Holy Priest PvE Starter Healing Guide : 3.3
I have long wanted to write this guide, and I've been working on it for a very long time. Why has it taken so long? The beauty of the Holy Priest is also what makes it difficult to learn to play WELL - Versatility. Therefore, I have spent the entire week leading up to this post trying to explain some of the versatility in talents, playstyles, and spells.

If you have come here specifically for this guide, I highly encourage you to check out several of the relevant posts I've made regarding Holy Priesting (which I have linked all over the place ad nauseam), because there is no simple cut and dry method of explaining how to play this spec well. Unlike Discipline priests, Holy Priests heal in a more reactive way, which means that the healing choices you make depend a lot more on the fight, and are less likely to fall under a set "rotation", despite Blizzard's development efforts to change this.

Here is a quickie table of contents of the subjects covered in this guide:

Discussion/Suggestions for Gems can be found in a separate post until guide is updated. Enchant info at a later date, stay tuned.


Your spec will vary depending on playstyle and the makeup of the group with which you currently run, so please read the full guide for more clarification.


While I have given some basic suggestions for specs depending on your chosen scenario, you should read about the individual talents to get a better feel for what talents are best for your playstyle. This section will explain why I've chosen what I have, and give you some information about what to switch around in your spec, with some consideration given to the debates surrounding different talents and spells. Note that not all talents are listed here - just the ones about which I have some comments.

We are versatile healers, this is true, but you should consider the other healers in your group in order to not waste your points on talents that you won't get much use out of due to other Pallies or Disc Priests or Trees. See my posts about the following talents/spells to get some background on a few of the talent debates.
Now, on to the individual talent discussions.

From the Disc Tree:
  • Twin Disciplines: The alternative to this tier 1 talents is very fight specific in PvE - Unbreakable Will is more of a PvP talent. For the Holy Priest, Twin Disciplines affects primarily Renew, Power Word: Shield, Circle of Healing, and Prayer of Mending. Those last two instant casts are among our most commonly used spells.
  • Improved Inner Fire: The added charges are not what make this a strong talent - it's the added 45% effect. Note that at level 71, Inner Fire rank 8 and all following ranks not only increase your armor, but also your spellpower.
  • Improved Power Word: Fortitude: Stamina = extra health. Everyone wants that. Nearly all priests take this talent, so it is unlikely you will run into a PvE priest without it.
  • Meditation: This is the primary reason you spec into Disc at all. Again, every priest, PvE or PvP usually specs into Meditation. This is particularly important for Holy Priests who are notorious for having mana problems. Also, note that you may find a lot of information on teh interwebs about the notorious 5 second rule. Please see elitistjerks for more information and history about why Meditation means that we are no longer nearly as concerned about 5SR.
  • Inner Focus: You will note this is none of the specs I have linked. This is a very good spell if you train yourself to use it properly, but of all the Priest specs, Holy arguably gets the least benefit from it. This is mostly because we have so many strong talents deep in the Holy tree that this 1 talent point that no longer helps build us up tier wise to better talents is better spent elsewhere, IMO. It is not a bad idea to take this talent if you prefer however - coupled with Divine Hymn, it is incredibly powerful.
From the Holy Tree:
  • Holy Specialization - Always put your first 5 points into this talent. Many good Holy procs are based on crit - some give us added throughput, some give us mana regen. Don't skip it.
  • Inspiration - You might as well pick up Inspiration, though personally I find its use somewhat debatable. As the folks over at elitistjerks pointed out though, at some point you will get some heals on the tank, they can always use the boost in armor, and since there really aren’t any options that are much better, it’s "selfish" not to take this talent.
  • Backtracking to - Improved Renew vs Divine Fury vs Spell Warding vs Improved Healing -
    The first third of the Holy Tree is full of a lot of crap relating to spells that after a certain level are no longer used or are Disc spells (Lesser Heal, Heal, Penance). This is where you will find several differences between my 5 man healing spec and my raiding spec. The
    biggest debate that pops up is whether or not talents that only really benefit Greater Heal at level 80 are worth it. See my discussion on the relevance of Greater Heal, in addition to the discussion about Renew before deciding which talents to choose.
  • Spirit of Redemption - It's our failpriest! When you die, everyone will know, which is pretty annoying. However, when you die, you have unlimited mana for 15 seconds, allowing you to possibly spare the group a wipe. If you find yourself "enjoying" this somewhat bittersweet talent quite a bit, you should consider picking up the relevant glyph. Also note the added 5% spirit. Again, mana is a problem for Holy Priests, so that extra 5% is helpful - it also combines well with the next important talent...
  • Spiritual Guidance - This is the talent that generally make spirit our preference for mana regen stats over Mp5 (and all blue sockets). Particularly as you are first gearing up, stacking spirit can be very helpful because in addition to increasing your mana regen, it also gives you a bit of a boost to spellpower. Before I found myself with near unlimited mana, I enchanted everything with spirit when it was a viable option - even preferring it over spellpower.
  • Surge of Light - One of the talents that increase the value of crit for Holy Priests. A free, instant Flash Heal is pretty nice, even if that Flash Heal can't crit. Note that it also can be used for a free Smite - so if there's no one to heal, you can always smite something, right? Those free Flash Heals proc quite a bit from Prayer of Healing and Circle of Healing, and they DO count towards Serendipity stacks (explained later).
  • Holy Concentration - Important mana regen talent that increase the value of crit. Definitely pick this up.
  • Lightwell - Take it or leave it, this is completely up to you and the group you heal. See my post about this talent/spell.
  • Serendipity - Gotta have it. This is the closest thing we have to a "rotation". If you are healing five mans, it's great for a super fast big bomb Greater Heal. If you are raiding and focusing on raid heals, this makes Prayer of Healing pretty awesome. Note that as mentioned previously, those Surge of Light Flash Heals DO count towards building Serendipity stacks. One thing to consider - just because you have three stacks of Serendipity does not necessarily mean you should blow a Greater Heal or Prayer of Healing - both of these spells are expensive mana wise, and you will find yourself running through your mana very quickly if you are too liberal with Serendipity usage.
  • Body and Soul - potentially a very good spell, but dependent on your raiding group - see my post about it for more information.
  • Empowered Healing - This is a very debatable talent, due to most of its benefit going to Greater Heal (read about that debate here). Therefore, if you don't use Greater Heal much, it is probably better to spec into Blessed Resilience and/or Spiritual Healing. If you're healing 5 mans, you're more likely to use Greater Heal than in a raid, which is why you will see a different between my 5 man spec and my raiding spec. Read the Greater Heal debate here.
  • Circle of Healing - Staple Holy Priest spell. You absolutely must have this, whether you heal 5 mans or raid. This is arguably the strongest Holy Priest spell, due to the fact that, to my knowledge, no other healing class has an AoE Instant Smart Heal, especially not on such a short cooldown. The key here is that this heal is SMART - it will heal the people who need the heals most.
  • Empowered Renew - Awesome if you use Renew a lot. See my post regarding usage of our one Priest HoT to decide whether you should pick this up or not.
  • Guardian Spirit - The best Oh Snap (In Ghostcrawler's words) in the Holy Priest arsenal. Coupled with the relevant Glyph, you do not need to reserve its use for Main Tanks only.


As your gear improves, you will find yourself stacking different stats. The two main exceptions are Spell Haste and Crit. You can choose to emphasize one over the other, dependent on your playstyle, or try to strike a balance between the two.

  • Hit Rating - If you are entirely new to healing, please note that healers need absolutely no hit rating. Heals always hit, never miss.
  • Stamina - Of course, added health is always a good thing for survivability. However, you should never waste your gems or enchants on stacking stamina. Stamina comes naturally with higher level gear, and with Improved Power Word: Fortitude, you get a little extra Stamina anyway.
  • Spirit - Due to Spiritual Guidance, spirit is a better choice than Mp5 for mana regen stats. If you have a choice between Mp5 or Spirit for an enchant, pick spirit. Same goes for gems - If you absolutely must use a blue socket gem, pick Spirit over the alternatives.
  • Mp5 - Good regen of course, but even with the recent buff, Spirit is still probably better.
  • Intellect - This is actually my preferred mana stat. Note that the following spells/procs/abilities are based on the size of your mana pool, and therefore are directly affected by Intellect (which also increases your crit rating, don't forget!) - Replenishment, Shadowfiend, Hymn of Hope.
Mana Regeneration Formula at Level 80 (Check WoWWiki for more information):
 MP5 = 5 * (0.001 + sqrt(Int) * Spirit * 0.005575) * 0.60 <i>rounded u</i>p
If you are raiding, and therefore more likely to benefit from the procs and abilities of multiple other players, Intellect is the best "regen" stat to stack. For five mans, however, you won't get quite as much use out of Intellect (though it is still very important) so you can focus a bit more of your attention on Spirit, or Mp5 where Spirit is not an option.

When you first start gearing up, it is my opinion that Regen stats are the most important to stack, even over spellpower. Spellpower is useless if you have no mana. It won't take long, however, before you find that you are no longer running out of mana during fights, particularly if you excel at mana conservation. Once you find yourself at this point, you can focus more on replacing your enchants and gems with other stats that reflect more personal healing style.
  • Spellpower - This is another stat that naturally builds with higher level gear. Almost all healing and caster gear will have Spellpower on it. That having been said, it is never a bad idea to gem or enchant for spellpower, and when in doubt, it is always a solid choice.
  • Critical Strike Rating - There are several talents that benefit from higher crit rating, in particular Surge of Light and Holy Concentration. If you are trying to decide between Crit Rating and Haste Rating, there are plenty of discussions all over the internet (including my own) and loads of theory crafting to help you with your decision. Regardless, it usually comes down to personal choice, at least up to a certain amount. Always remember to consider what buffs will be provided by other group members as well, such as a Boomkin.
  • Haste Rating - Always good. Nothing feels better to me than peeling off a save-your-ass heal just in the nick of time. If you find yourself at the end of a fight with plenty of mana but lots of dead folks, you may need to stack more haste or at least more spellpower.
If you are looking for the theorycrafting numbers and math relevant to those last two stats, I recommend WoWWiki: Spell Haste and WoWWiki: Spell Critical Strike , and of course, elitistjerks.


There are actually a plethora of really good Holy glyphs. I suspect this is partially due to the innate versatility of the spec – there are so many different ways you can heal as a Holy Priest, and therefore the glyphs reflect that. I have selected all the Major Glyphs that are good options for a PvE Holy Priest, and I’ll explain how to decide if it’s the right glyph for you. As a side note, the first three listed are the ones I usually use.

  • Circle of Healing - This is absolutely useless if you do not raid, and only do 5 man dungeons – because you don’t have a 6th recipient. For a raiding priest, this is arguably the best glyph, and essentially required, because you should almost always be using Circle of Healing, since it’s awesome. This glyph increases its awesomeness by 20%.
  • Guardian Spirit - I like this because it allows me to be more liberal with my Guardian Spirit usage. I’m one of those people who is very nervous about using spells with a long cooldown, so I end up not using them at all. With this glyph, I know that if my Guardian Spirit does NOT save the target’s life, I haven’t completely wasted the cooldown – I’ll have it back for my usage fairly soon.
  • Flash Heal - If you use Flash Heal a lot and ever find yourself with mana problems, pick this up. However, if you no longer ever have any OOM moments, then you might pick up something else, since there are a lot of good options.
  • Lightwell - See my post on the use of Lightwell and decide for yourself how much you think you will use it before you pick up this glyph. This is actually a very powerful glyph – but ONLY if you KNOW that everyone in your group will properly make use of your Lightwell.
  • Holy Nova - This is not very good for raiding, because you will undoubtedly prefer Circle of Healing, but if you focus on 5 man dungeons, a lot of times you might use Holy Nova (since it will heal everyone within range in your group anyway). This is a very good boost to the spell, and I highly recommend it for leveling priests and for those who focus on 5 mans.
  • Hymn of Hope - another good glyph if you are still at that stage where you are having mana problems. Keep in mind that Hymn of Hope is more of a group/raid mana replenishment tool, not necessarily the best individual replenishment choice (a la Shadowfiend) so this is pretty pointless in 5 man groups if there aren’t multiple other mana users.
  • Power Word: Shield - Great glyph for 5 man healing. Fairly nice for raiding. Nice for soloing too. Almost useless if you raid with a disc priest – you shouldn’t be wasting your time bubbling, when theirs are better.
  • Prayer of Healing - This glyph provides us with one more HoT. Therefore, it's not really a great choice if you run with a Healing Druid. However, with the recent nerf to Prayer of Healing, I have found myself often needing to cast PoH twice to top people off after massive raid damage - with this glyph, it's no longer necessary.
  • Renew - If you use Renew a lot, and don't run with any healing druids, this is potentially a nice choice, because it essentially takes your HoT and turns it into a HoLT - Heal over Less Time. Same amount of healing, just done in a shorter period of time. Usually though, you might as well just use a direct heal instead.
  • Spirit of Redemption - Nice glyph for PvP. This is also a good glyph if you are progressing through content, and find yourself face down on the floor a lot. You can save a lot of wipes with Spirit of Redemption, particularly if there are no battle razzes available.
Our minor glyph options aren't so great. Glyph of Levitate is always the best choice, Glyph of Shadowfiend is one of the better choices as well. I have a preference for Glyph of Shadow Protection, but Glyph of Shackle Undead is probably a good option for 5 man healers.


Welcome to your arsenal of spells. There is no getting around it, this section is long - this is because we just have such a large and versatile selection of healing spells from which to choose. I'm skipping the main buffs, and focusing on spells you will most likely use whilst healing.

Discipline Spells:
  • Fear Ward - V. nice in fights like Auriaya from Ulduar. Cooldown on it sucks, but there is a Glyph for that.
  • Power Word: Shield - Bubble Bubble toil and trouble... unless there's a disc priest in your group. Please don't be that annoying Holy Priest all Disc Priests hate. When in doubt, ask the other priest in the raid if they are holy or disc. If they are Disc, ask if they would like you to refrain from bubbling certain folks, or anyone for that matter.
  • Shackle Undead - Decent crowd control, but only when there are undeadies around.
  • Mass Dispel - In most scenarios, don't bother. Let a Disc Priest handle it.
Holy Spells:
  • Binding Heal - If you take damage, you might as well heal someone else who has taken damage along with yourself. This is low threat, and also builds Serendipity stacks. Hotkey it, use it, love it.
  • Circle of Healing (talents) - Arguably the number 1 awesome Holy Priest spell.
  • Divine Hymn - Incredibly powerful, very expensive, channeled AoE spell. Long cooldown means this will probably be the kind of spell you only use once per boss fight, so choose your timing carefully, and utilize it in a raid/group wide damage scenario, when you are potentially near a wipe. Best for raiding, not as useful for 5 mans.
  • Flash Heal - Our default heal, really. When you can't find a good reason to use any of your other awesome healing spells, always default to this. It's your staple heal, it's your basic, procs anything, crits, etc etc.
  • Greater Heal - Our default healbomb. Read about whether or not to use this spell.
  • Guardian Spirit (Talents) - Oh Snap The Tank is Gonna Die spell. This will save someone's life if they aren't being stupid.
  • Heal - Useless after level 40, when you get Greater Heal.
  • Holy Nova - As a holy priest, this is vastly inferior to Circle of Healing for raiding, because this is NOT a smart heal. It will only heal members of your group who are in range. However, in a 5 man scenario, this is a good choice - it generates no threat, and does damage as well which is great for AoE scenarios. If you primarily heal 5 mans, pick up Glyph of Holy Nova to make this even better. Don't forget these heals can crit, and proc Surge of Light and Holy Concentration.
  • Hymn of Hope - One of our Regen spells. Read the tooltip carefully - it is more for the benefit of your raid or group when people are running low on mana than for yourself - although, if you couple this with Shadowfiend, you will get more bang for your buck. Don't bother with it in a 5 man if you are the only one using mana, or other mana users have plenty of mana, unless you are desperate.
  • Lesser Heal - Useless after level 20 when you pick up Flash Heal.
  • Lightwell (talents) - Potentially very good if used properly. Again, see my post about this spell.
  • Prayer of Healing - Powerful AoE heal. Long cast, but can be shortened by Serendipity. Unlike Circle of Healing, this is not a smart cast, but it has no cooldown aside from GCD, and it IS targettable - that means that it will heal all the people in the same group as the person you cast it on. Great for healing after massive raidwide damage. Couple it with Glyph of Prayer of Healing for an even better effect if you are lacking tree druids.
  • Prayer of Mending - Fantastic spell for reactive healing - it's semi smart and does a lot of the job for you. Bounces around, healing people who need it, like your own little healing midget friend. It's powerful, it's smart, it's instant, it can crit (and proc Surge of Light). Note that the threat it generates goes back to you, so while it's a good idea to toss this on the tank before the pull, use with caution if your tank isn't very good at holding threat yet. Keep it bouncing at all times. Tip: If it settles on you and stops bouncing around, use Shadow Word: Death on a proper mob (focus off the tank please!) to get it bouncing around again.
  • Renew - It's our sole HoT (unless you pick up Glyph of Prayer of Healing) - and it's surprisingly good. Great for topping folks off when you have other things to do, because it is instant cast. If there are no tree druids around, throw it on the tanks to help the main tank healers out a bit. As with any HoT, this is a great spell to use when someone has some DoT effect on them that cannot be abolished or dispelled. If someone gets bombed or some other wonky fight mechanic, toss a renew on them, and in many cases, that will be sufficient.
  • Resurrection - our basic rezzing spell. Cannot be used while in combat. Duh.
Shadow Spells:
  • Fade - This is a temporary threat dump spell. The cooldown on it is longer than I would like, but it is very handy. If mobs start running towards you, just Fade and continue to heal. If the tanks are decent, they will pick them up then. You don't have to run to the tank - just fade. This is also awesome when mobs spawn, and you start out at the top of their threat meter (I'm thinking of you, Archavon)
  • Psychic Scream - Please don't use this. Like, ever. This is not a crowd control spell - this is more like a crowd uncontrolled spell. If you are wearing mobs, Fade. If Fade is on cooldown, just bubble, run towards the tank, scream and cry. If you use Psychic Scream in any situation aside from very rare exceptions, you will find that your tank will probably just start letting you die all the time. It's a PitA to try and pick up Feared mobs, and it generates a lot of threat.
  • Shadowfiend - This is our mana regen tool. The cooldown is actually fairly low, but use it BEFORE you run out of mana so that you can use it again later. You don't really need to do anything to control this little beast - just pop it and ignore it, or couple it with Replenishment or Hymn of Hope, as it returns mana to you based on your mana pool.

Rotations, Tips, and Strategies

There are very few situations in which Holy Priesting lends itself to a "rotation" per se. Really, the only time you are going to see this much is in a 5 man scenario, if then. I will address a couple of different scenarios for the Holy Priest who wants to heal, as they encourage different playstyles.

Single-Target Healing:

This is not the strength of a Holy Priest. Really, if you want to single-target heal, switch to Disc, and check out how to do disc. However, you may find yourself in lots of situations in which you will be temporarily required to heal a single-target. In such cases as these, when you only have to worry about one person, and perhaps your self, you can do this relatively well, though other healing classes are better at it. The main reason why Holy Priests are not the optimal choice for MT healing is not because they can't do big bursty heals (they can) or use HoTs and shields for buffering/mitigating damage (they can), but mostly because they will often struggle with mana if forced to focus on spam healing one target for an entire fight. Therefore, if you find yourself as the MT healer for whatever reason, equip trinkets that will maximize your mana regen, and be particularly conscientious of your mana return cooldowns.
5 Man Healing:

Healing a 5 man instance is pretty fun because you are the only healer, and get to use a much bigger mix of all your tools. It's also harder to tell someone what to do when, and which spells to use, because it depends very much on the scenario and the fight. 5 manning involves a combination of single-target healing as mentioned above, and group healing as mentioned below, so you get to use everything.
  • Before any pulls, bubble the tank and start a Prayer of Mending on them. Once the tank starts taking damage, throw a renew on him or her, and keep it rolling as needed to buffer some incoming damage.
  • Ensure that Prayer of Mending is always on cooldown - keep it bouncing. When bored, it's not a bad idea to just throw renews around to make your job easier.
  • Put a bubble on that damn mage. Srsly.
  • If you get aggro and take damage, fade if necessary, then Binding Heal to someone else who has taken damage (preferably the tank).
  • You have three real options for healing your entire group simultaneously - Holy Nova, Circle of Healing, and Prayer of Healing. Those are in order from cheapest mana wise and lowest amount of healing, to most expensive mana wise and most amount of healing (based on tooltip alone - this does not reflect talents, glyphs, or Spellpower coefficients). All three of these can proc Surge of Light. Holy Nova will only work well if everyone is within a very short range of one another - keep in mind it also does damage (so beware around CC'd mobs, etc). Circle of Healing is often your optimal choice. If it is on cooldown, Holy Nova will usually suffice, but use Prayer of Healing sparingly, probably only with 3 stacks of serendipity, only when Circle of Healing is on cooldown, and only when there has been a lot of group-wide damage.
  • Holy Priests are very mobile healers. If it is necessary for you to move around a lot while healing, focus your efforts on Power Word: Shield, Prayer of Mending, Renew, Circle of Healing, and Holy Nova, as these are all instant cast spells, and all but the first can proc Surge of Light (bubble can proc this if glyphed, btw) if specced properly, which will potentially give you yet another instant heal.
  • Read up on your full arsenal of spells - there are very few of them that are NOT useful in a 5 man environment.
Raid Healing

In a raid, you will most likely always be assigned to AoE Healing. Always take careful note of the other healers in your healing group, and adjust your style and the spells you use dependent on the other classes available. For instance, if there are Disc Priests in the raid, avoid bubbling. If there are Trees, Renew is likely unnecessary. If you have Pallies, don't even bother with Greater Heal.
  • Circle of Healing, Circle of Healing, Circle of Healing. Don't bother with Holy Nova.
  • Flash Heal when Circle of Healing is on cooldown, Binding Heal to someone else when you take damage, and use Prayer of Healing with three stacks of Serendipity when there is massive raid wide damage.
  • If there are Pallies healing the MT, but no druids, throw a shield + renew combo on the MT, as well as Prayer of Mending.
  • If there are no Disc Priests, Shield those who get bombed, fisted, slagged, tanked, overdue the aggro, or just in general are idiots or squishy.
  • Sometimes locks like to drive us mad. If you see their health dip drastically while their mana simultaneously increase, just throw a renew on them and a glare.
  • Always keep a Prayer of Mending bouncing.
  • Use your mana regen spells BEFORE you run out of mana. In boss fights that you know are long and will strain your mana reserves, use them early so that you can potentially use them again (i.e. Shadowfiend) during the same fight.
*pant*pant*... And there you go - hopefully a fairly inclusive guide to help you get started. If you feel there is something I should add here to make it even MORE tldr, please comment and let me know.

ETA: 10/06/09 - Added link to gems post and to enchants post.
ETA: 1/27/10 - Updated the title, since this guide will also work for patch 3.3. Added a little more info for single target healing and in various other spots because it simply wasn't TLDR enough.

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35 Responses
  1. Fido Says:

    Maybe I'll try Holy someday ^^

  2. Jasmine Says:

    "Put a bubble on that damn mage. Srsly."

    Srsly. What's with them always trying to get themselves killed?

  3. Jasmine Says:

    btw, I love Holy healing, perhaps even more than Shaman healing. Maybe that's b/c I just started Resto dual-spec with the shaman, though. ha ha.

  4. Danny Says:

    do NOT forget Holy nova. At crusual circumstances it may safe your life, its one of those instant healing spells (together with CoH and Renew altho based on ticks) that may safe your life. Yes, do not use Holy Nova to heal the raid, but do keep it safe somewere as THE panic button. Always handy against Faction Champions for example where Fear and Fade is on cooldown, a damn mob at your neck to stretch out some time for a tank to pick up or the cooldowns will wear off. Its your best friend at times when needed.

  5. @Danny

    The ONLY reason why I don't mention Holy Nova here in the way you've used it is because this is a starter guide for Holy - with the assumption that once you've reached the point where you are healing for Faction Champions, you probably do not need a starter guide!

    Holy Nova is an awesome spell - but it must be used with care in many fights because even though it does not generate a lot of threat, it DOES put you on the aggro table, and can run you out of mana very quickly if you aren't careful. I've seen a lot of people use Holy Nova and get themselves slaughtered - myself included. Faction Champs is a different story because its a pvp/pve blend.

  6. Fish Says:

    Your blog is amazing, kinda makes me want to heal on my priest, now on to read your disc guide. . .

  7. dahealinman Says:


  8. @dahealinman

    hahaha now THIS comment is so great, I'll leave it for pure entertainment.

  9. Wow. Thanks for this- I've been basically fending off threats to go disc as Ali. I've been Holy since lvl 10, but basically healing by the seat of my pants.

    Will be sure to reread in depth at some normal hou in the next few days."

    -Varla, Grand Protectorate of the Aldor

  10. Anonymous Says:

    Hey thanks so much for this - this is the best Priest Guide I have read! Thanks!

  11. Anonymous Says:

    Being a discipline healer since I rolled a priest, this guide makes holy healing less intimidating.

  12. Roy Says:

    Thanks for this nice guide!
    I was struggling to find a good rotation.. this is actually the first one I like :P Thanks again!

  13. Anonymous Says:

    Great Guide, thanks

  14. Anonymous Says:

    I so totally agree on putting the bubble on the mage they just keeping pulling aggro

  15. Rufus Says:

    Thank you so much for this, it's JUST what I've been looking for!


  16. Anonymous Says:

    thanks a lot, i just got dual spec and wwas wondering about holy tree, your guid realy helped =)

  17. Anonymous Says:

    This guide is horribly out of date. The advice is no longer accurate.

  18. @June 1 Anonymous

    No it's not. Not for starter healing.

  19. Justin Says:

    So what is accurate?

    I'm considering coming back to my holy priest after having shelved her not long after ToC was released.

    I found this blog linked on a friend's disc priest blog and it basically states things as they were at that time. What's are the latest trends in holy priestdom?

  20. @Justin

    Well, this is a starter guide for those new to holy priesting (thus the title). There really haven't been any significant changes to the design of the class since ToC. If you are looking for tips for holy priesting in ICC and so forth, just look through any priest blogs.

    Here is a link to all the blogs I read: http://missmedicina.blogspot.com/2010/03/full-healy-blog-list.html

  21. Jason Says:

    This was awesome, thank you so much. I've been a disc priest since day one and trying out holy has always made me nervous; I was glad to receive the advice!

  22. sanjilin Says:

    Wow!! thank you for this great info! Had my priest at 70 for about 2 yrs now & just got her to 80. LOL
    anyway ive been trying to find a site that gives a lil more info into holy priest. No luck till now. Thanks again

  23. Anonymous Says:

    "Sometimes locks like to drive us mad. If you see their health dip drastically while their mana simultaneously increase, just throw a renew on them and a glare."

    LOL-ing at this.
    i'm both a lock and a healing priest myself, so i know how sucky it is without life tap. tap tap tap like nobody's business. but when i'm on priest, i get irritated with them. rofl.

    i have a qns i've been thinking for long. since there's abolish disease, is there still any use for cure disease?

  24. @Anonymous

    Actually, yes. Abolish Disease ticks, and attempts to remove a disease every tick. Normally, that's a good thing.

    However, sometimes if you have to time the removal of a disease very carefully, you do not want ticks of it - you want one removal, and that's it.

    For instance, in the Rotface fight, if you are in charge of removing diseases, and you have to time the removals very carefully, you might want to use cure disease instead, because if you use abolish disease, and for whatever reason the target gets the Mutated Infection again shortly after, Abolish Disease will tick again and remove the disease instead of allowing you to control when it is removed.

    It's very rare that you would use Cure Disease instead of Abolish, but it's a good thing to keep in mind.

  25. Anonymous Says:

    Hey, like your guide. I play disc in 5-mans and have ventured into holy territory for 10s and the odd 25-man. As the raid healer (not the tank healer), can you please explain a little about these two situations:

    1) Top-ups. When damage is low should i just be dropping HOTs on to everyone?

    2) When there is a surge of damage and everyone's health bar goes down to halfway i tend to panic. My AoE heals only heal the people in my party (5 or 6 of us). What do I do about the other people in the raid? Forgive my lack of understanding as I am very new to Holy. I use grid btw.

    Thanks T

  26. @Anonymous

    Well, for top-ups, if there are multiple people that need it, splash some Circle of Healings around and that should take care of it. If it's just one or two people, then yes, just a Renew should do the trick.

    For your second question, a couple of things:

    In a raid, remember that you have four AoE options. Holy Nova will only heal the people in your party. Circle of Healing will heal people regardless of party, so by default, that is your go-to AoE heal.

    However, for large amounts of damage, Prayer of Healing is generally your best choice. PoH will only heal the members of one party, that is true - but it will heal the people in the party you target. For instance, you can cast Prayer of Healing on someone who is in a party different than your own, and it will heal all the members of that party (assuming they are within range, and they usually are). So, cast it on someone in the party that has taken the most damage.

    With Prayer of Healing, however, it is a long cast time. This is where Serendipity comes in - especially when you know when that huge surge of damage is going to occur, always try to pre-stack your serendipity. Make sure you keep three stacks up specifically for those times when everyone takes a ton of damage. That way, when they need the healing, you will have 3x serendipity up, and your heal will cast much faster.

    The fourth option is one you can only use once per fight usually, but it's damn powerful. Don't forget about your Divine Hymn! Many a wipe has been saved by this super powerful spell. It's channeled, but it will heal the people who need it most on each tic, regardless of party, and it has a huge range. Try to get in the habit of using this once per fight, and you will slowly learn when in each fight it's best to use it.

    If you have any more questions, or need some more advice - feel free to shoot me an email!

    missmedicina at gmail dot com

  27. Mia Says:


    Long-time reader of your blog, first time poster.
    My priest is actually my alternate healer (my main being a resto druid) so please bear with my noobishness.
    Since dinging 80 and starting to run raids and heroics with my priest, I have been disc.
    Therefore, because Disc priests can take or leave spirit, I have not endeavoured to gem/enchant for it, and I generally tend choose gear with other stats over spirit.
    However, I've been forced to re-spec Holy for an alt ICC run tonight. As my gear has little to no spirit on it, is it worth taking spiritual guidance? Should I perhaps remedy my total lack of spirit by gemming and re-enchanting with some spirit?
    Won't this then be a detriment to my spec when I switch back to disc?
    I'm curious as to what others think: how do you keep your gear good for both specs if you're Holy/Disc dual when Disc prefer MP5 and Holy need spirit?
    Please excuse my post if it's totally dumb and this info is mentioned elsewhere - like I said, I'm still kinda learning the priest :)

  28. Anonymous Says:

    "Start your target with Power Word: Shield and a Prayer of Mending (if you are not concerned about their threat generation)."

    Love the guide - keep reading and re-reading especially when maint is happening as I'm levelling holy and about to duel-spec disc.

    My qustion is this though: Since patch 3.1 warriors and Druids can generate rage through PW:S, so how can it possibly affect aggro and TPS?

    I got told off for shielding a tank pre-pull very early on because I was told it stopped them getting aggro and have been trying to get the definative answer to this for the last 20 levels. Do I /point /laugh and quit the group if I get winged at for shielding, or is it sound advice still?

  29. @Mia

    THat is a very big question, and the underlying issue is one lots of us deal with: how to make one gear set work for both holy and disc.

    One of the big questions always comes down to Mp5 and spirit - in general, spirit is almost just as good as Mp5 for a Disc priest, so when you're trying to make one gear set work for the two specs, spirit is better than Mp5. The bigger issue is how much - Holy needs a lot more regen than Disc does.

    The best thing to do for that is to use different trinkets if you can - throughput for Disc, regen for Holy. But yes, you should always pick up Spiritual Guidance for Holy, IMO.


    That is a very good point for clarification.

    What i meant by take care with your initial aggro wasn't related to aggro generation for tanks through a bubble. The issue is that if you bubble and PoM a tank before they even START building aggro, you can start out at the top of the threat table. You were the first to cast, basically. When PoM bounces, you will get the threat from that, not the tank as it used to be.

    You should not have to worry about bubbles making it difficult for tanks to generate threat. The one exception to that is Pallies, and it is indirect - depending on gear, talents, and glyphs, bubbles can make it hard for Pallies to have enough mana, which in turn can make it difficult for them to generate threat.

  30. Jorinn Says:

    This was a great read for me. I recently changed my second spec from Shadow to Holy. Found no trouble healing in a raid (lots of overhealing though), but did horribly in a 5-man. I will keep referring to this and stick with the holy learning curve in 5-man. Don't want to flip to Disc since I alread know I can easily run 5-man in that spec.

  31. Samantha Says:

    <3! I just came back to the game on my priesty and was feeling a little lost after a year and a half of not playing. Thanks for the reminders! So happy I found this blog.

  32. makneale Says:

    Excellent guide thank you its a great help :.)

  33. Abs Says:

    Been looking for a good priest guide and I'm so pleased to have found one that's so approachable and not just all about numbers!

  34. Anonymous Says:

    Can you make another guide for beginners now that CATA is released? :X thanks! i really enjoyed the guide btw

  35. Anonymous Says:

    Great guide except for a things.. mostly minor. One big GLARING flaw I saw though was where you said that Heal became useless after lvl 40 when you received Greater Heal. Heal is the go to spell for 5-man groups. example of standard 5-man trash pull. Prayer of Mending on tank, Chakra, Heal/Greater heal depending on initial damage, Renew. Prayer of Mending, Holy Word, Heal.. . The combo of Renew/Heal while in Chakra state with PoM and chakra altered HolyWord to subsidize make greater heal generally unnessecary for non-boss pulls.

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