Prayer of Mending: Use it more!

November 10, 2009 at 9:27 pm (5 mans, Glyphs, Grouping, Healing Mechanics, Mana, Prayer of Mending, Raiding, User Interface)

Nobody uses Prayer of Mending as much as they should do. I love it, I use it a lot, but never enough. It is, by far, the best heal in the entire game. I want to drive that home a little.

There are pretty much three ways a Healer can wipe a raid: a) Die themselves, b) Let the Tank die, c) Lose control of raid damage. Whilst Prayer of Mending won’t really help you with (a) and (b)  it will help you keep a tight lid on raid damage by offering you every other advantage you could want:

  • Cheap
  • Lots of Healing
  • Multiple Targets
  • Quick to Cast
  • Heals over time
  • Smart Healing

You’re probably saying: “Great, bullet points! That’s exactly what I need when I’m trying to keep a raid alive…”
Okay, I do get that. Numbers aren’t exciting, but what I want to get across though is just how amazing Prayer of Mending is because if you aren’t casting it every single time it’s off cooldown you better have a good reason not to. So there will be numbers. The point is, Prayer of Mending comes out top on a lot of scales.

Efficiency compared to other spells

Prayer of Mending is the most efficient healing spell you have. In fact, it’s pretty much the most efficient healing spell anybody has. It is more than twice as efficient as Penance (Disc’s next best HPM spell), and more than twice as efficient as a Glyphed Circle of Healing (Holy’s next best HPM spell). It’s better than Nourish, it’s better than Riptide and Chain Heal. It’s much better than Beaconed Holy Light.

For example, for Discipline:

DiscEff

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Holy FAQ

October 23, 2009 at 3:31 pm (5 mans, Binding Heal, Circle of Healing, Divine Hymn, Empowered Renew, Fade, FAQ, Flash Heal, Gearing, Glyphs, Greater Heal, Grouping, Guardian Spirit, Healing Mechanics, Holy FAQ, Holy Spec 14/57/0, Holy Spec 18/53/0, Mana, Power Word: Shield, Prayer of Healing, Prayer of Mending, Raiding, Renew, Spells, Stats, Surge of Light, Talents)

What do I shine at?

Like Discipline Priests, Holy Priests make great healers in small 5 man groups because of their tremendous utility, their range of AoE and single target spells and their ability to dump aggro and self heal through Binding Heal and Desperate Prayer.

In raids Holy is primarily seen as a Raid Healing build. That is to say, you are in your element healing multiple targets simultaneously using spells like Prayer of Healing, Prayer of Mending and Circle of Healing.

You are less capable as a Tank Healer as you miss some of the mana efficiency of Discipline, or the mitigation talents like Grace. However, you still have some Tank healing ability if you spec for it, in particular through larger Flash Heals and utility spells like Guardian Spirit and talents like Inspiration. As a result Holy priests are tremendously valuable both in 25 man raids for their mass healing, and in 10 mans for their ability to fill a variety of roles as required.

Spirit of Redemption

What’s my spec?

There are essentially two specs for a Holy Priest. The first focuses on mana efficiency and is best for Priests starting out when mana is an issue. This spec picks up Mental Agility from the Discipline tree whilst still collecting as many of the powerful Holy talents as possible. That would look something like this: 18/53/0

Once you gear up you move even more towards improving your healing picking up things like Test of Faith. So more like this: 14/57/0. Your crit is higher so only one point in Surge of Light. And because you’re focusing more on raid healing Empowered Healing looks less attractive than some other raid heals. You might drop Lightwell if your raid gets no use out of it. You’re taking Spell Warding over Divine Fury because you’re not casting Greater Heal and the additional spell reduction means you take less damage in heavy AoE fights – which are exactly the fights you’re needed for the most.

Some personal choices:

Body and Soul can be a fun utility talent in certain situations. It helps people avoid fire and other dangerous boss abilities. However, Power Word: Shield is a very inefficient heal for a Holy Priest so you should not ordinarily be casting it. Furthermore, Body and Soul is only useful for a Priest who is very good at keeping track of the fight. If you don’t have a good sense of what it happening to all the players in your raid and who could really benefit from a speed boost you won’t make the most of this talent.

Another personal choice is Lightwell, more on this later. It will depend a lot on the willingness of the rest of your raid to make use of it.

Finally Inspiration is a fantastic talent if you are planning to do a lot of five mans or you want to be versatile enough to help with Tank healing in certain fights. However it is a very mediocre talent for a Priest who intends to only be the best Raid Healer that they can. This will depend a lot on your raid group and the other healers you play with.

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Shadow Priest FAQ

September 25, 2009 at 4:23 pm (5 mans, Devouring Plague, FAQ, Gearing, Glyphs, Grouping, Mind Flay, Naxxramas, Raiding, Shadow FAQ, Shadow Word: Death, Shadow Word: Pain, Shadowform, Stats, Talents, Trial of the Champion, Ulduar, Vampiric Touch)

A list of common questions people look for when they first start. This isn’t really high end discussion and some things are glossed over. Furthermore, I rarely raid as shadow anymore so much of this comes from (I hope) thorough research. Big thank you to the sites out there like Shadowpriest.com and the various shadow blogs (Shadowaffinity) for their great information.

All rights belong to *Genzoman

All rights belong to *Genzoman Deviant Art.

What’s the spec to use?

The standard PvE spec is this:

http://www.wowhead.com/?talent#bVcbhZZGxfVRfzcfqfzAo:ahqzcV

The two points in Veiled Shadows are optional and could be moved to Improved Vampiric Embrace. However the reduced cooldown on Shadow Fiend is a nice mana boost and adds a small DPS burst in certain situations.

For PvP your spec would look something like:

http://www.wowhead.com/?talent#bxIbzoMZZ0efrRfkbfqfkqo:oMIMVz

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Spirit: Worth less but not Worthless

September 1, 2009 at 9:21 pm (5 mans, Gearing, Glyphs, Grouping, Mana, Raiding, Stats)

Spirit and Mp5 (mana per five seconds) look like two sides of the same coin. You get mana over time. That’s pretty much it. Yet as always, for the people who care about this sort of thing there is maths and graphs about which is the best and under what circumstances. Rather than laying out the decimal places and coefficients I want to just pick a few salient points which I think are useful.

Spirit Image

If you’re a Holy Priest Spiritual Guidance turns 25% of your Spirit into spell power. This means that unless Spirit turns out to be completely awful (which it isn’t) it’s much better for you than pure MP5 because of all the extra spell power it gives.

As a Shadow Priest you also get spell power from Spirit but it’s a little less. Glyph of Shadow and Twisted Faith each give you a nice 10% of your Spirit as Spell Power. This means that, whilst as a Shadow priest you don’t really need much extra spirit for mana, it’s at least a little bit of a DPS boost for you if you do happen to pick some up. On the whole as a Shadow Priest most of your mana will come from Shadow Fiend, Dispersion and Replenishment, but at least any Spirit on your gear is not wasted.

As a Discipline Priest there is no big bonus to Spirit. You get 6% more of it from Enlightenment, but you get no benefit from Spirit except for more mana. So as a Discipline Priest all you really care about is: “Which gives you more mana, Spirit or MP5?”

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The Great(er) Heal Debate!

August 27, 2009 at 5:15 pm (Borrowed Time, Flash Heal, Glyphs, Greater Heal, Healing Mechanics, Mana, Serendipity, Spells)

The Challenge

Is there still a place for Greater Heal in a Priest’s healing arsenal? I still use it, but I’m beginning to wonder whether it really is something I should have on my action-bar. There are certainly times that people have died because I’ve used Greater instead of Flash, but I’m prepared to work on those mistakes if I feel Greater Heal is giving me tangible benefits. So here’s the question: Does Greater heal have a significant benefit over Flash Heal in any situations?

WoWScrnShot_082709_162621


The differences between Flash and Greater Heal are essentially three things: a) Mana Cost, b) Size of Heal, c) Cast Time.

So lets look and see whether Greater Heal has any major advantages in one of those three things. Quick and dirty summary at the bottom of the post.

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What glyphs should I take?

July 28, 2009 at 6:07 pm (Circle of Healing, Flash Heal, Glyphs, Guardian Spirit, Guardian Spirit, Mind Flay, Pain Suppression, Pain Suppression, Penance, Power Word: Shield, Prayer of Healing, Renew, Shadow Word: Death, Shadow Word: Pain, Spells)

Picks first, then there is a run down of all the majo glyphs incase you want a little more information.

PicksGlyph screen

Discipline Picks

I raid with Glyph of Penance, Glyph of Flash Heal, and Glyph of Power Word: Shield. In ten mans I would consider dropping Flash Heal for Glyph of Prayer of Healing if you can spare the mana.

Holy Picks

My picks would be Guardian Spirit, Circle of Healing, Prayer of Healing. If you need more mana take Flash Heal over Guardian Spirit for 10 mans, and over Prayer of Healing for 25 mans.

Shadow Picks

My picks would be Shadow, Shadow Word: Pain and Mind Flay as they offer the best DPS boosts and the range advantage from Mind Flay glyph can be a massive boost in certain situations.

Rundown of all the options:

Shadow

Dispersion : Reduces the cooldown on Dispersion by 45 sec.

You should not really have mana issues as Shadow so being able to use Dispersion more often would only really be useful for avoiding damage. It doesn’t work on many dangerous boss abilities. Essentially this is a PvP glyph and not worth it for PvE.

Mind Flay : Increases the range of your Mind Flay spell by 10 yards, but it only reduces the target’s movement speed by 10%.

A definite PvE glyph and not a bad one. For fights with positioning advantages like Hodir, Iron Council, Vezax etc where you don’t always have a choice where to stand, this glyph is a really nice one. Even where it doesn’t matter where you stand, any time you spend chasing the boss to get in range is a huge amount of wasted DPS.

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Should I gem for…?

July 24, 2009 at 11:30 am (Gearing, Gems, Glyphs, Stats)

I was chatting to a fellow guild healer today and I realised we held different opinions on something I thought was really straight forward. I had always been told, and looking at complicated maths, it seems correct to say, Discipline Priests and Holy Paladins share pretty much the same gear preferences. Spirit is not fantastic, Intellect is great, Spell power, Haste, Crit are all good stuff. So I was surprised to find how much the two of us disagreed about how to gear our characters.

Holy Priests, if you’re about to stop reading because it’s a Discipline article, I promise you it isn’t.

He’s a Holy Paladin and the guild Jewel Crafter, and when I got a new hat from Flame Leviathan 10man, I was looking to gem it. The hat wants a blue gem, but given how bad the socket bonus is (+8 spirit), I decided to ignore it. I was weighing up 16 intellect, versus 19 spell power. It ought to be the most cut and dry decision. Spell power is the best way of increasing my healing. Intellect is the best way of increasing my mana. So it ought to be simple, do I need more mana or more healing?

My thinking is, I’ve got enough mana, you can’t have enough healing. His opinion was very much, I already heal for a lot, you can never have too much mana.

Healers, more than anybody, have to be responsible for their own gearing decisions. Whether you heal the raid or you heal the tank. Whether you usually heal along with a Shaman or a Paladin. Whether you heal aggressively or conservatively. Whether you glyph Guardian Spirit or Flash Heal. All these things influence how much Intellect you need versus Spell Power. Glyph of Flash Heal means you can get away with less intellect, but because you don’t have Glyph of Guardian Spirit, you might want more more Haste to make up for that. Just an example.

I think, I’ve got enough mana for now. If I don’t usually run out of mana, then I am in a sense “over the mana cap”. That’s to say, just like a player who has more hit rating than they need, that extra hit is wasted. If I’m ending every fight with 50% mana, then I don’t need as much mana as I have. Mana sitting unused in my mana pool is wasted stats. If I never need to use Shadow Fiend, then I should ditch some intellect because clearly I’ve got too much. Thus I’d rather gem for Spell Power so I can heal bigger if the boss is doing lots of damage. Or gem for Haste if I find that sometimes my heal lands just that half a second too late.

My Paladin friend on the other hand feels differently, and justifyably so. His feeling is, Paladin heals already land for fourteen thousand, he commonly has overhealing because of it and so, for him, more spell power is wasted. On the other hand, more intellect means for those fights where the other healer dies, he’s almost always got enough mana to see him through to the end. If it’s possible to solo heal the fight, he’ll almost always have enough mana to do it. So who’s right?

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Serendipity & Prayer of Healing

July 16, 2009 at 2:44 pm (Binding Heal, Circle of Healing, Flash Heal, Glyphs, Grouping, Healing Mechanics, Prayer of Healing, Prayer of Mending, Raiding, Renew, Serendipity, Spells, Surge of Light, Talents)

By far the biggest heal in a Priests arsenal is Prayer of Healing and even with the upcoming 3.2 nerf it out heals every other Priest spell by a long way. Greater heal crits for around fourteen thousand, Prayer of Healing currently crits for twice that! What Serendipity gives you is the ability to blast the raid with giant Prayers of Healing at a moment’s notice.

Using stacks of Serendipity you can be dropping a Prayer of Healing as fast as you could cast a flash heal. The key is being able to build up Serendipity stacks as fast as possible, and being able to use them at the right time.

Serendipity wills stack whenever you cast a Flash Heal or a Binding Heal. Flash Heal is not a fantastic raid heal spell. It’s fast but it’s only one target out of the whole raid. Binding Heal is usually the better choice so long as you aren’t overhealing too much. However Surge of Light procs give free, instant cast Flash Heals which is not something to scoff at. Flash Heal is not the best raid heal, but it fills a role.

The Circle of Life:

The result is a really neat synergy.

Circle of Healing will do AoE healing and probably proc Surge of Light.

You spend you free Flash Heal for healing and a Serendipity buff.

Throw out a renew on a player for a small instant heal (and possible Surge of Light proc).

You cast Binding Heal for more healing, more chance of crits, and more Serendipity buffs.

You cast Prayer of Healing with 2-3 haste buffs and in the process probably proc Surge of Light again.

Back to Circle of Healing and repeat.

So the idea here is to let Circle of Healing, Prayer of Mending, Surge of Light and Binding/Flash heals top up the people really in trouble whilst Prayer of Healing takes massive advantage of the Serendipity buffs to land giant splash heals on whole groups at a time.

So that’s how we get Serendipity buffs, but how to best use them?

Making the best use of Prayer of Healing

Prayer of Healing will hit 5 people in a specific group. So it’s important we think very hard about which 5 players to heal. Because it’s not a smart heal we can’t rely on it to heal the 5 people most in need of it. Therefore it’s up to us to ensure that the people who need healing are all in the same group.

We do that by careful use of our “filler” spells, the things we used to generate our Serendipity buffs. So for example, we cast Circle of Healing, Prayer of Mending, Renew, Flash Heal and Binding Heal to help generate our Serendipity stacks. If we were to throw these out randomly we would not expect to have a good target for Prayer of Healing. Chances are that no single party would have 5 players on low health, they’d each have a mix of players near death and players at full.

This is what I call spot healing, and it’s the bread and butter of a good healer. You aren’t just healing anybody who needs it, you’re being careful about the sorts of heals you use, and who you use them on to create a situation where you can benefit the most from your real powerhouse heals. If you just go crazy with Prayer of Healing straight off the bat individual players may not survive long enough to see that Prayer land. So topping up players before trying to cast a Prayer is an important stage, and with Serendipity you benefit even more from this Spot Healing stage. Once people are out of danger and you have created a nice juicy target group, that’s when you come in with the big slow heals like Prayer of Healing.

So the process of generating our Serendipity buffs is important to helping us make the best use of our Prayer of Healing. We want to spread these heals out to leave us a good target for Prayer of Healing: A party of 5 players on more or less the same health, and with plenty of health deficit so we aren’t wasting mana on overhealing.

Some of our heals will do this automatically. Prayer of Mending and Circle of Healing will heal targets on the lowest health so they automatically help to balance out everybody’s health. All we need to do is be thoughtful about Binding Heal, Flash Heal and Renew.

An example of what I mean: I’m in group 1 and we’re all on low health. I want to heal a Player in group 2. Usually I’d cast Binding Heal because it’s healing me and another player at the same time. But if I’m about to cast Prayer of Healing on my party anyway, then it would make more sense to cast Flash heal on that group 2 player. If I used Binding Heal I’d just overheal myself a moment later when I cast Prayer of Healing. Binding Heal is a fantastic spell, but in this situation it’s essentially just wasted healing because I’m going to heal my group with Prayer of Healing anyway. So in this situation I should cast Flash heal and save some mana and overhealing even though Binding Heal looked like a good choice.

The goal here is to try and heal the raid in such a way that you have a nice big target for Prayer of Healing every time you cast it. If you find the other Healers in your raid are treading on your toes here, then chat to them about having specific groups you are responsible for. Perhaps you pick a group and let everybody know that you will be targeting them with most of your Prayer of Healings. Make sure it’s a group who regularly stand close to each other, perhaps a group of melee characters, then you can be sure they will take similar damage, and be in range of each other. In 25 man raiding you may find that other healers will happily do the spot healing for you, leaving you free to top the groups off. It may seem less glamarous than throwing out fast heals to save lives of individual players, but ultimately it’s all the same thing. You’re landing the big heals which are keeping the raid healthy, confident and out of the danger zone, and in the process probably doing substantially more overall healing that those focusing on catching low health players.

Tip: Glyph of Prayer of Healing is rediculously good. Rediculously rediculous. If you’re raiding as a holy priest it’s a no brainer. If you raid 10 mans as discipline you will probably find that you still do a reasonable amount of raid healing and, as such. it’s probably still worth taking a long hard look at even over something like Glyph of Flash Heal. We’ll talk later about breaking down healing meters to see how best to glyph yourself out for your style of healing.

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Being a Hero: Guardian Spirit

July 2, 2009 at 6:07 pm (5 mans, Being a Hero, Glyphs, Grouping, Guardian Spirit, Guardian Spirit, Healing Mechanics, Raiding, Spells, Talents, Ulduar)

Guardian Spirit: Calls upon a guardian spirit to watch over the friendly target. The spirit increases the healing received by the target by 40%, and also prevents the target from dying by sacrificing itself.  This  sacrifice terminates the effect but heals the target of 50% of their maximum health. Lasts 10 sec.


Guardian Spirit looks similar to Pain Suppression but in some ways it is a very different animal. There are basically three parts to Guardian Spirit.

  1. 40% more healing on the target

  2. Prevents one killing blow

  3. A 50% heal if the target dies.

40% more healing means that Guardian Spirit is fantastic to cast on the tank. If you have more than one tank healer (in a 25 man for example) then casting Guardian Spirit on the tank can be used very similarly to Pain Suppression. All the same principles apply. By casting Guardian Spirit on the tank you free up one of the tank healers to help heal other targets. It can also be used just like Pain Suppression to get through difficult boss abilities like Flame Breaths or Fusion Punches. The danger to watch for is if you cast Guardian Spirit when the tank is already on low health. If a quick hit from the boss “kills” the tank the Guardian Spirit buff is removed and whilst the tank will be protected from that death he will no longer receive the 40% more healing so he may die again without the benefit of it.

Preventing a Killing Blow means Guardian Spirit can be used to make up for raider mistakes in certain cases. If a player is slow moving out of a Rocket Strike on Mimiron you can Guardian Spirit them to prevent them dying. On the other hand, it wouldn’t help a player caught in Spinning Up on the same fight because that hits multiple times so absorbing one killing blow would probably not be enough to keep the player alive.

The 50% heal if the target dies means that often Guardian Spirit will heal for 15-25k on a tank. It’s a dangerous game you play, but if your raid is in trouble casting Guardian Spirit on a low-health tank and letting them die can give you a chance to heal other targets. Keep in mind the time Guardian Spirit lasts for. I’ve seen tanks die because a healer overestimated the time left on Guardian Spirit and didn’t bother healing them.

Tip: If you value the 40% healing buff rather than just relying on the kill prevention then the glyph for Guardian Spirit makes a massive difference to how often you can cast it. Equally, having Guardian Spirit on the tank more often increases the chance of it being present if the tank takes a string of unexpected blows and dies.

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