Every week (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 No Stock UI, a UI and addons blog for WoW. Can the relationship between Prayer of Mending and Power Word: Shield be improved any further?
I received an email from a distraught yet dedicated Discipline priest the other day. He's a raiding priest, first of all. So what was he upset over? It's about the interactions between our Power Word: Shield and Prayer of Mending. There are times where a quick PoM hit will land on a shielded player which results in it fading off.
Well because the shield has to expire first before the PoM bouncing effect occurs. It's not so bad with Holy priests because the strength of their shields are no match for Discipline shields. It does suck though since the shield just has to wear off before the PoM can shoot off to someone else. Sometimes time just runs out.
For Disc Priests, Prayer of Mending is the best instant healing spell we have at our disposal. For Holy Priests, that award is going to go to Circle of Healing but Prayer of Mending isn't that far behind either. Prayer of Mending just seems to like jumping to players with low health. Coincidentally, I like to pop a shield on such players.
So on certain fights where priests are required to haul butt and heal as many people as much as possible, Disc priests are at a severe disadvantage. I guess the better term would be "balanced". To be fair, Disc Priests have to lose out somewhere. They take a hit in the group healing department with no access to Circle of Healing and a possibly less potent Prayer of Healing. It has to be done this way though other wise Discipline would just straight up be the healing spec. Could you imagine if Discipline priests had the group healing power that Holy has? As much as I'd love that myself personally, I know that even the thought of that is just too much to ask for.
Disc healing is meant for tank healing. It's designed to be satisfactory when it comes to group healing. Can it be done better without having to resort to something as drastic as inheriting Holy talents?
My fellow priest thinks so. Let me share with you some of his suggestions.
Prayer of Mending does not bounce to any shielded targets:
That would be a good idea unless you're a shield firing Disc priest. This would result in half the raid ineligible for PoM ticks assuming you're able to cycle and maintain shields on all of them. It seems too narrow of a solution in the sense that a priest can "control" who PoM can or cannot hit. I'm sure it would be possible to shield and then PoM that person deliberately. The idea here is that after PoM travels once, it is not able to hit a shielded person. Something tells me that this might be too complicated to implement.
Prayer of Mending bounces to a shielded target, registers an absorbed hit and the heal effect is activated before being fired off again.
This would be the most ideal solution to me personally. A PoM tick hits an already shielded player like a tank. They take a hit which doesn't break the shield but the absorption impact triggers the healing ability from Prayer of Mending before it shoots off elsewhere. Essentially what happens here is that the priority is reversed. Right now, the shield has to break before PoM does its thing. If this was in the game, then it wouldn't matter if a player was shielded or not. This would represent a huge advantage. Why? Because it means shielding a player with low health will not penalize either the player or the priest. A wounded player could get both PoM and a shield on them and then (don't faint now) run into a fire to trigger the effect without taking any damage since the shield could withstand it. Not only that, PoM would trigger healing the player with a shield still active! That would help tremendously in intensive group healing encounters.
Shield a PoMed target which causes Prayer of Mending to bounce off.
Here's one of the more intriguing solutions. If a PoMed player gets a shield on them, it forces the PoM effect to take place. How is this useful? In case PoM lands on a ranged player who isn't likely to take any damage, you can "shake" the prayer off of them by slapping on a shield. In essence, you'd be able to push it along.
This is all just wishful thinking. Maybe one day they'll make a glyph that can accomplish one of these effects or something. Sometimes I feel that Disc priests could use a slight bump in group healing ability but then I remember they're not supposed to be an all-star in that department. Perhaps I just need to get faster with shielding my group before an AoE hits.
Unmentioned Priest changes
There were a few things recently discovered for Priests that weren't in with the original version of the patch notes.
For one, Inspiration can now be triggered by Prayer of Mending if it manages to be a critical heal. Slight overall buff to both healing Priests. Nothing too major here. It's a very soft-ish type buff but we'll take it all the same.
Silence has been changed and made more potent. In addition to preventing a target from casting any spells for 5 seconds, it can now interrupt non-player spells for 3 seconds. This feels like more of a raiding or a PvE addition. Most bosses can't be silenced or preventing from dishing out spells. Shadow priests now have a method by which they can participate in interrupting casters.
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