NOW THAT YOU have the first twenty levels under your belt, and a fancy-pants mount to boot, it’s time to start digging in for the long haul. You’re starting to get comfortable with a spell rotation, you have general idea what it is this priesting lark is all about, and with any luck you’ve even gotten a few PUGs under your belt.
The 20-30 level grind is lightened by the availability of your new mount, the chance to take in new leveling areas, and some of the funnier quest streams going. So let’s talk about how you can get the most out of your healer in this range with the minimum personal fuss.
- 20 1/3 Improved Power Word: Shield
- 21 2/3 Improved Power Word: Shield
- 22 3/3 Improved Power Word: Shield
- 23 1/1 Inner Focus
- 24 1/3 Meditation
- 25 1/3 Mental Agility
- 26 2/3 Meditation
- 27 2/3 Mental Agility
- 28 3/3 Mediation
- 29 3/3 Mental Agility
- 30 1/1 Soul Warding
- Buff yourself with Shadow Protection, Divine Spirit, and Power Word: Fortitude
- Shield/Renew tank
- Flash Heal small damage
- Greater Heal big damage
- Shield specific DPS/yourself if they’re consistently taking a lot of damage
- Spam Fade if you’re taking a lot of aggro
- Redridge Mountains (15-25)
- Ashenvale (18-30)
- Wetlands (20-30)
- Duskwood (18-30)
- Ashenvale (18-30)
- Wetlands (20-30)
LEVEL 20-30 SPELLS
22 – MIND VISION
Allows the caster to see through the target’s eyes for 1 min.
Of great utility in PvP (you can see through hostile and friendly players’ eyes), Mind Vision has very little utility in PvE or instancing. If you’re watching your pennies, don’t even bother purchasing the spell for now.
24 – MANA BURN
Destroy 10% of the target’s mana (up to a maximum of 20% of your own maximum mana). For each mana destroyed in this way, the target takes 0.5 Shadow damage.
If you come up against a boss who keeps healing himself, mana burn can be critical in halting the damage/self-heal cycle. I can’t say I use it very often, though, and a set of obscure rules keeps it pretty underpowered in PvE. In PvP, though, it’s handy, and I hear it’s a laugh riot if you use it as a Shadow Priest in conjunction with Vampiric Embrace.
30 – MIND CONTROL
Controls a humanoid mind up to level X, but increases the time between attacks by 25%. Lasts up to 1 min.
Feel like being a DPS for a hot minute? Healing failPUGs got you down? Why not mind control a nearby enemy and use him to bash the brains out of his companions! Fun for the whole family! … Except, you know, if you need to, say, heal someone. Absolutely a Shadow-only spell unless you’re just having a larf.
30 – PRAYER OF HEALING
A powerful prayer heals party members within 30 yards for X to Y.
Finally, something useful. When you hit 30, the long slog of no new spells you’ve endured since 20 is finally broken. PoH is worth waiting for. It’s pretty great in 5-man PUGs when all of your party members take damage at once from some AoE, but it really shines in raids. You can target any raid member and heal their entire party, wether or not you’re in it. Hit your ‘Inner Focus’ cooldown just before using PoH to obliterate its long-ass casting time and staggering 48% of base mana cost.
30 – SHADOW PROTECTION (Buff)
Increases the target’s resistance to Shadow spells by X for 10 min.
Until level 56 and 60, when you pick up Prayer of Shadow Protection and Prayer of Spirit, respectively (which buffs the entire party at once), you’ll have to individually cast this buff on every member of your party (including yourself, natch). But there’s a lot of shadow damage out there and SP comes in handy, as do all your buffs. Don’t skimp on buffing, as you’re the one who’ll pay the price for people taking more damage.
30 – DIVINE SPIRIT (Buff)
Holy power infuses the target, increasing their Spirit by X for 30 min.
See Shadow Protection.
LEVEL 20-30 TALENTS
IMPROVED POWER WORD: SHIELD
3 points: Increases the damage absorbed by your Power Word: Shield by X%.
Sweep in and pick up all the points in Improved PW:S right away while leveling. From 20-23, this should be a no-brainer way to spend your talent points. Your shield is the best weapon in your arsenal; why wouldn’t you devote as many resources as possible to it?
1 point: When activated, reduces the mana cost of your next spell by 100% and increases its critical effect chance by 25% if it is capable of a critical effect.
Inner Focus is a very nice “Oh, shit, I’m out of mana” save. If you use it in conjunction with Circle of Healing, in particular, it gives you a massive party-wide heal for free. Since you won’t pick up CoH until level 30, though, don’t spend this talent point until you reach level 29. Between 29 and 30, play with using it to make regular Heals cost-free.
3 points: Allows X% of your mana regeneration to continue while casting.
You won’t be regenerating an immense amount of mana with Meditation, but you have to spend at least five more points in Tier 3 (that’s this current set of talents) in order to move on to the juicier Tier 4 talents you’ll pick up in the next ten levels. Meditation is as good a way to spend your points as any, and as you move onto more challenging instances, you’ll realize just how much of your time you do spend casting. Pick up all three points here.
3 points: Reduces the mana cost of your instant cast spells by X%.
Our best spells- Power Word: Shield, Renew, and later Prayer of Mending- are instant cast. Reducing the mana cost of those suckers is essential. Grab all three points.
LEVEL 20-30 TALENT TREE
By level 30, then, your talent tree will look like this: