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Patch 3.2 PTR: Priest changes in build 10072

A new build for patch 3.2 hit the PTR recently, and all of the related Shadow Priest changes are things that the recent Q&A hinted toward or straight out told us to expect. Let's not waste any time here and dig right into the changes.
  • Vampiric Touch now deals more damage when dispelled. (Max rank deals 1360 damage, previously 680)
Definitely not a surprise here. I've been saying for a long time that this component of the spell needed a significant buff, Ghostcrawler agreed, and doubling its base damage can probably be considered that. We'll still need to see it in action to determine if it's enough. If it's not enough, at least it's closer, and that's something.
  • Devouring Plague cooldown removed, can now only be applied to one target at a time.
This is a change I long expected, and despite Ghostcrawler initially seeming iffy on it in the Shadow Priest Q&A, the simple fact that it was mentioned made me more hopeful that it would happen. And it is happening! So I'm pretty happy about that. There isn't much more to say. It'll make playing a Shadow Priest much less frustrating when it comes to encounters where you're swapping targets a lot. Yogg-Saron, I'm looking at you.
  • Dispersion's cooldown has been lowered to 2 minutes.
This is a good change for the arena, and probably PvP in general. For all of our grievances with it, it does do its job in the arena. Buying you time while your partner heals or peels, stopping an assist train dead. It doesn't do anything for our grievances with it in PvE, though, which is unfortunate.
  • Improved Mind Blast now has a 20/40/60/80/100% chance to reduce healing done to the target by 20% for 10 seconds when used in Shadowform.
Eh. Eh. It's a buff, a pretty useful one, but I'm pretty... unexcited about it. I mean, really? Another MS effect? And they gave one to Frost Mages in this build, too. The same one Shadow Priests get, but built into Permafrost. Whatever happened to, 'If we give everyone MS, we might as well put a healing debuff aura on everyone when they enter the arena.' We're getting pretty close to saying screw it and putting up that aura, aren't we?

Is Mortal Strike the mechanic they default to when they notice a class has PvP problems? Mortal Strike, Aimed Shot, Wound Poison, then they tried it out on Flametongue (which didn't make it live), and now they're spreading the debuff to Shadow Priests and Frost Mages? Of course, they're probably not spreading the debuff around because people need MS as a class, but rather because arena teams need the debuff. They're enforcing the "bring the player" mantra that I've grown so tired of hearing* on PvP now, rather than just PvE. Still, 'throw MS at it until we have another idea' is pretty old at this point. Yeah, yeah, I know. I'm complaining about an undeniable buff and something likely needed for arena balance. I shouldn't be, but come on now. Whatever happened to creativity?

*I don't hate the design philosophy, it's a good one that I appreciate. I hate the phrase being used ad nauseum for whatever agenda someone is pushing at that particular moment
Patch 3.2 will bring about a new 5, 10, and 25 man instance to WoW, and usher in a new 40-man battleground called the Isle of Conquest. WoW.com will have you covered every step of the way, from extensive PTR coverage through the official live release. Check out WoW.com's Guide to Patch 3.2 for all the latest!

Filed under: Priest, Patches, Analysis / Opinion

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