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    [Priest] PvE Shadow Guide (by Kilee)

    Kilee’s Shadow Priest Guide
    --------------------------
    WoW version 4.3
    Last Updated: 05/29/12
    --------------------------

    Change Log

    05/29/2012
    - Fixed the Lightweave Embroidery value.

    05/15/2012
    - Updated trinket list.

    12/30/2011
    - Removed link to Zurie's BIS list (until it gets updated).
    - Added link to Uuna's Weapon BIS list/ranking.
    - Tweaked Major Glyph section for recommendations.
    - Removed 346 stat weights (outdated).
    - Added new stat weights for tier 13 gear sets, and a link to GuildOx for the new stat weights.
    - Updated trinket list to tier 13 stat weights.
    - Added a link to Uuna's Weapon BIS list/ranking in the Trinkets and BIS section.
    - Tweaked the 384 BIS list (thinking of taking this out).
    - Updated Gem section.
    - Tweaked opening rotation to fit better with tier 13 4-piece bonus (delayed Shadowfiend by 2 spellcasts).
    - Added professions and racial traits to FAQ #6.
    - Reworded the last section of FAQ #13.

    12/13/2011
    - Updated the Tier 12 and Tier 13 set bonuses.
    - Updated the BIS lists.

    12/07/2011
    - Fixed error in VP trinket values.

    12/06/2011
    - Added Rathrak, the Poisonous Mind to the BIS list.

    Index

    1. Talents
    2. Glyphs
    3. Stat Weights and Gear Lists
    4. Trinkets and BIS Lists
    5. Reforging
    6. Enchants
    7. Gems
    8. Mods and Addons
    9. Macros
    10. Cast Rotation
    11. FAQ

    Disclaimer

    This guide is a continual work in progress intended for personal use and the (hopeful) entertainment of others. It is inserted with my own opinions, and as such I admit the guide is sometimes wrong or subject to personal play style. I maintain this guide primarily as an exercise in keeping myself freshened up on the current meta game of Shadow Priest DPS. If you spot something wrong or inconsistent about the guide, feel free to add any suggestions, comments, or criticisms.

    Sources

    I have found the following websites and tools very useful in my research.

    Arlee's Hit Cap FAQ
    Elitist Jerks Priest Forum
    GuildOx
    How to Priest
    Rawr
    Shadow Priest
    Simulationcraft
    Weapon BiS list/ranking by Uuna
    World of Logs
    WoW Insider Priest Blog
    Wowhead

    Talents

    In terms of talent specs, this is the primer spec that Shadow Priests are currently taking: 8/0/31

    This leaves us with 2 points that we can play around with. For raiding, you'll see the most benefit by taking either the last point in Mental Agility and/or putting points into Inner Sanctum.

    There are also a few good utility talents you can look into. Psychic Horror and Phantasm are good talents and helpful in certain situations. Silence is also a good ability, but you have to take a point out of one of your core talents in order to get it, which could potentially cause a hit in DPS or mana efficiency.

    Glyphs

    These are the glyphs I would recommend for raiding, but there are many other glyph options you may want to consider.

    Prime Glyphs
    Glyph of Mind Flay
    Glyph of Shadow Word: Death
    Glyph of Shadow Word: Pain

    Major Glyphs
    Glyph of Fade
    Glyph of Inner Fire*
    Glyph of Mass Dispel*
    Glyph of Psychic Scream*
    Glyph of Spirit Tap*

    *These glyphs often go unused on raid bosses. You can take any two of the four that you feel might help on a boss fight, although I would consider Inner Fire and Spirit Tap the default options here.

    Minor Glyphs
    Glyph of Fading
    Glyph of Fortitude
    Glyph of Levitate

    Stat Weights and Gear Lists

    The following sets of stat weights were derived using Simulationcraft, set to 25,000 iterations and a mix of gear sets that would be used between the iLevels listed. I've generated a GuildOx gear list for you to use with the stat weights under each set. For all sets, I've set hit/spirit to the second secondary stat weight, so that the gear list will be ordered correctly and you do not pick gear with too much hit.

    iLevel 359-372 (Tier 11)
    Int 1.0000 SP 0.7688 Has 0.5176 Spi/Hit/Mas 0.4856 Crit 0.4836
    359 GuildOx Gear List

    iLevel 378-391 (Tier 12, with 2-piece set bonus)
    Int 1.0000 SP 0.7589 Has 0.5361 Spi/Hit/Crit 0.5134 Mas 0.4792
    378 GuildOx Gear List

    In this later set of gear, crit rises above mastery because of the tier 12 2-piece bonus and the trinket Variable Pulse Lightning Capacitor.

    iLevel 384-410 (Tier 13, with 4-piece set bonus)
    Int 1.0000 SP 0.7650 Has 0.5539 Spi/Hit/Mas 0.5480 Crit 0.5387
    397 GuildOx Gear List

    Set Bonus and Other Things

    When looking at the Guild Ox Gear Lists, keep the following in mind.

    Tier 11 2p - adds 150pp
    Tier 11 4p - adds 70pp
    Tier 12 2p - adds 288pp, increases Crit by .03pp
    Tier 12 4p - adds 170pp
    Tier 13 2p - adds 170pp
    Tier 13 4p - adds 194pp, increases Mastery by .05pp

    Variable Pulse Lightning Capacitor - increases Crit by .02PP

    Some Important Numbers

    For reference, here is the amount of each stat we need for our next rating or cap.

    Hit Cap = 1742 hit (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

    Trinkets and BIS Lists

    Trinkets

    Ignore the trinket list in Guild Ox, it is never right. I've done a few trinket calculations below. All of the trinkets have been evaluated using reforged values based on their stat weights and World of Logs data. This list is only an approximation, seek out a second opinion if you do not agree with this list.

    Anhuur's Hymnal 346 - 376.03
    Sorrowsong 346 - 385.78
    Tendrils of Burrowing Dark 346 - 391.69
    Gale of Shadows 346 - 422.57
    Soul Casket 359 - 426.65
    Heart of Ignacious 359 - 437.05
    Stump of Time 359 - 437.91
    Bell of Enraging Resonance 359 - 441.67
    Mithril Stopwatch 365 - 444.27
    Witching Hourglass 346 - 458.03
    Vibrant Alchemist Stone 359 - 462.24
    Figurine - Jeweled Serpent 346 - 466.02
    Heart of Ignacious 372 - 493.96
    Bell of Enraging Resonance 372 - 499.36
    Rune of Zeth 378 - 527.78
    Fiery Quintessence 378 - 536.46
    Theralion's Mirror 359 - 542.87
    Reflection of the Light 397 - 550.75
    Bottled Wishes 397 - 545.66 (714.13*)
    Moonwell Chalice 365 - 553.52
    Darkmoon Card: Volcano 359 - 586.11
    Necromantic Focus 378 - 591.70
    Theralion's Mirror 372 - 613.89
    Foul Gift of the Demon Lord 378 - 641.89
    Insignia of the Corrupted Mind 384 - 643.56
    Variable Pulse Lightning Capacitor 384 - 656.00
    Necromantic Focus 391 - 668.46
    Insignia of the Corrupted Mind 397 - 727.19
    Variable Pulse Lightning Capacitor 397 - 733.00
    Will of Unbinding 390 - 756.00
    Cunning of the Cruel 384 - 816.00
    Insignia of the Corrupted Mind 410 - 821.93
    Will of Unbinding 403 - 856.24
    Cunning of the Cruel 397 - 908.00
    Will of Unbinding 416 - 963.27
    Cunning of the Cruel 410 - 1012.00

    * Any trinket that has a 90 second cooldown will be worth more than listed, when synched up with our Dark Archangel cooldown. Bottled Wishes, when paired with DA and the tier 13 4p set bonus, is worth the second value listed.

    Weapons

    Weapon BiS list/ranking by Uuna

    This is a very good ranking list for the new weapons in Dragon Soul. The author has done a thorough job with his research.

    384 BIS List (LFR Mode)

    A set planned for people who only have access to LFR and VP items.

    Helm: Soulgaze Cowl
    Neck: Opal of the Secret Order
    Shoulder: Mantle of Dying Light
    Back: Woundlicker Cover
    Chest: Robes of Dying Light
    Bracers: Chronoboost Bracers
    Gloves: Gloves of Dying Light
    Waist: Tentacular Belt
    Legs: Leggings of Dying Light
    Feet: Splinterfoot Sandals
    Ring1: Band of Reconstruction
    Ring2: Seal of the Grand Architect
    Weapon: Rathrak, the Poisonous Mind
    Offhand: Ledger of Revolting Rituals
    Wand: Scintillating Rods
    Trinket1: Cunning of the Cruel
    Trinket2: Will of Unbinding

    397 BIS List (Normal Mode)

    This list is for people doing normal mode Dragon Soul.

    Helm: Hood of Dying Light
    Neck: Petrified Fungal Heart or Flowform Choker
    Shoulder: Mantle of Dying Light
    Back: Woundlicker Cover
    Chest: Robes of Dying Light
    Bracers: Dreamwraps of the Light
    Gloves: Gloves of Liquid Smoke
    Waist: Cord of the Slain Champion
    Legs: Leggings of Dying Light
    Feet: Janglespur Jackboots
    Ring1: Ring of the Riven
    Ring2: Signet of Suturing
    Weapon: Rathrak, the Poisonous Mind
    Offhand: Ledger of Revolting Rituals
    Wand: Finger of Zon'ozz
    Trinket1: Cunning of the Cruel
    Trinket2: Will of Unbinding

    410 Final BIS List (Heroic Mode)

    This is the set I would ultimately want to have at the end of tier 13.

    Helm: Hood of Dying Light
    Neck: Petrified Fungal Heart
    Shoulder: Mantle of Dying Light
    Back: Woundlicker Cover
    Chest: Robes of Dying Light
    Bracers: Bracers of the Banished
    Gloves: Gloves of Liquid Smoke
    Waist: Cord of the Slain Champion
    Legs: Leggings of Dying Light
    Feet: Janglespur Jackboots
    Ring1: Ring of the Riven
    Ring2: Signet of Suturing
    Weapon: Rathrak, the Poisonous Mind
    Offhand: Ledger of Revolting Rituals
    Wand: Finger of Zon'ozz
    Trinket1: Cunning of the Cruel
    Trinket2: Will of Unbinding

    Reforging

    Do your reforging in this order:

    1. If an item does not have haste on it, reforge it for the maximum amount of haste.
    2. If an item has haste, reforge the secondary stat to hit/spirit until 17%.
    3. After steps 1 and 2, if you are still under hit cap, sacrifice haste to reach cap. If you are over hit cap, trade some hit for crit or mastery (whichever is stronger for you).

    Your aim with reforging should be to have the most haste possible and secondly to reach as close to your hit cap (17%) as possible without being over. It's ok to be a little under the hit cap as long as you've maxed out your haste (see FAQ for more information).

    Enchants

    Note that if you have a profession enchant it's pretty much always better.

    Head
    best: Arcanum of Hyjal - revered with Guardians of Hyjal

    Shoulders
    good: Lesser Inscription of Charged Lodestone - honored with Therezane
    best: Greater Inscription of Charged Lodestone - exalted with Therezane

    Back
    best: Greater Intellect

    Chest
    good: Mighty Stats
    best: Peerless Stats

    Wrist
    good: Speed
    best: Mighty Intellect

    Hands
    good: Haste*
    best: Greater Mastery

    *Haste could be best if it is used to reach an important amount of it (see FAQ for more information).

    Legs
    good: Ghostly Spellthread
    best: Powerful Ghostly Spellthread

    Feet
    best: Lavawalker
    best: Haste

    Weapon
    good: Hurricane
    best: Power Torrent

    Off-Hand
    best: Superior Intellect

    Gems

    Meta
    best: Burning Shadowspirit Diamond

    Blue
    rare quality
    best: Purified Demonseye + 10 intellect
    best: Brilliant Inferno Ruby in all others
    epic quality
    best: Purified Shadow Spinel + 20 intellect
    best: Brilliant Queen's Garnet in all others

    Yellow
    rare quality
    best: Reckless Ember Topaz + 10 intellect
    best: Brilliant Inferno Ruby in all others
    epic quality
    best: Reckless Lava Coral + 20 intellect
    best: Brilliant Queen's Garnet in all others

    Red
    rare quality
    best: Brilliant Inferno Ruby
    epic quality
    best: Brilliant Queen's Garnet

    For the most part, Brilliant Inferno Ruby is the best gem for every slot on your character (just as the GuildOx links suggest). But you can use Reckless Ember Topaz gems in red slots to reach your haste plateaus, as long as you don't sacrifice more than about 40 intellect.

    Mods and Addons

    Computer Mods and Game Settings

    Something people don't often think about with their game performance is how they have configured their game and the computer that they play on. However this can often be just as important as your talent spec or how you maintain your gear. Every gamer should try to develop a little bit of interest in their PC and how to maintain it. With that said, I want to cover some of the major things you can do with your computer and game settings to help your performance.

    Leatrix Latency Fix

    A good software mod for your network efficiency - Leatrix Latency Fix. The link will explain better than I can what this does for you. The short of it is that it improves the timing between game commands and when the server responds to them.

    Drivers

    You should always have the latest drivers for your computer hardware. This goes double for video card drivers. You should be checking for new drivers for your computer at least once a week, and try to set up a an automatic update if your computer allows it.

    Cooling

    One of the things that can affect game performance is cooling. Your computer runs hot whenever wow is playing, especially in a raid environment with a lot of spell effects going on. 9 times out of 10, if you are having framerate issues or some other gameplay issue while raiding, it can be attributed to overheating - usually either the graphics card or main processor. Most video cards these days have manual fan settings, and you want to install whatever driver or extra software application that will allow you turn these fans up in order to keep your system cool during play.

    Graphics Settings

    The main Blizzard forums has a lot of dedicated stickies to setting graphics in wow so that you can get good performance out of your game. You should go look these up if you're having framerate or graphics problems while playing. Most of the time you can go to the graphics options and choose "Recommended Settings". This will usually be pretty good for general play. However, if you are still having framerate issues, you can try turning the graphics down a little, especially things like dynamic shadows which eats up a lot of processing power.

    Addons

    Addons are extra programs that run inside the WoW game and provide extra information for you while you play. A lot of these mods can be indispensabe to you. Look at the following picture:



    Cast Bar

    The first mod I want to draw your attention to is the cast bar. The mod I am using in this picture is Quartz. However these days I am using Gnosis, which I think does a better job of representing Mind Flay channels. For both of these mods, I turn everything off except the player cast bar and the latency.

    Dot Timer

    The second mod is right above the cast bar, called Dotimer. I've tried a few other dot timers, but I like this one the best. I like the way it looks and it has a lot of configuration options. I set up my dotimer to only show (white list) Vampiric Touch, Shadow Word: Pain, and Devouring Plague). I also set it up to only show the current target and my focus target, and to sort the timers by current and focus so that the current target timers are always at the top of the list.

    Buff Tracker

    The last mod is called NeedToKnow, which is a buff-tracking mod. I use this to track important buffs that affect my dot damage, such as Dark Evangelism or various trinket procs. Notice that I've separated the types of procs into different blocks of timers. Another popular buff-tracking mod is Power Auras, but I don't use this because I find it difficult to see during battle.

    Raid Addons

    You also will need a few additional addons. A threat meter such as Omen. A damage meter like Recount. And finally a raid warning mod like Deadly Boss Mods.

    I also find raider frame interface mods to be useful so that I know what is happening to the people around me (although lately I think the standard Blizzard raid frames are more or less good enough for this).

    Macros

    I've never been great at programming macros, but do have a few that I rely on, and I feel these can really enhance your gameplay. I'll go over a few of the ones I use, but there is a lot more you can do with them.

    1. Focus Macro

    Code:
    /focus
    I use this when I'm in a fight with Multiple Targets a lot. Basically it's just a quick way to keep track of targets that you are multi-dotting. An example would be a fight like Valiona and Theralion, where a target is generally out of your LOS, but still within range to dot. You just use the macro to make your current target your focus.

    2. Target Macro

    Code:
    /target <name>
    I use this whenever I want to have a target that I need to switch to quickly. Useful for fights where something pops up that needs to be killed immediately, and you don't know when or where it's going to appear.

    3. Tie Trinket to Spell Macro

    Code:
    #showtooltip <spell name>
    /use [modifier: shift] <trinket name>
    /cast <spell name>
    This macro will use your damage trinket when you cast a spell. You hold the shift key down while you cast the spell to use your trinket while you cast it. You can also do the same thing with the spell Archangel (/cast [modifier: shift] Archangel)

    4. Self Shield Macro

    Code:
    /cast [target=player] Power Word: Shield
    Casts Power Word: Shield on yourself without losing your current target. Very useful to keep yourself from dying.

    5. Shackle Macro

    Code:
    /cast [target=focus] Shackle Undead
    Set the target you wish to keep shackled as your focus target, and then use this macro to automatically shackle it.

    Cast Rotation

    Shadow priests do not really have a "cast rotation". They instead have priority list for which spells need to be cast first. Dot spells must be recast just before they expire in order to increase their up-time during the fight. After dots have been put up, you cast direct target spells until they need refreshing. The priority list is as follows:

    1. Vampiric Touch
    2. Devouring Plague
    3. Shadow Word: Pain
    4. Shadowfiend
    5. Dark Archangel
    6. Shadow Word: Death (under 25%)
    7. Mind Blast
    8. Mind Flay
    9. Mind Spike
    10. Mind Sear

    Red spells are high priority, high DPC. Orange is mid priority, high DPC. Green spells are dependent on boss percentage. Blue spells are DPS cooldowns that also give you mana. Black spells are situational.

    So the idea here is in order to maximize your DPS, you have a priority list of which spells to put up first. Red spells need to be cast as soon as possible, then orange after that. When the boss hits 25% or under, you can start adding Shadow Word: Death as an orange-priority spell. The blue DPS spells need to be used intelligently in order to increase your dps. If mana is not an issue you can use them as soon as possible within the priority list, otherwise use your best judgment.

    Bear in mind that only Vampiric Touch and Devouring Plague need to be refreshed by casting, and that Shadow Word: Pain will be refreshed automatically through the talent Pain and Suffering as you cast Mind Flays.

    Opening Rotation

    My opening rotation goes like this:

    Code:
    Volcanic Potion
    Shadow Word: Pain
    Mind Flay x 1.2
    Shadow Fiend
    Mind Blast
    Vampiric Touch
    Devouring Plague
    Dark Archangel
    The goal of this opener is to get Empowered Shadow up as soon as possible, and to trigger Dark Archangel while your intellect procs are still active. It doesn't always work, but when it does, it can generate a higher dps opening than other openings, so I think it is worth it. (I've tested this in game and in Simulationcraft to make sure.)

    I have a lot of people ask me about delaying Shadowfiend until later in the rotation when intellect or spellpower procs go up. This doesn't work, and where I have placed it is about as good as it will ever get (see Shadowfiend FAQ for more info).

    Frequently Asked Questions

    1. Should I wait for Shadow Orbs to cast Mind Blast?

    No, don't wait for them.

    Both in Simulationcraft and in game testing, I have observed higher dps when Mind Blast is cast on cooldown. Mind Blast is just too high of damage spell to hold back compared to Mind Flay, so use it as soon as you can. You will also want to clip Mind Flay just after a second (or third) tick in order to cast Mind Blast, as this will also increase your DPS.

    There is a danger with using Mind Blast on cooldown that your Empowered Shadows buff may fall off (there's a danger of this no matter what you do, but I digress...). The best thing you can do to control this situation is to recast your dots right before ES falls off, or to recast your dots when ES comes back up. This is should minimize any dps lost from ES downtime.

    2. How do I increase damage on single targets?

    Push the buttons harder. (Seriously.)

    For a shadow priest, every spell except Mind Flay is either an instant cast or a 1.5 second spell. It's important to understand that if you aren't moving, there's no action or button you can click that will cancel these spells once you've started casting them. Once you start casting Vampiric Touch, you can immediately start pushing/clicking the Devouring Plague button. If you are pushing/clicking repeatedly when the previous spell is near the end of its cast, the new spell will start casting as soon as the game engine will let you. If you aren't always casting something, if you aren't jamming the spells as fast as you can, you're probably doing it wrong.

    The second most important piece of advice I can give is, learn to clip Mind Flay after the second or third tick (during the first tick, you are locked into a GCD). Since Mind Flay is a channeled spell, it has ticks of damage at regular intervals. If you interrupt the channel just after a tick of damage has happened, you can cast another more important spell at an earlier point in time rather than waiting for the channel to finish. If you have a cast bar mod like Gnosis or Quartz, you can see when the ticks of damage are happening, which makes it easier to do this. It takes some practice to get the hang of doing this, but it's worth it to learn how. With practice, it will allow you have a little bit better uptime on your dots, and most importantly it will allow you to cast Mind Blast sooner.

    It's also worth mentioning that if you clip Mind Flay with another Mind Flay, the channel will continue rather than breaking the cast, and you will see up to four ticks of damage on the new cast.

    3. How do I increase damage on multiple targets and trash packs?

    If you are fighting a boss or mobs that will not die quickly, you can increase your DPS by keeping your dots active on the other mobs in the fight aside from your main target. Always keep the most damage on the main target - this is the mob you want to keep Devouring Plague, Mind Blast, and Mind Flays on. For any other mobs that are active, you can tab target them and cast Vampiric Touch and Shadow Word: Pain. VT and SW: P are always higher DPC than a single Mind Flay, so the more of those you can fill your cast time with the more DPS you will do.

    Some mobs don't last long enough to put all your spells on, so don't bother putting up dots or getting into a complex cast rotation if the spells won't last. If there are 4 or more targets, use Mind Sear. I've found a good trick with Mind Sear is to target a friendly target that is near the adds rather than the adds themselves. By Mind Searing off of friendly targets, you can often assure that the Mind Sear has good placement, and it doesn't get interrupted when the add dies. If there are 3 or less targets, just pick one and spam Mind Spike/Mind Flay and Mind Blast until it dies. I've found Mind Spike to be pretty effective on small adds that need to die quickly.

    Last but not least, make sure to keep 5 stacks of Dark Evangelism and Empowered Shadows active while multi-dotting. Keep track of the buffs and throw in a Mind Flay and a Mind Blast whenever necessary so that your spells will continue doing their maximum damage. Mind Sear as far as I know is not affected by Dark Evangelism, but it is affected by Empowered Shadows. I generally keep ES up while I'm Mind Searing by throwing out a few Shadow Word: Pains before casting Mind Sear, then casting Mind Blast as soon as an Orb appears.

    4. What should I do when the boss is less than 25% health?

    At 25%, Shadow Word: Death should come before Mind Blast with the tier 13 2-piece bonus, and after Mind Blast without it. Otherwise stick to the casting priority and maintain DOTs. A tip with this is to run around while spamming Shadow Word: Death. This can help proc a Shadowy Apparition, and add even more dps towards the end of the fight. I've had a few healers yell at me for getting out of position while doing this, so beware of the positioning requirements of the fight when you do this.

    5. What should I do when moving?

    As long as you have mana, you should always be casting. You can't cast non-instant spells on the move however, so here are a couple techniques you can use instead.

    The first technique is to stutter your movements, pausing periodically to cast every spell but Mind Flay in your rotation. Stop briefly to refresh dots and cast Mind Blast, then move again while you're waiting to re-cast them. Essentially just do your normal priority rotation, except whenever you would normally cast Mind Flay, use the time to move where-ever you need to go. If you're doing this right it should have a run, cast, run, cast rhythm to it.

    The second technique is to only use instant casts while moving. You can spam Devouring Plague, which is your highest dps instant above 25%, and then add Shadow Word: Death below 25%. You can also use Shadow Word: Death above 25% for some mana gain if you need it. Other good instants to use are Power Word: Shield and Dispersion.

    6. What are the best buffs/professions/racials?

    Raid buffs can be a huge source of damage for you. There's an addon called RaidBuffStatus that can help you check to see if you have them all. Here are all of the raid-wide buffs that you want to look for:

    stats - Blessing of Kings (paladins) or Mark of the Wild (druids)
    crit aura - Leader of the Pack (feral druids), Elemental Oath (elemental shamans), Rampage (fury warriors), or Furious Howl (hunter's wolf pet)
    crit debuff - Critical Mass (fire mage) or Shadow and Flame (warlocks)
    sp aura - Flametongue Totem (6%, resto shaman), Arcane Brilliance (6%, mages), Totemic Wrath (10%, elemental shaman), Demonic Pact (10%, demonology warlocks)
    sp debuff - Master Poisoner (assassination rogue), Ebon Plague (unholy death knight), Curse of the Elements (warlocks), Earth and Moon (balance druid)
    3% damage - Communion (retribution paladin), Arcane Tactics (arcane mage)
    5% spell haste - you always have this buff, it is also provided by balance druids and all shaman

    Dark Intent - warlocks, this is a single target buff, grants 3% haste and extra dot damage
    Focus Magic arcane mages, this is a single target buff, grants 3% crit

    For professions, the following appears to be the current order of them:

    1. Blacksmithing, 2 additional sockets: 100 pp

    2. Alchemy, Mixology: 80 PP
    2. Enchanting, ring enchants: 80 pp
    2. Engineering, Synapse Springs: 80 pp
    2. Inscription, Felfire Inscription: 80 pp
    2. Leatherworking, Draconic Embossment: 80 pp
    2. Tailoring, Lightweave Embroidery: 120 pp

    3. Jewelcrafting, 3 epic gems: 51 pp
    4. Skinning, Master of Anatomy: 40 pp
    5. Herbalism, Lifeblood: 20 pp

    For racials, the following is probably the best order to go in:

    Alliance: Worgen (1% crit), Dranei (1% hit), Human (.5% hit via Human Spirit), Gnome (5% mana pool)

    Horde: Troll (increased cast speed proc), Goblin (1% cast speed)

    7. How do I manage mana?

    You can Hymn of Hope or Dispersion to gain mana, but this stops your dps for several seconds, so I would save these as a last resort. If you find yourself running low on mana, the best tip I can give you is to add Shadow Word: Death into your rotation whenever you reach about 20% mana. The mana gain from Masochism should keep you going until your next dps-based mana cooldown becomes available (Shadowfiend and Archangel).

    If you find yourself needing to use Hymn of Hope, you can cast Dispersion right after it for the greatest mana gain.

    8. How does Shadowfiend work?

    Shadowfiend does not behave like a typical dot spell. It is a pet, just like hunter pets and warlock demons. As such, the fiend does not "stick" at values of spellpower like a normal spell would. Instead, the pet ineherits your attributes and uses those in order to determine the damage it will do.

    The shadowfiend will use your stat ratings from gear as its own, and its damage is determined by your spellpower. Because of this, it will deal damage based upon your current spellpower buffs. If you have a trinket that procs intellect, the shadowfiend will deal extra damage as long as the trinket remainds active. As soon as the trinket goes down, the shadowfiend's damage will decrease immediately. This works in the opposite direction as well, so if you cast the shadowfiend while no procs are active, it will still gain the benefit of those procs if they go up afterwards.

    However, the shadowfiend will only benefit from heroism if heroism is cast while it is active. The pet must be present in order to get the buff.

    Shadowfiend also uses some of your other secondary ratings, such as hit rating or critical strike rating, but I have not done much testing with these.

    9. What do I do when a trinket procs?

    There are two types of trinkets that you need to be aware of. Mastery trinkets and other trinkets. For both types of trinkets, it's an increase in dps to refresh your dots when you gain their buff.

    However, for mastery trinkets you have to wait for a Shadow Orb and then cast Mind Blast in order to make the buff Empowered Shadows stronger. You can also extend the life of the mastery proc by casting another Mind Blast (with a Shadow Orb) right at the end of the proc. With some practice you can nearly double the life of many mastery trinket procs. This is an important skill to master (lol).

    10. Should I clip and/or refresh my dots early?

    The concept of clipping dot spells was done away with in Cataclysm. Casting a dot spell on top of a current one will simply extend the length of the spell to another full duration, as well as finishout the remaining tick of the dot. Because of this, it's generally a good practice to refresh dots just before the last tick of the spell, as this will reduce downtime and increase dps.

    In the case of Devouring Plague, you can refresh it just about whenever you want, as many times as you want. The extra bit of damage from Improved Devouring Plague makes it so that you don't lose any dps while refreshing it. This also makes it a great spell to use while moving.

    For Vampiric Touch, you should try to only refresh the spell as close to the end as possible. The only time you would ever break this rule is if a particularly strong buff became active - Heroism, an Intellect proc, or going from a non-ES state to an ES state. In all other times you generally don't want to break it early.

    11. Any other DPS tricks?

    I use a lot of spellpower potions on boss fights. One right at the start before the encounter begins will allow you to use another later in the fight.

    Try to watch your spellpower procs and use Shadow fiend when a lot of them are active.

    Try to time your Archangel ability with potions and spellpower procs - you will get a lot more dps out of it this way. Hitting Archangel during heroism is the best - try to get your raid to let you know when in a fight they will use heroism.

    When Multi-dotting, you can get a bit more dps out of it by refreshing Shadow Word: Pain with Mind Flay.

    Aside from the above, just try to watch your procs closely. Don't let important buffs fall off, and make sure to refresh your dots when big procs happen.

    12. Do I need to hit-cap?

    Yes and No. Throughout all gear levels, Hit is the most important secondary stat, but as you progress through gear, there are several situations where you may find yourself going under the hit cap.

    Sometimes, you may find an upgrade that has more intellect than your current item, but lose hit in the process of equipping it. In this situation it's still an increase in dps to wear it. Other times you may want to go under hit cap in order to achieve a certain level of haste. Finally, as your haste rises in value, you will eventually reach a point where hit just simply falls below the other stats in worth (this seems to be around 2200 haste rating). All of these situations are valid reasons for being under the hit cap.

    Having said the above, there's a few strong arguments for remaining hit-capped, even at the expense of dps. The first concern is that you may miss an important proc opportunity, especially while multi-dotting. Under normal circumstances, missing just requires a re-cast, and you are not particularly limited on time to do this. But with multi-dotting or trying to get as many spells into a small proc window as possible, missing can amount to a significant loss of dps. A second and equally valid concern is that it throws off your concentration and focus, and can add mental stress to the already-complex cast rotation - this could be a major concern as the number of other things you have to keep track of during a boss fight increases.

    When you consider going under hit-cap, take into account both the positives and negatives of doing so.

    11. I am a Human/Draenai/whatever and my racial gives me hit - what should I do?

    Just refer to the character panel in your game to see where you are at. If you are a Dranei or a Human, the hit bonus will be factored into the character panel already. As a Human I sometimes arbitrarily lower the stat weight of hit in GuildOx by 3% so that I will be more inclined to wear gear with spirit.

    12. Should shadowpriests be allowed to roll on spirit gear?

    Yes, absolutely. I would even go so far as to say that spirit gear for us is better than hit rating. Most of our dps gear directly crosses into healing gear, and I think that was the entire point of the new spirit conversion mechanics in Cataclysm. If you have a healing offspec, you will be using your dps gear to heal with (or vica versa), so spirit in general just goes further for a shadowpriest than hit rating. Having said this, be mindful of which items are best for you, and don't take spirit gear that you don't need or won't use.

    13. What about Haste Caps and Haste Plateaus?

    Haste Soft Cap

    The soft haste cap at level 85 is:

    4268/4438 - soft haste cap with Dark Intent active for goblin/non-goblin
    4780/4956 - soft haste cap without Dark Intent active for goblin/non-goblin

    We probably won't see any these levels of haste in Cataclsym.

    Haste Plateaus

    What are they?

    A haste plateau is a point of haste that you can reach that will give you a small bonus to damage upon reaching it. After which the stat weight of haste will decrease temporarily in value, sometimes (but not always) below that of other stats.

    How do they work?

    For some plateaus, you get a small damage bonus to one of your spells (Improved Devouring Plague). For others (Vampiric Touch), the duration of a dot spell goes from a low duration to a higher duration, and you get some extra time during the fight to cast other spells.

    Haste Plateaus factor into two of our spells - Vampiric Touch and Devouring Plague. It is also important whether or not you have Dark Intent..

    What are the important points to know about?

    This is a graph of our stats as gear progresses without Dark Intent.



    And this is a graph of our stats as gear progresses with Dark Intent.



    The main points on the graph that I want to point out are the following:

    For both sets of graphs:

    1. Improved Devouring Plague gets an extra damage boost at the following points of haste:
    - 1601
    - 3202

    2. We see a "softening" of hit as haste grows.

    3. Secondary stats start rising above .5 in stat weight just after 6000 intellect. This is the point you would want to start matching yellow sockets with +10 intellect bonuses. Total your intellect from gear, and add the average up-time of any of your intellect procs (enchants + trinkets) to see if you are near this level, or just simply sim your character in Simulationcraft.

    4. The graphs were generated without set bonuses or trinkets activated. In tier 12, the 2-piece set bonus and the trinket Variable Pulse Lightning capacitor, when combined, can increase the stat weight of crit by as much as .05. In tier 13, the 4-piece set bonus can increase mastery by as much as .05. These behaviors are NOT represented on the graph, but it is something you need to be aware of if you have that gear on your character.

    Without Dark Intent

    2589 (2437) - the 2nd extra tick of Vampiric Touch (goblin in parenthesis)

    2679 (2525) - Mind Blast appears to synch up well with our spell rotation (goblin in parenthesis)

    With Dark Intent

    2141 (1993) - the 2nd extra tick of Vampiric Touch (goblin in parenthesis)

    2228 (2079) - Mind Blast appears to synch up well with our spell rotation (goblin in parenthesis)

    So what do we do?

    Since Cataclsym started, I see this question about a dozen times a week around the various WoW forums: "I just simmed my character in Simulationcraft, and it says haste is not my best stat. What do I do?"

    The problem we are facing is that our class's haste stat weight rises and falls as we approach and then pass up different plateaus. To add to the confusion, some outside factors can make crit or mastery more valuable. We see this especially with some set bonuses, like the tier 12 2-piece bonus, and the tier 13 4-piece bonus, but it also happens with trinkets as well. Then on top of all of this, simcraft is only taking small samples of additional haste (ie it uses a delta of 300), so if you are not within 300 of a plateau, the full benefits of haste will not appear within the stat weights.

    In a practical setting, the way you deal with this is that you assume haste is your best stat, even if Simcraft says that it is not. Then you collect a gear set where you have the maximum amount of haste (while making sure that intellect is more important). After you get this gear set, you see how much haste you have, and then sim your character. If haste is not your best stat, you can start trading some haste for the best stat, while being concious of the haste plateaus mentioned above and making sure not to go below them.

    To try to put it as short and sweet as I can - our two biggest points of interest right now are 30% haste (2nd extra tick of Vampiric Touch, which come at either 2141 w/DI or 2589 wo/DI), and 3202 haste (3rd bonus damage to Improve Devouring Plague). If you find yourself inbetween one of these marks (ie past 30% haste, but not quite at 3202), you can sim your character to see which stat weight appears to be competing with haste, and then trade haste for some of that stat.

    Ultimately this is something you will have to test for and decide for yourself. I can't predict every possible gear combination and make a blanket recommendation for you. However, if you NEED me to tell you to do something, the "safe bet" is to ignore the simulationcraft results and follow the static stat weights I have posted within this guide.
    Last edited by Kilee25; 2012-07-02 at 09:17 PM.
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  2. #2
    Brewmaster Mazi's Avatar
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    Awesome guide Kilee - vote for sticky

  3. #3
    Mechagnome Veiled's Avatar
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    *Highfive!* <3 Kilee.

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  4. #4
    Good guide though there's certainly things in here that don't seem to pan out for me in tests. There seems to be different information floating around which means that in the end certain things probably don't matter much to DPS. Simcraft to me is rather bogus as it is testing things in an environment that doesn't exist in game, the perfect fight scenario. Definitely good information here though that any new shadow priests need to learn.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Kilee25 View Post
    Even if it becomes possible, the way our stats are currently scaling, we wouldn't want that much haste anyway. We'd probably start stacking Mastery long before that point.

    Haste Plateaus also exist and are extremely important in 4.2. For most of 4.2, you are going to be balancing your gear around the spell Vampiric Touch and reaching a second tick with it.
    Do you have any proof for this? We've basically always ignored haste plateaus and just stacked haste no matter what. I would think that 12% less damage on DoTs and 12% more damage on MF and MB wouldn't change that much.

    Just wondering about this, since you mentioned it quite a few times in your guide.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Raynet View Post
    Good guide though there's certainly things in here that don't seem to pan out for me in tests. There seems to be different information floating around which means that in the end certain things probably don't matter much to DPS. Simcraft to me is rather bogus as it is testing things in an environment that doesn't exist in game, the perfect fight scenario. Definitely good information here though that any new shadow priests need to learn.
    Hi Raynet, thank you for the feedback.

    It is my intention to respond to any questions or concerns about the guide within this guide's discussion thread. If you see something you disagree with, feel free to let me know what it is, and I will be happy to enter a discussion about it. If we can come to an agreeable stance on something within the guide that needs to be changed, I will always be willing to change it. I try very hard to not take the stance that I am right - I'm a very fallible person, but I think it's important to always strive for "the best".

    As for Simulationcraft, I actually agree with you immensely that Simulationcraft is flawed! It annoys the heck out of me, and I could write a few pages worth of complaints about all the things I wish it did better. However, I also have a lot of practical experience to back up what I am saying. I test everything in my guide in the actual game, and I play and gear exactly as I have written it. I really mean it when I say that I practice what I preach. I've worked hard to make this guide as accurate as possible. So when you say "there are things that don't pan out in tests", please let me know what you feel these are specifically, and I will do my best to address them.
    Last edited by Kilee25; 2011-06-27 at 06:41 PM.
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  7. #7
    Few things:

    - haste scales linearly, and has been proven to do so, until upwards of 5000
    - haste plateaus are next to irrelevant in terms of gems/enchants/reforging
    - mind blasting on cooldown is not an effective use of the spell in realistic boss encounter scenarios
    - reaching hit cap is much more important than you give it credit for
    Last edited by nadrii; 2011-06-27 at 06:45 PM.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Xorz View Post
    Do you have any proof for this? We've basically always ignored haste plateaus and just stacked haste no matter what. I would think that 12% less damage on DoTs and 12% more damage on MF and MB wouldn't change that much.

    Just wondering about this, since you mentioned it quite a few times in your guide.
    Hi Xorz, yes I have proof of this.

    Insert/replace the first Mind Blast action in Simulationcraft with the following two lines. It needs to go before both the Vampiric Touch and Devouring Plague actions.

    Code:
    actions+=/mind_flay,if=buff.dark_evangelism.stack<5&target.health_pct>98
    actions+=/mind_blast,if=buff.shadow_orb.stack>=1
    What this does is force Simulationcraft to build up the Empowered Shadows debuff before casting dots. When running a simulation with these lines just after a haste plateau, Mastery occasionally will sim as our highest stat (with tier 12 4-piece set bonuses). There are several points where this happens, and as our Intellect scales higher we see this phenomenon more often. It is my belief that we will hit a point in 4.2 where adding more Mastery over Haste will increase dps marginally.

    As this is currently only my theory, Simulationcraft is the only proof that I have. I will have more data once I have 4 piece tier 12 and can start playing around with it.

    ---------- Post added 2011-06-27 at 02:00 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by nadrii View Post
    Few things:
    Hi nadrii, thank you for the feedback.

    - haste scales linearly, and has been proven to do so, until upwards of 5000
    From the tests I have run, haste does not scale very linearly. It definately scales upwards, but is often worth far more or less depending on how close to a haste plateau we are at. At 300 haste before 2588, for example, haste sims at .6 or higher. And just after 2588, haste sims around .5. I've seen this happen many times in simulations. Additionally, I am noticing a possibiliyt that Mastery scales faster than Haste. So that even if they both scale "linearly", they may not scale at the same pace. If we ever get to a point that we can get "5000" haste, the rest of our gear will have a tremendous amount of additional intellect, crit, and mastery. Whether we would even want 5000 haste is debatable. I would be interested to see some tests surrounding this however. Let me know if you find/do any.

    - haste plateaus are next to irrelevant in terms of gems/enchants/reforging
    There are two enchants for Gloves and two enchants for Boots that would allow you to add or drop 100 haste (vs mastery). Also it's debateable as to whether Reckless gems are better than Brilliant gems when there is a +10 intellect bonus available. I also believe it may be worth it to take a few orange gems if you are within 20 of reaching one of the VT plateaus. In terms of an average fight, getting an extra tick on VT can net you almost 20 additional seconds of casting time. It's very worth it to reach these plateaus if you are just under them. And thus not "irrelevant".

    - mind blasting on cooldown is not an effective use of the spell in realistic boss encounter scenarios
    I've been using it on cooldown for about 4 months, and I've tested it quite a bit in game. I'm fairly confident that this is good advice. I'm willing to listen to an opposing point of view if you can give me specifics. What should we wait for? How should we incorporate it into our cast rotation, and why? Are you holding it back in order to have a stronger up time on ES? These are things I would be interested in researching.

    - reaching hit cap is much more important than you give it credit for
    If I had a dime for every time someone told me that I stressed hit too much or not enough, I'd be a wealthy priest. I've stressed it about as much as I'm willing to in the guide without giving an ultimatum. People will do what they want to, and I'm pretty exhausted arguing about this particular subject.
    Last edited by Kilee25; 2011-06-27 at 07:35 PM.
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  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by nadrii View Post
    - mind blasting on cooldown is not an effective use of the spell in realistic boss encounter scenarios
    I also would like to see you expand on this some. Logically I don't see how casting MB on CD is a bad thing. Also (I could be mistaken but) I belive Kilee advocates mostly using MB when you have 6.5 or more left on ES if you don't have an orb up. However, even if for some reason you cast MB with no orb and it won't be up again before es runs out you can quickly recast VT and DP before it falls off to minimize that issue. The thing about it really is as you get more haste the dry spells without orbs tends to get smaller and smaller just from the fact that you will have more opportunities to get an orb to proc than you do with less haste.

    Also casting MB on CD will no doubt be even more important when we get 4pc T12 as the damage every time we cast it will go up.

  10. #10
    There's only so much theorycrafting I honestly listen to. I've done extremely well this tier with ranks holding three current rank ones as well as several previous ones. Though simulations are helpful I only really use them for one thing - stat normalization. This is something I'll never be able to realistically do or test on my own and therefore why I have to rely on this software.

    Mastery does scale with haste though I'm not sure if it scales at a faster rate. I haven't really began to worry about something I won't need to actually put into practice for a few tiers. Right now haste remains my best stat and remains that way for firelands.

    The reason I tell people to only mind blast with an orb up is because you will never have a patchwerk-style fight, which I can guarantee is what you're using for your simulator. Here's the situation and conditions you would have to be under for mind blasting on cooldown to be a benefit:

    - you proc an orb and mb, you now have 15s of es remaining
    - your mb comes off cd 6.5s later and you still haven't proc'd an orb
    - mb has a minimum 1s cast so as soon as your next mb lands you have 7.5s remaining on es; of course this is assuming you don't need to reapply any dots and you're not currently on the gcd and there are no other adds to dot and you don't have to move at this exact second (see where this begins to get unrealistic?)
    - 6.5s later you have 1s left on es and we're hoping by this point in your idealistic scenario that you've proc'd an orb
    - you mb and refresh your es literally the second it falls off; this is again assuming the perfect scenario I described two bullet points above

    This is a situation that will rarely ever happen if at all and not something I suggest you try to gain what might be a negligible increase. Any mistake and you've now negated this increase you're trying to achieve.

  11. #11
    Mechagnome Veiled's Avatar
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    I'd like to quote this from New's guide that has been up since 12/17/10.

    Quote Originally Posted by New View Post
    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.
    That being said, I'm not even sure why this is even being discussed. Most decent shadow priests know the risks of using MB on cooldown and they also know the gains of doing so.

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  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Veiled View Post
    I'd like to quote this from New's guide that has been up since 12/17/10.

    That being said, I'm not even sure why this is even being discussed. Most decent shadow priests know the risks of using MB on cooldown and they also know the gains of doing so.
    Most decent shadow priests don't need to be told a priority of Mind Blast, or using it on cooldown.

    As a guide it should iterate that point, and illustrate the risks, something that hasn't been taken into account yet.
    ~Former Priest/Guild Wars 2 Moderator~
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  13. #13
    Please sticky this. I've been following shadowpriest.com for a VERY long time, and their info always seems very accurate and up to date on the theorycrafting. I trust the group over there to keep updating their information as patch 4.2 gets released into the future.. and i know Kilee has done a lot of tests. The information on that site has always been a lot better then anywhere else (like elitistjerks)... Keep up the good work!

    Yeah. And sticky please.

  14. #14
    It's a theoretical dps gain on an encounter type you will never see.

  15. #15
    Mechagnome Veiled's Avatar
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    wow, I was posting a comment and MMO-Champ died for a few mins there, lol. I thought I killed the site!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelesti View Post
    Most decent shadow priests don't need to be told a priority of Mind Blast, or using it on cooldown.

    As a guide it should iterate that point, and illustrate the risks, something that hasn't been taken into account yet.
    That's something that should simply be suggested to Kilee, as you have done, rather than having someone attempting to devalue theorycrafting in general.

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  16. #16
    Hi nadrii, thank you for thee feedback.

    Quote Originally Posted by nadrii View Post
    There's only so much theorycrafting I honestly listen to. I've done extremely well this tier with ranks holding three current rank ones as well as several previous ones. Though simulations are helpful I only really use them for one thing - stat normalization. This is something I'll never be able to realistically do or test on my own and therefore why I have to rely on this software.
    I hear you, and I understand where you are coming from. I will say this in response - don't mistake me for someone who blindly follows Simulationcraft. I'm not one of those people. And my guide is not written with that type of mentality. I value your opinion from the point of view of someone who does their own testing in the actual game. I do this too. We are on the same page, my friend.

    Mastery does scale with haste though I'm not sure if it scales at a faster rate. I haven't really began to worry about something I won't need to actually put into practice for a few tiers. Right now haste remains my best stat and remains that way for firelands.
    I believe that the four piece bonus will push Mastery over the edge in certain situations in this tier. Ironically my only proof at this point is my experience and knowledge playing the actual game, and the fact that I know that Simulationcraft is fallible and does not take into account real situations. The real irony here is that if you truly believe in waiting for orbs to cast Mind Blast, Mastery will be even better for you than for most people. And if you are the type who does your own testing and doesn't listen to other people, then you will discover this yourself very soon.

    The reason I tell people to only mind blast with an orb up is because you will never have a patchwerk-style fight, which I can guarantee is what you're using for your simulator. Here's the situation and conditions you would have to be under for mind blasting on cooldown to be a benefit:
    <snip>
    This is a situation that will rarely ever happen if at all and not something I suggest you try to gain what might be a negligible increase. Any mistake and you've now negated this increase you're trying to achieve.
    I am very aware of the pros and cons of waiting for Mind Blast vs not waiting. I also believe very strongly in what I have written in the guide. I truly believe that casting Mind Blast on cooldown is higher dps. I've done a very, VERY thorough amount of testing both in game and in simulations. I believe it is the sound advice to give.

    Also, what Arlee says is true - with the 4 piece tier 12 set bonus, it will be an even larger loss of dps to wait to cast it. He is also correct that you should if possible refresh VT/DP before ES falls off. I will add this to the guide today.

    To Kelesti:

    If there is something you feel the guide needs to say or explain better. I will be happy to add or expand any section.
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  17. #17
    High Overlord Lawke's Avatar
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    Awesome guide, definitely informative / helpful Kilee heh
    Hopefully it gets stickied..
    Heh just thought I would give some positive feedback

  18. #18
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    Nice guide. I just dinged 85 on my shadow priest a few days ago, and was given the advice to cast SW: D every time it is off cooldown, if I am below 90% mana. Granted, I am not raiding, and probably will not be raiding any time soon. Is there any reason I should or should not weave SW: D in? I realize it's not a ton of damage, but IIRC the <25% damage is about the same as the instant damage on DP, and the 10% mana return seems to help a lot at lower gear levels.
    When the going gets tough, the tough hide under the table...

  19. #19
    Mechagnome Veiled's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tavynn View Post
    Nice guide. I just dinged 85 on my shadow priest a few days ago, and was given the advice to cast SW: D every time it is off cooldown, if I am below 90% mana. Granted, I am not raiding, and probably will not be raiding any time soon. Is there any reason I should or should not weave SW: D in? I realize it's not a ton of damage, but IIRC the <25% damage is about the same as the instant damage on DP, and the 10% mana return seems to help a lot at lower gear levels.
    Leave it in for lower gear levels. I remember what it was like to be oom all the time.. even my baby priest has issues and I'm so used to not using SW;D that she's always oom! You will know when you can stop using it as your gear gets better, 'til then I say keep at it until you're comfortable.

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  20. #20
    Since we're going into the next tier, it should be noted that the haste plateau you advocated (2588) is already achievable in t11. I have 2680, with only 1 heroic piece. Thus, if this will be a 4.2 guide, what advice should there be for once you've gotten past the 359ish mark and have this plateau handled? Should we be simming ever afterwards for every piece, or is there a pattern for other stat weights?

    I bring this up for once very basic reason: whenever someone brings a cap/plateau into the discussion, there is an instinct that "oh, should I be stacking something else after I reach it?" While this is obvious for a cap, where you totally would, a plateau is more of a gray area. From what I've read, it seems like haste may momentarily duck below other stats after that plateau (perhaps under hit if you're not yet hitcapped?), but would rise again to the #1 secondary stat after buffing the alternatives a bit.

    I can see many situations arising out of this weirdness, and I'd like to see if you can pick one that seems most likely:
    1) We return to haste stacking after balancing the stats post-haste-plateau.
    2) We stack different secondary stats to their caps (hit) or for a good while in this tier until you pretty much have BiS.
    3) We do the arcane mage dance and sim for everything with every new piece after the plateau. It's too unpredictable otherwise because they're all so close.

    I can understand the importance of simming your own gear, but a clear stance on this thing would be helpful. Even if it turns out to be #3, we can then keep in mind that there's no single way to gear up while progressing through content.
    Last edited by Zuziza; 2011-06-27 at 10:11 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Purpleisbetter View Post
    Power Torrent, Volcano and Theralion proc'ed, dots just refreshed. Everyone dies. Just a tank and a boss with around 200k hp. Everyone in vt yells "omg we failed omg omg" and you "don't worry amigos, my dots are steamrolling!". Boss dies while you'd say "Enjoy your loots" with a lot of purple awesomness spilling thru your voice. Just happend yesterday.

    Seriously, i thought i'd reroll warlock for 4.2, but that was the sign that i'm purple inside and i can't reroll. never.

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