Priest Class Changes in Dragonflight

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A new WoW expansion is getting closer and closer to its release on November 28. Each build makes it easier to speak about various class changes and suggest firm predictions on Dragonflight meta. This text will cover crucial Priest abilities changes.

Priest Class Tree

The revamp of the talent system in the new expansion leads to the emergence of two separate trees for class and specialization. One tree contains basic class talents which are accessible in every spec. And another one — those that belong only to a particular specialization.

Players have 31 points to spend in the class tree and 30 points in a spec one. These restrictions will make players choose a limited number of skills and traits by holding more or less to the right, middle, or left branches. One more feature to remember is that talents placed in octagons must always be chosen out of two options.

The very preview of the talent system hints that all Priest specs will receive many new combinations because some spells will become generic. For instance, the Shadowfiend will become available to Holy players. As well as the Twist of Fate passive, which was removed from Holy spec in Legion expansion. And the former Holy and Discipline second-tier talent Angelic Feather appears in the class tree due to Priest changes.

There are particularly new basic talents in the class tree too. The Power Word: Life at the bottom of the left branch works like a sort of healing execution. Many spells and traits in WoW have effects that increase the character’s damage to the target if its HP is 35% or lower. But this spell increases the character’s healing by 400% if it’s cast on a heavily injured target and also has a lower cooldown in that case. And the Twins of the Sun Priestess is not actually fresh. It’s a former Legendary effect from Shadowlands, which makes it possible for you to buff yourself when you increase someone’s haste with the Power Infusion. But it being at the middle of the new Priest talent tree makes it convenient to take in any build of any spec.

The Tithe Evasion at the edge of the right branch reduces the damage you take from your Shadow Word: Death, and sometimes this buff is necessary for any spec. The Unwavering Will trait at the bottom of the left branch buffs you depending on your current specialization but always only if you have more than 75% HP. The former Soulbind Conduit Translucent Image that decreases damage taken while you are under the Fade effect is here too. As you see, the Priest talent tree also receives many simple but essential passives in Dragonflight.

Shadow Changes

Despite having more than enough attention in Shadowlands, Shadow Priest receives some changes in Dragonflight too. Once again, it gives a chance to the Mind Flay and Mind Sear spells to create the Void Tendril or the Void Lasher. These gifts of the C’Thun help you by damaging your target and giving you a bit of insanity. The Idol of N’Zoth returns the Echoing Void Priest trait from the 8.3 Corruption system as a talent in Dragonflight. In BfA, that effect damaged in percentage of Priest’s HP, but now it derives only from spell power.

The Idol of Yogg-Saron will call the Thing from Beyond add after you have spammed enemies with one hundred of the Shadowy Apparitions. That add will support you in a fight by producing powerful blasts of Shadow magic. And the Idol of Y’Shaarj is an especially fun trait. Its effect changes depending on the state of the target. But in all the cases, it’s connected with the Shadowfiend ability. Even if somehow the enemy isn’t in any state listed in the talent’s description.

A bunch of other new passives deserve no less attention than the Idols. For example, the Insidious Ire, at the bottom of the right branch. It’s another copy of a former Runecarving Power, but only a little nerfed. The Talbadar’s Stratagem made Mind Blast significantly more painful to the enemy under the effects of the crucial Shadow Priest dots. The Insidious Ire increases that damage by 20/40%, depending on how many points you have put here. Or the Mental Fortitude, an Artifact trait, the effect of which finally returns as a talent after its removal in BfA.

Discipline Changes

The update of Discipline priest talents in Dragonflight makes it possible to simultaneously take the Halo, or the Divine Star and the Purge of Wicked abilities. Previously all three of them were in one talent tier on the level 45, and only one could have been picked. However, the choice between the first two skills still must be made, as these spells are in the octagon in the class tree.

But whatever you choose, it will produce an effective combination with the Shadow Covenant at the middle of the right spec branch. Especially if the last one is empowered with the fresh Twilight Corruption or the Embrace Shadow traits right below it. The first turns the Penance into its dark version, the Dark Reprimand when you are under the Covenant’s effect. And the second just prolongs the Covenant’s duration.

The Light’s Wrath is one of the talents that return to Discipline priests due to the changes of Dragonflight. It used to be an ability granted with the equipment of the eponymous Artifact staff in Legion. As back then, it blasts the enemy with a big amount of radiant damage. Which is 10% bigger for each ally under your Atonement effect. By the way, the Atonement is now also cast via the Flash Heal but not applied with the Shadow Mend.

Holy Changes

The Holy Priest tree won’t receive many new skills in Dragonflight. The Empyreal Blaze is a pleasant fresh burst that makes Holy Fire even more powerful. With only 30 seconds of cooldown, your three following casts of Holy Fire will be instant, won’t spend any mana, and won’t have CD. And the duration of the DoT effect from the spell extends with each next cast. That will beautifully stack with other traits that empower this spell. Like the Burning Vehemence, which effect increases Fires damage by 25%. (In earlier Dragonflight builds, the trait also included a reduction of cooldown, but it would be too OP.)

At the end of the middle branch, you can find a former Runecarving Power Divine Image. The effect of the talent doesn’t differ from the original. It grants a chance that after any of the Holy Words, your other spells will be repeated by the summoned Naaru. But now you will have to choose between this familiar and powerful trait and — the Divine Word ability. It contains effects which are very similar to the Chakras which were removed in Legion. And in some game situations, this choice can become really hard.

Finally, some changes brought to the life of the Holy Priest can be found within the class tree. One of the possible examples is the effect of another Shadowlands legendary that became a passive at the bottom of the middle generic talents branch. The Crystalline Reflection can become one more reason for the player of this spec not to forget about the Power Word: Shield. Because with this trait, it will receive a good supporting healing effect. And the reflection of the enemy’s damage will make it especially suitable in PVP.

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