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  1. #1

    Shadow Priest PvP Guide




    1. Introduction
    2. Races
    3. Stat Priority
    4. Gear
    5. Gemming
    6. Enchants
    7. Specs
    8. Glyphs
    9. Inner Fire v. Inner Will
    10. Addons


    1. Introduction: I have been PvPing as a Shadow Priest since the middle of Wrath of the Lich King. This guide is intended to cover the basics/simple questions about Spriest PvP. This is NOT a guide with in-depth arena strategies or comps. I do plan on keeping the guide updated in the future and please let me know if you find any errors in the guide, so it can be improved.

    2. Races: Generally, I would tell people to pick whatever race they like the best - but for those min/maxers out there here is a small break down of each race.

    Alliance:

    Humans: Best race for Alliance PvP, the second trinket slot is amazingly useful. Extra spirit and bonus reputation are icing on the cake.

    Dwarf: Stoneform is a nice defensive cooldown, especially against classes that rely on bleeds - such as feral druids. Frost resistance and archaeology bonus are mildly useful.

    Gnome: Escape Artists is useful but, with fade and the new 4-piece bonus, it has been devalued quite a bit. Expansive mind is nice, engineering bonus and arcane resistance are both situational.

    Night Elf: Shadowmeld is useful to drop combat and drink if need be, it is also a great tool for surprising an enemy (especially with Mind Control at the Lumber Mill)! Quickness is an added perk, nature resistance is situationally useful.

    Draenei: Gift of the Naaru is great to throw up when popping a renew/prayer of mending mid-fight (note: it does break Shadowform). Heroic Presence is nice as it allows you to cut back on any hit you might need to reforge for, or if you have excess hit you can reforge it into another stat. Gemcutting and Shadow Resistance are both situational perks.

    Worgen: Dark Flight is useful when running away from melee or trying to get a clutch fear off. The 1% crit from viciousness is a nice perk. Aberration's nature and shadow resist are situational. Flayer is generally considered useless.

    Horde:

    Tauren: Warstomp is situational, it requires you be in melee range and has a short cast time (which can be annoying) - but it has uses nevertheless. Cultivation, nature resist, and stamina increase are mildly useful.

    Troll: Berserking is amazing, it is a like a mini-personal Bloodlust! "Da Voodoo Shuffle" is nice, Beast Slaying is situational. Regeneration is negligible.

    Forsaken: Will of the Forsaken has seen nerf after nerf, and it is currently somewhat lackluster - but it can win you fights against classes with short-cooldown fears. Shadow Resistance and Underwater Breathing are situationally useful. Cannibalize is useful while leveling and a great way to taunt your opponents after you have slaughtered them.

    Blood Elf: Arcane Torrent can prove to be quite useful with its 6% mana regen and clutch AoE silence. Arcane Affinity and Magic Resistance are mildly useful.

    Goblin: Rocket Job is extremely useful, think of it as clutch blink with a longer cooldown. 1% haste along with alchemy bonus, cheaper vendor prices, and mobile bank make goblins a very attractive choice for Horde side.

    3. Stat Priority:

    Generally the accepted priority for stats is:
    4% Spell Hit > Spell Penetration Cap (Hard Cap is 240 - Resistance Aura + Mage Armor) > Intellect > Haste > Crit > Mastery

    4. Gear:

    I recommend running with 4/5 Mooncloth set and the PvP off pieces. Priests in general are a resil dependent class and we need all we can get. This is also why I recommend running with two +resil trinkets (on use spellpower/battlemaster as the second). If you have access to raiding gear and would like to throw in some PvE pieces to improve your output, by all means do so - but try to keep your resil up. Reforge unneeded stats, crit, and mastery to haste (make sure to stay above all of your caps).

    5. Gemming:

    Red Slots: You should always gem intellect in red sockets: http://www.wowhead.com/item=52207.

    Yellow Slots: If the socket bonus is useful (intellect/resil), I recommend gemming int/haste: http://www.wowhead.com/item=52208 If the socket isn't worth it, gem straight intellect.

    Blue Socket: First priority for blue sockets are spell penetration gems, if you are below the spell pen cap gem: http://www.wowhead.com/item=52246 If you are over the cap and if the socket bonus is useful (intellect/resil), I recommend gemming int/spirit: http://www.wowhead.com/item=52236 If the socket bonus isn't worth it, gem straight intellect.

    Meta Gem: [Burning Shadowspirit Diamond] (http://www.wowhead.com/item=68780/bu...ond#created-by) is your best option.

    6. Enchants

    Head: +60 intellect and + 35 resilience (http://www.wowhead.com/item=68770)
    Shoulders: +50 intellect and +25 resilience (http://www.wowhead.com/item=68772)
    Back: +70 spell penetration (if below cap) or +50 intellect (if over)
    Chest: +40 resilience
    Bracers: +50 intellect
    Gloves: +50 haste
    Belt: [Ebsonsteel Belt Buckle] (http://www.wowhead.com/item=55054)
    Legs: +95 intellect and +80 stamina (http://www.wowhead.com/item=54448/)
    Boots: +30 stamina and speed increase
    Weapon: Hurricane or if you can afford it, Power Torrent.
    Offhand: +40 intellect

    7. Specs:

    Recommended PvP Spec:
    http://wowtal.com/#k=_5QXsyIl.aei.priest.

    However, there are several viable variations:
    • Dropping Paralysis for Improved Shadow Word: Pain.
    • Dropping Paralysis, putting one point into Improved Shadow Word: Pain and putting the last point in either Inner Sanctum or Mental Agility.

    *Note on Paralysis: Many priests debate over whether to spec into Paralysis. While the talent is useful there are several drawbacks. You have to cast several Mind Spikes in a row for a reliable proc and the effect, since it is physical, can be parried/blocked. I personally run with Paralysis - as I always find myself missing it when I don't have it specced.

    8. Glyphs

    Prime:
    Glyph of Dispersion: Reduces the cooldown of Dispersion by 45 seconds. Most valuable glyph as it gives a shorter defensive CD and more mana return. Mandatory.*
    Glyph of Shadow Word: Death: Resets the cooldown on death if it fails to kill someone below 25% health. With this glyph, if you get someone to 25% you've pretty much won. Recommended.*
    Glyph of Shadow Word: Pain: Increase the damage of pain by 10%. This adds a reasonable amount of damage to the dot and it is even better if you have pain on multiple targets. Recommended.*
    Glyph of Mind Flay: Increases the damage of Mind Flay by 10%. I would skip this one.
    Glyph of Power Word: Shield: Heals you for 20% of the amount absorbed by your Power Word: Shield (doesn't break Shadowform). This glyph provides a small amount of healing that adds up over a battle.

    Major:
    Glyph of Psychic Horror: Reduces the cooldown of Psychic Horror by 30 seconds. Recommended/Mandatory.*
    Glyph of Fade: Reduces the cooldown of Fade by 9 seconds. This means you can clear movement-imparing effects on yourself 9 seconds sooner. Recommended.*
    Glyph of Prayer of Mending: Increases the potency of the first charge of PoM by 60%. This glyph is great, it makes your most efficient heal significantly better.
    Glyph of Mass Dispel: Reduces the cast time of Mass Dispel by 1 second. Extremely useful for removing bubble/ice block without fear of being interrupted. Recommended.*
    Glyph of Dispel Magic: Heals the target of your Dispel Magic for 3% of their maximum health (friendly targets only). With the upcoming changes to priest dispels, I wouldn't advise this glyph.
    Glyph of Inner Fire: Increases the armor bonus from Inner Fire by 50%, this adds less armor than you would expect. If you are having trouble surviving against melee, I might use it. However, there are better glyphs and I would generally skip over this one.

    Minor:
    I recommend:
    Glyph of Levitate
    Glyph of Shadowfiend
    Glyph of Fading

    9. Inner Fire v. Inner Will

    I see a lot of shadow priest ask this question. There is no real "correct" answer, it is a personal preference - however I do have some advice. I would advise to stay in Inner Will for the speed bonus and mana reduction (so many of our spells are instant it adds up for a lot). If you are being trained by melee switch into Inner Fire for the added armor and potency to heals. If you find you aren't having mana troubles without Inner Will, you should use Inner Fire all the time.

    10. Addons

    I personally recommend tweaking your UI until you find something you are comfortable with. In addition to the following addons, I suggest you pick up an enhanced party/raid frames addon - there are many options, but personally I use Vuhdo. (http://wow.curse.com/downloads/wow-a...ils/vuhdo.aspx)

    Gladius: This addon provides basic information about an enemy team in arena. It displays your opponent's health/resources/class/cast bar, it can also track an enemy's cooldowns (such as trinket), as well as diminishing returns. Download: http://wow.curse.com/downloads/wow-a...s/gladius.aspx

    Power Aura Classic: Useful for creating visual indicators for current buffs/debuffs/cooldowns. Useful for tracking stacks of Dark Evangelism and the duration of Dark Archangel. Download: http://wow.curse.com/downloads/wow-a...s-classic.aspx
    *Basic Setup: http://www.mmo-champion.com/threads/...4#post10955394

    Need to Know: Can be used to track the duration of multiple buffs and debuffs in clean/simple bars. Download: http://wow.curse.com/downloads/wow-a...d-to-know.aspx

    Lose Control: Displays any effect that makes you lose control (fear, stuns, silences etc.) of your character in the middle of your screen along with the time remaining on the effect. Extremely useful and requires little to no setup. Download: http://wow.curse.com/downloads/wow-a...secontrol.aspx

    Interrupt Bar: Provides a small bar that can be configured to track the cooldown on interrupts, letting you know when you can cast without fear of being interrupted. Download: http://www.wowinterface.com/download...arUpdated.html

    Bindpad: Makes binding different abilities for multiple specs painless, quality of life addon. Download: http://wow.curse.com/downloads/wow-a.../bind-pad.aspx
    Last edited by Searsha; 2011-04-03 at 06:56 PM.

  2. #2
    Smile! Migari's Avatar
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    I can´t tell if there is anything you missed because last time I played Shadow was in TBC/Start of WotLK. On top of that I spec and gem as suits my setup.

    Nevertheless, it looks like a detailed guide. Hopefully it helps a few PvPers Good work!

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  3. #3
    2/2 harnessed shadows is extremely overkill in a pvp situation (since you will be crit constantly and not always be able to cast MB on cooldown). I would take 1 point out of it and take the remaining 2 points into imp. SWP or paralysis if you just want this thing of a talent.
    Last edited by zito; 2011-03-13 at 12:25 AM.
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  4. #4
    I enjoyed reading thus far, looking forward to more.

    Will add to the guides sticky on next update.
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  5. #5
    Fluffy Kitten Lohe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zito View Post
    2/2 harnessed shadows is extremely overkill in a pvp situation (since you will be crit constantly and not always be able to cast MB on cooldown). I would take 1 point out of it and take the remaining 2 points into imp. SWP or paralysis if you just want this thing of a talent.
    Very much this. I also feel paralysis is a lot better than you give it credit for. Any good healer will just remove your dots until they're immune to the dispel protection. Also, the dispel protection doesn't even work if the person dispelling it is jumping when they dispel (lol?). Anyway, point is that unless you can put out such an amount of pressure that the enemy doesn't have time to dispel and you can't CC the healer for a good amount of time, you're going to be mind spiking and at that point paralysis is nothing short of great.

    You've listed four major glyphs as recommended, I'm not sure that's a good way to go.

    Regarding Inner Fire/Inner Will, you want to be using Inner Fire almost always for the extra spell power. If you're running oom you're doing something wrong or healing way more than you should need to.

    Talbadar (arguably the very best spriest in the world) wrote a bit concerning shadow and disc in 4.0.6 over at ArenaJunkies:
    http://www.arenajunkies.com/topic/18...-arena-in-406/
    Last edited by Lohe; 2011-03-13 at 01:07 AM.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Lohe View Post
    Very much this. I also feel paralysis is a lot better than you give it credit for. Any good healer will just remove your dots until they're immune to the dispel protection. Also, the dispel protection doesn't even work if the person dispelling it is jumping when they dispel (lol?). Anyway, point is that unless you can put out such an amount of pressure that the enemy doesn't have time to dispel and you can't CC the healer for a good amount of time, you're going to be mind spiking and at that point paralysis is nothing short of great.

    You've listed four major glyphs as recommended, I'm not sure that's a good way to go.

    Regarding Inner Fire/Inner Will, you want to be using Inner Fire almost always for the extra spell power. If you're running oom you're doing something wrong or healing way more than you should need to.
    Shadow running oom in pvp very much exists, its quite annoying. As for paralysis if you find yourself mind spiking more then go for it. Although it can be dodged/parried/blocked by anyone and it also shares DR with other roots (so having a mage partner probably be best to drop it) although it is funny watching healers trinket it when they think its a stun >

    Also For the gear section, I would also reccomend you eventually putting a piece by piece list. Like running with 4/5 mooncloth except the helm + the off pieces. Going full 5/5 mooncloth probably is not the best D:
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  7. #7
    Fluffy Kitten Lohe's Avatar
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    Running oom kind of doesn't exist, usually it happens in one of these scenarios:

    1. you're not using your mana CDs effectively
    2. you're healing way too much, a sign that something else is wrong.
    3. you're reapplying a lot of dots that just keeps getting dispelled.

    Oh, also, paralysis is a 99% slow, it's not a root.

  8. #8
    Smile! Migari's Avatar
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    Speccing Twisted Faith is for the 2% Shadow spell damage? As I said earlier I haven´t played Shadow in a long time but reaching the hit cap should be relatively easy.

    2% overall Shadow DMG vs. 6% SW:P DMG? (I have no idea how much SW:P deals now a days so I´m just curious.)

    Easy go easy go easy go easy go easy go easy go easy go boy

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Migari View Post
    Speccing Twisted Faith is for the 2% Shadow spell damage? As I said earlier I haven´t played Shadow in a long time but reaching the hit cap should be relatively easy.

    2% overall Shadow DMG vs. 6% SW:P DMG? (I have no idea how much SW:P deals now a days so I´m just curious.)
    You will be picking up mooncloth which has spirit on it, which converts to hit, which frees up an off-piece spot for a better stat then hit. 6% damage to SWP is not much. Its also only to SWP, 2% overall shadow damage is better since it effects all spells.
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  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Migari View Post
    Speccing Twisted Faith is for the 2% Shadow spell damage? As I said earlier I haven´t played Shadow in a long time but reaching the hit cap should be relatively easy.

    2% overall Shadow DMG vs. 6% SW:P DMG? (I have no idea how much SW:P deals now a days so I´m just curious.)
    2% overall shadow damage and spirit to hit conversion is better than a 6% bonus to just Shadow Word: Pain.

    Note: Edited the gear, spec, and glyph sections for accuracy.

  11. #11
    Smile! Migari's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Searsha View Post
    2% overall shadow damage and spirit to hit conversion is better than a 6% bonus to just Shadow Word: Pain.

    Note: Edited the gear, spec, and glyph sections for accuracy.
    I understand that but Twin Disciplines for example grants 6% spell DMG & healing (4% at 2 pts which is still twice as much as Twisted Faith). I also copied a Priest to the PTR to see and I got hit capped with gear only, no gems, enchants or talents.

    I understand that it´s not really a choice between the two of those talents but I just thought that 2% was a little lackluster. And as I remember it SW:P was a huge chunk of our DMG. (But again, I played a long time ago and my mind is a bit fuzzy so I might be way off)

    I trust you people tho as I don´t play it, I was just wondering!

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  12. #12
    shadow has been the same since late bc, you have classes you'll beat, and classes you'll never beat (assuming skill/gear is the same)

    there are no "counters" to shadow, only hard counters and then classes you hard counter

    the closest thing is a warrior but that's based on spec, prot warrior will beat you, you'll beat an arms warrior, and a fury warrior will rape you with CDs up, has no chance with CDs down

    it's not a fun spec to pvp with because it's so definite unless you are simply better or severely outgear someone. i personally don't like beating bads and don't like such definite hard counters vs players who are as good as me, it turns into nothing but a numbers game then, that's why shadow is now the 3rd best priest spec in pvp, even holy is superior in 3v3
    Last edited by sulmith greysin; 2011-03-13 at 03:05 AM.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Migari View Post
    I understand that but Twin Disciplines for example grants 6% spell DMG & healing (4% at 2 pts which is still twice as much as Twisted Faith). I also copied a Priest to the PTR to see and I got hit capped with gear only, no gems, enchants or talents.

    I understand that it´s not really a choice between the two of those talents but I just thought that 2% was a little lackluster. And as I remember it SW:P was a huge chunk of our DMG. (But again, I played a long time ago and my mind is a bit fuzzy so I might be way off)

    I trust you people tho as I don´t play it, I was just wondering!
    You are right, 2% isn't huge and SW:P is a decent amount of our damage. But sacrificing 4% (minus the 2% from Twisted Faith) extra damage on SW:P is definitely worth 2% extra damage to all your other dots, mindspike, mindblast, and mindflay.

    ---------- Post added 2011-03-13 at 03:10 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by sulmith greysin View Post
    shadow has been the same since late bc, you have classes you'll beat, and classes you'll never beat (assuming skill/gear is the same)

    there are no "counters" to shadow, only hard counters and then classes you hard counter

    the closest thing is a warrior but that's based on spec, prot warrior will beat you, you'll beat an arms warrior, and a fury warrior will rape you with CDs up, has no chance with CDs down

    it's not a fun spec to pvp with because it's so definite unless you are simply better or severely outgear someone. i personally don't like beating bads and don't like such definite hard counters vs players who are as good as me, it turns into nothing but a numbers game then, that's why shadow is now the 3rd best priest spec in pvp, even holy is superior in 3v3
    Opinions are opinions, I love Shadow and think it is a really fun spec (with great looking abilities to)! Shadow is doing fine in arena, discouraging people to play shadow because it is the "3rd best priest spec in pvp" is very misleading and not true in the slightest.

  14. #14
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    I dont really see why you would choose inner will over inner fire, with the 30 stam +speed increase inner will only makes you go 2% faster and as a spriest I have so many ways to regain mana it is almost a waste of armor/sp
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    Smile! Migari's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by matherl View Post
    I dont really see why you would choose inner will over inner fire, with the 30 stam +speed increase inner will only makes you go 2% faster and as a spriest I have so many ways to regain mana it is almost a waste of armor/sp
    Correct me if I´m wrong but neither Tuskarr's Vitality (This may be the WotLK version, not sure what the Cataclysm one is named) nor Inner Will say anything about not stacking with other movement improvement effects. So I´m assuming they stack.

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    Dreadlord
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    Quote Originally Posted by Migari View Post
    Correct me if I´m wrong but neither Tuskarr's Vitality (This may be the WotLK version, not sure what the Cataclysm one is named) nor Inner Will say anything about not stacking with other movement improvement effects. So I´m assuming they stack.
    i checked the speed tooltip they give you in your character screen, with the speed increase it is 8% while the inner will sends it to 10% not 18%
    Quote Originally Posted by Boubouille View Post
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  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by matherl View Post
    i checked the speed tooltip they give you in your character screen, with the speed increase it is 8% while the inner will sends it to 10% not 18%
    I was under the impression they stacked, I forgot to check with the new in-game indicator.

  18. #18
    Fluffy Kitten Lohe's Avatar
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    It was said that they would stack but they never did at any point.
    Also, regarding 2% overall vs 6% on SW:P.

    VT deals ~double the damage SW:P does so if 2% to VT and 2% to SW:P is as good as 6% SW:P it's easy to see that also gaining 2% to your other spells on top of that is a better choice. Also, as was mentioned, you will be going for 4p mooncloth so the hit conversion is pretty much invaluable.

  19. #19
    In regards to your gemming advice, int/resil is an orange gem and shouldn't be used in a blue socket. Its possible to use a int/spirit or int/hit (if you also like playing another spec with the same gear) in a blue socket.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Thoragar View Post
    In regards to your gemming advice, int/resil is an orange gem and shouldn't be used in a blue socket. Its possible to use a int/spirit or int/hit (if you also like playing another spec with the same gear) in a blue socket.
    You are completely right, for some reason I thought int/resil was a purple gem.

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