Obligatory James Cameron reference in the title there. 5 bonus points if you figure out what non-Avatar work it’s from and why I quoted it.
So I posted some thoughts on current talents, and Blizzard went along and shook them up. All the changes are good! We saw some serious lover here, and I’m excited about it.
Shadow Power is “gone” from the talent tree. I know I said I was a little mixed about this, but felt it was an important part of feeling like a damage class. This:
Shadow Power is now called “Blackout” and is a passive talent tree bonus for picking the tree. It provides 200% crits to Shadow spells.
I also appreciate the “Blackout” label coming back. It turns out we can use synonyms for shadow, without constantly just calling everything “improved shadowiness.”
The early Discipline Tree changes are what have me most excited. Evangelism and Archangel got something of a rework. Casting Mind Flay will now proc “Dark Evangelism” which increases the periodic damage of shadow spells. This is great for three reasons. First, its a not-completely-passive damage boost that can be relied upon for sustained damage. Second, it makes getting talents in the Disc tree exciting, rather than “now where do I put these points?” Finally, the buff is to our periodic damage; I’ve always felt, as DoT casters, we deserved more attention paid to our DoTs being a bigger part of our damage pie.
So that’s all sorts of win. Guess what else is? The companion talent, Archangel. Assuming one is in Shadowform, releasing stacks of Dark Evangelism will place you in a state called “Dark Archangel.” This restores a chance of mana and gives a temporary damage boost. I’m assuming this would be used during burn phases, with a potion, during bloodlust, or on a target swap. As a class that’s asked for some serious burst for a while, this is a welcome talent.
Darkness and Improved Shadow Word: Pain are both still in tier one. Spirit Tap is gone, which I’m 100% okay with. I have to force myself to respect leveling talents. I think good class design should let your playstyle while leveling teach you valuable skills while raiding. Raiding shouldn’t take away all the crutches you had and just throw you into the fire.
Veiled Shadows also made it to tier one, which I think is great. I’ve always hated that there was nothing compelling for other specs of priests in our tree. It makes shadow feel like a reject tree. Holy or disc priests being able to drop the cooldown on one of our most powerful mana return abilities? Sounds like it could be handy in the more mana-harsh environment of Cataclysm. Of course, we’ll take it for damage.
The old “improved shadowform” is now Phantasm. I must say, while this talent is one of the ones raiding spriests may pick up as filler utility on the way to 31 points, the name is golden. Snaring us? Oh no, didn’t we mention? We’re as ethereal as air. With the options for advancing being this or Improved Psychic Scream, I’ll be taking this talent.
Some talents have been moved around a little, or had the number of points invested in them reduced. New and shiny? Sin and Punishment! (As an aside, did Blizzard just hire a dedicated “shadow priest naming consultant?” SaP is awesome.) This talent is something I’ve wished for for a while, but felt wouldn’t work. Affliction warlocks have a silence effect tied to Unstable Affliction. Dispelling this ability silences the dispeller and does a chunk of damage to her. Vampiric Touch, our big damage DoT requiring a cast time, as a slight damaging effect that everyone worth their salt just powers through.
No longer! Sin and Punishment fears the dispeller of your VT (and everyone within 6 yards) for 3 seconds. Gonna chain dispel me, Mr Holy Paladin? How about a mini Psychic Scream right in your face! As can be expected, I’m entering a state of girlish giddiness about this talent.
Thing are looking promising. Check out the tentative talent build I’ve put forward, and feel free to make your own and post it in the comments.