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Update: Shadow Priest PvP

A little over a week ago I shared with you my First Impressions: Shadow Priest PvP post. I’ve put in quite a bit of PvP time since then and learned quite a bit more as well, so I figured it was time to give another update on where I stand right now.

Gear Changes
I’ve definitely found more success using my JC gems for Resilience over Stamina, and I’m very glad that I did. I might be a clothie, but I’ve got some definite survivability…usually.

As far as purchasing the gear goes, I’ve found that getting the honor I need is way easier than I was anticipating. I was shooting for 1500 Honor per Week, but I can pretty regularly pull that off in a day, plus some. Sometimes we get in a big losing streak and it just takes forever to get out of it, so there are some days that I’m lucky if I make it above 200 in a given day before I just give up on PvP for the night. Right now I’m averaging just over 600 Honor per night.

Because of that I broken away completely from My Plan on purchasing gear. Seeing the need for Resilience early on I went straight for set bonuses above all else, and I chose to go with the dual-2pc bonuses over a single 4pc starting out so that I could get the +400 Resilience bonus from both sets. I decided I’d rather build a solid, workable collection of gear sooner and then fill in with upgrades as I go along.

Right now I have one non-PvP ring that needs to get replaced, and then four pieces of crafted gear that need to be upgraded at least to Bloodthirsty. I’m also using a PvE weapon right now, but this week I’ll be able to get the Conquest points I need to upgrade to the Vicious Gavel.

While Conquest points are maxed easily in a single night of Arena matches the cap on them makes it take forever to purchase Vicious gear. Because of this I’ve gone PvP crazy in BG’s to farm the Honor I need to get full Bloodthirsty first. As I upgrade my set pieces to Vicious, I’m going to go for the 4pc Mooncloth set instead of the dual-2pc so that I can make use of the Mooncloth 4pc set bonus as one of my biggest problems right now is getting mobility debuffs and then having a melee eat my face.

Right now I’m rocking Jewelcrafting and Inscription as my professions, but even though I just power-leveled the Inscription last week I’m still feeling the urge to switch to Engineering for the helm. I’m going to let that idea simmer for a while and see if I still like the sound of doing that in a week or so, but right now I’m considering it and I’m even more notorious for dropping maxed professions than I am deleting max level toons.

Nemesis
I still find Destruction Warlocks to be my biggest threat. Unholy Death Knights are still really strong as well, but I’m actually managing to take some of them out now so it’s not quite as bad as it was. I’m finding a lot of Arms Warriors stepping it up and giving me a challenge now as well as Feral Druids.

Demonology Warlocks aren’t quite so big a deal anymore, and Affliction isn’t doing much to me either. Frost DK’s are pretty annoying, but I find them a lot easier than Unholy. Blood DK’s take forever to actually kill, but their damage is low enough that they don’t bother me much.

As I’ve built up my gear and changed my spec and glyphs I’m finding Frost Mages to be much more managable than they used to, though they can still put up a ton of pressure and make for some really great fights.

On the Arenas front, I’m having a horrible time with Enhancement Shamans as well. Not so much from staying alive, but rather in managing to kill them. It’s like they have heals for days and there’s nothing I can do. They never run out of mana either, even if I switch to Mana Burning them. They end up killing me by outlasting me more than anything else, and there’s almost nothing I can do to stop it. I’ve gotten a lot better at managing my CC and cooldowns since the last time I faced one though, so I’m looking forward to trying it out again to see how well I can hold my own with better gear and a stronger skill set.

Spec
I’ve changed my spec up a couple of times now. Right now I’m running with this 8/0/33 build, but I’m about to make a change to it, dropping Improved Mind Blast and it’s healing debuff for 2 points in Paralysis and 1 point in Harnessed Shadows. I don’t really need the cooldown on Mind Blast, and the Mortal Strike debuff on it doesn’t seem to help me much at all.

Mana issues are still present right now, but I’m getting a lot better at managing them and dealing with them during combat so I’m much more calm in most fights than I was before. With the mana issues becoming more manageable I also dropped my points in Mental Agility (reduced mana cost on instant cast spells) and switched them over to Improved Power Word: Shield for an extra 20% win to my bubble. When the time comes to spread those DoT’s and run I like having the survivability more so than saving a small amount of mana.

I’m also making use of the Glyph of Dispersion now which drops the cooldown on it from 2 minutes to 75 seconds which helps on the mana front as well as survivability thanks to being able to take advantage of its damage reduction more often.

Issues to Work Out
My biggest problem right now is rotation. I don’t feel like my DoT’s do enough damage for them to really be reliable against anyone in Resilience gear. They still deal damage and all, but if there’s a healer nearby who can dispel then the DoT’s are just a waste of my mana. On the flip side, Mind Spike/Blast spam works fairly well, but I can’t keep it up for very long before I drive myself OOM, and if my target is getting decent heals then I’m screwed anyway).

I’m not sure what the answer is, but I probably need to go dual every class I can to find out which strategies work against which classes.

My ability to kill people right now just feels weak overall. Now that I’m over 3,200 Resilience I think it’s time for me to start focusing back on Intellect to increase my damage output. I also need to figure out whether I’m better off stacking more Haste until I reach the next break point in damage per cast for all of my spells, or if I should just focus on Spellpower and Mastery instead.

First Impressions
I’m still managing to grow more skilled and more confident in my Shadow Priest performance. I like how most of the struggles I’ve faced on the Priest have caused me to develop to overcome them rather than giving up in frustration as I’ve done before with other classes.

There’s still that feeling of having the class changed on me there at the very end, and it’s still a little odd, but it no longer bothers me in the same way that it did before. Once you get Mind Spike you have the ability now to be something more than a simple DoT Monkey, you can actually deal some spike damage and try to burn down your targets which is great. I still need to get a better grasp on which style to use versus which opponents though. Often in BG’s I can Mind Spike people to death all over the place because there’s rarely any real coordination in non-rated BG’s. When it comes to Arena and RBG’s though, I have to be much more aware of who I’m facing and the best way for me to deal with them and the situation around us. Sometimes my best option is to DoT and run, other times it’s Mind Spike spam, sometimes it’s pure CC (as best I can), and sometimes it’s blowing all of my cooldowns while I get 2-4 stubborn (ie – stupid) melee DPS to chase me all the way across the field while my flag carrier runs right though the area we were just in.

I still find that EotS, TP, and BfG are the battlegrounds that I enjoy the least. Whatever the reason, it just seems like Alliance has a horrible time accomplishing anything in those three places. Horde executes great tactics that people should be learning from, but instead they just mindlessly bash their head against an unyielding wall over and over until the timer runs out and the Horde claims victory.

 
4 Comments

Posted by on March 3, 2011 in Caster, Class, Player vs Player, Priest

 

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First Impressions: Shadow Priest PvP

In last week’s Planning for PvP: Shadow Priest post I outlined my plans for gearing up my Shadow Priest who reached level 85 on Saturday. Today I’m going to share what I found in my first weekend of focusing almost entirely on PvP with the Priest.

I’ve made a couple of changes to the plan after finding how I performed, I’ve found a few problems I’m going to have to figure out how to solve, I’ve decided on a spec, and I’ve got a good feel for which classes I can defeat and which I cannot.

Gear Changes
The first gear change is with the gems. I was planning on using my JC gems for Stamina to help me live longer, but I’m finding Resilience to be more useful for survivability. When you play with no Resilience and then you play with a fair amount of it you can really see how significant a difference it can make.

I also got ahead of myself on the gear purchases as I found myself almost reaching the Honor cap over the weekend. I had almost 1800 Honor from all the BG’s I ran while leveling up and then I spent several hours both Saturday and Sunday chaining BG’s while I waited for Tol Barad and Wintergrasp queues to pop. So I already have two pieces of Bloodthirsty Gladiator gear, though I don’t have a set bonus yet since I got the Gloves and a PvP trinket.

“Week 1″, from the Planning post, doesn’t actually start until tomorrow so while I’m still going to buy the gear in the same order I had listed, I’m likely going to fill in other slots with Bloodthirsty gear while I wait to earn the Conquest Points for the Vicious gear. I may also focus on filling both set pieces w/ Bloodthirsty and upgrading to Vicious as I can before bothering with any of the off-set items. We’ll see how easily I get Conquest capped this week and go from there.

Concerning enchants, I think I’m pretty good where I’m at right now on those. The one exception is the weapon enchant. I’ve been using Mending so far which has a chance to heal for about 850 or so, but the proc chance, while high for a weapon enchant, isn’t fast enough to really matter in PvP. I would definitely rather have more damage coming in than a mediocre heal every once in a while. I think I’m going to switch to Avalanche for now and once I get my hands on a PvP weapon then I’ll consider upgrading to Power Torrent.

Warlocks and Death Knights
Kill me.

Over the weekend I found out that Demonology and Destruction Warlocks are mean. Mean as in seeing one leaves me with only two options: run away or die. Oftentimes those two options are only a single option because the Warlocks I’ve been facing just love chasing me down and killing me anyway. I can handle Affliction without too much trouble it seems, though I admit I didn’t take the time to check my opponents in the Armory to see if the Afflocks were perhaps just undergeared or geared for PvE instead.

Unholy Death Knights are more or less the exact same way. If I can’t keep them out of melee range, I’m dead. My only hope is kiting them until their bubble of “hahah, I’m immune to magic” crap wears off and then combining CC with direct damage spells rather than DoT’s to burn them down, then kite with DoT’s working until CC cooldowns are up and repeating that.

Spec
Right now I’m running an 8/0/33 spec that’s working pretty good for me. I don’t have any points in Paralysis right now, but I’d really like to fix that. On the one hand being able to root targets for 4 seconds after a Mind Blast crit could be a real help against some classes (Death Knight, Rogue), and on the other it wouldn’t have much effect on most of the casters at all. It’s a talent I’d love to have, but that I’m not sure I can afford to put the points into.

One thing that deserves a special note is Evangelism/Archangel. I have severe mana issues right now, and Archangel is a fantastic tool for mana regen. If you’re going to PvP as Shadow, do not skip out on Evan/Arch. Shadowfiend is decent when it’s not getting CC’ed or focus fired, Divine Hymn isn’t bad, but if I have the time to safely cast it then I likely have time to sit and drink too. Disperse is good for mana regen, but I often find myself needing to use it as a defensive ability, so it’s not always off cooldown when I need mana. The Glyph of Spirit Tap is good when I can nail a killing blow, but in PvP if it’s not a 1v1 situation it can be really hard to time the cast just right and not cast it too early or too late.

Issues to Work Out
One of my issues right now is the one I just pointed out above, I’ve got mana problems. I did just now start building up my gear, so I’ve got some upgrades coming in the near(ish) future that will increase my mana pool and maybe ease up on the mana usage a bit, but it’s still going to be a problem I think. I might have to look at using the purple Timeless Demonseyes (+20 Intellect, +30 Stamina) in my Blue slots instead of straight Stamina so that I can boost my mana up a bit more. Or I might have to ignore the socket bonuses here and there and go with straight Inferno Rubies.

The next issue is one of rotation. I’ve found three ways to play the Priest that still remain somewhat effective. First, I can just nuke the targets with Mind Spike and Mind Blast spam, and it works pretty well but it’s also high on mana cost. Second, I can use PvE style rotations and load up the DoT’s followed by Mind Flay spam and SW:Death when they’re under 25% health, which is also effective but somewhat costly. Third is to combine the two, using Mind Spike x3, Vampiric Touch, Mind Blast, SW:Pain, Devouring Plague, Mind Flay which is even more costly of course, but generally gets the job done. Spreading DoT’s around in a group of PvP is just asking to run out of mana.

While one aspect of the rotation problem is related to the mana issues, the other is that we just aren’t bursty DPS. If I want to burst someone down as soon as possible it has to be Mind Spike and Mind Blast spam, which requires me to stand still to cast. Standing still in PvP is closely related to this thing we call “waiting for the resurrection timer”. Our only two options for dealing damage on the move are Devouring Plague spam (lots of mana) and SW:Death which has a cooldown. Maybe it’s just a gear issue, where I’m not doing as much damage as I’d like to, but I still have some learning to do on how to actually play the class in end game PvP.

First Impressions
Overall I’ve managed to grow more skilled and more confident in my Shadow Priest performance. I do not like how hard mana management is right now in some cases, but I do like that it’s prompting me to get creative in my playstyle and teaching how to fight in those situations.

Shadow Priests in end game PvP don’t play like they did leveling up, so it’s definitely an adjustment. It also changes the feel of the class and I will admit I’m not quite so pleased with the new feel as I was just a few levels earlier. I’m not ready to give up on it or anything, but it’s worth noting that there is a definite change in how it feels.

I enjoy most of the battlegrounds, though I do cringe when Eye of the Storm pops up as Alliance apparently has no idea how to win there. I think my lifetime wins in that place can be counted on one hand, even if you’re missing a finger or two. Of the new BG’s I’m not really that big on Twin Peaks even though it’s a lot like WSG which is one of my favorites. I’m not sure what it is, I just don’t care for it much. Battle for Gilneas isn’t too bad and I like how it looks for some reason, but I still prefer Arathi Basin.

It was interesting to see that multiple times in Strand of the Ancients over the weekend I was able to knock down gates by myself faster than two other people could on the opposite gate. The key has always been to have melee in the tanks, but I kick butt in those siege engines, so I take one whenever I can. It does suck though that Horde understand the whole root/snare the tanks concept and it’s completely lost on Alliance. I don’t think Mind Flay actually has any slowing effect on them though, so all I can do is burn them down. I don’t know if the gates are glitched there or what, but gates don’t stand a chance if I can actually reach them.

Apparently IoC is currently bugged so that the bosses cannot be killed and they deal 92,000 damage even to tanks. So your only option for winning IoC right now is to run the opponent out of reinforcements. The game plan for IoC then becomes to zerg the Workshop (WS) and use the siege engines there to destroy the opposing faction until you can force them into a graveyard and then camp that graveyard with all of the siege so that you just farm the kills until it’s over. I admit, it’s fun watching the bodies fly when you’re doing it the first time, but otherwise it makes the BG really boring from then on.

As for Tol Barad, I’m still not a huge fan, but it does at least switch hands a bit more often now. I love the amount of honor you get there, so I’ll visit frequently, but that place is a beast. It’s not as bad as it used to be, but I think it could still use some improvement. Wintergrasp is very interesting now that group sizes vary from 1-4. Thank the Light you can accomplish almost all of the quests for honor there without having to kill actual players or else the place would be even more dead than it already is. I’ll take some free honor and gold from 20 minutes of my time though.

 
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Posted by on February 21, 2011 in Caster, Class, Player vs Player, Priest, Professions

 

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Planning for PvP: Shadow Priest

While I am still in search of info on Shadow Priest PvP, I’m content going on in PvP discovering things for myself until I find a decent source that can tell me something I don’t already know. I already have a decent skill set for PvP with the Shadow Priest so until I’m able to learn more I have to focus on other aspects of it, which for right now is going to be the gear aspect.

I need to start dueling other classes to get a better idea of how to take on various opponents in a 1v1 setting, but I’ll take care of that when I reach level 85 so that I’m facing the full package instead. But the gear I can start working on right now. I can’t buy level 85 gear without being level 85, but at least I can start building up the currency needed for those purchases and I can plan those purchases well in advance so that I’m not sitting there at the vendor staring at her inventory for an hour before I decide on what to buy.

I decided to make a spreadsheet to plan out my purchases, noting the cost of each piece and the stats that were on it. I also had to take into account the currency used for each and also establish a starter set so that I at least had a decent start while I built up the currency to purchase the larger pieces. I knew that Cynwise had a recent post where he shared his thoughts on how to get ready for Cataclysm PvP, so I started there.

Step 1: Make a Plan
I started off with the list that Cyn mentioned in his post:

  1. Get the crafted pieces made as soon as you can.
  2. Supplement with good items gained from PvE.
  3. Participate in Tol Barad whenever possible, win or lose. Do dailies for Commendations for PvP enchants.
  4. PvP in regular BGs to grind as much Honor Points as you can to get Bloodthirsty gear, focusing on offset pieces and the 2-pc set bonus.
  5. Participate in as many rated PvP matches as you can, up to the limit of Conquest Points you can gain this week. Focus on gaining Vicious set pieces and weapons first. (As Taugrim points out in the comments below, if your class depends on their weapon, get the weapons first, before anything else.)
  6. Once your Vicious set is complete, start replacing Bloodthirsty offset pieces with Vicious.
  7. Once you’ve upgraded your offset, upgrade your weapons to the Glorious versions.
  8. Skip upgrading the Conquest armor unless you have points to burn at the end of a season (and even then, just consider stockpiling them at the cap.)

Crafted pieces was already at the top of my list because my Tailor has already been maxed and I’ve purchased all of the patterns and the gear was well in hand.

Supplements from PvE are sort of what I’m working on right now. My Priest is only level 81 so I’m just now working my way through Cataclysm content to get her various upgrades. I should really be a good little facemelter and do some research on quest rewards, dungeon drops, and rep grinds to find out which quests give me items I need for the slots I still have open.

TBad when possible will have to wait since it requires level 85.

Running BG’s to build honor I’m already in the process of doing though it is slower than it will be once I hit 85. Rated BG’s I think have to wait for 85 as well, but I’m not sure since I haven’t looked into them very closely yet.

Upgrading Bloodthirsty Honor pieces to Vicious Conquest pieces also has to wait for 85 since I can neither purchase them nor gain the currency for them until that point. Upgrading the weapons falls into the same.

Step 2a: Crafted Pieces
Emberfire Cowl 425 Stam, 283 Int, 189 Resil, 189 Haste
Fireweave Pants 425 Stam, 283 Int, 189 Resil, 189 Haste
Emberfire Robe 425 Stam, 283 Int, 189 Spirit, 189 Resil
Emberfire Boots 316 Stam, 210 Int, 140 Resil, 140 Haste
Emberfire Gloves 316 Stam, 210 Int, 140 Resil, 140 Haste
Emberfire Belt 316 Stam, 210 Int, 140 Resil, 140 Mastery
Emberfire Shoulders 316 Stam, 210 Int, 140 Spirit, 140 Resil
Emberfire Bracers 237 Stam, 158 Int, 105 Resil, 105 Haste

I switched the pants to Fireweave instead of Emberfire because I prefer Haste to Mastery right now. I might change my mind on that later, but for right now I like the Haste more. I considered doing the same for the Robe since Emberfire gives Spirit, which is Hit, where the Fireweave gives Haste, but decided not to. First off, it would throw my whole look out of whack with a bunch of white gear spread around a red robe, and second I’m actually going to need that Hit stat since PvP gear is typically lacking in Hit Rating. But honestly, it’s the look that makes me not do it. At least the pants are hidden under the robe so it won’t throw me off.

I have full suits of both sets anyway, so that I have a starter set for both of my specs, and can swap them out to mix and match as I please.

Step 2b: PvE Supplemental Pieces
This is one of Cyn recommendations that I haven’t done yet. There are tons of items that I’ll have to dig through in this category to find out which ones will really be good for me, and I’d rather do that when I’m closer to the level cap so that I can skip over items that aren’t upgrades compared to the gear I (will) already have.

The most important item here, starting out at least, is going to be a weapon. Hopefully I can find myself a solid one-handed caster weapon to use so that I can make use of my off-hand as well, but I’ll definitely pick up a staff if it’s stats are superior.

Step 3: Honor Pieces
When I first decided to make my list I checked with Cyn on how easy he felt it was to reach the Honor and Conquest caps. Both of them cap at 4,000 points at any one time, but Conquest Points have an additional cap of only 1,343 Conquest per week. His response was that running arena matches maxed his Conquest weekly cap every week quite easily, but that Honor was really hard to cap.

That being the case, I aimed low for my weekly amount of Honor points. Not being 85 yet on my Priest and not really doing much PvP at all on the toons I do have at 85, I had to do some guessing on how much my weekly Honor allowance would be. I didn’t have any current information to with so I just pulled a number out and went with it – 1500 Honor/week. That’s just over 200 per day if I PvP every single day. That’s 3 losses in Tol Barad every day if I do nothing else, or almost half of a single offensive TB victory. Not to mention whatever other BG’s I manage to get into, so I think that’s a safe amount to go with.

I also estimate that I’ll have at least 300 extra Honor to start with before Week 1 actually starts so I’ve added that to the initial pool. I have 1800 Honor right now and I’m aiming to be able to buy at least 1 item and have the extra 300 remaining before I even get started on the weekly allowances.

The pieces purchased with honor are all “Bloodied Gladiator’s ..” pieces, so I’m going to save some space by using “BG’s ..” in place of that when listing the item names.

Week # Honor Earned Honor Cost Honor Balance Item Purchased
1 1800 1650 150 BG’s Mooncloth Gloves
2 1650 0 1650 No Honor purchase.
3 3150 2200 950 BG’s Satin Hood
4 2450 1650 800 BG’s Medallion of Tenacity
5 2300 1250 1050 BG’s Drape of Diffusion
6 2550 1650 900 BG’s Treads of Alacrity
7 2400 1250 1150 BG’s Cuffs of Meditation
8 2650 2500 150 BG’s Band of Accuracy
&
BG’s Band of Cruelty
9 1650 1650 0 BG’s Insignia of Dominance
10 1500 0 1500 Start over, building the full healing set.

I don’t manage to get any set bonuses at all from the Honor gear because I’m going for one Mooncloth piece and one Satin piece. I’m going to get the set bonuses by adding Vicious pieces though as I’m going to build both sets at once.

The reason I’m going for 2 pieces from each set is because first, dual sets give me extra resilience for more survivability early on, and second the Mooncloth Gloves have better stats than the Satin gloves, so I might as well take advantage; right?

I’m working towards filling in my other slots with Vicious gear as well, so anything you see that’s oddly missing is likely because I’m picking up the Vicious version which you’ll see in the next section.

Step 4: Conquest Pieces
My Vicious pieces are being put to use first to finish off my set pieces, and then to fill in my missing slots with the higher quality pieces. Luckily I don’t have to estimate my Conquest points each week because I know exactly how much I can get. Granted, there may be some weeks that I don’t manage to hit the weekly cap, but at least then I know I can just update my spreadsheet accordingly and know how far it sets me back. Hopefully I can at least hit the cap for the first few weeks at the very least so that I can establish my set bonuses if nothing else.

All Conquest items have “Vicious Gladiator’s ..” in their name, so I’ll shorten that in this list to be “VG’s” instead just to save some space.

Week # Conquest Earned Conquest Cost Conquest Balance Item Purchased
1 1343 0 1343 Not enough points yet.
2 2686 2200 486 VG’s Mooncloth Leggings
3 1829 1650 179 VG’s Satin Mantle
4 1522 700 822 VG’s Touch of Defeat
5 2165 0 2165 No item this week.
6 3508 2200 1308 VG’s Satin Robe
7 2651 2450 201 VG’s Gavel
8 1544 0 1544 No item this week.
9 2887 1650 1237 VG’s Cord of Cruelty
10 2580 950 1630 VG’s Endgame

And similar to my Honor Points, moving forward I’ll do the same thing with my Conquest points going for a healing set instead of just DPS.

The first week of Conquest points caps before I can buy any set pieces, and rather than blow it on other Vicious gear I’m going to just hold off for a week to build up some more. That gives me the opportunity to pick up my first 2-piece set bonus on week 2 when I get the Mooncloth Leggings and my second 2-piece bonus on week 3 when I get both the Bloodthirsty Satin Hood the Vicious Satin Mantle.

So the first week I’ll be in mostly crafted gear and then in week 2 I’ll start building my set bonuses, finishing those in week 3, and then moving on to all of the off-set pieces from week 4 on.

Step 5: Gemming
Step 5 will of course take place during steps 2-4 as the pieces become available. I treat my serious PvP gear the same way I do my serious raiding gear, with gems and enchants added as the pieces become available.

My Priest is a 525 Jewelcrafter, so I have access to the JC-only gems, Chimera’s Eyes, which provide higher values of stats than you’ll find on regular red/yellow/blue gems.

Gems
There are only a few different gems I’m going to consider for the PvP gear. All of the socket bonuses are at least decent, so I’m going to match them unless I get the urge at some point to prioritize a certain stat regardless of socket.

The gear itself grants 3 Red, 3 Yellow, 3 Blue, and 1 Meta gem slot. I’m also going to have a belt buckle added to the gear which will open up an additional slot, which I’m going to use as Red.

Red Slots:
Brilliant Chimera’s Eye (+67 Intellect)
*Brilliant Inferno Ruby (+40 Intellect)

I haven’t decided for sure whether I’m going to use my Chimera’s Eyes in the red sockets or the blue. I’m leaning towards blue to start with for the extra survivability, and then switching over to red after I’ve completed my gear sets, but I’m still not sure.

So I’ll either have 4 Inferno Rubies for +160 Intellect, or I’ll have 3 Chimera’s Eyes and 1 Inferno Ruby for a total of +241 Intellect.

Blue Slots:
*Solid Chimera’s Eye (+101 Stamina)
Solid Ocean Sapphire (+60 Stamina)
Steady Dream Emerald (+30 Stamina, +20 Resilience)

I’m leaning towards Stamina for my blue gems, and as I mentioned in the Red section, I’m leaning towards the Chimera’s Eyes being used here at least to begin with. I considered going with Stormy gems for Spell Penetration, but you only need 240 total and I’ll have almost twice that amount from my gear alone. There’s a slight chance that I might go with the green stam/resil gems when I move the Chimera’s Eyes over to the red sockets, so I’m leaving it on the list just in case.

So starting out I’ll have 3 Chimera’s Eyes for +303 Stamina and when I switch them over I’ll end up with 3 Ocean Sapphires for +180 Stamina or 3 Dream Emeralds for +90 Stamina and +60 Resilience.

Yellow Slots:
Mystic Chimera’s Eye (+67 Resilience)
Mystic Amberjewel (+40 Resilience)
Quick Chimera’s Eye (+67 Haste)
Quick Amberjewel (+40 Haste)
*Willful Ember Topaz (+20 Intellect, +20 Resilience)
Steady Dream Emerald (+30 Stamina, +20 Resilience)

While I might get better stats overall going with an actual Yellow gem here, I’m leaning more towards the Willful Ember Topaz. I don’t want to focus too much on survivability as a DPS spec, so Resilience is an option but not my top choice. Haste is tempting, but I’m going to hold off gemming for Haste until I see how well I perform without it. The green gem is another one I’m considering placing here if I do happen to need some more survivability, but again I still favor the orange Ember Topaz.

My initial plan will be 3 Willful Ember Topazes with +60 Intellect and +60 Resilience. If survivability is an immediate issue then I’ll switch those to 3 Dream Emeralds for +90 Stamina and +60 Resilience or 3 Mystic Amberjewels for +120 Resilience, and if I find that survivability is fine and I need more killing power then I’ll switch it up to 3 Quick Amberjewels for +120 Haste.

Meta Slot:
*Burning Shadowspirit Diamond (+54 Intellect, +3% Critical Damage)
Chaotic Shadowspirit Diamond (+54 Critical Strike Rating, +3% Critical Damage)
Destructive Shadowspirit Diamond (+54 Critical Strike Rating, +1% Spell Reflect)
Effulgent Shadowspirit Diamond (+81 Stamina, -2% Spell Damage Taken)
Ember Shadowspirit Diamond (+54 Intellect, +2% Maximum Mana)
Forlorn Shadowspirit Diamond (+54 Intellect, -10% Silence Duration)
Powerful Shadowspirit Diamond (+81 Stamina, -10% Stun Duration)

The Meta gem I’m not 100% sure on. Above are all of the ones that I’ve considered using for one reason or another. I’m going with the Burning Shadowspirit to start off with because I have the pattern myself. Spirit Priests aren’t known for their crits, so I’m not sold on the crit gems here though some of them do have some decent additional abilities.

The ones that reduce stun and silence duration have some potential, but only if the CC applies in a given match. I expect that CC to happen in arenas, but in Battlegrounds you can never be sure. With our current mana issues, the 2% Max Mana from the Ember is an interesting option that I’m keeping a close eye on. Mana isn’t as important in a BG setting as it is an Arena setting, but I haven’t decided which of the two I’m going to run more often so it’s on hold for right now.

Destructive sounds interesting with the 1% Spell reflect, but the crit isn’t all that great, and neither is a measly 1% chance. On the one hand it would be incredibly fun to kill someone with their own spell, but at the same time the chance is so small I can’t count on it for anything. Effulgent offers much more survivability, and it’s one I’m also considering.

Step 6: Enchanting
I know which enchants I’m going to use for most of my gear, but I do have a few pieces that I’ve narrowed it down on and need to make a final decision.

Shoulder: Greater Inscription of Vicious Intellect (+50 Intellect, +25 Resilience)
Head: Arcanum of Vicious Intellect (+60 Intellect, +35 Resilience)
Back: Greater Intellect (+50 Intellect)
Chest: Might Resilience (+40 Resilience)
Bracer: Speed (+50 Haste)
Gloves: Haste (+50 Haste)
Belt: Ebonsteel Buckle (adds a Prismatic Socket)
Legs: Powerful Enchanted Spellthread (+95 Intellect, +80 Stamina)
Feet: Earthen Vitality (+30 Stamina, Increased Run Speed)
Weapon: Mending (Proc: Heals when spells deal damage)
Off-Hand: Superior Intellect (+40 Intellect)

Once I’ve had a chance to build up my stash of Maelstrom Crystals I’ll put some of the more significant enchants on my gear. Of those Weapon, Bracer, and Chest will be the first to be upgraded, though the Weapon will probably wait until Blizzard finally releases the upgraded weapons to us.

I’m going to do a little playing around with my weapon enchant at first. I want to start out using Mending as I have in the list because I’ve seen some of what it can do when you’ve got DoT’s ticking on several targets and every time they deal damage you have a chance to heal yourself. The more DoT’s I spread, the more healing I have coming in on top of the healing I naturally generate as a Shadow Priest. The first upgrade will be to Hurricane (Proc: +450 Haste for 12 seconds) to help with my damage output. Once the real PvP weapons become available I’ll upgrade to Power Torrent (Proc: +500 Intellect for 12 seconds) for even more power.

The Mending enchant averages about 850 healing when it procs, and can crit for around 1350. The proc rate is uncertain but reports list it as somewhere between 10% and 17%, and the proc happens any time you damage an enemy with a spell or melee attack. I’ve heard mixed reports of whether or not DoT’s can trigger the healing effect, so I’m going to test it myself and then decide when/if I’m going to switch to a new enchant.

Step 7: Professions Change
Right now while I’m still leveling my Priest she’s going to keep her Mining profession so that she can gather while she levels both for the experience and for the mats. Once I get her to level cap and start getting into the PvP though, I’m going to want to change that out for something more relative to PvP, but I haven’t decided yet what it’s going to be.

By dropping Mining I lose Toughness (Rank 7) which is 120 Stamina, or 1,200 Health.

Enchanting
Enchant Ring – Intellect (+40 Intellect)
Enchant Ring – Greater Stamina (+60 Stamina)

Enchanting gives me the ability to enchant my Rings. Most likely I would go with dual Intellect enchants for +80 Intellect, but if I’m feeling vulnerable I could always go with the Stamina enchant instead. But if I were to use the Stamina enchant I would get the same benefit of Mining (+120 Stamina) and nothing but the high cost of level Enchanting to show for it.

Engineering
Lightweight Bio-Optic Killshades (helm, see below)
Grounded Plasma Shield (Belt: Absorbs 16,200 to 19,800 damage)
Invisibility Field (Belt: Invisibility outside of combat)
Synapse Springs (Gloves: +480 Intellect for 10 seconds)
Tazik Shocker (Gloves: Deals 4320-5280 Nature damage)

Dropping my Bloodthirsty Helm for the Killshades would cost me 213 Resilience and 153 Haste in exchange for a bit of Intellect and Stamina. However, it would also allow me to use 2 Cogwheels in place of gems, so I would trade one Inferno Ruby (40 Int) or Chimera Eye (67 Int) for two Cogwheels suck as the Mystic Cogwheel (+208 Resilience) or and the Quick Cogwheel (+208 Haste). It’s something to consider, but it’s not enough to sell me with the one item alone.

The Plasma Shield could be interesting, providing me with another bubble that I could use when Power Word: Shield is on cooldown or something. I don’t know if you can use it in Arenas yet or not (I haven’t researched Engineering much yet), but it would be useful in BG’s as well. It’s a decent option, but not great.

The Invisibility Shield has some interesting potential if I can use it in Arenas. I could use it to get into position at the start of a match, or I could use it during a match to regroup and reposition if I could manage to get out of combat long enough to use it. It’s gimmicky and it wouldn’t help much at all against certain group setups or in some situations, but it’s not a bad choice otherwise.

Synapse Springs offer a great cooldown for when I need some extra burst, or when I’m about to use my mana cooldowns. By increasing my Intellect it increases my Total Mana value which would allow Dispersion, Shadowfiend, Divine Hymn, Glyph of Spirit Tap, and Masochism to all return additional mana to me while the effect is active. There’s some definite potential for this one.

The Tazik Shocker is an extra bit of damage to use every 2 minutes. It’s not enough to be a huge game changer or anything, but extra damage is extra damage.

Another bonus of the Glove and Belt enchants is that they don’t replace normal enchants, so it’s all extra. If I do go with Engineering then I’ll use the Synapse Springs for sure, and probably the Plasma Shield (if I can use it in Arenas). I’m not sold on the helm alone, especially since it takes an item set slot, but it’s a decent option, and there isn’t a bonus for having all 5 pieces, only 2 or 4, so I’m not losing as much as I otherwise could be.

Tailoring
Lightweave Embroidery (Cloak Proc: +580 Intellect on cast)
Embersilk Net (Use: Root a target up to 25 yards away)

Tailoring offers a very nice cloak enchant that can grant a huge amount of Intellect when it procs. The extra Spellpower from that is nice on it’s own, but just like the Synapse Springs from Engineering, it also has the added benefit of allowing my mana regeneration spells to give me even more mana back by increasing the size of my mana pool. In the case of Shadow Priests, size does matter.

The other benefit is the Embersilk Net which only Tailors can use. It’s a ranged Root which we otherwise don’t have access to (other than the Paralysis talent), which also deals a fairly small amount of Fire damage to the target. It only lasts for 3 seconds, but those three seconds can be significant and so can getting someone to burn a cooldown or trinket cast to get out of it early).

Inscription
Felfire Inscription (+130 Intellect, +25 Haste)

It’s the best shoulder enchant out there for casters, even if it’s not the PvP enchant we’re using already, but 55 Intellect and 25 Resilience compared to 130 Intellect and 25 Haste isn’t too hard to see the winner. 25 Resilience isn’t going to kill you (hopefully), and that 130 Intellect is worth the upgrade.

As I already have an Inscriptionist, yes “Inscriptionist” not “scribe”, I’m not too thrilled about having it on two characters, so I don’t know that this is a big enough benefit to make me choose it.

Leatherworking
Draconic Embossment – Intellect (Bracer: +130 Intellect)

Leatherworking is just a little bit above Blacksmithing for me. I get more potential stats from Leatherworking, but again I have very little use for anything else the profession has to offer. It’s another one to consider, but not very likely.

Blacksmithing
Socket Bracer (Add a prismatic socket to bracers)
Socket Gloves (Add a prismatic socket to bracers)

Blacksmithing doesn’t offer anything real exciting, but it does provide 2 free gem slots that are otherwise unavailable which is 80 Intellect, 120 Stamina, 80 Resilience or 80 Haste just waiting for us to take it.

I’m not thrilled about the idea of leveling Blacksmithing again, but it’s possible. That’s a lot of time, effort, and gold for a fairly small return. Given that it’s a cloth wearer, it’s even less impressive.

Onward and Upward
I’m going to see if I can hit level 85 this weekend on my Priest. I’m fairly confident I can do it, but it’s been about a month since I leveled a character through the end game content so I don’t remember how much time it actually took me on each character. I also have the BoA cloak and the Guild bonus to leveling which I didn’t have on any of the others, so I’ll level faster than before regardless.

What do you think of my plan to get my PvP gear?

How about the gems and enchants? Any suggestions for ones to consider that I missed?

And what about changing professions? Engineering has always been linked to PvP to some extent at least, but do you think I should go there or perhaps another route? Or should I continue swinging my pick axe and not bother changing at all?

 
9 Comments

Posted by on February 18, 2011 in Caster, Class, Guide, Player vs Player, Priest

 

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Looking For Info: Shadow Priest PvP

When I write all of these guides I like to make sure I know what I’m talking about by experiencing all of the content for myself. I don’t write guides for leveling classes until I’ve played them myself, for example, nor do I like to cover level ranges that I haven’t actually participated in personally. Before I even get started on leveling my own toons though, I like to do my own research beforehand.

My own research includes checking blogs that I know are related to the topic in question, checking forums to get multiple opinions on various aspects, and digging deeply into the Wowhead database for things I might have missed. I don’t always catch everything of course, and that’s not why I mention it, but the point is that I like to research things before I get started. That desire to know what to expect ahead of time is the reason why I blog about what I do, to offer other people the kind of help I wish was out there for me when I needed it.

And that brings me to the purpose of today’s post, Shadow Priest PvP. As you know if you’ve been following my blog for the last few weeks, I’m currently working on a Shadow Priest who I just got up to level 81 last night. I’ve been participating in PvP off and on since she was level 10 and quite frequently from the time she hit level 60 on. As usual I like to get into PvP my own way and figure things out as I go, adjusting where I see a need so that I can get better at it every match. Eventually I get to a point, like last week, where I’m doing great, but I want to improve as I know I’m fighting random players that aren’t necessarily skilled at PvP. And so, the search for Shadow Priest PvP began…and ended.

The only sources I can find for Shadow Priest PvP are outdated. I’m sure I haven’t checked “everywhere” or else I surely would have found something. Right? I am exaggerating there just a little bit, I did find a few decent sources of information, but not enough.

The most recent post I found on Shadow Priest PvP that was anything more then “hey I can kill everything but a feral druid” was from over a year ago. I did manage to find a few forum threads here and there that mentioned specific parts of a strategy and some suggestions on spec, but nothing really solid.

So rather than continue beating my head against a shadowless wall, I’m going to take a break from my searching and ask you instead. If you have a link to any decent, up to date information on Shadow Priest PvP I would love to see it. Whether it’s your own or something you stumbled onto for whatever reason, send me a link. Whether it’s blog posts, forums, podcasts, or videos on YouTube; if you have a link (and it’s recent, 4.0+), I want it.

 
4 Comments

Posted by on February 17, 2011 in Class, Player vs Player, Priest

 

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