Disc Priest’s Guide to PvP, Part 3: Damage and Shadow Spells

In Part Two, I went over the “healing” and Holy type defensive spells. This time we will look at watch damage and/or Shadow spells we have access to. Once again, every spell we have is useful in some way so let’s make the most out of all of them.

*** Holy Damage Spells: Smite and Holy Fire ***

In Patch 4.1, Holy Fire will be buffed to work with Evangelism/Atonement heals. Smite and Holy Fire are just fine to use if you have the time to cast for 2 seconds and won’t need to heal someone. In Part One, I advised of not talenting Evangelism and Atonement so they aren’t as useful as they could be with those talents. I still have them on my bars and do use them from time to time but remember they are Holy spells. If you get spell locked while casting them, you will be locked out of your heals, as well.

(Holy Nova and Penance can be found in Part Two.)

*** Shadow Damage Spells: Devouring Plague, Shadow Word: Death, Mind Blast, Mind Spike, Mind Sear and Shadow Word: Death ***

The most used Shadow spells will be DOTs, especially DP and SW:P. We don’t have the really good talents/glyphs to back them up but that doesn’t mean we can’t use them. I like to use them for “dispel fodder” if there are enemy healers around me. Dispels can be very expensive and will make an enemy healer go OOM pretty quickly if they abuse it.

Another good use is to keep them ticking on a class that can stealth. Rogues can clear them off with Cloak of Shadows, which has a 1.5 minute CD, and we want to keep them from using Cloak as much as we can. We can bait them using DOTs just like we can bait a Mage by channeling a Shadow spell to avoid being locked out of healing. We want the Rogue to use Cloak on stupid things like our DOTs to clear the way for our DPS class teammates to burn them down. DOTs will also make it hard for a Feral Druid to stealth since they can’t cleanse diseases and Hunters will not be able to Camo since they will still be in combat as the DOT ticks.

Devouring Plague: “Afflicts the target with a disease that causes 1240 Shadow Damage over 24 seconds. 15% of the damage cause by DP heals the caster. This spell can only affect one target at a time”. This is the big Shadow DOT. It’s very expensive at 25% of your base mana and Disc doesn’t get the benefit of the “top loaded” damage on the first tick like Shadow does. It will heal you for a tiny bit but it’s mostly unnoticed. Most certainly keep it up on whoever is attacking you but don’t go crazy with it.

Shadow Word: Pain: “A word of pain that causes 1326 Shadow damage over 18 seconds”. As with DP, you should keep this ticking on attackers. It’s almost as expensive at 22% of base mana but it can be on multiple targets. I don’t really recommend spreading it around the entire BG but when faced with multiple stealthers there might not much else you can do.

Mind Spike: “Blasts the target for 1083 to 1143 Shadowfrost damage but extinguishes your Shadow DOTs in the process. Also increases crit chance of your next Mind Blast by 30%, stacks up to 3 times.” Here’s a good time to talk about one of our new spells. It can do a good bit of damage but it has the drawback of erasing your DOTs on the target. It’s a 1.5 second cast time so it’s perfect for baiting counter spelling Mages but only if you don’t already have a DOT on the target. We don’t need to be wasting mana so haphazardly.

Mind Blast: “Blasts the target for 1277 to 1349 Shadow damage”. This is another good baiting spell at 1.5 second cast time. This is an amazing spell for Shadow Priests because with the Improved Mind Blast talent they can put a healing debuff on the target. For Disc, it’s a baiting spell and something to cast if you get bored. I rarely use it just to do damage.

Mind Sear: “Causes an explosion of Shadow magic around the target, causing 104 to 112 Shadow Damage every 1 second for 5 seconds to all enemies within 10 years of the target.” At 28% of base mana, this is pretty expensive. Before Cataclysm it was nerfed into the ground and in 4.1 it will be buffed at little bit. I won’t say you will not ever use it but it can be beneficial against Army of Dead if you have been locked out of Holy Nova.

Shadow Word: Death: “A word of dark binding that inflicts 301 Shadow damage to the target. Deals 3x as much damage to targets below 25% health. If the target is not killed, the caster takes damage equal to the damage inflicted.” This is our “execute” spell. Don’t let the second sentence scare you away from using it because even the kick back is useful. I use it all the time in Arena when I see an enemy with low health, especially if they are the last one standing or they are another healer. If your Prayer of Mending gets stuck back on you, use it to make PoM bounce again. SW:D is a wonderful spell and accounts for most of my killing blows.

I got all the Killing Blows thanks to smart use of SW:D

*** Misc and Defensive Shadow Spells: Shadowfiend, Psychic Scream, Fade, Mind Vision, and Mind Control.***

Shadowfiend: “Creates a shadowy fiend to attack the target. Caster receives 3% mana when the Shadowfiend attacks. Lasts 14 seconds.” This is our big mana return spell and has a 5 minute CD. You may think it’s only for mana return but it’s not. A lot of people will run around poles and pretty much LOS you at every turn in Arena. This is especially true for healers and it can be really, really frustrating. How can you combat this? With your Shadowfiend, of course – not just for mana return! Our little fiend does a decent amount of damage and can coax LOS people from out behind things. I’ve had my fiend land the killing blow in Arena before. Don’t forget that it’s useful for damage and not just mana return.

Psychic Scream: “The caster lets out a psychic scream, causing 5 enemies within 8 years to flee for 8 seconds. Damage caused may interrupt the effect”. This is your other “oh shit” button, use it against melee to temporarily get them off of you. Another good use is to fear an enemy healer if they are casting something. This will require you to run with in 8 yards of them to be effective. My Worgen racial Darkflight is especially good in this situation. I’m sure a Goblin’s rocket boots would also work.

Fade: “Fade out – temporarily reducing all your threat for 10 seconds”. If you think this is only a PvE spell, you are wrong. Fade works against all sorts of player controlled pets from Hunter pets to Warlock puppies and even Army of the Dead. It will get all the pets off of you but the players will still be able to target you and will continue to hurt you but their pets will be off on other targets, at least temporarily. This can reduce a lot of damage on yourself and you might even avoid a debuff or two. I have the minor glyph that decreases the cost of the spell. It only has a 30 second CD so you can use it a lot.

Mind Vision: “Allows the caster to see through the target’s eyes for 1 minute. Will not work if the target is in another instance or on another continent.” Best use of this spell is when on defense at Lumber Mill in AB. You can literally see the entire map from this spot. Pick out a random enemy and Mind Vision them. You will usually be able to call out in-comings to other nodes with this method. Be careful though, you won’t be able to see your own body and you will be open to attack. Use if you have a trustworthy teammate with you.

Mind Control: “Controls a humanoid mind but increases the time between its attacks by 25%. Lasts up to 30 seconds.” Now this one is fun! Best use is flailing an enemy off the middle in Eye of the Storm. It can be pain since it is affected by LOS and has a long cast time at 2.5 seconds. You may even use it for baiting. But really, who doesn’t like to see random people falling their deaths?

Next time we’ll go over some useful addons for PvP.

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Dear Horde,

You guys have just been awesome to me this week, from the horrible questing to the near constant spam of random people wanting me in their guild. I decided that I wanted to see the “green grass” on the other side of the fence so I rolled a baby Tauren BM Hunter. He is just too cute for words in his full heirloom set and derpy Kodo mount that doesn’t fit through any doors, anywhere (which is especially odd in Thunderbluff.)

The questing has been nothing but run way the hell over there to kill 5 of this animal and run back. The next quest is that same exact animal but now the quest giver wants their paws/claws/hides/delicious meat for their crazy dog, etc. It was a blast to run all over creation on my own two hooves – from one side of Mulgore to the next and back again. It was old Darkshore all over again. I thought this was supposed to have all changed from the Shattering but no. The Tauren starting zone is lame, lame.

The starting Hunter pet is pretty lame, too. It is pretty cool that I have a pet right out of the box but I can’t send him in before me and he doesn’t have a taunt so I’m still kitting mobs. And, can I take 3 steps without running into another mob? Just once, can I get to an herb node without killing 20 birds/tigers/harpies, etc?  

I finally got to Orgimar and I was a little afraid of it. It’s quite massive. (Garrosh is clearly making up for something.) I haven’t fallen off of anything yet but I’m sure it’s coming. I constantly have my map up because I have no idea where anything is. I’m sure the guards are sick of putting the hunter trainer on my map. I loathe the new /map emote because I am going to look like such a n00b or worse: an Alliance person in Tauren clothing.

I made the decision to start doing Ashenvale quests. Wrong choice because it required killing Night Elves. I side with the Night Elves about the resources in Ashenvale and they have every right to protect what’s theirs. I killed about 10 of them before I just could not take it anymore. I found my way to the Undercity and the quest board there sent me to STV. (I’m hoping it will send me to Koltira in a few more levels.)

Finally, a zone that will be completely different because I’m Horde! Think again. I’m still killing Trolls for tusks that drop at seemingly 5% rate even though every Troll has 2 tusks right there on their faces. Why can’t I have those tusks? I’m a ten foot tall male Tauren who wields a bow, I’m positive that I could snap those tusks off their faces. Maybe they have other tusks on their bodies that I need to collect.

On the plus side, I’ve killed about 5 rares across the zone and made at least a whole level off of them. On the negative side, they have only dropped caster leather greens. I don’t know why it’s so hard to find +agi gear all of a sudden. I didn’t think my Alliance Hunter or Druid had this problem.

So far, it’s been almost the exact same as my Alliance leveling experience, only a lot more frustrating and a lot less interesting. To anyone out there who thinks Blizzard prefers Horde over Alliance, I call your Thunderbluff. Blizzard clearly likes Alliance over Horde if in nothing else but questing content.

In closing, Horde peeps, please stop asking me to join your guild. I’m only visiting for a short time and I don’t want to have to feel like I have to do things for complete strangers or make small talk with you. I’m sure your heart is in the right place but I want to be left alone to see the side of the game I haven’t seen before.

Here’s hoping that things get more interesting in the Plaguelands. *crosses fingers*

Disc Priest’s Guide to PvP, Part 2: Healing Spells

I’ve already touched on a few spells in our arsenal in the previous post but this post will go into much more depth as to what is in our Priesty toolbox. As with my Heroic guide, you must know every spell at your disposal in order to truly unlock your potential. Priests have a wonderful opportunity to do damage and healing at the same time and you should take full advantage of it.

The first spells we will look at will be the more “healing” type of defensive spells.

*** Long CD spells ***

Our very long cool down spells are Divine Hymn and Hymn of Hope. They are both on 6 minute CDs and have to be channeled. They can be interrupted and in the next patch will we have 100% push back protection while channeling them. Hymn of Hope “restores 2% mana to 3 nearby low mana friendly party members or raid targets every 2 seconds for 8 seconds.” Divine Hymn “heals 3 nearby lowest health friendly party or raid targets within 40 yards for 4009 every 2 seconds for 8 seconds.”

These two are very powerful spells and need to used thoughtfully. These are something you want to pop when you, yourself, are about to die and/or out of mana. If you can, run and hide LOS from enemy players to avoid being interrupted. They both use the crazy channeling animations and bright golden animations so it will be painfully obvious that you are doing something “big” and interruption worthy. These are truly your “oh shit” buttons. You will generally only be able to use them once in a BG, twice if you are lucky. I had to pop Divine Hymn in Arena the other day and it saved my ass. We had a Shaman and a Hunter blow all of their CDs on us at the same time. Divine Hymn was the only thing that saved us and ensured our victory.

*** Moderate CD spells ***

Our more manageable CDs are Pain Suppression, PW:B, Power Infusion, Fear Ward and Leap of Faith. Most of these are the real “bread and butter” of the Disc Tree, with the exception of  Fear Ward and LoF which are a baseline Priest spells.

Pain Suppression “Instantly reduces a friendly target’s threat by 5% and reduces all damage taken by 40% for 8 seconds”. You should have the Glyph of Desperation that enables you to cast it while stunned. It’s on a 3 minute CD so use it as often as you can. A good example of it’s use could be on your flag carrier once they “become vulnerable” and are taking heavy damage. Or if a Rogue has you locked down, pop it on yourself. It is OK to be selfish in BGs with your CDs. Keep yourself alive and hopefully while that Rogue is working on you one of your teammates is devastating that Rogue.

Power Word: Barrier “summons a holy barrier on the target location that reduces all damage done to friendly targets by 30%. While within the Barrier, spellcasting will not be interrupted. The Barrier lasts for 10 seconds.” Right now, it is on a 2 minute CD. This will go up to 3 minutes in 4.1. Use it liberally. Don’t get mad when people run out of it. PvP is highly mobile and if anything pops up around people, the first instinct is to run from it before really looking. You will see people pause for a second and then run back under it. Try to place it such a way that more than 1 person is under it – including yourself. A giant yellow bubble is an awfully big target painted on you.

Power Infusion “Infuses the target with power, increasing spell casting speed by 20% and reducing mana cost of all spells by 20%. Lasts 15 seconds.” The CD is 2 minutes for this one. The absolute best use of this spell is in conjunction with Mana Burn, especially in Arena. This combo is a game changer and can easily turn the tide of a battle with another healer.

Leap of Faith “You pull the spirit of a friendly party or raid target to you, instantly moving them directly in front of you.” LoF is on a 1.5 minute CD. The thing about LoF is that you have to be facing your target. I think this is a design flaw. I should be able to face any direction like I do with a healing spell. LoF would be a lot more useful if I could run away and pull someone with me. As it is, it has limited use. The best use of it that I have found is on BWD raid boss Atramedes. You most certainly could pull people who getting focused on over to you or you could even pull a teammate over to help you if you are being focused on.

I put Fear Ward here since it’s on a 3 minute CD with only one charge. It will protect you from only one fear spell for 3 minutes. Make sure you buff yourself with it each time it is off CD – especially if there are enemy Shadow Priests or Warlocks around. A Warlock will pack your lunch with fears and DOTs – don’t make it easy on them.

*** Healing Spells: Heal, Flash Heal, Greater Heal, Binding Heal, Penance, Prayer of Healing, Prayer of Mending. Holy Nova and Renew. ***

First of all, do not use regular, old Heal. Its cast time is way too long and too easily interrupted, especially by enemies that can lock you out of that school of magic. As in the last post, you see how light on Haste PvP gear has so you will not get much help on lowering the cast time from your gear. You will not outlive your mana pool so blow through it, Wrath-style, baby.

Same goes for Greater Heal, while it does have synergy with Inner Focus if talented, you will not be able to get one off in a timely manner. Three seconds is a very long time in PvP.

Prayer of Healing is not really used in BGs since groups are split up. I may be at Lumber Mill in group 3 but my fellow defenders are in groups 1 and 2. PoH is party wide so in most situations it’s not worth using. Arena is another story. I find myself using it a lot in Arena since it is not an LOS heal – meaning that I can stand behind something and still heal my team mates as long as they are in range. It also has a guaranteed Divine Aegis proc for damage mitigation and if it crits, the DA will stack for more absorption. In patch 4.1 it will be buffed to have a duration of 15 seconds up from 12 seconds.

If you need to use a slow heal, go for Binding Heal: “Heals a friendly target and the caster for 4753 to 6109.” It’s got a 1.5 second cast time so it is twice as fast has a Heal to cast and it heals for more. You will always be taking damage of some sort and there will always be someone around you who is also taking damage. It’s a win-win spell. It’s even being buffed in 4.1 to proc the Holy talent Surge of Light for free, instant Flash Heals. Get used to using it now.

The best heals to use in PvP are the instant ones: Prayer of Mending, Holy Nova, Penance and Renew. (Another instant would be the glyphed PW:S to be discussed later.) They all have wonderfully useful glyphs. The Penance glyph is mandatory to reduce its CD by a few seconds. Instant spells allow us to heal on the run. In PvP, you should never be standing in one spot for long. Throw the PoM on yourself and watch it bounce around, even if you are incapacitated. (Pro Tip: If it gets stuck back on you, a quick Shadow Word: Death on the nearest enemy will make it jump again since you’ll be taking a little damage. This only works if you don’t have an active PW:S or DA on you.)

Holy Nova is interesting because it does damage as well as healing (similar to Penance). While it does not do much damage or healing, the best use of this spell is the spam it around your flag or other objective to bust out stealthed enemies. It is especially useful when you know Rogues/Feral Druids are around and to remove Camouflage off of Hunters – allowing them to be targeted by your teammates. Be careful, you will drain your mana pool from spamming it so proceed with caution on this one. You don’t want to bust out that Rogue only to be not able to heal because your mana is gone.

Renew is one of my favorite spells. I’ve gone over the usefulness of it before and every Priest should be using it. I have mine glyphed for 10% extra healing. Don’t forget that it is our only consistent, instant heal on the GCD since Penance and PoM have CDs and a glyphed PW:S isn’t always possible due to the Weakened Soul debuff. Renew also can proc stacking DA for a bit more damage mitigation. Keep that Renew ticking on flag carriers and your Arena teammates, especially.

Our big, signature heal is Penance. It is special in that it does healing to friendly targets and damage to enemy targets. Use it liberally and on CD. You have 3 opportunities to crit to get the DA so use it often. If you or your teammates are not taking damage, most certainly use it against enemies. I use it against the last person on the opposite team in Arena to help burn them down. Use it as the situation requires, sometimes people to be healed – other times get out there and inflict some pain!

Our other signature spell is Power Word: Shield. Again, use it liberally. Spread it around. Keep it on yourself as much as possible as you will have “Reflective Shield” talented – think Thorns on a Druid. I am constantly thinking to myself “keep hitting me, asshole” as people continue to take damage from my bubble.

So that is it for the “healing” spells, next time we will talk about Holy and Shadow damage spells. We aren’t one trick ponies by any means.

PvP Priest love at 1:28 from Nation. Heck yeah!

Disc Priest’s Guide to PvP, Part 1: Talents, Glyphs and Gear

Life for a healer can be a bit challenging in a Battle Ground, especially if that healer is a squishy Priest. So, how does said squishy Priest survive? You spec Disc, that’s how. Disc has the best defensive cool downs in the game. I hate going against another Disc Priest in Arena because they are annoying at best and unkillable at worst. This will be the first in a series of Disco PvP guides.

So what is it that makes a Disc Priest unstoppable? Bubbles, bubbles and more bubbles; Reflective bubbles, Pain Suppression bubbles, Divine Aegis bubbles and the giant golden bubble for everyone who stands under it. But… not only do we have defensive spells we also have access to Shadow DOTs and Psychic Scream. Some PvP specs may carry the Smite/Atonement talents but I have found them nearly useless in a PvP setting.

Let’s take a look at my PvP spec:

The first row is complety filled out. No brainer here.

The second tier I have skipped Evangelism and Archangel completely. These points are better spent in the Holy Tree. I have 2/3 Inner Sanctum – being able to out run enemies is a great asset. You will always have Inner Will up. Inner Fire is tempting for the extra armor but with the horrid regen of PvP gear it is vital to have the mana reduction. Inner Will has better survivability than Inner Fire, period. I have 2/2 in Soul Warding because bubbles will spread liberally around a BG.

The third tier is filled out except for Atonement because I didn’t take Evangelism and Archangel. Power Infusion is a must have talent. I took Inner Focus but I find myself forgetting to use it a lot. Power Infusion is for those times when you meet a Holy Paladin with 120K mana that just will not go down. Power Infusion + Mana Burn = dead Paladin.

The fourth tier is all about Rapture and Reflective Shield. Borrowed Time is nice but it’s not as good as it was in Wrath – more of a filler talent to get to the next tier. Rapture is a tiny bit of regen and Reflective Shield is really nice against those stealthed Rogues/Feral Druids since it will damage them if they hit us – popping them out of stealth.

The fifth tier is the really good stuff: Divine Aegis and Pain Suppression. Divine Aegis’s duration is about to get buffed in 4.1. Hurray! Pain Suppression is a must have, as is the Glyph of Desperation. With the Glyph, you can cast Pain Suppression while stunned. You can cast it on your self or an ally.   

The sixth tier is Focused Will and Grace. Take both – they are both amazing talents. Grace was recently buffed to be active on more than one target at a time. Too good not to take now for any Disc Spec.

And then we have our 31st point talent: Power Word: Barrier. 10 seconds of 30% damage reduction and uninterrupted spell casting – yes, please! The CD is about to go up from 2 to 3 minutes in 4.1 but still a really good spell. There’s a glyph for it that’s marginally useful, dependant of how often you use it.

Now for the Holy tree, we only have enough points to get to the first 2 tiers.

The first tier I have taken Improved Renew and Empowered Healing. I didn’t take Divine Fury since most of the healing I do is instant cast. I love Renew – it’s a HoT and our only heal that can be cast on the run consistently.

In the second tier I have 2/2 in Surge of Light and 2/2 in Inspiration. Why no Desperate Prayer, you may be asking. I don’t like it – never have. I don’t use it when I have it talented and I find the point more useful in Inspiration. Surge of Light is my favorite healing Priest talent, hands down. It will soon be buffed to work with Binding Heal in addition to the heals it works with now. When it procs, we get an instant free Flash Heal. This is especially nice in a highly mobile PvP environment. Inspiration has wonderful synergy with Divine Aegis, it’s just too good to pass up.

Now that we have our talent tree filled out, what about glyphs?

There are mandatory glyphs like Glyph of Desperation and Penance. The minor glyphs don’t really help in PvP with the exception of Levitation. Everyone loves a reagent free Levitate and its situationaly useful in Arathi Basin.

I love my Renew glyph and the PW:S glyph is really amazing since the abosorb amount has been doubled. I’ve been seeing anywhere from 7-10K heals with it.

You have a little wiggle room in the Major glyphs. You should most certainly have the Dispell Magic Glyph and the Glyph of Desperation. Don’t confuse Dispell Magic with Mass Dispell – the glyph heals the target for 3% of their health when Dispell Magic is used, this is the single target Dispell. The 3rd Major glyph could be anything from Prayer of Mending (my favorite) to Mass Dispell or Prayer of Healing. It really depends on your play style. I love PoM since it will still bounce when I’m stunned. Sixty percent of that first heal is quite a bit. I have been seeing it crit up to 18K.  

So now we have our spec and glyphs taken care but what about gear? What do we look for in PvP gear? Short answer, resilience.

At my current gear level, I have 3464 resilience or 36.38% damage reduction. This includes Mana Burn damage, as well. I think this is an acceptable level of resilience and as I get the epic pieces I will stop gemming for it. The thing with resilience is that everyone will be comfortable with a different amount. I think I have some good survivability with what I have now but others might like less. I would say a good value to shoot for would be around 3K before you even think of dropping some in favor of another stat.

After Resilience you want to look at the more basic Disc Priest Stat order: Int -> Mastery -> Spirit -> Haste -> Crit. I value Mastery over Haste and Spirit in PvP more than I do in PvE. PvP gear just doesn’t have much Haste on it and one extra tick of Renew doesn’t mean much if people aren’t alive long enough to get that extra tick. Mastery is more beneficial because of the larger shields absorbs (and the bigger glyphed heal from PW:S). Spirit is nice to have but in BGs you will rarely be out living your mana pool since you will be focused fired by any decent PvPers.

Spirit can be pretty rare on gear since it is best to “double dip” on the cloth sets for the bonus 400 resilience from the 2 piece bonus. If you have 2 pieces of Mooncloth and 2 pieces of Satin you will get a bonus of 800 resilience but you will loose Spirit from the Satin Pieces. Also, you need to take at least the DPS ring for some hit rating. The cap for hit rating in PvP is 4%. I’m not saying you need to be capped but you do need some hit for those times when you can be offensive. Dispells on enemies work on hit rating and can miss just like a DPS spell can so you need to have at least a little bit.

Now that we have our gear, how should we gem and enchant it? What meta gem should we use?

As for gemming, gem for socket bonuses only if it’s 20 or more of a good stat. By good I mean resilience or intellect, don’t worry about the others – it’s just not worth it. I have a smattering of different gems in my gear but it works for me. If I think I need more health, I’ll pop in a stamina gem or if I want a bigger mana pool, I’ll get an intellect one. Just make sure to gem in line with the above stat order.

The meta gem I swear by is the Destructive Shadowspirit Diamond. Yes, it’s + crit but look at the other stat on it: 1% percent spell reflect. You have absolutely not lived until you have seen a Shaman’s Hex reflected back on them. I’ve reflected all sorts of stuff: Paladin’s Hammer of Justice, Druid’s Cyclone and many, many DPS spells. But really, it is worth it just to watch those CC spells get used against them. The meta gem is another thing in our arsenal that makes us a lot harder to down. Also, don’t be fooled by the increased run speed metas. They do not stack with your Inner Will.

Enchants should also be inline with the above stat order. As above, Vitality enchants for boots will not stack with Inner Will. The big ones to not skimp on are the 40 resilience to chest and the reputation shoulder/head enchants. There are new PvP enchants from the Tol Barad vendor but they are 80 commendations for each. I don’t know about you but I just cannot make myself do those dailies anymore. You may want to get the Wrath PvP enchants from the Wintergrasp vendor and the Leatherworking leg enchant from the era is still pretty decent at 40 resilience and 28 stamina. If you can afford it and have an epic weapon, Power Torrent is totally worth it but it does take 5 Maelstrom Crystals. Heartsong is also a good alternative. I would not recommend Mending – it hardly procs and you will be healing yourself for more than it procs anyways.

That’s it for now. Next time I’ll go over our spells and how/when to use them.

HHHMmmmm

Is that your tail or are you just happy to see me?

Basic PvP Rules for the Special Snowflakes

  Last night I got home and I was pretty pissed off. I was pissed because a truck made my normally 25 minute drive home into nearly 45 minute ordeal. I was pissed off because my chicken sandwich was cold due to said truck incident. I was also pissed because my dog would not stop licking my elbows for attention. I really, really hate that. I know she means well but damn!

All of this culminated in my little Priesty self going to random BGs alone. This was clearly a mistake on my part. I just wanted to own some ass for a little while before going to bed only to wake up to another mundane day at work.

I noticed people being complete n00bs about some absolutely basic things:

1) Get some PvP gear. Don’t scream at me when I refuse to heal your heroic blue geared ass through anything. My own PvP set has so very little regen and I’m not wasting what I have on idiots. It’s blazingly obvious who has PvP gear and who doesn’t. If you want to spend your time in the GY, go to a BG with no resilience.

2) Kill the healers first. Maybe people can’t tell who’s a healer and who isn’t. Healers usually have golden or green spell effects – easy. Kill those first. Kill the Paladin with a shield, the Disc Priest shooting Penance, the Holy Priest in chakra, the Druid spreading green shit everywhere that may or may not be a giant tree and the shaman standing in a puddle of rain first. This is pretty simple.

3) Play defense! We loose so many BGs because we succumb to the Horde zerg of nodes we capped and left behind. You claim stables – sit your ass there and defend it.

4) Fight in rage of flags, nodes, glaives, siege engines or whatever else kind of objective there is. Don’t run away from your flag to get a straggler on the road – chances are there’s a rogue/feral druid with them to ninja cap your flag behind you.

5) Winning the BG will give you more honor than farming Honor Kills. Learn the BG you’re in and do your best to win it. WoW Insider has a series of great guides on what to do in each BG and how to win it. It’s not going to kill you to do a little research but it might save you from unnecessary in-game deaths if you do. Here’s the link: http://wow.joystiq.com/category/the-art-of-war-craft/

“Stormrage” Review

I just finished “Stormrage” by Richard Knaak. I wanted to finish it before taking my Druid through Mount Hyjal and I am so glad I did.

I’ve read a handful of WoW books by Knaak. I especially love The War of the Ancients trilogy. “Stormrage” suffers from the same slow start as the other Knaak books but it gets a lot better the further into it. It has a really great middle part and then the end drags a bit because you really want to know what happens but he keeps throwing stuff at you. The ending took too long to come to an end. There was a good 20-30 pages I would have cut out or at least condensed a little better. All in all, it does a good job at looking at the relationship between Tyrande and Malfurion and gives us a lot of insight into the Emerald Dream.  

!!!SPOILER ALERT!!!

The book opens with a dire vision from Elune to Tyrande that Malfurion is dying. This is confirmed by her and the Druids, especially Arch Druid Fandral Staghelm. Fandral sends for all the power Druids of Azeroth to come heal the world tree and then help out Mal. Tyrande and Broll Bearmantle are skeptical of Fandral’s plan. This starts them on a mission to enter the Dream on their own to save Mal. During this, people across Azeroth are falling asleep and not waking up. These people have horrible nightmares that never end. Every city from Stormwind to Thunderbluff is affected.

I love Knaak’s version of Tyrande. In game she says horrible clichés like “my love sleeps in the Emerald Dream”. It seems like she’s just moping around Darnassus, kicking rocks as she walks with her head down, so forlorn that Mal is away. But, in the books she never lets herself fall into this depression; sure, she misses him but she doesn’t agonize over him. She has a job to do – she’s the leader of the Night Elves and High Priestess of Elune. Knaak does a great job of seeing her daily life as leader of a people and when the time calls for it, she leaps head first into action. She’s no demure Priestess who’s content to stay in her temple; she gets out there with her glaive and kicks some major ass.

Malfurion continues to be a stick in the mud for me. He has to go the Dream “for Azeroth” but it’s never said why he must do this in the first place. Yes, the Dream became corrupted so he had to take action but what was he doing in there before the corruption? I’m pretty sure Ysera can handle her own realm with her own dragons most of the time. Mal will never be the most interesting of the Stormrage twins but that’s no reason to make him completely flat. I’m convinced that Tyrande chose Mal because he was the “not crazy one” as apposed to the much sexier and more interesting Illidan. Tyrande has never said why she chose Mal because I suspect this is true, at least during the time when the War of the Ancients was at its height. In the long run, I would much rather have the peace loving nature dude than the crazy, super hot controlling dude.

The other person we spend a lot of time with is Broll Bearmantle. I love, love, love Broll from the comics where he’s fleshed out pretty well. Here he’s a little flat and still plagued by the specter of his dead daughter. Which makes perfect sense because he has to steal the Idol of Remulos from Frandral before his adventure with Tyrande starts. I will be glad when he can forgive himself for her death and finally move on. He has such great potential. Perhaps we will see him when the new Hyjal area hits, possibly in Patch 4.2, or maybe he might even assist us in the Firelands raid, ala Tirion Fordring.

Which brings me to Frandal Staghelm, former Arch Druid of Darnassus. I remember when I first rolled my Druid I would go up to his tree house in Darnassus to visit him. He stood there with just his kilt and feathery shoulders on, his rippley muscles on display for all of us hot blooded fan girls. I envisioned my Druid going up to him and telling him that one day she would be worthy of him to call her a fellow Druid. He was the pinnacle of Druids in Malfurion’s absence so he was a good example for her to look up to, regardless of his horrible attitude. So imagine my surprise when it’s revealed that he was using Morrowgrain to poison Malfurion. I collected that stuff for you, you bastard! I even farmed it to get my rep up. Oh gods, I just contributed to poisoning and near death of the greatest Druid!

Poor Fandral has fallen on hard times in “Stormrage”. He’s the pawn of the Nightmare Lord and damn near kills Teldrassil, taking all Azeroth with it. The Druids are pretty pissed off at him right now, as am I. I was shocked, shocked I tell you, when I found out the extent of his downfall. I’m not sure if he can be saved from his madness or not, I’m sure we will find out for sure in The Firelands raid.

In closing, I really enjoyed the book despite its flaws. I love Nelf lore so it was right up my alley. I liked to see some of the background of the Hyjal questing area.

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