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WotLK Healing Compendium v3.3: Arthas' downfall!


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#1 Sinndir

Sinndir

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Posted 04 December 2009 - 09:44 PM

Healing Priests and Raiding

This is a rewrite of previous priest compendiums put together by Constantinus (Nidaba), which together had over 3 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 will likely be a 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, I play holy mostly but swap to Shadow if needed. 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
HPS: Healing per second, a measurement of throughput

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 swap around the Spell Warding talents for 5/5 Divine Fury (though GHeal is not nearly as good as FH). 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 & Improved 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 raid encounters). However, due to some of our lower holy tree choices you end up taking a point or two in improved renew regardless. You could swap out B & S for Lightwell and grab the lightwell glyph for 20% more healing on it. All in all, most of the holy talents are useful in some regard, aside from blessed recovery.

Q: What about removing certain GHeal talents?
A: There are definitely justifications for losing Improved Healing and 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, check your overall logs on a weekly basis and if you are hardly casting GHeal just don’t bother with Improved Healing.

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* and a guaranteed 3% extra healing to all of your spells 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.

A spec with the removal of all GHeal talents and minus the Body and Soul ends up something like this: Talent Calculator - World of Warcraft

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 Icecrown bosses are most certainly going to hit *hard*.

Q: How good is Holy Concentration?
A: As gear levels continue to rise (namely spirit/int), Holy Concentration gets stronger. It's nowhere near as reliable, or as fun to use as it once was, 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 (at early ulduar gear levels). Considering the overall stat increases, this talent should always be taken.

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. If you find yourself casting plenty of PoH’s and trying to be inventive with how you use lightwell, then the second point is probably worth it.

Q: Body and Soul - worth it, or not?
A: Yes. Absolutely. I've found a use for Body and Soul on many occasions (Icehowl charges, Legion Flames, Faction Champs, Valkyr color switching, and Anub P2 just to name a few). Yes, it interferes with Discipline shields. 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 deaths have been prevented and raids saved thanks to the speed shields!

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: Nidaba can't justify a second point in a talent that gives 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 PoH 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 it is entirely up to you.

Q: What talents are low priority, or useless now, from the Holy tree? (for PvE)
A: Blessed Recovery and Searing Light (useless). 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; but hey, it's all we got! They're slow, they randomly attack the stupidest things, and they generally return a variable amount of mana that is undependable. However, with 3.3 they are being changed to avoid 90% of AoE damage in PvE but not in PvP. Another way to take advantage is to cast your fiend before a heroism/bloodlust (extra swings mean extra mana), though this can sometimes be tough.

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. Supplemental healing can be provided by tossing a renew on the tank, PoM bouncing off of them and if you have nothing better to do with a Surge of Light proc, toss it their way.

Raid Healing: Ulduar was 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 a hasted PoH, 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. Combine it with Inner Focus and you will do an absolute ton of healing.

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. (please not I haven’t raided as disc in a long time, so if someone would like to comment on how Greater Heal is/isn’t used by disc priests anymore that would be splendid)

Raid Healing: Disc is actually a viable raid healer now, due to GCD-based PW:S, Holy Nova 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: Val'kyr Twins, Incinerate Flesh, Faction champions and Anub (Leeching Swarm).

The key to Anub is to *not* 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 that when you see a raid member at 5-10% life (that you aren't supposed ot heal) that they will be getting heals from their assigned healer and if your assignment is fine you can help out on the PC targets.

Situation 2: large incoming damage, but focused on a small subset of the raid population. Examples include Gormokk melee stomp, Val'kyr Twins (Touch of Light/Dark), and Anub's penetrating cold.

You know there is incoming damage, you know roughly how much it will be, but the target is RSTS. In these situations, it's multiple 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 but not if there's only 1.

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 (or two if you’re a night elf!):

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, while alchemists are spoiled with , or , or for Guardian, and , or .

Note that in WotLK, you are now limited 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: Pitbull, Xperl, Shadowed Unit Frames (SUF)
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, Xperl 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.
Power Auras: great tool for showing custom buffs, procs, or debuffs that you get. They can even be accompanied by a ding!
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 ncinerate Flesh (Lord Jaxx), Penetrating Cold (Anub), 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! (This section on Grid and Clique has been left entirely untouched as I personally do not use Grid or Clique)

XI. Gearing Questions
Entering into the final stage of 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, not to mention you get a small amount of spell power thanks to spiritual guidance.

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 (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 ToC, 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, which I’m in love with, it is a direct correlation to how much mana you have. If your haste is too high for your regen gear level, you’ll be begging for innervates. On the other hand if your haste is too low your heals may be a bit slow and could possibly lead to unneeded deaths. 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 Swift Retribution/Moonkin Aura, leaving you with only 4.67% or 154 haste rating 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: Disc receives more innate haste thanks to Enlightenment and may not be quite as important to throughput as it is to Holy. Thanks to ToC gear inflation it is pretty tough to have a low amount of haste, you have to actively aim for all crit pieces, and even then picking up a T9 piece will give you plenty.

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%. As opposed to haste (which is purely a throughput stat), crit rings in at both a throughput and a regen for holy (thanks to SoL procs and Holy Concentration); while Disc gains extra absorbs (Divine Aegis).

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 Icecrown.25 are to have 3000+ spellpower, 30% crit, and 30% 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 king, especially since you don't have Spiritual Guidance scaling your levels.
Pick up as much intellect as possible. Once you aren't having mana problems replace any previous intellect sockets with spellpower or a combination (
11 spirit = 4 Mp5, with no spellpower gains.

Rough goals for the start of Ulduar.25 are to have 3000 spellpower, 40% crit, and 8% haste, along with ~ 500 Mp5 I5SR fully raid-buffed.

XI. a) Gearing Levels for Icecrown

Say all you do is 10-man content. You've been killing Onyxia clearing ToC and Ulduar and clearing ToGC the odd time. But you wonder about this new fancy-dancy Icecrown business. When will I be ready? Is my gear good enough?

Icecrown will be Blizzards baby, and they definitely will have interesting fights packed in there. There's more damage, more mechanics, more crazy things, and our talents have changed. Basically, the rule of thumb for entering Icecrown Citadel should be that you have a full gearset of ilevel 226 items and don’t have mana problems when running each of the aforementioned 10 man zones. On top of this, *hopefully*, you picked up some 25-man gear somewhere (on a PuG, in your guild group, whatever).

With 10-man ToC and the amount of triumph emblems you can obtain you should have no gear less than ilvl 226. Ideally you will also have a bunch of ilvl 232 and even a few ilvl 245 (if you have managed to get your hands on a trophy or two). Considering how accessible emblems of triumph are and the gear purchasable with them are ilvl 245 you should have a few. Enjoy Icecrown Citadel, I know I will.

Note: 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: Blue gems are much cheaper than the new(ish) epic gems?
A: Unless you like doing half-assed jobs splurge. Lets say you have 10 gems and you want to use haste gems for all of them the difference is 160 haste or 200 haste, 40 haste rating is worth quite a bit (as is 40 crit, and so on). Don’t be shy and use some of your old badges on the new epic gems!

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. As a personal preference, and considering healers aren’t quite as hardcore in needing to min/max as DPS classes, I always go for socket bonus’. As a priest we use a mixture of 5 stats (haste, int, crit, spirit, spell power), and unless the bonus is mp5 I follow the gem sockets accordingly.

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:














My personal take on gems is this, gem for regen (via intellect) if you are having mana issues. Yellow would be pure int, red would be spellpower/int, and blue would be spirit/int. However, once you reach the 'cap' of feeling comfortable about your regen I would start looking at haste as a means to increase your throughput. Yellow would be pure haste, red would be haste/spellpower and blue would be haste/spirit; but remember, with increased haste comes increased mana consumption.

Discipline priests should gem differently, however. Once you feel like your mana pool isn't going anywhere it is time to stack spellpower. Gem for it in every slot you can (or in yellows put 12 spellpower and 10 int/crit). Blue and Red slots should be 23 spellpower though, this will ensure the highest possible shield absorbs. And with 4000 spellpower you are looking at the following absorb:

Total Absorb = (base absorb+(0.8068+0.40)*SP)*(1.15)*(1.04)*(1.05)
Total Absorb = (2230+(1.2068)*4000)*1.15*1.04*1.05
Total Absorb = 8862 absorb (Pretty large shield)

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 should happen unless you roam around in blues. 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 10 - Icecrown
: Excellent throughput, can critically hit, heal is larger than it says (so spellpower or talents), 45 sec ICD, can proc of HoT's, unsure on the targetting system.
: Leave this for the shaman/paladins.

Tier 9
& : Excellent throughput and regen. Please note that you can get both the regular and heroic versions of this and the stacking regen of each trinket… uhh stacks!
: Not overly fantastic by itself (better for Pally/Shaman) but when combined with…
: Poor by itself but together you get a bonus 250 spell power and a proc heal that heals for 2530 to 3092 direct healing. Overall not bad if you wear them together. *Note: Healing proc does not scale with spellpower

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 10 - Icecrown
: Non-heroic is 1625 mana (2 min CD) that yields 67.7 mp5 while the heroic version is 1830 mana (1 min CD) yielding 152.5 mp5.

Tier 9
& : Poor items for us, look for something else.
: Not overly fantastic by itself (better for Pally/Shaman) but when combined with…
: Poor by itself but together you get a bonus 222 spell power and a proc heal that heals for 2269 to 2773 direct healing. Overall not bad if you wear them together. *Note: Healing proc does not scale with spellpower

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 and scales higher as your get more haste (more casts = more mana saved).


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:
: Badge trinket which is a straight upgrade to show of faith (153 spellpower & proc 304 mana per 5 for 15 sec (912 mana). 10% proc rate
: Marked as a DPS trinket it gives spellpower and clicky crit. It is decent if you don't have other alternatives.
: A pseudo Spark of Hope giving mana back instead of taking mana off with a clicky haste buff. Depending on GCD time this can be ~28 mp5 up to a maximum of 55 mp5.
: Good amount of intellect but the clicky spellpower is average at best.
: Very good regeneration trinket. Better for disc as it gains 25% more from the 84 intellect. 25% proc chance with a 45 second Internal coldown.
: 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

XI. e) Glyphs

<insert discussion of glyphs here> (I’ll go into detail on this soon)

XI. f) I) Best-in-Slot List (based on ilvl and personal preference)

*Please note that this would be the ideal setup I would choose to use*

Head - - for T10 set bonus
Neck - - heroic
Shoulders - - for T10 set bonus
Back - - heroic
Chest - - heroic
Wrist - - heroic
Hands - (ilvl 258) - for T9 set bonus
Waist - - heroic
Legs - (ilvl 258) - for T9 set bonus
Feet - - heroic
Ring - - heroic
Ring -
Trinket - - heroic
Trinket -
Wand -
Weapon -

Ignoring the two piece T10 bonus I would replace the head and shoulders with and , respectively.

Set Bonus Discussion:

Tier 9 2-Piece: +20% PoM Healing - There is easily a case to be made for keeping pieces to have this bonus on hand for fights where PoM does a lot of healing. Not to mention only having to give up 2 slots to old content pieces it won't be that bad. Much better for holy priests than disc priests due to the already stronger PoM and 7 second cooldown.


Tier 9 4-Piece: +10% to Aegis & Empowered Renew - Not worth keeping, the bonus isn't good enough because of the loss of stats from four pieces.

Tier 10 2-Piece: Your Flash Heal has a 33% chance to cause the target to heal for 33% of the healed amount over 9 sec. - This set bonus' strength is dependent on the fact the HoT stacks/rolls (like blessed recovery/deep wounds) or re-writes itself. The HoT will heal for around 1650 health (assuming ticks at 3/6/9 seconds they will be ~550 health while crits bump it to 825 health per tick and 2500ish total). Recently we have had a forum member (Feebis) share that the HoT is a rolling one as seen in this post. You can see based on the parses that the heal over time portion is unpredictable however it is apparently affected by talents, as we had originally thought the stacking HoT makes it a strong 2 piece bonus for Disc and an average to sub-par one for holy priests. The HoT will not tick if it gets refreshed before the 3/6/9 second marks but will get larger (Feebis had a 6700 tick in his log he posted). The good part about it is 33% proc chance is quite high, especially as disc, it's another drop in the bucket of tank healing. However, it could prove worthwhile.


Tier 10 4-Piece:Your Circle of Healing and Penance spells have a 20% chance to cause your next Flash Heal cast within 6 sec to reset the cooldown on your Circle of Healing and Penance spells. - Now for the interesting one. At first glance, oh neat a reset of our awesome spells. At second glance, wait a minute... I have to cast two spells to reset it. Take a look at this (lets say 1.25 GCD):

0.00 - CoH Cast - Set bonus procs
1.25 - Flash Heal started - CoH resets
2.50 - CoH Available

Even if it does proc and everything falls into place, counting lag, you are looking at ~3 second off the cooldown. Honestly there could be some better mechanics for this (20% chance on CoH/Penance that the cooldown is just reset, allowing back-to-back heals, or possibly flash heals granting a serendipity-like stacking buff that removes the cooldown). I, like many, find this set bonus to be rather underwhelming but fact of the matter is when you're raid healing as holy it will be an HPS increase (especially with constant healing going around during hardmodes). Once we get some parses going we will have to determine if the extra CoH cast over the course of the fight does more healing than 20% extra healing on your PoM.

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

[table]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 || 52.6% |52.6%|52.6%
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%
[/table]
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.

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)


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 Ulduar/ToC/Emblem of Triumph epic pieces, will be 1300 intellect + 1300 spirit. This is, of course, assuming full enchants, and all raid buffs possible, along with consumables.

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[/v]. 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.

XII. d) Surge of Light & Inspiration Proc Chance

I will be doing some more testing/reviewing logs on this to see if what Tedv posted about SoL being similar to a flip of the coin, just give me some time.

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.

XII. e) 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.

[b]XIII. Questions to be answered


Finally, please remember this is a constant work in progress. I’ll be updating it as much needed and I see fit. Once again, enjoy Icecrown Citadel, I can’t wait!

[e]
Xtian's comments have been edited in.
Fiend avoidance and PoH coefficient edited in.
Updated Trinket list and BiS list. - Dec 23rd
Changed BiS list - cannot equip same item (heroic/non-heroic) & changed the discussion about T10 bonus a bit - Jan 6th

#2 Xtian

Xtian

    Von Kaiser

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Posted 04 December 2009 - 11:52 PM

A few of the sections containing Ulduar examples might be better served with ToC examples. ToC is more current and puggable, and some later Uld fights aren't going to resonate as much as an example like Northrend Beasts. I tried to find any specific areas that I thought could be updated with a better example to hopefully make the work a little easier, since transcribing, editing, and updating this OP must have been a huge chunk of work itself.

I. a) Holy Talents: Body and Soul - Icehowl charges, Legion Flames, Faction Champs, Valkyr color switching, and Anub P2 all make arguably even better case studies for this talent than the mentioned 70% Uld encounters.

VII. Effective Cross Healing - I think Twins, Jormungar Breaths, Incinerate Flesh, and Faction Champs all provide good examples of the concepts here.

VI. Raid Healing as Holy/Disc - a lot of the examples here are Ulduar, but they're Siege bosses, and most people know those, so I don't think it's a big deal.

X. Grid - Some of the debuff examples are from Sunwell. They still illustrate concepts, but things like Incinerate Flesh and Penetrating Cold may be more pertinent.

Thanks for all the hard work!

#3 Xeblit

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Posted 05 December 2009 - 08:48 AM

I think you've raised some intriguing points, Xtian.
I'd like to add my own input on some of the points you've brought up, using examples from Trial of the Crusader.

Body and Soul - Icehowl charges, Legion Flames, Faction Champs, Valkyr color switching, and Anub P2 all make arguably even better case studies for this talent than the mentioned 70% Uld encounters.


As a full time Holy Priest raid healer, I've never really liked (or spec'd into) Body and Soul, but I do acknowledge it's usefulness in certain encounters.

Concerning Body and Soul and the Northrend Beasts encounter of ToC25, I believe that the degree to which the raid is spread out by Icehowl's knock-back makes this talent more or less unusable.
- What is the chance that whoever is being targeted is within 40 yards of you?
- Is that person standing by themselves, or in a group with other people? (Can you bubble everyone everyone in charge range in under 4 seconds?)
The only way to remedy this would be to stack multiple Holy Priests in your raid, but that in turn would water down the diversity of your healing setup.

I do think, however, that Body and Soul is excellent for an encounter like Acidmaw and Dreadscale, the twin Jormungers.
Popping a speed boosting bubble on someone with Paralytic Toxin increases their survivability two-fold:
- By increasing the amount of damage they can take before they die with the damage reduction effect.
- By decreasing the mount of time it takes for said person to reach whoever has Burning Bile.

Effective Cross Healing - I think Twins, Jormungar Breaths, Incinerate Flesh, and Faction Champs all provide good examples of the concepts here.

Raid Healing as Holy/Disc - a lot of the examples here are Ulduar, but they're Siege bosses, and most people know those, so I don't think it's a big deal.


To a lesser extent, I think that Gormok the Impaler is also a good example for both of the above, due to the nature of Gormok's Staggering Stomp, and healing Snobold targets.

#4 Endahl

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Posted 05 December 2009 - 09:22 AM

To counter this, [Shadowfiend] no longer has AoE avoidance (yay), so it'll get one-shot by any sufficiently large AoE attack.

3.3 iteration of Shadowfiend has 90% AoE avoidance in PvE but none in PvP (like all other player controlled pets).

* Avoidance (passive): Now reduces the damage your pet takes from area-of-effect damage by 90%, but no longer applies to area-of-effect damage caused by other players.

#5 Nightseye

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Posted 05 December 2009 - 01:38 PM

The SP Co-efficient on Prayer of Healing is outdated.

Patch 3.2.0 (2009-08-04): The percentage of spell power this spell gains in healing (per target) has been reduced from 80.7% to 52.6%



#6 tasha

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Posted 05 December 2009 - 07:49 PM

In the "Gearing Questions" topic, there's some outdated info:
The haste cap for disc is NOT 11% as far as I know.
Crit doesn't provide regen for disc.

Also, maybe it would be worth it to mention Tier set boni? Wich ones to look for, wich ones to skip, etc...
2 pieces of T9 can go a long way for example. :D

EDIT: I apologize for the wrong piece of info.

#7 Sinndir

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Posted 05 December 2009 - 08:23 PM

In the "Gearing Questions" topic, there's some outdated info:
The haste cap for disc is now 11% as far as I know.
Crit doesn't provide regen for disc.

Also, maybe it would be worth it to mention Tier set boni? Wich ones to look for, wich ones to skip, etc...
2 pieces of T9 can go a long way for example. :D


I'll be adding a Tier set bonus, thats a great idea.

Swapped the crit regen thing for disc, however I already included the 11% haste as cap for Disc (far as I could tell). Mind you I've been reading over this a few times in the last 24 hours to make sure I got stuff right, so I could be missing it.

#8 Charmen

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Posted 05 December 2009 - 10:57 PM

I've noticed that though the Disc spec with Spell Warding and without Divine Fury is linked as cookie-cutter (Talent Calculator - World of Warcraft), then in 'Q: But my Discipline spec is different from yours!?' obviously another spec is referenced. Probably the link or the comment section should modified? :rolleyes:

Uff, my 1st post here...

#9 tasha

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Posted 06 December 2009 - 02:45 AM

Swapped the crit regen thing for disc, however I already included the 11% haste as cap for Disc (far as I could tell). Mind you I've been reading over this a few times in the last 24 hours to make sure I got stuff right, so I could be missing it.



You missed this one in the detailed haste paragraph. :)

leaving you with only 5% to gain from gear to reach the hard GCD cap on PW:S (given Borrowed Time)


Also this might be off-topic but...
Int then haste is a good gemming for holy, still, as disc I find spellpower is king.

#10 WildWill

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Posted 07 December 2009 - 03:59 PM

I've noticed that though the Disc spec with Spell Warding and without Divine Fury is linked as cookie-cutter (Talent Calculator - World of Warcraft), then in 'Q: But my Discipline spec is different from yours!?' obviously another spec is referenced. Probably the link or the comment section should modified? :rolleyes:

Uff, my 1st post here...



Doesnt that spec apply more to Disc priests who dont cast GH that often? Points in Divine Fury knocks 0.5 secs off the cast time which is nice even if you gem for haste

#11 Carnathagia

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Posted 07 December 2009 - 07:45 PM

Healing Priests and Raiding
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 11% to gain from gear to reach the hard GCD cap on PW:S (given Borrowed Time).

Rules of Thumb for Disc
Pick up haste up to ~ 11% (hard-cap). Absolutely do not stack more.

Rough goals for the start of Ulduar.25 are to have 3000 spellpower, 40% crit, and 8% haste, along with ~ 500 Mp5 I5SR fully raid-buffed.


Can you update this section to match the correct math as found in the 3.2 compendium? The 11% is from a math error whereby percentage gains of haste were calculated additively (6%+5%+3%+25%=39%, 50%-39%=11%), instead of correctly being 'added' multiplicatively (1.06*1.05*1.03*1.25=1.43 or 43%. 1.43*1.0467=~1.5 or 50% haste.) The discussion is here and here.

The correct haste soft cap on the global cooldown with borrowed time, enlightenment, and all haste raid buffs is 4.676%. However, I'm not dismissing haste as a viable stat, and I would take issue with stating that you must absolutely not stack haste the PW: Shield spam soft cap, unless 'stacking' means gemming.

#12 Imua

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Posted 07 December 2009 - 08:07 PM

Let's try not to restart the Divine Fury vs Spell Warding argument here again. There are places for both talents, and there are people that (so far) have succeeded using either. The basic argument is that you don't cast GHeal very much which makes Spell Warding better than nothing - you're going to go for Inspiration anyway. I think that discussion is fine how it is now. (ICC may make us change our minds about one or the other though.)

/agree on "absolutely" not stacking haste. It's probably just going to happen, and any disc priest that's raiding ICC will have more than enough haste - just don't gem for it.

I'm wondering if a section on how to gear for dual spec (disc and holy) would be useful...

#13 Sinndir

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Posted 08 December 2009 - 12:07 AM

Doesnt that spec apply more to Disc priests who dont cast GH that often? Points in Divine Fury knocks 0.5 secs off the cast time which is nice even if you gem for haste


As a disc priest you really do not gain much (read any) benefit from casting a Greater Heal. Holy priests gain these possible modifiers: +10% healing (Spiritual Healing), +40% more spellpower to the coefficient (Empowered Healing), -15% cost (Improved Helaing), +3% healing (Blessed Resilience), +12% healing (Test of Faith), and a possible -36% reduced cast time (Serendipity). Thus a Disc priest just shouldn't spec into Divine Fury. Flash heal benefits from the glyph and improved flash heal talents, but both heals really lack bonus healing percentage modifiers which holy has plenty of.

As for clarification on what the term 'stacking' means.

Choosing all possible gems, enchants, rings, trinkets, etc. for one stat (Crit/Haste/Spellpower) would be stacking. Say you have 6 items (2 cloaks, 2 necks and 2 pairs of boots). Some items have just crit, some have just haste and some have both. Stacking would be choosing 1 of each that allows you to reach the highest possible outcome.

You can really only 'stack' spellpower by gemming entirely for it as pieces that are higher ilvl are generally higher in spellpower. The stat stacking comes (in my case for example) when choosing haste over crit in all possible slots, or vice versa.

#14 Guest_Akarai_*

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Posted 08 December 2009 - 07:00 PM

Q: What talents are low priority, or useless now, from the Holy tree? (for PvE)
A: Blessed Recovery and Searing Light (useless). 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.

Could the usefulness of renew talents be revisited, aside from the blurb saying 'if you use it a lot'? It seems in Ulduar hard modes and ToC that renew has been proving itself to be more of a go-to spell for an increasing number of priests and saying Improved Renew is useless just feels outdated.

#15 lemonparty

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Posted 09 December 2009 - 03:49 PM

I think I'll pick up 2pc (gloves/legs for haste). I was casting Flash Heal a lot more last night than I usually do.

Although, as progression continues your gear gets better, raiders become better at avoiding damage, and you get better at predicting when heals will be necessary. That all lends itself to Renew over Flash Heal, which is my preferred playstyle in ToGC.

Until all the off-set pieces are discovered it's too soon to be confident about a BiS list, imo.

#16 Tinaby

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Posted 09 December 2009 - 05:23 PM

I quite agree with Akarai. I'm actually using my disc spec, and i use renew most of the time. Regarding this, isn't it a good way thinking of modifying talents to Improved Renew (3) and Spell Warding (2) ?

Considering T10 4P bonus, i think i'll more focus on stats than trying to get it. I did not look at all the new gear given by 3.3, i may do this on the evening after work, but i guess i'll try to have at least 2 pieces, maybe 3, and some stuff out of set ^^ (actually, i won't cry on the bonus if i can get 4P and keep having good stats, but T9 2P is really usefull so i guess i'll try to keep it as long as possible :P)

#17 tedv

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Posted 09 December 2009 - 06:58 PM

Q: What about removing certain GHeal talents?
A: There are definitely justifications for losing Improved Healing and 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, check your overall logs on a weekly basis and if you are hardly casting GHeal just don’t bother with Improved Healing.

...

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.


A comment on Test of Faith. This talent is not remotely mandatory. Even if you look at it purely from a probabilities stand point, each point has a 50% chance of giving 4% healing. That works out to 2% healing per point, making it better than Spiritual Healing, another mandatory talent. In practice though, someone most needs extra healing when they are below 50%, making this talent even better than Spiritual Healing.

I agree that Blessed Resilience is a situational talent that you may or may not want though. I personally take it by skipping some longevity talents like Healing Prayers. But I don't think it's fair to pose the question as "Should I take blessed resilience or test of faith?"

Q: 1 or 2 points in Surge of Light?
A: Nidaba can't justify a second point in a talent that gives 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 PoH 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 it is entirely up to you.


Surge of Light is a highly misunderstood talent. It doesn't give you a 25%/50% chance for each crit that occurs. Rather, the server checks if your spell generated any crits at all. If it did, you have a 25%/50% chance of proccing a surge of light.

For example, suppose you cast a Circle of Healing and gets 3 crits. With 1 point in surge of light, you have a 25% proc chance. With 2, your proc chance is 50%. With only 1 point, your odds are not (1 - .75^3) = 57%, and with 2 points they aren't 87%.

This makes the second point exactly as good as the first point, so I would be quite amazed to see a spec for which the first point was worth taking and the second wasn't. On the other hand, I'm sure you can kill bosses even if your talent spec has only 1/2 Surge of Light, or even 0/3 Test of Faith. That doesn't make it optimal though.

#18 Burglekutt

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Posted 10 December 2009 - 01:26 AM

Request: Bis for holy and disc

Most other class forums seem to have one somewhere, and their class is usually harder to calculate.

@Kashir: I've only been healing since TOC but from what I've seen there's 3 jobs priests do. Disc-Tank, Disc-Raid, Holy-Raid. Stopped having mana issues after I got a few pieces out of Ulduar, think most of us that read this board are well geared enough to not worry about mana anymore, and we can always swap trinkets, pop the regen flask, or just not spam as much, time our fiend/hymn better if it does become an issue. 3 Gearsets doesn't seem to much to ask.

#19 Kashir

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Posted 10 December 2009 - 05:49 AM

Request: Bis for holy and disc

Most other class forums seem to have one somewhere, and their class is usually harder to calculate.

I'm not entirely convinced that a BiS list is particularly useful to healers, particularly Priests. Unlike DPS, the "best" gearset varies hugely with the encounter, your role, the raid makeup, the length of the fight, the strategy you use, etc.

A Disc Priest tank healing will heavily favour gear with Haste + Crit, but bubble spam duty scales poorly with both. A Holy Priest relying on CoH / FH / PoM will likely have no mana troubles, and scales well with Crit and SP. Making heavy use of PoH will make Haste very valuable, but if the fight duration is too long then you might need more regen. Renew scales beautifully with Haste and SP, but gains minimal benefit from crit.

My general rule? If it's high iLvl, chances are good that it's better. There's really not too much variety in gear in WotLK; you get two of [Haste, Crit, Spirit] per item, and none of them are clearly superior to the others.

Trinkets are really the only slot where BiS arguments become interesting, and even then, the best answer is "carry multiple trinkets for different encounters".

#20 Nightseye

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Posted 10 December 2009 - 07:36 AM

Pick up haste up to ~ 11% (hard-cap). Absolutely do not stack more


I can't believe I missed this before but this is just plain misleading. You can't call something a hard haste cap when doing so involves casting another spell which consumes a GCD. With the enormous stat inflation these days 11% haste can be achieved with as little as 3-4 pieces of gear, and people who reads this and takes it the wrong way will start passing on obvious upgrades because it puts them way past the supposed "hard haste cap". This statement only applies to disc priests whose only job is to bubble spam (lol?)

Nobody seems to realize that bubble spam is by far the most inefficient use of a healer spot in a raid environment with very few exceptions, most of which was back in Ulduar where predictable large damage spikes was safer to prevent as opposed to healing through (Ground Tremor, Shockwave, Black Hole Explosion, Tympanic Tantrum, etc). The nature of this type of damage allows a disc priest to take advantage of rapture to at least mass bubbling efficient. In this day and age where tanks are the ones who run the risk of going 100-0 in 2-3 swings, discipline buffs are far more useful on a tank than on a raid.

Until disc priests damage reduction tools gets nerfed to the floor, it is still primarily a tank healer. This means stacking as much throughput stats as possible (spellpower, haste, crit)




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