Vlad

glyphs Shadow Priest: Mists of Pandaria Rotation Changes, Talents, and Glyphs (Patch 5.0.4)

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This article is no longer being updated. Please check our Shadow Priest guide, which is fully compatible with Mists of Pandaria, and is being constantly updated. Thank you.

In preparation for the updates to our guides for Mists of Pandaria Patch 5.0.4, we are releasing articles such as this one, explaining what has changed for a particular class and spec, and what the new rotation is likely to be.

Keep in mind that this is still a work in progress (both from Blizzard's side and from our own) and that this article assumes you are at least somewhat familiar with the Cataclysm version of the Shadow Priest rotation and playstyle (such as from reading our guide).

We will first list the most important changes to the Shadow Priest Cataclysm abilities, and then we will proceed to explaining the (likely to be) optimal rotation. Keep in mind that we do not document every single change or new ability, only those that impact the rotation.

Finally, we will give you some information about the most useful talents and glyphs you should choose.

New Abilities

  • spell_shadow_mindflay.jpgShadow Word: Insanity or spell_shadow_soulleech_3.jpgMindbender (they are mutually exclusive Tier 3 talents). Shadow Word: Insanity allows you to consume your spell_shadow_shadowwordpain.jpgShadow Word: Pain, if there are 6 or fewer seconds left on its duration, dealing damage to the target. Mindbender replaces spell_shadow_shadowfiend.jpgShadowfiend, its lower cooldown making it more efficient both at dealing damage as well as at regenerating mana. They both increase your DPS but it is premature to determine which of the two is a greater increase.
  • spell_priest_voidshift.jpgVoid Shift is a spell that swaps your health percentage with the health percentage of the targeted raid member. If one you has a health percentage of less than 25%, then it is increased to 25%. This is a cooldown that enables you to save raid members who reach very low health (and are still taking damage). You can use spell_shadow_dispersion.jpgDispersion immediately afterwards, in order to give your healers enough time to heal you.
  • spell_holy_powerinfusion.jpgPower Infusion, which increases your casting speed by 20% and reduces the mana cost of your spells by 20%. This spell was previously only available to Discipline Priests. It can be cast on players other than the Priest. It is a talent (Tier 5), the alternatives to which are spell_shadow_mindtwisting.jpgTwist of Fate and spell_priest_burningwill.jpgDivine Insight. It is unclear which of these three talents will provide the greatest DPS gain, but Power Infusion certainly has the added benefit of being able to be cast on other players.
  • One of ability_priest_cascade.jpgCascade, spell_priest_divinestar.jpgDivine Star, or ability_priest_halo.jpgHalo. Again, it is unclear which one will be the most beneficial, but as they are all multiple target spells, they are unlikely to affect the single target rotation very much.

Changes to Existing Mechanics

  • Shadow Orbs are generated each time you deal damage with spell_shadow_unholyfrenzy.jpgMind Blast or spell_shadow_demonicfortitude.jpgShadow Word: Death. Shadow Word: Death generates 2 Shadow Orbs if it turns out to be a killing blow on the target. Shadow Orbs are used for casting Devouring Plague (see below).
  • spell_shadow_devouringplague.jpgDevouring Plague has been redesigned. It now costs Shadow Orbs instead of mana. It deals Shadow damage over time and also heals you over time. Its damage (and healing) is based on the amount of Shadow Orbs you have when casting it. Casting it consumes all of your Shadow Orbs.
  • The new Mastery, inv_chaos_orb.jpgMastery: Shadowy Recall, gives each tick of your DoTs a chance to deal its damage twice.
  • spell_holy_innerfire.jpgInner Fire now increases your spell power by 10%, instead of by a fixed value.
  • spell_shadow_unholyfrenzy.jpgMind Blast has an 8 second cooldown and generates a Shadow Orb each time it is cast.
  • spell_shadow_shadowform.jpgShadowform increases Shadow damage by 20% (up from 15%).
  • spell_shadow_siphonmana.jpgMind Flay no longer refreshes spell_shadow_shadowwordpain.jpgShadow Word: Pain.

Removed Abilities

None of the abilities that were part of the Shadow Priest rotation in Cataclysm have been removed, although some have been changed (see above), such as the Shadow Orb/Empowered Shadows mechanics.

With this mind, the Shadow Priest rotation remains similar to its Cataclysm version. Below, we list what we think the Shadow Priest rotation will be, approximately. A great deal of testing is still required, and many abilities are subject to change.

Single Target Rotation

  • Keep up spell_shadow_shadowwordpain.jpgShadow Word: Pain and spell_holy_stoicism.jpgVampiric Touch.
  • Use spell_shadow_unholyfrenzy.jpgMind Blast on cooldown.
  • Use your Shadow Orbs on spell_shadow_devouringplague.jpgDevouring Plague. Devouring Plague deals a fixed damage per Shadow Orb, so it makes no difference if you use it with 1, 2, or 3 Shadow Orbs. Ideally, you should use it with 3 orbs, though, in order to conserve global cooldowns.
  • Use spell_shadow_siphonmana.jpgMind Flay whenever Mind Blast is on cooldown and your DoTs do not need to be refreshed.
  • Use spell_shadow_demonicfortitude.jpgShadow Word: Death on cooldown when the target is below 20% health.

Cooldowns

  • spell_shadow_shadowfiend.jpgShadowfiend (or spell_shadow_soulleech_3.jpgMindbender) should be used on cooldown.
  • spell_holy_powerinfusion.jpgPower Infusion, in case you choose it as a talent, should be used as many times as possible during the fight. Ideally, you should cast it on the caster (healer or DPS) who will benefit your raid the most thanks to it. This is to say, you should cast it on the caster DPS who does the most damage (or benefits most from increased casting speed) or on one of the healers, if your progression is being halted by healing probelm.
  • spell_shadow_mindflay.jpgShadow Word: Insanity, in case you choose it as a talent, should be used when your spell_shadow_shadowwordpain.jpgShadow Word: Pain is about to expire on the target.

Multiple Target Rotation

When facing 2 or 3 enemies, you should apply and keep up your spell_shadow_shadowwordpain.jpgShadow Word: Pain and spell_holy_stoicism.jpgVampiric Touch on all of the targets, while performing a single target rotation on one of them.

When facing 4 or more enemies, you should simply channel spell_shadow_mindshear.jpgMind Sear on one of the targets (or the tank, if he is in melee range of all of them).

Talents

Tier 1 is a choice between three crowd control talents. It appears that it will have little impact on the actual DPS performance. The talents are: Tier 2 provides various movement enhancing abilities. Casting priest_spell_leapoffaith_a.jpgLeap of Faith (a Holy spell), takes you out of spell_shadow_shadowform.jpgShadowform. Moreover, even though casting spell_holy_powerwordshield.jpgPower Word: Shield (on yourself or another player) does not remove Shadowform, using Power Word: Shield, as a Shadow Priest, can cause problems for your raid, since your spell_holy_ashestoashes.jpgWeakened Soul could prevent Discipline Priests from casting their more powerful Power Word: Shields (or having Weakened Soul on you already could prevent you from gaining the movement speed boost when you most desire it). Therefore, we feel that spell_holy_symbolofhope.jpgBody and Soul is not very desirable. ability_priest_phantasm.jpgPhantasm looks like it will have more PvP applicability, leaving ability_priest_angelicfeather.jpgAngelic Feather as being the most useful talent in this tier, which can also benefit other raid members.

Tier 3 gives you a choice between three DPS-increasing abilities. We discussed spell_shadow_soulleech_3.jpgMindbender and spell_shadow_mindflay.jpgShadow Word: Insanity at the start of this article.

The third talent choice is spell_holy_surgeoflight.jpgFrom Darkness, Comes Light, which gives you a chance to gain a mana-free, instant cast spell_priest_mindspike.jpgMind Spike that does not consume your DoTs on the target. Coupled with the spell_priest_mindspike.jpgGlyph of Mind Spike (see below), this could prove an excellent talent.

Tier 4 gives you a choice between self-healing and survival talents. The usefulness of ability_rogue_shadowdance.jpgSpectral Guise seems more suited to PvP. The choice between spell_holy_testoffaith.jpgDesperate Prayer and ability_priest_angelicbulwark.jpgAngelic Bulwark will likely be based on your own preference and the encounter mechanics. We would just note that, unless it happens regularly that you are brought below 30% health, and continue taking damage after that, Angelic Bulwark will not be very useful. We would recommend Desperate Prayer, because it offers you a lot more control.

Tier 5 gives you a choice between the following talents, as mentioned at the start of the article:

As we mentioned above, it's not clear yet which of these talents will be the biggest DPS increase, but it is worth noting Power Infusion's raid utility.

Tier 6 gives you a choice between three multiple target DPS talents:

As we mentioned at the start of the article, it is hard to tell which of these talents will be best, but we do not believe any of them will affect your single target rotation greatly. Choosing one over the others will probably depend on the final versions of these spells and the mechanics of the encounter you are progressing on.

Glyphs

There is only one glyph that has any chance of influencing your DPS. This is spell_priest_mindspike.jpgGlyph of Mind Spike, which causes your spell_priest_mindspike.jpgMind Spike to reduce the cast time of your next spell_shadow_unholyfrenzy.jpgMind Blast (within 6 seconds) by 50%, stacking twice (thus, making your Mind Blast instant cast).

We hope you have enjoyed our article and that you find it useful. As always, we are eagerly awaiting your feedback!

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Having Shadow Priest as my main character, I found it very useful, thank you :)

Not sure if I can't wait for MoP, or do I dread the release date. Didn't have a chance to try out beta, but I don't like the looks of the new talent system!

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Having Shadow Priest as my main character, I found it very useful, thank you Posted Image

Not sure if I can't wait for MoP, or do I dread the release date. Didn't have a chance to try out beta, but I don't like the looks of the new talent system!

You're welcome!

I have a good feeling about the talent system. Give it a chance!

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I'm thinking about changing to Priest for Mists of Pandaria. Your post certainly made my decision a bit easier Posted Image

Thanks for the help once again!

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You're welcome!

I have a good feeling about the talent system. Give it a chance!

She struggles with the hard stuff ;) GO Foundation :P!

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Having Shadow Priest as my main character, I found it very useful, thank you Posted Image

Not sure if I can't wait for MoP, or do I dread the release date. Didn't have a chance to try out beta, but I don't like the looks of the new talent system!

You're not alone! I only logged on MoP beta, checked out my paladin for a minute, then went off. As far as I do like the new spells and thing with talents, the revamped talents are one of the things I won't really like since it will give you a lot of more spells and frankly, I just don't like filling my action bar with more spells than I already have enough.

Can't wait for more rotations though! :P

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You're not alone! I only logged on MoP beta, checked out my paladin for a minute, then went off. As far as I do like the new spells and thing with talents, the revamped talents are one of the things I won't really like since it will give you a lot of more spells and frankly, I just don't like filling my action bar with more spells than I already have enough.

Can't wait for more rotations though! Posted Image

Again, this is a misconception :)

You "lose" a lot of spells (or a few spells, depending on your class/spec) from Cataclysm. For example, as a Shadow Priest, you no longer have access to spell_holy_lesserheal.jpgHeal, spell_holy_greaterheal.jpgGreater Heal, spell_holy_prayerofhealing02.jpgPrayer of Healing, and spell_holy_divinehymn.jpgDivine Hymn. Now, I'll grant you that these are not spells you would be frequently using as a Shadow Priest, and even if you wanted to heal, you'd probably use other spells first. Even so, a diligent raider would have had all of these spells on their action bars, and now you don't have to worry about them anymore.

As for "gaining new spells", remember that a lot of the talents that "give you a spell" are mutually exclusive. In each tier, you can only choose one, and many tiers do not have a new spell, but rather they are just passive bonuses. Overall, you're probably looking at 3 new abilities per spec, maximum.

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She struggles with the hard stuff Posted Image GO Foundation Posted Image!

OI! /slap

Again, this is a misconception Posted Image

You "lose" a lot of spells (or a few spells, depending on your class/spec) from Cataclysm. For example, as a Shadow Priest, you no longer have access to spell_holy_lesserheal.jpgHeal, spell_holy_greaterheal.jpgGreater Heal, spell_holy_prayerofhealing02.jpgPrayer of Healing, and spell_holy_divinehymn.jpgDivine Hymn. Now, I'll grant you that these are not spells you would be frequently using as a Shadow Priest, and even if you wanted to heal, you'd probably use other spells first. Even so, a diligent raider would have had all of these spells on their action bars, and now you don't have to worry about them anymore.

You'd be surprised what spells you have to use in raids when Peelyon is our main healer :P

I use Divine Hymn and Hymn of Hope fairly often on harder encounters, just to help out the healers.

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OI! /slap

You'd be surprised what spells you have to use in raids when Peelyon is our main healer Posted Image

I use Divine Hymn and Hymn of Hope fairly often on harder encounters, just to help out the healers.

Well, you won't be using Divine Hymn any more :)

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a few things to think about on this, need to get used to reapplying SW:P again and timing Insanity might take a bit of trial and error.

1 question though, are all tier 6 talents holy?

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a few things to think about on this, need to get used to reapplying SW:P again and timing Insanity might take a bit of trial and error.

1 question though, are all tier 6 talents holy?

In-game, the tooltips of the Tier 6 talents mention that the damage is Shadow damage when the spells are cast in spell_shadow_shadowform.jpgShadowform. So, presumably, they won't cause any problems.

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Thanks much for this guide!

The SPriest stuff has been changing so rapdily with each Beta Patch, I felt extremely lost.

This entire site, in general, is a MUST READ for WOW Players. I'm so glad I found it during Firelands for your raid guides. Keep up the great work!

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Thanks much for this guide!

The SPriest stuff has been changing so rapdily with each Beta Patch, I felt extremely lost.

This entire site, in general, is a MUST READ for WOW Players. I'm so glad I found it during Firelands for your raid guides. Keep up the great work!

You are welcome. We're going to do this for every class over the next 10 days or so, just to give people an easy way to reference the changes that are coming.

We're glad you like it!

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You are welcome. We're going to do this for every class over the next 10 days or so, just to give people an easy way to reference the changes that are coming.

We're glad you like it!

I would also like to thank you for this, I had been trying to piece together the info myself by researching, but gave up, so this was exactly what I've been looking for! Can't wait to read the writeups over the other classes as well.

Edited by zebus
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Hello! Firstly I just wanted to say i've been following this site for a while and I love all your guides.

I have been playing a Shadow Priest as my main for over 3 years. I was initially a bit hesitant about the changes they were making to Shadow Priests in MoP and I didn't like the look of the new talent trees, but after levelling to 90 and doing some raid boss tests I absolutely love the changes and can't wait til MoP is released! Posted Image

After reading this guide, and from my own experience I wanted to provide a couple of comments that may be helpful to other Shadow Priests:

Tier 1: spell_priest_voidtendrils.jpgVoid Tendrils is instant cast. spell_priest_psyfiend.jpgPsyfiend is instant cast, however you have to click on the ground where you want to place it - this is a time waster in my opinion.

Tier 2: spell_holy_symbolofhope.jpgBody and Soul. Casting spell_holy_powerwordshield.jpgPower Word: Shield on yourself does not take you out of Shadowform, so in my opinion this is the best option for PvE.

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One thing.

spell_shadow_mindflay.jpgShadow Word: Insanity isn't a talent, but rather learned at level 74. You can safely mention that it can be part of the rotation.

Currently, spell_shadow_mindflay.jpgShadow Word: Insanity is a spell, providing you pick up the tier 3 talent Power Word: Solace. If you do not choose that talent, you will not have the spell available to you.

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Hello! Firstly I just wanted to say i've been following this site for a while and I love all your guides.

I have been playing a Shadow Priest as my main for over 3 years. I was initially a bit hesitant about the changes they were making to Shadow Priests in MoP and I didn't like the look of the new talent trees, but after levelling to 90 and doing some raid boss tests I absolutely love the changes and can't wait til MoP is released! Posted Image

After reading this guide, and from my own experience I wanted to provide a couple of comments that may be helpful to other Shadow Priests:

Tier 1: spell_priest_voidtendrils.jpgVoid Tendrils is instant cast. spell_priest_psyfiend.jpgPsyfiend is instant cast, however you have to click on the ground where you want to place it - this is a time waster in my opinion.

Tier 2: spell_holy_symbolofhope.jpgBody and Soul. Casting spell_holy_powerwordshield.jpgPower Word: Shield on yourself does not take you out of Shadowform, so in my opinion this is the best option for PvE.

Thank you for pointing this out. I'm going to update that part of the guide tomorrow (about PW:S). Even with this in mind, though, I'm not so sure that it's so much better to have spell_holy_symbolofhope.jpgBody and Soul. It means you can't apply your movement speed increase if you've already got Weakened Soul on yourself, and if you don't have it, you might be seriously inconveniencing a Disc Priest with your own weak shields :)

Anyway, I'll develop a bit more on this tomorrow. Thanks again!

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I've updated the article. It seems that, now, casting spell_holy_powerwordshield.jpgPower Word: Shield does not take you out of spell_shadow_shadowform.jpgShadowform, no matter who you cast it on.

Regarding spell_shadow_mindflay.jpgShadow Word: Insanity, it is a spell that appears in your spellbook if you have chosen the appropriate talent and you are in spell_shadow_shadowform.jpgShadowform. At least that's how it is now. I, too, used to see it in my spellbook as "learnable from a trainer", but this no longer seems to be the case. It just appears there.

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In-game, the tooltips of the Tier 6 talents mention that the damage is Shadow damage when the spells are cast in spell_shadow_shadowform.jpgShadowform. So, presumably, they won't cause any problems.

Thanks for that Vlad, was hoping that would be the answer.

Again thanks for all the effort IV is putting into this, really is much appreciated.

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Thanks for that Vlad, was hoping that would be the answer.

Again thanks for all the effort IV is putting into this, really is much appreciated.

You're welcome on both counts :)

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ty for this guide was a great help to have this quick start to beta like this one. One spell that u din't mentioned is spell_priest_voidshift.jpgVoid Shift i used this one some times to "save" the tank and dispersed for the heals have some time to get my life up again.

And can't wait more to see the new raid guides. keep doing this great work.

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ty for this guide was a great help to have this quick start to beta like this one. One spell that u din't mentioned is spell_priest_voidshift.jpgVoid Shift i used this one some times to "save" the tank and dispersed for the heals have some time to get my life up again.

And can't wait more to see the new raid guides. keep doing this great work.

Thanks for your compliments. I've added spell_priest_voidshift.jpgVoid Shift :)

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The last patch changed spell_shadow_mindflay.jpgShadow Word: Insanity, now it removes only the spell_shadow_shadowwordpain.jpgShadow Word: Pain and is only usable while it has less than 6 sec remaining on the target.

Thank you! We have updated the article.

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