Death Throes is our strongest stackable trait, it simply increases the damage output of our Shadow Word: Pain, or Purge the Wicked if you have specced into that. You need to be in Shadow spec to activate the trait but don’t worry, you get its full effect. When there are multiple targets to dot, this trait's value sky rockets. In Mythic+ this is our best Azerite trait since the Atonement based talents have less value, and you should look to stack 3 of them. 3 Death Throes increases the damage of your dot by a lot, and the trait only rises in value the more dots you can have out, significantly increasing both your DPS and HPS on trash packs.
Enduring Luminescence is a very powerful one off trait that slightly increases the healing done by Power Word: Radiance but more importantly increases its Atonement duration to 70% rather than 60%, giving it 1.5 seconds longer. The Atonement increase only stacks once so avoid a second Enduring Luminescence trait at all costs.
Depth of Shadows:
With Depth of Shadows you gain a stacking buff whenever your dot ticks that increases the healing of your next Shadow Mend, but more importantly also increases Atonement's duration by 2 seconds if applied by Shadow Mend. Just like Enduring Luminescence, this part of the trait doesn’t stack so only pick up one. This is our currently strongest trait so try to get one if possible, but don’t stack it.
When using Sudden Revelation, whenever you Power Word: Radiance you get a 50% chance to get a large damage increase on your next Holy Nova and makes it reduce Power Word: Radiance's cooldown by 3 seconds. This is an average trait and it forces you to play around with your positioning and get into melee to get the damage off. If you can’t get into melee reliably, just press Holy Nova anyway for the reduced cooldown.
Weal and Woe:
Moment of Repose:
Azerite traits rotation changes
The one Azerite trait that has an actual game-play change is Depth of Shadows. The reason why this is our strongest trait despite not on its own contributing as much as for example a Treacherous Covenant is that it makes Shadow Mend a good spell to use.
In 8.1 this trait was changed into what it is now, together with a nerf to Power Word: Shield’s mana cost. Shadow Mend already applied an Atonement that is technically longer duration, since it’s applied at the end of the GCD rather than at the start (with Power Word: Shield being instant, and Shadow Mend being a cast) it now also applies 2 seconds longer, straight up. This adds up to 3.5 seconds (affected by haste) longer Atonement from Shadow Mend, which is significant.
Not only that, but Shadow Mend also heals for a reasonable amount, making it more than worth the 0.35% step up in mana cost per cast. Power Word: Shield should primarily be used on the move, together with Rapture or when you’re applying Atonement on full health targets. If you can stand still and the targets are injured, using Shadow Mend becomes the priority, especially on tanks as the increased Atonement duration is very likely to pay off. The dot from Shadow Mend should mostly just be ignored and doesn’t really affect your decision making.
What traits to go for?
The ideal raid Azerite setup would always include 1x Enduring Luminescence, 1x Depth of Shadows and then filling out with a combination of Treacherous Covenant, Death Throes, Bonded Souls and whatever miscellaneous stat boost that could come from dungeon gear. Sudden Revelation is an okay pickup too, so is Weal and Woe if no other choice is available.
The ideal Mythic+ Azerite setup would include 3 Death Throes and miscellaneous stat and damage boosts.