I did not make this guide, credit goes to Bezawit.
Shadow in Burning Crusade is one of the most sought-after dps specs due to:
Vampiric Touch - Priest's party gains mana equal to 5% of Shadow spell damage caused by the priest. Misery - Your SW:P, MF and VT spells also cause the target to take an additional 5% spell damage. Shadow Weaving -Your Shadow damage spells have a 20/40/60/80/100% chance to cause your target to be vulnerable to Shadow damage. This vulnerability increases the Shadow damage dealt to your target by 2% and stacks up to 5 times. Lasts 15 sec.
Most 25-man raids will typically want to bring 2-3 for the mana return a lone. With that said, Shadow is also one of the worst scaling dps specs in Burning Crusade. They are bottom of the barrel when it comes to dps, which balances out the massive utility brought. Shadow is also one of the most engaging PvE specs. There is no 1-2 button mashing, but a priority list for both maximum dps and different priority list for maximum mana efficiency. If you enjoy playing utility roles, Spriest may be a great option for you.
Hit Cap > Spell/Shadow Damage > Haste > Crit > *Spirit
*Spirit can be worth Spell Damage if there is an Imp. DS Priest in the raid. Additionally in Tier4, you will likely not be able to cast MindBlast/SW:D on cooldown due to mana, so arguments could be made for the regen value. At higher gear levels, you would just omit Spirit from the the above priority list.
12.6 Spell Hit Rating per 1%. Cap is 16%- BC has a 1% resist rate mechanic which can't be negated with Spell Hit.
* 76 hit is the cap with 5/5 Shadow Focus
* 101 hit before you can go to 4/5 Shadow Focus
* 126 hit before you can go to 3/5 Shadow Focus
* 152 hit before you can go to 2/5 Shadow Focus
* 177 hit before you can go to 1/5 Shadow Focus
* 202 hit before you can go to 0/5 Shadow Focus Spell Priority List:
Red: Runed Blood Garnet, Runed Living Ruby, and Runed Crimson Spinel.
Yellow: If the socket bonus is good, such as +damage, Veiled Noble Topaz if you are not hit capped. If you are hit capped, Potent Noble Topaz is the best option. But again, only *if* the socket bonus is +damage and ends up being on par or better than if you just socketed with Runed gems. Later on, Reckless Pyrestone becomes the best option. *Note* if you use the MSD meta, you will want to avoid using yellow gems and instead use Runed.
Blue: Red-Runed gems (+damage) unless the socket bonus is worthwhile. If the socket bonus is good (such as a worthwhile amount of +damage, you can go with Glowing Shadow Draenite, Glowing Nightseye, or Glowing Shadowsong Amethyst. *Note* If you use the MSD meta, you must have more blue gems than yellow gems in your gear.
Meta: Mystical Skyfire Diamond will be the best option until Ember Skyfire Diamond becomes available in 2.4
There are also unique epic gems that can be found from Heroics, Nightbane Quest, and the PvP vendor. A full list of these gems can be found here. Notable ones for Spriest are Runed Ornate Ruby, Shining Fire Opal, Potent Fire Opal, Potent Ornate Topaz, Infused Fire Opal, Fluorescent Tanzanite, Glowing Tanzanite, and Infused Amethyst.
Helm: Glyph of Power
Shoulder: Greater Inscription of Discipline
Chest: Exceptional Stats. Other decent options: Major Spirit or Restore Mana Prime
Gloves: Major Spellpower
Pants: Runic Spellthread
Weapon: Soulfrost. If you cannot obtain the mats for Soulfrost, Major Spellpower is the best choice.
Aldor or Scryer:
Aldor is typically considered better due to the shoulder enchant.
Scryer provides a very good Trinket and Ring for early raiding, but these two items will be replaced. As mentioned, Aldor has the superior shoulder enchant. Keep in mind, Scryer tailors are the source of Runic Spellthread, so at least one tailor in your guild should be Scryer.
Max DPS spec
As always Blackout vs Spirit Tap and Unbreakable Will vs Wand Specialization are personal preference. Some Spriests in Sunwell tinkered with getting Spell Warding (Holy). Getting Spell Warding depends on how much hit you have (taking points out of Shadow Focus) and whether you need Meditation.
Spell Warding Spec
6 talent points are left over for filler talents- some will have to go into Shadow Focus, depending upon how much Spell Hit you are getting from gear. Keep in mind, you are able to multi-dot on some fights, which increases your mana consumption- so it may not be good to drop Meditation on fights that allow this.
1. Tailoring without a doubt. You have a few options for your second profession:
2. Enchanting - +DMG enchant to rings + pairs well with Tailoring
3. Leatherworking - BC is all about the Drum rotation. If 4 people in your party have LW + doing a drum rotation, it's a permanent 80 haste. I wouldn't go LW until T6 content. But, if your guild asks you to go LW before T6, you should do so.
4. Engineering - Access to very good helms. That being said, Engineering helms will *not* be available at server release. They are not introduced until the BT patch.
5. Alchemy - Access to a decent trinket. However, the +DMG Alchemy trinket will *not* be available at release. The good Alchemy trinkets are not introduced until the Sunwell patch. The only Alchemy Trinket available at server launch is +15 stats with the potion increase.
Best PvE races:
Horde: Undead > Troll > Blood Elf
Alliance: Night Elf ~ Draenei > Human* > Dwarf
* Human can actually compete for the top spot if you have an Imp. DS Priest in the raids. Eventually though, most Imp. DS Priests go CoH when raid damage starts increasing.
Q & A:
Q: Do I want to clip my VT/SW:P like I do on live?
A: No. Refreshing a dot before it wears off will prevent the last tick from happening in BC. The only thing you *might* want to clip is Mind Flay, but never with itself. You can clip the last tick of your Mind Flay in favor of doing something else that is higher on the priority list. This will increase your mana consumption though, so I would only experiment with it at high gear levels.
Q: I keep accidentally clipping my Mind Flay with another Mind Flay. Is there any way to stop this, since it is costing me dps and mana?
A: Yes. There is a macro available, which I will post below. One thing to note though is that sometimes the macro can cause odd behavior if spammed. So I recommend still making an effort at not clipping, and do not rely exclusively on the macro:
/cast [nochanneling] Mind Flay
Additionally you should keep in mind that it can be a dps increase to clip your Mind Flay in favor of another spell. This is typically done after the second tick of MF damage. This does lower mana efficiency and is not recommended at lower gear levels. Doing this can also end up costing you dps if you accidentally cancel MF at an un-ideal time.
Q: Does my Shadowfiend's damage scale with my gear?
A: Shadowfiend only scales off of your +Damage and +Shadow Damage. That being said, it can benefit from buffs such as Totems/Auras and most notably, Heroism + Blood Lust. If you know Heroism/Blood Lust is going to be used, you can cast your Shadowfiend right beforehand so that it deals more damage + returns more mana to you.
Q: How do on-use +Damage trinkets impact me?
A: VT and SW:P are not dynamic, meaning to get benefit of an on-use +Damage trinket, you need to re-cast your dots. Many Spriests will simply macro the trinket (for example Icon of the Silver Crescent) with their VT/Pain. Ideally, you would also want to use your Shadowfiend after a +Damage trinket has been used, so the Shadowfiend deals more damage and returns more mana to you.
Q: Does my VT/SW:P scale with Haste or Crit?
A: Not really. The only thing Haste will do is lower your gcd, allowing you to cast the dot more quickly and begin casting a new spell sooner. Haste does not lower the amount of time in between ticks, like it does on live. The only spells a Spriest uses that can crit are Mind Blast and SW: D. Most caster classes also have a talent that increases their Crit damage by 100%- Shadow does not have a talent like this, which further reduces the value of Crit.
Q: I keep running out of mana in raids! Is there anything I can do differently?
A: Mana potions, mana potions, mana potions. In BC you can (and should) use a Super Mana Potion every two minutes. Apart from this, you will have to look at your group setup, buffs, and raid debuffs. Buffs/Debuffs that can help your mana efficiency:
Greater Blessing of Wisdom - Provided by a Paladin Mana Spring - A Shaman must be in your party for this Mana Tide Totem - A Resto Shaman must be in your party for this Seal of Wisdom can be judged by a Paladin on the target.
Q: When should I use Inner Focus?
A: Inner Focus should be used with SW: Pain, unless you are Undead- in which case it should be used with Devouring Plague. Using Inner Focus with Mind Blast saves less mana and provides an insignificant dps increase. If a target needs to be bursted down right away- for example a Phoenix Egg on Kael'thas, than feel free to use Inner Focus with Mind Blast to try to get a crit.
Q: When should I wear Tier 5?
A: If you have full tailoring gear (which you should), I would not wear Tier5 until you can wear 4pieces for the set bonus. Tier5 and tailoring gear are worth roughly the same amount of damage but Tier5 has a lot more stats (Stam/Int/Spi/Mp5). Ideal Tier5 pieces are Helm, Shoulders, Chest, and Gloves with Solarian legs.
Elitist Jerks Spriest 2.4.3