Shadow Priest Buffs! Simple Math To Work Out How Good Your Gear Is!

September 13, 2009

Taking a break from my more general style of blogging for some proper Priest blogging on this Priest blog… Go figure!

First up, PTR buffs for Shadow Priests!

Earlier this week we got a new PTR build and an updated set of patch notes that contained this little gem:

  • Improved Spirit Tap: Mind Flay periodic critical strikes now have a 50% chance to trigger this talent. (No change to the mana regen effects.)
  • Twisted Faith now grants spell power equal to 4/8/12/16/20% of spirit, up from 2/4/6/8/10%.

Let’s check out the first change to Imp’ Spirit Tap. Looking at this change first off most people would say “Why?” but when I see it I say “Infinite mana due to 100% uptime of IST”. This is also a minor spirit scaling boost as IST gives us 10% more spirit while the buff is us as well as +33% mana regen rate for the 8 seconds. This when stacking with the new Twisted Faith, that I will get onto soon, and Glyph of Shadow will mean more spell power gain as well so it also boosts the DPS value of the talent.  Overall it’s a nice change but it’s not going to fix our single target DPS issues at all.

Now the Twisted Faith change is another patch up job. Out of all the caster classes Shadow Priests scale the worst with spirit despite Priests being THE spirit class. Funny huh? Anyway this is a nice little buff again but is not going to change much, it’s a nice spell power boost but our DPS problems are coming from not being to utilise the haste on our gear properly due to only having two spells that scale with haste properly. End of the day any buff is a welcome one and maybe these two changes will give the developers the confidence to give our haste problem a good old fixing soon… We can live in hope I guess.

Now, if you want some numbers to look at I had a scribble down and based off a Shadow Priest with 800 spirit and came up with the following:

Glyph of Shadow ~ 95% uptime
IST ~ 45% uptime
IST + TF + Glyph of Shadow = 163 spell power

Glyph of Shadow ~ 95% uptime
IST ~ 95% uptime
IST + TF + Glyph of Shadow = 258 spell power

3.2.2 changes:
Gained 95 spell power on an 800 raid buffed priest
Spell Power per Spirit (with raid buffs) increased from .2038 to .3225

Conclusion: Spirit is still bad but now not quite as bad by a small amount!

How good are these epics, really?

Next up I am going to go over some basic gear based stuff. I use an application called SimCraft ( to run DPS simulations for my gear, now the kicker here is you can use simcraft to help you with gear by getting the “Value” of a stat.

Scaling factors according to SimCraft:
Priest_T9_13_00_58 Int=0.35 Spi=0.39 SP=1.56 Hit=2.39 Crit=1.12 Haste=1.07

In order to compare the stats to each other we use Spell power as the base. This results in the following PP (Pseudo power or spell power equivalent) values:
1 SP = 1
1 Crit = 0.72
1 Haste = 0.68
1 Spi = 0.25
1 Int = 0.22
1 Hit = 1.53

Now a lot of gear has gem sockets and for a fair comparison we include the best gem for that slot into the overall item value calculation.

Runed Cardinal Ruby (23 SP) – 23PP
Potent Ametrine (12SP + 10CRIT) – 19.2PP (This means it is worth going for a socketbonus if it is > 4 SP, > 6 crit/haste Rating)
Purified Dreadstone (12SP + 10SPI) – 14.5PP (for the Metagem, This means it is worth going for a socketbonus if it is > 9SP)

Now to use these values to determine how good a bit of gear is we can do a simple calculation!


Ok so not so that does not look so simple but you just have to break it down. To show you what I mean I have two sets of bracers here:


Let’s take the Bejeweled Wizard’s Bracers for our first example.

Looking at the bracers we can see the stats so we do each part of the calculation:
SPELLPOWER – 80 = 80
CRIT*0.72 – 42*0.72 = 30.24
HASTE*0.68 – 50*0.68 = 34
INT*0.22 – 58*0.22 = 12.76
GEMPP – 23 (Runed in Blue socket as bonus is <9 spellpower and no socket bonus)

So we add up the totals and end up with:
80+30.24+34+12.76+23 = 180PP

So we can see that the Bejeweled Wizard’s Bracers have a item value of 180PP. These happen to be best in slot for shadow priests and are Tailor made and BoE so they are a MUST have for any raiding shadow priest.

Now they are only best in slot if you are hit capped, as hit is only useful until you are at 288.55 hit or 289 for simplicity. Let’s take our second example the Bindings of Dark Essence.

SPELLPOWER – 91 = 91
CRIT*0.72 – 57*0.72 = 41.04
INT*0.22 – 65*0.22 = 14.3
GEMPP – 19.2+5 = 24.2PP (Socket is yellow with a 5SP bonus so we can use a Potent Ametrine and we get the 5PP bonus that we add on to the gem PP)
HIT*1.53 – 43*1.53 = 65.79

Now the way to look at gear with hit on is to give it two values, one with hit and one without.

91+41.04+14.3+24.2 = 170.54

If the hit from this item is not used then the item has a value of 170.54PP but we have 65.79PP’s worth of hit on the item. Now if you use the hit from the bracers:
91+41.04+14.3+24.2+65.79 = 236.33

So those bracers are best in slot if you can use all 43 of the hit on them but if you don’t need the hit then the Bejeweled Wizard’s Bracers win best in slot position.

Now the beauty of this math is… you can put it into a WoW Addon called “Pawn” that will give you the Item Value in PP on the tooltips of your items, my only problems with Pawn is that it does not support epic gems yet and can bug out with enchants and epic gems. I keep a notepad next to my computer for quickly rushing this sort of math on items I have no clue about.

Hopefully this will give you guys some insight into how to make intelligent gear choises by yourself without having to rely on someone else making a “Best Gear” thread on the WoW forums.

Big shoutout to that gave me tonnes of info into the scaling numbers and how to get SimCraft running properly!


First up something totally awesome:
Bloodhound Gang – Mope

Next up something Epic from the team behind “The Guild”
The Guild – Do You Wanna Date My Avatar

Guess what’s been on my Spotify Playlist for the last few days?
Bloodhound Gang – It’s Tricky

And last up is something a theme tune from one of my favourite TV series of all time.
BBC Wales Orchestra – Doctor Who Theme 2008

Until next time!


8 Responses to “Shadow Priest Buffs! Simple Math To Work Out How Good Your Gear Is!”

  1. Veia said

    Haaaaai Lyni nice read! :3

  2. Zark said

    NACHO write something

    cool article though chris

    • Fa said

      Yo Zrk!

      I’ll try to get something up asap, been raiding a lot as disc recently (also fun), so I’ve been trying to get screenies together for my next post. Hope you’re enjoying The Sha’tar and give my love to Eain!

  3. […] part of the point of this rambling post was this new blog: Strange domain name, and its called ‘A Priest Blog’, but its got some great posts about […]

  4. Fa said

    Just got around to reading this Zaran, very interesting stuff although I’ve handed in my shadowy towel!

    P.S. The Bloodhound Gang suck D:

  5. […] part of the point of this rambling post was this new blog: Strange domain name, and its called ‘A Priest Blog’, but its got some great posts about […]

  6. Nithel said

    I have to agree with Norna here. Bloodhound Gang sucks. But quite an nifty post nonetheless. Shame the music costed you points.

    I must say that I would love to see more posts from the healing perspective, be that discipline or holy.

  7. […] I *hope* the WoW devs read those posts. They seem to think that single-target shadow DPS is fine at the moment… which it isn’t, really. We’re receiving a weird SP to Spi buff in the upcoming Onyxia patch, but I guess we have yet to see if this improves things a little. It looks fairly underwhelming. […]

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