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Spiritual Guidance: The new age raiding Holy Priest



Every Sunday (usually), Spiritual Guidance will offer practical insight for priests of the holy profession. Your host is now Matt Low, the grand poobah of World of Matticus and a founder of PlusHeal, a new healing community for all restorative classes. For the next few weeks, I'll be taking a look into the depths of Black Temple from a Priestly perspective.

I was planning on finishing my Black Temple guide but the lure of all this awesome beta news is simply too hard to ignore! I'll have to postpone the guide for a rainy day. Fellow WoW Insider blogger Alex Z. has a terrific analysis of the new Priest talents! It's an excellent analysis of how the Priests will be come the expansion. This week, I want to go further in depth on not just new spells and abilities that Priests bring to a raid but how changes to the other classes will be affecting us. I'll also touch a bit on threat, my thoughts on Lightwell, and the raid viability of Discipline.

The initial glance at the Holy talent tree has me disappointed a bit. It is similar to the idea of having 15 bucks in your pocket to go spend on a 200 flavour ice cream store only to discover that they're out of stock on all but 3 flavours. There does not appear to be anything earth shattering or game breaking added or changed. Sure we know that Circle of Healing is a smart heal capable of zeroing in on the most wounded players. However, this is offset by the fact that there's a 6 second nerf. Despite this, I still foresee a future in Wrath with a CoH specced Priest.

Something that hasn't been mentioned yet (to my knowledge) is the possible variances in raiding specs. In the current game right now, the bar for raiding is set at 25 players. There are only two 10 player level 70 instances at the moment. We know in Wrath that all raid instances will be designed to accommodate both 10 and 25 players each. In any case, our spec revolves around our ability to heal as many people as possible in the shortest amount of time using the least amount of mana. Is it possible that we might see more than 2 possible raid specs? After all, what is useful for a 10 player raid might not be so relevant in the 25s, right? I can't help but wonder if we're going to see a trend involving healing specs optimized for healing individual targets in 10 player raids vs healing specs built for healing multiple targets in 25 player raids. A set of specs for 10 player raiding and a set of specs for 25 player raiding is something I can see happening.

The raid buffed Priest

A quick browse through at the other classes show a slight improvement in how the raiding Priest will look with the Shaman and the Paladin.

From the Shaman:
  • Flametongue Totem - Spellpower increase: Instead of gaining a static Spellpower boost, our healing bonus seems to scale accordingly.
  • Wrath of Air Totem - 10% spell haste: Here's another welcome addition! Our heals will be going off a little faster than normal.
From the Paladin:
  • Improved Devotion Aura - All healing done to units affected by Devotion Aura increased by 1/2/3%: While the percentage increase may not seem like much, the bonuses do add up over time.
Threat

I understand that there's been some changes to threat. Salvation's been removed and so has Tranquil Air Totem. Picking up the new 3 points in Silent Resolve could very well be a must. At the moment I don't have any points invested in it (due to having awesomesauce tanks) but now I'm a little wary. Again, the game is in beta stage and I'm going to hold off on this for the time being. We'll need to get more information about threat changes before it can be evaluated reliably.

Lightwell

Lightwell's been improved substantially! It's gone from being a 4th line spell to a potential 1st line threat (hockey reference). Unfortunately, I still don't see it being used extensively in a 25 player setting. It's a near instant cast spell with 10 charges that can be activated every 3 minutes. It's usefulness is going to depend on those using it. With the current raid environment revolving around micromanaging things, will there really be time for raiders to jump back and take advantage of it? That's going to largely depend on the encounters we'll see in end game.

Discipline

Between Grace, Divine Aegis, Rapture, and Penance, Discipline is looking to be a potential PvE single target healing spec of choice. I'm going to have to take some time later on and play with the talent calculator on WoWhead. Divine Aegis has me wondering if Priests will be gunning for spell crit gear. Sadly, we don't know what the internal cooldown on the Aegis talent is (if there is one).

Anyways, all we know is that this is just the beginning. It's a great time to be a WoW player with all the information we get to scrutinize and analyze!


Want to find more great tips for carrying out your Priestly duties? Spiritual Guidance has you covered with all there is to know!And don't forget to check the WoW Insider Directory for more priestly info!

Filed under: Priest, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance, Wrath of the Lich King

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