What to Wear: The Shadow Priest's Guide to The Emerald Nightmare

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It's been a very long while since I've put together a gear guide, but this seemed like a good time since my gnomies are about to start raiding.

Know Your Priorities

First things first, get to know your stat priority:

  • Haste
  • Critical Strike
  • Mastery
  • Intellect
  • Versatility

Note: If you take the Legacy of the Void or Mind Spike talents, you'll swap #1 and #2 with each other, per Icy Veins

Note that Noxxic has a different shadow priest stat priority (Intellect > Haste > Crit > Versatility > Mastery). I suggest you see what works best with your play style and gearing. 

Gem Appropriately

Maximize Your Enchants

Shadow Priest Gear Priorities for The Emerald Nightmare

I've linked to the Wowhead page for the LFR version of each item; from there you can select your mode of choice to review the different stats. If you're not sure which piece of gear to use, as you juggle ilevels and stats, consider using an addon such as Pawn to help you more easily determine which piece of gear is your best choice.














Mists of Pandaria Factions to Grind for Shadow Priests

It takes hard work and perserverance to look this cute!

With the bazillions of dailies one could complete in support of raising your faction high enough with them in order to purchase something useful, there's one thing for certain: You've GOT TO prioritize! If you try to grind out all the factions at once, you'll quickly burn out and retreat to the safety of the pet battles. And collecting all the pets. Ahem.

As previously noted, I only ever really stick with and play my spellcasters. Hence this guide focusing on factions you'll want your shadow priest to rep up with in order to improve your gear. Note that I am including both +hit and spirit caster pieces. However, many of the spirit pieces have mastery as a stat, which is your least desireable stat. Keep that in mind when choosing which piece you want. Of course, if you want to use items for a healing offspec in addition to shadow, the spirit gear would be the way to go.

As a reminder, your shadow priest stat priority is:

  1. Intellect
  2. 15% Spell Hit (obtained with Hit or Spirit) will enable your spells to not miss on bosses
  3. Haste (aiming for 19.03% to earn 2 extra ticks of Shadow Word: Pain and Devouring Plague)
  4. Crit
  5. Mastery

I'm leaving the Tillers and The Anglers for another post since their rewards are fun and benefit your cooking and fishing professions, but are not factions that reward gear for improving your gameplay. Ditto for the Lorewalkers and Order of the Cloud Serpent.

Golden Lotus

Revered status with the Golden Lotus faction will allow you to pick up quests pointing you to the daily quest hubs for Shaod-Pan and August Celestials.


Tailoring Patterns


 The August Celestials

To unlock the daily quests for this reputation, you must be Revered with Golden Lotus.


Enchanting Formulas


The Klaxxi

Per WoWhead, to grind rep with The Klaxxi, you'll have to do a lengthy Dread Wastes quest chain that starts with Psycho Mantid. Once you reach honored, you may obtain ~6 quests from the Elders you freed.



The Shado-Pan

To unlock the daily quest hub in Townlong Steppes, you must be Revered with Golden Lotus. Until then you can gain rep with the Sdhado-Pan by questing throughout Townlong Steppes.


Enchanting Formulas



What to Wear: the Shadow Priest's Guide to Mists of Pandaria Heroic Gear

Note: to jump in to the Heroic difficulty Mists of Pandaria max level dungeons at level 90, you will need a minimum ilvl of 435. If you don't quite meet that minimum, check out my guide to pre-heroic gear.

Know your priorities

First things first, get to know your stat priority:

  1. Intellect
  2. 15% Spell Hit (obtained with Hit or Spirit) will enable your spells to not miss on bosses
  3. Haste (aiming for 19.03% to earn 2 extra ticks of Shadow Word: Pain and Devouring Plague)
  4. Crit
  5. Mastery

Gem Appropriately

Maximize Your Enchants

 Heroic Dungeon Gear

You may obtain ilvl 463 gear (and a few epic pieces) from the following max level Heroic dungeons:

Note that I am not leavng out items with mastery despite it being our least effective stat.  I've called out hit and spirit on pieces, and the few epics. Here's what you can take home from these dungeons if the RNG is in your favor:

What to Wear: the Shadow Priest's Guide to Pre-Heroic Mists of Pandaria Dungeon Gear

To jump in to the Heroic difficulty Mists of Pandaria max level dungeons at level 90, you will need a minimum ilvl of 435. I've compiled your sources for getting the gear you need to beat or exceed that minimum.

Know your priorities

First things first, get to know your stat priority:

  1. Intellect
  2. 15% Spell Hit (obtained with Hit or Spirit) will enable your spells to not miss on bosses
  3. Haste (aiming for 19.03% to earn 2 extra ticks of Shadow Word: Pain and Devouring Plague)
  4. Crit
  5. Mastery

Gem Appropriately

Maximize Your Enchants

 And now, onto the Gear!

The following ilvl 450 gear can be obtained from the later leveling instances, Mogu'shan Palace (MP) and ilevel 435 gear from Shado-Pan Monastery (SPM) so be sure to queue up as you go!



My Shadow Priests' Patch 5.0 Talents and Changes in Playstyle


Now that I have my glyph choices squared away, I thought it was time to share the direction I'm heading with talents for my shadow priests* since we're about to have Patch 5.0 land upon all of us, bringing us into this new talent world order.

It quite honestly feels odd, after years of playing, to have so few talents to choose from. Luckily, that marries well to the limited amount of time I've had to screw around in the BETA to see which ones I'd most like to have in the live game.

Tier 1, Level 15

Despite how tempting it would be to have a tentacle monster forest at my beck and call to root down my enemies (i.e. Void Tendrils), I went with the Psyfiend here. It's fabulous fun to have a shrieking little friend causing my enemies to flee in terror. What's not to love?

Tier 2, Level 30

Since this is my leveling build, I've gone with Phantasm. It allows you to remove damaging effects and disencumber yourself by hitting fade. The other real possibility in this tree, Angelic Feather, will go in my second build, to be invoked if I have a raid situation that needs the extra speed for allies.

Tier 3, Level 45

Given how much I love my shadowfiend, turning her into an exquisitely evil and more frequently deployable mana regen machine by choosing Mindbender was a no brainer for me.It will be interesting to see if Shadow Word: Insanity ends up being more DPS or not (that all being relative depending upon one's ability to watch DoTs and CDs and react accordingly).

Tier 4, Level 60

This tier is all about self-preservation. Since I am tired of having way too many rarely-used "oh shit" spells crowding up my bars, I went with Angelic Bulwark which will passively try to save me from anything terrible I stumble into by shielding me and regenning health.

Tier 5, Level 75

My first look at Twist of Fate was initially due to it being an old friend name and icon-wise. But it stayed in my talent tree due to it being a nice passive DPS boost on low health targets. I'll pop Power Infusion into my second shadow build, which is intended to be more suitable for raiding, as the increased haste and mana regen on demand could definitely come in handy.

Tier 6, Level 90

Since I haven't gotten to 90 in the BETA (and frankly, I don't want to ruin all the surprises or get burnt out playing at max level before Live launches), I haven't yet gotten a chance to play with these talents yet. But they seem to be pretty interchangeable from their descriptions and what I've read from other BETA-goers. I thnk I'll go with Divine Star on my leveling build and Cascade (with its higher mana cost) to my raiding build.

Changes to Shadow Priest Playstyle Along with the Patch

Give up any latent thoughts you may have of trying to keep your old rotation in the new frontier of 5.0 and beyond. It simply won't be possible. Here's why:

  • Mind Flay no longer refreshes Shadow Word: Pain. You have to manually keep an eye on it and refresh as needed.
  • Devouring Plague now requires shadow orbs instead of mana. Ideally, you'll want to wait for all 3 orbs to be present to get the most plague for your buck.
  • You build up shadow orbs through damaging targets with Mind Blast or Shadow Word: Death. The latter can generate 2 orbs if it is the killing blow on your target.

What this means for your rotation is you'll now need to keep a closer eye on your Vampiric Touch and Shadow Word Pain (my favorite DoT timer for helping with that in the past has been Need to Know) and refresh them at the last possible moment. You'll want to use Mind Blast every time it is off cooldown, Devouring Plague every time you have 3 orbs available, and fill in with Mind Flay when nothing else is up. And don't forget to deploy your Mindbender/Shadowfiend early and often. When dealing with a group of 4 or fewer mobs, you'll want to DoT with VT and SW:P and DPS down the main target, using plain old Mind Sear instead of DoTs for groups of 4 or more.

I have long loved using my Devouring Plague and being a DoT machine. But I am OK with the changes in my rotation that are coming with this patch. I'll blame that easy going stance on having been a long-time boomkin as well. Adapting to all of their changes over the years, and feeling in a way I can't quite put my finger on that this new shadow priest playstyle is more cosmicly linked to boomkininess, is giving me a purple calmness. I'm looking forward to trying out the new talents and abilities in the next few weeks on my shadow priest ladies.

See you in game!

* That's not a typo. I have a gnome and a Forsaken shdow priest at max level tyvm.

Getting Started with Guild Wars 2


...a.k.a. Tips and Tricks for Players New to Guild Wars, With Other MMO Baggage

I resemble that above aside. Having played World of Warcraft for years, then becoming completely immersed in SWTOR, I have a lot of game mechanics and world logic baggage that I carried with me into Tyria -- but you don't have to! I've compiled the below as a guide to all the things you'll need to know and keep in mind as you start your adventures. And I hope to see some additions or questions from you in the comments...

Character Creation

  • Be mindful in answering your alignment questions. The way in which you answer the questions that come up after you've chosen your profession and customized your character will determine key parts of your story. If you end up playing more than one character of the same race, be sure to mix up your answers to provide some variation in your story.
  • Spend some time playing with dye color combinations for your starter gear set. These combinations will automatically be applied to new pieces of gear you equip as you go along (though you can go in and change the colors later.)

Your First Steps Into the World

  • Build up your weapon skills, one at a time, before venturing out too far into the world. Unlike other games, your weapon skills will vary by weapon type, and are learned via using the weapon in combat. You'll want to use your first weapon until you learn all the skills associated with it, then swap to your next available weapon once you have it. Note that each time you swap in a previously unused weapon type, you will start with only 1 weapon skill unlocked and have to grind out the remaining skills. The good news is you can do this on lower level mobs. The very best place is in the instanced starter zone.  Very low health mobs that die in 3 hits, and actually give quite a bit of XP.  You can even have a friend mail that toon all the starter weapons if you want to unlock them all.
  • You can buy inexpensive starter weapons from vendors or in the auction house. To preview the skills that accompany each weapon type, to help you decide which weapon you may want to  try out next, go to your Hero tab (h) and choose the skills and traits tab, then weapon skills.
  • Get accustomed to dodging attacks in addition to standing your ground to fight mobs. Unlike many other MMOs where you primarily stand your ground and fight, it's very helpful to actively try to move yourself out of the way of attacks, lest you be smashed into the ground like a bug. You can double-tap a movement key (WASD) to dodge out of the way, or you can keybind your dodge. And also be sure to use line-of-sight and kiting to your advantage to avoid for taking on more damage than you can survive.
  • Check your email often. You can pick up mail wherever you are in the world by clicking on your mail icon in your top navbar. After completing quests, you may receive a mail with some cash from an NPC you assisted. Be sure to click the "take all" button in your mail window to recover the items or gold attached to your mail messages.
  • Spend your karma points on item upgrades versus stockpiling karma. You'll find karma vendors while you are out questing-- be sure to take a look at what they have for sale, and spend your karma points with them to keep upgrading your gear as you go along.

Transportation and Navigation

  • Unlock every waypoint you see on your map (marked with a blue square). Waypoints are your primary mode of transportation around the map.
  • If you die, you'll need to rez at your nearest waypoint. Most unfortunately, this will cost you some of your gold. If you are very lucky, and you die in the midst of an event, you may be rezzed by a friendly player, but don't count on it!
  • Maps have multiple levels. If you can't seem to find the point you are looking for, check out other map layers to find your way to the point of interest. This especially holds true in the often multi-leveled cities.
  • Look for hearts on your map to figure out where to quest next. Hearts indicate there is a quest you can undertake in a specific area. To uncover hearts in a new unexplored area, talk to a scout (marked with binoculars on your map.) Upon completing a quest, you will receive some amount of gold and XP.
  • Look for orange skulls or other icons with an orange circle around them. These indicate areas with dynamic events that are currently in progress. You will get karma for completing these activities, with your reward (gold, XP, karma) depending upon your amount of effort on the task/boss kill relative to the other players taking part in it. Sometimes an additional dynamic event will spawn after the completion of another dynamic event so it can pay to stick around for a minute afterwards to see if there is a part two in which you can participate.
  • Look for overlapping red triangles for points with a pretty view of the area. These triangles indicate a vista point. Upon reaching the point, often through some jumping or tree climbing, you will be rewarded with a cinematic and a nice place in which to take a screenshot.
  • Instant waypoint travel via party chat. When out in the world with a group, you can shift-click on a waypoint to link it in chat.  You party members can double-click that link to travel directly to the waypoint.  Very handy for corralling a large group. (ty Manglehaft!)

Crafting, Gathering and Auctioneering

  • No one can steal "your" gathering node. All players in the area with the appropriate gathering item (mining axe, logging axe, harvesting sickle) can tap a node. No more trading off with your party mates or seething in nerd rage over other players tapping a node while you're fighting the beasts that are guarding it!
  • The gathering tools are consumables that must be equipped, not permanent. Make sure to buy more from your friendly junk vendors whenever you are running low. And keep an eye on what you are harvesting-- as you move into higher level areas, you will need a better quality tool to gather successfully.
  • Gathering gives a significant XP boost. Our friend @zerena_hoofs accidently tested this in the last bwe; she didn’t buy tools, and by level 11 was two levels behind everyone else, the only variable being her not gathering. (thanks to Manglehaft for this reminder.)
  • Always keep salvage kits in your bags. Available for purchase from various city merchants, these kits are used to break down armor and weapons into crafting materials. This is a great way to cear out your bag slots of old or unsaleable gear you pick up, and generating crafting materials for your use or for sale in the Black Lion Trading Company auction house.
  • Right click on crafting materials to deposit them in your bank. Unrefined crafting materials can be deposited to your bank from anywhere you are in the world by right clicking and choosing "Deposit collectible." There is an option on the top right of the bag menu that allows you to “deposit all collectables” in two clicks (thanks Manglehaft and Psynister for the deposit all tip!)
  • You can sell and purchase items from the auctionhouse from anywhere in the world. However, to pick up the proceeds of an auction house sale, or an item you have purchased, you need to go to an auctioneer and pick it up from the pickup window.
  • You must be standing next to a crafting station to craft items. The crafting station window will also provide access to your bank so you can easily pull out items you need. If you run out of crafting materials for an item you are trying to make, you can right click on that item to search for it in the auction house. You will however have to go pick it up at the aucitoneer.
  • Keep your bags partially empty while crafting. Your crafted items have to go somewhere! You can either salvage them to recover some of the materials after you've made the item for a skill-up, or you can right click and sell them in the auciton house.
  • Pick your price for buying and selling. When looking to purchase an item, you can either buy a listed item or put in a bid for X amount of those items at your desired price. Similarly, if you have an item you'd like to sell, you can either meet or beat the list price for others of those items on the auction house, or if there are outstanding orders for those items at a specific price, you can choose to sell immediately to that buyer.
  • When pricing an item for sale, keep in mind that the auction house takes a 15% cut.


  • You can not mail items to yourself. To send an alt an item, you will either need to deposit it in the bank (your bank is account-wide not character specific) or mail it to a friend with whom you are questing.
  • You can not trade items with others. Instead you have to mail it to them. It's usually pretty fast, but still not the instant gratification of opening a trade window.
  • You're visible to folks who have you friends listed, regardless of which character you're on. This is nice for not having to keep track of altoholic friends. However, note that when you message someone in game, they'll just see the name of whatever character you're on, not your name, and may in fact have no idea who you are. Luckily, if you want some alone gaming time, you can make yourself show as invisible, as though you are not online, on the login screen.
  • Shift+click to link an item in chat.
  • No one can steal your quest mob/loot. As long as you do some damage to a mob, you will attain credit for the kill, and have your own loot assigned. Note that if you are in a party, your party may still have to roll against each other for loot.
  • Turn on auto loot. Go to general options + interactions and check the auto loot button.

What to Wear: a Shadow Priest's Guide to Zul'aman and Zul'gurub Heroic Dungeon Gear

Patch 4.1 brings us 5-man heroic dungeon versions of a couple of classic raids: Zul'aman (ZA) and Zul'gurub (ZG), with an opportunity to deck yourself out in ilvl 353 epics, which should help ease more folks into being raid-ready from a geaer perspective.

Thankfully, the loot tables will additionally help fill in some gaps for some of the harder to source items (i.e. wands and bracers.) Personally, I can't wait for my new and improved Will of Arlokk. That was always my favorite staff...

Once the item databases provide more details, I'll subdivide the list by instance.

Note that there is also a trinket, usuable by everyone, that calls forth your own posse of voodoo gnomes: Miniature Voodoo Mask.

Shadow Priest FAQs V.2

Big DPS comes in small shadowy packages.

Q: Which is better, spirit or crit? And should I choose haste over mastery?

A: I go with the stat weightings provided by

  • Int = 1.00 (always normalized to 1)
  • SP = 0.79
  • Haste = 0.50
  • Crit = 0.42
  • Mastery = 0.42
  • Hit = 0.00* (see notes on hit)
  • Spi = 0.00* (see notes on spirit/hit)

Hit and spirit are given a 0 because after you hit your hit cap, it is entirely worthless to have additional hit. Your hands down most valuable stat is Intellect. Crit is still tasty, and Mastery has been improved, but haste is still the primary stat you will be looking for after Intellect.

Q: How much hit should I have?

A: That depends on your comfort level. The previous wisdom was you wanted to be hit capped, at 17%, for raid bosses. But since 4.0 dropped, hit cap has seemed a lot less important for shadow priests than our other stats. I personally run with 12.5-13.5% hit.

Q: What should I be reforging? Should I aim towards straight hit or spirit that gives mana regen and hit? Is there a plus to just doing hit?

A: My two most reforged stats are hit and mastery. I will also reforge off spirit when I feel I have enough hit. Whenever it is an option to do so, I reforge an undesirable stat into haste. My gear is a mix of hit pieces and spirit pieces. The only value to picking hit pieces of spirit pieces is to not have pouty PUG healer harangue you about "stealing" a spirit piece from them when you can't possibly use spirit (when in fact you both have equal claim to it.)

Q: What is our best rotation?

A: If you are running in on a boss such as on Magmaw, you'll want to toss out your instant casts on your way in, then hit your Vampiric Touch, and start on your mind flays. If you are stationary, start with the Vampiric touch then put up your other DoTs, then Mindflay. After Mindflay activates your archangel, pop it, then mindflay again twice to get your 5 stacks of Dark Evangelism which then buffs your periodic damage spells. Mindblast whenever it is up (in my experience I always have an orb or two up), and Shadow Word: Death only when your target is under 25% or when you start to get low on mana. And use that shadowfiend whenever he's available.

Q: What about Mind Sear?

A: It's horribly low DPS currently, but will be doubled in damage after patch 4.1 at which point we'll see if it beats tagging adds with VT and single targeting them down.

Q: What are the must-have addons for raiding and heroics?

A: I keep it simple: Quartz Castbar to see when I should start queuing up my next spell, and Need to Know which allows me to track my DoTs. Omen and DBM for raiding. There are some shadow priest specific mods out there, but I've never used them.

Send in more questions via the comments and we'll get to a V.3 yet!

What to Wear: The Shadow Priest's Guide to Cataclysm's Justice and Valor Points-purchased Gear

consider this a prime example of what NOT to wear

Now that you've got some justice points stacking up in your currency tab, and a few vexing greens still on your 85s, you are probably ready to go shopping, yes? But first things first -- how do you earn more of these points?

Justice Points

  • Cataclysm Heroic dungeon boss -- 75 Justice Points
  • Cataclysm daily normal dungeon -- 75 Justice Points

Valor Points

  • Cataclysm daily Heroic dungeon -- 75 Valor Points
  • Cataclysm 10-player raid boss -- 75 Valor Points
  • Cataclysm 25-player raid boss -- 105 Valor Points

Now before you hit the comment button to tell me I forgot about WotLK raids and heroics, let me stop you. At 85 you will not be earning justice points from any "outgrown" content, regardless of if they previously dropped badges for you. And now, on to the good stuff.

Justice Points Gear (ilvl 346)

 Valor Points Gear (ilvl 359)

Next Steps

If you are looking to build a set that works well for healing in addition to shadow, you will want to grab pieces with spirit rather than with hit. The relative utility of the mastery bonus continues to be debated, but is widely considered to not be worth choosing over an item without it, so also bear that in mind if you plan only to play as shadow. Additionally, there are some crafted items, including epic pants and belt, that you may wish to have made rather than spending your points.

Now that you have your wish list in place, where do you make your purchases? Horde has Jamus'Vaz <Valorous Quartermaster> and Gunra <Justice Quartermaster> in Orgrimmar's Valley of Strength. Alliance has Faldren Tillsdale <Valorous Quartermaster> and Magatha Silverton <Justice Quartermaster> in Stormwind in the Old Town area.

NOTE: It is a bummer that wands and bracers for shadow priests are not craftable, available through rep, or purchaseable from the point vendors at this point. Hopefully we shall see that rectified with a future patch. Until then, you can farm Grim Batol for the Wand of Untainted Power [spirit]. For bracers, your options are Lost City for Sand Silk Wristband bracers, the long quest chain that culminates in Doing it the Hard Way in Halls of Origination, or Crimsonborne Bracers in Grim Batol.

What to Wear: The Shadow Priest's Guide to Cataclysm's Crafted Gear

shadow priest fishing up volatiles to craft some new clothes

Note that I am not including rare quality tailoring gear here at this time since it is PvP oriented, or ilvl 333 and under. Also note that overall, until there's data showing that mastery is worth it for shadow priests, I am leaning towards gear without it when there is a choice to be made.

ilvl 359 Tailoring Epics

ilvl 346 Blacksmithing Weapon

ilvl 346 Jewelcrafting Accessories

ilvl 346 Inscription Off Hands

What to Wear: a Shadow Priest's Guide to 5-man Cataclysm Heroic Dungeon Gear

This is a companion piece to the 5-man Cataclysm Dungeon Gear guide. All items are ilvl 346 rare quality. What you will immediately notice is the item names are the same as their regular dungeon counterparts (with the exception of SFK and Deadmines which both have a number of uniquely named items), with a boost of stats from the regular version, and often the addition of one or more gem slots.

Please note: if you are wondering why I have included items with spirit in this list, please go read The Changing Face of Spirit. If you have taken the Twisted Faith talent, you will want to use spirit items to help reach your hit cap as needed.

Details after the jump.

Continue reading "What to Wear: a Shadow Priest's Guide to 5-man Cataclysm Heroic Dungeon Gear" »

What to Wear: a Shadow Priest's Guide to 5-man Cataclysm Dungeon Gear

Before you dive into Heroics, you'll need to get yourself a solid set of dungeon blues to get started.

Now I do need to warn you of one thing: don't be fooled by the level requirements on the items. That blue that only requires level 78 to wear? Don't turn your nose up at it if it's ilvl 279 and you are sporting ilvl 200 level 80 WotLK epics. If you're in ICC25 gear, you're probably not going to be taking any of the 279 ilvl pieces, but will want to start looking at the 300+ pieces to see if the piece better meets your itemization needs.

Note: if you plan on using the LFD finder, you'll need an average ilvl of over 279 to use it after the two introductory instances, so it is best to make your peace now about ditching your beautiful Icecrown epics for questing greens..

Also note:

  • ilvl 279 requires level 78 to wear.
  • ilvl 316 requires level 81 to wear.
  • ilvl 333 requires level 83 to wear.
  • ilvl 346  requires level 85 to wear.

And finally, if you are wondering why I have included items with spirit in this list, please go read The Changing Face of Spirit. If you have taken the Twisted Faith talent, you will want to use spirit items to help reach your hit cap as needed.

Details after the jump.

Continue reading "What to Wear: a Shadow Priest's Guide to 5-man Cataclysm Dungeon Gear" »

UPDATED: Cataclysm Fishing Achievements and Quests



UPDATED 4/25/11 with new dailies added in Patch 4.1

The patch brings us new fishing dailies in some of our other capital cities, so we can add some variety to our daily routine. I know I've grown tired of doing the same old quests, and quite honestly, I miss the Undercity. I'll be decamping for there after the patch lands.

New Alliance Fishing Dailies in Darnassus
Quests come from Astaia.

  • A Slippery Snack. Gather 6 Baby Octopi from the shallow water near Rut'theran Village.
  • An Old Favorite. Catch 8 Kaldorei Herring by fishing in Rut'theran Village.
  • Happy as a Clam Digger. Gather 10 Teldrassil Clams from the shores near Rut'theran Village.
  • Stocking Up. Catch 5 Lake Whitefish by fishing in Darnassus.
  • The Sister's Pendant. Retrieve Aquinne's Moon Pendant from the belly of a Giant Catfish. You should be able to catch them anywhere you can fish in Darnassus.

New Alliance Fishing Dailies in Ironforge
Quests come from Grimnur Stonebrand.

  • Cold Water Fishing. Catch 5 Arctic Char by fishing in Helm's Bed Lake in Dun Morogh.
  • Fish fer Squirky. Catch 3 Blind Minnows in the pool in the Forlorn Cavern and feed them to Squirky.
  • Live Bait. Use Grimnur's Bait on yourself, then jump into Helm's Bed Lake in Dun Morogh.
  • One fer the Ages. Catch a Young Ironjaw in Ironforge's Forlorn Cavern and display it in the Library near the Empty Plaque.
  • The Gnomish Bait-o-Matic. Use the Bait-o-Matic Blueprint with 5 Shiny Baubles, a Hair Trigger, and 3 Rat Traps to create the Gnomish Bait-o-Matic.

New Horde Fishing Dailies in The Undercity
Quests come from Armand Cromwell.

  • Fish Head. Fish up a Severed Abomination Head in Undercity
  • Like Pike? Dig up a Corpse Worm in the Ruins of Lordaeron courtyard and use it as bait to catch a Corpse-Fed Pike. Corpse-Fed Pike can be fished up in Brightwater Lake, northeast of Undercity.
  • Moat Monster! Use the Alliance Decoy Kit to summon the Moat Monster in the Ruins of Lordaeron. Then use the Bloated Frogs to feed the monster.
  • Tadpole Terror. Fish up 8 Giant Flesh-Eating Tadpoles.
  • Time for Slime. Collect 10 Squirming Slime Molds.

New Horde Fishing Dailies in Thunder Bluff
Quests come from Kah Mistrunner.

  • Craving Crayfish. Gather 10 Stonebull Crayfish from Stonebull Lake in Mulgore. You can fish them up dive in and grab them by hand.
  • Pond Predators. Catch 8 Azshara Snakehead fish from the Thunder Bluff pond.
  • Shiny Baubles. Collect 20 Shiny Stones from around the central rise's base.
  • The Race to Restock. Gather 2 Randy Smallfish and 2 Amorous Mud Snappers from Stonebull Lake in Mulgore.
  • The Ring's the Thing. Fish up Blind Cavefish from the Pools of Vision in Thunder Bluff and fillet them until you find the ring.


Original Post from December 2, 2010

I'd planned to hold off on this post until I'd actually gone through all 5 of the quests both Horde and Alliance side, but after a week-and-a-half, I've still only had the same 3 each side, and have been receiving prods about writing this post, so here you have it.

New Fishing Achievements

  • Illustrious Grand Master Fisherman. Obtain 525 skill points in fishing. The previous fishing skill achievements were earned upon training the ability to earn another 75 skill points. I like this change to getting the recognition once you finally get that last available skill point.
  • Fish or Cut Bait (A) or Fish and Cut Bait (H). Achievements for completing each of the 5 fishing daily quests.
  • The Limnologist. Catch 48 different fresh water fish. This big list of fish includes fish from Azeroth, Outlands, and Northrend. Despite my many fishing dailies, and my having fished up all of the previously existing fish on the list many times in the past, my achievement in progress for this is a big wall of gray. Blergh. I would mind redoing this less if it were only the new Azeroth fishies, as I want to explore all the new content anyhow.
  • The Oceanographer. Catch 33 different saltwater fish. Like Limnologist, these fish can be found in Azeroth, Northrend or Outlands (Jaggal Clams for the latter in case you were thinking to yourself what on earth could have been in saltwater in Outlands.)

New Alliance Fishing Dailies in Stormwind

  • Hitting a Walleye. Catch 8 Hardened Walleye. A very straightforward, fast daily. Make sure you are at the correct lake -- you should see an on screen indication that you are at Stormwind Lake. At 450 fishing, I caught one of these fish each cast.
  • Rock Lobster. Collect 6 rock lobsters. This quest is completed under the Stormwind docks, and is a collection quest (checking the crab traps) not actually a fishing chore. There is a level 85 shark patrolling those waters, noted by the quest to be viscous (sic), so watch out.
  • Thunder Falls. Catch 4 violet perch. Head out of Storwind's city gates, and head immediately to the right, and look for a steep but accessible path up the cliffs. You'll come to a small house with a smidge of water and a dock near the water falls. At 450 fishing I typically caught my four fish within 10 casts at worst.
  • Diggin' for Worms. Find an Overgrown Earthworm near Lake Olivia and use it as bait to catch a Crystal Bass. Look for cogwheels over hard to see mounds of dirt around Lake Olivia to grab your earthworm. After applying the worm to your hook, it's buff will last 10 minutes which should be more than long enough to catch your fish at Olivia's Pond. This one also happens to reward 2 fishing skill points instead of the usual 1. This body of water is near the Pumpkin Patch for the cooking daily, accessed through an exit from the Dwarven District.
  • Big Gulp. Catch Royal Monkfish and fillet them until you find the Precious Locket. So far, this is my least favorite of the fishing dailies due to its randomness. One day I fished up 26 monkfish, over the span of 11 or 12 minutes before I got a locket.

New Horde Fishing Dailies in Orgrimmar

  • Clammy Hands. Collect 10 Monstrous clam meat. The clams are collected (not fished) from the sea floor under the docks in Bladefist Bay, outside of Orgrimmar.
  • A Staggering Effort. Head out the North exit of Orgrimmar to kill a stag and collect its eye to use as bait to catch a Sandy Carp in the Valley of Wisdom. 
  • A  Golden Opportunity. Cut off a thunder Lizard's tail with the quest item knife, then click on its tail to kill Golden Stonefish, retrieving 3 Golden Stonefish from their electrocuted bodies. You should be able to use that one lizard tail to easily kill all three of your fish.
  • No Dumping Allowed. Fish up 6 toxic puddlefish. A very quick and straightforward daily.
  • A Furious Catch. Catch a Giant Furious Pike in the Southfury River right outside Orgrimmar. Be sure to head South, not North, as you exit Orgrimmar through the Valley of the Spirits, as you want to remain in Durotar for this quest.

Other New Fishing Miscellanea

The new dailies reward you with a Bag of Shiny Things. Overall, the rewards bag has been disappointing. No cool grey or white items that serve as bank alt bling. No vendor trash that earns you a great sell price. No adorable pets. OK, I take back the latter -- if you don't already have a Strand Crawler from your Dalaran fishing bags, you have a chance at that.

I would guess that the overall cheap quality of these rewards is due to the fact that your level 10 characters can pick up these quests, and no one wants a filthy rich level 10 just from doing the fishing dailies. It would be nice though if there was a new pole, or a pet, or lures, or even unique bobber icons that could be either earned over time or randomly awarded through these new dailies. Oh well. they promised to make fishing more fun in Cataclysm, but so far I am not sure what it is they have in mind exactly. We shall see.

Are you going to grab a tackle box? It's a new profession bag, fashioned by engineers. I am not seeing that for me it would be worth it over all. I typically send all my fish to a bank alt, and at any given time have a solid tab full of fish and meat. I am much more likely to go out into the world with regular bags and fill them up. But then again it might come in handy when roaming the world working on one of those new "catch one of every fish" achievements.

I do like the change of our mouse-over for the bobber now being a fishy. It's very cute. Now if only they'd give us a way to earn ourselves one of these cute goblin fishing chairs...

UPDATED: Cataclysm Cooking Achievements and Daily Quests

UPDATED 4/29 with the new cooking dailies added with Patch 4.1

Alliance Cooking Dailies in Darnassus

Alliance Cooking Dailies in Ironforge
Quests come from Daryl Riknussun.

Horde Cooking Dailies in The Undercity
Quests come from Eunice Burch.

Horde Cooking Dailies in Thunder Bluff
Quests come from Aska Mistrunner.

  • Corn Mash. Pound 6 bowls of corn kernels into cornmeal.
  • "Magic" Mushrooms. Gather 6 "Magic" Mushrooms from the Pools of Vision.
  • Mulgore Spice Bread. Use Mulgore Spices with Spice Bread to create 5 Fresh Mulgore Spice Bread, or obtain them from someone else.
  • Perfectly Picked Portions. Obtain four "perfect portions" from merchants stalls around Thunder Bluff. You will obtain one each of Succulent Sweet Potatoes, Savory Spices, Fresh-Caught Fish, and Fresh-Hunted Fowl from Thunder Bluff merchant stalls.
  • Pining for Nuts. Obtain 30 Pine Nuts by toasting Mulgore Pine Cones.

Original Post

I've slowly but surely started working on my Cataclysm cooking achievements and cooking quests, thanks to all being activated with patch 4.0.3a. I've already achieved the Let's Do Lunch achievement on my Alliance characters after only a week of dailies.

Achievements: Alliance

  • Let's Do Lunch: Complete each of the Stormwind cooking dailies listed below.
  • The Cataclysmic Gourmet: Cook 15 then 30 of the new recipes.
  • Iron Chef: Learn 200 cooking recipes.

Achievements: Horde

  • Let's Do Lunch: Complete each of the Orgrimmar cooking dailies listed below.
  • The Cataclysmic Gourmet: Cook 15 then 30 of the new recipes.
  • Iron Chef: Learn 200 cooking recipes.

Alliance Cooking Dailies in Stormwind

  •  A Fisherman's Feast. Obtain 5 gigantic catfish, via fishing or stealing barrels of fish from beleagured Stormwind fishermen.
  • Orphans Like Cookies Too. Steal bags of confectioners' Sugar (or buy them from NPCs in the Inns around SW).
  • The King's Cider. Obtain 12 juicy apples that have fallen from the trees around Stormwind. Herbalists have a leg up on this as the locations of fallen apples will show on your mini map like herb nodes do.
  • Feeling Crabby? Collect 10 canal crabs. You'll want to get a warlock's underwater breathing buff or be a druid in seal form to swiftly swim through the canals in search of the crabs.
  • Penny's Pumpkin Pancakes. Obtain 6 Stormwind Pumpkins. Gathered from a pumpkin patch North of Stormwind. The hardest part of this quest is finding the tiny pathway out to the pumpkin patch from the far reaches of the Dwarven District.

Horde Cooking Dailies in Orgirmmar

So far of these, all are pretty fast and easy to complete other than Feeling Crabby, which is likely to flare tempers the same way the Dalaran mushrooms did in the early days of WotLK. 3 completed quests earns you enough Chef's Award tokens to purchase a recipe. Or 2 tokens can be turned in for a Crate of Tasty Meat that can be used to create some of the new recipes.

There are 11 recipes that may be learned with 450 cooking skill; 3 with 475 cooking skill; 11 with 500 cooking skill; 1 with 505 cooking skill; and 2 learned with 525 cooking skill. NOTE: the two 525 recipes will require a spend of 5 tokens instead of the 3 needed for the lower level recipes. Alliance recipes are purchased from Bario Matalli, while Horde recipes are purchased from Shazdar.

Gearing Up for Cataclysm: Cleaning out the Banks

Psychocandy in the Druid T2 set (a.k.a. one of several old skool gear sets taking up most of her bag space.)

With Cataclysm only a few short weeks away, it's tome for you to face up to the unholy mess that is your personal bank vault. And it's also time for Officers to evaluate the Guild bank vault. This guide to efficiently cleaning out your bank assumes you have a bank alt. If you don't have one already please go roll one now. Thank you.

Personal Banks

To get started cleaning out your personal bank, start by moving around all the items you have accumulated. I suggest grouping them like this:


  1. Old gear with sentimental value (like me and my old tier sets and favorite weapons)
  2. Off spec gear
  3. Old gear you are keeping around for hit swapping purposes
  4. Old gear you aren't using anymore and didn't get around to tossing out
  5. BoE gear that is higher level than you are

Keep all those in bucket 1. Keep those in bucket 2 only if you have used your off spec in the past 3 weeks. Throw out category 3 items since you can reforge and will be getting all new gear in a month anyhow. Bucket 4 should have already been DEd or sold by the time you are reading this sentence. Send items in bucket 5 to your bank alt.


  1. Flasks, fish feasts, and buff foods for your current spec.
  2. Speed pots, Wild Magic pots, health pots and mana pots.
  3. Cooked mana/health non-buff food such as Sauteed Goby.
  4. Fun consumables that turn yourself or other people into other things (i.e. savory deviate delight, etc.)
  5. Level 75 vendor water/food.
  6. Elixirs.

Keep items in categories 1-3. Keep items in category 4, in moderation, unless they are only usable in Dalaran. And no you really do not need 6 stacks of pygmy oil. You really don't. Minimize how much of each item you have on your character (max of 1 stack); send overflow to your bank alt. Throw out items in categories 5 and 6. You'll be getting far better ones soon, and are likely to use up your old flasks while leveling rather than using those elixirs anyhow.


  1. Vanity pets.
  2. Alt gear and weapons

 Make sure you only have, across your account, 1 of each of the BoA vanity pets (Or two if you are contemplating a one character server move.) Delete the rest. Mail all remaining BoA vanity pet items and all BoA gear to your bank alt.

Reputation and Quest Items

  1. BoE currency that can be turned in for quests or rep rewards (ex: Relics of Ulduar, Arcane Tomes, etc.)
  2. BoE quest items.
  3. BoP quest items.
  4. BoP currency that can be turned in for reputation or items (Argent Dawn insignias, champions' writs)
  5. Items needed for quests currently in your logs.
  6. Quest items leftover from completed quests.

Mail all items in categories 1 and 2 to your bank alt. Keep items in category 3 such as Blood of Innocents from Scholomance, or the blue ring that allows you to summon Vael in UBRS if they have sentimental value for you. Throw out items in category 4 unless you are actively engaged in that reputation grind currently. Don't hang on to a half dozen slots of items you know in your heart you will never ever turn in. Especially if it's from BC times and earlier. Keep items in category 4 if you are really going to do the quest before Cataclysm hits. If not, toss them out along with all the items in category 5.

At this point, you should have 3-4 bags free on your main character (we all have a certain amount of gear, consumables, and toys we like to carry around with us), and hopefully well-organized bags in the bank with plenty of room for your Cataclysm goodies.

Toys and Other Fun Stuff

  1. Irreplaceable or hard to replace items (the Timbermaw bear transforming rod, the piccolo of flaming-everyone-at-the-mailbox-wants-to-kill-you, etc.)
  2. Wands
  3. BoE and common items

Fun stuff has a tendency to be the downfall of many banks. A leather ball here, a stack of snowballs there, and pretty soon your inventory is full. But this game is ABOUT having fun, so keep all items in category #1. Try to trim down the  number in category 2 (I have a whole bag of Halloween wands, blossoming branches, and a Manabonk wand on more than 1 character. That's OK.) Mail items in category 3 to your bank alt or unsuspecting guildies, or throw them out.

Profession Materials

  1. Items for use at my current profession level.
  2. Items leftover from my profession leveling.
  3. Excess items made while leveling my profession.

Keep a moderate amount of items in category 1 if you think there is a good chance you will need them. For example, if you are an enchanter, hang on to some materials. But if you are  a max level tailor for example, liquidate those extra materials. Send all items in categories 2 and 3 to your bank alt.

Bank Alt Vaults

Now that you have sent your bank alt a ton of stuff as part of the process tidying up your bags, it's time to get organized. Most personal bank vaults with which I've been acquainted (i.e. I've asked impertinent questions about this on twitter and in game) tend to top out at about 3 tabs and a full set of Frostweave bags. The tabs start to feel a little too steep after that, so it is not entirely uncommon for serious auctioneers to have a second bank vault for keeping their storehouse of goods at the ready. But I digress.

You'll want to evaluate each item as you unpack it form the mail as a keep or a sell.

Keep and Organize

  • Profession materials that can apply to professions you might level in the future on alts
  • BC and later reputation items that you will use on alts
  • Consumables
  • BoA items
  • Rare quality or better gear for future alts


  • Profession materials specific to the profession you've most recently leveled and that you do not intend to level again (i.e. engineering materials)
  • Uncommon quality BoE gear and weapons
  • Epic quality BoE gear and weapons
  • Enchant scrolls and excess materials
  • Epic gems
  • Buff foods and scrolls

Keep Until Cataclysm Then Sell

  • Your stockpiles of lowbie profession materials such as mageweave cloth and wool cloth and mithril ore
  • Extra glyphs (prices are currently going lower than the herb cost on many glyphs)
  • Excess reputation items you won't use
  • Excess profession items such as fishing lures and raw food that you don't need
  • BoE toys and fun items (there is often a mini surge on this sort of stuff around the holidays)

Guild Banks

I've seen guild banks that truly became the receptacles for all the junk the guildies couldn't sell. Guild banks that had so many and such strict rules that it was not uncommon to receive an item mailed back with a note about how it was not adequate for the guild bank and to please not place it there again. I like a happy medium between those two extremes.

First, you need to evaluate what items guildies actually contribute to -- and withdraw from-- the guild bank. If the all access tabs are stuffed to the gills with junk, and only the Officers-only extra special items ever leave the bank, consider not having as many slots open for general swapping. In addition to the tips for bank vaults above, guild banks will also want to take these thoughts into consideration:

  • Make sure you have enough room to allow guildies to share recipes and profession materials, and group them together by profession.
  • If you can afford it, consider having an entire tab for glyphs, and organize them by class, then by type.
  • Buy as many bank tabs as the guild can afford. It's a lot easier to keep tabs organized if there is room to move things around and to add in more items.
  • Organize gear by armor proficiency to make it easier for folks to see there is something they could use.
  • Consider selling or raffling off those reputation items needed for crafting, and the epic BoEs that are gathering dust in the Officers tab. After Cataclysm, they are not likely to be requested-- or to be able to be sold for any significant value.
  • Assign an officer to keep an eye on the bank and weed out any items in overabundance.

Cataclysm: Factions to Grind

When it comes to prioritizing which reputations I focus on working up to Exalted status, my priorities are based upon: profession recipes they unlock, pets or mounts that are available, and otherwise hard to obtain entry-level 80 gear for that character. This is why few of my characters attempt to work through all of the reputations each new expansion brings. This guide aims to help you prioritize where to spend your Cataclysm reputation faction grinding time.

NOTE: Until I can see how the rare level items from crafting and heroics shake out, not including the purchasable rare items here. In prior expansions, most of the rare reputation blues were not typically worth grinding out rep for on their own merits.

Neutral Factions

Horde Factions

Alliance Factions

Guardians of Hyjal

Exalted rep will land you the ability to purchase an epic plate DPS belt, cloth spirit belt, melee DPS mail boots (Malorne gear not for druids? Oh the humanity!), or a tanking cloak. Spellcasters will want to grind at least to revered to grab the Arcanum of Hyjal helm enchant.


These guys are on my epic faction grind list so I can obtain a tan riding camel or a brown riding camel. Other epic purchasable items include dps spellcaster cloth boots, a melee DPS necklace, plate tanking wrists, or a plate healing waist. Melee DPS will want to grind to revered for the Arcanum of the Ramkahen helm enchant.

The Earthen Ring

Epic gear purchasable at exalted includes mail spellcaster boots, cloth spellcaster gloves, a melee DPS ring, and plate healing gloves. Tanks will want to grind to revered to purchase the Arcanum of the Earthen Ring helm enchant.


Therazane's big draw is shoulder enchants. Rare shoulder enhancements available at Honored: Lesser Inscription of Charged Lodestone, Lesser Inscription of Jagged Stone, Lesser Inscription of Shattered Crystal, and Lesser Inscription of Unbreakable Quartz. Epic shoulder enhancements available at Exalted: Greater Inscription of Unbreakable Quartz, Greater Inscription of Shattered Crystal, Greater Inscription of Jagged Stone, and Greater Inscription of Charged Lodestone.

Dragonmaw Clan (H)

 Melee DPS will want to grind out revered for the Arcanum of the Dragonmaw. Epic gear purchasable at exalted includes plate tanking boots, leather melee gloves, a spellcaster leather belt, and a spellcaster necklace.

Hellscream's Reach (H)

Clearly, I am going to be working on this rep, for a number of good reasons. Primarily: Hellscream's Reach Tabard (Use: Teleports the caster to Hellscream's Grasp  on Tol Barad) and the Rustberg Gull vanity pet, both available at Honored reputation. At Exalted reputation, they have trinkets for everyone: Impatience of Youth, Mandala of Stirring Patterns, Mirror of Broken Images, Stump of Time, and Unsolvable Riddle. And they also have two mounts available at Exalted reputation: the Reins of the Drake of the West Wind and the Reins of the Spectral Wolf.

Baradin's Wardens (A)

Alliance folks will br grinding this rep for Baradin's Wardens Tabard (Use: Teleports the caster to Baradin Base Camp on Tol Barad) and the Rustberg Gull vanity pet. Like Hellscream's Reach, they have mounts available at Exalted reputation: Reins of the Drake of the West Wind and Reins of the Spectral Steed. And At Exalted reputation, they have trinkets for everyone: Impatience of Youth, Mandala of Stirring Patterns, Mirror of Broken Images, Stump of Time, and Unsolvable Riddle.

Wildhammer Clan (A)

 Melee DPS will want to grind out revered for the Arcanum of the Wildhammer. Epic gear purchasable at exalted includes plate tanking boots, leather melee gloves, a spellcaster leather belt, and a spellcaster necklace.

Toys and Relics and Scribe-crafted Bling from Cataclysm Inscription Recipes

Now that the final countdown has started for Cataclysm, as the earthquakes become more frequent, and the elementals start popping up everywhere, my thoughts have turned to professions. I’d been wondering how Inscription would fare, given that they’ve changed our glyph usage so that it’s buy once and know it forever, which will long-term reduce that facet of the viability of inscription as a money-making profession.

Thanks to the good folks over at WoWHead, I’ve gotten my question answered: we’ll be making toys and the key component to one of the new buff foods. Some nice relics for ourselves, and shoulder enchants that are better than the rep enchants as well. But so far, no sure-fire best selling items, unless it turns out we are the primary source for level 85 offhands for the first few months of the expansion.


Mysterious Fortune Cards

Now, these items are interesting. When you make a Mysterious Fortune Card, you can not be sure of exactly what you will end up with. No, it's not another Darkmoon Card redux. That's further down this page. Instead, you end up with a Fortune Card. Most of the time, you get the white item that provides a fortune but also acts as the primary material for creating a Fortune Cookie, a buff food that provides you with 96k health and mana, and a 90 stamina/90 other useful stat buff for an hour. But there is also a chance to create an uncommon card that vendors for 20g, a rare card that vendors for 50g, or, drum roll please: one of two epic quality cards that vendor for 1,000 G or  5,000 G. Now that's what I call fortunate!

BoE Gear

Scribe-Specific Enchants



My Shadow Priest's Planned Patch Day Build and Glyphs


Since I've been able to do some playing around on the PTR, I have my plans solidified for my talents and glyphs when the patch comes out in the next week or so. These choices are for being raid-ready at 80. I'll certainly change things up for my off-spec and for leveling when the expansion drops on December 7.


As of the patch, you'll get three glyphs each for your prime, major and minor glyph slots.


  • Dispersion
    Reduces the cooldown on Dispersion by 45 sec.
  • Shadow Word: Pain
    Increases the periodic damage of your Shadow Word: Pain by 10%.
  • Mind Flay
    Increases the damage done by your Mind Flay spell by 10% when your target is afflicted with Shadow Word: Pain.

I know that Blizz wants us to move SW:Death back into our rotation, but until I actually see in action that I am using it enough to warrant its glyph, I'm choosing SW:P over it. In BC, when it was part of my rotation, I still don't think it got enough use that I would pick decreasing its cooldown over something else. And if you are spamming it trying to get those juicy big crits at the 25% and under health levels, well you'd better have a healer keeping an eye on you unless you enjoy floor hugging.


  • Spirit Tap
    When you kill a target with your Shadow Word: Death and yield experience or honor, you instantly receive 12% of your total mana over 12 sec.
  • Psychic Scream
    Targets of your Psychic Scream spell now tremble in place instead of fleeing in fear, but the cooldown of Psychic Scream is increased by 3 sec.
  • Fade
    Reduces the cooldown of your Fade spell by 9 sec.

Despite not thinking I'll be using SW:D a ton, the Spirit Tap glyph seems like a good buy (especially since there aren't a ton of other glyphs in this range that I am dying to use.) The psychic Scream glyph rocks for providing PvE priests the ability to use Fear in a raid setting without sending off its targets to go find new friends. Huzzah! And given my love for using my Fade button, that glyph is also a no-brainer.


  • Fortitude
    Reduces the mana cost of your Power Word: Fortitude spell by 50%.
  • Levitate
    Your Levitate spell no longer requires a reagent.
  • Shadow Protection
    Increases the duration of your Shadow Protection spell by 10 min.

Nothing to see here. Pick your favorite boring old minor glyphs. These are the ones I've used since the dawn of inscription.


I've used MMO Champion's talent calculator to show my build. Basically, you go through the Shadow tree, minus the stun for Mind Blast and the psychic horro and sience points, then put your remaining points into Discipline.


(NOTE: Now that you get your talent points every other level, you can't spend that next point in Discipline until you hit 81.)


I'm not set on my rotation at this point. And from all the nerding back and forth on, I don't know that anyone else is yet either. But this is what I am looking at:

SW:P > DP > VT > SW:D > MB> MF

Then wait for the MB and SW:D CDs to be back up, and refreshing DoTs as needed. Toss out your shadowfiend whenever the CD is available, starting when you are down 25% mana or thereabouts. If it's a short fight, you may want to lead with it for pure DPS boost.


The current talk is that mastery becomes better than crit and haste only at the point that you have 1400 of each of them. Which I, not having any heroic gear, certainly do not have. So at this point, I won't be worrying about it, other than as a way to manage my hit rating. Basically, 40% of the following stats on a piece of gear may be reforged into any stat not currently present on that piece of gear:

  • Critical Strike Rating
  • Dodge Rating
  • Expertise Rating
  • Haste Rating
  • Hit Rating
  • Mastery Rating
  • Parry Rating
  • Spirit

Overall it's looking like our 4.0.1 gear stat priority would be: Intellect > Haste > Crit > Spirit > Mastery (at hit cap) or  Hit > Intellect > Haste > Crit > Spirit > Mastery (until hit cap)

For Further Patch Related Reading


Shadowpriest FAQs, Vol. 1

shadow priest at a portal into the Emerald Nightmare

I'm not one to make a soup-to-nuts guide to shadow priesting -- I wasn't keeping a blog or journal going 3 years ago when I leveled either of my two shadow priests (one Horde, one Alliance), and plenty of other folks have done a great job of that already.

But that said, I do often get questions from new shadow priests, or most often, from healing priests looking to get crib notes for their shadow off-spec. Hence, some FAQs. If you have a question I haven't answered here, leave it in the comments and I'll answer it in Volume 2. A big THANK YOU to my tweeps who suggested some of the questions.


Q: Which is better, spirit or crit? And should I choose haste over spellpower?

A: I go with the stat weightings provided by

  • Int = 0.22
  • Spi = 0.59
  • Crit = 0.76
  • Haste = 0.98
  • SP = 1.00 (stat weights are normalized to SP)
  • Hit = 1.88

What this means is haste and spellpower are weighted almost the same, and hit is rated as more valuable right up until you reach your hit cap. Spirit and Int are your least valued stats, and better suited, perhaps, for your healing set. Crit is still tasty, but not as much as haste.

Q: What hit cap should I be targeting?

This gives me the leeway to wear primarily haste/sellpower gear, with a few pieces that are bulked up on hit (I used a hit trinket forever which meant I only had to wear 3 other hit pieces.) Here's the breakdown:

  • 263 hit cap with 6 points in Shadow Focus and Misery plus a Draenei in your group
  • 289 hit cap with 6 points in Shadow Focus and Misery
  • 315 hit cap with 5 points in Shadow Focus and Misery
  • 341 hit cap with 4 points in Shadow Focus and Misery 
  • 368 hit cap with 3 points in Shadow Focus and Misery
  • 394 hit cap with 2 points in Shadow Focus and Misery
  • 394 hit cap with 2 points in Shadow Focus and Misery
  • 420 hit cap with 1 point in either Shadow Focus or Misery
  • 446 hit without any points in Shadow Focus or Misery

Q: How about tips for the disc priest that only pretends to be shadow on those pesky low healer fights?!

A:The most important thing I can say to you is to invest in a DoT timer and resist the urge to clip your Vampiric Touch. Don't put up your Shadow Word: Pain until you have 5 stacks of shadow weaving plus any other spellpower buff from trinkets, etc. Mind Flay is your all-purpose fill-in sell when Mind Blast isn't up and it's not time to refresh your DoTs. And finally, 4 or more targets are optimal for Mind Sear. Less than that and you are better off DoTing 2 and focus firing the other.

Q: How do you prioritize and balance haste/crit/sp, etc as you gear up?

A: Haste didn't make it onto the scene until I was level 70 if I recall. So I can only answer from the 70-80 sphere. Spellpower is the end all be all stat, in my mind, as you level. Haste becomes attractive once you have better gear that gives you a solid mana pool. I didn't start truly noticing haste's discrete effect on my DPS output until it got up to about 19%. That is also the point at which I started using haste pots, rather than Wild Magic Pots, on boss fights. You should get the incidental crit you want/need as you go along as a secondary stat.

Q: Meteor Chaser's Raiment or the T10 chest?

A: They both cost the same in badges, but unless you are doing hard modes and can get the max upgrade to the T10 chest, the Meteor Chaser's Raiment is your best buy. For more details on the T10 versus the other emblem gear, see my Frost Emblem post.


Q: Shadow Word Death: Will this get me chewed out by the healers and kicked out of a group? 

A: If you have a healer who is not used to shadow priests, an ill-timed SW:D is likely to result in a tongue lashing. Because it's rarely the case it's used as the death blow for a mob, which means you, dear caster, get it back in your face in damage. And it's rarely your best use of a GCD these days in bang for your buck, so it's typically not part of a rotation, except for those folks who like to include it in their initial ramp up for their 5 stacks of shadow weaving. So, use it sparingly, and when it makes sense. Don't use it when the entire team is taking AOE damage or you may die. Do use it when you are having to run around or being tossed up in the air to sneak in a little damage.

Q: What's your rotation?

A: It varies depending upon the situation. In 5-mans, I tend to DoT the primary target then mind sear because everything dies too fast to make single targeting them down feasible (too often there's not enough time for the DoTs to tick.) In raids, my boss rotation typically starts with a VT, then DP, MB, MF, MF then SW:P. That second go of MF is so my trinket's 10 stacks of extra spell damage is up before I cast SW:P.

Q: What shadow priest mods do you use?

A: Apparently there are a few Shadow Priest-specific DPS and buff mods I have never heard of, because folks often ask me if I use them. I keep it simple: Quartz Castbar to see when I should start queuing up my next spell, and Need to Know which allows me to track my DoTs. Omen and DBM for raiding. Auctionator and Lil'Sparky's Workshop for crafting, though the latter is giving me LUA errors now.

More soon. If you have a question, leave it below.

What to Wear: A Shadow Priest's Guide to 25-man Icecrown Citadel Gear

As previously noted, I'm not a math geek so I am not going to argue BiS (best in Slot) with the maths here. Rather, I am going to discuss your gearing up opportunities by boss, to help you prep your wish list. If you want to see BiS across all available 10-man and 25-man raids, including ICC hard mode boss drops, has an excellent list. With more math than you can shake a stick at.

Words of Caution: As with ToC, you will want to be picking up some haste gear from ICC which means doing the hit-swapping dance, so don't be quick to shard or sell your existing gear when you receive an upgrade. You will likely have to swap gear around for raids to ensure you stay hit capped.

Your boss-by-boss gear guide, after the jump.

Continue reading "What to Wear: A Shadow Priest's Guide to 25-man Icecrown Citadel Gear" »

Updated: Pilgrim's Bounty Cooking

You may have noticed a flurry of cooking leveling within your guild recently. People who'd previously poo-poo'd cooking and fishing suddenly taking up both with a vengeance. It's likely that the upcoming Pilgrim's Bounty in-game event is the reason. Pilgrim's Bounty is held November 22- November 28 and features virtual takes on many of the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday's traditions.

The cooking quests, and the achievements requiring the fruits of your cooking labors, all involve specialty items only available from specific Pilgrim's Bounty vendors, located outside of the capital cities. Although they share some of the holiday goods, such as honey and spices, certain items are only available from a specific NPC:

  • Cranberries are from the vendors outside Ironforge and Orgrimmar.
  • Sweet Potatoes are from the vendors outside Darnassus and Thunder Bluff
  • Small Pumpkins are from the vendors outside Stormwind and Undercity.

Additionally, you'll need to hunt turkeys in Tirisfall Glades or Elwynn Forest to obtain Wild Turkeys. With the assistance of these vendors, you will be making five dishes:

Cooking all five recipes will earn you the achievement Now We're Cookin'. Your first stack of 20 of each of these foods will be used to complete the daily Pilgrim's Bounty Daily quests, resulting in the achievement Pilgrim's Progress.

Related achievements include Pilgrim's Paunch (Acquire the Spirit of Sharing from a complete Bountiful Table feast at every capital) and Sharing is Caring (Pass one of every dish at a Bountiful Table.) NOTE: if you eat five helpings of every food, you'll gain the Spirit of Sharing which lasts one hour and increases reputation gained by 10%.  Conveniently, tables come equipped with their own unlimited stacks of food, so you won't be stuck in the kitchen all day. These achievements are all part of the Pilgrim meta achievement which awards the title Pilgrim and a plump turkey vanity pet.

More achievement points are nice, and I'll definitely try to complete the achievement for the pet. But what I am most excited about is gaining five more recipes to add to my total.

I'll be updating this post with screenshots and more details once the holiday goes live this weekend.

For more cooking achievement details, see the Cooking Achievement guide.

What to Wear: the Shadow Priest's Guide to Gear from Trial of the Champion

Patch 3.2 landed like a Loot Reaver pinata. Everywhere you looked were mains and alts alike running instances like mad and jumping significant WoW Heroes levels. While it is all very awesome, it's also left many folks a little uncertain as to what is available to them and from where. We'll start to tackle that problem here.

Trial of the Crusader (normal)

Dropping all iLvl 200 items on regular mode, just like the raid instance Naxxaramas, some have said this 5-man instance has made Naxx obsolete. I disagree since the raiding experience Naxx provides is invaluable. However, this instance is a great way to quickly gear up your alts, or stock up on your Abyss Crystals as the case may be.

  • Abyssal Rune. If you have had bad trinket luck like me, you will be excited to see this haste and chance on cast to increase dps trinket drop.
  • Belt of the Churning Blaze. Good to bank for hit swapping.
  • Bindings of the Wicked. Another good item to keep on hand for hit swapping.
  • Handwraps of Surrendered Hope. These gloves are slightly better itemized for healers, but grab if they are an upgrade.
  • Leggings of the Haggard Apprentice. The leggings have good stats plus 2 gem slots, including the ever elusive blue gem slot.
  • Mantle of Inconsolable Fear. This shoulder piece is slightly better itemized for healers, but worth grabbing if it is an overall upgrade.
  • Signet of Purity. Solid ring though its spirit means you will be up against the druid and priest healers.
  • The Confessors Binding. Good waist, but will want to bypass the gem slot bonus to put a ruby in this spot. Its  spirit means you will be up against the druid and priest healers.

Trial of the Crusader (heroic)

Dropping all ilvl 219 items, this heroic 5-man instance even provides upgrades for folks who've gone through Naxx 10.

What to Wear: A Shadow Priest's Guide to 25-man Ulduar

On the heels of my 10-man guide to shadow priest gear upgrades available in Ulduar, I bring you this heroic 25-man version. (it's going to be hard to retrain myself on that one.)

As previously noted, I'm not a math geek so I am not going to argue BiS (best in Slot) with the maths here. Rather, I am going to discuss your gearing up opportunities by boss, to help you prep your wish list. If you want to see BiS across all available 10-man and 25-man raids, including Ulduar hard mode boss drops, has an excellent list. With more math than you can shake a stick at.

Words of Caution: Much of the Ulduar loot lacks hit. So don't be quick to shard or sell your existing gear when you receive an upgrade. You may have to swap gear around for raids to ensure you stay hit capped.

Your boss-by-boss gear guide, after the jump.

Continue reading "What to Wear: A Shadow Priest's Guide to 25-man Ulduar" »

What to Wear: a Shadow Priest's Guide to 10-Man Ulduar

On the heels of having had, shall we say, "lively" discussions with Master Looters over whether two belts were "best for healers. healers get first priority" in Ulduar in the past two weeks (once in 25 the other in 10), I realized the best defense is an offense. These discussions go a lot more smoothly when you can point to unbiased third parties and say "um, no."

I'm not a math geek so I am not going to argue BiS (best in Slot) with the maths here. Rather, I am going to discuss your gearing up opportunities by boss, to help you prep your wish list. If you want to see BiS across all available 10-man and 25-man raids, including Ulduar hard mode boss drops, has an excellent list. With more math than you can shake a stick at.

Words of Caution: Much of the Ulduar loot lacks hit. So don't be quick to shard or sell your existing gear when you receive an upgrade. You may have to swap gear around for raids to ensure you stay hit capped.

The list, after the break.

Continue reading "What to Wear: a Shadow Priest's Guide to 10-Man Ulduar" »