Spiritual Guidance: 6 ways to look like a total noob shadow priest

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.

Though we all like to think of ourselves as World of Warcraft veterans, the truth is we all had to start somewhere. We were all beginners once, fumbling through the dark, putting out terrible DPS and making those with the misfortune to group with us cry. (Except for me, of course. I was amazingly awesome from Day 1, and you have no proof that says otherwise. So nyah.)

But just because you're a beginner shadow priest doesn't mean you have to look like a total noob. There's some very basic stuff you can do to hide the fact that you're not a shadow priesting expert. After all, the best way to get through that rough MMO period of being a noob is to trick people into thinking you're not a noob. And if you are a veteran, the most embarrassing thing you can do is make total rookie mistakes.

So as a public service to the world, I've put together an awesome list of six super-awesome things you can do to look like a total noob. Why would you want to look like a total noob, you ask? Well, hopefully you don't want to. But maybe -- just maybe -- by learning what not to do, you'll all stop doing it. Right? Riiiiiight?

6 ways to look like a noob

6. Pull mobs. Hey, I get it. Shadow priests are super-powerful beings. We have a defensive cooldown, Dispersion, that makes tanks jealous. We've got Psychic Scream, a spell that disables and interrupts the bad guys for a few precious seconds. We have Silence (if we want it). We have self-healing via dealing damage. We even get a baseline talent in Shadowform that reduces the damage we take by a flat 15%. Our survivability is incredibly high.

But at the end of the day, we're still a squishy little cloth-wearing class. We're not tanks. We can't handle having five trash mobs beating on us at once, nor can we handle melee swings from bosses. For us to be successful at what we do, tanks need to be successful at what they do. And for tanks to be successful, they need to manage threat.

Pulling mobs puts all that initial threat on you. It makes the tank's job harder, forcing them to scramble, taunt, and pick mobs off you. And worse yet, it makes you look like you don't know what you're doing.

I know, I know, we have Fade, a tool that lets us drop our threat. That's cool -- but if the tank isn't prepared to handle a group of mobs yet, pulling mobs as a DPS is a recipe for wipes. Let the tank do the tanking.

5. Stand in the bad. Like I just said, we have a lot of tools to reduce the damage we take. But just because we're taking less damage than some other people in the raid doesn't mean we have a free pass to stand in void zones and fire. Taking unnecessary damage is one of the hallmarks of the noob.

Keep in mind that Dispersion isn't always a solution. A lot of void zones, such as the Black Blood of the Earth spewed by Morchok, applies a stacking debuff to you. So while you may virtually no damage from the void zone while in your Dispersion state, the second after Dispersion ends could prove absolutely lethal.

So for the love of Yogg-Saron, when the ground under you turns black, purple, red, or some other terrible color, move the hell out of it.

4. Demand a battle rez. Something went wrong. Maybe the tank lost threat. Maybe the healer just didn't give you enough attention. Whatever happened, one thing is for sure: You're dead. What do you do next? Well, as a DPSer -- nothing. You sit around and wait for the encounter to finish, and you root the team on. Don't ask for a battle rez. If you're not a healer or tank, you won't get one. (And people will probably make fun of you for asking.)

It's a fact of life: Even in the easier Raid Finder encounters, mistakes happen and tanks die. Groups need to have a battle rez ready and available to pick them up when it happens. Same goes for healers. Being dead for an entire encounter stinks, but if you're a DPSer, you just need to suck it up.

P.S.: If it's a wipe, don't be that jerk who refuses to run back. If someone hits you with a Mass Rez, that's cool. Just don't expect or demand it.

3. Pull threat. Game developers recently boosted tanks' ability to generate threat. It makes things easier for all of us. But DPSers can still pull threat, especially during encounters like Ultraxion with a threat-erasing mechanic. If your tank marks mobs with a skull, focus the brunt of your attacks on that specific mob. It doesn't mean you can't put a DoT or two on the other enemies in the pack -- just be careful, especially if they're still at full health.

Sometimes, there's nothing you can do to help it -- from time to time, tanks will drop the ball and you'll pull threat. But shadow priests have the ability Fade, which lets you drop all your threat for 10 seconds. That should be more than enough time for the tank to regain control. (If it's not, you have bigger problems to worry about.)

If for some reason you pull threat on one or more mobs, you should immediately stop DPS on that particular mob (don't make the problem worse!) and use Fade if it's available. If Fade is still on cooldown, you should use Dispersion to minimize the damage you take until the tank can regain control (or until Fade is again available). Glyphed Psychic Scream and Power Word: Shield work well as last resorts.

Once the tank has regained control for a few seconds, feel free to resume DPS. Just be careful in the future. If a tank loses threat once, he's likely to do so again.

2. Roll need for healer gear. One question I inevitably get asked is whether it's OK for shadow priests to roll for spirit gear. The answer is an unequivocal yes -- spirit is converted to haste hit via Twisted Faith, and some of our best-in-slot gear pieces have spirit on it. That stuff is fair game.

That said, while spirit gear isn't necessarily healer-only gear, there is gear out there that only healers should be rolling on. Maw of the Dragonlord, the healing mace that drops from Madness of Deathwing, is one example. Tear of Blood is another. Basically, anything with a special proc that only benefits healers.

Granted, the fact that Raid Finder applies a healer role bonus to this gear alleviates much of the problem, but rolling need on healer gear still makes you look bad. If you actually do need the gear for your off spec, proper etiquette is to ask first. Most folks don't mind DPS rolling need for gear that they don't need themselves, but if you don't make your intentions clear at the outset, you'll look like a total noob.

1. Roll for gear you don't need. How often has this happened to you? You're in Raid Finder. A tier token drops, and every single person who's eligible rolls for it. Then, after the roll is done, the person who wins it announces, "I'll trade this for something else later on." Translation: I had no business rolling need on this.

If you've already got tier equipped, do everyone else in the Raid Finder a favor and don't roll need on it again. You don't actually need it. And if you've already got valor gear equipped, remember that it's item level 397 -- better, in general, than the i384 gear that drops from Raid Finder encounters.

Be considerate, even if others in the raid are total jerks.

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.