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  1. #1

    So, Shadow vs. Multiple targets?

    Let me start by saying that my main spec is Holy, with Shadow being an offspec intended for soloing purposes and such. In dungeons and raids, I usually end up in the healer role, something that I've been doing for years. Also, for years, I've been playing with the same group of reallife friends, group being composed of a Warrior (Fury/Protection), Death Knight (Blood/Unholy), Mage (Arcane/Fire), Druid (Boomkin/Resto) and me (Holy/Shadow). We're all at 350-355 iLevel, so for instance CC-ing in HC's is an option, not a requirement anymore. My gear is strictly Healing gear, it's not specifically attuned (gemmed or enchanted) towards Shadow.

    Yesterday we entered Halls of Origination for our random daily and the War and DK decided between them who would tank this run and who would DPS, like they always do. The Druid then said that she could choose her role as well, in agreement with me. For a change (I insisted it was for her healing practice ), we decided that she would go healing on this one and I would DPS as Shadow.

    On single targets, I was pulling somewhere between 10-14k DPS, depending a bit on boss mechanics and time warp availability (SW:P, VT, DP, MF till orbs at 3, then MB - possibly augmented by Dark Archangel, refresh VT and DP as needed). But on multiple targets, I was struggling somewhat. I know Mind Sear isn't the greatest spell, so I was multi-dot'ing. However, with 4 mobs up, multi-dot'ing is somewhat hard, to keep all the dots running on all mobs (SW:P + VT on all, and a DP on one of them). At a GCD (plus reaction speed and target switching), by the time I had applied the last dot, the first one would be about to drop off, too late for Mind Flay to refresh SW:P and besides, VT would need a refresher as well. And to make matters worse, tab-targeting works awkward at best, as it doesn't cycle through a list but just randomly seems to target other mobs in the vicinity, making it harder yet to apply Mind Flay to targets from which the SW:P was about to drop. On top of that, I also tried to mingle Mind Blasts into it, as well as proc'ing my Dark Archangel at opportune moments.

    Sooo, I guess I am doing something not quite the way I should be doing - especially since one of my friends mentioned how Shadow priests were currently being at the top of the damage tables. As such, anyone who can give me hints and tips on multi-mob fights? Things I should be doing and things I should most definately not be doing, based on what I did yesterday?

  2. #2
    Even with the mediocre "buff" they gave Mind Sear our AoE still sucks, and what you did is about the best we have to offer right now in terms of decent AoE damage.

    Later edit: I am okay with the crappy AoE considering they fixed our mastery and we have burst now in Cata. AoE is really only a trash downing mechanic anyhow, no need to stress over it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Komie View Post
    They still say Cata needs a lot of work, and this expansion (edit for reference: MoP) is in the final stages.
    Quoted for... truth? on 11/30/2011.

  3. #3
    Shadow priests top damage metters on 4 mobs pulls. Just dot + tab + dot + tabs... As soon as you get a Shadow Orb, cast Mind Blast to gain Shadow Empowerment and keep on dotting. If every mob is already dotted, dont cast Mind Sear, cast mind blast and MF, tab, MF, tab to renew SWPain. After few seconds, some dots will expire. So cast VT, tab, VT, tab, etc.

    This tactic is not mathematic and it can change depending on how many mobs you are facing, how soon you get SE, etc. I also suggest you to get an addon like Tidy Plates to control dots on multiple targets. It doesn't show their time left exactly, but allows you to get an idea what mob you should target next while you are casting your current spell. You can practice in any capital city multidotting dummies.



    HF :P

    Edit: When i say "tab", I mean swap target clicking on the mob's "tidy plate" you want, not by pressing Tab key.
    Last edited by Eldarc; 2011-02-22 at 10:25 AM.

  4. #4
    I'll take a look at Tidy Plates; I know both the War and the DK in my group use it and love it.

  5. #5
    Herald of the Titans Keosen's Avatar
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    Dot them with VT,SWP + DP on the last one
    Keep SW:P refreshed byt tab MFing
    MB on the main target
    Refresh VT

    It maybe seem hard in the beggining but you can pull some ridiculous numbers if you got 3-4 high hp adds

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Kaysha View Post
    Let me start by saying that my main spec is Holy, with Shadow being an offspec intended for soloing purposes and such. In dungeons and raids, I usually end up in the healer role, something that I've been doing for years. Also, for years, I've been playing with the same group of reallife friends, group being composed of a Warrior (Fury/Protection), Death Knight (Blood/Unholy), Mage (Arcane/Fire), Druid (Boomkin/Resto) and me (Holy/Shadow). We're all at 350-355 iLevel, so for instance CC-ing in HC's is an option, not a requirement anymore. My gear is strictly Healing gear, it's not specifically attuned (gemmed or enchanted) towards Shadow.

    Yesterday we entered Halls of Origination for our random daily and the War and DK decided between them who would tank this run and who would DPS, like they always do. The Druid then said that she could choose her role as well, in agreement with me. For a change (I insisted it was for her healing practice ), we decided that she would go healing on this one and I would DPS as Shadow.

    On single targets, I was pulling somewhere between 10-14k DPS, depending a bit on boss mechanics and time warp availability (SW:P, VT, DP, MF till orbs at 3, then MB - possibly augmented by Dark Archangel, refresh VT and DP as needed). But on multiple targets, I was struggling somewhat. I know Mind Sear isn't the greatest spell, so I was multi-dot'ing. However, with 4 mobs up, multi-dot'ing is somewhat hard, to keep all the dots running on all mobs (SW:P + VT on all, and a DP on one of them). At a GCD (plus reaction speed and target switching), by the time I had applied the last dot, the first one would be about to drop off, too late for Mind Flay to refresh SW:P and besides, VT would need a refresher as well. And to make matters worse, tab-targeting works awkward at best, as it doesn't cycle through a list but just randomly seems to target other mobs in the vicinity, making it harder yet to apply Mind Flay to targets from which the SW:P was about to drop. On top of that, I also tried to mingle Mind Blasts into it, as well as proc'ing my Dark Archangel at opportune moments.

    Sooo, I guess I am doing something not quite the way I should be doing - especially since one of my friends mentioned how Shadow priests were currently being at the top of the damage tables. As such, anyone who can give me hints and tips on multi-mob fights? Things I should be doing and things I should most definately not be doing, based on what I did yesterday?
    Actually, it depends on your other friends' DPS. The better DPS they do in a 3pack trash, the less DPS you are going to do, simply because the mob is gonna die faster and your dots will get less time to tick. With that said, for 3pack trash i STILL recommend the "dot+tab" method. What I usually do is this:

    VT+SWP -> Tab -> VT+SWP -> Tab -> VT+SWP+DP+MF -> Tab to first one -> MF+VT -> Tab -> MF+VT -> MB+MF+SWD (if mob under 25%)

    You can always improvise or modify what I provided above but only rule you must follow is that you must never use Mind Sear on these trash.
    If you think tab is working awkwardly sometimes, try standing closer to the tank.

    Also on a somewhat unrelated note, I would like to point out that you should NOT MF till orbs are at 3. That is in fact a DPS loss... Waiting for 3 orbs will pretty much cut your Empowered Shadows uptime by at least 20%, and that is being optimistic. And even 20% less uptime on Empowered Shadows is not worth the extra damage you pull from the 3 orb Mind Blasts.

  7. #7
    The Patient Keh's Avatar
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    I was in the exact same position as the OP. I have always been a healer on my Priest but due to our guild and general servers higher healer population I have found myself playing alot more Shadow. (plus was much easier to gear as Shadow in early heroics) I have always raided on a mage so my caster DPS knowledge has always been up to scratch but when it comes to playstyle and technique of the SP I am clueless..

    Heroic VP is a good place to test DPS for multi targets and tabbing practice but I must admit I have simply found myself only needing to dot and sear now due to high group dps + the 5-15% LFD buff. Using a 4 mob pack as example my tactic is simply; 3x DoT your highest HP mob and SWP/VT the other 2 then just 3xSear/MB/SWD spam your Skull. Refresh or reapply VP/SWP to whatevers not targeted, resume Sear/MB spam, rinse repeat.

    I am however tempted to test the Tab Dotting method mentioned but I guess as far as the OP goes then theres no point doing this in 5 mans as stuff simply dies to fast to justify the effort – 9 times out of 10 anyway even in an ‘aoe’ pack you still drill through them quicker with single target nuking AND slight aoe mixed in.

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  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by zsun View Post
    Actually, it depends on your other friends' DPS. The better DPS they do in a 3pack trash, the less DPS you are going to do, simply because the
    Also on a somewhat unrelated note, I would like to point out that you should NOT MF till orbs are at 3. That is in fact a DPS loss... Waiting for 3 orbs will pretty much cut your Empowered Shadows uptime by at least 20%, and that is being optimistic. And even 20% less uptime on Empowered Shadows is not worth the extra damage you pull from the 3 orb Mind Blasts.
    Can you clarify this a bit more? I don't fully understand what you're trying to explain here. You mean that I shouldn't start off to build up to 3 stacks, before DoTing? That's not what I am doing in any case. While multi-DoTing and MF'ing, whenever I see the orbs stack till 3, I throw in a MB to get the buff. Or did you mean to say to MB whenever at least one orb stack is up and MB is off cooldown?

  9. #9
    High Overlord
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    I think he meant you shouldn't wait for 3 orbs before you use MB.

    Many ShPriest guides recommend to use MB on cooldown if at least one orb is present, saying that buff to MB damage through 3 orbs is not worth the possible downtime of Emp Shadows

  10. #10
    Stood in the Fire Doomsoul's Avatar
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    It's multi-dotting or suffer the low mind sear dmg. I do not use any addons to help me keep track of dots. What I do on a multiple target encoutner is...I start dotting the main target. SW:P, DP, VT, on VP I press tab for next target and I continue the process. SW:P, VT. While VT is casting you have 1.* seconds to use the Tab buttong again. In case you circle over to a target you already dotted, you just have to press tab faster.

    I got used to it after 2-3 heroics. By the time you DoT 3 targets, first target starts to lose dots. I can do 2 quick Mind flays, refresh the Dots on the first target and pop archangel. Sadly you will be forced to refresh DoTs while in Archangel form, but there is just no easier way of doing it.

    I am sure this is not the best strategy, but even dotting all the mobs and casting one mind flay on each one to keep SW:P up will raise your dps significantly. Without Dark Intent and Heroism I barely pull 12k on all bosses. On trash though I get it above 15k.

    P.S Empowering shadows does indeed help on trash, but it needs to consist of mobs with large amounts of health. Liek the first trash in HoO. Dot the big guy, dot the rest that are not cc'ed (if there is any) - pop 2 Mind Flays on the big guy, pop Archangel, do a Mind Blast and keep refreshing dots+occasional mind flay and Mind Blast if needed. On this trash dps gets really high. Also the trash around Beauty in Blackwing Caverns is ideal for multi-dotting.

  11. #11
    Well i have the same trouble that you Kaysha.

    I usually do random dungeons with my friends, and the trash mobs die so fast that i can't use normal rotation, and mind sear really sucks.
    In single target that don't die in 15 seconds I use normal rotation and get 11-15k without dark intetion or other special buff.

    So in trash, i found my self using 3x mind spike + MB, and i get 10-13k in trash mobs, no matter the lenght of fight. When I'm OOM , 2x MF and archangel (this is a burst to MS+MB), sometimes Shadowfiend and between pulls I use dispersion to full mana.

    I try use multidot in trash mobs but i dont get more than 10-13k and have a lot of work to stay with all dots up. I know that this guys that pull 20k++ usually use multidot, but i don't figure out yet how to do this.

    In raids I usually attack single targets, so I ignore mobs that are so weak and pay attention only in boss or on main adds.

  12. #12
    Thanks for the replies (so far ), I hope this will benefit other people as well. I guess the main thing to learn is: MB when off cooldown, with 1+ stacks of Orb power. Though the mention of MS + MB is an interesting one as well. I realise it's a lot more mana consuming, but might be worth a try or two .

  13. #13
    Something that gets me is how can you multi-dot with tab so easily and not dot up mobs which have been CC'ed? Thats my biggest fear if I try to multi-dot. Thats what happens to me is I break CC trying to maximize my dps doing that.
    Just Remember some of us dont know it all so please be easy on us!

  14. #14
    Mechagnome
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    Meh, for heroics it's not worth the effort. Target tank and Mind Sear.
    Never play leapfrog with a unicorn.

  15. #15
    4 targets is ideal for multi dotting... how you are putting on an 18 sec DoT (SW:P) and not having enough time to refresh via MF is beyond me. An unhasted GCD is 1.5 sec, so 1.5 * 4 = 6 sec, accounting for VT on each + DP you still have plenty of time to cycle through and MF refresh SW:P.

    It's more likely your UI and keybinds prevent you from being able to target switch and chain cast effectively, you're losing a lot of cast time due to reaction lag, probably losing something in the vicinity of 30% casting.

    You also need to understand when its worth putting SW:P up... it may not be worth it on the first target, particuarlly if you have people focusing it. You are probably better served to VT them all and once thats done sum up the remaining health on the targets. You need to be playing with nameplates to see this effectively and then selectively target high health low priority mobs with SW:P. It's also good to get a DP on what you think will be killed early as this is 24sec DoT and you get a lot more value out of it if you can get it to last near its full duration.

    If you do that properly its not uncommon to hit 20K+ DPS.

    Other more advanced things is to ensure you get ES up quickly. You can do that by keeping orbs from the previous pull and starting the pull with a MB or Spike. Otherwise sometimes it can be worth single targeting the first target till an orb proc, get ES up then start multi dotting. When to do this is really contingent on the speed at which your trash is being killed and the type of trash you are dealing with.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Pontificate View Post
    Meh, for heroics it's not worth the effort. Target tank and Mind Sear.
    And settle for 7-8k DPS...

    might as well auto-follow someone if you really want to be that lazy.

    OP: What you are doing is about the best that we can do. This is where hitting the haste plateaus really makes a difference as it gives you more time between having to refresh dots.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Worshaka View Post
    4 targets is ideal for multi dotting... how you are putting on an 18 sec DoT (SW:P) and not having enough time to refresh via MF is beyond me. An unhasted GCD is 1.5 sec, so 1.5 * 4 = 6 sec, accounting for VT on each + DP you still have plenty of time to cycle through and MF refresh SW: P.

    It's more likely your UI and keybinds prevent you from being able to target switch and chain cast effectively, you're losing a lot of cast time due to reaction lag, probably losing something in the vicinity of 30% casting.
    I realise that my UI is far from optimal for it, mainly as Shadow is nothing more than an offspec intended for soloing and the occasional DPS'ing in Heroics (I have yet to go Shadow on raids, since my guild is somewhat low on healers). As people also pointed out, Tidy Plates is something to look into to sort that part out.

    Still, looking at my own stats, I have about 10% Haste. Usually I'd also have the Moonkin Aura, but with the druid in Resto form, that buff is unavailable. The 10% Haste brings my GCD to about 1,36 seconds.

    Looking at the DoTs: SW: P has an uptime of 18 seconds, but VT only 15, with DP on 24 sec. When taking on 4 targets, that's 9 DoTs to cast (5 insta-cast, 4 with a cast time equal to the GCD) : 1,36 x 9 = 12,24 seconds, assuming further perfect conditions. Adding lag, tab-targetting issues and whatmore, and it's easily to get to 15+ seconds, before having applied all DoTs. Depending on which DoT you opened with, the first VT you applied is about to drop off.

    The only way I can see a change is if I open up with DP on one target, then SW: P on all 4, followed by VT on all 4. Once done, I MF the first target again to refresh SW: P on it, working down the targets again. If I'd let MF run its duration, it's 3 seconds each target, 12 seconds total. At that point, DP will have fallen off, and after refreshing it, so will all 4 VT's be falling off and need refreshing. I'm not even including MB, SW: D and DAA in this mix, which I should use as well of course.

    Tab-targeting messes things up, though. I always assumed that the game would generate a listing of all targets with whom you'd be in combat and cycle through them - until I started using it. Whenever I am cycling through tab-targets, it's possible to get an order like 1 -> 2 -> 4 -> 2 -> 3 -> 1 -> 3 -> 1 -> 4 -> 2. That royally messes up trying to setup a rolling DoT blanket on mobs. It's the reason I usually only switch targets after applying VT and SW: P - usually starting with VT, due to its cast time - and DP on the primary target.

    But like I just wrote while thinking out loud, I guess I should start with DP, then SW: P on all, followed by VT on all. Not sure if that's the best way, DPS wise, though.
    Last edited by Kaysha; 2011-02-23 at 11:23 AM.

  18. #18
    Depends on the trash. The trash goes down fast, you have no choice but to mindsear if they are many, or spam mind spike if they are few. If the trash takes a beating though, multidot the crap out of them and you'll probably top DPS.

  19. #19
    Stood in the Fire Doomsoul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bravheart View Post
    Something that gets me is how can you multi-dot with tab so easily and not dot up mobs which have been CC'ed? Thats my biggest fear if I try to multi-dot. Thats what happens to me is I break CC trying to maximize my dps doing that.

    Indeed, this is the hardest part. I've gotten used to "tabbing" very fast, so for someone new it might be a bit hard. But what I failed to mention is that I do not do pugs. I only go with guildies, who are already geared so much, no cc is needed (yes, not even on the first trash in HoO).
    If you're afraid to use tab, because of a potential cc break, mouse click the mob health plates. I always keep them up, no matter what. It provides me with valuable info and sometimes logistics.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Doomsoul View Post
    Indeed, this is the hardest part. I've gotten used to "tabbing" very fast, so for someone new it might be a bit hard. But what I failed to mention is that I do not do pugs. I only go with guildies, who are already geared so much, no cc is needed (yes, not even on the first trash in HoO).
    If you're afraid to use tab, because of a potential cc break, mouse click the mob health plates. I always keep them up, no matter what. It provides me with valuable info and sometimes logistics.
    You don't even use CC in raids? Because I think raids is what is being discussed.

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