Shadowy Apparitions

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Shadowy Apparitions
Ability priest shadowyapparition.png
  • Shadowy Apparitions
  • Level 38 Shadow priest ability
  • Passive
  • When your Shadow Word: Pain damage over time critically strikes, you also create a shadowy version of yourself that floats towards the target and deals (25% of spell power) Shadow damage.
Usable by
Other information
Level learned


Shadowy Apparition in the TCG.

Shadowy Apparitions is a passive level 38 Shadow priest ability. It causes [Shadow Word: Pain] to summon a Shadowy Apparition each time it deals critical periodic damage. Shadowy Apparitions are shadowy versions of the caster that float slowly toward the afflicted target. Upon reaching their target, they deal instant shadow damage and disappear.



Azerite Traits


  • Shadowy Apparitions will only spawn from Shadow Word: Pain's periodic critical damage ticks, not its initial damage.
  • Apparition damage is calculated on impact and it cannot critically strike.
  • Apparitions are considered a missile effect and cannot be targeted.
  • Apparitions spawn from the priest. Therefore, the closer the priest is to the target, the quicker the Apparition will deal damage.
  • Apparitions only pursue the target whose Shadow Word: Pain debuff spawned them, and will not switch targets. If their target dies or otherwise becomes no longer valid, the damage is instead lost.
  • There is no limit on how many Apparitions may be up at one time.

History and Trivia

Prior to Patch 5.4, Shadowy Apparitions were non-controllable guardian pets. They could be targeted, and receive spells such as [Power Word: Shield], [Mind Vision], [Levitate] and even [Leap of Faith], although there was rarely if ever any reason to attack or cast spells on an Apparition. The Apparitions appeared simply as shadowy, semi-transparent replicas of the casting priest, and would respond to terrain with normal animations, swimming when underwater, and making footstep sounds when walking on appropriate surfaces. The Apparitions moved on foot at walking speed, and so could often be easily avoided simply by moving away from them. They would also occasionally get stuck on terrain and objects, and could not reach flying targets.

The behavior of Apparitions was often erratic. Some but not all Apparitions would despawn within a few seconds if their target died. The surviving Apparitions would not attempt to pursue other targets, but instead returned to the priest, and followed the priest until they despawned. These Apparitions would not deal damage or despawn upon contact with other targets, and would match the priest's speed even if mounted. It was also possible for Apparitions to spawn shortly after the death of the target.

These elements caused problems for shadow priests when fighting bosses involving flight or heavy movement. To combat these problems, Shadowy Apparitions were eventually redesigned as a floating missile effect.[1]

Apparitions' original appearance was based on that of the priest at the time that they were spawned. Priests suffering from the effects of [Polymorph], [Hex] or other transformations would therefore spawn Apparitions that matched their current form. However, Shadowy Apparitions would always appear in [Shadowform], even if the priest was not.


Patches and hotfixes

  • Battle for Azeroth Patch 8.0.1 (2018-07-17): Shadowy Apparitions can no longer critically strike.
  • Legion Patch 7.1.0 (2016-10-25): Damage reduced by 9.1%. Now learned at level 38 (was 34).
  • Legion Patch 7.0.3 (2016-07-19): Damage reduced by 33%.
  • Mists of Pandaria Patch 5.4.0 (2013-09-10): Effect rebuilt. Now creates a shadowy version of the Priest that floats towards the target and deals damage. The apparitions are now treated as a missile, and will no longer be considered an attackable creature. There is no longer a cap on active apparitions (was 3).
  • Mists of Pandaria Hotfix (2013-03-05): "Shadowy Apparitions will no longer pursue targets that are actively stealthed."
  • Mists of Pandaria Patch 5.0.4 (2012-08-28): Renamed from Shadowy Apparition, and changed from a Shadow talent to a Shadow baseline passive ability. Apparitions will now only trigger on critical periodic damage. Chance to trigger is now 100% (up from 8%, or 40% while moving). Only a maximum of 3 apparitions may be active, down from 4.
  • Cataclysm Patch 4.1.0 (2011-04-26): Shadowy Apparitions now benefit from the priest's spell penetration.
  • Cataclysm Patch 4.0.1 (2010-10-12): Added.


See also

External links