Leveling as a Holy Priest in WotLK

How to level as a holy priest in Wrath of the Lich King.

Step #1: Put on some gear.

For leveling, you are looking for the following stats (in order of importance):

  1. Spellpower
  2. Crit
  3. Spirit
  4. Haste
  5. Stamina
  6. Intellect
  7. MP5 (not even worth looking for)

Don’t buy gear!  It’s a waste of gold. Just wear whatever you have lying around.  Everything will be replaced in by quest rewards many times over.

Step #2: Respec!

Respec to: 14/44/3.

  • Take discipline points up through Inner Focus/Meditation (no Mental Agility or Imp. DS).
  • Take holy points up through Circle of Healing/Holy Concentration (skip the temptation of Inspiration, Lightwell, Serendipity, Test of Faith, Healing Prayers, Holy Nova).  Only go 2/5 Empowered Healing (it’ll be okay!  Trust me!).
  • Put the three points in shadow for Spirit Tap.

Holy Reach + Twin Disciplines + Searing Light + Surge of Light + Spirit Tap = Mobs dead in 10 seconds and zero down time!

Step #3: Kill some things!

Cast: Holy Fire, then Smite x3. SW:D if needed.  Loot mob.

Lather, rinse, repeat!

Step #4: Spend some more talents points!

Level 71: Empowered Healing (3/5)
Level 72: Empowered Healing (4/5)
Level 73: Empowered Healing (5/5)
Level 74: Test of Faith (1/3)
Level 75: Test of Faith (2/3)
Level 76: Test of Faith (3/3)
Level 77: Guardian Spirit (1/1)
Level 78: Divine Providence (1/5)
Level 79: Divine Providence (2/5)
Level 80: Divine Providence (3/5)

At level 80, you will end up with: 14/54/3.

Step #5: Profit!

You may not be as efficient as a shadow priest, or most other classes’ DPS specs, but you will be able to heal any instance with ease and have zero downtime when grinding and/or soloing. At level 80, you will be able to keep this spec while you finish up your questing.  Healing in level 80 instances won’t be a problem at all.

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24 Responses

  1. Very nice.

  2. Fantastic information.

    Is there any effect to it since racials have been scrapped?



  3. The talent spec may change a bit (Imp. PW:S and Imp. Inner Fire have switched places). I would also skip Surge of Light (I wanted to give it a chance, but am not liking it enough!).

    I would recommend starting with this talent spec:

    Then finish off Empowered Healing, grab Serendipity, get Test of Faith, Guardian Spirit, and then put 2 points in Divine Providence.

    Ending up with this:

    One other thing I didn’t mention in the post that is very useful is the Glyph of Smite. It sounds silly, but 50% pushback resistance on the spell you are casting all the time while mobs beat on your is a tremendous benefit for leveling.

  4. Any chance of getting an update on these now that the talent trees are all but ready for release in 3.0.2?

  5. I cant get the link to work on the talent spec, is there any way you could link a new one or something? Trying to get set up myself so I can handle going into WOTLK prepared

  6. Please update the talent specs to the actual talent trees. I want to get myself prepared for WoTLK leveling, but dont got any dps gear. Thanks in advance. :-)

  7. I’m in the process of rewriting this for a WotLK guide.

    For spec, do something like this at level 70 (click for spec). Then work up through holy concentration/imp holy concentration/guardian spirit.

  8. Why is MP5 “not even worth looking for”, but spirit is high on list?

  9. I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to find and start reading your site… but it’s friggin awesome. First of all – I very much appreciate the straight forward approach.. vs. “do what you like” I’ve gotten from other sites. I do have the same question as Forensic…. MP5 and why it’s not worth it. For me this mostly impacts my gems … i have some that are spell power and mp5 vs. spell power and spirit… is it worth switching them out?
    … now to get back to reading more of your site. Thank you!!!

  10. hmm.. How much [%Crit] would be enought/good to have as start lvl 70 -> 80 ?

    Coz “Surge of Light” is pretty imba if does have lots of crit to let it proc alltime ?:)

  11. Without going into the math, the short answer is that holy priests tend to spend more time outside the 5 second rule, and therefore benefit more from stacking spirit to up their base mana regen as well as healing. Dropping bigger heals means less casting, and so more time is spent watching your mana tick back up at full value. Using smart spell rotation (instant casts after the big ones, not the other way around) and taking advantage of clearcasting (does not break 5 sec rule) will see your mana pool lasting through the longest of fights without much worry. All other things being equal, a holy priest should always choose spirit over mp5, whether on gear or from gems.

  12. In response to the crit question, I think most holy priests are running around with a whopping 12-16% holy crit, maybe 20% if you went all out with gems and such? Yeah, don’t count on that surge of light procing all the time, but with the above mentioned build, you won’t have to worry about it anyway.

    As an aside, surge smites are fun to pop off in a raid when you have no one that needs the flash heal. Quick macro to target target’s target, cast smite, target last friendly, and you’re making a positive dps contribution! Go healers!

  13. Great INfo.

    Thanks for the break down. Links are great.
    Iam a holy disc. IAm into my t4 gear far enought to break up my primal mooncloth set now. SHould i blow badges of Justice now, to help me get through too 73 74. Or should i save them to use for higher 80 gear?

  14. Is it possible you can update this guide, especially the talent specs (they seem broken on the wowhead link)?

    Would be nice just in time for WotLK launch :)

  15. Very nice :)

  16. Nice guide, but im already 80 do you feel the need to make a guide about getting gear at level 80 as a holy priest? :D

  17. What is the best spell rotation for grinding mob in these Holy spec?

    • I went with just as he said only add bubble whenever it come off cooldown:

      Holy Fire
      spam Smite
      rebubble as it comes up
      (PW:D to finish mob if mob down to a slice)

      I tried using devouring plague and SW:P since they seem to do a lot of DoT and are instant THEY SUCK dont bother skip shadow entirely

  18. Bookmarked and noted; thank you.

  19. is this still valid with patch 3.08 and CoH having a 6 sec cd?

  20. Just respec’d and follow gear stats order per your advice.. priest went from:

    a struggle to kill one mob, have to potion to kill 2 and then still die sometimes, die in seconds with 3 mobs


    fast easy kill 1 mob, easy kill 2 mobs, slight struggle to kill 3 mobs (health and mana low but no potion needed)

    My 5 man healing is unchanged which is also awesome, no sacrafices there!!

    also made macros of renew, PW:S so i dont have to hunt for alt key in battle.

    So easy now, I had dreaded leveling this holy priest, my last toon to level up for that reason… thanks so much!!!

    BTW this is 6/10/09 patch 3.1.2 so its quite valid even at the latest patch

    • BTW my spirit gear sucks now only 300 at lvl 72 so im working on that… i notice my smites miss about 1/4 or 1/5 so im gonna rotate in a few hit rating pieces as they come up too

  21. I also love how simple, brief and uncomplicated this guide is!

  22. sry was just reading all this, and yeah i think this is a good levelling build for a holy priest.. but why would you go through that?..

    from experience, i have just levelled a shadow priest to 60, full shadow build, some disc.. iv healed in all instances up to that lvl, and iv done fine. and iv also specced to holy for levelling to see what its like, and it is unbearably painful. why would you bother lvling as a holy priest? spec shadow till 60+, after that go holy if you wish, as better healing in dungeons and such will be needed. but holy spec for levelling, before 60+, is just a bad move in my opinion!

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