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WotLK Healing Compendium v3.2: Same Old Thing


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#1 constantius

constantius

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Posted 17 April 2009 - 04:24 PM

Healing Priests and Raiding

This is a rewrite of previous priest compendiums, which together had over 2 million thread views. It is concerned with healing priests, whether Discipline or Holy in spec. If you think there's something that deserves to be put into the original post, toss me a PM and I'll happily edit it in. Note that you can send PMs by left-clicking my name on the left box of this thread, above my Avatar.

Disclaimer: there is a Discipline-centric thread, for those who raid as Disc 99.9% of the time. Like many people, I've fallen in love with the dual-spec system, and I go Disc approximately 40% of the time in Ulduar. The rest of the time, I'm holy. If you want pure, untainted Discipline information, head to the other thread. Otherwise, welcome!

Random Terms Used
OO5SR : Outside Of 5 Second Rule
I5SR : Inside 5 Second Rule
PoM : Prayer of Mending
PoH : Prayer of Healing
CoH : Circle of Healing
RSTS: Random Secondary Targetting System
HC: Holy Concentration (talent, Holy tree)
HpM: Healing per Mana, a measurement of efficiency

I. Spec
Q: What spec(s) should I be as a healing priest?
A: Now that dual-spec is in place, there's no excuse to not have multiple specs available to you at the push of a button. My personal feeling is that at least the first healing priest in a raid should have a cookie-cutter Discipline spec as one of the dual options, and a cookie-cutter Holy spec as the other. The second/third/fourth priests can obviously mix it up a bit, and perhaps have a shadow spec, or a raid-healing-focused Holy-Disc hybrid spec.

If you are going to go Disc+Holy as your two dual specs, I suggest something like:
Discipline: Talent Calculator - World of Warcraft
Holy: Talent Calculator - World of Warcraft

Q: But my Discipline spec is different from yours!?
A: There are very very few "optional" talent points in the Discipline spec. First, you are primarily a tank healer, so you have to go deep enough in Holy to pick up Inspiration. Secondly, you should love the bottom half of your tree, and take basically every talent in there. The only real "options" are to pull the points from Focused Will (3% crit being the least benefit of any of the +stat talents in Disc) and then to pull the 5 points from Divine Fury and reshuffle. In the process, you can gain Spell Warding (very useful to reduce your personal damage) and Healing Focus. If you wish, you can move the Focused Will points over to Holy and end up gaining 2 points in Improved Healing, saving a bit of mana on your Penance spell. It's not really worth it, but you can do it.

Q: But my Holy spec is different from yours?!
A: There are lots of spots you can shuffle Holy to be more useful to you. If you never, ever, ever cast Renew, then obviously points in Empowered Renew are useless to you. If you don't believe you'll ever use PW:S in a raid setting, then don't spec into Body and Soul (although the personal-only poison removal is hot for certain Ulduar encounters). If you believe both of these things, the default spec becomes:
Talent Calculator - World of Warcraft
(pulling an additional point out of Inner Focus to max out Blessed Resilience). This is a pure throughput build, and you won't be using Renew or PW:S in it.

You can also justify picking up Lightwell if you think you'll use it. All in all, there's only two talents in the entire Holy tree that are notably less useful now: Spell Warding and Blessed Recovery. I predict that Blessed Recovery will get a secondary effect added to it at some point, similar to Blessed Resilience. This would help solve the problem of where to put all 15 of your initial talent points without overloading Tier 1.

Q: What about removing certain GHeal talents?
A: There are definitely justifications for losing Improved Healing and possibly even Empowered Healing if you don't cast enough GHeal / FH to justify keeping them in a Holy build. It certainly opens up a lot of options for getting full points into Test of Faith and Blessed Resilience, which scale heals at the end of the computation, instead of simply off spellpower. The loss of Improved Healing is basically a no-brainer assuming you don't cast many GHeals: I checked a recent log of an Ulduar raid for me, and it was less than 50 casts the entire night, and most of those were after a wipe when topping up raiders. Thus, losing Improved Healing makes perfect sense.

Losing Empowered Healing is a tougher call, simply because it removes one of the best gear-stat-scaling talents we have. However, comparing an extra 20% of your spellpower applied to FH to a possible 12% extra *healing* balances out fairly quickly. There will be some math on this topic inserted at the end of the post; feel free to check it out, and convince yourself.

If you were to drop both of these talents, a typical spec would look like:

Talent Calculator - World of Warcraft

Notice that the points in Divine Fury are also taken away. Unfortunately, there's not much to put in their place, so I ended up choosing 4 points in Spell Warding for more survivability. You could easily argue for pulling a point from Empowered Renew to max out Blessed Resilience, or to take Lightwell, and if you never use Body and Soul, those points can do the same thing. It's certainly an interesting spec; see the math for more.


I. a) Holy Talents

Q: What's the deal with Healing Focus?
A: Reducing pushback used to be a much bigger deal than it has been in WotLK due to the mechanics changes. However, there are certain fights in Ulduar (Mimiron being the prime example) with heavy focused damage, and the pushback there can be enough to kill you. I've found that taking the two points in Healing Focus, combined with a paladin's Concentration Aura, basically removes these concerns. It's still not a magic fix and you will leap tall buildings with a single bound, but it's certainly an improvement. If you cast tons and tons of Renews in a raid, and you don't want to lose 3/3 Improved Renew, consider how many GHeals you cast, and possibly steal the points from Divine Fury instead.

Q: Should I take inspiration?
A: Yes. Everyone should have Inspiration. If you don't take it, you're being selfish, in the sense of caring more about your own throughput or benefit than of the raid. Even if you are a 100% raid healer, you will still be casting PoM and PoH on targets that may end up being tanks, or in tank groups (in the case of PoH). Proc'ing Inspiration means reducing tank damage, and Ulduar bosses hit like trains loaded with trucks loaded with trains. Inspiration is a must-have talent.

Q: How good is Holy Concentration?
A: Nowhere near as good as the old HC+IHC combo used to be. It's still nice, and when you crit and actually activate the talent, it's a nice chunk of regen. It's nowhere near as reliable, or as fun to use, but it's still there, and you should still spec into it. There's some math on this at the end of the thread; basically, every percent crit you have (assuming a certain number of Flash and Binding Heals cast per minute) has about 12Mp5 return from HC. For a typical Holy Priest running 30% raid-buffed critical chance, that's up to 360 Mp5 average value. That's good enough to always take this talent.

Q: Holy Reach - yes/no?
A: It's almost mandatory to take a single talent point in Holy Reach. The second is entirely up to you. I personally find it to be much less useful, and put the talent point into something else (like Body and Soul) instead.

Q: Body and Soul - worth it, or not?
A: Yes. Absolutely. I've found a use for Body and Soul on over 70% of the Ulduar.25 encounters so far. Yes, it interferes with Discipline shields. However, if anyone goes Disc, it's likely to be either me, or both Wreath and I. It's incredibly rare for him to go Disc while I stay Holy. If you raid with a 100% Disc priest, you can question whether or not this is worth the talent points, as it may never get used. However, I do suggest you raid with it at least once, and spend the night trying to find places where it's useful. I know that the Fusion tanks have fallen in love with it, and if I spec'd out of it would probably revolt.

Q: Blessed Resilience vs. Test of Faith?
A: Math has Test of Faith being marginally better. 3% all of the time vs. 12% on 50%- targets seems like a toss-up, but the real answer is that most of the time in Ulduar, if you're healing someone, they're below 50%. Most of the incidental damage is serious: 10-14k hits. Accordingly, Test of Faith should result in more throughput, and especially so on people who really need the heals.

Q: 1 or 2 points in Surge of Light?
A: Personally, I can't justify a second point in a talent that gives me a "free" Flash Heal that is incapable of proc'ing anything except Serendipity. 1 point is fine: if you cast PoH and *don't* crit at least once, something is seriously wrong; most of my casts have at least 2 crits, sometimes more (in the case of pets in the party). Same goes for CoH. 1 point seems entirely sufficient. Some people swear by 2, but you have to pay for that point, so consider carefully.

Q: What talents are low priority, or useless now, from the Holy tree? (for PvE)
A: Blessed Recovery. Spell Warding. Improved Renew. Empowered Renew. Lightwell. Blessed Resilience.

In order of usefulness, from least to most. If you actually cast Renew a lot, then move Empowered to the top of the list. Crit initial-cast Renews are great for proc'ing things, including Holy Concentration.

I. B) Discipline Talents

Q: What's with the bottom of the Discipline tree?
A: It's awesome, that's what. Tiers 7-11 are chock-full of awesome talents that are must-haves. If you want to drop any talent from the bottom part of the tree, think long and hard before you do. Divine Aegis, Grace, Pain Suppression, Aspiration, Rapture, Borrowed Time, and Penance are all must-haves. You could argue for losing Renewed Hope, but it procs the raid-wide -dmg buff, so it's entirely not worth it from any real perspective.

Basically, if you're spec'ing Disc, plan on filling out Tiers 8-11 completely, and then consider whether you really want to drop points from Tier 7.

Q: But Aspiration seems so weak?
A: Sure it does, until you realize it reduces your Penance cooldown. Then it's amazing. Combine it with the Glyph, and Penance becomes the primary focus of your rotation, instead of a long-ish cooldown.

Q: What are the must-have talents for a Discipline priest?
A: It's easier to explain what aren't must-haves. Unbreakable Will, Martyrdom, Silent Resolve, Imp Mana Burn, and Reflective Shield. To a lesser extent (especially on a fight like Yogg-Saron), Absolution. Reducing the mana cost of a spammable Dispel Magic or Abolish Disease actually helps a lot over a long fight.

Q: Is Soul Warding good?
A: Absolutely, 100%, yes, yes, yes. GCD-based PW:S is the next best thing to sex. Get this talent, and never let it go.

II. Regeneration
WotLK makes yet another sweeping overhaul to the regeneration model. In 2.4, we all became used to the regen formula of:
5 * 0.0093271 * Spi * \sqrt {Intellect}
which made spirit very valuable, and intellect slightly so. Not only was the coefficient lowered as we leveled to 80 (as expected), but Blizzard made the decision to lower the coefficient yet further in an attempt to remove our ability to 'regen infinitely'. Accordingly, the formula at 80 was:
5 * 0.005575 * Spi * \sqrt {Intellect}
Then, in 3.1, Blizzard decided that spirit-based regen was too powerful, given their new BURST->lull->BURST model of raid and tank healing. Thus, they nerfed us yet again, dropping our spirit-based coefficient to:
5 * 0.005575 * 0.6 * Spi * \sqrt {Intellect}
a further reduction of 60%. To counteract this, they buffed Meditation to give 50% of spirit-based regen as I5SR Mp5, and changed our Holy Concentration talent (in deep Holy) to only work on spirit-based regen. This forces holy priests to continue valuing spirit as a primary regeneration model, while reducing its value significantly.

What this effectively means is that priest healing styles have changed. While we can still regen mana by just standing around, OO5SR, it's significantly nerfed from previous levels. It takes full Ulduar gear before your spirit climbs to high enough levels to justify aiming for OO5SR ticks. Of course, if you have a break in the fight (very common in Ulduar), by all means take advantage. It's just not going to net you the 10k mana it used to.

It also means that intellect is that much more important, since mana pool size and response to effects like Replenishment, Mana Tide Totem, Shadowfiend, and Hymn of Hope are that much more important. Also, given that priests will find it hard to stack spirit on every item without nerfing their other stats, you will inevitably end up with more raid-buffed intellect than spirit. Even just using the proper flask for progression content (Flask of Distilled Wisdom) will push you ahead. This doesn't really matter for anyone other than a user, so it's a non-issue.

Q: How do I take advantage of OO5SR regen?
A: If you are Discipline, you don't want to. Disc is all about sustained throughput, and using any free GCDs you have to put extra PW:S on people likely to take damage. If they actually take a hit that removes the shield, you get back most of the mana through Rapture, restore power to them, and mitigate some of that damage. The nature of Borrowed Time also means it's a good use of your free time, since it'll make your next tank heal that much faster.

If you are Holy, it really comes down to "breaks". We can't cheat the 5SR the way we used to, chaining IHC into Inner Focus into IHC again, and getting back 5k mana while casting 3 GHeals on our tank. However, we definitely can gain mana; every priest has an effective "reset" button by combining Shadowfiend and Hymn of Hope. If you are low enough in mana that you can be confident that you will get at least one of the Hymn of Hope ticks (raising your maximum mana by 20%), use Fiend, then swing directly into Hymn. The combination will net you a minimum of 53% (assuming your fiend doesn't die), and likely more like 70% given the scaling on Hymn, Replenishment ticks while you channel, the OO5SR nature of the end of the channel, and the fact that your fiend will be giving you more than 5% per hit while the buff is up on you. It almost makes sense to aim to be below 25% mana before you use your effects; I've been finding that trying the old method of using them in sequence as you drop in mana is much less effective than the whole combination can be.

III. Cheating the 5 Second Rule
Priest (Holy) regen used to be about cheating the 5SR. Unfortunately, this is mostly gone now, and you shouldn't worry too much about it. It's still something you can use, but until you get enough gear that an OO5SR tick is worth 1500+ mana, don't even bother caring about it. If it's not going to restore an extra 1k or more mana, it's not even enough mana to cast another PoH, so just focus on healing and use the tools available to you to restore mana (fiend, a shaman's tide, Hymn of Hope, or a mana potion).

IV. Taking Advantage of Shadowfiend:
If you've played priest for long, you've learned to hate our stupid mana regen pets. They're slow, they randomly attack the stupidest things, and they generally return a variable amount of mana that is undependable. However, Blizzard finally listened to our complaints, and have (marginally) fixed fiend. It still runs into melee range where it can get hit, and it still dies, but it starts attacking faster (immediately), it restores a fixed amount of mana per hit (instead of scaling with your spellpower), and it has a lot more HP. To counter this, it no longer has AoE avoidance (yay), so it'll get one-shot by any sufficiently large AoE attack.

My experience in Ulduar: use it on an add if possible, if not, put it on a boss that doesn't do an AoE. If neither of the above is possible, use it on a boss immediately after the boss does his I OWN YOU NOW attack, so it has more chance of living.

V. Downranking and Spell Coefficients
Q: Is downranking spells still viable?
A: Nope. Nonexistant. It's done. Dead. Finished. Kaput.

Blizzard changed mana costs of all downranked spells to be more than the maximum rank. There is no reason whatsoever to use anything but max-rank of every spell you have. This helps slightly with bar bloat, and hurts tremendously in our granularity of heals.

VI. Raiding as a Priest

VI.a) Raiding as Holy

Q: What spells should I typically be using?
This is a tough question. Every fight is different. I'll try to give an idea of different roles, and how each one uses our unique spells.

Tank Healing: don't heal tanks unless you absolutely have to. Blizzard gutted holy priest tank healing in 3.1, and it's a lost cause. Without IHC and the old Serendipity, we can't even hope to keep up with shamans, no less paladins or druids. Just don't heal tanks. If you want to tank heal, go Disc.

Raid Healing: Ulduar is all about BURST->lull->BURST. This is perfectly built for the new style of Holy priest healing. Your primary four tools are: Prayer of Mending, Flash Heal, Circle of Healing, and Prayer of Healing. Enter every burst phase with a 3-stack of Serendipity up, start with two hasted PoHs (note that it's currently "bugged", and you can get the haste effect on two casts in a row), and then CoH. Two FH, then a final PoH+CoH, and the raid damage should be topped up. Regen a bit, then restack Serendipity and get ready for the next one.

If it takes more than a sequence like I've listed per burst, something is wrong. Even Ignis, the highest sustained raid damage in the zone, doesn't have more than this to cover Flame Jets. You can't sustain infinite healing, so don't even try. It's about burst, then rest.

Note that you should figure out how Divine Hymn works, and try to get a feel for when to use it. To be perfectly honest, I probably used Divine Hymn no more than 10 times in a full clear of Ulduar. I just couldn't find times when it was needed. It's a ridiculous amount of healing, and usually the damage was either focused on a group (so PoH+CoH did the job fine), or the raid was wiping. It's just so much healing, it's hard to know when to use it. Remember you have it, though; it's a very very efficient spell.

As well, if you spec'd into Body and Soul, make sure you explore how to best use it to save people from their own stupidity. The speed boost really helps when avoiding things like Light Bomb explosions on XT, or Shadow Crash on General Vejax.

VI.B) Raiding as Discipline

Q: What spells should I typically be using?

Tank Healing: PW:S, Penance, Flash Heal, PoM and occasionally Greater Heal. Penance on the cooldown keeps up Grace, and the rest is details. Always keep a Weakened Soul debuff on your tank if you took Renewed Hope to keep your crit rates high. Ideally, use the new GCD-based PW:S to keep up Borrowed Time if you're in a lull. A lot of the Ulduar bosses hit very very hard, but very slowly as well. If your tank is keeping up a dodge string, use your GCDs to shield people around you, so you have Borrowed Time up when the hit finally comes. Obviously pre-stack PW:S and PoM on anything you have the chance to, as mitigating 10k from a 40k hit means your tank lives, instead of gibs.

Raid Healing: Disc is actually a viable raid healer now, due to GCD-based PW:S and targetable PoH. It doesn't have the sheer throughput of Holy, but if you think you're going to be tank healing for part of the fight and raid healing the rest, Disc is the way to go. Use Borrowed Time liberally to haste your PoH casts, keep PoM on cooldown, and toss off lots of shields if you're in a lull. You can very effectively heal Razorscale or XT by just pre-shielding half the raid in-between the AoE or incoming damage bursts.

VII. How to Cross Heal Effectively
This is roughly an extension of the above sections on Raid Healing. Basically, there are two situations where a priest will be cross-healing a raid during a boss fight.

Situation 1: predictable incoming damage, along with some random variability. Examples: Hodir, Aeriya, Razorscale, possibly Ignis Flame Jets, Mimiron P2.

The keys with this fight is *not* to go nuts and spam heals like a madman, aiming desperately to get everyone in range of you topped up Right Now. You need to know the total amount of incoming damage, and be perfectly aware of what can happen that will take someone at 20% life to 0% life. You also *must* know your responsibilities, and not stray outside them too much -- part of your job is preserving enough mana to heal the entire fight.

For example, on Ignis, the incoming damage is quite extreme. If you leave someone low, they will die. In this case, you need to have clear assignments, so everyone knows what they are responsible for, and people can work together to top up the *entire* raid. If you know the duration of the incoming damage, you know when you can leave someone at 60% to catch up someone else. It's ok if someone ends the phase at 15%, so long as they end the phase alive. Similar theory applies to XT and his Tantrum, to Mimiron and his machine gun focus, and to Thorim's lightning (although most of that is avoidable).

Situation 2: large incoming damage, but focused on a small subset of the raid population. Examples include Kologarn's grip, Ignis' slag pot, Light Bomb on XT, or Constrictors on Yogg.

You know there is incoming damage, you know roughly how much it will be, but the target is RSTS. In these situations, it's 1-3 people taking a lot of damage. Assign a couple of healers (shamans are actually great at this) who can switch between single- and multi-target with ease, and aside from an initial heal (PW:S, PoM, CoH) just ignore them and let the other healers do their job. If it's your job, then use the heals appropriate: PoM and PW:S being great initial choices, followed by Flash Heal, Penance, or Greater Heal. CoH if there's 3 (Kologarn), but not if there's only 1 (slag pot).

VIII. Threat Mechanics and You
With WotLK, the entire threat system was overhauled. Tanks were given many more abilities to hold threat on multiple mobs, and Blessing of Salvation was completely removed from the game. Accordingly, on 90% of encounters, threat will be a complete non-issue for you. On the encounters where it will matter, you will be doing AE healing while mobs spawn at random spots in the room, so tanks can't necessarily pick them up immediately. This, and only this, will be the situation where you have to care about threat. And, thankfully, we have a nifty tool to deal with it:

Fade: Fade out, temporarily reducing all your threat. . Note that the threat lost from Fade is regained in full once the 10 second duration finishes, and that you continue accruing threat while Fade is up. This has been changed in WotLK to actually set you to zero threat for the duration of the buff. As such, it is very useful, and should definitely be hotkeyed.

IX. Consumables
Food:
  • : only spirit food available.
  • , : critical-strike rating
  • , : haste rating
  • : Mp5
  • : spellpower

Oil: Nerfed, no new oils available. With WotLK, Mana Oils are no longer available. RIP.

Flask: is the best option, followed by (for regeneration). If all you want is throughput, is your only real option.

Potions: is the obvious 1-use consumable. If you want to elixir up instead of flasking, good choices include , or , or for Guardian, and , or .

Note that in WotLK, potion 'sickness' has been implemented, which limits your use of a consumable potion (Haste Potion, Runic Mana Potion, etc) to one per combat cycle. What this means for healers is that we get one Runic Mana per boss fight. Now, Runic is a fair bit of mana, but you only get one, so use it wisely.

X. Useful Addons and User Layout
Typical healer layout has some small variations, but is centered around the idea of having the complete raid in front of you (currently 25 bars+tank targets), with easily observable health totals, and some method of debuff curing.

If you're starting from scratch, the first thing you should do is:

Replace your unit frames: ag_UF or Pitbull
as the base-WoW unit frames are horrid. Set these up in a convenient spot on your screen, and make sure you configure them fully to show health details and debuffs.

Second thing you should do is:

Replace your raid frames: GRID, Pitbull, sRaidFrames and tank targets: oRA2, Pitbull
and make sure you fully configure the setup to show debuffs and buffs easily. Aggro notification is also a neat feature which can warn you of who will soon need heals.

From here, you can pick and choose which addons you'd like to use, starting with:

Custom Bar Mod: Bartender4, etc. Something to let you organize, hide, and keybind all your abilities. Setting up a hidden bar that contains your primary 10+ keybinds is a great way to free up some real estate on-screen.
and adding some raid utility:

Deadly Boss Mods, BigWigs: timers, boss warnings, aggro notifications, all sorts of handy things.
and then add some personal organization:

ArkInventory, AllInOne: bag mods to help organize your crap. ArkInventory is especially good because it allows for custom rule-sets which divide up your stuff into little categories (like consumables, potions, dps gear, etc).
Prat: organize your chat tabs in an efficient way, and add some fun features.
FuBar: extremely useful addon, with some amazing little plugins. Give it a try. One you should definitely get is RegenFu.
Quartz: infinitely useful for /stopcasting. Definitely recommended.
MSBT: very useful as a visual tracker for healing and overheals, without having to watch a combat log scrolling by.
Clique: an absolute must for click-dispelling and generally for interacting with GRID in many useful and interesting ways. I personally use ALT+LClick and ALT+RClick as Dispel Magic and Abolish Disease respectively. It saves a lot of time.

If you're interested in UI design, swing by the User Interface and Addons forum and read some of the threads there.

X. B) Setting up GRID to be useful as a Priest:
When you to go to download GRID, be aware that many of its most useful parts come as addons to GRID, and must be downloaded separately. My list of sub-addons includes:
(to go files.wowace.com to see all possibilities)
GRID
GridAlert
GridIndicatorSideIcons
GridManaBars
GridSideIndicators
GridStatusRaidDebuff

Once you have all of these downloaded and installed, load into WoW. Now, first thing you want to do is go GRID -> Frame -> Advanced -> and configure the Frame Width and Height. GRID refers to an individual in the raid as a 'Frame', so this is essentially your unit bar inside the GRID space. Configure this to a reasonable size.

Now that you have it to a good size, edit the name length by going GRID->Frame->CenterTextLength. I have mine set to 20; your mileage may vary.

Now go GRID->Frame->CenterText and set it to display what you want (I have Name listed here). Then go GRID->Frame->CenterText2 and set it to what you want (I have Health Deficit, AFK, Feign Death, and Dead listed here). This gets your text bars setup.

Now for mana/energy/rage bars. GRID->Status->ManaBars->Side (Bottom), ->Hide Non-Mana Bars (disable), and ensure ->Enable is clicked. This gives a nice blue/red/yellow bar at the bottom. You can modify its height in ->ManaBars as well, if you choose to do so.

For debuff display, go GRID->Status->Auras-> and you can then ->Add New Debuff. I use this to display things like Burn (Brutallus), Encapsulate (Felmyst), Bloodboil (Bloodboil), and so on. Once you have set a debuff here, go to GRID->Frame->Center Icon and enable the Debuff you just created to have it appear in the center of the frame as a purty little icon.

GRID->Layout->Raid Layout is handy for setting it up as you'd like it. Notice that you can set default raid layouts for each type of raid: Party, Raid, Heroic Raid, etc..

GRID->GridAlert is handy for setting it up so that one someone is debuffed with something you can cleanse, it will go SPRONG (audio) and alert you to the issue.

Next, we need to make sure Clique can interact with GRID, so load up Clique, and choose "Options" at the bottom. Make sure anything labelled "Grid" is clicked on. This will let you setup mouse-click macros in Clique for dispelling, which is quite amazing, if I say so myself.

Finally, there are a couple of options you can mess with in GRID->Frame->(anything Corner) // (anything Icon) which will let you setup small icons/lights that will light up on certain circumstances. I use mine to show when people have aggro, when people have Renew ticking on them (from me), when people are missing buffs, and so on. It's quite powerful, and is the *real* reason you want to use GRID over any other raid frame.

From here, the sky is the limit. Configure!

XI. Gearing Questions
Going into WotLK, spirit has been lessened in value by a strong amount with the leveling coefficient nerf, and intellect has been boosted to extremely high levels by the changes of all regen mechanics to a %-mana pool system. Despite this, given the returns that we are seeing from HC (as holy), it still makes sense to keep spirit reasonably high to sustain the "spirit-based regen" needed to make HC worthwhile. It scales very well with crit, and keeping it up basically returns our regen to the levels we enjoyed in 3.0.2.

When you are looking at a piece of gear, and asking yourself if it is an upgrade, there a number of questions you need to ask. Firstly, how would you gem the piece? Always compare pieces to each other fully gemmed (with or without socket bonuses depending on your gemming choices). If you are unsure about how to gem, try two or three or four different combinations, and see which one seems to give the best result.

The following stats are of value to healing priests: stamina (almost meaningless), intellect (major), spirit (major for holy, medium for disc), haste (medium-to-major), crit (major), spellpower (major) and Mp5 (low). You can consider items with mp5 on them, but be aware that they tend to be less valuable than items with spirit on them.

Regarding spirit specifically, assuming a typical amount of intellect (1400 raid-buffed), Disc priests can evaluate spirit at a ratio of ~ 2.75:1, or 11:4. That is, every point of spirit is worth ~ 0.36 Mp5 (factoring in Blessing of Kings and Enlightenment). That is really the only benefit you will see from Spirit, which leads to the conclusion that gemming for spirit as Disc is a silly idea. Of course, there are times when you can't avoid it (if you go for socket bonuses, blue sockets pretty much default to or .

Basically, though, if you see a cloth item (or a ring/neck/etc) in Ulduar, and you are concerned about its value for Disc, take the amount of spirit on it and multiply by 4/11 to get the equivalent amount of Mp5. It works out that 50 spirit = 18 Mp5, as a baseline.

For spirit and Holy priests, you gain no more regen from a single point of spirit (in fact, slightly less due to the extra 1% scaling in the Disc tree), but you gain a tremendous amount of spellpower. The ratio remains 11:4 for regen, but for every 11 points of spirit you gain, you also gain 2.75 spellpower. Note that "gain" here is used in the overall, after buffs, sense. So for a holy priest, if you have an item with 50 spirit vs an item with 18 Mp5, the 50 spirit gains you an extra 14 spellpower, a nice buff and enough reason to choose the item.

For haste, there are some nice cutoffs to reach. If you can hit 20% haste, it lowers the cast-time of a GHeal (without any procs/talents) to 2.08 seconds. If you never use GHeal, consider that it does the same thing for Prayer of Healing, and then you can stack Serendipity on top of that. For a Disc priest, you gain 6% from Enlightenment, and an additional 5% from Wrath of Air, plus 3% from ret/moonkin aura, leaving you with only 5% to gain from gear to reach the hard GCD cap on PW:S (given Borrowed Time). For a holy priest, you don't have Enlightenment, so you should consider picking up slightly more haste. I personally don't count Serendipity in any way, since it's mostly used for hasting PoH, and every bit of haste helps there. TL;DR: Holy, run 12-14% haste. Disc, run ~6% haste, or slightly under. To be honest, it's genuinely hard to avoid passing the 6% haste mark in Ulduar gear; you have to actively aim for all crit pieces, and even then picking up a T8 piece or two will put you there.

Of course, you can't always be sure you'll have moonkin/ret aura + Wrath of Air, so running slightly higher can make sense for those situations. It's certainly not expensive to get small amounts of haste.

Regarding crit, the sky really is the limit. There is very little reason to stop stacking crit at any level. You will gain 5% from talents (Holy Spec), and Disc can count roughly 7% more from Renewed Hope and Focused Will (since your tank should have Weakened Soul up almost all the time). Additionally, no 25-man raid would be complete without a moonkin in WotLK, so you can assume an additional 5% from that. Given that we will be running over 1400 intellect raid-buffed, that will grant us ~ 8.4% more, so there is no reason for any priest to be under 25% crit raid-buffed. In fact, once you finish your gearing (and pick up items which have crit on them), holy priests should break 30% crit, and Disc be closer to 40%.

Intellect is incredibly valuable now. It converts to crit at a rate of 150:1 (with BoK) [for holy] and at a rate of 132:1 (with BoK+MS) [for Disc]. Additionally, almost all regen mechanics (external) are now based off percentages of your final mana, so the more you have, the better they work. Replenishment @ 25k mana is worth 312 Mp5, as compared to 190 Mp5 @ 15k. Your shadowfiend now restores mana based on a percentage of your overall mana bar, and Mana Tide totem continues its practice of doing the same. In addition, Hymn of Hope scales your maximum mana pool if it procs on you, which scales all other sources of incoming mana regen.

Rules of Thumb for Holy
Stack haste up to 12-14%. Think hard about whether you need more than that, given raid buffs and talents.
Pick up as much intellect as you can. It's always valuable.
Spellpower is always good.
11 spirit = 4 Mp5, ignoring spellpower gains entirely. Given spellpower gains, a 2:1 ratio is acceptable.

Crit is always valuable, although less so once you break 30% raid-buffed (diminishing returns on ilvl points spent).

Rough goals for the start of Ulduar.25 are to have 2800 spellpower, 26-28% crit, and 12% haste, along with ~ 500 Mp5 I5SR fully raid-buffed.

Rules of Thumb for Disc
Pick up haste up to ~ 11% (hard-cap). Absolutely do not stack more.
Spellpower is always good, especially since you don't have Spiritual Guidance scaling your levels.
Pick up as much intellect as possible.
11 spirit = 4 Mp5, with no spellpower gains.

Rough goals for the start of Ulduar.25 are to have 2500 spellpower, 35% crit, and 8% haste, along with ~ 500 Mp5 I5SR fully raid-buffed.

XI. a) Gearing Levels for Ulduar

Say all you do is 10-man content. You've been killing Malygos and clearing Naxxramas. Maybe you've even killed Sarth+3. But you wonder about this new fancy-dancy Ulduar business. When will I be ready? Is my gear good enough?

Be aware that Ulduar is definitely the next step in raiding. There's more damage, more mechanics, more crazy things, and our talents have changed. Basically, the rule of thumb for entering Ulduar.10 is that you have less than 3 items left as upgrades from the Tier7.10 areas. On top of this, *hopefully*, you picked up some 25-man gear somewhere (on a PuG, in your guild group, whatever).

The Flame Leviathan check is a good one. Scan your gear. Is every item ilvl 200+? Ideally, is every item closer to ilvl 213? Having the odd ilvl 200 item isn't a terrible thing; trinkets, for example, are ilvl 200 in a lot of cases. But if you have no ilvl 213 gear, you're going to struggle somewhat in Ulduar, at least until you start getting pieces. But in that case, you probably remember what Naxx.10 was like the first week. Patchwerk dying 15 seconds after you ran out of mana. Running out of mana on every trash pack. Welcome to Ulduar, have fun.

There's no hard and fast limits on when you can enter the dungeon, obviously; just have the best gear available to you, enchant it properly, and then have fun. If you're really struggling with mana, go Discipline and enjoy Rapture and the extra mana pool.

XI. B) Gemming
Q: Will I still be using epic gems?
A: No, the common-quality gems exceed the TBC-level epic gems, and the rare-quality ones absolutely destroy them. There are currently no epic gems available in WotLK except for Stormjewels (from the daily), although that will eventually change.

Q: What should I be using for gems?
A: Whatever works given the above rule of thumb. Spirit/Int gems are valuable, as are pure Int gems. Spellpower is always a logical choice, and the mixtures available of spellpower/int and spellpower/haste make mixing and matching your gems trivial to accomplish. So long as your gems involve crit, spellpower, intellect, spirit, and haste, there is really no wrong answer.

Q: What specific gems are there?
A: There are well over 100 specific gem cuts available, but I'll list the most commonly used (for priests) ones:














Q: What about the Stormjewels?
A: , , and are all definitely worth putting in your gear somewhere, if only to gain the extra stat from using a pure rare-quality.

Metagems
: the most useful, and easiest to equip, metagem. A 45-second ICD proc that restores 600 mana, and 21 intellect to gain crit and regen make this the best metagem available.
: basically useless. 25 spellpower is meaningless compared to the 2500+ we will have raid-buffed, and the reduced threat is as useful as a solar-powered flashlight.
: decent metagem, probably second choice to IED. The 2% intellect ends up giving more int after you break 1155 intellect raid-buffed, which happens early in Naxx.25. However, the proc on IED is worth a conservative 50 Mp5 that you do not get back from ESD, making IED significantly stronger in the long run.
: interesting gem. The Mp5 isn't anywhere near as strong as IED or even ESD, and the increased critical healing doesn't add that much throughput. Might be slightly superior to BED or ESD for throughput, but if so, just barely.

XI. c) Trinkets

Profession-Based Options:

: still an excellent trinket, the rare-quality version will be rapidly eclipsed by raid drops. The epic version is still nowhere to be seen.

: an excellent JC trinket, definitely worth wearing for a period at the start of the expansion.

25-man Raid Drops:

Tier 8

: interesting throughput trinket
: incredible regen trinket, but only take it above paladins if you are 100% Disc.

Tier 7
: incredible regen trinket
: highest throughput trinket available, BiS for Discipline, although arguably Eye of the Broodmother is more "balanced" if you can pick it up. Given that most priests passed Illustration, it might be worth asking for Eye; it's our turn!
: highest possible spellpower, but useless proc; really not worth wearing
: decent Disc trinket; weak for Holy

10-man Raid Drops:

Tier 8
: godly +int trinket; amazing regen.
: horrible for holy, decent for Disc
: really nice throughput trinket, if you can pry it out of the hands of the dps.
: incredible priest trinket, definitely BiS. The effect is worth a conservative 100 Mp5.


Tier 7
: amazing trinket for Holy, meh for Disc.
: again, decent for Holy, meh for Disc.
: awesome trinket, and in 3.0.8, BoE!!
: don't know how I missed this before, but it's basically equivalent to Je'tze
: don't even think about taking this trinket. If you want one, buy the badge option.

Badge / World-drop / 5-man Drops:

: quest reward from the final quest in Dragonblight, it's a nice replacement for Earring of Soulful Meditation
: drop from The Oculus
: drop from Old Stratholme
: drop from heroic Drek'tharon keep
: heroic Halls of Stone
: heroic Halls of Stone
: good trinket, although arguably not the best for priests. Definitely worth getting if nothing else drops. Since badges are easy to get, grab one, and see how much you use the haste proc. If you use it, this trinket beats Forethought. If you don't, it doesn't.

XI. d) Enchants

Head: ; available from Kirin Tor (revered)
or : available from Wyrmrest Accord (revered)

Shoulders: Master's Inscription of the Crag - Spell - World of Warcraft and Master's Inscription of the Storm - Spell - World of Warcraft are available for Scribes; they are the BiS options available. For non-Scribes, there are and available from the Sons of Hodir at Exalted reputation. At honored, there are and .

Cloak: or
or
Darkglow Embroidery (tailor only)

Chest:

Bracers: or

Gloves:

Pants: (Argent Crusade (exalted) : Recipe) or (Kirin Tor (exalted): Recipe)

Boots: or

Rings: Enchant Ring - Greater Spellpower (enchanter-only)

Weapon: or or ; if you use a stave, use the new enchant (no link yet).

XI. e) Glyphs

<insert discussion of glyphs here>

XI. f) I) Best-in-Slot Ulduar Gear (no ToC drops)

[TABLE] or :
or
or
or or
or
or or
or



, ,
+ or / or
or +
[/TABLE]

Discussion:

Helm: is clearly better than T8.25, so it gets BIS due to ilvl 239.
Neck: Several options; really depends if you want spirit or not. is an incredible upgrade to .
Shoulders: T8.25 is solid; the only real replacement is the Yogg.10 hard-mode drop, and it's only nice because of the two sockets. Tier is fine.
Cloak: Most of us will stick with for a long time. Eventually, when we can complete the Algalon quest, the is great.
Chest: T8.25 is the only real choice here. is a nice interim solution if you want to keep haste high while you upgrade pieces, and competition on it will be fairly low.
Wrist: Grasps of Reason are definitely BiS, but competition on them is as heavy as it was on .
Gloves: are definitely BiS. Dropping a tier piece here seems to make the most sense.
Waist: from Algalon.
Legs: No replacement for T8.25 known yet.
Boots: are BiS, and thankfully, the dps casters even have their own version to compete on!
Rings: you could easily argue for items like or , but if you want to keep the paladins/shamans/dps casters happy, go for + Conductive Seal.
Trinkets: Huge upgrades are available here. Your first choice as holy should be , and then the second trinket would typically be chosen for throughput. Any of , , or would do nicely.
Wands: Only two choices: and . If your dps would prefer the socketed wand, or the hit-wand from 10-man hard, then pick up . It's a great item, similar in form to for allowing you to get haste+crit at the expense of spirit.
Weapon(2H): is the only ilvl 239 caster staff in Ulduar at the moment. The mace from Hodir.hard () is a reasonable alternative. If you prefer stats, go with .

Nidaba's BiS Gear List

[TABLE]:









,
+

[/TABLE]

Nidaba's BiS Gear List: No Hard Mode Drops Allowed

[TABLE]:








or (sockets make these most flexible)
, any 213 ring you have or
+ or or or (if you can do Thorim.10-hard, which really isn't that hard)
or
[/TABLE]

XI. f) II) Best-in-Slot Ulduar + ToC Gear

Now that ToC has come out, we're working on a gearset that will include all regular-mode .25 drops (as well as any particularly well-itemized .10 drops). Before the heroic bosses become available we'll have some idea of what we would want to get from those drops, although it's fairly simple with the straight upgrade path they have set up.

XII. Math

There are many things about Discipline and Holy healing that take math to model. The more interesting ones will be summarized here.

XII. a) Empowered Healing
Empowered Healing reads Your Greater Heal spell gains an additional 40% of your bonus healing effects. This means 40% of your spellpower is applied to the healing of GHeal (and 20% to Flash Heal, as a secondary benefit).

The final formula for computing benefit to a Greater Heal from Empowered Healing with Cast Time coefficients:
[ Base_Healing_Range + HSE * 3.0/3.5 + 0.40 * spellpower] 

Also, be aware that Spiritual Healing is both multiplicative at the end of the process listed above. You can combine the spellpower gains from things like Empowered Healing, the cast-time reduction, etc. into an overall table that gives coefficient gains from spellpower. See below.

XII. B) Coefficients for Spells

Spell name|Base Heal|Benefit|Disc(talent)|Holy(talent)
Binding Heal || 80.7% |80.7%|96.68%
Desperate Prayer || 80.7% |80.7%|80.7%
Flash Heal || 80.7% |80.7%|96.68%
Greater Heal || 161.11% |161.11%|225.6%
Holy Nova ||40.29%|40.29%|40.29%
Power Word: Shield || 80.7% |112.8%|80.7%
Prayer of Healing || 80.7% |80.7%|80.7%
Prayer of Mending || 80.7% |80.7%|80.7%
Renew || 188.0% |188%|216%
Divine Hymn ||?|?|?
Circle of Healing || 40.29% |40.29%|40.29%
Penance || 35.8% |35.8%|35.8%

Note that many spells on this list gain additional benefit as static multipliers from talents like Divine Providence. These are not spellpower multipliers, so they are not included here.

XII. c) Value of Intellect and Spirit
One of the big questions many priests ask is "how much spirit / intellect should I have", with the secondary question "where is the point at which it makes sense to stop stacking one and start stacking the other". As mentioned above, each gives some side benefits that must be considered.

First, realize that regardless of Discipline or Holy, every point of spirit is effectively equal to 1.155 spirit, thanks to 5% from Enlightenment / SoR and 10% from Blessing of Kings. Disc gains an additional 0.011 spirit for every point from Enlightenment. Similarly, for a Holy priest, every point of Intellect is equal to 1.1, while for Discipline, each point is equal to 1.265, thanks to Mental Strength and Blessing of Kings.

Now, the conversion numbers are as follows:
  • 1% crit = 166.67 intellect
  • 1 intellect = 0.1875 Mp5 (Replenishment)
  • 1 intellect = 0.208 Mp5 (6 minute fight, mana pool size)
  • 1 intellect = 0.104 Mp5 (6 minute fight, shadowfiend)
  • 1 intellect = 0.145 Mp5 (Meditation, 1200 spirit assumed)
  • 1 spirit = 0.313 Mp5 (Meditation, 1400 intellect assumed)
  • 1 spirit = 0.25 spellpower (Holy, Spiritual Guidance)

Since 1 intellect = 1 spirit (effectively) for ilvl points spent, we really have no loss in gaining one versus the other. The exception to this rule is in considering gear that has no spirit on it, as those items are in much much higher demand, especially by dps casters (for cloth items) and by all casters and healers (for necks, rings, and trinkets, along with weapons). You will find it much easier to pick up spirit items than non-spirit, simply because of that competition. Thus, I am going to assume that any item you grab is a spirit+int item, just for sake of argument. When this is true, the minimum gearing you will be at, fully raid-buffed (25-man), in ilvl 213+ epic pieces, will be 1200 intellect + 1200 spirit. This is, of course, assuming full enchants, and all raid buffs possible, along with consumables. So use 1200/1200 as our starting point. Obviously in Ulduar, you'll be running quite a bit higher: I was at 1240 spirit and 1430 intellect for our first clear.

Now, here's the hard part. How do we model crit rating as a regen mechanic? For holy priests, every critical Renew, GHeal, Binding Heal or Flash Heal results in +50% spirit regen for 8 seconds. Thankfully, the new Rapture mechanics are much easier to model than this; the old Divine Aegis model was very hard to tweak.

Holy Crit
Every percent to crit grants an additional chance to proc Holy Concentration. Best case, we cast ~ 50 Binding Heals per minute, which grants us 100 chances to gain HC. Worst case, let's ballpark and say we only cast 10 Flash Heals and other, non-proc'ing spells over the course of the minute. Thus each percent to crit grants us a ballpark of 0.45 HC procs per minute, or roughly 2.7 procs per boss fight (6 minute length).

If we assume that we're running 1200 spirit / 1400 intellect, then our spirit-based regen is 750 Mp5, so a HC proc gains us +375 MP5 for 8 seconds. Of course, this is OO5SR regen, so we may only gain half of this possible 600 mana. Let's assume 80% of the time, we don't manage to get OO5SR for any of the savings; 20% the time we do, for the final 3 seconds. This gives an average return on a proc of 323 mana.

Thus every percent to crit is worth approximately 12 Mp5 in terms of Holy Concentration gains. This converts to 0.08 Mp5 per point of intellect from critical gains.

Disc Rapture
Rapture gains are now based around PW:S absorbs only; no critical strike basis whatsoever. Let's assume we get a fully absorbed PW:S every 12 seconds, granting 2.5% of total mana. If we assume a total mana of 25,000, then Rapture gains maximize at 260 Mp5.

Given that you may be tank healing, you can assume a single PW:S fully absorbed every 15 seconds (Weakened Soul), so 4 procs per minute. Thus, 10% of your total mana per minute regen from Rapture, or 208 Mp5. We can easily assume 200 Mp5 from Rapture without being out of line.

Overall Regen Gains: Holy
Spirit: 0.362 Mp5 per point
Intellect: 0.792 Mp5 per point
(1 raw point; gearing, buff, etc; then scaled by other buffs and talents)

Overall Regen Gains: Disc
Spirit: 0.365 Mp5 per point
Intellect: 0.817 Mp5 per point

Thus, no matter what gearing you go with, there's almost no point in socketing spirit for regen ever again. There is a point if you are looking to maximize your OO5SR / Holy Concentration benefits and also scale your spellpower. As holy, one of the biggest reasons we stay competitive is Spiritual Guidance. In the pure spellpower race, without SG, we lag behind the shamans, paladins, and druids significantly. This is why it's definitely still worth taking the spirit+int items, even if you choose not to socket spirit at all.
Anyone who cannot cope with mathematics is not fully human. At best he is a tolerable subhuman who has learned to wear shoes, bathe, and not make messes in the house. - R.A. Heinlein

#2 Sinndir

Sinndir

    Great Tiger

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Posted 17 April 2009 - 06:36 PM

If there is anything you'd really like included, or is a question you cannot seem to find within this compendium or the ulduar healing thread found here, please feel free to send me a private message with the question you have.

Surge of Light & Inspiration Proc Chance

First thing I'd like to share is the chance to get a Surge of Light proc with all of our multi-targetted spells. All you have to do is include your own crit percentage and from the base formula you can determine how much crit chance you want; or perhaps just for your own curiosity sake. Largely I want this to dispel common myths that some priests say "I get a Surge of Light proc everytime I press my CoH button"; because no, you really don't. Note: the penance example is the chance to get an inspiration proc per penance cast.

First the formula and what it means

Proc = 1 - (1 - C/2)^n. - This is for 2/2 Surge of Light
Proc = 1 - (1 - C/4)^n. - This is for 1/2 Surge of Light

Proc = Chance of SoL proc
C = Crit Percentage (where 1.0 = 100%)
n = number of chances to proc (n = 2 for Binding Heal, n = 5 for CoH, n = 6 for glyphed COH, PoH with a group that has 2 hunters n = 7!)

Example #1:
Binding Heal
C = 21%
n = 2
Proc = 1 - (1 - 0.21/2)^2.
Proc = 1 - (.801)
Proc = 0.199
Or a 19.9% chance to get a SoL proc.

Example #2:
Penance
C = 24%
n = 3
Proc = (1 - 0.24)^3.
\Pr(0|C,n) = 1-(0.44)
\Pr(0|C,n) = 0.56
Or a 56% chance to get at least one critical heal resulting in an inspiration buff via Penance

Example #3:
Circle of Healing
C = 21%
n = 5
Proc = 1 - (1 - 0.21/2)^5.
Proc = 1 - (.5742)
Proc = 0.426
Or a 42.6% chance to get a SoL proc.

Example #4: Manipulating the formula to figure out what crit percentage you would need for the desired chance of getting a Surge of Light proc.
Proc = 0.75 or 75%, meaning you want your CoH to give you a 75% chance to generate a SoL proc.
C = ??? - unknown
n = 6
Proc = 1 - (1 - C/2)^n. (isolate C, gets ugly)
C = -2*[(-P+1)^1/n - 1]
C = -2*[(-0.75+1)^1/6 -1]
C = -2*[(0.25)^1/6 - 1]
C = -2*[0.7937 - 1]
C = -2 * -0.20629
C = 0.41259 or 41.3% crit needed.

Empowered Healing vs. Blessed Resilience (yes, the PvP talent)

Taking two examples for empowered healing (Flash Heal & Binding Heal); this is due to the very low amount of greater heal casting, personally, done in Ulduar 25 and 10-man. Each heal will be looked at with empowered healing or with blessed resilience. Calculations will be done with 3000 spell power (a very attainable goal with even just a couple ulduar upgrades). The formula used will be as follows:

Spell = [Average + (Spellpower * coefficient)]*(talent modifiers)

i) Calculations with Empowered Healing (w/ spiritual healing modifier)
Flash Heal = [2049.5 + (3000 * 0.9668)]*1.1
Flash Heal = 5445 healing average
Binding Heal = [2237.5 + (3000 *0.9668)]*1.1
Binding Heal = 5652 healing average
Greater Heal = [4300.5 + (3000 * 2.2256)]*1.1
Greater Heal = 12075 healing average

ii) Calculations with Blessed Resilience (w/ spiritual healing modifier)
Flash Heal = [2049.5 + (3000 * 0.8057)]*1.13
Flash Heal = 5047 healing average
Binding Heal = [2237.5 + (3000 *0.8057)]*1.13
Binding Heal = 4969 healing average
Greater Heal = [4300.5 + (3000 * 1.6111)]*1.13
Greater Heal = 10321 healing average

iii) Calculations with Blessed Resilience & Test of Faith (w/ spiritual healing modifier) - I found something interesting testing with Renew. If the spell is cast below 50%, the ticks (even if the health goes higher than 50%) stay with the 12% increased effectiveness.
Flash Heal = [2049.5 + (3000 * 0.8057)]*1.25
Flash Heal = 5583 healing average
Binding Heal = [2237.5 + (3000 *0.8057)]*1.25
Binding Heal = 5818 healing average
Greater Heal = [4300.5 + (3000 * 1.6111)]*1.25
Greater Heal = 11417 healing average

So those are some pretty plain numbers. If you find yourself casting greater heal more than once in a blue moon, perhaps stick with Empowered Healing. If you regularly find yourself not casting it at all during fights then a spec for better output would first put the 5 points from empowered healing to 3/3 blessed resilience and then 2/3 Test of Faith.

Justification for taking test of faith is it provides more healing to those targets who need more health.

Spell Power Coefficients

With WotLK and the +healing to +Spell Power change we get the following formulas to determine the gain our spells receive from spell power (Please not that all cast time are the BASE cast time):
Direct Heal Spells: C = (Cast Time / 3.5) * 1.88
Heal over time Spells: C = (Duration / 15) * 1.88
Channeled (only Divine Hymn): Ctotal = (Duration / 3.5) * 1.88
AoE healing spells: C = (Cast Time / 7) * 1.88 (for instants such as CoH & Holy nova the cast time is treated as the GCD which is 1.5)

*After ~100 casts (not including criticals and untalented I resolved that the flash heal, binding heal, PoM, Shield (tested by glyphing). I'm still stuck on Divine Hymn.

Spell name|Benefit|Talented
Binding Heal|80.57%|96.68%
Circle of Healing|40.29%`|n/a
Desperate Prayer|80.57%|n/a
Flash Heal|80.57% |96.68%
Greater Heal|161.11%|225.6%
Holy Nova|40.29%|n/a
Penance|35.8%|?
Power Word: Shield|80.57%|112.8%
Prayer of Healing|80.57%|n/a
Prayer of Mending|80.57%|n/a
Renew|188%|216%
Divine Hymn|?|?


Sindaga's Proposed BiS List


Head -
Neck -
Shoulder -
Back -
Chest -
Wrist -
Gloves -
Waist -
Legs -
Feet -
Rings - &
Trinkets - & . Note that if you cannot get the Show of Faith, is a very similar alternative.
Ranged -
Weapon -
MH/OH - &


Because I really like my haste, most of my items I choose haste over marginal stat gains. Not to mention I have returned to my Sunwell ways of gemming. Yellow - +16 haste, Blue - +8 Spirit & +8 Haste, while Red remains +19 spellpower. Fully gemmed for haste this set would be over 800 haste, while still maintaining the 2 piece tier bonus for extra PoH crit and having near 25% raid buffed crit. As well it should be quite high in spell power (definitely over 3000).

Requests answered (at least partially!):

I'm sure you'll be completely thorough but just thought I'd request what's been on my mind. Raiding in Ulduar I'm really feeling the regen changes more than I thought I would. So seeing how exactly my regen change via spirit and mp5 would be awesome. I don't know if I need to regem or just suck it up until I get Ulduar gear. I might be more attached to spirit than I should be!

I'm also curious about the best talents for through-put as a CoH/PoH raid healer. I almost never MT heal, though I'm sure Ulduar might ask me to. I've stared at my talent trees debating Serendipty vs. Empowered Renew vs. Blessed Resilience. I also wish I could bypass things like Improved Healing and Inspiration as a pure raid healer. What do y'all think?

Should I be going for more spell power instead of trying to balance with regen? Is it just me or does a glyphed renew actually give LESS healing? The way it's worded it sounds like it should be the same... but I could just be retarded.


With the change to Prayer of Healing and serendipity giving us on-demand haste we can burn through our mana like non-other. However, that being said regen is relative to the raid damage your raid is taking. As a holy priest you will, or at least should, never be tank healing; we are raid healing monsters. The better your raiders/guildies are at not standing in things the less important this is.

As for regen, forget spirit it is a hybrid stat (regen + throughput); the real regen stat is intellect (check Nid's above calculations). If you're ever in need of mana regem your red, yellow and blue sockets with , , and , respectively.

The best CoH/PoH throughput talents are Divine Providence, Test of Faith, Blessed Resilience, Spiritual Healing, and Spiritual Guidance. But the key, is serendipity and weaving it. I would suggest gearing for regen and once you have hit the regen 'soft cap' to go for throughput in the form of haste and spellpower. As for renew stuff, that is not for me as I rarely and do not advocate using renew.

Second, I wanted to post that Spark of Hope drops from Kologarn-10, no hard mode, but I wasn't sure if it was "worthwhile" to say so decided to include it in the PM.

And third, about the new Compendium for Priests, I was wondering if it would be interesting writting something about 10m in particular. I know EJ is all about end-game raiding, so the main focus should be on 25m, however I do think a lot of the readers only do 10m (the question being should you take that into consideration or remain end-game heroic focused).
It's something that I would have liked to read when my guild (only doing 10m) started raiding Naxx. Because of the fewer members, we lack a lot of buffs, and healing a 10m becomes somewhat more challenging (depending on your 1 or 2 fellow healers' class make you change your playstyle completely). No paladin, no replenishment, undergeared, mana was a true challenge then!
Maybe a discussion more centered around 10m will pop out later on as more guilds attempt the heroic modes (there was a lot of discussion about Sarth+3D-10 for example), if they prove to be actually really challenging. If so, it might not be needed in the OP.


As for 10-man raiding discussions, I'd urge you to bring it up in the ulduar healing thread. There is lots of great discussion that does go on in there. Just try to stick with the flow, and use the search function to see if your question/thoughts have already been answered/expressed.

As far as inclusions to the new WotLK Healing Compendium, an easy to find list of "weights" for gear stats would be very helpful. Thank you for the time you invest in the project.


It is really hard to 'weigh' healing stats, in my opinion. We have better attributes for certain areas like haste for throuhgput and intellect for regen; however, the importance on a well-rounded character is often times better than stacking one stat, no matter how better it 'weighs'.

Hi; I think it would be valuable to all of the holy priests out there if the new 3.1 thread included a critical description of the new holy tree talents, synergies between talents, and optimal talent spec options.


Definitely. Nidaba covered most of the talents, though there are still some that can be questioned. I'll go over that more soon.

I'm sure you'll be completely thorough but just thought I'd request what's been on my mind. Raiding in Ulduar I'm really feeling the regen changes more than I thought I would. So seeing how exactly my regen change via spirit and mp5 would be awesome. I don't know if I need to regem or just suck it up until I get Ulduar gear. I might be more attached to spirit than I should be!

I'm also curious about the best talents for through-put as a CoH/PoH raid healer. I almost never MT heal, though I'm sure Ulduar might ask me to. I've stared at my talent trees debating Serendipty vs. Empowered Renew vs. Blessed Resilience. I also wish I could bypass things like Improved Healing and Inspiration as a pure raid healer. What do y'all think?

Should I be going for more spell power instead of trying to balance with regen? Is it just me or does a glyphed renew actually give LESS healing? The way it's worded it sounds like it should be the same... but I could just be retarded.


Great questions in here. As for gearing, here is my rule of thumb: Gear for regen until you don't usually get caught, then gear for throughput. Now, not only that but it depends on your raid composition. Do you have plenty of druids who can give away innervates(we raid with 4), are you always in a Resto Shaman's group (mana tide), etc. As far as mp5 is, don't actively get it. If you happen to get it on gear so be it, but never actively seek it (mp5 trinkets or gems).

#3 beesknees

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 09:05 PM

Sindaga, you should point out your calculation for SoL procs assume 2 points in SoL. If you instead only invested 1 point in SoL (as recommended in the guide), your proc chance would go to:

1. Binding Heal
21% crit rate
1 pt SoL: 10.2% proc chance
2 pt SoL: 19.9% proc chance

3. CoH
n=5, 21% crit rate
1 pt SoL: 23.6% proc chance
2 pt SoL: 42.6% proc chance

Constantius, I'm not sure why you're so down on folks getting a second point in SoL. If a player likes that mechanic, a second point results in a little less than double the proc rate as a single point. You'd have to pile on a lot of crit (much more than the 21% that Sindaga assumes) before you see significant diminishing returns on the second point. Let's look at a glyphed CoH and 30% crit, which is probably on the high end:

CoH
n=6, 30% crit rate
1 pt SoL: 32.3% proc chance
2 pt SoL: 55.6% proc chance

We're getting farther from twice the proc rate on the second point, but we haven't cut that much into our returns.

Personally I find 2 points more reasonable than 1 point. WIth two points SoL, a glyphed CoH and a bit more crit than in the example, you have a fair chance of proccing SoL and can plan accordingly. With only one point, the chance of proccing seems too low to be that useful. Of course if you don't find the free no-crit Flash Heals helpful in the first place, then you should go with 0 points. There are so many good talents in the tree the points won't go begging.

edit: Just saw your request for PMs. Please feel free to delete this. =)

#4 Thheory

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 01:15 AM

Regarding the MP5 value of int for disc, it's probably a good idea to include the gains from rapture in the total. As far as I can tell the current summary value only includes (Meditation + Starting mana + Shadowfiend + Replenishment)* 1.265

Depending on how many PPM you average, it works out to:

@ 3.4 PPM (I think TheDoctor posted that 3.4 is about how many he gets in practice)

3.4 * .025 * 15 * 1.265 / 12 = .1344 MP5/int (meaning raw points of int)

@ 4 PPM

4 * .025 * 15 * 1.265 / 12 = .1581 MP5/int

@ 5 ppm

5 * .025 * 15 * 1.265 / 12 = .1977 MP5/int

There are a couple of other cooldowns that may alter the value also, notably Mana Tide and Hymn of Hope.

One mana tide in a six minute fight works out to:

.24 * 15 * 1.265 / 72 = .0633 MP5 for disc
.24 * 15 * 1.1 / 72 = .055 MP5 for holy

Four ticks of hymn of hope in a six minute fight works out to:

.12 * 15 * 1.265 / 72 = .0316 MP5 for disc
.12 * 15 * 1.1 / 72 = .0275 MP5 for holy

Not counting mana tide/HoH, that puts disc at (assuming 4 rapture procs per minute):
0.817 + .158 = .975 MP5/int

Totals assuming Tide/HoH:
Disc: .975 + .063 + .032 = 1.07 MP5/int
Holy: .792 + .055 + .028 = .875 MP5/int

#5 Rezzy

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 02:30 AM

Nice post, real good and easy to understand introduction. From my experience in Ulduar, 1/2 SoL is fine because the sheer amount of aoe healing means it will proc more than enough times for when you have globals free to spend it.

Also, regarding gemming and throughput - your raid and other healers should also influence your decision + even the availability of a feral druid to innervate you (although clearly not as powerful as before) - all factors to consider if you should gem haste/int etc.

#6 dfscott

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 03:25 AM

I noticed you mention Healing Focus but don't give an opinion on its value.

I would skip it for Holy, but I'm tempted to take it for Disc if only to keep from losing Penance tics. I know people say "just shield yourself first", but if there's enough raid damage that I'm worried about pushback, it's likely that I'm already sitting there with a Weakened Soul debuff on myself.

#7 bugsy2126

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 04:35 AM

I noticed you mention Healing Focus but don't give an opinion on its value.

I would skip it for Holy, but I'm tempted to take it for Disc if only to keep from losing Penance tics. I know people say "just shield yourself first", but if there's enough raid damage that I'm worried about pushback, it's likely that I'm already sitting there with a Weakened Soul debuff on myself.


Couldn't that logic be applied to Holy too? Getting off a hasted PoH with minimal knockback for those times when raid damage is at its highest.

#8 dfscott

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 06:23 AM

Couldn't that logic be applied to Holy too? Getting off a hasted PoH with minimal knockback for those times when raid damage is at its highest.


The difference is the fact that Penance is channeled and has a cooldown. If you take damage during your PoH, you'll get pushed back a couple of times and then it will go off, no matter how much damage is coming in. Your healing is the same, but it just takes longer to get there.

But if you're casting Penance, the spell will be interrupted and the cooldown is already triggered. Now, instead of just taking longer to deliver a big heal, you end up with a small heal, and have to find another spell to use in order to finish healing the target.

#9 Liriel

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 08:27 AM

I think there are 2 arguments to only use one point in SoL:
- You have another point for something else.
- You get less interferance with crit-chances.

If you want to get more different utility or more throughput the first argument can be valid. However I think there would be other places to take a point from if the second argument is not valid.

So the question is how much dose SoL hurt crit-based proccs? The two things that can procc from crit are Inspiration and HC.

Since holy priests are raid healers inspirations is not as important as it is for a tank healer. (A good part of raid-dmg is spell-dmg, so inspiration would do nothing anyway.) Additionaly while raid healing the majority of targets healed by a holy priest would not be healed by FH but by CoH, PoM, maybe PoH simply because they target up to 5 times the targets per use. So even if you don't get an Inspiration procc on your FH the difference would not be so drastic. So less inspiration-proccs should not be an argument against a second point in SoL.

The other crit-procc HC is different. It is the only passiv manaregeneration-tool you get in the holy tree. It can only procc from FH, GH, BH and Renew. While raid-healing the majority of casts out of this collection would be FH. So we are back in an dicussion about mana. We have to compare the manacost of one FH against the mana you get with one HC-procc. The cost for FH is 18% base-mana. For a troll-priest that is 625 Mana.

So how much spirit-based Mana-regen do you need to get 625 Mana with HC? Since HC is 50% of your spirit-based Manaregen. Assuming you cannot get oo5sr that would be

0.5* 8/5 *M >= 625 where M is your spirit-based Manaregen

So for M: M>= 625 * 2 * 5/8 = 781,25.

To get more Mana with HC than you safe with a SoL-procc you need a spirit-regen of something around 780 i5sr raidbuffed. That would not be the case for most holy-priests at the moment, but may be a break-even-point we have to consider sometimes.

Up to then for a mana-centered specc you should get 2 points in SoL to get as many proccs as you can with SoL. If you don't need to focus on mana anymore you have to decide between the instant part of SoL and the double-healing from crit, inspiration and another free skill-point.

#10 Daelior

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 09:01 AM

I've actually started appriciating holy nova as a healing tool. In some uldar fights there's plenty of aoe, and you can have your group close enough for it to be really effective. By doing this i've archieved as much as 6k hps on for example ignis, and 15% of that have come from holy nova. The problem with this spell is that it's extremly situational, and we've got plenty of other great aoe tools, but in my oppinion it deserves to be mentioned.

#11 Iphalna

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 09:48 AM

Concerning Holy-Specs:

I run Ulduar with dual-spec holy/disc. In most fights I am assigned to raid healing, the rest I usually run as disc. In encounters with massive raid damage like Hodir/Mimiron/Ignis/… I find myself almost only using Flash Heal and Binding Heal to stack Serendipity (and of course Greater Heal is nearly never used). So the major part of my healing comes from PoH, PoM and CoH, nothing special until here.

In order to optimize my spec I thought of exchanging Improved Healing for Improved Renew and leaving out Empowered Healing what “saves” five talent points in the upper holy tree.
This would result in a spec like this:
(Currently I am not using Renew very much so maybe I will keep Improved Healing; the lack of choices in the lower holy tree... again)
Talent Calculator - World of Warcraft
… with six talent points left for pushing and/or:
  • mana efficiency of PoH/PoM
  • Renew
  • total healing via Blessed Resilience
  • get the funny glowing thing... lol

I know that I will skip two very good talents (especially with Empowered Healing) and cut the often praised flexibility of the holy spec, which for me made a large part of the fun playing a priest.
But isn’t it a logical choice concerning the role as a raid healer?

#12 tedv

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 01:40 PM

For the record, I've also tried Holy Nova in AoE situations and it's been decent. It costs slightly more than a flash heal, probably heals for double that, and has a 50% chance of giving you a surge of light proc. Plus it deals damage. You don't want to spam it until you run out of mana, but it's a reasonable use of a GCD if the healing is light and you're killing 5+ monsters at once.

#13 Liriel

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 02:07 PM

Iphalna I don't get your point.

You say most of your healing comes from PoH, PoM and CoH and you seldom use Renew.

Why do you push Renew with 3 points anyway but don't put any fixed points into Healing Prayers? Those should be the first two fixed points in the whole tree when you see your healing distribution since PoH is very expensive (and rightly so). They are not optional at all.

I don't know if you use Renew more often than GH but I don't think that the 3 points in Renew are a better investment than some points into Improved Healing. With the new Serendipity you can really save someone with a fast GH if you don't have a use for a PoH (there are many times where not enough people in one group have to be healed to make PoH a valid choice). Putting one point into Empowered Renew to unlock the crit-chance is something to consider but after that I don't understand your choice for points into Renew.

About Empowered Healing: you clearly state that you use FH and BH to stack up Serendipity so you use them often. I don't say, that they are a better investment than some points you choose, but I cannot see an argument to skip it in the analysis your decision is based on. (Why else do you mention it here.)

#14 tedv

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 03:07 PM

Incoming mega-commentary on root post. Sorry for the massively split quotation, but it seemed appropriate here.

[quote name='constantius']Q: But my Holy spec is different from yours?!
A: There are lots of spots you can shuffle Holy to be more useful to you. If you never, ever, ever cast Renew, then obviously points in Empowered Renew are useless to you. If you don't believe you'll ever use PW:S in a raid setting, then don't spec into Body and Soul (although the personal-only poison removal is hot for certain Ulduar encounters). If you believe both of these things, the default spec becomes:
Talent Calculator - World of Warcraft
(pulling an additional point out of Inner Focus to max out Blessed Resilience). This is a pure throughput build, and you won't be using Renew or PW:S in it.
[/QUOTE]

In this section, it's worth noting that there's another subspec that ignores talents that boost Greater Heal: Improved Healing and Empowered Healing. That leaves room for the Renew Focused Talents and general throughput, efficiency, and utility stuff stuff like Healing Prayers, Blessed Resilience, and Body and Soul.

Basically as a Holy priest, you can pick 2 of these 3 categories:

Renew Talents: Improved Renew, Empowered Renew, Holy Concentration
Greater Heal Talents: Improved Healing, Empowered Healing
Utility Talents: Healing Prayers, Body and Soul, Blessed Resilience, Lightwell

By the way, the research posted in another thread showed that if you don't have and cast Empowered Renew, your Holy Concentration uptime will be around 20%, making it terrible. With Empowered Renew it's around to 40%. That's why I list Holy Concentration as a Renew talent.

Which two of those three are best will depend mostly on fight, but also on play style and what other healers are doing. I personally cut the Greater Heal talents and haven't missed them one bit. I also stand by Body and Soul as a solid raiding talent, though I can't call it mandatory (yet).

[quote name='constantius']Q: How good is Holy Concentration?
A: Nowhere near as good as the old HC+IHC combo used to be. It's still nice, and when you crit and actually activate the talent, it's a nice chunk of regen. It's nowhere near as reliable, or as fun to use, but it's still there, and you should still spec into it.[/QUOTE]

Again, expect roughly 20% uptime without Empowered Renew, roughly 40% with it. Obviously it will go up as you cast more Greater Heals though.

[quote name='constantius']Q: Blessed Resilience vs. Test of Faith?
A: Math has Test of Faith being marginally better. 3% all of the time vs. 12% on 50%- targets seems like a toss-up, but the real answer is that most of the time in Ulduar, if you're healing someone, they're below 50%. Most of the incidental damage is serious: 10-14k hits. Accordingly, Test of Faith should result in more throughput, and especially so on people who really need the heals.[/QUOTE]

I think this is a false dichotomy. All math points to Test of Faith being almost as good as Spiritual Healing, and Spiritual Healing is probably the best non-ability talent we have. Test of Faith gives on average 1.5% to 2% extra healing overall, stacked towards the situation where healing is most important. That's amazing and should not be passed up under any circumstances. Just looking at the numbers, Empowered Healing is 2% for Flash, Binding, and Greater Heal only. There's no reason to put points in 5 Empowered Healing until you've spent 3 in Test of Faith. And since you're taking Serendipity, you should always have access to Test of Faith before you need to spend in Empowered Healing. Of course, you could just as well cut Empowered Renew or any number of other not-quite mandatory talents.

[quote name='constantius']Q: 1 or 2 points in Surge of Light?
A: Personally, I can't justify a second point in a talent that gives me a "free" Flash Heal that is incapable of proc'ing anything except Serendipity. 1 point is fine: if you cast PoH and *don't* crit at least once, something is seriously wrong; most of my casts have at least 2 crits, sometimes more (in the case of pets in the party). Same goes for CoH. 1 point seems entirely sufficient. Some people swear by 2, but you have to pay for that point, so consider carefully.[/QUOTE]

I don't think this is a comprehensive analysis of Surge of Light. First, there's a common misconception about how Surge of Light works. Most people think that there's a 25%/50% chance for each crit of getting the proc, so if your Circle of Healing crits 3 times, then you have a (1 - 1/2^3) = 7/8 chance of getting Surge of Light. That's not how it works. Instead, each spell checks whether it had any crits. If it did, there is a 25%/50% chance of getting Surge of Light to proc, regardless of how many crits you had.

The easiest way to prove this is to cast Holy Nova on a trash pack with 10+ monsters in it. You'll average 5 crits from 10 damage effects and 5 healing targets, but the Surge of Light proc rate is still roughly 50% in this situation, not 95%. The moral of the story is that the second point really does double Surge of Light uptime, so if its worth the first point, it's almost always worth the second point.

I'd also like to comment on the value of a free Flash Heal. Just the fact that it procs Serendipity is extremely valuable. There is so much AoE healing in Ulduar that you want to have a 1.5 second Prayer of Healing at your fingertips in virtually every fight. (Incidentally, this is a major reason I've stopped casting Greater Heal in most situations.)

The other valuable thing you get from a free Flash Heal is out of combat mana regeneration. It's still a free spell, and while OOC mana regen was severely nerfed, it's still double your in-combat regeneration rate. If mana is tight, it's good to have the free spell. If you aren't worried about mana, then the fact that your next flash heal can't crit isn't a drawback because you weren't going to spend mana on flash heal anyway. You'd rather cast a bigger heal so you have a greater margin of error. I just don't see the value in only spending 1 point here.

[quote name='constantius']Note that you should figure out how Divine Hymn works, and try to get a feel for when to use it. To be perfectly honest, I probably used Divine Hymn no more than 10 times in a full clear of Ulduar. I just couldn't find times when it was needed. It's a ridiculous amount of healing, and usually the damage was either focused on a group (so PoH+CoH did the job fine), or the raid was wiping. It's just so much healing, it's hard to know when to use it. Remember you have it, though; it's a very very efficient spell.
[/QUOTE]

I find Divine Hymn is absolutely amazing. For one button press and a little over 2000 mana, you generate around 120,000 healing. It's worth casting once every fight, immediately after a large amount of AoE. The biggest benefit is that it lets other healers (and you) spend less time casting for the next 8 seconds, so it's effectively a mana regen button for your entire healing team. Expect other healers to see the biggest impact from you pressing this spell.

[quote name='constantius']Flask: is the best option, followed by (for regeneration). If all you want is throughput, is your only real option.[/QUOTE]

For the record, I think all we ever want is throughput. I've never been mana starved in Ulduar, even without the Healing Prayers talent (which I now have). Plus a spell power flask increases our mana efficiency. I mean, think about it. Compare to . That's 65 int versus 125 spell power. Would you ever socket a instead of a in your gear? Because that's roughly the int to spell power trade-off you are talking about.

On the subject of , would you ever socket a over a ? That's obviously a horrible idea. Both Distilled Wisdom and Mojo are flat out inferior to Frost Wyrm. The only flask we should use is Frost Wyrm.

[quote name='constantius']The following stats are of value to healing priests: stamina (almost meaningless), intellect (major), spirit (major for holy, medium for disc), haste (medium-to-major), crit (major), spellpower (major) and Mp5 (low). You can consider items with mp5 on them, but be aware that they tend to be less valuable than items with spirit on them. [/QUOTE]

While this is generally correct, I have a hard time arguing that intellect is a "major" stat for priests. Most importantly though, intellect will never factor into your gearing decisions. Every piece of caster gear has intellect on it, so you can't "not" get it. And since spell crit is always better than intellect, you'll never gem your yellow sockets for intellect either. So intellect is useful but not really relevant to gearing decisions. The basic hierarchy is:

Spell Power > Crit > Haste = Spirit = Int >> M/5

And that never really changes, given current itemization.

[quote name='constantius']Regarding spirit specifically, assuming a typical amount of intellect (1400 raid-buffed), Disc priests can evaluate spirit at a ratio of ~ 2.75:1, or 11:4. That is, every point of spirit is worth ~ 0.36 Mp5 (factoring in Blessing of Kings and Enlightenment). That is really the only benefit you will see from Spirit, which leads to the conclusion that gemming for spirit as Disc is a silly idea. Of course, there are times when you can't avoid it (if you go for socket bonuses, blue sockets pretty much default to or . [/QUOTE]

This should be now.

[quote name='constantius']For haste, there are some nice cutoffs to reach. If you can hit 20% haste, it lowers the cast-time of a GHeal (without any procs/talents) to 2.08 seconds. For a Disc priest, you gain 6% from Enlightenment, and an additional 5% from Wrath of Air, plus 3% from ret/moonkin aura, leaving you with only 7% to gain from gear. For a holy priest, you don't have Enlightenment, so you should consider picking up slightly more haste. I personally don't count Serendipity in any way, since it's mostly used for hasting PoH, and every bit of haste helps there.[/QUOTE]

There's nothing magical about having a "2 second greater heal" cast. A 1.9 second cast would be even better, and a 2.1 second cast is worse, but maybe you'll get other useful stats in return. There is no such thing as a magic haste threshold that priests "need" to hit. If you can cast your heals fast enough, then you don't need more haste, and how fast is "fast enough" depends heavily on the fight. Personally I actively avoid haste in favor of spell power and crit and it has worked very well for me. I never feel like I can't output heals fast enough.

If you think there is a compelling reason for a special threshold of 20% haste being optimal though, I'd like to hear it. But I just don't see any math to back up that claim.

[quote name='constantius']Rules of Thumb for Holy
Stack haste up to 13-14%. Think hard about whether you need more than that, given raid buffs and talents.
Pick up as much intellect as you can. It's always valuable.
Spellpower is always good.
11 spirit = 4 Mp5, ignoring spellpower gains entirely. Given spellpower gains, a 2:1 ratio is acceptable.

Crit is always valuable, although less so once you break 30% raid-buffed (diminishing returns on ilvl points spent).

Rough goals for the start of Ulduar.25 are to have 2800 spellpower, 26-28% crit, and 12% haste, along with ~ 500 Mp5 I5SR fully raid-buffed.[/QUOTE]

I suggest that much like damage classes, the overall effectiveness of our stats matters more than getting each category up to a certain threshold. For example, if you could lose 2% haste but gain 3% crit, that will always be the right choice, even if it drops you down to 10% haste. You get more throughput and mana efficiency. It's better to use rough stat equivalencies. For example:

1 crit = .7 spell power
1 haste = .5 spell power
1 spirit = .4 spell power
1 int = .4 spell power
1 m/5 = .2 spell power

So in this system, you'd take 30 haste over 20 crit but not over 25 crit.

Similar comments apply for Discipline, although with a different stat table.

[quote name='constantius']Q: What should I be using for gems?
A: Whatever works given the above rule of thumb. Spirit/Int gems are valuable, as are pure Int gems. Spellpower is always a logical choice, and the mixtures available of spellpower/int and spellpower/haste make mixing and matching your gems trivial to accomplish. So long as your gems involve crit, spellpower, intellect, spirit, and haste, there is really no wrong answer. [/QUOTE]

Again, I disagree. Some stats really are better than others. Spell Power is always better than Spirit. Crit is always better than Intellect. You never want to use a under any circumstances. Using the stat equivalency table, red sockets (and the belt buckle) should always get , yellow sockets get , and blue sockets get . Unless the set bonus is bad, in which case you put in all the sockets.

[quote name='constantius']Head: ; available from Kirin Tor (revered)
or : available from Wyrmrest Accord (revered)[/QUOTE]

Similar comments apply here as well. The crit rating enchant will always be better than the m/5 enchant, for any priest spec. Also for shoulder enchants.

[quote name='constantius']<insert discussion of glyphs here>[/QUOTE]

Holy: Circle of Healing and Guardian Spirit are mandatory due to general amazingness. Third Glyph can be either Flash Heal or Prayer of Healing, depending on fight and play style.

Discipline: Penance, Power Word: Shield, Flash Heal. There aren't a lot of other options.

#15 Lambi

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 03:21 PM

Disc: Penance, Shield and PoH or Holy Nova are the glyphs to go for. Why would you glyph Flash Heal in the tree that has the best mana management?
SNAKE!

#16 Tainter

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 03:26 PM

Surge of Light and Serendipity
If one of your arguments for taking 1 point in SoL is that you get a Serendipity stack from it then I'd like to warn you. This isn't going to happen as often as it should. In any reasonably spammy situation latency will eat the Serendipity buff, if you use the SoL proc right after a spell that consumes Serendipity.

Example:
3 Stacks of Serendipity are active.
SoL is active.
Cast Greater Heal.
Before the cast finishes start spamming your Flash Heal button.
The Greater Heal will finish, the SoL will hit instantly, but you'll be left without Serendipity.

If you however use the SoL proc after a Circle of Healing, Binding Heal or other spell which doesn't consume Serendipity then you will be given the buff correctly.


Divine Hymn
This spell is amazing now and I believe it should be used in every fight that has any meaningful AoE damage. It has a lot of good properties. I tend to use it in conjunction with Inner Focus, early on in the fight. The first heavy AoE attack is well suited. It ensures that almost everybody lives through the phase. Keeping dps alive longer means more dps and with some of the enrage times, that's quite valuable. Used by a Disc Priest this spell leaves over a large number of big Aegis', preventing some future damage.

What's particularly nice about it is that even if I'm tank healing, I can easily hit my Divine Hymn button to help out with raid healing, without jeopardizing the tank too much. Unless of course I get really very unlucky. If there are a few tanks taking heavy damage then again Divine Hymn is a great tool to help out. It will often leave Inspiration on the targets too.

Because of the almost insane output of the spell it can do the job when other spells can't. If you've lost one of your raid healers and Tantrum is starting then Divine Hymn is your spell of choice. However, I don't tend to save it for long and just liberally use it during heavy AoE. If the others healers are struggling to heal up Ignis' heatwave and someone gets put in the pot: Divine Hymn. Help the AoE and save the person in the pot.

The spell is so great that after I hit it I can take my hand of the keyboard and have a cold drink, before returning to business.

On a serious note, if you're struggling with any AoE damage situation and you've got some shadow priests, then ask them to use Divine Hymn (with Inner Focus if they can, to save mana). They have plenty of mana usually and dead dps do zero damage.
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#17 tedv

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 03:29 PM

Disc: Penance, Shield and PoH or Holy Nova are the glyphs to go for. Why would you glyph Flash Heal in the tree that has the best mana management?


I just forgot that Prayer of Healing is something Discipline priests cast too. You are correct that Prayer will beat Flash Heal by a wide margin here.

#18 Tainter

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 03:54 PM

[...] Again, expect roughly 20% uptime without Empowered Renew, roughly 40% with it. Obviously it will go up as you cast more Greater Heals though. [...]


I don't follow how not having Empowered Renew ends up halving your Heroic Concentration uptime. Surely that's only true if you use Renew to a fairly large extent. Since the spell isn't very good, particularly without the supporting talents, I don't. Instead I cast Flash Heal more. You need to ask yourself what you would cast instead of Renew. The answer is rarely going to be Prayer of Healing or Circle of Healing. They do different things. A Flash Heal on the other hand heals for a similar amount to the same number of targets for a comparable cost. So that's your likely "escape" spell.

I picked up Empowered Renew last week and I'm going to drop it because I only cast Renew about five times per fight. Usually on the Main Tank when there isn't much raid healing to be done (and the tank therefore probably doesn't need my attention). I doubt very much my Holy Concentration uptime will halve.

[...] While this is generally correct, I have a hard time arguing that intellect is a "major" stat for priests. Most importantly though, intellect will never factor into your gearing decisions. Every piece of caster gear has intellect on it, so you can't "not" get it. And since spell crit is always better than intellect, you'll never gem your yellow sockets for intellect either. So intellect is useful but not really relevant to gearing decisions. The basic hierarchy is:

Spell Power > Crit > Haste = Spirit = Int >> M/5 [...]


I don't think you're telling the whole story. Intellect is an extremely valuable stat, right until the point where the priest in question no longer has mana issues. Then it becomes fairly meaningless and output stacking is better. But up to that point it is an amazing stat.

Putting Spirit on equal footing with Int seems dubious at best. It has been demonstrated that Intellect is a vastly superior stat for mana generation. Yes, Spirit does have a spell power component for Holy, but gemming for Int and Spell Power will beat gemming for Spirit hands down.

Also lumping Haste, Spirit and Int together doesn't really help. The number of gear pieces that have a choice between Spirit and Haste is small and they will mostly be taken by dps casters. They are however not equivalent. Haste provides vastly more output than Spirit for obvious reasons, unless the Priest runs out of mana, at which point Spirit becomes the better stat.

Realistically though a Priest has Spirit on gear and the odd enchant and that's enough. So there's really no need to even evaluate it, unless you're comparing same ilevel pieces with the same stats, but different numbers, which would probably be better for someone else in your raid.

Under some circumstances Haste is better than Crit. Sometimes Haste can save someone when Crit can't. That's something which shouldn't be undervalued. For example I would never advocate stacking Crit to the exclusion of Haste, as I've seen some people do. You will end up with lots of big heals but all of them are going to be kinda slow, leading to some overhealing and seemingly slow reaction.
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#19 constantius

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 04:34 PM

<snip stuff about Runed Scarlet Rubies and spellpower>


Spell Power > Crit > Haste = Spirit = Int >> M/5 [...]


You're in love with spellpower. I'm not. You've made a lot of assumptions about things in my post based entirely on the idea that spellpower is more valuable than regen. Since I'm going out of mana in Ulduar, that's patently false. If I can run 2900 spellpower without gemming or flasking for it, and switching my flask and gems gets me up to 3050, but at the loss of 100+ intellect and 50 spirit, it's not a gain unless I know I can get through the encounters with the regen levels I end up at.

And given that 10-man hard modes are ridiculous, and 25-mans only slightly less so, this is entirely the wrong time to be suggesting that throughput matters. Regen *always* matters more at the start of an expansion / patch level. Always. New content, you want max regen to help compensate for people who don't react properly to mechanics. You want extra regen to deal with healing tanks who aren't fully geared yet. You want extra regen so you can waste mana in order to save lives. Extra throughput, while nice, does absolutely nothing for you if you go OOM.

And that's why I'm not going to recommend use of spellpower-oriented gems, or spellpower flask(s), or spellpower food. Just being geared in BiS Naxx gear means a holy priest has 2900 spellpower raid buffed. Adding 5% more spellpower does a lot less for your ability to react to situations than adding 10% intellect and 5% spirit.

As an aside, your argument on the flasks was specious. You don't compare 65 intellect directly to 125 spellpower. Even if you did, it comes off looking pretty good. Flask of Distilled Wisdom is worth approximately 57 Mp5, which definitely owns the Mojo flask, which is itemized exactly the same as the Frost Wyrm. So if Frost Wyrm = Mojo in itemization points, and Distilled Wisdom is more regen than Mojo, then it's a better option. I'd rather pick up 65 intellect from a flask and use spellpower food to help make up the difference than use spellpower food and be unable to pick up regen from another source.

Again: new content, regen is king.

Your comment about "Spell Power > Crit > Haste = Spirit = Int >> M/5", if applied directly to gemming, is basically false. Gemming is the perfect situation to take your overall gear level, and balance out the stats. If you have a lot of haste pieces, haste should be the last thing you gem for. But if you have a lot of crit pieces, haste is a lot more valuable than adding another couple of percent to crit. And on top of that, given limited gem slots, gemming for spellpower isn't all that valuable. Obviously red gems should have a runed scarlet or a hybrid monarch gem put into them, but yellow gems should be either intellect, haste, or (third) crit, and blue gems should be hybrid regen gems unless you *really* have more mana than you know what to do with. One of the biggest reasons paladins have been scaling in regen so well is that most of them have gemmed for pure intellect, which gives them mana pools 8-10k higher than ours. We're at the point where gemming for intellect actually makes sense. It scales crit (slowly), it scales regen *quickly*, and it gives us more flex in mana pool size for bursty healing situations (and for fights like General Vezax). I'm not at the point where I'm willing to advocate ALL INT GEMS GO, but they're certainly valuable enough to be slotted into yellow and blue sockets.

As far as the soft haste cap, I'm sticking with it. Having ~ 21% haste raid-buffed is a nice number. Obviously more will help, but depending on your use of FH and Serendipity, it becomes wasted reasonably quickly. Using the baseline of GHeal might not make as much sense any more, but you can just as easily compare a 1.2 FH. Haste is expensive, and you don't want to stack too much of it, but if you run significantly under 20%, you'll definitely "feel" the difference.

Some of your other points are valid ones, and the creation of specs that don't include support for GHeal is something I'll add later this week when I have some time.

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#20 Mokhtar

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 05:19 PM

I just forgot that Prayer of Healing is something Discipline priests cast too. You are correct that Prayer will beat Flash Heal by a wide margin here.

Wide margin ? It depends what your role is...
1/ Most of the time PoH HoT part is sniped (at least in my raid, it might be another story on some fights like Mimiron)
2/ If you're on tank duty, most of the time it's not a good idea to commit to a more than 1.5 sec cast
3/ Disc superior mana regen is for a large part due to the simultaneous shield consumption bug, which is not intended, even with that I find myself struggling with mana sometimes




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