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Posted in Priest by on

Hey everyone, it's been awhile since I've made a guide on this site, but I felt like making this one as it is the most common shadow priest question.

Our tier 3 talents are:

From Darkness, Comes Light (FDCL)
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Mindbender
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Solace and Insanity
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All three talents are very useful, but also have big downsides. Before I go into when to specifically use each, let's talk about the good and the bad for each talent.

FDCL

The Good
1. FDCL does the highest consistent damage of the three talents. As long as you are actively doing damage and getting VTs out, you will get so much out of this talent. Shadow Priests lack the ability to do heavy consistent damage without this talent. You can force cooldowns sometimes without even using Devouring Plague.
2. FDCL provides some excellent buff protection, which helps a lot against teams that want to get your important HoTs and shields off. Expect Shaman, Hunter, and Priest teams to be dispelling you.
3. When it comes to bursting, FDCL provides the highest damage while moving of the 3 talents. Mobility is more important than most recognize when it comes to doing burst damage. Unless a target is stunned in place you won't be able to stand there and channel Mind Flays. Being able to chase your target while using the free damage from Mind Spikes makes a noticable difference when going for a kill.
4. 1 FDCL Mind Spike is about the same damage as a Mind Blast which is actually some nice damage. Keep in mind, that using Mind Blast with less than 3 orbs takes priority over using Mind Spike.
5. The biggest advantage of the spec is that it is the hardest damage to predict. Nobody is going to track your procs and there is no travel time with your damage. I'll talk more about this later.


The Bad
1. It can be near useless to have this talent if you are getting locked down hard enough. If you can't get many Vampiric Touches out then the extra damage of this talent will definitely not pay off.
2. You will be spending a lot of your extra global cooldowns in Mind Spikes. It really feels like you are doing a lot of extra damage as this spec, but you have to realize the importance that could come from your other abilities. If someone has a Riptide and Earthshield it could be better to just dispel those instead of Mind Spiking. It's a very big picture idea, but think if you used Mind Spike 50 times one game, that could have been 50 different spells, like dispelling, using PoM more often, or using Feathers.
3. The burst potential of the spec is lacking. You have to be on your game with team coordination to actually get a kill with this, Solo'ing people is rare, but it can happen.


Mindbender


The Good
1. This ability is definitely not used often, but it lines up very well with Mage and Rogue cooldowns (Frozen Orb/Shadowdance) as well as your Silence.
2. Against all odds if you are getting destroyed against a certain team and you can't do much damage this is the talent to go for. Your mana will stay relevant and your burst damage will be somewhat existent.
3. Mindbender as well as Shadowfiend does a lot of damage, so your burst damage every minute will actually be scary and worthy of using cooldowns against.


The Bad
1. Mindbender is not a very good on the fly bursting ability. It can easily be stopped and you only have it once a minute. If your mage wants to Deep and all you can do is Devouring Plague with a few Mind Flays, odds are you won't help all that much.
2. Mindbender is totally ruined by any CC on it. Priests and warlocks will fear it, mages will nova it, druids will Nature's Grasp it. If it gets shut down it basically does nothing.


Solace and Insanity

The Good
1. Most people's favorite talent in this tier, though I personally enjoy FDCL more. It has the highest burst damage potential. It knocks the other two out of the water if you can channel your Insanity for the full duration of your Devouring Plague.
2. You can solo people. Without the help of your partners you can get someone very low by yourself with just Silence.
3. You will have a lot of extra global cooldowns to do important things like dispel enemy buffs and help your teammates while waiting for your Insanity kill setup.
4. Some matchups almost require you to have this talent in order to get a kill. Sometimes you just need that extra burst to get it done.


The Bad
1. This talent is heavily reliant on standing still and channeling an important spell. This makes it really obvious and screams interrupt me.
2. Your consistent damage with this talent is pretty low. Outside of 3 Orb DP you aren't going to be helping out on the offense much.
3. You won't be able to use many orbs on Psychic Horror while going for a kill, as you need those orbs for your Devouring Plague.




The Unpredictability of FDCL vs. the Predictability of Insanity
I brought this up earlier, but this requires much more than a sentence or two to explain. Predictability is important in PvP, especially at a high level. If you can predict what your opponent is doing then you have react with the best option and stop them from doing what they want to do. Insanity is very predictable. It has a very distinct animation involved, 2 obvious debuffs to track, and a cast that is being spammed. This makes it really simple to react to and stop, requiring you to CC all of your opponents to land your kill most of the time.
  When it comes to FDCL the buff is not globally recognized as a threat to pay attention to. It's constantly proccing and it stacks  2 times so nobody will be paying attention. There is also no trackable debuff or animation involved. Mind Spike has a very subtle animation. Since it's very unpredictable, it's easier to make your opponents panic when using it. "Oh wow all of a sudden I'm at 20% and I don't know why! just going to use a cooldown" In comparison to Insanity they might say "Okay I'm at 20%, but the Devouring Plague is over and he can't do any more damage, I should be okay."  This situation happens more than you would think.


Bursting Priority List by Talent

FDCL
-make sure you have a reasonable duration Vampiric Touch and Shadow Word: Pain on the target before bursting
-Halo if you are using that
-Shadowfiend + Devouring Plague at the same time using the bugged Glyph of the Sha
-use Divine Insight procs, or cast a mind blast if you don’t think you will be interrupted
-if you have 2 Surge of Darkness procs: use at least 1 of them
-when you have 1 Surge of Darkness proc you can choose to either use the second one or freecast Mind Flays while your target is in line of sight and you are unafraid of being locked out. In general I simply use the second proc and continue moving toward my target
Once you have no procs your highest dps is to use Mind Flay.


Mindbender
-make sure you have a reasonable duration Vampiric Touch and Shadow Word: Pain on the target before bursting
-Halo if you are using that
-Mindbender + Devouring Plague at the same time using the bugged Glyph of the Sha
-your highest dps is to use Mind Flay.


Solace and Insanity
-make sure you have a reasonable duration Vampiric Touch and Shadow Word: Pain on the target before bursting
-Halo if you are using that
-Shadowfiend + Devouring Plague at the same time using the bugged Glyph of the Sha
-channel insanity for the rest of the duration of Devouring Plague
*Note: If the healer is not CC'd for the final ticks of the Devouring Plague it is better to cast Mind Blast for 1 orb and use Psychic Horror as a follow up CC. The healer will very likely do more healing than you will do damage.

-your highest dps is to use Mind Flay.


Playing as X comp:
*keep in mind these can all change depending on what you are fighting against*

2v2:
Healer/Spriest vs. Healer/DPS
You can play any of the 3. Preferably you should play Mindbender if the comp you are playing against is susceptable to being killed by Mindbender + DP + Mind Flay because you can set up kills with your healer once a minute. Sometimes Insanity is better where you need the extra burst to get a kill though I wouldn't recommend it. Mind Spikes are never a bad option. It could be hard to rot a team by yourself, though.

Healer/Spriest vs. DPS/DPS
Mind Spikes or Insanity. By using insanity you can get a kill very fast against classes that can live by themselves while running away from your Mind Spike procs, but Mind Spike procs will give you consistent damage for comps that can't live very long on their own. In general, I would say Insanity is stronger here.

Spriest/DPS vs. Healer/DPS
Really depends on what you're playing against here, but if you think a melee will be training you and you don't have a partner that can peel them much, go with Mindbender. It will give you the extra mana to heal yourself as well as give you some bursting help. Insanity or Spikes if you have peels or fighting a caster healer.

Spriest/DPS vs. DPS/DPS
Really doesn't matter much. Mindbender isn't that great because the game won't last long. Mind Spikes is probably best because you'll be doing a lot of running away as a Spriest in this fight.

3v3:
*In 3v3, Mindbender is less effective than the other two choices.*

Spriest Mage Druid/Shaman:
This is all up to what you prefer, really. If you are playing with a Fire or Arcane Mage that heavily relies on the one shot combo, then go with Insanity. With a Frost Mage who can easily set up burst I currently prefer FDCL as long as it's able to force cooldowns or land kills against what I'm fighting with Deep + Silence combo.

Spriest Warrior Shaman:
Spriest Warrior isn't seen much, but it is very strong right now (Season 15). Warriors do heavy consistent damage so it is definitely better to play FDCL with one. You are going to be the train target and while Warriors do have a lot of peels, there usually isn't enough of a window to spam Insanity into a target.

Spriest Rogue Druid/Shaman:
While I havent seen it much in the past months, Spriest Rogue does have it's strengths and those two DPS are second only to Frost Mage Rogue when it comes to bursting a target down. When playing with a Rogue it's almost best to spec Insanity and hold orbs for the one shot. Triple CC is very important and you will want to fear one, cyclone/hex/cheap shot or kidney shot one, and kill the other when going for kills. FDCL can work, but it just doesn't fit the playstyle.

Special Cases:
-Hunter/Melee comp training you in 3v3 with low peels on your team. If you're playing with a Resto Shaman and a class that won't be helping you much like a Warlock or Ele, then you will want to play with Mindbender. It feels not so great, but you actually can't do anything with Insanity/FDCL anyway when you are getting trained all game. Mindbender gives you that extra little help while trying to survive.

-Rogue/Mage comps in 3v3 with low peels on your team. Again, this is really hard to do anything against if they are an aggressive team determined to shut you down. Mindbender is actually not very effective against this team because of novas, so your best bet against this is usually to fear rogue + CC healer then burst mage down with insanity.



That's all I got for you guys, hopefully you got something out of it.

comments

comments

#1 Vanguards

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Posted 11 March 2014 - 01:02 AM

Thanks Talb!

edit: the s14 icon still needs fixing...

#2 midney

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Posted 11 March 2014 - 01:49 AM

really insightful and helpful guide thanks <3

#3 jaimex

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Posted 11 March 2014 - 08:30 AM

great thanks!

just asking, what is the bugged glyph of sha you were talking about?

#4 Hudderr

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Posted 11 March 2014 - 09:31 AM

a good read, thanks.

#5 Nexxer

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Posted 11 March 2014 - 09:40 AM

View Postjaimex, on 11 March 2014 - 08:30 AM, said:

great thanks!

just asking, what is the bugged glyph of sha you were talking about?

If you have the glyph of sha, it does not trigger a gcd, but it still remains on GCD (does it makes sense?). Which means you can DP -> Shadowfiend in 1 global.

#6 Hudderr

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Posted 11 March 2014 - 10:28 AM

Would be great if people could add which talent they prefer playing in/vs comps.

Personally I tend to stick with FDCL maybe a bit too much, so any information on this could be helpful for me at least.

#7 Talbadar

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Posted 11 March 2014 - 11:20 AM

View PostHudderr, on 11 March 2014 - 10:28 AM, said:

Would be great if people could add which talent they prefer playing in/vs comps.

I will add this when I get a chance. Good idea.

#8 glonglon

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Posted 11 March 2014 - 12:33 PM

Great guide !

#9 jaimex

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Posted 11 March 2014 - 01:52 PM

View PostNexxer, on 11 March 2014 - 09:40 AM, said:

If you have the glyph of sha, it does not trigger a gcd, but it still remains on GCD (does it makes sense?). Which means you can DP -> Shadowfiend in 1 global.

i hadnt seen this, thanks!

#10 Flaybot

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Posted 11 March 2014 - 02:34 PM

Thank you talb, also good to see you streaming Shadow again!

#11 Hoggster2701

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Posted 11 March 2014 - 02:40 PM

Awesome guide a nice read.

#12 Mztickle

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Posted 16 June 2014 - 09:09 AM

View PostNexxer, on 11 March 2014 - 09:40 AM, said:

If you have the glyph of sha, it does not trigger a gcd, but it still remains on GCD (does it makes sense?). Which means you can DP -> Shadowfiend in 1 global.

I guess this has been hotfixed by now? :duckers:

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