Shadow Priests! Help!

I got a question from a guildmate who is a Priest of the… shadowy variety. Dealing damage and melting face is not my forte, so I’m hoping someone out there can help. I checked out Fate and Trollin’ as I know they’re both shadow but I couldn’t find their emails to contact them. So alas, I will post an open question on my world.

It’s a question of gear:

[item]Battlecast Hood[/item]
– OR –
[item]Uni-Mind Headdress[/item]

The Battlecast Hood has 2 gems on it: +6 Spell Damage and +5 Spell Penetration / +5 Spell Critical Rating and +5 Spell Penetration.

Let’s assume that there are head enchants on both of them (+22 Spellpower and +14 Spell Hit rating).

I have no idea what to look for in Shadow Priest gear. All I know is crit isn’t valued as highly. Help!

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About Matticus

Matticus is the founder of World of Matticus and Plus Heal. Read more of his columns at WoW Insider. League of Legends player. Caffeine enthusiast.


  1. Shadow priesthood is all about spell dmg, and to a lesser extent spell hit. Crit can actually be bad for them, as Mind Blast is one of the few spells (possibly the only one?) they use that does crit, and it already generates extra threat.

    On the topic of Spell Pen, I have heard that all it does is lower a targets resistances. In PvE, most mobs and bosses dont have traditional resistances for it to lower, so Spell Pen is worthless against them. In PvP, almost non-one wears resist gear, so Spell Pen is limited at best.

    I’d say go with Battlecast Hood, but swap out both gems for spell dmg/stam, spell dmg/int, or spell dmg/spell hit gems.

  2. What are we talking about? PvE? PvP?

    PvE: For shadow priests, spell damage is key (after a sufficient amount of spell hit, namely being hit capped). Both helms are weak choices for a shadow priest, and the crafted helm, Spellstrike Hood, is much better (and easily obtained). If you have to pick between the two, though, I guess Uni-Mind is better. A good resource is this thread from on casual raiding gear. You can direct your friend there. And for what it is worth, for maximizing DPS red “runed” gems are the best (unless not hit capped, then “veiled” orange gems are nice). Ignore socket bonuses unless you are getting something really good out of them.

    For PvP: Again, there are better choices. If you had to choose between the two, though, Battlecast would be the better choice.

    @Ikryeax: Mind Blast doesn’t generate any extra threat. It used to, but it was changed about a year ago (patch 2.0.3 I think).

  3. Mk, Ikryeax, thanks for your inputs! =)

    I’ll definitely direct him to for some resources,.

  4. My email is I put it in my comments, which you should be able to view through your Dashboard.. 😛

    As for the gear, it depends. Is the Shadow Priest in question hit-capped comfortably? That is, does he have 76+ Spell Hit (assuming 5 points in Shadow Focus)? If not, go for the Uni-mind headdress. If so, and IF replacing his current item does not affect spell hit, put some nice blue or higher quality gems in the Battlecast Hood or Spellstrike Hood and go with either of those. +Spell/Shadow Damage is key for us after the Hit Cap. Crit is nice, but +Damage takes priority.

    But everybody already answered that. 😛

  5. My email is in my comments too. =P

    Yeah, MK was right, Spellstrike is way better than Battlecast for straight raiding because of the hit and crit. Crit is not that useful for spriests, but it’s better than some stam and it as long as you have more than 7K unbuffed HP.

    It’s already been stated but I’ll say it again, as long as you have 76 hit rating, all you need to stack is spell dmg. Ignore all socket colors unless it’s a +dmg bonus that you can use to gain more dmg than from Runed Living Rubies.

    In addition to, I posted a little write up of that your SPriest friend might want to take a look at.

  6. Trollin’, for sure I’ll pass it on to him.

    Fate, I unfortunately almost never glance at my WP dashboard. I just… don’t really use it, I guess, haha. I’ll certainly start paying attention to it from now on!

    I virtually searched both of your main pages for a contact of some sort. Sigh. I just have bad observation skills, I guess. Thanks though! Added the two of you to my GMail lists in case something like this comes up again. =)

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