Priest Raid Class Spec Lead (Holy/Disc) Discussion
Priestly healbots! Welcome to your Raiding Class / Spec thread!

I'm Naruth, admitted healing addict, and you lot get the dubious joy of reading all my ramblings and rants about healing in a raid environment as a priest – which is such a wonderful, frustrating experience. Wink

I have a lot of information forthcoming for you... a lot. I've been plotting and gathering it for some time now, and am still working it into coherent format. For the moment, I'm letting you know that I'm here, and outlining some of the things you can expect from me.

Some of the topics I will touch on are:

- Flat stat recommendations for raiding, including:
  • Mana

    - Talent Specs

    - Gear

    - Professions

    - Stats Discussion

    - Enchants

    - Gems

    - Spell rotations

    - Macros

    If anyone has any other general topics they'd like to bring into the discussion, or any questions at all, please feel free to post here, send me a PM, in-game mail, or poke me on any of my characters (Naruth, Aeorie, Vilyave, Whilst, Juliard, Jhunra... ahem!). I love healing, and further to that, I love healing as a priest. It's a fun, dynamic, and rewarding experience (albeit sometimes a cursing fit-inducing one ;D ), and I want to do anything I can do to help others enjoy it more and become better at it.

    As the below topics are filled in, I'd love to see any dicussion or ideas anyone has. I've been at this healing business for a while, but I am by no means the end-all-be-all. I'm really looking forward to hearing what the rest of you think, adding your ideas to these topics, and learning about things you have found to work well in your own experience.
Base requirements for healing in Karazhan/Gruul's Lair level raid encounters

Karazhan is a wonderful place to learn how to heal in a smaller raid environment, and is very linear, beginning with a relatively easy, straightforward boss, and ending with a couple that can cause hours of frustration even after months and months of practice and experience. The early portions of the dungeon are pretty forgiving, and these following numbers are very generous for that level of progression. As you progress past the Curator, however, the below numbers may no longer suffice for you, and you might see some longevity and healing output issues in Gruul's Lair. Remember, this is meant as a general stats guideline for beginning raiding as a healing priest – and above all, finding a balance between your stats is key.

Unbuffed: 9,000.

Some thoughts...
The size of a healer's mana pool is often deceptive. I found that as I obtained upgrades, many times my mana would actually go down. This is not something to be terribly concerned about, because as it happens, your +healing and regen rate increase, allowing you to heal for larger amounts for a longer period of time, even with the decreased mana. Finding that balance is the key. There is no downside to having a sizeable mana pool, so long as you are not hurting your regen or your healing power. But as with most things, it's not the sheer size of you mana pool that matters so much as how you use it (more on spell rotations to help with this will come later). If you have a 13,000 mana pool but little regen while casting, it is easy to find yourself out of mana only a few moments into a fight.

130 While Casting
325 While Not Casting

Some thoughts...
As a priest, your primary method of mana regeneration is Spirit-based regen. The talents Meditation and Spiritual Guidance (more in-depth talent discussion will come later), and the Improved Divine Spirit buff provide us with healthy reason to stack Spirit - in addition, the upcoming patch increases Spirit-based regeneration as your intellect increases. I am still looking into the exact rate and return per point of int/Spirit, but from what I hear, it's an incredible change, and works to solidifies Spirit as our primary stat. As you progress, you see that much of our gear has a balance of spirit and mp5. When choosing one stat to augment through enchants, particular upgrades / sidegrades, consider your normal style of healing, but remember that spirit affects more than just your regen. Flat mp5 is still useful, but given the choice between equal values of the two, I have found Spirit to have a very well-rounded advantage.


Some thoughts...
Assuming you have the Primal Mooncloth set, perhaps a piece or two of Whitemend, and some of the many wonderful quest rewards and dungeon drops (Non-Heroic drops, Heroic drops) this is a relatively easy number to reach. If you are not a tailor and I can't persuade you to pick up the profession Wink, it might be a little more difficult. If you're having issues hitting this mark as a non-tailor, remember that you still have access to the Whitemend set (although you miss out on the shiny set bonus) and may also consider +healing enchants, which are available to your weapon, bracers, gloves, helm, and rings (ring enchants are available to enchanters only), and gems for your socketed items (more on specific gems and enchants will come later).

Health Points:
Unbuffed: 7,000

Some thoughts...
Many encounters, such as the Shade of Aran in Karazhan, require all participants to reach a certain health threshold. Cave-ins in Gruul's Lair reach ridiculous numbers in the latter phases of the fight, Stoned/Shatter can cause devastating damage if you're thrown into a bad location and unable to move away from another player... and if you can't survive, the raid won't survive.

As you are building your main healing set, also be mindful of any healing gear you see with stamina on it. If an item that is not an overall upgrade for you drops in a dungeon or is offered as a quest reward, but has more stamina than your current piece of gear, take it anyway (assuming no one else can use it as an upgrade), and if appropriate, gem or enchant it with extra stamina. Then switch to those items when an encounter calls for a certain HP level. This will hurt your other stats, of course, but a living healer with smaller heals and less regen is still much better than a dead healer.
Healing Talent Specs

What kinds of specs are there?

There are basically two generic builds for PVE healing: Improved Divine Spirit or Circle of Healing. Each has its place and uses, and I will touch on the major benefits and downsides of each.

Improved Divine Spirit

About the spec:
An Imp. DS build generally involves the priest talenting in Discipline down 23 talent points to Improved Divine Spirit, then filling out the remainder of their talents in Holy. Divine Spirit Rank 5 (the highest rank currently available) increases the target's Spirit by 50. 2/2 Talents in Improved Divine Spirit alters the spell as follows: "Your Divine Spirit and Prayer of Spirit spells also increase the target's spell damage and healing by an amount equal to 10% of their total Spirit." Simply put: Yum.

If you're the sole healing priest in your raid, and if you spend a good deal of time healing 5-man instances and even Karazhan, an Imp. DS build is generally going to be best for you and your group mates. When Imp. DS is combined with Spirit of Redemption (+5% spirit), Spiritual Healing (increases damage and healing by +25% of your spirit), and Meditation, it becomes very, very powerful, especially if you stack spirit already. In addition, the added damage and regen it gives the offensive casters in your raid is quite shiny.

If there is already an Imp. DS priest in your raid, it is not necessary for you to spec for it. But if you routinely heal 5-man groups, play solo, or are the only healing priest in another raid, it would serve you well to keep Imp. DS. You will sacrifice some raw healing power, and the addicting spammy joy that is Circle of Healing, but those losses are minimal until you are deep in end-game raiding (t5 and t6 content). And Imp. DS is yum.

Sample Imp. DS Builds:
"Cookie-cutter" Improved DS build – This is a pretty generic build (see below for more in-depth, talent-by-talent discussion).

My Imp DS build – This is the build I generally use when I spec for Imp DS.

Circle of Healing

About the spec:
The Circle of Healing build generally consists of the priest talenting straight down the Holy tree to the 41 point talent, Circle of Healing. Circle of Healing is an instant cast heal that affects your target and your target's group (within a relatively small radius). This is a very specialized build, one that shines in certain circumstances and can seem a little "blah" in others.

Circle of Healing is highly efficient for the amount of healing it provides, and is a quick way to top off a group instantly. It's an amazing spell in any dungeon with raid-wide splash damage, or for any encounter where a given group will be taking consistent, unavoidable damage. If you are raiding Zul'Aman, Serpentshrine, Tempest Keep, and beyond, it is invaluable and more than a little addicting.

If you are raiding Karazhan and Gruul's Lair, or primarily healing 5-man dungeons, Circle of Healing has its uses, but they are somewhat limited. While you will still certainly find a use for CoH in these types of instances, it brings very little that a downranked Prayer of Healing or a few spot heals (or your paladin Flash of Light'ing or your shaman Chain Healing...) wouldn't do just as well. The spell is designed for the consistent splash damage in the later raiding encounters, and most priests find it lackluster unless they are healing that type of content regularly. I personally considered it to be quite useless in comparison to Imp. DS for a very long time, and I still prefer an Imp DS spec when healing smaller raids or 5 mans.

Sample CoH builds:
Cookie cutter CoH build – This is a pretty generic CoH build (see below for more in-depth talent-by-talent discussion).

My CoH build – This is the CoH build I generally use.

Some Thoughts on Tweaking Your Build

After the core of the build is set, many healing priests (me included) tend to play around with our last 5 to 10 points, rearranging as situations call for it and our budgets allow. We have a lot of flexibility with our builds, because there are many more good talents available than we have points to spend!

Using the two CoH builds as an example... Giving up Mental Agility, especially in a build built around an instant-cast spell, is a little painful. But I usually find it worthwhile for the increased CoH range from Holy Reach, and since I use Prayer of Mending every chance I get, Healing Prayers is a natural choice, and makes up a fair bit for the loss of Mental Agility.

Similarly, some priests prefer Spell Warding over Holy Specialization. In encounters or dungeons where damage is primarily or exclusively magical, or in places where there is heavy/unavoidable magical AOE splash damage, it's like having an additional 10% health, something very useful for anyone, but especially us squishies. I still prefer Holy Specialization over Spell Warding, but it is just that – preference. Your mileage may vary. None of these are bad talents, and I can't call any of them "better" than the others – it comes down to your play style, your role in the raid, and the encounters you are fighting in.

Individual Talent Discussion

Following are some talent-by-talent thoughts on the Holy and Discipline talents.

Discipline Tree

First Tier:
Unbreakable Will, 5/5
A must for raiding, and handy in most other situations. Badly times silences, stuns, and fears on the healer can mean the life or death of a tank, and any extra safeguard against those is a winner.

Wand Specialization, 5/5
A solid talent for leveling, but one I would drop in favor of Unbreakable Will well before you begin seriously raiding.

Second Tier:
Silent Resolve, 5/5
Yes, yes, and more yes. Even with the most solid tank, the most reliable crowd control, the most predictable encounter, times will come when you will pull aggro. Minimize that as much as possible with this talent. Some argue that the necessity for this talent decreases the further you progress, but having handily pulled off a tank with Circle of Healing when a raid was being AOE’d, I can attest that it is always useful. Wink

Improved Power Word: Fortitude 2/2
A must for anyone, raiding or otherwise. This talent increases the stamina granted by rank 7 PW:F from 70 to 101, which is a no-brainer.

Improved Power Word: Shield, 3/3
Not an impressive talent. With 2,000 +healing, it would increase the damage absorbed by rank 12 PW:S by approximately 250 damage. There are much better uses for those three points.

Martyrdom, 2/2
This is a talent for pvp and soloing. It is useless for PVE raiding – if you’re being directly hit, let alone crit in a raid environment, you’re most likely going to die anyway. Wink

Third Tier:
Absolution, 3/3
Situationally useful if you are involved in encounters that require a lot of dispelling, but still not a talent I would ever recommend taking for PVE healing.

Inner Focus, 1/1
Nothing is shinier than a mana-free, max-rank Greater Heal or Prayer of Healing with a nice boost to crit chance thrown in. Casting with Inner Focus also allows your mana regen to continue as though you were not casting. This is a must-have talent.

Meditation, 3/3
Another must-have, Meditation is one of the talents which makes Spirit so important to a priest. Very close to the best talent we have. This should be mandatory for raiding, grouping, soloing... anything. It is that good.

Fourth Tier:
Improved Inner Fire, 3/3
This might have uses in PVP. I wouldn’t know, as I consider it a sheer waste of points, even if all you do is solo. For raiding, it is most certainly useless.

Mental Agility, 5/5
This is a very nice talent to have because many of our spells are instant casts. Renew, PW:S, Prayer of Mending, Circle of Healing, all of our buffs. If you’re heading down the Discipline tree, this is very worth taking for the mana reductions to Renew and PoM alone.

Improved Mana Burn, 2/2
Another PVP talent. I once toyed with the idea of trying it on the Moam fight in AQ20, but regained my sanity quickly. To my knowledge, it has no viable use at all in present raiding.

Fifth Tier:
Mental Strength, 5/5
This is a nice talent, though not an amazing one. More mana is never a bad thing.

Divine Spirit, 1/1; Improved Divine Spirit, 2/2
My absolute favorite buff in the game, Imp DS is incredibly useful for any priest and the casters they group with. The Spirit alone would make it easily worthwhile; the Spirit-based bonus to damage and healing make it amazing.

Sixth Tier:
Focused Power, 2/2
A PVP and solo talent, useful only in PVE for the reduction to the Mass Dispel cast time. Wait, for that to be useful, Mass Dispel would have to be useful… Scratch that – PVP and solo talent.

Force of Will, 5/5
Great for a zomgSMITE build, but not at all useful for PVE healing.

Seventh Tier:
Focused Will, 3/3
Obvious PVP talent.

Power Infusion, 1/1
Boomies! PI is generally more useful when cast on an offensive caster than on yourself, and they will love you for it, even if they die afterwards. It’s certainly fun to play with.

Reflective Shield, 5/5
Another PVP talent. A very fun one, mind you, but of little use in a raid environment.

Eighth Tier:
Enlightenment, 5/5
A very solid talent for obvious reasons; unfortunately it is much too deep in the Discipline Tree to be practical for PVE healing.

Ninth Tier:
Pain Suppression
Even with the recent changes making Pain Suppression castable on others (among other things), this is still a PVP talent. I can think of a few instances where this would be useful in PVE raiding, but most are questionable. It would be nice to cast upon yourself when Fade is down and your tank can’t get aggro away from you, but those situations are rare, and again, deep Discipline just isn’t ideal for PVE healing.

Holy Tree

First Tier:
Healing Focus, 2/2
Protection against spell pushback is vital to any healing class, and we have the good fortune to find ours on the very first tier, for only two talent points. Win!

Improved Renew, 3/3
Very useful. Renew is an amazing spell already, being very mana efficient as well as our only spell to receive the full 100% benefit from +healing. Increasing its power is only a good thing.

Holy Specialization, 5/5
Critical heals are beautiful things, especially well-timed ones. Even if it is ill-times, unlike those of our leafy friends, our critical heals rarely cause threat problems (go, go fade). Paired with the third tier’s Inspiration, this talent becomes even more powerful. This talent also affects offensive holy spells, which is nice.

Second Tier:
Spell Warding, 5/5
Situationally, this is a very nice talent. In magic-heavy encounters, it is like having another 10% health, which is great for us.

Divine Fury, 5/5
This is a must for the time off Greater Heal alone. That the casting times of Holy Fire and Smite are also reduced make it that much more appealing. Even a healbot has to solo occasionally. Wink

Third Tier:
Holy Nova, 1/1
Holy Nova, Holy Nova! A very fun talent, with... debatable... usefulness. It gives an AOE damage spell to a class that otherwise has none, and is great for short AOE pulls when you can get yourself in a group with the main AOEers and go ‘splody for a few seconds. Considering the mana cost (875 at rank 7), this has very little practical value for raid healing, but for only one point, why not?

Blessed Recovery, 3/3
I have met some priests who like this talent, but I have never found it to be terribly useful, especially in a raid environment. Because, <insert broken record here>, you being directly hit is usually you being one-shot.

Inspiration, 3/3
A solid talent, worth taking if you heal a tank even part of the time. A nice use of this talent is to spam rank 1 Flash Heal on a tank just prior to a boss pull until you crit; the extra armor is a nice buffer while your tank is building aggro. If you run exclusively with a crazed druid tank who has maxed armor reduction, its usefulness lessens, but it’s still nice to have.

Fourth Tier:
Holy Reach, 2/2
A staple for many Circle of Healing builds. It isn’t necessary, but it’s darn nice to have. If you’re not taking CoH, however, don’t bother with this one.

Improved Healing, 3/3
Yes. Greater Heal is your powerhouse, but its max rank cost of 825 mana will make your mana pool cry. Maximize its efficiency anyway you can by downranking (see a later post about this!), /stopcasting (ditto!), using your Inner Focus, and taking this talent.

Searing Light, 2/2
If you play solo at all, this is a very worthwhile talent to have. At only two points, it’s not going to break your healing build to take it, either.

Fifth Tier:
Healing Prayers, 2/2
This is worth taking simply for the Prayer of Mending mana reduction (for more on why Prayer of Mending = Godly, see the later post on Spell Rotations, etc.). And if you use Prayer of Healing at all, definitely take this.

Spirit of Redemption, 1/1
Even over Meditation, I would call this the best talent healing priests have, full stop. PVE, PVP, it doesn’t matter. The 5% Spirit bonus is enough to make me drool; the on-death ability (and face it, loves; you’re playing a priest because you’re a masochist – you know you’re going to die) is often what makes or breaks an encounter. I’ve been known to self-sacrifice close to the end of a new encounter, when I’m out of mana and out of tricks, just to activate Spirit of Redemption and give a little more push to the end. Even in non-extreme situations, it’s great; it can save your party if you die prematurely. Take this talent, or face the wrath of Nar’s flappy wings! Dooo eeeet.

Spiritual Guidance, 5/5
Yes and still yet more yes. Add this to Spirit of Redemption and Improved DS, and you get a major boost to your +healing. Also helpful for soloing, of course.

Sixth Tier:
Surge of Light, 2/2
If you solo often, take this (along with Holy Specialization and Searing Light). It’s minimal points and the payoff is substantial. Can be used for entertainment purposes when raiding (you can get the instant, mana-free smite after a crit heal), if you can spare the global cooldown on an offensive spell. I mourned for a long time when I finally gave up this talent. =(

Spiritual Healing, 5/5
Increases the amount healed by your spells by 10%? A no-brainer: this is an amazing talent.

Seventh Tier:
Holy Concentration, 3/3
I was dubious at first, but once I tried it, I’d never go back. 6% happens a lot more often than you’d think. Aside from the obvious benefit of a mana free heal (be ambitious – make it a Greater Heal!), when used back-to-back with Inner Focus, this can get your outside the 5 second rule for a substantial period of time, allowing for a healthy chunk of mana regen.

Lightwell, 1/1
If you can train your raid properly, Lightwell is a great talent. It does wonders for ranged dps who take periodic damage. If you can’t train your raid properly (some of them are just stubborn like that), it’s great to drop beside yourself prior to a boss fight to top yourself off for free later on. And regardless of either situation... you’re a priest, you have Levitate, and you are a diva. Dance, honey, dance!

Blessed Resilience, 3/3
A good PVP talent; not so much with the good for PVE.

Eighth Tier:
Empowered Healing, 5/5
With 5/5 in this talent, you get 107% of your +healing applied to Greater Heal, and 53% applied to Binding/Flash Heal. Nom nom nom? Yes, nom nom nom indeed.

Ninth Tier:
Circle of Healing, 1/1
If you’re this deep in Holy, there’s only one reason: the spammy, addictive Circle of Aggro. Take it, live it, love it.

This section is still in progress.

Crafted Gear

Tailoring Items
Primal Mooncloth and Whitemend Sets. While Whitemend does not require you to be a tailor to wear it, the set bonus is lovely. This combination is superior to the Tier 4 pieces, and better than anything you will see until deep into SSC/TK/ZA.

Jewelcrafting Items
[item]Kailee's Rose[/item]
[item]Figurine - Talasite Owl[/item]

Alchemy Items
[item]Alchemist's Stone[/item]
The increase increase to gain by potions is very powerful, and the bonus to your stamina, intellect, and spirit is substantial as well.

Engineering Items
[item]Powerheal 4000 Lens[/item], and the (not yet released) upgrade: [item]Powerheal 9000 Lens[/item].
Reason enough to make more than one person drop another profession for Engineering, these are really, really fantastic helms.

Dungeon Gear and Where to Find it
The best 5-man gear drops in Heroics, with some very nice blues as well as a few epics that are comparable with Karazhan gear. There are also a few nice pieces from normal level 70 and upper 60s dungeons. Below are a number of links to these items on Wowhead, showing their details and where they drop.

Non-Heroic Dungeon Drops
Heroic Dungeon Drops

Weapons and Wands:
Non-Heroic Dungeon Drops
Heroic Dungeon Drops (nothing terribly exciting about the heroic drops as compared to the non-heroic)

Off-Hand Frills:
Heroic Drops. The [item]Lamp of Peaceful Repose[/item] also drops in non-Heroic Arcatraz; all the other items remain the same.

Rings, Necklaces, and Trinkets
Non-Heroic Dungeon Drops
Heroic Dungeon Drops

Reputation-based Purchasable Gear

Cenarion Expedition
[item]Watcher's Cowl[/item] - Revered
[item]Windcaller's Orb[/item] - Exalted

Keepers of Time
[item]Bindings of the Timewalker[/item] - Exalted

Lower City
[item]Lower City Prayerbook[/item] - Revered

[item]Gavel of Pure Light[/item] - Exalted

[item]Ancestral Band[/item] - Revered

Quest Reward Gear
Enchants for healing priests

Reputation based enchants:

[item]Glyph of Renewal[/item]. Requires Revered reputation with Thrallmar, and worth every second of that grind.

[item]Inscription of Faith[/item] (Aldor Honored)
[item]Greater Inscription of Faith[/item] (Aldor Exalted)
[item]Inscription of the Oracle[/item] (Scryer Honored)
[item]Greater Inscription of the Oracle[/item] (Scryer Exalted)

I prefer the Aldor shoulder enchants personally. Pick whichever works best for you.

The below enchants are performed by an enchanter, with the exception of the [item]Magister's Armor Kit[/item]. For a list of which in-guild enchanters can perform any given enchant, and leatherworkers who can make the armor kit, see the Rare Tradeskill List.

Subtlety. -2% threat. There is no “good” enchant for a healer, but this is the best one we have. I loff it.
+7 Resistance to all. Hell for materials, but if you have an abundance of primals and too much gold, then by all means.

+6 mp5. Great all-around for regen. Most priests choose either this or 15 spirit.
+15 Spirit. My favored enchant. Good for regen and +healing.
+6 to all stats. Nice all-around enchant, and a good choice for your stam robe.
+150 HP. If you’re really hurting for HP, this will help a smidge – I’d still say go for the +6 stats.

+30 Healing. Generally the best enchant for priests.
+6 Mp5. A good enchant if you’re hurting for regen.
+4 to all stats. This is decent, but not wonderful compared to the above two.
+12 Stamina. Good for use in your stam set.
+12 Intellect. Not great for us, but better than nothing. +Healing or regen will always serve you better.

+35 Healing. The best glove enchant for priests, though a bit rough on materials.
[item]Magister's Armor Kit[/item] is a good hold-over until you can get the +healing.

Golden Spellthread. Our best leg enchant. I love these spell threads because they boost not only our healing but our stamina as well, which is often neglected in favor of caster stats.
Silver Spellthread. This will work well if you’re short primal life, or can’t find a crafter with a nether.
[item]Magister's Armor Kit[/item] will hold you over if you’re short on primal life.

Vitality. +4mp5 and +4 hp5. While the hp5 is useless, the mp5 is very nice. I prefer this over the armor kit because the materials are easy for me (as an enchanter).
[item]Magister's Armor Kit[/item] is almost as good as Vitality. If you have a steady supply of primal mana (engineers, etc.), this might be easier for you to make.
+12 Stamina. Good for your stam set or if you’re hurting for HP.
Boar’s Speed. +9 stamina and increased run speed. Good all-around for survivability. Better than +12 stamina and the material list shows it.

Rings (enchanter-only)
+20 Healing. The obvious choice for enchanter priests.
+4 Stats. Can be useful for a stam set or pushing up your int a bit, but not as useful as the healing, and has a pretty hefty material list to boot.

+81 Healing. Our standard weapon enchant. It shimmers and leaves sparkly trails!
+30 Intellect. A (relatively) cheap hold-over if you’re short on primals for the +healing.
Spellsurge. This really shines when used in a group where multiple people have the enchant – it’s not really worth it over the +81 healing otherwise.
20 Spirit. Useful for putting on a spirit-heavy weapon for a regen or Innervate set. If you don’t have an abundance of old-world materials, don’t bother with it.
Gems for healing priests

Below is a list of gems (uncommon and rare quality) often used by healers. Socketed items are a very nice way to tailor your gear a bit to fit your own play style and needs best. While which gems you chose are completely up to you, I’ll share my favorites and explain why I prefer each one. Feel free to skip my ramblings if you like. =)

Most uncommon quality gems can be cut by any Jewelcrafter (and most of us have uncut uncommon gems by the stack that we’re more than willing to put to good use, and might even have a rare gem or two, so please don’t let your sockets stay empty!). For a list of rare quality gems known by the various in-guild Jewelcrafters, see the Rare Tradeskill List.

[item]Lustrous Azure Moonstone[/item], [item]Lustrous Star of Elune[/item]
[item]Sparkling Azure Moonstone[/item], [item]Sparkling Star of Elune[/item]

[item]Dazzling Deep Peridot[/item], [item]Dazzling Talasite[/item]

[item]Luminous Flame Spessarite[/item], [item]Luminous Noble Topaz[/item]

[item]Royal Shadow Draenite[/item], [item]Royal Nightseye[/item]
[item]Purified Jaggal Pearl[/item], [item]Purified Shadow Pearl[/item]

[item]Teardrop Blood Garnet[/item], [item]Teardrop Living Ruby[/item]

[item]Brilliant Golden Draenite[/item], [item]Brilliant Dawnstone[/item]

My personal preference leans away from the single color gems (red, blue, yellow). I like the variety and nice mix of stats found on the dual–colored gems (purple, green, orange). These gems also count as one of each color when considering requirements for a meta gem, and make meeting the socket bonuses on your items easier.

I prefer:
[item]Luminous Noble Topaz[/item] or [item]Dazzling Talasite[/item] for yellow sockets
[item]Royal Nightseye[/item] or [item]Purified Shadow Pearl[/item] for blue (and red) sockets
[item]Teardrop Living Ruby[/item] occasionally for red sockets (but generally I prefer one of the above purple gems).

Of the rare quality gems, [item]Royal Nightseye[/item] is sometimes called “the best” gem for healing priests, because it gives a bonus to healing with a little boost to your mp5, which is good padding for those fights when you cannot be out of the 5 second rule. It also has the benefit of being a dual-colored gem. I love the [item]Purified Shadow Pearl[/item] as well, because Spirit is such a lovely, multi-faceted stat for priests. I prefer these over either of the Star of Elune cuts. [item]Lustrous Star of Elune[/item] is just... lackluster :X and while [item]Sparkling Star of Elune[/item] is a nice little boost to spirit, I believe the combination of +healing with either mp5 or spirit is more beneficial than straight spirit.

I have seen some priests stack nothing but [item]Teardrop Living Ruby[/item] in their gear, to maximize their +healing as much as possible. I find this to be somewhat redundant and unnecessary – the two mp5 or four spirit in either of the purple gems is more valuable to me than an additional nine +healing. While this is a great gem, focusing purely on one stat is rarely as beneficial as achieving a balance of your stats.

[item]Luminous Noble Topaz[/item] or [item]Dazzling Talasite[/item] are nice for yellow slots, giving a bonus to your intellect (more mana + more crit + more regen = yay!), while also providing either +healing or mp5, whichever you need most. I prefer either of these over the [item]Brilliant Dawnstone[/item], again for the sake of balancing stats.

Still to come:
Meta Gems
Socket Bonuses
Addons and Macros

This section is still in progress.

General Addons for Raiding:

Omen - a must have.
Threat meter. Keep an eye on your tank's aggro - and your own. This is especially vital in multi-tanking situations.

BigWigs, Deadly Boss Mods - a must have
Raid boss warning addons, which inform you of cooldowns on bosses' abilities, when a boss is casting certain spells, when you're approaching phase transitions, certain effects on you to which you must react immediately, along with many other types of warnings and bits of dynamic information.

oRA2 or CTRaidAssist (Raiding Assistance mod) - very highly recommended
These give you tank windows, extra targeting features, buff/debuff support, and a myriad of other useful abilities for raid support.

Unit Frames and Raid Frames, such as PitBull, X-Perl, ag_UnitFrames/sRaidFrames, or Grid - very highly recommended
While it is very possible to heal without custom unit frames, I would never recommend it. They allow you to keep a much easier watch over health, mana, buffs, and debuffs, and can be configured to take up much less space and look so much nicer than the default ones.

Bartender3 or a similar bar mod - very highly recommended
This allows for customization of your bars sizes, shapes, and locations, as well as giving the ability to keybind and hide them all if you so wish. Using keybindings is much faster than mouse clicking once you are used to it, so this speeds your reaction time a great deal. Also serves to free up a lot of space on your screen, giving you a much better idea of what is going on.

Scrolling Combat Text and Scrolling Combat Damage recommended
Much nicer, better looking, and with more powerful customization options than the default. Can be set to show healing applied vs. overhealing, which I like. I recommend using the “Split Profile” setting to keep it very clean.

SW Stats, Recount, or other damage meter - recommended
This shows damage done, dps, healing done, overhealing, damage taken, and also tracks any number of useful things. It's handy to check your healing done vs. your overhealing, healing per second, healing per minute, and look at things like who in the raid is taking the most damage.

ClosetGnome or ItemRack

Healing-Specific Addons:

Decursive - recommended
Allows for single-click cleansing of debuffs, with an optional grid-like display. I find it very handy, but not essential. If you would rather not use a Decursive mod, be sure to configure your raid unit frames to highlight entities with a debuff you can cure, or at the very least show debuffs you can cure.
Some questions I think are interesting for priesty-healy-discussion:

Tradeoffs between mana regen and +healing
Usually your gear choices, in the end game, involve choosing between large amounts of mp5 and large amounts of +healing. With 3/3 in Meditation and Spiritual Healing, spirit also becomes really important as it contributes to both of these stats. How much healing is enough to off-set 1mp5, for a priest?

Healing on the Pull
How do you manage healing during different kinds of pulls? Healing threat is dicey and a healer has to be mindful of whether there are ranged casters, special abilities to watch out for, and what spells are most beneficial to be casting at the start of a battle versus at the end. How to manage threat using Prayer of Mending and Fade at appropriate times.

Spell Haste?
Some of the ZA gear and badge loot contain spell haste for priests. Is it worth it for the massive loss in mana regen and healing power? Scarab of the Infinite Cycle is commonly regarded as one of the best healing trinkets in the game. How useful is it, to priests?

I've got opinions on these, but since you're the class lead I thought I'd just toss them in there as food for thought. Smile
I would just like to commend you on a very well designed guide.

Now to get those last 8 levels on Billi....
Just to make sure it gets covered - downranking. At some point Smile
[Image: 2270166Iryxy.png]
Dromand (70 Tank/Healing Paladin), Logros (70 Enhancement Shaman), Denul (70 Shadow Priest), Bendon (70 AH-Mule Rogue)
Elyana Wrote:Some questions I think are interesting for priesty-healy-discussion...
I've got opinions on these, but since you're the class lead I thought I'd just toss them in there as food for thought. Big Grin
Oh Ely, one day you will learn not to get me started. I can ramble for days! But these are some great thoughts, so thanks for bringing them up, and please do share your thoughts on them as well – you're more of a healing veteran than me!

Elyana Wrote:Tradeoffs between mana regen and +healing
Usually your gear choices, in the end game, involve choosing between large amounts of mp5 and large amounts of +healing. With 3/3 in Meditation and Spiritual Healing, spirit also becomes really important as it contributes to both of these stats. How much healing is enough to off-set 1mp5, for a priest?
If I had to give a point for point comparison, I would venture to say somewhere along the lines of 5 healing to 1 mp5, assuming comparable base stats (stamina, intellect, spirit). But as I personally value Spirit more than straight mp5, it's a difficult question. I've focused on building my +healing and Spirit, not so much mp5. As such, my flat mp5 is pretty low by most recommended standards, but I very rarely have mana issues and it works quite well for me.

On the other hand, stacking spirit can be difficult when you're new to 70, or haven't had the opportunity to raid much yet. In those stages, I could see where mp5 would have an advantage over Spirit because the returns are obvious and always there... and you don't have to play the 5 second rule as much.

When deciding if an item is an upgrade or not, it's generally more of an over-all impression rather than a point by point breakdown, especially when you're at a point where most items are "sidegrades" -- a little more of this, a little less of that, but which is more valuable? I really think there is no right answer – it depends on where you want to focus and what works best with your build and current gear. In the end, that's something that comes with experience and is something usually only you can say, because you're the one playing with your spec, in your gear.

That said... For anyone who hasn't tried it, Rating Buster is an amazing addon to use for a complete breakdown of what you gain and lose on a given item, compared to what you have equipped (-12 healing, +3 int, -2 mp5... that kind of thing).

Elyana Wrote:Healing on the Pull
How do you manage healing during different kinds of pulls? Healing threat is dicey and a healer has to be mindful of whether there are ranged casters, special abilities to watch out for, and what spells are most beneficial to be casting at the start of a battle versus at the end. How to manage threat using Prayer of Mending and Fade at appropriate times.
Yay, this gives me even more fodder to throw in with the spell rotation post!

Firstly, Prayer of Mending was one of the best things to happen to priests in a long time, and I'm not just talking about the sparkly trail or the cute little song it plays while it pings around (holyball, zomg!). For a normal pull, cast it on your tank a few seconds before the pull – preferably early enough that the cooldown is over by the time the tank takes the first hit, so you can toss it at them again right away. For those who are unaware, the healing done by this spell counts as the person healing themselves – so the threat from that heal is attributed to your tank, not you. This is very helpful, especially in the early moments of the fight when a missed shield slam or the like can be devastating. After the first PoM is in place, I'll put a Renew on the tank (either right before or right after the second PoM). By the time the second PoM has been used, I generally consider it safe to begin healing as normal.

In more complicated pulls involving multiple offtanked mobs, it gets a little trickier. I usually PoM the main tank (or my tank, if I'm assigned an offtank) and put a Renew on each of the off tanks once they engage, making sure also that my Fade is up. >.> With more healing threat spread around, the chances to pull aggro off a tank increase, so especially at this stage. Ideally, the PoM will bounce between the tanks, but this doesn't always happen. As such, I'll often recast as the cooldown comes up. There is a mod for tracking where your PoM is at a given time, but I found it to be very buggy, especially when there are multiple priests in the raid.

Healing threat gets most interesting when there is raid-wide aoe damage being taken. Many's the time I hit my itchy Circle of Healing finger too soon and spent the rest of the fight on my face. If the damage is periodic, and not constant, waiting a few seconds to spam your group heals will give your tanks a better chance at keeping aggro, and keep you alive longer. If an AOE spamming mob that is normally CC'd has broken out and killed its CCer or has a DoT on it, and it just having its merry way with your raid, then yeah, spam it and trust your tanks to hold on to the mobs they have. You might die if you do, but chances are more people will die if you don't. It's only gold. >.<

Elyana Wrote:Spell Haste?
Some of the ZA gear and badge loot contain spell haste for priests. Is it worth it for the massive loss in mana regen and healing power? Scarab of the Infinite Cycle is commonly regarded as one of the best healing trinkets in the game. How useful is it, to priests?
I'm pretty excited about spell haste in theory. I've been using the Scarab on and off for close to a year now, and when it procs, it's a beautiful thing. In practice, however, I'm not terribly happy about our spell haste options. As Ely mentions, most of the Badge reward gear gives spell haste at a major cost to +healing, regen, and other stats available on comparable gear. When you reach a point where you are happy with your +healing and you aren't having mana issues as much as you are having hpm or hps issues, picking up a few pieces might be worth your while for select encounters (like that horrid lynx boss in ZA that made me wish I had every piece of spell haste gear in the freaking game the first few weeks we fought him). I use a piece or two with spell haste in my normal healing gear, but I won't be stacking it any time soon, nor would I recommend that anyone else stack it until more haste gear with a better balance of stats is introduced.

@Dromdenulgros, yar, I'd planned to touch on downranking in the spell rotation section – I went ahead and edited the title so I don't forget!

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