Analysis of Talent Choices, DPS, and Stat Weights (5.2 – Updated March 31, 2013) – T15 Heroic+LMG Edition

The From Darkness, Comes Light ICD was removed some time this weekend. This is not reflected in the post, however, the only affected results will be FDCL being the choice on Heavy Movement fights.

Updated March 31, 2013 — I’m working on re-doing the FDCL parts of this because they are having VERY strong showings on T15N sims (2tar). Expect this to be updated again.

Usual disclaimer: the following information is as of Mists of Pandaria 5.2 Release (build 16650), released on March 5, 2013 and including hotfixes through March 24, 2013. If another patch comes out or hotfixes are put in place these results may not be 100% valid!

The promised followup to the inaccurate post on February 27th March 7th is finally here! This is an updated post and the first of at least 3 posts discussing the nine combinations between our Level 45 (From Darkness, Comes Light; Mindbender; Solace and Insanity) and Level 75 (Twist of Fate; Power Infusion; Divine Insight) talents. As was mentioned in the previous iteration of this post, there have been a few changes to our talents when comparing them to 5.1 including nerfs to From Darkness, Comes Light by way of Glyph of Mind Spike no longer triggering off of instant-cast Mind Spikes and there being a 1 second ICD on procs from From Darkness, Comes Light. The most notable increases are Power Infusion now not only stacks with Bloodlust but it also grants +5% damage for the duration, and, a complete redesign of Shadow Word: Insanity in to Mind Flay (Insanity) via Solace and Insanity. On top of these talent-specific changes, our Shadowform has also received a 4.16% damage increase by going from 20% to 25% damage done. Additionally since our look in February, the RPPM rate of the Legendary Meta Gem has been significantly increased for Shadow (from ~19% uptime to ~25% uptime) an the RPPM formula has been changed (in our favor). With all of these changes, which talents are superior in given situations will surely be mixed up.

The following simulations assume a few things that are different from the 5.0 set of data presented:

  1. The race is neutral – Night Elf. This is to avoid any skewing of data because of extra Haste interactions from the Troll or Goblin racials.
  2. The professions are neutral – Blacksmithing/Enchanting. Just like with the neutral race, this is to avoid any on-use/proc bonuses from skewing the value of other stats.
  3. Assume optimal raid. This is to cover all buffs/debuffs/etc. to give a better idea of how the specs will behave in a true raid environment.
  4. No Shadow Orbs at start. It is unrealistic to begin a bossfight with 3 orbs.
  5. This profile uses the new Legendary Meta Gem, Sinister Primal Diamond, instead of the regular Meta Gem, Burning Primal Diamond.
  6. To take proper account for passing Haste Breakpoints, the number of simulations has been doubled; in addition to doing the normal positive scaling, negative scaling is also done to show the value leading up to where you are. This allows us to look at a 2000 point span on stats (+/-1000) rather than just scaling upwards (+1000).
  7. For Heavy Movement sims with From Darkness, Comes Light as a selected talent, a slightly different actionlist is being used to save procs for when movement occurs. (Thanks go out to Tanned on HowToPriest for the suggestion!)

With that being said, lets have a look at 1-target encounters first:

DPS Relative to Encounter Type and Talents (LMG)

  Highest Lowest Delta Delta%
Heavy Movement
Heavy Movement (FDCL Mod)
152,966
MB+DI
126,446
MFI+ToF
26,520 17.34%
HelterSkelter 158,348
MFI+PI
145,268
FDCL+ToF
13,080 8.26%
Light Movement 185,500
MFI+PI
168,152
FDCL+DI
17,348 9.35%
Patchwerk 189,625
MFI+PI
170,693
FDCL+DI
18,932 9.98%
Ultraxion 183,397
MFI+PI
167,507
FDCL+DI
15,890 8.66%

One trend that sticks out immediately is that the combination of Mind Flay (Insanity) and Power Infusion is a very powerful combination in all encounters that aren’t non-stop movement. Another surprising (or not so surprising) change is that Twist of Fate has lost it’s edge as the go-to Level 75 talent choice. This is largely because Power Infusion‘s +5% damage done is applied to ~19%+ of the fight duration, whereas Twist of Fate‘s +15% damage done has an uptime around ~17%; this is only part of the story, though, since Twist of Fate grants only increased damage while Power Infusion also provides a 20% Haste buff, meaning when used in conjunction with the refreshing of DoTs and casting Mind Flay (Insanity) you are able to pump out more damage overall.

For the hectic/high movement encounter types, Divine Insight still reigns supreme with Mindbender of From Darkness, Comes Light round out the talent choices.

What does this mean for our stat weights in a 1-target situation though?

Pseudo Point Value of Shadow Stats (LMG)Pseudo Point Value of Shadow Stats Table (LMG)

One striking change from the last (and now invalid) run is the value of Haste has skyrocketed. This matches what has been seen on PTR tests, Simulations, and thus far in Throne of Thunder: Haste is very, very good. Now for some more general observations:

Looking at the ‘Best Two Per Fight’ line–the average PP values of the top two DPS talent combinations for each of the five fight types–we can see that the value of Hit/Spirit is much higher than it was for 5.0/5.1. This can be directly attributed to having our damage bonus from Shadowform being raised from 20% to 25%, meaning that missed damage opportunities are much costlier now than they were before. This increased importance on hit and being hit-capped can also be indirectly attributed towards Mind Flay (Insanity) being such a valuable talent with a limited casting timeframe, meaning that if you cast Devouring Plague and waste a GCD (or potentially multiple GCDs) trying to cast Mind Flay (Insanity) but end up missing, you’re leaving a lot of DPS on the table that cannot be regained through quick reaction times. For the other secondary stats, they are tightly bunched up with Haste barely squeaking out ahead. I would like to take this time to note, however, that this profile has over 15,000 Haste rating from gear. Even at this extreme point it is still the top secondary stat, displaying that Haste stacking is a viable if not the optimal gearing strategy for Shadow Priests, assuming you have the Legendary Meta Gem.

Now lets move on to the 2-target results:

DPS Relative to Encounter Type and Talents - 2 Targets (LMG)

  Highest Lowest Delta Delta%
Heavy Movement – 2 DoT
Heavy Movement – 2 DoT (FDCL Mod)
202,671
FDCL+PI
192,198
MFI+ToF
10,473 5.17%
HelterSkelter – 2 DoT 199,646
MFI+PI
193,026
FDCL+ToF
6,620 3.32%
Light Movement – 2 DoT 220,857
MFI+PI
212,782
FDCL+ToF
8,075 3.66%
Patchwerk – 2 DoT 227,163
MFI+PI
216,672
FDCL+ToF
10,491 4.62%
Ultraxion – 2 DoT 220,184
MFI+PI
213,552
FDCL+ToF
6,632 3.01%

The difference in damage done with two targets from the highest and lowest DPS talent choices is much, much closer than it is with just one target — 3.01% – 4.62% delta (6,632 – 10,491 damage) vs. 8.26% – 9.98% delta (13,080 – 18,932 damage) for non-Heavy Movement sim types. Tying back to the points made above on the 1-target results, this shows how much more potent our DoTs are since the Shadowform and Power Infusion buffs.

Mind Flay (Insanity) and Power Infusion still have the strongest showing with Divine Insight coming in a close second across the board, sans Heavy Movement encounters where having procs to burn while on the move (via From Darkness, Comes Light and Divine Insight) still trump other abilities.

What does this homogenization of damage mean for stat weights, though?

Pseudo Point Value of Shadow StatsPseudo Point Value of Shadow Stats Table - 2 DoT

There aren’t a whole lot of differences in order here between 1-target and 2-target for stat weights. Hit/Spirit is very important, Crit and Mastery are catching up to Haste in value with Crit’s value being a solid #2 secondary stat.

Now lets put these two sets of data together to create a set of composite stat weights that encompass both single target and two target encounters:

Pseudo Point Value of Shadow StatsPseudo Point Value of Shadow Stats Table - Combined 1 and 2 DoT

Not surprisingly, the composite still shows Hit/Spirit being the most important secondary stat, followed by Haste, and finally Mastery and Crit vying for 2nd place, with Crit maintaining its lead.

Let me make this painfully obvious and excruciatingly clear: there is absolutely no excuse to NOT be hitcapped. Our spells do more damage per cast in 5.2 than they did in 5.1 by a wide margin. Between the increased importance of being hitcapped and having more secondary stats to play with thanks to entering a new tier with an extra 15-35 ilvls on gear, there should not be a compelling reason to avoid getting 5100 Hit/Spirit.

Additionally I’d like to point out (as has been championed by Drye on HowToPriest for some time now), if you have any version of Unerring Vision of Lei-Shen the value of Crit will drop significantly, causing the value of Mastery to rise!

With all of this being said, here is my recommendation for gearing priority for 5.2 once you have the Legendary Meta Gem:

Int > Spell Power > Hit (to 15%) > Haste > Crit > Mastery

If you have the Legendary Meta Gem AND have any version of Unerring Vision of Lei-Shen, my gearing priority recommendation becomes:

Int > Spell Power > Hit (to 15%) > Haste > Mastery > Crit

It may behoove you to strive for one of the Haste breakpoints that matches your race and talents, but with Haste being the most valuable secondary stat if you stack it you should be fine.

This also means that my recommendations for what gems to socket also change slightly from the past:

Red Sockets = Reckless Vermilion Onyx
Blue Sockets = Energized Wild Jade
Yellow Sockets = Quick Sun’s Radiance

Stay tuned for the next post in this series where we visit T15H without the Legendary Meta Gem equipped and Pre-Raid!

Notes and Resources


Raw SimulationCraft Data
Heavy Movement – 1 Target (Downscaling)
Heavy Movement – 1 Target FDCL Mod (Downscaling)
Heavy Movement – 2 Target (Downscaling)
Heavy Movement – 2 Target FDCL Mod (Downscaling)
HelterSkelter – 1 Target (Downscaling)
HelterSkelter – 2 Target (Downscaling)
Light Movement – 1 Target (Downscaling)
Light Movement – 2 Target (Downscaling)
Patchwerk – 1 Target (Downscaling)
Patchwerk – 2 Target (Downscaling)
Ultraxion – 1 Target (Downscaling)
Ultraxion – 2 Target (Downscaling)
Heavy Movement – 1 Target (Upscaling)
Heavy Movement – 1 Target FDCL Mod (Upscaling)
Heavy Movement – 2 Target (Upscaling)
Heavy Movement – 2 Target FDCL Mod (Upscaling)
HelterSkelter – 1 Target (Upscaling)
HelterSkelter – 2 Target (Upscaling)
Light Movement – 1 Target (Upscaling)
Light Movement – 2 Target (Upscaling)
Patchwerk – 1 Target (Upscaling)
Patchwerk – 2 Target (Upscaling)
Ultraxion – 1 Target (Upscaling)
Ultraxion – 2 Target (Upscaling)

Each of these SimulationCraft sims were run with 25,000 iterations.

These sims were for fights that are single-target and two-target fights. Multi target fights with adds that come and go may (will) have different results.

These sims are as of Mists of Pandaria 5.2 Release (build 16650), released on March 5, 2013 and including hotfixes through March 24, 2013. If another patch comes out or hotfixes are put in place these results may not be 100% valid!

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17 Responses to Analysis of Talent Choices, DPS, and Stat Weights (5.2 – Updated March 31, 2013) – T15 Heroic+LMG Edition

  1. Pingback: Shadow 5.2 Best in Slot List (With LMG) – Updated March 10, 2013 | Shadow Orbs and Mind Spikes

  2. Pingback: 5.2 Shadow Priest Discussion - Elitist Jerks

  3. Would you argue that the ~14850 breakpoints don’t massively distort the value of haste in the Downscaling sims?

    Stacking haste is probably a mistake if you’re not reaching sufficiently valuable thresholds, and I believe valuating haste at a flat .64 will be misleading for many Priests — particularly with respect to gem choices. Is it possible to instead produce approximate pp values for very significant haste thresholds (e.g. 8085, 10913, 11990 [LMG], 14873)?

    • I don’t believe it is distorting the value of Haste at all. By doing downscaling+upscaling, I’m sampling a cross-section of 2000 points for all of our stats (aside from Hit/Spirit, which is cap-able). This shows the long-term scaling of our stats (hitting ~13% of the secondary values of Haste at our high Haste levels) while accounting for the value of the stats leading up to the point the profile is at in addition to the future.

      For the other PP values, please remember this is for ‘Best in Slot’ with the Legendary Meta Gem, I.E.: ilvl = ~537 (though if the profile were re-done to have Heroic Thunderforged items in all slots except the 4 T15 pieces it would be ~539). These PP values are being used on the BiS List that is labeled as for those with the LMG already. Now that these sims are mostly finalized (until more hotfixes occur by Blizzard), I’m going to be able to focus on doing this same methodology with two additional different gear sets: A ~522 profile with 4P T15 as a normal baseline and no LMG, and another that is somewhere around ~505 ilvl that has 4P T15 LFR, 502 LFR pieces, and some 522 valor pieces.

      • Thanks for the quick response! I would agree that it is useful to have a very broad haste value that includes the values of breakpoints, particularly for choosing gear and populating BiS lists.

        When I asked about pp values, I was referring to the values of the breakpoints themselves. However, in retrospect, I suppose they aren’t really necessary; major breakpoints will certainly be valuable enough to justify high-haste gems.

        My primary concern is that for reforging and for choosing gems, I think it would be far more useful to know the value of haste without the breakpoint inflation. Stacking haste beyond, or out of reach of, a major breakpoint will not reflect a pp value of .64 and will not necessarily result in optimum DPS. Intellect or mastery/crit may be a better choice.

        • I absolutely agree with you on that (possibly gemming differently between breakpoints). However, which breakpoints would this be viable at? I need to update the charts on my Haste Breakpoints post (DP and SWP diverge after a few ticks, which was missed on the initial pass) but you have at least 3 groups of breakpoints to consider: baseline, Hero/LMG, and Power Infusion. Between these (not including further common combos or if you’re a Troll), you’re likely to pass a new substantial breakpoint just from gemming straight Haste alone.

          This is largely where the thought behind haste stacking has come from. If it were still T14 rules (PI wouldn’t stack with Hero and had no bonus value {I.E.: no one takes it} and there is no LMG), it would probably be the same as in the past: stack Haste to a breakpoint that is obtainable, then stack Crit/Mastery until you can get to the next significant breakpoint. It just so happens that there are more frequent breakpoints to stack towards so the need to micro-manage doesn’t exist like it once did.

          For those who want to maximize their DPS inbetween those breakpoints, the best I can do is instruct them to Sim their characters with a few different gemming choices outlined and compare the results. For this instance, since you can look up the breakpoints (I’ll be expanding the table Soon*TM) and make sure your regemming choices don’t fall below the one you’re shooting for, a Patchwerk sim will probably suffice because you’re not looking for any scaling values.

  4. I have been trying to sim this, but seem unable to. Here is my question:

    - Suppose you have the MFI + PI talent. Is it better to save Power Infusion and use it before 3-orb DP, even though, say, PI is off cooldown and you have, say, 0 orbs currently? What if I have 1/2 orbs (and the next orb might be 6-8 seconds away).

    - Or is it better to use PI as soon as it comes off cooldown?

    - Or is it ok, if I wait sometime and use it before refreshing PW:S and VT and not try to sync it with DP?

    • You want to make sure you get (on a single target encounter, at least) 2 applications of SWP and VT on the target while PI is active — this means that the first two GCDs of PI need to be SWP and VT in that order so that you’re getting maximum effectiveness out of your DoTs in the beginning (no cast time for SWP v. 1GCD for VT).

      The 3rd GCD should, optimally, be Mind Blast.

      The final two GCDs of PI should be VT and SWP (in that order — SWP when you’ve got ~0.5sec left or less, so long as you don’t miss it!) for, again, optimal uptimes of DoTs.

      All of the other GCDs in the middle is where you need to have a 3orb DP (followed by uninterrupted chain casting of MFI for DP’s duration) and another Mind Blast.

      When to use PI is another topic entirely. The way the sims in this post are run is with PI being used immediately when it is off CD without waiting until you have any orbs. When you consider this in conjunction to how PI stacks up against ToF and DI, it really shows that it is very, very strong whenever it is used.

      Overall, you have up to 2 minutes of wiggleroom in an encounter in which you can delay the use of PI to get optimal uptime. It is probably better in some fights where you have bonus damage coming soon to delay using it (Jin’rokh for puddles, delaying casts on Horridon if you’re close to smashing him in to a gate, knowing you’ll be intercepting Feed Young on Ji-Kun, etc) or forgoing it if you know you won’t get full benefit out of it (I see this on Iron Quon with Shadowfiend — it comes off CD right before the first storm in P2 for me, usually, so I save it). Another factor is knowing how close you are to having Hero/BL/TW being popped Because those last 40sec and PI lasts 20sec, if PI is off CD and you know that you’ll have BL occurring somewhere between 20 and 100sec out (think: Sated/Exhaustion debuff for a second lust, or a phase change with a timer), it may behoove you to save it for that.

      Sadly, there isn’t a clear-cut answer. A lot of it is situation dependent.

      • I don’t think that’s sad at all, actually. That’s my favorite part of the new talent system! There’s a game within the game again. Different fights have different mechanics which call for different optimal usage… I kind of love it.

  5. Hello, i play troll Spriest, and am getting irritated by the fact that zerking has a 3 min CD and PI a 2 min CD, Obviously going goblin is out of the question due to the 5% beast damage from trolls, but would you reccomend saving PI to use in conjunction with zerking, or to simply use both on cooldown? (ofc if the situation allows)

  6. Pingback: Shadow 5.3 Best in Slot List (With LMG) – Updated May 20, 2013 | Shadow Orbs and Mind Spikes

  7. Would ignoring all bonus that aren’t haste or int over 60 while geming be a mistake? I’m running quick sun’s where ever possible as of right now. Sitting at ~40% at 522ilvl.

    • IMO, yes it would be a mistake. The only exception to this would possibly be +120 spirit or +120 mastery if the sockets themselves aren’t that great and you’re having trouble ditching excess spirit.

  8. If we’re hit capped and can’t reforge any more, should we gem Quick in red sockets that provide a spirit/hit socket bonus or stick with Reckless?

    What about the single blue sockets?

    • If the single blue socket provides 60 of a secondary stat (Haste/Mastery/Spirit/Crit), gem that Quick. Tied with that is your example of +60spirit reds being gemmed Quick.

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