WoW Classic Shadow Priest Leveling Talent Build from 1 to 60

Last updated on Sep 14, 2020 at 11:41 by Niphyr 23 comments

On this page, you will find our Level by Level Discipline Priest leveling guide for WoW Classic. Make sure to use the slider to make the guide adapt to your level. For more general leveling information, please refer to our Priest leveling guide. We also have an Discipline Priest leveling guide and a Holy Priest leveling guide.

If you were looking for TBC Classic advice, please refer to our TBC Classic Shadow Priest leveling guide.

1.

Level by Level Rotation, Talents, and Trainer Skills

Move the slider below to make the guide update to your level!

Level: 1
2.

Leveling Talent Tree & Build

Your first talent unlocks at Level 10.

Shadow Priest Talents Level 10 to 19
Shadow Priest Talents Level 10 to 19
Shadow Priest Talents Level 20 to 29
Shadow Priest Talents Level 20 to 29
Shadow Priest Talents Level 30 to 39
Shadow Priest Talents Level 30 to 39
Shadow Priest Talents Level 40 to 49
Shadow Priest Talents Level 40 to 49
Shadow Priest Talents Level 50 to 60
Shadow Priest Talents Level 50 to 60
  1. Levels 10 to 14 — 5 points in Wand Specialization Icon Wand Specialization
  2. Levels 15 to 19 — 5 points in Spirit Tap Icon Spirit Tap

Spirit Tap Icon Spirit Tap and Wand Specialization Icon Wand Specialization are the two most important Priest talents until Level 40. Spirit Tap allows you to continue pulling as your regeneration skyrockets during its effect, which will almost always be up when you are killing enemies thanks to its generous 15-second duration. Wand Specialization improves your Wand damage by a lot, and Wanding will be a huge part of your damage early on.

  1. Levels 20 to 22 — 3 points in Improved Power Word: Shield Icon Improved Power Word: Shield
  2. Levels 23 & 24 — 2 points in Improved Power Word: Fortitude Icon Improved Power Word: Fortitude
  3. Levels 25 — 1 point in Inner Focus Icon Inner Focus
  4. Levels 26 to 28 — 3 points in Meditation Icon Meditation
  5. Levels 29 — 1 point in Unbreakable Will Icon Unbreakable Will

Improved Power Word: Shield Icon Improved Power Word: Shield and Improved Power Word: Fortitude Icon Improved Power Word: Fortitude increase your survivability which in turn reduce the amount of time or Mana you need to spend healing yourself. Inner Focus Icon Inner Focus should be used whenever it is up, and is best used on Mind Blast Icon Mind Blast to save the most Mana and grant the most damage from the critical effect.

  1. Levels 30 to 32 — 3 points in Improved Inner Fire Icon Improved Inner Fire
  2. Levels 33 & 34 — 2 points in Mental Agility Icon Mental Agility
  3. Levels 35 — 1 point in Divine Spirit Icon Divine Spirit
  4. Levels 36 to 38 — 3 points in Mental Agility Icon Mental Agility
  5. Level 39 — 1 point in Mental Strength Icon Mental Strength

Improved Inner Fire Icon Improved Inner Fire increases your survivability which in turn reduces the amount of time or Mana you need to spend healing yourself. Mental Agility Icon Mental Agility, Divine Spirit Icon Divine Spirit and Mental Strength Icon Mental Strength all help sustain your Mana pool leaving you with less downtime.

You should respec to pick up Shadowform Icon Shadowform once you hit Level 40, and then afterwards going into the Discipline tree again for Wand Specialization Icon Wand Specialization. Here is how you should use your points until Level 40.

  1. 5 points in Spirit Tap Icon Spirit Tap
  2. 5 points in Blackout Icon Blackout
  3. 2 points in Shadow Focus Icon Shadow Focus
  4. 1 point in Mind Flay Icon Mind Flay
  5. 4 points in Improved Mind Blast Icon Improved Mind Blast
  6. 3 points in Shadow Reach Icon Shadow Reach
  7. 1 point in Vampiric Embrace Icon Vampiric Embrace
  8. 4 points in Shadow Weaving Icon Shadow Weaving
  9. 5 points in Darkness Icon Darkness
  10. 1 point in Shadowform Icon Shadowform

Shadowform Icon Shadowform along with the other Shadow talents improve your damage output and also provide you with some survivability to help with downtime. Mind Flay Icon Mind Flay now becomes the spell you damage down enemies with, only stopping to wand when Mana begins to get low. Vampiric Embrace Icon Vampiric Embrace can provide excellent self healing which is particularly useful for high level or elite mobs you encounter while levelling.

Even though you have shadow talents you can continue to heal dungeons as you still have access to most of the healing spells. If you continue to heal dungeons past Level 55-58 you may want to consider changing to the end-game healing talents discussed on the PvE Talent Builds page.

  1. Levels 41 to 45 — 5 points in Wand Specialization Icon Wand Specialization
  2. Levels 46 — 1 point in Shadow Weaving Icon Shadow Weaving
  3. Levels 47 & 48 — 2 points in Improved Shadow Word: Pain Icon Improved Shadow Word: Pain
  4. Levels 49 — 1 point in Improved Power Word: Shield Icon Improved Power Word: Shield

Picking up Wand Specialization Icon Wand Specialization first improves your wand damage, which is your go-to on low Mana. Unbreakable Will Icon Unbreakable Will can be taken instead of Wand Specialization Icon Wand Specialization and can be especially useful if you are leveling on a PvP realm.

  1. Levels 50 & 51 — 2 points in Improved Power Word: Shield Icon Improved Power Word: Shield
  2. Levels 52 & 53 — 2 points in Improved Power Word: Fortitude Icon Improved Power Word: Fortitude
  3. Levels 54 — 1 point in Inner Focus Icon Inner Focus
  4. Levels 55 to 57 — 3 points in Meditation Icon Meditation
  5. Levels 58 & 59 — 2 points in Improved Psychic Scream Icon Improved Psychic Scream
  6. Levels 60 — 1 point in Silence Icon Silence

Inner Focus Icon Inner Focus is back again, and remains a great tool for using in conjunction with Mind Blast Icon Mind Blast. The familiar survivability talents from our earlier leveling also make a return. Finishing up the Shadow tree is access to Silence Icon Silence, which is a great utility spell in both PvE and PvP.

3.

Leveling Rotation (DPS)

  1. Ensure you have Power Word: Fortitude Icon Power Word: Fortitude active on yourself before pulling.
  2. Ensure you have Inner Fire Icon Inner Fire active on yourself before pulling.
  3. Cast Power Word: Shield Icon Power Word: Shield on yourself before pulling.
  4. Cast Holy Fire Icon Holy Fire, ideally with the enemy as far away from you as possible.
  5. Cast Smite Icon Smite as the enemy is running towards you.
  6. Cast Mind Blast Icon Mind Blast
  7. Cast Shadow Word: Pain Icon Shadow Word: Pain.
  8. Cast Smite Icon Smite until you go below 25% mana or Improved Power Word: Shield Icon Improved Power Word: Shield drops off.
  9. Finish the enemy with your melee weapon.
  10. Wand off the remaining health on the enemy while your Shadow Word: Pain Icon Shadow Word: Pain keeps ticking.
  1. Ensure you have Power Word: Fortitude Icon Power Word: Fortitude active on yourself before pulling.
  2. Ensure you have Inner Fire Icon Inner Fire active on yourself before pulling.
  3. Cast Power Word: Shield Icon Power Word: Shield on yourself before pulling.
  4. Cast Mind Blast Icon Mind Blast on your target.
  5. Cast Shadow Word: Pain Icon Shadow Word: Pain on your target. **
  6. Cast Mind Flay Icon Mind Flay on your target. **
  7. Wand off the remaining health on the enemy while your Shadow Word: Pain Icon Shadow Word: Pain keeps ticking.

**Advanced Note: If you cast Shadow Word: Pain Icon Shadow Word: Pain immediately after Mind Blast Icon Mind Blast at the same time you are running away from your target, you can gain some extra distance while the global cooldown from the Shadow Word: Pain happens. Depending on the distance you create, you can often get a second Mind Flay Icon Mind Flay cast off before your target reaches you and you begin wanding them.

3.1.

Rotation Context

When played correctly, you should hardly ever have any downtime as a Priest. Playing correctly mostly means finding the right balance between how much Mana and time to spend on your skills, versus using your wand. Most of the time, after your initial casts you just have to apply Shadow Word: Pain Icon Shadow Word: Pain then finish them off with your wand. Your Mana will have started to regenerate again already by the time you are close to killing the mob, and then when it dies, Spirit Tap Icon Spirit Tap will provide you with Mana and health sustain to keep going. That is the ideal order of events, though there will always be different scenarios that you will have to learn to adapt to.

4.

Leveling Rotation (Healing)

While you are primarily a damage dealer as Shadow, you are still more than capable of healing dungeons all the way up to Level 50-55. Even then you can still heal them provided your group understand you will need time between pulls to drink and restore your mana, and are willing to take it a bit slower for your. To help out in case you find yourself healing a dungeon, use the following (make sure to move the level slider at the beginning of the page to make the rotation update accodingly).

  1. Power Word: Shield Icon Power Word: Shield to buy time to save an ally with Lesser Heal Icon Lesser Heal.
  2. Power Word: Shield Icon Power Word: Shield to buy time to save an ally with Heal Icon Heal.
  3. Power Word: Shield Icon Power Word: Shield to buy time to save an ally with Flash Heal Icon Flash Heal (fast) or Heal Icon Heal (slow).
  4. Power Word: Shield Icon Power Word: Shield to buy time to save an ally with either Flash Heal Icon Flash Heal (fast) or Greater Heal Icon Greater Heal (slow).
  5. Lesser Heal Icon Lesser Heal to slowly heal a single target for a moderate amount.
  6. Flash Heal Icon Flash Heal in an emergency to quickly heal an ally for a small amount.
  7. Greater Heal Icon Greater Heal to heal an ally for a very large amount.
  8. Heal Icon Heal to slowly heal a single target for a moderate amount.
  9. Prayer of Healing Icon Prayer of Healing if your entire party is quite injured and near one another.
  10. Renew Icon Renew to smooth out damage on your tank or when an ally needs healing and you are moving. **

At Level 14, you get access to Cure Disease Icon Cure Disease (and at Level 32 the upgraded version Abolish Disease Icon Abolish Disease), which can be used to remove Disease debuffs from your allies. At Level 18 you can learn Dispel Magic Icon Dispel Magic allowing you to remove Magic debuffs from your allies. While you do not need to remove every disease and magical debuff, there are many that are beneficial to be removed as your Mana allows.

**Note: You should not pre-cast Renew at the start of combat to try and maintain as much time regenerating Mana as possible. For example when you need to cast Heal Icon Heal on the tank, follow up immediately with Renew Icon Renew and then go back to wanding until more healing is required.

5.

List of Trainer Skills to Buy

The below suggestions focus on the skills that are most important to your leveling, but even still, this is by no means the only way to go about it, since it will vary on how much gold you actually acquire throughout the leveling process. The most important thing (and this can impact your skill buying decisions) is to make sure you have enough gold to buy your first mount as soon as you hit Level 40.

  • At Level 1, buy Power Word: Fortitude Icon Power Word: Fortitude once you have the copper for it. This increases the Stamina of whomever you cast it on.
  • At Level 4, buy Shadow Word: Pain Icon Shadow Word: Pain and Rank 2 Lesser Heal Icon Lesser Heal. Shadow Word: Pain is very Mana and damage efficient, provided that your targets live for the duration of the DoT.
  • At Level 6, buy Power Word: Shield Icon Power Word: Shield and Rank 2 Smite Icon Smite.
  • At Level 8, buy Renew Icon Renew and Fade Icon Fade. Renew is decent at healing up any sustained damage you may take. Only buy Fade if you plan on doing group content, as it is useless when playing alone.
  • At Level 10, buy Mind Blast Icon Mind Blast, Rank 2 Shadow Word: Pain Icon Shadow Word: Pain, Rank 3 Lesser Heal Icon Lesser Heal, and Resurrection Icon Resurrection. Mind Blast does a lot of damage and will take a big chunk out of your target's health at the start of a fight.
  • At Level 10, make sure to get your race-specific Priest ability!
  • At Level 12, buy Inner Fire Icon Inner Fire, Rank 2 Power Word: Fortitude Icon Power Word: Fortitude, and Rank 2 Power Word: Shield Icon Power Word: Shield.
  • At Level 14, buy Psychic Scream Icon Psychic Scream and Rank 3 Smite Icon Smite.
  • At Level 16, buy Rank 2 Mind Blast Icon Mind Blast and Rank 1 Heal Icon Heal. Lesser Heal Icon Lesser Heal is more or less obsolete at this point and you can replace Heal with it on your bars.
  • At Level 18, buy Rank 3 Power Word: Shield Icon Power Word: Shield, Rank 3 Shadow Word: Pain Icon Shadow Word: Pain, and Dispel Magic Icon Dispel Magic.
  • At Level 20, make sure to get your second race-specific Priest ability!
  • At Level 20, buy Flash Heal Icon Flash Heal and Rank 2 Inner Fire Icon Inner Fire.
  • At Level 22, buy Rank 3 Mind Blast Icon Mind Blast, Rank 2 Heal Icon Heal, and Rank 4 Smite Icon Smite.
  • At Level 24, buy Rank 3 Power Word: Fortitude Icon Power Word: Fortitude and Rank 4 Power Word: Shield Icon Power Word: Shield.
  • At Level 26, buy Rank 4 Shadow Word: Pain Icon Shadow Word: Pain and Rank 2 Flash Heal Icon Flash Heal.
  • At Level 28, buy Rank 4 Mind Blast Icon Mind Blast, Rank 3 Heal Icon Heal.
  • At Level 30, buy Rank 3 Inner Fire Icon Inner Fire, Shadow Protection Icon Shadow Protection, and Rank 5 Power Word: Shield Icon Power Word: Shield.
  • At Level 32, buy Rank 3 Flash Heal Icon Flash Heal.
  • At Level 34, buy Rank 4 Heal Icon Heal, Rank 5 Mind Blast Icon Mind Blast, and Rank 5 Shadow Word: Pain Icon Shadow Word: Pain.
  • At Level 36, buy Rank 4 Power Word: Fortitude Icon Power Word: Fortitude , and Rank 6 Power Word: Shield Icon Power Word: Shield.
  • At Level 38, buy Rank 4 Flash Heal Icon Flash Heal.
  • At Level 40, buy Greater Heal Icon Greater Heal, Rank 6 Mind Blast Icon Mind Blast, Rank 4 Inner Fire Icon Inner Fire, and Rank 2 and 3 Mind Flay Icon Mind Flay.
  • At Level 42, buy Rank 7 Power Word: Shield Icon Power Word: Shield and Rank 6 Shadow Word: Pain Icon Shadow Word: Pain.
  • At Level 44, buy Rank 4 Mind Flay Icon Mind Flay and Rank 5 Flash Heal Icon Flash Heal.
  • At Level 46, buy Rank 7 Mind Blast Icon Mind Blast and Rank 2 Greater Heal Icon Greater Heal.
  • At Level 48, buy Rank 5 Power Word: Fortitude Icon Power Word: Fortitude and Rank 8 Power Word: Shield Icon Power Word: Shield.
  • At Level 50, buy Rank 7 Shadow Word: Pain Icon Shadow Word: Pain, Rank 5 Inner Fire Icon Inner Fire, and Rank 6 Flash Heal Icon Flash Heal.
  • At Level 52, buy Rank 8 Mind Blast Icon Mind Blast, Rank 3 Greater Heal Icon Greater Heal, and Rank 5 Mind Flay Icon Mind Flay.
  • At Level 54, buy Rank 9 Power Word: Shield Icon Power Word: Shield.
  • At Level 56, buy Rank 7 Flash Heal Icon Flash Heal.
  • At Level 58, buy Rank 9 Mind Blast Icon Mind Blast, Rank 8 Shadow Word: Pain Icon Shadow Word: Pain, and Rank 4 Greater Heal Icon Greater Heal.
  • At Level 60, buy Rank 5 Greater Heal Icon Greater Heal, Rank 6 Mind Flay Icon Mind Flay, and Rank 6 Power Word: Fortitude Icon Power Word: Fortitude.
6.

Shadow Priest Quests and Weapons

While leveling, you will need to keep open for opportunities to upgrade your wand as it is a significant part of the damage you deal. You will also need to complete various class quests to unlock priest specific racial abilities.

7.

How to keep evolving your Shadow Priest at Level 60

Once you hit maximum level, we suggest you to read the Healer Priest Guide, which covers all there is to know about healing on your Priest at level 60.

Some of the most relevant pages to skim over are as follows.

  • The Shadow Priest Talent builds guide has build information for Shadow Priests.
  • The Healing Priest Talent builds guide has multiple builds for Healing Priests. Some are purely healing oriented, with a heavy investment on the Holy tree, others mix in Discipline talents for powerful abilities to buff and empower your allies.
  • Our PvP Priest guide is where you can find the various recommended PvP builds. While healing will surely be a big part of your duties, you can expect to find some damage dealing builds in there as well.
  • Goldmaking Guide for Priests exists to explain to you some simple techniques you can employ to farm gold quickly at level 60, even while on a healer specialization.
  • Our Shadow Priest Rotation guide teaches you how to properly deal damage, and you can find some advanced tips on how to manage your mana, spell ranks and specialty skills here as well.
  • Browse Shadow Priest Stats guide if you wish to learn more about your different stats and how they affect your gameplay.
  • Finally, the Gear guide for Shadow Priests will tell you which gear pieces to farm at level 60 and where you can farm them at.
8.

Changelog

  • 14 Sep. 2020: Corrected an error with Lesser Heal not being available until level 4.
  • 26 Sep. 2019: Page added.
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