Combat AoE Gets a Boost in Latest Set of Patch 6.0.3 Hotfixes

Winter Storm Hotfix continues to barrage the live servers. Jan. 13 brought two more rogue-relevant adjustments on top of last week’s deluge; one of the new hotfixes is effectively a buff to Combat AoE, the other a quality-of-life tweak on a specific raid fight.

Combat, Blade Flurry and Multistrike

Here’s the official text of the Combat buff (or bug fix; I’m not certain which):
Blade Flurry is now able to trigger from Multistrikes.
BACKGROUND: Multistrike is a new secondary stat that was introduced in Warlords (alongside crit, haste, mastery and versatility). For rogues, it gives each of our damaging attacks (or DoT ticks, or special procs) a chance to hit the target a second time for one third of the original damage.
When you have Blade Flurry active, it copies most of your damage onto all enemies within 10 yards of you. This hotfix means that when you damage your target and it multistrikes, the damage will get copied to nearby enemies. Before now, that multistrike only damaged your target.
ANALYSIS: This is a pretty big deal. For one thing, it’s a nice-sized damage boost for Combat in AoE situations. Per some rough estimates from Fierydemise, for a heroic-geared rogue the DPS increase is roughly 1% 2% per target you’re hitting — so, 2% 4% against two targets, 3% 6% against three targets and so on. This should make Combat more competitive with other specs in AoE-heavy fights. This may well make Combat the go-to spec in just about any raid fight that features prolonged multi-target situations where cleave can be valuable, such as on Tectus and Brackenspore.
For another thing, this solidifies multistrike as a good all-around secondary stat for all three specs in raids. In the current (Highmaul) gear range, in single-target situations, multistrike is already generally the best stat for Subtlety and the second-best stat for Assassination and Combat. Multistrike’s value dropped like a rock for Combat once Blade Flurry turned on, however, largely because multistrikes couldn’t cleave. Now that’s no longer the case, and multistrike is the second-best AoE stat for Combat after haste (same as single-target).
So, if you swap specs frequently but don’t want (or need) to carry multiple gear sets or re-enchant/gem your gear when you swap, multistrike can be a solid go-to stat that’s decent for all specs in most situations.

Stealth Fix on Imperator

The other rogue-relevant hotfix tonight concerns a specific mechanic in the Imperator Mar’gok raid fight: 
Imperator Mar’gok: Gorian Warmage’s Fixate ability should now only cause the targeted player to drop out of stealth instead of incorrectly causing all steathed players in the raid to drop out of stealth.
That’s all I really have to say about that. 🙂
(Many thanks to the rest of the Ravenholdt crew for sanity-checking this post.)
[UPDATE 1/14: We made an error in our initial calculations of the likely DPS benefit of the Combat AoE hotfix. Earlier numbers/comments have been struck through and replaced with a corrected analysis.]