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Patch 3.3 PTR: Shadow Priest buffs galore in build 10571

Oh, Blizzard. Why? Why must you torment me so? I stood by Shadow Priests for so long, so very long. I debated their numbers, mechanics and playstyle until my fingers stopped functioning. I picked apart combat logs and damage/healing charts for hours and hours, trying to get the absolute most out of my talent spec. Then I just grew tired. I'm not ashamed to admit that it broke me. I'm not ashamed that I decided to switch to raiding on my Retribution Paladin last month. I'm a man, I can own up to what I've done. But your torment continues! You were waiting for just this moment to buff the unholy crap out of Shadow Priests, weren't you? You were waiting for my patience to run out.

And that's enough melodrama for now. Let's actually break down the new changes on the PTR, shall we?
  • Shadowform: This talent also now causes Devouring Plague, Shadow Word: Pain, and Vampiric Touch to benefit from haste. Both the period length and the duration of these spells will be reduced by haste. In addition, the mana cost has been reduced from 32% to 13% of base mana.
I find this one somewhat interesting, because Ghostcrawler mentioned DoTs and HoTs benefiting from Haste was likely to come in the form of a glyph for now. Shadowform is most certainly not a glyph. I'm pretty okay with this though, because Shadow Priests needed that Haste. DoTs are a little different from HoTs. I can understand the glyph for HoTs, making a Druid's Rejuvenation and the like tick faster could actually impede their ability to raid heal. DoTs, though? More damage is always good.

There's always mana concerns, since Shadow Priests will be applying their DoTs quite a bit more often. Those concerns are almost immediately dashed by this next change, however.
  • Glyph of Shadow Word: Pain has been changed. The effect now reads, "The periodic damage ticks of your Shadow Word: Pain spell restore 1% of your base mana."
In the current game, this glyph would be complete overkill. It's pretty hard to run out of mana as a Shadow Priest,\. You can only really manage it in encounters that have a lot of different targets you're multi-DoTing. In patch 3.3 though, when Haste is speeding up how quickly our DoTs will fall off, mana might become an issue. Right now, I probably wouldn't use this glyph at all. In patch 3.3, we'll probably need it.
These are, again, straight DPS buffs. Glyph of Shadow will add a few hundred more spell power in high-end gear (roughly) and Improved Devouring Plague is just a bonus mini-nuke. This just makes it a slightly larger bonus.

Overall, patch 3.3 is looking to be a great patch for Shadow Priests, now that they've finally recognized they're underperforming. I'm not among the ranks of the Shadow Priests anymore, but I'm rooting for you guys. Hopefully by the time patch 3.3 launches, we won't need to feel bad about playing what we do in the end-game.
Patch 3.3 is the last major patch of Wrath of the Lich King. With the new Icecrown Citadel 5-man dungeons and 10/25-man raid arriving soon, patch 3.3 will deal the final blow to the Arthas. WoW.com's Guide to Patch 3.3 will keep you updated with all the latest patch news.

Filed under: Priest, Patches, Analysis / Opinion

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