Picking my talents 2 of 2.

This time, I work the holy tree, from the bottom up. Again, stream of consciouness (sorta) so lots and lots of words. Which means I’m inserting this break – click if you want to follow me up the holy tree and into a final review.

I’ve discussed the bottom tier before, so without further ado: Healing focus 2/2 and Improved Renew 3/3. Holy Spec tempts, and when I do my review I may try to pick up some of it. But I plan with sustained reliability in mind. And “counting” on criticals is bad for that model as those tend to be overheals — unless I can boost my crits to a realistically high level like, oh, around 40%. Which is doable if I build and gear that way. But for that, the negative consequence is that half the time the heal is too low. Decisions, decisions – I choose reliability.

Second tier. Spell warding and divine fury. Sigh. When in an instance, the mobs most likely to aggro on me are the spellcasters. It’s simple, really. Unless my tank and killteam have prioritized the casters high (my recommendation but not common), the tank’s not usually close enough to threaten them – on the pull, they stop short so they can cast at range. Which means that there’s nothing balancing my healing threat. Which means…. ouch. Divine fury, on the other hand, is useful for ‘only’ one spell as a healpriest. It will reduce my cast time for Greater Heal by half a second – an eternity in an instance. (It’s also a prerequisite for searing light, which since I’m not going for damage is immaterial to me.) I know the team with which I’m going to be working, however, and casters are very choice tidbits for them. So for now, only five in Divine Fury.

Tier three… I know priests who love all these talents. I’m not one, though I admit they’re tempting. There’s Holy Nova – a sucky damage spell, a poor excuse of a healspell, it offers two advantages: zero threat, and it’s the only AoE available to a priest. These are not insignificant, but for my use they’re poor trades for the talents. Then there’s Blessed Recovery. Three points here and I get a nifty benefit — if hit by a crit (nonspell), I self-heal 25% of the damage. That can be a lifesaver. If, that is, I get hit by a crit. Non-crits won’t help. In PVP crits are frequent. In PVE they’re a lot less common. Maybe… Finally, there is Inspiration. max of three points, and it cues off MY critical heals. After a critical heal, the target gets 25% increase in armor for 15 seconds. The issue is, well, see my discussion about Holy Spec. Actually, if I decide to go with this it pairs nicely with Holy Spec.

Since this is Stream of Consciousness again, I’m cheating. There are some considerations a bit higher. Just… I have to put five points here or below to go on, so that’s fifteen of 38 to this point.

And so tier 4. Holy Reach, Searing Light, and Improved Healing. I’ve already dismissed Searing Light for this build – it’s purely offensive. Holy reach… I’ll rarely use Holy Fire and Smite – if I did, the extra 20% to range would be extremely useful. I already dismissed Holy Nova, and Circle of Healing is out of reach. So this affects one and only one spell – Prayer of Healing (and not Prayer of Mending). PoH is popular with some priests – an AoE spell with quite good return on mana (provided it’s healing more than a couple of players). Oh, it’s also about the best spell priests have in terms of Heals per Second (Hps) — if you’ve gotta have a lot now it’s better than flash heal. However, it’s a nasty bite of threat, and you’re still healing group instead of the tank. In my eyes, its only applicable in Boss AoE situations, and in that case the extra 6 yards just isn’t worth the two talent points.

But this tier includes improved healing. 15% reduction (with three points) to the mana cost of my two main healing spells — flash heal and greater heal. (I’m not good enough to effectively intertwine heal in the middle of that, but it pays that one as well.) For a priest, the 5 second waltz is all about mana management. And improving mana efficiency of the most frequently used spells is a big winner. Three points.

hmmm. I’ve got five points unspent from the third tier, and two more unspent from here. I begin to see an opportunity. But let’s go on, knowing I’ve spent 20 altogether at this point.

Tier five. The heartbreaker tier of the holy tree. Let me gaze longingly on all three of my choices: Healing Prayers; Spirit of Redemption; and Spiritual Guidance. The only – ONLY – saving grace is that the first two only eat three points maximum. sigh.

Healing Prayers. Remember why I chose Improved Healing? Mana efficiency. This one’s also about mana efficiency. The downside is that it’s only applicable to two spells – prayer of healing and prayer of mending. The first I’ve already mentioned somewhat disparagingly, though this helps a lot. But the second is another mainstay – the frisbee of healing. I’m not going into it in depth. The frisbee is mana efficient already – pretty good even if it only heals one person – and with renew is a spell that gets thrown out constantly. The fact that threat from it goes to the recipient instead of the caster is a bonus (here, tank, have some more threat). A 20% reduction in mana makes it nicer – 800 points healed for 312 mana. Gear applies, but it doesn’t crit. Two points max, 10% per bump.

Spirit of Redemption, aka Improved Death. The ultimate “Oh Crap” button. If you die, you get 15 seconds during which you can cast any spell not on cooldown for zero mana cost. The naysayers will tell you it tempts your party to let you die. Me, I know that the party is going to work really hard not to see the angel of life. In 15 seconds I can toss a renew and a frisbee and spam a small handful of prayers of healing (who cares about threat in THIS case – and it may be the only reason for reconsidering the increased range). This one’s getting picked regardless.

And, of course, spiritual guidance. Up to 25% of your spirit gets applies as +spellpower to damage and healing. That’s on top of the bonus from Improved Divine Spirit — 35% for me if I take it all. But all means I cut points higher up the tree.

I’ve spent one for sure, I’ve got four more to spend here – maybe more. Let’s go on, knowing 25 are down and I’ve 13 more to go.

Tier six is a lot easier on my nerves. Surge of light is an excellent choice for attackers, and worthless for healers. Spiritual Healing is the reverse. Five points (tentatively) to add 10% to ALL my healing spells. 30 down, 8 to go.

Tier seven has three choices: Holy Concentration; Lightwell; and Blessed Resilience.

Let’s eliminate Blessed Resilience first. Oh, it’s another great talent. If you’re critically hit, there’s a 60% chance you’ll be immune to more critical hits for 6 seconds. In PVP this is a big deal. And if/when I get higher in Kara and beyond, well, rumor says some of the bosses there are big critical hitters as well – in which case I may revisit all the crit-reduction talents. But for where I am right now, no thank you.

Then there’s Holy Concentration. With three talent points there’s a six percent chance of entering a limited clearcasting state. Clearcasting, as you may recall, means the next spell is free. The limit here is that it only applies for the next Flash, Binding, or Greater Heal. 6% – less than most any crit I can get. It’s… tempting. Provided I don’t sacrifice an improvement in sustained reliability.

In fact, the only spell I know I’m going to grab at this level is the one other healers scoff at. I love Lightwell (aka lolwell). Effective use requires training of your group. So, as it happens, does the frisbee. If your group has spaced correctly – casters outside 20 yards, melee inside – the frisbee stays in the melee. This balances the frisbee by being for the casters/ranged fighters. Sure, it’s a bandage. And it does a bit less than a heavy netherweave. But it does it faster (a bit), and they can move while it’s bandaging. Just not take damage – don’t use it while debuffed with a DoT. Fire, and forget for three minutes. Oh — one more thing that’ll make the other healers examine this again. In the upcoming patch (whenever it gets here) Lightwell gets bonuses from healing. I don’t know which ‘timing’ will apply – the 1.5 cast or the 6 second channeling – nor even if it’s going to get the AoE (for the multiple charges) effect. At worst it’s about 15% of bonus healing applied. At best… 170% (channeling). Yum. I’m betting somewhere in the middle, say 42% from cast time. Which with 1000+ bonus healing (gear and talents) makes those bandages a LOT more useful as they push 3K healing apiece.

35 down (though some are unassigned), 3 to go. Is it worth putting 3 points into the only talent on the next tier? (snicker) yes. In fact the missing two to cap it has me looking back at Disc – do I REALLY need IDS? (Yes, sigh). Improvements in Sustained Reliability for the win. +12% to the healing bonuses for Greater Heal, and +6% for flash and binding heal. hmmm, let’s clarify this. Greater Heal, as a 3 second (base) cast-time spell, has a coefficient of 85.7% to healing bonuses. So if my healing bonus is +1000 (not hard as a level 70 dedicated healer) my GH gets 857 additional points. This makes the bonus 97.7% or 977 points. The extra two points I’m sacrificing would add another 8% or 80 points in this example.

Let’s re-examine. I’ve got potentially 11 talent points uncommitted – let’s go commit them, running back down the tree.

3/5 points in Empowered Healing

1 Point Lightwell. 0/3 Holy Concentration, 0/3 Blessed Resilience.

5/5 Spiritual Healing, 0/2 Surge of Light.

5/5 Spiritual Guidance, 1/1 Spirit of Redemption, 2/2 Healing Prayers. whoops, there went some of the buffer. But 21 left for below is enough to support up here, so let’s continue.

3/3 Improved Healing, 0/2 Searing Light, 0/2 Holy Reach — I’ve got 18 to place of which 17 need to be here or below. And joy of joys – I am solid in my sustained, so I can look to crits. (Good thing as what’s left are all ‘occasional brilliance’ talents.)

The three “open” spots are Holy Spec, Inspiration, and Blessed Recovery. I’m going to grab 3/3 in blessed recovery because on consideration I’m beginning to feel a bit like a glass cannon. If a crit doesn’t kill me it’ll leave me very, very weak, and this will help. That leaves me with five. I’m going to put 3 in Inspiration, and I have a choice. I can put one each in Holy Concentration AND Holy Spec, or I can put both in Holy Spec. (Seriously, none of the other talents left tempt me.) As I generally despise putting one point in a talent unless there are two or less, I’ll go with both in Holy Spec. So to finish the downward trip:

0/1 Holy Nova, 3/3 Blessed Recovery, 3/3 Inspiration

0/5 Spell Warding, 5/5 Divine Fury

2/2 Healing Focus, 3/3 Improved Renew, 2/5 Holy Spec (Increasing crit chance by 2%)

That’s a lot of words, so let me give you a picture. Click here to see the template displayed.

Is it “the best”? Bah, humbug. There are other, potentially better choices out there even staying 23/38/0. Add in more Disc or some shadow and… What it is, is the template that results from choices I made based on my playing style and my preferences.

If you take anything away, take away the DISCUSSION. Not what I chose, but the fact I pondered the use, weighed pros and cons, and decided from there. You are not me.

Have fun, or don’t do it.

~ by Kirk on August 22, 2007.

10 Responses to “Picking my talents 2 of 2.”

  1. I think i agree with most of your choices, although as a bear tank, let me tell you just how much i love 3/3 Inspiration procs: …well, a lot. One more armor upgrade and i’ll be hitting the raid boss armor-based damage mitigation cap when i get an Inspiration. That’s about all i have to say about healing specs.

    I’m agonizing over my shadow build again, though. This is what i have so far, but i REALLY want to get a full 5/5 in Shadow Power if i can. One of my guildmates is a shadow priest who has 0/3 in Meditation, and he says that his gear has very little spirit on it. Would you advise trying to maintain 3/3 Meditation or dropping it in favor of maxing mp5 effects? What can i do about Shadow Power?

  2. You get critted by a boss beyond kara, it will oneshot you. Most kara bosses will as well.

  3. OUr bear tank has about 72% anyway, so inspiration would be overkill tbh. But it still rocks for warrior / pala

  4. @melnayo

    OK, I refuse to tell you “this is better”. Quite simply, better for me isn’t better for you. And as you can see by reading this post, I agonized over a few things myself. That said, here’s a tool that I used to use to help make these decisions.

    Create a grid: group v solo BY grind, quest, instance, BG, Arena, PVP. Give each of the subsequent ten boxes a weight – say, 1-10 – for how important it is to you. If it’s NA, put zero.

    Now for each talent, decide for which box(es) it will be useful, and add the values of those together. That’s the worth of the talent. Don’t do it for all – just for the ones over which you’re agonizing. Then let the values help you decide. You may really, really wish you had two more talent points you could put in Shadow Power, but everything else is more important. or maybe it’s IVE, or maybe it’s VT, or… You get the idea. not fun, but…

  5. Do you find that you have a good selection of shadow priestly type gear with spirit on it, to make Meditation worth bothering with? My priest is at level 42 now, not seeing that gear yet.

  6. I’d really encourage you to try out Holy Concentration. Keep in mind, when it goes off you can grab at least 1 tick out side of the 5 second rule — and sometimes much more: after you cast you first free greater heal, use inner focus for a second one. If you immediately cast a third heal, you’ll get 1-2 ticks of mana regen; if you space this out over more time, you can get 10-20 seconds of mana regen while still healing. This is a mainstay of mine for 5-10 minute boss fights.

    Secondly, I’d urge you to reconsider Spell Warding – it is really quite useful. More and more, the only things which do “survivable” amounts of damage to me are just spells. Contrawise, blessed recovery is really a very minor heal.

    Thirdly, although I highly value inspiration, I believe the marginal value of the +2% crit from holy specialization is pretty low. If you run the numbers, going from 6% to 8% doesn’t increase the inspiration uptime all that much. Again, I think spell warding is a far better choice.

    My raiding build: http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/info/classes/priest/talents.html?504200013050012000000230550030300150530030000000000000000000000

    Keep up the interesting posts!

  7. @Melyano, re shadow priest gear with spirit…
    Not much. But the incremental amount still helps. Consider that at 70 you’re going to have a base spirit of ~160. Outside combat that’s 40 mana returning every 2 seconds. With meditation maxed you get 15% of that or 6 mana every 2 seconds – nominally comparable to 15 mana per 5 seconds. ANY spirit is a bonus – and if your raid brings along someone who casts Divine Spirit on you, that’s another 1.5 per 2 seconds. On the other hand, it’s 3 points you could use somewhere else. And as I say and say and say, it’s your character, play the way that’s fun for YOU.

    I like holy concentration. And here, some 6 to 8 hours after I ground through the plan, I’m considering it yet again. One thing I failed to remember is that clearcasting also counts as non-cast for the five second waltz. In other words, a 3 second GH in clearcast is only two seconds from regenerating mana at the out-of-cast rate.

    re spell warding, I agree it’s useful. It’s not my playstyle, though. Still, I’ll keep that in mind.

    And I’m uncomfortable with the decision for critting. It’s (again) outside my playstyle of maximizing sustained reliability. As you say, 2% isn’t much. I’ll sleep on it – I don’t have to switch till the just before the next time I go to an instance. This is always the way I do it – write it, think about it, tweak it, change it. It’s just this time I’m adding reviews from friends and acquaintances… I may not take the advice, but I’ll sure listen.

  8. I’d recommend reconsidering 2/2 imp fort, with moving one point from silent resolve. If you’re still planning on using a paladin tank, they are excellent at keeping agro on more than one mob. I quite regularly heal a pally tank in heroics who is not even particularly well geared, and even with a mage spamming AE he doesn’t lose agro, meaning silent resolve doesn’t matter as much as the potential benefit from imp fort.

    I also firmly believe holy concentration is the best 3 talent points you can spend as a holy priest, especially prior to getting Earing of Soulful Meditation so you can sync the procs with inner focus for even more oo5sr regen. Also, if you consider how much benefit you get from healing prayers, the 4% chance of a free gheal is more beneficial than 80 odd mana cost less on a spell you can only cast once every 10 seconds.

    I’d also personally prefer spell warding over blessed recovery, since a crit from anything heroic or higher is likely to one-shot you anyways.

  9. @Bauer,

    re the spell warding, I’m coming to think you and Tanitin might have a point. I was browsing through some of my posts and realized Triage may have a point here. Divide incoming damage into three groups. If it’s insignificant, do nothing. If it’s so massive you can’t do anything about it, do nothing. On what is left – where if you act you can change death to life – act.

    Re the rest, maybe. (grin). Holy Concentration has its pluses. It’s the 6% that bothers me — is the effect worth it on a 1/20 proc? Expect a post… (grin) On Imp Fort vs Silent Resolve, I’m going to politely disagree. I can see you are again making the triage argument – in this case the “it’s insignificant” – but I’m not so sure I agree. I’ll be revisiting it, though – as I intend to do with everything anyone mentions.

  10. Lessee, stream of consciousness replies, this should be fun.

    I have points in the inspiration/crit build because the armor is happy-making….but in truth, because I needed to put points somewhere useful. I wouldn’t call it something that’s a “necessary” point, not by a long-shot. But I preferred to buff my healing over buffing my survivability.

    I second your thoughts on Divine Fury. It’s almost a necessary talent, which is dumb since it only affects a single spell. But my group also prioritizes casters, and I don’t get hit much, and certainly not for long (my tank is awesome)

    Your notes on the next tier pretty much mirror mine…which is why I have inspiration. =]

    lolwell is one I’ll try out…after the patch. So I can’t comment on it, other than to say that the AVERAGE player will never use it correctly. If you’ve surrounded yourself by good players, go for it.

    I would recommend revisiting the Holy Reach – it allows frisbee to be cast from farther away, and it also means that a group heal on certain bosses that do AOE damage and have your group spaced is actually likely to hit people.

    =] Love the final quote.

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