Suppressing the Pain – A look at levelling a Priest through PvP (Part 3)

Same disclaimer as the previous two parts (which can be found here and here).

What this isn’t.

This isn’t a guide to PvPing at 85 although some of it may be useful to Priests at 85. In fact it isn’t really a guide at all, more of a practical look at making levelling through PvP less painful.

UI/Raid frames/Key binds

Whilst I’m not going to tell anyone else what to use, as it’s a very personal thing, I will say this: take the time to mentally (or on paper) map out where you are going to put each important spell right from the start. Also try and keep key binds similar from character to character. For example all my dispel type spells, (dispel magic, purge, spellsteal etc) live on the “R” key. Another example would be my expensive fast heals, which all live on “G”. That way, it’s easier to remember your bindings in the heat of the moment.

Glyphs

We now get our first set of glyphs at lv 25, then again at 50 and finally at 75.

Prime

Available at 25, we have the following:

  • Penance: Reduces the cooldown of Penance by 2 seconds.
  • Power Word: Shield: Your PW: Shield also heals the target for 2o percent of the absorption amount. (Shields are currently “bugged” in that shielding people doesn’t put you in combat, allowing you to take advantage of your out of combat regen whilst saving lives).
  • Flash Heal: Increases the critical effect chance of your flash heal on targets below 25 percent health by 10 percent.
  • Renew: Increases the amount healed by your Renew by 10 percent.

As Disc, it’s a fairly easy choice. Penance is your bread and butter spell, used for everything from interrupting people trying to ninja flags to healing others, so being able to cast it more frequently is a good thing. As Holy it’s bit a more lacklustre. Personally I would take a flat 10 percent bigger renew over a chance that my flash heal will crit if I’m healing someone below 25 percent health.

At 50,

As Disc, my second Prime glyph would be Power Word: Shield. However the following have also become available:

  • Lightwell: Increases the total number of charges by 5.
  • Prayer of Healing: Your prayer of healing spell also heals an additional 20 percent of it’s initial heal over 6 seconds.

Again as Holy it’s a slightly harder choice to make as  Power Word: Shield and Prayer of Healing are valid options, albeit somewhat lacklustre. If you intend taking Body and Soul and I imagine everyone levelling as Holy through PvP does, then the shield glyph gives you a bit more bang for your buck (as Mr Harpy’s Canadian relatives would say). If like me, you love Alterac Valley, then Prayer of Healing is useful, especially in games which end up coming down to resources, which happens quite often in the levelling brackets. Bottom line, if you’re combining dungeons with your PvP, I’d go for Prayer of Healing but if I was just running battleground after battleground, I would consider the shield one, however I think it’s one of the situations where 99 percent of the time, you’ll wish you had the other one.

By the time you reach 75, these two are added into the mix.

  • Guardian Spirit: Reduces the cooldown of your Guardian Spirit by 30 seconds
  • Power Word: Barrier: Increases the healing received whilst under the barrier by 10 percent

Finally, we have an obvious choice for Holy. Guardian Spirit is literally a life saver, being able to cast it more frequently is awesome. Because it’s not dispel-able, in mass PvP, dps often back off allowing you to take advantage of the healing buff Guardian Spirit provides so whether it procs or not, it’s a great spell to use in PvP. For Disc, my third Prime glyph choice would be one of the following, either Renew

Major

  • Inner Fire: Increases the armor gained from Inner Fire by 50 percent.
  • Smite: Your smite spell inflicts an additional 20 percent damage against targets afflicted by Holy Fire.
  • Divine Accuracy: Increases your chance to hit with Smite and Holy Fire by 18 percent.
  • Psychic Scream: Targets of your Psychic Scream spell now tremble in place instead of fleeing in fear, but the cooldown of Psychic Scream is increased by 3 seconds.
  • Reduces the cooldown of Fade by 9 seconds

For both specs, I’d take Inner Fire here. The biggest issue, particularly at low levels are physicals, hunters/rogues/warriors so more armour is always welcome.

At lv 50, our choices include the above plus

  • Desperation: Allows Pain Suppression and Guardian Spirit to be cast whilst stunned.
  • Dispel Magic: Your dispel magic spells also heals the target for 3 percent of it’s maximum health when you successfully dispel something.

For Disc, I’d go for Desperation every time. It’s saved my life more times than I care to count.

As Holy things are slightly more complex, whereas Disc gets access to Pain Suppression at lv 49, Holy can’t reach Guardian Spirit until lv 69, so there is no point taking Desperation at lv 50. So personally, I’d go for Dispel Magic at this point. Yes, it’s not hugely exciting  but it’s another instant and instants in PvP against opponents with half a brain are king.

At lv 75, we now have access to:

  • Circle of Healing: Your circle of healing spell now heals one additional target
  • Fearward: Reduces the cooldown and duration of Fearward by 60 seconds
  • Holy Nova: Reduces the global cooldown of your Holy Nova by 0.5 seconds
  • Mass Dispel: Reduces the cast time of your Mass Dispel by 1 second
  • Prayer of Mending: The first charge of your Prayer of Mending spell heals for an additional 60 percent

Yet again, an easy choice for Disc, Mass Dispel is a key ability at later level PvP. Being able to swiftly remove those bubbles and iceblocks can make all the difference as to whether you get a quick kill or not. As Holy, I would swap Prayer of Mending with Dispel Magic (at lv 68) and then pick up Mass Dispel as my final Major glyph.

Minor

The choice at lv 25 is far from stellar. Personally I would take Fortitude until lv 34, when I would switch it with Levitate. Being able to leap happily off the LM or down to the GM without the fear of suddenly realising you’re out of light feathers seconds before you go splat in front of a crowd of Horde/Alliance is priceless.

At 50, I’d take back Fortitude, although with the grace period after every death in a battleground where buffs are free, it’s more for the quality of life aspect outside battlegrounds, especially if you’re running dungeons.

At 75, I’d pick up glyph of shadowfiend (recieve 5 percent of your maximum mana if your shadowfiend dies from damage).

Dispels

First set up your unit frames to show Unstable Affliction as a debuff in it’s own right. That way, it will always be the top debuff to show and then you can make informed decisions as to whether it’s worth risking the silence + damage to yourself to dispel.

Things you really want to dispel!

  • Paladins with wings. Whenever you encounter a Paladin past the Avenging Wrath level it’s worth doing a bit of pre-emptive dispelling to make sure it doesn’t take too many spell rotates to get rid of those wings. The burst is just too high to want to heal through. Keep yourself pre-shielded as well.
  • Shamans in ghostwolf. If they are running away, particularly if they have a flag clamped in their sticky paws. Plus half of them don’t seem to realise it’s dispel-able so watching them pop up, stand still for a second and then recast repeatedly is good for some amusement.
  • Poor unfortunates encased in ice.
  • CC from people helping you.
  • Your vehicles in SotA. Get those snares off a.s.a.p. That’s an example of one situation where I would say it’s better to eat a silence from Unstable Affliction rather than let a vehicle crawl to it’s death slowed by one Mage.

Targetting

Switch on enemy nameplates. This lets you see enemies even when you don’t have a line of sight on them. Crucial for spotting people hiding behind houses trying to tag nodes and other such sneaky behaviour. To find it, go to Options (hit ESC) -> Keybinding and then scroll down the list until you come across this:

Add a keybinding if there isn’t one already there and get used to switching it on.

I also recommend Tidy Plates, an addon which allows you to show CC with timers on the name plates, as well as turning them class coloured for easy identification. For example, if I’m PvPing with a rogue, I’d be able to see his kidney shot ticking down so I could time my fear to land just before or just after his stun finishes, rather than wasting or overlapping cc.

Final Points

Don’t be one of those Priests I keep running into who insist on using heal/greater heal when fighting people with kicks. Prioritise instants and then your faster casts in those situations, particularly if you’ve got melee/mages or shamans beating up on you.

If you put a talent point in something, looking at Lightwell here, use it. My heart breaks a little bit every time I’m defending a flag carrier along side a Holy Priest and I have to ask them if they took Lightwell because 100 percent of the time so far, they did but they haven’t bothered putting one down.

Accept that especially at low levels, you will die a LOT.

Above all, remember PvP should be fun and when all else fails, throw someone off the Lumber Mill cliff. It’s guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

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2 Responses

  1. I’ve never played a priest but still found thud interesting. Only one thing though… Sticky paws? Never :D blasphemy, lol ;)

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