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WoW Classic Shadow Priest Best DPS Build Guide

WoW Shadow Priest Guide for best DPS
By | July 11th, 2020 | Categories: World of Warcraft

Generally speaking, the primary purpose of Priests in World of Warcraft is to act as healers who are supposed to keep their fellow group members alive. However, this class also has a different, more damage-oriented side. And to give you a better idea of how to utilize Priests as damage-dealing machines, we’ve decided to create this WoW Classic Shadow Priest best DPS build guide!

Playing as a Shadow Priest is often considered rather unorthodox though, especially by other players. This was especially true during vanilla or what’s now known as Classic servers since everyone expects a Priest to be a top-notch healer by default.

But that’s not always the case and now you’ll learn how to be a brilliant damage-dealing SP!

How Do You Get Started as a WoW Classic Shadow Priest?

First and foremost, you have to go to a Shadow Priest trainer so that you can change your talent tree. There are a few of these SP trainers located in each capital city, as well as in every starting zone in vanilla WoW.

However, you’d have to pay a certain amount in order to do that. And although it’s not that expensive initially, the fee for changing your talent tree can go up as much as 50 gold.

What Are The Best Talent Builds for Shadow Priests?

Although the base talents for most Shadow Priests are quite similar, there are some key differences, depending on whether you’ll be engaging in a PvE or PvP environment:

PvE Builds

1. 20/0/31 Shadow Priest PvE Build (Dungeons)

Link to the build – here.

  • Discipline: 20
  • Holy: 0
  • Shadow: 31

Note that Wand Specialization is essential in this build because you most likely won’t have enough mana to support your DPS efforts throughout the dungeon.

2. 16/0/35 Shadow Priest PvE Build (Raids)

Link to the build – here.

  • Discipline: 16
  • Holy: 0
  • Shadow: 35

In raid scenarios, you’re expected to have BiS items (or at the very least close to BiS), so you should have plenty of mana. Thus, you can skip Wand Specialization here and spent those points on something more raid-friendly like Unbreakable Will.

PvP Builds

1. 13/0/38 Shadow Priest PvP Build

Link to the build – here.

  • ·      Discipline: 13
  • Holy: 0
  • Shadow: 38

This is basically your cookie-cutter PvP build that’s meant to offer plenty of sustainability, while also delivering large amounts of burst damage.

What About Leveling WoW Classic Shadow Priest Talent Builds?

The most important thing is to make sure that you max out (5/5) both Wand Specialization and Spirit Tap as they’ll be essential to your leveling. This is especially true for Wand Specialization as it’s going to be your best friend when it comes to dealing damage as your mana pool will most likely be quite low.

Once you spend a total of 10 points under those 2 improvements, you can then proceed with shifting your focus to adding some healing prowess to your arsenal. Feel free to go to the Discipline or even the Holy talent tree to spend some points on abilities there.

But as a general rule of thumb, once you have 31 points in Shadow, your leveling process should speed up quite nicely.

What is the Best Race for a Shadow Priest?

Dwarves are often considered as the best race for Priests due to their superb racial and Priest-specific abilities. That’s important to know because Priests receive two additional abilities that are unique to each of the races that have the Priest class.

Both abilities are obtained via specific quests as the first ability is unlocked at 10 and the second at level 20. With that being said, here are all the race-specific abilities:

In contrast to the available Alliance races though, Horde doesn’t have a clear winner since it’s debatable which race is better for an SP, although Undead typically gets the nod.

  • Best Alliance race for a Shadow Priest – Dwarf
  • Best Horde race for a Shadow Priest – Undead (for PvP reasons)

What Are The Pros and Cons to Playing As a Shadow Priest?

The main pros associated with playing a SP are related to their PvP and damage-dealing capabilities, while the primary cons are mostly about playing a healing class in an unorthodox way.

The Pros:

  • Great for world PvP and PvP in general
  • Grants you access to Shadow Weaving
  • Doesn’t depend on gear that much

The Cons:

  • Holy Priests are still more sought-after
  • It’s harder to find a place in a raid group
  • You need lots of mana consumables (e.g. potions) to make the most of this class spec

What Are The Best Professions for Shadow Priests?

Alchemy and Herbalism are definitely one of the top options due to the fact that it lets you create your own consumables. This way you can conjure your own mana potions so that you don’t go OOM as often.

Other alternatives include Engineering and Tailoring, although the latter is probably better. That’s because you can tailor your own gear (cloth) and it’s not as costly to level as Engineering.


As you’ve already seen, there are a couple of truly great talent builds for a WoW Classic Shadow Priest, depending on the situation (PvE, PvP etc.).

And regardless of your preferences, the builds that we shared can definitely help you to explore the full potential of an SP character. There’s no doubt that this Priest spec can be lots of fun if you know what you’re doing.

But what is your favorite Shadow Priest build?

And do you prefer playing as an SP in PvE or PvP environments?

Leave your answer below!

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