Spell Focus: Vampiric Embrace

spell_shadow_enslavedemonVampiric Embrace in its current form is a slight trickle-heal for party members based on your damage done. While this premise is awesome, and it is quite handy, recent nerfs to its usefulness have made this spell a bit of a gimmick instead of a raid utility tool; and who could blame Blizzard? After all, at the higher levels of gear we would be healing as much as another healing priest!

The Spell

Vampiric Embrace tooltip

One of the spells best use to open up on a boss with while positioning, this spell does nothing for our DPS but can actually keep us alive pretty well. When our raid was testing our raid DPS on a boss dummy, VE allowed me to use a full Shadow Word: Death rotiation without dying. That’s class!

  • 15% of the shadow damage done by you is converted into healing for you
  • 3% of the shadow damage done by you is converted into healing for your group members
  • Does not proc Shadow Weaving
  • No cooldown, 5 minute duration


Vampiric Embrace itself is a talent, and only its improved version affects it meaningfully.

  • Shadow Focus (requires 5 points in Shadow): Increases your chance to hit with Shadow spells by 1% per point (max +3%).
  • Vampiric Embrace (requires 20 points in Shadow): Allows you to use VE as a spell.
  • Shadow Reach (requires 15 points in Shadow): Increases the range of your offensive Shadow spells by 10% per point. (Max 20%)
  • Improved Vampiric Embrace (requires 20 points in Shadow): Increases the healing gained from VE by 33%/66%.
  • Mental Agility (requires 15 points in Discipline): Reduces the mana cost of your instant-cast spells by 2% per point. (Max 10%).

As an explanation, sometimes it is misread: This means that 15% for you and 3% for party is turned into 25% for you and 5% for your party. Some people are very happy when they think they can start healing themselves for 81% of their damage done, but the tooltip is simply a bit awkwardly written.

General Use

On Hard Modes in Ulduar and Colliseum, you will find that every little bit of healing helps. There’s a lot of AoE and raid-damage effects, and you still want to cover up for your occasional abuse of SW:D. It could lift a bit of load from your healers to put you in the tank group and have your tanks’ health filling up, but it’s not much.

This is one of my two gripes with how the spell is organized. First off, it’s such a small heal it’s normally not even taken into account. At about 5000 DPS, you will heal yourself for 1250 HP/s (which is awesome) and your party members for 250 HP/s. This means a combine 1000 HP/s for four additional group members total. This seems great, and adds truckloads to our survivability, but tanks laugh at such small numbers.

The second is that it is only within a party. Had it been raid-wide (as was once put forward as a possibility but never implemented), we heal that 250 HP/s across the raid, which helps a lot more in raid healing. This would give us a total of 6000 HP/s across the raid, which seems a lot, but it is divided among 24 people.

I personally would have preferred this spell to be either:

  • A buff you place on a target; it will be healed for 25% of your Shadow damage, and you receive this healing as well.
  • A debuff placed on the boss; it will heal the entire raid for 5% of your damage done.

Either way would give us more utility and make this ability less negligible.

But, fair’s fair, this is still an awesome self-healing spell for Shadowpriests; else we’d be popping out of Shadowform to heal constantly.

Tips and Tricks

When running in after the tank, make sure you cast this spell on the boss while moving to position; it causes no threat on its own, lasts 5 minutes, and saves a global cooldown later you can use for refreshing a dot. DPS saved and utility preserved.

When multi-dotting adds, put this spell on each add along with VT and SW:P. This together will get you a lot more healing than just the boss. And, considering an add’s lifespan, you only need it once. Good examples are Snobolds on Gormok the Impaler.

4 Responses to “Spell Focus: Vampiric Embrace”

  1. See I love Improved Vampiric Embrace but I think I’d prefer it if the 5% party healing went to the 4 people most in need in your raid. And yeah I think it could be buffed to 8 or 10% and still not compete with entry level healers. (If you do 5k dps, that’s 500 hps. An entry level healer would do about 1k hps on a boss I think).

    I’d like it even more if you could glyph to channel all the party healing (5% x 4) to the raid or party member who needs it most.

    The biggest problem with VE is that it doesn’t really help your party out.

    • Indeed, most of the healing we do is overhealing (target is at full health) or a drop in the sea (target has a massive dot and our healing hardly helps out). I believe that this is one of the abilities that will be thoroughly redesigned during the development of Cataclysm.

    • Hang on, read that back and didn’t factor in 5k dps = +500 heals per second to 4 other players. That’s 2k hps. Still, most of it is uncessary overhealing :P

  2. The numbers can be tweaked either way; there has to be a sweet spot between where we provide utility and replace another healer.
    As an example, I did a VoA today (all 3 bosses) and was surprised to see 85% overhealing on VE and DP.
    We had some good healers, but this is pretty shocking ^_^

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