Holy Priest Overview

Welcome to Wowhead's Holy Priest guide, updated for World of Warcraft: Shadowlands! This guide will teach you to master playing Holy Priest in all aspects of the game, helping you to keep your allies alive in Raids and Mythic+ dungeons.

Throughout this guide, we will cover many different aspects to increase your Holy Priest expertise, including concepts like Holy Priest talents and talents builds, Holy Priest BiS gear choices, Holy Priest stat priorities, among many other aspects of your class and specialization. Make sure to navigate to additional pages of the guide to find more in-depth information on topics such as Mythic+, Raids, and gear recommendations.

Holy Priest Strengths and Weaknesses

StrengthsWeaknesses
  • Powerful single-target healing through Flash Concentration and one minute Guardian Spirit
  • Strong mana-efficiency can keep casting longer than most
  • Significant defensive cooldown reduction for the party in Symbol of Hope
  • Flexible stuns/fears/knockbacks depending on talent selection
  • Very low overall damage, especially in AoE
  • Immobile with poor defensives
  • No damage reduction to assist in mass AoE damage, see Enraged Spirit's Rage.

How to Play Holy Priest in Shadowlands

Holy Priest is a versatile but immobile healer specializing in using Holy Words, or "small miracles" like Holy Word: Serenity and Holy Word: Sanctify to heal allies immediately. Priests have a long history in WoW for buffing their allies and saving them from death. As a result, Priest is often a more vulnerable healer than others, with low defensive power and mobility. They make up for it by having excellent Area of Effect healing with some single target support.

Priest brings an important raid-wide buff in Power Word: Fortitude, increasing the stamina of your allies. While Discipline focuses more on preempting incoming damage or even absorbing it, Holy Priest is the master of heavy reactive healing, able to provide a steady stream of output whenever they get a chance to plant their feet and cast. The spec is great for players new to healing, as it has a straightforward priority system. As the "classic healer", it often has many mechanics that cross over to learning other healing specs later on.

If you are a returning player or would like a more in-depth review on the spec, the rest of this guide and both the beginner's guide and rotation guide will help provide more details on the spec.


Holy Priest Changes in Patch 9.2

Holy Priest is receiving some substantial buffs towards the spec's overall damage and healing in addition to mana cost reduction to Holy Words to account for the additional casts that the new tier set bonuses will bring.

9.2 Specialization Changes & Tuning

  • All healing abilities increased by 10%.
  • All damaging abilities increased by 15%.
  • Holy Word: Sanctify: Cost changed from 5.0% of base mana to 3.5% of base mana.
  • Holy Word: Serenity: Cost changed from 4.0% of base mana to 2.5% of base mana.
  • Guardian Spirit Calls upon a guardian spirit to watch over the friendly target for 10 sec, increasing healing received by 60%. and preventing the target from dying by sacrificing itself. This sacrifice terminates the effect and heals the target for 40% of maximum health. Castable while stunned. Massive damage amounts will kill the target despite this effect.If the target would die, the Spirit sacrifices itself and restores the target to 40% health. Castable while stunned. Cannot save the target from massive damage.
  • Holy Word: Chastise Chastises the target for (112.5%140% of Spell power) Holy damage and (Censure stuns for 4 sec/incapacitates them for 4 sec). At level 26, cooldown reduced by 4 sec when you cast Smite.
  • Symbol of Hope Bolster the morale of raid members within 40 yds. They each recover 60 sec of cooldown of a major defensive ability, and regain 18%15% of their missing mana, over 54 sec. Cooldown changed from 5 min cooldown to 3 min cooldown
  • Afterlife Increases the duration of Spirit of Redemption by 50% and the range of its spells by 50%. While inAs a Spirit of Redemption, you may cast Resurrection, which ends the Spirit of Redemption.sacrifice your spirit to Resurrect an ally, putting yourself to rest.
  • REMOVEDBinding Heal Heals you, your target, and another friendly target within 20 yards for (94% of Spell power). Reduces the remaining cooldown on both Holy Word: Serenity and Holy Word: Sanctify by 3 sec
  • NEWBinding Heals 20% of Heal or Flash Heal healing on other targets also heals you. Tier 3 Talent, in place of Cosmic Ripple
  • Cosmic Ripple When Holy Word: Serenity or Holy Word: Sanctify finish their cooldown, you emit a burst of light that heals up to 5 injured targets for (42% of Spell power). Holy: Now requires Level 40, up from 30 Tier 5 Talent, in place of Binding Heal
  • Guardian AngelWhen Guardian Spirit saves the target from death, it does not expire. When Guardian Spirit expires without saving the target from death, reduce its remaining cooldown to 60 seconds.
  • Prayer Circle Using Circle of Healing reduces the cast time and cost of your Prayer of Healing by 25% for 8 sec.

9.1 and 9.0.5 Holy Priest Changes

Holy Priest is receiving a revamp to Symbol of Hope in 9.1. The mana return is increased in addition to now reducing the cooldown of a primary defensive ability for each member of the raid within range. Priest's for example have Desperate Prayer's cooldown reduced, immunity classes do not have their immunity's cooldown reduced. Hunter's for instance have Exhilaration's cooldown reduced.

9.1 Specialization Changes & Tuning

  • Symbol of Hope has been redesigned ā€“ Bolster the morale of party or raid members within 40 yards. They each recover 60 seconds of cooldown on a major defensive ability, and they regain 18% of their missing mana, over 5 seconds (was 12%).

For all abilities, user Dracolich created a handy list.

Symbol of Hope decreases cooldowns of:

9.0.5 Holy Priest Changes

The most significant of the below changes for Holy Priest in 9.0.5 are as follows: Flash Concentration's buff allows for greater consistency in maintaining the buff uptime, especially on high movement encounters, saving mana and decreasing inefficient "forced" Flash Heal casts to maintain duration. The Fae changes greatly improve the performance of the covenant for Holy Priest both in raids and mythic+. The bonus damage reduction increase is particularly effective for dungeons and has good use in raids as well. The bug fixes to mana return from the Wrathful Fairy and the quality of life changes to cause it to automatically jump to an enemy will provide a notable increase in mana regen for the casting Priest.

  • Divine Hymn increases healing taken by 4% (was 10%) for 15 seconds (was 8 seconds). Stacks up to 5 times (was no stacks).
  • Night Fae - Fae Guardians : Call forth three faerie guardians to attend your targets for 20 sec. Guardian Faerie now grants 20% damage reduction (was 10%), and Wrathful Faerie will now automatically be sent to the closest enemy target if Fae Guardians is used while an ally is targeted. Wrathful Faeries now properly grant resources to the casting Priest when there are multiple Wrathful Faeries active on the target.
  • Holy:
    • Wrathful Faerie: Any direct attacks against the target restore 0.5% Mana or 3 Insanity. Follows your Shadow Word: Pain.
    • Guardian Faerie: Reduces damage taken by 20% (was 10%). Follows your Power Word: Shield.
    • Benevolent Faerie: Increases the cooldown recovery rate of your target's major ability by 100%. Follows your Flash Heal
  • Divine Image now casts Searing Light when Shadow Word: Pain or Mindgames (Venthyr Ability) are used, and casts Holy Nova when Unholy Nova (Necrolord Ability) is used. Additionally, if the Priest is crowd controlled while Divine Image is active, the image will cast single target healing spells on nearby low-hp allies.
  • Divine Image spell-mirroring cooldown removed (e.g. queueing a Shadow Word: Death after a Holy Fire will now trigger 2 Searing Lights).
  • Flash Concentration buff duration increased to 20 seconds (was 15 seconds).

Holy Priest Facts

Holy Priest in Shadowlands does not have any monumental changes to the playstyle or structure. Holy is often regarded as the classic healer, offering a flexible healing style that mixes Heal over Time effects with powerful direct healing abilities in our Holy Words. Any sort of healing that is required, Holy is able to adapt and respond to well enough to keep the group healthy. They are often viewed as the "jack of all trades, master of none" for this reason. While they lack a specific niche, they make up for it in great raid-oriented tools and cooldowns, which have only grown in Shadowlands with the addition of Circle of Healing to the baseline kit.


Best Holy Priest Racials

HordeAlliance
  • Human- Offering bonus secondaries through The Human Spirit and a stun escape in Every Man for Himself, Humans are a solid overall selection.
  • Void Elf - The Allied Race offers a decent mobility/escape tool in Spatial Rift and a solid passive effect in Entropic Embrace for damage and healing.
  • Night Elf - Depending on the time of day you will receive bonus Haste or Critical Strike with the Touch of Elune passive. In addition, Shadowmeld has a wealth of uses in high level keystones, leading away mobs from the party so they can cross a part of the instance and drop combat.

What makes Holy Priest Special