At the top of the page, those black wings you see are my beloved Forsaken shadow priest getting her black wings of doom from the Black Prince, in exchange for finally finishing off the legendary cloak questline. I’d stalled out and not done the PvP portion of the chain after it taking forever to get my tokens in LFRs. So there’s one item checked off my list.
I’ve been doing a serious amount of pet collecting as well, with the 4 Celestials pets at the top of my want list. I’ve gotten my first one, Xu-Fu, seen here in shadowform with me, and am on my way to the other 3, and should have them in hand before WoD drops.
I’m also working on getting my first-ever paladin to 90 (she’s at 77), and got my first level 90 hunter Alliance side a couple of months back. Which means of course I had to go and start a horde hunter this weekend…
But that’s the easy part– the what I’ll be able to accomplish. It’s what won’t be done that always weighs heaviest. For me, it’s the Challenge Mode dungeons. I had high hopes of getting a regular group together to run these, but it never seemed to happen. So I’m actually going to end the expansion without having done even one. Which is a bummer.
So how about you? What’s on your bucket list for the next 3 months?
Maximize your loot rolls and token spend with this handy matrix of shadow priest gear options in the Siege of Orgrimmar raid.
Now that I’ve been making some headway into the Siege of Orgrimmar raid, both in 10 regular and flex, I figured it was time to put together one of my perennial What to Wear Guides. But once I got started with it, I saw my usual simple guide format of days gone by just wasn’t going to cut it with this many bosses and so many gear options per slot. Thus, instead, I put together a handy matrix in Excel:
Last night, I spent a couple of hours in LFR, working through the first offering from the Throne of Thunder Raid.Normally, you’d see an awesome purpley screenshot up there. But given the concentrating on doing a new raid, and discussing tactics with the other raiders, I somehow didn’t manage to take even one screenshot last night. CRAZY! I know. But I digress.
The great thing about doing an instance and having a wipe or two on each boss is it gives you some time to figure out your strategy for maximum DPS and utility. And before it all leaves my mind, I thought I’d share it with you.
Jin’rokh the Breaker
What is it about the first boss being the hardest? In many ways he was the most difficult for all the newbies to adapt to (I think we had 3 wipes on him, and a number of people dropping in and out). Your key to do’s here:
Watch for pools of water to be set down on the ground; when you see one, run for it ASAP and stand in it. You will see a serious DPS increase (40% is what I recall from last night)
Don’t get too comfy in that pool of water — when he casts lightning storm, you need to GTFO out of that pool as it is going to become electrified, and kill you. Run and stack with the group near the boss
As you are running out from the lightning storm cast, pop your Vampiric Embrace up on the boss. This will very likely save a life or two, perhaps even your own. Coordinate w/any other friendly shadow priests in raid to trade off on casting it.
If you are the focus of targeted lightning, make sure to run away from the group and DO NOT STAND IN OR RUN THROUGH THE WATER, lest you electrocute everyone.
TL&DR: Stand in the pools of water; run out of water in lightning storm; do not electrify the pools.
This fight is somewhat akin to being at the 6 a.m. opening of a superstore on Black Friday. Angry mobs everywhere! Total chaos! Whch is why it is important to stay focused:
As the tank moves Horridon around the circle of the room, from door to door, avoid his head and tail.
Keep DoTs up on the boss but focus on the adds.
DoT all the ads then focus fire the add with the least health, unless there is a Dinomancer up in which case he’s your priority.
Don’t stand in bad.
If you happen to be close to it, click the Orb of Command when it appears.
After Horridon is done smacking his head against the wall, focus DPS on War-God Jalek,keeping your DoTs up on Horridon as well.
You are most likely to die by aggro’ing too many of the adds in Phase 1, so try not to be the first to DPS all out on them.
TL&DR: Focus on adds; prioritize DinoMancers. Kill War-God Jalek then finish off Horridon.
Council of Elders
Unlike other council fights, killing off one at a time doesn’t seem to make the team more powerful. So try to get folks to pop Heroism/Bloodlust when Sul is empowered; getting rid of his quicksand will be a big help. Here’s your to do’s:
Prioritize the Loa Spirits and Living Sands adds.
When adds are dead, DPS the empowered boss a.k.a. the huge shadow priest.
Keep an eye on the ground — quicksand and barrel rolling trolls can do some serious damage to you.
We had folks try to start in on the usual “you are all so fail” trash talking, but happily it was shot down quickly. Look folks: this is new content just now available to Raid Finder. Most everyone is learning the ropes. So chill out already! Let folks who haven’t read the strats know the basics of what to do. Then everyone wins and we all go home happy and understanding how the fight works for next time. MMMM’kkkk?
Speaking of going home happy, I took home a pretty new dress so that totally made my day.
I hope your first trip into this new LFR is rewarding!
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:
15% Spell Hit (obtained with Hit or Spirit) will enable your spells to not miss on bosses
Haste (aiming for 19.03% to earn 2 extra ticks of Shadow Word: Pain and Devouring Plague)
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.
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.
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.
I have a confession to make: I’ve been running around Pandaria, listening in on your deepest secrets. No — really. You see, in the midst of my inscription research one day, I made a glyph of confession. And I couldn’t resist the temptation of learning it myself instead of just making a few and selling them for profit.
The first player I targeted and cast the spell of confession upon told me: “I go into dungeons not to make Azeroth a better place, but just for loot.”
Just as I’d expected! My fellow adventurers weren’t really in it just for the thrill of adventure. I KNEW IT!
Inspired to learn more secrets, I targeted more adventurers standing around int he tavern. That mage in the flashy dress nursing a beer? They said: “I really wasn’t prepared. Who knew?”
Ha! You probably mooched a ton of fish feasts off those of us who *were* prepared, missy!
That other shadow priest though, they were the one I really wanted to find out more about. Casually, I shifted out of shadow form for a moment and stopped to talk to the bartender. Then, when I was sure they weren’t paying any attention to little gnomey me, I cast the spell and learned: “I have stood in the fire.”
Woah. Really? You just..stood there? For shame! You could have at least dispersed! Bah!
I stood there pondering this for a moment, when out of nowhere I saw myself saying “I never use the lightwell.”
Quickly glancing around, I looked for that sneaky shadowpriest. And sure enough, he was targeting me. Beaten at my own game by a fellow shadow priest! Oh, the humanity!
Many months and blog posts ago, I was in the habit of doing pretty regular Friday Fives…posts with 5 common factors or thoughts pertaining to my adventures in the World of Warcraft. I’m bringing back that tradition today, with five ways to make the most of the start of the expansion.
Finish every zone of new content. Now, this doesn’t have to be on one character mind you. Because presumably you are interested in hitting 90 and having your heroic ilvl gear and unlocking dailies and the like, and probably don’t want to hit 90 while still in the Wilds. I’m personally trying to pick different zones to complete on the characters I am leveling right now fro some variety.
Don’t feel obligated to do all the dailies. Just because your profession has a daily doesn’t mean you have to bankrupt yourself every day to do it. Ditto for the level 90 dailies. Yes, you want perks from the various factions. But you shouldn’t take 40 dailies and then bemoan the grind of dailies. Show some restraint! Focus on the faction that is most important to your end game goals and set a reasonable/tolerable number of dailies to keep moving towards your goals.
Stop and queue for the leveling dungeons as you go. Not only is it more fun to learn the boss mechanics at the regular mode level, you can earn yourself some shiny ilvl 435 and ilvl 450 gear, to get you closer to the heroics ilvl requirement. I’m only level 88 and have ilvl 420 so far as a result of my dungeon queuing. And as a bonus, these dungeons have quests with some solid XP, and gear rewards that will make your leveling that much less painful.
…But queue for dungeons with your guildies and your Battletag friends in tow. Yes, it’s easy to just hop into LFD solo, but chances are you know plenty of other folks who want to get in on that as well. So why not use that as an opportunity to get to know one of your guildies or one of your Battletag friends a little better? It’s a lot more fun trying out a new dungeon with a buddy at your side.
Give yourself permission to try something new. I’ve seen a number of folks who poo-poo’d the Battle Pets minigame as “Pokewow” who have come clean with their new obsession with pet battles. But they wouldn’t have known how much fun they had with it if they hadn’t given it a try. Give yourself permission to try out a new spec, or a new profession, or a new aspect of game play. You just might find something that you love doing in game.
What are *your* tips for making the most of the start of the expansion? Share ’em in the comments!
P.S. Comments are screened and TypePad doesn’t seem to notify submitters of that but rest assured I receive them and approve them.
I know it’s not officially been a week since launch, but frankly I’m having such a great time with the expansion I felt compelled to write about it now versus waiting another couple of days.
Jumping right in, despite having attained a few levels in the BETA, on my horde shadow priest, since the Jade Forest intro quest was bugged for me at that time, I didn’t quest there at all. Which means all the content has felt fresh as a daisy which is exactly how you want to start of on a new leveling path.
I’ve been splitting my time between my elemental shaman on one server and my shadow priest on another server. I realize this is not maximum efficient usage of my limited game time, but it’s been nice to get to spend time in both guilds and playing two characters I’m really enjoying.
I was not sure how WoW questing was going to stack up after having been such a fan of the immersive storytelling in SWTOR. I’ve been enjoying having the quest chains be broken up here and there with some immersive storytelling, and cu scenes, even though I can’t make any choices or have a direct impact on the story. It’s still a step in the right direction and is a nice change from the old school wall of text quests.
A few things I love:
Watching peeps in guild chat, every few hours, earlier in the week, type out: “Socks! Noooooo!”
The pretty clothes for my cloth-wearers, and the nice looking mail for my shaman. Gone are the days of looking terrible, unless you are equipping the tailoring gear I am making…
Even as DPS getting in to LFD in a reasonable amount of time. Or perhaps I am just having enough fun out and about questing that I don’t notice the wait that much.
Professions have been moderately expensive to level but not impossible. I have enchanting, inscription and jewelcrafting maxed, with tailoring and alchemy up-and-coming.
A few things that are bugging me:
I need a toy chest for all the toys and trinkets that do things like summon a raccoon friend! They’re taking up all my bag space!
I want my farm to grow things faster! I have many things to grow for my Pandaren Cooking. Can’t I buy some EZ-Grow mulch from the goblins? No?
I made the tailoring set for my poor neglected horde shadow priest and she looks absolutely ridiculous. WTB a dress please!
Every LFD run I have done has had at least 1 incident of the boss lockout. It’s never resulted in the group not completing the boss so far mind you. But people need to keep up with the group and not ninja AFK! ;p
I think I may need to purchase a new bank slot for the banker to hold on to all the cooking materials. I’ve cleared one tab for it, but I just don’t think that will be enough…
What about you? How’s your first week of the expansion going so far?
So far, it’s been pretty smooth sailing for me with the Mists of Pandaria launch. The ship quest line worked fine, as did questing w/Wrenz cross-server (since we both want to play our shadow priets atm.) Only one small issue cropped up for me last night, right after receiving Mr Fishy, a new companion pet. I went to learn him and was faced with the most horrible text I have ever seen:
Can’t add companion to your account. You have too many pets.
510 pets is too many pets? But I don’t see any duplicate pets I can cage and sell or give away. What is going on here?
Determined to figure this out, I went to the pet battle trainer to see if she could help. I learned pet battling and accepted her quest then opened my journal again. Still not seeing how man of each pet. So, I picked one I knew I had too many of, the blue dragonhawk, and searched for it. Sure enough, I got a list (by searching dragonhawk) that showed every individual occurrence of dragonhawk in my pet hournal.
I started right clicking on and choosing “put in cage” for each of the duplicates, to clean up my pet journal. The good news is since these are pets that are sold individually, they are able to be caged and sold (well, if anyone wants them.) Many other pets require that you set them free to get rid of your duplicates
And here is the happy ending to my story, my new friend, Mr Fishy!:
This week’s blog Azeroth shared topic asks: “What spell would you most want?” It was inspired by the fact that in the upcoming Mist of Pandaria expansion, Druids will be getting a new spell
called Symbiosis, which will allow them to “trade” a spell with another
player, based on the player’s class and combat role and the Druid’s
This one was a no brainer for me– I’ll be crossing my fingers that I always have a shadow priest in my party so I can borrow their Mind Sear. Now, its tooltip doesn’t make it sound like all that: “Causes an explosion of shadow magic around the target, causing 152 to 163 (+ 15% of SpellPower) Shadow damage every 1 sec for 5 sec to all enemies within 10 yards around the target.” But what it DOESN’T MENTION is that you do, in fact, create a shadowy purple explosion of damage in a large circle around your intended victim. Purpley bolts of doom for everyone!
When I play my boomkin, it’s always the mind sear button I try to reach for, from the many hours of shadow priesting and the joy that spell has brought me in so many dungeons and raids and city leader strikes. If my druid had it in her arsenal, it would be her go-to AOE spell. And her targets would never see it coming…
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.