Empowering Your Shadow – Yor’shaj the Unsleeping

Yor’shaj the Unsleeping is the second (or third, depending on which turn you take first once getting past Morchok) in the Dragon Soul instance. Here at Apotheosis, we recently defeated this boss on heroic Difficulty, propelling us to 3/8 in Heroic modes, with Morchok, Yor’shaj and Hagara under our belts. It was our 4th day of dedicated work on the boss, and midway through the evening, our concerted efforts paid off with a fresh, new kill. Leaving us as the #1 25 man guild on Eldre’thalas.


What was more impressive, is that our kill didn’t include any warlocks. That’s right, zero! No healthstones, no soulstones, none of that good stuff. We would really like a warlock to share the love with around here, if you would like to be a part of a progression minded team in a 25 man setting, Apotheosis may be the place for you! Check us out here. Aside from the app, we only ask that you show that you are truly a part of the dark side, and have intent to work through heroic content…..




A few notable changes to Yor’shaj on heroic, is the addition of a 4th globule he summons to grant him an additional ability. While even with a 5% tweaking, damage output to the boss is still crucial, its advisable to refresh your dots right before the globule call is happening and then move with post haste to eliminate the globule. The globule has a bit more health on heroic difficulty, so not much time can be wasted bringing it down. Here’s a summary of what the different colors mean for you and how to manage your cooldowns, not only for you, but the raid.


Blue (Mana Drain):Your mana will be sapped to 0 at the end of the 4 second mana feed cast from the mana void. A good trick to try and use here is your Shadow Word: Death ability right as the debuff is about to expire. Once the mechanic registers as the target not dying, you will get 10% of your mana back, so you have some leeway on what you can do next. If you are unable to do so, you can either disperse for 36% of your mana back, and reduce the effects of any other color effects on you for 6 seconds, but won;t be able to use it for another 2 minutes, use archangel if it is up for 25% mana back and ideally timed up with your shadowfiend for mind spike burst and additional mana, or (at your raid leader’s call) hymn of hope to give back a bunch of mana to a bunch of people. For the blue, keep for primary 3 dots on Yor’shaj, and toss VT and SW:P on the mana void, but make sure you don’t kill the mana void. Here’s what the mana return looked like on our kill:


Inflciting damage to myself as always.


Green (Digestive Acid): Nothing much changes dynamically here except for the damage being increased significantly. Unfortunately, the second and third color combinations we leave up are blue and purple, which means deep corruption is going to be stacking. The only major thing to worry about is keeping your distance from other people, 4 yards, if green is allowed to pass to the boss, so that multiple people don’t get cleaved with barf and perhaps cause more stacks of deep corruption.


Black (Forgotten Ones): Ever a fan favorite, one forgotten one add will spawn and fixate itself on a unique raid member. For this, when black goes through, stacking must occur so that stragglers aren’t left alive when the next group of bloods come out. However, you will have another set of adds when black is paired with yellow, make good use of throwing a dot here or there on adds as you move to the blood to help out. The question arises: How do I balance keeping my dots on the boss while aoe’ing the adds while doing the most I can to both the boss and adds? You have a few seconds after black hits before the forgotten ones begin to appear, so you can continue your normal rotation, once the adds appear you want to devote your time to Mind Sear until the bulk of the adds are down. You want to keep 3 abilities in mind and watch the timers while you Mind Sear the adds down. Those abilities are Shadow Orbs, Shadow Word: Pain, and Empowered Shadow. These 3 abilities will greatly improve your output in black phase, lets see how:


Shadow Word Pain: A moderate damage over time spell, during the aoe phase, this is more important for proccing a shadow orb, which is coming up next, or a shadowy apparition, which will proc 3 shadow orbs with the tier 13 4 piece.

Shadow Orbs – Your basic mastery, increases the damage of mind spike and mind blast by x%, and your periodic effects by x+10% for 15 seconds after using mind spike or mind blast. If you can, try to keep one of these available at all times during your spamming of mid sear onto the adds. Consuming one will trigger Empowered Shadow, increasing your periodic effects by your level of mastery.

Empowered Shadow: While on most fights, this will pertain to your dot effects + Mind Flay, this effect also grants benefit to Mind Sear. In dragon soul level gear, mastery should be providing (at the very minimum) 33% bonus to your periodic effects. What this means is that with empowered shadow active, your mind sear will hit that much hard on the boss and all 25 of his adds while its up, and 50(!) on black paired with yellow. For the number of mobs and ticks done by mind sear, its is a massive damage drop to not have Empowered shadows up at most times while mind searing the adds. Empowered Shadow uptime is generally high for shadow priests on all fights.


Certainly a wide variety of effects, isn't it?


I usually run between 95-98% uptime on most fights with empowered shadow, but its a bit lower in this case, hovering at about 90%. And I am content with this. I can certainly improve this, but it is by no means bad. There is a lot of  moving in this fight, from add to boss, from add to spread out, rinse and repeat. You may also find yourself being called to use hymn of hope, have to disperse to save yourself, or have less than favorable luck with shadow orb generation while you aoe the adds down. As long as you keep SW:P rolling on the boss while you AoE, you give yourself the best chance to gain orbs and empowered shadow.


Red (Searing Blood): Similar to green, not much of a dynamic change other than it will hit 8 random people, and you want to be stacked up for aoe healing. Deals more damage on heroic too (as you probably guessed!). You may want to use a cool down if you get seared 2 or 3 times in a row so that you don’t keel over.


Yellow (Double Your Pleasure, Double the Pain): Yellow will double the negative effects of all the other blood globules, except for purple, which will cause purple to shadowbolt volley the entire raid when paired with yellow. This means:

Blue + Yellow = 2 Mana Voids and 2 Mana Drains

Green + Yellow = Twice the Acid Splash Damage

Red + Yellow = Twice the Searing Blood Damage

Purple + Yellow  = Shadowbolt Volleys to the Face

Black + Yellow = 2 sets of Forgotten One Adds

The only set that will have you concerned is black and yellow, where you will have to aoe off another pack of adds.


Purple (Deep Corruption): This is more on the healers than you, but you will get a deep corruption debuff at the start of a phase if purple hits. Every time you gain a direct heal, you will gain one stack, and if your stack reaches 5, you will prematurely explosionate the raid for 75,000 shadow damage, and if you happen to click the lightwell once (or TWICE! for that matter) while in purple phase, you will gain a stack and cause a raid wipe like a certain priest has….and your healers will not like you!

That’s about it for the mechanics of the fight, with so much going on, its all about uptime, uptime, uptime for you. A steady does of VT and SW:P to anything you can cast a spell on will serve the greater good for the raid. Right now Yor’shaj has 245.4M health with a 5% nerf on heroic, so your raid has to be able to deal that much damage to him?her? while also dealing millions more to the globules, forgotten ones, and mana voids at the right times. Just make sure to be mindful to not WTFBBQ the mana void before your raid needs to get mana back, and to use your hymn if needed when your raid leader calls for it.


I guess after reading this post you could say you are now empowered…


….  with shadow…


<You know the rest.>


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