WoW Classic Priest Guide - The Best Priest builds for Vanilla
wow classic priest guide
Vanilla WoW is a completely different experience than the Battle for Azeroth version that's currently live. Progression is much slower and even as basic things like completing quest after quest can often be a challenge. This is a great incentive for players to team up and play together with their friends, or some random people, to be more efficient during the long days of grinding. Situations like that often enforce the old school division into three basic roles: DPS, tank and healer - it's applicable even when you go to farm mobs. Properly set up Priest can defintiely be considered a top tier class as the last one of the three. The class also provides some other possibilities, but we're going to talk about that later. Let's get into WoW Classic Priest Guide in details.
About Priest Class
When you think about healing class in World of Warcraft probably first thought that crosses your mind is a Holy Priest Or a Druid, or more friendly Warlock, or a Rogue with blades coated in Health Potions. Indeed, Priests offer amazing healing capabilities and great utility which makes them one of the top support classes in the game - if not the best. Priests also are good consistent levelers with efficient mana cost spells and superb auto attack damage. This class with a proper build might be the best option of keeping your tank alive, while rest of your team is dismembering a mob after mob. They are casters that make best use of a five second rule. With Improved Wand Specialization they get an additional 25% damage on wands which is extremely high compared to other classes. They also use many spells from different ranks which makes them one of the more complicated classes to play with a high skill ceiling. While this class is not so easy to learn and requires some time do master them, it is extremely powerful and rewarding when you do so. Finding a party is never a problem for a good, geared-up Priest. It's a great reward for playing each one of the more supportive classes.
Although Priests are well known for their healing capabilities not many WoW players do realize that they also excel in Player versus Player environment. Shadow Priest specialization is the best one in 1v1 fights and they are kings on this ground winning easily against most of the classes. Smite Priest is another interesting damage option.
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Best race for Priest
Unlike other classes Priests gain additional spells depending on race they play. Majority of races that are playable by Priests are on the Alliance side. They can pick between Dwarf, Human and Night Elf. On the other side of the conflict which is Horde we have Troll and Undead. Between these races there are many differences not only in looks but also in Racial Talents which might be crucial to gain advantage whether you want to be better in PvP or in PvE content. Below you can see most important Racials of choices available to Priest class.
Dwarves : Are best on the Alliance side of the conflict in both PvP and PvE with Desperate Prayer instant heal and Fear Ward which blocks first incoming fear on the target. The second thing might not be that useful early on, but it unlocks the max value in dungeons and raids, where many monsters can inflict fear on the players. It can make sure that your party lasts longer and can actually deal damage.
Trolls : Should be your first choice when it comes to PvE content in Horde. They offer Shadowguard spell that reflects some of the damage back to attackers and Hex of the Weakness - a debuff ability that can reduce enemy damage dealt and healing received.
Undeads : Touch of Weakness deals some damage and reduces enemy attack. Devouring Plague inflicts a DoT on target that also heals caster. Those two spells make them best choice for PvP on Horde side.
Night Elves : Do have Starshards ability which is the channeling damage and Elune’s Grace which basically is a defensive cooldown.
Humans : Gain Desperate Prayer instant heal and Feedback ability which acts like a shield which returns mana burn and shadow damage on attacking enemy. That can work really well alongside the healing spells.
As you can see each of those abilities is useful and there are no bad races to choose. Because of that when picking a race make sure to take something that you like the looks, lore, and overall feel of. During leveling you will spend a lot of time with one character and since everything in Vanilla takes countless hours of grind you will most likely stick to one character only. The decision of choosing a race is crucial and you need to be wise about it. Pick what you like the most and never regret your decision. All races are good in their own ways and there is no need to always pick the most favored one.
Pros and Cons
When it comes to playing certain class there are always some upsides and downsides. Although classes in Vanilla were completely unbalanced none of them were extremely good at everything. The same goes to Priest which excels at healing but also have some cons of his own. Below there is a short list that can give you a small insight on what is good and what not really on a Priest class. We're trying to cover the whole spectrum of different WoW Classic activities, from leveling, through dungeons and raid runs to PvP.
-Good leveling speed
-Very mana efficient
-Much desired in all groups, many players view Priest as the best standard healer
-Does well as both healer and dps
-Mind Control ability
-Amazing 1v1 PvP capability on Shadow Spec
-Low crowd control
-Pretty much has to use wands
-Not great overall damage
-Can't solo farm as well as Hunters or Warlocks
As you can see Holy Priests do perform extremely well in groups as a healers but they aren’t as good in terms of damage as other classes. They offer decent consistent leveling speed thanks to great mana efficiency on their spells but not the best one since they haven’t got mobility boosting abilities. Priests are also a good choice in PvP as both healers and dps. They perform exceedingly good on 1v1 as a Shadow. The effects are a bit worse in group combat.
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The most important advice that you can get during your Priest leveling is making use of a five second rule. It basically means that you want to throw all of your most important spells at the enemy at the beginning of the combat. After that hit your enemy with wand auto attacks to finish the fight. As your damage without abilities should be great (thanks to Improved Wand Specialization) you will be able to kill the enemy easily. After five seconds of not spending mana you will start to recharge it so always take advantage of this min-maxing trick. Below are few others that can help you during leveling and later on. You don't have to be exclusively a healing bot, Priests can offer some powerful buffs and their damage output can be significant too.
-Try to sustain through Power Word Shield and Spirit Tap instead of healing yourself
-Renew is your basic healing spell, but it doesn't provide an instant heal. Instead, it heals over time of its duration. However, it should be enough if you're not in a dungeon. Greater Heal and Flash Heal are less mana-efficient, but quicker
-You should only be casting Power Word Shield after Inner Focus to increase value of the first one
-Use higher ranks of Psychic Scream for more targets and only 1st rank against one enemy
-Power Infusion should be used either on yourself or to buff the strongest magic DPS in your party
-Only cast Prayer of Healing when really necessary and the threat of dying is real
-If you are in combat with multiple enemies use Shadow Word Pain on each one of them and fear them all up. After that focus them individually.
priest leveling guide
During early levels you want to focus on getting maximum amount of points into Wand Specialization as it is crucial for your leveling damage. After that you will be looking to put some points into Shadow tree and Discipline (Disc) tree afterwards. On level 40 it is necessary to reset talents so keep that in mind while leveling. Below there is a route which you should follow when allocating points to your build. If you're struggling with planning this process properly, make sure to use a talent calculator.
Discipline tree :
5/5 Wand Specialization
Shadow tree :
5/5 Spirit Tap + 2/2 Improved Shadow Word : Pain + 3/5 Shadow Focus + 1/1 Mind Flay
Discipline tree :
2/2 Martyrdom + 3/3 Improved Power Word : Shield + 1/1 Inner Focus + 3/3 Meditation + ½ Improved Power Word : Fortitude + 4/5 Mental Agility
Shadow tree (respec to regain used points and start over) :
5/5 Spirit tap + 2/5 Blackout + 2/2 Improved : Shadow Word Pain + 3/5 Shadow Focus + 2/2 Improves Psychic Scream + 1/1 Mind Flay + 3/3 Shadow Reach + 5/5 Shadow Weaving + 1/1 Silence + 1/1 Vampiric Embrace + 5/5 Darkness + 1/1 Shadowform
Discipline tree (without resetting) :
5/5 Wand Specialization + 2/2 Martyrdom + 3/3 Improved Power Word + 1/1 Inner Focus + 3/3 Meditation + 5/5 Mental Agility + 1/2 Improved Power Word : Fortitude + 5/5 Mental Agility
This is your final build.
Class specific Addons
Probably the most important tool that every player can use in Classic World of Warcraft is Skada damage meter. It basically lets you track your heal and damage statistics and compare them with other players in your party. Additionally Xp/Hr tracker might come in handy as it lets you see exactly how much experience are you making in your current location. From more important stuff there is also Outfitter which lets you change full set of items with just one click. This is especially good in Vanilla because it lets you equip Spirit set to recover life and mana between pulls.
During your journey across Azeroth you will be finding many pieces of equipment - some of them are more valuable than the others and item rarity won’t always show you which one is the better. This is where stat priority comes in handy as it shows you which attributes are more important to you and which ones not so much. Remember that spell power is also an important stat for Priest. Although there are many stats in the game and we won’t be able to cover all of them have a look on how basic stat priority for leveling Priest should look like.
Spirit > Intellect > Stamina > Agility > Strength
-Improves your mana regen rates.
-Improves your mana pool by 15 for every point
-Increases Spell Critical Strike chance by 1% for every 59.5 points of intellect
-Improves your health pool by 10 for every point
-Improves your chance to dodge by 1% for every 20 points
-Improves your armor rating by 2 for every point
-Improves your melee attack strength by 1 for every point.
When it comes to choosing specific items during the leveling you want to look for items marked as “Of the Owl” like for example Hood Of the Owl or Gloves of the Owl. These items give you bonus to both Spirit and Intellect which are most sought by Priests. Items with “Of the Whale” and “Of the Eagle” are also good on Priests but not quite as nice as those Of the Owl.
Most of the Priests takes Tailoring as their main profession as it lets them craft BoP and BoE pieces of gear which usually have better stats than the uncommon, green items and sometimes even than the rare, blue ones that you can drop from monsters. On top of that Tailors are able to create bags which might come in handy in gold making process. Keep in mind that we're talking about Vanilla WoW, getting to perfect gear will be really hard and you're going to have to rely on drops to some extent. In overall it is a good choice if you want to get some better gear than others but note that there are also other professions which might be better in certain situations (professions value often differs server to server - later on it will probably be different than in the current closed beta). As a Priest, you're going to weear cloth armor, what makes Tailoring a great, safe choice here.
Usually new players take two gathering professions to get started with like Herbalism and Mining to take advantage of the fact that there are a lot of resources to collect during low lvl gameplay. Those can give you additional profit while leveling so take that into consideration. There is also Skinning that might be a great choice early on since skins and bones looted from monsters can be instantly sold to a vendor to help you get some early gold for your new weapon. On top of that there are many other professions which you can learn and pretty much every single one of them is good in its own way. Check out our Classic WoW Professions Guide to find out which one is the best for your character. The possibilities are: Alchemy, Blacksmithing, Enchanting, Engineering, Leatherworking, Tailoring, Herbalism, Mining, Skinning, First Aid, Fishing and Cooking.
This is the end of out WoW Classic Priest Guide. We hope that you have learned what you wanted to know from this overview. If you liked our article make sure to join the discussion and leave a comment below. The remaining Vanilla classes are: Warrior, Mage, Rogue, Warlock, Shaman, Paladin, Druid and Hunter. You can also check out other class and profession guides. They can be really helpful if you want to get started with this hyped project.
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