Flirting with Darkness
This post is mostly just to keep my thoughts organized in putting a shadow spec together; I can’t imagine it’s terribly interesting to anyone else. You have been warned.
It’s true – I have a shadow spec again. I know, I know…I’d sworn it off completely after my last abortive attempt to give it a try. Now don’t get me wrong; I leveled in shadow for solo play and used disc for instances. That was great. But the second I hit 80, I shifted to holy so I could try both styles of healing. I tried going back to my darker ways once to help out a raid too heavy on healers, but it was so miserable that I gave it up in a couple hours. I really hate managing DoTs on trash, and it reminded me why I stopped playing my mage as my main and shifted to healing full time. In fact, the entire experience felt like playing my mage again, but without the smooth intuitive rhythm of a rotation down cold.
What changed? I feel guilty. I’ve now rescued two pieces of heroic 277 gear from the eternal damnation of disenchantment, salvaged a piece of T10 out of VOA, and collected enough unwanted Conqueror’s Marks of Sanctification to field a complete second set of gear. I know it sounds insane, but I feel guilty walking around with such pretty loot in my bags – gear other players are pining after – without even giving it a try. I haven’t used my holy spec in months. Oh, and it’ll give me an excuse to roll on Nibelung – another nifty item getting sharded. I really do want my own personal Val’kyr to do my bidding. With Cataclysm around the corner, getting a strong dps set ready to go grind out quests and experience the new world does not sound like a bad idea at all. Besides, if I still hate it, I can sit around in Dalaran in shadowform and be pretty.
So, where to start?
Gear is not much of an issue. Most of my current discipline gear ranges from “pretty good” to “best in slot” for shadow. That’s convenient. I’d like to get the T10 four piece bonus (at least eventually) as it seems pretty nifty. Unfortunately the 264 pants I picked up in VoA are the worst option for shadow tier. So, I need to work on getting some badges together to get the rest of the set; the Marks are already taken care of. There’s no dire rush on this though; the gear I have in those slots is decent enough for shadow. The few pieces of gear I’ve snagged already have taken care of hit rating. The big glaring hole in my gear is going to be trinkets. There are four good trinket drops from Icecrown 25, so there’s a fairly decent chance I’ll pick one up in the next couple weeks. The best options I have on hand are the Shard of the Crystal Heart and the Abyssal Rune. Cringe. Oh…and I need to gem and enchant all of it, a process that will be annoyingly expensive.
Spec and Glyphs are fairly straight forward. I’m going to start with a basic build, taking the last couple points into Improved Vampiric Embrace rather than Focused Mind. I’m a priest after all; I love extra healing. And to be honest, I imagine that the excessive amount of Spirit on a lot of my current gear as well as the relative ilevel is going to mean I won’t be running out of mana too easily. I was thinking of going with the Glyph of Dispersion as my third major glyph, partially because I like the utility of it on a lot of fights in Icecrown and because I don’t think mana will be critical for me.
The next steps…
- Tune my UI and raid frames towards where I want it as a dps class.
- Test out the addon I found to keep track of DoTs.
- Continue to research the spell priority
- Refresh my knowledge of fights as a dps class
- Practice and practice and practice….
I’ve already found a couple, but if anyone has any brilliant suggestions for resources for shadow priests or advice, please do let me know.