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WoWApr 7, 2020 6:18 pm CT

Priest class changes in WoW Shadowlands

Let’s look at the impending class changes for Priests that are coming with the Shadowlands expansion for World of Warcraft. Prior to Shadowlands, non-Discipline Priests were confined to either wielding the light (Holy) or mastering the dark (Shadow). In-game, that meant certain spells could only be accessible to one spec but not the other. These were often spells that used to be available to any Priest during previous expansions — remember leveling as Holy with Mind Blast?

A few staple Priest spells will be returning and made accessible for all specs:

Thank goodness! For all five of us that ever wanted to level Holy, we can do so in an easier fashion!

  • Bonus: Power Infusion can now be cast on allies

Time to open up the bidding for Power Infusion buffs during raid! Alternatively, you could just hog it for yourself.

Discipline Priests

  • Minor changes:
    • Mind Blast
  • New talents:
    • Light’s Caress
    • Shadow Covenant

Even though I still haven’t mastered this spec in the past two expansions, Discipline will see a slight revamp. The new talent Light’s Caress gives the Discipline Priest the ability to heal their allies with Power Word: Barrier (and another heal if players are within the barrier when it wears off). In other words, Power Word: Barrier goes purely from a damage reduction ability to a damage reduction ability with healing components. This sounds like the current raid talent front runner until we know what else shares that talent row slot with it.

On the darker side of things, Shadow Covenant is being reintroduced as a talent that instantly heals a target along with four other wounded allies in a small area. It has the added benefit of increasing Priest damage for a period of time with the drawback of losing access to Holy spells. This sounds like a perfect talent to switch into when you’re working your way through smaller group content like mythic dungeons.

Lastly, Mind Blast is back to dealing a high amount of damage and Atonement healing while providing an absorb. It won’t be cheap to cast.

Holy Priests

Sorry, I have to say this again for those in the back. But in bold.

Circle of Healing is now baseline. I daresay this was the most popular talent throughout much of this expansion. With it going baseline, that means a new talent, right? We’re getting a new one called Prayer Circle. Switching into this talent buffs Circle of Healing and reduces the cast time of Prayer of Healing when Prayer Circle is used. Solid talent to pick up if you encounter some big-time group damage that you need to heal through.

Looking forward to a future patch when Prayer Circle evolves into Prayer Rhombus.

Shadow Priests

  • Minor changes:
    • Surrender to Madness re-work
  • New talents: 
    • Death and Madness

Lastly, we have the spec that the expansion was obviously named after, Shadow Priests. The new talent here is Death and Madness. When you neutralize a target with Shadow Word: Death, the Priest gains a high amount of Insanity over several seconds. Oh by the way, did I mention that Shadow Word: Death resets right after that? You can cast it again repeatedly until you’re out of targets or until you don’t happen to kill it with that spell.

Surrender to Madness is back! When the Priest activates it, they’ll be overwhelmed with a surge of Insanity and a Void Eruption cast on their target. During the duration that Surrender to Madness is active, Insanity-generating abilities give 100% additional Insanity. Plus, you can cast spells like Mind Flay, Mind Blast, and others while moving. Great way to stay alive during abilities that might damage you if you stand in them. There is a downside though. If you don’t manage to take down your target while Surrender to Madness is activated, you’re going to die.

Covenant Class Abilities

  • Kyrian: Boon of the Ascended
    • New ability that grants access to Ascended Nova and Ascended Blast, with increased movement speed. Both abilities can damage enemies, heal your friends, and then explode for damage and healing when Boon of the Ascended expires.
  • Venthyr: Mindgames
    • New ability that reverses the enemy’s perception of reality. When the affected enemy deals damage, they heal their target. When they heal, they damage their target.
  • Necrolord: Unholy Nova
    • New ability that explodes which heals nearby friends and infects close enemies with Unholy Transfusion. Targets affected by Unholy Transfusion take Shadow damage over time. Anyone that attacks those afflicted with Unholy Transfusion will be healed.
  • Night Fae: Fae Blessings
    • New ability that surrounds you with friendly sprites, causing your next 10 spell casts to aid your target depending on your chosen spell.
      • Discipline – Shadow Mend, Mind Blast: Reduces an ally’s damage taken by 10% for 15 sec. Power Word: Shield: Invigorate your target with 2% mana or 20% resource. Power Word: Radiance: Reduces the cooldowns of one major ability for all targets by 3 sec
      • Holy – Flash Heal, Heal: Reduces damage taken by 10% for 15 sec. Power World: Shield: Invigorates target with 2% mana or 20% resource. Prayer of Healing: Reduces the cooldowns of one of their major abilities by 3 sec
      • Shadow – Shadow Mend, Mind Blast: Reduces an ally’s damage taken by 10% for 15 sec. Power Word: Shield: Invigorates your target with 2% mana or 20% resource. Void Bolt: Reduces the cooldowns of up to 5 allies’ major abilities by 3 sec

We’ll have updates soon as Priests get iterated upon. What spells are you thrilled to see make a comeback? Are there any you’re not super excited about?

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