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Spiritual Guidance: Shadowfiends retire, more priest talent news from Mists beta

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Every week, WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. Dawn Moore covers the healing side of things for discipline and holy priests. She also writes for LearnToRaid.com and produces the Circle of Healing Podcast.

Do you want to know the greatest and most amazing new thing priests are getting in Mists of Pandaria? It's a squid. Well, it could be an octopus, but I think it's a squid. It's called a Mindbender, and it's our new level 45 talent. The Mindbender is a flying, shadowy squid that serves as an improved version of (read: replacement for) our old pal, Shadowfiend. Our new squid friend does double the damage of Shadowfiend and thus returns twice as much mana. I can only assume the reason he can do this is because he latches onto the heads of our enemies and sucks out their brains, sort of like a Mind Flayer, the squid-faced monsters from Dungeons and Dragons with telekinetic powers. Mindbender, Mind Flayer ... That's right, Blizzard, I'm on to you.

Anyway, I imagine Squiddy will become the prime choice for healing priests in MoP because 1.) mana is mana, and 2.) the other level 45 talents are a bit lackluster. That will unfortunately mean leaving Shadowfiend at home, which is awfully sad, but I've painted up a scenario in my head where Shadowfiend tells me, "Look, Dawn, we've been raiding together for a few years now, and it's about time that I caught up on all the prime time television I've missed. There's Mad Men, Breaking Bad, and I've still only seen one episode of Game of Thrones. I need a break."

"OK, Shadowfiend," I say to it, "you can stay home this expansion."

"Thanks, dollface," it responds with Don Draper-esque charm and winks an eye at me I never knew it had.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Spiritual Guidance: First impressions of the Mists of Pandaria beta from a healing priest

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. Dawn Moore covers the healing side of things for discipline and holy priests. She also writes for LearnToRaid.com and produces the Circle of Healing Podcast.

This past week, I finally got access to the Mists of Pandaria beta, which means I've had lots of shiny new stuff to play with recently. As a healing priest, I gave a thorough look at both holy and discipline priests and found a lot of things I felt I should report back.

First, let's start with Chakra. Before I even finished downloading the beta client, I heard complaints from other priests saying that Chakra states had turned into stances (think warrior stances). The concept of this intrigued me, but when I finally got around to toying around with it, I didn't really know why anyone would think too much of it. The stances simplify Chakra, so rather than having to press two buttons to change to Chakra: Sanctuary, all you have to do is hit one. If you want to switch again, there is a 30-second cooldown before you can swap.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Spiritual Guidance: Progression vs. farm, identifying the right raid spec

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 handles the shadows (and laundry.) Dawn also writes for LearnToRaid.com, produces the Circle of Healing Podcast.

Not a raiding tier goes by where the forums aren't littered with posts from novice healing priests asking why some well-known priest from some high ranked guild doesn't have a cookie cutter talent spec recommended by the community's leading theorycrafters. The post always goes something like this ...

"I looked up Lawliesthesiaspec from on the armory today and I just don't understand why she took three points in Inner Sanctum and only two points in Twin Disciplines. Shouldn't she max out Twin Disciplines for the extra healing? Am I doing something wrong? Should I copy that?"

Sometimes there is an amusing theory about why the priest has taken the talent, or an accusation that the player must be terrible at the game. Whatever the tone of the post, the question is ultimately rooted in the inability of many players to identify one talent spec from another. Today I intend to fix that so you're all prepared for Firelands in a few weeks.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Spiritual Guidance: The aftermath of patch 4.1 for holy and discipline 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 loiters around the drugstore, drinking chocolate malted Falcons and giving away free high school. Dawn also writes for LearnToRaid.com and produces the Circle of Healing Podcast.

Patch 4.1 went live last week, and with a long list of buffs and nerfs in the patch notes, it looked like it was going to be a big event for priests of all specs. Now, almost a week later now, Fox Van Allen still appears to be alive the impact of the changes seems to have varied. Have you acclimated to the changes yet? Are you wondering why hunter pets are acting like they've been chomping on mood stabilizers even when you heal them? Do you want a cookie? Then let me direct you to all the important things you need to know in a post-4.1 patch world.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Spiritual Guidance: Patch 4.1 to usher in big Chakra and Atonement healing changes

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 and karaoke at PAX East. Dawn also writes for LearnToRaid.com and produces the Circle of Healing Podcast.

It's been two weeks since we first examined the upcoming priest changes for patch 4.1, and in that time, many more changes have piled up. To keep things interesting around here, I figured we'd talk about the changes over a plate of cookies.

Previously, we discussed the changes to the duration of Power Word: Shield, the tiny buff to Divine Aegis, and the huge change to Dispel Magic, so check back a couple weeks if you want to read about those changes. This week I'll be looking at a huge change to the mechanics of Chakra, the sort of return of Atonement healing, the nerf to Power Word: Barrier, and the tweak to our four-piece raid set bonus.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Spiritual Guidance: Healing heroic Cataclysm dungeons as a priest

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. Dawn Moore covers healing for disc and holy priests, and also likes to knit gloves as presents. Can Fox Van Allen make you a pair of gloves?

I intended to write about holy and discipline priest PvP in beta this week, but after spending a few days trying to test out battlegrounds, I think I'd do well to give Blizzard more time to fix things. Between the 100,000-damage rocket blasts in Strand of the Ancients one-shotting players, and randomly getting ported to The Barrens when you're dead wrapped in plastic in Twin Peaks, it all just seems too buggy to fairly assess right now.

While we wait for the developers to finish tidying up the battlegrounds and PvP, I figured we could tackle something in the beta that has stabilized for priests: heroic dungeons! Pretty exciting, huh? Yeah, that's what I thought.

Word on the street is that heroic dungeons in the Cataclysm beta are way overtuned and bordering on the difficulty of pre-nerf heroic dungeons in The Burning Crusade. While I can't personally deny or confirm the latter statement (I was slow in leveling), I can tell you that heroic dungeons in Cataclysm aren't that bad.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Spiritual Guidance: Cataclysm and the shadow priest's day of reckoning

Today's shadow-centric edition of Spiritual Guidance is brought to you by high priest of the shadows, Fox Van Allen. The holy-fearing Dawn Moore will be back to share more non-shadow wisdom ... eventually. For now, though, she's being detained by authorities in Stormwind. Apparently, they got this anonymous call about her turning traitor in Cataclysm ...

In terms of whether or not the human race would go extinct, 1983 was a nail-biter.

On Sunday, Sept. 26, 1983, a fluffy cloud set off the Soviet Early Warning Missile System. The system misread some data and reported that the United States had initiated nuclear war. Thankfully, a Russian technician was able to do some on-the-fly logical reasoning (the U.S. wouldn't just launch just one missile, right?) and decided to ignore that warning. And the four other erroneous warnings to follow.

It was pretty much a real-life version of 99 Luftballons. Some stupid little computer error almost leveled the civilized world. Of course, the Cold War being what it was, you didn't hear about it on the nightly news. The world didn't end. Knight Rider still aired that night, right on schedule.

There were an awful lot of changes to the Cataclysm shadow priest build over the past week. A few were good, a few were "OK," and one nearly led to the shadow priest world's being reduced to a pile of smoking rubble. Follow us after the break for more Cataclysm shadow priesting information. And for those of you who feel ignorance is bliss and don't want to be spoiled ... we now return you to Knight Rider, already in progress.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance, Cataclysm

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