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Spiritual Guidance: The 20 - 40 grind

Matt Low

Every Sunday (usually), Spiritual Guidance will offer practical insight for priests of the holy profession. Your host is now Matt Low, the grand poobah of World of Matticus and a founder of PlusHeal, a new healing community for all restorative classes. For the next few weeks (unless it's something game breaking), Matt will do his best to guide you through the Priest leveling process!

Congratulations! You've made it past the initial hump of the first 20 levels in the game! Great job getting this far. I personally know of a few players who gave on the way to 20 because it was "too hard". If you're on a PvP server, break out the stress ball. Be prepared to get rocked on the road to end game (especially as a Priest).

Location, location, location!

Where do you level at this point? When I finished wrapping up Loch Modan and Westfall, it made sense for me to hoof it all the way to Redridge Mountains and start all the quests in Lakeshire (as Alliance). Horde Priests will probably want to visit Stonetalon and Ashenvale before bouncing to Hillsbrad and Arathi Highlands. After that, I hopped down to Duskwood and bounced back and forth between that and Wetlands in order to push 30.

After that, a zone of interest is the race track in Thousand Noodles Needles. You can start leveling up with Nesingwary's quests in Stranglethorn. Arathi, Desolace, Hillsbrad and Alterac Mountains will be other level 30+ zones that you can cut through.


And when you do push 30, look what you have access to! You can pick yourself a brand spankin' new mount to play with. Remember, as this is your first mount, don't expect to be kicking up dust and smoke and leaving opposing faction players in your dust.

Leveling Toys

Level 22: Perhaps the first fun spell Priests get is Mind Vision. Honestly, you're not going to get a whole lot of practical use. It does have near-unlimited range and it's great for finding the flag carrier in Warsong Gulch. Shadow also awards a new rank of Mind Blast whereas Holy offers more with new ranks of Smite, Resurrection, and Heal.

Level 24: We get access to Mana Burn! This is one of our staple PvP spells against casters at the end game level. For now, it won't serve much of a purpose as it's useless against mobs without mana. Even then, against mobs with mana, you're better off brute forcing them with Smite and other such spells. Holy Fire rank 2 is up for training from the Holy Tree. Won't useful yet until the expansion.

Level 26: Nothing special aside from new ranks for Flash Heal, Renew, and Shadow Word: Pain.

Level 28: A spell I failed to highlight is Mind Flay. Great spell for Shadow Priests everywhere. It's a channeling spell so you have to sit still while you use it. I suspect it's a primary form of DPS for our leveling Shadowy brethren. Regardless, rank 2 is right here for you to snap up.

Level 30: You get to buy a new mount! Whoo hoo! You also get your first AoE heal in the form of Prayer of Healing. It's a great spell to use if your entire party took a large hit. Expect to use it frequently in certain end game situations. Talents like Holy Reach and Healing Prayers will will affect both the range and the cost of the spell.

The Shadow tree gives you two new spells in the form of Mind Control certain mobs and even players. Although you can't use their spells and abilities, you can still throw them off of cliffs (very handy in Arathi Basin). The second spell you get is a protective ward called Shadow Protection which grants you the ability to partially or outright resist incoming Shadow based damage and effects.

Depending on how you talent, you can also snap up Divine Spirit which will help your mana regeneration rate slightly. It's not worth getting at this point, however.

Level 32: Abolish Disease another tool in our restorative arsenal. We can use it to get rid of certain diseases from players. Coupled with Dispel, the only types of debuffs we can't remove are curses and poisons.

Level 34: This level marks the last time we get to train Heal. It also marks the first time we get access to Levitate: A fun spell that lets us float off the ground.

Level 36: Your Dispel just got a whole lot more uber. Instead of removing 1 effect, now it will remove 2 effects at the same time. Otherwise, your Power Word: Fortitude and Shield gets a slight boost. Shadow side sees an increase to Mind Flay.

Level 38: Nothing flashy at level 38 except for updated versions of Flash Heal, Renew, and Smite.

Level 40: You've finally graduated to level 40. Now you can start using the big boy heal in the form of Greater Heal. Get ready to used this spell often as you progress throughout the game. Inner Fire, Mana Burn, and Shackle Undead get slightly stronger (and you are remembering to hit yourself with Inner Fire, right?). Mind Blast, Fade, and Prayer of Healing round out the rest of your upgrades (I guess there's Divine Spirit rank 2).

You're a little over the halfway mark. I've found the 40 – 60 grind to be the worse. Just hang in there. You're almost at the end.

Shameless blog plug

There's not a whole lot of Priest blogs out there and I pay a lot of close attention to the ones that are just starting out. With that, I wanted to point Priests to World of Snarkcraft. It's run by a pair of Blood Elf Priests (Joveta and Seri). For some quick highlights, read Jov's post on Priests and Wrath where she reassures everyone that it's not going to be that bad. Seri offers a lesson on Raid Guild Apping 101.

Looking for tips and tricks for leveling up your mains or alts? Check out our page of WoW Insider Class Leveling Guides!

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