Hi! I’m Hazel, and this is a beginner’s guide to playing Shadow Priest in patch 7.3. This is good for newcomers to shadow priest who want to PvE and get into raiding. It’s also good for raiding shadow priests who want to do more damage and just make sure that they’re not missing anything. These are basics and tips from my experience as a heroic raiding purple Priest. Having said that, I learned everything I know from Howtopriest.com. I’ll link their shadow section in the description and I strongly recommend them as an excellent written resource. In this video I’m going to go over picking a race, rotation, talents, legendaries, stat priorities, key addons and some general raiding tips.
Picking a Race. If you’re starting your priest from scratch this can seem like a really big deal but I promise you it’s not. The DPS differences between all the racials are so small that it’s best to just pick whatever looks cool to you. The best racials tend to change from expansion to expansion anyway as our stat priorities change, and sometimes the utility racials actually translate to better damage depending on the fight. If you’re really after the min-max answer, right now in Legion Haste is so valuable that any racial boosting that is best. On Alliance, that’s Gnome and on Horde that’s Goblin, both of whom get a bonus 1% haste.
It’s a golden age for very short priests. The Rotation. Think of it as more of a priority system. These six buttons right here are the ones you mash constantly, so keybind those in a nice comfy spot. We’re going to have two different sets of priorities depending on whether you’re in or out of Voidform. You start out of voidform, and the idea is to get into voidform as quickly as you can and then stay there as long as possible. Getting into and staying in Voidform depends on your Insanity resource, which you generate with your spells. The difference between an OK and a great shadow priest is made in the very end of their voidforms. Out of Voidform, The priority list goes Mind Blast first, then Apply and Maintain Shadow Word: Pain and Vampiric Touch to anything you’re fighting, and then Mind Flay. Once you have enough Insanity to enter Voidform, your Void Eruption button should light up.
Press that to do a super cool animation, and enter Voidform. That Void Eruption button becomes Voidbolt, and we can now use our Artifact ability, Void Torrent, or as I like to call it, Shadow Noodles. Start with that. Now that we’re in Voidform, we’ll begin building Voidform stacks as we spend time there. Make sure that you have a clear place to see how many stacks you have. Once you’re done with the Shadow Noodles of Void Torrent, you want to get into a rhythm of Void Bolt- Mind Blast – Mind Flay – Void Bolt – Mind Flay – Mind Flay. If any of your dots are in danger of falling off, cut out a Mind Flay and recast the DoT with that global.
If any of your targets is under 20% health, start slotting in Shadow Word Death’s instead of Mind Flays. The Mind Flays are disposable. Now, Your Void Bolt will extend the duration of your dots on anything within a few yards of it’s destination, so if you’re fighting several spread out targets switch up the target of your Bolt to keep your dots rolling. When I’m fighting Fel Hounds or Coven, I like to swap targets every threeish bolts. If I know I’m going to be out of range of a target for a bit, I favor that one with some extra bolts to top it up before I go. As your voidform continues, your haste will grow and your Voidbolt will be coming up faster. At 145% haste, you’ll only have one global between Voidbolts and you’ll want to use that carefully. Your rotation will start to look like Bolt – Blast – Bolt – Flay, repeat.
Again, the Mind Flay can be swapped for a Shadow Word Death or a DoT but remember it’s just one global and as soon as Void Bolt is available you want to be pressing that. Void Bolt as much as you can. Just slap ’em out. If you are running Mindbender, and you should be, you want to use that at around 20-25 stacks of your Voidform. Assuming you perform well in that voidform that gives you enough extra juice to get as far into your Voidform as you’re going to, and with enough Haste gear it should be off cooldown again by the time you need it.
If you’re fighting four or more stacked targets, you want to forget Mind Blast and Shadow Word Death and just fill in those gaps with more Mind Flay. Whenever you Mind Flay a target that has your Shadow Word Pain, it’ll cause a small AOE. That is your best bet on more than four stacked targets but it’s so sad that if it’s anything that will die in under a minute, you can just go grab a snack or something while classes with actual cleave kill whatever it is. You’re really only helping in spirit. Next, let’s run through Talents. This right here is the Go-To raiding setup in 7.3. There’s very little talent swapping in this patch and I’ve found far less need for tomes while mid-raid in Antorus, which is convenient if a little boring. On the first tier, take Twist of Fate. Even on a completely addless encounter, Twist of Fate still contributes so much damage in the last third of the fight that you wanna have it. If there are adds, make sure that you at the very least throw out Pain on one to proc some extra Twist of Fate during the fight.
Should you happen to be wearing the Soul of the High Priest legendary ring, you’ll get to pick a second talent and in that case take Fortress of the Mind as well. Second tier is Body and Soul, which gives you a short sprint when you Power Word Shield. That’s crucial to have in raids to quickly scootch from point A to B so you can go back to standing still. Shadow Priest is not very movement friendly, so if you gotta go you may as well go fast. You could also sprint other people if you’re nice like that but look, if I wanted to help people I would be healing. Row 3 is Mind Bomb, which is our AOE stun.
Very useful for add management in dungeons and mostly used for proccing Sephuz’s Secret. I haven’t unspecced from this all expansion. On Row 4 you want Lingering Insanity. Basically, after you leave Voidform this one helps you get into your next one ASAP. Very important, don’t leave home without it. On Row 5 we have a choice between San’layn and Auspicious Spirits, which have been pretty close. Lately Auspicious Spirits has been pulling ahead, and the more crit you get the better it will be so that one’s a good safe bet. On this next row, things get fun. Power Infusion had it’s day in the sun but that sun set on the day that they inexplicably buffed the heck out of Mindbender. Mindbender is now very strong and crucial to getting your best voidforms every minute.
In raid, you want that. While world questing or now and then in a Fortified Mythic Plus dungeon, you can whip out Misery. That lets you apply both dots with just Vampiric touch, which takes some legwork out of getting your dots up. If you’re fighting anything that going to live longer than a minute though, and most bosses do, you want Mindbender. The last tier is where you pick up Legacy of the Void. In lower to mid key Mythic Dungeons there’s a case to be made for Shadow Crash now that it’s been buffed, but you never really want it in a raid. Legacy makes it almost twice as fast to get into Voidform and start building your stacks, which is pretty universally good. Let’s talk about Legendaries: Our number one Legiondary is the Belt. Mangaza’s Madness is Must-use, always wear, glue it around your hips and never take it off. If you don’t have it yet you need to check out my legendary farming guide, then go all in and pray to RNGesus to have mercy on you. For the second legendary, there’s a little more choice. Sephuz’s secret is a very strong second even if you can’t proc it, and there are many fights where you can proc it.
On fights with small adds like Portal Keeper, High Command, Eonar and Aggramar you can just blanket Silence any add you want to proc Sephuz and get some ballin Haste. Other good options include Soul of the High Priest. Again, if you wear that you get Twist of Fate for free so you can go ahead and grab Fortress of the Mind. Prydaz is honestly a favourite of mine for both progression raiding and just world quests so I don’t get knocked off my mount. The stats on it are really nice and the bubble saves lives. Most of the time these days I’m wearing either Belt and Sephuz, or Belt and Prydaz. The other legendaries aren’t exactly BAD and you’re not going to ruin your life wearing them, they just won’t get you quite as far. Stat Priorites.
You want Haste. Hastehastehaste. Juicy, yummy, delicious haste. So much haste that you’re going to have input lag pressing your buttons so fast- you may need to adjust your SpellQueueWindow. That’s a whole nother jar of worms that needs it’s own video but I’ll put a link down below with some bonus reading if you want to mess with that. With your brand new tier 21 on and the tier 20 4 piece bonus gone, you’re going to want to shoot for 16k haste. If you still have tier 20 4 piece on, keep it until you can get close to that 16k number. The reason for that is having this much haste makes your voidform fit into a perfect 1 minute cycle where you always have Mindbender to extend every voidform, you’re never stuck with Void Torrent off cooldown out of voidform, everything lines up and you just feel fulfilled as a person.
After haste, you like Crit, followed by Mastery with Versatility being worst for us. All of those are pretty close though so above all else shoot for Haste. For the Netherlight Crucible: I use the CrucibleWeight addon. HowtoPriest offers a string for it. Much easier than doing any actual math yourself, especially with how often new relics come up. These are the values that I use with CruibleWeight. Hang onto relics until you can check them at the crucible, then take the relics with the biggest score. Pick the traits with the bigger number highlighted in green and you’re all set. For Consumables we use the Potion of Prolonged Power, and then Haste stuff. Azshari Salad, haste enchants, Mark of the Claw on your neck, haste gems, hastehastehaste. Once you’ve reached that 16k haste softcap you can start prioritizing Crit but trust when I say that takes a lot of haste.
Make sure that you pre-pot before the pull with a Prolonged Power, and then use another one with approximately a minute remaining on the fight. 30% health on the boss is generally a safe time to pop the second pot, as long as the boss isn’t about to fly away or something. Let’s take a quick look at addons. Addons are not necessary to playing Shadow Priest well but they definitely help a ton. My most important addon for Shadow Priest is Weakauras2 , specifically for this custom Insanity bar here. That gives me all sorts of information about my voidform like how much haste I’m at and how many stacks I have. The Insanity Bar weakaura was made by Twintop on HowToPriest and I’ll link his page for it which contains more instructions. Take the time to read through what it does and get acquanted with the most important parts. When I’m looking for my stacks to see when to pop Mindbender, for example, this is where I look. Other than that, make sure that whatever you use for raid frames has nice comfy boss frames. Those show you the duration of your dots on every boss in the fight, and you can click the frames to get your target.
I personally like Shadowed Unit Frames for this. Finally, this might be a given but make sure you have boss mods such as DBM or Bigwigs. Having timers for various boss abilities helps you plan ahead, which is big for shadow. Here’s a couple of Bonus tips to help you get started. Dispersion pauses both insanity drain and Voidform stack generation. If you’re close the end of your voidform and your Void Torrent is almost off cooldown, you can use Dispersion as a six second pause on your current voidform. Of course that’s also your biggest defensive cooldown so maybe don’t use it right before a really dangerous phase like the maze intermission on Imonar. Keep Shadowmend bound somewhere handy. It’s saved my life in raids long enough to finish fights before and it can also save a tank in a pinch. For your mana, Shadowmend is much more efficient than Power Word: Shield so don’t be afraid to spam Shadowmend if things are dire. I really mostly use Shield for the Body and Soul sprint. Last, plan ahead. In late Voidform missing a global or two can be the difference between a juicy 55 stack voidform and losing it early and disappointing your raid leader.
If you have to suddenly move it can kill your groove, so plan ahead. If you need to be across the room in twenty seconds or so and you’re mid void-form, start stutter stepping your way over there by running only during globals you’re using for Voidbolt or Shadow Word Death. When it’s time to Mind Blast or Flay, pause and do that while Void Bolt cools down. You look kinda dumb but that lets you move around without losing any uptime, which is huge for your damage. Congratulations, you should be setup with some good talents and wisdom. If you’re new, consider getting yourself to a target dummy or plop down a love fool and practice for a sec.
I’ll review the rotation one more time so you’ve got it handy. Out of Voidform, we go Blast, then dots, Blast, Mind Flay. Void eruptions up, so we’ll use that, then Void Torrent. In Voidform, it’s Bolt, Blast, Flay, Bolt, Flay, Flay. Don’t be afraid to clip your mind flay’s super early whenever bolt is up, Void Bolt is more important. We get to 25ish stacks of Voidform and pop our Mindbender buddy and keep going. Through almost our entire voidform we have two globals between bolts so it’s a Bolt Blast Flay, then Bolt and two globals of Flay, then repeat. Lust, Heroism or Trinket Procs can definitely change that, so keep an eye on your Voidbolt and make sure you’re always using it when it’s up.
And that’s it! Thanks for watching! Stay tuned for more shadow priest videos dealing with gearing in and custom lag tolerance. Let me know what you think, consider leaving a like if you like it and have a wonderful, wonderful day..
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