|Shadow Word: Death|
|Darkness, Shadow Affinity, Shadow Focus, Shadow Reach, Shadow Weaving, Shadowform, Shadow Power, Misery, Pain and Suffering, Twin Disciplines, Mental Agility.|
- This will hurt me as much as it may hurt you!
Shadow Word: Death is a Shadow Word - a Shadow-based direct damage spell, and deals equal damage to the caster if the target is not slain by the cast.
The self-harm effect limits usage, though it may be used on any potential target -- for a price.
|1||62||450 to 522||5 90|
|2||70||572 to 664||11|
|3||75||639 to 741||18|
|4||80||750 to 870||18|
Shadow tree talents:
- Darkness increases the damage by 2/4/6/8/10%.
- Shadow Affinity reduces threat caused by 8/16/25%.
- Shadow Focus increases chance to hit by 1/2/3% and reduces the mana cost by 2/4/6%.
- Shadow Reach increases the range by 10/20%.
- Shadowform increases the damage done by 15%, reduces threat caused by 30%, and reduces the damage taken from the backlash by 15%.
- Shadow Power increases the critical-strike damage bonus by 20/40/60/80/100%.
- Misery increases the spell's chance to hit by 1/2/3% for 24 seconds when the target is afflicted by Shadow Word: Pain, Mind Flay, and Vampiric Touch periodic ticks.
- Pain and Suffering reduces damage (backlash) you take from your own SW: Death by 10/20/30%.
Discipline tree talents:
- Twin Disciplines increases the damage done by 1/2/3/4/5%.
- Mental Agility reduces the mana cost by 3/6/10%.
All of these talents can be used in conjunction to improve this spell to its maximum.
- Glyph of Shadow Word: Death increases damage dealt by 10% on targets with 35% health or less.
- The backlash to the caster is not a resistible effect with Shadow Resistance gear, and can be fatal, but the damage can be mitigated by effects which prevent damage such as Power Word: Shield, and effects that decrease spell damage such as Spell Warding. The damage can also be reduced with the Priest talent Pain and Suffering.
- Fatal damage will result in no durability damage to the caster, making a suicide use viable in a wipe situation.
- The backlash the caster will take always equals that of the target, even if the damage was zero. Damage that is partially resisted does not backlash; absorbed damage does, however.
- When reflected, it causes both the spell and the backlash to damage the caster.
Tips & tactics
- Mind Blast is ultimately more damaging than Shadow Word: Death at their final ranks, but Shadow Word: Death is the second most mana-efficient spell (Mind Flay being first).
- Shadow Word: Death can be used by healing Priests to trigger a Prayer of Mending that has landed on themselves, thus preventing the Priest from having to fight to gain aggro, waste a Fade, and possibly die.
- Because of its instant cast time, Shadow Word: Death used with good timing can be a way of triggering Spirit Tap in groups.
- Be careful of using Shadow Word: Death in certain fights (The Curator in Karazhan, for example, during his evocation period; the 300% damage increase will more than likely kill any Priest, especially in the event of an unlucky crit)
- The backlash from Shadow Word: Death can be used to break Polymorph effects if used shortly before the spell finishes. Details on how to use Shadow Word: Death to break Polymorph and Video Demonstration.
- Don't feel restricted to only using this spell on those with low life. Priests (Shadow Priests, in particular) have a large amount of passive healing thanks to Vampiric Embrace and Vampiric Touch, and can absorb the backlash with their shield. Watch your health, however.
- Try to be careful when using this against a Warrior with a shield and Spell Reflection. A reflected Shadow Word: Death is considerably harmful to yourself, and in some cases suicide.