Shadow Priests Are Allowed to Divine Hymn

Yesterday’s post on hybrids spawned a great discussion on when it becomes useful for DPS players to switch out to different roles. Today, I wanted to expand it further and delve into the topic of Priests.

Now according to the Rules of Raiding #77:

DPS and tanking players should not have to heal.

It’s a good rule that states that if you’re in a DPS position or in a tanking position, there is no reason for you to have to change your role to heal. For one thing, you don’t have the spec or the bonuses or the gear to pull it off long term in an encounter.

If you’re a Shadow Priest, all you need to do is simply wail on the boss.

Unfortunately, it’s not always that simple. Rule #10 for instance states:

Every possible course of action should be considered by every player no matter what they do in order to beat the encounter.

In a case where rules may clash, rules that are lower on the scale will supercede the ones above it.

Let’s apply it.

Shadow Priests will almost never be called upon to drop their Shadow form to heal. It’s inefficient and often times unnecessary. But a Shadow Priest is still a Priest and they have access to some valuable cooldowns.

There is one in particular called Divine Hymn.

Don’t shy away from using it if you have to. As one of the healing leads, I look and see what cooldowns are available. I won’t hesitate to ask for Shadow Priests to Divine Hymn. I won’t hesitate to ask a Ret Paladin to use their bubble-sacrificing abilitiy. Feral Druids know that my Priest is the Hummer of healers in the guild and that I am one heck of a mana guzzling machine when I hit the accelerator. Yet I’m playing a hybrid class, right? (That’s a joke).

Anub’arak is a stressing fight for healers. This oversized frost beetle ramps it up a notch when he hits the 30% mark and everyone in the raid starts taking damage. A quick glance at the cooldowns available is followed by me barking out names and abilities. They respond with either an affirmative or a negative. This isn’t the time to debate why their cooldown isn’t up. Maybe a Paladin had to bubble earlier in the fight to survive. Stuff like that gets discussed after the fact, not during.

I run a total of four Priests during raids. Two are Shadow and the other two heal. Shadow Priests know they’re not going to be asked to drop form and heal (usually). But four Priests means access to four Divine Hymns which is extremely powerful during a a phase with high incoming damage.

The final point I want to stress is that a Shadow Priest isn’t required to keep the raid alive for long periods of time. That’s not their job. But they can help keep the raid stable enough for everyone else to stay alive and pile on their damage.

If you’re in a top 100 worldwide raiding guild, your Shadow Priests might not have to do it. For the rest of us, every option needs to be considered.

20 thoughts on “Shadow Priests Are Allowed to Divine Hymn”

  1. I wholeheartedly agree. My only 2 endgame classes are both hybrids (Druid and Shaman) and you don’t even need to ask me to help out w/ assorted tasks. On my Druid, while tanking Gluth, I ran away to go Battle rez a healer and got back in time to taunt again.

    On my Shaman on Kel’thuzad, I was doing Elemental DPS and I set up a mousever macro assigned to the side button of my mouse to help w/ the Frost Blasts when we were still learning.

    It’s not just an option, it’s a mandate. I feel that you aren’t being your very best if you aren’t doing everything you can.

    Also, as a note to Shadow Priests (mine is 77 currently), Power Word: Shield doesn’t drop Shadowform.

  2. Rule 10 is a must in almost every fight that the raid ins’t overpowered for. I use this macro on my Ret Pally all the time (I also heal on a resto shaman):

    /cast divine sacrifice
    /cast divine shield

    My damage output is reduced by 50% during the duration of the Divine Shield, but the raid lives or life is easier on the healers for that 12seconds… there should be no questions or complaints about the sacrificed DPS.

    As far as your topic Matticus, I don’t see any problem with shadow priests popping Divine Hymn when the time might call for it. It’s a great and unique spell that can come in very handy in a lot of situations. However, I’m sure that it’s mutually agreed that it should be a second resource to Mana Tide Totem, D Hymn from a disc/holy priest or innervates.

    Do what ya gotta do. In the end, we all get epics 😀

  3. I would actually say if you’re in a top 100 guild, you DO have to do things like this. Taking advantage of class synergy and cooldowns are two of the most important tenets of a progression guild.

  4. If you’re in a top 100 worldwide raiding guild, your Shadow Priests might not have to do it. For the rest of us, every option needs to be considered.

    Actually, if you’re in a top 100 worldwide raiding guild, it’s probably at least in part because your shadow priests don’t need to be told to do it. 😛

    I can assure you, even at the very top end, Shadow Divine Hymn is extremely valuable to deal with certain raid damage spikes.

  5. If you’re having to use your spriests to heal at the very end, you’re probably approaching the fight with the wrong strategy. You want to minimize healing as much as possible there, and divine hymn is exactly the wrong thing to do. It’s inexact, it heals for a ton, and it’s costing you DPS and giving the boss heals at the time you need both of them the most.

    I agree that everyone should be doing whatever they can to win, regardless of what their role is – and that often means thinking outside of your standard abilities. But asking spriests to heal in Phase 3 is like asking hybrid DPS to heal themselves during Brutallus instead of doing damage. Yes, they can. But if you do that, you’re probably going to fail anyway.
    .-= Kal´s last blog ..[Druid]Parries and expertise (or back to the beginning) =-.

  6. One more vote for doing what it takes to win, and it is not always just dps. you can attribute that to recount-itis

    Some carefully timed cc
    combat rez
    group heal
    even plain heals

    Good players do what it takes to win.

  7. @Kal – I think you’ve completely missed the point. What Matt is talking about (and you’re straight up focusing on a single encounter) is using your abilities to stabilize the raid – not heal all the time.

    Let’s say, in this instance, that Anub pops at 30%, but you’ve timed it wrong, or you’ve got incoming adds. Using Hymn at that point can keep things leveled off long enough for the healers to get things under control. Or if your ele shaman rips a few CH through the raid when your resto shaman goes down and your feral druid is getting him battle rez’d/innervated/healed before going back to DPS or picking up new adds.

    These aren’t strategies you go in planning to use, these are “le merde has hit le ventilator” moments where you’re eeking out every ounce of performance you can.
    .-= Adgamorix´s last blog ..Some little things =-.

  8. @adgamorix, that’s fair – but I still think that Anub isn’t a good example of a fight where you want to use undirected, uncontrolled healing when your DPS is critical. Point of fact, if you hit 30% that’s the part where you want to heal the least; you want to let your raid drop down in health quickly so that he heals less more quickly and you can get into the groove of keeping everyone alive. The danger at that point isn’t the raid, it’s the tanks taking a ton of extra damage – and divine hymn isn’t nearly as good as a directed heal on the tank would be.

    Using Anub as an example of when to use this cooldown distracted from the point of the article, which is: as a hybrid, you should be aware of what cooldowns you have and use them when you can to help the raid. Heck, Hymn of Hope is probably a better use for Anub than Divine Hymn.

    But I would argue that sometimes, being able to heal doesn’t mean you should, and you should also know when that’s the case. In Anub’arak’s case, chances are that if your spriest is being used to bring stability via healing to the raid, you’ve already lost – and losing those 10 seconds of damage on the boss (along with their rotation) and/or losing the AoE on the adds is going to cost you the kill just as much as losing those players would.
    .-= Kal´s last blog ..[Druid]Parries and expertise (or back to the beginning) =-.

  9. Quoting you on this
    [quote]If you’re in a top 100 worldwide raiding guild, your Shadow Priests might not have to do it. For the rest of us, every option needs to be considered.[/quote]

    I’d say it’s the other way around. Encounters often are about bursts of damage which can be threatening to the raid. If the the shadowpriests can Hymn during such situations and that means you can take an extra dps instead of a healer a top guild won’t hesitate to take that action.

  10. I think the point is, the best players consider using *all* the spells available to their class, not just to their spec.

    As a Shadow Priest, honestly, I’ve never thought about hymn-healing to stop deaths in that last phase of Anub – but I try and contribute to the raid’s overall survival using Imp Vamp Embrace so it would have to be a pretty convincing argument to get me to do anything except DPS as hard as I can at that point.

    However, if I hear a healer ask for Innervate (or if a healer has just been battle ressed) I’ll pick the next available dps “downtime” and channel up Hymn of Hope.

    I’m always the 2nd go-to player for Mass Dispels if our Disc Priest isn’t in the raid and I think of it as the difference between 1 Mind Flay or 1 Mass Dispel. It’s not too much to ask. And if it keeps our healers focused on keeping green bars full it’s worth it.
    .-= Cassandri´s last blog ..Starcaller =-.

  11. I think whether you have your Shadow Priests use Divine Hymn of Hymn of Hope depends entirely on your raid makeup. Lots of single target healers? Divine Hymn gives a steady stream of controlled healing. Lots of AoE healers? Pop that Hymn of Hope to feed them mana!

    Either way the important point is that players use their utility as well as their dps/healing/tanking spells (and thats Matts point here). While almost every class has these, some are far better at using them than others. Funnily enough the pure DPS classes seem much more comfortable with their utility than the hybrids. I rarely if ever see a hunter complain about misdirecting, or a mage complain about sheeping, or a rogue about interrupting. But ask a ret pala to toss some heals in a pinch or an SP to drop Shadow Form and heal and you often get the response ‘I’m a dps not a healer’. I think its a throwback to when those classes couldn’t get into raids as dps because Blizzard hadn’t designed them properly.

    Last night we were doing hard mode Twin Valkyrs and I found myself using all of my utility. The enrage is not an issue so long as they get no heals off, so when I needed to I popped everything! Hand of Protection, Lay on Hands, take that other colour orb and self heal to save the tank/clothie/whoever. We finished the night with a good 28% try and all of my utility on cd.

    I find I have a lot of macros as a ret pala. Mostly those are attached to a player. I know we have a squishy, high threat healer so hes got a HoP macro. We have a warlock who produces ENORMOUS amounts of threat so hes got a Salv macro. Hard mode Iron Council? I have a Cleanse macro for the MT. Also for the MT I use a Hand of Sacrifice macro. Just pick them off your macro screen before a fight where you might need them. They all work like this:

    /stop casting
    /bask in the glory of how good a player you are!
    .-= Morrighan´s last blog ..What 3.2.2 means for ret =-.

  12. Using cooldowns to save raid is definitely good. I’ve sometimes used IF+divne hymn on XT hardmode tantrum and I think it might have saved a few people. Then again on several fights there are very strict enrage timers and dropping DPS to (potentially) help healers could easily mean missing DPS and end up with a wipe anyway. I’m quite sure all of us have had those 1% wipes 🙂

  13. I guess the irony of 1% wipes is, was the wiped cause by stopping and healing and loosing a GCD or 2 of dps or a dead DPS doing 0dps from that point forward.

    It’s all about timing, situational awareness and judgement.

  14. Does anyone know of a good post that details some of the other things an spriest can be doing to help the raid?

    I recently leveled an spriest alt and have been raiding with it. But my raiding main is a resto druid and I have not paid that much attention to what abilities priests have been using in raids.

    So besides the dps, what else can an spriest be doing to help the raid? Dispel/mass dispel, shields and so on. What other abilities are going unused?


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