Arcane Priest DPS "Starshards Priest" Comprehensive Guide

  • About

    Hi, my name is Caperfin and welcome to my guide! Today, I will be taking a deep dive and breaking down the arcane damage dealing Priest or better known as an Arcane Priest aka "Starshards Priest".


    Before I start, I'd like to thank GideonAI and his Overview on the topic, go give it a look over and show your support. So first of all, what is an Arcane Priest? Well an Arcane Priest refers to the spell Starshards a Night Elf exclusive spell within the priest class. Sadly, this spell does not exist anywhere else. The following guide will assume this spell as the main conduit to deal damage in a raiding environment.
    Let's explore what this spell can do exactly:

    • Cannot Critically Strike.
    • Applies a debuff slot on the boss.
    • Channel cast is 6 seconds which trigger you mana regeneration.
    • Scales by 16.66% per tick with gear that provides spell damage and 100% with gear that provides arcane damage.
    • Offers great DPM (damage per mana).
    • If the spell hits the target, each tick of following damage is guaranteed to hit.


    As I previously mentioned, Arcane Priests are only available to Night Elfs. However, let's still take a look at their racial benefits to understand these tree huggers.

    Night Elf

    • Shadowmeld: Activate to slip into the shadows, reducing the chance for enemies to detect your presence. Lasts...
    • Quickness: Dodge chance increased by 1%.
    • Wisp Spirit: Transform into a wisp upon death, increasing speed by 50%.
    • Nature Resistance: Nature Resistance increased by 10.
    • Elune's Grace: Reduces ranged damage taken by 95 and increases chance to dodge by 10% for 15 sec.
    • Starshards: Rains starshards down on the enemy target's head, causing 936 Arcane damage over 6 sec.

    What does this mean?: Night Elfs unfortunately lack any discernible damage bolstering effects. But do have some small advantages in PvP scenarios. However, this guide will mostly focus on the PvE aspect.


    During the harsh and lengthy process of leveling, select Herbalism and Alchemy. A valid case can be made for also having a lvl 5 alt stationed permanently in a major city to disenchant unwanted items through mail and store items at a bank for later use. Back to the subject at hand, Herbalism contributes convenient reagents for alchemy and a strong source of revenue for our eventual endgame professions. It also prevents players from spending an exorbitant portion of time pestering strangers in a major city to craft potions. The objective is straightforward, gather a substantial supply of gold and a bank chock-full of fruitful potions the raid might need.

    Next, I advise dropping Herbalism once the quantity of gold in one’s bags is overflowing and adopt the late game profession: Engineering to scoop up a few useful tools, such as: Goblin Sapper Charge.

    Finally, for secondary professions, I urge grabbing all of them as they all provide valuable assets. In terms of fishing, you can farm those elusive Stonescale Eels that are highly contested after for Flask of the Titans and generate a great deal of gold. First aid grants bandages for healing that don't require any mana to use.


    As previously stated we do not benefit from Crit and Intellect is not sought after too much since we don't really need more mana. So buffs related to these two aspects will be ignored. As you probably know a character can have a theoretical cap of 32 beneficial buffs. The limit may differ from server to server or what is acknowledged as a buff. Also, some buffs are unobtainable due to certain patch restrictions or unable to stack with others. On a side note, I suggest installing NirkBuffRemover/NBR and Buffalo to help with overall buff management and ease of mind. Down below is a table of relevant buffs, separated into sub groups to better highlight their usefulness. Although, there is no strict order, you should still prioritize getting world buffs before obtaining other buffs.

    Runn Tum Tuber Surprise: +10 Intellect.
    Arcane Intellect: +31 Intellect.

    Warchief's Blessing: +15% Melee Haste, +300 Hp, 10 mana regen every 5 seconds.

    Flask of Supreme Power: +150 damage done by magical spells & effects for 2 hr. Only 1 flask effect...
    Greater Arcane Elixir: +20 dmg dealt from spells & abilities.
    Traces of Silithyst: +5% dmg to melee, range and spell damage dealt.
    Power Infusion: The target receives +20% spell damage & healing for 15 sec.

    Songflower Serenade: Increases a melee, ranged, or spell to crit by 5%, +15 all stats.
    Mark of the Chosen: 2% chance when struck in combat of increasing all stats by 25 for 1 min.
    Spirit of Zandalar: +10% move speed, +15% all stats.
    Mark of the Wild: +384 armor, +162 all attributes,+270 all resistance.

    Limited Invulnerability Potion: Immune to physical attacks for 6 sec. (Also, prevent any threat generation for its duration)

    Mind Control Buffs:

    I wouldn't be thorough if I didn't mention the wonderful world of Mind Control buffing. Refer to my video to learn more about Mind Control Buffing.
    Youtube Video

    (also Dark Whispers Increases the Shadow damage dealt by an ally by 35 for 10 min from Vile Tutor in the Eastern Plague Lands)

    Special Event Buffs:

    On an ending note for buffs, we can also get buffs from special events/holidays.
    Youtube Video


    Having as many debuffs on the boss as possible is of paramount importance to dealing damage. Therefore, our interests are heavily tied to the release of patch 1.7, due to its extra 8 debuff slots introduction totaling to 16 debuffs. All debuffs on the list below benefit us in damage and are assumed to be at their maximum rank/talent improvement.

    Improved Shadow Bolt (Warlock): Shadow Bolt critical strikes increase Shadow damage dealt to the target by 20% until 4 non...
    Curse of Shadow: Reduces Shadow & Arcane resistances by 75 & increasing Shadow and Arcane damage taken by 10%.
    Shadow Weaving (Priest): Shadow damage spells have a 100% chance to cause your target to be vulnerable to Shadow damage.This vulnerability increases the Shadow damage dealt to your target by 3% and lasts 15 sec. Stacks up to 5 times.

    Gift of Arthas: If an enemy strikes the imbiber, the attacker has a 30% chance of being inflicted with disease that increases dmg taken by 8 for 3 min. Lasts 30 min.

    Nightfall: Spell damage taken by target increased by 15% for 5 sec.


    Unfortunately, the gear we desire is also desired by other casters. Therefore, I suggest acquiring the gear listed in the Spreadsheet while assuming the role of a healing restoration shaman in the raid. Also, we desperately need Spell Hit we grab it whenever possible. Down below, is a breakdown of stat priorities.

    General Stat Priority:

    • Phase 1 & 2: Offers very little Spell Hit gear so get Star of Mystaria & Ban'thok Sash.
      Spell Damage>Intellect>Spirit
    • Phase 3: More Spell Hit gear is available for us. Spell Damage>Spell Hit>Intellect>Spirit
    • Phase 4: Get Bloodvine Vest, Neltharion's Tear
    • Phase 5 & 6: Spell Damage>Spell Hit>Intellect>Spirit

    An Arcane Priest in BIS gear:
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    Gearing Spreadsheet

    Enchants similar to gear need to be tailored for our purposes.

    Enchant Spreadsheet


    For the sake of generality and simplicity these talents setups assume a server between patch 1.9 - 1.12 and taking part in a serious guild who are confidently clearing raids. The support talent setup for an Arcane Priest. It revolves around applying Power Infusion on you or a teammate all the while applying Shadow Weaving through Rank1 Shadow Word: Pain and providing emergency healing if necessary. Similar to the previous talent setup, this also focuses on supporting but with an emphasis on emergency healing. The talent setup responsible for producing the most damage possible on an Arcane Priest. This assumes very good gear and the majority of spirit buffs. Basically, before the boss is pulled, Hearthstone to a major city sign yourself up for a Battleground, find an enemy player to kill and trigger Spirit Tap immediately ask for a summon into the raid and immediately have the boss pulled. And, yes it is possible to withdraw a point from Meditation and put it in Lightwell. If you can't perform the Spirit Tap Trick than settle for this build.


    The following rotation will revolve around the last Talent Setup and assume a simple tank-spank raid boss with very minimal movement allowing our holy friend to freely cause havoc unhindered. The following rotation is split into several sections to better highlight the course of action. Naturally, if you are unable to accomplish certain aspects of the rotation, simply weed out what you can.

    • Planning: There are situations where being in melee against a boss is advantageous, ex Patchwerk. I suggest you do the research to find out and if your guild is comfortable with the idea. Let me explain, if Starshards is RESISTED (can't cast anything for 1.5sec), you can sneak in an Oil of Immolation and Goblin Sapper Charge before the spell is available. You can continue to activate Oil of Immolation on future RESISTS or if you feel lucky you can instead auto-attack the boss once with you weapon enchanted with Shadow Oil and get the Dragonbreath Chili food buff. BUT your weapon speed must be pushed down to 1.5sec through buffs, ex: Warchief's Blessing.

    • Combat: Activate Limited Invulnerability Potion and cast Starshards. Once all damage increasing debuffs are present on the boss, ex: Curse of Shadow, activate your spell damage trinket and continuously cast Starshards.


    • If moving is required in a boss fight, use Goblin Sapper Charge while moving & Crystal Charge once again if moving is needed later on. Also, if mana permits it cast Power Word: Shield or Renew on teammates who will foreseeably take damage.

    If you enjoyed this guide and want to see more like it or are interested in other non-meta builds check out the Youtube:
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    Also, ask questions on the Discord:
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  • Initiate

    I don't know if I have ever seen a priest focus on Starshards enough to build an entire character around it, but I sure hope I see it in Classic. This stuff is cool.

  • @whitney-peterson Thanks for the support. I finally got around to completing this guide after being motivated from finding very old data of arcane priests doing 800dps in raids and in some rare cases 900dps.

  • Man dude, you really did quite the number on this one! It's great to see the Arcane Priest taken to the limit, and I can't wait to see how much of this I can pull off myself someday. And thanks much for the shoutout!