Spell Focus: Mind Sear

spell_shadow_mindshearOne of the most powerful (if not the most powerful, it feels that way to me sometimes) forms of AoE available, this sexy little number was placed in our arsenal so that Shadowpriests would not be mired due to their inability to perform in AoE situations. This power comes with a catch however; Mind Sear does not deal any damage to the target you are actually casting the spell on…

The Spell

Mind Sear

In essence, Mind Sear places a debuff on the target, making him a “shadow bomb”, dealing shadow damage to all enemies within 10 yards every second. Part of the power of the spell derives from the fact that it actually ticks every second (where most DoTs tick every 3 seconds), and partly because it moves with the target. This also can cause issues if ranged DPS pulls aggro on your target and it runs away from the other mobs, nullifying all your DPS.

  • 57% coefficient, meaning 100 spellpower would add 57 damage to the spell
  • 5 second duration, no cooldown.
  • Mind Sear can crit, and as a channeled spell is affected by Haste
  • Procs Shadoweaving, and seemingly on each target that is damage by it (quick stacking!)


Currently, only few talents have any effect on Mind Sear:

  • Mind Melt (requires 25 points in Shadow): Increases the critical strike chance of Mind Sear by 4%
  • Focused Mind (requires 20 points in Shadow): Reduces the mana cost of your Mind Sear by 5% per point. (Max 15%).
  • Misery (requires 35 points in Shadow): Increases the benefit of Spellpower on your Mind Sear by 5% per point (Max 15%).

Note that this means that Mind Sear deals 150% crit damage instead of 200%, as it is unaffected by Shadow Power.

General Use

Mind Sear is a godsend for us, and once your raid is relatively comfortable with the encounters, you can Mind Sear your way through most trash. This will likely see your DPS double on short bursts on trash. Because your primary target is unaffected, it can pay off to place a Devouring Plague and Shadow Word: Pain on it before channeling, but this is not strictly necessary.

You first gain this spell at level 75, and it can help greatly in leveling. Get a friend (preferably an AoE-melee class like a paladin, warrior or death knight) and start a duel with them. Cast Mind Sear on him (which will not harm him) and have him move around through mobs within 40 yards. This creates a mobile, controllable AoE zone which can still serve at level 80 for grinding large packs of mobs quickly. The only downside is re-casting Mind Sear every 40 yards, but this is not too bad as Mind Sear costs about half the mana of other class’ AoE.


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