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Cataclysm Holy Priest Basics – 4.0.3a

Posted on: Jan 27, 2011 | Author: Aura

Cata Holy Priest Basics

Along with the sweeping changes to many other classes Blizzard have made in Cataclysm, the priest class has seen a particularly heavy dose of overhaul. Consolidating many different healing spells, bringing back Lightwell to the forefront of raid healing and many diverse talent build changes being but a few of the aspects that are now different for healing priests, much of what we knew before must simply be thrown away and the learning curve must begin anew. Fear not, however; in many ways healing as a priest is actually simpler now than it has ever been, and this guide is intended to give new, returning or continuing Holy priests in Cataclysm a leg up and a quick start.

The Holy Talent Build(s)

The recommended talent build for a raiding Holy priest at the moment is the 6/32/3 build mentioned on the Elitist Jerks forums. However, many of the talents here are somewhat flexible depending on your playstyle and personal preferences in addition to your gear level. For example, the haste offered by Darkness is quite cool and you will likely need it, but what good is haste without mana? Many people choose to go for a single point or even no points in Darkness and put two into Veiled Shadows for regen instead, it’s up to you.

The other option from EJ’s forums is the 5/34/2 intended for 5-man heroic dungeons. This build drops Darkness entirely, puts two points in Veiled Shadows and pulls one point from Twin Disciplines and another from Test of Faith in order to take Desperate Prayer and Surge of Light.

Glyph Choices

For prime glyphs, the Holy priest should not be without Glyph of Renew and Glyph of Prayer of Healing. The final prime slot should be filled with Glyph of Lightwell assuming you can get the raid to click it (which they should be, see below).

Major glyphs are not as important but there are still some choices that are better than others. For example, the Glyph of Circle of Healing is pretty much essential for raid healing. For the other options, Glyph of Mass Dispel is nice if you find yourself using it a lot (very handy in certain situations at least) and Glyph of Psychic Scream can be useful sometimes in 5-mans.

As always, minor glyphs are basically ignorable from a raiding standpoint, just take whatever you like the look of.

Raid Healing Rotation

Raid healing is what Holy priests do best, it always has been and probably always will be. In Cataclysm, however, mana is much more an issue again than it was at the end of Wrath content, and raid healing burns mana like there’s no tomorrow. Careful use of cooldowns and keeping a vigilant eye on your overhealing is the first step toward mana efficient healing and it is vital you nail this ASAP to avoid going OOM when it matters most.

The first rule of raid healing is to keep Prayer of Mending on cooldown constantly. This has always been the case with the priest class, and Circle of Healing should probably be used on cooldown too along with HW:Sanctuary if possible. Stay in Chakra: Prayer of Healing throughout, using filler Flash Heals where needed to haste PoH through Serendipity. Lightwell has made a return in Cataclysm as it has been fixed to make it useful once again. The whole raid should be using your Lightwell regularly to limit the amount of direct healing you need to do as it is the most mana efficient heal in the whole game. Make sure the raid are using it!

Tank Healing Rotation

Although not the best job for a Holy priest, you may occasionally be asked to tank heal. For this your bread and butter spells will simply be Heal and Renew most of the time. However, you will need to keep up stacks of Serendipity and use Flash Heal or Greater Heal to keep up with tank damage as Heal and Renew alone probably won’t cut it. An initial couple of Flash Heals followed by Chakra: Heal should be the opening sequence of choice. If the tank takes crazy spike damage you can use HW: Serenity with a GHeal and a couple Flash Heals to top him back up.

Final Thoughts

Playing a Holy priest can be a very rewarding choice. It is also a difficult role to fill and you must make sure you understand it well to be of use to your raiding team. Learning how to efficiently manage your mana while pushing enough heals through can be a challenge but keep at it and you will get there in the end. And remember, Lightwell is your friend, use it!

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