First of all, I have to say I love Holy. The chakras are fun, easy to keep up and the whole tree feels like it has synergy. Power Word: Chastise is useful on it’s own and great when working with the chakras. I ended up speccing like this.
Since Holy has so few choices, I’ll talk briefly about the points I avoided rather than those I took.
- No Spirit of Redemption – I’ve always hated this talent and have only taken it for the last few years because of the extra spirit it provided. Not only is it part of the reason that the myth of extra squishy priests who die all the time exist (because addons like recount count 2 deaths for every one you actually have), if you die just before a boss and are masquerading as a fail angel, you don’t get credit for the boss kill which is particularly annoying for first kills as you watch the rest of your raid spam their achievements.
- No Desperate Prayer – In PvE I have plenty of self healing options already.
- Blessed Resilience – It’s current version is actually fairly tempting but the top of holy is too full of other crucial stuff to make it worthwhile.
Yes, I took Lightwell. Cataclysm is going to be the expansion in which I “persuade ” people to use it.
Then the first problem reared it’s head when I realised that the alt self cast function wasn’t working properly. Instead of letting you heal yourself regardless of whom you were targeting (as it was yesterday), now it only worked if you were targeting an enemy. Now because I don’t tend to use clique on myself in PvP (I prefer just using alt + keybind because I find it works better on the move) this was a bit of a problem. One which I worked around by making macros for every spell.
/cast [mod:alt,target=player] Flash Heal
/cast [nomod] Flash Heal
(Remove the spaces between each line and replace flash heal with whatever spell you want).
That problem solved, all excited and happy I agreed to do a few battlegrounds with some guildmates. Mind blast, solar beam, starsurge, splat… it didn’t matter what I did, not only was I struggling to stay alive, I couldn’t keep anyone else up for long either. The win went to the team fielding the most boomkins, mages, warlocks and shadowpriests. Luckily this varied a bit, but frustrating doesn’t fully explain it. The feeling of going from pre-patch happiness when it took two or three people playing properly to kill you, to being regularly hit for upwards of 12k whilst stunned in a solar beam.
That said, as the battlegrounds progressed and we managed to get our raid frames to stop jumping around all over the place, they did get easier. Perhaps all the really nastily geared people went to bed or something but by the last game I think I only died once which was a huge improvement on the slaughter of the first few. I ended up preferring Holy for PvP which surprised me. A combination of chastise with body and soul was great for escaping, especially since we can remove poisons from ourselves. Racing to get to your flag to hand in before they pick up, chastise the guy chasing and shield the flag carrier. For a proper PvP build I’d pick up Blessed Resilience and Desperate Prayer but I’m definitely planning on trying a Holy build at 85.
All in all, I’m fairly positive about the patch and the next two months. Blizzard have already posted saying that the classes I was struggling with are doing too much damage, so I wasn’t necessarily doing anything wrong. Whilst I have mixed feelings about Disc, I think Holy feels amazing but then I’ve always had mixed feelings about Disc so nothing has really changed there.