|The subject of this article was removed from World of Warcraft in patch 7.0.3.
Priests can have a maximum of 3 Shadow Orbs at a time, or 5 once has been acquired. Psychic Horror will consume up to 3 Shadow Orbs, empowering the spell according to the number consumed, requiring a minimum of 1 Shadow Orb; while Devouring Plague always consumes 3 Shadow Orbs, and cannot be cast with fewer.
Shadow Orbs do not decay or disappear over time; they can be stored indefinitely until they are needed. However, events such as dying or logging out will reset the priest's Shadow Orbs.
Any Orbs generated while at the maximum will be wasted. Priests with full Orbs should generally therefore try to make use of an ability to consume them, before using abilities that will generate further Orbs.
A simple tactic to provide an edge when facing a tough opponent is for the priest to first generate 3-5 Shadow Orbs from fighting other, usually weaker, foes, before engaging the more challenging target. As Shadow Orbs can take some time to accumulate (especially in single combat), this tactic can substantially increase DPS in short encounters.
Patches and hotfixes
- Patch 7.0.3 (2016-07-19): Removed, replaced by Insanity system.
- Patch 5.0.4 (2012-08-28): Redesigned into a resource mechanic for Shadow priests.
- Patch 4.0.6 (2011-02-08): The benefit from mastery has been increased by approximately 16%.
- Hotfix (2010-11-24): "The Empowered Shadow buff is no longer granted when a player cancels the Shadow Orb buff. Mind Blast correctly removes the Shadow Orb buff and grants Empowered Shadow."
- Patch 4.0.1 (2010-10-12): Added.