So, I have healed a grand total of one encounter since Patch 4.0.1 in a raid. Everything else, I’ve been DPS. This is seriously not a normal thing for me; I’m used to being the Holy priest (and I do mean the Holy priest). But even in the GDKP run, I ended up being asked to go DPS. During our Ulduar runs, I’ve been DPS because we’ve been so overloaded on healers. I’ve really only healed Razorscale for Iron Dwarf, Medium Rare. On accident, I made this a complete and utter challenge by doing so in my Shadow gear. I didn’t realize until the raid night was over that I’d done so. Oops?

At any rate, after having some trouble deciding exactly what I wanted to write about this time, I decided I’d go over my initial thoughts on playing a Shadow priest, since I haven’t really had ample opportunity to heal, as with having so many healers recently that it’s overall better for me to go DPS (plus I’ve cranked out numbers very close to our two Death Knights with Shadow’s Edge – no, we don’t have a Shadowmourne, and no, we won’t have one by the end of the expansion), which puts me in the top 5 DPS pretty consistently. That isn’t to say that our other DPS aren’t doing it right, some are not very well-geared, some just got completely bitch-slapped (see: hunters), and some were not able to make it (one of our mages got stuck in Dalaran and couldn’t stay connected, ended up on an alt; another mage was unable to make it due to ISP issues; one of our Boomkin was sick). All that aside, I figure maybe it’s time to cover some Shadow stuff as well. After all, I don’t always heal!

One of the biggest problems I’ve been having is that, while I can put out some pretty impressive numbers, I’m constantly threat capped. We went to do Ignis, and I waited until after the first Flame Jets to go out … by the third one, I had to stop DPS, as even Fade wasn’t going to save my ass otherwise, even glyphed and specced down to a 15 second cooldown. Auriaya was also fun; I started focusing on Swarming Guardians, because otherwise she would’ve walked over and gave me a big fat hug to the nose. That said, I’m not sure if it’s either shadow priest threat, or warrior threat, that’s borked at the moment, but as it stands, even trying to keep under threat of our MT is just … exceedingly difficult. The only real threat problems I’ve had, though, are with warriors. While in ICC for the GDKP, it was a paladin and death knight setup (no bears), and never had any threat issues there.

Overall, though, I do find the shadow “rotation” to be a little more involved than it used to be. Using Mind Blast with three Shadow Orbs seems to be the most productive, and using Shadow Word: Death as an execute is also hugely beneficial. And also, the reduced cooldown on Shadowfiend from Mind Flay crits it nice, and helps immensely with mana regen, as Shadow seems to have been collateral damage in nerfing healer mana regeneration (which, in turn, ended up getting a buff with the change from spellpower to Intellect, at least until Cataclysm hits).

At the moment, my rotation is actually not too far off from what it was prior to having 4-piece T10: SF, VT, DP, MB, MFx2, SW:P, MF, MB, etc. I wait so long for SW:P due to Muradin’s Spyglass. Below 25%, SW:D twice, then refresh whatever DoTs need refreshing, and continue to use SF and SW:D on cooldown. Generally, during an encounter and not in execute range, I don’t use SW:D too often – Valithria and some trash pulls being an exception.

Still, despite my willingness to heal (and use Holy Word: Sanctuary), I think Shadow is shaping up pretty nicely. It’s doing decent (well, really good) damage, and I’m happy with that. Maybe in a future raid, I’ll get to heal something. 😛 In the meantime, off to finish gearing my shaman for the GDKP run on Sunday, assuming I manage to actually get into it. Also, reforging for Mastery on an Elemental shaman = WIN.