Shadowpriests and Evangelism

The latest Beta build apparently has quite a few changes in store for us, and boy are they massive! It means saying goodbye to a few old friends, but the possibilities put in its stead are breathtaking! Remember how Blizzard stated that Discipline would be more interesting for us? Oh yes it is…

Spirit Tap (removed)

Spirit Tap is gone entirely. This will mean we will have less mana to work with when leveling, but we were not planning on taking it for raiding anyway.

Shadow Power (Removed)

No more free damage buff to our Shadow spells – we will have to do it by ourselves again.

Veiled Shadows (Moved up to 1st tier)

Veiled Shadows moved up to where Spirit Tap used to be. This is quite nice, but this does make me hope we will get Shadowfiend sooner, because I doubt anyone will take it just for the Fade cooldown reduction.

Phantasm (Renamed)

The old Improved Shadow Form is now an independent talent, and removes movement impairing effects when casting fade 50%/100% of the time. May be useful on some Hard Modes, but has become a bit more of a PvP talent.

Sin and Punishment (New)

This talent, requiring Vampiric Touch as its prerequisite, is one of the most painful PvP advantages we can have. If your VT is dispelled, it causes the dispeller and nearby targets to be feared for 3%. There is a certain chance for this, but the tooltip does not display it properly yet. Probably 100% at two ranks.

Mental Agility (Moved)

Mental Agility, reducing the mana cost of your instant-cast spells, is now a first-tier ability and therefore very easy to reach for Shadowpriests.

Evangelism (Discipline, reworked)

In addition to its normal effects, casting Mind Flay also gives you stacks of Evangelism, up to 5 stacks and lasting 15 seconds. Stacks of Evangelism increases the damage of our periodic Shadow spells by a certain percentage.

Archangel (Discipline, reworked)

Archangel now also works with Evangelism stacks gained through Mind Flay, as per Evangelism. Consuming your stacks of Evangelism will restore a percentage of mana, and increases Shadow damage done by a certain percentage. It does not list a certain duration (will probably be added in later) for which the damage bonus lasts.


One other thing I saw is that Pain and Suffering now has a 66% at 2 ranks to refresh the duration on our Shadow Word: Pain. Either this is a bug, and it will be reworked to 50%/100%, or Blizzard wants us to risk dropping off stacks. Even so, with the extended duration of DoTs compared to Live, working in the Mind Flays shouldn’t be a big issue.

I am really excited about these changes so far – they make for a much more lively build and the idea of a “Dark Archangel” ability gets me stoked! It is also much easier to ignore the PvP talents in the Shadow tree and get the important things done.

I have been checking out a possible build:

It is a bit sad that we’d have to forgo more points in Improved Inner Fire (and thus extra spell damage) but I am fairly certain that Evangelism and Archangel more than make up for that. Plus, we really want Dispersion for mana and as an emergency button.

22 Responses to “Shadowpriests and Evangelism”

  1. Where can I read about the notes? I’ve yet to see anything from blues.

    Though from what you described here all I can say is awesomesauce! Now if they’d only make shadow orbs somewhat more useful.

    Also, I think you missed imp. DP being moved lower. I’m quite sure it used to be a couple tiers higher.

    I tried making a talent but seems like after taking 19 direct DPS talents we are forced to use one in Phanatism (questionable value in pve) or imp. physic scream (completely useless). Same thing happens at 29 points where we need to choose some more pvp talents to get dispersion.

    In the end I came up with this:

    It’s nearly identical to yours, just 2/3 mental agility, 2/3 imp. IF and 1/2 phanatism and 1/1 physic horror vs your 3/3 MA, 1/3 imp. IF and 2/2 phanatism.

    • Quite possibly I missed DP moving up; I think it moved up one tier but I have no clue, since I can’t really compare it to a previous version since I have only this to go on.

      There’s no Blue confirmation yet – it was on, so I can only imagine it was lifted directly from the Beta itself by someone reporting to MMO-Champion. That, or the calculator automatically updates based on the Beta build, because it does seem to update awfully quickly.

      The reason I went for Phantasm 2/2 instead of Psychic Horror is because I can be somewhat sure to have a use for a 100% snare removal during rads. However at 1 point Phantasm becomes too much of a gamble, and I can’t see any use for Psychic Horror in raids.
      In PvP, I’d probably go for all the Fears, Silences and the like I can handle – the new “fear on dispelling VT” sounds awesome.

  2. Mind you, there are two interesting things as well:

    The Evangelism/Archangel abilities basically function as our Shadow Weaving does on Live (which is removed in the Beta) – increasing our Shadow damage by stacking a buff.

    The benefit of Archangel is that it functions as “burst on demand” and mana regeneration. The only thing to test is whether the burst we get sufficiently outweighs having to stack Evangelism up again to benefit our DoTs.

    While they will be temporarily empowered by our Archangel ability, we sort of want to make sure whether this allows them to function at full capacity until we have re-stacked Evangelism again.

    • That will greatly depend on what chance does flay have at stacking up evangelism and does it happen every tick. If it’s every tick and 100% it will be stacked up between two mind blast casts. so that for majority of the time we’ll get both increased shadow damage from using archangel and increased dot damage from evangelism stacks.

      • If I follow the wording strictly, it would put up 1 stack guaranteed per Mind Flay cast. It would indeed make more sense to give it a chance per tick, but it would need tweaking.

        I would say Blizzard would want us to refresh the Evangelism stack throughout a fight using Mind Flay now and then. Then, when we choose to burst using Archangel, we’d probably need some time to build up the stacks again.

        I’d hate to have to cast five 1-tick Mind Flays to cheat the system and get maximum DPS to be honest; I like a challenging playstyle, but this would just seem daft.

        Archangel is a bit funny in that it seems to be an activated ability, yet does not have a cooldown listed – it would be too good to assume we can just use it at will.

  3. Also it’s kind of funny how we technically will be having three resource systems:
    1) mana
    2) shadow orbs
    3) evangelism

    I like it :)

    • I consider the following analogy:

      Mana is our fuel, it is what powers our little speed monster. Shadow Orbs is the Turbo, which increases our power output. Evangelism increases our torque, providing more “gripping power” for our DoTs.

      When we hit Archangel, it’s like hitting the Nitro button – short burst of incredible speed.

      I can only imagine what it would be like to have triple Mind Spike stacks, hitting Archangel and unleashing everything at once. We may break the world again.


    Also: Mind Flay now lasts 5 seconds (up from 3)


    Shadowform finally gives a 5% Haste aura! Woohoo!

    • Also:

      “40% chance when you Mind Flay” <- no indication if per-tick or spell. I'd assume per-tick as it has that low chance of proccing.

      Each stack gives 2% dot damage for 10% total. When consumed we get overall 3% per stack or 15% total. I'd say we'll be using archangel on cooldown.

      • The way I see it, it will follow a pattern like this:

        It will take 15-20 seconds to get Evangelism up completely, and I think/hope recasting Mind Flay will reset the stack duration.

        Then we drop Archangel, losing 10% bonus damage from Evangelism but gaining 15% to all Shadow damage.

        Then we have 15 seconds to build up stacks again for the next Archangel.

        If it takes longer to build stacks than 15 seconds, we most likely can use Archangel maybe once a minute due to building stacks and refreshing DoTs.

        If, however, it is 40% per Mind Flay tick and we assume Mind Flay has 5 ticks in that time, we could build up an entire stack within 10 seconds.

  5. Is the reply-depth limited? There was no reply button under the post I wanted to reply to :(

    “If I follow the wording strictly, it would put up 1 stack guaranteed per Mind Flay cast”

    Well, the current wording seems to be rather weird. In previous beta it said “When you cast smite you gain evangelism”, now it sais “when you smite/mind flay”. I guess it takes some testing to see what it really means :)

    “I’d hate to have to cast five 1-tick Mind Flays to cheat the system and get maximum DPS to be honest; I like a challenging playstyle, but this would just seem daft.”

    Yeah, that would be pretty bad. Especially considering someone in beta forums said flay is now a 5 second cast channel. If it really stais as 5s it will cause further problems because time between MB casts is around 6.5s (only 1.5s reduction instead of 2.5s we have on live). Yeah, it would be around 1 flay+1 GCD for something else but not quite as good as being able to fit two flays between MB’s.

    “Archangel is a bit funny in that it seems to be an activated ability, yet does not have a cooldown listed – it would be too good to assume we can just use it at will”

    Weird indeed. In last beta it had 15s cd. It wouldn’t be bad if the cooldown was lowered/removed as it was impossible to keep up the archangel boost as disc because the boost also had 15s duration so it ended exactly the same moment when archangel got off cooldown. It would often be nicer if I could have refreshed it before I knew I’d have to heal a lot and I wouldn’t have time to do that while actually doing the healing.

  6. Yes, replies are depth-limited to a main reply and 2 nested replies – else it becomes very hard to read on some monitors (squeezes text to the right).

    I also put this info up on

    And yes, 5 second channel for Mind Flay seems designed to limit the time we have to spend on Mind Spikes and the like. If our DoTs are not shortened, and all we do is keep up Evangelism with Mind Flay in between with the occasional Mind Blast/Mind Spike, I am guessing our rotation would be considered “bland”.

    But it still looks interesting, and leaps and bounds ahead of the last month of endless repetition of the same talent tree slightly reshuffled.

  7. what about: ? Is dispersion so needed in Cata?

    • Not sure, there’s no way to know what our mana efficiency will be like. But mind you, Replenishment is less, the mana gain from Archangel is not calculated yet, and we have no Meditation.

      Our primary sources of mana are Replenishment, Shadowfiend, Dispersion and Archangel. Add to that the fact that Dispersion adds a great deal to our survivability, which at the cutting edge of content is worth a lot.

      I wouldn’t be too quick in erasing Dispersion. Also, if Dispersion proved to be unneeded with our current mana regen, you can bet that Blizzard will buff it or nerf our mana regen. They want our 31-point talents to be meaningful.

      • But with Power Infusion we will save 20% mana for 15s every 2 min, so that’s another mana save… And Power Infusion would gives that dps cooldown that we want so badly, but having it and running out of mana is not worthed.

        The bad thing is that useless point in Phantasm or Imp. Psychic Scream that could be more useful in dispersion

    • Can’t do that, you need 31 points in shadow first

    • Ignore this spec, doesn’t use 31 pts in shadow :(

    • While dispersion might or might not be needed, you will still need 31 points in the shadow tree to start putting points in another tree.

    • That won’t work as you need 31 points in primary tree before you can put any in other trees.

  8. Chrystall Says:

    Don’t you need to spend 31 points into a talent tree, before being able to spend points into another tree? If so, then no PI for us :(

  9. Re: Example Build

    Depending on the mana regeneration it might be better to move 1 point from Mental Agility to Improved Inner Fire.

    And instead of 2 points in Phantasm i would take Psychic Horror for fun/utility ^^

    • Psychic Horror might be fun or utility, but I wonder if there are any (raid) encounters where we will use it.

      I rather spend 2 points (which I must spend!) into snare removal rather than a fear spell which I probably never use…

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