It's absolutely terrible. Leveling from 90 to 100, I died so flipping much. Some quests would be 3 or 4 deaths on a single quest. I've been playing it for years, and have never had these kinds of problems. Any time I have three or more mobs on me, I'm just toast. I've got my paladin to 100 without any kind of problem, but my priest just... dies. It's a death machine. And not in the good way.

I've read a lot about 6.0.3 shadow priest, and multi-mob rotations but it doesn't matter, I just die anyway. I keep dots applied, I use my mind blast and power word: shield on cooldown, but I still have to use my Desparate Prayer and Vampric Embrace on almost every multi-mob encounter. My item level is 598, so I don't see why I can't handle 2 or 3 mobs.

Okay, I'll stop whining about how much I suck. Here's the question that I'm most interested in: Did something change in 6.0.3 about shadow priests that I need to do different? If that can't be answered, then I suppose it just boils down to How can I increase my solo survivability as a shadow priest in 6.0.3?

  • "Oh no Moss, by all means, use bad language. It'll make you feel better" "..............Ploppers!"
    – Ben
    Commented Dec 5, 2014 at 2:32
  • I haven't played too much on my priest so I'll leave this as a comment. Casters have reduced survivability in multi-mob groups. The rule of the game is to nuke enemies down one at a time, and kite/cc anybody else. While a plate user such as your Paladin or my Warrior can take a few hits, a few hits to a cloth user is fatal. Therefore cloth users must do everything possible to NOT get hit.
    – user66184
    Commented Dec 5, 2014 at 2:43
  • Also. I found that shadow priests do not do well against mobs. since WOTLK. Holy and discipline priests tend to do a better with this but fights usually last longer. . . It also depends heavily on your combinations and items
    – Jonathan
    Commented Dec 5, 2014 at 8:17
  • I've only gotten my shadow priest to 93 so far, as it's an alt, but I haven't noticed any serious issues. I suspect the problem here is pulling too many mobs at once. If you're in a raid, you can safely AoE a bunch of trash because there's a tank taking hits for you. Solo, you really can't do this. Commented Dec 7, 2014 at 3:31
  • I refuse to believe that 2 mobs is too many, but I really do die from that. It's pathetic, I don't have this on any other character.
    – corsiKa
    Commented Dec 7, 2014 at 22:08

1 Answer 1


Pulling a lot of mobs for leveling is a rather bad idea when playing solo as a cloth class. You are too squishy to effectively tank 5+ enemies without cooldown usage.

Now while I'd recommend you to pull single mobs when leveling, you can still try to grind your way up to level 100 by killing multiple NPCs at the same time but there are some things you should keep in mind.

An important thing to note is that the talents for leveling are different. While you would usually pick up Insanity as your level 45 talent in a raid, you should pick Surge of Darkness when you are soloing quests etc. Mainly because of the extra burst you'll get.

Crowd Control
Something that also should be mentioned is Crowd Control. Yes I know. Priests aren't hunters with 30 traps and slows but you should make use of the spells you've got. Try to Fear enemies who get too close with Psychic Scream while also kiting dangerous melee mobs. Basically just try to avoid as much damage as possible.

Single vs. Multitarget
While leveling you should generally focus on singletarget damage. Even if you're pulling a lot of NPCs it's usually better to focus them down one by one instead of trying an AOE rotation. (I acutally think Tank roles and DPS warriors are the only classes that can really pull 10 NPCs or more while still clearing them quickly without dying). The shadow priest has some nice burst potential. You can usually kill a NPC with

Mind blast -> Shadow Word: Pain -> Mind Flay -> Shadow Word: Death

While of course looking out for procs which allow for even more burst. (Vampiric touch isn't really too good while leveling)

If you're fighting a lot of enemies you can multidot with your Shadow Word Pain but you should still have one focus target. Also always use your Devouring Plague on cooldown.

(Defensive) Cooldowns and Selfheal
Every class has Cooldowns and a SP even has quite a lot of healing potential. Don't hesitate to use your CDs. 5 minutes recharge time aren't a lot while leveling. Especially not if it lets you kill stuff faster. Use Offensive and Defensive cooldowns as often as possible. If you're taking too much damage, use your dispersion and run away or Shield yourself. If you're low on health CC the enemies and start healing yourself.

If you follow these steps you won't die that often. But remember everyone can die while leveling. You can accidentally pull too many NPCs or ignore a certain mechanic that an enemy has. Cloth classes just aren't made for tanking a lot of NPCs.

  • Can't stress the single target stuff enough -- multi-DoT'ing will keep mobs alive longer to kill you quicker.
    – Lin
    Commented Dec 5, 2014 at 13:58
  • I'd also add two things: [1] Get the Glyph of Reflective Shield. (Some also recommend the Glyph of Mind Harvest, but I didn't like it.) [2] Don't be afraid to try things out while leveling. I, personally, didn't care for Surge of Darkness while leveling and found that either of the other two fit my playstyle better.
    – Lin
    Commented Dec 5, 2014 at 14:02
  • And I love Surge of Darkness and wish it would proc more. Commented Dec 7, 2014 at 3:29

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