Shadow Priest DPS Statistics Priority and Reforging (WoW MoP 5.4)

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General Information

On this page, we explain what the best statistics are for Shadow Priests in World of Warcraft MoP 5.4, how the class benefits from each of them, and what your reforging strategy should be. We also detail what the various caps are (if any) and why they should be attained.

The statistics priority is important as it influences reforging strategies as well as itemisation choices (gear, enchants, and gems).

Make sure to check our Gear Optimisation Guide, which serves as a support guide for this article.

The other pages of our Shadow Priest guide can be accessed from the table of contents on the right.

About Our Reviewer

This guide has been reviewed and approved by Twintop, one of the main Shadow Priest theorycrafters, who runs Shadow Orbs and Mind Spikes and works on How To Priest.

1. Basics↑top

The stat priority for a Shadow Priest is:

  1. Intellect;
  2. Hit Rating or Spirit (until 15%);
  3. Haste Rating (until reaching the soft cap);
  4. Critical Strike Rating and Mastery Rating;
  5. Haste Rating (past the soft cap).

Point #4 refers to the fact that once you have reached the hit cap and the haste soft cap, you should get equal amounts of Critical Strike Rating and Mastery Rating. This assumes that you have the 2-Part Tier 16 Set Bonus. If you do not, then Critical Strike Rating is better than Mastery Rating.

These statistics have been obtained by combining common sense, in-game testing, and simulations using Simulation Craft.

If you are unsure what the optimal reforging strategy is for the above priority, you can Ask Mr. Robot for a personalised optimisation of your character's gear, by filling the form below.

2. Getting a Better Understanding↑top

2.1. Statistics Explanations

Intellect is your primary stat. You should look for this stat in all of your upgrades. It provides you with Spell Power, which increases the damage of your spells, and increases your critical strike chance.

Hit Rating (or Spirit) decreases the chance that your spells will miss their target (15% against a raid boss). Therefore, your goal is to reach the 15% hit cap (see section below), which will ensure that your attacks never miss.

As a Shadow Priest, any Spirit found on your gear will also provide you its full amount as Hit Rating (thanks to Spiritual Precision Icon Spiritual Precision), allowing you to easily maintain an equipment set for a healing off-spec.

Haste Rating influences the cast speed of your spells and increases the number of ticks from your DoTs.

Critical Strike Rating increases your chance to critically hit with all spells and abilities.

Mastery Rating, thanks to Mastery: Shadowy Recall Icon Mastery: Shadowy Recall, gives your periodic shadow damage spells (including Mind Flay Icon Mind Flay and Mind Sear Icon Mind Sear, which work like DoTs) a chance to deal their damage twice.

2.2. Hit Cap

At level 90, most races require 5,100 Hit Rating to reach the spell hit cap. Some races, in some cases, only need 4,760 Hit Rating, thanks to passive racial skills:

Note that, in Mists of Pandaria, 1% expertise counts as 1% hit towards the spell hit cap.

Finally, Humans have the The Human Spirit Icon The Human Spirit racial ability, which increases their Spirit by 3%. The implication of this is that if two items are identical but one has Spirit and the other one has Hit Rating, then the item with Spirit is better for Human Shadow Priests.

2.3. Soft Haste Cap

At 18,215 Haste Rating (or 17,614 for Goblins), you reach the global cooldown cap of 1 second, meaning that additional Haste Rating will no longer lower your global cooldown, therefore vastly reducing the value of the stat.

3. Changelog↑top

  • 10 Sep. 2013: Patch 5.4 update: updated the stat priority, and added a mention of the GCD haste cap.
  • 02 Aug. 2013: Added mention that Mastery also affects Mind Flay Icon Mind Flay and Mind Sear Icon Mind Sear (which work like DoTs).
  • 20 May 2013: Patch 5.3 update: nothing to change.
  • 08 May 2013: Added dwarves to the list of races that have a Hit Cap advantage under certain conditions. Added a tip for Human Shadow Priests who should take The Human Spirit Icon The Human Spirit into account when choosing their gear.
  • 26 Apr. 2013: Added a mention of the change in stat priority when obtaining the Unerring Vision of Lei-Shen Icon Unerring Vision of Lei-Shen trinket or the Sinister Primal Diamond Icon Sinister Primal Diamond meta-gem.
  • 26 Mar. 2013: Updated the statistic priority to show that Haste Rating is the desired stat in basically all situations. Removed the soft haste caps since they are no longer relevant.