Archive for Tier 9

My thoughts on Priest Tier 9

Posted in Shadowpriest, Theory, Theorycraft with tags , , on August 7, 2009 by Natarumah

t9-priest2Like most Shades at this point, I have had to weigh the options on whether or not Tier 9 is going to cut the cake as far as we’re concerned. Considering all the negative reactions on forums and blogs so far, especially concerning the set bonuses, I had little hope. Still, I believe in the value of figuring things out on your own, so it’s time for a little review.


Not going to win you any DPS, but looks are important. The set looks awesome in my opinion (even though the looks are shared with the Warlock and Mage sets) and I think it will be quite menacing in Shadowform. Even so, I have to concede that it does not hold a candle to our Tier 8 set, nor our Tier 6 sets, which I consider to be iconically Shadowpriestly (similar to this is the black Tier 5 set, Merciless Gladiator).

So in looks Tier 9 scores “average” marks, not better.

Rough stat comparison

I made a quick comparison of benefits and drawbacks using a simple WoWHead item comparison, the results of which are:

  • Tier 8 offers 64 more Haste, 84 more Crit, and sports one more red socket and yellow socket
  • Tier 9 offers 130 more Hit, and 2 more Spellpower, as well as 69 more intellect, 24 more Stamina and 41 more Spirit

According to this article on EJ, you get 0.006% spell crit per point of Intellect, meaning that the additional intellect from Tier 9 offers an additional 69*0.006=0.414% crit. The 41 additional spirit will provide 4 additional spellpower. The stamina will give 240 more HP, and the Intellect will provide 1035 additional mana.

Also according to that article, 32.78998947 hit rating converts into 1% Hit. When dividing 130 by this number, we get 3,9646246339584445130350936950148% Hit from this (rounded down to 3,96% hit for convenience).

This means that if you had difficulty reaching the hit cap before, it’s a lot easier now. A lot of the Ulduar-quality belts, boots, cloaks, neck pieces and wands do not have Hit on them, so you can invest more points into Crit and Haste on those pieces instead of Hit.

The question is whether we have any use for this Hit, or whether we are swamped with Hit items and have to completely re-gear to take advantage of this. The fact that between the 2 sets, there is only a 2 spellpower difference makes me worry a bit.

Gem slots

The Tier 8 has the following slot combinations and bonuses:

  • Tier 8 Hands: [Yellow]; +4 Hit rating
  • Tier 8 Shoulder: [Red]; +5 Spellpower
  • Tier 8 Robe: [Yellow][Blue]; +6 Crit rating
  • Tier 8 Pants: [Red][Yellow]; +6 Hit rating
  • Tier 8 Head: [Meta][Red]; +8 Intellect

The Tier 9 has the following slot combination and bonuses:

  • Tier 9 Hands: [Yellow]; +5 Spellpower
  • Tier 9 Shoulder: [Yellow]; +5 Spellpower
  • Tier 9 Robe: [Red][Blue]; +7 Spellpower
  • Tier 9 Pants: [Red][Blue]; +7 Spellpower
  • Tier 9 Head: [Meta][Blue]; +9 Spellpower

Now the following comes with a caveat, namely how I gem my stuff usually, something that does not necessarily equal how you would do it. My Metagem is the Chaotic Skyflare Diamond (+21 Crit rating and 3% additional crit damage), which requires at least 2 blue gems.

Where I need to slot yellow I go for Rigid Autumn’s Glow (+16 Hit) (Up to Hit cap), slotting red is Runed Scarlet Ruby (+19 Spellpower), and blue is slotted with Purified Twilight Opal (+9 Spellpower/+8 Spirit). I am currently assuming blue quality gems, not epic, since not everyone will have those yet.

Edit: Yellow slots can also be filled with Reckless Monarch Topaz (+9 Spellpower/+8 Haste) or Potent Monarch Topaz. Edited totals below.

Tier 8:

  • 3x yellow (+48 Hit)
  • 2x red (+57 Spellpower)
  • 1x blue (+9 Spellpower, +8 Spirit)
  • Bonuses: +10 Hit, +8 Intellect, +6 Crit, +5 Spellpower

Tier 9:

  • 2x yellow (+32 Hit)
  • 2x red (+38 Spellpower)
  • 3x Blue (+27 Spellpower, +24 Spirit)
  • Bonuses: +33 Spellpower

This means that between Tier 8 and Tier 9, assuming equal gemming, I lose 24 Hit, gain 27 Spellpower (+1,6 from added Spirit), and lose 6 Crit.

Edit: By slotting +Spellpower/Haste or +Spellpower/Crit in yellow slots (assuming we are hitcapped already), Tier 8 will give 27 Spellpower and 24 Haste/Crit, and Tier 9 will give 18 Spellpower and 16 Haste/Crit, turning things still a bit more favorably towards Tier 8 in my opinion.

Set bonuses

Tier 8:

  • (2): Increases the damage done by Devouring Plague by 15%
  • (4): Casting Mind Blast gives 240 Haste rating for 4 seconds (About 240/32,78=7,32%)

Tier 9:

  • (2): Increases the duration of Vampiric Touch by 6 seconds
  • (4): Increases the Critical strike chance of Mind Flay by 5% (About 45,9*5=229,5 rating)

When comparing these, Tier 9 becomes very unfavorable. 15% additional damage on vampiric plague is a straight DPS increase. When you add in the Improved Devouring Plague talent, the initial burst damage when initially casting it is also increased. 6 seconds of additional VT is an increase in mana efficiency, but not DPS.

240 Haste rating in between Mind Blasts effectively allows you to cast a Mind Flay, An instant cast and the start of an additional Mind Flay in between. This Mind Flay will benefit from the Haste, after which you cast an unhasted Mind Blast to start up the process again. This is very tricky, and while definitely an increase in DPS, it can also be a royal pain if you lag or are late/moving. 5% additional Crit on Mind Flay, our main Nuke, is a huge advantage and a good DPS increase.

But you see, the problem is this: Mind Flay is about 25% of my damage overall, and I have a raid-buffed crit% running at about 30%.  This means that 30% of that 25% is a crit. A 5% increase in crit for this spell is not a linear 5% increase to DPS. To put it in easy numbers:

I deal 4.000 DPS; 25% of this is Mind Flay -> 1.000 DPS comes from Mind Flays.

Of that 1.000, 30% is caused by Crits, which is 600 DPS (Crits deal double damage).

So this means that 1% crit (in this example) is 20 DPS.

When I add in that 5% set bonus crit, it means my Mind Flay Crit DPS goes from 600 to 700 DPS

The 400 DPS of non-crits is not changed, add in 700, and my new DPS for Mind Flay is 1100.

3K DPS comes from other spells, add 1100, and my new DPS is 4100.

Seems weak now, doesn’t it, even though 100 DPS difference would be massive.

Well, because my DPS increased from 4000 to 4100, this is an increase of 100/4000*100%= 2.5%

Even assuming that the Haste bonus would be good for only 1 single full Mind Flay, this is 7,2% increase to the 1K dps from Mind Flays, being 72 DPS . And it can be used for an additional Mind Flay tick, as well as speeding up the global cooldown for at least 2 spells…

Adding it all together

When adding the little numbers together, the following becomes apparent:

You will gain a total of about 28 spellpower when upgrading from full T8 to full T9, and gain about +106 Hit rating. However, you pay for that with 64 Haste rating and 90 Crit rating. Previously I would have had to socket a blue gem in my belt to get the Meta to work, which the T9 does not need, but even then the gain is about another 10 Spellpower at the most.

Edit: Assuming using +Spellpower/+Haste or +Spellpower/+Crit gems instead, you gain +126 Hit rating and 19 Spellpower but lose 64 Haste and 90 Crit rating, and an additional 8 points from either Crit or Haste depending on the chosen gem.

There is no way in which the full upgrade is worth it unless you have an awesome belt, cloak, rings, offhand and/or neck item which all lack Hit. In addition, the loss of the 2piece T8 bonus on Devouring Plague is quite a loss which I am not really prepared to go through.

In my own situation, having 4 pieces of Tier 8, I might decide to upgrade 2 pieces (most likely legs, and robe because it gives me the benefit of a second blue socket, more Hit and Spellpower as socket bonuses) but no more.


It is possible I made some glaring mistake or my math is off. I am not a math wizard, and did this all by hand. But even if I miss the mark by 10%, it still would not be worth it to do a full upgrade for me. Which seems strange to me, as Tier 8 pieces are easier to get now that badges of conquest are readily available, and has the better look and feel too.

Does anyone have a different opinion? Am I completely wrong? Can I be convinced T9 has any use?

B is for Badass

Posted in News, Raids and Instances, Shadowpriest with tags , , , on July 3, 2009 by Natarumah

ability_ambushMMO-Champion released the pictures of the Tier-9 sets which will be featured in patch 3.2: Call of the Colliseum. I just wanted to share a moment of meditation with you before showing you what they are like. Breathe in deeply, and hold your breath. Feel at one with the cosmos. For just a moment, resist the urge to peel layers of thought from other people’s minds in vindictive and creative ways. Are you ready?


Can you say Badass? Can you feel the Badass?


This…is awesome. I feel a tear burning, itching to trail across my cheek as I contemplate what this will look like in Shadowform. And if they have a purple version of this, I’d better bring a change of shorts when we start raiding Colliseum.