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Posts with tag shadow-priests

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: 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: Does Cataclysm spell the end for Vampiric Embrace?

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. Your host for the Wednesday version is, as always, the shadow-specced Fox Van Allen, who has recently leveled his blogging skill to 525. Rejoice, readers, for this means Fox has finally gained access to that most elusive of blogging tools: Formula: Oxford Comma!

Mea culpa!

Last week, during a Spiritual Guidance mailbag session, I talked about some of the more recent changes to shadow priests in the Cataclysm beta. I was all like, "Blah, blah, blah, Mind Spike; blah, blah, blah, Inner Fire." I was feeling pretty damn proud of myself for summing everything up into a mere couple of hundred words until someone asked, "Uh, what about the Vampiric Embrace nerf?"

It's a damn good point -- I was running down my list of the most recent changes, and I totally skipped over the nerf to VE. I shouldn't have, though. It's a huge change. A change massive enough to deserve its own column.

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

Cataclysm Talent Preview: Shadow priests

On Thursday, Blizzard released brand new information regarding talent builds in Cataclysm. Surely, all of us World of Warcraft addicts are grateful for the slow tease of information.

Of course, a lot of the "new" information was already data mined and leaked from the alpha over a month ago. I covered a lot of the changes to the shadow tree in a previous column, Ghostly aspects of our shadowy hatepower. Shadowy Apparitions, Shadow Orbs, getting rid of Shadow Focus, spirit contributing to our hit rating -- it's all in there. I won't bore you with all the details I covered already.

But it's not all old news, of course. There's some new stuff in there, and there is stuff to be excited about. I'm getting more optimistic about shadow priesting in Cataclysm with each drop of new information, and it feels like Blizzard might actually be listening to us. Seriously.

Listen, the standard caveats apply here -- it's really early to talk about this stuff and this could all change. But it'd be really quiet and boring around here today if we didn't.

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Filed under: Priest, Cataclysm

Spiritual Guidance: Shadow priest tips for killing the Lich King

Every Wednesday, Fox Van Allen locks the well-meaning but misguided Dawn Moore in his basement so he can once again take control of Spiritual Guidance. It's hard work undoing all the "good" that Dawn inflicted on his poor readers the weekend before, but he sure does his best. Hugs and sunshine are out. Plague and pestilence are in.

Let's face it: We've all got Cataclysm fever. We've seen the images from the alpha. We've Googled it. We've YouTubed it. We already have the name of our worgen picked out. We want to live it.

I'll be damned if this stupid Lich King isn't still in the way, though. We can't move on to Cataclysm until we beat Wrath of the Lich King, right? It'd be like trying to watch American Ninja 4 without seeing the ending to American Ninja 3 -- how in the heck are you going to be able to follow what's going on?

So yeah, OK, you could maybe just click the fountain in Dalaran for the epic retelling of the story that Bolvar Fordragon asked never be retold, but we're shadow priests, dammit. We're going to do this thing right: through epic-scale face melting.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Spiritual Guidance: The professional priest

Welcome back to Spiritual Guidance, hosted by the spectacularly dark Fox Van Allen. Though he should be preparing for his final showdown against gnome-sympathizer and lolsmiter Dawn Moore, he has chosen to instead pop a few Flasks of Vodka Tonic (with that sweet Mixology bonus) and spend all night kareoke-ing with Mike Sacco. He's not afraid of those sick 4000 damage crits that a holy priest can score with Smite! What's that? Casting smite *again*? Hard to do when your mind is flayed into pudding.

We've bested Sartharion on a three-dragon run. We've looked into Sindragosa's icy maw and laughed. None of that is especially impressive if we're still living in our parents' basement cause we can't find a job.

It's time to put that shadow priest of ours to work. The number one rated profession for shadow priests is being the WoW.com columnist, but since that job's already taken, the rest of you will have to settle for standard Azerothian fare. And, ideally, you're going to want the one that makes your pew pew skills look all the more impressive.

When I was leveling my shadow priest, I wasn't thinking much about the end game. I grabbed a pair of professions as soon as the game would let me: Tailoring and Enchanting. They served me well through leveling. But a few months into level 80, I got to thinking -- did I make the right choice?

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Spiritual Guidance: Paying the hybrid tax



Every Wednesday, Fox Van Allen uses his dark, shadowy powers
to take the reins of Spiritual Guidance, causing severe harm to others in the form of large, yellow five-digit numbers. Holy and disc brethren, alike -- come join the dark side before his shadowfiend eats you.

Fact: Priests are pretty much awesome.

It's because we're versatile. We can DPS the living snot out of Lord Marrowgar in shadow, and then change to discipline so we can cover the raid in Power Word: Shields and Renews for Deathbringer Saurfang. Heck, we can even do both. We're just that awesome.

But awesomeness comes at a price, my friends, and that price is called the hybrid tax. It's the term commonly used to explain why our DPS is designed to lag behind that of mages, warlocks, hunters, and rogues -- the pure DPS classes. If you're a jack of all trades, you're supposed to be a master of none.

(It's cool though, they need the handout. It really sucks not being a Priest.)

We can be forgiven, though, for looking at Recount or a World of Logs parse and thinking that whatever the hybrid tax is, it's just way too high. But is it really? Are we finally doing the kind of damage that we should?

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

Hotfixes incoming for some DPS and tanks, not hunters or priests

Ghostcrawler has dropped information on the forums about a few incoming hotfixes to patch 3.3. The first three changes are posted over on the DPS role forum:
  • Hunger for Blood will increase damage by 10% instead of 15%. Assassination rogues needed damage, but they got too much, and this will bring them back. Sorry rogues -- the tooltip, we're also told, might not change right away.
  • Scourge Strike will crit only once, not on the shadow portion of the damage. "This change just proved to be too bursty in PvP and provide too much sustained damage in raids." He also gives lots more explanation of the change on the forums -- this one will be discussed quite a bit.
  • Rolling Corruptions will no longer use the initial haste value indefinitely. More of a bugfix than a change, says GC -- the haste value should drop out to normal after a few ticks of the spell.
Elsewhere, GC says that there are no changes planned for the new hunter epic ammo, so find a friendly engineer and stick to them like glue. There is a hotfix incoming for the bug that causes tanked mobs to move around randomly -- thank goodness on that. And SW: Pain's immunity from the haste change for shadow priests will probably stay right where it is.

Filed under: Priest, Rogue, Warlock, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

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.

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Filed under: Priest, Patches, Analysis / Opinion

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

Misery and company

Yes, this may be the third post I've made in a few days that mentions the Shadow Priest talent Misery. You got a problem with that? Previously on "Eliah talks about Misery:" Misery gets nerfed in the beta from +1/2/3/4/5% spell damage, where it is now, down to +1/2/3% spell hit. Eliah complains that this makes it either required or useless. OK, now that you're all caught up, let's move forward.

In the comments on my last post, several people made the helpful observation that Misery isn't the only debuff that gives +spell hit against the mob. Balance Druids' Improved Faerie Fire is now going to give the same effect of +1/2/3% spell hit (the +melee/ranged hit is getting removed). And of course, in the new raid buff/debuff system, these effects will not stack. So you only need one Shadow priest or one Balance druid to give that +3% spell hit.

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Filed under: Druid, Priest, Raiding, Talents, Buffs, Wrath of the Lich King

Shadow Priests finally get love in the Wrath beta

Shadow Priests have been eagerly anticipating some love in the Wrath Beta for a long time now, and we've finally received some feedback beyond a pat on the head and a "hold on a bit." Koraa has just posted some great news in a thread started by the ShadowPriest.com community.

While it won't fix all things, it's definitely a start, and a good one: Mind Flay's coefficient will be raised by roughly 30% "to start," and it will gain the ability to crit. Yes, that's right. The coefficient will be de-gutted, and it will benefit from crit. After months of nothing, this is like a ray of sunshine from the heavens. Koraa also mentions that they'll be looking at the rest of the Shadow tree, but states that most people agree the tree itself is fine, the issue is the Shadow spells themselves, which I will more or less agree with. While some new spells would be nice, the class is plenty functional with what they have assuming the numbers will be tuned properly, and our gear matches up with that.

Hopefully we'll be seeing the new and improved Mind Flay in the next beta build, but it may take a little longer than that since it will be a complete rebuild of the spell. As soon as it's in, I'll be back here raving about it, I promise.

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

The Shadow Diaries: In which I take a shortcut

Back in November of last year, I wrote a post for the Spiritual Guidance column called "The shadow diaries." In it, I pledged that I would recount my experiences of leveling a brand-new shadow priest. However, as you may have noticed (or not), that never happened. There's always too many things to do in this crazy virtual world of ours (not to mention that other, brighter world outside), so poor Hieronymus ended up getting neglected.

Why am I talking about a series of posts I didn't write? Well, I may not have had the fortitude to level another priest all the way to 70, on a strange server no less, but eventually two realizations came together. I already have a priest at level 70, and I'm doing a lot more soloing than grouping with her these days. I'd recently moved a few points in my long-held 23/38/0 spec over to the Holy damage talents, which sped up my dailies a bit. But then I thought, why not go all the way?

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Filed under: Priest, Features

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