The World of Warcraft Priest Leveling Guide

Update: This article contains only a brief introduction to the Priest leveling guide. If you want something more detailed and in-depth, this unofficial wow classic priest guide is for you.

If you want to level up the Priest as fast as possible with the best build, I recommend the first thing to do is head over and get yourself a copy. Not only does it have a much more detailed and up-to-date strategies on the Paladin, but an amazing leveling guide as well. You could have saved yourself a lot of trial and error with this.

The priest is generally the designated healer in any group, and you will rarely be dealing any damage.  However, there are 3 aspects to World of Warcraft: solo play, group play, and PvP.  Priest can be very effective at all three, given the right talent builds. 

Solo Strategies

Level 1-20 are the hardest for any priest.  Your spells do poor damage, take loads of mana, and are generally ineffective. You can even do worst than a shaman.

Make sure you don’t venture out of your starting area before about level 12.  Focus on quest. Grind on lower level mobs if you have to.  You will have a much easier time of it if you do. 

The key in these levels is picking your fights.  Don’t try and solo mobs more than 1 level above you unless you only need 1 for a quest.  It will just slow you down and cause you significant problems if you get an add.

If this is your first character, loot everything you find and sell whatever you don’t use.  You will need the money for spells.  You should also make sure you get your new spells as soon as they are available.  Always carry a stack of drinks with you as you will be drinking often. 

You will want to train in wands, daggers and staves as soon as possible.  This is going to cost you 30s, so save up for that.  There is always the chance that you will find new gear to improve your damage, so it’s best to be able to use it when it becomes available. 

At level 14, Spirit Tap should be maxed for every priest.  This drastically reduces downtime and makes life a lot easier for the soloing priest. 

At 20 you get the next significant increase in soloing capability through Mind Flay (all of this is assuming that you have spent the first 11 points in the shadow tree, which I encourage everyone to do regardless of the end aim for their priest, be it solo, group or PvP).  Mind Flay is the most efficient spell in terms of damage/mana spent. 


Grinding (or repeatedly killing mobs over and over) is inarguably the fastest way to level in World of Warcraft.  Shadow priests are very good grinders because we can kill mobs quickly, especially with Shadowform, and Spirit Tap helps limit downtime. 

Depending on mobs, you might be able to burst mobs down faster than even the Mage.

If you are going to grind, I’d suggest you take skinning and mining as your primary professions.  This allows you greater options on the mobs you should kill, because leather can sell well, and many of the good grinding locations have mineral nodes close by.

Choose your mobs carefully when grinding.  Casters are the best, especially if you have Silence.  They generally have less hit points and die a lot faster.  If they have the ability to heal, you can silence them. Grinding generally isn’t worth it below level 20, you can quest effectively at this point. 

It’s actually quite difficult for priests to grind until about 35, and is still not as effective as questing.  Level 35 is when many of the best talents start to kick in.  At level 40, when Shadowform becomes available, kill speed really takes off, and things get a lot easier.You miss out on some good starting gear and basic game mechanic knowledge. 

Group Strategies

In groups you will virtually always be the designated primary healer. Let your paladin protect you.

You will have little chance to do any significant damage other than wand blasts between heals.

During the easier early fights of an instance you may be able to cast Shadow Word: Pain on some mobs. Generally, you will spend the entire time healing. 

Being an effective and efficient healer takes a bit of practice, but if you know the basics, it becomes a lot easier. 

Stats Distribution

There are 5 different stats that every class in World of Warcraft uses.  For a priest, there are 3 main stats which you focus your character around.  These are Stamina, Intellect and Spirit.

• Strength (STR) increases your attack power.  Priests can and do attack between spells, but forgoing other stats for strength is not worth the investment. 

• Agility (AGI) increases armour, dodge and crit chance, and attack power with ranged weapons. AGI is mainly for the Hunter.  This is a mostly average stat for any priest.  It can increase the damage of your wand, and combined with Wand Specilization, can be moderately effective.  Some pieces of armour will have this as an additional stat, and this is the only situation where you should add agility to your gear. 

• Stamina (STA) increases your health points.  It’s a good stats for Warlock as well as priest. One point of stamina is equal to ten hit points.  This is an essential stat, especially for priests focusing on PvP.

• Intellect (INT) increases your mana, your rate at which you learn weapon skills, and you chance to score a critical hit with spells.  This is the most important stat for priests, and even druids. Because for priests, mana can equal life.  Because you can heal any damage you take, and buff your hit points with shields, the more mana you have the longer you can do this for.  Try and get equipment with high INT.

• Spirit (SPI) affects health and mana regeneration.  This stat is less important than stamina or intellect, but can be used to great effect in certain builds.  3 points of SPI is roughly equal to 1 mana regen per tick. When leveling, its often a tactic to swap INT/STA equipment for INT/SPI equipment.  This works particularly well when combined with Spirit Tap for reducing downtime.