It's just my luck that two days after I wrote my last installment of Spiritual Guidance, a brand new level 45 priest talent appeared on the Mists of Pandaria beta. The new talent, called Power Word: Solace, is a damage-for-mana ability that players can cast on enemy targets to receive 6,000 mana in return. It has a 1.5-second cast time, costs no mana to cast, doesn't have a cooldown, and always returns mana, even if the damage portion of the spell misses its target.
The arrival of a new talent like this always raises a lot of questions. How does Power Word: Solace stand up to the other level 45 talents, Mindbender and From Darkness, Comes Light? Is it better or worse than either of those two talents? As a healing priest, what talent will I want to choose?
Well, first off, it's important to remember that the new talent system is specifically designed to put an end to cookie-cutter talent specs. Talents will now be balanced with one another in such a way that no one talent is better than the others overall. One talent might end up being better than another in a specific scenario where the mechanics of the situation complement it or just clash with the other two options. In that sense, Blizzard is right on mark with Power Word: Solace. Let's compare it to Mindbender so you can see how.