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Posts with tag spriest

Spiritual Guidance: Shadow priest changes in patch 4.0.6

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. Each Wednesday, the shadow-specced Fox Van Allen takes the helm of Spiritual Guidance, giving the world a brief respite from the not-so-evil machinations of his nemesis, Dawn Moore. On days that are not Wednesday, Fox is available for childrens' parties.

I'm a big fan of where shadow priests are right now in Cataclysm. We're able to churn out highly competitive damage in just about any fight. Combine that fact with our damn near legendary survivability, and it's hard to imagine why anyone would even think about playing another class.

In the interest of full disclosure, though, shadow priests aren't quite perfect. The spec has some small issues, and by now, we're all pretty familiar with what they are. Shadow priests have to suffer a terribly underpowered AoE, a limp mastery stat, and a weak Mind Blast. The good news: Blizzard game developers are taking a stab at fixing every major problem with shadow priests in the upcoming patch 4.0.6. The even better news: Shadow priests are getting some added bonuses that we didn't even ask for.

That's right: The best is getting even better.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Spiritual Guidance: Gearing a shadow priest for Cataclysm heroics

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. Your host for the Wednesday edition, Fox Van Allen, always brings you the latest in shadow priest news, the latest in shadow priest controversy, and the latest shadow priest tactics -- all with the level of maturity of an episode of Maury. After the break: a paternity test, a lie detector test, and you won't believe who we're sending to boot camp!

Eight months ago, I wrote one of my most viewed and read articles here at WoW Insider. It was about GearScore and item levels. Most of us know, of course, that each weapon or piece of armor we equip has a numerical value behind it that approximates how powerful it is. Back then, far too many people were using item levels and GearScore as the sole arbiter of who could and couldn't team up with them in pickup raid groups.
Sorry, you seem like a lovely person and all, but I've determined your entire worth as a raider boils down to a four-digit number. Unfortunately, the four-digit number assigned to your worth is slightly lower than the four-digit number I arbitrarily came up with as the requirement to participate in the outdated raid content I wish to be carried through.
In the piece, I explained that item levels and GearScore provide you with a general idea about whether or not a piece of gear is good, but in the end, having the right stats matters more than item levels. That still holds true in Cataclysm -- stats matter. An item level 333 blue can be better than an item level 346 blue.

Despite that, though, measures of your "gear score" matter more than they ever have before. Cataclysm instances and heroics are gated behind strict minimum average item level requirements. Blizzard has become that guy. We won't spend our time today discussing whether that's right or wrong; instead, we'll be productive gamers and figure out how and where to get gear to clear that item level requirement, get yourself into heroics, and eventually, get yourself ready to raid.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Spiritual Guidance: Shadow priest addons for a post-Cataclysm world

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. In the spirit of the Thanksgiving Pilgrim's Bounty holiday, the shadow-specced Fox Van Allen has been pondering that which he is thankful for: a broken (but new!) world, a constant supply of minds to flay, and his Joan Rivers-esque good looks.

When I heard for sure that patch 4.0.3a would be hitting yesterday, I immediately thought to myself, "What kind of information about the post-Shattering world will shadow priests need to know?" The idea was to create a great big article all about those changes so that everyone would be prepared.

But here's the thing -- all the major Cataclysm changes happened to shadow priests in patch 4.0.1. Patch 4.0.3a is almost all about changing the world around us (and also about nerfing warlocks). There are a few spriest-specific changes worth noting, but they're largely passive:
  • Vampiric Embrace has been nerfed, as discussed a few weeks ago. We now only get 6 percent of the damage we deal back as self-healing, down from 12. Ouch.
  • Our mastery has been reworked. Casting Mind Blast (with a Shadow Orb active) now procs a non-stackable, 15-second buff, Empowered Shadow. It increases the damage of shadow DoT spells by 10 percent (base), plus 1.25 percent per point of mastery. You should be experiencing close to 100 percent uptime with that buff.
  • Our talent tree has been reset, mostly due to tinkering in the non-shadow trees. This is my preferred, crowd-control-free talent tree for your last few days at level 80.
If you found yourself unsatisfied with the damage you were doing in 4.0.1, these few changes are probably going to leave you wanting. You'll need to find some other way to boost your damage or manage your spec, and there's really only one foolproof way of doing that (aside from practice, of course): addons.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Spiritual Guidance: Going to the dark side

Silvermoon City records show that Dawn Moore was born and raised by a loving fire mage and holy priest. Fox Van Allen? He crawled out of an ethereal sludge and was raised by warlock cultists. Dawn once saved some puppies and bunnies from a burning zeppelin while simultaneously defeating Undermine drug lords. Fox? He tried to eat those same bunnies. Each Sunday in Spiritual Guidance, Dawn brings you information on how to walk, talk, and dance like a holy or discipline priest. Fox brings you trollish recipes for gnome genocide. Dawn Moore: the choice is clear. [Paid for by priests for Dawn Moore - nsfw]

It's about that time in a major content patch when things start to slow down. We've run all the 5-mans we can stomach, and in Icecrown Citadel we're starting to really close in on our goals as the 20% buff and our accumulated gear help to fill in the gaps of what we need to succeed. As this happens, your wish list of equipment is undoubtedly getting smaller; maybe you're done gearing up, or are just waiting for a few more pieces to drop. Maybe you're cursing my name for reminding you that you've had the most terrible luck at getting that wand, cloak, or whatever to drop. But regardless of where you are, I'm certain you've found yourself thinking, "hmm, I could use that for offspec."

Like most classes, priests are starting to think about where to go next. Do I gear out an alternative healing set? Should I collect more spirit items for Cataclysm? Do I spend my extra badges on PvP gear? (Dawn says yes! But that's another article.) How about honing out skills in that other healing spec we don't like quite as much as our favorite? Oh, and then of course, there is always the sweet seduction of the shadows.

Today, I've put together a little guide for healing priests who want to dabble in the darkness of the shadow tree. While there are notable differences between the styles of playing holy or discipline, the switch to shadow is more than just tossing on some hit gear and taking a trip to the trainer. But before we get started though, I have a small task for everyone.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Phat Loot Phriday: Staff of the Great Reptile

I tried to find some great caster/healing staves for you to work towards this weekend, but they're hard to come by, and strangely enough I couldn't find a single caster staff as a reputation reward -- Druids get all the good ones I found. This one's from an instance you can run this weekend, though, and it should hold you up until you hit 80 and head into the endgame.

Name: Staff of the Great Reptile (Wowhead, Thottbot, WoWDigger)
Type: Rare Staff
Damage/Speed: 148-269 / 2.10 (99.5 DPS)
  • +81 Spirit, which has been becoming more and more useful lately. It's really still the domain of Warlocks and Shadow Priests, but depending on the talents and other gear you've got, Spirit, especially this much of it, can be more helpful than you'd think.
  • Improves haste rating by 66, which again, will depend on the other stats you've got to figure out just how much it'll help you. Haste gets more and more important as you head towards the endgame, but especially with the changes to Haste affecting global cooldowns, this could be really great for anybody casting instants as well.
  • And increases spell power by 271, which is a no brainer. You'll definitely be able to get more spell power by the time you hit 80, but for the level, this is a decent place to start.
  • And, I have to say, subjectively I admit, it's a badass-looking staff.

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Filed under: Priest, Warlock, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Odds and ends, Instances, Phat Loot Phriday, Leveling

VE nerf, DPS buff for shadow priests in beta

In the wake of sweeping alterations to shadow priests going live tonight, the inimitable Ghostcrawler has posted about a few more changes that will be making their way into the Wrath of the Lich King beta.

  • Vampiric Embrace is getting nerfed to bits. Fully talented, it currently heals group (not raid) members for 25%. It's being changed to 5% to the group and 25% to the caster, again fully talented. A bit confused about this given GC's statement that "we don't want it to be terrible for priests in small groups" - 5% is pretty terrible.
  • Vampiric Touch's coefficient is getting doubled, from 20% to 40%. Cool, though I don't expect this makes up a huge part of your damage at 80.
  • Big DPS change: "Your Shadow Word: Pain, Devouring Plague and Vampiric Touch do an additional percentage damage equal to your critical strike chance." This is crittable DoTs, basically, with the randomness taken out. Instead of critting (say) 25% of the time for double damage, you just hit for 125% damage all the time. And of course our other damage spells (Mind Flay, Mind Blast, SW:D) can already crit normally.

I can't say I'm pleased by the massive VE nerf, but it's nice to see them picking up on promises of grade-A DPS for us now that we have less utility. Going from a state where two of our damage spells benefit from crit rating to a state where all of them do will be interesting.

Filed under: Priest, Wrath of the Lich King

Shadows of Doom: 3.0.2 for Shadow Priests

Shadow has always been the "off-spec" for priests, from Classic, where it was questionable whether Shadow was viable for anything but leveling and PvP, to BC, where Shadow provides superb utility but limited DPS. Now I'm not saying Shadow will suddenly become the spec of choice for raiding priests, but the game is changing significantly in patch 3.0.2 and Wrath of the Lich King. Our coveted mana return is getting nerfed and spread around to Survival hunters and Retribution paladins, as well as us. But to compensate, our DPS is (supposedly) being brought up to par with the best of them.

A lot of this is coming in the form of a new and improved Mind Flay. Previously the "filler" spell that you cast during your rotation when you couldn't cast anything else, its spellpower coefficient is now being bumped up greatly, and perhaps more importantly, it can now crit! No longer must you shun crit rating to be a decent shadow priest.

Of course, there are also some dramatic talent tree changes - almost every talent is modified in some way. Let's start from the top and work our way down.

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Filed under: Priest, Patches

What to wear to melt faces in Karazhan, part two

Welcome back to my guide on pre-Karazhan Shadow Priest gear. If you missed part one, where I talked about general stat importance, some sets, and the first half of the item slots, go read it now. Back? Good. On with the show. In this part I will be covering the remaining slots (from gloves on down), and talking about what gems to use (the red ones), as well as some places to look for more information.



Major Spellpower is, quite expensive, but other BC enchants are not worth bothering with. I'd say put it on any of the above. The old-world enchant Shadow Power is equivalent for you, if that's more convenient.

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Filed under: Priest, Items, Features, Raiding, Guides

What to wear to melt faces in Karazhan, part one

Shadow priests, you are very desired in Karazhan. Between great DPS, mana returns for the group, and a Shackle, all KZ raids would probably benefit from having a face-melter along. This is a guide to gearing yourself up in order to get in those Karazhan raids and earn great epics, from Ritssyn's Lost Pendant to the Nathrezim Mindblade. Holy priests, this is not the post for you (unless you're trying to build a Shadow set as well) – look to the Holy Priest guide to gearing for Karazhan instead.

Due to the unique mechanics of Shadow Priest combat, there is one stat that rises above the rest for you: +damage (either shadow or all schools). More +damage means more DPS, of course, but it also means more mana back from Vampiric Touch; this will be your primary form of mana regeneration, and you should have VT up at all times. Spell hit is also very important. Assuming you have 5/5 Shadow Focus (which you should, unless you're already hit-capped), you need 76 spell hit to reach the cap on level 73 mobs (raid bosses are considered level 73). Additional spell hit is relatively useless, although that once you reach 101 hit, you can take a point out of Shadow Focus and move it elsewhere; it's probably not worth gearing for this specifically though.

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Filed under: Priest, Items, Features, Raiding, Guides

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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