Holy Priest Healing Easy Mode — Shadowlands 9.0.2

Last updated on Nov 23, 2020 at 22:39 by Niphyr 8 comments
General Information

On this page, we explain how to easily play Holy Priest in World of Warcraft — Shadowlands 9.0.2, using the simplest rotation, talent tree, stat priority, gear setup, etc., without sacrificing performance.

1.

Foreword

This page is intended for players who are new to the game or class, have no intentions of raiding Mythic difficulty, or simply want a more straightforward way to play their specialisation without being overwhelmed by the numerous subtleties and active abilities that need to be taken into consideration for optimal play.

2.

The Basics of Holy Priest

Holy Priests are better suited to AoE/raid healing, where they are able to provide relatively smooth output. That said, they are also capable single target healers. Most of the stronger Holy Priest spells require standing still to cast, which requires some forward thinking to play optimally, meaning periods of heavy movement can sometimes be punishing and should be planned ahead.

3.

Talent Choice for Holy Priest

These are currently the easiest talent choices to perform well as a Holy Priest. Note that some of the suggestions sacrifice a bit of performance for ease of use, but overall the difference is not great. Consult the detailed talents page for the complete picture.

For dungeon healing you can also opt for a more passive approach to the level 50 tier by taking Light of the Naaru Icon Light of the Naaru.

For both raid and dungeon healing you can also run the passive Benediction Icon Benediction instead of Halo Icon Halo or Divine Star Icon Divine Star. This does remove another spell from your rotation, but creates an even heavier emphasis on reliably casting Prayer of Mending Icon Prayer of Mending on cooldoown, which you should be doing anyway. It also pairs nicely with the Level 15 talent Renewed Faith Icon Renewed Faith.

4.

Stat Choice for Holy Priest

Currently, Intellect is your highest rated stat and due to this, you should prioritise item level when comparing gear to wear. With two items of the same item level you will want to prioritise stats as follows for raid content:

  1. Intellect
  2. Mastery = Critical Strike
  3. Versatility
  4. Haste

For dungeon content, the priority is:

  1. Intellect
  2. Critical Strike
  3. Haste
  4. Versatility
  5. Mastery

While we provide stat preference lists, swapping gear to higher item level items — and their higher Intellect/total stats — should, usually, provide a larger upgrade than using lower item level items with better stats. The exception to this rule are items with important tertiary stats, Leech and Avoidance, which should still be used ahead of other items without them, unless the difference in item level is around 6 or above.

5.

Best Legendaries for Holy Priest

Holy Priest does not have any "must-have" legendaries, and instead can choose between multiple legendaries, depending on personal preference.

While you should always pick the best legendary for the content you care about the most first, if you wish to participate equally in most types of content, or simply do not have the time to craft multiple legendaries, we would recommend that you pick up Echo of Eonar Icon Echo of Eonar first.

6.

Best Covenant for Holy Priest

Deciding which covenant to choose can be a daunting task. To help you decide, we have a page specifically discussing the pros and cons for each Covenant as a Holy Priest, and also run through the various Conduits and Soulbinds as well.

Holy Priest is in a unique situation where all of our Covenants rank similarly, particularly in a Raid environment. Regardless of the Covenant choice you make, there will be an appropriate soulbind to suit the content you plan on doing.

7.

Basic Playstyle for Holy Priest

Regardless of the content you are tackling you should be aware of a few basic abilities:

  • Purify Icon Purify is used in most content as many enemies will place magical or disease debuffs on your allies which can be removed by casting Purify on the affected ally. It is commonly referred to as dispel.
  • Power Word: Fortitude Icon Power Word: Fortitude is a group wide buff that lasts for 60 minutes or until death and provides an additional 5% Stamina. Apply this before getting started on a dungeon or boss.
  • Desperate Prayer Icon Desperate Prayer is an active ability with a 90-second cooldown. It heals you for a portion of your maximum health and also increases your maximum health for a period of time, it should be used when your own life is in danger.
7.1.

Raid Healing

Raid healing is primarily focused around AoE group healing, as outlined below. A lot of your decision-making will be based on incoming damage and the cooldowns you have available. It is better to use your cooldowns early and often than it is to save them for unknown future situations.

Below is the basic priority you should follow in raids. You should not cast a spell that will mostly overheal, so keep this in mind while working through the priority list and skip an item if there is likely to be significant overhealing.

  1. Holy Word: Sanctify Icon Holy Word: Sanctify when a cluster of your raid is injured.
  2. Holy Word: Serenity Icon Holy Word: Serenity on an injured ally.
  3. Circle of Healing Icon Circle of Healing on cooldown when at least 4 allies are injured.
  4. Prayer of Mending Icon Prayer of Mending on cooldown.
  5. Halo Icon Halo when most of your raid is injured.
  6. Flash Heal Icon Flash Heal for emergency triage on an ally near death.
  7. Prayer of Healing Icon Prayer of Healing for general purpose raid healing.
  8. Heal Icon Heal for general purpose single-target healing.
  9. Smite Icon Smite an enemy when no healing is required.

Holy Word: Salvation Icon Holy Word: Salvation should be used during a period of heavy raid-wide damage. Keep in mind, however, that your raid leader may instruct you to use it a very specific time.

Be mindful when using Halo Icon Halo as this spell not only heals your allies, but also damages enemies it hits. On some encounters you may have dangerous enemies that are being crowd-controlled and the damage from Halo may break this crowd-control.

7.2.

Dungeon Healing

Dungeon healing is primarily focused around single target healing, as outlined below. A lot of your decision making will be based on incoming damage and the cooldowns you have available. It is better to use your cooldowns early and often, than it is to save them for unknown future situations.

Below is the basic priority you should follow in dungeons. You should not cast a spell that will mostly overheal, so keep this in mind as you work through the priority list and skip an item if there is likely to be significant overheal.

  1. Holy Word: Serenity Icon Holy Word: Serenity on an injured ally.
  2. Holy Word: Sanctify Icon Holy Word: Sanctify when most of your group is injured.
  3. Flash Heal Icon Flash Heal for both emergency and regular healing.
  4. Divine Star Icon Divine Star when most of your group is injured.
  5. Circle of Healing Icon Circle of Healing on cooldown when at least 3 allies are injured.
  6. Prayer of Mending Icon Prayer of Mending when little healing is required.
  7. Smite Icon Smite an enemy when no healing is required.

For heavy single target damage, use Apotheosis Icon Apotheosis with Flash Heal Icon Flash Heal and Holy Word: Serenity Icon Holy Word: Serenity as it comes off cooldown. If this is still not enough, you also have access to Guardian Spirit Icon Guardian Spirit.

For heavy aoe damage, use Apotheosis Icon Apotheosis with Prayer of Healing Icon Prayer of Healing and Holy Word: Sanctify Icon Holy Word: Sanctify to keep your group alive. If this is still not enough, you also have access to Divine Hymn Icon Divine Hymn.

Dealing damage while in dungeons is often overlooked by healers. While any additional damage is beneficial to your group, it should not come at the cost of keeping your group alive, which is your main priority. Smite Icon Smite is your main damage dealing ability and it costs very little Mana. In situations where Mana is not a concern you can also cast Holy Fire Icon Holy Fire on cooldown, and keep Shadow Word: Pain Icon Shadow Word: Pain on enemy targets.

7.3.

Rotation Mistakes for Holy Priest

While we have a larger section dedicated to walking through common mistakes and how to avoid them, a couple are worth mentioning now. These focus around our two most valuable resources, Mana and time.

Mana is very easy to waste without realising it. The most common way is spamming inefficient spells during downtime or periods of low healing. Stick to Smite Icon Smite if you want to remain active during these periods and avoid spells like Renew Icon Renew and Power Word: Shield Icon Power Word: Shield as they are very Mana inefficient and should rarely be cast. Casting DPS spells outside of Smite, when Mana is going to be a concern, is also a way to accidentally consume additional Mana without realising it.

Time is a bit more difficult to quantify but one really easy thing you can do to get yourself more healing time in both dungeons and raids is to focus on minimising your movement to maximise the time that can be spent casting spells with a cast time. For those periods where you do have to move you can rely on the array of instant cast spells available to us including Prayer of Mending Icon Prayer of Mending, Circle of Healing Icon Circle of Healing, Holy Word: Serenity Icon Holy Word: Serenity, Holy Word: Sanctify Icon Holy Word: Sanctify, and, when talented, Divine Star Icon Divine Star.

8.

Cooldown Usage for Holy Priest

As a Holy Priest, you have three baseline cooldowns. Here is how you should use them:

  • Divine Hymn Icon Divine Hymn should be used during periods of very intense raid damage. Keep in mind, however, that your raid leader may instruct you to use it a very specific time.
  • Symbol of Hope Icon Symbol of Hope should be used towards the end of a raid encounter to give the highest potential Mana back to all healers in your group. A good guide is either when you are at 20% Mana, or the boss is at 20% health remaining.
  • Guardian Spirit Icon Guardian Spirit should be used depending on many factors, including on your raid leader's instructions. If you do not have to save Guardian Spirit for a specific event, then just use it as a "life-saver" on the tank or another raid member who needs it.
9.

Changelog

  • 23 Nov. 2020: Updated with Shadowlands Covenant and Legendary information.
  • 16 Nov. 2020: Fixed a typo with Power Word: Fortitude.
  • 12 Oct. 2020: Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
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