Many people think smash is over-tuned. People arguing otherwise enjoy holding their crutch and are pointless to argue against. Where did smash go wrong? Well lets analyze some of the aspects of smash.
- It is in the rage tree for both Juggernaughts and Marauders
- A free critical is given to smash on use of obliterate and force-charge within 20 seconds
- Stacks of shockwave increase the critical hit damage
- Build up 4-5 stacks using force choke, beserk, or force-crush
- Rage passive has a 30% armor penetration bonus
- Rage passives add extra critical hit damage
- Juggernaughts have the ability to use the "Unstoppable" passive in the Vengeance tree giving them CC immunity after force charge
- Smash is instant
- Smash hits 5 enemies within 5 meters
So what is the issue with smash?
Unlike its force-choke counterpart, the Beserk setup for smash cannot be mitigated. When you have a well-coordinated team you can have allies interrupt force-choke, or a healer purge force-crush. This mitigates the number of stacks of shockwave they receive. A warrior with 1-2 stacks of shockwave deals considerably less damage than one with 4-5.
In patch 1.5 they changed smashes mechanic to become instant. Unless you have a bubble ready to pop on the slightest bit of damage, or have very close to zero network latency (very low ping) you won't be able to stun the warrior who is immediately going to smash following the force-charge or obliterate.
The window for stopping a smash is no longer half a second as it was before. The 1 GCD you have to stop smash is consumed by the air-time animation of charge, and network latency (the smashers machine to the server, and then the server to you).
Unlike their carnage counterparts, Rage gets a free leap for under 10 meters called obliterate. This was always the case, but was not as big of an issue when smash was not-instant. With both obliterate and force-charge there is nowhere you can go except out of sight. If you keep smash instant but remove obliterate, the class quickly falls in line with the other tree's (annihilation and carnage) in terms of shutting out damage.
This does not bode well for objectives in an objective based maps. Hence why smashers are very popular. They don't need to seek targets, the targets have to come to them or risk loosing the warzone.
A hybrid juggernaught cannot be stopped from smashing. You need to shut him out when he builds his stacks.
Extra armor penetration
A now completely un-neccessary component of the tree. This was never a problem until smash became over-tuned because most players had the ability to shut-out rage-specced warriors right before they smashed. Now with the instant smash you need to stop the choke/crush setup instead. You cannot stop the beserk setup, except with heavy focus fire on the smash-warrior.
With the increased difficulty in stopping setup, and shutting out smashers, it is a wonder why they get extra armor penetration on top of the shockwave stacks. When you also factor in Juggernaughts ability to sunder armor, and marauders ability to use bloodlust it's over-tuned.