Priest Arena Talent Specs Guide
18/0/43 Shadow Spec
Prior to the release of World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade, shadow priests were seen in both PvP and PvE as being useless. Their damage was lacking, their survivability was limited, and they offered little utility. All this changed with the release of resilience and 41-point talents, and shadow priests are now staples on arena teams of all sizes.
The premise of the spec is fairly obvious, it’s a spec that allows the priest to not only do considerable amounts of burst damage, but also sustain said damage over long fights. In addition, with the proper gear setup and itemization you’ll have the ability to literally tank an entire DPS assist train you. The true utility of the class, and gray area where good shadow priests are separated from the poor ones, comes in the ability to make quick decisions. Very early in the match the shadow priest needs to decide, is this a team I can DoT, throw a couple mindblast + shadow word: death combos, silence the healer, and get the kill? Or is it a team I need to play more defensively, relying more on shielding to survive while mana burning the opposing teams healers to win the mana battle? All of these factors will depend on both your own team’s composition and your opponents setup. However, the spec allows you to take a wide variety of roads to victory, as the shadow priest it’s now your responsibility to make the correct decision for yourself and your team that allows you to take full advantage of the many bonuses the shadow spec offers you.
41/20/0 Discipline Spec
41/20/0 Discipline (offensive disc, ideal for rogue/priest)
Though disc sat in the shadow of holy (no pun intended!) until Burning Crusade it finally made it’s big debut in patch 2.2. The changes and additions of many talents have finally made the spec a big contender for PvP healing, and certainly the dominant spec currently.
Though disc doesn’t have quite the healing power of holy it exceeds holy’s versatility by adding many offensive capabilities. This makes the disc priest ideal in many arena setups.
Depending on how you choose to customize your spec you can have the ability to throw out a lot of extra damage, or have greater defensive capabilities. Talents like searing light, reflective shield and power infusion allow the priest to take on a whole different hybrid role in certain team compositions.
28/33/0 Holy Spec
Though holy is no longer the dominant healing spec for arena it still offers great utility and viability if it fits well with your play style and team’s composition. With improved mana burn you are still able to fill the “tank the enemy and mana burn” role. In addition you have a wide range of insta-cast heals you can throw as you kite the opposing team.
The big talent from holy is without a doubt the blessed resilience talent. The talent is the only saving grace for priests when it comes to fending off warriors and rogues. Blessed resilience combined with a solid set of resilience gear, the correct itemization and gems allows you to quite simply tank the other team. Though the ability to tank the opposition is great, the spec truly shines in the hands of an player who understands the intricacies to the kiting aspect of the game. Just as much as your gear plays into your ability to execute this talent spec, so does understand of kiting. Between prayer of mending, renew, and shield, you can quite simply run the other direction of your enemies (assuming they are attacking you) and continually heal yourself without ever having to stop.
Needless to say, this is certainly going to be mana inefficient, though if it’s the difference between you dying and not dying, or the difference between your teammates being able to kill the enemy in time, well it’s a necessary evil then. 28/33/0 is going to be your bread and butter when it comes to maximum efficient PvP healing, it allows for great survivability, lots of insta-cast healing, the ability to tank many opposing players and offers a great deal of utility if you understand the benefits of the kiting game.