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Shadowpriest FAQ for 4.0


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#1 Snowy

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Posted 13 October 2010 - 05:23 AM

Note that this guide was for the WotLK patch pre-Cata! Some things (such as hit rating, enchants, etc) are no longer up to date! New guide forthcoming soon.

Please read this thoroughly before posting. Do post if you have updates/corrections -- initially information here may not be completely correct as it's basically from my own personal experience on PTR/beta.

I just logged in!
First thing, make sure you go to your priest trainer of choice and learn Mastery and Mysticism. These are both passive talents.

What should I spec?
3/0/31 with 2 points left over to personal taste. It should be obvious that the 3 points in Disc go in Twin Disciplines. Due to the slimmed down trees, you'll be taking most of the talents in Shadow, with the exception of Improved Psychic Scream/Phantasm/Silence/Paralysis/Psychic Horror.

What should I glyph?
Prime: Mind Flay, SWP, SWD
Major: Your choice here. None offer any DPS boost, so pick for utility.
Minor: Your choice here as well.

How much hit rating do I need?
446 or 17%. (edit: 420 or 16% if you're Draenei) Remember, there's no more Misery and no more hit debuffs on mobs. Also remember that you convert spirit to hit via the Twisted Faith talent, but only from gear and buffs, not from your base spirit pool -- i..e I have 297 hit rating from gear, and I get 168 spirit from gear, which converts into 168 more hit rating for a total of 465.

What's this reforging? Should I use it? What should I use it on?
It depends. Reforging allows you to convert 40% of an item stat on your gear to another stat that is not currently present on the item. For example, take Ring of Rapid Ascent. I can either convert 27 Crit Rating or 24 Haste Rating to 27 or 24 Spirit or Mastery. There's other options, but those are the only 2 that matter. Note that you'd never reforge into hit rating, as Spirit gives the same effect. Don't reforge into Mastery, it is terrible right now -- i.e. I'd only reforge that ring if I needed hit.

If you're over hit cap, reforge hit to haste seems to be the way to go, unless you already have an extreme amount of haste vs crit, then you'd want to reforge to crit. Note that in most cases you won't have a choice -- you cannot reforge to a stat that is already on an item. Therefore, an item like Amulet of the Silent Eulogy means if you want to reforge out of excess hit, you could only convert it to crit since it already has haste.

What does Mastery do?
As stated just above, it's terrible for shadow priests at 80. Read the tooltip on Mastery to see what it actually does though.

Should I regem?
If you're dedicated to purely min/maxing even for the next 2 months, then probably yes. Pay close attention to what gems are now. Runed Cardinal Rubies are now Brilliant Cardinal Rubies that are +20 Int. Remember that Int converts into spellpower now -- you won't see spellpower on gear anymore except for weapons, procs & enchants.

Red: +20 int

Yellow: +10 int/10 haste as long as socket bonus is better than (5 int? 5 sp? Pretty much any item for us has at least this bonus though so it's moot) Note that 10 int/10 crit may actually be slightly better depending on SWD spam sub 25%. From napkin math the difference either way will be small but worth mentioning.

Blue: Only match for socket bonuses to fit a meta gem, otherwise 20 int here. Or fit 10 int/10 spi if you are trying to reach hit cap. Note that you can use a Nightmare Tear (10 all stats) for one of these.

After regemming/reforging you should be as close to 446 hit as possible.

What's my spell casting/priority system now?
SWD makes a triumphant return!

Boss health>25%: Dots (VT/SWP/DP) are still top priority. After that, SWD on cooldown, then MB, then MF as filler.
Boss health<25%: Dots (VT/SWP/DP) are still top priority. After that spam SWD as health allows.

Spam SWD? Wha?

Glyph of Shadow Word Death: If your Shadow Word Death fails to kill the target at or below 25% health, your Shadow Word Death's cooldown is instantly reset.

This means it's a spammable instant once a boss reaches 25%. Note that you WILL kill yourself if you spam this with no regard for your health bar. SWD can crit upwards of 20k, and the backlash will be about half of that. VE is 15% self heal now.

Hotfixes have been coming fast and furious so our priority system is in flux right now. I'll update later once things have stabilized and we can settle on an agreed list.

DoT clipping changed
Previously, when you cast a new VT on a mob with an existing VT, a completely new VT was applied to the mob. So if you cast a new VT only a split second too early, you'd clip that last tick of VT and lose it.

That has changed. Now when you refresh VT/DP, it acts exactly as SWP has when Pain&Suffering refreshed it. The DoT's duration is simply refreshed, and the ticks continue to happen. What this means to the casual spriest is instead of trying to refresh VT/DP the instant after it falls, you want to try to refresh it exactly as it falls or slightly before. You still don't want to refresh it too early because you'd be wasting a GCD.

Other Misc Notes
Switch chest enchant back to 10 all stats from 15 spirit.

#2 bunga

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Posted 13 October 2010 - 07:13 AM

Draenei still benefit from Heroic Presence and therefore only need 420 hit rating.

#3 Malapropia

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Posted 13 October 2010 - 09:05 AM

It is also worth noting that Damage of Time spells like Shadow Word: Pain, Devouring Plague and Vampiric Touch can no longer be clipped. Recasting the spell will simply refresh the time remaining on the debuff without interrupting the ticks.

Enchant Priorities will remain the same from 3.3.*, for the most part.

Weapon

Enchant Weapon - Mighty Spellpower
Enchant Staff - Greater Spellpower
Enchant Weapon - Black Magic

Helm

[Arcanum of Burning Mysteries]

Shoulders

[Greater Inscription of the Storm]

Chest

Enchant Chest - Powerful Stats

Cloak

Enchant Cloak - Greater Speed

Bracers

Enchant Bracers - Superior Spellpower

Gloves

Enchant Gloves - Exceptional Spellpower

Legs

[Brilliant Spellthread]

Boots

Enchant Boots - Tuskarr's Vitality

Belt

[Eternal Belt Buckle]


It is important to note that while the Engineering Glove enchant has been reduced from 340 haste to 240 haste, it will now stack with Enchant Gloves - Exceptional Spellpower. The same is true for Nitro Boosts, which will now stack with Enchant Boots - Tuskarr's Vitality. This also applies to Springy Arachnoweave and Enchant Cloak - Greater Speed.


Haste, DoTs and You in 4.0.1 and beyond

Below are the values of haste needed to add another tick to the damage over time spells we all know and love. These are only for the base spell and does not account for any change by talents and/or glyphs.


Vampiric Touch
[TABLE]Haste |Ticks| Haste Rating
0.0% |5| 0
20.0% |6| 656
40.0% |7| 1312
60.0% |8| 1968
80.0% |9| 2624
100.0% |10| 3279[/TABLE]

Shadow Word: Pain
[TABLE] Haste| Ticks| Haste Rating
0.0%| 6| 0
16.7% |7| 547
33.3% |8| 1093
50.0% |9| 1640
66.7% |10| 2186
83.3% |11| 2733
100.0% |12| 3279[/TABLE]

Devouring Plague
[TABLE]Haste |Ticks| Haste Rating
0.0% |8| 0
12.5% |9| 410
25.0% |10| 820
37.5% |11| 1230
50.0% |12| 1640
62.5% |13| 2050
75.0% |14| 2460
87.5% |15| 2869
100.0% |16| 3279[/TABLE]

Mind Flay

[TABLE]Haste| Ticks| Haste Rating
0.0% |3| 0
33.3% |4| 1093
66.7% |5| 2186
100.0% |6| 3279[/TABLE]

(DISCLAIMER: Haste ratings are approximate.)

#4 Carnathagia

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Posted 13 October 2010 - 01:50 PM

Blue: Only match for socket bonuses to fit a meta gem, otherwise 20 int here. Or fit 10 int/10 spi if you are trying to reach hit cap.


Gemming all Spellpower+Spirit purples into blue sockets to pick up the bonuses before you reforge to meet your hit rating might be more optimal.
Emraldè - Resto/Balance Druid - Carnathagia - Holy/Disc Priest - Liltankh - Prot/Fury Warrior
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#5 Snowy

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Posted 13 October 2010 - 02:48 PM

Enchant Chest - Major Spirit


As noted at the bottom of my post, this should be Enchant Chest - Powerful Stats. +10 int/+10 spi is now superior to +15 spirit.

#6 Tarhuil

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Posted 13 October 2010 - 03:10 PM

It is also worth noting that Damage of Time spells like Shadow Word: Pain, Devouring Plague and Vampiric Touch can no longer be clipped. Recasting the spell will simply refresh the time remaining on the debuff without interrupting the ticks.


Is anyone aware if popping items/spells with cooldowns, such as or Lifebloom, prior to casting your DoTs lead to the buffed-stat DoT refreshing itself once you recast (as was the case with Shadow Word:Pain/Mind Flay in 3.3) or will the DoT's parameters be changed with each cast?

If it does refresh, popping trinkets or recasting your DoTs once you proc something big might make it a lot easier to, say, have enough haste to reach the next DoT tick plateau. Even if you didn't maintain that haste for the entire fight, your DoT could.

#7 Malapropia

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Posted 13 October 2010 - 03:14 PM

Is anyone aware if popping items/spells with cooldowns, such as or Lifebloom, prior to casting your DoTs lead to the buffed-stat DoT refreshing itself once you recast (as was the case with Shadow Word:Pain/Mind Flay in 3.3) or will the DoT's parameters be changed with each cast?

If it does refresh, popping trinkets or recasting your DoTs once you proc something big might make it a lot easier to, say, have enough haste to reach the next DoT tick plateau. Even if you didn't maintain that haste for the entire fight, your DoT could.


Current numbers suggest that these effects are NOT carried over.

#8 HelixDnB

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Posted 13 October 2010 - 03:31 PM

2 things here:

I tried this out last night and I'd like some input as to the viability of it: I would keep my dots up as I would do normally as well as spamming MB when applicable, however while my other dots were going, I would just keep spamming DP repeatedly for the instant damage. I would get on avg 4-5k per application of DP (each gcd) and would often times spike to ~9k or so for them. I only tried it out on 2 fights last night (HMarrow, RLDW) but it was producing somewhat similar dps to what I was outputting prior to this patch. What would the viability of this be (if at all)?

My 2nd point. Since Mindflay priority is now (according to the OP) last on our list, should we not be concerned with keeping 4pc T10 going into Cataclysm, and instead be gearing and reforging for best haste/crit once we've reached the hit cap? I have a lot of other gear that I COULD be using in place of a few pieces of T10 however up until this point I've been keeping with T10 due to how great the 4pc bonus was.

#9 Malapropia

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Posted 13 October 2010 - 03:35 PM

2 things here:

I tried this out last night and I'd like some input as to the viability of it: I would keep my dots up as I would do normally as well as spamming MB when applicable, however while my other dots were going, I would just keep spamming DP repeatedly for the instant damage. I would get on avg 4-5k per application of DP (each gcd) and would often times spike to ~9k or so for them. I only tried it out on 2 fights last night (HMarrow, RLDW) but it was producing somewhat similar dps to what I was outputting prior to this patch. What would the viability of this be (if at all)?

My 2nd point. Since Mindflay priority is now (according to the OP) last on our list, should we not be concerned with keeping 4pc T10 going into Cataclysm, and instead be gearing and reforging for best haste/crit once we've reached the hit cap? I have a lot of other gear that I COULD be using in place of a few pieces of T10 however up until this point I've been keeping with T10 due to how great the 4pc bonus was.


No, that is not going to do near the damage of a proper rotation. Just because it was more damage than last patch means nothing when you are comparing it with current data. The rotation/priority list in the original post by Snowy will do much more than spamming Devouring Plague would be. With regards to your second point the answer is again, negative. Mindflay may have a lower priority but it will still be the main filler while Mind Blast and and Shadow Word: Death are on cooldown (remember, dots will have a base duration, meaning it will be less frantic to keep them up) until 25%.

#10 Mmpriest

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Posted 13 October 2010 - 05:10 PM

Since the OP has said that mastery is not worth reforging to and is basically useless does that mean that we shouldn't be worried about waiting for shadow orbs to get to 3 before we cast mind blast? Playing on the dummy and running a couple heroics i was keeping dots up and using MF as a filler until i had 3 shadow orbs. With 3 orbs i was getting 19k crits from MB regularly. Will it be more efficient to just keep using MB in the rotation instead of waiting?

#11 Peeb

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Posted 13 October 2010 - 05:15 PM

If there's adequate incoming healing, moving while spamming death should be preferred for the Shadow Apparition boost. I find myself only stopping for VT refreshes.

#12 mancandy

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Posted 13 October 2010 - 05:34 PM

It appears mental agility effects all instant cast spells. I was thinking that during the burn phase wouldn't this skill be beneficial for a sw:D spam more so then what i consider pvp talents? I might be way off and i admit i have yet to raid and if that is so i apologize.
I have heard we have little mana problems but i would think this phase might provide one since we are not spamming MF and reducing the CD of shadowfiend.

Does anyone have logs of what type of damage throughput we are capable of? I have heard the stories of mages and boomkins being crazy but i am curious where we stand. I do not expect to be "sunwell'd" again but i am hoping we still have some of our glory.
( if this is the wrong area for this request please direct me to where i should present it. I was hesitant to post this at all.)

#13 Snowy

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Posted 13 October 2010 - 05:42 PM

You should look at the talent "Masochism" and read it carefully.

#14 joecool912

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Posted 13 October 2010 - 07:47 PM

From testing it out, mastery only comes into effect in the rotation when you have 3 orbs, causeing MB > swD if the boss is >25%

#15 Passover

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Posted 13 October 2010 - 08:13 PM

I had 34% Haste upon logging out last night (Rounded up) I log in today and New Talents are supposed to give me 3% from Darkness & 5% from Shadowform but i still remain @ 34% - Did we lose 8% from somewhere else or are we bugged?

#16 Raiek

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Posted 13 October 2010 - 08:37 PM

I had 34% Haste upon logging out last night (Rounded up) I log in today and New Talents are supposed to give me 3% from Darkness & 5% from Shadowform but i still remain @ 34% - Did we lose 8% from somewhere else or are we bugged?


I'm fairly certain it's bugged. Dropping in and out of Shadowform last night didn't show any change to my spell haste in the character panel. Hopefully this is just a display bug, and we are in fact still getting the haste. I haven't tested to see if my ability cast times cast faster in or out of Shadowform yet.

I'd like to reiterate what was asked up above by Mmpriest. Would it be worth it to save MB for 3 shadow orbs, or should we just ignore that mechanic entirely and cast on CD, regardless of orb stacks?

#17 Passover

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Posted 13 October 2010 - 08:58 PM

I'm fairly certain it's bugged. Dropping in and out of Shadowform last night didn't show any change to my spell haste in the character panel. Hopefully this is just a display bug, and we are in fact still getting the haste. I haven't tested to see if my ability cast times cast faster in or out of Shadowform yet.

I'd like to reiterate what was asked up above by Mmpriest. Would it be worth it to save MB for 3 shadow orbs, or should we just ignore that mechanic entirely and cast on CD, regardless of orb stacks?


Im in a Raid right now and im hitting my 1st MB then just leaving it until the button lights up (which i presume is wows way of letting me know that My ORbs are ready, i just havent paid attention to how many orbs are up when the button lights up) - If the button only lights up on 3 orbs, not 1 then im getting a Proc every 1.5 VT Casts. So it seems to be worth saving - my only problem is fitting in SW: Death @ 25%.

#18 Shivaekul

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Posted 13 October 2010 - 09:00 PM

The haste that shows on your character sheet is your haste rating/32.79 (32.79 is for characters at level 80 only). This does not factor in shadowform or darkness.

Talents that increase spell haste actually stack multiplicative with spell haste from haste rating.

This takes the form
"Cast Time" = "Base Cast Time"/((1+("Haste Rating"/3279)*(<TALENT1>)*(<TALENT2>))

Or, in the specific case of shadowpriests
"Cast Time" = "Base Cast Time"/((1+("Haste Rating"))*(1.03)*(1.05))

This factors out into
"Cast Time" ~= "Base Cast Time"/(1.0815+("Haste Rating"/3030.30))


Edit: Itsumi has (probably) better numbers, so i'm just going to quote this up here so its on the first page.

Strikethrough wasn't showing up, but I see that you see it's off now... :P Here's what *should* be a correct list.

At 0 haste rating you have 9 ticks of DP
At 6 haste rating you have 7 ticks of SWP
At 57 haste rating you have 6 ticks of VT

At 322 haste rating you have 10 ticks of DP
At 511 haste rating you have 8 ticks of SWP
At 663 haste rating you have 7 ticks of VT
At 701 haste rating you have 11 ticks of DP

At 1016 haste rating you have 9 ticks of SWP
At 1080 haste rating you have 12 ticks of DP
At 1269 haste rating you have 8 ticks of VT, and are GCD capped

At 1459 haste rating you have 13 ticks of DP
At 1522 haste rating you have 10 ticks of SWP

At 1838 haste rating you have 14 ticks of DP
At 1876 haste rating you have 9 ticks of VT

There are a few fairly large plateaus here, which I spaced between. I left in values in the 1800's because it's obtainable through a haste potion if you're heavily haste stacked, though realistically I'd probably cut your haste as close to 1269 as possible. These values are all approximate, they might vary by 1 haste either way.

You gain 1 SWP tick every 505 haste, with the first starting at 6 haste
You gain 1 VT tick every 606 haste, with the first starting at 57 haste
You gain 1 DP tick every 379 haste, with the first starting at 322 haste

Note that 1258 is actually a bit too low to reach 50% haste:
(1+(1258/3279)) * 1.05 * 1.03 = 1.4964, or 49.64% haste.
(1+(1268/3279)) * 1.05 * 1.03 = 1.4997, or 49.97% haste.
(1+(1269/3279)) * 1.05 * 1.03 = 1.5000, or 50% haste and GCD-capped.

Also note that I was completely unable to get a 4th tick on mindflay, so I'm assuming that it's not updated on live. With 1945 haste (59.32% tooltip, 72.3% with talents) I still only had 3 ticks. I wasn't able to round up a shaman to test for certain with lust, but I should easily be hitting 4 or 5 ticks with that much haste.


<DEL>
On a related note, you gain 1 tick of:
DP ~ every 131 haste rating
SWP ~ every 197 haste rating
VT ~ every 358 haste rating
</DEL>

Just a note, haste plateaus on dots only take effect if you are aiming for 99.99% uptime, and refreshing just after they expire (As we have been doing for years). If you are aiming for 100% uptime, and taking advantage of refreshing dots, there is no need to worry about haste plateaus, as more haste will always mean faster ticks.

If anyone has any issues with my math or numbers please let me know.

*Disclaimer* All numbers are approximations.

Edit: Edited to update equation to eliminate rounding (Lead to numbers being off by about ~1%), to steal itsumi's numbers, to update information in light of new numbers/information.

#19 Ketchup

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Posted 13 October 2010 - 09:27 PM

It seems that, unlike DoTs, Mind Flay clipping mechanics stayed the same after the 4.0.1 patch.
It still clips if you begin the cast before the last tic, regardless of how close to the tic you started casting the next Flay.

I spent about half an hour trying variations on ways to clip MF.
Not wanting to rely solely on MFClip's detection, I checked the combat log as well.

Example: (starting a new flay as close to the end of the cast as possible, minus latency.)
23:19:24> Grandmaster's Training Dummy is afflicted by Bremir's Mind Flay.
23:19:25> Grandmaster's Training Dummy suffers 1 Shadow damage from Bremir's Mind Flay.(303 Overkill)
23:19:26> Grandmaster's Training Dummy suffers 1 Shadow damage from Bremir's Mind Flay.(607 Overkill) (Critical)
23:19:27> Bremir's Mind Flay dissipates from Grandmaster's Training Dummy.
23:19:27> Grandmaster's Training Dummy is afflicted by Bremir's Mind Flay.
23:19:28> Grandmaster's Training Dummy suffers 1 Shadow damage from Bremir's Mind Flay.(303 Overkill)
23:19:29> Grandmaster's Training Dummy suffers 1 Shadow damage from Bremir's Mind Flay.(303 Overkill)
23:19:30> Grandmaster's Training Dummy suffers 1 Shadow damage from Bremir's Mind Flay.(304 Overkill)
23:19:30> Bremir's Mind Flay dissipates from Grandmaster's Training Dummy.

2 ticks from first cast, 3 ticks from second.

In this thread GC specifically mentions Mind Flay working like the other dots.
Did I miss a post saying that it's not yet implemented in the 4.0.1 patch?
(Googling returns nothing relevant.)

#20 Ericmelvin

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Posted 13 October 2010 - 09:40 PM

So why does the tooltip for my priest show that I have 0.00% chance to miss on level 83/skull mob, even though I'm only at 395 hit?




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