So like I said on Friday, I went ahead and apped to Rey and Scrat’s guild and began to prepare myself to once more plunge into the depths of Northrend’s chilled dungeons. After a spirited montage of me taking it to the limit, Reyk was able to put in a good word for me and I got an invite to the guild. Checking the calender I signed up for a couple of raids and happily went off to research fights. Yes, I was a raider once more, albeit a much darker one than before, and I must admit, I was excited.
So last night I logged on and within a minute get a tell from the guild leader asking if I wanted to come run ICC ten man, which is an invitation you really shouldn’t turn down after only one day. So I bravely stepped up to the plate and went on my first raid in over three months. The group had already cleared the first wing and was moving directly onto the Plague Works wing. We were able to kill Precious in one swing and wiped only once on Stinky and moved straight over to Rotface. The fight was a lot of fun, kind of a straight tank and spank except for one tank who kites mobs and random members occasionally having to run to the tank and drop a slime off.
We wiped on him all night long, but it was a lot of fun just to be raiding again, embraced in the warm grasp of nine other people sharing my hopes and dreams. And I did a respectable enough job, pulling around 37 to 3800 on most fights depending on how often I had to run a slime over to the off tank. We only got the boss down to like 30% at it’s lowest, but at least the other group didn’t get him down either. I also am definitely beginning to get a feel for shadow priesting and understanding what it takes to be a raider as dps.
First off, understanding your rotation is key. As a shadow priest I’ve found that the secret is to get your timing down to the point where your dots are always up on your target, your mind blast is always on cooldown and you are always casting a spell. To this effect I’ll always start with Vampiric Touch and Mind Blast to get replenishment ticking. Then I’ll throw Devouring Plague and Shadow Word: Death up there and cast Mind Flay, which allows me to begin the regular rotation, constantly recasting dots just before they fall off and always interjecting Mind Flay when there’s no other spell to cast.
I also found that targeting is another factor that you must be aware of, able to switch when necessary to the correct target. Though this particualr tip matters less in large geoups in which the only tip I can give is this: Mind Sear. If there are more than two mobs still standing, cast more Mind Sear. If your target dies, find another and cast more Mind Sear. When you think you’ve been casting too much Mind Sear, cast more Mind Sear. This spell makes me weep with the awesome potential and is the only reason I pulled over 4200 dps for the entire night.
Of course there’s the usual raider caveats such as being aware of where you stand and making sure to let the tank gain aggro first (that particular one I broke last night when I got a little over excited). You’ve also gotta be aware of your oh shit buttons and when and where to cast them. Bring consumables, yadda yadda, all that good stuff. Also, do your research, I can’t stress this fact enough as I ran across this interesting little vendor for the first time since being back:
All I know is that I’m definitely ready for raiding again. I just hope it’s ready for me.