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  1. #1
    The Patient
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    [Priest] PvE Shadow Guide (by Newnoise)

    Table of Contents
    The Best Gear in 4.1 -- By Twintop

    The Guide: and the Introduction
    Shadow Orbs and the New Hotness
    • New to Cataclysm
    The Spec:Thoughts of a Lonely Shadow Priest
    • Talents
    • Glyphs
    Gearing: Purple Priests in Purple Gear
    • The Basics
    • Hit Cap or No Hit Cap?
    • Some Important Numbers
    • Best In Slot List and General Gearing
    • Getting the 4-Set Bonus
    • Gems
    • Enchants
    • Reforging
    Core Mechanics: What Does This Mean?
    • Haste Plateaus
    • Damage Modifiers Applied to Damage Over Time Spells
    • Pre-Potting
    Keep The Rotation: Pass The Buffs
    • The Priority Action List
    • Using Your Spells Effectively
    Does Your Warlock Love You? He'd Be a Fool Not to Love You

    Thank You

    On December 31, 2010, this guide was awarded the spot of 19th out of 20 in the MMO-Champion guide writing contest. I want to thank everyone who contributed to the discussion after the initial posting of this guide in the MMO-Champion Priest forums as they helped make this guide better. It was an honor to hear it helped so many people, and I thought it was fitting to thank all of you for reading it.

    The Guide: and the Introduction

    I posted this in our guild forums for Shadow Priest information but one of the MMO forums said there was a request for a Shadow PVE guide so I figured I'd throw this in here. Some of the information I use is from popular wow fan sites supplemented by my own opinions and paraphrasing. I will attempt to cite original sources of key information to give credit to the people who did the hard work to figure it out, but also provide links in an attempt to back up my own opinions and assumptions.

    Feel free to comment on things I have missed, misinterpreted, or have have stated as clearly wrong. Sorry for the lengthiness, but the explanations I have provided answer common questions asked by many people in the past months and is meant to be not only a guide to the elite, but to new comers and people returning to the game. I apologize for formatting as it was mostly copy pasta from my guild's forums. If the readability of the guide becomes a problem, I'll standardize the format.

    Shadow Orbs and The New Hotness

    A list of all available Priest spells and talents are available here on MMO-Champion. Albeit some of the information from the link is now outdated. I will cover some of the new spells in detail none the less:

    http://www.mmo-champion.com/content/...iest-Cataclysm

    New to the Cataclysm

    Shadow Orbs - Our new mastery Shadow Orb Power, results in increased damage from the stacking buff, Shadow Orbs, that we receive for specializing in the Shadow tree. Proccing from the ticks of our Shadow Word: Pain and Mind Flay spells, we gain a stacking buff of up to 3 Shadow Orbs. These stacks are consumed with casting Mind Blast or Mind Spike. Depending on which spell is cast, we receive a 10% damage bonus to that spell for each stack of Shadow Orbs consumed. We receive an additional 1.3% damage to this per point of mastery. Also, we receive the 15 second buff Empowered Shadows, increasing the damage of our periodic damage spells by 10% when our Shadow Orbs are consumed. The percentage of this damage increases 1.3% per point of mastery as well.

    The two effects of consuming our Shadow Orbs, buffing Mind Spike/Mind Blast damage and DOT damage, warrant a bit more explanation in their execution. Empowered Shadows is gained by consuming at least one Shadow Orb. The number Shadow Orb stacks consumed has no effect on the % damage increase on our periodic spells and will remain the same whether 1, 2, or 3 Shadow Orbs are consumed. The effect of the stacks is only important in the increase of amplified damage of Mind Blast and Mind Spike. Only these two spells receive higher damage with more Shadow Orb stacks consumed.

    Shadowy Apparitions - Through the talent Shadowy Apparition, we now have a 12% chance to proc a shadow version of ourselves when our Shadow Word: Pain ticks. These apparitions will spawn from our current position and will walk up to the target; exploding on contact. Shadowy Apparitions may proc while stationary but they have an increased 60% chance to proc when your character is moving. The maximum amount of apparitions you can have procced at one time is 4. I have additional information regarding how Shadowy Apparitions behave in regards to a Warrior's Spell Reflect ability at the link below:

    http://www.mmo-champion.com/threads/...36#post9147536

    Twisted Faith - The major implications of how this talent was changed is that now we receive Hit from Spirit in a 1:1 ratio (20 Spirit = 20 Hit). This will lead us to possibly roll on what may be affectionately be referred to as "healer gear". This talent leads to the idea that Shadow Priests may, and more than likely will, gain a part of their Hit rating from Spirit items to maximize their stat weights.

    Dark Evangelism - Similar to our old Shadow Weaving buff, Dark Evangelism will act as a new stacking buff on ourselves. Stacking up to 5 times, we maintain this to increase our DOT damage by 2% a stack by casting Mind Flay. Currently, we receive 1 stack per tick of Mind Flay and an inexplicable 4th stack (I assume this is from the actual initial cast of the spell). By consuming our stacks of Dark Evangelism we gain the buff, Dark Archangel.

    Dark Archangel - Gained by consuming stacks of Dark Evangelism, Dark Archangel gives us increased damage to our Mind Flay, Mind Spike, Shadow Word: Death and Mind Blast by 4% per stack consumed for 18 seconds. We also gain 5% total mana back per stack consumed. By consuming these stacks, we lose the 10% bonus to our periodic spells until we can gain an additional 5 stacks of Dark Evangelism. Fortunately, Dark Evangelism will continue to stack through the Dark Archangel effect, giving us a DPS cool down we should pop every ~90 seconds.

    Mind Spike - Through our talent Mind Melt, our new spammable nuke, Mind Spike, creates a stacking consumable buff. Consumed with casting Mind Blast, each stack of Mind Melt reduces the cast time of Mind Blast by 50%/100%. Casting Mind Spike also puts a stacking debuff on the target, increasing the critical strike chance of our next Mind Blast by 30%/60%/90% with each stack applied (Maximum of 3 stacks). Mind Spike is not meant to be a regular rotation spell for PvE. Casting Mind Spike will extinguish all of your DOTs on a target. It will mostly be used on adds that will die quickly or as utility to quickly stop DPS on a target. This ability is very handy on the Omnitron Council fight if you wish to remove your DOTs on Magmatron when he puts his shield up.

    The Spec: Thoughts of a Lonely Shadow Priest

    So you have hit level 85, are looking for information while you level, or you're just wondering how to spec and how to glyph. Examples of my proposed spec and glyph choices are provided below:

    Talents

    http://wowtal.com/#k=Y-m7Js1r.a8t.priest.qikI9Q.

    By allotting your points in this way, you're left with one extra talent point and are presented with some concerns with our level 85 raiding spec:

    Phantasm - I feel it is a useful tool on some encounters to break free of some snares/slows as a way to move to a new area faster, thus, maximizing DPS. I would put your free point here.

    Masochism - This talent is a must for at least the first tier of raiding. Earlier on, I found that mana was a major concern in Cataclysm raiding. This tends to be less of an issue as you gear and you may remove points in this at your discretion. However, definitely go 2/2 in this talent as you gear up through raids.

    Inner Sanctum - While I feel Inner Sanctum may be a better choice than Masochism or Phantasm on paper (purely hypothetical speculation), I feel the added benefits from this talent are not worth while earlier on. Should you choose to take points out of Masochism, this would be a helpful spot to place them to help healers out on damage heavy fights.

    Lack of Points Into Utility Talents - In order to achieve a maximum DPS spec, we will be forced to skip utility talents such as Improved Psychic Scream, Silence, Paralysis, and Psychic Horror. However, With your extra talent point, it is now possible to pick up Psychic Horror at the expense of 1/2 in Phantasm. While the other two talents may prove useful in certain situations, it is recommended not to spec into them as a level 85 raiding spec.

    Glyphs

    The choice of prime glyphs displayed in the link should be fairly obvious as these are the only 3 prime glyphs resulting in a DPS gain. Choices of major and minor slot glyphs are mostly up to personal choice, as there are no major or minor glyphs that result in a DPS gain. I have selected the following Prime glyphs as a general framework:

    Prime:
    ___
    • Glyph of Mind Flay

    • Glyph of Shadow Word: Death

    • Glyph of Shadow Word: Pain

    With the new glyph system in place, one of these prime glyphs may be replaced on a fight-to-fight basis to exploit the usefulness of Glyph of Dispersion as a raid cool down. Major and Minor glyphs may also be changed for personal preference or per the situation.

    Gearing: Purple Priests in Purple Gear

    The Basics

    With the announcement of Shadow Priest changes in Cataclysm, ample minds developing simcraft began running numbers and theorizing the values of Intellect, Haste, Spell power, Critical strike, Mastery and Hit/Spirit in terms of their increases of our DPS. Initial reports show stat weight priorities have maintained their importance from 3.3.5 but the new stat, Mastery, was seriously undervalued. After several months, Blizzard continuously revamped our Mastery effect; increasing its value as a gear statistic:

    Using Best In Slot (BIS) 372 ilevel Items:
    Code:
    		Int	Spi	SP	Hit	Crit	Haste	Mastery
    Scale Factors	3.3311	1.4346	2.5707	1.4433	1.4760	1.7975	1.4218
    Normalized	1.0000	0.4307	0.7717	0.4333	0.4431	0.5396	0.4268
    *accurate to http://chardev.org/?profile=18129 as of February 10, 2011. Subject to change. Tests are without Focus Magic and Dark Intent.

    Scale Factors - Refer to how your DPS is affected per point of stats gained. The higher the Scale Factor, the more your DPS will gain by increasing that stat versus another one. These numbers are important in determining gear upgrades as they show us what stats are most valuable to us to maximize our DPS.

    Normalized - These are numbers derived from dividing a stat's Scale Factor, by the biggest Scale Factor (in this case, everything is divided by Intellect). These numbers are sometimes used because they bit cleaner for calculations but also help capture the relationships of the stat weights in a ratio.

    The value of Spell Power has become less consequential as it is removed from all gear except for caster weapons and potential trinket procs. Trinket procs may still need to be evaluated using the spell power coefficient to determine a best in slot list. This leaves our main focus on the use of Intellect, Haste, Crit, Mastery and Hit/Spirit.

    Stat Priorities - From these lists, we can see that our best stats are Intellect > Spell Power > Haste > Critical Strike > Mastery in this order. Managing the balance of these stats (in the above order) through your gear choices and reforging will play an important role in maximizing your DPS. Further information regarding these stat weights and their priority is detailed in the post below:

    http://www.howtopriest.com/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=75

    I mostly ignore the factors associated with Spirit and Hit as I feel you should always be hit capped, despite Hit and Spirits supposed subpar value compared to the other secondary stats. More on this in the next section.

    Hit Cap or No Hit Cap?

    There has been some debate in the past months of whether to be hit capped or not. From the numbers above, you can see that Hit and Spirit are not as valuable as other secondary stats, leading some people to think that the hit cap should be ignored for more Haste or Crit. It is my personal opinion to always be hit capped as whatever potential gains you may make by going Haste/Crit > Hit will be negated by a string of unlucky misses or improperly handling a miss. Simcraft plays "perfect" so the difference in Hit/Spirit and Haste we see is something that is not easily done in practice.

    A recent thread written by Gherkin on the Warlock forums helps sum up a lot of the information you need to know about hit rating:

    http://www.mmo-champion.com/threads/824683

    It should also be mentioned again that gathering Spirit gear will allow for greater ease in reaching the hit cap of 17%.

    Some Important Numbers

    Hit Cap = 1742 hit/spirit (1639 for Draenei) for the 17% hit cap
    1% Hit = 102.446 rating
    1% Crit = 179.28 rating
    1% Haste = 128.05701 rating
    1 Mastery = 179.28 rating

    Best In Slot List and General Gearing

    I won't try to establish an entire Best In Slot list for this guide. However, Mastery/Haste gear, in combination with Spirit/Haste gear will probably reign supreme. With a general idea of stat weights, you should be able to eye ball gear upgrades or consult this list which is tailored to current stat weights:

    http://www.wowhead.com/items?filter=...88:1.3777;gb=1

    A list of gear upgrades from shadowpriest.com can be found here. It uses some different numbers, but it is still solid information and is incredibly useful in planning what pieces you wish to pick up:

    http://www.shadowpriest.com/viewtopic.php?f=73&t=29791

    A thread detailing supposed BIS combination's can be found below:

    http://www.shadowpriest.com/viewtopic.php?f=73&t=30142

    Trinkets

    Your Best In Slot Trinket in all situations will be Darkmoon Card: Volcano. Choosing your second trinket is a little less cut and dry. This is due to a number of factors ranging from fight length, fight mechanics, and perhaps your own scale factors. However, a helpful list behind Trinket updates can be found from a thread on MMO-Champion below:

    http://www.mmo-champion.com/threads/...1#post10357155
    *I will try to ensure this list stays up-to-date by staying in contact with the author. Thank you to Twintop for creating this list.

    Getting the 4-Set Bonus

    It is advised to pick up the 4-set bonus as the set bonus is worth around 238-363 DPS depending on the fight. High movement fights will increase the bonus given by this set bonus, as moving will proc more Shadowy Apparitions. Evidence supporting the 4-Set bonus can be found on the 11th page of discussion of the guide at the link below:

    http://www.mmo-champion.com/threads/...1#post10244017

    Gems

    Socket bonuses appear to be mostly based on Intellect, and it seems that most of socket bonuses will be worth gemming for at first glance. The desirable gem(s) for each slot are as follows:

    Red: Brilliant Inferno Ruby
    Blue: Purified Demon's Eye
    Yellow: Reckless Ember Topaz
    Meta: Burning Shadowspirit Diamond*

    Only rare gems exist as a part of Cataclysm. I expect epic gems to make their way back into the game in a future patch. Also, if a unique +20 all stats gem, like Nightmare Tear, makes its way into the game again, it would be ideal for a blue socket. I would highly recommend not gemming for Hit. You will gain more by gemming for Intellect and reforging secondary stats into Hit/Spirit if you need the rating.

    You should gem for the socket bonuses if the bonuses are:

    Red Sockets = Always 40 Intellect in a red socket
    Yellow Sockets (20 Int + 20 Haste) = Intellect > 9. Haste > 19. Crit > 23. Mastery > 22
    Blue Sockets (20 Int + 20 Spirit)* = Intellect > 19. Haste > 40. Crit > 45. Mastery > 45
    *This assumes you can make up the hit through reforging and avoiding a loss of Intellect by gemming for Spirit

    Enchants

    Head: Arcanum of Hyjal - 60 Intellect, 35 Crit
    Shoulders: Greater Inscription of Charged Lodestone - 50 Intellect, 25 Haste
    Back: Greater Intellect - 50 Intellect
    Chest: Peerless Stats - 20 All Stats
    Bracer: Mighty Intellect - 50 Intellect
    Hands: Haste - 50 Haste or Greater Mastery - 65 Mastery
    Legs: Powerful Ghostly Spell thread - 95 Intellect, 55 Spirit
    Boots: Haste - 50 Haste or Lava Walker - 35 Mastery and increased run speed
    Main-Hand: Power Torrent
    Off-hand: Superior Intellect - 40 Intellect

    *Its been debatable for years whether to go with the DPS stat boosting feet enchants, or to go with the run speed enhancing boot enchants. This expansion, we have a run speed enchant whose secondary stat is a DPS boost and not just a stamina increase. Another acceptable enchant for your boots is Lava Walker (run speed increase, 35 Mastery).

    Reforging

    I will provide a basic framework of how to reforge your gear. The choices I specify are with maintaining the hit cap in mind. If you do not want to get hit capped, then this framework may not be as helpful to you. Start by looking at reforging your Mastery, then Crit, then Spirit, then Haste on your gear. Then, follow the points of importance in order:

    Code:
    Mastery: 1.Reforge to Spirit when not hit capped
             2.Reforge to Haste when hit capped on a Mastery/Crit piece
             3.Reforge to Haste when hit capped on a Mastery/Spirit piece
             4.Reforge to Crit if you're hit capped and it is a Mastery/Haste piece
             5.Mastery should always be reforged to something else
    
    Crit:    1.Reforge to Spirit when not hit capped with no Mastery left to reforge into Spirit instead
             2.Reforge to Haste when hit capped on a Crit/Spirit piece
             3.Leave as is when hit capped on a Haste/Crit piece
    
    Spirit:  1.If you're not hit capped, leave as is
             2.If over the hit cap, reforge to Haste until the hit cap
             3.If over the hit cap, reforge to Crit until the hit cap
    
    Haste:   1.Do your best to not to reforge Haste whenever possible
             2.If you're not hit capped with no Mastery or Crit to reforge, reforge Haste to Spirit
    Core Mechanics: What Does This Mean?

    Some discussion on how the game works is important to understand how we can maximize our DPS.

    Haste Plateaus

    Haste Plateaus exist as a result of what levels of Haste we need to achieve to add extra ticks of damage to our DOT spells. Levels of Haste outside these Haste plateaus will just reduce the duration of the DOT and increase its periodic tick rate. The Haste ratings needed to find out how much Haste you need can be found out in the following way and I will provide an example of how to add 3 additional ticks to Vampiric Touch:

    The Math

    Where:
    x = Haste rating
    1.05 = Mind Quickening
    1.03 = Darkness

    Base Tick Time of Dot / (Duration of Dot / (Number of Total Ticks You Want - .5*))
    *the number of ticks is rounded up through how Blizzard calculates it.

    3 seconds/ (15 seconds / 7.5 ticks) = 1.5
    So you need 50% total Haste to get 8 ticks of Vampiric Touch (up from its original 5).

    1.5 / 1.05 / 1.03 = 1.38692552 - 1
    So if you wanted 50% total Haste after Mind Quickening and Darkness, you would only need 38.6962552% worth of haste rating.

    x/128.05701 = 38.6962552
    x = 4956*
    *some rounding errors in the math but this should be the right number in the end

    The Results


    X% = Total spell haste needed after 5%+3% bonus from talents
    (XXXX) = Character sheet haste needed

    Code:
    			 +1		 +2	        +3	        +4	       +5
    Vampiric Touch	   10.00% (0220)   30.00% (2588)   50.00% (4956)   70.00% (7324)
    Shadow Word: Pain  08.34% (0024)   25.00% (1996)   41.67% (3969)   58.34% (5943)
    Devouring Plague   06.25% (0000)   18.75% (1256)   31.25% (2736)   43.75% (4216)   56.25% (5696)
    **not calculated with Dark Intent active

    With Dark Intent:
    Code:
    			 +1		 +2	        +3	        +4	       +5
    Vampiric Touch	   10.00% (0000)   30.00% (2140)   50.00% (4441)   70.00% (6738)
    Shadow Word: Pain  08.34% (0000)   25.00% (1565)   41.67% (3481)   58.34% (5397)
    Devouring Plague   06.25% (0000)   18.75% (0346)   31.25% (2283)   43.75% (3720)   56.25% (5157)
    ** Mind Flay does not gain additional ticks from Haste

    DPS gains by crossing these Haste Plateaus will be very small (almost negligible), but these numbers are provided as a reference for people who may be interested in what Haste they need for additional ticks of their DOTs. They in no way imply these are Haste caps or imply Haste levels between the plateaus are sub-optimal to your DPS. What they do say, is that if you find yourself in a position to push past one of these Haste levels, doing so should help your boost your DPS, albeit by a very small amount. This DPS gain is by a factor of the additional Haste gained to reach that level, and the potential extra GCDs you will gain by resetting the length of your DOTs back to their original unhasted duration.

    As a quick followup to this idea, the damage caused by Improved Devouring Plague increases from additional ticks of Devouring Plague as well. However, it does not round up in its Haste calculation like our other DOTS. In addition, it is not affected by Haste multipliers like Mind Quickening, Darkness and Dark Intent, so Improved Devouring Plague requires different levels of Haste to gain extra damage (besides gains in Spell Power):
    Code:
    			        +1		+2	        +3
    Imp. Devouring Plague     12.50% (1601)   25.00% (3202)   37.50% (4803)
    Damage Modifiers Applied to Damage Over Time Spells

    An understanding of how damage modifiers are applied to our DOTs is a very common question in numerous conversations about DPS. However, in regards to Shadow Priests, the only 2 DOTs we need to concern ourselves with are Devouring Plague and Vampiric Touch as these 2 are not affected by a near constant refresh mechanic like Shadow Word: Pain is when channeling Mind Flay.

    Changes in % damage modifiers, critical strike chances, increased casting speed, spell power bonuses, etc., are not reevaluated with each tick of Devouring Plague and Vampiric Touch. The damaging values of each tick are determined by the stats your character has at the time DOT's cast completion. This means, in order to gain the added benefit of buffs like Dark Evangelism and Empowered Shadows that have procced after our DOT's application, we will need to recast our DOTs to increase their periodic tick damage. This information is provided as a clarification of how DOTs work and is not saying to recast your DOTs immediately upon receiving damage modifiers. Further explanation of how to DPS as a Shadow Priest is provided below.

    Pre-Potting

    All classes are only allowed one potion per combat. However, you can take advantage of this potion lock out through creative potion popping. By using a potion right before you pull the boss, you can use a potion and reset its 1 minute cool down as it was used outside of combat. 1 minute later, you will be free to use another potion. This is a very common practice by all classes and can have a good impact on your DPS. Your 2nd potion should be saved for your Heroism/Blood Lust phase; more on this later.

    Keep the Rotation: Pass The Buffs

    The Priority Action List

    Shadow Priests do not have a DPS "rotation" in a classical sense. Instead, we operate on a priority system, determined by which of our spells should be cast at a given time, given its supposed superior damage benefit over other spells. In other words, you cast your highest damaging spells at the right times, neglecting lower damaging spells until it is proper to cast them.

    Despite the Tier 10 cluster fuck that lead to the death of Mind Blast in the rotation for awhile, our Cataclysm rotation should remain mostly the same as it has since the beginning of Wrath of the Lich King. Based on a simcraft simulation of a BIS tier 11 Priest, we get the following Damage Per Execute Times (DPET) on our spells:

    Devouring Plague: 81674
    Vampiric Touch: 65195
    Mind Blast: 29821
    Shadow Word: Death: 24908
    Mind Flay: 11158

    Opener:___________Vampiric Touch > Shadow Word: Pain > Devouring Plague > Mind Blast 1-3 Orbs > Mind Flay until first Orb

    Target Health > 25%: Devouring Plague > Vampiric Touch > Shadow Word: Pain > Mind Blast 1-3 Orbs > Mind Flay

    Target Health < 25%: Devouring Plague > Vampiric Touch > Shadow Word: Pain > Mind Blast 1-3 Orbs > Shadow Word: Death > Mind Flay

    Opener - It is beneficial to time a Vampiric Touch cast to land right as the tank pulls. With Vampiric Touch up, use your instant casts to run into place. Following this, hopefully you have gained a Shadow Orb from the initial ticks of Shadow Word: Pain. If you are still without an Orb at this point, continue to Mind Flay away until your first Shadow Orb proc. More on Mind Blast later.

    Using Your Spells Effectively

    DOTs - In all cases, DOTs should always have priority over other spells for their superior DPET. It should also be noted that DOTs no longer clip in Cataclysm so the early reapplication of dots is now encouraged as a DPS gain in some cases. The ideal time to recast your dots is between the second last and last tick of a DOT to gain 100% up time on your dots while also not wasting any cast time or lost GCDs. If Empowered Shadows has fallen off, then a 1-3 Orb Mind Blast moves to the top of the priority list to reapply Empowered Shadows.

    Some further work on dot clipping can be read from reading Gherkin's post on DOT clipping from the Warlock forums:

    http://www.mmo-champion.com/threads/...s-and-Clipping

    Global Cool Downs - Using your instant cast spells (or GCDs) effectively, is an excellent way of maximizing your DPS. In almost all fights, you will find yourself needing to move from one point to another. If no spells are cast, the time spent running from one point to another is wasted DPS time. However, by using an instant cast when you need to run, you can make it almost like you lost zero DPS time at all. Timing your need to move with when it is time to reapply Devouring Plague, cast Shadowfiend, or cast Shadow Word: Death, you can use the GCD time to make your dash from one point to another.

    Shadow Word: Death - Try not to use > 25% as its damage is severely nerfed until sub 25% target health. You can use it as a GCD to move from one spot to another, and is a quick way to get a fair amount of mana back. However, should mana issues be none existent, reapplying Devouring Plague, even spamming Devouring Plague, would be a higher DPS gain on the run. However, take some of this with a grain of salt. If you're struggling for mana, casting occasional the Shadow Word: Death may be a good way to avoid going out of mana. Casting Shadow Word: Death may be a DPS loss, but being out of mana is an even bigger DPS loss.

    Mind Blast - If all DOTs are rolling, you now have to choose whether to use Mind Blast or Mind Flay. Casting Mind Blast on cool down will result in a potential DPS gain, as the DPET of a 0 orb Mind Blast is now greater than that of Mind Flay. However, this strategy could lead to a potential DPS loss if you allow Empowered Shadows to fall off with a bad string of Shadow Orb procs. The general consensus of Shadow Priests is to cast Mind Blast on cool down if there is greater than 6.5 seconds left on Empowered Shadows as to avoid this situation from happening. Choosing to Mind Blast with 0 orbs will be at the discretion of the Shadow Priest.

    Dark Arch Angel - Make sure this is popped right after you reapply Vampiric Touch, and Devouring plague has more than 18 seconds left. Doing so will make sure you are only using Mind Blast, Mind Flay and Shadow Word: Death while the buff is active (maybe Mind Spike depending on the situation) for the most of the duration. This talent can also be great if delayed for a short while to enter execute range for the added Shadow Word: Death damage during the execute phase. Furthermore, having this cool down available for Blood Lust/Heroism, is essential.

    Herosim/Blood Lust - Besides saving your Dark Arch Angel and Shadowfiend for this raid cooldown, it is important to talk about what you should be doing as far as spell casting while under the effect of Heroism/Blood Lust. If you have a Volcanic Potion off cool down, you should pop it as Heroism/Blood List is cast to maximize the gain from the potion. In regards to the spell casting priority, I did simcraft work that shows that maintaining your normal priority spell casting through Heroism/Blood Lust, is the best way to maximize your DPS. It has been discussed that Mind Spike + Mind Blast spam may beat out our normal rotation, but that is simply not the case. Further details on the calculations for this can be found on page 7 of this thread:

    http://www.mmo-champion.com/threads/...=1#post9994284

    Shadowfiend - One of our main mana returns, we get the added benefit that he does a large amount of damage while he is out (~1800 DPS). If you are typically starved for mana, then you will want to be careful in using your Shadowfiend cool down so you don't go out of mana. If you don't have a lot of mana problems, then he can be used as a DPS cooldown. Shadowfiend gains attack power from our spell power, so if you get a trinket proc, that is an excellent time to get more DPS from your Shadowfiend. Furthermore, if you know when Blood Lust/Heroism is going to be cast, it can be a benefit to wait for casting Shadowfiend right before Blood Lust/Heroism is popped (but don't delay too much). If your Shadowfiend is out when Bloodlust/Heroism is popped, then it too will gain the increased attack speed buff, upping its DPS, and by extension, your DPS.

    A helpful macro to spam while Shadowfiend is out to make sure it is using its Shadow Crawl attack follows:

    #showtooltip
    /cast shadowfiend
    /cast [pet,nomodifier] Shadowcrawl

    For a more set it and forget approach, simply add this line in a macro for all your abilities to ensure he is using Shadow Crawl:

    /cast [pet,nomodifier] Shadowcrawl

    Dispersion - This talent gets a lot of bad attention these days. However, I kind of like it. Typically, you want to avoid using this ability as a mana return cool down as 6 seconds of silence = 6 seconds of wasted DPS. There are times you can use it creatively to increase your DPS on some fights (Algalon/Festergut anyone?). Ideal times to pop this cool down would be during a transition phase where you can't DPS, or to save your ass for not moving quick enough. In order to get the best situational benefit from this skill, you should have this macro so if you only need 1-2 seconds of damage protection, you can pop dispersion, then quickly cancel the effect:

    #showtooltip
    /cast dispersion
    /cancelaura dispersion

    Does Your Warlock Love You? He'd Be a Fool Not to Love You

    The following is based on solid math, but also personal interpretations of the data:
    **Make up your own mind

    Dark Intent - With the mechanic of this cast able Warlock buff, we may have to argue with Warlocks in PUGs to give it to us, but our guild mates should know to give it to us. Shadow Priests are the best class for this buff; with the best competition for this buff being Fire Mages, Balance Druids, Resto Druids, and Raid healing Resto Shamans (should healing be a concern). Fire Mages do have more total DOTs than we do. However, with ~74% of our damage coming from DOT damage we should get the biggest DPS gain than any other caster, as well as provide a near 100% up time to the Warlock. If your guild has good communication, your Warlocks should already know this (thank you Gherkin, Ceazzar, Nijel and Chalz, you guys rock), but should you find yourself losing out on this buff in your guild, you can argue your case rather well:
    ___
    • Mind Flay is considered a DOT in terms of mechanics (yes, yes, yes, it is), while actually being a channeled spell. This gives us 4 total dots and with the highest chance of DOT ticks per second, we also have the highest potential DOT crits per second. A Warlock will want to keep his Dark Intent stacked to 3 on himself as much as possible and with the most DOT ticks per second, we give the Warlock the best possible chance to keep his Dark Intent Buff up.
    ___
    • A raiding Warlock should always be concerned about the raids success. While Shadow Priests may not do the most damage in your raid, they will still gain the biggest DPS boost by having this buff than other classes.
    ___
    • By swapping Dark Intent with other Warlocks, the Warlocks will only benefit from an additional 3% haste, but the increased DOT damage will not stack. This leads to a wasted 9% damage to another potential raid member's DOT spells which is a bigger loss than a Warlock's DPS increase with an extra 3% haste. This is loss is increased to 18% DOT damage if the infamous "Warlock swap" should occur.

    To further prove this point, please refer to the excellent work done by one of our Warlocks, Gherkin, regarding Dark Intent:

    http://www.mmo-champion.com/threads/...tent-The-Guide

    This link will show that Shadow Priests receive the largest DPS gain, and provide the largest increase in total raid DPS, by receiving Dark Intent versus any other class. It goes on to say that in regards to the Warlock's DPS, a Boomkin will increase the Warlock's personal DPS by ~9 DPS (guaranteed crits with sun fire) over that of a Shadow Priest. However, with the idea of raid > self, this buff should always continue to go to a Shadow Priest in any situation where healing is not an issue.

    While my overall knowledge of all classes is somewhat lacking, from what I have looked at, DOT % damage will remain mostly the same over time. Thus, the results of Gherkin's Dark Intent work should hold true over time. However, I'll update the post as needed.

    I do not give public-domain use for this guide, and do not condone it's reproduction in any way on this or other websites.
    Last edited by Kelesti; 2011-06-02 at 08:28 AM.

  2. #2
    Very nice guide, kudos for writing it.

    May be worth noting the haste is cheaper than other stats to get 1%, though that is obvious from the numbers, but still an interesting point to note.
    Also on the opener, I've been doing this
    Shadow Word: Pain > Devouring Plague > Vampiric Touch > Mind Flay to 5 Evangelism > MB with 1+ orbs > Start normal rotation
    Wondering if that would be better or not?

    But yeah, very impressed, thanks for doing it.
    /Burley
    Last edited by Kelesti; 2011-01-01 at 08:29 PM.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burley View Post
    Very nice guide, kudos for writing it.

    May be worth noting the haste is cheaper than other stats to get 1%, though that is obvious from the numbers, but still an interesting point to note.
    Also on the opener, I've been doing this
    Shadow Word: Pain > Devouring Plague > Vampiric Touch > Mind Flay to 5 Evangelism > MB with 1+ orbs > Start normal rotation
    Wondering if that would be better or not?

    But yeah, very impressed, thanks for doing it.

    /Burley
    Thank you for your thoughts concerning the priority system for casting. The idea of your opening rotation seems sound, and while I lack simcraft data to prove my point, I am going with the assumption that waiting for potential shadow orb procs results in a DPS loss as per the shadowpriest.com links I have provided. I feel this continues to hold true in the opening rotation as it does through normal priority casting; as I have paraphrased from from the link (11th post on that page):

    http://www.shadowpriest.com/viewtopi...29828&start=45

    There have been other notable discussions on whether to wait for a shadow orbs to proc or not to begin your normal priority rotation (unfortunately, I do not have the links to those discussions off-hand at the moment). However, the consensus seems to conclude it was better to not wait for a shadow orb in the opening rotation (personal interpretation of facts presented).

    The idea of Mind Flaying until 5 stacks of Evangelism in the opener does seem suspect though (It should be something pursued throughout the rest of your DPS cycle though). I think if you're doing this purely to get 5 stacks of Evangelism, then your logic is false. You should be able to cast at least 1 full Mind Flay (resulting in 4 Evangelism) and at least 1 partial cast of Mind Flay (giving you the 5th) between the time of the initial application of your dots and when you need to reapply again. You're not going to reapply your DOTs so early as to make the Dark Evangelism stack worth while except right near the end.

    However, I suppose I will slightly contradict myself here, if you're hoping for a stack of Shadow Orbs by doing your opener like this, then that may not be too bad a choice as part of the opener as Empowered Shadows won't be up originally. The true finesse of what I have proposed is whether you're willing to gamble being unlucky with a Shadow Orb proc at the start (as I often do), versus waiting for a shadow orb to proc and Mind Flaying away. Again, this is not something I'm able to set in stone at this time, but I encourage the discussion surrounding it for not only my own benefit, but for other people reading this thread. Forgive me if this is not what your proposed in your post.
    Last edited by Kelesti; 2011-01-01 at 08:29 PM.

  4. #4
    Okay, now here's my two questions regarding Mind Blast:

    Empowered Shadows just fell off, you have zero Shadow Orbs. Mind Blast is not worth casting until this changes, correct?

    And scenario two:

    You have three shadow orbs, and 6+ seconds left on Empowered Shadows. Do you Mind Blast immediately, using the bonus damage now to hopefully rack up more for the next one?
    ~Former Priest/Guild Wars 2 Moderator~
    Now TESTING: ArcheAge (Alpha)
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  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by New View Post
    Thank you for your thoughts concerning the priority system for casting. The idea of your opening rotation seems sound, and while I lack simcraft data to prove my point, I am going with the assumption that waiting for potential shadow orb procs results in a DPS loss as per the shadowpriest.com links I have provided. I feel this continues to hold true in the opening rotation as it does through normal priority casting; as I have paraphrased from from the link (11th post on that page):


    There have been other notable discussions on whether to wait for a shadow orbs to proc or not to begin your normal priority rotation (unfortunately, I do not have the links to those discussions off-hand at the moment). However, the consensus seems to conclude it was better to not wait for a shadow orb in the opening rotation (personal interpretation of facts presented).

    The idea of Mind Flaying until 5 stacks of Evangelism in the opener does seem suspect though (It should be something pursued throughout the rest of your DPS cycle though). I think if you're doing this purely to get 5 stacks of Evangelism, then your logic is false. You should be able to cast at least 1 full Mind Flay (resulting in 4 Evangelism) and at least 1 partial cast of Mind Flay (giving you the 5th) between the time of the initial application of your dots and when you need to reapply again. You're not going to reapply your DOTs so early as to make the Dark Evangelism stack worth while except right near the end.

    However, I suppose I will slightly contradict myself here, if you're hoping for a stack of Shadow Orbs by doing your opener like this, then that may not be too bad a choice as part of the opener as Empowered Shadows won't be up originally. The true finesse of what I have proposed is whether you're willing to gamble being unlucky with a Shadow Orb proc at the start (as I often do), versus waiting for a shadow orb to proc and Mind Flaying away. Again, this is not something I'm able to set in stone at this time, but I encourage the discussion surrounding it for not only my own benefit, but for other people reading this thread. Forgive me if this is not what your proposed in your post.
    Thanks for the reply.

    I maybe didn't explain myself as well as I could have there, but still I have seen the flaw in my logic.
    What I was proposing was to open as per usual per Pain > DP > VT. At this point, assuming 0 orbs, cast 2 Mind Flays, to stack DA. At this point there should most certainly be an orb up, cast a Mind Blast. This would get all of our increased dot damage buffs up, while the first VT and DP are ticking. Then re-applying them with +20% damage.
    The main flaw in my logic was I hadn't mistakenly thought that 1 Mind Flay gave 3 stacks of DA, not 4. So yeah, your opener would be better. Though I would Mind Flay before the Mind Blast in the opener if at 0 orbs. But I guess that is, as you said, the finesse in the spec.

    /Burley

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kelesti View Post
    Okay, now here's my two questions regarding Mind Blast:

    Empowered Shadows just fell off, you have zero Shadow Orbs. Mind Blast is not worth casting until this changes, correct?
    Casting Mind Blast with 0 orbs should always be avoided. Not only is the DPET of a 0 orb Mind Blast potentially less damage than a Mind Flay, but it also increases the chances of having Empowered Shadows fall off (big no-no). The potential DPS loss in waiting for Shadow Orbs is if you're always waiting around for 3 stacks rather than following the normal priority system of casting a 1-3 orb Mind Blast. So in this scenario, yes, wait for at least one Shadow Orb before you cast Mind Blast again.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelesti View Post
    And scenario two:

    You have three shadow orbs, and 6+ seconds left on Empowered Shadows. Do you Mind Blast immediately, using the bonus damage now to hopefully rack up more for the next one?
    The spell casting priority should stay the same whether you have 1-3 Shadow Orbs. If Empowered Shadows is up and you feel you can cast another DOT or a Shadow Word: Death within that 6 second window without Empowered Shadows falling off, then you should do that before hitting Mind Blast again. The only time Mind Blast's priority changes is if Empowered Shadows falls off. In this situation it moves to the top of the priority list in order to reapply Empowered Shadows.

    I think the potential risk you're worried about here is also that if you have 3 Shadow Orbs, you cannot gain 4, and risk potentially wasting an orb proc. It's my opinion that our DOT's and Shadow Word: Death's DPETs still are better than a 3 Orb Mind Blast, so a wasted proc is something you will have to risk.

    ---------- Post added 2010-12-18 at 04:48 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Burley View Post
    Thanks for the reply.

    I maybe didn't explain myself as well as I could have there, but still I have seen the flaw in my logic.
    What I was proposing was to open as per usual per Pain > DP > VT. At this point, assuming 0 orbs, cast 2 Mind Flays, to stack DA. At this point there should most certainly be an orb up, cast a Mind Blast. This would get all of our increased dot damage buffs up, while the first VT and DP are ticking. Then re-applying them with +20% damage.
    The main flaw in my logic was I hadn't mistakenly thought that 1 Mind Flay gave 3 stacks of DA, not 4. So yeah, your opener would be better. Though I would Mind Flay before the Mind Blast in the opener if at 0 orbs. But I guess that is, as you said, the finesse in the spec.

    /Burley
    I like this idea. Running it over in my head a few times this opener does seem like it could be potentially better than what I originally posted. My original was a pessimistic look at the potential worst that could happen, and yours is hopeful in getting an early Shadow Orb proc.

  7. #7
    Thanks, it does seem to have some potential, though the amount of dps it gains isn't large enough for it to impact greatly over a long period.

    /Burley
    Last edited by Kelesti; 2011-01-01 at 08:29 PM.

  8. #8
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    I agree with you, however, min/maxing is min/maxing amirite? So may as well.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Burley View Post
    Very nice guide, kudos for writing it.

    May be worth noting the haste is cheaper than other stats to get 1%, though that is obvious from the numbers, but still an interesting point to note.
    Also on the opener, I've been doing this
    Shadow Word: Pain > Devouring Plague > Vampiric Touch > Mind Flay to 5 Evangelism > MB with 1+ orbs > Start normal rotation
    Wondering if that would be better or not?

    But yeah, very impressed, thanks for doing it.

    /Burley
    Firstly, openers make very little difference in your DPS figure over a 5min encounter... we're talking about 3 or 4 GCDs out of several hundred.

    However, considering people like to discuss the best openers, I think it's good pratice to not cast DP until you have empowered shadows, the reason being is the length of the DP duration, if you case it straight up you are losing out on 24 seconds of 25% damage. Of course bad RNG may then delay your DP significantly but on average you shoudl be able to proc empowered shadows early enough for it to be a good way to open in the vast majority of cases.
    Last edited by Kelesti; 2011-01-01 at 08:29 PM.

  10. #10
    Thanks a ton for this guide. I feel dumb...I had no idea that 1 spirit = 1 hit rating. That's a revelation that is going to completely change my gems and reforges, and hopefully my dps a little. Can't thank you enough for making me less of a noob

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Worshaka View Post
    Firstly, openers make very little difference in your DPS figure over a 5min encounter... we're talking about 3 or 4 GCDs out of several hundred.

    However, considering people like to discuss the best openers, I think it's good pratice to not cast DP until you have empowered shadows, the reason being is the length of the DP duration, if you case it straight up you are losing out on 24 seconds of 25% damage. Of course bad RNG may then delay your DP significantly but on average you shoudl be able to proc empowered shadows early enough for it to be a good way to open in the vast majority of cases.
    you would be refreshing VT and DP after mind blast anyway, so not putting DP up while waiting for an orb is a dps loss, straight up.

  12. #12
    First off, really good job on this post, theres alot of really good information here, and i especially want to thank you for the Dark Intent part,. Thats very much linked on my guild forums -> Lock sectiong LoL...

    Anyways, i see alot of posts here talking about "openers" and i still havent seen one post stating my personally prefered opener, everybody seems to say start out with SWP, but are all these assuming you are running into position?

    .. Personally, i agree with the openers IF you are running, Its obvious SWP>DP ,. HOWEVER, if you are standing still on the pull in range of the boss, i'd say: _FADE PRE-PULL_ VT > SWP > DP > Flay 'till 4/5 Evangelism(Depending on orbs) > MB with 1+ Orbs,. VT being the most powerful spell, having it on the target for as much of the fight as possbile to me seems like the best choise? I would burn MB as soon as i get the first ORB to increase the uptime on Empowered Shadows, And if the first Orb procc's more than two Flays before VT runs out, pop Dark Archangel,. If you are unlucky with orbs or affraid to refresh VT with too few stacks of Evangelism, then refresh VT first and pop DA straight after,. This for me provides great burst, Ofcourse you have to think for your self if its worth blowing the CD or if you have to move in 5-10 seconds

    Whats your thoughts on this?

  13. #13
    Here is a common question and I hear both ways, Dark Archangel, when you pop it, do you have to refresh your dots to get the stack or are they auto implemented, i hear it both ways..

    ---------- Post added 2010-12-20 at 03:41 PM ----------

    Also, Reckless Ember Topaz not Reckless "Amber"

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Worshaka View Post
    Firstly, openers make very little difference in your DPS figure over a 5min encounter... we're talking about 3 or 4 GCDs out of several hundred.

    However, considering people like to discuss the best openers, I think it's good pratice to not cast DP until you have empowered shadows, the reason being is the length of the DP duration, if you case it straight up you are losing out on 24 seconds of 25% damage. Of course bad RNG may then delay your DP significantly but on average you shoudl be able to proc empowered shadows early enough for it to be a good way to open in the vast majority of cases.
    I will attempt to explain my point using some math which I hope is correct:

    23880 Damage over 24 seconds with Devouring Plague and 5 stacks of Dark Evangelism
    21710 Damage over 24 seconds with Devouring Plague and 0 stacks of Dark Evangelism
    2170 Damage difference over 24 seconds
    24 seconds
    90.42 DPS loss by casting Devouring Plague early.

    These numbers come from testing the tick value of my Devouring Plague on a dummy, then multiplying out the number of ticks. I did this to avoid the RNG of crits, and this should show supposedly what the minimum potential DPS loss from doing this could be. These numbers also don't include the nuke from Improved Devouring Plague as the increased DOT damage from Dark Evangelism is not currently increasing the initial nuke like it should.

    So what does this mean (double-rainbow)? Yes, you are correct that in a purely min/max situation, you would gain 90.42 DPS (this is variable due to many factors obviously, especially in a raid) by waiting. However, if you post-pone casting Devouring Plague while you're moving into position (which you so often do on a lot of fights), and you don't cast anything over that period of time, you're missing out on some damage for that very small portion of the fight. It is an assumption you will be able to do more than 90.42 DPS with one GCD at the start of the fight, even a Shadow Word: Death would be more DPS than doing nothing. Personally, I feel the best thing to do is to continue to cast Shadow Word: Pain and Devouring Plague as you get situated on the pull.

    As for potential Empowered Shadows through all of this, it comes down to whether you will get an Orb to proc or not. You never really know how long you will have to delay your DOTs to take advantage of their first application with Empowered Shadows. I can't really prove it one way or another due the RNG in it, but I think the logic behind what I have proposed is solid enough to be true most of the time but I am willing to admit that it is not right 100% of the time and sometimes waiting could be a DPS increase. I'd be interested in some further work by people smarter than I on this topic though, most things I've read are based mostly off speculation and I'd love to see some math to prove either mine or your position.



    ---------- Post added 2010-12-20 at 04:40 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by knzi View Post
    First off, really good job on this post, theres alot of really good information here, and i especially want to thank you for the Dark Intent part,. Thats very much linked on my guild forums -> Lock sectiong LoL...

    Anyways, i see alot of posts here talking about "openers" and i still havent seen one post stating my personally prefered opener, everybody seems to say start out with SWP, but are all these assuming you are running into position?

    .. Personally, i agree with the openers IF you are running, Its obvious SWP>DP ,. HOWEVER, if you are standing still on the pull in range of the boss, i'd say: _FADE PRE-PULL_ VT > SWP > DP > Flay 'till 4/5 Evangelism(Depending on orbs) > MB with 1+ Orbs,. VT being the most powerful spell, having it on the target for as much of the fight as possbile to me seems like the best choise? I would burn MB as soon as i get the first ORB to increase the uptime on Empowered Shadows, And if the first Orb procc's more than two Flays before VT runs out, pop Dark Archangel,. If you are unlucky with orbs or affraid to refresh VT with too few stacks of Evangelism, then refresh VT first and pop DA straight after,. This for me provides great burst, Ofcourse you have to think for your self if its worth blowing the CD or if you have to move in 5-10 seconds

    Whats your thoughts on this?
    Obviously it is difficult to write something that encompasses Shadow Priesting in its entirety, so sometimes you just have to take the information provided and make your own choice. You have looked at it in an intelligent way which I can agree with. When you have a Shadow Orb and Empowered Shadows is down, Mind Blast becomes your top priority to get that buff up. As will always be the trouble with the "one true opener" it relies on a Shadow Orb proc which will continue to be purely RNG so you have to hope for the best.

    Also, if you're not running in and you're in the spot you want to be in for the first bit of the fight, then it is my opinion that you should cast Vampiric Touch first. The idea behind casting Shadow Word: Pain and Devouring Plague first are based on the idea that they are the best things to cast while moving into position at the start of a fight, with Vampiric Touch still being your best DPET spell, it should take precedence in most situations.

    ---------- Post added 2010-12-20 at 04:46 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by zenkai View Post
    Here is a common question and I hear both ways, Dark Archangel, when you pop it, do you have to refresh your dots to get the stack or are they auto implemented, i hear it both ways..

    ---------- Post added 2010-12-20 at 03:41 PM ----------

    Also, Reckless Ember Topaz not Reckless "Amber"
    I think you mean Dark Evangelism? Dark Arch Angel will actually reduce the damage of your DOTs as you will no longer have your 10% DOT damage buff from 5 stacks of Dark Evangelism. Ideally, you want to pop Dark Arch Angel as soon after a Vampiric Touch application as possible, and hope your Devouring Plague has > 18 seconds left.

    If your question was about Dark Evangelism, you will need to reapply your DOTs after getting your stacks to benefit from the added damage. You can test this quickly by hitting a dummy with a dot, watch how much it ticks for, Mind Flay for a couple stacks, and see if the value changes (it doesn't).

    Also, thanks for pointing out the typo. I got that fixed.
    Last edited by New; 2010-12-20 at 05:22 PM.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by oatmealpoet View Post
    Thanks a ton for this guide. I feel dumb...I had no idea that 1 spirit = 1 hit rating. That's a revelation that is going to completely change my gems and reforges, and hopefully my dps a little. Can't thank you enough for making me less of a noob
    Well that's why its important to take some time and read something every once and awhile. There have been many times where I've read something on a forum and thought "how did I not know that" or "I never thought of it that way". I'm happy I was able to help at least one person by writing this, and it's always nice to hear positive feedback. I hope the gems and reforging helps out your DPS
    Last edited by Kelesti; 2011-01-01 at 08:30 PM.

  16. #16
    Regarding dark intent while I don't want to argue that a SP is likely the best choice for the buff ( esp with mind Flay procing it) and this discussion is probably better suited for a Warlock forum, you should at least mention Survival hunters as a viable target along with Fire Mages and Druids. In five mans 42-52% of a hunter's DPS is from periodic effects (SS, ES, Black Arrow), before accounting effects like explosive traps, Serpent Spread, and Mend Pet. Additionally Explosive shot and Improved Serpent Sting tick almost immediately at the start of the encounter giving the Warlock a high chance at stacks of the buff during initial application of DoTs. Further Crit rating is the best rating for Hunters so they tend to stack it and gain 6% crit from glyphs with ES ( and possibly Serpent sting as well)as well giving them a very high overall crit rate on periodic effects.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vurrin View Post
    Regarding dark intent while I don't want to argue that a SP is likely the best choice for the buff ( esp with mind Flay procing it) and this discussion is probably better suited for a Warlock forum, you should at least mention Survival hunters as a viable target along with Fire Mages and Druids. In five mans 42-52% of a hunter's DPS is from periodic effects (SS, ES, Black Arrow), before accounting effects like explosive traps, Serpent Spread, and Mend Pet. Additionally Explosive shot and Improved Serpent Sting tick almost immediately at the start of the encounter giving the Warlock a high chance at stacks of the buff during initial application of DoTs. Further Crit rating is the best rating for Hunters so they tend to stack it and gain 6% crit from glyphs with ES ( and possibly Serpent sting as well)as well giving them a very high overall crit rate on periodic effects.
    This is a Priest forum so it is tailored to what Shadow Priests need to know about the world around them and how they interact with other Classes. You raise a valid point and that is where a lot of the discussion is taking place at the moment. If you follow the link I have provided in the Dark Intent section of my guide, it is in the Warlock forums and my discussions have been in that thread. You are welcome to continue the discussion here if you like, but like you said, it may be more appropriate there.

    I'll dance with you here though.

    To paraphrase the link provided, it does list Survival Hunters as a target for Dark Intent. If you take a look at the figures provided, you will see in terms of who gives the best possible bonus to the Warlock casting Dark Intent, the order of the list goes Boomkin > Shadow Priest > Survival Hunter. Survival Hunters are high on this list due to their high chance to have Critical Dot ticks, which is the same reason why Boomkins are too. However, the % of periodic DOTs in overall DPS changes dramatically over these three classes. Perhaps things change in a 5-man, and I don't want to come across as arrogant in any way, but really... do 5-mans really matter that much? The true important discussion is in a raid setting:

    Shadow Priest % of damage from DOTs = ~74%
    Survival Hunter % of damage from DOTs = ~13.9%
    http://www.mmo-champion.com/threads/...tent-The-Guide

    Shadow Priest DPS gain from DI = 1937.1536
    Survival Hunter DPS gain from DI = 507.03176

    The gain to the Warlock depends on what spec the Warlock is, however the Warlock's gain comes out to be roughly a 8.7% DPS increase to buff the Shadow Priest versus 8.5% for the Hunter. So to the Warlock, yes, Survival Hunters are a fine target if they can't find anyone better to put it on. But please look again at the gain a Shadow Priest gains over a hunter. I realize this information is based off of BIS profiles which are months away from getting, and that is why people are currently discussing things on the Warlock forums on what to do right now. Feel free to pop on over and give your two cents on the issue if you want to argue your case, although, I think you'd have to be pretty selfish to want to put this on a Survival Hunter.

    To summarize, yeah a Survival Hunter has DOT damage and can keep the DI stack up on the Warlock. However, Shadow Priests will continue to get the biggest benefit out of the buff and it should go to them.

  18. #18
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    If I chose to open with VT -> DP -> sw -> mind flay (until 5 stacks + at least 1 shadow orb) -> mind blast, will my sw: p benefit from the extra damage over time buffs I recieved by refreshing it further with mind flay, or should I reapply it as fast as possible just like VT and DP? '

    As far as I know, pre 4.01 you had to refresh your sw: p by recasting it, but I am wondering if it still works like this.


    By the way, thanks for the guide, especially the opener discussion, since that is usually what bothers me. Some times I open with 5x mind flay and pray for an orb or else I open how I described before.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Funkthepunk View Post
    If I chose to open with VT -> DP -> sw -> mind flay (until 5 stacks + at least 1 shadow orb) -> mind blast, will my sw: p benefit from the extra damage over time buffs I recieved by refreshing it further with mind flay, or should I reapply it as fast as possible just like VT and DP? '

    As far as I know, pre 4.01 you had to refresh your sw: p by recasting it, but I am wondering if it still works like this.


    By the way, thanks for the guide, especially the opener discussion, since that is usually what bothers me. Some times I open with 5x mind flay and pray for an orb or else I open how I described before.
    The Shadow Word: Pain (sw) refresh mechanic using Mind Flay through your Pain and Suffering talent will update changes in Empowered Shadows and Dark Evangelism stacks. Only Vampiric Touch and Devouring Plague need to be reapplied to benefit from the added bonus effects. Also, I would avoid reapplying Vampiric Touch and Devouring Plague "as fast as possible" unless it is time for them to be recast to keep the DOTs rolling (that is a personal opinion).

    and you're welcome for the guide, glad you got something out of it.
    Last edited by New; 2010-12-20 at 06:22 PM.

  20. #20
    I have a question to add on here that might warrants its own section at some point. How do DOT effects update? I remember, previously, you could pop spells such as SW:P or Corruption during a Bloodlust and roll the Haste benefit for the remainder of the encounter. Now, I believe that changed but im not sure. Which effects on you (Or on the boss), if any, cause auto-updating. The information i've found is conflicting.

    At one point, I read that Bliz, allegedly, intended all DOTs to auto-update on a per-tick basis for every stat. Then, I hear its only +damage% modifiers ON the target that cause an update. I then hear that Spellpower updates dynamically but haste/crit do not.

    So, MY testing has shown, as of today, that DP and VT do NOT update as I gain spellpower during a fight. I tested this by stripping down naked and getting a control of 100 ticks of each dot on a target dummy. Next, I popped a Volcanic Potion and cast my dots to see the elevated ticks. THEN, I cast my dots THEN popped a potion and saw them using the unbuffed values. Sure, no problem. Only SW:P updates (and only because you refresh it constantly.)

    The same held true for Haste. I counted ticks over 100 instances naked and buff-less. Then, I counted ticksa during a bloodlust and saw extra ticks occuring. Finally, I would get lusted AFTER applyiing dots and they remained unbuffed. Im going to assume this holds true for Crit but I dont have any trinkets or potions to test with.

    Now, what I CANT test but im continuously told works, is that DOT effects DO update dynamically when debuffs are applied to the target. This would include CoE, Scorch or any of the numerous boss vulnerability mechanics that occur through the game. I've tried to test this, but I was only able to find a Fire Mage volunteer and he couldnt provide the 5% crit buff on demand or keep it up consistently. Apparently it only procs off his own crits and hes lacking in that department right now.

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