We finally saw a beta build that had some good news for the Holy Priests out there! The Beta Realms had Build 12759 drop late last night; we have lots of exciting abilities. MMO-Champion and Wowhead haven’t had a chance to update their talent builds yet; but I am sure they will shortly! Disc hasn’t had a major pass yet (so stay tuned), but holy got two pretty exciting previews.

The first change I noticed was the change  to the Holy Tree Specialization Spell. No longer is it Desperate Prayer (which has since been placed back in the Talent Tree for 1 point), they currently have a spell that is Not Yet Implemented (NYI) called “Sanctuary”.

What’s this?!?! Is this the spell that Holy Paladins have always wanted their Consecrate to be? I think it is! Is that a 90% AOE Aggro drop? Yes, yes it is! Huzzah!!!!!

Breaks squeel!

Hold one one second there, cowboy… it is not yet implemented, so there is no way to test it (or see if it has a pimpin’ animation!). one top of that, overnight Ghostcrawler had this to say: “We don’t have a new level 10 Holy ability in this build (it’s not Sanctuary) “. (source)  (it has been hotfixed/removed from spellbooks, but still is shown on the Talent Tree window.)

Now, does that mean we’ll never see Sanctuary? No… however, it might be in a different form. Personally, I now see this as a great reason to cast Life Grip. I can pull a high aggro target to your Sanctuary to save them from pulling aggro and wiping the raid. That being said, in it’s current form it is VERY powerful from a Threat Management perspective; however, the range is a bit large– as you’d need to be far from a tank to make this not exceptionally dangerous. If we see this in a build again, I would imagine a reduced range/radius will be implemented.

It is no secret, I have been one of the loudest opponents to the previous incarnation of Chakra. You can see that in my previous post here and in the many Priest/Healer Forums I visit. This new version of Chakra is pretty solid! It now is a self cast buff that is consumed by either Heal, Renew, Prayer of Healing, or Smite– what spell you consume it with determines the Chakra state you enter! On a very generous (and I bet will change) 1 Minute Cooldown! This solution answers the concern that many priests had regarding the “Spam Factor” that the fact that the old incarnation of Chakra forced you to cast 3 of the same spell in a row prior to entering Chakra and was counter-intuitive to Blizzards new mantra of “no spamming”.

More importantly, they’ve added a new talent called State of Mind which allows you to extend your Chakra state by an additional 4 seconds when you cast the spell that is associated with your Chakra. This answers one of the other concerns with the old Chakra, which was the fact that it limited your ability to weave other spells into your rotation should you need to extend Chakra’s duration. With State of Mind, you can cast other spells and then extend your Chakra state using State of Mind.

Here is a video of the new version of Chakra, its animation as well as how State of Mind works. (Click here for the Full HD version)

In addition to these changes, Inspiration is now a 2 point talent as well as Improved Healing. This does remove some of the bloat out of the top tiers of the tree… something that really was needed.

All in all, I am really excited about the changes to the Holy Tree this pass-through. There are still a few things that need work (ahem, Lolwell)– and Disc is due for its look. If Blue can implement Sanctuary without it being as overpowered as it currently sounds, it will be a great cooldown in our arsenal!

All of the information in this post is based off of Beta Build 12759 and, of course, is subject to change.