Shadow Priest PvP Talents and Builds (Shadowlands / Patch 9.2.5)

Last updated on Aug 01, 2022 at 09:11 by Mysticall 13 comments

Choosing the right PvP and PvE talents is a prerequisite to proper performance in PvP. This guide goes through the various talent choices available to you as a Shadow Priest and gives you the best combinations you can take.

This page is part of our Shadow Priest PvP Guide.


Talent Choices for Shadow Priests

Level Choices
15 Fortress of the Mind Fortress of the Mind Death and Madness Death and Madness Unfurling Darkness Unfurling Darkness
25 Body and Soul Body and Soul San'layn San'layn Intangibility Intangibility
30 Twist of Fate Twist of Fate Misery Misery Searing Nightmare Searing Nightmare
35 Last Word Last Word Mind Bomb Mind Bomb Psychic Horror Psychic Horror
40 Auspicious Spirits Auspicious Spirits Psychic Link Psychic Link Shadow Crash Shadow Crash
45 Damnation Damnation Mindbender Mindbender Void Torrent Void Torrent
50 Ancient Madness Ancient Madness Hungering Void Hungering Void Surrender to Madness Surrender to Madness

While the above table provides a generally accurate overview of the viability of talents, some finer points are discussed in the sections that follow, and we recommend you read those for a deeper understanding.


Regular Talents for Shadow Priests


Tier 1 (Level 15) Talents

Unfurling Darkness Icon Unfurling Darkness is the best choice in this tier. This talent will make it so you spend less time casting Vampiric Touch Icon Vampiric Touch and more time casting harder hitting spells.


Tier 2 (Level 25) Talents

Intangibility Icon Intangibility is the best choice in this tier. This talent heals you while Dispersion Icon Dispersion is active and reduces its overall cooldown. This is crucial to increase your survivability.


Tier 3 (Level 30) Talents

Misery Icon Misery is the best choice in this tier. This talent is crucial when your DoTs are constantly being dispelled. This will help with overall spread pressure on the enemy team and you can use the extra time you gain by helping your teammates or kiting enemies.


Tier 4 (Level 35) Talents

Psychic Horror Icon Psychic Horror is the best choice in this tier. This gives your team additional crowd control for healers or kill targets. The cooldown of Psychic Horror Icon Psychic Horror pairs well with the cooldown of Silence Icon Silence.


Tier 5 (Level 40) Talents

Auspicious Spirits Icon Auspicious Spirits is the best choice in this tier. This talent helps increase your sustained and spread damage output. It also helps with generating Insanity much faster. You can also play Shadow Crash Icon Shadow Crash if you are playing against a team where you cannot cast often and want more instant damage.


Tier 6 (Level 45) Talents

Damnation Icon Damnation is the best choice in this tier. This will instantly place all of your important DoTs on your target. This should be used after the enemy healer dispels and also works with talents like Unfurling Darkness Icon Unfurling Darkness.


Tier 7 (Level 50) Talents

Hungering Void Icon Hungering Void is the best talent in this tier. This makes it so you deal increased damage after using Void Bolt Icon Void Bolt on your target. This is great for increasing your burst damage.


PvP Talents for Shadow Priests

You can choose 3 of the following PvP talents. Each of them has their uses, but some are better for certain strategies than others. The top three choices are the most useful, but can be replaced with other PvP talents depending on your team's goal.


Mandatory PvP Talents

Greater Fade Icon Greater Fade increases your movement speed and makes you immune to most damage and spells. This is a mandatory talent that should be taken every arena match. You can use Greater Fade for multiple different things. For example, you can use it defensively when a team is focusing you to avoid being killed. You can also use it aggressively when you are close to getting a kill and an enemy is trying to use crowd control on you.


Situational PvP Talents

Void Volley Icon Void Volley is a situational talent that offers you more damage and crowd control. When you enter Voidform Icon Voidform, you send out a bolt that deals damage and fears enemies hit by it. This could be a great way to follow up other crowd control with yours.

Void Shift Icon Void Shift swaps the health between you and your current target. It also increases the lower health percentage of the two to 25% if below that amount. This is a mandatory defensive to use in every arena game.

Driven to Madness Icon Driven to Madness makes it so while Voidform Icon Voidform is not active, being attacked will grant you 9 Insanity over 3 seconds. It is important to note that these attacks need to be melee and this is a powerful PvP talent against teams with a melee DPS on it.

Thoughtsteal Icon Thoughtsteal is a very interesting talent that steals an ability from an enemy. This gives you access to the ability and the enemy cannot use it for 20 seconds! This will primarily be taken versus teams with Warlocks, Mages or Restoration Druids on it. Here is a list of the abilities you can steal from other classes/specs:

Mind Trauma Icon Mind Trauma will give you a large amount of Haste, which will greatly increase your damage output. This should be chosen versus teams with casters where you will be able to fully channel Mind Flay Icon Mind Flays.



  • 01 Aug. 2022: Reviewed for Shadowlands Season 4.
  • 31 May 2022: Reviewed for Patch 9.2.5.
  • 28 Feb. 2022: Updated for Patch 9.2.
    • Updated Best PvP Talents.
  • 21 Nov. 2021: Reviewed for Patch 9.1.5.
  • 16 Jul. 2021: Updated PvP talents.
  • 08 Mar. 2021: Reviewed for Patch 9.0.5.
  • 05 Dec. 2020: Updated Talent Table.
    • Updated Tiers 5 and 7 Regular Talents.
    • Updated PvP Talents.
  • 15 Oct. 2020: Updated for Shadowlands pre-patch (9.0.1)
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