This is the guide to a Holy Priest Raid Healer. I will be telling you everything you need to know about how to be a Holy Priest and more…. Okay…… I can tell you how to be a Holy Priest, but no more. 😛
In this section, I will be talking about the spells that Holy Priests use when healing. Here is the list of all the spells you would use.
- Circle of Healing (CoH)
- Prayer of Healing (PoH)
- Prayer of Mending (PoM)
*Filler Spell and optional usage.
Circle of Healing is an instant AoE healing spell that heals 5-6 targets within a 15 yard radius of the target the spell was casted on. This spell has a 6 second cooldown timer. It is a smart heal, so it chooses its targets from whoever has the lowest amount of health. This is a good spell to use while kiting, especially if 3 or more targets are taking a considerable amount of damage at the same time.
Prayer of Healing is a party-wide AoE healing spell that has a 3 second casting time. This has a 30 yard range and a VERY hefty mana cost, at 48% of your base mana. This is, however, an extremely potent healing spell, and is strongly encouraged when a large amount of damage is predicted, allowing the priest to begin casting ahead of time. Be aware, a 3 second cast time is very long time.
Prayer of Mending is a very unique healing spell that no other class has an equivalent to. With a 15% of base mana cost, this spell is decently expensive, yet very worth it. Once this is casted on a target, it will take effect when the target takes damage, and then healing that target. Once that target is healed, the spell jumps to another target within 20 yards of the previous target and heals them after they take damage. It will continue doing this for 5 charges, one charge being every person healed, or until a target does not take damage for 30 seconds. This spell has a 10 second cooldown, and is best casted on a tank that is presumed to be taking frequent damage.
Flash Heal is most priests’ choice for a filler spell. This is to simply be used when the above spells are on cooldown, just to keep the healing up. This is a fairly powerful heal as well.
Renew is another filler spell chosen by some priests purely by preference. Flash Heal and Renew are both filler spells and you may use both, or either one. Again, this is purely preference. Renew is a priest’s only HoT spell that can be made very useful by talents. This is also a fairly powerful heal. However, the downside to this is that it heals once every 3 seconds and only has a total of 5 ticks, and is quite mana expensive.
Power Word: Shield is a very useful spell for disc priests, and loses most of its usefulness for holy priests. Still, it can be a nice prevention heal if you plan on the target taking some damage, or to be a filler spell. Do NOT do this, however, if there is a disc priest in the raid, for you will make that priest, your raid leader, and very well your whole raid very unhappy with you if you use for a disc priest’s bubble is much more powerful than yours. Not only that, but when it is casted on the target, that person gains the Weakened Soul debuff, preventing Power Word: Shield to be casted on them for another 15 seconds.
Greater Heal is a very, very useless healing spell as of the moment. It is a slow and weak single target heal, making it close to useless except for emergency tank heals. Granted, the amount healed is very high, but at best, casts at 2.5 seconds. This spell has a standard 3 second cast time with a cost of 32% base mana.
Divine Hymn is a very strong and smart healing AoE spell. This is decently similar to a druid’s tranquility spell, with a 10 minute cooldown. This spell heals every 2 seconds with a total of 8 ticks. It heals 3 members at lowest health within a 40 yard range, with a maximum of 12 heals. This spell must be channeled to be completed, and it costs a whopping 63% of your base mana.
Holy Nova has lost its raid potential for the moment, but is still a good idea to have handy for the odd case that your entire party is taking damage within 10 yards of you.
Desperate Prayer is a very interesting heal that is very much a life saver. This spell is used frequently when your own health is dropping low quickly, or even if you are about to take an inevitable hunk of damage. This spell costs 21% of your base mana.
The Specs for a Holy Priest are pretty flexible, but I will mention the staples that you NEED to have.
Meditation is an absolute must have for all healing priests, no matter what. This means that at least 13 points have to be spent in the Discipline tree.
Inner Focus: a very useful spell for raiders, and is required for certain fights, as well as the fact that it’s very useful to use as a savior spell.
Improved Inner Fire: A very useful talent all around. There’s really no down side to this spell.
Twin Disciplines: a no-brainer when going into the Discipline tree. There is no reason you shouldn’t pick this up.
Improved Power Word: Fortitude isn’t a must have for the discipline tree, but you need 2 more points, and having more stamina isn’t a bad thing.
Silent Reslove should in NO way be picked up. I would not even mention this if it were not for the fact that I must say this: If you need to pick this talent up, your tank is doing something unbelievably wrong!
There is no talent in the second tier that is too good and can be skipped if it is wished, although if you want to pick one up, Spell Warding is the best choice, for you will not be using Holy Fire or Smite. However, if you use Greater Heal a decent amount, then pick up Divine Fury.
Inspiration is an extremely useful talent that isn’t just great for tanks. The only time this may not be as useful is if you raid with many other holy priests specced for this.
Desperate Prayer(Desperate Prayer) is a pretty easy choice considering the description of the spell I made above. Very much worth the talent point.
Holy Reach is pretty straightforward. Any healer would benefit from how far our spells go and how many targets are affected.
Spirit of Redemption is one of the most useful talents in the whole Holy tree. Any priest loves a 5% increase to their spirit, and allowing yourself to heal after death is always a good thing.
Spiritual Guidance is a great talent to just help with your ability to heal. It also makes picking Spirit over MP5 on gear a very easy and smart choice.
Surge of Light is an extremely useful talent for any priest, whether their filler spell is Flash Heal or Renew. Instant Flash Heals are wonderful for on the go heals and even more powerful when combined with Circle of Healing because it almost always crits on at least one target.
Spiritual Healing is a pretty self explanatory talent. Better heals, better healer.
Holy Concentration was originally made to make up for the nerf of Spirit for Priests early on when Wrath of the Lich King first came out. It is quite useful, and since it is activated by Flash Heal and Empowered Renew, it should be up quite frequently due to having to use either of those spells as fillers.
Serendipity is an amazing talent that makes Prayer of Healing ten times better. Prayer of Healing is normally a pretty slow spell cast, but having the Serendipity stacks make it much more effective. Just make sure that you acquire some Serendipity stacks, if not all 3, before casting Prayer of Healing.
Circle of Healing is an absolute staple and should not be missing from any holy priest. This is an amazing healing spell and definitely a primary one as mentioned above.
Empowered Renew can raise arguments, but this is mine. No matter how much you may hate using Renew, putting at least one point in this talent can be useful. This is because it lets Renew have that chance to activate Holy Concentration and Surge of Light.
Guardian Spirit is a talent, that I will admit, is occasional for most Holy Priests, but is incredibly powerful and is often used during a predicted damage taking in a raid. This can be used on a normal cooldown line as well, however, I have found that if that is done, you will end up needing it on another occasion. This is best to keep tanks alive during a battle.
This is the spec for my priest:
*NOTE* I use Flash Heal as my filler spell.
Glyph of Circle of Healing is extremely useful, simply making Circle of Healing more efficient. This should not be missing from any priests’ collection of glyphs.
The rest of these glyphs depend on your playing style.
Glyph of Levitate is purely a convenience glyph for someone who likes to use Levitate frequently.
Glyph of Fortitude is nice for raids and mainly anything really. A decrease of 50% is quite good.
Glyph of Shadowfiend can be semi-useful if you decide to send the little guy out and it dies from AoE.
This is also the link to the build I personally use, note however, that I use Flash Heal as my filler spell.
Since priests are one of three cloth caster classes, there will be much competition for gear. Because of this, knowing what you need in your gear is always a good thing so that you don’t pick up a piece of equipment best suited for a mage or warlock.
In order of most important to least important, these are the stats a holy priest needs:
- MP5 (Mana per 5 seconds)
Spellpower: This is the easiest choice of gear to choose from. Spellpower increases your heals, although it also increases your overheals. Overall, it is the most useful stat to have.
Intellect: This stat has been the most powerful stat for casters since Wrath of the Lich King. Not only does it increase the size of your mana pool, it also increases the amount of mana you regenerate from Replenishment, Shadowfiend, and Hymn of Hope. It also increases your Critical Strike Rate, for 150 Intellect=1% Critical Strike Rate. And lastly it increases your additional MP5 depending on your total amount of Intellect and Spirit.
Spirit: This used to be the #1 stat to get for priests, but it has gotten nerfed many times. With talents that I have mentioned, however, Spirit is very useful and powerful. Meditation allows 50% of your mana regeneration while casting and Spiritual Healing increases your Spellpower by 25% of your Spirit. As a note, for every 11 Spirit=4 MP5 and 2.75 Spellpower, however Intellect plays a role in that as well.
Critical Strike Rating: This is a fairly simple stat, and says what it does in the name. The better your critical strike rating, the bigger your critical heals are. With talents such as Holy Concentration and Surge of Light, your critical heals also activate mana regeneration. There is no technical cap as to when crit stops becoming useful.
Haste: This is the second simple stat for holy priests. We have a decent amount of instant cast spells as holy priests, however, Haste is most useful on timed casts such as Prayer of Healing and Greater Heal. Now, as I said, you won’t be using Greater Heal very much, but a decreased Prayer of Healing is very nice. Haste also decreases the global cooldown of your spells, which can help as well.
-This paragraph is about the Crit vs. Haste debate. This has been an issue ever since holy priests reached level 60, and is obviously still going on. Some say that you should just stack Crit all the way, and others swear on using Haste. And there are some of course that prefer a mixture. I personally prefer a mixture of the two, but the important thing about this is that you need to find your comfort zone with the two. Because your Crit affects your number of Holy Concentration and Surge of Light activations, it may be preferred to some, and you need to find the number of times that these are activated to your desire. After that, stack Haste all the way up. I will recommend, though, that you try to get 30% Crit and 20% haste with raid buffs.
MP5: This is purely a regeneration stat, simply regenerating your mana every 5 seconds. Because this is only a regen stat, it is frowned upon by most. The advice most priests will give, including me, is that you do not aim to pick up any gear with MP5 on it unless it is an all around upgrade for other stats on it.
Stamina: This is a universal stat. All classes need stamina, and for a healer it isn’t necessarily important. You gain Stamina as your gear level goes up, and that is done by obtaining gear at the content level you are at. Unless your gear level is below the content level by quite a bit, you will always have a sufficient amount.
Enchanting and Gemming
The enchants and gems for a holy priest are very simple and straightforward. Now be aware, these can all be fairly expensive or require a reputation requirement. These are mainly for level 80s, however the stats can be lowered for a different level item (i.e. Epic Gem to Blue Gem, Major Enchant to Minor Enchant).
**The item listed first in the section is always going to be the more desirable and better choice.**
Lightweave Embroidery: Available at 400 Tailoring. Chance to increase your Spellpower by 295 for 15 seconds when casting a spell.
Enchant Chest – Powerful Stats: +10 to All Stats is very useful. This is also available for a lesser enchant like Enchant Chest – Exceptional Stats and so on.
Enchant Bracers – Superior Spellpower: +30 Spellpower to bracers is amazing. Also available in lesser forms.
Enchant Staff – Greater Spellpower: +81 Spellpower. More, more, more Spellpower.
Enchant Weapon – Mighty Spellpower: +63 Spellpower For anything other than a Staff for Spellpower.
Enchant Gloves – Exceptional Spellpower: +28 Spellpower.
Brilliant Spellthread: 50 Spellpower and 20 Sprit. This is your best option.
Enchant Boots – Tuskarr’s Vitality: Not much of a choice here. The stamina is alright and the run speed is convenient.
Gemming really mostly depends on what stats you need more, but here is a list of recommended gems to use for whatever stat you may need. Although for a few general rules, it’s best to stack on Intellect, Spellpower, and Spirit. Gemming for Crit and Haste are not very helpful unless you really don’t have much at all.
Luminous Ametrine: +12 Spellpower and +10 Intellect. A nice combination. Fits a red or yellow gem slot.
Purified Dreadstone: +12 Spellpower and +10 Spirit. Another choice. The Intellect from the Luminous Ametrine is more helpful but it depends on what is available. Fits a red or blue gem slot.
Insightful Earthsiege Gem: +21 Intellect and the chance to restore 400 mana on spellcast can be very helpful.
Beaming Earthsiege Diamond: +21 Critical Strike Rating and +2% Mana. The Mana is the best part of this gem. It’s great if you need some Crit.
Ember Skyflare Diamond: +25 Spellpower and +2% Intellect. This is a nice bit of intellect. Mainly for more Spellpower.
Alright people, that’s the end of my guide. I tried to go into as much detail as possible with as much as I can and I really hope you enjoyed it! If you have any corrects, suggestions, or anything, just comment below and I will happily read the comment and reply. Thanks. 🙂