WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. Dawn Moore is a discipline priest by reputation, but still enjoys melting faces as shadow and bugging her raid to click the Lightwell as holy.
Are you going to be playing a holy priest in Mists of Pandaria? Are you up to date on what's different? Do you know what talents to pick, or what gear you want? If you don't, this guide will explain the changes, help you select talents, and give you suggestions on picking out gear for your character. Let's start with the changes.
Lightspring You know how priests have always been begging Blizzard to make Lightwell work like that Lightwell in Trial of the Champion? The one that spits out heals at players instead of requiring them to click on it? Well, we finally got it. It's called Lightspring, and you can get it by inscribing the Glyph of Lightspring. It does just as much healing as Lightwell, except it does it over time and only heals players below 50% health.
Chakra The three Chakra states (Chakra: Serenity, Chakra: Sanctuary, and Chakra: Chastise) have become stances which players can now swap between as they please. Previously you had to activate Chakra states by casting a corresponding spell, but now you can simply bind each state to a key and switch like druids or warriors. Unfortunately, there is a 30-second cooldown on each stance so you can't quickly swap between the stances to maximize your Chakra usage down to the individual spell. You'll still be able to switch Chakra several times during a fight though.
Our new level 87 spell is Void Shift This spell can be used in emergencies to swap your health percentage with an ally's. This can be done to save yourself from certain death, or to save someone else. When swapping, any player below 25% of their health (be it the priest or the target) will be healed to 25% health before trading health percentages.
Holy priests can no longer get Archangel We still have Evangelism to increase the damage and reduce the mana cost of Smite and Holy Fire, but the pretty angel wings, mana return, and healing buff are long gone.
Rapid Renewal and Divine Touch have become one passive ability instead of two separate talents. The functionality remains the same.
Divine Hymn and Hymn of Hope do not gain additional ticks from haste any more.
I've previously made the following points, but to ensure this is a relatively freestanding article, please note the following dispel changes.
Dispel Magic and Purify Dispel Magic is now only for offensive dispelling on enemy targets. To dispel debuffs on an ally, you'll be using a new spell called Purify, which removes all harmful magic and disease effects. Purify has an 8-second cooldown.
Mass Dispel This spell can no longer be spammed continuously due to a newly added 15-second cooldown, but it now removes all harmful magical effects from allies when cast. It will only remove one beneficial effect from an enemy.
I've covered talent selection at length in the two previous posts, linked below.
I will be adding to this section in the near future, so please feel free to check back.
Figuring out your priority system
Things really haven't changed for holy priests. You may want to be a little less trigger happy on your AoE spells to save mana, but other than that our playstyle is going to stay the same. To drive that point home, let's take a look at the HPM charts below to see the mana efficiency of your spells.
Please note, these numbers were taken from a priest with an ilvl of about 450. This is the item level you would have after getting some gear from heroics. (I will update the HPM chart in the discipline guide later this week so the ilvl and gear is the same for both charts.)
As I've mentioned in the past, when mana is in short supply it's important to know which spells give you the most bang for your buck. As you can see, the efficiency of the spells changes depending on what chakra stance you're in.
Stats and reforging
It's important to know that intellect does not boost the size of your mana pool anymore. In Mists of Pandaria, intellect only increases spell power and critical strike rating. This turns spirit into your one and only regen stat. I recommend stacking as much spirit as you can, then assessing your mana needs from there. If you find you have more than you need, cut back in favor of intellect (when possible) or other secondary stats.
Holy stat priority has not changed since Cataclysm. After spirit and intellect you're going to want haste, then mastery. (Critical strike rating still doesn't amount to much so you can largely ignore it.) With haste, I recommend you stack enough to get extra ticks on some of your spells, though the amount you need varies from spell to spell. I strongly encourage all of you to read Derevka's short article on Haste Breakpoints, which will tell you how much haste you need to get each of those possible ticks.
If you want a number to go off though, I'd aim for 4,721 haste rating (or 4,253 if you're a goblin). That amount of haste will get you an extra tick on Lightwell (or Lightspring), Renew (with Glyph of Renew, the breakpoint for Renew without the glyph is much lower), and three additional ticks to Holy Word: Sanctuary. Keep in mind that to get anything from haste, you have to actually cast the spells you're aiming to improve.
Once you're good on haste, it's time for mastery. Holy mastery will account for a solid chunk of your healing, and only a small portion of it ends up as overhealing on average (the average based on last week's logs is about 10% overhealing — the actual amount of overhealing you see will depend a lot on how much topping off other healers in your raid do).
What enchants do I want for my gear?
When choosing between two secondary stats, remember what we discussed in the previous section.
What gems do I pick?
If you're struggling with mana, opt to use blue, green, or purple gems for spirit. If you find your mana needs are met, select red, orange, or yellow gems.
What major glyphs should I use?
You can use any glyph you like if there's a good reason for it, but below are the glyphs you are most likely to use as a holy priest in PvE.
Glyph of Circle of Healing The value of this glyph will be determined by the size of your party or raid, as well as the damage in any given encounter. Increasing the amount of targets for Circle of Healing won't be beneficial in a 5-man, but could be in a 10-man if there is enough raid damage that there are often six people who need healing. For holy priests in 25-man, you're most likely to be raid healing so in that case, this is the glyph.
Glyph of Desperation You don't need to have this glyph inscribed 24/6, but every so often you'll encounter a fight where you could be stunned by an add or boss ability. For such a fight, remember this glyph.
Glyph of Lightspring We talked about Lightspring earlier, this is what you'll need to get it.
Glyph of Lightwell This glyph will simply give you a little bit more from your Lightwell or Lightspring.
Glyph of Prayer of Mending I almost always take this glyph to make up for the fact that many times Prayer of Mending only bounces once or twice.
Glyph of Renew You'll have to refresh Renew more often with this glyph, but increasing the spell's HPS makes it much more valuable in dire situations.
The glyphs listed below are usable in very specific circumstances that you may or may not encounter this expansion. I wouldn't recommend inscribing any of them unless they're a key component in some A-Team style plan where you strap a Lightwell to your back and kill adds with the Glyph of Reflective Shield and a paperclip.
Glyph of Fade For the holy priest with a tank who can't pick up adds.
Glyph of Holy Fire Holy priests don't have Atonement, so the only thing you contribute by casting offensive holy spells like Holy Fire or Smite is piddly DPS. If that piddly DPS is important, however, have at it.
Glyph of Holy Nova You will no longer find Holy Nova in your spellbook unless you inscribe this glyph. The healing on it continues to be very subpar, so reserve your use of this spell to times when you need to damage several low health targets.
Glyph of Inner Sanctum The increased movement speed and damage reduction do have a place in PvE encounters, but this glyph rarely beats out the competition.
Glyph of Mass Dispel The need for Mass Dispel in PvE is more predictable, so the likeliness that you'll need to buy extra reaction time is low. However, it does make things a bit more foolproof if you do need it.
Glyph of Purify If you end up on dispel duty, this glyph falls under the category of “every little bit helps.”
Glyph of Smite As I said earlier about the Glyph of Holy Fire, there won't be many reasons to DPS as a holy priest.
Glyph of Spirit of Redemption Unless you plan on spending a lot of time dead (which hey, maybe you do during progression) this glyph isn't going to do much for you.
What about food, flasks, and potions?
If you have additional thoughts or advice for new and novice priests, please feel free to leave a comment. Think something is missing? E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll see if I can write a supplemental article on the topic that needs more fleshing out. Good luck!
More at Spiritual Guidance: Guide to Mists of Pandaria holy priests
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