Shadow Priest in Shadowlands
“Shadow” Priest — is a unique ranged unit who specializes in damage over time. In Shadowlands this spec has been changed radically, turning it from a multi DoT machine into a single-target turret.
This guide will show you how to utilize the changes to your advantage, which talents, covenants, soulbinds, and conduits to choose, which gear to collect, and hot to use your abilities to conquer DPS-meters.
The Shadow Priest has 2 resources. All class specs have Mana, “Shadow” uses it for various utility and healing spells. The main resource for dealing damage is Insanity. Most of the abilities are aimed at generating Insanity, and the strongest spells spend it.
- Low mobility
- Dispersion decreases incoming damage, but doesn’t make you completely immune
- In mixed raid battles can focus on only one task (e.g., improve AoE, but lose dps to a single target)
- Oddly enough, weak in multi DoT fights
About the author
Raider of the “Exorsus” guild — nurseos. I’ve been playing WoW since 2009. Since 2014 I regularly compete for top spots in raids, and took part in two WF in Legion. Multiclasser, played SP since 8.2, during the 4th BfA season had 3457 RIO. No open logs left, only one N’zoth farming recording. At the time had top-1 DPS among Shadow Priests in the world. You can always find me on twitch.tv, where I stream regularly and share my experience.
Mind Blast — this spell deals shadow damage to the target and generates 8 Insanity. CD 7.5 sec.
* With Dark Thoughts it’s used instantly. Can also be cast during Mind Flay or Mind Sear.
Void Eruption — deals shadow damage to all enemies in a 10 yd radius and activates Voidform. In this form the ability is replaced by Void Bolt.
Void Bolt — instant spell that deals shadow damage to the chosen target and increases the duration of Shadow Word: Pain and Vampiric Touch by 3 sec on them and all nearby enemies. Generates 5 Insanity. Available only in Voidform. CD 4.5 sec.
Devouring Plague — a short, powerful 6 sec DoT that costs 50 Insanity. If this effect is reapplied, any remaining damage will be added to the new Devouring Plague.
Vampiric Touch — deals shadow damage over 21 sec and heals you for 50% of damage dealt. If Vampiric Touch is dispelled, the dispeller flees in Horror for 3 sec.
Mind Flay — channelled spell that damages the target over 3 sec and reduces it’s movement speed by 50%. Generates 18 Insanity for the whole duration.
Mind Sear — the target emits pulses of dark energy, dealing shadow damage for 3 sec to all enemies within 10 yds. Generates 6 Insanity over the duration per target hit. Can be applied to an ally.
Shadow Word: Pain — instant spell that deals a small amount of shadow damage and additional shadow damage over 18 sec. Generates 4 Insanity.
Shadow Word: Death — instantly damages the target. If it survives, the caster takes the same amount of damage. Shadow Word: Death deals 150% more damage to targets below 20% health.
Shadowfiend — calls a minion that attacks your target for 12 sec. CD 3 min. Generates 3 Insanity each time the Shadowfiend attacks.
Shadowform — in this form all damage from spells is increased by 10%.
Mastery: Shadow Weaving — increases your damage by 4% for every DoT on the target. During Voidform, all targets receive the maximum effect.
Dark Thoughts — for each DoT on the target Mind Flay and Mind Sear have a 3% chance to activate Dark Thoughts. This grants you a charge of Mind Blast,makes it instant and allows it to be cast while channelling Mind Flay or Mind Sear.
Voidform — activated by casting Void Eruption. Replaces Shadowform, increases your shadow damage by 20% and grants an additional Mind Blast charge.
Shadowy Apparitions — when Shadow Word: Pain DoT critically strikes, you summon a shadowy version of yourself that floats towards the target and deals shadow damage.
Power Infusion — increases haste by 25% for 20 sec. Applicable to an ally. CD 2 min.
Vampiric Embrace — for 15 sec allows you to heal a nearby injured ally for 85% of any single-target shadow spell damage you deal. CD 2 min.
Dispersion — for 6 sec you become a “cloud”, reducing incoming damage by 75%, but making you unable to attack or cast spells. Castable while stunned, feared, or silenced. Increases movement speed by 50% and makes you immune to all movement impairing effects for the duration. While this effect is active during Voidform, your Insanity decreases 100% slower.
Power Word: Shield — grants a shield to you or your ally that absorbs a moderate amount of damage for 15 sec. CD 7.5 sec.
Shadow Mend — restores average amount of health to an ally, but applies DoT for 10 sec or until the end of combat. Damage is equal to 50% of healing.
Fade — removes all your threat for 10 sec. CD 30 sec.
Silence — silences the target for 4 sec. Against non-players it also interrupts spellcasting and prevents any spell in that school from being cast for 4 sec.
Mind Vision — allows the caster to see through the target’s eyes for 1 min.
Resurrection — resurrects an ally outside of combat.
Leap of Faith — for 2.6% mana pulls a party/raid member toward you. CD 1.5 min.
Mind Control — allows you to control one selected enemy, if their lvl is not higher than yours by more than 1. Doesn’t work on Demons, Undead, or Mechanical beings.
Levitate — buffs an ally for 10 min, allowing them to float above ground, travel over water, and granting slow fall. Any damage will cancel the effect.
Mass Dispel — for 8% mana dispels magic in a 15 yd radius, removing all harmful effects from 5 friendly targets and 1 beneficial effect from 5 enemy targets. This spell can remove unique effects that are normally undispellable. CD 15 sec.
Psychic Scream — instantly causes 5 enemies within 8 yds to flee for 8 sec, which is considered as a confusion effect. CD 1 min.
Purify Disease — removes all disease effects from a friendly target. CD 8 sec.
Dispel Magic — removes 1 beneficial effect from the enemy.
Shackle Undead — paralyzes an undead target for 50 sec. Any damage will cancel the effect. Limit 1.
Mind Soothe — soothes the target, reducing the range at which it will attack you by 10 yds. Only affects Humanoid and Dragonkin targets.
General information. On reaching several levels, you will open new Talent tiers. In each tier, you can choose one Talent at a time. Talents can affect your abilities in different ways: add new ones, replace old ones, passively modify various effects and spells. You can change Talents while you’re in Sanctums or in rest areas, but if there are no such places nearby, you can use Tome of the Still Mind, which allows you to change Talents within a minute. Note that Talents can’t be changed in combat. Also, if a Talent selected in a certain tier is on CD, you’ll have to wait for it to recharge in order to change it.
Tier 1 — 15 lvl. Talents that affect DPS
* Fortress of the Mind — default choice.
Death and Madness is useful during grinding, free roam, and fights with multiple targets that die quickly and often. Good choice for M+.
Unfurling Darkness is not used.
Tier 2 — 25 lvl. Survivability and mobility
* Body and Soul is the default choice usually.
San’layn can be used if the raid needs an additional heal and you don’t have to move as often.
Intangibility if you often need a powerful save.
Tier 3 — 30 lvl. Talents that affect DPS
* Twist of Fate is used in raids where you can easily trigger its effect.
Misery for multi DoT fights.
Searing Nightmare for AoE with 4+ enemies. Default for M+.
Tier 4 — 35 lvl. Control
- Last Word. Reduces the cooldown of Silence by 15 sec.
- Mind Bomb. Replaces Psychic Scream. Inflicts the target with a Mind Bomb. After 2 sec or if the target dies, it unleashes a psychic explosion, disorienting all enemies within 8 yds of the target for 6 sec.
- Psychic Horror. Terrifies the target in place, stunning them for 4 sec.
* Completely situational. Choose whatever is required for the encounter.
Tier 5 — 40 lvl. Talents that affect DPS
Auspicious Spirits. Shadowy Apparitions deal 15% increased damage and generate 2 Insanity.
- Psychic Link. Mind Blast deals 50% of its damage to all other targets afflicted by Vampiric Touch within 40 yards. Damage cap doesn’t affect the primary target.
- Shadow Crash. Hurl a bolt of slow-moving Shadow energy at the destination, dealing shadow damage to all targets within 8 yds. CD 30 sec, decreases with haste rating.
* Auspicious Spirits with a low ilvl will be your choice only on multi DoT. As soon as you gain 20% crit this talent becomes your default choice.
Psychic Link is too weak for now.
Shadow Crash — default choice against a single target with low ilvl, but is always the preferred choice for AoE.
Tier 6 — 45 lvl. Talents that affect DPS
* Damnation is useful only in free roam or PvP. In other types of content it loses to other talents.
Mindbender for AoE, cleave and multi DoT fights.
Void Torrent against 1-2 targets. Grants the most DPS bonuses against a primary target. Can be carried into M+ with Tyrannical affix. Also generates resources faster for AoE on packs.
Tier 7 — 50 lvl. Talents that affect DPS
- Ancient Madness. Voidform increases your critical strike chance by 30% for 15 sec, reducing by 2% every sec.
- Hungering Void. Void Bolt increases the target’s damage taken from you by 10% for 6 sec. This effect may only be active on one target at a time. Casting Void Bolt on an enemy that is already vulnerable extends the duration of your Voidform by 1 sec, or 2 sec if Void Bolt critically strikes.
- Surrender to Madness. Marks the target for 25 sec and activates Voidform. Your Insanity-generating abilities generate 100% more Insanity and you can cast while moving for the duration. If the target does not die within 25 sec, you die.
* Ancient Madness is almost never used. May be suitable for maximum burst potential in early game.
Hungering Void — default choice for ST combat and high keys.
Surrender to Madness best choice for low lvl M+. Also useful in raids with a lot of weak enemies. It looks scary, but even if you’re not trying to squeeze max uptime of x2 Insanity, an additional voidform still grants more DPS than other talents.
Here are your common builds
- Fortress of the Mind
- Twist of Fate
- Shadow Crash / Auspicious Spirits (with enough crit)
- Void Torrent
- Hungering Void
Multi DoT (a lot of enemies with high health scattered around)
- Unfurling Darkness
- Auspicious Spirits
- Void Torrent 2 targets / Mindbender 3+ targets
- Hungering Void
- Unfurling Darkness / Death and Madness, if there’s a bunch of easy targets
- Searing Nightmare
- Shadow Crash
- Mindbender / Void Torrent (up to you)
- Surrender to Madness
At level 60 you have to choose one of four Covenants to join. Fortunately for SP the difference between them all is not that significant. Depending on the type of content or combat, Covenants may perform slightly better or worse. The game allows you to change Covenants and at first changes won’t affect your character’s progress much, but will require some time to catch up. Problems arise whenever you decide to return to a Covenant that was once abandoned. This will set back your character’s progress by a lot compared to other players.
- Class ability
- Signature ability (utility)
- 3 Soulbinds per Covenant
For now, the Covenant rating looks like this:
Night Fae >= Venthyr >= Kyrian > Necrolord
Necrolord >= Night Fae > Kyrian >>> Venthyr
Universal option for all types of content — Night Fae
There isn’t a huge difference in the choices presented. Any of the 4 will allow you to succeed in PvE on an equal footing with others. In PvP it’s preferable to choose Venthyr.
Unholy Nova — an explosion of dark energy infects enemies within 15 yds with Unholy Transfusion, and heals allies based on number of targets. CD 1 min. Due to the abilities’ dropoff effect, the more enemies and allies you strike with this ability, the lower the damage of the DoT and healing of the burst per target.
Fleshcraft — form a shield of flesh and bone over 4 sec that absorbs damage equal to 20% of your maximum health for 2 min. Channeling near a corpse claims their essence to grow the shield, up to 50% of your maximum health. This is most effective against powerful enemies. CD 1 min.
Boon of the Ascended — draw upon the power of the Ascended for 10 sec, granting you access to Ascended Nova, replacing Mind Flay with Ascended Blast, and increasing movement speed by 50%. Ascended Nova itself is only used with 3+ targets, and Ascended Blast should be used on cooldown. After 10 sec triggers an explosion with a 15 yd radius.
Summon Steward — call your steward for 3 min to bring you a Phial of Serenity that can be consumed to restore 15% health and remove all Curse, Disease, Poison, and Bleed effects. Your Steward additionally offers access to a selection of useful amenities once a day. CD 5 min.
Boon of the Ascended is a very strange and awkward ability for SP. This Covenant’s power lies in Soulbinds, more on that later.
Mindgames — assaults an enemy’s mind, dealing massive shadow damage and briefly reversing their perception of reality. For 5 sec, the next damage they deal will heal their target, and the next healing they deal will damage their target. Reversed damage and healing generate up to 20 Insanity.
Door of Shadows — wend through the shadows, appearing at the targeted location. CD 1 min.
The problem with Mindgames is that it works on a very limited number of bosses, and is almost useless in M+ and AoE, but extremely effective in PvP.
Fae Guardians — for 2% mana summons 3 faerie guardians to attend your targets for 20 sec.
Wrathful Faerie triggers after Shadow Word: Pain and makes all direct attacks generate 3 Insanity.
Guardian Faerie: reduces damage taken by 10%. Follows your Power Word: Shield.
Benevolent Faerie: increases the cooldown of your Voidform after Shadow Mend.
Soulshape — turn into a Vulpin, teleporting 15 yds forward and increasing your movement speed by 50%. You may reactivate Soulshape every few sec to teleport again. Lasts 12 sec. CD 1.5 sec.
This Covenant reduces Voidform’s cooldown to 70 sec, which allows it to be activated more often.
Each covenant has 3 unique Soulbinds. Each Soulbind has their own special bonuses, but all of them have the same number and types of conduit slots.
- Necrolord: Heirmir > Emeni > Marileth (in any type of content)
- Kyrian: Pelagos for raids, Mikanikos for M+
- Venthyr: Nadjia AoE, Theotar ST
- Night Fae: Niya at first. When unlocked, Korayn becomes the best choice for M+. At Renown lvl 34 pick Dreamweaver for raids, but until then — Nyia.
Conduits are obtainable improvements for your character that can be installed in your Soulbind’s empty slots. They come in 3 types: Potency, Endurance, and Finesse. Potency affects DPS, Endurance — survivability, while Finesse improves some of your abilities, lowers cooldowns and mana cost.
All Conduits have an ilvl which is reflected in their numerical values in effects. At this point in the game there are only 7 steps of conduit upgrades.
SP has a very powerful Conduit that you absolutely must use:
It improves your burst, and the Void Bolt proc grants bonuses from Hungering Void outside of Voidform.
The second Potency Conduit should be:
It synergizes well with your Auspicious Spirits talent.
Other Potency Conduits are weaker than these two.
Mental Recovery — can be useful in M+.
Move with Grace — allows to pull allies more often.
Power Unto Others — can be useful with Power Infusion.
Clear Mind — allows you to avoid occasional situations where you don’t have enough mana for some specific spells.
Light’s Inspiration — grants an additional self-heal.
Translucent Image — if used correctly, allows you to take a little less damage.
Charitable Soul — increases your HPS if you buff your allies with a shield.
At this stage, only 3 legendary effects are worthy of attention
- Shadowflame Prism (head, gloves) – strongest legendary in 9.0.5 for any type of the fight. The best choice for the raids and mythic plus.
- Eternal Call to the Void (wrist, hand) — a universal legendary, good in any type of content, particularly in AoE.
- Talbadar’s Stratagem (waist, legs) — Works only against a single target, but allows you to do more damage at the right time interval, if required by the encounter. Better than Eternal Call to the Void for ST.
- Twins of the Sun Priestess (head, shoulder) — a unique legendary, doesn’t boost your DPS, but instead enhances the overall DPS of the group/raid. Unlikely to be very popular, but for progress in raids it’s a decent choice.
Choosing a Race
Races in Shadowlands are pretty balanced — the difference between the best and worst choices is less than 2%. Choose based primarily on your own preferences or racial bonuses (e.g. Night Elf’s Shadowmeld).
Nevertheless, the best Alliance ability is Mechagnomes, Horde — Goblins.
SP was changed in Shadowlands. Now this spec has a powerful burst with a low cooldown. Your task is to maximize the damage during Voidform. In addition, you need to generate Insanity as efficiently as possible and spend it on Devouring Plague or Searing Nightmare in AoE scenarios.
They should be divided into two parts: during Voidform and without it.
- Make sure Shadowform is active
- Devouring Plague, to avoid Insanity overcap
- Maintain Shadow Word: Pain and Vampiric Touch on the target
- Shadow Word: Death on cooldown on targets with <20% hp
- Mind Blast on cd. The target should have the max amount of your DoTs on them.
- If Dark Thoughts is active, use Mind Blast, but only during Mind Flay or Mind Sear
- Other times cast Mind Flay or Mind Sear starting from 3 enemies.
- Before casting Void Eruption, make sure your Shadow Word: Pain and Vampiric Touch DoTs are on the target.
- Void Eruption, to activate Voidform
- Void Bolt on cd
- Devouring Plague, to avoid Insanity overcap
- Shadow Word: Death on cd, if the target has <20% hp
- Mind Blast
- Other times cast Mind Flay or Mind Sear starting from 3 enemies.
Here you will learn when to use or avoid using certain abilities based on the number of targets.
Basic principles of maintaining DoTs on the target.
The main factor is the life expectancy of the mob:
When to refresh DoTs?
You’re already familiar with an optimal talent build for M+. The main notable ability is Searing Nightmare. When should you use it?
Mind Blast — single target ability. What to do with it?
- 1-3 targets — keep using normally
- Stop casting it starting from 4 targets. Use it only when Dark Thoughts procs, if you don’t have enough Insanity for Searing Nightmare
Void Bolt. Depending on the chosen talent in the last tier, you will have to use this ability in different ways.
- Void Bolt
- Mind Sear
- x2 Searing Nightmare
- Void Bolt
- Mind Sear
- x2 Searing Nightmare and so on
SP has 3 main cooldowns: Void Eruption, Power Infusion, and Shadowfiend. In addition, each of the four covenants adds a different ability to the priest’s arsenal. All of these abilities have their own cooldowns, so you might be confused which one to use, how and when.
Void Eruption — main burst ability. During its duration you need to cast as many Void Bolt as possible, generate the max amount of Insanity for Devouring Plague or Searing Nightmare. CD 1.5 min.
- In raids it’s used on cd or saved for moments with increased incoming damage (e.g. Sludgefist).
- Don’t let it be idle in Mythic+. Try using it on packs, especially with the Fortified affix. On Tyrannical, save Void Eruption for bosses. So don’t use it on preceding packs if you’re not sure if it will go off cooldown by the time you reach the boss.
Void Eruption is not the only ability that activates Voidform. In low keys (up to lvl 10) Surrender to Madness is extremely helpful. This talent allows you to increase Voidform’s uptime by 2 times for the entire dungeon. Even the safest use of this talent against a target that’s close to dying gives a huge AoE increase at the expense of an additional Voidform.
Shadowfiend — is an additional source of damage, which you should try to combine with both Void Eruption and Power Infusion.
Power Infusion is the main feature of this ability — you can apply it to allies. The main issue is its 2 min cooldown, while Voidform has a 1.5 min cooldown. By default you should synchronize Power Infusion with Void Eruption as often as possible during fights. Since we cast Void Eruption on cd, the second Power Infusion should be saved for a third Void Eruption on the third minute. Nevertheless, this pattern will not always be efficient. More on that below.
So you need to at least roughly understand the duration of the battle to apply as many burst abilities as possible at the same time. Some examples:
- If the fight lasts ~3:30, then you can use 3 Void Eruptions, 2 Power Infusions, and 2 Shadowfiends. So you activate Voidform on cd and hold on to Power Infusion and Shadowfiend until the third minute. As a result, you dish out the maximum number of bursts within the available time with maximum efficiency.
- The fight lasts ~5 min. If you cast everything on cd, then you get: 4 Void Eruptions, 3 Power Infusions and 2 Shadowfiends. Do this for max profit: cast Voidform on cd. Use the second Power Infusion on cd, hold the third till 4:30 to cast alongside the last Voidform. Summon Shadowfiend while pulling, and activate the second one at 4:30 alongside two other bursts.
- The fight lasts ~6:30. This is the easiest one — cast all on cd. This is what you’ll get: 5 Voidforms, 4 Power Infusions, and 3 Shadowfiends. 2 Voidforms and 2 Shadowfiends will cross with Power Infusion.
Necrolord: Unholy Nova is easy to handle. Just use it on cd. When pulling, cast it right before Voidform. If you have Emeni as your Soulbind, you’ll buff the main stat of your allies.
Venthyr: Mindgames should be cast while in Voidform in between Void Bolt uses. Every second Mindgames will be outside of Voidform.
Night Fae: Fae Guardians allows you to use Voidform more often. 90 sec cooldown will be reduced to ~70. Activate the Covenant ability itself while pulling before entering Voidform, then on cd. You’ll have to hold every second Power Infusion for the upcoming Voidform.
Boon of the Ascended is the strangest and most awkward SP ability. For max profit you have to use it in Voidform, which forces you to change your rotation and use Ascended Blast and Void Bolt on cd. Starting from 2 targets you’ll have to include Ascended Nova to your rotation. This Covenant dooms you to always hold on to your Power Infusion until the third minute of combat to maximize damage.
- Vampiric Touch 1 sec before the fight
- Shadow Word: Pain
- Shadow Crash, if picked
- Mind Blast (can be skipped, if you have Void Torrent)
- Void Torrent, if picked
- Mind Flay, if you don’t have 50 Insanity
- Devouring Plague
- Power Infusion + Void Eruption
- Void Bolt
- Next follow these priorities:
– Void Bolt on cd
– In between Bolts, reapply Devouring Plague, avoid Insanity overcap — it’s a waste of DPS
– Mind Blast if you don’t have enough insanity
– Other times — Mind Flay
- Vampiric Touch on a target in a pack, if they’ll live long enough
- Mind Blast or Void Torrent
- Power Infusion + Void Eruption
- Then follow AoE priorities above
Basic stat priority for a Shadow Priest:
Haste >> Mastery >= Crit >> Versatility
There is no sense in more than 30% of haste due to the stats diminishing after this value. Start to stack mastery after 30% of haste.
These are just basic priorities. For a more accurate stat calculation for your character, visit the Stat Weights section on Raidbots.com. This way you’ll understand your current position in terms of stats. After a while, you’ll start to feel the stat dynamics and become more familiar with your class.
Flasks, Oils, and pots
BiS Gear & Trinkets
The return of BiS lists (BiS = Best in Slot) became possible after the removal of certain game mechanics like war/titan forging. Note that the game has weekly chests — great vault. You can get Mythic+ items from it equal to 226 ilvl. Some of them can be better than their raid counterparts in terms of stats. But nevertheless, the raids have fixed loot.
Head — Confidant’s Favored Cap (Lady Inerva Darkvein, Castle Nathria)
Neck — Noble’s Birthstone Pendant (The Council of Blood, Castle Nathria)
Shoulder — Shawl of the Penitent (Sire Denathrius, Castle Nathria)
Back — Crest of the Legionnaire General (Commander of the Stone Legion, Castle Nathria)
Chest- Robes of the Cursed Commando (Commander of the Stone Legion, Castle Nathria)
Wrist — Legendaries or Grim Pursuant’s Maille (Huntsman Altimor, Castle Nathria)
Hands — Legendaries or Impossibly Oversized Mitts from Sludgefist, or BoE — Supple Supplicant’s Gloves
Belt — Shadewarped Sash (Artificer Xy’mox, Castle Nathria)
Legs — Courtier’s Costume Trousers (The Council of Blood, Castle Nathria)
Feet — Slippers of the Forgotten Heretic (Shriekwing, Castle Nathria)
Rings — Most Regal Signet of Sire Denathrius and Ritualist’s Treasured Ring (Sire Denathrius and Lady Inerva Darkvein, Castle Nathria)
The most notable trinkets:
- Cabalist’s Hymnal is the best choice for raids, especially if you have allies with the same trinket.
- Soulletting Ruby synergizes well with the SP’s burst. The only drawback is a 2 min cooldown.
- Empyreal Ordnance strong burst trinket with a 3 min cooldown.
- Inscrutable Quantum Device the strongest burst trinket at the moment with a 3 min cooldown. Boosts one of your two highest secondary stats. But during a raid, especially at the last minute of a fight, can instead heal someone, replenish mana, or just execute a boss, which is not that helpful. With this WA you can keep track of what this trinket will do.
- Sinful Gladiator’s Insignia of Alacrity good passive from PvP. Has almost 50% uptime. The great thing about this trinket is its availability. You don’t need to count on luck — you just buy it from a vendor and you can improve it according to your arena/rbg rank.
- Sinful Gladiator’s Badge of Ferocity another great PvP trinket. Has a 1 min cooldown, synergizes well with SP’s bursts.
A complete ranking of trinkets can be found here.
Macros allow you to make gameplay in WoW much more convenient and functional.
Interrupt with modifiers (Alt is used in this case, but you can change it to Shift or Ctrl). Cast Silence on your current target, hold Alt to cast it on the focused target.
Macros can save you a lot of time during combat by allowing you to use abilities on targets that stand under the mouse cursor. You don’t need to focus on an enemy or ally. This saves time and allows you to keep your focus on the primary target. Many macros will include the “/startattack” line. What’s it for? When your enemies die, your character is left without targets and will stand around doing nothing. This line makes them focus on a nearby target and continue fighting effectively.
#showtooltip Shadow Word: Pain
/cast [target=mouseover, exists, harm] Shadow Word: Pain; Shadow Word: Pain
#showtooltip Vampiric Touch
/cast [target=mouseover, exists, harm] Vampiric Touch; Vampiric Touch
#showtooltip Devouring Plague
/cast [target=mouseover, exists, harm] Devouring Plague; Devouring Plague
Casting Shadow Word: Death with Death and Madness talent on cursor is a lot easier and more effective.
#showtooltip Shadow Word: Death
/cast [target=mouseover, exists, harm] Shadow Word: Death; Shadow Word: Death
Shadow Crash on cursor also saves time.
#showtooltip Shadow Crash
/cast [target=cursor] Shadow Crash
The same principle applies to your utility abilities:
#showtooltip Purify Disease
/cast [@mouseover,help,nodead]Purify Disease;Purify Disease
#showtooltip Leap of Faith
/cast [@mouseover,help,nodead]Leap of Faith;Leap of Faith
#showtooltip Shadow Mend
/cast [@mouseover,help,nodead]Shadow Mend;Shadow Mend
#showtooltip Power Word: Shield
/cast [@mouseover,help,nodead]Power Word: Shield;Power Word: Shield
A very useful macro for playing with Searing Nightmare. This macro will save space on the panel. Normally it casts Shadow Word: Pain, but as soon as you activate Mind Sear, it switches to Searing Nightmare. Plus, during Mind Sear you can’t even use Shadow Word: Pain, so this is very handy.
/cast [channeling: Mind Sear, talent:3/3] Searing Nightmare
/cast [@mouseover,exists,harm][@target,exists,harm][@focus,harm] Shadow Word: Pain
Having a good, clean, and functional interface can greatly improve your game in many ways:
- You’ll receive more useful information in a convenient format, which the vanilla UI lacks
- You’ll be able to track your cooldowns and buffs
- See timers with boss abilities
There are 2 main ways of enhancing your interface: using ElvUI — a massive addon that contains a huge number of functions and outputs it all in a uniform style, or via a bunch of separate addons that are responsible for their specific task. It’s easy to use and share profiles. If you’re too lazy to customize, you can always find a suitable profile on wago.io.
If you prefer ElvUI, you still need a couple of key addons to go along with it:
Deja Character stats — Adds more information about the character’s stats, which were hidden in BfA for some reason.
WeakAuras — probably the most important addon in modern WoW. With its help, you can set up almost anything, and on wago.io you can find hundreds of useful auras and import them to your game in a few clicks. You can also find a full pack of auras for any spec. Here’s a link to the auras section for Shadow Priest.
BigWigs/Deadly Boss Mods — addons with timers and announcements for bosses in raids and M+, choose either of these. It’s also super useful in PvE. For BigWigs, the instance module, LittleWigs, must be installed separately.
Details! Damage Meter — the most up-to-date and advanced damage meter at the moment.
World Quest List — Groups your world quests to the left of the map, filtering them by zone.
Pawn — helps you find gear upgrades, requires SimCraft.
SimulationCraft — simplifies your char’s simulation by creating an in-game line for quick import to Raidbots or SimCraft.
Exorsus Raid Tools — addon for raids with a lot of useful features.
If you’d like to change the UI without ElvUI, then besides the above addons you need to add:
Bartender4 — highly customizable panel addon.
Chatter — chat customization
Sexy map — makes your minimap sexy!
Shadowed unit frames — an alternative to ElvUI for unit frames.
Plater Nameplates — addon from the author of Details that changes enemy nameplates. Fully customizable design and a huge number of available features, as well as the ability to import profiles and mods from wago.io — what else do you need?
Move Anything — allows you to move and resize any part of your interface.
We have tried to outline most of the useful information above. However, in this section we will give you a few more tips to improve your game.
Don’t forget that Dispersion is not only a powerful defensive cooldown, but it also removes all slowing effects and makes you immune to them for the duration. You can’t attack during Dispersion. If you don’t need it for its full duration, just click the skill again and it will disappear.
Other damage dealers are gonna be vying for your Power Infusion. In terms of general raid dps, this can be beneficial in some situations. Nevertheless, here’s a chart with calculations on which spec will profit the most from your Power Infusion.
Surrender to Madness — excellent DPS talent for keys (not too high, 10-12 is quite playable). But on the flip side, careless use can lead to your death, and in the end, a total party wipe. Here are some recommendations:
- If you’re not keeping track of when your target will die or if you’re just not sure you can get the most out of your Surrender to Madness Insanity bonus, better apply it to near-dead opponents
- If you can communicate with teammates, notify them who will be targeted by your StM, or better yet — mark that enemy
- Some enemies in dungeons don’t actually die, even if they play their death animation. For example, Hakkar’s adds in De Other Side — Son of Hakkar. Therefore, you will die at the end of the debuff, even on a corpse.
Mind Control is often forgotten, which is a shame. On Bolstering affix you can mind control a tough humanoid before the death of lower mobs. Thus, it will not be buffed by the modifier. After using Mind Control you shouldn’t fully rely on the tank — use Fade.
This concludes our guide. We hope you got answers to all your questions about the Shadow Priest. If you still have any questions, feel free to contact the author on twitch or discord.