5.0.x and Mists of Pandaria: Holy and Discipline Priest Info

5.0.x and Mists of Pandaria: Holy and Discipline Priest Info

Welcome to patch 5.0.x! You’ll have a few weeks to get yourself acclimated for the great levelling push in under a month. Whether you plan to dungeon grind or quest your way to 85, it doesn’t hurt to refresh your skills.

Priest changes and additions

  • Fixed mana pools! We’re now down to 100k mana at level 85. For reference, Circle of Healing costs 3200 mana, Flash Heal costs 5900 mana, and Renew costs 2600 mana. Some reforging may be needed for regen purposes. We’ll have 300000 at level 90.
  • Our ranged slot is gone! But, we can now use Wands in our main hand. So if you happen to have a heroic Wand but haven’t been able to get a heroic main hand or staff, congratulations! Wand stats have been buffed to account for this.
  • Divine  Hymn is no longer available to Shadow Priests or Discipline Priests.
  • Dispel has an 8 second cooldown. Mass Dispel has a 15 second cooldown. Fights like Spine of Deathwing have been compensated accordingly.
  • Chakra spells can be used directly. You don’t have to follow it up with a trigger. Remember to bind both Chakra: Sanctuary and Chakra: Serenity.
  • New Discipline spell: Spirit Shell
  • Inner Fire increases spell power by 10% instead of a static value.
  • Power Word: Fortitude increases Stamina by 10% instead of a static value.
  • Evangelism built in to both Discipline and Holy. However, only Discipline can activate Archangel.

Playing styles

Holy

Holy users, you’ll just need to get accustomed to Chakra and stance switching. Nothing else has really changed dramatically. If you’ve been a Holy player before, congratulations! There isn’t much to learn. Lightwell now has the option to be made more “user friendly” via Glyph of Lightspring.

I do have one request though.

Blizzard, is it possible to add a visual distinction between Lightwells that can be clicked versus Lightwells that can’t? Maybe make Lightspring blueish instead.

lightwell-spring

Discipline

With Archangel and Evangelism available all the time (as in, not needing a talent), those of you who are familiar with keeping Archangel stacks active during heated moments will be in good shape. Sadly, Glyph of Power Word: Barrier is gone. Spirit Shell is a new ability which turns Heal, Greater Heal, and Prayer of Healing into absorption shield generators.

About Spirit Shell

  • Will scale with your crit chance
  • Scales with Mastery: Shield Discipline
  • Scales with Grace
  • Unaffected by Archangel
  • Unaffected by Inner Focus
  • Maximum ceiling of ~60% of target health (Tried with different gear combinations, but needs additional verification)

General changes

  • AoE looting. By far the best change of the patch.
  • Battletags. No more having to hand out email addresses anymore. Why couldn’t they have just started with this in the first place?

But wait, there’s more!

Recommended glyphs

For raiding

Prime glyphs have been taken out. But there’s lots of glyph selections now. Take your pick!

Talent notes

Tier 1: Level 15 (Crowd control)

Tier 2: Level 30 (Movement)

  • Body and Soul: If you’re one of the few Priests in raid, great! Suggest using this for pickup raids like the raid finder.
  • Angelic Feather: Anyone who runs over this will gain the speed benefit. If you need additional precision when it comes to targeting, opt for Body and Soul instead. In practice, I’ve seen cases where the wrong person makes up a feather or someone just strolls near it without realizing it.
  • Phantasm: Probably best for PvP. Though there are a few raid encounters which have slowing effects.

Tier 3: Level 45 (Mana)

Tier 4: Level 60 (Defensive)

  • Desperate Prayer: This spell has served me perfectly in previous expansions and it’ll continue to do the same. When you get access to Void Shift at level 87, what I like to do is Void Shift a tank who has low health and then immediately use Desperate Prayer to restore health from the inherited pool I took from the tank.
  • Spectral Guise: Best for PvP.
  • Angelic Bulwark: Neat for not having to worry about your own survivability as much. Think of it as a safety net.

Tier 5: Level 75 (Extra power)

  • Twist of Fate: Don’t underestimate this. An additional 15% healing for 10 seconds if you heal someone below 20%? In a raid environment, it’s possible to keep this buff up for long stretches at a time. Heck, Circle of Healing alone should help maintain it on most bosses.
  • Power Infusion: Available only to the casting Priest.
  • Divine Insight

Tier 6: Level 90 (AoE)

  • Cascade: Loving Cascade for raid play.
  • Divine Star: Best used if the majority of the raid group is stacked together.
  • Halo: Do not use this in dungeons. The potential to unintentionally pull mobs is high (personal experience).

Less than a month to go before panda-monium hits! You’ll be ready and supporting your guild in no time!

How about a training dummy/event for healers?

OK, so there is this awesome new set of training dummies in the Mists beta that gives someone facing, raid buffs, food buffs and flask buffs, can be killed and has about 50 million health. It’s a pretty damn cool new tool for players to try to more accurately judge their DPS in a raid environment without having to actually go in to a raid. It’s a wonderful idea, a great idea and a necessary idea.

But how about one for healers?

So, lets lay it out there, healing is a stressful job, accompanied by a certain sense of anxiety and dread that accompanies healing a group for the first time. I hear horror stories of people getting booted out of instance all the time when they first start healing because they are new and not perfect. It’s a huge fear. One of the things I always suggest to new healers is to pop into a battle ground. As folks on twitter have pointed out, and I’ve agreed with for years, it helps you sort your UI, and it helps you learn some of the aspects of healing like triage. But it doesn’t teach you everything. Healing a PvP group isn’t quite the same as an instance, especially when you have to manage cooldowns and mana usage for boss mechanics, tanks, DPS and yourself.  I’m not saying you shouldn’t heal in PvP, by all means you should as it’s a great way to test out your UI, spells and what they do as well as key binds, but I still find fighting against another group of people is much different than fighting against a raid or boss design. I just want to make it clear I’m not discrediting PvP healing as a learning tool, but there’s no elegant solution to it. I mean, even Rift has healing dummies to help you gauge yourself.

Now here’s a thought that’s been on my mind for a couple months now. In The Secret World there’s a test you have to take for your preferred role to access nightmare content, and it’s called the gatekeeper. What the gatekeeper does is it forces you to respond to mechanics and use your toolkit. When I stumbled upon this I was immediately reminded of a very old class quest in Vanilla World of Warcraft , and I’m sure some of you will already know where I’m going with this.

Remember when you went for your Benediction priests? Do you remember the difficulty of that class quest and how it made you use everything you had to smartly complete the quest? It was an awesome class quest that worked within the confines of the character class at the time.

So here’s my proposal, lets have something, an event,  that you can go into that gives you NPC party members to heal and a faux boss fight. Through this, players could individually test their mettle, get logs and see if they were having issues without having to risk embarrassment or ridicule. Yes I know it’s an MMO and yes I know there are social requirements to be had, but DPS can go to a dummy and test out their numbers, why shouldn’t other classes get something similar? Why not a faux encounter like the Gatekeeper in TSW that lets you test out our abilities in relative safety. Think of how something like this could benefit healers.

Lets take that a step further, how much would something like this benefit tanks as well, or DPS. It would be an amazing boon. It would relieve so much pressure by eliminating at least partially the notion that you have to be perfect on your first time out. You could test to some extent and get an idea before ever having to walk into an instance. I would wager that if something like this was implemented there would be a lot more willing healers, and a lot more willing tanks. I can’t count how many times people in my own guild have said that they would want to try healing or tanking, but don’t want to do so in a manner that would waste someone’s time while they were learning. It’s nice to have friends to call on to learn this stuff, but sometimes they just aren’t around to help at the times you need them.

Yes you could make the argument that you can learn this while you level up and learn your abilities, but at the end of the day I’d be willing to be the amount of people that level through instances isn’t nearly as great as those that level through questing. Even though questing as a healer or tank has gotten better, it’s more often than not more effective to level as a DPS spec anyways. I’ve had healers message me for advice, and then when they get ridiculed in a 5-man or an LFR, or a new raid they just stop because while they were learning, not everyone understood that and made it twice as difficult.

The Gatekeeper system is one of the best things I’ve seen implemented into an MMO in years, it is something I would love to see re-purposed in other MMOs, if only tooled a bit differently. In our case a repeatable event or quest that lets you test yourself, your new gem setup, your new talent choices, your new reforging or just learning how spells work without the opportunity cost of failing publicly before you’re ready. Lets just make it more of an event and less of a test, make it something healers and tanks could use to get a feel for their respective roles.

Is it  a perfect solution, I can’t really say, but healers and tanks need some love too. Having a new tool for DPS to check their numbers with full raid buffs is really nice, but don’t leave out the healers and tanks, the two most stressful jobs you can choose to undertake in just about any game. I just think adding something like this would be amazing, useful, and combined with everything else at our finger tips would just further strengthen our healers and tanks, and their confidence in their roles.

I’ll write more on this later I’m sure, something more in-depth and detailed, but for now I’m curious to see what you think. Would this be something you’d like to see implemented for healers and tanks?

Derevka: The biggest change in Mists is how we look at mana

Derevka: The biggest change in Mists is how we look at mana

I jumped on an opportunity to speak with Derevka about the upcoming expansion and his thoughts on the priest class in general. We chatted about the state of both healing specs, raiding encounters in Mists, and spell usage.  Keep on reading for the full interview.

Matt: Hey Derevka, it’s been a while. You’ve recently picked up activity again on your blog, Tales of a Priest after taking a brief reprieve earlier in the year. You’ve especially been hard at work lobbying for some priest changes like Chakra and have put in some research on the mana regen talents.  So what do you think is the biggest change for priests leaping from Cataclysm to Mists, in your opinion?

Derevka: Tricky question, since I’d argue that Priests were affected least by the onslaught of changes that came in MOP— at least from a class mechanic standpoint. For the most part our healing strategy will be ‘more of the same’. Perhaps the biggest change in Mists will be how we look at mana. First and foremost we need to realize that once we hit 90, we will not be getting any more mana. 300,000 is our pool. Period.

Mana pools, since they do not scale, will be something we need to really keep an eye on. For example, Greater Heal in quest greens costs the same amount of mana that it does in full epic T14. The only thing that will scale is our ability to regen mana via spirit. We will need to balance spirit and know when we have too much or too little. Mana is a zero-sum game.

Purely spamming Prayer of Healing will quickly have you running out of mana; we’ll need to be more mindful of what spells we choose to cast as well as how to use our mana cooldowns, and talents. It could be a steep learning curve for some who are too used to the Dragon Soul era of mana and are unfamiliar with mana management.

We’ll need to be more mindful of what spells we choose to cast as well as how to use our mana cooldowns, and talents.

M: Yeah, I found that out the hard way having to put Heal back in my bars again. Have you figured out any numbers for Spirit benchmarks or what we’ll need to hit at different stages of character progression? For example, how much are we going to need to adequately heal through heroic dungeons, challenge modes, or entry level raids?

D: Spirit numbers are tricky, as it really depends on your healing style. I will say that we’re going to want spirit on pretty much all of our gear in the first tier of raiding. Gone are the days of equipping non-spirit/dual stat gear!

For those who remember MP5 as a stat, think of spirit in that manner — it provides zero throughput: Just pure regen. We’ll have the ability to trade off spirit (via reforging) for throughput stats pretty easily, but it’ll depend on what your comfort level is. Personally, I would suggest being cautious with mana at first, and then pair back my regen instead of gasping for mana but my heals hit like a truck. It’ll be a fun balancing act, and will depend on individual healing style.

kite

M: What do you feel is the go-to Priest spec?

D: Hard question as they both provide some great tools and flavor. If I had to knee-jerk a response, I am going to say Holy. Holy always does well early in an expansion as it is arguably the least reliant on combat stats of the two  priest healing specs. I say this because Disc gets a good deal of it’s output from Divine Aegis. DA, apart from POH, is created by critical heals In low iLvl gear (aka Fresh 90’s) you’ll have innately lower crit chance due to less available Intellect on gear, and stats.  Now, do not misconstrue me and say “Derevka said to stack crit as disc at 90!” … No, that’s not what I am saying. I am saying that you’ll innately have lower critical strike due to your intellect and available crit, thus causing the creation of Divine Aegis more difficult (ie. 5 mans).

M: With that in mind, what does Discipline need to get itself back up to comparable level with Holy?

I do not think Disc is in a bad place at all. I think that Holy will just have an easier time early in the level 90 gear grind, only because Disc has a more strict gear requirement than Holy. Disc will be very powerful, particularly since it still has Barrier and access to the new Spirit Shell. Spirit Shell could be one of “those abilities” that winds up getting nerfed when used  “creatively”. I do worry that Spirit Shell will be used to bypass boss abilities. I mean, you have the ability to prep a tank with a 60% HP bubble– then PW: Shield on top of that, and if you wanted, Pain Suppression as well. Remember people using Guardian Spirit to avoid Valiona’s Blackout in Heroic Bastion of Twilight? This could potentially be used similarly. Time will tell.  Spirit Shell is going to be perfect for those places where you would have POH/DA prepared the raid… except now, all that POH healing will be Spirit Shells!

I mean, you have the ability to prep a tank with a 60% HP bubble– then PW: Shield on top of that, and if you wanted, Pain Suppression as well.

scenario

M: In a previous conversation, we were talking about Mastery and how the points have changed. Do you consider haste the primary secondary stat for Holy with Mastery and Crit right behind it? What about Discipline?

D: Yes, Mastery should be a bit more transparent when it comes to its benefits on the character sheet. It’ll be much easier to understand now that they have streamlined the stat conversion straight to percentage gained.

That said, it is hard to provide a concrete statweight since a number of our spells are in flux when it comes to combat stat ratings; specifically regarding what affects them and what does not.  As of build 17882, we have Holy Word: Sanctuary now being affected by haste, which has me concerned, I did the math and its not good news– but it may be a bug. That said, since HW: Sanctuary is being affected by Haste, it does make breakpoints something to keep in mind. I have calculated the required Haste Rating for each Spell’s Breakpoint and will be publishing those numbers shortly. I do not think we’ll be ‘chasing breakpoints’ in MoP, but keeping them in mind will be critical–We’ll want to know where they are, so we can ensure we aren’t so close that we should change a gem or two. I do not think we’ll be gearing to get that additional HW: Sanctuary tick.

However, a Hymn tick on the other hand…

Preliminary simming is going to put Haste/Mastery pretty close to one another for Holy; however it will depend on how you heal. Are you going to be constantly spamming? Are you going to be weaving in more Power Word: Solaces? Are you going to burst heal and then slow down to regen? Are you single target healing? These all have different impacts to your statweights. If forced to chose, I would probably suggest gearing for enough Haste (raidbuffed) for the added Hymn (both), Renew tick and for a 10th Sanctuary tick… then Mastery. We’ll likely have a good deal of mastery  since a lot of the cloth drops and craftables are covered in it!

Discipline will enjoy Mastery since it now has a 3rd spell that benefits from it: Spirit Shell. Power Word: Shield, Divine Aegis, and Spirit Shell will all scale from Mastery. More simming will be needed to be done to get these stats, but for the most part Haste & Mastery will likely be our top go-to stats.

For the most part Haste & Mastery will likely be our top go-to stats.

M: Level 90 talents. What do you think about each of them and what’s going to be your standard level 90 talent?

D: For raiding? Hands down, Cascade. I like them all (even beyond just the visuals). Halo is nice, but requires too much positional tweaking to make it really solid and is too expensive and too long a cooldown to be reliable. Divine Star will be great in 5 mans (I know I’ve used it a lot in heroics), and will work well in raids that have you all grouped up (a la Ultraxion). However, Cascade has proven to be the strongest for me in the test raids I’ve done. Even on 10 man— remember Cascade will hit 15 targets, and 10 man raids do not have 15 targets typically (pets).

halo

M: What about raid encounters? How about some previews for healing?

Hard to really nail this down simply. At the moment, some of the 10-man encounters have been wildly undertuned. For example, we accidentally killed Lei Shi in the Terrace of the Endless Spring due to dots when we tried to wipe/reset to get more testing/logs on the fight. Oops! Heroic Testing has just started, but has some promise to be challenging.

I will say that there are going to be some head nods to old encounters. Garalon, for example,  has a Professor Putricide-esque ability requiring you to pass a DoT/Debuff around via proximity. Not “recycled” content, but certainly some “oh this reminds me of X!”.

The one that I liked the most was Imperial Vizier Zor’lok. It is one of those fights that has different abilities in each phase of the fight, and then the final phase has all the abilities active at once. I enjoy these “progressive fights”; fights in which you learn how to manage and heal each phase, and then you have a capstone in the final phase.

M: Oh man, I love Professor Putricide. Always made jokes about who was dirty and who wasn’t. Vizier sounds something like Mimiron. If I remember right, most of these encounters were for normal mode and purely for testing of mechanics.

That’s correct as the only testing so far is Normal and it really was about testing mechanics. But the tuning of the mechanics are still important. Again, if you look at Lei Shi, you’ll see the latest patch notes took that feedback and increased some of the damage she does. Hopefully she won’t be quite the pinata she proved to be originally!

M: How much will I need to work Solace into my “rotation” (for lack of a better term) to see sizeable gains along the lines of mana hymn or fiend?

D: First, I’d be remiss not to ask people to calm down about Solace. People are really getting panicked over Solace. Yes, Solace provides the most regen potential, but there is a cost to that.

When you are casting (or chain casting) PW: Solace you are doing zero healing. Those GCDs have an opportunity cost. It is up to you, to evaluate when you can fit those in and what the cost to doing that (vs healing) is. It might mean the tank takes a couple of melee swings and goes without a heal for 2-3 seconds. You’re going to have to heal that back up, but is the cost worth it? That is the question you need to ask yourself.

When you are casting (or chain casting) PW: Solace you are doing zero healing. [...] It is up to you, to evaluate when you can fit those in and what the cost to doing that (vs healing) is.

Now, as far as how do you need to work Solace into rotation? You’ll want to find the gaps in damage–which can be hard the first time you see an encounter. I strongly suggest macroing PW:Solace with a mouseover/assist macro. This will allow you to simply hover over a DPS/Tank and Solace their target, all while not losing your current target (like the tank).

For PW: Solace to work out equal to Mindbender (assuming you’re also using Shadowfiend on CD) you’ll need to do 3-4  per minute (current build has it restoring 1.5%). Its actually 3.555/minute but remember its in aggregate. If for the first minute you got only 1 Solace in, to be on par by the end of minute 2, you’ll need to have 6 during minute number 2. Here is a link to an article I put together outlining how these talents work, and specifically how the granularity of the spells can work to your advantage.
I promise you, finding those GCD’s isn’t as difficult as it may seem. You just need to find the places to do it and weigh the opportunity cost.

divine-star

M: Right, yeah. I mean if we had access to Solace right now, we’d use it on Tendon phases during Spine (oh gosh, wouldn’t that just be so awesome to have right now?). In contrast, relying on Solace on Zon’ozz while the ball is active and bouncing around is probably a bad idea since you run the risk of losing players.

D: Yep! Finding the appropriate spots to use Solace will be the marker of a priest using it correctly. Of course, given that its clearly been under the watchful eyes of Blizzard and has been kept in check… 3-4 casts per min (in aggregate) is not a meaningless number as there may be fights where that much non-healing time is too much. However, if the Normal tests so far are any indication, you should be able to find time to cast Solace if you look for it.

Players and guilds are in a flux right now. This is going to be the time where players will be jumping around different guilds and M: situating themselves for Mists. Any advice for a 10 man Priest making the switch to 25 man and what they can expect with MoP raids?

D: 25 man raids will be interesting in MoP. I do not want to turn this into an argument about which is harder or if 25’s are dying. However, 25 man raids will have a challenge on a number of fights based purely on available real estate. A few of the fights seem to be reliant on spacing aspects like spreading out and grouping (even more so on Heroic, when looking at the Dungeon Journal). With the same square footage in the boss encounter, 25 man raids could find themselves in a position where they simply run out of space.

Healers in a 25 man raid, always need to be sure they do not have “I’m the Hero Syndrome”.

I’ve seen this happen to a number of healers when making the switch from 10s to 25s. They simply do not rely on the other 4-5 healers on their team and either: deviate from assignment, go OOM from being inefficient, or ignore instruction. You really need to work as a team in 25s, arguably more so than in 10s as you have substantially more people working with you, and covering potentially greater areas.

Be the uni-mind.

M: Let’s talk about our favourite spell Lightwell. There’s a certain cost/benefit between having it clickable vs having it firing off when player health drops below 50%. Are you going to leave yours glyphed or unglyphed?

D: Well since Lightwell and Lightspring both are healing for the same amount, the only added benefit of not Glyphing Lightspring, is that you can control its output (assuming players click it) . However, there are not many Major Glyphs we can choose from and I predict this being the glyph that we will run 95% of the time, with the 5% of the time on fights that you will ‘order’ your raid to click it at a specific time (such as Chimaeron’s Feud).

Lightspring will be ‘what’s expected’ and running it unglyphed, you likely will hear “I thought it was lightspring and would auto heal me!”

lightwell

M: We were chatting briefly about the lack of Holy glyphs. It seems that there’s a certain 3-4 glyphs that are the most optimal for Holy right now. What spells would you like to see affected by glyphs for extra or altered functionality?

D: If I were to have a wish list? Whoo, boy. I’d like a glyph to allow us to channel Hymns while moving. I hate casting HoH and then having something spawn under my feet! Or perhaps something that makes Spirit of Redemption useful? I’ve always hated a talent that only is used if you die/fail. Perhaps remove the “on death” and grant something useful like an on-use throughput increase. (See Also: Archangel, Tree of Life, Ascendance, and Divine Favor)

M: Alright, that’s all I have for you, Derevka! It’s good chatting with you again and thanks for taking time out of your schedule to offer your thoughts on (what is clearly) the best class in the game. Bonus: Your MoP release date guess?

D: Well, we are in the potential final stages of testing heroic raids! I would imagine another 2-3 weeks of raid  testing before we get a date. I also will assume they’re going to test LFR as well. If I were to bet, we’ll have a release date when they debut the opening cinematic at Gamescom.

I am hoping the launch date isn’t in the two weeks where I have a vacation and big work conference in September. With that in mind I am going to say 10/2/12–but I will hope it lands before. My raid team has already been tired of farming Heroic DS since February! We want something fresh, and I know many people share that opinion!

Where’s my panda?!

Serenity and Renew Buffs

You might have noticed that within this recent ~20 GB beta patch that Renew and Serenity gained some buffs.

  • Chakra: Serenity healing increased by 70%
  • Rapid Renewal (New): Your Renew heals for an additional 15%, instantly heals the target for 15% of the total periodic effect, and has a 0 second reduced global cooldown.

But what you might not know is that being in Serenity increases Renew by an additional 15%. A minor update was given to Serenity so that the single target healing buff (from spells like Flash Heal and Greater Heal) now applies to Renew. This component of Serenity is effective as of the current build as it apparently wasn’t in place before. I didn’t notice until it was pointed out to me by @KelestiMMO. Thanks!

Health restored

Discipline Holy Holy (Serenity)

5230

7998

9199

Speaking of Serenity, it got mad buffed. Hits super hard now (From 7900 + 76.2% spell power to 13400 + 130% spellpower).

Discipline: The Cooldown Spec

Flipping through the various Priest spells in anticipation of MoP, I noticed something about the cooldowns. Discipline has a little more than Holy. Anyone else thinking it’s starting to look a little cooldown heavy?

Both specs

Holy

Discipline

The cooldown on Spirit Shell’s a minute long. DIscipline’s playstyle feels a little different now. I’d feel a little better if Spirit Shell could be switched to a stance akin to Chakra. You could toggle Spirit Shell on and off between healing and absorbs instead.

But I digress.

The main point I wanted to go with is that it feels like we’re starting to juggle a rather high amount of cooldowns now. The game isn’t quite as simple as it was before. Cooldown bloat? Seems like it’s getting there to me. Here’s what the required cooldowns for healers should be (at minimum):

  • A tank save
  • A raid save
  • A mana replenishing save
  • A class specific save

Those are all should be what’s needed. Every healer has something to help protect the tank and the entire raid with. They get an ability to help restore mana (either to themselves or to the raid). Lastly, they get one other cooldown that’s unique to their class (Lightwell, Rebirth, etc). With Discipline, you get one that makes your next spell free. You have another one that increases your healing done and gives back mana. Power Infusion would’ve belonged onto that list if it wasn’t made available to all specs.

Hope they don’t add too many more in the future.

Going to try to heal more instances and such as Discipline though. Really want to try to master that class. But I need to relearn when to use which abilities when (truest of Spirit Shell).

EDIT: I didn’t list any of the CDs accessible via talents. (Power Infusion, Cascade, etc)

Updated Tier 3 Priest Talents – Power Word: Solace

Updated Tier 3 Priest Talents – Power Word: Solace

A big beta update today with changes to classes. Priests received some extra love in the tier 3 section of talents. The tier 3 row consists of abilities that help restore mana.

Archangel has been removed from the talent system and has been folded into Discipline only, so no worries for Disc Priests there.

From Darkness, Comes Light received no changes.

Mindbender

Mindbender receives a slight change to the mana return and cooldown.

Old

Cooldown: 3 minutes
Mana: 4% whenever Mindbender attacks

New

Cooldown: 1 minute
Mana: 1% whenever Mindbender attacks

When I used it on beta, it returned ~40080 mana. Each swing from Mindbender returned 4008 (10 swings). I like the cooldown change the most. Even though we don’t get as mana whenever we use it, the shorter cooldown helps offset that. On an 8 minute encounter, you could use Mindbender 3 times:

0:00
3:00
6:00

But since you can use every minute, you’ll be able to take advantage of it more often. Shadowpriests are going to love it since they’ll get more opportunities to line up their cooldowns in conjunction with it.

Power Word: Solace

This is the new talent replacing Archangel.

Power Word: Solace
Level 90

40 yd range
1.5 sec cast

Strike an enemy with the power of the heavens, dealing 1978 to 2219 (+ 40% of SpellPower) Holy damage and restoring 2% maximum mana.

The damage from that spell is peanuts. You’re not going to be using this spell for DPS, that’s for sure. Reminds me of Telluric Currents. I’d switch to Power Word: Solace if I run into encounters with periods of there being little to no healing being needed. Gives me time to go all out with intense healing before switching to Solace to help restore my mana back.

Apparently, Shadow has a version:

Mind Siphon
Level 90

30 yd range
1.5 sec cast

Call upon the shadows to siphon energy from an enemy, dealing 1978 to 2219 (+ 40% of SpellPower) Shadow damage and restoring 2% maximum mana.

Which is weird because the in game talents say that if you switch to Shadow form, Power Word: Solace actually turns into this:

Shadow Word: Insanity
Level 90

15.0% of base mana
40 yd range

Instant

Blasts the target for 664 to 700 (+ 65% of SpellPower) Shadowfrost damage, and causes your shadow damage-over-time spells to erupt, dealing up to 100% additional damage per damage-over-time spell on the target but removing them in the process.

So I’m not sure what the final word on it is, but I don’t think Shadow needs a mana regeneration spell with the other tools they have available (Shadowfiend, Dispersion, Hymn of Hope). I’m more inclined to think Shadow Word: Insanity is Shadow’s answer to the loss of access to Evangelism and Archangel.

Priest Talent: Divine Star

Priest Talent: Divine Star

We looked at Halo the other day and here’s the other level 90 talent: Divine Star. If you play League of Legends, you’ll notice it’s eerily similar to one of Ahri’s abilities. The Priest shoots out a glowing ball which returns after a short distance. Whenever it passes through someone, it heals or injures them depending.

I haven’t noticed an AoE healing cap on the spell. But then again, I haven’t been able to use it in a raid environment or anything. Still, it’s a way cool spell. Can’t wait to put it through it’s paces.

Pointers

  • This spell connects twice. Make sure you’re close enough to your targets so that Divine Star double-hits. It appears as if only one heal is applied if the target is at the peak of Divine Star (Need to confirm).
  • Divine Star will always follow you on its return path. Work on your movement and strafing.

Level 90 Spell: Halo

Level 90 Spell: Halo

At level 90, you gain access to Beyonce-inspired spell, Halo.

It’s an AoE healing (or DPS) type spell depending on your spec. The healing scales depending on the distance between you and the rest of your targets. The biggest impact occurs to players that are 25 yards away. That’s going to be a little tricky for you to eyeball. Would be nice if AVR was still around so that you had a HuD telling you how far exactly 25 yards away was.

Halo isn’t a spell that’s targetable. It uses you as the main point before emanating outward.

You can see it in action below.

Preparing for the 8 second Dispel

Preparing for the 8 second Dispel

If you haven’t been keeping up with the little beta changes and updates that have been going on, there’s something you should know.

Don’t worry, it isn’t as game breaking as Spirit Shell having it’s mechanics reworked or anything.

Our Purify (formerly known as Dispel) now has a a rather large 8 second cooldown attached to it. I get the need to cut down on Dispel’s usage. PvP needs to be made a little more exciting and what not.

The PvE ramifications are just as important.

In a party

Shado-pan Monastary is one of the new instances that opened up with a minimum requirement of level 87. Inside the instance, there was a fair number of mobs that had some sort of magic debuff that would afflict members of my party. On the boss encounters, I noticed any debuffs were applied one or two at a time. I dispelled one quickly and responded with steady, mana neutral Heal to maintain that player’s health. If the party started taking AoE damage, I targeted the debuff affected player and casted Prayer of Healing and would switch between single target and Prayer of Healing as necessary.

I could use Mass Dispel. Technically between Mass Dispel and Dispel, I can rely on them to remove debuffs if they’re applied one after the other. Doing that is going to be costly to your mana. Depending on the debuff duration, it might be better off to dispel one person and then heal the other until their debuffs expire.

Haven’t tried a raid environment yet. All I know is if current boss mechanics were coupled with Mists Dispel mechanics, we’re all in deep trouble. There’d be no way we could blanket  remove negative magic in time without resorting to Mass Dispel.

Blizzard developers would need to scale back and be a little more critical when it comes to any debuff inducing bosses. Ultimately, we just need to play smart with our dispels. The option of not dispelling a player in favor of healing them may well be a necessary strategy to adopt depending on what new raid bosses are like.

Solutions

Let’s classify magic debuffs into two major categories. When responding against debuffs, you need to get a little creative and look at ways to bail out your players. Ideal solution? Simple dispel. But assuming your dispel is now on cooldown, what’s your next choice?

Impairment

This refers to any ability to hinders your character from doing anything. This means any slow, any stun, a freeze, or control loss.

With your allies stuck, they need to get out of a bad situation pronto. Let’s say Jeremy is frozen in place after a Frost Nova. They can’t move and they have no way of breaking themselves out. You, being the smart player that you are, dispelled yourself first. There happens to be a giant shadow underneath Jeremy which indicates a large meteor is about to squish him in half. Mentally, you know that meteor is going to crush him before your Dispel is available for use.

You can use Leap of Faith to extract him. If that’s not available, drop a Pain Suppression and pray that’s enough to ward that meteor.

Find a way to move the player, if possible.

If you can’t give them a movement boost, look for a way to ensure that they survive through it.

Damage

Any debuff that inflicts damage. This could be any DoT, a delayed nuke, etc.

Your allies are about to experience some large dents in their health pool. You can’t get that debuff off of them. Your only option is to brute force heal the players through it until the debuff expires on it’s own. If you don’t think your rate of healing can level off or offset the rate of damage, then resort to a cooldown. Guardian Spirit is a perfect insurance spell.

Speaking of bugs, I’m not sure if this is intended or not. The 8 second cooldown on Purify only triggers if a negative debuff is removed. I can spam Purify on myself without any debuffs without tripping the 8 second cooldown.

Or is that intended? I can’t remember.

Black Markets in Pandaria!

Black Markets in Pandaria!

Just saw news of this. There’s a Black Market in the game.

They sell really expensive, random stuff. Apparently the Black Market has stuff like:

  • Tier 3 gear
  • Mounts like Ashes of Alar
  • Pets
  • Really rare, hard to find crafting recipes

In other Priest changes:

I will now use Glyph of Lightspring instead. Nice addition! No more having to forcibly remind people to click the damn Lightwell!

Glyph of Val’kyr is now going to be on my number one list of minor glyphs to add to my Priest. I am pleased!

Et toi? (And you?)