Classic Priest PvP Guide
This guide will walk you through everything you need to know to play a Priest in a PvP environment in WoW Classic, with a focus on Battlegrounds but also including World PvP and Dueling. The guide will cover everything from talent choices, gameplay and rotation, and useful racial bonuses.
1. Priests in PvP
Being a Priest in PvP usually means a healing role, however, shadow is also an option. There are two standard builds for PvP, each with talents that can be swapped depending on your playstyle or the type of PvP you are participating in.
Healing priests excel in battleground and group world PvP, able to buff and heal their allies through almost any situation. Dueling is not a healing Priest's strength, instead relying on their allies to do most of the damage for them.
2. PvP Priest Races
2.1. Alliance PvP Priest Races
The preferred race of choice for Alliance priests is Dwarf. This is primarily due to the following abilities Dwarves have access to:
- Fear Ward providing immunity to the next fear effect on a long duration, with a short cooldown.
- Stoneform is a short buff providing immunity to Bleed, Poison, and Disease effects while also granting increased armour for its duration.
- Desperate Prayer is an instant-cast ability that will heal you on a long 10-minute cooldown.
Of the remaining races, both Night Elf and Human are both strong contenders for PvP. Night Elves with Shadowmeld allowing you to stand still and be obscured from sight, along with their other racial abilities reducing their incoming damage taken. Humans have the same Desperate Prayer dwarves do, and also bring extra stealth detection with Perception and Feedback which is useful versus casters.
2.2. Horde PvP Priest Races
The preferred race of choice for Horde priests is Undead. This is primarily due to the Devouring Plague and Will of the Forsaken. Devouring Plague damages enemies and heals yourself for damage done. Will of the Forsaken provides 5 seconds of immunity to Charm, Fear, and Sleep, and is castable while already affected by Charm, Fear and Sleep.
3. Talent Builds for PvP Priests
There are two main builds for PvP, one for healing and one for damage. Each of those then have a variety of choices you can make depending on the PvP content you are tackling, or the classes you are PvPing with. In the majority of battleground situations, healing priests can also get away with their regular raid healing talents to save on costs, while still being effective contributors.
The Priest talent tree offers a lot of options which can be taken to compliment your chosen playstyle, levels of aggression and group composition. As such the suggested talent trees below are just that, suggestions. You should take the time to read through the alternative talent suggestions listed alongside each build to get the most out of your available options.
3.1. Healing Priest PvP Talent Build
3.1.1. Discipline Healing Priest
This build focuses on personal survivability coupled with utility and a bit of DPS and is a popular all-around PvP build to start from. Some of the alternative options to the suggested build include:
- Improved Healing is usually the first talent to be dropped, which talent you replace it with depends on what you feel you are lacking.
- Improved Inner Fire is a great boost against melee opponents.
- Spell Warding will help mitigate some spell damage from casters.
- Improved Mana Burn can be dropped in favour of some additional points in Mental Agility or the above-mentioned talents.
- Inspiration is another flexible talent and can be replaced with either Improved Renew if the extra throughput is more valuable, or Blessed Recovery if you feel your damage is coming more from melee and ranged, than spells.
3.1.2. Holy Healing Priest
This build focuses around maximising potential healing and personal survivability, at the cost of your damage output. Primarily used in group scenarios this build excels in battlegrounds. The following talents can be swapped around as desired:
- Improved Mana Burn is great for reducing enemy healers Mana, however, can be difficult to use particularly in the larger battlegrounds. Alternatives include Mental Agility or Mental Strength for increased longevity.
- Spell Warding can be dropped in favour of some points in either Improved Renew if you find you are staying out of trouble enough the extra throughput is more valuable, or Blessed Recovery if you feel your damage is coming more from melee and ranged, than spells.
- Blackout can also be a fun option, using downranked Shadow Word: Pain on multiple targets to stun them.
- Improved Prayer of Healing is not worth taking for PvP as you rarely cast Prayer of Healing. Likewise Spiritual Guidance is not worthwhile as you will not be focusing on Spirit on your gear like you would in PvE.
3.1.3. Playstyle as a Healing Priest in PvP
Due to the often bursty nature of damage in PvP, and the shorter duration of most PvP encounters your Mana pool is generally not a big concern. This enables us to lean heavily on the higher healing but less efficient spells to quickly top up allies and keep them safe such as Flash Heal. The more efficient spells like downranked versions of Greater Heal and Heal are used significantly less than in dungeons and raids.
Beyond pure healing, Priest offers quite a lot of utility. You should aim to have Inner Fire up on yourself at all times for the increased defense, and Power Word: Fortitude/ Prayer of Fortitude and Shadow Protection/ Prayer of Shadow Protection on yourself and your allies before going into battle.
- Power Word: Shield is an excellent instant cast preventing people from damage and buying more time.
- Dispel Magic can be cast on an ally removing 2 harmful magic effects, or an enemy removing 2 beneficial magic effects. This is fantastic at dealing with powerful debuffs and buffs like crowd control effects.
- Abolish Disease periodically removes diseases from the target.
- Power Infusion increases a targets damage and healing for a short period of time, and can be used on yourself or an ally for a temporary boost of power.
- Psychic Scream is an instant AoE fear which can ease pressure on yourself and your allies by fearing enemies away.
- Levitate can be used on yourself and your allies to slow falling or move faster over water. Particularly useful in World PvP and Battleground situations.
- Mind Vision is a slightly more niche ability but particularly in battlegrounds can be used to spy on enemy locations, or quickly check up on allies.
Offensive power is somewhat limited compared to pure damage specs but is still worth utilising, especially with the Discipline focused spec buffing a number of your damaging abilities.
- Smite is your primary spammable damage spell and will be your go-to when other higher damage spells are on cooldown.
- Mind Blast is a high damage ability with a short cast time and a short cooldown.
- Mana Burn especially when talented is a particularly potent spell for taking care of spell casters and other healers by depleting their Mana pool while doing damage to them.
- Holy Fire is a high damage spell but has a particularly long cast time which reduces the number of situations you will be casting it.
- Shadow Word: Pain is a damage over time effect that can either be used at maximum rank for extra damage, or lower ranks to keep targets in combat and help prevent them stealthing.
- Holy Nova does not do a lot of damage or healing with a small number of targets, but can be useful while moving with a larger number of targets. It can also be used to locate nearby stealthed enemies.
- Devouring Plague the Undead racial ability provides a strong damage over time effect on an enemy and heals you for the damage done.
4. Consumables for PvP Priests
Consumables are prevalent all throughout Classic and PvP is no exception. The most common consumables you will use are potions. These can provide short term benefit in a variety of ways from healing you, to making you move faster, become immune to movement altering effects or damage from enemies. The more popular ones include:
- Major Healing Potion
- Free Action Potion
- Living Action Potion
- Swiftness Potion
- Invisibility Potion
- Limited Invulnerability Potion
Engineering is a great profession in WoW Classic, as it creates a lot of useful consumables and trinkets — particularly the popular Thorium Grenade. Some of those are especially strong in PvP, but most of them trigger a 1-minute shared cooldown:
- Arcanite Dragonling (1-hour cooldown)
- Goblin Sapper Charge (5-minute cooldown, triggers 1-minute on rest)
- Goblin Land Mine
- Thorium Grenade
- Dark Iron Bomb
- Iron Grenade
- Dense Dynamite
- Goblin Rocket Helmet
- 09 Aug. 2019: Guide added.
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