The New Tools in the Priestly Arsenal

Along the road to 85, we picked up three new spells.

At lv 81, we got Mind Spike.

I hate to admit it, but at first I thought it was a lacklustre spell. What did I, a Holy Priest want with yet another dps spell. However when out questing, I started to experiment with it and in a complete about face, it’s become my favourite spell of the whole expansion.

Relatively, it’s cheap, fast to cast and if interrupted/kicked in pvp, your healing school is fine. I did a quick test on the target dummies, smite plus both dots being refreshed when they ran out versus mindspike over 45 seconds. Not only did the mindspike spam do more damage, it was also cheaper to sustain. Then of course, with my haste there is the 1.88 second smite cast versus the 1.41 cast time of Mind Spike. I wasn’t weaving in Mind Blasts, simply because as Holy, my Mind Spike hits harder than my Mind Blast crits for.

Next up was Inner Will, a new type of armour.

The movement speed is nice and of course so is the mana reduction of our instants but when I put it into practise in dungeons, I was a bit underwhelmed. As Holy if I need to get somewhere fast, I use body and soul. I also found that most of my healing in the dungeons I’ve run so far (no heroics yet, still gearing up), has been cast time stuff so no benefit to be gained there either. My top spell over a bunch of five or six dungeons was Heal, followed by Renew, then Greater Heal, with Prayer of Mending coming fourth. Ghostcrawler would be proud of me. Yes, I’ve been using renews but I’ve been trying to keep them rolling using Chakra: Serenity rather than recasting them repeatedly.

If we compared it to good old Inner Fire, which now provides 531 spell power and 60 percent more armour, it’s really going to depend on the fight. To put that into context, without Inner Fire, I have 5188 spellpower and 7143 armour so using it is a fairly decent spell power gain. With Inner Fire, my armour jumps up to 11429 which makes it my default armour of choice in PvP. Luckily neither of the armours cost mana now, so switching on the fly is going to have to become normal behaviour both in PvP and PvE.

Finally we got Leap of Faith.

If you struggled to know when to use Divine Hymn, Guardian Spirit or any of our other highly situational cooldown spells, well Leap of Faith is similar. With hindsight, I realised there were lots of places using it would have made my life easier in the dungeons, but so far I’ve used it mainly for “playing” with guildmates. Definitely going to need lots of practise here. The graphics are amazing though.

Random Healing Related Thoughts

  • Whilst I haven’t got as far as a Heroic yet, I really don’t think that Archangel/Evangelism will be required as Holy. It definitely isn’t for the higher level normals.
  • Dps stood there at half health whilst I drink should be thrown in the Murloc Parliament’s Bee Pit.
  • Most people only click on the Lightwell out of combat. Which is a real shame because with our vastly inflated health pools, you hardly ever see it break on damage, even on the tank.
  • The brief amount of PvP I’ve taken part in so far, (Tol Barad) seemed ok. People weren’t dying too fast and my own survivability wasn’t an issue unless three or four people were all focusing me. Luckily there are lots of pillars/bits of buildings for ducking behind and drinking though.
  • Carry lots and lots of water, you’re going to need it.

Healing does feel different that’s for sure. However once you get used to the damage levels and wait a suitable amount of time before healing, I didn’t find it too bad. Plus my overheal has decreased considerably as I’ve been playing a lot more attention to what I’m doing. Across those five or six runs, my over heal worked out at about 6 percent. I don’t remember it being that low since Classic WoW. Instead of casting renew when people are at full health for example (bad habit I know), now I’m waiting until they are down roughly 20k so I know none of it will be wasted.

I quite like our mastery too, especially for 5 mans. Not sure how it will play out in raid environment but it was accounting for an average of 12 percent of my effective healing today. With a bit of practise, that could probably be a bit higher and my overheal slightly lower.

All in all, the sky isn’t falling, it’s just going to take a bit of getting used to. Plus I definitely need to lose some of the bad habits I’d picked up, like not caring too much about overheal and attempting to over-compensate for my group when they were doing stupid things.

It's the Dawning of New Age

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16 Responses

  1. Yay, the sky isn’t falling.

    I’m only level 81 and I haven’t thus far had mana issues but I’ve only run very very slowly through one dungeon with guildies who were perfectly happy to go at my anxious pace. The single dungeon I have run through, I do remember thinking: “God, I would hate this if I was in a pug.”

    I think inner will might be better for disc priests – I mean it would really help ease the mana cost of a round of bubble-spamming and we don’t really have any neat movement enhancers like body and soul.

    • Yep, suddenly other people playing badly matter a lot. CC makes a huge amount of difference and tanks/dps need to use their cooldowns to survive when things get sticky. It’s definitely going to take a bit of getting used to.

    • Tam, the changes definitely occur as you progress from 80 to 85. At 81, little has changed. But by 85, health pools are enormous (100k+ on everyone), your mana pool hasn’t grown an equivalent amount, and the amount your spells heal certainly hasn’t grown an equivalent amount. That’s where you encounter the mana pressure.

  2. [...] New Tools In The Priestly Arsenal – Harpy’s taking a look at the new spells you’re likely to pick up as a healing priestie in Cataclysm. She’s looking at it mostly from a holy perspective but I’m betting disc can get some thoughts from it too. A useful post, and I was impressed with her thoughts on the usefulness of your latest DPS spell. [...]

  3. Nice post, I too made the Mind Spike mistake until a guildy pointed out the questing thing.

    Currently trying to make the move from normal to heroic and finding it a real challenge. Not sure if my spell selection sucks or the groups I have been in are taking too much damage but I’m either going Out of Mana or losing the battle to keep my tank and the DPS up.

    • CC makes a massive difference, as does running with a paladin for blessing of might. Since the only gear that drops in my raids/heroics at the moment is mail or plate, I’ve actually taken to doing heroics with spirit flasks on. I’m also sticking to heroics only with guildmates, that way I can yell at them more freely and they are likely to listen rather than just vote kick me.

      On boss fights, I always put down a Lightwell and express the fact as bluntly as I can that myself and the tank will be my main focus, so if you’re dpsing and stand in something bad, use the Lightwell.

      In heroics I tend to do something like this, power up Serenity Chakra before the pull and get a renew on the tank. Then I use greater heals mixed in with holy word: serenity and the odd heal. Just refreshing the chakra when it falls off.

      Why greater heal, well mine heals for about 21k atm and costs around the 5k mark. Heal costs 1800ish and heals for around 7k. They have the same cast time and a similar health to mana ratio although Heal does work out cheaper. However it takes me three times as long to put out the same amount of health if I use heal. So I’d rather cast bigger heals and spend less time trying to play catch up on the tank. It also gives you more time to throw heals on dps or use your mana cooldowns without worrying that the tank is going to go splat. Also if dps repeatedly do silly things, I just let them die. They can corpse run whilst I’m drinking for the next pull :p

      However I tend to end most heroic boss fights with pretty low mana. I think it’s really a gear issue at the moment although in a raid environment even though our druids were hogging all the innervates things seemed a lot better.

      • That is reassuring that you too are finding the exact roblems. A real nice tip on the heal v GHeal usage was something I wasnt doing maybe that i where I am doing it wrong apart from undergeared.

    • And don’t forget your echo of light will tick for more with GHeal : )

  4. Hey there!

    I have to admit that I cackled like a Disney villain when I first got Mind Spike and started using it, as I had been leveing shadow. Then they changed it where it wipes out your pre-existing DoTs and it stopped being fun. I also learned that shadow priests didn’t have such a great opinion about it (at least the ones I ran with) and now it’s been taken off my toolbar and isn’t seeing any use. I wanted to like it, I really did!

    I’m still not sold on Inner Will yet, though I feel that it may be more attractive, when we become raid healers again while raiding. Though if you get assigned to tank heal (which I’m hoping I do, b/c I actually enjoy it), this may not help much with that.

    I have started using Leap of Faith as a motivator, to yank people towards the Lightwell. Hey – we gotta get ‘em to use it somehow!
    :)

    • Our Shadowpriests liked it on Omintron Defense System for the phase changes but other than that, their responses have a been a bit meh.

      My biggest issue with Leap of Faith is in five mans, where random people standing in bad stuff keep thinking it’s a boss ability. Doing the last boss of Grim Batol with a pug, a few of whom had never been therefore. Explained the fight, told them they needed to be the centre of the Shadow Gale and we pulled. He casts Shadow Gale, everyone is in the centre except the warlock. I promptly lifegrip him in and he runs straight back out with the movement speed bonus from Body and Soul…

      Wtb a shorter cooldown on Leap of Faith please.

  5. A great rundown of the new moves! You’re convincing me to offspec into Holy (foul temptress!).

  6. @Evlyxx
    All the priests I’ve spoken are having the same/similar issues but gear really does make a big difference. It’s just painful for the first so many runs and it does get better.

  7. Why did they add that break on damage component to light well? Was there some kind of exploit they were trying to disable? Just seemed a little strange that a spell they’ve tried very hard to get people to use they suddenly add a reason (albeit a minor reason) to not use it. Strange.

    • Certainly think it was this way for the whole of Wrath, although can’t be 100 percent sure as I was specced out of it for most of it.

  8. I haven’t gotten my priest out of Dalaran yet, life is crazy busy… but Mind Spike to me looks fantastic for pvp. Finally, we get a dps spell we can spam if we need to that doesn’t lock us out of our primary spell school. The other spells also have great pvp uses.

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