Shadow Priest PvP Guide in Battle for Azeroth (BfA 8.3)

Last updated on Jan 16, 2020 at 18:52 by Mysticall 7 comments
General Information

This guide will walk you through everything you need to know to play in a PvP environment. The guide will cover everything from talent choices, PvP talents, gameplay and rotation, and useful racial bonuses. It is most applicable to Arena content, but most talents and racial bonuses will work in Rated Battlegrounds and skirmishes.

If you were looking for WoW Classic content, please refer to our Classic Priest PvP guide.


Shadow Priests in the Current Meta

Shadow Priests are a force to be reckoned with. What Shadow Priests lack in defensives, they make up for in damage. If left unchecked, a Shadow Priest can melt an entire team in seconds. Not only do they have strong single target damage, they have utility. Spells like Mass Dispel Icon Mass Dispel and Power Word: Shield Icon Power Word: Shield make Shadow Priests a very versatile caster.


Strengths of Shadow Priests


Weaknesses of Shadow Priests

  • No mobility
  • Struggle to cast against melee teams
  • Very few defensive cooldowns

Content of the Guide

This guide ended up being very long, so we decided to split it in different pages.

  • On the Shadow Priest PvP Talents page, you will find an analysis of each PvE talent row to help you decide which talent to pick on each row, as well as an overview of the PvP talents, which advice on which ones to take and under which conditions.
  • On the Shadow Priest PvP Rotation and Playstyle page, you will learn how to use your spells, depending on the situation (damage dealing, surviving, controlling enemy players, etc.), and what is generally expected of your class and spec in PvP.
  • On the Shadow Priest PvP Azerite Traits and Essences page, you will find advice on choosing the best essence powers and the best azerite traits.
  • On the Shadow Priest PvP Stat Priority and Gear page, you will find the stat priority to follow in PvP, as well as advice for choosing your gear, particularly trinkets and Azerite gear.
  • On the Shadow Priest PvP Best Races page, you will find lists of the Alliance and Horde races, ranked by how good they are for Shadow Priests in PvP, as well as explanations regarding why and how their racials benefit you.
  • On the Shadow Priest PvP Useful Macros page, you will find a collection of useful macros for PvP for Shadow Priests.
  • On the Shadow Priest Arena Composition page, you will find the list of the most powerful Arena compositions featuring Shadow Priests, in both 2v2 and 3v3 modes.


  • 16 Jan. 2020: This page was checked for patch 8.3 and no updates were necessary.
  • 13 Jan. 2020: Reorganized the guide in 7 different pages.
  • 24 Aug. 2019: Updated Horde races.
  • 16 Aug. 2019: Updated Alliance races.
  • 08 Jul. 2019: Updated Guide for Patch 8.2.
    • Added Azerite Essence section.
    • Added Major and Minor Essences sections.
    • Updated Gear section.
    • Updated PvP talents section.
    • Updated Burst and Sustained damage rotations.
  • 26 May 2019: Updated Talent Table.
  • 12 May 2019: Several changes made to the guide.
    • Updated Azerite Traits.
    • Updated Gear section.
    • Updated Talent Table and Tier 5 and 6 regular talents.
    • Updated Sustained damage output section.
  • 14 Mar. 2019: No major changes needed for Patch 8.1.5.
  • 09 Feb. 2019: Updated Gear Recommendations section.
  • 21 Dec. 2018: Updated guide for Patch 8.1.
    • Updated talent choices in Tiers 2, 5, and 7.
    • Updated PvP talents.
    • Updated Burst and Sustained damage rotations.
    • Updated Defensive Techniques section.
  • 28 Nov. 2018: Added Gear Guidelines section.
  • 03 Oct. 2018: Removed Artifact Traits section.
    • Removed Relics section.
    • Added Stat Priority section.
    • Added Azerite Trait section.
    • Added Talent Table.
    • Updated PvP Talents.
  • 02 Oct. 2018: Removed PvP Gear and War Mode sections.
  • 27 Aug. 2018: Updated Air Drops section.
  • 01 Aug. 2018: Updated guide for Patch 8.0.1.
    • Updated Introduction and spec overview.
    • Updated all talent sections.
    • Added PvP (War Mode) talents and gear sections for the new BfA system.
    • Updated Racial Bonuses section.
    • Updated Burst Healing and Sustained Healing sections.
    • Updated Macros section.
    • Removed Gear section.
    • Updated Artifact Traits and Relics sections.
  • 09 Jun. 2018: Added an Arena Compositions section.
  • 12 Apr. 2018: Made several updates to the guide and its structure.
    • Added sections for Macros, Strengths, and Weaknesses.
    • Moved Gear, Artifact Traits, and Relics sections to the end, since they are not that important.
  • 07 Feb. 2018: No major changes needed for Patch 7.3.5.
  • 16 Dec. 2017: No major changes needed for Patch 7.3.2.
  • 09 Sep. 2017: Performed several updates to the guide.
    • Removed Artifact Trait descriptions.
    • Updated recommended Tier 7 regular talents.
    • Updated recommended Tier 4 honor talents.
    • Updated burst rotation.
  • 12 Jul. 2017: Updated Recommended Tier 5 and 7 regular talents and Tier 3, 4, and 6 honor talents. Updated Burst damage rotation.
  • 19 Apr. 2017: Updated recommended Tier 6 regular talent and Tier 4 honor talent.
  • 09 Apr. 2017: Updated recommended tier 4 honor talent and updated burst rotation.
  • 29 Mar. 2017: Guide added.
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