Shadow Priest DPS Mythic+ Tips — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.3

Last updated on Sep 21, 2020 at 12:31 by Publik 32 comments
General Information

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) 8.3.


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.

If you are unfamiliar with Mythic+ and its associated general mechanics, you can read more about it on our dedicated Mythic+ page below.


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.


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 Icon Mind Control, which only Discipline Priests can do as well.

  • Dispel Magic Icon 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 Icon 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 Icon 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 Icon 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 Icon Last Word as a talent.
  • Psychic Horror Icon 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 Icon 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 Icon San'layn. Note that the damage of our DoTs also gets converted to healing, and that Void Eruption Icon Void Eruption damage does too.
  • Shadow Mend Icon 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 Icon 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 Icon 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 Icon Leap of Faith pulls a friendly party member towards you. It is not that useful generally, but can sometimes save someone.
  • Mind Control Icon Mind Control is good to deal with Bolstering Icon 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 Icon 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 Icon Mind Bomb, which replaces Psychic Scream in your spellbook if you take it.
  • Shackle Undead Icon 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.

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.

Level Choices
15 Fortress of the Mind Fortress of the Mind Shadowy Insight Shadowy Insight Shadow Word: Void Shadow Word: Void
30 Body and Soul Body and Soul San'layn San'layn Intangibility ? Intangibility
45 Twist of Fate Twist of Fate Misery Misery Dark Void Dark Void
60 Last Word Last Word Mind Bomb Mind Bomb Psychic Horror Psychic Horror
75 Auspicious Spirits Auspicious Spirits Shadow Word: Death Shadow Word: Death Shadow Crash Shadow Crash
90 Lingering Insanity Lingering Insanity Mindbender Mindbender Void Torrent Void Torrent
100 Legacy of the Void Legacy of the Void Dark Ascension Dark Ascension Surrender to Madness Surrender to Madness
  • Auspicious Spirits Icon Auspicious Spirits and Shadow Crash Icon 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 Icon Spiteful Apparitions traits, then this heavily favours Auspicious Spirits. If you choose to use the Searing Dialogue Icon Searing Dialogue and Thought Harvester Icon Thought Harvester build, then using globals on Shadow Crash Icon Shadow Crash instead of just using Mind Sear Icon 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 Icon Lingering Insanity and Mindbender Icon 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.

Note that the talents recommended above are specifically for Mythic+. If you wish to see a more general overview of Shadow talents, you can check our main page below.


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.


Tier One Affixes

  • Fortified Icon Fortified increases the Health pool of all non-boss enemies by 20% and damage dealt by 30%.
  • Tyrannical Icon Tyrannical increases the Health pool of boss enemies by 40% and their damage dealt by 15%.

Fortified Icon Fortified and Tyrannical Icon 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.


Tier Two Affixes

  • Raging Icon Raging increases the damage dealt by enemies below 30% HP by 100% until they die.
  • Teeming Icon Teeming adds additional trash mobs to certain packs throughout each dungeon.
  • Bolstering Icon 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 Icon Mind Control mobs that you do not want to get any Bolstering stacks on at all costs.
  • Sanguine Icon 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 Icon 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.

Tier Three Affixes

  • Volcanic Icon 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 Icon Grievous afflicts players with a stacking DoT when they fall below 90%. Use Shadow Mend Icon Shadow Mend to help out your healer when outside of combat.
  • Quaking Icon 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 Icon 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 Icon Necrotic debuffs the target of enemy melee swings with stacking healing reduction and minor DoT.
  • Skittish Icon Skittish reduces the amount of threat generated by tanks throughout the dungeon. Use Fade Icon Fade liberally so you do not have to care about threat at all at the start of a pull.

Seasonal Affix

Awakened Icon Awakened is the Season 4 seasonal affix. Awakened spawns 4 obelisks throughout the dungeon and provides a way to skip through the dungeon after defeating a mini-boss-esque mob. This has the potential to give Shadow Priests an easier times finding groups for dungeons, as the rogue spot becomes ever so slightly less required if you use Shroud of Concealment Icon Shroud of Concealment for your dungeon strategy.


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 Icon Death Throes increases the total damage your Shadow Word: Pain Icon 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 Icon 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 Icon Thought Harvester gives your Vampiric Touch Icon Vampiric Touch ticks a chance to increase the damage of your next Mind Sear Icon Mind Sear by 150%.
  • Searing Dialogue Icon Searing Dialogue provides you with a nice boost to Mind Sear Icon Mind Sear damage on targets afflicted by your Shadow Word: Pain Icon Shadow Word: Pain. This trait synergizes well with Thought Harvester Icon 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.

Trinket Considerations for Beast Mastery Hunter in Mythic+

When choosing your trinkets, we recommend simulating yourself on Raidbots using the Patchwerk, Light Movement, and Heavy Movement options for raids and single-target, and DungeonSlice (Mythic+/AoE Fights) Fight Styles.

You can also get a quick overview of good Mythic+ Trinkets on our Gearing page, specifically the Simulation chart for multi-target scenarios.



  • 21 Sep. 2020: Reformat guide.
  • 14 Jan. 2020: Reviewed page for Patch 8.3 and the new affix.
  • 05 Oct. 2019: Small change to the recommended talent tree.
  • 09 Aug. 2019: Updated tips for dealing with the seasonal affix.
  • 25 Jun. 2019: This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 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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