shadow priest

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.

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State of my Shadow Priest


Another week, another handful of achievements for my shadow priest...

  • Got to check Gundrak off my heroics list. It is taking me forever to work my way through these because as my third 80...there is simply not as much interest on my part in rerunning them, nor on the part of others to do them at all either.
  • Got my Stinker pet after gathering the requisite 50 pets.
  • Most surprisingly, I got my Epic achievement. I never thought when I transferred this lady over to her current server that I would fall in with a fun bunch of folks for 25-man content, but I did. Major thanks to Norm. <3

3.1 Talent Trees

Shadow Priesty
I have been poking around with the talent calculators a bit, trying to determine what my 3.1 build will look like. I had toyed with the idea of dropping the shadow affinity since many SPs have blogged about not having it and being fine thx to Fade. But I m still not certain I would be able to maintain my level of DPS without it.

Here's the build I am thinking of going with. The leftover points out into discipline, down to 3/3 meditation. Because I am going to need all the mana regen help I can get from what I've been reading regarding the spirit nerf. I always forgot to use Inner Focus, so I doubt I'll notice it's gone.

For her dual spec, no idea what to do. I need to hit up Yas or Niza for some ideas. I intend to have her offspec be a good all-around pinch-hitting heal spec.

I am not liking my proposed Balance Druid build atm. I feel like I am kitchen-sinking. But then again, I haven't seen what the typhoon dmg boost looks like (or if I can glyph to remove the stun). If I go around stunning with it, I can expect to have tanks yelling at me. Yet it is the best of our AOEs right now. But if I glyph for starfall being faster, then it wil help a bit. Overall, I have been seriously disappointed with Balance druid raid performance in Naxx. Due to the amount of AOE trash, I can't keep up. And everything dies too fast to get a starfire off.

I don't see a dual spec in her immediate future since I have not been playing her much for the past 3 months. I suppose that her heal spec would look something like this. I healed for my first 2.5 druid years, but never as a full resto build. I was more of a modified dreamstate build, which allowed me to still be one of the top 3 healers in 25s, but allowed me to do dailies without it taking my whole life. I've just never been excited about tree of lifeform, but it feels pretty necessary to have these days to be a productive druid healer. We'll see.

Last on my 80s totem pole is my resto shaman. She was my 3rd 70, but my first 80, leveled hastily when it was clear no one else in my guild was going to get off their butts and level one of their healers. Her new build is pretty similar to what she has now as it has been effective in 5 and 10-mans.Her eventual dual spec will be elemental, which I loved playing as pre-BC. She only swapped over to healing when it was clear that she would never get into heroics or 10 mans in my old raiding guild otherwise.

Have I missed anything

Shadow Power FTW!

I have to admit to loving the fact that my 25man raiding team is one that newcomers join and say "Wow, that's a lot of Shadow Priests", rather than being the token SP. I know a lot of folks would prefer to be a unique snowflake in their raid, and yes, in theory, it will make drops harder to come by, but I like being part of a subteam in a raid. I blame my 40-man raid and its class-specific Team Speak channels for making me this way.

Thanks to Mind Sear, we make very short work of the trash. 10k crits on that if your procs and the pull allow. Having come from raiding on my Boomkin, who only had great AOE for 30 seconds every 3 min when she could use starfall plus typhoon, it's a world of difference.

So far, the only scary part has been learning the MCs for the Razuvius fight. MC just hasn't been something I've played with a lot. I got the hang of it, and looked up the macros for the next go round so that I can announce what I am doing without having to type/think about it, and so there will be no debates about whether or not I used my bone shield ("It's on CD, so that's pretty clear that I popped it regardless of what you see, k?")

Last week the 25man team couldn't get together the right group for finishing off Thaddius, so they called it. I know it was a tough call for them, but if my choices for the evening are to wipe on Thaddius for an hour with undergeared/inexperienced folks or have the raid called and get to bed early, the former would not be my choice. Signups for Saturday look good though, so I am hopeful we will kick as much butt as we did the week before.

When thngs have gotten me down in the past, alliance side, I used to sometimes think to myself that maybe I should stopraiding. But upon further reflection, it was always clear that raiding is what I always have loved doing, since I dinged 58 3 years ago and got hauled into MC due to our raid being short on healers. The key is realizing whom you want to raid with. Happy to have found such a great group of folks -- both in guild and in the scrub raid -- with which to do so.

Everything Looks Better in Shadowform

BEFORE shadow


AFTER shadow.

No, aesthetics aren't why I love my shadow priesty ways, but DAMN! She looks hottt in shadowform. Just saying.

This lady was my first horde character, and the only one I have leveled to level cap, three times over now. I started her on the server one of my RL friends played on, thinking we would get to hang out and do stuff together, but that's just not how it turned out. I eventually suckered all my friends into rolling horde alts there as well, and started a lowbie guild. But it turns out I have a bunch of online friends who like to start -- and abandon -- 4 or 5 lowbie alts at a time. And tho I do love Shadowfang Keep, I grew tired of running everyone's alts through it as my primary guild activity.

Early this year, I vowed not to let another level cap raise come and go without this lady (who has always been one of my favorites) getting to see some action. So I rolled a mage to test out the all-girls guild affiliated with an online girls gaming community of which I'm a member. I found the gchat to be lively, and decided to take the punge. In retrospect I have to say it's the best $25 I've spent gaming.

Despite my 3 week Internet outage, I made decent time taking her to 80. I ground out her tailoring to ensure she would have a full set of blue gear at 80. I spent countless hours working on reputation so that slowly but surely she could get a good weapon, access to the Hodir shoulder enchants, etc.

Despite my 3 years experience playing WoW, and the fact that I did some raiding (Kara) on my alliance shadowpriest (who I rolled only b/c I was tired of not having anyone to play with horde-side), I initially did not have the confidence playing this lady in groups. But my patient and supportive guildies gamely invited me on my first heroic, and many more after that. In the past two weeks, after our guild's first Naxx weekend, I felt good enough about her gear and dps to to volunteer for open slots in a few heroics put together by our allied guild.

It's all I hoped for and then some. Heck, she even got to do Vault and OS 10 mans today! My formerly overworked shaman can't even say that.

I still have my alliance toons, and pop on them to do the occasinal raid with my friends, or just to say hi, but this lady is the one getting all my time and attention... and it is finally starting to show!