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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

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