Blizzard has released PTR build 10571 for patch 3.3. It’s not a wide-sweeping build; in fact, there’s only one change that has direct bearing on healing priests. That one’s a doozy, though:
- Power Word: Shield: This spell can now be cast on non-raid/party friendly targets.
It’s nice for Blizzard to finally acknowledge that Discipline priests exist outside of parties and raids, but here are two questions I want to see answered:
- When I shield someone who’s not in my party or raid, who gets Renewed Hope?
- Does this mean I can shield NPCs?
Shadow priests have also seen some sweeping changes:
- Glyph of Mind Flay now Increases the damage done by your Mind Flay spell by 10% when your target is afflicted with Shadow Word: Pain.
- Glyph of Shadow Word: Pain changed to – The periodic damage ticks of your Shadow Word: Pain spell restore 1% of your base mana.
- Glyph of Shadow now increases your spell power by 30% of your spirit for 10 sec. (Up from 10%) (Here’s the current version.)
- Improved Devouring Plague: This spell now deals 10/20/30% of its total periodic effect instantly, up from 5/10/15%.
- Shadowform: This talent also now causes Devouring Plague, Shadow Word: Pain, and Vampiric Touch to benefit from haste. Both the period length and the duration of these spells will be reduced by haste. In addition, the mana cost has been reduced from 32% to 13% of base mana.
- Vampiric Embrace: This ability is now provides a 30-minute buff that cannot be dispelled, instead of a target debuff.
Read that last one again. Go ahead, I’ll wait.
In its current incarnation, VE is frustrating because it’s a debuff that doesn’t actually do anything to the target. By changing it to a 30-minute buff – which I assume is self-only, like Inner Fire; otherwise it would be completely overpowered (imagine tossing VE on a warlock) – Blizzard has saved Shadow priests a GCD per target and removed a major concern about their AOE damage. Since VE will be a self-buff rather than a target debuff, using Mind Sear in a multiple-target environment will be much more attractive; likewise, I can easily see a Shadow priest cycle being to tab-cycle around the adds dropping SW:P (since it restores mana with each tick), debuff the main target, and then alternate Mind Sear and Mind Flay, with Mind Blasts woven in to keep Replenishment up. (Keep in mind that I don’t know the Official Community Shadow Priest Raid Tactics – it just seems to me like that would work really well.) Likewise, I can see 21/0/50 being a very effective Shadow build.
Thoughts? Questions? Something I missed?