PvE Holy Priest Rotation & Cooldowns

PvE Holy Priest Rotation & Cooldowns
  • Author: Luxrah
  • Date: May 17, 2024
  • Updated: May 17, 2024
  • Expansion: Cataclysm

Once your gear is accounted for and you’re all prepped and ready to go, it all comes down to how well you push your buttons! As a healer, you will have less of a “rotation” and more of a priority system designed to help you maximize your output while also sustaining your mana pool for the duration of the fight — and most important, keep your teammates alive! This guide will cover the best approach to healing as a Holy Priest in just about any encounter.

Spell Priority

  1. Cast Chakra if you are not yet in the Chakra: Sanctuary stance.
  2. Cast Prayer of Mending in the following circumstances:
  3. Cast Holy Word: Sanctuary on cooldown if your teammates are stacked and taking damage.
  4. Cast Circle of Healing on cooldown if it will heal at least 3 targets.
  5. Cast Prayer of Healing if you have 2 stacks of Serendipity and at least 2 of the targeted party members need healing.
  6. Cast Flash Heal if a target needs immediate healing and your own health is full or if your Surge of Light procs.
  7. Cast Binding Heal if both you and another teammate are missing health.
  8. Cast Renew in the following circumstances:
    • To apply/maintain the HoT on the tank(s).
    • On targets who need healing if you are moving and Prayer of Mending and Circle of Healing are on cooldown.
    • On targets who are (or are about to be) taking steady damage.
  9. Cast Prayer of Healing on a party where at least 2 of the targets are missing health.
  10. Cast Greater Heal on a target who is missing a lot of health but won’t die immediately.
  11. Cast Heal to top off a target if there isn’t more urgent healing to be done.

If you’re asked to tank heal for some reason, or if you’re doing smaller group content, you can use Chakra: Serenity instead of Chakra: Sanctuary if you’re not going to be doing much AoE healing. In that case, you would want to use Holy Word: Serenity on your primary target on cooldown and spend your Serendipity procs on Greater Heal instead of Prayer of Healing.


Desperate Prayer is your personal healing cooldown. You can save it for an emergency or simply use it anytime your health falls below 70% to maximize its use.

Guardian Spirit is your primary tank cooldown. Use it when a target is going to take a dangerous amount of damage, or as part of a cooldown rotation with other healers.

Divine Hymn is your big raid healing cooldown. Use it when a big AoE goes out or to catch up when things are getting out of hand.

Lightwell is an extra raid healing cooldown that you have to talent into. You’ll have to rely on your teammates to use it for themselves, so just set it down on cooldown or before a big AoE goes down and /yell at them to click the darn thing.

Hymn of Hope is a powerful mana cooldown for your entire raid group, but it requires you to stand still and channel it (and not heal) for up to 8 seconds (reduced by your Haste). Look for the best time to use it so you don’t waste its cooldown or fall too far behind on healing during its channel time. It’s a good idea to call out when you use this so that your team can pair it with their other mana cooldowns, because it not only restores mana but increases maximum mana, so any abilities that restore a percentage of your total mana will restore more while it is active.

Shadowfiend is your main personal mana cooldown. Make sure it’s hitting something or it won’t give you anything. You can also cast it right before Hymn of Hope to maximize the mana return you get from it, since your maximum mana will be higher.


About the Author


I've been playing World of Warcraft on and off since vanilla, usually as a healer or caster and often as a guild leader. I play both retail and classic. I also love RPGs, sandboxes, and sims.
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