Priest VS Cataclysm: Leveling Guide 80 to 85

I hope you enjoyed your winter getaway, because it’s time to get back to leveling. Bringing back some snow back with you would be a HUGE help this time around, because this time all of Azeroth is on fire!
Enough of this soot, Let’s get this guide going so we can level you up to 85 ASAP!

To Do List
1) Level all of your professions up to 450 (Artisan) if you haven’t all ready.
2) Get your Flight Master License for 250 gold from your local flying trainer to allow you to fly in the new zones, as well as old Azeroth.
3) If you didn’t buy Dual spec yet, go do it.
4) Rid your bags of any Northrend resources and clear out your junk. Pick up some Sparkling Oasis Water from the Inn.


Shadow: 8/0/33. We’re going to pick up Evangelism & Archangel here, which will boost our shadow damage spells the more it stacks.

Holy: 6/33/2. We’re going to put that point into Guardian Spirit as our emergency button. We’re also going to pick up some more healing boost and cast reduction from the Discipline tree, and a bit of haste from the Shadow tree.

Questing VS Dungeons

At this point in the game, Shadow is your best bet. The Cataclysm quest chains link together wonderfully and will get your leveled the quickest way possible (I went from 80 to 83 in less than 8 hours, including a dinner and episode of Monk!). You can still queue up for dungeons to break it up but I wouldn’t rely on it. Get through at least Mount Hyjal, as you’ll need to do most of the quests if you plan on doing the Molten Front (Fireland) dailies at 85.

With dungeons this time around, iLvl (item level) is also taken into consideration a long side your level. What this means is you may need to pick up and wear most quest rewards before you’re eligible to queue for dungeons. Be ready for it.


If you decided to take up Alchemy, it may be worth it to buy the herbs needed to level up to 500 right away. This is because you can use your Epic Trinket at 85. This will give you +351 int and a bunch of haste once gemmed, which is freaking awesome. You can also make Flask of Enhancement, which will give you another bonus Int boost while you level.


Most of your BoA gear is now going to be replaced; The two pieces we’re going to want to keep are the Head and Cloak. The other pieces do not continue to scale, and do not give you the bonus experience and are therefore replaceable from here on out. Put em in your bank in case you ever want to make a mage or something.
Intellect is, and always will be, King for priests. Pick up whatever you can wear with the most intellect on it as you’re leveling.

For secondary stats, Shadow priests priorities are Sprirt (enough to avoid OoM) > Hit (to cap) > Haste > Mastery > Crit.
If you’ve spec’d into Twisted Faight (and you should have) Spirit gets converted into hit so it’s a win-win. Once you have enough mana to stay a float, start looking at haste.

For Holy, keep pounding spirit. Chances are high you will need it while leveling. After that, it’s haste or mastery, Your choice. Both are about the same, just make sure whatever you have also has spirit. Beggars shouldn’t be choosers leveling since the gear will be replaced soon.


At level 81, you get Mind Spike. This spell is awesome. For trash mobs or questing, throw 2 or 3 of these out (and a Mind Blast if needed) to get the enemy under 25%, then finish them off with a SW: Death. Keep in mind that a Mind Spike will remove at DoTs you have on the enemy you cast it on, so cast Mind Spike first.

For enemies with more HP:

  • 1 ) Mind Blast over 70% mana on CD
    2 ) Shadow Word: Pain
    3 ) Devouring Plague
    4 ) Vampiric Touch
    5 ) Archangel at 5 stacks of Evengelism (if you spec’d into it) on CD
    6 ) Shadow Word: Death (enemy under 25% HP)
    7 ) Shadow Fiend (if you need mana)
    8 ) Mind Blast
    9 ) Mind Flay


  • Attacking/Questing:
    Be in Chakra: Chastise state
    1) Holy Fire on CD
    2) Power Word: Shield (keep up)
    3) Smite
  • Healing/Dungeons:
    Be in Chakra: Serenity. If the group is taking a lot of damage (not just tank) switch to Chakra: Sanctuary.
    1) Roll Renew on the tank.
    2) Heal most of the time. Low mana cost, so you can use this often to keep people topped up.
    3) Circle of Healing on CD for AoE. This spell is great for the mana cost.
    4) Greater Heal when needed
    5) Holy Word: Serenity/Flash Heal on burst damage
    6) Prayer of Healing versus larger AoE damage.

How To Spend Your Time

Quest as Shadow. This is going to be your best bet for ridding yourself of WotLK gear when you first start up, and has a better flow than dungeons. Dungeons will be good for Justice Points (JP) but I’d suggest sticking to questing until at least 83 or until you’re through Mount Hyjal.

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