Copied from US forums sticky:
Hello, my name is Covello (http://img413.imageshack.us/img413/7717/nakedpriest15fn.jpg).
While leveling my Priest to 60, I tried out multiple specs and strategies, and found the best possible way to grind to 60 in regards to both speed of kills, amount of downtime, and exp/h in general. After experimenting a little, I gave my friend a spec to help him level his Troll Priest to 60. After 35 levels, it’s going extremely well; he loves it. He had played a Shaman and 2 Mages to 60 and aided leveling a Warlock and Druid to 60, yet still you’ll hear from him, “I @@!!ing love Spirit Tap”. I tried grinding myself, and it works extremely well. We have zero downtime and are able to easily break 20k/h as low as level 35.
You will be Wanding a lot… a lot. It’s important to wand to allow your mana to regen. Stock up on Spirit gear. Buy some stuff at the AH for cheap. Get massive Spirit gear! It’ll make grinding so easy. Collect all Cloth gear from SFK. Run SM like a bot in your 40s. Don’t waste money on Staff of Jordan; you can get Zum’Rah’s Hexing Cane (http://www.thottbot.com/index.cgi?i=38853) a few levels later by running ZF a few times and it’s a better staff. Always get the highest possible DPS wand for your level.
Look up “cloth armor 20-40” at the AH. There are tons of great Spirit items that’ll help you a ton if you’re willing to spend a few 10g’s.
There isn’t much +spirit gear that has +damage on it, and Spirit is your primary stat. Avoid ‘Shadoweave’ gear in your 40s… the +damage isn’t worth the Spirit loss. Darkness and Shadowform offer all the +Damage you need.
Remember, Spirit > Damage > Intellect = Stamina, just don’t gimp your life too much, especially on a PvP server.
10-14: 5/5 Spirit Tap
15-19: 5/5 Wand Spec (I’m serious.)
20-21: 2/2 Imp SW:P
22-24: 3/5 Shadow Focus
25: Mind Flay (This skill SUCKS before lvl36 anyway)
26-27: 5/5 Shadow Focus (HIGHLY recommended over Blackout)
28-29: 2/2 Imp Psychic Scream (Filler)
30-32: 3/3 Shadow Reach
33-37: 5/5 Shadow Weaving (Best available, not a grinding talent)
40: Respec to http://www.wowhead.com/talent/?rZZxMgzctot
41-45: 5/5 Wand Spec
46-47: 2/2 Healing Focus
48-60: It doesn’t really matter. At this point you could actually respec to Discipline. (http://www.wowhead.com/talent/?bVMrsVcoZf0xZx) Actually, with Spirit Tap, Divine Spirit, and Mental Strength, you could actually do BETTER in those last 10 levels. Work up to Force of Will, Power Infusion, and then Holy Specialization.
Wanding will be a MAJOR part of your grinding. Be sure you have the highest possible DPS wand for your level. I always Wanded at 40%. This gave me time to passively regen mana and then when Spirit Tap procced, I was already outside the FSR and regaining to 100%.
Just pull with Mind Blast, immediately SWP while strafing away (don’t back up, it’s slower… the mob should just be hitting Mind Flay range as the global cooldown ends), then Mind Flay three times, it should reach you midway through the 3rd Mind Flay. Begin wanding. You shouldn’t ever need to use VE or Renew. If you do, the mobs are probably too strong. Move to a lower area. Green-level mobs are your friends. They’re ideal for Shadow grinding. If your life is still getting too low, don’t shift out, just Bandage and/or Cannibalize. That reminds me, LEVEL FIRST AID. Anyone without First Aid is an idiot. Anyone without First Aid IS AN IDIOT!
If you have ANY downtime whatsoever, you either were PvPing in between pulls or you’re doing something wrong. There’s not much damage gear available at your level, and the ‘Shadoweave’ gear sucks because of the lack of Spirit.
If you respec to Discipline, pull with Holy Fire, then Smite, then Mind Blast. SWP should be after one of those 3 spells, depending on how fast the mobs you’re grinding die. Some that die really fast I don’t dot at all (Power Infusion up, anyone?). Some that last a while I dot right after Holy Fire, and occasionally I will dot after Mind Blast.
Leveling a Priest completely SUCKS before 40… then after that it’s a blast. I loved 45-60.
SIDE NOTE: The peak of a Shadow Priest’s PvPing is in his 40s. Hands down the best times I had on my Priest was fighting off 2 gankers with a mob in my face in Lost Rigger Cove, or learning how to beat Druids and Paladins way back in STV. In the high 40s, a Priest has all the Shadow talents he needs to be effective.
All the other classes that rely on their 21/30 or 31/20 specs won’t have the complete build they need to be effective. More importantly, no one is decked out in T2 gear with an axe in your face. Everyone has equal gear, and you don’t need to switch to a raiding spec to get gear to keep up and gimp your PvP. If you’re on a PvP server, Enjoy the 40s. Take it slow. You won’t regret it.
1-20: Starting Zone -> Barrens (h8@Silverpine). If you’re Alliance, I guess go to Westfall instead. Never been to Darkshore but I hear it sucks. I leveled a Paladin on the Honor Contest 1.10 PTR and Westfall was a great zone. Lots of good quests. You shouldn’t ever need to grind before 20. If you’re out of quests, do WC or VC. Never done VC as Horde, but there’s decent cloth loot there I think.
20-40: Primarily instance a lot. As a healer, you will have no problem being as low as 1-2 levels below the minimum for an instance. Just know how to heal. Don’t get a 60 to run you through. It’s good healing practice. Healing instances is a great break from DPSing mobs for an hour, and I don’t care what you say, Healing is so much easier than topping the DPS meters. Keep grinding to a minimum. Grind Quests are your friend. You can’t instance ALL the time, though, so try different zones, such as:
Southern Barrens – Bael Modan (get the quest along the road) and Quillboars north of RFK
Hillsbrad Foothills – The ganking isn’t that bad and the quests here are awesome. Grind Mudpaw Gnolls in southeast after you’re out of quests.
1,000 Needles – Good questing here. They removed the Mark of Shame, so feel free to do that chain if you have all the Flight Paths for it.
Shimmering Flats – Finish the quests, grind the bugs afterwards.
Arathi Highlands – Fun PvP zone, very few gankers outside your level range. Quest.
Stranglethorn Vale – Some people hated it, I enjoyed the questing here. Tons of quests.
Badlands – Rock Elementals. Not many quests.
Badlands – Finish off the low 40s with the Rock Elementals in Badlands, move onto Tanaris.
Tanaris – Lost Rigger Cove has a lot of quests and GREAT grinding. No 60s ever come here, but both mid-40 factions do. Good luck.
Tanaris – Thistleshrub Valley, I loved grinding these things. The level 49s died so easily. Easy pulls, constant pace, awesome herb loot (occasional BoE epic), great area.
Keep doing instances. Uldaman sucks, though, I didn’t bother ever clearing that more than once or twice. I ran ZF a lot, and Maraudon as I got higher leveled.
50-60: This is where it gets “Eh.” Not many good instances for exp (great loot though, in the high 50s you should be running DM daily), and constant mind-numbing grinding is the only way to get through it. The key to grinding at 50 is to make money while you do it. The more money you make in the 50s, the less you’ll need to farm as a raider.
Avoid WPL on a PvP server. Too much of a PvP zone for 60s. I tried grinding in Felstone Field, but a pathetic Human Warrior named Bigbomb camps there all day every day with nothing better to do. Yeah, I felt like calling him out publicly for everyone on Bleeding Hollow, in case this ever gets stickied.
Move onto Un’Goro Crater. First clear out all the quests there (fun stuff), then grind a few levels in Fire Plume Ridge. There will be china farmers here, but they shouldn’t give you much trouble (especially Alliance). Most suck at playing their class anyway. This place has the highest Essence of Fire (http://www.thottbot.com/index.cgi?i=10062) drop rate in the game, other than MC.
Next up: Felwood. I skipped all the quests, you might want to do ’em. Farm Jadefire Run for a few levels. Easy experience, and the loot is awesome. Tons of Runecloth, Felcloth, and Demonic Runes. Start with the ones in the south until you’re higher, then move up to the North.
In the upper 50s, you’ve got a few options. Next up should probably be Silithus. The quests here are easy and they’re not in highly PvP-centered parts. Grind the Rock Elementals up north, they have a good Essence of Earth (http://www.thottbot.com/index.cgi?i=7534) drop rate.
Eastern Plaguelands! With the addition of Naxx in the next patch, I don’t know how packed this place will become with 60s, but right now it’s just too big, high level, and out of the way to be a great PvP zone like BRM and WPL. There are SO many quests here. Group up with a friend and get em done, you’ll get a lot of exp.
Finally, if you’re lucky, you can finish off your last 2 levels in a few hours. How? Burning Steppes. I had a T2 Mage tap level me on all the Elite Dragonkin here. I would get ~600 exp per kill and it wouldn’t take any longer than normal. Tap leveling is when you damage a mob (Pets don’t count, FYI) then have someone out of your party help you kill it, granting you almost full experience. Power leveling is great here.
You can see a video example of it here: http://files.filefront.com/Priest_Grindingwmv/;5423872;;/fileinfo.html
And the character’s gear profile: [Coming soon]
Beginner’s Guide To Healing
(Basic tips any Priest should know about instancing.)
Guide – How I Leveled My Shadow Priest To 60
(Level-by-level zone-by-zone mob-by-mob guide on the best spots to grind. Useful info.)
GeneriKB’s Guide To Making Money v2
(Waiting on repost)
(Make money while you grind. Read it. Do it. Do it right.)
Tarana’s Guide To All The Nagging Questions
(This will answer a lot of your questions about Priests. More importantly, see Post #2 in that thread, entitled “Huzzah’s Guide To Not Posting Your Inane Crap”. It was a beautiful guide that was a little too offensive to get stickied, but we finally managed to get it in one.)
Good luck! http://img428.imageshack.us/img428/6369/covellohitting606ct.jpg