Atonement Priests in Mists

Atonement Priests in Mists

Edit: As of build 15640, Atonement is no longer a glyph or a talent. It appears to be a baseline ability built into Discipline and will not be accessible to Holy. Discipline Priests will learn it at level 60.

Plan on going Atonement? The process has changed.

For starters, Atonement isn’t something you talent into anymore. Instead, all the relevant abilities are located in your glyphs (See the above screenshot).

Atonement presently takes up a Major glyph slot. For it to continue being a strong style of healing for Priests, you’ll need to grab Glyph of Smite. You could grab Glyph of Holy Fire but it doesn’t seem to be as important. In order to be an Atonement priest, you must have the Atonement glyph and the Smite glyph. The Holy Fire glyph makes the spell instant but might not be a necessity depending on the encounters.

Not quite sure how I feel about moving Atonement from talents to glyphs. I understand what the move was made: So that Priests could really pick out their talents without feeling they had to force themselves down one route. At the same time though, limiting it to a glyph means that Atonement Priests don’t have as much flexibility either when it comes to glyph selection. I’d wager that you’d still have to grab Archangel in order to remain competitive.

The bright side is that you can go Atonement as Holy.  Chakra: Chastise increases the potency even further.

That third glyph slot?

You could go with the Glyph of Circle of Healing or Glyph of Penance as your two spec stapes.

There hasn’t been much change to the style of healing. If you’re comfortable playing Atonement right now, you should have no difficulties heading into the expansion. At least you can set up a specific glyph page just for Atonement.

Leveling as Smite spec? Still good to go (I’ve been doing it from 85 – 87).

Will you be giving Atonement a shot in Mists?

Mists of Pandaria Priest Glyph Changes

Mists of Pandaria Priest Glyph Changes

List is incomplete but there’s been a few glyphs that are out there already. Not too many Priest ones have been released, but here’s what’s available so far. My guess is that we’ll be seeing more glyph changes pretty soon. They’re probably in the process of either devising new ones or converting some of the existing talents into glyphs.

Glyph of Power Word Shield

20% of the absorb from your Power Word: Shield spell is converted into healing.

This change made me cringe slightly. If I read that right, it means a percentage of the absorb amount goes directly into healing. The current design of this glyph on live is that Power Word shield absorbs 100% of the amount and heals for 20% of the absorb. The upcoming design means the shield will absorb 80% of the initial value with the rest going into the heal.

Live

Absorb for 100000, heal for 20000

Proposed for Mists

Absorb for 80000, heal for 20000

Typo, you think?

Glyph of Prayer of Mending

The first charge of your Prayer of Mending heals for an additional 60% but your Prayer of Mending has 1 fewer charges.

Looks like a slight nerf to the current Prayer of Mending glyph. It retains the bonus healing to the initial charge but you lose out on the last charge so it doesn’t bounce around as much. Going to say this is a definite situational glyph. If you’re in an encounter with AoE damage or a heavy aura fight, you’ll probably want this unglyphed. If it’s a strategic encounter though where there isn’t as much damage going around or going to very limited players, then the glyph has added benefits due to the front loaded nature of it.

Glyph of Holy Fire

Your Holy Fire spell is now instant.

I’m speechless.

Glyph of Circle of Healing

Your Circle of Healing spell heals 1 additional target, but its mana cost is increased by 35%.

Not much of a change here, I don’t think. Meant for balance purposes with the increase in mana and the added target.

What Priest glyphs would you like to see designed or converted from existing talents?

Edit: Zeroes. Sigh.

Is Atonement Healing Back In?

I haven’t been able to verify this on the PTR yet, but Atonement healing might be a go when 4.1 lands. For the past few months, I’ve observed that Atonement was simply too gimmicky. The relationship between that ability and Smite just kept going up and down, left and right, hot and cold, and all over the place. At the moment, it’s really awesome on Heroic Halfus due to mechanics of the fight.

So how exactly does Atonement healing get better?

  • Holy Fire damage is about 30% stronger than Smite.
  • Atonement triggers with Holy Fire.

I believe the initial Holy Fire hit and the subsequent DoT damage get the same increase. I think the DoTs from Holy Fire may even work with Atonement (But I’ll need to check). If Atonement healing is back in, you may want to brush up a bit on that style of play. Personally, I still believe its an awkward style of play. If only because the healer doesn’t get to dictate where exactly the heal from the damage ends up. I’ve had problems where Atonement heals would land on a blood worm or something.

Smite replaces your Heal. Holy Fire would function similar to a Flash Heal with a DoT. This would be a fun way to heal heroic dungeons in and such, but I’m a little afraid of allowing it in my raids simply because I don’t know enough about the strength and viability of it. The Holy Fire changes alone do warrant a closer look.

On a side note, this is great for soloing!

Smite Healing with the Atonement Spec

Smite Healing with the Atonement Spec

Atonement’s one of those really curious talents in the discipline tree. We’ve never really experienced anything like it before and I can understand the reluctance behind taking it.

But it’s got some potential. And I found it fun the few times I pulled it off.

How it works

The basic premise is that you’re unloading Smites on a hostile target. As you’re hitting them with Smite, Atonement activates and heals any player within 8 yards of the target for 100% of the damage that Smite does.

For priests at level 80
For priests at level 85

Here are the key talents:

Atonement: You absolutely need this. Its kind of the central focus. In an earlier build, Smite would heal 60/120% according to the damage dealt. In the current beta build, it dropped down to 40/80%. As of the current PTR for the 4.0.1 patch, it was raised to 50/100%.

Archangel & Evangelism: Both of these talents help with buffing the damage you’re dishing out or allowing you to get some precious mana back.

Divine Aegis: Yup, DA bubbles will appear off of heals from Atonement.

Feel free to pick and choose the rest of them according to your own play style.

Glyphs

You’ll want to get some of these glyphs to help vault your utility.

atone-glyphs

Glyph of Divine Accuracy: I know I have close to zero hit gear. For this spec to work, you need to be able to hit the boss. If you can’t hit the boss, you can’t heal.

Glyph of Smite: The Holy Fire DoT doesn’t last that long, but the does help.

Those are the two main ones and everything else is up to you. However, I would recommend:

You’re in the discipline tree anyway. May as well get some glyphs that augment that tree further.

Spell usage

Open up with a Holy Fire right away, then begin blasting away with a Smite. If you’re lucky, you’ll get in about 4 powered up Smites before th e DoT wears off. You’ll need to eyeball your mana here. Get a full stack of Evangelism going. Between Evangelism and the Glyph of Smite, it should elevate you to some reasonably comfortable numbers.

Once I notice a mana deficit of about 15 – 20%, I’ll pop Archangel and instantly get my mana back and resume Smiting.

You still have access to your healing priest spells. Don’t be tunnel visioned into believing that Smiting is the only way to heal because it isn’t. It is the main focus, but don’t forget about your other heals. Use them in a pinch if you need to. Instead of sitting back and waiting for people to take damage, you’re actively doing something which has a positive side effect.

If you’re in a smaller group environment like a 10-man or a 5-man, you’ll need to keep a closer watch on yourself and any other ranged players that aren’t standing with the melee.

In a raid environment, you can use this to your advantage. If you’re like me and contemplating the usage of a full time Smite priest, that’s one dedicated healer on the melee. That means you can focus the efforts of the other healers on the ranged players and maybe an additional one managing the tanks.

Limitations

I expect there to be some sort of diminishing return. I just don’t have the faintest clue what it would be (as in how many players before the effectiveness reduces). Unless you really want to stack your entire raid on top of the boss, the usability of this spec is going to be limited to melee friendly bosses. You don’t want to tango with Deathwhisper or Saurfang for instance. Either the ghosts or bloodbeasts will tear you and your raid up alive. You’d probably want to revert back to the traditional style of being a disc priest and resort to actual healing if those types of bosses are waiting for you.

No word yet on whether this will  be final in either the PTR or the beta. We’ll know within the next week or so.

What I need to now do is find a volunteer priest willing to go Smite heal in our raids. Anyone else planning on giving this a try when the patch kicks in?