Friday, August 24, 2012

Shadow Priest Glyphs [Mists]

Prime glyphs are gone.
With Mists less than two months away (and no recent Shadow changes), I think it's high time to start theorycrafting for Shadow in 5.0. One of the big things that'll strike right when 5.0 drops is the new glyph set. We'll probably need to buy mostly all-new glyphs, as a lot of the old item IDs no longer refer to valid glyphs. Unlike before, it's hard or impossible to say what will be the best ahead of time. Very few glyphs, if any, offer any sort of damage increase, and the ones that do are extremely situational and minor. Probably, the "correct" glyphs will vary on a per-fight basis, and we'll need to swap glyphs between every encounter. To that end, you may want to buy and learn more than just what you plan to use immediately.

Anyway, due to the change in design, I can't simply list the "correct" 6 glyphs to wear. Below I've broken the glyphs into categories, and within each category, I've tried to list them in descending order of usefulness (probability of actually having a use * how useful if so). What would I personally use? I'll probably be wearing Mind Flay, Dark Binding, and Vampiric Embrace until we actually develop strategies for the Mists raid bosses.

Major Glyphs

  • Mind Flay - In all likelihood, you'll already have this stacked when you need to move. Less movement time, less damage loss. It may also save you from dying to fight mechanics. Notably, this also frees up your boots enchant to use a full stats enchant, rather than a stats/move-speed one. For long bouts of movement, you'll still move faster stopping every 4sec to refresh the speed buff than if you kept the run-speed boots and just ran. Tied with Inner Will + Inner Sanctum for speed on long movement, but you get to do damage while going, so I'd say it's still better.
  • Reflective Shield - This one actually stands to increase your raw damage output, assuming you're already using PW:S to soak AoE bursts or something. Notably, it should also work when you have another priest's shield on you, so it's just free damage with a Disc priest around.
  • Dispersion - If Shadow has mana problems, this technically grants 14% increased uptime on the mana return from Dispersion. Huge if we're mana starved, no effect on damage otherwise.
  • Mind Spike - If burst ends up being a thing, this might be needed to squeeze in one additional spell within a burst window. With the loss of our current 4-set, making use of this will no longer be a damage loss.
  • Dispel Magic - Technically, it's free damage if you're using Dispel Magic. Practically, it hits for such piddling amounts that it's likely to be irrelevant.
  • Levitate - Similar reasoning to Glyph of Mind Flay, but with crappier uptime, and a lower max speed.

  • Dark Binding - The grand-daddy of our defensive glyphs, this allows us to replace 30-50% of our Mind Flay casts with Renew and/or Prayer of Mending on cooldown. This is a huge amount of "free" healing from the healers' perspective. It also gives us a more potent self-healing button than PW:S. Awesome if you're already shielding yourself, or if you healing the raid/tank allows you to run one fewer healers. Just remember, this does come at a damage loss, so it's really only helping the raid if the healing is needed.
  • Vampiric Embrace - A 33% increase to the total healing potential of our new 3-minute raid healing cooldown. It also crams it into a smaller window of time, which can only be useful.
  • Renew - I know what you're thinking; "What? Why would a shadow priest glyph healing spells?" or alternately "How is this even useful?" When combined with the Glyph of Dark Binding, this increases the total healing of our Renew by 6.66%. Refer to my article on haste mechanics for a detailed explanation. Basically, we're not going to have enough haste to reach a 2nd bonus tick either way. With this, we get 4 ticks of 1.33, versus 5 ticks of 1.00. It also allows it to be cast more frequently: also a plus.
  • Inner Sanctum - Another defensive glyph. It won't make a huge difference, but if the healers are having trouble, this may be a way to help. Might end up being popular if healing is "hard" again, like it was in early Cata. Only applies to magical damage, but most of the damage non-tanks take is magical anyway. May also be a damage gain on fights featuring very long bouts of movement, via toggling to Inner Will.
  • Dispersion - 14% increased maximal uptime on Dispersion. Godly if it helps it sync up with damage spikes, useless otherwise.
  • Inner Fire - Like Inner Sanctum, but only works on physical damage instead. It's a lot stronger, but then, how often do we really take physical damage? Will be awesome if fights like Morchok and Deathbringer Saurfang make a return.
  • Prayer of Mending - Probably better for personal survival than the Glyph of Fade if you're already using Glyph of Dark Binding. Obviously worthless if you're not, or if you care about the healing you provide to other raid members with Dark Binding. (Which you probably do... but PoM doesn't bounce unless AoE damage is repeatedly ticking.)
  • Fade - A pretty minor defensive cooldown. Similar reasoning to Inner Sanctum.
  • Fear Ward - It's unchanged, and may still have the same rare uses. For example, I recently found it quite helpful for solo runs of Auriaya.
  • Mass Dispel - While I love this glyph on live, the fact that it competes with so many other useful glyphs in Mists makes it much less desirable. I highly doubt this will see PvE use.
  • Psychic Horror - On the one hand, Psychic Horror is baseline now, so you don't need to spend a talent to benefit from this glyph. On the other hand, it costs Shadow orbs now, so this might even be a damage loss. That said, a 30% uptime on the Disarm portion could make a huge difference in tank survivability if hard-hitting mobs aren't immune to it. May see use if so, and if healing is hard.
  • Psychic Scream - Mandatory if CC is a thing, worthless if we never use CC. Notably, this allows us to use Psychic Scream as a spell interrupt on mobs that are not immune. With Silence, Psychic Scream and Psychic Horror all baseline, PvE shadow goes from not having interrupts to potentially being able to interrupt 3 spells in a row.
  • Mind Blast - This is Paralysis from live. Might see some use if roots are needed for a raid encounter, likely to be a liability otherwise. Looks useful for PvP.
  • Scourge Imprisonment - Seriously unlikely to be useful. Will only really matter if both CC is useful, and undead exist. Even then, this hardly revolutionizes our CC. The primary use I could see for this (if such a situation exists) is rapidly using it to spam-interrupt multiple undead spellcasters. If that happens? Hell yeah this glyph is awesome. Otherwise... useless.

Minor Glyphs

Holy Resurrection - This is the only minor glyph with a practical use, as it signals to your teammates that they're being rezzed, and shouldn't release/run back in. Might result in slightly faster average wipe recovery, and thus, slightly faster progression.

[Other Minor Glyphs] - All cosmetic, pick any or none.

No comments:

Post a Comment