In World of Warcraft: Classic, the Priest class offers a mix of much demanded healing and enjoyable DPS through Shadowform. As a Priest, your healing services will always be in demand, and players will be whispering to you from around Azeroth, asking if you could join them in a dungeon to keep the party alive. Thanks to a combination of shields and direct healing, you are more than able to handle the task.
What Role Does A Priest Fulfill?
Priests are versatile, to say the least. While they will always be in demand as healers, they can also remove unwanted debuffs from allies and buffs to opponents. Fallen party members can be revived thanks to you, and you also have some limited utility through Mind Control. As this is a channeled spell, it is less helpful than something like Polymorph, but it has its uses.
Priests also have access to the dark side through shadow spells. Damage Over Time (Dot) and direct damage spells at range can make for safe leveling, and to assist with damage in a dungeon when no one is taking damage.
Is Priest Leveling Easy Or Hard?
Priests fall into the category of average in terms of their leveling difficulty. Unlike Hunters and Warlocks, there is no pet to tank damage and taunt enemies away from you. As such, Priests need to be mindful of their surroundings and usually only attack a single opponent at a time. A wand also becomes useful to conserve mana. Luckily, a player can dump their talents into Shadow for the DPS boost and still heal a dungeon, though they are of course worse off than if they were to have talents in the healing trees.
Some players level almost exclusively through dungeons. By making friends and being known as a competent healer, there will always be parties looking to summon you to a dungeon. This can help with gaining experience and having strong gear, so when one decides to go back to questing, they are already well-prepared.
PvE Potential For Endgame
In the endgame, most players will look to Priests for their healing, and not for the DPS. A classic build for Priests is often 30 points into Holy, and 21 into Discipline, offering a mix of powerful direct heals and shields. The opposite is also an option, with 31 points into Discipline and 20 into Holy, obviously bolstering shields over raw heals.
Exceptions can be made in some circumstances. For example, by providing Shadow Weaving, a player can bump up Shadow Damage to benefit Warlocks. This type of DPS for utility has constantly been a part of the Priest kit, as seen in later expansions when playing a Shadow Priest returned mana to the party, and in raids Priests would be both doing damage but also earn the nickname of “Mana Battery”.
While Shadow is useful for leveling, expect other players to look to you as a healer first, so as not to set expectations that cannot be met.
Shadow Priests can be frustrating opponents in PvP, because they can apply DoTs, channel a snare, cast an AoE Fear, and heal themselves if an opponent breaks through their Power Word: Shield. Worse still is if a Priest arrives to assist an opponent, and suddenly they are being shielded and healed. As such, a well-aware Priest is a force to be reckoned with, though they are not as powerful or effective as Mages or Warlocks, generally speaking.
Racial Choices To Optimize
In terms of pure optimization, to maximize the potential of a character, the Alliance has two attractive options. Humans have an excellent racial passive called The Human Spirit, which grants a 5% bonus to base Spirit. The longer a fight goes on, which in PvE can be quite some time, the more mana they will have through passive regeneration.
Dwarves meanwhile have Stoneform to help survive. Both are great options, and it depends on playstyle. Some players have always enjoyed the passive spirit bonus of Priests, even if it is small. There is nothing worse than running out of mana during a raid boss encounter, and The Human Spirit works to counter that, even if only marginally.
For the Horde, Trolls are ideal as PvE healers thanks to their racial passive, Berserking. This allows them to heal faster based on the damage they have taken, at in the most difficult raids, this can be the difference between a wipe and a successful clear. For PvE, one may want to have an Undead Priest for the Will of the Forsaken racial ability, but otherwise Trolls are the best choice, always.
Best Professions For The Priest Class
Priests are similar to Mages and Warlocks in regard to the broad range of professions they can select, depending on their needs. First time players in WoW: Classic may want to take dual-gathering professions while they level to sell materials at the Auction House. Skinning and Herbalism for example while questing will always fill your bags with much needed crafting materials, which are always in demand.
Tailoring and Enchanting also go well thanks to the ability to disenchant crafted cloth items. This is a slow grind to be sure, but a great endgame combination, and Enchanting is always in demand.
Finally, Herbalism and Alchemy are also good choices, but more for the long-term gold making potential. In the endgame, you and everyone else will be needing consumables for PvE, and there will always be demand for them at the Auction house.
Although Priests are likely to be expected to heal, always, they are a great choice for that role. If you are looking to help out a guild as a healer, the Priest class is a fantastic option.