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Tier 1 Class
Human Priest Large.png
Class traits
An extra 3 health is gained per level
Item: Health Potion Health Potions are 100% effective
Physical damage against Trait: Undead Undead is +100%
Suggested Races
Class: Priest Halfling Priest, Class: Priest Orc Priest, Class: Priest Elf Priest
Class Challenges
Priest Bronze ChallengePriest Bronze Challenge The Deadites

Priest Silver ChallengePriest Silver Challenge The Evil Zombie

Priest Gold ChallengePriest Gold Challenge The Triad

Building: Church Level 1 House Of The Holy

Humble folk of the cloth, Priests are not especially adept at combat. However, they tend to have a remarkably high constitution due to their vegan diets and morning aerobics sessions, which comes in handy when someone has to go deal with a local undead infestation. Stupid undead.

So, what's he about?

Class trait: GOOD HEALTH GOOD HEALTH: A rather large health bonus that rewards you for leveling up. It lets you land melee hits against targets that are higher level than you. If you can kill them, you get bonus XP, which lets you level up and get more health.

Class trait: GOOD DRINK GOOD DRINK: An unrealy strong buff to the healing potion effect, it makes them more than twice as good. Everyone gets 10 health per level and the Priest has extra health per level. Health is what you use to "pay" for melee hits, and your melee damage also goes up with level. That's why this ability rewards you for leveling up, and encourages you to save your health potions for the boss.

Class trait: GOOD GOLLY GOOD GOLLY: It's the biggest buff to damage in the game, but only works against about 25% of enemies. There are undead on every map, and you should use Class trait: GOOD GOLLY GOOD GOLLY to kill undead above your level to get bonus XP. This helps you level up allowing you to get the benefits of your other abilities. Since your base damage goes up with your level, it also rewards you for leveling up.

TAKEN TOGETHER: As can be plainly seen, the "Priest" is all you would expect a stereotypical Fighter to be - a tanky melee guy who melee's stuff and has a lot of health. He wants to get his levels, and can do that by picking his targets. The health and the damage bonus can be used to take out large undead for bonus experience. This also lets you outlevel the other monsters, so you can use the other monsters as XP powerups in the middle of the boss fight. When you're as huge as you can get - drink all your potions for more hits on the boss. That's the general idea.

HOWEVER: Since all of his abilities are geared towards the late game, and since he has trouble worshipping gods (see section below), the Priest tends to be more about glyph use than the skillset implies. The Priest needs to level up somehow, and more often than not, glyphs are the only reliable way to do that.


What priests generally want to do is get levels. They can get them easily enough by killing higher level undead if there are any. This will require glyph use - even if you're the most tanky, fightery guy you still have use for glyphs. You find glyphs lying around the place, and you have to look for Undead to kill anyway, so you'll likely explore and end up with a bunch of glyphs and, hopefully, some targets.

IMPORTANT: Don't be too greedy. If you can't find high level undead that you can take down, go for a more modest kill, something only one level above you.

Besides the damage, first strike and slow, you can get a lot out of utiltiy glyphs. IMAWAL bonus experience is very precious to a Priest since he's looking for valuable Undead kills, and it makes them more valuable. ENDISWAL can be pre-cast while you explore, and stackig up a bit of temporary resistance that way can let you get an whole adittional hit in on an enemy. All the glyphs you unlock along with the tier 3 classess are quite handy on priests. This makes the spelcastery races quite good priests, and since the average priest inventory is very likely to be loaded with glyphs all the time.

An important thing: Priests tend to have large health-pools. Items and boons can make them even larger than usual. There are several techniques to leverage this in combat. One is to land a hit, and then explore just a tiny bit if it lets you get another hit in. Make sure you fireball the enemy to slow his regeneration, while you're at it. Getting damage resistance does wonders for folks with big health, and makes your potions worth even more.

Apart fomr glyphs, most advanced Priest plans involve gods. Be sure to read about this in the section below, because it's very counter-intuitive. DD Priests are absolutely the worst DD characters when it comes to worshiping gods, so much so that they're the only DD chracters who really make gods feel complicated. And for the more advanced stuff - you do need to be able to use your gods.

Otherwise, once you've got your levels, just throw everything at the boss. Definitelly use the "tiny bit of regen-fighting" technique outlined above, if applicable. As far as the master plan goes, it's as simple as they come.


Every race you pair with the Priest produces a wildly different character. Late-gamers like Humans and Dwarves are a bit redundant with what the priest allready offers, Orcs are more melee oriented than most others, Elves and Gnomes tend to balance his troubles out, Goblins are weird and awkward because any other goblin but the Priest is a great god worshipper, and the Halflings are just broken.

Human Priest Human

TRICKY: Class and race both geared towards the late game and melee.

This combination can suffer a bit from the "too much payoff" problem - human bonus comes into play with levels, and most of what the priest does becomes relevant with levels. On the other hand, the end-game is sure to be stable - you're likely to end up fat, with plenty of damage vs. anyone and silly huge damage vs. undead, along with a few cheat-code tier healing potions. Getting there is going to take glyphs, cherry-picking targets and, quite probably, gods.

On the helpful side, the human is not in a rush to convert glyphs, so you can and should play the glyph game - the ability to get first strike or slow enemy monsters is quite handy. Using ENDISWAL to prepare strikes, or IMAWAL to get more out of high-level undead kills can be quite proffitable.

Worshiping a helpful deity, provided you know how to get around the various Priest-specific traps can do wonders for you, too. In case of humans, you would really enjoy being able to make use of Dracul's extra refills - the trick to that is to join Dracul after you've killed all of the undead and used up all your health potions allready. This can mean joining a god in the middle of the fight with the boss.

Dwarf Priest Dwarf

TRICKY: Class and race both geared towards the late game and melee.

This combinatio can easily suffer a bit from the "too much payoff" problem - both the priest abilities and the dwarf racial bonus really kick in later on. However, finding suitable undead to kill can let you jumpstart your dwarf career, and once you're a big fat dwarf your healing potions will restore absurd ammounts of total health. In fact, this combination has the highest amount of maximum health from amongst all race-class combinations.

Big health alone, even with 4-5 full restores, might not be enough. You don't really do much damage against non-undead, have no innate spellcasting ability, and are practically the only class who has actual trouble comfortably worshiping a number of gods. On the god front, the fact that you play fine with Earthmother is a big deal, especially since you can move into Dracul after you've killed most of the undead and spent most of your health potions.

Play the glyphs and items to level up - you're not in a rush to convert them. Get the levels, and try to find things that make your end game health worth more - damage resistance and damage. Look for things that restore health, too. If you level up efficiently, you will have low level monsters around to kill in the middle of the boss fight to level you up and refill that way, too.

This combination is also the best to finish the Priest Gold ChallengePriest Gold Challenge The Triad.

Elf Priest Elf

EASY: Nicely well rounded in most aspects.

Somewhat unintuitively, the Elven Priest is a very smooth combination. The reason is that the Priest is so melee and late game oriented that having a race that covers spellcasting from early on suddenly makes them nicely rounded. Other races would be well advised to start their priests off as spellcasters too, except for most non-elves that takes using gods, and Priests are terrible at worshiping gods. Which makes Elves incredible priests.

The general idea is that you can convert most glyphs when you find them apart from whatever gives you first strike and your damage glyph of choice. Or any useful combination of glyphs which lets you just dump most others into easy to find mana. Then you combine your effortlessly solid spellcasting and your huge damage vs undead to level up as high as possible. Then you just throw all your health and mana at the boss. It's really very simple.

An Elf Priest also has a bit of an easier time when it comes to worshipping gods simply because he's not so single-mindedly bent on melee, and his spellcasting prowess helps him fight things other than undead. It is a common PQI combination, and while it looks incredibly unsinergistic it really teaches a player to appreciate and recognize a well rounded class/race combo, as opposed to single-mindedly streamlined ones.

Halfling Priest Halfling

V. EASY: Class and race create an owepowering anomaly when combined.

There are not many class/race combinations as single-mindedly streamlined as this one. Class trait: GOOD DRINK GOOD DRINK is an unreal ability, it only makes any sense because the number of healing potions available to adventurers is somewhat firmly limited to 5, and doesn't go much above that in most circumstances. Halflings can turn any old junk into healing potions. A 100% health refill is an exceedingly rare thing in Desktop Dungeons, making acess to it as trivial as this little guy does is very much like what cheating would be if there was such a thing as cheating in DD.

It's not necessarily god mode, though, as while you'll have enough health refills to put Dracul out of bussiness, you still need to pick your targets, use your glyphs, maybe get your resistances up to make those refills worth more, get your damage up, and, and this is important, make sure you don't somehow screw up while worshiping gods. Because all those things you're looking for are most easily found by worshiping gods, and, as is so often the case with Priests, you're the guy most likely to randomly screw it up somehow.

Keep in mind, though, that this combination plays many gods very differently than any other halfling would. Most of the time in a way which makes any other halfling a much better worshiper by comparison. Many halflings love to use interactions between gods and healing potions, such as piety rewards for converting them, trading them directly for boons, or simply grabbing an early health boost and blowing potions to level up. This is a big selling point of halflings, and a big part of what makes playing them enjoyable and deeper than it looks at first glance. The halfling priest is way more likely to hoard his potions and unlikely to worship gods that allow for trademark halfling god shennanigans. This makes him a rather atypical halfling, and essentially the poster boy for the "Priests make lousy god worshippers" problem. It is compensated by the sheer lunatic power of endless Class trait: GOOD DRINK GOOD DRINK, but may leave a beginner with a strange idea of Priests, Gods, and Halflings, respectively.

IMPORTANT: As crazy powerful as the combination is, it's a very melee oriented one. Even more so if combined with gods that play somewhat smoothly with it. This can make it fatally inflexible, as you will certainly discover if you try to apply it everywhere.

Otherwise, this thing does multiple badges on Vicious Dungeon runs easily, especially in experienced hands. In inexperienced hands, you can still just pick Taurog up, dump most of your glyphs (err, keep some first strike handy), charge at dudes, blow your potions to level up and still end up dropping a boss or two at lower difficulties. Or any difficulty. Binlor, too, halflings love their Stoneskins and damage buffs.

Gnome Priest Gnome

MODERATE: Nicely balanced in terms of melee and spellcasting, but a bit tilted towards the late game overall.

The Class: Priest Gnome Priest makes for a curious case - the gnome is arguably a late game race, and the priest is a late game class. However, the gnome isn't in a rush to convert glyphs, and building a gnome up means getting him a larger mana pool. This is most often achieved through exploration. And the Priest wants to go around looking for glyphs and good Undead targets. What happens is that you end up overexploring a bit, but you have a decent mana pool to help you level the priest up - and you have a rather easy time fighting the undead you happened to scout out.

What it also means is that if preparations are involved, and you know you'll be a gnome, you can easily prep up a decent spellcasting setup, which means you'll be starting out as a decent spellcasting priest and have an easy time leveling up. And if you've built up a mana pool, you can even use mana potions to help you make extra big kills while conserving your precious health potions.

As with the Elven Priest, this is a frequent PQI combination, and this offers a lot of opportunity to practice it. Somewhat similar to the Elf, the Gnome Priest adds an aspect of flexibility and ease when it comes to dealing with melee-unfriendly enemies. It takes a bit more effort to play than the Elf, and is bound to be a bit more glyph oriented, but it's quite worthwhile once you get a hang of it. The flexibility and the ease of prepping up a deadly gnome lets it shine in longer Vicious scenarios where it's stacked end-game inevitably comes into play.

Orc Priest Orc

EASY: Nicely balanced early and late game, a bit less glyph friendly than you might want.

Class: Priest Orc Priests are a nicely balanced combination. Combining the Orc's increased base damage with the Priest's Class trait: GOOD HEALTH GOOD HEALTH makes them decent melee fighters. The fact that it works great early on makes it especially appealing since the Priests crave a strong early game. Orc like to explore in order to find stuff to convert, and Priests like to explore in order to find Undead to kill, so that sinergizes nicely.

The Orc's increased base damage synergizes well with the Class trait: GOOD GOLLY GOOD GOLLY, too, allowing for undead enemies to be taken out extremely early. Combined with first strike (a Getindare glyph, for example) an Class: Priest Orc Priest can eliminate very high level undead enemies. On that note, don't madly convert ever glyph you find, Burndayraz is always useful to a priest to regen-fight that little bit for an extra hit.

When the signficance of the Orc bonus stats tapering off, all the Priestly goodness starts kicking in, and you usually end up being pleasantly well rounded. Damage resistance is your friend, as is crafty worship of gods which let you follow up on your limited supply of healing potions.

Goblin Priest Goblin

V. TRICKY - Can take expert handling for unobvious reasons.

Class: Priest Goblin Priest are awkward, even for experienced users. Especially for experienced goblin users, because so much of good goblin play involves gods.

Most goblins aim to grab a health bonus anyway, and they do that by worshiping a god with an easy to acquire health bonus. This often means an up-front chunk of health they can use to get going, as they have no fighting ability otherwise. The priest wouldn't mind - if the gods that are great with goblins weren't so fiddly with Priests. Goblins also like having both thier bars grow large, and the Priest only helps on the health front. Also, and this is a big problem, Priests preferr being able to use their glyphs and goblins burn glyphs for experience. Priests don't rely on mid-fight level-ups that much, and goblins like their mid-fight level ups.

However, Goblins do appreciate the big ole healing potions endgame and the damage bonus against the undead. And the priest does appreciate being able to pad out fat Undead kills with experience out of nowhere, as well as occasionally being able to skip a level when there aren't suitable Undead to kill, or when poison would make their life miserable. And Priests love their levels, and Goblins can help them get those levels.

The best advice, if you'd like to play Goblin Priests, is to make your life easier with preparations. This is why this combo is listed as very tricky, it's likely to play much better if prepped up a bit. Grab Magnet:Fireball so that you can start using both your bars right away. Then cook up a concrete plan of your own, something like - prep a lockered Keg of Health and Jehora Jeheyu. Being able to slow things right off the bat, along with one affordable health boost, and all the mana boosts you'd like, is likely going to work out for you. It perfectly playable, and can be quite strong, it just does need experience.


What The Priest is NOT about

What isn't plain to see is that the Priest is the worst possible class in the whole game for fiddling with most gods if you're a beginner. He's a lightning rod for punishments! This often trips up new players - the "Priest" is more of an exorcist, or rather, a fighter who happens to be good against undead. Many players assume that he is supposed to be used to try out gods. Don't! Figure gods out a bit with other characters. Gods are much more user-friendly for everybody else.

In detail:

The Glowing Guardian - doesn't like you using potions. For many people the god learning curve ends right there - they take a Priest to try Glowing Guardian out, reach the end of the map, level up really high, and start fighting the boss. Then they drink teir potions and this ends up horribly. Then they never bother touching any gods again. Save yourself the touble, and avoid worshiping this guy with a Priest before you figure him out.

Dracul - would be the best Priest deity ever, the Priest is all about health and refills, and Dracul is all about health and refills. He even hands out damage resistance! Except Dracul doesn't like you drinking health potions and killing undead. And you're the guy who's all about drinking health potions and killing undead. Yeah.

Taurog - Is pretty safe, except the problem is that 2 out of 3 Priest abilities are late game abilities, and the third is quite situational. So the average priest really wants to be able to use his glyphs to level up. It's not that it won't work, depending on your race and the difficulty level, it's just that you're shooting yourself in the foot and you don't even realize it.

Binlor Ironshield - would be great because he helps you with resistances and damage, except he punishes you for leveling up by taking away any resistances you might have acquired. And you really want to level up, and you really want some resistances as they make all your health and refils way more valuable. If you don't have any resistances, it's fine, sure, but you really like your resistances an would like to have them.

Mystera Annur - would be a great option for the Priest because you want to use your glyphs to level up and then becaome a huge melee monster with all your potions saved for the late game. The problem is that the by far most common Undead enemies, the ones you're most eager and likely to fight, are Zombie and Wraiths. Of those two the Wraith is much easier to tackle - unless you're worshipping Mystera who'll punish you for killing them AND for getting mana burned (which you will if you melee them, and you want to be able to do that). Yeah.

Jehora Jeheyu - he's not particularly bad for Priests, per se, he just doesn't necessarily have that much to offer you, and he's a bit tricky to handle for a beginner. Also, he can randomly poison you, and the Priest likes blowing Healing Potions to solve that much less than any other guy out there. He can even be really good in moderation, but you're better off figuring him out wiht someone else.

Tikki Tooki - likes guys who have an easy time leveling up and then rewards them with a late game. You're more of a guy with a late game looking for ways to level up. It can work spectacularly well if you pick your targets and play a more spellcastery race for your priest, and the first strike glyph is tempting, but it can also easily be a decision that you come to regret if you're not comfortable with gods yet. Also - his late game can cost you precious health potions.

Figure gods out with a differend Tier 1 class. Then when you know what these guys don't like, you can (and should) figure out how to use them with "Priests".

Worshiping Gods

Here's the deal with Priests and gods, once you're aware Priests make iffy worshipers:

God: Glowing Guardian Glowing Guardian won't let you drink your potions, but that's about the only thing he won't let you do. And you want to save your potions for the boss fight anyway, so what's to stop you from worshipping him and then swapping out to someone else in order to drink your potions?

God: Dracul Dracul doesn't like you drinking health potions and killing undead. Join him when you've exhausted both, and use a few of his boons to gain piety with him mid-fight with the boss. Or alternate Sanguine and Health Potions to keep your piety stable. He's a great deity for a Priest due to the Sanguine and Blood Swell boons, he's just really tricky to use.

God: Jehora Jeheyu Jehora Jeheyu is a great god for the Priest to worship thanks to God boon: Boost Health Boost Health. An investment of a single Item: Health Potion Health Potion for 20 max health - right away - can go a long way. The glyph will also help with both exploring and giving you much appreciated first strike. Just be sure you know what you're doing as you really don't like getting poisoned.

God: The Earthmother The Earthmother is the only one (apart from the God: The Pactmaker The Pactmaker) who won't mess you up in any way, and will help you with both leveling and entangling enemies so you can get your big hits in. She's also good for farming up a lot of piety to use with other gods.

God: The Pactmaker The Pactmaker has a few things you like, the God boon: Warrior's Pact Warrior's Pact can get you a lot of health, and most other things are useful - but the most important thing is that he can't really mess you up. Just be careful about combining him with someone who can.

God: Taurog Taurog The thing about him is that he works rather well at lower difficulty with certain priests (Orc, Halfling), so he puts you in the wrong frame of mind about the nature of Priests. He likes you converting glyphs faster than most Priests want to convert their glyps. If you know you're going for a really melee-oriented priest, sure, go ahead, Taurog's cool, you like the damage and the resistances. If you're up against a physical resistant boss - then you're in big trouble.

God: Mystera Annur Mystera Annur She'd be a great deity if killing Wraiths wasn't your primary target. And for a spellcasting Priest it's even more pronounced than it would be for a purely melee one, since Wraiths are so vulnerable to it. As long as you're aware of this glitch - feel free to try her out, it's quite worth it with a prepped fireball, especially for the late-game Priests like Humans and Dwarves who love their glyph play while they explore and level up.


Obviously, items like the Item: Trisword Trisword and Item: Alchemist Scroll Alchemist Scroll work very well with the Priest, allowing you to get great leverage out of them, thanks to the Priest's natural dependency on Health Potions. Item: Naga Cauldron Naga Cauldron makes potions overheal even when you are not debuffed, giving you 100% HP every time.

If you have Item: Pepper the Dog Pepper the Dog in your locker, you can use it to "mark" a boss as undead if you want to make sure you get to use the Priest's damage bonus against a boss.

(Add the Avatar's Codex strats) etc.