight
    • Rider of the Apocalypse
    • San’layn
    • Deathbringer
  • Demon Hunter
    • Aldrachi Reaver
    • Fel Scarred
  • Druid
    • Keeper of the Grove
    • Elune’s Chosen
    • Wildstalker
    • Druid of the Claw
  • Evoker
    • Chronowarden
    • Flameshaper (formerly Ruby Adept)
    • Scalecommander
  • Hunter
    • Sentinel
    • Pack Leader
    • Dark Ranger
  • Mage
    • Sunfury
    • Frostfire
    • Spellslinger
  • Monk
    • Master of Harmony
    • Shado-Pan
    • Conduit of the Celestials
  • Paladin
    • Lightsmith
    • Herald of the Sun
    • Templar
  • Priest
    • Voidweaver
    • Oracle
    • Archon
  • Rogue
    • Deathstalker
    • Trickster
    • Fatebound
  • Shaman
    • Stormbringer
    • Farseer
    • Totemic
  • Warlock
    • Soul Harvester
    • Hellcaller
    • Diabolist
  • Warrior
    • Colossus
    • Slayer
    • Mountain Thane

Talent Trees Revealed Today

Here’s a quick overview of each of the trees that can be seen in today’s reveal.

Rider of the Apocalypse

This is a new talent tree for Frost and Unholy Death Knights. The keystone ability is Rider’s Champion, which gives you a chance to summon one of the Four Horsemen, each of whom provide a unique buff:

  • Mograine casts a version of Death and Decay that follows him around.
  • Whitemane places a stacking DoT on your target.
  • Trollbane casts Chains of Ice on your target, slowing them and increasing your damage on them.
  • Nazgrim gives you a Strength buff.


This talent tree is for Frost and Blood Death Knights. The keystone ability for this tree is Reaper’s Mark, a stacking debuff that explodes and deals damage when it expires or reaches 40 stacks, transferring to another enemy if the target dies or is below 35% health.

Aldrachi Reaver

Here we have our first look at a Demon Hunter talent tree, which of course is for both Havoc and Vengeance. The keystone ability here is Art of the Glaive, which allows you to use an ability called Reaver’s Glaive when you consume enough Soul Fragments (3 for Havoc, 20 for Vengeance). Reaver’s Glaive deals damage to one main target plus splash damage to two others and causes some of your other abilities to deal extra damage as well.

Druid of the Claw

This talent tree for Feral and Guardian Druids is the last Druid tree to be revealed. It revolves around the keystone ability Massive Attack, which has a chance to proc from your auto attacks and enhance your next Ferocious Bite as Feral or Maul as a Guardian, effectively increasing your damage for each.


This talent tree was originally listed as “Ruby Adept,” but has apparently had its name changed. It’s the talent tree shared by Devastation and Preservation Evokers. The keystone ability is Engulf, which does damage or healing that increases based on the HoTs or DoTs you have on the target.

Pack Leader

Up next is a talent tree for Beast Mastery and Survival Hunters. This tree’s keystone ability is Vicious Hunt, which increases the damage of your Kill Command ability.


On to a talent tree for Arcane and Frost Mages! Splintering Sorcery is the keystone ability for this tree, and it causes your consumed Nether Precision and Winter’s Chill buffs to shoot a Splinter at your target that deals damage both instantly and over time.


This talent tree for Brewmaster and Windwalker Monks is the first one we’ve seen for the class. It revolves around the Overwhelming Flurry keystone ability. This ability causes you to generate a Flurry Charge any time you deal damage equal to your own maximum health. When you spend 400 Energy, you’ll deal damage for each charge you’ve accumulated.

Conduit of the Celestials

The second talent tree we’ve seen for Monks, this one is for Mistweaver and Windwalker Monks. The keystone ability is Celestial Conduit, which causes you to deal both AoE damage and healing based on the number of enemies it hits. Not only can you channel this ability while moving, but it won’t stop channeling if you use defensive, utility, or movement spells!


This is the only Shaman talent tree we’ve seen so far, and is shared by Elemental and Restoration Shamans. The Call of the Ancestors keystone ability is slightly different based on your specialization, but it effectively doubles each damage or healing spell you cast while it’s active by having a summoned Ancestor duplicate your casts.


This edgy-sounding talent tree is shared by Affliction and Destruction Warlocks. The keystone ability for this one is Wither, which replaces your Corruption as Affliction or Immolate as Destruction with an even stronger DoT.


Finally, we have the last talent tree for Warriors, which is shared by the Arms and Fury specializations. Slayer’s Dominance is the keystone ability for this tree, which deals some damage but more importantly makes your next Execute hit 10% harder, and stacks up to 3 times.

Blizzard – (Source)

The War Within expansion introduces Hero Talents as a new update to World of Warcraft classes. They are an evergreen form of character progression for each class specialization that introduces new powers and class fantasies. Feedback is critical to us as a part of creating an impactful and fun addition to the game, so we are sharing our goals for Hero Talents with the community to get first impressions of them and learn how well we’re meeting those goals.

In this article, we take a closer look at the philosophies around Hero Talents for twelve more trees: Rider of the Apocalypse and Deathbringer Death Knights, Aldrachi Reaver Demon Hunter, Druid of the Claw Druid, Flameshaper Evoker, Pack Leader Hunter, Spellslinger Mage, Shado-Pan and Conduit of the Celestials Monks, Farseer Shaman, Hellcaller Warlock, and Slayer Warrior.


What Are Hero Talents?

Hero Talents are new, self-contained talent trees that players unlock access at level 71. Hero Talents build on the abilities and talents of current classes and specializations. Players can choose a single Hero Talent tree to activate on a character and these talents can be changed in the same way class talents can be currently changed in the game. There are three Hero Talent trees for each class (excepting druid with four and demon hunter with two).  Each specialization has two Hero Talent trees they can choose between, and each of these trees is available as an option for two specializations.

For example, warriors have three Hero Talent tree options: Slayer, Colossus, and Mountain Thane. Fury has access to Mountain Thane and Slayer, Protection has access to Mountain Thane and Colossus, and Arms has access to Colossus and Slayer.

There are 11 nodes in a Hero Talent tree. The first of these unlocks with the system at level 71, and you earn 1 talent point per level from level 71 to 80, so you get every talent in the tree by level 80. Hero Talents will have starter builds available, and your saved builds will save your Hero Talent choices as well.

What to Expect from Hero Talents

Each Hero Talent tree starts with a “keystone” talent that introduces the core mechanic and concept of the tree. This could be a new ability, an enhancement to an existing ability or cooldown, or a new buff you can trigger. The bottom talent of each tree is a “capstone” talent that builds on the core themes of the tree or adds new power to the keystone.

Each tree will offer or modify some class utility and include defensive bonuses that are useful to all specializations. We are aiming for all trees to be about equal in the amount of utility and defensiveness they provide. Trees for characters that can take on a tanking role may have some additional defense bonuses that will be less valuable to healers or damage dealers (DPS), such as bonuses to tank talents or cooldowns. Three or four nodes in each tree will be choice nodes where you can choose between two options.

Hero Talents are meant to add enough damage or healing throughput to be significant without being so important that these new talents overshadow your current class and spec tree talents. Most Hero Talent trees add new visual effects to classes, both to communicate what they’re doing and bring their class fantasies to life. However, these are not complete visual reworks – your class and spec are still the same at their core, and that will continue to come through.

Maintaining Freedom to Choose

We want players to be free to choose the Hero Talent tree that has the gameplay, visuals, or flavor that they prefer. Our goal is for both options to feel similarly effective in raid dungeons, Mythic+, and PvP. We’re working to avoid abilities or bonuses in Hero Talents that could make a certain tree feel “required” for activities where we can.

We know that for some players, prioritizing total throughput is the most important thing to them, even if the difference between choices seems small. That’s okay but keeping Hero Talent balance close is one of our priorities so that players can play what they prefer and still be viable in any content.

How We Chose Hero Talent Concepts

Since we announced Hero Talents at BlizzCon, it’s been great to see all the conversation and speculation surrounding the 39 Hero Talent titles. We’d like to share some of the thinking that went behind choosing those concepts.

Each Hero Talent concept must be appropriate for both of the specs that can use it. Some concepts build on overlaps in abilities or flavors between the two specs that can use it, like Colossus warriors, which are as mighty as Arms warriors and as imposing as Protection warriors. Others create new themes that are appropriate for both specs, like Fatebound rogues.

Hero Talents also retain your combat role and the gear that you use so that you’re not competing for new types of gear. For iconic Warcraft character archetypes, we wanted to be sure that we could deliver on their fantasy with World of Warcraft’s classes. Blademasters just wouldn’t be Blademasters without abilities like Wind Walk and Mirror Image, but those abilities don’t fit in a warrior’s toolkit.

Lastly, there are several iconic character archetypes that are strongly tied to specific races and factions, such as Keeper of the Grove or Mountain Thane. It’s exciting to embody these storied archetypes, but we want to ensure that characters of every race and faction can see themselves as those archetypes. We’re open to feedback on what feels good for your characters versus what is frustrating.

Gameplay and Hero Talents

We have several goals for what it feels like to play World of Warcraft with Hero Talents. Here are some of our guiding principles for how they affect your capabilities, your rotation, what you pay attention to in combat, and your user interface.

We like to say on the team that our goal for Hero Talents gameplay is for them to make you “what you are, but more.” We know that many of you have long histories with your favorite classes, and you play them because you like their gameplay and the spells and abilities that matter in their rotation, whether it’s the spinning plates of Affliction, the cycles of Arcane, or the frenetic reactivity of Fury. Hero Talents don’t override what matters to a class. You should feel like you’re playing your spec with a twist or a boost and not as if the things you care about have become unimportant or been replaced.

A Hero Talent tree might add new behavior or bonuses to an existing ability, like Keeper of the Grove’s bonuses to Force of Nature and Grove Guardian treants. They might occasionally reset the cooldown on abilities or replace spells with more powerful versions. They might make it easier to maintain important buffs or grant additional resources at key moments.

One thing that we’re keeping a close eye on is complexity. Classes in WoW have a lot of abilities and talents, and there’s a lot to learn about each one. We want Hero Talents to add new fun without creating new burdens, either in customizing or playing a character. Most Hero Talent trees do not add new buttons that players will need to add to their action bar or find a new keybind for. There will be additional opportunities for players to express their skill, but we’re trying not to add things like complex maintenance buffs that increase the cognitive load for everyone playing a class. Most of the choices a player will make about how complex they want their rotation to be will continue to be made in their class and spec talent trees.

Some Hero Talents do require you to take certain talents in your class or spec trees to access their powers. This is often because those talents fit the flavor and theme of that specific Hero Talent tree. The Mountain Thane warrior tree enhances Avatar and Thunder Clap, Templar paladin gives extra power to Wake of Ashes, and Elune’s Chosen druids can cast a particularly strong Fury of Elune. However, a Hero Talent tree will only ever require or enhance a small number of class or spec talents. It’s important to us that there still is freedom in customizing your class build.

Show Us the Hero Talent Trees!

Rider of the Apocalypse and Deathbringer Death Knights, Aldrachi Reaver Demon Hunter, Druid of the Claw Druid, Flameshaper Evoker, Pack Leader Hunter, Spellslinger Mage, Shado-Pan and Conduit of the Celestials Monks, Farseer Shaman, Hellcaller Warlock, and Slayer Warrior.

We look forward to hearing your thoughts and sharing more as we progress.

Visit our first, second, and third preview articles to learn more about additional Hero Talents in development.

About the Author


I've been playing World of Warcraft on and off since vanilla, usually as a healer or caster and often as a guild leader. I play both retail and classic. I also love RPGs, sandboxes, and sims.

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