Shadow Priest Shadowlands Leveling Guide From 1 to 60

Last updated on Oct 12, 2020 at 21:30 by Publik 6 comments

On this page, we will go over everything you need to know to Level up your Shadow priest to get ready for Shadowlands end game content. Make sure to use the slider to make the guide adapt to your level. If you are looking for more generic leveling guide you can refer to our Priest leveling guide.

1.

Gear Options

When it comes to gearing out your Shadow Priest you should always take the piece that has a higher Intellect value, typically referenced by the item level of that piece. Intellect is far and away our better stat, and will make everything you do hit harder and kill mobs quicker.

2.

Level by Level Rotation and Talents

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

Level: 1
2.1.

Talents to Level Up as a Shadow Priest

Your first talent row unlocks at Level 15.

Your talent set up should be as follows.

2.2.

Rotation to Level Up as a Shadow Priest

Starting at Level 1, you only have Smite Icon Smite, so just spam this for now.

  1. Shadow Word: Pain Icon Shadow Word: Pain is your first damage over time spell. This should be put up on nearly every mob you fight and can be very helpful for tagging enemies quickly. Make sure you still pre-pull with Smite Icon Smite then apply Shadow Word: Pain.
  2. Use Smite Icon Smite as a filler spell.
  3. Use Shadow Word: Pain Icon Shadow Word: Pain to keep a DoT running on any target you are in combat with. Try to refresh only when it has a few seconds remaining.
  4. Mind Blast Icon Mind Blast is a hard-hitting single target spell you should pre-pull with and use on cooldown.
  5. At level 6 you learn Power Word: Fortitude Icon Power Word: Fortitude; make sure you keep this buff up on yourself and allies at all times.
  6. Use Psychic Scream Icon Psychic Scream to fear mobs away if you ever pull too much or need to get away from enemies.
  7. Devouring Plague Icon Devouring Plague gives you something to spend your Insanity on if you can ever get to 50, which will be difficult until you get Mind Flay Icon Mind Flay next level.
  8. Devouring Plague Icon Devouring Plague gives you something to spend your Insanity on, and should be kept up on as many target as possible.
  9. Mind Flay Icon Mind Flay brings in our Shadow Priest filler spell to replace Smite Icon Smite from the rotation. This ability will also help you generate much more Insanity so that you can spend it on Devouring Plague Icon Devouring Plague.
  10. Shadowform Icon Shadowform is the most iconic Shadow Priest ability thematically; just make sure this is active at all times for that free damage increase.
  11. Shadow Word: Death Icon Shadow Word: Death is our primary execute ability and should ideally only be used on targets less than 20% health.
  12. Starting with level 15, you get your second major damage over time effect with Vampiric Touch Icon Vampiric Touch; generally speaking only cast this on mobs that will live for at least 5 seconds.
  13. Shadowfiend Icon Shadowfiend is a pretty underwhelming cooldown for it being 3 minutes to recharge; for the most part you can just save this for harder boss/elite type mobs.
  14. At 23 you get your major DPS cooldown with Void Eruption Icon Void Eruption which turns into Void Bolt Icon Void Bolt once you are inside of Voidform Icon Voidform. It has a relatively short cooldown so use this often enough for a big burst of damage. When inside of Voidform Icon Voidform, make sure to use Void Bolt Icon Void Bolt on cooldown.
  15. Mind Sear Icon Mind Sear is the AoE filler version of Mind Flay Icon Mind Flay and should replace Mind Flay as your filler starting at 2 or more targets.
  16. Power Infusion Icon Power Infusion is another major cooldown added to your kit you should use in conjunction with Void Eruption Icon Void Eruption.

In addition to these active abilities you will also gain some passive abilities that will impact how you play as you level up:

  • At level 10 you also gain our baseline Mastery ability, Mastery: Shadow Weaving Icon Mastery: Shadow Weaving. This does not change your playstyle much; just know that you will deal more damage to targets if they have your DoTs active on them.
  • Shadowy Apparitions Icon Shadowy Apparitions spawns out a ghostly version of yourself every time you cast Mind Blast Icon Mind Blast, Devouring Plague Icon Devouring Plague, or Void Bolt Icon Void Bolt if that target has Vampiric Touch Icon Vampiric Touch active. This drastically increases the value of Vampiric Touch, so make sure you DoT up most mobs with it unless they will only live a few short seconds.
  • Dark Thoughts Icon Dark Thoughts puts more value than ever on our filler abilities to generate free charges of Mind Blast Icon Mind Blast. This goes hand in hand with increasing our damage through our Mastery as well. Try to use these procs while channeling one of your fillers as much as possible for maximum damage.
2.3.

Shadow Priest War Mode Talents for Leveling

In this section we will go over each of the War Mode/PvP talents you should consider using while leveling up.

2.3.1.

Shadow Priest PvP Talents for Leveling

  1. Driven to Madness Icon Driven to Madness is a great option for open world, since Voidform Icon Voidform itself is not up as often as it used to be.
  2. Void Origins Icon Void Origins is my personal favorite option, instant cast Void Eruption Icon Void Eruption is truely fantastic to play with.
  3. Lasting Plague Icon Lasting Plague turns into a large burst DPS option due to how Devouring Plague Icon Devouring Plague rolls damage over.
  4. Greater Fade Icon Greater Fade is a great option to fill out your last PvP talent for almost any build. The built-in move speed and mini-immunity are extremely nice to have while leveling.
3.

Congratulations!

Congratulations on reaching Level 60! Now that you have hit Level 60 we recommend looking at our Easy mode page and Talents section to learn how to play at max level.

4.

Changelog

  • 20 Nov. 2020: Update leveling guide for Shadowlands launch.
  • 19 Oct. 2020: Updated note about Devouring Plague once reaching Level 11.
  • 12 Oct. 2020: Guide added.
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