Classic Shadow Priest DPS Rotation, Cooldowns, and Abilities
On this page, you will learn how to optimize the rotation of your Shadow Priest DPS in both single-target and multiple-target PvE situations in WoW 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 spell and ability works in detail will greatly increase your understanding of the topics discussed on this page.
Rotation for Shadow Priest
As a Shadow Priest in PvE your primary job is quickly applying, then maintaining 5 stacks of Shadow Weaving on the boss. You should avoid using spells that consume additional debuff slots on raid bosses like Vampiric Embrace or the racial ability Devouring Plague, however these spells are quite powerful in dungeons, open world, and PvP situations where debuff slots are not a concern.
This is how you would generally want to use your relevant damage spells in a PvE setting, assuming you are specced according to our Talents page. All spells should be cast at max rank unless otherwise noted.
- Use Shadow Word: Pain and maintain it on the boss.
- Use Mind Blast as often as possible. Be careful on the pull if you have an undergeared tank, as this ability can generate a huge amount of threat, especially if it critically strikes. You should ideally use Inner Focus with Mind Blast for maximum damage and Mana conservation.
- Use Mind Flay to fill in the gaps between your other casts or if you do not have enough Mana for them.
- Use Mind Flay (Rank 1) if you are low on mana and cannot use a maximum rank Mind Flay.
- Use Shoot if you are out of Mana entirely and consumables such as Major Mana Potion or Runes are unavailable.
Downranked spells can be used when your mana runs out and consumables are not available. In particular Rank 1 Shadow Word: Pain to help apply or maintain the 5 stacks of Shadow Weaving.
Shadow Word: Pain (Rank 1) can be used to keep up Shadow Weaving if you are low on mana, or need to move and it's going to drop off. Keeping this buff up is vital for your own damage and the warlocks in your raid.
Cooldown Usage for Shadow Priests
Depending on the talents that you take, you can have access to your lone cooldown Inner Focus. Inner Focus is always assumed to be taken.
Inner Focus making your next spell completely free and also increases its chance to critically strike. This is best used with Mind Blast for superior damage and reduced Mana consumption.
Mastering Your Shadow Priest
Unfortunately due to the limited number of debuff slots on most raid bosses, there is reduced potential to properly embrace the full toolkit Shadow has available to it. Because of this Shadow Priest tends to have a fairly simple rotation in a raid environment, with most of the complexity being around managing your Mana so you can sufficiently cast the spells you need to to keep up Shadow Weaving and keeping Shadow Word: Pain up while still casting Mind Blast as often as possible.
In dungeons and PvP, Shadow Priest can provide excellent utility and off-healing, while also utilising powerful cooldowns such as Vampiric Embrace and Devouring Plague.
- 11 Nov. 2019: Updated rotation. Added more downranking information.
- 20 Aug. 2019: Page added.
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