PTR 2.7.2 Preview & Initial Thoughts

Last Updated: May 21st 2023

Share on Social

Content of this article:

Find the Official Blogpost by Blizzard here.

Disclaimer: All Information presented here is still subject to change during and after the PTR! We will keep this post updated!


The Public Test Realm (PTR) for Patch 2.7.1 begins on Thursday, November 4 and will last over the course of two weeks. During this time there may be periodic maintenances, outages, hotfixes, or minor patches.

  • There will be three PTR-unique buffs active to help you on your journey: increased Legendary drop rate, increased experience gains, and double Blood Shard drops. You can also buy new gear for testing from the special PTR vendor, Djank Mi'em, who will exchange Blood Shards for class-specific bags full of Legendary items.
  • Class and Balance Changes: To ensure that the most significant class changes receive an ample amount of attention, we'd love for you to focus testing and feedback on the set changes to Witch Doctor, Barbarian, Necromancer, Wizard and Demon Hunter.
  • New Season Theme Testing: Blizzard is looking to gather feedback on the seasonal theme content!

All patch notes are listed below, along with our predicted impacts to the game.

Season 25 Theme: Soul Shards

New Season Theme: Season 25 introduces a new type of socketable item called Soul Shards. Nephalem can find 7 unique Soul Shards, based on the Lords of Hell, which give players demonic new powers. One of 3 Prime Evil Soul Shards can be equipped into Helms and one of 4 Lesser Evil Soul Shards can be equipped into Weapons. Each Soul Shard can be upgraded three times using a new seasonal-exclusive consumable, the Hellforge Ember.

Soul Shards and Hellforge Embers can drop from anywhere in Sanctuary, but Soul Shards have a higher chance to drop from Bosses. Soul Shards cannot be traded, but can be salvaged or utilized in Caldesann’s Despair. You may only equip one Prime Evil Soul Shard and one Lesser Evil Soul Shard at a time. Lastly, Soul Shards and Hellforge Embers only drop in Seasonal play, and will not transfer to your non-seasonal character when the season ends.

Opinion: This looks like an interesting change, although how interesting depends entirely on what Soul Shards do. All we know right now is there's 7 shards in total giving us 12 unique combinations of Prime Evil and Lesser Evil Soul Shards. One interesting note is that Soul Shards can be "utilized in Caldesann's Despair". This Kanai's Cube recipe allows you to enhance an item by using a rank 30+ legendary gem and three Flawless Royal Gems. Since Soul Shards can only be upgraded 3 times, it is unlikely they will take the place of a legendary gem here, meaning we might be able to add something other than Strength, Dexterity, Intelligence or Vitality to our items!

Soul Shards can be used in Caldesann's Despair in place of legendary gems. They are equivalent to rank 50 gems unupgraded and improve by 25 gem ranks per each shard rank. A rank 3 Soul Shard is equivalent to rank 125 legendary gem.

Salvaging a soul shard gives 3 random Imperial gems with a small chance to give 1 Flawless Royal gem instead.

Prime Evil Shards

Socketed into a helmet. Does not interact with Leoric's Crown.
Upgrading the shard with Hellforge Embers unlocks additional effects at each rank.

  • Rank 0. Unique shard effect #1.
  • Rank 1. Same stats as socketing a Flawless Royal Gem of every color:
    • 12.5-15% Cooldown Redcution
    • 12.5-15% Resource Cost Reduction
    • 23-25% Life
    • 40-50% Experience (4-5% at level 70)
    • 32-35% Gold Find
  • Rank 2. One defensive stat roll out of:
    • 900-1125 Dexterity, Intelligence, Strength or Vitality
    • ~500-750 Armor
    • ~500-750 All Resistance
    • 15-20% Mellee Reduction
    • 15-20% Ranged Reduction
  • Rank 3. One of 3 unique shard effects #2
Sliver of Terror
Shard of Hatred
Fragment of Destruction

Rank 0 Effect
Your cooldowns are increased by 25%. For every skill on cooldown, you take 12.5% reduced damage and deal 75% increased damage.
Rank 3 Effects

  • If three or more skills are on cooldown, your Lightning and Fire skill damage are increased by 50%.
  • Your Attack Speed and Crit Chance are increased by 7% for each skill on Cooldown.
  • You cast a devastating Ring of Fire after killing 50 enemies.

Looks to be the strongest of Prime Evil Shards at the moment. It's very easy for nearly every build to have 2 skills permanently on cooldown and that already gives us 150% damage and 25% damage reduction just from the Rank 0 effect. The downside of negative 25% CDR is very mild, and every build that can put up with it will use this shard.

Lesser Evil Shards

Socketed into weapons.
Upgrading the shard with Hellforge Embers unlocks additional effects at each rank.

  • Rank 0. Unique shard effect #1.
  • Rank 1. Same stats as socketing a Flawless Royal Gem of every color:
    • 270-300 flat Damage
    • 130-150% Critical Damage
    • 20-25% Elite Damage
    • 28,000-30,000 Life on Hit
    • 38,000-40,000 Thorns
  • Rank 2. One offensive stat roll out of:
    • 12-15% Attack Speed
    • 25-50% Damage
    • 7-10% Crit Chance
    • 50-75% random Elemental Damage
  • Rank 3. One of 3 unique shard effects #2
Essence of Anguish
Remnant of Pain
Dregs of Lies
Stain of Sin

Rank 0 Effect
Every time you deal Poison damage to an enemy you increase your Cooldown Reduction, Movement Speed and damage received by 5% for 10 seconds. Max 10 stacks.
Rank 3 Effects

  • Your Movement Speed and Cooldown Reduction can be increased up to 15 times by dealing Poison damage to an enemy.
  • When you deal Poison damage to an enemy they receive 50% increased Poison damage from all sources for 10 seconds.
  • Killing an enemy deals the damage done by the death blow to all enemies within 25 yards.

One of the strongest Lesser Evil Shards, giving you tons of Cooldown Reduction. Classes that can't normally deal Poison damage can still activate this effect by rolling their (or their follower's) weapon damage range to Poison or by activation this shard's rank 4 explosion on kill.

Item & Balance Changes


  • Remorseless
    Hammer of the Ancients damage bonus increased from 200-250% to 600-800%.

Opinion: This change boosts all three HotA builds by 6 Greater Rifts tiers, bringing them closer to Whirlwind’s level.  It’s a nice move for Barb build balance, but not nearly enough to make it a META Barb build.

Witch Doctor

  • Shukrani's Triumph
    Spirit Walk lasts until you attack 3 times (up from 1) or until an elite enemy is within 20 yards of you (from any enemy within 30 yards). new Attacks while in the spirit realm deal 75-100% increased damage.

Opinion: This is a very interesting change that impacts nearly every Witch Doctor build. Shukrani's Triumph currently  lets you freely attack and stand next to enemies during the initial 2 (3 with Jaunt) seconds of Spirit Walk, with the restrictions only applying after. If that remains unchanged, then this item lets you have 3 seconds of double damage on demand. Most WD builds don't have very powerful offhands and weapons, Shukrani's Triumph is easy to include.

  • Lakumba's Ornament: Reduces damage taken by 60% if you have at least 1-3 Soul Harvest stacks plus an additional 2% per stack. (up from 6% per stack).

Opinion: This is a very welcomed change, making all WD builds significantly tankier. If before the change your toughness was 100% with just the bracer and 175% with Sacred Harvester on top, , you will now have 233% and 350% respectively.

  • The Spider Queen's Grasp
    Now also increases the damage of Corpse Spiders by 600-800%.
  • New Brood of Araneae
    Corpse Spiders deal an additional 75-100% damage, and each spider bite causes the target to take an additional 1% damage from Corpse Spiders for 5 seconds.
  • Spirit of Arachyr
    (2) Bonus: Corpse Spiders now spawn with health and attack twice as fast.
    (4) Bonus: Summon a permanent Spider Queen who leaves behind webs that lasts for 15 seconds and Slows enemies. You take 75% reduced damage while on the web. The Spider Queen is commanded to move to where you cast your Corpse Spiders.

Opinion: These item and set changes bring us a new Corpse Spiders WD build. From a glance the numbers look very underwhelming, but we don't know how exactly the 2-piece bonus and the new item work. The new damage reduction from 4-piece looks extremely clunky and might force other Arachyr builds to include Corpse Spiders.

Demon Hunter

  • Embodiment of the Marauder
    (4) Bonus: Sentries now automatically cast your equipped Hatred Spenders but no longer deal 400% increased damage.
    (6) Bonus: Now also affects your Sentries.

Opinion: This change is a fairly large (5-10 tiers) buff to Marauder set, which brings back the autofire Sentries from Season 1. This might be big enough buff to make Marauder Multishot a #1 DH pushing build, but probably not enough to become a good XP farmer or META DPS. Incidentally it also nerfs the N6M4 build by a few tiers.

  • The Shadow's Mantle
    Impale also deals additional 25,000% damage to targets beyond the first.

Opinion: This buffs Shadow by approximately 5-7 tiers, and also makes it into a more normal build and less of an elite hunter. As a side effect, all runes except Overpenetration become unplayable.


  • Bones of Rathma
    (6) Bonus: damage bonus increased from 500% to 1,750% per active minion up to 31,500% (from 9,000%).

Opinion: This is a welcomed change buffing Rathma by 8 Greater Rift tiers.


  • Firebird's Finery
    (2) Bonus: Ignite damage reduced from 3,000% to 1,500%.
    (6) Bonus: damage bonus reduced from 5,000% to 2,500%.

Opinion: This nerfs Firebird by 9 Greater Rift tiers. While the set was clearly overpowered and needed a nerf, this might be too much. It also doesn't address any issues the build currently has, namely its reliance on Mirror Image AI and Deathwish.

Possible New Builds

We theorycrafted 2 new possible builds below. These are not final and still subject to change! We don't even know what item slot the Brood of Araneae is, nor do we know which multipliers apply to Corpse Spiders with the new Arachyr 2-piece.

Marauder Multishot
Arachyr Corpse Spiders
Greater Rift Solo Push (Fire)

Concept & Gameplay
Multishot will likely be the most powerful skill to use with the new Marauder set, because Hellcat Waistguard doesn't work on Cluster Arrows shot by Sentries.

The build is pretty similar to UE Multishot, the only difference is the addition of pet multipliers: Enforcer, Tasker and Theo and Sentry damage.

For the playstyle, there's two notable changes. Firstly, the positioning of your Sentries now matters a lot. Secondly, where you aim your own attacks doesn't matter at all. You win some, you lose some!


  • Added detailed information on Soul Shards.

We will test all these changes thoroughly, give constructive feedback and enjoy the reworked Embodiment of the Marauder and Spirit of Arachyr sets. We’re also excited to unveil the Soul Shards. See you on the Public Test Server!

© 2023 Maxroll Media Group, All Rights Reserved