Smite Priest Levelling Guide

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Aykhanchik
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Smite Priest Levelling Guide

Post by Aykhanchik » Fri Jan 07, 2022 2:56 pm

Introduction

Smite priest is the single best levelling build in Vanilla>TBC>WoTLK expansions that relies on the Holy and Discipline talent trees in order to increase the effectiveness of holy damage spells and improve our mana regen and spellpower through spirit.

This is a hybrid build that can effectively deal damage to enemies while levelling and heal the party in dungeons. I don't suggest going to dungeons as a damage dealer with this build, at least early on, since your main weakness is running out of mana quickly during long fights and it's much better to have someone who can consistently deal damage in that DD slot.

I am not going to make a comparison with classic Shadow levelling builds YET, since shadow priests are gonna see somewhat major changes with the upcoming patch. Those changes can definitely increase the effectiveness of Shadow levelling, so I'll probably update this later.

Choosing a race

This part is not important to the build, so generally you wanna choose a race that you like. However, races have different racial spells and bonuses and priests specifically also get additional unique spells depending on their race.

The unique priest racials are as following:

Dwarf Desperate Prayer Fear Ward

Human Desperate Prayer Feedback

Night Elf Starshards Elune'Grace

Troll Hex of Weakness Shadowguard

Undead Touch of Weakness Devouring Plague

Custom High Elf race also has priest racials, but I can't seem to find them on the database. Sun's Embrace gives reduced mana cost on next 5 Smite or Holy Fire casts while Divine Sanction increases your haste by 10% for a hefty mana cost.

I'd say PVE wise, Dwarf is the best race for Alliance priests due to Fear Ward, although the added Spirit from Human racial is good too.

On the Horde side, Trolls have Berserking which is great for burst.

As I said before, choose any race you like, none of them really matter for this build and the levelling process in general.

Talents and Rotations

I. First talents we wanna get are Spirit Tap and Wand Specialization. They are both crucial to this and pretty much any other priest levelling build, so get both of them. Order is not important and depends on your preference: Spirit Tap for faster mana regen after killing a mob and Wand Specialization for increased damage from wands which are an absolute MUST for a priest. Seriously, as soon as you hit level 5, try to get a Lesser Magic Wand. From what I've seen, there are few custom quests that allow you to get other wands somewhat early too, but either way, just get your hands on one, they are an absolute blessing. All the way from 1 to 60, try to keep your wand up to date.

This is our talent tree at level 19: https://talents.turtle-wow.org/priest/5-0-U

Our general spell rotation is Smite>Shadow Word: Pain and we either keep Smiting or wand till the mob is dead.

You can also apply Power Word: Shield before pulling a mob to avoid damage and most importantly not get spell pushback.

II. Next, we wanna put points into Divine Specialization and Divine Fury. While getting additional 5% critical chance is not huge at early levels, because our base critical chance is low at this point, reducing the cast time of Smite and Holy Fire by 0,5 seconds is a must, since they can reach whopping 2,5 and 3,5 seconds. Instead of taking Divine Specialization right now, you can instead take Healing Focus and Improved Renew. We are going to get all three of these talents later on anyway, so choose the order for yourself.

This is our talent tree at level 29: https://talents.turtle-wow.org/priest/5-0UU-U

Once you unlock Holy Fire, your rotation should be: Holy Fire>Smite>Shadow Word: Pain. You can also Holy Fire>Shadow Word: Pain and then kite back until global cooldown is off and then cast Smite. There is no real difference, just do it the way you want.

III. Next talents we want to get are: Holy Nova, Improved Renew and Healing Focus/Divine Specialization. Afterwards we get Searing Light and Holy Reach that directly improve our main damaging spells. Regarding Holy Nova: I don't use this spell often, it costs a lot of mana and doesn't damage/heal much, but in my opinion it's way better to use that 1 skill point to unlock the next tier by getting a new spell than putting just 1 point into few other talents available here that wouldn't really improve your levelling efficiency in any way.

This is our talent tree at level 39: https://talents.turtle-wow.org/priest/5-FUV0CC-U

Our rotation at this point doesn't really change, but if you are having hard time getting a better wand, I suggest using PW: Shield and putting few more Smites before you start wanding after your initial rotation opener.

IV. Next, we unlock the best talent in the whole talent tree: Spiritual Guidance. It converts 25% of our Spirit into Spellpower. Might not seem like much, since our spirit at this stage is not that high, but because we prioritize Spirit stat, this talent lets us get a constant increase to spellpower, which affects both our damage and healing. On top of that, this talent synergizes with the Spirit Tap. Whenever you kill an enemy that is not grey, your spirit increases by 100% for 15 seconds which also affects your Spellpower, so chain killing actually gets more effective since you deal more damage during that period. You also regen mana at 50% rate while casting when Spirit Tap buff is up, so sustain is pretty good.

After getting Spiritual Guidance we can move to the Discipline talent tree. We wanna put points into Martyrdom, Improved Power Word: Fortitude and 1 point into Silent Resolve. Martyrdom occasionally allows us to spell cast without a pushback. Instead of taking Improved PW: Fortitude and Silent Resolve, you can take Improved Power Word: Shield, but in my opinion, having more health is better, since at this stage, we can already kill most mobs while our Shield is up, so there is no real need in improving it.

This is our build at level 49: https://talents.turtle-wow.org/priest/582-FUV0CC5-U

Once again, rotation doesn't change, but if you proc Martyrdom, feel free to Smite the enemy few times.

V. And finally, we finish the talent tree off with Inner Focus, Meditation, Silent Resolve and Improved Inner Fire. Inner Focus is a very useful spell with the variety of uses. Most of the time, you wanna use it before a powerful healing spell to cast it for free and with a higher chance of crit. From what I've seen, high elf priests also cast it before using one of their racial spells that is somewhat mana costly. It is also possible to only get your Silent Resolve to 4 and use that additional skill point for Reflective Shields talent. Since this guide is written before the patch, I don't know how good that talent is, but it sounds great.

This is our final build: https://talents.turtle-wow.org/priest/5W29I-FUV0CC5-U

At level 60 you can respec into specialized builds to slowly get into the raiding scene, but this build is still effective for questing, dungeoning and mob farming.

Stats you wanna prioritize are Spirit>Intelligence>Stamina. Items that give spellpower, spell damage or spell healing are also good. I suggest prioritizing items with high stats to those that give +shadow damage, because the only shadow damaging ability we use is Shadow Word: Pain. So unless you get an item with a really high bonus to shadow damage or simply don't have an alternative, take items with high spirit and intelligence.

Spells to upgrade while levelling

Buying spells and upgrading them at trainers is painful. Seeing your hard earned gold coins disappear is heart wrenching. This is the reason why you should only buy and upgrade specific spells that directly affect your efficiency in levelling.

Btw, you unlock new spells/spell ranks every 2 levels, so level 2,4,6,8...

Must buy/upgrade spells are:

Smite, Holy Fire, Shadow Word: Pain, Power Word: Fortitude, Power Word: Shield, Inner Fire, Flash Heal*, Renew, Mind Control*, Prayer of Healing*, Cure Disease, Dispel Magic, Psychic Scream and Fade*.

Flash Heal* - in my opinion is the most reliable healing ability for the priest while levelling. It's fast, it's mana efficient and it does the job.

Mind Control* - should be optional, but the way I use it is mind control a mob inside a big pack, let the other mobs kill him, run away to reset the aggro. I do it in situations when there is a big pack of enemies that I can't handle alone.

Prayer of Healing* - good AoE heal I occasionally use in dungeons or when levelling with a party. Best used with Inner Focus ability to remove the mana cost. Not a necessary spell while levelling, but a useful one.

Fade* - allows you to drop all aggro which can save your life in dungeons. Mandatory if you dungeon fairly often, otherwise, optional.

Optional:

Heal, Mind Soothe, Shackle Undead, Mind Vision, Mana Burn, Desperate Prayer.

All the optional spells have their uses, but don't really add much while levelling. The choice between Heal and Flash Heal is also a matter of preference. Priest heals with a longer cast time tend to be more efficient longterm, but I personally prefer a fast heal.


Hope this guide has been helpful! This is a first one I've ever made, so any sort of feedback regarding the contents and editing are welcome. I'm planning to expand on this, especially because of the upcoming patch that will bring some goodies to priests.
Last edited by Aykhanchik on Wed Jan 12, 2022 6:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Aristotel - Priest

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Merikkinon
Posts: 412

Re: Smite Priest Levelling Guide

Post by Merikkinon » Fri Jan 07, 2022 7:49 pm

TY for this. I had done some research and only got a Youtube video, which was pretty interesting.

I definitely want this for my priest!

Thanks again.

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Zack32
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Re: Smite Priest Levelling Guide

Post by Zack32 » Tue Jan 11, 2022 11:02 am

Question, is leveling without using any Shadow spells at all possible? I'm going for RPing a Cleric of the Light so she shouldn't know Shadow spells (except the one that ward against shadows).

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Aykhanchik
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Re: Smite Priest Levelling Guide

Post by Aykhanchik » Wed Jan 12, 2022 6:58 pm

Zack32 wrote:
Tue Jan 11, 2022 11:02 am
Question, is leveling without using any Shadow spells at all possible? I'm going for RPing a Cleric of the Light so she shouldn't know Shadow spells (except the one that ward against shadows).
It is possible, however, shadow word: pain is a good DoT to have. Also, some mobs can silence a school of magic you are using, so you can use Mind Blast cast to force lock shadow magic, but can continue dpsing with holy.
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Mrkrissatan
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Re: Smite Priest Levelling Guide

Post by Mrkrissatan » Wed Jan 12, 2022 7:55 pm

This is the build I'm thinking of using at 60 with my high elf, mostly for PVP and solo farming

https://talents.turtle-wow.org/priest/U2K9J06-FUV0CC5-U

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Merikkinon
Posts: 412

Re: Smite Priest Levelling Guide

Post by Merikkinon » Thu Jan 13, 2022 3:02 am

Zack32 wrote:
Tue Jan 11, 2022 11:02 am
Question, is leveling without using any Shadow spells at all possible? I'm going for RPing a Cleric of the Light so she shouldn't know Shadow spells (except the one that ward against shadows).
I am doing the same with my Helf priest. However, I've thought there should be times when she can utilize shadow spells, and that would be against undead or demons. I don't think I want to authorize it for her elsewise. She will be using their own 'nature' against them, is the rationale.

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Aykhanchik
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Re: Smite Priest Levelling Guide

Post by Aykhanchik » Thu Jan 13, 2022 8:12 am

Mrkrissatan wrote:
Wed Jan 12, 2022 7:55 pm
This is the build I'm thinking of using at 60 with my high elf, mostly for PVP and solo farming

https://talents.turtle-wow.org/priest/U2K9J06-FUV0CC5-U
I'm really curious about that new PW: Shield talent. Share your experience once you get your hands on it :)
Aristotel - Priest

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Mrkrissatan
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Re: Smite Priest Levelling Guide

Post by Mrkrissatan » Thu Jan 13, 2022 10:49 am

Aykhanchik wrote:
Thu Jan 13, 2022 8:12 am

I'm really curious about that new PW: Shield talent. Share your experience once you get your hands on it :)
will do

Rasa
Posts: 5

Re: Smite Priest Levelling Guide

Post by Rasa » Thu Jan 13, 2022 11:42 pm

Thank you! I'm going to try this. I've been yearning for exactly this hybrid and what you share here makes a lot of sense.

Off I go to reset my talents.

Elune be praised!

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Zack32
Posts: 19

Re: Smite Priest Levelling Guide

Post by Zack32 » Mon Jan 17, 2022 12:12 pm

Merikkinon wrote:
Thu Jan 13, 2022 3:02 am
Zack32 wrote:
Tue Jan 11, 2022 11:02 am
Question, is leveling without using any Shadow spells at all possible? I'm going for RPing a Cleric of the Light so she shouldn't know Shadow spells (except the one that ward against shadows).
I am doing the same with my Helf priest. However, I've thought there should be times when she can utilize shadow spells, and that would be against undead or demons. I don't think I want to authorize it for her elsewise. She will be using their own 'nature' against them, is the rationale.
Honestly, outside the obvious Shadow is bad for a Light worshipper, I think the problem with RP is mostly "where would she have even learned shadow?".

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Merikkinon
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Re: Smite Priest Levelling Guide

Post by Merikkinon » Tue Jan 18, 2022 3:21 am

Really good point.

I guess I really don't like the way Blizzard handled the Light and Shadow stuff for priests, at all.

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Zack32
Posts: 19

Re: Smite Priest Levelling Guide

Post by Zack32 » Tue Jan 18, 2022 4:53 pm

Merikkinon wrote:
Tue Jan 18, 2022 3:21 am
Really good point.

I guess I really don't like the way Blizzard handled the Light and Shadow stuff for priests, at all.
You're preaching to a converted here. See the thread about improvement for priest spells

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Merikkinon
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Re: Smite Priest Levelling Guide

Post by Merikkinon » Wed Jan 19, 2022 5:09 am

OK, let's start our own order, and fight the lunacy haha

Nymdorl
Posts: 5

Re: Smite Priest Levelling Guide

Post by Nymdorl » Wed Feb 02, 2022 2:05 am

as someone who believe the smite priest is the fastest leveling class from start to finish i got some problems with this guide to me its was made by someone that hasn't really leveled many priests and or doesn't experiment/test much when doing so. and is my number one choice for leveling a character fast with out putting much thought into it, as in paying attention while killing mobs.
in my opinion it is the fastest but most boring. least active. at least in the lower levels, if done the fastest and most efficient way. i even started to level an other priest just to make sure i wasnt talking out of my ass when writing this
I am not saying it is crap it is just on the basic standard level, its a school boy guide to a smite priest in my opinion. looks good on paper but like all things what looks on paper doesn't do so well in real life.

most of the talents are optional and depends on your play style, my opinion improve power world shield is a better choice over Martyrdom,, one needs to be crit to gain effect of Martyrdom while the shield is on demand and being improved will last a couple fights and more effected against stronger hitting mobs, i feel that martyrdom is purely a pvp talent and not an effect pve leveling talent , and the improve inner fire i don't even cast that spell unless i know i can waste some mana, but that's just me.
And Desperate Prayer being an Optional upgrade that's your number one oh fuck spell little own oh shit.. Desperate prayer will save your ass better than any other spell its right up there with the paly bubble.

at the lower levels all you need is your wand so really the wand talents at of discipline tree should be your first pick and the spirit tap isn't needed tell later when start using your wands less and at the early levels all you need is your wand,( if your truly mid maxing all your going to do when you get or upgrade your wand is just use your wand) , also if your always in a group this is kind of a wasted talent more so with bigger groups ( for those that don't want anything to do with shadow it will just mean you will have to stop and drink more often ounce your wands fall behind and start casting more, in reality spirit tap is only really needed for chain pulling even then you will have to drink if your wasting your mana like with using power word pain and unneeded shields or weak ones if your at the point you stop using your wands, which i do at mid to higher levels).
unless this talent is bugged on here in a good way it should only works IF you get the killing blow in which i have not tested it on this sever nor heard otherwise. that being said the bonus damage from Spiritual Guidance combine with spirit tap is pretty dam good but the 20 seconds it last you really got the mobs close enough to be pushing the chain pulls or getting some good crits to really feel the difference in the bonus damage, but if you are its bloody great. But if your on a slower pace or playing with a friend its not that big of a deal. ( myself on my first priest on here i didn't get spirit tap tell level 55, and a little disappointed in its benefits bonus damage wise)

as for shadow word pain even with no talent spent this spell on a one on one fight for the most part is a "DPS LOSS" and a waste of mana ( you have to miss at lest 2times to really gain from casting it and be the first and maybe second action you do,, unless the mob is an elite and will last a long time your just wasting mana and time casting it later than that)
shadow word pain maybe instant cast but causes a global cool down ( which stops you from doing anything else) and does damage every 3 seconds.. by the time shadow word pain does its first tick of damage you could have done more damage than what the spell will do in total , it will take 3 ticks just to compete in damage of what you could have did instead and it should be dead before it sees a firth tick, even then the time lost casting it is a big loss of damage from doing something else. Your still going to have to hit the wand just as many times as if you use shadow word pain or not. and if your hitting the mob just as many times with or with out it then it is a waste of time and mana.

shadow word pain only really is useful when pulling more than one mob and cast it on your next kill targets skipping your first kill target and for those that do not want nothing to do with shadow spells this is still pretty minor in the grand scheme of things and in big pulls your most likely better off to save your mana for heals and shields. and is helpfull at lv 10 when you get rank 2 before you get your lv 13 enchanted wand, but can be countered by putting your talents points into improved wands.

Nymdorl
Posts: 5

Re: Smite Priest Levelling Guide

Post by Nymdorl » Wed Feb 02, 2022 2:05 am

for those that don't care about the rp factor and willing to use shadow spells put mind blast in your rotation , its damage and casting time should not be ignored,, pull with your holy fire, smite then mind blast when the mob is close enough to start or hitting you , its casting time is so fast your not losing much to spell knock back, But don't use this in a group unless your trying to save someone this spell is basically a taught and you will pull, even against a higher level tank who been focused on that target.
Later on when get talents into your smite spells can drop this out of your rotation (i do ) even then its still a strong spell to use, and if your going to use shadow spells that is the one to use.
shadow word pain is the best DOT in the game and does the most damage per tick, but as a priest you only got 1 dot and the time it takes to do its damage compared to what else you can do for the time it takes to cast not to mention he mana cost makes it generally useless on an even one on one fight.

flash of heal, is not your mana efficient heal, heal/greater heal is. flash of heal is used for dps that pull and those that cant take a hit aka not a real tank ( looking at you shamans lol). but it is fast and i think has a better feel to make you feel more active. if you do find yourself pulling lots while healing in a group try down grading your heals if your higher level than the tank this could be a problem, casting lower rank heals can also make you feel more useful or more active and this version of wow wasn't meant to use your highest spells but the best rank for what your doing.

Overall specially for those that want to stay away from shadow spells,, your shadow spells mostly in general will be a dps loss/mana inefficient , and few moments it isn't its really pretty minor

its not how fast you can kill a mob that determines how fast you can level its how fast you can start the next fight, and the next. and the next........

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Merikkinon
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Re: Smite Priest Levelling Guide

Post by Merikkinon » Wed Feb 02, 2022 3:20 am

What's the assumption that I want to level as fast as possible? Where does that come from?

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Aykhanchik
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Re: Smite Priest Levelling Guide

Post by Aykhanchik » Wed Feb 02, 2022 7:18 am

It's fair criticism from Nymdori. I do agree that Improved PW: Shield and Mind Blast are more effective "on demand" spells if you want full control over your outcoming damage.

I leveled multiple priests this way in Vanilla>TBC>WoTLK and personally have a more laid back playstyle: holy fire>smite>sw:pain>turn on wands>alt tab and read something while mob is being finished off. Shadow Word Pain is an expensive spell, so I once again agree with you, but unless you are non-stop smiting or using mind blast, throwing sw:pain on top of an auto wand is simply more damage done hence a faster kill.
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Nymdorl
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Re: Smite Priest Levelling Guide

Post by Nymdorl » Sun Feb 06, 2022 3:34 pm

casting holyfire then mindblast will be halve dead (unless higher level than you, close enough the same with smite ) you would be lucky to get a couple of ticks out of shadow word pain but again i say the time it takes to cast shadow word pain to do damage and the amount it gets to do damage at that point you could have done more damage by doing anything else ,, your still going to hit the mob with your wand the same about of times to kill it if you cast shadow word pain or not(unless your unlucky)

Yes as you say casting casting shadow word pain after doing your holyfire and smite yes your dps will be higher but your not killing the mob any faster and your spending more mana just to get the same results done..


DPS is a useless term while leveling,, its a raiding term were fights lasts minutes

while leveling your dps means nothing,, its how much damage per action that maters, and how many actions does it take

i dont think most people realize how much how much of your dps you need to increase in order to kill a mob faster and while leveling that very hard to do, that is why agility is more liked in wars , it does increase there dps or should say damage but it give more crit and critting helps greatly and shadow word pain does not crit but the crit leads to 1 less hit which leads to one less action.

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Aykhanchik
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Re: Smite Priest Levelling Guide

Post by Aykhanchik » Sun Feb 06, 2022 5:39 pm

I disagree. As I said, you are right about SW: Pain being expensive and less reliable than Mind Blast, but for me personally, most of the time SW:Pain wears off by the time mob dies, meaning it does its full dmg.
Now, SW:Pain is about 1.5x mana costly than Smite, so let's say instead of casting my SW:Pain, i cast 1-2 Smites: they can deal more dmg, but they also have a 4 cast time seconds together and that's without pushback. If you also apply a PW:Shield on top of that to negate pushback, you are wasting more mana than a single SW:Pain would. SW:Pain is an instant ability and you can start auto wand sequence right after it.
You also missing the fact that a player might not always have the best wand, so by the time you finished your Holy Fire>Smite>Mind Blast rotation, your wand alone is either not enough to finish the mob or will take a considerable amount of time, hence you take more damage, hence you spend mana on healing yourself. SW:Pain on top of a wand is simply a faster kill.
I am not a specialist when it comes to maximum efficiency when levelling, but I feel like using SW: Pain doesn't hinder it as much as you claim. I end up with about 65-70% mana casting the full rotation which regenerates a bit during the wand finish off and then regens even more after I get Spirit Tap. Unless you are literally chain killing mobs without a single second of a break, your mana will be just fine.
Fair criticism about the talents and Heal, Greater Heal though, I do use the Shielding Talent instead of Inner Fire one now.
Aristotel - Priest

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Nymdorl
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Re: Smite Priest Levelling Guide

Post by Nymdorl » Sun Feb 06, 2022 11:37 pm

sounds like your casting shadow word pain just like i said you should if your going to use it

yes i assume people are having the best wand which are the enchanting wands that are cheap in the ah and easly gotten if ask ( i personally give free to anyone i see asking and like to think im not the only one <if not bad on you sever>)

if your mobs are living that long enough to get the full benefit of your power word pain when its your third action you need to go to an other zone to quest/grind to level or learn to kill them faster because that is godly slow like our you trying to hit them with your staff that you have no skill in or what??????????????

when im chain pulling im at 100% to 95% mana when i start the next fight and that with out the spirit tap talent or any talents spent for that matter, i do holy fire, smite/mindblast wand and renew ounce in a while, any mob my level is halve dead with just 2 spells( kind of need full range or talents spent to use smite to not get knock back)

and yes you can start cast your wand right after you cast shadow word pain but like i said if you cast shadow word pain too late in a fight it really does nothing that spell needs to be your first maybe second to gain any real dps benefit cause it takes 3 seconds before it does its fist bit of damage

but over all i think your missing the big picture but i am thinking your just speaking out on emotions

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