Forget 28/33, try 20/41 with Circle of Healing

Many Priests advocate using the 28/33 build. Heck, my priest has the exact same build. But if all of your Priests have Improved Divine Spirit, then doesn’t that kind of render that spec pointless? You may as well change it up and vary it up some. I don’t think you really need 4 Priests with Imp. Divine Spirit, do you? If you examine the holy tree, realize that heals can still get boosted higher. So let’s check out my proposed build and when to put it to good use.

Here’s the overall chart:

Most of these choices are self explanatory, but I’ll highlight the important stuff.

Discipline

Silent Resolve: This one’s an optional one here. If you have trouble with aggro management (or have a really bad tank), then pick this up. Otherwise, blow a point in Absolution and max out Mental Agility to achieve your 20 points in Discipline. My personal stance on this is that Silent Resolve should not be needed due to 1) A Priest who is aware of his/her aggro 2) A tank that can generate insane threat 3) A raid with enough healers to help even out heals on the tank so not anyone healer is over extending him or herself. If you’re somehow catching up to the tank, drop a PW: Shield, Renew, and fade for a few seconds.

Holy

For the most part, the Holy tree is remarkably similar to the standard 28/33 build except for the extra extensions at the end of the tree.

Empowered Healing: 20% extra healed with Greater Heal and 10% extra on Flash and Binding Heal. Ain’t that just peachy? Not much else to say about that besides the fact that it IS awesome to increase your healing by a fairly substantial margin. You may not think 10% is much, but 10% additional healing over a 30 minute is a damn lot of healing.

Circle of Healing: Finally we come to the most controversial spell in the Holy tree. A lot of Priests slam Circle of Healing because they don’t consider it useful or mana efficient or some other excuse that I haven’t thought of. Start thinking in terms of situational healing. Now when would it be a good time for me to ever use a spell similar to Holy Nova, that can be used on any target in a raid, which would heal their party? What class would you surmise takes more damage? That’s right, Melee classes. Face it, these poor suckers have to stay point blank staring at the butt of some boss having to repeatedly run out and bandage before being able to go back in because healers can’t be spared to keep them alive or topped off.

Remember, this spell is entirely situational. I would not recommend speccing Circle of Healing if you are working your way through Karazhan. It’s just not worth it on a ten-man group. But once you get to the 25 man raids, you’ll start having heavy DPS groups consisting of classes like an Enhancement Shaman and four Rogues (hypothetically speaking). On a fight like Voidreaver, who steps on players within Melee range for a lot within a few seconds, a spell like Circle of Healing would be a blessing. Why? You’ve healed about 2500 HP in total. That’s almost the same as a max rank Flash of Light. You can’t use Prayer of Healing because it only heals players within your party. But Circle of Healing heals any player within the raid and their party. One of my fellow Priests in my Guild does this very thing. Every time we engage a boss where Melee classes are allowed to step in, he assigns himself to healing the DPS because his build allows him to do so without much problem. It’s time inefficient to flash heal five times over five players. It’s also inefficient to lob 5 renews. Three or four pumps of Circle of Healing can breathe enough life to your specialist group and ensure damage dealt is still maximized.

Us Priests have so many different Healing spells at our disposal. The trick is to discern which is right for what situation.

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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.