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  1. #1

    Shadow in 5.2 and onwards

    I haven't followed this forum since Cata so I'm sorry if this has been discussed in another thread already. Please point me to that disccussion if so. ^^;

    I've been playing Warlock main so far in MoP but been missing my Shadow Priest I had in Cata and just got it to level 90 a week ago. As always I'm having a lot of fun with it, but since I haven't kept up with theorycrafting I'd like to ask you all how good you think the spec will be in the future by going into details about its strengths/weaknesses.

    Please try to not make this a discussion about balance as a whole. I'm making this thread to get some insight on the spec from people who play it a lot. I don't really care that much about what you think needs to be done balance wise as much as I want to get a better understanding of how the spec works, so try stay objective and avoid whining about what other classes can do better and what you think about them because of this. With that said, let's move on to some questions I have to start the discussion~


    1) I read somewhere that the gear scaling for Shadow is not as good as other classes. What does this have to do with? That the spec now relies a lot on MB/MS procs which will not be affected as much by gear? If this is the main reason is it because proc rates remains the same, so the gear benefit from that part will mainly be from reaching haste plateus (which can seen as ineffective purely for this purpose becaue it happens so rarely that they are reached) and just pure Intellect (and partly Crit I guess) to increase damage from MB/MS when we use the procs? I've been thinking about this a lot but purely on my own since I don't stay updated with Shadow theorycrafting so just putting this out there to get it confirmed. It seems the playstyle of Shadow now might be more fun than in Cata because it has become more reactive (which usually increases skill cap in practice) but I can see if it won't work out the longer the expansion goes without any fixes because how poor it scales with gear.

    2) I know Shadow's role isn't only to DPS but also to support the raid with some good utility. In 10-man you rarely want to engage a boss without a Shadow Priest in your group (the optimal 10-man setup is usually 2 tanks, 2 healers, 1 spriest, 1 boomkin and 4 other DPS or 2 tanks, 3 healers, 1 spriest/boomkin and 4 other dps). However, how good do you consider this so often praised utility is in MoP? Please try give me some good examples of fights where Shadow utility has been really good/important this tier. I also wouldn't mind if you could compare the spec with other hybrids, mainly Boomkin/Elesham, if you have the knowledge to do so.

    3) Where and when do you feel Shadow as a DPS spec really shines? As in what situations and encounters this tier do you feel that Shadow is at top, where hardly any other spec in the game can do the job as well? I'm asking this to allow you to prove what the spec is really good at in MoP to greater highlight its strength(s). I have a feeling that even though, just like in Cata, the spec doesn't shine on single target its strengths outside of that might be slightly different. (There also has to be som way for it to compete in a raid environment when it comes to damage output or it's greatly flawed as a whole)

    4) What would you think about me if I were to change to Shadow main in 5.2? As previously mentioned, I play Warlock main atm and I've been both having a lot of fun as well as been able to perform well with the class on a higher level (been playing in a fairly succesful hardcore guild). Will I be likely to have less fun playing Spriest? Seeing how they struggle to compete with Warlocks at all fights this tier. If you can give an unbiased opinion by having a fair knowledge of both classes you're welcome to try convince me what I should play, just make sure to give me at least one good reason to why I should listen to your advice.

    Feel free to add more opinions about the spec if you think I forgot to bring up something important. I'm just trying to share my thoughts and feed you with some topics to get the discussion going~

    PS. I've been raiding on a hardcore level this tier and know the spec rather well (at least enough to tell how it compares with other specs on monst enocunters). Many of the questions are just worded for you in a way to make them easier to respond to. I'm just asking you all this to get opinions from people who play Shadow a lot and have spent enough time/thought to get some good insight on how the spec work and is doing in MoP. ^^;

  2. #2
    If you're a DPS, and want to contribute the best you can to your raid, you should stay Warlock.

    If your raid needs a 3rd healer for a few fights, then an Spriest with a holy/disc offspec may be the way to go....

    Spriests' 'utility' (I assume you're referring to Vampiric embrace and Divine Star/Halo, and possibly Mass Dispel...) can be useful if your healers are struggling with a couple of high damage portions of a fight, but hardly considered essential to any encounter. Mass Dispel is very useful on Wind Lord, but holy/disc can do it also, so any Priest really. I do that fight 50:50 Spriest/Disc.

    Spriests were pretty great in Cata, but the mantle of awesomeness is now firmly on the shoulders of Warlocks and (as always) Mages.

  3. #3
    Thanks for your answers

    Whether I should reroll or not was probably a dumb question. I think I wanted to get an answer on if I would have less fun playing Spriest than Warlock but I realize that's completely subjective and something I can only answer myself.

    I guess why I'm asking this is because I don't care that much about what class/spec I'm actually playing. Progress is all that matters to me and when it's done I'm usually too sick of the content to even look at the damage meters so the only real reason I keep raiding is to prepare for next tier with gear/boost runs etc.

    The purpose of this thread to me personally is to get a better idea of the viability of Shadow in future tiers so I know if I should gear up my Priest to have it ready if my guild would end up needing it. Since I focus on 10-man where you rarely stack classes I want to have more characters ready if my guild would happen to already have a good Warlock and in need of something else.

  4. #4
    Bloodsail Admiral Frmercury's Avatar
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    Shadow Priest.

    Always Shadow Priest.

  5. #5
    Scarab Lord Raugnaut's Avatar
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    Are you the only warlock in your 10 man group?

    If yes, stay warlock. Cookies are, imo, nearly mandatory. All tanks would LOVE to have a 2 min CD 20% insta health gain that can crit. Even for emergency usage (A healer went down), its pretty great and would be missed.

    If not, go for whichever one brings the most dps. As a shadow priest in the situation of a healer death, you could probably pop out and help stabilize a tank for a good 10 seconds while the healer gets back up. Halo is decent for healing, and damage if you position yourself correctly. Vampiric Embrace heals each friendly target in a 10 man environment for 5%/10% of your damage done (Pets count for this though). To be exact, it splits 50/100% of your damage done as healing between all members that need it. For this, Boomkins have a much more powerful CD on the same cooldown (Nature's Vigil, which increases damage/healing by 20% [10% next patch, on a 90 second CD, much more powerful for healing done on boomkins], and causes single target damage to heal a target for 25% of damage done, and single target healing to damage a target for 25% of healing done. I THINK it can proc off itself, because when I use it, I notice very very small healing/damage numbers, in the range of 25-600 going out around the raid, and can't think for the life of me what would produce those small numbers), in addition to Tranquility. Thus, if you have a druid in your group, and the druid is giving you Symb (Which would most likely be either a feral for Dispersion, or a resto (Leap), and potentially Balance (Mass Dispel)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moounter View Post
    I think your problem is a lack of intellect.

  6. #6
    A single warlock is more important to a raid group than a priest due to lock rocks and their portals. Not to mention they are one of the top dps specs atm. Priests are nice, but if it comes down to having either 1 lock or 1 spriest in my raid, I'll take the lock. As for you questions:

    1. Shadow has low stat weights compared to many other specs, with all ours stats hovering around .4 in bis gear. There are a variety of reasons for this, but a lot of it comes down to the simple reason of despite being a dot spec, much of our dps comes from MB/DP which receives limited benefit from haste. Crit does nothing other than give crit unlike in Cata where it reduced fiend cd. Our mastery is also rather weak since, like haste, it doesn't affect a large portion of our spells. The result ends up being that priest have comparatively low stat weights, which isn't a *huge* problem this tier but may lead to scaling issues down the road.

    2. I feel someone may have oversold you on how necessary a spriest is to a raid. We're decent, and arguably the best spell haste buffer, but I wouldn't say we're as mandatory as a warlock's healthstones or a warrior's banners. We're still great utilitarians for the raid, however. VE and Hymn are great raid cd's, and we have some great off-healing potential. If your raid is really struggling on healing checks, a priest can ease the burden more readily than either a shaman or boomkin, although both these specs have better "burst" raid healing cd's. There really isn't a single fight where a priest's raid utility explicitly shines; VE and Hymn should be worked into nearly every fight. Dispersion has always been one on the best soaking spells, and there are a lot of uses for it in heroics this tier (elegon, will, empress, sha, etc).

    3. Obviously shadow's single target is in the shitter, but on heavy multi-dot fights we are near the top. Shadow benefits tremendously from continuous low-medium health adds through Twist of Fate. This is and mass aoe are the areas where shadow is at its strongest this tier. It's not really that shadow is leaps and bounds ahead on these fights, but shadow is a stronger mass-dotter than affliction since so much of their damage is tied to MG. Mind Sear has also been buffed to a decent level so we're once again doing well on heavy aoe (Mel'jarak, end of Sha heroic).

    4. The best advice I can give is to play what you enjoy playing the most. You'll find a way to overcome the dps obstacles of any class if you're truly engaged by the spec. Even though this is a relative low-point in shadow's recent history, you'll find that most priests will stick with the spec anyways because they genuinely enjoy it. If topping dps gives you the most enjoyment you should stick with a lock, they're ridiculous right now. If you're not satisfied with your lock, which it seems since you've taken the time to make this post, shadow is a decent alternative with a great toolkit (best/most balanced talent list in the game). If I were to recommend a class to a new player, it would definitely be warlock, but I would never have any interest in rerolling myself.

  7. #7
    Shadow does some amazing stuff on Tsulong. Decent damage in Night phase, and good healing in Day phase. Our priest is able to spam Flash Heal with Renew up and never go oom as long as she stands in every breath and tabs VT to a few targets. The Mana Hymn is a huge help for the other healers, and she can root a few of the adds if they get too close. Really amazing utility to have even if it comes at the expense of semi-low Single Target dps.

  8. #8
    Bloodsail Admiral Frmercury's Avatar
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    Man, Shadow is OP in 10's

    Just the off-healing alone... it's dumb

    It's like Disc healing in 10's, it scales stupid well in 10's.

  9. #9
    shadow is good in HMSV 10, but still lower damage than a slightly lesser skill/gear warlock.

    shadow is quite bad in HHOF 10, where there is really no steady trickle of quickly-killed adds which give us maximum uptime on TOF. this is exacerbated by how good disc is in 10s - atonement healing is more effective with fewer targets taking damage (so more of it goes to tanks instead of random dps) and spirit shell can be stacked in half the time as 25, allowing you to pump more atonement to beat enrages.

    shadow is nice due to damage reducing abilities on protectors, and sha of fear gives you another trickle of adds situation where you can keep high TOF uptime. holy is a vastly superior spec than shadow for tsulong, as you get stronger day phase healing plus you get a +60% healing taken buff (which is even more godly on heroic when combined with the +1600% buff) and potentially a +10% for tsulong via div hymn. since chastise chakra dps costs basically no mana, you should have plenty of mana to spend in between sun breaths in day phase to help heal tsulong and keep the raid coated in renews. you can then go chastise in night phase and help nuke tsulong.

    basically, at the end of the day, if you're thinking about playing spriest you should really be ready and able to play disc (you can get away with a heavy smite setup with very low spirit, and still pump out 40-50k dps average) as well for fights which require high, controlled single target dps. the current shadow model just can't compete with warlocks and mages in this arena, and no other healer can compete with the damage added (not to mention absorb/cooldown utility) by an atonement disc priest.

  10. #10
    Thanks for the answers.

    Based on your comments I get the impression that Shadow doesn't have a very bright future and it will be hard to judge its viability. I might be exaggerating but I don't see many reasons for a raid to actually need a Spriest. It just doesn't seem to have enough to not justify replacing it in many situations.

    Disc is a lot of fun though and I play it now because I feel I can make a much bigger difference even with low gear. I can't imagine myself switching to playing a healer as main but I sure wouldn't mind playing it on some fights as an option to Shadow.

    I guess the option of a Disc off-spec is more appealing than the Shadow spec itself. It seems quite sad and I hope Blizzard will acknowledge the flaws.

  11. #11
    I am Murloc! Volitar's Avatar
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    Thanks for making me second guess my rer-roll to Spriest..jerks.

  12. #12
    It's not the shadow's that bad, it's that locks are simply godly compared to everyone else with fire dethroned and arcane getting nerfed. Unless you need spell haste/someone to soak spirit cloth drops, a lock is generally a better class to bring at this moment. There are fights where shadow can beat a lock, but they are definitely in the minority. Things wouldn't look nearly as bad if warlocks didn't exist; shadow would actually be a candidate for the best caster then. Of course the buff/nerf pendulum is constantly in motion, but at this very moment warlocks are simply better overall than spriests. This doesn't deter me from playing mine or makes me want to reroll, but I'm aware of the fact nonetheless. Fortunately the dps checks this tier have been absolutely anemic, so shadow's raid healing compensates a lot for their low single target.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bonkura View Post
    Thanks for the answers.

    I might be exaggerating but I don't see many reasons for a raid to actually need a Spriest. It just doesn't seem to have enough to not justify replacing it in many situations.
    Well I would definitely say you're exaggerating. There are plenty of reasons to bring a shadowpriest, but single target damage is not one of them. Considering that most dps checks this tier have been jokes, each shadowpriest in the raid can contribute hugely to raid healing. With Divine Star buffed and being the best talent choice on many fights, priests can easily achieve 20k raid healing just through their normal rotation. A couple shadowpriests in 25m quickly adds up to a huge passive raid hps buffer. A well-timed Halo can save the day on any of the heavy raid damage fights this tier as well. Shadow's not a "mandatory" raid spec to have like a warlock, but having them can certainly be a luxury when most fights this tier have been heal checks rather than dps ones.
    Last edited by Hesp; 2013-01-04 at 04:33 PM.

  13. #13
    I am Murloc! Volitar's Avatar
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    I'm not so much jealous of Warlocks damage as I am mechanics, Warlock devs have truly outdone themselves with MOP Affy.

  14. #14
    Eh, I'll concede I'm a little jealous of Malefic Grasp. It definitely feels like the current Aff model is where shadow should have ended up, not the spastic proc user it is now.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Volitar View Post
    I'm not so much jealous of Warlocks damage as I am mechanics, Warlock devs have truly outdone themselves with MOP Affy.
    Agreed. I've got jelly all over my face.

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  16. #16
    The simple idea of being able to gather a healing off spec gear set to fill in if needed is enough for me.

    Spriest > Warlock - flexibility is king.

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  17. #17
    Bloodsail Admiral Frmercury's Avatar
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    DoT swapping and casting on the move ftw.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Hesp View Post
    Eh, I'll concede I'm a little jealous of Malefic Grasp. It definitely feels like the current Aff model is where shadow should have ended up, not the spastic proc user it is now.
    I agree with this. I played Shadow in DS but was asked to roll a Lock for MoP and when the pre-MoP patch hit in Cata it really felt like Affliction had become an improved version of Shadow. What they did with Malefic Grasp is what should've been done with Mind Flay. Affliction should've stayed a strong dot class using single target fillers like Shadow Bolt and Haunt. They did weird redesigns for both specs that made them cross each other somehow. The big difference being great devs for Warlock and apparently less dedicated people working on the Spriest design.

  19. #19
    Moderator Yvaelle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Volitar View Post
    I'm not so much jealous of Warlocks damage as I am mechanics, Warlock devs have truly outdone themselves with MOP Affy.
    In that they just copied Shadow from 4.0->5.0 verbatim in playstyle? Silly wannabe spriests, always trying to be like us - always one step behind

    ---------- Post added 2013-01-06 at 08:33 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Toxigen View Post
    The simple idea of being able to gather a healing off spec gear set to fill in if needed is enough for me.

    Spriest > Warlock - flexibility is king.
    If all you want to do is DPS though, as a warlock you have 3 specs to choose from depending on the type of fight you are up against. As a spriest, you have 1 DPS spec and playstyle for all fights. If you aren't planning to use the 2 healing specs (and many arent), then we are the least flexible of all the specs in the game (the only class with 2 healing specs and 1 dps spec, we have no alternate choice without switching our role - which many DPS'rs aren't interested in doing).
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  20. #20
    well all i can say is that am a shadow pri and i love mu single /aoe damge maybe boost it abit but never far below others and by far i mean more than 1% if am not better than them and am in a hardcore guild with skillcaped ppl more or less

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