Holy Priest Healing Guide — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.3

Last updated on Sep 16, 2020 at 10:40 by Niphyr 39 comments
General Information

Welcome to our Holy Priest guide for World of Warcraft — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.3. Here, you will learn how to heal as a Holy Priest in both raids and Mythic+ dungeons. We cover everything from the basics all the way to min-maxing techniques to optimize your output.

If you were looking for WoW Classic content, please refer to our Classic Healer Priest guide.

1.

Holy Priest Overview

The Holy specialisation allows for smooth and very strong AoE/raid healing, and it performs very well in terms of single target healing as well.

Holy has traditionally been a reactive healer, using a variety of spells at its disposal to quickly heal damage taken by their allies.

In order to properly play a healing role, you will need more than just class-specific information. To better understand healing in general, we recommend that you read our healing guide.

2.

Shadowlands Changes for Priests

We are maintaining a list of changes for Priests for Shadowlands, the upcoming World of Warcraft expansion, which you can access using the link below. We also have pages for the new Covenant abilities and Anima Powers.

3.

Patch 8.3 Changes for Holy Priests

There are no Holy Priest specific changes in Patch 8.3, but you can check out the full Priest changes for 8.3 below.

In addition, we have:

4.

Holy Priest Strengths

5.

Holy Priest Weaknesses

  • Mediocre survivability, no immunities or damage reduction defensive abilities.
  • Mediocre mobility while healing, with the majority of spells having cast times.
  • Mediocre group healing in situations that force a large spread.
  • Reliance on short cooldown abilities can hurt sustained throughput, especially single target.
6.

Holy Priest Viability in the Current Patch

Holy Priest is a fantastic reactive healer, especially suited for healing large groups and raids. With a response to almost all damage types, there is always a tool on hand to deal with the situation and keep you thinking while you play.

Raid healing as a Holy Priest revolves around the chosen talents and the two Holy Words, Holy Word: Sanctify Icon Holy Word: Sanctify and Holy Word: Serenity Icon Holy Word: Serenity. Outside of these, the bulk of the healing comes from the variety of "filler" spells used to reduce the cooldown of these burst-healing holy words. Talenting into Holy Word: Salvation Icon Holy Word: Salvation gives Holy Priest a second raid cooldown, which can be invaluable to your healing team.

The Eternal Palace raid released in Patch 8.2 continues on from the strong position Holy Priests had as reactive raid healers in Battle of Dazar'alor. There are some encounters with high amounts of movement which will require additional planning to adapt and maximise our throughput in these situations, as our healing while moving for extended periods of time is a weakness.

Mythic+ dungeon content is not particularly suited to the Holy Priest toolkit, as it requires strong sustained burst, which we lack outside of our short cooldown abilities like our Holy Words. Holy DPS in dungeons can be quite strong, but comes at the complete trade-off to healing done. Couple this with the lack of burst outside of cooldowns and you may find it difficult or punishing to spend a lot of time contributing damage for your group. All of this said, Holy Priest is still more than capable of handily clearing keys up to and beyond the maximum loot reward levels.

PVP Healing as a Holy Priest does not typically see much use in Arena, however can provide a strong amount of healing in battlegrounds where there are more allies to heal. Holy Priest can struggle to create distance between themselves and enemies, and makes up for this with some close-quarters crowd control abilities, and personal defensive abilities and talents.

7.

Changelog

  • 16 Sep. 2020 (this page): Fixed a typo reported by diligent Holy Priest readers.
  • 21 May 2020 (Corruption page): Added corruption vendor advice.
  • 02 May 2020 (gear page): Fixed a typo in the Ny'alotha BiS list.
  • 16 Apr. 2020 (Corruption page): Page added.
  • 16 Apr. 2020 (easy mode page): Updated some essence and corruption suggestions.
  • 16 Apr. 2020 (gear page): Split corruption gear discussion to a separate page.
  • 16 Apr. 2020 (Essences page): Updated some essence suggestions.
  • 16 Apr. 2020 (Ny'alotha page): Updated boss tips and essence suggestions.
  • 16 Apr. 2020 (mythic+ page): Updated with additional recommendations.
  • 22 Jan. 2020 (Ny'alotha page): Guide added.
  • 14 Jan. 2020 (enchants page): Added new Augment Rune.
  • 14 Jan. 2020 (spells page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.3 and no changes are necessary.
  • 14 Jan. 2020 (stats page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.3 and no changes are necessary.
  • 14 Jan. 2020 (mythic+ page): Updated for Season 4.
  • 14 Jan. 2020 (how to improve page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.3 and no changes are necessary.
  • 14 Jan. 2020 (this page): Updated for Patch 8.3.
  • 14 Jan. 2020 (talents page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.3 and no changes are necessary.
  • 14 Jan. 2020 (azerite traits and gear page): Added new trait from Ny'alotha.
  • 14 Jan. 2020 (simulations page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.3 and no changes are necessary.
  • 14 Jan. 2020 (easy mode page): Updated Essences for Patch 8.3.
  • 14 Jan. 2020 (The Eternal Palace page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.3 and no changes are necessary.
  • 14 Jan. 2020 (Essences page): Added new essences from Patch 8.3 and updated essence recommendations.
  • 14 Jan. 2020 (gear page): Updated for the Ny'alotha raid items.
  • 14 Jan. 2020 (Crucible of Storms page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.3 and no changes are necessary.
  • 14 Jan. 2020 (rotation page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.3 and no changes are necessary.
  • 14 Jan. 2020 (addons page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.3 and no changes are necessary.
  • 14 Jan. 2020 (Battle of Dazar'alor page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.3 and no changes are necessary.
  • 14 Jan. 2020 (FAQ page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.3 and no changes are necessary.
  • 14 Jan. 2020 (Uldir page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.3 and no changes are necessary.
  • 14 Nov. 2019 (spells page): Fixed an error in the Prayer of Healing description.
  • 21 Sep. 2019 (The Eternal Palace page): Added more boss tips and updated talent suggestions.
  • 21 Sep. 2019 (easy mode page): Updated talent suggestions.
  • 04 Sep. 2019 (enchants page): Updated weapon enchant recommendations.
  • 29 Jul. 2019 (addons page): Added multiple new macros.
  • 28 Jul. 2019 (gear page): Updated trinket info including Punch Card suggestions.
  • 28 Jul. 2019 (mythic+ page): Added basic Essence recommendations.
  • 28 Jul. 2019 (Essences page): Added essence recommendations and ERT usage.
  • 28 Jul. 2019 (The Eternal Palace page): Updated various recommendations after the first Mythic week.
  • 11 Jul. 2019 (talents page): Added mention of the Conflict and Strife essence.
  • 11 Jul. 2019 (this page): Added note about The Eternal Palace viability.
  • 11 Jul. 2019 (easy mode page): Added general purpose Azerite trait suggestions.
  • 11 Jul. 2019 (mythic+ page): Updated for Season 3.
  • 11 Jul. 2019 (azerite traits and gear page): Updated for Patch 8.2 and added The Eternal Palace and Mechagon traits.
  • 11 Jul. 2019 (gear page): Added latest trinket info for The Eternal Palace and Mechagon trinkets.
  • 09 Jul. 2019 (easy mode page): Added Azerite trait and Essence information.
  • 09 Jul. 2019 (gear page): Updated for The Eternal Palace and Benthic gear.
  • 09 Jul. 2019 (this page): Added strengths, weaknesses, and viability.
  • 09 Jul. 2019 (The Eternal Palace page): Page added.
  • 24 Jun. 2019 (how to improve page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 24 Jun. 2019 (azerite traits and gear page): Removed mentions of Uldir traits.
  • 24 Jun. 2019 (this page): Updated for patch 8.2.
  • 24 Jun. 2019 (simulations page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 24 Jun. 2019 (gear page): Added new 8.2 Inscription trinket.
  • 24 Jun. 2019 (addons page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 24 Jun. 2019 (easy mode page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 24 Jun. 2019 (enchants page): Updated with new 8.2 consumable suggestions.
  • 24 Jun. 2019 (stats page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 24 Jun. 2019 (spells page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 24 Jun. 2019 (Uldir page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 24 Jun. 2019 (Battle of Dazar'alor page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 24 Jun. 2019 (Crucible of Storms page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 24 Jun. 2019 (mythic+ page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 24 Jun. 2019 (talents page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 24 Jun. 2019 (rotation page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 24 Jun. 2019 (Essences page): Page added.
  • 24 Jun. 2019 (FAQ page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 23 May 2019 (Crucible of Storms page): Added more tips for both bosses.
  • 23 May 2019 (stats page): Updated stat priority after higher gear-level modelling.
  • 15 Apr. 2019 (simulations page): This page has been reviewed and no changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 15 Apr. 2019 (mythic+ page): This page has been reviewed and no changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 15 Apr. 2019 (easy mode page): This page has been reviewed and no changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 15 Apr. 2019 (this page): This page has been reviewed and no changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 15 Apr. 2019 (azerite traits and gear page): This page has been reviewed and no changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 15 Apr. 2019 (Crucible of Storms page): Guide added.
  • 15 Apr. 2019 (talents page): This page has been reviewed and no changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 15 Apr. 2019 (stats page): This page has been reviewed and no changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 15 Apr. 2019 (how to improve page): This page has been reviewed and no changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 15 Apr. 2019 (addons page): This page has been reviewed and no changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 15 Apr. 2019 (gear page): Added information on the special items from the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 15 Apr. 2019 (Battle of Dazar'alor page): This page has been reviewed and no changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 15 Apr. 2019 (enchants page): This page has been reviewed and no changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 15 Apr. 2019 (FAQ page): This page has been reviewed and no changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 15 Apr. 2019 (spells page): This page has been reviewed and no changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 15 Apr. 2019 (rotation page): This page has been reviewed and no changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 15 Apr. 2019 (Uldir page): This page has been reviewed and no changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 12 Mar. 2019 (gear page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1.5 and no changes are necessary.
  • 12 Mar. 2019 (azerite traits and gear page): Updated for Patch 8.1.5.
  • 12 Mar. 2019 (this page): Updated for Patch 8.1.5.
  • 08 Mar. 2019 (Battle of Dazar'alor page): Minor changes to boss advice
  • 02 Mar. 2019 (spells page): Fixed some numerical errors in tooltip descriptions.
  • 02 Mar. 2019 (easy mode page): Fixed some numerical errors in tooltip descriptions.
  • 25 Feb. 2019 (talents page): Updated some talent suggestions.
  • 25 Feb. 2019 (gear page): Updated trinket rankings.
  • 25 Feb. 2019 (how to improve page): Added a section about log analysis and expanded on some of the common mistakes.
  • 25 Feb. 2019 (simulations page): Added link to the How to Improve page.
  • 25 Feb. 2019 (azerite traits and gear page): Updated rankings and added two missing traits.
  • 25 Feb. 2019 (easy mode page): Re-ordered some of the content sections.
  • 25 Feb. 2019 (rotation page): Changed the order of some sections and added some playstyle information.
  • 25 Feb. 2019 (spells page): Re-ordered some of the content sections.
  • 21 Jan. 2019 (gear page): Updated for Battle of Dazar'alor.
  • 21 Jan. 2019 (azerite traits and gear page): Updated for Battle of Dazar'alor.
  • 21 Jan. 2019 (Battle of Dazar'alor page): Added Battle of Dazar'alor tips for Holy Priest.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (FAQ page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (how to improve page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (simulations page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (gear page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (addons page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (enchants page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (stats page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (Uldir page): Updated for Patch 8.1.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (mythic+ page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (rotation page): Updated for Patch 8.1.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Updated for Patch 8.1.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (spells page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (easy mode page): Updated talent choices and playstyle for Patch 8.1.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (this page): Updated for Patch 8.1.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (talents page): Updated for Patch 8.1.
  • 06 Oct. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Updated Azerite rankings from more hotfix changes.
  • 25 Sep. 2018 (rotation page): Clarified playstyle options with a clear priority system.
  • 25 Sep. 2018 (spells page): Minor clarifications on spell descriptions.
  • 25 Sep. 2018 (mythic+ page): Added more affix specific suggestions.
  • 25 Sep. 2018 (Uldir page): Updated some talent suggestions.
  • 25 Sep. 2018 (easy mode page): Updated talent choice and playstyle.
  • 25 Sep. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Updated Azerite rankings from hotfix changes.
  • 25 Sep. 2018 (addons page): Updated addon suggestions.
  • 25 Sep. 2018 (gear page): Updated trinket rankings.
  • 25 Sep. 2018 (simulations page): Updated links to external resources.
  • 25 Sep. 2018 (talents page): Minor description clarifications.
  • 25 Sep. 2018 (FAQ page): Added Holy Priest Spreadsheet.
  • 03 Sep. 2018 (easy mode page): Updated stat priority after higher gear-level modelling.
  • 03 Sep. 2018 (stats page): Updated stat priority after higher gear-level modelling.
  • 03 Sep. 2018 (mythic+ page): Page added.
  • 03 Sep. 2018 (enchants page): Updated choices after higher gear-level modelling.
  • 31 Aug. 2018 (Uldir page): Page added.
  • 31 Aug. 2018 (enchants page): Updated suggestions for shared dungeon and raid gear enhancements.
  • 27 Aug. 2018 (stats page): Clarified some points based on feedback.
  • 26 Aug. 2018 (gear page): Made various substantial updates to the page.
  • 26 Aug. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Made various updates to the page.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (easy mode page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (gear page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (talents page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (stats page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (enchants page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (simulations page): Page added.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (addons page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Added Azerite page.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (spells page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (how to improve page): Added common mistakes page.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (this page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (FAQ page): Added FAQ.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (rotation page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 19 Jul. 2018 (easy mode page): Clarified introduction wording regarding movement.
  • 17 Jul. 2018 (this page): Updated for the Battle for Azeroth pre-patch.
  • 02 Mar. 2018 (mythic+ page): Expanded suggestions for various affixes.
  • 21 Jan. 2018 (mythic+ page): Updated with new seasonal affix and azerite traits.
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