Shadow Priest PvE Guide (WoW Legion 7.3.5)
- Main abilities
- Artifact and Relics
- Netherlight Crucible
- Set bonuses
Let’s take a closer look at the weakest and the strongest aspects of this specialization:
- Wonderful multi-dot allowing to deal damage to dissociated targets;
- Almost no AoE;
- Long damage dealing acceleration.
Basic information on the spec:
A Shadow Priest has 2 resources. Mana – the one all specs of the current class have. Shadow uses this resource for various auxiliary and healing spells. Their main resource, however, is Insanity. All the key attacking abilities generate this resource. It is spent with an accelerating rate once you enter Voidform.
(Area of Effect) is basically the area where this of that effect is actuated regardless of whether its damage or healing. This command is usually used to act in a team/raid on several targets. It is also used to describe any ability of a Boss with the aforementioned effect.
Buff stands for any positive effect. Always reflected to the left of the mini-map, by its upper edge.
Burst is an ability to do – in multiple ways – massive damage within a short period of time.
Gear is what it is.
GCD (Global Cooldown) is the overall ability recovery time.
Debuff stands for negative effect. By default, it’ reflected to the left of the mini-map by its lower edge.
DoT stands for Damage over Time.
DPS (Damage per Second) is a measure that reflects the damage done within one second.
Cleave is an ability to damage secondary targets through damaging the main one with no (or minor) loss in the damage done to the main target.
Cooldown (often CD) primarily refers to the ability recovery time. Can be often applied to bursts and various protective abilities.
Melee and Range. Melee is the close-range combat zone, also used in the titles of all the classes and specs that do effective damage in this zone. Range usually refers to a zone that is not a close-range one and is used, respectfully, in the titles of all classes and specs that do effective damage remotely.
Trait is a name for the ‘talents’ your artifact has.
Mind Blast deals Shadow magic damage to a selected target and generates 15 Insanity. CD 9 secs.
Void Eruption costs 100 Insanity, deals Shadow magic damage to all the enemies hit with your Shadow Word: Pain or Vampiric Touch and activates Voidform. In Voidform, the ability is replaced with Void Bolt.
Void Bolt is an instant cast dealing Shadow magic damage to a selected target, and prolonging Shadow Word: Pain and Vampiric Touch by 3 secs on the selected target and all the enemies in close vicinity. Generates 16 Insanity. Restoring time 4.5 secs.
- The trait Mental Fortitude enables the excessive healing by Vampiric Touch apply a damage absorbing shield on you.
Mind Flay is a channel spell dealing damage over 3 secs and slowing the target down by 50%. During its whole active period, generates 12 Insanity.
Shadow Word: Pain is an instant spell dealing minor Shadow magic damage, and more damage over the following 18 secs. Generates 4 Insanity.
Shadow Word: Death instant deals major Shadow magic damage to a target. Applied to the targets with 20% or less HP. Generates 15 Insanity. If the spell kills the target, it generates 30 Insanity. 2 charges. CD 9 secs.
Void Torrent allows you to cast a channel 4-sec long spell which deals Shadow magic damage to the selected target. Maintaininf this spell does not spend Insanity.
Shadowfiend summons a familiar who’s going to attack your target for 12 secs. CD 3 min.
Shadowform, once activated, increases the whole Shadow magic damage delivery by 10% and reduces the incoming physical damage by 10%.
Mind Sear makes your Mind Flay, once cast on a target tagged with your Shadow Word: Pain, deal minor Shadow magic damage to all the closest targets. Each target hit like this generates you 1 Insanity.
Voidform is triggered upon a successful utilization of Void Eruption. This form replaces Shadowform increasing your shadow magic damage by 25%, reducing the restoring time for youe Mind Blast by 3 secs, and increasing your Haste by 1% per sec. When you’re in this form, your Insanity level will drop at an increasing pace until it’s at 0 after which your Voidform will be over, and your Shadowform will be back.
- The trait Mass Hysteria increases the damage by your Shadow Word: Pain and Vampiric Touch by 2% once a second. The effect sums up until you exit Voidform.
- The trait Sphere of Insanity enables your Void Bolt, Mind Blast and Mind Flay deal 5% of their damage to all the enemies subject to your Shadow Word: Pain.
Shadowy Apparitions make the critical strikes by your Shadow Word: Pain‘s periodic effect summon a shadowy spirit which flies slowly to the target. Once the spirit reaches the target, they deliver minor Shadow magic damage.
- The trait Unleash the Shadows enables your Vampiric Touch‘s critical strikes, with the probability of 15% per 1 point, generate Shadowy Apparitions.
- The trait Lash of Insanity allows your Void Tendrils generate 3 Insanity every time they deal damage.
Vampiric Embrace enables you for 15 secs to restore the closest ally Health equal to 40% of the damage you are dealing with your single target spells. CD 3 min.
Dispersion transforms you into a ‘cloud for 6 secs. In this form, you take 60% less damage but you lose the ability to attack and cast any spells. Can be used when stunned, numbed or feared. Casting this spell also cancels any movement-impairing effects on you, it also makes you immune to them for the whole active period of Dispersion. During this action while in Voidform, your Insanity is not spent.
- The trait Thrive in the Shadows allows you to restore 50% of your max HP count over the whole active period of the spell.
- The trait From the Shadows reduces the restoring time of your Dispersion by 10 secs per 1 point.
Power Word: Shield allows you to tag an ally or yourself with a damage absorbing effect which can absorb a medium amount of damage. The shield’s active time – 15 secs. CD 7.5 secs.
Shadow Mend restores medium HP to an ally but leaves behind an effect which deals damage once a sec for 10 secs or until the target leaves combat. The damage equals 50% of the healing produced.
Fade annuls your menaces for 10 secs. CD 30 secs.
Silence tags your target with numbness for 5 secs. If the target is not a player, a successful cast interruption would prevent the target from casting another spell from the same school for 3 secs.
Mind Vision enables you to see the world with your selected target’s eyes for 1 min.
Resurrection allows you to resurrect an ally out of combat.
Mind Control allows you to control one selected enemy if their level is no more than 1 point higher than yours. The spell can be used on any enemy except for demons, mechanisms and the undead. It is on the same diminishing as disorientation effects.
Levitate allows you to tag a friendly target with a positive effect for 10 min which enables them to float in the air above the ground, the water, and reduces the falling speed. Any incoming damage cancels the effect.
Mass Dispel allows you to cancel all the negative effects on 5 allies and 1 positive effect on 5 enemies within the area with 15 m of radius. Allows to dispel special spells which may not be subject to regular dispels. CD 15 secs.
Psychic Scream makes 5 enemies within the range of 8 m run away in terror for 8 secs which is a disorientation effect. CD 1 min.
Purify Disease cancels all the disease effects on an ally. CD 8 secs.
Dispel Magic cancels 1 positive magic effect on your enemy.
Shackle Undead allows you to paralyze an Undead enemy for 50 secs. Any damage dealt to the target cancels this effect. Only one enemy can be subject to the spell at a time.
General information. On achieving several new levels you’ll get access to new talent ‘Tiers’. Talents may have different effect on abilities: add new features, replace old ones, modify passively different effects and spells. Talents can be changed in Sanctuaries or any recreational zones. However, if you don’t have any of those places nearby you can use the Codex of the Tranquil Mind which allows you to switch channels within a minute. You can’t change talents in combat. You can’t change a talent if the talent you’ve picked in the last Tier is on Cooldown. You’ll have to wait until it’s restored first.
Tier 1. Lvl 15
- Twist of Fate. Applying attacking spells on targets with below 35% Health, you get a 10-sec buff increasing all your outgoing damage by 20% and also increasing the efficiency of your healing by 20%.
- Fortress of the Mind. Mind Flay and Mind Blast deal 10% more damage and generate 20% more Insanity.
- Shadow Word: Void. The spell deals medium Shadow magic damage. Has a 1.5-sec cast. Generates 25 Insanity. Has 3 charges. CD 20 secs.
Tier 2. Lvl 30.
- Mania. Every 3 Insanities make your moving speed grow by 1%.
- Body and Soul. Power Word: Shield also increases your target’s moving speed by 40% for 3 secs.
- Masochism. When using Shadow Mend on yourself, its periodic effect now restores Health and reduces the incoming damage by 10%.
* Your default pick would be Body and Soul.
Mania can be used at a pretty high ilvl with a high Haste Rating as Voidform‘s uptime with high Insanity rates is great.
Masochism is good for constant damage reduction.
Tier 3. Lvl 45.
- Mind Bomb. Replaces Psychic Scream. Tags the target with a respective effect which, in 2 secs or upon the death of the target, explodes and stuns all the enemies within the range of 8 m for 4 secs.
- Psychic Voice. Reduces the CD for your Psychic Scream by 30 secs.
- Dominant Mind. Allows you to control your character during mind control effects thus making the controlled target your familiar for 2 min. Doesn’t work against players.
* Mind Bomb is the best choice for most situations, because having a mass stun can come in handy quite often. It also helps you trigger Sephuz’s Secret per CD.
Dominant Mind is hardly every useful.
Psychic Voice is never used.
Tier 4. Lvl 60.
- Lingering Insanity. Once you’re out of your Voidform, your Haste bonus would go down by 2% per sec instead of vanishing right away.
- Reaper of Souls. Shadow Word: Death now can be cast on targets with HP at 35% and below, and the Insanity generation would always be as if the spell had killed the target.
- Void Ray. Every time your Mind Flay or Mind Sear deal damage, they deliver 10% more of it for 6 secs. Stacked up to 4 times.
* Lingering Insanity is your default pick. Goes perfectly well with Legacy of the Void which allows it to have quite a long-lasting and massive Haste bonus.
Reaper of Souls should be used in case you are using Surrender to Madness.
Void Ray is not currently used in any of the situations.
Tier 5. Lvl 75.
- San’layn. Increases damage by Vampiric Touch by 20% and increases your healing efficiency by 20%, too.
- Auspicious Spirits. Shadowy Apparitions deal 100% more damage and generate 3 Insanity.
- Shadowy Insight. Whenever Shadow Word: Pain deals periodic damage, there is a 10% chance that the remaining restoring time for your Mind Blast is finished instantly, and the spell can be cast instantly.
* Auspicious Spirits is the only talent on his Tier that’s ever used.
San’layn can be interesting for heavy multi-DoT encounters with very high haste raiting.
Shadowy Insight is not currently used in any of the situations.
Tier 6. Lvl 90.
- Power Infusion. Increases your Haste by 25% and Insanity generation by 25%. Active for 20 secs. CD 2 min
- Misery. Vampiric Touch also tags the target with Shadow Word: Pain.
- Mindbender. Replaces Shadowfiend. Summons, for 15 secs, a Guardian which would attack your target. Every attack generates 8 Insanity.
* Mindbender is the most effective talent on a single target and a small cleave as it allows you to stay in Voidform for longer.
Power Infusion could be interesting when playing with Surrender to Madness.
Misery might be effective on a large number of targets, sometimes used in Mythic+.
Tier 7. Lvl 100.
- Legacy of the Void. Void Eruption now can be cast with at least 65 Insanity. Voidform inreases your Shadow magic damage dealing by additional 5%.
- Shadow Crash. Throws a slow-moving energy bolt into a selected point. Upon landing, deals minor Shadow magic damage to all the enemies within that area. Generates 15 Insanity. CD 30 secs.
- Surrender to Madness. All abilities generate 100% more Insanity and spells can be cast on the go until your Voidform is over. After you are out of your Voidform, you die.
* Legacy of the Void is the best talent in most cases. It allows you to keep your Voidform‘s uptime high which leads to a high uptime for the Haste boost.
Surrender to Madness is relevant for very short combats or ones where you need to deal massive damage during the last phases. This would deprive you of a lot of damage over the course of combat, though.
Shadow Crash looks terrible in any scenario, even with a huge AoE.
So, we can boil it all down to the following builds:
- Twist of Fate
- Body and Soul
- Mind Bomb
- Lingering Insanity
- Auspicious Spirits
- Legacy of the Void
Short combats with bosses, through Surrender to Madness:
- Twist of Fate
- Body and Soul
- Mind Bomb
- Reaper of Souls
- Auspicious Spirits
- Power Infusion
- Surrender to Madness
Unlike talents, in the weapons branch there is no choice of what you can and what you can’t take. With the current Artifact Knowledge, the order of artifact acquisition is insignificant as to open all the traits, you only need to earn 2.23 billion artifact power which is extremely easy to do just over the first few minutes after you’ve reached level 110.
The current spec is using 2 Shadow and 1 Blood relics.
Here are the traits listed with their weapon ilvl equivalent:
- Fiending Dark 3.5
- Creeping Shadows 2.4
- Mind Shattering 2.1
- To the Pain 2.1
- Touch of Darkness 2
- Unleash the Shadows 1.8
The traits that are not mentioned here may be considered equal to zero.
If you face situations where you’re not sure, we recommend you use the raidbots.com web-site which has a convenient interface for figuring out if it’s worth replacing Relic A with Relic B.
Tier 1 of any relic allows you to increase your weapon’s ilvl by 5 points.
Tier 2. Here you face your first crucial choice between Light and Dark. This Tier’s choice is basically
- Torment the Weak, Shadowbind 5.5
- Chaotic Darkness 5
- Secure in the Light, Infusion of Light 4.2
- Dark Sorrows 3.8
- Shocklight 3.5
- Murderous Intent, Master of Shadows, Light Speed 3
Tier 3. Like it said before, in Tier 2 the traits may be equal in their value to those of Tier 3
The traits that are not mentioned here may be considered equal to zero.
If you are using CrucibleWeight you can import this string into the game:
cruweight^128827^ilvl^1^193644^2.08 6:4.24 7:6.4^252799^3.55^252922^3.78^252875^5.48^253093^4.12^194093^1.77 6:3.42 7:4.52^252088^3.0^193643^2.11 6:4.22 7:6.35^252906^5.52^193645^0.04 6:0.12 7:0.16^194002^2.41 6:4.95 7:7.39^194007^1.98 6:4.0 7:5.99^194016^-0.08 6:-0.11 7:-0.22^252888^4.96^252091^2.83^238065^3.52 6:6.5 7:9.35^253070^4.16^252191^2.97^end
cruweight^128827^ilvl^1^193644^1.64 6:1.64 7:1.45^252799^3.47^252922^2.74^252875^5.93^253093^4.55^194093^1.41 6:1.35 7:0.92^252088^3.37^193643^2.58 6:2.41 7:2.2^252906^6.08^193645^0.08 6:0.04 7:0.06^194002^2.47 6:2.27 7:2.37^194007^1.68 6:1.56 7:1.58^194016^0.05 6:0.03 7:0.01^252888^5.37^252091^2.63^238065^4.55 6:3.8 7:2.93^253070^4.55^252191^2.97^end
Surender to madness:
cruweight^128827^ilvl^1^193644^1.61 6:1.73 7:1.78^252799^3.09^252922^2.46^252875^5.63^253093^4.38^194093^1.17 6:1.23 7:0.63^252088^3.35^193643^2.36 6:2.6 7:2.32^252906^5.74^193645^0.01 6:0.27 7:0.11^194002^2.38 6:2.41 7:2.38^194007^1.77 6:1.78 7:1.76^194016^0.12 6:-0.17 7:0.03^252888^5.1^252091^2.66^238065^3.27 6:2.25 7:2.24^253070^4.42^252191^2.86^end
A Shadow Priest has access to the total of 14 Legendaries.
Let’s single out the best and the good Legendaries:
Sephuz’s Secret gives you, passively, 2% Haste and 10% moving speed. The proc that can be triggered with your interruptions, stuns or fear increases Haste by additional 25%, and the moving speed by 70%. Best legendary.
Prydaz, Xavaric’s Magnum Opus gives you a huge number of stats and allows you to get a damage absorbing shield for 25% of your max Health once every 30 secs. In terms of DPS it does lose a bit to other Legendaries, but its defensive effect can be extremely useful when exploring new bosses, ot on high-level Mythic+, when survival > DPS.
Zeks Exterminatus grants your Shadow Word: Pain‘s damage dealing a certain chance to make Shadow Word: Death applicable to any target regardless of their Health level, and to empower its damage by 1005.
Kil’jaeden’s Burning Wish has a huge number of stats; active utilizing of this accessory allows you to deal massive AoE damage. A good Legendary.
Insignia of the Grand Army empowers the traits on Tier 2 of the Netherlight Crucible.
Celumbra, the Night’s Dichotomy is a craft Legendary. Okay for fresh characters if you’re willing to put in the gold and the agents for creating it. Replaced as soon as you receive the first two Legendaries.
If you’ve got different Legendaries out of the first list and want to figure out which one of them would be better for you, we recommend you use Simcraft.
The damage dealing model with Shadow Priest looks as follows: there are 2 phases – during the first one you generate Insanity, in the second one you activate Voidform and try to keep it on for as long as possible. A grand share of the damage dealing are DoTs which helps you deal major damage to several long-living targets. This advantage is particularly obvious as compared to the others when you have targets located remotely from each other.
Insanity generation phase:
1. Mind Blast per CD.
3. The rest of the time use Mind Flay.
Having collected 100 Insanity (or 65, if talented with Legacy of the Void), you can enter Voidform by using Void Eruption. From this moment on, you start spending your Insanity, and the spending is getting faster with every second you spend in the form; and Void Eruption is replaced with Void Bolt.
- Use Void Torrent, if your DoTs’ duration is 5+ secs.
- Void Bolt per CD.
- Mindbender at 20-25 stacks of Voidform (with 4t20 – at 30 stacks), if talented.
- Shadowfiend at 10+ stacks of Voidform.
- Shadow Word: Death. – 1 time, to avoid idling 2 charges. – 1 more time, to use it as a security policy, in case you have run out of means to maintain Voidform, and your Mind Blast should be on CD.
- Mind Blast.
- Maintain your Shadow Word: Pain and Vampiric Touch DoTs. – Prolonging your Void Bolt DoT should be enough, but under the risk of losing one of the DoTs, you need to apply them manually.
- Mind Flay, if all the above is done.
If you’re combatting against several targets, maintain DoTs on all of the reachable long-living targets (long-living = 20+ secs). Keep in mind that in Voidform your Void Bolt prolongs your DoTs on all the enemies within the 8-m range around the main target which allows you to clear up a huge number of GCD for maintaining DoT. The rest of the priorities coincide with those for single target.
If your targets are short-living, maintain the DoTs only on the main target which should be later hit with Mind Flay.
Shadowfiend and Mindbender should be utilized as frequently as possible and only during active Voidform. They should also intersect with various enhancements of Haste Rating, for example,Power Infusion, Bloodlust / Heroism, a huge number of Voidform stacks etc.
Void Torrent is also to be used as frequently as possible, and only from Voidform, because it deals more damage on its own, plus it helps prolong the form as it does not spend Insanity for its operation. The same relation to Void Torrent is that of the Haste rating, as Haste increases the number of ticks of his spell. This, in its turn, helps it deal more damage. One more thing that’s important is a particular ability when playing with Surrender to Madness.
You should use:
– If your DoTs on the target have 5+ secs of duration.
– You are not planning to trigger Surrender to Madness for another minute.
Apart from being a very potent defensive cooldown, Dispersion is also a great DPS cooldown – it does not allow your Insanity to be spent during the whole duration of it effect which is also crucial when playing with Surrender to Madness.
This talent may cause multiple questions.
To provide that talent’s max uptime, you need to know how to utilize Void Torrent correctly, leave Dispersion as a DPS cooldown; and you should also understand how much time your fight with your boss is going to be over in. You should also check your own abilities so that you clearly understand for how long you can stay in Surrender to Madness.
Your priorities are the same as usual, with a minor exception. You aer bound to stack up an enormous Haste Rating which means you can switch to the following arrangement as soon as at 122%:
- Void Bolt;
- Mind Blast;
- Void Bolt;
- Filler (could be Shadow Word: Death, Shadow Word: Void or Mind Flay);
Order of actions:
- Renew DoTs on the target.
- Surrender to Madness.
- Void Eruption.
- Void Torrent.
- Void Bolt.
- Then, we go back to the regular priorities.
- Void Torrent, as soon as it restores.
- Power Infusion, as soon as you need it.
- Dispersion, as soon as you need it.
The basic priority rating for the characteristics is as follows:
Haste > Crit > Mastery > Versatility > Intellect
The last 3 characteristics are quite close to each other. That’s why is recommended, once you receive new equipment, you use Simcraft or Raidbots.com. There is no way to get a more precise answer to which stat to focus on first, but through a simulation.
Based on the aforementioned characteristics and results of your character’s own simulation results, you can draw conclusions on Gems, Chants and Raid Chemicals.
- Neck: Enchant Neck – Mark of the Claw.
- Ring: Enchant Ring – Binding of Haste.
- Cloak: Enchant Cloak – Binding of Intellect or old one, if your intellect weight is double less than haste
- Azshari Salad for Haste.
4. Flasks and Potions:
- Flask of the Whispered Pact, 1300 Intellect for 1 hour.
- Potion of Prolonged Power, 2500 Intellect for 1 min.
- 2 pieces: Whenever your Vampiric Touch deals damage, you accumulate 1 Insanity.
- 4 pieces: For 2.5 secs after taking Voidform, the restoring time of your Void Bolt is reduced by 100%.
- 2 pieces: Once your Mind Flay deals damage, your next Mind Blast deals 3% more damage and allows you to accumulate 1 more Insanity. The effect sums up, up to 10 times.
- 4 pieces: During Voidform, the speed of Insanity spending slows down 10%.
- 2 pieces: Additional damage delivered during Mind Flay and Mind Blast critical strikes grows by 50%.
- 4 pieces: Every charge of Voidform increases the probability of Mind Flay, Void Bolt and Mind Blast delivering a critical effect by 1%.
Kick with a modifier, with the Shift key held, the ability is applied on a remembered target, without – on the current one.
A macro for instant triggering of Dispersion
#showtooltip Dispersion /stopcasting /cast Dispersion