The Holy Priest is getting a few new toys in the upcoming patch 9.2, but will it be enough to help them overcome Insanity?
The “aoe 2 cheats” is a new tier of gear that has been added to the game. It was created as a way for players to get ahead and stay ahead in the game. The “Shadow Priest Feedback for 9.2 and Beyond – AoE, Legendaries, Talents, Insanity” is a blog post from Shadow Priest about this new gear.
With the release of 9.1.5 and the full scope of the class adjustments exposed, it’s evident that class tuning was not as important in the current patch as some may have assumed. Many specifications, both underdogs and favorites, wanted to see improvements to major mechanical faults, as well as the occasional competitive tuning tweak.
Shadow Priest is one such spec that has a history of well-organized theorycraft and comprehensive feedback. Publik, myself, and the rest of the Shadow theorycraft team produced a paper outlining the current condition of Shadow Priest after seeing the breadth of the changes in 9.1.5.
In this blog, I’ll go through the current state of the standard as well as some of the key comments from the feedback document. The feedback paper may be found here.
On the Official Forums, you may read the whole Feedback.
Hello! I’m Ellipsis, the Priest Discord moderator for WarCraftPriests. I collaborate with the Shadow Team on Shadow Priest theorycraft; you can see our efforts here! I am often active on the WarCraftPriests discord channel and am happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have about Shadow Priest or any of my guides. I’ve been raiding in The Misty Moon on EU Tarren-Mill (Formerly The Misty Moon Massive) since Legion and have raided in the top 50 to 300, although I’ve been playing Shadow Priest in some form for almost 14 years. Outside of WoW, I spend the majority of my time listening to music, and I’m always looking for new and fascinating stuff to listen to!
The Shadow’s Position In the Shadowlands for a Year
During the Shadowlands Development cycle, Shadow got the beginnings of a spec rewrite. While the redesign was generally well received, it did raise a lot of issues, and a lot of its more ambitious or odd aspects will have to wait and see (Most notably Searing Nightmare and the AoE rotation as a whole).
In the case of Shadow in 9.1.5, the spec’s performance has been impeded by the ambitious and unconventional design decisions. Despite many occurrences in the MDI and a reasonable representation in high end keys, Searing Nightmare is often regarded as a very disappointing spell owing to the design’s complexity and the decision-making required to utilize it properly. Furthermore, since Shadow’s AoE is dependant on a skill, it’s tough for him to perform in a raid scenario other than Single Target, which has been brought up frequently anytime Shadow has been addressed. The post’s main emphasis is on these AoE problems, as well as more general input on borrowed power.
Shadow Priests in the Shadowlands: The Most Important Points of Feedback
Shadow Priest doesn’t have a means to use Insanity on a standard AoE spell. Instead, it relies on manual damage-over-time effects and replaces the generic filler spell Mind Flay with the moderately more powerful Mind Sear. Shadow has traditionally sought for high DoT damage in AoE, but with Blizzard’s recent tuning choices dramatically decreasing the strength of DoTs for all classes, DoT-based AoE is no longer a viable option.
Searing Nightmare is Blizzard’s remedy to this, which Shadow priests must now skill into. Shadow may expend Insanity on AoE damage with this spell, but it’s not without flaws. Searing Nightmare requires the priest to already be channeling Mind Sear, which isn’t a problem when hitting dummies, but when you add in the micro adjusting movements required to avoid mechanics in dungeons (Think Volcanic), properly channeling long enough to spend all your Insanity becomes much more difficult, and impossible on larger pull counts.
This Mind Sear requirement creates other issues, including as taking up space in an already crowded rotation and making Shadow in Mythic+ a terrifying idea for many players. It’s difficult to strike a balance between keeping your DoTs and spending as much Insanity as possible on Searing Nightmare.
With the elimination of several of the AoE limitations implemented in version 9.0, Shadow’s specialty in Shadowlands is likely to vanish. Shadow was excellent at doing massive amounts of sustained AoE on pulls from 10 to 20 targets, even with the clunky spin. While it’s nice to see one of the most contentious Shadowlands changes reversed, and I’m sure it’ll lead to a lot more people enjoying their specs in Mythic+, it’s also critical to ensure that the specs who didn’t benefit from the change aren’t left behind.
Borrowed Power and Legendaries
Concerns about stolen power largely revolve around Shadowflame Prism, a legendary that works well with the Mindbender skill and the Rabid Shadows conduit to do a lot of damage and make you insane.
The Single Target scaling is the first big difficulty with SFP. The degree of craziness it causes scales well with haste and conduit item level. While this may seem to be a beneficial thing, it causes Shadow Priests who use this legendary to achieve levels of Insanity generation that make spending it all impossible. This is almost probably going to be the case in 9.2.
While insanity generation like this isn’t a huge issue in Single Target, it may be a problem in AoE. With its cleave damage effect, this legendary tries to be a dungeon choice, but because to how crowded the AoE rotation is already, it barely competes with Shadow’s usual Searing Nightmare cycle. As the tier progressed, this resulted in the legendary’s utilization decreasing in Mythic+. Furthermore, given Shadowflame Prism’s present tuning, it’s impossible to make the AoE damage powerful enough without going too far in Single Target.
The Kyrian covenant ability Boon of the Ascended is the second main element of borrowed power that receives feedback. A complicated ability that temporarily substitutes Shadow’s main spells with Kyrian-specific abilities. Replacing a single target filler spell with a filler that provides low single target damage, has essentially no AoE scaling because to its split damage, and does not induce insanity does not work, according to Shadow Priest input. This implies that, apart from triggering specific soulbind benefits, the best usage of the spell on AoE is to ignore it altogether, and on Single Target, you should make sure you have 10 seconds in a row when you don’t want to cast Mind Flay.
Talent Row (Level 50)
Shadow’s Talent Row (Level 50) attempts to offer some variation in how the spec interacts with its core cooldown, Voidform. The talent row, consisting of Ancient Madness, Hungering Void, and Surrender to Madness appears to consist of a Burst AoE option, a Single Target option, and a wildcard many consider to be a holdover from Legion’s iteration of Voidform. Unfortunately, the tuning for this row means outside of niche AoE only situations, which are becoming fewer and further between as Mythic+ progresses, Hungering Void is the only competitive option. Surrender to Madness feels especially poor, as the value of increased insanity generation isn’t significant enough to enough to be relevant, let alone justify the potential penalty of death that the talent brings. The most valuable part of Surrender, excluding the additional Voidform, is the ability to cast while moving, as that briefly alleviates a few of the many problems associated with Searing Nightmare.
The bulk of the document’s points are related to Shadow’s Insanity creation. The flow of resources seems seamless in most instances, notably Single Target, and does not enable the rotation to grow slow, especially outside of Voidform. Shadow, on the other hand, rapidly accumulates more Insanity than it can use in medium to high target AoE. Obviously, every cycle has some of this, but due of the AoE concerns previously mentioned, this problem occurs much too early in Shadow, adding to the rotation’s overpowering impression in Mythic+. Trying to balance DoTs, keep crucial skills on cooldown, and stay motionless long enough to cast several Searing Nightmares is a nightmare, as the name suggests.
With the introduction of tier sets in 9.2, which have traditionally been utilized to change a spec’s gameplay by changing resource production, input on how extra insanity affects Shadow’s damage and rotation is crucial. For a spec that currently has an abundance of resources, which makes it all the more enjoyable, adding even more in 9.1.5 will only slightly boost damage while further overwhelming players in all the instances where they are already overloaded. Those still playing Night Fae in Sanctum of Domination will notice that while all cooldowns are active, you often violate the traditional norms of the rotation, resulting in over-capping insanity and unintuitive choices.
Conclusion – Looking to the Future of 10.0 and Beyond
Shadow was lucky to be given priority early in the Alpha/Beta cycle of the Shadowlands. However, after a year of playing with the modifications, there are still issues, and those issues will continue to impair the typical Shadow Priest’s experience if they are not addressed.
As we look forward to 9.2 and 10.0, we hope that Blizzard will continue to communicate with the community about class input. While we don’t expect to personally communicate with developers and decision makers, it is encouraging to the Community as a whole when Blizzard reacts to particular class concerns that have been raised by the Community. When people don’t feel like they’re yelling into a vacuum, it motivates them to keep researching and iterating on their comments. As usual, the community’s input is motivated by a passion for the game and a desire to see it flourish and develop.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What are the best shadow priest talents?
A: Shadow priests have a variety of talents on the way that they can play Heroism, Devouring Plague, and more.
Does shadow priest have AoE Shadowlands?
A: Shadows are not a spell that has an area of effect.
Is Shadow Priest good in Shadowlands?
A: Shadow Priest is a good class for Shadowlands because it can do high burst damage with the Shadow Orbs. It also has defensive capabilities in how it regenerates health from using heals.
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