I know we don't get a whole lot of traffic here, but I figured since we have a healing guide but not a shadow guide, someone should write one. So here I go.
Table of Contents
1. Tips for starting out
2. Talents and Glyphs
3. Stat priorities - Gemming, enchanting and reforging
4. Rotation and General tips
5. Recommended add ons
Now. This is first and foremost going to be a PvE guide. As most of our regulars on these boards know, Pigtails sucks at PvP. So don't ask me PvP questions, because I don't know the answer. With that, why would someone want to roll a shadow priest? Simple answer: Because melting faces is awesome. Complicated answer is complicated. Shadow is a lot of fun though. We're in a very good place right now as far as DPS goes, regularly in the top five on most fights in Firelands, and number two overall in regular 10's. I say number two, because fire mages don't count since they're so OP for Alys.
So, when someone is first starting out a new character, the first question they usually ask is "What race should I be?" Well, that depends. Normally I would suggest that you roll whatever race you like to look at best. However, if you're a min/maxer this is what I would suggest:
Horde: Either Goblin or Troll. Goblins have a passive 1% haste bonus, which is really yummy for shadow. It makes our haste breakpoints easier to obtain. Trolls are good too, as they have Berserking, which gives a boost to haste every 3 minutes. Personally, I prefer the constant 1% haste, but some people might prefer the haste CD.
Undead, Tauren and Blood Elves really don't have much to offer in comparison. Undead have a pvp trinket racial which is nice, Blood Elves have Arcane Torrent which is a melee range silence and gives 6% mana, and Tauren have War Stomp and faster herb picking.
Alliance: This is a bit trickier. I think Worgen would probably be the best option due to the 1% crit, but crit is also our worst secondary stat. Now that doesn't mean it's bad, it's just the worst one. I'll get into that later.
Humans and Draenei would be good options too though. Humans because of their spirit bonus, which will help you get closer to hit capped. And Draenei, because their hit racial gets you closer to hit capped. Plus they're a lot of fun to look at. =x Seriously, playing a female Draenei makes my brain start thinking like a frat boy.
Gnomes get a 5% bonus to mana, which can be useful but really only marginally so.
Night Elves and Dwarves unfortunately get no love. Their racials are useful in a defensive manner, but they don't really offer any particular combat bonuses aside from that.
One last thing for this section. This is going to sound strange, but for leveling I really don't recommend actually going shadow until you hit about 55 or so. Before that, shadow just sucks to level as. We're a DoT class, and unlike Moonkins, we don't have a reliable nuke to help down mobs quickly. At least not at low levels. Mind Flay is pretty poor damage, and Mind Blast has an 8 second CD. So you might get to use it once per mob, but that's about it. When you hit 81 you finally get Mind Spike, which makes leveling a lot easier.
You might be wondering what you should level as if not shadow. Discipline. Discipline is really nice actually. You can kill sh*t easily, you never run low on health or mana, and you have shields to protect yourself. Plus you have the added bonus of being able to run dungeons as a healer without having to respec. It's pretty simple really, just make sure you have the major glyph for Smite, and take talents that increase your damage or self-healing. In particular, do not miss out on Evangelism and Archangel.
Edited, Nov 4th 2011 6:43pm by PigtailsOfDoom
Edited, Dec 28th 2011 2:47pm by PigtailsOfDoom
Edited, Dec 30th 2011 11:14am by Xsarus