Holy Priest Healing Easy Mode — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.3
On this page, we explain how to easily play Holy Priest in World of Warcraft — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.3, using the simplest rotation, talent tree, stat priority, gear setup, etc., without sacrificing performance.
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.
The Basics of Holy Priests
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.
Talent Choice for Holy Priests
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.
- Level 15: Enlightenment (raids) or Trail of Light (dungeons)
- Level 30: Angelic Feather
- Level 45: Cosmic Ripple (raids) or Guardian Angel (dungeons)
- Level 60: Censure
- Level 75: Circle of Healing
- Level 90: Halo (raids) or Divine Star (dungeons)
- Level 100: Holy Word: Salvation (raids) or Apotheosis (dungeons)
Stat Choice for Holy Priests
Currently, you will want to prioritise secondary stats as follows for raid content:
- Mastery = Critical Strike
For dungeon content, the priority is:
- Critical Strike
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 10 or above.
Azerite Traits and Essences for Holy Priest
There are no Holy Priest specific Azerite Traits that are particularly powerful. Instead, most of the generic stat buffs are the best traits to go with in both raid and Mythic+. Some good general purpose traits for both Raid and Mythic+ are mentioned below:
- Swirling Sands is another Critical Strike proc which is particularly easy to extend to the full duration during AoE healing.
- Blightborne Infusion is a nice amount of Critical Strike with good uptime.
- Heart of Darkness provides a good amount of extra stats as long as you are over the 25 Corruption threshold.
- Unstable Catalyst causes your spells and abilities to have a chance to create a zone standing in which increases your primary stat.
- Prayerful Litany causes Prayer of Healing to restore an additional amount of Health to the most injured ally it heals.
See the Holy Priest Azerite Traits page for a full ranking of each trait.
Essences have both Major and Minor powers, with Major powers typically being a new ability you can use, and the Minor powers granting you a passive buff of some kind. Good essences to aim for are:
- Raid Healing: Life-Binder's Invocation ( Life-Binder's Invocation) major; The Ever-Rising Tide ( The Ever-Rising Tide), Conflict and Strife ( Strife) and The Formless Void ( Symbiotic Presence) as minors.
- Mythic+: Spirit of Preservation ( Spirit of Preservation) major; The Ever-Rising Tide ( The Ever-Rising Tide), Conflict and Strife ( Strife) and The Crucible of Flame ( Ancient Flame) as minors.
See the Holy Priest Essences page for a full ranking of each trait.
Basic Playstyle for Holy Priests
Regardless of the content you are tackling you should be aware of a few basic abilities:
- 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 is a group wide buff that lasts for 60 minutes or until death and provides an additional 10% Stamina. Apply this before getting started on a dungeon or boss.
- 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.
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.
- Holy Word: Sanctify when a cluster of your raid is injured.
- Holy Word: Serenity on an injured ally.
- Circle of Healing on cooldown when at least 4 allies are injured.
- Prayer of Mending on cooldown.
- Halo when most of your raid is injured.
- Flash Heal for emergency triage on an ally near death.
- Prayer of Healing for general purpose raid healing.
- Heal for general purpose single-target healing.
- Renew while moving and emergency healing is required.
- Smite an enemy when no healing is required.
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 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.
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.
- Holy Word: Serenity on an injured ally.
- Holy Word: Sanctify when most of your group is injured.
- Flash Heal for both emergency and regular healing.
- Divine Star when most of your group is injured.
- Prayer of Mending when little healing is required.
- Renew while moving and healing is required.
- Smite an enemy when no healing is required.
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 is your main damage dealing ability and it costs no Mana. In situations where Mana is not a concern you can also cast Holy Word: Chastise and Holy Fire on cooldown.
Cooldown Usage for Holy Priests
As a Holy Priest, you have three baseline cooldowns. Here is how you should use them:
- 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 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 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.
- 14 Jan. 2020: Updated Essences for Patch 8.3.
- 21 Sep. 2019: Updated talent suggestions.
- 11 Jul. 2019: Added general purpose Azerite trait suggestions.
- 09 Jul. 2019: Added Azerite trait and Essence information.
- 24 Jun. 2019: This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
- 15 Apr. 2019: This page has been reviewed and no changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
- 02 Mar. 2019: Fixed some numerical errors in tooltip descriptions.
- 25 Feb. 2019: Re-ordered some of the content sections.
- 10 Dec. 2018: Updated talent choices and playstyle for Patch 8.1.
- 25 Sep. 2018: Updated talent choice and playstyle.
- 03 Sep. 2018: Updated stat priority after higher gear-level modelling.
- 13 Aug. 2018: Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
- 19 Jul. 2018: Clarified introduction wording regarding movement.
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