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Priest Talent Guide

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The Priest class has many great talents available to it and almost as many bad ones. Which are which though? To many new players it is not always clear. This leads players to following other players builds rather than creating a build that suits their play style. The aim of this guide is to help you create your own build, or perfect an existing one to better suit you. You can do this by better understanding of each talent.

The tables linked to below for each talent tree are formatted by tier and let you know what each talent does in simple terms. It also outlines in point form the good or bad about each talent. Bolded tags at the end of most descriptions point out the really good or really bad talents.

This guide is useful for both new and experienced players in different ways. For newer players it can help you determine what talents you want to work towards as you level up. Experienced players can find alternate opinions or information on talents that they may have taken for granted, or information that is useful when considering re-speccing.

For Priests, there are a lot of talents available. But it can be difficult trying to decide which talents to take. Considering how expensive it is to respec, it's good to have a plan for your points suited to however you want to play the game. To aid you to that end, here a few of my favorite specializations for the Priest class.
If all of you want to do with your Priest is heal, so here, this is the build for you. You pick up some key mana management talents in Discipline, such as Meditation and Inner Focus, and go as far down as Improved Divine Spirit to provide a very nice buff to your groups. You pick up some healing staples of the Holy tree, but skip the talents with less focus on keeping group members alive. While you have will have big heals and great longevity while healing with this build, you are very ineffective at dealing damage and are a bit too squishy for PvP healing, so if you plan to do something other than instances or raids you may want to try another build for your priest.
A Shadow Priest build mainly focuses on dealing damage in PvP. A short trip into Discipline gets you some survivability with Improved Power Words: Fortitude and Shield, and Martyrdom helps your easily-interruptible Mind Flay. In the Shadow tree, you pass up on mana regeneration and threat talents to go for high damage as fast as you can, plus Silence to help with those pesky Mages and Warlocks. Shadow Power aids in getting those big crits for getting enemy players down fast.
For most of time, a Shadow Priest build focuses on your aiding instance groups and raids, rather than PvP, with Spirit Tap thrown in for good measure and faster grinding. Passing up on Improved Psychic Scream, Silence, and Martyrdom, you gain threat reduction and a bit more mana for those longer fights. Since you'll be primarily using Mind Flay, Improved Mind Blast and Shadow Power can be safely skipped without much impact on your PvE DPS, though if you don't care about grinding efficiency you can use the points from Spirit Tap to put in one of those talents.
The advantage of being able to do damage without sacrificing your direct heals should not be overlooked for a PvP Priest, and Discipline has ways of doing damage with considerably more survivability than a Shadow Priest. A short foray into Holy gets a few necessary talents: Healing Focus, Divine Fury, the basics, as well as Holy Reach and Searing Light, since your primary damage spell will be Smite. In the Discipline tree, you get a few mana conservation talents for prolonged battles, while Reflective Shield and Force of Will make sure the enemy will be hurting. Your main goal in these talents is to get to Pain Supression, immeasurably useful when up against more than one opponent with your priest.
When you are flying solo with your Priest, you want to do some PvP and grinding but you still want to have some healing talents to excel at groups. In Discipline you definitely want to pick up the mana conservation talents, as they help in both PvP and instances. Martyrdom, Improved Power Word: Shield, and Force of Will all help to add some survivability and power to your priest PvP battles. In Holy, of course you should pick up the healing staple talents, but on your way down you pick up Blessed Recovery and Searing Light, always useful in PvP, and wind up the tree with Surge of Light, a very useful DPS talent that you unfortunately can't reach if you're going deep into Discipline. While not as effective as either of the more pure builds, this can keep you pretty good at everything without having to pay to respec your Priest when you want to shift objectives.

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