Well, it seems that 3.1 is imminent. Coupling the fact that the PTR realms are slowing down, the patches on the PTR are getting smaller and smaller (the last patch was teeny) with the fact that the downloader seems to be finished, we may will have it as early as next week (4/14). However with the move of Noblegarden, it does confuse me. My bet is 4/21.
All classes will have their Talent Points refunded, which means its time to respect. And for most of us: Dual Specs. While some of us will be going Healing/Shadow as our specs, I do think a good many priests will be going Holy/Disc, giving them the ability to swap specs mid raid to adapt to whatever healing assignment they are given.
Derevka’s 3.1 Disc Spec – 57/14/0
With this spec I am able to get all the goodies that I want to in the Disc tree, while still being able to go deep enough into the holy tree to get Inspiration.
- Soul Warding is worth it just for the Mana reduction, the cooldown removal is just gravy
- Mental Strength – More intellect = more crit and more mana. More mana means more mana restoration from replenishment, Shadowfiend, and Hymn. Int is king in 3.1
- Improved Flash Heal – This talent when combined with the Glyph of Flash Heal makes this spell our bread and butter.
- Focused Will – Formerly the PVP Stepchild, is now a 3% critical chance increase.That’s 3% more crit than you had before, which allows for different gear itemization. Perhaps introduce some more haste from your holy set?
- Focused Power – Stronger heals is really the reason to take this. Faster Mass Dispel isn’t the selling point.
- Rapture – While not nearly as strong as the prior version, the ability to restore mana/rage/RP/energy to our targets is always a welcomed addition.
- Grace - While the mechanics on this ability is a little weird, and Blue has already stated it might need to be corrected, a buff to healing is still a buff.
- Renewed Hope – Pretty much a raidwide Blessing of Sanctuary: yes please!
- Pain Suppression – Oh $#*(& Button for the tank or overzealous DPS.
- Power Infusion – WTS 20% Haste buff pst. Buffing your high DPS players means the fight is over sooner, just remember it doesn’t stack with Heroism/Bloodlust. Keep an eye on Omen too, you don’t want to waste it if they are threat capped.
- Aspiration - Reduced Cooldowns means your spells are ready sooner, always a winner.
- Borrowed Time – Faster heals when you need them most AND more potent sheilds, a must have.
- Penance - Fast, big heals ftw.
Crit is still a Disc Priest’s friend, however haste will become more important now that your baseline crit will be higher.
Glyph of Flash Heal – a MUST have, no questions, the end.
Glyph of Penance – another MUST for a Disc priest, it brings the cooldown to 6 seconds (with Aspiration). The hard part of this glyph is finding it on your server once 3.1 hits. Pray for lots of scribes in your guild!
Glyph of Power Word: Shield – not a spectacular glyph, but as Disc and considering how often you’ll be casting PW:S, it is really your only other option.
Derevka’s 3.1 Holy Spec – 14/57/0
I’m going to skip a lot of the talent explanations on this spec as some of them are too obvious to require clarification. (Spiritual Healing, Spiritual Guidance, etc…)
- Improved Renew – for the most part a semi-optional talent for deep holy specs pre-3.1, however with Empowered Renew, this is a very strong talent. Glyphed, your renews will rival druid HoTs.
- Holy Reach – With Hymn, COH, and ProH being affected and considering the SIZE of most of the Ulduar boss rooms… a good talent.
- Healing Prayers – Since Prayer of Healing is now targetable, having a 20% mana cost reduction really makes this spell quite potent. I’m banking that this spell will likely see a nerf.
- Surge of Light – 50% chance for a free, instant flash heal? Of course! (PowerAuras is fantastic for managing these procs).
- Holy Concentration – now is a blanket increase to your regen on crit. It makes it a bit easier to manage, since you no longer have to actively change the way you heal when it procs.
- Serendipity - Haste improvements on ProH and GHeal initially didn’t impress me, however on the PTR i found it VERY handy; especially for a targeted ProH.
- Empowered Renew – Very powerful spell, will take most priests a little while to get used to bringing this spell into their arsenal correctly, but it is quite handy.
- Divine Providence – 10% bonus to our AOE heals, and nearly worth it alone for ProM cooldown.
- Guardian Spirit – Win.
Glyph of Circle of Healing – an extra target, smart healed? Um, yes.
Glyph of Flash Heal – efficiency FTW, especially since deciding if GHeal or Flash Heal is needed.
Glyph of Renew – Provided you get into casting Empowered Renew more often, a stronger per tick heal will be very beneficial.
Glyph of Prayer of Healing – If we wind up using this quite a bit more for AOE damage, this glyph will be quite powerful.
We have lots of changes to many of our talents, however, I don’t think there will be a lot of strategic changes to the way we heal. There will, of course, be a little bit of a mana conservation learning curve, but I don’t foresee major changes to the WAY we heal. Disc will still be all about keeping shields up and using Penance on every CD. Holy will still be a high HPS strategy, using Flash Heal and GHeal when big damage comes in (Serendipity will make that even easier).
The biggest changes to strategy will be Holy using Renew/Empowered Renew correctly and Disc using PW:S to restore mana and keep up Renewed Hope.
Here are some Tips for Pre-3.1, so you will be ready to head into Ulduar full steam ahead!
- Stock up on Glyphs and Inks. You’ll need to reglyph your second spec, and prices will increase
- Befriend a Scribe and pray for lucky procs for their Northrend Inscription Research. (read: Penance glyph)
- Stock up on gems if you think with your new spec you’ll need/want to regem. Prices will go up.
- Be ready to need mana potions, with the regen nerf you may be chugging these more often.
- Get your guild ready, strategies, specs, and logistics. (ie. Flame Leviathan, the first Ulduar boss, uses the Vehicle Interface. Your vehicle’s HP is based on your average gear iLvl. Stop sharding stuff off KT!)
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