Shadow Priest 4.0 Guide – Rotation

This blog post is to supplement my shadowpriest rotation video:

Here is how I begin my rotation:

  1. Vampiric Touch, Devouring Plague and Shadow Word: Pain to get dots rolling before I build up buffs
  2. Cast Shadowfiend to get it on cooldown, you will be reducing the CD timer through Mind Flay crits with Sin and Punishment talent
  3. MF twice to build up Dark Evangelism
  4. By now you might get a Shadow Orb, but most likely you won’t and VT will be ending so recast VT
  5. MF until you get an orb, then Mind Blast to get Empowered Shadow
  6. Once your dots are refreshed so that they have around 10 seconds duration, then use Dark Archangel and rebuild Dark Evangelism stacks

After that it is just a case of maintaining DoTs and casting MB on cooldown. Once your SF and DA cooldowns are up then use those. Occasionally cast Shadow Word: Death to get the 10% mana back from Masochism talent, if the situation permits (you are not going to kill yourself from it). If the target is sub 25% you will definitely want to try and include the double SW:D as part of your rotation from that point onwards.

DoT Clipping

Vampiric Touch and Devouring Plague as of Cataclysm operate in the same way Shadow Word: Pain does when it gets refreshed. Recasting VT or DP before the duration has expired will cause it to behave as if it was one continuous dot and you won’t lose damage ticks. Conversely you will lose ticks if you let the dot drop off, so therefore you should always aim to refresh before it expires, and try to refresh just before it expires so you dont just end doing say, VT MF VT (while original VT has 10 seconds left), when you could fit in more MF inbetween.


There’s not a lot that has to be said about multi dotting. It operates on the same way as your normal rotation only that you will be recasting dots on various mods so much you probably won’t be using MF much! It’s beneficial to have the boss or another high priority target on your focus so you can keep track of it. Perhaps in the future I could delve into more but there’s not much to say about it.

When to use Mind Spike

Mind Spike is tricky in a raiding situation. I’ve found the spell pretty useful on the adds in the Al’akir fight since it allows me full control of when I want the add to die, which is crucial to the fight. Even on trash mobs in most cases you want to use your dots more, so it seems to me Mind Spike is probably not that useful outside of soloing and 5 man dungeons. I haven’t really thought on this matter too much though.

When to use Mind Sear

Mind Sear, while repeatedly nerfed to the brink of uselessness, is still pretty valuable for low HP trash packs. Fights like Magmaw and Cho’gall for instance, benefit more from Mind Sear than VT/SW:P multidotting since you can still concentrate on the boss while still helping out with AoE. The recent change to allow you to target friendly players with it has really improved its use despite the constant damage reductions.

Mana Management

The Elitist Jerks thread goes into detail on this, but in a nutshell:

Casting MB while VT is up provides replenishment, a shadow of its WotLK version (it’s not very good).
Shadowfiend and Dark Archangel provide you with reasonable mana return.
SW:D with Masochism provides mana return if you are running reasonably low.
Dispersion restores a significant amount of mana but you can’t do damage during the period. In most cases you want to save this CD for survival purposes more than mana. However you can use this while stunned, so you may want to use it during this period since you wont be able to do anything else anyway.

How To: Love is in the Air

The Valentines event, Love is in the Air, started last night at midnight. I just so happened to be in Ironforge at the time to realise that it had begun and immediately flew to Shadowfang Keep to check the new boss out. Seeing as how most event bosses are generally really easy to kill, we tried it out as a trio. Turns out they were pretty easy! As for the loot:

Times thrice.

After the event boss we did a daily heroic – which was Azjol Nerub – and found we were randomly getting Lovely Charms. It was only when the warrior thunderclapped the small adds just before the drop after Hadronox did I realise that: 1) Killing blows were required and 2) They had to be a non-grey level. So knowing this, the best places to farm would be instances where there were quick kill quick respawn mobs like the Stratholme zombies or areas where you control a vehicle or use bombs to mow down hordes of enemies like the bombing run quests in TBC. I opted to farm the Lovely Charms in Ulduar:

This technique may end up being hotfixed, but it’s doubtful, due to the many ways of exploiting it. Some people do bombing run quests in Icecrown, or even running over the bone guards in the Battle Before the Citadel daily. But the fastest is just spamming fireballs in Ulduar. These Lovely Charms convert into Lovely Charm Bracelets, which are then traded for the Love Token currency. In order to complete the meta achievement, you will need:

My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose: Solo either Old Kingdom or Utgarde Keep normal until the San’layn.
Dangerous Love: Just complete the questline, gain 5 Love Tokens as well.
Nation of Adoration: 4 Lovely Charm Bracelets (Also gain 20 Love Tokens in the process)
Shafted!: 10 Silver Shafted Arrow: 10 Love Tokens
The Rocket’s Pink Glare: 10 Love Rockets: 10 Love Tokens
Be Mine!: 1-3 Bag of Heart Candies: 2-6 Love Tokens
Sweet Tooth, Lonely?: 1-2 Box of Chocolates: 10-20 Love Tokens
Flirt With Disaster, Fistful of Love: 15 Handful of Rose Petals: 6 Love Tokens
I Pitied The Fool: 5 Love Fool: 50 Love Tokens
Lonely?: 1 Romantic Picnic Basket: 10 Love Tokens
Flirt With Disaster: 1 Perfume: 1 Love Token

In total, 113 Love Tokens. Considering Nation of Adoration and Dangerous Love, thats 92 extra Lovely Charm Bracelets that are needed to be converted to Love Tokens to complete everything. It’s not hard, just time consuming! I did it all within a few hours:

Raiding Shadowpriest 3.3 Guide: Part 2

Raiding Shadowpriest DPS utilises roughly five core spells for DPS. In order of uptime priority, they are:

Vampiric Touch
Devouring Plague
Shadow Word: Pain
Mind Blast
Mind Flay

My personal opener, since it requires on equip effect procs (Black Magic): MF VT MB DP SW:P

Try to make sure VT is up before MB for Replenishment uptime. Start casting VT when there is about 1.5s left (adjusting for haste).

Some people use Shadow Word: Death in their rotation; I prefer to save mine for movement situations.

MF is a filler spell that has damage ticks at about 50%, 75% and 100% during the channelling. So always make sure you have casted halfway before clipping the spell if you need to. MF also provides a stack of Shadow Weaving every tick. This also applies to the Muradin’s Spyglass trinket (unfortunately only provides a single stack per cast for Illustration of the Dragon Soul and Eye of the Broodmother).

DP’s instant cast component is very powerful, especially with heroism where you can almost keep casting it, waiting for the first tick and casting it again. This is probably only something you can do with T8 2set bonus though.

Hard refreshing SW:P through recasting it (as opposed to MF’s soft refreshing it) can be useful when:
- You possess a crit buff through Potion of Wild Magic and/or Nevermelting Ice Crystal.
- You have a Rune of Power/Malygos Spark damage buff.
- Your current SW:P wasn’t casted with 5 stack Shadow Weaving.

Hard refreshing SW:P doesn’t have any affect on:
- You gain spellpower buffs. It adjusts automatically.
- Any boss weakened/debuff states.

During Heroism: Leave out MB from rotation, be sure to cast VT/DP as soon as it starts and just before it ends to get full benefit from the haste. Otherwise make use of any potions and MF the day away.

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