Mists of Pandaria Shadow Priest PvP Gearing | How to Gear Enchant and Reforge a Shadow Priest in WoW PVP - Season 12 Patch 5.1

by Archive // November 25, 2012

Updated: 12/6/2012 – Stat Priorities updated


This guide is a collaborative effort between Craze and Talbadar, produced by SkillCapped. All of our written guides are available for free, and we encourage you to post them wherever you’d like as long as you use a link back!

Table of Contents

  1. Stat Priority
  2. Adjusting Stats As You Grind
  3. Optimal Final Stats
  4. Getting Started
  5. Honor Gear
  6. The Best Shadow Priest PvP Gear in Season 12
  7. Shadow Priest PvP Professions


Stat Priority For Shadow Priests


Spell Hit is by far the most important stat for Shadow Priests, and yet its importance is often times overlooked by the Priest PvP community. The hit cap for spell casters in PvP is 6%, and until you have reached the 6% threshold, you should make obtaining Spell Hit your number one priority.

There are a couple reasons behind Spell Hit being such an important stat: First off, your damage output will be far weaker if you ever miss any abilities, and arguably more importantly, you run the risk of your Crowd Control spells missing, namely [Psychic Horror], [Psychic Scream] and [Silence], which can easily lose you a match. The trade-off of marginal damage increase to spells from other stats is not worth the loss of confidence in all of your spells landing.

The good news is that it’s quite easy to reach 6% hit cap with some simple reforging if you are below the 6% threshold.  Shadow Priests also have the added benefit of [Spiritual Precision], which converts all Spirit into Spell Hit Rating.  By allocating stats into Spirit, Shadow Priests are able to work towards their Spell Hit cap along with benefiting from the mana regeneration from Spirit.

Ideal Stat Gains

These are the stats you will focus on once you have achieved 6% hit. In this section, you will find a list of stats along with their descriptions; stats are ordered based on their importance. While gearing, you should focus on achieving the following stats based on this priority hierarchy:

  • PvP Resilience
    • PVP Resilience reduces the damage your opponent does to you. In a PvP scenario, increasing your damage is amazing, but decreasing the amount of damage you take can dictate how a PvP scenario plays out. You can’t do damage if you’re dead!
    • Some Top Priests actually prefer Intellect over Resilience. They prefer the raw damage increase over the added survivability PvP Resilience provides. Priests have exceptional defensive abilities such as [Dispersion], [Fade] when talented with [Phantasm], and [Spectral Guise]. When used correctly, these abilities can be utilized to reduce or mitigate an enemy’s damage output.
  • Intellect
    • Intellect increases your spell power and chance to Crit. In previous expansions, Intellect also had the added benefit of increasing your mana pool, but mana levels are now static in Mists of Pandaria.
    • As mentioned above, other top Priests prefer Intellect over Resilience because they are very comfortable with avoiding damage, and prefer more raw damage and healing output. If you are comfortable with utilizing your skill-set to stay alive, you may choose to prefer Intellect over Resilience when applicable.
  • PvP Power
    • PVP Power increases all of your damage against other players. This additional damage increases linearly and does not fall subject to diminishing returns, making this stat more and more effective as you gear your character. We won’t get into the calculations, but PvP Power is point-for-point better than any other stat you can get in terms of damage output (no impact on healing) in WoW PvP’s current state.
    • PvP Power does not increase the potency of our off-heals.  Depending on compositions, play style, etc., off-healing may play a prominent role for your team.  If you find yourself helping with healing often, chances are Intellect will outweigh PvP Power, due to our healing spells being affected by the additional spell power Intellect provides.
  • Mastery
    • Shadow Priests gain access to the [Shadow Orb Power] specialization, which gives our Damage over Time spells a chance to hit the enemy twice.  A large portion of Shadow Priest damage comes from our DoT’s, and our mastery directly increases our damage output of said spells.
  • Critical Strike
    • Critical Strike, or Crit, increases the chance that our damage dealing abilities will do double damage. While Critical Strike increases our burst potential, especially when using [Mind Blast] and [Mind Spike], much of Shadow Priest’s damage output comes from Damage over Time effects.  Therefore, Critical Strike is our least effective secondary stat.

So, your stat priority in the current Season 12 Patch 5.0 should look like this:

Stat Priority

Hit(6%) > PvP Resilience > Intellect > PvP Power > Haste > Mastery > Crit

Note: We left out Stamina, as there will never be a situation where Stamina is better than any of these stats. Thus, you should never be Gemming or Enchanting Stamina on your gear

In light of some changes made by Blizzard, we have decided to change around some of the stat priorities for this season.  With burst damage so powerful this season, and of course the additional PvP Power awarded from weapons, we’ve decided that PvP Resilience should be weighted more heavily due to its added security.

In addition, PvP Power lost some of its appeal for Shadow Priests, as it no longer increases off-healing done.  That being said, PvP Power does increase your damage output faster than Intellect, so it still a desirable stat.

We’ve adjusted the stat priority list and changed the gem selections based on this new information.  The actual gear selections have remained the same.  This new setup should give you a noticeable increase in survivability, without sacrificing too much damage output.

Adjusting Stats As You Grind

Here we will be explaining exactly how to obtain, and what the optimal gear choices are while building up your character. While you are accumulating gear, it is important to recognize that until you have your completed set, your stats will constantly be changing. It is extremely important to be mindful of what stats are most important for your class as you work towards your optimal set, and make item selections based on what will have the most profound impact on your performance.

  • Always try to accumulate as much PvP Resilience as you can until you are in the best gear Season 12 offers. Being able to survive with enemy players on you is going to be extremely important, as Shadow Priest survivability can be a concern this season. Without proper peeling techniques from your partners, you can be in trouble very quickly, so it is not advised to prioritize Intellect (or other throughput enhancing stats) where you could get additional PvP Resilience.
  • Ensure you maintain your 6% Spell Hit Cap threshold.

Stat Priority For Shadow Priests

These stats reflect what we have researched and believe to be the best obtainable stats for Season 12 using Conquest gear with the Tier 2 weapon. These stats are here to give you a benchmark as you work towards completing your gear set.

  • PvP Resilience: 8,936
  • Intellect: 11,398
  • Spirit: 1,814
  • Haste: 5,866
  • PvP Power: 11,684
  • Mastery: 4,786
  • Crit: 503
  • Hit: 260


Getting Started

This section is geared towards people who have recently hit 90 for the first time, or have an under-geared alt that needs to be primed for beginning the PvP gear grind.

Upon achieving level 90, we do NOT advise you to just jump into an Arena, or start grinding Battleground’s, or do any sort of PvP for that matter fresh off of leveling in your leveling items. Chances are many of the enemies in a Battleground will significantly out-gear your fresh level 90, which means they will have a significant advantage over you in a PvP setting. Something that we promise will save you a lot of grief, speed up your grind, and make your PvP experience that much more enjoyable would be to obtain the crafted PvP gear right away. Here is a list of all of the items you should immediately obtain before you start PvP’ing in Mists of Pandaria:

Tip: It is normally much cheaper to get the materials for these items yourself and have someone craft them for you, rather than buying them off of the Auction House. Even if you just buy the mats off the Auction House and spam trade, it’s normally cheaper. Always check first for good deals on the Auction House, though!

Honor Gear

Why Should I get the Honor Gear?

Every season we get asked the same question:

Why would I grind out a full set of honor gear if I’m just going to replace it later with conquest point gear?

The answer is that you will have a significant edge over the large portion of the player base that chooses not to grind out their honor set early. While each stat on the honor gear is normally not much better than the previous season’s Conquest gear, (not the case here, as it’s a new expansion) when you look at the combined stat increase from all of the honor gear, it’s a massive difference.

Normally we show a stat comparison from last season’s conquest gear to the current season’s Honor gear, but this is unnecessary in the first Season of a new expansion. Honor gear is a 100% must have.

What Honor Gear to Get, and What Order

Below you will find a list of all of the honor gear pieces you can obtain. They are listed in order of their stat benefits to you. That is, if you go follow this list in order, you will get the best stats first. This is not a huge deal in the grand scheme of things, but we feel if you are going to gear up, you might as well do it in an efficiently as possible.

Please Note: This order disregards your previous gear set up, and only orders the gear in an optimal way given all gear being equal beforehand. A lot of you will have Contender’s gear on, though, and that changes the order.

In the case of having the Contender’s set on, you should follow the order below EXCLUDING the Contender slots that you have first, and then double back and replace Contender’s with Dreadful. ALWAYS MAINTAIN YOUR MANDATORY STATS!

The Best Shadow Priest PvP Gear in Season 12

The most important section is upon us. Here you will find the best possible gear choices for Season 12 PvP. This list will be ordered by largest stat gains, just like the Honor gear section. It will list the piece or pieces of gear that are optimal – and denote any gems, enchants, and reforging that is required for your best-in-slot equipment.

Keep in mind, your reforging and gemming may vary as you are building your set since you may drop below 6% hit cap in the process. This is a full set optimization.

Head – 2,250 Conquest Points

[Malevolent Gladiator's Satin Hood]

  • Best Gems
    • Meta: [Burning Primal Diamond]
      • Adds significant Intellect and also increases your burst potential with the added Crit damage!
    • Red: [Willful Vermilion Onyx]
      • The hybrid Intellect/PvP Resilience gems increase our damage AND healing output (PvP Power no longer has an impact on off-healing) by adding additional Intellect, while also increasing survivability via PvP Resilience.
  • Best Enchants
    • Head enchants were taken out of the game in Mists of Pandaria!
  • Reforge
    • None

Legs – 2,250 Conquest Points

[Malevolent Gladiator's Satin Leggings]

  • Gems
    • Red: [Willful Vermilion Onyx]
    • Blue: [Vivid Wild Jade]
      • PvP Power is the best secondary stat for increasing our damage output (does not have an impact on off-heals) and should be socketed into all Blue gem slots.  Coupling PvP Power with the added security of PvP Resilience is prudent this season, given the extreme burst present in a PvP environment.
  • Enchant
  • Reforge
    • None

Save your points so you can purchase your Season 12 Weapon now. The dagger and off-hand are recommended over the staff due to the Intellect/Spell Power attainable.  [Malevolent Gladiator's Spellblade] and [Malevolent Gladiator's Reprieve] are the best options.

Total Cost – 3,500 Conquest Points

Upgrade to 2/2 prior to collecting more gear

Trinket 1 – 1,750 Conquest Points

[Malevolent Gladiator's Badge of Dominance]

  • Upgrade to 2/2 prior to collecting more gear

Chest – 2,250 Conquest Points

[Malevolent Gladiator's Satin Robe]

Ring 1 – 1,250 Conquest Points

[Malevolent Gladiator's Band of Meditation]

  • Reforge
    • None

Wrist – 1,250 Conquest Points

[Malevolent Gladiator's Cuffs of Prowess]

Feet – 1,750 Conquest Points

[Malevolent Gladiator's Treads of Alacrity]

Weapon (Main-Hand)

[Malevolent Gladiator's Spellblade]

Weapon (Off-Hand)

[Malevolent Gladiator's Reprieve]

Waist – 1,750 Conquest Points

[Malevolent Gladiator's Cord of Meditation]

Shoulder – 1,750 Conquest Points

[Malevolent Gladiator's Satin Mantle]

Hands – 1,750 Conquest Points

[Malevolent Gladiator's Mooncloth Gloves]

Back – 1,250 Conquest Points

[Malevolent Gladiator's Drape of Prowess]

Neck – 1,250 Conquest Points

[Malevolent Gladiator's Pendant of Alacrity]

  • No Changes

Ring 2 – 1,250 Conquest Points

[Malevolent Gladiator's Band of Accuracy]

  • Reforge
    • From Hit to Mastery

Trinket 2 – 1,750 Conquest Points

[Malevolent Gladiator's Medallion of Tenacity]

  • No Changes

Shadow Priest PvP Professions

Our goal is to give you the absolute best gear set up you can achieve as a Shadow Priest in Season 12, and part of that is choosing the right professions. Before we tell you what the best professions are, we should note that when comparing professions, there is a very marginal benefit to your overall gear set, and you should not sacrifice a profession you really enjoy for the sake of a minor stat increase. Leveling a new profession can be costly!

That being said, here are the best professions for a Shadow Priest in Mists of Pandaria PvP:


This is the best Profession for a Shadow Priest because of the two extra gem slots that can be used to refine your stats. Blacksmithing offers you the best customization, as you are able to increase primary stats, along with the freedom to choose various secondary stats, such as Spirit, Haste, or even PvP Resilience! Other professions simply do not offer this much customization for your character.

The next two Professions were a split decision between our pros, and are totally up to what you want to do.


This is our second favorite profession solely because of the glove enchant [Synapse Springs] that will increase your Intellect by 1920 for 10 seconds.  Great for that big burst window you set up when going for a kill.  Note – [Synapse Springs] cannot be used in conjunction with [Malevolent Gladiator's Badge of Dominance], as use of one or the other will invoke a short cooldown.  Utilizing both On-Use procs does, however, allow for  stronger burst attempts while your PVP trinket is on cooldown.

Oh, and [Nitro Boosts] are the greatest things since sliced bread, but unusable in Arenas or Rated Battlegrounds.


Tailoring is an excellent profession for Shadow Priests.  The Intellect proc from [Lightweave Embroidery] can add significant damage, especially if you are able to take advantage of the On-Use spell power ([Malevolent Gladiator's Badge of Dominance]) and the proc from your weapon enchant ([Enchant Weapon - Jade Spirit]).  If all three damage buffs are active at the same time, you’ll be doing some MASSIVE damage!  The drawback, however, is the fact that the damage buff is a proc and can sometimes occur when you are playing defensively or unable to take full advantage of the damage increase.  Another benefit of having Tailoring is the very cheap leg enchants!

Good Luck!

This guide is a collaborative effort between Craze and Talbadar, produced by SkillCapped. All of our written guides are available for free, and we encourage you to post them wherever you’d like as long as you use a link back!

We hope this answers every question you’ve ever had about priest Gear in Season 12, and is used as a reference point for your quest to obtain the best PvP gear out there. Let us know if we missed anything, or if there is something you need cleared up in the comments below, and we’ll be sure to get back!

Please let us know how the article was. Were we missing anything? Do you have any further questions? Was the format useful? We always want to improve our articles, and your feedback helps!

  • 0
    23 months ago
    Why pick crit/haste dreadful cloak instead of mastery/haste cloak? So confusing.
  • 0
    23 months ago
    So, mastery is better than crit for SP ?
  • 0
    24 months ago
    [Enchant Off-Hand - Superior Intellect]
    Should be
    [Enchant Off-Hand - Major Intellect]
  • 0
    24 months ago
    Do you recommend int as as primary stat instead of pvp power now when pvp power does not affect healing? Seeing as a big role for sp is offhealing (depending on what comp you are playing ofc)
  • 0
    24 months ago
    @Corcodush - Nice find...The guide has been modified.

    I really appreciate all the feedback.
  • 3
    24 months ago
    You're recommending the spirit bracers (of meditation) and the crit off-hand, whereas the haste/mastery bracers (of prowess) and the spirit off-hand would offer the optimal stat combination - straight-out haste and mastery with no reforges and no crit, while still keeping the spirit which is needed for the cap.
  • 0
    24 months ago
    Since this guide is designed to give the readers the optimal stats for gearing their shadow priest, yes, the mooncloth gloves (both dreadful and malevolent) will yield the best results.

    Keep in mind, however, that the Mooncloth gloves DO NOT count towards your 4-set - which is quite important in a PvP setting. Make sure you grab the rest of the Satin mainset pieces as soon as you can!
  • 0
    24 months ago
    on the honor gear for gloves youve got the satin ones instead of mooncloth is this a mistake?
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