Monday, December 9, 2013

For my angel:

The clearing is awash in darkness, in stillness. Stillness broken neither by footstep nor voice.

As if to spite the dark, an angel appears.

Her head is wreathed in a dancing flame, and her face is a glimpse of the divine.

I rush from my hiding place, but try as I might, she remains one step out of reach.

She is not of my world. She is a world away.

Eventually, I must return to my mundane surroundings, but I am left with a chill. A chill in my body, in my bones, in my soul.

I feel as though I have witnessed something not meant for mortal eyes. I fear I may never be the same.

You are my Inner Fire and my Hymn of Hope.
I love you, Shawna!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Siege of Orgrimmar Fight-Specific Tips (Part 3/4)

So, remember what I said last time about the second wing not being strategically complex? Say good bye to that, because here in wing 3, the fights are entirely about their unique mechanics. This section will test your raid's ability to preform under seriously unusual conditions.

[Updated: Added Heroic section and a note about Spectral Guise to Thok.]

Monday, November 18, 2013

All-In-One Priest Level 90 Talent Macro

Vaguely symbolic of a macro.
Is anyone else tired of swapping the button on your bars every time you switch your level 90 talent out? Just kidding, of course you are. Courtesy of some priest on some forum somewhere, (sorry, I really don't know who I originally got it from,) I have a macro for you all that will make button swapping a thing of the past.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Siege of Orgrimmar Fight-Specific Tips (Part 2/4)

Welcome to the second wing. Here's where Blizzard starts to turn up the heat. These fights aren't strategically complex, (except maybe H Shamans,) but they do demand a decent level of raid awareness and output.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Siege of Orgrimmar Fight-Specific Tips (Part 1/4)

Hey, everybody. Since my fight-specific tips series was so popular in Throne of Thunder, I thought I'd do it again for Siege. I'll be breaking these down along the Flex/LFR groupings, but all my tips are primarily for normal-mode, with some heroic notes on the fights I have done.

Monday, October 7, 2013

[5.4] Discipline Healing Basics

Penance: It's what's for breakfast.
Remember last week when I promised a Discipline basics post? Well, here we are.

  1. Gearing
  2. Enchants
  3. Gems
  4. Glyphs
  5. Talents
  6. Rotation
  7. Buffs

Monday, September 30, 2013

[5.4] Discipline Healing Changes

Hey, everyone, long time no see. I fell into a bit of a rut, and, well, as you can see, I haven't been writing. But anyway, I'm back for 5.4, and it's one hell of a patch.

In case you've been healing all along, here's a quick rundown of what's changed. On the other hand, if you're new to Disc, I should have a new Discipline Basics guide up next week.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Throne of Thunder Fight-Specific Tips (Part 3 of 4)

Eye sea how you died there?
Welcome to the "experimental stuff" wing, where most fights are no longer about everyone independently doing their own thing correctly, and increasingly about coordinating as a group to handle mechanics that no single person can deal with alone. Don't worry, that's actually a good thing; get the mechanics right and it's hard to miss the output checks.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Throne of Thunder Fight-Specific Tips (Part 2 of 4)

Hit 5 koopas with one
shell to get a 1-up!
Whoops! This was meant to be up last week, but it looks like I failed to hit the Publish button. I guess it's convenient though; I should probably give my guild time to clear Iron Qon-Lei Shen before I go advising about them. I'm just gonna push back parts 2 though 4 by a week.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Throne of Thunder Fight-Specific Tips (Part 1 of 4)

This fight is fun for Atonement.
So, a short warning before we begin. I have not been Shadow since two weeks before 5.2. So while I claim to know some things about DPS, I may be missing the shadowy elephant in the room on some or all fights. My Atonement DPS advice should be pretty sound though.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Atonement DPS Guide - Basics

Penance: It's what's for breakfast.
Due to a series of buffs, nerfs to mainstream Disc healing, and the t14 4-piece bonus, Atonement healing is now a competitive raiding spec. It's not really DPS, and it's not really healing. It's the first true hybrid spec. This guide outlines an approach to Atonement focusing on dealing maximum possible DPS.

  1. Gearing
  2. Enchants
  3. Gems
  4. Glyphs
  5. Talents
  6. Rotation
  7. Buffs

Friday, March 29, 2013

Lolsmite First Impressions

As I mentioned last week, something caused almost all of the healers in my guild to quit all at the same time. Because of this, I'm now Atonement spec. Soon™ I'll have a basic DPS guide for Discipline priests up. For now though, I'm still learning the basics myself.

The first thing I noticed about Lolsmite (which is what I'm going to call Disco Atonement builds) is that the DPS rotation is really simple by comparison to Shadow. I can literally do full DPS with only two buttons. One's a /castsequence macro with a timed reset to cast Solace if it's up, and Smite otherwise. The other's just a normal Penance bind. Because it requires so very little attention, I'm free to do things like not die in fight mechanics and watch HP bars in case I need to cast a real heal.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Mind Flay Mechanics

I'm not really sure what a naga is doing in the
middle of a forest, but hey, it's Mind Flay.
So, I bet you were all worried about me when I disappeared a week after returning from my winter hiatus. What? No one? Really? I see, you all had faith I'd be back with more advice and theory. Well, there was a bit of a crisis in my guild, but today I do have some theory for you all. It's time to talk about something every Shadow priest should be familiar with: Mind Flay. I've seen quite a bit of ill-informed rambling about it on various priest forums and around the blogosphere in the last few weeks, so it's time to set a few things straight.

As we all know, Mind Flay is the basic filler spell for Shadow. It's learned at level 10 when you pick Shadow spec, and doesn't really change unless you pick Solace and Insanity much later. Mind Flay is a 3-sec channeled DoT dealing a smallish amount of damage every second. For the first half of its duration, you're locked into the spell by the global cooldown, and so you can't cast anything else. After that, unlike most spells, you can cast something else and it'll interrupt Mind Flay. We call this "clipping".

Friday, March 8, 2013


See you all in Trollduar.
Hey, everybody, guess who's back. (Hint: it's me.) Unless you've been under a rock, you all know 5.2 is out. As patches go, this one's pretty glorious for Shadow priests. We've all been a little bit on the wimpy side through last tier, and the couple buffs we've gotten are quite welcome.

Shadow Buffs
  • Insanity redesigned. Details below.
  • Shadowform damage bonus increased to 25%, up from 20%.
  • (Not yet live) Shadow Word: Pain damage increased 25%.
  • Power Infusion now grants 5% damage while active, in addition to its previous effects.
  • Shadowy Apparition pathing is noticeably improved, and the limit is increased to 10 at a time, up from 3. They still fail a lot, but it's a lot less.
  • AoE target cap increased to 20. While this effects all classes, it will bring Shadow closer to specs that can apply DoTs in an AoE in very-many-target situations, and greatly increase the healing of Halo in 25man raids.
Shadow Nerfs
Mind Flay: apply directly to the forehead.
The New Insanity

As promised, let's talk about the new Insanity. The Solace and Insanity talent no-longer grants Shadow priests a spell. Instead, if you start a Mind Flay cast on a foe with your Devouring Plague on it, the cast morphs into Mind Flay (Insanity), dealing +33% damage per Shadow Orb spent. It's an entirely different spell, but I couldn't find it on Wowhead to link it. This bonus damage persists for the duration of the channel, potentially lasting beyond the end of the Devouring Plague DoT itself.

It hits hard. 99% damage may not sound like a lot on such a weak spell, but you can really feel the oomph. Running Solace and Insanity obviously increases the value of Divine Insight, but it also makes sense to use any of the other tier-6 talents with it when they're applicable.

Using Insanity

It is a damage gain (albeit a small one) to prematurely-refresh DoTs shortly before casting Devouring Plague if they would expire during the Insanity period.

Given the option, it is obviously worthwhile to begin an extra Mind Flay (Insanity) immediately before Devouring Plague would expire, allowing you to channel about 2 seconds beyond the end of the effect.

I've read that Mind Blast is higher priority than Mind Flay (Insanity), but by my math, the damage you lose by delaying Mind Blasts (and also the resultant Insanity phases) is approximately equal to the damage you gain from greater Insanity utilization right now. Even so, I believe you should use Mind Blast if it comes off cooldown; the Devouring Plague damage makes that a small damage gain.

Do not cast DoTs during Insanity, and use tier-7 talents only if you would lose the opportunity to do so if you delayed them (for example, AoE targets no-longer clumped for Halo if you wait.)