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Posts with tag mind-sear

Spiritual Guidance: Shadow priest news bulletin (as narrated by a discipline priest)

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Every week, WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. On alternate Wednesdays, shadow priesting expert Fox Van Allen comes from out of the shadows to bask in your loving adoration.

I had just zoned into the instance when the rogue died.

I was running Temple of the Jade Serpent on the Mists of Pandaria beta as a promise to a friend who hadn't had the foresight to invite a tank or DPS. We were two healers and an enhancement shaman, organized enough to be on Vent but still ultimately at the mercy of the Dungeon Finder. My expectations were low.

All the same, six minutes later, we drew a warrior tank and a rogue. Now all we had to do was decide which healer was healing. The resto druid didn't want to DPS; rather, he "couldn't" because he only knew how to play feral and lacked a suitable weapon to actually do so. That meant by default I would have to go shadow, so I started readjusting my bars to do so.

When the druid finished resurrecting the rogue, we set right to work on our next trash pack. I found myself fumbling about, unsure why Vampiric Embrace was on cooldown and where Devouring Plague had gone. My friend, the enhancement shaman, took notice.

"When was the last time you played shadow?" he asked.

"Well, I have my rotation written on the back of an envelope I had on my desk," I replied.

Immediately he laughed, but from the way it awkwardly trailed off, I knew he was losing faith.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Spiritual Guidance: Shadow priests react to patch 4.1, look forward to 4.2

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. Every Wednesday, shadow priesting expert Fox Van Allen takes you down the only road he's ever been down. You know, the one that takes you to the places where all the veins meet, yeah.

Shortly after patch 4.1 went live last Tuesday, I got the chance to raid Bastion of Twilight. I tried out Mind Sear on the first pull, and the numbers were absolutely luscious. Instead of weak, ugly, sub-2,000 ticks, I was seeing ticks twice that size. Before long, I was gaming my trash rotations, trying to proc Empowered Shadow and keep it up through the pulls. It was terrific practice for Cho'gall -- I finally felt like my AoE was making an impact on that encounter.

Overall, I got praise for the improved numbers I was putting out (thanks, Mind Sear!). But that praise got me thinking -- how is the rest of the shadow priest community faring in the post-4.1 world? And with patch 4.2 around the corner ... is there anything about shadow priests that Blizzard still needs to fix?

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Spiritual Guidance: Mind Sear in patch 4.1

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. The first time you read Fox Van Allen's shadow-specced Wednesday version of Spiritual Guidance, it might make you mad; the next time you read it, it might make you sad. But you'll be glad, baby, once you've found shadow is the power that makes the world go 'round.

What's the most tragically under used part of the shadow priest arsenal? Mind Sear, hands down.

Mind Sear, you see, is an old friend. It was a regular part of our rotation in Wrath heroics. When Cataclysm came, though, it suffered a significant nerf in power. You could argue the nerf was needed -- the game was changing, and the developers wanted us to approach heroics in a different way. Arguably, Mind Sear was a bit too powerful.

It seems that Blizzard may have nerfed Mind Sear just a little too much, however. It just received a buff in patch 4.0.6, and it's slated for another in patch 4.1. Did Blizzard go too far this time, though? Not far enough? And what does the buff mean for the way we approach heroics?

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Spiritual Guidance: Top 7 shadow priest questions about patch 4.0.6

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. Wednesday's shadow-specced version of Spiritual Guidance was taped before a live studio audience.

Shortly before patch 4.0.6 went live, I took a glance at the final version of the patch notes. There were hundreds of changes, spread out across each and every class. And yet, with all those changes, there were really only four of major consequence to the practicing shadow priest. Taken from yesterday's official patch notes:


Patch 4.0.6 Official Notes
  • The mana cost of Power Word: Shield has been increased by approximately 31%, but its effect has been increased by 208%.
  • Mind Blast now does 18% more damage than Mind Spike.
  • Mind Sear can now be channeled on friendly targets in addition to enemy targets. In addition, Mind Sear's damage has been increased by roughly 15%.
  • Shadow Orbs benefit from mastery has been increased by approximately 16%.


No, shadow priests, your eyes do not deceive you -- that is indeed four consecutive buffs without a single nerf. Together (especially the last three), they add up to a solid DPS increase. That's clearly good news for us, but it doesn't tell the whole story of 4.0.6 -- there are still some yet-to-be-resolved questions. Is haste still our best secondary stat, or should we gem for something else? Do the changes mean we should now be hit-capped? How do the changes in 4.0.6 affect rotations?

If you still have questions about patch 4.0.6, then today's column is for you -- it's all about answers.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Spiritual Guidance: Shadow priest changes in patch 4.0.6

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. Each Wednesday, the shadow-specced Fox Van Allen takes the helm of Spiritual Guidance, giving the world a brief respite from the not-so-evil machinations of his nemesis, Dawn Moore. On days that are not Wednesday, Fox is available for childrens' parties.

I'm a big fan of where shadow priests are right now in Cataclysm. We're able to churn out highly competitive damage in just about any fight. Combine that fact with our damn near legendary survivability, and it's hard to imagine why anyone would even think about playing another class.

In the interest of full disclosure, though, shadow priests aren't quite perfect. The spec has some small issues, and by now, we're all pretty familiar with what they are. Shadow priests have to suffer a terribly underpowered AoE, a limp mastery stat, and a weak Mind Blast. The good news: Blizzard game developers are taking a stab at fixing every major problem with shadow priests in the upcoming patch 4.0.6. The even better news: Shadow priests are getting some added bonuses that we didn't even ask for.

That's right: The best is getting even better.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Patch 3.1 PTR Priest glyph changes thus far

One of the things Patch 3.1 is supplying in spades is glyphs and glyph changes. Every class is getting a ton of them, and it's really hard to keep up with them there are so many. Priests are coming out alright so far through the whole process, with a lot of our current glyphs being improved and our new glyphs being legitimately useful, if situational. Let's see what's new, shall we?

Glyph of Fade - Reduces the cooldown of your Fade spell by 9 sec. (Old: Increases the duration and cooldown of your Fade spell by 50%.)

This is massively better than what it was previously, and I suspect that this will become a popular Shadow Priest glyph in PvP. Two points in Veiled Shadows plus this glyph means a 15 second cooldown on Fade. Every 15 seconds, a Shadow Priest will be able to clear all movement impairing effects, assuming they have Improved Shadowform. That's pretty friggin' sweet.

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Wrath of the Lich King, Inscription

The Queue: Cooking, gardening, and Riptides

Welcome to the second edition of The Queue, our new daily Q&A column where we, the WoW Insider team, try to answer your questions about the World of Warcraft. We won't delay getting into things much today, but please note that I'm saving the lore-related questions you've all asked for Ask a Lore Nerd, which will be coming just later today (every Sunday). With that said, let's start with Gristor's question...

One comment about the size of Northrend... Finally, please, an answer: Is Northrend bigger than Outland? How much bigger/smaller?

It's definitely bigger, but I can't say for sure just how much bigger. The starter zones almost feel twice as large as Hellfire Peninsula was, but I can't say 100% confidently that Howling Fjord is twice as large as Hellfire Peninsula. It's just bigger, and it feels much, much bigger. Northrend feels absolutely massive.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Wrath of the Lich King, The Queue

Spiritual Guidance: Wrath of the Shadow Priest

Each Sunday one of our resident Priests brings you Spiritual Guidance, looking at the ins and outs of the Priest class. This week is brought to you by Shadow Priest Alex Ziebart.

Wrath of the Lich King
is only a few days away, and as soon as we put those install discs in our computer we're back to leveling. There are some Priests who prefer leveling as Holy or Discipline or tri-spec or whatever, but as a diehard Priest of the Shadows, I think they're insane. For the next ten levels, this world is ours.

The Shadow tree is by far one of the best leveling specs, perhaps across all of the classes. I'd put it right up there with Frost Mages. Shadow is very well known for how well it solos, and how smoothly it grinds. This becomes even more true from levels 70 through 80. Some of our spells have been reworked, we get some fantastic new ones, and our new talents are pretty swank. Leveling is a much easier process than raiding or the arena, so we have a nice and calm next few weeks. I've gone over a basic leveling spec before, and now we're going to look at the new (or updated) tools we're going to be using on the way.

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Filed under: Priest, Analysis / Opinion, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance, Wrath of the Lich King

Shadow Priest changes in patch 3.0.3

Patch 3.0.3 is going up on live realms today, and with it comes changes. Shadow Priests manage to get by without a massive list of changes and balancing acts, but the changes we do get are pretty good ones, I think. If you're interested in what you'll be seeing this afternoon, read on!
  • Devouring Plague: The bonus coefficient has been increased to be on par with other DoT spells. Base damage on ranks 7,8,and 9 decreased to partially compensate for better scaling.
This is very, very nice. Devouring Plague's damage was pretty pitiful for awhile there, right after they spread it to all Priests. It was sometimes even questionable whether it was actually worth using in raid situations because of the GCD and debuff slot. It needed this buff, and I'm glad to see it. The healing from it will be nice now as well, because every little bit helps with Shadow Word: Death around.

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Filed under: Priest, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Talents, Buffs, Wrath of the Lich King

Ask a Beta Tester: Tradeskills, training, and rep gains

As the beta winds down, Ask a Beta Tester becomes a little more infrequent, but as long as we have questions, we will answer. Let's start with Rob's question...

Are they planning to put in recipes for green items between 350-375 to make it easier to grind up professions? Or should i just suck it up and make (obsolete) blue/purple items to level up.

Many professions start with new recipes at 350 skill in Northrend, and some of them at 360. Nobody starts at 375. 360-375 is usually taken up by 'end-game' items so you won't have to grind those out to skill up before Northrend. I recommend checking Wowhead to see where your particular profession starts out.

Locke asked...

I know there's the Wrath Gate cinematic and so on, have you come across or know any other cinematic events like this, or was this the only one? I'm sure there has to be in game scripted events. Thanks.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Wrath of the Lich King

Skill Mastery: Mind Sear

Mind Sear, one of the new baseline abilities for Priests in Wrath of the Lich King, is an unusual beast. It's a Shadow-based AOE spell, which is fantastic, but it's a little trickier to use than we might like. It looks super cool, so that makes up for some of its issues. Let's ignore the issues for a moment though. Let's take a look at the tooltip, and then I'll explain how the spell works.

Mind Sear Rank 2 - 30 yard range
Costs 28% of base mana - Channeled
Causes an explosion of shadow magic around the enemy target, causing 212 to 228 Shadow damage every 1 sec for 5 sec to all enemies within 10 yards around the target.

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Filed under: Priest, Analysis / Opinion, Wrath of the Lich King

Shadow Priests beaten to death in the Wrath beta

It has taken me a few tries to talk about Shadow Priests today, because I've had a difficult time even wrapping my mind around last night's Wrath Beta patch. It was one of those dreaded "balancing" patches, in which everything and everyone is brutally beaten with nerfs to bring their damage in line. The only problem with that is Shadow Priests were beaten just as hard, if not harder than many other classes, long before we ever had anything resembling competitive damage.

Edit: It looks like this is mostly being reverted, so the changes in this content patch were ultimately completely arbtirary and baseless. If you're still curious as to what those changes were, keep reading.

Let's look at what this patch had in store for us, shall we?
  • Fade now only has one rank, and it temporarily drops all of your threat.
Well, this is good. You can make as many arguments for the old Fade as you want, but it was just dumb. A tiny temporary threat drop that didn't scale was a pain to use, even if it was possible to use. Just because you can use something doesn't mean it's especially effective. I like this change. However...

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Filed under: Priest, Analysis / Opinion, Wrath of the Lich King

Spiritual Guidance: Shadow leveling in the Wrath beta

Welcome to Spiritual Guidance, usually a haven for Holy and Discipline priests hosted by Matt Low of World of Matticus. This week, out with the heals in and with the facemelting! Alex Ziebart and the shadows have taken over. Enjoy!

As you might guess from our list of new abilities in Wrath of the Lich King, leveling as Shadow in Northrend is basically the same as leveling as Shadow in Outland. The only difference is that in Northrend, you get to be a little more reckless thanks to Dispersion. Being reckless is fun.

If you've leveled Shadow before, you probably have used the "pull way too many monsters, tab DoTs, fear, and run around screaming like a fool while they slowly die" tactic. It's tried and true, so I don't know why you wouldn't. You can level pulling only one mob at a time, but why would you? Flailing your arms around in horror is much more efficient, and Dispersion makes it even better. Shock and awe, I know! Dispersion is good!

Let's take a look at the talent spec I've been using in Wrath, shall we? Note that when you look at this, it's a talent spec I am using because it works for me. Leveling is one of those times where you can get away with your talent spec being wholly different. Pick what works for you. This spec works for me.

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Filed under: Priest, Analysis / Opinion, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Misery slightly less miserable

Last night's beta push, 8905, introduced another change to Misery. The former 5 point talent has gone through a number of changes already, and the latest one seems to be an attempt at healing the wounds of its previous nerf.

As of 8905, Misery now supplies its 3% spell hit as well as a 15% spell power coefficient increase on Mind Flay, Mind Sear, and Mind Blast. It will be interesting to see how this plays out, and just how much a difference that makes. The original version of Misery was 5% spell damage across the entire raid, including your personal damage. Mind Blast and Mind Flay are definitely huge sources of a Shadow Priest's damage, but it's less than half of the spells used in our damage 'rotation.'

Will 15% more damage on those spells make up for the loss of 5% damage on all spells, as far as your personal damage is concerned? It's certainly possible, probably even likely. While the damage from Shadow Word: Pain and Shadow Word: Death (especially Pain) shouldn't be underestimated, Blast and Flay are definitely the major players here. Plus we have news that Mind Flay's coefficient is going up and gaining the ability to crit soon, so an extra 15% on that spell will scale very, very well.

Now that Naxxramas has opened up on the beta realms, we should start seeing some numbers and math soon. However, the new Mind Flay isn't implemented yet, so how this scale may completely change when that happens. At the very least, the bare minimum, this is an improvement over what they did to it originally. How much of an improvement remains to be seen.

Edit: Fixed to reflect the talent's wording.

Filed under: Priest, Expansions, Wrath of the Lich King

Spiritual Guidance: Shadows of Wrath


This Sunday, Spiritual Guidance, a haven for Holy Priests, has been bludgeoned with a large rock and shoved aside for the Shadows. Your host this week is Alex Ziebart, who is neither Matt Low nor the the grand poobah of World of Matticus. No worries, though. Matt will be back next week. Probably. Assuming he wakes up.

We haven't had a lot of Shadow love lately, so I figure it's about time we check out our new spells in Wrath of the Lich King. With the level cap currently 77 in the Wrath beta, it's a little hard to gauge just how effective the new Shadow spells really are. You can't see Dispersion in a raid setting or a competitive arena setting, and Mind Sear just doesn't seem balanced for the level you receive it.

I'll start off with Dispersion. Before I was able to use the spell myself, I was really doubtful of its usefulness. This is because for a PvE scenario, it largely just seemed like Evocation for Priests since it Silences you. I've heard time and time again that high-end Mages don't use Evocation at all because it's wasted DPS time when you can just chain potions (which can't be done in Wrath now), or all of the environmental damage break it anyway. Yeah, I can definitely understand that. Sunwell is brutal.

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Filed under: Priest, Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance, Wrath of the Lich King

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