Holy Priest Spec

Here’s another post by my forever awesome hubby, Garen…. Garen has been a holy priest nearly his entire wow career, and he doesn’t play by everyone else’s rules…. I hope you enjoy his post about the spec he uses for raiding! Sorry for flipping classes so suddenly, but this is ALToholics Are Us, after all.


I’m a priest!
I’m a half way DECENT priest.
I’ve been doing it for 3 and a half years now.
So, the other day, another priest asks me… “Why are you so good?”
Other than the obvious answer of “Cause I’m Awesome!”, I told him it’s because I put a little thought into my spec, and I fill a role that most other priests don’t quite want to touch. So I fill that niche that all guilds need, but no one wants to fill. All the while, I still remaining an awesome and viable healer.

Allow me to give you the break down.
Priesting in the healing sense utilizes two of the three talent trees.

Discipline (Yes!) – Holy (Yes!) – Shadow (No!)

Okay, here we go!


Tier 1
Unbreakable Will  (5/5) – When a priest is stunned, he’s useless. When a priest is feared, he’s useless. 5 points in this talent makes you less useless!

Tier 2
Silent Resolve (3/3) – When a priest  takes agro, he dies. This reduces agro.

Improved Inner Fire (3/3) – Inner fire now increases your spell damage/healing. By putting three points into this talent, you get a buff of almost 200 spell power. That’s healing, damage, and awesomeness in a fiery can!

Tier 3
Inner Focus (1/1) – FREE CAST OF ANY SPELL! Popping a greater heal while regaining mana is an excellent way to keep you in the fight longer. Also, when you are OOM, this makes it so you can save your tanks life. Though, as a good priest, you shouldn’t be OOM.

Meditation (3/3) – Priesting requires mana. Anything you can do to make that pool fill faster or not stop filling is a good thing. Keeping a 30% regen ticker on your mana pool is AWESOME. It means you run out less.
Improved Power word: Fortitude (2/2) – Two points needed to be spent, and I chose to put them here. Stamina is an excellent stat to have. It helps everyone. Savor it!

Tier 4
Mental Agility (5/5) – Renew, Prayer of Mending, Dispel Magic, Shadow word: Pain, Shadow word: Death, Lightwell, Power word: Shield. What do these have in common? INSTANT CAST! Mental agility reduces the mana cost. Again, this keeps you in battle longer.

Tier 5
Divine Spirit (1/1) – THIS is why I spec the way I do. SPIRIT! Spirit translates into mana regen, +Healing,  and a buff to damage to anyone that receives it. PUT THE POINT HERE!

Improved Divine Spirit (2/2) – This is the part of the spirit combo that gives you the buff to damage. Don’t forget these points!

Tier 6
Enlightenment (5/5) – I had 5 points to put somewhere in either the holy or the disc trees, I found that the stat increases made me happier than the prayer of healing increase (Cause I don’t use PoH very often) Crappy reason, but it’s true. You can put these 5 wherever you want actually. I won’t be mad.  ^.^


Tier 1
Healing Focus (2/2) – Pushback can ruin a perfectly good greater heal. This will help to keep you from being stopped in your tracks.

Improved Renew (3/3) – Renew is a vital spell for keeping groups and raids up. It’s a constant tick. Making it better will make each tick better when you aren’t paying attention.

Holy Specialization (3/5) – Crit on a heal is awesome, however it’s not required. While putting points in other places, this was used to get me up to the next tier. On the plus side, it DOES make me crit more often.

Tier 2
Divine Fury (5/5) – This will make you cast faster! Faster casting = More heals = Less dying!

Tier 3
Desperate Prayer (1/1) – Sometimes when healing, you take agro, this will heal you. Instantly! Even good when you ARE desperate. But don’t say you’re desperate. People can’t know what we really feel as priests.  

Inspiration (3/3) – You heal tanks for a living! Tanks use armor! This improves your tanks armor while you keep him alive. Both parties win!

Tier 4
Improved Healing (3/3) – Less mana used = More heals cast!

Tier 5
Spirit of Redemption (1/1) – If for some reason you die, you have an additional 10 seconds to keep your party/tank alive. This can mean the difference between life and death. 

Spiritual Guidance (5/5) – I made the comment that spirit is vital to a priest. It IS! It is one of your most important stats. This improves on it by increasing your +healing by a percentage of your spirit. More spirit = More heals.

Tier 6
Spiritual Healing (5/5) – This increases your healing done. As a holy priest, this makes you better, OR, as I like to say… “More Awesome!”.

Tier 7
Holy Concentration (3/3) – Clearcasting allows you to get a free cast every so often. Free casts cause mana regen. Gotta love that.

Lightwell (1/1) – NO! It is NOT a “LoL-Well”. This is a vital tool that gives a free renew to your party at their own leisure. USE IT! Just try it and see what your parties think. It’s actually pretty cool.

Tier 8
Empowered Healing (5/5) – Again, increasing your +Healing makes you a better healer. (In theory)

Tier 9 
Circle of Healing (1/1) – Mass healing with a single click with no need to pay attention. Serious, what’s not to love?

That’s how I run my priest. You can run yours any way you see fit. But I hope my comments have made at least SOME sense. 
I’ll do another post soon about how/why I love spirit. And another one about glyphs. But, this should suffice for now.
Let me know if you have comments.


14 thoughts on “Holy Priest Spec

  1. Well, I haven’t played my Priest for a while – she’s still sitting in Shattrath with a level 70 Disc/Holy (http://www.wowhead.com/?talent=bVcbuhxzbZcxxMcbqrhZh) spec, but I’ve got some comments.

    You only need the 2 points in Imp PW:F if you actually do decide to put those final 5 points in Enlightenment. Otherwise, you can skip it and have 7 points to use somewhere else. I’m not saying Imp PW:F is bad, but I can definitely understand not taking it if you don’t need the points to continue down the tree.

    I’d also skip Healing Focus. From my experience, If I’m taking such a beating that PW:S isn’t enough, then the knockback isn’t going to make much difference. Of course, YMMV.

  2. Longtime shadowpriest here who has only healed during leveling in shadow spec ^^

    “Unbreakable Will (5/5) – When a priest is stunned, he’s useless. When a priest is feared, he’s useless. 5 points in this talent makes you less useless!” not get Twin Diciplens for 5% extra healing for instacasts? You know all the same things you listed under mental agility.

    “Silent Resolve (3/3) – When a priest takes agro, he dies. This reduces agro.”

    Pretty much the only place I’ve seen priests having threat problems is on Sartharion+3 drakes. Though I highly doubt it would help there much as any kind of healing threat is generally good enough to pull the small adds when your tank happens to be on the other side of the flamewall. Just fade and let some other healer tank the adds for a while 😛

    (Improved) Divine Spirit

    I can understand it’s usefulness in 5 and 10-mans but it’s spellpower is about half of what any shaman can put with his totem and many times less than elemental shaman’s. A bit weaker spirit buff can be received from affliction lock with felhunter out. Could those “extra” 3 or 8 points with enlightenment be put into better use in holy tree?

  3. Heh, no problem. Discussion is definitely a good thing. =)

    Also, now that I’m actually looking at a talent calculator, there are a few more comments. Of course, it’s all very subjective and only represents my preferences based on my experience. (You can find some of the ideas behind my spec in this post: http://anotheralt.blogspot.com/2008/10/ding.html )

    In my spec I didn’t get Unbreakable Will, opting for Twin Disciplines instead. I didn’t get CC’d in instances that much, whereas improving Renew (and possibly PW:S, I’m not sure about that one) seemed a lot more useful to me – in fights like Keristrasza or Telestra instant cast spells are very useful. Then again, it depends a lot on style – I usually prefer the “Discipline” style healing than the “Holy” style.

    Next I see that I didn’t get Silent Resolve, mostly because this spec was designed for soloing as well. But from what I’m seeing on Omen running instances, tanks are generating a ridiculous amount of threat, so I’m thinking it isn’t really necessary.

    Next, Imp PW:S, well… It depends on your healing style, of course, but I definitely find it worth the points.

    Moving on to Holy, I filled up Holy Specialization – not only are crits better for better heals, but both Surge of Light and Holy Concentration proc off crits. If you’re not critting enough, you just aren’t getting everything you could from those talents.

    Surge of Light is, in my opinion, a very good talent. Free instant Flash Heals are nothing to be sneezed at.

    A lot has already been said about Lightwell – I think the bottom line is if you’re running PuGs, with people who don’t know how to use it properly it’s a wasted talent point. If you’re running with a guild, though, it’s usually much easier to “educate” them so it would be much more useful.

    And that’s it for now… Maybe I’ll actually pick up my Priest this weekend and see if there’s anything new worth mentioning.

  4. tal, i’m not sure i understand your comment here…

    “I’d also skip Healing Focus. From my experience, If I’m taking such a beating that PW:S isn’t enough, then the knockback isn’t going to make much difference. Of course, YMMV.”

    I myself don’t use Healing Focus either… if i’m getting beat on so much i can’t get a heal out and my sheild doesn’t last long enough for my tank to get the mob(s) offa me… then the group is in serious trouble.

    What has me scratching my head about your comment though is your use of the word “knockback”… which is not the same as “pushback”. They stopped saying “lost casting time” and started calling it pushback in LK. It’s probably just a typing error… but if i’m confused on what you mean others might be too… so forgive my intrusion please!

    My priest doesn’t have Silent Resolve or Focused will anymore either. They simply aren’t necessary anymore. In LK the whole threat system was overhauled and it is working oh so much better.

    I echo the sentiment that Surge of Light is awesome. It is one of the best talents in the holy tree (and so is Improved Holy Concentration).

    I find that I don’t need Mental Agility when I’m Holy spec… I normally pick up Absolution if I’m also specing into spirit. Now Mental Agility is awesome with a full disc spec! but hey whatever works for you right? variety is the spice of life 🙂

  5. Awesome guys, now I haven’t played my own priest since TBC was still fairly new, but I do talk with hubby a lot about his, and help all the other healers in my guild. This does include priests. Lately Ive been hearing a lot about Disc healing and Holy healing. I think Garen is walking a fine line between the two. These are great comments here, and I am sure he will add to the discussion, too.

    I do want to mention that we are currently still in the 5/10 man situation getting a new guild off the ground, so things that are needed or happen in 25s are really our forte…. yet

    I did have a question about the comment about shaman having a better resource on the spirit buff, Im gonna take that to mean that these things don’t stack then?

    Also, like Rai said, when Garen was talking about “pushback” he meant in his casting time, not actually being physically knocked back. Thank you again for the awesome feedback, I think Garen might re evaluate his spec. I’ll be sure to post any changes.

  6. Pingback: Glyphs for the Holy Priest « Altoholic’s Are Us

  7. I appriciate the comments thus far. It is giving me cause to take another look at my spec and consider making changes. I DO try to walk the fine line between holy and disc, so it can get a little screwy at times. BUT, it does work well for me.
    So, Thank you for the input, and if you have anything else to add, I’m always up for the nudge.

  8. Shamans Flametongue totem overwrites the buff DS gets from Imp DS (spellpower gained through spirit amount). So it’s become common for priests that run with the shaman to not get Improved DS.

    Just like might doesn’t stack with Battle Shout, I’m not certain that DS stacks with Fel Intellect or w/e the int/spirit buff from fel hunters is. I’m not sure what maxed DS is vs. maxed fel int either because i’m still only level 78 and haven’t bothered finding out! However since fel int gives two stats it might be considered “more powerful” and therefore overwrite DS.

    Good things to investigate.

  9. Hi, I enjoyed your outtake of your build and understood the reasoning why you chose certain paths.

    This is my current build;


    I find the following helpful, though I am basically new to the Healing Realm – was DPS prior to.

    1. Serendity: For those of us who are new to healing and sometime overheal, we get something back.

    2. Guardian Spirt: With only a 3min CD, I find this useful to help keep the Tank alive to avoid sticky situations and prevent a full wipe.

    3. Test of Faith: Nice to have, as it boosts your healing on low health party members.

    4. Holy Reach: Clothy’s don’t like to stand in melee range if possible, especially cleave or one hit smashes, this gives me a few more feet of stand back in a more comfortable zone. Not unlike good offesensive team protects their QB. 😛

    5. Holy Concentration: I find this procs rather nicely at times and is gives you a mana saving cast.

    6. Surge of Light: Another one that procs fairly often and provides a Flah Heal even flashier.

    ** I know its not perfect nor will people agree to what I’ve choosen – I am still feeling the ropes and looking for something manageable for now. I debating on getting HEALING PRAYERS, as the name of the game will be Mana useage reduction now with new patch.

    Martyrdom: Looks like it could be useful, but haven’t tried it yet.

    Thanks for the blog on this, will check it periodically.

  10. Pingback: Glyphs for the Holy Priest « Altoholics R Us

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