Shadow Priest FAQs V.2

Big DPS comes in small shadowy packages.

Q: Which is better, spirit or crit? And should I choose haste over mastery?

A: I go with the stat weightings provided by

  • Int = 1.00 (always normalized to 1)
  • SP = 0.79
  • Haste = 0.50
  • Crit = 0.42
  • Mastery = 0.42
  • Hit = 0.00* (see notes on hit)
  • Spi = 0.00* (see notes on spirit/hit)

Hit and spirit are given a 0 because after you hit your hit cap, it is entirely worthless to have additional hit. Your hands down most valuable stat is Intellect. Crit is still tasty, and Mastery has been improved, but haste is still the primary stat you will be looking for after Intellect.

Q: How much hit should I have?

A: That depends on your comfort level. The previous wisdom was you wanted to be hit capped, at 17%, for raid bosses. But since 4.0 dropped, hit cap has seemed a lot less important for shadow priests than our other stats. I personally run with 12.5-13.5% hit.

Q: What should I be reforging? Should I aim towards straight hit or spirit that gives mana regen and hit? Is there a plus to just doing hit?

A: My two most reforged stats are hit and mastery. I will also reforge off spirit when I feel I have enough hit. Whenever it is an option to do so, I reforge an undesirable stat into haste. My gear is a mix of hit pieces and spirit pieces. The only value to picking hit pieces of spirit pieces is to not have pouty PUG healer harangue you about “stealing” a spirit piece from them when you can’t possibly use spirit (when in fact you both have equal claim to it.)

Q: What is our best rotation?

A: If you are running in on a boss such as on Magmaw, you’ll want to toss out your instant casts on your way in, then hit your Vampiric Touch, and start on your mind flays. If you are stationary, start with the Vampiric touch then put up your other DoTs, then Mindflay. After Mindflay activates your archangel, pop it, then mindflay again twice to get your 5 stacks of Dark Evangelism which then buffs your periodic damage spells. Mindblast whenever it is up (in my experience I always have an orb or two up), and Shadow Word: Death only when your target is under 25% or when you start to get low on mana. And use that shadowfiend whenever he’s available.

Q: What about Mind Sear?

A: It’s horribly low DPS currently, but will be doubled in damage after patch 4.1 at which point we’ll see if it beats tagging adds with VT and single targeting them down.

Q: What are the must-have addons for raiding and heroics?

A: I keep it simple: Quartz Castbar to see when I should start queuing up my next spell, and Need to Know which allows me to track my DoTs. Omen and DBM for raiding. There are some shadow priest specific mods out there, but I’ve never used them.

Send in more questions via the comments and we’ll get to a V.3 yet!

6 thoughts on “Shadow Priest FAQs V.2”

  1. How concerned are you, usually, with keeping Replenishment up from VT>MB? Having struggled with mana issues while leveling I’m in the habit of start my literal rotations with VT>MB to get replenishment up right away.
    I would assume that with keeping VT and our other DoT’s up as much as possible anyway that even if you don’t nail it on the very first cast of VT then it should still be up every time after that anyway. But it doesn’t hurt to ask.
    What do think about Mind Spike? Any use at all during a boss fight, or just stick to DoT’s and spamming MF?

  2. Excellent questions — thank you!
    Since I always keep VT up, and hit Mindblast every time it’s available, I almost always continuously have replenishment up. I value that more than making absolutely micromanagingly sure that I have the optimal orbs and buffs available when I hit Mindblast.
    I think Mind Spike was a missed opportunity. I recall way back when hearing that we’d have a big on-the-move spell to add to our arsenal, and that isn’t really what we ended up with. I use it when there is a good reason to wipe the DoTs from my target, and in Heroics, on trash that starts out with low health (mainly in Grim Batol.) But it’s pretty rarely used by me.

  3. Thanks for posting this! I plan on leveling my priest next, so this is super helpful. I’m disappointed that mind spike is apparently lame. I was looking forward to a new spell with a neat name.

  4. Update comment.
    I got thrown off by “leveling” thinking you meant lowbieland leveling.
    But then was reminded it’s a level 81 spell. It takes a bunch of mana without any replenishment return, so no, didn’t use it for leveling 81-85.
    It has had very few uses for me (primarily just a couple boss fight situations where you wanted to clear DoTs.)

  5. Hit rating is actually negligibly better than Spirit because Spirit only gives you spell hit and your Shadowfiend uses melee hit.

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