Priest Class Overview

Last updated on Jan 01, 2024 at 15:28 by Abide 2 comments

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.

Priests have become a very powerful class in Wrath of the Lich King, being extremely desired for both their healing and damage capabilities. Shadow Priests gain a much needed AoE ability, while both Holy and Discipline have received many massive improvements, making them one of the best healing classes in the game.


Priest Playstyle

Priests are a ranged oriented class, using Mana, similar to most other classes. While most other classes have a "fire and forget" mentality regarding their Mana, Priests need to focus on their Mana and regeneration often. Both Discipline and Shadow have unique talents and spells that allow them to maintain their Mana, while Holy is one of the most Mana intensive specs in the game. With more gear and experience you will be able to master your Mana usage.

Priests can fulfill either the damage dealing role, or the healing role depending on which specialization you choose. Having the option to heal if needed can make it much easier to find groups as the healing role is often in short supply.

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.

Priest Class WotLK Guide

Priest Specializations

Priests are able to choose one of three specializations: Discipline, Holy, and Shadow.

  • Discipline Priest focuses on a mixture of both offense and defense, heavily relying on buffing allies to increase their fortitude. Discipline becomes a powerful raiding spec in WotLK, having powerful healing and utility spells in its arsenal.
  • Holy Priest focuses purely on healing rather than buffing and fortifying the party, aiming to quickly heal up injured allies quickly. Holy excels at AoE healing, bolstering some of the highest healing output possible in the game.
  • Shadow Priest is a different playstyle from the other specializations, focusing on dealing damage rather than healing allies. Shadow Priest has a greatly improved ability toolkit in WotLK, making it a powerful damage dealer with great utility.

What Specialization Should I Play?

The Discipline Priest spec has multiple uses. It is the more desired healer in PvE content, but most raids will only bring one to a raid as multiple Discipline Priests lose value quickly. If there is not another Disc Priest in your raid, this is the spec to go. Discipline also serves as the main PvP spec for battlegrounds and arenas

The Holy Priest spec is much more focused on AoE healing instead of single target healing. This will be the better choice if there is already a Discipline Priest in the raid, or if your group is lacking AoE healing.

The Shadow Priest spec is the DPS choice for Priests. Instead of focusing on supporting and healing allies, you will dish out tons of damage to your foes. Shadow Priest scales fairly well, dealing high damage on fights with multiple targets and remaining a solid choice throughout all phases of content.


Races For Priests in Wrath of the Lich King

In Wrath of the Lich King, Priests can be every race except for Gnome if playing on the Alliance. For Horde, they can be Blood Elves, Trolls or Undead.


What is the Best Race for Alliance Priests?

  • Human grants 3% increased Spirit with The Human Spirit IconThe Human Spirit as well as a free PvP trinket via Will to Survive IconWill to Survive.
  • Draenei offers your party Heroic Presence IconHeroic Presence, increasing their hit chance. This only benefits you if you are Shadow, but either way offers your group a decent stat increase.

For PvE, your choice does not really matter all that much. Draenei offers the highest boost out of all races, especially if you are playing as Shadow. For PvP, Human is the ideal choice for the free PvP trinket they get.


What is the Best Race for Horde Priests?

Troll is an extremely powerful choice for PvE content for all three specs. If you are focusing on PvP content, Undead is the best choice for you.


Priest Gearing

Priests can only wear cloth armor with stats focused on the spec you pick. They are also able to equip daggers, one-handed maces, staves, wands, and off-hands. Typically you will be using either a mace or dagger along with an off-hand weapon, as this generally gives you higher stats, but you may find a staff that has more stats than both of these combined.

If you are interested in seeing what end-game gear looks like for each available specs, check out our gearing guides down below:


Priest Leveling Guides

For those of you wishing to level a Priest to Level 80, you can check out our spec-specific leveling guides below. Shadow Priest is the recommended leveling spec as it has the quickest kill times and least amount of downtime between mobs.

While a bit irregular, the Holy Priest spec has an interesting way to level. This build utilizes Holy Nova IconHoly Novas healing and damage in one spell to AoE farm groups of mobs in the open world. You can use this to kill multiple quest mobs at once, or simply AoE farm experience similar to what some Mages do. This is harder to pull off with less gear, and typically falls off the higher level you get as mobs start hitting harder and having more health.

Lastly, you may choose to level through dungeon grinding instead of questing. If doing so, you will likely want to heal to quickly find groups. In this case Discipline Priest should be your go-to choice as it has powerful spells and talents, easily allowing you to heal any dungeon with little to no gear.


Priest Addons and Macros

Addons and Macros are a solid way to help improve your gameplay and experience throughout Wrath Classic, whether it be while leveling, doing dailies, dungeons, or raiding. Both of the pages below provide information and recommendations on some of the best addons you can use.


Is Shadow Priest good in WotLK?

Shadow Priest has improved greatly in Wrath of the Lich King, going from primarily being a support class to being a competitive DPS class. WotLK also brings Priests an AoE ability, greatly improving one their weakest points from previous expansions.


Are Priests good healers in WotLK?

Healer Priests have only improved in WotLK, remaining one of the most powerful healers choices in the game. Both Discipline and Holy have unique toolkits, fulfilling multiple different roles and doing a great job of covering the weaknesses of other healers.


Is Disc or Holy Priest better in WotLK?

While the typical answer to this question that Discipline Priest is better, that is not exactly the case. This question will largely depend on your raiding environment, as both Disc and Holy fulfill different healing jobs in a raid. Disc is much better at spot healing and quickly responding to individual targets taking high damage, whereas Holy greatly excels at AoE healing, quickly topping up multiple raid members. Choose the spec that best suits your raid's needs. In short: Disc for single-target healing or Holy for AoE healing.



  • 01 Jan. 2024: Updated for Phase 5.
  • 16 Jun. 2023: Updated page format.
  • 28 Aug. 2022: Page added.
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