A priest's guide to class romance

It's a troubling yet underpublicized fact that four out of five shadow priests respecced shadow for the first time after experiencing a romantic break-up. Recent studies show that priests are 63% more likely to respec shadow within 72 hours of a break-up, while a separate poll found that 78% of healing priests had seriously considered respeccing to shadow after having an argument with their spouse or significant other. To the tenderhearted healing priest, shadow probably seems like a quick way to steel yourself and mend a broken heart; unfortunately, too few priests realize the two points they're putting into Masochism 'til they're staring down into an empty bottle of Volcanic Potion and wishing they could do the same DPS as a warlock.

The simple way to avoid all these drastic courses of action is, of course, to skip getting your heart broken in the first place. Easier said than done, you think? Perhaps, but knowing the battlefield of love will certainly help you avoid the more obvious pitfalls. Want to know what your best match is? What about your worst? This week, I've got the answers in a special guide to the classes.

Warriors: Rage or passion?

A warrior is without doubt a class that wears its heart on its sleeve. Once stricken with love, warriors will make their feelings obvious to you and everyone around them. Be wary, however; their propensity toward emotional display also comes at a cost -- they do not hide their anger or jealously well. If you're the type of priest who likes to flirt, a warrior probably isn't for you.

Warrior tanks in particular can often be big control freaks. This might come off as overbearing to some priests, while others will find it complements their need for security and stability. Disc priests in particular may have trouble living up to the expectations of a warrior tank, since many prefer a more conventional type of healer and think absorption is extremely improper.

Druids: An unmistakeable wild side

At surface level, druids come off as multifaceted and fickle individuals. Priests who choose to delve below the surface and let themselves get a little entangled, however, will find that druids are remarkably empathetic and surprisingly fun-loving. They are very committed lovers, but their diversity of interests and obsession with self-exploration will often keep them busy and away. If you're not very independent, a druid is probably too much to bear.

Druids and priests come from very different worlds though and may find themselves at odds with one another sometimes. Druids don't like to be tamed by rules or structure, which may test the patience of a priest. Keep an open mind if you want it to succeed.

Death Knights: A plague upon your heart

If you happen to catch the eye of a death knight, you may quickly find yourself showered with gifts and attention. This is because death knights are big on making impressions and winning the respect of people they deem important; as a class, they're intensely focused on proving themselves.

Unfortunately, in the long term, a priest tends to be of fleeting value to the average death knight, who with a little flexibility can heal himself through even the worst-case scenario. Don't expect much more than a short-lived affair with a death knight.

Priests: Like dating your sister

It's always easy to fall in love with yourself. Early on, you'll revel in the common ground you share and find comfort in the complete understanding you have for one another. You'll rant and rave about every little detail together and compare your war stories eagerly. Before long, though, you'll find yourselves bored or exhausted with the other's presence. You may even start to despise each other. And just like that, it'll be over.

Shadow priests won't offer anything different, since most of them are former healers. That said, there are rare instances when you may meet a confident, charming, and well-adjusted shadow priest whose path into the shadow was chosen for all the right reasons. He will most certainly be married.

Paladins: One too many judgements

Just like with loot, paladins know exactly what they want when it comes to love, and they're very adamant about getting it. Coveting an idea of precise specification, they're often very particular about who they court; a lover must match every superficial detail or be willing to shape herself into his rigid mold. It's because of this that priests should be extremely cautious when they're approached by a paladin in a romantic fashion. Paladins frequently misinterpret the gentle nature of a priest as a trait of subservience and become quite the headache when they realize they're mistaken. They are, of course, never at fault for having tehse unrealistic expectations, and would sooner eat their own Hammer of Wrath before they'd consider it.

Shaman: It's elementary

Shaman are creatures of simple needs and desires that won't ask for much and accept what they get. In that sense, they are easy and unfussy lovers, provided things remain constant. Change things around, however, and you'll soon have a storm of emotions to contend with, some of which won't always manifest themselves for you to see. Like their melee rotation, a shaman's emotions are not especially transparent.

As with druids, priests will need to be accepting of a shaman's quirks if they want to pursue something romantic. Shaman are very aware of their surroundings and don't like to venture out of their comfort zone until they're ready. They're also prone to sudden outbursts, which might alarm a priest's more reserved temperament. Despite this, shaman and priests have a very similar outlook on the big picture.

Mages: Your portal to heaven

If your favorite romantic comedy is set in Azeroth, the role of the handsome leading love interest would undoubtedly be played by a mage. This is because mages exhibit many of the traits valued by Hollywood screenwriters, such as intelligence, cleverness, and lightheartedness.

If you're a priest, mages are some of the most charming and attentive lovers you could ever hope for. They will lavish praise upon you and cherish every aspect of your being ... Especially the aspect that casts Power Infusion on them and makes sure they get plenty of heals. That's not to say they're using you, though; they simply love a lover who brings out the best in them. They are touched by simple gestures of thoughtfulness, like bringing them some food and a drink.

Warlocks: Understanding you better with Drain Soul

Warlocks are easily the most misunderstood class in all of Azeroth. Usually thought of as volatile, heartless villains with no compassion for mortal life, warlocks are actually just very philosophical individuals. (Take the time to scope out a warlock's bookshelf and you'll probably find some Nietzsche or Sartre.) Living by such a dramatically different ethos, many warlocks have a difficult time fully connecting with people. Loneliness is a common ailment, though few will take initiative to correct it. Most warlocks are content with their situation in life and fill any voids with the company of demonic familiars.

Self-sufficient as warlocks are, a priest and a warlock can still make a very smart match if the priest is willing to make the first move. Once a relationship blossoms, priests and warlocks tend to stay together for a long time (and not because of the warlock's meddling ... hopefully).

Rogues: Using Backstab to get your attention

Many people think of rogues as loners, when more often than not they're really just shy romantics in search of their one true love. They are incredibly cautious in their approach and prefer to gather as much information about a person as they can before they even consider making a first move. To a rogue, this isn't stalking, since it's not rooted in obsession but rather in a concern for his own safety; most rogues are really scared of getting hurt. Once a rogue is sure his feelings will be reciprocated, he will often take a playful approach to catch the attention of his potential lover. As a priest, you'll ideally be at max HP when this happens.

For most rogue and priest couples, it's the priests who have more trouble committing initially than the rogues. Many priests who fought in Arathi Basin or the Warsong Gulch suffer from post traumatic stress disorder and may find it difficult to relax when a rogue is being playful. In such a situation, try to take it easy; if needed, Kungaloosh is still an acceptable way to restore mana.

Hunters: Feigning more than death

It's not unusual for a priest to find herself smitten with a hunter, especially after being saved by a well-timed Distracting Shot. Hunters are independent and self-sufficient, and surely that fierce loyalty to their animal companions is a sign of what dedicated lovers they'd be, right? Wrong. Unfortunately, hunters only need one thing in life, and it's not you. Expecting anything serious from a hunter is unwise.

That's not to say you can't have fun with a hunter, though. Their flirtatious nature makes them ideal for a few dates or a short-lived liaison; just don't be surprised if he Disengages when things start to get serious.

Come to Spiritual Guidance for the inside line on current healing gear and trinkets, as well as advice for healing in Dragon Soul. Newcomer to the priest class? Look into leveling a healing priest, and consult our guides to Discipline Priest 101 and Holy Priest 101.