Shadow Priest Talents Guide

Patch 10.2.7 Last Updated: 7th May, 2024
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Class Talents

This is the “cookie-cutter” class tree build you are going to see from most people.

shadow priest class tree

I have circled the Always Take talents with Green and the most of the time take talents with Yellow.

Green (Always Take):

  • Protective Light: Casting Flash Heal on yourself reduces all damage you take by 10% for 10 sec.
  • Spell Warding: Reduces all magic damage taken by 3%.
  • Shadowfiend: Default for Shadow Priests. Summons a Shadowy fiend to attack the target for 15s. Generates 3 Insanity each time it attacks.
  • Shadow Word: Death: Default for Shadow Priest. Your execute ability, it deals increased damage on targets at or below 20% health.
  • Death and Madness: Makes your Shadow Word: Death reset once if used on targets at or below 20% health
  • Tithe Evasion: Reduces the damage Shadow Word: Death deals back to you
  • Power Infusion: Increases the haste of the target by 25%
  • Twins of the Sun Priestess: Also grants YOU 100% of its effect when used on an ally.
  • Twist of Fate: Damaging or healing a target below 35% health you deal 10% more damage for 8 sec.
  • Halo/Divine Star: Choice node between Halo or Divine star that brings some added AoE damage and off-healing. Close enough in value that you could play whichever you prefer but TECHNICALLY Divine Star is slightly better in most situations.
  • Translucent Image: Fade reduces damage you take by 10%
  • Vampiric Embrace / Sanguine Teachings: Choice node between VE and Sanguine Teachings. Most of the time you will take Vampiric Embrace to help out with healing for the raid/group. But with the continuous nerfs to it does give Sanguine Teachings some added value on fights where you need more personal healing.
  • San’Layn: Increases the effectiveness of Vampiric Touch or Sanguine Teachings.
  • Throes of Pain: Shadow Word: Pain deals increased damage and gives you insanity when targets who are affected by the dot dies. Not really Always Take because of it’s strength, but because it’s used to get down to Mindgames.
  • Translucent Image: Fade reduces damage you take by 10%.
  • Mindgames: Single Target nuke that reverses the perception of the target. Any healing they do during it will instead deal damage, and any damage the deal will instead heal. Is mostly just used for its instant damage in PvE content..

Yellow (Take most of the time):

  • Angelic Feather: Increases your Movement Speed by 40% for 5 sec, 3 charges.
  • Body and Soul: Increases your Movement Speed by 40% for 3 sec. Tied to Power Word: Shield
  • Mindgames: Single Target nuke that reverses the perception of the target. Any healing they do during it will instead deal damage, and any damage the deal will instead heal. Is mostly just used for its instant damage in PvE content.
  • Manipulation: Mind Blast and Mind Spike reduces the cooldown of Mindgames
  • Shattered Perceptions: Mindgames lasts 2 seconds longer, deals more damage, and reverses more damage or healing. If you ever need more defensiveness or utility, removing both Manipulation and Shattered Perceptions is a good option.
  • Essence Devourer: Slightly undertuned, but it is competitive against Angelic Bulwark where you can just move the one point over. The biggest issue is that you kinda need Mindbender for it to have any real value. Has its niche uses but nothing game breaking.

Some points that are used in niche scenarios and can be moved around depending on what YOU need:

  • Shackle Undead: If you need crowd control on undead mobs
  • Void Tendrils: If you need a “mass-root” crowd control on up to 5 targets
  • Purify Disease: If you need Disease dispel
  • Move with Grace: If you need your Leap of Faith up more often
  • Phantasm: Causes your Fade to remove slow effects.
  • Dominate Mind: Turns your Mind Control target into your pet for 30s instead but also has a 30s cooldown. Very very good in certain dungeons
  • Mass Dispel: Nerfed to a 2 minute cooldown, but still very useful for what it does.
  • Psychic Voice: Mostly used as a travel point but can have some niche value if you need Psychic Scream up more often.
  • Void Shift: Swaps health percentages with your target. Has a very long cooldown though so is not something you always pick.
  • Crystalline Reflection: A niche way to give you slightly more damage on fights where you often use Power Word: Shield for movement but does not need any of the other points for survivability.

As you can see you have a few points that are deemed “mandatory” and you have a lot of options to customize the upper and middle tree to suit your needs. You might even go so far as picking up Renew and Prayer of Mending in situations where you need a lot of off-healing but less DPS.

The only section you generally want to avoid apart from the nodes leading up to Power Word: Life is the left side. It is filled with nodes that only buff spells for Holy/Disc and will do nothing for you as a Shadow Priest.

Talent Builds

Some frequently asked questions

Do I have to play Dark Ascension in Season 4 again?

With the Season 4 changes of us getting the Season 2 tier set back again, Voidform/Void Eruption builds will generally increase in value. While yes, there will be scenarios where Dark Ascension is better, mostly in low dungeons or pure Single Target. It is nowhere close to as big of a difference as it was in Season 3

Should I play Mind Flay or Mind Spike? They are very close, and some might even say personal preference. But GENERALLY, you should always play Mind Spike with Dark Ascension, and can play either with Void Eruption.

How many targets should I put my DoTs on?

Number one rule is to only manually dot targets that will live for a decent amount of time, theres not really any reason to cast a VT on something that will live for 5s, since you will not get enough value to warrant that global. And after that there's really 2 different rules, 1 if you play DA or VF and dont have CDs, and 1 if you are going into a cooldown window with Void Eruption.

  • Dark Ascension or Void Eruption and you DO NOT have cooldowns up.

12 targets total, 8 of these should be from Shadow Crash.

  • Void Eruption and you DO have cooldowns coming up

“All” targets, assuming they live for a decent amount of time.

How do I sim my Shadow Priest for Mythic+? Is DungeonSlice good?

The answer to if DungeonSlice is good, is… it’s functional, but it's not great. It is way too generic, and is based on way too low of a key for most people to get accurate data from it

But if you are just doing weekly keys and want something quick, it’s somewhat ok. But if you are actively pushing keys you want to move to something more accurate. So either, you do a lot of different sims on different target counts, and different fight lengths and see how things behave when you change certain settings, such as:

  • “What gains value when I increase targets?”
  • “What loses value when I decrease the fight length?”
  • “What about with and without Bloodlust?”

Or, you can use DungeonRoute sims. You can find how to do that in this link

Raiding Builds

With the return of the Season 2 Tier Set, you will notice Void Eruption being a lot closer to Dark Ascension in most scenarios. Even in Pure Single Target the difference between Void Eruption and Dark Ascension will just come down to kill times and stat differences, so make sure you check both alternatives against your character.

Dungeon Builds

As always, dungeon talents will always be more experimental since there's such a big difference in how a dungeon is played, from pull size, how long things live, routes and pull patterns.

But generally you should use the Dark Ascension build in low/mid dungeons where you might not pull as big and where mobs won't live for a long enough time to give you the value out of the long Voidform windows.

In Season 3 we said to not play VF/Apparition until 27+ in coordinated groups. But in Season 4 you can do this a lot sooner, probably as soon as S3 20-21s (S4 10-11s).

Single Target (Void Eruption Yogg/C’Thun/Flay)


This is the main Void Eruption Single Target build for Season 4.

Single Target (Dark Ascension C’Thun)


This is the main Dark Ascension Single Target build for Season 4

Single Target + Shadow Crash (Void Eruption Yogg/C’thun/Shadow Crash)


This is a Voidform version of ST + Crash. Basically just the ST Voidform build but you move the 2 points in Dark Evangelism to Shadow Crash and Whispering Shadows

Single Target + Shadow Crash (Dark Ascension C’thun/Shadow Crash)


If you ever need Shadow Crash for a Single Target fight you should go with this. It’s very similar to the pure single target Dark Ascension build, you basically just move the 1 point Dark Evangelism and the 1 point in Voidtouched to Shadow Crash and Whispering Shadows.

Council Style 3-4 Target Raid Build (Void Eruption Nzoth/Yogg/C’Thun)


Dungeon (Void Eruption Triple-Idol)


The generic Dungeon Void Eruption build for Season 4.

You can swap Mind’s Eye with Distorted Reality for slightly more overall but it will require you to multi-dot your Devouring Plagues.

Currently on a 8t, 90s pull. DR is a 13% increase in overall damage, but 12% loss in priority damage.

On a DungeonRoute sim, DR is about 9% increase in overall, but 2-3% loss in priority damage.

Dungeon (Dark Ascension Nzoth/C’Thun)


The generic Dungeon Dark Ascension build for Season 4. Use this if you feel that you are not getting value out of your long Voidform windows with the Void Eruption build. When that happens can differ slightly depending on how your group pulls and how good your tank is.