Preparing your Shadow Priest for Challenge Modes

On Wednesday night, I was drafted for the guild’s challenge mode team. I was thinking to myself, “A Shadow Priest? Really? Our class DPS isn’t the best and I’m not sure if we’re considered optimal for this kind of stuff.”

As you can tell, I was hesitant. But I figured, why not? Priest challenge mode gear looks sexy (as evidenced by the video below).

Our composition’s going to be a little unorthodox. We plan to run a tanking Monk, Death Knight, Shadow Priest, Hunter, along with a Resto Shaman. The consensus is that the Shaman and myself should switch (with him Elemental and myself Disc). Seems as if we’re making things harder for ourselves, but we’re both interested in giving it a shot. If the times are that tight and we’re barely making it, we both have the skills and gear to make the changeup.

Going into challenge modes means I’d have to change out my glyphs, talents, and play style.

Talents

I took a hard look at my talents. Certain talents that were beneficial were raiding wouldn’t be as awesome in a 5 man Challenge mode environment.

Twist of Fate: With the amount of trash and stuff you’re killing in there, ToF will have a fairly high uptime. However, you’ll want to consider a respec to Power Infusion in any instances where you happen to have any available time leftover that allows for a respec.

Divine Star and Halo: I prefer Halo if the instance allows for it. Otherwise an instance like any of the Scarlet Monastary stuff means a poorly placed Halo will result in a ton of unwanted mobs pulled.

Desperate Prayer: Given the choice, the ability to control the heal of DP outweighs the automatic life saving capabilities of Angelic Bulwark.

From Darkness, Comes Light: I’ve considered switching to Mindbender. But I can’t seem to think of a situation where I’d want to use Mindbender over it just yet. Those of you who have gone into Challenge modes and have the experience, I’d greatly appreciate the insight.

Void Tendrils: For now, the AoE root gets the nod in case I need to freeze something in place. I’ve considered Psyfiend for selective CC (paired with the Psychic Scream Glyph. , but I’m not sure how much of that is going to be really needed since we plan to just blow stuff up.

Glyphs

Dark Binding is a big utility glyph. Anytime you’re on the run, you can shoot out a Renew or a Prayer of Mending and not have to expend the resources to switch back to Shadowform.

Offensively, I’ll use Glyph of Mind Spike because it offers excellent synergy with From Darkness, Comes Light. Chance to cast it instantly without it wiping away your DoTs and making the next Mind Blast instant is just plain sexy. You’ll run into instances like Scarlet Monastary where more of your time is spent casting Mind Sear. This was unfortunately patched out some time ago after Patch 5.2.0 was released. Thanks to the commenters for pointing that out!

The Vampiric Embrace glyph is my last selection. The extra healing is awesome and can buy time for your healer to catch up in the event of a particularly bad pull.

Consumables

Nothing much changes here. I still plan on running the same set of consumables that I would in a raid.

Potion of the Jade Serpent

Flask of the Warm Sun

Standard feasts

Stacks of Invisibility Potion

Playing

Our target dungeon that night was Gate of the Setting Sun. We were easily able to medal a bronze on the first try. We suffered two wipes but the first run through offered valuable insight into how to get through certain pulls. The first six or so bugs (with the bombs) caught me off guard. Our approach was to just stack up and attempt to dodge the Bomberman explosions and ended up getting clipped a few times (which were practically lethal). The two pull prior to the elevator building has to be skipped. We CC’d and ran right by them before engaging the elevator and just beating down the boss.

Overall, there’s lots of improvements we can make. We’ll be heading back in there tomorrow and won’t be leaving without that gold!

Have you participated in challenge modes? Have any useful tips or tricks?

About Matticus

Matticus is the founder of World of Matticus and Plus Heal. Read more of his columns at WoW Insider. League of Legends player. Caffeine enthusiast.

3 comments
Tizuki
Tizuki

just so you all know, glyph of mind spike does not work with From Darkness, Comes Light. Glyph specifically says non-instant cast mind spikes decrease the cast time of your next mind blast.

Cymre
Cymre

I'm looking at trying these out for the first time (and as shadow) so this will come in handy thx.