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3.1 Priest Specs – Redux

3.1 has been out for a while and now that we’ve all had a good feel for our specs its time to re-evaluate what we’ve been using.

In my previous post, I alluded to two different healing specs: One Holy and One Disc. I’ve found my Disc spec to be exactly what I expected it to be, and its what I use now as Disc, however my Holy spec in that post has notably changed. I have been raiding mainly as Holy lately, and have tweaked my Holy build considerably since 3.1 launch.

Derevka’s Holy Spec 2.014/57/0
This spec has a lot of the standards that you would normally see in a PVE raiding spec (Spirit of Redemption, Spiritual Healing, Empowered Renew), but you probably noticed right off the bat that there are a few things that don’t smack of a pre-3.1 spec.

Notice I didn’t put a single point into Divine Fury. Most traditional holy specs have this spec with at least 3 points, if not capped off at 5/5. However, ask yourself: “When was the last time you reliably cast Greater Heal?” Perhaps every so often, but not all that often, why sink 5 points into a talent that you aren’t going to benefit from with any regularity?

Spell Warding, wait, isn’t that a PVP Talent? At first glance yes, yes it is. However remember that Ulduar has a lot of raidwide magic damage. (Hodir, Mimiron Phase 2, Auriaya). Survivability for the win.

Normally I would skip Healing Focus, however for fights that have a lot of raidwide damage that you don’t want to get pushed back on its a life saver. (i.e. Phase 2 Mimiron when you’re spamming Prayer of Healing).

Improved Healing has zero points in it. Remember that you aren’t casting a lot of Gheals so you can move these points elsewhere as well. Yes you will take a hit to your Hymn, and even post 3.1.2 nerf (pending), 3 points for a 10% boost on a 10 minute cooldown spell is quite pricey!

Serendipity and Test of Faith are two talents I find myself at odds with. I kept moving points around going 2/3 in each, but ultimately gave Serendipity 1 point and ToF 3. First, Serendipity, now who doesn’t like a hasted Prayer of Healing! I know I love it, but i found myself predicting damage and casting prayer pre-emptively (thus landing shortly after the aoe damage), wasting the Haste buff. 1 point here seems plenty and is just a nice little “bonus” after spamming flash heal.

Test of Faith is a very passive, but powerful talent. You don’t notice this talent at work. It simply makes your heals hit harder when your target needs them most. I want to repeat that, it makes your heals heal for MORE, when your target is under 50% HP. What’s not to love!?

Another option, mentioned to me by a friend on my server (/wave Ava), is to move some points into Body and Soul. (I’d suggest pulling 2 points out of Divine Providence, and getting 2/2 B&S). This talent can be very handy for fights where mobility is key. (Running out of range during Mimiron, or running a Guardian to Sara for P1 Yogg). A quick trigger finger on PW:S with this talent can be a life saver.

Now, lets move onto Glyphs…

Glyph of Flash Heal – Quite handy since it reduces mana cost of a spell that I cast quite often. (though I am still not having mana issues, so I might swap this out for another- renew maybe)

Glyph of Circle of Healing – a must have for a deep holy spec, it makes the spell that much tastier!

While, yes, I have been using Prayer of Healing a lot more lately, I didn’t find the glyph all that handy and mainly Overhealed. One glyph that I have been using a lot lately, and it surprised me, was the Glyph of Guardian Spirit. The first couple of raids with the glyph I had to break myself out of the habit of ‘saving’ GS. With this glyph you can use the spell a lot more often, and use it for purely the healing bonus to the tank. If its not used up, great! You only have a 60 second cooldown. (Mimiron Phase 1, this has been quite helpful in keeping the tank alive, and still having it available for even an additional Plasma Blast or as a hail mary in Phase 2).

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3.1 Priest Specs – What are You Doing?
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Written By: on May 12, 2009
  1. I’m inclined to taking all the goodies for GH because often in 10man, I find myself doubling as a MT healer. Though I could easily swap to Disc for MT healing, I still like having a higher SP for those instant raid heals etc on AoE damage fights.

    About Serendipity, I realised your point early when I test-runned my spec in HoL after 3.1 hit. Healing Loken, I landed PoH early twice with the 3 stack Serendipity. =( Just took some practise and a closer look at the cast times to re-adjust all that.

    I also made it a point henceforth to have SCT display my Serendipity stacks right in the middle of my screen to make life easier. After that, I used Loatheb as practise a couple of runs and quickly got used to what PoH felt like with 0,1,2 or 3 stacks.

  2. My Holy build is this: http://www.wowhead.com/?talent#bVcbuZbEhcbMqiu0ezAo:0mNzcV

    Much as I love the idea of Renew I can’t justify using a global cooldown on it under most circumstances, so I dropped all the (6) renew talent points.

    Other than 3/3 Serendipity AND 3/3 Test of Faith its otherwise similar to yours. i.e. Spell Warding, less Divine Fury, no Improved Healing.

    I’m basically healing with just FH, PoM, CoH and PoH. FH spamming is dealing with MT healing just fine if needed.

  3. Bob, I have to admit I’m a little surprised. Perhaps it’s because I’ve become addicted to renew and its become anywhere from 10-15% of my effective healing with ~13% overheal. It could be partially due to the fact that we are only running one resto druid, so the more hots the better!

  4. found this blog through your comment over at Matticus’ blog– I have to comment that you should think about rethinking skipping Body and Soul– it’s a really handy talnet for certain fights in Ulduar where moving out of stuff is vital. Also, Serendipity is hot stuff for hasted heals.

    Personally I drop the holy reach, 0/2 and less points in Empowered Healing, since my g-heals are over heals mostly anyhow.

  5. I actually did suggest Body and Soul as an alternate spec (towards the bottom), however most of my Tanks are pretty quick… most of them.;)

  6. Zomg I get a shout out!

    You can see my "main" holy spec here. It's pretty much what I said waaay back on the last blog discussion – told you that you would like warding!

    http://www.wowarmory.com/character-talents.xml?r=Bloodhoof&cn=Avalonna&gn=Dark+Nemesis

    I was also at odds before with the ToF trade off, but Council Hard mode and Freya +2 and up pretty much sealed the deal to keep 3/3 serendipity. Even with my crap haste rating (thank you Ulduar gear sigh), keeping that proced gives me a 1.6 PoH. I can get 2/3 ToF, but I need to cut In Focus and Des prayer, which I really dont need any more with smart play.

    I am also enjoying the glyphed Renew…I only use it on average of 9-10% of overall healing, but its not uncommon for me to hit with that inital heal for 3k.

    I dropped my Flash heal glyph. With my crit, it's almost impossible for me not to have a SoL proc, and it allowed me to have the renew glyph, and the PoH and CoH glyph are just too damn hot for holy.

    My second spec was disc for the weekend, but for raiding I use what I call the Body & soul bitch spec http://talent.mmo-champion.com/?priest=0503203030000000000000000000235500032002152530025301231000000000000000000000000000&glyph=010719020306&version=9757 You HAVE to remember to take the Imp PW:S – otherwise your Disc priests can override your shield and negates the whole purpose of this spec. I yank my renew glyph & talents and use the GS glyph here….I've found this is nice for some hard modes with high mobility, or I suppose things like Gen if your tanks are having kiting issues. I don't feel its worth working body & soul into a main raiding spec, especially if you run a regular disc priest like we do.

    -Ava

  7. Hey Derevka. Some nice post you have here on your site. Regarding holy specs I keep seeing specs with 2/2 in Healing Focus, but I cant seem to find any explenation why. Maybe you can help me there. I havent noticed pushbacks being a problem while raidhealing, on the otherhand I mostly dont have time or is too stressed to watch my castbar. Is there anyway I can track the pushback sufferede e.g. in a wws-log?

  8. WWS wont track pushback. However, 2/2 focus is really nice especially with hard modes when there is tons of damage going out and you can't be delayed by your own damage.

    ie. Firefighter for Mimiron. (but they removed the pushback from the Pulse Cannon in a hotfix a few weeks ago)

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