Archive for the ‘Talents’ Category

WotLK Priest Survival Guide
November 11, 2008

This Wrath of the Lich King priest survival guide is effectively a continuation on my patch 3.0.2 survival guide.  That post covered things such as new talents, spell changes, healing changes, DPS changes, professions, and glyphs.  This guide will only focus on things new to WotLK.

Please see the patch 3.0.2 guide for information on these other items.

This post is looooong.  Just use the menu and read the parts you’re interested in.  It is meant to give an overview of WotLK for the priest.


Combat Ratings

The conversions of combat ratings into percents and values change depending on your level.  Here is how they change from 70 to 80.


Rating needed to gain +1% hit:

At level 70: 12.62
At level 80: 26.23

The hit caps are still:

Equal in level to the mob: 4% hit is needed to reach the cap
Mob is 1 level higher: 5% hit needed
Mob is 2 levels higher: 6% hit needed
Mob is 3 levels higher (or a boss): 17% hit needed


Rating needed to gain +1% crit:

At level 70: 22.08
At level 80: 45.91

Intellect affects your crit value as well. At level 70, you get +1% crit for every 80 points of intellect you have (0.0125 crit for every point of intellect).  At level 80, it is increased to 166.67 intellect for +1% crit (0.006 crit for every point of int).


Rating needed to gain +1% haste:

At level 70: 15.77
At level 80: 32.79


Resilience is primarily a PvP stat.  For every 1% resilience you have:

  • The chance you will take a critical hit is decreased by 1%.
  • The amount of damage you take when receiving a critical hit is reduced by 2.2%.
  • The amount of damage received from DoTs is reduced by 1%.
  • The amount of mana that is Mana Burned or Mana Drained from you is reduced by 2%.

Rating needed to gain +1% resilience:

Level 70: 39.42
Level 80: 81.97

Mana Regen

The basic formula for mana regen will remain as follows:

5 * BaseRegen * sqrt {Int} * Spi

The “BaseRegen” portion of the expression is a value that changes with level.


At level 70: 0.009327
At level 80: 0.005575


Every class will receive brand-spankin’-new spells in WotLK (at levels 75 and 80).  Priests get a bonus revision to a spell at level 71.  New ranks of old favorites are also available at every level from 70-80.

What’s New?

innerfireInner Fire
This is an old spell with a new trick.  At level 71, we learn rank 8 of this spell which gives us a bonus to spellpower, in addition to its armor benefits.  After this point, it becomes okay to spec for Improved Inner Fire in the disc tree.  The talent increases the spellpower benefits of this buff.  Max rank, learned at level 77, gives us 120 spellpower.  With talents, that’s 174 spellpower.

mindshearMind Sear
At level 75, we learn an AoE damage spell that puts Holy Nova to shame.  Mind Sear is a 5 second channeled AoE that deal damage to all mobs within 10 yards of your target.  It scales well; shadow priests become little AoE machines after gaining this spell.    There aren’t many raid encounters that rely on AoE, but it sure helps with plowing through trash and groups of easy mobs quicker.

divinehymnDivine Hymn
This holy spell, learned at level 80, will incapacitate up to 10 enemies within 15 yards.  While incapacitated (and 3 seconds afterwards), those enemies take 40% less damage.  Divine Hymn also heals you group for medium amount over 6 seconds.  I know this spell seems like a mixed bag, but can be very handy in singly tackling mobs in large multi-mob pulls or as an “oh crap!” button.  It is great in PvP for getting distance on enemies.  It has a six minute cooldown and 1.5 second cast time.

Spell Mana Costs:

Base mana at level 70 is 2,620.  At level 80 it is 3,836.

Discipline %
Dispel Magic 14% 367 537
Divine Spirit 26% 681 997
Fear Ward 3% 79 115
Inner Fire 14% 367 537
Levitate 3% 79 115
Mana Burn 14% 367 537
Mass Dispel 33% 865 1,266
Pain Suppression 8% 210 307
Power Infusion 16% 419 614
Penance 16% 419 614
Power Word: Fortitude 27% 707 1,036
Power Word: Shield 23% 603 882
Prayer of Fortitude 69% 1,808 2,647
Prayer of Spirit 69% 1,808 2,647
Shackle Undead 9% 236 345
Holy %
Abolish Disease 12% 314 460
Binding Heal 27% 707 1,036
Circle of Healing 21% 550 806
Divine Hymn 20% N/A 767
Desperate Prayer 21% 550 806
Flash Heal 18% 472 690
Greater Heal 32% 838 1,228
Holy Fire 11% 288 422
Holy Nova 25% 655 959
Hymn of Hope 0% 0 0
Lightwell 17% 445 652
Prayer of Healing 48% 1,258 1,841
Prayer of Mending 15% 393 575
Renew 17% 445 652
Resurrection 60% 1,572 2,301
Smite 15% 393 575
Shadow %
Devouring Plague 25% 655 959
Fade 15% 393 575
Mind Blast 17% 445 652
Mind Control 12% 314 460
Mind Flay 9% 236 345
Mind Sear 28% N/A 1,074
Mind Soothe 6% 157 230
Mind Vision 3% 79 115
Prayer of Shadow Protection 62% 1,624 2,378
Psychic Scream 15% 393 575
Shadow Protection 31% 812 1,189
Shadow Word: Death 12% 314 460
Shadow Word: Pain 22% 576 844
Shadowfiend 6% 157 230
Shadowform 32% 838 1,228
Vampiric Touch 16% 419 614


Leveling Gear:

Here is a list of items new to Northrend to help you on your way to 80.  They are listed from best to worst.  Don’t be too eager to get rid of your old gear. If you have gear from raiding or badges it should last you a few levels.


  1. Visage Liquification Goggles | Engineering BoP, level 72
  2. Shroud of Temptation | Drak’Tharon Keep quest, level 75
  3. Gaze of the Punishing Construct | Sholazar Basin quest, L77
  4. Medic’s Hood | Zul’Drak quest, level 76
  5. Duskweave Cowl | Tailoring BoE, level 75
  6. Feathers of the Dragon Wastes | Dragonblight quest, level 74
  7. Soothsayer’s Hood | Zul’Drak quest, level 77
  8. Cowl of the Purifier | Sholazar Basin quest, level 77
  9. Argent Skullcap | Icecrown quest, level 79
  10. Ethereal Hood | Grizzly Hills quest, level 73


  1. Choker of Betrayal | Zul’Drak quest, level 76
  2. Blood Sun Necklace | Jewelcrafting BoE, level 75
  3. Pendant of Shadow Beams | Violet Hold: Zuramat, level 76
  4. Raine’s Choker of Combustion | Zul’Drak: Claw of Har’koa,L76
  5. Amulet of the Tranquil Mind | Utgarde Keep quest, level 71
  6. Crystal Citrine Necklace | Jewelcrafting BoE, level 70
  7. Choker of Binding | Sholazar Basin quest, level 77
  8. Mark of the Spider | BoE World Drop
  9. Amulet of Constrained Power | Utgarde Keep quest, level 71
  10. Neckcharm of Mighty Mojo | Zul’Drak quest, level 77


  1. Shroud of Dedicated Research | Kirin Tor: Honored Rep, L78
  2. Polished Protodrake Cloak | Sholazar Basin quest, level 77
  3. Cloak of Azure Lights | Nexus quest, level 71
  4. Volanthius Shroud | PvP: 20k honor, 20 AB marks, level 70
  5. Zoe’s Comforting Cape | BoE World Drop, level 74
  6. Shroud of Akali | Gundrak: Gal’darah, level 78
  7. Oil-Stained Tarp | Grizzly Hills vendor, level 74
  8. Drape of Horticultural Sanitization | Grizzly Hills quest,L74
  9. Mantle of Keristrasza | Nexus quest, level 71
  10. Cloak of Renewed Hope | Sholazar Basin quest, level 76


  1. Duskweave Shoulders | Tailoring BoE, level 77
  2. Mantle of the Intrepid Explorer | Halls of Stone quest,L78
  3. Fur-Lined Shoulders | Storm Peaks quest, level 78
  4. Mantle of Thwarted Evil | Ahn’Karet quest, level 76
  5. Mantle of Echoing Bats | Ahn’Karet: Herald Volazj, L76
  6. Soothsayer’s Shoulderpads | Zul’Drak quest, level 76
  7. Charlotte’s Chastizing Paul. | Drak’Tharon: Bat Rider, L76
  8. Furred Worgslayer Spaulders | Grizzly Hills quest,level 75
  9. Spaulders of the Runeseeker | Sholazar Basin quest, L77
  10. Spaulders of Foresight | Grizzly Hills quest, level 75


  1. Vestments of Dun Niffelem | Storm Peaks, level 79
  2. Black Duskweave Robe | Tailoring BoE, level 78
  3. Embroidered Gown of Zul’Drak | Gundrak: Slad’ran, L77
  4. Robes of Novos | Drak’Tharon Keep: Novos, level 75
  5. Pigment-Stained Robes | Kalu’ak honored, level 76
  6. Duskweave Robe | Tailoring BoE, level 76
  7. Specially-Treated Robe | Grizzly Hills quest, level 74
  8. Robe of the Conquered Prophet | Zul’drak quest, L78
  9. Stained Coop Warmer | Sholazar Basin quest, level 77
  10. Lifewarden Raiment | Sholazar Basin quest, level 77


  1. Shameful Cuffs | Drak’Tharon Keep quest, level 74
  2. Cracklefire Wristguards | BoE World Drop, level 77
  3. Rune Giant Bindings | BoE World Drop, level 77
  4. Bindings of the Bastille | BoE World Drop, level 75
  5. Wastewind Bracers | Dragonblight quest, level 72
  6. Wraps of the Sen’layn | Utgarde Keep quest, level 71
  7. Black Dustweave Wristwraps | Tailoring BoE, level 78
  8. Bindings of the Forceful Vanquisher | DB quest, L73
  9. Bloodbinder’s Wrist Wraps | Zul’Drak quest, level 77
  10. Soothsayer’s Wristwraps | Zul’Drak quest, level 77


  1. Muddled Crimson Gloves | Revered Frenzyheart, L78
  2. Light Blessed Mittens | Tailoring BoE
  3. K3 Surgeon’s Gloves | Storm Peaks quest, level 78
  4. Gloves of the Banished Infliction | A-N quest, L74
  5. Grips of the Giant-Rider | Zul’Drak quest, L76
  6. Time-Twisted Wraps | Nexus quest, level 71
  7. Duskweave Gloves | Tailoring BoE, level 76
  8. Soothsayer’s Handwraps | Zul’Drak quest
  9. Gloves of the Blood Prince | Ahn’Karat: Prince, L76
  10. Bloodbinder’s Gloves | Zul’Drak quest, level 77


  1. Shimmering Girdle | BoE World Drop, level 78
  2. Fishy Cinch | Oracles Revered, level 78
  3. Sly Mojo Sash | Gundrak quest, level 78
  4. Mammoth Sinew Cinch | Storm Peaks quest, L78
  5. Sash of the Wizened Wyrm | Wyrmrest honor., L78
  6. Cords of Duplicity | Zul’Drak quest, level 75
  7. Charmed Silken Cord | Azjol-Nerub: Anub., L75
  8. Wrap of the Vigorous Destruction | DB, L73
  9. Braided Bat Sinew | Zul’Drak quest, level 76
  10. Forseer’s Girdle | Grizzly Hills quest, level 75


  1. Trousers of the Arakkoa | Violet Hold: Erekem,L77
  2. Black Dustweave Leggings | Tailoring BoE, level 78
  3. Soiled Trousers | Zul’Drak quest, level 75
  4. Conferred Pantaloons | Violet Hold quest, level 77
  5. Kilt of Deific Torment | Grizzly Hills quest, level 75
  6. Leggings of Mending Fronds | Sholazar Basin, L77
  7. Warchief’s Leggings of Wisdom | Undercity, L74
  8. Stable Master’s Breeches | Drak’Tharon: Dred, 76
  9. Leggings of the Icy Heart | BoE World Drop, L73
  10. Leggings of the Fastidious Decapitation | ZD 76


  1. Fur-Lined Moccasins | Gundrak, level 76
  2. Killix’s Silk Slippers | Azjol-Nerub quest, L74
  3. Boots of the Howling Wind | StormPeaks, L78
  4. Duskweave Boots | Tailoring BoE, level 77
  5. Sandals of Quick Escape | Grizzly Hills, level 75
  6. Sandals of Mystical Evolution | Nexus, level 71
  7. Sandals of Chaos Resolution | Dragonblight, L73
  8. Jormungar Galoshes | Storm Peaks, level 78
  9. Nimblefoot Moccasins | Sholazar Basin, level 76
  10. Soothsayer’s Sandals | Zul’Drak quest, level 77


  1. Ring of Northern Tears | Jewelcrafting BoE, 78
  2. Ringlet of Repose | Halls of Stone, level 78
  3. Arcane Focal Signet | Gundrak: Moorabi, 76
  4. Savage Titatnium Band | Jewelcrafting BoE, L78
  5. Band of Eyes | Violet Hold: Moargg, level 77
  6. Earthshadow Ring | Jewelcrafting BoE, level 73
  7. Wildfire Band | Jewelcrafting BoE, level 78
  8. Shadowmight Ring | Jewelcrafting BoE, L77
  9. Fetid Loop | Grizzly Hills quest, level 73
  10. Sun Rock Ring | Jewelcrafting BoE, level 70

Level 80 Stat Weights:

How we look at stats now for our gear has greatly changed.  Below are stat weights for various specs/situations (calculated for level 80 players).

  • Disc Healing
    • Spellpower: 0.60
    • Spirit: 0.40
    • Intellect: 0.84
    • Crit: 0.08
    • Haste: 0.48
    • MP5: 1.00
  • Holy Healing
    • Spellpower: 0.60
    • Spirit: 0.54
    • Intellect: 0.74
    • Crit: 0.10
    • Haste: 0.45
    • MP5: 1.00
  • Shadow DPS (courtesy of
    • Spellpower: 1.00
    • Spirit: 0.23
    • Intellect: 0.39
    • Crit: 0.77
    • Haste: 0.79
    • Hit: 1.41
  • PvP:
    • Stamina: 1.5
    • Resilience: 1.0
    • All other stats will vary on your spec, venue of PvP, group composition, and playstyle.

Tier 7 Gear:

Priest T7 gear is just recolored Faith (T3) with better stats.  It drops in the entry-level raids (Naxx and Obsidian Sanctum).  The stats and color of teh gear depend on whether it dropped in a heroic (25-man) raid, or a normal raid (10-man).

Priest Tier 7Look at the image to the right.  On the right side of the image is the priest T7 set from the 10-man version of Naxx. Its items are called “Heroes’ ______ of Faith.”  The set has 5 pieces (head, shoulders, chest, gloves (not shown), and legs (also not shown)).  It is mainly red, gold, and black in color.

The left side of the image depicts priest T7 gear from the 25-man version of Naxx.  Its items are called “Valorous ______ of Faith.”  The set has 5 pieces (head, shoulders, chest, gloves, and legs (not shown)). It is mainly gold, teal, and brown.

Base images of Sean Connery in a dress priest T7 gear are courtesy of MMO Champion

Similar to other tier gear, you purchase the items with tokens that drop from bosses.  Here are where the tokens drop:

  • Head: Kel’Thuzad (Naxx)
  • Shoulder: Loatheb (Naxx)
  • Chest: Four Horsemen (Naxx)
  • Gloves: Sartharion (Ob. Sanctum)
  • Legs:Thaddius (Naxx)

To further confuse issues, if you get a token, you can use it on either the “Healing” version or the “DPS” version of the items.

In total, priests have 4 different version of T7 (DPS:10, DPS:25, Healing:10, Healing:25).

What’s neat is that the set bonuses will work even if you are mixing and matching 10- and 25-man gear.

Set bonuses:

  • T7 Garb of Faith (DPS)
    • 2-piece: Mana cost of Mind Blast reduced by 10%
    • 4-piece: SW:D gains an extra 10% chance to crit
  • T7 Regalia of Faith (healing)
    • 2-piece: Prayer of Mending jumps an additional time
    • 4-piece: Cost of Greater Heal reduced by 5%

Other Raiding Gear:

There are more interesting items that drop in raids.  For lists of the best raiding gear, I recommend the following:

I made a post not too long about how to weigh healing stats.  I don’t have gear lists up yet based off of that post (though I am working on it!). In the meantime, you can see LootRank lists of gear.

Leveling 70-80

General Tips:

  • Gearing: Don’t go out of your way to buy new gear off the AH.  Don’t panic when you aren’t replacing your gear until mid-70s.  We are not going to see a massive gear reset like what we had in TBC.  Go to dungeons if you are eager for upgrades. (See the “Gear” section above for leveling gear new to Northrend.)
  • Talents & Training: You will get new talent points and new spells every level.  Do not forget to get/use them!
  • Grinding vs. Questing vs. Instancing: Quests will give you good xp, money, and faction reputation. Quest-specific mobs will be heavily fought over in the first few weeks of the expansion.  If you hold off on your quests a bit, and focus more on grinding or instancing, you’ll have more to complete at level 80, netting you more gold.
  • Making Money: Focus more on selling things on the AH than hording them.  Demand will be high initially, so it is better to capitalize on the AH early on.  Sell everything!  Cloth and other profession goods will be of particularly high value.  Daily quests remain a good source of income.  Grinding Azerothian mobs that drop runecloth, mageweave, and wool is always a brainless and easy money-maker if you get burnt out competing for mobs in Northrend (people are using the cloth to get exalted with Horde/Alliance factions).

What to Do First:

  • Clean out your bags, bank, and quest log
    Make room!
  • Respec
    See below for recommended leveling specs.
  • Train
    Head to your local priest trainer to learn new spells.
  • Decide where to level
    There are two starter zones: Borean Tundra and Howling Fjord.

    • In Borean Tundra, you’ll encounter tuskarr, kill off crypt fiends, beat back the scourge, deal with D.E.A.H.T.A, and tour the Nexus.
    • Howling Fjord gives you the half-giant Vrykul race, an area decimated by dragons, pirates that need to be put-in-their-place, and the starter dungeon of Utgarde.
    • Which to begin with is a matter of personal preference; there really isn’t a “best.”
    • When I was in the beta, I was finding a higher number of profession resources in Howling Fjord, and as a tailor, I ultimately choose to it for the grindable humanoids and their cloth.  Howling Fjord also has a region scorched with flame, and the new flame effect is something you shouldn’t miss!  That’s just my personal preference; your results may vary.
  • Travel to Northrend
    • To start in Borean Tundra, just take the zeppelin from outside Orgrimmar (horde) or the boat from Stormwind docks (alliance).
    • To get to Howling Fjord, hop a zeppelin from outside Undercity (horde), or a boat from Methenil Harbor (alliance).
  • Train professions
    When arriving in your starter city in Northrend, you can learn the “Grand Master” rank of your professions from trainers in the city.  The cost is 35g each profession.
  • Begin your journey!
    Pick up quests, and get going on leveling!  If you want a step-by-step instructions on how to do so, Jame’s leveing guide is a solid bet.

How to Spec for Leveling:

For leveling in WotLK, I recommend speccing holy.  The reasoning is that this has the potential to have the least downtime combined with a high single-target DPS.  Shadow is still the DPS king, yes, but much of its damage relies on DoTs which do not tick more than 2-3 times before a mob dies, and are high in mana cost (and also Mind Sear at level 75 for AoE).  Shadow does a lot better with taking down multiple mobs at once (pulling a bunch, putting DoTs on all, and burning them down).  However, during the first few weeks of the expansion, competition for mobs will be high and you will have to fight over them with other players.  Speccing for single target pulls (holy) puts you in a better position (and also allows you to heal well in instances!).

As always, you will see the best benefit when you choose the spec that makes you happiest.  Holy is just my recommendation.  Shadow is a good second contender.  Disc is a far third, in my book.  It’s damage just isn’t as strong as shadow or holy.

  • Disc leveling spec:
    A slower, more controlled leveling experience.

    • At level 70, spec: 51/7/3
    • 71-73: Divine Fury
    • 74-75: Aspiration
    • 76-77: Grace
    • 78-80: Inspiration
    • End at: 55/13/3
  • Holy leveling spec:
    Take mobs down in about 10 seconds, and heal well, too!

    • At 70, spec: 14/44/3
    • 71-73: Empowered Healing
    • 74-76: Serendipity
    • 77: Guardian Spirit
    • 78-80: Test of Faith
    • End at: 14/54/3
  • Shadow leveling spec:
    Multi-mob killing machine.

    • At 70, spec: 10/0/51
    • 71: Twisted Faith
    • 72: Inner Focus
    • 73-75: Meditation
    • 76-77: Mind Melt
    • 78-79: Veiled Shadows
    • 80: Imp. Mind Blast
    • End at: 14/0/57

Note About Healing: While leveling in Northrend, you will be able to heal in groups with any of these specs.  Yes, really.  Even shadow.  The instances pretty mild, and appear to be tuned toward having an off-spec tank, off-spec healer, or both in your party.  Healing as holy is pretty easy, healing as disc a little more challenging while leveling, and healing while shadow the most difficult of the three, though it is still pretty straightforward.

Spell Casting Rotations (for leveling):

  • Disc/Holy:
    Holy Fire -> Smite x3 -> Wand or SW:D
  • Shadow:
    VT -> (VE) -> MB -> MF x2 -> Wand or SW:D

Where to Level:

Which to zone to start in is a matter of personal preference.  There really isn’t a “best.”  If one zone ends up too crowded, try the other one.  If you are aiming for the Loremaster achievement, you will need to do both zones at some point regardless.

Northrend has a staggered leveling system with a lot of overlap in zone levels.  This allows you to skip around if you don’t like something, or if a certain zone is too congested.

Level 68-72: Howling Fjord or Borean Tundra
Level 71-73: Dragonblight
Level 73-75: Grizzly Hills
Level 74-75: Crystalsong Forest
Level 75-77: Zul’Drak
Level 75-78: Sholazar Basin
Level 76-80: The Storm Peaks
Level 77-80: Icecrown

Level 74 Note: Dalaran
There is a quest (available from various members of the Kirin Tor) that takes you there at level 74, and a follow-up that allows you to come and go as you please.  You can be ported there by a mage or summoned there by a Warlock prior to level 74.

Level 77 Note: Flying Mounts
You are stuck with using just a ground mount until level 77.  At 77, you can purchase the “Cold Weather Flying” ability in Dalaran (in the flight area) for 1000g.  This allows you to use flying mounts in Northrend.  It makes leveling go much easier.

More information on zones can be found below (see “New Zones”).

Where to Instance:

There are new dungeons at every turn, and a number of quests to send you to each of them.

Level 70-72: Utgarde Keep (Howling Fjord)
Level 71-73: The Nexus (Borean Tundra)
Level 72-74: Azjol-Nerub (Dragonblight)
Level 73-75: Ahn’Kahet (Dragonblight)
Level 74-76: Drak’Tharon Keep (Grizzly Hills)
Level 75-77: The Violet Hold (Dalaran)
Level 76-78: Gundrak (Zul’Drak)
Level 77-79: Ulduar: Halls of Stone (Stormpeaks)
Level 80: Ulduar: Halls of Lightning (Stormpeaks)
Level 80: The Oculus (Borean Tundra)
Level 80: Caverns of Time: Stratholme
Level 80: Utgarde Pinnacle (Howling Fjord)

More Information on Dungeons can be found below (See “New Dungeons”).

New Zones

You can see the official interactive map of all the new zones here.

Howling Fjord

  • Howling FjordLevels: 68-72
  • Geography: Characterized by open plains, dark forests, a rocky bay.  This region is very green.
  • Denizens: Large populations of Vrykul (half-giants), mainly belonging to the Dragonblight clan. Abundance of forest creatures (bears, wolves, etc.).
  • Towns and Flight Points:
    • A: Valgarde – FP
    • A: Explorers’ League Outpost
    • A: Westguard Keep -FP
    • A: Fort Wilderevar – FP
    • H: Vengence Landing – FP
    • H: Ghostblade Post
    • H: New Agamand – FP
    • H: Apothecary Camp – FP
    • H: Camp Winterhoof – FP
    • N: Kamagua – FP
  • Other Travel:
    • H: Vengence Landing -> Tirisfal Glades by zeppelin
    • A: Valgarde  -> Wetlands by boat
    • B: Valgarde / Vengence Landing -> Borean Tundra (by zeppelin / boat)

Borean Tundra

  • Borean TundraLevels: 68-72
  • Geography: Peninsula, with the subregion of Coldarra just off the coast.  The mainland is flat and snowcovered.
  • Denizens: Tuskarr call the Borean Tundra home, as do the Taunka.  Naga, the Blue Dragonflight, and the scourge have also settled here.
  • Towns and Flight Points:
    • A: Valiance Keep – FP
    • A: Fizzcrank Airstrip – FP
    • H: Bor’gorok Outpost – FP
    • H: Warsong Hold – FP
    • H: Taunka’le Villiage – FP
    • N: Amber Ledge – FP
    • N: Transius Shield – FP
    • N: Unu’pe – FP
    • N: D.E.T.H.A Encampment
    • N: Kaskala
    • N: Death’s Strand
  • Other Travel:
    • H: Warsong Hold -> Durotar by zeppelin
    • A: Valiance Keep -> Stormwind by boat
    • B: Warsong Hold / Valiance Keep -> Howling Fjord (by zeppelin / boat)


  • DragonblightLevels: 71-73
  • Geography: This zone is just a deep valley with a single coastline.  It is populated with small wooded areas.  Large dragon bones protrude from the ground. The air hangs thick in a subtle blue haze.
  • Denizens: Large animal populations (spiders, birds, bears. etc.).  Nerubians and other agents of the scourge have settled here.
  • Towns and Flight Points:
    • A: Stars’ Rest – FP
    • A: Fordragon Hold – FP
    • A: 7th Legion Front
    • A: Wintergarde Keep – FP
    • H: Westwind Refugee Camp
    • H: Agmar’s Hammer – FP
    • H: Dragon’s Fall
    • H: Kor’kron Vanguard – FP
    • H: Venomspite – FP
    • N: Wyrmrest Temple – FP
    • N: Moa’ki Harbor – FP
    • N: Light’s Trust – FP
    • N: Dawn’s Reach

Grizzly Hills

  • Grizzly HillsLevels: 73-75
  • Geography: Brown hills and tall trees mark the landscape of Grizzly Hills.  Waterways whimsically cut through the zone.  There is a short coastline to its northeast and southwest.
  • Denizens: An assortment of humanoids share competing interests in Grizzly Hills: Thor Modan dwarves, Ice Trolls, Grizzlemaw Furbolgs, goblins, and worgen, amongst others.
  • Towns and Flight Points:
    • A; Amberpine Lodge – FP
    • A: Westfall Bridgade Camp – FP
    • H: Conquest Hold – FP
    • H: Camp Oneqwah – FP
    • N: Prospector’s Point
    • N: Harkor’s Camp

Crystalsong Forest

  • Crystalsong ForestLevels: 74-75
  • Geography: Stunning white trees made of crystal dot the purple landscape.  Crystalsong Forest is a small zone, and yet is home to the largest city in Northrend: Dalaran (in its northwest).
  • Denizens: Ents, stags, crystalline golems, green dragons, and avian life.
  • Towns and Flight Points:
    • A: Windrunner’s Overlook – FP
    • H: Sunreaver’s Command – FP
    • N: Dalaran – FP


  • Zul'DrakLevels: 75-77
  • Geography: Gundrak, the capital city of the Drakkari, lies in the northeast corner of this zone.  The ground is a hard, dense snow, and the sky is perpetually muddled with clouds.  Zul’Drak is far from being the most temperate of regions.
  • Denizens: Trolls, trolls, more trolls, and even more trolls.  And did I mentione trolls?  Zul’Drak is home to the Drakkari ice trolls who are the vast majority of the population of this zone.  The scourge has infested the western borders of Zul’Drak and are making a stand there.
  • Towns and Flight Points:
    • N: Argent Strand
    • N: Light’s Breach
    • N: Ebon Watch
    • N: Zim’Torga

Sholazar Basin

  • Sholazar BasinLevels: 75-78
  • Geography: Rich, lush green tropical forest thrives in this deep basin.  High cliffs protest this zone from outside influences.  Waterfalls dot its perimeter.
  • Denizens: Exotic and unusual wildlife call Sholazar Basin home.  Hunting camps compete with D.E.H.T.A (druids for the ethical and human treatment of animals) over these creatures.  Sentient races of murlocs and wolves fight against each other in a long-standing rivalry.
  • Towns and Flight Points:
    • N: Nesingwary Base Camp – FP
    • N: River’s Heart – FP
    • N: Rainspeaker Canopy
    • N: Mistwhisper Refuge
    • N: Frenzyheart Hill
    • N: Spearborn Encampment

The Storm Peaks

  • The Storm PeaksLevels: 76-80
  • Geography: The Storm Peaks is situated in the northern part of Northrend. Littered with high cliffs and narrow paths, this zone is dangerously high-elevated.  The impressive city of Ulduar is perched in the northern cliffs, carved into the mountain.  Storm Peaks is frequently dark and snowy.
  • Denizens: Storm giants populate this zone.  Magnataurs and Wendigo roam freely.
  • Towns and Flight Points:
    • A: Frosthold – FP
    • H: Grom’arsh Crash Site – FP
    • H: Camp Tunka’lo – FP
    • N: K3 – FP
    • N: Dun Niffelem – FP
    • N: Bouldercrag’s Refuge – FP
    • N: Brann’s Base-Camp
    • N: Ulduar – FP

Icecrown Glacier

  • IcecrownLevels: 77-80
  • Geography: Icecrown is seated at the very top of Northrend.  The zone is perpetually dimly lit and soaked in a blue haze.   Snow covers the ground.  Icecrown has a long coast to the north.
  • Denizens: Home of the Lich King, Icecrown has a sizable population of scourge and necromancers.
  • Towns:
    • A: The Skybreaker
    • H: Ogrim’s Hammer


  • DalaranDenizens: This is the largest city in Northrend and home to the mages of Kirin Tor. It hosts all manners of shops and vendors.


  • WintergraspLevels: 77-80 (PvP)
  • Geography: Wintergrasp is a stunning zone covered in a light snow.  Lavender trees soak up brilliant blue water from the river shores.  The sky is softly touched with an aurora effect.
  • Denizens: Alliance and horde battle for control of the towers
  • Flight Points?
    • Wintergrasp is only reachable by flying mount

New Dungeons

There is a new dungeon about every level.

Utgarde Keep
Utgarde KeepLevel 70-72 | Howling Fjord (59, 48)

  • Description: For many people, this will be the first instance they see in Northrend.  It is populated with vrykul (half-giant warriors) of the Dragonflayer clan as well as their agents (proto-dragons, scourge).

The Nexus
Level 71-73 | Borean Tundra (26, 22)
The NexusTo get up there, take the dragon ride from Amber Ledge. It’s in the middle of Coldarra.

  • Description: Set in the reaches of Coldarra is the former home of Malygos, leader of the blue drgaons.  Filled with magic energy, you’ll encounter all manner of magical beings in The Nexus, espeically dragons.  Keristrasza, the final boss, is a huge red drgaon.

Azjol-NerubLevel 72-74 | Dragonblight (26, 48)

  • Description: The spider kingdom of Azjol-Nerub lies underground.  It is home to Nerubians (a race of intelligent arachnids).  The instance is also home to the Faceless Ones, bulky humanoid monsters of unknown origin. The instance of Azjol-Nerub represents the Upper (newer) Kingdom.  If you can battle your way through the arachnid horror, Crpyt Lord and former king of the Nerubians, Anub’Arak, awaits you at the end.

Ahn’Kahet: The Old Kingdom
The Old KingdomLevel 73-75 | Dragonblight (26, 48)

  • Description: Ahn’Kahet is the Old Kingdom of the Nerubians, (and the Faceless Ones).  This fallen empire resides in an underground dungeon and is yet to be infected by the scourge.  It is considered the second part (or wing) of the Azjol-Nerub instance.

Drak’Tharon Keep
Drak'TheronLevel 74-76 | Grizzly Hills (18, 24) or Zul’Drak (31, 89)

  • Description: Bordering Grizzly Hills and Zul’Drak, the Drak’Tharon Keep is scourge stronghold, populated by undead ice trolls called the Drakkari.   You must battle your way through an odd assortment of creatures (undead, lizardkin), to the gigantic undead windserpent, Prophet Tharon’ja.

The Violet Hold
The Violet HoldLevel 75-77 | Dalaran

  • Description: Located in the prison sector of eastern Dalaran, the Violet Hold is an instance that will remind you a lot of the gameplay of the Black Morass.  You must defeat prison guardians of the blue dragonflight that appear from portals being opened in the hold.  After the 6th, 12th, and 18th portals, bosses will spawn. The final boss, Cyanigosa, a large blue dragon, was sent by Malygos to invade the prison, releasing dangerous prisoners.

GundrakLevel 76-78 | Zul’Drak (80, 23)

  • Description: Gundrak is the citadel temple of the Ice Trolls, and their capital.  In the instance, You must defeat three different troll bosses, representing three different aspects.  The final boss, Gal’darah, represents the Clefthoof aspect (really!) and is the apparant leader of Gundrak. This is one of the shortest instances, with only 3 or so trash pulls between bosses.

Ulduar: Halls of Stone
Halls of StoneLevel 77-79 | Stormpeaks (42, 20)

  • Description: This is the first wing of the storm giants’ stronghold.  The city has been carved into a cave in a mountainside in Stormpeaks.  It was oringally placed there by the titans.  In the Halls of Stone, you will battle through Iron Dwarves, large elemtnals, and other constructs.  You will have the opportunity to escort Brann Bronzebeard, King Magni’s brother to safety.  The final boss is Sjonnir the Ironshaper, an impressively sized storm giant.

Ulduar: Halls of Lightning
Halls of LightningLevel 80 | Stormpeaks (42, 20)

  • Description: The Halls of Lightning is the older part of the city of Ulduar, and deeper into the Titan lore.  This is the second instance wing to the city of Ulduar.

The Oculus
Level 80 | Borean Tundra (26, 22)
The OculusLocated in a tower floating high above. Enter by clicking the transport orb near the meeting stone.

  • Description: Set in a tower constructed out of magical rings floating in the high reaches of Coldarra, The Occulus radiates an eerie, arcane beauty and is filled with many magic-dealing mobs.  The final boss in the instance is Ley-Guardian Eregos, a powerful blue dragon.

Caverns of Time: The Culling of Stratholme
StratholmeLevel 80 | Tanaris (64, 49)

  • Description: The Culling of Stratholme is a new addition to the Caverns of Time.  You have been charged with returning to a specific moment in time during the third war when Arthas purged the then-human city of Stratholme.  You will be tested by undead and members of the Infinite Dragonflight.  The final boss, Mal’Ganis, sent by Archimonde to spy on Arthas and to turn the city of Stratholme, flees after you defeat him.

Utgarde Pinnacle
Utgarde PinnacleLevel 80 | Howling Fjord (59, 48)

  • Description: Utgarde Pinnacle is the second wing of the Utgarde instances (the first being Utgarde Keep, the third being the unreleased Utgarde raid).  You will be continuing your plight against the Vrykul of the Dragonblight clan.  The instace culminates in a battle against their leader, King Ymiron.

In addition to the level-specific normal dungeons listed above, each dungeon has a heroic mode tuned for level 80 players were better gear drops.


Each raid has a 10-man version (normal) and a 25-man version (heroic).  Loot drops from heroic raids are about a tier better than gear from the corresponding normal raid. All raids are tuned for level 80 players.

NaxxramasFloating over Wintergarde Keep in Dragonblight. Access it by flying mount

  • Description: This entry-level raid has an abundance of bosses for your to work through.  You have to complete all four wings of bosses (deathknight, abomination, spider, and plague wings) before the fifth wing (frostwyrm) even opens up.  The final boss in the instance is the lich Kel’Thuzad.

Obsidian Sanctum
Obsidian SanctumLocated under Wyrmrest Temple in Dragonblight

  • Description: You will fight three mini-boss dragons, then take on Sartharion the Onyx Guardian (and also a dragon).  Saratharion is of the black dragonflight.  Obsidium Sanctum is slightly easier than Naxx, though Naxx is often recommended as a first step into raiding since more pepople are already familiar with the fights, and more bosses means a greater potential for gear drops.

Vault of Archavon
Vault of ArchavonAccessible by portal from Dalaran

  • Description: This raid is only available for the four hours after your faction takes Wintergrasp.  It is slightly harder than Obsidum Sanctum.

The Nexus: Eye of Eternity
The Nexus - Eye of EternityBorean Tundra (26, 22)

  • Description: This is the final chapter of The Nexus.  Players will be able to challenge the blue dragon Malygos (the only boss for the raid). To summon Malygos in the instance, A specific item is required that drops from Sapphiron.  This encounter is sizably more difficult than Naxx/Ob. Sanctum.

Utgarde Raid

  • Coming in patch 3.1

Icecrown Citadel

  • Coming in patch 3.3 – This is supposed to be Wrath of the Lich King’s “final” encounter; players will have the ability to take on the Lich King himself!


Siege Warfare

In the battle for Wintergrasp you may obtain vehicles from factories under your faction’s control. When using siege vehicles, a separate set of controls should appear on your screen allowing you to take various actions while in it (like throwing explosives).

The types of siege vehicles that you are allowed to use depends on your current Wintergrasp rank (your rank increases when you kill things.  There are only three ranks).

Some seige vehicles can fly, others can be used as transport for other players.

You can use seige weapons at certain points in the Strand of the Ancients battleground (see bwlow).

New Battleground

Strand of the Ancients is a new style of battleground play.  One team is charged with defending a tower, while the other team has to try and claim it from them .  The battleground lasts 20 minutes.  Halfway through that time, the teams switch roles, and the previous defenders are now the attacking team, and vice versa.Strand of the Ancients

Both the attacking team and the defending team can have access to seige weapons.

Each team has 15 players.

New Arenas

There are two new arenas being introduced with WotLK.

darenaThe first is the Dalaran Arena.  This arena is small, and has environmental hazards.  Water levels in the arena rise and fall, so at some points you may find yourself swimming.  The arena is wide open, with no places to really line-of-sight or hide besides a few crates.  However, there are spikes that move in and out of the walls/floor to further complicate things and providing occasional LoS possibilities or cover.

Orgrimmar ArenaThe second arena is the Ring of Valor.  it is a larger area than the Dalaran Arena.  Pillars will move up and down out of the floor, squishing you if you aren’t careful.  The Ring of Valor is supposed to have a stadium feel to it, and be a duplicate of the interior of the arena building in Orgrimmar.  Too bad you can’t have spectators.

Level 80 Talent Specs

See “Leveling Guide” above for how to spec while leveling. These specs are aimed at level 80 players.

  • Discipline PvE Healing – 57/14/0
    The discipline priest makes a great MT healer, and specializes in damage prevention through talents like PW:S, Grace, Pain Suppression, Divine Aegis, and Inspiration.  The discipline priests focuses on keeping PW:S up and Penance used every cooldown.  Stabilization spells (Renew, Prayer of Mending) as well as chunky heals (Greater Heal, Flash Heal) are cycled in as needed.  As for utility, the discipline priest brings Pain Suppression and Power Infusion.  Points are not spent in Improved Divine Spirit as it will not stack with other, more powerful spellpower buffs in raids.
  • Holy PvE Healing – 14/57/0
    The holy priest is a healer than can fill any role, and has fantastic AoE healing capabilities (for the moment, at least) with Circle of Healing and Divine Providence.  Improved Holy Concentration, Serendipity, and Meditation are each very important to the holy priest’s mana.  If the cooldown on Circle of Healing is ever implemented, it would be in our best interest to pick up the Healing Prayers talent for the mana reduction on Prayer of Mending and Prayer of Healing.
  • Shadow PvE DPS – 14/0/57
    The shadow priest is middle-of-the-road DPS caster with strong AoE damage capabilities that brings raid utility in the form of Replenishment (through Vampiric Touch).  There are not any hard choices when speccing a shadow priest for PvE.  With this spec, you pick up every DPS and mana talent in the shadow tree,  then put the requisite 14 points in discipline for IF/Meditation.
  • Disc PvP- 57/14/0
    Speccing for disc PvP forces you to make a number of tough choices.  Cornerstones in the discipline tree are: Penance, PW:S improving talents, Divine Aegis, Rapture, and Focused Will.  Points in the holy tree can be tailored to how much emphasis you want to put on having dispel-buffers up (Inspiration, Blessed of Recovery). You certainly can go deeper in disc if desired.
  • Shadow PvP – 20/0/51
    Shadow priests will be making a PVP comeback in WotLK due to their new talents increasing their survivability and mobility (Veiled Shadows, Imp. Shadowform, Dispersion).  The points in discipline provide a solid grounding for the class: shotening stun/silence length, reducing mana cost of dispelling, allowing for a fast mana burn, and giving dispel protection.

New Factions

There are a number of factions new to Northrend.  WotLK also introduces the concept of “Championing.”  Being a Champion of a faction means you are able to gain reputation with that given faction when you do instances while wearing their tabards (tabards are available for purchase form their quartermasters at friendly reputation).

Rep gains while Championing are as follows:

  • Normal mob – 5 rep
  • Miniboss – 10 rep
  • Boss – 30 rep

There are five major factions new to WotLK (that all allow championing).  Those are:

the factions also give profession patterns. Be sure to check your profession against their offerings to ensure you do not miss anything.