Introduction

Hello everyone! In this guide, I’m going to go over everything you need to know to play your Shadow Priest in Mythic+ dungeons for Battle for Azeroth Patch 8.2.0. All of these recommendations are being cross-checked by plenty of high key runners with Shadow Priests in Mythic+; to check them out head to the streamers section below!

  1. Gear
  2. Talents
  3. Racials
  4. Ability Usage
  5. Tips and Tricks
  6. WeakAuras
  7. Addons
  8. Consumables
  9. Streamers

Gear

In this section, we will go over the gear you want to use as far as Shadow Priest in Mythic+. This includes Azerite Traits, Stats, Essences and Trinkets. You can use this website to see full sim breakdowns of everything.

Azerite Traits

Before I get to specifics, make sure you check out the list of azerite trait sims on Warcraft Priests before reading ahead. The DungeonSlice sim is still being developed, but should do a decently good job at generalizing what traits to run. In Mythic+ you’ll want to target these traits generally speaking:

There are also engineering traits you can grab, but those aren’t well-balanced traits for dungeon bosses and only really excel on AoE.

As far as Searing Dialogue goes, I recommend trying to pick up 3 of these with 1 Thought Harvester. The other 2 traits you use are basically up to you/whatever you have available. Particularly, using Spiteful Apparitions, Death Throes, Chorus of Insanity, or Undulating Tides are ones you can target for the last two spots.

Since 8.2, many folks are opting to run a version of the standard raid build inside of M+, especially for Tyrannical weeks. The build really plays off of our strengths in raids while relying on essences to fill gaps we might have in AoE burst scenarios. This build typically uses one of the following setups:

Stats

Stats in Mythic+ are currently pretty simple, you want to focus on intellect. Right now haste/crit are our most dominant stats. Intellect is still great, so typically you will use highest ilvl pieces. General priority can be followed as such:

Haste/Crit > Intellect > Vers > Mastery

Trinkets

Since we can’t swap gear in Mythic+ anymore, this choice is going to come down to what your group needs in terms of trash or boss damage. Similar to azerite traits, check out the charts website to get a rough idea of where things end up right now for Shadow Priests in Mythic+. Generally speaking, we recommend you target the following:

Azerite Essences

With 8.2 we now have several Azerite Essences to slot into our Neck. This is probably the easiest choice for most DPS, as Essence of the Focusing Iris is our dominant trait for our Major slot. Rough tier list is below, but also check out the charts website for up to date sims.

Major Essences
  1. Essence of the Focusing Iris
  2. Purification Protocol
  3. Blood of the Enemy (roughly equal to Purifying Blast, but a bit longer to get Rank 3)
Minor Essences
  1. Essence of the Focusing Iris
  2. Purification Protocol
  3. Memory of Lucid Dreams
  4. Blood of the Enemy
  5. Worldvein Resonance (assuming several other members of your group are also using it)

Talents

Green means it the default talent.

Blue means the choice has merit, but for a specific case.

Red means do not take this talent.

Check out the charts website for talent sims as well.

T15

  • Fortress of the Mind– Flay and Blast deal 10% more damage and generate 20% more Insanity
  • Shadowy Insight– Shadow Word: Pain’s periodic damage has a chance to reset the cooldown on Mind Blast and make your next Blast instant. 3 rppm
  • Shadow Word: Void– 1.5 sec cast, 2 charges, 9 second cd that deals 130% spell power and generates 15 Insanity. Replaces Mind Blast.

SW: Void is the current default choice for Mythic+ and will likely see use in every scenario.

T30

  • Body and Soul– Shield gives you a 40% movement speed for 3 seconds
  • San’layn–Reduces the cooldown of Vampiric Embrace by 45 seconds and increase its healing by 25%
  • Intangibility – Dispersion heals for 50% of your maximum health over its duration and has 30 sec reduced cooldown.

Being a utility row, all of these talents have different niches in which they can be used. Pick the ones that are best for the fight.

T45

  • Twist of Fate– After damaging a target below 35% health, you deal 10% more damage and healing for 8 seconds
  • Misery– Casting Vampiric Touch also applies Shadow Word: Pain
  • Dark Void– 2 second aoe cast that deals 100% spell damage and applies Pain to all targets within 10 yds. 30 second cooldown, generates 30 insanity

This is a powerful row with a lot of different uses. What talent you use here is very fight dependent. At the moment for Mythic+ you’ll likely favor Dark Void and Misery, and Twist of Fate will only have niche uses. When using the common Azerite builds you typically want to use Dark Void for most dungeons. The choice on this row comes down to mostly the dungeon itself, check out the Tips and Tricks section to learn more.

T60

  • Last Word– Reduces the cooldown of Silence by 15 seconds
  • Mind Bomb– Leaves a 2 second debuff on the target that disorients all enemies within an 8 yd radius for 5 seconds. 30 second cooldown, replaces Psychic Scream
  • Psychic Horror– Stuns the target for 4 seconds. 45 second cooldown

Similar to the T30 tier, these talents have situations where they are useful. Last Word being useful on fights with interrupt rotations while Psychic Horror is more general purpose utility that gives us additional crowd control. Mind Bomb is never worth taking as the other options give us much more useful utility, even after the buff.

T75

  • Auspicious Spirits– – Your Shadow Apparitions now deal 100% more damage and generate 2 Insanity
  • Shadow Word: Death– Spell that deals 187.5% spell damage to a target. Only usable on targets 20% or less health. 2 charges, 9 second cooldown. Generates 15 insanity. If the target dies within one second of casting, generates an extra 15 insanity.
  • Shadow Crash– Hurls a shadow projectile that deals 125% spell damage and generates 20 insanity on cast. 20 second cd

This is a complicated row. When in dungeons, Shadow Crash is the default pick. This is a change in 8.2 due to the nerf to Auspicious Spirits. That being said Auspicious Spirits can still do well, especially when using the Thought Harvester + Searing Dialogue build.

T90

  • Lingering Insanity– When Voidform ends, its haste bonus fades by 2% every second, instead of ending immediately
  • Mindbender – Summons an improved Shadowfiend for 15 seconds that attacks the target and generates 6 Insanity every time the pet attacks. 1 minute cooldown
  • Void Torrent– 4 second channel that pauses insanity drain and deals 300% spell damage over the duration. 45 second cooldown, only usable in Voidform

Lingering Insanity is the only option for this row.

T100

  • Legacy of the Void– Reduces cast time of VoiEr by 40% and reduces activation point to 60 insanity
  • Dark Ascension– Immediately activates a new voidform. Casts VoiEr and generates 50 insanity. Resets your current voidform if used during voidform. 1 minute cooldown
  • Surrender to Madness– All your spells generate 100 insanity and you can cast while moving for 1 minute. After 1 minute, you take 90% of your maximum health in damage and cannot generate insanity for 30 seconds

Legacy of the Void is the default choice here. However if you prefer an alternative playstyle, Dark Ascension is a decent option to play with while doing equivalent or even better damage depending on how you pull, but adding another extra button to our rotation isn’t really needed with essences in play.

Shadow Priest Dungeon Talents

Racials

While Racials have slight differences in DPS output (see charts website for sims), this section is dedicated to going over the utility gained by different racials in a dungeon environment. These are by no means a ranking, but more of a list of benefits.

Alliance

Horde

Ability Usage

This section is going to outline when and where to use your various cooldowns, main spells, defensives, and utility spells in a Mythic+ environment.

Cooldowns

Cooldowns on your shadow priest are fairly straightforward, you should more or less hit your cooldowns as soon as possible, and not delay things if you can. The main focus of your damage in Mythic+ is going to revolve around Shadow Word: Pain and Void Eruption damage. For this reason Dark Void is great for getting Shadow Word: Pain out really quickly, and relatively often (usually at least once per pack). Shadow Crash and Mindbender should also be used on cooldown, as delaying for inside Voidform doesn’t really provide any benefit, and using Mindbender while out of Voidform gets you to your next Void Eruption faster, which is always great.

When to DoT things

Generally speaking, you should have Shadow Word: Pain active on every target at all times. Make sure you don’t sacrifice Void Bolts or other cooldowns in the process though.

When it comes to Vampiric Touch if you are doing content appropriate for your gear, those trash mobs will likely live for more than 10s (odds are even more than a single Voidform) and therefore you will want to keep Vampiric Touch active. In the case that you are doing content or a specific mob pack where things will live less than 10s (especially if there is multiple of them) then it is usually better to use your GCD’s on other abilities. Generally speaking Vampiric Touch is what I will open a pack with to get DoTs rolling ASAP, followed by Dark Void or other abilities. When using Thought Harvester, you only need 1 Vampiric Touch active on any given target to get the proc chance. Adding Vampiric Touch to multiple targets does NOT increase your chances at getting a proc.

Just a quick note, if taking Misery then you will always DoT targets with Vampiric Touch, unless you are on the move and refreshing Shadow Word: Pain is the only spell available to you.

Double Void Eruption + Dark Ascension

This is probably the only thing to think about in a dungeon environment when using Dark Ascension, which is when to use it. For most things, you should use Dark Ascension to extend your Voidform (i.e. at the end of a normal Void Eruption Voidform). However, in dungeons, this changes a bit. For bursting packs down quickly, you can build up to a normal Void Eruption cast, and then immediately cast Dark Ascension after that cast giving you Double Void Eruption. This produces a TON of damage and can be very useful for more short-lived packs. If the pack will live for 20s+ this probably isn’t as worth it, but if you want to burst down smaller packs this can be massive amounts of damage.

When to use Mind Sear

As with any AoE spell, it is important to figure out when your AoE overtakes your single target spells. Generally speaking with the default build you will be casting Mind Sear a lot, and with 3 Searing Dialogue you basically replace everything besides keeping Shadow Word: Pain active (Void Bolt usually handles this).

Mind Sear replaces the following spells at the given number of targets:

Utility and Defensive Spells

  • Psychic Horror – Good 4s single target stun
  • Silence – Not the best for interrupts, but decent for casters that can be silenced
  • Dispel Magic / Mass Dispel – This is huge for Battle for Azeroth Mythic Dungeons, lots of things can be dispelled!
  • Dispersion – Our only real defensive, can also be used to help  sustain Voidform between packs, but this will delay your NEXT Void Eruption cast so it is usually not recommended to do this
  • Fade – Fairly nice utility for yourself whenever you take aggro
  • Power Word: Fortitude – More stamina always helps, not too much else to say here
  • Psychic Scream – Can be used as an AoE interrupt, but has an annoying side effect of un-grouping the mobs. Be careful using this
  • Shackle Undead – There are a few mobs in dungeons (notably King’s Rest) that can be shackled, usually they can be CC’d by others as well, but it’s nice to know we can help…sometimes
  • Vampiric Embrace – This ability can be decent for healing your group, but the fact that it costs a GCD makes it a bit undesirable to rely upon. One of the scenarios this is quite nice is during transition phase on the last boss of Shrine of the Storm when you are phased away from your healer.
  • Purify Disease – There are a few nasty diseases you can dispel off yourself and others, important to keep this in mind
  • Mind Control – You can do some shenanigans with this by Mind Control‘ing a nasty NPC and having his pack kill it for you

Tips and Tricks

Once we get more experience in Mythic+ this section will be updated with specific dungeon tips to use on your shadow priest. If you have suggestions let us know!

Atal’Dazar

  • Trash: There is quite a lot of trash on the right side (Vol’Kaal side) that can be Shackle Undead.
  • Yazma: If you open the fight with a normal Void Eruption Voidform, you can save Dark Ascension for the first wave of adds to blow them up quickly.

Freehold

  • TBD

King’s Rest

  • Talents: We recommend using Misery for this dungeon
  • Trash: You can Mass Dispel the Minions of Zul to kill them immediately

Shrine of the Storm

  • Vol’zith the Whisperer: Use Vampiric Embrace during transitions so that you and your other two DPS get some healing while phased away from your healer
  • Trash: Mass Dispel the skeleton adds to make them die faster

Siege of Boralus

  • Trash: You can use Mind Control to get the snipers out of sanguine or line of sight

Temple of Sethraliss

The MOTHERLODE!!

  • Trash: Leap of Faith any lost party members that fell off the cliff into the sludge

The Underrot

  • Unbound Abomination: If you are slow at killing the adds you can use Mass Dispel to help the healer out with the stacking DoT, Putrid Blood.

Tol Dagor

  • Jes Howlis: After Jes runs away, you can dispel any stacks of Motivating Cry he gets

Waycrest Manor

  • On the Triad boss, you can pre-disperse Nettles if it is being cast on you to prevent a large burst of damage and really save your healer some mana.

WeakAuras

Below is a list of WeakAuras we find useful in a Mythic+ environment. These are not Shadow Priest specific, but more dungeon specific auras.

Addons

These addons are generally required for pushing high keys, but it all comes down to preference here.

Consumables

These are the following consumables you should be using in dungeons for your Shadow Priest in Mythic+, check out the charts website for full sims:

*You can still use older Invisibility Potions or Skystep potions, the effect is the same.

Streamers

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Publik

Theorycrafter, SimC dev, & Guide Writer