Leveling, Holy and Discipline Priest specs

Here’s a quick glance at my healing and questing specs on the grind from 80 to 85. My mentality behind this was to select talents that would give me an edge in either survivability or efficiency. I went for talents that helped reduce mana costs or gave me mana back. I also opted for talents that made me a little bit tougher to kill.

Starting from level 80

As Shadow (Link to talent calculator)


Improved Psychic Scream – In case things get dicey with an overpull, I can couple this talent with Glyph of Psychic Scream. I don’t send mobs flying every where and pulling even more stuff. But it might buy me the precious seconds I need to DPS something down and heal up.

Mental Agility – Cheaper dots. ‘Nuff said.

Veiled Shadows – Wishbone gets to come out more often. … What, don’t you guys name your Shadowfiends?

As Holy (Link to talent calculator)

I chose holy as my dungeon healing offspec. Mana won’t be a terribly challenging issue with the opening instances like Blackrock Caverns or Throne of the Tides. But you’ll want to consider grabbing Mental Agility on the way up.


Desperate Prayer – Yeah, yeah, not many people would choose this. But I personally like having a safety net in dungeons in case I pull something.

As Discipline (Link to talent calculator)


Chose Empowered Healing over Divine Fury. Cast time isn’t as big a factor when you’re leveling up via dungeons, I found. Still going to be using a combination of shields and Flash Heal to get over the top.


As Shadow (Link to talent calculator)

Sorry guys, I can’t say this is the final form of the raid spec I plan to use as shadow. I’ll use this as a baseline to work with though at least.

As Holy (Link to talent calculator)

Yup, I kept Desperate Prayer and Inspiration for raiding. Darkness is another option when your mana regeneration hits a point where it isn’t a big a factor. I won’t be switching to it until I accumulate more potent gear.

As Discipline (Link to talent calculator)

So many options here. You can take out the points from Veiled Shadows and place them into Surge of Light or Inspiration (In case your party doesn’t already have one with it). But Disc by far seems to offer the most variety when it comes to talent placement.

Error, no group ID set! Check your syntax!
About Matticus

Matticus is the founder of World of Matticus and Plus Heal. Read more of his columns at WoW Insider. League of Legends player. Caffeine enthusiast.


  1. I’m not sold on Imp. Psychic Scream regardless (to be honest, I just wish they’d switch Psychic Horror and Silence so I can have some more PvE utility available), as I’d only take it *in order to* get Silence. The cooldown reduction just isn’t worth it for me.

    As for Discipline having the most options, this is quite the opposite from Wrath, where Discipline had the *fewest* options, no?

    • I used imp psychic scream on beta leveling up with the glyph. It helped so much when I got into emergency bad situations.

      However, a skilled priest would not be in such situations in the first place!

    • As Spriest I used PS in controlled situations, for fun, or rather to solo hard-hitting elites (same level = no hit problems, reliable), like the Nagrand “Buying Time” (68e).
      Even the glyph would have been good, as I wouldn’t have had to clear around first (those mobs were done already for the previous quest).
      Sorry to see all thott comments gone, but there’re still some in cache. (http://www.google.com/search?q=thottbot+“buying+time”)
      Is there any major diff with Cata in this regard?

  2. Heya Matticus, why aren’t you recommending Evangelism/Archangel, at least for Disc, while leveling? Wouldn’t Smite be a main DPS spell with Evangelism making it hit harder, and both talents good for instances?

    • I personally spend more time healing then DPSing. You can probably squeeze in a few Smites for the first set of instances like Blackrock Caverns or Throne. But once you get to the upper stuff, I find I couldn’t spare the GCDs to do it.

  3. I was talking more about using Smite when questing; I know using it in new content is iffy at best.

  4. Matticus, real small suggestion, but I was wondering why you chose sin & punishment in shadow for leveling over paralysis. Even though the difference is probably pretty small in PvE (sin & punishment is big in PvP), I feel that paralysis is much better for solo leveling and not the harmful in dungeons. Have you really used your shadowfiend that often while leveling?

    • Yes, Shadowfiends like my best friend.

      Dot up mob A. Dot up mob B, sick Shadowfiend on mob B, start Mindflaying/Blasting on Mob A. Once mob A reaches 30% health, start dots on mob C, hit it with a shadow word death to generate mana. Having Mindflay gradually lower the CD of Shadowfiend is awesome to have too.

      Remember, the intent of this spec is to maximize mana and getting as much mana back as possible while killing stuff. With Paralysis, I’d probably have to sit and drink more than I’d like.

      Dinged 85 after about 21 ish hours of play.

  5. No Archangel in the holy raid spec I thought this was a must have cd for all priests?

  6. Curious why do you not take Grace in your Disc build. Personally I love the talent. Even if actual heals are not being spammed on the tank it is still 15% added to your renew, and if a heal is needed you get that bonus. I’d take it over Train of Thought any day.

  7. I am with u on the whole smite thing. No time to use it otherwise it would be a great benefit. Anyway i am now 85 and am doing dungeons now. I have played both Disc and holy and have my main spec as shadow. For healing what spec would you think is easier or more mana friendly? I like disc in wrath but was holy in bc. Just trying to get a feel if holy is a worthy spec for healing again…Please help.


  1. […] World of Matticus its all about Priest Leveling, Healing Holy/Disc specs guide by Matticus = Shared these guide to our guild forums helps a lot too, but I know everyone has its own personal experience on how you level, and what, where your talent points to spent too. any comments and suggestions please visit Matt’s page. […]

  2. […] balanced as ever, she does offer some alternatives for the smite-averse priest), Matticus’s suggested build does not include a smite alternative because he says he’s never been able to spare a GCD for it, […]

Speak Your Mind