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Posts with tag spriest

Spiritual Guidance: The shadow priest's guide to Majordomo Staghelm

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. On Wednesdays, shadow priesting expert Fox Van Allen's requires you all to kneel to the (his?) flame. Fox encourages all potential prey to follow him on Twitter.

Shannox: dead. Beth'tilac: dead. Rhyolith: dead. Alysrazor: dead. Baleroc: dead. We're on a roll deep, deep in the Firelands. Majordomo Staghelm is next -- the last obstacle between us and defeating Ragnaros once and for all.

The Staghelm fight can be difficult to learn, if only because there are so many different phases that occur at seemingly random intervals. But they're not random, of course -- there's method to this madness. And once you learn how to beat Staghelm ... well, there's some very valuable treasure to be had.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Spiritual Guidance: Besting Baleroc (and other shadow priest alliteration)

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. On Wednesdays, shadow priesting expert Fox Van Allen's soaks all Baleroc's Torment, while inflicting Torment of his own onto the heads of certain boomkin bloggers.

If you ask me, variety is what makes a good raid. You have different, unique bosses, with different, unique mechanics. Some have adds; some don't. Some send you soaring through the skies. Some have weird vehicle mechanics. And some encounters, bless their hearts, are Patchwerk-style simple.

That's sort of the niche Baleroc the Gatekeeper fills. There are some mechanics you need to know, of course -- it's not a mindless stand-and-DPS fight. There is one phase and there is one key DPS mechanic. And as far as that mechanic goes, we shadow priests are stars of the show.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Spiritual Guidance: A shadow priest's guide to Alysrazor

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. On Wednesdays, shadow priesting expert Fox Van Allen's steals all your feathers to become a soaring blur of purple. Fox encourages all potential prey to follow him on Twitter.

Last week, I talked about the gimmickry involved in the Lord Rhyolith fight. It's interesting and unique, but for us shadow priests, largely irrelevant. If only there were a fight with a super-cool gimmick that puts shadow priests on center stage and ...

... oh, wait, there totally is a fight like that: Alysrazor!

The fight against Alysrazor is absolutely hectic, but in a fun way. Shadow priests get a stacking haste buff that will have you frantically mashing keys to maximize your DPS. We get a crit buff that guarantees near 100% Shadowfiend uptime. And, oh yeah -- we friggin' fly through the air.

That's right, Alysrazor is all about the z-axis. It's time to go grab your Super Nintendo out of the attic, shadow priests, because it's about to get all Pilotwings up in here.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Spiritual Guidance: The shadow priest's guide to Lord Rhyolith

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. On Wednesdays, shadow priesting expert Fox Van Allen's massive legs obscure your entire field of vision. Fox encourages all potential prey to follow him on Twitter.

We beat Shannox. We took down Beth'tilac. Look out, Lord Rhyolith -- you're next.

For shadow priests, Firelands boss Lord Rhyolith isn't an especially fun fight. He's way too big, so if he gets anywhere near you, he'll take up your entire field of vision. He's heavily armored (at least at first), so you get to see some pretty sweet 500-damage Mind Flay ticks if you attack him directly. And while he's got an interesting gimmick, shadow priests typically don't play a part in exploiting it.

Still, even if it's not the most exciting fight, there's still plenty for us to do, plenty of stuff to avoid getting hit by, and (best of all) plenty of epics to find inside once you crack him open like an egg.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Spiritual Guidance: Beth'tilac and proper shadow priest AOE

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. On Wednesdays, shadow priesting expert Fox Van Allen comes out to trap and inject his prey with sweet, warm, shadowy poison. Fox encourages all potential prey to follow him on Twitter.

When I was just a little Fox kit, my parents bought me a pretty bitchin' Fisher-Price castle playset at a garage sale. It had a little drawbridge, a prison, and even a trap door. It also had a dungeon to put a dragon in. It was the most awesome thing ever.

I used to play with it all the time down in our basement. One day, I had just reached my hand into the castle to grab one of the misshapen figurines when I felt a weird, hair-raising tingle. My hand had just collided with a spider web teeming with newly hatched spiderlings. I freaked the hell out and spent the next 10 minutes scrubbing my hand with soap.

Twenty years later, it's time for revenge. The second boss of the Firelands raid, Beth'tilac, is an ugly spider that spawns massive amounts of Spiderlings. This time, though, I've got a solid AOE strategy. I'm ready for them -- and you can be, too.

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

Spiritual Guidance: Shadow priest's guide to Shannox

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. On Wednesdays, shadow priesting expert Fox Van Allen rains down sweaty, sticky, uncomfortably warm destruction on all who oppose him (especially Tyler Caraway). Fox encourages you to follow him on Twitter.

It's pretty miserable here in Boston today. I'm sweating, and not in the sexy, glistening skin way -- in the wring out a T-shirt way. It's, like, 90-something, which to a New Englander is damn hot. And to all you people who live in Las Vegas (Oh ho ho, it's 129 here today, you wimp!), shut up -- you chose to live in a place that's awful year round, not me.

Anyway, this uncomfortable sweatiness has me starved for revenge. Beings of fire, you shall face my wrath!

Over the next few uncomfortable, sweat-stained months of summer, we'll be taking on the bosses of the Firelands right here in Spiritual Guidance in seek of precious relief (and purples). This week: vile hunter Shannox and his adorable flaming skeleton pets.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Spiritual Guidance: What's the best race for a Horde shadow priest?

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. On Wednesdays, shadow priesting expert Fox Van Allen rains down sheer purple destruction on all who oppose him (but he does so with love!). Fox encourages you to follow him on Twitter.

A few weeks ago, I ran an article called "What Alliance race is best for shadow priests?" And man, did I get my ass flamed for doing it. A whole bunch of you complained that I was too hard on Team Blue, that a Horde sympathizer such as myself had no business writing such a thing. Just a small sampling of the fun comments:

Wow arent you a tool. Why not throw in some Justine Bieber, George Bush, McDonalds, and whatever else is popular to hate bashing in there to get the fanboy juices really flowing?

To answer the question, yes, I am a tool. That still doesn't change the fact that gnomes are the worst thing to happen since that time I saw Justine (sic) Bieber and George Bush eating at a McDonald's. With Gary Coleman? In a Suburu? Remember that, Lois?

Anyway, follow me after the break. There aren't any Family Guy cutaways, I promise. We do kill off and eat a weatherman, though. So there's that.

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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

Spiritual Guidance: What Alliance race is the best 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 regularly insults normal people, so you should never take his writing seriously. Fox encourages you to follow him on Twitter.

Rejoice, brethren! Since the Cataclysm, the shadow priesthood is more accepted than ever before. A full 11 of the 12 races can now be priests. (Orcs are the holdout, which is a shame -- they have a terrific plus-spellpower racial.) We have a wealth of options when starting a new shadow priest or when dropping some coin on a faction or race change.

I was thinking about starting this particular column with some kind of bold statement such as "Fox Van Allen is a racist," but that could hurt my future political career. (Van Allen for Vice President! Call me, Mitt.) Still, there's no escaping the fact that in WoW, some races are just plain better than others. And some -- gnomes -- are clearly inferior.

Eventually, our analysis will take a look at all the Horde and Alliance races. For now, though, we'll focus on Team Blue. Which Alliance race is best? Which gnome recipe is the tastiest? Can I manufacture a reason to reuse that picture of Taylor Lautner staring with lust at John McCain? All questions will be answered ... after the jump.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Spiritual Guidance: Patch 4.2 shadow priest trinkets

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. On Wednesdays, shadow priesting expert Fox Van Allen rains sheer purple destruction down on the growing list of WoW Insider columnists who oppose him (and sometimes, even on those who don't).

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Gearing in Cataclysm is boring. It's not that there aren't best-in-slot pieces -- there absolutely are -- it's just that reforging makes getting those best-in-slot pieces a lot less important. After all, if you need more haste or more hit, you can always reforge other stats until you have as much as you want. Simple.

There's one slot that's absolutely compelling, though, and that's the trinket slot. Trinket bonuses are so specific that it's often impossible to tell what's an upgrade and what isn't without a calculator or spreadsheet. And while those new i378 boots are almost guaranteed to be better than that i359 pair you currently have equipped, the same can't be said for the new trinkets.

So, which of the new patch 4.2 trinkets make the cut ... if any? Is the Darkmoon Card: Volcano still king? And further, what the heck are our new stat weightings in patch 4.2 going to be so we can figure these answers out?

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Spiritual Guidance: On the subject of Shadow Word: Death

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. Every Wednesday, shadow priesting expert Fox Van Allen provides stellar, thoughtful advice ... when not sabotaged by Tyler Caraway.

Over the past few weeks here at Spiritual Guidance, we've been talking a bit about the simple mechanics of shadow priests, ultimately exposing them as anything but simple. In April, I put the inner workings of shadow priest mastery on display, spending over a thousand words to explain a concept that some other specs can wrap up in a few sentences. Last week, we talked about shadow priest spell haste and DOT mechanics, something so complex that even I messed up a bit when explaining.

Today, we're giving Shadow Word: Death the same treatment. No other single spell generates so many questions in the shadow priest community, because no other single spell has so many complicating modifiers. You can improve it through three different talents and two different glyphs. The spell's effect changes depending on whether the target's health is above or below 25%. And, if that wasn't enough, the effect also changes depending on whether the target dies as a result of your SW:D cast.

Oh, and unlike all your other spells, Shadow Word: Death can kill you. That seems important to work in there somehow.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Spiritual Guidance: Breaking down the shadow priest tier 12 bonuses

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. Every Wednesday, shadow priesting expert Fox Van Allen rains sheer purple destruction down on all who oppose him. In stereo, where available.

Historically, tier bonuses for shadow priests have been pretty boring. From tier 4 onward, we've had very little to look forward to beyond mana cost reductions, spell-specific damage increases, and extended spell durations. These bonuses were valuable, to be sure -- we could all benefit from an extra DOT tick -- but nothing was game-changing.

Towards the end of Wrath of the Lich King, though, things began to change. The tier 10 four-piece shadow priest bonus, a .5-second reduction to the Mind Flay channel, was a literal game-changer. It put Mind Blast on the back burner. Some shadow priests only cast it to refresh Replenishment; others dropped it from their rotations entirely. Whether or not the tier 10 bonus was a positive thing from a gameplay perspective is debatable, but there's no debating what a powerful force it was.

Now, after a relatively tame set of tier 11 bonuses to start off Cataclysm (damage increases -- oh boy!), game developers are dropping a pair of nuclear bombs on us. The tier 12 bonuses for shadow priests are compelling, controversial, and game-changing -- all at the same time.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Spiritual Guidance: Gaming shadow priest mastery trinkets

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. This week, the venerable shadow-specced Fox Van Allen asks Theralion's Mirror who the fairest priest of them all is. Spoiler alert: It's not Dawn Moore.

One of the biggest mysteries for shadow priests during the development of Cataclysm was what our mastery mechanic would be. We had some vague notions of what we were getting early on -- Shadow Orbs -- but it took the boys at Blizzards a very long time to define what those orbs would actually do.

Perhaps it's that history that leads to one of the greatest misconceptions among shadow priests today. Most of us believe that Shadow Orbs are our mastery mechanism. They're not. If they were, shadow priests wouldn't see them until we trained mastery at level 80. Instead, we start seeing orbs as early as level 10.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Spiritual Guidance: Balanced gear along the road to the shadow priest endgame

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. Today is Wednesday, and for the 58th consecutive week, Wednesday is all about Fox Van Allen and his army of overpowered shadow priests.

Last week was an interesting one for me here at WoW Insider. I wrote a shadow priest's guide to 4.0.6 on Monday, shortly before the patch went live. Because I knew the 4.0.6 stat weightings would be a much desired piece of information, I used SimulationCraft to try and generate some usable numbers.

That led to a problem: I used the PTR 4.0.6 version of SimulationCraft to get the stat weightings. Hours before my article was published (and hours after it had been written, edited, and slotted for publishing), the folks at SimulationCraft came out with a new live 4.0.6 build of their software. The new live numbers were vastly different from the PTR numbers, and worse yet, the live numbers involved an error that incorrectly modeled hit.

Long story short: I had to rewrite major sections of last week's article. And yes, that included the stat weighting. We have new, updated numbers that say for a best-in-slot shadow priest, haste is king. And that, as they say, was that. End of story. Column over. Right?

Well, yes, that's the end of story ... if you're a best-in-slot, item-level 372 shadow priest with four-piece tier 11. If you're not a best-in-slot shadow priest, though, those stat weighting numbers are going to be different. Not "maybe" different -- significantly different. But just how different? Should a new 85 gem differently than an endgame raider? And how can you find out your own specific stat weightings without a degree in multi-variable calculus?

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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

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