Priest's shadow magic

Not only the shadow spec, but priest as a whole, they use shadow magic from the very beginning, even when all this void thing was not fully explained (and it isn’t yet). Spells like Shadow Word: Death/Pain, they obviously do not come from the void, I believe priest has only Shadowfiend/Mindbender as a void spell, the rest of their spells are just light or shadow, though shadow priest has more to do with the void, of course.

Maybe their source of power is similar to that of DK’s? Which is basically death magic. And if I recall correctly, even shadow priest was more like this before the introduction of Xal’atath in Legion. There were always many forsaken shadow priests NPCs, and there was never anything that related them to the void in specific, this seems more like a new thing, an alternative source of power to them, but not the only one.

So what would be the main source of power for their shadow magic? Because it’s certaintly not the void, since DKs also use shadow magic, and they have no relation with the void either. Another thing, worshipping the void would make them basically… Enemies, discipline priest, for example, is not a worshipper of both light and void, or shadow, whatever. They fight to banish evil, thus… However, my main question is what does their shadow magic come from, at this moment I think it comes from some source related to death, like the San’layn, and they even have a talent with that name.

Lore changes, it wasn’t really explained where shadow magic came from before.

Now there is a clear distinction between shadow/void and death magic.

The reason why unholy dk still does shadow damage and not death damage, is probably just down to them not bothering to add another damage type just for that.

Yes, shadow priests do indeed use void magic, this is undisputable.

Would you classify Telekinesis or Psychic powers as coming from a named source?

I see spells like all the Mind Spells both the damage and utility ones as a primary aspect of Shadows powers. I would then see Shadow as more of lacking any specific description and just continue to be nebulas and constantly in a state of flux to become whatever one needs of it to be.

I just very much enjoy the power aspect that is Shadow Priest to be such a state of being undefined that it retains the mystery of never being able to be fully flushed out and understood. I like the idea that so many spells have no travel animation and that as soon as the cast is completed, it’s affects are instantly felt.

I personally don’t want to pin Shadow down to anything concrete and specific but if we look at the cosmological powers chart, it would stand to reason it’s part of Shadow and as such, it’s not inherently part of Void. You can clearly see that Void is a part of Shadow but Shadow is not a part of Void as Shadow is the all encompassing power that stands higher on a hierarchal scale compared to Void.

When it comes to Void Magic, I can see 2 primary directions used, one direction is the Void Lord direction of which the Old’Gods come from. The other direction is what I would put people like Alleria, Locus Walker and Sarkareth into as tapping into this Void Magic but not really related to Old’God type of magic. If anything I would think there is a pure form of Void Magic and then the Old’Gods corrupt that Void Magic into what they end up using but that’s more of my own personal take on it and it’s not something I can back up in any way.

Things get more complicated when you compare other classes and their source of magic as they all share a common source, where as Priests have Holy and Shadow aspects. So one has to question if Holy has its own source and that is without question where Holy Priests source of power is derived from, then does Shadow magic come from a completely different source or is it simply just a part of a cycle that Holy naturally goes through?

You can bare witness to such cycles of power with the Naaru and the Dark Naaru stages of life. With the Dark Naaru, their power takes on aspects you would typically associate with Void Magic. But is that correct? If so then what does that say about Naaru? Do they swap to an opposing cosmic magic source when they enter the next stage of life? If so, then that adds more questions as beings are able to naturally shift around to different types of power systems governed by various cosmic entities. If they don’t, then does Holy have an inherent Shadow side that is unrelated to the Shadow cosmic powers?

Things can get confusing quickly when taking all these various elements into consideration. Which is why I think it’s perfectly reasonable to relegate Shadow Priests magic source as nebulas and ever changing to become what you need it to be as it comes up. It keeps the aura of mystery about it and not everything needs to be explained lol.


I don’t think that’s right, as Aneurysm said, void is a part of shadow but shadow is not part of void, they are not inherently dependent on each other. DK’s shadow magic is still shadow magic, the San’layn use a lot of shadow magic, and even Vampiric Embrace and Vampiric Touch comes from that idea, priests even have a talent named San’layn. Perhaps we could discuss if the power of the San’layn comes from Maldraxxus or Revendreth, that’s another thing, but it’s not void. All priests have Shadow Word: Death and Pain, and that’s not void, that’s just shadow, if DKs had their spells named to “death” damage, which I think is incorrect, so most of priests’ shadow spells would have to be named that as well.

Death dosn’t exist without life, just as shadow doesn’t exist without light, they are natural processes.

Eh, affliction warlocks also have a focus on shadow magic but its obviously tied to Fel… I like the idea of it being more void/old god related

But it isn’t, not only void or old god related. Most priest’s shadow spells are related to death spells more than the void stuff. Warlock’s shadow magic comes from demons, just as DH’s, a different source. Priest’s is more similar to DK’s than warlock’s or DH’s in this. They even have Shackle Undead as a spell, their powers comes from shadows themselves more than any void stuff.

You have to remember that the original concept of the Priest class was developed way back in 2002-2004 well before most of the games lore was written out (cosmetology chart, light, void, etc).

The original vanilla/classic version of the Priest had distinct Priest variants for each race (only class like that ingame).

The concept of Shadow Priests is more tied to Undead Priests because they had the whole Cult of Forgotten Shadows. Instead of making Shadow Priests undead only - my theory is Blizzard decided to open it for everyone.

Another example is that Disc Priests didn’t exist in the current context that we have in the modern game. The whole battle Priest weaving Shadow/Holy spells came in around Legion or so (probably wrong). Before that Disc primarily just spammed PWS and Penance which were Holy School spells.

Priests from the start of the game always had Mind Blast and SWP. SWD came in BC and Mind Sear during WOTLK.

And if we go back to wow Alpha, discipline was showing features of it being a tank like spec. Some of those elements persisted in wow classic for a time before being phased out via patch updates.

I specifically recall a friend playing his alt Discipline priest as a tank and getting seriously upset when they changed inner fire to remove attack power. He lost all desire to continue playing his priest after that.

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Interesting about Mind Seer coming out in WotLK, this just confirms to me that their shadow magic is actually related to death, at least some spells, much more than the void itself. A discipline priest in the game, Alonsus Faol, does not even has relation with the void, but only shadow and light.

Shadow priests being mainly undeads also confirms this, of course, just as DKs manipulate shadow magic, it’s connected to death somehow. Even if other races can be shadow priests, trolls, for example, will use their connection with the loa as source of power.

It literally is.

This is not up to interpretation. Shadow priest is using void magic

Shadow magic is the same as void.

The original game was definitely pretty goober with class design, but it was also the most sandbox.

So rogues are actually stepping into the void to appear behind enemy targets?

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Shadow comes from the void

Think of the void as the elemental plain of shadow. It’s like the upper levels of shadow, it’s true origin, a place without light.

Shadow is what you get when you have light. Void can’t exist in the presence of light, but everything in light casts a shadow.


Kinda yea.

I don’t think all kinds of shadow come from the void, unholy DK certainly doesn’t, or affliction warlock, warlock’s shadow magic actually comes from demonic magic.

Void isn’t shadow, shadow isn’t void. The idea of shadow priest being related to the void is actually recent, we didn’t have this before Legion.