Holy Cata Healing

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.

Two reasons:
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).

Now, Talents.
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.

Circle of Healing (+ glyph):  Not as effective as it was with the huge jump in health pools it still does a lot of healing (especially as our mastery gets bigger) and I’m happy to keep this lost gem.

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.

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Body and Soul

I like to flip flop spec a lot, it keeps things interesting.  I enjoyed being disc but the reality is the sheer raw healing power needed for raid healing just wasn’t possible as discipline, especially when you are only running 5 healers in your raid group.

I noticed when I picked holy back up that there are quite a few end talents that are… optional compared to discipline but that is for another post.  One of the talents I picked up was Body and Soul.

Body and Soul (2/2) – When you cast Power Word: Shield, you increase the target’s movement speed by 60% for 4 sec, and you have a 100% chance when you cast Abolish Disease on yourself to also cleanse 1 poison effect in addition to diseases.

The main reason I picked it up was because I wanted the option to cure a poison effect off myself if I needed to.  I thought hey, that would be neat to help self cleanse a bit and so far… I haven’t used that part of the talent at all.

I have however been using the shit out of the movement speed increase.  I never thought it would be remotely useful… BUT IT IS!

On Rotface we cure the disease debuff because it is just flat out easier to heal someone when they don’t have it on them.  Shield them first so they get the haste increase and follow up with a disease cure for a slime that is at its destination pretty quickly.

I’m just flat out amazed at how useful this little talent is.  Things you never thought of before start creeping into your mind.  Does one of your tanks charge into battle putting himself OOR to healers all the time?  PW:S yourself to catch up!

Needing to run away from that blood beast?  SHIELD!

Spore not moving fast enough? SHIELD!

Lana’thel’s beamed peeps not getting together fast enough? SHIELD!

Must I go on?

Blizzard had mentioned they are wanting to do away with talents in Cataclysm that just give static bonuses (read: +X% to something) and replace them with fun talents, such as body and soul.  If Blizzard can continue to maintain the original function of the spell while increasing its usefulness, then the talent trees will be outright amazing (read: nerf city after Cataclysm release).

Someone dieing in a fire?  SHIELD!

Oh I love this game.

Anyone else have some awesome uses for run speed bubbles?

Gear for Two Jobs

I remember being so happy when dual specilizations where announced.  I thought, now I can heal for everything and when I’m solo’ing I can switch to shadow pwn.  And that’s how it was for quite awhile.

Then the summer came along and started eating my healers.  I suddenly found myself without a variety of healers and having lots of single target disc priests…. I never thought I’d see the day when disc was so popular.  Don’t get me wrong, disc healers are okay at raid healing but they just don’t cut it if thats all you have.  A resto druid, holy priest, or a resto shaman will easily compliment a disc priest and get the job done.  But we didn’t have that.

I decided I’d drop my silly shadow spec (*cry*) and pickup holy as an off spec.  The last time I was really holy was preCOH nerf, how much could it have changed?!

A lot.

The changes to renew are pretty awesome, I found myself putting it on the same hotkey that I used for shielding as disc.  They filled about the same roll for what I needed done.  COH was bound to the penance key so I was hitting it on cooldown.

I don’t really like holy, it doesn’t feel as comfortable (or forgiving) as disc but it isn’t bad.  The problem though is that the gear is so significantly different.  I find myself going OOM far faster as holy than as disc, simply because my spirit isn’t where it should be.

I picked up the 100 spirit trinket from Ulduar 10 and it helps quite a bit (especially with the reduced mana cost).  I’m considering turning in my triumph badges for t9 and socketing it with purified dreadstones (spell power / spirit) gems.  /shrug

My disc gear would probably translate a little better as well if I switched it to spell power gems instead of my intellect heavy stuff.  I don’t really want to though.  Holy is kind of like the dark side to me, I don’t want to go to far or I might not come back!

Another weird thing I’ve noticed with holy is that the meters certainly say I’m healing for a fuckton… but I don’t feel like I am.  I think its simply because of the way COH works with its lots of healing spread out so you don’t see its effect as much.  And things like renew getting a few ticks in (my renew was ticking for like 2500 in a raid… thats insane!) which adds up quite a bit.  Peeps are living better now though, so it must be working.

/shrug

Have a great Sunday everyone!

Burnout = Change

I’ve started several drafts, some of them being the same and quickly abandoned them.  I’m fighting a major case of burnout with WoW at the moment.  My main form of entertainment, raiding, is on farm.  Our recent conquering of Sartharion +3 has left us with nothing but achievements to work on.

I hate achievements.

Luckily for me we’ve decided not to waste time trying to do them now.  No one wants to spend 4hrs in Naxx25 trying to get achievements when we could full clear it in under 3.  Sydera at World of Matticus sums it up much better in this post.

This has left me with a ‘what to do’ feeling.  I’ve scoured the sites looking at 3.1 information, mainly loot and how pretty it looks.  I’ve read up on some of the bosses trying to get a feel for them and even watched a few of the live streams, which is pretty awesome to watch.

I’ve also been heavily contemplating going back to Holy.  I enjoyed Discipline, it was fun, but I like healing the raid.  Holy does that far more efficiently than Disicipline does now and my first love, Renew, is getting an amazing talent upgrade  (Empowered Renew 3/3: Your Renew spells gain an additional 15% of your bonus healing effects, and your Renew spell will instantly heal the target for 15% of the total periodic effect).  That’s pretty sweet.

I have an older copy of my toon on the test server (he’s missing some of my most recent upgrades) and logged him in to check out the possibilities of going Holy again.  The changes in the way each spec works is a great time to rethink my priorities, which is raid healing and to focus my spec more on that.

MMO-Champion.com has an update to talent calculator HERE that allows you to see the changes of 3.1.  Using that talent calculator I’ve come up with this rough Holy spec.  It’s untested and will require some testing tweeks but that will happen when 3.1 rolls out.  Some of the reasons I chose certain things over others…..

Soul Warding > Guardian Spirit:  It took awhile, but I got used to using Pain Suppression on tanks as an oh shit button.  I can easily see Guardian Spirit replacing that, but I’m not tank healing anymore.  I’m raid healing.  Being able to spam PW:S, also at a 30% reduced mana cost, will be extremely helpful I think.  Much more helpful than being able to save someone roughly every 3 minutes.

Blessed Resilience(BR) 3/3 instead of Divine Providence(DP) 5/5 (4/5 atm):  Blessed Resilience used to be a PvP talent that used to reduce your ability to get crit, it now also increases your healing by 1% per point.  Divine Providence increases healing of POH, POM, COH, Binding, Holy Nova, and Divine Hymn by 2%.  Its a tough call whether to have 1% to all my spells or 2% to specific spells.  I’ll have to review my WWS post 3.1 to see if I should be switching that 1 point, but for now I think the increase to Greater Heal and Renew is worth it.

Blessed Resilience > Surge of Light(SoL)?:  I struggled with this one.  COH almost guarantees an SoL proc (or it used to, haven’t had these talents in awhile).  While I would need an addon so that I could pay attention to my SoL proc its a free instant Flash Heal that could be worth it.  I think this choice is going to effected a lot by what my main heals turn out to be.  If I endup moving 1 point out of BR then it is likely I will drop it and pickup SoL.

A big change to the Holy tree is how Holy Concentration works.  Holy Concentration now increases your mana regen from spirit by 50% for 8 seconds after critically healing with a Flash, G.Heal, Binding, or Renew.  Even with the nerfs to spirit mana regen I expect this talent to significantly outshine the mana return that Discipline is getting.

Another interesting talent is Body & Soul 2/2, when you PW:S someone their movement speed increases by 60% for 4 seconds and when you cast Abolish Disease on yourself it has a 100% chance to also cure a poison effect.  An awesome PvP talent change, just in a spot I would consider horrible.  It is deep in the Holy tree and we all know that if you are PvP’ing, you are Discipline.  Granted, I don’t PvP much but I don’t think Holy has what it takes to work in an Arena setting.

I’ve rambled enough today, again sorry for my delays in postings to those who are still sticking around to read me =)

3.0.8 Live

And Ghostcrawler said let there be a 6 second cooldown on circle of healing.

And there was.

In all reality its not as big game changing omg the world is ending as people thought it was.  I did Naxx25 tonight on my resto shaman and was pleasantly suprised when I found I had something to do.  On to the important stuff though!

  • Abolish Disease and Cure Disease can now be cast while in Shadowform.
  • Holy: Circle of Healing now has a 6 second cooldown.
  • Levitate is now castable on others.
  • Mana Burn: Now burns a percentage of maximum mana.
  • Shadow
    • Shadowform: You can now shift into Shadowform while mounted or sitting.
    • Vampiric Embrace- Mana cost of this spell has been removed.
  • Dispersion: This ability can no longer be cast while affected by Cyclone; doing so consumed the cooldown to no effect.
  • Guardian Spirit: It is no longer possible for simultaneous killing blows to trigger the heal from this ability multiple times.
  • Improved Holy Concentration: The tooltip has been rewritten to indicate that this talent reduces cast time rather than providing haste.
  • Mind Flay: Fixed a bug with targeting where you would not deal damage if not facing the target while channeling. Also corrected an issue where the damage from this ability was slightly delayed.
  • Prayer of Mending: Will now only benefit from the healing talents of the priest who cast the original spell.
  • Rapture: This talent will now correctly return mana for Power Word: Shield based on the caster’s mana poll instead of the target’s mana pool.
  • Shadow Weaving: Shadow Word: Death: Will now only apply one copy of this buff per cast.
  • Shadow Word: Pain now will gain the correct damage modifiers for the creature type of the target.
  • Surge of Light: Prayer of Mending will no longer sometimes cause Surge of Light to trigger on Priests who do not have that talent.
  • Twisted Faith: This talent will no longer sometimes cause Shadow Word: Pain to fail due to a more powerful spell being in effect.

Glyph Changes:

  • Glyph of Spirit Redemption – Increases the duration of Spirit of Redemption by 6 seconds. (Old – All heals cast while Spirit of Redemption is active have a 20% chance to increase the remaining duration of Spirit of Redemption by 4sec.
  • Glyph of Dispel Magic — Your Dispel Magic spell also heals your target for 3% of maximum health. (Down from 6%)
  • Glyph of Mind Flay — Increases the range of your Mind Flay spell by 10 yards, but it only reduces the target’s movement speed by 10%. (Old – No longer reduced target’s movement speed)

A lot of shit in there that I don’t really care about… the shadow priest changes, don’t care.  Its fun for solo’ing but raiding it kinna blows chunks (but that doesn’t mean I don’t love my shadow priests friends)!  Things I want to hit on though…

  1. Glyph of Spirit of Redemption change was a suprise from my point of view.  One of my guildies swore by it though and I do remember her turning into a ghost and staying that way for quite awhile.  I had imagined it being quite overpowered with the ability to just spam circles.  I wish I had a chance to try it out before the nerf, it must have been OP.
  2. Rapture fix… hawt dam.  On Patchwerk this past weekend I regen’d 32,000 mana from rapture alone.  Thats F’ing hawt.  It would have been even better had I regen’d mana from those bubbles as well.  I’m excited to see this weekends WWS reports to find out just how major the regen is from the shields.  I was just a bit shy of 29,000 mana pool this weekend and I got a few upgrades so we’ll see how it goes.

I’m still not using Penance as much as you should be.  I think you are supposed to use it every cooldown whereas I’m using it as more of a panic button.  I’ll do a shield on someone, usually the MT and then do a borrowed time penance on someone.  Penance doesn’t consume borrowed time so I still have the haste and can follow up with a greater heal on the main tank.

LIVE BLOGGING:  I’m in heroic halls of stone at the moment.  I’m using an addon called Eavesdrop that allows me to see mana gains and such.  I’ve been using power word shield on my tank (a paladin with 5569 mana pool) and my PWS absorbs around 4500 damage.  This is only returning about 100 mana for a full use of the shield… that seems rather insignificant.  I thought that it might still be bugged (using the users mana pool numbers or w/e, cuz I’m using a paladin tank atm).  I had him put on some of his healy gear, increased his mana around 2k and saw no change in the gain from Rapture on using PWS.  I was hoping for bigger numbers, maybe when my mana pool is back at 29k for the raids.  /shrug

Day After 3.0.8 EDIT:  Checked the healing forums this morning to find a confirmation from other priests that rapture wasn’t fixed.  The only reason I was seeing any mana return was because my tank was a paladin.  Priests have become severly bugged from what I’ve read.  COH is having issues on Malygos, saying it is an invalid target for a lot of priests, even when cast on themselves.  Many priests are seeing the same issue on Malygos Vortex with other instant cast spells (renew, POM, PWS).  Some priests are having issues with attempting to refresh POM.  It is telling them that a more powerful spell is active.  I had that issue with PWS in my 5man last night.  It wouldn’t allow me to refresh it until it had completely worn off or been used.  It is also absorbing less damage then it was prepatch.  Yea for patch day.