Shadow Priest AOE

Is it just me or does shadow AOE just feel weak. Whenever I spec for AOE with searing nightmare and shadow crash the whole rotation just feels clunky and weird. Misery and Auspicious spirits just feel so much smoother and give me better single target, but I always lag way behind on AOE fights.

Am I doing it wrong or are shadow priests just great single target fighters and wear AOE fighters?


It takes some getting used to, but searing nightmare in a mind seer is one of the handful of uncapped AoE combos that can generate some pretty nice burst. The biggest issue is that you can only comfortably fit about 2 searing nightmares per mind seer until haste levels pick up. Add Shadow Crash, and a Void Eruption on top and you have some pretty reliable consistent burst. You can even pick up Surrender to Madness for M+ and have a Void Eruption for every single pack. The damage is baked into our class, but it requires some quick and craft play to really unlock it.


It should also be noted that this week with 25 renown we unlock our second potency slot, which gives us access to +40% Auspicious Spirit damage. This puts us more in line with our AoE sustained cleave was during BFA, and will help a great deal.

Shadow AOE is in a really weird spot. IT CAN be very good, but it’s generally not. IT also falls off significantly in a kiting meta as mobs get strung out and searing nightmare won’t hit them all.

You have to commit several talentsto it or it’s the wrost AOE damage in the game for any dps class. Searing Nightmare is good, but why do we have to talent for it just to do the same AOE damage or less than classes as their baseline abilities? It’s really dumb that this is a talent and not just baseline for us.

We also have to use shadow crash. We also have to use surrender to madness for the extra void forms. These are all mandatory talents to up our trash damage in mythic+. The only time you use misery is maybe in theater of pain because of the first boss fight and the fact most of the trash are smaller pulls.

There are a few niche scenarios where searing nightmare is god tier. Like the slimes in PF. But that’s just one example, and there aren’t too many others, other than maybe a few spots in DE other Side.

All in all, shadow priest aoe damage is very finicky and the fact of the matter is, it’s just not worth it to bring a shadow on keys over 12 with how tightly tuned the content is.

There is one comp that can run a shadow priest at a high level. Only one. And it relies on twins of the sun priestess legendary with a unholy DK in the party. This comp is DH tank, Unholy DK, Shadow Priest, Mage, Paladin Healer(but you can opt for a shaman or resto druid as well).

But at the same time, this comp is probably better off dropping the shadow priest and bringing in a boomy and possibly replacing the DK with a WW monk.


shadow priest overal damage (specially aoe) is embarassing.
you couldnt explain our situation better.
well done!
the problem is, blizzard just dont care.
as long as they have ppl creating mages and ww… they fine. They got the numbers they want…
F for shadow priest mains


you just press 2 buttons dude, the purple beam and then the other button.

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Wow, that’s really depressing as I’m just coming back to level my shadow priest

Big sad :slightly_frowning_face:

It is honestly kind of wild that shadow AOE got so gimped in SL in exchange for the boost to single target, whereas at a good ilvl in BFA old version of shadow was great at aoe and single target sucked. Balance I guess?

The weirdest thing for me is not the single target versus AOE situation, we’re ~good at both with the right setup.

What’s weird is that on Multi-dot with Misery, I’m not even sure if multi-dotting is worth a single GCD to apply Touch+Pain. It seems better to pick the biggest priority target and Patchwerk them.


Bliz seem to have just had a full on vendetta against multi dotting since the start of BFA, which shadow slyly avoided with SA. However, the other specs affected by it (Affli Balance) were given competent cleave aoe tools baseline to transition them away from multi dot.

Shadow got nothing, except talented SN.


Is there any hope in a misery>AS>ancient madness build for some high/bursty cleave?

I’m currently on progression heroic Denathrius. I’m starting to really see our shortcoming on our AoEs. I feel that SN is our only good aoe for burst dmg. The issue I see is: 1) We need insanity 2) We have to be channeling. So no movement. 3) It’s a talent choice.

I was hoping Blizzard would maybe fix AS to do more damage AoE overall, but I don’t see that as an answer to a burst fix. AS needs to have VT on all targets or you won’t have spirits spawn for the target.

Someone suggested on another post to make SN baseline and I’m starting to feel it could be the answer. Considering as well we have no other insanity spender than DP currently.

SN baseline could free up a talent slot. I thinking maybe make SN spread VT to targets of SN. Food for thought.

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I messed with it in mid range keys when I got a hold of second potency slot. It was surprising how large a portion of my overall damage AS clocked in at, #2 and not that far behind #1. There is 2 fundamental problems with it though.

The spirits take way too long to path to the target, I was actually positioning just a little bit out of melee range to compensate.

It values crit way more than the other builds since you get double spirits from those crits. With how slow gear rolls in, putting together pieces to boost that crit up is not a priority for me.

Outside of those it plays fun. Once you get the VT’s out you just go in on single priority target. Makes madness feel safer since you are melting one target while cleaving the rest. If you are running talbadar, synergizes well with that legendary.

Not sure how high up in keys you could make it work though. As you start adding too many targets to a pull the ramp up time gets too long. So you are stuck either doing pretty much no damage to a portion of the pull or spend too much of the pull keeping VT up. But then again, I have no idea how it would feel if you were running 25-30% crit.

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Hey there, unless your group is really struggling with p1 adds, don’t bother with SN on that fight. Shadow crash will be enough on your end to deal with them. For t3 talents you’d be better off with misery (easier multidotting in p2) or twist of fate (dmg boost whenever any adds you tag get low in p1/p2 and more dmg all of p3 when it matters.


Yeah I read another post saying to just stay ST because we have very little in burst potential.

Mythic + = average, with searing nightmare, crash and void of the eternal legendary

Raid fight like sire where single target, 3 target and 6 target plus = we suck

Phase 1 = u need to get crash and searing nightmare

Phase 2 = u need misery

Phase 3= u need the other one

Iwe are going to suck on 2 phase out of 3. I would pick talent where ur guild is struggling

Saying shadow sucks in p3 without twist is a real leap…

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While it doesn’t suck, it’s annoying to have a single fight that calls for all 3 talents in a single tier. That’s shadows main problem and why they have been falling a bit in mythic progression because the necessity for everyone to be cleaving in certain fights. Normal and heroic you can just let others pick up that slack and stay on the main target, a luxury that is harder to come by in the highest teir.

Would the Haunting Apparitions conduit help with shadows cleave/aoe?

TBH I really dislike the idea of having to talent specifically for aoe. It reminds me of arcane mages and how they can choose single target, or aoe, but not both

It also makes me ever so slightly jealous of warlocks

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Just to expand on this, on a single target Patchwerk fight, the difference between running Misery (reducing your DOT refresh casts) and running Twist of Fate (having a damage buff for 1/3rd of the fight): only favors TOF by about 100 DPS in my ~6000+ single target DPS.

P3 is the easiest phase of N & H Sire, so pick your talents to match where your guild struggles, which is probably P1 or P2.

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How about we get a one button aoe, say like MIND SEAR, and extend its radius like STARFALL. The point being that why did they add a secondary TALENT mind you, in order to do good AOE. As of now most classes are being buffed to do both great AOE and ST, while SPriests are being left behind, just like every expansion beforehand…