Power Words: Life and Death

So just a thought I had while looking over some of the new DF priest trees.

Why isn’t Power Word: Life and Shadow Word: Death just a single ability?

  • Power Word: Life seems to want to be an anti execute, which is interesting and new.

  • Shadow Word: Death is already the priest execute.

  • Priests already have some moves that heal or damage depending on who they hit, such as Halo, Divine Star, Penance.

Wouldn’t it make more sense and feel more thematic for Blizz to just combine the 2 moves into Power Words: Life and Death or something?

Less button bloat with more priest fantasy seems like a win-win to me.

On a similar note, why does Shadow Word: Death deal damage to you at all? Just never made much sense to me I guess.


It’s all about the theme/flavor. It’s unique.
Can be usefull in some cases too. ex: you see that a mage is casting polymorph in pvp. You can sw: death him to get the recoil and remove the cc. Pretty fun to do too :slight_smile:

1 Like

I guess … just use a heal/harm macro.

#showcooldown Shadow Word: Death
/cast [@mouseover, harm, nodead] Shadow Word: Death; [@mouseover, exists] [] Power Word: Life

I don’t think you’d want them combined into one ability because a DPS and a healing ability should (generally) be balanced separately.

I can understand that. I just see that currently both are tuned similarly already.

Shadow Word Death was added to the game in TBC because Priests had no execute ability in Vanilla. When you got people low in PvP it was a bit of a hassle to try and finish them off because you only had casted abilities or a DoT. They added the backlash because they didn’t want people using it as simply another dps button in your rotation.

Seems like Shadow Word: Death could have been tuned similar to other executes and just be unusable outside the execute window if that was Blizz original intent.

As of TBC…

Druid - Shift out of most CC
Hunter - Feign Death CC
Mage - Blink / Ice Block out of most CC
Paladin - Bubble CC
Priest - Shadow Word Death CC
Rogue - Vanish / Cloak out of most CC
Shaman - Totems can prevent/break CC
Warlock - Pet can stop incoming CC while your CC or prevent CC
Warrior - Spell Reflect some CC

I might be missing some but you get the idea.

Priest had no way to break or prevent a CC before Shadow Word: Death. I mean sure, we can hopefully LOS or run and get a fear off or use Silence. But that’s using an offense ability as a defensive ability that required some level of setup. With SW:D it was instant and you can time it to break a CC after it was placed on you thus triggering the diminishing returns on CC.

So not having the ability to use SW:D until execute phase is bad because of this. Later we got Masochism talent (As Shadow) that allowed to 5/10% mana return when you take damage from attacks I think above 10% of your HP OR upon using SW:D which made off healing really good as you didn’t have to worry about mana yet at the same time you can pop out good healing as we still had a decent healing kit and the heals were still meaningful.

1 Like

That’s less interesting for PvP.

1 Like

Execute strategies used to be unique across classes (and not available to all of them). SW:D’s backlash has unique use in PvP that makes it a very memorable spell.

1 Like

Omg you might have just saved me a keybinding!

This…Literally…solves…nothing the OP asked about…Thanks Blizzzzzard…

In B4 “theme” “Class Flavor”

What? He asked for Power Word Life and Shadow Word death on the same keybind.
A heal harm macro literally does exactly that.

1 Like