Jov sez: It’s Tuesday?

September 8, 2009

So, yeah.  I’m a complete noob, holidays throwing me off, thinking I had one more day to get my post out.  Well, yeah, I don’t.  Curse you three-day weekends and your screwing with my internal calendar!

So, because I spent most of last week baking (getting bread+1 achievements IRL) and this weekend…  kinda not thinking about anything, you all are getting a recycled PM.

Yes, the P in PM stands for private.  I ain’t telling you who it’s to, or giving any specifics or the like.  Let’s just say that a couple weeks ago, I was asked in-game for some advice on prepping and cleaning up in hopes of apping to a raiding guild in the future as a holy priest.  And we’ve not had one of those for a while, so you’re getting MY take.

First off– Hai!  And welcome to Jov’s Guide to Getting Ready to App to a Raid Guild 101.  You might want to take a peek at Seri/Qiani’s guide here, too.  I hope I don’t make your eyes glaze over with my tl;dr.

Secondly– What I mentioned earlier still applies: this applies to 25-mans, so keep in mind the stuff I’m saying is in regards to that.  If what you have works for 5/10s, that’s awesome and totally not what this is about. 😉

Third– Where do you usually go for information?  Elitist Jerks?  WoW forums?  Other healers?  I’m just gonna toss something into the mix, in case you’ve not seen it before:  PlusHeal is a all-healer forum full of good information for people at all levels of progression and all classes.  Caveat: I am a mod there.  But the Priest section is particularly active, and there’s a lot of good information to be had.

Okay, on to the nitty gritty.  Based on what you told me earlier (you like AOE healing) I’m going to first point you at (armory link redacted) (a/n: I don’t want to send everyone over to oogle someone else’s armory without warning).  She’s a good bit ahead of you on the gear curve, but she’s someone who’s got the same “job” you would have as a holy priest.  I’m not asking you to mimic her exactly, by any means, I’m only using her as an example of things like stat priorities and talents/glyphs.

So, what’s important to a holy priest?  Essentially, your job as a holy priest is going to get as much strong AOE healing out as quick as possible, and have the mana pool/regen to support it. What does that mean specifically?  You want to boost your PoH, CoH, and ProM as much as possible, since you’ll essentially be using CoH and ProM every cooldown.  You’ll use a good bit of Flash, both as a filler spell, and as a way to boost your PoH, and avoid using too much renew and shields.

This is considered the cookie cutter Holy Raid Healing build/glyphing.  There’s definitely some room for wiggle room, but a lot of the talents are simply too good to pass up.

Must-have talents in the Discipline tree:
Twin Disciplines, Improved Inner Fire, Improved Fortitude, Meditation
Optional talents for the Discipline tree:
Inner Focus
Must-have talents in the Holy tree:
Holy Specialization, Divine Fury, Inspiration, Holy Reach, Healing Prayers, Spirit of Redemption, Spiritual Guidance, Surge of Light, Spiritual Healing, Holy Concentration, Serendipity, Circle of Healing, Divine Providence, Guardian Spirit
Optional talents for the Holy tree:
Healing Focus, Improved Renew, Improved Healing, Blessed Resilience, Empowered Healing, Empowered Renew (1/3), Test of Faith

So, I’m telling you to avoid too much renew, but I’m including renew talents in the cookie-cutter spec… What’s up with that?  Well, Improved Renew is really filler, just as a way to get down a tier.  1/3 Empowered Renew, however…  *grin*  Empowered Renew…  doesn’t really do much.  But what it DOES is allow you to take advantage of another talent (there’s a lot of that in the holy tree).  The tiny little boost you get from Empowered Renew is tiny, but it’s a tiny instant heal.  This means it can crit, and in critting, can proc Surge of Light, giving you a free Flash or Smite.  What’s so great about that?  Even if it’s free, that Flash triggers your first hit of Serendipity.  What’s Serendipity good for?  PoH! (Or Greater, I suppose, but you’ll likely not be using that much)  A 3-stack (so 3 casts of Flash, be they free from Surge of Light, or regular casts) gives you 12% off the cast time of PoH, which is a reduction of 1/3 second.  May not sound like much, but it’s that much faster you can be doing something else.

So moving on from there, what should you be aiming for as far as stats go?  There are only four things you care about as a holy priest:  Spellpower, Crit, Haste, and Regen.

Spellpower is your most direct and obvious throughput stat. Want to heal more? add more spellpower.  Hitting 2k is really your first priority as a holy priest. Spellpower is affected by your spirit using the talent Spiritual Guidance, giving you 25% of your spirit as spellpower (which is itself modified by Spirit of Redemption, which gives you a flat 5% increase to spirit)

Next up, Regen, specifically the in-combat kind.  Your next priority should be getting that up to the 250-300 mark.  Holy in general is a mana-hog spec, so more regen is never a bad thing.  How do you get there?  The talent Meditation gives you 50% of your OOC regen (based on spirit) as in-combat regen.  Spirit cannot be ignored (also, see Spellpower note above) however, in a 25-man raid environment, your primary regen stat is going to be Intellect. (Wait, what?!)  If you’re a numbers cruncher and enjoy that sort of thing, there’s a thread devoted to it on PlusHeal (Priest Regen for Dummies), which was written prior to 3.2 and the replenishment changes, but the final word is still on page 2:

Updated. As an optimal ‘balance’ between spirit and intellect, I now promote 1000 spirit + 1300 intellect raidbuffed for lower levels or 1300 spirit + 1500 intellect raidbuffed for higher levels. As before, this is not ‘exact’. One can easily take more intellect or less, depending on flavor, without feeling a big hit in the regen.

It must be noted, however, that stacking more intellect is fine but requires better use of manaregen cooldowns such as the fiend and hymn of hope. Spirit is a little less demanding but requires a tid bit of crit to work. MP5 is now a strong regen stat and even outperforms spirit up to high gear levels! However, the SP bonus from spirit may make spirit a more favorable stat. Spirit still gives more bang for your buck but not in regen only. For disc priests, intellect > mp5 reigns supreme for all reasonable gear levels. Spirit isn’t bad for high end Disc raiders but weaker than mp5.

Finally, there’s the balancing act between crit and hasteCrit nets you free heals through Surge of Light (which can proc off any of your heals if you use 1/3 Empowered Renew) and spirit-based Regen through Holy Concentration.  Haste lets you pump out more heals faster.  For the most part, which you favor is a matter of personal preference.  Generally speaking, you’ll want to aim for 10% haste, 18-20% holy crit as unbuffed minimums before you start focusing on either one.

And before I close this here, a general note on gemming practices.  You’ll want to use gems which deal with the stats mentioned above for the most part.  Your (only) options are:

Red: Runed (red, spellpower), Purified (purple, spellpower/spirit), Luminous (orange, spellpower/int), Potent (orange, spellpower/crit), Reckless (orange, spellpower/haste)
Yellow: Brilliant (yellow, intellect), Quick (yellow, haste), Smooth (yellow, crit),  Luminous (orange, spellpower/int), Potent (orange, spellpower/crit), Reckless (orange, spellpower/haste), Intricate (green, haste/spirit), Misty (crit/spirit), Seer’s (int/spirit)
Blue: Purified (purple, spellpower/spirit), Intricate (green, haste/spirit), Misty (crit/spirit), Seer’s (int/spirit)
Meta: Insightful Earthsiege

My personal preference is Red : Runed or Luminous, Yellow : Brilliant, Blue : Seer’s.  Again, however, that’s personal preference, since gems are the quickest way to make up any stats that you may be missing.

Also, I didn’t touch much on your current gear/spec specifically, since I wanted this to be more of a general guide than me picking you apart.  If you would like me to go over where you are currently with a fine-toothed comb and give you specific gear lists, etc, I’d be happy to do that as well.  Just let me know.



  1. Hey,
    a nice article. I read about Intellect being a superior regen stat for raiding in one of Ensidia’s blogs. That was just prior to Replenishment nerf however and I wasn’t sure how the math would work out after that. Thanks for looking into this.
    Regarding Renew; I use it a lot, maybe too much..it fights for 2nd spot of my most used spells. And while my Renew overheal rose to 70% in Ulduar (for which we’re overgeared), it’s around 40% in heroic ToC. Which makes it very useful. But yeah, Empowered Renew doesn’t deserve 3 points.
    Br, M.

  2. Nice guilde for a new priest. One pet peeve though… I don’t think it is fair to say that renew shouldn’t be cast much. The renew vs. flash heal thing seems pretty split between high end raiders. I personally use flash heal, but many priests are using renew with great success. Ensidia’s priest guide focuses on renew and suggests only using flash heals when stacking serendipity. I think this is one of the greatest things about our class. Even within a given spec there are very different ways to play.

    • Ensidia’s guide also says to socket mp5, which gives roughly equal regen to spirit without the spellpower boost.

      In short, Ensidia’s guide is written by a priest who’s never had to do anything on the fly, because their guild allows a static environment.

      I’ll sacrifice my renew for more flash, simply because my raiders need more flash, plus renew doesn’t stack serendipity allowing me to get a greater or PoH out faster.

      I WISH Renew were a better spell. But the boost you get from Empowered, and the amount/length of the ticks just don’t do it for me. If you want to hot-heal, play a druid, because that’s the best way to do it in the current environment.

      I stand by my argument and my bias against renew spamming. 🙂

  3. Wow, until you spelled it out, I never realized that Serendipity only discounts a third of a second off of PoH. It feels like such a difference between a buffed and unbuffed spell. My mind has been shattered, and will the rest of the morning’s worth of repairs before I can function again.

  4. meh at the cookie-cutter spec, 18/53 for the win (CoH, PoM, Renew). Yes, renew, renew your heart out.

  5. When will you be doing this for Disco priests?

    I ❤ Disco!

  6. A great summary of priest essential information!
    And my topic has been linked… I’m honored. I take it you’ll be happy to hear that the regen topic has been updated for patch 3.2 🙂 (only a few number changes were needed though, so much of the text remained identical).

    A small point about regen: it wouldn’t be bad to make a distinction for holy priests depending on their gear level. IMO a holy priest in greens and blues is better off focusing on regen first and by preferring (I’ll never forgive myself for saying this) MP5 over Spirit. Just enough to get their regen up to the required level. As soon as epics start rolling in, it may be a good idea to switch to spirit tho.

    As far as renew goes… it’s a difficult discussion since the strength of renew doesn’t lie in its numbers but in its mechanics. Personally I’ve tested specs with and without renew, and I saw my throughput go up when I switched away from renew. However, for some situations renew is a great way to precharge some healing. It can really help bridge peak damage while you’re spamming other spells. That is a strength only renew and PoM can give. That’s also why I will rarely object against players using the spell to great extent. Though I feel in 25m raids the impact renew has is too small to mention, in 10m or smaller it can be used effectively. Still I feel this tactic remains effective (or still effective) without all the renew talents. I’m also a big fan of Healing Focus, but I have heard enough counter arguments to agree it is a personal choice 😉

  7. Healing Focus depend a lot on what content you’re doing. You really want it for some encounters in Ulduar and ToC so if that is what you’re up against then I’d refrain from not taking it. Prior to that there is not much use for it at all except for possibly on Sapphiron in Naxxramas so if you’re doing that you can skip it for now. 5-man dungeons is a bit trickier to judge as it depend a lot on what group you go with. If you constantly end up with adds on you because… well beacuse, then it’s good to have. If you are boosted by tier 9 tanks that can pull the whole instance and let you run behind then it’s not important for 5-mans at all.

    Regarding renew vs Flash Heal I must say that I found it to be a great advantage to respecc into renew for ToC. In Ulduar the massive predictable AoE damage on XT002, Auriaya, Kologarn, Freya and Mimiron was perfectly fit for Prayer of Healing but in ToC there is much more variation in the way you heal the different fights and there is less room for the big slow heals. A strong hot here means you have a fire and forget spell that can do it’s job on a player that has to run away a bit with some debuff on him while you can switch your focus to another part of the raid. This strength with renew was what made me surrender to it.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: