Cataclysm Holy Priest Compendium
Cataclysm Holy Priest Compendium
Updated for Patch 4.1
These Compendiums are now a legacy with an extensive history. The original versions by
[top] Questions and Answers
[top] What should I spec?
These are some suggested templates to try as we enter Cataclysm. As we gain experience,
the suggestions will be revised.
updated for 4.3:
[top] Questions and Answers
Is Circle of Healing worth using now, given the larger health pools at 85?
Yes--with the 30% boost in 4.0.6, CoH is strong and the smart-heal component can make
a nice set-up for a PoH by healing some of the lower health targets. We will still be using it on
cooldown, or saving it for a few seconds at most.
Should I take Inspiration?
Yes--you should always take Inspiration if you might be healing a tank at any point.
This includes healing the tank group with PoH, and remember that PW:S can proc Inspiration from the
glyph heal. The 10% physical damage mitigation from Inspiration should not be underestimated.
Body and Soul - worth it, or not?
This talent can be extremely valuable and has saved many people. However if you raid with a
discipline priest who is bubbling the raid, you may find your targets already affected by Weakened
Soul. Absolutely set up your raid frames to show Weakened Soul (both your own and from other
priests). This is also the only way a priest has to dispel poison (although only for yourself).
Let’s talk about Lightwell.
Lightwell is a holy priest’s highest HpM spell but the difficulty is, as always, getting others to
use the @#$% thing.
Lightwell is the most efficient healing spell in the World of Warcraft, and the biggest throughput
increase for 1 talent point of any healer. Many of the drawbacks of this spell have been addressed.
It is now clickable from 20 yards without deselecting your target, does not need to be channeled, and
can't be reused until your current Lightwell Renew has run its duration (preventing some wasted charges
from anxious clicking). It is even usable while stunned or mid-cast (although it will interrupt a
channeled spell). It does still require your fellow raiders to use it for themselves, and its use cannot
be easily macro'd. Lightwell should be cast pre-pull with the Inner Fire buff up for the spellpower boost.
If you expect all the charges to be used and the lightwell to be consumed early in the fight, pre-cast
a short time before the pull to get the cooldown ticking, enabling you to recast the lightwell earlier.
The lightwell will disappear if the casting priest goes more than 200 yards away.
[top] Talents and Spells
[top] Talent and Spell Review
Spirit of Redemption -- Upon death, the priest becomes the Spirit of
Guardian Spirit -- Calls upon a guardian spirit to watch over the friendly target. The spirit
Holy Nova -- Causes an explosion of holy light around the caster, causing X holy damage to
Holy Nova is no longer confined to your group, or even your party. It will heal other members of your raid,
Holy Word: Chastise -- Chastise the target for X Holy damage, and disorients them for 3 sec.
Desperate Prayer--Instantly heals the caster for 30% of their total health.
Surge of Light--You have a 6% chance when you Smite, Heal, Flash Heal, Binding Heal or
Veiled Shadows -- Decreases the cooldown of your fade ability by 3/6 sec. Reduces the cooldown
There is a distinct gap between our obviously useful glyphs and the remainder of our
*Must-have glyphs - holy
[top] Item Enhancements
For Holy, Heartsong will net about 40-50 more mp5 than Power Torrent. Timing shadowfiend
We are still considering socket bonuses with an eye toward what will bring us the most
Preliminary work is pointing toward Ember Shadowspirit Diamond providing greater sustained
We will be reforging crit to mastery or haste, depending on how much of each you feel
Most professions give a bonus of +80 int.
The feasts provide int as the useful stat, so you may want to consider bringing your own
spirit food if that is your preference.
Cauldrons give an int flask, so again healers may want to bring their own spirit flasks.
The new potions available are:
[top] Stats and Gearing
[top] Stat Priority
Basic gearing strategy for Holy:
When we first reach level 85, spirit is king. As you progress through normal dungeons and then heroics, you1. Get as much Intellect as you can through higher item level gear.
will start to feel more comfortable with your regen and it will be time to take more serious look at your
other stats. After spirit you want to prioritize haste and mastery. Now that HoT's scale with haste,
Renew gets an extra tick at 12.5%. After this point the values of haste and mastery are very close.
Using the spreadsheet listed below can give you a detailed, personalized look at gear planning with your current or
planned gear sets.
My thanks to Derevka for his help re-examining this topic.
Arison has updated the spreadsheet for 4.1:
Cataclysm Healing Priest Theorycrafting Spreadsheet v 1.4.xls
This spreadsheet calculates the effects of your spells and models customizable healing rotations.
This is still a work in progress. Bugs and errors can be reported to Arison via private message on these forums.
This talent is the holy priest's main source of mana regeneration, and increases our passive,
Long-time priests either hate our regen pets for their short attention spans and wandering
Hymn of Hope
Inner Will and Mental Agility
Mana Tide Totem
[top] Addons and UI
NOTE: Review macros and addon keybinds that may use spell and ability ranks. Many will
no longer function with the transition to Cataclysm.
A healer’s UI is focused around two points--the raid frames and your character model. The less time
your eyes spend moving between these two locations of vital information, the more time you have to
react to changing circumstances. Other needed information is displayed radiating out from this
central location, the importance dictating how close to the center it needs to be. Examples of this
second ring would be player and target frames and important procs and debuffs. Remaining
information, such as damage/healing meters, chat frames and ordinary buffs are lowest priority and
can safely be placed at the edges of the screen. It is important to prioritize information in this
way so that you aren’t distracted from the job at hand (healing and staying alive) by a flood of too
much information, most of which you don’t actually need at the moment.
[top] Unit frames
Unit frames are used to show information about your raid and party members in a compact format.
Health status is a primary concern, but select buffs and debuffs are also very important to show. Of
less importance but still common are indicators of incoming heals, the status of HoTs on the player,
their distance from you, as well as convenience items such as group role and afk status.
The new raid frames now available through the default UI are dramatically improved from times past
and are certainly a viable option now, especially for those who want to keep setup minimal and memory
useage low. For those who prefer the appearance and customization options of unit frames through an
addon, there are many choices readily available but for simplicity I will mention only two: Grid and Vuhdo.
Vuhdo comes with an very usable default setup right out of the box. The configuration
Now that the unit frames are set up and everyone is visible, you need to be able to cast your healing spells
on them. The simplest method is of course to click the player you want to heal to target them and
cast the spell. Most healers find this system too slow and unwieldy however, and choose one of the
This is a system of binding macros to keys and casting by hovering the mouse over the appropriateClick-Casting
Tracking buffs, debuffs and cooldowns on yourself and others and displaying the pertinent information
in a convenient location is also important for effective and efficient healing.
Power Auras is an addon for displaying graphical auras on your screen to indicate
There is a lot of information out there about setting up a healing UI, and additional research will
serve you well as you develop as a healer.
[top] Handling some common issues
Happily, Holy Word macros work normally now.
These suggestions are given as a starting point, and as logs and information and experience
start to flow in they will be adjusted.
To heal the raid as as holy during periods of high raid damage, you will want to keep PoM on
[top] Threat Mechanics
For Cataclysm, the threat system has been overhauled again. Tank threat
Fade -- Fade out, temporarily reducing all your threat.
Cast fade immediately before you start healing. Waiting to fade until you
Not yet updated for 4.1
[top] Spell Coefficients and Formulas
To calculate the value of a spell, the formula (BaseValue + Spellpower * Coefficient) * Modifiers is used.
*Per tick value
SH = Spiritual Healing, 15%; Imp PW:S = Improved Power Word: Shield, 20%; TD = Twin
Disciplines, 6%; IR = Improved Renew, 10%; GoR = Glyph of Renew, 10%; EH = Empowered Healing, 15%; SD = Shield Discipline, 20%+
The direct relationship between the base values and the coefficients of (most) spells means that we
can derive a formula for comparing Spellpower as a rating; that is, a measure of how much Spellpower
is needed to gain a 1% increase to healing.
(BaseValue + Spellpower * Coefficient) * Modifiers = BaseValue * (1 + Spellpower / BaseValue / Coefficient) * Modifiers.
At level 85, dividing the base values by the coefficient gives us ~9345. Therefore, your Spellpower
will give your spells additional value equal to Spellpower / 9345. Using Heal as an example, with
2824 + 6000 * 0.302 = 4636
2824 + 6000 * 0.302 = 2824 * (1 + 6000 / 9345)
6000 / 9345 = .642
2824 * 1.642 = 4637
With 6000 Spellpower, Heal gains 64.2% additional value.
Since it takes 93.45 spellpower to gain a 1% increase to your spells (93.45 / 9345 = 1 / 100), it can
be said that it takes 93.45 Spellpower 'Rating' to equal a 1% increase. This makes it easier to
directly compare the throughput value of Spellpower with other ratings to determine basic stat
The spells that do not follow this convention are Binding Heal (100.01) and Holy Word: Sanctuary
(105.32); these spells will not scale as well as our other healing spells, though only slightly.
[top] Character Stats
Intellect increases your Spellpower by 1, Spell Critical Chance by .001541, and Mana by 15. The
first 18 Intellect will not give mana, and the first 10 Intellect will not give Spellpower
Spirit increases your Spirit Regen according to the following formula:
Spirit Regen = Sqrt(Intellect) * Spirit *.016725
Mastery rating conversions.
Mastery adds 1.25% additional healing to direct heals with Echo of Light for Holy, and 2.5%
additional absorption for Discipline.
Critical rating conversions
Critical heals are 150% of the value of a non critical heal. Divine Aegis adds 10% additional
healing as an absorption shield per point, increased by your Shield Discipline mastery.
Healing = Average Heal * (1 + Critical% * (0.5 + Divine Aegis * Shield Discipline)
Haste Rating Conversions
Haste increases your casting speed according to the following formula:
Base Cast Time / (1 + Haste *.01)
Haste rating decreases the period length between ticks from channeled spells and heal over time
effects according to the same formula, replacing the Base Cast Time with the channeling time or tick
period. Durations are determined from the period times the number of ticks. You get k more
ticks for a hot/dot that has m ticks at 0% haste if your haste is higher than (2k-1)/2m.
Haste rating converts to a 1% increase at a much quicker rate than other secondary stat ratings, but
does so without providing any increase in efficiency. Generally, it lets you spend your mana faster,
and is devalued any time you aren't GCD locked.
Haste rating is additive, haste buffs and percentages are multiplicative.
To calculate the number of ticks for a given haste:
Int[Base # Ticks * (1+ Haste *.01) + 0.5]
To calculate the Haste Rating needed to reduce spell cast time from base cast time to any desired
cast time you use:
((Base Cast Time / Desired Cast Time) - 1) * Rating Conversion * 100
With the removal of Enlightenment and 3% Haste buff, the reduction of Borrowed Time (14% at max
rank), and the change to Darkness (3% available in Tier 1 Shadow), we have new caps and plateaus for
Thanks for posting everything in one spot, I did notice an error in the post though.
"Veiled Shadows -- Decreases the cooldown of your fade ability by 3/6 sec. Reduces the cooldown of your shadowfiend by 1 / 2 minutes.
This will end up being an important regen talent."
The talent has been changed to 30/60secs on live and that limits how much its worth. I question if taking it is better than twisted faith in the long run,which you do in your spec. In a long fight having the fiend up again would be very good but only taking 1 minute off the cd might not allow you to use it more than you normally would. For example in a 7 minute fight you use it one minute in and its back up around the 6 minute mark, if you had the talent it would be back around the 5 minute mark but you wouldn't get to use it again after that. There's no gain other than having the mana back sooner. Obviously on longer fights its worth more but they would have to be very long fights.
When looking at the stat weights for holy in single target vs. sustained numbers generally either spirit or haste is left blank depending on whether you are doing a single target burst or sustained healing..(this is also true for aoe healing). If I am wanting to use your numbers with a program such as RAWR or Lootrank which numbers would be best used for a balanced gear approach as far as valuing different gear items along an upgrade path?
That is entirely up to your definition of a "normal" fight and the design of the battles. You will need to assign your own weights according to your assumptions:
Statweight = x * Burst + y * Sustained
The "Sustained" quality is worthless until you actually run out of mana, at which point it becomes infinitely valuable. If you expect to go all-out in fights to keep people alive, and be able to do so without going oom, you would assign a low value to Sustained (y) and a high value to Burst (x). If you expect to be able to handle the damage output of most encounters just fine anyway, and want to minimize downtime to drinking, you want to assign a high value to Sustained (y) and a low value to Burst (x).
Personally I figured I don't know how healing will work out while leveling in Cata, so I value both qualities just as highly: x = 1, y = 1. That means that stat weight I use for Intellect is 4.20+0.94 = 5.16, and the stat weight I use for Spirit is 3.36.
If you don't consider bag space an issue, you might want to create two sets: One for max burst and one for max sustainability.
Just a quick note on the recommended spec. I don't think there's any mathematically justifiable reason to take Darkness (3% spell haste) but skip Twin Disciplines (6% healing). The latter provides double the healing benefit while simultaneously increasing mana efficiency. One of these things is more than twice as good as the other.
Once you have 6 points in the first tier of Discipline, there's the legitimate choice of Inner Sanctum versus Veiled Shadows, but we won't have a good idea of which one is better until we actually try the raid encounters.
Darkness vs. Twin Disciplines will come down to how large of a portion Renew is of our overall healing and how much haste we have on gear.
Getting over that first haste plateau adds a tick to Renew, increasing the spell's HPM by 25%. Getting over the second plateau to 6 ticks increases its HPM by a further 20%. That break even point for the 5th tick is Renew being ~24% of your effective healing.
Therefore, if Darkness helps one to reach a 5th tick of Renew and Renew is >= 24% of our effective healing, it makes sense to put points in to Darkness. Once you have enough haste on your gear to reach a 5th tick of Renew it makes sense to put those points back in to Twin Disciplines.
Then again when we approach the 6th tick of Renew, it makes sense to divert points in to Darkness if Renew accounts for 30% of our effective healing.
I should note that these break even points change if you require less points in Darkness to achieve the next tick on Renew. E.g. if you only need one point in Darkness to get a 5th Renew tick, it is worthwhile as long as Renew is >= 8% of your effective healing.
I should think for a raid healing Holy Priest, Renew will account for a sufficiently large portion of our effective healing so as to justify points in Darkness. I'm not sure if the same is true for tank healing. Perhaps those with beta raiding experience can weigh in?
Well, at that point, I would say that it is more beneficial to keep Twin Discipline, and reenchant / regem / reforge part of your gear to gain this missing haste points. I guess that 2% healing is better than 128 crit, mastery, spirit, or even 128 intel. If you already gemmed / enchanted / reforged for max haste, then it means that you have no mana trouble, which is not likely in the first tiers of Cataclysm.
Although I hadn't intended to change much until we actually see what level 85 looks like, there are good arguments for suggesting Twin Discipline instead of Darkness. So I added in an alternate spec suggestion, hoping to encourage people to think about their choice.
I found Spirit of Redemption very useful for early kills; those times when you are 2-3% away and you are out of mana. Dying at that point is going to be your better option if you have the talent.
For instance, if you put out ~2,850,000 [10k HPS] single-target healing in 285 seconds and then SoR for the last 15 seconds, you can spam flash heal for ~246,600 additional healing, or a 8.6% increase in healing done. If you're putting out 5,700,000 [20k HPS] raid healing for 285 seconds before a mana suicide, that's an additonal 423,030 healing from Prayer of Healing spam for that 15 seconds for a 7.5% increase.
In a mana constrained fight, Spirit of Redemption can give a non-trivial amount of additional healing and could secure a kill from what would otherwise be a wipe.
Based on a conversation earlier in the simple questions/answers thread, I think it would be useful to have a section on racials in the compendiums. I took a stab at it- I've greyed out racials that have 0 impact in PvE healing endgame encounters for healing priests (i.e. profession bonuses, or weapon skill bonuses), and I've bolded racials that should be actually considered when min/maxing an endgame PvE priest.
I've been trying to find the best way to squeeze the most "item points" out of the extra 10 talents that we have. Since you can reforge and gem to switch stats around so much, getting the most out of talents could be optimal when you gear around it.
Darkness is fairly easy to calculate at 128.057 haste rating per point, 384.17100 total for all 3, if it adds just like haste on items. I've heard that talent haste works multiplicatively instead of additively, so this could be undervalued if that's true.
With the new spellpower scaling for heals, which gives 1% healing for 93.45 spellpower, twin disciplines can be estimated at 186.9 per point and 560.7 total for all 3. This is spellpower, and not intellect though. I don't know what the current conversion from spellpower to item point is, I know it used to be 1.2 SP per point in wotlk. This would estimate twin disciplines at 467.25 (155 per talent) item points using that conversion, but I'm pretty sure that's not correct anymore since spellpower is already inflated by high int levels.
Mental agility is harder because it depends on how often you cast renew. I'm assuming a base mana of 20590. Using PoM on CD it should give (.18*20590*.1)/10*5 = 185.31 mp5. Using CoH on (10 sec) CD it should give 216.19500 mp5. If you used once every 10 seconds it would give another 216.19500 mp5. So I'd give mental agility a minimum of 400 mp5, probably up to 2000 mp5 if you're just spamming renew. Using the old conversion of 1mp5 = 2 item points, this would be 800 to 4000 item points worth of mp5. 266 to 1333 per talent. Since the buff to holy concentration, this would be more like 133 to 666 spirit instead.
Veiled shadows. Using 100k mana and 10 attacks, shadowfiend gives back 30k mana every 5 minutes untalented, which is 30000/(5*60)*5=500mp5 if used on cooldown and not counting fights ending mid-cooldown. 2 points in veiled shadows gives 625 mp5 instead. The difference is 125 mp5, or 250 item points using the above conversion. 125 per talent. 63 spirit after the holy concentration buff.
Moral of the story: If you're thinking about dropping MA, you're probably better off keeping it and reforging/gemming away from spirit, even if all you do is cast PoM/CoH on cooldown and ignore renew entirely. After the spirit buff, veiled shadows is lagging behind and you're probably better gemming spirit and getting darkness or TD instead.
I'm pretty sure some of these numbers are inaccurate if not entirely wrong, but the idea might be useful.
First, thanks to Rosin for compiling all the existing information (special thanks to Carnathagia for the numbers) and centralizing it for new Holy Priests like myself.
I think it should probably be noted that although we've been told to anticipate having mana problems early in Cataclysm, that may be substantially ameliorated by the Tier 11 4-piece bonus (see [Mercurial Cowl]). (This, of course, is looking somewhat ahead, since it may be several weeks before we can obtain 4 pieces.) Seeing as how it's possible (if not optimal) to always be in a Chakra state, we're basically given a nearly 20% (going off of the 2774 Spirit used for the theorycrafting values) permanent increase in Spirit. This seems pretty big, to the point that perhaps we can afford to either reforge away from some Spirit, or at the very least not take Veiled Shadows.
I'm trying to get a reasonable estimated heal for Lightwell to help shame people into using it more often.
Going by the tootip and assuming 6k SP, which seems reasonable, I'm getting a ~17.7k HoT over 6s. This is of course ignoring the added +6% from TD and any crits on the HoT, assuming the HoT can crit which it should be able to do.
Just making sure I'm not missing anything. Regardless of the veracity of my math, an estimate of the expected HoT value should be added into the Lightwell section as if people see the number it will greatly help getting people to click the damn thing.
While we're talking about talent points (haven't been able to find discussion on this elsewhere) I'm going to propose that it may be beneficial for the min/max priest to only take 1/2 State of Mind. This would give (assuming PoM on CD and 1PoH per 30 seconds) that the chakra state would last 38 seconds, plenty of time to get two HW: S out. (2/2 Tome of Light of course)
I might even argue that going 0/2 SoM makes sense because a chakra lasts 30 seconds and only has a 30 second CD. The only downside to this is that with Chakra:PoH/PoM you can only get one HW: S off per chakra CD.
With that 1 extra talent point I might put it in Desperate Prayer for a nice mana-free save or into Twin Diciplines for an extra 2% healing. Could also use it for juggling around Darkness points for Renew plateaues as well.
I propose we leave the suggested specs with 1/2 SoM and a free point for user choice.
Also if I'm missing something critical about 2/2 SoM let me know.
I also prefer spending only one talent point into SoM. 2 points are not essential because of the reasons you mentioned. 0 points in SoM is too little, because there will be at least one cast/spell without beeing in Chakra, which causes an HpS/HpM loss and (optionally) it also decreases the uptime of the Tier11 setbonus.
So I would recommend to spend 1 point into SoM for optimizing setbnous uptime, HpS/HpM and an extra HW:S.
If you want to get one additional renew tick, you only need about 526 haste rating (4,11% instead of 5%) on level 85 (with 3/3 Darkness and 5% Haste Buff).
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