After having a somewhat comical conversation on Twitter with a few fellow bloggers and reading O’s new post, I decided I wanted to write an article weighing the benefits of being a Gnome Priest. Cataclysm introduced the concept of Gnome Priests and Gnome racials integrate very well with the class.
In general, racials don’t “make or break” a Priest. They are merely perks for being a particular race. Some are good for PvE, others are good for PvP. I’ve noticed that Blizzard has tried to implement all of them to be utilized in both PvE and PvP to some degree and each race has some form of PvE and PvP racial utility. This is a good thing. It causes people to not shy away from a particular race based on interests.
Gnome racials are very straightforward and are integrated well with the lore of the Gnome race. 4 out of the 5 racial traits are useful for Priests in some shape or form.
Shortblade Specialization- I’ll get the useless one out of the way first. This increases your expertise rating with daggers and one handed swords by 3. Unless you plan on stabbing the boss to death, it’s fairly useless for Priests.
Arcane Resistance- Increases Arcane Resistance by 1 point per level. To be honest, we haven’t seen that much Arcane damage in Cataclysm. The only fight I can see it being useful is Omnotron Defense System when Arcanotron is active. We mostly have been seeing Fire, Shadow, and Nature damage in most fights.
Engineering Specialist- 15 skill point bonus to Engineering. Engineering has always been the more “PvP” oriented trade-skill compared to others, but Blizz has done some major work to make it more competitive for PvE. This helps out with the skill a little bit.
Expansive Mind- Now we are getting to the good stuff. This increases your mana pool by 5%. It use to be Intellect, but Blizzard replaced it with Mana for Cataclysm. This means at 100k mana, you will have an extra 5k tacked on. The extra mana increases as your mana pool increases, so it scales with gear. This also causes it to scale with Replenishment and Rapture, increasing your mana regen during fights. This racial is very tasty for Discipline Priests in particular, since they scale extremely well from Intellect.
Escape Artist- Escapes the effects of any immobilization or movement speed reduction effect. From a PvE standpoint, this is a very good racial. Anything that gets you out of snares so you can “get out of the fire” faster is a major plus in my book. The faster you can get moving, the faster you can get back to healing the noob hunter who always stands in the purple void zones.
Overall, Gnome racials are pretty competitive with other Alliance racials. In fact Gnomes are probably one of the better options (if not the best) for healing Priests in PvE.
Remember, there are no BAD options as a race for a healing Priest. Some are more competitive that others, but all of them have their perks.