FEEDBACK: Priest Class Changes

After my last post I decided I also wanted to weigh in a little bit about Holy Priest single target healing and survivability in M+. This isn’t super in depth just some basic stuff.

Currently, Holy Priest doesn’t do too bad in M+. But the sad part is…that has nothing to do with our own abilities. Throughout BFA we relied on things like Resounding Protection from Azerite traits or Versatility corruption stacking to be able to survive and be viable for high keys. As for single-target healing, we really only have Serenity. It’s a very long CD that either forces us to not do any damage so we can spam Heal/Flash Heal to get it back up, or we have to rely on on-use externals given to us through trinkets (think Mirror of Entwined Fate from BoD) and Azerite Essences such as Void Conduit or Spirit of Preservation.

Flash Heal and Heal don’t do nearly enough healing up front, and while Echo is great for helping keep a raid from dying, it’s not very useful for the frequent high damage you experience in M+.
I would suggest increasing the potency of Heal and Flash Heal at least, I’m not sure why their power gain is tied to conduits and legendaries instead of simply being useful baseline. I’m also going to repeat what I said in my last post - make Smite and Holy Fire reduce Serenity and Sanctify CDs so we are not punished more than other healers for trying to contribute damage. Not being able to access Serenity for a full minute because we chose to DPS instead feels really bad and makes us a very undesirable healer for M+. Imagine if Druid Swiftmend was a 1min CD, or if shapeshifting increased Swiftmend’s CD.
The changes to Guardian Spirit I mentioned in my previous post would also help us in M+:

Our survivability should be looked into as well. Desperate Prayer isn’t nearly enough to help us survive the frequent high damage from M+. And Focused Will isn’t exactly useful in most cases - if the tank loses aggro, pretty sure Focused Will isn’t going to save us. It IS handy for adds that fixate, but still seems very weak in comparison to what other cloth classes have available. I am thinking maybe give us Inner Fire back in some form, either with the stacks like in Classic, or a flat Armor increase like in Cata. We need something to make up for being the only cloth class without some form of mitigation.


I think it would be better for the spec to simply remove the holy word CDR mechanic entirely and just give serenity and sanctify a 10 second baseline cooldown. That way you can balance all the baseline spells without having to factor in the “what if they use this to reduce the cooldown!” aspect.

Serenity used to be a 10 second cooldown a long time ago, I think that makes sense. Sanctify didn’t exist at the time since we had sanctuary on a 40s CD, but Sanctuary was a much larger heal. Sanctify on a 10 second CD would make sense, or they could give back a larger AoE spell on a 40s CD. We did have chakras back then, but I don’t think you’d need to bring that back.

They can leave the CDR aspect in Apotheosis and just make all relevant spells reduce the CDs by 5 seconds so you can do cast cast holy word during the cooldown still. This would basically be the same thing they just did with shadow. Remove a clunky baseline mechanic and stick some of it into a talented optional CD.

If they want to have more flavor in the holy spec (which is probably what they think the holy word mechanic does even though it’s really bad at it), bring back things like the old serendipity baseline, which were always more fun to play around than the current holy word mechanic anyway. The holy word mechanic as it is actually holds the spec back where some of our older mechanics actually felt good to use.


When you heal with Binding Heal or Flash Heal, the cast time of your next Heal or Prayer of Healing spell is reduced by 20% and mana cost reduced by 20%. Stacks up to 2 times. Lasts 20 sec.

Also, after removing that mechanic, we’d have even more reason to ditch boring things like the light of the naaru talent in favor of much more fun things like divine insight. Divine insight was one of our more fun talents.

Your Heal and Prayer of Healing have a 40% chance to make your next Prayer of Mending not trigger its cooldown and jump to each target instantly.

If all that is too much for them to consider this close to release, a simple alternative for how weak flash/heal feel would be to make any spell that would reduce a holy words CD have X% increased healing if you cast it while that holy word is already off CD.

Also, give us back divine insight regardless because it’s a lot of fun and will play nicely with other PoM talents.


Friendly reminder that The Penitent (legendary) and Contrition are still not going to see any play going into Shadowlands without some kind of buff or small rework.



I second and add castigation, divine star, shield discipline and cauterizing shadows (legendary) to the list of tools unlikely to see any play.


So if I’m reading this correctly, shadow word death has had the following affects applied in this patch for discipline:
32% damage aura reduction
6% baseline spellpower reduction
15% execute spellpower reduction
33% increased mana cost
Removed legendary interaction outside of execute.

At this point we could use some clarification of some thought process. This is a little extreme considering the relative strength of the spell.


A test spell for Unholy Nova showed up in some data mining. We wanted to clarify that currently Unholy Nova is not being changed. We’ve heard feedback that being forced into melee range to use this spell is restrictive, particularly when using abilities like Shadow Crash which have a minimum range. This is something we’re looking to address, however this prototype version that was data mined is still in development and not something we are looking for feedback on at this time.

1 Like

A test spell for Unholy Nova showed up in some data mining. We wanted to clarify that currently Unholy Nova is not being changed. We’ve heard feedback that being forced into melee range to use this spell is restrictive, particularly when using abilities like Shadow Crash which have a minimum range. This is something we’re looking to address, however this prototype version that was data mined is still in development and not something we are looking for feedback on at this time.

Thanks for the info! I was a little surprised by that, but I’m glad that you’re taking a look at the melee range requirement of Unholy Nova.

While you’re at it, can you take a look at the melee range requirement of the Kyrian ability as well? Boon of the Ascended is only useful if there are enemies near you to get hit by Ascended Nova and the big burst at the end, the range is just as punishing as Unholy Nova. It can be as simple as hitting aoe around the target and otherwise function the same, but currently having to move into melee range feels bad.


It’s actually even more so, being 8 yards compared to unholy nova’s 15. Though since the ability has a significantly different use style / flavour I think it’s “passable” with the range it has, the issue is more that it generates no insanity and replaces our casted filler spell with something that has a cooldown, forcing us to use the nova to fill gaps on single target that we wouldn’t otherwise have.

It’s also worth noting a general lack of interaction with the shadow kit, ascendant blast having no ability to proc dark thoughts, makes it almost feel worse to lose access to mind flay.


I’ll have some more detailed feedback on these legendary changes that we’ve seen on this build, as well as comprehensive feedback on shadow as a whole written up tomorrow. However, some quick thoughts…

  • It’s wonderful to see genuine aoe interaction in shadow’s legendaries now
  • the new shadowflame prism feels more interactive, skill testing, and ultimately interesting compared to a flat damage or cooldown reduction.
  • This might be an understatement, but the shadowflame prism legendary is currently obscenely overtuned.

Not a fan of completely deleting the SW:D legendary from the game.

edit: This post was made before I saw the -32% damage aura on SW:D. What’s the purpose behind nerfing the mana cost, damage and the atonement condition at the same time?

Why does this effect even exist as a legendary now? Surely at this power level this could just be baseline and it would be balanced.


Some quick thoughts on today’s build.

Shadow Word: Death was nerfed. Not quite sure why, but this makes the already unappealing legendary Painbreaker Psalm less appealing.

While I appreciate some of the legendaries are being redesigned to accommodate for AoE capability, Shadowflame Prism’s changes are resulting in pretty unhealthy interactions. For starters, it necessitates taking the Mindbender talent, which removes any choice on the lvl 45 row when it is equipped. It is also the only legendary which synergizes with the Covenant system, i.e. conduits and the Night Fae Covenant ability Fae Guardians. While this was also the case with the original design of Shadowflame Prism, it did not hold so much weight compared to the others. This change to the legendary leads me to speculate that Night Fae will be the dominant choice for any AoE content (such as Mythic+).

I mourn the death of Twins of the Sun Priestess, though. Because none of Shadow’s legendaries previous to this build actually had any AoE benefit, I would run Twins when doing keys. I enjoyed casting Power Infusion on a member of my party, because I also received the benefit. Without the legendary, however, this experience cannot be reproduced.

I am glad that Unholy Nova is being looked into, but I implore for Boon of the Ascended and Mind Games to also be looked into for Shadow Priest. I greatly enjoy the design of Boon of the Ascended, however, it does not feel satisfying enough for me on a 3minute cooldown. If my rotation is to be replaced for a short while, which I think can be perfectly OK design, then it should make me feel powerful enough that I accept that sacrifice. It currently does not.


Kiss of Death - SW:D being introduced as an optional healing ability was great. Why revert that decision?

Early in beta SW:D was definitely too powerful given its damage and lack of a mana cost. Since then we’ve seen frequent spellpower nerfs (deserved) plus the addition of a mana cost, and now a mana cost increase, ostensibly to bring it in-line given the legendary effect. Yet all of those changes were leading up to the legendary being essentially removed in the end. Kind of confusing.

Even in SW:D’s initial state, a legendary that makes the spell not dead for 20% (for simplicity’s sake) of an encounter is not very appealing. Surely it’s possible to tune it so that its unconditional atonement interaction can stay.


Shadow Word Death seems to hit like a limp noodle now. It’s back to the state where its hard to time to kill the mob again. A sliver of health, hit SW:D - nope it’s still alive and now I’ve taken damage.

Given this spell has a cooldown and damages you if you fail, it should do more damage then this.

(I’m guessing it got nerfed because of Disc and the legendary - but that’s a bit cruel to do to holy and shadow isnt it?)


Here is my overall feedback / suggestions.
Mostly aimed at Shadow as that’s where most of my experience is with.

Table of contents

  • Shadow

    • Mastery
    • Talents
    • Global Cooldown
    • Unpruning
    • Problems / Issues
  • Holy

    • Talents
  • Covenants

    • Class Ability
    • Wishlist / My approach
  • Appearance changes

    • Glyphs
    • Casting Animation
    • Sound Effects



My attempt to fix / increase the proc chance on Dark Thoughts.

  • Devouring Plague

    • Add a baseline chance for the damage over time effect of Devouring Plague to proc Dark Thoughts (10-20%).
  • Shadow Fiend

    • Add a baseline chance to proc Dark Thoughts upon each hit (30-100%).
    • Add a baseline proc chance for Holy and Disc to do something like the following…
      • Instant cast Heal(s)
      • Empowered Heal(s)
      • Add/recharge a charge of a healing/absorb spell
      • Add debuff to target Shadowfiend is attack that when you attack it, it consumes debuff to do extra damage and 100% of that damage heals group.


  • Physic Horror (Move to PvP Talent)

    • Replace with Dominate Mind
      • This will add a great addition / add utility in order to be the “reason” to bring a Priest to M+.
      • Warlocks have Enslave Demon that works similar in that they can both take out 1 mob and increase power and/or have that mob tank or “remove” a mob from beating on your group tank.

Dominant Mind (Talent)
You may also control your own character while Mind Control is active, but Mind Control has a 2 min cooldown, and it may not be used against players.

  • Mind Bomb

    • Either revert back to being a Area of Effect (AoE) stun or remove the talent and replace this instead with Dominate Mind.
      • It seems really bad in that it replaces your Physic Scream and it only acts like an AoE interrupt at best.
  • Twist of Faith

    • This feels just slightly weaker compared to the other 2 options. I think the damage should be 15% and activate on both healing/damage.
  • Surrender to Madness (Remove)

    • I personally think having 2 DPS Cooldown in Void Eruption (Voidform) and an additional one in the form of S2M causes balance issues as well as just being annoying in the “might die” aspect.
    • Instead, I would like an option to “opt out” of a “self empowering” DPS cooldown altogether for a more “consistent” playstyle.
  • Thought Devourer (Replaces Surrender to Madness)

    • You gain an additional charge of Mind Blast while an enemy is afflicted with Devouring Plague. Devouring Plague has a 20% chance to proc Dark Thoughts with its damage over time effect.
      • This makes it so you have a more consistent damage playstyle that also fun to play and just makes what you normally do outside of Voidform better.
  • Legacy of the Void

    • Frankly, I never enjoyed the “decaying” resource mechanic that Voidform was in Legion-BFA. But I also see that it still has issues. I cant offer much advise to “fix” it in its current state, but what I can do is show how I would “fix” it if Shadow Orbs was our resource mechanic as well as doing my best to compare Shadow Orbs vs Insanity and why I think Shadow Orbs is the better system. (See link).
      Iconic Shadow Priest abilities
    • TL;DR To fix LOTV, I would make Mind Blast and Void Bolt (maybe other spells) extend the duration of Voidform by 2 sec each time they are used. What this does is make it so Devouring Plague no longer competes with LOTV with resources as LOTV is a fixed duration that can be extended on button press in adding seconds instead of draining resources.

Global Cooldown

  • Vampiric Embrace (Take off GCD)

    • Death Knights Vampiric Blood is off the GCD. They are similar in functionality except that Vampiric Embrace affects more then just the player. I don’t personally think that is what should hold it back from not being off the GCD. It does no damage in of itself and that seems to be the major reasoning as to why things are on or off the GCD.


  • Spectral Guise (Talent (Replace Intangibility))
    • Either back in the form it was in MoP-WoD or give Fade baseline or with PvP / Conduit etc. the affect it has in Torghast where it makes a clone of you. But grant the short duration stealth capability
  • Dispel Magic (debuff from [Help] targets)
    • I miss being a “Priest” in that I can dispel magic on myself and allies instantly (without having to use massive mana pool and AOE dispel with Mass Dispel). So if its too strong for a DPS spec to magic dispel allies, then at least we should have it as a self dispel.
  • Flash Heal
    • I want Flash Heal (Holy) school instead of Shadowmend so I can do something else besides Power Word: Shield when I get interrupted.
      • Have it so it takes you out of Shadowform like it used to and then bake in the damage reduction back into Shadowform instead of the passive buff you get from being attacked. This creates the risk/reward kiss/curse affect that worked find for over a decade.
  • Masochism
    • Make Shadow Word: Death backlash damage grant you 10-30% mana. This makes it so you can spot heal a bit and use SW:D to get a bit more mana to keep it up a bit more if needed.
  • Prayer of Mending
    • I loved using Prayer of Mending and then going back into Shadowform and bouncing PROM with SW:D. That with PW:S, Vampiric Embrace and Flash Heal spam… I could keep up my group all the while doing good DPS. I want this feeling / playstyle back. It was great in 5 mans and PvP.
  • Pain and Suffering
    • Make Shadow Word: Death have a reduced damage backlash. This talent gave 60% or use Tier 13 2 set bonus for 90%. Self explanatory, but this is a problem now, and will become a bigger one as gear improves and on all fights where the target takes increased damage % thus 1 shotting ourself.

Problems / Issues

  • Devouring Plague

    • Devouring Plague damage over time effect stacking / reapplication of new Devouring Plague on top of existing Devouring Plague.
      • I suggest one of the following changes when applying of Devouring Plague on a target that currently has Devouring Plague on it.
        • Make the previous Devouring Plague Damage over Time (DoT) effect “Detonate” the remaining DoT damage upon application of new Devouring Plague.
        • Make the Damage over Time (DoT) effect “Ignite” so that the remaining ticking damage is greater number per tick but keep the same length / duration of ticks (excluding the pandemic DoT extension system mechanic).



  • Psychic Voice Talent (Make baseline)
    • Replace with Dominate Mind.
      • Same reason for Shadow. This will allow all 3 specs to bring that “thing” in that we can hard CC a Humanoid Mob in addition to Shackling undead.


Class Ability

  • Venthyr
    • Mind Games
      • I would have liked something similar to Exsanguinate that the Flagellant has in Darkest Dungeon.
    • Exsanguinate (Replace Mind Games)
      • Drains the target of blood, causing X dmg and healing yourself for X% HP. Only usable if you are below X% HP. 45 sec cooldown.
        • It would be like a warriors execute where you can only use when your Health is low but it will be instant cast and do massive damage while also healing you to full or a lot. You can also have conduits that extend healing to group.
          See links below for reference.

          Shadow rework feels terrible

Here are my ideas to “improve” Kyrian and Necrolord Class ability.

  • Kyrian

    • Boon of the Ascended
    • Draw upon the power of the Ascended for 10 sec, granting you access to Ascended Blast, replacing
      • Shadow
        • Mind Flay
      • Discipline, Holy
        • Smite
    • Ascended Blast
      • After each successful Ascended Blast, grant an additional charge of (abilities), lasts 6 sec.
      • Shadow
        • Mind Blast and Shadow Word: Death
      • Discipline, Holy
        • <insert Holy/Disc CD abilities that would be good to get an extra charge of>
    • Developers note:
      • I wanted to give a CD ability that does damage while also granting an additional charge of abilities that you want in a pinch.
  • Necrolord

    • Unholy Nova
    • An explosion of dark energy infects targets within 15 yds with Unholy Transfusion.
    • Unholy Transfusion
      Deals Shadow damage over 15 sec. Allies who damage this target are healed. Any target affected by your Damage Over Time or Healing over time effects will spread the remaining duration to every other respective target type.
    • Developers note:
      • I wanted to give a way to “spread” our DoT & HoT affects so that you can use Unholy Nova as a group/raid defensive/offensive CD. This would benefit each spec and become a compelling choice.

Wishlist / My approach

This is my “wishlist” in how I would have approached Covenants.
The idea is that they would more so fit the “theme” of the covenant and not just a “colored” spell e.g. Kyrian= White/light blue, Necrolords = Green, Night Fae = Blue, Venthyr = Red.

Note: This was mainly from a “Shadow” spec POV.

  • Kyrian

    • Ability

      • Dark Archangel: Some DPS CD similar to what is it was like in Cataclysm.
    • Utility

      • Leap of Faith: Now able to use on yourself that would grant interrupt immunity and/or damage reduction %.
        • It would give a new visual where a Kyrian appears and picks you up (Like in spires of Ascension) for the duration thus “protecting” you.
  • Necrolords

    • Ability
      • Devouring Plague: Now spreads when enemies are within range (5 yrd) or Damage over Time effect gets stronger each tick (10-30%).
    • Utility
      • Psychic Horror: Is now baseline. In addition, your Psychic Scream applies a Horror effect, Replacing Fear.
  • Night Fae

    • Ability
      • Starshards: Grants an additional Damage over Time (Dot) Affect that heals you for 100% of the damage it deals.
        • Conduits could extend healing to group.
    • Utility
      • Void Shroud: Swap current location with target.
        • This can be used on [Harm] or [Help] enemies to grant a lot more “keep away” utility (Bosses excluded).
  • Venthyr

    • Ability
      • San’layn Thirst: Bite a humanoid, granting you and the target 10% increased damage and healing for 30 sec. Enemy targets will fight by your side for the duration (60 sec cd). Mind control lasts 10 sec on enemy players.
    • Utility
      • San’layn: Is now baseline. In addition, you passively heal for 10% of all damage and healing done.

Appearance changes


  • Shadowform
    • Classic / Vanilla Shadowform appearance
  • Dark Archangel
    • Wings either all the time or when Devouring Plague and/or Void Form is used.

Casting Animation

I miss my racial casting animations. Can we have a toggleable setting to pick what we want?

  • Race Toggle
  • Class Toggle

Sound Effects

Just like we could/can change the “graphic model” of in game character avatars, can we change Sound Effects that spells make?

  • Shadowform
    • I like Old Classic / Vanilla WoW Shadowform sound

Tbh yes, I would be happy with SWD hitting with atonement at a lower power lvl then need a legendary to make it happen.


I think my issue at this point is that Shadow Word: Death only does damage. And with consecutive nerfs to the spec, it is apparent the devs do not want it to do too much damage. It has no interaction for any spec baseline. I don’t understand how an ability can be compelling to use if it only does a modest amount of damage. Sure the damage reflect is thematic, but it does nothing to make the ability interesting (except in PvP).

I think an elegant solution would be for every Priest spec to have a special interaction with Death when used below its execute threshold. Obvious candidates are Atonement for Discipline and Dark Thoughts for Shadow, and I am sure that Holy has some mechanic that could be used as well.

Of course if this were the case, then the Kiss of Death legendary effect would be rendered moot, so maybe another legendary re-design is in order?


With today’s changes, Disc’s only interesting and potent legendary is now dead. This seems to follow the standard practice of nerfing something good instead of acknowledging that it’s a must pick because everything else is horrible.

Hopefully further iteration on the other legendary effects will make them worth taking instead of forcing a choice by nerfing the only actually good one.


This takes Discipline down to only 1 viable legendary whatsoever in the rapture legendary.

None of them at this point are interesting and stimulating effects whatsoever, and it feels like we’re going for another situation just like BFA, where our best effects are just going to be the Shadow ones from a purely number perspective.

I really encourage you to un-nerf Kiss of Death, and look towards making some of these others interesting in ways that add new aspects to the spec because right now it’s the only one that meaningfully changes the game.


Yeah I agree. My feedback on “Kiss of Death and Rapture being the best by far” wasnt me asking for one of them to be gutted into oblivion and leaving us with one and only one option for our spec. I dont want a repeat of death throes. I dont want to be forced into using Shadow legendaries for Disc.

Please buff or rework the other legendaries and make them relevant.


Apparently for mythic plus the shadow, mind bender leggo might be useful, but I always intended to go for the rapture leggo in raids, since mana always seems to be an issue for me