I could go for pancakes right now.  AND LEVELING!

I could go for pancakes right now. AND LEVELING!

Ever level a priest?  I heard I have.  I’ve actually leveled three: my Blood Elf, a Human, and a Troll.  But why did I decide to level three priests when some people may call that borderline insane?

Because I’m insane.

I’ve also leveled two druids, two hunters, and two mages to at least 70.  I know.  I’m a bit touched.  But I love leveling more than doing dailies, surprisingly enough.

But this isn’t what this topic is about.  There are some folks who pretty much rather die than level a priest.  So let’s see if we can make this easier to fathom for those who cannot stand to have a clothy capable of mass destruction… except in raids (cough).

  • Pick a talent build to go with.

It sounds weird, but Shadow isn’t necessarily the best way to level.  I’ve done it that way and also through a combination of Discipline/Holy + Spirit Tap.  Now, Spirit Tap is a talent that at maxed pointage will give you a 100% chance to make your mana regenerate at a 83% rate.  This means less downtime (the time spent drinking for manaz).

No matter what, you need this talent before you hit any other tree.

For Shadow, it’s arguable you can either drop 2 into Darkness or into Imp. Spirit Tap.  I prefer Darkness because at lower levels, you need to crit with your Mind Blast to proc the 10% spirit and 33% mana regen while casting.  If you tailor your way of killing to make sure you end with a MB, that’s fine.  Darkness, however, is a flat Shadow damage increase which may be better off.

For a Disc/Holy build, grab Holy Specialization after Spirit Tap.  The Discipline tree offers nice things but way deeper, and we’re looking to pick up Surge of Light.  Obviously, there are some talents you don’t necessarily need for leveling (Spell Warding, Blessed Recovery, maybe even Inspiration, Improved Healing, Healing Prayers).  But this isn’t for healing, this is to kill things and make it happen fast!  You can do some healing, just don’t expect miracles… you’re grabbing key healing talents for Holy though.

We don’t like Discipline at the start because when it just comes to the talents, Holy is actually a better DPS tree (but not for raids).  After you hit 40 and have filled out Surge of Light you need to get to Mental Strength, Focused Power, and Enlightenment.  Try not to grab any unnecessarily talents… Silent Resolve, Martyrdom, and Absolution to name a few.  Reflective Shield is nice but makes for a strange talent tree, so that can be skipped.

While I love to provide actual leveling builds, you can find a lot of them on the internets.  In reality, you should look to level in any way you want, and you should play around with what you can handle the best.

  • Whale is Pro!

If you don’t have heirlooms at your disposal… well, you’re probably going to be hurting for some gear.  Tailoring provides some nice spell power items and you should go this route regardless because at level 80, you get a few cloak enchants that are pretty hot.

If you don’t want to level a profession… you’re doing it wrong, but okay.  Look for Whale gear.

I know I’m hearing folks screaming…



For priests, these are budget items that help us kill faster or get some spell power out of it.  If you have Spiritual Guidance, you get 25% of your spirit as spell power.  That’s awesome.  Even if you’re not high enough to have that, Spirit does increase your Spirit Tap’s regen.  Stamina is also good for living— something that you need more as a clothy than anything else, even though you can heal.

  • Holy Nova can be your friend.

We get the coolest AoE as a priest.  It not only heals us, but it does damage… and causes no threat (very fun when running friends through low level instances when you Fade after pulling half of the zone and oh god they wonder why they’re dead).  Watch out though as it does cost a hefty amount of mana and you may not be able to kill everything… but it can save you in a pinch if you’re getting low on health and need to try to spam things to death.

  • Play Smart.  Play S-Mart.

So you want to level fast?  That’s fine.  Don’t die though.  It makes us all look bad.

Seriously, if you want to do it, you need to decide a few ways you can do it without exploding.  My personal favorite as either spec is a SW: P multiple targets, pick one to Devouring Plague, then work on the rest.  I’d get a nice wand as well and try to keep that upgraded to the most damage you can get, and use that and keep yourself alive with heals.

You can also try to Holy Nova spam (reminder in the above bullet).  But Shadow doesn’t get a viable AoE until… well, Mind Sear (level 75).

  • You can heal as either spec, I promise.

A spec for a priest doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t heal.  And this pisses me off.  A shadow priest at low levels can heal instances just fine. Being shadow doesn’t mean all of your healing buttons have fallen off the planet.  It just means you will probably need to play it safe with mana and just make sure you drink when you need it.

Now, you may not know how to heal.  But that is how you learn!

For holy/discipline hybrid levelers, you have no excuse.

On a side note, this applies to early DKs as well.  Frost Presence means you can tank.  Just because you don’t have some talents doesn’t keep you from tanking effectively… just means you don’t have a lot of nice things that really, really, really helps.  But then again, we do have Dual Specialization for a reason!

Also last night, we did Vezax hard on 10 man.  Suffice to say, the 25-man version would probably be a chopfuck.

See you later!