Friday, May 11, 2012

[MoP Beta] Shadow Priest Update - May 11

Huge rotation-changing, er, changes, are getting less frequent. Thus, these beta updates are getting progressively more boring. If I had something more interesting to write about, I'd probably be writing that instead.

Sources of Shadow Orbs

Currently only Mind Blast and Shadow Word: Death (below 20%) provide Shadow Orbs. This makes Shadow Orb generation very predictable and regular, and as such, Devouring Plague is likely to be used at a very regular interval, much like it is today.

Mind Surge has been reworked, now allowing Haste to shorten the Mind Blast cooldown, which again smooths out Shadow Orb generation, and allows that part of the rotation to scale with Haste. The previous Mind Surge mechanic has been moved to the Divine Insight talent (level 75), so if nuke procs and irregular Shadow Orb gains are your cup of tea, you can spec into it.

Shadow Heals

Like many overpowered things in beta, the Shadow healing spec is mostly gone. Glyph of Dark Binding now applies to Prayer of Mending, Renew and Leap of Faith. Don't get me wrong, it's still a great glyph. It's just not the core piece of a viable hybrid spec anymore. Similarly, Shadow never got Discipline's mana/haste procs; that was a data-mining error. Oops!

Another glyph option, Glyph of Devouring Plague is available to increase your self-healing, but won't help the rest of your raid. It's actually quite sizable, increasing the damage-to-healing conversion from 15% up to a whopping 48%. (The tooltip lies.) On a related note, Devouring Plague has been nerfed into oblivion. I expect it'll get fixed in an upcoming beta patch though, beta balance is always wonky.

Mind Spike Proc

It's back, this time procing from Vampiric Touch ticks with the From Darkness, Comes Light talent (level 45.) This is a fun mechanic, and I was sad to see it gone last build.

Talents now Shadowform-Friendly

Many talents which previously broke Shadowform don't anymore. Huzzah!

Dungeon-Friendly CC

The Glyph of Psychic Scream now also applies to the Psyfiend talent. Also, huzzah!


This isn't Shadow-related, but Discipline just got flip-turned upside-down. Spirit Shell is now a cooldown that converts all direct heal spells into absorbs. Neat! I fully expect this mechanic to change a lot over the coming weeks.

Shadow Overview

The beta Shadow rotation now closely resembles the live one. It's all about DoTs and using Mind Blast on cooldown, with Mind Flay filler. Sure, you can build a proc-filled rotation, or shift focus away from your DoTs, but those are talent choices, and if they get the balance right, will just be a matter of choice. Our scaling looks good, our new mastery looks, if anything, even better than the current one. In general, Shadow is in a pretty good shape right now. Switching from live to beta right now is about as seamless as the shift from 3.3 to 4.0 was. So relax everyone, the sky is no-longer falling like it was when Shadowy Apparitions was our primary nuke.

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