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5-03-2007 @ 2:26AM
Aye, SM-Ruin is still quite viable. I'm currently in a guild tied neck-and-neck for 2nd on the server, and close to first, and we have a few kinds of locks among us. First off, not one Destro or Demo lock. Just hard to make those ones last long enough or do enough damage to help us down the bigger stuff.Of our 4 top locks, 3 are 41 pt. affliction builds - one grabbing Shadow Embrace because hey, 5% damage reduction on any mob or boss adds up fast. Each has minor variances, but the central point is that they never run out of health or mana unless Gruul himself walks over and splatters one of them, they fill the top few slots of dps on each raid consistently as measured against equally-geared teammates, and they are just generally our top dps all around. With one little exception...I was destro pre-raiding, then demo, then I specced affliction for the first time after joining my current guild (noob stuff, I know, but it was fun!). I toyed with affliction for a while, but found it lacking the punch I desired - whether for fast-dying adds on bosses or trying to burst down a non-fearable elite on my case, it just didn't serve my purposes. Oh, I never ran out of mana, thanks to dark pact, soul siphon, and the like, but it wasn't for me. So I respecced again. And again, and so on.Finally, I decided to try making my own 'hybrid', giving up on the 41-pt talents. As it turned out, looking at what I had created afterward, I basically recreated the SM/Ruin build with minor variance. I mention the variance because there are a few points (up to 7 or 8) that I could shift around to 'bonus' talents (Imp. Healthstone, for instance) without losing the core functionality.The result:-I have dark pact and soul siphon, so my life and mana never run dry unless I'm absolutely not paying attention to my screen. I assume to reach that point I'd have to be dying of heart failure or something.-I have the talents which reduce threat, prevent interrupts, and increase range for all my spells (a set of features I've found very handy for raids, especially when something unexpected goes wrong).-Shadow Mastery, Ruin, Imp. S-Bolt, Bane, Devastation, and Ruin work together to make my nukes at least as fearsome as my dots. 5K s-bolt chain-crits are not uncommon in raids, all the while watching the dots tick off as well. With the speed-casting metagem, it's also not uncommon to let fly with 3 shadowbolts inside a much shorter time than it should take to cast 2 normally.Perhaps most telling? Despite having less impressive gear than the other locks (by something over 100 shadow damage bonus), I can keep up with and, about 50% of the time, actually beat them on the damage meters. All this while still not pulling aggro or running dry on mana. If I had their gear, I'd be out in front by a considerable margin (and even -I- have the 41 pt trinket and Tier-gear).Whew, sorry about the long post! But in short: Yes, SM/Ruin is still pretty darn viable, and certainly fun to play as. ^_^
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