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Shadow Priest DPS Spell Summary (Legion 7.1)

Last updated on Sep 12, 2016 at 19:25 by Vlad 116 comments

Table of Contents

General Information

On this page, we list the spells that you will often use as a Shadow Priest.

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 Viklund, one of the best Shadow Priests in the world, who raids in Serenity. You can follow him on Twitter and you can watch his stream on Twitch.

1. Introduction

If you are new to Shadow, this is a great place to start to get an understanding of how the spec works. On this page we will discuss what abilities you have, what they are used for within the specialisation, how they interact with each other and also with important cooldowns. If you already have experience with Shadow and are comfortable with it in Legion, it is recommended you skip this section and move on to the rest of the guide.

2. Main Resource

Mana is your primary resource as a Shadow Priest. Most spells cost Mana to use, although generally, attentively managing your Mana is not required.

A secondary resource for Shadow Priests is Insanity. Several abilities (including regularly used ones such as Mind Blast Icon Mind Blast and Mind Flay Icon Mind Flay generate Insanity), and Insanity is only used for your Voidform Icon Voidform. If you have 100 Insanity you can enter Voidform Icon Voidform, an enhanced state during which your Insanity is progressively drained and which ends when you run out of Insanity. Insanity managed is a crucial part of playing a Shadow Priest.

3. Basic Abilities

These are your core skills that are available regardless of talents, and form the core gameplay of the specialization.

Void Eruption Icon Void Eruption has a 2-second cast time (reduced by Haste), at the end of which you enter the above-described Voidform Icon Voidform. Void Eruption also deals some damage to all targets affected by your Shadow Word: Pain Icon Shadow Word: Pain and Vampiric Touch Icon Vampiric Touch DoTs. The Shadow rotation is greatly altered while you are inside of Voidform, and this is the part of the gameplay that is the most complex. During Voidform, your damage is increased by 20%, the cooldown of Mind Blast Icon Mind Blast is reduced by 3 seconds, and you gain 1% Haste per second (multiplicatively).

Another important mechanic that is linked to Voidform Icon Voidform is Lingering Insanity Icon Lingering Insanity. Essentially, when you leave Voidform, a buff called Lingering Insanity is placed on you for up to 1 minute (or until you re-enter Void Form), which provides you with the Haste increase that you had at the end of Voidform. Therefore, the higher your Voidform stacks and Haste bonus, the stronger your Lingering Insanity buff will be, and the sooner you will be able to re-enter Voidform (due to the increased number of spells you will be able to cast).

Void Bolt Icon Void Bolt is an ability that replaces Void Eruption Icon Void Eruption while Voidform Icon Voidform is active. It is instant cast and it deals damage to the target, refreshing Shadow Word: Pain Icon Shadow Word: Pain and Vampiric Touch Icon Vampiric Touch to their original durations, and also generating Insanity.

Shadow Word: Pain Icon Shadow Word: Pain is one of your two DoTs. It deals Shadow damage to the target over time, and generates Insanity.

Vampiric Touch Icon Vampiric Touch is one of your two DoTs. It deals Shadow damage to the target over time, heals you for 50% of the damage dealt, and generates Insanity.

Mind Blast Icon Mind Blast deals damage to a single target, which has a 9-second cooldown and which generates a high amount of Insanity. It is generally one of your highest priority spells.

Mind Flay Icon Mind Flay is a channeled spell that deals Shadow damage to the target and slows their movement speed by 50%. It generates Insanity, has no cooldown, and is generally used as a filler throughout your rotation.

Mind Sear Icon Mind Sear works similarly to Mind Flay Icon Mind Flay, except that it damages targets within 10 yards of the primary target (which is not damaged). It also generates Insanity.

Shadow Word: Death Icon Shadow Word: Death deals damage to a single target, and can only be used against targets that are below 20% health. It generates Insanity, and a greater amount of Insanity if the target is killed by Shadow Word: Death.

4. Cooldowns

Shadowfiend Icon Shadowfiend has a 3-minute cooldown and it summons a shadowy fiend that attacks your target for 12 seconds. It provides a small DPS boost, and is considered an offensive cooldown (although not a tremendously powerful one).

Dispersion Icon Dispersion has a 2-minute cooldown. It lasts 6 seconds, during which time all damage you take is reduced by 60% and you cannot be stunned, snared, feared, or silenced. During Dispersion, you do not lose any Insanity (if you are in Voidform Icon Voidform), but you also cannot attack or cast any spells. Generally, this is used to extend the amount of time you spend in Voidform, or to help you survive dangerous mechanics.

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