Improved inner fire has been switched with improved power word: fortitude in the latest beta build, giving all specs easier access to a talent that, in Wrath, will boost spellpower as well as armour value.
Edit: this equates to 54 spellpower at level 80 (thank you Ho Ho).
I'm pleased with the increased accessibility of the inner fire buff — I've been scratching my head about how I would free up three more points to pick up improved inner fire anyway.
But the trade-off puts improved fortitude in a rather awkward place.
For shadow priests, it was always a filler talent on the way to meditation. There was simply nothing better to spend your points on. But that worked to everyone's benefit — we got the maximum stamina boost solo, groups where we were the only priest benefited, and we could help holy and discipline priests with buffing assignments in raids. Now it's probably going to be out of reach for most raiding shadow builds.
Its new position in tier 3 makes it look equally awkward for holy and discipline priests. I don't know enough about healing builds to say for certain whether they will be able to pick it up easily, but I suspect it raises a few difficult choices.
I can imagine a guild's raiding priests having to draw straws for this talent.
So on the one hand, I predict improved fortitude will become less ubiquitous, and will give priests pause for thought in their level 80 raiding builds.
But on the other hand, it's not that good a talent to start with (conveying as little as 230 hit points at level 70) and is even less attractive higher up the talent tree.
Is it time for the improved fortitude buff to be baselined?
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