Category Archives: Class

Shaman Leveling: 1-29 Enhancement

The first class I ever really tried to get into on my own was the Shaman. My first toon was a Hunter that I got to level 20, but I had no idea what I was doing and just shot things in the face until they either died or closed into melee range with me. But the Shaman was the first class that I ever did any research on to try to learn how to play it and play it well. In looking at the class my first impressions were to be Elemental or Resto because casting just seemed so much more powerful than melee back in the day, but then I eventually found out the insane burst damage of Windfury and I was sold.

I’ve leveled up a few Enhancement Shamans in my time, though none of them ever reached max level. My highest level Shaman to date was level 54, an Orc Enhancement Shaman named Belgawrath. But during Wrath my wife’s main was an Enhancement Shaman so I’m continually reading guides and blog posts about the class and spec so that I can pass on all of the important information to her.

But now the time comes once again for me to level my own, but this time I’m going all the way to 85.

Playing an Enhancement Shaman
Enhancement Shamans are a great example of a hybrid class that has a truly hybrid playstyle as well. You’re a dual wielding melee class that deals a large portion of your damage as magic damage rather than just melee. Being tied so closely to the elements also means that you have a lot of flavor in the magic that you use as well, and though it’s all elemental, it’s not all tied to a specific element.

Of the dual wielding classes you’re more closely related to the Death Knight, in my opinion, than any other. Rather than weaving diseases into your melee, you’re instead weaving bursts of elemental damage, and rather than summoning the dead for aid you call on the spirit of wolves. You’re not a sneaky Rogue, or a pansy Hunter afraid of getting hit. You might be similar to a Fury Warrior, but I’ve honestly never played one of those beyond level 14 so I can’t say from experience.

Of all the characters I’ve ever played, the Shaman gives me the strongest feeling of actually “being there” in combat. All Shamans are able to take on the form of a Ghost Wolf, but only Enhancement (early on at least) can do so instantly, and I absolutely love turning into a wolf, charging towards an opponent and unleashing my fury on them, then instantly dropping back into wolf form to charge down the next target. It might not do much for you, but I’m a huge fan.

Shamans also come with a very special class mechanic that is all their own: Totems. Totems work similar to the party/raid-wide buffs of other classes, but rather than being cast on players they are instead centered around a totem that is placed on the ground. When the totems are active, they grant their buff to a wide area. Most totems work in that fashion, providing buffs of one kind or another, but there are others that deal/heal damage or summon elemental pets for their duration as well. We’ll get into the specifics a little bit later for those you’ll actually use as Enhancement, but it deserved a mention here.

Shamans also have another special class mechanic which is their Shields. Shamans have three different Shield spells, with Lightning Shield and Water Shield available to all specs, and Earth Shield available only to Restoration Shamans. Each of these shields is built around a “charges” mechanic that has a specific effect whenever a charge is triggered to be used. Lightning Shield deals damage, Water Shield restores mana, and Earth Shield heals the target when they get hit. More on those later as well.

Enhancement-Specific Tips
As Enhancement you don’t use a whole lot of your mana during combat, and what you do use you’ll typically regenerate through your class abilities anyway. You still cast spells very frequently, but you typically don’t have to worry too much about mana. As a melee class though, you are a bit more “squishy” than many other melee classes because you only wear Leather armor until level 40 where you upgrade to Mail. But remember that Shamans are also healers, and because you’re not spending much of your mana it’s usually not a problem for you to stop the offense for the sake of casting a healing spell on yourself.

As a DPS spec you’ll typically want to use Lightning Shield to deal additional damage whenever an enemy hits you with an attack. At later levels you may occasionally switch to Water Shield instead to be sure you have adequate mana. In this level range, Lightning Shield is a passive DPS spell, dealing damage only when you’re attacked, but at higher levels you’ll also be able to trigger the charges of Lightning Shield with your attacks.

Remember that Shamans are a partially hybrid class with a very hybrid playstyle. You’re meant to be able to heal while you’re in your DPS spec, so do so. You’re not supposed to be “the healer”, but you are designed to be able to toss those heals out there when they’re needed. Shamans can be very “squishy”, taking a lot of damage in a short time, but we also pack some very efficient healing to get us through those times. At these low levels your healing spells will nearly restore you to full in a single cast. You can take that one of two ways: either you can heal in the middle of combat to be sure to make it to the end, or you can push yourself and your damage potential to be able to destroy your enemies quickly and efficiently, and then heal yourself back up to full at the end of combat.

Important Spells & Abilities
Note that all numeric values are taken from the level 29 version of the spell for the purposes of this post.

Level 1-10

  • Lightning Bolt (1): Casts a bolt of lightning at the target for 39 to 43 Nature damage.
  • Primal Strike (3): An instant weapon strike that causes 10 additional damage.
  • Strength of Earth Totem (4): This totem increases the Strength and Agility of all party and raid members within 40 yards.
  • Earth Shock (5): Instantly shocks the target with concussive force, causing 49 to 51 Nature damage and reducing melee and ranged attack speed by 20% for 8 seconds.
  • Lightning Shield (8): The caster is surrounded by 3 balls of lightning. When a spell, melee or ranged attack hits the caster, the attacker will be struck for Nature damage. This expends one lightning ball. Only one ball will fire every few seconds. Lasts 10 minutes. Only one Elemental Shield can be active on the Shaman at any one time.
  • Flametongue Weapon (10): Imbue the Shaman’s Weapon with fire, increasing total spell damage by 408(?).
  • Searing Totem (10): This totem repeatedly attacks an enemy within 20 yards for fire damage. The totem will prefer to target enemies that are afflicted by your Flame Shock or Stormstrike effects. Lasts for 1 minute.

Lightning Bolt is the ability you start off with, and what you’ll be spamming for a few levels in order to kill things quickly. As you get higher in level you’ll cast this less and less until you final get a talent that allows you to cast it instantly, but that won’t happen in this level range. Primal Strike is going to be one of your best friends in this level bracket as one of the few melee attacks you have access to. If you’re in melee range then you want to use Primal Strike whenever it’s not on cooldown.

Strength of Earth Totem is your primary Earth totem now and forever. It provides both Strength and Agility to your group, both of which contribute to your primary damage stat Attack Power. I couldn’t find the exact amount that it grants you at level 29 and neither of my shamans right now is the right level to test it to see. Earth Shock is one of your bread and butter attacks, it’s an instant burst of damage which also provides a nice attack speed reduction to the target for a bit of additional survivability.

At level eight you receive Lightning Shield which is one of your primary buffs as it passively deals damage to anyone attacking you. Keeping this buff active is a bit of a pain until level 25 at which time you can add a glyph that prevents the orbs from being expended and instead turns it into a flat 10 minute buff. Flametongue Weapon is one of our most important weapon imbues at at level 10 you’ll have it on both of your weapons. Wowhead tells me that 408 Spell Power is the value at level 29, but that sounds way too high to me so I think the numbers are wrong.

Last up on the 1-10 list is Searing Totem which is your primary Fire totem for the rest of the game. It deals decent damage for now that will increase a lot more as you get higher in level and spend talent points to enhance its effect.

By choosing Enhancement as your specialization at level 10 you receive all of the following:
Lava Lash: You charge your off-hand weapon with lava, instantly dealing 200% of that weapon’s damage to an enemy target. Damage is increased by 40% if your off-hand weapon is enchanted with Flametongue.
Mental Quickness: Increases your spell power by an amount equal to 50% of your attack power, and reduces the mana cost of your instant beneficial, damaging, and totem spells by 75%.
Dual Wield: Allows one-hand and off-hand weapons to be equipped in your off-hand, allows you to parry frontal melee attacks, and increases your chance to hit by an additional 6%.
Primal Wisdom: Your melee attacks have a 40% chance to immediately restore 5% of your base mana.
Master: Enhanced Elements: Increases all Fire, Frost, and Nature damage done by 20%. Each point of Mastery increases damage by an additional 2.5%.

Lava Lash is one of our signature attacks, one that you’ll use very frequently and will be a big contribution to your overall damage. Mental Quickness is how our spell damage remains viable as a melee class that weaves spell damage into most of what we do, and it reduces spell costs by a 75% which is how we manage to cast spells as a class that doesn’t stack Intellect.

Dual Wield is another signature of our spec, allowing us to wield two weapons at once, and it’s one of the reasons I love playing this class as much as I do. Primal Wisdom relates to Mental Quickness up above, providing us with the means to regenerate our mana through melee combat so that we can continue casting spells even with a relatively small mana pool.

Enhanced Master doesn’t actually turn on until level 80, but it’s a big boost to damage once you do get access to it.

Level 11-20

  • Flametongue Totem (12): This totem increases the spell power of all party and raid members within 40 yards by 6%. Lasts 5 minutes.
  • Flame Shock (14): Instantly sears the target with fire, causing 28 Fire damage immediately and 48 Fire damage over 18 seconds.
  • Purge (12): Purges the enemy target, removing 1 beneficial Magic effect.
  • Ghost Wolf (16): Turns the Shaman into a Ghost Wolf, increaes speed by 30%. As a Ghost Wolf, the Shaman is less hindered by effects that would reduce movement speed.
  • Wind Shear (16): Disrupts the target’s concentration with a burst of wind, interrupting spellcasting and preventing any spell in that school form being cast for 2 seconds. Also lowers your threat, making the enemy less likely to attack you.
  • Cleanse Spirit (18): Removes one Curse effect from a friendly target.
  • Earthbind Totem (18): This totem slows the movement speed of enemies within 10 yards of the totem. Lasts for 45 seconds.
  • Water Shield (20): The caster is surrounded by 3 globes of water, graning 15 mana per 5 seconds. When a spell, melee or ranged attack hits the caster, mana is restored to the caster. This expends one water globe. Only one globe will activate every few seconds. Lasts 10 minutes. Only one Elemental Shield can be active on the Shaman at any one time.

Flametongue Totem is great for spell casters, but not a huge benefit to us as Enhancement. When I’m grouped with two or more casters I usually use this one instead of Searing Totem to benefit the group more. Flame Shock is our other bread and butter shock that we’ll use all the time. Flame Shock is best used on targets with large health pools, such as dungeon bosses, so that it will be active for the 18 seconds it takes for its full damage to take its place.

I decided to list Purge here as an offensive dispel, which I don’t often do. For the most part you’ll cast this in PvP to remove buffs from enemy targets, but there are some buffs you’ll want to remove in PvE as well. Since PvP is definitely a viable option for leveling your characters now, you’re going to see me mentioning things like this more than I used to. Ghost Wolf is a wonderful movement speed buff, allowing us to take on the form of a wolf to move faster. That second sentence in the description above means that you cannot go below 100% movement speed while in Ghost Wolf form. So you move at 130% normally with the buff, and you cannot be slowed below the 100%. Note that that applies to effects, not conditions, so you’ll still be slowed by things such as being in water.

Wind Shear is primarily used for its spell interrupting feature, though it does also reduce your threat in a group setting. I primarily use this on crowd control spells being cast on my party (like the Sleep spell cast by the Druids in Wailing Caverns) or to counter healing spells. In PvP you can use it on Player Pets that you haven’t generated threat against to cause them to stop attacking you. An experienced PvP player will quickly put them back on you, but you’d be surprised how many players don’t notice. Cleanse Spirit can remove Curse debuffs cast on you or your party, which is actually pretty common. Even though you’re playing a DPS spec it’s good practice to be in the habit of dispelling Curses as you can save your healers time and mana.

Earthbind Totem is somewhat situational. It’s a great totem for PvP, especially to slow Flag Carriers or pursuers of your Flag Carrier, or for allowing you to escape a deadly situation. In PvE it can slow mobs who run away when they’re low on health or it can be used to get some distance between you and your attackers to get a heal cast if you’re in danger of dying. Water Shield is the alternative to Lightning Shield, but not typically used by Enhancement. If you do find yourself in need of mana then you can certainly switch to Water Shield to get it back faster. I often switch to this shield in LFG in my upper-20’s as I start using more of our mana-intensive spells for AoE damage, but for soloing and questing I stick to Lightning Shield.

Level 21-29

  • Frost Shock (22): Instantly shocks the target with frost, causing 46 to 48 Frost damage and slowing movement speed by 50%. Lasts 8 seconds. Causes a high amount of threat.
  • Water Walking (24): Allows the friendly target to walk across water for 10 minutes. Any damage will cancel the effect.
  • Frostbrand Weapon (26): Imbue the Shaman’s weapon with frost. Each hit has a chance of causing additional Frost damage and slowing the target’s movement speed by 50% for 8 seconds. Lasts 30 minutes.
  • Chain Lightning (28): Hurls a lightning bolt at the enemy, dealing 55 to 61 Nature damage and then jumping to additional nearby enemies. Each jump reduces the damage by 30%. Affects 3 total targets.
  • Fire Nova (28): Causes the shaman’s active Flametongue, Magma, or Fire Elemental Totem to emit a wave of flames, inflicting Fire damage to enemies within 10 yards of the totem.

Frost Shock is another spell that I mention primarily for its usefulness in PvP. Slowing targets is a pretty big deal in a lot of PvP matches and talent points can be spent to make it freeze your target in place instead of just slowing them as well. In PvE it’s really only useful if you need to stop runners; Earth and Flame Shocks are more useful in PvE.

Water Walking is a cool utility spell that allows you to move on water. It’s great for certain PvP Battlegrounds and has some small usefulness in certain dungeons as well. For PvE can save you a little travel time prior to having a flying mount by letting you cut across water without being slowed down. Frostbrand Weapon is one you’ll only use in PvP as all of the other imbues offer better damage, but in PvP this can be a really good enchant to roll with.

Chain Lightning is our first AoE spell, and an interesting one in that it’s more multi-target than AoE. You’ll only really use this one in LFG or perhaps in PvP, unless you’re a AoE crazed leveler like myself in which case you’ll use it all the time. If you do use this one often then you’ll want to be sure to use Water Shield to keep your mana supply high. Fire Nova is our first literal AoE spell, dealing damage in a ring around our Fire totems. Searing Totem is our primary Fire totem when soloing, but it doesn’t allow Fire Nova to be cast through it, so you’ll need to remember to plant the right totems to use it, and the nova is centered on the totem itself, so you’ll need to drop your totem near your targets for it to be useful.

Leveling an Enhancement Shaman

  • Questing Single Mob: Earth Shock, Primal Strike/Stormstrike, Lava Lash, Earth Shock
  • Questing Multi-Mob: (Totems), Flame Shock, Primal Strike/Stormstrike, (swap targets), Lava Lash, Flame Shock
  • LFG Trash Rotation: (Totems), Earth Shock, Primal Strike/Stormstrike, Lava Lash, Earth Shock [Wind Shear]
  • LFG Boss Rotations: (Totems), Flame Shock, Primal Strike/Stormstrike, Lava Lash, Earth Shock [Wind Shear]

[NOTE: At level 29 you should replace Primal Strike with Stormstrike. Remove PS from your bars completely and forget that it exists. The two share a cooldown and are designed such that Stormstrike takes its place for Enhancement. Stormstrike is a better ability in every possible way and should be used from level 29 on.]

Questing Single Mob
In this rotation you’re just going to destroy targets as fast as possible. If you’re using heirloom weapons then I definitely suggest you stick to using Earth Shock as your go-to shock spell, but if you’re not using heirlooms then you might find Flame Shock to be a better option for the opening cast as it’s DoT damage will add up over time to be even more than Earth Shock. Any shocks you cast after the first one should be Earth Shocks though, unless you missed with the Flame Shock cast.

Questing Multi-Mob
If you know that your’e going to face multiple mobs, or multiple groups of mobs, go ahead and cast your totems before you get started on the actual combat. Just remember not to drop aggressive totems (like Searing) until you’re within range for it to hit your target(s) and you’re ready for combat to start.

I don’t suggest you intentionally get into combat with multiple targets as Enhancement unless you’re using heirlooms or are over-geared for the mobs you’re facing. Shamans have some good healing spells and a lot of utility, but they’re also pretty easily killed in this level range if you’re taking sustained damage.

If you do have good gear and decent survivability though, I suggest you go with this rotation. The point here is primarily to get Flame Shock cast on all of your targets so that they’re all taking damage, and then speeding up their deaths with your melee attacks. Light one up, bash them in the face a time or two, switch targets and repeat.

If you need to heal in these situations, go ahead and do so. If you find yourself running short on mana because you’re healing go ahead and switch over to Water Shield for the mana return and switch back to Lightning Shield when your health and mana are at a more manageable level.

LFG Trash
This one is the same as solo questing, except that sometimes you might want to bother with totems and others you might not. I don’t cast my totems by default at this level when I’m doing LFG, instead I wait to see how quickly we’re progressing through the instance. If we’re moving at a fast pace then I usually don’t bother with any of them until we see a boss. If we’re going kind of slow or we have people who are /afk or something, then I’ll go ahead and drop the totems to increase everyone’s performance.

For most trash pulls though, just stick to Earth Shocks and using your melee strikes as often as possible.

Wind Shear: Deserves a special mention here though. Shamans have crazy-good spell interruption capabilities thanks to Wind Shear. If you see a mob casting spells, particularly a healer, interrupt as many of their spells as possible. If you’re in instances with caster mobs who are especially annoying (LOOKING AT YOU, WAILING CAVERNS DRUIDS!!!) then be sure to make use of Wind Shear when they’re casting the spell you don’t want to go through.

LFG Boss
For bosses you want to maximize your DPS potential. That means that you’re going to make sure Flame Shock stays active on the boss as long as possible, and that you’re going to utilize your totems for the good of your group.

Totems: Strength of Earth, Flametongue, Healing Stream

Using Searing Totem will give you a higher, personal DPS score on a boss fight, but if you have at least one caster DPS in your group then you should probably lean towards Flametongue as both they and the healer will benefit from it as will you, though to a lesser extent. If there are no caster DPS in the group then switch your Fire totem over to Searing and drop it right next to the boss when you move into melee range.

Once Flame Shock is dealing its damage you’ll start rotating through your melee attacks and casting Earth Shock as filler while you wait to refresh Flame Shock. If you time your shocks just right you can get two Earth Shocks off with almost perfect timing for your shocks to refresh just as Flame Shock ends, allowing you to reapply it immediately with no time lost.

Wind Shear will still work on many boss abilities at low levels, so be ready to use it when you get the chance as Shamans have a fairly flexible and laid back rotation at this point. Spells you want to interrupt in particular are healing spells and AoE damage spells such as Chain Lightning. I could go into specifics, but this is a class guide, not a boss guide, so just use your own judgement.

Talent Spec: 29 Enhancement Shaman

  • Focused Strikes 3/3: Increases the damage dealt by your Primal Strike and Stormstrike abilities by 45%.
  • Elemental Weapons 2/2: Increases the passive bonuses granted by your Flametongue Weapon and Earthliving Weapon abilities by 40%, the damage of your extra attacks from Windfury Weapon by 40%, and the effectiveness of the ongoing benefits of your Unleash Elements ability by 50%.
  • Ancestral Swiftness 2/2: Reduces the cast time of your Ghost Wolf spell by 2 seconds and increases the movement speed by 15%. This does not stack with other movement speed increasing effects.
  • Flurry 3/3: Increases your attack speed by 30% for your next 3 swings after dealing a critical strike.
  • Stormstrike 1/1: [Instant cast, 8 second cooldown] Instantly strike an enemy with both weapons, dealing 125% weapon damage and granting you an additional 25% chance to critically strike the enemy with your Lightning Bolt, Chain Lightning, Lightning Shield, and Earth Shock spells for 15 seconds.


Prime Glyphs

With Lava Lash being a staple attack and the fact that you get it at level 10, this is my first choice of Prime Glyphs, increasing its damage by 20%. Next up is Stormstike, though you don’t get that spell until level 29, as the bonus crit can be useful. Finally I have Flame Shock listed though it’s important to note that it’s really only useful in LFG boss fights or in PvP as typical mobs and dungeon trash will not live long enough for even the normal duration to matter.

Major Glyphs

Lightning Shield is overall going to be the most useful glyph for you here; it’s how you turn your Lightning Shield into a solid 10 minute buff instead of lasting only for three hits worth. Ghost Wolf is my next choice because moving faster is always a good thing, both in PvE and PvP. Frost Shock deserves a mention for those of you interested in getting into some low level PvP, though I would generally suggest Ghost Wolf above this one.

Fire Nova is probably the best investment if you’re looking to beef up your AoE ability in dungeons by increasing its radius and taking away the hassle of replanting your totems. Chain Lightning is one I haven’t used myself, but it deserves a mention for AoE if you enjoy it.

Minor Glyphs

I’m a huge fan of getting rid of reagents, so Water Walking is the definite first choice here. Arctic Wolf is a simple vanity glyph that just changes the way you look in Ghost Wolf form. The only other Minor Glyph available at this level range is Thunderstorm which is a spell that only Elemental Shamans can use, so it’s completely worthless to you.

Gearing Up Your Shaman
As Enhancement your primary stat is Agility. Each point gives you 2 Attack Power and it also boosts your Melee Crit (and Dodge). Intellect boosts your Spell Power on a 1:1 ratio, and it also increases your Spell Crit and your mana. Strength is a decent stat for you as it still gives a 1:1 ratio for Attack Power, but it’s not something you really want to seek out unless you just cannot find any Agility pieces at all for those slots.

You also want to look for gear with Hit on it in particular since you take a penalty to melee hits for dual wielding. You don’t need a ton of Hit to get you by while you’re leveling, but if you find some good Agility pieces that also have Hit on them then be sure to pick them up.

For green gear with random enchants you’re probably most interested in “..of the Falcon” (Agility and Intellect), “..of the Tiger” (Agility and Strength), and “..of the Monkey” (Agility and Stamina).

As you get into running random dungeons you’re looking for items with the “..of Agility” and “..of the Bandit” (Agility, Stamina, and Crit) enchant on them from the Satchel of Helpful Goods.

There are two ways you can look at gearing up your low level Shaman. You can either go for maximum killing potential, which is stacking Agility above all else, or you can go with a more balanced build where you look for gear with both Agility and Stamina. I prefer maximizing my damage potential, personally, and going for good survival pieces in slots that I have no Agility piece to fill in. If you’re not used to healing on the fly as a DPS spec though, you might want to lean more towards survival.

Dungeon Gear
There are a lot of good pieces of gear that you can find in low level dungeons, some of them pretty decent and some rather outstanding. I’m not going to go into detail as far as which pieces to pair up from which dungeons to get a “best in slot” list, but I will give you a list of the items that if they dropped for me, I would consider rolling on if they were an upgrade to what I currently had.

A lot of the “good” lower level gear is tuned more towards Strength, which is still good though it’s not great. Agility is where it’s at, so don’t pass up an Agility piece for a Strength piece unless the value is at least twice that of the Agility piece.

Ragefire Chasm
Oggleflint’s Inspirer: One-handed Mace, 3 Strength, 3 Crit
Subterranean Cap: Cloak, 4 Strength, 4 Agility
Hide Vest of the Hungerer: Chest, 4 Agility, 5 Stamina, 4 Crit

The Hide Vest is a quest reward available to Horde only.

The Deadmines
Defias Leather Set: 5 piece Leather armor set (Belt, BOots, Gloves, Legs, Chest)
Cape of the Brotherhood: Cloak, 5 Agility, 3 Stamina
Smelting Pants: Legs, 8 Agility, 4 Stamina, 4 Crit
Smite’s Reaver: One-handed Axe, 2 Strength, 3 Stamina, 2 Hit
Cookie’s Tenderizer: One-handed Mace, 3 Strength, 2 Stamina, 2 Hit
Cookie’s Meat Mallet: One-handed Mace, 3 Strength, 3 Stamina
Cookie’s Table Cloth: Cloak, 3 Agility, 3 Stamina

The last two items are both quest rewards, but the same quest and rewards exist for both factions.

The Defias Leather set is a great set to have, unfortunately the Chest is no longer available in the game now that Cataclysm has replaced the final boss. The four remaining pieces are still very good, but they all have low drop rates. The good thing about this set though, is that it’s all BoE so you do have a chance of finding it on the auction house.

Wailing Caverns
Glowing Lizardscale Cloak: Cloak, 6 Agility, 2 Stamina
Embrace of the Viper Set: 5 piece Leather armor set (Belt, Boots, Gloves, Legs, Chest)
Cobrahn’s Boots: Boots, 4 Agility, 5 Stamina, 4 Crit

Cobrahn’s Boots are a quest reward, available to both factions. The Embrace of the Viper set is an example of the exceptional armor. Unlike the Defias Leathers from Deadmines, all but one of the pieces from the Embrace set are BoP, so you’ll have to farm all but the Gloves yourself if you want them, but the drop rates are significantly higher than the Defias set.

Shadowfang Keep
Wolfmaster Cape: Cloak, 5 Agility, 3 Stamina
Silverlaine’s Family Seal: Ring, 5 Strength, 3 Stamina
Butcher’s Cleaver: One-handed Axe, 3 Agility, 3 Stamina
Baron’s Scepter: On-handed Mace, 2 Strength, 3 Stamina, 2 Hit
Black Wolf Bracers: Wrists, 3 Agility, 4 Stamina, 3 Crit
Shadowfang Spaulders: Shoulders, 4 Agility, 5 Stamina, 4 Crit

Blackfathom Deeps
Naga Battle Gloves: Gloves, 7 Agility, 7 Stamina
Bands of Serra’kis: Bracers, 5 Agility, 5 Stamina
Dusk-Stained Cloak: Cloak, 5 Strength, 5 Stamina
Band of the Skull Crusher: Ring, 7 Strength
Aluwyn’s Legguards: Legs, 8 Agility, 10 Stamina

The last three items are all Alliance-only quest rewards.

The Naga Battle Gloves have a pretty high drop rate, so if you haven’t scored better gloves then these are a really good and pretty easily obtained option.

The Stockades
Hogger’s Trousers: Legs, 9 Agility, 9 Hit
Standard Issue Prisoner Shoes: Boots, 8 Agility, 5 Stamina
Rifle Commander’s Eyepatch: Helm, 8 Agility, 11 Stamina, 8 Hit

These are all really great items, especially the legs and helm. As a dual wielding class Hit rating is important because you take a penalty for wielding two weapons, and both of these pack a great amount of Hit as well as exceptional Agility and Stamina.

Charged Gear: Ring, 4 Arcane Resist, 4 Nature Resist, (Random Enchant)
Temple’s Vest: Chest, 7 Agility, 11 Stamina, 7 Crit

Temple’s Vest is an Alliance-only quest reward.

The Charged gear by itself looks pretty crappy, I know. But, the random enchant on it can be exceptional. You’re looking for “Charged Gear of..”: the Tiger (7 Agi, 7 Str), the Falcon (7 Agi, 7 Int), the Monkey (7 Agi, 7 Stam), Agility (10 Agi), or Strength (10 Str). I listed those in the order I would personally rank them, with “..of the Tiger” coming out on top as it provides a total of 21 Attack Power.

PvP Rewards
Sentinel’s Medallion: Neck, 8 Agility, 5 Stamina
Defiler’s Chain Greaves: Boots, 8 Agility, 8 Stamina, Increased Run Speed

Both of these items can be purchased with Honor, and you can get all the honor you need for them in about 2-3 Battlegrounds worth of fighting. The run speed on the boots is particularly worth looking into, even if the stats themselves aren’t as great as other boots you might already have.

There are two versions of the necklace, one for each faction. There are also multiple copies of them for different level ranges, so you can also get one of these for other level ranges, including level 19. You’ll have to travel to Ashenvale to purchase this as Alliance, and Northern Barrens as Horde since they are sold by the Warsong Gulch vendors.

The Boots come in multiple names as well as two versions of each for their respective factions. They also come in multiple level ranges just like the necklace, so you can keep coming back at different level ranges for definite upgrades, though you can’t get them for lower than the 29 bracket. To purchase these you’ll have to travel to Arathi Highlands for both factions, as the Arathi Basin vendors are the ones who sell them.



Glowbie’s Healing Basics

When it comes to WoW blogging there’s nothing I appreciate more than a very well written guide that takes the time to go into detail and explain things to people without making the blanket assumption that you already know what you’re doing and what they’re talking about.

Today Glowbie did just that with a fantastic guide on Druid healing that’s specifically aimed at those people who are brand new to Druid healing or who are considering getting into it and need a solid place to get started.

If you’d like to learn how to heal on your Druid, or would like to pick up some tips from another Druid healer, then go on over and take a look at

Healing Basics.

Leave a comment

Posted by on March 15, 2011 in Caster, Class, Druid


Tags: , ,

Priest Leveling: 70-85 Shadow

If you’re just getting started on a Shadow Priest of your own, or considering one, then I suggest you take a look at the previous guides applicable to your level:
Priest Leveling: 1-29 Shadow
Priest Leveling: 30-49 Shadow
Priest Leveling: 50-69 Shadow

Playing a Shadow Priest
You’re going to find a couple of changes to how you play a Shadow Priest in this level range. The first thing is that you actually get an AoE spell at level 74. It’s not great, but it is useful if you’re in an AoE situation and you’ve already got your DoT’s spread around. The second change is that once you hit 81 you get a new spell that completely changes how you quest, called Mind Spike. I’ll get into the specifics of it down below, but for now just know that you have two methods of leveling through Cataclysm content at that point – DoT’s or Nukes.

We still run out of mana easily, but we also still have a lot of tools for getting that mana back. As we spend talent points in the Discipline tree we get even more ways to manage our mana successfully while also increasing our performance. Again, more on that down below.

Shadow-Specific Tips
Playing a Shadow Priest even at level 85 shares a lot of similarities to other classes. We’re part Warlock, part Mage, part (healer of choice), and 100% face melt. We have multiple play styles within a single spec, have excellent survivability spells, we heal while we kill, and we’re just plain fun to play.

The tips for playing Shadow in particular remain mostly the same. Finish off every mob that you can with Shadow Word: Death casts to trigger the mana regeneration from your talent points and glyphs, as that is the most common form of replenishing our mana. Speaking of replenishment, make sure you follow a rotation that allows you to take advantage of other forms of mana return, such as the Replenishment effect you get from casting Mind Blast on a target that already has your Vampiric Touch debuff active.

If you step away from your DoT rotation after level 81 and switch over to Mind Spike and Mind Blast, remember that you can still take advantage of your mana regenerating abilities, including Replenishment from Vampiric Touch and Mind Blast. Also remember that if you’re using the direct damage route rather than DoT’s, you’ll often encounter mobs while questing that die from the direct damage crits before you can trigger SW:Death returns so you might consider dropping back to a DoT rotation for a single mob now and then just to trigger those returns.

No matter which rotation you tend to use the most when you’re soloing or fighting dungeon trash, remember to stay flexible for the situation you’re in.

Mana Issues
Shadow Priests have mana issues no matter what level you are. The higher you get in level though, the more tools you get to manage your mana and restore it so that it’s less and less of an issue for you, but it’s not so much that the mana issues go away as it is you learning how to deal with them and get around them so that they no longer hinder your performance.

The following are your tools for managing your mana.

Vampiric Touch: Causes up to 10 party/raid members to regain 10% of their mana over 10 seconds if you cast Mind Blast on a target that’s inflicted with Vampiric Touch. Vampiric Touch itself has no cooldown, but the trigger for the replenishment effect (Mind Blast) has a default cooldown of 8 seconds which can be reduced to 6 seconds by spending 3 talent points in the Improved Mind Blast talent.

Shadow Word: Death: By itself does nothing for mana returns, however 2 talent points in the Masochism talent causes you to regain 10% of your mana instantly if you cast SW:Death and do not kill the target. The Glyph of Spirit Tap causes you to regain 12% of your mana over 12 seconds when you do kill a target with SW:Death. Default cooldown is 10 seconds, but the Glyph of Shadow Word: Death causes the cooldown to instantly refresh if you cast it on a target below 25% health if it doesn’t kill them which allows you to double-dip either Masochism for 20% mana instantly if they don’t die from both casts, or Masochism + Glyph of Spirit Tap for 10% mana instantly plus 12% mana over 12 seconds.

Dispersion: The keystone of the Shadow Talent tree, this ability restores 6% of your mana every second for 6 seconds, a total of 36% mana returned. Default cooldown is 2 minutes, but can be reduced to 75 seconds by use of the Glyph of Dispersion.

Shadowfiend: A summoned pet which restores 3% of your mana every time it attacks. Over it’s 15 second duration it averages around 10 attacks if it’s not killed or CC’ed in some manner, resulting in up to 30% mana return. Default cooldown is 5 minutes which can be reduced to 4 minutes with 2 talent points in Veiled Shadows, and 2 talent points in Sin and Punishment reduces the current cooldown by 10 seconds every time your Mind Flay crits.

Archangel: From the Discipline tree restores up to 25% of your mana instantly when you use it. In order to use Archangel you have to build stacks of Evangelism which you do by casting Mind Flay, resulting in 1 stack each time Mind Flay deals damage up to a maximum of 5 stacks, and each stack results in 5% mana returned by Archangel. Cooldown is 90 seconds.

Hymn of Hope: A channeled spell that restores 2% mana to up to 3 targets low on mana, ever 2 seconds for 8 seconds. It also increases the targets’ mana pools by 15% for 8 seconds (this effect is refreshed each time it ticks, so it lasts even after the channel). Cooldown is 6 minutes.

All of these effects allow you to replenish your mana at varying rates and amounts. Combined with one another they provide a vast amount of mana regen, enough even to go from 0 to full in a matter of seconds. One of the most effective ways to get your mana back if you need a large amount is to cast summon your Shadowfiend, channel Hymn of Hope, and then drop into Dispersion. Hymn of Hope’s 15% buff to your maximum mana means that the percentages of mana restored by Shadowfiend and Dispersion restore more per hit/tick than they would otherwise.

If you need some mana and you need it quick, toss a SW:Death cast on anything you can find that it won’t kill to regain 10% from the Masochism talent, follow that with two casts of Mind Flay to get 5 stacks of Evangelism and then pop Archangel for 25% mana instantly. That amount of mana should be enough to get you back on your feet and into a rotation that will restore even more mana if needed.

Important Spells & Abilities

  • Mass Dispel (72): Dispels magic in a 15 yard radius, removing 1 harmful spells from each friendly target and 1 beneficial spells from each enemy target. Affects a maximum of 10 friendly targets and 10 enemy targets. This dispel is potent enough to remove Magic effects that are normally undispellable.
  • Mind Sear (74): Causes an explosion of shadow magic around the target, causing 104 to 112 Shadow damage every 1 sec for 5 sec to all enemies within 10 yards around the target.
  • Mastery: Shadow Orb Power (80): Increases the damage done by your Shadow Orbs by 11.6%. Each point of Mastery increases damage by an additional 1.4%.
  • Mind Spike (81): Blasts the target for 1083 to 1143 Shadowfrost damage, but extinguishes your shadow damage-over-time effects from the target in the process. Mind Spike also increases the critical strike chance of your next Mind Blast on the target by 30%. Stacks up to 3 times.
  • Inner Will (83): A burst of Holy energy fills the caster, reducing the mana cost of instant cast spells by 15% and increasing your movement speed by 10%. Lasts 30 min.
  • Leap of Faith (85): You pull the spirit of the friendly party or raid target to you, instantly moving them directly in front of you.

Mass Dispel is a great spell to have, but one you probably won’t be casting very often unless the task is assigned to you in a raid or instance that has large scale AoE debuffs. I use it it PvP quite a bit, but basically never in PvE up to this point.

Mind Sear is our only Shadow AoE. It’s damage isn’t all that great, but it’s still a good option when you’ve got several mobs you want to damage at once when you’re in a group. The cool thing about it is that you can cast this on a friendly target because it doesn’t do anything to the actual target, instead it deals damage to everything around the target while you channel it. The bad thing is, it doesn’t deal damage to the target, so if you did cast it on a mob that mob doesn’t take damage from Mind Sear.

At level 80 we unlock our Mastery: Shadow Orb Power which gives us additional damage on our Shadow Orbs based on our Mastery stat. Our Mastery is pretty good, but I’ll leave it up to the experts to tell you how good and why.

Mind Spike is the spell that changes how we play, if we decide to use it. It’s a direct damage “nuke” spell that removes all of our DoT’s from the target with no benefit of doing so (unless you need to clear DoT’s off of a raid boss or something). It also puts a stacking debuff on the target that grants +30% Crit Chance to our next Mind Blast spell on the target, to a max of +90%. You now have the option of burning targets down with direct damage rather than waiting on your DoT’s to tick. I find the smoothest flow of questing is to use a combination of these two of different mobs I face at the same time, typically finishing my DoT target with SW:Death casts as the direct damage route often kills the mobs outright so that I can’t use SW:Death for mana regen.

Level 83 adds a new buff called Inner Will which gives a 10% movement buff it cuts the mana cost of your instant cast spells by 15%. Sadly you can’t have Inner Will and Inner Focus active at the same time, so I tend to use Inner Focus for the extra spellpower. It’s a good buff though, and one that I do take advantage of in certain PvP fights.

And our reward for reaching level 85 is Leap of Faith, more commonly known as “Life Grip”. It works just like the Death Knight spell Death Grip (hence the nickname), except that you cast it on your allies rather than your enemies. Its uses are endless, though most of them are mischievous. Just to point it out for the sake of completion, Leap of Faith is a Holy spell and it will take you out of Shadowform if you cast it.

Leveling a Shadow Priest

  • DoT Rotation: Vampiric Touch, Mind Blast, Shadow Word:Pain, Devouring Plague, Mind Flay, Shadow Word:Death
  • Same old DoT rotation we’ve been using. In Wrath content you probably don’t need the Devouring Plague cast in there, but it will help you while you’re leveling through Cataclysm. Sometimes I use it while questing, sometimes I don’t so just figure out which method you prefer and go with it.

    After level 81 I rarely bother with the DoT rotation while I’m soloing because it’s just faster to kill things with the direct damage.

  • Direct Damage Rotation: Mind Spike, Mind Spike, Mind Spike, Vampiric Touch, Mind Blast, (Mind Flay if 30% health or higher), SW:Death
  • This is the rotation I end up using the most right now. I sneak a Vampiric Touch cast in before my Mind Blast so that I trigger Replenishment just in case the direct damage spells are enough to kill the target before I can SW:Death.

    If you’re running low on mana and you’ve already spent talent points in Evangelism and Archangel, then I suggest you go ahead and skip SW:Death on the end and instead cast a second Mind Flay to build up your 5 stack of Evangelism. Once you have that 5th stack go ahead and cast SW:Death if the target isn’t already dead, but don’t worry about it if they die during the Mind Flays. Once you have the 5 stack go ahead and pop Archangel for 25% of your mana instantly returned. You also get a 20% damage buff to your direct damage Shadow spells while it’s active so just keep right on killing things while you’ve got your wings.

  • LFG Trash Rotation: Vampiric Touch (1 target), Mind Blast (same target), Shadow Word: Pain (all targets) , Mind Sear (on the tank), SW:Death when possible
  • This one changed once again thanks to our new spells that became available. Get Replenishment going first with VT>MB and then start the SW:Pain spam rolling on all of the targets (assuming they won’t die in .2 seconds anyway). Follow that with Mind Sear on your tank for AoE waves of death and snipe every kill you can with SW:Death when it’s off cooldown.

    If the trash isn’t going to last long enough for SW:Pain to be cast on them I suggest you use the Nuke Rotation above and just apply it to the tank’s target.

  • LFG Boss Rotations: Vampiric Touch, Mind Blast, Shadow Word: Pain, Devouring Plague, SW:Death, Shadowfiend (on cooldown), Mind Flay, Mind Blast, Mind Flay x2
  • Again, we’re going to get Replishment rolling first off, then we’re going to establish DoT’s. Reapply your DoT’s as needed, but remember your Mind Flay will refresh SW:Pain once you’ve spent your talent points to get the effect. Vampiric Touch (VT) will wear off before Devouring Plague (DP) will, and you’ll have enough time to cast 2-3 spells after refreshing VT before you need to refresh DP.

    Keep your DoT’s up at all times. If you need mana, get it. Shadowfiend, SW:Death, Replenishment (Vampiric Touch + Mind Blast), Dispersion, Archangel, and Hymn of Hope are all sitting there just waiting to be used, so don’t let yourself run dry for no reason. If you’re especially low on mana then cast your Shadowfiend first and follow it with an immediate Hymn of Hope. Both of them restore your mana by themselves, but Hymn has the added bonus of increasing the size of your mana pool and the amount of mana returned by the Shadowfiend is based on your maximum mana, so all of its attacks will restore more thanks to Hymn. If you’re still worried about mana when Hymn is done channeling, pop your Dispersion for another 36% mana.

    Talent Spec: 85 Shadow Priest

    • Twin Disciplines 3/3: Increases your Shadow and Holy spell damage and healing by 6%.
    • Mental Agility 2/3: Reduces the mana cost of your instant cast spells by 7%.
    • Evangelism 2/2: You have a 100% chance when you Smite and 100% chance when you Mind Flay to gain Evangelism. Stacks up to 5 times. Lasts for 20 seconds. [Dark Evangelism] Increases the damage done by your Periodic Shadow spells by 2%.
    • Archangel 1/1: Consumes your Evangelism effects, causing an effect depending what type of Evangelism effect is consumed. [Dark Archangel] Instantly restores 5% of your total mana and increases the damage done by your Mind Flay, Mind Spike, Mind Blast and Shadow Word: Death by 4% for each stack. Lasts for 18 seconds. 90 second cooldown.
    • Harnessed Shadows 2/2: Increases the chance for you to gain a Shadow Orb when dealing damage with your Mind Flay and Shadow Word: Pain by 8%, and you have a 100% chance to gain a Shadow Orb when critically hit by any attack.

    I decided to go straight into the Discipline tree once my mandatory 31 points had been placed in Shadow. I do go back and put a couple more points into Shadow at the end, but you get more benefit from reaching Evangelism/Archangel as early as possible.

    Twin Disciplines is a straight 6% bonus to our Shadow damage as well as our healing. We don’t do a whole lot of direct healing, but we do indirectly heal through abilities such as Devouring Plague which benefit here as well. Mental Agility will help with some of your mana issues, especially while you’re still killing everything with DoT’s.

    Evangelism by itself is is a nice bonus to your DoT damage, with 5 stacks granting them 10% more damage. When you combine it with Archangel though, it becomes both a damage increase and a mana returning tool. With all five stacks of Evangelism up casting Archangel will instantly restore 25% of your total mana and increase the damage of your direct damage spells by 20% for its duration. It also has the spiffy animation of giving you wings which just plain look cool.

    The last two points go back into the Shadow tree with Harnessed Shadows. Now that you can actually find and use the Mastery stat you might as well take advantage of getting extra use out of it, right? This talent helps you build up Shadow Orbs faster which increase your DPS when you cast Mind Blast or Mind Spike which consumes the orbs.

    Level 75 opens the three remaining glyph slots, allowing for 3 of each type to be used.

    Prime Glyhphs

    • Glyph of Mind Flay: Increases the damage done by your Mind Flay spell by 10% when your target is afflicted with Shadow Word: Pain.
    • Glyph of Shadow Word: Pain: Increases the periodic damage of your Shadow Word: Pain by 10%.
    • 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 effect cannot occur more often than once every 6 sec.
    • Glyph of Dispersion: Reduces the cooldown on Dispersion by 45 sec.

    Primes for PvE
    I list the Prime Glyphs in the order that I suggest them. Mind Flay and Shadow Word: Pain are both great for your DPS, and the two I recommend most. Shadow Word: Death is another good option as it not only gives you a better chance of getting your Spirit Tap glyph and/or Masochism talent to proc, it also gives you a way to deal some quick burst damage to mobs or bosses that are low on health. Dispersion is a decent glyph if you’re looking for more survival or more mana regen. It drops the cooldown from 2 minutes to 1 minute and 15 seconds so you can use it a lot more often, but I’m not sure that you really need to cast it that often if you’re using the methods I’ve been discussing throughout these guides to help manage your mana.

    Primes for PvP
    Dispersion is a fantastic glyph for PvP as it reduces damage, clears movement impairments, and restores your mana all at the same time. Shadow Word: Death is the next one on the list because being able to double your SW:Death casts on a target near death is very important in the world of Resilience stacking. Last up is Shadow Word: Pain as it’s the most likely DoT for you to cast on multiple people at once and it’s damage is already good so you’re only making it that much better.

    Major Glyphs

    • Glyph of Spirit Tap: When you kill a target with your Shadow Word: Death and yield experience or honor, you instantly receive 12% of your total mana over 12 sec.
    • Glyph of Fade: Reduces the cooldown of your Fade spell by 9 sec.
    • Glyph of Psychic Scream: Targets of your Psychic Scream spell now tremble in place instead of fleeing in fear, but the cooldown of Psychic Scream is increased by 3 sec.
    • Glyph of Psychic Horror: Reduces the cooldown of your Psychic Horror by 60 30 sec.

    Majors for PvE
    Spirit Tap remains the top priority here, though with more mana tools coming out in this bracket you could probably drop it if you really wanted to without worrying too much…maybe. Fade is a really good option for me since I like to hit LFG now and then to help me level and it’s also good for PvP against pet classes as Fade will often make a pet leave you and target something else if you’ve not done anything to harm the pet. Psychic Scream is a good option if you’re going to do a lot of LFG leveling by making the mobs tremble in place instead of running off in random directions. Last up is Psychic Horror which cuts its cooldown in half by 30 seconds, though you’ll have to spend the talent point to get the spell in the first place before this glyph does you any good.

    Majors for PvP
    Fade is one of the more important glyphs in this bracket as reducing the cooldown of Fade means you’re able to break out of slows and snares more frequently thanks to the talent that adds that effect to Fade. Psychic Horror is next up on the list because it’s basically the key to you killing a healer as you’ll need to CC the snot out of them and then nail them with something like this to initiate the burn phase to bring them down. Psychic Scream is next up on my list because it allows you to still use the CC but also maintain control over the effect rather than having everyone run in random directions. Spirit Tap is still a really good glyph to use in PvP, but whether or not you use it I’ll leave up to you since you get more direct benefit from these others.

    Minor Glyphs

    Minors for PvE
    Minor glyphs are still really minor so take whatever you want. Levitate is my first option just because I like using spells like Levitate and don’t like having to keep a supply of some stupid reagent in my bags in order to use it. Fortitude is great if you’re into LFG and just decent otherwise. Fading isn’t a bad option, though it’s not especially good either. Shadowfiend has some real good potential, but I don’t think my Shadowfiend has died from damage even once so it wouldn’t do me much good right now.

    Minors for PvP
    I suggest you use Shadowfiend over Fading for PvP if you’re going to bother making any change here at all. Sometimes my Shadowfiend is CC’d, sometimes he’s left alone, and sometimes he’s killed. Levitate and Fortitude are still the best options overall.

    Gearing Up Your Priest
    At this level range you should have enough of your mana returning spells and effects that Spirit isn’t quite so important now as far as mana is concerned. Spirit is still a good stat to have, especially with points in Twisted Faith turning it into Hit Rating, but at this point I wouldn’t bother stacking it above other stats that are more important to your DPS.

    Stat Priority: Intellect > Haste > Crit > Spirit

    Once you hit level 78 you might want to take a look at the Auction House for any green quality items from Cataclysm that are significant upgrades to your existing Wrath gear. You’ll likely replace it soon anyway, so don’t spend a fortune on it, just pick up any cheap pieces that are significant upgrades.

    Once you reach level 80 you can start to equip pieces of the Deathsilk Set made by tailors which is an excellent starting set for a Shadow Priest entering Cataclysm zones. There are eight pieces in the whole set, four of which can be used at level 80 and the other four at level 81. The full set provides almost 20,000 health and mana, over 1,300 Spellpower, 334 Haste, and a great amount of Hit, Crit, and Mastery as well. In total this set requires the following mats to craft from scratch:

    When you reach level 85 I suggest you pick up yet another tailor-made set of gear, though technically it’s not a “set” since there’s no bonus for wearing additional pieces. As with the Deathsilk set above, there are a total of eight pieces in this “set”, but all eight require level 85. Technically this gear is PvP gear since it has resilience on it, but due to the fact that Blizzard decided to make all of the level 85 crafted cloth gear PvP gear you’re just kind of out of luck. Luckily, the set has excellent stats anyway so it’s still a great place to start. With this set you’ll receive almost 28,000 health and mana, 1,800 Spellpower, 378 Haste, and even more Crit and Mastery, though the bonus to hit that Deathsilk offers is replaced by the Resilience stat for this set. In total this set requires the following mats to craft from scratch:


    Posted by on March 8, 2011 in Caster, Class, Guide, Leveling, Priest


    Tags: , , ,

    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.

    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.

    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.


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


    Tags: ,

    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.

    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.


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


    Tags: , ,

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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).

    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.

    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.

    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?


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


    Tags: ,

    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.


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


    Tags: ,


    Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

    Join 2,014 other followers

    %d bloggers like this: