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Suricarta
01-10-2007, 04:55 PM
This guide is basically the culmination on all my research over the net on shadowpriests as well as my experiance rading as shadow. The information I am compiling here is mostly from www.shadowpriest.com and a few other sources and is basically the cumulative effort of shadowpriests all over the world with both casual and high end raid experiance.

Purpose within the raid

Since TBC the shadowpriest functionality of SP's has been buffed and has shifted focus as well, the bonues a shadowpriest will offer are :-

5% more spelldamage for 'all' magical effects (misery debuff)
15% more shadowdamage from all shadow spells (shadow weaving)
15% health returned of all shadow damage dealt to group(Vampiric Embrace)
5% mana returned of all shadow damge dealt to group (Vampiric Touch)

The last spell is really what made shadowpriests more valuable to a raid, not only is the VT spell an extra dot to bring our DPS up to a nice level, it also returns mana to the entire group. To best make use of the benefits that return offers, a shadowpriest will almost always be in a mana user only group and in most cases will be with the main healing group to make the healers job easier. It is worth noting that some fights may require shackles, fears and even fearwards (depending on race), also the odd shield thrown onto a person with low health can be very handy, but it should not be the shadowpriests main focus. In a standard raid setup with 2-3 locks and 2-3 mages the Shadowpriests debuffs alone can almost equate to bringing half an extra DPS person to the raid.

It is also very imporatnt to remember that if a few healers go down and the fight looks like its on a knife edge, dropping out of shadow and assisting with healing can be a wipe saver.

Just to throw some numbers out there, if I pump out around 600 DPS, it works out at 150 MP5 for everyone in the group, or around 750 MP5 for the group together, at the same time delivering 300 HP5 per member too. As you can see, its a pretty nice buff to the group accomponied by pretty good DPS and the spelldamage raid buffs

It should also be pointed out, that the shadowpriest takes a 'shadowpriest' spot in raids, 'not' a priest spot, many a guild mistakes the shadowpriest as an offspec healer, when in actual fact they should be catagorised as another ranged DPS class bringing its own buffs to the raid.

Below is a generalised 25 man setup for how best to distribute the shadowpriests thoughout the raid :-

Group 1:
Prot Warrior
Prot Warrior
Affl Lock (Imp Buff)
Holy Paladin (Armor)
Random, possibly Hunter / Feral Druid / Enh Shamen

Group 2:
Enh Shaman (Windfury)
Rogue
Rogue
Feral Druid (LotP)
Arms Warrior (Battle Shout)

Group 3:
Shadow Priest (VE/VT)
BM Hunter (3% dmg)
Fire/Arcane Mage
Elemental Shaman (ToW)
Dest Lock

Group 4:
Shadow Priest (VE/VT)
Holy Paladin / Resto Druid
Holy Paladin / Holy Priest
Holy Priest
Resto Shaman

Group 5:
Shadow Priest (VE/VT)
Holy Paladin
Resto Shaman
Resto Druid
Affl Lock / Fire/Arcane Mage

Primary Stats

The primary stats for any Shadowpriest are :-

1. Spell Hit
2. Damage
3. Haste
3. Stamina

The first stat a raiding shadowpriest needs to cap out is spellhit, if you cannot hit the target, you are not causing damage, if you arn't causing damage, you arn't regenerating mana, if you arn't doing those things, then basically you arn't doing the 2 main things you are at the raid to do, which kind of makes you dead wieght, thus its important to cap it out ASAP. The spell hit caps are :-

76 hit is the cap with 5/5 Shadow Focus
101 hit before you can go to 4/5 Shadow Focus
126 hit before you can go to 3/5 Shadow Focus
152 hit before you can go to 2/5 Shadow Focus
177 hit before you can go to 1/5 Shadow Focus
202 hit before you can go to 0/5 Shadow Focus

Once you hit that cap you should focus on your spell damage, stamina is also important too and you should look at getting around 8500-9000 health raid buffed. Its worth noting that you can get stamina gear just for stamina reliant fights, the battlecast set and pvp set items with a few +stamina gens should get you sufficiant health. You shouldn't gimp your primary DPS set with stamina gems.

Recently more haste items have been added, thus haste needs to be taken into consideration when looking at items. Haste will increase your DPS (not your spell efficiency like damage), this needs to be taken into account when looking at items. If you don't have atleast +1000 damage, then +damage is probably a better option for your mana efficiency, to give a vague idea of how more damage = haste when looking at items :-

1000 damage, 1 haste = 0.6 damage.
1200 damage, 1 haste = 0.8 damage.
1400 damage, 1 haste = 1 damage.
1600 damage, 1 haste = 1.2 damage.
1800 damage, 1 haste = 1.4 damage.

Like I said before though, haste does not equal damage, but instead DPS, those numbers are for comparing gear to decide if an item is better for you or not. So try to get haste items, but don't gimp your +damage too much to get it, especially if under +1000 damage.

Talents

This is always a fun topic and one that sparks much debate, I won't post a bundle of specs, but instead I'll post the cookie cutter shadow raid build which I'm using as well as give a few pointers on options, my current setup is 14/0/47 sa shown below :-

14/0/47 Shadow Raid Build (http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/info/classes/priest/talents.html?5032000130000000000000000000000000000 00000503250310250103051551)

Discipline Talents

Tier 1 Talents = Unbreakable Will ior improved wands has always been a debate, personally I believe unbreakable will is of more use in a raid setting, the Onyxia fight is long gone and as such the mentality of not resisting fear is no longer needed.

Tier 2 Talents = Improved Fort is always handy to help out when buffing, afterall, the holy priests will most likely be casting Divine spirit, its best if you can do Fort to save those guys candles. Alot of priests go Martydom, however, since it only works on crits its pretty useless in a raid environment since a crit is usually going to mean you are dead anyway, so points into shield or silent resolve are handy, I personally put my points into Silent Resolve for if a situation where I'm forced to heal arises. although Improved shield would probably be a better choice in some ways.

Tier 3 Talents = Inner Focus and Meditation are the main talents in the Discipline tree that we are going for, since they are what helps with our mana regen and conservation. Going Deeper into the tree is not really worth it as it sacrifices far to much in the shadow tree

Shadow Talents

Tier 1 Talents = For raiding, Spirit Tap is more useful than blackout, mainly because alot of mobs are used to the blackout ability which is more of a PVP ability than anything. If possable, getting a druid to innervate you on trash heavy fights whilst spirit tap is up can be very handy for your mana pool.

Tier 2 Talents = Shadow Affinity and Improved SW: P are must have talents, Shadow Focus should have 5/5 in it, unless you have alot of surplus +hit on your gear, then you can move points deeper into the tree for increased DPS. Its handy to have a few points here still though since you may have to swap to different item sets every now and again that don't hit the +hit cap.

Tier 3 Talents = Improved Fear is not really needed for raiding and is more geared for PvP, however, some peopel do like it for the odd encounter, its best however to spend points in Improved Mindblast and most importantly Mindflay.

Tier 4 Talents = Improved Fade is a joke and not worthy of points, Shadow Reach should have 2/2 in it. Shadow Weaving is all dependant on how many Shadowpriests you raid with, since each point determines the chance its applied, not the damage increase, also, onces its up on a target its there for the duration pretty much, thus, if you have 2-3 Shadowpriest with you in a 25 man raid, the shadow weaving buff will be up within a few seconds anyway, meaning you can actually drop this talent to 4/5 or even 3/5 without any significant effect to raid DPS.

Tier 5 Talents = A few debateable talents here, silence relies on you putting points into improved fear, again, this is more of a PVP ability, also, since its not actually classed as an interuption effect it actually doesn't work on some encounters where skills such as mages counterspell does. Vampiric Embrace is pretty much a given to take, however... improved Vampiric Embrace is not really needed, afterall, you are there to give mana to your group, the healing is a nice side effect, but, on aggro sensitive fights, that extra healing means more aggro, which our damage spells are more than capable of generating enough of already! Focused Mind should be maxed out, again, to help our mana efficiency.

Tier 6 Talents = Shadow Resiliance is a PVP spec and not needed in raiding, Darkness should be maxed to 5/5 for obvious reasons :-)

Tier 7 Talents = ShadowForm is obviously a must, Shadow Power is another debateable talent, however, since it only effects Mindblast and SW: D its certainly worth considering, since these are our nuke spells and as such the higher chance for them to crit boosts our overall DPs as well as mana return for the group.

Tier 8 Talent = Misery is another must talent since it increases all the caster DPS in the raid by 5%, even if you raid with other shadowpriests you should not remove points from this, because if the shadowpriest with it dies the raid will loose 5% caster damage.

Tier 9 Talent = Vampiric Embrace, 'the' talent that defines the shadow raid build, not only is it a great DPS boost spell, it allows us to give our entire group mana for our damage.

Suricarta
01-10-2007, 04:56 PM
Enchants and Gems

Make sure your gear is enchanted (+15 on bracers, +20 on gloves, +40/Soufrost on weapon, +12 on rings if enchanter, head + shoulders). Chest peice is best encahnted with either health or mana regen, feet are good with either vitality or stamina, with cloak enchanted with subtlety.

All gems should preferably be +damage gems 'unless' you have not hit the +hit cap. Once you hit the cap rating for +hit you should work on replacing all your gems with +damage. The exception is the +damage/+haste gem, if it completes a set bonus to give more damage, then take this one, compared to a +12 gem it gives +11 damage effectivly 'but' increases your DPS, so if it completes a set bonus (for example an item with a blue and red socket with +damage as bonus, then get the haste gem)

UI setup and casting

A shadowpriests damage is pretty much cooldown based, meaning if a spell is not on cooldown, you should be using it, as such a cooldown counter mod such as NECB is handy, I personally use quartz casting bar as it has a built in tracker and more importantly it shows the lag of the cast (which I will discuss in a moment)

It is extremely useful to bind your trinkets and inner focus to spells, thus the following macros are 'very' handy :-

/use <trinket name>
/stopcasting
/cast <Spell>

/cast Inner Focus
/stopcasting
/cast <Spell>

I have my trinket attached to my VT, so I get a VT, SW: P and followup spell trinketed. I have my inner focus attached to my SW: P for mana conservation. With these macros assigned to those spells, it should mean you will be using them all the time without thinking about it and thus you won't loose DPS.

As of more recent patches, the /stopcasting macro no longer helps to increase your DPS, so I have removed it from the guide, although it can be nice to have it on your spells still if you want to break a spell cast.

Below is a portion of my current setup to show how quartz mod works.

http://img215.imageshack.us/img215/6441/uikw5.jpg

Spell Rotations

Below is the prioity of spells to keep up and cast when cooldowns are finished :-

1.) VE
2.) VT
3.) SW: P
4.) SW: D
5.) MB
6.) MF

You can skip VE on aggro sensitive fights, afterall, your job is group mana regen and VE is great for getting you aggro, more so if you put points into improving it. SW: D should be cast before MB, this is to allow MB to heal some of the damage taken assuming you have VE up. If you don't have VE up and its a long duration fight, then diiching SW: D and maybe even MB can be a good idea, although this is usually on endurance fights. The most important thing to remember is to never stop casting, you are there for mana regen from VT, if you are not casting you are not using VT to its full potential. Its also very very important to ensure VT is 'always' up, so try and time your casts so its recast just before it runs out, afterall, you are there for mana regen primariliy, not DPS.

You can practice your spell rotations and DPS on DR Boom in Netherstrom, he has huge ammounts of health and does not attack you back.

Spell Scaling

For the sake of haivng the numbers, here are the actually figures for how much of your +damage is actually applied to your spells, I havn't factored in talents such as darkness, shadowform, misery or shadow weaving which would increase the coefficent slightly :-

Mind Flay: 57% efficiency, +1 damage = 0.29 DPS
Shadow Word: Pain: 160% efficiency talented (increased Duration), +1 damage = 0.102 DPS
Mind Blast: 43% efficiency, +1 damage = 0.44 DPS
Shadow Word: Death: 43% efficiency, +1 damage = 0.44 DPS
Vampiric Touch: 100% efficiency´, +1 damage = 0.102 DPS

Consumables

Always ensure you use all consumables available to you, that being well fed buff, flasks/elixers and oils. Pre +1000 damage mana oil and sagefish is a good choice, although its worth noting that +damage will increase you mana regen not only for you, but for your group, since more + damage means more mana returned from VT, so mana returned from the +damage consumables is comparable to the mana oils. As when healing, mana potions are our best friend and should be first used when the mana pot will return you close to 100% mana. shadowfiend is best used around the 50% mana mark approx, although it varies, as with most things! :-)

Apologies for any spelling mistakes or bad grammer, hopefully anyone reading this learnt something, feel free to add anything I may of missed so I can alter or add to it, or discuss why the whole article is null and void as priests are meant to be healing biatches :-)

Nerd
02-10-2007, 09:48 AM
Nice post, thanks!

mashadar
11-10-2007, 04:12 AM
Nice post some of the shadowsong S preist need a guide :)
Seen to many odd gems in peeps gear like critt .

Theleb
15-10-2007, 03:29 PM
I shall be saving this for reference when I finally finish levelling my SPriest - nice work :D

Zlovely
16-10-2007, 11:02 AM
You have stuff correct :D

When building raid:

classes which Shadowpriest benefits most:
1) Elemental/Resto Shaman (101 spelldamage, manatotems)
2) BM Hunter (3% damage)
3) Boomkin (5% crit)
4) rest

classes which benefits Shadowpriests most:
1) Arcane Mages
2) Ele shamans and Boomkins
3) Fire Mages
4) hunters
5) paladins (holy,prot)
6) priests, druids
7) warlocks
8 ) rest

notes:
Arcane Mages are fastest class to burn their mana, followed by elemental shamans and boomkins. Fire (and frost!) can twist their casting cycles for more manaefficiency easily.
Hunters usually looses 50% their dps if they run out of mana.
Warlocks has build in tools to handle their manaproblems, so they should be 1st to be replaced if choose must be made.
2 living and dpsing people > 1 dps and 1 wanding.

Having good DPS means shorter encounters -> healers needs to use less consumables.
Another way to say this: its raid DPSers fault if healers run out of mana.

Casting order:
1) VT
2) SW Pain
3) SW Death
4) MB
5) VE
6) MF
and rotate: refresh DOTs as needed.

VT always 1st, as shadowpriest primary role is manabattery. DPS is secondary role. If you want more DPS cost of mana, get improved MB and start with it.

VT/SWPain at start, due put misery up for others.
VE is not needed at very start, due most of bosses do not cause AOE damage from beginning.

Faylin
16-10-2007, 11:23 AM
VT always 1st, as shadowpriest primary role is manabattery. DPS is secondary role. If you want more DPS cost of mana, get improved MB and start with it.

Although I agree VT should always be up, damage really isn't secondary. More damage = more mana.

Besides:
http://wowwebstats.com/6ci2kkw6omfa1?s=3146-4296
(yes it's a very shadowpriest-friendly encounter)

Ajial
16-10-2007, 11:38 AM
Generally i used to cast SW: P first, it lasts longer meaning i didnt lose mana reapplying it when i had to reapply VE, or disrupt my cycle to reapply it at odd times.. SW: P, VE, VT generally meaning it will only have 2-3 seconds left rather then up to 7 with the cycle you posted

miganto
16-10-2007, 02:17 PM
Is that 6th and 12th out of 14 on DPS?

Ashym
16-10-2007, 02:33 PM
Although I agree VT should always be up, damage really isn't secondary. More damage = more mana.

Besides:
http://wowwebstats.com/6ci2kkw6omfa1?s=3146-4296
(yes it's a very shadowpriest-friendly encounter)

*mandatory epeen stroke*

Also, in before the OMG U SUX WTF? posts from Wrath

Suricarta
16-10-2007, 02:34 PM
I just wanted to have a guide out there, far too many badly geared shadowpreists gearing up with MP5 gear still, or not using MB and SW: D in thier cycles because they are more concerned about thier own mana efficiency that actually the mana return for thier group :-)

I think alot of raid leaders also find it hard to see the use of SP's because they look at the damage meters from say trash fights where our DPS doesn't shine as much, also, they see us lower sometimes in the meters (because they don't always reset them on boss fights) and totally forget that all the casters damage is actually higher because we are there, so even if we don't top the damage meter, teh extra damage we brought along from buffs made it worth it. Its a hard fight with some guild leaders to get them to see the light (erm shadow). Saying that I'm still not raiding yet, after all these guides and the like............nice to have, but not needed in all raids *sighs* :-P

Faylin
16-10-2007, 02:40 PM
Is that 6th and 12th our of 14 on DPS?
Yes, and 1 and 4 on damage. Since when is DPS more relevant than damage done? What's your point?

Truth is, if you have a very solid DPS department, which we do, you will (and should not) usually top charts. It would be truly imbalanced compared to classes that add no utility to their damage.

miganto
16-10-2007, 03:11 PM
I was actually impressed with 6th place for a Spriest, due to their utility, you just took it i meant the worst way...you need a better coin.

I've never personally done the fight, so i'll ask. Why were you two dps'ing for 80% of the time, but most of the raid was nearer 60%? (That's why, to me, dps matters, the other guys may have been doing important jobs and leaving you two to only dps for all i know, so you may have had top damage, but that didnt mean anything because others were...running around pressing buttons or something, if you see what i mean.)

Vegelus
16-10-2007, 03:41 PM
I just wanted to have a guide out there, far too many badly geared shadowpreists gearing up with MP5 gear still, or not using MB and SW: D in thier cycles because they are more concerned about thier own mana efficiency that actually the mana return for thier group :-)

I think alot of raid leaders also find it hard to see the use of SP's because they look at the damage meters from say trash fights where our DPS doesn't shine as much, also, they see us lower sometimes in the meters (because they don't always reset them on boss fights) and totally forget that all the casters damage is actually higher because we are there, so even if we don't top the damage meter, teh extra damage we brought along from buffs made it worth it. Its a hard fight with some guild leaders to get them to see the light (erm shadow). Saying that I'm still not raiding yet, after all these guides and the like............nice to have, but not needed in all raids *sighs* :-P

It's similar with Beast Master: "wtf, Your pet won't survive easiest fight in KZ" or other crap like "omg, You're doing lower dps with Your epics than our blue geared MM/Survi" while they completly forgot about pet or buff for all dpsers.

Ajial
16-10-2007, 04:15 PM
It's similar with Beast Master: "wtf, Your pet won't survive easiest fight in KZ" or other crap like "omg, You're doing lower dps with Your epics than our blue geared MM/Survi" while they completly forgot about pet or buff for all dpsers.

Hunters always make it out them ;)

dantheman
16-10-2007, 04:17 PM
*mandatory epeen stroke*

Also, in before the OMG U SUX WTF? posts from Wrath

OMG U SUX WTF?

Alverion
16-10-2007, 04:35 PM
Indeed, Rieko Sucks

Valoran
16-10-2007, 04:52 PM
And gets paid quite well for it, I hear.

Faylin
16-10-2007, 10:48 PM
I've never personally done the fight, so i'll ask. Why were you two dps'ing for 80% of the time, but most of the raid was nearer 60%? (That's why, to me, dps matters, the other guys may have been doing important jobs and leaving you two to only dps for all i know, so you may have had top damage, but that didnt mean anything because others were...running around pressing buttons or something, if you see what i mean.)

When a fight includes moving, like this one, dot-classes have the advantage of keeping them running while moving about. Just having a dot running obviously lowers effective DPS, but more total damage.

Zlovely
17-10-2007, 09:53 AM
VT always 1st, as shadowpriest primary role is manabattery. DPS is secondary role. If you want more DPS cost of mana, get improved MB and start with it.
Although I agree VT should always be up, damage really isn't secondary. More damage = more mana.

Besides:
http://wowwebstats.com/6ci2kkw6omfa1?s=3146-4296
(yes it's a very shadowpriest-friendly encounter)

Two different things mixed:
For equipments, spelldamage > rest (if you got spellhit maxed).

For doing more "damage": spellrotatio.

MB is clearly our best DPS spell. So shadowmage wants to do more damage (than being manabatter), MB should be used everytime it can be.


During bossfigths, I usually just playing as manabattery - and manaefficiency.
During trashes, I burn MB/SWDeath every time, to get up in dps.
Dependin trash (how much hp), my usual rotatio is:
1) VE (while tank build aggro)
2) VT (misery up)
3) SW Death
4) MB
5) MF if singlemob-trash OR..
6) starting doubleDOT other tanked trashmobs until MB can be used again.

(as dwarf priest with fearward), I have always MT as focus. And I have made macros, so I can MB/Death MTs target w/o have to chance my DOT target.

At end, I usually end easily top5 dps during trash.

[edit]: sorry Beatus: I was still editing as multiquote didnt work as I wised.
[edit]: Very nice quide Kiaana, if none has mentioned it yet.

Faylin
17-10-2007, 09:55 AM
grats. and why are you quoting my post for that? :S

Tsarina
18-10-2007, 08:31 AM
Also, in before the OMG U SUX WTF? posts from Wrath
That was Toshiro. Not Wrath. But now that you mention it...


Besides:
http://wowwebstats.com/6ci2kkw6omfa1?s=3146-4296
(yes it's a very shadowpriest-friendly encounter)
Why is it a shadowpriest-friendly encounter? We had BM hunter, rogue, warrior on top. As usual. I know Slicer can DPS looking at his Teron numbers, so what's going on?

Faylin
18-10-2007, 08:38 AM
1. It's a single target encounter
2. It involves a certain amount of moving, and other reasons for "DPS-downtime", like melee having to dodge all kinds of flamecrap. This favours ranged classes and dot-classes in particular
3. Shadowpriests have pretty decent utility here, VT and VE are both equally nice

Ashym
18-10-2007, 08:50 AM
1. It's a single target encounter

Say what?

That was Toshiro. Not Wrath.

Teehee

Faylin
18-10-2007, 09:25 AM
One at a time anyway ^^

Valoran
18-10-2007, 12:33 PM
That was Toshiro. Not Wrath. But now that you mention it...


Why is it a shadowpriest-friendly encounter? We had BM hunter, rogue, warrior on top. As usual. I know Slicer can DPS looking at his Teron numbers, so what's going on?
Melee had a pretty tough time on the flames that go, we had some really friendly eyeblasts. Slicer for example only managed 27.6k damage to the flames in p2 and 466k to illidan during others, compared to rieko at 252/513k. Other than that, we just put a lot of focus on staying alive, I think the spriests were the only ones actively DPSing illidan during shadowform.

Second kill will be much faster, I'm sure. Hopfully I won't die at 3% either.

Gwynin
28-10-2007, 02:32 AM
btw Val who does your/coi movies now? (I'd really like to see some coi kills again)

Valoran
28-10-2007, 03:30 AM
Not that it's specifically on topic, but
http://files.coreofinsight.com/public/Andro/

Has a few.

Faylin
28-10-2007, 09:22 AM
And it features Vent too! Here's your chance to come and hear "The Voice Behind The Man" (or Girl) (TM)

Suricarta
25-04-2008, 05:53 PM
Hello all, been on a break from the game but have recently returned on my old priest (Suricarta), thus I decided to make a few additions to the guide to take into consideration haste items and the changes made to the UI in regards to the /stopcasting macros.

mashadar
05-05-2008, 08:45 AM
Havent been arsed to read the guide sadly but nice to see some one actually make a effort :)

Problem
06-05-2008, 11:13 AM
rieko you suxx!!! ;D

Rey
06-05-2008, 12:13 PM
For the first time ever i agree with Problem!

Faylin
06-05-2008, 12:36 PM
Be nice to Rieko, k :<

Ashym
06-05-2008, 12:45 PM
Wtf why all the hate? :(

Rey
06-05-2008, 03:50 PM
Theres too much love, thats why