Priestly Kites

One of the things we as priests don’t practice much – if at all – is kiting.  The reason is pretty simple – we’re not built for it.  We don’t have spells or talents to slow down the mob – no getaways, no nothing, or so the theory goes.  Well…. not true.

Next time you’re feeling fresh and foolish, kite something.  You need two spells, total.

Shadow word: Pain.

Psychic Scream.

Now let’s examine some critical things about which you need to be aware.  First and foremost – killing a mob with SW:P is a forever kind of task.  And while it’s dying it’s going to try its best to take you with it – to make you make the pain stop.  (won’t help, of course – a dot is a dot is a dot.)  Which means you can stand and take it, you can cause the mob to go elsewhere, or you can run.  And since this is kiting, we’re running.  Which brings us to the second point.

Mobs just seem to be faster.  Some really are – especially if they’re higher level.  Most of the ground gained, however, happens because they choose the optimal path toward you, while you have to dodge gaps in obstacles and other mobs.  You run an s-curve, the mob goes straight… you’re caught.  So the first thing you have to do if you’re going to kite is check your path — make sure it’s straight, and if it’s not straight make sure the mob has obstacles to dodge just as you have to dodge them.

You can also pick up things to make you run just a little bit faster.  Trinkets and enchants, oh my.

But even with that sort of help, you have some solutions.  In your case – psychic scream.  Yep, causes the mob to flee in fear.  Now there are two potential problems with this – more reasons you shouldn’t be kiting most of the time.  First, you can’t control the direction of the fleeing mob.  Which means he could run in panic the same way you’re going.  If you don’t think that’s frustrating…  of course, you could just reverse direction.  The risk in doing that lies in the second problem with fear — the direction he’s going could be into some other mobs, which decide to JOIN the party.   If you’ve gotten away from similar mobs this may not happen – but it’s still a risk.

On the other hand, you’ve got a small advantage for kiting.  It’s one most kiting classes would give a lot to have.  You do not have to be facing your target.  See, the way most kiting classes work is that you tap the mob, run a ways, jump-turn or strafe to tap again, and repeat.  They’re doing this additional damage for two reasons.  First, they want to further damage the mob.  Second, they want the mob to keep pursuing.  Run long enough and the mob gives up – unless it’s hit again.  You can tap the mob every 15 seconds or so with SW:P without turning around – an instant of time saved.  You can do the same with your psychic scream.

If you decide to kite, I have a small recommendation.  Open your key bindings, and find the line for “flip camera”.  Bind something – maybe the center button of your mouse – to it.  This way you can look behind you without having to turn around.  As you’re running look behind and then look ahead – making sure the mob is still pursuing while not so close it’s time to scream.  Of course, if you’re not sure you could just pop your shield when you think it’s too close and then scream just before it fades.

If you decide to kite a mob, you’ll need at least three and as many as six casts of SW:P to kill it.  That’s a minute to a minute and a half of running.  With practice – and given certain mobs – you can use lesser pains to keep the race going longer, dragging that mob somewhere unexpected.  Please be advised that Blizzard has decided to frown on kiting Stitches to Goldshire (as an example), but it is doable.

Kiting.  Slowly killing a mob that’s pursuing you, leading it where YOU want to fight.  It’s actually fun once you master it.  Useless the vast majority of the time for both shadow and holy, but still a skill worth putting under your belt.

~ by Kirk on December 10, 2007.

4 Responses to “Priestly Kites”

  1. I’ve been reading your blog since I started to level my priest a short time ago. First, I have to say, its fantastic! Keep up the great work, especially with the Macro lessons, they’re a life-saver.

    I’ve been leveling my priest in the shadow tree but eventually plan to switch to healing when I get close to 70. Something I’ve found with kiting mobs for a shadow priest, is that Mind Flay helps a great deal. While you can’t always control the direction a mob flees after a Psychic Scream, often enough throwing a Mind Flay will cause it to change direction and slow its run speed. Both are invaluable.

    Keep up the great work.

  2. Kiting is an awesome, but I think you are missing 1 other very important spell, possibly 2.

    That other very important spell is your ever loving bubble (for extra protection) and then if your even luckier you get to use Elune’s Grace (to add to your avoidance skills).

  3. I am curious tho, does hitting the mob with any spell keep it tagged? For instance can I toss up a VE and do no damage at all but still keep it coming or does the spell have to do damage. If so psychic scream, dispel and VE will also work in your kiting endeavors. It’s pretty easily tested, it just occured to me now and I can’t test it, lol.

    Some other racials are the undead self buff (cannot remember the name), it requires you getting hit, that does dmg and reduces dmg done and their devouring plague, trolls has the lightning shield (also requires you to get hit), blood elves have their Arcane Torrent (requires closer range than fear I think) and theres probably more I’m just getting lazy.

  4. noobspriest – of what I’ve tried, the rule seems to be if it generates threat it tags.

    Mojo and Hikkup – yep. Though (Hikkup) please note I tried to write this for both sides of the shadeline.

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