shadow priest

The King is Dead! Long Live the Lich King!

Last night, after 11 raiding nights, spread out over 5-6 weeks, at a cost of about $1,000 gold to those of us who came most nights (we had a few weeks with repairs turned on which was a blessing, but this is still our RL's ballpark cost), we defeated the Lich King.With 10/10 standing for the ending which feels pretty damn impressive to me for a first kill.

This also meant I FINALLY got to experience the cut scene and the ending of the fight myself. The cinematic was a perfect end cap to the Wrathgate cinematic, and an effective closure to this expansion.

Good job Blizzard. And thank you for keeping one of my favorite characters true to himself to the very end. Sniffle. That's all I am saying about the ending and the cinematic, to avoid spoiling it for anyone. And yes, at the end of the fight, I thanked my guildies for allowing me to make it through that fight to see the conclusion myself first-hand, without having it spoiled.

The spoilers from twitterland prepared me somewhat for the ending but did not totally ruin the impact for me. So that's a good thing. And thank you for Naie after that incident for encouraging me to keep hope alive I could attain my personal goal, retaining the rallying cry I yelled every night 1 of every ICC raid we've done as a team.

It's been a long road to the Lich King. My RL just reminded me it has been 3 tanks, 5 healers, and 10 dps that participated in the learning curve from start to finish too. A huge effort. But we're done. It feels pretty amazing to actually kill the final boss of an expansion before the next expansion (or all its uber talent changes hits -- hello patch 3.0 I am looking at you.)

I took a ton of screenshots, none of which I am posting here as most are incredibly spoilerific, like this one. And I sat down on the stairs of the frozen throne for a very long time, and got screenshots there with some of my favorite raiders.

How We Stack Up

Just for fun, here are some statistics regarding our server's raiding progress, courtesy of Guild Progress:

Ranked Guilds: 310
209 Alliance 101  Horde
Icecrown Citadel 10 Boss Kills
    • Lich King 5.81%
    • Sindragosa 10.65%
    • Rescue Valithiria 18.39%
    • Blood-Queen Lana'thel 15.81%
    • Blood Prince Council 18.39%
    • Professor Putricide 19.35%
    • Festergut 39.03%
    • Rotface 33.87%
    • The Deathbringer 44.84%
    • Gunship Battle 48.71%
    • Lady Deathwhisper 49.68%
    • Lord Marrowgar 50.97%

  • Blog Azeroth Shared Topic: Best/Worst Towns

    Thanks to this week's Blog Azeroth Shared Topic for giving me an excuse to share my love of Undercity.

    death knight and undead shadow priest enjoying a Love Boatr cruis through Undercity's sewers

    I know it's turning up on many folks' worst lists but I have loved the Undercity since my first trip there as a very wee undead priest back in the day.

    I love the overall Tim Burtonesque feel as I wander through the halls. I love that it's on a circular grid, making it easier to get to where you are going than Orgrimmar for instance. 

    It's a place that feels truly entrenched in the lore. Much like the Plage Lands. One of my favorite plague quests sends you back to talk to Royal Overseer Bauhaus(squee for a shout out to one of my favorite bands ever), the census taker, to try to find a restless ghost's next of kin, who turns out to be the poor sad cockroach vendor, Jeremiah.

    Add to it the subbasement level headquarters of the Royal Apothecary Society, and you have a city that truly feels like a perfect home for my forsaken ladies.

    A few things about the Undercity that you might not know, as noted in its WOWiki page:

    • There are portions of the Undercity where effects from Warcraft III were deliberately inserted into the game as ambient sounds. These areas are the throne room, the hallway directly outside of it, and even the bell tower located just at its entrance. Near the bell, you will hear the churchbells ringing when Arthas returns to Lordaeron before he becomes a death knight.
    • In the hall before the throne room, there are still scattered rose petals on the cobblestones from Arthas' return.
    • In the throne room itself, a slight trail of blood — from when Terenas' crown rolled on the floor after Arthas murdered him — can be seen near the throne. What is most chilling is that the room echoes with Arthas' own voice saying the words, "Succeeding you, father," his words before he murdered his own father.

    My only complaints are that it could really use a good tavern in the vein of Gallow's End tavern, and my poor Troll and Tauren have to dismount to use the elevator. But these are small complaints. I hope the Cataclysm changes are kind to my beloved home city.

    Alliance side, Stormwind City has long held my heart, despite my not playing any humans.

      gnome fisherwoman on the Stormwind canals fishing pier

    I love the many fishing spots along the canals, and wandering through the shops. The main bank/inn/auction house area is nice and compact. Folks always seemed to prefer Ironforge as a hub, but I love Stormwind for feeling like a city in which people actually lived, and worked, and sat around drinking beer with their buddies. You can stroll through the park, admire ships at the harbor, browse through the royal library and art gallery, or generally lose yourself in your character's thought here.

    Of all the places in the game, to me, this feels most like a real thriving capital city.

    After writing this I am struck by the fact that my two favorite cities in WoW are those with canals. I guess my love for Venice, Italy is showing through here.



    I don't want to spend a bunch of time on the worst towns, but will say these are the major cities I avoid when possible:

    • Darnassus. Everything is too spread out. It used to enrage me on my first toon, a druid, to run from the AH to the mailbox all the way at the bank and back again.
    • Exodar. I made my Draeni hustle themselves to Ironforge or Stormwind at the first opportunity. Nothing about this place made e want to stop and stay a while.
    • Thunder Bluff. I have wasted hours trying to get to the prairie dog vendor. Or to find anyone/anything here. The multi-levels always vex me. I've also never died from falling off from cliffs anywhere else.

    Friday 5: Blackwing Lair Retro Raid Edition

    I would  have loved for this to be the Kingslayer edition, but we had one healer beg off in advance (whom we replaced) and one no show after having to work late (who didn't contact us and thus for whom we waited 40 minutes), which meant no attempts were made on the Lich King last night. Our somewhat dejected band of pirates cranked through the weekly (XT) and then indulged me in something I've wanted to revisit for some time: Blackwing Lair.

    I spent months and months in there in vanilla WoW, healing on my druid, and really wanted to go back in a role that could focus on more than just the tiny health bars. I think we tore through in about 40 minutes. It was a great ending to a long, tough day.

    And thus, I bring you, 5 screenshots from BWL:   

    shadow priest in the supression room of Blackwing Lair

    shadow priest in Blackwing Lair

    shadow priest in Blackwing Lair gloating over the demise of Chromaggus
    shadow priest in Blackwing Lair calling on Lord Victor Nefarius
    shadow priest in Blackwing Lair checking out Nefarian


    Knee-deep in skelly bones...

    shadow priest in Blackwing Lair

    Huzzah! Oracles Cough up Green Proto-Drake for the Shadow Priest!

    shadow priest on protodrake

    I'd forgotten to check my Oracles egg. I've been buying them for years now. I wasn't expecting to see another proto-drake, figuring my druid had taken all that good luck already.

    This was taken on the Purple Parlor's balcony, looking out over Dalaran.

    Continue reading "Huzzah! Oracles Cough up Green Proto-Drake for the Shadow Priest!" »

    Friday Five: Cataclysm Priest Class Changes Reactions

    1. Leap of Faith (level 85): Pull a party or raid member to your location. Leap of Faith (or "Life Grip") is intended to give priests a tool to help rescue fellow players who have pulled aggro, are being focused on in PvP, or just can't seem to get out of the fire in time. Instant. 30-yard range. 45-second cooldown.

      Oh yeah, baby! I can pull back those sassy tanks if they let a mob get loose. Or I can bribe the mages to pull them out of whatever it is they seem to stand and die in, in exchange for a permanent lock on their Focus Magic. Mwhahahaha.
    2. All HoTs and DoTs will benefit from Haste and Crit innately. Hasted HoTs and DoTs will not have a shorter duration, just a shorter period in between ticks (meaning they will gain extra ticks to fill in the duration as appropriate).

      No more rethinking your rotation flow as your haste fluctuates. It wasn't a huge deal, but I suppose it's part of simplifying the play style that they are doing for all the classes.
    3. Preventing dot clipping is something we want to do in general. It obviously benefits Shadow priests just as much as warlocks.

      For some reason, they didn't include in the priest changes this tidbit from the lock changes: When reapplying a DoT, you can no longer "clip" the final tick. Instead, this will just add duration to the spell, similar to how Everlasting Affliction currently works. Presumably this means they are doing this for DoTs in general, not just warlocks. Thus, again, they're trying to make the rotation easier, and less affected by how well you can time your re-up casts. Another nod towards making it easier to do well as a SP, regardless of your quickness or your lag.
    4. Mind Spike (level 81): Deals Shadowfrost damage and puts a debuff on the target that improves subsequent Mind Spike damage. The intent of Mind Spike is to fill a niche missing in Shadow DPS, though it may be occasionally useful for healers as well. Mind Spike provides a quick nuke to use in situations where the priest doesn't have time to set up the normal rotation, such as when adds are dying too fast or you have to swap targets a lot. Spamming Mind Spike will do about as much damage as casting Mind Flay on a target afflicted with Shadow Word: Pain. The idea behind the debuff is that when you cast Mind Spike, we expect you to cast a lot of them; we don't intend you to fit it into an already full Shadow rotation. It also provides Shadow with a spell to cast when locked out of the Shadow school. (School lockouts will no longer affect both schools for multi-school spells.) 1.5-second cast. 30-yard range. No cooldown.

      It will be interesting to see if this plays out as intended (as a nice boost for smacking around adds) or if Shadow Priests, like warlocks in BC who stood around spamming shadowbolt, are just going to nuke with this. Probably depends upon the mana cost.
    5. Inner Will (level 83): Increases movement speed by 12% and reduces the mana cost of instant-cast spells by 10%. This buff will be exclusive with Inner Fire, meaning you can't have both up at once. Inner Fire provides a spell power and Armor buff; Inner Will should be useful on a more situational basis.

      I suppose this will be nice for running away from things. Except my cast bar is already full. Even before adding Mind Spike to it. So I suppose I'll have to make a macro for swapping to it then swapping back to Inner Fire, and assign it a key. I'm just a little underwhelmed is all. It's a nice to have but not a ZOMG how awesome!

    For the full round-up, check out MMO Champion's Priest Changes post.

    I'm not excited about the addition of shadow orbs (Casting spells grants a chance for Shadow Orbs to be created that fly around you and increase your shadow damage. This will help lower-level characters feel more like "Shadow priests" before they obtain Shadowform.). I have orbs on my shaman. I didn't need them on my shadow priest.

    And by removing our misery hit debuff, they bring all of us casters closer together with less unique utility/abilities. So that, in their words, "In general we're going to push even harder in Cataclysm for bringing people you like to play with, not bringing people who have awesome buffs. The answer to almost every question of "But why would they bring me?" should be "Because you know what the hell you're doing." Which I thought was what they said when they made all the WotLK class changes... :) At least some things stay the same


    Shadow 4 Life!

    It would thrill my 25-man raiding team if I woke up tomorrow and decided I'd really like to heal on my shadow priest. But that's not going to happen. And that's a good thing.

    The introduction of dual specs has been a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it has provided players who really like to perform several roles to do so on the same character. Or allowed raiders to save costly respec charges when they want to go PvP. But it's also created potential issues for players who truly enjoy one specific role a hybrid can play and who may then feel pressure from their guild to swap out and execute that other role "for the good of the raid."

    I have to stop at this point for an aside.

    At the start of WotLK, I shelved my Boomkin to level my shaman healer, "for the good of the guild." As in, no one else was going to level their healer so if I wanted to do any instances I'd better be able to heal them. That spilled over to my first forays into Naxx with an affiliated 10-man guild that my shadow priest had ton a bunch of Kara with at BC's end. Although I'd made it clear my druid was still my main, and she was a Boomkin (having been very unhappy with 3.0 changes making my prior 3 years' spec and healing style no longer competitive), we kept having fights we needed a third healer to accomplish. After failing at healing the four horseman fight, as the sole healer in the back, off spec on my druid, I was convinced to bring in my shaman.

    This became a recurrence. If you look at my shaman and druid's armories side-by-side, you can see the failings of my raid team. The fights they just could not get down to accomplishing with 2 Main Spec healers. Not only did I start to resent having to swap out to heal, missing out on gear, I was missing out on the sheer fun I had when playing my main in her main spec roll.

    Now, back to our main topic.

    A key factor in deciding to make the leap to the horde last Spring was finding a group of folks starting Naxx, who overflowed with healers and welcomed having a shadow priest in the raid. In the three plus years since I rolled Anexxia, and for the 6 months I played my Alliance priest, rolling through Karazhan weekly, all I have done as a priest is melt faces. Since the very first time I threw out a purple beam and eviscerated some unlucky creature, I've been hooked.

    I've spent the past year, i.e. the bulk of my WotLK experience, raiding on the shadow priest. I've tweaked my gear, my rotation, my knowledge of maximizing my output to a point where I am almost always in the zone when I'm playing. You know -- that point where you're not thinking about what you need to do next, you're just flowing, and kicking ass. I've taken it seriously to try to get my knowledge of my role, in playing my shadow priest, up to the level of competence I felt I had in my three years of raiding on my druid.

    I feel pretty close now. I am typically our top spellcaster in our raids, and even, every so often, edge out my SO the DK with the monster DPS. I've attended 2 or 3 or even 4 raids per week since July, depending on if we needed a little extra push for a progression fight. I've proven myself as being a totally capable, committed, core  part of our progression raiding team.

    The one thing I have not done in the past year? I haven't learned how to raid heal as a holy priest. Why? Because I have a healer (my shaman) that I have raid experience with and whom I enjoy healing on. I can still do that with minimal add-ons (I had grid set up for her and that's really it.) And I perform my main role exceptionally well. Have I been sat from 10 mans on occasion, seated so another DPS can take my place? Of course I have been. We have enough DPS whitelisted to raid 10 mans in our guild to have 3 10-mans a week If only we had the tanks and healers to support that, which we don't.

    Luckily, we do have some folks who do enjoy their off specs, and do them well enough to act as a band aid when we don't have a full team of main spec healers, which seems to be more often than not these days. We also have two DPS whom we'd allowed to swap out from being Main Spec'd healers during the healer glut at the end of the year, whom we've tapped to do some healing again lately.

    But to be frank, if you want to make progress or progression bosses, you need Mains, playing their main spec'd roles. Yes, we all know a person or two who kick as much ass in their off spec role or on their alts as they do on their mains. But that is the exception, not the rule.

    I lack both the time and the interest to download a bunch of mods, configure them, learn how to use them, then absorb a ton of theorycrafting in case I am needed to turn in my kick ass DPS to perform as a crappy healer for a raid night. It would take months of practice for me to realistically get a spec I have never played (in a role I have only done in a few farm alt raids on my resto shaman) to be able to be performed anywhere near on par with the expertise with which I play my shadow priest.

    And then there's the fact that I simply do not want to do it.

    I raid healed for 3 years on my druid. But it's been a year and a half, almost two years since I played her in that role. That's not who I am as a raider any more. I'm Anexxia. The shadow priest. And I kick ass at my job.

    I am all for allowing those who want to swap to an offspec to make a run happen do so. But I draw the line at forcing anyone in our raid into a role that they are not interested in pursuing. No one should feel as though they are being asked to carry the raid on their back. "You need to do this for the good of the raid" becomes a cross far to heavy for any of us to bear. I know -- I've tried to carry it, and it made me stop enjoying the game.

    We've had this gap we've been trying to duck tape for several months now. And there is clearly only one solution...

    WTB Healers!

    Straw Hat Pirates, the oldest horde guild on Bronzebeard, is in need of ICC 10/25 raid ready healers. We are 11/12 in 10-man (got our first peek at the Lich King this week), and 6/12 in 25. Raid times are 6:15 p.m. Paciific (Server time) to 9 p.m. Raid schedule can fluctuate, but Fridays are a night off, and Tuesdays are the weekly raid quest night, with the 25 man and two nights of 10s other nights.

    If you are interested in a sociable guild that has a casual raiding team, head to the website and submit an arrplication. You'll make a shadow priest smile.

    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.

    Countering a Misconception

    On our Festergut 25 attempt this past Monday, I was blessed with being placed in the melee group. This meant I didn't get the barfs and could stand still and DPS the boss except when I was gifted with a spore I had to run to a ranged team. My DPS increased by 1300-1500 thanks to this placement And as expected, there was at least one public case of ruffled feathers over this placement.

    Why did a shadow priest get this coveted placement over another DPS? Aren't shadow priests the class least affected by the having to run to and fro for Festergut? Alas, no, which should have been clear to the person asking me these questions if they had reviewed our raid logs. It takes a while for shadow priest DPS to ramp up. First, you have to get your 5 stacks of shadow weaving up. Next, you have to keep on refreshing that SW:P that you put up after those 5 stacks and during the use proc of your trinket, careful not to let it drop off. And finally, you want to keep your other DoTs up, without clipping them unnecessarily.

    Yes, Devouring Plague is an instant cast. But Vampiric Touch isn't -- it has a cast time so I can't cast it on the run. Ditto for Mind Blast. And Mind Flay is a channeled spell. And my Muradin's Spyglass rocks as long as I keep up my10 stacks at all times. So, not sure how one would come to think that the running in and out for spores would somehow not affect my DPS. I'm not just going to fling out DP until I am out of mana to try to keep the DPS flowing. And since you asked, no, in a fight with the entire raid taking damage, I'm not inclined to Shadow Word: Death myself either.

    Being put on the spot, by someone I don't really know, who was jonesing for the special placement I'd gotten (which had netted me our #2 damage done slot overall for the fight, #4 on DPS) made me pretty uncomfortable. Personally, I wouldn't have brought it up in guild chat, or proceeded to whisper a guildie, asking them to justify why they deserved the spot. I stood in the middle because that's what my raid leader asked me to do, just as the prior week I'd stood at range, gotten the pukes just about every go, and done significantly less DPS.

    This brings up a larger issue for me though which is not presuming to tell others how to play their class. Telling a guildie who excels at their class that they should do XYZ instead of what they are doing is out of line. Period. Firstly, it's not your business; if they want suggestions from the team they'll ask. And secondly, you don't top the damage charts by doing it wrong. You really don't. I promise. Facerolling OPd class du jour excepted, of course.

    When in doubt, keep your opinions to yourself. When my guildie confessed he was jealous of my placement, after the harangue about my playing, I said "yeah." Because that much was apparent already, or we wouldn't have been having the conversation. A conversation that, to be totally honest, really turned me off. So next time you get the urge to offer some unsolicited advice to someone, considering keeping it to yourself. Or go tweet your thought or write a blog post. Your raid will be the better for it.

    What to Wear: Frost Emblem Gear for Shadow Priests

    Patch 3.3 brought with it a new top-end emblem (Emblem of Frost), and a nice assortment of gear to fill in some lingering holes or help with the never-ending hit-swap dance. Personally, for now, I am hanging on to my badges to see how my luck fares in our ICC 10 runs, and how our progress goes in ICC 25. I'm not at all tempted to purchase my first few pieces of tier gear. Overall, other than the shoulders, it's looking like it's not worth wearing until you have the 4-piece bonus, or have been able to upgrade pieces via the marks that drop off each wing's final boss. So, after giving it a couple more weeks, I'll decide if I want to take the plunge and upgrade my less than 245 iLvl pieces, or wait until I have the 300-something badges for 4 pieces of tier gear.

    Tier Set

    Non-Tier Gear

    • Volde's Cloak of the Night Sky (50 emblems). If you are not doing 25-man content, and do not have a heroic ToC cloak, this will be your best option for this slot. You will not want to purchase the other badge cloak, Drape of the Violet Tower (50 emblems), as its MP5 is not useful for damage dealing.
    • Meteor Chaser's Raiment (95 emblems). This is your third-best chest, bested only by a heroic chest and the max-upgraded tier chest. The other non-tier badge chest, Ermine Coronation Robes (95 emblems), is itemized a little better for healers.
    • Gloves of False Gestures (60 emblems). If you have all your hit taken care of in other slots, these are considered to be your second best gloves. The other emblem gloves, Gloves of Ambivalence (60 emblems), are better itemized for healers.
    • Circle of Ossus (60 emblems). If you are not doing ICC 25 or heroic ICC 10, this will be your BiS belt.
    • Belt of Omission (60 emblems). If you are looking for hit in this slot, this will be your best option.
    • Maghia's Misguided Quill (60 emblems). If you have been using the Ulduar hit trinket you may want to spend the badges to upgrade to this even larger dose of hit (thus freeing up other slots for non-hit gear.)

    If you purchased all 5 of your tier items, you would be looking at an emblem spend of 405.

    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" »

    DPS Survey meme

    Happy Thursday!

    Here are my answers to the DPS survey meme from ( that has been making the rounds...

    What is the name, class, and spec of your primary dps?
    Anexxia, shadow priest.

    What is your primary dpsing environment? (i.e. raids, pvp, 5 mans)
    10- and 25-man raids.

    What is your favorite dps spell/ability for your class and why?
    Mind Sear. MWAHAHAHAHA. Watching Ony's whelps blow up with it is immensely gratifying.

    What dps spell do you use least for your class and why?
    I never use any of my holy damage spells. Unless I am running someone through SFK which has a few of those pesky shadow resistant worgen.

    What do you feel is the biggest strength of your dps class and why?
    We bring a number of buffs to the raid (fort, sirit, shadow protection, replenishment, raid-wide incremental healing from VE), good DPS, and a sexy shadowform to boot! So, in short, we bring the sexy.

    What do you feel is the biggest weakness of your dps class and why?
    Lack of burst DPS. When heroism/bloodlust goes up...I just get to mindflay faster. This looks to be somewhat addressed in 3.3 as far as haste affecting DoT ticks.

    In a 25 man raiding environment, what do you feel, in general, is the best dps assignment for you?
    Anything that involves quickly dispatching a bunch of pesky adds, unless you want me dispelling the boss, in which case that needs to be my DPS assignment as well.

    What dps class do you enjoy dpsing with most and why?
    Elemental shamans are an excellent compliment to any caster's firepower, if we can stay in range of their yummy totems. And of course, Boomkins. And mages if they give me their focus magic...

    What tanking class do you enjoy dpsing with least and why?
    I love pally tanks - they never kvetch about how we need to single target DPSing packs of mobs. Alas, many of the druid tanks post-Wrath have been more likely to have issues keeping aggro on multiple mobs, and tell us things like "no AOE!" Which makes me sad, and gives me poor DPS since low health mobs don't give the DoTs time to tick if we are focus firing them in order.

    What is your worst habit as a dps?
    I panic shield low-life DPSers, and pp out and heal if a healer goes down in raids.

    What is your biggest pet peeve in a group environment while dpsing?
    Being micromanaged by non-shadowpriest players as to what spells I should be using. No thx. And being told to silence, even after reminding folks multiple times that it's a PvP talent that I didn't put points in for raiding.

    Do you feel that your class/spec is well balanced with other dps?
    My guild's raids of late have been optimized for melee DPS, which significantly decreased my overall damage. It would be nice if my personal performance was not impacted by the rarity of an elemental shaman, boomkin or unholy DK in our raids.

    What tools do you use to evaluate your own performance as a damage dealer?
    Recount and WMO.

    What do you think is the biggest misconception people have about your class?
    That shadow priest = sucky DPS. In our 10s, our top 3 are a tight pack, and I am usually second place after my SO's DK. And when our 25s have been more balanced, I've also consistently been top 3. Of course, we have barely scratched the surface of hard modes, and only in 10s, so that may be why mmmv.

    What do you feel is the most difficult thing for new dpsers of your class to learn?
    DoT management. I think folks put up SW:P before having 5 stacks of shadow weaving, and clip DoTs or let them fall off.

    What dps class do you feel you understand least?
    Paladin. I have one at level 20, but I am a ranged caster at heart. So paladins confuzzled me.

    What add-ons or macros do you use, if any, to aid you in dps?
    Quartz castbar to help me see how latency is affecting my cast time.

    Strength over other stats or balanced stat allocation, and why?
    Spellpower, spellpower, spellpower. With our DoT baesd rotations, you want as much bang for your buck on each tick, with SP being your best buy stat-wise.

    I'm too late to the party on this to tag anyone!

    Friday Five: 5 Things More QQ Worthy Than Blizzard's New Pet Store

    shadow priest with Pandaren Monk

    1. The likelihood that, given the sound file transcripts from 3.3 and how everyone dissects such things to death in forums and on twitter and in trade chat, we will never again get to experience a spoiler-free raid instance for ourselves the first time.
    2. As of 3.3 players will no longer need to kill the final bosses in all four wings of Naxx in order to teleport to Sapphiron. Teleportation orbs have been added to allow players access back and forth from Sapphiron's lair. This presumably makes Sapphiron and KT farmable without the PITA of Thaddius.
    3. Everyone hates their Tier 10 gear. Mine makes me look like a Harry Potter movie escapee but at least I can cover it up with shadowform.
    4. We still know very little abut the Pilgrim's Bounty holiday that starts this Sunday, but we do know there are achievements that involve cooking, and that makes everyone who hasn't leveled cooking see red even though this holiday's achievements are not part of the violet drake meta-achievement.
    5. Macabre Marionette didn't get deleted from our accounts after Day of the Dead, but it is still an item taking up a bank slot that summons a friend to run around with you instead of being a learnable vanity pet you don't have to worry about accidentally tossing out.

    Gosh so many things for us all the complain about...or not. Maybe this is a good time to reflect on past years where we had queues up to 1k players and DCs left and right and zombie plagues keeping us from spending our happy free time in game. So if these are the top of our complaint lists right now, then perhaps we should count ourselves lucky.


    Day of the Dead Festivities

    shadow priest in Day of the Dead ensemble

    I got up bright and early this morning, thanks to our falling back to standard time here in the U.S., and set about completing Day of the Dead festivities on my favorite characters across three servers.  Day of the Dead is a celebration of one's deceased ancestors. For this reason, it's imperative you head to the graveyard outside your race's home city, or to Shatt. Otherwise, though you can obtain the achievement, you won't be able to complete the quest for honoring your ancestors' spirits. Apparently you can also complete these activities at Dalaran's graveyard, but for the life of me, I have no idea where it is.

    It was fun getting a festive 12-hour costume, and the adorable (yet, alas, not permanent) teeny macabre marionette pet, and dancing with the graveyard spirits. I am more than a little disappointed that the marionette is only available to you during Day of the Dead-- he was set to become my undead shadow priest's favorite pet ever. *sniffle*

    A nice bonus was the 26g and change my 80s made from making the day of the Dead bread and fulfilling that quest (which is how you get the marionette.) The XP awarded to lowbies is pretty nice too -- 3k to my level 31, 9k to my level 58, and 20k to my level 72 who completed it. Smart of Blizz to include this little push to get even the most bah humbug players amongst us into the holiday spirit.

    For a look at all the things you can buy and links to the quests, check out the Moonglade blog's Day of the Dead guide. More pictures of various races' dancing spirits after the cut. And don't tell anyone, but my favorite so far was the synchronized male NE dancers in Darn. It was epic.

    Continue reading "Day of the Dead Festivities" »

    Hallow's End Starts Today!

    jack-o-lantern-heqded shadow priest in ghost costume levitating in Dalaran

    Things got a little Spooky in the World of Warcraft in the wee hours of the morning today. It's the start of the annual Hallow's End celebrations, marking the break of the Foresaken from the Lich King.

    The peeps at WoWHead put together a comprehensive guide to all the fun and merry making in store for those in pursuit of the Hallowed achievement.

    I got off to a good start, including scoring a Sinister Squashling from the Horseman, 3-manned with my usual hit squad.  I was somewhat surprised I hadn't done more of these achievements last year on the shadow priest, but then again, I was still raiding Alliance-side at that point, so I guess there wasn't enough time to do everything. Unfortunately, RL calls so no additional time for trick-or-treating or achievement crawling today.

    Fun fact: Dalaran has 3 candy buckets available to you: your faction Inn, Ledgermain Lounge and the Cantrips and Crows Inn at the Sewer.

    More festive screenshots after the jump.

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    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" »