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Priest Leveling Guide

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A lot of people may be afraid to level a Priest, thinking that it is weak when soloing. They're not wrong; Priest is rather weak by itself while leveling, but it is still one of the better leveling classes, because it is very efficient. Compared to other casters who have to spend lots of mana then spend time drinking, Priest makes use of Wands, and while the class has slower kill times, it has faster leveling speed overall because you have little downtime.

 

The general strategy to leveling a Priest is to go (mostly) Shadow, and keep your Wand upgraded. You put 5 points in Wand Specialization, then go down the Shadow tree from there. You can search vanilla Wowhead sites for wand upgrades, but for Alliance, I typically take this path:

 

Lesser Magic Wand (5) -> Greater Magic Wand (13) -> Cookie's Stirring Rod (18) -> Gravestone Scepter (20 or so) -> Earthen Rod (35, BoE) -> Wand of Allistarj (45, BoE) -> Whatever you stumble upon after that; once you hit 50 or so, you'll start making use of Mind Blast and Mind Flay instead of wanding, unless you can find a really nice wand.

 

The BoEs never really cost me very much, across all of the private servers I've played. Earthen Rod is usually around 5-10g, and Allistarj is never more than 20-25g.

 

************

TALENTS

************

 

Level 20: http://i.imgur.com/iFJPLoB.png

-5 points in Wand Spec, 5 points in Spirit Tap. Personally I go for Wand Spec first, since regen around lower levels is already decently high.

-Improved SWP is very nice; makes you do more damage for the same mana.

 

 

Level 30: http://i.imgur.com/Lwi229f.png

-Shadow Focus will ensure that you don't get resists....as often. Spell hit cap is 99% in vanilla, so you WILL get a resist every once in a while. Most people don't put 5 points into the talent, but if you do, it'll make your life easier if you find yourself against +3 mobs, or against higher level players in PvP.

-Pick up Mind Flay, but DO NOT use it in PvE. Your wand will do just about as much DPS, for no mana. Mind Flay does not get good until later ranks.

-Imp. Mind Blast is not very useful, since you really only cast it once per mob. Silence on the other hand is incredibly useful in both PvE and PvP, so we'll put some points into Imp. Psychic Scream.

 

 

Level 40: http://i.imgur.com/5bNLcCY.png

-Respec your talents and go all the way down to get Shadowform. Nice little damage boost and physical damage reduction. However, you'll still mostly be using your Wand, until the late 40s or so.

 

 

Level 50: http://i.imgur.com/GaXy2xd.png

-Add those points back into Wand Spec and continue down the Disc tree.

 

 

Level 60: http://i.imgur.com/9bnawxt.png

-Not much to say. The talent choices are pretty straight-forward.

-A tip for Inner Focus is to use it on Shadow Word: Pain, since that is the highest mana cost damage spell we have.

 

 

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GENERAL PLAYSTYLE

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Power Word: Shield (pre-pull) -> Mind Blast** -> Shadow Word: Pain -> Wand it to death

 

This is typically what you're going to be doing throughout your days as a Priest.

 

**Use whatever your highest damage spell is, at the time. Sometimes it is Smite, sometimes it is Holy Fire, sometimes it is Mind Blast. But once you get +shadow damage stuff like Darkness and Shadowform, it'll often be Mind Blast as your highest damage spell.

 

Using this rotation, you won't kill as fast as some other classes, but you will kill very efficiently with minimal mana usage. Your mana will start to regen while the mob is dying, and when it does die, you get that sweet Spirit Tap bonus for 15 seconds. Wands do pretty decent damage for no mana, and they cannot be pushed back like spellcasting can.

 

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STATS/GEARING

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For the most part, just grab anything with Int, Stam or Spirit on it. Spell damage if you can find it, but don't drop stats for it.

 

Spirit is really awesome because of Spirit Tap, so if you find yourself running low on mana often, stack more Spirit.

 

Int is okay, but the increase to max mana is really only useful for healing dungeons.

 

Stam is also pretty nice. More survivability never hurts.

 

 

**********************************************

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

**********************************************

 

Q. Can I heal dungeons as Shadow?

 

A. Sure you can. Every single healer can heal leveling dungeons without a healing spec, you just need int gear. And since Priest is already wearing int gear anyway...yeah. You don't *NEED* to be Holy to heal dungeons until the mid-50s or so. And even then, you could probably get by, with a decent tank.

 

Q. Isn't it better to level as Disc or Holy until you get Shadowform?

 

A. No, not really. Shadow gives you +6 seconds on SWP and +10% hit on Shadow spells, along with other goodies like Silence and Shadow Weaving, while Disc does not offer any damage bonuses until really deep in the tree. Holy is not good either, because while it does grant bonuses to Smite, you do not want to be casting often because then you will have to drink all the time.

Edited by gotmilk0112

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Good guide since you point out the importance of getting +wand specialization and then going shadow. 

 

I would suggest that with mindflay it should be brought into the rotation once per mob.   I'd Mind Blast on the pull > Mind Flay (they are slowed and taking damage) > Then SW: Pain > Then wand it while SW: Pain finishes it off.

 

You'll take a bit less damage per pull since you added the slow to the mob coming towards you, and only lose 1.5 ticks on SW:Pain prior to it getting to you, which you would be able to get your full mindflay channel off before they get to you so no loss due to knockback.

 

Prior to getting Spirit Tap, try your best to only use magic spells at the beginning of the pull and finish with wanding only.  This is because after 5 seconds of not using a magic ability that cost mana, your spirit mana regen kicks in and you'll end the fight with a decent amount of mana to decrease down time.

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Good guide since you point out the importance of getting +wand specialization and then going shadow. 

Eh, that's like, the most basic part of leveling Priest in vanilla/BC. Wands are OP for Priest since we get +25% damage on them, and we can just SWP+Wand for extremely mana-efficient solo grinding.

 

IIRC Warlocks can do this as well to save mana; just send pet in, couple of DoTs, then wand to death, so that you're not constantly life tapping and life draining.

 

 

I would suggest that with mindflay it should be brought into the rotation once per mob.   I'd Mind Blast on the pull > Mind Flay (they are slowed and taking damage) > Then SW: Pain > Then wand it while SW: Pain finishes it off.

 

You'll take a bit less damage per pull since you added the slow to the mob coming towards you, and only lose 1.5 ticks on SW:Pain prior to it getting to you, which you would be able to get your full mindflay channel off before they get to you so no loss due to knockback.

No, Mind Flay just sucks at lower levels. By the time you get it at level 20, you should have Cookie's Stirring Rod, which does just a little less DPS than Mind Flay, while costing 0 mana and being immune to pushback. Or if you get the Gravestone Scepter right at 20, that фекал does more DPS than rank1 Mind Flay.

 

Mob damage is not really an issue, in my experience. As long as you stick to mobs around your level, you should not take too much damage. And any damage you do take, will be quickly regen'd from Spirit Tap anyways. The extra bit of slowing from MF doesn't make any noticeable difference.

Edited by gotmilk0112

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Mob damage is never an issue, but it is still there.  If you can avoid getting hit 1-2 times while doing the same amount of damage, then it is worth it.

 

Not feeling like pressing a button vs not worth it is different.

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Nice Guide,  btw if you don't mind if i share some of my leveling experience as Shadow Priest.

 

I basically followed Raiding Spec PVE beginning from Shadow http://db.vanillagaming.org/?talent#bVx0sZZxGxtcxkt

 

What i was doing even within Dungeons which result me with high dps and less likely to almost never drink

 

On mobs swp multidot - wand in low lvl dungeons , high level dungeons i included mindblast , on boss i was using basic rotation mb-swp-flay .

 

It was fun when i rekt 2 fire mages in SFK using that way ^ on dmg meters :)

 

Solo questing i was mb-swp multidot and wand which made me regen enough mana and kill quite fast .

 

Go full Intellect and Spirit as secondary made me nearly never oom and no breaks ;)

 

/Kind regards Killerduki

Edited by killerduki

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Mob damage is never an issue, but it is still there.  If you can avoid getting hit 1-2 times while doing the same amount of damage, then it is worth it.

 

Not feeling like pressing a button vs not worth it is different.

The difference is really negligible though. Most times, the mob would die shortly after the PWS broke, and I'd take maybe 5-10% of health in damage, which would quickly regen back from Spirit Tap.

 

On a PvP server, sure, it wouldn't hurt to be a little more careful. But if there's no threat of enemy players around, I wouldn't go to the extra effort and mana expenditure.

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Shadow without Shadowform is a gimp tree. I wouldn't bother with more than 7 points. Slot 7 Shadow, 5 Disc (in either order), then dump the rest into Holy until level 40. You'll have a build that can heal better, on top of soloing just as well. The thing is that most of your DPS will come out of your wand regardless, so you may as well invest into Holy. Mind Flay is bad, and Vampiric Embrace is pointless until you get Shadowform. You may as well have improved Renew or Blessed Recovery; there's your extra healing. I'm also a big fan of Searing Light, but this one comes too late before 40 unless you skipped Wand Spec, which I don't recommend unless you have a Mage attached to your hip every day or can summon your own water. You can turn your low level Priest into a decent Mage with the crit/cast/damage talents all stacked up, but then you'll have to drink like a Mage too, yet without the ability to summon it. Wanding doesn't cost anything. Basically the rotation is Holy Fire/Smite/Pain/Renew/Wand. If it doesn't die fast enough, drop another nuke onto it or heal yourself. Holy has -70 pushback on heals. Don't ever shield unless you're forced to, it's a waste of mana.

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Mm, I kinda see what you mean. But really, I don't think it would make too much of a difference.

 

(both of these are at level 39)

https://puu.sh/sxm9p/247c2c4aa8.png - Putting points in Holy, you get that 5% crit on Holy spells, -0.5 cast time on Heal/Greater Heal/Smite/Holy Fire, pushback resistance on heals, and Holy Nova

 

https://puu.sh/sxmbO/d01706fe2a.png - Continuing full shadow, you get extra range, stacking shadow damage increase debuff, Silence, reduced CD on our only CC spell, and Mind Flay, which isn't useful in grinding mobs, but is quite useful in PvP

 

I suppose on a PvE server, it'd be fine to go with the Holy points, because you're not going to have to worry about PvP.

 

But either one would work for solo leveling. I just lean towards Shadow since it gives more damage bonuses, and the extra utility of Silence. Plus, if you really need to nuke something with your spells, you've got +15% Shadow damage from Shadow Weaving.

Edited by gotmilk0112

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http://db.vanillagaming.org/?talent#bVMZbhtZxM

 

This is what I aim for at the start :) I can level solo very efficient and also heal dungeons very well and easy. Improved Stamina, because why not? :) In general I love buffs being significant in Vanilla and I am obsessed to improve them even more :)

 

Plus, I use smite + pain, so spending 5 points to shadow resist just for pain, which is instant cast and can re-apply it if I want...

 

From that point on, I generally go down the holy tree, cause I always look going into groups and doing dungeons and I want to be good at it and make it easy for me :). I don't even respec into shadowform at 40..

 

I know people say that you can heal dungeons up to 50 without being specced into healer, but it just does not feel right to me. I dont say they are wrong, but when I do something, I want to have the best tools for it. Especially when in group. When I am solo, I dont care being efficient or not, just to do the job.

 

But that is the magic of vanilla, freedom! 10 people here may level with 10 different specs and all will do just fine and get into groups. 

Edited by rohirrim

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I'd also like to point out that anyone choosing to roll on the fresh PvP server will simply not be getting all those wands at those minimum levels unless you are extremely lucky.  There won't be anything on the Auction House.  The Lesser Magic Wand and Greater Magic Wand requires an Enchanter with skill 10 and 70 (respectively) to craft.  If you're rolling Enchanting yourself...great..but on a fresh server you'll most certainly want to save that precious silver for your skills.  It's pretty much normal that you don't even see 1g until about level 15 or so if you're vendoring EVERYTHING, something you won't be doing if you're DE'ing greens.  Good luck hitting Enchanting skill 70 before level 30 (I'm serious).

 

It's a good guide, and the way I'd go on an established server for sure, but anyone rolling on the fresh PvP server within the 1st month of it's launch or so needs to consider its economy and how that might affect their leveling.  7 in Shadow for Tap + Imp SWP and then bolting down holy to Searing Light is a pretty solid choice under the circumstances.  Most folks won't get Gravestone until level 26ish under a normal BFD run.

Edited by AgentMulder

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Am I the only one who goes Disc instead of holy first after Spirit tap?

 

I mainly do it for mana conservation, Inner focus is nice to prolong the out of casting mana regen and then you have meditation while casting.

Haven't done the math, so I don't know how much mana you save, so maybe it's not worth it.

Since I usually level with friends so we can go on without any breaks and do dungeons as easily as possible.

Would look like this at 39: (Sometimes I go all out disc and just go down to grab Divine Spirit)
tdVRV26.png

Edited by Res

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On a server with wealthy amount of players it's always a somewhat of a niche to be shadow very early, it allows you to nuke mobs fast at the cost of longer downtime between mobs, BUT, it may very well save you a lot while leveling when you have to venture through say STV, Desolace, 1k needles, Duskwood and Redridge.

It's always going to be a high risk of PvP.

 

Normally I'd say first go 5/5 spirit tap then Imp Wand and continue down Discipline for e.g PWS, inner focus, imp fort, meditation for the survivability and longevity.. 

But.. Nostalrius is nothing like the ordinary.

If you're horde, imho spec as followed and once 40 spec into Shadow because then you can actually ulitize the shadow spells.

If you're alliance, Imp wand then just dump everything into Shadow, you need it.

 

Just remember that your primary DPS comes from your wand, so there's really no point to spam mindblast or mindflay for the sake of it, one reason priests do have it easy(not always) is because we don't have to eat or drink very often like a rogue or warrior(unless you hamstring kite which is tedious af)

If you're like me and prefer to level without worrying too much about professions then it's also very useful to go Shadow from the get-go(imp wand > Shadow) because you won't have to spend money on holy spells 1-40 then respec shadow and learn r1+ shadow spells which will save you many shekels.

 

That's it for me and I hope it was helpful,

Excuse the lack of paragraphing and whatnot.

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I go 5/5 Spirit Tap first like majory200 since the 25% increased damage on wands isn't that much early on. I find it weird though that no one mentions Martyrdom instead of Improved Fortitude. It's great for soloing hard/elite mobs as well as for the world PvP that you'll be part of inevitably and helps out healing in instances if you get a bad tank. The additional stamina from Improved Fortitude is only 12 more on last rank, can't imagine being worth it on the lesser ranks. I would like to add http://db.vanillagaming.org/?quest=516 (level 16+) in the wands list in case you're not Alliance, not an enchanter or don't want to waste money for Greater Magic Wand.

But all this is just minor tidbits. The guide covers pretty much everything a leveling Priest needs to know.

Edited by cryofsorrow

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Am I the only one who goes Disc instead of holy first after Spirit tap?

 

I mainly do it for mana conservation, Inner focus is nice to prolong the out of casting mana regen and then you have meditation while casting.

Haven't done the math, so I don't know how much mana you save, so maybe it's not worth it.

Unless you're getting into lots of PvP catfights, you shouldn't be having mana problems with just Spirit Tap.

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I go 5/5 Spirit Tap first like majory200 since the 25% increased damage on wands isn't that much early on. I find it weird though that no one mentions Martyrdom instead of Improved Fortitude. It's great for soloing hard/elite mobs as well as for the world PvP that you'll be part of inevitably and helps out healing in instances if you get a bad tank. The additional stamina from Improved Fortitude is only 12 more on last rank, can't imagine being worth it on the lesser ranks. I would like to add http://db.vanillagaming.org/?quest=516 (level 16+) in the wands list in case you're not Alliance, not an enchanter or don't want to waste money for Greater Magic Wand.

But all this is just minor tidbits. The guide covers pretty much everything a leveling Priest needs to know.

 

 

Reason I skip martyrdom is because I prefer to use Renew and I always pre-cast PWS so if I am in a delicate situation I can just toss a new one up.

I feel like the imp fortitude is more advantageous because you benefit consistently, rather than through spontaneity like Martyrdom as it only procs off of a critical strike.

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If you have the patience to find a group, I would suggest getting the Blackfathom Villainy quest early on. That wand lasts a while :D

Yeah, I listed that one. IIRC you can pick that quest up at level 18, though I'm not sure about the follow-up quest within the dungeon. I think that one requires 19. I remember on Nost, someone getting that quest at 18 and then being unable to pick up the next part inside the dungeon.

 

The wand itself is like level 27 or 28, which is why getting it at level 20 feels so nice.

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There's tons of free wands from quest rewards, some of which are high DPS blues. But many are on quests you probably might not do, so you need to actually get a list.

http://db.vanillagaming.org/?items=2.19#0+2+3+1

Blue BOEs are at some levels the best option, but they are by no means required, they just give slightly more DPS.

You don't *NEED* to upgrade your wand all the time, but being that it's your main source of damage as a leveling Priest, it's always good to keep it updated. They've never been too expensive, all of the times I leveled a Priest. Earthen Rod was always around 5-7g, and Wand of Allistarj was always around 10-15g. They're cheap because they have no (useful) stats on them, and thus, they're really only useful for priests and maybe warlocks.

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Personally, other than the 30-40 silver Greater Magic Wand I buy for lvl 13+, I don't buy anything. Seems to work out fine for the most part. You get around 10-ish lvls between wand upgrades from quests rewards.

Edited by Shayss

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Yep, you don't *NEED* to buy the BoE wands, but if you can find them cheap, go right ahead.

 

The Gravestone Scepter will be good through the mid-30s, and you can get Fizzle's Zippy Lighter around level 37-38 from a 4 or 5-quest chain that starts in Shimmering Flats, then goes to Badlands, then southern STV. It's only a minor upgrade, but it's free from a quest.

 

There's also Burning Sliver from a level ~38 group quest in Hillsbrad.

 

You can also skip out on the Allistarj and try to get Noxious Shooter from Maraudon.

 

Lots of other wands that you can get; I just suggested a couple of BoE ones that are easily and cheaply acquired.

Edited by gotmilk0112

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"There's also Burning Sliver from a level ~38 group quest in Hillsbrad."

 

Alliance only :(

 

Is there a horde version for this one? Looks good.

Edited by Shayss

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Around 34-40 I always go for the Shadow DMG wand from the Stromgarde Keep group quest(s). 

I keep it all the way til around 50+.

 

In the beginning I just quest, most usually I buy the enchanting wand or do so myself, around 16-18 you can get a decent wand from the quest in southwest Westfall, the light beacon if I recall.

 

After that you can either- do the Darnassus>BFD quest if you want to although I never go out of my way while leveling like that, Gnomer, ZF, Ulda and ST is about it due to XP.

Or just Ashenvale, if I'm not mistaken you get a decent wand from the Furbolg quest chain.

Clouded memory..

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