Spell Focus: Fade

Fade: a spell that has been denounced for its apparent uselessness, and yet has been used regularly to save us Shades from the deathly after-effects of our aggro backlash. WotLK finds this spell returned from plastic surgery, looking much better than before.

The Spell

Fade applies a buff to the player for 10 seconds, which lowers the current amount of threat that character has by about 1200-1500 at its maximum rank. When this duration ends, all threat you had before casting Fade returns, as well as any additional threat you may have gained during the Fade duration.

  • Spell damage does not affect the power of Fade
  • 30 second cooldown, 10 second duration

Talents

Currently, only two talents have any effect on Fade, and it is a marginal effect:

  • Improved Fade (requires 15 points in Shadow): Decreases the Cooldown of your Fade ability by 3 seconds per point. (Max 6 seconds)
  • Mental Agility (requires 15 points in Discipline): Reduces the mana cost of your instant-cast spells by 2% per point. (Max 10%).

General Use

As it stands, Fade is mostly, perhaps purely, a PvE ability. It can be used during a fight just before you pull aggro, or as it happens, hoping to reduce your threat enough for the mob to return to the tank. If the tank manages to generate more aggro than you, the ending of the Fade spell will not cause you to pull aggro again. It is advised to stop or lower your healing/DPS while Fade is active, to give the tank some leeway in threat.

In PvP, the only documented use for Fade is that it may confuse the internal AI of various pets, such as treants, shadowfiends and even hunter pets. The exact workings are not very clear (at least to me) but sometimes when you are attacked, and cast Fade, the pets choose a different target. On treants and shadowfiends (which have a short duration) this may mean the pet dies before it returns to you.

I would imagine this ability is less useful against a hunter who keeps his eyes open, as he will simply order the pet to attack you again.

How will it be in Wrath of the Lich King?

As said before, Fade receives quite an overhaul. First off, during those 10 seconds it lasts, it will drop all threat, making it a sure-fire way to prevent being the victim of pulling aggro. Second off, Improved Fade now is renamed Veiled Shadows, and also reduces the cooldown on your Shadowfiend ability by 1 minute per point. This makes this talent a much more worthwhile investment.

Also, its interaction with Improved Shadowform means that you can use it to break out of snares, and that makes Fade (and Veiled Shadows) necessary investments for PvP.

All in all, I am very pleased with the changes to this spell, turning it from situational and prone to faillure into a win-win ability for both PvE and PvP.

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One Response to “Spell Focus: Fade”

  1. You know, I had forgotten that the new version drops all threat.

    Maybe I’ll put it back on my action bar now. :P

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