Here were some of the questions I wanted to get answered when I tested it;
Is renew worthwhile now?
Although the hps of Renew wasn't improved, only the hpm, I had somehow hoped that might still be enough to make it more worthwhile. Many holy priests will have removed as much as possible associated with Renew - talents, spell usage, even glyphs (I didn't go that far yet, simply because I haven't found a better substitute). Renew is like the Akhenaten of spells, it goes its own way and so we don't want to have much to do with it. We wanted it to work kind of like Rejuvenation, blanketting our targets to give us time for the next heal. This is how it was used in Wrath, and I liked it. Renew was never as good as Rejuvenation, but in Cata it dropped to near uselessness. I removed it from my prime keybinding (right mouse) to a less important one (alt+left mouse). I hoped that since Shields got a comeback (and some comeback that was), maybe Renew would've become a little better as well. But the problem with Renews was never that they were too mana consuming, they just don't heal that much. The hps is about one fourth of our slowest and smallest heal - Heal. It has the same hpm as Greater Heal, but 1/10th of the hps. Instead we can have it on multiple targets simultaneously, but that's alot of gcds used to get it to some proper hps. Renew isn't bad, I just don't know what to do with it? It's not good for blanketing, it's not good for cushioning. Right now I feel like, and a commenter pointed that out as well, it is best used when you can't use any other spell. Like on the move and CoH is on cooldown. IF you were put to tank heal, Renew is a decent complement to rolling Heals. But how often will you focus on tank healing as holy? Not very often, I can tell you that. Nonetheless, I feel like that is where my Renew fits the best - as a complement to my Heal (or as mentioned, for something to do on the move).
So again - did renew become more worthwhile? Not really. The way we used it previously got buffed in that Renew costs less mana, but I don't see us using it more. The problem areas are still there. It doesn't heal much enough and it doesn't heal fast enough. It doesn't really have any own area of coverage, so to speak.
Do we really need State of Mind now?
I did play around with SoM before the patch to figure out just how useful it was. As I argued in another post, it doesn't really bring any extra healing throughput, and could barely be counted as a utility talent. It was a "comfy" talent, and the usefulness of those are very low. SoMs only usefulness was to make it slightly easier for us to switch stances. Having no point in it meant I had to recast Chakra every 30 seconds, and since I most often use Chakra: Serenity, that meant clipping my stance by some seconds (while casting Heal to refresh the new stance). That wasn't the end of the world, but having one point in SoM sure made things alot comfier. So that's what I used. Post-patch, I decided to try out using no point in SoM again, because possibly, they made it even less useful. Now SoM doesn't increase the duration of your stance, it lowers the cooldown of the skill, so that you can switch stance every 24 seconds instead of 30! Useful? Not very often. I rarely feel like getting stuck in the wrong stance is the problem. I can't remember the last time I thought "drat, I wanna switch stance noooow or everyone is going to die!". With some moderate amounts of planning, this will never be an issue. Considering Chakra now lasts for 1 minute and the cooldown is 30 seconds, switching stances has become alot easier. And best of all, we don't have to worry about rolling heals to keep up our stance (one of the things I didn't like about Chakra). It's not like we had to do it, but you know... So to answer my question - No. We don't need State of Mind.
What about PoH and CoH? How big were the changes?
Like I wrote in my post on disc, the nerf to PoH is very noticeable, but no one will be suprised about that. I was suprised at how good CoH had become however. 30% is alot of course, but I had it crit some 10-12k the other night. This of course makes Glyph of CoH completely mandatory. PoH will still be your main healing done, simply because it is spammable while CoH isn't. But if you keep CoH on cooldown it will at least be second on healing done, and in fights where we move alot, it will jump to first place. Like I wrote about in another post, this still means we got an overall nerf to our aoe healing output, but it doesn't mean we suck at it now. We're still among the best aoe healers, especially with spread out targets (where rains and efflorescences don't work very well).
And the new Prayer of Mending glyph?
I could whip myself. I had completely forgotten about it for my raid, so I haven't actually got to test it myself (and that means the pom in my logs is unglyphed, sadly). Unglyphed, one bounce has about half the hpm of a Heal, which means it had to bounce at least twice to be as mana efficient. It still meant most of us used it every cooldown, and in raids especially you could count on it jumping more than twice. Increasing the first jump by 60% healing effectiviness doesn't mean we'll change the way we use PoM. We'll still want to use it every cooldown. But it means that it has become alot better for our first target, which usually is the tank. So it's just a straight up buff. Considering our Major Glyphs weren't exactly the shizzle, we just got another mandatory major glyph.
And now, some logs! I only did 4 bosses as holy, and since I was disc for heroic Halfus the Worldoflogs will be mixed up with that, so I won't add that here unfortunately. Hopefully the logs will still give you an overall idea about how holy healing looks right now. Basically, it's still alot of aoe.
|Cho'Gall - More healing to do, I turn up the gears (maybe I am also just getting into it, after a break from Holy tbh)|
Overall Holy is still as good as ever. Chakra has been made alot smoother, in other cases things work pretty much like before. PoH was nerfed, CoH was buffed, leaving us with basically the same aoe healing output. Renew hasn't changed much. Not much is new! But the healing environment changes, and so holy might seem like it's in a different position. But it really isn't.