WoW Guide: PvP For the Priest

PvP in World of Warcraft can be very fun and rewarding for the Priest. However you must have a different mindset (and gearset) going into PvP compared to PvE. It is a very different aspect of the game, and one that if gone into blindly, will bring much gnashing of teeth. In this guide, we will introduce you to the world of PvP, and try to help you avoid some of the noob mistakes many people make. As a Priest you will have to understand that you will be the first target by enemy players, and most likely the first to die.Warsong Gulch


The first thing we need to look at is how we are specced. Our spec, more than any other class, will dictate our role in PvP. A Shadow Priest is going to do very well one on one in PvP, while a Holy Priest has no chance in a fight and must take a support role and heal his teammates. A Discipline Priest can do a little of both depending upon what’s needed, but your most important quality as a Discipline Priest is survivability. So let’s take a look at each and some strategies on how to play with that build.

Shadow Priest

Slaughtering other players so you can dance on their corpse, laughing, is not just fun, but a God given right. The Shadow Priest is your best chance at being able to do exactly that. They are extremely formidable in one on one combat. Our only downside is that we are a bit of a glass cannon. We hit hard, and have some decent crowd control, but we can’t take a lot of damage. So you have to be on your toes, and know what you are going to do to keep enemy players off of you.

 It is impossible to discuss strategies for every situation and class you are going to go up against, but there are a few general strategies you can use to steer you in the right direction. First off, make sure you are fully buffed before starting. Stay in Shadowform, and keep Inner Fire, and Power Word: Fortitude up at all times. Use consumables like elixirs, flasks and Fish Feast to give you an edge in PvP. Once you have an enemy in range, open up with Dispel Magic. You can quickly remove several buffs with this, and dramatically decrease their health, and other stats with a very low mana cost. Use your DOTs like Shadow Word: Pain and Devouring Plague right away. As soon as they are about to attack you, use your crowd control spells. Psychic Scream and Psychic Terror for melee classes Silence for the casters. Use Mind Flay for constant damage, and throw up a Power Word: Shield if you start getting hit. Even in as a Shadowpriest you are still able to heal yourself, and use Prayer of Mending when there are several team members and enemies about. They may want to attack you, but will easily confuse you for a squishier Holy Priest. Mind Control should be a favorite spell to use in PvP, throwing enemies off cliffs. Using Mind Control on Players with pets, such as Hunters, Warlocks and some Death Knights, will cause the pets to attack you and break Mind Control. Make sure your DOTs stay up and the fight should end pretty quickly.

 Tip: Be careful with using Mind Blast. It is a great spell, but melee classes like to run behind you while casting causing the spell to fail.

[protip] DoTs will be your main concern as a Shadowpriest. Keep a distance between you and other players and you will have the advantage. Mind Control will not dispel your DoTs, this will be great to keep them still while your DoTs tick away at their HP. Psychic Horror will be great against DPS, especially hunters, disarming their main hands and ranged weapons.[/protip]

Holy Priest

Understand if you are a Holy Priest, in PvP your role is support. This shouldn’t be a shock to you; in PvE you play a support role. Nothing changes much in PvP for you. If you find yourself one on one with the enemy, you are likely going to lose. So your goal is to stay with your group, and keep them alive so they can protect you. This is no easy task. Everyone out there is going to target you first. So stay alert and near people at all times.

 It is impossible to discuss strategies for every situation and class you are going to go up against, but there are a few general strategies you can use to steer you in the right direction. First off, make sure you are fully buffed before starting. Keep Inner Fire, and Power Word: Fortitude up at all times. Use consumables like elixirs, flasks and Fish Feast to give you an edge in PvP. Once the enemy closes, use Power Word: Shield and get a Renew up. Cast Dispel Magic to knock their buffs out quickly. The name of the game in PvP is speed! It has nothing to do with Mana conservation. So burn all of your quickest casting heal spells. These fights won’t last 6 and 7 minutes like boss fights can. Keep Renew up on your teammates and use circle of healing, flash heals, and Prayer of Mending to keep everyone topped off. You will also want to save Guardian Spirit for yourself and do not forget that (if you have the spell) Desperate Prayer will be a life saver. Remember speed wins the game here, so don’t think, just heal. A Holy Priest will also be considered great bait, keep Power Word: Shield up on yourself and be prepared to spam heal yourself while others kill your attacker(s).

 Tip: Use Fear if anyone gets too close to you, and keep your Power Word: Shield up to negate much of the damage they can do.

[protip] To easier cast Guardian Spirit on yourself create a Macro as follows: /cast [target=<your name here>] Guardian Spirit. This way if you have a friendly targeted you won’t accidently cast GS on them when you wanted it on yourself.[/protip]

Discipline Priest

When played correctly, the Discipline Priest is awesome in PvP. They can heal when needed, and do a fair amount of damage when the opportunity is there. It is probably the hardest spec to play out of the three, because you always have to be thinking about which role to fill.

 It is impossible to discuss strategies for every situation and class you are going to go up against, but there are a few general strategies you can use to steer you in the right direction. First off, make sure you are fully buffed before starting. keep Inner Fire, and Power Word: Fortitude up at all times. Use consumables like elixirs, flasks and Fish Feast to give you an edge in PvP. When the fight starts be ready to have everyone targeting you. A Priest not in Shadowform is usually assumed to be Holy. You have a few tricks to use to survive those first few attacks while your teammates take out the enemies. Use Pain Suppression and Reflective Shield to buy you some time and start returning some damage. From here watch the situation. Throw your DOTs when you can, and heal when needed. Most people who expect to roll over a Holy Priest will be in for a nasty surprise when facing a Discipline Priest. Do not forget that Penance can be used to heal or to do damage. Power Infusion will also be your favorite spell to use on yourself when PvPing.

[protip] To make things easier to cast Pain Suppression or Power Infusion on yourself, create a Macro as follows: /cast [target=<your name here>] Power Infusion or /cast [target=<your name here>] Pain Suppression. You can put both together in the same macro with a new line to cast both on you at the same time.[/protip]


Rocket-Propelled Goblin Grenade

Your priorities change in PvP. Your gear has to change too. In PvP we are introduced to a new stat. Resilience, Resilience reduces the chances of you receiving a critical strike or critical spell effect. In addition, it reduces the damage taken from criticals and damage over time spells. The only way you can increase resilience is through gear, enchantments, gems, flasks, or elixirs. It is the most important stat in PvP, greatly slowing down combat and giving you some breathing room to think during the hectic fights. Spirit is almost meaningless now, and Stamina becomes more important. Stack as much Resilience and Stamina as you can with + Spell Power and + Intellect following. Remember your fights will be over quickly, with little to no down time. You have to be ready to take a few hits, and unleash as much healing or damage as you can as fast as you can.

Where to PvP

 Battlegrounds are instanced areas where the two factions (Horde and Alliance) can duke it out. To play, you have to enter the queue (the line to get in) by talking to a battlemaster in a capital city or at the portal instance entrance (if there is one). Most battlegrounds are of the capture-the-flag or gain points by taking various objectives variety. The number of players per side can vary from 5 to 15, with Alterac Valley allowing up to 40 per side. Playing in battlegrounds can give you Marks of Honor and honor points. You can use these to purchase special PVP gear. You can start playing in battlegrounds at level 10.

Name Where(Horde) Where (Alliance)
Eye of the Storm Outland (Neverstorm) Outland (Netherstorm)
Alterac Valley North of Tarren Mill North of South Shore
Arathi Basin Behind the Hammerfall flight point Refuge Point
Warsong Gulch Border of the Barrens and Ashenvale Forest Silverwing Outpost in Ashenvale

There is no physical entrance for Strand of the Ancients, it is only accessible through talking to a battlemaster in capital cities, or through the battlegrounds tab in your Player vs. Player info screen. Wintergrasp is easily accessed through the pvp tab, battlemaster, or just flying over there in Northrend.

You can also queue up for any battleground anywhere and at anytime through your battlegrounds tab, in your Player vs. Player info screen. Default H key on your keyboard.


The Battlegrounds

You want to have an understanding of the goal of each of the battlegrounds, this helps in knowing where best to go and how you can be the most help for your side win. Whether you want to stick with a large group of people or protecting a flag or tower will be completely up to what is going on in the battleground. With lots of practice, you will be able to know what best to do as things progress.

Arathi Basin:

The goal of this battleground is to be the first side to gain 2000 resources. There are 5 resources, Stables, Lumber Mill, Mine, Blacksmith, and Farm. The Alliance are by the Stables, the Horde are by the Farm. Blacksmith will be the favorite first target after gaining either the Stables or Farm (depending on which side you are playing). As a Healer you want to stick with the groups of those traveling often from resource to resource to either attack or protect it. A Shadow Priest or Discipline Priest can have a choice of following the group or staying with one of the resource flags to protect it.

Alterac Valley:

In Alteric Valley it is a race to see which team can get to the enemy side the fastest and kill the leader. At times this can be a long process and other times short. In the end, if the battleground lasts for many hours who ever runs out of reinforcements first loses the battle. As a Holy Priest you want to stay with the group taking out the lieutenant and the leader, healing the Main Tank through all the damage. A Discipline Priest can fill either role of healing or dpsing, when sticking with the group taking out the leaders, your protective spells will come in handy when enemy players come in to stall you from kill their leaders before they do. As a Shadow Priest you get the luxury of being able to assist in taking out towers and capturing graveyards or staying on your side of the field to keep the enemy players at bay.

Eye of the Storm:

This battleground is much of a mix between Warsong Gulch and Arathi Basin. The goal of this battleground is to reach 2000 points before the other side does. This is achieved by capturing towers and collecting the flag from the center of the battlefield. Much like Arathi Basin, team members will be running often from tower to tower in order to protect it or to capture it. The flag is available to carry to any tower controlled by your side to gain extra points and reach 2000 points quicker. A Holy Priest will again want to stay with the groups of people running from tower to tower or to the flag to keep collecting. Discipline or Shadow Priest has the choice of staying with the group or near a tower to keep it in your control and protect it from enemies trying to capture it.

Lake Wintergrasp:

Wintergrasp in Northrend is a huge PvP battleground that resets every few hours and introduces siege combat to WoW. You can gain ranks through killing enemy combatants or by taking or defending the keep. You can create various weapons and vehicles depending upon your rank. Once you achieve the rank of First Lieutenant, you can gain Wintergrasp Marks of Honor by participating in a battle. You can spend those marks on special gear from vendors in Wintergrasp Keep if your faction holds the keep. Just like in Strands of the Ancients, Holy and Discipline will want to refrain from using any siege vehicles, if possible to keep players on the ground up and alive. Shadow Priests can either drive a siege vehicle or stay on the ground and assist with dpsing.

Strand of the Ancients:

This battleground is different compared to all other battlegrounds. You start off as either defending or attacking. Attackers will come up from the beach in a boat and try to break into the fortress using siege vehicles in order to get to the orb inside within 10 minutes. After 10 minutes the sides will switch! The defenders will attack and the attackers will defend. The side that has gotten to the orb the fastest wins the battle. As a Holy Priest, you want to refrain from using a siege vehicle, even if it looks like a lot of fun to be able to use, you will want to keep any players on the ground alive. As a Shadow Priest you get to choose between helping dps down the enemy players or drive a siege vehicle. A Discipline Priest can do whichever they want to do, though it will be recommended to help in supporting the fellow players attacking or defending.

Warsong Gulch:

This battleground is capture-the-flag. The first team to capture 3 flags from the enemy’s field wins the battleground. Holy and Discipline Priests will want to stay with the flag carrier, keep the flag carrier protected, healed and put those fears to good use getting the attackers off the flag carrier. Shadow Priests will want to be out in the field killing off attackers from the flag carrier or staying with your flag to keep the enemy from capturing it. You cannot gain a point in capturing a flag if your flag is not there.


PvP Rewards

 Do you really need more of a reward than slaughtering your enemies, dancing on their corpse and laughing at them? Well no you don’t, but Blizzard gives you moreWooHoo! anyway! You can use your Honor Points, Arena Points, and Marks of Honor to pick up new gear that will help your slaughter fest even more. Rewards acquired through PvPing gives you armor, weapons and trinkets that has resilience, stamina, intellect and other stats like Spell Power, Haste Rating and Critical Strike Rating to assist in making you a better player in the battlegrounds. You will need to gain a certain amount of marks from several different battlegrounds as well as honor points in order to purchase PvP rewards. Vendors to purchase these rewards are located in a capital city. For Horde they are located in the Hall of Legends in Orgrimmar. For Alliance they are located in Champions’ Hall in Stormwind City. You can also purchase special mounts, they are not entirely meant for PvPing alone, but are only acquired through PvP marks and honor points.

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