Posts Tagged ‘Holy Priest’

The key to faking out the parents is the clammy hands. It’s a good non-specific symptom; I’m a big believer in it. A lot of people will tell you that a good phony fever is a dead lock, but, uh… you get a nervous mother, you could wind up in a doctor’s office. That’s worse than school. You fake a stomach cramp, and when you’re bent over, moaning and wailing, you lick your palms. It’s a little childish and stupid, but then, so is high school.  — Ferris Bueller

General Vezax and his Aura of Despair seem to induce just that:  an aura of despair among some of the healers.  They panic.  They mysteriously DC.  They announce, “Oh damn!  Mother-in-law just showed up, gotta go.  Bye!”  “Oh snap, look at my latency.  Friggin’ Comcast.  You should replace me.”  While these are all good excuses, they’re only useable once, maybe twice.  To avoid the Vezax fight permanently one needs to display more than just mediocrity, one needs to display sheer incompetence.

Top Ten Tips:

1.  Insist that Hymn of Hope works.  Repeat this incessantly.

2.  Use your Shadowfiend.

3.  If you have Mark of the Faceless,

run towards the tank


run towards the person responsible for killing Saronite Clouds.

4.  Stand in a Shadow Crash zone to wand.  (Bonus points if you do this with Mark of the Faceless.)

5.  Use Divine Hymn.  Yes, it’s 63% of your base mana.  But the sooner you’re out of mana, the better.

6.  Suggest the healers downrank to save mana.

7.  Stand in the Saronite Vapors for 8 ticks.  When you die, complain you “got no healz.”

8.  Use Guardian Spirit on the Ret Paladin on the pull.

9.  Ask if anyone has mana pots or a MP5 flask to spare.  Admonish the paladins for not buffing Wisdom.

10.  Be a Holy Priest.


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One of the things I used to most despise about respeccing my talents was having to redo all my action bars and keybindings to accomodate the new spec.  Thankfully, the dual-spec option remembers one’s layout, so the switch from Spec 1 to Spec 2 doesn’t require one to open one’s spellbook and reposition everything.

For me, however, switching between specs isn’t merely a matter of having a different set of buttons to mash.  I utilize several add-ons as a healer and these too must be altered.  Many add-ons allow you to set a profile, and in some cases, this is might be the easiest way to quickly move between the settings you need for Spec 1 and Spec 2:  Khaeli_Disc and Khaeli_Holy, for example.  

TellMeWhen is an add-on I’ve come to love and rely on.  It notifies you when spells are off cooldown and when buffs and procs are active.  I find it very useful for monitoring the cooldowns on certain heals; for reminding me to reapply Inner Fire; for notifying me when I have Borrowed Time (ok, duh, that one’s obvious) or Heroism or Surge of Light.  However, TellMeWhen does not have the option of setting profiles.  I wrote about this add-on — briefly — when I first was asked to switch specs to Holy, and some commenters asked for more details on setting it up.  As I’ve had to fiddle with it somewhat lately so that I can easily switch between Holy and Disc, this seemed like a good time to revisit the “How To.”

Access to the addon’s configuration is available two ways:  under one’s interface screen (via the Menu) or via /tmw.


I use two icon groups on Khaeli:  Icon group 1 reminds me when I have certain buffs active.  Icon group 2 reminds me when the cooldowns are up on certain spells.  As you can see, you can dictate how many icons you want in each group and if you want them in rows and or columns and if you want them only shown in combat.

You’ll have to pardon some of these screenshots, I should interject here.  These were taken while waiting for the raid to fill last night.  But you can see here where my eyes are focused during most fights.  On the left is my Belkin layout.  (I use Clique for the spells you don’t see there:  cures, Penance, Flash Heal, PW:S, PoM)  Above my main action bar is TellMeWhen’s Group 2, cooldown notifications.  Then Grid.  To the right of Grid (not visible in this picture) is my Prayer of Mending tracker.  Then Quartz above that (with my target to the left of Quartz (also not pictured here) and target’s target to the right).  Above Quartz, TellMeWhen’s Group 1, buff notifications (this screenshot is in setup mode.  When active and locked, the icons display the appropriate image, not the clock you see here).  


As you can see, I have cooldown notifications for three spells:  Prayer of Mending, Penance, and Circle of Healing.  (The latter is a “?” in the above screenshot as I am currently Disc.  When I’m Holy, Penance becomes a “?”  Once you’ve locked the add-on, this “?” will disappear, so don’t fret.)  

To setup your buffs and spells, type /tmw.  Choose the name of the spell/buff/debuff  you’d like monitored, and whether you want the add-on to monitor whether it’s active (in the case of something like Surge of Light) or when its cooldown is up (in the case of something like Penance) or when it’s absent (in the case of something like Inner Fire).



As you setup TellMeWhen, I recommend establishing the icons that you need for your main and your offspec.  As you can see in the images above, even though I’m specced Disc, I have Surge of Light notification waiting in the wings; it’s just not enabled.  When I switch to Holy, I disable the notifications for Disc — disabling the icons for Borrowed Time and Penance — and enable the notifications for Holy — Circle of Healing, Surge of Light, Serendipity.  

Although admittedly, it’s a bit of an annoyance to have these extra steps — it’s not a push-a-button switch — it’s worth setting up these notifications in advance.  And hell, if you’re asked to switch to your offspec for an encounter, everyone can bloody well wait while you get yourself situated.

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secondaryAs a priest, one has three specs that are very viable and very desirable for raiding:  Discipline, Holy, and Shadow.  While some people might’ve been able to accumulate off-spec gear over the last few months and prior to the release of the dual-spec option (seriously, don’t all paladins have a full holy set?  Damn Naxx itemization), many players might now be faced with the expectation they “suddenly” have the gear to support another spec, should the need to switch arise.

Fortunately for priests, this isn’t a terrible challenge.  While switching from Feral Druid to Resto Druid requires completely different gear for every single slot, the requirements for the three priest talent trees aren’t so radically different, and in a lot of cases, you won’t have to swap that much around.  While you can find many sites with lots of math and lots of arguments on how best to gear for your main spec (check out my thoughts on the matterBobTurkey’s post on priest theorycrafting, Xeonio’s thoughts on stat weights, unholy holy’s assessmentsShadowpriest.com’s gear guide, or the priest forums at Elitist Jerks for example), you might not have the time, money, or opportunity to put as much care into accumulating off-spec gear.  

In general (very general), the different talent trees will privilege attributes like this:

Spellpower > Haste = Crit.  Intellect > Spirit

Spellpower > Crit > Haste.  Spirit > Intellect

Spell Hit > Spellpower > Crit > Haste.  Spirit = Intellect 

Skill aside, the gear requirements from switching from healer to Shadow Priest are more stringent than the switch from Shadow to healer.  This is because reaching the cap for hit is truly a requisite for raiding.  Assuming there’s no Draenei in your group and you have the full 6 points in Misery and Shadow Focus, you’ll need 290 hit to reach the cap.  Here are some places (outside of raid zones) where you can grab it:

Elixir of Accuracy (+45)
Snapper Extreme (+40)
Worg Tartare  (+40)

Enchant Boots:  Icewalker (+12)
Enchant Gloves:  Precision (+20) 

Tailoring BOE:
Ebonweave Robe (+68) 
Ebonweave Gloves (+51) 

Heroic Violet Hold:
Mark of the War Prisoner (+73) 

Badges of Heroism:
Plush Sash of Guzbah (+33) 
Ward of the Violet Citadel (+38) 

Lambent Forest Emerald (+8) 
Rigid Autumn Glow (+16) 
Shining Forest Emerald (+8) 
Veiled Monarch Topaz (+8)

If you are switching to Holy from one of the other trees, particularly from Discipline, you might find your gear is lacking Spirit.  Again, here are some quick ways to boost that attribute.

Elixir of Spirit (+50)
Cuttlesteak (+40) 

Intricate Forest Emerald (+8)
Misty Forest Emerald (+8) 
Seer’s Forest Emerald (+8) 
Sparkling Sky Sapphire (+16) 
Sparkling Dragon’s Eye (+27) 

Brilliant Spellthread (+20) 
Enchant Cloak:  Wisdom (+10) 
Enchant Bracers:  Major Spirit (+18) 
Enchant Weapon:  Exceptional Spirit (+45) 
Enchant Boots:  Major Spirit (+18) 

Getting a feel for playing your off-spec will take time, whether it’s mastering the refresh priorities of a Shadow Priest, making the most of SOL procs as a Holy Priest, or taking advantage of Borrowed Time procs as a Disc Priest.  But gearing for your off-spec needn’t be viewed as a huge hurdle.

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To Eschew Renew

renew1I meant to post something on this topic yesterday, but a little thing called “work” got in the way.  And now a little thing called “Patch 3.1” seems to be elbowing any other considerations aside.  But I do want to make some quick observations about Renew and why, for my dual-spec Holy Priesting, I’ll still avoid it.

But before I delve too deeply in why I’ll eschew Renew, let’s turn to the healer renowned for their HoTs:  the Resto Druid.

rejuvThe Druid has four heals-over-time spells:  Lifebloom, Rejuvenation, Regrowth, and Wild Growth.  (Arguably, Tranquility heals-over-time as well, but as it has a very long cooldown and only heals the party, it’s not really part of the Resto Druid’s “routine.”)  Three out of four of these HoTs are instant cast; Regrowth takes 2 seconds to cast un-hasted.  And while the mana cost of Lifebloom is doubled in Patch 3.1 (Boooo!), the beauty of this HoT and of Wild Growth is that they tick every second.  After all, in a raid — whether or 10- or 25-man — the downside of these spells is that while, by definition, they heal over time, that “time” often results in other healers’ spells getting their first, making the HoTs redundant.  Ticking once per second, however, means that these two HoTs heal very quickly and very effectively.  Regrowth and Rejuvenation, the other two druid HoTs, heal once every three seconds.  But despite the slower “tick,” the druid can Swiftmend these HoTs, converting them to instant heals equivalent to 12 seconds of Rejuvenation or 18 seconds of Regrowth.  (Healing druids will glyph Swiftmend so that the spell will provide the instant heal and will not consume the HoT.)swiftmend

Now back to Renew.  It’s no surprise that the priest’s HoT pales in comparison to the druid’s.  What’s significant, I’d argue, is that it also under-performs the priest’s other heals.

Renew is appealing, I know, because it’s an instant-cast spell.  When healing on-the-run, it’s one of four heals that priests can cast (Prayer of Mending, Holy Nova, and Power Word: Shield are the others).  But that’s not a compelling enough reason to rely on this spell.

Unglyphed and untalented, Renew heals for 1400 over 15 seconds with a spellpower coefficient is 188%.  As such it’s roughly equivalent to Rejuvenation, which heals for 1690 over 15 seconds and, unglyphed and untalented, has a spellpower coefficient of 188%.  Both of these spells tick once every three seconds.  However, unlike the druid’s ability to convert that slow-ticking HoT to a direct heal, priest are stuck with a heal that in a typical raid scenario will only hit once or twice, reducing its effectiveness substantially.  (As in, it heals for ~1500 as opposed to the full ~7500.)   

To make Renew “suck less,” one must devote 6 talent points and a glyph into the spell.  That’s quite an investment in order to make the spell outperform Flash Heal.  But Flash Heal triggers Holy Concentration, Surge of Light, and the new-and-exciting-and-omfg-heal-pwnage Serendipity.  Renew only triggers the first (although the initial heal from Empowered Renew can crit, thereby triggering SOL).  While certainly there are scenarios when all you can cast are instant-cast spells, under virtually every other circumstance, Flash Heal will be better.  Flash Heal ’til three stacks of Serendipity makes Prayer of Healing arguably the most powerful heal in the game.  Renew offers nothing remotely that sexy.flash-heal

OK, if you are raiding 10-mans with one other healer, then perhaps Renew will be worthwhile.  If you don’t trust your other healers to be able to cover damage, then perhaps Renew will be worthwhile.  If you don’t raid with any Resto Druids, then perhaps Renew will be worthwhile.  But that’s a lot of “if’s.”  Me, I’m just not sold on investing so much to make a weak HoT worthwhile(ish).  I don’t think Renew is worth the talents, and it’s certainly not worth the glyph.   

Leave the HoTs to the Trees.  They do it better.

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talents31Derevka wrote a great post yesterday on her plans for speccing in 3.1.  She gives a Discipline spec and a Holy spec, with description of the talents she’s taking and a solid explanation of her rationale for doing so.

I’m not quite ready to state mine, although I too intend to have a Holy and Disc spec.  I have a rough idea of what these will look like, but in both cases, there are four or five talents that I’m just not sure about.  So rather than parrot Derevka’s argument about why some talents are good, I thought I’d write about why some still give me pause.

Discipline (52/13/0) 6 points unspent

Focused Will:  Formerly a PVP talent, this now grants an additional 3% crit.  3% more “innate” crit means 3% less crit that needs to be gained via gear.  But Khaeli is already well over 30% crit raid-buffed, and I need to look more closely at Ulduar itemization before deciding whether or not these points are worth it.  Right now, it’s not; but if everything’s slathered with haste and if I find myself with some gear options, then this talent becomes a lot more attractive.

Grace:  The developers themselves have admitted Grace is “clunky” as its benefit can only be maintained on one target at a time.  With two points, it increases the target’s healing from the priest by 3%, stackable up to 3 times and lasting 15 seconds.  To my knowledge, this talent still won’t stack with a paladin’s Blessing of Sanctuary.  

Divine Fury:  I do have the points in this talent now, only to unlock access to Inspiration.  While both Shadow Priests and Holy Priests benefit from the first few tiers in the Disc tree, Discipline Priests don’t have a comparable benefit from early Holy talents.  Their choices are underwhelming at best.  5 points in Divine Fury annoys me as I do not use Greater Heal all that much.  That said, however, when you need a Greater Heal, you want it ASAP and even half a second faster feels too slow.  

Improved Renew:  If there are points to spare in the Holy tree, this is one option.  I’m not a fan of Renew, as unglyphed and un-Empowered, it is likely to just be overhealed by another player.

Improved Healing:  If I sacrifice some points in the Disc tree — no Focused Will and no Grace — I will have enough talents to grab Improved Healing.  Will mana be an issue with the changes to Rapture?  If so, this talent might be worth pursuing, although it really only helps with Penance as the other spells aren’t typically part of a Disc Priest’s “rotation.” 

Desperate Prayer:  This spell has definitely saved my life numerous times, but now that the only limitation on PW:S is the Weakened Soul debuff, I wonder if the spell — a mana hog — will be as necessary for instant-cast-self-healing.

Holy (14/53/0) 4 points unspent

Empowered Renew:  While there is some hubbub about the changes to Empowered Renew, I’m still not sold on this slow-ticking HoT.  15 seconds is an eternity in a raid, and while the initial heal provided by Empowered Renew does some of address the problem with the spell, I’m not sure if I will invest the full three points in the talent — maybe one point just to get some up-front heal.  I certainly won’t glyph the spell for more throughput on it. Of course, the spell will now trigger Surge of Light, which does make it more appealing.  For math on how this spell scales with spellpower, check out this recent discussion on the PlusHeal forums

Test of Faith:  While learning new content, it seems like a boost on those at less than 50% health might come in handy. 

Desperate Prayer:  Again, this spell has saved my ass, but with the instant-heal option to Renew now, is this spell necessary?

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Last night was raid number 3 for me as Holy.  I still feel incredibly insecure about myself as a Holy Priest, and my frustration was compounded with dying to two bosses.  The first time was when a taunt went awry with the Four Horsemen, and I didn’t pay attention to my stacks in the front, so accustomed I was to only paying attention to stacks when in the back.  The second time was completely my fault — I was distracted by a guildie who was going on and on and on and on and on about how a UI error had caused him to die to Thaddius — ruining our immortal run — that I left the safety of the iceblock before Sapphiron had finished his breath.  Stupid stupid stupid.  I was angry at myself not only for two needless deaths but also for lying crumbled and useless on the ground when I could’ve been — you guessed it — kicking the other priest’s ass on the healing meters.

I know, I know, I know.  Hypocrisy, thy name is Khaeli.  What.ev.er.

What I Did Differently

  • I tweaked my spec a bit, pulling points from Serendipity and Improved Renew and putting them into Holy Reach and Healing Prayers.
  • I used two elixirs in lieu of the spellpower flask:  Elixir of Spirit and Elixir of Lightning Speed, boosting my mana regen and my haste — two things I feel like I lack as a Holy Priest.  I still ate spellpower food, but only because my druid was too damn lazy to fish for the cuttlefish required for the + SPI food.
  • I memorized the icons for Surge of Light, Clearcasting, and Improved Holy Concentration — instant cast, mana free cast, hasted cast.  Gotcha.

What I Wonder About

  • The other Holy Priest with whom I raid casts Binding Heal a lot.  A LOT.  As in, it was his #3 spell.  Since Binding Heal never really did much for me as a Disc Priest (didn’t proc Rapture or Grace), I rarely cast it.  When I look at the “Who Heals Who” report on WWS, he cast 13% of his heals on the MT, 12% on one of the OTs, and 12% on himself.  The spell results in 77% overheal.  Flash Heal has the same cast time and the same spell coefficient, and so it does make sense to cast it if you’re taking damage.  But if you’re not?
  • So, Circle of Healing is a smart heal, yes?  If you are on raid heals, how do you choose who to target?  Do you target a melee DPS?  Do you target a tank?
  • What else am I missing, other than practice?


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As the raiders logged in last night, I received a whisper from one of the officers, “You holy?”  “No, disc.  But I can respec if need be.”  “Respec,” came the reply.  I hearthed, ran to Ironforge, and shelled out the 45 gold to erase my precious Discipline talents.  I knew where to spend the 14 requisite points in the Disc tree, but made it about halfway through the Holy side when I realize I had no clue what the hell I was selecting.  “Shit.”  And so I shelled out 50 gold to erase them again.  K- armoried Dueg (lol, seriously, he did) and I copied his spec.  I was summoned to a VOA run with no action bar or mouseover macros established.  Whatever, it’s VOA, right?  I scrambled to get all of those situated before the main raid event was announced:  Sartharion 3D.  Gulp.  It’s not exactly the raid you want to try a new spec, and as I’d only ever played a Holy Priest once for about an hour — on a failed 10man Malygos attempt months ago — I was worried.  


OMG, I ran OOM, something I don’t think ever happened to Khaeli as Disc.  I had to use my shadowfiend and a mana potion.  And I had to ask for an Innervate.  Granted, I’ve avoided picking up Spirit gear and so my regen was low.  But damn, I missed that infinite mana pool and mighty mana regen.

WTF Why Isn’t Flash Heal Casting?

Oh.  Duh.  Surge of Light.  That one took me a few to figure out.  By the time we’d wiped half a dozen times to Sartharion, I’d set Power Auras up to indicate when I had SOL and Holy Concentration procs — not that I was sure what to do when they occurred.  I had to keep looking at my buffs:  “Wait, is that a free heal?  Or a fast heal?”


As a Holy Priest, my Flash Heal hits for an average of 5600; in the same gear, as Disc, it heals for about 4300.  I definitely felt more powerful healing, but I felt like I was less responsive in a clutch.  I missed my pewpewlaser.  I missed seeing Grid light up with bubbles.

Khaeli, Use Your Cooldown Now!

I died to a Flame Wall because it took me an extra couple of seconds to locate Guardian Spirit on my action bar, cast it, then GTFO.  Blah.  I wasn’t sure I’d timed it right, honestly.  The tank lived, but I died like an idiot.  (Looking at the WWS report, phew, yes, Guardian spirit heals for 20K)

Run Heroics and Practice

After the raid, I put myself in the LFG channel for heroics.  Someone asked if I’d do Nexus.  It wasn’t the daily, but I didn’t care about the extra badges and coin as much as the practice with the spec.  When I was summoned, the group’s first response was, “LOL, you’re in Delirium.  Why are you running heroics?”  I replied, “I’ve never played a Holy Priest before, so I hope you’re fully repaired.”  There were several deaths, but they were the result of their abysmally low DPS (they struggled to kill Anomalus’s rifts) as much as my abysmally shoddy healing.  I definitely struggled with mana, but when it takes four minutes to kill Keristrazsa, that’s to be expected, right?  


I’m not really sure what my next steps will be to gear as a Holy Priest, having spent the last few months gearing as Disc.  We are running Naxx tonight, but I might just shell out the coin for the BOE gloves that drop from the zone if no cloth gloves drop tonight, because I can’t really justify wearing 10-man Shadow Priest gloves for the Crit and INT now, can I?

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