Priest Tips and Tricks

Last updated: 08/18/08, patch 2.4.3.


  • Avoid Being Polymorphed or CC’d
    If you time your SW:D right at the end of the casting of polymorph at you, then the backlash damage from the SW:D will knock you out of it (due to client-side actions not being instantly sent to the server, there is always a slight delay).
  • Maximize Your Mana Regen While Healing
    Maximize your time in the five second rule (regening mana) while healing by following your healing spells with a cast time (greater heal, flash heal, etc.) with an instant cast (renew, prayer of mending), and not the other way around. Cheat the five second rule by popping Inner Focus and mana regen trinkets after getting a Holy Concentration proc.
  • Levitate Can Make Farming in Water Easier
    If you are farming motes of water, or are spending time questing in water, use levitate to be able to drink/eat instead of having to run to shore. You can also pop levitate to mount up (on your flying mount) to fly away when done.
  • Do Damage to Heal More
    If your prayer of mending has hopped over to you, cast Shadow Word: Death on a mob. The backlash damage will cause the prayer of mending to heal you and hop to the next target.
  • Amp up Your DoTs, HoTs
    If you have an on-use trinket that will increase your spell damage or healing for a period of time, pop it and then cast your DoTs (SW:Pain, VT, devouring plague) or HoT (Renew). Your DoTs/HoTs will gain the full effect of the trinket’s bonus to damage/healing over the entire course of the spell.
  • Get Your Disease On
    Use inner focus before casting devouring plague (or even make a macro to use them both at once). DP cannot crit, but its high mana cost is nicely offset by IF.
  • Find Those Stealthed
    Keep rank 1 of Holy Nova on your hotkeyed to detect stealthed players.
  • Steal Buffs
    Mind control mobs in instances to give buffs to your party. The Bloodwarden Menders in Botanica have a “Holy Fury” buff that increases spell damage by 295 for 30 minutes!
  • Be a Scout
    Don’t wait for rogues to mark mobs that are around corners. Their stealth is too slow. Mind Vision the mobs to get them marked faster. Also useful for scouting in PvP.
  • Extreme Fishing
    Fishing is so very boring. Fishing while levitating is still boring, but at least you look cool while doing it.
  • Buff Your Fiend
    Try to use your shadow fiend when a boss is vulnerable, or taking additional damage (Curator when he evocates, for example). Your shadowfiend is also susceptible to buffs such as Bloodlust and Power Infusion, and your on-use spell damage trinket. The more damage the fiend does, the more mana you get back.
  • A Little Bit of Pain
    Keep rank 1 SW:Pain on your hotbar. In PvP, you can spam it to proc blackout. In PvE, you can use it to build shadowweaving on a target until your tank has enough of a threat lead for you to begin DPS.
  • Dispel Your Way to Victory
    If they can cast it, you can probably dispel it. While druid shape-changing effects can’t be dispelled as they don’t count as a spell being cast, the shaman ghost wolf form counts as a magic effect and can be dispelled.
  • Mana Burn Your Way to Victory
    This is the key to many arena matches or PvP battles. Be sure to consider all the possibilities of this spell. For instance, a mana-burned druid cannot shapeshift.
  • Kill Your Own Faction With a Buff
    A quick Fort on anyone jumping off of a high place (Scryer rise, zeppelin towers, etc.) can kill them, as the fall damage hits them for a percentage of their health.
  • Buff the Enemy
    You can Mind Control a player of the opposite faction and cast an instant cast buff on him/her (Renew, Fort, etc.). The casting of the spell will break Mind Control, but the buff will last after Mind Control ends.
  • Your Pocket Tank
    If you get an unexpected add that you cannot handle, just cast your Shadowfiend at it and let the little bugger tank it for 15 seconds. Also, Shadowfiend has a good dodge rate, so it can hold its own against some pretty hard hitting mobs.
  • The Priestly Innervate
    In a raid, if you can, keep about 3 shadow priests all in the same group. Rotate mana users that are low on mana into that group for a speedy 600+ mp5 filling of their mana bar.
  • No Honor in Death
    If you kill yourself with SW: Death in PvP, then your opponent will not get the Honor Kill.
  • Improved Taunt
    If you have the talent Spirit of Redemption, you will be able to emote in that form after you die. /cackle, /fart, /pity, or just /flop
  • The Other Crowd Control
    If you are in a sticky situation where your crowd control is key, but are in imminent danger if the mob breaks loose, keep some Netherweave Nets handy to lock the mob in place while you safely reapply the CC.
  • The Other Other Crowd Control
    If you are Mind Controlling a mob, use it to off-tank another mob, effectively removing them both from combat against your group.
  • Fear Smart
    Keep rank 1 psychic scream on your hotbar for those times when you only need to fear one or two mob(s). Why spend the extra mana if you don’t need to?
  • Waste Others’ Time
    If you are going to silence an enemy, wait until the spell is almost finished casting before you cast silence. That way, your enemy just wasted however many seconds effectively doing nothing.
  • Power Word: Dance Party
    /cast lightwell
    /cast levitate
  • Reduce Repair Costs
    Is a wipe incoming? Wait until you are close to dead and then suicide with Shadow Word: Death. If you manage to kill yourself with it, you will not take any durability damage.
  • Pocket Tape Measure
    Mass Dispel, if you click on it, will bring up a circle to target an area with. That circle has a 15 yard radius (which makes it 30 yards across). You can use that to ballpark measures of distance when needed.
  • Holy Ball
    Holy Nova sure is neat looking. If you cast it while falling (use Levitate!) you will be able to see the whole Holy Nova sphere. Useless, but pretty.
  • Embarrass in the Arena
    If you are fighting an arena team of the same faction as yours that is just horrible, you can likely embarrass them further.  When a player on their team dies, you can rez them!  Then just kill them again.
  • Come Back From the Dead
    If you have Spirit of Redemption and die, you drop out of combat for a short moment when it activates.  During that time, you can switch a trinket out for the Darkmoon Card: Twisting Nether, which will give you a 10% chance of coming back to life when Spirit of Redemption ends.  Certain add-ons like Outfitter can be configured to equip the trinket for you automatically when you die.
  • Help Gank Your Own Faction
    If you play on a PvE server, there is a way to have a friend of the opposite faction kill an annoying player of your faction.  You can force a player from your faction to flag by challenging them to a duel, flagging yourself for PvP, and then Mind Controlling them.  While you have them Mind Controlled, they will now be PvP flagged and your friend can attack or kill them.
  • Mana Sheep
    If you have an item such as an Explosive Sheep, you will get mana back from Spirit Tap when it dies.  Use your sheep when you need to do extra damage and get some free mana! (You have to be within a few levels of your creation for this to work.)
  • Uber Prayer of Healing
    If you are in a raid and multiple players from other groups need healing, you can start to cast Prayer of Healing, then move those players into your group before it finishes casting.  Then just move those players right back to where they were.  Hooray for extra healing!
  • Uber SW:D
    If you have the talent Reflective Shield and are up against multiple other players in PvP, you can make your SW:D do 50% extra damage (without taking any extra backlash damage).  Shield yourself, Mind Control one of the players, then SW:D a different player.  The first player will receive 50% of the SW:D backlash damage because of the Reflective Shield.
  • Scare Your Arena Team
    When you enter the arena, the server knows that you’ve entered a PVP area and temporarily makes you hostile to everyone, including your teammates. It only takes a moment before the server realizes you are on the same team and marks you as friendly to them.  If you have nameplates on, you’ve likely noticed this before.  You can make good use of this moment by triggering an instant cast (such as Psychic Scream, or Shadow Word: Pain) directed at them.  It will surely confuse your team.
  • Change Your Shadowform
    If you don’t like the dark purple glow of your shadowform, there is a way to remove the purpleness of it.  While in shadowform, simply use a shapechange effect such as Noggenfogger or Dartol’s Rod of Transformation.  Right click on the shapechange buff to remove it.  Now your shadowform makes you transparent, but not purple.

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6 Responses

  1. Nice, so many things I never thought about! This I’ve been using ever since I read it here: Do damage to heal more with SW:D (I always have Prayer of Mending up, and when it’s on me, this is soo good tip). Gotta try Extreme Levitating Fishing next ;)

  2. After reading this yesterday I tried that noggenfogger thing, but it didn’t work for me, when I shapeshift into the skeleton I still have my purple glow, also when I remove that shapeshift. I wonder if there is a way to get Dartol’s Rod of Transformation again…

  3. Excellent stuff, and much of it very clever. Honestly though, are you able to remember all these techniques spontaneously? Knowing it all is impressive; actually putting it to practice is… uber.

  4. Nice tips mate, I’m about to start a priest myself and loving this blog!

  5. [...] Tips and Tricks- [...]

  6. its really intresting tricks but you nedd cast SWD on last 25% of polymorphing cast, in other case mage could cancell his cast

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