|Human, Dwarf, Night Elf, Draenei, Troll, Undead, Blood Elf
|Holy, Shadow, Discipline
Priests are the spiritual leaders of their people, and are known primarily for their healing capabilities. However, some darker priests have the ability to perform more shadowy acts of mind manipulation.
Priests are not effective melee combatants. Once a priest acquires a wand, they would probably prefer to use that during the times they are avoiding or unable to cast spells. In solo combat, priests will usually resort to damaging spells from the schools of Holy and Shadow. Their shadow spells are usually better for this, but often require talents to be very effective. Considering priests in a group normally fall into a support role as healer, the holy spells are much more in-line with the way most players are prepared to play their character.
The three talent areas of the class are Discipline, Holy, and Shadow. Holy and Shadow focus on the skills in their particular sphere, with holy consisting mainly of healing spells and shadow mostly damage and mind manipulation. The discipline tree is designed to help the priest in the very broad and general, rather than enhancing the raw power of their spells. Of particular note is that priests that devote themselves to the shadow tree are very frequently regarded as a separate class altogether. The damage capabilities of a shadow priest are exceptionally high compared to the other two trees, and they possess a modest amount of utility value as well. With the rise of hybrid healers, shadow priests have become a very accepted part of WoW culture, and are very prone to melting faces.
Priests are very powerful healers, or they can go the shadow route and become capable damage-dealers. Although a priest can only legitimately focus on one of these two aspects, they can still conceivably do both to an extent. Power Word: Shield also allows them to proactively prevent some damage, which is a very powerful skill in its own right. Priests also have the ability to crowd control undead targets or to mind control humanoids.
However, priests are not generally very sturdy. They only wear cloth armor, and their health totals are normally quite low. They can supplement this somewhat with Power Word: Fortitude, which adds to their stamina, but priests do not weather blows well.
Priests of different races have access to select special spells. This means that choosing a race for a priest is often more complicated than other classes, however the abilities are meant to provide flavor and not be exceptionally powerful on their own. These abilities become available one each at level 10 and level 20.
Priests are healers unless they indicate otherwise. Priests have certain tricks that make them very desirable healers under most circumstances. Although a shadow priest can heal, a dedicated member of any healing class will perform a superior job and many shadow priests are uncomfortable with the role of healer. Either way, a priest will be expected to give the group Fortitude and to keep a loose eye on the health of the party.
Priests have exceptionally few class quests. At level 6, their local trainer will ask them to heal an injured guard outside the village for a minor item. At levels 10 and 20, they will be able to speak with the priest leaders of their own people for access to their racial spells.
The only other priest spell of any mention is the search for Benediction. This is an old epic item that began at the end of The Molten Core. With very few groups bothering to run Molten Core to acquire the quest-starting item, it is uncommon to see priests bothering with an outdated item.