WoW Dragonflight Shadow Priest DPS Guide

WoW Dragonflight Shadow Priest DPS Guide

Unlock the Secrets of Shadow: A Comprehensive Shadow Priest DPS Guide for World of Warcraft — Dragonflight 10.1.0

Embark on an enlightening journey through the realm of darkness as we unveil the intricacies of playing as a formidable Shadow Priest in the illustrious World of Warcraft. In this comprehensive guide tailored specifically for Dragonflight 10.1.0, we will delve deep into the shadows, equipping you with the knowledge and expertise necessary to unleash your full potential as a DPS powerhouse.

Mastering the art of the Shadow Priest requires a meticulous understanding of both raid encounters and Mythic+ dungeons. From the very foundation to the pinnacle of your DPS output, we leave no stone unturned as we walk you through every essential aspect of this enigmatic class.

Begin your journey by laying a solid groundwork for success. We will meticulously dissect the core mechanics of the Shadow Priest, from harnessing the potent powers of shadow magic to managing your resources with finesse. Unleash a torrent of devastation as you learn the intricacies of properly executing your rotation, maximizing your damage output, and ensuring optimal uptime of your most potent abilities.

But our journey does not end there. We will guide you through the labyrinthine paths of raid encounters, unveiling valuable insights and strategies tailored to the unique challenges of Dragonflight 10.1.0. Whether you face formidable bosses or treacherous trash mobs, our guide will empower you to make informed decisions, enabling you to adapt your playstyle to each encounter with unparalleled efficiency.

Venture beyond the realm of raids and into the heart of Mythic+ dungeons, where your mastery of the Shadow Priest class will be put to the ultimate test. Navigate the perilous depths, slay hordes of enemies, and emerge victorious by mastering the art of crowd control, efficient AoE damage, and precise timing of your potent cooldowns. We provide comprehensive advice on optimizing your talents, gear, and conduits to ensure your dominance in any Mythic+ scenario.

But knowledge alone is not enough to triumph. We will also equip you with invaluable tips and tricks, honed through countless battles, to enhance your survivability, mitigate damage, and maintain optimal positioning. Prepare to embrace your role as the shadowy harbinger of destruction, embracing darkness as your ally and emerging victorious from even the direst of encounters.

Embark on this thrilling adventure as we unravel the mysteries of the Shadow Priest in World of Warcraft — Dragonflight 10.1.0. Arm yourself with knowledge, hone your skills, and ascend to new heights of power as you embark on an unforgettable journey through the darkest recesses of Azeroth.

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Embrace the Darkness: An In-Depth Overview of the Shadow Priest in Dragonflight

Prepare to immerse yourself in a whole new realm of shadowy power as we delve into the intricacies of the Shadow Priest specialization in World of Warcraft's Dragonflight expansion. With the talent tree reworks taking center stage, now is the perfect time to explore the revamped playstyle of the Shadow Priest. A plethora of exciting changes awaits, promising a dynamic and engaging experience unlike anything you've encountered before.

One of the most notable transformations within the Dragonflight talent tree is the introduction of the "build-your-own" Shadow Priest concept. This novel approach empowers players with the ability to customize their gameplay by selecting between two distinctive core cooldowns: Void Eruption and Dark Ascension. These options form the foundation of your Shadow Priest's arsenal, each offering unique benefits and synergies that cater to different playstyles and strategic preferences.

Venturing deeper into the talent tree, you will encounter the thematic Idol spells. These captivating abilities serve as the culmination of your chosen path, allowing you to further customize your Shadow Priest's repertoire. With a wide array of options at your disposal, the possibilities are virtually limitless. From inflicting devastating damage upon your foes to enhancing your survivability and utility, these Idol spells grant you the flexibility to mold your Shadow Priest into a true embodiment of your desired playstyle.

This newfound flexibility within the talent tree gives rise to a rich variety of gameplay options for the Shadow Priest. The resulting playstyles can diverge dramatically, providing an exhilarating and ever-evolving experience. Whether you prefer a bursty, high-risk-high-reward approach or a more sustained, controlled playstyle, the Dragonflight talent tree has something to offer for everyone.

As you navigate the intricacies of the Shadow Priest's talent tree, it becomes evident that there is much to discuss. The multitude of options and potential synergies beckon for exploration and analysis. Each talent choice has the potential to shape your playstyle and significantly impact your effectiveness in different scenarios.

From examining the strengths and weaknesses of Void Eruption and Dark Ascension to dissecting the intricacies of the thematic Idol spells, our comprehensive guide will equip you with the knowledge necessary to make informed decisions about your talent selections. We will unravel the nuances of each choice, shedding light on their individual strengths, synergies, and optimal usage scenarios. By understanding the intricacies of the talent tree, you will gain the tools needed to forge a path that aligns seamlessly with your desired playstyle and maximizes your potential as a Shadow Priest.

Prepare to embark on a journey of self-discovery and experimentation as you uncover the untapped potential of the Shadow Priest in Dragonflight. Embrace the freedom of choice, relish the thrill of customization, and become the master of shadows as you unlock the secrets of this enigmatic specialization. The power lies within your grasp, waiting to be harnessed and unleashed upon your unsuspecting adversaries.

Unleashing Shadows: Assessing the Strengths and Weaknesses of the Shadow Priest in Dragonflight


  1. Flexibility with Cooldown Style Choice: The Dragonflight expansion introduces a groundbreaking talent tree system for the Shadow Priest, allowing players to select between Void Eruption and Dark Ascension as their core cooldown. This grants an unprecedented level of flexibility, enabling players to tailor their playstyle to their preferences and adapt to different encounters with ease.

  2. Incredible Cleave Damage: The Shadow Priest excels in encounters that feature multiple targets, such as council-type encounters and Mythic+ dungeons. With potent abilities like Vampiric Touch and Devouring Plague, their cleave damage is truly remarkable. As the number of targets increases, their self-healing capabilities scale accordingly, ensuring both sustained damage output and survival in the face of adversity.

  3. Amazing Self-Healing: Through the utilization of Vampiric Touch and Devouring Plague, the Shadow Priest possesses impressive self-healing capabilities. These abilities synergize effectively with additional targets, amplifying their healing potential. This aspect not only enhances their survivability but also contributes to their overall damage output.

  4. Access to Powerful External DPS Cooldown: Power Infusion stands as the Shadow Priest's premier single-player external DPS cooldown. With its potency augmented by Twins of the Sun Priestess, this ability can now be easily shared with others, bolstering the damage potential of the entire group.


  1. DoT Management Complexity: Managing damage over time (DoT) effects can prove challenging for the Shadow Priest, particularly in multi-target situations. The proper application and maintenance of DoTs, coupled with the reliance on abilities like Shadow Crash to spread them efficiently, demands focus and precision. Failure to execute these aspects optimally can hinder overall damage output.

  2. Abundance of Spells and Abilities: The Shadow Priest's toolkit boasts a wide array of spells and abilities, providing diverse options for customization and playstyle adaptation. However, this abundance can be overwhelming, especially when combined with certain talent choices. Navigating through the multitude of available options may require additional effort and practice to fully grasp their synergies and optimal usage.

  3. Movement Planning: Unlike some other classes, the Shadow Priest requires careful planning when it comes to movement during encounters. Optimal damage output relies on thoughtful timing and coordination, as interrupting casts can significantly impact their performance. Adapting to movement requirements while maintaining a high level of damage output demands strategic forethought and precise execution.

By understanding the strengths and weaknesses of the Shadow Priest in Dragonflight, you will be better equipped to harness their potential effectively. Embrace their flexibility, leverage their cleave damage prowess, and master the art of self-healing. However, be mindful of the challenges posed by DoT management, the abundance of spells and abilities, and the need for meticulous movement planning. With this knowledge in hand, you can unlock the true potential of the Shadow Priest and emerge as a force to be reckoned with in the shadows of Azeroth.

General Priest Changes in Dragonflight Patch 10.1

  • Shadow Word: Death Icon Shadow Word: Death cooldown reduced to 10 seconds. Now also gives 4 Insanity baseline. The damage of the spell has been adjusted to compensate.
  • Psychic Scream Icon Psychic Scream now hits all enemies within eight yards.
  • Void Tendrils Icon Void Tendrils now hits all enemies within eight yards.

Embark on a journey of discovery as we delve into the evolution of Priests through the lens of general changes in Dragonflight Patch 10.1. Explore the nuances of these updates, enhancing your character's impact on the battlefield.

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Engage in the world of Priest changes within Dragonflight Patch 10.1 and bid farewell to the arduous path of gearing up. Whether you're looking to optimize your character's strength or striving to conquer challenging raids, our comprehensive insights, strategies, and tips await your exploration. Elevate your journey with Simple Carry's Heroic Raid Boost services, ensuring a streamlined path to gearing success. Trust in Simple Carry and embark on a journey of accomplishment and mastery.

Shadow Priest in Dragonflight Patch 10.1

In this patch Shadow Priest has received a rework. The list below is not everything that has changed, only the bigger, more impactful items. Check out the link below for the full changelog.


Best Shadow Priest Talent Build


Build Highlights

Generally speaking, you will find better results using Void Eruption Icon Void Eruption instead of Dark Ascension Icon Dark Ascension, but this cooldown does require more precise usage, so running Dark Ascension Icon Dark Ascension as you learn the spec makes more sense.

If you are looking to optimize talents, you can make the following adjustments:

Beginner Rotation for Shadow Priest

Before you start combat, make sure you have Shadowform Icon Shadowform active and use Vampiric Touch Icon Vampiric Touch to start combat.

  1. Keep Shadow Word: Pain Icon Shadow Word: Pain and Vampiric Touch Icon Vampiric Touch applied on all targets. Note that with Misery Icon Misery, you should always use Vampiric Touch Icon Vampiric Touch to refresh either of these DoTs, unless you are moving.
  2. Cast Shadowfiend Icon Shadowfiend or Mindbender Icon Mindbender on cooldown.
  3. Cast Dark Ascension Icon Dark Ascension or Void Eruption Icon Void Eruption on cooldown.
  4. Cast Power Infusion Icon Power Infusion on cooldown (make sure you cast it on an ally if using Twins of the Sun Priestess Icon Twins of the Sun Priestess).
  5. Spend Insanity on Devouring Plague Icon Devouring Plague.
  6. Cast Mind Blast Icon Mind Blast whenever available to generate Insanity
  7. Cast Void Bolt Icon Void Bolt if inside of Voidform Icon Voidform (with Void Eruption Icon Void Eruption talented).
  8. Cast Shadow Crash Icon Shadow Crash.
  9. Cast Shadow Word: Death Icon Shadow Word: Death if the target is below 20% HP.
  10. Cast Mindgames Icon Mindgames.
  11. Cast Halo Icon Halo.
  12. Cast Mind Spike Icon Mind Spike to generate Insanity as your filler spell.

Note that in AoE, when talented into Distorted Reality Icon Distorted Reality, you can try and maintain Devouring Plague Icon Devouring Plague on multiple targets for an increase in overall damage. That being said Mind's Eye Icon Mind's Eye is still the preferred talent if you are comfortable using it.

Step into the world of Shadow Priests with a beginner's guide to rotation. Unveil the core principles of executing spells and abilities, setting the stage for your journey of mastery.

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Navigating the Shadows: Understanding the General Stat Priority for Shadow Priests

When it comes to optimizing your gear and maximizing your effectiveness as a Shadow Priest, understanding the general stat priority is crucial. The following stat priority will serve as a guide to help you make informed decisions when selecting and prioritizing your gear:

  1. Intellect: Intellect reigns supreme as the primary stat for a Shadow Priest. It eclipses all other stats by a significant margin, making it the most valuable attribute to prioritize. As a result, items with higher item levels that provide an increase in Intellect will generally be more beneficial than those with optimal secondary stats.

  2. Haste: Following Intellect, Haste takes precedence as a secondary stat for a Shadow Priest. Haste offers remarkable scaling potential, amplifying the effectiveness of nearly every spell in your toolkit. The increased casting speed and reduced cooldowns provided by Haste contribute to a higher rate of spellcasting, resulting in greater overall DPS output. Strive to obtain gear pieces that grant substantial amounts of Haste.

  3. Mastery: Mastery holds a prominent place in the Shadow Priest's stat priority. This stat rewards skillful play and directly enhances the power of every spell in your arsenal. By prioritizing gear with Mastery, you can augment your overall damage potential and capitalize on the strengths of your chosen specialization.

  4. Critical Strike and Versatility: Critical Strike and Versatility share a similar level of priority in the Shadow Priest's stat hierarchy. While slightly behind Intellect, Haste, and Mastery, these two stats are still valuable and contribute to your overall performance. Critical Strike increases your chance to deal critical hits, providing occasional bursts of enhanced damage. Versatility, on the other hand, offers a well-rounded benefit by increasing both your damage output and damage mitigation.

It's important to note that stat priorities can vary depending on your gear, talents, and specific encounter situations. As you progress through different content and acquire new gear, be mindful of any shifts in stat weights and adjust accordingly. Utilize tools such as simulation programs or guides from reputable sources to stay up-to-date with the most optimal stat prioritization for your Shadow Priest.

By adhering to the general stat priority of Intellect, Haste, Mastery, and considering Critical Strike and Versatility as secondary priorities, you can enhance your performance and unlock the full potential of your Shadow Priest in Dragonflight. Stay vigilant, adapt to the ever-changing gear landscape, and become a formidable force of shadowy devastation in your adventures across Azeroth.

Diving Deep into Haste: Optimizing Your Shadow Priest's Performance

Haste plays a pivotal role in the optimization of a Shadow Priest's performance, influencing casting speed, cooldown reduction, and overall spellcasting efficiency. Let's explore the intricacies of haste and its impact on your gameplay.

The Sweet Spot: Aiming for 35% Haste

For many Shadow Priests, achieving around 35% haste is often considered the sweet spot. At this threshold, you can attain a desirable balance between spellcasting speed and the diminishing returns (DR) that occur when stacking haste too high. By maintaining a haste level around 35%, you can ensure a smooth and fluid rotation without experiencing a significant dip in overall performance due to DR.

Considering Simulations and Optimal Secondary Stats

It's essential to note that the specific optimal haste value can vary based on your character's gear, talents, and current gearing options. Utilizing simulation programs is highly recommended to determine the most effective stat distribution for your individual character. These simulations consider a multitude of factors and can provide valuable insights into your optimal secondary stat weights, including haste.

It's important to understand that simulations often prioritize higher item level pieces over optimal secondary stats, especially when comparing two items of unequal item levels. This prioritization is based on the assumption that the increase in Intellect from higher item level gear outweighs the potential loss in secondary stat optimization. Keeping this in mind when evaluating gear choices can help guide your decision-making process.

Stat Procs and their Influence on Haste

Certain items and trinkets, such as the Vessel of Searing Shadow, Ominous Chromatic Essence, and Voice of the Silent Star, introduce stat procs that can affect your optimal stat distribution. When simulating your character with these items, you may notice a knee-jerk reaction in the simulation results, indicating a lower preference for haste. However, it's generally advised to maintain a haste level around 35%, even when utilizing these items, to ensure more consistent DPS output. Each character's gearing options and playstyle may lead to slight variations in optimal stat choices, making it crucial to rely on simulations as a tool for guidance rather than blindly following their recommendations.

Transitioning from T29 to T30 Set Bonuses

If your character is still utilizing the old T29 4-piece set bonus, you might observe the simulation favoring a lower haste value, hovering closer to 30%. However, as you acquire the T30 Season 2 set bonus and replace the old set bonus, you should naturally gravitate toward a preference for around 35% haste. The new set bonus synergizes better with higher haste levels, optimizing your rotation and overall performance.

Remember to Sim and Adapt

Ultimately, it is paramount to sim your character regularly and leverage the results as a tool to inform your gear choices and stat priorities. Simulations take into account the complexities of your character's gear, talents, and other factors, providing a personalized and data-driven approach to optimizing your Shadow Priest's performance.

Keep an open mind and be willing to adapt your gearing options based on simulation results, while also considering your own playstyle preferences. Striking the right balance with haste and staying informed about the impact of stat procs and set bonuses will ensure that you unleash the full potential of your Shadow Priest in Dragonflight.

Understanding Secondary Stat Diminishing Returns (DR) for Shadow Priests

Secondary stat diminishing returns (DR) is an important concept to grasp as you optimize your Shadow Priest's secondary stat allocation. These DR thresholds indicate points at which the value of a particular secondary stat begins to diminish, requiring more rating to gain a percentage point. Let's delve into the specifics for each stat:

  1. Haste, Critical Strike, and Versatility DR: The diminishing returns for Haste, Critical Strike, and Versatility begin to take effect at around 30%. Beyond this threshold, acquiring additional rating in these stats becomes less impactful, as it takes more rating to achieve the same percentage increase in the respective stat. Keep in mind that these thresholds are not fixed points to aim for but rather indicators that the value of these stats starts to diminish slightly.

  2. Mastery DR: Mastery operates slightly differently for Shadow Priests due to the unique nature of their Mastery mechanic. With a conversion value of 0.5 for Mastery points, the diminishing returns for Mastery begin at approximately 19%. This means that once you reach this threshold, the value of Mastery starts to diminish, and further investment in Mastery rating will yield diminishing returns. As Shadow Priests have a base Mastery of 4%, this translates to the start of diminishing returns at 19%.

Adjusting Enchants and Gems for Maximum Benefit

As you approach these DR thresholds, it can be advantageous to allocate enchants or gems in another secondary stat to continue maximizing the benefits from your gear. By diversifying your secondary stat allocation, you can potentially enhance your overall performance and ensure that you are getting the most value from your gear.

However, it's important to note that these thresholds are not hard caps that should dictate your stat allocation. The relative value of each secondary stat can still vary based on your gear, talents, and other factors. Regularly simulating your character and comparing the results can provide insights into the optimal allocation of secondary stats for your specific situation.

Adapting your enchantments, gems, and stat allocation based on the changing DR thresholds will help you stay at the forefront of your Shadow Priest's performance. By fine-tuning your secondary stats, you can continue to optimize your DPS output and maintain a competitive edge in Dragonflight.

Remember to stay informed, stay adaptable, and make informed decisions based on the diminishing returns of secondary stats to unlock the true potential of your Shadow Priest.

Statistics Explanations

Intellect is your primary stat. You should look for this stat in all of your upgrades. It provides you with Spell Power, which increases the damage of your spells.

Critical Strike increases your chance to critically hit with all spells and abilities.

Haste increases your spell-casting speed and the tick rate of your periodic effects.

Mastery (Mastery: Shadow Weaving Icon Mastery: Shadow Weaving) increases the damage of your spells for each damage over time effect you have active on that target. This only works with Shadow Word: Pain Icon Shadow Word: Pain, Vampiric Touch Icon Vampiric Touch, and Devouring Plague Icon Devouring Plague. While Voidform Icon Voidform is active, you get the benefit on every target as if they had all three dots active.

Versatility increases all your damage and healing done, and decreases all damage taken.

Best Gems for Shadow Priest

In Dragonflight, you will have 2 categories of gems to choose from: Rare or Epic. The Rare gems are either just a single stat like in previous expansions or a combination of 2 secondary stats on one gem. The Epic gems are significantly stronger, but you can only use one at a time for your entire character.

Right now, Gems can be applied to a Helm, Neck, Bracer, Belt, or Ring via the Storm-Charged Manipulator Icon Storm-Charged Manipulator item from the Great Vault. In addition, a Jewelcrafting item lets you apply up to 3 sockets to a neck item with Tiered Medallion Setting Icon Tiered Medallion Setting.

For your rare gem, I strongly encourage simming your character to see which of the 2 makes the most sense. You always want to use the double-stat gems over single-stat ones since they give more secondaries in total. Between Haste heavy or the Mastery heavy one, I would more often lean towards the Haste heavy Keen Ysemerald Icon Keen Ysemerald. As your character obtains gear, you will get closer to hitting secondary stat diminishing returns. Hitting these points can easily mean using alternative gems to get the full value out of the socket.

Rare gems are roughly worth 600 DPS. If you are weighing the choice of replacing an item with a socket, keep this in mind. As you get more gear, this could be even higher, but this is a rough number you can use. I would suggest simming the differences on Raidbots to know for sure if something is worth adding or dropping a socket for.

Best Enchants for Shadow Priest

Slot Enchantment
Chest Enchant Chest - Waking Stats Icon Enchant Chest - Waking Stats (0.22% DPS loss per rank lower)
Cloak (non-throughput) Enchant Cloak - Regenerative Leech Icon Enchant Cloak - Regenerative Leech
Wrists (non-throughput) Enchant Bracer - Devotion of Leech Icon Enchant Bracer - Devotion of Leech
Waist (non-throughput) Shadowed Belt Clasp Icon Shadowed Belt Clasp
Legs Frozen Spellthread Icon Frozen Spellthread (0.24% DPS loss per rank)
Feet (non-throughput) Enchant Boots - Watcher's Loam Icon Enchant Boots - Watcher's Loam

For weapon enchants, you will start to see Enchant Weapon - Wafting Devotion Icon Enchant Weapon - Wafting Devotion perform quite well in 10.1. Shadow Priests just love stacking haste, and depending on your gear, you might see this outperform Enchant Weapon - Sophic Devotion Icon Enchant Weapon - Sophic Devotion.

Best Potions for Shadow

In Dragonflight, several potions could make sense depending on the content you are doing. Use the following list as your guide; the higher, the better.

  1. Elemental Potion of Ultimate Power Icon Elemental Potion of Ultimate Power (0.20% DPS loss per rank lower)
  2. Elemental Potion of Power Icon Elemental Potion of Power (0.15% DPS loss per rank lower)
  3. Residual Neural Channeling Agent Icon Residual Neural Channeling Agent - can be used while dead

For Healing Potions, use Refreshing Healing Potion Icon Refreshing Healing Potion alongside a Healthstone Icon Healthstone if you have one at hand. Healthstones and Healing Potions can be used alongside each other without putting the other on cooldown.

Best Phials for Shadow

In Dragonflight, several flasks or phials could make sense depending on the content you are doing. Use the following table as your guide; the higher in the table, the more DPS. While each phial has a different top-end DPS, I think there are scenarios where you will potentially want to have at least a few of each around at a time, depending on the encounter.

Phial Name When to Use Loss per Rank Lower DPS Increase at Rank 3
Iced Phial of Corrupting Rage Icon Iced Phial of Corrupting Rage Only use if you get at least 70% uptime. -0.5% 5.1%
Phial of Tepid Versatility Icon Phial of Tepid Versatility While not the best, it can be a nice mix of offensive and defensive power without any downside. -0.3% 3.3%

10.1 has given several changes to Iced Phial of Corrupting Rage Icon Iced Phial of Corrupting Rage that should make it a competitive choice. If you can maintain 70%+ uptime, this Phial will generally outperform Phial of Tepid Versatility Icon Phial of Tepid Versatility offensively. I would suggest keeping a supply of both in case you want the extra defensive value from the Vers flask, or you can push for more damage.

For most parts of PvE content, it will not be easy to use Phial of Charged Isolation Icon Phial of Charged Isolation or Phial of Static Empowerment Icon Phial of Static Empowerment. For this reason, they are not suggested.

Note that Phial of Elemental Chaos Icon Phial of Elemental Chaos and Phial of Glacial Fury Icon Phial of Glacial Fury are both worse than the options above, and I would not consider using them as a Shadow Priest unless they are considerably cheaper and you are on a budget. You might find that Glacial Fury sims decent in multi-target, but in practice, I think the other options make more sense.

Best Food for Shadow

For all cases where you want to food buff, you should always use the Fated Fortune Cookie Icon Fated Fortune Cookie or the equivalent Grand Banquet of the Kalu'ak Icon Grand Banquet of the Kalu'ak. If you do not have fortune cookies, you can use the stat food instead with Sizzling Seafood Medley Icon Sizzling Seafood Medley.

Weapon Runes for Shadow

For your temporary weapon rune, you should use Howling Rune Icon Howling Rune or Hissing Rune Icon Hissing Rune, depending on your stats. I would suggest simming both options at your current gear to see which is better, but for most people Howling Rune will be a solid default. Lower ranks of this are roughly 0.2% worse per rank.

Augment Runes for Shadow

You should aim to use Draconic Augment Rune Icon Draconic Augment Rune to get a boost of Intellect during any progression content.

Onyx Annulet - Primordial Stone Gems

The Onyx Annulet Icon Onyx Annulet ring has special sockets that take unique gems. These gems range from various defensive and offensive effects, but the ring has no secondary stats as a downside. In addition to having no secondary stats, you cannot socket this ring with a regular gem slot. For most gem combinations, the ring is a considerable DPS loss. However, when fully upgraded, a specific combination is competitive in a single target.

Shadow Priest is a spec that scales quite well with Haste and Mastery. Due to the ring not having or scaling with these effects, the ring is not an upgrade for Shadow Priests. Any ring obtained in Season 2 will be more DPS to use than the Onyx Annulet.

Mastering the Art of Swift Casting: Optimizing Your Button Presses as a Shadow Priest

In the realm of shadowy power, every moment counts, and the speed at which you press your buttons can make a significant impact on your performance as a Shadow Priest. While it may seem like a trivial matter, it is crucial to maintain a fast and precise button pressing rhythm to ensure you maximize your DPS output. Here are some key insights to help you perfect your button pressing technique:

  1. Embrace the "Always Be Casting" Mentality: As a Shadow Priest, you constantly have something to cast. With high Haste levels compared to most other specs, it becomes even more crucial to avoid any gaps or delays in your casting rotation. Embrace the "always be casting" mentality by ensuring that you have your next spell queued up and ready to go while casting your current spell. This proactive approach ensures minimal downtime and maximizes your overall casting efficiency.

  2. Mash Buttons for Swift Execution: To maintain a fast and seamless casting rhythm, consider mashing the next button you intend to press while you are casting your current spell. This technique minimizes any delay between spells, allowing you to execute your actions as quickly as possible. By continuously pressing the buttons in a rhythmic and controlled manner, you can reduce the likelihood of missing a cast or experiencing unnecessary downtime.

  3. Practice Makes Perfect: Achieving optimal button pressing speed requires practice and familiarity with your spell rotation. Spend time honing your muscle memory and developing a rhythm that feels comfortable and natural to you. As you become more proficient, your button pressing will become more instinctive, allowing you to focus on the encounter mechanics and overall situational awareness.

  4. Utilize Add-ons and Macros: Add-ons and macros can serve as valuable tools to assist you in optimizing your button pressing. Consider using add-ons that provide visual cues or audio prompts to remind you to press your next button in the rotation. Additionally, macros can streamline your casting process by combining multiple actions into a single button press, reducing the complexity and potential for errors.

By prioritizing swift and precise button pressing, you can ensure that your spells flow seamlessly, minimizing any downtime and maximizing your DPS potential as a Shadow Priest. Embrace the rhythm of shadow, let your fingers dance across the keys, and unleash your full potential as you immerse yourself in the darkness of Dragonflight.

Dealing with Movement Properly

Perhaps the biggest learning curve as a Shadow Priest is learning how to deal with movement during a fight. While Priests can use Angelic Feather Icon Angelic Feather or Body and Soul Icon Body and Soul for movement, being able to move without relying on these is a good way to improve DPS. It is important to master the following two guidelines:

First of all, it is important to understand the concept of something we call 'stutter-stepping.' Stutter-stepping means that you are moving small distances between your globals and fitting in any instant spells you may have to ensure you do not lose any casts. Luckily for Shadow, during Voidform Icon Voidform, you get access to Void Bolt Icon Void Bolt, which is instant and available often. Outside of Voidform Icon Voidform, you can use Shadow Word: Death Icon Shadow Word: Death, Devouring Plague Icon Devouring Plague, or Shadowy Insight Icon Shadowy Insight procs. This means you can move a few yards after every instant cast ability you cast if you want to. Playing around with this is key to optimizing your damage. You can sometimes move into position ahead of time if you know a mechanic will force you to move soon. The goal here is that you are slowly moving to your destination over time, but you will lose no casts in the process. Using instant casts to cover your movement is ideal, but sometimes that is not enough. In the first place, because you may not be in Voidform when movement happens; in the second place because certain fight mechanics do not give you the time to do this properly.

Secondly, you must learn to use Shadow Word: Pain Icon Shadow Word: Pain in cases of movement. When doing the rotation normally, Mind Flay Icon Mind Flay is your filler spell. If there is a movement where the above-explained stutter stepping does not cover it entirely, the second most ideal way to deal with movement is to use some ability while moving. You can insert any available ability here, the point being you are pressing something while on the move and not only moving. Shadow Word: Pain is always available, so use this as a last resort.

Understanding the Power of Simulation: Mastering the Art of Simulating Your Shadow Priest

Simulating your character is an invaluable tool that allows you to gain insights into the optimal gearing, talent, and stat choices for your Shadow Priest. By utilizing simulation programs, you can analyze different scenarios, experiment with gear combinations, and make informed decisions to maximize your performance. Here are essential steps to help you effectively simulate your Shadow Priest:

  1. Choose a Reliable Simulation Program: Selecting a reputable simulation program is crucial to obtaining accurate and reliable results. Programs such as SimulationCraft or Raidbots are widely used and trusted within the World of Warcraft community. These tools use complex algorithms to simulate various combat scenarios, providing detailed information about your character's performance.

  2. Input Your Character Data: Start by inputting your character's data into the simulation program. This includes your gear, talents, covenant, conduits, legendary effects, and any other relevant information. Ensure that the data you provide is up to date and accurately reflects your current character configuration.

  3. Define the Simulation Parameters: Set the simulation parameters to align with your intended scenario. This includes specifying the encounter type (e.g., raid boss, Mythic+ dungeon), fight duration, and any other relevant modifiers or conditions. These parameters help tailor the simulation to your specific needs and goals.

  4. Run Multiple Simulations: To obtain comprehensive results, it's advisable to run multiple simulations with varying configurations. Experiment with different gear combinations, talent choices, and stat distributions to evaluate their impact on your performance. By running multiple simulations, you can identify trends, compare results, and make informed decisions about gear upgrades and optimizations.

  5. Analyze the Results: Once the simulations are complete, carefully analyze the results provided by the simulation program. Pay attention to key metrics such as DPS, secondary stat weights, and talent performance. These insights will help guide your decision-making process, allowing you to fine-tune your gear choices, talent selections, and stat prioritization.

  6. Consider Real-World Application: While simulation results provide valuable information, it's important to consider real-world application and practical gameplay scenarios. Factors such as encounter mechanics, movement requirements, and your personal playstyle may influence the optimal choices for your Shadow Priest. Use the simulation results as a foundation but also trust your own judgment and experience as you refine your character's setup.

Remember, simulation is a powerful tool, but it should not be followed blindly. It serves as a guide to inform your decision-making process, but it's essential to adapt and adjust based on your own experiences and preferences. Regularly simulating your character as you acquire new gear or experiment with different builds will help you stay on top of the optimal choices for your Shadow Priest in Dragonflight. Embrace the knowledge gained from simulations, refine your character's setup, and unleash the full potential of your shadowy powers upon the challenges that lie ahead.

Rotational Goals as a Shadow Priest

Before going in-depth with the priority list, I wanted to break down the goals of playing Shadow Priest on a single target. These goals are meant to help describe the why behind the full-on priority list, hopefully giving it more context.

If you can get these goals right, the rotation should make more sense and fall into play naturally.

  1. Maintain Vampiric Touch Icon Vampiric Touch and Shadow Word: Pain Icon Shadow Word: Pain roughly up to 12 targets. Use Shadow Crash Icon Shadow Crash to help with this.
  2. Maintain uptime of Devouring Plague Icon Devouring Plague on a single target without capping on Insanity.
  3. Use short cooldown Insanity generating spells to make sure you do not lose uses of them. This includes spells like Mind Blast Icon Mind Blast, Void Bolt Icon Void Bolt, and Surge of Insanity Icon Surge of Insanity procs.
  4. Use your long cooldown spells ideally when you will not lose uses of any short cooldown spells, being sure not to hold too long to still take advantage of any active buffs.

Single-Target Rotation for Shadow Priest

  1. Keep Vampiric Touch Icon Vampiric Touch and Shadow Word: Pain Icon Shadow Word: Pain active by using Vampiric Touch Icon Vampiric Touch to apply both DoTs. Use Shadow Crash Icon Shadow Crash if available when you need to refresh and you do not need to hold for adds coming in less than 15 seconds. Refresh these during the proper pandemic window (see below).
  2. Cast Shadowfiend Icon Shadowfiend.
  3. Cast Void Eruption Icon Void Eruption to enter Voidform Icon Voidform. Make sure Mind Blast Icon Mind Blast charges are on cooldown before entering Voidform.
  4. Cast Power Infusion Icon Power Infusion.
  5. Sync any trinkets you have with your cooldowns (see below).
  6. Cast Void Bolt Icon Void Bolt.
  7. Spend Insanity on Devouring Plague Icon Devouring Plague. Maintain maximum uptime on the DoT without capping on Insanity. You can cast regardless during Voidform Icon Voidform if it will let you cast another Void Bolt Icon Void Bolt before Voidform expires.
  8. Cast Mind Blast Icon Mind Blast if capped on charges or Shadowy Insight Icon Shadowy Insight is active.
  9. Cast Void Torrent Icon Void Torrent. This should always be full-channeled. Should only cast in a single target when Devouring Plague Icon Devouring Plague will last for at least 2.5 seconds. In multi-target, this requirement is less important, especially if you are in Voidform Icon Voidform.
  10. Cast Mind Spike: Insanity Icon Mind Spike: Insanity.
  11. Fully deplete all Mind Blast Icon Mind Blast charges unless Mind Devourer Icon Mind Devourer is active.
  12. Cast Mindgames Icon Mindgames if Devouring Plague Icon Devouring Plague will be active when the cast finishes.
  13. Cast Shadow Word: Death Icon Shadow Word: Death if the target is below 20% HP.
  14. Cast Halo Icon Halo. Save if adds are coming in less than 20 seconds.
  15. While Voidform Icon Voidform is active dump Insanity with Devouring Plague Icon Devouring Plague.
  16. Cast Mind Spike Icon Mind Spike.
  17. Use the following spells in order should you need to move and do not have any instant casts to use: Shadow Crash Icon Shadow Crash, Shadow Word: Death Icon Shadow Word: Death, Divine Star Icon Divine Star, Shadow Word: Pain Icon Shadow Word: Pain

When facing two targets, you still follow the single target rotation. The main change is typically swapping out Mind's Eye Icon Mind's Eye for Distorted Reality Icon Distorted Reality. To see how this changes the rotation, use the talent switcher at the top of this section.

Note: the pandemic window for our DoTs is 30% of the total duration. This means to get optimal value out of refreshing DoTs, you want to wait until they are at or below the following thresholds:

Devouring Plague Icon Devouring Plague does not follow the same refresh rules as these two DoTs, instead, roll their damage over and add duration based on ticks remaining. The way you typically want to play around with this is to maximize the uptime of the DoT as much as possible without capping on Insanity. You want to do this for optimal uptime on our Mastery bonus.

Specific Trinket Usage

Any on-use trinket offering some sort of stat bonus should ideally be used inside your cooldowns to get the most benefit. Any exceptions to this are noted below.

  1. Use Darkmoon Deck Box: Inferno Icon Darkmoon Deck Box: Inferno (and other Darkmoon trinkets) on cooldown. (S1 TRINKET)
  2. Erupting Spear Fragment Icon Erupting Spear Fragment should be used with Power Infusion Icon Power Infusion or if there is more than 1 target active.
  3. Beacon to the Beyond Icon Beacon to the Beyond should ideally be used with adds or multiple targets. You can use it on cooldown if there are no additional targets to save this trinket.
  4. Spoils of Neltharus Icon Spoils of Neltharus - Sync with Power Infusion Icon Power Infusion, do not fish for a particular buff.
  5. DEFAULT: Sync with Voidform Icon Voidform, Dark Ascension Icon Dark Ascension, or Power Infusion Icon Power Infusion. If the cooldown is a minute or less, be sure to use it on CD. Lastly, use it if the fight will end before your cooldowns will come back up.
  6. Use Desperate Invoker's Codex Icon Desperate Invoker's Codex. (S1 TRINKET)

For on-use trinkets that ONLY deal damage, you can use them on cooldown, starting with Patch 10.1; Shadow Priest has no modifiers to buff them. The exception is when using double on-use, where you do not want to use a damaged on-use trinket if it means you cannot use a stat on-use trinket with cooldowns later. When in doubt, you can sim your character and see how the sim uses the trinket.

Delve into the world of trinkets with a guide to their precise usage. Uncover the strategic application of specific trinkets to elevate your performance on the battlefield.

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Shadow Priest Opening Rotation

To start the opener, your first spell will change, given your talents and the situation. Use the priority list below to know your FIRST spell to open combat with. This will adjust with your talents selected above:


If you would like a more comfortable opener, you can use a longer opener to pool Insanity with Shadow Crash Icon Shadow Crash, Halo Icon Halo, and Divine Star Icon Divine Star. The goal of this is to get to your first Devouring Plague Icon Devouring Plague faster than you would normally. This is not a massive DPS gain, but it is there if you want to min/max. These spells should be used so they do not pull you into combat (specifically Divine Star and Shadow Crash). Note that based on talents, this is how SimC behaves.

  1. Shadow Crash Icon Shadow Crash x2 + Divine Star Icon Divine Star x2 = 24 Insanity over 20 seconds
  2. Shadow Crash Icon Shadow Crash x2 + Halo Icon Halo x1 = 22 Insanity over 20 seconds
  3. Divine Star Icon Divine Star x3 = 18 Insanity over 30 seconds
  4. Shadow Crash Icon Shadow Crash x2 = 12 Insanity over 20 seconds
  5. Halo Icon Halo x1 = 10 Insanity over 1.5 seconds

Aside from that, here are your normal opener activities:

  1. As a Blood Elf you can use Arcane Torrent Icon Arcane Torrent before pulling, do not use this during your rotation after this.
  2. Make sure Shadowform Icon Shadowform is active.
  3. Make sure Power Word: Fortitude Icon Power Word: Fortitude is active.

Void Eruption (Voidform)

  1. Pre-Cast Shadow Crash Icon Shadow Crash if you can reliably land the skill shot on the pull; otherwise, use Vampiric Touch Icon Vampiric Touch.
  2. Cast Shadowfiend Icon Shadowfiend.
  3. Cast Mind Blast Icon Mind Blast.
  4. Cast Mind Blast Icon Mind Blast.
  5. Cast Void Eruption Icon Void Eruption.
  6. Use your combat potion Elemental Potion of Ultimate Power Icon Elemental Potion of Ultimate Power.
  7. Use Power Infusion Icon Power Infusion and any stat-based racial abilities. Make sure to cast Power Infusion on an ally if using Twins of the Sun Priestess Icon Twins of the Sun Priestess.
  8. Use any on-use trinkets that you may be running.
  9. Cast Void Bolt Icon Void Bolt.
  10. Cast Mind Blast Icon Mind Blast.
  11. Cast Mind Blast Icon Mind Blast.
  12. Cast Devouring Plague Icon Devouring Plague.
  13. Cast Void Bolt Icon Void Bolt.
  14. Cast Void Torrent Icon Void Torrent.
  15. Cast Void Bolt Icon Void Bolt.
  16. Cast Devouring Plague Icon Devouring Plague.
  17. Cast Mind Blast Icon Mind Blast.
  18. Cast Mind Spike: Insanity Icon Mind Spike: Insanity
  19. Cast Void Bolt Icon Void Bolt.
  20. Cast Mind Spike: Insanity Icon Mind Spike: Insanity
  21. Cast Mindgames Icon Mindgames.
  22. Continue with the priority list in the top section above.

Dark Ascension (DA)

  1. Pre-Cast Shadow Crash Icon Shadow Crash if you can reliably land the skill shot on the pull; otherwise, use Vampiric Touch Icon Vampiric Touch.
  2. Cast Shadowfiend Icon Shadowfiend.
  3. Cast Dark Ascension Icon Dark Ascension.
  4. Use your combat potion Elemental Potion of Ultimate Power Icon Elemental Potion of Ultimate Power.
  5. Use Power Infusion Icon Power Infusion and any stat-based racial abilities. Make sure to cast Power Infusion on an ally if using Twins of the Sun Priestess Icon Twins of the Sun Priestess.
  6. Use any on-use trinkets that you may be running.
  7. Cast Mind Blast Icon Mind Blast.
  8. Cast Devouring Plague Icon Devouring Plague.
  9. Cast Mind Blast Icon Mind Blast.
  10. Cast Void Torrent Icon Void Torrent.
  11. Cast Devouring Plague Icon Devouring Plague.
  12. Cast Mind Spike: Insanity Icon Mind Spike: Insanity
  13. Cast Mindgames Icon Mindgames.
  14. Continue with the priority list in the top section above.

Multiple Target Rotation for Shadow Priest

The Shadow Priest multi-target rotation is very similar to the single target priority list above, with only small differences. Our AoE damage is mostly unlocked by performing our single target rotation well. If you can do that well, you just need to maintain DoTs, and things should fall into place naturally.

Use the following list as a cheat sheet for the critical target swaps:

  • 2+ targets: Start using Halo Icon Halo above Surge of Insanity Icon Surge of Insanity fillers. It can also be used on a single target, but not significant to drop it or only use it for healing at that target count.

2+ Target Priority

When fighting more than a single target, your rotation will look almost identical, except you will be using any tools you can to maintain Vampiric Touch Icon Vampiric Touch and Shadow Word: Pain Icon Shadow Word: Pain on both targets. You should try to maintain these DoTs on up to 12 targets roughly. Shadow Crash Icon Shadow Crash should be able to cover 8 stacked targets. Do not bother manually DoTing any target that will not last for at least 18 seconds.

The other change is when using Distorted Reality Icon Distorted Reality you can spread Devouring Plague Icon Devouring Plague to both targets; otherwise, continue to only keep it active on a single target.

In addition, if you are using Divine Star Icon Divine Star It starts being worth at 2 targets if you can consistently hit it twice (you need to be within 24 yards of all targets).

Devouring Plague Refreshing

Devouring Plague Icon Devouring Plague is a relatively unique DoT that works differently from Vampiric Touch Icon Vampiric Touch or Shadow Word: Pain Icon Shadow Word: Pain. As such, you must understand how it works at a high level to avoid misuse of its unique effects.

When refreshing Devouring Plague Icon Devouring Plague, it rolls over any damage remaining on the future ticks and adds that in the form of a modifier to the new DoT ticks. This effectively means that when you are in a case where you often hit or get close to 100 Insanity (referred to as capping), you can freely refresh Devouring Plague and not lose any damage assuming the target lives for the entire DoT duration. It is important to note that no part of this process is snapshotting stats but instead converting future damage ticks into a modifier value to the new ticks. Because of this period, Intellect and Haste's changes do not change how the rollover happens; it always works the same way regardless.

While the damage does roll over regardless of when you use Devouring Plague Icon Devouring Plague the exact timing of the refresh is important. Shadow Priests Mastery, Mastery: Shadow Weaving Icon Mastery: Shadow Weaving, benefits from uptime of Devouring Plague. So to get the most damage out of the DoT, you want to only refresh the DoT when it has less than a GCD remaining, or you are getting close to capping on Insanity (deficit of ~20 or less) to get maximum damage out of our Mastery. Furthermore, playing like this also gets the most value out of the Insidious Ire Icon Insidious Ire talent if you are using that.

This mechanic is mostly passive but can be used to your advantage to burst down a specific target. By banking up 100 Insanity (or 150 with Voidtouched Icon Voidtouched) you can use multiple Devouring Plague Icon Devouring Plague casts back to back and get a new DoT with much more powerful ticks in the same amount of time as a singleDevouring Plague Icon Devouring Plague. Otherwise, if your target lives, you should always prioritize keeping the DoT active on the target for as long as possible for maximum benefit with our Mastery. While maximizing this, make sure you are also NOT capping on Insanity. Juggling these two conditions will be how you master this spell.

For most types of content, you should play completely normally; there is nothing to game with how this works unless you are trying to burst something down specifically. Just play normally and enjoy not losing damage when you would have otherwise capped Insanity.


Now that Devouring Plague Icon Devouring Plague is our only Insanity spender, I wanted to briefly cover multi-target. The way you play with this strictly depends on if you are playing with Distorted Reality Icon Distorted Reality or not. When you are NOT using Distorted Reality, you should maintain Devouring Plague on just a single target, even in AoE. Pick the one that is the most important to focus down. You could spread this if there are more than one big priority targets you care about, but that is almost always an overall DPS loss.

Alternatively when using Distorted Reality Icon Distorted Reality you can spread Devouring Plague Icon Devouring Plague around to targets that will live for that duration. This can be hard to know from just looking at health, but generally, you can just spread this blindly. You can still tunnel on one target, but that will typically be a DPS loss with this talent compared to just using Mind's Eye Icon Mind's Eye instead.

Fade Pulling

For dungeon pulls specifically, you should always be pulling WITH the tank, not after. By getting proper setup as the tank is pulling by putting up Vampiric Touch Icon Vampiric Touch ASAP, you will further increase your damage in the pack without suffering from loss in casting our Insanity spenders. This is only possible by using Fade Icon Fade as a threat drop, as the tank is pulling to be able to DPS before the threat is fully established. Mastering this is crucial to doing well in Mythic+.

When to refresh Vampiric Touch with Unfurling Darkness

The Unfurling Darkness Icon Unfurling Darkness talent can be a bit awkward to play around with, but if you do you think of it less as having to cast an extra Vampiric Touch Icon Vampiric Touch and more like a cooldown, you press every 15 seconds; that should make more sense. Generally, you want to try and use Vampiric Touch every 15 seconds to process this "extra" damage and then re-cast Vampiric Touch again (ideally on a different target to help with DoT uptimes) for that damage bonus. You only have 8 seconds to use this free cast, so use it wisely.

Depending on how much other stuff to do, you do not need to go out of your way to cast this every 15 seconds, especially if this means losing Devouring Plague Icon Devouring Plague casts. It will mostly be passive damage naturally as you refresh your Vampiric Touch Icon Vampiric Touch and then re-cast it for the benefit. Do not let the buff expire and play naturally.

Optimizing Mindbender/Shadowfiend Usage

Both Mindbender Icon Mindbender and Shadowfiend Icon Shadowfiend are guardians that scale with your stats, which means using them in combination with, for example, Intellect, Haste, or Mastery procs is ideal. However, it is not ideal to delay them too much for both to accomplish this. They are not big enough damage increases to warrant doing so, and maximizing the number of casts is more important. If you lost a Mindbender/Shadowfiend cast because of delaying it too much, then that will almost definitely not have been worth it. This is especially true for Mindbender, which has a short cooldown of 1 minute. When using Inescapable Torment Icon Inescapable Torment, mastering this is important to get full damage out of the cooldown.

However, there is an additional aspect to consider here. Both Shadowfiend Icon Shadowfiend and Mindbender Icon Mindbender generate an amount of Insanity whenever they hit their targets. Both pets generate 2 Insanity per melee swing. This is particularly useful in AoE when getting consistent Insanity generation is more difficult.

As a general rule of thumb, you will want to use Shadowfiend Icon Shadowfiend or Mindbender Icon Mindbender right before going into Void Eruption Icon Void Eruption or Dark Ascension Icon Dark Ascension.

When to use your Racial Abilities

Depending on the race you decide to play, you will get various amounts of spells that you can use to buff your character further. Unfortunately, not all of these are useful. Use this section if you are curious about how to use them in combat.

Note that as of writing, the DPS difference between the various racial buffs is anywhere between 1-2%. Because this is so small, picking a race just for the DPS output is generally not suggested. Often you will get more value out of picking the one that has better non-DPS options, such as Goblin's Rocket Jump Icon Rocket Jump.

Best Items to Upgrade for Shadow Priest in Dragonflight Season 2

In this section, I am going to list the pieces of gear that I would focus on upgrading. This is generic advice and should be supplementary to you running your sims. Figuring out the best upgrade based on your character's current gear is always ideal.

Check each section for more details on the various slots.


Here are the top 5 trinkets to target as a Shadow Priest. Check out the sims below for more details about which trinkets to use and when. These are generic suggestions of what to target, but anything that is a big ilevel jump might be an upgrade, even if it is not on this list.

Note that raid trinkets are particularly strong in this tier, especially compared to Season 2 dungeon trinkets. If you are looking for the top trinkets that you can farm in Mythic+, you have very limited options. Aside from Spoils of Neltharus Icon Spoils of Neltharus the others are very weak on single target, only 100-200 dps ahead of the previous season's trinkets.

Top Trinkets for Raiding

  1. Neltharion's Call to Suffering Icon Neltharion's Call to Suffering (see note below)
  2. Spoils of Neltharus Icon Spoils of Neltharus
  3. Ominous Chromatic Essence Icon Ominous Chromatic Essence
  4. Vessel of Searing Shadow Icon Vessel of Searing Shadow
  5. Screaming Black Dragonscale Icon Screaming Black Dragonscale

Top Trinkets for Dungeons

  1. Neltharion's Call to Suffering Icon Neltharion's Call to Suffering (see note below)
  2. Spoils of Neltharus Icon Spoils of Neltharus
  3. Ominous Chromatic Essence Icon Ominous Chromatic Essence
  4. Erupting Spear Fragment Icon Erupting Spear Fragment
  5. Screaming Black Dragonscale Icon Screaming Black Dragonscale

Neltharion's Call to Suffering Icon Neltharion's Call to Suffering is somewhat of an odd trinket to be at the top of the list. In theoretical sims, it is slightly above other options, but this gain is less than 1% DPS. Furthermore, the reason this trinket is controversial is that it has a very low proc rate at 1 proc per minute on average. This means it is very inconsistent and is not a trinket I would suggest for progression content.


This is a rough guide of what weapons to aim for. It is not an end-all-be-all list, and depending on your gear, you might find something that is even better. Be sure to sim your upgrades to know for sure, but you can use this list to help target things that will likely be strong.

  1. Erethos, the Empty Promise Icon Erethos, the Empty Promise (450)
  2. Leaxa's Thought-Piercer Icon Leaxa's Thought-Piercer (447) + Echo's Maddening Volume Icon Echo's Maddening Volume (450)
  3. Torch of Primal Awakening Icon Torch of Primal Awakening (447) + Echo's Maddening Volume Icon Echo's Maddening Volume (450)
  4. Zskarn's Autopsy Scalpel Icon Zskarn's Autopsy Scalpel (447) + Echo's Maddening Volume Icon Echo's Maddening Volume (450)
  5. Lavaflow Control Rod Icon Lavaflow Control Rod (447) + Echo's Maddening Volume Icon Echo's Maddening Volume (450)
  6. Torch of Primal Awakening Icon Torch of Primal Awakening (447) + Crackling Codex of the Isles Icon Crackling Codex of the Isles (447)
  7. Zskarn's Autopsy Scalpel Icon Zskarn's Autopsy Scalpel (447) + Crackling Codex of the Isles Icon Crackling Codex of the Isles (447)
  8. Illuminating Pillar of the Isles Icon Illuminating Pillar of the Isles (447)
  9. Leaxa's Thought-Piercer Icon Leaxa's Thought-Piercer (447) + Crackling Codex of the Isles Icon Crackling Codex of the Isles (447)

The above is listed in theoretical top DPS, although aside from Erethos, the Empty Promise Icon Erethos, the Empty Promise the rest are all within 0.3% DPS of each other. Erethos is about ~600 DPS higher than the other choices and is the clear BiS weapon due to the perfect stats for Shadow Priest.

If you decide to craft a weapon, I would strongly suggest crafting a 1h weapon over a 2h version. Crafting a 1h gives you another piece of gear to craft in another slot but still gives you most of the benefit of crafting a weapon. This also lets you add 2 embellished effects with 2 sparks, whereas a 2h staff craft would just be 1 embellished effect with 2 sparks. On top of that, there are several good off-hands in raids/dungeons, so you can farm a good one relatively easily. If you have infinite sparks and it is later in the season, it does not matter which you craft; this advice is targeted for earlier in the season when sparks are more scarce.

Note that there is no DPS difference between crafting Torch of Primal Awakening Icon Torch of Primal Awakening or Primal Molten Spellblade Icon Primal Molten Spellblade.

Example Gear Setup for a Shadow Priest in Season 2

The following gear setup is provided as an example to help guide your gear choices as a Shadow Priest in Season 2. It is important to note that this list is not exhaustive and should be adapted based on your own specific stat preferences, sim results, and available gear options. Always simulate yourself to determine the best gear upgrades for your character.


  • Mask of the Furnace Seraph (TIER SET) - Dropped by Magmorax in Aberrus


  • Bromach's Disentombed Locket - Dropped in Uldaman: Legacy of Tyr


  • Devotion of the Furnace Seraph (TIER SET) - Dropped by Echo of Neltharion in Aberrus


  • Voice of the Silent Star - Dropped by Scalecommander Sarkareth in Aberrus


  • Reanimator's Wicked Cassock - Dropped by Kazzara in Aberrus


  • Clasps of the Diligent Steward - Dropped by Zskarn in Aberrus


  • Grasp of the Furnace Seraph (TIER SET) - Dropped by The Forgotten Experiments in Aberrus


  • Lost Hero's Waist Wrap - Dropped in Uldaman: Legacy of Tyr


  • Breeches of the Furnace Seraph (TIER SET) - Dropped by Rashok in Aberrus


  • Sandals of the West Wind - Dropped in The Vortex Pinnacle

Ring #1:

  • Loop of Pulsing Veins - Dropped in Underrot

Ring #2:

  • Loop of Vitriolic Intent - Dropped in Neltharion's Lair

Trinket #1:

  • Spoils of Neltharus - Dropped in Neltharus

Trinket #2:

  • Vessel of Searing Shadow (Single Target) - Dropped by The Amalgamation Chamber in Aberrus
  • Ominous Chromatic Essence (All-Around) - Dropped by The Forgotten Experiments in Aberrus

Two-Handed Weapon:

  • Erethos, the Empty Promise - Dropped by Scalecommander Sarkareth in Aberrus

Remember that this list serves as a guideline and there may be equally powerful alternative options available. Crafted gear can also be a valuable addition, especially with the potential to reach high item levels. Always prioritize simulating your character to determine the best gear upgrades, ensuring you make informed decisions tailored to your specific character and playstyle.

Adapt, optimize, and embrace the shadows as you assemble your gear setup, unleashing the full potential of your Shadow Priest in the challenges that await in Dragonflight.

Generic Macros for Priests

Angelic Feather + Body and Soul

  • #showtooltip
  • /cast [known:121536,mod:shift,@player] Angelic Feather; Power Word: Shield

This macro simply combines Angelic Feather Icon Angelic Feather and Power Word: Shield Icon Power Word: Shield with one macro, so you can easily use both with mostly the same keybind. This has default press Power Word: Shield, or pressing the same keybind with Shift casts Angelic Feather.

  • #showtooltip
  • /castsequence [known:121536,@mouseover,help,nodead][known:121536,@player] reset=6 Power Word: Shield, Angelic Feather, Angelic Feather, Angelic Feather; Power Word: Shield

This is another version of a movement macro that lets you spam the button over and over to cast the right movement spell, starting with Power Word: Shield Icon Power Word: Shield. If you are looking for something simpler and do not want a mod:shift one, you can try this one out instead.

Power Infusion

  • #showtooltip
  • /cast [@INSERTPLAYERNAMEHERE,help,nodead][] Power Infusion
  • /cast [@player] Power Infusion

When using Twins of the Sun Priestess Icon Twins of the Sun Priestess, this is a useful macro to cast Power Infusion Icon Power Infusion on an ally to make sure your group gets the most out of it. You will need to manually type in the player you wish to give Power Infusion to, but it should handle if the target is out of range of you to still cast it on yourself. If you want to cast it on different players throughout an encounter I would suggest replacing @INSERTPLAYERNAMEHERE with @mouseover and mousing over the target you want to give it on for each cast.

If you are having issues with this sometimes not working correctly you should try to avoid spamming the macro when you want to cast it. If you queue the macro as an action mid-cast of something else it can short circuit.

All in one Dispel Macro

  • #showtooltip
  • /cast [mod:alt,known:32375] !Mass Dispel; [spec:3,@mouseover,help,nodead] Purify Disease; [@mouseover,help,nodead] Purify; [@mouseover,harm,nodead] [harm] Dispel Magic; [spec:3] Purify Disease; Purify

This gives you one button in-game that handles all of your dispel needs across the Priest specs. Alt is used for Mass Dispel Icon Mass Dispel; if the target is an enemy, it uses Dispel Magic Icon Dispel Magic, and the default case is either Purify Disease Icon Purify Disease or Purify Icon Purify.

If you are just looking for a simple mouseover for one of these, you can use this instead:

  • #showtooltip
  • /cast [@mouseover,help,nodead][] Purify Disease

Simple Mass Dispel Cursor Macro:

  • #showtooltip
  • /cast [@cursor] Mass Dispel

Shackle Undead Macro

  • #showtooltip
  • /cast [@mouseover,harm,nodead][] Shackle Undead

This is a simple mouseover macro for Shackle Undead Icon Shackle Undead that can be useful for handling the Incorporeal Icon Incorporeal.

Mind Control Macro

This macro offers a one-button solution for either Mind Control Icon Mind Control or Dominate Mind Icon Dominate Mind. Clicking it without an active pet will cast either spell on your current target. If you have an active pet Mind Controlled, it will instead dismiss it.

  • #showtooltip
  • /petdismiss
  • /cast [known:Mind Control] Mind Control; Dominate Mind

Specific Macros for Shadow Priests

Mind Flay: Insanity No-Cancel

  • #showtooltip
  • /stopmacro [channeling:Mind Flay: Insanity]
  • /cast Mind Flay

This is a pretty simple macro that does not let you cancel an actively channeled Mind Flay: Insanity Icon Mind Flay: Insanity with a Mind Flay Icon Mind Flay cast.

Talent Choice Macro

  • #showtooltip
  • /cast [known:Void Eruption] Void Eruption; Dark Ascension

If you would like to have one keybind for your talent choice nodes, you can do something like the above. This will automatically change the tooltip of that spell after pressing it once after re-talenting. The example is for Void Eruption Icon Void Eruption and Dark Ascension Icon Dark Ascension, but it can be used for anything.


  • #showtooltip Silence
  • /cast [@focus,harm,nodead][] Silence

This is a basic macro I would suggest to anyone playing a spec with a kick. It prioritizes kicking your focus target and then defaults to your current target if you do not have a focus. You can also add mod:shift as an extra conditional if you only want to kick your focus target with a keybind used.

Dispersion Cancelaura Macro

  • #showtooltip Dispersion
  • /cast Dispersion
  • /cancelaura Dispersion

This macro serves as a way to both cast Dispersion Icon Dispersion and also to cancel it. The first press of the macro will cast Dispersion, and the second press will remove the buff from you. This is useful in cases where you do not need the damage reduction for the full 6 seconds, as you are unable to cast spells when under the effects of Dispersion.

Shadow Crash Cursor Macro

  • #showtooltip
  • /cast [@cursor] Shadow Crash

This macro casts Shadow Crash Icon Shadow Crash at the location of your cursor on the screen without having to click your mouse on the ground.

Mind Flay Camera Spin

  • /console cameraSmoothTrackingStyle 0

This is not a macro, but a console command that will prevent Mind Flay Icon Mind Flay from spinning your camera when it channels. This can be very helpful for players who find the camera interference annoying.

Mouseover Macro for DoTs

  • #showtooltip
  • /cast [@mouseover,harm,nodead] [] Shadow Word: Pain
  • #showtooltip
  • /cast [@mouseover,harm,nodead] [] Vampiric Touch

These macros cast Shadow Word: Pain Icon Shadow Word: Pain and Vampiric Touch Icon Vampiric Touch at your current mouseover target without having to target their nameplate directly. This is particularly useful in multi-DoT situations in council boss scenarios.

Enhancing Your Shadowy Arsenal: Recommended Addons for Shadow Priests

As a Shadow Priest, utilizing addons can greatly enhance your gameplay experience, providing valuable information, visual cues, and customization options. Here are some highly recommended addons that can assist you in optimizing your performance as a Shadow Priest:

  1. Shadowed Unit Frames: Shadowed Unit Frames is a popular addon that allows you to customize and enhance your unit frames, including player, target, and party frames. This addon provides comprehensive information about your target's health, buffs, debuffs, and more, allowing for better situational awareness during combat.

  2. WeakAuras: WeakAuras is a versatile addon that enables you to create custom visual and audio alerts for various in-game events. You can set up WeakAuras to track important procs, cooldowns, or other significant events for your Shadow Priest, ensuring you never miss an important ability or buff.

  3. Details! Damage Meter: Details! Damage Meter is a comprehensive damage meter addon that provides detailed information about your DPS and other relevant combat metrics. It allows you to track your performance, compare it with others in your group, and identify areas for improvement.

  4. OmniCC: OmniCC is a simple yet effective addon that adds countdown timers to your abilities and spells. It enhances your awareness of ability cooldowns, helping you optimize your rotation and ensure efficient spellcasting.

  5. MaxDps Rotation Helper: MaxDps Rotation Helper is an addon that assists with optimizing your rotation by providing real-time suggestions on the most optimal abilities to cast. It takes into account your current buffs, debuffs, and cooldowns to help you maximize your DPS output.

  6. GTFO: GTFO is an addon that alerts you with audio cues when you are standing in hazardous or damaging areas, helping you avoid unnecessary damage and maintain your survivability during encounters.

  7. Hekili: Hekili is a rotation helper addon specifically designed for Shadow Priests. It provides real-time recommendations on which ability to cast next based on your current situation, talents, and cooldowns.

  8. SimC Addon: If you frequently simulate your character using SimulationCraft or Raidbots, using the SimC addon can streamline the process. It allows you to export your character data directly into the simulation program, making it easier to obtain accurate and up-to-date simulation results.

Remember to regularly update your addons and configure them according to your preferences. Experiment with different addons to find the ones that suit your playstyle and provide the most useful information. With the right combination of addons, you can elevate your Shadow Priest gameplay and unlock the full potential of your dark powers in the realm of Dragonflight.

In conclusion, the WoW Dragonflight Shadow Priest DPS Guide equips you with the knowledge and strategies needed to excel as a Shadow Priest in the Dragonflight expansion. With its comprehensive coverage of talent choices, stat priorities, rotation optimization, and more, this guide empowers you to maximize your DPS potential and become a formidable force in Azeroth.

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