PvE Shadow Priest Stat Priority & Reforging

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  • Author: Passion
  • Date: June 14, 2024
  • Updated: June 14, 2024
  • Expansion: Cataclysm

Before you can start kitting out your character you’ll need to know what your stat priority is so you can select the appropriate gear, gems, enchants, and consumables. Shadow Priests like all DPS will want to aim for Hit cap above most things, followed by mostly stacking Haste.

Stat Priority

  1. Intellect
  2. Spirit/Hit until cap
  3. Haste
  4. Mastery
  5. Critical Strike

Intellect is your primary stat and will always be the most important stat for a Shadow Priest as the main source of your Spell Power and mana pool. Intellect also increases your Critical Strike.

Spirit by itself is the primary mana regeneration stat for all DPSs in Cataclysm, with MP5 being removed. For Shadow Priests with the [Twisted Faith] talent, this also gives us Hit Rating equal to the amount of Spirit we have. This allows us to reach Hit cap significantly easier, and lessens the competition with other DPS specializations for gear. You will need to reach the Hit cap of 17%, and this can be done with any combination of Spirit and Hit rating.

Haste is the most valuable DPS stat for Shadow Priests as it now not only makes our spells faster, it even gives our DoTs additional ticks. The amount of Haste needed for an additional tick varies depending on the spell, with [Devouring Plague] requiring the least, and [Vampiric Touch] requiring the most. 10% Haste will be enough to get you your first extra tick for all three DoTs, needing 18.74%, 24.97%, and 30.01% respectively for the next ticks. These breakpoints are primarily a bonus, and Shadow Priests will want to stack Haste regardless of those caps.

Mastery is our second most valuable stat, but it is a far cry away from Haste. Mastery Rating converts into Mastery, which increases the potency of our [Shadow Orbs] mastery effect. This is a nice damage boost for our rotation, but is not worth focusing on.

Critical Strike is not a bad stat, but it’s just not as useful as the others. You’ll generally want to replace it or Reforge it to something better. If there are no better options it’s still an increase to your DPS and also allows you to cast [Shadowfiend] more often through [Sin and Punishment].


Reforging is a new feature in Cataclysm that allows you to trade out part of one secondary stat for another on any piece of gear. You won’t be able to get Intellect this way (or get rid of another stat like Agility or Stamina), but you can fine-tune your secondary stats to your heart’s content.

Shadow Priests will want to Reforge every piece of gear into either Spirit, Hit, or Haste. Once you have 17% Spell Hit, you will want to go all in on Haste.


About the Author


I love MMOs of all shades, especially the nitty gritty numbers parts of them. You might recognize me from the Shadow Priest discord, otherwise I play a little bit of everything, especially games with support roles available.
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