WoW Guide: How to Play a Holy Priest
***The information contained in this guide is currently out of date.
Please see our href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/wow/guides/classes/priest#1"
for up to date information concerning your Priest!***
instead of wanting to wow people with your amazing DPS, or charge into
the fray and take charge as a tank, you have decided to join the ranks
of those unsung heroes, the healers. Though it is often a thankless
job, healers are always in high demand, especially healing priests
healers are a formidable bunch, that no raid should do without.
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Priest healers are doomed to wear cloth, and as such tend to be a
little squishier than Shaman or Druid healers who can outfit themselves
in leather or mail. But don’t let this discourage you;, while
you will need to be a little more aware of the damage you take, Priest
healers have an arsenal of spells that make it easy for them to keep
themselves and others alive.
Unlike most other healing classes, as a Priest healer you will have the
option to spec into one of two talent trees:; Discipline or Holy. Each
spec brings a different type of healing style to the table and while
both specs value the same basic stats on gear, the way the stats are
ranked varies slightly. Choosing which talent tree you wish to spec
into will depend on your personal play style and how you feel most
comfortable healing. This guide will focus on the Holy spec.
Holy Priests are masters of raid healing, and should be placed in this
rolel as often as possible. With powerful group healing spells such as
Prayer of Mending, Prayer of Healing and Circle of Heal, combined Flash
Heal and Renew, Holy Priests are really the ultimate group healers.
Especially in Ulduar you will notice that most boss fights provide
damage in a burst-lull-burst format. This is perfectly built for the
Holy Priest as they require at least some short down time to
help with their mana regeneration. Holy Priests can tank heal, and do
it well, however it is much smarter to place them in a group healing
spot and let them really shine..
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Even with the most recent regen mechanics which brought a nerf to
Spirit, and caused Intellect to be a much sought after stat, it may
seem that Spirit should be knocked off the top of the list for Holy
Priests. However, with Holy Concentration it is still worth maintaining
a high amount of Spirit to make this talent worthwhile. Keeping this
talent up will allow the Holy Priest to enjoy almost the levels of mana
regen seen pre Spirit nerf, while also gaining some spell power along
While Spirit is still the be all end all for Holy Priests, the
usefulness of Intellect cannot be ignored. Almost all regen is based
off of your final mana, so the more mana you have, the more regen you
will see. Even your Shadowfiend now restores mana based on your overall
mana, therefore picking up as much intellect as you can is a good idea.
It’s always valuable and you can never really have too much.
Not the most important stat for Holy Priests, but still pretty
important, as gaining more Crit will allow your Holy Concentration to
proc more, thus allowing you to regen more mana. More mana equals more
heals. After you reach 30% raid buffed, Crit becomes less important and
you can worry about other stats.
As a Holy Priest you will need about 12-14% haste. Sit down and
consider what spells you use, and take into account which buffs and
talents you have available. If you don’t have
Enlightenment, or you cast a lot of heals with longer cast times
(Greater Heal) you should probably pick up slightly more haste than the
recommended 12-14 percent.
Spellpower is always a good idea to look for. The more spell power you
have, the harder your heals hit making it so you can heal less, and
regen more. Not with Mp5 though, while not a useless stat for the Holy
Priest, Spirit is still a much more valuable stat and should not be a
substitute for Mp5 unless no other options are available.
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Holy Priests have the luxury of being able to shuffle some of their
talents around, picking and choosing the talents that best fit their
heal style. A standard Holy build is href="http://www.wowarmory.com/talent-calc.xml?cid=5&tal=0503203100000000000000000000225051032002151530025331051000000000000000000000000000"
however there are quite a few low priority spells in the Holy tree and
they can be shuffled around at will. If for example you never use
Renew, then drop Empowered Renew. Or if you feel like you
aren’t casting Greater Heal or Flash Heal simply drop
Improved Healing. There are plenty of other places that you can place
these extra points that will be far more beneficial to you. The entire
list of useless or low priority spells currently in the Holy tree is:
Lightwell, Blessed Recovery, Spell Warding, Blessed Resilience, and
Improved Renew. style="font-style: italic;">
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With the changes to Spirit, priest healing styles have significantly
changed. While mana can still be regened by just standing around it has
been hit with a pretty big nerf stick and takes quite a bit of gear
before you can really count on ticks outside of the 5 second rule.
This also makes intellect much more important for Priests since mana
pool size greatly affects your regeneration abilities
(Shadowfiend, Hymn of Hope). You will eventually find that you have
much more Intellect than Spirit, mostly because you cannot stack Spirit
without greatly nerfing many of your other important stats.
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Holy Priests can make use of staying outside of the
5 second rule. To do this it really comes down to taking small breaks
in your healing. As stated previously in the guide this works well with
the new damage style introduced especially found in Ulduar of a burst
of damage, a lull, then another burst of damage. At any time when there
is a lull in damage the Holy Priest should be in regen mode. Pick your
nose, twiddle your thumbs, anything that keeps you from casting during
the periods of time without any damage.
Holy Priests have access to some spells that make mana
regen that much easier, in the form of Shadowfiend and Hymn of Hope. To
best make use of these two spells, wait till you are low on mana (30
percent or less), use your Shadowfiend and then hit Hymn of Hope. By
the time you are done (and if your Shadowfiend doesn’t get
wtfpwned) you should have gained a substantial amount of mana back
allowing you to continue saving people from certain doom.
style="font-weight: bold; text-decoration: underline;">Glyphs
Major Glyphs to use as a Holy Priest are:
Glyph of Flash Heal
Glyph of Circle of Healing
Glyph of Renew
Glyph of Levitate
Glyph of Shadowfiend
Glyph of Shadow Protection
Glyph of Fading
Glyph of Fortitude
style="font-weight: bold; text-decoration: underline;">Fade
As a healer you will find that very rarely will you ever have to worry
about threat (unless you have a really terrible tank). But you will
still find yourself in situations where threat is a concern for
healers, especially when there are many mobs spawning that cannot be
picked up quickly. An ill timed heal can bring these newly spawned mobs
down on you, easily wiping you out.
To avoid getting splattered all over the ground by rampaging mobs,
making use of the Priest’s Fade ability is
imperative. Fade temporarily reduces all threat for 10
seconds, and gives your tanks time to pick up the mobs you have gained
aggro on. Keep in mind that after the 10 seconds is up all your threat
will instantly come back and any mobs that are not picked up by a tank
or another player will make a bee line for you.
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as a Holy Priest
You’ve chosen the Holy tree and are ready to raid, but once
you get there, what exactly are you supposed to be doing? There is no
real set rotation for a healer. Every fight is different and having a
knowledge of all the spells in your arsenal is important.
Knowing your spells gives you the ability to decide which is best for
Holy Priests are made to be Raid healers, and as such the spells they
will use in a raid situation are spells that are quick, and do vast
amounts of group healing. The primary spells used by a Holy Priest will
normally be: Prayer of Mending, Flash Heal, Circle of Healing, and
Prayer of Healing.
Since damage now commonly comes in bursts with lulls in between you
should attempt to start the burst phase with three stacks of
Serendipity up, then once the burst hits follow it by two hasted Prayer
of Healing, and then finally Circle of Heal. Finish up with some Flash
Heals all around and possibly and extra Prayer of Healing or Circle of
Heal if needed. Don’t be afraid to throw out some Renews or
Prayers of Mending to help heal those taking minimal damage while you
focus on others who may need your healing more. Regen during the lulls
in damage, and then get Serendipity
back up to prepare once again for
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burst of damage. If only one target is taking damage in the raid,
simply throw a Renew, and Flash Heal the target to full.
Holy Priests should when possible always be used as raid healers. While
they can easily heal a tank, their abilites are far better put to use
healing your raid.. If you really feel you are being forced to tank
heal often, I would suggest having your dual spec as Disc as Discipline
is just made to tank heal.. But if you find yourself
forced into tank healing keep Renew up on your tank, along with Prayer
of Mending. Flash Heal and Great Heal as needed.
Regardless of whether you choose to heal as Holy, Disc, or as a Druid,
or Shaman, healing is all about keeping a cool head, assessing a
situation, and knowing your spells well enough to use the correct one.
This is something that is learned with time and experience and no
amount of written words can make it go any faster. So keep at it,
don’t get discouraged, and eventually you will find that
healing will become as easy as breathing, and you will join the ranks
of those excellent healers that are so often the unsung heroes of the
Good luck in your healing adventures!
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