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JCarrill0

guide
Shadow Priest PvE

Posted (edited)

First off lets talk Talents: (Be sure to switch to vanilla before viewing)


A few Questions I can already see being asked:

  1. Why Spirit Tap over Blackout? They're both fairly useless, but if you can time Mind Blast just right on an add, you can reap the benefits of Spirit Tap on bosses. I only really use this on infernals/constructs on Nef. Choose Blackout if you ever want to pvp; you're not losing hardly anything here dps-wise.
  2. I find that it also procs from killing players, even though the tooltip doesn't have the "or honor" addition on it from later patches.
  3. Why 5/5 Improved Mind Blast? Ideally in your rotation you want to be able to cast 2 Mind Flays then a Mind blast. On some fights your Mind Flay is pushed back, so I've found that it's actually really nice to have 5/5 Improved Mind Blast. After trying it out, I definitely think it's a bigger overall dps increase than the regen gained from Mental Agility.
  4. Why no improved Vampiric Embrace? Since there are only 16 debuff slots available in raids, there really isn't room for VE on bosses. Also, it causes a TON of extra threat (especially when combined with MB).
  5. Why no points into Shadow Affinity? There's absolutely no need for the 3 points in Shadow Affinity, as Silent Resolve affects spells from every school of magic, and you have Fade. You don't need a 45% reduction in your Shadow threat, that's absurd.


Rotation:

I know this is really complicated so I am going to write this down. SW:P-MF-MF-MB-MF-MF-MB-etc. Refresh SW:P as soon as it ends then continue the rotation. If you're running low on mana, skip MB and just use SW:P and MF. If you're oom, just use MF when you can to keep up your debuff for the warlocks.

What about mana control? Pop a Demonic Rune as soon as you have ~1500 mana from your max. After that, use a Major Mana Potion when you are ~2500 mana from your max. Continue using these on CD until the boss is dead.

Stats:

In general, Hit (to 6% cap from gear)>Spellpower>mp5>Int>Crit>Spirit

Why did I place hit over spellpower? If you can't hit, you can't Crit! With hit cap you should only miss about 1% of the time.

How much spellpower is equal to 1% hit? It depends on your dps. If you're doing 300 DPS, 1% more missing will result in a 3 DPS loss on average. 3 DPS is roughly equivalent to 6 spellpower, so at 300 DPS 1% hit is approximately equal to 6 spellpower. At 600 DPS, 1% more missing will result in a 6 DPS loss. At 600 DPS, 1% hit is approximately equal to 12 spellpower. As you can see, hit becomes more valuable as you get more gear. This is purely from a DPS loss standpoint too; you also lose precious mana when you miss.

Edited by JCarrill0
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Posted (edited)

Pre-Raid Gear

COMING SOON
(after release perhaps)
Edited by JCarrill0
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Posted (edited)

Here is a few notes to take when playing a shadow Priest:

Tip #1: Even if your raid leader says "hold dps at the start," they generally aren't referring to you unless you way outgear your tank or you aren't specced into threat reduction. The faster you start to DPS, the more damage you do for that boss.

Tip #2: For Nefarian, NEVER use Vampiric Embrace. During priest class calls, you can kill your whole group because you are healing them with VE.

Tip #3: Try to become close friends with the druids in your raid because it is really hard to get through long fights such as Nef without an innervate.



Consumables are SUPER important to shadow priest DPS. We have awful mana issues and as such, we need to be fully buffed with mana potions and other consumables if we hope to compete with other casters on the DPS meters. I will try to list them in approximate order of importance/usefulness.

Major Mana Potions
Demonic Runes
Brilliant Wizard Oil
Elixir of Shadow Power
Greater Arcane Elixir
Mageblood Elixir
Nightfin Soup
Sagefish Delight
Elixir of Greater Intellect
Scroll of Intellect IV
Crystal Force
Scroll of Spirit IV


There are many other consumables that increase survivability, but honestly if you're smart with how you play, you won't die much. The main places spriests can die a preventable death are at Ragnaros and Shazzrah if you don't get heals. For those fights I use a Greater Fire Protection Potion and a Greater Arcane Protection Potion, respectively.

I know what you're thinking, "my god those are a ton of consumables! How will I afford that?" If you're strapped for cash, just use the first 3-5, which are the bare necessities in my opinion. You don't need to use any mp5/spirit food for any of the fights where you don't oom, which will be most of MC as well as Vael. Alternatively, you can cheap out and use Combat Mana Potions and Superior Mana Potions instead of Major Mana Potions if you're super poor or the fight is short. I would recommend using all those consumables for Nef because that fight is extremely long.

If you're super rich, you should definitely use Flasks of Supreme Power. They are the single biggest DPS increase from any consumable. Using the Spellpower to DPS conversion listed below, they equal approximately 61.5-85.5 DPS!

Edited by JCarrill0
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Posted (edited)

Spellpower to DPS Conversion
How much DPS is 1 spellpower in for spriests in raids? (Incoming longish math)

Shadow Word: Pain scales 100%. 1 spellpower (1.0 dmg coefficient)/(24 second duration) = 0.0417x(1- (1.5 second application/24 second duration)) = 0.039 DPS
Mind flay scales 57%. 1 spellpower(.57 dmg coefficient)/3 second cast = 0.19 DPS
Mind blast scales 43%. 1 spellpower(.43 dmg coefficient)/1.5 second cast x (1.5second uptime/6.5 second talented downtime) = 0.066 DPS

Spell coefficient source: http://forums.elitistjerks.com/topic/9354-damage-coefficients/ (old link) These coefficient sources were consistent with my testing outside of IF, except for SW:P. SW:P only scaled 100%, not 120% like Elitist Jerks reported for BC.

Total SW:P + MF + MB = 0.295 DPS without any +dmg modifiers. Add 15% more for shadow weaving, 10% more from talents, and 10% more from curse of shadow. In raids, you will also need to add 20% for improved shadowbolt, but it doesn't have 100% uptime. It is also possible to have the 15% nightfall debuff.

.295(1.15)(1.1)(1.1) = 0.41 DPS and up to 0.41(1.2)(1.15) = 0.57DPS

TL;DR 1 spellpower adds anywhere from 0.41 DPS to 0.57 DPS for shadow priests with normal raid shadow + spell vulnerabilities.

Edited by JCarrill0
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