I’ve been having a lot of trouble focusing my thoughts for this post. It seems like there is just so much to talk about in terms of healing in regards to Cata.
The big, main thing that healers have had to unlearn is that people don’t have to be full health. If someone is sitting at 50% HP… they are OK unless they are stupid. Then no amount of healing can help them.
Healers have more power now than ever before because it is up to us to help retrain all the less intelligent classes on how to play the game. I’ll talk more about that later though.
I want to focus on healing as a Holy priest and the things I’ve been coming across (especially in talent choices and spell usage).
How I heal: Whether it is a dungeon or a raid I’m always starting off with renew and then I switch into chakra: serenity (heal). Then I spam regular old heal on the tank as he takes damage which refreshes renew. If someone else takes damage I usually just drop renew on them and move along. When someone begins to dip faster than renew is catching them up I will toss them holy word: sanctuary. If the boss doesn’t really have AEs then I’ll use the holy word in place of a heal (because its much cheaper). If that doesn’t catch the person up then bam! greater heal (or heaven forbid, flash if its REALLY vital).
I also try to keep prayer of mending on cool down by constantly just casting it on the tank. Another thing I do is use COH on cooldown.
1. It’s unlikely everyone is top’d off unless you are on trash.
2. Crits will cause inspiration which can always be helpful (yes I know its physical only).
Here is my talent and glyph choices.
Surge of Light: This used to be amazing and it has been nerf’d considerably but not so much that you won’t get some definite benefit out of it. Flash Heal costs almost 6k mana so if you are spamming heal like I do a lot then a 6% proc for 6k mana seems pretty good. The changes in how people are constantly sitting without full life leaves you with a plethora of places to put your power.
Desperate Prayer: I’ve always been a huge advocate of this spell but with a 100k+ health pool… this ability is extremely useless. The heal isn’t enough to save you from a mob hit or recover from an AE. Think of it as an instant cast bandage.
Lightwell (+ glyph): Remember when this was called Lawlwell? It still kind of is, teaching people to use it can be frustrating and difficult. It gets easier in a raid group. In heroics I’ve told every non tank on this boss fight your only healing is lightwell it heals for 18k (with my current stats) in 6 seconds. I watch for those to get the buff and I’ll toss them a heal if needed but those that aren’t… fuck ‘em.
Just some simple math, a lawlwell with 10 charges (+5 from glyph) at 18k a pop is 270,000 healing. That seems pretty mana efficient for one talent.
Rapid Renewal: The reduction in GCD on this spell is really clutch, especially if you drop it like its a hot (haha). I haven’t seen a holy priest not using renew so I’m not sure why you’d skip this.
Spirit of Redemption: I don’t have this talent anymore but there are several times on boss fights I’ve gotten myself killed so I could start healing people again because I was so oom and hope and fiend and pot were all down. An iffy call but I think in a raiding situation there are better places I can put my point.
Body and Soul: This talent used to be my
lifegrip leap of faith. It could help someone outrun Mimiron’s beam of death or help someone get across a fire faster or help me get to my tank more quickly but now that I have lifegrip I find myself not using it nearly as much. I still have it because I’m bound to find a use for it other than running to places faster (which I love!) but it’s likely to get cut from my spec very soon.
Guardian Spirit: I don’t have it glyph’d currently but I use this spell all the time now. I use it mainly when I’m OOM of course and it gives me just enough time to regen the mana for a larger heal. I should probably macro it to let the tank know that I’m literally wanting him to die but I get a kick out of seeing them panic.
The next talents aren’t in the holy tree but I’m gonna talk about several talents in relation to each other so I wanted to get these out of the way.
Mental Agility: The current state of our mana pools makes this an absolutely mandatory talent.
Veiled Shadows: Read mental agility. Two shadowfiends > 1 in a fight.
Now, you have several talents that are optional in that it all comes down to player preference.
Test of Faith: I only have 1 point in this because I figured it was more useful at 1 pt than spirit of redemption (that is questionable of course). I think a lot of people hover around the 60% mark but, below half health makes most of us healers nervous. When I get to raiding more this might turn into something I want 3 of so I’ll revisit that when it happens.
At this point you will have 5 talent points to spend. Your options are…
1. Putting 2 more points into Test of the Faith to finish it out (if you have only 1 pt in it like I do).
2. Putting 3 points into Darkness which will give you a quick 3% haste. Haste is always good and allows you to spit out more mana efficient heals.
3. Putting 3 points into Twin Disciplines which gives a flat percentage increase to healing. Bigger heals good m’kay.
Personally I’ve opt’d for Twin Disciplines x3 and Darkness x2. This gives me the healing bonus and a bit of haste. If I decided to go back and pickup Test of Faith I’d just take the two points from Darkness to finish it out.
My raiding spec will most likely end-up moving towards this when I get a better feel for the damage that is going around.
And that’s where I’m at currently.