Shadow Priest Covenants, Soulbinds, Legendaries & Gear guide

Patch 9.2.5 Last Updated: 6th Aug, 2022
Jaerv Shadow Priest Author
Jaerv

Covenants

Best covenant/soulbind for Single target:

Night Fae Dreamweaver

Necrolord Marileth

Best covenant/soulbind for Dungeons/Raids overall:

Night Fae: Dreamweaver

Korayn

(Dreamweaver overall, or if you need more ST focus. Korayn specifically for AoE Burst or slight funnel)

Necrolord: Necrolord: Marileth or Bonesmith (Marileth for full ST focus, and Bonesmith for any dungeon or big cleave scenario)

Soulbinds and Conduits

Conduits Overview

Single Target with Mindbender: Dissonant Echoes / Haunting Apparitions / Rabid Shadows (Mind Devourer might sim higher than Dissonant Echoes for you here, they are very close together with 4set, and generally feels better to play with)

Single target without Mindbender: Dissonant Echoes Haunting Apparitions / Mind Devourer

 If you play as Kyrian: Dissonant Echoes / Haunting Apparitions / Courageous Ascension

M+ Conduits: Here, it gets a bit complicated. Since you should play what benefits your group or the dungeon the most, some noticeable changes are the increased value of things Like Festering Transfusion, and the reduced value of Single Target conduits like Dissonant Echoes, since you play things like 2 conduit Bonesmith as Necro, you're playing one less conduit. 

I can instead list the default choice and then talk about why things gain value, so you can min-max it yourself.

Default M+ Setup as Necro Bonesmith: Rabid Shadows / Haunting Apparitions

Default M+ Setup as Necro Marileth: Rabid Shadows / Haunting Apparitions / Dissonant Echoes

Default M+ Setup as Night Fae: Rabid Shadows / Haunting Apparitions / Dissonant Echoes

If you are doing high-level dungeons where you pull a lot, Festing Transfusion gains more value than Haunting Apparitions does for Bonesmith. You need the packs to live for the full duration of Unholy Nova tho, and you need a dungeon where you pull so big that you cast Vampiric Touch less.

Value of conduits:

  • Dissonant Echoes: Single Target. It loses A LOT of value when u start consistently pulling 6+ target packs and don't need boss damage
  • Haunting Apparitions: Overall just strong. But it does need you to actually cast Vampiric Touch. So any dungeon where it's just 2-3x pack AoE, where all you're doing is spamming Searing Nightmare. HA loses value, and Festing Transfusion gains value.
  • Rabid Shadows: Just the best overall conduit as long as you play Mindbender (which you should always do in M+). It has a constant value, since you always have a global free to cast Mindbender.
  • Festing Transfusion: Big AoE. With the lack of other true AoE conduits, Festering is the only one that actually gains value the bigger you pull. You do need to have the mobs live for the majority of the duration of the Unholy Nova for it to be good tho. So you can't just equip it in a +15 key just because you pull big because the pulls will be dead within like 10-15 seconds anyway.

Legendaries

9.2 Notes: Double legendaries didn’t really shake things up a lot, and we still see the same couple of legendaries that have been in the top before. Pallid Command (now through Unity) and Shadowflame Prism. A noteworthy addition is Talbadar’s Stratagem that people will use until you get your preferred Tier Set slots  

Necrolord: 

Necrolord generally sees two different double legendary combinations, Unity/Shadowflame Prism and Unity/Talbadar’s Stratagem.

Night Fae:

Night Fae, exactly like Necrolord, generally sees two different double legendary combinations, Unity/Shadowflame Prism, and Unity/Talbadar’s Stratagem.

The Shadowflame Prism combination is still the best in all situations. But since both the Tier Set and your Legendaries occupy the same slots in many cases, you might get so unlucky that you cannot use Shadowflame Prism. If that is the case, you should go for the second option of Talbadar’s Stratagem.

The optimal slots of your legendaries will vary a lot during the gearing process, but in a perfect world, you want Shadowflame Prism on the Head and Unity on Belt.

Shadowflame Prism will move between Head and Gloves depending on where you get your Tier pieces, and Unity has a lot more flexibility since it is craftable on any slot, so you can also craft it on things like Boots & Ring, etc.

Gear

Tier Set

  • 2-piece: Casting Devouring Plague has a 40% chance to grant Dark Thought. Casting Searing Nightmare has a 25% chance to grant Dark Thought.
  • 4-piece: Consuming a Dark Thought causes your shadow to animate, following you and dealing [125.4% of spell power] Shadow damage over 6 seconds to all enemies within 10 yards of your target

The tier basically increases the amount and value of Dark Thought procs. So since you get more Mind Blast casts, things like Shadowflame prism and Talbadar’s increase in value.

Talbadar does  not explicitly increase enough in value to be played since Shadowflame Prism has a higher base value and gains about the same amount from the tier set.

It also gives us a passive source of AoE damage, something we have needed ever since the rework in Shadowlands.

Rotational:

The 4-piece would and will change our rotation since it increases the raw value of the Dark Thought proc compared to baseline.

The 4-piece has, however gone through alot of nerfs which removed most of those rotational and talent choice changes.

Currently, the only noticeable change in rotation is that you always press Mind Blast over a spender (Devouring Plague/Searing Nightmare) if you have a Dark Thought proc during Single Target and AoE. Both because it does more damage per global, and you don’t want to waste any potential 4-piece casts.

Bis Trinkets 9.2.5:

  1. Moonlit Prism / Cabalist’s Hymnal
  2. Shadowed Orb of Torment / Cabalist’s Hymnal

With the removal of our usual very strong dungeon trinkets in Soulletting Ruby/Unbound Changeling etc. We are yet again mostly  looking towards raid trinkets (apart from Moonlit Prism from Legion Timewalking)

Bis Trinkets 9.2:

  1. Soulletting Ruby / (Unbound Changeling / Elegy of the Eternals)
  2. The First Sigil / (Unbound Changeling / Elegy of the Eternals)

You might see a trend here in that we always want to use one strong on use trinket paired with one passive trinket. This has been the case for all of Shadowland’s, and is still true in Sepulcher.

Soulletting Ruby still reigns supreme in most situations, but the new Trinket The First Sigil is VERY strong in certain scenarios. The passive choice is very fluid, and you have a few options to choose from (Unbound Changeling / Elegy of the Eternals / So’leah’s Secret Technique)

Any fight where you lust on pull AND get two uses of The First Sigil, it should be considered over Soulleting Ruby.

Bis Trinkets 9.1:

  1. Soulletting Ruby / Forbidden Necromantic Tome
  2. Shadowed Orb of Torment / Forbidden Necromantic Tome

These 2 combos can swap in value depending on your covenant, soulbind and gear (stats)

Soulletting Ruby is still considered better overall since the sniping of low health adds to funnel the bigger amount of crit rating into your CDs on a boss is not something that is reflected in your typical 5 minute Patchwerk sim (It does scale with health in sims, but not in the sense that you can snipe a 10% add while boss is 80% health etc.)