Make Coalescing Shadows more Interactive and Distinct

Coalescing Shadows interacting passively with the same spells as Surge of Darkness is a bit bland. The problem is compounded by the fact that you don’t really have agency over the orbs at all. You will never hold a Mind Blast until you have 3 orbs and Mind Spike will consume all orbs passively.

I would like to advocate for coalescing shadows to interact with Devouring Plague and Shadow Word: Death.

An example implementation might be:

  1. When you have 3 coalescing shadows, Shadow Word: Death consumes all shadows and deals damage as though the target is within execute range.

  2. devouring Plague consumes shadows to deal increased damage.

  3. Consuming shadows reduces the cooldown of Shadow Word: Death by 1 second per shadow consumed.

This would add additional layers to the synergy between mindbender and shadow word: death through puppet master and shadowflame prism.

Ideally, shadow orbs should be generated only through mind blast. Harnessed shadows would allow mind flay and shadow word:pain to generate them as well.

Shadowy insight could be moved to the left side of the tree to juxtapose it with mind melt. We could also have a followup talent for shadowy insight which allows devouring plague to have a chance to proc shadowy insight based on coalescing shadows consumed. This would add another nice positive feedback loop of insight generating orbs and devouring plague consuming them to generate more insight procs.

Because Shadow Word: Death has a cooldown and its not really a “good” button to use most of the time on high health targets, having it consume “Orbs” to do more damage will push the idea even further that you don’t want to use it on high health targets because you will be wasting damage from the orbs on something that wont do damage.

Instead however, having Shadow Word: Death “Generate” an orb upon casting is a better idea. It can guarantee a Shadow Orb instead of “hoping” for a proc. This means you have a greater chance to “build up” orbs in order to dump into Mind Blast, Mind Spike & Devouring Plague.

This would also make our execute phase even more crazy as we can get x2 more orbs from Shadow Word: Death. Also with the PvP talent, it will make it even better for burst windows.


Also, I am not against the idea of having Mind Blast generate Orbs in addition to Shadow Word: Death. This would make a consistent source of incoming orbs. This would then allow for burst to exist baseline in Devouring Plague (So like in MoP/WoD) OR also in Mind Spike. But… I would like Mind Blast to do a LOT of damage. So as a orb generator, that damage profile would not be as large and I am not sure how I feel about that. So I can go either way on that I suppose.

My suggestion is mostly hypothetical with shadow word: death being an orb release valve if orb generation outpaces insanity generation significantly. Tying orbs to DP will feel bad if you are overcapping orbs before you have enough insanity to cast a DP.

That’s why Mind Blast consuming them would/should still be an option.

Mind Blast baseline damage profile is not diminished based on the health % of the target like Shadow Word: Death.

It will feel worse to use SW:D with 3 orbs on a target above 50% HP vs waiting for enough insanity for a 3 orb Devouring Plague.

I don’t think you read my suggestion. SWD would deal execute damage with 3 orbs. While in execute range it could generate insanity to add value. I don’t like orbs being used to amplify mind blast damage when there are so many other talents already affecting it. It weakens the baseline if mind blast too much.

I would think having access to SW:D more often to do “execute” damage (<=20% target HP) would do the same thing you are worried about for Mind Blast. Shadow Word: Death having more uptime on execute windows will force its base damage to be reduced. I think our execute should remain meaty and impactful. Especially when its an instant cast and you can double tap it at low health.


Another reason why insanity should just be removed imo. Its just not a good resource.

Insanity should just become an additional resource bar only for Voidform windows. Give it its decay version back and your abilities are changed to grant insanity during that window. Similar to how Chaos Strike turns into Annihilation and Blade Dance turns into Fel Sweep for Havoc Demon Hunter during Demon Form.

But I don’t think something like that is on the table.

So many underlying issues for Shadow that needs a real true hard look at imo lol.

What we keep having to consider is solutions to problems that shouldn’t even exist based on bad design decisions in the past lol. Too much tiptoeing around the core issues with shadow which results in a lot of band-aid solutions instead of rebuilding it back up from its base/core identity as it is sorely needed.

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I can agree on this. With no insanity, we need no extra way to spend orbs. However, with devouring plague on our mastery, you would just cast it with every mind blast.

Again, this was a non issue in MoP / WoD as Devouring Plague cost 3 orbs to use. In WoD we got 5 total orbs which made “pooling” orbs possible as it was just a fire and forget during MoP as you didn’t want to overcap on orbs.

I’ve said multiple times and I will say it again, WoD was imo the best incarnation of Shadow in terms of its flow and baseline talents/abilities and how they mechanically functioned. It took 3 expansions to make Shadow Orbs Generation/Spending feel GOOD. Then they scrapped it for a nonsensical reason and now we have the abomination we have today.

We got a Rot Talent with Auspicious Spirits granting an orb on hit thus allowing mass Devouring Plague use OR more focused blaster talent with Clarity of Power.

I think those 2 style of plays should exist in the new talent trees and just leaned into more.

Then you can have Voidform do its Voidform thing that could take advantage of the Blaster or Rot leaning talents as it wishes I suppose.

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It’s a bit odd that they chose to bring back the first iteration of orbs instead of the polished third pass. Maybe it’s due to reluctance to modify our mastery or remove insanity.

SWD will already do excute dmg at high health if specced properly, and so will outdamage mind blast. Priority if specced for death is better than hitting mind blast, even accounting for apparition proc (which SWD should proc anyways, imo)