Leveling Your Priest – The Lighter Side

Since Kirk stole my idea… just kidding, he wrote an article about talents for the leveling priest, up to level 40. I had a similar article half written, waiting for some polish when I read his this morning. This will be more of a companion piece. I’m going to give a possible talent build for the leveling Holy Priest. What I would suggest is to use Kirk’s recommendations (or whatever floats your boat over in the Shadow tree) until you reach a point where one of a few things happens;

  1. You find yourself healing in a group more than soloing.
  2. You like to run instances or group and play the healer, but don’t feel like you can handle the load with the Shadow build.
  3. You realize that you just want to be a BAMF healer no matter how hard soloing is (this happened for me at about 60)

I’m going to follow Kirk’s lead here and give a possible build up to level 40. You can jump in at any time you decide to respec. I’m also going to include some talents in the Disc tree, I will give the Holy talents first, then Disc because I think that’s how you should do it, but you could take some of the Disc talents part way through if that’s what works for you.

Here goes:

Start with 3/3 in Improved Renew, then 2/2 Healing Focus.  I’m not a huge fan of Holy Specalization, I don’t like to rely on crits, they never come when you really need them.  Holy Specalization is a good back filler, throw points there when you are just trying to get to the next tier.  Moving on, I’m not a big fan of Spell Warding either, seems like weak sauce…  I don’t have any hard facts but I think I take a lot more melee damage than spell damage.  I can see it being a good PvP talent though, so you can consider it if you do PvP.  5/5 in Divine Fury, .5 secs won’t seem like a lot, but add it up and it’ll be substantial.  Next Tier: 1/1 Holy Nova, just because it’s fun!  Seriously, every little bit can help in AOE pulls, espcially if you only have one AOE class in your group.  It’s also the only group heal you get before Prayer of Healing at level 30.  Plus, no threat = good in my book.  3/3 Blessed Recovery.  This doesn’t seem like much, but I’ll take every little bit when soloing as a Holy Priest.  You could also go 3/3 in Inspiration, but at these low levels I don’t think it’s worth it.  Since it’s a percentage boost, your tank probably isn’t stacking enough armor yet to make the boost terribly useful. The last point for this Tier, put wherever you want, Holy Specalization, Spell Warding, or Inspiration.  This one is just back fill, take what you like.  Next take 2/2 in Searing Light.  Even though you are going Holy because you want to heal, you will be soloing at least some of the time, why not make it a little easier.  I’m going to recomend you stop here and move over to the Disc Tree to get some mana efficency.  5/5 in wand specialization.  Even though you don’t have Spirit Tap, it’s still a good idea to finish with a wand to get a little time OFSR for mana regen.  Next 3/3 Imp PW:S and 2/2 Martyrdom.  This one is nice, since like I said earlier, you will be soloing at least a little and the immunity to interruption is nice.  Next is 1/1 Inner Focus.  Know it, Love it, Use it every time the cooldown is up!  3/3 Meditation… need say more?

That my dear friends brings us to level 40!  Like I said earlier, you could go get the Disc Talents earlier than I recomend, but I think they’re most beneficial where I’ve put them.  Now that you are 40, should you so desire, you could go respec 0/31/0 and get Lightwell, but I think that one is best reserved for later levels.  I would go a little farther in Disc, get Imp PW:F and DS if you want to go that far then go back to Holy.

These are all my opinions, feel free to disagree with me… as Kirk said in his article “take this with the appropriately sized salt shaker for your taste, and go play.”

The  moral of the story is:

  • do what makes you happy, choose your talent points to accentuate the areas you like most about your character.

Tune in next week for:

  •  Maybe Guild Management, or maybe some more about Leveling Your Priest…  must ponder…

*** For 10 SuperCoolPoints  “If DaVinci were alive today, he’d be eating microwave sushi, naked, in the backseat of a Cadillac with the both of us.”  Name that Movie!

Explore posts in the same categories: Leveling, Spells, Talents

12 Comments on “Leveling Your Priest – The Lighter Side”

  1. Necro Says:

    Hudson Hawk……go go Bruce Willis.

    I feel bad for anyone who switches to holy before 60…and realistically 68-70. I am leveling my priest as shadow and I’m the main healer in our group. I add damage in instances, heal all the way through, and don’t have a problem leveling. Of course my group understands group dynamics, with a pug where everyone is taking damage at the same time and your pulling all of the mobs to you with healing agro then holy would be nice but lets face it, you don’t wan tot group with them anyway…lol.

    Keep up the posts, I still like reading about what you would take if you were leveling holy….even though you a masochist if you do.

  2. Galadria Says:

    10 Points!

    I competly agree. The downsides totally out weigh the benefits for Holy before 60 in my mind. I found that I was competly capable of healing through instances with a Shadow build. I even was still comfortable when I hit Outland (tho I’ve heard others say that when you get to the Achuindoun instances it’s gets too hard). We just did so much instancing I decided to spec for what I spent most of my time doing. I do miss being smoky… /sigh

  3. dapriesta (eu) Says:

    Nice post… I wrote a long post somewhere (on the egotistical priest, I think) justifying my decision to level as holy/disc (60 now, yes, all the way). I knew from the forums and from the blogs that shadow was the quickest way to level, but I deliberately chose holy disc, for basically three reasons

    1) WoW was my first serious mmorpg. I knew I wanted to heal, and what you get is what you train. I am absolutely certain that I am a better healer because I’ve spent so much time healing myself and others; I know my cool downs, manaregen, spell cast speed inside out.

    2) I knew several people from RL when I started playing… but they were level 70s. Necro, you’re lucky; for most new players, that group dynamic is simply not available. And, if you want to see the instances and the famous group play, then it has to be pugs – lol or not, those people you dismiss are the ones I leveled with. Most of them were rubbish; so was I; we did it anyway, because -.5 secs on a greater heal or an extra 3 tics on a renew can make a real difference.

    3) I like to be different. Playing a sub-par solo class forces you, as Galdaria points out in another post, to be inventive. At 50, I was aoe soloing 3-4 raptors in Un Goro crater with my Chain of Eranikus trinket (thanks pug), oil of immolation, sw:p, pw:s and scream, with starshards to finish. I have a screenshot with a near mage-like trail of dead dinos somewhere.

    It certainly isn’t fast, but if you’re new you’re less aware of that. I adopted several general strategies to help, prior to 60:

    1) Do instances. As far as I know, disc/holy priests are the best healers in the game before 50; none of the hybrids can match us for flexibility, efficiency and sheer healing power before they’ve specced heavily into their healing tree. I was invariably congratulated on my healing, and just as invariably receive a whisper or two every session asking if I can heal.

    2) Do PvP BGs. There are never enough healers, and we are the best. I would find a tank FC in wsg and scream/heal/shield us to victory, then grab all the pvp gear for my level, because, pre 50, that +dam/healing is golden for both soloing and instances.

    3) Do duos/trios. With anyone. Rogue, druid, warrior, whatever. I gained a pet, and they became effectively unkillable. Me and a druid duo’d SM gy at 35. I levelled from 37-39 killing elite ogres in Arathi Highlands and the annoying multiple stealth elites in stormgarde with a shammy. At 58, me and a warrior were grinding the elite 60 frost giants in winterspring so fast that respawns from the first circuit were joining in during the second circuit fights; and we killed them anyway.

    4) Solo effectively. I’d pick somewhere nice and quiet, usually in Kalimdor, with a few quests, plenty of mobs and stay there until my bags were full. Pw:S renew and scream meant that I could leave combat pretty much anytime I chose; keen use of pots (especially arcane power) supplemented my meager damage; killing greens through to oranges depended on my mood or quest line; all slow, but all safe.

    Damn. That got a bit long, again. Anyway, upshot is that, especially if you’re a new player and are in no particular hurry, there’s nothing wrong with speccing disc holy for levelling; I thoroughly enjoyed pottering my well-nigh indestructible, if very slow, way through the content, and it’s only now I’ve reached outlands that I’m starting to feel the grind.

    To summarise:

    do what makes you happy, choose your talent points to accentuate the areas you like most about your character.


  4. Galadria Says:

    Thanks for the comment. Your #4 made me remember some things that I did leveling. Since I am an Alchemist I had pretty much an un-ending supply of any pot that I wanted. The +spell damage and +int pots can make a big difference, no matter what your spec. Soloing with a priest can be dificult no matter what. I remember a place in Desolace doing a chain for SM and I was killing everything of that level with no problem, but these guys had a kick just like a rogue’s that it made it virtually impossible to kill the guys. But like you mentioned, if your willing to persevere, you can do anything in this game!

  5. xcal Says:

    Hi, great site:-)

    I’m a hundred’s Holy Priest. been one from lvl10 till 66(dinged 2 days ago). I went through some bad patches of not leveling but that’s ‘coz I was a noob who tried to finish all grey Q’s 😦

    aside from that, I fully agree with dapriest! Instances and duo/trios are the way to level up. It’s usually very easy for me to get help

    /1 anyone wanna have a healer as a friend then help me with *link Quest here*

    The side-effect is that I gotto help them with instances at some other time…guess what? I need to do those instances a few times anyway 😉

    I disagree with your point about protection from spell damage. My tank and other groupies usually rush in to save my @$$ when they see a mob/boss running towards me. BUT ranged mobs are not as obvious so I have to deal with them by myself (fade or shield/renew or /p help). I think that the reduced spell damage helps me in this case.

    I might decide to respec to some disc, but am Happilly Hundreds Holy, mostly happy because I can use this alliteration 😉


  6. Galadria Says:

    Tahnks for the input. It’s good to have opinions from you guys that actually leveled Holy. As for Spell Warding, I can see your point. I just don’t remember taking that much spell damage leveling and I don’t take nearly as much spell damage now as I do melee. But then again, I leveled Shadow and mostly solo until about 63-65 when we started doing instances every night.

    Remember friends, use the salt shaker and have fun!

  7. […] into the communal Priest-brain once more, Kirk at Priestly Endeavors & Galadria at The Holy Light both wrote about leveling your priest. Of special note is the reply to Gala by dapriesta in the […]

  8. David Says:


    Just took my mage to 70 and now am working on a Holy Priest. I don’t plan on ever switching specs other than to realign the holy. I am only level 17 right now but I found the best way to get xp is to do some quests where others are questing and just start random healing or rezzing. People start to see the difference and ask to group:)
    As far as mobs go, I can already take on 3 enemies at my level. PW/S and SW/A , Psychic scream and use wand only. I am using the greater wand made with enchanting and thats all the damage I seem to need. I will use a smite or blast every now and then but that’s more to teach the baddies a lesson.

  9. Anon Says:

    Enjoyed reading your article, love your blog.

    Since I have a t4 warlock and a t4 feral druid, I decided to level a holy/disc priest this time. I am sick to death of questing at this point, so I decided to level my draenei girl in instances only. Yeah, its quite an endeavor if you don’t have a guild you level in, but fun regardless. I like the ‘oh crap, loltank just pulled 8 mobs in RFK (healer is 26 now),, hang on, we made it, hey, nice heals’ moments for some reason. 😉

    She is a shadow build with healing gear right now, but I am pondering just going holy/disc since I dont like to solo anymore — and granted, after leveling that druid, soloing with a caster clothie just feels really painful.

    Ran RFK twice yesterday, most of it rested, gained 2 levels. But those squealing pigs – don’t want to hear the sound anymore !

    BTW, if anyone on Rexxar needs a healer, PST Heilerin, thats her.

  10. Galadria Says:

    I have known several healers that leveled by pugging instances. When done on level they give very nice XP. If you do all of the quests in each instance as you level that will help too. The good thing about leveling this way is that as you level up the instances overlap so there’s always something on level. As you get higher and the XP bars get bigger there’s more instances to do as well (I think there’s 5 or 6 in the 50-60 range) and as a healer it’s easier to do over-level instances.

    As for the spec, if you use something similar to what I’ve outlined, you will be able to solo. It’ll be painful, but soloing at any level with a healing spec is painful! You’ll at least be able to do any quest chains to get quests for instances. On the other hand, a skilled healer should be able to heal just about anything well into Outland with a Shadow build. Your biggest problem will be mana efficency so I’d recommend using consumables that will help you with mana regen (Spirit food/scrolls, Int potions, etc.).

    As I’ve said many times, play the game however you like as long as you’re having fun and don’t ruin someone elses!!!

  11. rexxarpriest Says:

    Thanks for the response, Galadria (to my pug/instance post). BTW, I decided to start my own blog, http://rexxarpriest.wordpress.com. Going to talk about my experiences as pug priest and life in general! Yes, another blog! 🙂

    /endshamelesspug 🙂

  12. make sushi Says:

    Keep up the posts, I still like reading about what you do

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