Priest Leveling Guide

priest leveling featured image

Priests are the only class with two healing trees and one damage tree. Unlike their old reputation for slow wand based leveling, in Cataclysm Priests become very fast and very efficient levelers, able to play Discipline and never die, or Shadow and kill massive groups very fast.

In this guide, we’ll go over helpful tips, where to spend your talent points, what to look for when gearing, effective use of your abilities, and other general advice to make the leveling process as smooth and easy as possible!


  • Fantastic survivability and utility
  • Very fast and efficient questers
  • Capable of soloing almost all quests
  • One of the best classes for chain killing enemies
  • Able to queue as both Healer and DPS with dual spec


  • Takes time for damage to ramp up
  • Very little burst AoE

General Leveling Tips

While leveling your main priority is usually to avoid wasted time. Shadow Priests excel at this, able to put their damage-over-time(DoT) effects on an enemy and move on to the next as they tick away.

Discipline Priests on the other hand are strong thanks to Atonement, allowing them to heal themselves based on the damage they deal. As long as you are able to keep casting Smite and Holy Fire, you should be able to stay alive forever.

Stat Priority

  • Intellect
  • Haste Rating
  • Spirit
  • Mastery Rating
  • Critical Strike Rating



As Shadow your rotation is primarily getting your DoTs up on a target.


As Discipline, your rotation is a lot simpler.



shadow talents
shadow talent order

Here you want to grab anything that augments your damage or your DoT spells. Talents like [improved shadow word pain] are self explanatory. We grab [improved devouring plague] for some easy instant damage. As soon as you have [shadowform], make sure you are always in it for the damage bonus.


discipline talents
discipline talent order

Your priority here is to reach Atonement as soon as possible, as this is what allows you to heal with your damage. Outside of that, we mainly want to augment our damage with talents such as Evangelism, Twin Disciplines, and Divine Fury.










Priests are able to use one-handed Maces, Daggers, Staffs, and Wands. You should always try to use whichever weapon gives you the best stats, combining one-handed maces and daggers with an off-hand item or using a staff in both hands.

Weapon upgrades will often be the biggest damage increase while leveling. Weapons are your primary source of Spell Power, and will be a big boost every time you upgrade.

Priests are only able to use cloth armor. This means you will never be particularly great at taking physical damage, but you have a lot of spells you can use to mitigate or avoid physical damage entirely! Play smart and your armor will rarely be a hindrance.


While leveling your professions will rarely come into play. If you want passive bonuses from your professions for the leveling process, I recommend Gathering professions such as Mining or Herbalism. These are a lot easier to keep up with while leveling, and you can always sell what you gather and reinvest that gold into leveling crafting later.

If you want to get ahead of your crafting earlier, I recommend grabbing Enchanting & Tailoring. These two work well together and are some of your best choices for endgame. Leveling Enchanting also allows you to constantly disenchant things as you level, getting you stocked up on materials for leveling.

Useful Macros

There aren’t many super important macros for leveling, but there are some that are nice to have.

#showtooltip Dispersion
/cancelaura Dispersion
/cast Dispersion


About the Author


I love MMOs of all shades, especially the nitty gritty numbers parts of them. You might recognize me from the Shadow Priest discord, otherwise I play a little bit of everything, especially games with support roles available.
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