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 Pre-Patch, 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.

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. Cast Shadow Word: Pain.
  4. Cast Smite.
  5. Cast Holy Nova over Smite at over 5 targets

Stat Priority

Holy Priests primarily favor Intellect through Item Level, along with Mastery, though secondary stats are generally close in value. Find out more about how stats work, including sample stat weights and scaling plots in the Stats Guide, or get an overview of gear to look for from dungeons and raids in the Holy Priest Gear Guide.
  1. Intellect
  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.


The essence system offers powerful additional abilities to your toolkit that are unlocked throughout various activities like reputations, pvp and pve. Essences often have various situational or specific benefits, to find out more check out the full Holy Priest Essences for the Heart of Azeroth - Battle for Azeroth 8.3 here for unlock requirements and breakdowns of specific uses.

Excerpt from the above guide:

  • Use on: High throughput Raid
After the recent buff in 8.3 to Vision, this essence offers a strong burst of additional healing randomly throughout the encounter. This will synergize strongly with the heavy rot encounters in Ny'alotha and likely be one of the highest parsing Major essences to run with. That being said it lacks control and being able to better distribute your healing across difficult encounters can be more beneficial than more overall healing. Likely to crush Heroic parsing and Mythic farm content.


Only two gear slots can be enchanted by all players in Battle for Azeroth: weapons and rings. There are also glove enchants which can assist with professions, Enchanter-only bracer enchants which modify hearthstone use, and Tailor-only cloak enchants which reduce threat slightly.


Azerite is the new power system in Battle for Azeroth. Throughout completing quests, dungeons, and other activities you will further empower your Heart of Azeroth. The higher level the Heart of Azeroth, the greater amount of traits that you will be able to unlock on your Azerite pieces. Azerite pieces are the Helm, Shoulders, and Chest pieces that contain a variety of traits and bonuses. Ideal traits to target in the prepatch will be: Prayerful Litany and Word of Mending.
For more information on the Azerite system be sure to check out the Azerite Trait Guide or the Holy Priest Azerite Section!