This is the Shadow Priest guide for Dragonflight written by twitch.tv/jaervenxd.
Hello, I’m Jaerv. A Shadow Priest main and enjoyer for Method that also dabbles in theorycrafting over at Warcraft Priests where I help out with everything from APL work, general theory testing and just coming up with all the not so smart ideas to try and implement.
Shadow Priest has historically been all about damage over time effects with a big value in spread cleave and cleave. Ever since Shadowlands however, Blizzard have decided to tune down on the strength of DoTs and because of that Shadow has been moving into more of a Single Target niche with some occasional strengths in stacked cleave/AoE. In Shadowlands it was in the way of Shadowflame Prism and Searing Nightmare whereas in Dragonflight it will mostly come from Inescapable Torment and Mind Sear.
Shadow has also been given an extra layer of “raid value/utility” in the form of Twins of the Sun Priestess which allows you to always bring a Power Infusion to the group/raid without losing it yourself.
What has changed
Recent Patch 10.0.7 Balance Changes:
- Fixed an issue causing Void Eruption to fire 4 missiles instead of 2
- Fixed an issue causing the Echoing Void debuff to be exclusive to one Priest
- Fixed an issue causing Insanity generation from Shadowy Apparitions to trigger on spawn instead of when the apparition deals damage
Recent Patch 10.0.5 Balance Changes:
- Vampiric Embrace is no longer on the global cooldown
- San’layn now also causes Sanguine Teachings to grant an additional 2% Leech
- Manipulation can now be triggered by Shadow’s Mind Flay and Mind Flay: Insanity
- New Talent: Petrifying Scream – Psychic Scream causes enemies to tremble in place instead of fleeing in fear
- New Talent: Sanguine Teachings – Increases Leech by 3%. On a choice node with Vampiric Embrace
- Divine Star now generates 6 Insanity
- Halo now generates 10 Insanity
- Mindgames now generates 10 Insanity
- Psychic Link now also functions with Mindgames, Void Bolt, and Void Torrent
What does all of this change? It basically means you always play Void Torrent in AoE/Mythic+ content, and always press Mindgames, Void Bolt and Void Torrent in AoE. Significantly increasing the value of Psychic Link
Shadow, and Priest as a whole has had many issues during the Beta cycle of Dragonflight with talent trees that have lacked any form of depth or logic, lack of communication from devs, and being told that we cannot have certain spells/utility while other classes were given the same things.
This has left a very bad taste in a lot of people's mouths and why you most likely have seen a lot of bad things said about Priest/Shadow leading up to Dragonflight.
I want to clarify that most of the bad things being said has had nothing to do with the throughput of either spec, or the viability of the specs in raids/dungeons. It has purely been gameplay related and how little work was done to fix the issues.
Shadow has however recently received a fair bit of throughput buffs and some small fixes to the tree that makes it a lot better than it was in Beta. Not yet perfect, but it's moving the right direction.
But with that said, we have to work with what we got.
As previously mentioned, most of the added value of Shadow will be coming from Power Infusion while still being tuned to be a competitive damage dealer.
You have very good consistent damage on Single Target, with the option of speccing into more AoE while keeping very good Single Target damage.
Shadow also has very good self-healing and off-healing with Vampiric Embrace and Halo / Divine Star, and Dominate Mind will add some new and interesting strengths in certain dungeons.