Shadow Priest Pre-Patch Guide for WotLK Classic

Last updated on Sep 06, 2022 at 11:47 by Abide 1 comment

The Pre-Patch period of Wrath of the Lich King Classic is a time to allow players to level or gear up characters while experiencing some of the class changes of the coming expansion before its official launch. Here you will find recommended talents, gear, and some rotation tips for a Shadow Priest when you can only reach a maximum level of 70.


Talent Builds for Shadow Priest in Pre-Patch

Shadow Priest in the pre-patch has a very straightforward spec, playing very similar to how it will at Level 80. You get all of your key talents, the only thing you miss out on is Meditation IconMeditation. Typically you will not have Mana issues even without this talent, but in lower gear you may find yourself running out of mana.

The spec has been improved greatly in Wrath of the Lich King, giving us some much-needed quality of life improvements. Shadow Weaving IconShadow Weaving is now a personal buff and not a debuff, meaning it only boosts your damage dealt now. Vampiric Embrace IconVampiric Embrace is now a personal buff and does much less healing to the party than before. Shadowform IconShadowform allows all of your DoTs to Crit and both Vampiric Touch IconVampiric Touch and Devouring Plague IconDevouring Plague to benefit from Haste.

Misery IconMisery now puts a debuff on the target that increases the chance all spells will land by 3%, buffing everyone in the raid. Pain and Suffering IconPain and Suffering is a great new talent, automatically refreshing your Shadow Word: Pain IconShadow Word: Pain whenever you cast Mind Flay IconMind Flay. Finally, you gain Dispersion IconDispersion, a powerful new defensive cooldown and Mana regeneration ability. All of these changes and more make Shadow Priest an extremely powerful specialization.


Best Glyphs for Shadow Priest in Pre-Patch

Glyphs are a new consumable of sorts introduced in Wrath of the Lich King. Glyphs greatly improve certain spells when you learn them, supporting and even enabling some builds. In the pre-patch of WotLK you only have access to two major glyphs, as the third slot requires Level 80 to unlock.


Major Glyphs for Shadow Priest in Pre-Patch

  1. Glyph of Mind Flay Icon Glyph of Mind Flay — This is one of your main glyphs that you will be using at Level 80, making this a great pickup during the pre-patch.
  2. Glyph of Shadow Word: Pain Icon Glyph of Shadow Word: Pain — This glyph is not ideal, but you cannot get any of your other major glyphs during pre-patch. In addition to that, you will not have the Meditation IconMeditation talent during pre-patch, so this will help out with your Mana regeneration.

Minor Glyphs for Shadow Priest in Pre-Patch

  1. Glyph of Fortitude Icon Glyph of Fortitude — This helps save Mana through an entire raid night, and especially if you need to rebuff someone who died in combat.
  2. Glyph of Shadow Protection Icon Glyph of Shadow Protection — Is pretty minor, but will save us a bit of Mana throughout an entire raid night.
  3. Glyph of Levitate Icon Glyph of Levitate — Is simply a quality of life feature, saving us some reagents.

Stat Priority for Shadow Priest in Pre-Patch

The list below is in order of your desired stats. Keep this in mind when looking at different gearing choices.

  1. Hit Rating
  2. Spell Power
  3. Haste Rating
  4. Critical Strike Rating
  5. Spirit

Spell Rotation for Shadow Priest in Pre-Patch


Shadow Priest Single-Target Damage Rotation in Pre-Patch

  1. Vampiric Touch IconVampiric Touch — As with TBC, this is your main priority to keep up.
  2. Devouring Plague IconDevouring Plague — All Priests have this spell now, not just the Undead. A huge part of your damage, be sure to keep it up as much as possible.
  3. Mind Blast IconMind Blast — Use this on cooldown as it deals very high damage and procs some of your talents such as Improved Spirit Tap IconImproved Spirit Tap.
  4. Shadow Word: Death IconShadow Word: Death — If you are healthy and not in danger of dying you will want to use this after everything else.
  5. Mind Flay IconMind Flay — Still acts as your filler spell, but has a few added bonuses with WotLK. Like Mind Blast, this will proc Improved Spirit Tap IconImproved Spirit Tap, but Mind Flay will also proc Pain and Suffering IconPain and Suffering, constantly refreshing the duration of your Shadow Word: Pain IconShadow Word: Pain.
  6. Shadow Word: Pain IconShadow Word: Pain — You have this at the bottom of the list as it should always be refreshed with your new talent Pain and Suffering IconPain and Suffering. That being said, you still need to manually apply it the first time, but it should remain up for the rest of the fight after that. Be sure to wait until you have 5 stacks of Shadow Weaving IconShadow Weaving before you apply this.

Shadow Priest AoE Damage Rotation in Pre-Patch

Your AoE rotation will vary depending on the size of the pull and the mobs health. If you are facing very healthy enemies that will live for at least 24 seconds, you will want to mostly follow your single-target rotation and apply your DoTs to enemies. If not you will want to use Mind Sear IconMind Sear to AoE everything down.


Best in Slot Gear for Shadow Priest in Pre-Patch

Your best in slot gear does not change much from Phase 5 of TBC, but ideally you can change a few pieces of gear. Below is a list of recommended best in slot gear, as well as some easy to obtain choices.

However, for newer players especially or if you are playing on one of the Fresh Servers, the gear listed below may not be realistic to obtain for most players in only a month. If you want the most efficient start possible, we would highly recommend farming Honor in the pre-patch through battlegrounds. This will allow you to buy the full "Brutal" PvP set, which is close in power to gear from Sunwell Plateau. While not BiS, it is the closest you will get within the short time frame, and you are guaranteed to obtain it with enough farming.

Slot Item Source
Main Hand
Off Hand

Best Enchants for Shadow Priest in Pre-Patch

Your enchants mostly stay the same from TBC, not requiring much change. Check out our TBC enchants page for a list of available options.


Best Consumables for Shadow Priest in Pre-Patch

Your consumables are mostly the same from TBC. You can use any food buff that provides Spell Power and Spirit, so look for the cheapest.



  • 06 Sep. 2022: Fixed Honor cost on weapons.
  • 29 Aug. 2022: Page added.
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