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Rotations – and some Observations


I’ve had a couple of questions about what rotations I’ve been using.

Wall of text incoming.

I’ve been waiting for some empirical evidence in the form of a WWS and I posted some screenies in my previous post.

before you read on – Seriously www.shadowpriest.com and http://elitistjerks.com/ have much more intelligent discussions about the matter then I ever will be able to explain, or want to explain. I am not an expert.  My logic may not make sense, and may not be mathematically correct,  but these are my observations and my understandings.  I am happy to be wrong, as long as I learn from being wrong and improve my understanding.

Above all I believe that being the highest DPS on a chart does not mean you are the best raider, and now Shadow Priests seem to be able to compete reasonably well with other dps, for that I am grateful, but it doesn’t mean we can pad the metres. There are ‘jobs’ to be done in a raid. You aren’t just a DPS you are a team player.

Overall
6th on chart
DPS: 3520
HPS 1274

Mindsear = 31% of my overall damage
Mindflay = 27%
VT = 12
SWP 11%

VE healing 79% Overheal

What this means: Not a lot – Its a summary of everything. Including that little rat that you killed while waiting for a loot decision – That little rat wasn’t a needed kill, however it still counted on the chart.
I’m not linking the report because its not a subscription one, and it can take forever between pages,  So I’m posting my observations and I’ll explain why I did what.   My Overall damage shows that my mindsearing – the shadow Priest AOE had a very large part to play in why I am where I am on that chart.
I’m looking at Overall.  A Summary of All Boss Fights, and Summary of Trash fights.

* I also died half way through Heigan. They did something to him so ‘dancing’ is now the best way to do it. I had never danced before and was following too far behind the pack. I died in fire.. ( slime.. ) bad!

Rotation on Bosses.
Important: You want to use your cooldowns, and Spells as often as possible while you have 5 stacks of shadow weaving up to maximise your damage. Basic advice. Keep your dots up. Don’t clip your mindflays – get a feel how long after your cast that last tick comes with your lag try it on normal mobs – Raids are stressful and your casting decisions or hesitations can cost you Dps.

However.It looks like Shadow Word pain can be reapplied now as of the patch. I wasn’t getting any error messages. You can either do 5 casts to get your Shadow Weaving stacks up, or you can reapply your Shadow Word Pain after you get your 5 stacks.

Why – Spamming 5 spells takes up global cool downs, can reduce your dps – eat your mana up quicker it means 5 spells that you are casting that you are not at your best.. but getting as many spells working longer with the + spell damage stacking will probably be better in the long run. So for now untill the shadow weaving effects the dot as it ticks, and not the dot as its cast, get those stacks up.
The Quickest way I found to spam the spells post patch was SWD MB MF MF MF cutting your MF’s off.
I would recommend getting those 5 stacks up though before you start seriously dpsing, but do it quick. Practise on a dummy 🙂

Popular opinion is that Shadow priests don’t have rotations, just spell priorities – Think it along the lines of Dots do damage the longer they stay up. Things like Haste, having to move, kill adds all interrupt your rotations, but try and keep all your dots up as often as possible, and Mind blast as soon as that cool down is done. Flaying often in between to refresh your Swp.

All Raid Bosses
10th on chart
DPS: 3617
HPS 1509

Mindflay 39%
VT 17%
SWP 15%
MB 14%

VE overheal 80%

Vampiric EmbraceOut of 3 Shadow Priests I did 61% of the VE healing on all Bosses. This means that the other shadow Priests were not keeping their VE up as often as I was – A commenter on my previous post pointed out that the global cool down from each of the cast VE is wasted DPS, and I tend to agree. My Over heals are 80% wasted. Thats alot. Was my 20% successful heals really that helpful to the healers? Could I be a bit more discriminating as to when I put my VE up. the lowest Dpsing Shadow Priest also barely used the VE – It didn’t help him, but if you are looking to squeeze some extra dps out ask will anyone notice if I don’t use VE. This depends on who is in your group. If you have a tank or a off tank in your group I still think it would be criminal not to keep VE up. If there is AOE damage keep VE up. If you ask another class they will say VE must stay up all the time. however I can prove that 80% of my VE heals were wasted. If you had a healer overhealing by 80% he has the wrong assignment why should we be any different?

Who hits who?If you look on a WWS report ” Who Hits who” you will see under each boss fight who hit the adds and who hit the bosses – breaking off from hitting a boss and killing can interrupts your dps, a spell rotation a chance to refresh your SWP – Its not great, but if you don’t then the raid can wipe.

On Anub’Rekhan the 1st boss in the spider lair on my WWS – you have the Boss, Crypt Guards and Corpse Scarabs
I got 10th on that chart and was beaten by both the other two shadow Priests.
However only 68% of my damage was done to the boss – 17% and 15% was done to the Crypts Guards and Corpse Scarabs – Several of the DPS who beat me, including both the Shadow P’s never touched the Scarabs, both the hunters only ever hit the boss, all 4 of them have an AOE that could have killed the scarabs, however if they did, their rotations would have been interrupted and perhaps their dps suffered.

For Maexxna the last boss in that lair, I got also 10th again on that chart
The boss randomly wraps someone in a web. You need to free them by ‘killing’ the web or they die. It often means that you need to run closer to the web or its out of range. The WWS and “Who hits who” shows that out of 25 people only 5 people attempted to kill the web. 5% of my total damage was done to the webs. So forgetting the healers and tanks we had Range DPS who didn’t even try. That is not good for the raid. Good for the charts though.

Trash Rotations- Mind Sear Agro Dump Mindsear Mindsear Mindsear Agro Dump. If you want to survive using your mindsear. Fade often. Don’t waste your time sticking up dots if there are 3 – they will die too quick for them to be effective,
if there are 2 targets single target dps them down, but stick a SWP on the 2nd target.

The best use of Mindsear can also be what target you pick. Mindsear causes no damage to the target. So as funny as it might sound, but if you have a rat in the middle of your target pack. Mindsear the rat. It will cause more damage as it will get everyone in the pack not everyone minus your target.

If your mindsear target runs away from the pack. Change your target. Be flexible with your targets. Adapt to the situation and not just blindly mash your mindsear.

I increased my VE healing by dotting a mob in a pack and mind searing a target next to him. Mindsear is Shadow Damage. Any target getting hit by the damage of mindsear ( not the mob you cast it on though) that has the VE debuff on it too, will heal your party for a percentage of the damage being done to that target.

Another thing – is be Alert. Mindsear often, meaning you need to be dpsing every trash mob group – don’t be slow – or run behind the party as they move through. Missing out on pack can impact on how much damage you do. Its also a channeled spell so its not instant damage. if the mages and hunters have got there 5 seconds before you then your already behind

Trash Mobs
5th on chart
Mindsear 68%
Mindflay 13%

Ve overheal 78%

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5 Responses to “Rotations – and some Observations”


  1. 1 kyrilean January 23, 2009 at 1:38 pm

    Awesome! Thanks!

    I almost hit 80 last night, but ran out of time. Should hit it either tonight, if I can fit it in before and after raid, or by tomorrow. Then I’ll respec as I think my spec’s busted and read up on those other two websites, though Elitist Jerks still tends to lose me…

  2. 2 crysana January 23, 2009 at 1:47 pm

    Handy thing to improve dps is if you’re running with a death Knight, drop devouring plague on the main target – DKs can spread any disease on their target to all the other mobs. Very nice!

  3. 3 Meltfacer January 23, 2009 at 9:26 pm

    I like using vt,mb,dp,flay to get 5 stacks in the beginning. (As of patch mind flay not sw:d anymore is giving 2 stacks of shadow weaving assuming it hasen’t been fixed in the last day or so).. I noticed you had 3 flays in your opener.. did it get fixed?

    I know our community is pretty divided on shadow word: death, but I find that the majority of people on sp.com and EJ lean towards leaving it out completely.. so I have followed suit.. I compared the first week i left it out to the previous week and my dps went up without it.. who knows if it was the real reason…

    PS My guild is looking for high dps’ers … I’m a canadian playing on a US server.. come to the darkside!! muahahah banehq.guildlaunch.com

    • 4 pugnaciouspriest January 24, 2009 at 2:54 am

      @meltfacer. Your right.. that would explain why I was getting it quicker.. had to kill a dummy to check..

      You guys raid at different times to oceanic 🙂 and I’m happy in guild for now 🙂

  4. 5 Esdras January 26, 2009 at 12:16 pm

    I dont really have a rotation as such only the start then its abount cooldowns.


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