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Shadow Priest DPS Guide (BfA 8.0.1)

Last updated Today at 19:57 by Isentropy 4 comments

Table of Contents

General Information

Welcome to our Shadow Priest DPS guide for World of Warcraft BfA 8.0.1. Here, you will learn everything you need to know about playing a Shadow Priest in a raid environment and in Mythic+ dungeons.

About Our Author

This guide has been written by Isentropy, top Shadow Priest and one of the main theorycrafters of the spec over at HowToPriest. He currently raids in Echoes.

1. Class Overview

Shadow is currently on the lower end of the spectrum when it comes to single target damage, but what it lacks in single target it compensates for with its high multiple target damage due to its DoTs and talents that increase its burst AoE. 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. Optimizing Insanity generation is key and it is this Voidform Icon Voidform and Insanity management that allow for a fun and fairly fast-paced playstyle, when done correctly.

2. Patch 8.0.1 Changes for Shadow Priest

  • Shadow Word: Death Icon Shadow Word: Death is no longer baseline but instead a talent on the level 75 row.
  • Mind Sear Icon Mind Sear is back as an active ability.
  • All Artifact traits are gone from the spec, apart from our Artifact ability Void Torrent Icon Void Torrent which is now a talent on the level 90 row.
  • Voidform Icon Voidform now only increases Haste by 0.5% per stack rather than 1% Haste per stack.
  • The duration of Shadow Word: Pain Icon Shadow Word: Pain has been reduced to 16 seconds instead of 18 seconds.
  • The duration of Vampiric Touch Icon Vampiric Touch has been reduced to 21 seconds instead of 24 seconds.
  • The Insanity drain now starts at 6 Insanity per second and increases by an additional 0.8 Insanity every second instead of starting at 6 Insanity and increasing by an additional 0.66 every second.
  • Shadow Word: Void Icon Shadow Word: Void now replaces Mind Blast Icon Mind Blast and has 2 stacks if you take this talent.
  • San'layn Icon San'layn now reduces the cooldown for Vampiric Embrace Icon Vampiric Embrace and increases its healing. It no longer boosts Vampiric Touch Icon Vampiric Touch damage.
  • Void Eruption Icon Void Eruption is now a regular targeted AoE ability and no longer relies on your targets having DoTs on them.
  • Dark Void Icon Dark Void is a new talent that deals damage to your target and all additional enemies within 10 yards, in addition to applying Shadow Word: Pain Icon Shadow Word: Pain to all enemies hit.
  • Dark Ascension Icon Dark Ascension is a new talent that allows you to immediately enter Voidform Icon Voidform at any point, as well as dealing damage to all enemies within 10 yards of your target.
  • Surrender to Madness Icon Surrender to Madness is now a 4-minute cooldown and still boosts your Insanity generation, but now no longer kills you at the end of the effect. Instead, after 1 minute it deals 90% of your maximum health and stops you from generating any Insanity for 30 seconds.
  • Mastery: Madness Icon Mastery: Madness has been redesigned to increase the damage of most of our baseline damage sources, rather than just our DoTs and Void Bolt Icon Void Bolt.
  • Mind Bomb Icon Mind Bomb no longer stuns but disorients targets instead.
  • Psychic Horror Icon Psychic Horror is a new talent that stuns your target for 4 seconds.
  • Last Word Icon Last Word is a new talent that reduces the cooldown of Silence Icon Silence by 15 seconds.
  • Several talents have moved places within the talent tree.

3. Shadow Priest Strengths

  • Good sustained multiple target damage
  • Option to provide valuable execute damage if you take the talents for it
  • Solid priority target damage
  • Decent self-healing through Vampiric Touch Icon Vampiric Touch, scaling well with additional targets
  • Situationally good group utility in the form of Vampiric Embrace Icon Vampiric Embrace
  • Fairly strong burst AoE if you take the talents for it

4. Shadow Priest Weaknesses

  • DoT management requires a lot of focus and can take away a lot of globals when facing a couple of targets
  • Lack of good DPS cooldowns means that Shadow has low burst potential
  • Weak single target damage
  • Voidform Icon Voidform is prone to mistakes and can punish the player quite harshly when you mess up

5. Shadow Priest Viability in the Current Patch

Shadow is currently in a good spot for Antorus, the Burning Throne. Shadow's performance on single target is not great, but the majority of the fight design allows us to take advantage of our kit well enough to produce solid numbers. Any time we get to benefit from our DoTs and AoE capabilities is when Shadow really shines and shows its strength. Alternatively, the ability to spec into execute talents is valuable for some raid encounters.

6. Contents

To make it easy to navigate the guide, we have split it into 12 pages:

7. ChangeLog

  • 22 Jul. 2018 (easy mode page): Adjusted talent advice.
  • 19 Jul. 2018 (gear page): Description of Anund's Seared Shackles updated.
  • 18 Jul. 2018 (gear page): Updated to include recommended legendaries.
  • 18 Jul. 2018 (rotation page): Made several updates.
    • Added additional explanation regarding Dark Ascension.
    • Updated rotation section to reflect the pre-patch better.
    • Made it so that Shadowfiend disappears from the rotation when Mindbender is selected.
  • 18 Jul. 2018 (talents page): Updated talent recommendations.
  • 22 May 2018 (this page): Made various updates to the page to bring it up to date with the current state of the game.
  • 22 Feb. 2018 (this page): Updated viability section.
  • 18 Feb. 2018 (this page): Updated several sections.
  • 30 Nov. 2017 (this page): Added 7.3.2 changes.
  • 28 Aug. 2017 (this page): Added Patch 7.3 changes, updated description, strengths/weaknesses, and viability.
  • 06 Jul. 2017 (this page): Reworded the viability section.
  • 12 Jun. 2017 (this page): Added Patch 7.2.5 changes.
  • 01 May 2017 (this page): Updated strengths.
  • 26 Mar. 2017 (this page): Added Patch 7.2 changes section.
  • 10 Jan. 2017 (this page): Revamped intro. Added Patch 7.1.5 changes section, added strengths/weaknesses section, and added Viability section.
  • 31 Oct. 2016 (this page): Removed mention of Shadowform always being on, since this was changed in patch 7.1.
  • 29 Aug. 2016 (this page): Updated for Legion's launch.
  • 18 Jul. 2016 (this page): Updated for the Legion pre-patch.
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