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Spiritual Guidance: Macros for healing priests

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. Dawn Moore covers healing for discipline and holy priests, while her archenemy Fox Van Allen dabbles in shadow. Dawn also writes for LearnToRaid.com and produces the Circle of Healing Podcast.

Some time last year on Spiritual Guidance, I wrote an article on macros for healing priests. Overall, it was a simple approach to the topic, touching on some basics like binding consolidation, communication, and a couple of utility macros. The article generated a lot of discussion, and several readers submitted some quality macros for their fellow priests.

Since a few of those macros are now outdated and I've added a few new macros to my spellbook in the interim, I thought now would be a good time to revisit the topic and look at what I've dug up in the past few months. Since these were accumulated over time, I haven't kept track of all the original authors of these macros, so if you see something in here you wrote, feel free to shake your fist at me.

Just like last year, if you have a helpful macro you'd like to share, be sure to leave it in the comments.

General use priest macros

There are are a lot of different styles of macros out there in the WoW community, but not all of them will be relevant to a healing priest. Macros that DPS and tanks might use, for example, are written to improve targeting and target swapping so that very little time (and thus, damage) is lost when performing raid duties such taunting an add, interrupting a mind-controlled ally, or just life-gripping your best friend out of an embarrassing mistake.

Since we healers spend most of our time switching targets, however, we won't have much need for macros to automate targeting for us. Most of our macros will generally be for some sort of utility or spell sequence. Here are some examples.

Shadowfiend attack macro

#showtooltip Shadowfiend
/startattack
/cast Shadowfiend
/petaggressive

This macro will select the closest enemy or neutral target 40 yards in front of you and cast Shadowfiend on it. This means you won't have to take any extra time to select a target for your Shadowfiend to attack while you are busy healing your allies.

Line 4 creates an additional function to the macro but requires that you push the macro's keybinding more than once; a second press will set your Shadowfiend to aggressive stance, if he happens to be in a passive or defensive stance when you summon him. In aggressive stance, he will automatically move onto another enemy target if his target dies while he is attacking it. (Remember that your pet will typically remain in the stance that he was in when he despawns, so once your Shadowfiend is set to aggressive, you will not usually need to hit your binding more than once in the future.)

Self-dispel and self-shield macros

/cast [target=player] Dispel Magic

or

/tar player
/cast Dispel Magic

A self-target macro is ideal for players who do not like to use alt (or whatever key they've selected as their self-cast modifier) to cast a spell on themselves. Both these macros will cast the written spell on your character; however, the function of these two macros is different. The first macro will cast Dispel Magic on your character without dropping your current target (this mimics the function of your self-cast modifier), while the second macro will change your current target to yourself, then cast Dispel Magic. The second macro is ideal if you need to cast more spells on yourself after you've cast the initial one, such as additional healing or dispels. The setup of the second macro is ideal for self-survival.

Survival cast sequence macro

/tar player
/castsequence reset=1 Power Word: Shield, Prayer of Mending, Renew, Desperate Prayer, Fel Healthstone, 6

Though [target=player] can be used with a castsequence macro, if you want to follow up your sequence with additional healing (perhaps a Flash Heal?) you won't necessarily have yourself targeted, which means you'll either have to target yourself or use your self-cast modifier before you can start the cast.

Anyway, I don't use this particular macro myself, but the priests in my last guild swore by it whenever they were worried about dying. You can arrange the spells into whatever priority you want, though spells with longer cooldowns should be kept at the end of the sequence so it cycles properly (an ability that is on cooldown or unavailable will screw up your sequence.) Power Word: Shield comes first in this particular example because it's very handy for priests of either spec; it's the highest HPS instant-cast a disc priest can cast, and with Body and Soul, can quickly get a holy priest out of a sticky situation.

/use and /cast are interchangeable, so items and spells can both be used in a sequence. That's why you see Fel Healthstone and 6 in this sequence. 6 corresponds to your belt slot, which if you're an engineer will activate your Nitro Boosts or Grounded Plasma Shield. If you want to incorporate another use effect from a piece of gear you have equipped, use this chart to find the corresponding slot number.
  • 0 Ammo
  • 1 Head
  • 2 Neck
  • 3 Shoulder
  • 4 Shirt
  • 5 Chest
  • 6 Belt/Waist
  • 7 Legs
  • 8 Feet/Boots
  • 9 Wrist/Bracers
  • 10 Gloves
  • 11 Finger 1 (top slot)
  • 12 Finger 2 (bottom slot)
  • 13 Trinket 1 (top slot)
  • 14 Trinket 2 (bottom slot)
  • 15 Back/Cloak
  • 16 Main Hand
  • 17 Off Hand
  • 18 Ranged/Relic
  • 19 Tabard
Spammable Mass Dispel macro

#showtooltip Mass Dispel
/cast !Mass Dispel

Though this is more of a PvP macro, it does have occasional use in raiding. If you ever need to use Mass Dispel multiple times, this will allow you to spam press your Mass Dispel binding without constantly resetting your casting reticle. Though this doesn't do too much for allowing you to get your next Mass Dispel out faster, it will allow you to better position your next spell since the reticle will stay in view. You can use the ! modifier before a cast command for any spell with a reticle, though you won't necessarily be spamming Lightwell, Holy Word: Sanctuary or Power Word: Barrier.

Talent-specific macros

Greater Heal with Inner Focus macro

#showtooltip Greater Heal
/run SetCVar("Sound_EnableSFX", "0")
/cast Inner Focus
/script UIErrorsFrame:Clear(); UIErrorsFrame:Show()
/run SetCVar("Sound_EnableSFX", "1")
/cast Greater Heal


This macro will automatically use Inner Focus with Greater Heal in a single key press, something many priests have started doing since the talent Train of Thought reduces the cooldown of Inner Focus each time Greater Heal is cast. Lines 2, 4, and 5 remove the error messages your UI and character give you when Inner Focus is on cooldown, which should alleviate any distractions when you are using Greater Heal normally. The sequence of this macro works properly because Inner Focus is off the global cooldown and thus doesn't require more than one press.

Keep in mind that this kind of automation takes a bit of control away from you as a healer. It's a great macro if you never remember to use Inner Focus or you want to forget about using it, but if you prefer to use Inner Focus selectively, this macro isn't for you. I personally don't like to use this macro because I don't like it overlapping with the mana cost reduction I get during Power Infusion, and I also like to use Inner Focus with Flash Heal, Prayer of Healing, and Binding Heal, depending on what part of the fight I'm in.

Guardian Spirit or Pain Suppression macro

#showtooltip Guardian Spirit
/cast [target=target] Guardian Spirit

If you have auto self-cast turned on and go to cast Guardian Spirit or Pain Suppression on a target who happens to die before you get the cast off, you'll automatically cast the spell on yourself. This isn't especially ideal if the attempt is still salvageable, so it's good to override your auto self-cast with these target macro.

Mouseover macros

I occasionally receive questions from other priests asking about mouseover healing and macros. Unfortunately, I still can't answer those questions, since I do not use mouseover healing. I personally find the priest toolbox lends itself best to clicking targets, since its core is made up of both casted and instant-cast heals. Mouseover healing is extremely effective for players who are primarily using instant-cast spells (druid raid healers, for example), while clicking targets is preferred for casted healing, since it allows you to better utilize the time between your casts. Please do not interpret this as leading a crusade against mouseover healing; it is simply a playstyle preference.

As always, if any readers know of a thorough and (most importantly) up-to-date guide on mouseover healing and macros for priests, please let me know so I can link it in this subsection. Further, if you wish to comment on this issue, please consider that it is a lot more helpful to give actual advice on using mouseover healing than it is to simply advocate it.

This all said, there is one mouseover macro I do use, which is a Leap of Faith macro. I have two bindings for Leap of Faith; one is click target-based and ideal for life-gripping anyone on my grid who I'm planning on life-gripping either because of a strat or a debuff they might have (like Twilight Meteorite on Valiona and Theralion, or Shadow Conductor on heroic Omnotron Defense System.) For saving someone who I just happen to see standing in something bad, however, a mouseover macro is ideal.

Mouseover life grip macro


/cast [@mouseover] Leap of Faith


Simple enough, right? If you have any questions, comments, additions or corrections, let me know in the comments.

Spiritual Guidance has the inside line on pre-raid gear, valor point and raid gear, and healing strategies for bosses such as Atramedes and Chimaeron. Newcomer to the priest class? Look into Discipline Priest 101 and Holy Priest 101.

Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

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