Shadow Priest DPS Mythic+ Tips — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.1.5
In this guide, you will find tips and advice to tackle Mythic+ dungeons with your Shadow Priest in World of Warcraft — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.1.5.
1. Shadow Priest in Mythic+
Shadow has seen a big playstyle change in dungeons, as we now have access to plenty of AoE abilities on top of our ramp-up time being significantly reduced. While this does not necessarily make Shadow a top tier pick for Mythic+, it is fair to say that it has become a more enjoyable experience overall.
1.1. Shadow Priest Mythic+ Rotation
Both the single-target and multi-target rotations do not change in Mythic+ content. For more information about the Shadow Priest DPS rotation, refer back to the Rotation, Cooldowns, and Abilities page.
1.2. Shadow Priest Utility
Shadow Priest provides support for the party through providing extra healing, an AoE fear, offensive and defensive dispels, and a potential single-target stun if you pick it as a talent. Additionally, Shadow has a unique form of crowd control in the form of Mind Control, which only Discipline Priests can do as well.
- Dispel Magic allows you to dispel beneficial buffs from enemies. This is extremely useful in Battle for Azeroth dungeons, as a lot of mob packs in many of the dungeons tend to have some kind of buff that they cast on themselves. While this is more important in some dungeons compared to others, it is still very valuable to be able to do it.
- Purify Disease dispels all Disease effects from friendly targets. This is fairly niche, but still situationally extremely useful, such as on Sporecaller Zancha in The Underrot.
- Mass Dispel remains a really useful ability to have in our arsenal. Dispelling is very important in Battle for Azeroth, and Mass Dispel allows for both offensive and defensive dispels. The fact that you can dispel multiple enemies or friendly targets with just one global is situationally very strong, although Mass Dispel does have a fairly lengthy 45-second cooldown now.
- Silence serves as both a silence effect as well as an interrupt. Though its baseline cooldown is longer than most interrupts in the game at 45 seconds, we do get the ability to reduce that cooldown by 15 seconds if we take Last Word as a talent.
- Psychic Horror stuns a single-target for 4 seconds at a 45-second cooldown. It is handy for some dungeons to lock down dangerous targets.
- Vampiric Embrace heals allies based on 85% of the single-target damage you do on a 2-minute cooldown. It can be very powerful depending on the situation, especially when combined with San'layn. Note that the damage of our DoTs also gets converted to healing, and that Void Eruption damage does too.
- Shadow Mend can be useful for off-healing. There will not be a lot of situations where you will want to do this, but the option is there should it be needed.
- Power Word: Shield has no cooldown, which allows you to liberally use shields on your party members if you feel you need to help out the healer a bit. Casting a shield on someone does give them the Weakened Soul debuff, preventing you from shielding them again for 7.5 seconds. Also bear in mind that you have a fairly small Mana pool as a Shadow Priest!
- Leap of Faith pulls a friendly party member towards you. It is not that useful generally, but can sometimes save someone.
- Mind Control is good to deal with Bolstering if you really do not want a mob in the pack to get Bolstering stacks. While mobs are Mind Controlled, they can not get affected by Bolstering.
- Psychic Scream fears up to 5 enemies close to you for 8 seconds, but damage can break this early. Psychic Scream is primarily used as an AoE interrupt in dungeons. The same goes for Mind Bomb, which replaces Psychic Scream in your spellbook if you take it.
- Shackle Undead is not entirely useless in Battle for Azeroth because there are a large amount of Undead mobs in some of the dungeons. You have the option to Crowd Control them as Shadow if needed.
2. Mythic+ Talents for Shadow Priests
Below are the suggested talents for Mythic+. These talents are recommended for all groups and keys at the current time.
|15||✗ Fortress of the Mind||✗ Shadowy Insight||✓ Shadow Word: Void|
|30||✓ Body and Soul||? San'layn||? Intangibility|
|45||✗ Twist of Fate||✓ Misery||✓ Dark Void|
|60||✓ Last Word||✗ Mind Bomb||✓ Psychic Horror|
|75||✓ Auspicious Spirits||✗ Shadow Word: Death||✓ Shadow Crash|
|90||✓ Lingering Insanity||✓ Mindbender||✗ Void Torrent|
|100||✓ Legacy of the Void||✓ Dark Ascension||✗ Surrender to Madness|
- Auspicious Spirits and Shadow Crash are both technically viable and you can interchange them depending on which you prefer. However, the choice is becoming more and more skewed towards Auspicious Spirits due to how you want to gear as Shadow. The two main Azerite trait combos people like to run nowadays are a big reason as well: if you choose to use several Spiteful Apparitions traits, then this heavily favours Auspicious Spirits. If you choose to use the Searing Dialogue and Thought Harvester build, then using globals on Shadow Crash instead of just using Mind Sear is not worth it either. For more information on these two builds, we recommend looking at our Azerite page. If you are not using either of these Azerite builds, whatever the reason may be, then you are free in choosing the talent you prefer.
- Lingering Insanity and Mindbender are both viable for Mythic+, with Lingering Insanity having the edge the vast majority of the time. The only time where Lingering Insanity starts to lag behind is if you have a lot of downtime between packs (upwards of 30 seconds or higher). Otherwise, you will not notice a big difference between the two in terms of performance. Lingering Insanity tends to be the preferred pick of most players here.
- For more elaborate information on what to pick on the level 45 and level 100 rows, check out the FAQs.
3. Mythic+ Affixes
The way Mythic+ affixes are tiered in Battle for Azeroth has changed quite a bit since their launch in Legion.
There are now three weekly affixes and one seasonal affix. The first affix is available instantly at level two and three, the second affix starts at level four, the third affix is enabled at level seven, and finally the seasonal affix is at level ten.
3.1. Tier One Affixes
- Fortified increases the Health pool of all non-boss enemies by 20% and damage dealt by 30%.
- Tyrannical increases the Health pool of boss enemies by 40% and their damage dealt by 15%.
Fortified and Tyrannical are the two affixes every player will see. These affixes shift the focus of dungeons from boss to trash depending on the week. Shadow Priests will excel during Fortified weeks as our multi-target damage has a short ramp up time and then will sustain at decent numbers without the use of cooldowns. During Tyrannical weeks, Shadow may feel like it starts to lag behind because its single-target is rather poor and we do not really have talents to alleviate that. However, this is all subject to tuning and can always change.
3.2. Tier Two Affixes
- Raging increases the damage dealt by enemies below 30% HP by 100% until they die.
- Teeming adds additional trash mobs to certain packs throughout each dungeon.
- Bolstering buffs remaining enemies Health pools and damage dealt by 20% when an enemy dies nearby. To counter this affix, DPS all mobs down evenly and focus your casts into high Health mobs if there are any. As Shadow, you can also Mind Control mobs that you do not want to get any Bolstering stacks on at all costs.
- Sanguine places a pool of blood on the ground when a mob is slain. This pool will heal remaining enemies who stay inside the zone and also damage players.
- Bursting forces enemy mobs to detonate when slain, afflicting the group with a stacking debuff that causes players to suffer 10% of their max Health in damage every four seconds. When handling the Bursting affix, ask how many stacks your healer can handle and try to not mindlessly DPS and exceed your healers stack limit.
3.3. Tier Three Affixes
- Volcanic spawns volcanic plumes underneath and around players when in combat with any enemy. When damaged by Volcanic, players suffer 50% of their maximum Health pool in damage. The more enemies you are in combat with, the more Volcanic that will spawn.
- Grievous afflicts players with a stacking DoT when they fall below 90%. Use Shadow Mend to help out your healer when outside of combat.
- Quaking will periodically attempt to interrupt casters by creating a damaging zone around each player. About 3 seconds after the zone forms, it will deal 20% maximum Health in damage to each player caught in the zone, as well as interrupting any hard casts being finished during the shockwave.
- Explosive will occasionally spawn Explosive Orbs that need to be targeted and burned down within a short period of time or they will deal significant damage to the party. Explosive Orbs are not cleaveable and the amount of orbs that spawn scales with the amount of enemies pulled.
- Necrotic debuffs the target of enemy melee swings with stacking healing reduction and minor DoT.
- Skittish reduces the amount of threat generated by tanks throughout the dungeon. Use Fade liberally so you do not have to care about threat at all at the start of a pull.
3.4. Seasonal Affix
Reaping is the seasonal affix for Season 2 of Battle for Azeroth. Reaping causes Souls to rise from the dead and attack the party at intervals of 20% completion on the Enemy Forces count. There are three different enemy types to be aware of:
- Risen Soul: Will apply Reap Soul to their current target, dealing 2% maximum health in damage every 3 seconds, per stack. This can be dispelled.
- Tormented Soul: Will cast Grave Bolt, which deals 25% maximum health in damage to the cast target. This cast can be interrupted.
- Lost Soul: Will cast Shadow Smash at their current target, a frontal cone ability that can be sidestepped. If you are hit by this, your maximum health will be reduced by 20% for 1 minute. Additionally, when Lost Souls die they will cast Expel Soul, spawning swirls on the ground that must be dodged. If you are hit by this, your damage and healing done will be reduced by 10% for 30 seconds.
Careful planning is required to deal with Reaping effectively. Be sure you keep track of when and how a Reaping will occur, and try to plan your pulls so that they end just as you hit the 20% interval. Once the Souls spawn, you will want to group them together for maximum AoE and cleave. Reaping greatly increases the value of Dark Void, as the mobs that spawn from Reaping will generally not live for a very long time. The trait combo of Searing Dialogue and Thought Harvester also becomes stronger for the same reason (and they also synergize with Dark Void very well).
Note that the Souls enter combat immediately upon spawning, although they can reset if in-combat stealth techniques, such as Shadowmeld, are used. Any Souls remaining from the previous wave will re-enter combat during the next wave. Like other trash mobs in dungeons, Souls will drop combat once the dungeon completes (all bosses are killed and Enemy Forces is at 100%), so you may want to kill the last boss before finishing off your trash count to avoid the final Reaping wave.
4. Mythic+ Azerite Traits
There are three Shadow Priest-specific traits that are very strong for Mythic+ and stand out compared to the rest. Try and target these if you can to maximize your Mythic+ performance.
- Death Throes increases the total damage your Shadow Word: Pain does and makes it give you 5 Insanity when mobs die while affected by Shadow Word: Pain. This makes it really strong for AoE and cleave, especially when using Dark Void. The extra Insanity you get when the targets die helps a lot with the ramp up for the next pack. This trait effectively turns Shadow Word: Pain into one of your main damage sources for dungeons.
- Thought Harvester gives your Vampiric Touch ticks a chance to increase the damage of your next Mind Sear by 150%.
- Searing Dialogue provides you with a nice boost to Mind Sear damage on targets afflicted by your Shadow Word: Pain. This trait synergizes well with Thought Harvester specifically, as it scales with the 150% damage bonus to Mind Sear. If you are able to, then you will want to pair these two traits together. You can read more about the synergy Thought Harvester and Searing Dialogue have and what that means on our Azerite page.
- 14 Apr. 2019: Updated for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
- 26 Feb. 2019: Updated to be more in line with the current dungeon meta.
- 16 Dec. 2018: Updated with more accurate talent and Azerite trait advice.
- 10 Dec. 2018: This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
- 30 Aug. 2018: Removed the suggestion of Spiteful Apparitions for dungeons.
- 09 Aug. 2018: Added Mythic+ page.
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