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Posts with tag priest-shadow-spiritual-guidance

Spiritual Guidance: Mists of Pandaria and the evolution of a shadow priest

Spiritual Guidance Mists of Pandaria and the evolution of a shadow priest
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.

Ladies and gentleman, I have returned! I know the wait was absolutely excruciating, and though Dawn Moore was an apt replacement for a week, it's like getting a hit of methadone instead of your pure Fox Van Heroin.

This week, I hope you'll bear with me, because I'd like to tell you a bit of a story: the story of how one Fox Van Allen found a game called World of Warcraft and of how his approach to the game changed throughout the year. There's a message buried in there somewhere, I promise.

Anyway, think back to it -- your first day of WoW. Maybe you played a priest since the very beginning, but for me, it was a warrior. Priests, so far as I was concerned, were a healing class. And I wanted to break stuff.

So, there me were. Me Fox. Me smash! But me no happy. Warrior make Fox sad. No like fight boomchicken close up. Want ranged attack! Control chicken mind! Make fall off cliff! Boomkin sadness fun for Fox!

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance, Mists of Pandaria

Spiritual Guidance: My least favorite ability in the game and the MoP beta

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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.

The big news of the week is, of course, the launch of patch 4.3.4. But for us shadow priests, there's nothing interesting under its hood. Our rotation doesn't change; our stat weights don't change. It's just business as usual.

But what's going on over at the Mists of Pandaria beta -- well, there's plenty of shadow priest news coming from there. New buffs are in the mix. There are new talents as well, and one buff that was long missing from the beta has finally returned.

With the good comes the bad, though. One new talent that shadow priests are likely going to be pressured to take closely mirrors my least favorite ability currently in the game. Well ... really, "least favorite ability" doesn't go far enough -- let's call it my most despised ability. Can you guess what it is?

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Spiritual Guidance: The Mists of Pandaria and the fate of DoTs

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

Last week, we took a somewhat in-depth look at the latest incarnation of the Mists of Pandaria talent calculator. Part of the conversation was about shadow priest staple Mind Blast, but it was Devouring Plague that got you all really talking -- more specifically, the fact that Devouring Plague doesn't appear to be in the current MoP shadow build.

Is Devouring Plague really gone for good? The question is serious enough that it deserves a detailed look at the evidence. Tremble, ye priests -- things do not look good.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Spiritual Guidance: The Mists of Pandaria pre-beta shadow priest

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

In case you haven't noticed, WoW Insider's class columnists have been on a pretty big Mists of Pandaria kick lately. It's because Blizzard just released a pretty big update to the talent calculator. Certain spells got shifted around; certain spells got changed.

I'm damn starved for MoP info, so naturally, I was eager to pore over all the new changes. But admittedly, I was a little bit disappointed. There's not a whole lot of new information for shadow priests since the last time we talked last MoP back in November.

But perhaps that is the news. There were some shocking omissions last time, namely Mind Blast and Devouring Plague, two spells that help define shadow priesting. I was quite confident we'd see both of them again -- their omissions from the MoP leveling experience just had to be accidental.

But here were are, four months later. Guess what's still not in the game?

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Spiritual Guidance: Diagnosing bad shadow priest DPS

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

Shadow priests are in a glorious place right now, just as they've been for most of the Cataclysm expansion. We top the DPS charts on a number of different fights. We're no fire mages, but shadow priests are all over the Warmaster Blackhorn and Madness of Deathwing top 10 DPS lists. Unless you're in a raid with one of the best fire mages in the country, there's no reason why you can't be at the top of the DPS charts too.

If you're not, though, there's hope. The website World of Logs (and its equivalents) offers a lot of great ways to analyze your own personal performance and the performance of your fellow raiders. But how do you use it, what should you look for, and what metrics actually matter for shadow priests? Let's take a look.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Spiritual Guidance: 6 ways to look like a total noob shadow priest

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

Though we all like to think of ourselves as World of Warcraft veterans, the truth is we all had to start somewhere. We were all beginners once, fumbling through the dark, putting out terrible DPS and making those with the misfortune to group with us cry. (Except for me, of course. I was amazingly awesome from Day 1, and you have no proof that says otherwise. So nyah.)

But just because you're a beginner shadow priest doesn't mean you have to look like a total noob. There's some very basic stuff you can do to hide the fact that you're not a shadow priesting expert. After all, the best way to get through that rough MMO period of being a noob is to trick people into thinking you're not a noob. And if you are a veteran, the most embarrassing thing you can do is make total rookie mistakes.

So as a public service to the world, I've put together an awesome list of six super-awesome things you can do to look like a total noob. Why would you want to look like a total noob, you ask? Well, hopefully you don't want to. But maybe -- just maybe -- by learning what not to do, you'll all stop doing it. Right? Riiiiiight?

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Spiritual Guidance: The 10 best weapons for shadow priests in patch 4.3

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

When we met here last, I spent a great deal of time calculating the power of trinkets, partially because it's an important subject and one that's not easy for a shadow priest to unravel without performing their own research (or reading someone else's). The real reason: WoW Insider data shows you guys absolutely love reading about trinkets. And why wouldn't you? Trinkets are the most compelling gear slot to fill. Instead of relying on boring, flat stats, they offer compelling procs.

But trinkets aren't the only pieces of gear that offer compelling procs -- not anymore. Game designers at Blizzard are finally living up to a promise they made way back in February 2010 to "make more proc weapons in the future."

The future is now, but that presents a new challenge to shadow priest. What exactly are those neat new procs worth? And what's our best-in-slot weapon?

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Spiritual Guidance: The 7 best shadow priest trinkets in patch 4.3

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. On Wednesdays, shadow priesting expert Fox Van Allen comes from out of the shadows to bask in your loving adoration. He loves Lisa Simpson, and when he grows up, he's going to marry her!

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Gearing in Cataclysm is a no-brainer. Blizzard finally gets the needs of different classes and seems to be making gear that we actually want. Spirit plus haste gear is all over the place. So is mastery plus haste gear. And since almost everything worth getting has red sockets, we don't even need to do the math on what gem to use. And even with the "wrong" gear, reforging can make it almost as good as a best in slot.

There's one place where gearing up is still somewhat of a challenge, and that's the trinket slot. Instead of flat secondary stats, trinkets typically rely on procs with unspoken internal cooldowns and hard-to-theorycraft bonus damage.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Spiritual Guidance: A shadow priest year in review, 2011 edition

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. On Wednesdays, shadow priesting expert Fox Van Allen comes from out of the shadows to bask in your loving adoration. He is also the founder of several ill-fated boy bands.

Happy New Year 2012, shadow priests! I rather love the holiday. Not necessarily because it gives my friends the opportunity to slap me in the face five times over the course of 30 minutes -- which this year, it absolutely did. It's because I love to reminisce. And now that 2011 is officially in the history books, I can finally look back at a really awesome year for shadow priests.

When we were standing here almost exactly one year ago doing our 2010 shadow priest year in review, there was a lot to talk about. We'd seen one expansion end and another expansion begin. But don't think that just because we "only had Cataclysm" that 2011 was a boring year. We learned a lot. For starters, we all learned:
  • We learned that after a long period of neglect throughout Wrath, shadow priests not only did competitive damage in Cataclysm but, in multiple raid fights, were a chart-topping DPS spec.
  • We learned that Tyler Caraway's crippling sense of neediness would lead him to move halfway across the country to literally live down the street from America's favorite shadow priest.
  • We learned that we'd be getting pandas. Shadow pandas.
And that's just for starters.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Spiritual Guidance: Ragnaros and closing the curtains on the Firelands

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

Change is in the air. I can smell it. Patch 4.3 is on its way in a few weeks, which means that patch 4.2 is drawing to an end. It's been a wild ride, filled with flying shadow priests and ... well, really, all of the rest kind of pales in comparison to how awesome it was to don wings of fire and play Starfox for a while. Shadowy Starfox. With melted faces.

Before we can move on to patch 4.3, however, we have a bit of a loose end. Ragnaros is still alive and kicking in the Firelands. For real closure on this patch, we need to go in there and defeat him. Don't worry, it's not "too soon." Ha. See what I did there? I took that thing he says, and then I said it myself. It's a joke. It's funny. Man. Funny stuff.

Anyway, let's go in there, beat him up, and steal his lunch money. OK?

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Spiritual Guidance: Through a Glass, Darkly: Getting the legendary, part 1

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. On Wednesdays, shadow priesting expert Fox Van Allen comes from out of the darkness to bask in your loving adoration (and say really controversial stuff, apparently).

Dragonwrath, Tarecgosa's Rest. With patch 4.2, our own legendary came at last.

The power of the weapon is absolutely unmatched. By virtue of the staff's stats, it's the shadow priest's best-in-slot weapon for patch 4.2 and likely for patch 4.3 as well. Beyond that, though, Dragonwrath is worth thousands of extra DPS by virtue of its spell-duplication proc alone. And did I mention that it can also turn you into a giant friggin' blue dragon? Why wouldn't you want this thing?

But like everything worth doing, getting the Dragonwrath doesn't come easy. To score this epic, you need to put in your time in the Firelands, beat down some bosses, and then undergo Through a Glass, Darkly, the hardest solo quest your shadow priest will ever suffer. Are you ready?

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Spiritual Guidance: Shadow priest Pandaren and the new MoP talent tree

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. On Wednesdays, shadow priesting expert Fox Van Allen comes from out of the darkness to bask in your loving adoration (and to smack Tyler with a Shadow Word: Death when he's least expecting it).

Cataclysm was a great expansion to play a shadow priest in, but if what we learned at BlizzCon 2011 is any clue, playing a shadow priest in Mists of Pandaria is going to be a whole lot better.

I know those are big words, but when we start delving into the new-for-MoP talent trees, I feel these new talents will back those words up. We're getting a new playmate for our Shadowfiend, a whole new talent tree with spectacular new abilities, and a new, RNG-free mechanism for Shadow Orbs and Mind Blast. And, oh yeah: Pandaren can be shadow priests.

Excited? You should be.

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Filed under: Priest, BlizzCon, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance, Mists of Pandaria

Spiritual Guidance: Shadow priest FAQs, part 2

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. On Wednesdays, shadow priesting expert Fox Van Allen comes from out of the darkness to bask in your loving adoration (and on occasion, to be helpful, too).

Greetings from beautiful Southern California, home of BlizzCon 2011! Now, I know what you're all thinking: "Oh, beloved Fox. Have you gone Hollywood on us? Don't tell us you've changed!" Sorry kids, I went Hollywood about 10 minutes before that plane hit the ground at LAX. I'm marrying that other Kardashian girl, and I've already got a reality show deal inked about the marriage with E! This is legit love, people -- no Hollywood smoke and mirrors about it.

Thankfully, though, I haven't forgotten about all you little people in flyover country who made me a star. As a special gift to you, I'm offering my head shot a column chock-full of shadow priest questions and answers. This week, we're talking a little more about Empowered Shadow, taking our first look at the brand new Glyph of Shadow effect, and getting a sneak peek at what's coming up in Spiritual Guidance a little later this month.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Spiritual Guidance: A shadow priest leveling guide in 1,500 words or less

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. On Wednesdays, shadow priesting expert Fox Van Allen's takes a brief respite from writing articles about how he refuses to date Magic: The Gathering players -- long enough, at least to write this entertaining nonsense.

So, you've no doubt been seeing all these commercials on TV and these all-star athletes talking about how exciting and fun shadow priesting is. And it's true, all true -- shadow priesting is a high-end, VIP-exclusive lifestyle with a dope aftertaste. You should level a shadow priest.

And lucky you -- leveling one has never been easier. In the olden days, talking leveling used to take pages after pages of information. Why, my old Wrath leveling guide was, like, four or five weeks long until I got distracted, started talking about something else, and never actually finished that guide.

But for Cataclysm? Nah, nothing that intense. In fact, I'll bet I can give you a leveling guide in 1,500 words or less. (Give or take 157 or so.)

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Spiritual Guidance: The basics of shadow priest PVP

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. On Wednesdays, shadow priesting expert Fox Van Allen regularly insults normal people, so you should never take his writing seriously. Fox encourages you to follow him on Twitter.

I've been writing the shadow version of Spiritual Guidance for over a year and a half now. In actuality, it seems like forever -- like I've covered every topic multiple times. And yet, in all those columns, there's one topic I've never really taken the time to address: shadow priest PVP.

There's a reason, of course. PVP in and of itself is a damn complex subject. With a PVE encounter, there's some randomness, but it's all contained within a predetermined set of variables that you can research on a resource such as Wowhead. You may not know when Onyxia is gonna use her Deep Breath ability, but you know it's coming.

PVP is different. You don't know what your opponent is thinking (if he's even thinking at all). Some battleground teams head into battle looking for a street fight, hoping to win with raw brutality and no real strategy. Other teams choreograph their movements and communicate through Ventrillo or Mumble, approaching each battle like amateur Douglas MacArthurs. There's no algorithm that tells you how your opponents will act and react to what you do.

I'm far from a PVP expert myself, so I can really only offer you some of the PVP basics to get you started. If you're looking for top-level strategy, check out Blood Sport. If you're looking to get your feet wet and start exploring the other side of the World of Warcraft game ... read on.

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Filed under: Priest, PvP, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

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