- "Some priests heal; others enhance. I, however, melt faces!" —Omedus the Punisher
Mind Flay is generally the 'filler' in any Shadow priest's rotation. It deals damage fairly slowly and requires the priest to remain stationary while channeling it.
In a standard Shadow priest rotation, Mind Flay should only be used once all DoTs have been applied, and while is on cooldown. Mind Flay is far less effective than any of these abilities, and should be broken-off mid-cast if necessary in order to utilize one of them.
Generally, when taking a 'burst' approach to damage-dealing, Mind Flay is superseded by , which deals slightly more damage in the same space of time. Talents can further improve Mind Spike for burst damage, but because it removes DoTs, it is not usually employed for prolonged periods of attack, rather representing an entirely alternative approach to dealing damage.
Mind Flay has four main strengths:
- Its 50% snare effect makes it effective for slowing fleeing targets. This can allow teammates to reach them and finish them, or simply slow a flag-carrier's progress across the field in a battleground. Since Mind Flay has no cooldown, this effect can be channeled continuously as long as the target is within range and in line of sight. When attempting to deal quick damage to a fleeing target, by increasing the length of time that the target remains in range, Mind Flay can be considered to be more effective in the amount of damage it deals, potentially exceeding 's output in that situation.
- As a channeled ability, Mind Flay can be used to continue to deal damage to (and snare) targets even after that target has moved out of the priest's line of sight. When a target is about to move behind an obstacle or similar, priests can use Mind Flay to continue to deal damage to and snare them for a little longer. Mind Flay's effectively instant cast also makes this possible in situations where there would not be time to cast Mind Spike or Mind Blast. This also makes Mind Flay very effective when dealing with melee classes such as rogues, who will run closely around the priest while attacking, making it near impossible to cast spells that require line of sight (, ). Although not the most powerful attack, when casting other spells is difficult at best, Mind Flay can be used to deal constant damage.
- Mind Flay has no cooldown and can be used in combination with DoTs. This makes it the ideal (and almost only) attack to use when all DoTs have been applied and other abilities such as are on cooldown.
- Since Mind Flay does not deal damage instantly, it is also possible to use Mind Flay to pull targets from a distance without damaging them. Simply cancel the channel once the target has aggroed, but before the first tick of damage is dealt.
- Its debuff has no classification, hence it cannot be dispelled.
- When attacking a druid with Mind Flay, shapeshifting cancels it.
- Similarly, if the target uses a PvP trinket, it removes Mind Flay, due to the snare.
- Mind Flay does additional threat. This is most likely due to its snare.
- This spell is popularly referred to as the "face melter" due to the ray that usually targets the opponent's face.
"Melt Face" in the TCG.
Patches and hotfixes
- Hotfix (2017-06-13): "
- Damage increased by 18%.
- Damage increased by 40% in PvP situations."
- Patch 7.1.5 (2017-01-10):
- Hotfix (2016-09-26): "Mind Flay damage increased by 20%."
- Patch 7.0.3 (2016-07-19): Damage increased by 122%. Mana cost removed.
- Patch 6.2.2 (2015-09-01): Now deals 20% more damage.
- Patch 6.0.2 (2014-10-14): Now changes to Insanity upon using while talented into Solace and Insanity.
- Patch 4.2.0 (2011-06-28): Mind Flay damage done has been increased by 12%.
- Patch 4.1.0 (2011-04-26): Should no longer lose a tick of damage when the last tick is clipped by another Mind Flay cast.
- Patch 3.3.0 (2009-12-08): The range of this ability has been increased to 30 yards, up from 20.
- Patch 3.0.8 (2009-01-20): Fixed a bug with targeting where you would not deal damage if not facing the target while channeling. Also corrected an issue where the damage from this ability was slightly delayed.
- Patch 3.0.2 (2008-10-14): Can now periodically critically hit. The spell coefficient has been increased approximately 30%.
- Patch 1.6.0 (2005-07-12): Will now cause damage to targets immune to movement slowing effects.
- Patch 1.4.0 (2005-05-05): Should now be affected by the talent.