Source: Vanilla Priest

All information in this guide is based off of patch 1.12 private servers. Some information may change with the official release of Classic WoW.

Priests are powerful healers, and can be deadly as ranged DPS, if specced properly. Priests were long the premier healers in World of Warcraft, and although other classes have been improved to match their prowess, priests will still generally be assumed to fill the healer role in groups. Players who do not enjoy healing are thus advised to consider a different class, as playing a priest guarantees that you will be healing at some point. Priests can specialize in the shadow tree to become extremely effective single-target ranged DPS casters, and at higher levels (50+) the damage they cause can return mana to their group. Priests are also able to cast a number of very useful buffs that any party will find useful.

Priests 3 talent specializations are Holy, Discipline, and Shadow.

If you'd like a more in-depth look at the Priest class, check out the video below.


PVE Healing

Fresh 60 Spec 26/25/0 ↗
This spec is designed to maximise your overall mana pool to ensure you can last through each pull/boss fight.

Fresh 60 Spec

Geared 60 Spec 21/30/0 ↗
Suitable for raiding. Change to this spec once you’re more comfortable with healing and your gear is looking better, it should increase your overall healing output. There may be slight variations depending on what other priests in your raid are doing, e.g. you may or may not be required to take Improved Renew, Inspiration, Holy Nova etc.

Fresh 60 Spec

In PVP, of course your main role is to heal. However priests once again bring a lot of utility. For example, dispelling polymorphs and mind controlling people off the cliff at the Lumber Mill in Arathi Basin.

The ‘geared 60 spec’ above works just fine for PVP if you want to stand back and heal, but I prefer to use the below hybrid spec.

Hybrid PVP 21/30/0 ↗
This build gives you Mind Flay, Improved Psychic Scream, Silence and Improved Mana Burn—all of which make you more useful than a stock standard healer.

Hybrid PVP Build

Pre-Raid Gear

Below is a google doc containing all the BiS items for priests in Classic WoW.
If you want to save a copy for yourself, click here



Leveling 1-60

Priest are one of the easiest classes to level if done right. You’ll use a wand as your primary source of damage dealing and rely on the mana regeneration provided from the Spirit Tap talent. Levelling this way means you should never go out of mana (OOM) unless you pull too many mobs at once and need to heal yourself. This saves you a lot of time and money as you won’t need to drink to regenerate mana—though you should carry some drinks just in case.


As you’re leveling, always prioritize spirit and then intellect. Stamina isn’t that important as you have Power Word: Fortitude, Power Word: Shield and healing spells. As you get to the level 40 or so mark, gear will start giving you + spell damage and healing. These pieces are only worth it if there’s still some spirit/intellect on them but not otherwise. See the Dreamweave set (Circlet, Vest and Gloves) — these are appropriate items for a leveling priest and give you a good idea of what to look for.


Level 5 - Lesser Magic Wand Crafted, ask an enchanter to make one for you. It's worth spending some money on it if you can.

Level 13 - Greater Magic Wand Crafted, ask an enchanter to make one for you. It's worth spending some money on it if you can.

Level 17 - Cookie's Stirring Rod Obtained from the Deadmines instance, do a run and hope for the best but don’t spend too much time trying to get it.

Level 18 - Gravestone Scepter Obtained from a chain quest that starts at level 18. Realistically you won’t finish the quest until around level 24 when you run Blackfathom Deeps with a group. This one lasts you a while so it’s worth the effort.


If you’re new to the priest class, you should familiarise yourself with their available talents before you start selecting them at level 10. I’d recommend following the path below:

  • 10-14: Wand Specialization
  • 15-19: Spirit Tap

Note, these are non-negotiable for leveling. Wanding will be one of your main sources for damage and Spirit Tap gives you the mana regeneration you need in between kills to just keep going.

  • 20-21: Improved Shadow Word: Pain
  • 22-24: Improved Power Word: Shield
  • 25-26: Improved Power Word: Fortitude
  • 27-29: Meditation
  • 30: Inner Focus
  • 31: Martyrdom
  • 32-35: Mental Agility

At level 36, Mind Flay Rank 3 becomes available and is now viable in terms of damage per mana. This is when you should respec to a shadow build, and while I know it’s tempting, you should hold off getting Shadowform until level 45 (see below) as you still require Wand Specialization to maximise efficiency.

  • 10-14: Wand Specialization
  • 15-19: Spirit Tap
  • 20-21: Improved Shadow Word: Pain
  • 22-24: Shadow Focus(highly recommended over Blackout)
  • 25: Mind Flay
  • 26-27: Improved Psychic Scream (So you can grab silence later)
  • 28-29: Shadow Focus
  • 30-32: Shadow Reach
  • 33-34: Shadow Weaving
  • 35: Silence
  • 36: Vampiric Embrace
  • 37-39: Shadow Weaving
  • 40-44: Darkness
  • 45: Shadowform

From here, which talents you choose won’t really make much of a difference. I would recommend going back down the Discipline tree as it gives you more survivability and mana regeneration. If you’re on a high pop server with a lot of world PVP, you should consider picking up 2/2 Healing Focus so your heals aren’t interrupted when out of Shadowform.

  • 46-47: Healing Focus
  • 48-50: Improved Power Word: Shield
  • 51-52: Improved Power Word: Fortitude
  • 53: Inner Focus
  • 54-56: Meditation
  • 57: Unbreakable Will
  • 58-60: Mental Agility

Also, while we’re talking about talents, you don’t need to respec to heal instances until at least 58. To be honest I wouldn’t even do this, as the last two levels are the longest levels so it’s better to just smash them out first and then start working on your pre-BiS gear.

Spell Rotation

Levels 1-36:

  1. Power Word: Shield
  2. Mind Blast
  3. Shadow Word: Pain
  4. Smite x1 (x2 if the mob is not at 50% health yet
  5. Wand until the mob dies, gain Spirit Tab to regen mana
  6. Rinse and Repeat!

Levels 36+ (After respeccing to shadow)

  1. Power Word: Shield
  2. Mind Blast
  3. Shadow Word: Pain
  4. Vampiric Embrace
  5. Mind Flay x1 (x2 if the mob is not at 50% health yet)
  6. Wand until mob dies, gain Spirit Tap to regen mana
  7. Rinse and Repeat!

You can mix the rotation up now and then if you’re finding at the end of each kill you have too much mana left (e.g. cast more Smites, Mind Flays or another Mind Blast) or too little mana left (Power Word: Shield less often, wand more). It’ll depend on the level/HP of the mobs you’re dealing with as well as how much damage you’re taking.

Down Ranking Healing Spells

As a healer it is crucial not to always use your max-rank abilities as you'll go OOM too fast. Instead, you'll want to down-rank some of your abilities to maximize mana efficiency. Below are the most mana-efficient ranks to use once you're level 60:

  • Heal (Rank 3)
  • Greater Heal (Rank 1)
  • Flash Heal (Rank 4)
  • Greater Heal (Rank 4) For "o shit" moments!
  • Renew/Prayer of Healing (Max Rank)