Starting A Priest,Priest Tactics,Tips

Priests are the quintessential healers in a group, although they can be powerful ranged damage dealers as well. But it is always in a group that a Priest will truly shine. A Priest is responsible for the staying power of any group, and although their job can be thankless it is essential — and most experienced players realize and appreciate this.

If you often lead parties, particularly instance groups, some experience in knowing how to play the Priest class can be extremely helpful. Among newer players, however, this class is often enormously undervalued relative to their importance within a group. In a group, a Priest will generally be expected to fill a healer role, particularly at lower levels. This is partially due to their very high ability in healing at lower levels, as well as their lower damage output at these levels. As a Priest gains levels, and especially when Shadowform becomes available at level 40, they are able to compete on a more-even footing with pure DPS classes, but even so a Shadow-tree Priest compares very well to most other healing-capable classes until endgame is reached.

If you're considering playing a Priest, you'll want to ask yourself a few questions first:

  • Do I mind generally (and often being expected to without even being asked) taking the healer role in a group?
  • Do I mind playing a class which requires me to learn both solo tactics with damaging abilities and group tactics with healing abilities?
  • If I'm going to do PvP, am I comfortable with the pressure of frequently being the primary target?
  • Can I think quickly, and handle a large number of very different abilities in the process of getting my job done?
  • Do I mind the pressure of being the most indispensable member of a group?
  • Do I like to melt faces ?

Being a priest has a number of advantages, including your immense popularity when setting up a group (this could also be the peak of your popularity, by the way, as if the group wipes you may get the blame), and a lot of respect from experienced players if you play your character well. At higher levels, Priests can become enormously powerful. A Shadow spec Priest with Vampiric Embrace and Vampiric Touch is able to passively regain health and mana for his entire party while he himself deals a lot of damage, making the class an incredibly valuable to any PvP group, while a Holy spec Priest is an astonishingly powerful healer. Even at early levels, the Priest gets abilities like Power Word: Shield and Power Word: Fortitude , and become able to resurrect other characters at a very early level.

Priests are fragile, yes, but the starting areas are forgiving enough that you can give yourself a huge advantage by keeping yourself reasonably well-geared:

  • Good-quality armor is available and desirable at low levels. The Priest trainer in the town closest to each starting area has a quest that has a good-quality chest with +1 Spirit as a reward. You can also hire a tailor to make good-quality cloth armor pieces for you, or learn Tailoring and make them yourself. (If you become a Tailor, remember that only humanoids, undeads and, occasionally, demons, drop cloth. If you're on Teldrassil, this means sprites and furbolgs.)
  • Learn Staves from the weapons trainer in Darnassus or Orgrimmar. Staves tend to have better stat bonuses for Priests, and enchanters can enchant 2H weapons long before they can enchant 1H.
  • Obtain armor kits from a leatherworker or the Auction House, and make sure your equipped chest, hand, leg, and foot armor always has a kit applied. Remember to apply a new armor kit when you equip new armor, and to upgrade the type of kits you're using as you level.
  • A wand is an absolute MUST as a solo Priest. It deals amazing DPS, grants a powerful ranged attack and can be used continually at zero range! It may get a bit tedious after a while, but it's more than made up for with the added survivability factor. You can usually find a Lesser Wand in the AH at a reasonable price. If you choose Enchanting as one of your professions, you'll have an easy route to a Greater Magic Wand that you can use at level 13, but plan on buying your first wand as counting on good enough drops to disenchant can be folly.
  • While the +1 Spirit Robe is a nice reward for an easy quest early on, it's not the best armor you can get at that level. Generally, you can buy some chest cloth armor with a better rating cheaply. While you won't get the Spirit boost, it may be a decent edge early in your career.
  • Once you reach level 10 and beyond and gain talent points, it is best to spend them all on shadow. Don't get me wrong, discipline and holy have great stats, but when your trying to level and do as much damage as possible, having an extra 5% efficiency to healing spells does nothing for you. Go shadow until at least the 50's.
  • Smite is the first damage spell that you start with. As you progress and get higher ranks of the spell, the cast time increases significantly. Because of this it is wise to stop using it whenever possible. Pull and start fights with it, that is all, refrain from using it in combat.
  • ...While Holy is not a viable spec for soloing, it will almost always render you a healer position in instance groups. If you like healing, this is your game - even early on.
  • At lower levels speccing Holy solely for the purpose of healing in instances is not necessary. Most priests can manage to heal in all 5-man instances pre-outland whilst fully specced in the Shadow Tree.

If you are between levels 1 and 5, you will always want to use your damage spell instead of your weapon. In these levels, you will almost always kill an NPC with it before you run out of mana. Regeneration is fast. Try to get a wand at the earliest moment possible though. Especially the arcane wands low level enchanters can create provide an excellent DPS boost helping you to kill mobs without running out of mana.

Having just started my priest I found this out pretty quickly. At about level 10 try to make friends with a warrior, your two classes complement each other beautifully and if either of you becomes stuck, chances are that the other can help. Also in the low level instances a tank and a healer can be really hard to find on under populated servers, but, if you are friends with a warrior you have these already and are free to choose your other help as you see fit

Running out of ideas and time at the moment. Feel free to include anything else a possible priest may want to consider in the creation and early progression of their priest.

  • If you're healing for a group (especially in lower level instances , like Ragefire Chasm ), remind other players that they need to stay in range and line of sight for you to heal them. It's frustrating when the group wipes because the tanks/DPS were just around the corner, out of sight, and you get blamed for not wanting to pull aggro from the mobs that the tank hadn't gotten to yet.
  • Heal pets . It may seem like a waste of mana, since warlocks and hunters can heal their own pets, but if a voidwalker or scorpid is your tank, that means it's taking damage for the rest of the group, thus concentrating the healing you have to do. This reduces the mana you spend, since healing one pet is more efficient than healing 3 players.
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