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Priest Raiding Shadow Priest Guide

Gilthresa

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Jan 27, 2015
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#1
Ok, so there are guides here already about Disc and Holy, but nothing that would act as a sort of guide to help new Raiding Shadow Priests, so this thread is designed to fill that gap. I'll be dealing with a number of things in this thread, including Talents, gear itemization, consumables, professions, and addons . Some background on myself first, so you can see I'm not just some yahoo on the internet with a keyboard. My experience as a SP in vanilla is two fold, both as a PvPer, and a raider. As a raiding SP, I progressed with my guild from Lucifron to Ragnaros to Nefarian to Princess Huhuran and 4h in AQ40 and Naxx, respectively. I was there when SPs were still trying to get recognized for the asset they were by most raid guilds, and was an early member, and later a moderator of Shadowpriest.com, a site dedicated to helping SPs maximize their damage output and increase their viability in raids in Vanilla. So, without further ado, let's delve into it. We'll begin with talents

Talents

http://www.wowprovider.com/?talent=11215875_5_8505d13x5032504103501251

This is theoretically the best spec for raiding from a pure DPS standpoint. A few notes:

  • Spirit Tap as opposed to blackout allows for mana regen on boss encounters where you have adds, and while it's not much, it's more beneficial than Blackout, since there are other classes in the raid that have reliable CC.
  • 4 points in Imp. Mindblast allows for a nice Mindflay -> Mindflay -> Mind Blast (repeat) rotation during burn phases, or on fights where mana is no issue (Vael, for example). This is a good way to run oom quickly however, so be careful when using it.
  • Shadow Reach could technically be swapped for 1/2 points in Imp Fort and 2/1 points in Mental agility, but ultimately it doesn't wind up making that much of a difference over the course of a fight. Plus if I remember correctly there were some bosses who had abilities with a 20 yd radius, so being able to stand outside of that while casting your main spell was a good thing.


Itemization

As a SP in Vanilla, you've got to remember this one hard and fast rule:
Crit is worthless. Why, you might ask? Well simply put because the vast majority of your damage will be coming from 2 spells that are incapable of critting in Vanilla; Shadow Word: Pain, and Mind Flay. Blizzard change these abilities in BC I believe to allow them to crit, to give all cloth casters more uniform itemization, but in Vanilla, they don't. If you see a piece of gear that only has crit on it, do your mages/locks a favor and pass on it, or do yourself a favor and save your DKP. The itemization priority you'll want to follow as SPs is as follows:

Spell(Shadow) damage -> Hit -> Mp5 -> Everything else.

It's important to note that SPs are pretty much the only caster class that can get fully hit capped without too much trouble once you get through BWL (maybe part way through MC, I forget), because we only need 6% hit from gear thanks to Shadow Focus.
Mp5 is mana returned every 5 seconds like found on weapons/gear like this. This is in combat mana regen and much more useful to us than spirit, as we're constantly casting, and cannot down rank our spells like healers can. Individually, the pieces don't seem to add up to much, but like shadow/spell damage it adds up as you get more pieces with it. I believe my priest had something like 25 mp5 on my gear when it was all said and done, which over a non-Sons kill on Rag added up to 900 mana. Over longer fights, you can easily see a couple thousand mana returned to you, essentially giving you another mana potion. The Shadow Priest's biggest enemy during a raid is running out of mana, so taking mp5 gear is well worth it, since not casting doesn't do any DPS.


Consumables

Consumables refer to 2 different things for our purposes here: Ways to regain mana, and ways to increase your damage. I'll start with the first.

As I mentioned above, running out of mana sucks, and it's something you're going to have to fight every boss fight. Fortunately, potions are on a 2 minute timer, and they can be used multiple times per boss fight. This means however that you're going to be going through a lot of them, so you ought to be aware of the options you have available to you.
Major Mana Potion - Learn to love these guys. You'll spend more time than you care to think about farming them or farming to buy them, or farming mats for them. They can return up to about 1/3 of a fully raid buffed priest's mana, which isn't too shabby, all things considered. You'll be drinking them on cool down basically, and can easily go through a whole stack or more on a progression night.
Demonic Rune - These little babies were a tip I picked up from watching Beckon's videos. Essentially they're like a lifetap, sacrificing some hp for mana. Thanks to VE, you'll never notice the hp loss. They do not share a cool down with mana potions.
Greater Dreamless Sleep Potion - These little babies are situational, but very helpful when there are aggro transitions, phase changes, or things of that nature. The sleep you fall into is a magical debuff though, so you want your healers to know you're casting it so you don't get it dispelled. The advantage to them is a consistent 2100 mana returned, which is around 1/3 of your total mana pool, but the downside is that you can't do anything for 12 seconds. Like I said, they're situational, but they do have their uses.
Mageblood Potion - 12mp5 for an hour, that's 8640 mana returned over the course of an hour, no sense not picking up at least a few of these for mana intensive fights.

Now we move onto things to increase your spell/shadow damage. The great thing about Vanilla is that you're able to stack elixirs, which means you can get some really out there spell damage increases. There are a lot of these, so get ready to enjoy farming.

Flask of Supreme Power - This should be obvious to anyone intending to do any progression raiding as a caster. 150 spell dmg increase is massive, and self explanatory.
Greater Arcane Elixir - +35 spell damage, and fairly cheap as far as mats are concerned. Definitely pick up a load of these before a progression raid.
Elixir of Shadow Power - +40 shadow damage, obvious choice.
Brilliant Wizard Oil - +36 spell damage to your weapon, and 1% crit, but that's worthless to us.
Arcane Elixir - I believe this stacks with the greater one, +20 spell damage.

All said and done with the above, you're looking at an increase of +261 shadow damage (281 if Arcane stacks with the greater). That's a lot.



Professions

So as you've noticed, there are a lot of potions and elixirs there that you'll need on a fairly regular basis to maximize your DPS output. It's no real shocker then that Herbalism and Alchemy are your best bets for a professions. Tailoring and Enchanting are also pretty decent, but for my money, Herb/Alch is the way to go. It's what I've been on my SP since vanilla, and I see no reason to change.


Addons

You'll need to keep track of your dots, so I recommend DoTimer. I believe there's a link to it here in the Addons section of these forums. That's basically all you need, you won't pull aggro with Shadow Affinity and Silent Resolve, unless your tank is terrible, in which case other classes will pull before you do, so that's really the only thing you need to worry about.


So there you have it, what I hope is a fairly straight forward, easy to follow guide on the basics of PvE Shadow Priest talents, itemization, consumable use, professions and addons. I'm fighting a head cold at the moment, so if I've forgotten/mistaken something, please someone else correct me, but this information should all be accurate. Hope it helps someone.
 
Last edited:

Lharts

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Nov 29, 2012
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#3
So that other thread pissed you off enough to make a guide :)
Priest if top notch dps! Show them!

Would go back to spriest in a heartbeat for dpsing. Its pretty solid if you don't slack. 9/10
 

Gilthresa

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Jan 27, 2015
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#4
So that other thread pissed you off enough to make a guide :)
Priest if top notch dps! Show them!

Would go back to spriest in a heartbeat for dpsing. Its pretty solid if you don't slack. 9/10
wot m8?

I made this thread before I saw the other one, I think. I'll do my best though, I really enjoyed shadow raiding and proving the doubters in my guild wrong about what a SP could bring to the table, thanks in part to a sympathetic class leader.
 

Mcduff

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Sep 18, 2014
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#5
So what is your experience, can you top dps meters on some fights?, is it worth to bring a shadow priest over a lock because of shadow weaving?
 

Gilthresa

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Jan 27, 2015
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#6
So what is your experience, can you top dps meters on some fights?, is it worth to bring a shadow priest over a lock because of shadow weaving?
I never topped a fight until the 2.0 talent patches were released, giving me VE and increasing debuff slots. That said, I was usually in the top 6-10 on most encounters. If you want to top DMG meters as a caster, roll a lock, or maybe a mage, SP isn't going to do that without a lot of help (read: innervates and power infusion).

As far as to whether its worth it or not, that is almost always a yes, provided your SP isn't terrible. Your shadow weaving buff grants every warlock a flat 15% increase in damage so if you have say 4 warlocks in a raid, your SP is essentially causing the DMG of 60% of a warlock, simply by being there. Assuming they can manage 40% of a regular warlock's dps, you're already providing as much dmg as another warlock. I brought, in total, way more than the damage of a replacement warlock to every raid, and that's not mentioning the extra healing afforded to the warlocks (or occasionally tanks) from VE as well. Combined DMG+healing I was usually top 3, if not top outright when grouped with the locks all the time.

Edit: Proof of top claim, this was after meters had been synced.
 
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Irvin

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Jan 26, 2015
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#7
I had heard that the rotation of spells for a SP is too repetitive, is this something I should worry about if I decide to roll this first time? Is it fun to play in both PVP and PVE?
 
Joined
Jan 8, 2013
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#8
I had heard that the rotation of spells for a SP is too repetitive, is this something I should worry about if I decide to roll this first time? Is it fun to play in both PVP and PVE?
If you worry about repititive rotations as dps you probably shouldn't play one. SP is probably the most interesting one actually except for super niche like cat dps.
 

Irvin

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Jan 26, 2015
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#9
If you worry about repititive rotations as dps you probably shouldn't play one. SP is probably the most interesting one actually except for super niche like cat dps.
Sorry I didn't mean to put it like that, it's just that I saw someone mention it so I thought it must be that much different compared to other classes. However that person was just stating their opinion so I'll take what I thought back anyway.

I've played vanilla before I know what I'm getting into, but I never played a shadow priest.
 

Gilthresa

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Jan 27, 2015
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#10
SP dps rotation is boring as piss in vanilla.
SW:p
Mind blast
Mind flay
Mind flay
Repeat steps 2 and 3 until SW:p is about to expire, then recast it and repeat, while chugging mama potions and demonic runes on cool down.

SP rotation got more interesting in BC with VT, death and shadowfiend, and by cata was actually really interesting because you had DP and Archangel thrown into the mix, along with Death returning mana.

In vanilla though it was pretty boring.

As far as PvP goes, it's a blast and a half. Shadow priests are one of the strongest 1v1 classes in the game, gear being roughly equal, and are really useful in group situations with all the utility the class offers.
 
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Kanariya

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Jan 7, 2015
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#11
Not just spriests though. Pretty much every dps class in vanilla (and BC) has a boring rotation. WotLK is when they brought additional abilities and spec diversity in the game.
 

Thutmose

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Oct 18, 2014
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#12
Please , share Dotimer whit me, i cant find any working version, thx :)

this addon in addon page of this forum not working for me
 
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