Stitching it all together

inv_helmet_100Gearing your baby Shadowpriest, redux

Well, you run your heroics, you badger your badges, and you tailor some epics. In the end, where does it lead you? By request, it’s time to get a summary of it all in bird’s-eye-view. First a recap and rehash of the general rules, and then the collection of the gear to get and the people to see. Have fun!

General Guidelines

  • +Hit until you are capped at 17% (16% as a Draenei) including your talents. This is about 442 Hit Rating at level 80. Note that there is no separate spell hit anymore; any +hit will do. In Heroics (as opposed to raids) you can permit yourself to lower your hit to about 14% including talents without real disadvantages.
  • Shadow Focus gives a total of 3% hit with Shadow spells.
  • Misery gives 3% spell hit while your target is afflicted by Shadow Word: Pain, Mind Flay or Vampiric Touch. Note that you still will have to hit your opponent with one of these spells first, so it may not be the wisest to rely on this overly much.
  • Spell Power is king, even in Wrath it is our most powerful stat.
  • +Stamina/Intellect as needed to survive encounters and have enough mana to last an encounter.
  • Critical Strike rating now benefits us a lot more than before; Mind Flay can crit as does Mind Sear, and our Shadow Power talent boosts our critical strike damage as well. Additionally, if you have a Glyph of the Shadow, you gain 10% of your Spirit as Spell Power. This stacks with Twisted Faith, as it seems all bugs have been resolved.
  • Gems should always be red +Spell Power gems, unless the socket bonus would give you more +Hit or +Crit.
  • +Haste seems to be good for us around the board, but it does burn through your mana quicker. I’d advise to sparingly add Haste once you are comfortable with your other stats, and maintain some basic mana efficiency.
  • Runed Bloodstone gives +16 spell power when socketed, +19 if the Jewelcrafter was lucky and made a Perfect Runed Bloodstone. For now, Runed Cardinal Ruby are the best we can get, at +23 spell power. That is some serious pain!
  • Enchants: WoWwiki has a comprehensive list; if you can get the +damage one, go for it. If there is no such enchantment, then go for what you feel you need the most. Mana issues? Go for MP/5. Dying? Go for +Stamina.

Previous articles

Heroic Loot -> Taking your Shadow to Naxx

Some reputation items -> Le Big Ding!

Tailoring

Tailoring offers some nice items as before, but is now much more separated by function. As an example, see the “craftable epic sets” below:

As such, tailoring has lost a bit of its glamour, as it now crafts items which compare to Heroic gear, instead of gear that was on the T5 level before. But then, the stuff we were able to crafte before was sort of ridiculous, and may have even been the cause of our previous nerfs.

As an aside, tailoring is still a solid profession for being able to make your own bags (20-slotters at the baseline) and Spellthreads (Slightly more powerful than the TBC ones, but also cheaper) and the weaves for one’s cloak (such as the ability to deal holy or shadow damage on a successful spell hit, regain mana, etc.)

Tailoring is still solid for us.

Enchantments

If I had Naxx or higher gear, I’d probably opt for the following enchantments:

Especially the weapon enchant leaves a lot of choice; in cases where you are AoEing with Mind Sear, it may come out on top. Accuracy is the best if you are just short of hit capped, but don’t want to sacrifice other gear choices. Mighty Spellpower is the all-round winner and works in any situation.

As for the cloak, we should not have too many aggro issues, and the Spirit bonus is really lacklustre. Still, there’s no substitute for it unless you are a tailor and can get Lightweave or Darkglow Embroidery. Yes, the Lightweave one does Holy damage, but it is still one of the least mitigated damage types, and it triggers from your other spells without requiring actions or Global Cooldowns.

As you can see, we have more options per slot than before. While this makes recordkeeping a bit more tedious, it also gives us more choice in how we reach our hit cap, or how we gain more Crit. More than ever, Wrath is a game of mix-and-match, rather than paint-by-numbers.

So, I hope this list will help you. See you in Northrend, in a cathedral near you!

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4 Responses to “Stitching it all together”

  1. “+Hit until you are capped at 17% (16% as a Draenei). This is about 442 Hit Rating at level 80″

    I’d say getting 11%/290 is enough. Yes, your first spell will have 3% miss chance but it isn’t too bad, wasting item budget on 3% hit to guarantee that first spell hits is not good.

  2. You are correct, I wasn’t clear enough at that I think.

    In total you want to be at 17%, and at boss fights, they are long enough that Misery will be up most/all of the time.

    So that makes 14%. Add Shadow Focus, and you gain another 3% hit.

    That makes 11%.

    If you are a Draenei, you would then need only 10% hit to make the cap.

    That does indeed mean you have a 3% miss rate on the first spells, but once Misery kicks in, this is elminated.

    While some people prefer to actually get 3% hit and not get Misery (it is still subject to RNG – random number generation – and could screw you over a bit) I believe that I’d rather have my item budget spent on Spell Power and Crit where possible, rather than Hit at this point.

    Thanks for the heads-up, I will clarify this in the post

  3. If people miss out 15% damage to some their spells by not taking misery and gearing for more hit they shouldn’t be raiding.

  4. “If people miss out 15% damage to some their spells by not taking misery and gearing for more hit they shouldn’t be raiding.”

    Perhaps.

    While from the viewpoint of serious raiding /not/ taking Misery is ludicrous, some people still do. Not all people are min-maxers on the DPS plane, I imagine some want to save points for better mana efficiency, for example.

    Still, Misery gives 15% (at 5 points) of spellpower as additional damage on certain spells (Mind Blast, Mind Flay, Mind Sear) which means that a person who takes Misery has:

    (Spell Power * spell coefficient) + (Base Damage) + (0.15*Spell Power)

    At 1000 spellpower this means 150 extra damage
    At 2000 spellpower this means 300 extra damage

    A substantial increase, but some people prefer to get Inner Focus and some other Discipline goodies instead. They can always try.

    Raiders should get Misery. It is cheap for what it does. But alternatives should be discussable. The glorious age of cookie cutter specs is gone, as there are many more ways of tailoring to what you need, rather than just maximizing DPS.

    /warning: personal opinion below/

    There are many people with alternate setups that have been laughed away by “serious raiders” until it turned out that they were wrong. An example of this is the Retribution Paladin healer, who performs equal to, or slightly under, a Holy Paladin, yet provides substantial DPS at the same time.

    After all, it’s experimentation and discussion that makes players aware of how their class works, not the rote following of pre-generated mathematical code that explains that X stats result in maximum DPS.

    As an example from real-life engineering, the advent of the turbine allowed steam ships to actually exceed the theoretical maximum speed for that vessel. This is because there were unforseen side effects the engineers did not conclude from their calculations.

    A similar thing may happen in certain aspects of WoW, where a combination of talents seen as underpowered may actually overperform.

    tl;dr:

    In a hardcore raiding guild, where there is a very strong drive to be the best and optimize, yes, Misery is a must.

    If a guild is more laid-back and allows alternatives to the commonly accepted build, people may experiment with other talents than Misery.

    “shouldn’t be raiding” is a generalization I feel is too strong to make except as a personal view.

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