Archive for November, 2012

Comparing Apples and Eggplants

Posted in Priest, PvE, WoW on November 10, 2012 by Srsbusiness

Like having fruits and vegetables in your diet, one must also have a balance of secondary stats to complement the greater mass of intellect for playing a shadow priest. However, with the changes to spells, mastery and other coefficients in Mists of Pandaria, some secondary stats will benefit you more, like diet and exercise, than others, which may actually hinder you, like that extra double baconator.

Speaking of apples and eggplants, comparing this remind me of the 1980’s Nintendo game, Adventure Island. While some objects, fruit specifically, increased your health, others took away from it that pesky eggplant, and I feel it has fitting comparison. Oh and much like if a boss hits you, if you get hit by an enemy its automatic death! So, we will take you the shadow priest, and make you 8-bit for now!

Just look at you! You must workout, and have you been tanning?

There you are, you’ve been working on your tan and shedding that shadowform I see. While you have infinite lives in WoW, we’re going to use the health bar above as a reference to dps output. Here, we can see its about average, not spectacular, but also not at the bottom of the barrel. The shadow priest in this picture is hit capped, has a sizable amount of intel on their gear, but has a mix of crit, mastery, and haste as their secondary stats. Lets take a look and see how your primaries and secondaries breakdown, as either apples or eggplants, to help bolster that health bar and dps.


Intellect is the direct means of which you do damage. It increases your spell power, of which your spells scale very well with. And marginally increases your critical strike at this point at level 90. You should always go for intellect on gearing and gems, even before hit rating/spirit. You have a lot of spells in your arsenal, some of which you can pick and choose via talents. The drawback to having too much intellect? None! If you have the choice between more intellect, or a secondary stat, the intellect route will be the way to go, unless you are really close to a haste break point (as you will see later).

Overall: More intellect today, will keep your raid leader (from criticizing you) at bay. Apples, Apples, Apples. Always.


Well you want your spells to land right? You need 5,100 hit/spirit, or a combination of both, to be effectively hit capped.  Anything more than that, is essentially a waste, as there are no bosses, or many mobs in the world for that matter, that have -% chance to hit passives that will require you to have more hit. You can always short yourself on hit at running the risk of getting the missed spell sound effect, which I know may drive some spellcasters crazy. Hit cap versus cheating slightly lower, is a personal playstyle preference. For people curious on some shorthand for why going under might be an increase in the long run, here is an example: If you go 1% under cap, you have a 1% chance to miss on all spells, if your dots land, each tick is guaranteed to hit. Therefore, you have a 1/100 chance to miss a cast at any given time, but you have a (1/100) x (1/100), or 1/10,000 chance to miss consecutive casts. For the trade off, you will get extra haste/mastery/crit. Odds are on your side, you won’t miss very often, if ever in a 5-6 minute fight.

Overall:Hit/Spirit is an absolute apple for you to have, but once you hit 5,100 rating/spirit, any extra Hit becomes an Eggplant, and will hinder your dps, as you can gain extra secondary stats.


Just look at you getting that fruit, and that dps bar going up, up up!

Haste has always been something shadow priests have relied on to be effective at what they do, and that is no exception in Mists. Because of the inflated values on gear, you are going to need a lot of haste to get back to the level of casting like you may have back in dragon soul. Haste will effect a lot of things, your GCD on your spells, cast time, channel time, and can get you a few extra mind blasts per fight if you have enough of it. Right now 2 of your spells line up nicely, as they have break points for getting an extra dot tick at 8,064 and 8,085 rating. In the entry level gear of MoP getting to these levels can be a brutal task, as you will likely have to gem haste over intellect, which is something you want to try avoid. When you do see a piece of gear for you as an upgrade, and it has haste on it by default,  you should scream FUCK YEAH FRUIT, as your dps is almost assured to increase on that stat alone. However, once you hit that 8,085 marker, you should start building other areas, intellect preferably, so that extra tick gets to hit a bit harder.

Overall:Haste is an apple, do not ever abandon haste, you will always want haste period. In the event you get to 8,085 rating, haste goes from being an apple, to a slightly sour apple, as you should focus elsewhere on your toon now.

Critical Strike:

Who doesn’t love seeing those big numbers go above the boss’ head, especially with a potion and trinket proc. Almost like a small slice of heaven in a spell cast. Unfortunately for you, gear by default only has two secondary stats, and in your case, you want hit and haste well before thinking about doing double damage on spells, which is not to be confused with mastery. When your cast speed picks up to a nice range, to the point you don’t feel like casting in viscous molasses, crit begins to shine like a nice, lush apple. If you are thinking about going a stacking crit route, just remember, the amount of time in between casts, casting time, and dot tick interval will all increase, giving you less casts in a fight to get a crit, and less ticks as well.

Overall:If crit is your first choice of secondary stat, you are probably eating an eggplant. And no, its not breaded, fried, anything like that. RAW eggplant for your face. If however, you are at healthy hit and haste levels, crit becomes a granny smith apple, with just that tart reminder at the end.


Ick, doesn’t look too healthy at all (even though eggplants aren’t bad).

A lot of people may take a look at mastery and say, “Hey, it increases the chances of your periodic spells to deal double damage. That’s just like critical strike, so what’s the difference?” Well, its just that, it ONLY increases the chance that your periodic spells with deal double damage. That means only VT, SW:P, and DP gain benefit from your mastery. So that leaves Mind Blast, Mind Sear, Mind Spike, Shadow Word: Death, Shadow Word: Insanity, and Mind Flay all without receiving benefit from mastery, and that is a lot of damage left untouched on the table to be used. When it comes to gear, mastery should be your first choice to reforge off of to pick up anything else beneficial. So while mastery gives you a chance to deal double damage (a crit) on those spells, critical strike will affect all of those spells, and is a superior choice to mastery. Also of note, when your mastery procs a double on dots, the mastery will not count a double if you cast the spell with potions/trinkets active, it will double the spell off of what your spell power is at the time.

Overall: You are given 3,000 mastery from raid, this alone should signal something to you. Since you are getting a massive rating boost from that environment, go elsewhere with gear choices. Eggplants all the way, and I don’t foresee an apple in the picture anytime soon. I mean just look at the poor shadow priest above, that maniacal eggplant just hovering over him like a parasite, leeching away all his health.  Don’t end up like this guy with your dps and have it be at a spot where people will wonder if you were offline or trying to get your tank on!

In the end, a balanced, healthy diet can be projected onto shadow priesting, with a healthy mix of intellect and other secondary attributes, just don’t go for the wrong things or your diet may end up like your dps, not so good! When everything comes together in the end, you can end up in raids with a result of something like this:

Oh, hey look. A dead boss!

You get the idea right? But major bonus points if you can pull off the decapitation, perhaps Dr. Theolen Krastinov can help with that? But all this talk of fruit has me and perhaps you hungry? Who brought the food for us all, damnit?