4.0.1 Ashes and Shadows

After the initial patch-day madness (glyphs, specs, gear check, skills, lag, disconnects and addons gone kaput) I got to feel my way around how Shadowpriests play at the moment. This is in no way complete – I feel that it will take the better part of a week to get back in swing – but here are my initial observations on how I feel we are in Live:

Our Single-target DPS is fine

Perhaps even overpowered, I dare say. Since our gear preferences haven’t really changed at all (Hit > Intellect > Haste > Crit > Mastery) our gear works as well now as it did before the patch. Our Mana pools are huge, meaning even nerfed Replenishment can fill it up (as it is a % of total mana, which for me went from 27K to 32K). The old adage of “keep up your dots, MB on cooldown, Mind Flay in between” has only been altered with “SW:D on Cooldown too for mana”.

The new alerts displayed on action bars (copied over into Bartender 4, thank the gaming gods) make it easy to see when you have 3 Shadow Orbs. They rack up pretty fast, but never when you need them. It only really comes into play on long boss fights, marking further how miserable our Mastery is at the moment.

The reason our damage is high is because of SW:D spam at targets below 25%. Our Execute ability easily crits for 20-26K, of which we take back 60% in backlash damage and instantly resetting its cooldown unless the target dies. In short: 25%-0% means “keep up dots and spam SW:D” which is “hard on the healers and will be fixed”.

I can see the glyph being changed to only shorten the cooldown on SW:D instead of resetting it, or the damage of SW:D being reduced in the 25% range (no Execute) but just keeping the Glyph effect. Fortunately, this is really the only thing marked as making our DPS too high by Blizzard, meaning we don’t need to expect huge nerfs next reset.

AoE DPS is bollocks

Mind Sear is pretty much gutted, dealing about 1/3 to 1/4 of its old damage. It in fact deals less damage than Holy Nova. I wonder whether it is because AoE across the board is lessened or because its scaling is not up to par, but I actually saw my DPS drop on groups of mobs when using Mind Sear instead of SW:P multi-dotting.

This is obviously not good. And we still cannot harm the target we cast Mind Sear on, meaning that compared to other AoE we are also more situational.

Tanks love us

We are currently in the rare opportunity of having as our class benefit a reduction in Aggro. And with tanks learning to cope with the changes as well as reduced AoE-tanking capability, we will need it. That said, our tank in HoR had no problems with threat (losing one mob per three waves at most) even when I stated that for testing purposes I would be “Behaving Irresponsibly”.

When mobs do break loose, their damage is neglible compared to our buffed health pools. With a health pool in PvE gear eclipsing my old PvP gear, if I did pick up some aggro it hardly mattered. Obviously, this will change in raids and once we pass level 81, when mobs are much more dangerous.


On the whole, we went through the patching process really well in my opinion. Our DPS went up somewhat (on single targets mostly, went down in AoE) and is expected to rise as we all learn our moves again. Gearing and speccing is mostly unchanged from previous reports, and Shadowpriests are pretty fun to play.

By the way, remember when I spoke of the Scepter of the Shifting Sands questlines? It will be a Feat of Strength in patch 4.0.3, when it is removed. I am hurrying along with my Elementium Ore (now Elementium Ingots) hoping to get it done as soon as I can.


One Response to “4.0.1 Ashes and Shadows”

  1. http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?sid=1&topicId=27187856197&pageNo=1#2

    Shadow Word:Death’s damage has been reduced, and is brought to normal levels on a target below 25%. Also, the Glyph of SW:D also only resets the cooldown once, so it can be used twice consecutively before you have to wait for the Cooldown. I assume that once the normal cooldown has run full again, the Glyph will operate again.

    So: SW:D, SW:D – wait 10 seconds – SW:D, SW:D – wait 10 seconds, and so on.

    This will make the last 25% of a boss fight less frantic, so it seems like a good change. And since the cooldown is still reset once fully per cooldown, it does allow for some burst.

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