Priest Abilities (WoW)  

The three priest areas of focus are Holy, Discipline, and Shadow. Holy abilities are focused on acts of the divine, especially healing. Shadow skills are more sinister, dealing damage or manipulating their target somehow. Discipline abilities represent the ability of the priest to maintain the status quo and generally enhance longevity in some way.

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A priest wouldn't seem very priestly without divine powers, and the most symbolic of these would be the act of healing.

  • Lesser Heal/Heal/Greater Heal (level 1) - Names aside, these abilities are really ranks of the same spell. At early levels in a priest's career, this is the most basic and straightforward healing spell.
  • Renew (level 8) - A Heal-over-time ability that will keep the priest or their party members alive as they continue to take damage.
  • Flash Heal (level 20) - A heal that makes up for its lack of power with a much faster cast time.
  • Prayer of Healing (level 30) - An expensive heal that affects the entire party within a certain range.
  • Lightwell (Holy Talent, level 40 minimum) - An often-laughed at ability that creates an object on the ground that friendly targets can click for a heal over time. Has 10 charges.
  • Circle of Healing (Holy Talent, level 50 minimum) - An instant group heal that can be used on other groups as well. Not nearly as strong as Prayer of Healing.
  • Binding Heal (level 64) - Efficient heal that restores health to both the target and the priest.
  • Prayer of Mending (level 68) - A short-term buff that ends when the target is hit. When this happens, they receive a heal, and a nearby friendly target receives the Prayer of Mending instead.


These abilities are primarily for lashing out against enemies.

  • Smite (level 1) - A blow of holy energy strikes your opponent.
  • Shadow Word: Pain (level 4) - An instant DoT that helps soften up the priest's enemies.
  • Mind Blast (level 10) - A quick damage spell that attacks an opponent's mind. Brief cooldown.
  • Holy Fire (level 20) - A slow-casting spell that strikes an enemy with fire from the gods, which continue to burn for a short period.
  • Holy Nova (Holy Talent, level 20 minimum) - A short-range instant AE that heals nearby friendly targets and damages nearby opponents. Generates no threat.
  • Mind Flay (Shadow Talent, level 20 minimum) - A channeled spell that deals damage for each second it is maintained, and also slows down the approach of the opponent. Central ability to the shadow talent tree.
  • Shadow Word: Death (level 62) - Instantly deals damage to an opponent, but also deals that amount to the priest if the damage does not kill the target.


In addition to removing wounds, priests have the ability to remove harmful status effects.

  • Resurrection (level 10) - The most harmful status effect of all is death. Out of Combat only.
  • Cure Disease (level 14) - A basic removal of one Disease effect on the target.
  • Abolish Disease (level 32) - A more powerful disease removal that continues to remove one effect every few seconds.
  • Dispel Magic (level 18) - A spell that can remove one magic effect. Can be used on friendly targets to remove harmful effects or on hostiles to remove buffs.
  • Mass Dispel (level 70) - The final ability priests learn in Burning Crusade casts dispel magic on 10 nearby friendly and 10 nearby hostile targets. Can remove nearly every effect in the game classified as magic.


The priest has quite a few means of keeping themselves and others going besides just healing them. Note that this is the main focus of the discipline tree.

  • Power Word: Fortitude (level 1) - Increases health on the target for 30 minutes. Trademark priest buff.
  • Power Word: Shield (level 6) - Trademark priest ability that absorbs damage dealt to the target until it is used up. This is a discipline skill, so it does not break Shadowform.
  • Fade (level 8) - A self-preservation ability in a group, Fade temporarily reduces the amount of threat you have toward all targets. Useless in PvP.
  • Inner Fire (level 12) - A self buff that increases the priest's armor until they take 20 hits.
  • Fear Ward (level 20) - This former racial spell makes the target immune to the next Fear effect that would affect them.
  • Inner Focus (Discipline Talent, level 20 minimum) - After activating Inner Focus, the priest's next spell costs no mana.
  • Divine Spirit (Discipline Talent, level 30 minimum) - Increases the target's spirit, which will increase their mana regeneration.
  • Shadow Protection (level 42) - A buff that increases the chance Shadow effects will be resisted, and reduces the damage taken from shadow spells.
  • Prayer of Fortitude (level 48) - A group version of Power Word: Fortitude that lasts for 60 minutes.
  • Pain Suppression (Discipline Talent, level 50 minimum) - Reduces the damage a target takes considerably for 8 seconds.
  • Prayer of Shadow Protection (level 56) - A group version of Shadow Protection.
  • Prayer of Spirit (level 60) - A group version of Divine Spirit.
  • Shadowfiend (level 66) - Summons a small ugly shadow creature that attacks the priest's current target for 15 seconds. During that time, its attacks return a noticeable amount of mana to the priest.

Mind Powers

In addition to causing pain, the priest has the ability to manipulate the mind and shadow in ways that will influence the target in various ways.

  • Psychic Scream (level 14) - A howl within the minds of nearby opponents, causing them to run away in fear.
  • Mind Soothe (level 20) - Lulls the target's mind, allowing the priest and other party members to be less likely to be noticed if they pass nearby. Works on humanoids only.
  • Mind Vision (level 22) - Allows the priest to see through the eyes of another target.
  • Mana Burn (level 24) - Exhausts the mental energies of the target, reducing their mana and causing them damage for the mana drained.
  • Mind Control (level 30) - Take control of a humanoid opponent, and gain the ability to move them or make them attack their allies. This is a channeled spell, and the duration is reduced considerably if the priest takes damage. The mind-controlled target must also stay in Line of Sight and nearby. See full article for details.
  • Priest Silence (Shadow Talent, level 30 minimum) - Silences the target for 4 seconds.
  • Vampiric Embrace (Shadow Talent, level 30 minimum) - Place an effect on the priest's target that heals his/her party for part of the amount of shadow damage the priest deals to it.
  • Shadow Form (Shadow Talent, level 40 minimum) - Puts the priest into a shadowy form. While active, the priest deals 15% more shadow damage and takes 15% less damage. Lasts until the priest attempts to cast a Holy spell.
  • Vampiric Touch (Shadow Talent, level 50 minimum) - A second DoT for the priest that also returns mana to the group based on shadow damage dealt.

Racial Spells

Priests represent many different faiths, and although most priest abilities are very similiar, there are some skills that are specific to one set of beliefs.

Blood Elf:

  • none (level 10) - Blood Elves do not get a level 10 racial spell. Their racial abilities are very spell-oriented, which cannot be said of the other races.
  • Consume Magic (level 20) - Dispels a priest buff and returns mana to the priest.


  • Symbol of Hope (level 10) - Returns a small amount of mana over time to the party.
  • Chastise (level 20) - Instant damage spell that immobilizes the target for 2 seconds. Works only on humanoids.


  • Desperate Prayer (level 10) - Instant heal for the priest in a time of need.
  • Chastise (level 20) - as the Draenei ability.


  • Desperate Prayer (level 10) - as the Dwarf ability.
  • Feedback (level 20) - Damage in the form of a mana burn is dealt to enemy spellcasters that attack the priest.

Night Elf:

  • Starshards (level 10) - An instant DoT that costs no mana.
  • Elune's Grace (level 20) - Reduces the chance to be hit by melee and ranged attacks by 15% for 15 seconds.


  • Hex of Weakness (level 10) - Slightly reduces the damage dealt and healing done by the target.
  • Shadowguard (level 20) - Similiar to the shaman Lightning Shield, the priest returns damage the next 3 times he/she is attacked.


  • Touch of Weakness (level 10) - The next target to attack the priest takes a small amount of damage and deals less damage with attacks for 2 minutes.
  • Devouring Plague (level 20) - An instant DoT that also heals the casters for the damage dealt.


  • Shackle Undead (level 20) - Crowd Control for undead targets. A priest can shackle one undead at a time.
  • Levitate (level 34) - Makes the priest hover above the ground or above water. If the priest jumps or falls off a high place, they will slowly float to the ground. Requires a Light Feather.
  • Power Infusion (Discipline Talent, level 40 minimum) - Increases cast speed and reduces mana cost for all spells for the next 15 seconds. Can target others.

This page last modified 2008-07-07 18:57:45.