World of Warcraft Priest Raiding Guide
When talking about a raiding priest, most people automatically think of a holy priest acting as a healbot in a raid group. However, especially after World of Warcraft The Burning Crusade has been released, shadow priests became more important in raids as they can now do a great deal of damage and also increase other casters’ damage output with the help of their talents.
In the priest raiding guide at hand, we’ll talk about several aspects of what it takes to be either a healer or a damage-dealer in a raid and we’ll also give you some tips and tricks that accustom a newcomer priest to raiding. Let’s start from a World of Warcraft holy priest’s perspective:
Holy Priest Raiding Guide - Overview
You can find a few good raiding talent specs for holy priests in our Priest Talent Build Section so I’ll go on with this guide assuming you have a good raiding spec and you have played your priest from 1 to 70 yourself.
However, even if your spec is not perfect raid-wise, the following tips and tricks should still prove useful.
A holy priest’s main role in a raid is, you guessed, to keep the other guys alive and sometimes, you will also be asked to Crowd Control. A few examples of where Crowd Control is needed: in Naxxramas, there is a boss called Instructor Razuvious that has 4 adds near him. 2 priests (holy or shadow) will have to take turns in mind controlling the adds and tanking the boss with them. Another example would be the Kharazan boss Moroes, which has 4 undead adds. A priest will have to cast Shackle Undead constantly on one of these adds to take them out of the action, while the rest of the raid handles the others.
But like I said, these occasions are special and few and you’ll most be healing the main tank as well as the rest of the raid when needed. Some say that it’s extremely easy being a raiding holy priest and that all you have to do is press the Flash Heal button mindlessly. This is far from true and a holy priest will have his hands full in a raid, especially on boss encounters:
• You’ll have to shield raid members when they’re low on health or when you know they’re going to take a substantial amount of damage. • You’ll have to dispel and cure disease off the raid members. • You’ll have to keep an eye on the main tank, a specified off-tank if needed and the rest of the raid if it’s taking damage. • You’ll have to manage agro as closely as any DPS class. • You’ll have to keep Renew on the tanks as much as possible. • You’ll have to manage your mana to the last drop and you’ll find yourself struggling between healing and regenerating in long fights.
Holy Priest Raiding Guide - Consumables
Consumables are extremely important to healers, as they can mean the difference between a successful boss fight with all raid members up and a wipe caused by the fact that you had no more mana to heal the tank. With The Burning Crusade, a lot of World of Warcraft guilds made it mandatory that their healers bring the necessary consumables. Here’s a list of consumables that are excellent for a holy raiding priest and that can turn the tide of a boss fight:
- Super Mana Potion
- Golden Fish Sticks
- Brilliant Mana Oil
- Superior Mana Oil
- Elixir of Draenic Wisdom
- Elixir of Healing Power
- Elixir of Major Mageblood
- Spirit of Zanza
- Gizzard Gum
- Cerebral Cortex Compound
- Flask of Distilled Wisdom
- Flask of Mighty Restoration
Holy Priest Raiding Guide - Tips and Tricks
In order to preserve mana, you can cancel your heals just before they land, if the tank doesn’t need healing. Simply move a bit forward, or strafe and the heal will get cancelled. Use your Fade as often as possible, even if you’re not (yet) risking agro gain.
If you’re running low on mana, tell the other healers in the raid chat or your healer channel that you need to regenerate a bit. This way they’ll know not to regenerate themselves as well, risking the life of the tanks.
If you have a paladin in the group and the fight allows it, ask him to place Judgment of Wisdom on the boss and start hitting it with your wand. Combined with your mana regeneration rate, the mana gained from wanding a target with Judgment of Wisdom will prove invaluable.
Shadow Priest Raiding Guide - Overview
As a raiding shadow priest in World of Warcraft, you have a very versatile role.
Besides having to damage your target, you’ll also need to use your shadow abilities to restore life and mana to your party, increase your fellow warlock or mage raiders’ damage and if needed, help out the healers if they run out of mana, they die or they are overwhelmed.
Obviously, for restoring life and mana as a shadow priest, you’ll need the Vampiric Embrace and Vampiric Touch talents respectively. Since you will give out life/mana in accordance to the amount of damage you deal, the better your gear the better the regeneration. It’s a bit of a paradox, since a shadow priest does not have to trade anything when leveling up in what regards his gear. You can only get better and better in both the damage and the healing / mana regeneration departments. But that’s why we love em to be honest <3
With the help of the Shadow Weaving and Misery talents found in the shadow tree, a priest can boost the damage of locks and mages quite a bit as well as boosting your own DPS. If the group setup is right, a shadow priest’s presence in the raid can often mean a huge difference so don’t underestimate their importance, especially at damage-based fights where you need to take down the boss before he takes you down (Gruul for example – if you don’t take him down before his debuffs stack to much on the tank, it’s almost a certain wipe).
Shadow Priest Raiding Guide - Talent Discussion
You can find some PVE shadow priest talent builds in our Priest Builds Section but regardless of which one you choose, there are a couple of talents that simply cannot miss from a shadow priest’s arsenal:
Shadow Affinity – it reduces your shadow threat by 25% and it just takes 3 points to max out. Definitely get this one.
Improved Shadow Word: Pain – your Shadow Word: Pain is one of your most important damage dealers in long fights and the 2 extra ticks that you get from spending points in this talent will stack up nicely over time.
Shadow Focus – reduces the enemy’s chance to resist your shadow spell, saving you mana from not having to recast again and increasing your shadow damage at the same time. Combined with some hit gear, this talent will assure the fact that you won’t have to worry about resists in raids.
Mind Flay – one of the base shadow spells, Mind Flay will allow you to deal damage with great efficiency and low threat.
Shadow Weaving – A very useful stackable debuff to your enemy that increases your own damage as well as your party members that deal shadow damage to the target. Since putting more points in shadow weaving does not increase the intensity of the debuff, but rather the chance it will stack it’s almost useless to spend 5 points here for a raiding spec. 3/5 or 4/5 Shadow Weaving should be enough to get that debuff stacking nicely by the time you and the other shadow damage dealers in the party start dishing out damage.
Vampiric Embrace and Vampiric Touch – essential raiding talents, your mana regeneration and healing are based on these and you need to make sure you’ll keep them on at all times. Improved Vampiric Embrace is nice if you have the points to spend in it, but feel free to skip it if you think your healing will go out in vain anyway (overhealing).
Darkness and Shadowform – a shadow priest would not be a shadow priest without these two and the combined 25% extra shadow damage you get is kind of awesome.
Misery – max this out and your raid members will love you. The 5% boost in damage will go a long way in dps-based fights.
One of the biggest “mysteries” regarding shadow priest builds is where to spend your 5 points in the tier 1 talents. Blackout or Spirit Tap…tough choice, since none of them are really useful in raids, but both have situational utility which can prove as an argument towards one or another. Most shadow priests agree that it’s a matter of what you do outside the raid actually. If you PVP, Blackout is more useful, but if you grind or quest a lot by yourself, Spirit Tap is the way to go to reduce downtime.
Shadow Priest Raiding Guide - Consumables
Shadow priests can now do some serious DPS in The Burning Crusade, so you might as well go for the top. For this you'll need to stack up on consumables and I made you a list of some of the best raiding shadow priest consumables in the game:
• [Super Mana Potion]
• [Destruction Potion]
• [Brilliant Wizard Oil]
• [Superior Wizard Oil]
• [Elixir of Draenic Wisdom]
• [Elixir of Major Shadow Power]
• [Adept's Elixir]
• [Crunchy Serpent]
• [Poached Bluefish]
• [Blackened Basilisk]
• [Chipped Power Core]
• [Flask of Mighty Restoration]
• [Flask of Distilled Wisdom]
• [Flask of Supreme Power]
Shadow Priest Raiding Guide - Tips and Tricks
Always start out the fight with your DoT's (Vampiric Touch, Vampiric Embrace and Shadow Word: Pain, usually in this order) since they are your most important spells in a fight. Make sure you keep them on your target all times if possible.
Go for shadow damage gear as much as possible, over spell damage/healing gear. Also gems and enchants that give you shadow damage should be choosed over spell damage ones.
Mind you aggro, a shadow priest can build up aggro pretty quick, especially through Mind Blast. If you see yourself high on the threat meter (assuming you use this of course) stop doing Mind Blasts and only deal damage through DoTs and Mind Flay. As soon as that Fade comes out of the cooldown, use it.