TBC Classic Shadow Priest Rotation, Cooldowns, and Abilities

Last updated on May 30, 2021 at 09:38 by Abide 17 comments

On this page, you will learn how to optimize the rotation of your Shadow Priest in both single-target and multiple-target PvE situations in TBC Classic. We also have advanced sections about cooldowns, procs, etc. in order to minmax your DPS.

If you have not already, please read the spells summary page. Knowing how each of your spells and abilities works in detail will greatly increase your understanding of your different priorities and rotations.



You will want to keep these buffs up for the full duration of the fight.

  1. Improved Power Word: Fortitude IconImproved Power Word: Fortitude
  2. Shadow Protection IconShadow Protection — Keep this up if your group will be taking Shadow damage.
  3. Shadowform IconShadowform — This is a huge damage increase, but only allows you to cast Shadow spells while active.

Single-Target Rotation

  1. Vampiric Embrace IconVampiric Embrace — Put this up on targets that will live for at least 1 minute, such as bosses.
  2. Vampiric Touch IconVampiric Touch — Make sure to keep this up full time as it enables you to return Mana to your party.
  3. Shadow Word: Pain IconShadow Word: Pain — This is your highest damage spell per cast time; never let this fall off.
  4. Mind Blast IconMind Blast — Keep this ability on cooldown as it deals very high damage.
  5. Shadow Word: Death IconShadow Word: Death — This spell is instant-cast, high damage. Be aware of your health and any possible incoming raid-wide damage as the backlash damage you take can easily kill you if you are not full health.
  6. Mind Flay IconMind Flay — This is your filler spell. It has a shorter range than the rest of your abilities. Make sure to not put yourself in a dangerous position while using this. If either your Mind Blast IconMind Blast or Shadow Word: Death IconShadow Word: Death come off cooldown while you are channeling Mind Flay, cancel it to cast Shadow Word: Death.

Multi-Target Rotation

In TBC Classic, Shadow Priests have no AoE spells. Pulls with multiple mobs are where Shadow Priests struggle the most. For the most part, you will follow the single-target rotation, making sure to keep up your DoTs on as many mobs as possible.



  • 30 May 2021: Guide added.
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