Well, after typing almost 3 paragraphs of info only to misclick and erase the whole thing, I'm going to try this again.....I fear that if it happens again, I may very well descend into a pit of madness and despair from which I may never escape. That being said.....here goes.
Shadow DPS in the new pre-cata patch has not had as many major changes as many of the other classes have. Of course there are no more sp gems, sp now comes with the int stat. The one loss that may be a bit of a problem initially for many shadow priests is the removal of the misery debuff, thus requiring that you be fully hit capped thru gear, gems, and/or enchants. Spirit is no longer a stat you will use in shadow gear, so if you still have some gear with spirit, either replace it, or reforge it to haste, hit, mastery, or whatever you happen to need, at this point in time, mastery doesn't scale well, hopefully this gets better at higher levels in Cata. The talent tree has been changed, but for the most part you will find the familiar spells there. My build seems to be the typical PVE build. http://www.wowarmory.com/character-talents.xml?r=Eredar&cn=Holyhuds&group=1
The new damage charge-up we get is called Shadow Orbs, and proc while casting certain spells. The more you stack, the more damage MB does, a max of 3 orbs can proc.
If you plan to PVP, you may want to spec into more of the CC abilities in our tree, i passed them up because I primarily PVE.
The rotation has really stayed the same, except for one notable thing...SW:D is back in!!! You still need to keep your DOTs up, keep MB on cd, and now you also want to keep SW:D on cd as well. If you glyph for it, once your target is below 25% you can spam SW:D with no cd, pretty nice dps boost, but make sure you don't kill yourself in the process, you still take dmg from SW:D if it's not a kill shot. Don't worry about getting 3 shadow orbs before you cast MB, you do more dps by keeping MB on cd than you would by waiting for the procs, and chances are, when you cast MB, there will still be an orb or two up anyways.
In my personal experience, I was well over hit cap, so I reforged for haste and a little extra mastery. The dps boost was significant to say the least. It would seem that haste is a real dps boost vs. crit and mastery at this point in time, the higher the haste, the more ticks your DOTs hit for. It will be interesting to see how our talents develop as Cata is released and we start hitting some of our higher level skills. For now it appears that we finally can do some quick burst damage, and do it early in the fight, instead of building up to it. Have fun melting faces!!!
Well, apparently all the work Blizz put into making SW:D a viable part of the rotation worked so well, that they nerfed the hell out of it (75% reduction in dmg). And once again, it is not part of the rotation. It is good to use once the target is below 25%, and you do get to cast it twice in succession if you are glyphed for it, but your dps will be higher if you keep it out of your rotation otherwise.
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