I recently rolled a Shadow Priest with a full set of heirlooms. The reason I went shadow is because it's simply easier to level with when soloing/questing in comparison to Discipline or Holy. Once I reach level 85 on this particular character, I'll be playing the role of a healer in Holy spec for the majority of the time.

My question is the following: I'd really like to start healing earlier, preferably as soon as I can queue for instances. Can a Shadow Priest get by as a healer in pre-Cataclysm instances until I get dual talent specialisation?

Will I be getting my group killed if I do that?

Any advice would be appreciated.

2 Answers 2


You should be fine healing in Shadow Specialisation at low levels, especially if you're only using Shadow Spec until you get Dual Specialisation, which is level 30 or so now.

At those levels you should have no problems at all keeping the party up.

That being said, up until Dual Specialisation level Discipline does perfectly sufficient DPS and would actually be quicker to level with because of the mana issues you suffer at lower levels as Shadow.

Either way you choose to go, the way you'd go about it would simply be keep Power Word: Shield up on the tank as much as possible. For healing it depends if you choose to stick with Shadow or go with Discipline, but as Shadow you will be using Flash Heal and as Discipline you will be going with Penance.


With a full set of heirlooms you shouldn't have any problems keeping the tank alive. Assuming of course that the tank has decent gear. If the tank is way undergeared, pulls too quickly, or your dps start pulling enemies all over the place, you will have a much harder time healing because you will have a limited healing toolbox.

Keep Power Word: Shield and Renew on the tank, and use Flash Heal and Heal when you need bigger heals.

In lower level dungeons, with a competent group, you will probably be dps'ing most of the time yourself anyways.

All that being said, the Discipline specialization is the best for low level healing because of one ability... Penance!

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