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4 Piece Tier 10 – A Pleasant Surprise

Ok, I don’t like to admit I was wrong.


But, I think I might have prejudged the Priest Tier 10 4-piece bonus a little bit. Especially when you consider how RNG it is – but on the other hand COH is one of the most powerful spells in our arsenal. Hmm…

“Your Circle of Healing and Penance spells have a 20% chance to cause your next Flash Heal cast within 6 sec to reset the cooldown on your Circle of Healing and Penance spells.”

At first glance my opinion was along the lines of, “So What? COH is only a 6 second cooldown, and I have to cast a Flash Heal in there to reset the cooldown anyway – I don’t want to give up 2pc T9 for something so RNG on an already short CD ability! ” And I think many priests out there would agree with me…

In theory, this all makes logical sense. Why would I trade off a 20% buff to a spell that is doing incredible amounts of healing for a chance to reset a CD when I cast a different spell?

In practice, however, I’ve found that trading the 2pc T9 & T10 for 4pc T10 has been well worth the trade off, especially as holy. With my playstyle and my role in my raids, having the ability to quickly (and in many cases instantly) reset a smart AOE instant heal has proven to be incredibly valuable.

Points To Consider:

20% buff on POM is Mostly Overheal

I noticed, after looking more closely at my logs, that on many of the fights in ICC that constant POM bouncing was doing some great healing; however a good chunk of it was overheal. Losing a 20% T9 bonus to it would gimp the total healing it was doing, but not enough to really break the overheal.

Tier 10 4-Piece Has No Cooldown

This surprised me greatly: Every COH/Penance you cast you have a 20% chance of triggering the set bonus with no cooldown. This means, as Holy, I can cast COH and then immediately cash Flash Heal (and in most raids, I likely have a Surge of Light proc ready) to immediately cast COH again. Breaking it down even further: I just healed 13 targets in only 3 GCDs. My “longest chain” was COH FH COH FH COH FH COH during Phase 3 Putricide – while it is RNG, it certainly pumped out some massive healing.

Now, the trick of maximizing this set bonus is to not miss a chance to reset it. I use a Power Aura’s Notification when I proc the buff “Flash Heal!“. This lets me know I have 6 seconds to reset my COH early. Here is the import code for my Power Aura for this ability. (remember, you may need to edit this to work best for you and your existing Power Auras)

Version:st3.0.0E; gcd:bofalse; b:nu1; anim1:nu6; g:nu1; optunitn:bofalse; ignoremaj:botrue; stacksLower:nu0; target:bofalse; icon:stInterface\Icons\Spell_Holy_BorrowedTime; size:nu0.31999999284744; torsion:nu1; r:nu1; y:nu76; x:nu0; customname:st; groupany:botrue; isAlive:botrue; timerduration:nu0; unitn:st; bufftype:nu1; stacks:nu0; focus:bofalse; raid:bofalse; texture:nu1; alpha:nu0.75; aurastext:st; symetrie:nu0; owntex:botrue; isResting:bofalse; duration:nu0; mine:bofalse; multiids:st; inVehicle:bofalse; speed:nu1.7000000476837; anim2:nu0; stacksOperator:st>=; realaura:nu1; InactiveDueToState:botrue; threshold:nu50; exact:bofalse; textaura:bofalse; sound:nu6; wowtex:bofalse; groupOrSelf:bofalse; customsound:st; combat:nu0; id:nu12; inParty:nu0; HideRequest:bofalse; Active:bofalse; aurastextfont:nu1; buffname:stFlash Heal!; inRaid:nu0; tooltipCheck:st; customtex:bofalse; stance:nu10; spec2:botrue; isSecondary:bofalse; thresholdinvert:bofalse; spec1:botrue; Debug:bofalse; beginSpin:bofalse; Showing:bofalse; UseOldAnimations:bofalse; begin:nu0; off:bofalse; party:bofalse; texmode:nu1; inverse:bofalse; ismounted:bofalse; targetfriend:bofalse; randomcolor:bofalse; finish:nu1

Now, let me be clear: I am not suggesting breaking 2pc T9 for 3pc T10 – even if it is a “stat” upgrade. I suggest only breaking it for 4pc T10- and wear 2pc T10 and T9. I know I personally hate looking like I don’t match… I know the Alliance version of T9 did not match base T10 very well at all!  It could be worse, we could be wearing gear that from another Troll Instance! *shudder*


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Written By: on February 4, 2010
  1. I must say I agree on this one… I already start working toward 3′d item and in maxim 2 weeks will get the last one.

    Last night I did LK in 10 man, and trust me… at some point, I would have beg for another penance that I could use.

    Ddidn’t play as holy yet that encounter but yes, I want the set bonuses and the main thing that made me decide was that PoM will most likely overheal… so Priests!… go go get your Tiers now!

  2. Bati yeah… with Disc its solid too since you get some mean Penance action. However, i’m gonna have to give this set bonus to Holy over disc. Its fantastic during heavy AOE fights which is nearly every ICC fight.

  3. true… after seeying how ICC fights are… ANY “random” proc is great. And… all this because I am thinking first at hard modes. I honestly don’t count the normal ones.

    Bati the Kingslayer :P
    …yy, only in 10 man but was epic :)

  4. Very happy to hear this. Will be going for the 4p after all then. I wasn’t so negative about it but I was sceptical, I guess ;)
    Thanks for sharing your experience

  5. Does the CD refresh for CoH happen on the completion of the FH? This means adding in latency and normal cast time for FH we’re looking at about 3.5 – 4 seconds shaved off the 6 sec CD? That is soooo yummy. I hope I don’t screw up the code import on my power auras. Thanks D!!!

  6. About to snag my 4 piece. I’ll do the write up from the Disc perspective. I have a few posts to finish since Derevka is a tyrannical bastard and makes me actually DO shit around here.

    And as a side note, I’ll repeat Derv: Holy OR disc DON’T break your 2 pc t9.x for 1 piece/3 pc T10 or I will hunt you down & beat you with the stupid stick.

  7. With a 20% chance, does it really often happen that you get your CD reset? It seems that the best choice is still to take the throughput stats of non-tier (or shadow tier) items rather than take the 4piece. Unless you’re getting tokens to upgrade them, it seems like such a small “bonus” that it’s juts not worth it.

  8. @Chris

    I felt the same way at first too, however I wanted to test it out (mainly for the blog)– and I should be getting 1-2 token upgrades this week anyway. It definitely procs a good deal. While 20% seems low, thats 1 out of every 5 times (go go RNG). So with a 6 second cooldown thats once every 30 seconds. Lets even add 10 seconds to that to account for GCD, mid-spell casting, and waiting to make it once every 40 seconds. Thats really nice actually.

    Looking at our World of Logs for my latest Putricide 25 man kill with the 4pc both on 10 and 25 man, my COH effective healing went up 35% over the previous weeks and I proc’d it every 41 seconds – which is even deflated considering the stun downtime, and the minimal need for COH in P1. Lanathel 25 over last weeks kill, up over 32% and a proc every 38 seconds.
    *Proc time was time in combat divided by number of procs*

    So – even without the upgrade to the 264 iLvl I really think its worth it. Give it a spin… I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

  9. Thanks for the extra info (sorry if I made you feel pressure to get into teh maths, which you’d already done in your OP). I’m still really on the fence, but tonight I just wondered what greatness it’d be to have a reset on Penance (and CoH when I was rolling holy in our 25).

    It’d really have helped to keep some people alive during our 25man tonight if I’d had some extra bursts of Penance of CoH. Well, I’ll see what happens in the next week!

  10. I hadn’t noticed before that Ava’s avatar is a red version of Derevka’s avatar. Kind of looks like an angry version of it.. or an evil twin version.. or both.

  11. Nice to see some actual experience from someone who used it rather than what people were expecting. Sounds like a good idea to go with this after all.

  12. I think the bonuses are very nice or entirely worthless all pending on your play-style; one generalized statement is going to fall by the wayside since T10 procs are based solely on FH.

    As holy, I hardly use FH and sparingly use GH. My spec revolves around raid healing and my biggest sources of HPS are (in this order): PoM > Renew > CoH. I’ve noticed greater throughput with this method than replacing Renew with FH, even with serendipity 3/3 for a quick GH/PoH in AE fights (like Rot). The saving grace is that the proc is determined on the CoH instead of the FH. I plan to set up power auras to let off a loud gong crash to make me burn a SoL FH and CoH again if I use the 4pc.

    Sadly, with a 1/5 chance to proc on a 6s CD (as you said) it’s a proc ~30s (assuming no ICD). Also without lag/GCD/Response time taken in, that’s almost looking like 3s knock-off of the regular CD:(1.5CoH/GCD, 1.5FH/GCD, **Extra CoH**). Which brings the question: 1/5 chance to reduce CD by 3s or static 20% increase on PoM… Refer to beginning of post… It’s contextual.

    As Disc – well, better people than me play disc. I’m sure they have more informed.

    As for sets matching, I’m going to get all the pieces of T10 for aesthetic reasons. I’ve been collecting every piece since T4 and while T9 was discouraging, T10 reminds me of T6 just as T8 reminded me of my favorite: T5.

  13. Ok, I have 95 Frosts now, and could buy my 3rd piece of T10, but I just can’t bring myself to do it.

    Every time I go to the vendor or explain how T10 works, it’s just terrible. I’m disc, so maybe that’s why, but I can’t think of how resetting a CD on a spell that already has an 8-second CD (by being forced to use a Fheal) is good enough to break the pure green stats I’m getting with 264s. Maybe after I’ve saved up tokens from 25s it’ll be worth it, but man – Penance is awesome and all, but more often than not a PW:S and a quick Fheal while I wait is good enough. Throw in a PoM and Pain Suppression or a Power Infusion…meh…

    I’ll be back after I get more emblems to blow to just sorta try out the bonus. Right now, SP and crit ftw.

  14. I have read a lot about this debate and I am still fairly undecided on it, I am a disc Priest and the 4 piece is sexy in theory but idk if in practice it will be awesome I think for more a 10man setting where you would be more focused on Tank healing it would be more effective where as for 25man raiding most disc priests are bubble dispensers unless they don’t have pally tank healers and I think it would potentially go to waste depending on your style. Penance Priest and BobTurkey are saying that it isn’t really worth it BUT they are more of a 25man grp and they are both discussing 2 piece SP set and getting the none teir for the others based on stats. I can see how this could be beneficial, especially seeing that if you duel SP your already halfway there and the 2 piece SP is amazing and the stats are more yum yum.

    I am really not sure what way to go, my priest is an alt and she is primarly doing 10man content so it could be more beneficial, it will take me quite awhile to get the frost badges, I think at the moment I will just sit on them till I decide what way to go.

  15. It’s a pleasant surprise for disc as well!

    Finally gave the 4pc a shot my self, with a full clear of ICC10 man. I agree, the back-to-back procs are amazing; but even more, it’s a lot of fun! EHPS isnt terrible either (ranked 3rd on WoL for Linch King using the 4pc).

    I gave it a positive review of it for disc on my blog.

    It’s nice to find your blog, btw!

  16. I’m Disc for the majority of the time, and for the majority of that time, I am a tank healer – disc as a raid healer is highly viable, but I haven’t spent enough time doing that to give an “official” opinion. The LK fight does suggest it’s still worth it – the penance/flash/penance flash combo was hot. I would imagine fights in TOTGC would be too, but we haven’t been back since I acquired the 4pc. I’ll have more data on this play style for my Disc POV post.

    In some of the later ICC fights, and ICC hard modes (10 & 25), the tanks get hit hard & the raid takes a shit ton of damage. The 4 pc set bonus, as derevka mentioned, does proc well more than the math would lead you to believe – it’s not uncommon for strings or 3, 4 or even 5 or more procs on this. It makes me all giggly.

    I’ve found even if there’s a break in heavy damage on the tank at the time, there is always someone in the raid that could use a little penance and DA lovin’, and this is especially nice in ten mans.

    I’m still accumulating the data for a more official post, but as it stands for a tank healer, it’s worth it. I’m going to say it’s worth it for a raid healer as well.

    The two piece is still weak – in theory it sounds good, but after log dissection, it ranks high on overheal. It’s pretty nice on Dreamwalker.

  17. What seems to get lost in every post on different blogs when someone tries to decide wether it’s worth skipping the T9 setbonus for the T10 is that it depends greatly on what ilevel tier sets we are talking about.

    If you run with the normal 25-man T9 (ilevel 245) then the increase in stats from the offset ilevel 264 items outweighs in almost all cases (sanctified T10, crafted gear, badges gear). This would be the case for anyone that didn’t have heroic mode Anub’arak on farm.

    Many higher end raiding priests have 2 pieces of the heroic version T9 (ilevel 258) though and keeping them versus the “Sanctified” upgraded T10 (ilevel 264) i where it gets tricky. The heroic version T9 is strong enough to not fall that much behind while still providing the excellent setbonus, especially on the pieces that have less valuable upgrade options.

    Then again when you eventually get the hands on the heroic version of T10 eventually most of the tier pieces are best in slot anyway and the setbonus comes naturally, but then again… you need to beat the lich king first :D

  18. Good point Blakkeyez. However, I did break my 2pc 258 for a mixed 4pc of 264/251. I do sincerely feel that even though the stats were a bit different, the 4pc for Holy was totally worth it. My effective heal (over the POM bonus) was far more improved. (see earlier comment). I broke 2pc 258 only when I had 4pc T10. Really loving it…

    I do go ‘bwha” when priests say “but I dont use Flash Heal, I use renew”. It makes me wonder what they are doing with their SOL procs. Mmmm raid healing goodness- 3 GCDs with 13 targets healed. yes please. While it is RNG… it makes me really wonder.

    With proper CD management, and/or a Power Aura the increase in your effective healing as holy with COH goes up notably… and when I’ve tank healed as Disc….especially on Heroic ICC10 (this week Heroic ICC25) the tanks get ROCKED… so any additional burst healing on them will be appreciated.

    The only downside Ive found is that 4pc brings your crit up higher, so you’ll need strong other items (or gems) to balance haste where you want it.

  19. Derevka: I do go ‘bwha” when priests say “but I dont use Flash Heal, I use renew”. It makes me wonder what they are doing with their SOL procs.

    I go “hawab” anytime a player isn’t willing to adapt playstyle to what content they are doing or gear they are wearing. Is it really that fun to roll renews nothing will have you try something else for a change? I’ve been playing for long enough to have seen group rotations to conserve mana, priests in demand for their cc abilities, 23/38/0 with improved Divine Spirit, Greater Heal stopcasting on tanks, spirit buffed, spirit nerfed, spirit buffed again, Circle of Healing spam, downranking heals to be able to cast longer, serpendity-hasted prayer of healing, renewspam, discipline as pvp-healers, disipline as tankhealers, discipline as raidhealers… I could write a novel about the changes. I admit it would likely be a not very fancy read but still. One of the reasons I stick to my priest is that it has been in constant evolution. And I love it. I think everyone should try a change every now and then. it will do you good. Going back if it fails only cost a maximum of fifty gold at the trainer.

    Continuing my subject from before. If you stumble here and say to yourself “but hey, what about my beginner ilevel 232 tiers then?”. Would it be worth going for the lowest level T10 over them. There is a lot of badges that need to be collected from heroics to get them. I’m not as certain on this as I haven’t tried them in action in a similarly geared 10-man or anything and I haven’t been forced to compare stats on them.

    The easy answer would be that if you can get into ICC10 to get the badges faster than just by running heroics then you probably already sport some ToC25 normal gear or similar and you are facing another issue to begin with – that the lowest T10 is more often than not downgrades from the normal 25-man T9. It may actually be beneficial to try to get into some 25-man ToC pugs while saving up frost emblems to get the T10 or some other higher level frost emblem gear.

    This is something that is really annoying with the healer priest T10. To maximize your gear you would want to aquire gear from badges that will be kept in your bags until you can upgrade them with dropped tokens. At that point you will then find yourself in demand of crafted gear and other stuff that keeps some of your newly aquired upgraded T10 in your bags until you can get your hands on the tokens that drops inthe heroic version. Now, try to convince that raid leader that you need those tokens because otherwise you won’t be able to upgrade your gear in the heroics later on…

    Back on track, to T9 or to T10 at lower item levels… since the T10 setbonuses won’t do as much for you at the content you are likely doing I’d say go for the 25-man T9 first and save up those frost emblems. If you run with a guild that you can forsee will hand you some tokens to upgrade your T10 pretty soon then feel free to pick the tier pieces otherwise go straight for the itemlevel 264 emblem gear.

    Also do yourself a favor and just skip over the lowest level T9 unless you already have them because they aren’t really worth spending your hard earned badges on anymore.

    I’m ranting about gear again so I will leave it there… :D

  20. Great points Blakkeyez. God I love when blog post comments turn into great discussion! Its what keeps me doing this! Love it.

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