This is a concise pvp guide for level 85 shadow priests.
It does not cover play tactics which really needs another guide in itself.
It is current for Cataclysm 4.3 and will cease to be relevant when MoP is released.
Human for Every Man for Himself racial.
Removes all movement impairing effects and all effects which cause loss of control of your character. This effect shares a cooldown with other similar effects.
Allows two dps trinkets in place of pvp trinket.
Debatable but doesn’t really matter, so pick the one you best like the flavor of.
Talents and Glyphs
4% Hit > 240 Spell Penetration > Intellect > Haste > Crit > Mastery
Your base chance to hit with spells is 96%: hence why +4% hit is needed to never miss.
Don’t get any Hit gear. You get all the Hit you need from Spirit through the talent Twisted Faith.
Increases your Shadow spell damage by 2%, and grants you spell hit rating equal to 100% of any Spirit gained from items or effects.
Negates fire, frost, shadow, nature and arcane Resistance.
You get all the Spell Penetration you need to eliminate all Resistance (pvp hard cap is 240) by obtaining
Ruthless Gladiator's D%@@* of Diffusion
Most important primary stat. It adds Spell Power, mana and spell crit chance.
Haste reduces cast time, makes your DoTs tick faster and adds an extra tick to your DoTs.
Makes DoTs tick and other spells hit for double damage randomly.
Not that important for Shadow Priests in pvp.
So important: get as much Resilience as you can to mitigate damage against players.
Gives you more health. Not as good as Resilience point for point, but still necessary.
Start with Ruthless Gladiator’s gear, then upgrade to Cataclysmic Gladiator’s gear as you accrue Conquest Points.
4 Mooncloth for the 4 set PW:S snare escape bonus and either:
Ruthless Gladiator's Satin Hood; or
Ruthless Gladiator's Satin Mantle
Ruthless Gladiator's D%@@* of Diffusion to achieve the Spell Penetration hard cap.
Ruthless Gladiator's Badge of Dominance; or
Cunning of the Cruel if you can get it.
Ruthless Gladiator's Medallion of Tenacity to escape crowd control; or
Ruthless Gladiator's Medallion of Tenacity if Alliance.
Reforge all secondary stats to Haste.
Burning Shadowspirit Diamond
Brilliant Inferno Ruby
Willful Ember Topaz
Then upgrade to the epic equivalents when you can.
Edit: Many players use Brilliant Queen's Garnet in yellow and blue sockets and forgo the socket bonus.
A Play Tactic Worth a Mention
While this guide does not deal with play tactics, Multi-dotting is worth a mention.
Cycle through all enemy targets casting Vampiric Touch and Shadow Word: Pain on each, as well as Devouring Plague on one. Use Mind Blast and Mind Flay as fillers until it’s time to refresh the DoTs again. Use crowd control as needed, particular against enemy healers and enemy players targeting you.
Multi-dotting is one of the class defining characteristics of a Shadow Priest and will get you top damage position in BGs once geared.