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A Priest’s Guide to Chakra Healing

With the number of changes to Chakra , I felt it was time to revisit Chakra after this last pass of changes. Chakra states will be a key and very important part of the Holy Priest healing toolbox. Keeping that in mind, we’ll need to be sure we know how these states operate and how we will likely be using them. If you have been following the blue posts you’ve already seen that Chakra: Renew has been removed from the game (on beta)– I have to admit, when I first saw this, I scowled. However, after some thinking… it makes sense.

We need to remember that the main purpose of Chakra is to make us feel “in the zone” and maximizing our abilities for that task. A Renew state really didn’t provide much aside from making one spell better– it didn’t really augment a “healing role”. (ie. Tank Healing or Raid Healing)Don’t worry- we now have Rapid Renewal which will reduce our GCD on Renew, which will help us blanket the raid easier on fights that will demand it.  It also will provide higher teir Holy Tree talents to help us get deeper in the tree without being “forced” to pick up Lightwell, Desperate Prayer, or Spirit of Redemption. On top of that the bonus to Renew has been added to our AOE Healing Chakra, so we will still continue to have that available.

You may have also noticed that the naming convention of Chakra has changed. We will have Chakra: Serenity (activated by Heal) and Chakra: Sanctuary (activated by POH or POM). Simply put, we have two Chakra states: a Direct Healing/Tank Healing State (Chakra: Serenity) and a AOE/Raid Healing State (Chakra: Sanctuary). Which, in hindsight, makes a lot more sense than having a 3rd option for just Renew.  In 25-man content, Renew really was part of your raid healing arsenal. (Also, note that Renew gains a bonus while in your Raid Healing state.) It didn’t make sense to NOT have renew part of Chakra: Sanctuary.

Chakra: Serenity
This state now bonuses all your direct heals with an additional 10% crit buff. In addition, your direct heals will refresh the duration of your Renew. This is clearly our tank healing state. Holy Word: Serenity will also become available to you if you are specced properly. However, I do see Serenity being used as an additional/instant heal more than a Crit Buff mechanic — the critical heal bonus is just icing on the cake in the scenarios in which you need an instant heal NOW and then big heals to get your tank back up. That being said, early in Cata, when our Crit will be very low- we can use this mechanic to keep Inspiration up on our tanks.

Chakra: Sanctuary
This is your AOE healing state, and when activated buffs your AOE heals by 15% and reduces your Circle of Healing cooldown by 2 seconds. I am excited that it is now activated, and extended by, casting either Prayer of Healing or Prayer of Mending. Since POM is instant, it will allow us to cast Sanctuary a lot quicker in situations where we need to activate this Chakra state and pump out the big numbers.

The cooldown on all of our Revelations have been changed. Serenity’s cooldown is baseline 15 seconds and talented to 10.5 seconds, while Sanctuary is baseline 40 seconds and talented to 28 seconds. Serenity is a nice additional spell to have in your tank healing toolbox, and is implemented well.  I think Sanctuary’s cooldown is a bit too long (even considering the Circle will last 18 seconds) I’d like to see it talented down to a 20 second cooldown.

Additionally, Holy Word: Chastise/ Serenity/ Sanctuary all have a dynamically changing spell icon making it a bit easier to tell which spell you have available to you.

Changing Stances
Remember Chakra on Beta has no mana cost and is on a 30 second cooldown. This will enable us to have a good deal of “on the fly” flexibility. This is really done in one of two ways.

1. Pre-emptive Stance Changing – This method of Chakra State changing, requires you to simply know the fight in advance and be ready to swap stances prior to it being needed. If you know the boss encounter, you might know that you’ll need to step up your raid healing, because the boss is about to do Superdeluxe Raid Damage Ability X. In the moments before, you can typically prepare for the incoming raid damage and swap Chakra states.

2. Reactive Stance Changing – Changing your state as a result of something happening and you need to react and you need to switch stances. (eg. Big unexpected raid damage, or additional tank healing needed). State of Mind plays a huge role in Reactive Stance Changing, because it allows you to maintain your initial Chakra state but also allows you to free up your Chakra cooldown. Having the cooldown available will enable you to swap to the state you need to be in immediately, without having to wait for the CD to come back up.

For example, you may be assigned to raid healing and you have been able to extend your Sanctuary state via POH’s and POMs… suddenly, one of your MT healers DC’s or dies. Since you’ve been able to extend Chakra: Sanctuary, your Chakra CD is up and you can swap to tank healing by switching to Chakra: Serenity.

To be fair, Chakra does have a learning curve and I think many priests (myself included) will need some time to fully be comfortable with it. I still have reservations about the fact that Chakra still has a timer– managing that timer is a bit irritating since Priests already have a lot of procs and CD’s to keep our eyes on.

At its core, Chakra is a great way for Holy Priests to retain a great deal of flexibility, be able to supplement our heals with some added oomph, and we also gain access to new spells— on demand!

Written By: on October 30, 2010
  1. Awesome and timely! I have to admit, I’ve never used any of the Chakra states (beyond initial testing and playing with them) other than the AOE one. Mostly because I haven’t really been raiding, and so I’ve fallen into the “5-mans = disc” mentality (which changes when we get access to a useable Heal again… holy, my mana just goes byebye way too quickly). But I did fill in with a 10-man ICC earlier this week and watching people uncertain if they were supposed to stand in the glowing gold shit or run out was… amusing.

  2. *phew* you scared me when you said they had removed Chakra: Renew in the game already. I was like “did they implement that build and I didn’t notice?!?”. My reader doesn’t show your tags, but now I know you mean on the Beta servers ^^ We probably have to wait a couple of weeks before this goes live. And I’m happy they’re removing Chakra: Renew, it was too punishing to be in any other stance and that felt boring

    1. I added a comment about beta— though the link and the tag should have made that obvious.

      1. Yeah they did, but unfortunately they don’t show in Google-reader :/

  3. Interesting post, Derevka! We raid 10s with me (holy), a tree, and a paladin, so I haven’t used chakra for the Heal state much. Raid healing chakra has been giving me much better HPM on most fights, since Heal is such a slow, clunky-feeling spell still.

  4. I definitely agree on the whole Renew state being removed, and I’m okay with that. Personally, I won’t be inclined to pick up Rapid Renewal, simply due to the number of druids we have in our guild. It just seems like overkill more than anything, and generally I’m one of those “Renew the tanks, spot heal with Renew” type people. All in all, for those who DO like to use Renew a lot, I think it will definitely be a good thing to pick up that talent – and as you said, without being forced to take Lightwell, Desperate Prayer or Spirit of Redemption (and possibly Body and Soul, in some cases).

    Overall, the Chakra changes please me greatly. I think you’re definitely right on the learning curve, though, but as with just about everything else, it may end up being one of those things that “weeds out” bad players who refuse to learn. The sad thing about it, though, is that it will probably also alienate a lot of people who DO want to learn how to heal better, and aren’t really given a good enough opportunity to do so.

  5. Good morning, Derevka!

    Just a heads up – I think you meant to say “It also will provide higher tier Holy Tree talents to help us get deeper in the tree without being “forced” to pick up Lightwell, Desperate Prayer, or Spirit of Redemption.”

    I am happy with the changes, so far, but I do feel that the learning curve is becoming smaller and smaller. Meaning that what could have been an interestingly complicated mechanic that kept our attention would have really required some finesse from us is becoming more “dumbed down” to the point where it could be facerolled again and we could find ourselves in the very niche that Blizzard wanted us to avoid being in.

    I agree with Dawn Moore’s post this morning – I liked it when it was complicated and sort of difficult and intricate. I still like it now, but I do have those fears of it becoming too simple and priests willing lockingly themselves into that niche… and then wondering why people don’t ask them to do anything outside of it.

    Love the post, by the way!


  6. I don’t know what I would do without your site, thanks so much! I am LOVING the power aura you posted for Evangelism.

  7. The renew chakra did feel a bit clunky, as I never felt the need to use it. The fact that “Rapid Renewal” is a passive is nice treat though.

    Furthermore, the addition of Charka: Prayer of Mending also makes the overall AOE chakra reliable as 1. It allows us to continue the chakra state without too much mana upkeep from PoH and 2. Favours the moving style aoe healing I prefer.

    As a priest I always enjoyed the fact, that 2/3 of my primary aoe healing spells I could cast on the move, and with the reduced cd on CoH this compliments this healing style.

  8. It would be nice to know how to enter the different Chakra states. In addition your example happened to me on Rotface I was assigned Raid. Disc Priest dropped Pally healer was running from green poop. I did everything I could to keep tank up. I don’t have the greatest gear but I did the best I could and I still feel bad that I let everyone down. Thank-you for your help.

    The Wayward Priest

  9. It would be nice to know how to enter the different Chakra states. In addition your example happened to me on Rotface I was assigned Raid. Disc Priest dropped Pally healer was running from green poop. I did everything I could to keep tank up. Thank-you for your help.

    The Wayward Priest

  10. It would be nice to know how to enter the different Chakra states. In addition your example happened to me on Rotface I was assigned Raid. Disc Priest dropped Pally healer was running from green poop. I did everything I could to keep tank up. Thank-you for your help.
    The Wayward Priest

  11. You just use, Chakra, then heal flash heal, binding heal, the single targets for serenity, and for sanctuary you use Poh or poM,

    Frankly i prefer serenity, for the movement ability, i mostly tank heal with renew and serenity’s low mana instant heal

  12. Everything is very open with a clear clarification of the
    issues. It was definitely informative. Your site is useful.

    Many thanks for sharing!

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