Shadow Priest talents guide

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

Recommended Talents

Shadow Priest Fortress of the Mind Talent
Shadow Priest Death and Madness Talent
Shadow Priest Unfurling Darkness Talent
Shadow Priest Body and Soul Talent
Shadow Priest San'layn Talent
Shadow Priest Intangibility Talent
Shadow Priest Twist of Fate Talent
Shadow Priest Misery Talent
Shadow Priest Searing Nightmare Talent
Shadow Priest Last Word Talent
Shadow Priest Mind Bomb Talent
Shadow Priest Psychic Horror Talent
Shadow Priest Auspicious Spirits Talent
Shadow Priest Psychic Link Talent
Shadow Priest Shadow Crash Talent
Shadow Priest Damnation Talent
Shadow Priest Mindbender Talent
Shadow Priest Void Torrent Talent
Shadow Priest Ancient Madness Talent
Shadow Priest Hungering Void Talent
Shadow Priest Surrender to Madness Talent

Recommended Raiding Build

Single Target

Shadow Priest Fortress of the Mind Talent
Shadow Priest Death and Madness Talent
Shadow Priest Unfurling Darkness Talent
Shadow Priest Body and Soul Talent
Shadow Priest San'layn Talent
Shadow Priest Intangibility Talent
Shadow Priest Twist of Fate Talent
Shadow Priest Misery Talent
Shadow Priest Searing Nightmare Talent
Shadow Priest Last Word Talent
Shadow Priest Mind Bomb Talent
Shadow Priest Psychic Horror Talent
Shadow Priest Auspicious Spirits Talent
Shadow Priest Psychic Link Talent
Shadow Priest Shadow Crash Talent
Shadow Priest Damnation Talent
Shadow Priest Mindbender Talent
Shadow Priest Void Torrent Talent
Shadow Priest Ancient Madness Talent
Shadow Priest Hungering Void Talent
Shadow Priest Surrender to Madness Talent

Recommended Raiding Build

Multi Target

Shadow Priest Fortress of the Mind Talent
Shadow Priest Death and Madness Talent
Shadow Priest Unfurling Darkness Talent
Shadow Priest Body and Soul Talent
Shadow Priest San'layn Talent
Shadow Priest Intangibility Talent
Shadow Priest Twist of Fate Talent
Shadow Priest Misery Talent
Shadow Priest Searing Nightmare Talent
Shadow Priest Last Word Talent
Shadow Priest Mind Bomb Talent
Shadow Priest Psychic Horror Talent
Shadow Priest Auspicious Spirits Talent
Shadow Priest Psychic Link Talent
Shadow Priest Shadow Crash Talent
Shadow Priest Damnation Talent
Shadow Priest Mindbender Talent
Shadow Priest Void Torrent Talent
Shadow Priest Ancient Madness Talent
Shadow Priest Hungering Void Talent
Shadow Priest Surrender to Madness Talent

Recommended Mythic+ Build

Boss specific recommendations and strategy:

Raid Bosses

Talents Discussion

Tier 1 (15)

Shadow Priest Fortress of the Mind TalentFortress of the MindPassive
Shadow Priest Death and Madness TalentDeath and MadnessPassive
Shadow Priest Unfurling Darkness TalentUnfurling DarknessPassive

Fortress of the Mind - The best for single target fights. More insanity generation, and more damage from Mind Blast and Mind Flay. Also synergizes well with the talent Psychic Link and the Talbadar's Stratagem Legendary.

Death and Madness - Can be good in Mythic plus when mobs in a pull dies at different times, and to load up on insanity before the next pack. The biggest downside is that it does substantial reflect damage, which can be dangerous. If your group is doing big pulls this can be a good pick because you basically want to Mind Sear -> Searing Nightmare and not cast Mind Blast or Vampiric Touch, making the other talents considerably less valuable. Death and Madness helps you finish off the remaining mobs after you’re done aoe’ing and will give you a full battery of Insanity for the next pull. Also has incredible synergy with Shadowflame Prism, since chain resetting Shadow Word: Death just gives you more Rifts from the Legendary.

Unfurling Darkness - While not having much value in PvE is the clear winner for PvP - after casting Vampiric Touch your next Vampiric Touch is instant and deals initial damage. Synergises well with both Misery and also Damnation.

Tier 2 (25)

Shadow Priest Body and Soul TalentBody and SoulPassive
Shadow Priest San'layn TalentSan'laynPassive
Shadow Priest Intangibility TalentIntangibilityPassive

Body and Soul - The best talent in this row. Giving us some much-needed mobility.

San’layn - Would be a great survivability talent if it wasn’t in the same row as our only reliable mobility spell.

Intangibility - Would be a great survivability talent if it wasn’t in the same row as our only reliable mobility spell.

Tier 3 (30)

Shadow Priest Twist of Fate TalentTwist of FatePassive
Shadow Priest Misery TalentMiseryPassive
Shadow Priest Searing Nightmare TalentSearing NightmareInstant

Twist of Fate - The best talent for pure single target DPS.

Misery - The best talent in spread multi-dotting situations.

Searing Nightmare - The best talent for 3+ target AoE. Is picked for most dungeons. If it can hit 3 or more targets you completely stop casting Devouring Plague.

Tier 4 (35)

Shadow Priest Last Word TalentLast WordPassive
Shadow Priest Mind Bomb TalentMind BombInstant
Shadow Priest Psychic Horror TalentPsychic HorrorInstant

Last Word - You pick this if your group needs more interrupts.

Mind Bomb - Weak pick because it replaces Psychic Scream.

Psychic Horror - Instant single target stun. Very strong pick in both raids (if there are adds to use it on) and M+.

Tier 5 (40)

Shadow Priest Auspicious Spirits TalentAuspicious SpiritsPassive
Shadow Priest Psychic Link TalentPsychic LinkPassive
Shadow Priest Shadow Crash TalentShadow CrashInstant

Auspicious Spirits - Best single target and low target cleave pick. Increases your Insanity generation and the damage from your spirits.

Psychic Link - Strong for spread cleave. Does nothing on single-target. Has been seeing more uses in Sepulcher compared to other raids on a few fights (Pantheon/Rygelon/Lords).

Shadow Crash - Strong stacked cleave pick. Not far behind Auspicious Spirits on single target due to the high insanity generation and high damage.

Tier 6 (45)

Shadow Priest Damnation TalentDamnationInstant
Shadow Priest Mindbender TalentMindbenderInstant
Shadow Priest Void Torrent TalentVoid TorrentChanneled

Damnation - With the introduction of the 4set, Damnation has gained increased value in PvE by increasing the overall uptime of Living Shadow. Currently, it's still slightly lower than both Void Torrent and Mindbender but might see play in certain situations rather than being a dead talent outside of PvP.

It still synergises well with Misery and Unfurling Darkness in PvP since the application of Vampiric Touch thru Damnation deals the initial damage.

Mindbender - In combination with the Shadowflame Prism legendary this is the strongest pick on single target and cleave.

Void Torrent - Strong single target pick if you do not have the Shadowflame Prism legendary.

Tier 7 (50)

Shadow Priest Ancient Madness TalentAncient MadnessPassive
Shadow Priest Hungering Void TalentHungering VoidPassive
Shadow Priest Surrender to Madness TalentSurrender to MadnessInstant

Ancient Madness - Can be useful in situations of big AoE where you want to remove void bolt from your rotation while in Void Form. Synergizes well with Searing Nightmare to burst down those big AoE packs in M+.

Hungering Void - The baseline choice for single target and multitarget cleave. You can extend your Void Form by a significant amount depending on your haste and crit. It also makes your void bolt increase your damage done to target for 6 seconds.

Surrender to Madness - This talent gives you a 25 second STM buff, increasing your insanity generation by 100%. It also activates your Void Form for 15 seconds. When the target you cast STM on dies you lose the STM buff but you don’t lose the Void Form buff.

If you can utilize Surrender to Madness perfectly, it can be strong in low dungeons, where the time between pulls are shorter than the cooldown of Voidform (less than a minute). Currently does not see play in most situations.