4.2 is upon us. The patch will most likely drop this coming Tuesday which means we need to be prepared for the upcoming changes. New content means new loot, and new loot always makes me a happy Priest, most of the time at least. I’ll be going over our gear options for 4.2 for Discipline and Holy Priests. Continue reading
I had an interesting conversation with Lodur on Twitter about how your personal raid composition can heavily influence your personal stat priority. In his case, he said that depending on how many Restoration Druids are present in your raid, Restoration Shamans might consider Haste over Mastery after the Haste Soft Cap. It got me thinking. Does this same theory apply to Priests?
For you to understand how your raid composition can affect you, you must first understand how other healers function. Restoration Druids in particular can heavily affect how you should gem/enchant due to their HoT-style of healing. They primarily lack any “burst” healing, but make up for it with healing spells that can greatly stabilize the raid over time.
This can cause an issue for Holy Priests who stack Mastery in 25’s. In my particular case, we usually run with 3 Restoration Druids (they are extremely popular in my guild, just ask Lissanna). With this many Druids, our raid’s health bars are usually more stable for most of the fight and it seems less bursty due to HoTs continually rolling. With raider health bars being more stable and because of Echo of Light’s HoT-type of healing effect, a lot of over-healing can occur which causes the Mastery stat to be wasted.
In a raid with this many Druids, Haste would be a more beneficial stat. Getting your big, bursty heals off sooner would be more beneficial than a lingering HoT that has a greater chance of over-healing. It gives you more throughput with less over-heal, which is what most healers strive for.
Depending on your roll in the raid, Druids can affect your stat priority as well. It is general knowledge that Disc Priests favor Crit, Haste, and Mastery fairly equally without one significantly outclassing the other. However, I believe Mastery becomes a stronger stat with a more HoT-based healing team. Disc Priests and Druids/Shamans have a very good synergy with each other. This is mainly due to the heavy mitigation abilities of the Priest that causes less over-healing for the Druid/Shaman. Mitigating future damage rather than healing it lets Druid/Shaman HoTs tick for their full potential rather than over-healing, benefiting both healers to their full potential.
So take a look at your raid team. If you’re running with a Druid Bonanza, you might want to rethink your stat priority. It wouldn’t be mandatory, but if you want to heal at your full potential then it should be heavily considered.
One of my favorite aspects about being a Priest is the sheer amount of tools we have in our arsenal. All other healers pale in comparison to the amount of buttons we have to click. They make us extraordinarily versatile and we have the tools to whether any situation that is thrown at us. Probably my favorite tool to use is Leap of Faith or “Lifegrip” that was introduced to us in Cataclysm.
Leap of Faith- You pull the spirit of the friendly party or raid target to you, instantly moving them directly in front of you.
Lifegrip is obtained at level 85. You don’t have to be any particular spec to obtain it. It is usable by all priests, both of Holy or Shadow faith, although Shadow Priests need to be aware that using Lifegrip drops you out of Shadowform. It essentially works the same as a Death Knight’s Deathgrip except you can only target party/raid members. Holy Priests have an added effect that gives a speed boost to the Lifegrip target after the target is pulled to your location when they are appropriately talented into Body & Soul.
There are many uses for Lifegrip in current Cataclysm encounters:
Bastion of Twilight:
Halfus Wyrmbreaker- I’ve used Lifegrip on the tank when we’ve done the annoying 3-drake pull (in fact he requested it). It gives the healers a few extra seconds to get him back up to full health. The drakes don’t cleave and should just follow where he is pulled.
Valiona and Theralion- Your blackout target is outside the group and is too busy DPSing? Lifegrip him into the group! It’ll save his butt! Also, if you notice someone standing in Valiona’s flame breath path, yank them away! This fight in particular has many uses for Lifegrip.
Ascendant Council- Lifegrip is a savior for Phase 1 Heroic mode where raids need to take advantage of the frost/fire debuffs. Pull the debuffed target into your group and dispel! If you notice someone needs to get grounded and your standing near the vortex in Phase 2, pull’em over! Phase 3 is a bit trickier. You can Lifegrip the person who gets pulled into the air only after they start to fall. Levitate or Lifegrip can work well if timed appropriately.
Chogall- You notice someone completely ignoring the Corrupting Crash mechanics? Yank’em out! It might wake them up!
Black Wing Descent:
Magmaw- Lifegrip is great for moving people who don’t notice Magmaw’s body slam technique, even when people are screaming on Vent.
Omnotron Defense System- Lifegrip is great when Toxitron is active. If you notice someone isn’t able to kite the adds, pull them to you! It gives DPS the extra few seconds needed to get the adds down!
Maloriak- There isn’t too much use for Lifegrip here. I would suggest that if you notice someone not stacking up during the Red Phase, feel free to pull them in! Just make sure they don’t have the Consuming Flames debuff otherwise that will kill them. Also, if you notice a healer is getting whacked on by adds, feel free to pull them to you out of harms way!
Chimeron- Lifegrip is good if you notice someone not stacking up during Feud. During Phase 2, feel free to Lifegrip the targeted person to you. It helps with kiting the boss and allows a few extra seconds of DPS that could mean the difference between a kill and a wipe!
Atramedes- Lifegrip was created for this fight. Just like Valiona and Theralion, this fight requires a lot of raid awareness and movement. Lifegrip is great for the person who is kiting Atramedes during his air phase. It buys a few extra seconds and may mean the difference between having to use a gong or not.
Nefarian- Someone not standing under the Disc Priest’s Barrier during Electrocute? Lifegrip them in! Someone is still struggling to get on the platform for Phase 2? Lifegrip them on! You can also help the tank kite the adds in Phase 3 by utilizing Lifegrip. Just make sure your tank is aware and prepared for the extra yank.
Throne of Winds:
Conclave of Winds- I’ll be honest, I have only ever done the Rohash platform, so I’ll explain from that point of view. Lifegrip is great for Rohash. When you see that someone won’t dodge his circular Wind Blast technique, pull them towards you, even if it’s through the blast. They won’t get knocked off.
Al Akir- Lifegrip is a savior for this fight. Anyone who gets sucked into a tornado can be pulled to safety. In fact, Lifegrip is the ONLY spell that can get someone out of a tornado safely (unless your a warlock). I’ve used it many times on DPS, fellow healers, and even the tank! It’s priceless for this fight!
Lifegrip has a TON of uses for this part of the expansion and I foresee it being just as useful for Patch 4.2 as well. We have the spell in our arsenal, so make sure it’s on your bars! It’s UNIQUE and could mean the difference between a clear and a wipe!
In my opinion, a Priest who actively uses Lifegrip in appropriate situations is a far better healer than one that tops the meters. It shows they are aware of their surroundings and are prepared to deal with whatever is thrown at them. That’s worth more than any Recount or World of Logs topper.