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Posts with tag shadow-word-pain

Hearthstone: Sen'jin Shieldmasta

The Sen'jin Shieldmasta is a textbook example of a card that's incredibly strong despite being available to everyone. This four mana taunt creature is the bane of more aggressive decks because it boasts five toughness and often requires the sacrifices of multiple minions or spells to get it off the board. It's not just an answer to aggressive decks, however. The favorable distribution of stats makes it viable in almost every deck, save Miracle Rogue.

Sen'jin Shieldmasta has very few direct counters. While the Black Knight is designed to deal with it, opponents are essentially trading a six mana card to deal with a four mana card. It works, but it's inefficient. Priests can also drop Shadow Word: Pain to quickly remove it, but it's admittedly rare to see Anduin Wrynn on the ladder, as priests are generally not favored by top players. Druids have access to Starfall and Starfire which each deal five damage to a target, but neither are commonly in use right now. Beyond those cards, there isn't really a whole lot that will destroy a Sen'jin Shieldmasta conveniently. He's a solid play against common decks like Warlock Zoo, Miracle Rogue, Druid Token, Paladin Aggro, and more.

More importantly, Sen'jin Shieldmasta boasts arguably the most fun entry sound in the game, shouting "Taz'dingo!" upon being played. If you're looking for a reliable wall that won't cost you a single bit of dust, consider tossing this troll into your deck.

Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

Spiritual Guidance: First hands-on look at the Mists of Pandaria 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.

Beta access, sweet, delicious beta access. After weeks of waiting, I'm finally in the Mists of Pandaria beta. And man, does it taste sweet. Sure, in reality, I'd only been waiting a few weeks to get in. But when you're not in the beta and it seems like everyone else is, those weeks can feel like an eternity.

But you likely don't care about my emotions (you cruel, sadistic readers, you). You care about shadow priests and the changes made to them in the beta. And believe me, there are a lot of changes to shadow priests coming for MoP.

Yeah, I know, we've discussed a lot of those changes here in Spiritual Guidance. But already, there are changes to those changes. And frankly, the latest batch of changes is shocking. Every single spell that we hold dear is seeing a major change to it. Shadow Word: Pain, Vampiric Touch, Vampiric Embrace, and even Shadowy Apparitions -- it seems no spell is safe.

Are these changes the end of the world? Maybe they are. But you should know by now that I'm not going to tell you anything definite about that until you follow me after the break.

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

Spiritual Guidance: Cataclysm heroics vs. Wrath heroics

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. Fox Van Allen, your shadow specced host for the Wednesday version of SG, once again finds himself suffering from an IRL version of Devouring Plague. This means three things: 1.) This version of SG was written under the influence of cough syrup; 2.) this version of SG is likely to be a disjointed mess; and 3.) Fox fell asleep on the keyboard three or four times in the middle of writing it.

This past weekend, I've been playing around a little bit with my druid. It's the first I've really played it since patch 4.0.1 went live, and it's really amazing how much has changed. I'm casting Wrath to buff Starfire, and then I'm casting Starfire to buff Wrath. There are a couple new "faux power auras" to learn, too. I kind of like the new mechanic, but the feel of it is just so different than what I was used to back in the days of yore. (For those keeping track, "yore" means, like, September.)

Shadow priests are somewhat fortunate in that our spec worked well enough in the world of patch 3.3.5 that it didn't need some kind of Lunar Eclipse/Solar Eclipse gimmick. Cataclysm plays a lot like patch 4.0.1, which plays a lot like patch 3.3.5. That doesn't mean there aren't notable differences in the way the game plays, though, especially when it comes to something so seemingly familiar as your daily heroic.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Spiritual Guidance: Playing catch up with shadow priests


Fox Van Allen steps out of the shadows every Wednesday to take control of Spiritual Guidance, telling you all you need to know to melt faces with expert precision.

The era of patch 3.2 held some dark days for a shadow priest. The fights in Trial of the Crusader were definitely not built for shadow priests, especially in heroic mode. We scaled terribly with new gear. Our tier 9 gear was questionably designed. Every class has their own problems, but the problems that besieged shadow priests were bad enough to negatively effect raid performance. It wasn't hard for shadow priests to get left behind.

Patch 3.3, though -- this is our time. The changes to the spec have already been detailed: buffs to our glyphs, talents, and haste-affected DoTs gave us a ten-to-twenty percent boost to our damage right off the bat. Our tier 10 gear gives powerful two- and four-piece bonuses. And best yet, the fights in the new Icecrown Citadel five-man dungeons and raids seem as if they were built for us. We add tremendous value to an ICC raid in almost every fight.

Actually seeing those fights, though -- that can be a challenge. Patch 3.2 did a lot of damage to the shadow priest class's reputation. An increased emphasis on "gear score" in the game can (unfairly) get an average-geared shadow priest written off. We can't just take playing for granted -- past problems with the spec means there's a higher bar for us.

If you got left behind in the last patch or even if you're a newly minted level 80, don't worry -- you can catch up quick. Here's how.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

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 Word: Pain not affected by haste

We heard a little while back from Ghostcrawler that haste would soon affect Heal-over-Time (HoT) and Damage-over-Time (DoT) spells, and sure enough, soon after that, Shadow Priests -- who use DoTs all the time -- saw a nice buff. But of course this is the PTR, and everything is subject to change, and so last weekend, Blizzard removed Shadow Word: Pain from that equation -- right now, it's not affected by haste at all. GC says that sure enough, Blizzard thought shadow priest DPS was too high with all of their DoTs given a boost, so SW:P got the boot (for now -- remember, this is all still on PTR).

Misery, my go-to shadow priest, has some good insight on the change, and says that sure, if shadow priest DPS was too high, it was too high. But it's too bad that Shadow Word: Pain had to take the nerf, especially since you get it so early on in the class and it's such an iconic spell for the spec. The reason these guys are so happy about the hasted DoTs is that DoTs as cast don't really scale with your gear -- they just sort of do their damage on their own. When haste got put into the equation, shadow priests became happy that they could go after more haste to increase the DoT part of the damage. They could tailor the spec and spells the way they wanted to use them.



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 Arthas. WoW.com's Guide to Patch 3.3 will keep you updated with all the latest patch news.

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Classes, Talents, Buffs

Priest Q&A: Tackling the Shadow Priest answers

Our resident Holy Priest guru tackled the healy bits of the Priest Q&A recently, and I've been mulling over the various Shadow commentary in the meantime. Going into the Q&A being fully aware that it wasn't intended to be a list of changes coming to the class, and more a look into the current design around the classes, I honestly wasn't too disappointed with the Shadow items. It's a case where, with a few exceptions, I think Ghostcrawler (and the other developers) actually know what's going on with the spec quite well. You can try and call me out on that, but hey. It's the truth. As far as Shadow was concerned, it wasn't too far off.

The general spec overview at the beginning of the Q&A was pretty spot on. It's easy for us to get momentum in PvE and lay down the damage, but the nature of PvP/arena doesn't really let us do that. Our long buildup time is harsh. We don't lend ourselves well to stop-and-go. We're pretty much all about the 'go' and a little bit of 'stop' sets us back to where we started. There's really no picking up where you left off. If the opposing team locks you down for a little too long, you pretty much need to start over. Your offensive momentum is irrecoverable. PvE usually doens't have to worry about that. Now, from this point forward, I'm going to address each Shadow-relevant quote point by point.

First question:

"Q: Since a lot of the damage a Shadow priest does builds with damage-over-time (DoT) spells, are you concerned about them being well-rounded enough to do adequate damage in shorter PvE encounters, 5-player dungeons, or in the Arenas?

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Filed under: Priest, Analysis / Opinion, PvP

Spiritual Guidance: Shadow as a secondary spec in 3.1

Every week, Spiritual Guidance will offer practical insight for priests of the holy profession. Your host today is Alex Ziebart who doesn't have as many cool links to plug up here as Matticus does but will try anyway. This week we get our Shadowform on..

Dual specs are coming, probably only a week away, and I suspect that many Holy and/or Discipline Priests out there will be picking up a Shadow build as their second spec. Priests, like most classes, can have many little build variations to fit your playstyle: Raiding, soloing, doing Battlegrounds, doing arenas, all of that. I'm going to look at a couple of good PvE specs to use in patch 3.1, but unfortunately avoiding the PvP specs for you arena junkies in our audience. Trust me, you don't want to take my advice there. Discipline PvP maybe, but not Shadow.

PvE Shadow - Raiding
MMO-Champion has a great tool for setting up talent specs, because you can include your glyphs as well, so we're going to be using that. This spec (14/0/57) will be a fairly cookie-cutter raiding build in patch 3.1, with only very minor variations from person to person. The Shadow tree isn't a very complicated one. Either a talent boosts your DPS, or it does something else. For a raiding spec, you want all of the DPS talents and you can skip all of the 'something else' talents unless they're mandatory for a DPS talent. It's pretty straightforward. Even in the Discipline tree the ultimate goal is to pick up the DPS talents, Twin Disciplines and Improved Inner Fire. Meditation isn't a direct DPS talent, but having no mana is certainly a DPS hit.

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

Patch 3.1 PTR build 9658 Priest changes

As I'm sure many of you have heard already, another build has hit the PTR this afternoon. Information on what's contained within is still slowly filtering in, but many of the class changes are already known thanks to Boubouille. Most of the Priest changes are just number tweaks, but there's some good stuff in there for potential Holy Priest PvP viability. Yes, Holy PvP! Let's dig into what we've got.

Shadow

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

Patch 3.1 PTR build 9637 Priest changes

As mentioned earlier today, a new build is being rolled out on the PTR this evening. The class changes contained within aren't as extensive as we first expected, but what Priests do have is pretty incredible... and somewhat expected, since we heard about a few of them before! There are a couple that are total news to us too, though. The PvP Shadow Priest is going to be very pleased with this patch. Let's take a look, shall we?

New Ability: Psychic Horror - You terrify the target, causing them to tremble in horror for 3 sec and drop all weapons for 10 sec. (Instant cast, 30 yard range, 1 minute cooldown.)

Um, yes please. This is going to be pretty incredible in PvP, especially the arena. Something like Psychic Horror is definitely a defense that the Shadow Priest needs. It's currently a 41 point talent in the Shadow tree, most certainly out of reach of Discipline or Holy. It's only a one point investment for Shadow Priests, so I fully expect this ability to make its way into a lot of PvE builds as well, at least pre-raiding. I could see myself using this quite thoroughly in 5-mans to take some heat off of the tank with the Disarm effect.

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Filed under: Priest, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, PvP

The Queue: The loot blues


Welcome back to The Queue, WoW Insider's daily Q&A column where the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft.

Merry No Maintenance Day, everyone! Let's not waste it and jump right into things. Chilblain asked...

When my guild does 25-mans, it's not uncommon to have 2-3 Priests, 2 Warlocks and 2-3 Mages. Nearly one third of the entire raid is all rolling on Cloth armor, yet we go entire evenings where not a single piece drops.

If Blizzard insists on the ridiculous notion that cloth should be all things to all people, have they addressed the poor drop rate in comparison to other items? Our Resto Druids and Shaman are all decked out in 213 and while our Priests are still healing in Heroic blues.

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

All the World's a Stage: So you want to be a Priest

This installment of All the World's a Stage is the seventeenth in a series of roleplaying guides in which we find out all the background information you need to roleplay a particular race or class well, without embarrassing yourself.

Priests in the World of Warcraft are a single class that incorporates a wide variety of characters. They are best known for casting spells that call forth the power of the Holy Light, but the priest using these spells in the game mechanics doesn't necessarily have much connection to the Light as such -- rather they have a connection with their own religion which grants them similar effects to those of the Light.

When WoW was being developed, Blizzard realized that night elves and trolls, for instance, would not follow the Light in the same way humans and dwarves do, so they tried to represent a bit of this diversity through race-specific spells. It didn't work out, though -- some were too powerful, while others weren't worth reading about, much less putting on one's action bar. The end result was that they made some of these spells universally available to all priests, and completely removed the rest. Here the lore had to surrender to the game mechanics in order to provide the best game balance.

In roleplaying, however, there is a lot of room for players of different races to behave differently, and draw their powers from totally different sources. Greater Heal, for instance, could come either from the Light or the power of Elune. A Shadowfiend could either be a spawn of the Forgotten Shadow, or a dark trollish voodoo spirit. If you are roleplaying a priest, the only thing that really matters is that your character have some sort of faith or profound belief, which could serve as the source of their divine magical power. A priest's magic revolves around his or her strong beliefs and ideas -- but what those beliefs are is entirely up to you.

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Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Human, Night Elves, Dwarves, Undead, Trolls, Priest, Analysis / Opinion, Draenei, Blood Elves, Lore, Guides, RP, Classes, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

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

Shadow Priest talent build for Patch 3.0.2

Echoes of Doom is here, along with all of its tasty new talent points. Things haven't changed very much for us Shadow Priests. If you enjoyed the Shadow Priest playstyle before, you still will. The numbers you put out in terms of Healing, DPS and mana regen are wildly different, but the buttons you push are pretty much the same. If you found Shadow Priest playstyle (not necessarily the numbers game) a little stale before patch 3.0.2, this patch and even Wrath itself won't change that very much. If you plan on sticking with Shadow, good on ya.

I'm going to lay out my current Shadow talent build and explain why I picked the talents I did. Keep in mind that this spec is not for every aspect of the game. It's not even for every player. I'm using this spec as a level 70, PvE raiding spec. It's not perfect, I'm not completely happy with it, but I think that's because our trees are currently meant for level 80 and not level 70. I haven't been able to come up with something I like better yet. When I plan ahead for level 80, it feels much more complete. We don't have the luxury of those extra 10 talent points yet, so this is what I'm using for now:

Shadow

Tier 1
I skipped Blackout because its raiding applications are very limited. It works on some trash, but never bosses. That's a big 'meh' for sure. I went with Spirit Tap and Improved Spirit Tap, because that's going to act as a Shadow Priest's Meditation for now. Finally, Tier 1 of the Shadow tree has something genuinely useful to raiders!

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

Priest changes in Wrath beta patch 8982

Today's Wrath beta patch has a few Shadow Priest changes, but nothing particularly substantial. It seems like a nerf across the board, but this is something we should be used to by now. The devs say that, in level 80 epics, our damage is competitive to other classes, but we'll have to wait and see when we're in those epics, I suppose.
This isn't too big of an issue if the coefficient is still high. If this is/was coupled with a lower coefficient again, it would be utterly ridiculous. As it is, maybe not such a big deal. Lowering the base damage may actually allow the spell to scale better without becoming terribly broken. It may level off nicely once you're out of greens.

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

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