Shadow Power

Gadzooks! Are those heirlooms I see you bringing to raid?! Yes indeed, even the most stalwart of raiders are benefiting from the use heirloom items as they progress into heroics for siege of Orgrimmar. While shadow priests haven’t had much in the way of overhaul of talents going into 5.4, they did receive a few sizable buffs to spells that brought them in line (supposedly) with what Blizzard was looking for.


One thing that is notable in fights this tier is there are a lot of intermissions, which are absolutely detrimental to us, as that time elapsing lets our dots fall off, and with our somewhat slow ramp-up time, leaves for lower numbers across the board. On the positive side, a lot of the fights have adds, or segments where the boss dips into execute phase and back to full again, making the tier 5 talent, Twist of Fate, which is now active at 35% which is a godsend, a really desirable option for most fights, something that hasn’t been seen since entry level progression on Mogu’shan Vaults.





With the normalization of haste regarding meta gems and trinket procs, haste no longer is superior to intellect once you get to the 14,873 haste plateau. In fact, anything after 17,200 haste is a detriment, as in haste will begin to put you under 1 second for your cast time, causing you to lose time between Global Cooldowns. Haste is still the superior stat for shadow priests, but given the bevy of gear with haste on it, it shouldn’t be too difficult to get to the final plateau before moving on to other stats.



Also not in short supply, there has been over abundance of hit since Throne of Thunder, and now with amplification trinkets boosting your hit via spirit, getting pieces of gear with two of haste/crit/mastery, makes for a much more acceptable venture when choosing gear.


Critical Strike and Mastery

Blizzard decided to throw us a nice curve ball when putting together the 2-piece tier set bonus for shadow priests.  The bonus increases the critical effect of your shadowy recall (mastery) effects by 40%. This bonus, in essence, gets better as you move away from haste and into both crit and mastery. Because of Mind Flay: Insanity  being a periodic effect and benefiting from mastery, you always want to have a slight edge in mastery over critical strike. Ive found a good balance between mastery and crit is keeping a 15 point difference in the two stats, raid buffed. An example would be having 25% critical strike and 40% mastery, and moving that ratio up as your gear improves.




Finally, we begin to feel like the shadow priests of yore, getting rid of those horrid straight haste gems, in addition to some greens as well, and go back to pure intellect, with int/(haste/mastery/crit)[haste level depending] for oranges, and int/spirit for blues. Socket bonus are still worth going for in most cases, as they give intellect bonuses, with the exception being on the shoulder slot.


How We Are Faring in Raid:


In fights where there’s a few mobs up with cleaving, we seems to be at our best, with Immerseus, Protectors, Nazgrim and Galakras being our top fights. But after that we, start to dip off as your multi dot opportunities diminish and the amount of cleaving is limited, or non-existent, such as fights like Norushen, Sha of Pride, Iron Juggernaut, Malkorok, and Thok. These have been some of our weaker fights in the instance, countering our strengths on the previously aforementioned fights. That leaves us feeling, pretty average, to say the least. In fact, raidbots has us right in the middle in terms of how we are faring right now in raids. I am Ok with this. It certainly wasn’t the massive buffs we expected when we saw VT go up 20%, SW:P up 15%, and SW:D up 15%. But without those buffs, we would be in the bottom quarter of dps specs. We also get the short end of the stick on the legendary cloak, as the proc modifier for us ends up being the worst out of the specs that can use it. 


Extrapolating the Shadow Priest


I like the whole shadow orb resource, it gives us a different feel as opposed to being a mages with shadow spells. I do not think they are being used correctly though. A lot of people thoroughly enjoyed when shadow orbs gave a passive bonus to our dots, instead of having our dots have a chance to do a Tarecgosa and duplicate their damage. A quick fix could be to move the mastery back to periodic bonuses, much like affliction warlocks, but make the shadow orbs still required to cast Devouring Plague, while not giving the bonus to Mind Blast/Mind Spike. This sounds overly complicated, and I do believe the devs like having us do additional damage via mastery and shadow apparitions. I would like to personally have control over my mastery instead of leaving it up to a chance to duplicate.


Enter Shadow Power


My idea would be making our mastery increase the damage of our spells by X% and duration of shadow power by Y seconds, increased by mastery of course. We would get a new talent called shadow power which would become an ability the we can activate by casting Mind Blast, Mind Flay and Shadow Word: Death. Mind Blast generates 8 shadow power and 1 shadow orb, Shadow Word: Death generates 3 shadow power each time, and Mind Flay generates 3 shadow power. We can hold up to 100 shadow power, excess shadow power is lost. We can activate shadow power at any time to receive a bonus to all damage and healing for X seconds, depending on shadow power, where every point of shadow power grants .1 seconds of the buff (which would be increased in mastery). Basically, this gives us certainty on our mastery like a lot of classes have (see: aff locks, fury warriors, frost mages).


State of the Priest


I’m happy where we are at. While we aren’t the reigning dps champions we once were in Catacylsm, the versatility we have with Mass Dispel, Vampiric Embrace, Void Shift, and Angelic Feathers provides for a meaninful contribution to raids instead of sitting back being a stationary turret, although our lack of mobile dps is hurting, as we can only cast Shadow Word: Pain (and death when in execute). But as gear continues to improve and we move back to a solid intellect build over haste, you can expect to see your performance go from middle of the pack to front of the class.


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