Shadow Priest Patch 9.1 Changes Analysis — Shadowlands 9.1
On this page, we tell you how the Patch 9.1 changes for Shadow Priest affect the spec and what the current state of theorycrafting is.
Shadow Priest Patch 9.1 Changes Overview
For this section of the guide I will go over all the important changes you need to know as a Shadow Priest going into Patch 9.1 of Shadowlands. A full list of Priest changes can be found on our dedicated Patch 9.1 Priest Changes page. This page is an active work-in-progress and will be updated as new content is added to the PTR. These changes are not live yet.
For a specific list of changes for the entire patch you can check out the Patch 9.1 overview page.
Base Spec Changes for Patch 9.1
Shadow Priest has a few base spec changes that will have some impact to our damage profile.
- Devouring Plague DoT and initial damage nerfed by ~18%.
- Shadow Word: Pain damage buffed by 25%.
- Vampiric Touch damage buffed by 25%.
While no doubt a small DPS nerf for single-target, this change seems focused around giving the spec back more multi-target damage (including spread target) that seemed lost after the rework going into Shadowlands. In single-target and paired with the Legendary and Conduit changes below we are looking at a sub-5% DPS loss, while in multi-target we will start seeing DPS gains at or above 3 targets in the single percentages. Even with this change Shadow Priests will no doubt still have some of the best single-target in the game. It just is not not quite as overpowered as it was in 9.0.5.
The tricky part with this change that we are still testing is around the ramifications of the Devouring Plague nerf. We have two main questions that need to be answered:
- Does Searing Nightmare start to beat Devouring Plague on 2+ targets now? (Was 3-4+ depending on Voidform)
- With the nerf to the Mind Devourer is the Mind Blast build with Talbadar's Stratagem ever able to compete with Shadowflame Prism?
Both of these questions are being looked at very closely in the coming weeks as sims and data from PTR is finalized, so stay tuned.
Talent Changes for Patch 9.1
Shadow Priest currently has no talent changes for 9.1.
Legendary Changes for Patch 9.1
In 9.1 our two strongest Legendaries both received nerfs. Aside from these changes we still have Priest Covenant-specific Legendaries that we have not seen yet.
- Shadowflame Prism damage nerfed by 15%. Its Insanity generation and Mindbender increase were unaffected, so in reality this is not a 15% total damage nerf.
- Talbadar's Stratagem damage increase nerfed by 8%.
These changes do not seem to affect the power dynamic of our Legendaries, and we will likely still see Shadowflame Prism reign supreme for all Covenants. With the addition of our third Potency Conduit getting Rabid Shadows significantly improves this Legendary, while Mind Devourer does not. Unfortunately, with the nerf to Devouring Plague Mind Devourer also took a DPS nerf as well. This will likely mean that unless the new yet-to-be-revealed Legendaries are strong, everyone will use Shadowflame Prism for both single and multi-target regardless of Covenant.
Conduit and Soulbind Changes for Patch 9.1
There are a few changes to our Soulbind setups going into 9.1, with the major one being each Soulbind now having a few extra rows of traits and 1 extra Conduit slot as well. The traits are still being tuned but I will list a few below that could be interesting.
- Nadjia the Mistblade — Fatal Flaw — decent enough Critical Strike on a somewhat regular cadence.
- Theotar the Mad Duke — Party Favors — 3% Haste buff for 1 hour per day; terrible interaction but will be a solid increase in DPS.
- Forgelite Prime Mikanikos — Soulglow Spectrometer — Rotating damage increase that cycles fully every 15s; overall no downsides and can be slightly optimized around.
- Bonesmith Heirmir — Carver's Eye — Hitting an enemy above 90% HP gives a decent Mastery buff that stacks. This will likely be very strong for Mythic+ damage.
- Bonesmith Heirmir — Mnemonic Equipment — Another great trait from Heirmir, this plays well with Twist of Fate.
- Niya — Bonded Hearts — Fantastic trait that makes one of the best Soulbinds even better; you just need to be in a group with a non-Night Fae!
The other change that is Shadow-specific is a nerf to our BiS Conduit, Dissonant Echoes. This change nerfs the base damage increase to Void Bolt from 35% down to 20%. On the surface this is a pretty solid nerf, but it was clearly ahead as our BiS conduit so it is not surprising. Ordinarily this nerf would be enough to consider us swapping around Conduits, but because they are also adding a 3rd Potency slot to all Soulbinds it will likely still be a default choice for one of those 3 slots. This will be later determined on final sims.
Anima Power Changes for Torghast in Patch 9.1
So far one of the only changes for Priests in Torghast sees the removal of one of our Anima Powers, Horrific Dictionary. While this power certainly was strong, it was not the most fun power in the world so nothing too crazy of a loss. In addition to this change, Maldo's Soul Exploder was slightly changed to now trigger off any enemy that dies within 60 yards rather than just killing an enemy.
- 02 May 2021: More PTR changes from the latest build affecting base spells, Legendaries, and Conduits.
- 22 Apr. 2021: Added initial content.
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