Shadow Priest DPS Guide — Shadowlands 9.0.2

Last updated Yesterday at 23:11 by Publik 6 comments
General Information

Welcome to our Shadow Priest guide for World of Warcraft — Shadowlands 9.0.2. Here, you will learn how to play as a Shadow Priest in both raids and Mythic+ dungeons: from the very beginning to maximizing your DPS.

If you were looking for WoW Classic content, please refer to our Classic Shadow Priest DPS guide.

1.

Shadow Priest Overview

Shadow Priest has received a large rework going into Shadowlands and plays like a brand new car. There are amazing choices on the talent tree and the playstyle harkens back to old versions of the spec while giving it new life and purpose as a DoT spec again. Voidform is now a hard hitting 1.5 minute cooldown, and gives you better defined peaks and valleys of damage without the spec feeling punishing. While the spell priority system may seem simple at first glance, the true mastery of your Shadow Priest comes from how well you can perform your rotation whilst also respecting mechanics.

2.

Strengths and Weaknesses

V Strengths
  • +Good sustained multiple target damage
  • +Option to provide valuable AoE damage if you take the talents for it
  • +Amazing self-healing through Vampiric Touch Icon Vampiric Touch and Devouring Plague Icon Devouring Plague, scaling well with additional targets
  • +Situationally good group utility in the form of Vampiric Embrace Icon Vampiric Embrace
  • +Great talent options to adapt to many situations
X Weaknesses
  • -DoT management requires a lot of focus and can take away a lot of globals when facing a couple of targets
  • -Lining up cooldowns can be tricky depending on fight timings
  • -Need to plan out movement specifically, cannot just stop casting whenever you want
3.

Shadowlands Changes for Priests

We are maintaining a list of changes for Priests for Shadowlands, the upcoming World of Warcraft expansion, which you can access using the link below. We also have pages for the new Covenant abilities and Anima Powers.

Shadow has been gifted lots of changes going into Shadowlands, with a rework of Voidform Icon Voidform and a return of some old spells with a bit of a twist. If you have ever enjoyed a DoT class before you have to try out this spec come Shadowlands!

If you are looking for a video version of this guide you can check out Publik's YouTube Guide on his channel.

4.

Leveling a Shadow Priest

If the new changes to Shadow Priest sound interesting and you would like to level a fresh Priest, check out the leveling guide below to get you to max level with ease!

After getting to max level, or once you feel more comfortable with the spec, you should check out the suggested Addons page to get you started on mastering your Shadow Priest.

5.

Basics of Shadow Priest Gameplay

Shadow Priest gameplay combines the basic builder-spender idea used in other specs, while twisting in being an active DoT class with lots of cooldowns to use. The basics of the rotation involve getting as much uptime as possible on your cooldowns while making sure to keep up all 3 of your DoTs on as many active targets as possible, especially Devouring Plague Icon Devouring Plague.

If you are new to Shadow Priest, or maybe just want a quickstart guide to the spec, we suggest first looking through the Spell Summary first, as well as the Easy Mode page linked below. This will get you up and running on your Shadow Priest in no time!

If this is not your first time playing Shadow Priest you can jump right into the Talents and Rotation sections of the guide to start mastering the ins and outs of playing your Shadow Priest in a PvE environment.

6.

How to Gear Up as a Shadow Priest

While gearing these days can seem overwhelming or challenging, there are a few things to keep in mind that will make this process a bit less painful. Check out the gearing page to decide what pieces to aim for from various forms of content, which includes the current Best in Slot from this tier.

With any gearing setup if you are looking to optimize your character you should always make sure you are using the correct consumables, gems, enchants, and more on your Shadow Priest. All the little things can add up to a noticeable difference in damage! The stats page goes over each stat in depth and why we like (or do not like) each secondary enhancement.

7.

Shadow Priest in Shadowlands

With the expansion launch you are now able to collect Legendary Powers and craft your Legendary Item of choice. Check out the guide below on what to craft and where the power drops from.

Another large system inside of Shadowlands revolves around the Covenants. There are a total of four Covenants to choose from, and each one gives you 2 new abilities for you to use while a member of that Covenant. One ability is signature to that Covenant, like Door of Shadows Icon Door of Shadows, and another is class specific, like Mindgames Icon Mindgames. In addition to getting these new spells, you are also able to spec out one of three Soulbinds to further augment your character with Conduits and Soulbind traits. To figure out which Covenant and Soulbind is best suited, below you can read through the our dedicated guide.

8.

End-Game as a Shadow Priest

Once you have your character prepared you are ready to dive into various forms of end-game content. We have dedicated pages for Raiding, Mythic+, Torghast and PvP depending on what you are interested in. Each one will go over various talent and build changes best for that form of content. Our Raiding, Mythic+, Torghast and PvP guides can help you maximize your character for each of these environments, regardless of your focus in end-game content.

9.

Improving as a Shadow Priest

If you are struggling to perform on your Shadow Priest we have compiled a list of mistakes and how to overcome them on your Shadow Priest as well as general questions answered on the FAQ page. You can also try simulating your character to make sure you are using the optimal build for your character.

10.

Changelog

  • 24 Nov. 2020 (Torghast): Page added.
  • 23 Nov. 2020 (enchants page): Update for new Shadowlands consumables and enchants.
  • 23 Nov. 2020 (talents page): Updated for Shadowlands 9.0.2 Launch
  • 23 Nov. 2020 (easy mode page): Updated for Shadowlands Launch by removing Azerite/Essences, updating default Talents, and adding Power Infusion to the rotation.
  • 23 Nov. 2020 (FAQ page): Clarified a few answers based on Shadowlands data.
  • 23 Nov. 2020 (spells page): Reviewed for Shadowlands launch and fixed some typos.
  • 23 Nov. 2020 (how to improve page): Page reviewed for Shadowlands launch and no changes needed.
  • 23 Nov. 2020 (stats page): Updated stat rankings for Shadowlands launch.
  • 23 Nov. 2020 (simulations page): Page reviewed for Shadowlands launch and no changes needed.
  • 23 Nov. 2020 (rotation page): Update rotation for all Covenant abilities and changes for Shadowlands launch.
  • 23 Nov. 2020 (gear page): Update for Shadowlands launch with Pre-Raid and Raid BiS lists
  • 23 Nov. 2020 (mythic+ page): Update guide for all new affixes and legendaries to use for Shadowlands.
  • 23 Nov. 2020 (addons page): Updated macros for Searing Nightmare + SW:P.
  • 23 Nov. 2020 (this page): Updated sections for new Shadowlands systems and content.
  • 20 Nov. 2020 (Legendaries): Page added.
  • 20 Nov. 2020 (Covenants and Soulbinds): Page added.
  • 26 Oct. 2020 (talents page): Updated suggestions for Mindbender and Ancient Madness post pre-patch tuning.
  • 26 Oct. 2020 (Ny'alotha page): Updated suggestions for Mindbender and Ancient Madness post pre-patch tuning.
  • 19 Oct. 2020 (rotation page): Clarify Unfurling Darkness usage.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (FAQ page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (Ny'alotha page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (enchants page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (mythic+ page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (addons page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (rotation page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (gear page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (talents page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (this page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (simulations page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (spells page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (how to improve page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (easy mode page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (stats page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 13 Jan. 2020 (Uldir page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.3 and no changes are necessary.
  • 13 Jan. 2020 (The Eternal Palace page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.3 and no changes are necessary.
  • 13 Jan. 2020 (Battle of Dazar'alor page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.3 and no changes are necessary.
  • 13 Jan. 2020 (Crucible of Storms page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.3 and no changes are necessary.
  • 06 Oct. 2019 (The Eternal Palace page): Added more tips to a few bosses.
  • 05 Oct. 2019 (The Eternal Palace page): Added more tips.
  • 09 Jul. 2019 (The Eternal Palace page): Guide added.
  • 25 Jun. 2019 (Crucible of Storms page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 25 Jun. 2019 (Uldir page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 25 Jun. 2019 (Battle of Dazar'alor page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 11 May 2019 (Crucible of Storms page): Updated talent suggestions and added tips for Uu'nat.
  • 14 Apr. 2019 (Uldir page): This page has been reviewed and no changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 14 Apr. 2019 (Crucible of Storms page): Guide added.
  • 14 Apr. 2019 (Battle of Dazar'alor page): This page has been reviewed and no changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 26 Feb. 2019 (Battle of Dazar'alor page): Updated several talent suggestions and playstyle tips.
  • 29 Jan. 2019 (Battle of Dazar'alor page): Added the remaining talent advice and boss tips.
  • 24 Jan. 2019 (Battle of Dazar'alor page): Filled in most of the talent advice and boss tips.
  • 22 Jan. 2019 (Battle of Dazar'alor page): Added boss tips for Shadow Priest in Battle of Dazar'alor.
  • 12 Dec. 2018 (Uldir page): Updated some of the talent recommendations and fight tips.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (Uldir page): Updated for Patch 8.1 changes.
  • 04 Oct. 2018 (Uldir page): Updated now that proper conclusions can be drawn based on data.
  • 11 Sep. 2018 (Uldir page): Updated after seeing data from the first week of Uldir.
  • 05 Sep. 2018 (Uldir page): Restructured playstyle advice and updated talent suggestions.
  • 04 Sep. 2018 (Uldir page): Preliminary updated for Uldir launch.
  • 09 Aug. 2018 (Uldir page): Removed Legion info and added a placeholder for Uldir.
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