- For the Warcraft III unit, see Priest (Warcraft III).
- "It is faith in ourselves that separates us from others, and with our powers, we will cause great change in all of Azeroth. The weak will come to lean on you. The lepers will call you Lord. And the ignorant will look to you for guidance."
The priest is the master of healing and preservation, restoring his wounded allies, shielding them in battle and even resurrecting his fallen comrades from death. While he has a variety of protective and enhancement spells to bolster his allies, the priest can also wreak terrible vengeance on his enemies, using the grand powers of the Holy Light to smite and purge them or the devastating powers of the Void to decimate their minds. The priest is a diverse and powerful class, highly desirable in any group and capable of fulfilling multiple roles.
Discipline and Holy priests are powerful and versatile healers with a range of tools for supporting their allies, while Shadow priests use dark and sinister magic to deal crippling damage to their foes. Priests' ability to heal and buff allies, avoid aggro, dispel buffs on enemies, dispel debuffs on their allies, and resurrect fallen comrades makes them an important member of any group, whether it's PvP or PvE.
- 1 Class overview
- 2 Background
- 3 History
- 4 Overview
- 5 Races
- 6 Specializations
- 7 In the RPG
- 8 Gallery
- 9 Patch changes
- 10 See also
- 11 References
- 12 External links
Priests are devoted to the spiritual, and express their unwavering faith by serving the people. For millennia they have left behind the confines of their temples and the comfort of their shrines so they can support their allies in war-torn lands. In the midst of terrible conflict, no hero questions the value of the priestly orders. These masters of the healing arts keep their companions fighting far beyond their normal capacities with an array of restorative powers and blessings. The divine forces at the priest’s command can also be turned against foes, smiting them with holy fury.
As light cannot exist without darkness, and darkness without light, some priests tap into shadow to better understand their own abilities, as well as the abilities of those who threaten them.
Third WarThis section concerns content exclusive to Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos or its expansion The Frozen Throne.
- Main article: Priest (Warcraft III)
Despite the high elves' official departure from the Alliance, some elves still remained true to their former human and dwarven allies. The altruistic priests of Quel'Thalas refused to abandon their roles as healers and agreed to remain in Lordaeron despite the edicts from their reclusive masters in Silvermoon. The high elven priests used their Light-given powers to heal the wounded and bolster the spirits of Lordaeron's fighting elite.
Fallen Priests are wretched priests who were once counted as the most devout amongst the clergy of Lordaeron. But, after years of constant war and suffering, they have lost their sense of the Holy Light. Now, they exist only to spread their frustration and negativity to their fellow men and women.
The Clerics of Northshire were human priests who served the kingdom of Stormwind during the First War. The clerics served as healers on the battlefield, but were ill-prepared for the hazards of combat, and thus suffered heavy casualties. This order was largely destroyed, and the Second War saw fragile priests replaced on the battlefield by armored paladins, the Knights of the Silver Hand — established by the clerics' leader Archbishop and his apprentice .
- Main article: Church of Light
While the draenei were the first known physical race to be associated with the forces of "The Light", humans were the first to discover The Holy Light on Azeroth, and were responsible for passing on the religion to other races, most notably the high elves and dwarves. Humans built mighty churches and cathedrals as places of worship and teaching of the Light. The religion teaches its followers to be virtuous in life, and while the religion is more philosophical than theistic, its practitioners do believe their devotion connects them to a greater and mysterious force in the universe. There is mention in older lore that divine beings known as "hope" guide The Light's worshipers with an unseen hand. Humans have produced great priests who have healed their allies or have used the powers of the Light to purge their enemies.
Some Forsaken priests still adhere to their old faiths, such as the Holy Light. Others have turned away from them and formed the Cult of the Forgotten Shadow based on the teachings of bishop . Though they turn to dark energies to accomplish their goals, they believe there must be balance between Light and darkness and members of the cult must know the Light as well.
The troll priesthoods are, much like the shamans and the witch doctors of the various troll tribes, spiritual advisers and caretakers. With trolls being naturally superstitious and spiritual, it allows the various troll priests to manipulate the spiritual energy of the world in order to either heal or harm their targets. The various energies that the troll priests draw can come from various sources, be it Loa spirits, voodoo magic or the target itself. Drawing upon these energies, the troll priests either mend or harm, depending on which blessing the spiritual entity bestows. Arguably, in World of Warcraft, troll priests can be considered witch doctors in a cultural perspective, in equal terms with the shamans.
With the arrival of Cataclysm priests are now a playable class for the tauren. These priests are known as "seers" and use the power of An'she, the sun, in their spells just as tauren paladins, named the Sunwalkers, do. This is similar to how night elven priests use the power of the moon through their goddess, , instead of through the Holy Light. There have been tauren seers before the arrival of the Cataclysm, but their path has now either been enhanced with new magic or revitalised by new blood. has become the leading tauren priest.
The gnomes have had an interest in the Light since they joined the Alliance, but they were so focused on technology and, later, the retaking of Gnomeregan that studying the Light didn't feel necessary to them; the dwarven priests and paladins of Ironforge served as the only connection to the Light they needed. Now that the gnomes have reclaimed a foothold in Gnomeregan and begun rebuilding their culture outside of Ironforge, however, they've recognized the importance of having followers of the Light in their own ranks. In addition, researching new methods of purifying irradiated gnomes has led to radical advances in Light-based technology!
Prior to Cataclysm, gnome priests seemed to focus heavily on the divine's ability of healing, though more with the intention of practicing medicine rather than sorcery. Their usage of it is actually very similar to first aid, and gnome priests refer to themselves as doctors, medics, and surgeons. As a result, although not confirmed, it is likely that they pay less attention to a priest's capability to control darker powers.
- Main article: List of priests
|Former leader of the Church of the Holy Light||Independent||Active||Various Locations|
|King of Stormwind||Kingdom of Stormwind||Alive||Various Locations|
|Former leader of the Twilight's Hammer and previously the Church of the Holy Light||Twilight's Hammer, Old Gods' forces||Deceased-Killable||Various Locations|
|Former princess of Lordaeron, companion of Alonsus Faol||Independent||Alive||Various Locations|
|Shadow priestess who slew||Alliance||Deceased||Buried in Outland|
|High Priestess of the Aldor||Aldor, Sha'tar, Alliance||Alive||Various Locations|
|Queen-Regent of the Dark Iron clan, Dark Iron representative on the Council of Three Hammers||Dark Iron clan, Alliance||Alive||Various Locations|
|Former chieftain of the Darkspear tribe, father of||Darkspear tribe||Deceased||Unknown|
|Presumed leader of the tauren priesthood||Thunder Bluff||Alive||Various Locations|
|High Priestess of , co-ruler of the night elves||Darnassus, Sisterhood of Elune||Alive||Various Locations|
|Prophet of the Naaru, leader of the draenei||Exodar||Alive||Various Locations|
|Resident of the Scarlet Monastery before the Scarlet Crusade||Independent||Alive||Netherlight Temple|
- For a full list of priest abilities, see Priest abilities.
Priests bring a wide range of abilities to any party. Depending on their spec, priests may specialize in healing and protecting their allies, or dealing powerful shadow damage to their enemies. However, a priest's capabilities extend far beyond these roles. Priests can buff their allies' stamina, ward against fear, restore mana to their party and even dispel magical debuffs and diseases from their allies. They can terrify, silence and horrify enemies, and remove some of their most powerful buffs and immunities. They can defer aggro, grant substantial speed buffs to their allies and even pull heedless teammates out of the fire. Priests' innate power in manipulating others can allow them to see through the eyes of a distant target, or even dominate an opponent's mind, turning a foe into a friend, or sending them to their death at the bottom of a precipice.
Priests have a range of healing abilities. Discipline and Holy priests are natural masters of healing and protection, and have additional capabilities in these areas, with spells ranging from direct heals and heal over time effects to AoE abilities and on-damage procs. also allows Discipline priests to heal through dealing damage. While Shadow priests excel at wreaking havoc, they can still can contribute passive healing to their group through .
As well as an array of healing options, priests can choose to shield their allies from damage. This pre-emptive approach to damage prevention allows for rapid and lifesaving intervention, but can require skill to correctly anticipate incoming damage. is the priest's signature shield, absorbing attacks directed at the target and preventing pushback. While all priests are capable of shielding themselves and their allies, Discipline priests are the masters of damage absorption, being able to shield multiple allies at the same time with . Discipline priests can also protect their allies with . Each spec also has a powerful damage-reduction cooldown, from the direct avoidance of and to the self-sacrifing grace of .
Priests have access to two schools of magic - Holy and Shadow - and can deal substantial amounts of damage from either. Priests have a number of direct damage options, as well as a few DoTs and specialties. Shadow priests are without doubt the most damage-oriented of priests, but Discipline priests with come a respectable second. Even healing priests can contribute some damage by summoning their temporary pet - the or - to attack enemies.
As well as their obvious capabilities in healing and dealing damage, priests also have access to a range of utility spells, many of which are unique to the priest class. Abilities such as , and can make the priest class fun to play, but are also capable of providing game-changing advantages if used correctly. Priests can also evade aggro with . Priests can also cast to pull other players to the priest and possibly save them from death.
Priests are significantly capable dispellers. They can strip magical buffs and even immunities from their enemies with and , while Discipline and Holy priests can also their allies of magic and disease effects. Discipline and Holy priests can generally consider dispelling to be their most important duty after healing, while Shadow priests are also capable of contributing if necessary.
Crowd control and mobility
Priests have a range of abilities to aid in escaping and incapacitating their attackers. and provide speed boosts for the priest or their allies, while provide excellent fear effects. Meanwhile, Shadow priests' can be used to slip out of roots and snares.
Shadow priests have the most crowd control abilities, with and providing a 50% snare Priests can also offer sustainable crowd control on undead targets with , while Holy priests can disorientate and interrupt opponents with . Priests can also take control of other players or creatures temporarily by using .
Stats, weapons, and armor
- The most important stats for a priest are (depending on specialization): intellect, haste, mastery, and stamina.
- The priest can wield staffs, one-handed maces, wands, and daggers.
- The priest can only wear cloth armor. For details on set items that are useful for priests, see priest sets.
- Main article: Priest races
All races except Orcs can play as priests. Priests start with the following attributes:
- For a full list of specialization abilities, see Priest abilities
There are three priest specializations: Discipline, Holy and Shadow. Discipline and Holy priests are powerful healers, with the former specializing in damage mitigation (with a side-line in healing through damage-dealing), and the latter excelling in sheer healing power, as well as a versatile range of healing options. Shadow priests are ranged DPS that assault their opponents' minds with shadowy magic, specializing in sinister damage over time effects and crowd control. While all priests can use and the potent , Discipline and Holy priests are especially capable dispellers, with allowing them to instantly cleanse an ally of all diseases and magical afflictions.
Discipline priests are a powerful force on the battlefield, balancing the powers of Light and Shadow to assail enemies and assist allies in equal measure. While capable of reactive healing, Discipline priests truly come into their own when able to proactively bless their allies with via , , or in anticipation of incoming damage. With their allies touched by the Light, a well-prepared Discipline priest is free to visit the on their unfortunate enemies, using spells such as and to simultaneously damage foes and unleash powerful burst healing.
The combination of strong cooldowns and a focus on preemptive healing makes Discipline priests the preferred healing option for PvP. Their can be improved in multiple ways, becoming an efficient and powerful protection option, and Discipline's ability to damage and heal on the move is a powerful asset. Discipline priests anticipating incoming damage can stack protection with effects such as and , allowing them to protect their allies even when incapacitated, and their ability to utilize two different schools of healing magic sets them apart from other healers by allowing them to retain some casting ability even when interrupted.
Some priests pride themselves on pragmatism. They understand that light casts a shadow, that darkness is defined by light, and that true discipline stems from one’s ability to balance these opposing powers in services of a greater cause. While these priests possess many holy virtues to aid their allies, they also dabble in the dark arts to debilitate their enemies—always exercising immense discipline to keep themselves away from the brink of insanity. Many would say the ends justify the means; scriptures both virtuous and vile should be studied and understood to protect the congregation.
Holy priests are versatile healers who possess a variety of tools to support their group. In contrast to Discipline, the Holy specialization focuses primarily on reactive healing. Holy priests supplement their powerful direct healing with heal over time effects such as and their mastery, , which attaches a powerful heal over time effect to the priest's initial heal. They also have access to impressive group effect healing such as , a preemptive healing spell that bounces between allies.
Holy priests also have access to several powerful abilities with long cooldowns, including the Holy Word abilities: , a powerful ground-targeted heal; , a truly massive single-target heal; and , a single-target nuke and crowd-control spell. Even death itself proves to be no match for the healing prowess of the Light, allowing Holy priests to save an ally from certain demise by invoking a to protect them, or even heal from beyond the grave as a - for a time.
After spending much of their lives in temples studying ancient doctrine, preaching the tenets of their faith, and pledging their full devotion to the divine powers they follow, the most adept priests leave their houses of worship to serve on the battlefield, as shepherd to flock. There, they use their holy powers to bless allies and mend wounds. And while most stay behind the frontlines to aid their comrades, these holy champions are also capable of smiting foes and carrying out sacred justice. They’re also morally opposed to the use of Shadow and Void magic—rather, they are exemplars of the incredible grace and power of the divine and the Light, and even death cannot fully stop their healing capabilities.
Shadow priests are born damage-dealers, instantly recognizable by their signature - a distinctive aura that increases shadow damage and survivability. They tend to focus on afflicting multiple targets with potent damage over time effects, such as and , as well as unleashing psychic agony on a single target with their and spells. Drawing on their shadowy powers causes Shadow priests to accumulate Insanity, culminating in a massive that transforms into , a terrifying descent into madness that grants an escalating haste bonus, further increased shadow damage, and allows use of the spell - for as long as you can endure it.
Shadow priests also excel at crowd control, capable of using a to fear enemies, weaponizing the minds of their enemies with a to stun them, or silencing and interrupting casters with the aptly named . In the hands of a skilled Shadow priest, these abilities can be utilized to provide windows of opportunity that can prove fatal to even the most battle-hardened healer. Shadow priests also have a powerful survival ability in , and can convert their damage into healing for their allies through .
A large percentage of a Shadow priest's damage comes from damage over time effects, allowing them to deal damage simultaneously to multiple targets and to continue dealing damage even while the priest is incapacitated or hidden out of line of sight. This tactic, known as multi-dotting, allows them to excel at add fights. While dedicated damage dealers, when need be Shadow priests are also decent emergency healers; an attentive Shadow priest can potentially turn a disastrous wipe into an unexpected victory with a well-placed or .
The Light in which many priests bathe is brilliant and effervescent, granting them immense divine power. But the brightest light casts the darkest shadow—and from within this blackness, a rival power dwells. Shadow priests fully embrace this opposing polarity, their faith equally resolute as their holy counterparts—but focused on shadowy magics and mental manipulation. Like all priests, they dedicate much of their lives to worship—but they derive their power from the Void, straying dangerously close to the domain of the Old Gods. To truly understand such ancient, corruptive influence is to be driven mad. This is the state in which these dark priests thrive, embracing insanity and feeding off of the minds of their opponents to reach terrifying new limits.
In the RPGThis section concerns content exclusive to the Warcraft RPG and is considered non-canon.
Priests practice a complex, organized form of spirituality built around moral philosophy, the worship of a particular deity (such as ) in some cases, and/or idol worship, rather than around the reverence of the elements that shamans practice, or the close divine connection with animals and the wilderness that druids maintain. Priests serve not only as influential religious figures in their respective societies, but also as powerful practitioners of divine magic, which they use to heal and protect, or harm and weaken.
Devotion to the faiths of Azeroth leads many priests to the paths of courage and heroism. In dark times, priests carry the Light of faith with them as a reminder of the powerful forces at work beyond the comprehension of the peoples who walk the land. Powerful healers with an intimate connection to the divine, priests are empowered with abilities that aid them in times of dire need.
Priests comprise quite a varied group in Azeroth. A female priest is called a "priestess". Many are followers, in some manner, of the Holy Light. Some priests choose to be pyremasters or High Priest, while some of the most experienced become epic priests. There are also racial restrictions to some titles, such as witch doctor for trolls and Priestess of the Moon for night elf females.
- Patch 5.0.4 (2012-08-28):
- Patch 3.0.2 (2008-10-14): All priest racial abilities have been removed from the game except , and , which have been changed into non-racial abilities.
- Patch 2.1.0 (2007-05-22): Entering now gives a new action bar (like stealth).
- Starting a priest
- Priest tactics
- Useful macros for priests
- Priest quests
- Shadow priest
- Epic priest
- ^ http://us.battle.net/wow/en/game/class/priest
- ^ Blizzard Entertainment. Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos Manual, 10.
- ^ Blizzard Entertainment. Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos Manual, 82.
- ^ World of Warcraft Trading Card Game: March of the Legion. Blizzard Entertainment. 12: Chancellor Velora:"The Light rewards faith, not form.".
- ^ , World of Warcraft. Blizzard Entertainment. Tirisfal Glades. : "...the Holy Light no longer concerns you, the spirits of your forefathers are fairy tales, and creatures from the Nether don't want you.".
- ^ World of Warcraft: The Magazine Issue 4
- ^ , World of Warcraft. Blizzard Entertainment. Tirisfal Glades. : "But before you can know the dark, you must also know the light.".
- ^ Ask CDev - Round 1
- ^ a b c Legion Class Preview Series: Priest
- ^ World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game Conversion Document, 1-2
- ^ World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, 70