Posts Tagged ‘Shadow Priest’

secondaryAs a priest, one has three specs that are very viable and very desirable for raiding:  Discipline, Holy, and Shadow.  While some people might’ve been able to accumulate off-spec gear over the last few months and prior to the release of the dual-spec option (seriously, don’t all paladins have a full holy set?  Damn Naxx itemization), many players might now be faced with the expectation they “suddenly” have the gear to support another spec, should the need to switch arise.

Fortunately for priests, this isn’t a terrible challenge.  While switching from Feral Druid to Resto Druid requires completely different gear for every single slot, the requirements for the three priest talent trees aren’t so radically different, and in a lot of cases, you won’t have to swap that much around.  While you can find many sites with lots of math and lots of arguments on how best to gear for your main spec (check out my thoughts on the matterBobTurkey’s post on priest theorycrafting, Xeonio’s thoughts on stat weights, unholy holy’s assessmentsShadowpriest.com’s gear guide, or the priest forums at Elitist Jerks for example), you might not have the time, money, or opportunity to put as much care into accumulating off-spec gear.  

In general (very general), the different talent trees will privilege attributes like this:

Spellpower > Haste = Crit.  Intellect > Spirit

Spellpower > Crit > Haste.  Spirit > Intellect

Spell Hit > Spellpower > Crit > Haste.  Spirit = Intellect 

Skill aside, the gear requirements from switching from healer to Shadow Priest are more stringent than the switch from Shadow to healer.  This is because reaching the cap for hit is truly a requisite for raiding.  Assuming there’s no Draenei in your group and you have the full 6 points in Misery and Shadow Focus, you’ll need 290 hit to reach the cap.  Here are some places (outside of raid zones) where you can grab it:

Elixir of Accuracy (+45)
Snapper Extreme (+40)
Worg Tartare  (+40)

Enchant Boots:  Icewalker (+12)
Enchant Gloves:  Precision (+20) 

Tailoring BOE:
Ebonweave Robe (+68) 
Ebonweave Gloves (+51) 

Heroic Violet Hold:
Mark of the War Prisoner (+73) 

Badges of Heroism:
Plush Sash of Guzbah (+33) 
Ward of the Violet Citadel (+38) 

Lambent Forest Emerald (+8) 
Rigid Autumn Glow (+16) 
Shining Forest Emerald (+8) 
Veiled Monarch Topaz (+8)

If you are switching to Holy from one of the other trees, particularly from Discipline, you might find your gear is lacking Spirit.  Again, here are some quick ways to boost that attribute.

Elixir of Spirit (+50)
Cuttlesteak (+40) 

Intricate Forest Emerald (+8)
Misty Forest Emerald (+8) 
Seer’s Forest Emerald (+8) 
Sparkling Sky Sapphire (+16) 
Sparkling Dragon’s Eye (+27) 

Brilliant Spellthread (+20) 
Enchant Cloak:  Wisdom (+10) 
Enchant Bracers:  Major Spirit (+18) 
Enchant Weapon:  Exceptional Spirit (+45) 
Enchant Boots:  Major Spirit (+18) 

Getting a feel for playing your off-spec will take time, whether it’s mastering the refresh priorities of a Shadow Priest, making the most of SOL procs as a Holy Priest, or taking advantage of Borrowed Time procs as a Disc Priest.  But gearing for your off-spec needn’t be viewed as a huge hurdle.


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Khaeli and Kaleyen finally earned their "Champion of the Wastes" titles.  Although we'd killed Malygos about a month ago, we'd never done Heroic Occulus or Heroic Halls of Stone.


As no one in the guild seemed to log in to do 25-mans this weekend, I respecced shadow.  I'm still feeling pretty unsure of my DPS, but K- was really encouraging and supportive.  We did a couple of pickup raids, and yay, I didn't suck.


I'm planning a much longer post on this soon™ but I sent the shaman out to (begin to) gather the supplies necessary to switch Khaeli to jewelcrafting.  But as you can see, she was a little sidetracked by gathering candies instead.

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Still Shadow

Khaeli is still specced shadow, and I was even able to run Naxx 25 and OS 10 this weekend as DPS.  I had to put together the funkiest gear combination to get hit capped, but I don't feel I did too poorly.  Of course, when I bid on Soul of the Dead, the raid leader whispered, "When I saw that drop, I said, 'Disc Priest item!'" Despite the reminder that DPS is fun and easy and decidedly stress-free, I'm actually looking forward to healing again now, which is nice.

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We didn't feel like raiding last night, and so we spent the evening running heroics for badges and wintergrasp shards.  Knowing that I've been both stressed and undervalued as a Disc priest lately, K- suggested I respec Shadow for the evening.  My DPS was pretty lousy (in order to reach the hit cap, I'm wearing a real mish-mash of gear, including a helm from ZA), but I had so much fun.

And my new warlock (twink-to-be) alt now has shoulders and a trinket.

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Gearing Up Shadow

Even though I'm currently specced to heal, it's not altogether clear if I'll be Discipline or Shadow once the guild starts raiding.  My focus right now is on healing gear, but I'm also accumulating gear with +hit so I can be ready to return to the smoking purple form if need be.

Here is my list of (pre-Naxx) shadow priest (hit) gear:
Head:  Hood of Hexing (I have this right now, but I could always regem for +hit)
Neck:  Necklace of Taldaram
Chest:  Ebonweave Robe
Hands:  Ebonweave Gloves
Waist:  Plush Sash of Guzbah
Pants:  Trousers of the Arakkoa (these don't have +hit, but have a gem slot)
Feet:  Cleric's Linen Shoes (likewise, no +hit, but gemmable)
Finger:  The Prospector's Prize
Trinket:  Mark of the War Prisoner
Off-hand:  Ward of the Violet Citadel
Wand:  Wand of the San'layn

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This WWS report is from our bloobie Kara run on Sunday (click for full-size).  Now granted, I'm not hit-capped on Khæli, so some misses are to be expected.  But almost 10% miss on Mind Flay?!  Huh?!

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OK, OK, so I was power-leveled to 60, and I really need to learn how to play my class. But the last few nights of questing and instancing have raised some concerns for me about the shadowpriest.

Vampiric Embrace
I understand the need to nerf this spell so that shadowpriests' damage
could be increased, Kaleyen and Khæli have really felt the pain while
duoing.  On Wednesday night, while running around Hellfire Peninsula,
he seemed to always be at around three-quarters health, while Khæli was
blissfully at full.  Now if soloing, sure, it's nice to have one's
health returned at a solid rate, but for duoing, the 5% return on the
person taking the majority of the damage doesn't really work… Or it
works, but just not how we'd envisioned our duoing to work.

Power Word: Shield Macro
My interim solution — before I respec to dump those two extra points
in "Improved" Vampiric Embrace and before anyone strong-arms me into a
healing role — was to make the following macro.  This allows me to
shield Kaleyen while still maintaining my DPS target:

/cast [help] [target=targettarget, help] [target=player] Power Word: Shield

Shitty DPS and the Search for a Spell Casting Rotation
We did an Underbog run last night, and once again, the group was chock
full o' DKs.  My DPS was shit — fourth out of five.  My mana regen was
also horrible, and I found myself using Dispersion as a pseudo-mana-pot
several times.  So obviously I need to figure out a better spell
rotation, one that may or may not include Vampiric Embrace.  Looking at
threads on Shadowpriest.com and on Elitist Jerks, here's a
recommendation that I'm going to try on for size:

VT–>MB–>DP–>SW:D (for Shadow Weaving stacks)–> SW:P (+ trinket)–>MF–>MF–>MB–>reapply DoTs

(What about VE, I wonder?  When is it appropriate to cast it?)

Now granted, I'm level 65, as we all know the mantra right now, "the
game is balanced around level 80," but still… I don't like to perform

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