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For those who primarily would like to PvP, here is a build that I’ve found to be a consistent damage dealer:
Blackout Rank 5
Improved Shadow Word: Pain Rank 2
Shadow Focus Rank 5
Improved Psychic Scream Rank 2
Improved Mind Blast Rank 3
Mind Flay Rank 1
Shadow Reach Rank 3
Silence Rank 1
Shadow Weaving Rank 5
Vampiric Embrace Rank 1
Darkness Rank 5
Shadowform Rank 1
Shadow Total: 34
Unbreakable Will Rank 5
Improved Power Word: Shield Rank 3
Improved Power Word: Fortitiude Rank 2
Mental Agility Rank 5
Improved Mana Burn Rank 2
Discipline Total: 17
As far as PvP builds go, I find this one of the strongest. The shadow mastery tree of the Priest is probably our best designed talent tree as far as utility goes. It can totally change the game of the priest and make them an efficient damage dealer.
Blackout provides the priest with a 10% chance to stun their target for 3 seconds with any shadow spell you cast on the target. Although it is only a 10% chance, I have found that goes off quite a bit.
Shadow Focus reduces the target’s chance to resist your shadow spells by 10%. Some may argue the utility of Shadow Focus, but I find that it really does help during PvP if someone has high resists towards shadow.
Psychic Scream is one of your best shadow spells. It is an instant cast area effect fear. It comes in handy during both solo and group PvP, as well as solo PvE, situations. If someone gets the jump on you, you can fire off a psychic scream and fear kite them. It makes encounters so much easier.
Mind Flay is the bread and butter of the shadow mastery tree. Coupling mind flay with Power Word: Shield makes you a very dangerous damage dealer. It is a channeled spell which does a certain amount of damage per tick depending on which rank you are trained in. You can buy higher level ranks of Mind Flay at the Priest trainers. Along with the consistent damage that mind flay deals, it has the added effect of slowing the target’s movement speed down by 50%. An example encounter may look like:
Power Word: Shield self ? Psychic Scream ? Shadow Word: Pain target ? Mind Flay ? Mind Flay ? Mind Blast
While your target is busy running away from your psychic scream, you can DoT him and slow his movement back to you. Shadow Reach can help you in this regard as it increases the range of your shadow spells. For added measure, you can throw Vampiric Brace on the target. This will heal you for 20% of any shadow damage you deal to the target.
Shadow Weaving and Darkness both have the effect of increasing your shadow damage against a target. Shadow Weaving makes the person or mob vulnerable to shadow spells, thus lowering their resists by a bit and increasing your shadow damage.
Shadowform is, by far, the best talent ultimate of all the trees. It has the upside of increasing your shadow damage by 15%, while also reducing any physical damage dealt to you by 15%. The downside of being in shadowform is that you can only cast shadow and discipline based spells. This rules out the use of Smite and any of your heals while you are in shadowform. You can deactivate it quickly to gain the use of your heals again, but that is your call. Vampiric embrace is sort of your “replacement heal”.
Silence and Mana Burn are there to help you deal with casting classes. Silence stops the target from casting for 5 seconds, so the timing of its usage is pretty important. Improved Mana Burn will allow you to deplete your enemy’s mana even quicker due to reduced casting time.
The shadow/discipline build mentioned is mainly for PvP, but can also be used in solo PvE combat. You may choose to invest into Spirit Tap for soloing. I’ll let you decide which talent(s) to give up in order to gain Spirit Tap. Other than that, the previously mentioned build is good for either PvP or soloing in PvE (or for being a damage dealer in a group if that’s your thing).
Well, I think that’s it for now. I’ve rambled on for a few pages and I’m sure some of you got tired of reading halfway through. For those who have read all of it, I hope that what I’ve said has helped you gain a bit more insight into the class. Please feel free to post and correct anything I may have said that you feel is wrong. I’m writing this based on the knowledge gained from closed beta, and from what I’ve read, much has been changed around for the priest class.
Thanks again for reading and I hope you enjoy playing a priest!