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Spiritual Guidance: Guide to Mists of Pandaria shadow priests

Spiritual Guidance Guide to Mists of Pandaria shadow priests
WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. Dawn Moore is a discipline priest by reputation, but still enjoys melting faces as shadow and bugging her raid to click the Lightwell as holy.

My dear friend Frostheim once proclaimed that shadow was a gateway spec. He warned me that priests who delved into shadow's dark delights were at a heightened risk of one day becoming warlocks. Yes, warlocks.

Of course, nothing has been proven yet. Early clinical trials have only shown us correlation, not causation; so if you're willing to accept the risk, today's guide is for playing a shadow priest in Mists of Pandaria.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Spiritual Guidance: Brainstorming the future of shadow priest glyphs

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.

If you're anything like me, you've spend a good chunk of your time this week reading all the great coverage of the Mists of Pandaria here at WoW Insider and at our friends' sites, as well. There wasn't any shadow priest news to be found, but one thing definitely caught my eye: The Great Glyph Overhaul of 2012.

Wait, what's that? Another glyph overhaul?

To be sure, the glyph overhaul that came with Cataclysm was largely painless and uninteresting from a shadow priest perspective. But here's the exciting part of The Great Glyph Overhaul of 2012: It's all about fun. Blizzard is removing the boring, must-have aspect of glyphs by eliminating prime glyphs and making minor glyphs much more fun.

How? Well, Blizzard's super-cool treatment of druids offers a couple of clues.

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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: 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: Shadow priesting the Well of Eternity

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 scientifically proven more beautiful than boomkin blogger Tyler Caraway.

Greetings, fellow time travelers! Last week, we had a lot of fun creating all sorts of terrible paradoxes as we shadow priested through the End Time futurespace. So much fun, in fact, that after a quick stop at the Echo Park Time Travel Mart for supplies, I figured we'd continue our time traveling journey this week. But instead of moving forward in time, we're moving backwards -- all the way back to the Well of Eternity.

If you're doing these new patch 4.3 5-man heroics in order, Well of Eternity is the second you'll come across. There are three boss fights, but in my opinion, the first is the most enjoyable. The reason is a pretty selfish one: the Shadow Walk/Shadow Ambusher buffs that can turbocharge a shadow priest's DPS into the stratosphere.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Spiritual Guidance: New patch 4.3 shadow priest gear

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.

Gear. It makes the world go round. And though we like to say that we mess around in heroics and raids for the thrill of victory, let's face it -- if we didn't get those shiny new purples, we wouldn't obsess over victory so much.

If such virtual treasure fuels you, today's column is for you. Whether you prefer to run the new 5-man heroics, mess around in the Raid Finder, or even just shop around on the Auction House, there's some terrific new gear out there.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Spiritual Guidance: Mists of Pandaria spell and talent changes for shadow priests

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 scientifically proven more beautiful than boomkin blogger Tyler Caraway.

When we first talked about the new-for-Mists of Pandaria talent trees after BlizzCon, there were still a lot of questions to be answered. The main question, of course, was this: What will happen to all the talents that were removed from the old Cataclysm-era trees?

Well, wonder no more. Last night, Blizzard went live with an all-new MoP talent calculator. Not only does it contain the new talents we talked about last month, but it also contains a list of what spells will be baseline for what specs and when they're learned.

"Don't worry," Blizzard noted. "If you don't see your favorite talent, we've probably just given it to your spec automatically while leveling." And it's true -- shadow priests get a lot of good stuff as baseline abilities, and we're getting a lot of it sooner than you'd expect. But not every shadow priest spell and ability made the cut. In fact, if they all make it to the live version of the game, there are some very surprising changes, additions, and omissions.

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

Spiritual Guidance: A shadow priest's first look into the Raid Finder

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 grant you one birthday wish ...

Let's start off today's column with a question to you, the reader: How did you get your start raiding?

Me, I got my start in the PUG raiding circuit of yore. Someone would spam trade chat with their need for one ranged DPS for whatever raid instance happened to be in fashion at the time. I'd whisper them, hoping to snag that elusive slot (and believe me, as a DPSer, that slot was very elusive). Generally, I had no idea what I was doing while in the raids. I knew not to stand in stuff and to target whatever had the skull over its head.

I was a pretty lousy PUG raider. Let's face it -- we all were. PUG raids aren't known for their rates of success. Which is why I was intrigued when Blizzard announced its new Raid Finder system, coming in patch 4.3. Could Blizzard have found a way to make PUG raiding ... bearable?

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

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

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).

Hey everyone. I'm so excited I could just puke, because BlizzCon 2011 is almost here. It's like Christmas is around the corner. I'm so excited I can't sleep. I'm also so excited that I don't want to sit down and get my work done, but to be fair, I get that feeling regardless of whether BlizzCon is around the corner or not.

I was so busy over these last few days getting ready for my trip to California that I didn't even have time to think up a super-awesome topic for today. Thankfully, my loyal minions on Twitter responded to my call for help. They were kind enough to bombard me with a ton of general questions about shadow priesting.

And since I need the money I'm such an awesome guy, I'm going to answer a bunch of them right here and now.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Spiritual Guidance: Shadow priest tier 13

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. On Wednesdays, shadow priesting expert Fox Van Allen's comes from out of the darkness to bask in your loving adoration. Fox is a caring nurturer, a member of several 12-step programs, but not a licensed therapist.

I'm not a fan of dancing. I'm just not coordinated to the point of memorizing complicated stepping patterns. And even if I was, do you think I need to go through such complicated mating rituals to impress? Please. I'm Fox Van Allen.

That said, I was a bit distressed to learn about the new tier 13 bonuses and what they mean for shadow priests. Apparently, Blizzard wants us shadow priests to learn how to dance to maximize our DPS for the next raiding tier. No, seriously.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Spiritual Guidance: The sorta-official shadow priest census

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

Usually, I'm uninterested in hearing about anything but how good-looking or awesome I am. I tend to make an exception on topics relating to shadow priesting though. It's a fun spec in Cataclysm, and I sure hope it stays a fun, competitive spec in the Pandatown expansion too.

Thankfully, there's something we can all do to guarantee the future of shadow priesting. Blizzard has started a thread on the official Blizzard forums specifically soliciting feedback from priests of all stripes. They ask some important things of us: what we think makes shadow priesting fun (and not fun), what we think of our rotation, our wish list, and what spells we use the least. The answers will be read by the development team and used to mold the shadow priest of 2012-13.

Given the importance of the thread, I thought it'd be interesting to go through the responses there so far, share a few with you, and give my own answers and reactions. Today, it's all about where shadow priests are and where shadow priests should be going.

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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

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