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Legion Class Preview: Priest

Hi everybody and welcome to our first post for the Legion Class Preview Series that Blizzard will be bringing us over the next few days. Today we’re getting a preview into the Priest class and how it will play in the upcoming Expansion, World of Warcraft: Legion

We’ll bring you the full post as it appears on the official Warcraft website, and we also hope to analyse each and every Healing Class Preview, so be sure to check back at a later stage as we dissect the latest information.

This is a very early preview of the class changes for the Priest and could change before release. Also keep in mind not all As a summary of information for those without the time to read the full post:


  • Chakra system was cumbersome and has been removed
  • More dynamic playstyle focused around Holy Words, new spells designed to feel absolutely miraculous
  • No use of Shadow spells
  • Heal and Flash Heal are basically the same as they are on live
  • Holy Word: Serenity will be a 1 minute cool down “miracle”
  • Prayer of Healing will change from groups to up to 5 players in a 15 yard radius!
  • Prayer of Mending will be the same as live, still will have a cast time 🙁
  • New AoE spell Holy Word: Sanctify, another “miraculous” heal with a 1 minute cool down
  • Renew will basically be the same
  • Serendipity will be a passive that causes some of your spells to reduce the cool down of other spells. Will work like current live Serendipity but across more spells
  • Mastery: Echo of Light will be the same
  • New Holy-specific talent Apotheosis, entering a pure Holy form, increasing the effects of Serendipity by 200% for 30 seconds, on a 3 minute cool down

Overall, I’m pretty happy with this preview of the Holy Priest. It looks like they’re really trying to change the fantasy of all of the classes, and it would appear they may just accomplish this with the Holy Priest. With the removal of Chakra (thankfully) and the addition of some new “miracle” spells, from being locked out of Shadow spells completely to smiting foes and carrying out sacred justice, I can imagine being immersed in the Holy Priest playstyle.

They were right to remove Chakra, it was a clunky mechanic that was cumbersome to use to say the least. No longer must we stance dance depending on our healing requirements. A Holy Priest in the fantasy should be able to heal as required at anytime. Instead of Chakra swapping, we’ll depend on using our “miracle” spells for huge heals (single or multiple target) and these must be managed in terms of using Serendipity to reduce their cool downs after use. It’s these miracle spells, Holy Word: Serenity (which may just be the biggest single target heal in the game) and Holy Word: Sanctify (a multi target instant) that are going to be the focus of the Holy Priest playstyle.

Prayer of Healing will undertake a huge change as it goes from a large-range group-restricted heal to a raid-wide (up to 5) any group but distance-restricted (15 yards) heal. While Prayer of Healing in the past has been very beneficial for raid-wide damage across far distances, it has often been a pain in pick up groups with leads that don’t understand the mechanics of it. This will ease that burden a little, but it’s going to mean that you’ll need to focus on area damage for this spell rather than group damage.

I did have some concerns about the loss of Circle of Healing, a staple to the Holy Priest for a very long time, and others obviously had the same concerns. @Warcraftdevs has been busy on Twitter responding to questions around the new class previews and had a few things to say about the Priest preview.

Tha current plan is for Holy Nova to remain, but would be Holy’s method of dealing AoE damage. No mention of it also healing, so assume it will only do damage. As for Circle of Healing (to be continued).


  • Clearly defined by their use of Holy and Shadow magic
  • They gain a significant contribution in damage, while still filling a healer role in group content
  • Atonement: Plea, Power Word: Shield and Shadow Mend spells put Atonement on that target for 15 seconds
  • Deal damage with spells, heal those with Atonement on those targets for 50% of damage done
  • Atonement healing is not split! More allies with Atonement, the more you heal
  • Defensive
    • Plea, instant, cheap minor heal, probably primarily used to setup for Atonement
    • Shadow Mend, heals for large amount, but they also take minor damage
    • Power Word: Shield will have a 6 second cool down! No more shield spam. Shield protects casts from damage
    • Power Word: Radiance, a new AoE that heals 1 target and it’s 5 nearest allies and buffs them all with Atonement for 50% duration or 7.5(?) seconds
  • Offensive
    • Smite will be pretty much the same
    • Mind Blast is now a part of Disc Priest damage arsenal
    • Penance, pretty much the same, however they didn’t mention Penance still healing, waiting for confirmation
    • Revelation, Mind Blast and Smite casts could reset Penance
    • Shadow Word: Pain is now in the Disc Priest damage arsenal
    • Example Talent: Grace – a straight passive increase to your healing and absorb on targets with Atonement

Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment (Source / Blue Posts)

Welcome to our World of Warcraft: Legion class preview series. In this entry, we’re exploring the Priest—to find out what’s in store for a different class, check out the overview.

We continue our early look at class and specialization design with the Priest. In these blogs, we’ll be exploring class identity, discussing Legion’s new designs, and presenting core combat abilities for each specialization—laying out the foundation upon which talents and Artifacts will build further. With that in mind, let’s delve into what it means to be a Priest in World of Warcraft.

Priests have a strong identity as spiritual practitioners who harness divine power to inspire and protect allies, heal the injured, and cure the ailed. But while this clearly holds true for Holy Priests, these ideas are less fundamental to Discipline Priests—and the ideals and beliefs of Shadow Priests are antithetical to those of Holy Priests.

Despite these differences, Priests of any spec share one key thing in common: unwavering faith in something from which they draw great power. What delineates specializations is the source of that power. In Legion, we’re going to explore that dichotomy in greater depth than ever through the gameplay for each specialization.


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.

“The most adept priests leave their houses of worship to serve on the battlefield, as shepherd to flock”


Given the innate purity of the spec, we want to ensure that Holy Priests continue to have a large repertoire of compelling healing spells. The Chakra system was cumbersome, requiring additional setup to optimally use most spells and restricting how much you could fluidly shift between healing methods. We have removed it in favor of a more dynamic play style focused around Holy Words. New Holy Word spells are designed to feel absolutely miraculous, having huge effects balanced with long base cooldowns. The new passive effect of Serendipity allows those long base cooldowns to be reduced, letting you use them more frequently. Finally, in keeping with the resolute beliefs of the Holy Priest, they can make no use of Shadow spells. Smite, Holy Fire, and Holy Word: Chastise are the instruments used by Holy Priests to inflict damage upon their enemies.

Here’s a basic look at the core combat healing abilities for Holy Priests:

  • Heal
    • 2.0% Mana, 40 yd range, 2.5 sec cast
    • A slow but efficient spell that heals an ally for a moderate amount.
  • Flash Heal
    • 3.5% Mana, 40 yd range, 1.5 sec cast
    • A fast but expensive spell that heals an ally for a moderate amount.
  • Holy Word: Serenity
    • 4.0% Mana, 40 yd range, Instant, 1 min cooldown
    • Perform a miracle, healing an ally for an absolutely massive amount.
  • Prayer of Healing
    • 8.0% Mana, 40 yd range, 2.5 sec cast
    • A powerful prayer that heals up to 5 injured allies within 15 yards of the target for a strong amount.
  • Prayer of Mending
    • 2.0% Mana, 40 yd range, 1.5 sec cast, 10 sec cooldown
    • Places a spell on a party or raid member that heals them for a moderate amount the next time they take damage. When the heal occurs, Prayer of Mending jumps to another party or raid member within 20 yds. Jumps up to 5 times and lasts 30 sec. after each jump.
  • Holy Word: Sanctify
    • 5% Mana, 40 yd range, Instant, 1 min. cooldown
    • Release miraculous light into a target location, healing up to 6 allies within 10 yards for a huge amount.
  • Renew
    • 2.5% Mana, 40 yd range, Instant
    • Fill the target with faith in the Light, healing them instantly for a minor amount and then a large amount over 15 sec.
  • Serendipity
    • Passive
    • When you cast Flash Heal or Heal, the cooldown of Holy Word: Serenity is reduced by 6 sec.
    • When you cast Prayer of Healing or Prayer of Mending, the cooldown of Holy Word: Sanctify is reduced by 6 sec.
    • When you cast Smite or Holy Fire, the cooldown of Holy Word: Chastise is reduced by 6 sec.
  • Mastery: Echo of Light
    • Your direct healing spells heal for an additional 25% (with Mastery from typical gear) over 6 sec.

Additionally, to give you an idea of how some talents may build upon this, here’s an example of one of their Holy-specific talents:

  • Apotheosis
    • Instant, 3 min cooldown
    • Enter a pure Holy form for 30 sec, increasing the effects of Serendipity by 200%.


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.

“True discipline stems from one’s ability to balance opposing powers in services of a greater cause


The power of absorption mechanics has created a gameplay issue for healers that we’re looking to address in Legion. Discipline Priests have been so effective in their role of preventing damage that it has sometimes left other healers yearning for an opportune time to throw out a clutch heal. To alleviate that issue, we’re tempering Discipline’s emphasis on shields in lieu of a reimaged Atonement mechanic.

Discipline Priests are now more clearly defined by their use of both Holy and Shadow magic, and that extends to how they function in combat. Sacrificing a portion of healing ability and having a reduced focus on absorption spells, they gain a significant contribution in damage. Still filling a healer role in group content, they aim to strike a balance between healing allies and damaging enemies in a unique gameplay style. Discipline Priests have strong cooldowns with Power Word: Barrier and Pain Suppression, along with Rapture, a new cooldown that temporarily removes the cooldown of Power Word: Shield.

Here’s a basic look at the core defensive and offensive combat abilities for Discipline Priests:

  • Atonement
    • Passive
    • Plea, Power Word: Shield, and Shadow Mend also apply Atonement to your target for 15 sec.
    • When you deal spell damage, you instantly heal all targets affected by Atonement for 50% of the damage done.
    • Developer comment: Healing is not split between Atonements—the more allies you have Atonement on, the more total healing that a damage spell will cause.
  • Mastery: Absolution
    • Increases the healing transferred through Atonement by 28% (with Mastery from typical gear).
  • Defensive
    • Plea
      • 1.2% Mana, 40 yd range, Instant
      • A quick, efficient plea to heal an ally for a minor amount.
    • Shadow Mend
      • 3.0% Mana, 40 yd range, 1.5 sec cast
      • Wrap an ally in shadows which heal them for a large amount, but at a price.
      • The ally will take minor damage every 1 sec, until they have taken half that amount of total damage from all sources, or leave combat.
    • Power Word: Shield
      • 3.5% Mana, 40 yd range, Instant, 6 sec cooldown
      • Shield an ally, absorbing a large amount of damage. Lasts 15 sec.
      • While the shield holds, spellcasting will not be delayed by damage.
    • Power Word: Radiance
      • 7.0% Mana, 40 yd range, 2.5 sec cast
      • A burst of light heals a friendly target and their 5 nearest allies for a moderate amount, and applies Atonement for 50% of its normal duration.
  • Offensive
    • Smite
      • 0.75% Mana, 40 yd range, 1.5 sec cast
      • Smite an enemy for moderate Holy damage.
    • Mind Blast
      • 3.0% Mana, 40 yd range, 1.5 sec cast
      • Blast the target’s mind for strong Shadow damage.
    • Penance
      • 2.5% Mana, 40 yd range, Channeled, 9 sec cooldown
      • Launches a volley of holy light at the target, causing huge Holy damage over 2 sec.
      • Channelable while moving.
    • Revelation
      • Passive
      • Your Smite and Mind Blast casts have a 30% chance to reset the cooldown on Penance.
    • Shadow Word: Pain
      • 2.0% Mana, 40 yd range, Instant
      • A word of darkness that causes minor Shadow damage instantly, and an additional huge amount of Shadow damage over 18 sec.

Additionally, to give you an idea of how some talents may build upon this, here’s an example of one of their Discipline-specific talents:

  • Grace
    • Passive
    • Increases your non-Atonement healing and absorption by 30% on targets with Atonement.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this early preview of our approach to Priest class and specialization design in World of Warcraft: Legion. We’ll continue our review later today with a look at Mages.

Originally published on November 9th, 2015 by and on HealingWoW.com, Last modified: in the Disc Priest, Holy Priest, Legion, Priest category/s.

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