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.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Ross
    Oct 13, 2011 @ 08:58:50

    I found this guide to be very comprehensive and useful to someone looking for a nudge in the right direction as a new priest.
    -Pyross, Bladefist EU


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