Holy Priest Healing: One Week Into Cataclysm

So Cataclysm has been with us for almost a week now and I’ve been 85 for most it. I’ve completed all the five mans on normal, some on heroic and have also found the time for a spot of raiding.

Healing has most definitely changed, the spamfest of Wrath is certainly impossible to recreate with the gear currently available to us. However I don’t think the PvE scene is as depressing as the WoW forums are making out. Each piece of gear we get really helps. Going from an average item level of 329 to 339 made a massive difference to me. I noticed as well that doing Heroics with Blessing of Might/Replenishment made things considerably easier than doing them without.

In terms of gear, you want spirit on every item. In fact you want as much spirit as possible. Reforge to it if you can’t find spirit items for a particular slot. I’d recommend consumables for heroics too, stacks of mana pots if nothing else but ideally flasks whilst your spirit is low. Buy the best water available and buy lots of it. I currently try and carry 80 at all times.

CC in Heroics makes an amazing amount of difference. Nasty trash packs with just one or two mobs sheeped, sapped or banished becomes so much easier and less of a drain on your mana. Also don’t heal through stupid, lifegrip them out or let them die. Lightwell is amazing (which I have to admit, is one sentence I never ever thought I’d be typing), put it down on tough trash and bosses. If people don’t use it, nag them until they do. Our tanks for example range in health from about 140k to 160k, 30 percent of that is 42 – 48k so on quite a lot of content, they can use it too.

As for talent choices, this is what I went for.

Notice no Archangel/Evangelism and to be honest, I’m really not sure where I’d be casting smite to benefit from it if I had it.

Nor do I have Surge of Light, primarily because I prefer Greater Heal in almost every scenario except entering Chakra: Serenity. Even on fights where I do cast a fair number of Heals, I’m not convinced that 6 percent is a high enough number to make it worth two talent points.

I also don’t have a minute off my shadowfiend cooldown. I’ve been backwards and forwards several times over this and am still considering ditching 2 points in the haste to improve Basil the annoying shadowfiend. However at the moment, I’d definitely say that my mana is getting more and more manageable with every item I upgrade.

I’m thinking about dropping one or both points in State of Mind because I’ve macro’d Chakra into both my Heal and Prayer of Healing spells. Thus if it’s off cooldown, it automatically recasts itself when I cast them. I avoided putting it on Prayer of Mending because quite often, especially in Heroics, I go Prayer of Mending then Heal to get Chakra Serenity up. I think two points are definitely overkill and might reduce it to 1 and put the spare into reducing my shadowfiend.

Lightwell is amazing, I just can’t say this enough. Now that we’ve got into raids/heroics, people are actually asking for it to put down and making the effort to use it.

Prayer of Healing is possibly too good too. Especially since lots of fights seem to involve everyone taking plenty of damage all at the same time.

Now that I’ve done some raiding, I’m starting to like Inner Will a lot more too. Fights still involve lots of running away from things, whether they are evil face munching parasites or just the average blob of fire on the floor. Negotiating your way through the bad stuff at speed is awesome. Given that both Inner Fire and Inner Will are free, I’m definitely going to have to get used to swapping them backwards and forwards a lot more.

All things considered, I feel fairly positive about being a Holy Priest in Cataclysm. Sure there are some buffs I’d like to see but I think our toolbox is pretty good as it stands right now.

4 Responses

  1. I’m planning to play my priest a bit in Cataclysm, not as my main (since I still love my warlock) but as my main alt I guess. The healing does scare me a bit though since it has changed quite a bit. The priest (being an alt) isn’t 85 yet, but I’ve admittedly not even dared to try normal dungeons why I level.

    I hope it’s not too difficult, and maybe I just need to jump into it and give it a go (bringing lots of water and mana pots when I do!)

    • Gear makes a huge huge difference, I can’t say this enough. Even farming most slots to 333 through normals/reputation rewards makes heroics/raids so much easier.

  2. I remember back in the day when Wow Insider said that we’d need archangel for mana, even in holy. I was sad. I think that smite and holy don’t go well together.

    That’s a solid spec you’ve got there. I should probably bite the bullet and spec OUT of improved death, but… (big but) I seem to ahem croak, and improved death has actually pulled a win from the jaws of wipe. And I see that you agree with me on surge of light (it procs not enough)

    • I’ve always hated Improved Death which is why I try and avoid it. Since posting this, I’ve made a few changes to my spec. I dropped one point from State of Mind and 1 percent haste and picked up a minute of my shadowfiend. Probably going to stick with this spec until I have a lot more spirit.

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