Thoughts on Raiding and the new Mythic+

It’s been a few days since raiding and the new mythic+ dungeon has opened up. My current guild signed me to play Shadow and I agreed to earnestly give it a shot. It was something new after 10+ years of doing nothing but either healing as Holy or Discipline. Our first raid night together was on Tuesday and this is an organization that had only come together recently in the past two months over the summer. How would the group fare?

Pretty well actually! All things considered, it was a 6/7 normal mode on the first night. The raid group’s a little rough around the edges and there’s some potential here.

Raids

I didn’t remember much about Nythendra. Though there was some general confusion in terms of positioning and where to stand during the opening minutes. Nevertheless, the boss was defeated and we moved on.

Next order of business was Ill’gynoth. This one took two attempts and there was a little sloppiness with the debuff and where pools were dropping. My initial suspicion is that people didn’t realize they had the debuff on them and pools were constantly being dropped near the eye rendering it difficult for both melee players and kiters to get the slimes in range to pop the eye. Heroic mode though is a whole new ballgame. I joined my friend Elaraiyne’s group for some experience just to get a handle on heroic and it’s not as forgiving.

Anyway, after downing Ill’gynoth, we moved to the Emerald Dragons. It was a cycle of 3 dragons and add management. No issues with this one either although it took just one wipe because tank transition was off. The tanks opted to switch at 7 debuff stacks instead of 8 and that did the trick resulting in a takedown.

We moved to Elerethe after and this was not my finest moment as after the first platform, I subsequently plummeted to my doom. The raid leader called for tanks and healers only to start with the feathers. All DPS players were instructed to cross the webbing. I think this can be further optimized to tanks, most healers, and some DPS but for the first attempt, it made sense due to learning pulls. We ended up stealing this kill. Almost a third of the raid was dead at some point during the first transition but Elerethe managed to get taken out. I’m almost expecting the encounter to be buffed.

Big bad Ursoc was next and this took us 3 attempts to kill it. Looking at the mechanics and abilities of the boss, I figured out that the best way to pull off the encounter was to tank the bear to a side, and have one group stand on Ursoc’s butt to soak Momentum, and a second group off to the side. The person who was the charge target would run behind Ursoc’s butt forcing Ursoc to run through. However, as much as I wanted to chime in, I didn’t say anything. I wanted to watch the raid leaders to see if they’d come to similar conclusions — Which they did, although Ursoc was tanked in the middle instead of the side. The repositioning wasn’t the most consistent but it did the job well enough. I imagine the DPS checks for heroic would be much higher and minimizing movement would be much more relevant.

Last boss of the night was Cenarius. This one’s a technical encounter as you get to determine which set and type of mobs to cleanse. You want to capitalize on the strength of your group. We had a few Death Knights which meant Wisps could be pulled in and AoE’d down immediately, for example. It did get a bit dicey at the end with the large patchy Nightmare pools and such.

Anyway, that was our first night of raid. I felt it was more enjoyable than Highmaul when it first came out. Looking forward to advancing into Emerald Nightmare though.

Shadow though, I’m not sure if I’m cut out to be a Shadow Priest. My damage is acceptable. Except, I’m not having fun playing Shadow in a raid environment and I can’t quite put my finger on why. The rotation’s about placing DoTs, using fillers, and using your artifact weapon while weaving in and out of Void Form. After that, it’s a Surrender to Madness in the final moments of the encounter. It’s an interesting style of play and I’m still getting my timing down — I end up dying a few seconds after the boss dies which means I can burn Surrender a little earlier.

Mythics

The flip side to this is that I’m playing Shadow in Mythic+ dungeons and I greatly enjoy that more. Our composition is a Demon Hunter tank, a Resto Shaman, a DPS Warrior, Mage, and myself. Our composition brings three sets of stuns and a heroism. Capacitor Totem, Shockwave, and Mind Bomb constantly rotate through trash pulls and it’s an organized symphony of crowd control. The most I’ve done is Maw of Souls at Mythic 5 with Bolster. The Bolster mechanic is when a non-boss mob dies, a non-boss mob gains 20% health and damage.

As Mythic levels go up, everything in the instance has correspondingly more health and deals more damage. As a Shadow Priest, I’m not the greatest in heroics because I don’t have time to build up any DoTs. But now with Mythic+ difficulty, it seems like the harder the instance, the more appealing the Priest. Now I just need to refine the talent selection a little more.

Now the question remains. How can I be delighted with Shadow in a dungeon but resent Shadow in a raid?

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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.

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