>An Intro to Holy Priests

>The jack-of-all trades, master of none.  The ugly duckling of WoW.  The red-headed stepchild of healers.  Yes, ladies and gentleman I am talking about the WoTLK Holy priest.

The Holy priest has changed quite a bit since vanilla.  Blizzard’s definition of a Holy priest is to be a versatile healer who can both tank and raid heal when needed.  In current content, the tank healing aspect is lacking quite a bit.  Currently, Holy priests are preferred for raid healing because through talents, they are one of the most powerful and versatile raid healers in the game.

The issue with this is the current Holy talent tree.  Some talents specialize in your direct heals, while others specialize in your HoT and AoE abilites.  We simply don’t have enough talent points to spare to specialize in both types of healing.

There are currently 2 types of Wrath Holy priests:

Flash Heal/Prayer of Healing Build:

http://www.wowhead.com/talent#bVcbuZbxxcfMqih0ekAo:0mdVzc

This build emphasizes the synergy that Flash Heal has with Prayer of Healing and Greater Heal via Serendipity.  With one spare point used for Empowered Renew, you still have a chance to proc Surge of Light by casting Renew, which gives you a chance to proc a free, instant cast Flash Heal.  If you were to try and tank heal as a Holy priest, this spec is the current preferred spec.

Renew Spammer Build:

http://www.wowhead.com/talent#bVcbuZfxxcb0qih0euAo:0fdVzc

This build emphasizes Druid-like HoT spamming via Renew.  It is currently more mana efficient than the FH/PoH build and because of the high scaling of Renew via Empowered Renew, in current ICC content it makes Flash Heal redundant.  Glyph of Renew is mandatory for this build.

My current build on Lunarsoul is the Renew build, and I really like it.  During fights like Blood Queen or Festergut where there is constant raid damage, I’m always near or at the top of the healing charts.  My Renew (fully-buffed) ticks for around 4600 with the 30% buff in ICC.

Cataclysm

I’ve seen the Beta talent trees and I have to say, I’m quite impressed with what Blizzard has done with the Holy tree.  Derevka has a wonderful overview of the Holy tree over at Tales of a Priest.  Chakra looks absolutely amazing and it finally fixes our lack of tank healing abilities, while giving us a unique mechanic from the other healing classes.  Leap of Faith?  Cool mechanic.  Death Knights aren’t so special anymore.

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