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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“It’s not my fault!”

September 4, 2009 at 3:55 pm (5 mans, Being a Hero, Divine Hymn, Fade, Grouping, Guardian Spirit, Guardian Spirit, Healing Mechanics, Pain Suppression, Pain Suppression, Raiding)

With the new five man Trial of the Champion I have seen a lot of anxious Priests looking for reassurance recently. Often many of them are new to healing and, after a lot of wiping, they were blamed, or blame themselves, for being unable to heal the first encounter. I think this speaks to a more general problem.

There are a lot of things that can affect you as a Healer, but which you have no direct control over. Acheron {link to Acheron Death Report add-on} will tell you how a player died – they were killed by shadow damage the healer couldn’t cope with – but it won’t tell you why. It won’t show that the Tank charged out of range, that the healer miss-clicked, or that the DPS is too low for the encounter. These are complex group dynamics that nobody thinks about when they go right, but when they go wrong a judgemental group can be quick to place blame, and an inexperienced Healer can easily feel responsible. So when things are going wrong, what is the best approach?

Blamed

Don’t cry, just bring out the bag of tricks! There are many things that can go wrong, but even when it’s not your fault, that doesn’t mean there is nothing you can do about it. As a Priest you have a really versatile set of spells, and making the best use of them is something you can and will learn from practice. It is not immediately obvious all the situations where Pain Suppression is useful, but over time you do pick up some tricks.

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Trial of the Champion: Faction Champions

August 22, 2009 at 5:59 pm (Divine Hymn, Fade, Grouping, Healing Mechanics, Power Word: Shield, Raiding, Trial of the Champion)

This is not an easy fight to describe, it’s very unconventional.

If you did the 5 man Magister’s Terrace back in TBC you might remember the second last fight was something like an arena match. Your 5man group faces off against a five separate bosses each with a different class and class abilities.
This fight is very similar but with 10v6 (or 25v10 for 25 man raids). So your raid will be facing off against a group of NPCs from the opposite faction. The exact composition will change from raid to raid, but not from wipe to wipe. So once you start the encounter you will be fighting the same setup for the rest of the lockout.

Class Champions
Alliance Horde
Death knight Tyrius Duskblade Gorgrim Shadowcleave
Druid (Moonkinr) Kavina Grovesong Birana Stormhoof
Druid (Resto) Melador Valestrider Erin Misthoof
Hunter Alyssia Moonstalker
& cat pet
Ruj’kah
& cat pet
Mage Noozle Whizzlestick Ginselle Blightslinger
Paladin (Heal) Velanaa Liandra Suncaller
Paladin (Retribution) Baelnor Lightbearer Malithas Brightblade
Priest (Holy/Disc hybrid) Anthar Forgemender Caiphus the Stern
Priest (Shadow) Brienna Nightfell Vivienne Blackwhisper
Rogue Irieth Shadowstep Maz’dinah
Shaman (Heal/Caster) Saamul Thrakgar
Shaman (Enhancement) Shaabad Broln Stouthorn
Warlock Serissa Grimdabbler
and her felhunter
Harkzog
and his felhunter
Warrior Shocuul Narrhok Steelbreaker

The NPCs have many class abilities. The hunter “boss” for example does Deterrence, Disengage, Steady Shot, Wyvern Sting, Aimed Shot, Explosive Shot, Frost Trap and Wing clip. So it’s safe to assume each boss has many of the abilities you would associate with them and you should act accordingly.

Because of the fact the fight will have a different composition each time, and because there are so many targets, there is not a simple strategy for this fight. However, I can certainly make some observations.

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And the Threat is gone!

August 14, 2009 at 7:03 pm (5 mans, Fade, Grouping, Healing Mechanics, Raiding, Spells)

Dying to Auriaya?

Pesky Hunter’s Feign Death getting you down?

Tank can’t keep the mobs off you?

All these problems and more are solved by the new Threato-matic Wonder Fade! Get yours today whilst stocks last!

It was not that long ago that Fade was considered the most useless spell in the Priest arsenal and Improved Fade was the worst Talent in the Priest Tree (including Wand Specialisation). Nowadays it’s really good and yet people aren’t really talking about it.

The old Fade decreased your threat by a set amount (a few hundred “points” of threat) for a certain amount of time, after which you gained that threat back. This meant the chances of you actually losing aggro on a mob after pressing the Fade button were rather small. In a boss fight a tank would have hundreds of thousand of points of threat, and if you got aggro, dropping 500 was unlikely to make a difference.

The new Fade on the other hand has a much more useful design. When you press Fade you drop to the very bottom of the Threat List for every mob for a certain amount of time. So it’s similar to a Hunter’s Feign death, the only difference being that you are still on the aggro list. The boss is still thinking about you, but you’re the last thing on his mind.

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