Shadow Priest playstyle and rotation guide

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

Playstyle & Rotation

General Rotation:

Outside Voidform priority:

  1. Maintain both Vampiric Touch and Shadow Word: Pain on the target.
  2. Try to maintain a high uptime of Devouring Plague on the target to make use of your Mastery, but make sure to dump your insanity in time so that you don’t over-cap it. Subsequent Devouring Plague will cause its damage over time effect to add into the existing DoT, so it is fine to overlap Devouring Plague DoT’s if you are about to over-cap insanity.
  3. Void Torrent / Mindbender
  4. Mind Blast on cooldown.

Inside Voidform priority:

  1. Void Bolt on cooldown (there will be 2 global cooldowns between void bolts)
  2. Mind Blast (If you have a Dark Thought proc, and 4-piece Tier Set equipped)
  3. Devouring Plague to dump insanity
  4. Mind Blast 
  5. Mind Flay

*If you are using the Shadowflame Prism legendary and your Mindbender is up, Shadow Word: Death is priority number 1. 

Opener:

Assumed talents 1111122 and night fae

  1. Pre-cast Vampiric Touch
  2. Shadow Word: Pain
  3. Night Fae Covenant Ability
  4. Mindbender
  5. Shadow Word: Death
  6. Mind Blast
  7. Void Eruption
  8. Power Infusion (off GCD)
  9. Void Bolt
  10. Mind Blast
  11. Devouring Plague
  12. Void Bolt
  13. Continue regular rotation

Assumed talents 1111132 and Necrolord

  1. Pre-cast Vampiric Touch
  2. Shadow Word: Pain
  3. Void Torrent
  4. Shadowfiend
  5. Devouring Plague
  6. Mind Blast
  7. Void Eruption
  8. Power Infusion (off GCD)
  9. Void Bolt
  10. Unholy Nova
  11. Devouring Plague
  12. Continue normal Rotation

Assumed talents 1111122 and Necrolord (SFP)

  1. Pre-cast Vampiric Touch
  2. Shadow Word: Pain
  3. Mindbender
  4. Shadow Word: Death
  5. Mind Blast
  6. Unholy Nova
  7. Void Eruption
  8. Power Infusion (off GCD)
  9. Void Bolt
  10. Mind Blast
  11. Devouring Plague
  12. Continue normal Rotation

Multi Target:

With the Misery talent:

With the Searing Nightmare talent: (This is not a priority list, just a list of rules)

With the Searing Nightmare talent and Shadowflame Prism:

Playstyle

You generally don’t want to delay any of your cooldowns, unless doing so will not cause you to lose a cooldown.

Shadow’s cooldown timings always come down to the fight length, or the length of a phase during the fight.

If you are ever unsure on how long a fight is, or how many uses of your cooldowns you will get, the second best option is to use everything together on pull, on cooldown in between and line up everything again on the last use of the fight.

A couple examples to show where you would not just cast things on cooldown.

5 Minute ST:

  • 2 Seconds: Fae Guardians
  • 3 Seconds: Mindbender
  • 6 Seconds: Voidform/Power Infusion
  • 1 min 22 Seconds: Mindbender
  • 1 min 25 Seconds: Voidform
  • 1 min 32 Seconds: Fae Guardians
  • 2 min 32 Seconds: Mindbender
  • 2 min 35 Seconds: Voidform/Power Infusion
  • 3 min 2 Seconds: Fae Guardians
  • 3 min 33 Seconds: Mindbender
  • 4 min 32 Seconds Fae Guardians
  • 4 min 33 Seconds: Mindbender
  • 4min 35 Seconds: Voidform/Power Infusion

As you can see on for example Mindbender, casting it on cooldown 0, 1, 2, 3, 4 and delaying slightly for other CDs both gives 5 total casts.

6 Minute ST:

  • 2 Seconds: Fae Guardians
  • 3 Seconds: Mindbender
  • 6 Seconds: Voidform/Power Infusion
  • 1 min 16 Seconds: Mindbender
  • 1 min 20 Seconds: Voidform
  • 2 min 20 Seconds: Fae Guardians
  • 2 min 31 Seconds: Mindbender
  • 2 min 35 Seconds: Voidform/Power Infusion
  • 3 min 31 Seconds: Mindbender
  • 4 min 0 Seconds: Fae Guardians
  • 4 min 1 Seconds: Voidform
  • 4 min 31 Seconds: Mindbender
  • 5 min 30 Seconds: Fae Guardians
  • 5 min 31 Seconds: Mindbender
  • 5 min 35 Seconds: Voidform/Power Infusion

As you can see Fae Guardians has a fairly long delay between 1st and second, even if you would’ve casted it on CD. 0, 1.5m, 3, 4.5min. You would still only get 4 total casts, so delaying it for the Bender/VF combo at 2:30ish, to make use of the Mastery bonus from Niya is better.