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Soloing the Priest 1-40

Updated Sun, Aug 14, 2011 by mattlow

41-60 61-80


The Priest is a great class to solo at the mid and higher levels, but it can be hard early on. What spells should you be casting and when? What stats do you want to look for early on, and where should you be leveling at? That's some of the questions that we will attempt to answer here. In this article we will look at playing a Priest from level 1 to 40 which is the hardest levels for a Priest to solo. This is not a step by step leveling guide, but a play guide. I'm not going to tell you every mission to do and in what order. I am going to try to help you figure out how to best play and level the Priest.

Some people will tell you that everyone has their own play style and that there is no right or wrong way to play your Priest. I am here to tell you that they are liars! They just don't want you to level as fast as they did. They are trying to keep you down! Don't listen to them, listen to me. Now you might be asking yourself why you should listen to me... The answer is simple; I wrote an article and posted it on the internet! Not just anyone can do that. You have to have credentials, you have to be somebody... ok, so you really just need a computer, an internet connection and no life; and I qualify in spades on all three of those so listen up.

So, you have made your character and are ready to begin your new career as a Priest. Let me begin by giving you a couple of very basic tips.

1) Always have Power Word: Fortitude running (you get this at level 1, and it increases your health).
2) Download and use Questhelper (it will save you a ton of time finding where you should be going for your quests).
3) Go for Quests instead of Grinding (you can level much faster and enjoy an actual game with a story and everything instead of just grinding mobs; I know I couldn't believe it either).

As you start out down your path to uberness, keep in mind that the first 20 levels are the hardest for the Priest. Many players quit early on, thinking the class is too fragile and slow in leveling. Don't be a quitter! Stick it out, I promise you that it gets better.

Once you get up to level 10, your routine should go something like, Smite, Mind Blast, Shadow Word: Pain, Power Word: Shield and then repeat until the mob is dead. You are going to have a lot of down time right now. In between almost every fight, you will find yourself sitting on your ass drinking Sparkleberry juice, or whatever they want to call it, to restore your mana. I know it sucks, but just keep telling yourself it won't last long.

1st Spell 2nd Spell 3rd Spell 4th Spell
Smite
Mind Blast
Shadow Word: Pain
Power Word: Shield

10 to 20

As you move up from level 10 to level 20 put all of your Talent points into the Shadow tree. I don't care if you want to be a healing Priest, you can always respec later when it's easier to find groups. Right now you are almost always on your own, and Shadow will make leveling much easier and faster. Start by putting your points into Spirit Tap and Improved Spirit Tap. This will help your Mana regeneration immensely. Let's face it, the less time spent being emasculated by having to sit around drinking Foo Foo juice the better (the fact that it means you will be able to kill more mobs faster is also a nice side effect). From there put your point into Improved Shadow Word: Pain, and Shadow Focus. Your spell combination will pretty much stay the same until 20 when you can throw a Devouring Plague in the mix to take mobs down faster. Also use Renew if you find yourself taking too much damage, and Psychic Scream if you pull more than one mob at a time. You should notice by level 20 that your survivability is much better now, and your down time is greatly reduced. Keep your eyes open for any gear that gives you +Intellect and +Stamina. Intellect will give you more Mana so you can fight longer between down time, and Stamina gives you Health to keep you alive.

1st Spell 2nd Spell 3rd Spell 4th Spell 5th Spell
Smite
Mind Blast
Shadow Word: Pain
Power Word: Shield
Devouring Plague

20 to 30

As you level from 20 to 30, continue putting your Talent points into Shadow. Start with Improved Mind Blast and Mind Flay, and then move to Shadow Reach (put only 1 point here) and Shadow Weaving. As you put points into Improved Mind Blast, you will be using this spell more and more because the Talent reduces the cooldown of the spell. You will start picking up a lot of new spells from 20 to 30, spells like Shackle Undead, Mana Burn, and Mind Vision. These can be kind of cool and useful in certain situations, but your standard rotation won't change much.  Stick with Smite, Mind Blast, Shadow Word: Pain, Power Word: Shield, and Devouring Plague. If they don't die with that, just go back and forth between Mind Flay and Mind Blast. Mind Flay will seem really weak right now, but it gets better over time and uses very little mana. You can also switch to your wand if you want while waiting for your two DOTs, Devouring Plague, and Shadow Word: Pain to finish them off. Again, use Renew if you need to, and Psychic Scream if you pull more than one mob. Continue to keep your eyes open for any gear that gives you +Intellect and +Stamina, and start looking for some +Spirit. You should be feeling a lot better about being a Priest at this point. You are able to kill most mobs easily, with little to no down time, and if they bring a friend or two you should still be able to take them without too much worry.  You should be dying a lot less than before. No more Foo Foo juice for you! (OK maybe a little still, but you drink a lot less).

1st Spell 2nd Spell 3rd Spell 4th Spell 5th Spell
Smite
Mind Blast
Shadow Word: Pain
Power Word: Shield
Devouring Plague

30 to 40

As you level from 30 to 40, continue putting your Talent points into Shadow. Start with Vampiric Embrace, then Improved Vampiric Embrace, Focused Mind, and finally go to Darkness. Vampiric Embrace is a great spell that will really push you towards the killing machine a Shadow Priest can be. Every time you use it on a mob, 25% of all shadow damage you cause to that mob will be returned as Health to you. With this, you will find yourself using less and less heals and Renew. As you move towards being a true Shadow Priest, you will find yourself using Smite less and less. With the Talents you have picked up, your Shadow spells hit harder, cost less, and heals you with Vampiric Touch. Eventually you will all but drop Smite going more with Mind Blast, Mind Flay, Shadow Word: Pain, Devouring Plague, Power Word: Shield, and repeat. Start looking to at replacing some of that Stamina gear with +Spirit. You shouldn't have a problem with staying alive now, and don't really need the Health as much. Fights should be a breeze to you right now, with the only down time coming if you pull too many. Keep an eye on your DOTs; if your target is almost dead, and the DOTs are still ticking, use your wand or Mind Flay instead of a high Mana cost spell to finish them off.

1st Spell 2nd Spell 3rd Spell 4th Spell 5th Spell
Mind Blast
Mind Flay
Shadow Word: Pain
Power Word: Shield
Devouring Plague

This should give you a good idea of how to start playing a Priest. Stick to the Shadow build, and remember to keep your eyes on your DOTs; you can save a lot of mana by not going for overkill. Just keep in mind that the hardest part is now over. Your first 20 to 30 levels are the hardest, from 40 on it just gets better, but we will save that for another time. For now get out there and start kicking ass.

Where to Level

Eastern Kingdoms
Zone Level Faction Notes
Elwynn Forest 1-10 Alliance Human starting area
Eversong Woods 1-10 Horde Blood Elf starting area
Dun Morogh 1-12 Alliance Dwarf and Gnome starting area
Tirisfal Glades 1-10 Horde Undead starting area
Ghostlands 10-20 Horde Geared towards Blood Elf
Loch Modan 10-20 Alliance Geared towards Dwarf and Gnome
Silverpine Forest 10-20 Horde Geared towards Undead
Westfall 10-20 Alliance Geared towards Human
Redridge Mountains 15-25 Contested Geared towards Alliance
Duskwood 18-30 Contested Geared towards Alliance
Hillsbrad Foothills 20-30 Contested
Wetlands 20-30 Contested Geared towards Alliance
Alterac Mountains 30-40 Contested
Arathi Highlands 30-40 Contested
Stranglethorn Vale 31-45 Contested
Badlands 35-45 Contested
Swamp of Sorrows 35-45 Contested Geared towards Horde

Kalimdor
Zone Level Faction Notes
Azuremyst Isle 1-10 Alliance Dranei starting area
Durotar 1-10 Horde Orc and Troll starting area
Mulgore 1-10 Horde Tauren starting area
Teldrassil 1-10 Alliance Night Elf starting area
Bloodmyst Isle 10-20 Alliance Geared towards Daenei
Darkshore 10-20 Alliance Geared towards Night Elf
The Barrens 10-25 Horde
Stonetalon Mountains 15-27 Contested Geared towards Horde
Ashenvale 18-30 Contested Geared towards Alliance
Thousand Needles 25-35 Contested Geared towards Horde
Desolace 30-40 Contested Geared towards Horde
Dustwallow Marsh 35-45 Contested

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