Shadowlands Holy Priest Guide

Holy Priest Quick Start Guide

Looking to start playing a Holy Priest in World of Warcraft and just want simple advice? Look no further! In this guide, we will cover everything you need to start easily playing a Disc Priest in Shadowlands, without all the fuss of detailed guides.

Whether you're new to the spec, a casual achievement hunter, or a returning player looking to refamiliarize yourself with Holy in Shadowlands, these easy guidelines, covering simple and effective talents, rotation, and gear setup, will get you into the action as easily as possible.

Please keep in mind that this page is meant to get beginner players started quickly, and does not contain much in the way of detailed explanations, mechanics, competitive options, gearing, simulation comparisons, or nuance. For more in-depth information, including all those optimizations and more, check out the complete Holy Priest Guide pages linked in the navigation on the left-hand side of the page.

Holy Priest Covenants for Raiding

Holy in Shadowlands is often focused on utilizing many short cooldowns to reduce the cooldowns of their Holy Word: Serenity and Holy Word: Sanctify and provides two strong raid cooldowns in Divine Hymn and Holy Word: Salvation. Many of the covenants offer some side-damage resources that don't mean as much to Holy Priest given that there is no damage to healing interaction like Discipline has.

However, the healing the abilities do them, how they are produced and the soulbinds that support them are very significant to Holy and in that regard Necrolord is a clear winner. The Unholy Nova ability produces solid healing on a low cooldown, with heavy control over where the ability will land to ensure it's maximum potential. With soulbinds, the Emeni bind has a sweet and easy to acquire bonus with Lead by Example offering up to 15% bonus intellect on demand. This is excellent to utilize before one of your raid cooldowns in Divine Hymn or Holy Word: Salvation but could also simply be used before casting Circle of Healing to get the Prayer Circle buff allowing for some rapid and heavy hitting Prayer of Healing.

Holy Priest Covenants for Mythic+

In Mythic+ the Necrolord continues to hold up as an excellent option for dungeon content. Some of the biggest challenges Holy Priest will have is the Prideful enemy and some select Tyrannical bosses. The seasonal Affix prideful is one large enemy that deals increasing levels of damage to your group until it caps (at 20 stacks) or is killed. Holy will benefit the most with a stacked team, a bursty covenant ability and follow up buffs. This is exactly what Unholy Nova provides with Emeni. As stacks increase, communicating with your team to stack, then cast Unholy Nova on your party and follow through with Holy Word: Sanctify or Prayer of Healing to sustain your team through the worst of the damage is remarkably effective.

On Tyrannical bosses, you often will leverage Lead by Example for key moments where your Flash Heal and Holy Word: Serenity will need to be as strong as possible to deal with high pressure mechanics on individuals or even on your entire team. If there's no damage going out that needs heavy healing, simply tossing out Unholy Nova for pure damage also shores up Holy's low passive damage in dungeons, making it much more competitive.

Talents Choices

This Holy Priest build is well rounded and focused on raid content. For a deeper look at each talent and more specialized builds for specific activities, see the Holy Priest Talent Guide.


Healing and dealing damage differ greatly, as healing does not follow a rotation, but instead prioritizes spells depending on the situation. This section gives a general overview, but more optimizes, talent variations, and advanced tips can be found in the Holy Priest Rotation Guide.

  1. Cast Holy Word: Serenity on cooldown (if target is around 50% HP)
  2. Cast Holy Word: Sanctify on cooldown (if hitting full 6 players and sufficient damage is going out).
  3. Cast Prayer of Mending on cooldown.
  4. Cast Circle of Healing on cooldown
  5. Flash Heal as needed and to deal with spot damage
  6. Cast Prayer of Healing As raid damage occurs and if mana is permitting.
  7. Heal as filler when not moving.
  8. Renew rarely, often while moving on targets taking sustained damage.
  1. Cast Holy Word: Chastise on cooldown
  2. Cast Holy Fire on cooldown
  3. Maintain Shadow Word: Pain.
  4. Cast Smite.
  5. Cast Holy Nova over Smite at over 3 targets

Stat Priority

Holy Priests primarily favor higher Item Level gains, along with Mastery, though secondary stats are generally close in value. Find out more about how stats work in the Stats Guide, or get an overview of gear to look for from dungeons and raids in the Holy Priest Gear Guide.

  1. Item level
  2. Mastery
  3. Critical Strike
  4. Versatility
  5. Haste

Gear in Battle for Azeroth is heavily focused on pursuing item level upgrades on your gear pieces. While mastery will be a primary focus to prepare for raids, if you find a non-mastery item that is 10 item levels higher than the Mastery piece, it is quite likely that the higher ilvl piece will be better. Some exceptions to item level can be rings and some trinkets. For further detail, check the gear guide.