Gearing your baby Shadowpriest

We all know how it gets started don’t we? We build a Shadowpriest (our first, or an alt) and then we do quests and grind until we hit 70. But then? How to get into those elusive first raids and make the big impression to guide you to grander stuff?

Below I have made a compilation of the gear that is the quickest to achieve in order to get into Karazhan and beyond. Mind you, this means that either you spend a lot of money, or run a lot of heroics. It’s still not easy, it will take time. The focus here is to shorten that time as much as possible to get you up to speed.

General gearing rules

  • +Spell hit until you are capped at 16% (15% as a Draenei). If you have 5 points in Shadow Focus, you need 76 Hit rating from gear, 64 as a Draenei.
  • +Shadow Damage is king, this is the most important factor.
  • +Stamina/Intellect as needed to survive encounters and have enough mana to last an encounter.
  • +Haste is not really needed until after +1400 raid-buffed Shadow damage.
  • +Crit is next to worthless.
  • Gems should always be red +damage gems (Runed Living Rubies), unless the socket bonus would give you more +Spell Hit or +Damage.
  • It is best to use +9 gems on gear you expect to replace soon, +12s for your “gear to last”.
  • Enchants: WoWwiki has a comprehensive list; if you can get the +damage one, go for it. If there is no such enchantment, then go for what you feel you need the most. Mana issues? Go for MP/5. Dying? Go for +Stamina.

Shadow’s Embrace

If you are a tailor, you cannot go wrong with the Frozen Shadoweave Set. Although it may take quite a while to get all the materials required, friendly alchemists and tailors may be able to help you; another Shadoweave Tailor will create 2 shadowcloths with the materials for 1, speeding up the process.Also, an alchemist can turn the relatively cheap Primal Earths into a Primal Water, once per day. On most servers, the difference between the two is easily 8-10 gold each.

As a whole, the set offers:+66 Stamina, +44 Intellect, +179 Shadow Damage, Sockets [3x yellow, 3x blue], You heal for 2% of the Shadow Damage you deal.

Total Mats Required: 8x Netherweb Spider Silk, 38x Primal Water, 26x Shadowcloth

Spellstrike Infusion

Another tailored set, this set shines in that it does not actually require tailoring to use, although you will gain no benefit from its set bonus. This set bonus and its Spell Hit is what makes Spellstrike such a good starter set, and if you are not a tailor with 350 skill, you may want to take one of the Dungeon Equivalents below. Even so, being able to fill a large portion of your Spell Hit needs with just two items is very handy.

As a whole, the set offers:+28 Stamina, +20 Intellect, +38 Spell Hit, +50 Spell Crit, +92 Spell Damage, Sockets [2x Red, 2x Yellow, 2x Blue], You have a chance when your harmful spells land to gain +92 Spell Damage for 10 seconds.

Total Mats Required: 2x Primal Nether, 10x Primal Might, 20x Spell Cloth

PvP Gear

Although I generally feel that going through hours and hours of PvP might not be worth it to then turn around and use it for PvE, it may be a good tactic. It is obviously not the fastest way, but a set of Merciless Gladiator gear with PvE enchants and gems will function quite well in practice. Generally, this route will cost you some Spell Hit and Intellect, but gain you Stamina, Resilience, and better looks.

As a whole, the set offers:+274 Stamina, +105 Intellect, +146 Resilience, +197 Spell Damage, Sockets [3x Red, 3x Yellow, 1x Meta], +1 second duration on psychic scream, +35 resilience (2 piece) and Reduces the Duration of Weakened Soul by 2 seconds (4 piece).

Total Honor Required: 65,200 honor points, 30 Marks of Warsong Gulch, 50 Marks of Arathi Basin, 50 Marks of Alterac Valley.

Dungeon Equivalents

There are some decent pieces of starter kit that drop from various dungeons, heroic or not. Sadly, there is not really a dungeon set that tailor to our needs, and as such we will be forced to enter Karazhan with a mishmash of items. I have also included a few tasty quest rewards.

Evoker’s Helmet of Second Sight: Quest reward in Shadowmoon Valley from “Teron Gorefiend, I am.

Shattered Sun Pendant of Acumen: Exalted with Shattered Sun Offensive.

Shoulders of the Torn-Heart: Quest in Shadowmoon Valley from “The Cipher of Damnation”.

Cloak of the Black Void: Tailoring BoE, requires 6x Bolt of Imbued Netherweave, 3x Primal Mana, 3x Primal Shadow.

Shroud of the Lore’nial: 100 Badges of Justice.

Scarlet Sindorei Robes: Drops from Kael’thas Sunstrider in Magister’s Terrace.

Runed Spell-cuffs: 35 Badges of Justice.

Bracers of Havok: Tailoring BoE, requires 4x Bolt of Imbued Netherweave, 4x Primal Earth, 4x Primal Shadow.

Jaedenfire Gloves of Annihilation: Drop from Ambassador Hellmaw in Shadow Labyrinth.

Akama’s Sash: Quest reward from Shadowmoon Valley, “Akama’s Promise”.

Voodoo-woven Belt: 60 Badges of Justice.

Shattrath Jumpers: Quest reward for “Into the Labyrinth” in the Shadow Labyrinth.

Timbal’s Focusing Crystal: Drops from Priestess Delrissa in Magister’s Terrace on Heroic level. Despite the difficulty of getting it, it is a must-have for Shadowpriests and Affliction Warlocks.

Icon of the Silver Crescent: 41 Badges of Justice. Considering its power, this is a steal.

Scryer’s Bloodgem: Exalted with the Scryers.

Scryer’s Blade of Focus: 150 Badges of Justice. Despite the name, anyone can buy it. It is so good, that you are not likely to replace it until far into Black Temple. This is worth putting a Soulfrost enchant on.

Gavel of Unearthed Secrets: Exalted with Lower City. A good, solid starter mace. However, it would need to be upgraded soon.

Orb of the Soul-Eater: One of the best off-hands possible until +1400 Shadow damage or higher.

Carved Witch-Doctor’s Stick: Buy it, socket it, love it. Will be a companion until Sunwell.


So there you have it, a massive list of possible upgrades which should skyrocket you to an average of about +1000 shadow damage and straight into Karazhan. Expected DPS with gear like this should be easily 600 DPS, and your raid will love you for it.

As you can see, getting geared in this way will cost you either:

  • Time to PvP
  • Badges (Run heroics!)
  • Money

But it is possible to gear from freshly-dinged 70 to Kara-ready in about 2-3 weeks of focused effort.

2 Responses to “Gearing your baby Shadowpriest”

  1. hey,

    please update this to wotlk, because its a pretty good reference for shadows

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