Shadows of Ulduar

inv_elemental_eternal_shadowWell, it has taken quite a while, but here’s a short primer on what your job will be on various bosses in Ulduar as a Shadowpriest. I know I’ve been lazy-assing around for a while, but between visiting events and raiding, time’s getting precious. I also have not yet had the pleasure to put the pain on Yogg-Saron, but that may correct itself this evening. So far I have also managed to snag 2 pieces of Tier 8 which gives me enough of a DPS boost to counter the huge FPS issues I am having.

The following is a short “brainstorm” of sorts of the Ulduar bosses, and what we Shades can do to win the fights, help in the fights, or survive in those fights. It will be a bit under construction for a while, as I will need to refine it and gather more tips and tricks. Yours are always welcome, of course!

Flame Leviathan, Razorscale, Assembly of Iron

These are easy bosses, where just following the basic tactics will suffice. Nothing specifically Shadowy here. Except a short tip that if you are the DPS to be launched on Leviathan’s back, using Dispersion when dropping off may save your bacon against FL’s attacks until you get picked up.


Again, Dispersion saves your bacon if you are taking a hot bath in his flame cauldron. You are also a perfect shatterer on the construct adds, as using a Mind Blast/Shadow Word: Death combo will allow you a good chance to shatter them. So far I have failed only once on getting this done in one go.


Once your tanks are gathering adds, it’s good practice to put up full DoTs on a single target in the middle, and using Mind Sear. However, due to their low health (except for the pummelers) they will usually a) die too quickly and b) other DPS will pick them off. In this case, spamming SW:P and SW:D around the adds may be your best bet.


The basic tactic we use is to DPS his left arm (right as you look at him), DPS the adds, DPS his torso, and repeat it when his arm respawns. Nothing fancy here except never, ever run into the raid when his eye beams are at you, and if you get caught to use Dispersion. So much use out of a talent we called worthless a few months ago, eh?


The most important thing here is to get a good Fear Ward rotation going on the Offtank, to make sure the cat(s) don’t go to town in your raid. It pays to make a macro that announces to the raid on whom you used your Fear Ward, so that other priests can keep track of when to use theirs.


In all phases, you have the benefit of healing yourself with VE, as well as having DP. Especially when he launches his missiles, I found it keeps me alive if I get hit due to FPS lag. If you have FPS or Lag issues, keep your Dispersion hotkey close. If you find yourself being stuck at a bad time, don’t be afraid to use it. Dead DPS does zero DPS.


With Freya, your priority differs depending on the phase. Start with a simple VT/Mind Blast to make replenishment roll on the raid, then wait for the first adds to spawn. With the elementals, you have the benefit that you can put DoTs on each and full DPS on whichever one has the most HP left. With the Protector spawn, it’s a simple DPS while staying under the mushrooms. With the large swarms of plantlings you can start with AoE, but will have to calm down before they die; the explode.I have never tried it, but it may be possible for a Shadowpriest to gather them with AoE and pull them away from the raid, and then disperse. I’d have to calculate if a Shade with some HoTs on him could outlive the blast.

Finally, the Spawn of Eonar, those big trees. They have to be nuked down fast, because they grant a lot of healing to the boss. Best to do in this case is to simply use Mind Blast, SW:D and Mind Flay, since if your raid is up to snuff it will not live longer than 5-7 seconds or so.


When you are the team going up to Thorim, remember that the last bit, where he stands, is electrified. Put up your shield and/or disperse before running through. Before this area is also a series of green fields which paralyze you when you stand on them. This slows you down and makes you look silly.

If you are part of the arena team, take out the big vrykul champions first. Tanks should be tagging them, and you should have full DoTs on them. If you happen to have the time (while channeling MF for instance) find and target one of the caster mobs, and Dispel it to remove his shield/healing buff. Then resume DPS on champions. If there is one Champion left, DoT it up and Mind Sear.

When Thorim comes down, the most important thing is to stay alive against his lightning shocks. Shield early and often, and make sure DP and VE are on the boss and used. If he channels a small chain of blue lightnings to a wall, that quarter of the arena will be having major lightning AoE soon. Move to the side to avoid it.


Like with the last boss in Nexus, keep moving. Jump every 3-5 seconds to prevent getting 3 stacks of Biting Cold. If someone gets his feet stuck in ice (which prevents them from jumping) be nice and cast a Dispel on them to prevent them from getting eaten alive.

When Hodir is casting Flash Freeze, large blue circles appear on the ground. Wait for the big icicle to fall into it, before moving in. You should see it turn into a mound of ice, which prevents you from being frozen to the spot. This will likely kill you, so this is the most important thing to train. If a player or NPC is caught in an iceblock, free them ASAP.

The NPCs cast buffs which help your raid. As a Shade, there are toasty fires (made by the mages) which you can stand next to to remove the need to keep moving and put a burning debuff on Hodir which stacks and can increase magical damage to him by up to 50%. The small areas of Moonlight summoned by the NPC moonkin increases your Haste. Generally, our fast spells mean we are best put with the Toasty Fires along with Affliction locks, while Moonkins/Mages are best for the Moonlight areas.

General Vezax

Key here is to learn to avoid the Shadow Crashes, and DPS while inside the Shadow Crash residue on the ground. This reduces the mana cost of your spells and increases DPS, which is key to downing this boss. Thanks to some tips Eliya gave me, I have been using a rotation on this fight that consists of keeping DoTs onVezax, spamming Mind Flay, but dropping Mind Blast from my rotation. And I must say it did work, because doing this increased my DPS by about 500.

One of the things you have to be aware of is to move away when you have Mark of the Faceless (if you use that strategy), but also have a bit of faith in your teammates. Yes, one of them has the Mark and it may take some time for him/her to realize it, but if you move, there’s a chance you will stay within his/her range as they move, and then you die. It makes you feel a bit powerless, but in the end it’s for the best.

It also seems that Dispersion does not help in reducing the damage from Saronite Vapors, while regaining mana. All indicates that reducing the damage this way also reduces the mana gained. I am not sure about this one though, so if you could verify from personal experience, that would be awesome.


Yogg-Saron hides behind his avatar, the woman named Sara. She will be the main focus in the first phase, as tanks need to drag Guardians of Yogg-Saron to Sara as they die. They explode, and their explosions are the only things that will hurt Sara. There are also a lot of clouds around the room. Anyone stepping in one will spawn another Guardian, so it is very important to stay away from it. Spawning a Guardian intentionally in the first phase helps to speed things up,  but that would be the tanks’ responsibility. You also will gain a debuff named “Sanity”, starting at 100 stacks. Many things in the encounter can cause it to drop by X stacks. Once it reaches 0 you are permanently mind-controlled by Yogg-Saron. Even if you are battle-rezzed, you will still be insane. You will have to be killed.

The various watchers you defeated will assist you; Hodir will encase dying raid members in ice to save them, Mimiron grants speed and damage, Thorim tosses lightning and hammers, and Freya provides green sanity wells along the outside ring, which you can stand in to restore your Sanity stacks.

In the first phase, things begin rather slowly. Depending on whether you have the task of bringing the adds down and dotting them, or being in the center and killing them, you have limited DPS time. Sensible at this time is to make sure you have your Shield up at all times against the Shadow Volleys, and that you bandage in between now and then to give the healers some breathing room.

Second phase, things start to become interesting. It will depend on the exact setup of your raid and your tactics whether you will remain outside of the brain room, or go inside. On last night’s Yogg kill, I was going inside of the brain room.

Outside the brain room: DoT everything up, and I mean everything. All those little DoTs ticking makes it a lot easier to get those pesky tentacles out of the way, and if the brain room team is quick and the tentacles are stunned often enough, it is basically a free-for-all. In all cases however, the Constrictor tentacles have to die first, because they grab and squeeze raid members to death.

Inside the brain room: We found it useful to split the DPS along four sides to make quick work of the tentacles here. The tentacles will be hidden inside “creatures” relevant to the particular vision. They will be acolytes in the Scourge room, guards (and Orcs?)  in the Stormwind room, and dragons in the Chamber of Aspects. When you deal damage to them, they will reflect a large part (50% or 60%) back to you. Make sure you are shielded up, and don’t go bonanza too much or you will kill yourself.

In all cases, killing the tentacles opens up the brain room to DPS the brain of Yogg-Saron. There will be floating skulls in the air which cause a purple beam to hit you; this deals damage and drains 2% sanity per hit. Make sure not to face the skulls when moving, and the effect is broken.

Mind you that once the portals open to get inside the brain you have about 60 seconds to reach the brain and DPS like mad, and get out. If you do not get out, you will become permanently insane and attack your raid. Since you can have at most 4 tries at the brain to get it down to 3o%, and there could be a debuff present that reduces your damage, it is often good to have a Heroism on the first run (when DPS is still high) and use your Wild Magic potion on the second run (to make up for a bit of lost damage). The third try should really be enough to get him to 30% and start phase 3.

Phase 3 is split between tanking Immortal Guardians of Yogg-Saron and DPSing Yoggy. The Guardians start out big but become smaller and deal less damage the less HP they have. Once they hit 1 HP, Thorim will toss down his hammer and kill it. We generally had Melee on the adds and ranged on Yogg-Saron, but either way works. Now and then Yogg-Saron will cause purple beams to hit the raid (Lunatic Gaze). Once this happens, face away from Yoggy or you take massive damage and a 12% hit to your Sanity.

I found it useful to DoT up Yoggy as well as the adds; it makes life much easier. I did notice my mana getting strained at the end, so my DPS was lowering, but once my Shadowfiend came off cooldown again things were picking up.


3 Responses to “Shadows of Ulduar”

  1. GREAT tips. I’m going to be sharing this with all our spriests!

  2. ignis:
    mages/locks are MUCH better at shattering as they have spells that hit for >5k non-crit damage with zero debuffs.

    target some scrapbot in a middle of a pack and sear, I’ve yet to see other aoe’rs being nearly as efficient taking them down. After scrapbots die follow up with MB+SWD on the sear target. Bombs are better taken care off by other people.

    Most important there is to stack up the debuff on boss and never have it drop. Always free the mage-NPC’s first to get new fires. Next is distributing the storm buff well. Having the same people get it all the time is bad as it will get overwritten, try to give it to alternate groups as much as possible.

    I could tell about other two bosses aswell but I think I’ll save you from spoilers :)
    dot up all three parts and sear the adds for better DPS than most people can achieve there :)

    you might survive a couple of seconds of laser barrage in P2/4 with dispersion, missiles will kill you no matter what as they hit for over a million points of damage. In P4 dot up all three parts or at least upper two ones if you have high enough melee dps.

    • Well, mages and locks may be better at doing so, but I find that they can be sometimes a bit slower. This of course depends on the speed of the person in question. And, while mages, locks and boomkins may be better at taking them down, this is a Shadowpriest blog. We can and will take down the constructs if needed. I have, and it is actually a lot of fun ^_^

      I guess the same goes for the adds at XT-002; I admire the speed at which a rogue with Fan of Knives and a set of blades churns through a whole quarter of adds in seconds. This is the reason I usually just multi-dot and SW:D and get back to the boss. The adds just run out too fast.

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