Rextroy is one smart World of Warcraft player. How smart, you ask? Well, last week he discovered a genius strategy to kill a raid boss in a single hit, and in his most recent YouTube video, he’s come up with a way to kill other max-level players without wearing any gear—often with just a single attack. It’s ridiculous, but that sums up 99 percent of everything Rextroy pulls off in World of Warcraft.
What’s impressive is how Rextroy is able to manipulate some of World of Warcraft’s PvP balancing systems to do the impossible. Typically, players are only ever as good as the armor they wear, which provides big boosts to your character stats like strength, agility, or intellect. But, if you watch the video above, Rextroy doesn’t need armor to deal out enormous damage that reliably kills other players in one hit.
That’s because, in the Battle for Azeroth expansion, Blizzard implemented a scaling system so that players wouldn’t be obliterated by those sporting the best gear in the game. On the surface, the system makes a lot of sense (and mostly works as intended): Players with worse gear are given a little help so they still have a fighting chance if they run into unfriendly players while exploring the open world.
But Rextroy discovered the system could also be exploited in some pretty hilarious ways. After stripping off all his gear, the PvP balancing would increase his damage by up to 226 percent. This big boost is offset by the fact that a character’s spells and attacks rely on stats to calculate their damage. Without armor to increase your stats, even your stronger attacks would do negligible damage.
The trick, Rextroy discovered, is to instead use items, like grenades, because they do static amounts of damage regardless of character stats and still benefit from the PvP balance buff. Pair that with some extra buffs that also increase your overall damage and an item that guarantees critical hits, and the next thing you know you’ve become a local legend: The nude reaper.
If you’re having a hard time understanding the underlying math, all you need to know is that an oversight in WoW’s PvP balacing didn’t just make Rextroy’s grenades go boom. It made them go BOOM.
Don’t worry, though. You’re not going to get murdered while exploring Azeroth by a crazed, naked paladin. Rextroy didn’t release this video until after Blizzard already fixed the bug. The Mantid Firebomb, the grenade required for this stunt, no longer works outside of the zone where it’s found.
Though it seems like the blame lies with WoW’s PvP balancing for letting this happen, it’s important to remember how big World of Warcraft is as a game—there are thousands of abilities and items to consider when building systems like this. It’s inevitable that some things will fall through the cracks that may give players a short-lived advantage. Even so, if you see a nude player charging right for you, you might want to log off just to be safe.
For more of Rextroy’s shenanigans, check out another recent video where he one-shots a raid boss using the same grenade.