Holy Talent Guide

This holy talent guide goes over each of the talents in the Priest's holy talent tree. The Holy talent tree is for Priests that spend their time healing. The holy talent tree is the most commonly used talent tree for high level Priests, as the vast majority of priests spend their time healing in the end game. The tree allows you to cast bigger, faster, more effective heals that will keep your group alive longer. When being invited to a group, unless you let players know otherwise, they will assume that you are a holy priest.

Tier 1

Tier 1 is available at level ten, when your first talents open up.

  • Healing Focus - Max 2 points, reduces the pushback suffered from damaging attacks while casting any healing spell by up to 70%.
    • This removes much of the interruptions that you would get from being hit when trying to cast. It does not reduce the chance of stuns or any other interruption though.
    • Stacks with other interruption avoiding abilities such as a Paladins Concentration Aura.
    • Makes spell pushback almost disappear entirely.
    • Recommended
  • Improved Renew - Max 3 points, Increases the amount your renew heals by up to 15%
    • Increases one of your common healing spells to be more efficient, this one is a no brainer if you are a healer.
    • This is your only heal over time, increasing its effectiveness is a huge bonus to your healing ability.
    • Strongly Recommended
  • Holy Specialization - Max 5 points, Increases the critical effect chance of all your holy spells by up to 5%
    • Works for all holy spells and is a must for Smite builds.
    • Great for damage and healing, although tends to contribute greatly to over healing.
    • Recommended

Tier 2

Tier 2 talents are available as soon as you have 5 points in that talent tree.

  • Spell Warding - Max 5 points, reduces all spell damage that you suffer by up to 10%
    • In most situations you will not be hit by spells, since your tank will be the centre of attention.
    • This ability really comes into play in PvP though where you will be targeted as one of the first targets.
    • Recommended for PvP
  • Divine Fury - Max 5 points, reduces the casting time of your smite, holy fire, heal and greater heal spells by up to 0.5 seconds.
    • Reduces the cast time of your Greater Heal by 16% which effectively increases its mana efficiency by that much as well.
    • Offers a significant improvement to both damage output (Smite) and healing over time
    • Does not change the base time of the spells, meaning they keep the same amount of +healing or +damage.
    • Must Have Talent for Smite Builds

Tier 3

Tier 3 talents are available as soon as you have 10 points in that talent tree.

  • Desperate Prayer - 1 point skill, this talents provides an instant heal for yourself only.
    • Provides an instant heal for the priest so that you can get back to healing your main target quicker.
    • Not a great heal and yet another item to add to your tool bar however it is very nice to have and worth the single point.
    • Recommended
  • Blessed Recovery - Max 3 points, heals you for up to 15% of the damage taken over 6 seconds, whenever you are critically hit.
    Additional critical hits taken during the effect increases the healing received.
    • This is meant mainly as a PvP talent and the more you get hit, the more you heal back.
    • If you have shield up, it can activate, but since you took no damage you heal no damage.
    • Skip it unless you are PvP.
  • Inspiration - Max 3 points, increases your targets armour by up to 25% for 15 seconds after each critical heal on them.
    • This is a very nice ability when healing tanks (best of all raid tanks) since extra armour on then means less healing needed to be done.
    • Extends your mana pool in long fights if you are healing the same target over and over again.
    • MUST Have for Raid Priests

Tier 4

Tier 4 talents are available as soon as you have 15 points in that talent tree.

  • Holy Reach - Max 2 points, increases the range of your Smite and Holy Fire spells and the radius of Prayer of Healing, Holy Nova, Divine Hymn and Circle of Healing by up to 20%
    • Range is not an issue with most of these abilities in PvE especially with Holy Nova since its radius is so small that a 20% increase is next to nothing.
    • Comes into its own in PvP where Smite and Holy Fire increase to 36 yards of range. This can be important where you will be targeted and need someway to hit first.
    • Useful in PvP but not essential
  • Improved Healing - Max 3 points, decreases the mana cost of your Lesser Heal, Greater Heal, Heal, Divine Hymn and Penance spells by up to 15%
    • This one is very simple to understand, it increases your mana efficiency as a healer by 15%, making you last 15% longer.
    • Must have for Holy Priests
  • Searing Light - Max 2 points, increases the damage you cause with Smite, Holy Fire, Holy Nova and Penance spells by up to 10%
    • This talent is a must for Smite builds as it improves your damage by 10% for 2 points!
    • Most healers will try to pick it up for soloing as it is easy to justify the 2 points.
    • Strongly Recommended

Tier 5

Tier 5 talents are available as soon as you have 20 points in that talent tree.

  • Healing Prayers - Max 2 points, reduces the mana cost of your Prayer of Healing and Prayer of Mending spells by up to 20%
    • While Prayer of Healing is a great group heal, it suffers a major downside, mana cost.
    • 20% reduction makes this a much easier ability to use as you can use it more often without fear of running out of mana.
    • Must have for Holy Priests
  • Spirit of Redemption - 1 point skill, increases your spirit by 5% and when you die, you become a spirit of redemption for 15 seconds. While you are the spirit you can cast all healing spells for free.
    • This ability provides a last ditch effort to save the group, even if you die. While 15 seconds does not sound like a lot, it allows at least 5 greater heals to get off, which if you are close to the end of the fight, can save the group.
    • If nothing else the 15 seconds of healing allows the groups backup healer to get out of combat and switch roles to healing.
    • The 5% spirit bonus is worth the point alone.
    • Often called Improved Death.
    • Strongly Recommended and a must have for Holy Priests
  • Spiritual Guidance - Max 5 points, Increases all your spell damage and healing by up to 25% of your spirit.
    • WOW! On most level 80 priests this simple talent will provide roughly 150 extra healing and damage, all for only 5 talent points. I don't know many players that don't take this one if they are 20 points into Holy.
    • Strongly Recommended and a must have for Holy Priests

Tier 6

Tier 6 talents are available as soon as you have 25 points in that talent tree.

  • Surge of Light - Max 2 points, up to 50% of your spell criticals allow your next Smite spell to be an instant cast spell, costing no mana but being unable to critical hit.
    • Any spell can grant this ability. You can be healing, get a critical, cast your free smite and then go back to healing.
    • Better yet, because it is an instant with no casting cost it does not set off your 5 second rule or global cooldown.
    • Recommended and the core talent for Smite Builds
  • Spiritual Healing - Max 5 points, increases the amount healed by all your healing spells by up to 10%
    • Who can argue with 10% more healing for 5 talent points?
    • Must have for Holy Priests

Tier 7

Tier 7 talents are available as soon as you have 30 points in that talent tree.

  • Holy Concentration - Max 3 points, provides up to a 30% chance to enter a clear casting state after any Flash Heal, Greater Heal, or Binding Heal is cast. When in this state your next Flash Heal or Greater Heal costs 100% less mana.
    • Any free spell is a good spell and one that doesn't start the 5 second rule!
    • Any spell cast can trigger the ability, which may then be used on any other spell. Meaning you can spam rank 1 Flash Heal to get the proc and then cast a max level Greater Heal.
    • Must Have for Holy Priests

  • Lightwell - 1 point skill, allows you to create a lightwell that members of your group can click to restore health over 6 seconds. Any time you take damage equal to 30% of your health it will cancel the effect, and the lightwell itself lasts for 3 minutes or 5 charges whichever happens first.
    • This is meant to be a core Holy ability by Blizzard, however it is not widely used. Many players click off more than a single charge or never use it, so many priests ignore it.
    • Can be very mana efficient if everyone uses it perfectly or horribly mana inefficient if used wrong or not at all
    • Nice, but depends on the group

  • Blessed Resilience - Max 3 points, up to 60% of the time when critically hit, you will become immune to critical hits for 6 seconds.
    • Provides some defence to the multiple crits so common in PvP and worth taking there.
    • In PvE where you are not as likely to get hit, never mind critically hit, it has less value
    • Recommended for PvP player

Tier 8

Tier 8 talents are available as soon as you have 35 points in that talent tree.

  • Empowered Healing - Max 5 points, increases the healing bonus from your items to your Greater Heal by up to 40% and you Flash and Binding Heal by up to 20%.
    • The math on this one can get complicated since the bonus is based on your +healing stat and then reduced by the spell coefficient. However it works out to give the affected healing spells a huge increase.
    • Scales amazing well with gear since it is entirely based on your gear.
    • Must have for Holy Priests
  • Serendipity - Max 3 points. If your Greater Heal or Flash Heal spells heal your target over maximum health, you are instantly refunded up to 25% of the spell's mana cost.
    • This is a great bonus to any priests healing ability since many times you will be over healing even by just a little bit.
    • This allows you to get a quarter mana back on almost all of your heals, allowing you to heal for far longer.
    • Strongly Recommended

Tier 9

Tier 9 talents are available as soon as you have 40 points in that talent tree.

  • Improved Holy Concentration - Max 3 points. Increases the chance you'll enter Holy Concentration by 15%, and also increases your spell haste by 30% for the next 2 Greater Heal, Flash Heal or Binding Heal spells after you gain Holy Concentration. Lasts 20 sec.
    • This is a nice boost to healing ability, and will allow you to cast large heals faster.
    • However it costs points that you will better spend on other areas.
  • Circle of Healing - 1 point skill, heals up to 5 friendly party or raid members within 15 yards of the target.
    • Heals the target party or raid member and everyone around them and is fairly mana efficient if there are multiple people around them in the same group.
    • Very hard to use effectively unless the group or raid members cooperate by grouping up.
    • Very useful in some fights that require players to cluster into groups.
    • If your this far into holy you really should take it.
    • Recommended
  • Test of Faith - Max 3 points, increases healing by up to 6% and spell critical effect chance by up to 6% on friendly targets at or below 50% health.
    • This ability allows you to heal those that need it the most even better than normal.
    • 6% heal and 6% crit rating is a very significant number that raises the actual amount healed by just under 10%, which is great for the 3 points spent.
    • Recommended

Tier 10

Tier 10 talents are available as soon as you have 45 points in that talent tree.

  • Divine Providence - 5 points max. Increases the amount healed by Circle of Healing, Binding Heal, Holy Nova, Prayer of Healing, Divine Hymn and Prayer of Mending by up to 10% and reduces the cooldown of your Prayer of Mending by up to 30%.
    • This improves all of your group heals by a significant amount, giving you a bit more of an AoE healer type feel.
    • If you are a raid healer and expected to group or raid heal, then this improves all of the spells you are going to be using.
    • Recommended for raid healers

Tier 11

Tier 11 is the top tier talent and is available as soon as you have 50 points in that talent tree.

  • Guardian Spirit - 1 point skill,
    calls upon a guardian spirit to watch over the friendly target. The spirit increases the healing received by the target by 40%, and also prevents the target from dying by sacrificing itself. This sacrifice terminates the effect but heals the target of 50% of their maximum health. Lasts 10 sec.
    • This is one of the ultimate Main Tank last save type effects. When cast onto a raid tank it drastically improves your healing that you provide to that target, and can save their life with a big heal.
    • While it can be best used as a Main Tank saviour, it also helps drastically in PvP or with any other player that is about to die and needs help with rapid burst healing.
    • Recommended

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Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016

About The Author

Byron 1
Byron has been playing and writing about World of Warcraft for the past ten years. He also plays pretty much ever other Blizzard game, currently focusing on Heroes of the Storm and Hearthstone, while still finding time to jump into Diablo III with his son.


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