>I Love Flow Charts

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This is my “How to find a scrub” flow chart! Pick a role and see where it leads you. If your group is constantly wiping, this chart can help weed out the scrubs!

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>I Hate Chakra Right Now

>There has been a TON of QQ on the forums about our Chakra mechanic. Questions like, “Why is there a cooldown?” “Why should I be penalized if I hit the wrong spell and get stuck in the wrong state for 30 seconds?” have plagued the forums to the point where Blizzard is looking at the mechanic very closely. Some suggestions have been made by players.

1. Make Chakra a Stance (like a warrior).

Most players would probably like to see this take effect. Unfortunately, GC replied saying why even bother with a Chakra state if its that simple to switch in and out of the mechanic. He says Chakra is supposed to make priests think and know what the mechanics of a fight call for and to make a decision on what state is best for your needs. I have a problem with this statement.

No other healer class has to “think and know” what mechanics are needed for a boss fight immediately. Shamans, Druids, Paladins, and yes even Disc priests always have their complete arsenal of healing spells, abilities, and bonuses available to them 100% of the time. Seriously? Why are Holy priests the only healing class that has to research a fight ahead of time and think “Hmmm I think my single target state might be more beneficial for this part of the fight, but when he does this attack I need to switch to my AoE state, I just hope its off cooldown.” And there’in lies the problem.

The cooldown of Chakra is too high. If we hit the wrong spell and activate the wrong Chakra, there is no way to “undo” it until it comes off cooldown. A Holy priest might slip into the wrong state (I am guilty of this) by casting Prayer of Mending on the tank when I’m supposed to be the tank healer, and now I’m stuck in my AoE chakra state. By doing this, I lose out on the extra 10% crit that my Serenity state provides as well as the auto refresh to Renew. Other healers don’t have to worry about this problem.

/end rant

>Gems, Gear, and Stats for the Raiding Priest

>Another day, another Heroic Magister’s Terrace done with NO Orb of the Sindorei or White Hawkstrider chicken thing. Sigh. I love the way female Blood Elves cast and I WISH my guild was a Horde guild, but alas, the Orb is the second best thing.

Today I’m going to talk about the type of gear, gems, and stats both types of priests will want to look for on their gear. I’m not going to go into detail with all the math and theorycrafting. If you want that stuff, check out Elitist Jerks or Derevka over at Tales of a Priest for more details.

Holy Priest

Stats:

Intellect > Spirit > Haste (until 12.5% with raid buffs/racials) > Mastery > Extra Haste > Crit

These are the stats that raiding priests should look for on gear. Intellect and spirit are invaluable right now, and every piece of gear you have should have both on it. With mana being costly, we need to make sure our longevity is guaranteed for fights, especially since priests have some of the more expensive spells out of all healer classes. Intellect provides us with spellpower, a larger mana pool that increases our regen by a small amount, and a marginal amount of crit rating. This is the main reason why crit isn’t sought after by Holy priests.

Haste is a different monster. Haste reduces the cast time of your spells and reduces the ticks for your HoTs like Renew, allowing you to cast more spells in the same amount of time. With the way haste is designed, you can squeeze out an extra Renew tick at the magical 12.5% haste “soft cap” right now and being that this cap isn’t hard to hit for priests with the proper raid buffs and talents and is more valuable than other stats initially.

“Soft” Haste Cap: 12.5%

So depending on what buffs are available, your haste could be more than what is reflected on your character sheet. Blizz has stated they are fixing this with patch 4.0.6.

Goblin Racial: 1%
1-3 points in Darkness talent: 1-3%
Moonkin/Shadow Priest/Shaman Totem buff: 5%

So, if you are a Goblin Holy priest with 3 points in Darkness and you run with a Moonkin, your haste cap would be 3.5% for the extra Renew tick. After that cap, haste has a reduced value and takes a backseat to Mastery.

Holy priest’s Mastery “Echo of Light” puts a HoT on the target for each direct heal and heals the target for X amount over 6 seconds. This stat is a pure throughput stat and is the best stat after you hit your personal haste cap.

Crit rating is the red headed step child for Holy priests. Due to Holy Word: Serenity, tank healing priests don’t value crit as a necessary stat due to the 10% crit chance from our Chakra stance and our 25% additional crit chance from our instant cast heal. Also, heavy amounts of intellect provide the crit we need.

So right now on my Draenei priest I have 6.81% haste rating and about 12 points of mastery which equals about a 16% HoT. I have 3 points in Darkness and we run with an Elemental shaman, so my personal haste cap is 4.5%. Clearly I am way over, but I have reforged all my haste available to Mastery and gemmed for Mastery as well. I could take 2 points out of Darkness and put them somewhere else, but right now I think the added throughput that the extra haste provides is the best stat right now.

Gemming your Holy priest:

Red- Brilliant Inferno Ruby- Pure Intellect
Blue- Purified Demonseye- Intellect/Spirit
Yellow- Artful Ember Topaz- Intellect/Mastery (if your haste capped, if not Reckless Ember Topaz- Intellect/Haste)

Meta- Ember Shadowspirit Diamond

Gearing Priority and Reforging:

Intellect- All cloth gear has this stat.
Spirit- Every piece of cloth gear you have should have some spirit on it. If not, reforge Crit to Spirit first. If the item doesn’t have Crit, reforge Mastery to Spirit if you’re not Haste capped. If you are Haste capped, reforge the Haste to Spirit.
Haste- If you are Haste capped, reforge all extra Haste to Mastery. If you are not Haste capped, reforge all Crit FIRST to Haste. If still not at Haste cap, then continue with reforging Mastery.
Mastery- Reforge all extra Haste rating and Crit rating (when you can’t reforge a stat to Spirit) to Mastery.
Crit Rating- Reforge to Spirit first. If Spirit is already on gear, reforge to Haste until Haste capped. If Haste capped, reforge to Mastery.
Hit- Sometimes there are a few pieces that are a huge upgrade over that POS 318 wand that you just replaced with Corla’s Baton in Blackrock Caverns and it has hit on it. Stat-wise, its much better because of the intellect boost. Hit gear will never have Spirit on it, so feel free to reforge ALL hit gear to Spirit. I personally have 2 pieces of hit gear right now, mainly because I haven’t been able to get anything better. As long as you don’t have OODLES of hit, you should be fine.

Discipline Priest

Disc priests are a bit different with gearing priority and stat priority.

Stats:

Intellect > Spirit > Crit > Haste > Mastery

Intellect and Spirit are need for longevity and throughput. Crit is important because it proc’s Divine Aegis which increases the Disc priests tank healing abilities. Because of this talent, it gets pushed ahead of Haste and Mastery.

Haste isn’t as important if you are tank healing, which is what Disc priests excel at. If you are made a raid healer, Haste becomes more important than Crit and Crit actually drops below Mastery.

Mastery is a subpar stat for Disc priests right now. Without the ability to spam PW: S Mastery is really only beneficial to our Divine Aegis proc, and even that is fairly unreliable right now unless you are raid healing with Prayer of Healing. It’s best to just increase your throughput with Crit and Haste.

Gemming:

Red- Brilliant Inferno Ruby- Pure Intellect
Blue- Purified Demonseye- Intellect/Spirit
Yellow- Potent Ember Topaz- Intellect/Crit

Meta- Ember Shadowspirit Diamond

Gearing Priority and Reforging:

Intellect- All cloth gear have this stat.
Spirit- Make sure all gear has Spirit on it. If not, reforge Mastery to Spirit first. If the item lacks Mastery, reforge Haste to Spirit.
Crit Rating- This is your primary stat after spirit. Reforge all Mastery rating to Crit if Spirit is already on the item.
Haste- Reforge to Spirit if none is present on item. If so, reforge to Crit.
Mastery- Reforge Mastery to Spirit FIRST if none is present, then reforge to Crit.
Hit- Reforge any Hit gear to Spirit. All Hit gear lack Spirit.

I tried to make it as easy as possible. Feel free to ask me any questions.

>Healing Heroics- Cataclysm Style

>Cataclysm is out and everyone is either grinding their way to 85 or are now grinding normal and/or heroic dungeons. I have to say, I wasn’t expecting it to be as challenging as it is currently.

I will start off by saying that I have not tried healing heroics as Discipline yet. I’m having a hard enough time healing as Holy, let alone the additional challenge that Disc presents. Yes, Disc is currently challenging to heal for heroic dungeons, but its not impossible. I have learned that with a decent group and some communication over vent, that heroics aren’t as hard as people say they are. Pug heroics seem to have low success rates right now, mainly because there is limited communication between players. This is where guild groups really shine. Communication is absolutely essential as is crowd control and positioning. We can’t just AoE pull anything anymore.

Which brings me to healing. Healing now is very different from Wrath. With our new spells, we no longer have the longevity of spamming heals with no consequences. ALL spells are extremely costly with mana (with the exception of Heal), so choosing the right spell at the right time is crucial to your mana pool’s survival.

For Holy priests, the first few heroic runs are going to be brutal until you get geared. Even with the recent buff to our spirit regen, it’s still essential that you learn which spell is used for certain types of damage:

Heal- Our new bread and butter spell. It has a low mana cost and at high regen levels, we can cast it infinitely. It has a long cast time and doesn’t heal for much, but its extremely efficient and refreshes our Renew on the target with our tank healing Chakra state. It is best used for light damage situations, or when the tank has 50% or more health.

Renew- Our HoT was the cornerstone of Wrath healing that made us much like druids. We use to sprinkle this across raids and its healing was more efficient than Flash Heal. This is no longer the case. With mana reduction talents, Renew costs a little over 3200 mana and currently ticks 4 times until you hit the appropriate 12.5% haste cap. This spell should always be kept up on the tank(s) and is easily refreshed with our Chakra state. I would avoid sprinkling this over DPS unless you know that the DPS is going to get constant damage and can be refreshed through our Chakra state. Otherwise, you will find yourself OOM quickly.

Holy Word: Serenity- Finally, we get our very own instant cast healing spell! One of the reasons why Holy priests were never excellent at tank healing was because we lacked an instant cast healing spell. We always sat at the sidelines as we watched other healing classes tank heal. This was because Paladins have Holy Shock, Shamans have Riptide, Druids have Swiftmend, and Disc Priests have Penance. This is our version of Holy Shock only it heals for quite a bit more and is on a 10-second CD. It also puts a buff on the target for 6-sec that increases the critical chance of your healing spells by 25%. This spell is also very mana efficient and should be used every CD. It can quickly bring a tank or dps back up and is part of our tank healing toolbox.

Flash Heal- This spell use to be our go-to spell in Wrath. Blizzard greatly increased the mana cost and healing of this ability, so it is now used in emergency situations. It is the highest HPS spell we have, but its also the most costly. When the tank dips below 25% I would say its safe to use this spell, especially since we have a glyph that increases its crit chance by 10% when used on a target below 25% health. I would avoid spamming this on DPS.

Greater Heal- I admit I should use Greater Heal more. I hardly use it at all. When it comes to heroics, I either use Heal or Flash Heal combined with smart use of Prayer of Mending and Holy Word: Serenity. Greater Heal is the biggest single target heal we have, but it has a long cast time. It’s also fairly costly although not nearly as costly as Flash Heal for heal-per-mana. It costs a little more than Flash Heal, but heals for quite a bit more. I’d mainly use it for tank healing to bring the target back up to full health. Around 25%-50% might be a smart area to use it.

Holy Word: Sanctuary- I’ve NEVER used this spell in current heroics. EVER. It costs over 9k mana with mana reductions and doesn’t heal for very much for what it costs. Plus it requires you to be in your raid healing Chakra state, which isn’t very good for healing 5-mans right now. Liberal use of Prayer of Mending and Prayer of Healing is better right now.

Prayer of Mending- A very good spell to use when the entire party is taking damage. I wouldn’t use it on every cooldown as it is still a little expensive to cast, but I would encourage people to get an addon to track what target your Prayer of Mending spell is on and to get the full benefit from it. It has a 30 second duration for each bounce. Healbot automatically tracks it, but I’m not sure about Grid. I believe Curse.com has a few different addons that can track it.

Prayer of Healing- This spell has been buffed and the mana cost reduced which makes it a powerful party heal for heroics right now. The glyph makes it even more powerful. I would use this when the entire party is taking damage, such as Valiona’s flame breath (although no one should be standing in front of it!) It has a long cast time, but it can be shortened through smart use of Flash Heal with the proper talents.

Power Word: Shield- This spell is mainly used for damage mitigation. Disc priests get a mana return from its use, but Holy priests don’t get anything beneficial other than a subpar shield. I think combined with the Body and Soul talent it can be great for getting out of fires quicker or helping a DPS/Tank kite adds. I certainly wouldn’t put it into a healing rotation, but it is still good for certain encounters with heavy tank damage. Make sure to coordinate with your Disc priests when you use this spell.

Leap of Faith- Oh how I absolutely love this spell. In guild runs, I usually piss off a DPS or Tank thats in front of me when we are running back from a wipe by pulling them away from their intended direction. In all seriousness, this spell is fantastic. When we do a CC pull, its great for pulling a clothie or hunter out of harms way. I will say this though, I DO NOT PULL PEOPLE OUT OF STUFF THEY SHOULDN’T BE STANDING IN.

Divine Hymn- This is my “oh $hit” button. I only use this when I forsee a wipe and its my last ditch effort to save the party.

Well thats it for now, I’ll be back later to go over gear, gems, stats, etc. Remember, be forceful! I know it might seem a little hopeless, but if you are doing your job and people are not obeying the mechanics of the encounter or are not CC’ing correctly its not your fault. If they kick you, chances are another healer won’t help their cause and they will have to wait 45 min for another dungeon while you get near instant ques. Thats the consequence for pissing on their healer! Have fun!