In build 8962, Dispersion was modified heavily. The damage reduction was increased back to 90%, it’s castable when stunned, feared, or silenced, and there’s now a spell damage buff at the end of it if you don’t take any damage.
Some factoids about the Buff
- The buff is called Dark Energy.
- If you apply Shadow Word: Pain when Dark Energy is active, and refresh your SW:P using Mind Flay instead of manually reapplying it, your SW:P ticks will be boosted by Dark Energy the entire fight.
- If you absorb damage (by using PW:S for example) you will not gain the Dark Energy buff
Blizzard got it Right
Let’s be absolutely clear what this means — dispersion is now an either/or spell. You can either use it to reduce incoming damage or to buff spell damage. You cannot have both.
And that’s precisely why I like it. This is a difficult talent to use to it’s fullest. Shadow priests are one of those classes that are easy to play, but very difficult to master. Ask anyone who has learned to precisely clip their Mind Flay ticks.
You know why I don’t have a high end raiding warlock right now? Because I would be so bored with the one-button Shadowbolt spam style of play.
I like to make snap decisions and think on my feet. It’s probably why the shadow priest spell priority system is so attractive to me. Instead of a standard rotation (like Mind Blast, 2x Mind Flay, Mind Blast, etc.), I’m re-evaluating my DoTs and cooldowns every single time I cast. Every time I cast Mind Blast, it’s because it is the best possible choice for me at this very moment, not because it’s time to hit button number 5 in my rotation.
Now, I’m looking at this from a raiding perspective because, well, that’s what I do.
With the new Dispersion, I have choices. I can tailor my use of the spell to the situation.
- Will my tanks be able to get threat quickly? I’ll cast Dispersion 6 seconds before the pull and melt faces from the outset, and have my SW:P ticking harder the entire fight.
- Do I need to do burst damage later in the fight (think Shade of Akama)? I’ll save Dispersion for then.
- Is this a fight where there will be unpredictable heavy raid damage? Use Dispersion to save your butt and “OMG, Get out of the fire!”
- Am I making a rare trip to the battlegrounds? I can save Dispersion to get away from those damn melee types.
Bravo, Blizz, for making this a game where I have to think. THAT is why I like Dispersion, and why that shiny icon with the purple swirls will have a permanent place on my bar.