Priest Class Overview

Last updated on May 07, 2024 at 00:00 by Abide

Priests are well known for their resolute faith, being extremely devoted to the spiritual forces. Priests are well known for their powerful, fortifying spells, greatly empowering their allies and assaulting their enemies very minds.


Introduction to Priest

Priest Class Crest Cataclysm Guide PriestPriest is a ranged oriented class, using Mana, similar to most other classes. While most other classes have a "fire and forget" mentality regarding their Mana, PriestPriests need to focus on their Mana regeneration often. Both DisciplineDiscipline and ShadowShadow have unique talents and spells that allow them to maintain their Mana naturally, while HolyHoly is one of the most Mana intensive specs in the game. The more gear and experience you have, the easier of a time you will have mastering your Mana usage and increasing your combat prowess.


Priest Specializations

PriestPriest is able to choose from three specializations: Discipline Discipline, Holy Holy, and Shadow Shadow.

  • Discipline Discipline — focuses on a mixture of both offense and defense, heavily relying on buffing allies to increase their fortitude. Cataclysm adds the ability to heal friendly targets by dealing damage with the new Atonement Icon Atonement talent, giving this spec a unique playstyle compared to other healing classes.
  • Holy Holy — focuses purely on healing rather than buffing and fortifying the party, aiming to quickly heal up groups of injured allies quickly. This spec excels at AoE healing, bolstering some of the highest AoE healing output possible in the game.
  • Shadow Shadow — is a different playstyle from the other specializations, focusing on dealing damage rather than healing allies. This spec focuses on inflicting deadly damage over time effects on their enemies, draining their life force to heal themself.

What Specialization Should I Play?

Each specialization available to PriestPriest is unique and has its' own playstyle. Ultimately the spec that you find the most enjoyable to play will come down to your own personal playstyle; we recommend trying out each spec on your own to get a feel for them and see how much you enjoy them.

Both DisciplineDiscipline and HolyHoly focus on healing and will use most of the same spells when doing so. The main difference between these two specs is that DisciplineDiscipline will be focusing on single target heals, while HolyHoly will be primarily doing AoE healing for the group. ShadowShadow is different from both previous specs, focusing on dealing very high damage to enemies rather than healing allies.



DisciplineDiscipline brings some of the most utility to a raid, having multiple defensive cooldowns such as Pain Suppression Icon Pain Suppression and Power Word: Barrier Icon Power Word: Barrier. DisciplineDiscipline focuses on quickly healing up single targets at a time, and attempting to prevent damage taken by using Power Word: Shield Icon Power Word: Shield on targets right before they are attacked. While being on the lower end of AoE healing, the raw utility offered by this spec and the ability to prevent damage to multiple players at a time, make DisciplineDiscipline one of the most desired healers in raiding content.



While HolyHoly does not bring as much utility as DisciplineDiscipline does, it makes up for it in sheer healing output. HolyHoly has a wide arsenal of AoE healing spells, putting out some of the best AoE healing available in the entire game. On fights with heavy raid-wide damage, this spec will shine above the rest with its ability to keep everyone alive nearly entirely on its own.



ShadowShadow focuses on dealing damage instead of healing. Your main priority when playing ShadowShadow is to maintain your several damage over time debuffs on your target, wearing down their health gradually. Where this spec excels above most others is when facing multiple, high health targets at once. Here you can spread these DoTS to multiple enemies at once, ramping your damage beyond what most other classes are capable of.


How Viable is Priest in Cataclysm?

Priest Class Art PriestPriests are extremely viable in Cataclysm; you will rarely see a raid without at least two PriestPriests in it, and most will usually have more. DisciplineDiscipline is arguably the best healer in Cataclysm as it offers a ton of shielding and raid utility with all of its available cooldowns. While HolyHoly is not the more popular spec, the incredible AoE healing this spec can do is unquestionable. In raid encounters with high AoE raid-wide damage, groups will want a HolyHoly Priest on their side. ShadowShadow is a very powerful DPS spec in Cataclysm, receiving multiple buffs and improvements from previous expansions. This class starts off strong and remains strong throughout all phases, making it a very competitive DPS in the mid to high damage range.


Races For Priest

PriestPriests can play as most of the races in the game, giving you a wide selection of racials to choose from. Below we will give you a breakdown of the best ones for both Alliance and Horde players alike.


Alliance Races

  • Draenei Draenei's main racial ability is Heroic Presence Icon Heroic Presence, giving 1% spell hit. At level 85, this is 103 stats, making this a fairly decent choice. However in Cataclysm, getting Hit is fairly easy, making this a bit weaker of a choice.
  • Worgens Worgens are one of the two new races added in Cataclysm. Viciousness Icon Viciousness is the main racial offered, granting 1% crit chance. At level 85, 1% crit chance is 180 stats, making this the best racial for Alliance ShadowShadow Priests. You will also get Darkflight Icon Darkflight, giving you an increased movement speed cooldown, something that PriestPriest usually suffers from a lack of.

Horde Races

  • Goblin Goblins are one of the two new races added in during Cataclysm. Their main racials are Rocket Jump Icon Rocket Jump, Rocket Barrage Icon Rocket Barrage and Time is Money Icon Time is Money. Both Rocket Jump Icon Rocket Jump and Rocket Barrage Icon Rocket Barrage share a cooldown and are on the global cooldown, which makes Rocket Barrage Icon Rocket Barrage almost completely useless. Rocket Jump Icon Rocket Jump is a very powerful movement cooldown that will come in handy whenever a boss encounter has high movement mechanics, especially since PriestPriests lack movement cooldowns. Time is Money Icon Time is Money gives 1% Haste, which is the best secondary stat for all three PriestPriest specs. At level 85, 1% Haste is 128 stats, making this the best race for all three PriestPriest specs.
  • Troll Trolls remain a great choice for their strong cooldown Berserking Icon Berserking. This grants 20% casting speed, which scales with gear. This is a great cooldown for HolyHoly and DisciplineDiscipline healers during intense healing phases in raids, and ShadowShadow during DPS burst windows.

Gearing and Stats

PriestPriest can only wear Cloth armor with stats focused on the spec you are playing. Unlike other classes that require you to wear all of a single type of armor to unlock your Armor Specialization, PriestPriest automatically gains Mysticism Icon Mysticism as you can only equip Cloth armor.

PriestPriest is able to equip Daggers, one-handed Maces, Staves, Wands, and off-hand weapons. Typically you will be using either a Mace or Dagger along with an off-hand weapon, as this generally gives you the highest possible stats, but you can find Staves that have more stats than both of these combined.

Both DisciplineDiscipline and HolyHoly Priests desire the same stats, letting you use the same gear if you are interesting in playing both specs. Your main stat priority will be: Intellect > Spirit > Haste Rating > Mastery Rating > Critical Strike Rating. Following these stats will grant you the highest healing output possible and truly maximize your character.

ShadowShadow will want to focus on damage dealing stats exclusively, following a main stat priority of: Intellect > Hit Rating (17%) = Spirit > Haste Rating > Mastery Rating > Critical Strike Rating. Threat is no longer an issue in Cataclysm as Defensive Stance Icon Defensive Stance has been buffed to increase all threat generated by 500%, making threat stats no longer needed, letting you entirely focus on defensive stats.


Priest Addons and Macros

Addons and Macros can greatly improve your quality of life during Cataclysm. Listed below are some of our recommendations on Addons and Macros to help get the most out of your time playing the game.



  • 03 May 2024: Page added.
Show more
Show less