Thursday, August 5, 2010

Beta 12694 Talent Builds

The talent trees had gone through a lot of changes since my last post. I have been holding off on commenting on them until now because they look very unfinished, especially the holy tree. However, the latest beta build gave me some ideas, so here is a post on what I think so far.

Before I start, let's refresh our memory on the principle changes of the talent tree design in Cataclysm.

Available talent points have been reduced to 41 points, averaging 1 point per 2 levels. You must put at least 31 points in a single tree before the other trees are unlocked and available to you. This means any previously viable hybrid spec xx/28/0 or alike will no longer be allowed in the game.

So what does this mean to Smite priest? I think devastation was my first thought. But really, it only means one thing - Power Infusion is no longer available to the standard Smite spec, a major dps loss.

PI had been in the Smite spec since TBC. They removed Searing Light, they removed Enlightenment, they removed all the hit and pushback talents last build, but none of that concerned me as much as this change. What sadden me is that this change is pretty much irreversible due to tree balancing. Shadow priest must not have access to PI because it will make them overpowered. Therefore, PI will most likely remain where it is in tier 3 or even deeper tier until launch.

Aside from the bad news, what is new? Well, as of today it seems Veiled Shadow will now be available to Smite priests, so I predict we can kiss our mana issue goodbye.

Build I: Standard Smite 8/31/2

Holy Tree

The top part of the tree is pretty much free territory. I'm not a fan of renew myself so I placed all the points into talents that improves direct healing. Improved Holy Nova, Body and Soul, and the new Surge of Light will make this an affective AoE farming build. 31 points will also ensure solid healing should you wish to take on that role.

Shadow Tree

Two points in Veiled Shadow will reduce the cooldown of Shadowfiend by 2 minutes. Three minutes Shadowfiend will make life a LOT easier on our mana so rejoice.

Discipline Tree

Not much to be said here except that there is simply not enough points to fill every talent we need. Archangel will give us solid mana back when we are really in trouble. It's great for farming but for serious dps, I don't see us using it often because it removes our dps buff.

On the side note, I think a discipline pvp build with 3 minutes Shadowfiend will be one sick experience in arena or battleground. Shadow priest with Archangel will also be very fun to play. I think Blizzard did promise %Spirit to %Hit conversion talent so there is still hope for a solid Smite build, but for now, I hope they don't butcher anything else next patch.