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Spiritual Guidance: 3.1.2 thoughts and the Ulduar experience

Every Sunday (usually), Spiritual Guidance will offer practical insight for priests of the holy profession. Your host is Matt Low, the grand poobah of World of Matticus and a founder of Plus Heal, a new UI blog for all classes. So how about them 3.1.2 changes?

The upcoming 3.1.2 patch is introducing some minor modifications to some of our Priestly spells. I'd have to say that it's an overall net nerf to Discipline. But in all honesty, I did feel we were slightly overpowered. Yes I'd say some of these were designed to address PvP concerns. Now I don't PvP competitively but when Priest/Rogue or Priest/Anything starts to have mass appeal, I pay a bit more attention and I ask questions to the players that do arena often. It's not that I don't like to arena or hit the battlegrounds. It's always been a time factor for me (due to raiding, writing and school). PvP simply gets the short end of the stick and ends up being something I can't get involved with.

Discipline

  • Soul Warding now reduces the mana cost of your Power Word: Shield by 15%. (Down from 30%)

My first inclination when reading anything that says "reduces the mana cost of X by Y" leads me to believe it is a buff. After re-reading it once or twice, I realized it's a nerf. Our shields are going to cost slightly more. When finishing off some of the bosses from Ulduar, I noticed I had plenty left in the mana tank. But recently, it felt like I was getting lower and lower on the mana. With the amount of shields I throw up, that is probably why.

Holy
  • Divine Hymn now heals for 3024 to 3342 every 2 sec. (Down from 4320 to 4774)

The original variant of Divine Hymn had the healing at around ~4500. The cooldown was something like 6 minutes. The current iteration's been slightly nerfed (and sports a 10 minute cooldown that was introduced just before 3.1). Divine Hymm is truly one of those raid saving type spells that can buy your healers a few precious seconds to help stabilize the health of everyone.

Glyphs
  • Glyph of Mass Dispel now reduces the mana cost of Mass Dispel by 35%. (Down from 50%)
  • Glyph of Penance - Increases the critical strike chance of Penance by 5%. (Old - Reduces the cooldown of Penance by 2 sec)

Mass Dispel's been nerfed mana wise. That's a PvP nerf, if anything. Not a lot of raiding Priests would stick in a Mass Dispel glyph.

They were originally going to nerf Glyph of Penance. That one would've hurt the most. I would've been okay with the other Priest changes but I felt that the Glyph of Penance nerf might've gone too far. I'm glad to see that the powers that be have decided to change their minds on this issue and leave this glyph alone (and I know I'm not the only one). A cooldown reduction of 2 seconds or a 5% increase in critical strike chance? I prefer the 2 second cooldown myself. The less I can depend on an RNG like critical strike, the better.

How's Ulduar?

It's been a big time team effort from what I've seen so far.

Perhaps the most noticeable change in terms of individual playing is that I'm starting to become much more liberal with my cooldowns than I used to. Pain Suppression is being cast frequently on tanks throughout Ulduar. It's more due to panic then anything else. There's little coordination involved when I use it. Sometimes I'll panic and toss it up during trash pulls (especially on certain over pulls).

The entire zone has been refreshing for my Priest. The post 3.1 Divine Hymn has found its uses here. Yes the base mode of Ulduar has been slightly nerfed. But I daresay it still presents a challenge for the majority of guilds out there. Not only that, but have you noticed the amount of raid healing required on many of the encounters?

Mana is another thing entirely. Even with a flask and a food buff while chugging potions, I'm still feeling the mana crunch. It's not uncommon for me to finish fights with 10% mana remaining after hitting every cooldown in the book. I'm told I'm still doing too much as a Priest. My personal belief? I'm using just the right amount of mana. A problem that I've noticed with newer Priests in pickup raids or otherwise is that they seem to be in full mana conservation mode. They appear to be more reluctant casting spells or waiting until the last possible second. Why? Because they're afraid of running out of mana. I don't like that. I would rather err on the side of casting too many heals than casting too few.

I won't know how demanding a fight's going to be on my mana pool until I exhaust every last possible drop after cooldowns and consumables. Only then can I adjust accordingly and scale my spell usage down some.

It seems like this is it for Priests in the current Wrath game. Any other changes in the future will be minor or tweaks. I'm not sure if we're going to see any more large scale talent refund-type changes. I'd like to see Power Word: Barrier sometime in this expansion but I'm losing hope.

By the way, check out Eliah's post about Val'Anyr. It's delicious for any healer! In order to activate the blessing, remember to have the Power Word: Shield glyph handy as it it does restore a bit of health and allows a chance for the blessing to trigger. The unglyphed shield by itself will not activate it since it's not actually healing anything.

Priest blogs to follow

Ran into some new blogs recently. I figured I'd share the wealth. Check them out!


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 out our other Leveling Guides as well as our Wrath Guides and Galleries!

Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

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