Shadowfiend is a level 40 Discipline and Shadow priest spell that summons a Shadowfiend to fight alongside the priest for 12 seconds, dealing Shadow damage. A pet action bar appears for the priest to command and control its spells.
The level 60/90 talent [Mindbender] replaces your Shadowfiend with the Mindbender ability. The Mindbender has a duration of 15 seconds and only a 1-minute cooldown. Although it is far poorer at dealing damage, with a potential uptime of almost four times that of the Shadowfiend, the Mindbender is capable of outperforming it in both these respects provided the priest makes the most of its short cooldown.
The Shadowfiend requires an enemy target (within 40 yards) to be selected in order to be summoned. It will spawn next to the target, and immediately attack it.
The Shadowfiend comes with a normal petbar, with Attack/Follow/Move To and Passive/Defensive/Assist modes, and can be commanded accordingly. The Shadowfiend will spawn in Follow and Assist mode with [Shadowcrawl] on autocast, and will immediately attack the target of its summons. The Shadowfiend always spawns with these settings, regardless of what it was set to last time it was summoned. The Shadowfiend will auto-cast Shadowcrawl on cooldown, regardless of its target's location.
If the Shadowfiend's target dies, it will move toward the next relevant target, that is any who has recently attacked or been attacked by you; if no such target exists, it will return to the priest's side. Despite the Shadowfiend's default Assist mode, it will keep attacking its assigned target indefinitely, regardless of the priest's subsequent targets.
The Shadowfiends' attacks are shadow damage and can be partially resisted but follow normal melee damage rules, therefore being capable of critical strikes, but also susceptible to misses, parries, dodges and glancing blows. This reduces the damage output of Shadowfiends considerably on higher level mobs (especially in raid encounters) and in PvP versus classes with high melee mitigation.
Non-player area of effect damage taken by the Shadowfiend is reduced by 90%.
Should the Shadowfiend's target die, it will likely spend time either moving toward a new target or simply returning to the priest's side. Either will cause the Shadowfiend to waste time. Try to use the Shadowfiend on targets that will not die or otherwise become unattackable before it despawns.
Shadowfiend takes on the buff of Bloodlust/Heroism if it is active when [Bloodlust]/[Heroism] is cast, and it will hit the mob faster.
Since the Shadowfiend requires an enemy target to be summoned, healing priests may benefit from using a Shadowfiend macro to save switching targets.
In PvP, the selection of a target for the Shadowfiend can be critical. Abilities such as [Fear], [Psychic Scream], [Frost Nova] and [Entangling Roots] can all prevent the Shadowfiend from achieving many (if any) hits, wasting its cooldown. Canny opponents will make the most of these abilities. For these purposes, try to choose a target that is unlikely to CC or kite the Shadowfiend. When playing against classes that CC regularly (such as other priests with [Psychic Scream]) consider waiting until after they use their key CC before summoning the Shadowfiend.
Should your Shadowfiend be CCed, remember that you can dispel magic effects on it as you would any other friendly target. It is usually worth the expenditure of a [Purify] if it allows for an extra couple of hits. [Leap of Faith] can also be useful on occasion for bringing your Shadowfiend back into play, although it will automatically use [Shadowcrawl] if it is off cooldown. It is also possible to use [Fear Ward] on your Shadowfiend.
Priests self-selecting via the target self keybind can select their Shadowfiend by hitting this key twice, or once while already self-targetting. Conversely, priests should take care not to accidentally select their Shadowfiend, as this can easily lead to wasted heals or buffs such as [Power Word: Shield] or [Pain Suppression].
Patch 5.0.4(2012-08-28): No longer takes reduced damage from area of effect spells. Cooldown reduced from 5 min to 3 min. Now benefits from the priest's haste.
Hotfix (2011-07-06):Shadowfiend is now causing the casting priest to enter combat when cast on enemy players.
Hotfix (2011-07-01):Channeled spells are no longer being interrupted if cast immediately after Shadowfiend.
Patch 4.2.0(2011-06-28): Shadowfiend uses the new Assist pet stance functionality.
Patch 4.0.1(2010-10-12): Now regenerates 3% mana when the Shadowfiend attacks, down from 5%. Range increased to 40 yards, up from 30 yards.
Patch 3.3.0(2009-12-08): [Avoidance] (passive): Now reduces the damage your pet takes from area-of-effect damage by 90%, but no longer applies to area-of-effect damage caused by other players.
Patch 3.1.0(2009-04-14): Health scaling increased. Now receives 30% of the master's spell power. Mana return increased to 5%, up from 4%. The Shadowfiend now returns mana when its melee attacks land, rather than when it deals damage. Movement speed normalized to player movement speed. Tooltip revised.