New beginnings and sad goodbyes

spell_shadow_twistedfaithToday I was checking out the patch notes for the 3.1 PTR on here, and I was both delighted and saddened to see the results. We are going to have both our utility and damage increased, our PvP survivability as well, but will see our PvP ability to CC reduced even further…Say farewell to Blackout!

Focusing on Shadow and Discipline:

  • Abolish Disease: duration reduced to 12 seconds, but cleanses a disease every 3 seconds (down from 20 seconds and 5 seconds)
  • Devouring Plague has a new icon
  • Divine Spirit is now trainable at level 20
  • Holy Nova: Mana cost reduced by approximately 20%
  • Hymn of Hope: Removed (No skin off anyone’s back)
  • Prayer of Healing: Now heals the target’s party, rather than just your own (mini-Circle of Healing, anyone?)
  • Reflective Shield: Removed
  • Divine Aegis – Divine Aegis effects will now stack, however the amount absorbed cannot exceed 125*level (of the target).
  • Grace: Duration increased to 15 seconds, but now is only limited to one target.
  • Improved Power: Word Fortitude – Now also increases your total Stamina by 2/4%.
  • New Talent: Soul Warding: Reduces the cooldown of your Power Word: Shield ability by 4 sec., and reduces the mana cost of your Power Word: Shield by 30%.
  • Penance: Damage increased approximately 30%.This spell can now be cast on yourself.
  • Power Infusion: This effect now has a new spell effect and sound.
  • Unbreakable Will:Increased from 3/6/9/12/15% to 6/12/18/24/30%.
  • Blackout: This talent has been removed.
  • Darkness: This talent is now in tier-1, moved up from tier-6.
  • Dispersion: Now clears all snare and movement impairing effects and makes you immune to them while dispersed.
  • New Talent: Improved Devouring Plague (Shadow): Increases the periodic damage done by your Devouring Plague by 5/10/15%, and when you cast Devouring Plague you instantly deal damage equal to 5/10/15% of its total periodic effect.
  • Shadowform: Bonus damage from critical strike chance removed and replaced by the ability of those periodic damage spells to generate critical strikes.
  • Silence: Range increased to 30 yards.
  • Vampiric Embrace duration increased to 5 minutes, up from 1 minute. PvP duration is now 60 seconds. Cooldown removed.

The short of it:

Given the average raiding Shadowpriest’s talent setup, we will only gain from this. We will have a Divine Spirit buff at all times, 4% additional Stamina, 15% damage on Devouring Plague and 15% of its damage done instantly, Vampiric Embrace is almost removed from our rotations (1 or 2 times per fight at most) and our main DoTs can crit in Shadowform.

Marvellous! Devouring Plague will definitely be the most powerful spell in our arsenal now, and since our DoTs can crit now, they can also proc effects that proc “on crit”. Very nice, no complaints there.

In PvP, we are harder to CC and burst down, we do more burst damage due to the changes to DP and we will have a bit more Stamina and thus staying power. Still, the loss of Blackout is a harsh one, and will severely impact our ability to (randomly) keep people out of the fight for a few seconds. Perhaps this was done to prevent PvP Shades from multi-dotting/Mind Searing whole groups of enemies and stunning them all. Even so, it was also a very useful tool while leveling up, and on top of the mana regen changes announced it will slow down SP leveling a bit more.  Silence on a longer range is nice, but I can’t see this as making a terrible impact.

Buffs for the raiders, and an even trade for PvPers, as far as I can see.

As always, we’ll have to see how this pans off once the PTR experiences are released on Live.

Edit: After playing around with the talent calculator, I have come to the (obvious) conclusion that since we gain 3 points worth of talents in our tree, we cannot get all our goodies anymore (read: Meditation) and still fill out our Shadow tree. I’ll try and see what would be the best way of getting it, because with the changes to mana regen, we need it more than ever.


4 Responses to “New beginnings and sad goodbyes”

  1. Reflective Shield: Removed WTF is this serious?

    Changes my whole thought on this up comming patch now.


    Problem solved :)

    Though it still means that dot damage gets nerfed together with disc mana regen. At least disc gets a nice boost to healing output.

  3. According to the latest changes, it seems Discipline not only gets its Reflective Shield back, but they moved it up two tiers in the tree. So Esdras, don’t worry.

    These are only shadows of things to come.

  4. Hoho,

    I think that specc is the best thing indeed; as predicted I haven’t had any problems with aggro recently, so I think I can specc out of the 24% aggro reduction.

    Still, perhaps from a desire to be safe during raids, I feel bad about doing so. Most likely, I will follow the same spec you proposed. I had been thinking about it already, to simply drop 3 points of aggro reduction to keep my mana regeneration.

    Yesterday I had a chat with the tanks, and they see no issues with me generating more aggro, so I guess I will.

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