5.2: Returning to Wrath level Shield spam?

5.2: Returning to Wrath level Shield spam?

Okay, that’s not actually going to happen. As much as I miss the days of 1 button Circle of Healing during Burning Crusade and non-stop shielding in Wrath, it was largely so I could keep watching my NHL games without having to compromise my performance too much.

In a recent thread about PTR class and set bonus issues, Ghostcrawler mentioned the following:

We are going to nerf Divine Aegis for Prayer of Healing, but also lower the cost of Power Word: Shield (for Disc only) and increase the healing and damage of Penance. In 25 raids, Disc is using Prayer of Healing almost exclusively and we don’t think the Spirit Shell change will be sufficient to change that. We actually want Disc to get back to using PW:Shield a little more, along with Penance. Disc’s throughput is overall too strong in PvE, not even counting the fact that absorbs are often more beneficial than heals.

The Divine Aegis aspect on Prayer of Healing gets tuned down but we get cheaper Power Word: Shields instead.

I don’t know what it’s like at the 10 man level, but at the 25 man level, Disc Priests are predominantly using Prayer of Healing. It’s just that effective! More tactical usage of Penance and PW: Shield needs to be done clearly. Right now, we have the ability to run two Priests in our composition. You’d think that 2 Disc priests would limit the amount of shields being thrown up because of the whole Weakened Soul debuff and the fact that shields cause a dent in mana.

But realistically at the 25 man level, two Disc priests sharing the burden isn’t going to shoot the raid in the foot. There’s lots of targets to go around. There’s damage coming from all over the place (in most cases). Those shields provide an extra buffer and can buy players an extra second or two. Bonus points for cheaper shields.

Remember when Discipline sucked back in the day?

I just hope it doesn’t go too far in the other direction and we find out massive quantities of shield spam are back in season. I don’t think it is because we learned how that was in Wrath and while it was strong, it wasn’t fun.

What other clarifications?

The Golden Apparition from the Healing 4pc heals the lowest % health friendly target within 40yd. Note that it has no visual yet, but will not work like Shadowy Apparitions. It is a simple missile, not a summoned unit.

Good to hear. I’m getting annoyed at my Shadow Apparitions sometime just sitting there. Glad to know my healing priests won’t have to suffer from that. Cant’ wait to see this bonus in action though. I hope the missile isn’t as slow as the Shadow Apparition. Wouldn’t it be embarrassing if, you know, by the time your holy guardian activated and healed your ally they were already at full health because your healers were already doing their job?

Angelic Bulwark and Spirit Shell can no longer be dispelled.

On the one hand, this sucks because I can’t offensively get rid of these buffs on people in PvP. On the other hand, this is awesome because now I won’t lose them during PvP.

We are going to redesign Shadow Word: Insanity.

Can’t wait to see this. There’s something about this ability that strikes me as off whenever I try using it. I’ve mainly stuck with From Darkness, Comes Light. Honestly, 4 seconds isn’t that small of a window to get Insanity off on a boss.

So then why do I feel so awkward using it?

Our current though on Solace is that it will provide damage and healing for both Disc and Holy. So Holy could use it for some Atonement-like healing, as could Disc, but Disc won’t double dip and shouldn’t feel like it’s mandatory. That could change (all of this could change) as we try it out and iterate more.

Took a look at this on the PTR. Holy Fire gets changed to Power Word: Solace so it’s one less button that takes up your spell book.

Neat! I think we’re approaching that point where we’re starting to have too much crap in our spellbook so I do like the fact that we’re condensing something. Unlike Holy Fire, Solace is instant, offers you 1% mana back, but has a 10 second cooldown.

The current version of Solace is a 1.5 second cast time which restores 0.7% maximum mana but has no cooldown.

Doesn’t the new version of Solace seem a little too low in the mana return area?

Khendra, we have no objection to using Prayer of Healing when you need to heal a bunch of people. That’s what it’s for. But when you’re using Prayer of Healing in preparation for future damage because DA and SS make your AE heal better at shielding than actual Power Word: Shield, then that even further reduces your options. (In 10s, Disc tends to use Atonement more, so they’re doing something more than just PoH spam. In 25s, we see some Atonement use, but it’s fit in when possible and healers in 25s are just always going to be able to specialize more.)

We might in the future add another AE heal for Disc (I think you can make a compelling argument that in this day and age, healers need a variety of interesting AE heals and maybe only a couple of ST heals, while healer design for years went in the opposite direction) but that’s not the sort of thing we want to drop on you in the middle of an expansion. In the meantime, if Disc uses Penance and PW:Shield some more (and Flash Heal in PvP) and doesn’t trounce all the other healers, we will be satisfied and hopefully so will priests.

Won’t be seeing that until 6.0 is my guess. We’ve got a ton of single target healing. Having Divine Star, Cascade, and Halo access were all great because we could customize our AoE healing based on the task at hand.

Another baseline AoE would be interesting though. You’d be hard pressed to find a method for AoE absorbs that isn’t already covered by what Spirit Shell can do.

Okay, I’m guessing it’s an AoE absorb. They think it’s a little excessive to chain cast Prayer of Healing in advance of a Bonestorm even though that’s the best method in countering incoming damage (even if every player’s at full health).

Can’t wait to see what they’re thinking about doing though though!

As for me, I’m still rolling around in Shadow. We’ll be challenging Blade Lord tonight. We’re getting picked apart by Wind Step and Unseen Strike combinations. Not quite sure how to counter that. It’s not like we’re losing half the raid. But each time an Unseen Strike hits, we always lose a player. I’m sure we can battle through it and add another heroic notch to our belt but if anyone has any pointers or suggestions, I’d be grateful.

Are these changes going to cause you Disc Priests to consider reverting back to Holy? Or no change at all? What do you think about the proposed Solace change?

About Matticus

Matticus is the founder of World of Matticus and Plus Heal. Read more of his columns at WoW Insider. League of Legends player. Caffeine enthusiast.

5 comments
LedonLite
LedonLite

On blade lord:

Not sure how many pallys you run, but have them spec for double BoPs. BoP either before the unseen or if you're too often getting double windsteps, BoP one or two of the targets before unseen. EVERYONE must get hit by unseen. Not sure how you stack, but we basically all stack on the tanks. EXACTLY on the tank, a yard or two off can mean half the raid doesn't get hit. Person with unseen should actually be slightly in front of the tank to make sure the cone hits everyone. 

After last windstep goes out everyone must make sure they are in range to get stacked on the tank if picked with unseen (keeping in mind it will freeze you a few secs before unseen hits). There is still 1 tornado that will go out, so range should be close, they can be within range of another player, just not in melee range or not where a tornado will be a problem for the raid (i.e ahead of the kite path).

Person with windstep going into unseen must insure they can be at full health when unseen hits or don't stack. I.e big cool down + trigger finger on HS. Hit a HS right after unseen. All healers should be spamming them when stacking and hit them with an instant heal after unseen. No one is taking any damage, but them and the tanks after the hit, no rush to get the raid up. Don't be afraid to toss an external CD on them during unseen.

Try to CD each unseen with something if possible. At least last 3-4. Rallying Cry, Barrier, Spirit Link all work well. I don't think demo banner does and hit is physical so AM doesn't either. Also make sure priest/shm are keep the health buff they provide on people.

Spirit shell each unseen and pallys shields on everyone is very valuable.


Shanthi
Shanthi

 -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Doesn’t the new version of Solace seem a little too low in the mana return area?

 -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Assuming  you were already using Holy Fire as disc to stack Evangelism and the Atonement heal, then you also have to add the current mana cost of Holy Fire to the "mana gains" of Solace. Because in addition to the mana Solace gives, you're also casting Holy Fire for free essentially with all the same rewards Holy Fire currently gives.

Calidyn
Calidyn

You know, in regards to the new version of Solace, I don't think its mana return is too low. Not for disc., at least. Currently, (if I recall correctly) we need about eight casts per minute of Solace for it to be worth it over Mindbender. So that's 5.6% of your mana back every minute. If you cast the new PW:S on cooldown, that's 6% of your mana back every minute. Now, the great drawback of Solace is its cast time. This is is more or less made up by the fact that, provided your mana bar is not at 100%, you can cast it at any time during the fight and the net gain is the same; you don't get stuck trying fit it in during periods of high damage, and assuming you have enough time, you can go far beyond the 5.6% required to beat MB. 

The new version of Solace loses that flexibility and caps you at a maximum of 6% (which still makes it superior to MB if used on cooldown), but it takes less GCDs, and -.if you're the kind of discipline priest that uses the Glyph of Holy Fire to keep their Evangelism stacks - those are mostly GCDs that you would've used for the exact same purpose, except that the atonement heal is essentially free  (if you don't use the glyph, and just keep your stacks up via regular smiting/holy fire, then it's even better, since their cast times are longer than a GCD.) You can even think of it as giving you 2.8% of your mana (the 1 + the 1.6 of the free Holy Fire), though that obviously depends on whether the atonement heal is effective. If you're good about casting it on cooldown, I'd say it's a pretty nice talent. 

The problem comes with Holy, because you lose the flexibility of the original talent, and don't gain much, except it takes less GCDs to make it slightly better than MB, and maybe a little bit of damage. 

(I hope that made some semblance of sense; it's getting a little late.) 

mattuzzi
mattuzzi moderator

@LedonLite Thanks! We were able to take him down to 5%. Now we just need to refine our sub 20%s.

mattuzzi
mattuzzi moderator

@Shanthi I also forgot to factor in default Shadowfiend.