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 8.1.5. 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!
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, and Trinkets. You can use this sheet to target specific pieces of gear.
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. This is our bets combination for just about every scenario in Mythic+ right now. 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 Treacherous Covenant are ones you can target for the last two spots.
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
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 trinket sims 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:
- Ignition Mage’s Fuse
- Conch of Dark Whispers
- Vessel of Skittering Shadows
- Twitching Tentacle of Xalzaix
- Vigilant’s Bloodshaper
- Incandescent Sliver
Green means it the default talent.
Blue means the choice has merit, but for a specific case.
Red means do not take this talent.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 default azerite build with 3 SD + 1 TH, 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.
- 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.
- 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, Auspicious Spirits is the default pick. This is a change in 8.1.5 due to the amount of critical strike we have at our current item levels and the fact that Shadow Crash is taking away from Mind Sear time, which is pretty awful for the standard build.
- 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
Mindbender and Lingering Insanity are both good choices in this row. They are more or less equal in damage output so assuming you pull the dungeon at a decent speed you can take either. If you are with a newer tank that doesn’t chain pull as often, you’ll notice getting less value out of Lingering Insanity.
- 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
Dark Ascension is the default choice here. Having an on-demand Voidform is too good to give up for dungeon scenarios, but if you prefer an alternative playstyle, Legacy of the Void is a bit easier to play with while doing equivalent or even better damage depending on how you pull.
While Racials have slight differences in DPS output (see GitHub repo 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.
- Worgen: Darkflight
- Lightforged Draenei: Light’s Judgment
- Dark Iron Dwarf: Dungeon Delver and Fireblood
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 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
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.
Double Void Eruption
This is probably the only thing to think about in a dungeon environment, which is when to use Dark Ascension. 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:
- At 1 target with Thought Harvester buff active and at least 1 Searing Dialogue, replace Mind Fay
- At 2 targets with Thought Harvester buff active, replace all
- At 2 targets, replace Mind Flay
- At 5 targets replace Mind Blast
- At 6 targets replace Shadow Word: Void
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
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!
- Trash: There is quite a lot of trash on the right side (Vol’Kaal side) that can be Shackle Undead which can be quite helpful for infested keys (10+ in the current season).
- 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.
- 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
- Talents: We recommend using Misery for this dungeon
- Merektha: You can use Psychic Scream, Psychic Horror, Leap of Faith, and Mind Bomb to break friendly players out of their Snake Wrap
- Avatar of Sethraliss: Try using Shadow Mend after all adds are dead to help phase the fight quicker
- Avatar of Sethraliss: You can dispel the frog debuff off of yourself and party members
- Trash: Leap of Faith any lost party members that fell off the cliff into the sludge
- 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.
- Jes Howlis: After Jes runs away, you can dispel any stacks of Motivating Cry he gets
- Jes Howlis: Depending on the level of key, saving Mindbender for when Jes runs away will get you to Voidform pretty quickly after transition
Below is a list of WeakAuras we find useful in a Mythic+ environment. These are not Shadow Priest specific, but more dungeon specific auras.
- Quaking Tracker
- Explosive Tracker
- Interrupt Tracker (group)
- Group Buff Tracker
- Dungeon Mechanic WeakAuras
- Infested Debuff
- Dispellable Buffs/Enrage
These addons are generally required for pushing high keys, but it all comes down to preference here.
- Deadly Boss mods (DBM) or LittleWigs
- Method Dungeon Tools
- Exorsus Raid Tools
These are the following consumables you should be using in dungeons for your Shadow Priest in Mythic+:
- Flask: Flask of Endless Fathoms
- Food: Int, Haste, or Crit
- DPS Potion: Battle Potion of Intellect
- Healing Potion: Coastal Healing Potion (note, this no longer shares a CD with Healthstone so this is even more important than before)
- Invisibility Potion: Demitri’s Draught of Deception*
- Speed Potion: Lightfoot Potion*
*You can still use older Invisibility Potions or Skystep potions, the effect is the same.
Theorycrafter, SimC dev, & Guide Writer