This holy priest guide has been updated for the Shadowlands Prepatch and is updated as new information is discovered.

Holy priest is a classic healing spec among MMO archetypes, party members take damage and it is healed with a relatively simple toolkit. While simple, the toolkit is flexible and can be adapted to nearly any situation within an encounter at the drop of a hat. The specialization is easy to learn, spell interactions are limited, and every spell has a clear purpose. The areas a player may find troublesome with Holy are movement (limited instant cast spells), survivability (Desperate Prayer is the only personal defensive), and no damage reduction in relevant content (Focused will only procs from melee attacks).

Shadowlands Pre-patch Notable Change Overview

For an in-depth list of changes, see Wowhead's write-up.

Basic Toolkit

  • Heal - An inexpensive single target heal, with a long cast time.
  • Flash Heal - Faster version of Heal, costs more mana and does not heal as much. For emergency single target healing.
  • Renew - Instant cast Heal over Time (HoT) spell. Relatively expensive for the amount it heals. Usually not worth casting.
  • Prayer of Healing - Slow cast, AoE spell that heals 5 allies around your target. Considered our mana-dump.
  • Prayer of Mending - Fast cast buff that applies 5 charges to a friendly target. When the target takes damage, the buff will then heal them, and bounce to a new target.
  • Holy Word: Serenity - Very strong instant single target heal with a 60-second cooldown before Holy Words.
  • Holy Word: Sanctify - Very strong instant AoE targeted ground heal for 6 players. Has a 60-second cooldown before Holy Words and Renew casts.
  • Smite - Low mana cost, damaging filler when little to no healing is required.
  • Holy Fire - Instant cast damaging ability. Leaves a DoT on the target which does the majority of its damage and can stacks up to two times.
  • Holy Word: Chastise - Strong single target, instant cast, damaging ability. Incapacitates the target for 4 seconds.
  • Circle of Healing - Instant cast, smart, and highly efficient, this spell should be cast on CD as long as some people in your raid are injured.
  • Power Word: Shield - While its very cool for us to get some absorbs back into our base kit, unfortunately Power Word: Shield absorb for enough to really add it into our rotation.


  • Guardian Spirit - Places a buff on your target that lasts 10 seconds that increases the healing the target receives by 60% during the duration of the buff. Guardian Spirit will also prevent the target from dying to a fatal hit, (up to 200% maximum hp in overkill) instantly consuming the buff and reviving the target back to 40% of their maximum health consuming the buff in the process.
  • Divine Hymn - Major healing cooldown. Heals all party and raid members within 40 yards for a large amount over 8 seconds. After the initial tick hits, all affected players will receive a buff, increasing the healing they take by 10% for 8 seconds. Each tick of Divine Hymn re-applies the buff.
  • Desperate Prayer - Instantly heals the priest for 25% of their maximum hp, then applies a buff that increases the priest’s maximum health by 25% for 10 seconds.


  • Symbol of Hope - Mana recovery cooldown, restoring 2% of missing mana every second for up to 6 seconds while channeled.
  • Spirit of Redemption - Upon death, the priest will enter a spirit form in which they are immune to all damage, and may cast all healing spells free of mana for 15 seconds. After which they die.
  • Mass Dispel - Large targeted ground AoE that purges one magical effect from five enemies and dispels all harmful magic effects from five friendly allies. Heavy mana cost. Can remove typically undispellable buffs like Iceblock and Divine Shield.
  • Power Word: Fortitude - increases the stamina of your target, party, or raid by 10% for one hour.
  • Leap of Faith - Grabs a friendly player in your raid or party and pulls them directly in front of you.
  • Purify - Single target dispel. Removes all magic and disease effects from your target.
  • Dispel Magic - Removes one beneficial magic effect from your enemy.

Next: Holy Priest Talent Discussion

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  • 13 Oct 2020 - Added Power Word: Shield to the base toolkit.
  • 11 Oct 2020 - Stolen by Shelanne and updated for the Shadowlands prepatch
  • 01 Oct  2019 - Updated to 8.2.5
  • 24 Jun 2019 - Updated to 8.2
  • 11 Dec 2018 - Updated to 8.1
  • 2 Aug 2018 - Author info and changelog added
  • 31 Jul 2018 - Published