Friday, September 5, 2008

Racial Imbalance: Horde Priests

The other day I posted about Alliance Priests. Now it's time to look at the other side!

Touch of Weakness: Level 10: Forsaken and Blood Elf: A 10-minute buff (magic) to the priest that causes the next damaging melee attack to do X shadow damage to the attacker and applies a debuff (curse) that decreases damage done by Y for 2 minutes. No cooldown.

At max rank, this costs 235 mana to cast, causes 80 shadow damage and decreases damage done by 35.

This is highly beneficial to shadow priests, as the shadow damage will apply a Shadow Weaving charge and can possibly proc Blackout.

This ability is improved by Blackout, Mental Agility, Force of Will, Darkness, Shadow Focus and Shadow Weaving.

Now, I already admitted that I am biased. However... does anyone else notice something about this LEVEL 10 ability? Something that's missing from the Alliance side in it's entirety? This lasts 10 minutes and 2 minutes. The best offensive level 10 ability that the Alliance has is Starshards. Because priests are heavy into the Arcane damage abilities.

So a priest, especially a shadow priest, pops this and for 10 minutes can curse anyone who hits them.

The only saving grace is that the debuff doesn't stack. However, I get the impression that the shadow damage attack does continue to hit. (And can continue to proc Shadow Weaving... increasing the subsequent shadow damage done each hit, up to a 10% increase... and Blackout... which has the chance to stun someone for 3 seconds with each proc. At max rank, 10% chance.)

(Before people cry 'But Alliance priests have Shadow Word: Pain too! That can proc...', it only procs on initial hit, it does not proc with tick damage.)

Hex of Weakness: Level 10: Troll: Decreases damage done by X and decreases healing recieved by 20% for 2 minutes. (Curse) No cooldown.

At max rank it costs 295 mana to use and reduces damage done by 35. Healing by 20%.

Abilities that help are Mental Agility, Shadow Focus and Shadow Reach.

This is another very useful ability! And another debuff. The healing decrease works on potions and bandages, as well as Vampiric Embrace returns and straight healing. Additionally, downranking against players that are casters will net you lower spell cost but still the 20% healing reduction.

Both horde level 10 abilities... are wow.

Devouring Plague: Level 20: Forsaken: Causes X shadow damage over 24 seconds, healing the caster. (Disease) 3 minute cooldown.
At max rank it costs 1145 mana and causes 1216 shadow damage. This likely scales with additional shadow damage.

This does extra healing if Vampiric Embrace is on the target.

Useful abilities to have with this: Blackout, Darkness, Force of Will, Mental Agility, Shadow Affinity, Shadow Focus, Shadow Reach, Shadow Weaving, Shadowform, Silent Resolve and Vampiric Embrace

It does have a high mana cost, higher than Feedback. That's a saving grace. However, the health/damage returned/done is higher than the mana cost to use, unlike Feedback.

However, Inner Focus and Mental Agility will 1: make it manaless and 2: lower the cost of it. It also makes a Forsaken shadowpriest like a healing warlock. Dots, direct damaging spells and siphon life! Since Inner Focus is also on a 3 minute cooldown, it's a nice way to do damage and heal yourself at the same time with no mana cost! (Of note, it cannot crit, so will waste Inner Focus's additional 20% crit chance.)

Shadowguard: Level 20: Troll: A self buff (Magic). Attacker takes X shadow damage. No cooldown. 3 charges.
At max level it costs 270 mana and delivers 130 damage per charge.

It recieves 26.7% of your spell damage. It is a direct damage spell. Causes no threat.

Because it is shadow damage, it can proc Blackout and Shadow Weaving. (We discussed this already.)

Other useful talents are Darkness, Force of Will, Mental Agility, Shadow Focus, Shadowform and Vampiric Embrace. (It will trigger "passive" Vampiric Embrace healing, whatever that means. I don't have a shadow priest, so I can't comment on how that would work.)

It is instant cast. Cannot be interrupted. And can be cast whenever it goes down, like Lightning Shield for a shaman. Only for a priest.

Consume Magic: Level 20: Blood Elf: Dispels one beneficial magic effects and gives X to Y mana. 2 minute cooldown.
Scales with ranks (only rank 1 is listed).

It's a mana regen tactic.

(What is this? Is this a Horde Racial that isn't offensive and overwhelming? In fact, it's a little wimpy seeming.)

The tactic for this is for the priest to cast rank 1 inner fire on themselves and then consume magic. If it works, you get a bunch of mana for a low mana spell. However... there is no way to guarantee what buff it will eat. So you may have just lost your Mark of the Wild or Fortitude buff.

Of the priests talents,
- one is a healing talent (Desperate Prayer: Alliance);
- two are direct damaging abilities (Starshards: Alliance, Shadowguard: Horde);
- two are mana returns (Symbol of Hope: Alliance, Consume Magic: Horde);
- one is pure defensive (Elune's Grace: Alliance);
- five are damaging with some debuff, incapacitate abilities or self heal component (Touch of Weakness, Hex of Weakness, Devouring Plague: Horde and Chastise and Feedback: Alliance).

Of the Horde talents,
- none are direct heals,
- four out of five are damaging abilities, (That's 80%)
- three out of those four apply debuffs to target or healing effects to caster and only one is a mana regen ability.
- The average cooldown is 1 minute. (0 second Touch of Weakness, Hex of Weakness, Shadowguard, 3 minute Devouring Plague, 2 minute Consume Magic)

Of the Alliance talents,
- one is a direct heal,
- three out of six are damaging abilities, (That's 50%)
- one is a mana regen ability and one is a defensive ability.
- None cause debuffs to the target nor have a health return.
- The average cooldown is a little over 3 minutes (10 minute Desperate Prayer, 30 second Starshards, 30 second Chastise, 5 minute Symbol of Hope, 3 minute Feedback and 3 minute Elune's Grace).


Do I need to say more? I will continue the slog through HORDE OMGWTFBBQ AWESOMNESS in my next post on general Horde racials.

As always, comments, criticisms, opinions, etc, are welcome. :)


  1. So a priest, especially a shadow priest, pops this and for 10 minutes can curse anyone who hits them.

    If I'm not mistaken it only has one charge. So yes, it lasts 10 minutes, but only works on the first attacker. For levelling, it's a total waste of mana. Haven't reached a higher level on my Priest though...

  2. Well, still regardless. It has no cooldown (other than global cooldown), so if that is true it isn't as awful as it seems, but it's still bad since you can just keep popping it.