Shadowy Returns

The apparent end of Zhavi’s 10man raid group and the rise of Delith’s 25man raiding has resulted in 1 singular fact. Zhavi is no longer beholden to the needs of 9 other people. Which will result in only 1 possible out come; the death of my holy spec. Don’t get me wrong Holy is a completely viable spec and I am sure the world over there are people who love it. However, I never geared for it and used it exclusively for healing on Valithria Dreamwalker. My first love has always been shadow, back before the lure of Disc took me away (and you know being heals so I’d get slotted for Naxx). Eventually, Holy was going to go away regardless, I intend to level Shadow in Cataclysm just like I did all BC and WK. It is like slipping back into your favorite pair of PJs; warm and oh so comfy.

It is odd how a respec can rekindle my interest in a character. Last night I dusted off my old Shadow spec and tooled around for a bit with it to get a feel for the changes. I haven’t really been Shadow since the DoT changes went into affect. Whole new ball game now! I’d already begun tweeking my UI around Sember and trying to get info where I want it and where my eyes are. We’ll see how it goes. Once it is all finalized I will to a post and break down. I’m just not sure atm if I am getting graphics and information overload with it yet. There are definite parts I like, of course it was 3am last night when my eyes were screaming at me it was all too much. And as I tend to ignore my body’s pleas for rest we won’t know if it was the addon or my eyes until I give it a week or two of further tweeking 😉

Now to break down the return to Shadow! Zhavi is sporting this build, which is really similar if not exactly the same to the one I left oh so long ago *cries*.

At the bottom will be some great resources which explain why this build is so awesome. I will however touch on the set of optional talents I took. I went with Improved Shadowform over Improved Vampiric Embrace for the following reasons; 1st is that I was thinking of more raid dps fill position for Zhavi which means more aoe damage (yes I will be playing 5man content to start but I am looking at my long term goal of working her in as dps occasionally) and second I find healing to be very strong, even when I pug, and while it would nice of me to help take a little of the pressure off the only time I find it a problem is in Heroic Halls of Reflection. (So your mileage may vary. If you find yourself in lots of pugs and not planning to get into raiding at all I’d go with Improved VE.)

Also if you are running your Shadow priest in Trials of the Grand Crusader I would possibly suggest moving a talent point or two around and pick up Improved Psychic Scream. This is mostly to help with the CC during faction champions. If you aren’t doing it or your group has this covered, I’d skip it however.

Side note: Even if you gear has great hit on it, I wouldn’t drop Shadow Focus. The 6% mana reduction on your shadow spells is awesome and the hit will allow you to gear a bit more throughput on damage instead of using itemization points for hit.


Hit: Obviously, we are going to need to be hit capped. If you have a Draenei (or like me are a Draenei) then you are looking for 263. If not, then you are looking for 289. If you r gear doesn’t have it, gem or enchant for it.

Spellpower: Just like healing this is your oomph! Once you get hit capped, this is your primary stat; know it, love it. I didn’t find this such a mentality break from my healers really. Everyone wants more oomph.

Haste: Hmmmm yesss make your dots tick faster = more damage done. Faster cooldowns = more casts. In general haste is good. “Soft cap” is the 1 sec Global Cooldown, but don’t concern yourself with it. Just gear it in priority.

Crit: Like your heals, your damage can go critical for increased facemelting power and it also procs things like: Improved Spirit Tap increasing your overall spirit by 10% and 33% increase to your mana regen. And who doesn’t love a little more mana to keep facemelting with?

Spirit and Intellect: I wouldn’t gear for either of these hard core. While your Improved ST and even Twisted Faith feed into spirit (The big bonus from TF isn’t the spirit so much as the increased damage). Int feeds your mana pool and your crit. If your mana is a problem then this is something worth looking at. Lots of your gear is already going to have Int on it (actually same for spirit there will be a fair number) so to me it is in the background for gearing.

Rotations are Priority!

Vampiric Touch>Devouring Plague>Shadow Word:Pain; Mind Blast off cooldown and fill with Mind Flay or Mind Sear (aoe packs). Don’t clip your Mind Flay, but your dots are your bread and butter here. SW:P may fall off if you have to run a lot or aren’t able to cast MF due to also running or refreshing a different DoT. Otherwise if it is a long fight MF will keep it up for you and is really just forgotten. Speaking of running, that is about the only time you will be casting Shadow Word: Death.

Casting- I’m going to go with EJ and say that after DP cast Mind Flay in your opening rotation, this is because you want to get Shadow Weaving to 5 asap. Then return to priority as normal.

Gems: Overall you are going to gem throughput.

Runed Cardinal Rubies for the +23 spell power.

Veiled Ametrine for a little hit boost

Reckless Amertrine for a some haste boost

Purified Dreadstones if you need to make the item socket bonus or meta gem requirements.

Speaking of socket bonuses, as with every class there is a sweet spot when you want to pay attention to the number, usually 6+spellpower for priests. You will lose some spellpower gemming for sockets but you work in haste (for the yellows) and a little more spirit for the blues (not a bad thing). Like all gearing it is a trade off and it is up to you to decide to do it or not.

Chaotic Skyflare Diamond for all your meta needs. Remember crit feeds your regen, on top of the pricessless ability to facemelt harder. (It really does beat out 25+spellpower and 2% int, so embrace the Chaos)


Glyph of Shadow: Must have for sure, no periodic spells crits increase your spellpower. (Loving that meta now aren’t we?)

Glyph of Mind Flay: Since SW:P will be refreshed by Mind Flay, this is just icing on the cake of sinfully goodness.

Glyph of Mind Sear: I really went with this to make my AoE bigger and thus kill more things with it when there are problems with placement. (Which I noticed is Forge of Souls and the beginning trash in ICC.) If you have mana problems then Glyph of Dispersion would be a good bet for you.

I didn’t change my Minor Glyphs because there is nothing super awesome or game changing in here and it really is your preference so yes I am skipping it. That said…Glyph of Levitate is still my favorite minor glyph in the game ❤ it! Does it do anything awesome? noooo but I still giggle when I levitate a raid.

Really I am surprised to see how much synergy Blizzard built into Shadow and their stats. Color me impressed. Seriously, I like it when talents and stats work together so well it really is a thing of beauty.

This is my short and dirty guide. I skipped enchanting because I didn’t feel there was an appreciatable difference in the way you enchant for Shadow. You are still going to focus spellpower and stat enchants, which really is good for your gear that will be pulling double duty. I think the big change is that I will be saving my emblems now for shadow gear (I already have 4pT10 on Zhavi for healing) and will gem it as I get it. I won’t put too much work into getting shadow gear, just reminding myself to actually run her 5mans, but I’m already looking forward to playing her again. Two days ago you wouldn’t have heard me say that.

And my parting thought is this: As the magnet on my fridge says, “Come to the Dark Side. We have cookies.”

Please Check out these forums for far more in-depth analysis of this spec:


Published in: on June 12, 2010 at 1:06 pm  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Zhillers! You know that me loves you! Muahahahaha!

    ❤ Dan

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