Ideas to Fix Shadow AoE, and More

Hey all, just some thoughts that have run through my head in how to fix Shadow AoE’s reliability on Shadow Crash. I’ve got some ideas for quick fixes, and more long term thoughts for the direction of the spec. Some of this includes some balancing numbers, and others include just the main idea, with the understanding that balancing would occur to make it happen.

Quick AoE Changes

  • Bring back Mind Sear as a choice node with Shadow Crash.

  • Shadow Crash now has no cooldown and costs 40 Insanity. Mind Sear also uses 40 Insanity, using 10 Insanity initially each time it does damage, 3 second channel.

  • Whispering Shadows talent adds text: “Mind Sear spreads 6 seconds of Vampiric Touch to up to 8 targets hit each time it deals damage, up to 24 seconds.” Also adds text “Vampiric Touch spread favors Elite targets.”

  • Insanity stabilizes at 40 outside of combat and 3 seconds after not damaging an enemy, gaining 4 Insanity per second while in Shadowform.

  • Psychic Link damage reduced past 8 targets.

Quick AoE Summary

These changes would provide options for there to be reliable, less restrictive ways to add dots quickly without being “free.” Stabilizing Insanity at a low amount while in Shadowform makes sense thematically, and allows for the first-pull setup to not be hindered. Reducing Psychic Link damage over 8 targets puts a soft cap so that double dipping on dot spread is not favored over the Insanity that could be used on Devouring Plague.

Additional Changes

  • Remove Insanity gain from: Halo, Divine Star, and Mindgames.

  • Increase Healing done by Halo and Divine Star, increase amount of damage/healing reversed by Mindgames. Reduce Damage done by Halo, Divine Star, and Mindgames.

  • Make Mindgames castable while moving.

  • Shadowy Insight now once again provides a temporary charge on proc.

  • Increase Insanity gain from Mind Flay, Mind Spike, and Void Torrent.

  • Door of Shadows added as a choice node with Angelic Feather.

  • Move baseline Silence to the class tree, and place it connecting the choice nodes of Psychic Voice/Petrifying Scream and Sheer Terror/Void Tendrils. Move Last Word to Silence’s location in the spec tree, keep Psychic Horror in place.

Additional Changes Summary

These changes reduce the impact of Halo, Divine Star, and Mindgames in the rotation. Halo and Divine Star would be preferred strictly for their healing utility. Mindgames can be reserved to be used as utility, or held for periods of movement. The damage would be more than a filler, but would not normally be preferred for the lack of Insanity gain. Also, Door of Shadows has been asked for the entire expansion. Sharing a node with Angelic Feathers ensures that the class isn’t gaining too much movement, just a different type of movement, that would be preferred in certain… season 1 raid type situations. And Silence, the change is needed for the class as a whole. The pathing makes sense coming off of a Psychic Scream related choice node and is accessible to all specs.

Long Range Ideas

Preface: These are ideas, some from the community, that I would like to see implemented as a good direction for the spec, rather than changes I think it necessarily needs.

  • Dark Ascension is instant cast and now transforms Mind Flay into Mind Spike for the duration. Mind Spike now also reduces the remaining cooldown of Mind Blast by 1 second. Dark Ascension now provides the Levitate visual effect, in addition to the wings, minus the footfall effects.

  • Mind Spike talent removed. Replace with Shadow Orbs: Mind Flay and Mind Spike damage have a chance to create a Shadow Orb, stacking up to three. Casting Mind Blast consumes the orbs, dealing 10% more damage per orb.

  • Mind Melt changed: Consuming Shadow Orbs now increases the Critical Strike chance of your next Mind Blast by 20% per orb.

  • Void Bolt now increases damage over time ability damage by 4%, stacking. Lasts 10 seconds.

  • Mental Decay now extends the duration of Vampiric Touch and Shadow Word: Pain when the enemy is damaged by Shadowy Apparitions.

  • Psychic Link reverted to only transfer a percentage of direct damage abilities. This includes: Mind Blast, Mind Spike, Mindgames, Shadow Word: Death, and the initial damage of Devouring Plague. Psychic Link damage transfer increased.

  • Devouring Plague now spreads to another target each time it does damage, at 65% effectiveness and the duration remaining at the time of the spread. Only spreads from the initial target.

  • Screams of the Void now causes Vampiric Touch and Shadow Word: Pain to deal damage 30% faster on targets with Devouring Plague.

Long Range Summary

These changes are intended to further define the playstyle differences between Dark Ascension and Voidform, while also drawing a clearer line between Single Target and AoE. Making Mind Spike replace Mind Flay while in Dark Ascension supports this, and removes any ambiguity around which filler to use, and places that choice solely on the cooldown itself.

Talents can be more easily balanced when they are not tied as closely together, and refines their intended use. Removing Void Torrent from Psychic Link not only supports the Direct Damage only transfer of Psychic Link, but it also provides an option for higher priority damage when desired.

Devouring Plague is changed to act like a plague should, and spread. This would essentially replace its current inclusion with Psychic Link. The damage profile would be better for low target cleave, and would lessen with higher numbers of targets. This mechanic would also help define the difference between Mind’s Eye and Distorted Reality, especially with its ties to Screams of the Void. The thinking with the change to Screams being that damage over time abilities would be more effective against targets weakened by a plague.

I threw some numbers on some of those changes, obviously it would need proper balancing. Props to you if you made it through all of that! I’d be interested in your thoughts.



Sounds like you want to revert to a mop style spriest with no instant procs. IMO the most fun iteration for spriest was 10.0 but mop-WOD was fun and engaging. I personally hope they rework that class again and leave almost everything from legion on out of the spec. I don’t ever want to play anything that has to do with void bolt. It’s a clunky mechanic idc how you try to spin it.

I like the idea of mind games but it’s a lot of talents for little reward.

I personally quit shadow after this latest rework because it’s not fun to me.


I really hope they give spriest a lot of thought with a rework so that when it’s time to tune numbers the spec is not gutted out.

The class deserves proper attention and here is to hoping that we get that with hero talents in the next expansion.

Merry Christmas everyone


I didn’t suggest to change anything to remove existing instant procs. If anything, mobility is improved by suggesting to make Mindgames castable while moving. It effectively serves the same purpose as an instant proc for mobility, without compromising opponents’ ability to counter it in PvP.

Merry Christmas, Zèn!

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Yeah mind games is too weak to want to take as a spriest especially with all the talents it requires. The spec is busted , needs a rework for pve and pvp.


Which is why I keep suggesting that our dots need AoE application baseline like Sunfire. Just merge Vampiric touch into Shadow Word Pain snd make it an insta cast AoE. They can keep the 8 target limit so Psychic Link doesn’t become OP and blizzard won’t have to nerf it into the ground again.

Shadow Crash needs to be a powerful AoE spender with faster missile thar fires at a target instead of the ground. Put it on a choice node with Psychic Link.

Our class needs a full rework but this suggestion would fix our main issue.

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Clearly you have a much different idea as to what balance is and how to achieve it let alone what and how you think a dot/rot playstyle should be from a core perspective and finally how to properly address shadow as a spec based on its roots.

So you think shadow should just press a button and everything gets dotted up?
Essentially remove 1 dot (the casted one) and make the other AOE and what? Target limited with no cooldown?

I would not ever want to play a Frankenstein mess of a gameplay loop like that.

You’re too focused on making AOE better that you can’t see how detrimental you would cause a normal gameplay loop while at the same time removing major aspects of the specialization which both requires the talents and interactions to be completely reworked to compensate while also making the idea of any type of rot type of gameplay extinct which has long been established to be a major aspect of shadow.

You would create an entire new specialization that has no unique hook to keep the engagement going.

The comparison to balance would and should (rightfully so) just make shadow a copy of it while lacking the tools it has and provide nothing fun and standout to compete with balance head to head. You would just kill any drive people have for shadow and push any stragglers over to balance leaving shadow a shallow/hollow mess.

It’s clear shadow needs to actually have some real commitment in terms of design space and well thought out ideas. But dumbing it down to be a worse version of balance while breaking the core spells and gameplay loop is NOT the path it should take.

This is my opinion, but i would have to think that anyone that has a thorough understanding of shadows history and what it really means gameplay wise would not see your suggestion as something they can still identify as proper shadow gameplay.

That’s what’s I have to say about it at least.


So… shadow orbs were okay. And I agree that Shadow needs some serious overhauling. I began playing WoW with my priesty. I liked the oldest Shadow talent points system but I’m not holding my breath until Blizzard brings it back. (SPriests could really deal some major damage if they put their points in the right places.) Since then SPriests have been nerfed into nothingness. WotLK was the last decent expansion for us.

That said, yes, SPriests need to be revamped. But… I rather liked the old Mind Flay where the first target got the majority of the damage but it also hit targets around the main target for additional damage.

Also, there should be a fairly equal amount of spells for single target damage and AOE. Perhaps a “Supreme Focus” mode that shifts all spells to single target. Then a “Havoc Mode” that makes all spells AOE? Because let’s be honest… how squishy do you feel no matter where you are? Instant cast spells (plural) would be great… like Druids have always had. I don’t think I’m the only one who hates being thrown around by giant lizards and the only things I can cast are dots.

Sorry if it sounds like I’m ranting but… well, if the gameplay went better, none of us would need to rant about revamping Shadow. My sincere condolences :pray:


When Mind Sear first got introduced in Wrath of the Lich King, it deal ZERO damage to your target and only dealt damage to targets around your focal target you picked to use Mind Sear on.

At some point they made Mind Sear deal damage to the target you selected as well. But then this caused the question of why ever use Mind Flay when essentially Mind Sear does everything Mind Flay did.

I can’t recall all the twists and turns, but the point is that the spell you described is for Mind Sear and not Mind Flay.

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Errrrrr… what?

Mind Sear was baked into Flay from Nighthold until BFA.


Mindgames currently hits harder than Mind Blast and triggers Psychic Link. It is literally preferred to cast on cd because of its damage (though I would hold it a global if I had a Mind Blast proc so that it doesn’t cap on charges).

The talent points needed to be committed to it is moot, as it’s in the spec tree as the Shadow-themed capstone, and there is really no better option for Shadow. It is going to be taken in every preferred build.

My suggestion to change it was to shift the focus of the talent from another “press on cd” dps button that essentially functions as another Mind Blast (which is partial reasoning for adding in the temporary charge back to Shadowy Insight), to one that allows for some mobility, something that Spriests have been asking for since the removal of Surge of Darkness, while reinforcing the unique utility of the spell. As a general rule, the class tree should provide the base for the class and utility, while the spec tree provides the power for the spec.

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I’m not arguing weather or not it’s stronger than mind blast. It’s just a lot to sink into a long cd that isn’t a wow factor. It’s bland for what you spend on it. It’s lack luster imo. Why not just give mind blast a shorter cd or something. But you’re not going to win me over with the current design of shadow at all in any way……it stinks

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No one is trying to win you over with the current iteration of Shadow. Not being happy with the current design is the entire point of this post.

My comment was addressing you saying “Mindgames is too weak to want to take as a Spriest,” yet as it’s currently designed, it is a dps loss not to take it. So by default, yes we want to take it. Is it exciting? No. Bland, lack luster, a lot to sink into a long cd that isn’t a wow factor? Yes to all of that. But as our best option in the class tree, we want take it because it is a dps boost, regardless of how many talent points it takes.

I had suggested to change Mindgames anyways, so it’s a little confounding that the current design is what you target in the entire post.

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Yeah I realize all that. I’ll give you an example. On my ret I get wake of ashes and its damage easily doubles the damage of mindgames in total, And I only need 3 talents to make it far superior to mindgames with 4 talents spent. What I’m saying is mind games feels lack luster in comparison. I think it’s a neat idea it just needs more for less. Actually mind games is the coolest spell shadow has gained since I left in legion because shadow sucked hair nips. Shadow still sucks hairy nips. I wish people could wrap their little head around mind spike and how it was merely a movement allowing spell that you only pressed when moving or when there was nothing else to press. But no everyone complained it was too complicated. Now we have this crap of a spec. Good luck I genuinely hope you and everyone else playing the spec get some relief because it’s straight poop right now.

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Wake of ashes is in the Ret spec tree, not the class tree. Mindgames should be better at the things it’s unique for (Reversing effects) but not strong enough without them to be worth pressing on cd.


Ok my bad wake is in the spec tree. Divine toll would be a way better example. 1 talent point same cd in the class tree does 3-4x the total damage of mindgames. And dang if I spend both talents it’s easily 5x the damage

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Looking at the class tree capstones for some other classes, we have:

  • Innervate, some healing talents, reduction for Stampeding Roar for Druids.

  • Invis, Displacement, a change to Ice Block for Mages.

  • Moving totems, more Defensive totems, or instant casts once a minute for Shamans.

Divine Toll being a talent that provides that much power is more the odd one out, not Mindgames. Divine Toll somewhat makes sense being in the class tree, though, as it is designed to be beneficial to all specs. Although they could have just as well provided it in each spec tree like they did for Incarn/Convoke for Druids. But it shouldn’t be the norm to include abilities like that in the class tree.

You could make an argument about Power Infusion / Twins being available in the second tier. It doesn’t directly do a lot of damage, but compared to Divine Toll, the benefit from it does considerably more damage. It is the most powerful damage utility spell in the game behind Lust / Heroism, so much so that there is constant controversy over its use.

Point being, classes are different, and that’s okay… to a degree. If every class in the game has access to something across all specs, such as an interrupt, and one doesn’t, that’s a problem. But a class balanced around having access to a powerful talent that happens to be in the class tree instead of the spec tree like most are is really of no concern.

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Like I said you spend a lot for one ability that’s lack luster.

huh… holy crap i forgot about this weird arc of mind searflay

Revert to s1, consolidate utility nodes so we can have 30 second silence and dispersion. Give shadow crash a targeted option that does the same thing as a choice node, give shadow crash and its targeted choice node alternative 20 second cd and two stacks.

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