Priest Guides

Table of Content;
  • Discipline Priest Cataclysm Talent Build [DPC]
  • Holy Priest Cataclysm Talent Build [HPC]
  • Cataclysm Priest Glyphs [CPG]
  • Holy Priest Healing Heroics [HPH] 
  • Discipline Priest Healing Heroics [DPH]


[DPC] - Discipline Priest Cataclysm Talent Build
This is new and updated information on how to spec your disc priest in Cataclysm. To check out my post on my thought on disc healing in 4.0, click here.

TL;DR - suggestion for a disc spec at the bottom.

Back in Wrath healing differed alot from what it is today, as you've probably noticed by now. When I tried healing in 4.0, mana still wasn't an issue and we could go on healing pretty much as we always had been. When Cataclysm finally hit us, everything changed and initially I was completely set back by how much disc healing sucked when compared to holy healing. Fortunately enough this was due to a little bug, which made atonement completely useless, and because priests had huge issues with mana. These problems combined made priest healing overall a pain in the ass, but holy seemed like the least horrible of the two. People even specifically asked not to get a priest, when lfging for healers in trade. That is how bad the situation was when I made my first assessment of disc healing. Blizzard have now finally made something about it, buffed regen for both specs and made Atonement work properly. So I gave disc healing another try, and I want to give it thumbs up again. It's definitely working for heroic healing! So let's take a look at the disc tree, what talents should we pick?

Here are some worth discussing;

The main tree (disc)
  • Mental Agility vs Veiled Shadows – As I wrote in an earlier post, the mana efficiency of MA is alot bigger than the one of VE. Combined with the new regen buff and some stacking of spirit, and mana isn't that big of a problem as it was initially in the beginning of Cata. You should definitely go for MA, but I think there are better things to take instead of VE. I'll use Twin Disciplines, but if you still feel like mana is your biggest problem, you could spec 2 tp into VE instead of TD.
  • Evangelism-Archangel-Atonement - It's not worth taking one of these talents unless you take them all. Although the E-A-A combo is a decent one for healing heroics, where the damage is simpler to handle, I very rarely use it for raids. The one exception being Halfus where it will shine. But I wouldn't spend 5 tp on something that will benefit me that little.  
  • Inner Sanctum – Not a bad talent, but considering the alternatives we must see this as mainly a pvp-talent and not worth 3 tp.By skipping E-A-A however, which is useless unless fully talented, we must take at least 1 tp here to get further down the tree.
  • Inner Focus – Back in Wrath this was one of those talent which some priests liked and some didn't. Now, combined with train of thought, this will be one of your best talents for mana efficiency and healing throughput. This should definitely be used.
  • Rapture – A no brainer really, still as awesome as it always been, and for basically the same reasons. This will be your main source of mana.
  • Soul Warding – We're far from the shield spamming we did back in Wrath, so overall you rarely get to use this talent to the max. On the other hand you'll be glad you've got it when you do, and since shields are being buffed in 4.0.6 this might become even more useful.
  • Reflective Shield – Good for leveling and grinding (if you'd ever be silly enough to grind as a disc), but won't do much difference in heroics or raids, and are 2 tp spent better elsewhere when in endgame.
  • Strength of Soul – Heal is weak when in lower gear. If you feel you have trouble keeping people up and/or mana issues with Heals and Shield, I suggest using Greater Heals with Inner Focus instead. But overall this is a very good talent. With the shields being buffed in 4.0.6 potentially even more so.
  • Grace – Has been significantly buffed and since disc healing is alot more aimed towards single target healing than it was in Wrath, this is now an awesome talent.
    The offspec trees - remember we can only place 10 tp into holy and shadow
    • Divine Fury - Scorned by healing priests alike since Wrath came out, it seems to make a grand re-entrance as a really great healing talent. Not only will this buff your Smite healing (in case you've chosen E-A-A), but even more importantly, it'll buff your Greater Heal  and Heal healing, which will be two of your most important spells.
    • Empowered Healing - Increasing the healing done on several of your main heals seems like a good thing to do, plain and simple.
    • Improved Renew - Seeing as disc priests probably will have their hands full anyway, smiting, healing and shielding, renew isn't any more part of our healing arsenal now than it was back in Wrath.
    • Desperate Prayer – It's a handy talent, but we want to go elsewhere for even more handy talents. I wouldn't go this far into holy, and especially not for this talent that isn't ”all that”.
    • Surge of Light – If SoL was good, I'd tell you to get this talent right away. Unfortunately, even when spamming your pants off with smite, and you won't, this just procs way too seldom to be of much use. Even when holy, and really using Heal alot, I feel like this talent is lacking alot at the moment. These Tp are alot better spent elsewhere until Blizzard finally get around to buffing this talent.
    • Inspiration – Reducing damage taken by 10% is alot of healing which you don't have to do. this is a great talent and you should try to grab it.
    • Darkness – Haste is as great as it has always been, in the sense that it does everything it used to and more. Just because spirit and mastery are stats we also want alot of, doesn't mean haste has become less important. The problem is that we want the other stats more so that haste often gets into the background. Getting your heals off fast enough is an issue we want to adress, but Disc needs haste a little less because of many of our heals being instant and Borrowed Time. This is still a good talent however.
    • Veiled Shadows - Already mentioned above.
    This is what I would spec.
    Here is a suggestion on a spec with Evangelism-Archangel-Atonement.

    I talk more specifically about disc healing in heroics in a separate post (or scroll down), but in short; combine Shields, and Heal for moderate damage, Inner Focus with Greater Heals and Penance for heavy damage, and Prayer of Healing + Shields for aoe damage.
    If you've got Atonement you Smite for Evangelism, use up Archangel, start shielding and healing when damage becomes tougher (or people are out of range), and then go back to smiting.


    [HPC] - Holy Priest Cataclysm Talent Build - Updated 22/2
    Continuing from my post on how to spec your disc priest in Cataclysm, let's take a look at what talents could be interesting for the holy priest. My first impression overall is that disc has changed more than holy, but I am more positive about the fun healing as holy might be in Cataclysm than I initially were. At one point I even considered not speccing holy at all for Cataclysm, because it just seemed like the same old thing, except maybe for Chakra. Alot has happened since then however, and I am sure alot more will happen before we have holy healing set in stone for Cataclysm. Don't forget to bear that in mind for this post by the way, things really do change from one day to the next now and this is therefore more of a general map of thoughts than the definite answer on how to spec your holy priest.

    TL;DR - Suggestion on a build at the bottom.

    As with the disc talents I won't discuss the obvious choices in the main tree, that's for another post. Instead I'd like to highlight the questionmarks, the talents that might need some testing before we can say which way it should be. Something I didn't mention in my other post however and that could be good to keep in mind is that these talents aren't optimized for Wrath, after all they're Cataclysm talents. That means healing might seem off at first, we won't know for sure how we're supposed to do things until the real things hits us.

    The big difference between discipline and holy seems to be that holy is way less about smiting than disc. As a disc you'll want to use smite as part of your standard healing arsenal, see my post on disc talents for more info about that. But as a holy you won't be able to spec Atonement, the talent that turns Smite into a heal, which makes smiting as holy pretty useless. Another big difference between holy and disc is that holy is the better for aoe healing right now. As holy your base healing will be Heal, as disc it's Penance and Greater Heal. Because of this holy also benefits alot more from the 2 set tier 11 bonus.

    The main tree (holy) - talents not mentioned here are the ones you probably should talent.

    Divine Fury - Although holy healing still is alot about using instants, Heal is one our most important healing spells in Cataclysm. Therefore this is one of the most important talents to keep up with the haste drop (and at all times).!
    Desperate Prayer - Desperate Prayer is a very small heal, and not a great talent. You can either take this or Surge of Light. SoL unfortunately isn't very good either, so which you decide to go for must be based on personal preference. Remember though that it's definitely not worth going for SoL unless you take both points.
    Surge of Light - This used to be one of the best talents in the holy tree, until they revamped to proc 6% from all Heals and Smites instead of half of your crits. It might've been too good before, although I don't think so, but it definitely sucks now. Even when raiding, where you'll throw shitloads of Heals, this just won't proc often enough to make any difference whatsoever. The mana efficiency is marginal at best, and I really feel they need to buff this alot before it's worth those 2 tp. There aren't that many options however, so we might still want to take this (also I heard rumors they're going to buff it soon).
    Divine Touch - This was a great talent in Wrath, what with us throwing Renews around us like nothing. But the way healing works in Cata, and with Chakra: Serenity making Heal refresh renew, I doubt we'll get much healing out of these two talents. Unlike what you'd think, refreshing the hot doesn't proc a new Divine Touch! My Divine Touch currerntly heals for about 1500-2000, and I refresh renew way too seldom for this to matter in the long run. Remember most of us have over 100k hp, so this is really like a piss in the ocean.
    Lightwell - This poor spell seems to finally get the attention and overhaul it needs. With an increased range, no requirement of targetting and even bigger healing output, Lightwell is now as awesome as it always deserved to be. There is no healing spell in the game right now even remotely as effective as this one. The only drawback is that it requires the cooperation of your group for it to work, but so does most healing nowadays. Read my post on how to use the Lightwell to get the most out of it
    Serendipity - You won't use this often, but when you do you'll be glad you have it. Haste will go down significantly from 80 to 85, and this will be our "oh shit" talent. When the tank is dangerously low on hp you throw two flash heals followed by a Greater Heal to save the situation.
    Spirit of Redemption - SoR is a talent that is pretty "meh". It can shine, but will actually rarely be very useful. Personally I feel it is worth the 1tp, especially since we are now freeing it up from not taking SoM, but you could just as easily place this tp into Improved Shields or Veiled Shadows if you like.
    Tome of Light - Only useful if we also spec Chakra and Revelations, but since Chakra is what being holy is all about in Cataclysm that won't be a problem. Reducing the cooldown on your Holy Words is great, since those are among our best spells.
    Rapid Renewal – Gone are the days of spamming renews like we did in Wrath. Now most of the time you'll only keep renew on the tank (and off tank if you're raiding) and the occasional dpser who just needs a little healing love. I'm currerntly not using this talent and I can say it hasn't been any problem at all.
    Blessed Resilience - The changes to this talent (and the corresponding in the discipline tree, Focused Will) have made them less of pvp-talents, and actually possibly very useful for pve. I'd choose between these and State of Mind (see below).
    State of Mind – SoM was never a throughput talent, but before 4.0.6 it helped us avoid clipping our stances occasionally. With the change, SoM has been rendered basically obsolete as it now only helps us switch stance every 24 seconds instead of 30 seconds. Is that 6 second window worth 2 tp? No, definitely not.

    The offspec trees

    Mental Agility – Holy is still alot about instants. We've got Renew, CoH, PoM and the occasional Shield. As long as mana is an issue, and it will be for a while, this is a great talent.
    Twin Disciplines - Since it increases both healing and damage done by 6% it is clear disc priests are the ones who will benefit the most from this talent. That doesn't mean it's worthless for everyone else. Like mentioned I don't think holy priests will be smiting very much, so they'll probably "just" be using the extra healing. 6% extra healing straight off is fairly good, and if you don't feel like you're having any issues with mana you could easily take this talent instead of Veiled Shadows or Mental Agility. It all depends on how much mana are an issue for you.
    Evangelism (and Archangel) - Although it is possible to spec into Evangelism and Archangel even as holy, I don't think it would be something we want to do. Without Atonement we won't have the time to Smite anyway.
    Darkness - Holy has no talent to improve haste. Haste does the same for us in Cata as it did in Wrath, only it is more difficult to come by. This is a good place to spend those left over tp.
    Veiled Shadows - A decent way to improve mana efficiency for holy, but Mental Agility is at least twice as good. If you don't like Spirit of Redemption you could put 1 tp here instead however.

    So my current idea for a holy spec would look something like this.
    UPDATE 22/2: Here is the spec I'd go with for level 85.

    That means we will try to keep renews up by using Heals, all the while trying to manage to keep the proper Chakra active and using our different corresponding Holy Words as fillers. Managing our Chakra states will be what will separate the wheat from the chaff when it comes to holy healing, so practice, practice, practice on evaluating the situation and choosing the right chakra stance, it will make a big difference. As it is now I personally feel that Chakra: Heal (Serenity) is almost always more efficient than Chakra: PoM (Sanctuary). Read my post on how to heal heroics as holy for more information!


    [CPG] - Cataclysm Priest Glyphs
    Last update: 13/4

    TL;DR - Summary at bottom.

    Picking glyphs for a priest is in some part about obvious choices, but because of how healing works there are also a couple of glyphs that are useful depending on the way you heal. You must have an idea about your healing style to be able to pick the best glyphs for you.

    Discipline Glyphs

    Penance - Oldie but goldie. One of disc priests best and most important spells. The potential of Penance has always been great, especially after they buffed disc priests, and increasing it further is a smart thing to do. Penance delivers when you need it.
    Power Word: Shield OR Power Word: Barrier OR Prayer of Healing - These three glyphs all affect three very important spells in the disc priest arsenal. Which one you prefer to use depends a lot on your playstyle. Shielding usually makes up some 35-50% of our total healing, which means the Shield glyph holds a lot of potential. A lot of the Shield glyph heal will be overheal however, since we like to throw shields at people who are at full health as much as not. The beauty of the Barrier glyph is that it gives the Barrier some use even when there isn't aoe damage going around, and even more importantly, gives it a little more oomph when there is heavy aoe damage going around. This is less necessary in instances or normal raid fights however. Prayer of Healing will, along with the Shield, be one of your most used spells. Increasing the effectiviness by 20% is a great thing to do, either you play instances, normal or heroic raids.

    If you've got the Evangelism-Archangel-Atonement combo, you should use the glyphs below.

    Divine Accuracy - Will provide us with all the hit we need to actually be able to do some damage with our smite (even though that actually is a secondary component of us using it). This means we won't have to stress dpsers out by needing on hit gear, or even worse, reforge some hit onto our healing gear.
    Prayer of Mending - PoM is a great healing spell, and this glyph will make sure that even just one bounce is mana effective enough for it to be used on cooldown.
    Smite - This glyph will increase the damage of Smite if the target is afflicted by Holy Fire. I wouldn't use this glyph unless Smite healing is a big part of your healing style. Otherwise I would go with one of the below.
    Dispel Magic OR Mass Dispel - Simply because there is nothing else to have. 3% healed when dispelling isn't awesomely much, but neither do we cast Mass Dispel that often. I think both of these glyphs are about equally good in a pve setting.

    If you don't use the Evangelism-Archangel-Atonement combo, I suggest the following glyphs.
    Prayer of Mending - Same reason as above.
    Dispel Magic OR Mass Dispel OR Psychic Scream - These are all more of utility glyphs, and won't affect your healing much. Out of those two I think Dispel Magic is the least powerful. Having a faster Mass Dispel is situational, and MD is very costly. On the other hand, when you really need a MD, you want it to go fast. Psychic Scream is a great glyph for handling any mobs that run around where they shouldn't be, either in instances and in raids.

    Same old boring unfortunately!

    Shadow Protection - If you already have a priest designated to be the Shadow Protection user with this glyph, you might not want it, otherwise it's a decent minor glyph since it increases the duration of Shadow Protection by 50%.
    Shadowfiend - In lack of better glyphs, this is a good one (generally better for pvp though).
    Fortitude OR Levitate - Fortitude is great in that it saves you mana for when you're rebuffing people mid combat. Levitate is great in that you don't have to run around with a bunch of Light Feathers all the time (and die when you thought you had one but didn't). If you never move outside the raid you might not need levitate as much though.

    Holy Glyphs

    Renew - Renew is far from as important as it was in Wrath, although it is climbing in importance the better your gear gets. Depending on your heal style (there are holy priests who avoid renew) this is a good glyph however.
    Prayer of Healing - PoH is perhaps even more important for holy healing than disc healing. This is one of our best glyphs, especially for raiding.
    Guardian Spirit - I think we use GS way less than we should. The usefulness of GS depends on the content you're healing and your skills/gear. If you heal instances with bad gear, GS is a great tool to help you out. If you heal instances with good gear, you'll probably won't have to use GS very often. If you mostly raid easy content you won't have to use it often, if you raid tougher content you might have to use it all the time. You really have to evaluate how often you use GS, and pick this glyph if you feel there is room for even more!
    Lightwell - Now in Cata the content actually requires people to use a skill like Lightwell, and to my experience they're generally quite good at doing this. This is a really strong glyph, increasing the total effectiviness of the Lightwell by 50%, and I strongly recommend it for raiding. It is less needed in instances of course, where you rarely have to use as many as 15 charges.


    Circle of Healing - A great glyph if you raid, not very necessary if you only do instances.
    Prayer of Mending - See above
    Dispel Magic OR Mass Dispel OR Psychic Scream - See above.

    See above for disc priests. Holy will use the same ones.

    So to conclude, for Cataclysm I'd use;
    Prime: Penance, Power Word: Shield OR Power Word: Barrier OR Prayer of Healing
    Major: With EEA spec - Smite, Divine Accuracy OR Prayer of Mending OR Dispel Magic. Without EEA-spec - Prayer of Mending, Mass Dispel, Psychic Scream OR Dispel Magic
    Minor: Fortitude, Shadowfiend, Shadow Protection

    Prime: Prayer of Healing, Renew, Lightwell (or replace one of those with Guardian Spirit)
    Major: Circle of Healing, Prayer of Mending, Dispel Magic OR Mass Dispel OR Psychic Scream
    Minor: Fortitude, Shadowfiend, Shadow Protection


    [HPH] - Holy Priest Healing Heroics
    I wanted to write a post about instance healing for some time now. First I decided to wait because I felt like I needed some actual experience before I could claim to know anything. But then I didn't really know how to get started. Should I mention how hard the mobs hit? All the cc that is needed? What gear you should have to even dream of keeping people alive? How fast you'll oom? So many things worth mentioning, because they are important to know to do a good healing job. And then Lissanna saved my ass by writing a great post about instance healing that also mentions a couple of these things. I recommend you go check that post out! In the mean time, I'll focus on the priest specifics over in this corner.

    Holy vs Discipline

    Holy and discipline are pretty much alike in their ability to handle heroic healing at the moment. Holy has better mana regen and aoe healing, disc has better point healing. But none of the specs handles any area badly. I'd say holy is slightly easier on lower gear levels, and disc picks up later on, but there is a buff coming up to disc that might change this. What you decide to go for should be based on which spec you feel most comfortable in.
    If you feel like you'd want to know more about disc healing, Malevica wrote a good post on it. It's focused on raid healing, but heroics sure feel like small raids nowadays. She does point out that aoe-healing is a weakness in disc healing, and you'll notice this even more when you're all alone to handle it, like in a heroic. I've also written a post on How to heal as Discipline in heroics.

    Evangelism and Archangel?
    Without Atonement, Evangelism and Archangel aren't very useful. The net profit from casting smites to regain mana is very low, in fact I think it is nonexistant. If anything you'd want this for the increased healing done, but it comes at a high price. We wouldn't be able to take some nice talents in the shadow tree for one. Another problem is actually being able to throw those smites. In most heroics there won't be much time for this, in raids it is definitely non existant. I strongly recommend against going for these talents.

    Serenity vs Sanctuary
    Choosing Chakra stance will make alot of difference for your healing. Both because they buff different spells, and also because that will make you want to use slightly different skills. Throughout the various heroics I've done so far, I can however say that I choose Serenity 95 times out of a hundred. Even when there is tough aoe damage. Right now the main reason I choose Sanctuary in a heroic is when I want to place a Sanctuary. The conditions that need to be filled for me to want to do this are many, so this doesn't happen often at all. I'd have to know that nearly everyone will stand in one place, where I can use Sanctuary, and the aoe damage has to be pretty damn high. Another reason would be if I know I won't be able to throw a Heal. If I know for sure I will never be able to stand still to do the cast, Sanctuary will be better than Serenity. Fortunately (?) these extreme conditions are rarely met, and so I decide to stick with Serenity. This isn't always true in raids, but very often the case in heroics. There are several reasons why Serenity is a better choice for heroic healing;

    • You get an instant cast in Holy Word: Serenity. It's cheap, it heals for pretty much (comparatively) and best of all, it's instant, like mentioned. I love this skill in heroics, because it really helps alot with the healing in the damage environment that I feel heroics have. You don't have the need to place a Sanctuary very often, but a Serenity heal is always useful. All you people who are pro SoL should really love this skill.
    • If you have the possibility, there is great mana efficiency in refreshing Renew on the tank with the occasional Heal throughout a fight. I will talk more about rotations a bit further down, but right now this is my main way of healing. And refreshing means no extra mana cost, which makes your mana pool happy. When there is moderate aoe damage you can do the same thing to the whole party. Just throw a renew on affected targets and refresh if damage says they'll need more healing.
    • Serenity increases the critical strike chance of your direct healing skills by 10%, which makes it alot easier to keep up Inspiration, which will further lower the damage of your tank and save you mana.

    I did initally use Chakra Sanctuary alot more because I felt like the 15% extra aoe healing would make a big difference. I quickly learned however that you only want to resort to aoe healing when you really have to. Your mana won't allow for much more. As long as you can you want to keep things alive with hots and Heals. So let me get this clear - Chakra Sanctuary isn't bad because it's bad, but because it doesn't suit the healing needed in heroics very often. You only want to get into that wasteful way of healing when you have no other choice.

    Like I've mentioned the beauty of Chakra Serenity is that it will make your direct healing skills refresh Renew, so it could be good to know exactly what a "direct healing skill" means. It's not as simple as you'd think.

    Direct Healing Skills are;
    • Heal
    • Greater Heal
    • Flash Heal

    These don't count although you might think they would;
    • Circle of Healing
    • Prayer of Mending
    • Holy Word Serenity
    • Prayer of Healing
    • Binding Heal
    • Lightwell Renew

    Inner Fire vs Inner Will
    The best thing to do would be to switch between these skills as needed. Unfortunately when things go rough that is an ideal that is difficult to live up to, so you usually have to decide for one of these when starting a fight, especially boss fights. Since I usually stick in Chakra Serenity, I often choose to keep Inner Fire up. If I am capable of refreshing my renews I won't need to recast them so often to benefit enough from the mana reduction from Inner Will. But this is during the "simple" fights, aka when I will be able to refresh Renew fairly often and don't have to use CoH, PoM and other instants. Although heroics are difficult right now there will be plenty of trashpulls where you'll only have to focus on the tank, or at least only have to focus very little on the rest of the group. For those pull Inner Fire is ideal.
    But then there are the pulls and boss fights where you will actually have to do alot more. Inner Will is great in that it not only reduces the mana cost of the majority of your skills, it also provides run speed. Run speed is so awesome Blizzard completely removed it from Unholy Aura (party wide that is) because it was OP and even gave feral druids a skill that does nothing else (Stampeding Roar). So do not underestimate how valuable it is to be able to position yourself quickly. There will be plenty of fights in heroics where you'll be glad for those 10% extra run speed.
    So to recap - Inner Fire as long as you can heal people mainly through Heal, and Inner Will when you have to start using other skills more.

    As for any healer there isn't much of a rotation to talk about, but I'll mention the most mana efficient way of healing in different situations. Of course the fights don't always agree with you being mana efficient, and that is when you have to pull out the more expensive tools.

    • Easy damage on tank and group - Inner Fire, Chakra Serenity. Keep Renew on tank, refresh with Heal. Heal is so cheap you can throw it even when it is a complete overheal. If a dps goes down low you can give him the same "treatment", aka throw up a renew on him and refresh it until he's fully healed.

    • Medium damage on tank and group - Inner Will, Chakra Serenity. As above, but also throw in Holy Word: Serenity where needed. It's best used on the tank since it boosts your crit chance on the target further which will proc more Inspiration. For small aoe damage the occasional Circle of Healing works good, or even Prayer of Healing (I feel like the range on Circle of Healing is alot more than 15 yards btw).

    • Difficult damage on tank - Inner Fire, Chakra Serenity. When the tank dips use Holy Word Serenity followed by two flash heals and a Greater Heal to top him off. This is emergency healing and shouldn't be used too often. If damage is hard on the tank for a longer period of time, consider placing a lightwell beside him to have him help you with his healing.

    • Difficult damage on group - Inner Will, Chakra Sanctuary. Things rarely go this tough and when they do you often have some dps who can help you with some aoe healing for a short period of time (in any case you should tell them to be ready). If you know aoe damage will be tough, place a lightwell at a good spot so everyone can heal themselves in addition to your healing. Place a Sanctuary if people are huddled. Get PoM going every cooldown and spam Prayer of Healing (throw in some CoH too). This is the "easiest" healing since all you have to do basically is loose all restraints and hope you don't oom too fast (but you will). This is what resembles Wrath healing the most.

    Skills, and when to use them
    Cataclysm has put a big "ah ah ah" tag on all our heals, and we have to take them through custody before even thinking of using them. Here are a list of our heals with the general area of usage;

    • Heal - Our basic heal, can be used as often and as much as you like. That sounds awesome, but that is only because it is insanely slow and small so even if you spam it around it won't make a big difference. Spamming is what you'll do with this spell. Use it to refresh Renew on your tank target mainly, and rest of the group if minor damage is going around.
    • Greater Heal - Is nearly 3 times as effective as a Heal and costs 3 times as much. As such it is almost like casting three Heal at once, and should be used instead of Heal when damage requires it. Note that it is slightly less efficient than Heal, so it is always better to use Heal when possible. Also refreshes Renew.
    • Flash Heal - Costs as much as Greater Heal, heals for little less and is twice as fast to cast (note that you can talent down Greater Heal to cast faster, but not as fast as Flash Heal). Should only be used when damage on the tank (or someone else) is too high to handle with Greater Heal or Heal. Could be combined with Greater Heal through Serendipity for better throughput.
    • Prayer of Mending - Alot of healers are using it like they did in Wrath, aka always keep it up on the tank. PoM is only half as mana efficient as Heal, which means it has to jump at least twice to be worth to cast instead of Heal. Because of this it should only be used when you know it will do this. Most trash pulls won't require you to use PoM. It is pretty safe to use for most boss fights however.
    • Circle of Healing - Costs little more than two Heals, and heals for about half as much, making it 1/4 as effective as Heal. This means you should try to use it only when 5 people can benefit from it, or when aoe damage is such that you need to complement Prayer of Healing.
    • Prayer of Healing - Heals for about as much as a Heal and costs little less than 3 times as much. Can safely replace Heal when 3 or more targets benefit from it, note that it doesn't refresh Renew however!
    • Binding Heal - Can basically be used as it was back in Wrath, with moderation of course. Even when hitting two targets this is slightly less mana effective than using Heal twice, but extremely more time efficient of course. You shouldn't hesitate to use it when needed. It stacks serendipity but doesn't refresh renew.
    • Shield - This used to be one of the least mana effective spells for holy, but nowadays it is actually more mana effective than Flash Heal. Because of this it can safely be used in any situation where you'd feel inclined to use a Flash Heal. Just as with Flash Heal this kind of healing will oom you fast however. Mostly we save Shields for using Body & Soul.
    • Divine Hymn - Extremely mana efficient and should always be used in a pinch.

    [DPH] - Discipline Priest Healing Heroics
    So I've finally got around to writing this post. It's not that I didn't feel like it, I just really wanted to get the hang of disc healing before I tried to say anything about it. There is alot to think about when disc healing, and as many of you will know by now, my first try at it didn't go very well. Fortunately that was more due to bugs than stuff actually working as intended and just suck. Disc is doing great now (at least in comparison to what it used to) and most importantly, it's loads of fun.

    Disc vs Holy
    Yeah I know I just said disc is doing great, and I stand by it. I'll still tell you that if you had to choose and wanted to go the easy way, go holy. Holy has two things going for it that makes it an easier spec right now - better mana regen and better aoe healing. That doesn't mean you'll wipe as soon as there is some aoe damage or go oom after every fight in a heroic, definitely not. But holy is easier when handling these areas. Also I think the holy mastery kicks ass (leaves a hot on everyone based on all your heals) while disc mastery doesn't kick as much ass. Hots is the shit, and disc don't have very many of them. But, if you preferred holy I suppose you wouldn't be here! And don't worry, changes are coming around the corner.

    Good things about disc healing
    One thing I really love about disc healing is that I don't have to think about which Chakra stance I am using. Although I like the chakra mechanic, not having to bother with it does feel like going on healing vacation. Also, disc is loads of fun, seriously. Keeping track of synergies and cooldowns will make sure you'll never bore. There is alot of potential in disc healing. The healing style of disc healing is more fun than holy imo. Casting Greater Heal and Penance is alot more fun than that wimpy Heal that holy have to use all the time. I've always liked shields more than I like renew. I realize this is a matter of taste, but there is a little more oomph in disc healing than holy healing.

    Bad things about disc healing
    Like I mentioned, you quickly notice some problems with disc healing when it comes to aoe damage. If there is high aoe damage and you have to run, you've got a big problem. The best thing you can do is spam Holy Nova and hope you've got time to throw a Prayer of Healing soon. Another suggestion is applying shields to everyone, but remember now that we have 1 sec cooldown on our shield, so it's not as spammable as it used to be. Another issue, that fortunately is really minor but bugs me endlessly nonetheless (it's always the little things right?) is how your char turns toward your Penance target. This is rarely a problem, but when you're totally used to being able to face any direction and healing you'll get annoyed by the fact that Penance actually forces you to face a certain way. Fortunately it doesn't force you to face a certain direction to be cast, that would be insane. But it will spin your character around, and in some fights this really becomes a problem. I remember how much this bugged me in the last phase of Yogg-Saron where you have to look away when he does his mad cackle. Every other healer could use their heals as they liked, but I had to make sure to time my Penance between the cackles, or my characters would start facing Yogg-Saron in the wrong moment. I said it was a minor problem, but yet again so unecessary!

    Evangelism and Archangel?
    Contrary to what I had hoped for, this isn't going to be part of your base healing rotation. Smiting is a bonus, something you'll do only when you have time for it. I have accepted this, and once you do you'll see the benefits from it. You won't use Atonement often, actually you can go through any heroic without ever using it. You don't gain that much from the Archangel buff, and even if you did there are few moments where you'll have time enough to get a 5 stack to use it properly. That being said there are moments where Atonement is just frickin awesome. Anytime your target takes additional damage is such a time. Suddenly Atonement goes from a clunky, tiny heal to a, albeit still clunky, huge and great heal. I've mentioned it before, but on a fight like Halfus, who takes like 100% extra damage or more depending on how many dragons you kill, Atonement suddenly becomes the best point heal ever. So although the situations where atonement shines are few and scattered widely, they do exist. And the rest of the time it can keep us occupied when we feel like we have little to do. Overall I don't feel like this combo is worth the 5 tp it needs, and I personally don't use it.

    Inner Fire vs Inner Will
    What I said in my post about holy healing pretty much goes here as well. Although we have slightly less instant heals when disc, the main reason to use Inner Will over Inner Fire is for the extra run speed. Especially since we don't have a talent like Body & Soul, you will learn to love Inner Will. I use it alot when instance healing since most boss fights require me to run around. I've written a little about this in another post as well, but it's even more important with fast positioning as disc than with holy, because our best heals come with a cast time.

    Disc healing is alot about maximizing the use of different synergies that we have through our talents. The way you talent will affect this alot of course, but here is the talent spec I've based this on. Either you agree with me on that spec or not, what we really have to look at is the synergy between Strength of Soul, Renewed Hope, Inner Focus and Train of Thought, because that will be what you'll base most of your healing on.

    Renewed Hope - Increases the crit chance on targets affected with Weakened Soul debuff by 10%.
    Using a shield on your target before healing will increase the chance you'll crit a heal which also increases the chance that you'll get a Divine Aegis shield on the target. Although this doesn't necessarily mean that you have to throw a shield on anyone who's taken some sort of damage before you heal them, it definitely means that you'll want to keep your main healing target (usually the tank) shielded. Shielding will also proc Rapture for you, so shielding one target is actually very mana efficient.
    Inner Focus - Reduces the mana cost of your next FH, BH, GH or PoH by 100% and increases the crit chance by 25%.
    More chance to proc Divine Aegis, and more mana efficiency with free casts!
    Train of Thought - You have 100% chance when you heal with Greater Heal to reduce the cooldown of your Inner Focus by 5 seconds (also lets smite reduce cooldown on penance, but you won't use this as often).
    Greater Heal is only slightly less mana efficient than Heal, and by using it in combination with Inner Focus it actually becomes as mana efficient. The only drawback of it that it isn't lowered by Prayer of Healing. I really hope they change this to make disc aoe healing better.

    How mana efficient is spamming GH and Inner Focus you ask? Well I tried some number crunching and got some interesting numbers. But I warn you, I am completely daft when it comes to numbers and this is merely a rough estimation than anything worthy of EJ.

    Inner Focus has 45 sec cooldown and each GH cast will reduce the cooldown by 5 sec. Depending on haste we have to take into account the time we use casting the spells (in which the cooldown will tick down as well). Testing shows I need 6 casts before I get a new Inner Focus (2,2 sec cast time). If I get one free GH or PoH (they basically have the same mana cost) every 6 casts, and GH costs roughly 5,500 mana that would be about 1800 mp5. But it's not that easy. The faster we want Inner Focus off cd, the more casts we have to use. That means that eventhough the mp5 of Inner Focus goes up the more GH we use, so does our mana consumption. Even if you didn't understand anything of what I just said you can rest assured that for most healing situations in heroics, mana won't be a big issue for you. Like I mentioned, Inner Focus will also increase the chance for Divine Aegis and Inspiration procs which also increases your mana efficiency indirectly. As long as you remember to use it, it's great.

    Strength of Soul - Will make your Heals, Greater Heal and Binding Heal lower the duration of the Weakened Soul debuff on the target by 5 seconds, allowing you to use shields more often.

    At lower gear levels using Strength of Soul becomes tricky. Until they have changed it so that GH/BH works for it as well, you might find that Heal is just too weak, and the shields are just too expensive to use this synergy to the max. This will become a great synergy later on however, as your gear improves. When you have decent mana regen and decent spellpower you will find this to be the core of your healing rotation.

    "Rotation" is merely used as a word to indicate in which way you should prioritize your spell casting. Eventhough healing has become more rotation like now than it ever was (due to us trying to keep up buffs and stuff) it's still mainly situation based. The main portion of your healing in heroics will be based around the synergies described above. Choose Inner Fire or Inner Will depending on how much you have to move around.

    • Easy damage on tank and group - Keep Shield up on tank, use Penance each cooldown to keep Grace up on tank. Roll Heals and use Greater Heal whenever damage spikes. Use Inner Focus each cooldown (you can keep it up eventhough you don't expect to cast a PoH/GH immediately). If the group takes moderate damage simultaneously, use PoH.
    • Medium damage on tank and group - Same as above, might want to use PoM as well depending on damage type (ie if everyone take continous damage or not). Save Inner Focus for PoH casts.
    • Heavy damage on tank - Same as above, consider using Pain Supression and/or Power Infusion.
    • Heavy damage on group - Keep PoM up, keep Inner Focus on cooldown, spam PoH. Consider using Power Word: Barrier if the situation allows it, ie people are standing fairly close to eachother. If people aren't stacked it's still worth using on a few targets though. Should use Power Infusion for faster and cheaper PoH.

    Skills, and when to use them
    In some cases we use our spells just as we would when healing as holy. There are big differences in main spell usage however. (This is subject to change, and I intend to update it when it does).

    • Heal - Your basic heal..
    • Greater Heal - Your basic heal, when the target takes slightly more damage. Unlike Heal it's not effective to spam unecessarily, both because that would mostly lead to overheal and because the mana cost don't allow us to combat regen it back up while casting as with Heal, which also is used to refresh renews. It still should be used whenever there is room for it and as often as possible in combination with Inner Focus.
    • Flash Heal - Is fast but very costly. Should only be used in emergencies.
    • Prayer of Mending - Alot of healers are using it like they did in Wrath, aka always keep it up on the tank. PoM heals for about 1/4 of a Greater Heal and costs little more than half which means it's little less than half as efficient when bounced on only one target. You should try to limit the use of this for fights when you know at least two players will take continous damage. Most trash pulls won't require you to use PoM. It is pretty safe to use for most boss fights however.
    • Prayer of Healing - Your main aoe heal and used quite often for healing both in heroics and raids. Basically costs as much as greater heal, and heals for about half (per target). As long as more than two people have taken damage this skill is more efficient than Greater Heal (given that everyone is within range for the heal). Should be used in combination with Inner Focus as much as possible, even over Greater Heal.
    • Binding Heal - About as mana effective as Greater Heal and should be used whenever you and another target have taken enough damage to fit this.
    • Shields - Far from as used as it was back in Wrath, but still part of our core healing. Should be up on the tank all the time, and can safely be used on any other target taking moderate to heavy damage.
    • Barrier - Is a great skill that should be used whenever the tank or raid is taking a little extra damage. It has a really short cooldown so don't be afraid to use it.
    • Power Infusion -This used to be reserved for a good caster dpser of the group, now you should see it as one of your most powerful healing cooldowns. I nearly never use it on a dpser anymore, as good healing is almost always more important (and more difficult) than good dps. Use it whenever you intend to spam some heals for better mana management and healing throughput.
    • Divine Hymn - Extremely mana efficient and works wonders in heroics when people are taking heavy damage.