Shadow Priest DPS Guide in Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.0.1

Last updated on Oct 04, 2018 at 15:17 by Isentropy 23 comments

Table of Contents

General Information

Welcome to our Shadow Priest DPS guide for World of Warcraft Battle for Azeroth (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 Warcraft Priests. 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 multi-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 charges 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
  • 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 Priest is looking to have a pretty rough time right now for those who raid. The spec is not doing great in Uldir so far, but as far as casters go it is not terrible in that sense. In dungeons, Shadow feels better to play and the spec is in a much better state there both in regards to utility and output. Overall, the spec is probably sitting in the middle of the pack so it could be better, but also worse.

6. Contents

To make it easy to navigate the guide, we have split it into 14 pages:

7. Changelog

  • 04 Oct. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Restructured the Azerite page.
  • 04 Oct. 2018 (bosses page): Updated now that proper conclusions can be drawn based on data.
  • 04 Oct. 2018 (gear page): Added a section regarding Mythic+.
  • 04 Oct. 2018 (enchants page): Updated Potion of Rising Death description based on recent hotfixes.
  • 04 Oct. 2018 (talents page): Updated Legacy of the Void description.
  • 04 Oct. 2018 (rotation page): Added opener rotations and slightly changed the section regarding Dark Ascension.
  • 20 Sep. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Updated based on recent Simcraft fixes and in game hotfixes.
  • 11 Sep. 2018 (talents page): Updated several talent descriptions to be more accurate.
  • 11 Sep. 2018 (bosses page): Updated after seeing data from the first week of Uldir.
  • 11 Sep. 2018 (this page): Updated for Uldir launch.
  • 11 Sep. 2018 (enchants page): Updated outdated information.
  • 05 Sep. 2018 (bosses page): Restructured playstyle advice and updated talent suggestions.
  • 04 Sep. 2018 (bosses page): Preliminary updated for Uldir launch.
  • 30 Aug. 2018 (FAQ page): Added a section about Mind Flay.
  • 30 Aug. 2018 (mythic+ page): Removed the suggestion of Spiteful Apparitions for dungeons.
  • 30 Aug. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Updated links to Azerite charts.
  • 30 Aug. 2018 (easy mode page): Changed talent advice.
  • 30 Aug. 2018 (rotation page): Elaborated on how to best use Dark Void.
  • 30 Aug. 2018 (stats page): Changed stat priority.
  • 30 Aug. 2018 (enchants page): Added Deadly Navigation as possible weapon enchant.
  • 30 Aug. 2018 (spells page): Added a section regarding baseline utility Shadow has.
  • 30 Aug. 2018 (talents page): Updated cheat sheet and elaborated on Auspicious Spirits.
  • 20 Aug. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Updated for the latest hotfixes.
  • 16 Aug. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Updated links to Azerite charts.
  • 15 Aug. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Updated rankings to the most recent data.
  • 15 Aug. 2018 (talents page): Updated talent cheat sheets.
  • 15 Aug. 2018 (gear page): Updated links to Bloodmallet's sims.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (gear page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (enchants page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (stats page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (rotation page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (talents page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (easy mode page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (this page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (common mistakes page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 10 Aug. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Reformatted Azerite page.
  • 09 Aug. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Added generic traits and rankings.
  • 09 Aug. 2018 (bosses page): Removed Legion info and added a placeholder for Uldir.
  • 09 Aug. 2018 (mythic+ page): Added Mythic+ page.
  • 03 Aug. 2018 (rotation page): Overhauled the Multiple Target Rotation section.
  • 02 Aug. 2018 (FAQ page): Added Shadow Priest FAQ page.
  • 29 Jul. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Updated existing info and added trait rankings.
  • 29 Jul. 2018 (rotation page): Slightly adjusted Mindbender timings and adjusted Dark Ascension opener.
  • 29 Jul. 2018 (simulations page): Added Magicsim as an additional simming tool.
  • 27 Jul. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Added Azerite page.
  • 23 Jul. 2018 (easy mode page): Adjusted talent advice.
  • 19 Jul. 2018 (gear page): Description of Anund's Seared Shackles updated.
  • 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.
  • 18 Jul. 2018 (gear page): Updated to include recommended legendaries.
  • 17 Jul. 2018 (this page): Updated for BfA pre-patch.
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