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Prayer of Hotfix – Answered.

December 16, 2010

December 15 – Priests (Source)

  • Blessed Resilience now increases healing received by 15/30%, up from 5/10%.
  • Focused Will now reduces damage taken by 5/10% and 10/20%, up from 4/8% and 6/12%.
  • Healing done by Glyph of Dispel Magic no longer improperly caps out at a certain health pool range.
  • Holy Concentration’s mana regeneration component has been increased from 10/20% to 20/40%.
  • Player-controlled vehicles return an Invalid Target error when attempting to use Leap of Faith on them.
  • Rapture’s mana regeneration component has been increased from 1.5/2/2.5 to 2/4/6%.

Oh Blizzard, you’re a little late, but I still love you for this. This is pretty huge for both specs. The Holy buff makes Spirit an impossibly good stat, and trinkets like Blood of Isiset will result in phenomenal mana gains. The Discipline buff is the opposite, making Intellect (and mana pool size) even more useful and gives over twice the mana return. I’ve stopped having any mana problems on normals now, and few in Heroics – only long fights. However this will make drinking between trash less necessary, and will mean I dont require the DPS to be QUITE as high as I can last a bit longer. Also, I tried a raid. Apart from it being a pug with green tanks and DPS my mana still felt very flammable, hopefully this buff will help that! Very pleased with the buffs overall, not sure how needed they were, but it will pacify a LOT of the people complaining. Buffing priests and nerfing Holydins (yes they got hit HARD but all my proadin friends dont care about so I’m going to ignore the people crying about it – I NEVER used ToR endgame WotLK, yes this is Cata, but HS is enough Holy Power for any non LoD spammer). LIFE IS GOOD.

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Healing Cataclysm Heroics – Holy or Disc.

December 14, 2010

For many priests right now, this seems to be the big decision. The answer is simpleplay the spec you prefer and enjoy more! However I will outline the strength and weaknesses of both in case you would enjoy the most powerful the most.

An updated Guide for experienced Priests looking at healing Rise HC’s and Raids can be found HERE.

Discipline – Guide to Disc!Guide to Priest Healing!

StrengthsDiscipline excels at mitigation and damage reduction, it reigns supreme in encounters with predictable or consistent damage.

  • Power Word: Shield mitigates damage – quite a lot on the tank with Strength of Soul and Heal – and regenerates mana from Rapture. It also causes Renewed Hope and Weakened Soul for -3% dmg and +10% crit respectively.
  • +15% Intellect boosts your mana pool, spell-power and crit – very good scaling.
  • Divine Aegis makes Prayer of Healing (GLYPH IT!) a very potent group heal/shield. If you know group damage is incoming, use it to soften the blow and to top anyone off. No healing should be wasted as people should be kept at 70 – 80%.
  • Inner Focus gives you big free GHeals on the tank when you need them most – and Train of Thought makes it more efficient to cast occasionally.
  • Evangelism/Atonement/Archangel may not be the best use of talents, but it has it’s uses. I’d skip it but thats a personal thing more than anything.
  • Penance/Grace make your tank healing abilities pretty strong, giving you bigger Heals on the one who THEORETICALLY needs them most (in practice it’s the Rogue or Warlock (UGH)).

WeaknessesDiscipline will never have the raw power of Holy, and can struggle with heavy, random AoE.

  • Inherently smaller heals mean that without Grace stacks you will need to cast more spells to heal someone up.
  • While Power Word: Barrier is strong it’s just not Guardian Spirit.
  • Reliant on more expensive Greater Heal and cooldown (Penance) for healing heavy tank damage.
  • Reliant on crit rating to proc Divine Aegis – current low gear levels can render this talent virtually useless.
  • Weaker AoE healing even with Divine Aegis on Prayer of Healing meaning you will need more Prayers to get everyone up after AoE – costing a lot of mana.

Holy – Guide to Holy!Guide to Priest Healing!

StrengthsHoly is all about pure, raw, healing power. Versatility is the name of the game with Holy, you can adapt to any situation – and excel at it.

  • A very potent and scalable mastery. Can easily reach 20 – 30% additional healing with current gear levels – making every heal more efficient.
  • +15% Healing means you’re spells are inherently stronger. Not quite the scaling of Discipline but makes you more efficient with bigger heals.
  • +20% regen from spirit is uttterly amazing and means you can get truly absurd amounts of mana regen.
  • CHAKRA!
  • Prayer of Healing (GLYPH IT!) and Circle of Healing make for extreme AoE healing. Using CoH then PoH will heal the group for significant amounts and can trivialise most AoE damage. Heavy AoE fight? Pop Chakra: Sanctuary, cast Holy Word: Sanctuary, CoH then PoH and it won’t seem so bad.
  • Powerful, efficient tank healing from Chakra: Serenity. Extra crit on your single target spells and they renew the rather expensive Renew. The Holy Word is very cheap and a moderate amount – and don’t underestimate the buff. Holy Word: Serenity, Flash Heal then Greater Heal is a HUGE heal-spike which will save your tank from almost any situation.
  • Guardian Spirit – enough said.
  • Body and Soul makes kiting a dream and means you can get in range fast if the tank is knocked back or moves too far.
  • Test of Faith means you’re even more potent when you need it most.
  • Serendipity makes Flash Heal and Binding Heal much more efficient and means PoH and GHeal are faster and cheaper.
  • Under used for it’s poor scaling- but AWESOME at current gearing levels, Surge of Light gives you free Flash Heals and Serendipity procs.

WeaknessesHoly is expensive and requires virtually perfect execution – picking the wrong Chakra or healing spell can cause a wipe.

  • Slow heals can be a killer – the lack of Borrowed Time can hurt.
  • Lower mitigation theanDiscipline forces you to heal more.
  • Requires virtually every green number to be effective to be efficient and not to go OOM.
  • Reliant on mana cooldowns.

Overall it’s a very personal choice. I was Discipline in Wrath and I’m not overly sure why. I REALLY enjoyed it but I always thought of trying holy. I had no gear for it though so it was awful. I didn’t have the haste or spirit to make it work – now I do. I don’t need the haste really, triage makes it less important – I like that a lot. I love the holy mastery, even the name. I’m going to be a Holy Priest for the foreseeable future unless my guild needs a Disco. We’re planning to run Holy Paladin, Resto Shaman and Priest – those two will have the tanks covered, I’m pretty sure, at least I hope they have. I’m awful at tank healing – I’m scatterbrained and much better at shooting heals off in every direction than on one/two people (I know that makes about as much sense as Lightwell used to – but like Lightwell it’s secretly imba!). Priest Healing is a strict but potent mistress, learn to love it. Pick a spec and fly with it. Play what you enjoy. Ultimately you’re a Priest, you could even heal as Shadow. Healing is what we do. (Though we are DANGEROUS as dps- muahahahaha).

Mind Control and You.

December 14, 2010

Crowd Control is more important than ever. Priests don’t REALLY have normal Crowd Control. Sure, we can Shackle undead, or AoE fear (GLYPH IT!) but really, that’s not as useful as polymorph. What we do have, is something magical. Mind Control. If you’re a shadowpriest ABUSE it. Every pull. Let the tank know what your doing of course. If you’re a healer then it’s a little harder to use it, but still possible. You can open with it so a mob is dead before you engage, then heal. More usefully, you can MC healing mobs and heal with them (Temple Adepts in VP for example – 100k heals ftw!). Practice makes perfect.

Priest Healing in Cata.

December 13, 2010

So I’ve now healed a few heroics, and with decent DPS and tanks it wasn’t that bad at all. So I thought I’d post how I think about Healing right now, it’s more for Holy but I’ll talk Disc where I can:

For more in depth Guides on specific talents/spells in Normal (and Heroics really) – Holy (here) and Disc (here)

First of all, lets look at our targets;

  1. The TANK – The person taking the most damage (hopefully) is going to need the most healing. I see people spamming Heal, Nourish, Healing Wave, Holy Light on the Tank and wondering why he dies. The answer is throughput. As a Priest, Renew the tank as he pulls. Then Activate Chakra/cast Power Word: Shield and cast Heal on him. Use PoM on the tank on cooldown, as well as Holy Word: Serenity/Penance if the tank is at 70% or lower HP. Most of the time you WILL be using Heal. Sometimes the tank will get low. Flash Heal/Power Word:Shield (if he has weakened soul then Flash Heal) him, then cast a hasted Greater Heal (from Serendipity/Borrowed Time) then cast your cooldown (Holy Word: Serenity/Penance). Repeat if necessary. Sometimes I even FHFHGH as holy for huge, fast throughput. (It’s hard on mana but I’ve got about 3-4k mana regen in combat with procs up (and I always seem to have one proc up)).
  2. The HEALER (YOU) – You matter most after the tank. Some healers forget to heal themselves. It sounds elementary, but Binding Heal is your friend. Renew yourself and use Power Word: Shield, then pop a binding heal on someone else who’s low and get back to healing other people. It even procs serendipity for a quick PoH or GH.
  3. The DPS – They need to be alive to kill things. I’ve seen a lot of healers Heal (or equivalent) spam the tank and let DPS die from unavoidable, slow, aoe damage. It makes me sad. As Priests we are powerful and versatile multi-target healers. You can point heal in Chakra: Serenity with Heal and the odd Flash Heal/Greater Heal, use Binding Heal and Flash Heal to get quick, cheap PoH’s, just simply cast PoH a few times, spread renew and Shields around and use CoH, or even use Chakra: Sanctuary. You can heal the DPS. I don’t go oom from keeping everyone alive with a variety of spells, and because the DPS are up and DPSing things die faster, so I don’t have time to go oom.

So lets look at Priorities: (This list assumes you PoM the tank on CD, and maintain renew on the Tank.)

  1. Tank < 25% – Flash Heal/Power Word: Shield + Holy Word: Serentity/Penance + (Inner Focus) Greater Heal – If whole group is low use Divine Hymn/Prayer of Healing.
  2. Healer < 40% – Renew + Shield (sometimes as Holy too for running away form Bad) + Binding Heal (most likely on the Tank)
  3. Tank < 40% – Holy Word: Serenity/Penance + (Inner Focus) Greater Heal
  4. DPS < 40% – Renew + Binding Heal or Heal – If multiple party memebers are low (3+) then Prayer of Healing/CoH
  5. Tank < 60% – Holy Word: Serenity/Penance + Heal
  6. Dispel important Debuffs
  7. Healer < 80% – Renew + Binding Heal
  8. DPS < 80% – Renew – Point out there is a Lightwell
  9. Tank < 80% – Heal or Holy Word: Serenity/Penance if available for efficiencies sake
  10. Regenerate Mana! – If at any point you reach 25% mana use Shadowfiend UNLESS all group members have about 70+ % hp, then use Hymn of Hope.

I hope this helps! Another important issue is mana regen. Make sure 80+ % of your gear is Spirit Gear and reforge the other pieces to spirit. If you have too much spirit it’s easier to reforge down than hunt gear to get more. Get as much mastery/spirit gear as possible – mastery is amazing! I currently have an average of 3.5k combat regen with procs (Blood of Isiset, Tear of Blood, and Heartsong are VERY helpful) and about +21% healing as Holy. The +21% HoT is amazing, especially for DPS – and makes PoH pretty huge.

Good luck!

Embracing the Shadows: Shadow Priests in Cataclysm.

December 11, 2010

My OS has been shadow for as long as I can remember. I like the dark side of priests. I like melting faces. Shadow right now is in a bad state for mana management, but that’s just a gearing issue I feel. My damage is up there on bosses. It’s reasonable on trash. It’s nothing like a warlocks damage, but then again they’re warlocks, they burn things, I just melt them. Shadow has become a situational tree. We have straight off nuking rotations in MS-MS-MS-MB-SWD and we have our good old DoT cycle. Ramp up is at an all time high however, but we have mind spike for low hp mobs.

Making it work for you:

  • DoT the Skull (if the tank isn’t marking mark them yourself) then put SW:P and VT on the adds unless they are CC’s. MF the Skull and MB when you can, then recast your DoT’s on all targets.
  • Mind Sear<Dotting for AoE right now.
  • Spec into Paralysis. Some adds need kiting, some bosses have adds that need kiting. You can kite to an amazing extent with MS and MB with a bit lot of haste.
  • Use your shadowfiend and dispersion on cooldown. In fact, glyph dispersion. You will need it.
  • On a Boss, DoT and flay for 5 ticks. Continue flaying if you have no Shadow Orb procs. If you have shadow orbs, Mind blast and recast your DoTs under the buff. Pop Dark Archangel and flay until you need to mind blast again. Rinse and repeat, popping AA on CD after recasting and using your mana cooldowns when you can. I’m a herbalist, I pop lifebloom with AA. Use other haste/crit trinkets with it for some huge dmg.
  • You like crit. A LOT. It makes your shadowfiend cooldown MUCH faster with mind flay. Get lots. Now.

That’s the basics, beyond that… avoid the fire, the charges, dps down the enrage and the shields, pull the levers, push the buttons and dont get hit by Radiance. Yes. That’s right. You have to move and react and do things now as DPS. You can’t just burn things anymore. Oh, and for the love of Algalon, CLICK THE LIGHTWELL.

Chasing Chakra: Holy Priests in Cataclysm.

December 11, 2010

So I’ve been a disc priest for a while, but I have, many times, gazed at holy wishing I had triple spec. Alas, I re-specced to Holy from Disc at 85. Why? Well holy is kind to my low gear levels. It makes spirit more pewpew and it give me bigger heals. It also gives me Chakra. Man, I LOVE Chakra. It makes me good at what I need to be good at. Either I get crit and an instant heal for a decent amount and +25% crit on my target OR I get big AoE’s and HoT’s. Both of these become very situationally useful in cataclysm. However, there ARE downsides to holy. It’s slow for one thing. I would like a bit more haste to make it flow better. I spec into Darkness and that’s a big help, but not enough, not yet. I would like Chakra: Serenity to reduce the cast time of Heal. I think that would be nice and make holy priests feel a little less clunky.

On to using Holy in Dungeons:

  • Before the pull put PoM and renew on the tank. Drink for a second (Mage cakes ftw) and the hit Chakra. If you know the boss fight, chances are you know if you need to be in Chakra: Serenity or Chakra:Sanctuary. Almost every time you’re going to want Serenity. The instant, cheap, big heal is nice, and the buff for 25% crit is a real life saver sometimes on the tank. Occasionally half way through you may need to switch to sanctuary, but it’s often unnecessary, though useful.
  • If DPS take damage, throw renew on them and point out theres a lightwell for them to use. If they don’t use it then watch them die. If they do, pop them a Heal to refresh Renew as a reward, unless theyre full ofc.
  • If you take damage renew yourself, click your lightwell, and if needs be, Binding Heal. I LOVE Binding Heal. It procs serenity too, which makes for some fast and cheap PoHs/GHs
  • If there is heavy AoE, then FH the lowest target, BH the tank, cast PoH under 2x Serendipity and CoH. If that’s no enough, rinse and repeat or consider changing to Sanctuary. People stand in bright light most of the time… even if it is fire.
  • If someone gets dangerously low, Flash Heal. The 12% healing buff from Test of Faith means it isn’t the waste of mana you might think. If the Tank gets dagerously low, then HW: Serenity and the FH them. PoM and Renew should be on them/on CD already.
  • And remember Guardian Spirit. If the tanks about to die, use it.
  • Should everything go wrong hit Chakra if it’s off CD and PoM the tank then hit Divine Hymn. If Chakra is on CD then push Divine Hymn anyway. It’s like god mode.

And that is the basics of Holy. There are nuances and clever switchings of stance (Chakra and Inner Will/Fire) unmentioned because they are very situational. Use Inner Will until you have the mental haste (IRL and GCD wise) to switch to Inner Fire for your PoH’s, GH’s and Heals. Remember Shadowfiend and Hymn of Hope. Beyond that good luck and get good trinkets. I find +Int with a Spirit proc far better than +Spirit with a random proc. Every piece of gear should be spirit gear. If you get a good drop without spirit, then reforge it. Spirit gear is easier to reforge to other stats when you have enough spirit than the other way round, and right now, you want LOADS of spirit. I love holy for normals, but righ now with my 330 Item Level I don’t have a chance in most Heroics. I’m going to get better gear, but in the meantime I do think a small buff to priest’s would be more than welcome. We aren’t on an even playing field with some other healing classes, that’s not right.

Divine Aegis and You: Discipline Priests in Cataclysm Normals.

December 10, 2010

I’m running out of titles to say the same things, so they might get odder. And odder. However, I realised that in my last post, even though I talked about useful talents, I didn’t really talk about how to heal. It was mentioned, but not properly discussed. So I’m going to talk about it now. All the specs, so you even know how to melt faces :) This post is about DISC and holy and shadow will follow later on.

Discipline right now is a tough world. Shields are very small because crit is low and mastery is low, rendering Divine Aegis’s rare and small, and Power Word: Shields are only about 5-10% of people’s hp (including the tank). Penance is lol-wtf-where-is-my-heal? but it can be okay in a pinch… just okay though. At the end of wrath, post 4.0.3, I LOVED my two weeks of imbaPoH. Yes it was overpowered, yes it was ridiculously big, yes the hot/shield/group heal made it like god mode on LK… but I still really enjoyed it. Now its an infrequent, very expensive, mediocre heal with a small shield and tickle of a HoT. I think gear will help a lot. More intellect, crit, spirit and mastery will make this spec work. Wether we will ever have quite enough to make it REALLY work I don’t know. It shouldn’t be over powered but it shouldn’t make me want to reroll.

So how to make it work? Well here goes:

  • Pre-shield the tank, go back to basics. When Shield drops PoM and renew. And basically chain cast Heal, PW:S-ing whenever you can (Strength of Soul is your friend)
  • If DPS take damage renew and PW:S them.
  • If theres sudden aoe, PW:S youself and cast PoH under Borrowed Time, then point heal with heal.
  • Should someone be getting low, shield and Greater Heal them, preferably under Inner Focus.
  • When healing the tank gets tough, and it will… a lot, then try and use the following priorities: PW:S, PoM, Renew, Heal >50%, Greater Heal then Penance 25-50%, Flash Heal then Penance <25%. That normally works, granted your mana will dissolve if you have to do it too much, but that normally means the tank need some better gear.

That covers most of the bases with discipline. The only other thing is the good old Atonement/Archangel debate. My advice would be to avoid it until you’re comfortable, THEN consider it. It can be nice because it will keep the tank up, and the +15% helps in aoe phases and tank heavy phases, but is by no means necessary. The mana is nice, but negligible, it costs more to smite x5 and pop AA than not to until we have a bigger mana pool. And that is, in essence, the basics of Discipline as I see them right now. It’s close to being a very nice spec, but the lack of crit, mastery and spellpower is punishing. I want to complain but… tough. This isn’t Kansas Northrend anymore.