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Shadow Priest DPS Spell Summary (Legion 7.3.5)

Last updated on May 22, 2018 at 16:13 by Furty 261 comments

Table of Contents

General Information

On this page, we list the spells that you will often use as a Shadow Priest.

The other pages of our Shadow Priest guide can be accessed from the table of contents on the right.

About Our Author and Reviewer

This guide has been written by Furty, who has an illustrious history in the World of Warcraft raiding scene and race for World First. He has been a member of guilds such as Serenity, Midwinter, and many more, and is currently raiding in Future. He plays most classes at the highest level. You can follow him on Twitter and watch him play on Twitch.

This guide has been reviewed by Atroxe, a Shadow Priest who plays in Encore, and by DjRiff, a theorycrafter at HowToPriest. You can watch Atroxe play on YouTube and Twitch, and you can watch DjRiff stream on Twitch.

1. Shadow Priest Spell Summary

If you are new to Shadow, this is a great place to start to get an understanding of how the spec works. On this page we will discuss what abilities you have, what they are used for within the specialisation, how they interact with each other and also with important cooldowns. If you already have experience with Shadow and are comfortable with it in Legion, it is recommended you skip this section and move on to the rest of the guide.

2. Main Resource for Shadow Priest

Insanity is your primary resource as a Shadow Priest. All of our offensive abilities generate Insanity. The goal is to generate 100 Insanity (65 Insanity with the Legacy of the Void Icon Legacy of the Void talent) in order to enter Voidform Icon Voidform, at which point you go into an enhanced state during which your Insanity is progressively drained and once you run out of Insanity, Voidform ends. Once you drop out of Voidform you will want to build Insanity again like before and then go back into Voidform, repeating the process. Insanity management is a crucial part of playing a Shadow Priest.

Mana is your secondary resource as a Shadow Priest. Most of our utility spells cost Mana to use, though managing Mana attentively is generally not required.

3. Basic Abilities for Shadow Priest

These are your core skills that are available regardless of talents, and form the core gameplay of the specialization.

Void Eruption Icon Void Eruption has a 2-second cast time (reduced by Haste), at the end of which you enter Voidform Icon Voidform. Void Eruption also deals a big burst of damage to all targets affected by either your Shadow Word: Pain Icon Shadow Word: Pain or Vampiric Touch Icon Vampiric Touch DoT. The Shadow rotation is greatly altered while you are inside of Voidform, and this is the part of the gameplay that is the most complex. During Voidform, your damage is increased by 20%, the cooldown of Mind Blast Icon Mind Blast is reduced by 3 seconds, and you gain 1% Haste per second (multiplicatively).

Void Bolt Icon Void Bolt is an ability that replaces Void Eruption Icon Void Eruption while Voidform Icon Voidform is active. It is instant cast and it deals damage to the target, adding 3 seconds to the existing durations of Shadow Word: Pain Icon Shadow Word: Pain and Vampiric Touch Icon Vampiric Touch to the target and all nearby targets, and also generating Insanity.

Shadow Word: Pain Icon Shadow Word: Pain is one of your two DoTs. It deals Shadow damage to the target over time, and generates Insanity on application.

Vampiric Touch Icon Vampiric Touch is one of your two DoTs. It deals Shadow damage to the target over time, heals you for 50% of the damage dealt, and generates Insanity on application.

Mind Blast Icon Mind Blast deals damage to a single target, which has a 9-second cooldown, affected by Haste, and which generates a high amount of Insanity. It is generally one of your highest priority spells.

Mind Flay Icon Mind Flay is a channeled spell that deals Shadow damage to the target and slows their movement speed by 50%. It generates Insanity, has no cooldown, and is generally used as a filler throughout your rotation. If Shadow Word: Pain Icon Shadow Word: Pain is applied to your target, casting Mind Flay also causes Mind Sear Icon Mind Sear to deal Shadow damage to nearby targets and generate an additional 1 Insanity per target hit.

Shadow Word: Death Icon Shadow Word: Death deals damage to a single target, and can only be used against targets that are below 20% health. It generates Insanity, and a greater amount of Insanity if the target is killed by Shadow Word: Death.

4. DPS Cooldowns for Shadow Priest

Shadowfiend Icon Shadowfiend has a 3-minute cooldown and it summons a shadowy fiend that attacks your target for 12 seconds (extended once the trait Fiending Dark Icon Fiending Dark is unlocked). It provides a small DPS boost, and is considered an offensive cooldown (although not a tremendously powerful one). It should be paired with high Haste buffs such as high Voidform Icon Voidform stacks and Bloodlust Icon Bloodlust.

Dispersion Icon Dispersion has a 2-minute cooldown (reduced by 40 seconds once the trait  Icon From the Shadows is unlocked). It lasts 6 seconds, during which time all damage you take is reduced by 60% and you cannot be stunned, snared, feared, or silenced. During Dispersion, you do not lose any Insanity (if you are in Voidform Icon Voidform), but you also cannot attack or cast any spells. First and foremost, Dispersion should be treated as a defensive cooldown in order to help us survive dangerous mechanics. If you know you will not need to use it as such, Dispersion also has some offensive use. It can be used to stop you from dropping out of Voidform too early, for example if you are unable to hit a target for a while or if you get stunned by a mechanic at high Voidform. Additionally, it can also be used tactically in order to resync your rotation — this aspect of Dispersion is expanded upon in the rotation section of this guide.

5. ChangeLog

  • 22 May 2018: Made a few small tweaks to the page to improve accuracy.
  • 28 Aug. 2017: Fixed typo in the Dispersion section.
  • 12 Jun. 2017: Page reviewed and deemed updated for 7.2.5.
  • 01 May 2017: Updated Dispersion description.
  • 10 Jan. 2017: Patch 7.1.5 update.
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