So, everyone knows these two abilities are not very good. Why? Low damage, no penetration, etc. It has been discussed, and nothing has changed.
Well, with patch 1.1 on PotD we now have enemies with higher AR. So, even enemies with couple points or more of AR to fire almost negate these abilities. They will not do any damage whatsoever.
First let's look at Dragon Thrashed. Once every 3 seconds you do 4 Burn damage, and once every 6 seconds you do 4 Slash Damage. However, because both have such small damage amounts, and no bonus pen you tend to do no damage. So, you don't have any reason to select Dragon Thrashed when you have Soft Winds. Period. Since Soft Winds does Raw damage it will always do damage, but only in really rare circumstances will DT actually do equal or more damage. Even if it does more damage... Soft Winds gives health back to the caster. So, I would say Soft Winds is always the better option. You will do about 3 damage (depends on might and level) and heal for about the same. So many enemies have some burn AR and that means DT cannot do equivalent damage to a level 1 phrase even if you don't count Soft Winds healing factor.
Similar issues with Brand Enemy. The damage amounts are equal to DT's burn damage. 4 damage every 3 seconds. However, once again since so many enemies have AR vs burn you end up doing no damage or so little it doesn't matter. Once again no bonus Pen. Why take this vs Sworn Rival which does no damage but gives Zeal back when the target dies? Your guess is as good as mine. At least Paladin's have access to Scion of Flame to get some Pen, but I have been testing it the past few hours and 1 pen doesn't help much at all with this new patch. You still do no damage in many encounters.
The low damage values + no bonus Pen + the buffs to AR in 1.1 = two absolutely useless talents. Prior to 1.1 they at least did some damage, but were pretty bad then.
1) So, I think an easy fix is to up the damage values of these abilities. They probably need this regardless of what else you do to these abilities. 8-12 damage every 6 seconds in 4 point increments is useless given the AR system, and even if they bypassed AR wouldn't be the end all be all. Although if they did bypass AR they would be functional in their current iterations but not good by any stretch.
2) Casters get Pen for spells that scales with Power Level. Perhaps it would be wise for these abilities to do the same. Around level 10 a Wizard will have something like 7.8 pen for their spells. It would probably be wise to have this for both of these abilities. I am surprised by how little pen these things get, and it isn't like you can hover the damage when you do no damage. So it is admittedly hard to see what is going on.
3) Add a burn AR reduction Debuff to both of these abilities. Although, I don't know if they should stack if this is the way they go. Although, Chanters only have Mith Fyr, DT, and the heal with burn upgrade. However, if they stacked I would worry about the Paladin side of the Herald with Sacred Immolation. Also, if they stacked you could just bring a Burn focused Caster along with your Herald and it might be a bit much.
I would recommend a change to Scion of Flame (and the similar talents for other elements), but it would throw off the hard hitting fire spells from Priests, Wizards, Druids, Ciphers, etc. It also wouldn't help DT as Chanters don't get access to the elemental +1 Penetration talents. Which I think is stupid in and of itself. Chanters have access to Burn, Frost, and Shock elements. I can't figure out why they don't have at least the 3 talents to boost the Pen of those abilities.
In the end, I think either increasing the Damage or adding some built in Pen to the abilities is the best way to go. Or a combination of the 2.
I was pretty happy initially to see that DT got nerfed from PoE, but this is just silly.
So, any thoughts? Something has to be done to these or else they should be removed. Because, more so than prior to this patch (launch and beta included), these abilities have zero purpose other than wasted talent points. They weren't great before, but they did something. Now they don't in a lot of encounters. Hopefully some of you have some thoughts on this, or some thoughts that haven't been discussed ad infinitum.