Priesting 101: The Way of the Holy Priest.

I have been asked a few times recently on how I play the priest class, the talents I chose, the gear I pick, the gems and enchants I use. While there is no perfect answer there are a few simple rules that I use to help me be the 2nd greatest priest you know. Today I’m going to cover the first phase of making sure I end up 3rd on your list, that is your talent choices.

Right, you rolled a priest and got it to level 10, the UI is now shouting loudly at you that you must pick talents. This is your first real choice as a priest and one that we all know you’re hovering your cursor over on the far right side ready to click shadow, and sure that is a real good DPS spec for levelling, but you know that no one likes a shadow priest as much as they like a healing one so resist that urge, Shadow can come at level 30 when you get dual specs. You need to feel the joy of levelling as a healer and really the first 20 levels will be so fast and easy there is no excuse not to do the healer thing 1st.

So you now have to choose Holy or Discipline, for that true healer feeling Holy is the way to go but Discipline is still a very good choice and if you have never healed before I think it is the easier specialisation to ease you into a healing role simply because Power Word: Shield lives up to its name in early content 5 mans and gives you a chance to make the occasional mistake and get away with it.

But Holy is the traditional route and the one most people will take so this is where I will start.  While the order I’m taking the talents is for someone levelling, the final spec is one I use in endgame as a raiding priest, so I’ll even save you the cost of respeccing at 85, so please send me that 1g if you’re feeling generous.

Tier 1 Talents: Improved Renew, Empowered Healing, Divine Fury
Your first 5 talents must be spent here but these are all really good talents so we will be spending our first 8 talents on this tier. The first 3 should be spent in Divine Fury to get the cast time down of you main spells Smite and Heal down by half a second. The order you pick up the 2 points in Improved Renew and Empowered Healing is irrelevant but I would take the Improved Renew first and to be honest the time spent levelling from 13 to 18 is pretty trivial now so just make sure you take all 8 from this tier. Your talent tree should now look like:

Tier 2 Talents: Desperate Prayer, Surge of Light, Inspiration
This tier is not so good as the first, although for the levelling priest a has 2 awesome talents. Desperate Prayer is your Oh S*!t button and will get you out of many sticky situations. While you’re smiting away on them murlocs praying for an eye to drop the mana free, instant cast of a Flash Heal a Surge of Light proc gives is also useful but its only a 3% chance per point and invariably it will come when you’re at full health or on the smite that killed the murloc anyway. However, a small chance is better none so spend 1 points on it as we need to get down to tier 3. The reason i say this is that Inspiration is pretty lacklustre at this level due to the lack of crit chance you have and the low level of damage incoming per hit (10% is likely to be only 2 HP if you’re lucky). Your talent tree should now look like:

Tier 3 Talents: Divine Touch, Holy Concentration, Lightwell, Tome of Light
Divine Touch is another great talent and you should place the full 2 points here to get 10% of your Renew as a heal at the time you cast your renew. Its not much but a small instant heal is something that can give you that extra second to get an almost dead player back to a stable condition while you focus on the tank our yourself.

For a levelling player Holy ConcentrationLightwell and Tome of Light have limited attraction. Holy Concentrationcan help for when crazy pulls happen in an instance but at level 30 that rarely happens with the power players have now. Lightwell is handy for times when you are questing solo and on a “killing 20 boars” type quest not moving very much but in an instance a 3 minute cooldown limits you as fights rarely last long enough to warrant using it and besides that most people wont click the blessed thing anyway. Tome of Light is therefore the best choice as it takes your Holy Word: Chastise down to a 21 second cooldown. Your talent tree should now look like:
which leaves us a point short of being able to move down to Tier 4 talents. So now go back to Tier 2 and put a 2nd point in Surge of Light.
Sadly another tier with little for the levelling priest. Spirit of Redemption is an OK choice and good situationally in instances. If you die in a fight you can heal a bit and hopefully prevent a wipe, but if your group has no other person the resurrect you its not a time saver for the group as they will need to await your return. But does give them a chance for a coffee while you do so, so it is a point you should spend. Rapid Renewal is another talent I would take purely because its not bad but if you having to worry about your GCD (Global Cooldown) for renew spamming in a 5 man something is wrong with your group. Can be useful in BGs though and at this point in your priesting career you could be in Alterac Valley. However, Serendipity is just a bad talent. The new way we have to heal means that Binding Heal and Flash Heal really should be used as in emergencies not used to line up a quicker more maan efficient GHeal. This leave us very short of the next tier so we must go backwards again and get 2 points in Holy Concentration from Tier 3 and a point in Tier 2’s Inspiration as these are now viable and worth the points in your talent tree. Your talent tree should now look like:
This is a simply awesome tier. Chakra is a spec defining talent and allows you to improve your healing role. If you are focusing on single target group damage you can switch your state (I like to consider them healing stances) to improve your efficiency in that role and if you are soloing you can utilise it to increase your damage output with Smite and at 85 your Mind SpikeRevelations adds a bonus spell to your arsenal and is a great talent point spend. In singel target mode it gives changes your Holy Word: Chastise into Holy Word Serenity an instant heal and in group chakra it gives you Holy Word: Sanctuary a group healing zone. The final 2 points in this tier should be spent on Body and Soul, aka the speed bubble, a good all round talent that adds utility to your Power Word: Shield and to Cure Disease when used on yourself.  
Blessed Resilience is a PVP survival talent and not something I would recommend unless you are building a PVP spec. Again we are a point missing from being able to move down to the next tier so taking the final point in Inspiration from Tier 2 which should leave your talent tree looking like:
Circle of Healing is another spec defining talent and should therefore be your talent spend on hitting level 59, it is a truly awesome spell. It does sadly have a cooldown but in 5 mans and raids it should be cast on cooldown if 3 or more people are not at max HP. Test of Faith was always a good talent and with the revival of the triage healing method where players can safely sit below 50% HP for long periods without immediate risk of death can boost your throughput considerably so take all 3 points here. Since the change to Chakra being a semi permanent state rather than lasting for a set amount of time State of Mind becomes an almost redundant talent. It could see limited use in 5 man groups but in my opinion the benefit reduced cooldown is offset by the lost healing you could have done while changing states anyway. So the 30th talent point that will open up the final tier should be spent in Lightwell up there on Tier 3
Your talent tree should now look like:
Tier 7 Talents: Guardian Spirit
Guardian Spirit is another “Oh $h!t” button that you can use on a friend. It should be taken to save you or your friend from a death as well as boosting the healin on that target. This concludes the 31 points spent in the Holy tree and should mean your talent tree looks like:

The final 10 points are free to be spent anywhere but my recommendations would be:
3 points in Twin Disciplines from the Discipline tree as extra healing and damage is always good;
3 point in  Mental Agility from the Discipline tree reducing the mana costs of your instants is always a winner;
2 point in  Veiled Shadows from the Holy tree reducing the cooldown of your Mana Friend is godly in raids and also useful for when that hunter pulls the next pack when you are almost out of mana;
2 point in  Darkness from the Holy tree rather than Improved Power Word:Shield simply because your mana is better spent on faster group heals than the high cost of your weak Power Word: Shield;

This leave you with a 6/31/4 talent build that looks like this:

To import this build into a level 85 character, copy and paste the text below:

/run t,p,a={2,12,23,33,41,52,62,72,82,91,102,111,121,142,151,161,183,201,211,1,23,33,3,12,32,}SetPreviewPrimaryTalentTree(t[1],GetActiveTalentGroup())for i=1,#t do a=t[i]if a<9 then p=a else AddPreviewTalentPoints(p,floor(a/10),a%10)end end

Posted by Evlyxx


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