Suppressing the Pain – A look at levelling a Healing Priest through PvP (part 1)

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.

Inspired by conversations had with levelling Priests and my own experiences of levelling almost entirely through battlegrounds, here is my thoughts on healing your way to 85 through PvP.

The Basics

  • You can queue to two named battlegrounds at once OR random. So before random becomes available always queue to two.
  • Shift M brings up a cute little map which you can place wherever you want on your screen. Now that Blizzard have given us an amazing animation when we’re looking at the map, you don’t want to be doing it in battlegrounds. It tells the enemy exactly what you’re doing and where your focus is, potentially allowing them to ninja flags or kill you before you can react.
  • Carry lots of water and don’t sit drinking whilst looking at the map unless you want a rogue to ambush you.
  • Should you happen to be defending the Farm in Arathi Basin (which is technically bad planning on your part since the LM is far more fun), dispel chickens to keep yourself in combat so pesky rogues can’t sap -> tag. This also goes for any nodes with critters running about.


Both Holy and Disc are viable, however personally I prefer Discipline because of a few key talents. That said Chastise is awesome and exceedingly annoying if you are on the receiving end of it. However Chakra itself is a Benediction mark 2, a giant neon glittery sign yelling “Over here I’m a Holy Priest, come kill me”.


Things I consider essential in a Discipline Build for levelling through PvP.

I was tempted towards Atonement but since I had a pet rogue in my pocket, I focused more on healing/damage mitigation rather than my dps. I also found that for a good chunk of the game, up to 81 plus in fact, that reflective shield plus the two dots kept up was enough to beat most classes one v one. However without a pet dpser, I would definitely try it, especially in the levels before mindspike.

2/2 Improved Power word: Shield. You want your shields to be as big as possible, especially since the game is currently bugged so that shielding people doesn’t put you in combat.

2/2 Soul Warding.

1/1 Inner Focus, especially when taken with 2/2 Strength of Soul. Not only can you annoy your teammates with what has to be one of the most irritating noises in game (up there with spellsteal and mindspike) but you can annoy the opposing team also by being temporarily immune to silences/interrupts and dispels.

2/2 Reflective Shield. I love this and it’s responsible for the vast majority of my 1 v 1 victories over melee dpsers en route to 85. You will be shielding yourself regardless and since you are likely to be the target of any half decent players, hurting them in a semi afk fashion is not to be sneezed at. Besides, watching some melee (it’s usually a deathknight) run at you on 5 percent health, hit your shield and go splat is priceless.

Pain Suppression. For obvious reasons.

3/3 Grace. The bigger your heals the less healing you need to do. Not only does this help your mana, it means you can ride out silences and interrupts better.

2/2 Focused Will. 10 percent less damage taken, yes please.

Power Word: Barrier. So you can have bubbles inside your bubbles.

So at 69, my levelling Disc build would look like this. As for the Holy points to complement those, I went for these. Desperate Prayer in it’s current state is a must for PvP.


If I were Holy, I would pick the following up as soon as possible.

1/1 Desperate Prayer. In it’s current incarnation it’s awesome and works really well as a lifesaver when combined with Healthstone.

2/2 Inspiration. Anything which reduces damage taken is a good thing, especially in low level battlegrounds.

1/1 Lightwell. The fact that you can use it whilst stunned and otherwise cc’ed makes it an amazing PvP tool. Add into that, the fact that they either have to kill the Lightwell, time when they aren’t hitting you or accept you healing from it, means that it can be very useful.

1/1 Chakra. Although you want to get into the habit of dropping the chakra state for the extra cc of chastise as soon as you pick up this talent point.

1/1 Revelations.

2/2 Blessed Resilience. You will be hit for more than 10 percent of your health on a regular basis, thus in any type of PvP where people are actively trying to kill you, this will be up most of the time.

3/3 Test of Faith. Given the burst damage of certain low level classes, feral druids, hunters and rogues spring to mind, people will be below 50 percent health quite a lot whilst levelling, thus more healing is a good thing.

Key Abilities in PvP

Mind Vision. Your team can’t find the enemy flag carrier, mind vision them. You want to know what the enemy team looks like before the game starts, mind vision them. You see a rogue riding up to a node that you’re defending, mindvision them. It won’t break even when they drop into stealth, in fact as far as I can tell only vanish and cloak of shadows break it right now (shadowmeld might as well). You can either send your team-mates in to kill them or if solo, wait until they are close enough and then break them out of stealth with holy nova/dots/fear. Invisibility might but haven’t found a mage to test it on yet.

Mind Control. Chucking people off cliffs never gets old, especially when they are elemental shamans themselves. Running flag carriers away from their healers and/or the flag capping position is another great use of this spell. It can also be used as a general cc. Imagine that there are two of you trying to cap a node in AB with one of their team defending. Perhaps all three of you are healers and you know that support is coming to help the defender. Mind control him, run him away from the flag whilst the other person caps. I particularly like it in AV, throwing people out of bunkers/towers is a great way of defending them. When defending the Alliance bunkers, try and throw them out the side away from the door though.

Mana Burn. The Bane of Healers. If we have multiple healers, especially if the others aren’t Priests, I tend to leave the healing to them and focus on manaburning the enemy healers down.


Priest Specific


/cast Shadowfiend
/use 10

As it says on the tin, casts shadowfiend, sets him to aggressive and casts shadow crawl. You have to be looking at an enemy target for this to work but since I heal either through Vudho (other people) or alt + keybinds (myself), I tend to be.

Another version would be

/cast [nopet] Shadowfiend
/cast Shadowcrawl

Desperate Prayer

/cast Desperate Prayer
/use Healthstone

Uses both Desperate Prayer and a Healthstone if you have one.

Mouseover Mind Control

#showtooltip Mind Control
/cast [target=mouseover, harm, nodead] Mind Control; Mind Control

What I love about this is the element of surprise. Because you are looking at someone else, the victim of the mind control can often be half way to the cliff before they realise what is going on. If you don’t have a mouseover target, it will cast it on whoever you are looking at, assuming that they are an enemy.

Mouseover Mana Burn

For the same reasons as above, it’s hard to dodge or avoid if you think it’s being cast on someone else.

#showtooltip Mana Burn
/cast [target=mouseover, harm, nodead] Mana Burn; Mana Burn


This is my “OMG HELP ME PLX” macro. Basically it takes my location from the map and pops it into chat with an “incoming at” message. So instead of trying to fend off two bloodelf rogues and a goblin shaman whilst running around typing, now I can focus on survival after hitting the macro once or twice. Unfortunately it doesn’t make people come and rescue you, but at least you can die knowing you told them of your impending doom.
/script SendChatMessage(format(">>>>>>INCOMING at %s<<<<<<",

You need to take out the return between  the comma and GetMinimapZoneText however because I couldn’t get it to display right any other way.

Part 2 will look at gear, glyphs and anything else which occurs to me in the meantime.

8 Responses

  1. Fantastic guide! This is certainly getting bookmarked for my new preisting project. Looking forward to part 2.

  2. Oh joy 🙂 I enjoy pvping on my priest. Can’t wait for part 2.

  3. […] Suppressing the Pain – A look at levelling a Healing Priest through PvP (part 1) […]

  4. […] disclaimer as the previous two parts (which can be found here and […]

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