Priest builds

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Disclaimer

A dwarven priest.

As with all examples of talent builds or point distributions, the optimum build depends largely on your playstyle (PvP, soloing, raiding, etc., or a specific combination of spells you like to use) as well as gear, party members, and other factors. The builds listed below are not for everyone, nor are they always the best. They are at worst, opinions, and are usually subjective.

If you're not sure why a specific talent was chosen, check the Priest talent analysis for pros and cons of each talent.

Leveling builds

If you intend to level your priest mainly through solo questing, a shadow build produces high damage along with good survivability through [Shadowform] and [Vampiric Embrace]. If you intend to level your priest through healing in instances and grouping, a holy or discipline healing build is the way to go and should result in shorter queue times. While some players have found healing as Shadow possible at lower levels, the healing capabilities are compromised with no talents to improve healing and limited mana regeneration, quickly making this impractical.

Holy and Discipline specs also have a handful of talents that work with [Smite] to make them viable soloing builds.

Shadow Leveling Spec

A recommendation for how the talents might be placed as you level up:

[Improved Psychic Scream], [Silence] and [Psychic Horror] are taken for extra survivability and utility, and because there are few other options. They are especially useful to players who level with a mixture of PvP and PvE. [Shadow Word: Death] and [Dispersion] are used periodically to give mana.

Discipline (Smite) Leveling Spec

A recommendation for how the talents might be placed as you level up:

This build is fully functional by level 19 with the addition of [Evangelism]. [Holy Fire] and [Smite] are the staple spells, and  [Glyph of Smite] is recommended. [Archangel] should be used mainly as a mana restore; DPS is optimised by keeping Evangelism fully stacked (using Archangel only when the stacks are about to expire, such as between pulls) but priests may need to use it more often in order to maintain mana levels and minimise downtime. [Power Word: Shield] becomes more powerful after level 39 and should be kept up at all times during combat for the extra damage. Beyond level 49 a shadow build may be preferred, although this works well as a healing build for instances too due to the heals from [Atonement].

Level 85 PvE builds

Disc Spec RoundIcon.png Discipline builds

Discipline priests are healers and damage mitigators. They are not built to be adept as the main raid healer due to lack of AoE heal spells, but fantastic tank healers. A good Disc healer will never top the healing charts - because if they time their moves and mitigate damage correctly, they'll never need to.

Talents

Atonement DPS/Healing build (33/8/0) [Current as of 4.1.0]
[Atonement] allows for passive healing by dealing damage with [Smite] and [Holy Fire]. Smiting also reduces the cooldown of [Penance], and gives stacks of [Evangelism] which reduces the mana cost and increases the damage from smite (and therefore increase healing from Atonement), or can be consumed for a healing buff and mana restore.  [Glyph of Divine Accuracy] is a necessity for this build.
Points from [Empowered Healing], [Strength of Soul] or [Archangel] may be moved to [Improved Renew], [Desperate Prayer] or [Surge of Light] to suit the players preference.
Discipline Pure Healing build (31/8/0)+2 [Current as of 4.1.0]
This 'pure' healing build takes all the talents that directly affect your heals and does not rely on Smite whatsoever. It will suit a more traditional healing style.
It has 2 points spare. Where they go is entirely down to personal preference. Options include [Desperate Prayer], [Improved Renew], [Surge of Light], [Darkness] or even [Veiled Shadows].

Glyphs

Suggested Prime Glyphs:
Suggested Major Glyphs:
Suggested Minor Glyphs:

PaHoly Spec RoundIcon.png Holy builds

Holy priests have strong AoE healing spells and high heal output, and make ideal raid healers as well as having talents for tank healing. Holy priests are the all-rounders of healing classes and can easily adapt to different situations.

Talents

Standard Holy Healing build (6/32/0)+3 [Current as of 4.3.0]
This is a standard healing build, and most holy builds will vary little from this mainframe. Note that there are 3 points free which the player may place as they choose, and some room for moving existing talents.
  • [Darkness] is recommended if it will bring you to 12.5% haste (with raid buffs), which is the amount required for an extra tick on [Renew].
  • [Veiled Shadows] reduces the cooldown on [Shadowfiend] for more mana potential on long fights.
  • [Lightwell] is your most efficient heal. However, it involves players taking an active interest in their wellbeing, and often it goes unused. This point can be placed elsewhere if desired.
  • [Blessed Resilience] is valuable on fights where you will take unavoidable burst damage. Less time and mana spent healing yourself leaves more for the rest of the group.
  • [Body and Soul] is an excellent utility spell to keep people alive and out of danger, making [Power Word: Shield] a more useful spell for a holy priest.
  • [Spirit of Redemption] is a rather unusual talent, since it gives no benefit until you're dead. So you would only spend one talent point there if you die a lot - however, if you are trying new bosses and instances with your raid, dying a lot is actually not uncommon.

Glyphs

Suggested Prime Glyphs:
Suggested Major Glyphs:
Suggested Minor Glyphs:

Shad Spec RoundIcon.png Shadow builds

Shadow Priests are the damage dealers of the priest class, and can take on a shadow form to improve their shadow damage even further at the sacrifice of holy (healing) spells. They have powerful DoTs but are also capable of burst damage.

Talents

Cookie-cutter Raiding Build (9/0/32) [Current as of 4.0.6]
This is the basis of most PvE shadow builds. Although [Psychic Horror] offers no DPS increase, it is a useful utility spell.
Dungeon Build with Silence (8/0/33) [Current as of 4.0.6]
Many heroic dungeons require silences and interrupts, so this build sacrifices reduced [Shadowfiend] cooldowns from [Sin and Punishment] in favour of [Silence].

Glyphs

Suggested Prime Glyphs:
Suggested Major and Minor Glyphs:
No Major and Minor glyphs offer any DPS boost, so pick for utility.

Level 85 PvP/Arena builds

Talents

This is a build which takes all the talents which improve your DoTs, and reduce the mana cost of them. All the essential PvP talents are present, though there is room for talents to be moved around depending on preference. You may wish to put more or less points into [Twisted Faith] depending on how much hit rating or spirit is on your gear.
This is a build which focuses on burst damage with [Mind Blast], [Mind Spike], [Mind Flay] and [Shadow Word: Death], rather than DoTs. All the essential PvP talents are present, though there is room for talents to be moved around depending on preference. You may wish to put more or less points into [Twisted Faith] depending on how much hit rating or spirit is on your gear.
An arena healing build, forgoing any [Smite] talents, since there is little opportunity to use them in arenas. There is a lot of freedom for talents to be moved around in favor of [Darkness], [Desperate Prayer] or [Improved Renew].

Glyphs

You have a lot of choices on your glyphs in PvP depending on what suits your play style. Any of the following glyphs can be taken along with some of the suggested PvE glyphs.

Suggested Prime Glyphs:
Suggested Major Glyphs:
Suggested Minor Glyphs:

See also

External links

  • Patch 4.0.1 related links