My own Shadow Priest guide
- Talents 2.1 PvP Talents
- Equipment 3.1 Stat priority 3.2 Enchants and Gems 3.3 Legendary
- Covenant & Soulbind 4.1 Viable Conduits
- General things
Please do not be too rude because I am actually just writing this guide for myself and a couple of friends of mine to help them improve their gameplay. The core of this guide is for my priest friends to learn how to play better and for my non-priest friends to learn how to counter priests and get a better understanding of how they do what they do. About me, I am a German student enjoying World of Warcraft since late WotLK already. I started maining shadow priest when it comes to PvP in Legion.
In this tier, the choice is pretty easy since there is only one proper option viable for arenas, which is Unfurling Darkness. Unfurling Darkness makes your next Vampiric Touch an instant cast with a decent initial damage.
Fortress of the Mind is only good in raids and PvE and the same goes for Death and Madness.
Why Unfurling Darkness is actually a good talent for PvP is because as a Shadow Priest you usually want to apply your dots on multiple targets and keep them active for as long as possible since your main damage output comes from Vampiric Touch as well as a lot of healing. Besides that the initial damage from Unfurling Darkness can hit for some pretty high numbers. Paired with Misery, this talent helps you keep your dots active on multiple targets without wasting much time for casting or on global cooldowns (gcd). Unfurling Darkness also synergizes perfectly with Damnation. These three talents combined helps you a lot to keep your dots active and therefore pressuring the enemy team.
Here, we actually have three strong choices. But the most outstanding one that you will be using in 90% of the Arena games is Intangability.
Besides Greater Fade, Dispersion is your only proper defensive CD. Paired with Intangability, Dispersion does not only reduce your damage taken, but also heals you for 50% which is great if your heal is sitting in a CC. Besides that the CD is reduced by 30 sec, which gives dispersion a CD of 1min 30sec and therefore making it one of the strongest defensive CDs currently in the game. Just like the Paladin bubble it can be cast in almost any situation, only exception is if you are kicked on shadow, so you have to keep that in mind when you are dropping low and cast a shadow spell.
The other 10% of the games where you do not want to pick this talent, is against combs that do a lot of damage over time and don´t have damage spikes that you have to counter with dispersion. In these games you want to choose the talent San´layn which heavily increases your passive healing and frequency of Vampiric Embrace to take some pressure off your healer.
Again, this is a really easy choice for us, since there is only one viable option for arenas. As mentioned earlier, you want your dots active all the time on the enemies or at least your kill target. And to reduce your time wasted for applying them, you pick Misery here to save a lot of GCDs and therefore being able to peel more, or CC more or cast more other spells in general.
Tier 4 is our "Crowd Control" Tier. Here you can choose between Last Word, Mind Bomb and Psychic Horror.
You usually want to pick Psychic Horror, since a instant stun with 45 secs cooldown is a strong way to start a CC-chain or to deny some damage of a bursting enemy.
But in combs where your team already has a lot of stuns, such as a Sub rogue, you might want to consider one of the other two. Last word is a solid choice that is probably the go-to against castercleaves. It simply reduces the CD of your Silence.
Mind Bomb can also be a really strong choice against combs that make it impossible for you to land Psychic Scream or you just cant afford to waste time running to the target. This could be good against very mobile healer such as a Monk, a mistweaver monks can simply just run away from you if they see you coming. Or even shamans, so they cant place a Tremor totem to break the fear. Another situation where you can make a strong use of this talent is when your mate lands a kick on the healer, you want to place a Mind Bomb on said heal so once the silence from the kick finishes he gets disoriented Right after.
In this Tier, you can pick anything. Depending on the situation or the enemy team you will be swapping these talents a lot even though Shadow Crash is by far the best in my opinion.
It is an AOE-Damage ability for priest with a really short CD and high damage output. The shadow bolt is moving Pretty slow so you can time it with your other damage, for example you start with Shadow Crash and then continue with your Void Erruption so both skills will do damage at the same time making it a great aid in your burst. It is also great for generating Sanity, since it is an instant cast you can also do some Damage with it even if you are the target. Its cooldown is so short that you can even use it to try get rogues out of Stealth.
The other two talents are depending on the enemy team also very viable. Auspicious Spirits is really strong for generating Sanity and dealing that extra non-burst damage. This talent choice is nice in matches where you know that you do not have enough CC for the healer to be able to burst the DPS down or the enemy team has a lot of CC-breakers. If you need enemy healer having to heal more and therefore loose more mana.
Last but not least is Psychic Link. This increases your damage done by Mind Blast a lot, here you have to consider that you do not Always have the time to freecast and therefore you are probably not going to cast a lot of Mind Blasts. If by any chance you know that you will not be the target, this choice is probably the best. If you pick this talent you really want to have the Mind Devourer conduit.
I personally prefer the Shadow Crash over anything else for that extra burst damage, as we all know in PvP you want to do as much damage as possible in the shortest period of time.
These talents are in my opinion the most interesting ones for Shadow Priest. We Kind of want to ignore the Mind Bender choice because it is just useless in PvP and does not stand the slightest chance when it comes to damage output compared to the other two choices.
The first viable and currently in most cases the best option is Damnation. It applies all dots on your target including Devouring Plague. It is an instant cast and therefore really strong against teams that do havea lot of kicks nadd interrupts. And in the current meta there are basically only melee cleaves which is the reason why this talent is probably the best. This also synergizes really good with Unfurling Darkness, Misery and Lasting PlagueThere are some situations where you do not want to pick this Talent. For example against disciplin priest because they can dispell your Devouring Plague which is in most games your hardest hitting spell. So if you play against classes that can dispell Devouring Plague you might want to swap to the third choice in this Tier: Void Torrent.
Void Torrent does deal the most burst damage out of all these talents and also gives you 60 Sanity, but it is also the easiest to counter since you have to channel it. I can say from experience that at lower rating, Void Torrent is more effective but once you get higher rating it is just too easy to counter. You can still use it in combs with little opportunities to interrupt you such as caster combs or DPS/Healer combs in 2s.
I personally prefer Damnation but if you pick Void Torrent and you feel confident enough to make it possible that you can channel it, it will probably deal more damage considering it generates enough Sanity for a Devouring Plague.
For the last Tier we have really strong choices. In PvP you usually do not want to pick Surrender to Madness since it kills you if you do not get a kill on the target within 25 seconds. But I have heard of and seen People actually Play with that choice because it works with pets and gives you just a crazy strong Void Form. For me personally, I think other choices are stronger and more reliable.
Ancient Madness for example is my choice at the moment because i really like to Combine the increased critical strike Chance with the super hard hitting