Dispersing Into Shadow
Hello everyone, sorry for the gap in between my posting, life has been a bit hectic as of late. Today, I want to highlight the 31 point shadow priest ability, Dispersion, and how it can be used for maximum effect in raiding Dragon Soul on heroic difficulty.
Even since its debut into shadow priest tree, I am still underwhelmed with its spot at being the final tier talent in a dps tree. Without exception, every other dps spec has a damage dealing or increasing talent as their 31 point talent, which in essence will become irrelevant once Mists of Pandaria hits, but lets see how we can use ours to its best possible effect right now.
There are two times and abilities for where you can disperse and save yourself from taking a lot of damage. The first being on any of the stomps, this would be the second best choice to use due to the fact you are not moving during stomps, and the other and preferable choice would be soaking a crystal. Not only are you moving, which negates the use of three of your damage spells, but it will also hit for a bit more than the stomp due to the cap of 7 people per crystal (and also distance to the crystal doing more or less damage).
Depending how your strategy works, your best time to use this on the fight may be never, if your group splits into two and bounces the void between the melee and ranged/healers. If you run a strategy like we do, and use one person to soak it, you will more than likely end up being called upon to use your dispersion to bounce the ball back to the boss by yourself. And you will need to do it every time between a normal phase and a black phase.
*Note – You will need to have the Glyph of Dispersion for this, substitute it for the Glyph of Shadow Word: Death*
There is really no good time to use Dispersion here. Your best bet would be to use it after the mana void removes all of your mana. A good trick to making sure you have some mana after tat would be to use archangel after the debuff expires, restoring you to 25% mana, or using SW:D right as the debuff timer reads zero, so that when it expires, your masochism talent will refund you back to 10% mana. Since there isn’t a high amount of burst hitting you at any time in this fight, use your best judgment for when you should use your cooldown for the benefit of your healers.
There are a few spots here where Dispersion really helps out. Using it in your line at any point where the lightning is coming out from the conductor will dramatically cut down your damage taken, I, however, use it as a bypass to a slowing mechanic. When Hagara goes into her ice phase the bubble around her will greatly slow you and cause you to take some decent frost damage, by using Dispersion here you can get to the middle much quicker by ignoring the slow mechanic, and also take 90% less damage from 3 ticks of the drowning debuff. This will allow you to get your dots up on all 4 pillars much quicker, which in turn will provide some more passive healing through VE, and a shorter ice phase.
An almost no-brainer here, if you are one of the fifteen people assigned to take hour of twilight, you will be using it then, if not…. uh… you should probably not use it at all, in case someone from that first group of 15 dies and you end up needing to cover for their spot.
There are quite a few possibilities for using Dispersion here. If you get caught soaking a smaller twilight barrage alone, this will help turn that 140k hit into 14k, also for absorbing the much larger Twilight Onslaught, it will turn an 80k hit into 8k. For Twilight Onslaught, there is a solid chance you will probably also be moving (much like Morchok) and you will be limited to your instant casts, make the most of this to reduce your damage taken and get some mana back. A good time to use dispersion also happens in phase two of the fight. If you find yourself out of position and caught in the middle of his shockwave, use it right before the shockwave goes off and you’ll only take 9k as opposed to 90k, you will still be stunned however. Also, if your unlucky enough to be too close to him when he does his deafening shout, you may get silenced for 8 seconds, which is a good time to disperse and make the most out of doing nothing.
Spine of Deathwing
The one fight where your 31 point cooldown is really going to shine. I have debated glyphing it over SW:D but have decided against it for now. There are not a lot of opportunities to use this due to the nature of the fight being consistently high damage to shorten the fight. But there is one really good use for your dispersion, and that’s for fiery grip. Combined wit the Searing Plasma debuff, it can waylay you to shreds if not dealt with quickly. Being that your stunned, what can you do on your own to help this? Dispersion will cut 90% of the fiery grip, searing plasma, and any burst damage from the corrupted bloods that may happen in tat time frame. Lets take a look at fiery grip more in depth:
While that block may be skewed due to the nature of me being in only half of the night for those attempts, the one thing that should stand out is the average damage taken by ticks of fiery grip. Compared to the average of 46,098 per tick on the raid, well timed dispersions dropped that to 14,948. Your dispersion SHOULD ALWAYS be used for this since you can literally do nothing else, except click the lightwell. *cough* Granted, you may get some bad luck and get back to back grips, in which case you can do nothing about it.
Madness of Deathwing
Most cases of using dispersion here will come later on in the fight. A good time to use it would be when a bolt hits (without the slowing effect), or when your dream is on cooldown and your about to get either A) Shrapnel or B) the blistering tentacles are out. Again, like Yor’shaj, use it with your best discretion.
- A good rule of thumb, in most cases you will be using dispersion to minimize damage, not get mana back as the primary reason for casting it. To help maximize your dps, have a cancel aura macro ready so you can continue to dps uninhibited.
- Team First, Individual Second. Think about what you can do to ensure the greatest chance of your raid surviving on your own end.
- Help your healers out. They will thank you.