Holy Priest Quick-Start Guide For WoW Patch 5.4 – Stats, talents and spec, glyphs, rotation, reforging and gems, priorities and healing strategies

Once again, the theme in Mists of Pandaria is “Holy Priests don’t change much”. Patch [patchnumber] continues to bring Not Much Change, aside of course from Garrosh losing the plot. But there are changes to Talents, new Glyphs, and some other small changes – so, to get your talent build, reforging, gems and healing priorities in order, here’s a quick-start guide to get you into the Patch [patchnumber] Action!

Updated [guideupdated] to World of Warcraft Patch [patchnumber]

Holy Priest Changes in Patch [patchnumber]

Some minor changes.

Holy Healing “Rotation” and Priorities

Of course we don’t have an actual rotation! Here’s a quick guide to get you rolling with MoP Holy healing, though.

First thing: Chakras.

The Chakra state is one of the Holy Priest’s signature abilities, and can look pretty complicated – however, it’s actually very simple.

Holy Priests can work in one of 3 “states” – either single-target healing, AOE healing, or DPS.

To go into a chakra state, you simply cast the appropriate Chakra spell – Serenity or Sanctuary (or Chastise if you want to DPS for some reason). You can’t cast them more than once every 30 seconds.

Whilst you’re in each state, you’ll get a bonus to that type of healing, and your Holy Word spell alters to become a spell of that type – single-target, AOE or DPS.

Single-target healing

If you’re only healing one target most of the time, you’ll be in the Serenity chakra, putting up Renew to tick away merrily, then using Heal almost continuously to keep your target topped off without much mana cost. Use Holy Word Serenity frequently on your target to keep Renew up on them. Throw Prayer of Mending on if they’ll be taking continual damage.

If the target takes a lot of damage, you’ll use either Greater Heal, if you have time, Flash Heal, if it’s an emergency (but watch your mana pool!), and your Holy Word: Serenity and Prayer Of Mending as often as possible. If the damage is sustained and overwhelming, use Flash Heal twice followed by Greater Heal, and repeat.

If the group suddenly takes damage, pop Circle of Healing (your cooldown AOE heal) and use Prayer of Mending (which will heal your primary target when they next take damage) to pick up the single-target slack.

AOE/Group healing

You’ll want to be in Chakra: Sanctuary when group healing. Drop a Lightwell ASAP. Your primary group heal is Prayer of Healing – use it liberally. Use Circle of Healing any time it’s off cooldown and is needed, in preference to Prayer of Healing. Throw in Cascade when more healing is needed – note that it will refresh your Renews. Top off healing with Heal and Renew. If the group’s taking damage irregularly, also use Prayer of Mending.

Don’t use Holy Word: Sanctuary unless you’re sure you need it – it’s very expensive. The best time to use it is 2-3 seconds before you know the group is about to take heavy damage.

Cooldowns

  • Divine Hymn is a powerful AOE heal on a short (3 min) cooldown – use it on very heavy damage phases.
  • For mana regen, use Shadowfiend and Hymn of Hope – ideally, these should be used at the same time. Note that Hymn Of Hope also benefits other healers.
  • Guardian Spirit is a powerful spell to save a single person – particularly if they’re about to take a damage spike you can’t heal. Check with your raid leader if you need to use it at a specific time.
  • Void Shift is an extremely powerful heal if you’re on high health – but it has a very long CD. Assume it can only be used once per encounter. Pop Desperate Prayer straight after.
  • Oh, and remember Leap Of Faith, aka Life Grip, for those times when someone stands in what they shouldn’t have stood in!

Buffs

Cast Power Word: Fortitude.

Holy Priest Talent Choices

Talent choices are a lot more flexible in WoW [patchnumber] and Mists of Pandaria, so you’ll eventually want to make talent choices on an encounter-by-encounter basis. However, here’s a good no-downside general-purpose talent build to get started with:

  • Tier 1: Void Tendrils
  • Tier 2: Angelic Feather – lets you drop movement buff items.
  • Tier 3: Mindbender – (arguably) improved Shadowfiend.
  • Tier 4: Desperate Prayer
  • Tier 5: Power Infusion – powerful CD to boost your healing.
  • Tier 6: Cascade – another powerful group-healing CD.

Stats, reforging and gemming for Holy Priest

Unlike DPS classes, there is no set best way to gear and reforge – instead, there are a few options, depending on what you most feel you need as a healer.

You care most about two stats: Intellect, which boosts your overall healing power, and Spirit, which controls your mana regeneration. You should gem and enchant for these two stats.

Beyond this, you want enough Haste to get to at least 4,721 Haste. After that, Mastery is your next most useful stat, above Crit, which is close to useless for Holy priests.

Reforging: reforge everything to Spirit until you no longer worry about running out of mana (this may require quite a lot of Spirit at first!). Then, reforge to Haste if you can get up to 4,721 or just under, then either Mastery for better mana efficiency through a lingering Heal Over Time or Haste to speed up your spells, as you prefer. Reforge from Crit first.

Gemming: Generally you’ll want to gem Purified (Intellect + Spirit) gems in Red sockets, Sparkling (Spirit) gems in Blue sockets, and Reckless (Int / Haste) in Yellow sockets.

Meta Gem: Revitalising Meta gem.

Holy Priest Glyphs

Glyphs, like talents, are now much more situational – however, here’s a good general loadout of glyphs with few downsides:

Major: Glyph of Lightwell, Glyph of Circle of Healing, Glyph of Prayer of Mending. IN 10-man or less content, Glyph of Renew may be better than Glyph of Circle of Healing.

Minor: Choose as you will! They’ll have no effect on your effectiveness.

Holy Priest enchants and item enhancements

You should almost always use a profession enhancement item if it provides appropriate stats instead of a general enchant.

  • Shoulders – Greater Crane Wing Inscription
  • Back – Enchant Cloak – Superior Intellect
  • Chest – Enchant Chest – Mighty Spirit
  • Wrist – Enchant Bracer – Super Intellect
  • Hands – Enchant Gloves – Superior Mastery or Enchant Gloves – Greater Haste depending on if you can reach a Haste breakpoint.
  • Belt – Living Steel Belt Buckle
  • Legs – Greater Pearlescent Spellthread
  • Feet – Enchant Boots – Pandaren’s Step or Enchant Boots – Greater Haste if you’re using Inner Will.
  • Weapon – Enchant Weapon – Jade Spirit
  • Off-Hand Weapon – Enchant Weapon – Major Intellect

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Patch 4.3 WoW Holy Priest Quick Start guide – stats, spec and talents, glyphs, gems, reforging, chakras, and healing spells

Ah, Holy Priests. The priestliess of priests. The WoW priest that feels like a priest. OK, I’m going to stop that now before a Disc player removes my face – but nonetheless, Holy priests are awesome. And if you want to know how to spec or what talents to pick as you head into Dragon Soul to play “count the tentacle” with Deathwing, here’s our Patch 4.3 Quick Start guide to what glyphs and gems you should use, how to reforge, stat weights, enchantments, and how to use your spells – read on.

Updated 29th Nov 2011 for Patch 4.3

Holy Priest changes in Patch 4.3

The new patch has a couple of very significant changes for Holy Priests. Firstly, they’ve redesigned Spirit of Redemption to – no, just kidding. But seriously, folks.

The biggest change is a major buff to Divine Hymn. The State of Mind talent has been removed, and replaced by “Heavenly Voice”, which boosts Divine Hymn’s healing and reduces its CD. That’s going to mean you’ll need to move some talent points into what becomes a must-have talent now, particularly given Divine Hymn also now affects 5 targets.

The other play-affecting change, aside from a couple of minor buffs to Guardian Spirit and Holy Word: Serenity, is that Glyph of Circle of Healing now also increases the mana cost of Circle of Healing by 20%. It’ll likely only be useful in 25-man content now.

Spell usage / Rotation

Healers don’t have a fixed rotation as such – apart from anything else, you’re only healing when someone takes damage! However, it is important to know how to use your spells.

First thing: Chakras. The Chakra state is one of the Holy Priest’s signature abilities, and can look pretty complicated – however, it’s actually very simple.

Holy Priests can work in one of 3 “states” – either single-target healing, AOE healing, or DPS.

To go into a chakra state, you first cast the Chakra spell, which “signals” that you want to change state. Then, you cast either a single-target heal, AOE heal, or damage spell to go into the appropriate state.

Heal, Flash Heal, Greater Heal, and Binding Heal put you in Serenity, the single-target mode. Prayer of Healing and Prayer of Mending put you in Sanctuary, the AOE healing state. (Smite and Mind Spike put you in Chastise, the DPS state).

These state changes can’t occur more than once every 30 seconds – however, whilst you’re in each state, you’ll get a bonus to that type of healing, and your Holy Word spell alters to become a spell of that type – single-target, AOE or DPS.

Single-target healing

If you’re only healing one target most of the time, you’ll be in the Serenity chakra, putting up Renew to tick away merrily, then using Heal almost continuously to keep your target topped off without much mana cost.

If the target takes a lot of damage, you’ll use either Greater Heal, if you have time, Flash Heal, if it’s an emergency (but watch your mana pool!), or your Holy Word if it’s off cooldown.

If the group suddenly takes damage, pop Circle of Healing (your cooldown AOE heal) and use Prayer of Mending (which will heal your primary target when they next take damage) to pick up the single-target slack.

AOE/Group healing

First up, train your group to CLICK ON THE DAMN LIGHTWELL. *Lightwell *is the single most mana-efficient heal in the Holy Priest’s arsenal and delivers a powerful heal. You may want to use a macro or the RSA addon to announce when it goes down.

You’ll want to be in Chakra: Sanctuary when group healing, and put a Lightwell down somewhere accessible for the group. Your primary group heal is* Prayer of Healing* – use it liberally. Use Circle of Healing any time it’s off cooldown and is needed, in preference to Prayer of Healing. If the group’s taking damage irregularly, also use Prayer of Mending. Remember to use single-target heals too!

Don’t use Holy Word: Sanctuary unless you’re sure you need it – it’s very expensive. The best time to use it is 2-3 seconds before you know the group is about to take heavy damage – for example, from Electrocute on Nefarian.

Finally, if you need to move with the group and they need healing, use Holy Nova. If you just need to stabilise someone, Renew is also useful.

Cooldowns

Divine Hymn is a powerful AOE heal on a short (3 min) cooldown – use it on very heavy damage phases. For mana regen, use Shadowfiend and Hymn of Hope – ideally, these should be used at the same time. Guardian Spirit is a powerful spell to save a single person – particularly if they’re about to take a damage spike you can’t heal. Oh, and remember Leap Of Faith, aka Life Grip, for those times when someone stands in what they shouldn’t have stood in!

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Holy Talent Spec

Batman. (Sorry)

The standard Holy talent spec looks a lot like this, and that spec will serve you well in raids or dungeons.

It leaves you with 2 points to spend where you will – a few good choices are:

  • Veiled Shadows at the top of the Shadow tree is a nice utility talent. It reduces your Fade cooldown – nice – but the key element is a reduction in your Shadowfiend cooldown, meaning more mana regen. Particularly useful early on with less mana available.
  • Darkness, also at the top of the Shadow tree, grants up to 3% Haste. Haste is probably the most valuable secondary stat for a Holy priest unless mana is a problem – once you aren’t running out of mana, highly recommended.
  • Rapid Renewal, in the third tier of the Holy tree, should be taken if you find yourself using HoTs a lot – another close-to-mandatory talent.
  • Surge of Light, in the second tier of Holy, is a good talent if you’re having mana problems.
  • Desperate Prayer is a great “Oh, S—t!” button, particularly if you tend to find yourself standing in the Bad a lot.

If in doubt, Darkness and Rapid Renewal are good choices. If you find you’re having mana problems, swap to Veiled Shadows and Surge of Light.

Stats, Reforging and Gems

Unlike DPS classes, there is no set best way to gear and reforge – instead, there are a few options, depending on what you most feel you need as a healer.

You care most about two stats: Intellect, which boosts your overall healing power, and Spirit, which controls your mana pool and mana regeneration. You should gem and enchant for these two stats.

Beyond this, you want enough Haste to get 12.5% haste, as shown on your character sheet, and Mastery is your next most useful stat, above Crit, which is close to useless for Holy priests.

Reforging: reforge everything to Spirit until you no longer worry about running out of mana in dungeons. Then, reforge to Haste until you have 12.5%, and after that, reforge to either Mastery for better mana efficiency through a lingering Heal Over Time or Haste to speed up your spells, as you prefer.

Holy Priest enchants

Several professions have “superior” enchants – use them if the stats are appropriate. Felfire Inscription on shoulders from Inscription, for example.

Head Arcanum of Hyjal
Shoulders   Greater Inscription of Charged Lodestone
Back Enchant Cloak – Greater Intellect
Chest Enchant Chest – Peerless Stats
Wrist Enchant Bracer – Mighty Intellect
Hands Enchant Gloves – Greater Mastery or Enchant Gloves – Haste – either / or
Belt Ebonsteel Belt Buckle
Legs Powerful Ghostly Spellthread
Feet Enchant Boots – Lavawalker (the run speed is very useful)
Weapon Enchant Weapon – Heartsong or Enchant Weapon – Power Torrent – see below
Off-Hand Weapon Enchant Weapon – Superior Intellect

Enchant Weapon – Power Torrent will tend to be superior for a mainhand enchant once you have mostly iLevel 378 gear and beyond. Below that Heartsong is probably better. See this post for more math on that.

Glyphs

  • Prime Glyphs: Glyph of Renew and Glyph of Prayer of Healing. For the third glyph, choose Glyph of Lightwell if you play with people who remember to click on it, or Glyph of Guardian Spirit otherwise.
  • Major Glyphs: Prayer of Mending and two others. Circle of Healing is potentially useful in 25-man, particularly if you don’t suffer mana problems. Dispel Magic is useful on Dispel-heavy fights. There’s no other must-have third Major glyph – use whatever you like. It won’t matter too much!
  • Minor Glyphs: Glyph of Shadowfiend, Glyph of Levitate, and Glyph of Fading are good choices.

Sadly none of these guides are updated to Patch 4.3 yet.

You also might find the rest of MMO Melting Pot interesting – we scour the blogosphere daily looking for the most interesting discussions and posts about WoW and other MMOs and deliver them straight to you, all in one place, right here. See what’s on the Pot today!

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