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Shadow Priest DPS Starter Guide - Shadowlands 9.2
2022/02/22 at 2:15 AM
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Welcome to our Shadow Priest starter guide, which covers everything you need to start playing a new character in Shadowlands. While our other guide pages go into more individual detail, this simple starter guide covers all the basics in one place, whether you're a new Shadow Priest, a returning player to Shadowlands, hardcore, or casual alike, it's the best place to get a beginners overview on the class. Included are basic talent builds, simplified rotations, stats, legendary recommendations, and more to get you started as quickly as possible.
Please keep in mind that this page is meant to get players started quickly as an introduction, and does not contain much in the way of detailed explanations, mechanics, competitive options, gearing, simulation comparisons, or nuance. For more in-depth information, including all those optimizations and more, check out the complete Shadow Priest Guide pages linked in the navigation on the left-hand side of the page, and if you're leveling up in Shadowlands, you can take a look at our
NEW Patch 9.2 Changes
NEW Tier Set Bonus
Rotation, Priority, and Abilities
Macros & Addons
NEW Castle Nathria Tips
NEW Sepulcher Tips
About the Author
Hello! I am
, moderator for WarCraftPriests, the Priest Discord. I work on Shadow Priest theorycraft alongside the Shadow Team, you can check out our work
I am often active on the WarCraftPriests discord server and free to answer any questions or queries related to Shadow Priest or any content in any of my guides. I raid in The Misty Moon on EU Tarren-Mill (Formerly The Misty Moon Massive) and have raided between top 50 and 300 since Legion but I've been playing Shadow Priest in some capacity for going on 14 years. Outside of WoW, I spend most of my time listening to music, especially seeking out interesting new things I haven't heard before!
Best Shadow Priest Covenant
Shadow Priests use both Necrolord and Night Fae depending on the content your progression through the 9.2 campaign.
Covenants are also not permanent choices, though it is a bit of time and work to swap over. You can always change to something else.
Best Shadow Priest Covenants and Soulbinds for Raid
Plague Deviser Marileth
Plague Deviser Marileth
Best Shadow Priest Covenants and Soulbinds for Mythic+
From a gameplay perspective, Shadow’s covenant choices change very little. You gain access to a spell with a medium to long cooldown and it is often acceptable to use it on cooldown as it becomes available. Talents are also unaffected by your covenant choice.
For more information on how to incorporate your covenant abilities into your rotation, check out the full Shadow Priest rotation guide.
Best Shadow Priest Covenant
Kyrian Shadow Priest GuideNecrolord Shadow Priest Guide
Night Fae Shadow Priest GuideVenthyr Shadow Priest Guide
Best Legendaries for Shadow Priest in Patch 9.2
Best Single Legendary for Shadow Priest in Patch 9.2
Due to the nerfs to the Necrolord covenant legendary, Shadow will be using
as its primary legendary for both Mythic+ and Raids in 9.2.
Best Single Legendaries
Best Double Legendaries for Shadow Priest in Patch 9.2
Eternity's End allows players to wear two legendary items, instead of one, with a restriction. One of the two legendaries must be your covenant legendary, making covenant choice now also impacted directly by the strength of Covenant Legendaries. Double Legendaries become available during week 5, after completing its story chapter.
Best Double Legendaries
is Shadow's primary legendary for all PvE content
Shadow Priest Legendaries Guide
Best Shadow Priest Talents
Shadow Priest talents change a fair bit depending on the content and situation, you will often want to be swapping things around between dungeons, raids, and even in specific dungeons some talents work better than others. Every damage row has some number of options depending on what you’re doing, here are some of the most common ones.
Mass AOE / Dungeons
There are other things to consider beyond these basic builds, though they will serve you just fine.
is an option for dungeons if more single-target damage is required.
Shadow Priest Talents Guide
Shadow Priest Stat Priority
For the first time in quite some time, primary stats are significantly more valuable than secondary stats in The Shadowlands. Intellect will be Shadow's primary stat of choice, as well as the stat that takes the highest priority when deciding on gear. This focus on primary stats means item level will usually be the deciding factor, however, Shadow does still have its own somewhat distinct secondary stat priorities. Secondary stats are closer than they have been in previous expansions, which is a welcome change, as a Shadow Priest you will be looking for Haste as a priority, and some balance of Critical strike and Mastery. Versatility remains Shadow's worst secondary, but it is still valuable in small amounts, and provides a defensive benefit that could prove useful.
Intellect > Haste > Mastery >= Critical Strike > Versatility
: Increases all damage done by class spells and abilities. Previously one of Shadow's stats, but now much more impactful, making item level a key factor in evaluating gear.
: Shadow's most important stat, especially early on in the expansion. Haste impacts the cast time of all Shadow's spells, the cooldown of Mind Blast, Void Bolt, and Shadow Crash, and reduces the gcd by an equivalent amount. It may eventually fall in value, but not until comfortably gearing beyond 30%, not to mention gameplay is generally considered to feel smoother and more enjoyable the more haste you have access to.
: Increases damage done by abilities, auto attacks, and trinkets. This stat has a specific interaction with the Hungering Void Talent, and is relatively strong for Shadow Priests.
: Increases the damage of Shadow's spells and abilities by an amount for each its damage over time effects on the target. Voidform also has an interaction with mastery, providing the full benefit regardless of the number of dots on a target for its duration. Mastery is strong for Shadow, often vying for third place with Crit, but loses some value in sustained mass AOE when multi dotting is not feasible.
: Increases damage done and reduces damage taken by half the amount. Unlike Mastery, however, it affects all damage done including trinkets, potions, and enchantments.
Shadow Priest Stats Guide
Shadow Priest Enchants and Consumables
: Increase stamina and tertiary bonuses, which are largely interchangeable. When in doubt, choose leech or avoidance -
Enchant Cloak - Fortified Avoidance
Enchant Cloak - Fortified Leech
Enchant Cloak - Fortified Speed
Enchant Cloak - Soul Vitality
: Intellect + Damage Proc -
Enchant Chest - Eternal Insight
: Intellect -
Enchant Bracers - Eternal Intellect
: Reduced fall damage -
Enchant Boots - Soul Treads
: Increases Haste
Enchant Ring - Tenet of Haste
Enchant Ring - Bargain of Haste
Mainhand Weapon / Staff
: Stats or Damage Taken Proc -
Enchant Weapon - Celestial Guidance
Enchant Weapon - Sinful Revelation
Shadow Priest Consumables Guide
Shadow Priest Rotation
This is a simple example of the spell priorities that make up the Shadow Priest rotation. More information about the rotation, as well as an explanation of important abilities and advanced tips can be found in the Shadow Priest Rotation Guide.
when you have 50
Shadow Word: Death
if the target is below 20% health and you won't die from the backlash.
Shadow Word: Pain
to fill while waiting for cooldowns, or
against 3+ stacked targets
Shadow Priest Rotation Guide
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Our Shadow Priest guides are always updated with the latest information from in-game experience, simulations, and logs; make sure to check our changelog to this page, by clicking on
at the top of the page. If you are interested in more in-depth Shadow Priest guides for , make sure to browse the
below, and our list of
just beneath the
Table of Contents
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