Gearing Up, For The Wyn

Gearing Up, For The Wyn

Image courtesy of Chancaca

Wyn’s gearing philosophy

It seems like whenever I start talking healing with a new priest-acquaintance or guild-app, the first (often only) metric they give me to describe their gear level is their +healing. Not that +healing isn’t important at all, but there are more important stats. More than that, how you balance your stats is infinitely more important than each individual stat’s level. Think about it: You can hit 2k +healing in full greens. You can definitely go way, way over 2k healing in PvP gear. Either way, it’s not a set up I’d take into a raid situation, and as a single-stat +healing tells me next-to-nothing about a given players ability to heal well and KEEP healing well through a whole fight. So in the absence of my spreadsheets, lootrank, and what-not, here’s how I think about it.

  • Step 1. Stack +heal until you hit about 1950 unbuffed. Then stop worrying about it.
  • Step 2. Get your while-casting mana regen to around 200 raid-buffed.
  • Step 3. Make sure you can get to 10k stamina with full raid buffs.
  • Step 4. Get your mana pool up to 10k
  • Step 5. Stack spirit ’til doomsday.


1. Because around 2k +heal is more than enough to handle any T4 or T5 content. Once you’re in T4 and T5 content, any gear you get to improve your mana-regen stats will ALSO increase your +healing, without you worrying about it. There may be occasional pieces where you’ll lose 10 healing for 20 spirit or something, but it’s always worth it. I promise.

2. You need to have a good working base of casting-regen while you continute to find heavy-spirit pieces. A lot of this Mp5 can come from spirit-stat stuff (thanks to Meditation talents), just make sure you pick up enough raw Mp5 as you go so that you don’t have a gap here while you continue to improve your gear. (Remember that fully raid-buffed means food, elixirs, all buffs, and mana oils. Don’t have a “buff?” use a scroll.)

3. Some fights call for stamina. You’re allowed to swap no more than 2 pieces of gear from your normal healing set, and swapping them can’t drop your Mp5 or +heal below the prescribed levels. If you need to toss on 1 or 2 PvP pieces to do this, it’s okay as a beginning crutch, but this is your biggest reason to ditch crafted healing gear as quickly as possible. It’s just not viable past entry-level T5, and with all the options available to replace it, there’s really no excuse for gimping your essential stats with PvP gear. Don’t forget about consumables, either, and keep yourself shielded through the high-damage times of these fights.

4. You need a good pool of mana to work with, so that you can play with your regen in terms of trinkets, fiend, and freebie casts. Having a decent pool just gives you more flexibility and less stress. Besides, the Int you need to create this pool helps you get the most out of your spirit.

5. Spirit increases your 3 main stats: Non-casting regen, +healing, and regen-while-casting, provided you’ve taken the right talents. You just can’t have too much of it.

But what about Spell haste? Spell haste is a beautiful thing, IF AND ONLY IF you are not sacrificing other stats to get it. It doesn’t matter if your heals are faster if you yourself die or (most commonly) you spam yourself oom because your regen can’t keep up. Most of the gear currently available with Spell Haste comes at the expense of mana-regen. (The notable exception being the much-cited Eagle-boss neck from ZA, which is currently best-in-slot for Holy Priests) The vast, vast, vast majority of Priests that are gearing up simply need to focus on improving their other stats to the point that they are viable to raid in full-blown T6 content before worrying about Spell Haste.


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  1. Could you possibly describe in more detail how to get to that 10k health mark and not gimp your healing? I’m only early in T5 so I know it’s not a huge deal, but looking at my stats and the possible gear it seems impossible.

    Sulkar on US-Frostmane

  2. Wynthea says:

    10k stam is really a mark for fights in beginning T6. This guide is intended as a “what to do when you’re nearly done” list. For T5 content, just make sure you have either the Robes of Heavenly Purpose or the 100-badge robes, the Cord of Braided Troll Hair or Belt of the Long Road, and T5 shoulders. (In other words, NO Primal Mooncloth!)

  3. Thankyou very much for that wonderful guide Wyn! Now, how to get that pesky druid in my guild with all +22 healing gems (in EVERY socket! Don’t even get me started!) to read this… hmmmm

  4. What then is your recommended stats for T6 healing, or someone at the 4/5 Hyjal, 4/9 BT wall?

    What should I do about the abysmal droprates on quality wands/cloaks? (currently S3 PVP wand and MGT cloak?)

  5. Wynthea says:

    Hey Doug,

    4/5 Hyjal, and 4/9 BT would fall pretty well exactly in line with this gear-set up. You should be at the point where you’re replacing gems with pure Spirit gems, and re-enchanting your chest for +15 Spirit.

    At that point, your (Buffed) +healing should be around 2100-2200, you HAVE to be able to crack 10k stamina (because now, you’re farming Najentus and Supremus, and you must be able to survive Fel Rage and Doomfire in your next couple of boss kills), and your mana pool should be pretty extendable for fights like Kaz’rogal because you’ll need it for Mother – if not 10k unbuffed, certainly pushing 9k buffed.

    Wand: for 25 badges, you can get the Carved Witch Doctor’s Stick. It’s a DPS wand, but the regen and socket make it superior to the Brutal. (Then, I would either farm Kara for Oz on the weekends, or get in on a SW trash PuG.)

    Cloaks: Spend 25 badges and upgrade to the Bishop’s Cloak (best of these options), get a tailor to make you a Manaweave Cloak, or buy the Lifegiving Cloak off the AH.

  6. Good points, Wyn! I’m still trying to blugeon this into the minds of my fellow priestly healers. One in particular stacks Bonus Healing almost exclusively; his reasoned that he was tired of seeing his Prayer of Mending overwritten by other priests and the Bonus Healing would help prevent that. I would have just selected an offtank to cast the spell on instead!

    Chad: Keep in mind that Wyn said that the 10,000 mark is with full raid buffs and not unbuffed. Unless you’re still wearing the crafted sets that you probably created when you first step foot into Karazhan (bad, bad, bad priest!), the gear that you acquire while raiding scales appropriately enough that this is more than reachable. One of the things that I did at first was snag a couple of PvP pieces and stack Stamina gems in them. If you’re using the new 2.4 badge gear, snag your Tier 5 gear as an offset when none of the others need it as a main set; the 2.4 gear is better for healing and mana regeneration, but the Tier 5 set tends to have more Stamina on it. It’s a quick and easy way of gaining a couple of hundred health without gimping your performance.

    Cynras last blog post..Ten Things You Didn’t Know About My Girls

  7. Imthehealer says:

    I fell in line with the +healing stacking when i started out in ssc/tk. Having the lowest hp in a raid is a very bad thing. Half the time in ssc i would wind up face down on the floor, and taking the motto from dps, “A dead healer, is zero healing.”

    10k buffed is very easy in Tier 6, I dropped my crafted pieces and was easily at the 10k level.

  8. The group I run with has only recently started raiding T5 and up but due to the badge gear most people want to skip straight to T6. Without that T5 level gear, it seems harder to get that much health. Unbuffed, I’m sitting at around 6.6k, and that’s without any PMC pieces. Likely the lack of T5 gear in the non-badge slots is hurting more than I realized.

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