Priests are one of the most unique classes in World of Warcraft. Whether you want to play as an ethereal Healer or a shadow-drenched DPS, there’ll be a Priest spec to suit you.
There are Priest specs that suit some areas of the game better than others. To help you pick out the best Priest specialization in World of Warcraft I’ve put together this quick guide, looking at how the different specializations can shine.
Of course, the most important thing to consider when picking out the best Priest spec is whether you actually enjoy playing it or not. No matter how viable Discipline Priest is, for example, there’s no point in making one if you dislike how complex the rotation is.
Here’s a complete guide to picking the best Priest spec in Dragonflight.
Best Priest Spec for Solo Leveling
If you’re unfamiliar with the Priest class, it’s quite a varied one. Unlike other ranged classes like the various types of Mage, the Priest class has two Healer specs and a ranged DPS spec.
The best spec to pick up for solo leveling is Shadow Priest. This is the only DPS spec for Priests, and it offers a lot of versatility. The standard Priest talent tree gives Shadow Priests a decent range of tools to heal themselves up with, which works nicely alongside the potent damage options that Shadow Priests have.
One of the main abilities that makes Shadow Priests viable for quick and easy solo leveling is the combination of moves like Devouring Plague and Mental Fortitude.
Devouring Plague is a DoT ability that heals you for half of the damage done, and Mental Fortitude boosts how effective it is. This is very useful for taking on tricky quests and mobs, and reduces the amount of time you need to spend healing yourself, too.
Mind Sear is another incredibly effective move for tackling large groups of mobs while leveling. It’s an AoE move that targets multiple mobs, helping you speed things up when doing fetch quests or kill quests. It’s also useful in PVE settings.
The variety of damage abilities that Shadow Priests have alongside the healing abilities and utilities from the regular Priest tree make them very useful for quick and painless solo leveling. While the other specs may be able to find PVE and PVP groups quicker as a Healer, Shadow Priests are still viable.
If quick queues are what you’re looking for, though, Discipline Priest is also great for solo leveling. You’ll need to switch the standard talent tree around a little to make it more damage focused, but it’s still very possible to level quickly without being a pure DPS spec.
Best Arena PVP Priest Spec
While both the healing Priest specializations are viable in Arenas, Discipline Priests stand out as the best pick. If you check out the most popular Arena comps featuring Priests, you’ll see that Discipline is incredibly popular, especially in comps like RMX or Enhance Sub.
The unique style of healing makes Discipline Priests incredibly fun to play in Arenas. Being able to deal damage and heal makes them stand out from other Healer specs, and they work well in tandem with both ranged and melee classes.
It’s a proactive style of play, which suits Arenas nicely.
Abilities like Rapture are very useful in Arenas. This automatically applies Power Word: Shield to your chosen target, which is a defensive spell that shields a player for 15 seconds. It also means that Power Word: Shield loses its cooldown and shields for 40% more damage for the next 8 seconds after casting.
Being able to summon a Mindbender is great for Arenas, too. While it’s not as powerful as the pets that characters like most of the Warlock specs can summon, this pet can still do some considerable damage and help scatter your Arena opponents.
The variety of moves and useful passive abilities (like Borrowed Time, which helps to boost your haste by 8% for 4 seconds after casting Power Word: Shield) that Discipline Priests have to offer make them powerful picks for Arenas, especially when considering that they have access to regular Priest abilities like Leap of Faith, too.
If you’d prefer to take a more DPS-oriented approach, though, Shadow Priests are also a very popular pick for Arenas. They’re seen in common 3v3 comps like Shadowplay, and they can be great for dealing consistent damage while managing enemies.
Best PVP Priest Spec for Battlegrounds
If you’re a PVP healer who prefers doing Battlegrounds, chances are that you enjoy more traditional Healer specs with AoE heals and cheat death mechanics. If this is the case, the Holy Priest is the best pick for you.
Holy Priests have some fantastic abilities that can help allies out in Battlegrounds.
Prayer of Healing is a versatile healing ability that spreads to other allies, Guardian Spirit is a cheat death mechanic that can bring players back from the dead, and Symbol of Hope helps allies regain mana and ability usage.
Holy Priests have plenty of useful passive abilities, too. Orison is a great example, making Circle of Healing more effective by spreading it to one additional ally and reducing the cooldown by 3 seconds.
With standard Priest abilities like Mass Dispel and Angelic Feather to help out even further, Holy Priest is the best Priest spec in Dragonflight for Battleground fans to check out.
If you’re a DPS player at heart, it is worth noting that Shadow Priests can be incredibly effective in Battlegrounds too. While other ranged characters like Hunter specs may outdo you in damage initially, the variety of moves in a Shadow Priest talent tree make them versatile and fun.
Strongest Priest Spec for Solo Shuffle
While both of the Healing specs are certainly viable for Solo Shuffle, Shadow Priest stands out as the most powerful by far. It’s slightly unappreciated by the Solo Shuffle community, but it’s an incredibly flexible specialization that can do sustainable damage and off-heals in equal measure.
One of the best things about Shadow Priests that stands out for Solo Shuffles is their passive damage-boosting abilities.
Abilities like Screams of the Void and Voidtouched (both passive damage boosts that affect core Shadow Priest moves and boost the maximum Insanity a player can have too) can stack up to make a huge difference in a Solo Shuffle fight.
Shadow Priests can seem squishy at first but with the right gear, they’ve got great survivability, which is a must-have for Solo Shuffle. Dispersion and Intangibility can make a big difference by removing the Shadow Priest from battle for a moment, healing them, avoiding crowd control, and boosting their movement speed.
Shadow Priests also have access to the core Priest abilities which is handy if you find yourself in a less-than-ideal comp before starting a battle. While Shadow Priests are DPS-oriented, they can off-heal in a pinch where needed.
Best Priest Specialization for PVE
If you’re looking for an ideal Healer to take with you into your next Mythic+ Dungeon, consider picking up a Discipline Priest. They’re generally more popular in the M+ scene than in the Raiding scene, but they’re powerful, versatile, and fun, no matter what kind of PVE content it is that you’re looking to take on.
The main reason why Discipline Priests are the most viable Priest spec for PVE is the combination of burst damage and multi-target healing abilities. They can switch between raid-wide healing and single-target healing easily.
Light’s Wrath is a particularly effective Discipline ability for PVE. This move deals a considerable amount of damage to a target, and this damage increases by 6% for every target that you currently have Atonement up on.
Being able to keep Atonement up on multiple targets is the most important element of playing Discipline in a PVE environment, so having abilities like Evangelism at your disposal is a great way to make sure that Atonement stays up for as long as possible. This move simply extends all current Atonements by 6 seconds each.
The reliance on Atonement can be a tricky element to master in a PVE setting, as it requires a lot of correct timing and mana management, but it’s certainly doable. It’s not the easiest to pick up initially (Holy would be my recommendation if you’re a new Healer) but it’s impactful.
If you’re more of a fan of DPS specs, Shadow Priest is certainly nothing to sniff at in a PVE setting. It’s one of the most popular ranged DPS specs in both Raiding and M+ environments at the time of writing, and with good reason. The damage potential and general utility of the spec can be an absolute game-changer with the right set-up.
Right now, Shadow Priests aren’t as effective as they used to be with multi-dotting or cleave damage, but they can still pump out some incredible single target/priority damage. They’ve got the ideal mix between passive boosts and direct DPS abilities.
Shadow Priests are also incredibly durable and self-reliant. They’ve got plenty of moves to help them stay alive and kicking while taking on tricky bosses in the end-game. Shadow Priests don’t have much mobility, but if you can mitigate that, they’re ideal for PVE content.
Best Priest Spec for Soloing Old Content
Both Discipline and Shadow are great for soloing old content, but I would recommend Shadow over Discipline in almost any scenario.
Talents like Dark Ascension are great for burning down old raid bosses quickly. Dark Ascension boosts any Shadow damage that is non-periodic by 25% for 20 seconds. This can cut down fight times and large mob pulls immensely.
Being able to access moves like Dispersion and Silence can improve your experience soloing old content, too. Dispersion is an effective way of mitigating damage and healing yourself, and Silence is useful for boss fights where you usually might need allies to interrupt key spells.
Shadow Priests can also use abilities like Idol of C’Thun and Mindbender to summon pets during fights, too. Having a pet with you while trying to solo old raids and dungeons is arguably essential, so these abilities make Shadow Priests especially viable for taking down trickier pieces of content from older expansions.
What to Do After Picking Your Spec
Learning how to play a new specialization can be tricky, but there’s a few things that you can do to make the process a little easier. Here’s where to start:
- If you like PVP, read up on the best comps featuring Priests and learn more about the classes you might be fighting alongside. Priests are quite commonly paired with Druids and Hunters, especially in 2v2 Arena situations.
- If you enjoy PVE and haven’t played your new Priest specialization before, spend some time learning about your rotation and what you bring to a fight specifically. I’d recommend starting with easier M+ Dungeons (and even standard dungeons) before hopping into Raiding, to give yourself time to learn.
- Take a look at some speed leveling techniques for Dragonflight. Without a proper technique or method, leveling from 1-70 can take quite a while.
Priests have a very unique style of play in World of Warcraft and they can take a while to get used to if you’ve never played a ranged DPS or Healer class before. It’s worth the effort, though, as they’re a lot of fun and can perform immensely well with the right gear and rotation.