Of Shadow Priests and Shockadins

Lately I’ve been spending more time on my alts.  I am specifically avoiding anything that resembles a rogue playstyle, so no melee toons for me.  I only have two alts that I play regularly, so I am far from being an alt-oholic..


My priest has been level 80 for a while.  I’ve talked in the past about the troubles I’ve had with healing in Discipline spec.  I’m improving, but still have a lot to learn.  I’m at the point now where I can heal any heroic 5-mans except heroic ToC.  I can tank-heal in Naxx or Ulduar 10, but still have trouble raid healing if there is a lot of raid damage going around.  I have yet to try healing as holy spec, because… well… I hate giving up.

I’d like to get him better gear to overcome my personal defiencies, and we have a lot of good healers in the guild so I don’t get into many runs.  I got him a shadow spec to allow me to run as dps.  This has been an interesting experience.  I find that my AoE dps with Mind Sear is fine.  However, my single-target dps is… meh.  I can generally do 2500 dps on a heroic 5-man boss, which is just OK.

Actually, its a lot like playing an assassination rogue.  When I play my rogue, I have a build-up time while I get SnD up, get a bleed going, get HfB up, and build up a poison stack.  Once that’s going, I don’t have any cooldowns to use for a boost so its all sustained damage and time on target.

As a shadow priest, I have the same attack structure.  I have to get a Vampiric Embrace cast, get Devouring Plague up, get SW:Pain on, and then I can start with Mind Flay and Mind Blast and SW:D.  There are no cooldowns I can use to boost the damage, so its all about keeping DoTs up and time on target.

I’d rather be healing, but having the dual spec gets me into more runs.


My paladin is at level 77.  I am really enjoying playing him as a shockadin.  Its a shame I won’t be able to keep that at level 80.

The shockadin build gets most of its damage from Holy Shock and Exorcism.  With Seal of Light and Replenishment, I am constantly regaining both health and mana, so I can typically finish a fight at >90% of both, and have minimial downtime.  I can easily take on large groups of mobs, especially undead, so questing is a breeze.

The only downside is that my damage is mediocre.  At level 76 I’m doing about 800 dps.  Sure, it will go up as I get closer to level 80 and get better gear, but I don’t see this being a spec that I can bring into instances or raids.  It is fun to play, though.  Its like a mage with armor.

When I get him to 80 I’ll get a Protection dual spec and give tanking another shot.  I tried tanking back in Karazhan at levle 70 and didn’t like it.  Maybe its changed since WotLK came out.  In any case, it will be nice to have another tank in the guild to step in when we lose people to boredom.


4 Responses to “Of Shadow Priests and Shockadins”

  1. 1 Thimble
    October 14, 2009 at 9:48 am

    I think it’s absolutely hysterical that your healer had to add a DPS spec to get into runs. I can spend an hour or more looking for a group on my rogue, competing with 1800 other DPS toons for a slot, or I can swap to my paladin and get a role as a healer in seconds. I guess different servers are different, but man, it would be nice to be somewhere that’s short on DPS.

  2. 2 Illianeth
    October 14, 2009 at 12:47 pm

    I played my rogue for over a year before rolling a druid, getting tired of healing, and rolling a paladin. Protection spec is my favorite role in the game now. It seems like an overwhelming number of abilities at first, but condensing into a few macros and figuring out the spec is real fun. Just remember your aura and Righteous Fury and you won’t have many problems.

    My rogue hasn’t seen past KT in 10s, my druid not past Mimiron in Ulduar, but my Protection Paladin has tanked Anub’arak in 10 man. I too wanted to try out shockadin, but ret made leveling beyond easy

  3. 3 Hamacus
    October 14, 2009 at 1:06 pm

    Well it’s still early in the PTRs but it looks like some welcome and long overdue changes are afoot for Shadow Priest. Looks like they are finally addressing our inability to scale well with haste. That combined with a promised instant nuke from Ghostcrawler should make SP competative with Boomkins for DPS/Damage if this holds true.

    As far as healing goes I am having fun on my Holy Priest after a long layoff. Tried Disc again for a bit as well but I feel more uber as a Holy Priest and I love the playstyle. Still loving my Rogue as well but sometimes its a bit of a wait to get a spot but usually only have to wait a few minutes to get a run on my Priest.

  4. 4 MegaMick
    October 14, 2009 at 4:26 pm

    I’ve got a Holy Priest and a Protection Warrior for alts.
    I don’t have a raiding guild, so I have to rely on pugs for absolutely everything…

    My motivations to make the alts were probably the same as everyone else, I wanted to try another role. Feel the mechanics of totally different characters, and especially, have characters that can find a group in just a couple minutes. Yeah I always knew I’d have a healer char and a tank char! xD
    If you want a good spot at a pug raid as a Rogue, you need either extreme lucky timing, or have a nice social network of friends that have to rely on pugs too and know you…

    One of the other things I wanted to do was, really be good at what I did with my alts, so people wouldn’t go like “Pffft, Rogue trying to roll a healer, get ready to wipe guys…”, so I leveled the whole way as a tank on my warrior, leveling mainly from doing dungeon quests, taking advantage of the rested state, etc, and same for my priest. Leveled her as a healer, usually grouped, most of the time doing dungeon quests. It was slow, but I enjoyed it. Leveled the priest during the Vanilla and TBC, and the tank during TBC, just in time to play them both in Karazhan before WotLK was out.

    Now I happily play all three of them in pug raids, up to ToC25!
    But my rogue is still my dearest toon! XD

    I haven’t tried Discipline healing on my priest yet, but I’m pondering it. I don’t have dual-spec yet since I’m not really a money-maker, I just make enough for a living… And I gotta pay the repair bills for all the chars!
    But I love the play-style of Holy. It’s incredibly fun!

    P.S. – I learned most of Ulduar by reading your Ulduar guides before trying to pug it on my Rogue. Thank you very much for those guides! They’re very nice! They’re short and have everything a Rogue needs to know!

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