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(Added discussion on the limited utility of healing priests in competative end-game raiding environments as discussed in the talk page.)
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The healing strength of the Holy tree, in conjunction with the benefits that can be found in the Disicpline tree, have created numerous end-game builds, ranging from a full 61-point Holy tree build to a number of hybrid builds that place points in the Discipline or Shadow trees in addition to the Holy tree. Examples of some priest builds can be found [[Priest builds|here]].
 
The healing strength of the Holy tree, in conjunction with the benefits that can be found in the Disicpline tree, have created numerous end-game builds, ranging from a full 61-point Holy tree build to a number of hybrid builds that place points in the Discipline or Shadow trees in addition to the Holy tree. Examples of some priest builds can be found [[Priest builds|here]].
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  +
There is some criticsm surrounding the benefits of using healing priests in raids. In particular, they suffer from limited utility; as further healing priests are added to a raid, each is able to bring little more than his or her healing skills. This differs greatly from Holy paladins - each of whom are capable of casting yet another Blessing - and Restoration shamans - each of whom is capable of bringing unique totems for his or her group. As a result, many competative end-game raids prefer to stack Holy paladins and Restoration shamans over healing priests, since each may be capable of comparable healing results despite the using different techniques and spells. The majority of these raids include a single hybrid priest capable of casting the Improved Prayer of Fortitude and Improved Prayer of Spirit buffs (though this priest may instead be a Discipline/Shadow hybrid priest or even a fully trained Discipline specced priest) in addition to a Holy priest specced with the 41-point talent Circle of Healing.
  +
  +
This preference of stacking paladins and shamans over other healing classes that lack utility is less common in casual raiding groups. Due in part to the less competative nature of these types of raids and also the difficulty inherent in obtaining consistent raiders to fill all required slots, these raids may rely heavily on priests to assume healing roles. Casual players seeking to raid as a healing priest may find it easier to get into raids than competative raiders.
  +
  +
Recent changes to the priest class have improved the appeal of taking multiple healing priests, though Blizzard has not yet addressed the issues surrounding their limited utility even though staff has mentioned that they are aware of this tendency.<ref>{{ref web |title = "Baby steps" and priest changes |accessdate = 2007-12-20 |author = Vaneras |url = http://forums.wow-europe.com/thread.html?topicId=299015873&pageNo=3&sid=1#57 |date = 2007-07-10 |archiveurl = http://blue.cardplace.com/newcache/en/299015873.htm |archivedate = 2007-07-10 }}</ref> The changes to the [[Meditation]] talent in the Discipline tree to allow 30% of mana regeneration to occur while casting have made priests significantly more mana efficient than they were before; coupled with the [[Shadowfiend]] skill, priests are more capable of the sustained healing sometimes required in raids than they were in the past. Furthermore, changes to how healing bonus was applied to [[Circle of Healing]] allows further benefit to be gained in utilizing this talent.<ref>{{ref web |title = Anything a Priest can Look Forward to 2.3?|accessdate = 2007-12-20 |author = Nethaera |url = http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=1777967050&pageNo=1&sid=1#8 |date = 2007-09-26 |archiveurl = http://blue.cardplace.com/newcache/us/1777967050.htm |archivedate = 2007-09-26 }}</ref> Blizzard staff has repeatedly discussed plans to change the Spirit talent in the future, which would benefit priests who prefer to stack Spirit due to its regenerative qualities and benefit gained from Spiritual Guidance; however, no set date or patch has been revealed for these changes.
   
 
=== End-Game DPS / Mana Battery ===
 
=== End-Game DPS / Mana Battery ===
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*[http://www.almostgaming.com/wowguides/priest-leveling-guide Priest Talent Guide] - Helps new Priests choose their talents at levels 1 to 30.
 
*[http://www.almostgaming.com/wowguides/priest-leveling-guide Priest Talent Guide] - Helps new Priests choose their talents at levels 1 to 30.
 
*[http://www.wowinsider.com/category/spiritual-guidance/ Spiritual Guidance] - weekly priest feature at WoW Insider
 
*[http://www.wowinsider.com/category/spiritual-guidance/ Spiritual Guidance] - weekly priest feature at WoW Insider
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== References ==
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<references/>
   
 
{{ClassFooter|Priest}}
 
{{ClassFooter|Priest}}

Revision as of 16:29, December 20, 2007

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For related articles, see Category:Priests.

Priests are the masters of healing and preservation, restoring their wounded allies, shielding them in battle, and even resurrecting their fallen comrades. While they have a variety of protective and enhancement spells to bolster their allies, priests can also wreak terrible vengeance on their enemies, using the powers of shadow or holy light to destroy them. They are a diverse and powerful class, highly desirable in any group, capable of fulfilling multiple roles."

The priest is perhaps the best healing class in the game with a surprisingly strong damage potential as well (should the player choose to enhance this aspect of the class). Their ability to heal, avoid aggro, dispel buffs on enemies, dispel debuffs on their allies, and Resurrect fallen comrades makes them an important member of any group, whether it's PvP or PvE.

Background

Epicpriest

Epic Priest

Priests practice a complex, organized form of spirituality that embraces moralistic philosophies and/or idol worship, rather than the reverence of the elements that Shamans practice, or the close divine connection with animals and the wilderness that druids maintain. Priests serve not only as influential religious figures in their respective societies, but also as powerful practitioners of divine magic, which they use to heal and protect, or harm and weaken.

Devotion to the faiths of Azeroth leads many priests to the paths of courage and heroism. In dark times priests carry the light of faith with them as a reminder of the powerful forces at work beyond the comprehension of the peoples who walk the land. Powerful healers with an intimate connection to the divine, priests are empowered with abilities that aid them in times of dire need.[1] (WoWRPG 70)

Priests comprise a very varied group in Azeroth. A female priest is called a "priestess". Many are followers, in some manner, of the Holy Light. Some priests choose to be pyremasters, Priestesses of the Moon. While some become epic priests.

The epic priest is a paragon of his ideals, a vessel which his faith pools and spreads like wine overflowing form a chalice. He bolsters his allies to amazing heights and brings non-believers low with divine wrath. Where he walks, all feel his presence.[2] (S&L 23)

History

The Clerics of Northshire were human priests who served the kingdom of Stormwind during the First War. The clerics served as healers on the battlefield, but were ill-prepared for the hazards of combat, and thus suffered heavy casualties. This order was largely destroyed, and the Second War saw fragile priests replaced on the battlefield by armored paladins; The Knights of the Silver Hand, established by the Clerics' leader Archbishop Alonsus Faol, and his apprentice Uther Lightbringer.

During events of the Third War, despite the high elves' official departure from the Alliance, some elves still remained true to their former human and dwarven allies. The altruistic priests of Quel’Thalas refused to abandon their roles as healers and agreed to remain in Lordaeron despite the edicts from their reclusive masters in Silvermoon. The high elven priests used their Light-given powers to heal the wounded and bolster the spirits of Lordaeron’s fighting elite. A holy field medic, these padres roam the battlefield curing the wounds of fallen comrades.

Overview

A quick summary of the main things a Priest brings to a group:

  • Healing: Cast a large and versatile collection of healing spells (heal-over-time, low-threat heals, fast heals, strong heals, preemptive healing, etc.)
  • Protecting a target with Power Word: Shield
  • Increasing a player's stamina with the Fortitude buff (on individual players and full groups)
  • Increasing resistance to shadow damage with a buff (individual and group versions)
  • Increasing a player's spirit, increasing health and mana regeneration (talent-based buff)
  • Directly restore all party members' health and mana based on their shadow damage (spells gained from talents)
  • Controlling their own threat through talents
  • Dispelling both negative spells on allies and positive spells on enemies
  • Resurrecting other players (out of combat)

While Holy Priests are not as effective in damage output, they are argued to be one of the best healing classes in the game, however, this is still debated.

Their primary stats are Spirit for mana regeneration, Intellect for a large mana pool and crits, and Stamina for more hitpoints. Stats obtained from gear, such as Mana points/5 seconds and +damage/healing are also important.

Shadow Priests

Traditionally, the Shadow tree has provided a very good way to level the priest class, especially after level 40. Via talents and a targeted Spirit and Intellect build, Shadow Priests can have high, sustained DPS and incredibly high survivability with little downtime.

With the changes to the Shadow Tree in 2.0 Shadow Priests are now considered a much more viable class for end-game raiding, acting as mana batteries, for example, with Vampiric Touch and using their other spells to better the efficiency of the raid. Although Shadow Priests lack AoE and natural class abilities to retain mana, this can be alleviated with the use of consumables, the new Shadowfiend spell, and the active use of Vampiric Touch.

Shadow Priests can:

  • Spec for 25% threat reduction of their shadow spells
  • Have a highly mana efficient spell in Mind Flay, increase warlock DPS through the use of shadow vulnerability, and provide good raid flexibility as a class capable of healing and DPS as the situation requires.
  • Allow for up to a 45% increase in damage output, which is calculated after any and all bonuses from gear like all spell-casting classes. The only exception to this rule is healing spells.

Races

The Priest class can be played by the following races:

Alliance 32 Alliance

Horde 32 Horde

Note that Priests get a couple of extra spells according to their race, see the racial spells section for further details.

Weapons and Armor

Priests can only wear cloth armor. Priests begin with one-handed maces and wands and can learn daggers and staves from Weapon Masters.

For details on set items that are useful for priests, see Priest Sets. Also, Priest Loot is a new page with links to every item useful for priests in raiding.

For Bc icon endgame Healing Equipment go to BC healing equipment (cloth)

For Bc icon endgame DPS Equipment go to BC Priest DPS Equipment

Spells

See the Priest Spells page for further details.

Starting stats

Race Strength Agility Stamina Intellect Spirit Armor Health Mana
Human 20 20 20 22 24 45 52 160
Dwarf 22 16 23 21 22 37 82 145
Night Elf 17 25 19 22 23 55 51 160
Troll 21 22 21 18 24 49 62 128
Undead 19 18 21 20 28 41 62 130
Blood Elf Bc icon 17 22 18 26 22 49 50 220
Draenei Bc icon 21 17 19 23 25 39 51 175

Talents

Aelthalyste

Aelthalyste resides in the War Quarter of Undercity ready to train Priests of all capabilities

Priest Talents are split into 3 categories:

Shadow

Spell shadow unholyfrenzy

Shadow talents primarily enhance a priest's DPS. One of the most important shadow spells gained through Shadow tree talents is Mind Flay, a 3 second channeled spell that causes damage and slows the target to 50% of its movement speed. It has a low mana cost, making it one of the most mana-efficient spells in the game and is first available at level 20.

The Spirit Tap talent is generally the recipient of any priest's first talent point, as it doubles the priest's Spirit and allows 50% mana regeneration while casting for 15 seconds after killing a mob. Another important talent in the Shadow tree is Vampiric Embrace, available at level 30. This shadow spell casts a debuff on a target that heals all party members for 15-25% (depending on talents) of the shadow spell damage the priest deals to it for 60 seconds.

The Silence spell and its prerequisite, Improved Psychic Scream, are utility talents placed in the middle of the Shadow tree. Shadow Weaving can be useful in party and raid situations, as it causes a debuff that lasts 15 seconds, provides a 2% bonus to all shadow damage caused on the target (for example from Warlocks), and stacks up to 5 times. The debuff is applied every time the shadow priest successfully casts a shadow spell on a target, although it is subject to a separate resistance check.

Another vital talent of the Shadow tree is Shadowform, which when activated gives the priest a 15% shadow spell damage bonus and 15% reduction to physical damage taken but entirely prevents the priest from casting Holy spells. (As such, Vampiric Embrace is the only option besides consumables for a priest in shadowform to heal itself.) Some other useful talents in the Shadow tree can cause a 3 second stun on a successful shadow spell cast, reduce the threat caused by shadow spells, and increase the damage the target takes from all sources of Shadow damage.

The new ultimate Shadow talent, Vampiric Touch, causes a 15-second damage over time effect on the target and provides an amount of mana equal to 5% of all shadow damage dealt by the caster to all members of the caster's party while the DOT effect lasts.

One talent added by Burning Crusade is Misery. This talent causes an enemy to take X% more spell damage as long as certain shadow spells afflict it. You can put up to 5 points in Misery, adding up to 5% more spell damage. This is extremely useful in parties and raids as it causes the target to take more damage from all different types of spells, be it holy, shadow, fire, etc.

Discipline

Spell holy dispelmagic

Discipline allows the priest to be stronger with buffs (such as Power Word: Shield and Fortitude and Inner Fire), more mana conserving, and still able to balance DPS and healing. At the end of this talent category is the spell Pain Suppression. Pain Suppression reduces damage taken from any source by 65% for 8 seconds, granting the Priest extra longevity should the enemy focus on them. Another powerful Discipline spell, Power Infusion grants the target an extra 20% damage and healing buff. Unlike Arcane Power in the Mage's list, this technique allows the priest to give the buff to someone else, and it doesn't have the drawback of consuming extra mana like Arcane Power. Regrettably, these two techniques do not stack. Also, added with the healing buff, a priest could use this in an intense battle to have higher healing ability. Combining this with a powerful spirit buff, the priest can go on for many battles without running out of mana, especially in instances where the priest heals. This is mainly an end-game category, and quite powerful leveling up as a priest can get an extra 5% spell critical chance as well as a permanent spell damage mod to offensive spells. There are very few priests that don't have a few points in Discipline.

Holy

Spell holy restoration

The Holy tree increases a priest's healing ability while enhancing their survivability. The final ability is Circle of Healing, an instant heal that not only heals the target, but members of the target's party as well. Priests also have an "improved death", which allows them to become the Spirit of Redemption and heal party members for 15 seconds mana-free. This can easily save a group from being wiped out, and can keep them alive until the enemies are defeated or the priest is resurrected by a druid in battle. Holy priests are the most versatile healers in the game with a variety of tools to sustain their group.


There is some limited information on Priest Talents in Priest Spells.

Example talent builds for the 2.0 can be found at The Blizzard Priest Forums or wow.telenet.be's Talents section

Talent builders can be found at Official Blizzard site, WoW Den's Talent Calculator, WorldofWar.se, WoW Vault, ThottBot, Merciless, and Wowhead

Quests

High Priestess Laurena

High Priestess Laurena resides in the Cathedral of Light in Stormwind ready to train Priests of all capabilities

The two race-specific spells that priests can learn are sometimes obtained by quests. In addition, there are several more priest-specific quests for items. See the Priest Quests page for an outline of these quests.


Priest Tactics

Main article: Priest tactics
Undeadpriest

An Undead Priest in shadowform

File:Priest humanf.jpg

Priests are generally regarded as a tough class to play in PvP, but they are highly wanted in groups as the best healer in the game. They are very dependent on how their talent points are spent. A priest that spends most of his talent points in the shadow tree will be better off in PvP and solo PvE situations. The discipline and holy talent trees focus on making very strong healers, but they can still handle solo PvE situations.

Priest tactics generally involve conserving mana and using heals, shields, and buffs strategically. Some priests will often try to avoid all melee contact, although a Priest should periodically engage in melee combat to build up the Defense attribute. Using Power Word: Shield allows one to develop their Defense attribute without sustaining heavy damage.

A Priest should not always engage the Power Word: Shield spell, unless absolutely needed. Shield is very mana heavy, and mana saved can be used to fight more creatures before a break is needed for drink. Although, it could easily be argued that using a Power Word: Shield, while using a wand to recover mana over the course of battle, could easily save mana by not having to heal at the end of battle.

End-Game Expectations

Though many priests found themselves originally pigeon-holed into a single role in classic World of Warcraft, many are experiencing greater freedom in a post-Burning Crusade raiding environment. Priests are capable of filling both healing and DPS roles, depending on the priest's spec and the need of the raid. This flexibility is further aided by the increased debuff cap makes it easier to allow multiple shadow priests to contribute without being detrimental to a raid.

End-Game Healing

Healing priests are valued by many as profficient and skilled healers, capable of utilizing a variety of heals as well as a HoT and numerous buffs that benefit raiders, such as Fortitude, Shadow Protection, and Power Word: Shield. These buffs can be further improved by spending points in the Discipline tree for Improved Power Word: Fortitude, Improved Power Word: Shield, Divine Spirit, and Improved Divine Spirit. While sometimes considered by some to be mana inefficient when compared with other healing classes, the introduction of the Shadowfiend in the Burning Crusade allows a healing priest to regain a significant amount of mana used to continue healing while providing neligible damage against one target. The use of the talent Lightwell can allow raiders to regain health with access, while Spirit of Redemption allows priests specced deep in the Holy tree to continue casting healing spells on a raid for fifteen seconds beyond death as no expense to mana.

The healing strength of the Holy tree, in conjunction with the benefits that can be found in the Disicpline tree, have created numerous end-game builds, ranging from a full 61-point Holy tree build to a number of hybrid builds that place points in the Discipline or Shadow trees in addition to the Holy tree. Examples of some priest builds can be found here.

There is some criticsm surrounding the benefits of using healing priests in raids. In particular, they suffer from limited utility; as further healing priests are added to a raid, each is able to bring little more than his or her healing skills. This differs greatly from Holy paladins - each of whom are capable of casting yet another Blessing - and Restoration shamans - each of whom is capable of bringing unique totems for his or her group. As a result, many competative end-game raids prefer to stack Holy paladins and Restoration shamans over healing priests, since each may be capable of comparable healing results despite the using different techniques and spells. The majority of these raids include a single hybrid priest capable of casting the Improved Prayer of Fortitude and Improved Prayer of Spirit buffs (though this priest may instead be a Discipline/Shadow hybrid priest or even a fully trained Discipline specced priest) in addition to a Holy priest specced with the 41-point talent Circle of Healing.

This preference of stacking paladins and shamans over other healing classes that lack utility is less common in casual raiding groups. Due in part to the less competative nature of these types of raids and also the difficulty inherent in obtaining consistent raiders to fill all required slots, these raids may rely heavily on priests to assume healing roles. Casual players seeking to raid as a healing priest may find it easier to get into raids than competative raiders.

Recent changes to the priest class have improved the appeal of taking multiple healing priests, though Blizzard has not yet addressed the issues surrounding their limited utility even though staff has mentioned that they are aware of this tendency.[3] The changes to the Meditation talent in the Discipline tree to allow 30% of mana regeneration to occur while casting have made priests significantly more mana efficient than they were before; coupled with the Shadowfiend skill, priests are more capable of the sustained healing sometimes required in raids than they were in the past. Furthermore, changes to how healing bonus was applied to Circle of Healing allows further benefit to be gained in utilizing this talent.[4] Blizzard staff has repeatedly discussed plans to change the Spirit talent in the future, which would benefit priests who prefer to stack Spirit due to its regenerative qualities and benefit gained from Spiritual Guidance; however, no set date or patch has been revealed for these changes.

End-Game DPS / Mana Battery

The strength and versatility of a Shadow-specced priest has been recognized as an invaluable asset in both five-mans and raids. A Shadow priest is capable of contributing significant damage, as well as providing a variety of buffs and debuffs that benefit raiders. For example, the Shadow Weaving talent, which increases all shadow damage to a target, is highly desired by Warlocks seeking to increase their damage. A Shadow Priest's Misery debuff will also further increase all spell damage to a target, an effect that stacks with Shadow Weaving. It should be noted, however, that a single shadow priest can easily keep both the Misery and Shadow Weaving debuffs active and additional effects from other shadow priests will not stack on the same target. The Vampiric Embrace talent is a powerful, group-wide heal over time that can aid in keeping the health of group members up; this can be especially helpful when grouped with a tank, warlocks who Life Tap frequently, as well as rogues and feral druids performing melee DPS.

Most importantly, the newly gained Vampiric Touch benefits a caster or healer group by providing mana over the course of the fight. This is the primary reason to have a Shadow Priest in raids; to either provide the mana to healers to sustain during a healing intensive fight or to the DPS casters in fights which focuses on burst DPS or constant AoE.

These debuffs are an addition to the base priest Fortitude, Shadow Protection, and Power Word: Shield buffs and can be improved by delving into the Discipline tree for Improved Power Word: Fortitude, and Improved Power Word: Shield. As a result, raiding builds exist that range from the full 61-point Shadow build to hybrid builds with points in the Discipline tree or even Holy tree for greater versatility. In addition to providing significant damage and buffs, shadow priests have the flexibility to drop out of Shadowform and provide back-up healing if the situation warrants, though they typically suffer from the lack of points spent in the Holy tree for increased healing talents and reduced bonus healing as a result of being in a damage set at the time.

See Also

External links

References

  1. ^ WoWRPG, 70
  2. ^ S&L, 23
  3. ^ Vaneras 2007-07-10. "Baby steps" and priest changes. Archived from the original on 2007-07-10. Retrieved on 2007-12-20.
  4. ^ Nethaera 2007-09-26. Anything a Priest can Look Forward to 2.3?. Archived from the original on 2007-09-26. Retrieved on 2007-12-20.

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