5.0.5 & MoP – Getting Used to the New You

Its been 2 weeks since the release of the 5.0.4 patch that has brought the realm of Pandaria into our world. With that, you may have noticed your characters, notably your shadow priest (and if you don’t have one, then why the heck not!) has received some enhancements to their toon. Yes, THOSE kind of enhancements. The ones that make you even more appealing, for if you need a bigger burst, or if that certain part of the rotation that might be lacking.

We have received a lot of changes with the patch, ranging from our skills to what our mastery does, and getting some baseline talents we used to have to spec into for free. The most notable is that our mastery no longer increases the damage done by our Mind Blast, Mind Spike and periodic effects, but instead gives us a chance to duplicate our spells. This is going to change the weight of stats like mastery, crit, and haste to optimize. And with the new set of talents bestowed upon us, we get to have something that we haven’t had as shadow priests since they became viable back in Burning Crusade: Proc-based talents. And I will be the first to say, that having new and random elements to the rotation makes playing this toon a LOT more enjoyable! Lets take a look at talents, and where they are heading into the first tier of raiding in Mists.

DPS: Unlocked

Yes, I went holy if you happened to wonder upon that. All the lightsprings!

Tier 1(15)- Crowd Control

Void Tendrils A small aoe root effect, that immobilizes targets for 8 seconds or until the tendrils are killed. 20 second cooldown.

PsyfiendSummons a shadowy terror that casts trembling horror on targets within 20 yards, preferring targets that are attacking the priest. Casts a horror every 1.5 seconds, each horror lasts 8 seconds and does not share a diminishing return with fear. Lasts 10 seconds, 45 second cooldown.

Dominate Mind – Control a target until up to Level 88 (93) for up to 30 seconds. Damaged caused to you may interrupt the effect. 30 second cooldown.

Analysis: Losing MC hurts, and having to choose it as a talent (with cooldown nonetheless). Psyfiend really shines for the ultimate GET OFF OF ME button, and one bladestorming warrior will mincemeat your tendrils. As far as raiding goes, unless mobs can be feared, rooted, or charmed for boss encounters functionality appears at a low for all 3.

5.0.5 and Leveling Pick: Psyfiend ///  First Tier Raiding Pick: Psyfiend

Tier 2(30) – Movement
Body and Soul Targets of your Power Word: Shield and Leap of Faith have their movement speed increased by 60% for 4 seconds after having it cast on them.

Angelic Feather Place an angelic feather on the ground, party members who pass over the feather receive 60% increased movement speed for 4 seconds. Maximum 3 feathers active at once.

Phantasm When you fade, you remove all movement imparing and snare effects and become immune to new movement impairing effects for 3 seconds afterwards. In addition, you become untargettable by ranged attacks for 3 seconds after using fade.

Analysis: Body and Soul and Angelic Feather are situationally nice for if someone needs to get the heck out of fire, or move to soak for something quick, but phantasm clearing snares and making you immune to targetting for 3 seconds, especially if there are adds on the boss fight is too invaluable, not to mention the huge benefits to pvp.

5.0.5 and Leveling pick: Phantasm /// First Tier Raiding Pick: Phantasm

Tier 3(45) Procs and Output:

From Darkness, Hell with Light When you deal damage with your Vampiric Touch, you have a 15% chance to make your next Mind Spike instant, deal 50% more damage and not consume your damage over time effects. This effect can accumulate at most 2 charges.

Mindbender – A powerful being that deals more damage and returns more mana than Shadowfiend. Lasts 15 seconds. 1 Minute Cooldown. Returns 1.3% of mana per hit.

Shadow Word: Insanity A powerful spell that deals 400% of the damage dealt from Shadow Word: Pain over time, instantly. Can only be used when Shadow Word: Pain has less than 3.5 seconds remaining on its duration.

Analysis: With vampiric touch now restoring 2% of our maximum mana every time it deals damage, choosing mindbender is not a good pick, unless later tiers of gear give it a chance to generate shadow orbs or reduce the cooldown of Mind Blast every time it deals damage by 1 second (HEY BLIZZ ITS AN IDEA HERE). Shadow Word: Insanity looks really nice, but you have to wait 14 seconds or so to use it each time, whereas, From Darkness can proc on each tick if one gets really lucky. Unfortunately, wielders of Dragonwrath actually suffer from choosing From Darkness, Comes Light, because if the mind spike gets duplicated, it will remove your dots. Which is why I am now using Heroic Rath’rak. However, the first tier of pandaria raiding has the 4 set bonus for shadow priests at +15% damage to Shadow Word: Insanity, instead of giving varaition, such as: (4): Increases the chance of From Darkness, Comes Light proc to 20%, reduces the cooldown on Mindbender by 7 seconds, and increases the damage of Shadow Word: Insanity by 15%. (Idea #2) So much for variety.

5.05 and Leveling Pick: From Darkness, Comes Light /// First Tier Raiding Pick: Shadow Word: Insanity

Tier 4(60): Survival

Desperate Prayer Instantly restores 30% of the caster’s maximum health. 2 Minute Cooldown. Does not drop shadowform.

Spectral Guise – Conceals the caster in shadows (stealth priests ftw!) and replaces the priest with 3 illusions. Stealth lasts until cancelled, an attack is made, the illusions are kills or 6 seconds elapse. 30 second cooldown.

Angelic Bulwark When the caster takes damage that reduces them below 30% health, they create a shield around them that absorbs 20% of their maximum health as damage. Lasts 20 seconds. The effect cannot occur more than once every 90 seconds.

Analysis: Desperate prayer is nice to have in pvp, or if some of your healers have died in raid. Angelic bulwark seems a bit underwhelming, especially at a 90 second CD. Spectral guise is nice to have if you know a crowd control or direct is coming at you for both pvp and pve. This is a personal playstyle talent choice!

5.0.5 and Leveling Pick: Spectral Guise /// First Tier Raiding Pick: Spectral Guise

Tier 5(75) Output:

Twist of Fate When you deal damage to an enemy or heal an ally below 20% health, you gain 15% increased damage and healing for 10 seconds. This effect has no internal cooldown.

Power Infusion Infuses the priest (no longer castable on other players) with power, increasing haste by 20% and reducing the mana cost of all spells by 20% Lasts 20 seconds. 2 Minute cooldown.

Divine Insight (Shadow) When you deal damage with your Shadow Word: Pain, you have a 5% chance to reset the cooldown on your Mind Blast, and cause that Mind Blast to cost no mana and be instant cast. 1 Charge Max.

Analysis: For the first 10 minutes of the 5.0.4 patch, the angels sang out and life was glorious as shadow priests could now buff themselves with Power Infusion! And then, as quickly as it was enjoyable it became as savory as fruit stripes gum after 20 seconds and got sent right to the garbage! Twist of fate was an up in the air talent for me, initially it was only a 5%, then 10% damage increase and doubts were raised on it viability. At 15%, this talent is a gem on most fights, especially if you deal damage to dying adds, your next round of dots and whatnot on the main target will be 15% stronger. Divine Insight has the potential to be a huge talent for shadow priests, but a 5% chance to proc is not enough to keep up with Twist of Fate right now.

5.0.5 and Leveling Pick: Twist of Fate /// First Tier Raiding Pick: Twist of Fate (Divine Insight if they buff the proc rate)

Level 90 still has question marks for me. Its designed to be an aoe effect, but we already have the awesomeness that is Mind Sear! But then, Mind Sear got nerfed (AGAIN!) so now our aoe is not as good as it once was. Cascade can be nice if all mobs on a fight are nearby, otherwise, trying to find the right distance to get the best effect from Halo may be the best choice.



1) Glyph of Mind Spike – Your Mind Spikes reduce the cast time of your next Mind Blast by 50%. This effect can stack up to 2 times. This works very well with the From Darkness, Comes Light talent.

2) Glyph of Inner Sanctum – Your Inner Fire now also reduces spell damage by 6% and your Inner Will now increases your movement speed by an additional 6%. Take 6% less damage in raids and pvp always!

3) Glyph of Dark Binding – You can now cast Renew, Prayer of Mending, and Leap of Faith without cancelling Shadowform. For if you have that itchy trigger finger to heal yourself when your health gets low, or you need to save someone from standing in fire!

Avoid: Glyph of Shadow Word: Death – You may now cast Shadow Word: Death at any time, but it now deals 25% of normal damage and does not generate a shadow orb above 20% health. In addition, any damage you deal above 20% health with Shadow Word: Death will recoil to you.

A main use of Shadow Word: Death is to generate shadow orbs in execute phase. If you can;t generate an orb, and the damage on it is being reduced by 75%, the only use it has, is  to break a sheep right as the opposing mage is casting polymorph.


All of the minors glyphs are now purely cosmetic, and have absolutely no effect on raiding. Feel free to choose whichever you like!


With the changing of mastery and how often our dots tick, stat values have changed. As of now, the last breakpoint for haste is at 3,050 rating. After that mastery and crit are equally as valuable, because or mastery give a chance to do double damage, and crit IS double damage. THEY’VE MADE STATS PRIORITIES EASIER FOR US BY GOLLY!

The hit cap has also dropped 2%, so if you’re at 17% you can bring that down to 15% and be ok.  The stat values look like this:

Intel > Spell Power > Hit = Spirit > Haste (100, up to break point) > Crit (100) > Mastery (98).  Where haste is the best stat to have up until its break point, then crit becomes more valuable because of the meta gem that will deal an additional 3% damage. Otherwise, mastery and crit have the exact same stat value.

Go forth, and may you’re enhancements serve you well in the upcoming expansion!


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