WoW Shadow Priest guide: Shadowlands covenant, races, talents, stats

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For players who want to be roll one of the darkest classes World of Warcraft has to offer, look no further than the damage-dealing Shadow Priest.

World of Warcraft’s ever-expanding universe is filled to the brim with a whole host of different races and classes for players to give a shot.

One of these is the Priest, a healer who’s capable of keeping entire raids alive with powerful buffs and healing spells.

If healing isn’t your style but you still want to roll a Priest: good news! The Shadow Priest allows you to deal out just as much damage as you would regularly heal, and we’ve put together a guide on how to be get the most out of this unique class.

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What is the Shadow Priest in WoW?

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Shadow Priests draw power from the Void and mostly utilize abilities that damage over time.

Regular Priests are shining beacons of healing in Azeroth, but for every bright light there is a dark shadow, which is where the Shadow Priest comes in.

Like most other casters, Shadow Priests primarily deal their damage from a distance. Area of effect spells that deal damage over time (DoTs) are this class’s specialty, though they do lack a large amount of mobility compared to other DPS casters like Mages.

Best Races for Shadow Priest in WoW

If you want to go down this dark path, your best bet is to do so as one of these races:


  • Human
  • Night Elf
  • Dwarf
  • Gnome


  • Undead
  • Blood Elf

The human racial passive “Will to Survive” provides a great way to get out of stuns and slows, while “The Human Spirit” increases important secondary stats, which we’ll get to in a bit. “Shadowmeld” is always helpful for Night Elves, and Dwarves have the powerful “Stoneform” bonus that removes poison, disease, Magic, and bleed effects.

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Undead’s “Will of the Forsaken” removes any Charm, Sleep, or Fear effect, and Blood Elves “Arcane Torrent” can help you avoid running out of your Insanity resource.

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Humans make a great choice if you’re an Alliance player rolling Shadow Priest.

Best Talents for Shadow Priests

As you progress throughout your WoW journey, you’ll very quickly start acquiring a whole host of new traits which, in turn, influence how you play out the game.

The best generic talent path that we’d recommend for the Shadow Priest is:

Talent Level Acquired Description
Death and Madness 15
If a target dies within 7 sec after being struck by your Shadow Word: Death, you gain 40 Insanity over 4 sec and the cooldown of your Shadow Word: Death is reset.
Body and Soul 25
Power Word: Shield and Leap of Faith increase your target’s movement speed by 40% for 3 sec.
Twist of Fate/Misery 30
ToF: After damaging a target below 35% health, you gain 10% increased damage and healing for 8 sec.
Misery: Vampiric Touch also applies Shadow Word: Pain to the target.
Psychic Horror 35
Terrifies the target in place, stunning them for 4 sec.
Auspicious Spirits 40
Your Shadowy Apparitions now deal 15% increased damage and generate 2 Insanity.
Mindbender 45
Summons a Mindbender to attack the target for 15 sec. Generate 5 Insanity each time the Mindbender attacks.
Hungering Void 50
Void Bolt causes the target to become vulnerable to the void, increasing their damage taken from you by 10% for 6 sec. This effect may only be active on one target at a time. Casting Void Bolt on an enemy that is already vulnerable extends the duration of your Voidform by 1 sec, or 2 sec if Void Bolt critically strikes.

You can swap out “Death and Madness” for “Fortress of the Mind” which is a little more useful outside of dungeons. Furthermore, you can also choose “Void Torrent” instead of “Mindbender” for the same reason.

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Shadow Priest: Best stats to level

For any class, as you get more and more items, it becomes pretty easy to get overwhelmed with all of the different buffs that accompany them.

With the Shadow Priest though, the attributes you want to focus on maximizing are: Intellect, Haste, Mastery, Critical Strike, and Versatility.

As a caster, you obviously want to prioritize items that boost your Intellect first and foremost. Haste is second in line in terms of importance, and Mastery: Shadow Weaving increases damage by 4% for Shadow Word: Pain, Vampiric Touch, and Devouring Plague.

Critical strike increases the chance of hitting double damage or healing, and Versatility increases damage and healing in general, as well as reducing damage taken.

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Shadow Priest: Best Covenant in WoW Shadowlands

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The Necrolord Covenant is your best bet as a Shadow Priest.

The best Covenant for Shadow Priests in Shadowlands is Necrolord, and is used by more players than any other. The Necrolord ability, Pallid Command provides great single-target priority damage for use during Sanctum of Dominion.

Night Fae also has potential due to the unique kill timing effects they have, so if you’re torn between the two, it’s alright to just pick whichever one you like more.

So that’s it for the Shadow Priest in WoW Shadowlands! If you’re looking to throw out some big damage, this guide has everything you know to make a good start.

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For more tips and tricks to help you become the best adventurer Azeroth has ever seen, check out our other guides:

How to level up fast |  The best expansion to level through | New player guide for WoW Shadowlands: tips and tricks | 5 best addons, ranked | Top 5 best races for classes in WoW Shadowlands | WoW Zandalari Troll Guide | How to get & upgrade Heirlooms in WoW Shadowlands | WoW Resto Druid guide