Shadow Priests do it in the Dark

Me, totally doing it

So it’s been more or less a week of shadow priesting for me, transitioning from creation to destruction, metaphorically speaking.  I will say that I am definitely enjoying the shadow side of things and relishing my new role as pew pew in groups.  Not to mention that this new style of play has somewhat revitalized my excitement for the game, as is evidenced by increased blogging activities.

So as I’ve been SPriesting (I know some people hate that term, but I like to think of it as Super Priesting), I’ve also begun to notice the subtext involved and major differences other than simply dps over healing.  It’s not all button rotation and spell power for shadowy priests, there’s some subtle skill occasionally involved.  I know, I was just as shocked as you were.

First off, I found that Mind Sear was truly one of the best spells the devs have ever graced a player with on WoW.  With this spell I’ve managed to hit 12,500 dps on a single pull (pretty much the only good part about Pit of Saron), and have been welcomed with the occasional “hooray, mind sear!” when landing in a random group.  As far as I’m concerned, where there’s three or more mobs, there’s Mind Sear.

I’ve also begun trying to make sure that replenishment is ticking as often as possible while I’m grouped, optimizing my rotation around constantly having Vampiric Touch on the target so that no matter when Mind Blast comes off cooldown, I’ll be refreshing it.  This helps to keep my mana more efficient (and I have run oom a couple of times, though never without my shadow fiend ready to go) as well as providing a boost for the rest of the group.

My other big tip is to try to balance your crit and haste.  Most places that I’ve looked have recommended a haste:crit ratio of 1:2, which I’ve been trying my best to get to through gear, gems and enchants.  As a holy priest, I was never too enamored with haste, but I’ve certainly changed that particular viewpoint.  However, it seems as though lately Blizzard is really cramming haste down our throats with almost every dps oriented piece of gear almost exclusively providing haste.

There’s also the issue of Spirit.  Frankly I love Spirit, it has a multitude of bonuses for holy priests and even some for shadow priests.  I’ve tried my best to get as much spirit as possible, going so far as using “healing” gear as part of my shadow set in order to up the stat and provide a further bonus for me.  Though I am pragmatic and if an obvious upgrade that does not feature Spirit fall into my hot little hands, I will almost certainly take it.

The biggest transition for me, however, was learning how to effectively target mobs.  Out of laziness I usually use the tab method to cycle through mobs, especially since I’m only usually cycling through mobs when I’m Mind Searing and don’t need a particular target.  I’ve heard that the best dps usually rely on click targeting in order to ensure accuracy, but I keep accidently clicking on the wrong mob or a group mate when I try that, even with nameplates up.

Of course, these tips are new to me and hopefully will evolve or change over time in order to provide for quicker and higher dps from ol’ Duegie here.  Though I feel as though I’m getting it, with my dps averaging between 34 and 3600 in most groups.  I’d also appreciate any tips any other more experienced shadow priests might have, even though I am rather perfect.



7 Responses to “Shadow Priests do it in the Dark”

  1. 01/04/2010 at 10:57 AM


  2. 3 D
    01/04/2010 at 11:12 AM

    Hit Cap > Spellpower > Haste > Crit > Spirit > Int > … Block

    Haste is the new hotness since the patch (it was crit > haste before the patch by a mile), you should take what Blizzard is cramming down your throat and gobble it up. There is no reasonably reachable cap, either – the maths tell us that up over 2k haste will STILL increase our dps. 800-900 haste is yummy nowadays in 25 mans. Crit isn’t a stat to ignore, though – DoTs still crit, and it is awesome when it does. Temporary crit modifiers (like the Potion of Wild Magic) applied to Shadow Word: Pain are super great – stack your Shadow Weaving stacks, pop your trinkets + PoWM, refresh your SW:P, and go to town – just don’t let it fall off. Great for bosses where you have to switch to easy-kill mobs for a few seconds.

    Fortexorcist or any other addons that show you DoTs ticking on targets other than your current target are almost essential to maximizing your dps as well.

    Glad to see you posting again, and glad to see you’ve come to the dark side!

  3. 01/04/2010 at 2:37 PM

    Glad you are back and enjoying Shadow Priesting. I have been enjoying a shadow off-spec. 🙂 May I suggest a mod for you?

    EventHorizon is a really cool shadow priest mod. It shows which of your spells are up and when to start casting VT and MB for maximum coverage. It takes a few runs to get used to its way of presenting information, but thereafter is very neat.

    The mod is at http://www.wowinterface.com/downloads/info11935-EventHorizon.html – it is listed as abandoned but still works.

    Hope to read more soon!

  4. 01/04/2010 at 7:11 PM

    I’m no expert by my shadow priest cheat sheet is here – http://bobturkey.wordpress.com/2009/11/08/a-shadow-priest-cheat-sheet/

    This was pre-3.3 so check shadowpriest.com for updated gear stat weights.

    I’ve changed to this spec: http://www.wowhead.com/?talent#bVcboZZGefVRfzbfqfzAo:qhLMcz

    I use shadow fiend on CD for DPS and never have mana issues (T9 geared).

    Good luck. I;ve been enjoying DPSing for a change too.

    Gobble gobble.

  5. 6 Pugnacious Priest
    01/05/2010 at 12:17 AM

    Kinda ironic all the holy priests are going dps – and I’m off healing stuff 🙂
    @Bob only 1 point in meditation, and 3 in threat reduction? I’ve never had any issues with threat, but as a NE in the omg he is running at me moments, I have a Glyphed fade cool down, and a Shadow Meld, and a disperse if it really gets that bad

    You’ll find that while mindsear is good, you can now also get a good chunk of damage out of a SWP and VT dot rotation on the mobs. Esp with a 2 set tier 9 and the longer ticking VT. For targeting, if your in a raid the ORa2 mod if the raid leader/tanks have it set up is good to see who is killing/tanking who

  6. 7 Bluefade
    01/05/2010 at 4:48 PM

    For easy targeting turn on targets in whatever raidframe you use. I use vuhdoh! and it set to show everyone’s targets. I also have a seperate frame for the tanks and my focus.

    I set left-click to target whatever I click. I can just look at everyone’s target and click to target for myself.

    Generally the MT or OT will be targeting the mob that needs to be focused and I can see that in vuhdoh and easily select.

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Beat the rush and send me an e-mail at: HolyDueg@gmail.com. It's good to have heroes.

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