5 Killer Priest Changes Coming in Warlords

5 Killer Priest Changes Coming in Warlords

Good gravy, so many new changes coming with the alpha notes! Instead of going through all of them, I’m just going to summarize my favourites. You can turn to BlizzPro later in the week for a more in-depth analysis.

Atonement nerfs

Don’t tell me you didn’t see this coming. For almost the entire expansion, Discipline Priests were considered top tier and a virtual must have in progression focused guilds. It wasn’t so much the temporarily healing buff from Evangelism, but the Archangel ratios which made us a force to be reckoned.

Let’s deal damage with any of our main DPS nukes. On top of that, a portion of the damage done is going to also heal. Oh and it’s a smart heal!

In a way, I’m disappointed that it’s lowered but I can’t help but think it’ll help equalize the state of healing classes a little more. At the very least, maybe it’ll lower Discipline representation some and allow us Holy Priest guys back into the fray as a better alternative. There was nothing really wrong with Holy (well, there was but we’ll cover that in a moment), but Holy just wasn’t quite as well sought after.

That’ll be different in the future largely because of…

Chakra changes

Remember when Chakra came into play? It was almost two expansions ago during the start of Cataclysm. It essentially functioned as a stance for Holy Priests. Certain spells would become stronger depending on which Chakra you had active and you’d gain access to a Holy Word spell that corresponded with that stance. It was intended to provide flexibility and allow Priests to select the role they were going to perform in a raid: Single target healing or multi-target healing.

If you were in a Chakra stance and wanted to do something outside of the benefit, your spells wouldn’t make quite as an impact. The alpha notes said it quite clearly: The buff from being in a certain Chakra “felt like a penalty for being in the wrong Chakra, rather than a bonus for being in the right Chakra”.

Chakra: Sanctuary provided a strong buff to Prayer of Healing which was great when I was covering groups but it was lousy if I needed to spot heal the tank for a few moments. Lowering the bonuses attained in Serenity and Sanctuary are a start. Saying “I’m only losing 10% of a healing boost instead of a 25% bonus” is much more reassuring. Instead, Holy Word: Serenity and Sanctuary are receiving more of a healing bonus. I suspect our normal baseline spells will be adjusted and balanced accordingly.

Removal of Mana Hymn

Gone.

Just like that.

How else am I supposed to get my mana back? One of our healing utilities is out the window as a victim of Blizzard’s crackdown on ability bloat. Now they’ve promised that mana regeneration rates and spirit will be monitored to offset the loss of Hymn of Hope. Now I’m really at the mercy of my own healing spells. I can’t heal full throttle and rely on Mana Hymn to provide me with a cushion anymore. I’m going to miss it.

New glyphs

To be more specific, I’m giddy with Glyph of Restored Faith. It can be used as an escape or a closer or if I just want to get next to someone. Maybe it isn’t that killer, but I really do like the fun I can get with this. I can pull myself out of harms way if I’m caught standing in a fire! It’s like a pseudo defensive cooldown!

Level 100 talents

You can find the new talents at the recently updated WoW Head calculator. I liked that old talent with Void Shift where you could use it as many times as you wanted but I guess that one was tossed.

Now there’s healing talents when you reach level 100 like Words of Mending. Every healing or absorb spell generates a stack of Word of Mending. Hit 5 stacks, cast a free Prayer of Mending! Worried about Prayer of Mending overriding itself? A minor change was introduced where Prayer of Mending from multiple Priests are able to be applied on the same target. Not only that, one Priest can have multiple applications of Prayer of Mending on more than one target!

I mean, yo dawg! I heard you like Prayer of Mending! So I put a Words of Mending on your Prayer of Mending so you can Prayer of Mending while you Prayer of Mending!

Holy Priests gain access to another talent called Clarity of Purpose. It replaces Prayer of Healing with a new spell called Clarity of Purpose. We know that smart healing spells are getting dumber. But if healing spells were given an IQ, I’m certain Clarity of Purpose would take home the smartest heal ever award. It’ll heal players within 10 yards of your target. Not only that, it splits the heal so that weaker players receive more of the healing pie.

Now that’s legit!

This is going to be a fun beta testing period. Warlords needs to come soon! I’ll do my best to keep track of any pertinent Priest changes and updates as we progress through the development stages of the expansion.

Did I Read Divine Hymn Wrong?

Here’s the updated PTR wording on Divine Hymn:

You recite a Holy hymn, summoning the power of the Divine to assist you in your time of need. Heals 3 nearby lowest health friendly party or raid targets for 4320 to 4774 every 2 sec for 8 sec, and increases healing done to them by 15% for 8 sec. Maximum of 12 heals. The Priest must channel to maintain the spell.

At first I was under the impression that it would only heal the three lowest nearby targets, period. After staring at it a little more, I realized that Divine Hymn is a smart heal similar in kind to Circle of Healing. My guess is that every time it ticks, it will constantly scan your group for lowest health players and heal them up accordingly.

So 3 players per tick every 2 seconds for 8 seconds. That’s potentially 12 different targets or the ability to save nearly half the raid from one of Kel’Thuzad’s nasty Ice Blocks. Of course, that’s assuming you have 12 players all standing on top of each other. Actually, no that isn’t the case. Only 6 can be saved.

I can see why the cooldown on it was increased to ten minutes. Yeah, it’s a channeling spell. I think if you cast a Shield on yourself while channeling, the chances of being interrupted go down (since the damage is prevented). A lot of players indicated that because it is a channeling cost, it’s underpowered and not worth using. But what are the alternatives?

  • Instant cast: A fire and forget spell allowing the Priest to cast it and forget about it. Priest would be able to move around and let the spell run the course throughout the raid.
  • X second cast time: Heals 12 different people at the conclusion of the spell? Too overpowered also.

The intent of Blizzard here is to create a potentially raid saving spell usable once every two or so attempts at a raid boss. This fits the bill just fine. Because it’s a channel, it will force the casting Priest to use discretion and time it in such a way that it won’t get interrupted. Yeah it’s a slight handicap. But it’s no different in the way we’ve been using Hymn of Hope over the past half a year. Let’s stop trying to hope for the things that may not change and start planning on adapting this spell to our needs on our terms.

Hymn of Hope is Removed and New Power Infusion Graphic

Hymn of Hope is Removed and New Power Infusion Graphic

I checked.

I checked all possible trees (including Shadow but I didn’t screenshot that). Hymn of Hope is gone.

Yes, I know there was a new glyph added:

Glyph of Hymn of Hope *new*  — Your Hymn of hope provides 3 times the normal amount of mana per time, but its duration is 50% shorter.

But Hymn of Hope isn’t there and I have nothing new to learn from the trainer.

disc-tree holy-tree  base-line-tree

Below is the new Power Infusion graphic on my Shaman. It sort of looks like the Shaman’s Elemental Mastery but with a bit more flare to it.

pi-1

I’d say it blends with the Shaman set quite well!

Guest Post: A Micro Level Look at a Priest’s Trinket Usage

Guest Post: A Micro Level Look at a Priest’s Trinket Usage

guest-post This is a guest post from Calogero

Hey all , this is Calogero, level 80 discipline priest from Lothar. A little about me before I begin: I am currently raiding with ‘Legion’, a guild that has pushed through all of Naxx 10 up to Sapphiron in the past two weeks. My raid experience includes everything up to AQ 40 in vanilla, up through Black Temple in BC, and now through most of Naxx and Sartharion in WOTLK. I actually only started playing the priest about 3 months ago, when a friend asked me if I wanted to roll on his server (Lothar). Outside of WoW, I’m a 20 year old guy from New York, I go to school and do data management for a hospital.

Topic of the night: Trinkets

I recently picked up the Spirit-World Glass from Gothik in Naxx-10 and the Majestic Dragon Figurine from Sartharion-10. These two can make a wicked regeneration combo that should not be overlooked for longer fights. Any and every spellcast will trigger the Majestic Dragon figurine. Cheating the 5SR with this trinket can regenerate a lot of mana. In addition, Inner focus triggers the figurine, and all ticks of the following spells will trigger the figurine: Hymn of Hope, Penance, and Mind Sear.

So, in a perfect world, to regenerate the most mana, I’d do the following, assuming I had 10 full ticks from the figurine:

FYI: O5SR means out of the 5 second rule

Don’t cast for 5 seconds, then pop Spirit-World Glass. Stop casting for 4 more seconds, cast Inner Focus, which renews the Figurine tick. Wait another 9 seconds, cast Penance, which renews the figurine tick 3 times. Wait another 9 seconds, cast Hymn of hope, which gets 8% of my mana back, and the last tick will renew the figurine, which gives another 10 seconds of extra mana, O5SR. If this was at all possible to pull off uninterrupted, I could get 12 ticks of mana regen O5SR, which, at my current gear level, gives me about 1300 Mp5 when raid buffed with the Spirit-World Glass in action, and a little less than 1000 without it. This all would come out to around 13000 mana over 60 seconds.

Matt’s included a little diagram to help illustrate this better:

trinket-timeline

Obviously, in a raid situation, it’s near impossible to get all of these off in a row. This is where trust comes in. If you have another trustworthy healer or two, let them know, and see if they can keep an extra eye out. See how much of this you can play with and manipulate to keep yourself out of the 5 second rule, while keeping the Figurine ticks up. You can throw a shield, renew, PoM, and pain suppression on the tank before you start. The penance will heal your target for around 9k health on average. It’s very possible to get a few ticks off if you’re prepared.

The Reality of Healing Heroics and Tips for Holy Priests

The Reality of Healing Heroics and Tips for Holy Priests

heroics

Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did.
- Newt Gingrich

I’ve scheduled a tentative 10 man Naxx on Saturday. We’re projected to have around 8 players that are capable of reaching that level by then. After that, I’ll have no choice but to pug the other 2 slots.

Since I’ve hit 80, I’ve started working my way through a few heroics to try and get some badges.

Let me tell you, it is not easy.

It has been such a long time since I had to work this hard to heal. I have to drink after every pull. Every cooldown needs to be noticed and taken into account. Every spell cast needs to be carefully thought out. I’m sitting at ~470 mana regeneration with a few quest and instance blues. The rest are filled out with T6. There are times when you have no choice between letting a player die to prevent an overall wipe. It’s absolutely tough.

Over the past few days, I had the opportunity to heal Halls of Lightning and the Occulus (on Heroic since they were the dailies). There’s a few things to remember:

  • We don’t outgear the instance: It’s a fresh start for everyone. The playing field has been leveled. I’ve resorted to using consumables to help finish off my old stock of TBC food. This goes the same for tanks.
  • We’re going in blind: We don’t know the instance. I don’t like going into a fight without knowing what I’m up against. I keep WoWhead open and WoWWiki to understand what abilities bosses uses and develop a counter for it. Two things to watch for is debuffs and any special animations on the ground or spells that the bosses use. Watch for the in game boss cues. It’s a hard lesson to learn every time.

One thing that most Priests (or all healers) will find when healing any sort of high end instance is that they’re running out of mana. Don’t forget that it takes more Spirit now then it did back at 70 to reach the same level of mana regen. The amount of Spirit required to reach ~1000 mana regen is much higher then it was at 70.

Here’s a few tricks to help out:

  • Hymn of Hope: It’s an 8 second channel spell and you’re going to be hard pressed to find time to use it. Observe the boss and find a pattern. See if he has a long cooldown for an ability. Put a shield on the tank, a Renew, and a Prayer of Mending. Top up the rest of the party as best as you can. Hit your Hymn and pray to the highest deity you know that you can maximize the use out of it. You can break it early. I set my personal limit to around 50%. If the tank reaches 50%, I’ll break my Hymn and start healing.
  • Shadowfiend: Since it’s a 5 minute cooldown, this is the first trick in the book I’ll use. In the event we wipe, I should have it up for the next attempt.
  • Runic Mana Potion: I’ll typically blow a potion in conjunction with Hymn of Hope after it’s cast. I don’t try to save it. I try to be liberal with their use.
  • Guardian Spirit: Don’t think of it as a healing bonus spell or a way to prevent the person from dying. Think of it as an instant 50% health return. Gauge how much damage the tank takes roughly per hit. If they take 5000 damage blows and your tank is at around 7500, slap the GS up there and stop healing. Watch as the tank’s health rockets back up to 50% while you spend precious seconds just regenerating mana.
  • Pain Suppression: A lot of beginner Priests like to use Pain Suppression when their tank is really low on health. I don’t advise this since they run the risk of tanks dying. I drop Pain Suppression when tanks have near full health. I can stand there and mana regen knowing that my tank is taking reduced damage buying me more time to get more mana.

I’ve spent an average of nearly 3 hours per heroic dungeon. I’m way in over my element. But hey, that’s how Matticus rolls! I’ve always been a front line player!

Still looking for Mages, Warlocks, Hunters, Shadow Priests, Shamans and other healers! If you know of any that want to progress, tell them to drop me a line!