How To Improve As Shadow Priest — Dragonflight 10.1.0
On this page, you will find out how you can improve at playing Shadow Priest in World of Warcraft — Dragonflight 10.1.0. We list the common mistakes that you should try to avoid and the small details that can greatly improve your performance.
Pressing Buttons Faster
This might seem like a silly mistake to the point that people might be making, but it is something seen fairly often. It is crucial for Shadow because you always have something to cast, and you operate at high Haste levels than most specs in the game do. This means that it is easier to miss a cast here or there, and throughout a fight, this can add up. Try always to be mashing the next button you want to cast while casting your current spell to make sure you cast it as fast as possible.
Dealing with Movement Properly
Perhaps the biggest learning curve as a Shadow Priest is learning how to deal with movement during a fight. While Priests can use Angelic Feather or Body and Soul for movement, being able to move without relying on these is a good way to improve DPS. It is important to master the following two guidelines:
First of all, it is important to understand the concept of something we call 'stutter-stepping.' Stutter-stepping means that you are moving small distances between your globals and fitting in any instant spells you may have to ensure you do not lose any casts. Luckily for Shadow, during Voidform, you get access to Void Bolt, which is instant and available often. Outside of Voidform, you can use Shadow Word: Death, Devouring Plague, or Shadowy Insight procs. This means you can move a few yards after every instant cast ability you cast if you want to. Playing around with this is key to optimizing your damage. You can sometimes move into position ahead of time if you know a mechanic will force you to move soon. The goal here is that you are slowly moving to your destination over time, but you will lose no casts in the process. Using instant casts to cover your movement is ideal, but sometimes that is not enough. In the first place, because you may not be in Voidform when movement happens; in the second place because certain fight mechanics do not give you the time to do this properly.
Secondly, you must learn to use Shadow Word: Pain in cases of movement. When doing the rotation normally, Mind Flay is your filler spell. If there is a movement where the above-explained stutter stepping does not cover it entirely, the second most ideal way to deal with movement is to use some ability while moving. You can insert any available ability here, the point being you are pressing something while on the move and not only moving. Shadow Word: Pain is always available, so use this as a last resort.
Knowing How To Sim Yourself
When simming your character, it is important to sim for the types of things that your character is dealing with. If you just sim for simple Patchwerk 1 target, then that is all your character will be optimized for. I recommend simming a few times when determining if something is an upgrade across various fight types. For the sims we do internally, we use the following different settings: [Patchwerk, Light Movement, Heavy Movement] X [1 target, 2 target] X [No add, 3 small adds, 1 big add]. If you are new to Simulating your character, make sure you check out the Simulations page to learn more or check out the SimC Wiki.
To see full sims out there for Shadow Priests, check the GitHub Sim Charts Site. This site contains sims for almost everything you could need to get started on your Priest or if you are just looking for some direction when gearing your character. These sims are all run using Composite sim types. They take some of the scenarios described above and weigh them into a composite number based on how often that type of mechanic shows up in the current raid tier.
- 01 May 2023: Updated for Patch 10.1.0 removing references to Surge of Darkness.
- 20 Mar. 2023: Reviewed for Patch 10.0.7.
- 24 Jan. 2023: Reviewed for Patch 10.0.5.
- 11 Dec. 2022: Reviewed for Dragonflight Season 1.
- 28 Nov. 2022: Updated for Dragonflight launch.
- 25 Oct. 2022: Updated for Dragonflight pre-patch.
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