Faces! They still exist in Mists of Pandaria, and they still need melting. So, as a Shadow Priest, let us get you up to speed on your talents, glyphs, gems, reforging, stats, and rotation – which have all changed this patch – with no walls of text required – just quick, simple get-started-now instructions for MoP and WoW Patch 5.3. After all, those faces are not going to melt themselves…
Updated 22nd May 2013 to World of Warcraft 5.3
Shadow Priest changes in WoW Patch 5.3
PvP nerfs, but no significant changes in PvE.
Shadow Priest “Rotation” and Priorities
Our rotation hasn’t massively changed from Cataclysm, but there are some twists and tweaks to it.
The guides below assume you’re using our standard talent build.
Note for old-school Shadow Priests: DoTs are no longer your top priority!
- Top Priority: If you have three Shadow Orbs, cast Devouring Plague. If not, if Mind Blast is available, cast it.
- Second Priority: If the target is below 20% health and it’s available, use Shadow Word Death. If Devouring Plague is up, cast Mind Flay.
- Third Priority: If Shadow Word Pain or Vampiric Touch aren’t ticking on the target, cast them. Otherwise, use Halo.
Simply attempt to get DoTs (Shadow Word Pain and Vampiric Touch) up on as many enemies as possible and use Mind Blast on cooldown. If the targets won’t live more than 10 seconds just do your single-target rotation instead.
- Use Mindbender or Shadowfiend whenever it’s available.
- Use Dispersion if you’re about to take damage or as a last resort if you need mana. .
Remember to cast Power Word Fortitude!
Also, remember to be in Shadowform.
Shadow Priest Talent Choices
MoP talents are very situational, and the theorycrafters are still deciding on the best ones to use. However, here’s a good general-purpose Shadow Priest talent build:
- Tier 1: Void Tendrils
- Tier 2: Angelic Feather – allows you to offer fellow players a movement buff.
- Tier 3: Solace And Insanity
- Tier 4: Desperate Prayer – powerful self-heal.
- Tier 5: Power Infusion
- Tier 6: Halo – use on cooldown.
Stats, reforging and gemming for Shadow Priest
Intellect is king, followed by Haste – yes, Haste – to 8085 Haste Rating, then Hit/Spirit to the 15% Spell Hit Cap (5100 rating), then Crit.
Reforging: Reforge to Crit and Mastery to Haste where you can until you have 8085 Haste Rating or you can’t reforge to Haste any more. Then reforge remaining Crit and Mastery, plus Haste over 8085, to Hit up to the cap, then Crit.
Gems: Red slots: Brilliant gems. Yellow slots: Reckless (Int/Haste) gems. Blue slots: Purified (Int/Spirit) gems.
Meta Gem: Burning meta gems.
Note: There are a few situations where yellow slots should use Quick gems for absolutely optimal performance. See Balkoth’s comment
Note – see the How2Priest guide below for more detail on Haste and Haste breakpoints.
Glyph choices for Shadow Priests are still very much up in the air, but here are some good options:
Major: Glyph of Inner Sanctum, Glyph of Mind Flay (Improves movement speed) and Glyph of Vampiric Embrace.
Minor: Whatever you like.
Shadow Priest enchants and item enhancements
You should almost always use a profession enhancement item if it provides appropriate stats instead of a general enchant.
- Shoulders – Greater Crane Wing Inscription
- Back – Enchant Cloak – Superior Intellect
- Chest – Enchant Chest – Glorious Stats
- Wrist – Enchant Bracer – Super Intellect
- Hands – Enchant Gloves – Greater Haste
- Belt – Living Steel Belt Buckle
- Legs – Greater Cerulean Spellthread
- Feet – Enchant Boots – Pandaren’s Step
- Weapon – Enchant Weapon – Jade Spirit
- Off-Hand Weapon – Enchant Weapon – Major Intellect
There’s one excellent Shadow Priest guide out there:
- How To Priest has a great Shadow Priest guide for Mists, although it is a bit densely written.
- Finally, as a WoW player, you should really check out the latest and greatest from the blogosphere on World of Warcraft, here at the Melting Pot.
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