Same disclaimer as 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.
Drinks and other methods of regenerating mana.
Low level drinks really haven’t scaled well so your best option for AB and WSG (once you hit lv 25) are the rations you buy from their respective quartermasters. From lv 55 onwards, you can do the same for Alterac Valley.
As these are counted as food, you can still and should drink your ordinary water for an extra boost at the same time. Holidays and other such festivals are also good for drinks, think bobbing apples from Hallows End and Festival Dumplings. Unfortunately these tend to be limited to the duration of the festival but are usable in any battleground.
You also want to keep an eye out for the chests with the green leaf on top as shown below. These restore 10 percent of your health and mana every second for 10 seconds but attacking or being attacked will cancel the buff so in order to make sure you get the most out of it, be aware of your surroundings. Fear plus line of sight can be really useful.
In WSG, they always spawn in the houses below the graveyards (handy for camping the opposing faction) and are on a relatively swift timer. In EoTS and AB, they have a chance to spawn at any of the bases (along with the movement speed buff and the berserker buff). In EoTS, they appear inside the towers and in AB most are fairly obvious apart from the one at the Farm which spawns inside the house.
Rumsey Rum Black Label, (provides 15 stamina for 15 minutes, doesn’t last after death) the preferred tipple of twinks everywhere is worth picking up if you have a high enough level character to enter the Old Hillsbrad instance (I think it requires lv 67). You shouldn’t need to kill anything, just ride straight out of the entrance to Southshore and go into the Pub, where you can buy the rum from Barkeep Kelly for 2 silver each. The only limit to how much you can pick up is your bag space and they stack in 10s.
Basic overview of Stats
Stamina is king, especially at lower levels since certain classes (glares at rogues and hunters) seem to spend their whole lives looking for people they can oneshot, the higher your health pool, the less appealing target you make.
Resilience. Damage prevention is always good, however below lv 70 there aren’t that many options. The PvP shoulder heirlooms provide some, as does the BoA PvP trinket. Once you hit Outlands though and socketed gear, your options do increase dramatically.
Next up, the bigger your heals, the better. More intellect gives you more spell power and works well alongside the Discipline specialisations, Enlightenment in particular. Regen is less important because you can and should drink out of combat as well as pick up the green buffs whenever you see one. Plus, given the bursty nature of low level PvP, combat periods do tend to be fairly short.
Spell hit/penetration. As healing Priests, you will be doing a fair bit of offensive work, dispelling, fearing and mindcontrolling in particular, so try and pick up some hit/penetration as soon as possible. Hit is a lot easier than spell pen to obtain at low levels (below 60) but from 20 onwards you can use the WSG trinket (rune of perfection) for a bit of spell penetration. Once you get dispel magic, remember to remove buffs like mark of the wild/blessing of Kings as soon as possible.
There are some really nice blue dungeon quest items hidden away and since Blizzard have made things so much simpler by popping all the quests in the dungeon entrance, it’s little effort for the rewards. I tend to focus more on dungeons when I’m in the bottom level of the bracket but it adds a change of pace, especially if you hit a losing streak.
Purchasable with Honor.
If you aren’t Human, your first honor purchase (unless you have an inherited BoA one) should be an Insignia of the Alliance/Horde. Bought from Sergeant Major Clate (Alliance) and First Sergeant Hola’mahi (Horde) in Stormwind and Orgrimmar respectively (It’s on page 3 of their wares). Costing only 55 honor, it should only take you a couple of games to earn the honor for it. The 5 minute cooldown is a pain, but it’s the best you can get at until level 70. At level 70 you should immediately update it for a 2 minute one.
At lv 18 you want to visit Illiyana Moonblaze (she’s hiding at my cursor), the Silverwing Supply Officer in Ashenvale. She offers a range of goodies which include a blue ring, staff and cloak. These can be upgraded (for more honor) every 10 levels until you hit lv 60. You might even want to consider the agi/stam necklace, especially when lv 28 because of it’s high stamina. There are also epic bracers which become available at lv 40.
Unfortunately you have to go back at lv 20 for the trinket, but since trinkets at these levels are hard to come by, it’s worth making the trek even if you aren’t questing in Kalimdor.
At lv 28, check out the goods offered by the Arathi Basin quartermaster. It’s the same deal as with WSG, every 10 levels you can upgrade the items. The quartermaster can be found at the Refuge Pointe in Arathi Basin, near the flight master. These include boots (with movement speed) and a belt, plus another trinket.
The Horde equilivent for WSG is Kelm Hargunth, the Warsong Offensive Supply Officer who can be found just south of the Morshan Rampants in the Barrens. For AB, you need to visit Rutherford Twing, who lives out the back of Hammerfall in the Arathi Highlands.
At 60 I would recommend the full Grand Marshal PvP set. I was still wearing some pieces of mine when I hit 70, it’s definitely worth it, if like me, you are unlucky with dungeon drops or lacking on heirlooms.
At 70, again I would recommend buying the full PvP set plus accessories if you can afford it. Not only does it come with a lot of sockets for stat customisation but it gives resilience which is crucial in these brackets, especially as burst dps increases.
As soon as you hit lv 70 or so, you want to start checking the AH for Cataclysm greens and BoE blues. The lowest level you can equip this stuff is lv 77 but the more you have by then, the better. You can also enter Black Rock Caverns at lv 77 even though it doesn’t appear in the dungeon finder until lv 80 so if you have friends or guildmates who can run you through, great.
Random items which are worth buying with spare honor.
The Alliance Battle standard/Horde Battle standard. These are basically totems which increase you and your party’s health by 15 percent as long as they stay within a 45 yard radius of the standard. They cost 500 honor and should be one of your first purchases as soon as you’ve bought your PvP trinket plus any lv 18 blues than are upgrades. Whilst they are killable with AoE, they have 1500 health which in the low level brackets is about as much as most of the players. At higher levels you just need to get more creative with your placement if you want it to survive.
Pugnacious Priest has a great guide to hiding your battle standard but the basic rule of thumb is try and put it off to one side. Don’t stand next to it unless you want whoever is attacking you to kill it without having to think.
The Stormpike/Frostwolf Battle Standard. Same principle as above only this one increases damage not health by 10 percent. This one is less useful as it’s only usable in AV but if you’re alone and the other battle standard is on cooldown, it’s a nice 2 minute trinket.
Part 3 coming later this week.