Spiritual Guidance: Shadow priesting the Well of Eternity

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. On Wednesdays, shadow priesting expert Fox Van Allen comes from out of the shadows to bask in your loving adoration. He is also scientifically proven more beautiful than boomkin blogger Tyler Caraway.

Greetings, fellow time travelers! Last week, we had a lot of fun creating all sorts of terrible paradoxes as we shadow priested through the End Time futurespace. So much fun, in fact, that after a quick stop at the Echo Park Time Travel Mart for supplies, I figured we'd continue our time traveling journey this week. But instead of moving forward in time, we're moving backwards -- all the way back to the Well of Eternity.

If you're doing these new patch 4.3 5-man heroics in order, Well of Eternity is the second you'll come across. There are three boss fights, but in my opinion, the first is the most enjoyable. The reason is a pretty selfish one: the Shadow Walk/Shadow Ambusher buffs that can turbocharge a shadow priest's DPS into the stratosphere.

There's a lot of trash before you reach Peroth'arn, the first of the three bosses. This can feel tedious at times, but the good news is that the experience gives you some practice with the Shadow Ambusher buff. It's mechanic is simple but important: For every second you go undetected while Shadow Walk, you gain a second worth of the Shadow Ambusher buff (up to a maximum of 30 seconds).


Peroth'arn is a fight that alternates between two distinct phases. In the first, you'll be attacking the satyr without mercy. Ideally, you should wait until you have the maximum of 30 Shadow Walk stacks, so you can enjoy a full 30 seconds of 50% extra damage and a 100% crit chance. Treat these 30 seconds the same way you would the Heroism/Bloodlust buff -- make sure to refresh Vampiric Touch and Devouring Plague just before Shadow Ambusher fades.

This first phase is simple -- just stay out of the fire, and you should be fine. When the boss hits 60% health, he'll use his Drain Essence stun. After the stun, the boss will disappear from view, marking the start of the next phase.

You'll regain the Shadow Walk buff and become stealthed yourself. The boss will send out a large number of Eyes of Peroth'arn to find you. If one does find you, you'll be saddled with the Easy Prey debuff and have to suffer a series of attacks. Ideally, you should try to remain hidden the full 40-second duration of this phase -- Peroth'arn will suffer the Enfeebled debuff in addition to the 30 seconds' worth of Shadow Ambusher you'll be banking.

If for some reason you're unable to evade the eyes, you can use Dispersion to evade most of the damage from Peroth'arn's Easy Prey attack. Having someone intentionally be found by the eyes to end the stealth phase is a common strategy of groups, but it doesn't actually make the fight faster -- it simply causes the group loses out on the valuable buff and drags out the next phase even longer.

Peroth'arn has two drops of interest to shadow priests. The first, Horned Band, is a solid i378 crit-plus-haste ring. The second is the Orb of the First Satyrs off-hand, with hit and haste.

Queen Azshara

After you down Peroth'arn, it's just a short walk up a ramp until you face off against your next boss, Queen Azshara. Unlike a standard boss, this fight involves dealing with a series of adds, two at a time.

The only real complication of the fight involves Queen Azshara's charm effects. The first is Total Obedience, a party-wide charm that needs to be interrupted. It has a 10-second cast time, giving you plenty of time to hit Azshara with your Silence interrupt. But because Silence has a 45-second cooldown, shadow priests should only serve as the interrupter of last resort.

Azshara will also charm players individually via Servant of the Queen, turning them into literal puppets. If you're not charmed, your top priority should be DPSing the Hand of the Queen controlling your teammate. If you're the one charmed, she'll wind up blowing all your cooldowns. For this reason, you should be extremely proactive about using your own cooldowns when you can. If you don't use Dark Archangel, Berserking, or your trinket procs, Queen Azshara will.

The only real challenge to this fight seems to be interrupting; so long as your group can keep up the interrupts (and keep interrupters free of Hands of the Queen), you'll be rolling for loot in no time. And she has some terrific gear to offer, too: the one-handed mace Scepter of Azshara, with crit and spirit. She also has a chance to drop the Slippers of Wizardry, a pair of hit-plus-haste boots.

Mannoroth and Captain Varo'then

The final fight of the instance comes only a few short moments after you complete the Queen Azshara fight. It's a multi-phase fight, but for shadow priests, it's a pretty simple romp.

The most important thing to know is the kill order. Don't bother attacking Mannoroth before attacking and defeating Captain Varo'then. Indeed, that's phase 1, killing Varo'then. It's a fairly movement-heavy endeavor. When he casts his Fel Firestorm, you'll have to stay on the move and rely heavily on your instant-cast spells like Vampiric Touch and Shadow Word: Death. It's also a good time to use Dispersion if you need the mana (or want to minimize your healer's workload).

Phase 2 involves saving Tyrande from a pair of Dreadlord Debilitators. Again, this phase is easy so long as you know what to do. Get in the beam of sunlight and DPS down the Debilitators. Standing in the light gives you the Blessing of Elune buff, which gives you a little bit of extra DPS oomph.

Once the Debilitators are down, someone needs to click on the defeated Varo'then's sword to progress to phase 3, defeating Mannoroth. As you'll be able to see, Mannoroth has about 100,000,000 health -- you'll need the huge amount of damage that Varo'then's sword offers to complete the fight in a reasonable amount of time. Seriously. The fight will go on forever (or what seems like forever, anyway) if you don't click the sword.

During phase 3, you should be focusing your attacks on Mannoroth. Don't bother with the adds; your tank will handle and hold on to them. Mannoroth will cast Fel Firestorm one last time, so be prepared for that. (And yes, that totally sets you commenters up for a joke about not being prepared. It's a game reference, and you can't help yourself. Go ahead, type it below. I'll wait. Get it out of your system.)

When Mannoroth is close to death, you'll have successfully helped banish him. There are two great items in his broad loot table. The Cowl of the Highborne Sorcerors, an i378 crit-plus-mastery head piece, is a great piece for a Dragon Soul raid-bound shadow priest. Perhaps more sought after, though, is the Foul Gift of the Demon Lord trinket. It has a mastery proc, so to get the most out of it, you should read my previous column about how to game mastery trinkets.

And don't forget the quests!

There are three separate quests to be completed in the Well of Eternity -- four, if you count the breadcrumb quest at the end of the End Time heroic. The first two, In Unending Numbers and The Vainglorious, only offer gold as rewards. The third, The Path to the Dragon Soul, offers you an epic upon completion, the spirit-plus-mastery Demonic Skull off-hand. If Peroth'arn denies you his Orb of the First Satyrs off-hand, it makes a solid consolation prize.

For more on the topic of how to shadow priest the new 5-man instances, be sure to check out my other column on the topic, Shadow priesting the End Time heroic. And, of course, stay tuned for the conclusion to the series when we go back to the future to the Hour of Twilight.

Are you more interested in watching health bars go down than watching them bounce back up? We've got more for shadow priests, from Shadow Priest 101 to a list of every monster worth mind controlling and strategies for raiding Blackwing Descent.